Thank You 2009

31 December 2009

Another year will soon leave and a new beginning to set place. We're still very thankful for the material things that satisfied us. But the most important are the reasons and purposes, the thoughts that made 2009 a worthy year, inspite of the hardships and loss. Tell me, CHANGE played a big part this year right?

On a personal note, 2009 has been very kind to me and my family. So much milestones as a parent has been achieved. So much lessons learned and discoveries made to take as motivators.

Related Entry: Thanksgiving Entry

Thank you 2009 for these achievements, discoveries and lessons. It made us complete, it made us open ourselves to new perspectives.

With that, we gladly accept every challenge for the years to come and look at it as opportunities in disguise.
With that, we will continue to keep a healthy mind & body.
With that, we will continue to show our love in service to other people.
With that, we will live a simpler but a meaningful life.
With that, we are greatly honored to have reached a new chapter in our lifetime.

No more fears, only new beginnings... Let us take every challenge to the next level and take it as a learning curve. Pray & Hope for a good, humble, a God-Fearing, God- Loving leader who will serve as guidance to a cleaner government system. Good life, Good Health, Clean living for all Filipinos. Inspiration for others and Being a Positive Thinker.

Fireworks Sm Mall of Asia

My life in the blogosphere will remain the same. The things that will make it different are the new tales that I will share with my boys as another year unfolds.

It's All About Family This Holiday Season

28 December 2009

As the saying goes:
"The most important gift around every Christmas Tree is the presence of the whole family..."
If we're going to talk about the true essence of Christmas, Christ was born with Mama Mary and Joseph by his side. I was told that the Nativity is the true symbol of Christmas, and I would like to share with you our wonderful experience this year. Christmas with the Cruz Family has always been fun. Especially the time when my father-in-law was still around to celebrate it with us. The whole family from my husband's side was present. Things changed 2 years ago, mostly left for the U.S., my father-in-law passed away a month after Christmas of 2007. It was just sad to see that we're all going our separate ways. We celebrated Christmas 2008 like the usual, but we're still grieving with the lost of a special loved one and reality--- it was just different. Especially when we're used to celebrating with the whole family.

This year, it was our time to get back on track, we're completely adjusted and made the holidays extra special once more. My husband got us a new desktop to enjoy, [EFX Kit-BL-GLD] Effects Board Kit with GOLD PLATED connectors for my husband, camera accessories for me, Franky went shopping at Toy Kingdom. As gift, we made him grab whatever he wanted.

Even if we're oceans apart from our family in America, it didn't let us down. Thanks to the awesome gift of technology, the internet. It made us feel that we're just side by side, opening gifts together and greeting each other Merry Christmas. I have my own family now... and the important thing is being able to celebrate the holiday season with my boys. That is something great to be thankful for. Besides, my husband made sure that our Christmas tree is going to be full of gifts to give away.

Let me take this moment to give my message of love and appreciation to my other half--- I was choosing a card to go with his gift when I found an extraordinary card with an extraordinary message stacked in between the Christmas cards...

The message: Celebrate Every Day With Me My LOVE
"What I love most about my life is living it with you. I am so thankful to know the kind of love we share. You make me so happy. You bring me joy. I feel so fortunate to know that dreams do come true and love is a trusted force that direct our hearts to know what is best for us. In the deepest part of my Being, I know that I'd be lost without you. Our dreams and goals keep me hoping, caring, and planning. Because of you, I wake up every day excited about life. Our love is the reason I have a song in my heart. I want to go on sharing my life with you forever and I hope you will celebrate every day with me, my love."

-Donna Fargo-

The moment I read the message, I knew that this card was meant for him. Exactly what my heart has been wanting to tell him on Christmas Day.

Other than celebrating Christmas with my family, The Laras (my side) were all present. For the past 2 years my brother Nano, was always busy with work. He is a Manager for a fast food chain , and knowing him as a responsible person, he never leaves his team at work even on Christmas and New Year's Eve. We supported him all the way, but it made us feel incomplete. Family makes us complete as a person, regardless of our status in life.

In my side of the family we also have this bond to be present especially on special occasions. And God granted for all us to be together this year. My brother took a time -off from work and was able to join us.
With my sisters Les and Ella
They're like my "barkada". We go shopping together, we chat, we laugh, we play, we get our nails done together. I think I have nothing else to ask for...With my brothers and sisters
My whole family (L-R) Nano, Me, our Mom and Dad, Les, Ella and Ver

It's been a long since our last family picture. I have the camera, but I don't feel like taking our fam pic when I know one is missing. I truly embraced this moment with my family. 2010 is going to be a special year for the Laras. I am very happy for our parents. In everything they do, they never fail to include God in every achievement and trial in life, being thankful for the Graces we all have been receiving every day... that's why He Granted a long time dream to come true. Unveiling soon...

