birthday

24 is just as special.

Last week I turned 24. While there were no balloons or no extravagant gifts I found this year's celebration to be just as special, if not more than any other year of notable mention (You know like your 1st, 10th, 15th or 16th, so on and so on). The day and the weekend that followed were just like any other but this time, being inspired by Liisa Luts who photographed her own wedding, I decided to photograph my own milestone from the first moment shortly after 12am Friday to the end of my weekend  after church on Sunday. Yes,  I still had to go to work, I still had to come home to wash the dishes and a few other things you could consider mundane but it's because of those things that I truly woke up feeling like one of the most fortunate people in the world. Here I am, 24 with the privilege to work at a place where the people that surround me are some of the brightest and talented people in the field; I get to come home to a place I can call my very own; even though my birthday fell on a weekday, I am grateful for friends who took time out of their weekend to celebrate with me again; and lastly, I get to freely give praise to God, whom without Him all this and the last 23 years would not be possible. So I leave you with these, may you also find any reason at all to celebrate every birthday and regular day in between.

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Music of the Month

Being that October is my birth month, I decided to switch it up a bit. Instead of the usual 6 songs, I give ya’ll 9! Additionally, I also mixed in a few songs  from my childhood. Enjoy.

Happy Listening!

1. Rusted Root - Send Me On My Way

2. Hanson - Mmmbop

3. Vance Joy - Riptide

4. S Club 7 - Bring It All Back

5. Taylor Swift - 22 (Do I even need to reason why?)

6. Kriss Kross - Jump

7. Joe Cocker - A Little Help From My Friends

8. Selena Gomez - Birthday

9. TLC - All That Theme Song

Music of the Month

Being that October is my birth month, I decided to switch it up a bit. Instead of the usual 6 songs, I give ya’ll 9! Additionally, I also mixed in a few songs  from my childhood. Enjoy.

Happy Listening!

1. Rusted Root - Send Me On My Way

2. Hanson - Mmmbop

3. Vance Joy - Riptide

4. S Club 7 - Bring It All Back

5. Taylor Swift - 22 (Do I even need to reason why?)

6. Kriss Kross - Jump

7. Joe Cocker - A Little Help From My Friends

8. Selena Gomez - Birthday

9. TLC - All That Theme Song

Music of the Month

Being that October is my birth month, I decided to switch it up a bit. Instead of the usual 6 songs, I give ya’ll 9! Additionally, I also mixed in a few songs  from my childhood. Enjoy.

Happy Listening!

1. Rusted Root - Send Me On My Way

2. Hanson - Mmmbop

3. Vance Joy - Riptide

4. S Club 7 - Bring It All Back

5. Taylor Swift - 22 (Do I even need to reason why?)

6. Kriss Kross - Jump

7. Joe Cocker - A Little Help From My Friends

8. Selena Gomez - Birthday

9. TLC - All That Theme Song

Music of the Month

Being that October is my birth month, I decided to switch it up a bit. Instead of the usual 6 songs, I give ya’ll 9! Additionally, I also mixed in a few songs  from my childhood. Enjoy.

Happy Listening!

1. Rusted Root - Send Me On My Way

2. Hanson - Mmmbop

3. Vance Joy - Riptide

4. S Club 7 - Bring It All Back

5. Taylor Swift - 22 (Do I even need to reason why?)

6. Kriss Kross - Jump

7. Joe Cocker - A Little Help From My Friends

8. Selena Gomez - Birthday

9. TLC - All That Theme Song

Bea(you)tiful

17 days until my 22nd birthday and Lord, I am still trying to come to terms with the fact that I am beautifully made. I know I was made in a beautiful way but to call myself beautiful is so difficult for me. It’s not about being vein but the fact that some part of me feels it to be untrue. I pause my writing and start to tear up at the sound of your voice inside my head as you whisper over and over and over,

You are, you are, you are, you are, you are, you are, you are, you are, you are, you are beautiful.

Every part of me wants to fight that. Wants to find some excuse (you don’t know the whole me; maybe you’re looking at me from a different angle; it’s the lighting; I have braids in today; etc) that I have become so accustomed to saying when I receive compliments from other people. However, I hear you again and you say,

I am God. I don’t see from angles or from 4-by-5 sized profile pictures. I can see passed your clothes, passed your extensions and even if there was no light I could still see how beautiful you are. I knitted you in your mother’s womb and I’ve watched and helped you grow. My daughter, you are beautiful. My dear you are worthy of the title.

I don’t think I have ever really been more scared of a word like this one before. When I hear it being directed towards me I try to take it in as much as possible in fear that whoever said it is wearing rose-colored glasses that will soon be removed. I end up trying to enjoy it for a few moments then deny it as though it’s a gift and the giver might change his or her mind. However, here comes God again to say, this “gift” of beauty is yours to keep.

