On Saturday, my first-born niece, Kyla, turned THIRTEEN! She is officially a teenager and I am still in denial. Kyla is the only granddaughter in my immediate family… until next month, when my sister-in-law gives birth to the second baby girl in our family! Kyla has been my baby since she was born. I was in the waiting room the night her mom went into labor, I babysat her as a baby, and she has been my mini-me. Now, she is a teen. I just love her so much. While she has her rough days, she is still as perfect as one can be. She is smart, beautiful, kind-hearted, and funny. Where has the time gone?!
For her birthday, she wanted a jump house for her and all her friends to enjoy. She invited her classmates and friends, and everyone just had a ton of fun. Sheesh, a house full of teens and preteens can be crazy. Who knew? Hah! We had a lot of food and delicious ice-cream cake! Yum!
How is this year pretty much over?! It is so hard to believe that in just a few hours (California time), 2017 will be “history.” As I look back at the past twelve months, I am consumed with so many emotions. There were many “firsts” and a number of “hope this is the last” moments. It was a year of learning, a year of growing, a year of toughing it out, a year of holding on tighter, a year of praying harder, and a year of so much more. Through it all, I am still thankful.
2017 was my first full year of marriage. Without a doubt, Mike and I were tried time and time again, and each time, we just did. Without going into all the deep, heart wrenching, sappy details, we learned about the people around us and ourselves – individually and as partners. There were times when we were without, and we had to get really creative to come up with a few extra bucks. We took advantage of earned points and pending credits to suffice our need for quick travels. It was the first time we had to really tighten our buckles to make ends meet. To be honest, sometimes, they barely met. We thought about how much of ourselves we try to selflessly offer when are able, yet, it is so hard to find someone to lend us a helping hand without judgment (and ultimately not doing so anyway). Still, we will choose to love and give unconditionally.
This year was also full of happy memories. I had several relatives visit from far-away places like the Philippines, Singapore, Qatar, and the UAE. I know this delighted my mom more than anyone else, because it is so rare these days that she sees her sisters more than once in a year. Thanks to technology though, she is able to talk to them and FaceTime with them no matter where they are in the world.
Despite everything that has happened in the past year, I remain thankful. Even though my parents (especially my mom) did not have the healthiest year ever, the fact that they are still here is a huge blessing. My brother and sister-in-law are expecting their first daughter, received promotions, and were able to take an out-of-country family vacation. My other brother and sister-in-law spent their first full year in their new home, bought a new car, and are seemingly looking more fulfilled with their lives. Mike’s parents are also healthy, and his brothers and sister are doing well in their respective careers. Our pets are all spunky, healthy, and happy. We are also thankful for the friends who are there for us no matter what, and have made us laugh and happy throughout the year(s).
Lastly, we are thankful to Him, who never let us forget how blessed we are. Just the other day, one of our six-month long prayer was answered. I am so happy for Mike, who is overjoyed by the news. No, we are not expecting a child. Although, that’s a thought.
As for 2018, I am just hoping and praying that things will go a little easier, that we are all healthy, prosperous, and loving, and that everyone remains blessed and true to themselves. Happy New Year, everyone!
Oh, according to Instagram, these are my best nines of the year. Of course, it’s only a glimpse of my 2017, but it’s not a bad compilation.
Last time I posted, it was Thanksgiving week. Now, it’s the week leading up to Christmas! I also never got to post about the “feels” and the wedding (from last year). It’s in my drafts, and sort of feel out of place at this point. Lol. I’ve gotta do better with my timing.
Thanksgiving was fantastic! Mike and I woke up super early to run some errands before lunch and dinner. Hehe. We kind of went shopping during the wee hours of Black Friday with my siblings. Really, all we bought were a pair of shoes for each of us, a pair of leggings, a shirt, and a jacket. Seriously, last year’s Black Friday was so much better! Our wedding, in case I lost ya.
The week after, we celebrated our anniversary at, where else? The happiest place on Earth – Disneyland! We also watched live show of The Voice. It was so much fun, but it felt like we were waiting all day to get to show time. My legs and arms were so tired by the end of it, and we were all hungry. Heh. But… Adam Levine, so… 😉 It’s too bad we were not allowed to bring cellphones or cameras inside.
Disneyland was amazing, of course. We were in the parks Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and it was perfect. The crowd was manageable, and the lines were not too long. That Friday, we went to the park to simply pick up a new pair of Minnie ears, stockings, and ornaments, and it was already super crowded at 10AM! We always wish we never had to leave, but we already booked a one-day trip for next month. Oops.
So, who’s ready for Christmas?! We are totally not. We have a few more important people to shop for, and a whole lot of gifts to wrap! Here’s to backaches and hoping that paper cuts do not happen.
At the beginning of June, I booked a round-trip plane tickets to Burbank for Mike and myself, not knowing if the trip would actually happen. However, just in case, I also booked a hotel room for a four-night stay a few days later. I was confident in my booking because Southwest Airlines has an amazing cancellation policy and DoubleTree By Hilton allows for a 24-hour cancellation. What’s great is that I booked my hotel at the right time, because I checked again a week later, and the prices was almost doubled! Phew!
