Sunday, January 25, 2015

Friday Group

From 2008 till today, my Fridays have been blocked out for the community of Couples for Christ. Through this, I've met people that became a big part of my life. It amazes me how God allows me to meet people I would never be able to sit down or hang out with. Because of this community, I gained many beautiful friendships, wonderful memories, deeper wisdom, challenges that turned into blessings, and most importantly, closer relationship to the Lord. 

When I was still single, my vivid memories of Fridays were so delightful. It's the day I looked forward the most. After work, I would hurriedly and eagerly go and see my friends in Singles for Christ. We would meet and pray together, if not watch movies, and would just end a stressful work week in a refreshing, and positive note. When I got married, of course, I transitioned over to a household for couples which blessed me with so many teachings and wisdom that equipped me spiritually as a wife and helped me set my priorities. All of them have been married for so many years which inspired me to strive to have a marriage not only long lasting but meaningful as well.  

This year, I had to say goodbye to my prayer group (Family Ministry) of 3 years and be part of another. That's the only way you would be able to grow and meet more people that God will allow you to touch and be touched by them. So often it astonishes me how God is so all knowing and how His timing is so perfect. On our recent Christian Life Program, our community gained a group of 5 young couples (1 soon-to-be married and 1 in a LDR) and they are all fairly newlyweds, without kids yet! It's just amazing how magically and timely our paths have crossed. God is on the ball and knew that we needed a support system to guide us and bless us as we journey to a new chapter of our lives. All of us are mostly in the same boat and would be able to relate to one another. In a couple of weeks, my husband would be joining me and I couldn't wait for him to meet them! I can just imagine right now how fun it would be if all of my sisters and I would get pregnant at the same time. :) 

I strongly feel that these people will be a part of my life for a very long time and I'm grateful. Our values, our principles and our goals seem to agree. We want nothing but the best for our marriages and for our future children. We want to fight a worldly culture of today and prove that marriages that have been sanctified by God can withstand any trials and that can last a lifetime. We love the Lord and we desire to serve Him in all possible way. Our friendship would always be deeply rooted in love, kindness, respect, joy, forgiveness, encouragement and Christlikeness. Those are what set this Friday group apart from the rest.

First household meeting for 2015 

Celebrated and honored the January babies 

Cake baked with love by our sister, Helen 
Frances and Katrina
Ton and Leah
Nina and Roland
xoxo,
Joselle




Saturday, January 17, 2015

Pasta in Pesto Cream

I'm really one lucky girl because at 28, I get to go home after a long day with a decent home cooked meal by my mom. I don't ever have to worry about dinner or eating microwavable :p However, from time to time, she would ask me to cook when she gets tired of having Filipino food and also to give her a breather.  So tonight, she asked me to man the kitchen and cook one of my specialties, Pasta in Pesto Cream! This is such a no brainer dish and can even cook this now with eyes closed. lol. 


This is so quick and simple because I use ready made pesto instead of doing it from scratch. Why make life so complicated, right? hahaha. But if I get a chance, I would love to try making my own pesto to make it more legit. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 whole tomato, diced
  • 16 oz of heavy whipping cream
  • 10 oz basil pesto
  • 1 lb pasta of your choice
  • parmesan cheese
  • salt
  • pepper
Procedure:
  1. Boil pasta. Follow instructions from the box.
  2. In another pot, melt butter and saute garlic.
  3. Add the cream and pesto, stir and bring to a boil until it thickens.
  4. Add parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. 
  5. Toss the tomato when done.
  6. Pour the sauce over to the pasta, mix well and serve.
  7. Enjoy!
We just had an Italian night having my pesto and ordering pizza from Costco while watching our adorable Italian Pope's historic visit to the motherland on TV. What a blessed night. Thank you Lord we survived another week! Have a great weekend y'all! :)

xoxo,
Joselle


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Prenup Shoot At Home

30+ years from now, these are the photos that we will show our children and grandchildren and say: "Look at how young, skinny, and good looking your Lolo and Lola used to be." hahaha. 

