turning 32

And the leaf has just turned. I’m now 32!!! Albeit nowadays when I’m asked of my age, my instant (innocent) reply is that I’m 29. And then a pause. And then I say “wait”. And then I think about my real age. Haha. It’s not that I dislike having birthdays, reminding me that I’m getting older. In fact, quite the contrary. I’ve never really outgrown that childlike attitude of looking forward to my birthday, all giddy and excited. It’s just that at some point, I stopped counting the age, it’s just a number!

But what I would count though are the blessings. There’s been lots for the last year! Let’s count shall we? 🙂

• March 5 of last year, I officially became an immigrant. The process was tedious! And the CFO (Center for Filipinos Overseas) experience was both humiliating and utterly infuriating. But am still truly thankful that I was able to travel to Japan and be with my husband on my birthday without any hassles

• because I was able to fly to Japan for my birthday, I was with hubby during one of Japan’s most difficult time – the March 11 debacle. I couldn’t imagine how lonely and depressed hubby could have been had he been home alone. And I couldn’t imagine how paranoid I would have been had I been in Manila at that time, far from knowing the real situation Hubs is in! Of course I’m not thankful it happened! But I am thankful that we were together during that very trying time and that we survived it.

• we had a very beautiful wedding. Civil marriage here in Japan is totally devoid of any ceremony or emotion. And so we’re truly thankful for our beautiful Church ceremony. And we’re thankful as well that we’ve given our families a memory that they’d always cherish. Even now, almost a year after, when I recently heard our Ninang tell her friend that ours was a very beautiful wedding, my heart warmed and I feel jelly-like all over. 😀

• thankful for the gift of friendship. Our wedding wouldn’t have been that beautiful if not for the help of friends. For old friends albeit far and rare to see, still we’re able to foster a friendship that would (hopefully) last a lifetime. Thankful for new friends as well! 🙂

• Thankful that I was able to work. Thankful that I was able to keep my position and career and work in the main company. Thankful that I’m now working on a very interesting project, with my work scope being one of the plant’s core, both a challenging yet very interesting experience. Thankful.

• thankful that this last year, we were able to travel to very beautiful places! – El Nido, Vienna, Cesky Krumlov, Prague.

• thankful that we were able to spend the New year with Atsushi’s family and where I experienced for the first time the true and very interesting Japanese New Year festivities. But most of all, I am thankful for the kindness Hubs’ family had shown to me. I’ve heard “horror stories” from other people about other people’s experiences. Hence I am truly thankful of the kindness Atsushi’s family has shown to me

• thankful for my family’s good health back home!! 🙂

• thankful for that lovely surprise request although we are yet to know of its outcome

• thankful, thankful, for this little wonderful person growing inside me. Thankful for this miracle of life. My morning sickness is truly bad, yes, and it can sometimes last till midnight. But what’s surprising is that whenever I’m in a meeting and couldn’t get to the toilet for hours, I don’t feel the urge to vomit at all. Even when still inside the womb, I’ve an ace baby already 🙂

• of course, thankful for my husband. Our blogsite has been witness to how great a husband Atsushi is. Of course he’s not perfect, I’m not blind with his faults. But he’s “perfect for his imperfections” and perfect for the imperfect me.

• all of the blessings above only came from One, Who has been generous to me. Thank you Lord, for all I’ve just mentioned, for the gift of life, for the year to come, for the blessings we’re about to receive, for taking care of all our loved ones, for your patience with me. Thank you for empowering me 🙂

Have a blessed day everyone!

Happy Birthday A!

Hubby made me extremely happy on my birthday with how he prepared for it – gave me a bouquet of flowers & Godiva chocolates, went to shopping with me and had dinner at a posh French-Japanese fusion restaurant (the kind that takes off your coat off you and puts it back on after your dinner). And now that it’s his turn, I wanted to make it extra special as well.

First off, a meal on a very good resto would be nice. I had in mind Quintessence – a Michelin 3-star-rated French resto in Tokyo. But their phone is like forever busy! After more than an hour of trying, I tried to call their other number – the one designated for confirmation of bookings. And, well, naturally, I was told they don’t accept bookings made through that number. It has to be the other number. But she did cater to my request though – to inquire if they still have a table available for lunch on May 21st. After some checking, the reply: their Saturday lunch is fully booked till July! OMG. I tried 3-star Joel Robuchon (only La Table and Atelier, both 2 stars, serves lunch) and as expected, they’re also fully booked already. I checked out the Tokyo Michelin list; not all in the list is open for lunch. It has to be lunch for two reasons: one, these Michelin rated restos are so expensive, I can only swallow the price for lunch and second, lunch is most convenient for the sched of activities I had in mind for Atsushi’s birthday.

