Monday, December 19, 2011

7 Years Ago

7 years ago today the world lost a wonderful person, friend, sister, mom, and grammie.

My mom was the bomb.

She really was.

As naive as she was at times (and sometimes I do shake my head at how naive she was, lol), she was a strong woman.  She raised 3 girls all by herself, with virtually no help from our fathers (yes, you saw that right, father"s".  "naive moments", but God love her for trying).

Yes we struggled, that's for sure, but she did it on her own.  She didn't go on welfare (well, she did when my younger sister was born, but got off of it quick because she got virtually nothing and got more money from an actual job).

We all learned the meaning of being grateful for what we did have.

And we were all truly grateful for having her.

A family member once told me that they couldn't understand why we (my sisters and myself) would want to remember our mom on such a tragic day, the day she died.   And I can understand their point of view, but for us, we are remembering the last time we EVER saw her.  I mean, wouldn't you want to remember, forever, the last time you ever saw the most important person in your life?  The day you said goodbye to them?  The last time you ever touched their hand, memorizing every inch of their face, the face that you counted on, relied on, came to for comfort?

So that's what we do.

And yes, it IS sad that it comes 6 days before Christmas.  That sucks big time. Because she LOVED Christmas.   As you saw in my previous post, we have decorations of hers that she had at Christmas.

When we were younger, she would make a lot of our presents too.  Staying up until 2 in the morning sewing clothes, PJ's, robes, etc.  We never knew either that she stayed up that late.

But it is what it is.  And we deal with it, and we get through it.  Every year.  And then we go on.

Each one of us has the same tattoo as well.

Her signature.

It varies with each one of us of some sort though.  For example, my one sister, who got it first, has her signature inside a banner tattooed on her.  The one above, is mine.   My other sister just has her signature.  This is something that we each remember so vividly.  We LOVED her signature.  It was always so precise and neat.   We always tried to "forge" it, but never could.  (Of course I can do her signature perfectly now, I even write like her now, but I don't need it anymore to forge a note to get out of school anymore, lol)

And each one of us can see parts of her in each one of us.

For example, both my sisters have her hands.

My one sister looks a lot like her.

We each have some of her mannerisms.

One of my sisters and I have her feet.

I write like her now (again, wish I could have had that talent back in high school...............)

And yes, I do still miss her terribly.  Especially during the hard times.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

From The Heart

The Original Mrs. Claus

In my opinion, the best presents are the ones that come from the heart.

Oh sure, there are those presents where you are like WOW, I can't BELIEVE you gave me that!  That is SO AWESOME!

Yea, everyone loves to get those.

But the presents that I will always remember the most?

The ones that are given from the heart.  Where you put your heart into it.

Whether it's something you looked high and low for, knowing that that person would absolutely LOVE it, whether it's something you made, or whether it's something you did for that person.

I love to give.

I love to see the smiles on their faces.

I love to make things for people as well.

Every little stitch, every little bit of fabric, or the photo I created.

Almost 7 years ago my mom passed away.

6 days before Christmas.

I can't even remember what was in those presents that she gave that were under the tree that year.

You know what I kept?

The tag that had her writing on it.

That's what I remember.

Her writing.

That's what I kept.

When my sisters and I went through her belongings and divided up the decorations there was Mrs. Claus.

She made this as a decoration for our house one year.

I always loved it. Correction....we ALL loved it.  But that was the only really one thing I wanted.  So my sisters let me have it.

But I knew my one sister truly loved it too.

So I set out on a mission.

Through ebay.

And found the exact pattern that my mom had to make it, many years ago.

And I made my sister one for Christmas.  And I was able to find most of the same exact fabric that my mom used, to make the original one years ago.

And it made me so happy to make it for her and surprise her and give it to her for Christmas.

And it's not how much it cost me to make it, it was about giving her something, from my heart, that would bring a smile on her face.   And believe me, it shocked the hell out of her when she first saw it, lol.

And, truly, that's all I want for Christmas.  Happiness and something from the heart.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving....

Here's a little story, or shall we say....a Rememberance. *grin*

'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving
It was 1983
My two friends and I hung out
With a couple of boys, maybe there was three.

We were driving around Burbank
In some kind of car
I don't remember what kind it was
But the speed was up to par.

The cops pulled us over
The boy who was driving went too fast
He also did an illegal U-turn
I wonder if that was ever his last.

