Tía Stella's apron

Almost two years ago, my tía Stella gave me a beautiful apron she made.  She told me she made it for me because she knew I loved to cook as much as she did.  She is an amazing cook and she actually owns a catering business, so she always has her aprons handy.
I remember thanking her and thinking I would never use it, because, well, I had never used an apron before and I had no plans to start.

Boy was I wrong!  I love it and I wear it every single day!

Beside the fact that I **gasp** don't get dirty while cooking,  I love how I no longer look as though I jumped into the dish water to give myself a bath while doing dishes.  I guess I get pretty crazy while doing those dishes because I always had to change my top as soon as I rinsed that final dish.
I also love being able to lean on the counter while doing dishes.  In an attempt at being careful (ha!), I would try not to lean on the counter to avoid getting wet, but even that never helped.  The only thing I accomplished by not leaning on the counter was horrible back pain.

Not aNyMoRe!!! (:

I can't believe that as much as I love to cook, I had never used one before.  I will forever be grateful to my beautiful tía for such a thoughtful gesture.
This apron she made me isn't just any 'ol run-of-the-mill apron either.  She made the "skirt" part of the apron from a towel so that while I'm cooking, doing dishes, etc., I could dry my hands on the towel (!)  How ingenious of her, huh?  I think she is brilliant!
Anyway, since I wear it every day, I think I'm starting to look like a walking picture around my house.  So I decided to make me another apron like the one tía Stella made for me.
And this is my apron:
 I used a chevron print and I matched it up with a charcoal colored towel.

This next picture makes me smile because I literally had to beg Gabriella to model it for me.  Her response?
"But Mmmmooom!!!"
Not that you can tell by the look on her face, huh?
 I added the two little pockets to the front, which are perfect for your cell phone...or candy (:
I actually made another one also, but I paid it forward and gifted it to my comadre, Diana.  You can read all about how she was named "Mom of the Year".

And the best part?  It only took me about an hour total to make it, start to finish!

I love my new apron, but my favorite will always be the one my tía made.  I'll probably only use the one I made while my favorite one is in the wash (:

Have a great weekend!!

Dinner flop

I took Gabriella to the store today to pick up a few things I needed for dinner.  I waited in the car while she went in because I had been helping my mom with yard work, and it rained a lot last night, so I wasn't ahem...presentable.
Nope, not even for Walmart. Ha!

Anyway, we're driving home and our conversation went something like this:

Gabriella: "Mom, are tomatoes supposed to be firm or soft?"
Me: "Firm."
Gabriella: "Ahhh...Dang it!!"

So I guess tonight's dinner will include mushy tomatoes...

May 2013 Photo Dump

I thought it was about time I did another photo dump.  So here it is, and in no particular order.

Here is my talented, handsome son, Marko with his guitar.  I love, love, LOVE hearing him play it and I am so proud of him.  He asked for a guitar one day a few years back when he spotted one at a Goodwill.  I let him buy it and he taught himself to play it!  He's bought four more since (: 

My Gabriella and our fur baby.  I took these pictures one of the days it didn't snow... wish I were kidding.

I recently took this adorable couple's prom pictures.

These next couple of pictures are of my pineapple.  I'll be planting it in potting soil in a few days.  I was just waiting for the roots to get a little bigger.  And I need to buy a nice pot.  Can you see the roots?

This is Marko's wrestling team.  Marko is on the left in the grey shorts:

Gabriella and one of her BFFs, Tanya.  They are the biggest One Direction fans EVER.  These two girls will be having lots of sleep-overs this summer, that's for sure!

We took a family pic before we took Gabriella to get an award for advanced reading and writing at school.  So proud of you baby!:
 This is a terrible picture, but I love it:
 One of my prides and joy:

 And my other one:

 These next three pics crack. me.  up.  They saw me with my camera and of course had to photobomb every picture. Ugh.
It's Marko and his best friend, Tyler.  These two boys are such goofballs and they have such awesome personalities.  Even though they photobombed, these pictures capture who they are perfectly!

And my hubby and I went to Blackhawk while the kids were in school.  Blackhawk is Colorado's mini "Vegas Strip" of sorts (:

The hubs sure knows how to choose the right slot machine to play!

These casinos are are up in the mountains, so that means we had beautiful scenery the entire drive up.  It was awesome!

And on the way home we pulled over so we could do this:

Just kidding! Hahaha.
We saw these guys kayaking, so we had to pull over to take some pics.

 Have an awesome week!

