Sunday, April 28, 2013

What I miss about be particular, Austin

I call Austin, Texas my home.  That's where my still parents live, where I've made fantastic memories with friends and where I've experienced a lot of my childhood.  I'm very particular to Austin and love it there so much!

You might ask, then why move out?  What compelled you to move to NYC?

My answer: Austin will always be there.  I wanted to experience new and exciting things and explore a new and spectacular city.  I'm very excited to be planning a(nother) wedding with my husband in my hometown when he gets back.  I'll be walking down the aisle of my childhood church with my dad.  I will wear the same veil my mom wore on her wedding 30 years ago.  I'm so excited!

I've been missing my hometown lately.  I think it has something to do with the weather here in NYC.  Luckily, it's been very nice this weekend, but before it's been pretty chilly!

Anyway, here's what I miss the most about Austin!

1. My parents (obviously!)

2. My friends (sort of another obvious answer...haha)

3. Authentic Tex-Mex food: I'm a huge fan of Chuy's restaurant, an Austin Classic! and the hubs loves Texican Cafe. They both have amazing food!!

4. Good ol' Texas Barbeque: The hubs and I went to Lamberts Downtown Barbecue for our private wedding dinner.  It's a bit on the pricy side, but don't underestimate delicious gourmet awesomeness!  Don't forget Rudy's too!  Rudy's even ships now!

5. Barton Creek Greenbelt: It gets so green and lush - and during the spring and summer time, it's perfect to go swimming!!

6. Schilitterbahn: This is technically in New Braunfels, which isn't terribly far - and they have military discounts! If you're in the area, I totally recommend going!

7. Texas State Capital: It's an impressive building.  I read somewhere they it's the biggest capital building under the national capital.

8. Texan pride!: There is a reason our state slogan is "Don't Mess with Texas." :-)

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

First Ever Throwback Thursday #tbt

Throwback Thursdays (#tbt) are taking social media by storm!  I'm noticing it everywhere: on blogs, facebook, twitter, etc.  I thought I would jump on the bandwagon and do my first ever #tbt on here.

As I was consolidating a lot of greeting cards I've received over time (i.e. birthdays, holidays, or whatever other reason that would warrant a card, i.e. Saint Patrick's Day, Halloween, the possibilities are really endless...), I came across a birthday card that was sent to me by my parents.  Enclosed in the card was an old (and I mean old) photo of them on their wedding day.  The greeting inside the card said something like next to giving birth to you...our wedding day was one of the happiest days of our mom and dad.  The typical stuff parents tell their kiddos.

My parents have been married for 30 years.  They are my best friends in life and I obviously wouldn't be here without them.  Their marriage is also something that I admire.  By all means, I know it isn't always a walk in the park.  There are lots of rough times in marriage, but I know that with strong will, determination, compromise and love - a couple can overcome anything.  I see that in their marriage and only hope that my husband and I are as audacious as them.

So this #tbt is dedicated to my parents, an amazing couple that proves to me everyday that marriage is one of the best challenges to experience when you have the right partner....

January 8, 1983

At the time, my dad was stationed in Japan and my mom lived in the Philippines.  My parents actually met in Japan, but my mom had to go back to the Philippines after awhile.  For the wedding, my dad took leave to get married to in the Philippines and shortly after the wedding, my mom followed my dad to live in Japan - their first duty station together.  My amazing parents never had a formal honeymoon, but I know their life together is well-worth it!

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Bermuda, Bahamas, come on pretty mama!

I've mentioned a bit ago that my soldier and I want to take a cruise this summer.  Planning was put on hold for awhile because of a handful of prerequisites that my soldier needs to complete before putting in his leave packet.  Slowly but surely, my soldier has been checking things off his list - and I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel!

It's been pretty nutty to coordinate time off with him being overseas.  I just went ahead and asked for the time off on my end, so we at least have solid dates in the works.  If a cruise doesn't necessarily happen, we can at least have the time together and that's what really matters.

Well, now that the hubs is getting things taken care of, more solid cruise plans can start!  I'm very pumped...!!  We were intending to use Royal Caribbean, but another cruise line came to my attention, Celebrity.  It's important that we leave out of New York City.  I think it would just be really easy, especially when my husband will be flying into NYC...we can just leave for our vacation without having to go on another plane.  It will save us plane fare, etc.  Plus, I've never been to Bermuda, which is the destination a lot of the ships go to from NYC.

Anyway, the Royal Caribbean cruise that I was looking into is 5-nights with two days in Bermuda on the Explorer or the Seas.  The Celebrity cruise that I found is 7-nights with three days in Bermuda on the Celebrity Summit!  The beauty of the new cruise I that it is relatively the same price as the Royal Caribbean option.  Ok, here is the dilemma...

First, I've never been on Celebrity.  I trust Royal Caribbean...I've cruised with them three times already.  After the whole Carnival debacle, I want to be very cautious with cruise lines in general.

