All posts tagged: Marriage & Raising Girls

The best wedding we’ve ever attended

My husband and I celebrate two wedding anniversaries each year because we were married twice, i.e., in civil (March 21) and at church (June 28). However, because he’s an expat in Singapore while the kids and I are here in the Philippines, we no longer get to be together on either of those dates since he started working abroad. And that’s when the real challenge began. First of all, our traditional celebration consists of me cooking a pasta dish (because we all love pasta) and buying a chocolate cake. (Depending on the budget and the availability of a babysitter, sometimes hubby and I would go out on a date.) The cake, however, is always a must! It’s the only thing that’s supposed to be a permanent fixture in our celebrations, especially after hubby has gone abroad. The girls would always sing us a happy anniversary song to the tune of “Happy Birthday” and they would blow the candles on the cake together. As we have fun–though not much fun, really, for obvious reasons–we make sure that we take …

The wisdom in putting God first

Lately, I have been reading about and hearing married couples profess that they love God first and foremost, then their spouses, and finally their children–yes, in that order. And I often wondered how that is possible. You see, I never fully understood how or why it should be that way, particularly for a married person. For me, it has always been loving God as a married woman means loving my husband first, then my children. If I do not prioritize and honor my husband before anybody else, then I am not really serving and loving God and vice versa. This afternoon, as I accidentally discovered that my husband is getting addicted again to online games–so much that he spends money on them, buying stuff online via PayPal on a rather weekly basis since last month–I was reminded of these couples’ testimony once more. The fact that he would call me first before he buys a small bottle of perfume or a nice pair of shoes, but kept small but repeated purchases from me raised a …

Why I no longer wear my wedding ring

I recently unearthed five rolls of unprocessed films in one of our cabinets, which I readily took to a photo processing shop to be developed. I had the pictures copied to a disk, and while I was viewing them on my computer, I saw one that really caught my attention. It has my left hand wearing my long-lost white gold wedding band. I couldn’t remember why I had that picture taken, although I suspect that it must be because of the tattoo at the back of my hand that one of my daughters must have drawn using their gel tattoo pens. Nevertheless, I am happy to have this picture now, especially that it’s the only reminder I have of the wedding rings that my husband and I used to have. It has been three years now since my husband and I lost our wedding rings. I have felt more than once the silent scorn, the doubtful thoughts of other people around me, especially women, as they stare at my bare hands, wondering if I were truly and legally married. After all, …

Sisters

I don’t normally pass on stories or letters that I receive via email, but I am recently realizing the value of this one so I thought I’d share it. (This is supposed to be a chain letter, sent to me by my friend Mitch. I have copied it verbatim without knowledge of its real author’s name.) It’s up to you if you would also pass it on… A young wife sat on a sofa on a hot humid day, drinking iced tea and visiting with her mother. As they talked about life, about marriage, about the responsibilities of life and the obligations of adulthood, the mother clinked the ice cubes in her glass thoughtfully and turned a clear, sober glance upon her daughter. “Don’t forget your sisters,’ she advised, swirling the tea leaves to the bottom of her glass.  ‘They’ll be more important as you get older. No matter how much you love your husband, no matter how much you love the children you may have, you are still going to need sisters. Remember to go places …

“Mom, at what age would you like me to get married?”

“Mom, at what age would you like me to get married?” I have a feeling that I should start expecting such questions from them beginning today. Actually, I should have thought of that when my older child asked me yesterday whether she’d get rich when she grows up. I don’t think they really understand the meaning of marry or marriage, but going back to their question, I answered “30” to my older child A, and “35” to my younger one Z. Why much later for Z? Because she’s younger and so baby-ish that I think it would take a long time before we let her go. As for A, I suppose it’s given–because she’s older, she’d mature faster and would want to leave the nest sooner. And well, I have this feeling that she would want to be independent the soonest possible, so I’d rather brace myself… that doesn’t seem to make sense though, does it? A gave a follow-up question: the perennial why. Why? Because according to studies, the human brain does not become fully mature until the age 25. And, …

How I met my husband

For Susan Amestoy, may this story merit a space both in your book and website. I’m sorry it took a while for me to write this. I appreciate your patience. To my daughters, yes, this was how I met your father… I was perfectly happy and contented when I met the man who was to be my husband. I was joyfully serving in various ministries at my new church then and I believe he was doing the same. I was determined to enjoy and make every moment of my singlehood worthwhile. Although we belonged to the same church and had noticed each other’s presence, it was not until about a year later that we were formally introduced to one another. We were both attending a small party for church volunteers then and happened to be on the same table. His sister introduced us, but we never really talked. That was August 2001. Months passed before we had the opportunity to get to know each other. Our respective ministries happened to co-sponsor the nightly church service (Simbang …

Happy eighth: celebrating marriage

My husband and I celebrated our eighth wedding anniversary the other day, 21 March 2011. Very early in the morning, before heading home from an overnight stay at my parents’ house, my daughters and I dropped by Red Ribbon to buy a cake. My eldest daughter even insisted that I had a message inscribed on it, and so I did. Written beautifully in white icing were the words “Happy 8th Anniversary.” By seven in the evening, the girls and I could no longer contain our excitement. We were also already hungry and couldn’t wait anymore for my husband to get online at Skype. When he finally did, the girls started singing, “Happy eighth, eighth anniversary…” to the usual tune of “happy birthday.” They even danced and took pictures of their father and me as I held the cake for my husband to see through the laptop’s web cam. I also placed a delicate pink and white candle on top of the cake, which I had to light a couple of times as my daughters took …

Learning from my little Z

Kids say the darnest things, indeed, especially the smarter ones. For a four-year old girl, I’d say my daughter Z is very smart. Once she’s bent on something, nothing you say can make her change her mind. Bribery doesn’t work either. Whereas her older sister would ask questions usually for the sake of conversation, she would ask questions out of genuine curiosity and usually after she’d thought of an answer, as if to test your knowledge at the same time verify what she thought she already knew. There are times when she tries to be funny–she sure has a good sense of humor despite being moody–but there are times when she’s serious, too. One particular conversation with her that I shall never forget took place a couple of months after we moved to another house in the village. This was after I had decided that my relationship with my in-laws was finally broken into pieces and would never be good again. Out of the blue, she told me that her father’s mother was not really …

The Battle is the Lord’s

To others, my marriage may seem very pitiful. No matter how hard I try, it seems that things will never be the same again. I only end up hurting myself in the process. Something tells me it’s time for me to move on, with or without my lawful husband. This is another battle for me, much bigger than I ever had before. It’s a recurring issue, and I feel like I’m on the losing end. I’ve nothing else to do but to leave it as well to the Lord’s hands. I shall always count on Him to handle things that are way beyond my control. As much as I try to deal with my husband’s past, his unruly relatives, and my own mistakes, with humility and patience, I feel like there’s nothing else I can do now except become the lady-in-waiting. That is, wait for my husband to come around as I diligently do my roles as a mother and a wife–even without a husband to appreciate me. Looking back, I’ve had issues with God …