Las pecheras de Apá

I think I have mentioned before that Spanish was my first language.  Everyone in my mom's family was bilingual in English and Spanish, but Amá, my grandmother, spoke only Spanish, and since she watched me while my mom worked, that was what I learned.  I didn't learn English until I was about 4-years-old.
I have always been able to write in Spanish also, but I never knew where and when to add the accent, so I ignorantly never used them.  I also knew of the upside down question mark and exclamation point but didn't know when to apply those either.  I seriously knew very little about grammatical "rules" for Spanish, but I was very interested in learning it and felt this was important because a) I am a journalism major, and b) more importantly, that is who and what I am.
I really wanted to perfect both my English and Spanish writing skills, so I decided that a Spanish minor would complement my major precisely.

Well, a couple semesters ago I took my first Spanish class and I learned a lot about these "rules."  But after that semester, I never really had a reason to use these new skills I learned.

Until this semester.

One of the classes I took this last semester was an advanced Spanish writing class.  I was pretty nervous about it because, well, like I said, I have never written much in Spanish, other than the occasional item on the grocery list when my husband would go to the store for me, or a random text here and there, but never anything beyond that.

Anyway, this advanced writing class really took me out of my comfort zone because it required, well, a lot of writing.  Imagine that (!)

I remember working very hard on my stories and feeling proud of them, turning them in and getting them right back with instructions to "polish it up."  So I would.  It would be frustrating, but the beauty of it is, is that I learned so much.  
I put a lot of work into these stories and I am proud of all of them; however, one that I am most proud of is titled "Las pecheras de Apá."   It is written about a couple of childhood memories I have of him.
I've written on this blog before about Apá and how I literally spent my entire childhood around this great man.  I remember having to read this particular story to the class and I actually choked up as I read it because it made me miss him so much.
Well, a couple months ago, I submitted a couple of my stories, including the one about Apá, to "Cadencias," which is an upcoming Spanish magazine at my university.  I didn't think much of it since then because of my lack of experience in writing in Spanish.  Well, imagine my surprise last week when I received an email informing me that "Las pecheras de Apá" was chosen for publication! My story will appear in the very first edition coming out this summer.  As soon as it is published, I will post the story on here on my blog.

To say I am excited is such an understatement.  My level of excitement is off-the-charts!  I am so happy because it was truly a labor of love on my part.
I was blessed to have grown up knowing and loving him, and it makes me sad that my children were denied the privilege.   I can't think of a greater way to honor him than to have his story published and have my future grandchildren read it someday and know what an amazing ancestor they have and be able to actually take a peek into "a day in the life" of Apá.
To me, that is priceless.

Rethinking my major...

I've written a few times of all of the obstacles I faced this semester.  In all honesty, of all of my semesters, this one has definitely been the most difficult one by far because of my illness and subsequent surgery...not to mention all those weeks of school I had to miss before the surgery and of course, the recovery time afterward.  Oh, and the tons of homework just to "catch up."  As if that weren't enough stacked against me, this was also the semester I stupidly added a science class to the mix: which, by the way, has never been one of my strengths...like, EVER.
I don't recall ever being so stressed about anything in my life as I was this semester.  Mostly because I seriously regretted even attempting to attend school this semester with everything going on health wise.  I thought it would result in a huge waste of time, and of course, money.  Lots of time and even more money that I just cannot afford to throw away.  I can't tell you the number of times I beat myself up with the thought of "Why did I ever register for this semester if I'm only going to fail?!"

Well, all of my grades for the semester have finally been posted, and I am feeling pretty stoked.  With lots of hard work; daily prayer; a ton of support from my husband that I am so grateful for, and a fierce determination to succeed, I ended the semester with a 3.92 gpa.
I earned solid A's in all of my classes but one.  I got one A-.
You want to know what's sorry about that A-?  It wasn't my science class...it was my journalism class....which is my major! Ha!

This can only mean one thing:

Maybe I should switch my major to (gulp!) science?

Mother Days

Yesterday was Mother's Day and I must say that it was perhaps the best day ever.  We had a full day of doing absolutely nothing.  It was amazing.  Believe it or not, I am still slightly dazed from the 850 mph semester that abruptly came to a stop.  I'm not kidding.  I actually sat on my couch for quite a while Saturday with a strange sensation of "What do I do now?!"  Since returning to school after my surgery, every waking moment I wasn't in class, I was either doing homework to catch up for the almost 5 weeks I missed of school, or studying for a test.  I really didn't know what to do with myself.  I actually felt like I should be studying! 

So I truly L-O-V-E-D just being home yesterday and doing nothing... nada... zilch.

Marko and Gabriella surprised the hubby and I with breakfast in bed!  They made us some steak omelets that were delicious!  Afterward, we watched a movie that I fell asleep to  (:

I did go to my mom's house for a while, and on the way home, we got the kids some ice cream and we bought some dishtowels for a project I'll post about later.

It was a perfect day.

Oh, and have I mentioned that with being Mexican and all, I got to celebrate Mother's Day twice?  That's right.  For those of you that don't know, May 10th is Mother's Day in Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador, so we had a mini celebration on Friday as well.  Although we don't live in any of those countries, culture is important.  Right?

