Our Life Stories As Work Of Art

Art is anything that we find beautiful. It is anything that captured our hearts and moved our soul.

“The true value of an Art piece is not measured by how much it cost but how much it means to you and me.”

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Our very life stories that unfolds every second is a living, breathing, constantly changing work of art. Sometimes they make us laugh. Other times them make us cry. Most of the time they inspire us to live the good life the best we know how.

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Life stories that taught us how to love, hope, dream and not give up on our reasons for happiness.

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Life stories that gave us the strength to let go and find our way back.

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Life stories of the many memorable milestones and events that both shaped our own personal history and the bigger world around us.

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Life stories that remind us that we don’t have to walk our life’s craziest, most exciting never-ending adventures alone.

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About A Boy

Many years ago, I met this little boy. He was the young, better version of me and all that I hoped to be.

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He shared with me a world that I never knew still exist. A world where it’s okay to be myself, to act silly, be funny and just chill.

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A world that allows me to be care free and jump beyond the walls of grown-up expectations.

A world where it’s okay to be a little boy at heart, play and just have an awesome fun.

A world where everyday feels like Summer and the beach, just a creative imagination away with my two best buddies.

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Last Saturday, we celebrated my son’s First Communion with all of his favorites. Pokemon cards, sushi, beach mini golf, burger at Jimmy’s and late night yogurt dessert at Orange Leaf. On the way home I asked him, “Did you have a great time?” Happily he replied, “Yes, dad. I had a great time.” Hearing that truly made my day.

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Sorry for the long hibernation. Life got busy and work just more demanding than usual. Hope you enjoyed my version of this week’s photo challenge called “Work of Art.”

Thank you for the constant company and for sharing each other’s many fascinating life stories.

What are the many life stories that inspired you today?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Inspiration, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 79 Comments

On Top Of Bluebonnet Field Of Dreams

Close to the heart of so many Texans is early Spring’s exciting surprise, the Bluebonnet’s Field of Dreams.

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I hope to believe each bluebonnet represents one Texan dream. The more people dreaming and believing in their dreams, the more bluebonnet blooms there is. At its peak, nature’s magic creates a spectacular Field of Dreams. Where the best bluebonnet sightings will happen nobody can absolutely predict. This makes finding the most amazing bluebonnet trails an unforgettable thrilling experience for all ages.

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This year, we found ours in Austin, just after Austin Community College, along 290W . Most fields are privately owned and only a rare few will cut down its barbed wire fences, bring it down and open its gate for the viewing Texan public. Finding one is truly a precious gem . We found our little treasure on Easter Sunday on the way home to Houston. Talk about Easter’s little miracles!

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Our Field of Dreams covered several hills as far as the eyes can see. It was just incredible. Rows upon rows of beautiful shades of blue and whites.

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We followed a trail that went uphill. We started walking at a leisurely slow pace but as our excitement reached a crescendo, we found ourselves running as swift as the wind. Gasping, sweating, out of breath heart-pounding swift running. Whew!

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We did a lot circling and jumping. For a second it felt like we were flying. Hiyah!

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We found a hay stack at the crest of the hill. My son climbed it, raised his arms and gave a big happy smile. I tried to climbed too but I was too heavy. Must be the buffet food I ate for lunch. Ouch!

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From the top, the view was just amazing. We all felt like we were on top of the world.

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Everyone has their version of the Field of Dreams. Ours are made of…

Laughter, tons of smiles, hugs and kisses.

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Child-like adventures, fun stories and lots of playtime.

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In the next few days, the bluebonnet flowers will start to fade and soon will die. In its place, brown seed pods will emerge that will soon fall to the ground in late Autumn and early Winter preparing for next year’s batch of Field of Dreams.

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Long after Spring season has passed and the last of the bluebonnets has withered, our inner Field of Dreams can stay alive, grow and keep flourishing. Breathing, living, nurturing, “full of life” alive.

