Vegas 2010

Recent events today prompted me to think about some of my darkest moments over the past few years and how I survived them. It’s crazy how some things can trigger memories we haven’t thought about in years.

dav_5714

David and I went to Vegas with our college chums in December 2010 to celebrate Christmas a little early and catch up with each other. We stayed at our friend’s parents’ house in Henderson. I had just suffered my second miscarriage and wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to celebrate and enjoy and just be. We were the only couple that were married at that time, and the only ones who had suffered such a loss. To everyone else, life was the same as it had always been.

One of the nights we were there I felt terribly sick. I don’t know what it was – if maybe I ate something bad or if my sorrow was causing my body to shut down. Everyone was ready to head out to the strip. I think some of them were practically out the door when I decided I wasn’t going. It was all too much, and I felt too sad to celebrate anything.

So they stayed home. All of them. And it wasn’t a spiteful decision on their part. Pajamas were put on and the snacks were brought out. They played games all night (Charades, I think) while I sat and watched and even laughed. I want to say we even videotaped it because it was so funny.

I’ll always remember that day and how my friends really supported me, not by talking me through it, but just by being there. They’re my people. And I miss them.



Detour

Last Wednesday was St. Therese’s feast day. I spent a good amount of that day looking up ideas of how to celebrate with Dylann, since she was named after St. Therese. I thought about decorating cupcakes, doing an art project, or making Dylann watch an educational movie about her. (Don’t judge. I’m a teacher.) But, of course, I got home and felt exhausted and really just wanted to take a nap.

Instead, I decided I’d take Dylann to bring flowers to a St. Therese statue at our parish. We drove to Safeway, and I let her choose. After 5 minutes of thoughtful deliberation (a.k.a., running around trying to pick petals off of every flower she could get her hands on) she went with pink roses.

Unfortunately the church was closed. I was soooo disappointed. Dylann knows the St. Therese statue well as we’ve been going to mass at that parish since she was born.  Instead, we went to a different church nearby and offered flowers to Our Lady of Guadalupe. (On a side note…I’d like to think St. Therese had a hand in the reason for our little detour. Always looking to draw little souls toward Jesus and Mary. She is awesome.)

Dylann put the flowers in different vases and at the foot of the statue. When we were about to leave, I motioned to her and reached out for her hand. She ran back to the Our Lady, waved, and said, “Bye Mary!” and ran back to me.

photo (5)

It was perfect. Short. Simple. Easy.

But there sure was lots and lots of love.



Small things with great love.

Last year I randomly stumbled upon The Nester and joined the #31day writing challenge for the month of October. I think it was pretty successful – I wrote for a good amount of the 31 days and the whole process was quite healing for me as I wrote about letting go. (And that was before the Frozen phenomenon. Ha!)

This year I have been thinking about various topics I could write about for the challenge, but none of them seemed to be what I was looking for.

  • 31 days of cleaning Um, yeah right.
  • 31 days of mommy-daughter moments Too many to choose from…
  • 31 days of being intentional I’m still trying to figure out what this means and how it applies to my life.
  • 31 days of classroom shenanigans This could be interesting…
  • 31 days of inspiration Isn’t that already the purpose of my blog?

Just thinking about a topic began to overwhelm me, so much so that I nearly threw the idea out the door and was going to skip out on the challenge this year. (After all, do I really need another thing on my perpetual to-do list?) For some reason, this got me thinking about my own personal shortcomings and how I tend to have great huge bouts of inspiration that cause me to draw up large dreams that only begin to materialize, but never finish.

I have a problem finishing. I show up, but I don’t stay.

The reason for this, I think, is because as big as my dreams and aspirations are, it it challenging for me to take the necessary steps to accomplishing them. For example, I am always imagining my house as being super organized and clean. I can never bring myself to clean up because I feel like if I can’t get the entire house clean in one sitting, it’s not worth it. My eyes only see the end. The middle part, the how to get there is always missing.

photo (4)

So I thought this year I would challenge myself to work on that middle part – accomplishing those small steps that will lead me closer to the end. If I practice being intentional with my time, and completing smaller, more manageable tasks with the bigger goal in mind, perhaps I will be more successful in drawing closer to making my dreams reality.

Small things with great love. I could apply this to every single area of my life – my work, my kids, my husband, my housework, my friends.  I’m excited to see where this journey takes me.

