im in bed right now trying to figure out how to best sum up 2008. how do you sum up life turning events in one blog? not sure how....coz right now there are so many emotions that have surfaced just trying to remember the whole year...that it's hard for me to even begin to type it out.
my feelings right now remind me of a time when christian was younger & he couldn't really put into words how he felt & what his thoughts were...so when i'd tuck him in bed at night, i would ask him "hey chino, what was the best part & worst part of your day?". it was easier for him to explain what he loved most and what he didn't like at all by summing it up in a sentence or two. that became a daily thing for us....and i really enjoyed that time...
so i will just blab on blog right now...and say which parts of 2008 was the best part and which parts were the worst part...and hopefully this blog will go somewhere in the end.
best part: listening to God when i beleived it was time for me to leave chicago and "go back"...although i didn't know what and where "back" meant, i obeyed and left and it turned out for the best. don't get me wrong...i loved chicago and it was quite an experience for me.... i loved spending time with my cousins there and seeing the twins grow up and watch their monumental experiences like crawling and walking. it was also necessary for me to take time out from LA to be able to see the "bigger picture" of my life....but truly God does know what's in store because when i came back out here...He had a lot of wonderful surprises in for me that i didn't see coming.
worst part: hoping that i would live in st. louis coz it's cheaper to live out there, only to come back to LA and realize that i would have to live in one of the most expensive cities of the world which was not a good thing back then coz i didn't have a job.
best part: going back home to my sisters and church family. nothing compares to being with family. being without them (my parents, sisters & church family) only taught me to cherish them all the more. plus i love getting hugs from my baby sisters.
worst part: going home to a messy family problem with parents headed for splits-ville. terrible terrible thing to go through. you don't really outgrow pain...even if this is my mother's second divorce....the pain was still very real.
best part: my sister getting married last march. i gained a brother-in-law. he is the most awesomest brother and uncle everrrr! and i gained one of my best friends as a "sister in law" too. that package was truly one of my favorite gifts from God this year.
worst part: one of my bestest friends suffered a heart break earlier this year. that broke my heart. the thing about being "kindred spirits" with a certain person is that you can feel their pain. i felt her pain...and i cried a lot for her. and it was one of those questionable "why God?" moments. if there's anyone who didn't deserve that kind of pain i would say it was her. another person i loved also had a heartbreak just recently as well. im hoping '09 brings bigger and better things for them.
best part: random CRAMP times (usually coz of weddings - Cardenas & Novy weddings).
worst part: not a lot of cramp times. :( we had no idea that while we were writing our faith goals for 2008 that when God told us it would be a new season, new beginnings for all of us, it would mean that we would literally end up in different seasons of our lives, thousands of miles apart from each other.
best part: traveling 4,000 miles in 4 days! flying from LA to Chicago with Rosie - introducing her to family there. then getting a u-haul truck and driving it to visit our friend Anna in St. Louis, as well as visiting the awesome church there (my fave church in the world) and making new friends like Tori & Donna...also to get my stuff that was in storage there, then driving STRAIGHT back to Cali 30 hours after that. LOL. that was a crazy fun trip that we will probably never do again! :D but will forever be embeded in my memory as one of the craziest road trips ever!
worst part: the $$$debt$$$ that i fell into just to get all my stuff that i left in storage coz i couldnt take all of it when i flew back to LA in january.
best part: my son making his own decision to get baptized this year.
worst part: my son learning to talk back. :(
best part: God giving me such an awesome job that i've been believing for for the past 6 years that allows me to hang out with my son. i thought only church would allow that. this is truly God given gift and again, one of my most favorite gifts everrrr!
worst part: so many people losing their jobs coz of the economy.
best part: blogging again!
worst part: getting stuck in front of the computer reading other's blogs when i could be doing something more productive. LOL
best part: my best-sister-in-law friend finally got to walk out her dreams after waiting for sooo long by going to mexico to help with a church plant there.
worst part: i now have no "starbucks/after church where do we go?" partner.
