Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Since I didn't post about each individual birthday as they were going on, I'll post about them all at once for the 2011 birthdays!

Birthdays are a time to celebrate you! It's YOUR feast day! In our house there is always a cake with candles! I honestly don't like making a big fuss on my birthday but my dear husband likes surprises.

My birthday was a super nice one! Chris decided to have a dinner at a swanky restaurant this year (totally surprised!) and invited a few friends that were available to join us. It was a rainy evening but a fun one to share with people I love!! Thanks husband for being such a great guy! (no pics of that one as I am usually the photographer!)

Dear husband's birthday fell on a Friday during Lent. We decided to invite our great friends to have dinner with us to celebrate... so we had a delicious fish meal with rice and veggies and homemade mac n cheese (made by my faboulus friend). For dessert I made one of my hubby's favorite cakes!
{blowing their candles off of the tres leches cake}

Jackie's birthday party. A party at our house (which is rare for us) but she had her closest 9 y.o.'s in tow and did a dance party (Just Dance 2) in our newly remodeled basement. The girls (and Julien) made their own personalized pizza and they had a delicious Phineas and Ferb cake :)

{just dance}

{jackie's 9th birthday}

Julien's 6th birthday party was at a city park close to our house. The weather cooperated, and over 40 people joined us to celebrate Julien's big day. It was fun to also have a pinata for a change (we hardly ever do pinatas due to the weather here). Julien truly enjoyed his day and we are so blessed to have so many great friends showing up wishing him the best!

{Julien's 6th birthday party and me, showing them how to use this safely}

{julien's 6th birthday}

Celebrating us!

My favorite things...

My guys :)

{i heart them}

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Baby Shower!

Last Saturday we did this!!

My sister's baby shower at her house was so much fun! Filled with delicious food and awesome guests! We played some games and had a great ol' time wishing Thania the best on her new road to mommyhood!!

Here are some pictures of it:

{above the games/activities set up}

{a matted picture with the "belly" - guests would write messages for the parents to be}

 {card from our dad - he should know he has 5 kids!!}

{eating baby food and guessing the flavors}

 {Jackie giving her 2 cents}

{my mom and Ronnie}

{she's all set!!}

{Julien playing with the baby}

{soon to be a family of 3}

Congratulations! We are so excited!!!

Felicidades!! Estamos emocionados!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Happiness in the cooler weather!

It's beginning to look at lot like Fall around here. My 6 y.o. is hilarious and he knows that when chilly weather comes around, also certain "treats" come around too.
Here's his excitement over one of his favorite cooler weather treats....
 The eyes... waiting for whatever is in the microwave...

 Ahhh hot cocoa....

Friday, October 28, 2011


I am actually not old by any means, however I am starting to notice that my face and skin are changing. My skin is feeling more... how shall we say...  fragile??

Those smile lines are becoming more and more of a fix and new ones are showing up gahhhh!! I look at myself in the mirror and I see a different version of me. You know how in your head you picture yourself as your twenty something self? Or whatever age you knew you were in the best shape and look? It seems like those youth looks are going (very slowly for now) but they are starting to go.

It doesn't help that I just received an invitation to a Botox party!! Seriously, is that a hint?

The bottom line here is that my looks are changing but my demeanor towards life is also changing. That last one is changing for the better. I love (most) of my life right now. I have such a great life and I couldn't ask for anything more (well... family closer would be the only thing but hey... you can't have it all!).

So with physical aging also comes maturity and a better sense of confidence towards life. I like that part of getting older :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My day these days

For posterity purposes, I would like to keep track of my schedule these days. This is what our Tuesday's look like and note that I am rounding times here to keep things simple.

6:00 AM - alarm goes off and I wake up to Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne's voices! Listen for a bit until I hit snooze for about 15 minutes. 

6:15 AM - really wake up! By now my daughter is already awake. Husband may or may not wake up, depending on whether he had coffee the day before. 

