It all started 14 years ago when I first became a mom! That day everything made sense to me... I found my calling, I found myself... I became a mom! The happiest moments of my life have been sitting in a rocking chair, rocking my babies´ dreams, seeing into their eyes the future, my past, my present. Ale and Emi grew up, life changed a little even though I remained deeply in love with my babies, longing for our wordless love affair in the middle of the night, but still enjoying their ¨firsts¨ as tweens, as teens...! And then the surprise of our lives... along came Ari!
We never planned for her, even though I think we did all along, at least I know it was definitely written in stone that she was meant for us! All my babies have been planned c-sections, her birthday was planned too, but she changed it, and came one day, without notice, one late afternoon of February. She was born with her eyes wide open, she was calm, and happy, nothing worried or bothered her, she was perfect, beautiful, really beautiful and pink! She was this little brand new old soul! I remember I would spend my days just looking into her big almond eyes, and loving her sooo hard! This time around I was calmer and I made note to myself to really breath in every second with this baby, and every second with Ari, was also a moment of the lives of Ale and Emi I got to relive!
Still time has gone by so fast that here we are celebrating her 4th birthday. She is still our sweet baby, not that calm anymore, but as happy a little girl as you can imagine! She enjoys every little thing that crosses her path, and I can assure you that every person that crosses her path will enjoy her smile, her way, her life!
For her birthday of course she wanted to be a princess, so Princess she was! We gave her all that she wanted, or maybe it was what we wanted! a big cake, a little tea party, a doll house and the coolest magician ever! But aren´t these the moments that we will still cherish 50 years from now?
So here are some pictures of ¨her royal highness tea party
To begin her day she got 4 red roses
A princess tiara and a chocolate cake
And then some serious tea party to enjoy with her fellow princess friends!
Her awe and surprise was priceless!!!
Then it was piñata time!!! See how fancy and nice looking piñatas are here? People don´t understand how it is that kids don´t cry when it comes time to hit their favourite character for some toys. I guess they grow up with this tradition, and really enjoy it! Maybe not the hitting part, but the toy part!!!
And finally, it was time for her very own birthday cake!!! She has sang happy birthday to her on as many cakes as have cross her path, but this time it was really her day!!!! Now, she´ll have to patiently wait for next February.... while asking everyday what month we are in!
Hope you have a great week!!!
For two months, everyday at around 11 am, I have gotten undressed and put on this lovely blue gown, and stared into this mirror until I heard my name called... every single day I wondered why God had been so merciful to me, why I had it easy, while new friends outside this four little walls had it so hard. As shallow as it might sound I contemplated my hair, my eyebrows, my lashes... but each shallow thought brought also a much deeper one which brought me down to my knees humbled and thankful at this marvelous ordinary life and second chance God gave me!
Once my name was called, I layed for several minutes in the most magnificent machine, one that burnt my skin while saving my life, one that gave me solitude for 10 minutes a day and brought me closer to God. In there, I prayed one Salve and as many Ave Marias as I could. I prayed for all the sick, for all the healthy, for my life, for life, and I thanked God, oh so hard!
Today was the last day of my radiation therapy, and while I am overjoyed, I am also so melancholic, I don't want to forget! I want to always remember the love I felt from my family, my friends, the love I felt for them... how scared I was of loosing the most basic things in life, and every tear I shed, remembering every night while Ari was falling asleep with Disney's lullabies, our last family trip to Disney, all so happy... yet unaware of the grandiosity of each moment of our lives. Yes cancer is an evil disease, but in the most weird way it brings out the best in you...
So... to all you beautiful people that have shared this chapter of my life with me... thank you for standing tight, for loving me, for teaching me, for your sweet smiles, for making me laugh and feel strong, for making me strong and weak at the same time... I love you all!!!
Can't still believe this shitty chapter turned out to be so good!!!!
Oh and yes, thanks for not calling me a warrior... I was just Carolina with freaking fucking cancer!!!
So this is the trip of our lives... we have always skied, even from before the girls were born. We love skiing, for all the typical reasons, but mostly because of the quality time we spend together on the slopes and afterwards in front of a fire place or around the table! I have always tried to plan a trip with my sister, her husband and the kids but for one reason or another we were never able to make it. This year.... WE DID IT!!!! We were a bit anxious before getting there because even though skiing is the best, it is hard work too. It takes a couple of days to get the hang of things, to not yell before going out the door, to not forget your gloves, your boots... your goggles... but I guess is like the part of delivering a baby, you suffer while you are at it, but then you completely forget about it and have 2 more babies!
