Friday, September 28, 2007

I KNEW Target had all the answers!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

sighting [sī'tĭng]
the act of catching sight of something, especially something unusual or searched for
Synonyms include: finding, glimpse, gander

I got this email from Fantone a few months ago:

Hey Anna,
I just saw your boy Kobe outside Coffee Bean!

...then a couple of days later she emailed again...

So one of the undergrads said your boy has been seen at the ARC too.

What the heck! Kobe is all up in the OC, and in the Newport Beach/Irvine area. Where were you when we lived there, dude?! We could've hung out. hahaha... funny how I say that and can seriously picture it.
Then there's the hell are you gonna see JC Chasez TWICE in 5 years at two different places, Joseph? HOW! By the way, Isa and Fantone, I'm still bitter barn deep inside because you saw him up close 2 days after your FIRST *NSYNC concert! LIKE YOU GUYS CARED!!! waaaaaaaah!
Yes, I did see Orlando in person. In fact, we walked into the Abercrombie & Fitch at the Grove side by side. He was literally 18 inches from me. Unfortunately, I'm too shy to interrupt celebrities, even though he of all people probably would've been fine with it. I know I know...what a wuss. Leia NEVER lets me forget it.
It's okay though. I have my "encounter fantasies" in mind. I'm SOO gonna run into JC at a museum as we admire our favorite painter, Monet, together; and when we go back to London, I'm SURE Orlando will be walking through Covent Garden the very same afternoon that we're hanging out there. I'm so hopeful huh? Kinda funny but also kinda sad. Hahaha!

Anyhow, Coffee Bean in Newport, anyone? Getty? How about LONDON?!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Happy Birthday, Big Sis!!
Yay, Annie!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I got this forward a few weeks ago...

Whatever your cross,
whatever your pain,
there will always be sunshine,
after the rain ....
Perhaps you may stumble,
perhaps even fall,
But God's always ready,
To answer your call ...
He knows every heartache,
sees every tear,
A word from His lips,
can calm every fear ...
Your sorrows may linger,
throughout the night,
But suddenly vanish,
in dawn's early light ...
The Savior is waiting,
somewhere above,
To give you His grace,
and send you His love ..
Whatever your cross,
whatever your pain,
"God always sends rainbows ....
after the rain ... "

To get out of difficulty, one must usually go through it! God never gives you more than you can bear - so bear it willingly and you will rejoice in your rewards!

Monday, September 24, 2007

focus [foh-kuhs]
a central point, as of attraction, attention, or activity
Synonyms include: center, core, target

"No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (the false god of riches and avarice)."
~Luke 16:13

Isn't it great sometimes when you're going through an ordeal and it feels like everything and everyone around you seems to be in on it? That suddenly there's an article in a magazine, or an episode of the Cosby Show, or a conversation you overhear that somehow relates to your little dilemma? Sometimes it's annoying, like the world is rubbing it in your face. Other times you're thankful that you're getting unsolicited help.

That bible verse was the last line of today's gospel and, truth be told, I was zoning in and out of mass today, snapping to my senses right before Fr. finished reading. We can't serve the Lord AND money. Got it. I knew that, right? But then Fr. said something that caught me wondering. He said, "Invest your creativity and energy on things that will last."

The point of the reading wasn't just to tell us that we should spend more time preparing for our heavenly welcome rather than maintaining our earthly wealth. It was to tell us - to tell me- plain and simply, that I need to re-think, re-prioritize and re-focus my life. There is a mental to-do list that I've been avoiding for so long because I know how hard it's going to be to check anything off of it. I think I've run out of masters to serve, though, so I can't keep it aside much longer. I'm so tempted to make something up so I can just keep going the way I've been, but deep inside I know that my creativity and energy crave new goals. I'm long overdue.

I ask myself (more than I should), why life's little nuisances seem to happen at the most inopportune times. Then I realize, when do "bad" things ever happen at the right time? It's never the "right time" when they happen. Only in hindsight does adversity seem to make any sort of sense. Everything happens when it's supposed to happen. Like Fr. Joe once said, "You just have to trust God's timing."

