and oh, i'm alive.

life is all about decisions, not choices.

Blog and about.
Hey, I moved blogs. You can click here to go to my new web home. :)

NZ, how I adore thee.
I'm in love with New Zealand as much as with my boyfriend. Big call. :)

It's two weeks before our big South Island trip. Starting on Good Friday, we are going to travel around Christchurch, Kaikoura, Picton, Nelson, Hanmar Springs, Franz Josef, Queenstown, and Dunedin for a week. Our friends are doing the Otago trail for another week but we are going back earlier as I don't have enough leave credits yet.

I was hoping to get a nice camera to capture how beautiful this country is. But we bought flights to Fiji instead. We couldn't resist it. It's on sale. Fiji to New Zealand is like the Philippines' Boracay. Except it's another country. It's not that we don't fare well on the beach department. Long Bay, for example, is just a good ten minutes away and it's quite popular for family picnics. You should try New Zealand beaches. It's beautiful and breath-taking. In fact, try everything New Zealand. I'm very much fascinated by this country. Every little corner seems magical. I am looking forward to getting to know it better too.

Hello. I thought I'd stop by tonight. Like a friend trying to reconnect/rekindle old flames after realizing how great it feels to hang out, to let your hair down, to express what you feel and not be judged. I am happy. But often I get a nagging feeling I don't belong here. My feet is itching to go. But my hear says stay. It's forever hopeful. I'm confused.

How did your weekend go?

I don't know if it happens in your workplace but in mine, every Friday, drinks are served at 4:30 pm. There are a variety of drinks. Beer, wine, ginger beer, cider, carbonated drinks, juice, and other beverages. Of course we've got chips and nibbles too. I shall remember to take a photo one of these days so you can literally picture it out. So anyway, every Friday people get together and the usual question is, "What are you doing for the weekend?" Now, my boyfriend's friends who have kindly adopted me usually get together on weekends and have a house party somewhere. But not this weekend. This weekend was all about staycation. So it makes sense that my answer was, "We're going to have a quiet weekend."

Disclaimer: There shall be no photos of this weekend though as my phone is dead and my cable is at work.

So anyway, how do quiet weekends go with me and my awesome boyfriend? For starters, last Friday we went to watch Underworld (the 4th and latest of the series) in 3D as we got a movie voucher that we have been forever planning to use. Now, this movie is a good watch if you are the action flick kind. Not me though. So as much as I enjoyed my boyfriend's company the movie was so-so.

Saturday was supposed to be the day the "weather bomb" will hit Auckland. The weather was a bit bipolar that day. Sudden heavy downpour of rain and then sunshine and then repeat sequence but add varying degrees of wind. I drove all the way to Manly in that weather to see my GP (general practitioner doctor) who had not-so-good-news about increasing my medication by 25 micrograms. But he did sign my medical health certificate so I guess I'm still a fully functioning individual. Anyway, when I got home, we decided to go grocery shopping. I like grocery shopping it's as therapeutic as leisure shopping except you're meant to buy things you'll consume so it's more fulfilling. Then we decided to do a bit of biking and then played games on our PS3 until sleep time. My favorite games are: Modnation Racers and Little Big Planet 2. Let it be known that this is the first time I touched the controllers since we moved to this house.

Then Sunday came. I make it a point to go to church on Sundays. I'm happy to report that I've gone to church for the past five consecutive Sundays. After mass, I always feel light and happy so I bake or cook. Today I baked a banana cake which my boyfriend said was an effort that paid off. His mum gave me a cookbook last Christmas so I've been trying to make stuff. Anyway, while I was cleaning, I didn't realize that I cut myself and smeared blood in the cupboard. How gross. For the rest of the afternoon, we went biking again and did a beach walk at Takapuna. Mark thought I deserved an ice cream so I got the chocolate with honeycomb ice cream at a quaint little cafe where one scoop costs $4.50. Now the thing with spending money here is to never give in to the temptation of converting currencies as you'd end up feeling like you've been ripped off. 

To cap off, I had a great weekend but if someone asks me tomorrow, I probably won't go into so much detail and just say it was a good one. There should be more staycation weekends like this.

Trust Issues.
A couple of weeks ago, we received three great news in one day: his brother was buying a house, a cousin was pregnant and a friend had sent us a Facebook invite for a beach dinner to reveal good news which turns out to be another baby on the way. (Boy, the storks must be pretty busy these days given that my Facebook friends' updates are full of pregnancies and newborns.) So anyway, that lead me to thinking...where do we (as in my boyfriend and I) stand in the grand scheme of things? I panicked as I realized we were just stagnant. I also got overwhelmed by the fact that the people we love are moving on. Our lives are pretty much occupied with travels, careers, saving up for a house and then the daily grind but those are all routine. No Facebook-status-worthy-otherwise-known-as-epic-happening in our end. And so, as has always been my inherent response in what my mind construes as a fight-or-flight situation: I opted for flight. I tried to run away from a great relationship. I am deluded. Leaving is not and never will be an option.

