Happy 15th birthday in heaven, our little Zack!

You were in my mind today, little Zack. You celebrated your birthday in heaven. You weren’t with Mommy and Daddy anymore, but we remember your birthday. We miss you everyday.

I miss listening to your snores when you fall asleep. I miss the weight of your body on my legs while you sleep. I miss cleaning up your face in the morning, feeding you, brushing your hair. I miss your vanilla scent. I miss seeing you adorable face. I miss talking to you. I miss hearing your sighs, scoffs and sneezes. Really, my little baby, Mommy misses you more than ever. Daddy does too. You’re always a part of our conversations.

In your memory, yesterday we accepted to foster two – not just one – shih tzus who have been living in dire straits. The two furbabies had issues, one in particular had been severely abused and neglected. The other one, a sweet little girl, was basically used to breed. She seems to have some neurological issues. When I read her previous owner’s description of her, the owner made it seem like she was a problem pet. But since I met her yesterday, she’s been nothing but a snugglebug.

Today, I woke up feeling overwhelmed. We had no experience dealing with furbabies with behavioral issues. What did I get us into? I was the one who kept wanting to foster. Now that we have the chance to do so, I was getting overwhelmed. Then I saw them fall asleep and snore. Based on what I knew of their past lives, sleep was a luxury for those two. It was comforting to see them that relaxed.

They were a good reminder to me that we didn’t do you wrong. We love you the best way we know how. We love you with every heartbeat of our hearts. I hope you know that we always had best intentions for you. You will always be our best little boy, the little angel of my heart. Our lives were blessed the moment you entered our lives. Happy birthday, my little one, my sunshine.



It’s been ten months

Today, I remembered when Zack would travel with us. He’s been to so many places. I remember when Zack hung out outside Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal back in 2006. He was two years old. Come to think of it, he wasn’t even a year old the first time we brought him on a road trip to Baltimore, MD. But he was a real trouper. He sat on his car seat, looked out the window or napped.

Ten months later, we miss our little baby, our best little boy ever.

The Pre-Wedding Memories

2001-07-13 / 11:27 a.m.
let’s get loud

Lady in red.

That’s what I am today. Red top, red skirt, red sandals. Had a haircut yesterday, nothing drastic but so far I’m getting compliments today!

I’ll be going to a luncheon for me organized by my former officemates. They told me to wear something pastel-colored, something flowery and/or something bridal-looking. What was I supposed to wear? I thought of borrowing from my older sister’she has this long cream-colored flowery dress. Of course when I tried it on last night, it reached the floor! I was wearing heeled sandals already! Geez.

So I defy their command. I’m wearing RED! Nothing pastel-y, flowery or bridal about my outfit today.

On to another matter, the Last-Song Syndrome is definitely interesting. Before I left the apartment this morning, I saw Jennifer Lopez on the Today show singing ‘Let’s Get Loud’. Of course now, that song is playing on and on in my mind! It’s rather great to have that in my head, I feel perky and upbeat today! Everyone’s getting infected by my happy mood!

Come on, sing with me!

‘Let’s get loud, let’s get LOUD!’

*dance happily*

2001-07-29 / 11:19 p.m.
the flight that never was

Woke up at 8 a.m. to get ready for our 2 p.m. flight to Orlando via US Airways. My mom, who arrived only the day before, was up and about. We attended the 11 a.m. Mass. By 12:30, we were off to JFK for our 2 p.m. flight. When we got there, we parked the car in the long-term parking area, brought out our luggage and headed for the shuttle terminal that would take us to the US Airways terminal. The shuttle driver asked us which airline we were taking and told us we should go to terminal B2. In less than five minutes, a different driver took over the shuttle, asked us again which airline we were going to fly in and promptly told us, “US Airways doesn’t fly out of JFK, it flies out of LaGuardia.”

Upon hearing that, I didn’t really believe him yet so Eugene immediately took out our itinerary and yes, it DID say LaGuardia! Panic set in and we started running towards the car. Thankfully, we weren’t there long enough for us to pay any parking fees. He drove as fast as he could and managed to reach LaGuardia around 1:30p.m. Since we had two luggages to check in, we stood in line and were eventually told that check-in was closed and we couldn’t board the plane anymore. The check-in person told us to be on standby for the 5:00 flight, which we obeyed. By then, I was just annoyed. We must’ve been more tired than we thought for us to actually not know which airport we were flying out of.

