The Queen: Michelle

The Queen: Michelle
I am 28 years old. Still a princess but the queen of my family. Spoiled beyond belief. Lucky and truely blessed. A lover. A crafter. A mother. A wife. A friend. This is me.

My King: Junior

My King: Junior
The LOVE of my life! He completes me and balances me out in every way. He's a workaholic. He's loud, blunt, and crazy. He drinks Monsters like his life depends on it. Above all he is the greatest Daddy I could ever ask for, for my children. And he treats me like his Queen (and he calls me that too).

The Model Child: Diego Ray

The Model Child: Diego Ray
9 years old. My only boy. He is the epitome of the perfect child. He is so responsible and independent. Wise beyond his years. He is laughter, he is love, he is compassion, he is simply amazing. He keeps me grounded and reminds me always that I am beautiful. He is a natural born leader and takes care of the household and family better than me!

The Diva: Alayna Danae

The Diva: Alayna Danae
7 years old. She is drama. My fashionista for sure with a style all her own. Sensitive and loving when she wants to be. Thumbsucker. My biggest headache because she is the most like me. She is the only one who can cause me to become uncontrollably angry. She loves to dance. She loves to model. My bookworm and most academic.

The Wild Child: Arielle Marie-Grace

The Wild Child: Arielle Marie-Grace
4 years old. This one is something else. She is pure comedy. Never a dull moment with her crazy antics. She is also the crybaby. She does things her own way. She knows what she wants and isn't afraid to be cute to get it. My Disney loving pal. So girly. Her favorite color is pink. Loves Rapunzel. Will wear a dress every single day. Can't leave the house without a bow in her hair. She refuses.

The Munchkin: Atalie Belle

The Munchkin: Atalie Belle
2 years old. My sweet baby. She loves her Mommy above all else. She is a cuddlebug for sure. The calmest most well behaved baby ever! But she has TONS of energy. She is so small and petite. She loves to sing and dance. She so SO ready for ballet and has yet to even step foot in a class. She loves Minnie Mouse and watching Disney Jr. She is hilarious and talks way too much.
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Thursday, January 12, 2012


I hate talking Religion. I really really do. And I gotta say this video that my cousin posted on Facebook perfectly explains my point. If I could put into words and tell you exactly how I feel, this video would be exactly what I would say.

*Watch the Video first

There was some debate on FB about it but I refrained from commenting even though I really just wanted to bust out and explain what I think. And now a day later I feel like I need to write down my thoughts for my own self.

Let me preface this by telling you my journey. Which is probably in many ways or another similar to that of this man in the video.

I am Catholic. This I know. This I am sure about.

I was baptized into this religion. Baptism means our parents and Godparents will guide us into this faith. Teach us about it. And model it for us. So this foundation was set upon me. All I could do was grow from there. I never remember my parents being my models for my religion but I knew this is what they believed and this is what they followed. On the other hand my Abuelita and Abuelito were the two most influential people in my life when it came to knowing my faith and understanding my religion. I did learn the rules. I learned the prayers. I learned the commandments and what was right and wrong. You go to church on Sundays. For most of my childhood my parents didn't attend church regularly. There were times they did and we all went but for the most part my sister and I attended with our Abuelitos. It was boring, we didn't understand, but even through all that I listened and paid attention. What my parents did do was enroll us into catechism classes and it was there we learned the bible. We learned our faith. And I began to learn how much Jesus loves us. How much God loves. And how much in turn I loved Him. And I continued on this path of learning and growing and I enjoyed it very much. I was blessed to have these wonderful catechism teacher and my Grandparents to be there whenever I had a question or needed some understanding.

When I was 16 I had my confirmation. Confirmation, to confirm my faith and everything that had been taught to me since I was a little girl. Up until this point I knew I did want to be a Catholic person. Someone who would eventually be saved and could join Him when my time came. And in order to do this I had to believe. I had to believe and do everything in my power to be a good person, the person that God planned me to be. I accepted this and agreed to continue on my journey to grow and learn even more what my faith was about. Because I did have faith. And I chose this without the push of my parents or anyone, but with the foundation they gave me as my platform. And I continued on to become a leader for the next years Conformation students. I did this for 2 years. And I loved it. I loved teaching them what I knew and loved learning things I didn't.

