To The Younger Me

If I could go back in time 10 years and tell my younger self something, what would it be?

Hmmm…that would make me 23 years old. I’d tell myself to not be so serious, let loose, party more and date more! I was in a relationship for 4 ½ years and part of it was long distance. Wish I freed myself from such a serious commitment at such a young age when I knew it wasn’t going to work out in the end. Good guy, just wasn’t for me. 

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Random Thoughts Thursday (Fill in the Blank Style)

  • Today I feel [TIRED].
  • I wish today was [FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND WAS ANOTHER 3 DAY WEEKEND].
  • I can’t stop thinking about [ISLAND STYLE CAFE’S KOREAN CHICKEN & HUBBY’S SPAGHETTI DINNER FROM LAST NIGHT – I’M DEFINITELY PMS’ING – LOL].
  • If I didn’t have work today, I would be [AT HOME IN BED CATCHING UP ON MY DVR].
  • This weekend is going to be [BANANAS – SOFTBALL SEASON HAS STARTED WHICH MEANS WEEKENDS WILL BE BUSIER].
  • This weekend I’m looking forward to [COOKING BLUEBERRY PANCAKES FOR BREAKFAST ON SUNDAY].
  • The most random thing I did this week was [BAKE A BATCH OF CUPCAKES LAST NIGHT EVEN THOUGH I WAS DEAD TIRED].
  • If calories didn’t matter, I would be eating [REVERT TO BULLET POINT #3 – LOL].
  • On my next day off, I plan to [TAKE OUT HUBBY’S COUSIN AROUND SD AND LATER IN THE EVENING GET TOGETHER WITH MY GIRLFRIENDS FOR A GIRLS’ NIGHT OUT – CAN’T WAIT].
  • I’m excited about [PLANNING ELLA’S THIRD BIRTHDAY AND OUR ANNIVERSARY TRIP TO VEGAS IN A FEW MONTHS].
  • Last weekend was [FILLED WITH FAMILY TIME – AND I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT].

FOUR

This past weekend was probably one of the best I’ve had in awhile. Lots of time spent with both sides of our family, memories made with Big & Little, it was super-productive with lots of errand running, and I even spent some quality time with the Hubby as we celebrated our anniversary. We tried a fantastic restaurant that had been on our hit-list for quite some time called Tabule. Everything we had was delicious right down to the complimentary sliced French baguettes they give you (and keep refilling). We ended the evening with coffee and cigars at the Cuban Cigar Factory — absolutely hilarious people-watching! Great times with the people who mean the most to me. On top of all of that, it was a 3-day weekend and I still managed to lose a little despite all of the eating I did all weekend — yay!

Happy Anniversary, My Love!

It’s Our Anniversary…

Today is our four year wedding anniversary. Hubby and I have been together for almost 8 years, and we have been through SO much together. Through it all, we’ve stuck together as a team and dealt with all of the challenges that have come our way, including our growing family and four children. We met for a nice romantic lunch and tonight we plan on enjoying a nice take-out/dine-out dinner with our kids (still deciding) . When I got back to the office, the front desk said that I had a delivery. I did not expect a second bouquet of flowers, let alone my favorite flowers – tulips! He is truly the best – flowers or not, I am extremely blessed to have him in my life. Looking forward to a nice, relaxing, fun- and food-filled weekend with him.

From our kids - they remembered our anniversary!

Surprise from Hubby for our Anniversary :)

Borrowed from Good Housekeeping Magazine

I thought this was a good one — I received my issue of GH yesterday. I liked the interview with Heidi Klum, so here are MY answers to the same questions. Some of these (btw) were tough for me to answer. :/

1. What is the best part of your day? One of the best parts of my day would have to be when Ella says good morning — I love seeing her face and hearing her sleepy voice to start my day! I also look forward to dinner with the family — we get to hear about each other’s days and catch up before all the homework begins.

2. What object do you treasure the most? I’ve always said that if there was a fire in the house and I had to grab one single thing, it would be our binder of family newsletters. It houses years of family photos and memories — it’s like our family yearbook over the course of over 5 years now.

3. In your home, what is there always time for? There is always time for sitdown meals with our family — as busy as our schedules may be, we always make it a point to sit down together to eat. Exceptions are made when kids have late night or early sporting events or a family member is sick. Otherwise, we try to wait for each other and enjoy our meals together.

