Monday, September 5, 2016

It's 5am and I Can't Sleep

I can't sleep. I keep waking up and have that empty feeling. Over and over. Over. I miss my first born, we dropped him off to his dorm last Friday. I can't even talk about it yet. 

I sure hope this feeling will diminish in time. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Just Another Day--- #Hokage

After the boys' haircut, we went to have dinner at koi, a sushi place close by. Fair warning, it's not worth it. It's expensive and there's nothing special about it. File this under #LlagaLast. 

While eating, I ask the kids, what does Hokage mean and they went ballistic. Questions such as mom, where'd you learn that, mom when did you even know that word and many others. I felt like a queen with bountiful knowledge. But they were still cracking up and I wasn't getting my answer so I asked again. They explained that it's an anime where this kid wants to grow up to be a hokage ( highest level of ninjahood--ha, there is such) but he is the worst ever-- awkward and such and it doesn't help that his dad was the most well known Hokage in all of Japan. So you know, the struggle is real. 

I then said, wow, I must be a Hokage! Best in what I do, I said. They all went back to eating even though there was no more food. 

Mga buwisit. Such is my life. How's your Thursday?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Daily Musings-- Mickey Bustos

Hello there my dear, so sorry I haven't updated for a long time but here you go!

On our way home after school shopping ( which was just supposed to be a quick hair color pick up) after the dental appointments of the boys, Pherry, out of the blue said, " are you promdi or sosi?" In unquestionable Mickey Bustos voice, a nod to his Filipino roots. Then the other two started screaming like crazy and leads Josh to ask, " is that the bald guy? If yes, I know him too!" Pherry ask what sosi means and and I told them it's a slang/play of words to social/sosyal which has been mean to be acting upper class in Filipino societal norms. With a few more examples, Pherry then said, " do you mean promdi is?" And they all start to giggle. Hahahahha, it's promdi, "from the province" as suburban people. Promdi connotes no class, cheap, Jologs    The closest I could think of is like suburbs people but it's not exactly.

But that's not the story. They then go on and say, "wahahahaha, from the province is promdi coz you guys interchange f and p!" That's right! Otherwise it would have been FromTheProvince but it's PromTheFrovince or promdi for short. 

That's all, goodnight folks. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

See I A

I came home Monday and this is what I came home to;
" Ma, I applied for internship at the CIA," Pherry said and then "only coz the clandestine agent application is closed." I said ok, that's cool. After a few minutes he followed me to the deck and talked about it some more. Deadma Nga ako, kasi CIA nga. 

Then yesterday, he followed me to the front while I was watering the plants. "Ma, I followed the chat rooms  about the internships at the CIA... Blah blah blah." I followed with Ah, ooooh, wow, cool, really... And some other expressions. CIA nga kasi. 

Then today, while the kids were all laughing on how Pherry is now learning the Running Man dance, I asked " KC, did you know Kuya applied at the CIA?" 
KC was like no, when did that happen? So I asked Pherry, "Kuya, when would you know if you got accepted at the CIA?" He said, "you won't know, it's the CIA."

Kasi nga, CIA! Ano ba?

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Brag Day---Academic Awards Night at Quincy High

Aaaaaaaw! I am a proud Mama! 
Tonight we attended Quincy's academic awards night. The twist, they don't tell you which award you're getting. I learned now how it ranges from vocational ( carpentry, culinary etc) to Math and Science as well as Principal's award and Pride ( school spirit). 

My Pherry got GOLD Presidential Academic Award. Gold! That means 4.0 GPA PLUS at least 3 Advance scores in MCAS! Side story, when I told him how proud I am, he told me he got perfect score for Math and Science in MCAS. Not just Advance score, it was perfect Ma! Hahahaahah. Oo nga naman. 
That's all he got though. Some kids got multiple awards like excellence in Math, visual arts etc. I was kind of expecting I.T. AND History but they didn't give out those or maybe none were qualified. Iwas particularly  happy when Leadership and School Spirit awards were given out. These are students who excel academically AND are socially responsible and contributes much to the community. 

Most of Pherry's friends were awarded too but I was particularly proud of Stanley and Matthew. 

After school, Stanley runs off to Boston to work for his father every single day, yet he excels academically. Hardwork pays off, right Stanley?

Matthew, Matthew Matthew! He has been friends with Pherry since elementary years. He was one of only 4Pride  Awards recipient! Did I tell you he is Mr. QHS? Yup, Brains and Brawn!

Here's a few pictures! 

I am beaming with pride with these three kids. 
Us--- proud parents. 

I will never tire of telling everyone how extremely proud I am of my kids but tonight, let me tell you how I am extremely happy that Pherry is setting the bar so high and being such a great model for his siblings. 

