When I Turn 44

40’s is a time to create the happiest moments and adventures in life. It’s a time to be the best person we could possibly be.

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One day I simply woke up and realize how time passed me by and I barely scratched the full and exciting life I was meant to live and experience. I’d been zombified with work, responsibilities, worries, problems, fears, insecurities and the never-ending demands and expectations of this world.

One day I  just woke up and realize I no longer belong to the world but I belong to the one who created this world and his words alone will satisfy the restless wanderings of the Island Traveler.

Time is a great teacher. Time is a great healer. I’m just glad it wasn’t too late to turn around, change and pursue what truly matters.

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Best Birthday Ever!

I came home from work with all the lights still off. The hallway and living room was unusually dark. I was expecting my son awake and getting ready for school but perhaps he and his mom overslept. Just when I was heading for the bedroom to wake them up, they both jumped behind the kitchen counter yelling, “Surprise!” I was thrilled surprised  and my heart-felt like it just bounced inside my chest.

My wife said, “I got you the happy smile balloons cause I just want you to be happy all the time.” She knew me too well. Truly grateful for having a family who brings me happiness everyday. To me, that’s the best birthday present of all.

That morning my son played the piano while singing shyly, “Happy Birthday Daddy, Happy Birthday Daddy. Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday…Happy Birthday Daddy.” His mom whispered, “He stayed late last night practicing and rehearsing that for you.” My heart swelled up. I am the luckiest man on Earth.

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The day after my Birthday I told my wife, “Hey, let’s go to this place where I was told they have Bluebonnets. We can do it after our son’s tutorial in Math.” My wife smiled saying, “Yes, we could.”

We arrived at the place close to sunset, unfortunately no Bluebonnets in sight but instead we found something better…

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We found each other having a great time just laughing, sharing stories, running, playing, taking pictures, relaxing by the river, eating custard ice cream, care free with all the time to ourselves, huddled together, watching the beautiful sunset slowly descending till there was no more. It was the perfect birthday celebration. It was the perfect gift of a moment.

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“We just need several perfect moments to realize things will be okay…more than okay!” 

We go through life’s many stressful challenges, tragedies, trials, hardships, sufferings and persecutions. Some seem worse than others. Ours may feel worse than others. In all these, what made us make it through? Faith? Hope? Love from family and truest of friends? All of the above and more.

When trouble strikes, we can claim with confidence, “Our Redeemer lives!” He does, in each one of us…and that is a priceless gift we all are blessed to have.

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What More Can I Ask?

I have a beautiful wife that loves me and my son dearly. She patiently dreams with me even if so many times those dreams don’t turn exactly the way we hoped them to be. She’s been with me at my worst and celebrated with me at my best. She has my heart surrounded with all things that brings me inner happiness, peace and love that knows no conditions. She shares my many passions. We share each other’s passions.

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I am blessed with a son with so much joy and pureness in his heart. A son who reminds me always that age is but a number and that how I feel and live my life determines how old I wanna be.

My son keeps me young at heart. He reminds me to never be afraid to jump into life’s many adventures. He opens my heart to goodness, forgiveness and trust no matter how many scars I endured through the years. I am a better person because of him.With him around, I know I will always feel “Forever Young.”

With him around, I know I will always feel

For a Lego fan, Legoland is the happiest place on Earth. Every day, I would see my son play with his Star Wars Legos, creating his own customized Star Wars Clone Troopers, ships and space stations. The day we went to Legoland California, we saw Star Wars Lego City, it’s one of the coolest section of the park. It was incredible! That day, I noticed that my son was into the thrill rides too. He would burst laughing after each scary ride while me and his mom looked stunned with a look on our face saying, “What just happened?” He is growing up fast…just feel very blessed that I get to see and experience that growth with him.

