Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Don't bug him

My husband is ill and is on respite for 3 consecutive days. My poor guy caught a bug floating around somewhere. Nothing major really compared to the near-death-dengue virus he had last year. But still I couldn't help but be frantic.

I think from all that have been given to him, the acetaminophen, vitamin C, loads of rest, soup, care, love, and prayer, he should get better soon. I have a big hope in my heart that this too shall pass. And a big God that is good. 

Indeed, God is so good! Because the good news is Alan got a job! After a few amount of interviews here and there, a job offer finally came at hand. He's so happy to join the work force again. He just had enough time to finish all the TV series he brushed off on the side. Enough time to take care of my yummy breakfast. Enough time to train on household chores. And lots of time for prayer. His little daily routine goes something like this: breakfast, prayer time, job hunt, lunch, check emails, TV series, dinner, chores, prayer time. Before an onset of his career, the heavens gave him a break to focus and delight in the things that really matter- time for himself, for me, and for the Lord.

He starts next week and praying he'll get better before he goes off to work.

Hoping he recovers fully before our mini getaway to Savannah this weekend! I feel like it has been quite a while since our last wanderlust although this is not quite as long as I hoped for. This quick one will just have to do. It could just help me recover from the busyness of June and gear me up for what July has to offer.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Selfless Soul

I woke up in the crack of dawn to get ready for work. I arose from my bed earlier than usual. My younger sister asked a favor from me to drive her to her internship as her "carpool buddy" is on vacation. With a cheerful heart, I agreed cos that's what families do. They lovingly help each other :) Her office is further than mine so we had to leave an hour earlier than my usual time. I informed my husband about this the night before and to my delight, he responded, "I'll drive you both to work." :)

Lunch time came and my husband asked me to go out to eat. On weekdays, I really don't go out for lunch and I always bring my baon (packed lunch)with me to work to save money and unwelcomed calories. So going out to eat in the middle of work is such a lovely treat. Off we went to this cute tiny place across the street, called Tuscany Cafe. This little cafe is delightfully charming with a European ambiance. Relatively the prices were not so cheap so Alan and I decided to order one meal and split it because 1. we're conscious of our spending 2. the portions were huge 3. I didn't want to go back to work sleepy after eating a big meal. I was craving for pasta and a steak and fries for him. Both of us wanted two different orders. I know how my husband loves his steak and thought it would be a nice treat for him for waking up so early in the morning so I told him he can get the steak and I'll just have some soup.  So this gracious waiter came up and Alan told him, "can we get the Fettuccini Bernadette and Mushroom soup please". I was touched that he gave up his steak and went for what I wanted. 

I know Alan has always been shy when I post things about him but this is my blog. Sorry my love but MY RULES. hahaha. I never let a single small act of selfless love unappreciated and most especially, the big ones. My husband proves to me many times over and over that he's more than willing to give up everything for my sake. Apart from Christ, I've never met a man so selfless who will treat me highly before himself. A guy who will give up his work in a reputable international bank back home and take his chances in the US and be with me. A guy who will spend half of his fortune to marry me. A guy who will give up his favorite thing to pave the way for what I want. He just fascinates me every single day. I'm greatly blessed for his selfless heart beats for me. I couldn't be any luckier. I'm just infinitely grateful and in awe of how God molds this fella everyday in His image and likeness.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Three Things about Tony (aka Daddy): A birthday honoring

Today, it is a very special day for Alan's daddy, and luckily, mine too :) I think it is an opportunity for me to give honor to a man so dear to us on his birthday. Let me share with you 3 things about what I'm most grateful for with daddy. 

1. He embodies grace under pressure

It was around Christmas couple of years back in the Fernandezes' lovely abode. They were prepping for a lunch reunion of their old friends from Japan. I went down to the kitchen to peak and see if they can use a hand. I saw Daddy with his hands full and yet he seemed very calm and chill. So I asked him what can I do to help and he gently asked me if I can fix the salad. He added that the guests would be coming in a few minutes and he felt stressed out because the table wasn't ready yet. In my head, he looked otherwise. Nothing about him looked frazzled or alarmed. To try to lighten up the mood, I uttered, "Stressed na po kayo niyan? You don't look like it po" hehe.  To me, I will be always reminded of his gracefulness. I believe Alan got his soft spoken quality and gentleness from Daddy which I am pleased. 

2. He is thoughtful.

I appreciate so much the times when Daddy would text me to check where I was and if I would be eating dinner at home while on my vacation in the Philippines. I grew up without a father and so to be cared for by Daddy was a great deal to me. Daddy showed me how it was like to have a genuine father on earth. I am blessed and honored to be his daughter-in-law. 