Soar high Pherry, I know you'd do really well in life. I'm in tears right now so I'll write more senti message next post. 😔

Oh, here's that Barack Obama signature. The first one we have in our household was also of Pherry's silver one but now it is gold!  

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Brag Day-- graduation edition

It's been too long! I know! Sorry. Believe me though, it's not for the lack of brag materials hahahahha. I've just been too lazy to write. Once I get home after a long commute, all I want to do is watch my crime drama shows. Hahahah. 
Anyways, I haven't updated you with so many things but I promise I will soon. 

It's not a secret that Chris and I are proud of our kids but it's so emotional to finally see Pherry finish high school with no issues. We were never called to the school, all I hear from his teachers is how
he is such a wonderful young man. Anyway, he called me telling me that we need to go the awards night. I said I already am. He said , "ma, this is aside from the scholarship awards. " 
Mauubos vacation time KO nito eh! 

Scholarship Awarding

Awards Night
Ma, the blue tassels everyone gets, the yellow one is only for National Honor Society as well as the special bib. The red tassel is for Skills USA. How about History Bowl and Robotics? They don't give out special ones for those.  Ma, just be glad my award is not for perfect attendance or best dressed. Lokong bata. But best dressed is good?! He looks at me dagger sharp then said, you only you would say that Ma.

PS: anong masama sa best dressed?
PPS: most punctual, pwede?
PPPS: Most in School Donation, meron?
Last na: Extra Curricular activity awardee?

Monday, May 2, 2016

Life Update

So what have we been up to?

Pherry-- very busy with school and college application. He is trying to bring his GPA a little higher to make sure he gets in his preferred college. This is him now during his cousin's christening. 

KC- oh what can I tell you. This young miss is very busy at school. Between her volunteer time at the library, being Vice President of the freshmen class, and  making sure she is still getting her As. Funny story: she came home to say she was number 54 of all freshmen. I said it was a good one. Then she said, but,Cindy and Taylor are 3 and 5. Left speechless, I just said well at least you pick good friends. She was laughing. 
We went to see the Boston Pops yesterday and it's so much fun to dress up with her. 
 Josh- what can I tell you about Bunso. Still such a sweet boy. He has grown so tall though and when I look at photos just a few years ago, he has changed dramatically. He had his spacers placed last Thursday and will get braces by next Saturday. He maintains good grades  and is very social. He is very loving. But you know what I really love, I love listening to his recorded voice message when he misses a phone call. So innocent and young. 
You probably seen this photo but so far this is my fave recently so here is my family. 
 How are you? How's your family?

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Fooling As If

Since transitioning to management, I have been to many many meetings. Meetings.....
Anyway, you know how you can't talk because what the other people are saying are utterly absurd and it's not worth it and it's plain stupid to even allocate a sentence? Or the total opposite that you feel you are the only one talking coz no one is interested in your proposal and you secretly swear to yourself marking each face buried in cellphones and "pretend" taking notes to NEVER support them next time they do have a proposal too? Yup, been there done that. 
But for me, the most ridiculous ones are the people who think they will come out winners of a discussion/ argument just because you are being quiet and tactful and they go on and on and on talking about themselves and how this and that and you're this and you're that.... because they are making themselves look stupid! 

Listen, I can be as sarcastic as you are believe me I can but I choose not too because there is a place and time for all that. I can be rude and nasty like you, believe me I can, my nickname growing up is not Bads for nothing  but I choose not too because I can see how awful it is to be rude just by looking at your mouth spitting saliva on the table. I can be argumentative as you are, believe me I can. I am not orator of the year for nothing but I choose not to. Why? Because there is no point in arguing with mindless talking machines like you who have no agenda whatsoever but to spew rabid lies and accusations. Also, last but not the least, I can be condescending like you and believe me I can. I created the title Condescending Queen. But you know what? I choose not too. For the pure reason that I don't need to be condescending towards you as you are already doing the damage on your own--- putting yourself down. 

Sometimes the only response I give to people such as the aforementioned types is to keep still. Silence. Because the moment I open my mouth, I may unleash the wrath I have and regret it later. I don't regret anything I have ever said or done. Maybe regret it because I hurt the people I love but I take responsibility for it. I stand for my own words. Never bending it, or worse denying it altogether. 

So let me just share a little thought and maybe somehow one who comes across this post can learn one thing. During meetings, discussions, arguments, rebuttals or whatever it may be, stop for a second and take a closer look at who you are. Calling people names, denying any incidents or falsely accusing people do not make you the winner. On the contrary, you are defining yourself at that very moment. On the other hand, not because the other party is quiet and intently looking at you, it does not mean they are agreeing with you or they are nibs for allowing your bad behavior. No no no. In my case, I'm just usually stunned for such atrocities that my expressions and words don't coincide anymore. Hahahahahha. Even my " resting bitch face" can't come outt with such vile person. 

