Marriage Isn’t for Me

blogentry_michaelSociety has a problem. It’s been one that’s been developing for decades. There are more than a few movies that show the problems of marriage. They depict how it’s quite alright to have a divorce. It’s quite alright to just move on to the next person to find what you’re searching for. It’s a scary thought to me that it’s becoming the norm and is accepted. I think it’s because a person goes into a marriage thinking about the benefits of themselves. In reality, a marriage isn’t for me. It’s about the person I marry. It’s about the woman I love.

When I say society has a problem, maybe I’m generalizing it too much. There are plenty of couples that I know that have been happy and married for years. I only have to look towards many of our family members who are celebrating anniversaries of 20, 30, or even longer amounts of time. I’ve even had the great opportunity to be there for mom and dad’s 35th anniversary. What a wonderful thought that is isn’t it? To be married for so long and to see that love is not only still present but ever growing. It’s just a beautiful thing.

Even though I haven’t even been married for a year I’ve come to a conclusion that hopefully will help and guide me going forward.

Marriage isn’t for me.

I didn’t get married so that I would gain these wonderful benefits for myself. When I was up at the altar, I did not make vows to myself and that I would take care of myself and be selfish. I took a vow to take care of KristaRose. I took a vow to grow in love through the good and the bad. I took a vow to grow in love for Christ through my union with Krista. Nowhere in the celebration was it a congratulations or a pat on the back for me gaining anything. It makes me realize that I need to keep remembering that marriage isn’t for yourself, it’s for the one you love and most of all it’s for God.

Now I know that you might be thinking to yourself that hey wait a second, marriage can’t just be a one way street. You have to be able to have certain things that you like and be able to do certain activities that bring you joy and pleasure. That’s good and true but think about it this way… The person that you marry is supposed to be the one that will make you a better person. That person isn’t perfect. Every person is not perfect. But this one person that you have put a ring on is that person to help you grow. Your wife or your husband is going to be the one that wakes up everyday and learns about you and your tendencies. He or she is going to be the one that encourages you to keep doing the things you like to do and is going to make sure it makes you a better person.

I think a good example of this would be going bowling on Monday. I know that I made a blog post about it but it really is something special when Krista decides to take me bowling. She hasn’t been able to physically do bowling because of medical reasons but she knows just how much I love going and sat there and watched me as I played 5 games. If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is.

Other things I can think of are the times that I’m not too much of a happy person on the road. She’s always there to make sure I calm down and see it from the other person’s perspective. She’s really showed me how to consider everyone that is around you and that sometimes if a person is having a bad day, that person can make a bad move on the road and you shouldn’t be penalized for it. Isn’t that a good lesson we should learn in life? If someone makes a mistake, we shouldn’t yell at them. We should learn why they might have made the mistake and then work with them if they need our help. It’s a refreshing attitude that the world desperately needs.

I think most of all, Krista has been able to help me back to a more spiritual path. It’s great to have lots of conversation and discussion. It’s also great that we are able to have our own prayer time that we have in the mornings and evenings. I think it really helps us to fulfill our role in getting closer to God. I think it was Manang Grace that introduced this concept to us. In a marriage, you really have a triangle where God is at the top and the husband and wife are on the bottom parts. The closer you get to God, the closer your relationship will be. What a wonderful concept that is and it’s something that I definitely believe in.

So back to where I started this post. I think the world is really suffering with an attention disorder. It seems most people are satisfied to find instant thrill and not settle down and find the people that will actually make a difference in your life. Marriage isn’t supposed to be a fleeting thrill. It is a lifelong commitment that no matter what happens, you are sticking by that person. No matter how hard it gets, no matter what sicknesses come along, you love that one person and by giving your all to them, you become the person you are meant to be as well. Keep in mind that if you find the right person, he or she will give their all to you as well. It’s not a one way street, but a symbiotic relationship that brings you closer to each other and more importantly closer to God.