Don’t ever feel the need to give it back because there has never been and there will never be a situation where you have to do so.

Not when
you’re standing next to a white girl.
you’re standing next to a black one.
you stand next to a curvy girl.
you stand next to a thinner girl.
you’re in the midst of a crowd of girls.
you stand next to the man you have feelings for.
there’s ‘nothing’ in your closet for you to wear.
someone call you names.
you compare yourself to celebrities.
you compare yourself to your mother, sister, cousin, aunt, or grandmother.
you wear that sweater that keeps you warm even though you think it makes you look frumpy.
you flip through the pages of those magazines.
you forget or don’t have time to put make-up on in the morning.
you take out your braids or twists, straighten your hair or leave it curly.
you decide to do 20 sit-ups or none.
anyone else calls you beautiful and certainly not when I do.

Yes, I have shown you 1 Peter 3:3-4 but even if those words were never written I would still think you are beautiful. You need to realize it and then come to terms with it because that is what you are.

Although I have been struggling internally with this for some years, I share it now just in case you or someone you know is going through something similar. God wants us to know this and He wants us to believe it. He has made everyone of us in a beautiful way and additionally, He has made us all beautiful. Please, don’t ever forget that.

Hip-hip Hooray!

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"In the cookie dough of life sisters are the chocolate chips." Today, August 30th, is my sister’s birthday and oh how glad I am that God blessed me with that oh so special chocolate chip to call my own. I can’t begin to even describe how much I love her and how much she means to me. As I sit here at my keyboard and try to conjure up the right words to say all our memories, jokes, her bits of godly advice, and ways she’s shown her love time and time again come to mind. I won’t begin to reminisce over them all -don’t want to bore you all- but sissy you know what moments I mean. Our itchy walks, dear Dora, kissing dating goodbye, shady meadow, nysync dance moves, love comes softly part 10, mt. Olivet, etc, etc.

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Cheesy as it sounds, even though it’s your birthday it’s you who has given me the best gift -actually I should say gifts- of all. A best friend, mentor, protector, example-setter, and overall, a sister. Simioskotoskos! As the saying goes, it’s not the years in the life but the life in the years. This may be your last year in the 20s and the last time for a while that we are in the same decade but there is still A LOT more to come.

I’m so blessed by you and your presence in my life. I love you soooo very much.

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Happy Birthday.

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On Thursday my friend Nate had his birthday so a bunch of other friends and I decided to throw him a surprise birthday dinner last night. Needless to say, it went really well. We ate at La Mesa, a Filipino restaurant. The food was good and the company was great.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY NATE! I know I speak for all of us when I say we are so blessed to have you as a friend. As God adds another year to your life we cannot wait to see what else He has in store for you and your incredibly inspiring journey.

[gallery]

On Thursday my friend Nate had his birthday so a bunch of other friends and I decided to throw him a surprise birthday dinner last night. Needless to say, it went really well. We ate at La Mesa, a Filipino restaurant. The food was good and the company was great.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY NATE! I know I speak for all of us when I say we are so blessed to have you as a friend. As God adds another year to your life we cannot wait to see what else He has in store for you and your incredibly inspiring journey.

[gallery]

On Thursday my friend Nate had his birthday so a bunch of other friends and I decided to throw him a surprise birthday dinner last night. Needless to say, it went really well. We ate at La Mesa, a Filipino restaurant. The food was good and the company was great.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY NATE! I know I speak for all of us when I say we are so blessed to have you as a friend. As God adds another year to your life we cannot wait to see what else He has in store for you and your incredibly inspiring journey.

[gallery]

On Thursday my friend Nate had his birthday so a bunch of other friends and I decided to throw him a surprise birthday dinner last night. Needless to say, it went really well. We ate at La Mesa, a Filipino restaurant. The food was good and the company was great.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY NATE! I know I speak for all of us when I say we are so blessed to have you as a friend. As God adds another year to your life we cannot wait to see what else He has in store for you and your incredibly inspiring journey.

Handmade Love

I’ve recently fallen more in love with quality handcrafted things- leather goods, jewelry, hair accessories, typography, you name it, I love it. With that said, I decided to try my hand at making greeting cards. The other day I came up with a few rough ideas of some unconventional but comical ones.

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Please note, I said rough. I still have a bit more to go but at least you get the concept. Growing up as the 4th of five children, cards like these  would have been perfect.

Besides those ones I also want to make birthday cards. My friend’s birthday was a few days ago so who better to practice on than her!

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Next thing on the “To Perfect List” is handwritten type.