Category Archives: Mi Familia

Sunday Funday at Olvera Street in Los Angeles

This weekend we decided to take advantage of Metrolink’s Weekend Pass and take the train to LA Union Station for a day trip to Olvera Street. (Union Station is only an hour and fifteen minute ride from where we live.)

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It was a beautiful day that I enjoyed because a) the skies were perfectly clear b) it wasn’t 100+ degrees.

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Olvera Street is directly across the street from Union Station. It’s a cool, colorful little place that makes me feel proud to be half Mexican.

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Things to do while at Olvera Street include: Admire all of the colorful, adorable things that you don’t really need to buy but probably will buy anyway because those baby sandals are SO ADORABLE, drink (Mmmmm, Mega Margaritas) eat caramel stuffed churros, listen to live music, people watch and practice your People Maneuvering Skills (because small, tight spaces.) And of course, take a ton of pictures.

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Oh! Don’t forget to take a selfie.

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A Moment in a Marriage as Old as Dirt

He walked into the kitchen while I was finishing up the dishes. This Old Love by Lior came on.

“This song reminds me of us.” I said as he walked past me.

He had never heard the song. I walked over to him, wrapped my arms around his neck and looked up at him.

I begin singing along while looking at his sweet face.

“We’ll grow old together
We’ll grow old together
This old love will never
This old love will never die”

He smiled, buried his head into my neck.

We stood there, slow dancing in the living room. I held him tighter as we swayed back and forth in time to the music. It was just like a scene out of a romantic movie, except for the part where I was wearing sweats with holes in the crotch area and he had wood shavings all over his bleached out ugly green shirt.

We were having A Moment.

I felt the tears welling in what my husband likes to call my “40 Eyes.” I didn’t want to cry because THERE’S NO CRYING WHILE SLOW DANCING IN TORN UP SWEATS IN THE LIVING ROOM!” But I couldn’t stop the tears. I didn’t want him to know that I was crying, so I sneakily wiped my tears with his dirty shirt.

The song ended and we just sort of stood there, holding each other. I finally pulled away and kissed him on the cheek.

“I love you, old man.”

“I love you too, pretty girl.”

I went back to cleaning the kitchen while he headed back into the garage to do whatever it is that he does in there with all of that wood.

The Day My Husband Did Something Awesome (Because He IS Awesome.)

Today I shared something on Facebook that I wanted to share here as well. I hope you don’t mind but I’m just going to copy and paste what I wrote there.

Yesterday my husband did something pretty awesome and I have to share.

While driving home from work, he was sitting at a red light. He heard a sound of an engine revving but couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. He then realized something bad was happening. He got out of his car and realized that the man in the car in front of him was having a seizure and was stepping on the gas. The car had rammed into the SUV in front of it. Tony ran to the SUV and told the lady (who he said was terrifed) what was happening. He told her “do NOT take your foot off of the brake!” Then, Tony started screaming to the cars around him that he needed a crow bar. A man in a car nearby had one. Tony told him to break out the passenger side window. Once the man did that, Tony unlocked the door, jumped in and put the car in park and shut the engine off. He reached around and unlocked the driver’s side door so that the paramedics could get into the car. He said the driver had blood coming out of his mouth (most likely from biting his tongue.) Just as he unlocked the door, the paramedics arrived and took over.

I hope that man is okay. I’m so glad Tony was there to help. I’m so proud of him.

I’m sharing this because my husband goes out of his way to help people every day. He is kind, he is thoughtful, he is selfless. I am so proud of him for not only deciding to jump in to action to help, but for having the presence of mind to do so in a calm and effective manner. I just wanted to shine the light on his goodness today because I can.

He is my hero.

She Just Gives Really Good Advice.

“Can I comb your hair, Daddy?”

“Sure you can.” He replied.

She combed what little hair he has left at the top (I call his hair The Dr.Phil Lite) carefully, trying to get every hair in place.

When she finished, she exclaimed “I combed it exactly the way you like it!”

She took him by the hand and walked him down the hall into the bathroom so he could look in the mirror.

“I love it!” He said. “But I sure do wish I had more hair.”

“Well” she said, all matter of fact like. “Why don’t you choose Bosley then?”

We both laughed until it hurt.

The Wedding Ring: An Awesome Update.

When my husband came home from work, I told him what had happened. After dinner, he took apart the plumbing under the sink and to see if maybe, just maybe the ring had been caught in the p-trap. I was in the other room doing laundry.

Gabriella came running into the room.

“Daddy found it, Mommy! HE FOUND YOUR RING!”

I ran into the bathroom and there he was, holding my (filthy, dirty ring.) We all laughed and celebrated. I asked G to come close so I could tell her something. “I want you to remember this moment.” She listened carefully. “When I asked you if you knew what happened to my ring today, you could have told me a lie. Even though you were scared, you told me the truth. And because you told me the truth, we were able to find my ring. If you had chose to tell me a lie, we never would have known and when we move, we would have left that ring and it would have been lost forever. You can ALWAYS tell Mommy and Daddy the truth. Even when you’re scared to.”

While we were talking, Tony walked into the room with my now clean and sparkly ring. He got on one knee while Gabriella giggled. “Are you going to ask her to marry you again?”

He did. And while he began to put the ring on my finger, I held my breath, unsure if it would fit.

It did.

Best night ever.

And Now I Know the Truth About My Missing Wedding Ring.

