Time

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For the next 18 years, we will have first days of schools; and I can’t wait to capture that smile every time, yes even when she goes off to her first day of college! She just started in Pre-K 3, and although she’s only going three days a week, there’s so much excitement in that little girl, with the big heart, big smile and out of this world personality! I absolutely love her enthusiasm for learning; she started asking about school when she was only two years old, seriously! It reminds me of the excitement I felt every year for my first days of school.

I vividly remember waking up super early, getting dressed and sitting on the couch, waiting for my mom to wake up and bring me to school.  She has that same excitement, maybe even a little more and I love it!

She just finished her first week and today started her second week.  Already, she has made friends and talks my ears off with how much fun she had at school! I want to remember these conversations. I want to engrain them forever in my mind to replay over and over. I want to remember the sound of her voice as she tells me everything she’s learned, because time doesn’t stop.

Sometimes, I wish I had the super power to stop it, rewind and replay these tender moments with not just Ava, but with all four of us! Oh, if only I could! I feel like just yesterday, Sam and I were bringing home these two little tiny humans, and just like that, they’re growing into fierce, bubbly, sweet and sometimes sour girls!

Our days go by so fast, some days are tougher and rougher than others, and there are days when I let the frustrations of the day get the best of me. While they’re throwing a tantrum, sometimes I boil up and yell in anger…and I forget that my girls are still little.  They’re still learning and growing. They’re still discovering their emotions, and I need to be there for them. I need to help them work through THEIR frustrations, and not get frustrated at them.

Some days I want to give myself a high five, because I calmly corrected them and successfully disciplined them without being angry. Other days I do it all wrong! However, in those times, I quickly feel conviction and bring myself back down to Earth. I remember:

“…You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry.” James 1:19 

My daughters are watching me, observing me, hearing me and copying the things I say and do. I want to set the right example for them and love them tenderly and reflect Jesus on them. They are young, and so are Sam and I in our parenting. We are all growing and learning together and I want to make the most out of the time that we have. Time is fleeting, and they’ll never be this little again. I don’t want to take anymore moments for granted and soak in the things they do and who they are!

My prayer is that we will be the parents that they need us to be. That we would show them how to walk with the Lord and how to love not just each other, but everyone else around them.

I pray that while Ava is in school, she is a light and is showing love to her classmates and my prayer will be the same for Addi when her time comes. As kids, we learn and are molded into the adults we are, by watching our parents and I don’t want to let them down. I know at times I will, because we’re not perfect, however, I’m trying my darn hardest!

Every day, my prayer is: “Jesus, be my portion!” I can only be successful if He is the source of my strength and the focus of my heart and life! I can only be the mother my girls need if He is my number ONE. With that said, I feel so blessed He chose me and has entrusted ME to raise these two beauties! So I want to do it right, and enjoy each and every moment!

The hood called parent

Processed with VSCO with t1 presetThere’s a fine line as parents, that we teeter when it comes to giving our kids the things we wish we had as children. At least, my husband and I have that struggle. Growing up, my parents worked hard just to provide the basic things for my siblings and I, and while we weren’t on government assistance like my husband and his siblings, it was still a struggle for my parents to make sure a meal wasn’t missed.

I still remember the different places we lived, starting when I was five years old, and back then in my innocence, I didn’t know that we were “poor” in US standards. You don’t know you’re “poor” until you’re old enough to understand why you need a job and how money works… at least not back when we were kids. I think kids today know way too much, way too young but that’s a story for another day!

While I wished to have all the Barbie’s and the accessories that come along with them, my parents would simply say, “maybe one day, but not today.” My parents were stern and strict parents, however, I know that they really did wish to give my siblings and me certain things that we’d ask for; be it for our birthdays or holidays, and there were times that we would get one special wish list item and it’d light up our year!

I remember one year my mom told us that we could start a savings jar for a trip to Disney one day, and for years we’d put any and all spare change into that jar. However, every time it filled up, something needed fixing and there went that dream. We’d start over and over and over. In the meantime, we’d go on weekend trips to the beach and that made us so happy, it still does lol. I love the beach and I hold lots of great memories of vacations there as a kid! (I just wish Sam loved it as much as me and we’d be there more than just 2 days a year! lol)

Finally, when I was 15 years old, my parents surprised me with a trip to Disney World (at this point my brother had gone off to the Navy), so it was a special birthday trip for me. I know how much hard work and saving up my parents had to do to take me and for that I am so thankful!

