My girls.... they are always the good, the great, the amazing in my life! Whatever it is they are doing, well that will surely be the good in my week, in my life!
Being able to spend some time with Ari at the park is always good!
Being attacked by a super kiss is always good too!
Seeing Emi smile, always warms my heart...
Friday Ale had an open gymnastics class in preparation for upcoming competitions, I was not able to go but Daniel, my stepson and the best brother a girl could ask for, went with her and sent me this picture....
It was also random to see Ari and Gabriel Ignacio (her nephew... haha) enjoy each other´s company and play for hours without fighting!
We have not started yet potty training, but every night before taking her bath Ari demands to sit on the toilet! It´s all make pretend but is so much fun to see how she enjoys being an adult! I might as well start potty training soon!
Have a great week, full of good, random fun!
Today am joining my friend Tamar at:
Carpe Diem! that seems to be like the thing you have to do.... more when you are a mom and everyone reminds you to ¨carpe diem¨... seize the day... enjoy them while they are little, they grow up so fast... but the days are so long, and life is so hectic that those little big words sometimes tend to be just a phrase, a pretty one, but unreal. I think that my life now among a toddler and teenagers is like a marathon.... I have my best running shoes on, the best running music, I have trained, but am also out of breath most of the time, my feet hurt, am thirsty, its hot, and even though I might not be enjoying every single minute of the race, there are moments that I am able to pause and breath and enjoy what am doing, to feel proud of what I have accomplished so far, and eager to get to the finish line. And then once I cross the finish line, I know I´ll immediately want to run another race... and even though each mile was treacherous and painful, the feeling of accomplishment I feel at doing something I set my mind to makes sense of the hard work it meant to get there.
Motherhood is a lot like running a marathon or climbing a mountain... we don´t enjoy every single minute of every single day. that´s almost an impossible task specially when you are raising your family, but everyday there are moments worthy of seizing, moments that make up for all the other moments that go by unnoticed, moments worth of a photograph, and when they are worthy of a picture is because they mean something and because they are beautiful, and because those are the moments that matter, and that piece by piece make up the puzzle of our lives. Sometimes this moments don´t necessarily have to be joyous and happy moments, real life is not always perfectly happy, these seize the day moments can be also the moments when you ask for forgiveness, or when you forgive someone, when you cry, when you feel sad but have a shoulder to cry on, and by acknowledging those little moments am sure that years from now when I see these regular and uneventful pictures I will remember an ordinary day as extraordinary, and I will again know that it´s been good!
Everyday, in the middle of my very hectic life, there is always a magical moment... the thing here is to be able to recognize them and stop for a minute to cherish them... to ¨Carpe¨ them. For me this moments are simple.....
Is the magic of suddenly seeing Ari´s love for a wooden dog she found in the middle of a store, and how she looked at me peacefully and innocently unaware of her surroundings, begging me without words to love this little one!
Is the joy I see in my dad´s face whenever he is with one of his grandchildren!
Is enjoying, seeing, and feeling Ari´s life as she slides down for the 30th time!
I stop and breathe in moments like this when I see cousins becoming best friends for life!
And my hearts jumps with joy in moments when I see sisterhood making it´s way into my girls lives!
And then there are this so very ordinary moments when the girls get home from school and they just run me over with hugs and kisses.... and then I say selfieeee.... and they say yessss!!!!!
So go and don´t carpe diem.... but carpe a minute or two...!!!!
For the girls, and of course for us, this type of activities open up our heart to other´s people pain and suffering. To the reality that even though we live in our own little perfect place, reality is different. There is real suffering in the world and it is sometimes very near us. Yet is easier to look away, but who would we become if we live our life evading the ugly, or the lonely?
The teachers at school told the girls that we were going to pray the Via Crucis with the elder, and that then they would have to entertain them with their own talent. Us moms who volunteered to go just had to provide them with breakfast.
Their stories... I don´t know them, by looking into their eyes you can see some pain, some resignation, but there is also some light, and hope and love....
Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday, 40 days before Easter, for us Catholics, a season of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. People might believe that when we talk about fasting it means not eating... but no, fasting can mean giving up anything that we love for Love, or doing good for others even if it hurts.
Catholic or not, I think we can all agree that the world is suffering from a great indifference towards others. We are living in times were the satisfaction of our own desires is what drives society, and unfortunately is making us less and less human.
Pope Francis in his annual Lenten message, described this phenomenon as the globalization of indifference... “whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades.” He continues that, “We end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own.”
“How greatly I desire that all those places where the Church is present may become islands of mercy in the midst of the sea of indifference!” said the Pope.
