Farewell 2020

In just a few hours we will say goodbye to 2020, and its ouster not a moment too soon. 

Oh, how it all started with beautiful promises. Cheers with family and neighbors. Watching our block New Year’s ball drop from a street light pole as it has done for many years. A tradition I am thankful and happy to experience, and be a part of every year. The hugs that we freely gave and received. Embraced with a full heart of love. I miss those hugs. The closeness you felt when you were able to just take each other in and feel the love and appreciation in just a hug.

What happened to the promises of 2020?  The new year we were all so excited to welcome came to a halt. Instead of watching life grow surrounded by family and friends, we were watching the news in fear as a virus blew through Italy like a wildfire spreading to all of Europe and taking so many lives with it. We watched in fear with clenched fits and jaw dropping stares while feeling an unfamiliar pain in our hearts. 

Hoping it wouldn’t come to our side. Praying it couldn’t get to our home but here it was on our front door.  A map of hope and travel became filled with red dots of pain and life lost. It seemed as though hope was disappearing and hate and divide were holding strong. People who wanted so much to just help. Show support. Protect themselves while protecting their family, friends and life. While others were in denial. Following those saying this is a false truth. Not caring for the wellbeing of human life and not protecting themselves and others. 

There was so much pain. So many lives lost, from the healthy to the weak. This year has taken far too much from us but it stops. It has to stop! 

I will bring in a New Year. I will welcome 2021 with hope, love, faith and courage in my heart that it will be a better year. I will dream a dream for my kids to grow surrounded by the loving arms of family and friends. To grow where they can experience the happiness a hug brings. The kindness that an encouraging touch brings. I want them to dream and know that all things are still possible. I pray that they can experience school in person with some amazing teachers that show just how much they are cared about every day. 

I want life back. In 2020, not only did we learn pain like no other, and many firsts that could never be expected, but we learned the true value of family. We learned that if we come together we can build beautifully. 

Praying that 2021 brings so many deserving hugs. Much belly filled laughter that causes your cheeks to ache from smiling so much. That family can reunite not on a screen but in your home standing only inches apart. 

Wishing you all of that and so much more. Here’s to bidding 2020 adieu and welcoming 2021 with good health to you and yours.

Family Bike Ride

We had a little break from COVID fears, school heartbreak and confusion just to be together as a family. Smiling, enjoying being outside together (with masks) and just experiencing the beauty that is still around us. Today was the first time we went on a bike ride, all four of us, together. It was the first time the kids rode in the street with us the entire time. Asher was the lead then came Isannah, Giovanni and I was the back end. I had the best view. I got to enjoy the little legs pedaling trying to keep up with their dad. I heard the laughter and saw the happiness of biking just by their body language.

It was a beautiful experience. One that was overdue.We got to bike along the piers and took a break to look around and take it all in. There in front of us was the city’s skyline. Home in Brooklyn but a view that can make anyone smile of the city. It was a beautiful sunny day with a hint of a cool breeze. The perfect weather for a family bike ride and a perfect day to spend together outside. It’s days like this when the stress of forced decisions being made evaporates and the love of life and family are present.

So many questions, where are all the answers?

This is the first time I am lost for words. My head is about to explode and I can’t help to release as I usually do by writing. Each time I feel like I have so much to say, then I sit down with my pen and paper and I freeze. It’s making things so much harder. 

What is going on? Maybe my mind is on overload and I keep jumping from emotion to another. When I have something on my mind and I’m about to release 15 more things pop in my head. I just keep feeling things with heaviness whether it’s happiness or anger, impatience or failure. They all are currently present. I know everyone feels a certain way sometimes as I do, and that’s okay but something is going on right now and I can’t shake it. It’s making me sick to my stomach, maybe because I’m angry. I feel really angry and that anger is turning into a lot of uncertainty, a lot of pain and tries to block any of the good and light I try to allow in. 

My heart is aching and my chest hurts. I feel like the weight I’m carrying is too much to bear. I’ve experienced so much loss since March. I’ve seen the pain and the emptiness in my friend’s eyes and in the eyes of people I don’t even know. Why are so many more suffering right now? How can you take babies, children, mothers and fathers so quickly? How can we fill the huge void in our heart? I see my friends and I can’t imagine their hurt. I don’t want to even begin to imagine if I was in their shoes. How could I walk? 

We almost lost our son that night he was born. Both my children are fighting in the NICU. They’re here now and I don’t ever want to go back to that place. Although my mind drifts there from time to time and I cry. Boy, do I cry. I see them now thriving, growing and laughing and it brings me back to today and allows me to soften and smile. Even now as I write I’m crying. My chest is closing in and that weight is there again. I want to scream but at what? Who can I scream at because screaming and abusing myself makes everything so much worse. How am I not completely broken?

