I belong where again?

Being a first generation migrant, I've taken it that I would never fully belong to my adopted country. However, having said that part of me feels I no longer fully belong to my home country either. I wonder if this is a normal feeling among migrants.

In June, hubby and I decided that we would go back and live in Manila some time next year. We were deadset on it for a few months - winter months - and now that summer is supposed to be kicking in we are having second thoughts. And it's not just him this time, I am too.

We still think that little B is best surrounded by family and close friends while she is growing up (at least experience that for a year or two). That was the main reason for wanting to temporarily move back home. But then as the weather became warmer, so did our plans. Reality kicked in. If we would move for a year or so, then we would have to dispose of a lot of our items, aline our finances, ensure we have a livelihood to go to, and come up with back up plans, plans for when we return back to Oz after X years, all that among other things.

Slowly the reality of what is waiting for us in Manila's literal climate, political environment, financial situation became a shady topic. The bright future, steady and orderly lifestyle in Sydney looked a bit more pleasant and bearable. Then again, thinking about spending time with family and friends tug that corner of my heart. For little B.

As much as I still have a part of me that yearns to go home, another part of me is holding me back to stay put. I needed my family "fix" which I got when the winter spell was broken by my parents' week long visit. That revived me. I know we need family visits more frequently. Maybe that is the answer?

Somehow the thought of going home touched me deeply with memories of my younger days at "home". But everyone back home has moved on now. It is no longer how I remember it. There may be familiar places, familiar faces, but all these are no longer the same. We've all moved on. And along the way I have adopted a lifestyle that suits where I live now, which is quite far off from what my home country can offer. It even feels like a harder decision to move back to Manila than it was for me to migrate to Sydney.

I wish I can say I am "home" if we do stay put here now, but I can't. But then I wish that going back home to Manila is as easy a decision to make. I feel like I have my Manila home in a bubble, a special jar of memories which I know existed once and at some point I had in my life. But Manila now has changed the same way I have after a decade of being away. Time can really do this to a person, to a city once called home, a new city now called home.

Recharge. I think my family and I just need to have a long visit home to Manila, only to appreciate again our adopted home. I really just wish I can take all my family and bring them here with me - all for my little B.

Photo from Linda Yvonne (flickr)

Distracted about wedding decorations

As I am planning a kid's party I stumble upon lovely wedding decorations! But I must focus and keep planning little B's party. I am still leaning towards the cartoon themed party - although I am stuck in coming up with a nice cake which I could bake myself. I am now thinking of just having cupcakes instead and purchase edible cartoon toppings. Times like this make me wish I had enrolled in a cake baking class, particularly on fondant cake making! I guess there is always next year to do that!

Follow that sign!



Such a big sign in a hard to spot location. I often miss the obvious that is already in front of me. I exert more effort in concentrating than the average motorist when I'm behind the wheel. 

Researching beach wedding favors and beach birthdays

I have just found out that one of my high school best friends is engaged!! Another wedding is happening early next year and it is now back to researching beach wedding favors! The couple is very much into the beach - I don't think I can remember them telling me a time when they went on a holiday in the mountains I told her as much as I would like to help out in planning this now, I have my little girl's party in 7 weeks time. I now even am thinking of a beach themed kid's party - after all we have just bought two huge sacks full of sand!

My personalized napkins

I can't believe in less than two months my little girl is turning three! Where did time go?? This sudden realisation and thought made me panic! I need to start planning her birthday party! Now that we have our own place I am thinking of having it in the backyard. With lots of balloons, personalized napkins, streamers, etc. I don't have a theme yet finalised but she's been watching this cartoons for ages and I might have it cartoon themed. My parents might be here at that time and so it will make it even more special - their first time to be here on little B's birthday!

Wallflower

I find plants have the ability to grow in the most unlikely of places. Survival is just so basic in every living thing.

Have $2?

Would you really put $2 in a machine that will only provide your kid with a few seconds of joy going up and down on a kiddie ride? 

What do you think about wine wedding favors

I know that I would appreciate getting wine wedding favors from any wedding I attend (but I know hubby would not!). I guess really if the couple is a big wine lover, I could expect this to be given out to the wedding guests. I also expect the food at the reception to be excellent when the couple is known to be gourmet food lovers. I was particularly interested in my sisters' menu for the reception as she has the best taste in food from my family - too bad for me that I could not attend her wedding (although I did have a peek at her menu!).

