Saturday, December 31, 2011

Farewell 2011....

2011 was a year filled with many challenges
 I am definitely 100% to blame for that!
Looking back now I can honestly say that 2011 didn't have a chance before it even started...  I went into 2011 with SOMEONE ELSE'S INSECURITIES secured tightly in my head and in my heart... Ugh, if I could change that I would in a HEARTBEAT! 
That alone caused me to spend the first part of the year feeling invisible, unappreciated and completely uncomfortable around my friends and their husbands, it made me feel weird about being a single 30 year old, it also made me sorta go into hiding, and as much as it HURTS, and I HATE to admit it, it made me questions God, in a way that I NEVER thought I could/would, it also made me question the person that I have become, and it made me question my friends, and their loyalties, and my loyalties, and the reasons why I did/do things... 
It made me think long and hard about loyalty, and about what it means to be a friend..
2011 proved to me that it is true when they say, "our thoughts (mine helped by someone else,) eventually become our reality!"  another not so proud moment... 
many tears were shed, not my proudest moments either...  But, it is what it is...  right??  ;)
In the second part of the year I threw myself into a second job, and A LOT of baking...  My NEW LOVE...  I actually sold a few baked goods, and let me tell you, it was the Boost I needed...  :)  Both of these things left less time for negativity, and sadly less time for everyone else, BUT there was more time for/with myself and my thoughts, and thankfully it also led to the realization that, that other person's insecurities were NOT mine...  I had never been one to feel uncomfortable or even invisible around anyone...  I am who I am because that's were I should be...  :)  I've always done what I've wanted, I've always given 100% of myself to others....  I have always been my own person..  There was no need to start questioning that now...
With less time, I was also forced to "prioritize" the free time that I did have...  and that meant that making and spending time with those people that mean the world to me, the one's who really make my life happy!..
It didn't come easy, I couldn't explain my feelings to my friends if I tried, and I tried...  they tried to understand, but they couldn't...  Shoot, I couldn't, I'm not sure I can now....  haha!!   I think the best way to describe it, is by saying that it's not VERY easy to live in a society who thinks there is something wrong with  you if you're in your 30's, single and with no children.... and even though I had experienced it before, I had never experienced it at this level before, I was finally faced with judgements and questions from people and yes I say people, who thought they would voice their opinions about how "weird" they thought it was...  its hard to walk away from these coments especially when they're coming from people you see/saw fairly frequently, and in some instances almost daily...  ;)
And that brought about the third part of the year...  one filled with answers....  and the re-realization of what I already knew...  My friends love for who I am, still hang out with me, because they like "me," and most IMPORTANTLY they accept me for who I am! 
Friendship isn't about who has the biggest something or other, or who spends the most on someone else, or who hangs out the most with who, or who went were with who...  and it is definitely not based on having a husband or children....  How sad would it be if we could only be friends with people who were EXACTLY the same as us?? Friendship, relationships in general are based on trust, and loyalty, they don't revolve around gossip, they merely revolve around spending time and loving one another, they are based on understanding, and honesty, respect and appreciation of each other, and of being there when it's important...  Friendships are also about being a good ol' sounding board, thanks RB for being such a great one, I LOVE my work buddy!  ;)  All year long he listened to me talk things out, he watched me be sad, he heard me when I was "confused," he reasured me that being in my 30's and single wasn't weird!  ;)  he heard me complain, and ask why, he was honest in his opinions, when he was listeningm and he told me to SNAP OUT OF IT, when it had gone on too long...  FUNNY until today I thought he wasn't ever really listening, turns out he actually heard everything I told him all  year...  ;)  GREAT, now he's gonna hold me to my promise of a "positively fantastic new year..." 
And I think it's because of him that I realized that this person and all of the comentaries did a lot more damage to me than I was willing to accept...  Now it's not fair to completely blame that person for everything...  It was me who allowed these feelings to "grow,"  and it was me who allowed the thoughts to continue to linger for so long...  ;)  It was me who became weak and scared, and I was the one that allowed myself to start questioning EVERYTHING! It was me who let this eat at me ALL year, maybe a little longer...  I didn't know how to stop it, But I think I do now...  ;)  Thank God for NEW BEGINNINGS!
This year was also one filled with answered and unanswered prayers, and new hobbies, and hope for new beginnings... 
DON'T get me wrong though, The year was filled with LOTS of happy moments too, and uncertainties, but mostly HAPPY TIMES!  It was also filled with good friends, vacations, lots of picture taking, visits from family, lots of fun times with the kids, weddings, babies, parties, and fun family times!  :)
So as 2011 comes to a close I will count my blessings, and I will thank God for everything he has given me...  and I will make a promise to myself, to try and go back to being the Maria that had no insecurities, I know it wont be easy, heck I'm still scared, and "the things people say, or may say," are still in the back of my head...  but I'm going to give it my BEST try, I'm going to genuinly not care what others think...  I used to not before!! I will also make a promise to no longer feel uncomfortable being a single 30 year-old-ish with no children...  If those close to me don't care why should it matter what anyone else thinks?? I will also promise myself to try and not talk or think about this at all next year, and to not let it bother me if it does come up...  because really?  who am I kidding??  It will come up... 
I'm leaving ALL of the insecurities of 2011 behind me though...  and this is definitely the BIGGEST one I had!
THERE IS A REASON FOR EVERYTHING, I HAVE ALWAYS BELIEVED THAT GOD HAD A PLAN FOR ME, AND I promise to go back to believing that wholeheartedly... 
It is what has gotten me along for 32 years, I hit a slight bump in the road in the 33rd and half of the 34th year, and lost my way for a while, BUT thankfully I think I have found my way again, and I do believe these bumps on the road are what makes us human!!  ;)  so with that I will bid farewell to 2011, and I will welcome 2012 with open arms, and with really BIG hopes for an AWESOME new year...  :)  Here's to hoping everyone has a good one too!!  :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Faith is putting all your eggs in God's basket, then counting your blessings before they hatch. 
~Ramona C. Carroll
Such a great quote for today...  Today was one of those days when the "happenings" of the last few days finally "hit."  The reality of how fragile life is showed it's ugly head around here again...  and all I can think about is why?  and then I quickly remember that as much as I sometimes don't understand that famous saying about God having a plan, he really does have a plan...  We have been praying like crazy at my house..  And my mom has burned at least 2 candles maybe 3 since Christmas Eve.  Gotta LOVE those candles and what they signify to us...  They are a symbol, a very simple symbol of our Faith. :) Mike's grandpa had a massive heart attack on Christmas Eve, he's doing ok still very "fragile" though, and late last night one of my friends brother's lost his long battle with brain cancer...  Todd's brother and their family has been in my thoughts and prayers for weeks, it makes me sad that once again we've lost someone to that awful disease...  AND today my aunt called to tell us that her mom had had a stroke, and was in the hospital...  ugh...  really??   There is absolutely nothing worse than spending the holidays in a hospital...  It has got to be the worst...  So today I ask for prayers for the Marconi's and their families, and for the Puttnam's and their families, and for the Sanchez' and their families. Today I pray for understanding and strength for all of those involved, and I pray for the health of all of my loved one's and for all of their loved one's...  And today I am thankful for health... 
And tomorrow I will remember to hold those I love a little closer, and I will make sure to remember to tell my family and friends that I LOVE them!!  ;)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry day after Christmas!