Fast forward a year. Due to poor choices I became pregnant. And through the first few months I still maintained my place in the church. I still went regularly, I still helped lead the confirmation classes, and even more I looked for guidance in the words of the bible. I knew it was going to be a challenge and tried to understand it all with the help of my church. But that's not what happened. Instead for the most part, (there were a handful of fantastic people who became my only support throughout this time besides my parents) I was looked down upon. I was out casted. And then I decided to go to confession. I knew what I did was wrong and not of the way it was taught to me. I had a great relationship with the priest at that time and talked about it. He made it clear to me that sinning did not make me a bad person. It made me human. If I was truly sorry for my sin I would be forgiven. The act of going to confession was to be truly sorry and have the intention of not committing sin again. But to live life according to God's plan. And that is what I tried to do. But regardless I took a year off of church because it got to the point that I felt like I was a horrible person for being there. I was treated like I committed a sin and it would stick with me forever and no matter how I tried to right that sin it would never be right.

And my journey in the church life came to an end. Soon after my husband and I started taking classes to be married in the church. And with each and every class we took (we were the youngest couple and the only ones who already had children, 2 at that point) we were out casted further. And constantly questioned indirectly if we should really be getting married through the church. My husband who believe is God and believes in Jesus but has never liked the idea of organized religion. I tried so hard to see it his way but I was taught and raised differently so in my mind I thought there was no other way to do things than the way the church has told us. Even though as much as I tried to get back on track and kept getting knocked down by older adults at church who looked down upon me. I could tell each class would make him more and more uncomfortable and honestly it was doing the same for me. Weren't these the people who should be teaching us and helping us to live our life in accordance to the rules set before us? It made no sense to me. And then one day it did.

It was then that I realized I knew who I was and that I was a good person. I knew that God had forgiven me. I also knew that I may fall back into temptation again but as long as I followed him and continued to try that I was doing just what he wanted of me. And it was then that I decided I didn't want to marry in the church. And we quit. I never went back after that. I felt defeated. And I felt like I was losing my faith. I had so many questions... Why would God make it this impossible to get married and try and fix my life and put it back onto the path that he wanted me to? And that's when I realized it wasn't God. My faith in him had never wavered. But it was the church. The people who walked around like they were better than me and ran the show. It was them who I lost my faith in. It was the church who said, do EXACTLY as we say or else you're wrong.

And that's why I completely understand and agree with this video. I believe the guy could say he was also in a similar position. Putting on a front. Would it be better to go to church every Sunday when everyone can see but commit sin every other day of the week in hiding? I love when he said he doesn't have to hide his sins. Because that what I felt I wasn't doing. Yes I sinned, and yes it was wrong, but I was there to correct it and to learn and move on.

It wasn't until about a year ago when I finally came to a realization. I love my religion and I love being Catholic. But I disliked the church. In the video my favorite line has got to be, "It's not a museum for the good people, it's a hospital for the broken" I believe that's what it should have been for me. A hospital to build me back up not continue to doubt myself and tear me down. Denying the church is not denying God. God knows we're not perfect but the church expects us to be?

With all this said, I did take a step a few weeks ago to register as a member of my church once again. Because through it all and with everything aside it is the foundation of it's teachings that I want my children to learn. I have an almost 9 year old, and he being the oldest, still has no concept of the religion I baptized him into. And I alone cannot answer all his questions. He needs to be taught, as well as my girls, what being a Catholic is all about. And what God did by sending Jesus to us. I hope that all these years later the church can finally show me the acceptance that I always felt I didn't have and then maybe... I can continue to grow and expand once again.

Wish me luck.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Date Night & Encanto Park

I was having a bad first week in the new year. Just a lot of things piled up on my plate at once. So Friday night my husband asked me out on a date.

We headed to BJ's Restaurant for dinner. I had never been but my husband had been a couple times before and he loves the Beignet dessert they have there.

I ordered this grilled chicken sandwich with avocado, bacon, on a parmesan grilled sourdough bread. It was delicious! And I got the really skinny fries and they were so good. I also ordered the homemade mac and cheese and it was so much food we took most of it home. Of course for dessert we ordered the beignets and they were HEAVEN! Mmm!