Friday, September 21, 2007

Happy 11-year Anniversary,
Bobbers & Metty!
(dude...get a room...hahaha!)
timing [tahym-ing]
the right occasion or opportunity; the ability to select the precise moment for doing something for optimum effect
Synonyms include: Interestingly enough, all the synonyms for timing have something to do with cheating and double-crossing…

Fr. Joe at Holy Family in Glendale is infamous for his acronym-centered homilies. No matter what the subject, no matter what passage in the bible, no matter the holy day of obligation, he will invent an acronym with a hope of leaving the congregation with something easy to remember when the last sign of the cross of mass is made. I would say that 90% of the time, his sermons hit a homerun with me, and there was one homily he did a few months ago that really did me in.

The gospel reading was about the wedding in Cana, where Jesus performed his first miracle: changing the water into wine. Fr. Joe's model for this homily was Mary; a woman who, being the mother of Jesus, led her life with a faith in and love for God that was unmatched. Mary, according to Fr. Joe, shows us the ABC’s of problem-solving. Kids, it’s acronym-time!

AAccept that there is a problem and Assume the responsibility to deal with it.
BBelieve that something can be done & Begin to take steps to fix it.
C - Carry the problem to the Lord & then Carry out what He tells you to do.

I was cleaning out some files from one of my folders and ran across my “blogscratch” document (where I record any blog entry ideas…actually, ANY ideas that turn the Inspiration Button on), and I found these notes. It couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time.

So, paydays – supposed to be glad when they arrive right? You get that “Just Got Paid” song playing in your head as the weekend approaches and you are able to think of everything you’d been waiting to do or buy when payday came? Well, I hate paydays, only because they remind me time and again that what I work so hard for every week is really not mine to enjoy completely. Sometimes I feel like my long commute and the long hours I put in at the office are all done in vain. It's literally come to a point where I don't even look at my checking account balance anymore because I'm afraid I'll break down and cry. I feel like I've looked up every option, tried what I am capable of doing (except maybe the selling my eggs thing which Riann and Bobbers have berated me for for even suggesting it), yet each solution seems to laugh me off the good-credit line. It's pathetic.

I'm at a loss here, trying to cut corners where I can, figuring out what I have to sacrifice to get myself out of the hole but still feel like there’s more I know I can do but can’t seem to. Maybe because I’m not following the ABC’s of problem solving; I cannot accept that at 29 years old, and having accomplished the things that I have, I am sitting here blogging about THIS; It’s hard for me to believe that anything can be done about it now; I feel like I’ve bothered the Lord enough despite the advice that He has already given me.

I know that this will pass, that there is ALWAYS a solution no matter how impossible the situation feels. It’s just hard not to worry, that’s all.

Iya gave me a page out of her calendar (my birthday page actually, February 13th) and I have it hanging in my cubicle. It says:

“Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its trouble. It empties today of its strength.”
~ Mary Engelbreit

I know the trouble won’t disappear when I get up tomorrow morning, but I pray for the strength to ACCEPT, BELIEVE and CARRY myself through it.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

showmanship [shoh-muhn-ship]
the skill or ability of a showman; the ability to present something in an attractive manner
Synonyms include: stagecraft, exhibition
So what if we had to walk back all the way to the car because we couldn't bring cameras to the show? Where there's a will, there's always a way and we definitely had the will. Thanks to my trusty camera phone, I had small mementos of this wonderful night with JT.
A few months ago, I received an email at work from Ate Tin-Tin: "Anna, I did something really stupid. I bought us tickets to Justin's concert! AAAAHHH!" Knowing for a fact that these would not be $15 tickets I seriously asked Ate what the heck she was thinking spending THAT much on this! But she was so disappointed that she missed his last tour (with Christina Aguilera) that she said she couldn't help it. Teachers in the summer with money to spend and all the time in the world to spend it? Not a great idea.

But I'm sure glad Ate was feeling stupid that day because the concert was, of course, amazing! We've been following Justin since his MMC days, into *NSYNC, and then now on his own and one thing has not changed: his crowd-pleasing abilities.

