Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year! Feliz Ano Nuevo! :D

And so 2010 begins :) What a great blessing it is to be alive!

I almost forgot about one of my very favorite Christmas time traditions: I listened to one of my aunt Diana's all-time favorite Christmas songs, and the tears just started flowing like there's no tomorrow! It absolutely amazes me how music can instantly transport you to a completely different time in your life, and suddenly you can see the world the way it was 10, 15 years ago. And you remember it all: every detail, every color, every sound.. when I listened to this song, I saw Diana with a big smile on her face, dancing and singing happily to this song. It makes me realize how much I painfully crave getting in touch with Venezuela again. I need to feel it again, to feel that fire that's so deeply ingrained in our culture. And I need Sam to see it, too. I so badly want to show him that piece of the puzzle, the land that helped shape me and where I lived for over half of my life.

So, I guess this was my first rambling posting for 2010, whoop! ;)

Happy New Year everybody! God bless us all :)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year, New Hope?

I'm not exactly sure that this posting has a "point".

Lately I have been hearing a lot of people say, "I can't wait for 2009 to be over, it was horrific." My initial reaction to this was, "why was 2009 so horrible?"; but then of course I'm reminded of the awful situation so many families have been going through: unexpected layoffs, sinking investment values, foreclosures...

I guess it's a little difficult for me to understand because even at the end of my very "worst" years, I've never thought "wow I can't wait until this year is over". Every single event in our life shapes who we are: happy times, bad times, painful ones, joyous ones... and while I'm always happy to celebrate the arrival of a "new" year, I tend to reflect upon the year that's left us and hope that I've become a better person as a result of what I've gone through during the year; that I've done God's will through my actions and thoughts.

Now, I know that Sam and I have been very blessed with good jobs, great families, great friends, and now a home. I often find myself praying that we don't lose focus, that we remain humble, that we don't get lost in the race that life seems to become for so many people, and that God and family remain our #1 priority.

Have I become a better person this year? I hope so... just as much as I see some positive changes in myself, I also see so much room for improvement. In certain ways, I consider myself: a hypocrite; impatient; quick-tempered; selfish; cruel; vain. I guess I'm seeing 2010 as an opportunity to honor God through my thoughts and actions, to catch myself in the midst of sin and pick myself up toward a life closer to Him.

P.S.: Our second anniversary is coming up... I love you Sam, so MUCH. :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

At-Home Catastrophies, Memories, "Heroes"

So as the title of this posting suggests, tonight's events at home unexpectedly tie into the show "Heroes". It's a GREAT science fiction-type show! I'm not usually a fan of SF, but this show I love. :)

Today I decided to finally bring in my timesheets from June 2008 all the way to now, so that I can start going through them to record my IDP (Intern Development Program) hours; I need to do this--not to mention go to grad school--to someday become an Architect. I took about 2 inches thick worth of timesheets and stuck them all inside a big 3-ring binder to make it easier to carry. I succeeded getting into my car in the rain, while holding my purse, my lunchbox, the binder and my umbrella. Once home though, I try to get out of my car and SPLAT! Out of the binder fly all the timesheets. I initially got frustrated and even thought about asking Sam to come help me pick up the mess, but I told myself to just stay calm and do it myself. I did think it was a little surprising that Sam hadn't come outside to greet me as he usually does...

The second I open the door to the utility room, I see Sam standing in the guest bathroom with a look I hadn't seen before. It's one of those, "You will NOT believe the kind of day I've just had and I'm VERY frustrated" faces. So of course I knew it wasn't good because my Sam's always happy! It so happens that the toilet in the bathroom had overflowed and when I came in he was standing in the middle of a big puddle of toilet water, trying to keep the mess contained. I felt SO bad for him. You see, Sam is amazing when it comes to helping clean the house and all, but he DOES NOT like to clean bathrooms. I instantly forgot about my own tiny, minuscule incident and started helping clean up. Fortunately Sam was able to unclog the toilet and after a bunch of paper towels, old towels, and mopping with Clorox, the bathroom floor is back to its old clean self. I was so impressed with how much Sam was willing to help with the mess! Not only help, but actually clean up a lot of it. The worst thing for him was that he'd done a bunch of things around the house that had been needing to get done so he was eager to show me everything when I got home. And then that happened. Poor Sam!

