31 May 2014

One Little Word: May Edition

Another month has come and gone, and my One Little Word for this year is still front and center in my mind. Sometimes I think that God chose this word for me, because I am not really a fan of this word. I don't really like how it makes me uncomfortable and makes me do things, rather than just talk about them. I think God is tired of listening to me complain and of listening to Hector and I argue.
The theme for this month, besides being brave was "I AM". The class prompt was to come up with a bunch of "I AM" statements. I put this prompt off until two days ago: I didn't think about it, go on the class website or Facebook group, or even open my One Little Word scrapbook until Thursday afternoon this week. I didn't want to do this prompt. And there are several reasons for this:
  • The idea was to do some messy, artsy, art journaling stuff with these "I AM" statements. I used to like getting messy, but right now, I am just not in the mood. I want everything clean, streamlined, and simple. Getting messy means getting personal with the colors and putting my feelings into your artwork. I haven't painted on canvas in a year, let alone done any art journaling. I just don't want to feel all of the feels right now.
  • I don't like "I AM" statements. I think they make me feel like I am permanently a certain way. I barely know who I am; how can I come up with definitions for me?
  • The word BRAVE and I are having a battle right now. I want to shrink back into my scared existence, and BRAVE is nudgingyanking me out of my comfort zone. I am not very happy about this. 
But, I figured, I needed to blog about this, so I should pull out my paints and get started. I was going to take pictures of my creative process and everything, but my camera didn't want to work, so I said screw it. I found some old patterned paper from Glitz Design that I've had in my stash since 2009. Yes, I know. I poured some white acrylic over it, and then stamped, with paint, some flower/sunburst designs. I let it dry, and cut the cards to fit into the baseball card holder. 

I still didn't know what I was going to put on the cards, so I began to read through my blog posts from the last couple of months. I didn't have a lot to say about myself and some of the I AM statements are more temporary than permanent statements about my character and personality. Those I am still trying to figure out. 

I took a black sharpie and wrote down the statements. I knew that black would stand out on the background and I don't have any other colors or markers that can write on paint. I didn't know how I was going to go about putting on the "I AM"; I don't have letter stamps (I thought) and I don't have enough coordinating letter stickers anymore. I was digging around the house and I found an old box, full of really old foam letter stamps from a company called Making Memories. These are so old I couldn't even find them on eBay, sorry. It was sort of a miracle that I found these, so I used them and maroon ink from Studio G to stamp on the I AM's. I also used the ink to color the edges of each card. I like the result, even if I didn't want to do this prompt artistically. 

My "I AM" statements were almost all pulled directly from blog posts written lately:
Here is a look at the whole page in my One Little Word album:

Right now, I am struggling. I am fighting. I know what I need to do, but I am battling myself because I am my own worst enemy. Last year it was just before I was set to move that I backed out on Hector and forced my kids to suffer for another year without their dad. I don't want to do that again, but I really feel myself fighting to stay here and keep my life status quo. Unfortunately, status quo isn't brave, so it has to go!

One Little Word is an online class led by Ali Edwards. She encourages participants to choose one word to incorporate into their lives throughout the year, in lieu of New Year's Resolutions. This is my sixth year choosing a word and my second year participating in the class. I will share my One Little Word updates monthly throughout 2014.

30 May 2014

Trusting Divine Providence

Our Lady, Mother of Divine Providence
Welcome to Faith Fridays here on Mars! On Fridays on the blog, I share a post celebrating my Catholic Faith. Thank you for joining me here! 

What is Divine Providence? I've basically come to understand that this is God's will for us on Earth. According to my go-to Wikipedia, Divine Providence is also another name for God. It's a subject I know practically NOTHING about. How can I know about all of the Lord's plans for this planet? For each individual person? I can't, nor would I ever want to. That is a job for the Almighty.

So, why am I writing about a subject I know so little about? Because I felt moved to do so.

