Life as it happens. Time as it passes.

Our Love Story

XXIX

Try looking for a full bundle of yellow pad. Divide it length-wise into two. On the left, try writing down all of what you need or want in life. On the right, try writing down all of the things you can be thankful of.

Now, before you do this, start on the rightside first.

You’ll find out that not only will the list of thanksgivings outnumber the list of wants and needs, but you’ll also learn that the more things you are thankful to God for, the less you think of the things you would want to ask of Him.

And at some point of your growth in life, you might see yourself just writing on the right-side of the paper.

I know this to be true.

For indeed God has been so good to me and my family. He has blessed me despite my unworthiness. He has blessed me more than I can even imagine. And he has blessed me, to teach me that nothing can replace the success that comes by way of humility and submission, especially to His will for our lives.

I thank the Lord for all of the things that He has given me. Looking back at the last 29 years, I know for a fact that He has not, does not, and will not ever fail, just as I know for a fact that many times I have done so to Him. And yet He’s been and will always be faithful to me.

This day marks the 29th time the Lord has seen fit to lend me this gift of life, and all the blessings and challenges that come with it. By His grace, I’ll try and do my best to make each day lent to me to count for Him.

And to all the people God used to be a channel of blessing to me–my wife, daughter, my parents, my Senior Pastor and father in the faith, my fellow-laborers in the full-time staff, church family, closest friends, acquaintances, students, and every one else I had the chance of meeting–thank you all for being a part of my life, some in small ways, and some in very big ways. Surely, I will not be who I am because of God and all of you.

My prayer is that God would continue to give me a teachable and pliant heart and spirit, that I may continue to grow more and become a better person. Like every one else, I am still a project of God under construction. And I am enjoying every moment of Him teaching me His Word, will and way in my life.

I always say this, “If ever you still wake up today, that only means God isn’t finished with you yet, and the best has yet to come for you!”

God bless you guys!

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February Project: Blog Under Construction (sorry for inconvenience)

After 409 posts, 379 comments, and 36,444 views, I think it’s about time for a much needed “refresh.”

We’re undertaking a much-needed, and long overdue reconstruction and reformatting of our blog. This is to ensure we get to provide you and so many other readers who frequent this blog with more relevant information, inspiring stories, thought-provoking opinions, and heart-warming spiels.

I know, this will be a long and taxing process. This will mean we’re setting up new categories, new pages, and new tags to make our posts more organized and reader-friendly. Expect also that we will be setting up a schedule of posts according to categories. That means, we’re setting aside one day a week for a given topic (e.g. jokes on Mondays, sports news on Tuesdays, opinions on Fridays, etc.). We might change our blog theme as well, even the blog site’s name, to complete the whole project of putting up a new look to our blog.

This project might take up an entire month of adjustments and reconstruction, so please bear with us for a while.

Thanks for your continued viewership of this blog.


Blogging In For 2011

Belated Happy New Year Everyone!

Yeah, I know, I know–there’s not much to expect from a greeting ten days behind schedule. I was actually thinking if it was a good idea to open 2011 with a delayed greeting… and to end it with an exclamation point at that! Isn’t that tantamount to adding insult to injury?

What’s even worse is that I skipped sooooo many stories that I should have pleasured you to read for the remaining days of 2010. There’s a 23-day gap between this entry and the last blog I posted–and coming to think about it, I find it utterly impossible to connect the last entry of 2010 and this first salvo of 2011. This is one of the very rare moments when I mean it when I say “I hope you’d understand.”

Just so you know, the last time I blogged, Cess and I haven’t celebrated our 1st year anniversary as husband and wife, Chelsey hasn’t been dedicated to the Lord, we haven’t had our church camp in Bataan, and I haven’t won a TV yet in our staff raffle.

That and so many others that’s just difficult to summarize here.

Will you accept a sorry for this irresponsibility?

Oh, I know you would, as you’ve always done so for the last year and 9 months of this blog. And for that I thank all of you for being my avid readers. More particularly, I’d like to thank the four people who went out of their way last December 31 to view the blog–the fewest in any given day since the blog was born March of 2009. I blame it on the fireworks.

