Thursday, November 13, 2008

Have you ever felt like your heart could just burst with too much love?

Tonight I am overwhelmed with so much emotion...I feel like my heart could just burst open. Tonight was Isa's first band concert, she plays the trombone, and I didn't think I could love anything or be as proud of anyone/thing as I was of her tonight. She is so beautiful and so talented and just such a great kid which is a testament to her parents and their love for her and how they are raising her. I looked at her through a camera lens and saw a collage of her short but sweet life and how much she has changed mine. She has the best parts of both of her parents! :-) I am truly so blessed to be her aunt.

Tonight, my heart felt a contentment and a peace that I have not felt in so long I didn't think the feeling would ever come back. My family, and our wonderful "better halves" all gathered together, happy and watching this child who has us all wrapped around her finger. I looked at my father and said "Thank you" to the Lord for him...for his renewed presence in our lives. For how Isabel has Shawnda's smile which is just like his. How magnificent to see these traits in each one of them. I looked at our new friend Sandy and am profoundly grateful for her sharing her time with us to come to a band concert and eat ice cream with us. I looked at my sister and see what a beautiful, strong woman she has become. I see wisdom and a spirit in her that inspires laughing and joy. I look at my brother in law and see in his eyes the love of a father. His face shines so bright when he is near her. It has been such a treat to see him teach her to throw a football. I am constantly amazed and humbled by how much he gives and gives and gives. I look at my best friend, Nate and I am brought to my knees with gratefullness for him and his love for me. His heart and his capacity for thoughtfullness is inspiring to me. I finally found someone who values family as much as I's awesome!

I also had the opportunity to babysit my friend Melanie's child, Adison, tonight and I brought him with me to the band concert. For so long, I felt that I did not have anyone in my life to rely on for help so I just became accustomed to doing everything by myself or for myself, and tonight, I saw my sister, my dad, Sandy, Nate and Javier help me with this child because my arm hurt. I didn't even have to ask...I really can't express in words how this very simple act brought such a warmth to my heart. Here is where God has to help accept the help and not feel guilty. I think sometimes...if I can't do it all myself, then I am less or not enough.

This amazing child brings us all together and allows me to be a part of something so wonderful.

I guess I've put enought mushiness out there. I am grateful and amazed.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

NateandIsaPalooza! Party #2

Nate and Isa's birthday are 2 days apart so we had all the families over for another birthday celebration. We had a ton of fun! We had all of Nate's family and our family AND we had 2 special guests, my cousin Michelle and her friend Cristil.
We took over the 3 Margaritas restaurant for some fine Mexican food. The didn't know what to do with us...our poor waiter Javier was excited that our Javier could speak Spanish to him. It was super cute.
The birthday kids!
Natedogg and Isa

After dinner we came back to the house for presents and to play some cards.
Isabel was about to get the surprise of her life. We made her put on a blind fold. Tee hee.
And here comes the surprise...wait for it....
Her very own Razor (which is like a smaller persons version of the Vespa...super cute). I think she liked it. :-)
Natedogg got lots of cool clothes, lots of Broncos gear and we got him the tint for the windows on our new Toyota.
Isn't he handsome with his new blue shirt?
Oh my - another fantastic submission to The Funny Face project!
Natedogg and our nephew Jason. Jason looks a bit aprehensive, doesn't he?
He's wondering why he didn't get any presents.

Javier is proud of all the hard work that went into putting the Razor together...notice who is in fact doing the work at the bottom of the picture! :-) Jason gets his turn to ride the Razor. That's kind of a scary look on his face. We may not want to let him ride motorcycles in real life. Ha Ha!
The puppies were feeling extremely left out. Louis begged Grandpa to let him ride the Razor. So he got the first ride. He's in heaven...such an adventerous puppy! Notice that Jada is now feeling very jealous.
So now it's her turn to have a ride with Grandpa!
Isa got her customized plates "IsaRks"
(that's Isa Rocks for those of you who have a hard time with customized plates, like say...Gudgi)
Just playin' Dad.
And finally...the birthday boy could not resist taking a ride on the Razor.
He look like he's ready for a road trip.
Ever the generous young lady, she gave everyone else a turn on her present and it was finally her turn to hop on. She could not wait for that thing to charge so she could take it outside.
Dad and my cousin Michelle. We were so excited to have her and her friend Cristil with us for the week-end.Dad, Michelle and Cristil
2 very pretty ladies - Isa and Shawnda
Everyone wants a picture with the Princess!
Michelle and Isa
The Princess and her Daddy
Me and the baby. I am so stinkin' blessed it's sick!
Nate's parents, Big Dogg and Sharon with Jason
Most of Nate's family - Nate, Big Dogg, Jason, Sharon and his sister Emily.
We really are so grateful that we live so close to our families...and that Michelle and Cristil came for a visit. We love you guys!

Isa is 11 years old - Does anyone know how to make a kid stop growing? I need to know ASAP!

