Hi, everybody! Happy New Year! I can’t believe that 2018 is actually here!
I don’t know about you guys, but I always see the start of a new year as an exciting time. I, personally, look forward to filling in loved ones’ birthdays and important dates in a new planner every January. I love the whole idea that we have another 365 days to fill with milestones and memories.
The first few days of a new year is also a great time to look back on the year that’s just passed. And what an amazing one 2017 was for me and my family.
January began with a double dose of happiness on the Cuyugan side – Lola Bandel (aka MrC’s mom, nicknamed Lola Bandel by the kiddo) was home, and the family welcomed brand-new baby Luna.
As for my de Castro family, we got treated to a double dose of happiness in January, too. The first was a surprise visit from one of my favorite cousins, Bolito. He was here for only a few weeks, visiting from Australia, and I love that our home was one of his stops during his trip. Then, we celebrated the 91st birthday of our Tita Glo, the last living sibling of my Loli. She has no kids of her own, and so we all sorta belong to her in a way, my cousins and I.
Oh what fun it is to be starting the year with a new baby! This is Little MrC’s first first-cousin, baby Luna Mirelle. Only 3-days old and she’s already so big and heavy, and matakaw. Woohoo! 🍼👶🏻❤️ Side story: We were in the room when the lactation consultant from SLMC came in to teach the new parents what to do, and I’m so inggit. We didn’t have that when our kiddo was born, and so we were pretty much clueless. Imagine how different our (nonexistent) breastfeeding journey could have been if we had even just a little guidance. New moms, you are all so swerte!
Our cousin Bolito is like a brother to us. Growing up, he made sure to make time to see us when he would come to Manila from CDO. He joined us on family vacations, and slept over at our house. We have a lot of fun memories and awkward photos together. Now that we’re all grown up, and he’s based in Australia, it’s nice that we are still on his list of must-see people when he gets to come home. Family is love, and cousins are the best. Wouldn’t you agree? 😊 This was us after dinner at my parents’ house tonight, complete with two phone-in callers from New York. What a fun evening. ❤ #kwentooftheday #microblogging #ohana #family
Grannies, grandkids, and one great-grandchild. My family on the Feliciano side. Today we celebrated the 91st birthday of our Tita Glo, my lola’s sister. She’s the one on the left with the blankie. It’s nice that she had all of us over for her party. I’m also glad she is smiling (and not sporting her usual scowl) in this photo! 😂 #kwentooftheday #cousins #cousinlove #lolasofmanila #wearefamily #ohana
February is always special because it’s my birth month. My sister-in-law was in town, and there was lots of family time, friend time, and food time. All the things I love! Lol.
One memorable super blooper from March was the day I got locked in our downstairs bathroom. It took about an hour, and my best friend’s dad bringing a locksmith over to get me out.
My father-in-law arrived in Manila at the end of that month, too. He was the last of our Cuyugan Balikbayan series of house guests for the year.
In April, we celebrated Little MrC’s birthday with his cousins at home. I love that we were able to do this! It reminded me of all the fun at-home birthday parties my siblings and I had when we were little. This year, I think we’re gonna take all the kids out to see a movie. There are a lot of nice ones coming up, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that one of them will be showing on this boy’s birthday week.
The boys and I got to go to the beach for a day in May, yay! I think it’s great that Batangas is only a couple of hours away, and we can drive down there whenever we want to. This was a nice end to a long summer, and a great way to celebrate MrC’s birthday.
It was back to school time for the kiddo in June, and MrC moved to a new company. Meanwhile, I got surprised with an unexpected work trip to El Nido. It’s been years since I was there last, and it was nice exploring the newly developed areas in Lio. I had a monster eczema attack, though, so I was really uncomfortable the whole time! Hassle lang.
Good morning, and happy sunny Sunday from Lio Beach! I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of seeing how perfectly blue the skies over El Nido can be on a beautiful day. 😊 #enjoyphilippines #morefuninthephilippines #lio #elnido #palawan #travelph #travelph #trylocalph #byahilo #TravelWithMrsC #ElNidoWithMrsc #experiencethephilippines #daretoshareigchallenge #skylifewanderlust #thegreatlioadventure
July and August were nice and quiet, a welcome change from the eventful first half of the year.
And then in September, the husbandry and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary. With food. Obviously.
