Andi, 23 days old

I am thankful for another newborn shoot. Well, not technically a newborn but still very young at 3 weeks and 2 days old. The baby is my friend, Gaye’s 2nd daughter, Andi. She was born on August 11 via a C-section, and she’s quite the fighter having survived an apendectomy during Gaye’s first trimester.  Well, she is one feisty baby and she gave us a difficult time. She didn’t want to sleep and didn’t want anything to do with our photo shoot. Took a while for her to settle down and be comfortable. I am happy for the range of experience I am having with all these babies. Different ages + different personalities = more learning opportunity.

I also got a chance to shoot her 4-year old big sister, Dani. So much fun!

Big sister Andi

Ariel and I have decided that I will no longer accept “gigs” on Sundays. Even if we schedule it early with enough lead time before we go to church in the afternoon, we can never predict how a baby would behave and how long the shoot will last. In one shoot, we had to extend our time and we missed going to church in the afternoon. So, even if I am behind schedule with my last two shoots (I have another one next Sat), that’s perfectly ok.

Anyway, one other thing I am thankful for is our Sunday lunch with my college buddies. Tonton hosted the lunch at her home. I baked a chocolate cake, Tonton’s mom prepared nachos with beef, salsa and melted cheese, and Aids made baked sausage wrapped in bacon. Then we chipped in and ordered Chinese food for our main meals. It was great to see each other after almost (or over?) a year! We see each other periodically to celebrate birthdays and we normally schedule a Christmas party but last year had been crazy as far as our schedules are concerned so we totally missed seeing each other for Chirstmas last year.

This week was the 2nd checkpoint for our 2020 planning at work. Needless to say, the past week had been crazy. This week, there were a few more requirements that needed to be submitted. Of course, there was the day of the presentations. I was part of three workstreams so my Wednesday afternoon to early evening was packed. The presentations went well but there are still a lot of work to be done for the next checkpoint. I thank God for sustaining me throughout this process and for blessing me with fantastic people to work with (for the most part!).

It’s been 6 months since I got a gym membership. Woohoo! I never thought I’d last this long. I’ve been going regularly, even on busy work weeks. I’ve skipped a week or so when I was hospitalized, and of course when we went to the UK for vacation. But other than that, I’ve been going weekly. It costs a lot of money to sustain it so I am thankful for the blessings that allow me to embark on this journey. Wednesday night, I had a chat with the gym manager and she asked me how things are. I told her that just going to the gym regularly is already a major success for me. I’ve never lasted longer than 2-3 months in a gym before. And I credited my personal trainer for this success. She never fails to motivate me and keep me going so I am thankful that I got her as a trainer. I think she’s the right fit for my lazy whiny self. I’ve seen major progress. My body is changing inside. I no longer get hungry as a horse after each workout. I am also able to do more cardio and strength routines. I have a stronger core (I can do 2 sets of 1 minute full planks already!), and have improved endurance. I am still a LONG way from my fitness goals but slowly, I know I will get there. And soon, I hope that my body will also change on the outside (need to work on my diet!).

Related to my gym adventure, I’ve signed up for this years Adidas King of the Road race. It will be in October 23. Our company is one of the sponsors and there was a contest for a chance to win two slots in the race. I grabbed the opportunity and joined the contest. Fortunately, I was among the winners of the two slots. So Ariel and I will be running (mostly walking actually) side by side in October.

Finally, I joined a really super fun, exciting, LOL-inducing, in box-clogging activity. Our FB group, Pinoyscrapbookers, had a scraplift relay. There were two groups of 16 scrappers in each group. Studio Azul Queen, Tin, made the original layout and sent it to the first in line in both groups. Originally, each person had 3 days to scrap based on the layout she received. But then Tin announced that she’ll give a prize to the chain who finished first. All hell broke loose, and the craziness begun. SO MUCH FUN! I was the last in our group so the pressure was on me. I will reserve the story for another post since the winner has not yet been announced (we don’t know who submitted the final layout first – it was sent to Tin by email) as of this writing and I don’t want to spoil the fun. Whoever wins, it was a nervewracking but super fun activity. I hope we get to do another one soon.

Update: We didn’t win, but it was a lot of fun so it doesn’t really matter. :) Here’s my digital layout.

It’s been a while since I made a digi layout. This is a quick one. 

Written by Alby Laran

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