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My semi anti-Valentines Day post

14 Feb

IMG_1451Today I couldn’t help but to be annoyed by overwhelming Valentine’s Day social media posts, balloons and the impromptu flower shops outside grocery stores. I had to ask myself why? Do I really hate it this much? I don’t think I do but I dislike the idea that as human beings we are programmed to be told when to celebrate certain things. I’ve always been a cheerleader of spontaneity, just because gestures on ordinary days. Yes, I’m sure it is very nice to get flowers on Valentine’s Day but wouldn’t be nicer to get them when they are not expected? When everyone is else isn’t doing the same thing? Maybe it’s just me being a Grinch but I think V-Day lacks originality and romance. I also think it brings more pressure to relationships and at times unrealistic expectations. It is great for business though!  Keep in mind this is coming from someone who cannot remember the last time she received flowers for Valentine’s Day. I think the most memorable and meaningful flowers I’ve received were when Gael was born, those were special!

I think showing love on Valentine’s Day is nice but I think showing love every other day is nice too.  I like the idea of having one day to celebrate love, not with things but with gestures, smiles and kindness. I think love should be celebrated every chance we get, every chance we receive it and every change we give it. I don’t think there’s one thing anyone can give to show how much they love someone but I do think they can show it in many different ways. We can show it in the way we treat people. We can show it by simply sharing a smile with someone. We can show it by simply checking on a good friend. We can show it by sharing a meal with our family and friends. We show it in the way we care for our kids. We = by simply being there for someone who needs us. We can show it with one kiss, one simple kiss can say what we can’t say with words. I hope you are celebrating love in an out of the ordinary kind of way. I wish you love, kindness and a really good kiss.

The power of hugs and kisses from a tiny human

10 Jan

photo (3)33Earlier this week I felt something I don’t remember ever feeling before—the pure innocence of love. I was seating on the floor with Gael like we usually do when we get home from work. He was playing on his corner and I was seating there just watching him when out of nowhere he turns, sees me and begins to crawl as fast as he could towards me. He stretched his little arms, hugged and kissed me then went back to his toys. He did the same thing a few times again and just sat there taking it all in, loving every second of it. I never felt THAT love before.  I thought that love was just a product of my imagination. His gestures said so much more than words.  It was as if he was telling me, “Mommy I love you.” This tiny human being of mine who doesn’t even know the word “love” took it upon him-self to show me how much he loves me, just because.

photo3I’ve never been the kind of person that likes to show affection in public. It makes me uncomfortable when others do. I used to think I hated it but I realize this is something I always wished I had. I remember the first time I saw my father I was really excited. It was right after the civil war ended. I wore the only dress I had, my aunt put my hair in a ponytail and I even wore shoes. I remember all I wanted was for him to hug me instead he handed me a yellow envelope with money and that was it. I didn’t even touch his hand. I couldn’t understand why. I felt no love. No love at all.

photoI think at some point when I was a teenager I told myself showing affection in public was weird and stupid. It was something only the “fresas” did. Fresas is a nickname for the rich kids. I was always amazed when my friends showed so much love and affection to their parents and their parents did the same. They were not afraid to say things like, “I love you,” or give hugs and kisses just because. I didn’t understand why I was afraid to do those things. Now I know it’s simply because it wasn’t something I was used too. I still struggle with it ‘til this day. I’ve always had a hard time saying things like “I love you,” to certain people in my life and showing affection in public still makes me a bit uncomfortable.

