Day 12 of 21 | 3 Good Things
1. My son surprised us with a “certificate of citizenship” award. I had no idea they had a special assembly where they were presenting these certificates to one student per class. He said, “Mommy, I won an award for being very helpful and respectful in class.” I am not surprised because knowing my son, he is so full of compassion and loves helping people. But at the same time, it was so unexpected to find out that he was acknowledged and appreciated by his class and the entire school which left me a little speechless. Seeing my kids smile and knowing that it brings them happiness means the world to me. Hope I will get to see many more…
2. My cousin, Lanie, was diagnosed with Stage 2 Breast Cancer last year and had a double mastectomy. After finding cancer cells in her lymph nodes, she also had to have them surgically removed. She went ahead and decided to receive chemotherapy treatment to hopefully remove all traces of cancer in her body. Throughout her journey, I’ve been so blessed to see her fight through this battle and inspired by her strength and courage to stay positive. Although I was aware of the many moments that she was feeling mentally, emotionally, and physically ill, she always remained hopeful and regained herself back to normal almost instantly. I truly love her and extremely grateful for her life. My sisters and I, along with her sister and a few close friends celebrated her “End of Chemo” milestone tonight over some delicious food and drinks!
3. As mentioned above, we were wining and dining, laughing and having a good time over dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Cha Cha Cha. It was sooooo good! Spanish tapas with Sangria is absolutely delicious together. We all shared and ordered a variety of tapas — Sauteed Mushrooms, Fried New Potatoes w/Pasilla Aioli, Calamari w/lemon-garlic aioli, Arroz Con Pollo, Fried Platanos, Vegetable Paella, Bistek Encebellado.
After eating it all up with a few drinks of Sangria and dessert, we were all in good spirits and incredibly satiated. All of us mamas were enjoying some much needed girl time. For the most part, we were celebrating Lanie’s life and believing in many more wonderful years and memories to come. Good times, good food, good people… So blessed!
Day 11 of 21 | 3 Good Things
1. Woke up to a rainy day. While the boys and I were walking to the car before dropping them off to school, my youngest wanted to take his hoodie off. Being the parent that I am, I demanded that he put his hood back on. In such an innocent, sweet voice he says, “But Mom… I want to feel the rain.”
Sometimes, we need to feel the rain. Sometimes in life, when it rains it pours. However, I learned to appreciate the rain because then I would appreciate the beautiful sunshiny days even more.
Besides, rain is refreshing and cleansing… My soul needs that every now and then.
Heck, my car even got a carwash, so I’m not complaining about that!
2. Mr. Co and I decided to go to the Farmer’s Market. Got some carrots and kale. Carrots for my chicken curry that I’m going to be making and kale for this recipe I’ve been wanting to try – Kale Chips.
3. For lunch, I made this – Cheese Crusted Pork. It was divine…. This was a new recipe that I have not made before and I am so glad I decided to give it a try. It was super quick and easy to make, plus it was healthy too. The whole family LOVED it. Definitely a keeper. Sarah Carey’s Everyday Food videos are always inspiring me to try out new recipes. She totally rocks!!
Day 10 of 21 | 3 Good Things
1. Spent some time with Mr. Co in the greenhouse today and came across one of the most interesting plants he has so far. This is a type of a carnivorous ‘pitcher plant’ named Nepenthes ‘Jamban’. The word ‘Jamban’ means toilet in Indonesian. Go figure… Pretty amazing, huh?
2. Last year I was prescribed meds for a whole 6 months. February is my last month and I am all done. Whew… So glad it’s over!
3. My dear husband wanted me to have my own art space where I can paint and not have to use half of our dining table. So he put this table together and got me a little shelf cart for my paints. I haven’t finished organizing, but pretty soon it should all come together. I have yet to decorate this blank wall with bits and pieces of artful inspiration and stuff to keep me creative every day.
Day 9 of 21 | 3 Good Things
1. I’m not a big water drinker as much as I know I need to be. If anything, I’m a coffee addict. I can drink coffee all day if I could. But, I’ve come to grasp that as I’m getting older, I’m responsible for my health and need to care about my body more. I saw this blog on how to make your own vitamin water at home and decided to give it a try. So I did. It definitely changed my POV of water and I think I’ve decided that this is the ONLY way I probably will drink 8-12 glasses a day.
2. Yes, I got messy today. It just isn’t normal for me if I didn’t do something artsy each day. In fact, I think I tend have major issues if I go too long without painting, drawing, or even reading an art magazine. Just a few minutes a day and I’m good. No need to worry about me!
