Living life in the carpool lane..

Archive for the ‘Blast to the past’ Category

Yesterday, we had a little family get together with some of my closest friends that I’ve known since high school. 

We’ve been a close knit group of friends since high school and even through the many years after, when most people lose touch with each other, we all kind of made it a point to stick together.  For the most part, we were all pretty much a part of each other’s weddings.  We celebrated the births of our children.  We celebrate birthdays.

It didn’t dawn on me until recently that I have known these ladies for at least 20 years!

20 years!

One of the ladies, I’ve known since middle school.  Another one of the ladies, I’ve known since my dance days. 

So that means OVER 20 years!

That’s a long time!

It’s amazing to know that no matter how much life pulls at us in different directions, we can still get together and hang out like nothing has changed.

I’m so glad we get to have these moments.  I’m kind of wishing I took some pictures…

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When Hubby and I became engaged back in 2010, I swore it was a day that I’ll never forget.

Of course I haven’t forgotten the actual moment.  I haven’t forgotten where we were, what he said, how he looked, how I felt.. you know.. all the important details.

I also swore to myself that I’d never forget the day..

But here we are, January 8th and I hadn’t remembered until this past weekend.

Hubby proposed to me on January 2nd, 2010 and it totally slipped my mind this year.

The only reason I remembered was because Hubby was updating his Facebook timeline with some important information and he asked me what year he proposed.  He should remember too, right?

I just thought that important dates like that would stick with me forever.  The memory of the day hasn’t left my mind, but I figured neither would the date… but it did!

I know life gets hectic and things get overlooked, but I hope to always remember those important moments in my life.

Thank God for reminders!

Ok.. so I know we were still a few days away from the end of 2013.. but with the way my blogging has been this month, I might as well do it now..

I started the year with a rambunctious one year old with an ear infection.  She had a rough Christmas, ended up on antibiotics, and rang in the new year wide awake and partying with the rest of us..  she was a bucket full of words and started experimenting with 2-3 word sentences.. she was full of energy.. full of happiness.. full of love..

The year went on…

We enjoyed ourselves tremendously this year..

We took a trip to Hawaii.  We spent 6 out of the 10 days playing on beaches.

We went to Las Vegas for Thanksgiving.  Both M and I got sick right after, but thankfully, we are both recovered..

We went to the San Diego Zoo and the Safari Park.. M LOVED it..

We recently visited the Birch Aquarium and purchased membership passes.. I can’t wait for a whole year of tide pools and aquarium exhibits..

Things weren’t always so pleasant.

This year provided me with the scare of the lifetime.  While M was battling roseola, she had a very scary febrile seizure.. since then, I haven’t dealt with her colds and sicknesses the same again.

There weren’t a lot of sniffles this year, until we got to fall and winter.  There weren’t a lot of ear infections either.  That’s a GREAT thing.

Hubby and I had a great year.  We celebrated 5 years of dating and 3 years of marriage.  We celebrated small, but with out little family, it was totally worth it.

M’s obsessions started with Masha and The Bear videos on Youtube in Russian.  Throughout the year, she’s added surprise egg videos on Youtube and Play Doh product reviews.

Her television obsessions still include Dora the Explorer, but she’s added on almost all other Nick Jr shows.  She loves Lalaloopsy, Go, Diego, Go, The Wonderpets, and Paw Patrol.   Paw Patrol is her newest favorite show.  She can quote all the episodes we watch On Demand, and she knows every single character and will pretend she is every single character.  She’s also discovered My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and some Barbie cartoons on Netflix.

We end the year with a very different M than what we started with.  I guess it happens.. she’s very communicative now.  We can have a conversation.  She can talk in sentences.  She can follow directions.  She’s still very happy and energetic.  She is also hilarious and our endless form of entertainment..

The one thing that I love that has grown in her during the year is her affection.  She has grown to be very affectionate and loving.  I cherish every random hug and kiss I get from her because I know it may end at any moment.

2013 had been nothing but blessings.  I’m so very thankful that we had been showered with non-stop blessings this year.  Looking back and thinking about 2013 has shown me how much M and our family has grown and matured in just one year.

