Thursday, October 21, 2010

Reason #67 why you really should….

There is the person in my household, whose name may or may not be Aric. They have issues with putting stuff away. This morning it was jam. Not only was it left out where certain crazy babies can reach it but it didn’t even have the lid on it! When I came home from running and taking girls to piano this morning this is what came running at me…


Seriously, I thought he was bleeding! Thankfully it was just the jam he was murdering.



Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Live and Let Live

So my blogger buddy Natalie has some eagle eyes. She noticed that our family pictures were taken at a cemetery. At first I was surprised that she figured that out. I tried hard to make sure that we weren’t by any graves but those eagle eyes spotted a couple religious artifacts and tombstones that snuck into our pictures…

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I realize that a cemetery is not the normal backdrop for family pictures so I thought I would share my thoughts on the subject…

I LOVE cemeteries! I always have. They don’t freak me out at all, unless it’s like 2am and I’m fourteen running amuck with my ballsy friend who wanted  see if we could find anyone else who liked to hang out in the cemetery as much as we did…ahh adolescence…anyway…

There are many reasons I love the cemetery. I love the manicured grounds. I love the colorful flower arrangements. I love the gray stone and red brick. But mostly I love the words and dates engraved in the stone.

I grew up going to the cemetery on a regular basis because I had grandpas and a tia who were buried there. My abuelitas would cut roses fresh from their gardens and put them in mason jars with water. We would take them and put them on the graves of our loved ones. From a young age I felt a sense of family and history. I felt like going there was a way to show my love and respect. I’m pretty sure this why cemeteries  a don’t freak me out.

As I got older I became fascinated with other tombstones outside of my family. I like trying to figure out who was related to who and how. I wonder what these people’s lives were like and I think of who is missing them. I love reading the names and the dates. From them I can see how long a wife was a widow before she got to see her husband again. I can see just how short a child’s life was on this earth. Every time I see an infant/child’s grave I instantly think of their mother and her grief. I wonder how those parents handled their grief. There is definitely a sense of sadness, but ironically I feel more alive when I am there. I feel a real sense of my mortality.

Life is not  measured by the number of
breaths  we take, but by the  moments  that
take  our breath away.”

When I am at a cemetery I think about my life and I recognize the gift that every breath really is. I think about how I am using  my life and how I am nurturing my relationships. I am grateful for my faith in Christ and what his resurrection really means to me.

I believe that there is life after death. Not a life where you sit on a cloud and draw rainbows across the sky, but a life where we are with our loved ones, enjoying the relationships that we nurtured and cherished in this life. So when I read the death date, I see the end of one chapter and the beginning of another.

When my beloved Abuelita Tina died I experienced real grief for the first time in my life. But before she died I also had very sacred moments that confirmed to me that just as she had family holding her hand on this side of life, she also had loved ones waiting and welcoming her on the other side. Those same people are the people who I honored by visiting their graves as a child.

I still feel the loss of her. I miss her. In my mind I can hear her voice singing to Camden. I hear her talking to my girls in Spanish knowing full well they don’t understand a word she is saying. Someday she will see them and they will here her voice….but for now they know her because I keep her memory alive. It’s not that hard because I think of her often. I think she is around me more than I realize. In fact I think she was hanging out with us last weekend at my cousins baptism. I know she is not in that cold ground, just her body. Her spirit is very much alive and aware of me and my life. Just like all of those people who are represented by rows of stone.

Losing a spouse, a child, a sibling, a parent….I can’t even imagine the grief that would follow an untimely death. I’d like to think that through that intense pain I would still feel the same way, I would still find peace. I have watched dear friends lose their parents at a young age, I was with a boyfriend at the hospital when he found out his mom was killed in a car accident. That moment still grips my heart. His pain was more than I could understand. We did not share the same faith so my words of comfort didn’t help him.

His mom is represented by one of those stones. Those stones don’t just represent death, they represent a life. Someone who got up everyday and went to work to support their family, someone who made dinner and helped with homework, someone whose life still has meaning and a purpose.

So having family pictures taken at a cemetery may not be for everyone, I understand that. But I saw the beauty in it and I made sure that we were respectful so I’d like to think that the spirits of those people were okay with it.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It’s that time of year again…

FaMilY PicTurEs!!!
Here are some outtakes for your viewing pleasure…

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Eden always photo bombing….


This kid…the amount of smarties he ingested would make my sister cringe…





Love this one but the sun came just at the WRONG time.

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Yeah…fun times…




The torture I put myself through every year to get these pictures done is ridiculous. This year I had my friend Cami come out and take some shots with my camera and hers. The weather was changing by the minute and my camera was on the wrong setting so they didn’t turn out so good. So frustrating! We got some decent shots but none of them were “the one”. The last shot is the one I wanted but it is a tad blurry and C looks like he is about to flip someone the bird.

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The decent ones…




I’m trying to decide if it is worth it to get my peeps all gussied up for another mini shoot and I mean mini. I know exactly what shots I want and where. Most people would say no…but the perfectionist in me is not letting this rest.
…to be continued…

Thursday, October 7, 2010

My House…A Vacation Destination…Who Knew?!

