Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Working Spouse Vs. A Full Pledge Housewife

For the first few months of being married to my husband Tony , it was so hard for me to adjust being a full pledge housewife. I am used to working way back in the Philippines and I can't stand being at home just doing things that a good wife should do.

It was boring to be just in the house, doing the same thing over and over again. Although I have a lot of time to spend with my husband. Likewise, I want to help my husband with our finances and of course I want to have my own money. I don't really like asking my husband about money matters because It feels weird.I have the right though since I'm his wife but I am just not used
to the idea.

Then, time comes that I am allowed to work here in the US. I was so excited at first, at last I'll be able to meet people and be able to make friends with them. Wow it feels like i'm free again although I have to maintain my duty as a wife.

Work is fun at all times, the co-workers are very nice and my managers too. They made work easier for me. I had a day-off ones a week or two days a week. Then there are just times that i wanted to stay at home especially when my husband is off for a week or two or everytime he had his day off.

Being a wife and just staying in the house are fun too and good but there are just some days that you wish that you are doing something else.

Being a working spouse is very good in the sense that you will be able to help your partner with your finances and secure your future. And at the same time you have to juggle or balance everything as a wife and a working spouse.

Its up to you if how you will managed your time to be able to do your duty wisely. I love being a wife and at the same time being a working spouse.

If I can do it, I know you can do it. Just keep on believing on yourself, don't give up.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Memories I Treasured Forever

I remember when I was a little kid that we always have talent night show which is hosted by my father. It was fun, exciting and of course we always shared our talents. I always remember that my mother used to put me on this small table in the house and ask me to start singing. I love to sing that's one of my favorite hobbies. My parents always encouraged us to share our talent and practice them. We had this old radio with a small blue microphone on it. I remember singing the song 'Rain" it was very cool.

And every weekend my father used to bring us around the neighborhood, we walked and tour around the block where we lived.We used to have this cart and its felts like we are having parades, it was very enjoyable. As far as I can remember, we really have a small house with a lot of coconut trees surrounding the area. Every now and then we play at our backyard especially after our place will be hit with typhoons.

My sisters and my brothers are my best friends, they are the best buddies I could have ever ask for. They are just wonderful, we rarely have arguments. I give the credits to my parents especially my mother. She taught us how to share our toys, share our food and almost share everything. She taught us how to be respectful, to be diligent and how to love each other. As an older sister, I have to look up in behalf of my sister to make sure they are doing good and to make sure they are well-being cared.

My sisters and I always talked about our future when we were still small. We even told ourselves that we will build this big house and that each of us have our own room or something and that we will lived together forever. We always plan together and we plan to build a beautiful house for our parents. We love to go to the church and attend every activities that we have. I am very happy and thankful for the example that were set by my parents. Its just wonderful , its amazing. I missed my family so much. I can't even think a life without them, I know I will not be complete without them. I love those times when we just laugh, talk and share topics and even those times that we argue I do missed those times. I always treasured every events that took place in my family and I know it will always be a part of me even though I'm not with them physically. It has a big influence of how I become today. I am very proud to have a wonderful family. We are not perfect but we are just truly unique.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My Mom is a Superwoman