He is a PERFORMER and natural talent through and through. His dancing and unique voice would've been enough to keep the crowd entertained, but every time he picked up his guitar or sat down at his piano, I nearly lost it. It just made his performace even more magnetic; so magnetic that we became absolutely invested in everything that he was singing out of his mouth.Truth be told, the concert was like one big clubbing scene! Everyone was dancing, people were makin' out everywhere (seriously dude, it's a concert), and the atmosphere was pure fun. Even Timbaland showed up for a 20 minute set. Justin ended the evening with a song played on his piano and then we watched him walk down the stairs, beneath the stage; no pyro to aid in a disappearing exit, no lasers to distract or hot chicks to escort him off. He performed his encore, graciously thanked the crowd, waved at every side of the Staples Center and then he was off.

Maybe I wasn't supposed to have my camera with me. Maybe it was time for me to enjoy something for once, without worrying about taking pictures to help preserve the event's memory. I didn't need pictures to remember THIS. How could I ever forget?

Until next time, JT,


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I'll see YOU at 8:00 tonight!
Oh man, how old am I?...
(Iya and Rachey, I'll tell Justin that you guys send your love!)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Happy Birthday,
(This was taken about 10 minutes before Riann tripped over some cords taped to the OC Fairground floor. HAHAHAHA!!! I'm dying just thinking about it!)
Love you, my dear!!!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

newlywed [noo-lee-wed]
a person who has recently married
Synonyms include: honeymooners...jk, I made that one up. haha!

On the night before Iya and Chris' wedding, some members of the wedding party hung out to make sure that the bride and groom-to-be didn't see each other past midnight. Great chaperoning skills, guys! hahaha!

Then it was September 8, 2007 - a perfect day to have a wedding! Iya walked into the living room of our hotel suite that morning with a smile on her face, calmer than I'd ever seen her in the weeks prior to that day. She sat and ate her bagel and cream cheese, sipped on her cafe mocha from Coffee Bean and just watched the rest of us girls getting our hair and make-up done. I didn't think I'd be so emotional so early in the day, but as she was getting her hair done, I had to leave the room to cry just a little.

Not to sound so dramatic, but one of my best friends, with whom I'd shared 17 years of life with, was getting married and I would be there to watch her. Who gets such a privilege? Iya looked sooooo beautiful! Every time I looked at her that day my eyes welled up. I don't even think SHE cried as much as some of us did and IYA LOVES TO CRY! hahaha!

We arrived at the church literally 10 minutes before we had to walk up the aisle. (By the way, Chris in his barong? As handsome and as calm as any groom could be.) There was scarcely any time to let anything sink in. Before we all knew it, Iya and Chris were saying their vows, exchanging rings and suddenly, right before God and everyone they love, they were married! Tears of nothing but pure joy came very easily that day.

The outside of the church after a wedding is always so chaotic. The newlyweds were greeting everyone, guests were greeting each other and cameras were clicking everywhere you turned. After some posing sessions for Ja and Bev in front of Holy Family Church, it was into the limo for a boisterous ride back to the hotel.
The Hummer was basically a party bus which carried the bride, groom and some slightly inebriated and very excited bridesmaids and groomsmen to the place of further celebration - the Westin in Pasadena. We toasted, danced and milked every bit of that 20-30 minute ride. There was just too much to be happy about!
One of my highlights was meeting Iya's cousin, Toni. When we were in the 7th grade, Iya caught early on that I liked writing so she suggested I meet her cousin (via snail mail), who also loved to write. We became penpals and 17 years worth of letters, greeting cards and emails later, we finally met! When we saw each other for the first time last week, we couldn't help but scream! The other highlight for a lot of us was having Jhoette back. Dr. Dumlao is home from the Philippines for good (we hope). I saw him when we were up on the altar waiting for Iya to finish walking up the aisle, and something lit up inside of me; a warmth, like coming home to what's familiar. It's too bad Jhoette didn't make it past the SALAD! No more long island iced tea for you, buddy.
We knew the evening was going to be fun, not to mention memorable. Just the introduction of the wedding party and the bride and groom proved to cause ruckus. Dancing in to "Get it Shorty" and "SexyBack" doesn't necessarily sooth and calm. Soon after, however, Iya and Chris danced their first as husband and wife. They began with their song, "All My Life" by Gary V. and then to Michael Buble's "Save the Last Dance for Me" (original choreography by Miss Riann Reyes). What a great way to start the night!
The Dancing Machine awards went to 4 individuals that evening: Riann-feelin-my-tootsie-roll-Reyes, Joe-I'll-request-"Lady-in-Red"-so-my-money-dance-with-Iya-is-special-Delos-Reyes, Randy-I'm-so-faded-and-it's-so-hot-in-here-Mendoza and Jay-allow-me-to-lead-the-line-dancing-Bermudez. The dancefloor was BARELY ever unoccupied that night. Iya and Chris are related to and are friends with a lot of party people. Hooray!
This picture just cracks me up. Towards the end of the night, we were all so delirious and tired, and when Rochelle gets tired, she laughs uncontrollably. So Cile asked her to be quiet. Hahahaha!!! Watch!
And so the day ended eventually; but not before new families were formed and new friendships were made, all due to the new life that Iya & Chris had begun together. So far as husband and wife, I think they've done splendidly. =)

