• 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.

Father’s Day

Originally posted in Facebook on June 17:

Father's Day 2012

Father’s Day 2012, Daddy with Matthew (5) and Mark (2)

We got Hubby a hand-finger print painting of a tree for Father’s Day, made especially by Matthew and Mark. (I supervised by telling them where to press their painted little hands.) I think it’s worth mentioning that we made this while the babies were at the bath tub (for mess control!)

We are so blessed to have Hubby a.k.a. Daddy in our lives! Matthew and Mark ADORE him! He is … simply wonderful! He even got seafood (crabs and shrimps) for dinner tonight! 😉

Originally posted in Facebook on June 19:

Father's Day 2012

Pizza for Father’s Day 2012

or Father’s Day Dinner, Matthew helped me make this homemade cheese and pepperoni pizza! We had this with the seafood that Hubby got that day. #Summer2012-Dish9

Originally posted in Facebook on June 6:

I was listening so some opera music …

Me, to Hubby: “Isn’t it mesmerizing, this kind of music?

Hubby (makes a face): “Mesmerizing? Not really. It sounds like someone has a belly ache.

I just love him to pieces, even MORE these days on his Summer break, when he is home and around us more … to make conversations like this.

Originally posted in Facebook on June 5:

Awful night! Mark woke up in the middle of the night, again. But this time he was crying and very miserable,…

Then this morning, I woke up to an awful dream. I dreamt, Hubby kicked me out of the house and then I lived with Snooki and the other ‘Jersey Shore’ cast. :O (OMG, I don’t know where this all came from. Hubby and I are fine and I don’t even watch ‘Jersey Shore’.)

It going to be a long dragging day, but I hope not!

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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!

Happy Birthday Daddy {Photos}

Birthday Boy!

Birthday Boy!

Click here to view the complete ‘Happy Birthday Daddy’ Album.

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Happy Birthday Daddy

Happy Birthday to dear Hubby, also known as ‘Daddy!’

Hubby, a.k.a. Daddy

Hubby, a.k.a. Daddy

We have a chocolate cake for him, candles to blow and a big wrapped present! It’s his day-off, so hopefully, it will be a restful birthday!

Last year, he answered a few questions to get to know him more. See his answers in this link, ‘My September Boy’.

Hubby continues to be the best man I’ve ever known, the best life partner I could ever hope for, the best Daddy in the world, and the greatest love of my life. And he has proven himself to be stronger in mind and spirit and more capable to keep his head together than I have ever thought him to be! He is my rock and I love him so much.

Honor a Veteran Day

Happy Veterans Day to Hubby and all those who served to make the WORLD a safer place for all of us!

A veteran is someone, who at one point in their life,wrote a blank check payable to the United States of America for an amount up to, and including, their life. Regardless of personal political views, that is an honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer remember that fact. – unknown

My September Boy

Happy First of October!

September ended as it started – so quickly. But it ended with a quiet little celebration of someone so dear to us and his life. I dedicated my blog this past few days to Hubby. My intention was to shed some light to this person whom I dedicated my life to. He can smirk, roll his eyes and be sarcastic sometimes, but there is a good person in him, a caring and thoughtful husband and a really great father. And he is such a good sport answering these questions.

These questions are ordered as they came. Thanks to Jessica, Jacki, Stephen, Grace and Rose for making this fun with your interesting questions. His answers are quoted.

When are you going to visit us here (Philippines)?

“We are talking about that. I may send Charlotte and Mark. Matthew and I can hang out in the bars together all summer.”

What was his favorite duty station and why?

“Japan. Met my baby there.”

What was the first word you thought of when you first saw Charlotte?

“Angel”

Do you snore?

“I don’t know, ask Charlotte.”

Yes, he snores … LOL!

Do you read Charlotte’s blog? What do you think of it?

“Yes. I think she needs to go back to her original design and not part of the crowd (Facebook). Be original.”