In this lifetime, I’ve experienced abuse both verbally and physically from people I trusted and loved so much. I’ve experienced failure and a lot of it. Depression so badly I questioned my existence at scary levels. I’ve experienced self-doubt, hurt, and loss a lot of it. 

But I also experienced miracles, love, compassion, encouragement and happiness. I witnessed life and dreams that came true. Does the latter help outweigh the bad? Can the beautiful memories I stored and reflect back on block the evil memories I try to push away?

There has to be a balance right? I look at my family and I try to take them in and hold them so close. I breathe them in hoping they are so close inside me that they can replace all the hurt that is there. I still feel belittled at times and it breaks me piece by piece. Why do I still let people have power over me? What am I doing wrong? 

I am the best listener. I can problem solve and heal others with the advice I give, the love I share and my heart that is open to help others comes easily. When someone is hurting, I do my best to take away their pain and just sit there with them. Knowing having someone just be with you can make all the difference in their world. I love being that person especially to those I truly care about. It comes easily to me and just flows. Why can’t I do that for myself? Instead I allow the heaviness to stay and weigh me down. I genuinely care with all that I have and give all of me with no restrictions. I am empathetic. I’m here. Even with all the hate in this world and the ugliness that is shown to us on a daily basis I still want to believe. 

I still want to show my kids what good is. What life can be. I want them to know this world is beautiful and I want them to dream and never stop believing in themselves and this life. 

I want them to be humble and kind. To know their life makes a difference and they were gifted this life for a reason. I don’t ever want them to feel unloved or unimportant in any way.

I’m ready to allow healing. I’m ready to take another step forward. I have to. There’s so much I want to experience with my kids. I want to stare into their eyes and see all the wonders of this life as they do. I want them to always feel my love even when I lose my temper or I become impatient. I want them to always know that I’ll never stop loving them. I wish they could look through my eyes and see how beautiful, amazing and how proud I am of them. I want them to carry that feeling everyday of their lives no matter what happens in their life or what journey they are on. They can always take those with them. 

When I am no longer here they will always remember they are the best miracles of my life.

Here’s to 12 years!

Monday, August 10, 2020 we celebrated 12 years of marriage. Several years ago we were gifted the time to travel on our anniversaries. We were able to celebrate just us again. Each place we traveled we laughed, loved and lived. We escaped to new places to get back to the place we said, I do. That day brought two souls together and grew two hearts. It was a day of new beginnings and a day that lit the way to our new journey.
Whether we were traveling to The French Riviera or driving Highway 1, we have been blessed to see things through a different lens. We learned and grew.
This year we were unable to travel because of COVID. Instead, we celebrated it together as a family. Our children sang a Happy Anniversary song to us. My husband drove us to Sonic Drive In. This was a big moment and treat. He knows I love Sonic from my way back Texas days so this was our travel adventure. It was our children’s first time eating there and LOVED it. After enjoying coneys and slushes with happy full tummies we headed back home.


Not more than 20 minutes after we arrived a tornado siren went off. Next came the beeping on phones with tornado watch warnings and TV tornado warnings telling everyone to go to the lowest floor of the house. My husband grabbed flashlights and our dog Griffin. Giovanni, Isannah and I followed him to the basement. It was the kids and my first time in a tornado watch so it was quite the experience. As we were in the basement, I couldn’t help but stare at all of them. My children, my husband, and our dog were curled up on a beam bag. During all that has been going on this year and all that was going on in that moment, all I could do is smile. This was 12 years. This was family and this always will be.


My husband and I managed to have alone time during Griffin’s walk. My husband, Griffin, and I went for a stroll as the sunset was beginning. The wind was softly blowing while the colors in the sky began changing. The beauty that was surrounding us on our walk made me think of the many sunsets we experienced together and the many more we will experience again.

Here’s to crazy number 12.

The Balloon

Instead of hearing the sounds of children playing, the sounds of giggling and running in the streets, you hear quiet. There’s silence. It’s like a balloon floating around alone in the street. The balloon lifts slowly off the ground each time a breeze carries it. But it doesn’t go far. When the wind blows ever so gently it gives the balloon a slight push.

It’s a balloon alone in the street. No children running excitedly towards the balloon trying to catch it. No children giggling because two friends are running so fast to catch the balloon and instead of catching it smack into each other and fall happily on the ground. 

Those are the sounds that we miss. 

