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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

8 years of stealing my heart away

Yay us! We've been through a lot in a short amount of time ( some of which i have shared here), a lot of which has been a bit crazy, but all good, nonetheless. I love the song by Van

Married love prepares us for the ultimate love experience- that which is Divine. For those unfamiliar with the idea, God exists as Trinity- one God, three persons, constantly giving and receiving.

Looking ahead to the goal of our lives makes it easier to look at the present and how our earthly love is growing.  What could our married love be like? There are no limits except the ones we set ourselves. So, we ought to be dreaming big dreams, friends!

Married love is a great gift. I would love for this to be the prevalent thought of the day, rather than one that glorifies a temporary, jet-setting romance that only satisfies a desire to be sought and admired but entirely misses the mark, and even leaves one further from understanding real Love, the depths for which we were made.

Happy Anniversary Mike! Thank you for stealing my heart away. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

can't help myself

I'm not particularly crafty, nor do crafts satisfy my need for creativity. BUT, when inspiration struck, I went with it, and I can't stop making these! The idea started with Michelle who has been printing beautiful messages on beautiful paper for years and then framing them. I have always loved what she made, but never thought I could do it ( right) and didn't feel the need to try. But, after a birthday party, I had a bunch of these mini shells left over that were just beautiful  in their mini-scule detail...And I have friends who are pregnant... and I have been thinking over how I need to put love into the little things of each day for years..... and whala! This came into being. This one says GOD puts great LOVE into the little things. For baby showers, I change littlest for little. It just captures the wonder of a new precious baby, and the precision of God's love. If He puts that much detail into a shell, how much more into a person, into me?
I also like using three shells, but this one was my daughter's to make and I wasn't going to stifle her creativity ( My kids help me pick out the shells, especially if it is for someone they know). So, steal away and try it if you like it. Growing up, we had a few messages around the house, one of them being What you are is God's gift to you. What you make of yourself is your gift to God. I would only change it by adding with His help after yourself. Very important distinction. But, words mean something, and they sink in. Surrounding ourselves and our loved ones with a few choice words inspire ideas and action.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

best part of waking up..

is a cortadito in your cup! Remember that commercial? I never understood it as a kid. Now, coffee is almost the first thing I think of in the morning! :) I've discovered a few treasures down here, cortaditos being one of them. They are mini- this picture doesn't quite show it well. Just enough milk. Sugar. Cuban coffee. Yum!

I don't know if you can get them anywhere else. Please don't try to at Starbucks. You will be left with a bitter taste and spirit. (joking!) You'll just have to come visit. :) There is a guava pastry in the bag, another favorite. Not only is chocolate a craving, guava is at the top of the list as well.  And pan de bono. Those three. Can you tell I wish I am a fan?

I will get a little more serious soon. I know some of you like those the best... it's coming. :)
In the meantime, have a great day!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Grocery Quiz

Ok, for you foodies. Who can name the most items here? :)

Happy Sunday, friends!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

good memories

I grew up with two brothers, close in age to me. We used to spend hours playing hide-and-seek in the house ( best spot to hide- the corner of Mom and Dad's closet), legos, and more or less dangerous games, the danger adding to the thrill. We would build a huge fort and someone would proceed to throw one of those horse sticks into it to knock it down. After some time, there was no where left to hide. ;) Another great one was hide-and-seek in the dark with all the neighborhood kids. We'd hide in the pitch-black basement and whoever was "it" would count upstairs. They came down at their own peril and had to dodge toy missiles that were sometimes quite large. 

Today was a grey day with one child not feeling well enough to go outside. We live in an apartment, so what to do with energetic boys? Flashlight hide-and-seek. ( No, I didn't introduce missiles with my children). I joined in, and fun it was. Being a kid again for a moment reminded me of you, Mike and Vin! Siblings are a great gift. Have a good day, friends!

Monday, May 14, 2012

coloring my world

So, the whole color thing of my "new" environment has been slowly making its way into my home. After all, there are little houses like this on a daily jaunt.
 And I have been thoughtfully introducing color into my house over the months, painting furniture, moving pillows, and rearranging pictures. I wanted to share them because I know how much I love to see what other people come up with for their homes!
This is our "tablescape" ( I got the idea from LONNY, I want to say). I just love that Rosary. Thank you Mile! :) Those pear candles from my mom years ago keep making their presence felt in each house. Thanks, Mom! :) And the beautiful orchid I can actually maintain? Thanks, Teresa! :)

Previously, There was just the kids coat rack and the two things above it. Yes, quite bare. I just didn't know how to fill it out. I added the two Monets from my daughter's room and replaced them with things she likes. I spray painted the rattan shelf that was totally getting shabby. Now, it has some presence! And looks much fresher. :) On the other side of the entry, Mary got some attention as well.

Try to imagine just the image of Our Lady, without the houndstooth and the surrounding gold frame ( I borrowed from something else). Much better! And for anyone who is not familiar with this custom, Catholics treat Mary as our very own Mother ( not as God). And last but not least is my living room which moments before I added these colors ( painted the table coral ;), the pillows taken from other places), I had told my friend I didn't want my living room to be a rainbow.
Jokes on me! :) It just fits. Those of you who saw the room before can see the change! There is now what my friend Dorine calls "life" in the room:). Thanks, Anne-Marie, for the expert advice! And as always, Michelle for getting as excited as I do. :)

And I came across this sign in a Gap window recently and thought how perfectly it fits my home...
All of this color and life makes me want to carry it on with a little music that I hear down here.
Here's Joey Montana and his La Melodia. From the little Spanish I can pick up, I think it is clean and sweet. My apologies if not! Have a wonderful Monday, friends!

