Thursday, January 31, 2013

7 Quick Takes: Feb 1st edition

Really interesting title, huh? Sorry, my brain is fried. Packing and moving will do that to you. Without further adieu, here are my 7 quick takes....


Tomorrow is moving day! And yes, here I am writing QTs instead of packing. It's funny, really. Last Thursday I was in a panic, telling D, "Ahhh! There's so much to be done! I'm FREAKING OUT!!" and he was like, "Dude, calm down! It will get done!" (Which made me want to beat him, not hug him.) Then on Tuesday, how the tables had turned! D was like, "Ahhh! There's so much to be done!!" and I was like, "Calm down! It will get done!" Haha. We balance each other out SO well.


Yesterday we finished up the Novena to Our Lady, Undoer of Knots. This is the first novena that we've ever prayed together, and we both really enjoyed the experience! There were some nights when I had to wait up until 11:30 or so for him to come home so we could pray together, but it was well worth it! I'd heard really interesting stories from those who had prayed it before, so I wasn't sure what to expect from it. I don't feel like anything "monumental" happened, but in the same sense, the novena brought us together. A little funny on the side: D thought that a novena was NINETY days, not NINE! What a relief it was when he found that out (on Day 7 of our novena)!


Bebe got into our district's Gifted & Talented program. SO incredibly proud of her! This is a new journey for us--I've never doubted that she was bright, but I didn't know what would put her into the "gifted" category. I have a lot of reading (and learning) to do, as many of the "issues" we have with her seem to be VERY common among gifted learners (which is comforting--misery loves company, I guess!). At the same time, this new bit of info has me a bit disappointed in the school system in general. With budget cuts and the need to give all students an equal education, the area that took the biggest cuts was Gifted & Talented. What that means is instead of Bebe getting placed in a GATE class 5 days/week for half the day for 6 weeks (as used to be the case), she is getting placed in a GATE class one day/week for half the day for only THREE weeks (because they had so many 3rd graders identified as gifted that they needed to divide up the class). I just don't get how anything is going to be accomplished, and how this is going to help us with things like her boredom in the classroom! But I am just sitting back and waiting right now to see how it goes.


Yesterday was my mom's birthday (happy birthday, Mom!). She turned 69. This past year has been a big one for me. I think it finally hit me, my parents are getting old. My grandparents all lived into their 80s and 90s, but I feel very uncertain about my parents' futures. I love them, but I wish they took better care of themselves. I want my children to know them for a lot longer. Her diagnosis of breast cancer (in November? I can't remember anymore) made these thoughts and feelings so much more intense. How much time is left? 


Speaking of time... I am reading Mitch Albom's new book, The Time Keeper. I am really, really enjoying it! I love how Albom's mind works. I've loved every single one of his books that I've read.


Remember in November when I was SO pumped up about NaNoWriMo? I worked fiercely on a novel and managed to pump out 50,000 words in 30 days... and I haven't touched it since. That is a sad but true reality of my life. In the meantime, I've also come up with two other FABULOUS novel ideas. Now if only I could find time to write and edit more!


Speaking of editing, maybe 8 months ago, my uncle published his very first book. Amused by this, I decided to purchase it for my Kindle. Much to my surprise, it was filled with errors! I asked him to please allow me to send corrections to him so he could update his file, and he was very appreciative. He recently contacted me to let me know that the sequel would be coming out soon--and he asked me to edit it before publishing! I am very excited to have a new task to do.

OK kids, that's all for today. The boxes are calling my name. Make sure to head over to Jen at ConversionDiary to read other people's (more interesting) Quick Takes!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


I find myself missing blogging. Yet, at the same time, I have a very unhealthy relationship with the internet--I can't seem to stay away from it. :(

I know I lack connections to people right here in California, so I seek out connections on the internet--but sometimes I think the reason why I still feel "all alone" here is because I've spent so much time developing online friendships instead of in-person ones/

I bookmarked this blog post months ago, and keep returning to it. Trying to find a work-life-blog balance was a challenge for me (is a challenge for me). And my blog--what purpose does it serve? For me? For others? For God?

Our lives are mapped out by the various journeys that we embark on,  the paths we take along the way. I can't explain why, but I feel like recently I've finished a journey. I also feel like a new one is starting.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this post (as usually is the case when I sit down to write!), but I felt like this needed to be said. I'm thinking of taking things in a whole new direction. More to come...

Saturday, January 26, 2013


(not sure that's the right title for this, but I couldn't think of anything else)

January 26th is just another ordinary day. It's not anyone's birthday (that I know of), no one's anniversary (that I know of), etc. In fact, it wasn't until about 4pm when I said to myself, "What day is it today?" that I realized today was January 26th. And then I went, "huh."

You see, five, six, seven years ago--heck, even last year--January 26th was a big deal. It WASN'T just an ordinary day. It was a milestone! A BIG FREAKIN' DEAL.

January 26th reminded me of the victory, reminded me of how far I have come in my life, reminded me of how God has helped me to rise up in the face of adversity.

I find it so incredibly amusing that last year around this time I was excitedly anticipating January 26th--and this year not a single thought crossed my mind about it until the day was almost over!

