Category Archives: The Tale of Two Divas

Ashley at 10!

paoTo my sweet youngest daughter Ashley, in few hours, you’ll be 10!

I can’t believe how fast time went by.  Another birthday celebration away from you…although I feel a bit sad missing out on your party, the candle blowing and unwrapping of gifts. I hope you know in your heart that you’ll be in my thoughts all throughout your special day.

In part, I’m writing you this so you’ll remember the many things I wish you to keep as you grow older.  Because there are special parts of you that I want you to hold on to and never change.

1. Stay gentle.  It can be very easy to believe something bad someone says about us—easier to believe than the compliments. Just remember what you believe is what you become

2. Stay sweet.  Take pride that even though the world may disagree,but you still believe it to be a beautiful place.  Do not let pain or bitterness steal your sweetness.

3. Stay thoughtful.  In this selfish, narcissistic world we live in, we need more people like you. Someone, who thinks of others before themselves.

4. Keep your sense of humor.  Period.

5. Keep your creative spirit.  Because the world of reality has its limits but the world of imagination has no bounds.  Keep your passion for drawing and painting…because I know it makes your heart sing.

6. Keep your quirky fashion sense.  I love the fact that you don’t give a hoot if people will stare.  So what, if you wear a pair of cosmic leggings with blaring pink top?  It’s different, yes.  But if that defines who you are… Go on, you’re unique.

7.  Stay kind.  When you are kind you are not only helping others, you are helping yourself.

8.  Keep your humility.  Let your actions tell your story, my dear.

9.  Keep your individuality.  You are amazing. I am your mother and I will always believe in you.  Just because you have different strengths does not mean you are less than others. You are you and that’s what matters.

10. Have fun with life. At times it feels everything goes south on you, convinced that the universe is conspiring against you.  Don’t despair, these are lessons in life, and it’s always a bit easier to swallow a hard pill, with a good dose of humor.

I love you very much my dearest Ashley.  Happy happy birthday.

 

Happy 12th Birthday, Kate (an open letter to my ate katekate)

12348096_10153143067355178_6609938315721958094_nTo my angel cake….as you celebrate your birthday tomorrow, I would like to take a moment to sit, reflect and thank God for His gift.

You are truly every mother’s dream daughter and I can’t even begin to imagine what I have done to deserve you.

I understand that you won’t be my little angel cake forever…but while your hand still fits in mine and you still call me Mommy, I will relish every second of our journey together.

Before I know it, time will come when you think that all I have to say is annoying or cheesy.  But for now, while you’re still not too embarrassed to hug me like you mean it….here are 12 things I want you to remember on your 12th birthday:

  1. You can always talk to mommy.
  2. Always love your sister. Love each other. I can’t emphasize this enough, but having a sister is probably one of the best things in life. You have each other, life-long BFF.
  3. Write. The best coach you’ll ever have is yourself.  Your thoughts are precious, write them down and read them.  It will give you a better perspective about yourself and where you are at a particular time in your life.
  4. Don’t be a people pleaser. Period
  5. Don’t take yourself seriously. Learn to laugh at your own quirks.
  6. Keep your personal space clean. The state of your place reflects the state of your mind.  It’s impossible to think straight in a cluttered room.
  7. Beauty is a state of mind. Love yourself at no matter what size or condition.
  8. Speak up. Don’t begrudge the world with your point of views.
  9. Nothing on social media is private.Before you post it, imagine it plastered across the billboards. Nationwide.  See what I mean?
  10. You don’t need a significant other to be significant. I wish I’d spent less time thinking I “needed” someone. Enjoy friendships. They usually last longer, anyway.
  11. Rejection is part of life, and sometimes it’s a really good thing. How you handle it is the important part.
  12. Find one true friend. You don’t need lots of friends…one is enough to last you a lifetime.

Just remember anak, that I love you and Paopao so very much…

and as much as I wish to spare you from hardships and pain,  you will have your own journey to make.

My only prayer, is that when you pass those difficult paths alone you’ll come out of it with grace and strength.

Happy Birthday, Kate.

Love,

Mommy

 

An open letter to my Angel Cake

To my angel cake….mostly reserved and very perceptive eldest daughter, Katie….

As you celebrate your birthday, I would like to take this moment to sit down, reflect and thank God for His gift.

You are truly every mother’s dream daughter and I can’t even begin to imagine what I have done to deserve you.

Another milestone my darling, it seems like yesterday when I first laid eyes on you.  When I had you, I was daunted with how much I had to teach you…never realizing that you will teach me just as much.

You’ve taught me acceptance, forgiveness and unconditional love.  Remember, when one of your friends asked if you ever feel lonely without your daddy?  Your reply “No, because I know he loves us in his own way.  I’m OK with it.”