"Motherhood is a noble task and it is the greatest fulfillment in a womans life." While I was growing up, I was able to be the witness of my mother's sacrifice for us. She share with her children her story about how she met and fell in love with my father. She got married at age 19 and my father was 26 at that time. She just barely finish her associate course in secretarial. She still continue studying even after she got married and working at the same time. My father was there and he supported my mother and provide for us. Soon,she finished her Bachelors Degree in Accounting after she have four kids.Amazing huh? After my mom gave birth to her 6th child,my father was laid-off from work. Everything change,my father was the one who was taking care of us in the house, cook,clean and everything that usually a mother will do.On the contrary,my mother was the one who work for us and provide everything.Since I'm the eldest my mother like to share her worries and problem to me.I do my very best to comfort my mother's feelings.
Our family starts to get bigger and bigger.Then again, in the end they have twelve children. But still my father is not working and my mother was still the one who provide for us.
Most of the people especially our neighbors always ask my Mother ,how were you able to support your children and send them to school? My Mom told them we always help each other, I teach my children to be diligent with their studies, its the key to have a better future. I always heard my mother being proud of her children.She always told her friends and officemate,I am very blessed to have a lot of children. My mother always makes an effort to learn how to make money legally. I remember before when I was twelve years old we started our own business. We sell Barbecue Chicken, Pork, Hanging Rice on the street. My Mom usually help us after she is done with her office job , and even while she was still wearing her office uniform, she never get embarrass or ashamed that she is a street vendor. As a kid, I look up my Mom and really admired her courage, her sacrifices for her kids and for our family.
Her sacrifices paid off, she already have 4 children that already had their degree in college. Two of them had a degree in Commerce majoring in Banking and Finance and the 3rd child had a degree in Nursing and is now a Registered Nurse, the 4th child had just graduated in college last March 2008 with a Bachelors Degree in Education majoring in English and is now preparing for her Board Exam to become a License Teacher. She still have kids in school , two in college, 3 in high school, 1 in elementary and 1 in kindergarten.
The success of her children is a success for my mother. Until now my mother is still the provider of our big family, although we now helped her regularly. We used to call our mother "wonder woman" because she can do the most impossible things to be possible for us.
Ma in behalf of my younger siblings we want to thank you for being strong,for your endless love for us, for your courage and for being industrious . This is for you,We love you Ma.

Married Life,My Eternal Goal

am still on the stage of adjusting my life being a married woman now. There's a lot of things that I need to understand and consider. Since I've been married last year, my life had been turn up side down.Not because we have marital issues but because life change into another level, ones you are married. Married life is very good as long as both of you do your part as equal partners. I love being with my husband , he's everything that i could have wish to be my future eternal companion in life and the life to come. He gaves me joy and happiness,inspiration,encouragement.He is my personal motivator,my love of my life,my everything. I love waking up in the morning and watching my husband sleeping and I see the happiness in his face.He's really an angel to me, a blessing that I always pray for, even before we met. I am more committed in doing chores in the house compared when I was still living with my family in the Philippines.It's different now,I am creating my own family. I loved to cook,sew his pants if its needed,do the laundry,prepare his working clothes.I even become his sparring partner for martial arts practice.I love doing everything with him. As the days went by,we are more closer and closer to each other. Just last week we went to Las Cruces,New Mexico.And it turns out that my sister-in-law needed help.I have to baby sit her 4 year old son so she can go to work.At first,my husband is hesitant to say yes because he knows i'll be staying there for 2 days without his presence. It was hard though because i felt so empty without him by my side.But then we are glad we are back together since i came home from my stay there. Although there are more challenges that will come in our life as a couple, but i know in my heart that we will be able to overcome those trials and challenges as long as both of us will work together as partners. Marriage is forever,you have to be fully committed in order for you to endure till the end.For my husband Tony,I love you so much and it will be forever.

My Love Story to Tell Second Chapter

Let me now continue to share the second part of my Love Story..........

We had our flight at the Tagbilaran Airport at 1:40 in the afternoon with Cebu Pacific Airline.We are schedule to arrived around 3:00 in the afternoon at the Manila International Airport.My family was there in the airport and we are very emotional. We are just trying to hold back our tears on our eyes.I kissed and hug our youngest sister Eunice and hug my brother J-poy.My sisters are telling me can you just please stay with us?It was very hard for me to say No.But I have to let them understand that Tony is there and he needs me.

My bestfriend Cristine and her boyfriend Loive was there also, they are both my friends.We are just joking around and telling each other that we will still met again in the future. My teacher in high school Ma'am Thelma was there together with his son Joel since they asked me to bring the luggage for my bestfriend Jhema in Manila. They were able to met my boyfriend Tony.So the time comes that we need to go already.We say goodbye's to my parents and my siblings, to our friends.I can't help but cry especially my brother J-poy, he asked me please come back for him.We are best buddies that's why he's very sad when he knew that i'm about to leave them.

So we went inside the Tagbilaran Airport and just waiting for us to aboard the airplane.Now that we are inside the airplane I told Tony, I started to missed my family. And also I have to leave my cellphone already since I cannot used them when i arrived in the US.Time flies so fast and we just arrived at the Manila International Airport, it was raining very hard so we decided to call for a Taxi inorder for us to go to the new Airport since we are in the Old Airport in Manila. We asked the people who work in the airport if we could leave our luggage because it will take a long time for us to wait for the next flight.So we went there and we payed the TAX for the ticket and I showed them my passport and visa.At first they thought that we were OFW's haha.And we told them that I am a K1-Fiancee and that Tony is my boyfriend. So we leave our luggage and also payed for the entrance fee in the waiting area.