Yes folks, that's my day. How's yours? On the other hand, when I got home, my two boys were cooking with me, singing 90's music with me and my eldest dancing with me to the tune of the Beatles' Imagine. So there you go, I may just have a better home life than others. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

College Application Updates


I don't think I told you about Pherry's non-acceptance to MIT. Yes, he did not get in. But that's alright. He said it doesn't mean he wasn't good enough, there are just 1500 more students in the whole world smarter than him that they can actually accept. Way to go for that fighting spirit Kuya! 

Anyways, if you follow me on my social media, you know he got accepted to Wentworth Institute of Technology. Coincidentally, it's the first acceptance as it was the first college we visited this summer. Cool ha! They offered academic scholarship for half-tuition guaranteed for 4 years if he maintains an average of whatever, I forgot. All I know is that he said, that's nothing. Way to go Kuya! Seeing the pattern yet of my son's fighting spirit?

But you're not here for those news above! You are here because he got accepted to UMASS. UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS. Not too impressed? Well, what if I told you he is offered the Chancellor's scholarship? What does that mean? Full tuition and other mandatory fees amounting to $12,500. Coupled with the Abigail Adams scholarship he received last year, we basically don't have to pay a single penny! Not a single penny! Wait wait! There's more! He is accepted to the Honor's College of the Umass School system. It's the rigorous program at all the UMASS academic schools. Shut the front door! I am super duper proud of my first born! What am I going to do with all the money I saved for his college education? Hahahahahah. Just kidding my dear friends. 

Anyways, all these scholarship are merit/ academic ones. We have not gotten any financial scholarship just yet. That would really supplement all his needs. But who needs financial aid when you can use--- you know--- brain powers to pay for anything! Kidding again. Just being funny as I am super psyched!

Awaiting for other schools so we can all finally move on. Ha, why save for college education when you can invest in your child. Focus on them, nurture them, be with them and you don't have to pay a penny! 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Conversations in the Kitchen

Apparently I have been marked at Quincy High's basketball games that my presence is requested for the game tomorrow. After I refused to go coz KC's been telling me how her coaches ask about me after the Quincy vs Plymouth game, here's the convo by the kitchen tonight;
KC: mom, you gotta go. Please!
Me: I am not. Hahahahah 
Josh: mom, I won't go so you can go. I'm not gonna stop you from cheering. Also, now we will be one of the notable Quincy families. We will be the most fun family. You know. (As he pretends to be a funny guy)
KC: and mom, dress up like you're going to  your friend from Lexington and Tita Leila's) coz we're playing against(?) you know those fancy moms who are so snobbish. ( does a b*tchy mom impersonation)
Me: who you playing? Lexington, Hingham? Sharon? Weston?  
KC: no, ( I am censoring as I friends from that town) we're playing ...
Me: oh please they can shove it. 
Josh: burn! 

Moral lesson: I am not from those towns mentioned above. I am poor. Hahahahah. 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

2015 in Review

Hello 2016. Hello everyone. Happy new year. 
I don't do resolutions nor do I do bucket lists. I used to do goals but most of it don't happen especially my travel ones so I have decided to go with the flow. 

2015 is a great year. It didn't start well believe me. I spent the first nights of 2015 crying and nursing some deep pain. But then I decided to make it so much better, because I can. Yes, leave the things you can't control and decide to be happy as that is something you can do without permission. Yes, you do not need permission to be happy. 

Winter in Boston was epic bad. It broke all records but we were all safe and I thank God for that. But it also meant longer school year for the kids as they had to make up classes. I was also grateful for my job as it allowed me to stay with the kids during this harsh winter. 
In the spring, the kids continued to grow and some of the teenager angst they had have slowly melted away like the winter snow. We have family issues as much as the next door neighbor but nothing we can't win over. 
This year made me also prayerful. I prayed all the time. Everytime I start to feel pain or start to struggle, I pray. Also, I pray on bended knees now. I did so in 2014 when I was in professional rut and I continued to do so. It gave me deep peace and unprecedented understanding and patience. I am not claiming I am religious because I am not nor am I claiming to be a saint as I am nowhere near that. All I am saying is that when I have no one to hold on to or nothing to root for in life, prayer kept me going. 

Summer was great as we spent it with family in Montreal. As always, Josh and Karmina love spending time there. When I can afford to be off the whole summer, I'd like to spend it with my sisters and nieces and nephew in Montreal. It's a beautiful city and my relatives spoil me. It's also this summer that we started going to colleges to scout for Pherry. It's a learning process for me too as I did not go to college here in the US. I was glad I brought the two younger kids as they were able to get a glimpse of the much needed requirements of they wanted to go to good schools. But I also realized, it isn't really just about grades but the total package. I say it again, I am not one of those parents who pushes their kids too much.