A week ago, we bought my first bike. It's a second-hand purple road bike. If you don't know yet, I have no hand-eye coordination so I have never learned how to ride one until my boyfriend came into my life. Now, I can go up our driveway and go around in an unfinished street near our house. I now know how to ride a bike but every time I start biking around well, alarm bells start ringing in my head and I panic. And then I stop pedaling.

Now how do these two events correlate? Plain and simple. I am paranoid that when everything is going smoothly in my life something bad is bound to happen and I just panic. Never mind that I'm enjoying the bike ride and that I'm about to go to my destination, I still think I'd end up in the ground hurting myself. I discount the fact that I'm wearing a helmet and that I have a biking partner.

I love Mark. He knows that. But I have my demons and they come out and haunt me at times when I least expect them to. I'm just grateful that he is ever steadfast. He understands that I have trust issues and I'm just learning how to be happy. I know one day we'll get there though. If only I could teach myself overnight how to let go of my inhibitions, to get rid of my insecurities, to appreciate what I have. But like everything else, it's a process.

There was red.

February 14. I went home to a room full of 99 red balloons. He blew this up himself as the pump we had wasn't working properly. I was quite pleasantly surprised. To his credit, this is not the first time that he has done a sweet gesture. I can recall three other instances when I walked into our room to find treats like heart chocolates, bags of sour worms (this happens to be my favorite lollies) and a cow notepad (I happen to collect cow stuff: we've got a faux cow hide carpet, cow tic-tac-toe, and a cow picture frame in our house).

You know you've got a keeper when despite of the out-of-this-world-and-very-embarassing tantrums, he's still standing close.

I love you hunny. You are the BEST.

So Japanice.
We used to go to this Japanese food place every Sunday before we started flatting. It's a small restaurant in Orewa called Hayami which is oddly run by Koreans. Everytime we're there, we get warm greetings from the owner. One time, we even got free drinks. The food is so delicious that the other Japanese places pale in comparison. :)

Mark and his chicken katsu (with my chicken lunch box in front of him)

I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing here.

So anyway, today was the first Sunday that we've been back in ages. The food is still divine. The staff are still friendly. This is our Valentine's date since I have to do volunteer work on Tuesday nights and I had a no celebrating V-day rule for this year. :)

Moon light.

Today we jogged around the neighborhood after I went home from my volunteer work. Yes, I'm a volunteer and I do this once a week because I thought it would be nice to give back to the community. But that merits another blog entry so... anyway, THE jog. The boyfriend and I are planning to join a fun run next month so we're doing some preparations for it. (And I'm also planning to walk to work before the fun run).

Anyway, we saw a very pretty sight with the moon casting a shadow on the sea. It was eery and magical at the same time. He only had his phone camera with him so this is the only photo we have:

The photo doesn't give it much justice but you get the gist though. The moon was completely mesmerizing. Apparently my friend also took a photo.

Saturdate. As you do.
This has been the first weekend we spent in Auckland (at home) since we came back from our trip. I decided we should do something we've never done before so today we went to Museum of Transport and Technology.

It was interesting. There were heaps of interactive displays and you get to play with shadows, lights, sounds (no photos as we have a crappy camera that can't take indoor/dark lighting).

This is my boyfriend happily posing in the stock.

That's me checking the last tram.

Him pretending to be an airplane in a mega display of planes.

Then we played chess and I felt triumphant because my first move was victorious!

But he ended up winning in the end.
On our way to MOTAT (because we parked outside the zoo), we passed by Western Springs Park and were delighted to find ducks, swans, pukekohes, gulls, and even eels. There were heaps of families feeding the birds too. I took a mental note to go back to this park and get on with my biking skills.

It wasn't afraid of me.

Ducks! (And my gwapo boyfriend.)

Over all, it was a lovely day. Better than spending it indoors like we usually do. I love my adopted country.

They do.
I have been to 10 weddings. TEN. And I think we covered most places too: forest, beach, cliff (shore), church, garden, house/mansion. When it's my turn, I think it's going to be so hard to choose.

Anyway, I think my favorite is my brother's. In my unbiased opinion. There were more than 230 people but they've managed to keep it organized. :)

Watch their same day edit here:


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