Thursday, March 27, 2008

I've been tagged!

I've been tagged by Angel of TaDa! Creations.

Here are the rules:

1. Link your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Okay, so how about following 2 out of 4 rules?!?! LOL, I don't even read seven blogs!!! I mainly started blogging to share pics with family members and friends who live far away because it would always take me forever to load up photos to shutterfly to share as slideshows.

Here it goes...

1. I speak fluent spanish. I was born in Puerto Rico and lived in PR for 12 years before moving to the US. Puerto Rico is such a beautiful island full of warm people. I have the most wonderful memories from my first 12 years of life. It still amazes me that people actually clap when their plane lands at the San Juan airport because they are so happy to be home!

2. I met my husband when I was 12 years old in the eighth grade (so never underestimate those lovey-dovey crushes kids have!). We were placed in alphabetical order by our homeroom teacher, which meant he sat right behind me. Ever the little leader, he set out to get to know "the new girl" in school. He was class president and I was valedictorian of our high school graduating class and although we were friends, we never dated in jr. high or high school. We went to separate colleges and actually lost touch after graduation, only to run into each other the year before our 10-yr. reunion. The rest is history! We were actually voted "cutest couple" at our 10-yr. reunion because no one could believe we were engaged - he, he, he.

3. I have the most amazing mother and maternal family in the whole wide world!!! No explanation needed on this one.

4. I love photography! I take way too many pictures. According to my loved ones, any random event turns into a special occassion for me to photograph! I'm not saying that I'm good, just that I love it. I'm always changing the photos in the frames in our house. When we were dating, my husband once counted over 60 frames in my house. I'm sure there's more now that we have our little pumpkin, but sssshhh, don't tell him, he already thinks there's too many! By the way, if anyone reads this and would like to give me some input on a good camera (you know, the "I really like this one" or "stay away from this one" type of advice), I would really appreciate it. I currently shoot with a simple Canon PowerShot and would like to upgrade soon. Ditto on a good photo editing program.

5. I would like to one day adopt a little girl from China. My little pumpkin Grace is my pride and joy and I would love to have more biological children. Adoption just has a special place in my heart, I don't know why, but it just does. For as long as I can remember, this has been something that's been weighing in my heart. God willing, I hope to one day make this dream come true.

6. I was almost kidnapped when I was 4 years old by a stranger in a store. Thankfully, my mom had practiced with me what to do if someone ever tried to take me against my will. She used to play a game with me called "what if" (what if you get lost and need help finding me - what do you do, what if there's a fire - what do we do, what if someone tells you to lie about something - what do you do, you get the picture). Well, this was back in the day when Sears had a fabric department complete with those big pattern books and lots of bolts of fabrics on those round holders. I was playing around hiding in between the rounders while my mom browsed the pattern books. A lady grabbed me by the wrist and started dragging me toward the exit of the store/mall promising me candy. I started screaming at the top of my lungs, "you're not my mom, let me go, let me go!!!". Needless to say, people started staring and she let go of my wrist just short of the exit, where a car was waiting for her. She was never caught. Scary stuff, but just goes to show you how important prevention education is to young kids.

7. And on a lighter note :) - I grew up as an only child always wanting/begging for siblings, even though my parents were divorced. My mom remarried when I was 21 and I gained a great stepdad, 4 wonderful siblings (2 step sisters and 2 step brothers) and some even more wonderful nieces and nephews, in addition to my wonderful 12 y/o half-brother on my father's side. So my dream to become a sister finally came true!

So there you have it - 7 random facts!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Gymboree = Birthday Fun!