Beautiful sunset sky on the day after Christmas...  It was refreshing, even despite EVERYTHING that has been going on with some of the people I love....  I hope everyone got to enjoy the beautiful afternoon sky....  :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas 2011

...NOTHING says Christmas like my mom's ham!!  :)  YUMMMMMM!!
I think this is one of my favorite parts of Christmas dinner...  ;)
Christmas Eve was a little weird around here this year...  I worked, drove my friend home from work, and delivered Christmas dinner to her and her family!  Thanks mom for helping me, make that happen.  Then I came home to find out that my brother had already come and gone, guess I missed him this year...  and I'm not gonna lie, that made me really sad!  Oh and the Chavi' were missing this year, which also made me sad....  I kept waiting for a surprise....  But it was Chrismas Eve and we were having "family" from Guatemala coming over for dinner so I changed and waited for them to arrive.... 
I set the table and eventually we were ready to eat...  Only to find out that Gaby and Mike were on their way home, but they probably wouldn't be staying...  His Grandpa had been taken to the hospital...  YIKES!!  They ended up coming for a few minutes, only to turn around and go back to San Pedro...  We said a prayer for Grandpa Rino's health and preceded to eat....  How could we not...  the food looked GREAT!!  :)
....And my parents and I hung out with Arturo and Ceci, while we waited for midnight, and Baby Jesus' birth!
Arturo, Ceci and my mom!
My parents with Ceci and Arturo...  Sadly this is as close to a "family" picture as my mom got this year...  I guess I was busy taking pictures, I must of forgotten to take one of myself...  Oh well at least I know I was there!!!  guess that's what happens when one is the photographer!  ;)  hahaha!!!  Seeeee, I said, weird Christmas Eve!  :)
...the newlyweds!
....and santa was REALLY good to me this year!  Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE to read...  I've gone back and forth on a "reader."  My sister told me last year that she had thought about getting me a Nook for Christmas, I wasn't sure how I would like it, I really thought I was "old school," and I LOVED the feel of a real book, BUT I decided this year that I may actually like an electronic reader, a place that would "house" all of my books....  ;)  so that is what she got me this year..  and so far I LOVE it!!!  Thank you sister!!  :)  And look at the fun cover my mom found for me!  It's perfect!  :)

....and I can't forget about my new sewing machine....  I can't wait to use it, and create something fun with it!  :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A refreshing sunrise....

