Archive | November 2015

Us

“But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”- Joshua 24:15

I got pregnant before Jay and I got married. This may be common nowadays, but for us, it was our downfall as children of Christ. We felt that we have betrayed God, our parents, our families and friend. And, I will not advise this course of action to other single, young adults, especially Christians. Please, strive to overcome the desires of the flesh and lust.

Allow me to refer to my pregnancy as “our pregnancy” because in reality, it was. I didn’t bear the burden of pregnancy alone, my husband stayed with me from the beginning to the end.

Our first trimester was very painful,stressful and toxic. We were afraid of everything and everyone. We felt that we are unworthy of God’s grace and love. We struggled and for many, many times, I hurt my husband – verbally and emotionally. As a child of God, it was unbecoming and not right. Instead of seeking His forgiveness and guidance, I started to be angry and bitter. Our relationship suffered. I pushed my husband (boyfriend,back then) away and hurt him in ways he doesn’t deserve.

But, God’s love and grace prevailed. When I felt like I can’t take it anymore, I opened up to my Mommy (she’s actually my mother’s sister-in-law) but I lived with them. And God bless them more, I never heard nor felt any anger, “sumbat” or whatsoever from their family. Mommy and Daddy accepted me and Jay, with their constant prayer and guidance.

Next came the part of telling our parents. Since Mama and Papa has long been pushing me to settle down and have a family, the thought of having their grandchild superseded the fact that I got pregnant outside of marriage. They trusted Jay and knew that he will own up and be responsible. Among the three boyfriends I have introduced to my family, he was the only one who received my father’s approval and blessing. Yes, they click together. And yes, my father adored him. Sometimes, I even wonder if he love his son-in-law more than his own daughter. In so many ways, Jay became the son my parents wished but never had.

From his side, I was welcomed with open arms. My parents-in-law allowed us to live with them while we are still on the process of preparing and building our own home. I am blessed with supportive siblings-in-law.

Our civil wedding was witnessed by a small group of family and friends. It was intimate, the way we wanted it to be. The most important message to us that day was “When you feel like giving up and leaving your marriage, remember why you get married in the first place. It is because you love each other and wanted to spend the rest of your life together. In tough times, remember the love that you share. Think of the smiles, the laughter and the giggles that you have together. Remember that God loves you.”

I was seven months when we got married but my pregnancy was not easy. I had the morning sickness until the day I delivered Cloud. It should not be called morning sickness because it last all day long. The hormonal change was also nerve wrecking. There were times when I wanted to took Jay’s head out for no valid reason at all. It was crazy like that.

It was on the 13th of December 2014 when I gave birth to Cloud Emmanuel via normal delivery. It was a fourteen hour long labor, I wanted to give up. But during those times, I simply closed my eyes and pray, seeking God’s grace and mercy for the sins that we had made. And when he came out, I knew that he is not a mistake. The way he was conceived was, but not him. He is God’s vessel of redemption to us.

Each time we hold our baby, we remembered the sins we made and how God has forgiven us. Each time we kiss him, we offer a silent prayer of thanksgiving for blessing we know we don’t deserve. And each time we hug him tight, God’s favor in our family is affirmed. For this little child of ours is a beautiful reminder that God will never forsake His beloved children

This is our family’s story. It is not perfect nor exemplary. But we know that there are lessons others can learn from us.

Me and my husband, Jay with our bundle of joy, Cloud Emmanuel.

Me and my husband, Jay with our bundle of joy, Cloud Emmanuel.

Advertisements

Silver Lining Success

You will never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.

Life was not easy for Maria Lourdes Alquiros, more popularly known in the cloth diapering community as “Mommy Din” of D’Snugglebunz. She’s one of the five children in the family and life had not been easy for them, yet their parents strived to provide everything they need. As most young people are, Mommy Dinz got giddy and exhilarated with the freedom that comes during adolescence. She admitted making decisions that she thought was wrong, but later on will actually steer the direction of her career to entrepreneurship.

She took up Bachelor of Science in Accountancy but was unable to take the board exam since she got married and pregnant with her first baby. At the age of twenty, Mommy Din became a Mom to her beautiful baby girl. But married life wasn’t easy for the couple. Since they were both young and unemployed, they became dependent to their parents for all their growing family’s needs.

Seven years after their marriage, the couple decided to go their separate ways for reasons Mommy Din decided to kept to herself. She knew that being a single mother will not be easy, but nothing can rattle a persevering, loving and faithful heart. She knew that she had to double her effort and her skills to provide for her kid’s needs.

After several years, she tried opening her heart again. This time, to a foreigner. She hoped and prayed that love will be sweeter for her this time. But alas! God has better plans for her. The relationship gave her a different love and heart. Her relationship with the foreigner didn’t prosper, but it’s single fruit was more than what Mommy Din could ask for – her second baby.