“We must do all that lies in our power; we must give without counting the cost; we must constantly renounce ourselves. In one word, we must prove our love by all the good works we can perform; but, since all that we can do is very little, it is of the greatest importance that we put our confidence in Him who alone sanctifies those works and that we recognize that we are indeed useless servants, hoping that the good Lord will give us through grace all that we desire.”

“Little things done out of love are those that charm the Heart of Christ… On the contrary, the most brilliant deeds, when done without love, are but nothingness.” (Counsels and Reminiscences, St. Therese of Liseux)

Picture 2Happy feast day, St. Therese.

Day 1: Small things with great love

Day 2: Detour

Day 3: Vegas 2010



Life right now.

Currently, life around these parts is cray.

I feel like my days are lived in the fast-forward mode – like I’m always trying to be a step ahead of the game but am going so fast that I am missing important parts in the story. Continue reading



Whispers at Naptime

Photo Jun 10, 12 10 31 PM…Holy Spirit, Amen.

Were you praying, Dylann?

Yah.

Who were you praying for?

You, Mama.

 



A Lesson My Daughter Taught Me

Photo Jun 24, 9 26 47 AM

When the clock strikes 9pm at my house, you can almost hear the cherub angels singing a chorus of “Hallelujah” from Heaven. It is at this time when everyone in my house except ME is in their beds asleep for the night. I use this time for a myriad of things… Continue reading



#IAMENOUGH

This past weekend’s blogging conference was amazing. Seeing as it was my first time doing something like this, I spent much of the time feeling nervous and unsure of myself, especially when speaking with other bloggers who were more established than I am. However, I also pushed myself to be brave and make connections and be proud to tell them about who I am and what I write about (even if I only spoke to like, 5 people). I left the conference feeling more sure of where I am in life right now and the direction in which (I think) I am headed.

dpb_2014-07-26_15-59-14

I realized that I write because it is my way of processing my experiences. I am able to express things I have seen and heard and felt using words that come from a very real place. I also write so that my girls will hopefully one day be inspired by my words and our stories. It’s a gift I can give them that they (and maybe their own families one day) will have long after I am gone.

BlogHer taught me that my story is important.

That I need to remember the joy in what I do.

That my story can be a light for those in darkness.

That you can create community through your readers.

That my words have value.

And that I am enough. 



5 Tips on How to Prepare for BlogHer14. (By Someone Who Has Never Attended)

I am a BlogHer Conference virgin, and this weekend will be my first time.

I purchased my ticket three days ago. Cuttin’ it close, I know. But I really only decided that I wanted to take my blog to the next level recently (as in, a day before I purchased my ticket), and in doing some research happened to stumble across the BlogHer website. There seems to be quite a few veteran attendees graciously sharing their advice on what to pack, how to get the most out of the conference, tips and tricks on how to survive if you don’t know anyone, and even how to stay healthy while attending. I’ve read some really good posts that have eased my nervousness and fueled my excitement.

For all the conference newbies, I’d like to share my own tips on how to prepare if you’re a conference virgin and have no idea what you are doing. (Disclaimer: Seeing as though the conference hasn’t taken place yet, I have no idea if these will help at all. This is just what I’m doing to survive the weekend.)

1. PRINT BUSINESS CARDS.

23267123

At first I thought it was weird to have a business card made for a blog, especially if you’re like me and are just starting. But think about it, if I’m going to make connections this weekend, how are people going to remember who I am? I’d like to think I’ll make such an impression that they’ll just remember my name and blog address amongst the hundreds of others they will come across, but in reality, I probably won’t have the courage to speak to anyone. I’m thinking of just scattering them on some random tables when no one is looking. Or stick them on the back of bathroom stall doors.

2. COME UP WITH AN ELEVATOR PITCH.

elevator-pitch

Honestly, I had no idea what an elevator pitch was before reading about them on BlogHer. I guess this is what you will tell people your blog is about. I’m just going to recite my tagline: Inviting remarkable experiences into my life and recording them. I hope this is enough! If not, I’ll give one of those, “You should read it and find out!” responses. I’m sure that’ll bring on the site traffic, right?

3. PRACTICE TAKING SELFIES.

Photo Jul 15, 5 38 48 PM

Because apparently there’s a #selfiebration going on at #blogher14 and you can win a MacBook Air (!!!) and other prizes as well. And because I’m really not a selfie kinda gal I had to practice with my daughter. (Does that make it an us-ie?)

