• About

    Charmed Life
    Thank you for visiting this blog. I have recently transferred all my post in my new blog. I will not be blogging here anymore. I hope to see you there.
    Life’s a Charm!
    www.lifesacharm.net

  • Disclaimer

    All photos and information contained within https://charmedlife.wordpress.com and its subdirectories and sub-sites, unless otherwise referenced, are the property of Charlotte from https://charmedlife.wordpress.com. No use, including reproduction, retransmission, or editing, may be made without prior permission from the owner.

8 years to a Lifetime

Michael and Charlotte's Wedding Portrait

Michael and Charlotte’s Wedding March 7, 2004, Okaya Catholic Church Okaya City, Nagano Prefecture, Japan

Read ‘Our Wedding Rite‘ …

It has been 8 years since I married a wonderful man, to whom I made these vows with.

I take you to be my lifetime partner
to be none other than yourself,
to have and to hold; for better or for worse;
in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish
both freed and bound by our love
for as long as we both shall live.

These vows remain true to this day, and with much faith, hope and love – for as long as we both shall live.

They say love is a plunge into the unknown. On the day I married my lifetime partner, I did plunge into the unknown, with both eyes shut. Marrying hubby, I forsake everything else in my life. I just have my love, myself and my whole life to give. And it was the easiest decision I have ever made. To this day, not even a flicker of regret, because he has continued to love me and brought me the happiest days of my life.

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful husband!

Advertisement

Santa Claus Revealed

This post was originally published on December 7, 2007. I received a good feedback from this post that I thought it’d be great to publish it again on December 19, 2008.

This year 2011, in honor of the feastday of St. Nickolas, also known as ‘Santa Claus’, on December 6th, I am, again, republishing this post.

How was Santa Claus revealed to you?

There was a time in my childhood, when I really believed in a magical Santa Claus, who comes at Christmas Eve and fills up my favorite ‘sock’ with chocolates. All our questions about Santa Claus were dealt with by my parents by simply replying “… magic!”. We would imagine all sort of stuffs, like, he would transform into thin air to get thru the little opening in the door to get in. (We didn’t have chimney.)

At Christmas morning, my sister and I would rush to the homemade Christmas tree that my mother made, where we hung our favorite ‘socks’. I remember being so excited and delighted with a handful of chocolates we got. We compared chocolates. I remember my father teasing us about who got the most number of chocolates. But of course, it’s the same number. I guess, that was his way of joining in our excitement.

One Christmas came. I think I was 7, my sister was 5. We had to stay with an aunt due to a family crisis. My father was stabbed with a knife early December that year. He was in the Army, and it happened when he was on duty. He was hospitalized, had to undergo series of operation on his belly and lungs. He was in critical condition until Christmas time. My mother was with him every day in the hospital. It was a difficult time.

At Christmas Eve, after attending Midnight Mass with my Aunt, she told us to get ready to sleep. I remember telling her about Santa Claus coming later that night and that we need to hang our socks. She said sort of in panic, “Di ba natanggap mo na nga yung gifts mo galing kay Santa Claus?”(Didn’t you receive your gifts from Santa Claus already?!). She was talking about the Christmas Family Get-together earlier that day, when we received our gifts from my grandparents, aunts and uncles.

I didn’t argue with her because Mama told us to behave. And at that time, I kind’a figured out already about the concept of Santa Claus. I was learning about St. Nicholas in the Catholic school and sharing that to my sister. We just never got any confirmation up until my Aunt spilled the beans.

That Christmas, we didn’t get our Christmas ration of chocolates from Santa but we got the most number of Christmas gifts we have ever received. My sister and I became the recipients of all the unclaimed Christmas gifts my aunt prepared for her god-children who didn’t come to see her at Christmas Day. Not to mention, the overwhelming help we received during that family crisis.

That Chrismas I learned the reality of Santa Claus. That from magical, he becomes real, as he is personified by our loved ones and those who truly care and make our Christmases extra special.

A Wii Birthday

A Wii Birthday

Happy 33rd Birthday To Me!

