we are sinners: lent 2020 | into my mind

“The ashes mean I’m a sinner; the shape of the cross means I have a savior.”
– Fr. Mike Schmitz

Lent is probably my favorite liturgical season. I love the holiday of Christmas a bunch, but if I’m talking seasons as a whole, Lent takes the cake. There’s just something about it that gives me an even bigger urge to “reset” than a new year. On top of that, the Easter Triduum is so powerful and beautiful, I look forward to it every single year.

For my non-Catholic friends out there, I really love what is written as an “Intro to Lent” in my Every Sacred Sunday journal:

“Lent is a penitential period, characterized by fasting, penance, and the confirmation of sin. As Jesus was tempted in the desert, we also use this time to strip ourselves of vices and work towards building virtue.
Lent encompasses 40 days of penance in preparation for Easter, mirroring the 40 days of Jesus in the desert.”

As I write this, it is 11PM on the tail end of Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. For the first time in a long time, I was able to really sit and pray during Mass. Juggling two kids at church is no easy feat, so Donald and I decided that for today, we would go to Mass separately. While I always want to attend Mass with my family, being able to truly reflect on the readings and pay attention to the homily was amazing.

One of my favorite things the priest said today was that Lent is about focusing on the need for change, to move, for growth. In giving alms and fasting, we are essentially giving up a part of ourselves so that others may gain. We give everything to Jesus because by Jesus we are free. The ashes we are given represent our sins, but at the end of the day we wash them away with soap and water, just as Jesus washes away our sins.

I spent most of my day today folding laundry and really thinking about what I wanted to do for Lent this year, which made me reminisce what I have done in the past. It went way back to my younger years when I gave up the easy stuff like chocolate or ice cream. One year I gave up the color purple, I mean who does that? I remember giving up rice, wearing make up, painting my nails, Starbucks. Last year, I gave up all beverages except water.

This year, I’ve decided to stop online shopping/ online window shopping. Online window shopping being mindlessly scrolling through a website like Colourpop or Lights Lacquer and looking at all the random merchandise. Adding random things to my cart to see how much it would cost even though I know I can’t afford it. I realized this was a problem for me when I was saw a post on Instagram for a random product and immediately wanted to go to the website to look at it and all the other products they had to offer. It made me feel kinda weird in a greedy way, so I definitely want to stop doing that. And, for a more obvious reason, I have no money, lol.

One of the reasons I think Lent is better than the New Year as a reset button is simple. They say for a habit to stick, you have to do it consistently for 30 days in a row. Well, Lent is 40 days, so. Yeah. I would really like to be healthy, so I’m going to cut out fast food and try to eat a salad every day. I’m also going to eat fruit more because we always buy apples and bananas but they always go bad before we eat them.

It wasn’t until my junior or senior year of high school that I started to add something good in place of what I took out. It started with an Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be before bed. Then, a whole decade a day. I began to intentionally journal every day, dedicating each day of prayer to a different person. While I believe cutting out bad habits from your life is great and beneficial in the long run, it’s in adding the good that makes me feel like a whole new person. A better person.

I have been feeling kind of disconnected with a lot of people I would like to call my friends. I don’t mean to, it just kind of happened. I’ve become progressively worse at texting people back or reaching out first, and honestly I hate using “taking care of Zeke and Theo” as an excuse. Yes, they are my whole life and spending all day, every day, with them is an absolute joy, that shouldn’t stop me from reaching out to the people who keep me grounded. That being said, I want to channel my inner Lara Jean and hand write not-love letters (I only have one true love, ok), but affirmation letters to a different person every day. I think that will be fun.

I’ve spent so long being hit with change after change that I’ve truly neglected my spiritual life. This Lenten season, I hope to “reset” and focus on the change that needs to happen to bring me closer to Jesus.

I’ve you’ve made it to the end of this post, thank you for reading my heart. If you want some company on your Lenten journey, feel free to hit me up so that we can all keep each other accountable.

With all the love,

Meg.