Anyway, the mini vacation happened! We arrived in Burbank on a Saturday morning, and had breakfast at Grits Fullerton. I got Pork Belly & Grits and Mike ordered Bone Marrow & Waffles. Both were delicious! Then, on a whim, we drove to San Diego while monitoring StubHub. We watched our SF Giants play the Padres. Who knew that finding Giants shirt would be so hard in So Cal? LOL. We eventually found a Sports Fever store, where I got a nice shirt for 50% off! We made our way to Petco Park, and their parking price of $15 still amaze us because that is so much cheaper than what we are used to, especially with the garage being across the street from the ballpark! We had Phil’s BBQ right before the game, and we were happy to have set next to a pair of Giants fans. Our team lost, making us 0-2 when in attendance at Petco Park. On the bright side, it was fireworks night! We watched the fireworks show before heading back to Anaheim.
We spent Sunday, most of Monday, and Tuesday at Disneyland & California Adventure. We dined at Carthay Circle and Carnation Cafe, and we also did the on-the-go dining package for Fantasmic. This was mainly because we wanted to celebrate our engagement’s second anniversary. Silly, but it makes us nostalgic thinking about the day of! While waiting for Fantasmic, we sat in a circle talking with a family from Georgia and a local lady (of So Cal). They were really nice people, and made the wait bearable. One thing that we got a laugh out of was when the lady mentioned how folks from the East Coast or anywhere but the West Coast say “Disney” when referring to Walt Disney World, while West Coasters actually say “Land” or “World.” That is so interesting, but I also found some truth to it when I look at my Disney forums! Haha.
We flew back home on Wednesday, and of course, we had to bring back some pastries from Porto’s! Our families love it and they appreciate whenever we bring those boxes of happiness back. Now, I am gearing back to go to work… tomorrow… on a Saturday! But only for four hours. Ha!
If there is anything different from this past vacation, it’s the fact that we were more budget-conscious than we have ever been on a vacation. We also ate a whole bunch of popcorn because we remembered to bring the AP popcorn bucket we bought during our last visit to Disneyland. What was cool is that we were able to get refills for just $1! We must have refilled it 4 or 5 time during the trip. 😛
Alright everyone, the day has finally come in my life. The day that I begin the process of taking on my husband’s last name. Some might say, “It’s about time!” While others may ask, “Why on Earth would you do that?” We have been married five months. I should have changed it sooner, but I’m sort of attached to my maiden name which consisted of my first name, my mom’s maiden name, and of course, my (dad’s) surname. My last name has got some deep roots back in the Philippines, and I’ve been told, that it’s important. But now, my last name is different. It’s short, common, and everyone mistakes me for Hispanic. But hey, it’s my husband’s last name. I mean, it’s okay to take your time assuming your spouse’s last name, right? Because I see a lot of my friends changing their names immediately, yet here I am, barely going through the process five months later. I did change it on Facebook so that it’s legit. 😉
By the way, I only spent about twenty minutes and without an appointment at the Social Security Administration. I got my new SS card about three days later. I spent probably around forty minutes at the DMV, with an appointment. It also costed me $27 to get a new license, and that came in one week later. Now, I’ve started to call my bank and creditors to submit a name change. Whew, almost there.
Currently, we are at a “stay-cation” about forty miles away from our home. It’s comped, comfortable, and a quick wannabe getaway. We like when we get these kind of perks. Now, can I get free vacation to say, Paris? Please? 😛
Hello World and Happy New Year! November and December seriously happened in a snap, or at least that’s what it felt like. So many things happened between my last post and now that I don’t know where to begin. Maybe I’ll do a quick recap now, and do more in-depth posts later on.
So remember that weddingthing I was talking about? It totally happened! 😀 I am married! Ahhh! It’s true what people say – that the days leading up to your wedding will have you feeling all sorts of emotions. People said I looked pretty calm for a bride-to-be, but I was totally freaking out on the inside. Honestly, I was truly lucky enough to have my entire family by my side, helping me in whatever way they could. I felt so loved! Oh, did my groom cry? Duh! LOL. More on this later, aka another post.
The honeymoon? I mean, can we just go back to those two weeks when we were in paradise? I would do this part of the getting-married-thing all over again! We took a Disney cruise to the Bahamas and then stayed another week in Orlando. We never wanted to go home. Nuh uh. Take us back!
How was our first Christmas as a married couple? Although it seemed like the routine was the same, some things just felt different. Different in a way that made it feel a little more cozy. 😉 Also, those gifts for our parents? They no longer have to say, “Dad/Uncle” or “Mom/Auntie” because now they say “Mom” or “Dad.” It saves my fingers from cramping. Just kidding.
Finally, this whole living together thing? It has been fun and frustrating, but mostly fun. LOL. I am also finding out things about myself that are pleasantly surprising, if I do say so myself… like cooking or doing laundry! 😛 Please don’t judge me.
That’s it for now. I’m feeling like a grandma, needing to sleep before midnight. I promise to write more about the above mentioned events soon, and then some. I hope everyone’s having a great, happy 2017 so far! *Cheers to a wonderful 2017!