We leave the airport and ride a taxi to go to Market-Market Mall in Makati where Jhema is patiently waiting together with Raven her son. We arrived there and still we have her luggage with us and just looking around, finally we see her and then we decided to eat our dinner at Kenny Roger's Restaurant. It was a very good meal.Tony was very happy because he told me that the dinner is not expensive .But for me i will consider it expensive already.Then finally, we say goodbye's to Jhema and Raven. Then after that we just stroll around the mall and buy some stuffs too.While waiting for our time to go back to the Airport again.We decided to go back to the Airport, and Tony had a good time watching the big buildings in Makati and the nice hotels too.

Our departure time from Manila was 10:00 in the evening and we will be arriving in Los Angeles, California at 7:40 in the evening California Time.It was a long ride, very long, we either sleep, eat or just watch tv.The plane was full of passenger mostly Filipinos who are having there trip back to the US. We just keep on talking with Tony and some of the filipinos who sit nearby.

Alas we arrived in Los Angeles, California.And we have to wait in line again because they have to check my documents to make sure that i'm a legal immigrant in the US.The guy who interviewed me from the Customs and Border Patrol was very good,he is a black guy and he asked me questions too.And then I was waving with Tony and then the officer noticed and ask if I know some people behind him and I said yes, my boyfriend is there. He said you must have a very good man since he went there to bring you back with him in the US.So i said, Yes he is very good to me.So we went to the exit door and just walking around and I can see Filipinos waiting for their love ones as well as talking to their family.

We decided to rent a van since we are almost out of budget with the money that Tony had. We went to Inglewood,California and went to Applebees.I was to keen to see how L.A. looks like haha. I can't believed that i am actually in the US already. It was snowing a little bit.....I was just smiling and just wandering around. So we just stroll around L.A. and then go back to the rental office and then we ride the bus going to the airport again and we decided to wait for our next trip in the airport.It was very tiring, I have jetlag but still it was amazing.Knowing that Tony and me will start our life together was a complete achievement in my life.

Our next flight was schedule around 6:40 in the morning California time and then arrived in Phoenix, Arizona around 7:58 in the morning Phoenix time.Its a 1 hour and 18 minutes ride. Then after that, we will stop there and then change plane again.We arrived in Phoenix, Arizona and then we went to another plane.We aboard the plane around 8:53 in the morning Phoenix time and schedule to arrived in El Paso, Texas around 11:19 in the morning El Paso time.The flight was good for 1 hour and 26 minutes nonstop.Finally, we arrived in El Paso, Texas on October 8, 2006.

Tony's dad was waiting for us together with Linda, Tony's step mom. I finally met Tony's Dad. They hug me and kiss me and ask if how's the trip.We talked and we went to Hong Kong Buffet Restaurant. Then I met Carleen, Tony's sister and she's pretty.We also talk and just getting to know each other and took pictures.They are excited to see me.After that we went to Tony's parents house. We stay there for awhile while we are not yet married.

After two weeks from the time that I arrived here in Texas, it has been very quite depressing for me. Its already winter here in the US and its so cold.I am still trying to adopt the weather and everything especially the food. I've been crying most of the time when Tony works and go to class as well since I have no friends here, all i have is the computer so I can still keep in touch with my family back in the Philippines. It was a very strange experience for me to be alone. I felt very alienated for the first few days.I've been able to talked with my relatives on my father's side here in the US. They are the relatives that i don't know.I have an uncle who lives in Weslaco, Texas and an Aunt who lives in California.They were also surprised that I am in the US since they only know my father.

We move out from Tony's parent house after we got married the following month after I arrived here in the US.There were a lot of challenges that we experienced.We move in at Warren Inn apartment ,it is located at the West Side of EL Paso, Texas. We lived there for 2 months before moving in at Tony's Step Dad's house. We are renting a room here.The house is big and I feel more comfortable living here.Tony's Step Dad is very good to me.We always talked and he teaches me how to make Mexican food. He speak fluent spanish and English too.