I am about to undertake the scariest thing I have ever done in my entire life. I am moving away from home. Not only am I moving out from the comfort of my parent's home, I am moving to a foreign country. Not only am I moving to a foreign country, but a "Third World Country" where water sometimes gets shut off and I have to hang my clothes out to dry. I'm applying for jobs like crazy, but I have yet to have anything pan out for me. To say I'm nervous and terrified would be an understatement. I'm losing sleep over this move.

More than one person has asked me why I don't just stay here in Portland until something else better comes up. My answer is this: I've been waiting three years for something better to come up, and nothing has. How much longer do my children go without having a father? How much longer do I have to live without my husband? I have been let down and hurt before. Everyone on this planet has been disappointed before. It's hard to trust someone after that confidence has been destroyed. You constantly over think the other person's actions; you spend your energy protecting yourself. Sometimes I think that I've been let down by Providence. Sometimes I think that God is out to punish me for my sins; that it is my place to suffer simply for God's enjoyment. I know rationally that is not the case, but that is how my mind works.

I cannot think like that in Mexico, or about this move. This is all a part of God's plan. There was a reason that Hector ended up right where he did. This is how it is supposed to work out, but when we are so busy blaming God for life not being fair, you just can't see it. The Scripture says:
"And we know that to them that love God all things work together for good, even to them that are called according to his purpose." -Romans 8:28
It doesn't some "somethings" or "the well-thought out and prepared for things"; it says "ALL THINGS". God will take care of us if we continue to live our lives for Him, no matter our circumstances or problems. Matthew 6:31-33 says:
 31 Be not therefore anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?32 For after all these things do the Gentiles seek; for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.33 But seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
It's right there. God promises these things to us. So today, I'm abandoning my plans. Yes, my Bucket List will still exist, those are still things I'd love to do, if God wills them. By plans I mean, my way of doing things. I'm putting God in control of my move, in control of my life, and in control of our family. Let His will be done in my life and in my family.

There is a prayer I found on Catholic Online by St. Jane Frances de Chantal. It is more of a poem, and it is a total abandonment to the holy will of God:

O sovereign goodness of the sovereign Providence of my God! 

I abandon myself forever to Thy arms. 
Whether gentle or severe, 
lead me henceforth whither Thou wilt; 
I will not regard the way through which Thou wilt have me pass, 
but keep my eyes fixed upon Thee,
my God, who guidest me. 
My soul finds no rest without the arms 
and the bosom of this heavenly Providence, 
my true Mother, my strength and my rampart. 

Therefore I resolve with Thy Divine assistance, 
0 my Saviour, 
to follow Thy desires and Thy ordinances, 
without regarding or examining why Thou dost this rather than that; 
but I will blindly follow Thee 
according to Thy Divine will, 
without seeking my own inclinations. 

Hence I am determined to leave all to Thee, 
taking no part therein save by keeping myself in peace in Thy arms, 
desiring nothing except as Thou incitest me to desire, 
to will, to wish. 
I offer Thee this desire, 0 my God, 
beseeching Thee to bless it; 
I undertake all it includes, 
relying on Thy goodness, 
liberality, and mercy, 
with entire confidence in Thee, 
distrust of myself, 
and knowledge of my infinite misery and infirmity. 


29 May 2014

My Happy(?) Place

There is a place in Portland that will forever be my happy place: it is my home. More importantly, it is my backyard:
I have lived in the same house almost my entire life. This back yard is my happy place. I built snowmen in the winters; in the summer of 1995(?) my parents put in this old, creaky swing set that I wouldn't let my kids play on. My mom hosted numerous birthday parties for my brother and I (we share a birthday). I built forts in this yard, went "camping" in this yard, and when I had my own children, they have had much of the same experience with this same yard.

The place has changed over the years. The basketball hoop came down several years ago. We cut down the obnoxious plum tree. The patio that Hector and I used to host countless barbecues on is now full of raised planter boxes and flower pots. 