best part: moving into a beautiful home with my own room with wondeful roommates J,B,N. this was christian's answered prayer coz he's been praying to move into a place with a pool for years. it was also fun living in a house with 9 other people for 2 months. But God knew i could only take so much of that! ;) LOL
worst part: having been without a bed and a privacy of my own room for almost 6 months.
best part: starting a smallgroup/bible study again. i love being able to be used by God to help others walk into their God-given destiny. its such an awesome privilege.
worst part: coming back to church and seeing loved ones and friends walk away from God or live a half-hearted life for God. it still brings me to tears when i think about it.
best part: recieving a free car again :D whoot whoot. 3x in a row baby.
worst part: now i have to save enough money to fix the brakes and everything else that needs to be fixed for this car that has ran 223,000+ miles. LOL
best part: feeding the homeless for thanksgiving. worst part: my lovely lil camera died down on me :(
best part: twilight - the books and the movie. yes....i said it! dont' hate on me but im a fan-pire! it actually made it to the best part of my year! haha! it gave me the *kilig-butterfly in my stomach* feeling that made me feel all girly. and when you're a single mom trying to provide and raise children by yourself...you forget that you're a girl at times...so it was a good experience for me.
worst part: i read the books waaay to fast & finished all the books in less than a week. i wish i read it slowly and savored every lil bit of the story instead of rushing through it. blah!
best part: getting over my fear of public speaking by enrolling in a public speaking class.
worst part: drinking medicine that i was allergic to when i was in that class and i started shaking and convulsing in front of my classmates and i had to be carried out of the classroom! LOL
best part: having my sister over with me almost the whole year. seriously, since summer till today, i've had her with me 80% of the time. i love her and i'm glad to have her around coz her and christian love hanging out together.
worst part: when kubie and christian fight. ugghhh...
best part: a "minority" for our future president and a woman ran for president and vice president. times are truly changing.
worst part: the economy. it sucked.
best part: $1.69 a gallon gas prices nowadays
worst part: $4.50 a gallon gas prices middle of '08.
best part: my mom's operation ended up being succesful
worst part: watching my mom turn into a whole new person this year... in a not so good way.
best part: surprised the kids and took them to disneyland for my birthday
worst part: the drama on that entailed on my actual birthday when my parents decided to act like kids and pretend they didnt exist in front of all my friends. you'd think maturity comes with age.
best part: spending the holidays with the people i love the mostest and not getting snowed in for NYE (yep we got snowed in last year in chicago for new years).
so here's a toast to '08 as i welcome the coming new year tonight with a welcoming heart. good and bad memories made '08 an unforgettable year. as i get ready to write my faith goals for '09....i shake off unbelief and decide to dream big for '09. im excited because i know that God knows better and NOTHING is impossible with Him....i trust my future in His hands because it's not the need to know why we go through the pain & trials....but the need to know WHO has our best in mind...and like my friend A says: "God doesn't only know better, He knows best".
I am praying that God will show Himself strong in my behalf (and yours as well) this coming New Year as we grow in Him...being conformed to His image, abounding in His Love, growing in faith, leaning in His grace and lingering in His presence that we might be forever changed because of His overflowing love for us. Have a blessed '09 to you all. I pray for God's overwhelming blessings on you this coming New Year....and I pray that just like with Joseph...that God would turn all your heartbreaks & pain into something glorious & wonderful & life changing...not only for yourself but for others in your sphere of influence as well....and I hope that this new year He takes you beyond what you've imagined was possible and surprises you with a lot of wonderful miracles that you will find yourself saying "i didn't see that coming" this new year...coz He is the God of the impossible indeed :D
I can tell you, Christmas means Christ- then -mas means more in spanish. So it actually means Christ-more! Isn't that wonderful? Christmas actually is Jesus' earthly birthday, when He was brought to the world to save us. It's amazing to have a God that died for us and took the punishment for all of our sins. That is a True Father, Best Friend and Savior. So this Christmas, I hope you ask Him into your heart and remember if you ever need help, just pray to Jesus.
-written by Kubie Ablan, 5th grade, 10 years old.
Psalm 8:2 You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength. (NLT)
ofcourse Christian watches his NBA lakers vs. celtics game for Christmas. :) LOL! die hard just like his tito rolo!