11 years ago today, I was sitting in an emergency room, my friends gathered near by, my arms and legs covered in over 500 (yes, that is not a typo) cuts. Self-inflicted. (The Goo Goo Dolls got it right when they sang, "You'd bleed just to know you're alive.") None serious enough for stitches, but nonetheless a sight to see. A nurse gawked. I tried to disappear with my eyes closed. I felt like my life was over. If only I knew that that day would be just the BEGINNING, not the END!

11 years ago today was the LAST day that I ever cut myself. And 11 years ago yesterday was the last time I ever touched a drop of alcohol. Tomorrow I can officially say that I have been cut-free for 11 YEARS (mind-blowing, seriously, since I can remember celebrating going 11 DAYS without cutting) and today I've been sober for 11 years.

11 years ago today, I started on a new journey in life. One I was not completely ready for. I was hurting so badly (both physically and emotionally), I was so done with life, I felt like I was in the movie Groundhog Day where things were the same over and over and over again. I never thought I'd come out of the black hole that I was in. And yet, here I am.

"God cares for people through people." That's one of my favorite quotes, and it couldn't be truer in my life. Eleven years ago today, it was my college friends (ahem, Jen) who were my voice when I no longer had any. They were scared shitless (pardon my swearing, but honestly, there's no other way to describe it). I don't blame them, I would've been, too, in their shoes. But that night, they were lifesavers.

I just can't believe how far I've come with God's help, and with time. Time really does heal all wounds (although the scars are still present). In the last year especially, I feel like I've finally been able to bundle up ALL of my experiences from the last 15 years and actually put them behind me. I'm able to look at even the really, really bad times and not feel so engaged in them. They're a part of who I am, and they always will be, but at the same time they're not on the forefront anymore. And what a good thing that is!

Eleven years (and probably a few weeks) ago, when I was there at "rock bottom" I remember saying to a friend that I wasn't strong enough, I just couldn't handle it. And she told me, "You are strongest when you're at your weakest point." It didn't make sense then, but it does now. I look back, and I see that strength. I didn't see it then, but I do now.

One day I hope to somehow repay every person who has been there in my life to help me get from there to here. I don't know how, but I have to. I owe it to them. For God's glory.

Friday, January 18, 2013

I'm baaaack!

It's been 19 or 20 days since my last post, and I'm baaack!


Well, mostly because I'm avoiding things, haha.

The last 20 days have been FULL of excitement, though!

1. We're moving! My mother-in-law had been staying with us for 6 weeks, and during that time the kids shared a room for days at a time. When she was about to leave, Bebe asked us if she could still share a room with Dois. D and I went, Hmmm... We thought about it (after all, it won't be much longer before they're too old to share), we prayed about it (we were hoping to buy a house when our lease was up, but we weren't finding much), and we inquired about it--and we got the deal of a lifetime: on a house only 1 block away! We are downsizing to a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom 1064sq ft apartment from our current 3-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom 1300sq ft townhome. And we are EXCITED about it! But not about packing. Packing pretty much sucks. Always.

2. Dois started a new daycare! I mentioned in the past that his previous daycare was not feeling as good to us anymore. It wasn't as if things were TERRIBLE there, but we knew it wasn't a place for him long-term, and to be honest, it was expensive. D and I looked around at other places, and decided to enroll Dois in the Carden school located on the campus where D works. It was more affordable, had longer hours (I was always stressed rushing to get Dois on time), and was a better long-term fit for him (meaning, he can stay there until he starts Kindergarten). The weeks leading up to the transition were hard, we wavered in our decision. Dois was so incredibly loved at his previous daycare and we felt like we were taking away their sunshine (he was the favorite). But in the end, we knew this was the right choice. The transition was tough for 2 weeks, but now he runs in with a smile and doesn't even say goodbye. He's getting the love and the care that he got at his previous daycare, and he is learning and exploring new things everyday.

3. We prayed for God's guidance, and we're getting it! A seed has been planted, courtesy of House Hunters. We've been praying for God to reveal His will for us for our future. First came the realization that there were no houses we wanted to buy, then the opportunity to move (and save $500/month! Officially putting our home-buying plans on hold) and then came House Hunters. One night D and I were watching and in back-to-back episodes, the home buyers were buying homes in low cost-of-living areas. And it was like a seed was planted. Yes, we've talked about how expensive SO Cal is and we've discussed getting out of here, but there's always been trepidation. But now? Now we're actively looking around the East Coast for possible places to relocate. We've been working our BUTTS off for a 20% down payment here in California, which could easily be a 30-50% down payment in other areas of the country! We have no familial ties here, really, so the only thing really keeping us here are our love for the weather and the fact that we're "established" here (I've been at my job for over 6 years, and D has been working for the state for 5 years now). But is the weather really worth the fact that D works 2 jobs and we can't afford the things we'd like to (travel, Catholic education for our children)? NO WAY!

4. We've decided that sometime in the near future, we'll be trying for Baby #3! I never really thought I'd hear D say he wanted a third, but he's said it--a few times! We need to get through this move, but then, who knows. It's exciting. I absolutely love our family right now--the kids are just so great and loving with one another, we're so happy, I just want it to GROW!!

Annnnnd, that's it. I think. But that's a lot for 19 days, right?!

My internet fast isn't going so well, but I'm trying...

Time to get back to packing!