Love Letter: Cheers to New Beginnings!

This year, be unafraid to explore your own Neverlanda place where every kid-at-heart remains child-like and where creative moments are sparked with magical plays. Learn to share and don't horde the pixie dusts. Instead, throw them around like gold confetti on New Year's Eve so everyone can see you sparkle more each day. 

Glorious sunset at Clearwater Beach, Florida.

Glorious sunset at Clearwater Beach, Florida.

Bask in the warm sunsets and savor every kiss the sun leaves on the lips of the distant horizon. It's the simple, little things we often take for granted that matter most in life. As you watch more sunsets unfold, be constantly reminded of what they stand for: hope and new beginnings. Every sunset is nature's reset button. It's Father Time's way of saying: "Now, now, worry not, my child. Forget today's pains, disappointments or regrets. Tomorrow is another day. Take advantage of a new chance to undo mistakes or get closer to your dreams."


Be as fearless as the red-haired mermaid in your fairytale book. Explore the deepest seas by carving your own path of adventure. We, as parents, can only give you a simple map and train you the basics of survival, but ultimately, your journey is your own. Do not simply follow the crowd, take the unbeaten path and discover new adventures. When the path seems dark, clear out the bushes and carve your own. You are raised with a heart for wanderlustset your soul free and bravely swim deep on to your own magical realm.


Spread more sunshine with your laughter. You are most beautiful when you are filled with joy. Never give anyone the power to undermine your inner glow. You are beautiful, even when mean-spirited people say you are not good enough. Instead, count your blessings. When your heart is filled with gratitude, you'll begin to see the magical moments that escape those with tainted hearts that only you, with all your innocence, are blessed to have.


Finally, chase the passions that set your soul on fire. Dance when your feet moves to the beat. Sing when the melody calls your name. The universe has a unique place for you, you simply have to listen to her voice. And when you finally discover your calling, ride off on a unicorn toward the end of the rainbow. In that special place, happiness awaits.


Love Letter: 10 Ways You Stole Our Hearts

Ariana at six months old.

Ariana at six months old.

The heart patrol is on a haunt for a little heart thief named Ariana. It's no secret, the moment Daddy and I first laid eyes on you, you stole our hearts. Here are at least 10 ways you've landed in our "Most Wanted" list:

1. You flashed your then-toothless smiles. Yes, those days are still fresh on my mind, and it couldn't get anymore adorable than that!

2. You boss Daddy aroundin the cutest possible way. Remember how you, like a #GirlBoss, tells him you're closely watching (with two fingers pointed at him)? Or do you recall how you would send him gibberish texts each time you were mad, like that time when he took the liberty to throw a favorite toy away? 

3. You giggle with every tickle. Playtime involves wrestling with Daddy and tickles with Mommy. The sound of your giggle is contagious, it makes Mommy's heart skip a beat.

4. You turn car drives into a mini concert. Car rides are never boring with you. You demand that we turn the volume up when songs you love (Alicia Key's "This Girl is on Fire" is still on replay in my head). What's most adorable is that you don't hold back even when you had to adorably make up most of the words!

5. You break into a dance while Snap-chatting. They say if you don't know how to Snapchat, you are too old. How adorable that you had to teach Daddy how Snapchat works, and never break out of character when recording short videos for Mommy to enjoy!

6. You throw "Drama like a Southern Mama." Oh yes, you do! Need I say more?

7. You try really, really try hard to speak Cebuano. It melts Mommy's heart that you even try, asking me before you go to bed "Mommy, palihug, tubig (please, water)" in your best American-Cebuano accent.

8. You've got style. When it comes to style, you are fearless. You always tell me you want to look "fabulous" (your words, not mine) so I let you explore your creativity as you stack up with jewelry that do not match and colors that clash. I take pride that you are learning independenceeven at times when I feel the need to wear a sign: "Please don't judge me, she dressed herself up!"

9. You have better negotiating skills than a diplomat. You've proven this time and time again. You are capable to getting out of trouble with your charm. You somehow manages to trick Daddy into giving you "one last chocolate" after the supposedly last one, or to let you stay up for another minute even after you are past your bedtime.

10. You believe fairies, unicorns and mermaids are real. Sure you complain that Santa never gets you the right gifts (maybe because Santa is cheap), but you believe that unicorns, fairies and mermaids existand they all live somewhere near confetti-sprinkled rainbow!