Tuesday, February 23, 2010


We totally pulled off a surprise party for my mom's 50th Birthday this past Sunday. With the help of the entire family we all pitched in, schemed and plotted to make sure everything went off without a hitch. I must say, I think it went pretty well. She was totally surprised and she really loved seeing and visiting with everyone, especially those who came in from out of town and who she hadn't seen in years.

She was so excited, she didn't sit down the entire night until only 2 of her friends remained. Even then as she was finally eating the dinner we had catered, she was still noticing the old pictures we had used as decorations and going on and on about how excited and surprised she was.

Thank you all who attended and made her day oh so special. She will never forget it! A very special thank you to all my friends who were so generous in giving their time to help out and let me borrow things. THANK YOU to both my sisters for helping make this party happen. Couldn't have done it without either one of you. Thank you Nana and Papa for everything and Mike for keeping her in the dark until the very last second!

Here are a few pics...

Please see my facebook page for more pictures.

Hope you loved it Mom!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dad!

My dad is the lucky father of 3 daughters. Fortunately, he has my brother and Larry to even things out, but nothing trumps a daughter!

With three daughters to support, my dad quickly climbed the ranks in the restaurant industry through an amazing dedication and determination to succeed. He definitely taught my sisters and I our work ethics that so many of our bosses have praised us for.

I remember walking home from school in the 5th grade when some horrible high school boys pulled up on their bikes and showed me some inappropriate pictures and said some really mean things to me. When I got home crying, I told my dad what had happened and he literally jumped in his car and started to hunt these boys down for making his little girl cry. He never found them, but when I remember that incident, I always remember what my dad did for me and I smile. Although he has slowly had to let go of his little girls, I know he'd get in his car and chase someone down even to this day, if I just asked him to.

He and my sister, Erika, live together. Which I think has worked out well for both of them, especially since John Patrick was born. My dad loves this baby! I was too young to remember how he interacted with Robbie and Amanda when they were babies, but let me tell you that I have never seen him gush over a baby like he does with his first grandson. And this boy loves his Papi! If my dad is in the room, John Patrick wants to be with my dad. It doesn't matter who else is there, if Papi is there, John Patrick wants to be in his arms. It really is so great to see the two of them together.

I have to say, that one of the most amazing things about my father is how he took in my brother. With all the dead-beat dads out there, it is a rare occasion when a man takes in a child as his own on his own free will. From the time that Robbie came into our lives when he was 6 weeks old, my dad believed his prayers of having a boy were answered. My brother has told me on numerous occasions how blessed he is that God put dad in his life, and I know that my father feels the same about him. My dad has made sure that Robbie has always been taken care of and truly, without a doubt considers him his son. They share a special bond that only a father and a son share.

My dad is one of the most generous people I know. He never forgets a birthday and is always willing to give whether it be monetarily or with his time or excellent cooking skills! He loves a good party and having a good time. Whenever anyone in the family is looking for something to do, we always call him. He is always willing to host a family get together, even at the last minute.

Thank you Daddy for being there for all of us. We all know that we can always come to you if we ever need anything. Thank you for being such a great friend and dad! I am so thankful for you!

Happy 40th Birthday, Daddy! I love you!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy "Big" Birthday, Mom!

My mom is definitely one in a million. If you have met her, you know this already. If you haven't met her, it just takes one time, and you too, will know that Sieglinde is not your ordinary person.

The first thing you notice about her is definitely her smile! I used to always say that her teeth were perfect like Sebastian in The Little Mermaid. She absolutely brightens a room whenever she walks in, and just FYI, if she's not smiling something is wrong - really wrong! I can't tell you how many times, even to this day, people have thought she was my older sister. It used to annoy me beyond measure when I was in elementary school, but now I think - hey, if that's what I'm going to look like in 20 years, it's not a bad thing at all!

After you've barely had a chance to distract yourself from her smile, she's most likely already got you locked in a hug. If she kisses you on the cheek, don't worry, she isn't making a move on you, and no, you're not special, she does that to everyone! She genuinely loves people and it doesn't take long for her to warm up to anyone.