I already know how to drive car but I still need more practice.I still don't have a drivers license but i enjoyed my practice. I had my first experience when you can actually see snows falling from the sky.It was a very beautiful experience, we were able to took pictures.It was very cold too.We have to wear gloves and jackets and boots.

Most of the time we go visits Tony's sisters in New Mexico, 4 of his sisters are living there. We are the only one who lives here in El Paso, Texas.It's not really easy to adjust with your sisters-in-laws and family, to many dramas going on......Which i don't want to share.

We also process my papers for my adjustment of status here to become a permanent resident. The paper works was real crazy too many documents to be complied, it needs time , money and effort to complete the requirements.But thank God, everything fall into places already. I am already approved and just waiting for my Green Card to be delivered very soon. After that I am planning to get my drivers license and then start working here.

Hopefully, I will make myself busy by working a lot of hours very soon.Tony is very busy working and going to school too. I have a lot of friends here from the church as well as filipina friends who are now residing here in El Paso, Texas.I am able to adjust a little bit of myself living here in the US. I am looking forward to visit my family in the Philippines next year.

I am just happy that our love for each other is getting stronger everyday and the more we know each other, the more we realized that we can't live without each other. Our next goal is to buy our own house and start our own family together.

To all my avid readers of my love story...i'll promised to keep you all posted with my Love Life.....See you on the 3rd Chapter....Have fun reading....Keep the love burning!!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My Love Story to Tell