Take it slow

blogentry_michaelI got the rare chance to go bowling today as KristaRose decided to take me today. I don’t get many chances because I’m simply really busy most of the time. It’s always refreshing to go bowling though because it’s something I’m passionate about. I know that for some people, it’s hard to grasp but for me bowling has been kind of an art form. You really have to have dedication and discipline in order to do well. There are many different ways you can throw the ball but there is probably only a couple of ways that will suit your style and your strengths. Once you know how to throw the ball, then it becomes critical that you can throw it the same way over and over again. It’s the same concept in basketball or football. You have to practice that jump shot so that your arms and your legs automatically know how to shoot even with someone in your face. For football, you have to practice exactly how to throw the football so that it has the precise speed or you have to know how to run your route and how to adjust.

For today’s session, I was able to start off really strong with a 207. That’s fairly high for me especially since I haven’t really bowled in awhile. Actually, I think the last time I might have gone bowling was during my bachelor party. Anyway, during that game I started off ok but I quickly realized that I was bowling too fast. If you’ve bowled for a good portion of your life, you will instantly recognize when you’re a little too energetic. When I bowl too fast and with too much power I end up not curving the ball as much because I force it down the lane. About midway through the game, I adjusted and what was the result? I got a turkey (which for those who don’t know that means three strikes in a row).

After that, I started thinking about how this really could be applied to the real world. How many times have we gone through situations and sped through them as quickly as possible because we wanted them to just be over with? How many times have we been at work and wanted the clock to speed up so we can get back home? How many times have we waited impatiently at a red light and just want to blast right through it?

I know that I’m guilty of many of these situations. We live in a world that demands us to manage our time very carefully. We have to spend a lot of time devoted to work. We have to spend time for the family and kids. We have to spend time for friends and those around us. We think that going fast allows us to do so much more. Maybe we’re going about this the wrong way.

Take me for example. I tend to forget a lot of things. Maybe it’s because I’m a guy. Maybe it’s because I’m just me. But whatever the case, I tend to forget instructions unless I write them down or there’s not too many steps involved. I really have to focus sometimes just to get things right. I’ve always thought that it’s a combination of these problems that leads me to forget. However, what if it’s because I don’t take my time and really absorb what’s going on around me? What if my memory improves if I take things slower?

I’ve started trying this with things that Krista has told me to do. We use this app called Wunderlist, which by the way is a great free app that allows you to create lots of to-do lists. In this app, Krista can outline things for me to pick up from the grocery store or chores to do around the house. Many times though, I’m so pressed for time and I think that I have so much to do like dishes and laundry that I actually forget that I have this app on my phone. Because of this, I end up not doing everything on the list and I have to spend more time accomplishing those goals.

I’ve found that if I take things slower and do everything one by one on my lists, things get finished and I don’t have to redo the task. Sure it might overall take a little longer but the time saved in not redoing tasks more than makes up for it.

I think that going forward this is the method I’m really going to follow. Whether I use lists on Wunderlist or a list on my whiteboard in the office, I can spend some time each morning just going through all the tasks that I have and making sure I prioritize what I need to get done. I find that I just get a lot more done and it keeps me motivated to keep going through my tasks.

So what can you do today to take things slower? Think about everything you need to do and approach things one by one instead of all at the same time. Once you learn to take things slower, then you’ll really be living in the moment as well!

Understanding People is Difficult

blogentry_michaelI’ve said many times in previous posts that the key to really developing good relationships and bonds with people is to make sure you understand them. It’s easier said than done because let’s face it, understanding people is difficult. Every single person has a different personality. Every single person has a different agenda. Every single person reacts differently to what you have to say and what you do.

The reason that this topic popped into my head this morning is because I received an invitation to a wedding this morning from one of my previous co-workers in India. I know that weddings in India are very big celebrations and many of them usually have thousands of guests. They actually make my wedding and the ones here in the US seem like very tame celebrations! This wasn’t the first invitation I’ve gotten from one of my Indian friends. It made me realize though that it took a lot of effort to get to this point.

When I first got out of my leadership rotational program at Nielsen, I still had just raw talent. I had the skills and techniques down that would get me to be successful but I didn’t really have the exposure to the global level yet that would help me really develop my communication skills. I will say that first 6 months or so after the program I struggled. I got more responsibilities and it really centered around getting our program delivered. It also involved talking a lot with our team in India and I just did not understand how they worked.