2013 flew by faster than I could have ever imagined, but allowing myself to look back has shown me that we have accomplished a lot in this blur.

Can’t wait for 2014 and it’s adventures!


I remember growing up and having a really active imagination..

I used to imagine that everything had a little life and mind of its own. 

For example, a bag of toys.  Almost like the movie, Toy Story, I used to think that these toys had a mind of their own and that they would talk to each other.  I’d imagine what they were thinking all stuffed in a bag.  I’d come up with these whole conversations in my head..

What brought this up?

Well, I was at work the other day.  I was bringing back a bag of samples to the packaging area.  It was in a clear bag, so I could see all the vials in there.  One vial was in it’s own bag because it was pulled aside for a retention sample.   For some odd reason, I reverted back to my childhood and totally imagined what that other vial was thinking being separated from the group..

Don’t ask me why.. maybe having a child has re-activated my imagination.. or I’m just succumbing to the stresses of the daily workday.. who knows.. let’s just assume the first reason.. it’s more pleasant.

My imagination was so active that it would scare me in middle of the night..

One very well-known story in my family is that of the scary luggage..

My childhood bedroom has some storage space way above my closet.. it was there that my parents had put some old luggage.  This was OLD luggage.. it was leather with buckles..

I used to have a nightlight in my bedroom when I was a child.  The light from the nightlight hit that luggage in a certain way that make my imagination go wild!  It looked like a monster.. the buckles and zippers and stuff looked like an evil face! 

It gave me anxiety every night before bed, but I never said anything to my parents…

But once I let my anxieties be known (it took a drawing for my mom to find out..), all my parents had to do was to flip the luggage around.. and the monster was gone!

I wonder where M’s imagination will take her…

January 1st, 2009 was the very first entry on this blog..

That means I’ve completed 4 years of blogging, and I am entering into my 5th year..

In 2009, I wasn’t married.  Hubby and I had been dating for about 8 months and he was away on an Asian vacation.

I was still living at my parents house and working in the bacteriology lab in San Bernardino.

I was about halfway through my MBA program at the University of Phoenix online…

The blog was about my life but it had no real direction.  I didn’t know what exactly I wanted out of the blog, but I knew it was going to be more well-thought out than previous blogs I had in the past.  I wanted this blog to mean something, what that was, I had no idea at that point. 

Who would have known that this blog would become a wedding blog, a married life blog, and eventually a “mommy blog?!”

Beginning this 5th year of blogging, I’m curious to see where it all goes.  This year is the year I plan to blog every day…

We’ll see what this year has planned for me and this blog..

How long have you been blogging?!

I’m first-generation Filipino-American.

I grew up pretty Filipino.. I still eat the food.. I cherish the culture.. and all it’s traditions.. I didn’t really know any other way to live.. considering my parents were native-Filipino.. we were exposed to many things Filipino.. I like it that way.

Anyway.. here’s a fun story..

Growing up.. we’d have the American flavors of ice cream.. and occasionally we’d have the Filipino flavors of ice cream..

I totally thought it was normal to have mais con queso ice cream.. translation.. corn with cheese.. specifically.. cheese ice cream with corn kernels..

I never saw anything wierd about that.. it was an ice cream flavor I was very familiar with.. and still love today.. but I never saw it as wierd.. or out of the ordinary.. or gross.. by no means is it gross..

Flash forward to last year.. I was watching Bizarre Eats with that Andrew Zimmer-something guy.. he was touring the Philippines and was talking about the ice cream he’d find from the street vendors..

He acted as if cheese ice cream was a wierd thing.. he was astounded by the fact that he was having cheese ice cream.. haha..

Flash forward again to last month.. I was talking to coworkers about ice cream.. and I had mentioned mais con queso flavor.. and said it was cheese and corn..

Oooh.. the look they gave me.. they thought it was the wierdest thing..

It just makes me laugh..

I mean.. I thought it was normal..

What sort of things did you grow up with that you thought were completely normal.. and were amused by the fact that most people thought it a bit strange? 

Leave your story in the comments..

