Family Rules Everything Around Me

30Fresh wouldn't be right without a little ditty on my family. I must've done something amazing in some previous lives, because I struck the family lottery in this one. Remember the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding?" If not, imagine a group of roughly 50 people who always have your back, love you and try to feed you every time they see you, no matter what. My family is kinda like that, and I am the luckiest girl in the world.

I don't talk much about my family. Most of them are fairly private people who don't spend a lot of time on social media, and I want to be respectful of that. But in the spirit of 30Fresh, I'd be remiss to not give you a glimpse into a very, very big piece of my world.

This is my immediate family. Spike is on that IDGAF tip.

I'm the oldest of five, and the eldest on this side of the family. I think this is where the biggest well of inspiration to hustle resides. I was always told that I was setting the example for the family, and if I really was, then I wanted to be the best damn example I could be. I can't really bear the thought of disappointing my family, so I just try my best not to!

Yeah, that's my sister. Yeah, we're related.

My mom is the greatest. I see more of her in me as I get older. She's a free spirit who's devoted her life to being happy and making sure her kids are happy and safe. My sister is one of my best friends. I especially don't ever want to disappoint her! My brothers are so hilarious, smart, witty and curious. They don't really know it, but they keep me on my toes to stay on their level.

Enjoying a beautiful lunch with mama and two of my siblings

This is my Auntie Penny. She's 11 years older than me, so naturally I followed her around everywhere when I was little. I looked up to her and wanted to do and be everything she was! Now she's one of my best friends and probably the most supportive of all of my endeavors (after mama of course.)

My beautiful Auntie Penny

Most of my family lives in the Seattle metro area, so I see them often. Family parties are a regular occurrence on my calendar, and absolutely nothing takes priority over them. That's another reason why I went freelance - to be able to spend more time with my family. I never get tired of eating and hanging out with them! 


I can say with 100% honesty that I wouldn't be where I am today if not for my grandparents. They were my biggest supporters after my mom while I was in college, making sure I had everything I needed and was always safe. When I worked my first college job, downtown at Old Navy, they'd pick me up after my closing shift so I wouldn't have to take the creepy bus home from the creepy bus stop on 3rd & Pike. Grandma would always have chicken adobo and rice for me to have for dinner. They're retired and live the life in the Philippines now, but they light up my life when they come back to the states twice a year.

Whether it's a family birthday, a workout like The Big Climb, or just drinks at the Ram, we can't get enough of each other. It's not lost on me that this is a unique situation - not everyone has or gets along with family, let alone one this big. Just makes me that much more grateful to have them in my life. In this case, blood is indeed thicker than everything.

Love you family!!!

30Fresh30 days of posts celebrating 30 years - and 5 of Fresh Jess!