At many points during that time I thought to myself, man these guys just don’t know how to work. They don’t really communicate and give you what’s really going on. They tend to promise something and then not deliver. They aren’t being very responsive to me at all. It’s the most frustrating thing to experience as a project manager because the struggle is real and the pressure you feel from your boss is real. I struggled day in and day out because even the accents were really tough to decipher sometimes.

But slowly I started to realize that instead of being in the mindset of asking why they do the things they do, I started to focus on how they do the things that they do. There’s just a totally different mindset in their culture in how they approach their work. I find that a lot of the team does better if you give them more specific instructions on what to do. It’s not that they are dumb or stupid in any regard. In fact I’m sure that many of them are quite smarter than I am and their technical expertise just amazes me. They do require a more concrete plan though in order to achieve an objective. It actually helps me too in order to make sure I am covering everything.

I started to work more of their hours to be more available for problems that might arise. This one was a tough one because it meant waking up at all odd hours of the day. There was a period of time when I actually was up at 2am on Fridays and just worked into the early afternoon just so I can shift my schedule around for deployments. I think showing that dedication for working helped people to see that I genuinely cared and I was there to help them out. I wasn’t just that person that worked only US hours and called the shots from there.

I also got the chance to visit Chennai about four times in the span of two years. It was so much easier to connect with people when you saw them face to face. It was also another chance to show just how much you were invested in the project as well because I tended to pull 90+ hour weeks while over there.

I think the final way that I really started to understand the team is by getting to know them. By really caring about what they are saying and getting to know how their families are and what they dreamed of doing, I think it really helped to develop the relationship. Even sharing my experiences helps in that regard as well.

So circling back to the invitation I got today, I think it really is a sign of what you can really accomplish even if you don’t understand a person at first. Make a real effort to know who they are, what they want to do and how they think of life. This isn’t just applicable to your coworkers but to everyone else you know. Let down your prejudices and barriers and start to really feel what the other person feels. Try to listen and hear their struggles and understand how that may affect their life decisions. It’s hard enough going through this world with your own struggles. We don’t need to add communication problems with other people on that list!

Am I Making a Difference?

blogentry_michaelI think that one of the things that a lot of 20 and 30 something year olds suffer from are regrets and doubts that they are making a difference in the world. I don’t think it’s just me that thinks this but I had dreams of changing the world. They were grand dreams which included being able to build great websites and change people’s minds just by what I write. I would affect thousands, maybe even tens of thousands of people and I would make my place in the world that way.

Has it turned out that way? Sort of. Let me explain.

My grand dreams of accomplishing change on a great level or even a global level hasn’t really panned out that way. On a day to day basis my priorities remain to my great and loving wife and to my crazy but really loyal pup and of course to family, friends and work. It’s a life that many people have on a day to day basis and it’s not something to take that lightly. Working brings in the money that allows you to support your family. Sure it might not be something so grand, but it is something that makes a difference. Sometimes I forget this but as soon as I’m able to reflect a bit and think about things, I remember that every single day I make a difference.

I make a difference to my wife, KristaRose. I’m her rock and I’m there to make her laugh. I’m there to make sure she has all her medications. I’m there to have adventures with and to be crazy enough to just walk around a supermarket at 1AM. I’m there to love her and to hold her when things aren’t going too well. I’m there to make her a better person just as she’s here to make me a better person.

I make a difference to my puppy, Twix. If you think about it, dogs don’t have a lot to look forward to (in our eyes at least). They require attention from us and if you are willing to work on it and give your dog lots of love, you will have the most loyal pet in the world. Even if Twix is a little mischievous at times, he is still a great dog that will always come up to you and just wag his tail. He will be that dog that is so friendly to other people and pets that he literally gets disappointed and whines when he can’t greet someone. I’m there everyday for this dog to make sure he has food, water and his daily walks.

I make a difference to family and friends. I know that everyday even though I don’t have a high profile job and I don’t make the big bucks my family loves me and supports me. I feel it everyday in a text or posts on Facebook. I feel it in phone calls or letters. I feel it because there is something that makes me feel comforted every day that we have people watching over us.

I make a difference to the people at work. I know that sometimes work isn’t the most fun thing in life but I try to make everyday a better experience for the people I work with. It starts with being thankful for everything that is being done for me. It’s extended through all of the work that I do and how it helps others and it makes our whole team look good (I’ve had several great mini-projects that have been seen by senior leadership lately with great remarks).

