Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Recognize Love in the Little Every Day Things

I have not written much on this blog in the past months because of my CRAZY schedule. I once thought (that was when I was still single and unattached) that I lived a very hectic life... flying from one destination to another, sometimes three different cities in a week to conduct trainings and workshops. That was during the day. At night, I would meet up with friends from those cities that I visited and join in their activities. There was even a time when I was taking up Masters in Industrial Relations at UP Solaire while working as a Training Manager for a multinational company.
Then, I got married and had kids.
I discovered that life can get even BUSIER! hahaha So busy that it sometimes (make that A LOT OF TIMES on maidless days) drives me crazy! If you're now a mom with small kids and you don't have a maid or a nanny, you know what I mean!
If you're still a bride-to-be planning for your wedding, I'm writing this post not to scare you. I write this post to help prepare you for your marriage. :)
I'm honestly a romantic through and through. I love all those mushy stuff and I like the drama that most romantics want to experience. Big surprises and romantic dates are my thing. I love planning for these romantic things. Executing them energizes me.
My husband though is not the romantic type. He's not the type who plans ahead for important events like birthdays and anniversaries or other special occasions. Unlike me, he doesn't get excited a lot even when special occasions are already near.
These differences put a strain in our marriage when we were just starting. I discovered these the hard way. It's really true that once you're already married, you'll notice more things about your guy.
I was disappointed and I made sure that he knew how disappointed I was.
I also shared my disappointments with God during my times of prayer. And what God told me during those times, slowly opened my eyes.
I was looking for big, fancy expressions of love on certain seasons or special days. I was naturally drawn to those things being the romantic that I am. God however reminded me that those are not the only ways to show love. He reminded me of the many times that my husband showed his love to me in the every day little things that I sometimes didn't notice because I was so focused on watching for his big expressions of love.

This was before we got married.
I didn't appreciate these expressions of love in the every day little things right away. I felt humbled. But I did try to be more open to them. And I thank God that He helped me see and appreciate these things over time.
It would be our 9th year to celebrate Valentine's Day together this year. I would be a hypocrite if I tell you that I no longer pine for those romantic dates and for Valentine's Day gifts. But the difference now is that although I still like to experience those things, I have grown to appreciate my husband's every day little acts of love more.
We have not been lucky to get reliable maids since we got married. So, there are many months when we do not have helpers to assist us with our household chores and to enable us to have plenty of time to go out on dates as a couple. Our bonding times and dates are different now. We bond over doing chores together at home. We bond by exchanging stories with our kids. We bond over movies shown at our living room. We bond by going to Mass daily as a family. We bond over cuddles in bed or in the couch. We sneak some intimate moments when the kids are finally asleep.
The two of us don't get to do a lot of fancy, romantic stuff. These occasions are few and far between. But you know, I'm much happier now. Not only because he has learned to express love in the way I want to be loved (flowers and notes). But more importantly because I have learned to recognize love in the little every day things that my husband does for me and our kids.
Thus, I thank God for helping me see this wonderful side of my husband. I thank God that he blessed me with a husband who does not think that it's beneath him to help his wife with the household chores and who choose to be involved in raising our kids. I thank God for a husband who is not threatened by my successes but who delights and celebrates with me in my victories.
Let me end this Valentine post with a message to my Valentine:
Thank you, Sweetheart, for making time to wash the dishes and the pots and pans after dinner.
Thank you for sweeping and mopping the floor.
Thank you for throwing the trash.
Thank you for reading books and telling stories to the kids at night. 
Thank you for acknowledging that caring for the kids and watching over them throughout the day is already a full time job.
Thank you for appreciating the meals that I cook especially on really busy days.
Thank you for watching over the kids and playing with them while I do some work.
Thank you for accepting that I need time to write and for giving me some time to do this.
Thank you for all the many little things you do to fill up my love tank.
Thank for stepping into my life one Valentine's Day and changing my life forever.
I love you and the many every day little things that you do!
Are you also a romantic like me? What expressions of love fills your love tank? I hope that with this post you'd also learn to recognize and appreciate love in the little every day things.  

Friday, February 7, 2014

Love is in the Air at Love Expressions Wedding Fair

Happy New Year, dear readers! This is my first post for the year in this blog because I had been busy doing the other things that I love. I just launched my latest book Breastfeeding: A Journey Worth Taking last January 25 at Mothercare, Bonifacio High Street. You can read about it here, here and here. Now, I'm getting ready for a number of upcoming workshops (You can find out more about the workshops I run here and here.) that I will conduct this month and in the coming months. And I'm also working on my next book.
But let me take a breather from writing books and organizing workshops by sharing with you an event that I think would be of help to you as you prepare for your dream wedding.
Why do I think it's worth your time?
First, it's your chance to shop around for potential wedding suppliers. Yes, you inquire through phone or email but it makes a big difference to get to talk to potential suppliers in person. You can even get a discount if you are lucky enough to talk to the business owners themselves! My husband and I got to experience this in a couple of wedding fairs that we attended when we were still engaged.
Second, there would be talks about love languages, dating and relationships, budgeting for your wedding and how to plan for your wedding. I've been sharing about the love languages in a number of my workshops and trainings. It has been helpful in my relationships and I believe that sharing this with more people would help them, too.
Third, you can win something that you need at these wedding fairs! I won a free trial make-up in one of the wedding fairs we attended while preparing for our wedding. I used the free trial make-up for our pre-nuptial pictorial. It surely saved us some money and gave us more reason to smile that day. :)
Enjoying our pre-nuptial pictorial.
Last but not least, it can also be your opportunity to bond with your soon-to-be spouse as you listen and watch performances by bands and musicians on this Valentine weekend.
I enjoyed attending wedding fairs when I was still planning and preparing for my wedding. In truth, I even liked going to wedding fairs even before I had a boyfriend! It was my way of keeping the fire of my dream alive even when my circumstances were not that encouraging. ;)
Anyway, here are the details of the upcoming event I was telling you about. It will be on February 13-15, 2014, (10AM to 9PM), at the Ground Level Activity Center, SM Southmall Las Pinas.
There's even a fashion show on February 14 from up and coming designers, Marco and Oyama and White Label Bridal!
Best of all, if you book any of the suppliers during the wedding fair, you'll receive a FREE GIFT from the organizer PLUS a chance to win your wedding supplier! So, register here now to blocked off your Valentine weekend for this upcoming wedding event. http://www.weddingfairphilippines.com/weddingfairregistration/
Love Expressions Wedding Fair is presented by SM Southmall, together with Jack & Jenn Catering, Rotary Club of Las Pinas East and Myther Events and Expo Inc. This event is sponsored by Booms Audio Sounds and Lights, Dermaesthetic, Gems by Me with Online Media Sponsors Bridal Book.ph, Weddingsupplires.ph, HalloHalloTown.com, and organized by Island Exhibit Events Management Inc.