We couldn't help but laugh about the entire thing later on; at one point I told Sam, "You know, we will probably remember this for the rest of our lives!". Then we started talking about how things like this: happy moments, sad moments, frustrating moments, devastating moments... they all help us grow closer as a couple, we're making memories together and it's beautiful. YES it sounds cheesy, but every once in a while I appreciate cheesy ;) Then I thought about the Haitian from "Heroes", and got to realize just how EVIL his power could be!! He can just touch your head and wipe out an entire life's worth of memories if he chooses to do so.

Anyway.. I loved "seeing" us work together as a team, cleaning everything up, and I loved laughing about it later on. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I am one lucky gal :) I can't believe it's been almost two years since we married, and almost six since we first met! I love Sam.


Monday, November 30, 2009

Feeling Like Dorothy

Today was my first day out of the house since last Wednesday; this cold has been tougher on me than I initially thought it'd be. I'm thankful that I managed to stay at work all day even though my throat hurt pretty badly; all sickness and bleagh-feelings aside, I was glad to be back at work and draw wall sections :) Did I mention that I majored in Architecture? Aaaand that I go nuts for wall sections? Yeah, that'll have to be a whole other blog posting ;)

Anyway! By the time 5:30pm hit I was completely worn out and kind of in a bad mood. Coming home, seeing Sam's smiling face and spending time with him.. yeah, that's the very BEST medicine I can get :) There's no place like home!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

We've spent an amazing Thanksgiving this year. My parents came over to our new home, so Sam and I got to host the nice dinner without turkey worries! Haha, my mom's great: she got to cook the turkey and brought a pumpkin pie, while we took care of the mashed potatoes, green beans and the apple pie :)

I'm sick with a nasty cold, but I don't care. We had a beautiful day and fun times with family. God bless everyone, today and always!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A U.S. Citizen... A Short One

I just realized that the title for this posting has an unintended (and funny) double meaning: this will indeed be a "short" posting, but I am also a brand-new "short" U.S. citizen :D

Yes! I have finally become a citizen of this beautiful country. I'm quite happy to have taken this step! I wasn't always thrilled about this, though: for a year or two, I struggled with the fear that by becoming a U.S. citizen, I would lose a little more of my Venezuelan self. My native country is beautiful, passionate, full of life and energy, wild, dangerous at times... I miss it sometimes; I crave it. After giving it much thought, I've come to understand that Venezuela is and will forever be in my blood: that kind of passion doesn't die. And while it is quite sad to know that politics and greedy men have made my home country what it is today, I will never stop being proud of who I am and where I came from.

Maybe I am a bit nostalgic tonight.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Lately I've been thinking a lot about how I'm always thanking God for all the blessings He has given us, and how the Bible tells us that the more we are blessed with, the more we should give. And several noble examples of generosity come to mind: My grandmother, Mimi, used to take me along to a retirement home when I was little, so we could help the staff care for the patients and bring goodies for everybody. Sam's sister, Amanda, has done amazing volunteer work with her church to help others: mission trips, rebuilding efforts... It's quite inspiring to "see" people wanting to help others.

As Thanksgiving gets closer, I'm feeling so giddy to be able to help with the food drives taking place around town. Last year Sam and I donated food and volunteered to deliver food baskets to families in need, and the experience was touching and sad at the same time. We got to see a side of this town that not too many people get to see: broken down houses with no front doors, kids with big smiles on their faces, thrilled to see food... it brought tears to my eyes. All it took was little over one hour of our time to help bring a few smiles to people's faces. Sometimes I feel like that's not enough though. It took such little effort to do that! Today's Bible reading (Mark 12:41-44) tells us how Jesus explained to his disciples that the widow who contributed only a few coins to the treasury "has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”

I pray that Jesus fills my heart with a desire to serve others, to not let me forget that it's not only about thanking Him for his infinite generosity, but to mirror myself in Him and give myself to help.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Be Careful What You Wish For

In my attempt to follow closely in Jesus' footsteps, I often find myself praying for God to help me be better at exercising a virtue I may not excel at; some of these hard-for-me virtues are patience, leaving everything in God's hands, serenity... you name it! The first two are particularly hard for me; at times I can be quite impulsive both in actions and in words, and many times when I find myself in difficult situations I tend to want to control as much as I can out of such situation; in other words, I forget that God is in control, not me.