Now you feel alone. You are walking alone because there is no one around. Finally when you do see some life on the other side walking towards you you can’t help but think, oh my goodness does that person have the virus? As they get closer you try and force a smile behind your worried eyes as a greeting and keep on walking. You look back once in a while just to be sure that people are still out there. You try to get back to civilization or you try to get back to your everyday life but it’s no longer the same. It’s not the everyday life that you remember it to be it’s different. 

What we are all feeling is different. There’s a lot of fear still. There’s a lot of uncertainty. Instead of the excitement of looking ahead, which we can’t really do right now, we are presented with the fear of truly not knowing. 

I want to be excited about summer camp plans we made for our children. I always looked forward to picking up the kids after camp to hear all about what they did and learned. Staring at their red faces because you know they were sweating and having a good time. Their hair is a little wet and curling in some areas and you just see their smile and happiness. And although their face looks tired you know it was a fulfilled day. Vacation trips. Play dates with friends. That’s no longer in our reach right now. The end of the year actually the end of school year excitement is gone because the kids haven’t been in the classroom. Other than virtual classrooms and meeting with teachers online and seeing students it’s not the same. 

The interactions are not the same. The little groups gone. The friends that come together and start talking is no longer the same. Things are changing. Is it our fault?

Were we taking things for granted not really realizing the harm that we could possibly be doing to each other and the Earth.

As a mother, all I want to do is see my kids smile. And when something or someone takes away that smile it hurts you deeply. But you have to keep reminding yourself that they are safe. They are healthy. They are still very much loved.

And hopefully this too shall pass. 

But in the meantime, all I do is stare at this balloon. It just keeps floating and then just stands still. Just as I do.

Find your glue

Where to even begin? My fingers are becoming weak just thinking of all the emotions I have bottled up and need to type down on this blank canvas. All I can do is type my thoughts as I feel them and hope they make sense or even allow you to see inside my heart. 

I know this time is difficult for all of us. We are all feeling and reacting differently to what’s been going on in the world today. What I can say is fear is the biggest part that is being played. When fear becomes involved things and reactions are dealt with differently than what it would be on an average day. And that’s ok. You have every right to be feeling what you are feeling. That is your heart. 

For me being a parent during this time has my shell of a body cracking slowly around me. I’m doing my best to keep those cracks from fully opening in fear that once my shell shatters it will become hard to glue those pieces together. I can’t let that happen. The glue that usually seals those spaces are the little giggles I hear from my children. A kind gesture along the way. A hug from my mom. Holding the people I love dearly in my arms. Tiny blessings that surround me. The touch of someone you love. Your child’s expression when they feel a sense of accomplishment knowing they did something they set out to do. There are many little things that seal my cracks to keep me whole. Sadly, with all that is going on around us some of those things aren’t easily achieved. The light begins to shine through the cracks and that scares me. 

I try taking deeper breaths more frequently but that just makes me feel sick. 

I’m afraid. Yes, that’s it. I’m afraid of failing my children. I am worried that I won’t be able to provide all they need. I’m afraid that not having “me” time somehow will cause my judgement or emotions to shift. Shift in a more irritable manner. I don’t want to get upset easier. I don’t want to react with anger. I want to keep showing them no matter what difficulties come our way that we can make it all work. How do I do that when I’m fighting with that same thing within me?

Right now I am sitting outside in what little sun we have listening to the sounds of nature and my kids playing in the background and that softens me. It allows me to take my next step. This is it. Me trying to put into motion what I am feeling to help seal some more cracks and lift a little of the weight that I’m carrying. 

Now here’s a little craziness in my head for you. I look at the kids having fun in the backyard and all I can do is think, please God do not let them get hurt. Please allow them to have all the fun they can enjoy without injury. I want to continue to hear the laughter, the giggles, the silliness and the screams but I don’t want to hear them cry from falling or hurting. I keep repeating silently, please don’t get hurt. Please don’t get hurt. We can’t go to the hospital. We can’t go to the doctor’s. We’ve been working so hard staying quarantined. This can’t be the thing that makes it all worse. I’m not only thinking that when we are all outside playing. It’s all the time. In the house when they are doing their normal activities. Just running or climbing to get things makes me repeat those words. 

What’s even crazier is I say that to myself as well. As I am doing my daily activities or if I am trying to exercise. If I am running with the dog or even just cooking, I keep thinking, please don’t get hurt. I can’t slip. It’s a fear that’s very present in my head now. All this because of fear. Fear that we won’t be able to get the services they need because of COVID-19 or the fact that we will bring COVID-19 into our home. We are all worried but the worry has been intensified because of my daughters past respiratory issues. 