Yup, you read that right. We are the number one vacation spot for single girls in their early 20’s. Forget Cali, Hawaii, Mexico or New York! Oh you don’t believe me? Well check this out…
Meet my cousin Monica.
AKA, Mo, Monz, Moni and Mahkima.
(She is single, she is smart, she is single, she is beautiful, she is funny, oh and did I mention she is single? So if you know of any smart, kind, educated, good looking, funny, and pretty much awesome guys let me know so I can do some match making…)
A couple of months ago she called me to see if we were available to host her for a week long vacation in September. I was thrilled and quite flattered that she would chose our lovely location for her seven days of paid vacay. Little did she know what she was getting into…
I think the biggest attraction we had was Camden. Monica hadn’t even met Camden yet. He warmed up to her immediately. He showered her with lots of love and affection.

He entertained her with his singing, dancing and overall sillyness.
He was obsessed with her chocolate lip gloss. He walked around sniffing it and saying “mmm…choclate…mmm gooood” In fact here is a video of him saying it.

We offered a soccer game excursion and a photo op with one of the MVP’s of  game. GO HORNETS!

We also offered free shuttle to and from church, Walmart, the mall and Target.

Another amenity was the free continental breakfast, lunch and dinner! Oh and we provide some awesome TV watching and Web surfing. We exposed Mo to some pretty crazy mind altering stuff like Lionel Ritchie’s “Hello” video. If you haven’t seen it in the last decade you must take another peek at that little gem.

I think the number one attraction had to be the many opportunities Monica had to work on her “mothering skills”. We gave her hands on experience…she got to experience making dinner for ten people (she cooked for me and Ev’s family one night), she got to discipline an almost two year old, she got to help out with 2nd and 4th grade homework, she got to ride shot gun for dance, school, and soccer carpool, she even got to help me out with my new calling…nursery leader to 35 18 month-3 yr olds!!!!! Where else could she gain such amazing experience!

So now you know about our secret vacation hideaway for single 20 somethings. You too can turn your household into a once in a lifetime opportunity, just do nothing except your everyday responsibilities. You will be giving an awesome young lady like Monica the vacation of a lifetime!


*The funniest thing was the night before Monica left I apologized for giving her such a lame vacation and this is what she said in all seriousness… “Oh no worries. If I wanted a FUN vacation I wouldn’t have come here.” As soon as it came out of her mouth we started laughing and then she kept apologizing…" That’s not what I meant!”

It’s okay Monz, I know what you meant. Going to Provo, Utah when I was 11 to watch you be born really wasn’t the vacation I had envisioned either, but I am so glad I was there and wouldn’t have traded that vacation for any other exotic destination in the world.

Thank you for sharing your vacation with us. Though there was not one exciting moment in the entire seven days you were here, the time you spent with C, the girlies, Aric and I, truly are priceless to us.
We Yub You Mahkima!!!!
(That would be in Camo talk)

Sunday, October 3, 2010


So on Thursday I was snuggling with C after his nap and had a moment. You know, the kind of moment that you want to freeze forever. My arms wrapped around his sweet little body. He was so perfectly placed on my chest. His heart right on top of mine. Our heartbeats in perfect sync. His head on my shoulder right next to my cheek. I couldn’t get enough of the smell of his nappy little head. (We have to put this oil on his head twice a day. It’s called Africa’s Best so that’s what he always smells like.) I just laid there with him soaking it all in.
I remembered the days when my heart ached for him, my arms ached for him. I remember smelling other people’s babies wondering when I would get to sniff my own. And now almost two years have passed…how did that happen!!!!?
Then the very next morning I had to go to Fred Meyer…and I mean HAD. My list was a mile long, my coupons all in order and ready to go. So I loaded up my sweet little boy and off we went. Once we got to the store my sweet little boy was replaced by a crazy little monster. He has NEVER thrown a fit at a store before. He has always gotten into the cart with no problem. Well apparently those terrible two’s are officially here.
So I found some emergency smarties in my purse but they only lasted for like two minutes. So he screamed for the next 45 minutes, and I mean SCREAMED. At my whits end I let him out of the cart hoping that that would make him calm down….um nope. So snot faced screaming boy started throwing merchandise and running away from me. I had tried EVERYTHING! You know, I opened up a bag of chips I hadn’t purchased yet. I gave him a ball to play with. I use my firm but loving voice. I gave him my phone. I tried singing. I calmly stroked his back.
Finally I scooped my ginormous one, almost two year old into one of my arms. I had a good hold of his hands so he could swing at me. Then with my other arm I pushed my cart full of stuff to the nearest check out. All along the way I got some “looks” and even a rude comment. There was one nice lady who said, “Oh I had four crazy boys”. Thank you nice lady for making me feel like I wasn’t the only mom on the planet who has ever had to carry her possessed child through a supermarket.

Putting him into the car was enough to make people think that a murder was happening in the parking lot. But the whole time I was as cool as a cucumber, not really, I was sweating up a storm but I never let my voice change. He was still screaming when I got home. I caught some video, just in case you haven’t witnessed a tantrum lately…15 seconds of awesome.

So there you go…one moment bliss, the next moment insanity.  Every moment with him is a gift so I will take the good and the bad. Oh and the next time you see a mom having “a moment” with her child in public, give her a look or comment of support. You never know when it will be your turn to have a moment with your child in public.