Fast forward  13 years and my husband and I have taken our girls to Disney World since they were infants. We will be there in a month from now and I just can’t help but think that they won’t feel the same excitement that I felt when they’re 15 years old… or maybe they will, who knows? time will tell…When what felt like my whole life, that was one of the things I wanted the most… of course what so many kids dream of, meeting those two cute big-eared mice!

That’s our struggle, we want them to know and appreciate what hard work looks like and that they are blessed to have the life they have. The fact that they won’t know the struggle we knew; I am so thankful for that! I’m thankful that they will not grow up in a house with financial struggle, not very many people get to see that or know that. I’m thankful that God blesses us day after day, year after year and I know that we are only where we are by His grace, love and mercy over us!

My prayer is that we teach our girls to be thankful for everything. To not be spoiled, though I want to spoil them. I put into practice telling them “no” already when they ask for things. I tell them that they can’t always get what they want, but will always have what they need…even at their little ages of 3 and 1. I don’t want to give them everything just because we can spare the extra expense, it’s a struggle, but important.

One of the things that God constantly reminds me of is being a good steward. A good steward financially, spiritually, physically and a good steward of the two most precious little lives He’s entrusted us with! Oh, they are my heart and even through the ups and downs of parenting, I know that God’s purpose and plan for their lives is something out of this world! I know that they will be world changers and a light. They’re forces to be reckoned with and He’s given us the task to make sure that they’re led through the right path.

I’m constantly praying for God to give me the wisdom and knowledge to be the mother  that they need me to be and I don’t want to let Him down and I don’t want to let them down. I know that at times I will, however, through God and with God we can move mountains!

Daily, I pray for Him to be my portion, to give me patience, to give me wisdom in disciplining them, in teaching them and loving them. Parenting isn’t easy, it isn’t always fun, but in teaching them we also learn and grow along with them. Hopefully, that line becomes easier to balance as we continue in the journey of parenthood!

Gotta be intentional

future-richWhen I was in middle school, I had already decided that I wanted to go into a career in medicine.

At first, I thought I wanted to be a doctor, but when I found out that I’d have to sell my soul to years and years of school, I settled on becoming a nurse (don’t judge me ha).

Finally, graduation day came and I had that, “I’m finally an adult!” excitement in my head… that was 10 years ago!! What?! I still can’t believe I’ve been out of high school for a decade now… I still feel so young at heart! Where does the time go?!

Anyway, to make a long story short, four universities later, I ended up graduating with a degree in American Studies (to become a history teacher later on). I got pregnant with my first daughter during my last semester in college and my husband and I decided that I should be a stay at home mom and postpone continuing education.

So, how did I go from nursing to teaching? And why on earth did I go to FOUR different universities?! What the heck?! Who does that?! I guess I do… I did that.

After I completed all the required courses before applying into the nursing programs, I applied three times, at three different schools and they all rejected me. That was a pretty big blow to my self esteem, because it immediately made me feel like I wasn’t good enough or smart enough (which obviously wasn’t true). I cried A LOT.  My husband kept encouraging me and after praying for the next steps for me to take, I ended up going to a counselor at the fourth school, to talk about what I could do next and with all of the credits I accumulated at the three previous schools I went to.

Before going in, I had decided long before, that if nursing hadn’t worked out, I’d want to be a teacher.  So after speaking with the counselor and going through all of my options, I took a fast track to a degree that would help me become a teacher through continuing education post undergrad.  At this point in my life, I had already been in college for 5 years and was ready to get the heck out! It was one of the best decisions I had made and actually enjoyed my last two semesters at UNO. It really is such a great school and I kicked myself in the butt for not going there from the very beginning, it would’ve saved me two years and heartache.