But of course!

Have a wonderful week.  And happy belated Mother Days!!

Cruel Irony at its finest

My comadre (my kids' godmother) called me last week and mentioned that she had plans to attend her friends' graduation last night (Friday).  Her friend and his wife were both graduating from my university: He with his PhD, and his wife with her Masters.  How awesome is THAT?!
Anyway, she mentioned how she had been looking forward to their graduation for months and how proud she was of them.  She then told me she had a dilemma: Her youngest son had a dance performance at his school that same night.

A little background on that:  Her 12-year-old son and a group of kids from his school had been dancing this dance routine for about the last three weeks at various schools.  And she had attended every single one of these performances without fail.  My comadre is divorced, and her ex had never attended any of these performances.  Not even while their kids were with HIM for his weekend parenting time.  Well, her ex was going to go to Friday's performance.

She asked my opinion of whether it would be terrible of her if she were to skip her son's performance to attend her friends' graduations instead.  I mean, it was the same performance as all the other times and her son's dad was going to be there.  Plus, it was his weekend with the kids, so the kids would go home with him after the performance.  She mentioned that she had already talked to her son and her son was fine with her not going.  Oh, and I've failed to mention that in her children's entire lives, she had never, ever missed any game, practice, performance, concert, etc.  She is a very dedicated mom.
I told her that since she had talked it over with her son and he was ok with her not going, that she shouldn't feel bad for skipping his performance this one time.  She said that everyone she had asked about this had told her the same thing.

She ended up going to the graduations.

Well wouldn't you know it?  During the graduation, she receives a text from her son that read something like this:
"Mom, you should have come to my performance!"

She replied with a "Why?  I thought you were ok with me not going."

Now, imagine my horror as she relayed her horror at his reply:
"Because your name was called for you to go to the stage because you won the award for Mom of the Year." 
*****Mom of the Year*****

Not Volunteer of the Year...or any other ___________ of the Year. 

I can seriously tell you that I literally felt myself shrivel up as she told me.  I was horrified, shocked and so sad for her son, as was she.  I just could. not. imagine. the look on her son's face, or what he felt as everyone in the gymnasium clapped for his mom to go to the stage...and she wasn't there!

I was devastated for him.  And for her.  Especially because she is an exemplary mother and she truly was deserving of such an award.  The ONE and only time she ever chose not to be there, such a cruel irony like this happens. 

She said she felt sick to her stomach as she frantically texted him: "So what did you do?!"
And he replied:
"Well what could I do, mom?  I went to the stage to get your bouquet of flowers and card."


Roller-coaster ride

Today I had my last final for this semester, and even now that hours have passed since I walked out of class, I can hardly believe it.  One more semester checked off.  And it feels so amazingly wonderful (:
I wrote about how incredibly difficult this semester was Here.  Even going back and reading that post caused me major anxiety!
I literally got out of class, took my mom out to eat, took her back home, picked my kids up from school, came back home and slept for three hours!!  I woke up so refreshed.
I glanced at my planner and was amazed...AMAZED, at what I saw.  This is just a couple of pages from my planner during this semester:
 Yes, I realize my planner is a hot mess that only I understand, but it was literally, and without a doubt, my best friend that saved my life every single day.  I also realize that there is no rhyme or reason to my planner, but that's ok.  As long as I understand it.

This next picture is actually my Spring Break week.  I so looked forward to it.  And when it finally arrived, it was a big fat Whomp...Whomp...Whomp.  Ha!  I was so slammed with homework that week that just going to the bathroom was a luxury.  I wish I were kidding...

 It finally started slowing down about here....of course.  It was finals week (:

And this is what is on my agenda for next week:
Isn't it crazy?!  I feel as if I was on this never-ending, out-of-control roller-coaster ride, all semester long, that suddenly came to a screeching halt!
And I'm finally unbuckled and stepping off.  Slightly dizzy still...but I survived it.  God is so good (:

My baby, the TEENAGER!

Last Friday was a big day at our house.  You see, it was my Gabriella's 13th birthday.  Thirteen!!!  Even writing that is difficult.
It literally seems like in the blink of an eye, my baby grew up.  And I was seriously not ready for it.  Not a bit!
 She was so excited for her bowling party that night, and it was a blast!
 Afterward, she had a sleepover and she and her friends stayed up pretty darned late giggling, watching movies and playing games.

Here she is with her BFFs.  Hard to believe my little girl and her friends will start their last year of middle school this fall.

I am so proud of the beautiful, smart, talented and awesome young lady you have grown to be.  I love you so SO much, Gabriella.  I pray God bless, watch over and protect you always, my sweet girl.

Mom (:

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