6:20 AM - attempt to wake up my son. This goes smoothly whether or not he went to bed before 9 PM the night before. If anytime after then it could be quite the task to wake this boy!

Go downstairs and make breakfast. Usually some sort of carb (pound cake, waffles, pancakes) and some fruit (banana, blueberries, strawberries or grapes)

6:45 AM - Settle the kids with breakfast and start making lunches. For now we are packing for both of them but soon enough we'll let them buy from the school cafeteria. 

7:00 AM - Start alerting kids that is time to go upstairs and start getting dressed and all the morning routine tasks. 

7:10 AM - I myself get upstairs and start my shower and get ready for work. This usually is early depending on whether my DH does breakfast or if I do it. 

7:30 AM - Kids are ready to go to school and in the car with lunches, snacks (my son takes a snack on top of his lunch) and backpacks ready to go. 

7:50 AM - Kids are dropped off at their school and kisses and hugs are blown. Off to work I go. 

8:10 AM - I arrive at work and settle in for a full day. 

Skip now to the end of the day!!

5:00 PM  - Leave work and usually my dear husband picks up the kids and are either on the way or already at home. 

5:10 PM - Arrive at home and daughter and husband are getting ready to go to soccer practice (it starts at 5:30 PM). I stay home with my son to start dinner. 

Dinner was lamb chops and broiled potatoes. I marinated the lamb chops and my husband is going to grill them when he gets home from practice YUM! This was btw our daughter's request for dinner :)

While the potatoes are cooking, my son practices piano (and that means that I have to sit down with him for him to practice). Practicing piano with him usually means he is right and I am wrong and at the end of practice I've convinced him that mom is right (as any woman always is) Always looking for opportunities to educate my children !
In the mean time I also put one load of laundry (that is the ONLY way I can keep up with it!)

6:20 PM - Settle my son with a light snack (a yogurt) and get him to practice writing his name, numbers and phone number. He's getting quite good at it too!!

6:30 PM - my son and I settle to play a board game. We play until the rest of the fam comes home. 

7:00 PM - dinner is ready and on the table!!

7:45 PM - done with dinner and now my daughter and husband go finish whatever homework she needs to finish, while I give my son a bath. 

8:30 PM - son goes down to bed! Daughter may still be doing homework or she is taking a shower by now. 

9:00 PM - Daughter goes down to bed and parents are exhausted! We get to do it all over again tomorrow!!

These days of waking up this early have been a bit harder on us (well me really!) but I am amazed at how much we get done and how I LOVE mornings!! It's a new schedule and it is an adjustment for all of us!

More later!

Monday, September 05, 2011

Updates Updates!

Wow, it's been a while since I've had the chance to update this blog!

So much to tell and so little time :) One thing I want to try to blog about more are the "struggles"/"challenges" of balancing working full time and being a mom to young kids.

 So here it goes!! Summer 2011 Quick Takes!

 1. My sister is expecting!! I don't know if I have permission to post this but she already knows it's a BOY! and our family couldn't be happier! This is their first baby, so we are just so ready for him to join us so we can love him to bits :). I think the next best thing after having your own children is your loved ones to have them!!

 2. During Labor Day weekend we made our annual pilgrimage to the Greek Festival. Great food, coffee, entertainment and this year, great company!! We truly had a great time out at the Greek Orthodox Church with the only difference that it was quite a chilly day for early september.

 3. We went to a couple of weddings this summer. One of them in Northern California (Pismo Beach to be exact). We started our trip in Sacramento then drove out to Napa for some vino tasting, then off to San Francisco for one night of fun and mingling with locals! Then drove down to Carmel for lunch and then to Pismo Beach for the wedding! Awesome views and great company made this trip one to never forget (and OHHHH... we went without the kids!) We were only there for 5 days, so it wasn't a long trip but it was totally worth it!
                                                  Just before the wedding in Pismo Beach! 

