Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Kid at heart

Over the weekend, our community hosted a Marriage Enrichment Retreat for married couples. The goal of the retreat was to ignite and bring back the fire of their love for one another. In order for them to focus and enjoy the retreat, of course, their children needed to be disconnected from their hips for a while. 

To the rescue was yours truly, dakilang yaya, and dodong, Clay with the help of some members from Youth for Christ. We took care of 21 sweet, adorable, shy, friendly, smart, and some-annoying-that-will-get-in-your-nerves, kiddos from Kids for Christ. I did not volunteer for this but it's funny how I always end up taking the responsibility even if I, myself could be clueless when it comes to child fostering. Obviously, I am still childless but I am grateful for the trust our leaders in the community gives me and the opportunity to serve. 

"Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me." ~Mark 9:37

Couples for Christ GA family
 My babies!
Why throw the ball when you can just simply push the button, right Andrea? mwahahahaha!
Team kitty and Team cuties!
Ylla's love letter to her mom and dad

We prepared activities for them like games, face painting, dunk tank, craft time, movie time and imperatively, we had praise and worship time. 

video

As a whole, it was fun. It was refreshing to be with these children as it reminded me of their innocence, simplicity, honesty, and their being carefree. Honestly, I matured pretty fast because of our circumstance in life. I didn't have a choice but to grow up fast and be responsible so I could help my family immediately. When I was in grade school  I wished time would fly fast so I can be in high school and from high school I couldn't wait to go to college so I would be able to graduate and eventually work to have the moolah and get out of poverty. Thus somehow in between, I forgot how to be a kid. I remember I stopped liking animated movies after Little Mermaid which by the way I urged my husband for us to watch in Broadway. That's how much of a fan I am.

Fortunately, God sent me a guy who has a heart of a 5 year old boy. hehehe. He inspires me and my imagination in so many ways. He taught me how to play Wii, he downloads games in my phone and in my iPad, he takes me to animated films and to theme parks. I love it in general as it takes my mind out of this world that sometimes can be chaotic and it brings me to a world where I can escape for a little while and just have fun and care about nothing else. Thank you dear and thank you Lord. 

xoxo,
Joselle

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Happy Birthday Mama!

My mom was 29 when she had me, her 2nd baby. At 29, she must have been juggling between a jumping and crawling one year old daughter and a fragile, new born baby girl. How she managed to become a mother of two at such age still astounds me to this day.

One more thing that eludes me was how she managed to work full time while taking care of 4 crazy daughters which in my opinion, can be considered a full time job. To top it off, she's a single parent! She's amazing! Much love to the single moms out there! 

She must have sacrificed her own dreams so we could have a good life. She must have sacrificed her marriage so we could have peace and serenity growing up. But as God promised, He won't give us any more than we can handle (1 Corinthians 10:13). With the help of her faith in the Lord, she courageously survived through it all. 

She's a traditional and conservative Christian woman, like my Lola. Growing up, she was strict and with a firm closed fist. She would instill in us Filipino and Christian values and discipline and we get palo in the puwet (booty spank) when brat moments spur. hehe. I admit I got the most palo among the 4 of us :P But eventually, slowly, her fist opened wide and she became more relaxed. I thank her for being strict on us early on our age. That taught us how to be mature, responsible and independent as we got older. I thank her for her trust and her confidence in me. We hope we make you proud in all of our life choices and decisions. We promise to be worthy of that trust. When the right time comes and I become a mother myself, I will always remember and draw strength from the thought of how godly and strong a mother you are to us.

As much as I am ashamed to admit, I don't say thank you enough to her. So as a small token and appreciation, and because its her birthday, Ate Joyce, Alan and myself connived to give her a surprise gift. She's been wanting this but I know she'll never buy it for herself so we got it for her before the world ends. hehehe. Hope you liked it Mama. 

Happy Birthday Mama! Love you!


xoxo, 
Joselle



Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Pinteresting

If only I can afford to buy freshly arranged flowers every single day, I would! But I'm no Richie Rich so I'd rather spend my cha-ching on food than flowers. LOL. 

In the spirit of spring which ever so lingers in me, I wanted to decorate my room with flowers! Thanks to Pinterest and to a blogger that I follow for her creative crafts, Lauren Conrad, I was able to come up with my own artificial floral arrangement. DIY is the best way to go if you're on a tight budget plus it brings out the creativity in you. 

The whole thing just cost me less than $5! I checked out T.J.Maxx and the cheapest one I found was around $12. So DIY FTW! 

Square vase: used
Crystal pebbles: Joann's
Artificial pink flowers: Joann's

Voila, it's spring 365 days in my room! This added more personality and more character to my room. For me, having a beautiful, neat, and clean room makes me more inspired and more productive. Hopefully, this can squeeze out more creative juices for my future blog posts. 

