Thursday, February 11, 2010

Oh, Happy Day...

I truly believe that sometimes the universe's timing is just spot on.   As many of you know, it's been rough times lately, with job losses, work/volunteer work stress, and my grandmother's passing.  Through most of it, I've tried to be strong, though mainly for other people.

But it's nice to be reminded about all the things that are going well.  I am really truly a blessed person.

Michelle from TheMuseFactory, who I've recently connected with through the One World One Heart giveaway but already feel a very strong affinity with, awarded me with The Happy Award!

The Happy Award

So, I believe I'm supposed to list 10 things that make me happy and then award 10 bloggers that make me happy.  I'm feeling like my list of 10 stays the same for the most part - though there are subcategories within each item.  I'm sure I could have a list of 100 if I thought long enough.

So here goes!

10 Things that Make Me Happy
1.  My GINORMOUS Family
Why, yes, this is a genogram.

The picture above is an illustration of the ginormousness of my loud, obnoxious Filipino family.  My maternal side is the large part of the image, with 12 children, 33 grandchildren, and approximately 29 great grandchildren.  My paternal side has 6 children and 4 grandchildren.  Then there's my dad's brother who married my mom's brother's sister-in-law; as well as my cousin who married my mom's sister's sister-in-law.  Did you get that?  I love it.

2.  My Boyfriend (Who Cooks)
One of the many delicious stir frys

Thank goodness for bachelorhood and its lessons in how men can take care of themselves (for the most part).  As the person who's constantly busy, I'm very lucky to live with a boyfriend who loves to cook.  I'd probably be extremely unhealthy if it wasn't for his cooking.

3.  Baking Sweets for Sweeties

I was inspired by my lovely sister to start baking.  While I've been making chocolate chip cookies since high school, my baker sister has lit a fire under me to bake wonderful deserts, from cupcakes to marble cakes.  It's messy, but it's always so satisfying to watch people enjoy your creations.

4.  My Friends on Both Coasts
Bicoastal Love

God, I hate flying.  But it's so worth it when I'm in the presence of my awesome friends.  If only there was a teleportation machine to make my travel go so much faster.  I love how different they are from each other, yet so similar in little ways.  I like to imagine one massive party where everyone would chit chat with everyone else as my two worlds collide, but in a good way.

5.  Pets!

At this point, many people already know about how petting animals helps to relieve stress.  While the boyfriend and I don't have pets (yet!), I love visiting my friends and family who do have pets.  During this current trip to Los Angeles, the boyfriend and I are going to house/dog sit while my family takes my lola to the Philippines.  I'm sure it'll be an interesting time.

6.  My Bed, My Sanctuary

I love my bed.  If I could do work and run a business from bed (not that way...), it'd be awesome!  I'm also very picky about how the bed is taken care of - no dirty backpacks, snackies, or dirty pants legs on the bed.  It's a weird pet peeve of mine.  But it's the place where I feel safest, where deep, meaningful conversations take place.  It's also better when it's warm.

7.  Music
Tunes Carry Me Through

With all the traveling I've done in my life (and really for the most part, it's within the same city), the various soundtracks that have accompanied me have been my saving grace.  On family road trips, it's The Beatles, movie soundtracks, bossa nova, and Patsy Cline.  On the plane, I have a "Bicoastal" playlist on my Zune.  On my drives throughout the city, it's the oldies station or cheesy soft rock.  As ABBA sang, "Thank you for the music."

8.  The Ocean
Venice Beachiness

I need to preface this paragraph with some history:  I was born by the ocean, I grew up by the ocean, and so I choose to live by the ocean.  I chose to move to Boston because of its proximity to the Atlantic, and when I move again it will be near another ocean.  I don't really care to live anywhere else.  The end.

9.  Working with Kids where credit is due!

It's really hard work.  REALLY hard work.  I could go on about the inefficiency of the bureaucracies that are supposed to help families and children.  I could then go on about how difficult it is to then be part of a nonprofit that is trying up uphold and empower the structures that are "meant to serve" in addition to those families and children.  But I won't.  I could, however, go on and on about the amazing things that my middle school students are able to accomplish, from raising money for kids with cancer to writing and performing a skit about internet safety.  If the only thing I ever teach them is that it's okay to be a little quirky, then I've done something good for this world.

10.   Summertime

Summer has always been my favorite season.  Vacation, trips, lazing by the pool or beachside.  I love it all.  Most of my recent adult (read: free) summers have been in Boston, and truth be told, it's where I've really come to appreciate the summertime (I know...Thanks, Winter, for showing me how AWESOME Summer really is.).  Starting with the Mermaid Parade (Coney Island, New York) in June - ending with the All Night Costume Dance Party (Quarry Hill, Rochester, Vermont) in August - and filled with a whole host of free or cheap activities, the summertime has just been a sandwich of awesome.

10 Bloggers Who Make Me Happy (a.k.a. Blogs Whose Updates I'm Always Looking Out For)(a.k.a. The Happy Award goes to...)
Steph at not the oxygen
Arnetta at This May Sound Crazy But... 
Chatterbox at The Dialogue
Joy at Joy the Baker
A mermaid in the attic at a mermaid in the attic
Jen at The Novelista Barista
I really suck at this at I Really Suck at This
Amanda and Jenn at kind over matter
Sophie at Missed Connections
Jo at My Own Breed of Random

It's so hard to stop at 10.  I love a lot of blogs, from photoblogs to recipe blogs to ridiculously laugh out loud funny blogs.  But I must say that I feel a strong fondness for the blogs listed above.  If I could list Michelle at TheMuseFactory, I probably would have!  Thanks again, Michelle for the awesome (and my first!) award!


  1. Thank you! Good to know you love forward to the nonsense I churn out :P

    Hey, I've got a tatoo on the same ankle!

    glad youre getting through things.

  2. I love your spirit. I really do. I would love to send you something snail mail (I've recently taken up letter writing) a love letter (don't worry I'm married, though devastatingly jealous that you've found a man who cooks) and a little something to inspire. Because, you darling mermaid inspire me. E-mail me if it's something you'd like themusefactory(@)

  3. Awww, thank youuu!!! This is your first award and you gave me my first award. How exciting! I'm glad that you are conquering your current struggles. You are an inspiration to me. And that food looks really good :-)

  4. Congratulations. interesting list.

  5. I actually made the list!!! I love you! WaUw! Wait til you watch the crazy vlog post I just put up. Your gonna have the look Shrek and Donkey had after they made it to Duloc's Tourist Post. lol.

    Thanks for the award!

  6. Wow! you made me super-excited :D
    Thanks a ton buddy for bestowing me with this award, am glad to learn you enjoy reading my articles :D

    You've done the tag wonderfully, am glad to know a bit more about you :D

    Stay happy and have lots of fun!!


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