5:00 p.m. came and went. The flight was overbooked. They had to bump off some passengers with a promise of free roundtrip tickets, accommodations, etc. Being on the standby list hardly mattered since actual passengers got bumped off. Again we were told to be on standby for the 7:30 flight. We were advised by the US Airways person to just rebook for next day’s 7 a.m. flight. When we went to the ticketing section to rebook, the woman there told us we need to pay $50 each as penalty fee, PLUS an additional $450 per person (that’s supposedly how much each ticket costs for that morning flight). By then, I was in tears. I wanted to just get our luggage and go home. It was useless waiting for the 7:30 p.m. flight as it was already overbooked as it is.

When we got to the Baggage Claim area, the lady in the counter told us that our luggage got boarded on the 5 p.m. flight and was on its way to Orlando. That was the final straw. I started crying buckets of tears! I was hiding behind Eugene, tearful. Marva, the lady in the counter, took pity on us and called someone from the counter upstairs where the boarding passes where given out. She instructed us to look for Martha. Both ladies turned out to be angels in disguise. Martha was able to give us actual boarding passes for next day’s 7 a.m. flight. Actually, I was a little sneaky. I asked Martha if she was married and she said no. She looked like she was the marrying type so I told her, “You know, I wouldn’t wish for something like this to happen to you if you were getting married.” She gave me boarding passes pronto!

With passes in tow, we headed home for a much-deserved rest for our early flight tomorrow.

2001-07-30 / 11:22 p.m.
off to the Mouse’s world!

4:00 a.m. On the dot. I was up and about, headed straight to the shower.

5:00 a.m. Driven to the airport by my sister, accompanied by my mom.

5:25 a.m. Checked-in our luggage already.

5:45 a.m. Ate breakfast in the airport’s cafeteria.

6:00 a.m. Sitting in the terminal, watching the sun in the horizon.

We arrived in Orlando at exactly 10 a.m. We headed straight to the Hertz rental place to get our rental car. After getting our car, we decided to go to the All Star Movies to check in. I called my youngest sister Lynn, who arrived the day before and was staying with our uncle Leo, to tell our uncle to pick up our eldest sister Lourdes & her family, plus our other sister Lani & our mom from the airport. After we checked in at ASM, Lynn arrived with our uncle who was supposed to pick up people in the airport. Panic time! What were they doing in ASM when they were supposed to be in the airport? Turns out Lynn misunderstood, for which she was appropriately remorseful. Uncle Leo left for the airport, we brought up our luggage in our respective rooms and then left for the courthouse. We went to the Orange County Courthouse. There were so many people wanting to get married! Must be something in the air’

After getting our marriage license, we went back to ASM. I was supposed to go with Eugene to the airport to pick up his family but with their luggage and all, I decided not to go with him anymore. I stayed in the resort with Lynn. We bought our mugs, checked out the other AS resorts, checked out the pools and all. For dinner, we ate in ASM’s food court. I was finally relieved that things seemed to be ok … but not for long!

11:30 p.m. My phone rang. Lynn was out cold asleep in her bed so it was up to me to answer the phone. Someone from the bridal party wanted to know how they would get to the Pavilion for the following day’s rehearsal at 9 a.m. What to do? What to do? They told us before that they were all renting cars, now it turns out some of them didn’t. Panic set in again, with me thinking, “when will things start to go right?” Eugene was out with his family so I can’t bother him with this little dilemma. Instead I called ASM’s front desk and guess what? They solved the problem for me! They looked for a van that would pick up our bridal party. They only asked me to call the van company just to give the pick-up place and time. Problem solved! Pick-up time: 8:30 a.m. Pick-up place: Toy Story Building No. 10 parking lot. Called everyone concerned with this information. Now I’m going to bed…

2001-07-31 / 11:25 p.m.
before we practice for the wedding: the rehearsal morning

Another day in Florida, looks like it’ll rain but what the heck, rehearsal’s today!!! I wonder what people will say when they see the Pavilion…

Phone call from Eugene. He’ll bring his family to the Pavilion and he’ll just pick me up afterwards. He plans to leave at 8:15 a.m. so there will be more than enough time for him to pick me up. Ok, sounds like a neat plan. Sure, no problem, I’ll just wait in my room until he arrives.

Hmmm…I think I’m going out to see if the van that will take them to the Pavilion’s outside already. Oh, look! It’s there! But wait, where’s everyone? It’s already 8:30. Something weird is going on…let me see. Oh no, no one from the bridal party’s in the parking lot, as in NO ONE! Where on earth could they be?

