Friday, August 19, 2011

We're Still Here!

Sorry for the long silence; the main reason for that is....drumroll.....I'm pregnant!

Right now I'm 15 weeks going on 16 this Sunday, and let me agree with most mothers when they say that there should a be a 3-month leave for the 1st trimester. SO TRUE! This pregnancy was actually a surprise, and just when was getting fit, drinking my green smoothies, getting into my nutrition program, I got LASIK, and noticed while I was recovering that I was...more tired than usual and craved more meat. We took one of those home pregnancy tests, and it had a plus, but I was dubious and in denial. Jess wisely suggested I go to the doctor, and yep, he confirmed that I was banged up, had a bun in the oven, PREGGO.

It honestly took me a while to deal with this, add to that bone-weary fatigue and a real sensitive nose and stomach, plus my family has a different birth vision than ours. Theirs is the hospital model, whereas I want a home birth and a midwife; and Jess even wants a birthing pool! Both sides think theirs is the safer choice, so what to do? Eventually, we have settled into a truce of sorts. They don't want to hear much about it, but Jess's parents are pretty receptive, and we will be looking at a back-up hospital, just in case. Also, in doing my research, I realized that there's not really a bunch of nutrition information for moms, and I think this is so crucial! Hmm, my target market after school, perhaps?!

In the midst of all this, I was sleeping, resting....and not doing much else(!), so I got waaaaaay behind in my studies. There was a test looming, and I was so scared I wouldn't do it: I was ready to call the school and ask to be put at a later class, but classmates told me that meant starting over! Starting over?! That put me in high study-gear, with room for not much else, including my favorite mind-clearer and stress-reliever, exercise! The test opened up last week, and we also did last-minute plans (hair and make-up, music, food tasting, etc) for our wedding renewal for Jess's side of the world, followed by a flurry of emails on our return to Houston. Talk about busy, and may I say accomplished! I crammed the last two modules yesterday as I felt that was the only way to get everything done in time for the test, reassuring my methodical brain that I will go back to them later....and eating horribly in the process :( So I took the test....and passed with a 90/100! Lesson learned: don't fall behind! Limit Internet time! At Jess's suggestion, I took the rest of the day off, but not really: I did wedding welcome paper bags to be productive and creative, which was nice: stamping and heat-embossing: it's been too long since I last did those! I was too pooped to clean up, though, so I did that this morning. I was too pooped to clean up, so I did that this morning. Now, I'm refreshed to do more!

So...studies, and wedding plans, and exercise, which has been in the back burner, yikes! Time to get moving again: my body will thank me! Yes, I have a little belly now, but must tone that with exercise! So much to do and think about, but as we are taught in marketing class at IIN, one step at a time.

Here are some snapshots of what I did last night for the lucky people staying at the Holiday Inn for the wedding weekend! We've got other things up our sleeves, too: stay tuned! 22 days to the wedding #3: the countdown has begun!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

We're Still Here

Hello, everyone!

It has been a while, hasn't it? Well, a lot has transpired, and as you all know, life can keep us from living full out, sometimes, ironic as that may seem. On February 14, I enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, a year-long course to be a holistic health coach. Since this is me, I also went ahead and enrolled in other programs to "beef up" my resume/"marketability." As the health coach classes progressed, I got less and less involved (and admittedly quite resentful) of my school job, so I quit, in time for LASIK surgery this past Friday. I am currently recovering (and should thus get off this computer soon!), but as of Saturday, my optometrist told me I have 20-20 vision, praise God! I hope my corneas stay behaved and don't revert. As for people saying it is painless, DO NOT BELIEVE THEM. There is some pain and especially light-sensitivity the 1st 2 days. And as for working the day after? Don't do it: I recommend working (if you must) at the very earliest on the 2nd day after surgery, eg if you had LASIK Friday, work minimally on Sunday, and keep your eyes as protected and hydrated as possible.

So I'm studying a lot, as well as recovering from LASIK, and planning for wedding # 3 with Jess. Jess, thank goodness, chose the pictures from wedding #2 for the wedding album: it stressed out my OCD-perfectionist mind too much. We're also still working on our thank you cards for wedding #2 (Manila). Not fun and quite tedious, actually, but gratefulness must be practiced.

Jess has been hard at work planting what little land he could use from the neighbor, as we don't have our own house and yard yet. In the process, he made a friend out of our neighbor's 10-year old son, which was sweet to see. He also made a solar oven, and wine from a kit-- a nice young Bergemais red, as well as strawberry wine. He is canning tomato sauce as we speak. What a guy.