P.S. I haven’t been able to properly fast since 2016 because I’ve either been pregnant or breastfeeding during Lent each year. That’s so wild.

to all the boys trilogy review | meg talks media

if i was a character in these books, i’d be kitty.

In honor of To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You premiering on Netflix in two days (February 12), here is my review of the books written by none other than Jenny Han. I watched To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before for the first time this past Christmas, almost a year after it premiered. After that, I went a little crazy. I honestly couldn’t tell you why it took me so long to watch it, but, needless to say, I am obsessed. I’ve watched the movie almost every day and it only took me one day each to read the books. I repeat: I am obsessed.

If I had known it was a book first, I feel like I would have been more inclined to read and watch it. Honestly, I remember seeing all the hype on social media but could never bring myself to play it. I could make a billion excuses, but what really matters is that I’ve watched the movie and read all three books, so now I’m going to tell you my thoughts. Similar to my last book review, I have written everything in bullet point form. And again, my thoughts tend to be all over the place and may or may not make sense.

SPOILERS AHEAD.

Don’t read below the lines if you’re not about that.






To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

  • very easy read
  • saw the movie first, it’s not the best book-to-movie adaptation
  • but both are very, very good!!
  • I want a Peter K (sorry Donald)
  • I like Kitty’s character better in the movie
  • there’s much more Korean culture in the book, which is cool
  • the book is a CLIFF HANGER, unlike the movie!! the end of the movie is the beginning of the second book, sort of.
  • 9/10 would recommend; 5/10 would read again (I liked the movie better)

P.S. I Still Love You

  • JOHN. AMBROSE. MCCLAREN.
  • Peter loves Lara Jean so, so much and I love that
  • such an emotional rollercoaster, I cried a few times
  • book-Kitty is growing on me
  • the NECKLACE Peter K gets LJ
  • Peter freaking Kavinsky ok
  • much more character development and a more captivating story line with the ‘love triangle’
  • I wish I did a time capsule with my friends
  • not tryna be deep but it makes me think of friendships I had that have dissolved
  • definitely liked it better than the first
  • 9/10 would recommend; 8/10 would read again (I can’t wait for the movie!!!)

Always and Forever, Lara Jean

  • my favorite of the three
  • they go to NY and mention Levain Bakery!!!
  • PETER K + LARA JEAN MAKE MY HEART MELT
  • i love in-love-with-LJ Peter K.
  • Hamilton references!!!!! ‘and Peggy’ lol
  • peter & kitty’s relationship is adorable
  • PETER FREAKING KAVINSKY.
  • peter’s prom & birthday surprises for lara jean were adorable
  • UNC!!!
  • (at this point I am halfway through the book, WHAT ELSE CAN THERE BE)
  • a post-grad, week-long beach trip with the senior class?? we went to andretti lol.
  • why does Mrs. Kavinsky have to be like that
  • PETER. GRANT. KAVINSKY.
  • the ‘amended contract’ is absolute perfection
  • 10/10 would recommend, 10/10 would read again

Series Overall

  • alright, you know what I’m going to say
  • amazing
  • they were very easy to read, but extremely captivating
  • honestly, books with mystery or about espionage are more my cup of tea
  • but I loved it
  • 10/10 would recommend; 9/10 would read again

20 in 2020 Challenge Update: 4 out of 20 complete.

**all rights to Jenny Han**

the third month | two at twenty-two

theo’s third month faves: spitting up everywhere, his spaceship, and playing battleship with his kuya.

I truly cannot believe that it has been three months already, so much has happened. We celebrated his Kuya Zeke’s second birthday, his first Christmas and New Year, and he got his first set of vaccines. When I really think about it, this month has been the easiest so far because we had a lot of help over the holidays. For a solid two weeks, we had a steady flow of family coming to visit and help out.