But laying in the grass of this yard, I am filled with such a peace that I cannot explain. How many times have I done this and taken it for granted? Was I not aware that someday I would leave this place? All I ever did was dream about moving out and moving away; now it is here, and I just want to hang onto this place a little more. I want to feel the lush green under my feet and listen to the trees rustle with the high breezes. 

This is not going to happen in Mexico. There is no yard at the apartment; there is no grass, just a few small cacti and succulents Hector bought me to try and make me feel better. There is no where for me to lay out a blanket in the shade and watch the clouds roll by. If I try to lay on the patio in Tijuana, I am going to cook to death in the sun. I have 18 more afternoons to lay in my backyard; then it will be no more. I won't get to pick the strawberries from their plants. The green beans will reach for the sky and I won't be there to pluck them from their vines. My irises are going to fade and they will bloom next year, but I won't see their purple buds anymore. The daisies that I loved to photograph Cecilia with since she was a baby are going to continue without us.

I wish I had never taken a single day of my life here in this house for granted; I never knew that getting what I always wanted would hurt this much. My personal life motto is: "Life Goes On". To me it has always represented life continuing no matter the hurt, that I would go on. But this time, life going on IS what is causing the hurt. This place will continue to have it own life, and so will I. It will just be two separate lives.

28 May 2014

The Scrub Life

I never set out to be a CNA. I really wanted to be an archaeologist. That was my first real career aspiration that I ever had. It sort went by the wayside as my years increased, but I will always consider that my first "life goal". Nursing was never on my radar. I have never really liked blood or gore or needles.

When Cecilia was born, that is when I really discovered what I thought I wanted to do: lactation consultant. Until I realized you needed to be a nurse to do that. Then I thought about being a midwife; also requires a bachelor's degree in Nursing (at least). So, I went to college. I attended the local junior college and tried to get into nursing. I took all of the nursing prerequisites, and then some extras, including medical terminology, microbiology (really considered jumping away from nursing after THIS class; it was fascinating!), and statistics. I wanted to be the best of the best- I wanted my nursing school application to stand out. It's not that I really wanted to be a "nurse". I wanted more of a nurse "desk job" where I didn't really have a lot of exposure to blood, guts, and gore. The nursing home wasn't even on my radar, except that faint little line that asked if I had any CNA experience; that was going to be a problem.

When my applications for nursing school were rejected, I focused on becoming a CNA. I figured that THEN, maybe, my applications would be accepted. I just needed a little bit of experience. When Isaias was 5 months old, my parents helped me spring for CNA school. I almost didn't finish; Hector and I were having problems and my post-partum depression was eating my alive. My dad had just gotten out of a rehab facility, and it was all a lot for me to process. My CNA instructor told me to come back when I was more put together; I finished the class and clinicals, just barely. On my last day of clinicals, Hector was arrested.

I dove into work. I put my CNA boards off for a couple of months. I cleared my head. I figured it all out. I took the boards in July, license was approved in September of 2011. I was working in an assisted living home; not a CNA job, but it wasn't bad. I worked there through the winter until March, when I took another CNA class. I needed to do something with my license. A month later, I was working at my current job.

I never really stayed in one job long enough to find my place where I fit in like I have at this current job. I have made friends, learned about being a CNA, been mentored and have been a mentor. I have worked every shift, worked doubles, worked my days off, had favorite patients, watched my favorite patients pass on and watched my favorite patients go home. I have seen staffing shortages, dealt with state inspections, and I learned to control my emotions and thoughts. I also learned to grow a backbone, to stand up for myself, to not let myself get walked all over and treated like garbage. It was at this current job I learned to use my voice. I never saw myself working in geriatrics. Now I cannot see myself working anywhere else. There is nothing like helping those who cannot help themselves. There is so much to learn. I have learned patience and how to recognize the dignity of Jesus in everyone, even those I don't like so well. I have learned to work with people I don't like so well. I think I've handled it well.