Happy crafting! 

xoxo,
Joselle

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

Last Friday, we threw a special celebration for the moms in our small prayer group for Mother's day. They played this video to us and I found it extremely hilarious. At the same time, it kinda scared me a bit. lol. However, I trust that my husband will be behind me 100% in raising up our children well and will help me with the household chores! We live in a country where house helpers are not common for labor is so expensive so keeping the house together can be very overwhelming. It's always been my dream to be a housewife but I realized it's not fancy at all. It's like a full-time job. I am thinking what more if moms work full-time! Just writing about it makes me tired already.lol. So here, let me share with you what all this fuss is about. 


Being a mother is not an easy task that's why I salute and appreciate all of the mothers out there especially my own Mama, my Lola, our second moms, Ninang Ida and Ninang Clair, and to my mother-in-law! I love you all!

Happy Mother's Day!

xoxo,
Joselle
   

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Happy 21st Birthday Jovy!

Do you know of any 21 year old who takes care of an elderly, does the family's laundry while she cleans the bathroom once a week, and on some days, washes the dishes, sweeps the floor and cleans up the dinner table after a family dinner?

Well, I happen to know her and I am blessed to be her sister! That's my baby and now a lady, my little sissy, Jovy. I am so proud of how responsible she turned out to be. Typically, a 21 year old college kid would have moved out from the house and moved in to a sorority house or an apartment near a campus but since financially we could not afford it, she chose not to. Also, she understands that Lola needs someone to look after her most of the time so when she's off from school, she lovingly cares for her. She's the most mature 21 year old I ever know. 

As we were raised single handedly by my mom, we understood that we cannot get things we want in a silver platter. However, I've never heard a single complaint from her. I've never heard her demand anything beyond our means either. She saves up before she decides to spend on her wants. She's that practical. She's no pain in the a#$ when it comes to cha-ching. 

However, if you bring her to a Forever 21, H&M, Target, TJ Maxx, Marshalls or simply to Goodwill she can go bonkers! She's the fashionista, Kate Zoe, or Liz Uy in the family. We've got a very own fashion police and we get critiqued on the way we dress mind you. Imagine how cruel life can be if I mismatched an outfit. Lol. The only person she gave up long ago in assessing a couture was my mom. hahaha. If a fashion emergency occurs, she's there to the rescue. That's one beauty I find in having a sister.  She's kind in letting me borrow her clothes and I'm pleased to say that we have the same taste. Yup, we have the same taste in almost everything, except in men. I don't think she likes NERDS like I do. lol 

I find writing as my creative outlet, my sister finds it in her nail art! You should check out her blog, Heart for Nail Art and see for yourself. She could earn a fortune if she starts charging the Lolas and the Titas for every nail work she's done. hehehe.

Undeniably, her beauty and charm is  phenomenal. She claims that she's the fairest one among us all. Evil step mother lang ang peg. hehe. But honestly, we know that true beauty comes from the inside and that's why she beautifully blooms like a flower. In spite the fact that she's pretty, it's surprising to know that she's single, isn't? Maybe NBSB? (No-boyfriend-since-birth) Last time I checked, she told me she's not going to get married ever. hahaha. Well, I kind of said that to myself too but look at me now, I'm happily married! Be scared not in love my dear. Your man of your dreams will be running after you in God's time. Hopefully after you finish school. (no pressure.hehe) 

Jovy, now that you turn 21, I would like to commend you my little sis for the woman you have become. You make us proud each year for all the hard work, sacrifices, the values you've preserved, obedience, faith in God, conferred love for our family, and more. I couldn't be more blessed and proud to have a sister like you. Keep up the good work and keep your feet on the ground and I'm certain that you'll go a long way.   

Happy Birthday Jovy! I love you!


xoxo,
Joselle

  



Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Citizenship

Five years back, I still remember the first day my feet touched American soil. It was a dream come true! Everything was new, modern, orderly, clean, and big! I felt like I was Alice in Wonderland. For a girl who hasn't gone out of the country and never boarded a plane in her entire life, it was definitely quite an exciting journey. I can't imagine how I managed to squeeze in my 21 life-long years in just two 25 lbs. suitcases (well, the other suitcase contained a bunch of pasalubong so isa lang talaga.haha).
Fast forward five years and tomorrow, I am taking my American citizenship interview. Wow! Time, why do you fly so fast?
In the event I get lucky and pass the interview, I can finally start processing my husband's immigrant visa. In no time, we will be together again! We can finally move on with our lives together and hopefully start a family :) 
I'll keep you posted on how it goes.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." -Jeremiah 29:11
xoxo,
Joselle

Monday, May 6, 2013

Jon & Audrey Trinidad's Wedding

Congratulations to my dear cousin Jonathan and his lovely bride, Audrey. It was such an honor to witness and be a part of this momentous event. 