Hopefully when wedding #3 is done and I'm more settled with my various programs we'll start looking at houses again, and I may even set up "shop" as a health coach in training :) I plan on specializing in women's health, specifically skin and digestive issues, and possibly hormonal issues, as well. We are doing our best living and loving in the process.

We hope everyone is well. If anyone is in town, let us know, so we can catch up! Be happy, be healthy, and be well.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Long Hiatus has been. Sorry about that. The church wedding in Manila took a lot out of Jess and me, and I believe we've just really caught up now, and also digested everything. It was a beautiful ceremony, and an even more exquisite (don't you love that word?) experience. But we were super tired after. The adrenaline high, and the extreme crash after, I think more me than Jess. So we're back. And we will update soon. At the moment, I am also stamping/personalizing thank you cards, 155 and counting...yay, 52 left, unless we want to make more :/ I even stamped at a Superbowl party!...then again, my social powers fail at such occasions, so it was a win-win situation. I wonder why I'm doing it the hard way, when most people just buy the darn thing, and the recipients usually take one look, coo then dump my worked-on card. But this is what I wanted to do from the start: more personal, more crafty, even if some people might think we're too poor to buy cards when that isn't it. Oh well. Such is a crafter's struggle. In any case, stay tuned!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Our Christmas List

1. A good immersion blender for Jess

2. Affordable food dehydrator (I've wanted one since I tried being raw vegan in college but that kinda failed; I was vegan for a while, though, until I got to Houston, heh); I'm told this one is the best of the best.

3. Paperback versions of Griftopia, Eaarth, Eating Animals by JSF, MB's Complete Dehydrator Cookbook...and maybe Sweet Valley Confidential, just because I read Sweet Valley when I was younger :)

4. Maybe BRTC Jasmine Cream

5. Solar oven, worm bin, composting toilets, clothesline, rain barrel/drip system for the garden (Hello, Transition Houston!)

6. Australorp chickens (as well as chicken-related keeping gear) for when we get our house, and I'm still hoping Jelly Bean will still be up for adoption by the time we get a house.

Speaking of, we made an offer on a house not far from here and got the executed contract; now to hope and pray all the inspections go well!

7. Metal lawn stuff like roosters and flying pigs from the cute Mexican furniture and pottery store beside the gym we go to

8. Fresh Movie and stuff by Juliette De Bairacli-Levy

9. Stuff from Anthropologie, Paper Source, Etsy, Lululemon and Lucky Brand are always welcome

10. iPad 64 GB 3G+Wi-Fi, and maybe a Clamcase?

11. Yoga at places near us (now to go). We did some yoga today using a pass we got for free at Lululemon, so that was cool. Might think of some Vinyasa or Zumba or Hooping classes in the future.

Busy, busy: getting ready for my parents' visit in 4 days, so WHOA! Also been to the allergologist, who gave us all sorts of meds, and hey, turns out my childhood asthma's back :/ And I think I caught something from one of my kids as I'm hacking stuff up right now.

I should watch some Glee or Gray's Anatomy on Hulu to destress. Or continue being productive, heh.

6 days to Christmas. Ho, ho, ho. Here's to a good end to 2010 and an even better 2011. To what it holds, we don't know yet, but hopefully it will be good.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Wedding #2 Coming Soon

So Jess' and my Manila wedding is coming up.

It will be on Jan. 15, 2011.

Austin wedding (3 of 3, phew!) will be on Sept. 10, 2011.

Kindly RSVP to twitha at gmail dot com

Our wedsite (that I hadn't updated in a while, oops!) is

Jess and I are actually looking at houses to close by March, too, AND my folks are coming for the holidays, so it's a happy but a tad stressful time. I still need to make sure my wedding dresses (that I got early, heehee) still fit! That and other preparations.

If I had forgotten to invite you, I am sorry. Nonetheless, I am trying my best to coordinate everything.

Do help us by RSVP'ing with
-what wedding you plan to attend (both is fine, too!)
-physical address
-phone number where we can reach you
-email address

Thank you!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Vision

I recently read this book by Jenna Woginrich, and she is my new hero. She recently wrote about writing your goals and dreams, so here goes.