On that note, The girls´ school planned for our six graders to visit a local Church that takes on old people from nearby poor neighborhoods, and give them a day a week of warmth and hospitality. They count on people that contribute with food, medicines, or just plain and simple time to care for them, and give them some love. And so every Thursday a group of courageous ladies from the Church, gather to care for this group of elders, without and prejudice and eager to give them a smile, arms to hold them, feet to help them walk, and maybe a shoulder to lean on.
I can´t even begin to tell you how much effort I had to put into containing my heart and tears from exploding at seeing the girls give so much love to the ´abuelitos¨... some grabbed the microphone and sang theri heart out solo, all of them put together a song repertoire which they sang like angels, others did gymnastics, they played the cuatro and the flute, did some stand up comedy, and ended up the morning with this massive happy dance! What amazed me the most... or maybe what really got to me the most was seeing how humble they were, how unselfishly they went out there and pour themselves out to them.
It keeps coming back to me how similar old people are from the young, how easily entertained, how full of life they can be, how easy it is to smile at love! It is in us, the not so old and maybe not so young in age, to pray to God to keep our hearts young, to give ourselves to others just for the sake of giving, to be merciful, and graceful, and to teach our children to be better than us... to ¨be¨ a part of this world, to find their smile in the smile of other.
I ended up their morning running inside the Church before driving the girls back to school, to thank God for this amazing chance of again finding happiness in the smile of others, and to help me and my family be an island of mercy in a sea of indifference...
am joining my friend Tamar at
Have a great week!
¨People often consider walking on water or thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk the earth. Everyday we are engaged in a miracle which we don´t even acknowledge a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black and curious eyes of a child... our own two eyes. All is a miracle.¨ Thich Nhat Hanh
Oh I wish I could walk around always looking through the eyes of a child!
Today, this is the miracle I choose to live, my baby girl walking around our block, a beautiful flower that matches Ari, a flower that wakes up and goes to sleep everyday... a walk guided by my baby´s footsteps! So simple yet so hard to see!
Yes!!!!... lets dance!!! turn it uuuup!!!! and then with our latest favorite song ¨Sugar¨, of lets say Emi´s crush... Adam Levine... we danced.. and twirled and laughed! and just like that we celebrated a simple, ordinary yet so extraordinary day!
I am a dreamer, I believe in fairy tales, I believe in love and I believe in friendship, and I think life is beautiful... and yet am human and also get caught up in Monday to Friday routines, tight schedules... and wanting to do nothing weekends. Sometimes I am with my girls, but then again am not really... sometimes as I´ve said before am just rushing by. Then this last week (fortunately this little story am about to write has a happy ending and it was just a moment of fear) I felt a little bump in my breast that scared the sh... out of me, and just like that time stopped, it froze, everything shut down, everything turned quite for a day....
As positive as I am, in situations like this I always fear the worse. I don´t even want to say all the things that crossed my mind that day, but let´s say I just panicked at the thought of not being here for my girls in the little ordinary moments of our everyday life, which a lot of times we take for granted... like braiding hair in the morning, driving to school, or praying with the girls at night, or being asked about a million times which outfit works best for whatever occasion, bathing Ari, rocking her to sleep, talking about their days, and friends and homework... sitting there to watch Emi dance, while Ari is playing around and Ale is on her hands. I thought about all the times we sing to the top of our lungs, and dance like crazy people in the car, I thought about Emi´s headaches, how she kisses me a million times a day, and Ale´s teenager mood swings, and how no matter what she´ll always crack a smile for me.... I didn´t think about special days, or special occasions, or vacations... I just thought about what makes our life real and ours... Fortunately the bump was nothing, and I have thanked God on my knees for that. I thanked Him with all my might for being able to be here raising my girls, for being healthy, and also for having been able to stop for a day and again put things into perspective, in their rightful order.
And with that in mind... we gathered our girls on Sunday and drove to the beach. The Caribbean is only a mere 3 tunnel and 30 minute drive, yet.... we often forget is there, not this time!
have a great week! and don´t forget to stop and breath... breath it all in, or breath it all out!
Life is a special occasion.... cherish every moment, every kiss, every tear, every laugh... cherish the little and the big..... and you know what?!?! dance, let go and celebrate, jump, run, kiss somebody.... you are alive!
Ale has been my little artist since she first grabbed a pencil when she was around one. I have always taken her to art lessons, but they were more about interpreting art than about real technique, the good thing about this classes was that they were one block away from our home, so they were painless for me! My uncle had tried impatiently for maybe over a year for me to change her to a more advanced class but I always told him that she had all her days tied up with gymnastics and that I was not going to take her to another class on Saturdays which meant another day of hurrying people up. So he took it upon himself to take her every Saturday morning to this amazing class where again she says is one of her happiest places in the whole world and her favorite time of her week, and where she is definitely showing off her true talent! So thank you Tio Alberto for never giving up, and thank you God for this very precious gift you have given to my Ale!
