Wednesday, November 07, 2018

My one and only birthday wish

I'm 42 today! It's a great day! Thank you for all the love all these years!

Today, being a school day, the kids will be in school and my husband will be at work and I'll be doing chores. It's a regular day really but I feel extra blessed today because I have a better attitude about life today than I had with my 40th and 41st birthdays. I'm sharing the photos of my 41st birthday here.

I've always been excited about my birthday. It's the only day I'm allowed to be selfish! So I've always announced it to friends and blog readers a full month before the day to make sure everyone remembers. I never asked for gifts, I just wanted people to greet me. I like tiny parties and because I have an instant guest list of 5 (my husband Vince and our kids, Vito, Iñigo and Piero, plus my sister Jacqui, the only one in my Amper family who celebrates me!), my birthday parties are guaranteed.  On my birthday, I'm always so very happy!

Last year, however, was not such a good year. There was the residual shock and horror from the 2016 elections, which affected my friendships and relationships. Last year was also when two sons entered big school. Their tuition hurts so much because I've never earned so much in my life but it's just not enough. So there was the endless hustle for work work work. While before I enjoyed work because it was fulfilling and paid me lots of money, now all that work and money just seems to slip through my fingers like fine sand.

There was the fact that we are now two years without household help, and that's been really really difficult because I have three small children and juggling so many jobs. And then there was me breaking my toe. There was my asthma—gone for nearly a decade—returning with a vengeance. Then a strange and constant itch on my ankle area drove me crazy. There were many more things that made 2017 a bad year.

I guess that was why when my 40th and 41st birthday rolled around, I did not have the right attitude to celebrate. Last year, especially, found me depressed. I had no money because I had just paid the third quarter tuition. I was too busy with deadlines and chores to come up for air. I remember the morning of my birthday saw me staring into my cup of coffee and feeling worn out and tired. "So this is how 41 feels like—worn out and tired." I am in very many ways so very blessed but on that particular day, I didn't feel it.

I'm a little sad now, remembering that day, because even though it started with me weary, it got better and I wish now I can go back to that sad woman staring into her cup of tepid coffee and tell her, "Snap out of it. Today is your day and it's going to be a great day!"

And it was a great day. It was a great year! Never lose sight of all that is good, I remind myself. Despite my sunny smiles, I'm actually a half-glass empty kinda person so I have to constantly remind myself: "What's the good that happened? What am I grateful for? What do I say when I say thanks to God when I pray tonight?"

And ya know what? I have PLENTY to be thankful for! I loved being 41. It was such a good year! It wasn't the best year, no, since my situation didn't change. I still have to pay tuition. I still have asthma. I still don't have household help. I'm still sooo tired haha. But my attitude changed over the course of the year and with that change came gratitude and opened eyes to what is really an amazing life!

And to remind me that every year means more blessings to look forward to, let me honor the people who make my life truly a gift:

I want to thank my husband (I love you, Vince!) and our wonderful boys (Vito, Iñigo, Piero!) for the constant love—even when I was unlovable.

I want to thank the very few friends and family (special mention: Ginger, Dada, Claire, Kabbie, Jacqui, Theodore, and my Sales family!) who always reach out to me even when I closed myself off because of my exhausting mommy life.

I want to thank my blog readers (especially my Loyal Readers!) for staying through my blog's evolutions and for the comments and encouragement and support.

I want the brands who send us food (Harvest Meals most of all!) and toys and clothes and fun stuff (Netflix the best!) to know that for them it may just be PR but for my little family, your gifts are appreciated so much!


I don't know if you noticed but if you've been reading my blog for a while now, you might have noticed that all my past birthday photos were taken in daylight. I always wake up happy on my big day! When I turned 41 last year, however, I was only happy enough at the end of the day. So that was when we took out the little red velvet cake (thanks to my sister, Jacqui), gathered round the one pink candle, and made a wish.

My husband and kids teased me for taking forever with my wish, but I wasn't really wishing. I kept my eyes closed for a long time because I was stopping myself from crying. I was feeling guilty for not appreciating my wonderful life, overwhelmed with love from my family, and grateful—so incredibly grateful!—I'm alive for yet another year, surrounded by the people I love and who love me.