Our first day was absolutely AMAZING, perfect weather around 32 f, clear blue sky, and we had fuuun, the best part was seeing the girls ski with their cousins!!! the second best part, and maybe this time I would say my personal favorite, is that because the guys and the girls are way faster than me and my sister, and way more fanatic, they would leave us behind and we were able to enjoy skiing down, talking, laughing, and being happy silly sisters!!!
Deer Valley is a great resort, it has all the perks to pamper you starting from when you arrive and the are ski vallets who help you unload, great food, and a great ski school too! The ski school for us is worth every penny, not only for Ari, but because is the only ways we can ski and not worry about her!
Everyday Ari would fall asleep in the car and once we got home Gabriel would lay her on the bed and she would stay like this for two hours at least!
New Years Eve!!!! Lots of things to celebrate this year! Being together in winter wonderland was one big one, but being there and healthy... that was even bigger after all we had gone through this past year. This is what I wrote on IG that day:
Cheers to you 2016, you were so good to me in so many ways, the bad turned out to be a miracle where love, family and friendship triumphed! We also celebrated love in the most magnificent way. We received many good news, and also some bad which made us appreciate more the good! Ale and Emi made us proud in so many levels, Ari made us younger everyday! We traveled, we partied, we laughed, we cried, we were afraid, then relieved, then grateful and forever humbled! So cheers to you 2016, can´t wait to see what this years has in stock for us!
Is there anything cuter than a Dad dancing with his little girl???
We also tried to go snowmobiling, instead, we got super lost (with GPS and all), luckily we found this Diner in the middle of nowhere!!!
We have skied in many places of the US and Europe, but never had we seen so much snow as in Utah, and never had we seen snow continuously for 4 days in a row!
isn¨t this like the perfect picture?
We loved the snow, but let me tell you a little secret.... we loved our hot chocolate and warming up even more!
Am not a new years resolution type of person, but what I most want to do this year and every day from now on forward is live knowing that life is indeed a miracle!
We live in the tropic, we see green everyday, e v e r y d a y the same weather, same scenery, we can wear shorts or pants, a sweater or a tank top, sandals or boots, dawn and sunset at the same hour everyday, yes I guess is true that we have perfect weather! But remember we are human and we want what we don´t have,.. that´s why freezing to death is about our favorite Christmas wish! And we are blessed enough to be able to travel every year and put on lots of layers, hats, gloves, you name it, we do it!
This year we picked skiing in Deer Valley, Utah for our winter vacation! Best part was that my mom and dad tagged along as well as my sister with her fam!
Flying from Venezuela to Utah is a long haul, but thankfully our girls are pretty awesome travelers, I could say maybe even better than me! And then again nowadays, just hopping on a plane and leaving Caracas is a sigh of relief... kinda sad, but true!
We stayed in Salt Lake City for a couple of days. We found SLCto be a great little city, it has the feel of a campus town, very quiet and serene, with lots of parks and snow, some great malls to visit like the City Creek mall or the Gateway Mall. Great restaurants, a lot of Mormon sites to see, specially the North Temple which is pretty impressive, plus we got to see all the Christmas lights which are really beautiful and very many!!!!, There is also the Utah State Capitol building which is huge, you would never believe how big it is. We went to New Year´s Mass at the Magdalene Cathedral which was beauuutiful! This is a Mormon town, and you can definitely feel their culture, people are very nice and friendly, you can see lots of children everywhere, the downside is that everything closes on Sundays, and that there is no liquor in most restaurants or supermarkets. But then again... who´s drinking, right? What we loved the most was its people, everybody was ready to helo or just be kind and friendly!
One day after this terrible pic, we drove 30 minutes to Parl CIty / Deer Valley to the house we rented! It was a beautiful drive, on a beautiful cold day!!! Couldn´t have been better!
And with no time to loose, of we were to rent our skis and boots!!! You can judge by their faces how excited we all are!!!!
I´ll post more pics of us on the slopes on the next post!! Thanks for stopping bye!!!
This was one of the days before getting my diagnosis... I remember looking at that blue sky, so vibrant and full of life, and thinking to myself... this could be one of the last days of me being normal, of my little family being innocent, untouched. And I remember telling myself: breath it all in, enjoy it, open your eyes, feel it! I remember also while waiting to get my biopsy done I wanted to post this picture on IG, and saying to mydself... no I can´t post it today, I know today will be different it doesn´t make any sense for me to be posting happy pics if am scared out of myself, right? let me wait till I know what´s happening... but deep down..... I really wanted to post the picture!
