Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Disney, Andrea Bocelli & dreams coming true

What a night! I really feel #hashtag #blessed by God!!! 

We finally decorated the tree, so our living room is twinkling, merry & bright. 

The kids had fun, which always makes things better. :)

And just as my hubby comes up with a grin & a Disney packet, which makes our upcoming vacation seem more tangible ... just at that moment (I'm not kidding) my phone beeps. 

It's a reminder that we are going to see Andrea Bocelli tomorrow ... something I have dreamed of for years!!!

Adam gave me the Bocelli tickets as a Mother's Day gift ... he knows me so well! It's like a double celebration: the anticipation (since May!) and now the concert! Aaahhhh!

Lord, on nights like this one, with my heart up in the clouds, dancing & twirling & giddy like a little girl, I just have to say Thank You. ❤️

James 1:17
"Every good & perfect gift comes from above, from the Father of heavenly lights... He never changes..."

Amazed, excited, sparkling & twinkling,

Coppelia ❤️

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Mo-om, I'm Hun-gry!

Mom, we're hungry!! My kids can get tired, sluggish, cranky & whiny if they get hungry. 

But you know what? I get worse than them!

(In this photo, we're all happy, including my hubby. Ice cream always helps.) :)

I'm a breakfast/snack/lunch/snack/dinner/dessert person. They don't have to be huge meals, but I need to eat something every few hours or CRANKY MOM comes out!!!

It was really cool this morning when I got the opportunity to share the Bible verse of the day with the kids & talk about hunger. 

When we get physically hungry, we can get all sorts of crazy. Pretty much the same thing happens when we get spiritually hungry.

We were able to pray that, just as we eat food every day (and we can be very thankful for the abundance of food that we enjoy), we also need to eat every day "bread of life and living water (reading the Bible, praying & abiding in Jesus!)

"Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst." (John 6:35 ESV)

Thank you, Lord, that when we come to you we don't ever have to be hungry or thirsty again.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Rolling in the coaches t-shirt!

Today my 8 year old son Christopher made his first touchdown ... during his first ever flag football game! 

Go Wolfpack!! 

I am a very proud and excited mom, but it's not just because my little San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick superfan made a touchdown (wooohooo!!) It's because this Upward flag football experience is giving him a level of bonding with his dad that I had never seen before.

Baby Christopher was my firstborn; a very sleepy, very smiley, very sweet, very mami's boy. Like we say in Puerto Rico, "el nene de mama."

In some ways, the way Christopher expressed his preference for mommy over daddy hurt my husband. I tried to explain that was in part because I was baby food for a number of months. 

(As a side note, breastfeeding was a wonderful bonding, healing experience, especially because after his birth I struggled with postpartum depression and returning to work was challenging. Nursing my baby helped me feel like I was truly caring for him in the best way possible, even while I was away.)

Regardless, it still bothered both my husband & me that Christopher wasn't closer to him as a baby and as a toddler. Friends and counselors told us that eventually Christopher would have a great father/son relationship. 

So we waited. 

Adam bought Christopher Lego sets and they built them together.

Adam let Christopher watch part of the UFC fights that made mommy cringe.

Adam encouraged Christopher through years of taekwondo classes and belt tests all the way to the black belt he earned just a few months ago! 

And slowly but surely, daddy saw his son's eyes turn to him wide with excitement. All of a sudden, Daddy was going to teach him all the fun boy stuff!! 

Daddy is the best buddy for football video games AND for playing football outside our apartment. Daddy couldn't contain his excitement (or his wallet) when he signed Christopher up for flag football and ended up getting not just the cleats, but cool new socks, gloves, a new ball and a duffle bag! 

In just two weeks of practice and the very first game today, Christopher has gone from tv/video game football superfan, to going out on the field with Daddy as assistant coach and hustling his little heart out.

And to take it an extra yard or two, THIS happens:

Daddy got an official coach shirt! Adam is filling in for the coach next Saturday and Christopher's reaction was so amazing, it inspired me to write this blog post.