These were taken a few days prior to our wedding three years back. Our wedding photographer, Redscale, asked us if we were interested to do a prenup photo shoot and they were willing to do it free of charge. Thanks to our best man who is a good friend of our photographer :) What I liked about them was they weren't intruding and were very respectful of our ideas. So we huddled and brain stormed of where we could best shoot and we couldn't think of a better location than in our hometown in the Philippines, Scouter Ojeda.

I've seen quite a number of engagement photos with interesting concepts. Some were shot in a beach, while some in a country side, all glammed up with cute props. All of them seemed nice because you can never go wrong with the beauty of mother nature. However, for us, we wanted to capture the memoir of our love story. We weren't too concerned about the view or how glamorous our picture will turn out. Plus both of us were on a budget so we knew that traveling out of the city would costs quite more so we kept it pretty low key. The only thing we paid for was everyone's lunch. It was a no stress and super duper chill day. Very at home. haha. 

Just to give you a brief history, our love story all started in Ojeda. I live right next door to Alan inside a compound. We were neighbors and God probably pats me in my back for I was obedient to his command of loving thy neighbor :P I would either go to their house and hung out with his younger sister, who was my best friend or have some adult talk with his Lola Charing who kept heaps of wisdom. As time passed and perhaps because I was the only girl he would meet (outside of his family) regularly, his feelings for me grew fonder ;) One thing I liked about meeting Alan at his home was I witnessed the way he behaved towards his family, even to their household helpers, full of respect and love. There's a saying that goes, "the way a man treats his mother/sister, is the way he'll treat his wife. I knew he'd treat me well because he's a gentleman to the ladies of their home. 

I miss the good old times we had in their ancestral house. We would play computer games, sing karaoke, watch movies, get together for birthdays, Christmas and New Years. All of those were nothing but happy memories that drew us closer and led our love to blossom. 

Soon, Alan is going to leave his beloved home too, but we would always have a nice souvenir which are these photographs and the memories in our hearts. 


      












xoxo,
Joselle

Monday, December 29, 2014

Alan and Joselle Turn 3

Today is our third year wedding anniversary!!! December 29, 2011 was the day I received the biggest and most undeserved favor from the Lord. It's the day I married my husband and my husband chose to be with me forever. Three years had passed, although apart, we cruised through it smoothly and still head over heels in love with each other, for that I'm most thankful! 

I know I've failed many many times as a wife but my husband never made me feel like a failure. Couple of weeks ago, I got one of the biggest scare of my life. My husband was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with dengue and I felt terrible cos I was not by his side to take care of him. Thankfully he recovered well and he's now back in shape just in time for the Christmas' festivities. During his illness, he never blamed me for not being there to nurse him and he keeps on telling me not to worry about him. Just me thinking of him to get well was enough for him. I really am blessed to have found such a nice guy and lucky to be loved by him beyond my imperfections.    

Next year and the coming years, babawi ako! I promise to make up for all my shortcomings. In 3 years, God had given us ample time to purify and make ourselves a better husband and wife. I've learned so many things on how to improve myself as a wife. I made so many mistakes that I will try not to do again. I can't promise to be perfect, but I will try the best I can to love, submit, and honor my husband perfectly as I promised the Lord. 

To you my dear Alan, thanks for holding on to our promise and sticking with me through out these years. I can't wait to finally see you and be with you for good, real soon! The best is yet to come! Oh yes! :) 

Happy 3rd wedding anniversary my love! Mwah! :)


xoxo,
Joselle

Monday, November 10, 2014

We serve God by the way we live

I attended and served in the Christian Life Program yesterday for our community. I can't remember how many times I've served in CLPs. All of them contains the same topic, sometimes same speakers but it becomes refreshing because each time, you get a different perspective depending on what you're dealing with in that certain time. 

One of my take homes was this, "First we serve God by the way we live".



Then I pondered, do I serve the Lord by the way I live?

