Sunday, January 1, 2012


Happy New Year!

On my Facebook status I posted this verse from the bible today.
"The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace." -- Numbers 6:24-26
What perfect verses for today and sums up my heartfelt wish for the entire humanity not just for the year 2012 but for the years ahead as well.  I would like to put emphasis on " The Lord make His face shine upon you" because I think the human race is becoming more and more distant with God. 

Before I got married, I use to have a New Year's eve tradition of listing all the blessings I received in the year and then would proceed to listing my wishes and hopes for the coming year.  Listing the previous year's accomplishments  was an interesting way to see how much God has blessed you and makes your heart swell with gratitude for how generous God is.  On the other hand listing your goals, hopes and wishes for the coming year is like a concrete  reminder to yourself of the things you aspire for.  It has more impact when you write it down on paper as oppose to just keeping it in your head.  I also would like to think of it as a reference God would refer to... I am silly like that!

So this year I decided I should do the tradition again.

Last year's highlights are few but I recognize that I am still more blessed than what I deserve.  The gift of family mainly, brings me so much joy in my life.  Little S just turned 3 and growing beautifully, mind, body and soul.  She is a very sweet little girl and her vocabulary is growing so fast she has been joining our dinner conversations more and more. Many of her comments have become a source of cheer and entertainment for JPF and I.  One of my favorite is when she told me, "Mommy, you are my best friend!"  I also can't help but mention that she has started to ask me the awkward question, "Mommy, how did I get inside your tummy?" just a couple of weeks ago.  JPF on the other hand continues to be a loving husband and father.  We had some fights just as many couples do but nothing major that tore us apart. We are on our 5th year and counting...

The main highlight of 2011 was when Little S and I went to visit my parents in the Philippines.

It was the first time my parents met Little S, and to see their joy of finally seeing Little S in person was worth the long flight and being away from JPF for 2 weeks.  Not that we would take a trip without him again though, that was just difficult!  But, it was a dream come true, a prayer answered, that I get to take Little S to see my parents.

We also took a few trips to Las Vegas in the past year, meeting new friends and enjoying some intimate leisure time as a family. 

For 2012 I list the following hopes, dreams, resolutions and goals.  Some necessary, some simple and some big (hey, you never know!)...
1) Spend less and save money to buy a new car.
I know I have been saying this in the last 3 years but I never got to it.  I have to be more serious about it now though because my ever reliable Toyota Corolla is getting really old.  It's on its 13th year with 180,000+ miles. And for the record, I have been religiously entering the Capital One car giveaway hoping to be the one lucky winner of a Chevy Volt and $5,000 cash.  Again, you never know...

2) Spend less and pay off debt.
Yes debt has been accumulating since we had a child.  It's not Little S fault, it's just that JPF and I have not been very wise in managing our finances.  When I looked at our expenses I noticed that our biggest expense is on FOOD.  So I have made a more conscious effort in monitoring our food expenses.  And thank God, in this day and age it has become so much easier to track your expenses using downloadable free apps.

3) Enroll Little S in pre-school.
We are still scouting for an affordable Catholic preschool.  The money you spend on preschool these days is unbelievable.  I honestly have thought of not sending her to preschool (it is not necessary per Dr. Laura Schlessinger) but I feel guilty about it.  Her knowledge is expanding at a very fast pace that she can use additional input from others besides us.

4) Eat more healthy - more seafood, less red meat, less fat, less salt?
Our family has been chowing down on too much meat and potatoes I think.  I have a family history of diabetes and high cholesterol so it's about time I change my diet as a prevention for these killer diseases.  I am not fat, I am slimmer than most women in fact, but I could trim my waist line a little.

5) Better income / new job
The main reason for this goal is our need for more income to cover all our expenses.  Living in Los Angeles with a child, you need more than $100K a year to make both ends meet.  JPF and I have been loyal to our respective employers but we earn a meager salary and increases are few and far between. We are thankful for our jobs, specially in this tough economy however we deem it necessary to look for better employment in order to meet our growing expenses.

6) Get in more pictures with Little S and take more family pictures
The deal is I am always taking the photos.  When I look back at my photo collection it's mostly pictures of my child... alone!  I must stop worrying about how I look and just get photographed once in awhile with my child.  JPF is pretty good at composition so I must learn to have him take the shots sometimes.  Another sad fact is that our family pictures are very few.. maybe about 20 total. In this age of digital cameras and smart phones that number is quite pathetic! The thing is I am always shy to ask somebody to take a picture of us.  And I must say, I am very appreciative of strangers who are kind to offer to snap a photo of a family on vacation (or staycation).  Such a gesture mean so much.  But then again I must also muster courage to ask.

7) Take time to play with Little S
The chores can wait.  Chores will always be there, who cares if the house is messy on some days?  Little S is growing fast and I must enjoy her young years.  Must play with her more - dolls, castles and princesses, cooking and baking.

8) Travel to Paris, Italy or Spain 
This is a big dream.  It's been five years and my feet are itching to go to Europe.  Enough said.

9) Take local family field trips more often.
We may not have the budget to travel abroad but Southern California offers so many local destinations - parks, beaches, museums, etc.  Some days we can play tourists in our neighborhood, after all we live in the heart of West Hollywood.

10) This last one is a wish... a second child.
We have been teased many times about having a second child.  It's a tough question to answer.  We would love to have another child but we are not ready (financially) yet.  Honestly, on some days I wish on getting  impregnated by accident and just live with it.  I continue to hope the day will come (before it gets too late).

So this I pray for a wonderful and blessed year for all of us.
All the best!

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