The Secret to Happiness

Prior to my birthday all my Apple devices coincidentally got hacked and locked, but at least I got back into my phone without wiping it out. I probably jinxed it when I said I wanted to let 30 sink in before posting Birthday pictures 😂

On a somewhat serious note since this is just a blog post after all 😝– I took a leap of faith this year and stepped outside my comfort zone to embark on a journey of self discovery. A lesson I take from the solidarity is to create a life of gratitude and accepting where I am in life by making the most out of every day. This solemn week in Houston made for a bittersweet conclusion; sorrows and wounds are healed by the touch of compassion. I am grateful for every second of every day that I get to spend time with people I love and to live the life I love. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to my family and friends for never giving up on me! 30 doesn’t feel so bad after all.

Thank you for reading 💗, ter

Joy – Enjoy the little things

I was at Prince of Peace this past weekend and the homily spoke of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Generosity, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control.

Father Keller asked if we ever asked God for any of these. The entire crowd paused and reflected — questioning God. He interrupted to tell us that we all ALWAYS have each Fruit of the Holy Spirit in us, but we need to remind our selves to bring it out. He kindly asked us to participate in a simple exercise where we write down the Fruit that we are seeking most on a post-it note and to simply place it where we would routinely see it. These characteristics have always been in us but we go through things in life that make us feel ejected from them.
I was going through a sense of loneliness, scared of speaking of my depression and anxiety with my loved ones. I made a decision to explore the world this year and rediscover myself. Without pain, how could we know joy?
Thank you Father Keller for reminding me of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit. I wrote the words “Joy” on several post-it notes that night and placed them all around the house. It reminded me to smile and love the life I live: Your mind is a powerful thing. When you fill it with positive thoughts, your life will start to change. 
Thanks for reading, I hope you rediscover a Fruit of the Holy Spirit that had always been hiding in you. I am forever grateful for the simple reminder that my joyous spirit never left me.

Mental illness is not a choice

I start to feel accomplished and then it silently creeps up on me after several good days, weeks, or even months. Trauma triggers and I feel myself spiraling down again. Depression is living in a body that fights to survive, and a mind that wants to die. Anxiety isn’t something that goes away, but something you have to learn to control.

I am still learning to speak up more when I am sad and taking more care of myself. I have to remind myself that the bravest thing I ever did was continue my life when I wanted to die. I find my safe place to close my eyes to breathe and find strength to get up again tomorrow to start over. We all need to surround ourselves with people who remind us that we matter because the comeback is always stronger than the setback. Mental illness is not a choice, but recovery is. I accepted that I am depressed, but I’m not giving up.

Never let a day pass you by.

My Mom had always been youthful and outgoing. She would love to dress up and take me around town with her when I was younger. I always admired her as a young girl (and I still do). I always wanted to grow up to be just as independent and graceful as she was. I would mimic her makeup and get my hair stuck in the curling brush trying to get my hair to be just like hers. She was beautiful; my Dad made sure to remind her each and every day.

In recent years, we noticed a sudden change in my Mom. She was weaker, her skin lost color, and she wasn’t the same. It took a lot of convincing to get her to admit to the hospital; only to find out that both of her kidneys had failed on her. That’s when her tough journey with the dialysis treatment began.

I wasn’t living at home at the time, but when I visited every month, it choked me up to see the endless amount of pills separated in that plastic container for her to take each day. I would take her to the dialysis clinic and wait with her until she was done. My Dad always told me to act normal so that Mom would feel safe. We never wanted her to feel sad. We never wanted her to be scared. Sadly, I was scared each time.


The end of 2010, my brother married his wife. My mom was too weak to walk down the isle with my Dad and it broke my heart knowing that it was one of my Mom’s biggest dreams to see one of her kids get married. The end of 2010 was also one of the roughest times in my life. I lived away from home and dealt with a lot of personal issues. I use to drag myself out of bed each morning and let my depression take over me. I remember my room being so cold, I felt so alone, and I would cry just to fall asleep.

January 5th, 2011. I was in Houston visiting my parents for the week. My cousin and I had gone to the market to pick up some things my parents asked for. My phone rang and my Dad had told me to rush home because of an emergency. Pins and needles went through my body and my mind went crazy thinking that something happened to my Mom. By the time I got home, Dad was rushing out the door, holding Mom’s hands, and she was hanging on to her hospital bag.
“We got the call! We got the call! They have a match!!”

I watched the doctors and nurses take my Mom away into the surgery room and I just stood there holding my tears as she looked at me, smiled, and said, “Stay strong for Mommy.”

