So almost three weeks ago, I had to hop on a plane and go to New York.
I had very little time to prepare for the trip, and in the beginning it was in no way, a vacation. I had decided to come to New York to be with my niece who was in critical condition in the ICU, and my sister, who is her momma. I packed quickly, and jumped on the next plane so that I would be with my sister and her family as soon as possible after my niece’s surgery.
My younger sister and I planned to help out so that my older sister could catch her breath. My sis has always been an influence on me as we were growing up, and now that I have daughters of my own, I have always emphasized the importance of their sisterhood bond. Both my daughters know that despite the big gap in age that their relationship cannot be compared to any other relationship in the world forever and ever and evahhh…
So the good thing is, my niece has recovered. She is not at her best yet, but she is well on her way. She has a bit of a challenge in front of her, but I do think that if she commits to a healthier lifestyle that she will be able to take better care of herself AND recover FULLY.
Every Thanksgiving, I ask the people sitting at my table to share one thing they are grateful for. Some people aren’t as comfortable expressing themselves as others, and that’s ok. However, I believe if you live a life of gratitude, it just feels better, and you’l resalize that you’ll have more things to be grateful for. This Thanksgiving, I’m grateful for the gift of good health for my niece @jess_ballinger. After hearing her condition a few weeks ago, I couldn’t sit in Manila and know what was going on so far away in the ICU in Westchester. I had to get on a plane and be by her side as she recovered. (Because I always had faith that she would recover.) I’m so glad you are on the mend Jessie. I love you! #family #thanksgiving #ressagirls #grateful #gratitude
I miss cute and convenient things from the grocery store.
Ok. I do have a love affair with butter for my cooking, but it's not that serious. I just think it's the cutest thing that they have a HALF of a stick of butter conveniently packaged AND that butter comes in the shape of a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner.
I miss my favorite pizza.
Ok, living in Manila was very challenging when I first arrived because I could not find my Italian American comfort foods right away. But the good thing is, after more than 9 years of living here, I have been able to find some very good comfort food (YES, PIZZA.) quite near by.
I miss running into random high school friends that I get to keep up with only on Facebook because I live so far away.
Funny thing, when I was young, I couldn't wait to leave the small town that I was from. I wanted to get out, to see the world and to meet new people. I just didn't understand what I understand now. There is something to be said for people who knew you way back when...especially if those people are still your friends now...
I miss my neighborhood ITALIAN DELI.
Before moving away, I would go to this deli with my dad (and then later for my dad) to pick up cold cuts, raviolis, cookies, cannolis, and fresh mozzarella. (mooh-SA-rel, you can say it with me)
This is the deli where everyone behind the counter knew your name, your wife's name, and your preference of products that they happily offered up to their patrons (usually with an Italian background.)
They make their own ravioli, fill fresh cannolis when you order them, and hand pull the mozzarella every morning.
P.S. I was able to learn a little bit about this age old process, and I will share that with you in another post.
I miss shopping at The Woodbury Commons
The beauty of shopping in a country that is coming up on winter, is the sales for summer items. #score A photo posted by Michelle Aventajado (@mommanmanila) on
Truth: One of my first jobs while I was in high school was working in a retail store in The Commons. While I was living so close to this super outlet mall, I took it for granted...now that I have moved away, I can appreciate all the deals and the steals it has to offer.
I miss the sights, the sounds, and the smell of Autumn in NY
Apple cider is one of the many things I miss about Autumn in NY. Thanks Lara for making apple cider sangria and thanks Jenn for bringing my favorite apple cider doughnuts from #jonesfarm #autumnflavors #thanksgiving #home A photo posted by Michelle Aventajado (@mommanmanila) on
Jones Farm was one of my favorite places to visit in Cornwall, NY. Besides having the best apple cider donuts and the best carrot cake, they also had a small petting zoo and cute country gift shop that I would spend at least an hour browsing around while the kids would play outside.
I miss my friends and family.
Not sure if you noticed or not...lots of the things that I miss are the people and the food that I am familiar with. That's why we call it comfort...It's what we know, what's warm and fuzzy, just like what we grew up with.
I am all for growing up, moving on, and leaving the place where you grew up, because it's only by leaving your bubble that you can expand your understanding of the world around you. I think that the best gift my parents ever gave me. They gave me the gift of travel while I was still young and impressionable. I experienced a great many things that I would not have understood if I had stayed in Monroe and never ventured out.
But now, after living abroad for more than 9 years, and making Manila my home, I also enjoy the chance to go back to upstate New York...to reconnect with my roots, my childhood friends, and soak up the love, craziness, and excitement of being in a place which is so familiar that people know your name, and they know who you were when you were much younger....