3. He is hardworking.

Daddy worked for the UN in Japan and concentrated on waste management. I've never seen someone very mindful of his trash and the environment as daddy. I believe he also worked as a consultant for earthquakes and disaster prevention. It's his joy to inform everyone how to be prepared when natural calamities come and he takes it very seriously. When I was in high school, I happened to be hanging out with Nina, Alan's sister at their house and Daddy suddenly gathered everyone and showed us a documentary DVD on earthquake preparedness plan. Now at 61,  he devotes most his time on his new baby, Zaan Japanese Tea House. I witnessed how much work he put in while they were starting up the restaurant and I'm just so proud. Please check them out at Mother Ignacia Ave corner Roces Ave. (Please click on the link. Quick ad right there haha) 

To close, I want to honor a man who gave Alan and me insights to many things. I thank him for teaching Alan how to be a gentleman, and to be rooted in God's presence. I especially learned from him how to live simply and to invest in travel because it is the best channel of learning. It makes my heart leap remembering what Daddy shared with me one day about one of his greatest dreams. For all of us to travel to Italy together as a family. That's one of the sweetest dreams I've heard, ever! Just the fact that he dreams intentionally for the family is enough for me. 

Happy birthday Daddy! Thank you for everything! We love you!

Joselle and Alan



Monday, June 8, 2015


You know how one event can bring you back in time? Here's mine.

I grew up in a tropical country which is hot with abundant sunshine and humidity. I love taking cold showers everyday especially at the end of each warm, toasty day after playing Chinese Garter, Ten Twenty and Patintero with my friends. However, in early dawn mornings before going to school, cold baths were dreadful. From most of the houses we lived in (we used to move a looooooot) there were no showers built in.  At one house, I remember being excited at the thought of having a shower even without a heater installed. As a little kid, it felt like showering in the rain which I playfully enjoyed doing. A water heater was not one of our major concerns back in the day until we moved here in the US. Try taking a cold shower in winter time and you'll know what I mean. 

Shower in my dreams

Saturday night, we found out that our carpet floor in the basement by our closet area was drenched in water. I thought water from upstairs leaked. I hurriedly took our clothes away and reached for the wall. It was dry. We then came to find out that it was the water tank situated in the basement next to our room that had major issues. I was just glad that it was not water from the toilet (ewwww). So we had to shut it off. We were advised that the heated showers won't be functional for a few days while waiting for the replacement tank but the toilet and sinks were usable. Thank goodness! :)

In times like these, good thing we have tabo (dipper) and palanggana (bucket) at home! I bet you will find tabo in every Filipino houses. Haha. This morning, I filled up 2 palangganas with cold water, heated water from an electric kettle and poured it right into the cold water which resulted in a lukewarm-ready-for-bath-water. I felt like I was home. I felt like the child that I was growing up in Manila. I am happy to realize that I am still the same person, only a few pounds heavier and with more responsibilities. Cheers to the familiar feeling of it all.

Image result for tabo


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

New Family Traditions

It has been three months since my husband moved in and so far, it has been amazing. I'm not saying that our life is perfect. Heck NO. Like any other newlyweds, Alan and I are figuring things out as we go along. 

We are so blessed to be mentored by and to witness the lives of  some of the wonderful married couples that are greatly dear to us. And so let me share with you what we've learned and what traditions we are keeping for our own little family.

Blessing each other before leaving the home. One of the traditions we've set is that the leader of the home must bless his family before setting their foot outside. So everyday, before I leave the home for work, he places his hand over my head and blesses me with Numbers 6:24-26: "May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, And give you peace. Amen". This morning, we left the home together because he was bound for a job interview and so I blessed him and prayed over him. Blessing one another, just as simple as saying God bless you, is so important so that each of us and our day is covered in prayer.

Wednesday date nights. Another tradition we've taken on is to go out on a date every Wednesday. Now that it's only just the two of us, we are taking advantage of this luxury of time. Our weekends can be so busy in between serving in the music ministry, doing errands/household chores, catching up with family and friends, parties, and church so it is important to set apart a weeknight for just the two of us. Since we share the love for food, we enjoy discovering restaurants together. Here, we don't only eat but we try to dialog and ask how our week is going and we raise any concerns to each other if there are any. If money is of the essence, spending quality time can be as simple as going out for a cup of tea or simply walking in the park together.