Anyways, after a number of calls, I was able to book for Modern Japanese Esaki. See our review for Esaki on my goodfood blog.

Birthday boy in Esaki.

The Aoyama district has a lot of interesting architecture, both traditional and modern. But we just have to stop at this non-negotiable:

hubby in his favorite place - the bookstore

Anyways, second stop for the day – Rikugien via Komagome Station.

It’s a rich park, if I may judge by how the whole park is walled.

We’re on the brink of the start of summer hence the place was all lush green. Would love to return here on different seasons.

The boon of these goens are the teahouses that sometimes offer pseudo tea ceremonies or even just plainly sell traditional green tea and  sweets. This was one of my main reason for bringing Atsushi here actually – for us to share this tea break.

The other was just for us to simply share a peaceful walk along the greeneries. And have a healthy talk and discussion, besides. I love those walks. 🙂

And of course, we just have to have a traditional picture.

Next stop was back in Yokohama – watch Pirates of the Carribean on the uber posh Colette Mare.Colette Mare has to be posh and really comfortable so that their tickets of 2000yen each is justified. Pirates was cool! Just the right movie for a birthday celebration. Hubby wanted to watch Black Swan as well but knowing how distrubed I was when I watched it, it just wasn’t a birthday sort of movie hence we decided to watch it the following day instead.

By the way, Hubby and I are aiming to have our house smell as good as Colette Mare does. Goodluck!

My birthday present. It’s just a few hundred yen I know. But I figure I ought to start replacing Hubby’s plants that I killed by not watering them more often. Apparently, the water vapor in the air can’t keep them alive. I was so positive the water vapor theory would work. 😀

And to cap the day off, we toasted Hubby’s birthday with the champagne that Maha gave us as her wedding/housewarming gift to us. I love Moet and Chandon! Glad it was with a chill box that we can re-use for later! We don’t have champagne/wine glasses at home yet so we used the mugs that the Hamakawa-sans gave away for their wedding. Tee-hee!

We also finished off the other red wine bottle that Maha brought during our housewarming. End result, I was blabbering coñotic English the rest of the night. 😛

Happy Birthday A!

31 in 1

I don’t need to hide the facts. Yes, i’ll be 31 in exactly 1 week!! I am excited with this birthday (as I always am with my birthdays haha) because this is the first time I’m gonna celebrate it as a missus. And yes, my last year to hang on to a calendar number.

Wasn’t it just yesterday that I celebrated my “great crossover”? Haha, yes, I called it “the great crossover” as I crossed from the tweeties into thirties. Ugh, “thirties” does sound old. Haha! At the time that I was calling it “the great crossover” I didn’t have any inkling that it really was a crossover in many ways than I would have anticipated.

As a 30-yr-old, I really did cross the status boundary from a miss to a missus. I was almost reeling when I remembered how I said out loud back when I was in university that I WILL get married at the age of 30. And then I actually reeled when I realized that I really got married to a man whose qualities I have imagined way back in university days. Answered prayer, eh?

I celebrated my great crossover pampering myself in Makati Shangri-la, yes, by my lonesome. Singles out there, there should be times when you’ll treat yourself and have some pampering, albeit all alone. I hold those “me” times precious to me.

The night before I checked in, I had dinner with groupmates from the office, who suprised me in the manner I like – they gave me their flowers, cake and wine one moment at a time (flowers were sent at the office, cake was during dinner in TGIF, wine was after dinner). I just love the groupmates. Kat and Rey also gave me flowers and treated (?) me to lunch. And Hubbie serenaded me for 3 hours haha! Let’s reminisce, shall we? (Pictures courtesy of Gali Montalbo)

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It has been a year full of blessings and I look forward to this year that’s brewing with interesting and exciting things to come. But I only have a couple of wishes before I actually hit 31, yes, wishes to come true in less than one week (I need to keep saying 31 to make myself get used to the mental kick everytime I say “31”):

  • be together with Atsushi just before my birthday
  • have my own self-hosted website. I’m trying to read and learn now, but I find API 520,521 a far better interesting read. Haha!

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