He did ask “Why?”, when I told him I was going to make my site look like Facebook. It usually means he doesn’t agree …  What I think that’s funny is that he has an opinion on my blog’s design and not the contents. He must respect the contents, right?!  😉 I will be changing my blog design again to match the coming holidays.

Do you wish for a baby girl in the future?

“Nope. To late for that, 2 is enough.”

I agree!

What is your height difference with Charlotte? Doesn’t it pose a bit of a problem when…..you kisses her?

“I’m a foot taller…it hurts my back (not really), I just pick her up.”

Will you ever grow a beard and for what purpose?

“Never had a beard.”

When he retired from the Army, I was concerned that he is going to grow facial hairs. Having a job after retirement that is still inline with the military, I’m glad that he doesn’t have an excuse to grow facial hairs. But then, a little hair growth on his face itches him, so I think it will never happen …

What are your top 5 priorities in life? Do you consciously make an effort to live by it in proper order?

“Charlotte, Matthew, Mark, taking care of my family, and me. Yes, in that order.”

What else do you plan to achieve (family, career, etc) in life?

“Retirement and never have to work again unless it is around the house.”

What do you think of Charlotte as a wife? as a mother?

“There can be no better.”

What do you think of yourself as a husband? as a father?

“Need a job that I can be home more.”

He is a great husband, a great daddy! Time is always a problem, but he always spends quality time with the babies.

What do you love the most about Charlotte? What do your love the least about her?

“Everything. Nothing.”

What erases your headache after a hard day’s work?

“Sex and sleep.”

Um … Yeah! Sex is a good pain reliever.

Does culture difference/s ever strike your marriage? What is (or are) it about the Filipinos vs the Americans that bothered (bothers) you?

“None. I can not go to her hometown because I am a Westerner.”

In our years of marriage, the few fights or disagreements we had has never been about our culture, and even race, differences! Honestly! The only thing is it’s hard to take him to my hometown. My hometown is hazardous for tourists, especially those who don’t easily blend-in.
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My September Boy, Celebrates Birthday

It’s hubby’s birthday today. Happy birthday Daddy! We started celebrating his birthday yesterday on his day-off.

I hope his day today will be quiet, no-stress and be filled with warm birthday wishes.

Blow the candle …

Hubby always shares his birthday, especially blowing his birthday candle.

Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake I was so excited to make this Cheesecake-stuffed Dark Chocolate Cake for his birthday cake. Matthew thinks it’s ‘gross’ (his exact words)! Hubby says, “It’s good, but too sweet.”! I think it doesn’t taste as good as it’s name. I have to adjust the ingredients next time.

Birthday Card

It took Matthew 2 days to completely color this birthday card. There’s whining, playing, jumping, running … in between coloring! He made it so colorful and we all love the outcome!

My September Boy, The Questions

Hubby’s birthday is a few days away! I’m still thinking what to get for him. It’s so hard to think of what to give him for whatever occasion. I always struggle with this. He has never shown any complaints about those I get for him. But he usually tells me what he wants anyway. This time for his birthday, though, he doesn’t have a clue what he wants.

Anyway, on his birthday, I plan on featuring him in this blog. I don’t always blog about him, or maybe I do but not that much. So I thought I let you, my friends and readers, ask him some questions, and then on the days around his birthday, I will post his answer.

September Boy

September Boy

The questions could be any topic at all – about himself, about us, about his opinion on whatever issues, any topic at all. Just ask. He said he’ll answer. Well, we’ll see. Just drop your questions at the comment section.

Little tidbits about him:

  • Married to me for almost 7 years now. We have 2 boys – Matthew and Baby Mark.
  • In line with his 21 years in the US Army, he has been to Haiti, Kuwait, Korea, Japan, and more. But never been to the Philippines. He retired in 2008.
  • He now works as a Tactical Office at a military school, and he still wears his Army uniform for work.
  • Doesn’t watch any sports except if the game is held in the military school he works for.
  • We attended his 25th Year High School Reunion this summer. He had a blast!
  • He is a movie enthusiasts. He’s pride and joy, aside from me and the boys, of course, is his DVD/Bluray collection of movies. I lost count at 2000.
  • Loves History Channel and Science Channel.