And I think most of all I just make a difference everyday to strangers. Whether it’s opening a door for someone or offering to pay for items for someone in need or letting someone turn first on the road. Small things that you do every single day confirm the fact that I make a difference in this life.

So what does that mean for you? I think that everyday we get bogged down in life. Whether it’s work or other issues you may have in life, they just make us lose perspective everyday. Everyone has dreams that they want to achieve and many people want to make a difference. I just want everyone to know that in your own life, you are making a difference every single day. Even if you do one small thing, you’ve just made a difference. Build on this. Keep recognizing things that you do and keep doing them. Make it automatic in your life and keep trying to work towards your dreams. Always remember though, even if you aren’t achieving your big dreams now, you are making a difference and that’s always a step in the right direction.

In Diapers We Trust

blogentry_michaelAbout a couple of weeks ago I was in Meijer and was shopping around for some pots. I’ve started to get a green thumb and am starting to build a small little garden that we’re growing indoors with a grow light. Anyway, that’s probably a post for another time. While I was shopping in the floral department I turned around towards the self checkout line because I heard someone visibly crying. There was a lady that was in the process of checking out. It had looked like she was able to get some basic groceries but her card was declined for the last item. She had started crying and proceeded to ask the cashier to take a box of diapers off of the order. For myself personally, I hate the feeling of not having enough money at the cash register. There was a point in time when I was in the same spot and I was struggling to have enough money to even just get meals for the week. So being the person that I am, I approached the lady and quietly took the diapers and asked her if I could cover it for her. The expression of gratitude the lady had was an image that you could remember for some time. How blessed am I at this point in life to be able to help others like this? It was a gentle reminder of how we are supposed to be kind and help each other out in the world.

How many other situations like this happen on a daily basis? How many people are struggling to make ends meet? How many times have we passed up an opportunity to help someone? How many homeless individuals have we neglected to even glance at? I hope that today you take a moment to really let that sink in and look for those opportunities and embrace them. Even if you don’t have a lot, always remember that someone else has it worse and even a small gesture of kindness can go a long way.

Giving Up

blogentry_michaelEvery year, we are given the opportunity through the Lenten season to give up something in order to grow closer to Jesus Christ and understand what he gave up for us. Growing up, it was always something very food related that was suggested we give up. Many suggestions of candy or sodas were thrown out there. Sometimes a suggestion of abstaining from red meat for the whole duration of Lent was put forth. As a kid, I sort of understood why we would do that but I don’t think it really sank in. I mean how can you really understand the deep meaning of why we do what we do during the Lenten season.

Fast forward to the past few years and there’s a very different perspective that I now have. For the past few years instead of focusing on something that is food related or depriving myself in that regard I have focused on trying to get rid of an undesirable aspect of myself. Last year I tried to refrain from getting angry. This year, my focus is to stop being impatient.

The reason why I chose to sacrifice my impatience is because even though most people would regard me as a patient person, I am critical of myself in that area. I think Krista sees it all the time because I have this really bad habit of getting impatient when I’m driving. I see a lot of people on the street cutting me off or really doing some puzzling things on the road. I actually think South Bend is about the worst place I’ve seen drivers but I’m open to hearing other people’s arguments about their own cities. In any case, I have had times where I really get impatient and have made comments to myself about it. When you look at it though, what does that really get you? Higher blood pressure? Some egotistical satisfaction that you’re better than the other person because you can drive better than they can? It really nets you nothing at all and this is one aspect I want to work on.

Another big reason why I wanted to focus on this is because even with KristaRose being sick sometimes I can still be impatient. I can tell you that it is very hard sometimes to take care of her. There are moments where she is in pain and you just quite don’t know what to do. Sometimes I have difficulty understanding what she needs because the pain would be in her neck or shoulders or even her mouth and I literally can’t understand her. Sometimes she needs to be repositioned on the bed and I can’t interpret how she wants to be moved because she literally can’t move any part of her body to indicate how she wants to be moved. It is in those situations that I want to be better. I want to make sure that I am always ready to spend up to 30 minutes or more to understand exactly what she needs. I want to make sure I do a better job at interpreting. Granted I think I do a pretty good job right now but as I said before I can always improve.