AVATAR 3D On Christmas Eve

Who would think of seeing a movie on Christmas Eve? Clearly, that's us! It is the busiest Christmas we ever experienced. I had to wait for my husband, because December 23 he was still working. I on the other hand, was busy wrapping gifts and giveaways for our friends. After work on Dec. 23, we immediately headed to Cubao to finish and to buy whatever it is that we still need. Thank God for extended Mall hours. Sm Supermarket was open 'til 12midnight and Shopwise Cubao 'til 2am.

Morning Christmas Eve, we went to Promenade Greenhills to watch AVATAR in 3D. We wanted IMAX but we had no time. Just as predicted, there wasn't much people, we were able to reserve good seats. Had Popcorn, drinks and our 3D glasses. Sorry no pictures. It was a date with my husband too. And I prefer dates to be extra private. At least with our own time together, no camera to bug us.
Avatar is our Movie for this year. If it's great on a regular big screen, what more on 3D. Every movement, facial expression, tear drop it was so real. The movie was very moving, I got teary-eyed when the humans were destroying the heart of Pandora."Avatar" is a program that will allow humans to transfer one's consciousness into a Na'vi body and be able to communicate and study the natives. Later on, this program was used for some greedy purpose that triggered Jake (Sam Worthington) to switch sides in order to save the natives, their planet and to be with Neytiri (Zoe Saldana).
The love that I saw and felt between Neytiri was heart-warming. You'll really know that it is true love that binds them. According to Yahoo Movies, an estimated $278 million in weekend box-office revenue broke the previous record of roughly $253 million set in July 2008, the weekend "The Dark Knight" was released.The Avatar 3-D epic alone, topped all the movies that came out, earning $75 million for 20th Century Fox, according to studio estimates Sunday. James Cameron is making it a Trilogy and I bet that it is a set that's going to be worth watching and remembering. Great movie, Fantastic, Awesome, BRAVO!

Holiday Greetings From My Family!

24 December 2009

"The most important gift around the Christmas Tree is the presence of the whole family..."

To our families, relatives, friends, my online friends... on behalf of my whole family, I'm sending you this warm message of love, cheers and thanks for 2009 and for more great years to come. For the wonderful experiences that made us complete as a person through mind, body and soul... for the trials we conquered and for our greatest dreams to come true.

Have a memorable time this holiday season!

Mother and Son Took The Center Stage

21 December 2009

Yes! another milestone indeed as to what the school directress told us in her opening remarks. Every mom knows what I mean. For a first time school mom, this achievement was hats off for my son's effort and overall performance. We are very proud of him. This is his first performance on stage and mine as a mother. We enjoyed, loved and cherished every moment of this experience.
Our Little Drummer Boy
Every dance number was different from the other. It was a creative venture of ideas. Kudos for the hard working teachers who were able to make the event a giant success.I would also like to thank them for giving this opportunity so I can contribute as a parent. I was invited to join the other moms for a dance number. Of course, I will never say no to anything that will open a chance for me and for us as parents to show our support to son.
I was coping with everything. Doing my regular chores, preparing for Christmas, bringing my son to school for his dance rehearsals, and at night, I go out to practice for my presentation. And the day before our presentation, I sprained my ankle. It was terrible, I couldn't sleep, it was very painful. But again, I know that He will never let anything come in- between. God is good, He made me feel better for the Big Day. Though I still can't jump and do some bumps, it was ok. I was able to dance.
It was all worth it!
It has been a good school year for Franky. My wishes came true before 2009 ends. It would be a blessing to stay active with various school activities for the years to come. My son gladly appreciates our presence. Not only did it brought out his confidence, it was also the boosting force behind this happy Little Drummer Boy.

Doing The Rush

19 December 2009

For the very first time, I am doing the Christmas Rush. I am one of those who will do their last minute shopping 2-3 days before Christmas. We did some shopping early in November, but it wasn't for everything because most of the things we bought are the dry ingredients for our Noche Buena. Things that we can store in the pantry. Of course we want every ingredient to be fresh by the time we cook it.

With the unexpected additional activities, I am now caught between dance practices for my son's Christmas Presentation tomorrow, finalizing our Christmas list and coordinating with my husband on when he's fully available to drive for me. I mean, it's better to get stuck in traffic inside your own car, than in a cab right?

note: I have my own dance presentation with the rest of the moms aside from my son, so make that the 2 of us practicing the whole week.

Hay... I might cancel making fresh pasta for the holidays. I still have chocolate candies and chocolate- coated biscuits to make as giveaways. Making chocolate candies has been part of our Christmas tradition. Everybody from relatives, friends and colleagues, they want it!

