My Gratitude Journal

Blessings and fun things we tried in July

July was a great month filled with many blessings, memories and new experiences. We celebrated the beginning of the month with a bang. Literally, a bang. Fourth of July was fun and filled with the exciting memories of watching fireworks in our own backyard. Soon after, my children and I left for Las Vegas to visit my parents. It was fun to take a few days off from work and spend time with family. We also attended a handful of weekend parties in July. It’s always great to spend time with friends and celebrate. Most of these celebrations included water. Josh loves to swim with his friends. He’s getting better at it. He even taught himself how to dive into the water. What an accomplishment! My daughter took a trip to Washington D.C. and had a great time. I bought my son a big airplane and a scooter and he had a lot of fun playing with them. Because of that, we took many trips to the park and the skate parks.

Here are a few of our favorite things for the month of July, including a few new things that we tried:

Finally a window seat!

A window seat on a plane– My son Joshua, has been on a plane a few times already. Ok, maybe just three times. The first time was when he was a year and a half. The two of us took a plane to Las Vegas to visit my parents. He had a window seat and he loved the experience. He especially enjoyed having a snack and a cup of soda. The second time was when we went to Hawaii. He really wanted a window seat, but unfortunately, he never got it. This month we took a plane ride to Las Vegas to visit my parents. I didn’t feel like driving and the plane ticket prices were affordable, so we did it. Josh didn’t get a window seat on the way to Las Vegas. He was pretty bummed about that. However, on the way back home, he got a window seat! He was so excited! He narrated everything that he saw to me. He even asked me for my phone so that he can take a video.

Fun in Las Vegas

A trip to Las Vegas- Our main objective in going to Las Vegas was to visit my parents. But while we were there, we did a lot of fun things. First, we tried rolled ice cream. My daughter had this last year in Thailand and it’s now a big hit here in America. I thought it was fun to watch it being made and I was amazed that I actually stood in line for 45 minutes just to try it. We also spent some time at the Red Rock Hotel. We went swimming and played some games at the arcade. Josh’s favorite parts about going to the hotel was watching a movie (“Wonder Woman”)  late at night. He liked it because it was after midnight when the movie was done and whenever he stays up really late, he feels like a grown up. He also liked taking a bubble bath at the hotel room while watching T.V. which was right above the bathtub. Most of all, we enjoyed spending time with my parents. My mom taught me how to make biko. She also taught my daughter how to make chicken adobo. My kids had fun looking at all the photo albums filled with old pictures of their grandparents when they first got married and their mom when she was a little bitty baby.

Dragon Puffs nitrogen covered ice cream cereal balls- One Saturday, we made a plan to visit my aunt, sister, niece and brother at an ice cream shop. My son kept saying that he didn’t feel like eating ice cream. I told him that he can just share with me. When we got to the shop, I saw that they were selling Dragon Puffs which is nitrogen covered ice cream cereal balls. I had never heard of it and thought it would be fun to try it. I thought it would be ice cream but basically it’s cereal balls covered in liquid nitrogen. When you get your cup, it’s “smoking” and when you put one in your mouth, smoke comes out of your mouth or nose. This brought a gigantic smile on my son’s face. What a treat.

A big airplane and a new scooter- My son had a lot of fun with his big airplane and scooter. He loves making paper airplanes, so a big foam airplane that glides far and high was tons of fun for him. We threw it around while we were in the front yard, but he wanted to go to the baseball field and really throw it around. That was fun. With his new scooter, we went to a couple skate parks, an indoor one and an outdoor one. He had a great time going on the ramps. He said he wants to be a pro and when he makes his million, he’ll give half to me and his dad. He said that he hopes to make 2 million, so he can keep a million for himself. Dream big, son.

My mommy is beautiful

A trip to Washington D.C.- My daughter took a trip to Washington D.C. She enjoyed it. While there, she sent me these photos. How beautiful. It touched my heart.

I am happy and grateful for all these wonderful blessings. I am grateful for my beautiful children. I am grateful for having the opportunity to try new things with my children. I look forward to all the blessings to come.

My Gratitude Journal

2016 Blessings

I love doing my Ticket Shadow box update because it’s my chance to review the year by reflecting on how many fun and wonderful things I have done with my family and friends. What a great way to show gratitude for all the opportunities we’ve been given.

It all started with a ticket shadow box that I made to store my memorabilia. I wanted a place to store the ticket stubs and programs from events that I attended with family and friends that meant a lot to me. I did my first annual ticket shadow box update in 2014 and another update in 2015.

