Book Review: The First Phone Call from Heaven

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The First Phone Call from Heaven is the latest novel written by the American best-selling author Mitch Albom.  I have read most of Mitch Albom’s novels (Tuesdays with Morrie, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, For One More Day, Have a Little Faith, and The Time Keeper) and made reviews of them on this blog.

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This recent novel tells a story of a small town in Lake Michigan that is getting worldwide attention when its residents claimed to be receiving phone calls from the afterlife – from their loved ones who passed away.  While everyone is so engrossed as to who received the first call, how it is to be in heaven, and how these phone calls have changed the beliefs or strengthen the faith of churchgoers, a grief-stricken Sully Harding is determined to find out the truth behind this greatest miracle (or massive hoax).

The First Phone Call from Heaven may not be one of my favorites among Mitch Albom’s novels because I find the ending a bit predictable.  Nevertheless, I wouldn’t forget my favorite quote on this book which I think came from Sully Harding, “You have to start over. That’s what they say. But life is not a board game, and losing a loved one is never really “starting over.” More like “continuing without.”   Indeed, it is true.  How many times do we always tell those who lost their loved ones either thru death or thru other circumstances that “they have to be strong and start over?”  I guess, nobody is strong enough to admitted the fact that we can still continue and move on even after a loss.

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From National Bookstore’s Facebook page (Photo taken during Mitch Albom’s book signing in Manila)

Overall, the book is amazingly inspiring and heartwarming, but not my favorite.  J

Inspired and happy,
Mumay

Say No to Grouchy Days! Have a Dose of Fun & Laughter!

There are days that I feel extremely happy, days that I’m too lazy, days that I’m overwhelmingly emotional, and days that I’m annoyingly grouchy.  My hubby always blames hormones when “grouchy days” happen, but I think he hasn’t accepted yet the fact that he is married to a very challenging woman who has a hobby of challenging his temper at all times.

I’ve been experiencing these “grouchy days” for a couple of days already and I felt that I should give myself a break by giving it a dose of fun and laughter.  And so, I googled:  Funny Quotes.  Hahaha!  Sharing with you some of my amazing finds.  🙂

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Credits to the original owner of the image

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Credits to the original owner of the image

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Credits to the original owner of the image

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Credits to the original owner of the image

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Credits to the original owner of the image

See, happiness need not be expensive!

 

Happy day everyone,
Mumay

Before I became a “Mommy”…

It’s been 2 years, 1 month, 1 week and 5 days since my little one drastically-yet-beautifully changed my name to “Mimmy” (my son’s lovely way of calling me “Mommy”).  Actually, that “Mimmy” now evolved to “Mimmy-yah.”  As to why and how, I really don’t know!  But, I love the delightful thud it gives to my heart.

During one of our heart-to-heart talks, hubby and I would often enumerate some of the activities we can’t just do without considering our Marty’s schedule and preferences.  Apart from the sexy and kinky stuffs (Ooooppsss, Rated 18!), I and hubby can’t just go on our late night movie date, out-of-town trip, movie marathon, sleep marathon, junkfoods marathon (in case there’s such thing to whole-day pigging-out of unhealthy foods), and long, late night talks.  Funny, we sometimes have to make takas do some things secretly.  Feels like we’re teenagers all over again!  Exciting, isn’t it?

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Photo taken during our girlfriend-boyfriend years

Though, I honestly and wholeheartedly admit that we have lesser bonding time as a couple, our bonding time and Saturdates with Marty are just incomparable and extraordinarily happy.  Priceless!  As hubby would always say.

Early this week, I happen to read a beautiful blog shared to me by an officemate/friend/fellow mom.  The link from this blog which she shared is entitled, To Wives: Before You Were “Mommy.”  I have also read a couple of the author’s blogs after that, but this specific topic is really dear to my heart because it speaks of my current feelings and state of mind.  Here’s an excerpt of the blog:

 

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Ladies, there will come a day when your husband walks in the door and you do not turn around. You will be preoccupied with filling up sippy cups and wiping booties. You will shout over the running bath water, “Hey! Glad you’re home.” But it won’t mean what it used to mean. It won’t be full of eager anticipation to spend time together. It will be full of expectations to aid in the demands of the family. “Glad you’re home,” will more properly translate, “Thank God for two extra hands to help me.” And “Praise the Lord I might get five minutes alone.”

Ladies, there will come a day when you spend every last ounce of yourselves on your children. The demands of life and the babies will come before any other priority. What little of yourself you have left at the end of the day will be used to crawl into bed before someone is awake to need you again. The thought of doing anything else after the children are asleep will sound impossible and your handsome husband’s happy smile had better mean he is willing to get up with the baby and nothing more.

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The husband that once completed your heart will be just one more person who needs you. The charming things that you fell for will go unnoticed. The daily grind will become expected.

Men, there will come a time when that beautiful bride sitting next to you hasn’t showered in days. She will be at her wit’s end wearing other people’s food and poop on her clothing. She will need to hear that she is beautiful, but she won’t listen to you. She will need to know that she is still lovable, but she won’t want you near her. When you arrive home after meeting the demands of work, you will be expected to meet the demands of your family. Your wife will hear none of your exhaustion, and you will see none of hers.

