IMG_7285

Well, that year went by quickly, didn’t it? Which won’t be the case for this upcoming blog post. It will be looooong because I’m going to compound a “what-the-heck-I’ve-been-up-to” post and a “thank-you-2015” post. ‘Won’t blame you if you don’t stick around though, haha! No hard feelings!

Ok. So I haven’t been back to the blog since the beginning of December, which is by my standards a mortal sin. But the fact is, I just couldn’t manage to blog during the holidays.

Yesterday, I was at a meeting with my very good friends and fellow bloggers Frances and Ginger, and I admitted that I had let my blogging fall by the wayside this year. Make that blogging and work, since my work comes from my being a blogger. After a slew of teaching stints, workshops, collaborations and gatherings this mid- to late 2015, I was officially tired. That, and I was also completely rapt in motherhood and making a home.

It’s been a rough last part of 2015. Midway through the year (around July, I think), I started to feel different about everything: family, work, blogging, connecting. A lot of it had to two with being a mom of two, which is something I thought I could manage but clearly I could not, even if I tried to make things work. I discovered that my baby is a high-need child, which caught me completely off guard and sent me from a semi-type A-put-together personality into a hapless wreck. Seriously, everything pretty much got sidetracked because I couldn’t handle everything. It reached a point where I wasn’t delivering the results I should have for my clients, because I was trying to motherhood and work, well, work out.

IMG_7350

This year was an adjustment for me. I was humbled to the core by things not going the way I planned, by people losing their faith in me because I had let things go, by family situations that were beyond mine or Ton’s control.

*Takes a deep breath* It’s tiring just remembering it all!

Remember how I had great plans for 2015? How launching the Blissmakerie in late 2014 was so exciting? How building up the blog community would mean more opportunities for Make it Blissful to grow and touch others? Well, it all had to take a back seat to my biggest project, of course: my kids and my husband.

2015 was the year I wasn’t the blogger. I was MOM. Not mom blogger! Just “mom.” I can’t tell you how many days I lived (and still do) in yesterday’s house clothes or stretchy pants. I must have missed out on more toothbrushes and long showers than I ever have in my entire life. I learned how to write client projects and blog posts on my mobile phone, with a nursing baby on one arm (whose little frisky fat fingers would fiddle with my nipples). I lived in nursing clothes (thanks, Elin.ph!) and I maybe hit the salon twice in a span of ten months. I haven’t had a proper facial, body scrub, heck even a shower that’s lasted more than five minutes. On days when I can, I get a home service massage by my mom’s very able masseuse, and each time I do I need to tune out the baby’s cries for me with some spa music streaming from Spotify.

Goodbye, old home and blissful workspace! I still haven't set up my new one, huhu!
Goodbye, old home and blissful workspace! I still haven’t set up my new one, huhu!

Somehow I managed to shop for gifts for my immediate family, wrap them, even set up our Christmas tree. Prior to that, Ton and I managed to move out of our flat of five years into a new (though temporary) home, here in my family’s compound. It was a move prompted by common sense more than anything: My husband had force-resigned from his work at home job of eight years, and we would be a one-income household now. Paying rent didn’t make sense anymore! We had to act fast, think practically, live on less while setting up a small business we’d been wanting to launch this year but hadn’t. And so, the end of October/early November saw the launch of my husband’s new cold brew coffee business, Shophouse Coffee. Every time I think of Shophouse, I think about what pushed us to start it and I feel humbled, too. More than practicality, starting a business meant starting something from the ground up and making it thrive — nothing easy about this at all!

 

IMG_6954

Shophouse Coffee Co. is my husband’s new business. Please support it!

New, clingy but super cute and chubby baby. Two-kid situation. Unable to work efficiently for a straight hour. Unhappy clients. Sick days. Husband who lost job. Moving homes. A new business still finding its way. And peppered over all that, blog events, gatherings and workshops that I produced, one-on-one blog clients I mentored.

When I look back and reflect on all these — the things that made up my 2015 — I feel exhausted. I am also happy, but mostly humbled, sometimes sad, and always tired! The apparent setbacks, however, I’ve come to see as lessons: difficult ones, yes, but they have pruned me and have changed me for the better. I may not have fulfilled my intended projects and plans for 2015, but I gained experience through failures, obstacles, and trials of faith.

I still hold 2015 as one of my best years, even though it was filled with adjustments and changes, even losses and regrets. I needed them, even if I don’t understand why they had to happen. I’ll just begin again in 2016, right? New year, new hope. (Sorry for the Star Wars reference, haha! And yay, I got to watch the movie even if I paid for Krista’s ticket, hahaha!)

IMG_6913

Vito turned 6 and we had a Marvel-themed party, just a week into moving to our new home.

I’ll write again about 2016’s plans and intentions, but I just had to give you an update on what’s been going on. You can be sure I’ll write what I’ve been learning lately, especially about the move, the new business, the new things in store for the blog. Until then, I just wanted to wish you a happy Christmas and new year! (Yes, for Catholics like me, Christmas season is until Candlemas on February 2! I’m keeping my tree up, lol!)

I want to say a huge thank you to all of you who read the blog, attend the workshops, post to our #makeitblissful community on Instagram, leave comments after blog posts, write in emails of encouragement and thanks… You really are the best, and I am blessed over and over because of you.

I wanna thank those who make MiB possible: The Blissmakers who contribute articles here; my assistant Rikka, who makes sure the Facebook page is running smoothly; my tech partners Jenn and Marge, whom I can always go to for help when the site freaks out; Pat, my collaborator and partner at work; all the collaborators this year who partnered with the Blissmakerie events; the #makeitblissful_Mods, who moderate and curate the content for our Instagram community.

We had a great 2015. Happy old year!

Here’s hoping 2016 will show us new things, new friendships, new collaborations and communities! Happy New Year!

“Behold, I make all things new.” 

IMG_7284