Christopher grabbed Adam's coach shirt, carefully laid it out on the bed, and called me to come see it. He ran his hands over it, showing off his Daddy's Coach shirt with a deep sense of pride and admiration. He stretched it to take out the wrinkles. And then he laid down on it, almost snuggling as if it was a cozy blanket.

I needed to blog about this moment because it's one of those as a mom I don't want to forget.

The moment I saw Christopher laying on Daddy's coach's shirt was the moment I realized that this is just a glimpse of the life-long, incredible impact that his Daddy is having on him. 

I'm so thankful. I couldn't ask for a better answer to prayer for my hubby and our son's relationship than this beautiful football bonding. 🏈💙🏈💙


Monday, September 8, 2014

Praying for Kate ... and not giving up

have been praying for a little girl named Kate McCrae for years. She has been battling brain cancer.

I was working at a radio station called Air 1 when I first heard about Kate through the lead singer of Christian band Sanctus Real. He was asking his fans if they could pray for that little girl. And for some reason, even though I now work at another Christian radio station, KSBJ, I have continued to pray for Kate and get updates through her CaringBridge website.


Today, as I read some of the comments, this one caught my eye:

Notice that it's from "God is Gracious:"

By God is Gracious — 
Hello beautiful! How are you? I read your story today, Miss Kate McRae. Pure, that is who you are! You want to know something? I think your on a boat, are you on a boat, Miss Kate McRae? You must be, because your momma said you were going up and down. And then she said you were just being way too silly :D Yup, your on a boat for sure! Momma said you are feeling tired. I know those waves can be big and make a person frightened and tired. That is ok though. Do you know why? The disciples were on a boat just like you and the waves made them go up and down, they were scared, and tired too. Do you know what they did? They ran to the bottom of the boat, the stern, and do you know who was there? Jesus! Guess what He was doing? Sleeping :D He listened as the disciples cried out. Then He went to the top of the boat and told the storm to STOP and guess what it did. Awesome, huh!!!! The Lord loves you and He is right there with you, your momma and your daddy. You know you can also lay right beside Jesus too because sometimes the storms will still rage but you beautiful can still rest and be refreshed. It is always restful and peaceful with Jesus :D Gosh, He is God for sure!!!! Be at Pure peace and remain at rest, lovely!!!"
You and 2 others hearted this

I don't know what it is about that post that made it stand out & made me come back to it and even blog about it here. Maybe because it's so unique. Maybe because it makes so much sense.

I can't add much more, nor should I. This is the time to simply rest, pray, and abide in Him, our Lord Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Starbucks poke-n-slap debacle

It's Sunday morning.
The beds are made.
Teeth are brushed.
Clothes look cute. 
We got a nice Starbucks drive-thru breakfast & got to church on time.

But we're all miserable and I'm in tears.

All morning long it was "mommy says" and whiny "I don't want to's."

In the car, after Allyson poked Christopher in the eye and slapped his face right before we ordered at the drive thru, I let both of them verbally have it. After threats of "no breakfast," everyone calmed down and was deathly quiet for the long 45 minute drive to church.

But between the Starbucks poke & slap debacle & the deathly silence, we actually pulled out of the drive thru, into a parking lot, stopped and prayed.

We asked God for forgiveness. I asked Him that we didn't want our family to live in the sinful nature (arguing, fighting, bickering, anger & rage.) We want our family, our apartment, our home to be filled with His fruit: love, joy, peace ... nice conversations & fun.

Then we turned on the radio, and the song that played had to do with how God's mercies are new every morning. Every day when we mess up, sister hits brother; he argues with sister; we all whine and complain; IF we confess and ask God to forgive us, He does. Every morning, every day.

We all said our apologies and "I love you's," and reluctantly went in to church.

"If we ever needed You, Lord its now."

As a frazzled mom, before I stand in front of people to lead them in worship to God in church this morning, I needed that reminder of God's mercy. Thank You, Lord.


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Make my wish come true ...!

No, it's not too early. And this is only the beginning of ...