Theo is definitely growing up. He sleeps a little better than before, lasting about 3 to 4 hours between feeds. I have to give myself a little pat on the back because by the time Zeke was this age, I had stopped breastfeeding. It’s been challenging, to say the least, because I’m not very good at taking the time to pump, so it falls solely on me to feed him. But that just means I’m tired, and that’s entirely my fault. I hope to do better with that. His Lolo and Lola bought him a cool swing/bouncer/spaceship-looking thing that helps him sleep without having to be held all the time, too.

He cries less, I think. Or maybe I’m just immune? But he’s definitely starting show more personality. When he’s dry, fed, and awake, he smiles and coos, and honestly I live for that. Every time I start to feel stressed or get frustrated, I see him smile and hear him coo, and that makes it all worth it. One of my favorite things about being a mom is seeing them grow and learn new things day-by-day. I love it so much.

During this month, Donald went back to school for his second semester, and I think we’re getting a hang of this. The first week was a little rough trying to get Zeke back into a schedule after such a long break of doing things whenever. But now, we are back in the swing of things. Zeke doesn’t seem as jealous of Theo anymore, and actually helps out sometimes by getting me diapers or maybe burp cloths. It depends if he knows where they are. He also tries to tickle him and make him laugh.

To sum up the third month in one word: better. He is sleeping better, we have a better routine, he’s holding his head up better, everything is slowly but surely getting better. And you know what? It can only get better from here.

ally carter book review | meg talks media

i aspire to be part cammie morgan, kat bishop, grace blakely, and maddie manchester.

Let me just start with this: I absolutely love Ally Carter‘s writing. If you kept up with my Blogmas 2019 posts, you may recall my mini-rant about the Gallagher Girls (see: the start of the decade). This is my favorite book series ever, I can go on, but for some reason I never got around to reading the rest of Ally Carter’s books. Until now.

It is January 16 and I am already seven (technically nine because two were novellas) books (two series and a stand-alone) into my 20 in 2020 challenge. And they are all written by Ally Carter. I have a feeling this will be really long, so here are my opinions and reviews in simple, bullet-form. Straight from my mind. May or may not make sense.

Not If I Save You First

  • President’s Son: Logan; Head of Security Detail’s Daughter: Maddie; relationship: best friends
  • told in third person to easily switch from Maddie’s POV to Logan’s POV
  • ten year old Maddie & Logan are adorable
  • the girl saves the day, with support from the boy
  • not your average survival story
  • the letters are cute
  • very action packed, which is unexpected
  • “I never leave the house with just one knife. Seriously. Do I look like a one-knife kind of girl?”
  • “Logan was going to kill Maddie. As soon as he was certain she was safe, of course.”
  • 9/10 would recommend, 10/10 would read again (because I actually did… yesterday…)

Heist Society Trilogy (plus novellas)

Heist Society

  • third person is cool because it allows the reader to see into more than the protagonist’s mind or give background
  • Kat Bishop is just a teenage girl trying to find herself outside of the ‘family business’
  • but family is family
  • book about thieves instead of authorities trying to catch thieves
  • book about teenage thieves
  • don’t judge a book by its cover
  • W. W. Hale the Fifth. Period.
  • “It’s okay to break the rules, but only sometimes, and only if you know them very, very well.”
  • 8/10 would recommend, 9/10 would read again

Uncommon Criminals

  • better than the first
  • so much happens, you think it’s over but it’s not
  • W. W. Hale the Fifth. Again. Period.
  • so many breadcrumbs to follow that you miss, makes you want to reread it (which I will)
  • your modern-day Robin Hood, sort of.
  • “I for one like chaos. Chaos looks good on me.”
  • 8/10 would recommend, 9.5/10 would read again

Perfect Scoundrels

  • my favorite of the three
  • Kat & Hale being cuties
  • I repeat. W. W. Hale the Fifth.
  • more Hale character development than Kat
  • power of big families, power of family in general; “You have a powerful family, boy.” “Yes, sir, please don’t hold them against me.” “Who said I was talking about them?”
  • “We’ve seen what you will do for strangers, but how far will you go for your friends?” or something like that
  • 10/10 would recommend, 10/10 would read again (because… yeah, I did already.)