However, every experience I’ve gone through in life has taught me so much and has helped me grow into the person I am today.  Rejection is such a tough pill for me to  swallow. I grew up feeling rejected, which is why after the third rejection, I felt like my life was over.  As I’ve grown up, I have realized that you cannot outgrow hurts in your life.  You’ve got to face them, work through them, and then move passed them. Grow from them and learn how to better deal with the obstacles that come your way.

Since I became a mom and my daughters are growing up, they watch me, and look up to me, I am more intentional with the things I say/don’t say.

Lately, my eldest says “but mom, I can’t!” I really loathe the word “can’t.”  I make sure to tell her that she can. I encourage her, explain to her how to work through her problem and when she succeeds, I tell her “see, I told you you could do it! great job!” When she doesn’t, I make sure to still encourage her and tell her to keep trying, I help her and make sure she knows that as long as she perseveres she will succeed.

My prayer for them is that they never have to feel rejected, or like they aren’t good enough.  They really do push me passed my limits and push me to be the best version of myself. I want them to be strong, compassionate, loving girls and women who don’t let fear or negative words affect who they are.  God’s plan for them is big, I know it. The same way that I know God’s plans for me and my family together, are big.

I’m excited to continue blogging and seeing where writing takes me.  I’ve stopped myself in the two years of not blogging out of fear of what people would think of me, but I guess there ain’t nothin’ to it but to do it!

Happy FIRST Birthday my princess!

When I found out I was pregnant, I was in shock. We weren’t planning on trying to get pregnant for another year. I wasn’t so sure how Sam would react, because he wanted to wait as long as possible, but I’ve always been a “mom” and have always been nurturing, so I wanted a baby as soon as we got married, ha! I began googling/pinterest-ing cute ideas to tell your husband you’re expecting. That day he just so happened to stop by the house to pick something up, and I freaked out and he looked at me as if I had done something wrong, which I probably had a guilty look on my face. He was also on the phone, so he couldn’t really talk to me, but I showed him the positive test and he thought I was joking, but he still hugged me and smiled. Shortly after, he called me asking if that was for real, I said yes, and he was so happy ( I didn’t doubt he would be)! That was not the ideal way I wanted it to go, but that’s how it happened! So many emotions went through our minds, but at the same time, nothing else mattered but this new little life that was growing inside of me. My heart was so overwhelmed with joy, and all I could do was praise God for this miracle. A few days after finding out, I had gone to the bathroom and noticed I was bleeding. I got so scared and I went to the ER. The whole time I was praying that I wasn’t having a miscarriage. The worst feeling was not knowing, because after being examined, they told me only time could tell if it indeed was a miscarriage, because it was still so early. That was a Friday, and I had to wait until Monday to go to my doctor and get more blood work done to determine whether my numbers increased or decreased. We were so uneasy, and we decided to let our family know what was going on and for them to keep us in prayer. It felt like the longest weekend! Sam, met me at the doctor and thankfully, the numbers had doubled!! To make a long story longer… just kidding… short, fast forward TEN, NOT NINE, (women, someone lied to us because pregnancy lasts 10 looong months just so you know) months later, on November 5, 2013 at 8:52 AM, I gave birth to my absolutely beautiful little girl, Ava! Oh the joy, the unexplainable joy that we felt when we laid eyes on you… Tears stream down my face as I type this, because you changed our world for the better. I knew the love of God in a completely different way. The way we see you is the way he sees us, but even more HIS love for us can’t compare! As I reflect on our life this past year, you have taught us so much, we’ve grown as adults, you’ve taught us patience, selflessness, to love better… and YOU have grown! You are so smart, sweet, and silly. Every day you make us laugh with something new that you do. Your laugh and smile is contagious, we could be sick or having a crummy day, and you put the biggest smile on our face! God has huge plans for your life, and daddy and I pray for wisdom to lead you and guide you in HIS path. That you grow to be a strong woman, not swayed by the things of this world and fulfill God’s will and purpose for your life! We are excited to keep watching you grow and pray to be the best parents we can be! We love you princess!! HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY BABY GIRL!!IMG_0564IMG_0832

Family Pictures

A few Sunday’s ago, the three of us took some family pictures. It was my mother’s day gift from my husband. I absolutely love how they came out! I wish that the photographer had a blog/website, but I’ll still give her a shout out! Thank you so much Valerie, they’re awesome!! Here are a few of my favorites.ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Unpredictable