The sentence above was where I stopped and I couldn't think of anything to add so instead golf keeping this on my "draft" I'll post it. 
I hope to be a better blogger soon. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Dinner Laughs

So KC comes home after nabbing a spot into the Quincy High cheer team. 

Josh: that's weird. She's school Vice President, with As, volunteers at the library AND a cheerleader? Really weird. 
Me: Josh.....

Then KC comes shrieking in the door!!!! Eeeeweek! I did it!

Josh, repeated his comments above, I gave him the shut-up look. KC just ignored him. Then out of nowhere, " you're thinking cheerleaders are just that." You know anyone can be smart, pretty, funny and cool. Yup, you got it, Josh said, you gotta admit though, most are not. 

Hahahahah. Then I said out of nowhere, I feel like every time I see girls with Michael Kors at the train, I feel like I'm seeing Mortal Kombat. Then when I saw their jaw dropped, I'm a gamer I blurted. "Mom's a gamer!" Then they all stood up from the dining table and no ones talking to me, apparently. 

Anyway, here's my princess who's apparently also a cheerleader. Ha!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Family Update

So this week has been a blur but suddenly last Friday the news about Paris terrorist attack jolted my consciousness. Yet again, another senseless killing--- for what? 
Anyway, Pherry went to WGHB today but we won't know if his team will be one of the top 14 teams who get to compete live on TV. Chris came home on time to make sure he drops off our first born. As I was taking photos to document, he was like " no, I don't feel sexy today!" Hahahahah. And aince he doesn't feel handsome or sexy, I'll post his photo. 

Here's us when Pherry got home. I was always checking my phone and kept asking his siblings if he called so we will pick him up. He just showed up. 
 Josh is doing great. He is so much into League of Legends and we have been refocusing his interest but since his grades are still great, I give him a little leeway. KC is very active in school and makes her so busy. She is growing up to be a good lady. 

Sometimes I feel I want to stop time! 


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Brag Day

So while I was at the shower this morning, Pherry told me I have to sign release papers for something. "Christopher Ryan, you could not tell that later, or even last night?" 
Oh kids! He then proceeded to tell me about a quiz show for his History Bowl Team blah blah blah..... then the magic word came. It's going to be aired at WGBH! I yanked the shower curtain and said, "you'll be on TV?" Give me that paper. Let me sign it. Then my friends, I quickly towel
ed dry my big Asian self and signed my life away. 
The end. 😜

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Photo Story --- November 2015

Sometimes, I'm just lazy to talk or write, so I realized maybe I'd do posts that's just short and sweet. 


May these photos not only tell how fuzzy hair don't look fab. My hope is that it will tell how Prescious slept over and has no outfit so she borrows Ate KC. 

May this photo tell you how this day, even with 2-inch heels, my boys are taller than me and not just tell you how I think matching shoes and bag is rad. 😜

And lastly, may this photo tell you that inspite of it all, I am blessed because I have these three kids in my life, like God tells me he loves me every single time I lay my eyes on them. May it not only remind you that I shouldn't be forcing the kids to take too much photo or that inspite of the time adjustment ( Fall back) we were late to church. May it remind you that because of that, the priest said " I didn't see you at front?" But because of that short conversation, may this photo remind you that our parish priest will make sure that he will pray for Pherry for college application deadline at 2am November 2,2015.

What did I tell you, there's more to photos than what you see! Don't judge, there's more to the person you see on Facebook or Instagram than the life you see. 

Happy Sunday and happy November. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Brag Day Wednesday Edition

Hello! How have you been? It's been too long! 
Anyway, there are so many things I can brag about my children the past few months!  Here goes some! 

1. KC was voted Vice President of her freshman class of 380. Apparently, she got a landslide vote. 😉

2. Well, just take a look at the pics below.  I know there are a lot of other kids qualified for the Abigail Adams scholarships but hey, it doesn't mean I can brag about it!
Pherry is such a simple kid, he says on his text message, " I got a scholarship of some sort. " Hahahahah. To him, this is just ordinary. 
3. Pherry's English, Math and Science is on the Advance scale of the MCAS. 

WHAT MORE CAN I ask? None! We are proud parents!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Birthday Dinner 2015

Of course, there's lunch before dinner! My sweet husband brought us to... Wait for it... Wendy's! The kids refused to get off the car! Hahahahah! 

After that we ran off to a coupe of locations for impromptu Fall shoot, that's for another post. 

Chris brought me to this beautiful ocean-front restaurant in Tiverton Rhode Island, a good 45 minutes drive from our place. The slope down road leading to The Boathouse ( is so picturesque. The restaurant has a fantastic view of Sakonnet River. It was a beautiful day to be there. The sunset and the perfect view made my 40th birthday so memorable. The food? Ah-may-zhing! 