It’s amazing what your mind remembers when you just let it go and allow it to do it’s thing..

I went to one of my bestie’s house’s today.. it’s in a city that’s pretty close to the college we all attended..

I left her house during a high rush-hour traffic time and so I wanted to avoid a big chunk of the freeway junctions that I know cause a lot of traffic.  There are very many ways to get around through the city my college is in to get to various freeways in the area..

I knew the area well when I was in college.  I knew my way around that city like I actually lived there.

I graduated in 2004.  It’s been 5 years since I’ve driven around that area, but I really wanted to avoid various parts of the freeways that are known for major traffic jams.

So I drove around and just did what I knew.  I kept my eyes and my mind open, letting my long-term memory and instinct just take control..

I was amazingly able to get to where I needed to be..

It’s amazing what the mind can do when you are not thinking too hard and just letting your mind take your where you are supposed to go..

If only it were that easy with everything in life..

The following was the written version of my Witness Talk done at the Cursillo Ultreya a few months ago.. because this was the written version, it may not be as cohesive or well-versed as the oral version I had actually done.  The basic gist of the talk is there.. and I will look through it before posting for any grammatical error.. but.. here it is..

I hope you enjoy…

Please leave any comments you have on the actual “Living life in the carpool lane..” blog page by clicking here..

A little warning.. it’s LONG..

When I was first asked to do the Witness Talk, my mind drew a blank.  I didn’t feel like I had enough experience to truly give a good witnessing.  I felt that nothing I would say would bear any significance.

But I also believed that God would provide.. Something will come up and it would flow out of me like water..

So.. I opened myself up to the Lord.. and I waited..

And waited.. and waited..

My mom would ask me if I had anything ready and I would say, “Nope.. I’m waiting..”

At the last Team Formation, Sister Ana asked me if I was ready and I said, “Nope.. still waiting..”

Suddenly, it was the week of the Ultreya and I still had nothing.

I panicked and went to the one place I turn to for comfort and advce.  I went on Facebook.  I went on Facebook and changed my status update to a plea to all Cursillistas for help.  My mom and Sister Cathy both responded by saying to think of my life before and after the Cursillo weekend.

Before.. and after..

Suddenly I realized I had something.  I had a song.   “Lay It Down,” sung by Jaci Velasquez.  It was a song, that after my Cursillo weekend, I fully embraced as MY song.  It was MY story.  I felt that she was singing that song for me.  That song was my “before and after..”

Before, my life consisted of prayer, planning, and wanting to control my life.  God had a part in my life.  His part was to give me what I wanted according to MY plan.  I’d find myself angry because I was doing everything I thought a “good Catholic” was supposed to do, yet everyone else was getting what they wanted, while everything I would plan constantly fell apart right in front of me.

I was in a relationship with a non-Catholic and we had marriage plans.. I remember praying so hard that God give us what we wanted.  I prayed, or more like begged, God to make things work out.  However, every time my fiancé and I came close to fulfilling those plans, God made things unravel.  It would make me angry, hopeless and doubtful of God’s actual presence in my life.

I’ve been looking ‘til my eyes are tired of looking
Listening ‘til my ears are numb from listening
Praying ‘til my knees are sore from kneeling
On the bedroom floor

I know that You know that my heart is aching
I’m running out of tears and my will is breaking

I don’t think that I can carry
The burden of it anymore

All of my hopes and my dreams and my best laid plans
Are slowly slipping through my folded hands

My mom let me read the book “Let Go & Let God.”  It said very poignant things, yet I don’t think I fully understand the concept.  I don’t think allowed myself to.  I was so engrossed in trying to make things work out in that relationship that I didn’t want to let myself understand it.  I didn’t want to know the outcome of letting go of the control of my life.  So I worked so hard to work things out in my relationship that I was even trying to find compromises to satisfy both religions.

Though willing to compromise, it left me uneasy.  I started studying, listening and reading about anything and everything I could that was Catholic.  But I again, I begged God to help me find “loopholes” in the religion to allow what my fiancé and I wanted to do, and again, I felt that God has let me down.