—-

Updated September 17, 2010: I posted this in Facebook, and got these interesting questions so far:

  • What was the first word he thought of when he first saw you?
  • Does he snore?
  • Does he read your blog? What does he think of it?
  • Does he wish for a baby girl in the future?
  • What is the height difference of Mike and Charlotte? Doesn’t it pose a bit of a problem when…..he kisses you?
  • Does he ever grow his beard again and for what purpose?
  • What are his top 5 priorities in life? Do he consciously make an effort to live by it in proper order?
  • What else does he plan to achieve (family, career, etc) in life?
  • What does he think of Charm (me) as a wife? as a mother? What does he think of himself as a husband? as a father?
  • What does he love the most about Charm (me)? What does he love the least about her?
  • What erases his headache after a hard day’s work?
  • Does culture difference/s ever strike your marriage? What is (or are) it about the Filipinos vs the Americans that bothered (bothers) him?

25 Years After High School

High School 1985

Hubby's HS Senior Yearbook Photo in 1985. He just had a haircut when this photo was taken.

One of the reasons we went to Florida this summer, aside from visiting my in-laws, was to attend hubby’s 25th-Year Reunion of their High School Class. Hubby had been looking forward to this since 5 years ago, when they had the 20th-Year Reunion which he wasn’t able to attend. I was looking forward to this reunion for a chance to dress up get pretty, to meet some of hubby’s high school buddies, and to hear stories about him.

It was a great party. I was just a tag-along but I had a good time! I really did. I met a lot of nice people. Some of them, hubby grew up with, went to the same school since grade school, and almost all of them he hasn’t seen since high school graduation. They all had stories to tell. Hubby said he couldn’t remember most of the stories we’ve heard about him because he could be high when those events happened. The funniest I heard about hubby is how the girls envied his long blond feathery ‘Farrah Fawcet’ hair, and the way he brushes back his hair …

Photos taken on July 17,2010 Florida.

BHS '85 - 25th-year Reunion

I am so happy with this dress! It's priced at $35 but got it on sale for $11 at Sears! LOL ... I love how it fit me so well. And my hair - I was going for a few big curls but my hair just won't curl even with a curling iron and some styling products. And Doesn't hubby looks so dashing in this photo?

BHS '85 - 25th-year Reunion

I took most of our photos. When I was taking this one, I had intended to include the whole banner "Class of 85". Hubby cracked up because it's such a joke how the picture turned out.

BHS '85 - 25th-year Reunion

Hubby - awarded as the person with the youngest child (3-months old). Apparently, he still got it ... luck at his age. LOL! He was also awarded the person with most kids - 6!

BHS ’85 – 25th-year Reunion

The Filipino Connection. This is me, Gerry, Noreen and Noreen's Hubby Peter. Gerry and Noreen are the only Filipino on hubby's high school class. (Thanks Noreen for this photo.)

BHS '85 - 25th-year Reunion

This is Mike J. and Mike K. They were buddies in high school.

BHS '85 - 25th-year Reunion

Thanks 'Bartow High School Class of 1985' for the fun ...

Hubby had so much fun – I can tell by his drinking. LOL Hubby and his buddy, another Mike, made me their designated driver! At first, I was a bit upset to be not able to drink but I wouldn’t pass a chance to drive… I am desperate for driving hours, driving experience! It was my very first time to drive past 12 midnight, which wasn’t hard because of no traffic.

Thanks to Mike J. for guiding me while I was driving. I accidentally drove to the ditch and you didn’t yell at me, unlike someone I know whose name is also Mike, who goes nuts when I drive…

The reunion party was extended to a bar nearby for more drinking for them anyway …

Featuring Daddy

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy!

-From Mommy, Matthew and Baby Mark

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