At the age of thirty six, she felt disappointment and lack of self value eating her system. That’s when she tried to take a leap of faith in sewing handmade fitted diapers. Initially, she was a reseller of china made nappies but her love of country (which is inherent to almost every Filipino, except the soulless politicians and businessmen of this country. Out of topic but I just need to say it.) pushed her to explore and enhance her talent in sewing hybrid fitted cloth diapers.

She knew it was a risk, given that her business, D’Snugglebunz is online, but it’s a risk she decided to take. Her first stocking last August 2015 was a big hit in the local cloth diapering community. Her workmanship and business professionalism is at par. Despite the initial success, she admitted that she is still on the process of improving and developing her craftsmanship, dependent mostly on the criticisms and feedbacks provided by her clients. This, coupled by her desire to have Hybrid Fitteds for her own baby, keeps her passionate on improving the products of D’Snugglebunz.

When it comes to dealing with clients, Mommy Din is more lenient, she allows flexibility on reservation and payment terms. I surely hope that buyers won’t take advantage of this since that would be so unfair to her.

As of the moment, her plans include coping up with the current demand of HF cloth diapers from the mommies who trusted her and preferably in the near future, more options for Snuggle mommies.

Mommy Din’s story is a beautiful reminder that life is a product of the choices that we made. We always have the choice, to move forward or remain stagnant. Success doesn’t really come to those who wait for it, success comes to those who make it happen. With every struggle, remember that the reward will always be bigger.

With every downfall, there is always the choice to stand up and move forward.

And when every failure, there is always the silver lining of success, beckoning to those who dare reach it.

Passion to Action

“CEO Emporium”.

In the baby wearing community in the Philippines, this shop name is synonymous to availability of recommended, ergonomic baby carriers. I am an avid fan, since this shop enabled my dream of having a Tula carrier come true. It is a shop that is highly recommended by almost every baby wearing mother to fellow mommies who want to avail the right carrier for their little one.

I have the privilege of personally getting to know the woman behind the success of CEO Emporium, mainly because in my excitement to have our first Tula, I refused to have it shipped and opted to pick it up at their office/shop. That’s when I met her and the feeling was so exalting.It was like having a real life fairy godmother who granted my wish.

CEO Emporium is owned and managed by “mompreneur” Ms. Candy Oanes. She is married, with two handsome children, of ages 2 and 5. Academically speaking, she was an “Iskolar ng Bayan” with a degree in Chemical Engineering. She used to work as a proposal engineer at Emerson but is now a full time mompreneur.

The decision to leave the corporate world happened when she gave birth to her eldest way back in 2010. The decision was fuelled by her desire to focus on child rearing and giving her child undivided attention and care.

Her medical condition,scoliosis,ignited her desire to search for the best baby carrier when she had her second child. This quest led her to Tula Baby Carriers. She had firsthand experience on the comfort and convenience that Tula Baby Carriers can provide, thus she made the decision to share that experience with fellow baby wearers in the country. As she had grown to love the product, she had decided that such kind of love should be shared. Thus, aside from the other products being sold by CEO Emporium in 2012, Tula Baby Carriers was added to their products.

Mommy Candy’s passion about baby wearing and “Tula Love” can be felt by her clients when they deal with her. I have already purchased from her twice (oooops! don’t be quick to judge, I bought one for myself and the other one for a friend). She would patiently answer all the inquiries, starting from the kind of print, the canvas of the carrier, the price, how to use it, even providing tips on how to take care of the carrier. Further, to ensure that the baby wearers can avail of the carrier despite its cost, Mommy Candy allows lay away plans.

When asked about her advise to parents that are planning to venture into entrepreneurship, she had this to say, “Just do what you love and be original – this is important. People will appreciate you more if they can sense your sincerity, integrity and dedication. Do it not because of the money, do it because of your passion.”

No business is not without “down side”. Since Mommy Candy basically do everything for the business, she sometimes feel burner out and exhausted. She sometimes feel the occasional guilt of not being able to spend more time with her children because the business is expanding, with CEO now selling not just Tula Baby Carriers but also other international baby carrier products.

Mommy Candy remains positive though. CEO Emporium allows her to have more flexibility in time, unlike being in the office for eight (8) hours. The business also allows here to share her advocacy with other mothers. The joy that both parents and babies experience when they baby wear is priceless, and for Mommy Candy, it is not just about earning extra money, it is about making families happy.

When asked if she could “pay it forward” and she will be given the opportunity to give a carrier for free, she would gladly give it to a parent with a child who has special needs.

One thing I realize from Mommy Candy was that when you are passionate with what you do, it doesn’t matter if it’s hard or easy, as long as your heart is in it, passion is transformed into action.

The fairy god mother of Tula mommies in the Philippines :)

The fairy god mother of Tula mommies in the Philippines 🙂