It's been a BUSYLY fun-filled weekend.  There was quality time spent with the kids, work, tamale making, and cookie making and not much sleep getting...  ;)  After two VERY LATE nights I woke up super early today, I escaped early, I wanted to go see the sunrise, it's refreshing to me, I wanted to just watch it come up while sitting out there and thinking about how LUCKY I am while being thankful for EVERYTHING that God gives me everyday. There isn't one day that goes by that I don't remember that I am where I am because of God's grace.  He blessed me with wonderful parents and siblings, great family, amazing friends, and wonderful lessons he teaches me everyday... 
Isn't this a wonderful "painting?"  ;)

Once again on Friday I was taught that life isn't always fair, and that it isn't "the cards that we hold that matter, but how we play the game..."  I think that's why I needed the moment this morning, to remember that even though life is unfair sometimes, everyone makes it...  people are placed in our lives to help...  ;)  and with that I went home, jumped back in my pajama's, hopped back into my nice warm bed, turned on a Christmas movie, and preceded to "sleep in" until 9ish...  and no one was the wiser...  well until now!!  ;)  seriously though, how lucky am I to have been able to jump back into a nice warm bed?  it was chilly out today! 

It's cookie making time....

It had been a busy weekend, as all holiday weekends usually go...  BUT I had told my mom that we could bake today...  I was craving the fun that holiday cookie baking brings with it...  So off we went, we have our traditional holiday cookies that we bake, and I decided to try and make some others as well...  :) 
We started off by making the dough for two of our family's favorites...  Mandarin Orange cookies and Kidfords! 

While my mom was "zesting" the mandarin oranges, I went to work on some red velvet snow cutie things that I had found online! 

They turned out just as good as i thought!  :)  Phew...  nothing like trying out new recipes for the holidays!  ;)

I also decided to make chocolate one's, and those were actually pretty good too...  chocolatey!!!  :)
...time to get back to those family favorite one's!  ;)

.....mmmmmmm!I took a cookie break to check out the beautiful afternoon sky!
.....our final products...  We couldn't wait to get our hands into these guys!!  :D

...and yummy mandarin orange one's...  MY FAVORITE!  :)

Here's to spending another fun sunday baking with my mom...  Oh how I LOVE these days!!  :)  Thanks mom, I know it was a REALLY LONG day, but I hope it was a fun one!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Tamales, tamales, tamales....

My friend's family has a tamale making party every year!  I got to join them this  year and let me tell you it was a GREAT time!  :)
Getting started!
It's not authentic tamale making if there is no beer around!  ;)
...Our set-up....  :)
 Jessica.... The official "spreader,"  showing me the "ropes"  haha!  at least she thought she was showing me the ropes!  ;)
My hands were in the masa, for the majority of the time so there aren't really that many pictures of the "process", But here is one from the "toast" we made to our cooking tamale's...  ;)
....and another...  I had forgotten how many rounds of shots Dave brought around! 
....and our first official tamale...  As the newest member of the tamale making team, I got to have the first bite!  and let me tell you, it was yummy!!  :)
.....DOESN'T IT LOOK SO GOOD???  mmmmmm......
I LOVED hanging out with Priscilla and the family...  We had so much fun!  I seriously LOVE them!!  :)
Me and Miss Amanda!
 How cute are we?  I LOVE my sister from another mother friend!  :)
 ....Amanda and Baby Priscilla...  I LOVE this picture!  :)  They're so cute!! :)
 Me, Jessica and Alex!  :)
Me and Jess...  My other sister she said!!  haha!  ;)  and the only blond one in the mix! 
 ...and Frannie 
Big Priscilla and Baby Priscilla!  :)
...We also got to celebrate Miss Amanda's Birthday!!  :)
....a fun cousin picture!  Looks like Issac is ready to stick his finger into that cake!  ;)
 ...By the looks of things, it was a successful birthday party/tamale making celebration!  ;)
 ..... the leftover masa, and spreaders... 
Me and Pam! 
 thanks for a fun time Macksouds, Chavarria's and Ortega's... I can't wait until next year!! :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

A fun Friday night with the kids.....

....I got to spend some quality time with the kiddos tonight....  while the parents went on a date night...  ;)  Jessica was kind enough to order us in some pizza...  and she got us SOOOOO much food that when Owen and I answered the door the pizza man inquired, very honestly and with much concern I may add....  :/  "is there more than just the 2 of you in there tonight?"  ummmm...  I told him "No, it's just us tonight,"  he replied...  "oh ok, you guys must be hungry then..."  haha!!  I preceded to tell him that, "the little guy ate A LOT."  and with that he was on his way, and we went back in to make sure the rest of our friends hadn't gotten themselves into trouble while we were outside!
Yummy Pizza!
after pizza, pasta, cheese sticks and whatever else we could get our hands on...  we started baking, and "creating..."  Isn't her rudolph so cute?  ;)
....and these two couldn't stop being silly!  haha!
...she was soooo proud, so we took another pic!  :) the meantime, there was some sort of serious chocolate and m&m creativity going on here...   LOOK at that concentration! 
mmmmmmm....  these taste yummy!
...haha!  I'm pretty sure he enjoyed these chocolate covered marshmallows the most!  ;)
....and the first one out...  she literaly fell asleep minutes before the parents got home...  I guess drawing, baking and decorating took it out of her!!  ;)
....and my delicious reward!  The parents came back with this yummy treat for me!  and let me tell you that it was just as tasty as it looks here!  :)
Thanks guys!  I hope you had fun on your double date...  we certainly enjoyed ourselves!  :)