We love you both!!!

P.S...I'm chatting with Iya right now, and earlier I was chatting with Chris. Iya has emailed pretty consistently every other day to ask me and Cile for Italy tips and to let us know how they're doing. I've never been in contact so much with a couple who was on their honeymoon. hahaha! I love it!

Sunday, September 09, 2007


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Look how cute!

(I can hear Ja and Cile now, "Screw the new nano. Get your macbook pro first, dammit!!" hahaha!!!)

perfection [per-fek-shuhn]
the state or quality of being or becoming perfect; the highest degree of proficiency, skill, or excellence, as in some art; a perfect embodiment or example of something; a quality, trait, or feature of the highest degree of excellence
Synonyms include: excellence, exquisiteness, epitome
Two years ago, the girls and I spent an afternoon in Napa. As we sat on a picnic table at the V. Sattui winery, eating our cheese and slices of baguette, sipping our wine, loving life as we knew it, I thought to myself, "Someone needs to get married here." And so it happened just like that, when Terry married Trace.
The wedding day was seamless. Terry couldn't have looked any happier or any more beautiful than she did. She fought every tear that rose to the tips of her eyes in vain, for they poured out generously and wholeheartedly and anyone who witnessed it could only do the same. She smiled as much as she cried, and anyone who has seen Terry's infectious smile knows it's one thing she can't fake. And how could anyone feign happiness, knowing they'd be marrying someone like Trace. To say that he is a "good guy" would be the biggest understatement of them all, yet that is what he is. The groom was as handsome that day as his bride was beautiful.
The ceremony felt short (a rare commentary when it comes to Catholic matrimonial services). It seemed to literally whiz by. One minute we're watching Terry walk up the aisle, and next thing we knew, Trace was kissing his new wife!
We all felt more grown-up than ever, us girls: we who used to lie in the living room and watch MTV all day EVERYDAY; we who used to carpool to campus each morning, have class or work all afternoon, meet at the apartment at the end of the day, and go on food runs in the middle of the night; we who partied in Vegas 7 years ago and can still, to this day, recount hilarious antics and conversations.
If someone were to tell me 2 years ago that we'd be eating fine food and sipping on Riesling, Merlot or Muscat in the open air at a winery, surrounded by clean Napa air, stone floors, white linen tablecloths with garlands of paper lanterns hanging over our heads, I probably would've said, "I wish." Must've said it under my breath to a genie.
After eating our dinner al fresco, we entered a wine cellar filled from floor to ceiling with barrels and barrels of wine. When Gwennie asked me to take a picture of her by the barrels, I didn't know she'd be pulling Sidney Bristow-ALIAS moves in front of the camera! I love it!
I couldn't help myself. I wanted a picture with the barrels too. When would I be in a room full of wine barrels again, right?
Leia was right behind me. This corridor of wine is just too aesthetically tempting not to preserve! Cile said she wanted a picture too...but this is as far as she got. Hahaha! Note to self: count the glasses of wine Cile has in her hand at a wedding. It had been such a funfilled, exciting, long day for our little bridesmaid. She needed coffee to get through the rest of the night; that's if "getting through" means fighting with a projector (and the best man. hahaha!), narrating the entire slideshow - LIVE, saying, "I wanna go home now" every 15 minutes then getting up to dance for 2 minutes and then plopping back down again. Hahaha! Oh Cile...
At the end of this seamless day, we had many proud relatives, an array of excited friends, two newly-married people, one very happy couple and an endless count of new memories. If only everyday was as perfect as this.