This is the seafood sampler, our appetizer. Fresh, sweet  and delicious. 

The salad special that day was good too. 

This is my seafood paella which was certainly not my perception of paella but it was so flavorful and just amazing. Not too flavored that you miss the seafood taste. 

Chris had the grilled scallops and shrimps combination. He said it was very good. Coming from him, it must be. They were really fresh. 

The service by our waitstaff is incredible. They are not checking on you every second, which I hate by the way but just enough to make you feel you are taken cared of. The crowd is a little bit of a mix of young people and older ones. I was expecting a little more dressy crowd but was pleasantly surprised that it is rather casual then I realized they are a stone's throw away from a townhouse community which probably makes them the daily dinner meeting place for friends. I didn't see families though. 

The menu is simple which I like. Most restaurants should have this. Not cluttered. You should just have menu where you are so good at that people come back for it. 

For the amazing food, incredible view and good service, the proces are so good! Although I may just make this a special event go to place, due to the distance, I recommend this to the most discerning friends. And you can't beat free parking! 

How about you? What place to you enjoy most. Let me know down the comment below! 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Random Thoughts on my Birthday

Hello there! It's been a year? Wow! If you are a longtime reader of my blog you know I do this random thoughts in 10 minutes or whatever I can come up with corresponding to my age, in one sitting. I think I started this about 4 or 5 years ago. Anyway, my 10 minutes starts now. 

1. Whatever happened to manners? 
2. Exercise is over rated. I went to run, er, walk for about 2 hours this morning and I didn't feel any different. Nada. 😜
3. Tom Brady is as good as I saw him first in 2001. 
4. I traded buying coffee over my facial package. Priorities people, priorities. 
5. Who said buying expensive bags is a waste? Buying expensive make-up is a waste? Let me tell you what's a waste? Your beautiful gift from God, and you're letting it rot. Fix your face. 
6. I love eating. I know, it shows in my body. 
7. I think nail polish is a good spirit booster. Try going to a nail salon and let me know if you don't get high. 😜
8. Obama is still the man. 
9. My first vote as an American is Mayor Phelan of Quincy and Hillary Clinton. 
10. I don't know what people do in the shower to warrant more than 10 minutes of staying there. 
11. I don't have Filipino channel in my home. Am I weird?
12. My bestfriends are the best. 
13. I have the best family in the world. My sisters, nieces and nephews are truly a blessing to me. My husband and my children are my only treasure. 
14. When someone invites you to dinner, don't ask where? Ask, what time?
15. There's a lady at work who is allergic to fragrance so we are not allowed to wear any hint of it. That's the only downside of my job right now. Right now.
16. I've  come to realize that blue skies and water views are my writing triggers. 
17. My favorite niece is Fridah. Coz she's got my favorite grandniece a and grand nephew. 
18. I still dream of the day when I go shopping and I don't check the price tag or ask the sales associate if they have discount coupons to use. 😜
19. My friend Ricardo said anything you put on your face less than $16.00, it would not work. That explains why my face is still bad and I don't know how he came up with that number. Go ask him. 
20. I've known all along that income is relative but man, I need more income. Liars! 😜
21. You gotta admit, The Walking Dead is good. 
22. I don't know if I told you here on the blog but I have not used credit cards since 2007 or even earlier. It doesn't mean I don't have credit. Right Grace, Abby?
23. Karmina just made me so proud recently as she got elected as Vice President of her freshmen class. Way to go girl! 
24. I could not stop laughing when I read: " I may not have a lot, but at least I have good looking children. "
25. I can watch NCIS and Criminal Minds all day and all night. Straight. 
26.  I can write better than what you see in my blog but why bother? 😉
27. Recently I was asked--- money or power? Heck, is that a question? Money IS power. But I'd settle for good looks. 😉😜. 
28. I thank God for good friends. Recently, my two good friends Puri and Amjelle visited me, made sure their schedules have me on it even if they were all the way from Cali and Toronto. Thank you girls!
29. I'm a good juggler. Promise. 
30. When people say, if I have that much money, I wouldn't know what to do with it. I scratch my head and give them a " shut up " look. Are you f****ng kidding me?
31. Mac's Ruby Woo is sold out in the Philippines and Singapore. Apparently all because of YayaDub. Eh, I've been using it since forever. But just in case her popularity comes over to the U.S., I bought one more. Just in case people. You never know.
32. I am anxious for the college application of Pherry. I see how he works so hard on them and seen him through the years working diligently to get good grades and extra curricular points. It would break my heart if he doesn't get to MIT as I know how he desperately WANs to. Not that any of his other choices are not good but this is the culmination of his hardwork and if it does not get rewarded with his ultimate plan, I'm sure he'd be devastated. Fingers crossed and I promise to update you with any development. 
33. I have to practice wearing false eyelashes for a back-to-back wedding I'm attending this October. 
34. I'm excited to meet my IG friend in Toronto in a couple of weeks.  Social media makes this world smaller but better. 
35. I think KC is now dressing up better. She's also putting make-up now. 
36. I like listening to old songs. 
37. I have friends. I'm sure more people consider me their acquaintance rather than a friend. Suits me well. Friends are those you invite to your home and they invite you to theirs. Or equivalent to a home-- like a boat. Right Dado? 
Not because you hang out once, you're friends. Ha?
38. When I ride the T, I see different people-- very interesting people. 
39. I don't know why people give such a big deal about Facebook posts. You do yours, they do theirs, I do mine. There is the unfriend button or unfollow setting. 
40.  This past year I have met new friends and been with great friends. I thank God for giving me wonderful people in my life. It's a blessing to meet new people who give more meaning to your life and even a greater blessing to be surrounded by longtime true friends who brightens your day even in the most simple ways. Life is grand when your journey is a continuous stop-over of love, family and friends. I have all thee and I am not wanting for anything. Except more bags. Yup, my doom.