... the MOST wonderful time of the year!

Today is Day 1 of the 101 Days to Christmas countdown! 

But I'm not just going to post elf memes & go crazy buying stuff. What I love about this countdown is that, when all is said & done, you can look back and feel like you truly celebrated the real meaning of Christmas. 

If you're like me, you know the feeling of rushing to buy last minute gifts & getting annoyed at crowded stores because you have been too busy with family visits & church events & school gatherings & shopping & gift wrapping & you never got to sit down with a peppermint hot chocolate & enjoy anything & the whole thing was just a blur? 

discovered the awesome website (www.101daystoChristmas.com) a couple of years ago. As much as I love the holidays, some times I would wait to decorate because I was too busy. Or I'd hold back from doing things I love like ice skating at the park, buying new decorations or splurging on certain gifts because I hadn't really budgeted for it.

The countdown helps each day, starting today (yay!) with helpful tips & ideas to plan ahead, think through traditions and make sure you plan, schedule and budget what's important to you. 

When was the last time you made time to think about this ahead of time?

"All I want for Christmas is ... "

Think about it. Sign up for daily reminders on the countdown website. Dream & anticipate that this could be a truly special Christmas. 

🎶 Make my wish come true ... all I want for Christmas is you! 🎶


Monday, May 5, 2014

Smiling, Whining & Parenting

These are the faces of my kids on the way to church ...

I love their smiles! They're excited!! We're all singing in the car, listening to worship music on "Enter His Gates" on KSBJ, the radio station where I work. I love this!! 

But when we got to church, the whining started. "I don't WANNA go to "Chispa", the Spanish Sunday School class," said Christopher, my 8 year old. Little sister was ok, but then gradually started siding with big brother. 

They were starting to get on my nerves and I didn't want to lose my temper in church. But I was about to.

So, I sat the kids down and had A TALK.

I told them, especially Christopher, that when I was his age, about 8 years old, I hated church. 

I hated church. There. I wrote it. 

We did not have "fun." We had to sit in church with the grown-ups. We listened to grown-up serious sermons. 

I tried to explain to Christopher that the reason why I didn't appreciate his attitude was because we had just been having a blast in the car. We just had a yummy chocolate croissant & chocolate milk Sunday breakfast treat. He was going to have fun with friends.

I encouraged him to think about that. Pretty please. And then we marched off (begrudgingly) to "Chispa."

I knew that I just had to survive that difficult parenting moment and then everything would be okay.

Once the kids got signed in & walked into their classes, they were greeted by all their friends and the fun continued.

And I didn't really lose my temper.

It's a work in progress. I'm not a perfect parent by any stretch of the imagination. But little moments like these make me thankful.

I'm thankful that I get to be a Mom. I'm thankful that we have a church that makes the experience SUPER fun for the kids. And I'm thankful for awesome kids that, whining aside, make my life awesome. And fun.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Dancing with the Scars

What I saw on TV last night was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen.

In general, we avoid dealing with any imperfection, delay or disability. It's uncomfortable. We ignore, look away, or smile out of pity.

But every now & then, a person with disabilities shows up and changes everything. Gold medal snowboarder Amy Purdy, and her professional dance partner Derek Hough did that last night on ABC's Dancing with the Stars.

I'd seen the show before, but hadn't watched it in a long time. Since I wasn't feeling well, I was zonked out on the couch & just left the TV on, half paying attention.

I am so glad I did!

I have experienced this a few times in my life. People with disabilities have impacted my life in many ways. But Amy and Derek took it to a new level.

I have seen my Dad, Emilio, gradually lose his sight. He lost the ability to drive a car when I was younger. He struggled with maintaining jobs and battled disappointment and loss. But he danced with me at my prom (its a puertorrican thing...families go to the prom!) He gave me away at my wedding. He relocated from Puerto Rico to Dallas, TX in his 60s and is actively pursuing job opportunities. He's involved in church. And he continues to hone his conservatory classical music training on his grand piano. Plus, I've seen my Mom stay by his side through it all. Amazing.

