Tuesday 26 December 2023

Christmas 2023!

My heart is full! I am celebrating the wonderful Christmas holidays with our parents, my husband, my sister and brother-in-law. It is so great having a house full of my family!

Today is Boxing Day. We've had soooo much food over the last few days. Thank You, Lord, for your provisions! My dad made a really nice roast chicken and my sister and I really worked through making lots of dumplings! We've got some extra in the fridge for when the need arises. So much nice food that we don't normally get the time to make. I feel warm and cozy ❤️ We also went to Mass on Christmas Eve and it was beautiful. The nativity set was just lovely. Father Christopher said that if you are struggling with anything, remember the Stable. The Stable wasn't perfect, it wasn't comfortable, and it had no frills. But it was open. My understanding of this is that God provides. God is the stable. God is the only One open when all things are not. He is not the last choice but THE choice. What a wonderful Mass. I am happy we got to hear it together.

We got Oodies!

Such a cute book. I'm hoping to see the film after I finish reading it.

Giving Mommy her birthday presents at Bar Hashery in York! We had great waffles!

My mom's idea to ride the merry-go-round! All smiles!

The Shambles, York

Our beautiful home in Newcastle

Christmas lights on our window. I put the same ones up every year. Love its colours!

Husband-and-wife photo at home before we bring all our presents to Sunderland

My brother-in-law's favourite place - Jollibee!

My sister and parents getting excited for mulled wine at Newcastle Christmas markets!

What a lovely tree at Sunderland Keel Square!

Also I would like to take a moment to thank God for my job. On the last day of work before the Christmas holidays, I was busy archiving our documents and organizing them up in the plant room. My manager NM told us that if we wish to leave early, we are welcome to do so as it's Christmas. I told him I'll not leave as early as I wasn't finished up in the plant room yet. He simply blurted out, "You are the best decision I ever made at work". And I felt it. From the start he really has been the one that made me believe in ME. And my capabilities. It's a blessing to have a job. But it's a whole different level to have a manager that sees your potential and brings out the best in you when you only thought you were mediocre. Thank You, Lord, for my beautiful workplace. Thank You for letting me do what I do. Two years ago I wanted to run away from my previous work. I ended up running to the place where I am meant to be and where I am truly happy ❤️

Loaded fried at Newcastle Christmas markets
Loaded fried at Newcastle Christmas markets

Spam and salad dinner at our Newcastle home. My husband loves Spam!

Roasted hazel latte - festive drink at Costa

Pre-2023 archive documents at work

We only have a few days left in 2023. Let's make the most of it! 



Thursday 2 November 2023

On grey hairs and paperwork

Hi there!

It's me - the girl who's always wanted to revive this blog but ends up updating it after months at a time.

I'm not procrastinating. I'm living!

I'm writing this entry just before I sleep. I've set my alarm very early so I can do a bit of paperwork collation at breakfast tomorrow morning. Here's to hoping this extra bit of time will go a long way in getting my Friday at work a little less manic.

It has been such a crazy few weeks at work due to staff sickness. I feel we are really maxed out on our working capacity and I am just looking forward to the Christmas holidays now. Work is hard! Especially hard at the moment. But I've got to say I am thankful and happy and proud of our team that has achieved so much this year. CellProthera is finished, limbal stem cell products are flourishing... the highs are endless!

We also have had our lows. However I am grateful that we keep on moving forward despite these.

On a side note, I can see one or two grey hairs on the side of my head near my hairline. I know of a few grey hairs from years past that are scattered at the back part of my head. Seeing the ones near my face is a little bit nerve-wracking as it makes the whole ageing thing feel real. It IS real. And I am grateful yet slightly nervous about it.

Having grey hairs doesn't bother me too much. I don't think I'm going to have my hair dyed. The texture of my hair is rough in some areas so it's probably best to keep it untouched. I've started using hair masks as my regular hair conditioner and they work a treat! I really like the Garnier pots. I also enjoy using this heatless curler thing that I put on every night so I wake up with bouncy hair in the morning.

In a few weeks time, my husband and I will be on holiday in the Philippines! I am so excited to spend time with my in-laws. It's been a while since I came home. My number one priority will be to visit Lolo and Lola at the cemetery and also to pay my respects to my mother-in-law Mama Leah. I know she is watching over us always and is proud of how her son has is making the best of his life in the UK.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for everything. I love You and I praise You. Thank You for guiding me as I read through my Bible. Thank You for giving me resources at my fingertips so I can strengthen my faith and my understanding of it. Thank You, thank You.



Monday 9 January 2023

Day 8: January Journal Challenge

 Challenge you overcame last year

Last year has been a steep learning curve for me! I was very new to my role and was relying heavily on my friend and colleague to train me and show me everything there is to know - and just a few months later she moved on to a new job! When she announced she was leaving, I really felt a rug had been pulled out from under me as I just wasn't ready at all. I felt so anxious as I didn't have what it took to stand on my own. I felt I needed her badly and couldn't function at work without her.

