Lilypie - Pregnancy

Daisypath - Anniversary

December 1, 2014

Signing Off

I began this blog almost three years ago to document our wedding preps, and hopefully tell tales about married life in the future. I am so touched to find out that so many brides-to-be found my blog to be so helpful and informative during their own wedding preps. But sadly, I have to bid this blog goodbye as I have devastating news.

On November 24, 2014, my dear husband Mox lost his three-month battle to cancer and passed away. It was just two days before his 32nd birthday, and two days before our seventh monthsary as a married couple.

It's so heartbreaking to think that we would never do things that other married couples do, such as spend our first Christmas and New Year together, which was something we were really looking forward to as it would be my first time to go with him to his hometown in La Union and finally sleep together in one bed. Legal na kami eh! We didn't even get a chance to have a honeymoon, as we postponed our trip to Kota Kinabalu when we learned that I was pregnant. We thought we would still have time to do those things. We'd never imagined it would end up this way.

But what's even more heartbreaking is the thought that my daughter will never meet her father. She will never see how great of a father Mox can be. I know he'll be one of the best dads out there; I've seen him interact with kids and it really warms my heart because they all love him. Heck, I LOVE HIM.

But despite the pain of losing him, I know he is in a better place now, free of all the pain and suffering. I may have lost a husband and my daughter may have lost a father, but we both gained something special: our very own guardian angel who is always watching over us.

Rest in peace Mox. I love you.

Neil Rainier Manalo Balicha
November 26, 1982-November 24, 2014
I may no longer update this blog but I plan to keep this online as a remembrance of our wedding misadventures. Don't worry, I will still entertain questions about my suppliers so don't hesitate to ask me anything. :)

In the meantime, I decided to put up another blog, which could help me cope with my grief on losing my husband. I haven't posted anything nor designed the site yet, but feel free to visit it from time to time: http://loveletterstoanangel.blogspot.com/

And so the Missus is now signing off.

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September 18, 2014

The Big C

I haven't updated this blog for such a long time now due to personal reasons. For those who know us personally, you probably know what me and my husband are going through right now.

Cancer. It was a word that used to strike fear at everyone's hearts... except for me probably. After all, I didn't know anyone personally who have this disease. I thought me and my family would be untouchable by this disease. Until last month ago, when we received the most devastating news ever.

Mox, my darling husband for five months now, was diagnosed with stomach cancer. To say that it came as a shock is an understatement. How could Mox have stomach cancer? He is practically the world's healthiest eater. Yes, he smokes and drinks occasionally, but he exercises regularly and he prefers vegetables over meat! Hello, mas malakas nga akong manigarilyo at uminom sa kanya eh! I don't even eat vegetables, even now that I'm pregnant, and yet he is the one who's stricken with the dreaded disease.

I know I have to be strong for him, especially during these trying times. Mox can be a negative thinker, especially when it comes to his health, and it's up to me to lift his spirits up. But there are times when I couldn't help but cry. Why my husband? Why now? Just when we were so happy preparing for the birth of our baby, this have to happen to us.

Sometimes I'd feel guilty because I haven't been paying too much attention to our baby as much as I want to. My OB advised us to play classical music and talk to our baby as much as possible, but the best that I could do was to just say "Good morning" to him/her because I was too busy taking care of his/her father. I really hope he/she wouldn't take it against me. I'm sorry baby; I'll do my best to be a good mother to you despite our situation now.

One thing I learned about this experience is to never take things for granted. I never really thought about how we'd spend our time together since I felt that we would have enough time to do the things we wanted to do. After all, marriage was forever right? But ever since this cancer ordeal, we now know that every moment that we spend together is precious. Every day that I'd wake up beside him is a blessing, and I never fail to let him know that.

My dear readers, I don't know you personally, but I just want to ask a favor from all of you. Please do keep on praying for my husband's speedy recovery. I believe that with your prayers by our side, nothing will be impossible. Also, please pray to give us strength, strength to fight this battle, as well as strength to accept whatever plans that God has made for us.

Thank you.


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July 31, 2014

Supplier Rating: Christ the King Parish Hall

I apologize for not writing here for such a long time. I just felt so sick during the first three months of my pregnancy that I didn't have the time, nor the power, to update my blog. Again, so sorry to those who have been waiting for me to complete my supplier ratings. Don't worry, I'll do my best to complete my ratings before next month ends!

So next in line is our reception venue, Christ the King Parish Hall.

