Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Garage Sales are good for the soul.

I cannot agee more with the mission and values of Project Nazareth.

roject Nazareth's mission is to help families declutter and simplify their lives. We are inspired by the Holy Family and the virtues they exemplified in their home in Nazareth, particularly the virtues of unconditional love, simplicity, holy detachment, trust in Divine Providence and true order within the domestic church.

Its founder, Abby Sasscer (she grew up in the Philippines!), said "We can grow in holiness everyday within our domestic Church by practicing the virtues exemplified by the Holy Family in Nazareth. Every time we declutter, we practice the virtues of simplicity and holy detachment. Every time we manage our time and treasure wisely, we practice the virtues of wise stewardship and trust in divine providence. Every time we plan our menu, we practice the virtue of faithfulness and prudence.” Source.

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I'm feeling lighter and little bit more free after having a garage sale last month. Since Rocky and I moved houses recently, we were left with tons of stuff we no longer needed nor had the space for. We could probably have made more money selling it on ebay, but it felt draining to keep those things a day longer. So, everything went to our garage sale.

My mom's a wonder organizer and clutter-buster. I picked up most of these tricks from her:

I. Sorting

A. Keep
1. Things I still use (not "might use" or "will use"; If I haven't used it for at least a year, chances are I won't miss it.)
2. Things I have space for

B. Sell
1. Things that could still be used, just not by me
2. Things I have no space for
3. Things I don't need

C. Give or Donate
1. If there's something I know someone I know could find use for, then give. (I'm very careful about doing this. I don't want to just pass on my clutter to someone else!)
2. Stuff that weren't sold at the garage sale, were dropped off in church or donate somewhere else.

D. Throw (or send to Recycling shops)
1. Junk
2. Stuff that weren't sold at the garage sale and are really useless that I don't even want to donate them.

II. Keeping, Storing, Organizing
Find a place for everything and everything should be in their proper places, stored clean and neatly, and with proper labels. Big plastic storage bins aren't very cheap, but are the best. I'm obsessed with these things.
If possible, take pictures of items.

III. Selling
Once I've decided to sell something, I try my best to stick to it. Every so often, I bargain with myself and try to save an item or two ("I'll still use it" or for whatever sentimental reasons), but in the end I try to stick to my decision to sell.

Selling is a painful process... especially selling it at garage sale where things go really, really cheap. The trick is to not think about how much you paid for it, remind yourself that the goal is not to make money but to be clutter-free and free! And lastly, don't linger. Sell fast and be done with it. It'll feel good after.

IV. Avoiding Clutter
I confess I could never manage to keep my area neat. Take a peek at my purse and you'll find receipts stuffed in it. I have papers on my desk, etc. Yikes. I try to restrict my mess to my areas, but once in a while it ends up in Rocky's table. Ooops, sorry. Instead of keeping things neat and organized everyday (as I should!), I end up spending every few days sifting thru my stuff, recording and organizing. For example, I record all expenses and keep all receipts. Since I don't do it everyday, when I get around to doing it I usually have to spend half a day just doing so. :p

V. Other things (Things I can hear my dad and mom telling me.)

Before you add to your closet, take out something. (Haha! So as a reward for letting go and "editing" my closet, I get to go shopping :p There's usually more room and I find out exactly what pieces I need.

Respect other people's belongings. The process of sorting and de-cluttering is a personal business.

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During our garage sale, our household staff picked out stuff they liked. Our newest helper, Ga, was picking out books. I was happily surprised. So I decided to just lend her the books. I told her to just let me know if she really wants to own them or bring it home so I could sell it to her (or maybe give to her na lang). I lent her most of my collection of short stories including Roald Dahl's.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Mondays for Marion

Marion is now 5 months and 1 day old.

I stopped swaddling her around 3 nights ago. I'll start putting her in her SleepSack. And without me really noticing it, she finally stopped crying and fussing before going to sleep at night. It's much easier to put her to sleep now. I hope this keeps up for a long time. :-)

She'd been refusing to feed from the bottle. But we finally figured out the "formula" which I also hope will work for us for a long time. We cup feed her. And we don't wait until she's very hungry and cranky to give her milk. We offer it to her when she's still happy and playful. (By "we" here, I really mean Yaya Salve. I don't stick around in her room while she's being fed.) Instead of insisting that she take the bottle/cup during the day and direct-feeds only at night, I try not to be too strict about it. I still breastfeed her a couple of times during the day plus lots of play and cuddle time.

For her 5th month, Rocky bought her a Bumbo Seat (because I really, really liked it :p Thanks, Daddy!!) She enjoys sitting in it. :-) Also, her high chair was delivered yesterday (Thanks, Tan and Beross for making sure it got to us! :D). Marion's all set to start on solids. I'm the one who's not rushing to do it. (Dreading the stinky diapers.) I'd rather wait until her 6th month. But since she's been making chewing motions and is very interested in food already, I'm more likely to start her in a couple of weeks. I already bought her GMO-free rice from the Green Market at Whitespace. I'm looking forward to cooking her meals especially since I haven't whipped up anything in the kitchen since I got pregnant. :-)

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Here's a video taken in Cebu-- Joseph reading to Marion. :-)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Prayer from St. Patrick

Because it's St. Patrick's Day. :)

The Lorica of St. Patrick

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ's birth and his baptism,
Through the strength of his crucifixion and his burial,
Through the strength of his resurrection and his ascension...

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of angels...
In the hope of the resurrection,
In the prayers of ancestors in the faith,
In the preaching of the apostles,
In the faith of martyrs
In the innocence and purity of the deeds of the righteous.

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea,
Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock.

I arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me;
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's hosts to save me
From snares of the devil,
From temptations of vices,
From every one who desires me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a multitude.

I summon today all these powers between me and evil,
Against every cruel merciless power that opposes my body and soul,
Against false prophets, false laws and idolatry...

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of every one who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every one who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through a confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation

St. Patrick (ca. 377)

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And a similar song by David Haas which I made sure was sung during my wedding. :-)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

One year ago today...

We found out we were pregnant.

(Rocky took the morning off from work and brought me to the lab. Excited. :D)

I became a mom.
("Within a gravid retroverted uterus is a well-formed gestational sac. It contains a globular yolk sac. No fetal pole was seen in this examination. "Impression: Early intrauterine pregnancy, considered.")

I didn't know what to do with myself so I made this:

a hedgehog that looks like a fish

Here we are today.

Life's amazing!