Here's Christian's Annual Christmas Video for you all! It's their (Kubie & Christian's) rendition of Feliz Navidad :)
*this is why I love these kids sooo much. I was at work and they busted out dancing and singing this Christmas song and I had to capture it on my phone coz it's such a classic....i was cracking up like crazy!
i have been very anxious and worrysome these past few weeks. due to intense family drama, i've found that when i look into the mirror, there seems to be a semi-permanent crease right between my eyes coz of all the worrying & thinking that i do. i've been extremely stressed, easily aggitated & annoyed...but most of all, i've taught myself to try to be tough and "suck up" the emotions that come with the current situation, which is often a response to try to numb myself of those emotions. but in reality it just buries itself deeper until my heart can't take it anymore.
as of the moment, in addition to raising a son solo, i have been taking care of my sister as well, with her spending more time with me that she does with our parents. having a full time job while homeschooling 2 kids can become extremely tiring. doing something spontaneous has not been something that i've done recently since every move of mine is calculated coz i have to watch my budget for feeding and spending. everything i've done these past months has been "kid-related" or "kid-friendly" and i've hardly had any "me" time.
last night, after one annoying phone call, i had hit the brink of extreme annoyance towards a family member who was acting irresponsibly. i just sat there numbed, mad (actually pissed off), and irritated....destroying my joyful mood to attempt to convert my roommates into "cullenism".
then, one of them had spontaneously decided that we should go watch the last show of twilight. considering that this was my 3rd time to watch the movie, but first time to actually have the chance watch it in the theaters (don't ask about the first 2 times).... i was torn between going and staying. i was in my pajamas, ready to just chill. but the kids were in bed & someone would be at home to stay behind with them & so i decided to go, even if it meant it would hurt the very little that i have in my budget to watch this movie. i was excited to just go on a "spontaneous ladies night out".
i'm so glad i did it! i hadn't done ANYTHING like that since i left for an out of town road trip with Rosie last spring without Christian, to get my stuff in St. Louis. i had sooo much fun spending time with friends without being in "mommy mode"! we were laughing, gushing, screaming, being super silly and being girls. i loved every minute of it. and i went back home relieved, de-stressed and had a new found respect for the word "time out". kids hate that term, but i love it...it was a much needed time out for me.
i'm so thankful that my friend had that idea and i still had enough "crazy" in me to agree to go. the 2 hours spent just being me, spending for a movie ticket for me and not feeling guilty about it, not thinking about anybody else but me, to give into the indulgence of laughing & hanging out with girlfriends and to gush over a kilig love story has freed me to a certain degree from the longing that i had.
they say that "a friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words". i'm so thankful that my roommates were there at that moment to remind me of the song in my heart to have fun and just be. right when i was in the brink of extreme annoyance, God provided for a way out for me to breathe. i've now found a part of myself that i lost these past few months....the part of me that just enjoys being a "girl".
thank God for time outs, girl friends and shiny shimmery vampires. who would've thought that the combination of those three could bring healing to a tired soul :)
there's a few more days left before this year ends....
i told myself in the beginning of the year, that i would like to:
1. go to disneyland - CHECK (horraay for free disney) 2. settle down in one place & get a steady job - CHECK (Lala Land is my home & i love my boss) 3. overcome fears & step out in faith - CHECK (i took a fearless speaking class) 4. to move into a nice home - CHECK (hooraaay for awesome beautiful roommates) 5. to start a smallgroup again - CHECK (yey for the wonderful peeps in my group) 5. to take a vacation - CHECK (road trip to chicago & st. louis with rosie, visalia, sta. barbara ;) whoot whoot) 6. to make it a priority to read my bible & spend time with God first thing in the morning - ALMOST CHECK...im getting there...i've been constant so far....hopefully i stick with it. 7. to start exercising again & be healthy. 8. go out on one date (it doesn't have to be romantic...but i would like it to be more than just starbucks) since it's been YEAAARSS since i last went out on a date and had my door opened for me :)
i have 15 more days left.
do you think i'll be able to do numbers 7 & 8 before the year ends??