I woke up to a big gift bag, 2 cards and a pink cake in the kitchen counter. Happy Birthday to me! I opened the gift bag and found a Wii! Wii! Again, happy birthday to me.

I did say I wanted a Wii for my birthday, when I was playing in my sister-in-law’s house last Christmas. Thank you to my ever-dearest hubby for remembering!

We spent the morning waiting for Daddy to come home and setup the Wii. And since then, Matthew and I have been playing the Wii on the better part of the day in our jammies, while disrupting Baby Mark’s naps. Poor Baby!

For someone who hasn’t worked out her entire life, Wii kicked my butt. At still mid-afternoon, my arms and shoulders are already sore.

A Wii Birthday

A Wii Birthday

Thank you to all who wished me a ‘happy birthday’ here and in Facebook. I am feeling all the love! And I truly have a great birthday!

Special Thanks to:

  • To Hubby for the Wii!
  • To Uncle Les And Aunt Colleen for the greeting card.
  • To Auntie Maribel for being the very first one to greet me.
  • To my cousin Aljay for this birthday message: “Hope your birthday blossoms into lots of dreams come true!“. I am so touched by this unexpected message!
  • To Lori for finding another way to greet me …
  • To Jaime for the compliment
  • To my sister Jessica for the really meaningful Note in Facebook.

Bold Faced Lies

Can you see through my lies?

Here’s my list of Bold Faced Lies Except One. Can you guess the ONE that is TRUE?

Charlotte

  1. A friend once invited me to go rock-climbing with her. I happily obliged and had so much fun.
  1. Within my years in Japan, I went to Hiroshima to see the Peace Memorial Museum. It displays the remnants of the atomic bombing in 1945 and conveys the horror of that event. That trip was one of the most meaningful trips I’ve ever had.
  1. One of my most memorable childhood memories is walking to the nearby beach in my hometown. My sister and I would swim to our hearts’ content.
  1. A friend and I entered a Duet Singing Contest in college. We didn’t win. I realized that my singing voice couldn’t come out in front of a listening crowd.
  1. The original photo at the right, touched up only for better contrast and sharpness, was taken in New York. Click the photo to see enlarged view.

One of the hardest thing about making this list is making the four lies as creative as possible. And it was also hard to think about ONE true thing about me that I haven’t yet spilled out in my previous About Me posts: 99 Things About Me, Random Facts About Me and all my other revealing posts.

This post will be concluded with my revelation … soon.

TO THOSE WHO KNOW ME WELL, it would be great if you don’t reveal those you know for sure are lies. Got to keep this interesting.

___ o _ O _ o ___

I received the Memetastic Award (meem-tastic) from a new bloggy friend, Sue at dswalkerauther for liking my blog. Thank you very much! I honestly have a hard time picking that 1 true fact about her in her list of Bold Faced Lies.

Sue is the author of the book Delightfully Different. She blogs about prevention of bullying and protection from bullying in school, and a lot more.

The Memetastic Award!To receive the award the following has to be done:

  • Display the award and link to Memetastic Hop.
  • List 5 things about yourself, and 4 of them must be bold-faced lies. Make your readers guess which one is true among the lies.Please find my list above.
  • Pass this award to 5 bloggers.
  • Please find the complete rules here.

I’m tagging this Memetastic Award to:

  1. Grace at Blessed Elements, a new bloggy friend, for the funny post about her take on encouragement in marriage and for sharing her art.
  2. Collette at JamaicanSpice for sharing the really funny church sign. We need a little humor especially in the very cold unfavorable weather these days.
  3. Amy at A Nest for All Season for the tortilla chips recipe and the energetic dancing performance by her boys.
  4. Jamie at What I Did Today for having a really unique and fun blog to read, about her 2 lovely girls. I don’t know how she’s incorporating this kind’a meme in her very unique blog, or if she’s even going to do this, but for what’s it’s worth, I’m tagging her too.
  5. Grace at Sandier Pastures, my longtime friend who is going to Thailand soon. I have to say, I’m curious if she could make up 4 lies about herself, and if I can tell that 1 fact among the lies.