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At times, we will face drought. Others times neck-deep flood from heavy rains but for as long as we hold on tightly to what is real, meaningful and important, our inner Field of Dreams will always be in full bloom, resting at the highest point of our hearts giving us that amazing feeling of being at the top of world anytime, any day.

I hope you enjoyed walking, running, jumping, even flying the many bluebonnet trails of the Hill Country. It is not only big in the heart of Texans but to all who wished to be a part of its magical trails. The inner Field of Dreams is after all present and very much alive in all of us.

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What is your Field of Dreams. How do you wish for us to walk and celebrate it today?

Related Articles:

My Favorite Texas Hill Country Bluebonnet Drives

Spicewood Bluebonnet Alert

Bluebonnet Trails Wildflower Viewing

Hot On The Bluebonnet Trail

Bluebonnet Season In Texas Brings Out The Crowds

 

 

 

Posted in family | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 73 Comments

Easter Monument In Paris

At the highest peak in Paris stands a majestic religious monument called Sacré-Cœur Basilica. Day and night, pilgrims from all over offer their prayers of intercession for the Church, the world, for themselves and their families.

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As we stood from the summit of Butte Montmartre also known as Mount of Martyrs, a breathtaking view of the city unfolds.

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Monuments stand to tell us a story of the lessons and significance of the past as well as its implications in the present. Some of these monuments such as the Basilique du Sacré Cœur help us connect to our faith and find answers when we are facing hardships. They become a source of inspiration, a symbol of hope and courage. They give us a place to seek refuge when things becomes too unbearable as well as a place to celebrate when blessings abound .

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Summer of 2013 was a season of extremes for me and my family. In one moment we were on top of the summit. Everything was all fun, happy and exciting. A few weeks later, I was down flat to the ground. No cushions. No warning. It was a nightmare where I was wide awake.

Perhaps finding the Basilica that Summer was more than a coincidence. Perhaps it was fate preparing me for what’s to come.

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The Basilica is dedicated to the Sacred Heart Of Jesus. That day we lit several candles and offered prayers. Looking back now, our journey to the Basilica as well as our visit to the shrine of Saint Marie Eugenie Milleret, founder of the Religious of the Assumption helped me and my wife take a huge leap of faith together.

Everyone goes through a rough time, strong enough to tear that person apart from within or from one another. Having enough monuments of support system and a faith to cling on to help us surpass the worst. When all things said and done, we were thankful for holding on, for believing in ourselves and one another, for not giving up on love.

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Everyday, miracles happen. Some too small that we hardly notice them.

Walking outside the Basilica, I noticed a woman patiently collecting water dripping from the fountain. She believed the fountain serves as a monument that brings forth blessed water. With pure faith, the blessed water can bring about the miracle she is praying for. This woman is just one of the millions who believes in the power and miracles of prayers.

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We took one last glance of the beautiful skyline and cityscape of Paris trying to create the best mental photograph of the place, its monuments and everything that we just witnessed.

Being there at that precise moment with my family and having the opportunity to travel Europe were miracles in themselves.

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Easter is a celebration of new life. A new life that will remind us that no matter how difficult our circumstances and situations may be, there is always hope. Hope that light will come. Hope that tomorrow things will get better. Hope that our new beginnings will be all that we’d been praying for. Hope that all that needs saving can be saved.

Happy Easter to All.

 

 

 

Posted in Inspiration, Travels, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 95 Comments

Streets Of San Francisco

Let’s take a break for a moment and discover a city with streets like no other. If the day turns perfectly right, we might even catch ourselves singing, “We left our hearts in the streets of San Francisco.”

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So, come on board. The sightseeing tour is on me. It’s my treat to my blogger family as I turn another year older and hopefully wiser. Yep, Birthday dude will be your personal tour guide. FYI, direction and navigational skills are my weakest points but I promise it’ll be worth getting lost and all.

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While waiting for the rest of our buddies, there’s several things we could do. This is San Francisco and “things to do” almost always never runs out. We can go window shopping at Macy’s or check out the Art galleries nearby.