RECEPTION VENUE: Christ the King Parish Hall
Peso Power: P25,000 + P10,000 refundable security deposit (which can be refunded after the event)
Package Inclusions: Use of the function hall for four hours

HITS
  • The function hall is merely five minutes away from the church, which can be very convenient for guests who do not have any transportation. Luckily, a bridge connecting the church to the function hall was built before our wedding so guests didn't have to go up and down the stairs to go to the reception venue.
  • The hall is very spacious! We reserved tables for 160 guests, and yet we were still able to squeeze in a photobooth, a mobile bar, and a candy buffet.
  • We were able to get our refundable security deposit days after the wedding. Yey for more savings!
Here are some pictures of the function hall during our wedding.





MISSES
  • The rental time begins not when the reception program starts, but when the wedding ceremony ends! Since our wedding ceremony ended at 4:00pm, our rental time for the function hall was from 4:00pm to 8:00pm only. Our reception program began at 6:00pm and ended at 8:00pm, so we had to extend our reservation just to have our after-party.
  • The extension fee is so expensive! It would cost us P6,250 per hour if ever we decided to extend our use of the function hall! We initially plan to extend for two hours but P12,500 was just too expensive for us, so we only extended our rental for one hour.
  • The function hall is bare so you really have to hire a great stylist or incorporate your DIYs to jazz the place up. We weren't that preoccupied with the styling, although I kinda wished that we put drapes on the ceilings to make the place more elegant. Hehe.
  • We weren't allowed to bring drums for our full band! This was a major miss for us, and we almost changed our reception venue because of this issue. When we inquired about the venue, we were told by Ms. Aileen, the OIC at that time, that they allow full bands with drums. Then a month before our wedding, Ms. Dodo, the new OIC, told us that they do not allow full bands, just when we had booked our band already! I kept on negotiating with them, hoping that they would allow us to still have our full band since we did have prior approval from their previous OIC, but Ms. Dodo was very firm. NO FULL BANDS ALLOWED. She didn't even give suggestions on what we can do to salvage the situation. She just said sorry, and in an insincere manner if I may add. Parang walang kwenta sa kanya yung perang nagastos namin. Nakakairita lang. Eventually, we had to agree with her terms; wala kaming choice eh. We had to downgrade our full band to an acoustic band instead, but since we already paid them in full, we didn't get any discount. If only we had learned from the beginning that full bands weren't allowed, we probably would have book an acoustic band immediately, and in that effect, save some money.

RATING: 7.5 out of 10

I'll probably recommend this place because of its convenient location (if your wedding ceremony is at Christ the King) but just a word of advice: make sure that you put everything that you have talked about with Ms. Dodo into writing. That was my mistake; I immediately assumed that Ms. Aileen did the proper turnover when she resigned, but since she didn't put in my record that we would have a full band during our wedding, I didn't have anything to show to Ms. Dodo when we were discussing about our band.

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June 8, 2014

Baby's First Picture

Last Friday, I went to my OB for my first prenatal checkup.  Since this is my first pregnancy, I really didn't know which questions to ask, so I asked Mox to come along with me. Ever since we learned that I'm pregnant, Mox became more watchful and protective than ever. So I know that he would have a lot of questions to ask my OB.

Sure enough, my OB gave me a long list of do's and dont's to follow. Since I have a history of diabetes in my family, I must follow a low-carb, low-salt, and low-fat diet. Grabe ano na lang kaya ang kakainin ko? Haha! I am allowed to eat three cups of rice, but these must be divided into six small servings. Also, I can only eat one slice of fruit per meal. So goodbye eating bowls of siniguelas. Huhuhu. Lastly, I must also avoid going to hot and crowded places, as well as any kinds of stress because these may cause contractions.

I was also given folic acid, which I must take once a day. I must also take a progesterone suppository to probably help the growth of the baby inside me. My OB recommended me to take it vaginally to avoid any side effects. Yes, you heard it right. I have to insert it DOWN THERE. I'm gonna spare you the gory details, but it was just pretty weird. Haha!

Then I was scheduled to for my ultrasound. Now I was pretty excited about this because this would be the first time that I would get to see my baby's heartbeat! But more than that, this ultrasound would confirm that I am indeed pregnant! Haha! I've been so paranoid, reading all these stories about miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies, that I just wanted a confirmation that I'm carrying a healthy baby.

