Friday, January 4, 2013

33 Reasons to be Thankful

*Sorry I only am able to post this now. I spent half the day renewing my license with a dead iPhone. Major bummer! Then my mom and brother came over to have merienda at home and they left just before I went to hear mass. I really didn't expect to be this busy on my day. Again, my apologies!*

It's my 33rd birthday today! And since it's still practically the start of the year, here are the many blessings I received and enjoyed in 2012 for which I am very grateful for:

1. My dear husband
He makes me laugh, makes me cry, infuriates and surprises me each day. I love that we can sit in companionable silence or argue to high heavens over trivial matters. I love that he is always there for me and our daughters. I love that he spoils us silly. And I am beyond thankful that he makes enough to provide a comfortable life for us which also allows me the freedom to be at home with the kids.

2. My adorable Ally. 
Sometimes she proves just how terrible the terrible threes can be, but she is also the sweetest and funniest little girl I know. She is a very witty little princess with the kindest heart and an amazing sense of responsibility towards her little sister. She is truly my pride and joy.

3. My sweet Sofia and her safe delivery . 
My biggest blessing for the year! From the womb, to her delivery and up until now, she has shown just how feisty and spirited she is. I am constantly amazed at her perseverance and strong will mixed well with her sweetness. She is an absolute delight and another source of my pride.

Ally, Jojo and Sofia
4. My parents. 
I love how our relationship has evolved through the years. I still get parental advice and the occasional disappointed speech from them, but I can say that I can consider them my friends now. And guess what? I actually prefer their company most of the time now, something my teenage self would find ludicrous!

5. My sister. 
She is my go-to person for everything, good news or bad news, happy kwentos or sad kwentos. I love that she always listens to all my problems and angals in life and never judges me at all. She truly is my bestest friend.

6. My brother though I don't know why! Haha! Seriously though, my brother was the first person I have ever felt responsibility for since he is 10 years younger than me. I think much of what I do for and how I take care of my children, I learned on the job while looking after my brother when we were kids. 

7. Having a close-knit clan and our Saturday dinners. 
My grandmother has made it a family tradition to always eat dinner at her place on Saturdays. It was something I didn't care much for in my college days since I wasn't allowed to go out with my friends in what was typically a gimmick night. But now I appreciate and love this tradition. 

Paras clan at Mamang's 85th birthday dinner, July
8. Barkadoodles and 18 years of friendship. 
I always have this feeling that Ethel, who we lost nearly a decade ago, is the unseen force keeping us all glued together. She is our very own special guardian angel, and I'm sure she is smiling down at us, at where we are now and who we are now. From 6 giddy teenagers, we have grown with the addition of 4 husbands, 1 long-time boyfriend and 4 children. And though we live in 3 different countries, we still meet up with each other and the feel is still the same.  
Barkadoodles, September
Barkadoodles++ at Bryan&Hya's wedding
9. G-32 college blockmates
My college blockmates are the nerdiest people I hang out with (and I mean that in the nicest possible way), but I can be as ditsy as I can with them and still feel appreciated and not laughed at. 
G-32 blockmates
10. Our home in Matimtiman which has been our safe and happy place for the past three years. We are centrally located so everything we need is within walking and driving distance. Plus we have amazing neighbors. We have celebrated birthdays, Halloween, Thanksgiving and even Paquiao fight days with shared food and company in our communal driveway.

11. Facebook friends who always like and comment on my posts.
No matter what I post, I always get kilig whenever someone likes or comments on it. I feel noticed and appreciated. So simple but it has done wonders for my self-worth and self-esteem.

12. Twitter "friends" who always reply to my questions and comments.
I love that I get to "talk" and share ideas and comments with people who don't know me. And I feel an extra sense of thrill whenever someone I look up to tweets back!

13. Nest, Teacher Maj, Teacher LA, the teaching assistants and the kuyas
Ally's school and its community have been a blessing to us the past two years. Beyond academics, Ally has learned to socialize and open up to other people. She is growing up beautifully and credit goes to the school which molds her too. I am so thankful that I don't worry (too much) about her when she is at school. I am assured that my daughter is safe and happy while there.
Nest Preschool A and B
14. Trinoma and SM regular sales and their close proximity to the house
You know of my thriftiness and dedication to getting a good deal, right? I owe a lot to Trinoma and SM  for having regular sales that satisfy my shopaholic tendencies. And I can seriously say that I am sane (or as sane as I can possibly be) because I get to spend some much-needed me time without having to feel too guilty of spending so much. 

15. The convenience and ease of online shopping. 
Thanks to Zalora, eBay, Multiply and, I don't have to leave the house to shop! I get a kick out of being able to buy stuff from the convenience of my home and I seriously love the thrill of receiving and opening them once delivered to my doorstep. Hmm. On second thought, maybe I shouldn't be too thankful. Online shopping made a serious dent on my credit card these past few months.

This I am really, really thankful for. I love that I get to watch local shows at my own time and without commercials. And all for free!

This has been my creative outlet for some time now. I love making and ordering their photo books, which serve as our photo albums. And I've expanded to also order their stretched canvas too. Way cool and affordable.