On wedding garters

When my best friend and her long time boyfriend got married last week, we did not get to see the part where they were taking out the wedding garters! I guess since we had my little girl with us we could not stay for too long - and to add that the reception venue was located nearly 50 kilometres away from our house. At ten o'clock in the evening we had to start heading home. Good thing that there were photos of that part of the program, that way I still know who caught the flower and which lucky man caught the garter!

Thinking of Disposable wedding cameras

My hubby and I are both into photography, especially when we were both single and had more time back then. Every weekend we would find a park (or nature reserve), a festival, an event or simply hang out in the garden to take photos of each other, or of the floral or fauna around us. Sometimes I wish we have that luxury again to take as much photos as we please. Now, our photos are mostly of each other and each milestone our little girl encounters, particularly the most recent wedding where she was a little flower girl (glad that we all had Disposable wedding cameras on the table as we forgot to bring our digital camera!).

Loving Wedding favors

I just love Wedding favors, and get amazed at how special and creative some of them can be! Although I do know of some plain and simple ones as well, I just love those that are given away and you know a lot of thought has gone into planning them. The most recent weddings that I have attended showcased small pieces of chocolate that had the couple's photo on them! While the other one had personally made jams and put them in cute little jars. They even handmade the little note that came with it. How cute and thoughtful! I know a lot of the couple's personality (or maybe the bride's!) come out in this giveaways!

Creative wedding guest book

I have been to a few weddings the past couple of months that had extremely creative styles of wedding guest book types. One had polaroid photos taken with a message to be written on it by the guests (with the guests' photos) and one had the wedding guest book write their names and messages on pieces of paper and then these get hung on a wedding tree. I have a few other ideas in my head in case I would renew our wedding vows - perhaps I should take note of all these for that day! Or maybe I should come up with a list and make a blog entry about this!

Artsy or Sporty?

My little girl is growing up so fast! My husband and I talk about how we can't believe she is turning 3 in a couple of months! They say that around this time of a child's development they show their natural tendencies whether they lean toward being athletic (and possibly be part of the sheffield baseball club) or be more of a budding artist (and love paints, easel, clay, dancing or music). Well, so far I think she is still exploring her interests as she has a whole spectrum of activities that we engage her in a weekly basis. Although, one thing that I am really wanting to enrol her in would be a music class and ballet lessons. As a child I played the piano and danced ballet. My little girl now has been doing both at home whenever she can, sometimes at the same time (singing and dancing). I have read in the children's magazine that our community has that there are a number of ballet classes available in our area. I wish I could personally take her to these lessons, unfortunately I cannot physically do this. I am still trying to convince my husband to take her, and hopefully this will happen next term! By then, when she has turned 3 years old she wouldn't need a parent to dance ballet with her as she can go to class alone!

Oh log!

How I would love to be a kid again and run on logs pretending I'm up high on a very narrow bridge.


Finding an event management software

Having been to my best friend's wedding yesterday I have a renewed appreciation for people who work in the events industry. There was this lady at the wedding who coordinated every single thing down from the hen's night, the church rehearsal, the church ceremony, the reception, suppliers and all that - and she kept a smile on her face the entire time!! I cannot believe how she managed to smile when some of the things were turning too painful to watch unfold (like the cake smashing on the floor!). She was telling me at the reception that she's just started her career in the events industry and learned everything through an event management software. I couldn't have guessed it, because she was such a natural! I commended her for the great job and told her I thought she is fantastic!

Too close spider!

It's easy to not take notice of the small things. When I was a kid I loved looking at small insects with a magnifying glass. Now I'm glad not only can I look at them up close, but capture them in an image with a camera as well.



On wedding decorations and picture perfect moments

Tomorrow is my friends wedding day!! I am so excited and have taken the day off to celebrate with her. I am looking forward to seeing her walk down the aisle, and of course check out her wedding decorations! As much as the wedding is about celebrating with family and friends this joyful occasion it is about wearing pretty dresses and coats, sharing happy picture perfect moments, food and everything else in between! If only I could capture it all on photo and video then I could wrap this up in a nice after-wedding present! It is too early, but looking forward.... I can't wait to see their little babies too! Haha!