As you all know, I was right, about a week later I was told I had breast cancer. But this picture stayed in my mind always... and somehow I always stumbled upon it on my phone or on my computer. During the almost two months following my diagnosis, and after having surgery and recovering from it, lots of feeling took over me, yes I was scared, very scared, but I also felt the most love I had felt in my life, I felt my family, my friends, I found new friends, and found old friends, I felt every prayer thrown my way, I felt every new morning as a blessing. I longed for normal mornings, no Doctors, no fear, I saw the extraordinary in every little ordinary thing, I cired a lot, and I laughed my ass off too. I got to spend more time with my family, mornings at the hospital with my mom, or my aunt, or Gabriel... were fun, we really had fun! The one thing I didn´t do was share ANY of these with my girls... I tried to keep them safe, I told them the least I could possibly tell them, and never ever shed a tear in front of them, because one thing I was sure of, cancer scared me but taking them in this steep road with me scared me even more, and I was determined to protect them. So for all they knew if their mom was happy as always why worry right? Maybe they were God´s way of carrying me, I felt at peace being his instrument, and most of all I felt HUMBLED, oh so very humbled by love!
People called me a warrior... which was odd to me, because I didn´t feel like one, This fight was not one I chose, or one I had a say in, this was given to me and I had to carry it out, that simple! There was nothing braver about me because I had cancer, I was still afraid, One day in church I remember telling God... here I am, I am yours, do what you have to do, I will walk the path you decide for me in the best way I can, and I will embrace it!.. And suddenly fear stopped, I had peace!
That day I stopped researching about breast cancer, I stopped reading, I just accepted it. and two weeks after my surgery they called us to tell us they had the results back. I knew a lymph node was found possitive, so what else could be wrong right? But Gabriel was oh so very nervous, strangely I didn´t ask why. It turns out results were good news, markers were positive, it was so very treatable, no other lymphs nodes were taken. From there that Doctor sent us to the oncologist to decide treatment. And then the surprise of my life, the unexpeted, my miracle... with the markers I had, I MIGHT not need chemotherapy (five years ago I probably wouldn´t have the chance but we are in 2016!!!) There is a knew test called Oncotype DX, that analyzes the DNA cells of the tumor and tells you if you would benefit from chemo or if radiation and hormone therapy would do the trick. Of course we decided to do the test... waited for two weeks.... and the received our MIRACLE news! i needed NO CHEMO, radiation and hormone therapy will do the trick!
So as fast as my life was turned upside down, it was flipped again to the good side! Why me? I have no clue.. I really don´t... I sometimes think that it made more sense when I had cancer, but being worthy of this miracle baffles me to my core. It makes me think every second I breath, everytime I comb my hair, everytime see my girls smile so carefree... that I was chosen by God to do something.... I still don´t know what it is, Gabriel tells me I will soon find out, but I do feel the need to give back to God, to give back to the world, call it love, hope, or Faith... but if you cross my path either here or in the real world, I really hope I can give you back some of the LOVE I have been granted somehow!
If I can give you one present this Holiday Season is to have the ability to see how the ONLY things that matter most in life, what fuels your life, what really matters is the little things, waking up and making coffee, being able to take you children to one million places a day, cooking dinner, watching TV, doing homework, being at home with your husband, a call from a friend, the little things my friends are the EXTRAORDINARY ones, the GLORIOUS, the MAGNIFICENT.... is what makes your life grand, is what you think about when you think you might loose it all... So be MERRY this Christmas! really BE MERRY!!!!
Here are some pics of our wanderings!!!
Who wants a white Christmas when you can have a green one?? haha
We call ourserlves ¨our tribe¨ but I think we are more like an army! Here we are missing two more, but distance is only circumstancial!
And without my handsome hubby... oh man.... it would have been a whole lot more difficult! Here we were celebrating life in NYC our celebration escapade!
A sublime manicure!
First twinkly lights of the season!
Our nativity with my boss!!!
Christmas play... and I thought I was over crying at this!!! You would have to see this video to just grin forever!
Oh my.... light of my day!!!
On october 13, I got the worst news ever... I have breast cancer... yeap, just like that, point blank...I need surgery, chemo, radio, I will loose my hair, will need a wig. I was hit below the waist and was´t even in the fighting rink. I have cried, and cried, and cried again, I have been afraid, and then I´ve had peace, in just two weeks I have been refreshed on what love is all about, what friends are for, and what a miracle a normal life is!