Today I am putting in my notice. I am sad to leave my patients. I have spent 2 years of my life caring for them day in and day out. I know their routines, how they like their coffee, their names, their kids' names, their favorite colors. I know these people like they were my own family; some of them have become family. I am going to miss getting up and putting my scrubs on. I never meant to find myself working as a CNA, but I think I was called to work there. I have a place where I belong there. I just hope I can find the same wherever I may end up.

And yes, I have learned to love wound care and guts, but no one better puke on me!

27 May 2014

Project Life Tuesday: Weeks 19-21

Welcome to Project Life Tuesday here at Life On Mars...I Mean TJ! I have been busy playing catch-up here on my Project Life album- I just got the last three weeks done! 

Week Nineteen:

There wasn't a lot going on for most of the week until Friday, when Cecilia and I left for the Oregon Coast with her Girl Scout troop. I did an insert using the Design G page protector. I also made photo collages because I took SO many pictures over the weekend. Cecilia collects smashed pennies, so I added hers from the trip right into the photo pockets using just glue; I don't know if they will ruin the pictures, but for now they are fine right where they are. 
On the left-hand side, I actually used the only pictures I had taken that week. One of Cecilia and her classmate, and the other 4 are from her Girl Scout meeting on Thursday. After the meeting, I had to iron on all of her new badges that she has been working so hard on.

Front of the insert

Back of the insert, including our visit to Our Lady of Victory Parish

This last page of the spread was a puzzle for me. I originally wanted to get a 12x12 photo, but with my phone, all of my pictures were too low-resolution. So, I printed out this picture and glued it to a piece of old patterned paper I found. I glued some PL cards around the picture for journaling and to tie the page in with the rest of the layout, because the paper is NOT from Becky Higgins. In fact, I don't even know how old this paper is; it's been sitting around since forever.

Week Twenty:
Week Twenty was another week of not having a lot to say. I was sad that my weekend at the Coast was over, but glad to be home. Cecilia had her school carnival. Hector sent me these great pictures of Isaias (I MISS HIM SO MUCH!). 
Left side

Right side

Week Twenty-One:
For Week Twenty-One, I really struggled with photos. I pre-chose a page protector from the Just Add Color kit (unavailble) and I just struggled to fill in the pages. I took some random pictures Sunday night, including the one of my dad's glasses. I also used some images from Facebook and quizzes, including my Renegade Time Lord Name. I used cards from the Turquoise Edition of Project Life, the kit I use for Isaias' album, simply because I thought the green, blue, and brown blended well with the Rain Core edition kit.
Left side

Right side
Of course I added in the Boil Water Order we Portlanders were subjected to over the weekend. The bottom card was posted on my personal Facebook page by Hector. Here is the original image:

I hope that I can remember this quote when I get freaked out! Thanks for stopping by!

Project Life is a memory keeping system designed by Becky Higgins. All products are available on Becky's website or on Amazon.com. Feel free to share links to your own Project Life pages in the comments below.

26 May 2014

Memorial Day

My relationship with America, my beloved home country, is not always a happy one. Sometimes, I really hate that America has basically ripped apart my family (totally biased and probably not accurate, but it's how I feel sometimes) and is not the country it used to be. I apologize to my patients who are vets; I say "Thank you for your service. I'm sorry that this is not the America that you gave so much for." They tend to agree with me.