Now it’s time to review the year, 2016. There were so many fun things that we did as a family and so many fun things that I did with friends. There were many events and fun times to chose from. So I chose a few of my favorite things that I did with my friends:

The year of 2016 started off great in January with a chance to watch Bullets over Broadway at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. I watched this musical with a couple of my friends. This ticket was given to me by a friend because she couldn’t make it. I lucked out! It was fantastic. I loved the music, the songs and the costumes. It had a great cast and story line too. I really enjoyed this musical. It prompted me to become a Pantages season ticket holder along with my friends. In 2016, I also watched 42nd Street, Hedwig and the Angry Inch and the King and I.

In February, 2016, My friends and I participated in an escape room. It was called the Panic room. It was our first time. We have a tradition of picking out activities to do to celebrate our birthday and this is one of the activities that was picked by the February birthday girl. We did an army bunker theme. It was really hard and we didn’t escape. It was fun to look for clues and figure puzzles out together as a team. We did another escape room in March. The theme was to escape from the zombie room. There was even a zombie tied up to the wall with a chain and every so often the chain would be released so that it was longer. We had to make sure that the zombie didn’t “eat” us. We were teamed up with a younger group and they were very escape room savvy. We found out later that they had done other escape rooms so they had some experience. Still, we didn’t escape that one either. But two more minutes and we would have.

I did my 2nd Wine and Paint night. This time I brought my friend, Marylisa, with me. It was her first time. It was a fun activity to do together. Our thing is going to tea houses, so it was nice to try something new together. I probably won’t be doing it again, so I thought I would commemorate that time by adding it to the list of things I did in 2016.

Speaking of tea, 2016 also brought an experience of tea and chocolate pairing at the Chado Tea Room. I love tea rooms. I usually do the afternoon tea which includes hot tea, finger sandwiches, scones and tiny tea desserts. So this was a different experience because we had the opportunity to try different teas that were matched with chocolates. We also experienced a blooming tea.

I did my first Halloween Haunted Hayride in October. It was fun getting scared. We had to step off the hayride in the  middle of the ride to walk through a maze and that was terrifying. But also fun. I will definitely do this again next Halloween.

That wraps up my annual ticket shadow box update for 2016.  I am grateful for these fun times and I look forward to many more in 2017. The start of the new year is a time for looking forward to new beginnings and adventures.

I am positive that 2017 will bring about many new beginnings and exciting adventures filled with happiness and joy. I am determined to make this year better than the last. As always, I remember that each day starts with gratitude. Because with gratitude, you will find happiness and joy in everything you do.

Today I am grateful for new beginnings and new adventures. Wishing you a Happy New Year.

My Gratitude Journal

October Life Lessons and Love

I love October. It’s my favorite month. This was a great October. However, I must admit that there was a rough week in there. A really rough week. It was the week before my birthday. I let a couple of incidents bring me down. I certainly learned a lot of hard lessons this month. It was a real eye opener. Lessons that open your eyes are always good. Lessons that open your heart are even better. After my anger subsided, I learned a lot about compassion, respect and understanding. And another good part is…after you are down, the only way back is up! That’s the best part. 

So on this Sweet Monday, I am grateful for life lessons and love. I will continue to learn and grow. I know that there will be ups and there will be downs. Today, I will focus on the ups.

*I am grateful for birthdays.

I arrived to work the Thursday before my birthday to a decorated cubicle courtesy of my co-worker. It was so thoughtful. I loved it. It lifted my spirits. It was a great way to start a birthday.

My aunt took me to a tea house for my birthday. She invited my daughter (who came all the way from San Diego just to be there) and my other aunt. We had such a good time. We went to the tea house on my actual birthday. It was nice to have a birthday this year on a Saturday.  It was a fun and relaxing way to start the day and weekend. Afterwards, we went to a boutique and my aunt surprised me with a candle that I was planning to purchase myself. I was waiting in line to buy the candle which was waiting for me at the counter. The storeowner wrapped up my gift quickly so that I wouldn’t see and my aunt presented it to me at the store.

After the tea house, I arrived home and I was surprised by birthday cards, birthday flowers, a birthday sign, light up balloons and even a birthday pinata. My first birthday pinata ever. 

The next day, my sister and niece prepared a delicious birthday breakfast for me. My sister asked me what kind of cake I wanted and I told her that I wanted a chocolate chip cake. It’s not my favorite flavor but she made it for me for my birthday a few years ago and it was such a special memory. I wanted it again. 

Today I am grateful for family, October, birthdays, decorated cubicles, tea houses, candles, surprises, pinatas and birthday cake.