4. PRAY TO GOD THAT SOMEONE WILL WANT TO BE YOUR FRIEND

10530739_10204341062470867_4842328179512635868_n

Never underestimate the power of prayer. I prayed about my anxieties of not knowing anyone at the conference. Then I went to church with some people and my friend introduced me to a fellow blogger.

Who happens to be attending the conference! 

Thank you, God.

5. FIND INSPIRATION ON HOW TO BE BRAVE

BtGZsWGIMAAUsd_

Stepping out of my comfort zone makes me nervous. It also gets me excited. I’ve been reading a new book that has inspired me to do that which makes me uncomfortable. And in doing these things I find myself growing and changing into a better version of myself.

I’m looking forward to seeing what this conference has to offer. I wonder if fellow bloggers are as friendly as veterans say they are, if the parties will be off the hook (Run DMC, people!), and if I’ll really need an extra bag for all the swag.

If anything, I know it’ll be an adventure. And I’m always up for that.

 

 



Mass & Mochas

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetA while ago an old friend of mine contacted me to see if I’d be interested in joining a small faith-sharing group she wanted to start up. We would meet once a month for mass and then have coffee afterwards and chat about the readings, our lives, and anything else that we might want to bring to the table. I am someone that has to be intentional about stepping out of her comfort zone, so while this was something I was interested in, I really wasn’t sure how it was going to go or if I’d even feel comfortable meeting up with strangers and talking about…stuff. I put my anxieties aside and said yes, hoping that I could recruit a friend to go with me so that I wouldn’t have to be alone.

There were 5 of us present at this first meeting. We attended mass at the Santa Clara Mission. The church and campus are so beautiful that for a second I felt like going back to school, just so I could enjoy the scenery on a daily basis. During mass there was a point where I thought it was really amazing that I was attending mass with people who I don’t really know, yet are connected to through the Spirit.

Community. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Reaching across the aisles and breaking bread and embracing community.

After mass we went to Starbucks and chatted about the readings of the day. Our conversation focused on thinking about the ways the Spirit is tapping on our shoulder at this point in our lives. What are we being called to do? We shared some stories, had a few laughs, and made connections. I found myself feeling grateful to be able to share a small snippet of my journey with people who were open to listening.

I’ve been thinking a lot about a new adventure that I want to embark on and have had so many doubts and fears about starting. But in chatting with these women I realized fear is what has been preventing me from doing something I know that I am being called to do. And I was reminded, once again, how important building community is. When we build community, we are making much of God.

 



Summertime Struggles

Being that it is summertime, I’ve been on the search for toddler classes to keep Dylann occupied. I’m thankful to have summers off so that I can do this with her. I go back to work in August, and there are very few toddler programs that take place in the late afternoon/evening. (Why is that, by the way? I know there are working parents out there that want to enrich their children’s learning experiences, too.)

The Main Library in our area has a toddler story time that takes place once a week, and it’s FREE! We tried it out last week, and it went pretty well. There were lots of little ones around Dylann’s age group, which was great as she needs to be around people her age more. We sang songs with funny actions, read books, had play time, and even made a simple art project. I really only had 2 BIG issues with the program:

A part of the play area smelled like urine.

The toys looked like they hadn’t been cleaned. Like ever.

Maybe it was the carpet, or perhaps a little one was running around with soiled underpants, but the smell was very present and almost overwhelming. I tried very hard to keep Dylann away from the area, which was hard because it was near the play kitchen which is her favorite thing in the world.

I found some of the toys to be sticky, and the clothes on the dolls were stained. It just means that the toys are well-loved, right? Ew.

When I spoke to David about it later that evening, he said he was surprised I even stayed for the whole class. I’m not a neat freak or anything, nor am I OCD about germs, but I do have a tendency to get grossed out easily. And, of course I wouldn’t want my daughter to contract anything from playing with dirty toys. But the truth is I loved seeing her in a new environment – using her imagination somewhere other than in the comfort of our living room. She had so much fun watching the other kids and exploring. (Not to mention it was very refreshing for me to get out of the house.)

I don’t think we will be going back, sadly. I think what did it for me was when my husband said, “If it was you who had to work in a place that smelled like urine and that had dirty object that you had to handle, you wouldn’t do it. So why would you subject our daughter to it?” He has a point.

Am I being too OCD? Are my standards set too high? Should I just let it go and focus on the fact that she enjoys going to the class?

I guess for now I am continuing to search for other venues. Let’s hope she didn’t contract anything from being in that room for an hour. I’ve heard hand-foot-mouth is so not fun.