We all had to get out of the car
They made us sit on the side of the road
I don't remember why now
But back then, I'm sure we were told.

Of course on that night
While sitting there waiting
1/2 the high school drove by
We were definitely hating.

After some time we were finally free
But they only let the boys go home
They took me and my friends to the station
So we could call our parents on the phone.

They said they were worried about our safety
And would only release us to our guardians
So my mom had to come get me
She said it was the first time ever at the police station.

A year then went by
And my two friends and I again went out
This time we went dancing and I drove
The freeway was my route.

We had lots of fun that night
And met some boys while we were there.
Then the time came to go home
Are you still following you care?

While getting on the freeway
I noticed the oil light came on
I was very new to driving
I had no idea that the oil would soon be gone.

I tried to catch up to the boys we had met
But like the other boys, they went really fast
And soon, very soon
The oil didn't last.

I was able to get off the freeway
And pull to the side
But by that time it was over
The car up and died.

Once again my mom was called
My friend's parents had to come instead
They took us home that night
But by then the engine was basically lead.

So what's the reason
For this little story?
No reason at all
Just a little something to enjoy.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Senior Night and Pictures

I was hired to capture "Senior Night" at the local high school for one of the Senior girls.  She has been playing volleyball her whole high school career and this was the night to celebrate the wonderful talent of the Senior girls on the volleyball team.

She is a joy to photograph.

 She has such a joyful spirit and sense of pride for her team, as you can see here.

I do love sports photography, as it's the thrill of getting that one shot.

During most of my photo shoots, I will almost always find objects that I love to photograph as well, that may or may not relate/

I happened to see one of the bouquets of flowers that were given to the Senior High Girls that night and I wanted to capture the abundance of red roses that were before me.

Photography is a love I have been enamored with since I was a pre-teen, taking pictures of my Barbies.

It is a love I want to build on and learn with.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Shining Through

I have embarked on a journey this year that actually started a while back.

A journey of my creativity.

A journey that has started and stalled here and there.

A few years ago, a dear friend of mine encouraged me to create, using my crochet skills.  I opened an etsy store,  with some scarves, beanies and headbands.  I actually had one of my items show up on the front page of etsy!  This was the item:

And while I had the encouragement and support of friends and most of my family, I had negative energy that caused me to doubt myself, and I thus abandoned this store.  I also didn't have the knowledge of how to pursue, showcase, network myself effectively out there.

During this I also had decided to pursue my photography as well.

I became immensely interested in sports photography.  Here is one of my pieces:

And during that time, I made a few connections.  I was doing this.  I was going to pursue this.  But then yet again, negative energy entered and, while I didn't completely abandon it, I let it fall wayside.

This year, I decided I wanted to pursue my creativity.  But which path?  Which creative endeavor to follow?  What would I do?

I was discussing this with my dear friend Stacy delaRosa.  In these talks she highly encouraged me to take this e-course by Kelly Rae Roberts, Flying Lessons: Tips and Tricks To Help Your Creative Business Soar.

It was within this e-course that I found my creative self.

It was within this e-course that I found my encouragement.

My dreams.

My wishes.

What I wanted to do.


It was there I found the tools I needed to help me along the way.

My journey.

I was also steered toward this book:  A Place of Yes, 10 Rules for Getting Everything You Want Out of Life, by Bethenny Frankel.   This book spoke to me.    It helped me to realize a lot of things in my life.

I was simultaneously reading this book and taking Kelly Rae's e-course.

It helped me to realize that while there is negativity that will intrude in my life,  I can still shine.  I can choose to go with the ebbs and flows of life, and keep pursuing my dreams.

During the start of Kelly Rae's e-course one of the gorgeous ladies posted this of which I wrote down:

"I believe in myself
I believe in my dreams
I believe in me!
I believe in my talent
I believe in my creativity
I believe in my skill
I believe in my heart
I believe in my soul
I believe in my life
I believe in love
I believe in happiness
I believe it is possible
I believe I can do it
I believe....I just do"

This is a mantra I have written down so I can  see every day.

And speaking of these gorgeous ladies, I have come to forge bonds with these ladies.

These gorgeous, wonderful, creative, inspiring women.

We encourage each other.

We support each other.

We are taking this journey together.

We will make it happen.

So please visit them as well, and show your support for them, for me, for all of us.  We are living our dreams, we are going to make them come true.