In 4th grade, I met my friend Cristina. She had a glass eye and could barely see with ger "good eye". But Crissy's parents saw her & treated her as a normal girl. She rode her bike. We went to the movies & always sat in the front! We had a BLAST on church retreats to the beach in Vieques, went bowling, you get the idea. She's now a married teacher with two boys in Austin, TX.

From a young age, I saw disability as something that didn't have to hold you back from doing whatever you wanted.

A few years ago, my husband and I relocated from Puerto Rico to California. While working at a radio event at a mall in Temecula, I had the amazing, life altering experience of watching Nick Vujicic live. 

He was born without limbs. Talk about having special needs and challenges. He shared about his unbelievably difficult life. How do you do anything if you don't have arms and legs?

Just ask Nick! He travels the world. He uses a special weelchair, and then gets out of it and goes on stage in front of millions of people to inspire them. He is an impossibility. But God says nothing is impossible for Him! Nick shares how, if God has helped him, no matter what we may go through, God can help us, too.

This all brings me to what I saw on TV last night.

I had not heard of Amy Purdy until last night. She had bacterial meningitis as a teen. She lost both of her legs and ended up with a kidney transplant. Her dad was the donor.

Then, she won three World Cup gold medals in adaptive snowboarding. Amazing!! 

So, she can snowboard, but could she dance? 

For this week's choreography, she got special prosthetic legs that keep the feet pointed, so she could dance.

And she danced ... and her partner Derek, sweetly, gently, led her in the most beautiful, awe-inspiring, tear-jerking dance I have ever seen.

The song was "Human" by Christina Perri. And Derek and Amy showed us that you can transcend the limits we sometimes put on what a "human" can do.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Fall Surprise in Spring!

You should've seen his face! 

Well, ok, this is his face, but I wish you could've seen my eight-year-old son Christopher's initial reaction!! 

We stopped at Starbucks for a little Saturday afternoon treat, and he saw something he didn't expect to see for another, oh, 5 or 6 months!!

Today is March 30th. We're a week into spring. The temperature has to rise another 20 to 30 degrees and hit 100 in the summer before it starts to cool down again in the fall and we can all enjoy pumpkin spice treats. 

Except that today, my son, who loves pumpkin scones, looked at the food options today at Starbucks and saw one!!

When I ordered it, the barista looked at me like, "Ma'am? You realize it's Spring. We don't have (glances at the food section) OH! Ok, I guess we do have pumpkin scones! What would you like with that?"

 Lol! I had to laugh!!

Sometimes we get unexpected treats at the "wrong time". Or in the wrong season. We can be adamant about things being "impossible", so we don't even dare to ask.

What if we could get a treat that we are not supposed to get because it's not the right time yet? 

God says in the Bible, ask and you shall receive. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened.

Why not knock? You might just get a pumpkin scone in the spring!


Everybody "can" except you

Oh, my poor allergic daughter.

I'm thankful that, of all the things she could "suffer", my four-year-old daughter is simply dealing with a dairy-allergy.

On most days, we barely notice it. There are so many dairy-free alternatives & vegan-friendly food that we have found it downright easy to "cope". 

Then there are days like today. :(

We enjoy going to church on certain Saturday nights. My hubby Adam & I both serve on Sunday mornings, so it's nice, whenever we can, to sit and enjoy a church service without worrying about production cues and set list order and rembering all the announcements I have to share on stage.

But tonight there was a sign on the preschool kids' room: Allergy Alert! The snack today is ice cream, whipped cream, fudge and sprinkles. :(

That meant everybody would have some, except my daughter.

Granted, there might have been other kids with health issues that I didn't know of who also would not be able to eat the snack.

But I didn't know. And I felt bad for her.

Before leaving, I told her that she couldn't have the ice cream, but we could get a sweet treat later. :) 

She happily darted off to play. And when I picked her up, she announced that she had made a new friend! Yay!

What a relief.

She wasn't crying, feeling left out or limited. 

She had fun!

And I felt relief. 