I hope you’ll have fun with making your list, and making me (us) guess.

Top 3 – Vanities I Can’t Get Over

I have recently written about some trends people, women especially, do in the name of beauty that I don’t get . This time I am listing my own top three vanities.

Read Top 3 – Vanities I Don’t Get.

A thing of beauty is a joy forever. ~ John Keats

LONG STRAIGHT BLACK HAIR

If it wasn’t too time-consuming, I’d be straightening my hair everyday and not always tie it on a pony tail. And with two babies, it’s not practical to let my long hair down. My long hair is such a hindrance all the time in most of the domestic stuffs I do. I complain about it a lot. I think about chopping them off. I even planned to do it a few times, but I always end up not doing it. I love my long black hair! I’d continue to love my hair long, even when that day comes when I have to start dyeing them too.

EYE-LINED EYES WITH CURLED EYELASHES

My very first cosmetic product, that I owned, is a dark brown eyeliner pencil. I started wearing eyeliner when I was 14, at 2nd-year High School, at school. At the nun school for girls, that I went to, wearing any makeup was not allowed, but somehow no one really noticed it until after a year. A teacher called me privately and said “I noticed something about your eyes.” Then she looked straight to my eye-lined eyes and said, “I see. ” And then she smiled. I knew she noticed my eyeliner, but she didn’t discouraged me or anything.

After High School, I’ve been liberally putting make-up on, including curling my eyelashes and putting mascara on. At one time, while I was hanging out with a guy friend, I did a little touch up on my makeup. I looked at myself in the mirror and curled my eyelashes with an eyelash curler. I noticed my friend staring at me so intently. I stopped and looked at him. He said (in our Filipino language), “You fooled me. All this time, I thought your curly eyelashes were all natural.” I wanted to say, “They are all naturally curly, but just needed some enhancement .” but I ended up just laughing him off. That time, I didn’t swear off my eyelash curler, but I swore off retouching my makeup in public.

These days, I rarely put makeup on. Actually, I’m lucky if I am able to take a shower. But on those very rare occasion I put makeup on, I always do my eyes first and just a dab of color on my lips. I think I am more keen at keeping my makeup underdone.

Beauty … is not the image you would see nor the song you would hear, but rather an image you see though you close your eyes and a song you hear though you shut your ears. ~ Kahlil Gibran

EARRINGS

I wear necklaces only if my blouse looks like it needs it. I don’t really like wearing anything in my hands or arms except for my wedding ring. I don’t even wear a wrist watch. But earrings, I love to wear earrings. And I am so particular with my earrings. They must be small to medium sized stud, hoop or dangles in simple to classic design.

Beauty is only skin deep, but it is a valuable asset if you are poor or have not any sense. ~ Kin Hubbard

I think I’ve reached a point in my life when I’ve already reconciled with how I look. I have established which beauty style I like and hopefully, I already know what type of trend would work for me. However, I still try to do improvements and enhancements with my looks. I have mishaps of course, a lot actually. And each mishap is a learning experience, and it becomes, when comforting myself, a reminder of the real meaning of true beauty. These days, while I am unable to do anything for myself, or when I simply procrastinate on myself, the same reminder comforts me. I can only hope that I have a few, if not all, of what it takes for true beauty.

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.
The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode, but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives and the passion that she shows.
The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years. ~Sam Levenson

Fall Festival 2010

Fall Campus StrollWe went to the local fall festival this year. We are so glad we did!

There is always that concern how I am going to manage by myself my energetic 4-year-old Matthew, while strolling 6-months old Baby Mark. It takes a lot of work when kids at the age my kids are, are tagging along… strollers, car seat, head counts, etc! But then, I thought I would not pass this once in a year thing when Matthew is able to play and be happy, and for Baby Mark to be out and about! We all had fun in the end.

Lori, thanks for inviting us!

At the festival, guess where Matthew would want to be? AT the Kid’s play area! No surprise there. At the end of the night, the facilitators got to know him by name!

View more photos.

Baby Mark and I were just happy to be there watching over big brother Matthew. Baby Mark didn’t fuss at all. Phew!