My little baby turned 11 years old on September 18th. I took a ditch day from work and went to her school to surpise her and take her out for her birthday. Turns out she was having Field Day AND she had made donut holes for her I kind of felt bad that I was taking her out of school. But we hung out for a bit at her school and I got to meet her teacher and see her new classroom and her pod mates. Then she was able to pass out her donut holes and we were on our way. We went to JumpStreet to do some jumping on the trampolines. It was soooo much fun but let me tell gives you quite a work out.

Here is the squirt getting ready to go in. She isn't excited at all...can you tell?!?! We went there in the middle of the day - so there were hardly any people in there. This little kid came and started playing with us. At first - he seemed harmless, like any 6 year old would...then he decided it would be HILARIOUS to start pegging me with those seemingly soft balls. It turns out, while lying helpless with no protection in sight, that getting pegged repeatedely with those balls actually kind of hurts. I know...I sound a bit like a wimp...but look at that smug look on his little devil face. And Isabel was not doing much to help me...unless you count falling over backwards laughin at help.

Here are the little monkeys climbing all over the trampolines on the wall.
You see now why I must make her stop growing. She is so beautiful and growing up waaaayyyy too fast!
This place is an entire warehouse full of trampolines both on the floor and the walls. It was so fun pretending like I was young again. I was actually able to do my front flips and walkovers...not so much on my back flips. I was scared I was going to land on my head and paralyze myself. The front flips alone were hilarious. I'm sure I looked ridiculous. Isabel on the other hand was amazing. She has so much energy!
Nice face!
Hour 2 of jumping. She's still jumping.
Don't you just want to squeeze all the cuteness out of her?
One of the main reasons I smile everyday. I thank God for bringing this blessing into my life.
Happy 11th Birthday baby girl. I love you soooo much!
I really like the birthday letters that Rhonda and Jen have been writing on birthdays, but I still need to upload some maybe I'll get around to that soon. In the mean-time read theirs. They are amazing!

Monday, September 29, 2008

I haven't given up...

On my blog...I have become a foster parent! A dog foster parent! I got my first foster dog last week and boy has my life become EXTREMELY busy! I haven't had a chance to blog at all because my first foster dog is a 12 week old red heeler/beagle mix. He was abandoned and abused so the first few days were a big challenge. I named him Max and he sure has come a long way in a short 5 days. We still have a long way to go but seeing the progress in him has made me feel so good. So...anyway...I know I've been slacking on my gratefuls (and I have so much to be grateful for) and I haven't posted anything on all the stuff that has been going on lately...I'm hoping to get that done sometime this week! More details to come...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Isabel - I love you up to the sky...and HIGHER!

Sssshhhh...don't tell a soul - but I took a ditch day from work today and I'm going to go pick up Isabel from school early today for her birthday. She doesn't I hope she's surpised!
...more detail later!

Friday, September 5, 2008

My first Colorado State Fair - How RUDE is that?

So I've lived in Colorado for something like...well I'm embarrassed to say how long because then you will know that I am we'll just say a long time...and this year was the first year I have been to the Colorado State Fair. It was so cool...everyone should go at least once! Seriously. Jav, Nate, Isa, Isa's friend Carly and I got up extremely early for a Sunday morning and headed down to Pueblo. It took us 2 hours - I slept - even with 2 squirrely girls giggling THE WHOLE WAY DOWN!

Here is me and Nate - advertising our show "Latin Legends" - because we are Latin and we perform 5 nights a week. Thank you Jenni! :-) Carly, Isa and Javier - hating that Aunt Ange is making them take yet another picture.One of the many highlights of my day...I GOT TO MILK A COW! It was so cool...and...a little creepy. I felt bad for the poor cow having it's private parts handled all day long. I'm sure some of those little kids were not very gentle either.
I know it may come as a shocker to some of you that I like animals. But I was in animal lovin' heaven with all the babies that were all over the place. I was continually trying to take them home and Nate was continually crushing my dreams. What a kill joy - just kiddin' babe.

My new pet baby pigs; Freckly, Pinky and Martha.Um - is this not a sign? I felt it was. My bid was "mysteriously" removed.
And her name was MooMoo. And I loved her. She had a very velvety nose.
They made it very difficult for me to steal the baby kangaroos. All kinds of security. RUDE.
Carly and Isa were human hamsters.

This guys show was HILARIOUS! Him and his wife are monkey conservationists. They had a whole skit and this little guy made the entire show.
He's a serious actor. Seriously. He likes to steal hats and drink Snapple and burp.
This guy was the show ender and was truly majestic. It was incredible. Although he looks kind of angry, he really was a happy monkey and liked to open his mouth and show his teeth.
OMG - then we got to see the Tiger show. I could totally be a tiger trainer. They employed the same training techniques I used to train Cubie and Jada. I could totally do it. They would be my pet cats...I think I could get over my allergies.
On a more serious note - the people doing this show really love these cats and you could tell they are concerned for their future.
The picture below is the trainer leading the 3 female tigers in their trick to all sit up together on their chairs at the same time. The tiger that is NOT looking at the trainer is Nina. The trainer explained that Nina is a true diva and has the personality to prove it. She does not feel that she needs to be in sync with anyone else and sometimes just decides she's going to do something else...just to be different. She did this on several occasions when all the tigers were supposed to be walking around the arena in line and together and she just decides she gonna slow it down a little and step out of line and then get in front of the line and just cause trouble. It was so amazing to realize that these giant animals have heart and personalities just like our domestic friends.
Here the ladies are doin' their thang.