Along came my weekend.. that’s when I finally learned how to “lay it down..”  Just lke the song..

So I’m gonna lay it down
I’m gonna learn to trust You now

What else can I do
Everything I am depends on You

And if the sun won’t come back upI know
Your love will be enough
’m gonna let it be, I’m gonna let it go
I’m gonna lay it down

After the Cursillo, I knew my place, I knew what I wanted and what God wanted of me, no compromises.  I had to do what I had to do.  I had to let it be, let it go, and lay it down.

Accepting no compromises, my relationship ended.  I found myself lost because I suddenly found myself without a plan.  I had nothing to fight for.  I was following God’s plans, and I didn’t know what that actually meant.

I went through the motions of my day to day life, trusting God would provide but doubting he even acknowledged me.  Perhaps, I thought, he forgot about me.

Slowly and surely I found myself in certain situations and I realized God was at work.  The pieces were coming together and I had direction… God’s direction.  I still had ups and downs, but I wasn’t angry.  There were still times that things didn’t go my way, but I wasn’t bitter.  I knew I was being taken care of, and it made my life so much more bearable.

I’ve been walking through this world like I’m barely living
Buried in the doubt of this hole I’ve been digging
But You’re pulling me out and I’m finally breathing
In the open air

This room may be dark but I’m finally seeing
There’s a new ray of hope and now I’m believing
That the past is past and the future’s beginning to look brighter now
‘Cause all of my hopes and my dreams and my best laid plans
Are safe and secure when I place them in Your hands

The transition isn’t easy.  I’ve planned all my life and suddenly my life is not my own.  There are days that are harder than others.  Ther are days when I compare where my life is versus others and it makes me feel bad.

It’s times like those when I think of my song, and how much farther I feel my life’s journey has taken me knowing God has been there guiding me.  That’s when I take a deep breath in, and thank Him for all the blessings.

And I was right, if I truly waited for the right moment, the Lord will provide and these words would flow like water.. thanks be to God.

So there it is..

This is probably all new news to a lot of you.. but this is me.. and this is my life..

The Lord hasn’t given me anything I can’t handle.. and I believe that He never will.. He knows how strong a person I really am.. even if I don’t know it myself..

Remember.. to please refer all comments to the actual blog page by clicking here..

I know every line to the Sound Of Music and can recite it along with the movie. This was because I spent a few summers watching that movie everyday growing up.

It is true.. when I was younger.. I had seen The Sound Of Music on television and fell in love with it.  My aunt bought me the VHS version of the movie as a result.

I spent many summers watching that movie.. practically EVERYDAY!!

I would recite the lines right along with the characters.. and sing the songs all the time..

I may not have the movie completely memorized off the top of my head now.. but when I do watch it.. I still can recite the lines of the movie along with the characters..

It’s one of those things that have been engraved in my long-term memory.. and will probably be something I can never forget!

It’s May 11th.. you wanna know a funny story about what happened on May 10th.. 2008. 

That was one year ago yesterday..

So we were at the baby shower of my best friend. 

Side note:  This is the best friend who’s baby I was watching on Saturday..

OT and I had just had our first date about two weeks prior to the shower.. we had been pretty much talking and texting each other non stop since the beginning of April.. and so I invited him to be with me at this baby shower.  He even pitched in some money for the big joint gift a group of us gave to my friend..

So.. we were sitting on the couch.. together.. and playfully bantering.. teasing.. and flirting.. And this is the following conversation that happens with some observer to our banter..

Girl: Are you guys dating?
OT: No!

HELLO!?!?!  There was no hesititation.. it was such a convicted NO.. that it shocked me..

But the thing was.. we never really talked about our “status..” we only really went on one date.. so.. I let it go.. even though I was shocked and slightly disturbed.

I did tell my other bestie that I was bothered by it.. and that I was going to discuss it at a future date with him.. but since they work together.. things got said.. and the issue got brought to the table the next Monday.

Needless to say.. on our next date.. we got it straightened out.. and he apologized.. and well.. we’ve been together ever since.

But I am NEVER going to let him live that one down!!! Hahaha..

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July 2020