I do love America and its military. I love the freedoms that I can enjoy here, which are harder to enjoy in other places. I pray for my country and I ask that God restore it unto Him, the way that it was founded. So today, on this solemn Memorial Day, I'm not thinking about barbecue and I'm peacefully sitting at home instead of on the beach, I thank God for all of the fallen heroes who gave me this glorious day off from work, who kept me speaking English instead of German, who fought in the name of our forefathers and didn't make it home:

25 May 2014

Things Left To Do

There are few things I have not gotten around to doing. It has been Three Years I have been in Oregon, preparing for this move, and here I am, with 3 weeks left, and I still have things I need to do:

I need to pack my things better than I did when
I last went down there.
  1. Obviously, I need to pack. I have not packed up one single thing. A lot of these things could probably be packed up and I wouldn't really miss them. But I still haven't done it.
  2. I need to weed through the things that I am going to keep or get rid of. Somethings will stay at my mom's and live there. She [sorta] knows this. Things like my children's baby blankets will forever live here, since I refuse to get rid of them. However, they don't need to make the trip. Fortunately, my mom understands my hoarding tendencies and will keep them for me.
  3. I need to take my dog to have his shots updated. I don't know how I forgot to do this, but I did. And now I'm stressing. I don't even know if it's that important since Mexico is filled with all kinds of street dogs that I highly doubt are vaccinated, but I know for my Chudo it is.
I am starting to get nervous; it was around this time last year that I backed out at last minute. There are people here in Oregon who will be sad to see me go; I am going to be sad to see me go. But I have to remember that these preparations left are only left because this is really happening. I AM MOVING TO MEXICO. Yes, I am horrifically sad about leaving my home. But I am also horrifically sad at the thought of my kids being able to grow up with their dad, and not letting them.

I am really moving to Mexico. Who knew my life would end up here?

24 May 2014

Water Water Everywhere....

...and not a drop to drink, unless you boil it for one minute exactly at a rolling boil.

In case no one has heard, Portland is under a boil water order. Us Portlandians love our natural water. Our water runs right off of majestic Mt. Hood. We don't add flouride and we don't add any chemicals to our water to clean it. Our water is pretty pristine all on it's own. Except for this weekend. The Oregonian and most local news agencies put out the order on TV. I did not escape this order. We have to boil our water to prevent all of the nastiness that is E. coli. 
Boiling our water on the camp stove. #firstworldproblems

As I posted this on my personal Facebook page, a few international friends, (Krystal in particular), reminded me that this is preparation for Mexico. In Tijuana, you have to drink bottled water. The tap water (which I use to brush my teeth and shower) is not fit to drink. As of right now in Portland, bottled water is not an option, as store shelves are LITERALLY bare (because people don't know how to prepare for anything and freak out last minute). In Mexico, the tap water gets completely shut off for days. You have to fill your tanks so you can shower or wash your dishes.

Portland, calm down. Our perfectly pristine water will be back to our high-quality drinking standards soon. Just be thankful you can still shower.

23 May 2014

Faith Friday: Educating My Children

Welcome to Faith Fridays here on Mars! On Fridays on the blog, I share a post celebrating my Catholic Faith. Thank you for joining me here! 

My children, at the moment, do not have the luxury that I had of a Catholic education. I attended daily Mass, served as an altar server, attended CCD class, and I was taught by nuns. The horror of being taught by nuns took awhile to wear off, but looking back, they weren't so bad.
The Catholic school in SE Portland that I attended grades 3/4-8th. I used to think of this place with horror and sadness, now I think of it with fondness. Middle school is just hard for anyone, I've decided. The Church is still open, however, the school closed in 2002, when I was the last person to ever graduate from it. 

Now that I have a child who wants to learn about the Church and her vocation (already!) I know that I need to step it up in educating her about things such as virtue, modesty, chastity, the Saints, the Eucharist, the sacraments, before the world steps in and does it for me. I know that I was poorly catechized as a child, even with the expensive Catholic education. Most of my CCD teacher's words went in one ear and out the other. This is NOT what I want for my children. So how do I teach my child, especially when I now run a blog full-time and work full-time outside of the home? I can't homeschool her; I can't shelter her as much as I'd like.

Thank the Lord in heaven for Pinterest!

