Saturday, January 12, 2008

Life is beautiful

Year 2007 was a year of changes. New people, new events came into play in shaping our family's life. Here's a recap:

- Patrick and I spent our first full year with our cat, Shadow. Indeed, Shadow is not a human baby, but she is loved all the same if not more. In May, she turned 6 years old, for which we threw a birthday party among our nearest and dearest. We got for her a special china with 18-karat gold lettering and some irresistable kitty caviar. For all her charm, sweetness and wits, she deserves all the spoiling she gets.

- In February, I started a new career in an independent book publisher near Chicago. Many of you sent warm congratulations and encouragement--thank YOU. This new job has been an enriching experience, as you had probably guessed when I first announced it. I read and sell books for a living. For a seven-year-old, that's like going to Disneyland everyday.

In this job, I am surrounded by talented and motivated people. I found a mentor in my manager, a friend in my colleagues, and an inspiration in our books. I often hear that the life of salesman is lonely, but I find that on the contrary. I travel, I read, I talk. Because of these, my job has become a journey in and with myself. And this journey is splendid from every angle.

- In June, I visited my friend Diane in NY, thanks to a free business trip. It had been so long since I last saw a friend from Manila. When I saw her, I felt somehow that I had a glimpse of home. I also finally met her Christian, after all those years of hearing about him. Thanks to those two for making time.

- In August, Patrick and I went on a much-needed vacation to Washington state. While we were there, we visited his relatives who live in the countryside. There we experienced the Emerald State at its finest: an uphill walk lined by fresh grass, rows and rows of pine trees, trees thick as cotton everywhere you look. The wind was so fresh and uninhibited, Uncle Bob and Aunt Julie had their windows open all day--and this was in the summer! They have six kids from ages 2-18, and three pets. You can only imagine the ruckus in their household, but there was laughter every minute. I am visiting Seattle this month for business and I am definitely paying that bunch a visit.

- September was a defining month for our family. Patrick was offered two lucrative out-of-state jobs: one in Seattle and another in Dallas. He had long been looking for a satisfying job where he can finally use his experience. He opted for Dallas. I thought it was a well-deserved promotion and indeed the new job has done him well. He finally smiles everytime I ask him, "How's work today honey?"

- I was barely home here in Chicago in the latter parts of the year. In November, we went on a short vacation to drive down to Dallas. Along the way, we made some pit stops including an overnight stay in Memphis. Photos from this trip are posted in here and some more are in here.

It was also during this time that Patrick and I built a new home in Dallas. By built, I mean make a living space out of a two-bedroom townhouse. In a matter of days, we had furniture, appliances and even Direct TV! Now, we won't have to miss a football game ever again. Indeed, nesting is a great bonding tool for couples.

- Any salesman will tell you that the last quarter of the year is the ultimate crunchtime. I flew out several times to see some clients. Somehow, I managed to convince them that our books are worth buying and they should give us their money. By some grace of God, I suppose, I made my annual numbers. Now, if only that achievement is worth a two-week all-expenses-paid vacation to the Dominican Republic, then life would be perfect, wouldn't it?

We spent two weeks of family time here in Chicago for the holidays. Shadow obviously missed being with both Patrick and myself, she was always begging for attention. We visited family and friends, one of whom even got engaged! At the end of those two weeks, it was hard to believe it is already 2008. So in the spirit of the new year, here are my new promises.

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