Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas 2008

Officially, Christmas is over, but since it is still not New Years, I'm going for it!

We had a great Christmas this year. The month of December flew by. Especially with me spending a week in the hospital.

My Christmas cards are still on the desk and the presents are all over the house. We spent Christmas Eve with our family with a traditional "Aseng" dinner! I didn't even get the Christmas china out this year. I was so NOT on top of things.

Christmas morning was early and the kids spent the first part of the day with their presents. In the afternoon we went to Jeff's grandparents for a Cuneo Christmas. Lots of fun!

The next day, I had to work, but my boss was gracious enough to buy all 7 of us lunch (who weren't lucky enough to have vacation to take) and let us out early! Then off to Crazy Bounce with the kids and cousins to burn off some energy! Later that night we went to my in-laws and we spent a wonderful night with games, food and fun. Drinking BINGO was fun, especially with Kim's homemade Pineapple Vodka!

Saturday we drove up to Pentwater and soent the night with more family. We swam, played ROCKBAND 2, and played the Bag Game. Lots of food again, and catching up with family. I think we were all tired, because the usual partiers were tuckered! :)

So it is Sunday and we are playing with Christmas presents and being thankful for all that we have. Mom is still getting her suitcases ready for Lima and I get to look forward to another short week at work. Have no idea what we are doing for New Years Eve, but as long as my family is all together... I really don't care! :)

My love to everyone. Thanks for spending the past year with us, and I look forward to 2009. I'm praying that it is the best year yet. That I get to sit here next year and marvel at how much the kids and us have grown. 2008 has been a hard year for the family, but I'm still thankful that we are all here, healthy, loved and with many blessings. We have taken the hardships and learned from them. Don't take anything for granted and spend time with your loved ones.

God bless!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Trinity's Date Night

Every month we take one of the three kiddos out on a "Mom, Dad & Kid" date night. This month was Trinity's turn and we took her out to dinner at her favorite sit-down restaurant (Applebee's) and then to the mall to Libby Lu.

At first I will admit that when I first encountered Libby Lu, I was very against the thought of my daughter running around trying to look like Britney Spears. It seems like every girl that ever walked out of that place was covered in glitter, dressed in faux fur and wearing a headset microphone.

So how did it come that my little girl would be sporting that same glitter? Well, as much as I hate the thought of some psycho cele-Brittany being her role model... I do enjoy the thought of my daughter feeling beautiful.

You see Trinity wears glasses (which she already hates) and she is obsessed with the fact that she is an anomaly compared to the usual Dutch girl around town. Blond and blue eyes she is not! Instead of beating her down with the words from my mouth that speak to the contrary, I thought I would raise her up in her own eyes.

It is impossible to describe in one word. She's torn between being a tomboy and a girlie girl. She the middle child who doesn't get enough attention already. But for one night she was a pretty princess and while she was too shy to do the "Dance" she did get a tutu skirt to dance around in the privacy of her own home for her parents who think she is the most beautiful six year old in the whole world!

Monday, November 24, 2008

November already?

I am, as always, beyond amazed to realize that the end of the calendar year has come up again.

While this year has been the hardest yet, I still find myself with a certain amount of peace that I can only credit God with. Because I know that without Him, I would just be a puddle of gunk that seems to collect from nowhere.

I lost my daddy, a nephew, my stay-at-home status, among other things...

But still I managed to handle it all when I swore that I would have to depend on my husband to drug me up while I slept walked through all the motions.

I'm sacrificing, taking on more responsibilities and dealing with all the stuff that life brings every day. EVERY DAY!!! And I am dealing with stuff that doesn't happen everyday... like taking care of my dad's arrangements.

People have told me that they don't know how I do it... Well, that makes two of us. I can only describe it as the "Mom" in me. When you have little ones that need you, you take care of them... even when it is the last thing in the world that you want to do. You get yourself out of bed, go through the motions, pray you are one step ahead... and you just do it.

Life is getting so busy for our family. I don't manage to get everything done in time, but I do my best. I don't raise my children as much as I just keep them alive.

But out of the blue, sometimes I remember minutes before bed, that I still haven't gotten a hug or kiss from my kids. So I slow down and sit them in my lap and try to suck all the good feelings I can out of them. Thankfully they still let me.

That's worth getting up every morning isn't it?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday Daddy. I miss you!

Saturday, November 8, 2008


You know... I am a big fan of knowing what is going on. I blame my parents for being soo spontaneous. I think it started when my parents would drive to NY. At the last minute when dad would come home from work on friday night, he would be like "Let's go to NY", so we would quickly pack and jump in the car and get there in about 13 hours.

Just ask my mom to tell you the "My Pampers.. My Pampers" story about me reminding them to pack my diapers on one of the million trips we took to NY from Michigan.

So when I got old enough to have my own voice... I would make them give me a time of when we would be going and they would say 7am. So imagine my surprise when they woke me up at 4am to get in the car for my 7am car trip. I would be so mad!

Anyways, I try to plan but am unable to stick to a schedule because I have to make room for the very spontaneous people in my life. My mom, my children... my husband (who probably isn't spontaneous as much as he doesn't communicate his plans to me so I am always surprised.)