Yes, I'm finally posting the birthday party photos. Sorry it has taken me so long but there were so many photos to go through! I guess that's what you get when you tell Noonie, "please take lots of photos"...hmmmm, wonder who I get my photo taking obsession from???? Grace just loves her little class at Gymboree so we figured that might be a good place to have her party. Turns out we were right, Grace and all her little friends had a blast! If you're wondering where to have a party and there's a Gymboree Play & Music nearby, I highly recommend it. They had great activities for kiddos of all ages and they took care of the set up and clean up. We got lucky that her favorite teacher led the party so that was like icing on the cake. Grace just loves Mrs. Nichole, who was a sweetheart to do the party just 3 weeks before giving birth!!! Talk about a trooper. Grace still loves ladybugs so her little "smash cake" was a ladybug and as you can see in the photo she was totally checking it out - so cute! Aunt Heidi, if you see this, know that Grace is obsessed with her chicken from the barnyard toy you bought her. She carries it EVERYWHERE! Thanks so much!

What a difference a year makes...

My little pumpkin has grown so much in the past year!!! Check out our family photo from Easter 2007. Wow, you can literally see the sleep deprivation on our faces in that photo! I think we'll start a new tradition and take a family photo every Easter to see how everyone has changed during the past year. I love starting traditions, just need to remember to keep on doing them :) I also love dreaming up new projects - sometimes I literally can not fall asleep because my mind is full of new projects waiting to be brought to life. Hey, at least I've been pretty good about keeping up with this blog!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easter Sunday!!!

We had such a wonderful time Easter Sunday! Noonie and Papa A.J. joined us for Mass and I must say Grace was on her absolute best behavior. We didn't have to step outside even one time! I think it had something to do with her grandparents being there...or maybe it was the bunny shaped pink slinky we let her take to church (just in case it was the slinky, I went to Target today and picked up the green one and the blue one on sale so we can try for two more sundays in a row :) After Mass, we had a nice lunch, and then went home to let Grace open her easter baskets from Mimi and Pop, Noonie and Papa A.J., and from the "Easter Bunny". She loved almost all the treats, especially the books and the easter basket grass, but she wasn't too keen on the ticking chickens, which I thought were so cute since she loves animals. Now being a "pro" at popping open easter eggs, she kept laughing every time she opened one! And she actually kept her bunny ears on for a good long while which amazed me since she takes hats off right away. She looked so cute and cuddly with the bunny ears!!! May God's blessings be with each and everyone of you! ~Jessica

Easter Egg Hunt

The day before Easter, some dear friends of ours invited us to an Easter Egg Hunt at their daughter's church preschool. This being Grace's first time to participate, I wasn't sure how she would react. She wasn't quite sure what to do at first, but once she saw the other kiddos reaching for eggs, she got eggcited! (cheesy, I know) Since there were kids of all ages, the church sectioned off an area for the wee ones so they could actually take their time picking eggs and not get trampled by the older kids. That was really nice! Grace, being the curious child she is, inspected each and every egg. Once she figured out how to open the eggs, she loved pulling out the little bible verses out of the eggs. Some of the eggs had "tickies" (stickers) - her favorite! At home, she played with her eggs all afternoon. Note to self: hide eggs around the house year round so I can get some chores done!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Spring is in the Air!!!

Today is the first day of spring and I couldn't be happier. The days are getting longer, the weather is warming up, the flowers are blooming...oh, how I love it all! Grace loves being outside. She just lights up when we go for a stroll or to the park. Her smile is contagious. She is quite a little comedian these days. She makes the funniest facial expressions. Check out her "scarecrow" pose above. Too funny. I don't know where she picks up these things. She's also going through a screaming stage and I mean S-C-R-E-A-M-I-N-G! She can get so loud! And it's not always an "I'm upset scream" sometimes it's an "I'm so happy I think I'll scream just to let everyone know". One sweet lady at church said to me, "that's just her cheerleading voice coming out - she's practicing". God bless her for her kindness. No doubt she's a mom as only a mom could make nice out of an otherwise embarrasing situation. Did I mention that as soon as we walk outside all screaming stops. Hmmm...maybe I'm onto something here. Guess we'll be taking full advantage of the weather this spring! I see a cute new pair of flip-flops coming my way.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Family = Love

