Skip to main content

Traditions, celebrations and other fun stuff!

What do you see?
Can you see the red dot? Was that the first thing that you noticed?
Can you see the olive green border? Was that the second thing that you noticed?
Did you think of the white background at all?

Don’t people do the same thing in looking at their lives?
Sometimes people focus on that one spot – that one flaw in their lives that they forget to see the whole picture.
As I’m currently going through some tough times, I have to remind myself that my life is one big white canvas. Sometimes there is that one thing that might get me out of focused or out of “zen”. I just have to remember that as a whole, I am still blessed and fortunate.
The olive border represents my faith and the love of families and friends that keep me together intact and help contain that one red spot!

This week is a reminder that we have to be thankful for the love of our families and friends!

“All major traditions carry basically the same message that is love, compassion and forgiveness. The important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.” - Dalai Lama

Traditions are part of who we are as a person, family, community and nation. They provide structure, security and consistency. Tradition brings families and friends together.

Any day with the family is a special day. But add some “hallmark” moments to that day and it just adds a new level of joy, excitement and platefuls of desserts.

This week is a week of milestone. It's just going to be a very hectic week on top of the other things that's already on my plate. BUT I love all these celebrations and get-togethers!

We started the week with Father’s Day.

"Any man can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a Dad!"

I’m lucky to have the best dad, father-in-law, father of my children and five brothers who are amazing fathers and uncles.

I miss my Mom, my Dad, and my brothers. Family get-togethers are just not the same without them. I have such loving extended family that this day still is a fun and extraordinary day. But boy, I can't wait for the day when we're all together again!

I love Father’s Day because it’s the day the kids get to create their own Hallmark cards. As they get older, you’ll be surprised on how they put their affection into words. Of course, my 8yo, Josh, gave us so much laughter with his adorable insights about his Dad and grandpa.

“A wedding anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity. The order varies for any given year.” - Paul Sweeney

Tuesday is (hubby’s parents) Mom and Dad’s 46th wedding anniversary. They’re a riot! I wish I can tape their conversations or discussions – it’s like one of those Seinfeld episodes. I love them and they always make me laugh! They're great parents and grandparents. They're always there (and here) for me and the family.

Monday is my 3rd child’s graduation from middle school. He’s graduating with distinction for earning straight A’s in all four marking periods. He also received the Presidential Achievement Award and Outstanding Awards in other extra curricular activities. I’ve seen all his schoolmates since they were in Kindergarten and I can’t believe how much they’ve grown and achieved. So much talent and good character are in this group of children. We're all so proud of their accomplishments. Congratulations to all the kids and their families!

Here are some snippets from my son's graduation speech:

Nine years ago I walked into my first day of Kindergarten at Hillside Avenue School. I was a short, uncomfortable, and a socially awkward boy. Today I am hours away from leaving the school as an 8th grader as someone who is still a short, uncomfortable and awkward boy. My time at this school has been really amazing. To look back at how much has happened here, how much I’ve learned, and how much I’ve taken with me is unbelievable. I have many friends, I fit in socially, I know the importance of academic success, and I have learned to persevere through even the roughest times. I guess that’s what makes this school such a great school; it truly teaches you what you need to know to make it in the real world. In my time here, I have learned how to fit in with everyone and how to use my talents such as music, humor, intelligence, and kindness.

Some of the most valuable lessons I learned during my years here were the importance of developing strong friendships and getting involved in the community. I gained many friends, so I want to take this moment to express my deep and humble appreciation for having the good fortune to have been a part of this sort of “ Hillside family.” It is through these relationships and endeavors that I have built the most lasting memories and developed social skills that will support me in the years ahead.

A graduation ceremony is an event where the commencement speaker tells thousands of students dressed in identical caps and gowns that 'individuality' is the key to success.” – Robert Purvis

Tuesday night is my 2nd child’s graduation from High School. I can’t believe he’s finally going to college next fall. Timing for some reasons has not been good to this kid. All the bad tragedies and changes in our lives seem to happen and affect the important changes and stages in his life. But I’m proud that he’s still a good-hearted, loving, understanding and thoughtful child! I wish him all the luck and hopefully good vibes will be on our side from now on. He has accomplished so much and still there are still plenty of stars in his horizon! We're so proud of him!

The next day, Wednesday, is his 18th birthday! Happy Birthday, Mr. Magoo!

Do you remember graduating from High School and turning 18 the next day?

As Abraham Lincoln once said,
“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that counts, it’s the life in your years. “
The next few months are superbly hectic, I guess it's good because it's the life in our years that counts!


I'm blessed to have friends who recognize hardwork and give me a pat in the back!

Thank you so much to Lori of When We Listen for this beautiful award. A truly charming and thoughtful award.

Please take time to visit Lori and show her some love and appreciation for all that she shares and does.

I pass this award to all of my friends here who have continued to give me support and motivation through the good times and the tough times .
(I'll be posting more on this as my schedule gets better)

Have a wonderful week, everyone!

Hugs and Kisses...


  1. Congratulations to you on all the fun events that are happening in your life right now.
    Praying for you during the troubled times too. Great thoughts about the box. I would always notice the one red dot in my life first. Thanks for the perspective.

  2. So much to be proud of. Congratulations to your children for doing well in school. I loved your son's speech. I'm sure there won't be a dry eye there.

