Twenty Six

Also known as: Birthday thoughts

So yeah, I just turned 26. Hi.

I think I’ve just encountered my first sign of aging. I’m still exhausted from my get-together with friends last night! Ah. I invited some friends to a karaoke night as we counted down to my birthday, and I’m still exhausted. Or maybe it was because I got buzzed and had only 4 hours of sleep after before I went out again to celebrate with my family. But truth be told (and I know I’m already thinking in advance), I’m thinking maybe next year, instead of partying like that, I’ll probably just spend my birthday out of town. Or maybe even out of the country.

But like I said, that’s thinking too far in advance.

I had a very good 25th year, and I think yesterday capped it off pretty well. Like I’ve been saying, it’s been an interesting year and I will always look back fondly on my quarter year. It wasn’t easy, but it was a pretty good one. :)

I don’t really have too many thoughts about this year. But as last night winded down, I realized that I have also let go of some excess baggage I had from last year. And it feels nice to do that. Despite my exhaustion, I felt lighter. I felt free.

And maybe that’s the best birthday present I could give for myself.

I don’t have very huge wishes for my 26th year unlike last year. I don’t want to pose heavy questions for myself like last year. Not that having those questions weren’t good. This year, I just want to make it a bit simpler. This year, I’m just going to focus on the word I picked: I will LOVE.

That’s it. In my 26th year, I will love. I will learn to love. I will choose to love.

I will live loved because I have a great God. :)

Especially when that great God is a God who paints the skies in your favorite color because of His love. :)

"Because it had to be love that painted this picture." - Stephen Speaks

So hello, twenty six. :)

Stories to Tell

Also known as: An early birthday present :)

Can I pretend just for a moment that this album was released at this month because my birthday is coming soon? You know, an early birthday present?

Stories to Tell by Dave Barnes -- in my iPod :)
Stories to Tell by Dave Barnes -- in my iPod :)

Okay, even if that is not true, I am still going to pretend it is so. Just like how I want to think that The Hunger Games movie is released this month for that same reason too. :P

Anyway, other than Switchfoot, Dave Barnes is probably the other artist that I’ve written on the blog so many times. I discovered Dave through some friends in 2007 while I was on a Matt Wertz streak (who is incidentally, a good friend of Dave, too). It took a while for me to appreciate his music but once I got to listen and appreciate Until You in full, I was absolutely in love. I played his songs over and over and over again, used it as an inspiration for a NaNoWriMo novels and other short stories and just talked about him so much. It’s not the same fan level as other friends do, but if there was any artist that I started auto-buying on iTunes, it’s him.

So, here he is again with another album with a lovely title: Stories to Tell. I am thrilled. Just in time, Dave. Just in time.  You just made my birth month a hundred times awesome-r, and I can’t wait to love this album just as I love the others.

If you haven’t heard him yet, then this is the perfect time to get his latest album, Stories to Tell. He’s amazing, I tell you, and indulge me a bit while I push you his album. :D

The chances of him reading this is low, of course, but Dave if you (or anyone connected to him) read this, then please, please come visit us in the Philippines. :) We’d love to have you here (and I’m pretty sure you’ll love our mangoes, too :D ). :)

There’s life to be lived, and stories to tell, lessons to learn, we don’t know yet.
Nothing to lack looking back knowing that we have lived it well with stories to tell.

Look to the sun

Also known as: My love affair with sunflowers

Sunflower! <3

I can’t remember when it started, really, but I know that I was never one who liked roses. Sure, I didn’t mind receiving them for Valentine’s day, but they were never my favorite flowers.

When I was younger, I thought my favorite flowers were daisies because I love the cheerful yellowness of them. I still like them, of course, but I can’t remember receiving them though. And then I started liking gerberas after a particular week-long trip to a GK site, where I received a pink gerbera before we left. Then there was also that one Valentine’s day when I received a pink one.

But if there was ever, ever one ultimate favorite flower, it would be the sunflower.


I can’t completely explain why. I guess that’s why sometimes favorites are favorites because you can’t explain why you like them so much. Sunflowers cheer me up, be it photos, the real thing or even game characters based on the flower. I love their bright yellow color, their dark centers and how they really look like suns! I love that they can be small or tall. I love that I can eat sunflower seeds, and you can make sunflower oil and that they’re just so darn pretty.

Most of all, I love that these flowers are heliotropic — they follow the sun. I like that idea, of how the leaves and the buds of the flower turn to face the sun as it rises and as it sets. It’s almost like a metaphor: for them it’s a way to life to look to the sun, just like how it is for us to look to the Son. To follow the Son.

I guess that’s the ultimate reason why I love sunflowers. :)

And it also helps that sunflowers provide a way to get rid of zombies that invade your lawn. ;)