View more photos.

The most exciting thing that happened that night was Matthew’s very first horse ride! I hesitated at first, but I saw Matthew’s face and he was looking forward to riding the horse, so I let him. Matthew was so behaved riding the horse. He had that curious look on his face, just observing, just riding it easy, but he was all smiles.

View more photos.

At the end of the night, I was browsing through the photos! I thought it was so funny see the difference in Matthew and Mark’s reactions to the girls.  I hope Mark’s reaction will improve in time.

View more photos.

Thanks to Lori, Rachel, Naomie and Kimberly for the fun! Until next time.

Pregnancy Update, Week 37

I have been going to the doctor for prenatal check-up weekly now. At 37-weeks, all figures are perfect but I have not dilated at all and so far, no signs of labor. Our latest ultrasound cleared placenta previa, the blocking of placenta on the cervical opening. This means that we don’t have any reason to have planned C-section for now. I still have random contractions, and worse – leg cramps in the mornings! My due date at April 17. It’s not too long a wait, but it’s not near enough as well. I really am getting so anxious!

I think in my anxiety, my mind is flooded with so many concerns. When the time comes, the hospital at Montgomery where we are having the baby is almost an hour away, and we have to drop Matthew too to a friend’s place about 30-minutes aways but in the opposite direction. It will be very challenging! Plus the fact that I can’t seem to keep a clean, straightened house right now. It’s very frustrating! A few days back, I vacuum the floor and straightened a few things out, but when I asked hubby, if it looked like I cleaned at all, he said ‘No’. So frustrating. However, it’s not exactly a new thing! I have always felt defeated everytime I clean the house. It just doesn’t seem to get done … sigh!

So I have been amusing myself with taking photo’s of myself in my full term pregnancy. I am so happy it’s already Springtime. The weather allows me to put on clothing that are not too bulky and allows me to flaunt my full belly.

Me, Pregnant at Week-37. Photo taken March 30, 2010.

Pregnant at Week-37

Me, Pregnant at Week-37. Photo taken on March 31, 2010.

Me, Pregnant at Week-37

Me, Pregnant at Week-37. Photo taken on April 1, 2010.

Pregnant at Week-37

Lovely Baby Shower

Baby Shower. Photo taken March 31, 2010.

Matthew and I had a wonderful time at the baby shower today. Thanks to the ladies who organized and attended the baby shower, and those who sent their warm wishes. It was a wonderful time to get together with the ladies again, meeting new people, catching up with gossips 🙂 stories; it’s a much needed break from our routine, and a wonderful way of easing my anxiety over waiting for the baby; and of course the gifts are wonderful!

With the ladies. Photo taken March 31, 2010.

With the Ladies

Matthew, of course, charmed everyone while he steals the show. It’s gone harder and harder to explain that the gifts are for his baby brother. But all went well after he has seen what’s inside those lovely gift bags and realized that they aren’t for him.

Baby Shower. Photo taken March 31, 2010. Baby Shower. Photo taken March 31, 2010. Baby Shower. Photo taken March 31, 2010.
Baby Shower. Photo taken March 31, 2010

With the Ladies

Preparing for the D-Day

Lilypie Pregnancy tickers

For someone like me, in the late term of pregnancy and preparing for the delivery day, what tips and advices can you give to have the most positive experience during labor and in welcoming a new born?

We went to see the doctor yesterday, which starts the weekly appointment until the D-day (delivery date). I am in my over-36 weeks in pregnancy and he told me that I haven’t dilated at all and still haven’t shown any signs of labor. Somehow I am too anxious already, because of feeling heavy, uncomfortable, legs cramps, feet hurting all the tme and the random contractions – it really hurts!

But then – should I go into labor today, I will panic and I’d feel terrified. The panic comes from basically not being totally prepared yet. I have my hospital bag somewhat packed already. However, I am still not sure I got everything I need. I’ve gone thru all the checklist I can find online and in books. I have sorted out the items that I may need and want but I still feel like I’m missing some things.