3. This is the canvas that I wrote about in one of my previous posts — Perfect Failures. I am loving the way it has evolved and seeing it unfold into something other than what I originally began with. It seriously blows me away. I think this time around, I wasn’t so focused on the outcome like I usually am. I think this painting actually caused me to breakthrough a wall in my creative process. I realized that for so long, I was trying too hard to create a perfect picture, being uptight about every decision on what it needed to look like or consist of. This time around, I just did not care. AT ALL. I let myself be free, following my intuition and going with the flow. Thanks to inspiration found through Flora Bowley and her philosophy that we just need to “Let go. Be Bold. Unfold.”
Day 8 of 21 | 3 Good Things
1. Went to the greenhouse aka Sanctuary today. Helped Mr. Co water the plants. This place always brings me peace and a sense of sacredness. It’s about 20 minutes away, but the drive itself is beautiful as we travel down the coast marked by ocean views and beaches, small towns with beach cottages, harbors, horse ranches and farm land with organic farmers markets. It’s absolutely a great place to retreat from the city life, only minutes from San Francisco.
2. We got a new vacuum that was affordable and was on sale at Target. Our old one broke so this will do for now. Definitely feels good to have clean carpets.
3. Mr. Co has been laid off for over about 2 months now. It’s been really tough financially, but this whole experience has brought us so much closer and our relationship stronger. Many people have told us to just ‘enjoy life’ and ‘don’t worry’. It’s really easier said than done unless you are in a place where you have no clue whether you’ll be able to make rent, pay your bills, or put food on the table. God knows how much we’ve been stressed out and cried over our circumstances. Anxiety, depression, and self pity would try to keep us down. Yet, we’ve come to see how God provides even in the most unexpected ways and blessed us with opportunities here and there. And somehow, we’ve managed to stay afloat. So now, we are both just focusing on taking it one day at time, enjoying life with each passing moment, knowing that we have each other. Everyday is all about keeping the faith. We came to the point where maybe this is God’s way of saying, “You wanted to follow your dreams, you wanted to work doing what you love and enjoy, you asked for this… so now here’s your chance.”
Slowly, but surely we are seeing significant changes and doors have been opening up. All we can do now is just TRUST in GOD. It’s in HIS hands…
It’s ironic. As much as I want things to change overnight, as much as I want us to find secure jobs, as much as I wish our lives weren’t so financially difficult right now… A part of me doesn’t want this to end. I love having my husband home and taking walks with him by the beach, I love that we can take our kids to school together and pick them up, I love that he and I can invest more time into our photography business and work together, I love that he could finally be able to work in the greenhouse and make a profit on his plants (don’t worry, it’s all legal. check out his blog www.thepitcherplantproject.com), I love that he enjoys doing the dishes, doing the laundry, and cleaning the house (yes, it’s true!) which gives me time to create and paint! But, most of all, I appreciate the TIME we have as a family and one-one… It is absolutely PRICELESS. I will never forget these moments…
So, until and/or if we do decide to work in the corporate world again, we are taking the advice given to us by so many – JUST ENJOY LIFE.
A couple of weeks ago, during one of our walks by the beach, we spotted a pod of dolphins swimming close to the shore. It was SO fascinating! Unfortunately, I didn’t have my digital camera which I usually carry everywhere with me, but I took a photo with my iPhone. Bummer. The shot I took isn’t very clear, but you can still see them rising upon the surface.
A man walking his dog came up to us to ask if we also saw the dolphins. He was just as amazed as we were since this rarely occurs. He went on to say this:
“Remember to keep your eyes wide open because you never know what you’ll find.”
Ever since I heard those words, my walks along the beach are like treasure hunts. Typically, you probably could find interesting shells, rocks, and a dead crab, lol.
But, I’ve discovered some other types of treasures — ART. Some are natural, but some are man-made. Check it out…
Day 7 of 21 | 3 Good Things
1. Mr. Co in the kitchen making one of his favorite foods passed down from his Lola (grandmother)–Stuffed Mushrooms. I won’t go into details on how much fun it was to watch this man get in touch with his culinary side, but it was pretty darn entertaining, especially when he decided to use a blow torch to caramelize the tops. LOL. These mushrooms turned out to be a hit though!
2. This little lady got her nails done, Red & Gold, by yours truly. She is not only super adorable, sweet, and lovable, but she is a true Niner fan who loves her team and was crushed at the end of the game when they lost. Almost broke my heart seeing her heartbroken. Yet I know she is strong like her mama!