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Craving for something sweet? How about taking a few bites of a sinfully delicious dessert at Cheese Cake Factory. Best seat in the house is by the balcony overlooking the busy Union Square.

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Just want to relax? We can just chill, talk and catch up with good old friends, enjoy California sunshine and its great outdoors. Check out these Cherry Blossoms.

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First destination, the Palace of Fine Arts Rotunda.

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While admiring the architectural masterpiece, kids and kid at heart can play with the swans and ducks at the edge of the lagoon. Just be careful. It’s so easy to tip over and fall. It’s prohibited to swim with the ducks!

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Next street leads to many adventures and possibilities, the Coastal Trail. One day here is not enough.

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My son yelled, “Look, shark!” as he pointed to the dorsal fin protruding above the water. It then jumped a few times followed by several more like it. I told him excitedly, “They’re dolphins. A pod of dolphins.”

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I think it’s time for some edgy fun. How about going down the most crookedest street?

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Lombard Street is narrow with sharp turns. Everyone ready for a joyride of a lifetime? Raise both arms and shout, “Yipee!” as we go zigzag downhill. Too short? No worries, we’ll go around and do it all over again. For those who wish to walk, just as fun.

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If you love roller coasters, you’ll love dangling outside this moving historic landmark, the San Francisco Cable Car. Hop in and get a good strong grip of the rails as we dip steeply downhill.

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Incoming cable car. It’s tempting to high-five with the passengers of the opposite cable car but believe me, when two cable cars pass each other in full speed and you feel everything shake beneath your feet, it’s a “limb saver” to follow the driver’s warning, “Everyone, tuck it all in! I repeat, tuck it all in!”

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Next stop, Fisherman’s Wharf.

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A walk along Hyde Street Pier.

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There is a street that leads to a small beach at Aquatic Park  reminding us that Summer will always be Summer regardless of changes in time, events and seasons. If you’re not into crowded places, this is a serene spot to enjoy nature.

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Giant antique propellers, anchor and old ships beckoning to be rediscovered. Fragments of a rich, priceless history. A constantly evolving history that we all are now a part of.

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Time to grab those cameras and pose behind this iconic sign. Just be aware, there are bird’s poop everywhere. More likely, we’ll step on a few or more. Part of the fun!

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Seafood, tons of seafood everywhere. Which place to dine? It’s too confusing. So many choices and it’s hard to think clearly when we are hungry. Hmm…we need some “yelp!”

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Broiled Dungeness Crabs for all please!

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While waiting for the crabs,  we’ll have the must-try creamy Clam Chowder. So good, we’ll scrape the bottom of the bowl and eat it too. Eat the bowl? Yes, we can it because it’s made of sourdough bread.

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I always wanted to ride in one of these. Who’s with me?

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Ready for some street entertainment? Check out this man dancing on top of a ladder. Impressive how he can laugh so hard and not fall into the ground. Talented indeed!

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How about being spooked by Mr. Green Statue. Just when we thought he’s not moving, his hand is on top of our heads. Hilarious and creepy!

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If the Eiffel Tower in Paris inspires people to fall in love, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge inspires people to believe and follow their dreams.

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It seems surreal but we are standing and walking on the Golden Gate Bridge. Unbelievably amazing!

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The view, just breathtaking. If we’re scared of heights, looking down will take away our breath as well. Butterflies in my tummy? You betcha!

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Before we call it a day, let me take you uphill at one of the main scenic spots in the Marin County. There we can watch the Sun shining passionately by the bay.

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I hope for us to remember San Francisco, its stories and many sunsets like this…

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…and to always celebrate the best days of our lives feeling like this, soaring like this.

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Thanks for joining me on the many streets of San Francisco. With my family and friends at one of the world’s most exciting, vibrant cities, I couldn’t have wished for a happier place to celebrate my Birthday.

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Posted in photography, Travels | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 86 Comments