Spring Break 2015, God was truly generous. He found a way for us to go back to California, this time in San Diego. It was our first and it was amazing. We stayed at our relative's place and we felt so at home the moment they open their door to welcome us. Every moment was a beautiful blessing to cherish. So many happy memories with friends and family. So many dreams coming true and unfolding by the day. So many future possibilities happening.  While enjoying the sun, sand and surf  at a beach in Carlsbad, I asked my son,

Spring Break 2015, God was truly generous. He found a way for us to go back to California, this time in San Diego. It was our first and it was amazing. We stayed at our relative’s place and we felt so at home the moment they open their door to welcome us. Every moment was a beautiful blessing to cherish. So many happy memories with friends and family. So many dreams coming true and unfolding by the day. So many future possibilities happening.
While enjoying the sun, sand and surf at a beach in Carlsbad, I asked my son, “What do you wish for?” He stopped digging the sand for a second and said, “I want to move to California.” I then asked my wife, “What do you wish for?” Smiling she whispered, “Same as yours.”

Santa Monica Beach...it only took a few hours to build a lifetime of great memories.

Santa Monica Beach…it only took a few hours to build a lifetime of great memories.

When I turn 44 I will…

Be more, live more, love more, laugh more, pray more, give more, forgive more, seek peace and inner joy more, catch as many stars, sunsets and dreams more, celebrate moments and build lasting memories more. 

Gliding above the San Diego zoo inside the Skyfari cable ride, we all were super excited. We all wished that the exhilarating moment didn't have to end. I took many pictures hoping to capture and relive the happiness and solitude over and over again. As I'm writing this, I am taken back on the day that we rode the zoo's double deck bus, the male Polar bear dancing by the lagoon trying to impress his girlfriend, the adorable Giant Pandas chewing the bamboo leaves, the flamingos irresistibly funny as they chat among themselves, the lion taking his afternoon nap, he must be so tired that he slept next to his poop...

Gliding above the San Diego zoo inside the Skyfari cable ride, we all were super excited. We all wished that the exhilarating moment didn’t have to end. I took many pictures hoping to capture and relive the happiness and solitude over and over again.

As I write this, I caught myself smiling as memory took me back to the day that we rode the zoo’s double deck bus, the male Polar bear dancing by the lagoon trying to impress his girlfriend, the adorable Giant Pandas chewing the bamboo leaves, the funny flamingos loudly chatting at their cocktail party, my son asking me to take his video with the Mountain Lion so he can say, “It’s real,” to his classmates. It was one perfect happy day.

A friend sent me a message on my Birthday. She wrote, “I’m sure this is your best birthday ever because you found inner peace and happiness.”

Late last year, our family decided to celebrate each other & everyone that truly matters to us. We felt inner peace as we left behind all the negativity and ugliness of the past years. We found a renewed faith in Christ that brought us true joy and hope. 

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I’m truly thankful for the generous thoughts, prayers and well wishes. Today, I’m sharing with you one delicious slice of Birthday cake with one Birthday candle full of happy wishes!

From my family to yours, bringing you lasting symbols of peace, love and a happy home. God bless. 

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Rodeo Houston, Big In The Heart Of Texans

How big is Rodeo Houston in the hearts of Texans? More than 2 million yearly attendees big!

Today, we’re taking out those old dusty cowboy boots and have an all-day fun time at Rodeo Houston 2015. Yes, I will take you all with me. All who wants to go shout, “Hiyah!”

Let’s begin with a 58 feet ascent above the ground. Slowly we will glide along the 1,700-foot gondola Sky Ride across the park. Scared of heights? Me too, but believe me, it has the best thrilling aerial view. It’s so worth it. Just don’t look down.  I said don’t look down…

IMG_1105It was close to sunset when we rode the Sky Ride. I tried not to look down but I can’t help myself.  My son kept saying nervously, “Dad, dad, stop doing that,”  referring to my arm movements as I took our group selfie pictures. He didn’t notice that my hands were shaking as I was just as nervous as he was.  Taking pictures helped me not dwell on my fear of heights. My wife was wise to close her eyes, between our picture-taking. Overall, we all had an amazing time.

IMG_1050Okay my friend, you can now open your eyes and breathe. We just landed on the ground in one piece. Yeah!

Rodeo Houston is not complete without the carnival.  I’ll buy us some tickets then we’ll play the water blaster race. Everyone ready? Congratulations! You just won a Minion stuffed toy.

IMG_1106Hey look, the band is playing, Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson featuring one of today’s coolest artist, Bruno Mars. While dancing and grooving, let me buy us some turkey legs, corn dogs and funnel cake.

