As far as I can remember, we’ve always had pets. Mostly dogs, a few cats, and some chickens, ducks, and pigeons along the way. Even my maternal grandparents had dogs (they were fiercely loyal!) and cats.  I knew I would want to have my own pet(s) as I grow older and move out of my parents’ house. Thankfully, God gave me a lifetime partner who loves pets, dogs specifically, as much as I do. Two years after we got married, and shortly after moving to our own home, Ariel gifted me with a Yellow Lab. She was the first of our many pet dogs. Charlotte was soon followed by 4 others – Carrie (who died over 2 years ago), Samantha, Harry and Cain. These dogs have been part of our “family” and they have showered us with so much love. I am grateful that Ariel and I are able to have pets. We don’t have allergies or conditions that prevent us from having these fur babies at home. We are also blessed with enough resources to care for them. Here’s a mini album I made shortly after Carrie died. I made this to pay tribute to our pets and to remember Carrie. Cain wasn’t born yet at this time.

Last week, I got a call from our HR asking me if I can take photos of an upcoming event – Conversations with two Coke female leaders. While I am not crazy about shooting events, I am thankful for this opportunity to practice so I grabbed the chance. The even was earlier today. This time, I made my life easier by shooting in AV mode, in jpeg format, and with a User Defined Picture Style. This will greatly diminish editing time and it also made it easier for me to adjust my settings as I shoot. Thankfully, I got some pretty good shots.

Today, my dad also went to see his urologist for a follow up check up after his confinement last week. The doctor, according to my mom, gave a long lecture about healthier eating habits. He has to make a lot of (difficult) changes and we are still praying that his condition will not worsen. We have strong faith in God our healer. But I also know that dad has to do his part. Thankfully, my mom is an excellent partner and caregiver. I am also thinking of many ways to help ease him into a healthier lifestyle. I promised my mom I’ll buy dad healthy gourmet breads every weekend (sourdough rye and other whole grain breads). Changes like switching from white bread to whole grain, and white rice to organic brown rice may not seem much but it’s hard for my dad. White bread and white rice taste and feel so much better than their healthier counterparts so it’s going to be a hard road for my parents. I am also grateful that healthier products are now easy to come by. I, too, have to make important lifestyle changes to help me become healthier. Which brings me to my next item.

Family friends Kuya Adonis and Ate Ferina went with my parents to the hospital. Again, I am deeply grateful for family friends who have been literally at my parents’ side through the years, during good times, and more so during bad times. May the Lord bless them a hundredfold for their kindness.

I have eased back to my exercise routine. I am grateful for my personal trainer who pushes me enough to get me going, but not too much to make me hate working out. In fact, I am enjoying it and I can feel my body reaping the benefits – nope, no significant weight loss yet, but definitely improved my stamina, strength, and even flexibility. Still working on balance though. And I have to be more mindful of my diet to make this work better for me.

Ariel and I had a movie date tonight! It’s been a LONG time since our last movie date. We enjoyed our quick dinner and had fun watching Pirates of the Caribbean in 3D. Thank you Lord for date nights!

Finally, I am ever so grateful for the construction of the new CAVITEX. Going home to Cavite is now 30 minutes quicker via this new route. It’s a bit expensive at Php58 additional toll fee (bringing our one-way total to Php80) but since we only use this route once a week, it’s worth every peso.

Happy weekend!

Written by Alby Laran

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