You've come to the end of the blog, let me show you how 40 looks. 
Be bold, be  beautiful!

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Passport


If you haven't read my citizenship application post, please do so to understand my emotions regarding this process. 

But anyway, my passport has arrived and I am so creaking happy and excited. Where to? 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

College Search is On

   So, as my vacation approached so is the beginning of college campus tour. It was planned that this summer would be focused on narrowing down the choices for Pherry's programs. We tried to focus on schools near Boston, excellent program in computer science or engineering and urban setting. Not necessarily in that order but those are his priorities. It is always good to focus on schools that are strong in the program/s your child is interested in and to apply to as many as possible. Cost should also be considered but for us, it isn't the priority. Cost should only brought in when you are accepted and you are comparing two colleges, everything else being equal except the cost--- then go for the option which gives you more financial aid. You have to check out all your choices to see the campus feel and observe if that is the culture you'd want to be around with. It's four years of your life, you want to make sure you fit in to the new environment. Also, the friends you meet here maybe your life-long friends as well as colleagues so make sure you are going to a school that focuses on your values and field of study. 

So, we went to 6 colleges in total--- 2 Ivy 1 semi-Ivy, 2 state university and a private school well-known for robotics engineering/computers as that's what Pherry likes. Except for one, all visits were on very hot and humid days!  On the first day, we visited Wentworth Institute of Technology and Massachusetts  Institute of Technology . Both very reputable schools especially for engineering and technology. We liked MIT for it's vibrant campus and knowledgeable guides and admissions counsellor. WIT on the other hand did not have an information session, just campus tour. They are missing out on that because that is their chance to highlight why they're one of the best schools. 

Next, we visited Boston University which has a very urban campus so the vibe is high. It is very strong in the field of engineering also. The tour was long and thorough and the presentation of the admissions committee was cool--- makes you feel welcome as well as to stay in the city of Boston. It has a sprawling campus albeit, expensive levelling up to MIT and Harvard tuitions. 
Pherry liked what he saw. 

Next was Brown University in Rhode Island. It has the most beautiful campus of all we've visited so far. I loved everything about it but the kids loved the open curriculum. They believe that aside from your major, you shouldn't be forced to study subjects that does not interest you therefore anyone who enrolled in your class is there because they like it--makes a better class of individuals with the same interest. It is also beside famed Rhode Island School of Design and you can take dual degree awarded by both institutions. 

Then we visited University of Massachusetts Boston. The campus was great but I did not like the vibes at all. They have good academic reputation but not so much with engineering. The kids didn't like it either. It's close to our home so that's a plus I guess. Another positive side is that since it is a public institution, tuition is very affordable and they give merit scholarship. 

I should probably discuss the difference of academic/merit scholarship vs. financial aid. Merit awards are for academic achievements and awarded depending on the criteria selected by institution. It can be awarded to anyone meeting the academic standards set. This also can be in addition to any financial aid already accorded due to financial hardship. Meanwhile, financial aid are given to those in need of tuition assistance. The total package given is calculated based on EFC or expected family contribution. The EFC is based of the submission of FAFSA and calculated based on your and your family's ability to pay/ share in your education. Most schools are on BLIND ADMISSIONS. They accept you based on your merit. When accepted, based on your EFC, they will meet all the other finances as they offer you admission. For example, based on EFC, your family can contribute $30,000 and the full tuition and fees including board and lodging is $65,000, they will pay the $35,000, your family pays the rest. It can still be expensive no matter what but that's when you apply for private grants. Big corporation usually sponsor academic achievers on the field so that can contribute too. 