18. Etc, Jack, 2nd Ave for match airing my favorite US shows - Hart of Dixie, Glee Project, Emily Owens M.D., How I Met Your Mother, and Big Bang Theory

19. Pao&Cielo, Bryan&Hya, and April&Brian for getting Ally as a flower girl in their wedding and making her dream of becoming a princess come true.
Princess Ally at Paolo&Cielo's wedding
Princess Ally at Bryan&Hya's wedding
20. HSBC and Starbucks treats. How can one not be thankful for free stuff!

21. Online contests and my patience for joining them.
I have won 5 online contests/raffles in 2012! Thank you, Dizzy Dress, Eastwood Mall, Cyma, and Cotton On. You have made me and my family feel so blessed and special! I hope to match and even surpass this in 2013!

22. Milestones and fun family events
We celebrated so many family milestones this year - my niece Lila's baptism in January, grand Lardizabal reunion in February, Papa's 60th birthday party, Paolo&Cielo's wedding and Benjo's graduation in March, Ally's 3rd birthday party in April, Sofia's arrival in May, Mamang's 85th birthday in July, Sofia's baptism in September, Lila's 1st birthday party in October, my cousin Camille's debut in November, and Mama's 60th birthday celebration in December. Wow, it wasn't until now that I realized that 2012 was truly a big year for my family!
Paras clan at Lila's baptism, January
Jojo and me at the Lardizabal clan reunion, February
At Paolo&Cielo's wedding, March
The Paras clan at Papa's 60th birthday party, March
Macias family at Ally's 3rd birthday party, April
Sofia's baptism, September
Lila's birthday, October
23. Opportunities to catch up with friends
I was able to touch base with so many of my friends who I have not seen or heard from (except in FB) for several years. I was able to attend my high school friend Jill's wedding in January, Hya's wedding in September, and Alvin's wedding in December. I was also able to attend a reunion of my college org recently as well as several dinners with friends throughout the year.

24. DFA passport service at Megamall.
I didn't need to go to Manila to apply for Sofia's passport! I really love the convenience of its location, safe and ample parking and the no-appointment-needed policy for infants. I was able to get everything done in under an hour, and got to do a bit of shopping too!

25. My birthday vacation in Boracay
I love that I was able to start 2012 with a nice and quiet family vacation in Boracay. We stayed at a lovely hotel within walking distance of the restaurants and the beach. The beach wasn't crowded and the weather was ideal. In fact, the weather on my birthday was near perfect!
Boracay, January
26. Family vacation in Baguio
I love that I was able to end 2012 with a Macias family vacation in Baguio. It was not the easiest experience when our group had 2 toddlers and 2 infants with different moods and sleeping patterns, but we had a grand time. I even got to see PNoy (from afar) and Sen Bongbong Marcos (who I was able to thank for RH Law)!
Baguio, December
With Sen Bongbong Marcos at Hill Station, Baguio
27. Mini vacations throughout the year
We didn't have any out of the country vacations due to my pregnancy and Sofia's arrival, but we did have a lot of road trips and mini vacations and staycations throughout the year. We went to Los Banos, Laguna for Jojo's inaanak's birthday celebration and to Tagaytay for Pao&Cielo's wedding in March, had a staycation at Edsa Shangri-la in April and at New World Hotel in August, back to Tagaytay for Bryan&Hya's wedding in September, to Anvaya Cove, Subic in October, and to Lipa, Batangas for Alvin's wedding in December.
Tagaytay, March
Staycation at Edsa Shangri-la, April
Staycation at New World Hotel, August 
Stopover in Nuvali, September
Anvaya Cove, Subic, October

28. Ate Diding and Ate Emily.
They truly made my life so much more comfortable.

29. Avent breast pump and that Sofia has never had a problem with drinking milk from a bottle. You've seen how chubby she is. My guess is milk is milk for her, no matter how it is delivered, as long as she gets fed. I just love that she is not picky and fussy!

30. No major sickness for the whole family! Super mega ka-dooper yay!

31. My cute blue Chevy Spark
Jojo bought the Spark last May as our second car. It is tiny and cute and just right for doing Mommy errands around the city. There are times when I feel bullied by bigger cars and buses when I use it along Edsa and Commonwealth, but parking is a breeze wherever I go. 

32. An inexplicable change to healthy eating.
Spinach and ampalaya are now my favorite food all of a sudden. And I mean this seriously. I have to stop myself from finishing them and I need to remind myself to share them with Ally and Jojo. Oh, and I have taken to drinking healthy juices and smoothies too. My current favorite (and a regular in our household dinners) is apple-malunggay smoothie. Yummy! And because of this healthy eating, I am now able to fit into most of my pre-pregnancy clothes. Super yay!

33. iPhone, Blogger app and an increased number of blog readers.
It gives me a sense of fulfillment whenever I see the numbers continuously (and amazingly) go up. I feel like someone is listening to my kwentos! Thank you for spending a few minutes of your precious time listening to me babbling about things that may or may not matter to you. I hope at the very least I have entertained you and made you smile.

So, there you have it, 33 things I am grateful for, in no particular order. I know some made sense and some didn't, but I had fun making the list. And because I had to edit out so many other things I am also grateful for, I have a new sense of gratitude for the many, many blessings I have received in 2012.  I am both humbled and overjoyed! And you know what my biggest take away with this is? My life, though nowhere near perfect, is pretty damn good! I am now looking forward to 2013 and all the goodness and awesomeness it'll bring me and my family!

PS. I think this is the first time I have followed through with one of my blog promised posts. Yay me! I think I'm off to a wonderful start to 2013!

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