 4. Our next wedding was closer, in Cincinnati. It was a nice small affair a day before July 4th! We had a good time meeting new people and being present at my husband's friend wedding.

 5. We also took a trip to Washington DC! That was a great trip and one to remember. We visited the Lincoln Memorial, The WWII memorial, Vietnam Memorial, we saw the Washington Monument on a very hot and humid DC day! Then we stood in the front lawn of the white house as we watched Marine One take off! YES, the president must have been on board as sources said that he was leaving for vacation (and the extra security around the grounds were giving it away!). We also had a chance to visit several Smithsonian museums (The National Archives, The Museum of American History, The National Museum of Natural History, The Air and Space Museum!)

 We drove to Mt. Vernon and took a tour of the grounds and the mansion. It was an incredible trip with lots of anecdotes to tell... such as dinning at one of my favorite places (Fogo de Chao) and doing simple things, like playing frisbee on the mall grounds.
                                     The Family, aboard a small cruise along the Potomac River. 

 6. We went to the pool several times! Some times while my dear husband was out of town and the kids were just too hot, after work I got a lite dinner together and took them to the pool! Yes, we are about 20 shades darker than what we really are but it is totally worth it watching them be so comfortable around the water.

 7. My son's last day at his preschool came. All the emotions came rushing in as I left the place where my baby made so many friends in the lat 4 years. Bittersweet moment for sure.

 8. The kids started a new school together! This was a big move for us as we were already in a fantastic school district. But the more and more I think about the reason of the change, it wasn't to escape anything that we were in, but more to gain something from the new school. One of the reasons being them being together for 5 years which is huge for us!

 9. We tried a CSA!!! If you don't know what a CSA is, it stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It meant that we paid a fixed price at the beginning of the season and we received fresh crops from a local grower. I've certainly enjoyed my share of tomatos, bell peppers, onions, eggplants, corn (corn and more corn), peaches and strawberries. It was a bit too much of a share to be honest, so I am not sure if we'll do it next year. However, it was an experience that I am glad we tried! 

10. We have been regulars at Church! Ever since my "reversion" to the Catholic faith and my husband full support, it has been a joy to go to church every Sunday. The kids are still getting used to it, but as they get older they will get to appreciate what a celebration it is to attend mass weekly.

 Well, off to bed. As the fall of 2011 finds me getting up in the wee hour of 6 in the AM (YUCK) and I do need my beauty sleep tonight!! Later I'll write more about the challenges of working and having kids in school and activities. Toto... I think we're not in Kansas anymore!!

Saturday, June 04, 2011


Oh Summer, how have I missed you! The days of taking multiple showers a day, days of smelling like chlorine from being at the pool so much, the longer days (yay!) and the smell of barbeque's throughout the neighborhood!
I absolutely love summer and it's funny how I took warmer weather for granted when I was younger living in Honduras.
Now I appreciate this season so much more here because it ends!!
In any case, summer has already brought in quite a bit of changes for us. Starting with the good news that our dear daughter's biopsy results were good (phew!). That was a long wait!!

Also, speaking of my dear daughter, there's a boy in the neighborhood that "likes" her and keeps coming around to say hi and wanting to play with her. I'm not so crazy about boys already knocking on our doors (and this one is persistent even after dear husband said to him that he can't play with her quite a few times). I suppose that is natural (she is 9) but I'm not ready!!! I don't want to seem like she's not allowed to play with her friends, I just rather she played with girls right now rather than boys. He's a good boy, polite and really nice to her, I'm just not ready to let her go out to play roaming around the neighborhood. So that's a change I have to deal with! Plus we don't know his parents and also, what kind of parents lets their nine year old son roam around the neighborhood for hours and hours and never once we see anybody looking for him?? I know where he lives but I don't understand his family situation.

Well, the summer promises some fun, such as west coast trips (Cali), lots of pool time, a small trip to DC (so our kids see the capital city), a visit from my mom and lots of BBQs! YAY Summer!