Your innocent response, held wisdom beyond my 38 years!  Many times, as your mother, I’m second guessing myself – if I’m doing it right.  Then, when I look at you and your sister, I realize there is this huge part of my life that I’m actually doing unbelievably good.

There is nothing more overwhelming than the pride that fills me whenever you accomplished something, completed another project, mastered another skill.  I always admire your determination….once you’ve set your heart and mind to it…you never stop my darling, until you’ve finished it.

You fill me with so much love and joy that it brings me to my knees when I imagine you growing up, and soon become independent. Nonetheless, I continue to marvel over God’s precious and wonderful gift to me.

I understand that you won’t be my little angel cake forever…but while your hand still fits in mine and you still call me Mommy, I will relish every second of our journey together.

And though, there will come a time when it feels like you don’t need mommy to do things for you, I hope you know that there are things (still) that only mommy can help 😉 because you will always be my little girl, my precious wonderful firstborn.

I love you, and happy 11th anak.

Heaven..is where mommy is

This morning my youngest, Pao went to Sunday School. Teacher asked the kids in class who among them wants to go to heaven.

Naturally, everyone in class raised their tiny little hands …. everyone except my Pao-pao. Perplexed, the Sunday School teacher asked again, “Pao, you don’t want to go to heaven?” Her simple reply? “No, because mommy’s here.”

At her age, her idea of heaven….is a place where mommy is.

Ahhh…rewards of mommyhood. 😉

Happy Birthday Katie

Dear Katie,

I have been holding back my tears since the realization that today you’ll be turning 8. Another milestone my darling daughter, and indeed time moves swiftly…it seems like yesterday, around the exact moment 8 years ago when I first laid eyes on you. You were so tiny then – that I was actually scared to hold you.

I stayed up last night looking at your pictures. Smiling over how you’ve grown over the years…

We’ve been through so much, you, me and your baby sister Ashley…at 7 you were my little anchor when I was at my lowest.

When I first had you, I was daunted with how much I had to teach you, never realizing that you will teach me as much as you have. You’ve taught me acceptance, forgiveness, devotion and the purest form of unconditional love that exists in this world.

There is nothing more overwhelming than the pride that fills me whenever you report to me how well you did at school. And those letters you write to me and coming up with the sweetest words that never fails to warm my heart and melt our distance from each other.

You fill me with so much love and joy that brings me to my knees when I imagine you growing up, and soon become independent. Nonetheless, I continue to marvel over God’s precious and wonderful gift to me.

I understand that you won’t be 8 forever. While your hand still fits in mine and you still call me Mommy, I will relish every second of our journey together.

And though, at times it feels like you don’t need mommy to do things for you, but I know that there are things that only mommy can help and remember; you will always be my little girl, my precious wonderful first born.

Picture…not so perfect

My mother announced over Skype that this week is picture taking week at my girls school. I know it feels wrong – but I did breathe a sigh of relief that my girls are actually under my parents care at this time.

Remembering the past years, when the girls are with me. I can only do my best to make them look neat…clean…and somehow it would appear that I have attempted to run a comb through their hair on picture-taking day

For a working mom like me, that would mean keeping the girls’ school schedules on track, schedules must be tacked somewhere very (very) visible, most importantly so, is the picture-taking schedule.

It would be unforgiveable if I ever forget to take some extra effort to check on their uniforms, socks and shoes….or the least try to brush their hair!

I seldom have any “luck” with their school pictures. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m blessed with beautiful girls. But with school pictures…?

That’s totally a different story. I don’t understand why they find it difficult to smile at the photographer – instead it would always be awkward stiff grins…or grimaces as often in the case of my youngest Ashley.

The past school-term pictures turned out quite OK. My eldest, Kate managed to produce a somewhat natural, nervous smile. While Ashley, looked much as she always does in school pictures – constipated!

My own experience with school pictures while growing up was fairly traumatic. In the 80’s it’s quite common for girls my age to “tease-up” our hair until we can have that ridiculous pouf right in the middle of our foreheads!

Nevertheless, if it’s any consolation I wasn’t the only kid in my entire batch sporting that ‘do’. I’ve always wanted to look cute and pretty…but looking back now at my old school pictures….sigh….just makes me cringed!

I wonder how my own mother might have reacted in the past – since I always look T-E-R-R-I-B-L-E in school pictures. Does she actually have her special “not-for-visitors-album” to keep my not so flattering photos? (note to self: check w/ mother on next visit home)

At least, it’s good to know that there are things that DO ran in the family. Like, in my family, bad pictures! But bad pictures or not, I’d still keep it, even that would mean keeping it away from the family albums….and hopefully many years from now, my girls can go over their school pictures together and have a good laugh over a rush of school memories – and of course, cringed!

Kate and Ashley at Aunty Ying’s Vintage wedding in Hua-hin…definitely not school picture 😉