The Grift of the Magi: A Heist Society Novella

  • half the length of the other books
  • post-Perfect Scoundrels
  • not your average Christmas story
  • Gold, Frankincense, Myrrh
  • “This is my gift to you, Hale. Let me give it.”
  • “You didn’t steal me, you rescued me.” I CRY.
  • 8/10 would recommend, 8/10 would read again

Double Crossed: A Spies and Thieves Story

  • I am a SUCKER for a good crossover
  • especially with anything Gallagher Girls
  • Macey McHenry is bae
  • W. W. Hale the Fifth!!!
  • both born into rich families but have, como se dice, ventured away from their family businesses
  • no Cammie ): but we love Abigail Cameron
  • 9/10 would recommend if you’ve read both series already, 10/10 would read again

Series Overall

  • not as good as Gallagher Girls (seriously, please read it) but still very good
  • makes me want to be a thief
  • but I won’t, I promise
  • Kat’s huge family is awesome
  • 9/10 would recommend, 10/10 would read again

Embassy Row Trilogy

All Fall Down

  • slow build up, kinda confusing
  • but the end was a page turner
  • written in first person
  • the way Ally Carter writes Grace’s flashbacks is GENIUS
  • Noah and Rosie are the best friends ever
  • 7/10 would recommend, 8/10 would read again (mainly to understand it better)

See How They Run

  • Adrian history is very interesting even if it’s a fake country
  • faster paced than the first
  • Grace struggles with her mental health
  • Alexei Volkov is bae
  • the end was an even bigger page turner
  • I had to read the next one immediately
  • 9/10 would recommend, 9/10 would read again

Take the Key and Lock Her Up

  • best of the three
  • Alexei is even more bae
  • gave me trust issues there are so many twists and turns
  • more Adrian history
  • her friends are so loyal
  • Noah and Megan are cutie pies
  • Rosie is the coolest twelve-almost-thirteen year old ever
  • 9/10 would recommend, 9/10 would read again

Series Overall

  • my least favorite of Ally Carter’s books but not by a lot, I love them all
  • i love grace and alexei
  • i love the way she discusses mental health through her characters
  • the overall concept of each person being from a different country is pretty awesome
  • 8/10 would recommend, 9/10 would read again

Don’t judge books by their covers. I love Ally Carter.

If you guys didn’t realize how much I love Ally Carter’s writing before, you do now. She is definitely my favorite author, the Gallagher Girls series being my favorite books. If I were to rank them, it would be Gallagher Girls, Not If I Save You First, Heist Society, then Embassy Row. But honestly, you best believe I’m going to read all of them again and again.

I love how all of her stories have strong female leads with love interests who basically say “you’ve got this, but I’ll be here if you need me.” They are all so unexpectedly action packed, they’re amazing. If you read them, please let me know, I would love to chat with you. I could go on forever.

20 in 2020 Challenge Update: 3 out of 20 complete.

**all rights to Ally Carter**

my drugstore makeup products | meg talks beauty

i love makeup, but it’s so expensive.

I love make up, I really do. I wrote all about my everyday make up products, but some of them are way too expensive for me to buy every time I run out. And let’s be real, that’s a lot. So to all my homies trying to find some cost efficient make up, this is for you. I’ve provided mainly Amazon links, but you can find all of these at your local drug store, Walmart, or Target.

Primer. NYX Angel Veil Skin Perfecting Primer – Makes your foundation look all nice and smooth. But honestly, sometimes I’ll just use my moisturizer.

Foundation. Revlon ColorStay Makeup – I’d say it’s pretty full coverage. I use the one for normal/dry skin, but my sister uses it for combination/oily skin, so it’s great for anyone!

Concealer. J.Cat Beauty Staysurance Concealer – I actually don’t remember the last time I used a concealer from the drugstore, so I turned to my good pal KathleenLights. She’s stands by this concealer, but I only found it online at Ulta. It’s cheap, though.