This is not my first time but it feels that way. I still need tips, advices …

Our Wedding Rites

It’s our 6th Wedding Anniversary. I thought I’d share my wedding memories. To be honest, the events of our wedding is mostly a blur to me. It’s like it happened so fast, and I was just going with the flow. It’s like I had tunnel vision, and I was only reacting because I was just so overwhelmed. If not for the photos, videos and my especially-made wedding rites, I would not be able to remember some of the bits and pieces of it.

We didn’t go traditional on the wedding, because I didn’t want it so long. Also, I was limited with what we can really do, keeping it simple was the best option. It has a mixture of Catholic-Filipino-American ceremonies. I am so happy that  Father Blais, the officiator, didn’t insist on doing the Traditional Catholic Matrimonial Mass, and he was open to do the Filipino-and-American Symbolic Ceremonies.

And although, I am so grateful to my friends who helped us with taking the photos and videos, nothing beats wedding ‘photo and video’ professionals, that we didn’t hire. We concentrated on the ring, the cake, the flowers, and our wedding attires; and of course the food for the small gathering after the wedding ceremony, which by the way were prepared as favors by friends. We ordered the flowers from the nearest flower shop and my mother and I made the corsages, while hubby prepared the candles and ordered the wedding cake from Yokota. And our wedding attires are bought and custom made in the Philippines.

It was a cold and snowy in Nagano that day, I don’t know how I’ve survived in that dress.

Read about the days leading to the wedding:

Our Wedding

Michael and Charlotte's Wedding Portrait

Michael and Charlotte
March 7, 2004
Okaya Catholic Church
Okaya City, Nagano Prefecture, Japan

Pre-Ceremony Wedding Songwedding-flower-logo

I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You

Wise men say “Only fools rush in”
But I can’t help falling in love with you.
Shall I stay, would it be a sin
If I, I can’t help falling in love with you.

Like a river flows, surely to the sea,
Darling so it goes, some things are meant to be
Take my hand, take my whole life too
For I, I can’t help falling in love with you.

Like a river flows, surely to the sea,
Darling so it goes, some things are meant to be

Take my hand, take my whole life too
For I, I can’t help falling in love with you.
No I, I can’t help falling in love with you …

The Walk Down the Aisle

It was a short walk down the aisle. I was looking at everyone but not really seeing. But when I saw hubby’s smiling face as he was looking at me, I just kept smiling myself.

Michael and Charlotte's Wedding, 2004 March 7 - The Groom Michael and Charlotte's Wedding, 2004 March 7 - The Bride

Exchange of Vows

We made our own vows. I remember I was so touched and teary-eyed after hearing hubby’s wedding vows that I grabbed his face to kiss him, but he stopped me and told me – it’s not time. Everyone was laughing.

Michael and Charlotte's Wedding, 2004 March 7 - Exchange Of Vows
You will always be my angel…
-Michael
Michael and Charlotte's Wedding, 2004 March 7 - Exchange Of Vows
I will always love you no matter what …
– Charlotte

We did the traditional vows as well.

Michael and Charlotte's Wedding, 2004 March 7 - Exchange Of Vows

I take you to be my lifetime partner
to be none other than yourself,
to have and to hold; for better or for worse;
in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish
both freed and bound by our love
for as long as we both shall live.

Blessing and Exchange of Rings

The wedding ring is the outward and the visible sign of an inward and spiritual bond, which unites two hearts in endless love. The circle, the emblem of eternity, and gold, the type of what is least tarnished and most enduring, are to show how lasting and imperishable is the faith now pledged. Let the rings, a fit token of that which is unending, be a symbol of the value, the purity, and the constancy of true wedded love; and the seal of the vows in which is pledged in the most solemn and sacred honor.

Michael and Charlotte's Wedding, 2004 March 7 - Blessing and Exchange Of Rings

For we will laugh and cry,
Support and be supported,
Grow and then move forward into a greater world and
Through our love bring more love onto others,
I give you this ring in solemn token and pledge
Of my constant faith and abiding love
And as a seal of my vows to you,
Whom I will love and cherish above all others, forever.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son,
And of the Holy Spirit.