Friday, May 11, 2012

what a colorful world

On a daily basis, I am struck by the color variations of the tropics. This is my view at sunrise. 

Here is a picture from a walk in the afternoon. And below is a picture of the ocean when it was green. I am so glad I caught it on camera! It changes on an hourly basis from every shade of green, blue, and even grey. It is so thought-provoking.

At some point, I'd like to be able to capture this depth and variety in a spot in our home. Below is something that comes wonderfully close!

Sea Glass Giclee
Sea Glass Giclee By Simon Addyson for Ballard Designs

It is a wonderful world, isn't it? If you haven't heard his version, check out IZ's version.

Happy Mother's Day! 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

New Eyes

I don't know about you, but I have always loved pretty tea cups and hotel breakfasts. I don't know why, but I want to drink out of a pretty cup on a daily basis, not just on special occasions. My husband thinks its funny. :) So I put tea cups and a silver coffee pot ($$$) on my list of things to acquire. But, if pretty is what I want, that would leave me a little discontent until that day comes.

So, rather than keep these stowed away, I decided its time to use them! I got these cups in Italy a long time ago and hardly ever used them. But, they do the trick. And this tea pot is from my honeymoon. I don't plan on using it daily, but more often. What have I been waiting for? What I've been wanting I already have.

Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

To make us laugh

Is this not how we all feel when we are pregnant? HAHAHA!
Have a wonderful Sunday, friends!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Musings on Tolstoy

This is definitely not going to be one of my more structured posts. We will eventually get to why Tolstoy is so wonderful, but it may take a minute. Its Saturday morning and it has been a long, hard-working week. Not bad! I am just tired. So, the two melancholics are still in bed ( me being one) and the choleric/sanguines are up and running.. well, not exactly running, but throwing their energy toward completing a task. That is, they are making pancakes. :) I had to throw that in there because family life is more clear to me after reading that temperament book I wrote about a week or so ago. I read it maybe 5 years ago, and have only sifted a little through it since then, but it has totally changed my outlook, and I am so grateful for it.

So, back to literature. I just finished one of Waugh's books and it was good. Not my favorite, but it did give me plenty to think about and talk about with one of my friends down here once she reads it. I grew up loving Jane Austen, and still do, not only for her fairytale plots, but for her admiration for thoughtfulness and interior recollection. I also loved her pitting two ways of living against each other within the same social sphere. Two opportunities, if you will. One of being taken up with the tide and living a more or less superficial existence concentrated on what others think of you, the other being one that can work within that context, but where the characters are more true to themselves and others, and so, live in more fulfilled relationships. ( This reminds me of Blessed John Paul II explanation of living 'in relatio,' which I know I have mentioned once before. My loose summary of what he says is that we don't just have relationships as a part of our life. They ARE life, they define us, and make us human.)

If I am still holding your attention, you are a kindred spirit! :) My husband (who is so graciously making pancakes at the moment) introduced me to Tolstoy closer to the beginning of our marriage ( almost 8 years ago!). I did not like Anna Karenina the first couple of times I picked it up. It starts so very sad- with a heartless affair. So, I put it down. And once I decided to really give it a try, I was captivated by the reality of his characters' lives. He does a social critique much like Austen, but he also displays a real understanding of the human person, the fact that experiences affect us and that we all have shortcomings. He allows for compassion of his most troubled of characters, while still driving home the idea that selfish choices do not lead to happiness. Since Anna, War and Peace has become my favorite novel. Although I think his theory on war and how it happens is all nonsense ( and I have to finish a discussion of this with a friend because we are trying to make sure we understand exactly what he is saying to do the idea full justice), his commentary on life is beautiful. I especially find it helpful being a woman and having a daughter.

So, I am feeling more refreshed. Thank you for reading! And give Tolstoy a try, if you feel at all interested. There is a reason why the second person of the Trinity is the Word. Our minds are meant to be increasingly captivated and illumined, and I think there are some authors that can lead us closer to the beauty of the infinite.

Friday, May 4, 2012

a little inspiration from edith

Stein, that is. I must admit I still haven't gotten through her Woman: Collected Works. She is German. She is serious. And she fleshes her thoughts out seriously. I only read bits at a time. But, I had to share what I came across recently, for those of you who love good quotes ( A pastime of mine in college was collecting quotes. Normal? For me, yes.:) I'll let Edith take it from here. Have a wonderful weekend!

Her mission as mother relates closely to her mission as spouse, only here she must primarily care for the children and bring them to development ( This taken in isolation may make some uncomfortable. She advocates active fatherhood and also explores women working outside the home in other parts of her work.). She must guide and then gradually withdraw to attain, in face of the mature human being, the role of a companion. This demands, on the one hand, an even more refined gift of sympathy because it is necessary to comprehend the dispositions and faculties of which the young people themselves are as yet unaware; she has to feel her way towards that which wishes to become, but which as yet does not exist.

T-Shirt photo taken from

Thursday, May 3, 2012

what hat do you sport?

I thought it was time to add a personal touch. Here are our hats for the Summer, well, 3/4 of the year! I just love my husband's ( the blue-grey one), its a shame it is too small. HAHA! So, I am back to browsing. Wouldn't that have just been perfect? And at the right price. I hate to say goodbye to it...

Have a great day!