    I hope that the week treats you kind in spite of it's busyness. Looking forward to seeing pictures!

  3. Congrats to your wonderful children. I can never get enough of looking at the beautiful pics of your family.

  4. are going to stay busy for awhile!

    You must be so proud of your sons! That was a wonderful, well written speech!!!

    I loved the pictures you shared! Beautiful family!

  5. Happy to have you back, Jenjen... and congratulations on your sons' graduation. :)

  6. I'm not even their mommy and I'm PROUD of them!! I'm sitting here beaming over them! How happy and proud you must be! Congrats to you my friend for raising such beautiful kids!

    I adore your blog, your positive outlook and your loving attitude.


  7. I'm having red dot issues myself. Thanks for reminding me that I have a massive white canvas and olive border to focus on, instead!

  8. iI love the collages. What a nce tribute.

  9. Congrats and remember to take care of yourself through all of these fun but hectic events!

  10. You are blessed in so many ways! My wish for you is to have a speedy resolve to your troubles. I feel so lucky to have met someone with such a beautiful soul and I know I've said it before but it bears repeating that you are truly inspiring :o)

  11. Wow! You really are super busy!
    Thank you so much for the reminder to look at the big picture. Its just what I needed to hear.

  12. Love the pictures your blog. Congratulations to Jonathon tonight.

  13. congratulations, jonathon and mikey! we're all proud of you both.

  14. WOW JEN!... my salutes to you and Craig... and my heartfelt congratulations to Jonathon and Mikey!!!!!!! Way to go guys... and keep going for the best.
    Tita M.

  15. Greetings!

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom once again, Jen-jen. I really needed that. :-)

    And again, congrats to all! :-) You do indeed sound most blessed. Yay on you for remembering that even in the tough times. :-)

    BB & GF! :-)


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Completed my first 16 Week IsaBody Challenge: Believe You Have A Purpose

My family is what matters most to me.  I’m 51 and a mother of 4 (ages 14 – 26). I wanted to be healthier, more active and stronger not just for me, but for the people I love.  I wanted to set an example for my family that we each possess the tools to master our wellness and vitality. I've always been petite except when I was pregnant ( when I gained an average of 50 pounds per pregnancy - 4 times!) Over the years I had tried various diet and exercise regimens, and I did enjoy a degree of success, but the results were not to the level I hoped for, and they were somewhat short lived.   Achieving stable, long-lasting results proved stubbornly elusive.    Then when I hit menopause everything became more difficult.    My body stopped cooperating altogether, and I was constantly grumpy. My waist and hips expanded and I found myself napping in the afternoons.    I started to accept the idea that there would be this new, less vibrant version of me. I just completed my P

SPICE-up a young child's development: social, physical, intellectual, creative and emotional

Children are the precious gems of a family. When they’re young and innocent, they are like sponges that willingly and quickly absorb any knowledge and emotion. That’s why at an early age, we encourage our children to read, be creative, be happy and feed their curiosity. With all the technology and instant gratification that children get from playing video or computer games, asking a child to read a good book has been a challenge for some parents .     “Your children are not your children.       They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.       They come through you but not from you,       And though they are with you, and yet they belong not to you.       You may give them your love but not your thoughts,        For they have their own thoughts.        You may house their bodies but not their souls,        For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,        which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.” -                     Kahlil Gibr

Immigration and Family: Will my mom ever get to see my daughter walk down the aisle

Last year when my father passed away in the Philippines, I went home and took some time to visit the U.S. Embassy in Manila to ask what the options are for my mother to return to the U.S. The consul reminded me of the 10-year travel ban. That on or after November 8, 2015 — not earlier – or 10 years after my mom, was deported in 2005 for overstaying her visa, I can email the U.S. Embassy and inquire about my mother’s approved petition. I asked if I need to file another petition, and she informed me I didn’t have to. I asked if I could… and she stopped me and said to ask everything on or after November 8, 2015. This is where I am, and where my thoughts are drifting as I celebrate this month my 16th American birthday. I am counting the months, the weeks and the days. My daughter is getting married in January 2016 and I would love to have my entire family, especially my mother, to be here when that momentous occasion happens.

Helping others surpass their goals and expectations

"It's not about the end goal. It's who you become by consistently pushing to the edge of your limits." - Robin Sharma Do you ever wonder why you stumble on new things?  Do you ever wonder why unsuspecting strangers cross your path? Do you ever wonder why your mind takes you to a direction you didn't think exist? I was walking to StarBucks to meet my husband when I noticed a sign...

Still shaky, skidded in snow, but so blessed my guardian angels are looking after me!

"Never again wonder, what to be thankful for..."   - Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life It’s yet another snowy day in New Jersey. Beautiful, yes but dangerous! In line with my goal for this month is to get back on schedule. I got up around 4am to get my 15yo ready for his Model United Nations conference. (Thankful that our neighbor offered to drive him to school by 5:30am ) I got my 9yo ready for school and I'm thankful that my other neighbor offered to drive him to school. I then drove my husband to the train station to Manhattan. I decided to stop by the Community Center and decided to run a fast 5K on the treadmill. I was 1 mile short because I was so sweaty and hot. (Note to self: dress lightly next time) While cooling down inside the car, I read Day 14’s chapter of Rick Warren's the “Purpose Driven Life” book. I felt really good because it just reminded me that there is always something to be thankful for no matter how awful yo