So I finally did make a wish—for more of these years!—because after coming out of my funk, I saw again how my little corner of the world is so perfect and that my time here is so short and that all I must ever ask from God is more time. More time to be a wife, more time to be a mommy, more time to repair and build relationships, more time to do my work, more time to be grateful.

When I finally opened my eyes, I saw my family (just look at those cute wriggly little boys!) through my tears and blew out that candle thinking, "More time, Lord. I'm going to make this time count!" And He gave me my wish. One more incredible year with the ones I love, with more provisions, with everything we need. Thank You, Father God!

Birthdays are always a new year. My 42nd year on this good earth is about to start and I'm sooo excited for all the new things coming my way! My birthday wish, however, remains the same: Please give me more time to enjoy this life and the gifts of love and friendship, and may I have time to give back that love. For now, as I turn 42, I just want to celebrate how blessed am I to have the most precious gift of all—time!


  1. Happy birthday Frances! Life is good and God is great! You are truly & wonderfully blessed!

    - Iris -- your longtime blog reader (and follower from "OK" magazine days!)

  2. Oh shocks sorry wasnt able to finish the last few paragraphs because Im tearing up and Im still here at the MRT to work. LOL.

    I love this:

    "I want to thank the very few friends and family (special mention: Ginger, Dada, Claire, Kabbie, Jacqui, Theodore, and my Sales family!) who always reach out to me even when I closed myself off because of my exhausting mommy life."

    Gosh thanks to the people in our lives who still stay and love us despite our unloveable attitude.

    Happy bday po.

  3. Happy birthday, super mom! More blessings and happiness to come your way. I got teary eyed with this post, Ms. Frances.

  4. Happy birthday, Frances! I got teary-eyed upon reading this. The line - more time, swept me off. I pray that you'll receive your heart's desires. You inspire moms like me to acknowledge what we feel and to keep on moving and not drown in our sorrows and mommy duties.

    Happiest birthday! You deserve the best! God bless!

  5. Silent reader here, and I've always admired your honesty and authenticity as a person and as a blogger. I just want to let you know that I enjoy reading your stories about yourself and your beautiful family. I learn a lesson or two every time and for that, I am grateful to you. Happy birthday, Ms. Frances! You really is fab at 40+2! May the Lord continue to give you more time to live and enjoy your best life! :)

  6. Your overflowing gratefulness despite of it all makes me think and realize life's goodness. And tonight, what should i thank for before i sleep? Thanks for being an inspiration!
    Happy birthday and more time for you!

  7. Happy Happy Birthday Frances! I wish I look as pretty as you even when I'm tired.. LOL! Wishing you more blessings and of course, LOVE forever and happiness!

  8. Happy Birthday Ms. Frances! Such a poignant and honest post that can only come from you :-) You are an inspiration.

  9. This post made me cry. So close to my life. Happirest Birthday, Frances!

  10. I had to stop myself from crying. Malakas ang impact sakin ng wish mo.
    When my daughter was still a baby, hirap na hirap kami sa gastos. Marami nga ako naisanla na alahas eh. Ngayon nag-aaral na sya, tuition fee at mga needs and wants naman ang kelangan isipin.
    SAHM ako, tambak lagi ang labahin at laging marami kailangan iligpit. Bilib ako sa'yo kasi you were able to juggle all those roles. Hindi halata yun pagod. Hindi halata na wala kang househelp at ikaw lahat ang gumagawa ng chores. Pero swerte ka dahil may cuties na willing to help you.
    I'm turning 39 on the 20th of this month but you look years younger than me!
    You have a beautiful family, Ms. Frances.
    I wish that you'll always find a reason to smile and be thankful for. I wish that God will bless you and your loved ones with good health and will always keep you safe.
    I wish that you'll have more and more birthdays to come so you could be with the ones that keeps you happy.

  11. You look gorgeous at 42! God will surely grant your heart’s desires, claim it. :) I sincerely wish you happiness and good health for you and your family.


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