Setting Powder. Maybelline Fit Me Loose Finishing Powder – The whole Maybelline Fit Me line is really good, and this powder makes your face look so flawless.

Bronzer. Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer – I dunno what else to say except I like it.

Blush. Milani Baked Blush – I really like baked blushes.

Highlight. Wet n Wild MegaGlo Highlighting Powder – We love a good, cheap highlight.

Eyeshadow. Makeup Geek Eyeshadow Palette – I love Makeup Geek eyeshadows, so when they came to Target I was very excited.

Eyeliner. Maybelline Eyestudio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner – I don’t wear eyeliner all the time, but when I do, this is it.

Mascara. L’Oreal Telescopic Lengthening Mascara – I’ve bought this time and time again over the years. I’m not sure where I first heard about it, but it’s really good.

Setting Spray. Milani Make It Last Setting Spray – It’s not quite my Morphe one, but it does the job.

Lips. Your favorite chapstick. I don’t really wear lip products.

2020 goals | into my mind

new year, new decade, improved me.

Happy New Year!! It’s a new year, a new decade, and, apparently, that prompts everyone to start anew themselves. I am no exception. After all the changes 2019 brought to my life, I’m ready to get back into something, anything. So, during one of my many breastfeeding sessions where I just sit there on my phone, I thought of a few things.

This blog. I really want to keep up with my blog this year. For me, it gives me something to do. With Donald at school and myself at home with the kiddos on my own, I need this. I will be starting to take one class at a time towards my degree in March, and I might find a part-time job, but even then, I need more. That being said, stay tuned every Monday and Thursday, at the least, for new posts!

Read 20 Books/Series. I love to read, so I thought reading 20 books in 2020 would be a fun thing to do. But considering how fast I can go through your average 350-page book, 20 in 2020 sounded a little too easy. Therefore, I’ve extended this to books or series. If the series is less than 5 books, it counts as one. I asked people for recommendations on my Instagram story, any genre, any length. I want to try to read all of the recommendations to expand my horizons, and I’ll only count books I have not already read. If you have any other suggestions let me know!

Lose 15 Pounds. This particular goal is one I feel a lot of people do. Lose weight. Work out. Eat healthy. This goal for me is less wanting to lose this specific number of pounds, but to try and get my body back to pre-baby state, to an extent. In the year between giving birth to Zeke and getting pregnant with Theo, I didn’t do anything to get my body back in shape. If I really think about it, it’s been a good few years since I’ve actually been in shape, especially my very weak core. This is the year to change that.

I have a few other mini-goals – keeping up with a 1 Second Everyday video, not missing Sunday Mass, cook more/eat out less, things like that. I’ll post updates every once in awhile to see how these goals are going in hopes that this will keep me accountable. Hit me up if you want someone to keep you accountable for your goals, too!

my instagram: megan.etmercado

Subscribe to my blog with the “Hit It” button on the right (or below if you’re on your phone). I will love you forever.

2019 recap | into my mind

i have a toddler, an infant, and a husband, oh my.

2019 was such a year. When I really think about it, I don’t know how I didn’t go crazy. I mean I did, but let’s just assume I’m always crazy. In 2019, Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus changed the country scene with “Old Town Road”, Billie Eilish told us she’s a “Bad Guy”, and I personally always had “Sunflower” by Post Malone & Swae Lee stuck in my head. The Jonas Brothers got back together, I turned 22 years old, we found out what came after ‘the snap’ in Avengers: Endgame, and we were taken back to East High with High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.

2019 brought a lot of change in my life, and most of it happened during the second half of the year. First of all, I’m not even ending the year with the same last name I started with. On July, 20, 2019, in the presence of some of our closest friends and family, I married the love of my life and became a Mercado. It was a small wedding at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Gainesville. Our reception was at the Blue Gill Restaurant. The whole weekend was everything I could have asked for.

