Isabella's 10th Birthday Bash

Isabella's 10th Birdthday party this Saturday was a huge success.
Thanks to the help of wonderful family and friends.
Here are some few photos I managed to take.

delectable mocha/chocolate photo birthday cake from Goldilocks
yes, the photo is an edible marshmallow frosting
Photo by Cecile of Papelle Photographie

Our backyard
decorated with the help of my GFF from Pismo Beach, Tessie.

The yummy food prepared by my wonderful mom
with the help of dad Dennis,
auntie Virgie visiting all the way from New York,
and Flor all the way from the Philippines.

menu included
my mom's vegetable lumpia, pork and chicken adobo,
beef kaldereta, and fruit salad
ordered chinese chicken salad and shrimp cakes
salmon especially prepared by dear ate Cecile
pancit from our sweet neighbor, Aling Linda
shrimp balls from my dear cousin, ate Edna
Auntie Virgie's specialties...lumpia shanghai, cassava dessert,
and suman (sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves)

Karaoke fun lasting 'til midnight

and of course, jolly jumper fun complete with obstacle course and a slide.
It was a hit with the kids and kids-at-heart.

The festivities started with a precious prayer from Pastor Anne
Thanks to all our wonderful guests who made the event so much fun
We are so blessed to have the best family and friends

Happy Birthday Darling Isabella!

Birthday Photo Shoot

On a Friday before Isabella's 10th birthday, we were extremely fortunate to have the privilege of a precious photo session by an incredibly talented other than my BFF, Cecile. I am very proud to present a few of her many beautiful snapshots capturing our family's passionate ballerina....

thank you ate Cecile, from the bottom of our hearts.

more lovely shots in equally lovely layouts available for your viewing pleasure in Cecile's photography blog at You also wouldn't want to miss visiting her incredible site at beholding a great passion and the gift of capturing images and turning them into precious works of art.

Saturdays: Nutcracker Rehearsals and Family Bonding Day

I started writing this while waiting at the San Francisco Ballet. Saturdays are fast becoming a great family bonding day for us (at least for the three of us - myself, DH Russ, and DD Isabella; as for the boys, let's just say that waiting at the ballet school is not exactly in their list of drag times:)

It's been 6 weeks since Isabella started attending San Francisco Ballet School after auditioning last September 12th. The audition marked the beginning of our Saturday family time. Then last September 26th, Isabella got an opportunity to experience another audition, this time for a part in San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker production. She tried out for a role for girls under 4'7 as one of the 8 adorable clowns to dance with a big bear in Madame Du Cirque scene in Act 2. You can read about The Nutcracker Story here. Two of Isabella's brothers, Phil and Ian, joined us that day. We had lunch at Japan town in between her morning class and the audition. After lunch the boys took the bart home. Russ and I spent time together while waiting during the two-hour long audition.

Isabella was called to rehearse. Last October 3rd was their first rehearsal day. We had lunch with a couple of her classmates that day (in between her class and rehearsal) at Arlequin Cafe on Hayes Street.

Last week, October 10th, though there were no classes due to memorial day holiday, rehearsals were on. So after rehearsals that day we spent the afternoon at Union Square. We went shopping at Macy's after a great lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. Isabella had a wonderful time looking for "the perfect" dress. And she was able to find a couple of "perfect" dresses (def: size 7-8, girly yet grown up dress, and on sale:))

Today we had lunch at Sage Cafe right behind SF Ballet with one of her classmates. Then after rehearsals we headed to Pleasanton to attend a birthday party at Super Frank's Fun Adventure. Russ, though tired, enjoyed watching Isabella have a great fun time playing at the arcade and riding their zip line. It was yet another wonderful Saturday family bonding day.