"The measure of love, is to love without measure" Who would have thought that clicking a program on the Internet could change my life forever. My story that I would like to share is about how I met and fell in love with my husband. I can still remember those days when I was afraid to used a computer. I'm overly nervous every time i see a computer because honestly, I don't know how to use them. Well, I had to learn how to used them or else my teacher in my minor class in computer will fail me. Can you believed that I learn how to used them when i was in my sophomore year in college. But I'm not actually ashamed about it. One afternoon, I went with my best friend Jhema to an Internet cafe. Wow, I was very amazed because a lot of students were there. They are concentrating on what they are doing in the computer that they don't even notice that i was there looking at them. My best friend ask me if i would like to used a computer, so i said I would love too but can you teach me how? She replied, of course! kaw pa kinakusgan nakong amigo (LOL)....Then eventually, she instruct me on what to do first. I need to register first to a site before i can have an email address. The terms are not new to me because we discuss this during our class in( BM 1 )that's what the name of the class before it was change to IM 1. Well, i have no problem about familiarizing all the things that can be seen on the keyboard because i was one of the best student in my Typing 1 and 2 class (ehemmm murag hinambog but true).Day by day,I always reserved an hour or two to our suki na Internet cafe (suki means a place were you usually go or buy something). Then one fine day, I decided to join a chat room in the Yahoo site. One of the room there is called "Romance" but I am not sure how i end up there.I was just clicking things and just curious on what to learn on every site that i visited with. The very first person who approach me on the chat room and send me a private message was Tony, the man whom I became my husband. At first, I was very excited and happy that somebody was chatting with me( ay ignoy pa lagi ta ani)ha ha. We talk about a lot of things , culture, family, school, love-life and almost every topic we could possibly think to be discuss during that time. He was the first person on my friends list and the person whom I always chat on the net every time I got online. He was the first to sent me a picture of him together with his Dad. At first, I say to myself on he's not that handsome as I thought he would be, but I now believed that "first impression won't last long". Likewise, it was my turn to send a picture to him. I had this picture of me with a friend and decided I'll better scanned this so I can sent it to him. By the way, Tony at that time was turning 19 and I was turning 18. He is a Mexican-American from El Paso, Texas USA. His parents are both Mexicans descendant who was born and raised in the US. Tony is the fourth generation who was was raised and born in the US.He can understand Spanish but cannot speak the Spanish language at all. He was the youngest child and he had four older sisters. Sometimes, we knew we are online on the net but we don't chat too much or just ignoring each other. One afternoon Tony told me about what happened on his "date".Well, i thought it only applies to us Filipinos the so called "gi-indian"ha ha.That's what happened to Tony's date. He was so upset and sad and depressed because he told me that he likes the girl very much. Well, let's say I was the friend he can lean on even just online. We chat and I told him it's not yet the end of your world. I was able to cheer him up. Then the next day, we chat again and I told him I got a dream about a boy and a girl who fell in-love online. I was telling him "oh i wish i was the girl", to my surprised he ask me "do you want me to be the boy on your dream"? It felt like I am about to passed out during that time, I was nervous, I don't know what to do, I can't even type the words, my hands are numb. Glad I was able to recover and say in a funny way "sure" why not. At first, I felt that we were only playing just to kill the time and just to have fun on the net. During that time web cams and voice chatting were not introduce yet. So we agreed to elevate our relationship from friends to boyfriend/girlfriend online. Wow, who would have thought it will work out. He didn't tell me that he got a crush on me not until we agreed to be official on. Everyday we chat online, we sent emails,and he was the first one to send me a snail mail letter (mailed letter ba) on December 2001. By that time, we make sure that we always exchange letters and sent pictures to each other through mailed letter.
Around February 2002, I gave him a surprised call that lasted for 2 hours.Wow, it was a long distance call from me. He was surprised to hear my voice and can't even say a word all he can say is that"he love me and he started to cry on the phone".He's actually a baby, such a baby, we are so silly that he asked me to sing a song for him. I was the one who said I have to go because I know it's very expensive to have a long distance call and I know he will be the one to pay for it. Guess what? He was grounded for a week because their phone bill went up high. He need to gave $350 to his Mom for the long distance bill that appeared on the telephone bill. We know each other so well that we already knew if one of us was not feeling well or not in the mood to be funny or not in the mood to be silly. He decided to come and visit on 2004. I actually can't believed that it will happened because he had been planning for almost two years to come and visit me in the Philippines. I wouldn't say we don't have arguments or misunderstanding, of course we have those so called "Lovers Quarrel".But it doesn't stop us to make our relationship blossoms everyday. Alas, the day came when he called me that he was in Manila International Airport.And he's expecting me to be in the airport to met him. But before that, the night before he will arrived in the Philippine, I can't really sleep at all. I was so nervous that I can't even try myself to be sleepy.My family knew that I was nervous and even teased me about me not sleeping the following day that I went to the table and eat together with them. Hmmmmm, I was having my class when the plane he was boarding arrived in Tagbilaran City Airport.The Philippines-Airline arrived at 4:00 in the afternoon. Guess what I'm wearing?wow, my school uniform.I was with my mother and my uncle. They are more anxious to see Tony than me. I was just afraid you know if we realized that we really don't love each other when we met in person. I was actually hiding behind those people who were also waiting for their love ones to come out from the airplane.We agreed the day before he had his trip to the Philippines that he will be wearing the shirt that I sent to him so It will be easy for me to recognized him.But it turns out that he was wearing the shirt during his trip but decided to change as soon as he arrived in Manila.It was very exciting,nervous moments of my life. At last, my mother saw him and gave him a wave and then he saw my mom and uncle too and he was walking/running to met them.He was busy asking them if where is Geraldine and then my mom point