As I have been having a reawakening of my soul and my need for God as come to me something fierce, we have quickly been becoming traditional Catholics, the way that I wish I had been raised. I decided to start with the month of May, because it is the month traditionally dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God. We made a Mary diorama since I unfortunately do not have a statue of Mary in my home to have performed a Crowning ceremony. That post can be found here. After doing that craft, I began to hunt. I was not disappointed. I printed out several worksheets and bound them into a plain notebook. This is Cecilia's "Mary Homework". Everyday she does a lesson in the book.

The 20 pages of printables I found on Pinterest were the perfect lesson for her. She is so excited for her Mary homework.
Rosaries we made to go along with her rosary worksheets. Cecilia learns by doing and making things. Worksheets and reading are kind of over her head.
Since she does a few pages each day, they do not last the entire month. We are filling in the extra days learning about Marian prayers, Marian apparitions and devotions, and Marian artwork. There are several crafts on Pinterest. These are a few of my favorites:

From CatholicInspired. I love this site. TONS of inspiration for teaching your Catholic kids.
Brown Scapular craft from Catholic Inspired
We're about to learn about the Brown Scapular this weekend, since I was planning on having Cecilia enrolled at her First Communion (if she so chooses to be). But how will she know and make a decision about it if I don't teach her?
This craft is also from Catholic Inspired (I am an inspired Catholic after spending time on their site!)
At first, I was not going to do this craft with Cecilia, because Our Lady of the Snows feast is in August! I thought we could wait until then. However, lately Cecilia really has been into growing crystals and learning about rocks since we went caving last year. Since this craft involves growing crystals and Mary, I decided to go ahead and do it.
Again, from Catholic Inspired.
Cecilia is super excited about doing this craft, since she is still talking about our beach trip a couple of weeks ago. She wants to make this craft and add it to our permanent home altar as a Marian devotion for the whole family. We're not big on boats around here, but we do travel a lot, so I said sure. We can never have enough of Mama Mary in our lives.

My goal is not to brainwash or indoctrinate my children. My goal is to teach them the peacefulness of the Church of Rome that dates back to Jesus Himself. My goal is to give my children many examples of people who have lived holy lives, and teach them to do so themselves. 

How do you teach your children about your faith? Classes? Homeschool? Let me know in the comments, and maybe we can bounce some ideas off of each other. 

God bless.

22 May 2014

Surviving Long-Distance Marriage, Part 7

Welcome back to my marriage series on surviving a long-distance marriage. This is the 7th and last installment in the series. Other posts in this series can be found here. To find out more about how we ended up in a long-distance marriage, click here.

There is no way that we could have survived three years of separation without my semi-regular visits to Tijuana. I have spent thousands of dollars to visit Hector. I won't lie, sometimes, I felt like I was working simply to visit. My work has an amazing rotation schedule that allows me Friday-Sunday off fairly regularly. This allowed for me to not use any vacation or PTO and go down to Mexico for a weekend. When people ask me, "What did you do this weekend?", I love telling them, "Oh, you know, I went to Mexico for the weekend". Fortunately now this is almost over, but I know many people are just starting out on this journey. 

Visiting Mexico regularly is expensive. We have the luxury of the living in Tijuana. I know not everyone does. The luxurious part of this is that I can fly from Portland to the San Diego airport, take a $5 bus ride to the border, and walk across into Tijuana. This usually costs me about $150 since I fly Southwest most of the time. If I were to fly into Tijuana, there are no direct flights. I would have to fly to Guadalajara first, then back to Tijuana. It comes up to about $500... I don't think so. I lucked out with our locations. 

