1st Day of School!!!

Well… The first week of school is officially here! Crazy how fast summer flew by! And.. It does just feel a little early since most other schools are still off for another month! Oh well, at least we get out in May!
Not only did I start my official first school day as a full time teacher yesterday.. I’m starting off with 33 Kinders.. And to me.. They are just going to be babies still!
It is definitely going to be a learning experience, but I’m looking forward to watching them grow.. Teaching them how to read and write (eek! So much pressure!) and just having fun with them!
Here’s to the first day of school!

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What we’ve been up to lately…

Wow! So many things have happened since our last conversation!

1. This girl WAS sleeping through the night, but NOT ANYMORE! Ugh.

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2. I don’t want to jinx anything, but we almost have a house! Just waiting for closing! Eek!!!!!!! By the way… That ever so occurring word”pending,” actually feels pretty awesome when you are the reason behind it!
3. Made another piñata, but I’m not too happy with it. It’s supposed to be a surfboard.. But it looks more like a tombstone! Ha.

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4. My last week of professional development and we finally get to start decorating our classrooms! Can’t wait to show you guys! Here are some ideas!

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I don’t know.. It might be weird making my room camping thing.. But I just can’t help myself!
5. I love my husband! (Especially his chubby cheeks as a kid!)

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Serving alongside my sister…

Today I… Wanted to reflect about an amazing weekend I had serving/volunteering at our church retreat. It’s been soooo long since I’ve had the pleasure of volunteering to do anything. I used to be all about it! Anyway this past weekend my sister and I were able to do just that. Our church had one of their many confirmation retreats for the youth (high school age) and I was able to serve with her as a chaperone. It basically consisted of me setting up chairs for certain activities, passing out baby wipes when the teens made masks, and simply being present to witness the transformation of young people discovering God for the first time.

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It was really refreshing to be able to witness some of the youth completely moved by some of the talks and skits. It honestly made me reflect about my own personal journey and where I was when I first found God.

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The theme for the weekend was “The Lost are Found.” The highlight, for me, was being able to serve with my sister and see her in her element. She is an amazing singer and she sang with the band during the pinnacle part of the weekend, Eucharistic Adoration. Every time she sings, I cry.

20130312-075806.jpgIt is honestly inspiring to serve with her and all of these amazing young adults who sacrifice an entire weekend of their time to do this. I struggled and I even got to go home at night! A lot of them have full time jobs and have exhausting weeks at work and then still have the energy to do retreats.. Without using any technology! Boggles my mind! Anywho.. Great weekend. I thank God for the opportunity and for an amazing husband who watched our daughter while I was gone. Woo!

5 Little Things…

1. The feeling of simplifying your life when you have to decide what you really need and what can sit in storage for the next couple years…2. Pureeing something in my blender for the first time and loving the results!

Sweet Potato Soup Recipe from here

3. Realizing I still have my wine opening skills from the good ol’ server days…

4. When the husband cooks me breakfast and it includes bacon!

5. Satisfying your dessert cravings with 3 different flavors of yan yans…

Tough Mudder 2012 (Big Bear)

Today I..reflected on this past weekend. It was pretty crazy! I realized I hadn’t sat down and just gathered all my thoughts in awhile. It felt appropriate to do so after a very eventful weekend. So..here we go!

Read time: About 15-20 Minutes

Friday, my brother came over and we immediately started packing up the car to get ready to head to LAX. Honestly, it was such a big help that he was there. From carrying luggage and the car seat to loading and unloading things in the car, I don’t think I would’ve been ready to travel without another person. Praise God for loving brothers! My future cousin-in-law, Tad, who lives upstairs in our apartment building was gracious enough to drop us off at the airport and take the car back. Thanks Tad! Any who, I was most nervous about going through security. But, before we even went down that path, we had to verify her age at the Southwest terminal first. That was easy peasy! (not sure how to spell peasy? peezy?) All I had to do was show Ave’s birth certificate and we were on our way. Going through security wasn’t half as bad as I thought. My least favorite part is that they have you remove your shoes! So pointless and annoying! Anyway, luckily I was wearing slippers (as usual) so it didn’t delay me much. We arrived early, walked around the airport for a bit, tried not to spend any $ b/c the prices are SO RIDICULOUSLY high, then changer her diaper, and got ready to board. My brother was all weirded out by the new Southwest system of seating..it’s first come, first serve now. He hadn’t been on a plain in awhile so it was a little shocking. I assured him, though, that I checked-in early online and that gave us “A” seating which means we were the first batch of passengers to board (After the elderly, of course). I was unsure of how Ave would do on the plane, but she was AMAZING! She cried a little in the beginning, but I nursed her as the plane took off and as we landed, so that helped tremendously.