It was the wake up call that I needed to speed up my training. It was the wake up call that I needed to tell myself that I can actually do this.

And I did! And I still can ☺ Sometimes I forget that I work with an amazing team and that I am not alone. I worried a lot in the beginning but really, there is so much to be grateful for as I have the help that I need through my managers and team.

A few months later, I found myself delegating tasks, organising the work week, taking the lead in processes and just being overall comfortable with what I do. And the best part of it all is that I enjoy it. Yes, work is hard and it can be exhausting, but I genuinely feel I am part of something big and important.

Just recently another friend and colleague has moved on to a new job and this time I felt differently. Yes, I was sad to see them go, however I didn't feel anxious or worried like I was the first time. This time I had the confidence in myself that I - that we - can still do this even though we're one person down.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for giving me a sense of purpose. I am very grateful for all the learning opportunities. Thank You for all the people that you bless me with to help me along the way. May I always pay it forward.



Day 7: January Journal Challenge

 What are you looking forward to this year?

I am looking forward to exploring more cities, trying out new restaurants, cooking food that I've never made before, and enjoying what I do at work. I am hoping to do as much of these as possible with my family ❤



Sunday 8 January 2023

Day 6: January Journal Challenge

 One thing you learned about yourself last year:

I'm a good leader! ☺ And I know this because my husband said so!

All my life, I feel that I have been a good follower - always the little sister who gets dragged along after her siblings, always the quiet girl who doesn't speak unless spoken to, always the introvert friend who enjoys cancelled get-togethers if it involves extrovert people or meeting with more than one person at a time.

I used to think of this trait as weakness as dictated by society but over the years I have learned that this is my strength and I am happy with who I am.

As I get older, I feel I am coming out of my shell more and more and I learned to be brave enough to stand up for myself and to voice my opinions. Last year, my husband went on a Leadership Skills course at work and my friend was on that course, too. She told me that when the instructor asked the delegates who they thought of as a good leader, my husband gave me as an example! ☺ It makes me feel so happy that he thought of me because I sometimes feel I am the nagging wife and I really don't want to be thought of as that!

Also, in my new job (funny how I still think of it as my new job even though I've been here for over a year now), I am happy to give directions as well as being the receiver of instruction. I think a good leader should also be a good follower.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for the many opportunities to lead and to follow. May we always follow You.



Thursday 5 January 2023

Day 5: January Journal Challenge

 Three moments from the holidays you want to remember.

1. Successful bao bun making! I had such a blast at my first attempt at making bao buns. They turned out soooo good! I shall be making more. Thank you, Marion's Kitchen for the recipe!

2. Yummy churros at the Christmas markets in Newcastle! My husband and I shared a cozy plate of churros while standing next to the stall near the Monument metro station. It was freeeezing cold but we thoroughly enjoyed the sweet treat.

3. I spent a lot of time at home with my parents over the Christmas holidays. In those two weeks, I only worked two days! I loved being at home and enjoying their company. It was nice being able to cook and clean for them, and also to eat their home-made food! I am truly grateful to be near my parents. I am so happy that my husband has a very good relationship with them and I can only hope that I'll get to develop a good relationship with his family too when I meet them in the future.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for all of your blessings! You are the reason for the season. Thank You for our quality time together. I have so many memories to keep in my heart.



Day 4: January Journal Challenge

Where do you hope to see yourself in 365 days?

I hope to be at a point where I am confident to start applying for a Band 7 post. In a year's time, I hope to have already started my Specialist Certificate course. 

I hope to be pregnant with child and I hope to be in good health together with my husband, parents and siblings, and their families.

In Jesus name I pray, with the intercession of our Blessed Virgin Mary. Amen.



Tuesday 3 January 2023

Day 3: January Journal Challenge

 What advice would you give to last year's you?

Dear R,

It's okay to be scared sometimes. It's okay to have doubts and it's okay to feel uneasy. You are not alone. There is plenty of help everywhere. Just ask.



Monday 2 January 2023

Day 2: January Journal Challenge

What word(s) do you want to bring with you into the new year?

  • Family
  • Contentment
  • Simplicity
  • Alive
  • Exploration
  • Connections
  • Respect
  • Heartbeat

Thank You, Lord Jesus!


Sunday 1 January 2023

Day 1: January Journal Challenge

Happy New Year! It is the year 2023 and I am so excited for new opportunities, new learnings, new experiences!

I am going to take part in the January Journal Challenge. I did say that I wanted to blog more so this challenge really came at the right time. So here it goes...

Summarise last year in one word.

Review: The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams and Reaching Your Destiny

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams and Reaching Your Destiny The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams and Reaching Your Destiny by Robin S. Sharma
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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