Not to mention, more new clothes, gifts, gifts gifts! wrappers, wrappers, wrappers! I have so much planned for this season. Will still buy Poinsettias to make our home more appealing this Holiday Season. I also need to get a new tripod, my old one is not useful anymore. Well, I bought it for Php500, so that explains why it broke down easily. Anyway, tomorrow is the big day for our Christmas Presentation, it is going to be held at the LSGH auditorium. I know all the hard work will pay off. It is also my son's first performance on the big stage. I am already proud of him.

Like what we all say, "That's Life!" and yes, this is the life of an extraordinarymom---multitasking to max!

Thoughts Of A Child That Completed A Mother's Heart

15 December 2009

This may be the greatest blessing I have ever received this year... Thoughts from my very own child... It got me teary-eyed, it completed the Mother in me. Bringing my son to school is one of my greatest achievements as a parent. And it is one those high aims I have been meaning to hit for the longest time. The time when I was still of a very young age, thinking what if--- it is already my turn to have my own family, will I be able to give my children the very best of everything?
That question has been answered by own little boy. A surprise gift made with his own little hands.
This is one moment we all shouldn't miss. Our children may create the nicest card ever, but the message is the most important. How they answer back to those tiny droplets of hard work we poured just to give them all the goodness in the world.
How were able to mold them into good, obedient and respectful children. God Bless you Franky and Thank You for being such a sweet boy. We all love you, and yes, lolo will watch your Christmas presentation on Sunday. I love you...

Cake and Dark Chocolate Lovers

May I take this chance to thank the whole Red Ribbon Management for the rare experience they shared with me this year. For the gift coupon, for the opportunities given in order to share my Red Ribbon moments with my family. It was truly an honor. 2009 was a great year for me. It was filled with good opportunities for SHARING and SERVING other people. And like my usual story, I shared my Chocolate Walnut Fudge Cake with the whole family.
My parents, my siblings and of course, my very own family of 3. I had to wait for December 13 so that I can claim it straight from my hometown, be with my family and have a perfect cake moment again with them. I have to say, that the Chocolate Walnut Fudge Cake with Hershey's Dark is our cake for this season. It's simple, if you're a cake and chocolate lover, this is the ultimate dessert for you. If there's a chocolate bar to look for in every ice box we have in our homes... all you will ever find are bars of Hershey's Dark Chocolate, and I'm talking about the biggest bars you will see in every supermarket shelf. My dad and I would go all the way to a PX shop in Makati just to buy in bulks. So desirable that my Dad drove me everywhere, in every Red Ribbon branch around our area just to check which one has a stock left. Lucky enough, we were able to find a branch who served us with the last cake they have.
The moment I took the cake out from the box, 2 members of our family which we consider the "kings of cake and chocolate" took the center spot.
That would be my brother Nano and my son Franky
This 2 boys... they never choose the time, the place and the occasion on when to have a piece of their favorites.
They were very excited to take a bite of this mouthwatering delight. You might notice that I don't post pictures of myself with any of the cakes I shared with my family. I'm happier seeing them and capturing memorable shots of my family satisfied and happy. That makes me feel complete.

As you can see, the cake is compose of dark chocolate rolls on the sides. For the kids, I bet they'll feel that this cake popped- out from their dreams overnight. I share that same feeling. Imagine, a cake from the finest ingredients covered and coated with the best dark chocolate ever created, Yummy!

PBW---Pirates, Arrrr!

14 December 2009

Pixel Bug weekend button 1
For once in my blogging history, let me share how I have a good time.
This mom took a break over the weekend. Not just an ordinary break, it was her ultimate getaway for this year. And when I say ultimate, that involves an awesome party with a cool crowd and theme, 100% pure fun, laughter, good friends, good food and tequila! I was given all the time to look for a babysitter, thanks to my sister Les, hugs for you! Had an awesome evening with my husband. It was a night to remember.
On board the 7107 Island Cruise Ship, the pirates partied all night long. Arrr!!!
with friends: me, frances, aries and jl
Drunk? - Not--- Yet
We had beer to start a good night, took a lot of pictures, explored the yacht, stayed at the bar.
Our shot glasses
Cheers to a good year!
A toast isn't enough we had to take another bottle of Tequila from the bar. Not to forget the salt music from an awesome bandmore fun, more friends with ellen and selena!with ellen and rach
This party was an opportunity for me to once again feel the life I used to live. The life my husband shared with me when we started going out some years ago. I do miss our usual night outs, not that what I have right now isn't fun. I love the mother in me, the wife and the person I am right now. I feel great sharing some pieces of my story to this people. And it was nice to be around my husband's arms at the same time.

Anyway, aside from having a good time, I was also checking on my little boy at home. Making calls, and texting. I'm still a mom, and my responsibility doesn't end even if I'm out of our home having a blast.