We arrived in Oakland about an hr later (thank goodness for short flights!) and had to change for the wedding that we were going to inside the airport. I accidentally planned our trip really tight, so we didn’t have time to stop by my cousin’s house first. So we took the shuttle to the rental car place and while I got the car, my brother changed. Then we switched. Again, very helpful that he was there!! They tried to make us upgrade to a compact car, but I assured them that an economy size is all we needed. After all, we were literally going to be coming back tomorrow so we didn’t need anything fancy. Once we changed and prettied ourselves up, we started to make our way through the city of Oakland to San Pablo, the location of the wedding venue. Thank goodness for GOOGLE MAPS! We hit traffic, but we were able to take side streets and surprisingly make it to the wedding on time..actually scratch that..we were EARLY! Holler! Although I was stressing in the car, I partly had confidence we would make it on time because it IS a Filipino wedding and if you’ve ever been to one, they usually start a little late! Haha.

The wedding venue was super cute, but I’ll post about that later. hehe. The bride, my extended cousin, and groom had their friend minister the wedding. It was kind of crazy because he was reading straight from an iPad! I guess this is how contemporary weddings might be nowadays..so weird! The ceremony went by so quickly. I got up to change her about 10 minutes into the wedding and when I came back it was over! So, the cocktail hour and reception followed immediately. It took place at the same location so all we had to do was walk over a couple steps. Very convenient! When I was pregnant and got the invitation for the wedding, I remember thinking and getting excited for drinking and it being my first night away from her! Crazy how things change. I couldn’t even bear the idea of leaving or going without her and I had no desire to drink whatsoever! Lol.

After an amazing dinner, some dancing, a performance by our little cousins, and when the reception festivities calmed down, we headed back to Oakland to stay with my other extended cousin and her bf. (Hi Minah! Thanks for hosting us, again!) So, that night was a little rough. I drank 2 cups of coffee at the wedding that I didn’t think would affect me that bad, but it did..coupled with a lot of things I had on my mind. Not a good combination. But, those times when I feel sad or weak, I look at my baby and it gives me strength to go on somehow. I don’t know how it works like that, but it does.

Saturday morning, we woke up, went to breakfast, and headed back to the airport to go home. We were literally there less than 24 hours, lol. On the plane ride back, Ave did very well again. I used the same system, changed her before we boarded, nursed her during take-off and landing, and she pretty much slept the entire time. Thank God! Gotta love this age! Eddie picked us up at the airport, we dropped my brother off at the apartment and he stayed there until he had to go to work, loaded the car, and immediately headed to Big Bear. haha. Do you think I’m crazy yet?!? Oh, and because everything happened so fast, I totally forgot to bring my tennis shoes that I wanted to pack. This will be a huge mistake that you will see later. I told you our weekend was jam packed. On the road to Big Bear, the hubby and I did some really good reflecting and talked pretty much the entire 3  hr ride. Ave slept the whole time which made it a lot easier and calmer. 🙂 I realized during that car ride that my husband and I have gone through a lot during our almost 2 years of marriage. It’s really surreal how fast time flies when you’re having fun. And, one thing I know for sure, marriage is sure an adventure. I know I post a lot of things about marriage and “5 Things I Learned About My Husband” and such, but our conversation just assured me that every day I am still learning more and more about him. You think we would’ve had each other mastered by now, after being together for 10 years before we got married, but NO…there’s still so much to him that I have yet to discover. It’s actually exciting in a way. Keeps things fresh! And, since no marriage is perfect, it humbles me to know we are human and everything we go through is not new (other couples I’m sure have gone through similar things). It keeps me going also knowing that now we have this beautiful daughter to care for and, really, it’s not about us anymore. So, no matter the challenge and obstacle that comes our way, we can get through it..we HAVE to get through it..for her! 🙂