i had so much fun making my last favorite things blog that i am going to do a series of blogs about it (like i had mentioned before). today i will talk about my favorite scents :) there are random scents out there that put a smile on my face...and even make me feel nostalgic. some smell good...some only smell good to me ;)
these are the scents that tickle my nose :)
this is my ultimate feel good smell. the scent of coffee has the same impact on me as bella's blood does with edward. (sorry i can't help but throw a lil' twilight in there). this is my favorite addiction. the smell of coffee relaxes me, makes me feel good, awakens me, it makes me think of my friends and times we spent at starbucks laughing over silly things. the smell makes me "smile".
one of my 2 most favorite things to do when i'm in the mall/department store is to go to the china section and go to the perfume section. i loooove to smell my favorite perfumes over and over and over again. here are my ULTIMATE favorite perfumes that i've used at one point in my life. and yes i have a strange fixation for wearing men's perfumes. im glad my son likes aqua di gio. i will save up to give him that :) he says girls like it when he smells good ;)
from shell to mobil to arco to chevron... :) i can't explain why...i just love how it smells.
VICKS VAPOR RUB
i looove this smell! every time i smell it, i relate it to comfort. my sister Christie absolutely hates it so when we were young, i would rub it all over me and give her a hug just to give her a hard time :)
CINNAMON FOR THE HOLIDAYS
makes you think of home.
BATH AND BODY WORKS SCENTS
from warm vanilla sugar (my favorite as of the moment), cucumber melon, fresh vanilla and the sleep series....this is one of my favorite places to go for s smelling spree. my nose is usually overwhelmed when i go in the store from trying to smell all the "new stuff"...but i seem to always go back to the classics.
if you've never been to the philippines then you probably can't relate to this. i loooove the smell of baretas. its gives me a certain kind of "nostalgic high". when my yaya used to wash my clothes, id just sit around the laundry area smiling coz it would always smells so good there. i actually have a bar in my closet from the philippines so i can still smell the scent of tide with calamansi from time to time.
if i could afford to buy an arrangment of eucalyptus leaves for me every week i would. :) the smell is so relaxing.
NEWLY WASHED CLOTHES
the only thing that i look forward to do during laundry days. i have a strange habit of smelling the clothes as i take them out of the washer before i put them in the dryer. it's not the same smell as the bareta but it takes me to that almost "nostalgic high" place too :)
SALTY SEA AIR
since i prefer to not swim in the waters here in LA (im afraid of the pollution in the water)...my favorite thing to do is to sit in the sand and just breathe. the salty sea air seems to help me de-stress. my favorite place to go when i need my sanity back.
BANANA-Q, BBQ and KAMOTE Q SMOKE
again...this is for filipinos only. i miss walking around random places in manila and smelling the pollution mixed with the smoke that comes from grilling bbq and banana q. since this is a favorite scent list, i will save the description of the "taste" for later.
BABY COLOGNE and BABY POWDER
Johnson's baby powder and cologne or Angel's breathe cologne. reminds me of when we were kids after playing outside the whole day, we'd stink so much that our yayas would pour it over our head (or so it seemed like it) and put so much powder on us that we looked like albinos :)
ARAMIS & PONDS
aramis reminds me of my grandfather who passed away when i was 7.
ponds reminds me of my grandma. she's in the philippines right now and i miss her so much.
i remember the weekly massages i used to be so spoiled with ... the massage therapists in the philippines would use this oil on me and it would be like salon pas all over my body. LOL. :)
CHRISTIAN'S BABY & TODDLER SMELL
i absolutely miss his baby and toddler smell. he smells like a boy now, sweat mixed with days of refusing to take a bath unless he's told to do so....the only way to recall the smell is in my memory :/
okay...that's it for now. i have to get some sleep and dream of christian when he was a baby.
okay...so after writing that heavy blog that i last wrote...i prayed about it and i've found out why it is i felt really heavy in my heart. it was all about the transitions i've been going through for the moment and having my bday, thanksgiving and christmas smack dab in my face, in the middle of family drama, has been pretty hard to deal with. this year's christmas is quite unusual for me since it's the first christmas without traditions. my parents actually don't even want to speak to each other so a "traditional family party" is out of the question and my one sister got married early this year so she's starting her own traditions as well....and my other sister...well she's got a life of her own too.... so i feel like everything is new...and it makes me sad to see that my babiest sister cry coz everything we've been used to has now changed.
