Thanks, 2010! (Aug – Dec Part 2)

OK, I need to finish this post so that thanking last year is still relevant.   =P

AUGUST

With my new job at LIT awaiting my arrival, I decided to take some much needed time off before I started.  So for my mom’s 60th and my aunt’s 69th birthday, we (my cousins Celina, Melissa and I) decided we wanted to go on a trip to Orlando with them to celebrate!  So we all (plus my Godson Matthew) got to go to Disney World for a week!  It was GLORIOUS, especially since I hadn’t been there in 11 years.

First, my cousins and I went to Universal Studios.  Most of the attractions in this park were a bit too mature/scary for Matthew, so my mom and Auntie Sionie were gracious enough to watch him while they went hotel hopping & outlet shopping when Cici, Moosie & I went to the theme park.  I got to nerd it up and visit Jurassic Park (one of Nick and my absolute FAVORITE movies).  There were also other fantastic attractions that we visited such as Seuss Landing, but the main attraction for us was the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!  If you EVER get the chance to visit, and you’re as big of a Harry Potter nerd as me, I HIGHLY recommend it!  But FYI, I’d try to go during the off-season because it was RIDICULOUSLY crowded when we went, almost to the point of claustrophobic crowded.  I’ve never had to stand in line to go into a STORE at a theme park till we went to this one.

AHHHH!!!

The Carousel at Seuss Landing
The cousins in Hogsmeade
Enjoying a Butterbeer in Hogsmeade
Amazing Hogwarts replica. FUN ride too!

Needless to say, we had a BLAST at Universal Studios.  It’s been a while since any of us have visited there, so it was a nice change of pace and characters.  (Not that we love Disney any less).  If you’d like to see more photos of our time at Universal Studios, visit this link:  Universal Studios 2010

I’ve been extremely blessed and fortunate enough to have the privilege to visit the Disney World theme parks multiple times in my life.  This trip marked the 8th time I’ve visited Disney World with my family.  We visited Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios and Downtown Disney during our time in Orlando.

Carouseling in Magic Kingdom (sorry it’s blurry)

It was also so great to experience the park with my Godson, Matthew.  It was so cute to see him enjoy the park and give a hug to Mickey and Minnie.  He’s a HUGE fan of the carousel.  Luckily, the lines weren’t too long for it, so he got to enjoy the carousel about 4 or 5 times!

M, M, M & M (Melissa, Mickey, Matthew & Minnie!)

I don’t know who was more excited to have a pic with Mickey & Minnie…Melissa or Matthew?  haha  Great mother/son moment.

Thanks to a friend of mine from college (Bonnie!), we got some free passes for another day in the parks!  She works for the Walt Disney World resorts, so she was able to get us some free park hoppers.  Let’s just say I’m forever grateful to her for giving my cousins and me another fun-filled at Disney World for free.  We were hoping to meet up with her again in the evening at Magic Kingdom, but she was too exhausted from work & school (she’s currently seeking her Masters Degree) and the weather was very rainy, so I don’t blame her for wanting and needing to rest.  I can’t thank her enough for being so kind to my family and me.  🙂

Nick WILL work for PIXAR one day!

First, we hit up MGM Studios Hollywood Studios (it’s so weird calling it that) to meet Bonnie for her to give us our park hopper passes.  Sadly, we didn’t take a photo together because I think she was either on her way from or to the gym so she wasn’t in “picture taking” mode.  😉  I wouldn’t want to take pics so dressed down either.  We didn’t stay at Hollywood Studios long since we had reservations at Tony’s in Magic Kingdom  at noon.  (The Tony’s that’s in the Disney Animated Film, “Lady and the Tramp.”  — it’s a tradition for us to go there).  To see more photos from our park hopping day, go here:  Park Hoppin’ Tuesday

Of COURSE, the most important reason we went on this trip was to celebrate my mom ‘s 60th and my aunt’s 69th birthdays!  Celina, Melissa and I treated them to a great character breakfast at Disney’s Polynesian Resort at Ohana.  SO tasty…

Character Birthday Breakfast for our moms
Hard to believe they’re 60 & 69, right?

So when we weren’t theme parking, we were shopping…or eating.  Typical wonderful vacation stuff.  What a summer!!

SEPTEMBER

This was the month that things got to settle down for a while, thankfully.  I was enjoying my new job (still am!), and the month was relatively uneventful.  The highlight of September for me was Nick’s Aunt Chrissy’s birthday.  🙂

With love from the Aunt Chrissy Fan Club!

 

Aunt Chrissy w/ her Cookie Cake!

OCTOBER

Two words:  Rice Festival.

I got to reunite with several of my favorite high school friends and gorge myself on delicious food!  It’s always so great to see these lovely ladies when I can.  I’m so proud of all that we have accomplished since high school, and I am thankful that I had friends like these to help me become the person I am today.

L to R: Teacher Karen, Teacher-to-be Nicole, Dr. Ali, Graphic Designer me, teacher Alisa & Teacher Amy!

I hope more of our high school sweethearts can meet up with us this year! I know it’ll be here before we know it.  Just one more year till our 10 year reunion!?  Good grief!!!

The lovely Michelle joined us a bit later too!

NOVEMBER

Of course, Thanksgiving.  We had a lot to be thankful for this year for sure.  One of the biggest things was the rededication of our hurricane battered church.  Finally, after a little over 2 years, our church was open for business again.  Hurricane Ike pummeled through our little church on September 2008, and we had to have mass in our parish hall during the time that our church was being fixed…

BEFORE

(water damage EVERYWHERE.  All of those pews had to be destroyed due to mold and warping)

BEFORE: Catie showing how high the water got in the church

BEFORE: Extreme roof damage

AFTER: Days before rededication mass

We got all new pews, new beautiful architectural elements (arches, tiles, etc.)…pretty much new everything.

AFTER: View from the Narthex

I wish I had photos of what the church looks like now.  It’s gorgeous.  I should take some soon…

And of course, there was the Thanksgiving Day feast…

A toast!

This is also the month, after much debating and definite permission from my boss, that I finally decided to get purple in my hair.  I figured this was a fun side note.  😉

This might be my new trademark

DECEMBER

Every year it’s the PABT (Philippine Association of Beaumont, Texas) Christmas party, countless other Christmas parties, lots of practice for Christmas mass(es) and time with family!  Overall, 2010 was a pretty fantastic and giving year.  Of course, no year is ever PERFECT, but I’m thankful to say that 2010 was much more giving to me than the past few years for sure.  And for that, I am beyond grateful.

Angelyn, Celina & me at the PABT Christmas party

Nick & me at the Jason's Deli Christmas party

With Michelle & Amy at the Whitlow's Christmas party

Seemingly endless arts & crafts…….

Envelopes for the photos I took of my family

Christmas day with my parents

2nd Annual Old School PABT kids Christmas Cookie Bake

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