Hello 2009!

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,Β  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 πŸ˜‰

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!) πŸ˜†

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. πŸ˜›

This year, I *did* attempt to count the gifts I wrapped…Β  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? πŸ˜†

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


And because gifts need a home… in comes the tree! πŸ˜€

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! πŸ˜€ 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. πŸ™‚ ).

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


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



My eldest helping my youngest… mmmmm! What a lovely thing to watch! πŸ™‚



S gets a helping hand from R:


And my little J gets help from his nanny πŸ˜€


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! πŸ˜€ )


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. πŸ™‚


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 180ΒΊ transformation that puts the pumpkin-coach metamorphosis in Cinderella to shame. πŸ™‚

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! πŸ˜€

A couple of photos of that evening:

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


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


(I think Asian costumes are so exotic! πŸ˜€ )

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? πŸ˜† So of course, I took a photo of the street from above. Here it is:


Don’t you just love those Christmas trees made of lights? πŸ™‚

Project 365?

Are you doing this? Project 365, as I understand it (correctly, I hope? πŸ˜› ) 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? πŸ˜† 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.


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

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!

46 thoughts on “Hello 2009!

  1. Liv, my it is good to read your blog again. I love your little tag. TFS. About the challenge 365… I’m with you… I just finished the POTD for December but I didn’t think I could keep up for a whole year. BUT I do like your idea of a LO each week. I’ll have to think on that one… sounds like fun to me.

    BTW I used your 31 days template for my Dec. POTD title page. Thank you again for that template.



  2. Thank you for the great tags!! So glad to see your blog entry, as it had been a while. I was missing your great words and ideas, your positiveness. (Is that a word?) Also, check out the forum at Weeds and Wildflowers. They are offering some other ideas on a 365 take for those of us that know every day is quite a far reach. Good for me so I don’t feel the guilot with not keeping up. Again, good to “see” you.


  3. These are perfect for the project. I also want to to say that loved how you did the Belen, Thanks for sharing ideas and your work.
    hugs from Puerto Rico


  4. Thanks so much for the lovely tags. I too started out planning to do the once a week thing, but i have now decided to take a stab at the 365. I am almost sure I will fail…but, if I get it done MOST days, what an amazing documentation that will be!!
    Best wishes for a happy new year!


  5. now you know that you take pics every day anyway and you really only have to work with them once a week, come on! You can do it! πŸ™‚ Monthly would be nice too. I just love looking at anything you produce! Love the tags, thanks so much!!!!


  6. Thank you for the journalling tag – I am really comitted to doing the 365 challenge and welcome all the extras people such as you share. I am not that creative so really rely on help from others for inspiration.

    Thanks os much. Hope to see more little tidbits from you as time goes on.


  7. Happy New Year Sistah!!! Loved your description of the holidays. The photos of your boys decorating the tree is wonderful.

    I love the night photo of the city. Don’t ‘cha just love it when someone says “you can’t” and you prove them W-R-O-N-G!!! Great photo.

    I considered the 365 challenge. I’ve made it for 4 days … which probably already beats my record from last year. hehe I don’t know if I’ll make it 365 (most likely NOT) but I’m still optimistic. But I’m pretty sure I can at least do the 12 months.

    Thanks so much for the tags. You are too generous but I’m grateful to be the recipient of your generosity.

    Miss you loads! Mwah!!!


  8. Thanks for the tag, always love your designs!

    I am going for it with the 365 project. I have never done it before, but this year I feel inspired to try. I don’t know if I will hit everyday, but my goal with the project is to “see more”, be more aware of my everyday and the sights that fill my world.

    My husband is going to join in the fun, but does not want a 365 project. So he is doing the 52 project and plans to take a photo every Sunday.

    Now I just need to figure out how to pull of these photos together over the year so that I am not dealing with hundreds of photos come December!! πŸ™‚

    Happy New Year!


  9. Liv – Happy New Year!! Hope your 2009 is full of joy & peace. Leave it to you to think of the perfect complement to the 365 project!! Thank you so much for (once again!) generously sharing your time & talent with us. Much love, Meg


  10. Thank you so much for the adorable tag! I’ve decided to take the 365 plunge, too! Yay!!! Not sure whether I’ll be able to keep up with it but…we’ll see! πŸ™‚ Thanks, again!! Happy New Year!!


  11. Hey you! Great to see you! Loooooove the shot from the hotel window.

    I’m thinking of doing 12/12. I could never keep up with 365 either. That is just ludicrous to think I could be so dedicated, lol.

    Great freebie!


  12. I’m with you Liv–doing the December PAD was great but enough for me. I need a break now. I think I will do something like a 12 on 12 just to periodiacally capture a slice of life. I really need to work on getting some pages done. I did really well getting the first half of 2007 stuff into a shutterfly book, but the second half is mostly done but rather scattered. So first thing I need to work on is getting those done and into a book. (Well maybe second thing, I still have one week of “homework” left in the Design Your LIfe class to do first). Love seeing all your boys working together on the tree–those are precious memories. Sounds like your Christmas was wonderful. Happy New Year my dear friend.


  13. Liv,
    Thanks for the tags! I am going to start the 365 but I am realistic enough to know I won’t achieve every day. I figure if it increases the numbers of “daily” shots I take, it is a success. Some people are doing 12 on the 12s, where they take a shot on the 12th of each month and scrap it.


  14. THANKS, LivE.

    I AM going to attempt the 356 project and so is my friend (her’s will be documenting her baby’s 1st year, so it will start in April.) I was lucky enough to buy two of Becky’s KOTM kits…not sure how or why I was so lucky, but I am thankful. I couldn’t keep the gift for my friend a secret, so she’s already planning ideas. πŸ˜‰


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