Also, some big news that I can't really share just yet but I can't wait to burst it out!! Of course, they are not my news so I can't go there yet, but I'm just so excited :) :)

Ok - till next time!!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Race for the Cure

A friend of mine suggested we join our families and do the Family Fun Walk for this year's Susan G. Komen's Race for the Cure in Columbus OH. I thought it would be a great opportunity to explain to the kids as much as they can understand about this disease.
As I was explaining to Jackie, I couldn't help but get choked on words about how cancer has affected so many lives. In our family, my grandma died from complications of lung cancer and 20 years before she passed, she had been diagnosed with stomach cancer.

Our cousin, who was in her early thirties, got diagnosed with Breast Cancer. She is a strong survivor!!

Today, while we were walking to the starting line, I felt the energy in the air on how many people have been affected by this disease. And while reading all the messages folks were sporting on their t-shirts, my thoughts and prayers went out to them. So many strong ladies and their families supporting this event (more than 30,000 people participated). Dedications to aunts, sisters, mothers and themselves shows that breast cancer is real and too often affects too many women. Thankfully, nowadays with proper diagnosis and treatment there are so many strong ladies who overcome it.

It didn't used to be that way. In reading more about this cause, I am moved deeply on how it started. There is a book available called "Promise Me" by Nancy Brinker (Susan's sister)
Here's a review taken from the Amazon site:

"More than twenty-five years ago, Nancy’s love for her cherished sister sparked a promise to fight breast cancer. Today that promise has launched a global movement to end breast cancer, and Nancy is fulfilling her promise to women all around the world. Promise Me is an inspiring tribute to a sister’s love and a must-read for all who know the pink ribbon."
—LAURA BUSH, former First Lady and author of Spoken from the Heart

In addition, more close to home, I remember a really energetic reporter called Heather Pick who I used to watch on the local news channels. She was a young mom who did the morning reports while I was on maternity leave with Julien, so he and I used to watch her all the time. I didn't know that at the time she was battling breast cancer.
She passed away in 2008 and on her last broadcast (from her home) she wore a pink wig to show her support. Nowadays, the pink wig is a symbol of hope!! So today, with our pink gear on, we joined a lot of pink wigs to show support for the cause!

Here are some pictures of our day today :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The latest ...

As usual life is busy! Too busy some days and apparently Chris and I are not busy enough because we feel like we want to make it even busier with challenges we are willing to take.
The challenges? Well, it has to do with the kids schools. Julien will be going to Kindergarten next year and our school district does not offer full day kindergarten. Since Chris and I both work full time, half day kindergarten does not work for us (no full day care for him). Soooo we need to keep him at his current school which does have a full day kindergarten. Ok - that's good right?
Well, we have now started going to the Newman Center (Catholic church) on campus and I absolutely LOVE IT. The dynamic is more my style and the community is so diverse. I feel like I'm at my church back at home (Honduras). I started thinking that I went to a religious school all my life (K through High School). I feel that religion was a pivotal subject to take for me, which has helped me on my toughest days and has given me a faith that I don't think I could have gotten otherwise.
We started looking at catholic schools in Columbus and we have found one that we really like. We toured it and we were pleasantly surprised at how much we like it. They teach Spanish starting in Kindergarten!!! THAT is preparing children for the future in this competitive world.
The other big PLUS is that both kids would be in the same school for 5 years together. If we stay in the schools we are at then they would only EVER be in the same school for 1 year and that's it.

The biggest cons are cost and logistics. The school is not free but it's not out of our reach however that is something to consider. The next thing is the logistics. The school is no where close to our house and just thinking about after school commitments... well it makes my head hurt! If we go this route we will commit to continue the catholic schools up until High School, so that is another consideration and cost that we would have to incur.

I don't know what we'll decide, either way the kids will be fine and as long as both of them end up being good people who strive to help instead of hurt, who choose love over anything else and who are honest with themselves first and then others, then I would have done my job as a mom :)