Another amazing sight. The big white tiger standing still while the other tiger jumps over him.

Givin' tiger hugs. Look at those paws! I just want to squeeze them! Rahr!This sandcastle was ridiculous. I can't even imagine how long it took to build it.
After all the animals - we finally got to the rides. Thank goodness - Isa and Carly were about to lose it. They loved the animals, but they wanted to ride some rides fer cryin' out loud.

The first ride we go on is the Haunted House. Upon getting into the little cart - Carly informs me that she is deathly afraid of haunted houses. I assured her that I would be sitting right behind her and nothing would happen to her.

BEFORE entering the Haunted House.

A little SCARED in the Haunted House. Carly screamed REALLY loud.

I loved this ride! You get whiplash but my stomach hurt more from laughing so hard!

Surprisingly none of us had a sunburn from the squelching hot heat and was seriously hot. It was a fantastic day and I think we need to start organizing a trip for next year...who's game? :-)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Know Your Rights and Exercise Them

We just got done watching Obama's Acceptance Speech. It was quite inspiring. The key thing I took from it though is how important it is to exercise our right to matter what our political affiliation is. We are blessed with many important rights in this country and I believe we take them for granted. Myself included. I have to admit that I do not vote in every election and especially for local elections. But to have the privilege to help choose our leadership and the direction of our government is one to not take lightly. I can't tell you how many times I have heard, "Why should I vote - it doesn't even count." So Jav, Nate and I were discussing if any of us really knew what the electoral college was and how do our votes get they even really count? Sadly, between the three of us, with a serious amount of education amassed, we could not with sound confidence declare we knew what the Electoral College really is or what its purpose is.
Well, you know me and my friend Google, we went right to work. I understand now the origin and it's intentions...not sure I necessarily agree with it...but that's a whole other post.

I'm sure that you all already know this, but here is a simplified explanation on how/what the electoral college is and why we do things this way. In case anyone is interested! :-)

How the Electoral College Works
Instead of voting directly for a presidential candidate (and his or her vice-presidential running mate), voters in the fifty states and the District of Columbia vote for a slate of "electors" who are pledged to vote for a particular presidential ticket (president/vice-president team). The political parties in each state select a slate of electors. The electors selected by the party of the candidate winning the most popular votes in a state become the electors for that state. Instead of just tallying the total number of votes cast across the nation in presidential elections, votes are counted state-by-state. The winner of the popular vote in each state is awarded the electoral votes for that state. The candidate winning the majority of electoral votes wins.
Given this arrangement, it is possible to win the popular vote and lose the electoral vote.

One additional feature of the process that worries people every time a viable third-party candidate runs for President is that when no candidate wins a majority of electoral votes, the election is decided by the House of Representatives. In such a case, the House delegations from each state would have one vote each. The candidate with the support of the most House delegations would be declared the winner. Thomas Jefferson was elected not by popular vote or by winning a majority of electoral votes--he was selected by the House of Representatives.

Why Do We Elect Presidents This Way?
There are two primary reasons the Founders chose to select presidents via the electoral college instead of by direct, popular voting. The first reason was their lack of trust in the judgment of the people. They were fearful that a well-spoken but not well-intentioned individual could flatter the people and win their support. They hoped that a secondary body, such as the Electoral College, would not be susceptible to such attempts at manipulation. This reason for the Electoral College is virtually meaningless with changes that have "bound" electors to cast their votes for the candidate who wins the majority of the popular vote in each state.
The second reason for choosing presidents by electoral votes instead of by popular vote is to give the states a voice in the presidential election. The principle of federalism was and is a critical feature of the American political system. By placing states in this important position in the selection of the country's leader, the Framers sought to maintain the position of states as important entities in the American political system.
Imagine that presidential elections were not decided state-by-state, but rather by a nationwide popular vote. The significance of states and the candidates' competition for support in key, "swing" states would disappear. Candidates would be inclined to simply run nationwide ad campaigns and visit large population centers.

So...we continued our discussion feeling a bit more enlightened...and then Javier brought up, what he thought was a benign point, but had a profound affect on me. He asked if people feel complacent in their need to vote because they do not understand the electoral college and how it affects the outcomes of our Presidential elections and therefore feel that their vote does not count, so why stand in the line to do so? He went further on to say that in many countries, especially the Third World Countries, that have been afforded the right to vote, come out in droves, they are so desperate for change and excited that they have a voice.

So take that for whatever it may mean to you personally. This country is great for so many reasons and we need to exercise our right to participate. Stand up for what you believe in.

Gandhi said, "Be the change you want to see in the world."

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

OMG - Joey is coming back!

Just got the news in - Super Joe is coming back for one more season with the Avs! He is our captain and he was contemplating retirement. Our season was going to be lost before it even began if that would have happened. Now I have something to lift my beach withdrawal depression - I can't wait for the season to start! Now if only Peter would stay healthy and then he could come back too! Oh to dream. GO AVS!