My, we all are hungry. The turkey leg didn’t stand a chance.

IMG_1087Okay, it’s time for some rodeo adrenaline action. Did I forget to mention we’re going back riding the Sky Ride again? Yipee!

Brrr…so cold!

IMG_1107Bareback Riding, Bull Riding, Chuck Wagon Races and Calf Scramble, these are just some of the exciting rodeo events that will sure have us cheering for more.

IMG_1110For my last treat of the night, everybody gets a free seat at John Legend’s concert. Everyone, as the stadium turns off all its lights and the concert’s finale song, All Of Me begins, turn on your smart camera phone’s flashlight, raise it high up in the air, sway with the beat as we all sing,

‘Cause all of me
Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections
Give your all to me
I’ll give my all to you
You’re my end and my beginning
Even when I lose I’m winning
Cause I give you all of me
And you give me all of you, oh…

Blogger friends, Spring is here and though I’d been out of the loop recently, like way, way out of the loop, you all are always in my travels, thoughts and prayers. I wish you all new happy beginnings, of renewed hope, comfort and healing. As Easter comes to a close, I wish you all too gifts of faith and overflowing blessings. God bless.

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Live, Laugh, Love, Mardi Gras With Me

Life is too short not to go out there and celebrate life.

So, today I invite you to…

Travel and have fun with me.

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Let’s drop everything for a moment and walk along Old Galveston’s, The Strand. It’s that time of the year again to dance on the street and catch some beads. Yep, it’s Mardi Gras Blog Party 2015!

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If in music it’s all about the bass, in Mardi Gras, it’s all about the beads. Thousands of bright colorful beads raining down the balcony. Look, that lady is about to throw a bead necklace with a stuffed toy.

 

 
Happily, my son said, “Look dad, I caught this.” He then handed me his prized catch, a green stuffed toy frog. On his heart was written, “I Love You.” He added, ” Can you hold it for me? I’m going back to catch more.” I replied, “Yes, I will hold it for you. Go have fun.”

IMG_9892All these catching is making me hungry. Who wants to eat with me? Turkey legs, beef wraps, corn dogs, funnel cake…you name it, I’ll get it.

Craving for desserts? How about apples dipped in caramel? A few bites and it will make anyone spin in sweet delight.

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Time to dance, shake and get on with the groove as we join the Umbrella Mardi Gras Parade.

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Champagne Umbrellas big enough to supply days of partying.

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Lantern Umbrellas, Holiday Lights Umbrellas, Lucky Money Umbrellas, all kinds of uniquely designed umbrellas parading the streets.

Beautiful, smiling ladies holding their Mardi Gras Mask Umbrellas.

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Group picture everyone. Let’s huddle together and say, “Happy Mardi Gras!”

IMG_0001Hope everyone had a great time. Now, get some rest, tomorrow we’ll watch the Sunrise by Galveston’s Seawall.

IMG_0023Wake-up, it’s almost close to Sunrise. Walk with me and we’ll watch it together. Still sleepy? Here, I made some energy drink for you. It has 110 mg of natural green tea caffeine and zero calories. Still barely opening your eyes? How about hitting the gym and do 20 minutes of cardio. Fully awake now? I bet you are.

IMG_0057Feel that ocean breeze? Isn’t it refreshingly cool and calming? Let your worries and heartaches drift away with the waves, it’s okay. I do it all the time. Here, I’ll sit next to you. Let it drift, let it go, let it heal you.

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If it’s okay with you, pray with me for happiness, for meaning, for guidance, for hope, for dreams, for strength and overcoming hardships, for forgiveness, for faith, for family and friends, for love, for our world needing much peace and healing.

“May you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”
                                                                            Ephesians 3:18-19

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It’s time for breakfast. Indulge with me for some hot waffles with butter and maple syrup, eggs, cream cheese Danish bread with strawberry jam, oatmeal with fruits and a freshly brewed coffee.

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Before we head home, let’s pass by the beach and…

Live life, create and enjoy its best moments. 

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Smile, laugh and be truly happy. 

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Love with all our heart and we love unconditionally. 

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“We are rich not because of what we have but who we have in our lives.”

Thank you for your company. You are amazing. Till our next adventure.

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