Candle Ceremony

Two candles that represents the bride and groom are lighted. The candles symbolize the Light of Christ, the same light they received at Baptism and now receive again to lead them in their new life as a couple. Our candles were lighted by the Best Man, Phil and my mother.

Michael and Charlotte's Wedding, 2004 March 7 - The Best Man
The Best Man, Phil
Michael and Charlotte's Wedding, 2004 March 7 - The Mother of the Bride
Mother of the Bride

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.
(John 1:1-4)

Lighting of the Unity Candle

From the American Wedding Tradition, using each candles that represents the bride and groom, the center unity candle is lighted. This ceremony symbolizes the union of two individuals, becoming one in commitment.

Michael and Charlotte's Wedding, 2004 March 7 - Lighting of the Unity Candle

Then Jesus spoke and said, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”
(John 8:12)

Veil Ceremony

The veil ceremony is one of the symbolic ceremonies of a Traditional Filipino Wedding. A white veil is placed over the shoulder of the kneeling couple. The veil symbolizes living under God’s protection and being clothed as one.

Michael and Charlotte's Wedding, 2004 March 7 - Veil Ceremony

Veil Ceremony with Friends, Patrick and Lucelle

The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.
(Gen 2:23,24)

Cord Ceremony

The cord ceremony is another symbolic ceremony in a Traditional Filipino Wedding. The cord is looped in a figure 8, the symbol of infinity, and placed over the couple. It represents the ties that bind the couple together who will now walk through life as equals.

Michael and Charlotte's Wedding, 2004 March 7 - Cord Ceremony

Cord Ceremony with Friends, Arvin and Grace

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures forever. Love never fails.
(1 Cor 13:4-7)

Marriage Prayer

Michael and Charlotte's Wedding, 2004 March 7 - Marriage Prayer

O God our Father, we honor You in thanksgiving
for the joy, the beauty, and the sacredness of this hour
and for the gifts of life and love;
in life and love, for the gift of Matrimony.
We thank You for our lives, which we now pledged
to live for You, and for each other.
Lord, use our married life according to Your will
and make our love strong yet gentle and true.
In all that we are, let us glorify You.
O Lord Jesus Christ, You are the True Light.
We come before You as unique individuals,
but now clothed as one and bound together in unity.
Together we ask You, to bless us and our marriage.
and with Your light, enlighten our path and warm our hearts.
Strengthen us in the trials of life.
O Holy Spirit, be in our midst.
In the joining of our lives, grant us Your gifts.
When selfishness shows itself, grant us generosity;
when mistrust is a temptation, give us moral strength;
when there is misunderstanding,
clear our minds; give us patience and gentleness;
in pain and in sorrow,
grant us compassion to comfort each other,
strong faith and an abiding love.
Grant that we see long and happy days
and be united forever in the kingdom of Your glory.
Amen.

Nuptial Blessing

Michael and Charlotte's Wedding, 2004 March 7 - Nuptial Blessing

The Officiator – Father M. Blais

We call upon You, Almighty God.

Let each of us now ask God, in silence, to bless Michael and Charlotte, His children as they begin their married life.

(From the book of Common Catholic Prayers)

Father, by Your power You have made everything out of nothing. In the beginning You created the universe and made mankind in your own likeness. You gave man the constant help of woman so that man and woman should no longer be two, but one flesh, and You teach us that what You have united may never be divided.

Father, by your plan, man and woman are united, and married life has been established as the one blessing that was no forfeited by original sin or washed away in the flood. Look with love upon this woman, Your daughter, now joined to her husband in marriage. She asks Your blessing. Give her the grace of love and peace. May she always follow the example of the holy women whose praises are sung in the scriptures.
May her husband put his trust in her and recognize that she is his equal and the heir with him to the life of grace. May he always honor her and love her as Christ loves his bride, the Church.