Many things have me on the edge of my seat, specially and maybe specifically my girls. How can I protect them from hurting, from being afraid, how do I keep their perfect little life perfect, untouchable? because as of today I would give my life for theirs, I would cut all my hair off to save them from evil, I would do anything to protect their innocence... but there is nothing for me to do to protect them this time, They will have to go through this part of our story with me. They will inevitably cry they will see me crying, their happy mom will surely have bad moments, bad days... I won´t look like them anymore, their pretty mom will have to show them that what I´ve told them since they were little that beauty comes from within... is for real! And there is no way around it, no big fish stories this time,
And as am sitting here thinking about the story of our life, I realize that GOOD STORIES HAVE BAD MIDDLES, that when life hands you a very bad card, a horrible day, when it throws you shit in your face, you have to remember is just the MIDDLE, a chapter in your life. and because it is my story that has a bad middle, is me that has to do the writing and figure out how in hell am going to make it to the end and make it beautiful, I will have to find a purpose in this bad middle, and a resolution and a way home.
Of course, it makes me nauseous that I have to take my girls in this journey with me, there is no way we can skip this chapter, but such is life, we have a bad middle and we will fix it... we will figure it out, we´ll write a good ending...
So, I welcome you to this chapter of my life, this is just a chapter, it is not me, it will not define me, it will possibly change me, but it is just a change, after all this it will still be me, with less hair. I am so glad you are here with me!
p.s. drawing by my daughter
I have not been around lately, lots of things going on.. some great things like a couple of trips to the US one with my tribe of women and the other with my hubby! Then there is my Petunia Girl Collection brand which has been taking much of my time lately and has me dreaming big!!!! But before going into all of these great little life moments I feel like I have to talk about what is always on my mind, trying to pull me down, most of the time worrying me for hours on end if it were not for my always ridiculously positive personality.
Venezuela, my soul, my heart... I am Venezuelan, I look Venezuela, I might sound American, I might be very bi-cultural, but I wouldn´t be me without my yellow, blue and red flag waving inside of me at all times. Some of you might have read in the news all that is happening here, if you have, you might not understand this blog... because how can a person living here can see the colors of the rainbow and believe in Unicorns?!?! Well we do exist, hard to believe but we pull though!!
We are living the worst time of our history, politically, economically and socially. A journalist from the NY Times described our economy as the first time he has seen war economy in a country that is not in war. Our president you can say is a Dictator, corruption is ridiculous, we are the unsafest city in the world... about 70 dead per weekend, basic salary is $30 a month... this is not a typo, it is really 30... inflation is at about 900% per year, scarcity is unimaginable.... people have to wait in line for hours to buy basic goods such as milk, flour, rice, bread, eggs, chicken, diapers... and to those of us who will not stand in those lines.... well we pay ten times what is worth to what we call ¨bachaqueros¨ which are the people that do the line, buy the goods at a fixed price and then resell it to people like me.
Things like having to drive armored cars were something that I resisted to a couple of months ago, I simply didn´t want to accept it, it was absurd, uncomfortable, expensive. Now I thanks God that we are of the lucky few that at least have some sense of protection when out and about, and at least I can take my thirteen year old to a party (when they have one) and not feel we are tempting fate. Still, there is no going out freely, you have to think twice about were you are going... and in a city of 10 million people, not hearing a car after 9pm in the streets is sad, unnerving!
So in the middle of all this, in a country were we prouded ourselves that we were not inmigrants, Venezuelans lived in Venezuela, and we would go study abroad for a masters degree and come back because this was the place were we belonged in this planet. Now our friends are leaving, many many have already left, our youth has left, and our Universities which for years were of the best in the world don´t have the quality professors we once had, because they have also left. And so here I stand, my husband has his company here, a lot of heart, sweat and effort invested there, and it is what puts the bread on our table... should we close up and go? be a stranger in another land? Sometimes I feel that we were left alone here, but no, there are still some brave people that have stayed in spite of all odds, hoping, wishing, and believing that we still own our country and that we will get it soon back. To make everything harder if we were in our 30s we would leave, if we were starting life, or ending it, if we didn´t have the house we have, pr the job we have, if our children were grown up, maybe so too.... but the decision we make now will forever change their lives.