As I was in the waiting room, I prayed. I prayed for my Mother’s health. I prayed that this will be the one. My Mom had been on the waiting list for a kidney transplant for a few years. There have been close calls in the past, but complications always occurred.

We were all restless, but we were grateful and relieved as the doctor came out to tell the family that the surgery was a success. At that moment, I realized that I should never take life for granted and live life happily. I should never let anything negative bring me down and always strive to live a positive lifestyle. A lot of people don’t understand why I try to be so positive, well here is my tell all. This is my reasoning to why I live the life I live now. I learned to never waste a day being angry or sad. I learned to appreciate every breath that I take. I see the good in people and separate myself from all negativity. I can’t drown myself in sorrow and I can’t waste my time on people that make me sad. We need to make time for things and people that matter. Every day is a gift, and it could be all taken away. Because of my Mom, I finally learned to live life for me. I write my own stories and my future is in my hands.

I still can’t believe that it has now been 6 years since we received the call that would change my Mom’s life. I thank God everyday for her second chance. She still has many restrictions and daily obstacles, but this enabled her an extra push to make it through the day. She stays strong for her husband, children, and her grandchildren.

I am thankful for the stranger who donated. I am also thankful for all the people who donated and funded the research to make this all happen. You saved my Mom’s life; I owe you my everything.

Here I attached links on how you can learn more about donating:
Methodist Transplant
National Kidney Foundation

If there is one thing I have learned through this experience, is that life is precious. My family has always been blessed with everything we needed in life; through hard work and dedication of course, but also through the power of prayer. Mom is this key piece to holding our family together, and we are thankful each day that we still have each other.

Thanks for reading,


The purpose of life is a life of purpose.


The terrifying innate fear of figuring out self purpose soon incorporated itself into my life-long battle with anxiety – only to leave me feeling more helpless, hopeless and powerless. I distracted myself by focusing on the things I had to do and got so caught up trying to exceed expectations to improve myself – later realizing; who was I really trying to win over? 

It wasn’t until I started focusing on setting my own expectations that I realized: who were important, what were my priorities, and why it mattered. If you don’t love why you’re doing things or can’t explain why it’s important to you — then it’s not worth doing is it? It starts with finding reasons for what’s important and meaningful rather than investing time with what I felt I should be doing. What mattered was the choice I made for myself – to be a great daughter, sister, auntie, significant other, or mentor at work. It all started with why. We we’re all born to live not to merely exist.

The purpose of life is a life of purpose. Have a great day <3, ter.

Happy National Dog Day

Buster patiently waiting and watching over Maggie. Their love is unconditional, near or far. <3<3

Maggie & Buster were proudly adopted from the Nevada SPCA in April 2009 at 3 years of age. Maggie is a sassy Bichon Frise that loves eat. Buster is a cuddly Cairn Terrier mix that loves to be held like a baby. I was told that their previous owner was abusive. I met Buster first and the SPCA said that they both are very close and inseparable. I was living more than a thousand miles away from my family and in a miraculous way, I feel like we ‘rescued’ each other. Dealing with the inevitable fight with anxiety & depression, Maggie and Buster were able to comfort me on both good & bad days (this shows loyalty, love, and patience…practices that some humans don’t even embrace)
nevadaspca (left: Their “mugshot” from the NSPCA.)

I was laying in bed with MaggieBear admiring pictures of everyone’s doggie friends and reading more about NDD. I couldn’t help but shed a few tears after thinking about the last moments with Buster: There I sat, 2am in the garage. “I’m sorry we have to say goodbye. Me & Maggie love you so, so much” –repeatedly. Tears fell as he stayed wrapped in my arms (and again he shows me loyalty, patience, and love). I never prepared myself to say goodbye. (below: The last picture I have of them together. I was heartbroken when I caught them patiently watching me. If only all humans have the same loyal, pure, loving hearts.)

With the power of prayer, I gained strength to agree on their separation and moved towards a positive path in life. It was far from easy but I knew it was for the best. After a few months, Magz has adjusted and is healthy…but the B(uster)-word is never said around her (scared she will go look for him).
A few of my favorite pictures:

Not a day goes by where I didn’t wish for him to be here with us, but Me & MaggieBear will both carry Buster in our hearts always & forever *Ohana*. We pray that God watches over you each and every day. I couldn’t fathom life without experiencing the joy and love I received from both. They may be ‘just dogs’ to you, but they mean the world to me. Thank you Maggie & Buster for inspiring your Mommy. I truly appreciate and love you both so much, Happy National Dog Day my darlings 💕💕 (You better believe they are smart enough to read 😛)

Cheers to all the other doggie lovers<3 -ter

Links to check out:
National Dog Day
Nevada SPCA
Dallas DuckTeam6 (Dog Rescue)