4. What’s on your nightstand right now? A humidifier and water bottles, and maybe the ceiling fan remote. We’re working on getting a “real” nightstand. The one we have now is temporary. :)

5. What’s a date night for you and your husband like? Always fun and usually includes good food — we save our “eating out” for our date nights.

6. What would your husband say your best quality is? That I can make him laugh and that I love to take care of our family. (I know, that’s TWO.)

7. And your worst? My lack of patience at times — I’m working on it. ;)

8. What’s one beauty product you can’t live without? Moisturizer — I am ok not wearing make up but it would bother me if my face was dry.

9. Any parenting rules you swear by? We apply consequences to their actions. We try not to use the word “punishment” or “restriction”– we use “consequences” so that they learn they are results of their actions and decisions. We hope that this teaches them accountability.

10. Any parenting rules you break? Bedtime — this can bend depending on how much homework they have.

11. Do you want to have more kids? Sometimes I do.

12. What’s the hardest part about having four kids? Trying to give them an equal amount of attention, praise, discipline, etc…that can be tricky when you have four completely different ages and personalities. But we try our best to be fair and to make sure that all of our kids feel loved and grow up learning the same values.

Simple Words of Motivation

I had to share this simple but true mantra that I heard from Jennifer Hudson’s interview on Oprah. She said:

“I always said if you don’t like something, change it!”

How simple is that whole idea? If you don’t like something whether it’s a process at work, a habit, your weight, your financial status, a relationship, a routine…anything at all…do something about it and work towards change. I think we all forget exactly how empowered we are as human beings. We have the ability to better ourselves and enhance our lives simply by discipline and decision-making.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

The Hubby and I always make it a point to make our kids feel special and it’s even more fun on those Hallmark holidays like Valentine’s, Easter, etc. We run out to the store and buy a little something for the kids so they know how much we love and think about them, no matter how old they are. I didn’t think I was going to be the one showered with gifts on Valentine’s Day. I’m “Mom” so I do the showering. :) I can honestly say that it is very hard to surprise me, but I was doubly surprised this morning! Sitting on the dining table for me was a card signed by all of our kids, a stuffed monkey and candy! But the best part was reading what the kids wrote — so sweet and touching. How can one NOT have a good day after reading their words?!

From the Kids

Then as I got out of my car this morning in our work parking lot, our security guard approached me to tell me that there was a “delivery” for me at the front desk. I thought maybe it was a proof from a print vendor. As soon as I walked into our lobby, there sat a big beautiful bouquet of red roses from the Hubby. I feel so loved and so special.

From the Hubby

I am truly lucky to have 5 of the most amazing people as my Valentines not just today, but all year long. Gifts or no gifts, I love them with all my heart for countless reasons. I am one lucky Wife and Mommy…

“Thank you Joe, Justice, Aubreigh, Alyannah & Ella — I love you all!”

Date Night: MixTape

Friday night was exactly what I needed — an enjoying evening with my very best friends. These are ladies that I’ve been friends with for over 20 years! We are still very close, in fact I think we’ve grown closer as we’ve grown older. We’re all married and we’re all mothers. The four of us and our dear husbands enjoyed a dinner in and an evening out. Since it was a Friday night, we all worked during the day, made sure our children were taken care of, and gathered at our house for a Chinese take-out dinner. We jumped in the SUV (yes, all 8 of us!) and headed to downtown to enjoy a musical that I believe was PERFECT for the 8 of us. We are children of the 80’s and MixTape celebrated the TV shows, the music, the fashion and the events of that era. It was outstanding and lucky me, I was even bashfully serenaded by one of the actors, who just happened to be one of the Hubby’s old high school classmates. Yay alma mater for representing San Diego theater at its finest! A totally awesome must-see show! Afterwards, we went back to the ‘hood and the Hubbies enjoyed a stogie while the women enjoyed a Starbucks. It was a perfect prelude to Valentine’s Day with some of my favorite folks. I will always remember last night as one of excessive smiles and laughter, medicine for my soul. It has been a very stressful, miserable, exhausting past few weeks and after last night I feel rejuvenated. Thank you to the CROO + Hubbies!