Seeing things so differently now. You use to feel so much stronger and secure of your knowledge to protect your child, kissing those booboos away didn’t seem so hard but now it seems those things could get worse fast and you become in a more aggressive protected mode. I’m not sure if that makes sense but I know I am feeling more sensitive to possible injuries. 

All I can do is what I’ve always done before COVID-19. Make sure both my kids know just how much I love them. How much they are loved and continue to support them. Make sure they know they are safe and we will continue to do our best to protect them but to also understand what is going on and be honest with them. Have the door of communication open so they feel safe to come to us. Help them explore outlets. 

I gave both my children a journal so they can write down how they are feeling. How the change in routine is affecting them? Do they understand why we are in quarantine? So many questions for little minds to explore. 

We will continue to all learn and understand together. This is new to us all. Let’s remember to soften our shell but keep the glue close by just in case. Hold on to the love that fills us even on days where we don’t feel it’s there. Dig deep and you will see all those memories that found their way into your heart and use that to help. In those spaces that is where love lives. 

I know we can all do it. I know we can all get through this. We have to. 

COVID-19 Emotions, Fears, Life

There are so many emotions out there and no place to actual put them. Different things are being said by different individuals. Media is blowing up and emotions are running wild about COVID-19. 

As a parent, you want to do all you can to protect your children. Even though you may not know what that is, you do your best to go with what you are feeling inside. 

What you are feeling may be different from what your partner is feeling. You try desperately to agree for your children but that doesn’t always come easy. The one thing you do agree on is the well being and safety of your children. Days become tough but so is all that is going on in the world around us. 

When fear overcomes ration things can turn ugly and in most cases they do. What do you need to do to bring you back to where you were? Now let’s rewind a bit.

Several days ago my husband decided to keep our children out of school. I was not happy with the decision and reluctantly went along with it. I felt the kids would be missing special and important activities in school. I knew they worked really hard on plays and projects. Things were happening that I didn’t want them to miss out on. It was becoming harder to protest when you were seeing all that was happening around the world getting closer to where you live. 

We decided to have a grown up discussion with our children. Although it was hard for them at first, they realized we want what’s best for them and with our daughters respiratory issues in the past we thought it was best to keep them home. 

That decision was difficult for me with of all the obligations I had lined up. I knew that keeping them home meant keeping me from fulfilling my duties at their school. I’m not good with pulling away from my commitments and letting people down. In fact, I strive to do what is best and helpful to others. That being said, what was helpful was keeping myself risk free for my children. 

Several parents had their own opinions about what I was doing and that was ok. I realized it wasn’t about them or what others thought, it is about me and my family.

We had a good support system and are blessed with amazing teachers too. Teachers who checked in and responded to emails. They helped send assignments along the way. At one point, a teacher even spoke to my daughter. It was a beautiful thing. The kids felt happier knowing they were still a part of the school activities in some way. It felt right and everything was falling in to place, at least in my mind.

Now for all those going back and forth with the decision to know what is right, just listen to your gut. What your heart is telling you to do. Do it. Only you will truly know what is best for your family. 

Remember what is going on around you. It’s not just targeting older people. It’s targeting everyone. No matter religion. No matter race. It is a virus that everyone will and can get unless they are distancing themselves. Staying vigilant and be safe.

International Women’s Day!

Today is International Women’s Day. Today is the day women are celebrated around the world. One thing is, I celebrate the women in my life every day. I grew up with some pretty amazing women. One and foremost being my mom. Her love, dedication, determination and loyalty to our family goes beyond all measures. She is a woman of strength, heart and love. No matter the situation or the fear she feels she did her best to always show her strength to reassure us that we are all ok.

As a child growing up, I could see her heart by looking in her eyes and still do. Maybe at times, I didn’t fully understand her beauty and perhaps at times, I didn’t show the respect she deserved but she always lifted me up and always held me tight no matter what I was doing in life, to her directly or indirectly. She was my mom. She was a superwoman to me. She was bigger than life. Little did I know that this woman would not only continue to be my hero but she is also my best friend. I can still see the love just by looking in her eyes. The only thing now her eyes show many emotions. They show the years that passed. The scares of heartache and loss. The fear of a husband in and out of the hospital. The marks of life are defined greatly but through it all her eyes show the beauty and love looking right back at you.

Today I celebrate her. Today I celebrate all the women that touched my life. From family, teachers and friends.

I was blessed and giving a second mom, my mother-in-law, who shows love has no boundaries or conditions. She embraces all that is given to her good or bad and allows her heart to take over and spill all that heart onto all of us. She gives direction and a helping hand to get us where we need to be.