Afterward we went to the movies and finally watched Breaking Dawn! It was a good night with my love :)

The next morning we woke up and I decided that we should head over to Enchanted Island at Encanto Park. The husband and I used to take the kiddos to Encanto park all the time when they were little (Diego and Alayna) and ever since we had Arielle and Atalie we haven't even been back. Plus I had bought one of the deals they put on groupon back in August and still hadn't used!

The kids were completely surprised when we pulled up because they had no idea we were going. I never tell them ahead of time when we are going somewhere. I don't like them to be disappointed when plans fall through.

The weather was perfect! And I enjoyed SOOO much spending some time with my family with no stress and just having tons of fun together.

We started off by eating some lunch and filling them up with sugar churros.

Mid-meal we saw Pete the Parrot walking and the kids wanted a picture... but Arielle would NOT go anywhere near him.

Jr decided to get the kids faces painted and they thought it was the most awesome things! LOL Oh the simple joys!

Then it was on to ride the rides. I think it is hilarious that they have all of like 10 kiddie rides there and my kids were having a blast haha! There was even one ride that Diego was too "tall" to get on! I usually have a problem with my kids being too short.

They lasted a few hours running around riding the rides over and over and then we decided to head over to the train for our last ride.

Seriously my day couldn't have been more perfect! I was a happy girl :)

Jr thought it would be afun to walk around the park and take the kids over to the playground... so that's what we did.

Lastly, we stopped to feed the ducks. This was my favorite picture from the entire day... my whole world in one photo. Perfection.

In the famous words of Ice Cube "Today was a good day"

(Well except for when I got home and my brother said, "Quick call the cops... someone stole my sister's ass!)

And a game of Monopoly U-build as a family before heading to bed.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

It's 2012!

New Years Eve was a very kick back day. My kids an I were alone just us for most of the day. This is the first time this has happened for about two months. During the week I have 6 or 7 kids depending on the day... and on the weekends I have 8 kids in my care. It's been insane around here! And it was such a quite relaxing day. I kept getting up thinking "I should be cleaning..." "I should be folding the piles of laundry..." "My floors need mopping badly!" But instead I sat around all day with all 4 of my kids on one couch watching movies and looking at books with Atalie who doesn't have an attention span for a movie but LOVES books. It felt good actually. So instead I just savored the day.

And I even had time to do my girl's hair all pretty. They chose the styles and we had fun curling their hair.

But about 5:30pm my brother arrived home from work with his 4 kids in tow. So while they played I got ready for the evening.

My husband decided we should have date night since my brother agreed to watch our kids. And I got a GC for Olive Garden (my favorite restraunt) from my Bestie Tiffany (Thanks!) for Christmas so it was perfect!

It was nice to have some alone time away from a million kids with just my Hubby.

We got to talk about what we wanted to accomplish in 2012. And I am glad to know we are totally on the same page :)

We got home around 10:45pm and hung around waiting for midnight watching the different New Years Eve specials on TV. 2 minutes before midnight me and Jr woke up Diego and Alayna who had just fallen asleep about 5 minutes before... and joined my brother and my 2 nieces who were also falling asleep in the living room for the countdown. We cheered quietly because both babies and both 3 year olds were asleep (oh wait Juanito is 4 not 3 oops!). Hugs were exchanged between all of us and we were all off to bed. Party animals right?!

This morning I slept in. Thanks Hubby for always holding down the fort for me! And once I got up we all got ready and got the kiddies ready to head to the park.

My husband's new resolution is to spend lots of extra alone time with our son. My husband works soooo much and come home late and tired that he tries to devote a lot of time to the kids once he is here. But splitting himself 4 ways... and then adding me into the mix after work is not easy. Diego misses him more than anyone and he tells him all the time. The girls love their Daddy but they don't need the one on one time that Diego craves. So today he took Diego to buy a football and they played in the park a few hours while I had the 3 girls on the playground. Nothing makes me happier than to see my husband making the effort to make sure our only boy feels special. And to see my son with a smile on his face after 2 hours of uninterrupted time with his Daddy is priceless :)

As for me and the girls... we had a blast on the playground. Atalie loves the slides!

Afterward, my Daddy invited us to his house for a carne asada. His fiance Abby is in town for the weekend so we spent the rest of the day with them.

It's always a great time with my looney familia!