sooo earlier today i was listening to christmas carols and i came across the song "My Favorite Things". the chorus says: "When the dog bites When the bee stings When I'm feeling sad I simply remember my favorite things And then I don't feel so bad" and i decided to blog about my favorite things and do a series about it (inspired by ivy's post)...maybe it will help me not feel so bad. sort of like oprah's "favorite things" but instead of giving it away (i wish i could), i will just talk about it and you can go and try it out yourself. i will add my *wishlist* out here as well...its a shameless way of saying if you want to buy it for me...i won't stop you. :D LOL! so here we go....
FAVORITE THINGS part 1:
OSWALD CHAMBERS - MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST This is my FAVORITE devotional. classic. timeless. not watered down gospel. if you don't have one then you MUST get a copy for this new year. it's something that you will bound to go back to over and over again.
CHARLES SPURGEON - MORNING & EVENING DEVOTIONAL i bought this devotional 4 years ago...and i absolutely love it. i'm all for the classics...and charles spurgeon does a wondeful job telling people not to sell out for anything else but God (which is what a LOT of people NEEd to hear). it's a separate devotion for the morning (on the left side of the book) and evening devotional (on the right side). i highly suggest this to all of you looking for a good devotional to read this year.
F.R.I.E.N.D.S. - DVD SET SEASON 1-10.*wishlist* i absolutely love this show. i watch only 2 tv shows. (this & 24). when i feel super bad & i find my self wallowing in my pity party... i pop in a friends dvd and it always makes me feel so much better. i had the season almost complete till someone broke into my car & stole it...so i lost everything but season 7. so this whole dvd set has been on my wishlist ever since.
THE GODFATHER NOVEL - MARIO PUZO THE GODFATHER MOVIE PART 1 & 2 - COPPOLLA*wishlist*
real fans know that part 3 doesn't really count. LOL. By far my most favorite novel/book (coz i don't consider a bible a novel book) ...and my favorite movie of ALL TIME. i memorize it by heart. i read this book the first time nonstop for about 11 hours. yes. addicting. compelling. mafia. murder. violence. family drama. who doesn't love all that? :) plus it's marlon brando and al pacino...where can u go wrong? if you haven't read the book...READ IT. its the only movie that didn't disappoint me when i'd compare it to the book. again...my dvd's were stollen with f.r.i.e.n.d.s. dvd so it's been on my wishlist.
i don't know if one day i'll regret putting these books on my favorite things list coz it's obviously not a classic yet....BUT yes, i'm afraid, although i'm quite hesitant to admit it,....that i've been sucked in and i've been bitten by the vampire craze. LOL. sorry for the puns! i was never a big fan...didn't even have the slightest interest to read or to watch it..i've never even heard of it at all. then i saw the movie the day before my bday (dec. 2) just for curiosity sake..& well, you know what happens to the cat when it gets curious ;)
i borrowed the book from my roomie N and i will have to say that it goes next to my Godfather non-stop book reading record. i finished twilight in 12.5 hours. i had finished book 2 - new moon in maybe 36 hours. yes...it hasn't even been a week since i watched the movie and i'm on to book 3. :) Ha! Now please don't get me wrong because I am not saying the book is as good as the Godfather. clearly... it's not. but it's a pretty good read. provides me with enought butterflies in my stomach to keep me turning the pages. thank you once again N.C., i love you for it!