At least, and at last, I’m back from a 23-day hiatus. I also figured out that the month of January has a similar pattern each year–hectic, toxic and erratic. But after a couple of weeks, we’ll be fine and back to normal. That means, we’re back in business finally for the new year. That also means, TULOY ANG LIGAYA! Hopefully, 2011 has a lot more in store for all of us to share and talk about here at RC and Cess. Soon, you’ll be hearing more stories about the newest member of the family, Chelsey. We’ll get you also updated on the latest in the NBA, and as always, the countdown to March, the best month for both me and this blog.

You’ll be hearing more from me soon.


Chelsey Grace: Indelible Images

I’m fond of imagining the future. That’s probably because I’m also fond of looking back to the past. And the past is best served in indelible images.

Someday, when I’m all worn out, wearied and weak as an old man, I’ll get the chance to look back to this one particular moment–the birth of Chelsey–and reminisce how God has been gracious and kind to me for lending me the heritage of life.

As always the detail checker, I profiled my daughter’s features already, and I found out that Chelsey got my eyes, ears, and nose. As for the part that Cess shared, Chelsey got her mom’s lips and hairy features. Since the parents are both fairskinned, Chelsey’s skin has that pinkish glow.

As a new dad, I’m slowly learning the tricks, and in some ways the travails, of fatherhood (the work of the mom is a given, and for that I appreciate my Princess for gladly embracing and performing her new found role as a nursing mother). A lot of dads in the church gave me a heads-up about becoming part of the “sleepless nights club,” and my baptism of fire came exactly on the first night that we were out of the hospital and staying at our house. I would wake up every 20 minutes, mostly because of Chelsey’s baby cries, but at other times just to watch my precious child sleep peacefully. It’s been three days now since I became an official father, and I haven’t had a decent sleep in as much days. Fret not, my friends. I can live with that.

I still get paranoid at times–when Chelsey cries and I don’t have a single clue why, or whenever I would hold her in my arms, or just about every time I’m near her. I often find myself calling Cess to see if I’m doing things right. My wife will always dismiss my paranoia with a kiss to cheek, and the ever-assuring statement “Yes ga, tama yan!”

I’m right now blogging at the bus, going to Subic for a staff outing and meeting. Cess was supposed to be in this trip, had she not given birth 17 days ahead. But 34 days from now, the church will be having its family camp, and by then Cess and Chelsey will be fit enough to join the camp.

By then, I’ll have more indelible images to keep, share, and treasure for the rest of my life.


Chelsey Grace: New Life. New Story

November 13, 2010

2:45PM

As I was taking a bath to prepare for our afternoon visitation in Taguig, Cess calmly knocked at the bathroom door to tell me that some light brownish fluids are starting to trickle down her legs. Since we were told that Cess’ delivery would still be on the 30th, we thought this was just one of those “false alarms.” But at the back of my head I was thinking “did we hear it right, when she said 30th, or it was actually 13th?”

We casually went to Trinity Maternity Clinic at 3:10PM for a precautionary check-up, and to our big surprise Dr. Agnes Dimayuga, Cess’ OB-Gyne, told her that she’s due to deliver “any time soon.” Thinking this wasn’t really “it” yet, we decided to go ahead and have visitation in Taguig. On our way to Taguig, we passed by Powerplant in Rockwell to get some foreign currency exchanged. Cess was feeling some pains already, but after a while it would disappear. After getting our bills exchanged, we decided to go back to the clinic, but not really expecting that she was already about to give birth. Cess even asked me to pass by Jollibee to buy food for both of us.

3:45PM

Around this time, we were already along J.P. Rizal, when Cess asked me to stop by Jollibee to buy her some food. I kept on asking her if she was OK, and she said yes. After parking my car, I went inside the store and left Cess in the car. Upon ordering, the cashier said my order would take 15 more minutes, so I got back to Cess first to check on her. When I checked on her, she was already gripping on to the handles of the door, grimacing in pain. “Ga, masakit na ang balakang ko.”

This was it. *blood pressure rising*

I went back inside the store, cancelled the order, and drove off. I drove as fast as I can, flooring the accelerator from 50 to 90. I had enough time to pass by the house to get the stuff Cess and our baby would be needing for this eventuality, since our house is just 200 meters away from the clinic.

