With the New Year just around the corner..

The coming of the new year brought me to reflect on where I was at this time last year.  I had written a post about New Year’s resolutions where I listed 8 goals for 2006.  I feel it’s best to make an honest assessment on how far I went with them and write new ones after some reflection.  On the whole I guess I proved the general rule to be true that most resolutions are meant to be broken.  I managed to be marginally successful but I’m not killing myself over it.  Sometimes we overlook that we achieve more than what we had hoped for, but in areas which we never thought we’d succeed.  Indulge me my self-critique here…

  1. Take care of myself better.  I am still enrolled in the company gym but have hardly gone in.  This continues to elude me but the threat of completely redoing my wardrobe has caused me to look at this more seriously. 
  2. More crafts.. more crafts! Considering the scrapbooks I managed to complete, I say I succeeded with this resolution although I am prioritizing finishing the cross stitch project of Our Lady of Perpetual Help before February of 2007.
  3. Read more to Angel.  This has proven to be more of a challenge given that we are usually rushing through his bath to get him to bed.  I think I have to change the schedule for reading to him this coming year to succeed in this.
  4. Start my gratitude journal.  Never got off the ground!  I think I will just start a new category here in this blog.  (Blog post forming in my head as I write this.)
  5. Getting more organized at home and at work.  The thought is there, and I think I’m not as much of a packrat here.  But I’m still working on it.
  6. Read MORE this year than I did last year.  Definitely aced this one!  I have read all that I had hoped to read except Bill Clinton’s MY LIFE and more.  I’m finishing READING LOLITA IN TEHRAN as I write this and will be starting THE THIRTEENTH TALE this week. 

I think I will take time to reflect before I write a new list for 2007. 

And the first Philippine Idol is..

I’m writing this post now because I know that by the time I get to put an entry in again by my Sunday afternoon, the winner would’ve been announced.  I would just like to congratulate not just the top three, but all the finalists, wild card winners included.  We should all be proud of the collective talent of these budding singers.  I am sure that many of them will go very far in the years to come. 

As always, I am rooting for Jan Kurt Nieto to win, but even if he does not, Mau and Gian are equally deserving.  My hats off to all of you!

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Mom IS staying!

Last October, I wrote about Extending one’s stay as a tourist in the US as I was applying for Mom’s extension to stay here another six months.  This was actually the second time we had applied, the first having been during her first trip to New York in 2004 when I gave birth.  That extension was approved for six months, which is why she left for Manila in April just as she had arrived the year before.  Her second visit was strictly six months and we went home with her for a much-awaited homecoming.  This third trip, which is her last commitment to Angel and me, was planned to be a one-year stay from the very beginning.

Although we heard a lot of horror stories about the US CIS (that’s now how the INS is now called) deny second extensions, I have to reiterate that this is her first extension for this stay, not her second.  It is her second in all of her trips, but we never applied for consecutive extensions.  After this one, she is definitely heading home for Manila.

That’s an early Christmas gift.  I know Mom was kind of hoping that she would get to go home — she’s been planning to shop for pasalubongs already, and she had postponed the shipment of her latest batch of medicines for until after we know for certain she is staying, but she is also intent on staying the last six months with her apo.  Who knows, we may even find ourselves bringing her home again like her last return trip to Manila.. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that that can be done. 

Routines

So we decided to spend the day at home.  I cooked some beef sukiyaki (thanks to Nora Daza’s “Cooking it up with Nora”) and we let Angel nap.  After that we went out to do groceries and we found ourselves in one of our favorite family restaurants, Macaroni Grill (which is much like Italianni’s back home — and I think the franchise is patterned after Macaroni Grill).  It’s always fun going out as a family, just Angel, Alan and me — although we love taking the Lolas out, too.  It’s just that it’s different when it’s just us.  It feels more intimate.  We try to squeeze in some time together during our week — and we have to plan on that because there’s usually the Lolas and the stepson, and we do go out as a couple with friends at times.

We didn’t get to go out to dinner this week so we went for our movie date tonight instead.  We rushed home after dinner, unloaded the groceries, I changed Angel to his pajamas, and then on the pretext that Mama and Papa were going to work, Alan and I hied off to watch DEJA VU.  It’s one of those movies that you have to go in with no other expectation than to be entertained because it does not have a logical plot.  Maybe it’s Denzel Washington and an obviously paunchy Val Kilmer that makes it believable, but you leave the moviehouse feeling like the good guys won. Let me leave it at that.  Again, I don’t claim to be a cinephile.. I’m just one of those ordinary people who walk into a moviehouse hoping to be entertained.  And Deja Vu did that for me.

I had this strange urge to scribble something while watching the movie but the thought escapes me now.  I can’t even remember what it was that I wanted to write about. 

It’s minutes to midnight but Alan is busy working on the laundry — I can actually slip off and just sleep but I want to stay up and help him fold later.  Angel is snoring away.  He stirred but I soon put him to sleep just by holding him.  And here I am blabbing on.  Blogging, as you probably have figured out by now, is one of my vices.  It’s one of the luxuries I afford myself.  I like it because it’s effortless and it’s rewarding, not just because I get to go back to my thoughts from way back whenever I want to, but because it gives me a sense of community.

Blogging is now part of my routine.  It’s so much easier than filling up an online journal via HTML which I used to do.  I visited my personal pages and it’s been ages since I updated them.  I’m thinking of streamlining them into a blog-like format, but there are too many memories and too much material in those websites to totally revamp it.  Some things are better left the way they have always been.

I still visit from time to time — I check the guestbook.  There are actually people who contact me through those guestbooks.. friends of old from a previous life.  Once in a while, someone will stop by and leave me a note.

Time to hit the “publish” button before Sunday finds me here.