Time, please slow down

I was going through old pictures of the kids the other day on the computer and couldn't help but wish I could somehow rewind time.  Much like you would on a VCR, or in our day and age...your TV.  (:

I was lucky enough to be a SAHM from day one and I loved it!  I wouldn't trade those precious years with my kids for anything.
I had the career before becoming pregnant with Marko, but during my maternity time off of work, I just could not bring myself to leave him.  So I didn't.
Marko was barely 10 months old when I became pregnant with Gabriella, so returning to work wasn't even a thought.
  It was a true blessing to have the opportunity to raise my kids and witness their first everything, and it was wonderful.
Something that really stands out in my mind is that everyone I spoke with back then all told me the same thing:

 "Enjoy them now because they grow so fast."  

And you know what?
They weren't kidding.

It is really hard to accept the fact that this fall, my Marko will be a freshman in high school

This Fall also means that Gabriella will begin her last year of middle school!
You know, the days of loading and unloading strollers from the car and buckling up the kiddos in their car seats really doesn't seem that long ago, but of course, the calendar tells me otherwise.

Every day, I see how how they've grown to be amazing kids and I am so proud of who and what they have become.

I know they will keep growing and becoming more and more independent.

But to me, they will always be my babies.


Laura asked me last week if I'd take pictures of Julian.  He's turning 4 soon.  I don't know how or when that happened (!)

It was the green light I needed to finally use my new 50mm lens (:  I'm still learning how to use it, but I love it! 

He was such an easy subject.  He happily ran and played the entire time with a huge smile plastered on his face.

We had to rush because it was so cold!  I was only able to take pictures for a total of about 20 minutes, otherwise my shivering would have hindered my holding the camera still. Ha!

Have a great weekend!

Mother Nature

Everyone around our neck of the woods say that if you don't like our weather, all you have to do is stick around for a little while because it most likely will change. Drastically.  And we're not kidding.
Mother Nature really needs to get her s&%t together when it comes to our area.  This week was my Spring Break and we have snow on our lawn.  The only Spring weather we had this week was probably Tuesday morning (:

Me and my fellow Coloradans are pretty much used to experiencing the four seasons within a week.  Sometimes, even within the same day.  That's why our closets contain both winter and summer clothing at the same time.  We think nothing of keeping our flip-flops right next to our winter boots in the closet.
My kids were even taught very early on to type "hourly weather forecast for <our zipcode> into Google every morning because you just can't plan your outfit in the morning by what the weather is like that moment.

Yesterday, for example, started off with what looked like a beautiful day.  Gabriella wore jeans to school, but she wore a thin top and these cute little canvas Vans without socks and only took a thin sweater.  Marko wore shorts, a T-shirt and his Vans.  Well, as the day progressed, it started getting a little chilly, but nothing a hoodie couldn't handle--even for me that I'm always cold because of my thyroid.

About an hour before it was time to pick them up from school, it was FREEZING and pouring rain.  So much so, that I honestly thought it was going to turn to snow.  I left the house with the kids' coats and a pair of sweatpants for Marko so they could change in the car on the way home.
Well as soon as I pulled into the school parking lot, the rain stopped, the heavens opened up, the sun came out and it was HOT outside. Crazy!

I had to pick the kids up early today because Marko had an appointment out of town with the allergy specialist.  It was a beautiful day and I planned on taking the kids to the park to take pictures.  About 20 minutes into our drive, it started snowing!   We had never been to this specialist's office, and I had a very hard time finding it because the visibility was zero by the time we got into town.  It was snowing huge, thick flakes.  And of course, we all were wearing thin sweaters.  I was mad at myself because I always have a stash of winter gear in the back of the car, just in case, but last weekend, we cleaned the car and everything was brought into the house.

It won't happen again.  I'll restock the car with everyone's winter gear...along with our swimsuits and towels.  I wish I were kidding.

I wonder what's in store for this weekend... 

Really, CNN?

I am livid at the biased reporting from CNN regarding the trial in Steubenville, Ohio.

Two teenage boys were on trial for raping a 16-year-old girl.

The boys were found guilty and sentenced to the Department of Youth Services for a minimum of one year and a maximum period being until they reach the age of 21.
CNN correspondent, Poppy Harlow reports of how incredibly emotional and difficult it was for her to watch this because "...these two young men, with such promising futures, star football players, very good students, blah blah blah.
She then continues to describe how one of the boys collapsed (and yes, she totally emphasized that word) into his attorney's arms because "their lives fell apart."  Then she continues with the sympathy card and mentions how one of the boys' father had never said "I love you" to his son before.  

Really?!  What about the VICTIM??  Don't you think HER life fell apart after this rape?  What about her promising future?  Harlow never once mentions if this girl was a good student.  That apparently wasn't important enough to report on.  All we know about her is that she was drunk.  That fact is told over and over again.