Even though there was a part during the church service when I couldn't help but think that she might be feeling left out during snack time, my worry and fear were mostly unnecessary.

Sometimes it feels as though everybody "can" but you. It feels like a big deal. A HUGE hurdle. A night-ruiner. 

But I'm glad (and relieved) that tonight wasn't ruined. We didn't have to jump a huge hurdle. It wasn't a big deal. 

Everybody could, my daughter didn't, and it was ok.

(She had a birthday cake pop & enjoyed it, too!)


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Worse stuff, TMI and a rescue

(Note: I wrote this last night.)

I know there are people facing WAY worse stuff than me tonight, but I'm a bit scared.

(spoiler: tmi) I had a horrible migraine on Sunday, like I hadn't had in years. Seriously, it had been maybe 10 years since I even had to buy Excedrin Migraine! Today, my stomach is a mess, I'm laying in bed with a heating pad, and i'm fighting a cold sore with Lysine & mometasone.

I'm also fighting the urge to be upset and feel sorry for myself. I really want to give in to that urge and be upset that, if I wake up unwell, I can't go to work & I can't go to the TV show taping that was scheduled in advance.

I'm scared that these symptoms were sort of bad last month, and it seems they're worse this month. :( 

Honestly, that terrifies me.

At the same time, I realize I'm battling FEAR, and I remember that it's something the Bible talks about a lot.

Do not fear. Do not be afraid. 

"The righteous person faces many troubles, but the lord comes to the rescue each time." (Psalms 34:19 NLT)

If I believe God's word is true (I do), and I know God is coming to my rescue, even as I'm facing the scary possibility that intense pain may return, and even as I pray that it doesn't, I can reassure myself that He really is coming to my rescue.

"The righteous person faces many troubles, but the lord comes to the rescue each time." (Psalms 34:19 NLT)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

God has THAT kind of power!

I read a chapter in the Bible on Monday morning. Just a few minutes later, as I was getting ready for work, I tried to remember what I had read. But it was just a bunch of blurryWordsInTheBiblethatIReadreallyfastjusttocheckitoffMylist.

But I though about it some more. And then I thought, well, the power of God to raise Jesus from the dead is pretty amazing, so I'll think about that.

And then God spoke. Or the light bulb went on. Or whatever you want to call it. The thought was like God was saying, "have you ever considered what I raised him from?"

It wasn't just a normal person who died. It wasn't that God just took a regular guy who died and made him alive again.

Jesus was human, so in that sense he was a regular guy. He was a son to his mother and father. He had a trade: carpentry. He learned what little jewish boys learned. He probably had a bar mitzvah!

But he was also God, holy and perfect. Prophecies announced that Jesus was coming. He was born of a virgin, but He was also "in the beginning", God, before the creation of the world.

Jesus lived a perfect life. He forgave & healed & loved people like no one before & no one after.

From that state of no-sin & perfection, being human, but also being God, He took on ALL our sins. 

Imagine the worst of the worst. The most horrible sins you can think of. The Holocaust. Child sex-slave traffickers & abusers. All the murders in all the evening news in all of history.

I can't even begin to wrap my brain around the depth of the darkness, wickedness and pain that Jesus took upon himself...

But ...

God raised Jesus, after he took upon himself all that sin, evil & darkness. God's amazing power raised Jesus to a perfectly Holy and transformed physical body.

If God has THAT kind of power, they're not kidding when they say that there is absolutely nothing God can't do.

I'll be thinking about THAT today.

"[For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him, By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones), And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength, Which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His [own] right hand in the heavenly [places], Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named [above every title that can be conferred], not only in this age and in this world, but also in the age and the world which are to come. (Ephesians 1:17-21 AMP)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mommy Tantrum Levels: Crunchy, Boily and Unikitty

My son made me bust out laughing the other day.

We were talking about how important it is to "own up" and admit when we've done something wrong. It might have been an accident, or we might have purposefully swung our arm to hit sister in the face (playfully), but we still have to own up to our actions.