After attending Ash Wednesday mass yesterday, Father Rocca told us that we should be focusing on one thing this Lenten season. Too often we try to focus on so many different improvements or sacrifices that we lose sight of why we are doing this. We should be focusing on one aspect of almsgiving. We should focus on one aspect of prayer. We should focus on one aspect of fasting. I think this is a great message and a good way to really focus on your relationship with Christ. But this is something we should continually do every single day of every single year. We should always be focused on doing good and making this world a better place. We should strive to work on a bad aspect of our lives so that we can be closer to Christ. We should focus on prayer in our unique way whether that is meditating for sometime during the day or saying the same prayer when you wake up or before you go to bed.

So for this year, even if you aren’t Catholic or Christian, it would be good to really take a look at your life and see what is the one thing that you can give up that would make you a better person. You should take a look every month and try to work on that. Certainly if everyone could do that, this world would be a better place.

How do you beat an invisible disease?

blogentry_michaelI first off want to start this blog post with a disclaimer that I’m not looking for any sympathy from anyone. I merely ask that you keep an open mind and perhaps start to understand a group of people that have difficulties that aren’t visible. 

Back in 2012 when Krista was first diagnosed with Lupus, I had no idea what that meant. Lupus is a disease that is still not very well understood. There is no exact reason why the disease occurs. There is no complete evidence that it occurs because of genetics. It is widely believed this could be the reason but we don’t know for sure. We also don’t know what Lupus will eventually affect. There are a number of different body parts that could be affected. Some get what are called butterfly rashes on the their face. Some experience swelling of their hands or feet. Some have their body organs affected. No, back in 2012 when we initially heard the news, we had no idea what we were in for.

It may sound a bit odd but Krista had been blessed up to this point of being sick in the past. She had the experiences necessary that would help her to better combat the diseases of the present. I won’t go into a lot of detail but a lot of the things she had to deal with could be at least mildly controlled. I won’t say completely controlled but she got into a stable enough routine where she could really live her life and be the person she wanted to be. What we started learning with the Lupus was that this disease starts to really affect you and disrupt any routine you may have. The problem with Lupus is that you never know when a flare will occur. You can do your best to control the symptoms but there will be days where you just feel terrible. You don’t want to get up out of bed. You don’t want to eat very much. You suffer in pain and the only relief sometimes is a dose of steroids that can be a blessing and a curse at the same time.

This is the problem of an invisible disease. You don’t know when it strikes. Therefore, you can’t plan very well for it. Yes, you can stay on top of everything. You can make sure you take all of your medications at the right time. You can document how you feel on a daily basis.

Later in 2012 and going into 2013 we would learn that Krista had other illnesses that were related to autoimmune disorders.


Chrohn’s Disease and Colitis.

All of these in addition to the already reoccuring effects of Lupus and other pre-existing conditions. Let me tell you from a husband and a caregiver point of view it’s tough. But I’m going to try to vocalize just how tough it is to see what I see every single day.

  • It is tough to manage all of her medications and make sure she has everything she needs. I can barely take a few pills on my own, let alone big pills like some of the ones that she has.
  • It is tough to see her mobility restricted and having to roll her in a wheelchair on certain days. I’m truly blessed that I can still walk everywhere on most days. Boo hoo to my sometimes aching knee. She is subjected to my terrible wheelchair driving skills (by the way I’m sorry Krista that I’m still not the best driver, I’m still learning) and not being able to see items she wants to without my help.
  • It is tough to see her at night, crying, and wincing in pain and not being able to do anything about it. The best I can do some nights is to try to massage her pain areas and just be there with her but I know some nights that’s just not enough.
  • It is tough losing nights of sleep either making sure she is well taken care of or making up for the day’s work because I had to take her to appointments. It’s not something I regret in the slightest and in fact, it is a great blessing to have that flexibility.
  • It is tough to see her sleeping in the middle of the day, sometimes in the afternoon and asking myself, did we push it too hard the previous day? Is she trying to regain energy? Should I keep trying to push her a bit more so that she can at least enjoy being out and not inside the house?
  • It is tough to see how some of the people that Krista really care about don’t really make an effort to see how she’s doing periodically. I know it’s not a great thing to expect this from people but it really is tough and saddens me when days go by that there aren’t any communications about how she is doing except from family who we are extremely thankful for.
  • It is tough to see people actively looking and judging us each time we park in a handicapped spot. There’s an automatic stigma that if you’re young you don’t deserve a spot and you should give it to others who need it. The tag we have, it’s to eliminate those times where it took 20 minutes to cross a street because she couldn’t move her legs and the only way we could is by taking the smallest of steps and praying a car wouldn’t come by. Or it’s the time when there was 6″ of snow and I took out the wheelchair just to push her to the curb and out of harms way. That’s why we need the spot.