Thanks to my ever reliable iPhone, I was able to take some snapshots which I would like to share with you. Eye candy galore! 








 



 







 





 

 





Alan and I wish you a lifetime of blissful and fruitful marriage, beautiful children and eternal love, through the help of Jesus Christ, our Lord.

 xoxo,
Joselle

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Gift of Friends

If there's one person who knows everything and anything under the sun about me, it's no other than my BFF, the love of my life, my sugar daddy and my one and only husband, Alan. hehehe. We've been apart since February and I'm already missing him like cray cray! Thanks to FB, Facetime, Google Hangout, Viber, and other social medias that makes communication anytime, anywhere possible for the both of us. We make sure we allot time to talk every single day no matter how busy our lives can be. 

Since my BFF is away, I am amazed on how God works his magic to make me feel less lonely. Besides from my family (8 kami sa isang bubong so imposibleng maging lonely.lol), I am grateful for my friends, old and new, who cheer me up and brighten up some of my lonely days. These friends are to me like angels from up there and I am tremendously blessed and proud to have them in my life. 

So one Saturday last month, I had the chance to cross whatever was in my to-do-list for the day and just jumped in to a day of pampering and discovering new things, as well as new friends. It might sound a little selfish, however, sometimes it is good to treat ourselves once in a while with things that will help us feel good. After a week of hard work in the office and at home, I felt like my body was urging for a much needed rest.

My first activity on that day was a date with my new found friend, Mars at Jeju Sauna. I've tried going to a sauna in the past in a local gym but I've never been to this kind of sauna. This one is humongous! I've only seen this kind of public bath in Japanese anime.hehehe. This sauna is designed after the Korean bathing houses.

Description from their website:
The dry and wet sauna rooms cleanse pores and helps rid the body of minor aches and pains.The cold bath pool not only rejuvenates the body, but strengthens the immune system and helps with blood circulation. Aqua-jets in the spas massage away tension through the use of acupressure. Exfoliation scrub and massage services leave skin feeling silky and smooth.Relax in the lounge area while sipping on an ice-cold beverage at our restaurant, or bask in the warmth of the tranquility.  
For $25, we maximized the use of their dry and wet sauna rooms. We stayed there from 1 pm to 6 pm. Actually this place is open for 24 hours so if you want, you can stay much longer. Other services like body massage, foot massage, and acupuncture solicit extra fee but because I didn't want to pay more, I didn't opt for that. haha. To lay down inside the igloo looking sauna and sit in the hot jacuzzi while sipping from my pineapple smoothie was relaxing enough for me. Thank you Mars for inviting me to go here! 
After that pleasant sauna experience, we met with another new found friend, Jean! I met her in one of the Filipino parties, yes you can find me in all of those, as long as there's lechon. lol. We ate at a Hongkong restaurant called Ming's BBQ in Pleasant Hill and had the best duck in my life. It's so good, it's a must try! Baka magselos si Jollibee Chicken Joy and Max's chicken, ganon kasarap for me. Oh how I love poultry, it shows! lol After dinner, we went to a cafe nearby and chatted some more. 



The three of us are uniquely different from one another.  However, we connected right away! Maybe it is because we all have Kapampangan blood and obviously that's the reason why we are "malago!" hahaha. 

I am also grateful for my old but good friends. No matter how far, from east coast to west coast, we keep our friendship in tact. This circle of friends are my friends from my community, Singles for Christ and if there's one thing that keeps us close up till this day is our relationship with God. Myk arranged for us to have a bible study each month through Google Hangout and the picture below was our first session :)
Every Friday is a date with my couple friends and last Friday was held at my place. These are my friends from Couples for Christ. They are my source of wisdom and inspiration. Since Alan and I are just starting in our marriage, it is a huge help to be surrounded by these couples with years of fruitful and blissful matrimonial life maturity. They are a true testimony that a long lasting relationship is a relationship that keeps God always in the center :)
I was also happy to have chatted with my all time best friend, my hubby's sister, Nina-chan! I was also finally introduced to her soon-BFF-too, Marvin, who both found one another at Lingkod ng Panginoon! Praying for you guys! <3
At work, I am also blessed to have found friends through my coworkers. Last Administrative Professionals Day, my supervisor (on the right) surprised me with flowers, breakfast on my desk, and a $50 Amex GC and our new hired EA (on the left) treated us to lunch at Atlantic Seafood company. Such generous, nice and sweet ladies. 


I feel greatly blessed to have all these people in my life, near, far, wherever they are. hehehe. God is indeed sending angels on my way while my husband is away (oh that rhymed!), and that makes me one happy, congenial girl. I pray that May will be a good month for me.  

xoxo,
Joselle