My Mother’s Day Video

My mother’s day compilation… because I love this girl and I’ve been pretty blessed to have so many amazing experiences with her.  She is my world, and I’m so happy to be her “Nanay”. Happy mother’s day to all those mamas out there.

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Thoughts for My Niece That Left Us Too Soon

The last two weeks have been spent trying to come up with the right words to explain such a loss.  I have been back and forth in my grief and unable to find solace in the fact that she is no longer with us.  Along with many other friends and family, we took an uncomfortable backseat to the pain that my sister and brother-in-law have endured and will continue to endure. At times like these, one can refer back to the unfairness of it all, that such loving and open-hearted people can have something so unfortunate happen to them.  I can get eaten up in the anger of knowing that they are the last people you would ever want to be hurt by such a loss.  It breaks my heart to see the pain of my closest sister, my most trusted of family, the matron of honor at my wedding, […]

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Throwing Caution to the Wind When Traveling to Cuba

I like to think I take trip planning very seriously.  I have my pre-trip blog reading, my Pinterest boards, my Google Maps, and more.  I know from traveling with my girl, Rachelle, to Thailand and going with my family to Scandinavia, that my planning can get a little OCD at times.  When I was planning my trip to Cuba, it all seemed to always be falling apart. The initial plan was to go with my mom and daughter in either February or May.  That fell through, but my cousin Kathy had some free vacation days at the end of January, so we decided to go.  Timing wasn’t the best as I was just coming back from a pretty difficult trip to Chicago, I had friends moving away that I’d like to spend time with, and I had a daughter in school that I would have to have coverage for the […]

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A Look Back at the Women’s March in Oakland

After the election results in November, I remember reading the invite to this Woman’s March and thinking to myself that this NEEDED to happen, and asking myself why isn’t this happening sooner.  I think my immediate need for action was basically me not understanding the scale of what this event was going to be.  As the date grew closer and the anticipation of the inauguration was building as well.  I am past the point of “how did this happen?” or even mourning the times as it were.  I am past feeling the sadness over the whole situation and I have just letting the anger consume me.  I am okay with that, the anger needs to stay and keep me motivated. What made me so proud that day of the march was to see that I wan’t alone, that there was a fury that we all must feel and be activated […]

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The #ChicagoPeacePin Project

Together with my husband (Bryan “Peabe” Odiamar) and our friend (Jon Stuyvesant), we had shared some anger recently when we read an article in the Tribune about how 25 people were shot in a 14 hour period in Chicago.  We were all born and raised there, in Chicago, and still violent even many years back.  We were outraged.  As the number kept growing this year, we considered the social climate of the city as we continued in our own daily lives outside the city.  We wanted to do something, be active somehow, but also felt so removed from the issues being out of state.   Jon Stuyvesant currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.  He has worked in television for a variety of major networks including: NBC, ABC, OWN, TLC, A&E & MTV.   As a documentary filmmaker Jon has worked on many award winning films and most recently completed Raising Bertie, a […]

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Living on When a Little Bit of the Magic is Gone

It has been difficult days for me, and I wanted to get back to my blog before too much time passes.  I have had some things written and saved, unable to publish because of news that keeps effecting me so deeply that I feel I’ve been more hidden.  Sometimes writing is difficult because of my immediate reaction to close off, so I go back to the safety of draft mode. My friend is missing.  Friday night he was at the Ghost Ship party in Oakland, playing music and giving hugs, two things this man is so great at doing.  There was a fire, him and other partygoers were trapped in the smoke and flames.  The warehouse party space was an artist live-work community, a creative hub with creative people.  A lot was lost that one tragic night. “I have wanted to kill myself a hundred times, but somehow I am […]

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Taking the Roads Less Traveled in Northern Norway

Prior to taking our Scandinavian vacation, I knew that I wanted to spend some time really getting to know the culture of the places. Of course all the major cities have lots to offer, but escaping into the less traveled areas is a for sure way to get one-on-one and experience a real dose of what the customs and people are really like in a country. On top of that, one of the major things on my list of things that I wanted to do in Scandinavia was go see the Northern Lights. I have seen it once before in Alaska, but I wanted to show my husband, Peabe, and my daughter, Evie, how amazing it looked in person. I once read an article about how climate change may effect the lights and wanted to be sure that they also had that experience in their lifetime. Lastly, I love getting […]

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24 Hours in Oslo with Parents and a Little One

My retired parents spend about half the year in my childhood neighborhood in Illinois, and the other half of the year all the way out in the Philippines.  Neither place is anywhere by my daughter in Oakland.  My husband and I both had grandparents raising us in our childhood, and we sometimes worry that my daughter doesn’t have enough of that same quality time. We recently took a trip with them to Norway, and spent some time in Oslo together.  The idea of trying to experience a new city is a little daunting because we would be in a larger group, and at different stages of life’s interests and general fitness.  I can see the benefit and prefer to travel in small groups when necessary, but I knew some adjustments would need to be made to enjoy our time together and see all that we wanted to see. As we […]

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An Open Letter to my Family and Friends

Dearest family and friends; I have been processing my thoughts around this election and current state of the country…  I am not going to tell you who and what you should vote for, as I know from the results there are more than half of the country (including some of my own family and friends) remained complacent or had been part of a silent majority.  I am not here to educate you, I am not here to represent some marginalized group, and I am not here to judge you on your decision. I only ask that you, as my circle, hear me out.  In return, I promise now that if you need someone to hear you out, you should know I am hear for ya. This election has not tested my friendships, as I know we all have a right to our opinion.  This president doesn’t scare me, but the […]

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Happy Birthday to my Favorite Brother

My favorite brother because he’s my ONLY brother, “Bernie”, celebrates his birthday today and I just wanted to put it out there that I’m glad he’s another year older.  He’s come out and visited us in California a couple times this year, but we all know it’s pretty difficult to have relationships with people from afar.  He’s really such a softie when it comes to Evie.  She loves her “Tito Boy” and I hope they can always have their silly connections.  Time will tell, I guess.

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