Men, you will call home to ask a quick question and anticipate a two-minute conversation. Half of it will be spent listening to your wife talk to your kids. As a matter of fact, you will make it no more than a few sentences in to any conversation ever before your wife spurts out direction to your children.“Don’t climb that!” or “Don’t sit on your sister!” You will become accustomed to these outbursts, but you will forget that there was ever a time when you had her full attention.

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With our 2-year old toddler, Marty

But Ladies, when Mommy becomes your name, remember this man. Remember that you are his wife. Remember how much you love and appreciate him in this moment. Remember his dedication to your family. Remember his love and devotion to you. And then, when the days are long and you need a break, fall into his arms.

Men, remember your bride. The care and love that she has given you will soon be spilled over to your children. Her love for you will not change. Give her the grace to be enough even when she doesn’t feel like it. Remember when your days are long, hers are too. Remember her. Fall in love with her again.

Remember each other. Remember the two that made the family. Let the Lord lead you both together. Because when the days are endless and the hours short, it will only be His love who keeps you together. It will only be His mercy that gently guides your hearts as one. Hold tightly to one another, and even more tightly to the Lord. There is no greater adventure for you to experience and no greater gift than to walk through parenthood with your best friend.  You are a team. Every single day.

 

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This blog is by far one of the best blogs I have read on the topic of parenting associated to relationships of married couples.  I was actually teary-eyed while reading this blog (Forgive me, I’m such a cry baby!).

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Photo taken during one of our Saturdates

Sharing with you this wonderful blog and hoping that we may all enjoy this fantastic journey of parenthood and continue to enrich our relationship with our lifetime partners.  After all, our kids deserve parents who are abundantly happy wives, husbands, siblings, daughters, sons, entrepreneurs, employees, and all the other aspects of our lives I forgot to mention.

 

Always happy and amazed with life’s journey,
Mumay

Book Review: And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

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And the Mountains Echoed is a novel written by Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini.  It was published in 2013 and won the Goodreads Choice the same year it was published, which made me so curious about this novel.  This is the third novel of Khaled who has also written best-selling novels such as The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns.

This novel is one of the best books I have read so far.  I admire how Khaled intertwined the lives of the many characters in the story.  It was like watching a primetime telenovela or a TV series that you would gratefully indulge on watching.  The book gave me mixed emotions – love, hatred, happiness, sadness, delight and disappointment.  I admire Khaled in successfully writing untold stories of the poor families in Afghanistan and the war that even made their lives worse through Saboor, an impoverished farmer from the fictional village in Afghanistan.

Though the story did not end like a typical fairytale happy ending stories, I couldn’t think of any better ending than how Khaled brilliantly wrote it.  I wish I could describe how well Khaled ended the novel but I don’t want to give away any spoiler on this review.

If there’s one thing I learned after reading the book it is to: “Never hesitate to love someone unconditionally whether that person is a sibling, a parent, an employer, or a neighbor.  It doesn’t matter.  If one chooses to love, there should be no hesitation, no boundaries and  no fear even if he/she cannot love you back.”

Loving unconditionally,
Mumay

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Book Review: Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Finally!  I was able to blog again after more than a month of indulging into blogging hiatus.  Admittedly, I was too lazy writing these past weeks because I am too busy reading.  I read a couple of books which is the reason why most of my upcoming blogs, starting with this actually, will be more of book reviews.

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The book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg was introduced to me by a very good friend whom I also consider a mentor.  She’s a former-officemate-turned-friend whom I still keep in touch from time to time.  During one of her visits in our office, she told me to read this book that empowers and encourages women to lead, inspire, and pursue rewarding careers. I read this book during one of those “20-minute of insane courage” stages in my life.

The author, Sheryl Sandberg is Facebook’s COO, who despite many job offers to be a CEO accepted to work for someone who is decades younger than her.  The stories Sheryl shared in this book is very inspiring making me want to work for Facebook at a certain point in my life.  🙂 The book is like a generous store of many bits of inspiring messages and quotes that will encourage anyone (men and women alike) to remain positive and motivated despite of many challenges they encounter.  Here are some of those inspiring messages I found in this book:

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Photo by Fotolia

On leadership:
“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.”
(Harvard Business School definition of leadership)”

On finding a mentor:
“We need to stop telling [women], “Get a mentor and you will excel.” Instead, we need to tell them, “Excel and you will get a mentor.”

On courage:
“If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, you don’t ask what seat. You just get on.”

On women liberation:
“In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.”

On finding a lifetime partner:
“When looking for a life partner, my advice to women is date all of them: the bad boys, the cool boys, the commitment-phobic boys, the crazy boys. But do not marry them. The things that make the bad boys sexy do not make them good husbands. When it comes time to settle down, find someone who wants an equal partner. Someone who thinks women should be smart, opinionated and ambitious. Someone who values fairness and expects or, even better, wants to do his share in the home. These men exist and, trust me, over time, nothing is sexier.”

Proud to be an empowered woman,
Mumay