I am not quite sure if I can sum up a year in one post. At first I was thinking to go through each month of the year and share each of the significant moments that were important to me and my family. Then that would make the post quite long and maybe not so easy to read. As with everything in my life and motherhood, I want it to be easy but natural…so after talking with my sister who has been visiting since before Christmas she suggested I write about each quarter.
This seemed manageable.
Actually, I spent a couple of days away with my sisters and my niece this past weekend and it got me to thinking about so many things. Being with everyone is both inspiring and yet challenging at the same time. When you love someone so fiercely, it’s easy to slip into this idea that they should listen to your ideas (of course for their own good), but loving that fiercely also means that you have to be very careful of their feelings and the healing process…but I jump ahead in the year summation so let me revisit the first quarter of 2014 before I jump to the present.
2014 began with Nino’s family visiting from NY. My world really does revolve around family and it always has. I shared this many years ago when Nino and I were dating. I had said way back then, if I can’t share it with my family…then it’s like it hasn’t happened at all. In February, I attended a debut that caused me to pause. This is the first debut I was invited to while living in Manila, and it was significant in more ways than one. Camille has Down Syndrome, and I am lucky to call her mother Lolet, a good friend. Camille’s celebration and coming out was bittersweet for me, and made me realize what a warrior my friend was. I am lucky to have a friend like her in the Special Needs Community.
As many of you know, February is also Down Syndrome Consciousness Month here in the Philippines so, we of course attended The Happy Walk which brings awareness to our cause.
In March, Gia and I participated in our first fashion show together as a team. This was a wonderful experience for both of us in celebration of International Women’s Day.
In the second quarter of the year, I met some challenges. In this online community, I have tried my best to cultivate healthy and positive relationships with other parents, women, and people who love others with special needs. I am aware of the energy and the information that I put out there that can have an affect on others. Early in the second quarter I became frustrated with an ex-government official who consistently offends people across the board. I realize that I can choose who I pay attention to in this life…I realize that I do not have to subscribe or even follow someone on twitter if he does not care for the common good…I realize that sometimes, it’s easier to click the UNFOLLOW button.
But because y’all know me, I would like to remember the positive events that took place in this quarter, like: donating my hair to children with cancer, going on a yoga retreat with Jen Tan that was not only invigorating but allowed me to recharge, supporting DSAPI by enjoying great food and learning more about my natural gifts.
This quarter also marked the beginning of Gellibean’s modeling career. Green Blooded Tees chose Gelli and Diego as two of their models for the launch of their kids line. I was just over the moon that she was chosen…and she was a NATURAL in front of the camera! (Go figure!)
June was the month that marked the beginning of Gelli’s educational career. This may not seem like it’s a big deal because well…nursery school is nursery school…but it is huge for us, and has turned out great for Gellibean. The Little Apprentice is not a special school, in fact, Gelli is the only child with special needs in her classroom and it is working out perfectly. Gellibean is happy, Mommy is happy, and Teacher Boom said that Gelli is progressing and doing just fine at this level. Remember that at this level, the kids all need to learn how to socialize with one another, how to run, and jump, and hold a crayon or a pencil, and how to identify colors, shapes, and letters.
I was also asked to represent Pharmaton as one of their Life Chargers. This was a huge honor for me to represent the brand, share myself, and share my advocacies. Both Best Buddies and DSAPI are important in enriching my daughter’s life and making it easier for her, here in Manila. Pharmaton makes my life easier and keeps me healthy, while sharing my advocacies for Gelli makes the the world a better place for her and for other kids like her as well.
I also had the opportunity to share the “Gift of Yoga” with Best Buddies. My kids and I facilitated a class where almost 15 sets of Buddy pairs played, laughed, learned, and connected the YogaKids way.
The third quarter also marked the entrance of Best Buddies into De La Salle Zobel. Together, with Brother Bernie, the Safe School program, and the entire student body we took the pledge to #EndTheRWord and our chapter was established with 28 sign ups from The Peer Counselors Club. (And to think…I would have been happy with 5 students!!!)
This last quarter of the year has been every bit as busy and filled with learning experiences as the earlier parts of 2014. I drove from Batangas to Fort and won the Shell Fuel Save Driving Challenge as an early birthday gift with my driving partner Sarah Tirona of Fashion Eggplant.
I was able to share a bit of my talents with the SoMoms during our Halloween party at Hotel Kimberly in Tagaytay. This was a great bonding experience for me and Gia to do together and it wouldn’t have been possible without the help from some very special people. Thank you Tina, Cai, Maricel, Vangie, and Rowena!
My family has also experienced some heart aches and challenging situations this year. I know I cannot carry their problems for them, rather I can be there be there to support and of course lend an ear if needed. One thing I learned because of this unfortunate situation is that it doesn’t matter how much you love someone…sometimes they just have their own path and their own process that they need to go through.
I have also been given the opportunity to work with a brand that I have always wanted to outfit my dream kitchen with. Viking Range Philippines has asked me to represent them as their brand ambassador. This really was a no brainer for me…Viking is American made. The Viking Range is of the highest quality and owning a Viking Range can only up the level at which I cook and create meals for my family. In fact, all of the Viking appliances fit my lifestyle because they offer a level of safety and ease necessary in managing my home with four kids. I’m so excited for the year ahead with this benchmark brand for kitchen appliances!
I am so excited for 2015. I know that there will be a great many experiences from which I will learn and hopefully share with all of you. Here’s to celebrating the year that was, and all the beauty that they new year has to offer!
Hermelina D. Ressa says
What a great article! You made me cry and even feel so much far away! You are such a great, loving person not only to your family but to your friends as well! I pray that 2015 will bring you greater happiness and fulfillment in every endeavor you tackle. Because of your dedication and love, Gelli keeps on developing into a beautiful and accomplished little, sweet, loving girl. More power to you, Nino, Gia, Miguel and Diego! Love you all!
Thanks Mom. We miss you so much. We pray that 2015 brings you back to the Philippines where we can be together again!
Peter A. Ressa says
I loved it Michelle! May God Bless you and Nino and all the kids!
Love you Dad. We miss you more and more. Looking forward to a time when we are all together.
First Wives Club (@nappyKAYE) says
Just read through the posts I missed. Happy New Year, Mish! xx
Happy New Year Kaye 🙂 Looking forward to seeing you again soon!! xoxo