Good thing Van Driver had the common sense to suggest that they might be in the parking lot where the Disney transportation goes. I went for a free ride just to check and yes, Van Driver was right!!! They were all there! I was slightly furious because I distinctly remember telling them exactly where they will be picked up! Of course, one of them even told me, “well, you weren’t CLEAR! We don’t even know where the Toy Story Building parking lot is.” And I thought it was easy enough since they were all staying in the Toy Story Building.

Next time, ladies & gentlemen, make sure you have BILLBOARDS in case you have this type of person just to give them the transportation details! I was tearful after hearing that I wasn’t clear, since I thought I found a solution to the transportation problem to the Pavilion on such short notice, was it still my fault that they completely ignored what I told them, that they’ll be picked up in the Toy Story parking lot? My youngest sister, the one who bungled up the earlier airport pick-up information, was downright annoyed because she kept telling them, “We have to be in the Toy Story parking lot!” and nobody listened.

I was in tears after that. I ran straight to my room and called up Laura. I tearfully recounted to her what happened. She told me that Eugene was off to pick me up already. Finally, a knock on the door. It was Eugene. He hugged me when he saw me in tears and then asked me what was wrong. So I told him what happened since the night before and he hugged me tight. “I can’t take this anymore!” I wailed, “What else do they want from me? Our first-born?” I was totally in tears. I didn’t imagine our rehearsal morning to be this way. Maybe I was just being too emotional. That day, I was just TIRED.

2001-07-31 / 11:28 p.m.
finding out what is to be done: the rehearsal

Rehearsal started at 9:20 a.m. Laura hugged me immediately when she saw me, telling me over and over that everything will be ok. Even Rev. Jack welcomed me with a hug. Everybody who was a part of the wedding was there and they all were laughing and talking to one another. Immediately, I felt myself relaxing, “it will be ok.”

Rev. Jack instructed us where to stand, where to go, etc. He read through the ceremony we sent him, gave his suggestions where people should stand. Rehearsal was going smoothly when all of a sudden, our flower girl burst into tears. “I’m tired!”

Her mom and Laura immediately went to her. Laura told her she could sit in the steps in case she felt tired during the actual ceremony or just sit with her grandma. After that, my niece looked suitably mortified for causing such a ruckus.

2001-07-31 / 11:30 p.m.
hey mickey, mickey, mickey, mickey! – brunch at Chef Mickey’s

Finally, rehearsal is over and done with. Everyone knows where to stand, what to do during the ceremony, who reads what. What we kept a secret, even from the bridal party was the blessing of the hands, the rose presentation and the dove release. Eugene, me, Laura and Rev. Jack were the only ones privy to this information.

The character brunch at Chef Mickey’s was truly fun! Not only were the kids in the bridal party having their pictures taken with the mascots, even the adults were busy posing and snapping away! I hardly had the time to enjoy the food, as we were busy twirling our napkins and having fun. They even gave us a celebratory cupcake, since they noticed we were wearing the Mickey & Minnie bridal ears. There were some kids in the restaurant that had their pictures taken with us. They must’ve mistaken us to be part of the character brunch! After such an entertaining brunch, we all went our separate ways, as everybody wanted to go to different parks. I opted to just go back to the resort and take it easy. Gown steaming was also scheduled at 2:30 p.m. while Eugene & his brother had their tux fittings so we all headed to the resort. Eugene & I agreed that I would just stay in the resort for the rest of the afternoon, while he will go to the park with his family’a sort of bonding time for them.

Paul Allen was on time and he was sooo nice! I chatted him up, of course (being the talkative person that I am) and he was just friendly!

With everybody in the different parks, I had the time to be on my own. I watched television until my high school friend dropped by to chat. She stayed for two hours and then I was off again on my own. By dinnertime, I went to the food court, ate dinner by myself and then went back to my room. I visited my grandaunts & granduncles in their room and chatted with them for an hour. When I got back to my room, my voicemail was bombarded with messages! Everybody was looking for me! They called me in my room; no one answered the phone of course. My sister went to see where I was and saw my room was in total darkness. Turns out everybody, especially Eugene, were getting panicky! Missing bride on the eve before her wedding day! There were TONS of messages! It was hilarious! They thought I snapped from the stress and tension that happened in the few weeks before the wedding that I ran away!

As if I can run far enough’and why would I? The fairytale wedding we wanted was just HOURS away!

Lesson? Never, NEVER disappear the night before your wedding. If you will, you’ll be in for a lot of laughs!!!