This week I'm going to try to plan and stick to it. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Today is election day. It is amazing to think that what we take for granted... people in other countries RISK their lives to do.

I imagine that this might be easier for me if I were a typical "Party" person. But I am not. I have never voted straight ticket and don't imagine that I ever will.

Even as a Christian, I don't allow my "label" to dictate who I am supposed to vote for. I like to think I am still pretty liberal... but the reality is that the conservative side of me seems to be growing. I blame the fact that I am a parent. Either way, I voted for who I thought would be the best in that position.

As a daughter of two immigrants. I know that this country is awesome. My parents were lucky enough to not have to risk life and limb to get here, but many others just like them did. I also know first hand that we are BLESSED to be here as opposed to other countries.

We may be affected by 9/11/01... but in Peru, they had terrorists for decades. The police carry machine guns and the government is so crooked, that no one trusts them.

Yes, we have doubts about our government as well, but for the most part we do not fear them for our personal safety.

So please take the next step, now that the voting is done. Support whoever OUR country has elected and set a good example for the next generation. Respect the process.

So really it is a mystery as to who I voted for. Yes I did vote and whether my vote is one of the ones that voted in the new president or kept him from taking THAT big of a majority... I'll support and pray for whoever wins.

You see, my kids are old enough to have their pics.... and we are a multi-party family. While John McCain owns pets galore (like us), he is liked because Republican sounds like the Republic Army from Star Wars.

Barack Obama is liked because his name sounds so darn cute coming out of a three year-olds mouth.

God Bless America.

Friday, October 31, 2008


I taught my mom how to eBay last week. She is so addicted.

I guess I knew she would be....

After all, she is the one who taught me to be a serious garage sale addict.

I can picture my dad just rolling his eyes at the whole idea.

I think my PayPal account is going to be getting a workout.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tough decisions...

I know that being a parent is never easy... but sometimes you can find yourself in a place where you have to make decisions that really just plain suck!

We had to pull Tristan and Trinity out of private school this year. Tristan took it the hardest. He still to this day laments over his old school. Tears even...

Trinity doesn't seem to mind, but I do know that she still holds on to the memory of her old friends... but not as much as Tristan.

It breaks my heart... I've seen changes in him that I've never seen before. Getting in trouble, schoolwork not as good as before... I keep wondering if it is my imagination.

I bought the kids blank notebooks to color in. Tristan brought me (2) pictures he drew that had to do with his old school and his new school. The thing is that his old school was a Christian school and he takes it so hard that he is not learning about God (except for Sunday at church and Monday when he goes to an afterschool Bible Explorers program... I know this because he pointed it out to me tonight.)

I'm so worried that private school will shelter him from "real life". But then... what will be the effects of "real life"?

I know that I should really just pray about it. But I was once taught "Pray like it all depends on God and act like it all depends on you."

The decision was in part financial, so it is not as if we can just reverse a decision and go from there.

I just keep reassuring him that I love him and that I take his feelings seriously. I imagine that is part of the lesson to be learned.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Remembering Dad

This past weekend, we went to Brooklyn to celebrate a One-Month Memorial Mass for my daddy. We stayed with my Tio Ignacio and had a wonderful time. The kids did great on the ride there and back, and my cousin Brigitte was so incredibly patient when it came to touring us around Manhattan. She's tops on Jeff's list because she took us out to an Irish Pub that was within walking distance!

On saturday we went to mass for my dad. Afterwards there was a dinner at my Tio's house and there were so many people (and food) there.

Here is a link to a slideshow of pictures my cousin Wilfredo made on his website.
Thanks Cousin!

It is always something to realize that you are connected to something bigger than yourself. That you share the same blood and family ties with people who have know you your whole life. For some people, there are constant reminders because their family is all around them.

I have always had long-distance relatives. New York and Peru mostly. All families have their nutty relatives, but in the end... they still share something with you that no one else does. It is quite humbling to me. Something I probably don't appreciate as much as I should.

Dad always tried to do anything for his family. He often told me that his father kept a room in his home for anyone who needed a place to lay their head. Dad tried to carry on that tradition by helping the people around him. Whether or not they were someone who rented a room from him when we lived in New Jersey, or if they were a nephew who was jilted by the mother of his child. One of his last requests was to have us send his brand new down winter coat to my mom's nephew who just arrived in the US from Peru this summer.

Throughout this whole process, people have been so kind to let us know how much my dad has meant to him. It has been so wonderful to hear how much my Daddy was loved.

I still miss him... but I know that he is at peace now.

Thanks everyone...

p.s. He loved picking apples and he always loved a good pen!

Monday, October 6, 2008

My kids are on the radio!!

My kids recorded some stuff at WJQ 99.3 for commercials for their Tae Kwon Do school. Here is a link to hear them.

I'm so geeked!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Missing you...

Here is me showing my age... the song "Missing You" is sung by:

a) John Waite
b) P. Diddy
c) Allison Kraus

Anyways, my husband is gone hunting this weekend. It is amazing how your body can totally react to missing someone. Tightness in the chest... butterflies in your stomach... heavy heart. I am being a wimp, because it is only three nights. Heaven sakes, he leaves for Europe in a couple weeks and that will be for seven nights... I can't even imagine what my mom is feeling now that her husband of 39 years is gone.