This is her latest work in progress...
Friday night movie with pizza, popcorn and our girls!... more than fun I would say is a blessing!
After a whole week of taxiing the girls around Caracas, we got home early on Friday, and as I was sitting there watching the girls do their thing on the trampoline I was rewarded with this beautiful sunset.... which felt to me like God´s way of saying... ¨Keep it up mom!¨... it was really picture perfect!
Hope you all have a great week!
Today am joining Tamar at:
Last night Ari had a pretty bad night´s sleep.... it was one of those dreaded nights that thankfully don't happen very often, but when they do and once I surrender, I almost enjoy them and in that quiet time I spend the time writing posts in my mind. Last night's post was about love... Of course! I have always considered myself lucky since I think with my hubby I had a romantic movie romance, It included about all the love scenes possible in a movie, maybe even the ones at the airport where the guy runs to stop the plane from taking off... Yeah! I lived that! And yes, that feeling is still strong and has helped us walk in the same direction in all our years of marriage. But even as that is true, real life and real love is not running through an airport everyday to show your love.
Real life is messier than that, time is messier and family is way more messier and complicated than that.... Sometimes we get caught up living love than showing it.... And we might forget that living it is more important. Now a days, friday night romance includes a disney movie with our loves all in the bed, love means happy proud eyes showing us their new ability, it means a tired face after a hard day of work for us, it means an afternoon of planning our next family trip, or a sunday barbecue, it means closing our eyes at night and having three little faces stuck in your mind and heart, is always being ready last because you are taking care of eveyone else, it means never being able to eat a complete meal without a baby on your lap, it means not really seeing grumpiness in the morning or keeping track of what you did and the other didn't. It is so much more real than a black and white scene from a movie.... Love is real, love is made up of the real stories of our lives, some are happy stories, some are sad, some are loud, some are soft,,,.. But all of them make us strong and keep us together. And even though the movie scenes are the first images that come to our minds when we think about love, make sure that they are not the only scenes that are in your mind!
As for my hubby.... I would have to thank him for always reminding me that romantic, is also important to keeping it real and beautiful and bubbly!
I have never seen a baby jump like Ari!
In Venezuela Sundays are almost sacred... is a day to spend with family. When I was little we would ¨dress up¨ for Sundays, first we would go to Church and then to grandma´s. Any other plans were forbidden and really I don´t think nobody planned anything different. Sundays were pretty quite too since nothing was open, and when I say nothing I really mean nothing.
One of the things about living in Venezuela, and I would think in many latin countries, is that the city were you are born is the city were you will live your entire life. Families stick together, and grow up together, that´s why we are so close to our cousins, and aunts and uncles and also friends. Family is not limited to your mom, dad and siblings... family involves everyone! It can get complicated at times, but we have learned to master the art of family throughout our history. Everybody you have met since childhood is probably still living in Caracas, I for example got my architecture degree here and then went to the US to get my MBA at U of I.... and then returned home, and like me, Gabriel, my sisters, cousins and many friends. In fact I learned to speak English while my parents were doing their masters at University of Florida, which by the way will was one of the best parts of my childhood. This has changed radically with all the political and economical situation happening in our country, and a lot of young people are leaving... Fortunately for our family, we are still all here (except my little sis) and so in this chaotic times, we still have kept our sense of normalcy, and our family Sundays!
Anyways, life has change in the city, there are many things to do on Sundays, everything is open, sometimes we plan eating out or going to the beach, or to the mountain... but still families gather at least twice a month for lunch! We rotate between my mom´s, my sister´s and our home, and usually try to make it special. The good thing about this is that I know that when our children grow they will not remember how Mondays felt like, or Tuesdays or Wednesdays... but they will surely remember how family felt like on Sundays!
Ari... give me some moves for the camera!
or laugh like her!
Have a great week!!
This past Sunday was my mom´s birthday, she turned beautiful 71 years old!!! I have been thinking what I wanted to write in this post... and to tell you the truth I have been a little overwhelmed by feelings and emotions lately, so that I didn´t want this post to be overly sentimental. My mom... there is no way I can get the cliche out of the phrase ¨my mom is the best in the whole world¨ because to me is not a cliche, it is the absolute truth! Of the things I love most about her is how she raised us to be strong women, women capable of loving and being loved, women who think can conquer the world from wherever they are standing. She taught us by example to see beauty anywhere, she taught us to bloom! My mom is an example of generosity, happiness, selfishness, love, compassion, understanding.... I love how she is able to love without judging and without expecting really nothing in return. Well anyways.... that is my mom... the best one!