Father, keep them always true to Your commandments. Keep them faithful in marriage and let them be living examples of Christian life. Give them the strength, which comes from the gospel so that they may be witnesses of Christ to others. Bless them with children and help them to be good parents. May they live to see their children’s children. And, after a happy old age, grant them fullness of life with the saints in the kingdom of heaven.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Declaration of Marriage

Michael and Charlotte's Wedding, 2004 March 7 - Declaration of Marriage

For as much as you, Michael and Charlotte have consented together in Holy Matrimony before friends and loved ones, and have pledged your faith and declared your unity. I now pronounce you, husband and wife.

– The Officiator

Michael and Charlotte's Wedding, 2004 March 7 - With Friends
The Commentator, Susette

After-Ceremony Wedding Song

Looking Through the Eyes of Love

Please, don’t let this feeling end,
It’s everything I am, It’s everything I want to be
I can see what’s mine now, finding now what’s true
Since I found you – looking through the eyes of love.

And now, I can take the time,
I can see my life as it comes up shining now;
Reaching out to touch you, I can feel so much
Since I found you – looking through the eyes of love.

And now, I do believe
That even in the storm we’ll find some light;
Knowing you’re beside me, I’m all right!

Please, don’t let this feeling end,
It might not come again, and I want to remember
How it feels to touch you, How I feel so much
Since I found you – looking through the eyes of love.

Michael and Charlotte's Wedding, 2004 March 7 - The Wedding Entourage The Wedding Entourage Michael and Charlotte's Wedding, 2004 March 7 - The Wedding Entourage The Wedding Entourage
Michael and Charlotte's Wedding, 2004 March 7 - With Friends With Friends of the Groom Michael and Charlotte's Wedding, 2004 March 7 - With Friends With Friends of the Bride

Our Wedding, March 7, 2004

Click photos to enlarge photos.

Our Love Story, In His Words (Part 2)

This is the 2nd part of our love story. You can find the 1st part at ‘Our Love Story, In His Words (Part 1)

During the weeks that followed we would chat online and call each other on the phone getting to know one another better. On the weekends, Michael would drive to Shiojiri or Charlotte would catch the train to Yokota so we could spend the weekends together exploring Japan or just lounging around watching movies. Sometimes if one of us had days off during the week we would make the trip to visit each other and have a longer weekend together. Day by day feelings grew for each other until one day we each realized that we were in love.

I can still remember the very first weekend he came to visit me. He took the train. I asked him once to bring me a flower, and didn’t mention about it again. I waited for him at the train station. He wasn’t hard to spot among the Japanese people in the station. I was hiding just observing him and he had his neck so long looking for me. He was in jeans and long sleeves polo shirt, carrying a black backpack and a single yellow rose in his hand. It wasn’t a test. It wasn’t a big deal if he had forgotten, but he didn’t forget about my flower … and my heart just melted. I still have the pressed yellow petals.

Between me and him, I was the one who said “I love you.” first, the very first time. He responded with, “I know. I can tell.” Thinking about this makes me want to strangle him. But, we have been lovingly saying “I love you.” to each other everyday since then and he usually say it first.

Yokohama Sea Paradise, Celebrating Hubby's Birthday in 2003

Yokohama Sea Paradise, Celebrating Hubby's Birthday in 2003

We both like watching movies. That has always been something we shared. But on our dates, if we weren’t just lounging and watching movies, we went to places that he not been through, which is outside Yokota Airbase. He has been in Japan for a little more than 2 years before he met me, but he has no place outside the base that he can speak of having explored. So with my minimal knowledge about the great places of Japan, I gave him the taste of Japan, got us driving to Yokohama and to nice places in Nagano, got him to go to church with me, visited Japanese parks, castles and shrines …

Okaya Yamabiko Park, Japan

Okaya Yamabiko Park, Japan, Photo taken on 2003 Oct 18

In November of 2003, Michael asked Charlotte to marry him and she said YES. Michael wanted to get married in January 2004 with the belief that a new year with a new promotion and a new wife was a wonderful way to start a new life together. But Michael also wanted to give Charlotte a wedding with family and friends and since Charlotte was Catholic it would only be fitting to have a Catholic weddiing at the church Charlotte attended in Okaya, Japan. So, on the 8th of January 2004 we were legally married and we had a Catholic wedding in Okaya on the 7th of March 2004 with our family and friends.

