Bridal Shower #3: Lace and Pearls

So one day mom tells me that she’s planning a bridal shower for me, I told her “sure mom, that would be great” but in my head I knew there was a 50-50 chance of it pushing through. Not that I doubted mom’s party planning skills nor did I question her creativity, it was just that she’s literally one of the busiest people that I know. If she’s not working in the hospital, you’ll find her working at home, surely she wouldn’t be able to find time to do this. And another thing, she wanted to go all out on DIY-ing this party without asking for my help. How the heck was she going to do that?

 “Give me a date when you’re free, you don’t need to worry about anything. We’ll plan this.”

I thought she wasn’t serious until she brought these DIY printed-out invitations home. That was the only time she let me help…wrapping the invitations with doilies and burlap strings (very rustic vintage) before she handed them out.

Mom had one of her co-workers (who btw also was crazy about DIY) come up with the invitation print-outs

And on the day of the actual shower, this table at the entrance blew me away.

There it was… mom’s mirrored vanity tray that we bought from one of the past estate sales, Vynna’s assorted glass perfume bottles, the vintage off-white gloves that I bought from the lady next-door in the old neighborhood we were living in, a photo of me and marco (mom made sure to buy vintage frames for that), faux pearls, a cream colored candle inside a bird cage, a lace fan, Mae’s DIY guestbook in pink/gold/ pearls, a DIY cake towel made by one of mom’s friends (its at the far corner—yes, that thing was made out of towels) and just a hodge page of trinkets and treasures.

Walked in the room and saw my thrifted vintage wedding dress on a mannequin.

The homemade mocha cake Tita Mymar made. Isn’t it lovely?

Mini Cupcakes. 🙂

My sister’s home made oreo cake pops—Thanks Pauline!

Loved the wonderful flower arrangement made by a lady from church.

Dessert/ Punch table setting.

And they also prepared a slide show presentation for me ℅ the Sandils.

They were showing some embarassing pictures of me growing up, How delightful (not, haha)

Practice for the wedding day— I also had cake slicing during my bridal shower.

…and of course they also had a Toilet Paper Wedding Dress Contest. The models from each group: Tita Mymar, Angelie and Tita Connie.

Opening of gifts: L-I-N-G-E-R-I-E….lost count.

This is a tad bit too late but I want to thank everyone who made it to the bridal shower and also thank you for all the presents, the cards, the gift cards, cash, stuff from the wedding registry, inspirational books on marriage, the lovely rosary and most importantly words of advice as I start a new chapter in my life. Mom was right, each and everyone of you has been an important part of my life, true women of wisdom whom I won’t hesitate to run to in times of need.

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Here’s a run-down of the people who made it to the bridal shower:

Tita Flora, our closest family friend/ mom’s second mom here in Houston.

My boss and my second mom at work.

CFC-FFL Titas with Mae, all of them are my second-moms in the community.

Mom’s friends and co-workers.

The Singsons, the first ever family who housed us in Houston.

Mommy Norma and Ate Jen, one of our very few relatives here in Houston. They just moved in a couple of days ago.

The infamous Tita Mymar, cake extraordianire.

The Ladies of the Pinoy Community of Sienna Anderson Springs, our closest friends in the neighborhood and the most down-to-earth bunch I know.

with the soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs. Costales (they’re also getting married this year!). Thanks so much for hosting, Mae!

With the youngest girls in the family—Ate loves you!!!

And of course my dearest mom, the brains behind the bridal shower.

Mom, you’ve really outdone yourself! I know you’ve been silently stressing out on the preparations for this bridal shower and for a while I did feel kind of helpless not being able to pitch-in with the planning or the execution of this whole thing. I’m so used to us tag-teaming with you, doing chores, running house errands, telling the kids off but you know what with the help of our family, close friends and neighbors the whole thing just turned out quite perfect. We really are so blessed and loved. I want to thank you for going out of your way to make me feel appreciated and for making sure that my last few days in Houston were memorable. And in turn I too appreciate you for sacrificing your time and effort just to make this send-off a blast. You really would do anything for us, mom. Thank you and I love you so much!

~Rhea

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Bridal Shower #2/ Birthday/ Despedida Party: Luau

May 9, 2014— my last day at work and ironically also my boss’ (Mrs. Abaya) birthday. Coincidentally, my first day at work fell on September 7 which also happened to be my birthday. To those who’ve always wondered what I do (or did) for a living in Houston, I was a medical assistant for one of the best Filipino Nephrologists in the Houston Medical Center  (no bias at all). And the Texas Medical Center in Houston is in fact the largest medical center in the entire world as of the moment so I would want to assume that Dr. Abaya is one of the best nephrologists out there.

Now I know I took up BA Theater Arts in college, I majored in “performance”, clearly I had no medical background whatsoever. And just to add up to that, I never did like the medical field, I could tolerate it but never did I go looking for it. To my advantage, this husband and wife tandem took me in and took a chance on me. I’ve always wondered what they saw in me, heck if I interviewed myself I wouldn’t even hire “me”. I didn’t know what I was taking about but I acted like I did though, of course I am a performer, surprisingly after a few days they called and I started working with them part time at first and eventually full time. Maybe it was the fact the Dr. Abaya went to the University of the Philippines and he saw on my resume that I did too, other than being Filipino that was our only connection, in our fields of expertise we had null.

The Abayas were my first ever employers in Houston and my last before flying back to the Philippines to live there temporarily. That small, skinny girl from 7 years ago who knew nothing is no more, today I can honestly say that I am a medical assistant in the full essence of it. I can handle difficult patients, triage medical complaints, memorize procedure and diagnoses codes, charge visits, check vital signs, verify medication, get claims paid, appeal ones that aren’t paid, do credentialing for the doctor and the practice but most importantly I have learned to genuinely care for my patients and I have learned to get to the bottom of their problems and concerns with their insurance, their health, their medications, their appointments, their everything.

I will miss you all and I will miss our patients. To those patients who scheduled appointments just to see me before I leave…Thank you. To those who went into the trouble of getting me a little something and writing me sweet notes…Thank you. And to those who came by on my last day even without scheduled appointments just to give me a hug and send me their well-wishes…Thank you. I cannot promise you that I’ll be back in a year to work as a medical assistant again but I hope that our paths will cross someday and when that day comes I hope you will still remember me.

Instant Luau at our kitchen/ break room

My mentor and today’s birthday girl— Mrs. Abaya

Today’s pika-pika. Yessenia tried to compromise by throwing in some healthy stuff like carrots, broccoli, pretzels and some fruits but we obviously went for the cheese, crackers, m&m’s, cupcakes and donut holes.

Mrs. Abaya brought in lunch from La Madeline

For the past few years my boss would get me this awesome cake for my birthday or special occasions, here’s one last for good times sake

The famous Sacher Torte from La Madeline

Flowers for Mrs. Abaya from Yessenia

I got her white tulips

Dr. Abaya and Mrs. Abaya

Yessenia, a new found friend that Im leaving so soon.

P.S. She’s also getting married this July 2014.

Bernardino F. Abaya, MD and staff

….I am what I am today, Dr. Abaya and Mrs. Abaya, because of you. Thank you for taking a chance on me, for being patient with me, for training me and for teaching me everything I know today about the medical practice. Your kindness and generosity will never be forgotten. One way or the other, I know I’ll get to use all of these skills you’ve taught me, hopefully when Marco starts his own practice in the future. I am forever grateful, Abayas.

~Rhea