When Gabriella was a bit younger (maybe 6?) she loved to play with my jewelry. I had asked her to please never play with my wedding ring. (At the time it was in my jewelry box because it no longer fit me due to weight gain.)

A few weeks ago, I decided to take my rings out to see if they would fit me now that I’ve lost some more weight. I found the engagement bands, but not the wedding band/diamond. I called my daughter into my room and asked her about my rings. “When you were little, did you play with my wedding rings?” She denied it and I didn’t push the issue with her. I’ve been looking for the ring daily, hoping it would turn up in a drawer somewhere. I didn’t panic much because I figured it was just misplaced and I would eventually find it.

I was searching through some little drawers on my dresser just now while G was sitting on my bed. “I know you said that you didn’t lose my ring, but I’m starting to think you may have lost it when you were little and are too scared to tell me.” Her reaction was not what I had expected. Her eyes filled with tears. “I am afraid to tell you, Mommy. I know what happened to it.” I told her she didn’t need to be afraid, that she could tell me the truth.

She took a deep breath and then she confessed that when “she was little” she was trying it on to see what it looked like on her when it slipped off of her finger and fell down the bathroom drain. “I wanted to tell Daddy when it happened so he could try to get it, but I was so scared he would get mad.”

I felt sick to my stomach, but didn’t feel angry with her at all. She was just a little girl when it happened and I am sure that carrying around that secret, that guilt has been difficult for her. I pulled her close to me as I fought back tears and told her that I wasn’t angry with her, just a little bit sad. I told her that I’m happy to finally know the truth so that I can stop looking for the ring now.

I could see the relief on her sweet little face after she made her confession.

It is not a good feeling to know that the ring my husband chose for me 24 years ago was washed down the drain and possibly gone forever (because maybe, just maybe it’s still there?) but it was a really good opportunity to have a conversation with my daughter about telling the truth, even when you’re scared to tell the truth.

Sigh.

I Love You All The Most

My Gabriella can be a stinker. Her attitude needs adjusting many times each day. But at her core, she is kind girl with a heart as big as her personality.

There’s one thing she makes very clear on a daily basis.

She loves her family with her entire being. Her family is everything to her.

While her brother was away at boot camp, she struggled with his absence. Each and every day, she’d talk about him, or cry about missing him. It was the sweetest, most heartbreaking thing to watch.

Yesterday, I saw a pink piece of paper with a note sitting on top of the next near the kitchen. I hadn’t seen the note before, so I asked Gabby about it. She said she wrote it a while ago, but forgot to give it to us.

“You can have it now. I’m sorry I forgot to give it to you when I wrote it.”

I couldn’t help but cry just a little bit.

She loves us all the most. How lucky are we?

A Post About Loading the Dishwasher. (Seriously.)

There is a very specific way in which I load my dishwasher. Not because I’m a control freak, but because this way works for getting the most dishes possible in the dishwasher so as not to waste precious water.

I’ve showed my husband countless times how to properly load our dishwashers and honestly? It’s super easy! Cups and glasses on side top rack. Bowls in the middle, plates at the bottom, DISHWASHER LOADING BASICS. And yet, every single time he loads the dishwasher, he puts everything in the wrong place. This wouldn’t be a big deal if he was able to fit most of the dishes, but the way he stacks it, he only can fit about 8 things. I end up having to go rearrange everything to make more room.

“Why don’t you load it the way I’ve showed you 500 times?”

His response is always something along the lines of “Well, if you don’t like it, why don’t you load it yourself?”

Which, give me a break. I DO the load the dishwasher myself most of the time. The few times you do load it, WHY CAN’T YOU DO IT THE RIGHT WAY? Or even the sort of right way?

Is he doing this on purpose? Is he just trying to annoy me? Is it possibly he has a Dish Washing Impairment? Or am I the one with the problem? Do I need to just let him stack that crap anyway he wants to and not worry about all of the water that will be wasted because of his refusal to DO IT RIGHT?

I don’t know man. I just don’t know.

This post has been brought to you by 22 years of marriage.

A Simple Request

Andrew recently graduated from Military Combat Training at Camp Pendleton. We were going to drive out for his graduation ceremony and would get to spend a couple of hours with him before he was shipped out to MO to continue his training.

“Would you like for me to bring anything for you, son?” I asked.

I was thinking maybe he’d ask for me to bring food, or his favorite candy.

“Please just bring my guitar so I can play for a little bit before shipping out.” he replied.

I was so moved by his simple request.

I brought his guitar as he requested. After the ceremony was finished and photos with the family had been taken, my son was able to play for a few minutes before shipping out to MO.

I can’t wait until I can hear him play again. Hopefully in time for Christmas.

A Video of Our Journey. We Are so Grateful. We Are So Proud.

Over two months ago, I kissed my son goodbye and left him to begin his journey to become a Marine.

The first few days of his absence were the most difficult days I’ve faced as a parent. I cried too much, I ate too much, I didn’t sleep much and I cried some more.

Luckily, I have an amazing family and support system. So many of you were there for me, sending me emails, texts and comments, letting me know you were thinking of me and praying for my son.

On August 9th, I got to see my son again. On August 10th, he graduated and we brought him home. It was the proudest, most meaningful moment.

I wanted to share this video I created and to say thank you to every single person who was there for me and my family during this amazing journey.

I am so grateful for your kindness.

And I am so proud of my son.