By Christmastime 2003, just about 5 months after we first met, we were already engaged and had all the dates decided. On Christmas morning, among other Christmas gifts, he gave me a jewelry box. Inside it was a diamond ring … my engagement ring.

First Valentine Together, 2004

First Valentine Together, 2004

Originally, we were planning a wedding in the Philippines. During the planning stage, he showed me a map of the Philippines and he wanted to make sure where exactly was my hometown even though I had told him over and over the name of my hometown, and the location. I pointed out in the map my hometown at the tip of that big island in the south of the Philippines (Mindanao). Then he said to me in a really sad face, “I can’t go there.” Well, I kind’a knew that before he told me that! I knew it was a long shot to have our wedding in my hometown in the Philippines. It was the height of terrorism in the Philippines at that time, that tourists were highly discouraged to come, especially in my part of the country.

In February 2004 we got a house on Yokota and started moving Charlotte’s belongings from Shiojiri to Yokota, because after our wedding in March 2004, Charlotte was quitting he job to be with her husband in Yokota. In March 2004 we had a Catholic wedding officiated by Father M. Blais in Okaya, Japan with our closest friends and Charlotte mother who came from the Philippines from the wedding.

My mother came to Japan for the wedding. A few friends attended. It was small, but special. I am so glad that Father Blais, the officiator, didn’t insist on doing the traditional Catholic Matrimonial Mass but went along with me on doing just the Matrimonial Rites with a few tweaks to combine the Filipino and American matrimonial traditions. I asked some friends to take the photos and videos, and even asked some of them to cook for the reception. Ordered the flowers from the nearest flower shop and my mother and I made the corsages, while hubby prepared the candles and ordered the wedding cake from Yokota.

We had our honeymoon at a ski resort in Nagano, but neither one of us wanted to ski … 😉

Our Wedding, March 7, 2004

Our Wedding, March 7, 2004

We have been together for over a year now and have been married for the last 8 months.

Each day that passes we become closer than ever to each other and our love grows by each passing minutes. Our lives have been wonderful since the day we met each other and neither on of us would change a minute of time we have been with each other.

We have been together 6 years now. Tomorrow is our wedding anniversary. Our lives together is not without issues and problems, struggles and compromises but his statement above remains true until this day.

This is our statement and it continues …

Read about our wedding …

Michael and Charlotte Anniversary Years

Happy Birthday To Me, Celebration

http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v/OZ8yA7l-t-0&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0

The weather did not permit grilled baby back ribs, unfortunately! It has been raining. At least it didn’t snow. But we placed the ribs in the oven, and had some roasted ribs instead with corn-on-a-cob! Yummy! We haven’t even touched the cake because we were so full…

Hubby did everything, from cooking to washing the dishes! And, he got me a really nice plant. I had to tell him not to go overboard when I told him I wanted a plant on my birthday. He does that – go overboard! When he and Matthew was out to get me that plant, I had to remind him again. In my imagination, he was going to get me a tree, and I will be really problematic if he did get me a tree.

It was a great day of lounging in the couch, watching movies, taking naps. Unfortunately, the nap time only goes for me and hubby alternately. Matthew didn’t nap at all, which is always bad during hubby’s day-off especially on my birthday, when we are looking forward to a nice hubby-and-me time. Sigh.

The day ended well, with me telling Matthew that we will continue mommy’s birthday the next day to eat the cake.

Celebrating my 32nd Birthday with family. All photos are taken on March 2, 2010. Click photo to enlarge the photo.

It’s not a maternity dress I’m wearing, but it’s a more forgiving dress for someone like me with a 33-weeks bulge in the belly.

Celebrating my birthday with family. (Me, pregnant at 33-weeks) Photo taken on March 2, 2010 Celebrating my birthday with Family. (Me, pregnant at 33-weeks) Photo taken on March 2, 2010
Celebrating my birthday with Family. (Me, pregnant at 33-weeks) Photo taken on March 2, 2010 Celebrating my birthday with Family. (Me, pregnant at 33-weeks) Photo taken on March 2, 2010