the movie...was okay...since i'm not much of a movie go-er... it didn't really do the book justice. i DON'T recommend that you read these books though IF:
1. IF you're a young girl and you're quite oblivous to the reality of real relationships. there is no guy out there like Edward because he is not real....a woman made him up...naturally he possesses all the right things that a woman wants....so please don't go fantasizing of marrying an undead guy one day! 2. IF you're lonely and you wanna get married really bad. for real! it will only make you feel more alone and miserable...and it will make you wish to get married to a vampire. 3. IF you think metrosexuals are good looking & you could find a metrosexual vampire quite fascinating
i don't really fall under number 1 & 2, but i did fall under the number 3 criteria! Haha! no joke. there's something about guys who know how to dress themselves and are clean. my friends know that i like that. but like i said...this character was made up by a woman...so naturally she made him clean. :)
so i've just been borrowing these books from N & S....and *hint hint*....i really want my own set...all 4 books! LOL. hardbound please! :P *update 12/15/08: i got it!!*
HOUSE MUSIC AND DJ MIGUEL MIGS
i love house music...i really do! those who know me the most know that im a freakin' house head....the most soulful, deep, funk, underground house music is what i like the most. and i love to dance to house... it's the only music i prefer to dance to. (i will add the club that i like to go to another time). one of my most favorite dj's is miguel migs... i love house. :)
okay...those are my first set of favorite things...i will continue to list more in the next few days.
hey the song is pretty true....it works....i don't feel so bad anymore :) HOORAY for favorite things!
i take the kids to chuck e cheese for my birthday every year. hearing them laugh and seeing them enjoy their childhood gives joy to my heart and that's one of the best gifts i like to receive for my birthday. so i thought that it would be perfect to change it up this year and go to disneyland instead. for the past 4 years, i have been wanting to go back and take my son there. the last time we were there was 2004 and i wanted to take him again this year. january 1, 2008, as i was writing down my goals for the year.... i specifically wrote in my journal that i wanted to go to disneyland for my birthday and spend the day there.
a couple of months ago...i was getting a bit disappointed....coz i knew that as much as i was trying to save for it....my birthday was coming up and my savings wouldn't be enough to go....so i had let the hopes of going to disneyland pass...saying to myself that i will just try to save again for it next year.
then out of nowhere, a friend of mine offered to bring us in for FREE...not only me and my son but also my sister kubie as well. i got to go to disneyland with the 2 people i love the most-est :) i heard them laugh, scream (they rode the tower of terror and california screaming...), laugh again, nag about the long lines and oooh and aaahhhed when the fireworks display came and snow fell (well it was foam haha!)...and in the end they both said..."mom/ate this is your best birthday ever!" ;) that really made me happy!
the name of the fireworks show for the holidays this year is called..."believe in holiday magic". and it was spectacular to watch. and i was so honored to have received this birthday present from God. i don't believe in holiday "magic", but i do believe in the Reason we celebrate the holidays for...and i couldn't help but mutter a thank you over and over again to God for giving me my mini-miracle. now i know going to disneyland may not seem much of a "miracle" coz thousands of people go there everyday. but to someone who has been praying for it for quite a while....it is an answered prayer. and the fact that i was able to go a couple of days before my birthday and take my sister too... well God had answered the wish that i had and gave above and beyond what i had imagined once again.
it got me thinking...that if God was able to meet this small wish (which is really a want more than a need) and gave beyond what i had expected....then He can do soooo much more for the dreams and desires that i truly believe He has put in my heart. it took me 4 years of praying before i was able to go back...but the wait was worth it...and this time around i didn't have to PAY! haha! nothing like a good free gift that you can enjoy with loved ones!
Lynette Lewis, a motivational speaker, quoted that her life was "different from what she imagined, but better than what she expected." that is one of my most favorite quotes ever because i know it to be true. waiting on God's timing is always worth it. we may not get the answers we want right away...or may not even get the exact answers that we wish for...but His answers are always perfect and will always be better than what we expect...IF we CHOOSE to trust Him and wait on His goodness.
my friends....do you have desires...dreams...prayers that have yet to be answered? don't let the length of time & current situations kill your hope. if He was able to grant me my small wish to go to disneyland...then He is very much able to grant the deepest wishes & desires in your heart as well. in the words of one of my favorite disney characters (with my personal lil' twist to the song):
Have faith in (GOD) and someday Your rainbow will come smiling thru No matter how your heart is grieving If you keep on believing the dream that you wish will come true .
so dream my friends...and i will dream and pray for you & with you.