I want my girls to belong anywhere in this world, but as Venezuelans!! I want them to love this place, their family, their roots. I want them to be loud, fun, quick with words, savvy, fun, colorful, cheerful, I want them to live in houses were we don´t need AC because our weather is perfect, I want them to grow up woth their cousins and grandparents 10 minutes away, I want them to know Sunday is family day where there are no other plans than lunch with family, I want them to be different, and the upside of leaving in these era in Venezuela, is that they will be strong women, capable of solving problems with creativity, possitive because they will know that anything is possible, responsible for their own happiness! Responsible for how they choose to live their lives!
So when I feel as falling into the deep... I look at them, and hold on just a bit more, Try to make things normal inside our house, have Friday night movies and popcorn, make this place a safe haven and show them that we can be happy anywhere, that this is their country, that our government does not represent us. And as I always think the last 15 years in Venezuela have been its worst... but during this years I have been the happiest of all my life, I became a MOM, the mom of three pretty amazing girls, I have made a home, we have laughed, and cried, and their childhoods have been happy. It´s then when I just look up, thanks God and just smile. We´ll keep writing our story one day at a time!
Venezuela is 90% catholic, so our Spring Break really is always the Holy Week! This year as almost every year we went to Margarita Island with the whole family! The girls had a blast, woke up early and went to bed late at night. We went kayaking and paddle boarding, went out to eat, and stayed in and cooked fresh fish! We are as tan as we could possibly be, hearts content, sisterhood empowered, cousins are better friends, grandparents are happy and parents are tired! Me?? well I left my muse in Margarita! So here are some pics!
To the west of Margarita Island you will see this kind of scenery, more golden and arid! This is Playa Caribe!
To the east the sand is whiter and the waters are bluer... vegetation is greener, more tropical! This is Pampatar, we went paddle boarding here early in the morning!
To the west the beaches are less intervened, in fact most of them are national parks, so you don´t see a lot of constructions or people. It is beautiful, amazing... it fuels your senses! East and west of the island are connected by a long stretch of sand and swamps called La Restinga! We went on a kayaking adventure. I don´t have any pictures of the trip itself because we couldn´t take our cameras with us, but you can see the landscape before we got there.
To actually get to La Restinga you have to go off the main road and on to a dirt road
Our kayaking crew!
After kayaking we walked to the beach... I think no words are needed here! This is the longest beach in Venezuela, is 26 kms long! The sand is rough, full of sea shells, the water is warm and clear... here you see no one, but yourself... beautiful, magical!
And this is our house... where the birds sing, the girls giggle all day, hammocks are always cradling someone... and were family has been lived!
Found this pictures of the girls about 8 years ago,,,
Hope you enjoyed my little tour of Margarita Island in Venezuela. Maybe one day you´ll come..and we´ll be glad to have you!
Life is a special occasion, and I live by that... at this house we enjoy little things like Friday night movies, pizza night, Sunday morning pancakes, a beautiful sunset, a rainy day... ! But somedays are meant to be celebrated in a more special way than the others. Such a day was Ari´s third birthday!
It was time for her big piñata, we chose Peppa Pig because of course Peppa lives in this house, we put in all the works for this party, balloons by the hundreds, big cake, party decorations, I made this special dress model for my brand of girls dresses Petunia Collection specially for her, and I think she knew it, we took an afternoon off and went and got her pretty new shoes, Peppa Pig´s piñata was of course bought and admired two weeks prior, and Ari handed our the invitations at school all on her own! (supervised by her teacher)
I was feeling pretty exhausted by the time the party begun, but this look on her face... all afternoon was totally worth it!
The balloons were kinda like my personal treat, I always look at pictures of kids and ballons and I love them, well I got my chance here before her friends arrived!
Some of you might know Venezuela is in a huge political and economical crisis, and when I say huge I mean crazy enormous.... but one of the things that characterized us Venezuelans is being happy people, we love celebrations, and I guess we tend to focus on the good, so at least from our doors in, life is good and celebrations are taken seriously! My stepson´s girlfriend made the beautiful cake, and a friend of mine that has a party decoration business did all you see on the table. The flower arrangements were made by me and the girls.
Writing this post I noticed that I dropped my camera for the whole party and only have pics of Ari... what can I say.... I´ll do a photo shoot of my girls this weekend!
Have a great one you guys! And thanks for stopping by!
Hi! my name is Carolina Perisse de Rico, I am a stay at home architect with the biggest project ever... my girls! The oldest is 13, then I have an 11 year old, and now I am starting again with our three year old happiest toddler ever. Glad you are here, hope you stay a while!
Am now a member of Communal Global!!!