So last week a "difficult situation" tornado of sorts passed through our household: Sam became sick with the flu, things at work became hectic, and a past employer asked me to do some work for her on the side. I had to work last weekend, which resulted in the house becoming a mess from not being cleaned and me not having enough time to do laundry or cook. Most importantly, I felt guilty for not being home to take care of my husband, as I should. I was frustrated! I told my friend earlier today that, "when you become part of a team and fifty-percent of your team is down, it's not easy to handle it all".

I forgot to pray for patience. I failed to see that God was giving me a golden opportunity to exercise my patience, and to leave everything in His hands. I was becoming irritated with everything that was going on, and in the midst of it all I didn't pause to keep silent for a bit, and sense God's presence in our lives.

Things like this make me fall in love with God even more. "Ask and you shall receive". Wow! It's such a beautiful thing, this amazing love that He has for us. He above all is the Supreme Teacher. He is our loving Father. And He wants us to succeed in this life, He wants us to follow Him. What more could I possibly want but God?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Short Note on 'Religion' and Us

So tonight, Sam and I were having a very interesting discussion on the differences, religion-wise, between what he grew up believing and what I did. Even though I was brought up in a Catholic household and Sam was raised Baptist, we have always been able to discuss religion and not get into a big argument; instead, I think we have both truly enjoyed learning about each other's childhood years and the beliefs that our parents taught us.

So in the middle of discussing why people tend to lose their temper when discussing differing Christian beliefs, Sam says,

"I have always believed that, if two people from different Christian denominations essentially believe in God and that Jesus came to Earth and died for our sins; and in discussing differences between each other's faiths tempers rise and people get upset, that is the time to try and forget about those relatively unimportant differences, because the bickering and anger is NOT what God intended for us to do. He does not wants us to fight amongst each other because we're missing the point; we're losing focus."

Then we started talking about what this Focus should be: loving each other as He has always loved us.

And as I sat there listening to Sam say those words, I was wondering, "How can I NOT fall in love with him all over again when he speaks like this?" And when Catholic people ask me how we'll handle raising our children, I think of Sam speaking these words and I am not worried. If we can teach our children about God's love for us, Jesus' sacrifice to save us from our own sins and our need to follow in His footsteps... then we will have done our most important job as parents.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Natural Family Planning and Us

After putting it off for about three months, I finally had my yearly appointment with my gynecologist yesterday. I'd been dreading going to this appointment not only for the obvious reasons, but also because this would be the first time I saw my gynecologist since we started using NFP (Natural Family Planning). Our Creighton model practitioner had warned me that many physicians tend to be quite negative and skeptical about NFP methods, and unfortunately I was met with a similar reaction.

I never thought I would get off the birth control pill. I'd been taking it for almost ten years, and it'd worked wonders for me, as far as having regular periods goes. About three months before Sam and I got married I became too old to be under my parents' insurance plan and I couldn't afford a plan of my own, so I stopped taking the pill. This wasn't an issue as far as my relationship with Sam goes.. but I became very afraid of what would happen when I got off it. And what happened was actually quite amazing: I felt alive again. I'm not quite sure how to describe it and I'm aware that this sounds like crazy talk, but I felt as if I'd spent all those years on the pill "mentally sedated"; emotions I hadn't seen in a very long time resurfaced and somehow I felt like my true self again.

A little while before we got married I got on the pill again, but I'd discussed with Sam my desire to find some other method that would help us plan our family and that would be more in tune with my beliefs. This desire went far beyond the Catholic church's stand on birth control; switching to some form of NFP meant being more open to having children and feeling like we are trusting God and His plan. Luckily Sam was incredibly supportive and agreed that if we found a method we could use, we should do it. I'm not going to deny that I struggled for a long time on whether jumping into NFP would be a wise decision, because I did question it. No one in this day and age wants to have 10 children (except for maybe crazy ol' Octomom?), so of course there were doubts and questions. All I could do was pray about it, that God would help us make this important decision in our marriage.