The women teachers I remember as a child that touched me, I take them with me in interactions I have or situations I am in. Teachers that are now teaching my children which I’ve grown to love.

Friends that mean the world to me and have found a place in my heart as family. We all have beautiful memories that carry us each day through the path of life, scary at times, but we take them with us. I’m celebrating all of you! In a world where there is growing fear and hate. Choose to celebrate the love, admiration, kindness, and heart that we have all been shown and send it out in the world.

Hoping that I am a woman that touched someone that will help them along their journey.

What are you carrying?

I’m sitting on my stood thinking about the many memories that lead me to where I am now. Contemplating on life the way it was and how it is today. I feel like I’ve lived worlds within worlds. If that even makes sense.

Sometimes I get confused and my memories are clouded. I wonder with all that I went through as a child and what I continued to go through in each stage of my life brought me here.

Sometimes I remember things differently then what really happened. Is it because I’ve blocked some memories out of my mind or put them away so they wouldn’t hurt so much? Maybe it was to help me become stronger and prepare me for what is going on in my life today. 

When memories come to surface in full force they can be very scary and make you pull back into a shell you worked so hard to come out of.

We find ways to deal with different emotions. Even though you are unaware of what is happening to those emotions your mind does. Now comes the tricky part, when those memories resurface it is attached to feelings you weren’t able to fully feel because your mind found a way to hide them.  At that moment you are caught off guard. You ask yourself if you are strong enough now to deal with it. After all, you are older and wiser. You have gone through lifetimes and are still standing. So why does it still hurt? Why does your mind play tricks on you?

I have to stop for a moment and pull back. Think about all that has passed and what is right in front of me.

I’m a mom of two amazing kids. I have a family and a home.

There are some eye-opening kids books that I have read with my family. One particular one comes to mind. It is about an invisible bucket we all have. When that invisible bucket is full, we feel great. When it’s empty we are sad. If you do something to fill a person’s bucket you are both happy. It’s a beautiful book with a wonderful message to help kids be kind to one another. Help when it’s needed and to understand feelings not only their own but others as well.

As you grow, you feel the weight of that bucket on you in a different way. The weight you are carrying around is the pain of others that you collected to help them feel better. Combined with the hurt you are carrying makes it so heavy it brings you to your knees. This is when God takes that weight and helps you move again. Sometimes you don’t realize just how much you are carrying until it’s too late. You don’t realize that you have tucked away some really heavy things that you were afraid to carry without even knowing it was breaking pieces and making holes inside of you. It’s like your inside is struggling with the outside. You form protective barriers but what’s already inside continues to grow making it harder to heal. The barrier doesn’t allow others to get close or try to help. It’s a never-ending battle you are losing. The only way to stop the cycle is to understand it is there. Confront those feelings that have been tucked away. Let others in even though you are afraid of getting hurt again. You need to trust in yourself that you are where you need to be and that you are amazing. You need to know that only you are the person you are and there is no one more suited for your heart, you body and your soul then you. You are your own protected shell. We break. We crumble. We pick up the pieces and start bandaging the pieces back together. Some pieces will no longer fit together as it did before. You may see some light shining through those spaces but that’s ok. You are allowing the light to shine through you. That light will help lighten the load and help you bring light to the darkness you experience at times.

We are never completely healed and we will feel hurt sometimes like no other but we are here. We have the gift of life. There are no exchanges or returns. We just need to know how to see the beauty that surrounds us including the beauty inside of you. When you look into the mirror the reflection you see is your gift. Smile you will receive the most perfect smile in return.

Sometimes…

Sometimes you just need to smile through it all to make sure your children don’t see the fear or sadness. Sometimes you smile even when you are hurting because you want to always make those you love smile too. Sometimes it seems like you have it all together but you are holding on to a thin rope that feels like it will break at any moment. Sometimes you try so much for so many and can’t see that you are only good to them when they are receiving something they need from you. The calls stop for a while until something is needed and then you hear a hello. 

Sometimes you just want people to know you are tired not only physically but mentally too. Sometimes people see riches and material rather than your struggle and dedication to get what you’ve work so hard for. The riches I have is not money it’s the children I am blessed with. The husband that loves all of me. Not when it’s convenient for him or when I look the prettiest. He loves me and all my faults which are many. I’m rich in the life I live through faith, love, hope, honesty and being humble. I am rich for the family that reaches out to me just to say hello. For my friends that no matter the distance or days that go by I know they will always be there for me.

I am blessed that no matter what I do or the failure I feel I’ve done, God will never give up on me and for that I am rich.