And then, my mom is the best grandma ever... the cool thing is that she doesn´t do the typical grandma stuff with her kids, she is just her plain beautiful self, and her grandchildren no matter how young they are, know it! Here is a letter that my niece Thelma wrote to her for her birthday (I translated it the best I could trying to keep it as real as the one in Spanish). I think that after this I need to say no more! Happy birthday mom! I am so happy to be your daughter!
Here is the letter:
Happy birthday! Hope you have a wonderful and fun day... enjoy!!!! Today is the most special day of all! I think of you every time I think of good things, you are an example to follow, you are good to everyone, you help everyone as if it was a gift you were receiving, you put everyone before yourself all the time. I want you to know that every January 25th I think of you every second of the day. You are everything to me, you are my role model, you are the one that inspires me to be a better person. You are beautiful, spectacular, on the inside and on the outside. Every time I am going to do something good or bad, I think first what you would say, you always give good advise to everyone and specially to me. Thank you so much for helping me in everything, and for being good to me in good times and in bad times.
I also want you to know that on January 25th, 1944, I was a little angel in heaven, and as an angel I was so happy to see that such a beautiful person had been born, and right then I decided that I wanted to be your oldest grand daughter. Beautiful Abi I wish you the best! Today is your day ,and my only wish is that we get to enjoy many more birthdays and that when I grow old I want to be as beautiful as you, I want to help the world following your example.
You are my all, my daily inspiration, and the one that makes me smile every time I feel blue. You are like the last diamond on earth, so special and unique. To sum it up.. I love you with unexplainable frenzy, and I wish you the best!
Happy birthday Abi!
and of course you know we couldn´t sing happy birthday just once!
aaawwww she is so cute.... let me steal a kiss!!!
Yesterday afternoon my cousin Gise gave birth to her first baby... Our family is very close, and I think that when people that love each other are apart, their connection gets even stronger. So if you add to that five latin women, with cellphones, facetime, whattsapp and the best to be grandma armed with an iphone and flooded with love... you can only imagine the feelings we shared throughout all of Matteo´s delivery. This day I know will be forever embedded in our hearts, we were a tribe before, but our tribe just got stronger!
I would like to share with you a ¨letter¨ I wrote to Gise hours before her delivery.
My dear Gise,
I am dying to be there with you today, the most important day of your life, so far and for the rest of your life! In a few hours you will be a mom, you will finally know what love really is, today everything will make sense, and a lot of things will stop making sense too... and life as you know it will be no more. You might think you know what love is, you might think you have life figured out by now, but guess what... you are in for the surprise of your life! Just wait until you see those two little black eyes (I am assuming they will be black) looking back up at you. Looking at you like no one has ever looked at you, looking at your soul, looking at your heart, changing your life forever. Life will happen today, and you mi Gise will be there to make it happen!
Be a happy mom, be a cool one, don´t be afraid to sometimes not have it together, don´t be afraid to cry with him... for this will make him strong. Cherish every single second of your baby´s life, kiss him a million times a day, and rediscover life and the world with him. Don´t worry too much about teaching him beacuse you will everyday, but worry more about being there to learn what your son will teach you along the way!
Enjoy the ride mi Gise! Love you like crazy....
The moment each of my girls arrived in this world is forever tattooed in my soul. Their first cry, their eyes looking at me, how beautiful, and tiny, and perfect Ale was, how Emi stopped crying once I held her and sang to her, the way she smelled and how it stayed imprinted in me, and Ari... her crying that lasted forever with me crying with her as love invaded me harder than ever, and the realization that this baby was not in my imagination , that she was as real as she could be... that I had just had yet another baby girl.
These moments... I¨ll cherish them forever. These are the memories that have helped me through difficult times, and that make even brighter the good times. These are the moments that I have cherished more in my life, the moments that peace me out in any moment of stress. These are the moments that changed my life forever.
I don´t know if it is right or not, but motherhood defines me. Being a mother has been the greatest gift I have received from God and the one thing that has made my life complete. Maybe that´s why seeing someone I love bringing life into this world absolutely touches me so very deep... Oh, I would give the world to relive those three amazing days again!
Happy Birhday Matteo! I will always love you my beautiful baby boy!
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 16, then I have an 14 year old, and my miracle baby who is 6. Glad you are here, hope you stay a while!
Am now a member of Communal Global!!!