Throughout the whole month of July, we were packing up our apartment and slowly moving things to Lakeland until, finally, we moved out of our Beacon Hill Condo of three years on July 30, 2019. A lot happened in that house. First, it was Donald, Justin, and Chief who lived there, and I really got closer to Justin. Then, when Jut moved out, Mickey and I moved in, and we waited for the birth of our first son, Zeke. This house watched us evolve from college students trying to find our way and into parents still trying to find our way.

We stayed at Leo’s house for the first couple weeks of August. Donald turned 24 on August 8, I quit my job on August 13, and on August 14, 2019, we left Gainesville to start the next chapter of our lives in Lakeland. It was an adjustment at first, especially with Donald starting his first year of his Physical Therapy program, but we finally had a good flow going after a month or two. Then came Theo.

On October 19, 2019, Sir Elijah Theodore came screaming into our lives. I wrote all about his first month here, but long story short, he is still screaming. He is getting chunkier and more interactive, but definitely still screaming. Two months later, we still haven’t really gotten a routine together, but hopefully that’s something that will come quickly in the new year. On December 20, 2019, our bigger little man, Zeke, turned two years old, and man. Time flies. We had a blast throwing him a party and going to Legoland. But most importantly, I had a blast looking at how much he has grown.

It’s so surreal to think about how much has happened in the second half of this year alone. I went from engaged to married, one kid to two, and a Gainesville resident to Lakeland. My goals of 2020 include reading 20 books, running at least one 5K, and keeping up with this blog. I have a few other aspirations up my sleeve, but I’ll tell you guys about them at a later date. Until then, I hope you all have had a great 2019, and I pray that 2020 will bring you so much joy.

For the last time in 2019, thanks for taking the time to read my blog. See you in 2020. A new decade! Wild. Love, Meg.

maligayang pasko | into my mind

this is it, folks. maligayang pasko. | blogmas day 25

Traditions are awesome. It gives me something more to look forward to during the holidays. Growing up as a Filipino-American, it was fun to learn the traditions we have at home and compare them to the traditions of my friends at school. I thought it would be fun to write about the Filipino traditions I grew up with. We haven’t been able to do all of them this year, but they are still strong in my heart.

“-ber.” First off, the Christmas season does not start after Thanksgiving. It doesn’t even start after Halloween. It starts on September 1st. We celebrate during all the months ending in “-ber.” September, October, November, December. Trees, music, the works. It’s amazing. It officially ends on the Epiphany, January 6.

Parols. When I was little, I just called these “pretty stars.” They are made out of colorful papers and bamboo sticks. Pretty much every Filipino house had one or ten in it. Just like any other Christmas decoration, they make the Christmas spirit so much more prominent to Filipinos.

Noche buena. We definitely did not do this particular tradition this year, but we usually do. We attend Mass at midnight, and then, we feast. Pancit, lumpia, lechon, ham, everything. It’s better than Thanksgiving. We party into the early morning, then we wake up and do it again.

Simbang Gabi. Starting on December 16, Simbang Gabi is a daily mass celebration to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary, ending on Christmas Eve. We didn’t attend any Simbang Gabi masses this year, but when I was little, I loved them because I got to see my friends every day. Now, I get to appreciate it for what it is. Mama Mary is awesome.

Now that I have my own family, I’m excited to continue these traditions and begin some of our own. This was my first holiday season with Donald as a married couple and our first as a family of four. Our family is growing, and our traditions are changing. I can’t wait to see where we go in the years to come.

From my family to yours, Maligayang Pasko!

christmas movies | meg’s miscellaneous

i love christmas | blogmas day 24 (a day late, but we’re almost there!!)

I really love Christmas. For obvious reasons, I love it because its Jesus’ birthday, the day God gave us His only Son, the Word made flesh. But the culture of Christmas that has evolved over the years is extremely special. My favorite decor are snowflakes and snowmen (and snowwomen). My favorite song is “Mary, Did You Know?”, but a close second is “Christmas Shoes”. Even though it’s really sad. Something that has really grown with the season is the movies that represent it. I asked my sister, my siblings-in-law, and siblings-in-law-in-law what their favorite Christmas movies are.