Harlow is so disgusting in her plea for sympathy for these two convicted rapists that the victim is mentioned as an afterthought!  I understand she was drunk. Harlow points out a few times of the "alcohol-fueled" party.
The fact remains that she was DRUNK, which means she was incapable of giving her consent to have sex.  And they raped her.  And she was videotaped and in our day and age, you can imagine how quickly that video was distributed.

This girl is someone's daughter, granddaughter, friend, perhaps someone's sister.  She deserves everyone's support to heal from what these "stars" did to her.
But she continues to be victimized even after these "stars with a promising future" are convicted.

Come on CNN...Who cares that they were high school football stars?  Yes...WERE.

I don't think registered sex offenders have a chance at the NFL.

Spring Break: I LOVE YOU!!

This semester has been pretty stressful for a number of reasons:
1. I was very sick at the beginning of the semester and I was almost forced to skip this semester entirely.
2. I got a job.  One that I loved, but it was just very, very bad timing.
3. I ended up having to request a "leave of absence" from school.
4. And work, (even though I had just been hired.)
5. I ended up in the emergency room three times.
6. I developed tendonitis in my right wrist.  Oh, and I'm right-handed, of course. Ha!
7. I had surgery.  This meant I needed time to recover.  And the hubs had to leave to Mexico the very next day...for almost a week.  Oh, and I would be remiss to not mention the 8,354 doctor appointments and blood work I had prior to the surgery, plus the 3,478 pills I was taking before and after my surgery (:
8. Missing so much school, of course, meant I was absolutely slammed with homework.  Somehow, I was able to get it all done and stay caught up.

On top of all of this, Marko's practices for wrestling had to be juggled between myself, the hubs and my mom.  He had practice every day after school until 6 p.m., which meant we weren't getting home until about 7:30-8 every night.  After I made sure the kids had their showers, done their homework, ate dinner, etc., plus getting to bed on time, I wasn't starting on my homework until about 10:30 and not finishing until about 3 a.m.  Our lives were absolutely c-r-a-z-y for a while.

Marko is now finished with his wrestling and I couldn't be more proud of all he accomplished.  And the craziness we had during his practices and tournaments was totally worth it in every way and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

This all happened within the last 6 weeks or so, but it really seems like a lot more time has passed since then.  But God is good; everything fell into place and I've got my routine down pretty good now.  It amazes me to think that all of these obstacles were not enough to hinder me from
continuing my education...or losing my mind (!)

I've mentioned that of all of my classes, my science class is my most challenging because, well, I suck at science.
Another class this semester is an advanced Spanish writing class.  The class itself isn't challenging, in fact, I've enjoyed perfecting my Spanish writing skills and learning correct punctuation.  I've always known how to write in Spanish, but I never, ever learned any grammar/punctuation skills until last semester and now in this class.  But what makes this class so challenging is the professor.  And the worse part is, is that I'm not even referring to her being tough or demanding, etc., on her students.  Unfortunately, I'm talking about her unprofessionalism in the classroom.  This professor degrades her students and seems to enjoy watching whomever she's targeting, squirm.  She seems to just randomly select her targets also. Well, I happened to be her target last week and I actually drove home and had a good cry after her class.  I had never been so humiliated in my life.  I won't even go into specifics because it upsets me so much.  Her attack on me was so unjust and unethical that I actually confronted her the next time I had her class.  I was so upset during the attack that it was just impossible to defend myself at that moment.
She apologized, but honestly, that simply wasn't enough. Oh, and I contacted the Dean's office.  I seriously hate the fact that I had to resort to that, but her behavior demanded drastic measures.
I hope this issue is resolved to everyone's satisfaction and she never mistreats her students ever again.

As you can imagine, I am so thankful for this Spring Break to recharge my batteries and return after the break refreshed and ready to finish out the semester.
The kids don't have their break for a few more weeks because of TCAP testing, so this means I won't be going anywhere for the break, but that's more than okay with me.  I have awesome plans for my break:   Spending time at the library working on upcoming assignments, cooking awesome dinners, and maybe even having time to do a couple of DIY projects I've been putting off for quite a while.

What an awesome week it will be!

My Champ!

Yesterday was such a fantastic day!  We woke up at 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning (Yes...you read that right. Ha!) because Marko had his final wrestling tournament and he had to weigh in at 7:30.
So I got up, made Marko a breakfast shake and got him with all his gear and the hubs out the door at 7:10.
I jumped in the shower and hurried up and got ready, and Gabriella and I made a few stops on our way to stock up on Gatorade, water and breakfast burritos.
The tournament started at 9 and we were so excited to cheer for Marko and his team.
As soon as I got there, Marko admitted to me that he was very nervous, so the hubs and I talked to him to calm his nerves. He was nervous because this was the first time ever wrestling.  He decided kind of late in the season to join and the coaches needed him, so they let him.  Incredibly, he'd only got in about 2 weeks' worth of practice before today, and he struggled at first with the training because of his asthma and later with an ear infection, but he was determined to continue.
He had gone to two smaller tournaments in as many weeks--the first one was literally two days after joining!  Both times, his opponents didn't show, which meant those matches were forfeited.  It was completely understandable that yesterday's tournament was really causing him lots of anxiety.

