Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Gabriel's Birthday Trip

I really like having a kid. Yeah, they're tough and a lot of work, but damn...everything is so much more interesting. Like...plane rides! Gabriel and I headed off to Florida last week to celebrate his early 2nd birthday--compliments of Auntie Rachel, Uncle Erick, and Auntie Ellen. Gabriel actually flew for the first time when he was 10 months old, but of course, this one was much more interesting. He was surprisingly very well behaved, and looked out the window as we took off. "Wheeeeeee!!!" He loved taking off and giggled with delight!

The first day was pretty laid back. Auntie Ellen and cousin Isa picked us up from the airport, and after a quick refreshing, we met Uncle Erick for dinner on his break. After dinner, we were all done for the day and turned in early for a busy weekend.

After a restful Thursday, Erick took the day off to hang with us. The kids woke early and had breakfast and playtime, while Erick got ready to start his day with us too.

So what's to do when you're on vacation with your toddler? To visit Target and Ikea, or course! P1250309 Erick intended to let Gabriel pick out his own toy, but he didn't seem overly attached to anything...except a simple ball.
P1250311 Here's Gabriel showing he's not afraid to get in touch with his feminine side, while borrowing his cousin's pink headband.

Erick took me to Ikea, which is a really cool furniture/houseware store. Gabriel slept through most of it, but woke up in time to be powered up for lunch in their cafeteria, and even got the opportunity for some old hag to shove him out of her way with her shopping cart while waiting in line. Nice!

Now, Saturday was our long awaited day. The weather wasn't so great, and it rained a few times on us, but hey...who can't be excited about Disneyworld??


Once again, the kids fell asleep for a short while (1 1/2 hours for Gabriel--carried!), and they were on the go! With the exception of boredom from standing in line, I thought he was fairly well behaved, and enjoyed being on the rides.
P1260377 P1260360 P1260354 P1260336

Gabriel enjoyed Pirates of the Carribean, and even wanted to be one with his uncle!

P1260328 P1260351

After a long day of Disneyworld, we were all tired and ready to order in food for the grand finale. Auntie Ellen brought out a cookies and cream icecream birthday cake for the birthday boy! P1260389

P1260394 It was a great ending to a fantastic day. Again, we were all whooped and eventually got to bed to be ready for our flight back home the next day.

I was a bit skeptical on how travelling with Gabriel would be, but I have to admit it was a lot of fun. Not easy by any means, but memorable and enjoyable. On top of that, Gabriel got some bonding time with his cousin...

P1270409 did I!!
Thank you, everyone, for making Gabriel's birthday so special! We had a wonderful time! It's always so nice to be with the family!

Monday, January 21, 2008

This Movie Is A Great Lesson For Life

I have a new favorite movie. Have you had the chance to see "Meet The Robinsons" yet? If not, you need to. I purchased this movie for Gabriel a couple of weeks ago, and finally had the chance to watch it this past weekend. Between the theme song from Matchbox 20, and the movie itself, I love the message this movie gives: "Keep Moving Forward." After all, we all have room to grow; and I can relate...

Little Wonders

Let it go,
let it roll right off your shoulder.
Don’t you know
the hardest part is over?
Let it in,
let your clarity define you.
In the end
we will only just remember how it feels.

Our lives are made
in these small hours.
These little wonders,
these twists & turns of fate.
Time falls away,
but these small hours,
these small hours still remain.

Let it slide,
let your troubles fall behind you.
Let it shine
until you feel it all around you.
And I don’t mind
if it’s me you need to turn to.
We’ll get by,
it’s the heart that really matters in the end.

Our lives are made
in these small hours.
These little wonders,
these twists & turns of fate.
Time falls away,
but these small hours,
these small hours still remain.

All of my regret
will wash away some how.
But I can not forget
the way i feel right now.

"Around here ... we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things ... and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths..." Walt Disney

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I've Found My Way Back

So, why you may ask? I ask myself this question almost every Sunday that I go. Well, let me count the ways...

Because I've realized that even during my darkest moments, you have always been there. Though I have chosen to stray so far, you continued to hold my hand and patiently waited for me to be ready to find my way back. It's because through all of my choices, I look at my life and realize that although not perfect, I am still so blessed with all I have been given. I realize I have never been alone, and that no matter what life may bring me, I can always find strength in you and trust that I will never endure anything on my own. I am so blessed and for that I am thankful.

It was as if my pastor clearly read my mind. This evening as I sat in the water before my baptismal with tears in my eyes, he looked at me and said, "...I think that God is telling you that he is pleased with you." But the most meaningful thing he said to me before I was lowered was a simple, "Welcome Home..." And as I felt the water surround me, I felt all of my pain and my past wash away and my life and faith renewed.

Christmas 2007

Good morning, Mommy! I was looking forward to Christmas a little more this year. I'd been gearing Gabriel up and prepping him with stories and movies of Rudolph, Frosty, and most importantly Santa. We woke up Christmas morning, and started the day out by lounging in bed and cuddling. When we were finally ready to let our feet hit the floor, he was all about opening presents!

I think that Gabriel is still a bit young to understand Christmas, but he's certainly getting the hang of opening gifts. For the past week or two, he's been tearing open gifts on his own without my knowing. I'll be in the kitchen cooking or cleaning, and I will hear him excitedly shout, "Ooooh! Books! Cooooolll!" or whatever surprise he's managed to unwrap. I finally wised up and had to start to watch him like a hawk when he would near the tree. Luckily, the gifts he's opened are all his indeed. I have no idea how he knows which ones are the good ones to open.

As usual, Christmas was its hectic self. None of my siblings were able to make it home this year, which was a bit of a bummer. But, we did go to the in-laws and my parents' like we normally do. Before you knew it, Christmas had come and gone, and the house in disarray.

I don't know what it was, but I really wasn't much into the holiday this year. I enjoy shopping for the gifts and such, but I suppose that with all the rushing around, and then getting back to work the following day, it's a little hard to really enjoy it. I'm hoping that one year soon, we will be able to get away and hole up for the holidays. Just us, and enjoying sitting in one spot.