And I think the toughest thing on my part is just the feeling of helplessness. What can I really do? Be her rock? Sure, I will do that until the day I die. Take charge of everything around the house and make it easier for her? Done and not a problem. But at the end of the day, none of that beats back the illnesses.

So how do you beat an invisible disease?

You beat it with love. I am 100% sure that our unending love for each other will beat this disease. It’s in the little things like surprises at work for no reason at all. Love letters on Valentine’s Day instead of expensive gifts. Starting each day (whenever it may be) with a kiss. It’s in doing everything you possibly can in a day in order to make things better and brighten the day.

You beat it with family and friends. There is no greater power than the love of family and friends. Family has been nothing but supportive throughout this whole process. Mom and Dad have done so much. Manong RJ, Manang Rachel, Manong Rob, all of our family in Chicago, DC, the Philippines, Texas. Everyone has been 110% supportive with prayers, love, thoughts, advice, letters, emails, phone calls, texts, mass dedications. I couldn’t ask for more support but I continually get surprised every day.

You beat it with smiles. One of the things that made me fall in love with KristaRose was her smiles. She has these smiles that will just make everything just seem better. They literally light up the room. I know that sounds so corny but so what, it is true. I live for those smiles and it’s my job to make sure she has as many of them as possible. Each one seems like an extra punch to the illnesses to weaken their grip on her.

You beat it with great doctors. Having doctors you know and trust make a world of difference. If you come into contact with doctors that truly care about you and actively want to see how you are doing and will do anything and everything to explain situations to you and make you aware of your options and don’t force you into any decisions, keep them.

Most of all, you beat it with God. He has a divine plan for each and everyone of us. We don’t know for sure why Krista is sick and why she must go through this. Maybe it’s to show her how beautiful life is. Or maybe it’s to show everyone she loves how beautiful life is. Whatever the purpose, at the end of the day all we can do is leave it in his hands. That’s what we do everyday. We pray in the morning and in the evening. They aren’t complex prayers but they are intimate and help us in our way to connect with God. The moment when you lose sight of God is when the illness starts winning.

Again, I wanted to reiterate I wrote this blog post not in getting any sympathy from anyone but rather to show everyone how an invisible disease might look. It is tough to deal with and trust me every day is a challenge. But there are ways to beat it. Knowing KristaRose, she will beat it.

The Lermz

Remember to not only give blessings, but receive them as well

blogentry_michaelI’ve realized that it’s been a very long time that I’ve posted. Since the wedding in July of 2013, my journey has been a very interesting one. Everyday is full of blessings of different varieties. Whether it’s just the blessing of a new day or the blessing of a new layer of snow on the ground or the blessing of seeing the beautiful faces of my wife or my dog, Twix, everyday has taught me something. In the next few posts I will try to catch up with some of the major lessons but today I wanted to focus on blessings in general.

I was taught from a very young age that we should really enjoy the time that we have here on this planet. Enjoy every relationship you have. Enjoy every conversation and insight. Enjoy everything around you and appreciate the beauty that God has put on this Earth. It’s a very grand idea and it’s something that we need to continually remind ourselves to do. I don’t know how many posts I’ve put where I’ve mentioned that I get this epiphany to stop and smell the roses. But it’s more than just smelling the roses. It’s also about giving roses out to others. A big part of being human and belonging in this world is giving your blessings to others. Whether it’s a smile or a hug or a compliment, everything you say can mean the world to a person. That is a pretty awesome blessing if you think about it.