4:30PM

We arrived at the Trinity Maternity Clinic, and about this time, Cess was already in more pain. The nurse who checked her said that the opening was already 5cm, which was only 1cm an hour ago. I found myself multi-tasking between carrying Cess’ things, filling up the paper works, comforting Cess’ while in pain, and texting our friends, church mates and relatives that the baby is on the way.

This is the part where I literally lost track of time. But checking my call log on the phone it was 4:53 that I called my mom to tell her that Cess was in pain already. By this time, it was becoming more unbearable for my wife. Helpless as I was, the only thing I could do was hold Cess’ hand, and assure her that everything will be fine (as if telling her that would take the pain away, right?).

Soon the stretcher came, and Cess was brought to the labor room. This was 5:15PM, 45 minutes after arriving at the hospital. My mom arrived at the hospital at 5:23PM. I next called my sister Kish, who was just coming home from somewhere. I was trying to call everybody else, but the signal started to get choppy in the clinic. After getting things settled, I got to my phone and started texting people that Cess was about to give birth. Ate Yam Abarca, our church orchestra head and my sister arrived at around 6PM.

6:20PM

The nurse told me that we could stay at the room Cess would be staying, Room 214. After 8 minutes, the nurse told me that MY DAUGHTER WAS ALREADY AT THE NICU.

I ran… no wait… flew by the flights of stairs and rushed immediately to the NICU. I buzzed the doorbell, and the frantic attendant greeted me. I told her I was the dad of the new born baby with the surname Cayanan. Since she was attending to two other premature newborns in the NICU, she told me to wait for a while.

After 5 minutes, she pushed the curtains to the left, and carefully pulled a baby crib…

…on which was quietly lying a cute bundle of joy who was just opening her tiny, round eyes, and yawning with those pouty little lips.

That’s my daughter right there.

Chelsey Grace Dizon Cayanan.

Around 7:00PM

Soon the flood of text messages came pouring in. My senior pastor, Dr. Benny Abante, Jr., called me up to congratulate me as the newest member of the dad club. My other wedding godfathers and godmothers called me up and texted me with words of congratulations. Cess’ mom also texted and told me she would be coming over by Monday, as she still has some stuff to finish in Laguna. As soon as I was able to get pictures, I took shots of the beautiful little girl that will light up our house very, very soon. I linked up online and had the first pictures uploaded on Facebook. Dr. Wazzumer, the pediatrician attending to Chelsey, came to our room to formally congratulate me and inform me of Chelsey’s condition. According to Dr. Wazzumer, my baby girl is relatively small in size and weight, as she weighs only 2.5 kilos or 5.5 pounds. But there’s nothing to worry about it, said the doctor, who also told me that Chelsey will be undergoing some blood chemistry tests to check for any pre-existing congenital disorders, which is customary for newborn babies.

9:30PM

Cess was finally brought to her room, after nearly 4 hours of being held in the operating room. Apparently, she had fallen asleep after giving birth. The attending physician informed me that from the time she was brought into the delivery room, to the time she gave birth, it took only 11 minutes for the baby to come out. If the time from which Cess’ pelvic area began to be in pain, to the time the doctor found out the opening was already 5cm were counted, that would be around 56 minutes. In short, the laboring and delivery was no more than an hour, a very quick one, according to the medical staff. Five minutes later, Cess’ relatives Tita Sally, Tita Jinky, Tito Rey, Ysel and one of our young people from church, Dianne, dropped by to visit Cess and look at the baby. Cess recounted what was happening inside the delivery room, while I was narrating the things happening outside. After 15 more minutes of catching up with the delivery story, they went ahead home. My sister also left five before 10, the cut-off time for all visitors.

So, officially, Chelsey Grace Dizon Cayanan was born on November 13, 2010 at 5:31PM, weighing 5.5 pounds.

As of this writing, the newest mother is sweetly sleeping. As for the newest dad, I’m still up and running—probably the effect of the adrenaline rush brought about by the sudden turn of events. I still have yet to settle down and reboot my mind, but I think I have enough grasp of reality to retell you the story of the day. Getting this far with my blog means I’ve got it all kept together—the events, the images, and the emotions of what had just transpired.

I can go on writing and blogging about this story, but believe me, the half has never yet been told. For now, allow me to thank God first for giving Cess a normal delivery, and of course, for giving us the gift of life through a baby girl. Thanks also to all who prayed for Cess and the baby. You’re all too many to mention. Don’t worry. The Lord has a complete listing of all of you who interceded for us. Thank you very much.