Second, if we go for 7-nights, it will eat into another weekend.  The great thing though, both cruise lines have sail dates that work within the dates we've given ourselves.  It's just that with the shorter cruise, we would be able to utilize more time to visit friends and family.

So, should I go for a new cruise line with a longer stay for the same price?  What do you think I should do?  Thanks in advance!  :-)

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Amusing baby pictures!

My mom has a habit of texting me random family photos.  I think it's a way for her to reminisce.  I'm the only child and when I moved away for college, we tend to take a walk down memory lane a lot.  If you didn't know, I'm half white (American Caucasian) and half Filipino.  My parents met in Japan when my dad was stationed there and my mom worked there as a musician.  I truly value my heritage and I'm proud to be part Filipino.  We were also very lucky to have lived in the Philippines for awhile too!

Anyway, I thought the last two photos she texted me were great! - And I thought I should share it.

Baby me living in the Philippines.

My mom and I celebrating Easter in the Philippines.

My mom and I celebrating my marriage ceremony in Austin.
Can you see the resemblance?  :-)  I love ya inay ko (my momma)!!

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Friday, April 19, 2013


My husband is from Boston.  He was born and raised in and around the city.  I have lots of fond memories of visiting the city with him.

The first time I visited him there was the Fourth of July in 2011.  We've already spent a couple of months dating and with the long holiday weekend, my soldier wanted to see his family and it was easy enough for me to come by too.  He drove down to Boston from Fort Drum and I took a bus from NYC to Boston.

It was a nice trip because it was my first chance to really see the Boston.  I went once before in college, just for a night.  This time around, I was with an amazing tour guide that was very passionate about his city!

One of the first pictures taken of my soldier and I at the Irish Memorial!
We were able to do part of the Freedom Trail

Taking a walk in my husband's hometown of Newton!
My husband with Bruin!

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Here's a little hump day love for my husband!

I know my husband reads my blog, so this is for him....  :-)

I'm thinking about you always - even from a distance - and I know things will get better!  On a positive note, we're a quarter of the way into this tour and I'm totally on it with our vacation!!  It WILL happen! 


On my commutes in the morning, I listen to Pandora a lot.  I first heard this song from Miss Alicia Keys a couple days ago.  It's actually a perfect song that explains how I feel.  Thank you Miss Keys for always expressing emotions so well!

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

My thoughts on what happened yesterday

After what happened yesterday, I find it difficult to share anything else with you without addressing my thoughts first.

If anything, I'm a speechless.  Even with all the tragedies that I've witnessed in my lifetime, I still never imagine anything this terrible to ever happen.  To me, the world is a beautiful place filled with lots of love.  Unfortunately, especially with days like yesterday, we are brutally reminded that the world is also not perfect and is riddled with people that live with hate in their hearts. 

Instead of blaming someone (or anything), I choose to continue to look at the good.  Don't let the few cloud your judgement of the countless others that are genuinely good.

My firm works with Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, the adorable preschool show that's based on the teachings of Fred Rogers, best known for Mister Rogers Neighborhood - and I came across this quote that PBS Parents shared on their Facebook page (and I've noticed it's gone a bit viral again around the Internet too!).
"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”
When Fred Rogers first spoke this quote, it was directed towards parents for their children.  It can certainly be applied across the board though.  It is a very powerful quote that I hope encourages you just as much as it encourages me.

You can find the Mister Rogers Neighborhood videos on tragedy here.

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Spring Cleaning

Since my husband left, I've really let my room go.  Paperwork from the military, my husband's mail and just countless other random crap started piling up all over my room.  Honestly, I don't know how I let myself get this far!

Anyway, I decided to start filing away and organizing the mess that I let accumulate.  As I was going through old paperwork, I found old issues from when I contributed to my college newspaper. It's unbelievable to think that I wrote for my college newspaper nine years ago!  Whoa nelly....

This was the first ever article I wrote for the school paper.
It's also interesting to see how my life changed from then.  When I started college, I thought I would have a career in journalism.  I wanted to be a reporter and work for a national magazine, which was a huge determining factor with my decision to go to school in New York City.  Most national magazines are headquartered in NYC.  My junior year of college, I actually interned for two national magazines (CosmoGIRL! and Marie Claire) and I contributed to a regional magazine in my hometown (going into my senior year).

Then, I entered my senior year and got a taste of public relations.  I feel in love with every aspect.  I can still write and work with the media.  With the ever changing media landscape, it just seems a little bit more practical to pursue a career in a field that was a little bit more broad.  At that time, social media was still at it's infancy and a lot of print publications were digitalizing.  I saw more of an opportunity for myself in public relations.

When I look back at my journey, I'm very content with the direction it went.  In a way, I'm still reporting - thanks to my blog! - and I'm hoping to continue sharing my story in any way possible.  It's still a little scary to think that because I'm married to the military, there is uncertainty with a lot of things.  One this is for certain though, I'm going to maintain my career path and work on developing my skills.  I'm just looking forward to more adventures coming my way!

