Sharing a Song this SUNDAY: High Hopes

REPOSTING: Creating a Bucket List That Matters By: Reese Fernandez Ruiz

This is a very nice article about bucket lists and making your life meaningful. So timely since I'm thinking of ways on how to live my life to the fullest (not in traveling nor getting the perfect career but by making it meaningful).

Read on and let me know what you think!

Creating a Bucket List That Matters By: Reese Fernandez Ruiz

Here is what my bucket list looks like:

- Went up the Eiffel tower – check
- Spoke at the Sydney Opera House in front of Australia’s young leaders – check
- Traveled (almost) around the world without spending – check
- Met with world leaders and awesome people – check
- Ate Desmond Tutu’s birthday cake (yup) – check
- Married the man of my dreams and prayers – check


I could think of so many more things that I have done before reaching the age of 30 (and one of my favorites is marrying the man of my dreams & prayers!).

The truth is, life is not comprised of just trophies, certificates, countries, courses, adventures, and awards. It is also full of moments of anxiety, self-doubt, failure, and missteps. In fact, the things that really build character are the hard things, not the ones that make you giddy inside.

So whenever younger people ask me about all my achievements (and by “achievements”, some usually refer to the awards, media exposure, etc.) and ask how they could achieve them too, I always feel uncomfortable.

One, because I don’t think the awards, media exposure, or number of passports (or stamps on them) are the goals. The goals should be bigger, inclusive, and based on faith and hope for a better future for everyone. If the awards themselves become the end goals, that would be dangerous and misguided – and such a waste of time and talent. And trust me, they are not good enough as anchors. They crumble when things get tough.

And two, I don’t think that my life is a success story already told and that it could be measured based on media mileage or awards. Those are not the real achievements (they are great pats on the back though and are definitely appreciated). Behind all the glitz and glamour, I consider my real achievements to be the moments of survival, belief, hope, faith, and love in spite and despite of all the anxiety, self-doubt, failure, and missteps.

So instead of creating just a bucket list of things-to-do and places-to-go (I also have those!), I also wrote another that is more meaningful and will remind me of the more important things in life. Hopefully, for those who feel in a hurry to “achieve” and measure their achievements through external rewards, this list could help you build your own bucket list that matters:

- Tell the people you love that you love them, all the time. It may be awkward at first for some people, but you’ll remember these moments the most (my status: YES! all the time!)
- Tell your biggest failure story and share its lessons
- Forgive the people you blame for some difficult times in your life
- Lose an award, nomination, or something that you really want, with grace and genuine happiness for others
- Listen to constructive personal feedback without being defensive or listening only to respond
- And finally (but really, the list goes on), find a community that you could love and stick to – it could be a church group, organization, cooperative, artist hub, group of like-minded people, etc. and constantly think of ways to provide value to them. Serving others is one of the best ways to find your calling and passion.

When you measure your life and achievements through more meaningful metrics, all the awards, media exposure, travels, and other things that may come your way (and they will come because the world needs and loves people with passion and purpose), will be nice-to-have. But you’ll find that nothing beats the moments of survival, belief, hope, faith, and love in spite and despite of all the anxiety, self-doubt, failure, and missteps.


Look What the Kiddos Got for their Birthday?

The complete set of Harry Potter booksssssssss! Woot! Woot!

And the funny thing is, I'm the one who felt over the moon. LOL!

So, yes my future "Potterheads" are waiting for a long school break and then their off to their Hogwarts experience. (*wink*)(*wink*)

A Group Date with Great Friends. ♥

A perfect place for a group date at 1 in the morning. (*grin*)

This is Tomatito at BGC in Taguig.

Here's the highlight of our group date. (*grin*)

This dessert was so, so, so good!

A night of catching up with friends, good food, wonderful desserts, I couldn't ask for a more perfect group date! ♥♥♥

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. Fun Getaway with Siblings last Week ♥♥♥
2. Safe Flights and Boat Transfers
3. Bonding
4. Freshly Brewed Coffee
5. Back home safe and sound!
6. By simplifying our schedule, we were able to find new opportunities!
7. Blogging and Preserving Memories
8. New Adventures soon!
9. Salted Egg Potato Chips
10. Boracay ♥♥♥

To know how this started and credits of the header, click here.

Anniversary Trip to Anilao: Our Last Swim in Vivere Azure before Going Home.

Just before leaving the resort, we decided to make the most out of it and swim, swim, swim. We missed the kids though because they would love it here too!

Most especially this overlooking pool!

It is very inviting, isn't it?

Although the shore along the beach was not something to look forward to, but the view is spectacular.

We loved it here! Very, very much!

Now it's time to say goodbye to this beautiful resort. HOPEFULLY, we get to go back with the kids really, really soon!

As always, this wouldn't be possible without God's never ending provisions and blessings. Thank you Lord for another anniversary, another getaway and another bonding with my favorite person in the whole wide world - my Hubby! ♥♥♥

Impressing the Right People?