Life is so unpredictable! But, what’s new about that? Life tends to become so routine, we do the same things, at about the same time every day and when there’s a bump in the road, we get so freaked out. I think that that’s God reminding us, and alerting us to always keep our eyes open and keep our guard up. Last week, my sweet grandpa passed away. It all happened so quick, so unexpectedly, we weren’t prepared to hear his diagnosis. Sometimes, I still can’t believe he’s gone, it’s crazy. Well, my mom and my sister came over my house on Monday, and my mom said that on the car ride (which is 5 minutes) my sister began feeling unwell, and while they were here, she was moaning and not being herself. We thought it may just be gas, because she kept burping. My parents had to bring her to the ER at about 5 am the following morning, and later that day they ran a CT scan of her stomach. Turns out that some of her bowels were twisted and that they would have to operate on her ASAP, so that the blood wouldn’t get cut off to that part of her bowels. So, in she went for surgery, which when my dad notified me, I got so scared. I began to pray and asked my dear friends and family to also lift her up in prayer. Thankfully, everything went well in the surgery and my mom said that apparently, her bowels had been that way since birth, and the doctors were surprised to find that. It’s hard not to wonder why things happen when they happen; Because my grandpa was sick these last few weeks, my mom hasn’t been to work. She was expecting to go back today, but because of my sister’s unexpected surgery, of course she couldn’t. They have gone through so much, but still we hold on to the faith that God is just and merciful and his ways are perfect. Through this, I am reminded that we are not in control of life, but when wrenches are thrown at us, we have to stay strong, stand firm, and seek HIM. Doubt, giving up, being mad, not an option, though it’s easy to go to those places. I know that God has a plan and a purpose for everything, though we may not understand, we know that He has never forsaken us. Through the trials and tribulations, we learn, we grow, we become stronger. No one ever said life was easy, but it’s through these circumstances that we get back “on track,” I guess you could say, and remind ourselves to take life day by day, not as if it’s routine. I thank God for my family, for life, for the blessings that he’s constantly pouring out on us. He is ALWAYS good, and I know that he hold’s my precious sister in his embrace and that she’ll be her smiling self in no time. Even in the midst of storms, his love and promises shine through. I pray that He would strengthen my mom and dad, that peace would fill their hearts, and that they would know that He is always by their side, and will never leave them. I pray that we wouldn’t lose sight of his hand.

Papi Mauricio, nunca te olvidaremos

My sweet grandpa passed away last night, and my heart is heavy with grief and sorrow. I know that death is a part of life, but it’s something that is so hard to accept as a reality. When a loved one passes away, we want so hard to believe it isn’t true. However, it is very real and the only comfort we can find is in God. My Papi was sweet, funny, caring, loving and so much more. About a week and a half ago, he fainted at home and my grandma called to ask for help, as she couldn’t get him to wake back up, nor could she move him. He was brought to the ER, stayed for observation, and the following morning, we were given the most unexpected news… He was diagnosed with leukemia. More tests were done, and the news was reaffirmed. He had so many other health problems in which we thought those would be the ones to wear him out, never leukemia! The doctors gave him a few days, or weeks at most. I believe that I speak for my family when I say that, deep down inside, we didn’t want to believe it or accept that my grandpa’s days on this earth we’re coming to an end. He had been sick for so long with heart issues and would come out fighting and strong. I really thought he’d still be alive right now. It all just happened so fast and he’s gone. I know that he is in Gods glory. He’s no longer suffering and I do find comfort knowing that he’s rejoicing in the presence of The Lord! But the pain in my heart is still here, because I know that I will no longer be able to hug him, have him give me his big sloppy kisses on my cheek, or hear is voice, and my daughter will only know him through pictures. But he will always be in our hearts and our memories as an amazing man who always showed his grand kids love, kindness, comedy, good work ethic, politeness, gentleness, respect, patience, humility… He will be so missed!!

I pray that God would comfort us and give us strength to help my grandma get through this difficult time! I know He hears the cry of the broken and comforts those in need! Image