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Friday, April 12, 2013

The end of a much better week!


The end of this work week ended on a much better note than last week!  All is resolved at the office with our email issues and we actually also celebrated a birthday!  In addition, the weather actually feels like spring here (although today is a dreary and chilly day).  I really think I can pack away my winter coat (yippee!). 

Wedding planning is coming along very well too!  My husband and I set a date for church ceremony when he returns from Korea (woohoo!).  His tour really threw us for a loop and honestly, I wanted to wait to get married till he got back.  It would have been such short notice to arrange something with my church and to have everyone that's important to us to make it.  That's the unfortunate thing about having family at over the place!  I'm in NYC, my parents are in Texas, my husband was in upstate New York and his family is in Massachusetts.  In addition, my grandparents are in Mississippi with an aunt and uncle...and so on and so on!  My husband did want to get married legally before he left because it would give him peace of mind.  We were already engaged, so it just seemed pretty natural to go to the courthouse.

For our church wedding, we're inviting everyone that is close to us to witness our promise to one another.  My husband and I are really not formal people, so our reception will definitely be relaxed and carefree!

We're also on a very strict budget and I'll be doing most of the organizing myself.  I don't mind it though because I don't expect things to be perfect.  My husband and I are far from it.  I just want something that is simple and fitting to both of us - and to have the people that we love around us as we celebrate our marriage!

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Advice My 10-Year-Old Self Would Give Me

It seems like a distant memory now, but I was born a military brat.  My dad had a full career in the Air Force.  During his 21-ish years of service, my mom and I have been by his side supporting him in any way possible.

I've been reading in several different outlets that April is the month of the military child.  It really got me thinking about my time as a military child and what I went through.  I certainly was a lot more understanding than I am now as a military spouse.  Don't get me wrong, I was very annoyed that my life revolved around the orders given to my dad.  Right now, I feel like I'm at my wits' end with the Army, especially with everything going on during my husband's tour.  I'm so lost and helpless.  We're having trouble with getting his leave together, his command didn't let him go to church on Easter to get confirmed (even WITH a pass, that is a whole other story...!), the registration on our car expires in less than a month, but I'm not on the title so I can't re-register the car or do anything for him, and the list goes on and on.....

I've only been a spouse for a little more than three months and I'm spent.  As I was reading about how military children are strong, I thought more about my younger years.  I've practically lived through it all before, and I just have to remember what I learned from living this lifestyle.  So, what advice would my younger self give me now?

1. It really is okay to go crazy every once in awhile.  If you want to cry and run around in circles, do it.  There will be a lot of things you cannot control.  After getting all the craziness out of your system, you will be tired and feel a thousand times better.

2. Go out and play with your friends.  Your family and friends are your biggest support system!  Go hiking, watch movies, play in the park, etc.  You'd be surprised how much your mood improves when you surround yourself with people you love.

4. Be proud of your service member and yourself.  Remember that your service member is doing a very important job that actually helps not only your family, but the families of countless other Americans.  Don't forget that your family serves along side your loved one and that's also an important job!

5. Everything will be okay.  When you think your life is over, you'll quickly realize that life goes on.  Another PCS, making new friends, exploring new places, it's actually all a blessing.  You are experiencing a very unique life full of adventure, so be sure to have fun!

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Monday, April 8, 2013

Spring into Gear!

The weather is FINALLY turning in NYC!  Today was the first day of the year that I did not wear my down coat.  Woohoo, it's officially jacket weather!

It also means I need to get myself into gear for the runs I have planned in the coming months.  I'm hoping to start training for a handful of 5Ks and one 10-mile run asap!

From now on, I will be focusing some of my time to achieve my fitness goals.  I'll work on my fundraising goals as soon as I register too.  So far, I really want to participate in three organized runs.  All three have fantastic missions and the organizations that back it up are fantastic!


The first event is coming up on June 8.  It's the Run For The Warriors 5K, which supports Hope for Warriors.  Hope for Warriors is an organization that helps service members and their families as well as families of the fallen.  Here's a fun fact about Hope for Warriors, it was established by a group of military wives!

The next run is the Runyon 5K at Yankee Stadium on August 18.  This is a cool one because it uses Yankee Stadium as its course.  Participants go up and down the levels - and my favorite part - run on the field!  I arranged a team a couple years ago and I'm hoping to do so again this year.  The 5K benefits the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, a fabulous foundation that helps fund early-career scientists in their careers in a broad range of cancer research!  That cause is also near and dear to me.

Lastly (for right now at least), the Army 10-Miler in Washington DC on October 20!  A best friend of mine, Melissa, brought this one to my attention and when she told me about it, I was on-board!  I thought it would definitely be fitting as I'm now an Army spouse.  The most I've ever participated in was a 5K, so it will definitely be interesting! 

Anyway, I'm really eager to start training and excited to participate!

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