I also ended the month with another surprise trip, this time to Davao. I’m really happy about this because I got to spend time with friends and relatives I hadn’t seen in a long time.
I couldn’t leave Davao yesterday without making time to see friends and family. 💕 Typically, I request for the earliest possible flight home when I have to work out of town, but this time I decided to take a day for myself instead. I’m happy I did. It was so nice catching up with everyone. I’m glad I got to spend time with my aunts and cousins who live on the other end of the Philippines. Last time I saw them was nearly 10 years ago, I think. Spending time with relatives, even just for a few hours, really gives me a warm, fuzzy, happy feeling. It’s so important to me that I get to do this, and that i get to know them. Sana, next time around, can go with my family in tow naman. 💚 I also love that I got to try a new, chic restaurant for lunch. Bon Apetit’s grilled tuna steak is 👌👌👌. It was so nice hanging out with old work friends, reminiscing, and making chismis. I’m glad for friends like these, na even though we don’t see each other often, we just pick up where we left off each time we do. Minsan talaga, taking just a few hours to do our own thing can be such a sanity saver for busy moms. And spending time with people who matter makes the experience extra sweet. Thank goodness for husbandries who understand that need, and pick us up pa when we’re good and done. And for grandparents who take our kids, too, so we don’t have to worry while we enjoy our me-time. Hastag blessed nga naman! Now, after all that, I’m so happy to be home. Tired but happy. Heart is full. Back to regular programming. Good morning! #kwentooftheday #damingsinabi #thismomlife #momlife #ohanameansfamily #freindsarefamilytoo #toomanyhashtags #whenindavao
October came, and the family got together to cheer for daddy in his first-ever Historic Mini Racers race. He did as well as could be, for a beginner, but more importantly he had an awesome time. I’m glad we were there to see it.
And then there was Halloween, which is always a fun occasion at my mom’s house.
In November, I got a flat tire for the first time. I didn’t know how to change a tire (I still don’t) and I was lucky that a kind trike driver helped me find a guy to change the tire.
On the upside, I got to start the holidays early with my Mothers Who Brunch friends, too. Plus I won a Severin Mr. Twister Spiralizer at the event. Lucky duck!
Oh my gosh this car. This car. We have been through so much together. My first accident (I was rear-ended by a texting mom. Lightly lang naman.) My first stupid self-accident (I hit the gate and wall of our garage. Remember that giant dent+scratch @mommanmanila @manila.gent? Hahaha!) And then that one time when the transmission failed on me and I had to drive home with acceleration/deceleration issues. Nadiskargahan narin pala ako ng battery once, in our garage. And I found out when I was about to take the kiddo to school. And now my first flat. Thank God we were inside the village already and not crazy Alabang Zapote. Thank God I have so many relatives who live close by (thank you for the help Ate @margsflorendo!) And thank God for the manong trike driver who took my “Please manong hanap ka ng makaka change ng gulong ko. Please please please?” damsel in distress act (which really wasn’t an act haha I didn’t learn anything in automotive class) seriously, and came through with a guy with a jack and a tire iron that he picked up from who knows where. I am now eating ice cream in my kitchen. Ayoko na umalis. Ever. That is all. #kwentooftheday #ihatedriving #driversweetmother #adulting
December came and all the festivities began. In the middle of it all, on Christmas Eve, our cat of 20 years, Sasha, passed away. It was sad, but I’m also glad that she’s no longer in pain.
We ended the month, and the year with Baby Luna’s first birthday party, and finally with a family dinner to welcome 2018.
Sasha was the last of our Alabang house cats. She arrived in a box in 1997, really tiny and smelling like livestock. She was a moody little one, and quite the scaredy cat, too. She loved sneaking into bedrooms, hated plastic bags, and, in her last few months with us, she would meow with no sound. What a weirdo, talagang bagay sa family namin. She passed away on Christmas Eve, right after dinner, when the whole family (except for Rocky, who is still in NYC) was together in the house we all grew up in. Sasha grew up and grew old in that house, too, and it’s gonna be weird not seeing her there. Enjoy heaven, Sasha cat. Love you forever. 🐱
Now that I look back on it, I realize just how full my 2017 was. It’s the kind of happy, fulfilling full, though, and not the rushed, busy, hectic type. I’m glad that we chose to spend our time the way we did last year, ups and downs included.
Here’s looking ahead to a spectacular 2018.