Monday, May 24, 2010

My 26th Birthday Weekend

I'm sorta glad I went to school on my birthday. I was an hour late, but that's coz I talked to my Mom before I left home. I didn't think I'd feel like celebrating, but when I got inside the classroom, they all shouted "surprise!," leapt to their feet and sang for me. That was awesome. I got orchids from Mrs. T and massagers from Carmen (they need batteries). And cards, lots of them. It made my heart full. I told them that this meant more to me than when 500 of my classmates sang at yoga teacher training, and the kids said thank you. Of course at recess they were rough and were "treating me like a suspect," whatever that means, but that's how they are--impulsive and ebullient. I love them.

It should have been that I was going to stay home and shop with my Mom, but alas, that was not to be: her visa expired, so she petitioned hard to get a new one for this week. It is hopefully on its way to her now as I write, but I'm still keeping my fingers crossed even as her gifts are all ready for her. I won't deny that not having her here for the 1st time was hard; it was: we practically have a tradition that she meets me wherever part of the world I am on my birthday, and as much as I grumble about it, it is grounding and gratifying. Alas, not this year, so I really didn't feel in the "birthday spirit." But at least I had my students this time. Seriously, you can't have a bad day with 6-8 year-olds depending on you and loving you unconditionally. Loads of people greeting me over the phone and Internet was nice, too. My Angkong (Chinese granddad) even sang to me over the phone; can you say AWESOME? And of course, my sweet fiance, J, who bought me cutesy sandals the weekend before, then had a few surprise gifts up his sleeve, then even though it was the middle of the week, took me out to a nice Indian restaurant for my birthday (though in hindsight, going in the middle of the week was more peaceful than going on a weekend--easier to get a table, too). All in all, a good birthday.

It kinda extended to the weekend, too-- I made fruit salad and smoothies on Saturday, and J made french toast out of stale baguette, then cooked some turkey bacon, too. I liked the turkey bacon; him, not so much. We took our time, watched a funny movie at home, then did some chores, and went out for a nice relaxed dinner after. Sunday, we had oatmeal (simpler than french toast!), did more chores like housekeeping and shoe sizing for gifts (J's birthday is next month), tried out a new snowcone place, then hung out with a friend at her mom's pool. And in the midst of all this, J and I found time to snuggle and cuddle and hug and kiss and laugh again, which was nice. Sometimes life gets in the way. We realize it shouldn't. It was a good weekend.

Now, my Mom's supposed to come in on Wednesday, and all our plans for last week are moved to this week. There's no turning back now; that's the plan, at least. Take 2; here's hoping it really works. If it does, I see shopping and nice restaurants in my future. Woohoo! Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Slight Change in Plans

So the title says it all; there is a slight change. Nothing drastic, so keep calm (and carry on). The night my Mom was to take the flight from Manila to the US, she found out that her visa had expired, oh around a week ago. She tells me this over SMS and I kinda quietly freak out and go to the gym in a daze, and tell my aunt and Jess' parents. My aunt can't have her airfare refunded, so she found a cheaper hotel on short notice. Then my Mom scrambles for contacts in Manila, one being her diplomat-tenant who works at the Czech embassy. But US protocol is stricter than ever, barring family emergency (which, technically, this is): as of this morning, the earliest appointment she was able to get was for May 20--too late for anything this week. Then it'll take 4-5 business days to process. She is confident she'll be here by the 26th or 27th next week, though. I sure hope so, 'coz right after her call, I called Jess' parents and grandma, to move their reservation to next week (they agreed, for which I and my Mom are so very grateful). I emailed my aunt, and she moved her plane date (and canceled her hotel reservation as she will be staying with my Mom). I emailed my retail job, and they were so nice as to move my work day to this week instead of next week, so I can spend time with family and hopefully get married next week. I haven't heard from my principal, but hopefully I can take my chances.

Jess was very grumbly about the whole mad scramble, and I admit I almost lost it: I was depending on him to be my rock, and I told him that. So now we are trying to take it easy and avoid any unkind words. Jess' grandma said, "It could've been worse." And a colleague at work said "In the grand scheme of things, a week is nothing." True on both counts. But as the past 2 days have just left me all dazed and confused, I just want a resolution, the light at the end of the tunnel. So I ask for everyone's prayers: I hope this time around will work, 'coz yeah, it's got to. Lesson learned: make sure your visa is still valid before you leave! Here's hoping we get it this 2nd time around. May 28, 2010: keep your fingers crossed.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Wedding #1 of 3 in 5 days

So. Jess and I, standing in front of a judge, 5 days from today. Whoa.

It has been very busy for Jess and me, what with wedding planning and other family stuff, as well as matters at work. But with our upcoming civil/courthouse wedding in 5 days (!), I thought it best to spruce up the details on our registry, as people have been asking about it, so here it is:

Jess and I really thought about it, and we really think a cash registry suits our needs best. We just hope this is not offensive to anyone. If you look at how it is set up, it states that there is no required amount you have to give, large or small, so whatever works for you, or even if it doesn't, that's fine, too. What's nice about this registry, though, is it gives some format, such as when we met, what we suggest as guest accommodations, etc. So I cracked my knuckles and typed away today. We hope you enjoy the end result. As much as it is a registry, it also has other information that you might like knowing, like how we met :) Since I updated that registry, I feel I owe it to everyone to update this blog!

Truly, I am not thinking about the wedding at this point, but the whole affair that comes with it. My birthday is in 3 days, and our civil wedding is in 5. My Mom is arriving in 2 days, and as she doesn't drive nor know Houston as well as we do, it is up to us to make her visit enjoyable. Also, the schoolyear is drawing to a close, at least at the school I work at--in 12 days, in fact. So yeah: a lot of things to think about besides getting married. But if I stop to think about it, this is quite a life-changing event. I don't know if it's going to be the biggest life-changer ever, as Jess and I have been living together for a bit over a year now, and commuting back and forth before that, but it is still a big deal: in the eyes of society, I will be connected to him, and he to me. It makes me think of what I've accomplished so far and deplore to think that I haven't gotten very far yet. I worry about how life will change after marriage, and I hope it won't change for the worse, if it will change (and it probably will). I hope that our love will only get stronger, our bond deeper over time.

I guess this also means that I will not be a single entity any longer. Most decisions I make (if not all), I should consult with him. We will be each other's person. I am not just responsible for me, but now, I should worry about his well-being, and act correspondingly, as well. As such, this is a responsibility, one I worry about being able to fulfill properly. I hope I will be able to do so: I take responsibilities seriously, and I like knowing what's going on. (As such, I don't trust easy)

Of course, this marriage business should not be taken lightly. I'm hoping our union will last, and that it will be a happy, loving one. I hope we will make each other happy. I truly hope this enterprise works. I just like being sure, but sometimes, I guess I just have to let go, and roll with it.

Here's to trusting, and taking the big leap into the Big Unknown Step called marriage.