Saturday, December 10, 2005

When Was the Last Time You Did Something for the First Time?

I could write a whole paragraph of hyperboles because of all the blessings that I have received ever since I arrived in the US last November 20. Every single day since then has been filled with surprises. Today my parents and I decided to stay in at Tito Bing and Tita Yollie's house, postponing Universal Studios and Disneyland (part Two) for the weekend, so we could catch our breath. I'm also doing the laundry today.

The past three days have been awesome. I went with four couples, take note, FOUR, most of whom are senior citizens (I won't reveal which ones, hehe) to San Diego. Tito Ludi, Tita Fe, Tita Yollie, Tito Bing, Tito Jimmy, and Tita Lea went with Papa, Mama and me to visit Mission San Juan Capistrano, Old Town San Diego, Mission San Diego, Sea World, and even the grave of Uncle Tonio (del Rosario). Together with Nestle Martinez, my uncle-in-law's niece, we discovered new restaurants, shows, and shops. She took us to duty-free window-shopping at the commisary. Her kids Leila and Xavier also joined us after school whenever they could. We ate Chinese food, Thai food, Mexican food, Days Inn food, Sea World food, and lots of chocolates in between.

When was the last time I did something for the very first time? It seems that it has been every minute for the past three weeks! Aside from the zillion experiences I've had already, last night I got a special treat. Our relatives took us to see The Glory of Christmas at the Crystal Cathedral over at Anaheim. It was a spectacular, stupendous extravaganza showing, well, the glory of Christmas! The three kings arrived in a glorious display of colors, angels flew a la Celine Dione over the majestic cathedral - I will post a link here when I find it, camels, llamas, horses and other LIVE animals roamed around the stage, ballerinas twirled and singers soared to share the joy,beauty and majesty of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I am thankful, so thankful, for everything that has been going on. I can't post a photo just now because I can't find the button to upload images on my Tito Bing's Power Mac, but I hope in words I was able to somehow describe how good God has been to me and my parents. Our hosts said they are also enjoying every minute that we spend together. Most of my relatives here are retired so they have all the time in the world to try new things with us. They even enjoyed Sea World and Disneyland despite the fact that they visited those for the umpteenth time already because new events, like the "Pets Rule!" - with potbellied pigs stealing the show - made the trip more special.

I told Tito Ludi yesterday that Christmas came early for us this year.

This morning was Christmas day once again. Tita Yollie gave me several pairs of shoes that she hardly wore because her feet are now killing her. She told me all those years wearing high-heeled shoes are now taking their toll on her, and she only has specific types of shoes she could wear now. My mom and I, who wear the same size shoes as her, received twelve pairs of shoes all in all! We live here, eat here, do our laundry here, and yes, receive shoes here.

At the back of my mind are still questions and doubts - is this for real? Am I gonna get in trouble after all this joy, this much fun, this huge load of blessings? Or is this God's way of showing me His way of loving, to help my unbelief?

Tito Jimmy said he has no wrinkles to this day because he doesn't like to worry. He noticed my propensity to worry! This was because Nestle, his niece, gave me a Coach hat. I said, did you tell her to give it to me? Nakakahiya po! Tito Jimmy and Tita Lea (my ninang who reads this blog regularly and who has given me countless gifts since last week) assured me that Nestle offered to give the hat,which matches my bag and my jacket.

They said this was no ordinary vacation we're having, that factors contribute to make it even more special, convenient, and wonderful everyday.

I tried to count my blessings last Tuesday, but since then a fresh portion, overflowing, and abundant, came upon my cup again. I am grateful beyond words.

Thank you to all who have been generous to me. Thank you for being instruments of God's love. I'm saying thank you even though we still have many more places to go to (Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Melissa's graduation, Universal Studios, etc.) because I have to. If I don't express my gratitude, my little heart would burst!

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