So we found the Creighton model of Natural Family Planning; we've been learning the system for about five months now, and we are both so very happy with this decision! It takes a little time to get used to it, but in five short months we have learned a lot about procreation and this wonderful gift that God has given us. Sam and I both have noticed a number of amazing differences which have helped us become closer as a couple; the system is based on daily observations and "charting" these, and we share the responsibility of following the method. We also learned a lot more about how the pill works, and we were happy that I wasn't taking it anymore.

But of course, the second my gynecologist heard that we were practicing NFP she practically treated me like a child for the rest of the appointment. Somehow she felt she could scold me for getting off the pill and dismiss anything I said about the Creighton model as unimportant and uninteresting (this after she admitted she did not know anything about the system).

So... I almost let it get to me. I almost thought, "maybe I should get back on it..." I talked about it with Sam to see what he thought, and... he was so very supportive of the Creighton model and of us following it! More than anything, there's peace of mind and of heart that we're intending to plan when we'll have children, but that ultimately God has His say and that we will accept it lovingly no matter what. I guess one could technically say the same thing about the birth control pill because no method is absolutely effective except for abstinence, but at least there are no synthetic hormones in me. I feel better, both mentally and physically. And Sam is so very happy to be following this too. We wouldn't trade this sense of peace for anything else in the world.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

FOUND: True Email Forward!

I have finally found an email forward that has been proven to be true, and it's definitely worth a read:

Friday, October 9, 2009

"This is your life... are you who you want to be?"

I LOVE Switchfoot. I have my wonderful husband to thank for introducing me to their music back in '04; in fact, I still get butterflies in my stomach when I hear their first album, "The Legend of Chin". I got this album as Sam and I got to know each other :)

Having a full-time job and being a wife, my daily life is moderately to heavily filled with responsibilities: working, cooking, cleaning, washing, dusting... being a good employee, keeping a home in order and making sure that my husband's needs are met can be a bit overwhelming at times. About eight months ago, I began to notice that all I did was wish that I didn't have to work so I could stay at home and enjoy life more. Poor Sam had to hear me complain about work and about not having enough time to do anything. So I reached a point where I asked myself, "what ARE you doing with your time?". Well, here comes the embarrassing part:

After work I would get home, talk to Sam a little bit about how our days went, then I'd sit in front of this computer for half an hour to an hour reading about... celebrities. I cannot for the life of me understand WHY I like to read this stuff, but I do. Then, Sam and I would have dinner while watching a TV show, then I'd come back to the computer while he played games. I'd often either stay online until late, or watch TV show reruns. Wow! That sure sounds like a great and productive life, doesn't it? Then, I'd leave everything I needed to do until Sundays, which would make those days completely stress-ridden.

So, Sam and I discussed the situation, and after much arguing against the idea (this would be me), he finally convinced me that the best thing to do would be to have a weekly schedule to get things done; in that way we would both have responsibilities and these would be spaced out more. So each night we each have something to do: he mows and does the vacuuming around the house, while I do the dusting, the kitchen and the bathrooms. I have to give it to Sam: the schedule WORKS! I think we appreciate the time that the other contributes in keeping the house in order, and really look forward to times together. I spend less time reading trivial things, and more time doing quiet housework... watching a movie with Sam... reading... praying... watching birds! I got this one from Sam and his family; I did not understand it at all at first. But I've come to appreciate this seemingly insignificant activity so much..! As Rick Warren states in Purpose: "knowing your purpose... ...becomes the standard you use to evaluate which activities are essential and which aren't."

Like I say in my "About me", I'm one lucky lady :) I love my husband Sam, so very much. He brings balance to my at times disorganized life. I feel truly humbled when I think that God decided that Sam and I should become a family. I seek for a simple, humble, God-centered life, and with Sam... ... with Sam I feel like I can become who God wants me to be :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Counting blessings

Today was a beautiful and windy day here in Bryan-College Station. I couldn't help but turn away from my computer screen to look at the sky every so often (I wonder what I'd bill that time to...). What can I say, it was a great day for cloud-watching! I reflected upon God's blessings all day long. It's so easy to think about the blessings you've been given on pretty and/or happy days. I couldn't help but pray though, that God doesn't let me forget of all these blessings in the not-so-happy times. The dark times. We're so spoiled to always want more, and bigger, and better. And if things don't go our way, we complain. And we forget. But God... God is there in the most silent of ways. And it's a beautiful thing, if you don't forget.