Sharing a Song this SUNDAY: We Could be Amazing by Andy Grammer

REPOSTING: Why Do #MomGuilt and Work Always Belong in the Same Sentence? by Patricia Gonzalez

Why Do #MomGuilt and Work Always Belong in the Same Sentence? by Patricia Gonzalez

A Mother Was Born

I don’t believe that it was a coincidence that I discovered what it is I really love to do around the same time I become a mother. While I was pregnant with my first baby, I knew that I wanted to quit my full-time job to take care of her. After years of not being certain I could conceive a child at all, I knew if I would ever blessed to be a mother, I wanted it to be me who would nurse her, bathe her, cradle her, and play with her throughout the day. For a while, I refused to hire any form of help, and was determined to do it all myself. It was a beautiful season we had as an inseparable duo, however short it was.

And then a Writer, and an Entrepreneur Soon After

While at home I found myself with plenty of time on my hands while my baby was asleep. And it was then that I really started to write. I set up a blog and wrote a few stories about my birthing experience, and my reflections on the newness of motherhood. At the same time, my fellow mama friend and I started taking steps toward launching our small business. We had been planning for several months, and put it on hold for a while after I gave birth. But once caring for my baby became more manageable, we started moving forward with our plans and launched our swimwear line online during the summer of 2015–when my baby Teresa was 4 months old. By that time, I was officially a freelance writer and a mompreneur. A lot had changed and the opportunities started to come one after the other…which also happened at a time when I started looking for work for two reasons 1) to help my husband with financially supporting my family and 2) because I was finding a real fulfillment in writing, and in marketing our swimwear business online. I started to think seriously about whether all this was a part of my life’s calling to do this too.

The Name of My Third Child is: Guilt

But with these changes came many feelings of guilt. By the time I started working part time with a PR agency, I also discovered I was pregnant again. My second child would be born in January 2016, and my two babies would be 13 months apart. I knew with certainty that it was necessary for me to work to support my growing family, but I also missed my children very often. I missed them even though I was away from the home for only 4 hours and worried constantly about my changing yayas. I worried that they would know me less and love me less than their yayas. And then I felt guilty as well while I worked at my desk while they played in their room at home. All this despite the fact that I had much more time with my children than most moms would hope for, and that I knew my reason for work was very real. This was no selfish whim. We needed the income, and I knew in my heart that I was doing the right thing.

Causes and Consequences: Analyzing My Guilt

And so from an objective perspective, what I was doing was something that was truly good. So where were these feelings of guilt coming from? Here are my musings:

My idea of what a good mom would be. Before actually becoming a mom, I had this idea in my head that to be the best type of mom, a woman should be completely focused on the home and on the family. So I would spend days at my desk counting down the days and hours until I could finally spend entire days at home with my baby. I had romanticized the stay at home mom, and the housewife, and was more than willing to pour my entire self into those roles. This is my vocation, I thought. Thus, when other things–namely, work started to eat into my time, the guilt came with it. When I wasn’t with my children or my husband, I felt like I was falling short of fulfilling my vocation, when in reality, I was actually working for their benefit.

Spending time with only like-minded mama friends. I remember asking my sister in law: is it still possible for me to be a good mom, while working full time? Her response to this was: “Pat! Don’t you have any mama friends who work?” And my answer to that was, well..not ones that I would talk to on a regular basis. So the only version of motherhood that I was exposed to was the housewife and the stay at home mom.

Failing to recognize that my talents, and personality are a big part of who I am. I’ll admit that even as I was busy glorifying the SAHM and the housewife, there was one aspect to it that I could not reconcile with those roles. I believe in the principle of teaching by example. And I knew I wanted to raise my daughters to pursue their dreams—whatever they would be. But how could I set that example if I wasn’t living the reality myself? And what were my dreams anyway?

At the time, my biggest dream was to be a mom. And that was fulfilled. But what if they wanted to do or be something else? How could I show them if I hadn’t achieved these things myself?

Putting motherhood on a pedestal. I had completely convinced myself that motherhood was my highest calling (and I still believe this is true, right next to being the best wife I can be to my wonderful husband)…what I did not realize that I had turned it into my only calling. I suppose that was where my problem was, and a major source of guilt. But reconnecting with the world through my work made me realize that there is much to life than caring for my family. There are people to meet, help, learn from. The world is bigger than my small family, and my role might be bigger than what I thought it would be too.

I’ve always lived very purposefully, and I slowly (and maybe also very painfully) realized that the use of my talents through work are a part of my ultimate fulfillment as a woman. And I want my daughters to understand that too. I want to set an example that women are capable of doing amazing things.

Does that make me a bad mother?

And so why does #momguilt and work always seem to belong in the same sentence? Perhaps it is high time to change that.

No, we cannot kill ourselves trying to do it all, but we also need to stop killing ourselves for wanting to do more than what our conventions require. Motherhood looks different on every woman, which is why I believe that the guilt should look different too.


Anniversary Trip to Anilao: Breakfast Time!

Another highlight of our weekend in Vivere Azure Resort - our breakfast!

Although I was expecting our breakfast will be in buffet, but when I saw this, I was so glad that it wasn't.

Ok, you tell me if you weren't impressed by this plate.


Add look what Hubby got for his breakfast...

Yes, he chose the healthy breakfast. Well, except for the extra bacon. HA!

Two happy tummies after this heavy breakfast, I guess it's time for a swim!