I am tired of work sometimes that doesn't seem to go anywhere. I toil everyday and everyday it is the same. Maybe it is the stress and the mental fatigue, but I am exhausted and sick more often than I or my husband like. And that tells us that something's wrong. It makes me think of wanting to escape and do something else. Don't get me wrong: I don't hate my present jobs--I love being around my students! But I feel no matter what I do, the situation doesn't change. And I don't know about other people, but that fruitlessness is something that I can't deal with forever. I question my goal of being a teacher because of it: the system, I feel, is harming rather than helping, and that I cannot deal with, nor stomach. But I have to: it is my job, and it is slowly killing my spirit.

So before I lose my pluck and put my head down again, I will say my intention. I want a homestead of our own, with a dog, a cat, chickens, pygmy goats, vegetable and fruit plants, and maybe Angora rabbits, pigs and bees someday. I want to learn how to make butter, cheese, bread, soap and candles, as well as have homemade kombucha; live as off the grid or independently as possible. I want to learn how to play my Strumstick, and play it well. I want to learn how to knit and sew, to make socks and sweaters and beanies for my husband, and make dresses for myself. I want to make cards and paper products (with my rubber stamps and letter press) to supplement the farm, then sell this with our extra eggs and dairy, maybe some candles and soap, and maybe even fruits and vegetables and honey, as well as the occasional knitted product in a farmer's market. Then maybe we can even talk about children, if our bodies are blessed to have them: milky-coffee skin with brown or hazel eyes and black hair, and happy, inquisitive spirits who fear nothing and welcome everything.

And even as I want to eke out a farm existence, I still like to shop, or at least look. But if I can make it myself, then that's what I prefer. I am still a girl who likes shops and working out in a gym, as well as getting a good haircut and color, and the occasional pedicure and massage, but the crowded, expensive city with no room to homestead is beginning to frustrate me and lose its charm on me.

For now, I want this dog. Her name is Jelly Bean. She is a 6-month old rescue dog. Our friend Lisa told us about her. I sent in my application to have her, but I guess I heard wrong about our landlord being ok with dogs; I am still trying to persuade him to think otherwise. I hope I will be successful. Latest update: I'd like to meet this kitty, too. His name is Kai, and hopefully my husband won't be allergic to him, otherwise we have to look at this breeder who charges $600 per kitty. So yeah, methinks rescue animals are still best, costs included!

Let's start with Jelly Bean, and hope my husband and I can get out and hopefully find satisfaction, as well as our place in the sun.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What Comes Next

Well, since it's been a while since we added to this blog, why don't I add something? Since Therese wrote, we went to New Orleans and Baton Rouge, and I participated in the Transition Houston/ event on October 10 (10/10/10). I also have a basil and a (dying) tarragon on the desk in front of me, as well as lemon balm, basil, rosemary, oregano and sweet potato in the planter downstairs, and a gallon of mead in secondary fermentation in the kitchen.

Which kind of brings me to the dilemma I'm facing now. Events of the last couple of years have made it painfully clear that not only industrial civilization, but also the stable global climate on which it depends, are drifting towards a state of acute crisis. Very briefly, world oil production stopped increasing in 2005, and will likely begin to decline within a year or three. That means trouble for countries that import a lot of the oil they use, and America is pretty high on that list. Meanwhile, Arctic ice and glaciers worldwide are melting, and freak weather events consistent with global warming are beginning to hammer locations as diverse as Australia, Pakistan and Russia. I would bet quite a large sum of money that the next twenty years will be a time of rapid and painful change.

These kinds of problems are so large that it's hard to know what to do but watch them unfold. But I'm married now, and so I feel I have to try to take action to prepare, so that I can protect my wife, and the family we hope to have. That's why I've been working with Transition Houston, a small group of aging hippies and oil company employees who see Peak Oil coming and are trying to get ready. It's meaningful, satisfying work, but its slow and time consuming. I organized and purchased T-shirts for the group, as well as doing my best to promote the recent permablitz event. I'm proud of that work, but I think that with two weddings next year, as well as our first house to locate and hopefully purchase, I need to put the "saving the world" bit on hold for a while.

So that's it. For readers, I suggest strongly that a lower energy future is coming for most of us, voluntarily or not. Ask yourself what you could do to adapt to a lifestyle where you used much less electricity and gasoline, and also what your city would look like if everyone was doing the same thing. A few suggestions would be get a bicycle, and learn how to use it if you don't know already (this means you, Trissa!). Get a bus pass, and figure out where your nearest bus stop is and where it can take you. If you own a home and have some money to invest, high efficiency windows, roofs, and insulation are a great idea, as well as solar hot water if you can afford it.

I gotta run. I have to put away dinner (bison sausage, collard greens and hoecakes, if you're curious) and get ready for tomorrow.