Friday, September 24, 2010

Bianca's First Day of School

My cousin, Bianca, just started Pre-School at Rylander Elementary last month, and there is absolutely NOTHING that could have stopped me from seeing her and taking pictures before her big day.  That morning I got up earlier than I ever thought possible, got ready for work and left to go see her off.  My aunt and I got both girls up and got them fed, dressed and hair done and we left to go take her to school.  The traffic was unbelievable (they live about 3 blocks from the school), so we parked at the neighborhood pool and walked the rest of the way.  We took pictures outside of the school and my aunt and uncle were gracious enough to let me join them walking her to class.  So, the three of us (along with Alexis) walked her to her class and helped her find her chair, and when we left her, who do you think was the one crying?  Bianca?  Nope.  Me.  I was so excited for her, but it really hit me how much she is growing up!  I'll definitely treasure these times that I have with her where she still wants me to sing to her and she calls me to come over and play.  She loves her class, loves her teachers, is learning more than I ever thought imaginable, and has so much fun every day.  And that was all that we were ever hoping for!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Last month I turned 30. T-H-I-R-T-Y years old. Not much exciting to look forward to when you turn 30. I was so excited to turn 15 so that I could go to Drivers’ Ed, 16 so I could get my Drivers’ License, 18 so I could buy lottery tickets and vote, 21 so I could go to the casino (I wasn’t interested in drinking back then) and 25 so I could rent a car on my own. And what do I get when I turn 30? My manicurist guessing that I was turning 35 years old and an employee at the liquor store asking for a guy’s ID to be sure he was old enough to be in the store by himself and not even giving me a second glance! I’m going to have to start using Oil of Olay!

For my 30th, my sweet family decided to throw me a surprise party. They successfully decided on the location and theme and had many, many friends in on it…and then…I.found.out. I know what you’re thinking, but I swear that I didn’t mean to find out! I was the victim! I knew for weeks before I even mentioned anything to my sister, then she tried to lead me astray and I tried so hard to forget what I had seen and what I suspected, but I would randomly think about it (like while pumping gas) and I couldn’t let it go. Sure, the surprise would have been great, BUT like I told my mom and sister, finding out only meant that I got the opportunity to be excited about the party for weeks instead of only being excited during the party.

So, the BEST thing about the party was the theme – Twilight. My friend (who I won’t name in case she wants to keep her anonymity, but you all know who it is) and I are semi-Twilight fanatics. I say “semi” because most everyone knows that we love Twilight, and we know we are crazy, but it’s not like we’re losing our jobs or our marriages (as some people reportedly have) over our obsession. Yes, we have read all the books (some more than once) and we have seen the movies multiple times, and yes, we have conversations about the characters as if they are real people, but really, we’re not that crazy! So, the theme was great! My mom and Amanda had apples to represent Twilight, feathers with “blood” on them for New Moon, red ribbon in vases for Eclipse and hand painted chess boards with chess pieces for Breaking Dawn. VERY CLEVER!

There were Twilight posters all over the room and a life-size cut-out of Edward that even got taken out on the dance floor a couple of times (and not by me!). The room was gorgeous!

My dad made the food, which was delicious, and there was a cash bar (I had free drinks all night thanks to my sister!). My sister also did an amazing (and sometimes embarrassing) slideshow. Then there was music and dancing, an encore of the dance Amanda and Robbie did of Grease at my wedding and an impromptu comedic act when our friend, Jason, had his turn with the microphone.

As if it wasn’t bad enough that I spoiled the whole surprise party surprise, there was another surprise I managed to, again unintentionally, spoil. Larry had to leave early to help my dad with taking the food to the location and I wasn’t ready to go yet, so I called my friend, Lynette, to see if she could pick me up on her way. I frantically got dressed and to my surprise was ready right about the time she was supposed to pick me up. With nothing to do but wait, I headed to check Facebook out for the first time that day. What’s the first thing I see? A picture of our friends, Jeff & Berdie, wearing matching “Team Edward” and “Team Jacob” shirts! Obviously, Jeff doesn’t always go around sporting a Team Jacob shirt, and I knew they were both coming to the party, so it only took me a second to figure out that was another surprised I had ruined! If you ever read this Lynette…I LOVE the shirts! Thank you so much!

Even after ruining two surprises, I had a fabulous time! I saw friends that I don’t get to see very often and even had some party crashers!

I want to thank everyone who had any part with the party! Those that planned, decorated, cooked, set up, attended, helped clean up – each one of you made the night one that I will never forget! I love you all!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy REALLY Belated Birthday Robbie!!

Robbie, I started writing this post before your birthday, and just haven’t found the time to blog at all since then. Just wanted to let you know that I didn’t forget you and I love you very much! Sorry it’s so late!!

Many of you don’t know my brother, Robbie. Let me first say that God definitely had his hand in bringing him into our lives so long ago. 23 years ago, when Robbie was just 6 weeks old, Robbie’s mom, Tomi, saw a notice on the church bulletin about a woman who babysat kids in her home. After just one meeting with my mom, Tomi was convinced she had found the right person to watch her baby. From that point on, he was at our house from 6 am – 6 pm, Monday through Friday until he was ten years old.

He instantly became part of our family. My mom spoke to him in Spanish (sometimes Tomi would have to call and ask us what he was asking for), and he grew up calling my mom “Mami” and my dad “Papi”. My dad had always wanted a son, and with Robbie’s father not in the picture, he was able to step in and he and my brother have a great bond. I know now that this was all part of God’s amazing plan for my brother. As a little boy, Robbie even had an explanation for how he fit into our family and when people asked him where he was born, he would say “In Venezuela at HEB on Highway 6 next to the apples”.

With 4 older sisters (Amanda is 3 months older than him) and an older brother, Robbie sure did have a lot of people bossing him around when he was younger (he might argue that he STILL has a lot of people bossing him around), but he isn’t bitter about it. He has the most giving spirit of anyone I know. He is truly selfless. Growing up he would do anything asked of him, and that hasn’t changed a bit over the years.

Robbie is an actor. He has been “acting” ever since he learned to walk and talk and let me tell you, he is hilarious! I am not exaggerating when I tell you that he has made me laugh so hard that my stomach hurts over a message he left on our answering machine. He currently participates in plays in the San Antonio area, but I have no doubt that he WILL make it to Los Angeles or New York one day. 

Robbie & Amanda dancing to Grease at my birthday party

Robbie had the privilege (or some might say the misfortune) of being my other baby along with Amanda. He was always so sweet and would keep me company whenever I needed it. He’s the best person to sing a duet with in the car, the most awesome person to have a cleaning party with and the most amazing person to have pray with you.

Robbie, I am so proud of the man you have become. You have never used situations in your life as excuses, but have learned from them and grown into a strong yet compassionate man. I thank God that he has given me you as my brother, you are absolutely the perfect choice!