Thank God my ultrasound turned out okay. They showed me the gestational sac, which holds the yolk sac, and a tiny blip, which was the embryo. I even saw something pulsating, which was the embryo's heartbeat. So it's confirmed: I am officially pregnant! Based on the ultrasound, they pegged my baby to be at exactly 6 weeks, while I thought I was already 7 weeks and 2 days pregnant based on my last menstrual period. But my friends say that doctors usually base the baby's age on the ultrasound (fetal age) instead on the last menstrual cycle (gestational age), so in reality, I am just six weeks pregnant.  


Hi there little blip! :)
But while there is already a fetal heartbeat, my OB said that it is within the lower end of the normal range. She wanted me to take another ultrasound next week to see if there will be any improvement to the heartbeat. Let's pray that everything will be all right next week.


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June 2, 2014

Positive!

I am currently writing my supplier reviews, but I first want to pause for a moment to share this wonderful news: Mox and I are expecting a baby! :)

Yes, you heard it right. I just learned that I am pregnant two days ago. Mox and I are so excited about this news because we've always wanted to start our own family as soon as we get married, and we couldn't believe that we got our wish!

I have been experiencing "pregnancy" symptoms for the past two weeks, yet I didn't plan to do a pregnancy test at first because I was too scared to get a negative result. I already experienced a lot of false alarms before so I thought this time, it would still be the same. But Mox convinced me to do a test one more time, and lo and behold, we finally got the two lines that we have always prayed for. :)


We did two more tests after that and we still got the positive result. Of course, I still have to go to my OB to confirm this, but I know in my heart, we finally received the blessing of a lifetime.  And so after my wedding preps journey, it's time to prepare for another chapter in my life: the journey towards motherhood. :)

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May 25, 2014

Supplier Rating: Christ the King Church

After being married for a month now, I'm slowly starting to get the hang of married life. But I'm still on a wedding high, it's time to give thanks to our suppliers for a job well done. Hopefully, my ratings will be helpful to other brides-to-be out there. :)

I'll be doing my supplier ratings differently today. I'll separate the hits and misses for each supplier so that it would be easier to see how each of them fared before, during, and after our wedding day. :)

Now, let's begin with our chosen church, Christ the King Church in Greenmeadows, Quezon City.

CHURCH: Christ the King Church
Peso Power: P25,000
Package Inclusions: flowers, use of aircondition units, soloist/organist

MY EXPERIENCE:

At first, Christ the King was not part of our choices because I felt that the church would be too big for us. We plan to only have 150 guests, and because of the church's structure, baka magmukhang aalog-alog mga tao dun. But since we plan to book their function hall anyway, booking the church was the most practical thing to do.

HITS
  • The church is so bright and, for the lack of a better term, maaliwalas. I'm not a fan of old churches because they give me the creeps. Feeling ko may multo sa bawat sulok. Haha! So the modern architecture of Christ the King was a big plus for us.
  • I like how spacious the altar is. It's perfect for big family pictures. :)
  • It's airconditioned! This is a must because ours was a summer wedding, so just imagine how hot it was during the day.
  • It's aisle is just right, not so short and not so long. I didn't want to walk down a very long aisle because I'm too scared that I'll trip. At least pag maikli ang aisle, mas mababawasan ang chances na madapa ako.
  • There are a lot of parking spaces available.
  • They have a  garden where you can have your postnup pictures taken. It was a bit of a climb, but at least we were able to go to a picturesque location without having to travel so far away.
Here are some pictures of the church during our wedding. :)

 



MISSES
  • Our officiating priest didn't follow our misalette. There were some parts where he added words and phrases so we had a difficult time following the flow of the mass. Even our commentator missed some of her cues because of the priest's different wordings.
  • I liked our priest's homily, but then I learned that he gave a similar homily during one of my friend's wedding. It may not be a big deal, but I just wanted our homily to be a little more personalized. Kaya siguro, it's really better to bring your own priest so that you have an idea how he conducts homilies before your wedding.
  • No wooden doors for a dramatic entrance. You can cover up their glass doors with curtains for a fee, but it's just not the same.
  • Mox finds Ms. Dodo a bit strict and masungit. Hehe.

RATING: 9 out of 10

Despite the small booboo with our priest, Christ the King is still HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. :)
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May 9, 2014

Our Onsite AVP by Project Happiness

I'm so excited because we just received our external hard drive, which contains our raw pictures and videos of our wedding day. I was almost late for work because I lost track of time; I was too busy looking at our pics and videos! :)

So before I get started with our supplier ratings, let me share to you our onsite AVP by Project Happiness. :)


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