To my daughter, welcome to the world, Chelsey Grace!


The Paranoia of Fatherhood 3

The photo to the left was taken by my sister during Cess’ first check-up with the OB-Gyne. I think I got the date wrong, because I found out that Cess was pregnant on my birthday, which was the last day of March. It was probably a week after that Cess got her check-up. So I guess the picture to the left was taken in April. I stand corrected.

The one to the left was taken last Sunday, during our congregation’s baby shower fellowship for Cess and for three other expectant mothers in our congregation (one of them just gave birth, while the other is due for caesarian operation on Sunday). This pic is Cess at 8 months and 5 days into her pregnancy. As of this writing, we’re down to the last 20 days of waiting.

Cess is set to take a maternal leave by next week. If all goes well, Cess might give birth on November 30, or the latest would be December 2. The OB-Gyne is not yet assuring me this will be a normal delivery, despite the fact that Chelsey’s well positioned already. It’s all “wait-and-see” until the natal day arrives for my firstborn daughter.

In case you drop by our house, we already got some baby girl stuff there. Cess and I were at the mall one afternoon, and as I was passing by the toy section, I stopped by the Transformers and the Matchbox section. I looked at the toys and stared them like a kid with bittersweet feelings. And I think I heard a voice in my head whisper, “I won’t be seeing you for quite a while, guys.” And just as I was passing by the Barbie’s and the Hello Kitty’s, I thought I saw one of ’em Barbie’s wink at me and smile back. Paranoia.

Continue to pray for Cess and Chelsey for good health, strength and normal delivery. =)


Love Medley: Guitar Instrumental Trio

(I’m reserving the post on MICA’s performance during the 18th NSC next week, when all the pix from the Convention are all in from the delegates who went there. Also, I can’t post the video of the Scripture Video here yet. It won FIRST PLACE, and is qualified for the ISC next year. Not wanting to pre-empt any outcome by then, the video will be restricted to private viewing only through YouTube. You may leave your e-mails and/or your Youtube user name if you’d like to get exclusive invites to view the vid. More stories about this and the NSC next week. For now, enjoy this appetizer!)

This is a tutorial video I made for the piece entitled “Love Medley” a medley arrangement of the songs “Nothing Can Separate Us From His Love,” “Love Lifted Me,” “Such Love,” “Everlasting Love,” and “The Love of God” for trio guitar rendition. This piece was performed by the Instrumental Trio Guitar contestants of the Metropolitan International Christian Academy for the 18th National Student Convention held at Cagayan De Oro, and they won 2nd place!

Congratulations to Jael Cruz, Dustin Melosantos and Keano Magsombol for bagging 2nd place honors!

TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

 


The Paranoia of Fatherhood 2

O, AYAN DADDY RC… IT’S A GIRL!

That’s how Cess’ OB-Gyne broke the good news of the ultrasound results yesterday afternoon just before 6PM. I was actually there the whole time Cess’ tummy was being examined, but for lack of medical know-how, I couldn’t figure out what was being shown in the ultrasound’s screed. It was only when the doctor explained the details of ultrasound that I figured out that I’ll be having a daughter for a firstborn.

Bittersweet, I should say.

I really was praying for a boy, but I’m very sure God knows what I deserve *grinning*. Just the same, I am all thrilled and excited when SHE finally gets out come November 30, the given due date! Thank you Lord for a baby girl!

So, it’s 99.9% official (according to the doctor). As early as now, my daughter has a name already… CHELSEY GRACE DIZON CAYANAN.

Wow!

Last night, as me and Cess were walking home, we were already talking about things 30 years in advance! I couldn’t believe myself either that I was already looking way, way ahead into the future. I was already imagining how her wedding would look like, or how me and Cess would look like, which college she will be attending, and so on and so forth!

Paranoia to the max!

Oh goodness, I think I should drop it for now, before I get a fibrilation! I’m just so overwhelmed with so many things about this new found joy and challenge all bundled in a soon-to-be baby girl, I have no idea where or how to end this. But thanks to all of you who prayed for our first child. Continue to pray for Cess as she tackles the last 8 weeks of her pregnancy.