On the opposite end, I think one of the toughest things to truly do: receiving blessings. Everything that happens in our life really should be considered a blessing. All of the good things that happen may be for a particular reason. Maybe some things are meant to reward you for going through tough phases of your life. Things like a promotion (I recently was promoted!) help you to value the hard work you put into something and to appreciate the end result and the people that helped you along the way. Some things might be meant to usher you into a new part of life. Our marriage for example was a huge blessing and it started a new chapter of life. Not to mention that we had so many people giving us their blessing, smiles, and love that day.

What might be the toughest part to realize is that bad things and situations give us additional blessings as well. I think as a lot of you know, KristaRose has been diagnosed with a multitude of challenging illnesses. Most people would look at that and say that it’s so sad that a young person has to deal with such things. But you know, maybe it’s God’s way of showing us just how strong she can be. It could be a sign of how her family and friends can ban together and help her through the pain. Maybe it’s a way that God is showing me how I should be. How I should dedicate myself to making sure she gets everything done and to forge my own determination and willpower to show my love for her. Everything has a funny way of having a purpose and I think God has that in store for every situation.

Even as I write this today, I got word that my only remaining Lola in the Philippines passed away. I did not know her very well because I didn’t grow up knowing everyone in my family. However, I have heard the many great things she did for the family and my mom definitely honors her greatly. Even something as deep as a death has a blessing. Perhaps it will bring the family closer together. It may even give me a new perspective and help me to know my family more. It is certainly a sad event but some purpose will come out of it that helps God shape our future.

So as I remember my Lola and start to reflect back on how these months have been, I must remember that everyday is a blessing. I give blessings to others but I also need to remember that I receive them as well. You have to continually put your trust and faith in God that there is a master plan. One way or another we will come to know why things happen and it will be glorious when we do.

The Lermz

I’m a Married Man!

blogentry_michaelHello all you Motivate2Inspire fans! I apologize for the hiatus but I was out doing something that’s somewhat important. Yes I am now married man. People have asked me if I feel any different. I can’t really say that I do feel that different. KristaRose and I have been dating for quite a long time and we had a long engagement. The only different thing is that now we’re condensing into one apartment and I guess I wake up in the middle of the night with no sheets on top of me. Any tricks on how to keep your spouse from doing that to you, I’d be welcome to hearing!

Anyway, a lot has gone on during the past few weeks. I took off the week before the wedding to get more of the prep done and to relax as friends and family came in. I was really happy and honored that some of my family from San Antonio were able to come to the wedding. It really was touching that they made the trip. I was also very excited for all of Krista’s family coming in. They all have become my family now. In fact I’m something like the 69th member of the Martirez family and 124th member of the Mijares family. That’s quite a lot of new cousins and family I acquired and I couldn’t be happier to be welcomed in like this.

The wedding ceremony was beautiful. I can’t say that I remember everything (I was so focused on not dropping the ring or coins during the ceremony). From what everyone told us though, they thought the liturgy was very moving. The credit for this goes to mom (that’s exciting to say now instead of Tita Rose!) as she worked really hard in arranging such a great liturgy. Everything kind of just fell in place and worked out well. The reception went by as a blur. We were constantly taken to one place or another. I only had 2 bites of the wedding cake and maybe participated in 3 dances besides the special first dance and mother-son dance. It was really great to see so many people, I only wish we had more time to chat to each and every guest since each one meant so much to us.

We then went to Disneyworld for our honeymoon. We stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani and it was amazing to wake up to so many animals at our window. We went to all four parks but my favorite by far was Animal Kingdom. I loved going on the safari (we got to go twice because the driver was really nice to us since it was our honeymoon) and we saw a lot of animals. My favorite moment was when a baby white rhino came all the way up to the side of the jeep. That was really awesome. Overall I still think I’m biased towards Disneyland. It’s just a lot easier to get around and you don’t have to wait on buses all day to get places. But even with that, I still loved being down there and spending time with Krista. It truly was magical and we have oh around 60 GB or more of pictures and movies to prove it haha. We also have a Disney Cruise scheduled for September that we’re also looking forward to. Neither of us have gone on a cruise and we’re very excited!

Anyway, I’ll be slowly coming back to updating this more regularly. I hope to put in more effort and make sure that I update the Facebook page as well. Get ready for some more inspiration, getting married and having a bit of vacation certainly filled me with a new sense of spirit!

~The Lermz