Okay, so the last school we visited was Umass Amherst. The flagship campus of UMASS. It is beautiful! But also far away. It's 2.5hours drive from Boston. It's good and selective in engineering, it's affordable being a state college but not an urban campus. I loved the vibe in that campus. They have an old reputation as a party university but based on my experience, you can go to the most selective and expensive school and end- up as loser or go to the most unknown one and be succesful. It's up to you. 
So many contrast in these schools we visited but at the same time, offers great fusion of what really matters when considering colleges. They all say they want someone who is academically inclined but also someone who used all the opportunities offered to them. They want parents to help their children reach their goal by helping them decide the convoluted process. Obviously cost is a major factor for me and my family but I assured Pherry that whatever he wants to do, I can point out why it is a good choice and why he should consider something else but in the long run, it is his choice it is his career after all. I found out college here is very different than back home. We didn't have the open curriculum, we had block sections and strict curriculum to follow. I would have been happier to enroll in classes I like knowing that the choices I have all lead to my goal. 

Over all it was so much fun and time for bonding for my family too,  the younger kids joke about not having to do it again and I lectured them that now they know the GPA and SAT needed to get to your school of choice and they just ignore me. Ha!

What about you, what did you do on your summer vacation? Were you a helicopter parent? What is your priority in choosing college? Let me know, leave me a message. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Dear Pherry- An Open Letter to a 17-year old

Dear Kuya Pherry,

I write this as I am lying down here early in the morning while looking at your handsome face--- while asleep. 
Today, you turn 17 and as always, I asked you what you plan or want to mark this day. As always, you say,  nothing, none, I'm good mom or let's just hang out. That pretty much sums how simple and beautiful your mind is. 

As a young boy, you have the creativity of an artist, Lego and bricks are always strewn all over the floor as drawings of your superheroes and Manga characters lined the fridge. But you also have that always-on-the-go brain that needs to be fed with information. The library and Marbles store were your favorite place---- not the playground like most kids your age. 
You were always there for me during tumultuous times of our life. You gave me every reason to hold on and carry on but mostly to march on and move forward. I cannot fathom, at your young age how you can be full of wisdom. Not many people know the wisdom you have and how you propelled me to higher level to make life a little easier. Most kids would have collapsed or hid on their shell.

Over the years, you have surprised me more. Remember the time you came home with a note that your essay was 3rd place? How about the time Mrs Witner told me when I picked you up from school that you were chosen to be one of the few kids to go to Milton Academy for their program? You have given me and your dad countless reasons to be proud parents. You hate being coached, you like to do things on your own--- you feel better with the awards if none of it comes from any help. In fact, you hate to be number one, if it meant I will make you study more and sleep less. Funny how during your middle school graduation, you never had any awards whatsoever. None. Not that I was expecting anything, but I was still so surprised when almost all the people I meet at your school seem to recognize that you're an absolute brilliant mind. But I should know, right? You are non-traditional. You like learning differently and if you have your way, you'd much rather have no award system. 

While you were entering that teenager stage, it was difficult for me and you for so many reasons. We fought, we disagreed and we hurt each other along the way. But never did you disappoint me with anything, I want you to know that. I may say it sometimes but know that you never disappoint me.  You always know your priority and I know deep inside you always want us to be proud of you. I remember when we went to your high school, the honor student line-up was posted and we looked for your name. We couldn't find you! Not in the honors and high honors. I wasn't disappointed, it was your first year in high school and I understand you could be grappling your way. Amidst the sea of Le, Li, Leung ( all brilliant kids), I see your name in the Distinction area. There you are, not honors mom, not high honors but distinction. It amazes me how even though your study style is always in question--- by me (hahahah), you excel. We've had endless argument when I tell you to sleep because you've been playing that LOL, which in the beginning you'd say " it's League of Legends,mom." Eh, punyemas, lagi na Lang and you'd just shrug your shoulder and make that look which then makes me angry more but one time you told me that I look like that when I am upset. So I guess we're even. 

I've driven you to dances, banquets and other events in school, sometimes half-asleep.  All memorable I must say and I know you know what I'm gonna say next--- picture! But you know what is so memorable for me? That day you learned to do your tie! You were so handsome and that day felt like it was the beginning of your young adult life. You were so ecstatic to tell me you finally did it. Honestly, I don't even remember what you were going out for, what just stands out from that memory is that TIE. I encouraged you to use other ties from then on, but you stick with that blue thrifted YSL tie. Oh, so handsome were you.

Last week, another phase in your life started. You'd tease me if I tell you, I hash tagged all our photos #pherrygoestocollege and #collegesearchIsOn. On our first day, we teased you because you were so dapper. And you just say, MIT. Hahahahah. 

I wish you'd get in to your preferred college but if not, know that you shape you future, your vision is yours and your experience is your own doing. You can be as successful and happy wherever, I know that. I look at you during those college tours and for a moment or two, I shed tears. You have grown up so much already. Soon, you're in college! I'm already in tears as I write this, imagine when you're packing for dorms!