He wrestled his first match and we cheered him on pretty loudly!  Although he lost the match, I was so incredibly proud of him!  It took a lot of guts to completely come out of your comfort zone to put on a singlet and go out in front of lots of people and wrestle against an opponent that has years of experience, but he did it!  He didn't just go to the mat and lose right away either.  He really made his opponent work hard for that win.  He's such an awesome kid!  My baby.

Well, then we waited for his next match and his started getting the best of him again.  I talked to him and told him that he was a winner already for simply going out there and doing his best and that win or lose, he was always going to be my champ.
I told him he was certainly strong enough to run circles around the other boys and that instead of focusing on the audience, to pretend he and his opponent were the only ones in the room and to just do his best.
After a while, his name was called and he started to get up off the bleacher.  I told him I loved him and reminded him that he was very strong, and to just act like he was wrestling with his dad--because he can totally body-slam dad (:

He went to the mat and did his best.
And we cheered him on...Silva style.  Which is very loud.
And if Marko was nervous this time around, he certainly didn't show it!
His performance was AWESOME!

We were so loud that the rest of our section of bleachers joined in in cheering on our boy.  It was pretty awesome.
Can you picture us high-fiving each other and jumping up and down when Marko WON??!! Because he totally did!
My boy tasted victory.  And I can't adequately describe how emotional it was for me.  For us.  It was pretty amazing. And yes, I choked up with emotion.  

He was now on to the championships!

And his nerves started up again...

He soon found out his opponent was a boy named Anthony, who happened to be his best friend in Kindergarten and 1st grade (who he hadn't seen since!)  Anthony found us and came over to talk to Marko and they were excited to have found each other again after all these years.

My Marko has always been a gentle giant.  He has such a big heart and he's such a teddy bear.  So I told him that although Anthony was his buddy and he was happy to have talked to him again, Anthony was his opponent and to still do his best.  I told him that he and Anthony had to forget they were buddies out on the mat.  I'm sure Anthony's parents told him the same thing because he's a big old softy too (:

So they started their match:
And they gave it their all.  I was so proud of them both.
Oh, and have I mentioned that Anthony has been wrestling since he was like eight years old?
Marko ended up losing the match by ONE point.   How awesome is that?! 
I am so proud of my son I can hardly stand it!  He's amazing.
We found out last week at registration that Marko and Anthony will be going to high school together this fall.  Pretty awesome, huh?

I can't wait to watch my champ at next year's wrestling season (:

Asking for prayers.

A little over a month ago, one of my children's classmates attempted suicide.  She wasn't successful; however, she was on life support at Children's Hospital until her parents made the heart-wrenching decision to finally have their beautiful baby girl disconnected.
What a complete tragedy on so many levels.  My heart aches terribly for the family and friends of this little girl as their lives will never, ever be the same.
My husband and I had to support our 12- and 14-year old children while they struggled with their emotions, and we talked with them about conversations they had had with various classmates.  No child has any business having such conversations, ever

I must say, that as a parent, I am angry that my children's childhood now includes such a tragic event.  It's just not fair.  I feel so strongly about this because I would never allow my children to watch a movie in which a child took their own life because I don't feel this is appropriate for them to watch.  Yet, they were forced to experience this in real life.
I had to accompany my children and the majority of the school staff and students as this little girl was laid to rest.  It was very difficult for me to watch all of those children struggle with the fact that they were at their classmate's funeral.  It shook me to the very core.
And you want to know something incredibly shocking that happened during the funeral Mass?  

It embarrasses me to even write about it, but the Father was giving his sermon to a packed church when he suddenly leaps from the sanctuary and rushes to the pews on the other side of the church and yells "Stop that RIGHT NOW!"  and then he continues to yell: "Do you REALIZE you are at a FUNERAL??!!...You need to not only RESPECT the deceased and her family, but you need to respect YOURSELF...How can you allow him to do that to you?"  Apparently, a couple thought it was a good idea to make out at the funeral Mass.  As you can imagine, the Father was LIVID.
Yeah, everyone there was so disgusted by them.  Some people's behavior is truly appalling sometimes.

You know, my thoughts and prayers have been with this little girl and her family, and as many times as I've asked myself why these things happen, I will never have an answer.
I can only pray my children never have to go through something like this ever again.  Their childhood will forever include this tragic and unnecessary event.

I pray for the family of this child, that they find some comfort in the memories of their little girl, and that they are able to heal as a family.  May this little girl rest in peace.
Please include her and her family in your prayers.

I pray for my children's childhood to continue to be full of love, health, happiness and success, and that my children fight for their childhood as I do.  

I also pray that they never, ever, ever doubt how loved they are, or how incredibly wanted they were, and that they always know how they have made my life complete.

Those of you blessed with children, hug them a little tighter and kiss them until they beg you to stop.
Simply because...you can.

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