photo2I never want Gael to experience this. I don’t ever want him to afraid to show how he feels. I do not want him to think twice before hugging or kissing me. I don’t ever want him feel like he needs to hide his emotions. I want him to show all that love because that’s okay. It is okay to show love. I don’t ever want him to be afraid of showing any of his feelings because he is a boy- let me make a quick pause- can we stop telling boys to stop crying like girls?!! (That’s a different post for later)

photo (2)Gael makes me loving. He makes me unafraid of showing love and affection. He makes it okay. He makes me not give a shit about it. He makes me want to change. To realize he loves me just because makes my heart skip a beat; it makes me feel incredibly lucky and blessed. It makes me believe in love again, believe love can bring beauty, hope, peace and joy.  This kind of love used to be a childhood dream, something I wished it existed, and something I wished I felt. Something I wish my father would have been able to show me that day when I visited him. Gael’s innocence and unconditional love is making my childhood dream a reality. This love is real, it does exist, I feel it and Gael is making use I don’t forget about it—his tiny hands wrapped around me every single day remind me of it. Every time his beautiful face touches mine reminds me of it. Every time he crawls towards me or gets excited when he sees me walk in the door remind of it. Remind me that he loves me and my world is okay.

Texas Posadas: Making new traditions with my little man

18 Dec

IMG_9519My family doesn’t really follow any traditions during the holidays. We just get together in someone’s home, eat and watch the kids be kids. I guess this is a kind of tradition, no? Some of the traditions I grew up with in El Salvador were lost when I came to United States.  Christmas felt different there, it felt nicer maybe less complicated.  The focus was never on gift giving but more on the birth of el niño Jesus. It was a celebration of his birthday. I realized now the gift thing wasn’t such a big deal because most didn’t have much to give. Some waited for the 3 Reyes Magos (3 kings) celebration in January. I think this gave parents a little extra time to get gifts for the kiddos.

IMG_2726Things changed when I came to the United States. The feeling of Christmas was never the same and this is one of those things I missed about my country. I used to count down the days until December 24th because I could wear my new clothes and eat traditional food we wouldn’t normally eat everyday like chicken or tamales.  I missed that feeling. I remember some of my friends believed Santa couldn’t make it to El Salvador every year because he lived too far (this is what their parent’s used to say when they couldn’t get gifts on time and used the 3 Reyes holiday to buy some time). I missed that innocence.  I our Christmas tree wasn’t a big pine tree but a tree branch we picked out with grandma and decorated with lights, and colorful ornaments. I missed the simplicity. These memories are very dear to my heart and I’m so thankful I was able to experience that kind of Christmas as a child. I want Gael to know what that feels like.IMG_2709

For the first time in a long while I am excited about the holiday and this is all thanks to my little guy. This is Gael’s first Christmas and it brings me so much joy to be able to share this with him. He is too young to understand the meaning behind all of it but one day I would love for him to feel excited about more than just gifts. Here are a few of my hopeful traditions I would love to share with him.

  • Thanksgiving meal together- Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays and this year I cooked a meal for just the two of us. I want to be able to do this every year. I want to teach him the importance of gratitude and make it a daily practice in our lives.
  • Christmas Décor until the day after Thanksgiving- We will not put up Christmas decorations until the day after thanksgiving. I would love for us choose the colors together and make it a tradition the day after thanksgiving.
  • Ornaments: I would love to for us to make our own ornaments. This year I made a simple ornament with his photo inside of it. I’m not crafty but I want us to be able to make things together.
  • Nativity Scene: I want him to understand the meaning of the nativity scene and when he is older, if he chooses, celebrate the birth of el niños Jesus at midnight Dec. 25th.
  • Posadas with friends- This year we hosted friends for dinners in our casita and also visited some in their homes. I would love for us to continue doing this every year. I want him to learn about the importance of friendships and appreciate the special people in our life.
  • Making Gifts- I love personal, meaningful gifts. I would love for Gael to make simple gifts for certain people in his life like his father or grandma. I don’t want him to ever feel pressured to buy expensive gifts for anyone. I want him to understand the real value and meaning of gifting.
  • Hot coco, cookies and presents- This is a tradition I always admired from some families. I would love it if we could wake up on Christmas morning to open presents from Santa while zipping on hot coco with homemade cookies.
  • End of the year dinner- I want us to sit down to have dinner before the end of year.  One day I’ll be able to talk to him about everything we did during the year and share what we want to do in the New Year.  I want us to set goals and talk about how he will accomplish them during the year.