Im happy and excited and that convoluted emotions altogether. I'm happy for you because I know that happy feeling of venturing out in the world like it's all brand new, that the world is a new planet to conquer and that youthful strength tells you, you can do it. I'm excited for you, yes I am! I know you can do so much more and college is the time to know what you really want to be. Pherry, you do not have to be just one great THIS. You can venture and be everything you want to try. You are young, this is the time to experiment, to travel and to pick and choose the path. Also, the path doesn't have to be straight to the goal. That'd be boring. As long as you know your GOAL and the VALUES we taught you along the way, take any road, I know you'd be great.

As you turn 17, I am also scared and afraid. Most of your friends are now 18. I know you are a responsible young man but the world is your teacher too. I know you circle yourself with good kids like you, but you're 17! That's one hell of a time for young people like you. Please let me be your friend, let me be your confidant. I want you to make me your champ, your supporter and the go-to person whenever you have doubts and fears. I promise to be your friend when you need one and your parent when I have to. 

The road to your life is long but it is bright   Ahead of you, there's success waiting. There will be roadblocks as well as tidal waves, with your brilliant mind and simple joys and loving heart, it will be easy. 

I always tell you and you may be tired of it and you may not want the Internet to know this but--- take the good ones only baby, leave the bad behind. Take the values I try to instill in you and the world is your playground. 

Son, anak, on your 17th birthday, I bless you with the Lord's abundant blessing and wish you a successful life ahead.  With a simple heart like you, succes is much different. I can see you huddled in the corner experimenting on something, creating a new phenomenon while your business partners figure out the financial part, all of which you have no interest whatsoever. I love you with all my heart, you are the role model of your younger siblings and anak, show everyone I am successful--- because anak, I have nothing, nothing at all but you. If you become a good Christian and good member of our community, then I am succesful. I always tell you anak, my only success is to see all of you successful in life-- live a fulfilled life. Be my first success anak. I love you. 


Thursday, July 16, 2015

New Reupholstery Pattern for my Thrifted Chair

I love this print, but it's now dirty. 
 It's very French deco but as I said, dirty. 

Besides, the replacement is as lovely!

 If you ask me, it's so Lilly Pulitzer or Moschino. Say what? Hahahah. This is Home Seasons by Waverly. 

Tada here's my beauty! 

This chair has some good bones on it so I kept it after all these years. 

Which brings me to the kitchen, needs cleaning! Hahahahah! What have you DIY'd lately?

Bring the Greens In

While my husband was working on the yard, I spotted these beauties. 

Here's the hands-on man of the house. 

Anyway, here's what I did! 

I placed them by the great room over the big window. So pretty with my yellow pillows! 

I wasn't gonna throw any, so I placed them here too! 

By the wash area downstairs. So lovely! 

They bring some textured and much needed color indoors plus they're free! Did I say fesh and free!

You're welcome!

Monday, July 13, 2015

End of School Year 2015

As everyone probably knows, our district closed schools late in June because of all the snow days. 
Finally the kids are now off ( June 26) and so far they have been enjoying it. KC had friends over yesterday, we've been to the beach once and today we visited the winery where Chris bought our wedding wine and had it personalized. It was actually sweet he wanted to bring me there. 

Here are some photos from the Diamond Hill Winery in Cumberland RI. 

It's been two weeks since and I love it knowing the kids are at home and they kiss me so gladly when I get home from work. Pherry is busy with our birds Echo and Hedwig, Josh is my "plant buddy" and KC is having fun with her cousins Tres and Precious. 
 Here are some photos of our flowers outside. 

We've also been spending lots of time by the deck with our new candle scents. 

I've been obsessed with the new plants I keep rearranging!

And oh, I've been eating lots of halo-halo ( shaved ice with Filipino ingredients). 

I also did a couple of shopping days, coz I can't resist! After all, it's Nordstrom Anniversary sale. But I've been obsessed with J Crew lately so i confess I may or may have not been there too much this past week. In fact, I went back to grab this adorable headband for KC coz I originally gifted same to my godchild Erikka. KC thinks it's so Taylor-- you know, Taylor Swift.Hahahahaha. 

As you all know, the husband loves fishing so we've done a couple of trips since school's off. 

Lest I forget, we've been invited by good friends to explore Newport Rhode Island. It's an incredible group of friends and I had such a good time. 

For the holiday ( the 4th), I got to spend time with my bestfriends Grace and Marisol. Sorry HG, no picture with you. I spent the afternoon with these incredible ladies who despite of our crazy life apart never seem to disconnect. 

And this cutie patootie? Oh so cute!

Till next time when I can actually update as it happens. Sorry.