  • Do I attend to the needs of the people around me or I'm too consumed of myself only? 
  • Do I tithe generously to the church, give donation to charities and give freely of my time to help the needy? 
  • Do I try to love the people who are difficult to love and show compassion and forgiveness to them? 
  • Do I park where I am supposed to park and not rob other people with disabilities or pregnant women? 
  • Do I show good example especially to my younger siblings or am I a bad influence to them?
  • Do I honor and respect my parents especially my mom or do I fail to show regard to her?
  • Do I use my time at work honestly or am I being a slug? Do I work beyond my hours and neglect quality time with my family or do I manage my time wisely?
  • Do I get easily angered when I am offended or do I remain humble and kind? 
  • Do I submit to and honor my husband or do I manipulate him so I get my way?
  • Do I lovingly correct my family and friends when they are wrong or condone their behavior?
  • Do I judge and say negative things about other people before looking on my own short comings?
  • Do I help in spreading the word and the love of God to the people around me or keep it all including the blessings to myself?  

I must admit, to be a Christian is never easy. We are not saved only by calling ourselves Christians and going to church every Sunday. The true test of serving and honoring God is by the way we live our lives, even when no one is looking at us. God sees our each and every step, and the state of our hearts. Whenever we carry out good deeds, God is delighted. Whenever we carry out wicked deeds, the devil is delighted. Whom do we want to please? God or the devil?

God loves us no matter what and His love for us is unconditional. However, when we serve and honor God, we allow His grace to enter upon us. Here is a simple analogy:

Let's say a little boy asks his dad for a few bucks. 
Son: Dad can I have 3 dollars, please?
Dad: Why do you need it my son?
Son: I want to buy a Magic card game.
Dad: Ok son, I will give you a the money if you get an A in your quiz tomorrow.
Son: Ok, I'll start studying now dad. 
(the next day)
Son: I got an A in the test Dad , can I get my money now?
Dad: Good job son, here you go and here's a confirmation letter. I registered you in a card tournament. :) 

When we serve and honor God, even in our own smallest ways, He acknowledges our faithfulness and fills us with His divine grace and blessings. He provides all our needs, even more than what we deserve, may it be materially or spiritually. The Dad could have just given his son the money for no reason but he wanted to give his son an important lesson. The benefit is not for the Dad, but ultimately for his son. By studying hard, he might get to a good university and get a better job in the future. Same way when we honor and serve the Lord with the way we virtuously live our lives. It's not for His benefit but for ours. The experience is humbling and the return is that we become a better person. 

xoxo,
Joselle 


Friday, October 31, 2014

32 Reasons Why I Love My Hubby


Surprise post it notes in Alan's bedroom door :)
I LOVE YOU BECAUSE.....


1. You show me how its like to be genuinely kind and gentle. You inspire me to be a better person.

2.  You not only sang to me the words "I can show you the world" you rather took me to places I never knew existed and life has been shiny, shimmery, and splendid!

3. You don't care too much on your appearance but you still let me buy you clothes and dress you up.

4. You take pleasure of taking care of me and spoiling me with good gifts and good food.

5. You love and brag about my cooking.

6. You take me seriously, even my jokes! lol

7. You're up for anything I love. You made me so happy when we watched Gossip Girl together. haha

8. You are loyal. Like what Rihanna said, you make me feel like I'm the only girl in the world.

9.  You're forgiving and gracious to me. You never let the sun go down on your wrath.

10. You're a hard worker and trustworthy in what you do.

11. You let me be me, you love me for who I am and all my flaws, never controlling.

12. We have the same idea of romance :)

13.  I get butterflies in my stomach every time you sing.

14.  You know how I hate roller coasters but you encouraged me to conquer my fear. I feel like together, we can do anything!

15. You love being around your family and you love being around my family too!

16. You're intellectually humble.

17. You are so patient in waiting for me.

18. You lovingly correct me if I'm wrong.

19. You don't encourage me to quit rather you push me to my limits.

20. You're slow to anger, you never curse and use profanity.

21. I couldn't ask for a better engagement ring, proposal and wedding ever!

22. You run and chase after mamang taho for me.

23. You showed me the meaning of unconditional love.

24. You prioritize me. You put toothpaste in my toothbrush first before you. hehe.

25. You are willing to give everything up for me, your sweet kryptonite.

26. You keep me going.

27. You make the tea for us.

28. You give the best back and foot massages.

29. We have the same values and faith.

30. You never miss to remember special days in our lives.

31. You don't forget to end the day with a prayer and thank God for all the blessings.

32. You give me hope that the best is still yet to come!

Happy 32nd birthday to you my wonderful source of joy, my husband. Thank you for the kind of love you've given me. A love that is immeasurable and no doubt, boundless. I couldn't imagine how my life would have been if you didn't come in the picture. May our gracious Lord bless you with more happy and healthy years so that we may be able to enjoy to the fullest the fruits of our marriage. I love you and I miss you!



