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Hello 2009!

4 Jan

Happy New Year to one and all!

And forgive me for being absent for such a long time! In my part of the world, the Christmas season is the biggest feast/festival/fiesta (as the Christmas carols playing on the airwaves as early as September would prove), and the number of parties and reunions and out-of-town trips increase tenfold! So yeah, I was pretty much buried under piles of Christmas lists, then Christmas wrappers and tape, then Christmas parties and reunions–and along with that, Christmas food (which is now safely tucked away in my stomach, thank you very much, BURP!)… and whatever time left over that I’ve been able to grab,  I’ve spent working on a “couple” of things that have to remain a secret right now but which I’ll definitely share with you come mid-January 😉

So… for the meantime, I thought I’d share with you some photographic evidence that I have not been lying around doing nothing but filling my mouth with holiday goodies (uh… more like moving around doing a lot while filling my mouth with holiday goodies, heehee!) 😆

Wrapping Fury

Quick, answer this question: How many Christmas gifts did you wrap? You know? Well, I salute you! I bow to you! Because I can never count the total number of gifts I wrap each year; all I know is that if I seem to disappear for a few weeks during the holiday season, all anyone needs to do is wade through mounds of wrapper and tape and boxes and voila! You’ll find me buried under them, trying to work my way up. 😛

This year, I *did* attempt to count the gifts I wrapped…  at least the ones for my sons’ teachers. I have to confess, though, that I lost count somewhere between 25 and 40. Multiply 4 kids in 4 different levels in 3 different schools, with a different teacher for each subject, then add the teacher aides and security guards, and you have… how many? See what I mean? 😆

So here’s the photo of this year’s bunch of teachers’ gifts:

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And because gifts need a home… in comes the tree! 😀

The Tree Boys

One of the really great things about having five boys is that you eventually get to the point where you can assign certain duties to them, such as putting up the tree! 😀 Every year, we put up the tree on the weekend of December 8th (Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which also means that most schools give the kids the day off… so in our home, that means the kids have the entire day to hang out and put up the Christmas decorations!)

This year we deliberately kept the home decor simple, since we had men working on the annex that we’re attaching to our home (read: breaking down the wall to connect another unit and completely remodeling said unit). The work isn’t done yet, and I think it’s safe to say it’ll take us about 3-6 months to really fix up the unit (we’re changing all the bathrooms, installing blinds in all the rooms, putting in new furniture, etc. etc. etc.–you get the picture. 🙂 ).

So anyway, that explains why the Main Thing this year was our tree!

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There are few things that beat the joy of watching one’s kids help each other trim a tree, don’t you think?

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My eldest helping my youngest… mmmmm! What a lovely thing to watch! 🙂

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S gets a helping hand from R:

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And my little J gets help from his nanny 😀

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We have a tradition of getting each child something of his own to hang on the tree each year. Then when they are old enough to have homes of their own, they’ll have a “starter kit” of their very own decorations to hang on their own Christmas tree, gathered from their very first Christmas from the time they were born.

But there’s one item hanging on the tree that has my name on it: this one! (Gotta love my Starbucks coffee! 😀 )

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So it’s a 16 year old tree, and it’s not 10 feet tall, but it’s been with us from the birth of our eldest son and we love it. 🙂

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The View from the 41st

On my side of the world, the holiday season gives everyone the best excuse to party. It’s a wonderful time because you get to meet up with people you hardly see the rest of the year. Relatives from around the world fly back home to be with family. Office people turn into party animals in a 180º transformation that puts the pumpkin-coach metamorphosis in Cinderella to shame. 🙂

My hubby’s office party was held in the 41st floor of a hotel, and as always, I brought along my Nikon D90 with me. His office Christmas parties are always themed, and the different divisions come up with a program of sorts where they compete against each other to win the prize for the best presentation. ‘Course I’d never pass up the chance to take advantage of the photo-ops! 😀

A couple of photos of that evening:

The theme this year was Asia; this was the winning team’s presentation:

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Awards were given for best costume of the night… these ladies were the nominees:

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(I think Asian costumes are so exotic! 😀 )

So anyway, when the party was over, I looked out of the floor to ceiling windows down at the city below and decided the view would make a GREAT shot! DH saw me fiddling with my camera (no tripod in tow), and teased me: “There is no way you’re going to get a clear photo of the street from this distance without a tripod and with the complete lack of lights.”

Well. Have I said that deep down inside, I have this little rebellious streak that surfaces when one presents me with a challenge that sounds more like a dare? 😆 So of course, I took a photo of the street from above. Here it is:

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Don’t you just love those Christmas trees made of lights? 🙂

Project 365?

Are you doing this? Project 365, as I understand it (correctly, I hope? 😛 ) involves taking a photo every single day of the year (hence the 365). This was started some years back–the first time I heard about it was on the photojojo blog, with photos being uploaded to flickr. As all good things go, the interest in this project spread, and now some of my Spraground sistas have decided to join this project (boy, do I envy their energy and their ability to do this! I so wish I could, except that I’m also absolutely sure that I’d fail by the first week!)

I love taking photos and I joke that my Nikon is surgically attached to my body, but I’m not sure about whether I’d be able to keep up taking a photo every single day. Now if it were a weekly thing…

So I’m wondering: am I the only one who isn’t brave enough to take on this challenge? 😆 All this wondering led me to more thinking: what other options are there for people like me, who may not be able to keep up with the daily photo-vitamin requirement?

If I am fearful of my ability to tackle a daily thing, what about a weekly thing instead? Documenting a few days a week for 52 weeks in the year… that’s 52 layouts… hmmm! Tempting! *eyebrows going up and down*

What if weekly is still too daunting? What about a monthly thing? Documenting the highlights of each month for 12 months in a year… that’s 12 layouts… certainly do-able! *eyebrows going up and down faster*

Heehee. So you know where all of this is leading to, right? What can I create to share with everyone who wants to play with their cameras, whether on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis?

Yep! Here it comes! A freebie, finally! (A small one, but one that comes with a lot of affection anyway!)

Here’s a photo tag which you can use to write down the date when the photo was taken and a few notes to record the special moment captured. I’ve included two versions of the tag: one flat and one curled.

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Click on the image above to download. Thank you for the love you leave on my blog as you download 🙂

I’ll be back soon, but for now I need to jump into bed because the sun is about to rise!

Happy New Year (((((hugs))))) to you, my sweeties!

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