3. Mr. Co is what they call “Kaepernicking” right at this moment. Hahaha… I admit that although I am not into football as much as I love baseball, I do support my city and its teams, especially supportive of my friends and family who are passionate about them. So when the Niners lost, I could not help but feel the deep anguish that surrounded me afterwards. The emotions were definitely running high and the whole atmosphere changed instantly. I get that it isn’t something to take lightly and I respect how faithful and loyal people are when it comes to the teams they love and have stuck with for as long as they have, through all its ups and downs. Knowing that they have been waiting for years for them to win the Superbowl and being so close to winning, can be devastating. I feel you guys. Hope that with the Giants fest coming up, will help ease the pain and give us something to look forward to!
Day 6 of 21 | 3 Good Things
1. Saturday, we drove up north to spend the weekend with good friends we haven’t seen in a very long time. As always, our time spent with people who are like family to us is priceless. Knowing our financial situation, we were so blessed to receive a gift card from them to buy us gas (which ain’t cheap!), just so we could drive to and from there. God knew we needed this time away which could not have been possible if it weren’t for their generosity and support to get us out there and welcome us into their home. These friendships are golden, no one has ever done that for us. Thank you Reyes and Molina family for being a true blessing to us!
2. This awesome girl here and dear friend, Chanelle Molina of Just Stick a Fork In It, blew up one of my husband’s night photography shots of the Sutro Tower in SF. It was cool to see it in person! Love that our photos can be appreciated in this way…
3. Last but not least, these are my boys and our friends’ 3 amazing kids. Whenever they get together, they are like BFF’s. It’s a beautiful thing to see them grow up together and create their own childhood memories. I love seeing them play and get along so well. It was one of their birthdays so we were definitely thankful that we could be there to celebrate with them. The sad part is when the weekend is over and they have to say goodbye. I know my kids are always sad, but they know they’ll get to see each other again. Hopefully sooner than we think!
Day 5 of 21 | 3 Good Things
a little late…. but I’m still at it!
NEED THIS ON MY WALLS….
MY MAN AND HIS BEARD.
1. Mr. Co and I was hanging out this morning and we stopped by one of my favorite stores — World Market Cost Plus.
I am so in love with this place and it is probably the store that most reflects my style — Eclectic, Soulful, Artsy. I always leave inspired by their decor, gifts, and yummy ethnic food.
By the way, it gives Mr. Co and I some laughs, too.
2. Sunsets are breathtaking here on the Pacific coast. We were driving down one of the scenic roads home and had to stop on the side of the road to capture this sunset. It was really quick that the sun disappeared seconds after I took this.
3. My sister and nieces came over to visit. We haven’t seen them in weeks and its always something I look forward to whenever we have the chance to spend time together. I enjoy my nieces so much!! I love them to pieces, they are like my own daughters. This little one, Ava, is a drama diva queen to the fullest. Here she is after devouring my chocolate chip cookies I baked and trying to be miss little independent cleaning herself up. What a SWEET mess!
The fam and I are headed spend the weekend with some of our friends to celebrate a birthday and the Super Bowl!!
I don’t think I’ll be able to post my 3 Good Things tonight and tomorrow, but will definitely catch up by Monday!
Have a GREAT weekend!!
Day 4 of 21 : 3 Good Things
1. Lucas loves brushing his teeth and never complains about it. He can brush longer than anyone in our house. I get a kick out of watching him sometimes, lol. This kid can be very entertaining (sometimes a little over the top) by dancing or singing in every situation — while brushing his teeth, in the shower, on the potty, when he does his homework, while he eats, anywhere and everywhere he goes in public. He definitely makes my life so much sweeter with the laughter he brings.
2. Josiah is the deep thinker, the problem solver, the athlete, one who always asks a million questions and will be the first to take on a challenge. Here he is contemplating his next move against his Dad. At the early age of 4, he began learning how to play chess and after 4 years of practice and losing against his Dad, he finally won a game the other day. It was such a proud moment for him that he almost looked like he was about to shed tears of joy. Seeing his huge smile and enthusiasm made me feel so incredibly happy. As he ran to hug me, he told me he won. Mr. Co was pretty stunned by it. As parents, we can only hope and long to see more of these moments where our children can achieve and accomplish great things. He believes he’ll be a Grandmaster one day which we have no doubt about it at all.
3. In-and-Out Burgers are one of my guilty pleasures. I rarely ever eat fast food and if I do, this would be the go-to spot. C’mon, who does not like In-&-Out???
Anyways, I always check for the Bible verses that are underneath the fries tray.
Proverbs 24:16 (NKJ)
“For a righteous man may fall seven times
And rise again,
But the wicked shall fall by calamity.”