So I woke up this morning thinking about how much I love my family and what an important role they've played in my life, and now Grace's. Growing up, respect for family, was one of the values that was instilled in me for as long as I can remember. I hope Grace will grow up to treasure family just as much. Since I was feeling sentimental, I started going over some pictures from last year when my grandma, Grace's great-grandma, came to visit us to meet Grace for the first time. Now, this was no small trip, considering how far she lives and the fact that she suffers from alzheimer's disease. My mom, knowing how much I love my grandma, arranged it as a special Mother's Day gift to me. What a wonderful first mother's day gift that was! Seeing my grandma hold Grace with such tenderness...listening to her sing lullabies to Grace that I know she sang to me...even when I think about it now, one year later, I get teary eyed. Seeing my grandma's unconditional love poured out on Grace just fills my heart with love. I also remember funny moments like my grandma saying "he's cute" over and over again, even though Grace was wearing a big pink bow! Grace has my grandma's blue eyes. Sweet, kind, loving, deep blue eyes. When I look into her eyes, I can't help but think of my sweet grandma. What a legacy of strong, beautiful, faithful women I have been given in my mom and my grandma!

Friday, March 14, 2008

My little yummy had a birthday!!!

I love birthdays. Scratch that, I'm obsessed with birthdays as hubby would say. The cake, the invitations, the party hats, the planning, the favors, the gift wrapping, finding the perfect gift - I love it all! And I love going all out to make sure the ocassion is just a perfect celebration of someone's life. Friends make fun of me because I write down all my party planning ideas in my little notebook and carry it with me just in case something occurs to me at any given point. Since having Grace, birthdays have taken on a new meaning. Not only a time to celebrate life, but a time to celebrate milestones, accomplishments and give thanks for the little things that matter most. Okay, before I get all sentimental and stuff, let me just say that as much as I love birthdays, I really, really, really, really, really (you get the picture) LOVE cupcakes! What's not to love about sweet little yummies decorated with sprinkles perfectly arranged in vintage cake stands and what not...oh, how I love cupcakes. Which is why I chose "cupcakes" as the theme for Grace's first birthday. How perfect, a little yummy for my little yummy! Grace had a blast as you can see. I think she had almost as much fun as me! And yes, I've already selected a theme for next year's birthday so let the planning begin!!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Easter Sneak Peek!

Oh, how I love spring! Flowers are blooming, the sky is blue, the weather is just perfect. The spring always makes me think of new life and fresh beginnings, which leads me to Easter!!! What a joyous time! Families gathering together to give thanks and rejoice. Children all dressed up in their Sunday Best hunting for eggs. Here's a little sneak peek of Grace. The sweet vintage apron dress was created by Mrs. Angel of TaDa! Creations. Even more than finding them, Grace is obsessed with holding on to little eggs. She especially likes this speckled yellow one! Isn't she a sweet little chick?

Monday, March 10, 2008

First Sewing Project

Well, I finally did it! After owning a sewing machine for over 6 years, I finally sewed my first outfit - a little pillowcase dress for Grace! It all started with a "sew simple" class at one of our local fabric boutiques. It was a 2 hr. class. I thought it would be fun, so I signed up and talked one of my dear friends into going with me. Let's just say I was the first person there and the last to leave. After 5 hours, I finally finished the dress! Well, almost. I still haven't added the green polka dotted ric rac trim to the bottom, but after 5 hours even the instructor was ready for me to leave! I should have known the "sew simple" wouldn't really apply to me since my only other sewing project was two little burp pads and those took about 2 hours to complete (with mom's help mind you). I have new found respect for all the wonderful boutique designers on etsy and ebay and at the rate I'm going with sewing, they will continue to earn my business for a long, long time.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Blog Debut!

I've had a blog name reserved since last year with the best of intentions to get it going but for some reason (could it be the lack of sleep a new baby brings?) never got around to setting it up beyond picking a template. Well, inspired by one of my favorite custom boutique designers (thanks, Angel!) and in keeping with my New Year's resolution to be better about sharing photos with family and friends, especially those that live far away, I've finally done it!!! I'm still trying to figure it out, so getting the blog to actually look like I want it to is going to take some time. But for now, baby steps... ~Jessica