the direction where I was standing and I was holding my breath.My knees were shaking (ha ha)....My hearts beating fast, I can feel that i was blushing when he turns and run towards me.I felt that everything in our surrounding came to a halt,basta palamoot gyud. Oh to my surprised he hug and kiss me, well, you know what?i was shy to do that not because I don't love him but because I was afraid my mom will get mad at me if i do the same gesture. Likewise, the peoples attention was with us so that's the other thing that I was shy about.My uncle was looking for a taxi but he can't find one so we decided to ride a tricycle.Wow, while riding a tricycle, he was trying to break the silence by holding my hands and asking me to talk with him. I was really silent and I just gave him a smile, I can't talked I was tongue -tied.After we arrived in the hotel we decided to go to the restaurant of my Uncle and eat there.I introduce Tony to the employees there and decided to visit my Mom's office because they also knew that my boyfriend arrived. He stay in the Philippines for three weeks.And during those times we realized that we really love each other and he brought a ring to me.He proposed to me on the hotel and we are the only one who knew that we are engaged with each other. We were thinking that It was not the right time yet to tell my parents about the ring.We simply tell them that it was his gift for me.He also brought gifts for my family. I visited him everyday at the hotel and he went with me to my school and waited for me outside my class room. Most of my classmates knew him and even my teachers knew him. He was also able to attend when I defend my thesis.They were amazed with our love story.But the time is running out, and the days seems fast approaching for him to go back to Texas.Wow, the night before he go back to the states was so emotional, we were crying with each other, he doesn't want to leave me but he needs too or else he will be put to jail if he over stay. But he told me, you have the ring already and as long as you have that ring remember that I will be back to get you. He went back to the states and everything seems falling apart.I can't concentrate on my studies and part-time work.I was sad and I was missing his presence.But then we chat online again, exchanging emails everyday, talking on the phone almost everyday and assuring each other that we will always be faithful and promised to communicate more. He was planning to visit again by middle of 2005 but then his Mom passed away.He was depressed and very sad.I know he needs me to be there for him but I can't we are too far from each other. I don't have the capacity to go and visit him in the US. I am glad that even if we were just chatting and talking on the phone at least he was able to know that eventually he will be reunited with his Mom in the future. We then plan to process our papers. We start to fill up some forms for our K1 Visa papers.Wow, it was hard, we are just researching all the things that we do online because it's very expensive to hire an immigration lawyer.But we are glad that everything went well. During that time I was still studying and waiting for the papers to be approved. I graduate with my degree in Commerce major in Banking and Finance last March of this year. I received my appointment letter from the US Embassy in Manila around July. We were excited but we are also nervous on what is the outcome of the interview. I was schedule to have my medical examination last August 22, 2006 and my visa interview will be last August 29, 2006. I have to stay in Manila for a week but we stay there for 10 days. I need to have a chaperon with me so my Uncle Harold was there to help me. We both are not familiar with Manila.But thanks to a friend of my Uncle and my best friend who help us with our stay there. It was very hard you know, honestly I don't like big cities especially when I really don't know the place at all.But we have to deal with it,I need to be there. But we always chat with my boyfriend and talk on the phone and report my whereabouts while i stay in Manila. We arrived in Manila via Cebu Pacific last August 21, 2006 and ride a taxi to go to Kuya Mike's house. We stay there for awhile and I was able to met my best friend Jhema again since she also stay there in Manila. I stay at Jhema's house while my Uncle stay at his friend's house. August 22, was my big day for my medical examination.Wow,we have to wake up very early in the morning so we will be the first to be accommodated when we arrived in Saint Luke's Medical Clinic.My medical examination was hilarious but it's needed so no question on their policy.I am very happy that I don't have problem with my health and everything. My visa interview date arrives and we wake up very early again and I was the only one who can go inside the embassy minus my Uncle.A lot of people were there also, those people were also scheduled to be interview on that day. In my heart and in my mind I was praying all the time I was there.I had everything needed to me. I also needed to wear a formal attire and bring all the stuffs and the documents that prove that our relationship our genuine and not an arranged marriage or something. I had my appointment at 6:30 A.M. in the morning. My number was called and I have to go and met the consul.He was a white American guy around his 30's .He just ask me about 5 questions which I fluently answer it. He was very amazed with our love story too.He told me to wait again for my number to be called again.Then my number was called, I was very nervous because this will be the last window i need to go so I will know if I passed the visa interview or were denied.Guess what the lady say?Just pay this amount to Delbros Inc so your visa will be delivered.Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I was so happy, i was smiling while walking towards the window to were i pay for the delivery of my visa. I paid for the delivery and was excited to call Tony and informed him about the interview.I went outside and my Uncle was there making signals if I passed or was denied. I gave him an approved sign as he was very happy too. I decided to call Tony, he was very surprised because we didn't expect to get a visa and be approved. We were very happy and told me that he wanted to chat with me online. I go to Bohol and stay there for awhile and work too while waiting for the visa to be delivered. It was delivered last September 4, 2006. By that time, Tony was also preparing for his trip to the Philippines. He was scheduled to arrived in the Philippines last October 4, 2006.I was very excited to met him again and for sure this time we will have each other always. I was patiently waiting for him to arrived in the Tagbilaran City airport. My mother and my uncle was there again. We see each other and this time I was not shy to hug him back. He stay in Metro Center for 3 days and we leave Bohol by October 7, 2006.But we had our farewell party last October 6, 2006. We arrived in El Paso, Texas last October 8, 2006. "Ending of the first part of our " Love Story" More to come!!!!

Fast Forward and December is almost Here!

It feels so good to be back on my blog. I haven't really had the time to update my blogs since January because I have been quite busy. T...