This applies to our faith as well. Our conversation was a great teachable moment to share how, I'm not just telling Christopher that he has to admit stuff to Mommy and Daddy. We all need to confess our mess ups (aka, sin) to God. When Mommy and Daddy mess up, we have to confess to God and to each other. Sometimes Mommy gets impatient and upset, you know?

Oh, he knows.

Christopher, who is 8 years old, told me, "Mom, this is just like when you get "crunchy". Sometimes, you're crunchy (synomyms: crabby, cranky, pms-y). But then sometimes you get "boily". Like a boiling pot (and then he acted out the boiling pot going crazy, arms waving over head, water bubbling over the pot.) It's like Unikitty, Mom. You get like Unikitty."

In case you don't have lego-loving children and you haven't seen The Lego Movie, there is a character who is sugar, spice and everything nice. Everything is awesome, positive, bubbly, wonderful, butterflies & sweetness. That is until Unikitty loses it.

It's hilarious! We loved that part in the movie! And I'm sort of happy that my son is able to joke (sort of) about how Mommy loses it.

But I don't want to lose it. I lost it the other day. It was a tantrum high above "crunchy" level. I went full blown Unikitty on my poor kids.

I read "Unglued" by Lysa Terkeurst. It's about how we can stop becoming unglued and going "Unikitty" on our families. Because isn't that the truth? We're calm and collected for the world, but those closest to us get the "yuck" of our emotions.

Help us, Lord.

The good news is that He does help us. I've prayed more times than I can count for God to help me be a better wife and mom. A more patient, loving and kind woman, known for her love.

And thank God, like Lysa says, I am making imperfect progress. At church, Pastor Alfonso shared about how, in addition to prayer, we need to be like athletes or soldiers in training. Give it your ALL to God. Pray harder, Read the Bible deeper. If I'm not sweating, my life isn't changing, I'm not giving it my all.

It's not about pharisee-style discipline. This has love at the core. I am nothing without God. I love Him and I need Him. I know that. Now, I just have to live like that more.

If we truly need God, are we in constant, regular communication with Him? He's here all the time! Why do we live like He's far away? He's right here!

I'm a work in progress. And thank God, next time I feel the bubbles start to build in the pot, or I start to feel like Unikitty, I don't have to wait for a parenting book, seminar or church service. I can cry out to God right then and there, and ask for help.

Hopeful and expectant of change,


Monday, February 24, 2014

Just start writing

I'm excited! I'm blogging again!

Allyson (age 4), interrupts. "Mommy?"


"When are we going to do my homework here (on the computer where I'm blogging?)

As soon as Mommy is done with her blog. OK?


Back to the blog. I'm excited to officially embark on a new blogging adventure! YES!

A few years ago, I created an Air 1 Morning Show Blog, and then took care of the Air 1 music blog, while I was a DJ at that radio network. When I moved to Houston to work at KSBJ Radio, where I am now, I stopped blogging, but I got pretty involved in the radio station's social media team.

Then, I went to a Bloggers Conference a few months ago that got me excited to blog again! I have so many ideas to share! I love what some of my blogger friends are doing, so ...

"Mommy, I'm done." (Puts trash in the trash can & puts cup in the sink.)

Baby, I'm so proud of you for picking up after yourself!

"Mommy, can I sit on your lap?"

Yes. (Now, Allyson is on my lap.) :)

Ok, back to my blogger friends! I love what Stephanie Click (known as the Houston Money Mom on KSBJ) is doing with her site, and what Vicki Powers shares on Houston on the Cheap. And what I love is that what each of us bring to the table is different!

I am looking forward to sharing on this blog a little about my life as a puertorrican living in the states (blending my latina roots with the American dream). I'll share a little about my faith, working as a Christian radio station DJ, and singing at my church. I'll share about my family life (especially juggling the working mom balance thingy). And any other fun stuff that rocks my boat. Like Zumba. And my occassional involvement as a Community Theatre STAR! lol :) Oh, and my singing gigs in prison. That's a whole other blog post!

I'm excited! Blog you soon!