Friends... this is where you'll find them. I seldom make posts about our circle of friends, the people we're with are not only friends to us, but family.

To share your pixel-full weekend, go to:Pixel Bug Weekend

12 December 2009

Christmas gift suggestions:

"To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect."

- Oren Arnold

Decorative Christmas Tag

09 December 2009

Introducing Mr. Snowman!
I was breezing through SM's piles and piles of Christmas wraps and tags, then I saw Mr. Snowman.

Mr. Snowman kasi... wala lang. (I just called it Mr. Snowman)

It was perfect for our Silver and Blue theme. It's made out of a thin card, with a metallic front. If you're interested, they have other tags in different designs and colors. So cute, that you wanna buy them all.
Maybe you noticed that there's not a single homemade twig on my Christmas Tree. The twigs landed on my altar around the statue of Mama Mary. I saw the beauty of my twigs right beside our Lady.
Mr. Snowman came in more than just a tag. I used it to replace the twigs for my Christmas Tree. I just experimented on it first, then my son loved it. I now call it a decorative tag. By the way, all of our Christmas greetings are going to be handwritten by Franky!

Sharing My Blessings This Holiday Season

08 December 2009

I prayed for something better, this year it is going to be different.

I know it is very unnecessary to mention charity works or count the no. of times we've done this deed. But with the big change, let me share this good news to you guys. Charity work has always been part of my life not only during the holiday season, I giveaway stuff monthly. The only exception I have every Christmas is giving more than the usual.

I am very happy to share that aside from our monthly charity contribution, I will be giving away some of my Red Ribbon gift certificates as gifts this Holiday Season.

To be honest, the total amount of GCs I got was just too grand for me. 3- 4 cakes to celebrate my birthday, Christmas, New Years and my husband's birthday is enough. Not to forget, the Cake Coupon I received just recently. The blessings... it's over flowing. I thought, I'll save the rest of my GCs and wait for Christmas to give it away. I haven't given them out yet, but just the thought of it, it's so humbling.
It is one of the special envelops that I will be giving away on Christmas. I also plan to ask my mom to create an extra game on Christmas day, a set from GCs is going to be the prize.

* I would like to thank Red Ribbon for the wonderful experience.

Awards Doesn't End Here

They say that apologies are unnecessary online. Especially if it has something to do with blogs. Like missing posts, unable to comment at some point or not being able to blog hop. With mine, my only concern is not being able to post awards and tags that was shared to me by my fellow blog mates and friends. Awards and tags are very important for me. Not that it's an "award" per se. I'm after the thought and care that my fellow blogger showed- remembering me for that certain award.

The past months became an adjustment period for me. I was coping with being a mom who does multitasking everyday. I started family life without any helper around. It's just me and my husband helping each other. I do realize that since my son started going to school, my blogging pace has changed. I know that the responsibility will be greater as my child grows up and as the family grows bigger.

If I missed posting some awards and tags, please accept my apologies for not being able to...I am very thankful and grateful for the people who always remembers Sweet Nothings inspite of its slow pace in the blogosphere. Hugs!

Now after all the drama. I would like to thank the following bloggers :

Let me start with Mommy Jac. Thank you Mommy for being sweet and thoughtful.

All 3 sets of awards are from Mommy Jac. I had to do a collage of everything. It was overwhelming to see tons of awards given to me, one after the other.

Thanks to Mommy Tetcha for being so thoughtful.
The Butterfly Blogger Award, Most Inspirational Award and Heart of a Dragon

the mommy journey
To Chris---I owe you lots and lots of MM entries. I sure do miss joining weekly memes. I have one reason why most of the time I can't join MM. My Picture folders are in total chaos right now. I'm really hoping that I can fix it soon, so I can get pictures for my entries.
Thank you Chris for this award and Thank You for serving us inspiration through Blogging.


To Kikamz and Mommy Jac... Thank you...
"There are no random acts... We are all connected... You can no more separate one life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind..."

Pixel Bug Weekend- Meralco's Maliwanag Ang Pasko 2009

07 December 2009

Pixel Bug weekend button 1
I have been missing a lot on PBW. For the past weeks, we have been busy with work and school. Then we end up saving the weekends to rest. This past weekend, we went out and continued our usual weekend exploration. Sunday was the main highlight. Aside from doing some clothes shopping, we also went to see Meralco's Christmas display.
I've heard about this over the news late last month. Lucky we were at the Ortigas area, so we decided to drop by. It's for free my dear friends. Bring your family over, the kids will love it.
It was a fun night. The season is actually here. The breeze of the cold weather, shopping here and there, lights everywhere, the gentle smell of our cold mornings and cool evenings.
All we wanted as parents is to see our child enjoy whatever our community has to offer. Franky was very much entertained by the lights that surrounds the Meralco grounds.