My favorite is How the Grinch Stole Christmas released in 2000, starring Jim Carrey. Honestly, my favorite part of it is the song “Where Are You Christmas?” The new movie, Noelle, on Disney+ is also super cute. Ocean prefers the 1966 version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas because it reminds her of reading Dr. Seuss books in school. She also realized that the people of Whoville were so welcoming and forgiving, like her friends, family, and, of course, the birthday boy, Jesus.

Christmas is featured in films in a variety of ways. Donald told me that his favorite Christmas movie is Die Hard because “it has explosions, and it takes place during Christmas.” Spencer‘s favorite is A Christmas Story because “it’s a very traditional uplifting movie for Christmas.” Steven‘s favorite is National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and said, “my dad and I think it’s one of the funniest movies.”

My sister, Ate Erin, said she likes The Santa Claus, starring Tim Allen, because “it’s a fun way to represent the spirit of Christmas passed down generations. And it’s one of the few movies where I also like the sequels.” On the other hand, Kuya Paolo, likes Home Alone, for “how they portray that its possible to be lonely even when you’re surrounded by people.”

The most popular movie amongst the family is Elf, all for different reasons. Ate Mawi likes it because it teaches you “you’re never too old to believe” and Mickey because “it’s got your classic comedic moments.” Howard likes that they have a scene where they run through Central Park and this quote from the movie: “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”

I love getting together with my family and just relaxing with a movie on for Christmas. Hot cocoa, cookies, and all the food that’s made round out the experience. Christmas can be so hectic to the point where all I want to do is slow down. As I write this, I’m watching Noelle and thinking about getting up to eat more cheesecake. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I hope you are able to take the time today to slow down, relax, and watch a good movie.

 

the middle of the decade | into my mind

another flashback for you | blogmas day 23 (a day late!!)

Earlier this month, I wrote a post about life in 2010. But a lot can happen in a decade. I am obviously very different from 2010-me, but even the person I was in 2015 might as well have been someone else. In 2015, we were given a fun look into the brain with Inside Out. In 2010, the book Mockingjay was released, but in 2015 we closed the book on The Hunger Games trilogy with the movie Mockingjay: Part 2. The story of the revolutionary album “Straight Outta Compton” was told on screen, while the Barden Bellas took the world by storm in Pitch Perfect 2.

I remember music defining a lot of my life events in 2015. I had my 18th birthday debut (details later) and my court blasted Cheerleader by OMI at every practice. We all got down with Bruno Mars in Uptown Funk and just wanted to Shut Up and Dance with WALK THE MOON. Unfortunately, I didn’t keep up with books as heavily anymore in 2015, so I’m not sure of any notable ones that came out this year.

2015 was just very big for me. Not only were we halfway through the decade, but I graduated high school and turned eighteen years old. My graduation and birthday were actually on the same day. In the Filipino culture, we celebrate our 18th birthday debut, a coming of age party equivalent to a Sweet 16 or quinceañera. It was loads of fun looking back on it.

I was accepted into and started my first semester at the University of Florida. I learned very quickly, however, that I was not prepared for life on my own at college at all. I had a great time socially, meeting new people, friends that I still have to this day. I danced for  the Filipino Student Association’s Def Talent Jam and went to watch the Gators lost to Alabama at the SEC Championship game in Atlanta. But academically, I sank. I ended up on academic probation and spent the next semester at home. I’m still working on my degree, but on my own time. I know now that’s necessary.

2015 really turned my life around. Through the Filipino Student Association (and our good friend Christian Sy), I met the love of my life, Donald. Four years later, we are happily married with two children. Who would have thought? This decade alone has been a serious roller coaster ride. I’ve learned a lot, I’ve cried, I’ve laughed. I’ve made new friends and burned bridges with others. I’ve created a family. All I can say is, bring it on, 2020.

P.S. My sister also graduated from UNC Pharmacy school in 2015, so that’s pretty cool. Check out her stuff at erinturingan.com 🙂