I know that I am by no means, a low-maintenance wife. I try to kid myself that I make the "perks" worth the work... but I guess only he can answer that and I probably don't want to know the answer. :)

I grew up in a small family, and we always did things together. My parents even took me to nightclubs instead of leaving me with a sitter. We were always a party of three. No one ever got left behind.

Jeff's family wasn't like that. There were four of them, so at times, the guys would do their own thing and the girls would do theirs. Hunting and fishing were definitely guy things... Not entirely sure what the girl things were (aside from sitting in the back seat of the car). Maybe Kimmers can help me with that.

So now we have a family of five. We try to give each kid their "alone" time with either Jeff and/or I. But the most important thing we do is spend time "together" without the kids. Love the kids... I really do... but we try to keep the balance from being a total "kid-centered" family... and being a total "adult-centered" family. I like to think of it as a "Equal-respect-for-all-family-members" family. (yeah, you can all laugh at me)

We recently started "splitting up and conquering" when it comes to family obligations. Again, new concept for me... but one that does keep Jeff and I from "experiencing" all of life together. I am getting used to it, and I do realize that it is good for our own well-being...

but I do miss him.

I like to think it is because I love him so much.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Cry, cry, cry...

All day I have had an overwhelming urge to cry my eyes out. I miss my daddy and I'm not sure what brought it on. I have been working on some "favors" to give out the night of his anniversary mass... maybe that is it. I also finally deleted all the old voicemail messages from that week. Hearing everyone's sympathy could have done it as well I imagine.

Mom also had a bad day. Whether or not we blame it on the rainy day or whether it is just that he died on a Monday. I feel like just breaking down and being mad at the world for going on while I feel this way. The added responsibility of having to take care of "his affairs" is a weight on my shoulders as well. At least tomorrow we go see the attorney... hopefully that will help.

This picture is from a Peruvian Club of Michigan, Peruvian Independence Party. Lots of dancing and peruvian food. Dad loved to dance and he loved his music.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Gushing about Jeff

I have to totally gush about my husband...

Jeff drove to my parent's condo in the middle of the night, two nights before Dad died, to check a bruise that Dad got, and to mostly ease my Mom's mind.

The morning that Dad died, he sent the kids off to school, found a babysitter for my three year-old and made it back to me to say "good-bye" to Dad when the funeral home came to take him away.

I can't even list the rest of the things he did to make sure that I could tend to my mom and my family that came into town for the funeral. All that and he stayed by my side whenever he had the chance.

When I was single, I told myself that I wanted to marry a guy who was:
1) older than me
2) the same religion as me
3) who loved my parents as much as I did

Jeff is younger than me, he is not Catholic, but he does respect and love my parents as much as is humanly possible, and I know he does because he loves me.

I am completely blessed to have him in my life. He has made me a better person and I thank God every chance I get for saving this wonderful man for me to fall in love with.

Thank you sweetheart. I love you with all my heart.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Heroes - The TV show

I just don't get it.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mourning mornings

So now it has been a week since Dad has passed, and Mom is settling in to our house, slowly but surely. She spends days at the condo with Tessa (my three-year-old) and then as a family we come back to my house.

The latest is that Mom believes I should be wearing "Mourning" appropriate attire. So I was incredibly surprised when I came out of my room in the morning ready for work and she exclaimed (with tears in her voice) "You can't wear that!". So I am now scrambling for proper attire ever morning for work. It's bad enough that I haven't been able to catch up with laundry since last week, but now I have to be pickier than "Yup, it's clean".

But I love and respect Mom and of course Dad. So I will be wearing somber colors for the next three or six months (whatever Mom deems.) At least every morning, as I struggle with clothes, I'll be able to take a moment and be thankful to have had a wonderful father who loved me very much and be thankful for a God who promises us paradise when we go to meet him if only we believe.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

My Daddy

I planned on having my first post be about my Dad and his struggle due to poor health... but then he passed away on September 8, 2008 at 7:45am. I had the privledge of visiting him early that morning and having a conversation that gave us the overconfidence that he was not ready to die. But his breathing had gotten labored and I remembered that Jeff's Grandma B had the same type of breathing when she passed. So I mentioned it to my mom and to my husband. While I had went back home to get dressed and stop in at work for a little before the nurse came, he had taken the time to write "No CPR" on his notepad, minutes before he passed in bed at his home.

The rest of the week has been a whirlwind. So many people had called, written, came and offered support during this difficult time. All I know is that it has made me realize how much each small token of love means to someone when they are hurting.

To all of you, I offer my heartfelt thanks.
I love you all!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

First Post

I've had a blog before... but I didn't share the site with too many people. Now I am addicted to Facebook and MySpace, and I realize that benefits of having a network of friends. I've been able to keep in touch with people I love, people who I used to spend time with, and people who knew a version of me that I sometimes forget I had.

But no matter what, it is refreshing to be able to get back to touch with old friends, keep in touch with the people who are a part of your life... and share a little bit of what is going on in your life now.