A weekend in Mexico can cost about $400...it depends on how much shopping you do. Anymore, we don't really shop or buy tourist-y things. We buy a lot of food. I like to eat well and so does Hector. When I visit, we are usually eating out rather than staying at home and cooking, which, is just fine for me. I love eating street food. I have only gotten sick once and I was out for about a week with food poisoning. Other than that, I love trying new foods.
This is clearly what food should look like. 
Visiting regularly helps sustain the other person, spiritually and physically. We have had hard times. We have had periods where we haven't liked each other very much. But reconnecting through uninterrupted hanging out, well, that is the most precious gift you can give someone. The gift of your time. Yes, the visit is expensive. Yes, you both will be miserably depressed when you have to leave. But you also have helped build that person up and have given them hope during the desperate amount of time apart. 
We're silly.
I hope that you, my readers, have been able to take something away from this series. These are clearly just observations from the course of living in a long-distance marriage longer than I should have. I am in no way a marriage expert. For formal marriage advice, contact your local priest. I am so glad that my time of long-distance marriage is close to over and I can go on, living a normal life with my husband and children. I do not recommend this lifestyle to anyone. We lived this way because of my stubbornness and pride. If you find yourselves in our situation, swallow your fear, bite the bullet, and get yourself with your spouse. You marriage will thank you in the long-run. The only good thing I have learned from this is that our marriage is built to last. We have survived deportation AND separation, even when we weren't so sure that we would. I know that I love my husband and my family, and that is why we are taking this huge leap into the unknown.

21 May 2014

Bucket List

Inspired by my friend Krystal, who wrote about her Bucket List, I thought I'd sort of make one, too. I've done a few things, but I still have a long way to go.

  1. Eat margherita pizza in Naples, Italy, a la Eat, Pray, Love:
  2. Walk El Camino de Santiago in Spain. However, my starting point will be Rome, Italy and I will walk from Rome, to Lourdes, France then from there onto Santiago de Compostela, Spain, then continue onto Fatima, Portugal
  3. Visit all of the Northern California Catholic Missions
  4. Visit all of the Baja California Missions, too.

    (If you can't tell by now, I have a thing for old churches!)
  5. Climb Mt. Whitney in Sequoia National Park, California. 
  6. Visit Egypt. Especially the Valley of the Kings. Not many people know, but my first real love in life was Ancient Egypt. I dreamed of being an archaeologist and going on digs in Egypt. To me, all of the splendor and magnificent artwork called my name. I didn't become an archaeologist. But visiting Egypt is still a very real dream of mine. 
  7. Visit Hollywood, California DONE 3/2014.
  8. Visit Yosemite National Park. DONE 06/2009. Yosemite always held a special place in my heart. I had been in love with Yosemite my whole life. I visited with Hector in 2009 and he proposed to me at the Big Trees. 
    Yes, I took this picture. It's probably the best picture I've ever taken!
  9. Move to Mexico. Well, that one is in process right now! DONE 06/16/2014!!!
    Yep, DEFINITELY going to get used to this!
  10. See my children become good Catholics living their called vocations. Cecilia tells me that she wants to be a nun. If that is her true calling from God, I would love for her to follow that path. The same is true for my son. If he were to tell me that he felt called to the priesthood, I would want him to follow that path.
  11. Buy a house in Mexico. I always wanted to retire with Hector in the Yakima valley on some farm somewhere, but since he has a lifetime ban with no chance of a waiver, I had to move my dream home and life to Mexico. That's all right though- what is important is that we are together in old age.
    My dream home would include a center courtyard, big arches, stucco walls, fountains,- yeah, basically, someone buy me a big old hacienda!
  12. I want to learn to sew. And my first big project will be a quilt. 
    Sold here.

  13. Visit Oaxaca, Mexico. Hector actually accomplished this in January of this year; he had to go retrieve some documents from the town of his birth. 
    Look, more churches. Seems to be a theme in my life, doesn't it?

  14. Attend a Xolos game. 
So, right now, those are my life goals. They may change again. But these are the goals that keep coming back to me, no matter what my current interests may be. There are other things I'd love to do as well, but these are the ones that I know will change my life. And I pray every day that I may check them off of the list, eventually.

What's on your bucket list?