IMG_2770Gael has changed my world in ways I could have never imagined.  Reading through this list makes my heart warm and makes me excited about the future ahead with my little guy. He has brought so much joy into my life and I couldn’t be more thankful. He is making the season feel different- much nicer, less complicated and much more joyful.

I wish you nothing but joy and may the new year be a great adventure full of smiles, goodness and mucho amor.

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TEXAS POSADAS BLOG HOP

I’m participating in a Texas Posadas Blog Hop as part of the Texas Social Media Network (#TXSocial). You can visit these other blogs for more on Posadas: food, traditions, etc. We’ll be celebrating our Posada Blogs for the next nine days. Join us!

12/16 – My Tots Travel

12/17 – Sweet Life

12/18 – Expecting The Unexpected

12/19 – Frida’s Cafe and Juan of Words

12/20 – Tejana Made

12/21 – Monica Wants It

12/22 – Sybilline

12/23 – Your Sassy Self

12/24 – ¿Qué Means What?

#NaPhoPoMo 2013 Last Day: Look for the light

1 Dec

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#Naphopomo is officially over and although I started a little late I’m proud of myself for posting 27 straight days. I really enjoyed the practice because it got me back into photography and on a regular routine of writing.  I have to thank the wonderful Karen Walrond for introducing me to Naphopomo and encouraging me to put my camera to good use. 

This came at a perfect time because I was feeling a bit lost with my blog. I wasn’t dedicating much time because I was always second guessing myself and what I was writing. I decided to make a practice to simply post a photo a day and not worry about writing a long post. This gave me so much room to breathe and helped me realized I do not have to write a long post in order to keep this space up to date. I can do so much with an image or a simple thought. 

This last photo is the perfect ending to a great month. Karen always always encourages to Look for the light and so I did in different ways.  

I found light in my camera. I found light in unexpected moments. I found light in an unexpected someone. I found light in a ordinary day. I found light while watching my sweet boy sleep. I found light in good friends.  I found light in my home. I found light even in dark moments that tend to creep up once in a while. I found light within me I hadn’t seen in a good while.

Thank you for following along, liking and sharing my posts. I really do appreciate your time and support. This practice should help me keep Frida’s Cafe current. I won’t bore you with my thoughts every day but will do it at least once a week. I hope you have a wonderful December and remember to look for the light. 

This photograph was taken as part of #NaPhoPoMo (National Photo Posting Month) – a shot a day for the month of November.

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#NaPhoPoMo 2013 Day 26: Our Christmas tree

30 Nov

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Our mini Christmas tree is up! I’m not usually a Christmas kind of person but I’m really excited this year because is Gael’s first. Last year I put up the tree because I was pregnant and this year he gets to see the light beam. The holidays are just so much nicer when you have someone so close and special to share them with. I’m excited about starting new traditions with him and doing things on our own. I look forward to the day when we have a bigger home and we can decorate it together. For now, our mini tree and lights will do. 

This photograph was taken as part of #NaPhoPoMo (National Photo Posting Month) – a shot a day for the month of November.

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#NaPhoPoMo 2013 Day 25: 10 months

29 Nov

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It is hard to believe today he is 10 months, just 2 months shy away from being 1 year. I remember the days when I could take a photo with that zebra to show his growth from month to month. Now it is hard to get him to stay still. He crawls non-stop, stands on his own and wants to explore everything insight. He is a social butterfly who doesn’t mind new people and will give you a nice big smile if he really likes you. He is the light of my days.

This photograph was taken as part of #NaPhoPoMo (National Photo Posting Month) – a shot a day for the month of November.

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#NaPhoPoMo 2013 Day 24: Life changes

28 Nov

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Last year life didn’t look or feel like this. I’m thankful for the changes Gael has brought into my life and all the little things he helps me value. He brings a different perspective, humility, hope and love I’ve never experienced. I’m thankful for this every single day.

The photo above is a tradition I want to continue with him- A mini-thanksgiving meal just by ourselves.

I hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving!

This photograph was taken as part of #NaPhoPoMo (National Photo Posting Month) – a shot a day for the month of November.

Check out other photos

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