Hug/kiss each other and say I love you everyday. Sad but true, we didn't grow up in families that say I love you to each other as often. For us, we thought actions speak louder than words. We weren't touchy either. However, showering your loved ones with hugs and kisses, affirming each other and saying you love them everyday are essential. When we knew that my love language was touch, my husband made sure my love tank is filled.

Share meals together. We try as much as we can to eat together (which explains the weight gain hahaha). In the past, I wasn't in the habit of eating breakfast. When Alan came, he would wake up early to prepare my cereals with fruit and a fresh brewed milk tea and I couldn't pass the sweet gesture. In the evening, we eat dinner together as well in our dining table free from electronic devices. Researchers confirmed that families who eat dinner together and catch up on each others everyday lives reap great benefits especially for the (future) children.

Pray together every night. As we retire to bed at the end of each day, no matter how exhausted we might be, my husband and I read each other scriptures and meditation just like reading a child a bed time story. Reading God's word together is one effective way of growing in faith as a couple. If we are looking for a manual for marriage, we need not to look further. We can find all we need to know in the Bible. 

Alan and I were raised up totally different by two different families. Traditions that are familiar to me and I'm comfortable with could be strange to him and vice versa. So we compromised, and agreed to come up with our own. These are traditions of our own choosing and making. Traditions that we hope to influence our future generations. 


Friday, April 24, 2015

Bistek Tagalog with Broccoli

Filipino food are so good but can be so bad for you so I decided to kick it up a notch and make it a bit healthier. I grew up eating Bistek (Beef Steak) with a cup of warm white rice. My mom would sometimes add potato or green beans but this time, I added broccoli. Sharing with you how to make this simple and easy recipe.

  • 1 lb. beef sirloin (thinly cut)
  • 1 large sweet onions (cut in rings)
  • 3 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1 head of broccoli (cut into bite sized pieces)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 pcs of calamansi/lemon (can add more as desired)
  • butter or oil
  • pepper
  • sugar
  • Marinade beef in soy sauce,calamansi/lemon and pepper for at least 30 minutes but not more than an hour.
  • In a pot, blanch the broccoli in boiling water for a minute. Set aside.
  • In a pan, heat butter or oil and saute onion rings. Set aside.
  • In the same pan, heat butter or oil and saute garlic.
  • Then fry the beef until cooked and tender.
  • Add the marinade and simmer for a few minutes.
  • Sprinkle a dash of sugar. Sugar helps balance the saltiness of the sauce.
  • Add the onions on top or mix it together.
  • Serve and enjoy!
Serving: 5-7 people

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Happy Campers

I'm sharing with you our little adventure to Fort Yargo in Winder, GA for the Couples for Christ Family Ties Camp. It was our first time to camp out together and spend 2 nights in the middle of the woods. To be honest, we weren't planning to go because we lack camping equipment. However, God made it possible. We were invited by our household head couple to stay in their 2 bedroom tent and my uncle loaned us their airbed. We are so blessed to be surrounded by the generosity of family and friends. Our main goal for the weekend was to serve in the music ministry (grateful that Alan has a servant-heart too). Perhaps when our intentions are pure and pleasing to the Lord, He will find a way to make things work. :)

This nature-loving event was made possible with the help of the CFC GA Family Ministry to help strengthen families' bonds. Nowadays, because of our busy schedules, constant plugging in to our smartphones and social medias, kids' simultaneous activities, we miss to give ample time for our families. For two days, we had the chance to unplug, slow down and dedicate our time in bonding with our loved ones. 

Camping out in a tent can be quite a challenge especially for newbie campers like us and rainy weather. Whenever Alan and I travel, we choose to stay in decent hotels so we could have a good sleep and shower. However, this camp taught us how to be flexible. Perhaps we could do back packing next! ;P You cannot always get what you want especially on things that you don't have control of like the weather. It rained a lot on that weekend but being flexible means being able to emotionally adjust and take things positively. To help us adjust to the situation, we prepped our minds that we weren't there to rest and relax but we went because we committed ourselves to serve and sing in our music ministry. Serving the Lord could decrease focus on ourselves and increase our love for Him and other people. Serving our brothers and sisters in the community through the music ministry always gives me a sense of fulfillment especially when I see their faces light up, their eyes water in tears and their hearts moved by the spirit through our songs of praise and worship. 

Despite the rain, suppressed shower times, early morning call times, less sleep, jam packed activities, cluelessness in camping, our music ministry team won the "Happy Campers" award and "Best in Chant!" We really enjoyed our first solid time camping and we would do this again.