I'm so sorry I couldn't be there with you on your birthday but hope you liked my little surprise.Thank you Risa (Alan's sister) for being my hands and feet and for helping me come up with this awesome idea. Arigato! :)

xoxo,
Joselle
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

One more surprise! Here are messages from your dear GS buddies from Ateneo especially for you :)

Alan!

Happy birthday! I am happy to have met a kindred spirit in many ways – a fellow milk tea-lover, video and tabletop gamer, and frustrated professional singer! XD Thank you for being an occasional Japanese translator as well. Here’s to more game nights, karaoke nights, pig-out dinners, recording sessions, and live jams!

Wish you more love, laughter, and music. And I do hope you and GK rub off a little bit of your luck in love on me, so I can get hitched and we can finally call our little trio “The Married Men.” Haha!

Migs


Hi Al,

Happy Birthday! I am truly thankful to have you as a friend. Nothing gets you down and you're always game for anything. Thanks especially for being there whenever I need my board game fix! Speaking of which, we still have to do our grudge match to settle who wins the Cold War. See ya Friday?

I wish you many more birthdays and lots of luck with everything you've got lined up!

誕生日おめでとう。


Dear Al,

It's amazing how--after all those years--everything turned on one day of pure dumb luck. Of course, this was two years after you’d come back, so Fate was dragging its heels a little. Still, if it hadn't been for that happy accident:

The rest of us would probably still be dredging up all your namesakes through the magic of the Internet.

There would be no Chipmunks recording of “All for Love,” or, for that matter, no recording at all.

There would have been six fewer people for that picture at your wedding.

GK would probably have gotten struck down by the first chef who put in an errant shrimp or squid in the frying pan in Japan.

And there certainly would be no sitting around the table at Zaan playing Coup, with everyone spending a whole turn pretending to be the Duke and you finding out the hard way that Joselle never lies.

We wish you more happy accidents and welcome turns of fate for you and Joselle this year, and in the years to come. We're very grateful that you came into our lives. Cheers and welcome to 32!

GK and Joy

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Foodie Journey: Chili Garlic Butter Shrimp Saute

For young wives/moms and all the working men and women who do not have the luxury of time to spare in the kitchen, here's another quick and simple recipe that I would like to share with you. This should not take you more than 30 minutes. 

I've learned an amazing trick from my mom that added some twist to the shrimp. It's an old time trick that she learned from her mom also and that is marinading the shrimp in lemon soda. This adds a hint of sweetness and it takes out the lansa (fishiness) in my opinion. I've also realized that cooking the shrimp at home gives me liberty of deciding how spicy I want my shrimps. I'm not a big fan of chili but sprinkling a right amount of chili flakes gives the dish a nice kick. Best of all, its cheaper alternative of satisfying your shrimp cravings. Needless to say, for us Pinoys, this flavorful dish is paired well with a bowl of steamed white rice! 

I hope you enjoy and try this out :)

Chili Garlic Butter Shrimp Saute   

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb shrimp
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (optional)
  • 1 tsp red chili/pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp dried/fresh parsley 
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 can lemon soda/Sprite
  • garlic powder
  • pepper


Procedure:

1. Marinade the shrimp in lemon soda for about 10 minutes.

2. Melt the butter and olive oil in a saute pan until hot enough to cook the garlic.

3. Put in the garlic and cook until golden brown. 

4. Add in the chili flakes.

5. Put in the shrimp and cook until the color turns orange.

6. Pour in just a little bit of the remaining Sprite and let the liquid evaporate.

7. Add parsley, garlic powder, and pepper as needed.

8. Serve and enjoy!