MixTape

25 Things You Didn’t Know About Me

  • I am a mother of four but only gave birth to our youngest. I was a mom to my three bonus kids for 5 years before Ella arrived.
  • I have zero tolerance for liars and bad parents, or worse yet bad parents who lie.
  • I do not do needles well and my veins are very small and hard-to-find – I’m amazed that I survived my pregnancy with all the poking around they had to do. Needless to say, heroin addict will never be a problem of mine!
  • I do not like watching the news because it’s depressing and it makes me paranoid. I’m ok living in caution and knowing that evil lives out there but don’t care to know all the details.
  • I was a bigger basketball (Lakers specifically thanks to my Mom and Dad) fan when I was about 8 years old. I can still name all of the basketball players from the early 80s.
  • I bought my first place right before my 26th birthday – all by myself! Living alone was one of the best things I ever did in my life.
  • I have PMS bad almost every month – my poor Hubby pays for it. It stands for Pissy Mood Syndrome, by the way. :)
  • My Dad is the oldest of 10 siblings and my mom is one of 7 kids, but in my family it’s just me and my big brother.
  • I am not a big fan of onions and mushrooms, but if you can chop it up small enough and “camouflage” it, I’ll eat it. And Burger King onion rings ARE my favorite, oddly enough.
  • I’ve dated my share of good guys and bad guys, but I have never thought twice about my Husband nor have I had a stronger connection with anyone else. He is truly my soul mate, my best friend and the love of my life!
  • I consider myself a bit of a daredevil and have gone skydiving and parasailing and had NO problem with it. Although I’m more terrified about water-related activities, I’ve been jetskiing and snorkeling. I almost drowned at the age of 3 – so that traumatized me. :(
  • My old childhood friend Grace nicknamed me “Shey” when we were about 14 years old and it stuck – I just decided to spell it “Shaye”. I know one other person named Sheryl with the same nickname only spelled “Shea”.
  • I have had the same 3 best friends for the past 20 years and today we’re all married and have children – it’s a beautiful thing.
  • Even though I am a First Generation American born of immigrant Filipino parents, I do what I can do preserve our culture and pass along traditions to our children. One way I do this is through cooking traditional Filipino food – I can cook adobo, kare kare, palabok, sinigang, pansit, lumpia and have even cooked dinuguan (stew made of pig’s blood)!
  • In line with #14, even though I cannot speak Tagalog (national language of the Philippines) I can understand enough to communicate with someone who can’t speak English and do know when someone is talking about me. LOL
  • In another life I think I’d pursue teaching. I used to teach business/economics to high school students and taught a hip-hop dance class to teenage girls at a local teen center.
  • Almost three years ago, I was a victim of the recession and was laid off two weeks before returning from maternity leave. After a few contract jobs and a rough job search, I finally landed a full-time permanent position for a company I really like in an industry totally new to me. During that period of time though came many blessings for which I am very thankful for.
  • I am a planner like no other, especially when it comes to my family. One day I hope my children appreciate the value of planning ahead as well as the fun in being spontaneous, which I am learning to do every day.
  • I can hold a grudge for a VERY long time and have a hard time with “forgetting”. I am a big loyalist so I do expect the same from those in my life. Once I feel betrayed, it’s difficult for me to allow you back in.
  • I do not like long distance running but used to love sprinting. Since the age of 5 I would defeat the kids on the block in the 50 yard dash and would usually place 1st in the school track meets. Wish I was still that fast – I felt like a superhero and sprinting was my special power! LOL
  • I just recently learned to throw a softball/baseball and catch with a glove – baseball has never been my sport but thanks to my Husband, I’m learning something new.
  • I am big on family traditions – I want my children to have wonderful memories to look back on when they’re older. One of our favorite traditions is during Christmas-time when we drive around Christmas Card Lane and do a Secret Santa Gift Exchange.
  • There was a time in my life when I was taking both muay thai kickboxing and hula/Tahitian dancing. That lasted for about a year. Talk about a balance of being aggressive and graceful.
  • I’m kind of a magazine fiend – especially food and family-related magazines. In fact, last year I had at least 8 magazine subscriptions.
  • I love music and have been lucky to meet some of my favorite musicians including Ekolu, Fiji, Keahi Wai, and Speech. There’s nothing more thrilling for me than getting to enjoy good live music, and the Hubby and I try to catch a live concert at least once every year.