Which brings me to my next Sieglinde-quality. She is NOT shy! She very well may be the most outgoing person I know. Unfortunately, I did not get that gene. She absolutely loves the spotlight, and I must add, the spotlight loves her! She can entice a crowd in moments with her quirkiness and she is NEVER at a loss for words! As a matter of fact, she has more things to say than can physically come out of her mouth in a logical and understandable manner. She talks so fast, that often I have to ask her to slow down. What I still find so hilarious, even to this day, is when she flips from English to Spanish in the middle of a story. I have gotten so used to it, I don't even think about it, that is until she does it to someone who doesn't speak Spanish and I see the look of utter confusion on their face. When brought up to her attention, she is usually confused herself as she doesn't even realize when it happens.

There is no doubt that I got my love of kids from my mother. She adores kids and they adore her. She started babysitting when I was 2 years old, and I'm pretty sure she did it simply because she loved having the kids around - the extra money was just an added bonus. As a matter of fact, my brother, Robbie, is in our lives as a direct result of her love of children. She started babysitting Robbie when he was 6 weeks old. He was at our house from before 6 am to about 6 pm everyday for the first 10 years of his life and she literally took him as another one of her children. In addition to my two sisters, my brother and I, she has opened her heart to her husband, Mike's, four boys, and has also taken them as her own. Even with 8 children of her own, and a grandson she melts over, she still has a heart of gold that seems to be overflowing with love to give out!

It is amazing to me that I am almost 30 years old and I still "want my mami" whenever I get sick. And don't think for one second that I'm taking advantage of the fact that she would drop everything to make me my favorite soup if I'm not feeling well, she loves it. She is so caring and selfless that she loves nothing more than to help people. And its not just her family she loves to help, if anyone needs anything that she is able to do, give or provide she'll do it.

My mother has taught me so many things. She taught me manners and being polite go a long way, it always helps your chances of getting something if you just say "please" first. She taught me responsibility and discipline that I will without a doubt be teaching any future children of mine. She taught me to strive for greatness and never do things without giving 100%, if it wasn't amazing, that was okay, as long as I gave it my very best try. She taught me that honesty is the best policy, even if it means you are going to get in trouble, and she taught me that simply saying "I'm sorry" can get you out of lots of trouble!

I could go on and on about my mom, but in a nutshell, she's amazing.

Mom, I love you so much. Thank you for all that you've taught me and for always being there.
Happy Birthday!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Love

Today is another Valentine's Day with the love of my life. The 13th one, actually. Honestly, sometimes I can hardly believe we have been together that long. I am constantly learning new things about him, and each day, even on the hard days, I really do love him more than the day before.

Larry makes me happier than I could ever have imagined. He can totally make me laugh like no other. He is truly gifted in being funny and I often find myself just thinking of something he said or did and literally laughing out loud. He is, by far, the funniest person I know which is absolutely wonderful for the marriage. I can't imagine going through life without laughing, especially after the rough year we've had with my health and the accident, it really is the best medicine. If you've ever heard me say that the only reason we are still married is because how much he makes me laugh, that is a little bit of an exaggeration. I think we'd still be married, just definitely not as happy.

We don't anticipate or expect gifts on Valentine's Day. We did gifts for a long time, and now the fact that we are still together and still in love more than ever is gift enough for me. He has bought me one store bought card in all the years we've been together that I can remember, but I can show you the most beautiful things he has hand written me on food tickets (when he used to be a waiter) and notebook paper.

I can't imagine that its easy to love or live with me. I work on being a better person daily. I am so grateful that he is willing to stick by me while I work on me.

Babe, I love you so much. Thank you for being my own personal comedian when I need to laugh, my handyman when I need anything in my life to be fixed, my muscle when I need to be carried, my nurse when I am sick, my rock when things in life aren't good, a shoulder when I need to cry, my best friend when I need to have a good time, my lover when I need to be held and my soul mate when I need someone who just gets me. You are truly amazing.

Happy Valentine's Day.