Dude, this post is turning out longer than expected! Saturday afternoon, we arrived at Big Bear Lake (such a cute town!), picked up our friend Paul and went to the cabin that we would be staying in for the weekend. So adorable! Our friends, Katrina and Nick, coordinated with everyone who was participating in the Tough Mudder race and we rented a cabin altogether. Some people slept in rooms, some on air mattresses, but it was really kind of fun being together. We actually didn’t know half of the people who were running on our team, I mean we’ve seen most of the around, their faces were familiar, but we didn’t know many by name. So, that evening, we really just got to know each other a little bit. Everyone pretty much slept early because of the early morning we were about to have. I have to admit, I’m so much more anti-social than I used to be! I would be the first to introduce myself to people and break the ice immediately, but recently, I’m like a turtle who hides itself back in its shell. I don’t know why I’m like that. Has motherhood made me this way? Has not being active in ministry made me like this? I haven’t quite figured it out. But, I REALLY tried this weekend to let my guard down. And, although I’m not 100% proud of my performance, I’m like 85% which is higher than expected.:)

Okay, Sunday morning came around. We all decided to leave at 7:30 so everyone got up around 6am to make breakfast and fuel up for the long day. We registered and no, unfortunately I was not a participant at this year’s Tough Mudder, I was merely a spectator, but I learned real quick that being a spectator was TOUGH too! As we waited for all the team members to arrive and gather, we managed to take a group picture (see photo above) before their start time 9:20am. Then, they were off! The first obstacle was to jump over a wall. For some reason, I was most nervous about this part for Eddie because EVERYONE was watching, but he did alright.

After they jump over the wall, they don’t start right away. They all stand and face the flag for the National Anthem. Then, they do this little pep-talk thing. The guy on the microphone was pretty inspiring. He told a heart warming story about his veteran friend, he recognized all the military personnel that were participating, and he really pumped everyone up before he blew the whistle.

Oh! And I really loved how some people dress up for these things. I don’t go to a lot of races because I’m sure people do it all the time, but I had fun looking at all the costumes. You can kind of see them in the picture below. My favorite one was the guys in pink nightgowns. Lol. So, anyway, tough mudder. Eddie’s been training for this race for about 9 months, and I literally couldn’t believe we were there because it felt like so long since he started training. He didn’t train all hardcore or anything, but he was running pretty consistently and I was so impressed. I understand now why people sign up for these things because it’s such a good motivator!

So, this race/obstacle course is NO JOKE! Honestly, I can’t believe some of the things they had to do. Just look at the website and you can watch some of thems. I think I was a little out of my league thinking it was a good idea to bring my infant child. Haha. In order to watch them do the obstacles, you literally had to hike up the mountain to where they were at. I was SO not prepared for that! First of all, I didn’t have shoes b/c I completely forgot them as were scurrying to head to Big Bear after I got back from Oakland. Secondly, carrying an 11 lb baby under the hot sun was not the most comfortable way to go. At least I had my friend Jen with me, she had a baby and 2 other kids with her! She’s my hero. We were honestly surprised we survived the day.

Overall, very interesting experience! I’m very proud of my husband because this was one thing he set his mind to and accomplished. Now, would I ever do it?? Yah, maybe, but its a bit expensive and 10 miles is a lot for me. We shall see. It did inspire me nonetheless. I actually went on my first real jog with my jogging stroller yesterday. Woohoo! And, I signed up for the color run in November. (Anyone want to do it with us?) Well, thanks for listening to me. Hope you have a great rest of your week!

P.S. Was this long and reflective enough for you Ryan? Lol.

Simplicity & Creativity

Things that inspired me this week:

1) The creativity of this little boy really got me! Who wants to come with me to visit his arcade and see if it still exists??

2) This list is amazing!

Click here to view the list.

Things that distracted me this week:

This darn website!

If you haven’t gotten on this site, you must. But, BEWARE!