Beth Cougler Blom
Carmen Patti – www.
Cindy Jones Lantier -- 
Hillary Courson -- 
Julie Hamilton
Kris Lanae Binsfeld -
Liza Zeni Baker -
Stacey Chadwick Brown -
Teresa Cash-Czech

Friday, October 28, 2011

Starbucks and a Friend

taken with iphone hisptamatic

Up until early this year, I had never really drank coffee.


I never liked it.

And actually, I still don't.

But I do drink espresso.

In Mochas.

And Frappuccinos.

So this morning I went to get my Friday Frappuccino.

And hoping to run into one of my dear friends.

And I did.

And so we stood and talked.

For like a half hour.

And I enjoyed it.

I've known her for over 12 years.

And I tell her just about everything.

And she listens.

She knows me.

And if I change my mind and decide to do something else after I told her I was going to do one thing, she says, "Well, it's your choice".

And she's right.

It is my choice.

She doesn't judge me.

And I like that.

And she still laughs at me for drinking espresso now.

Because I told her I would never do that.

But I changed my mind.

It's my choice.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Foo Fighters Concert

Monday, October 17, 2011
Rewind to 1995.........

I'm a new mom.  I just had my oldest daughter and she was only a month or so old. 

This child of mine decided that she would not fall asleep any sooner than usually 2 a.m.

Which mean I was sitting in the living room, trying to soothe her, or feed her, or whatever, to try and get her to go to sleep.

In the meantime, I would watch TV.

Usually videos.

Then this one video showed up, and it showed up frequently.

It was this video.....

I'm watching this and thinking, "Hey, that looks like the drummer from Nirvana".  (And I was always a big Nirvana fan, from the very beginning.  I even have a couple of friends that were in their first video "Smells Like Teen Spirit")

Well, yes, it's Dave Grohl.  And his new band, The Foo Fighters.  And I'm thinking, "Cool, I'm glad to see Dave Grohl moving on since the death of Kurt Cobain)

I watched this video over and over every night.

It was the beginning of my love for Foo Fighters.

Fast Forward to 2011.......

I knew the Foo Fighters were coming to San Diego.  And I wanted to see them so bad.  Their music is AMAZING.

The past two albums I have received as either birthday presents or Mother's Day presents.

A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. music....

Before I became a mom, I vowed to always keep up on the current music, because I firmly believe that music is an integral part of a teenager's life.  I remember being a teenager.  I remember how important music was to me back then.

And I have kept up. 

And luckily, I have a daughter who loves music too.

And not only does she love current music, she loves "vintage" music as well.  She even likes The Beatles!  That's my girl!

And yes, she likes the Foo Fighters.

So a few days before the concert, I decided that I would get tickets.

And take my daughter to the concert.

And so I did.

And we had FUN!

And I enjoyed watching her at her first real rock concert.

And she love it.

And I'm happy that we have that relationship where she would want to go to a rock concert with me, her mom.  

And here we are, at the concert.

So thanks to her staying up so late as a baby, I loved the Foo Fighters from the very beginning. :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom

October 11th.

Happy Birthday Mom.

My mom would have been 68 years old today.

She was taken from us WAY too early.

This post is not about sadness.

Today is a day where I celebrate my mom's birthday.

Growing up, on our birthdays we always got to pick whatever we wanted for our birthday dinner and my mom would make that for us.  We usually would have the celebration over at my grandma and grandpa's house.

Every year I asked for spaghetti.

The last year she was alive, I asked for something different.  I asked for tacos.  You know the kind, where the tortillas are cooked in oil. mouth is watering just thinking about them.

And since she died, every year on her birthday I now make tacos like that.  In honor, a celebration of her life. A day to laugh and remember all the wonderful things about my mom.

And every year, my sisters also make tacos on her birthday.  Even though the 3 of us don't live in the same town or state, it's something we do together.  It's a memory that we all share together, those tacos.  Each one of us have our own memories of her and in our own way.  Yes, they intertwine in many, many ways as well, but each of us have our favorite.

Take her tacos for example.  Both my sisters remember her taco sauce that she made.  I can't even tell you all that's in it because I never had it.  I know it has tomato sauce, onions and oregano?

For me, my memory of her tacos was the cheese.  Back when we were growing up, we didn't have much, but my mom would make do with what she had.  I don't think we even had a cheese grater at first, so I always remember my mom basically dicing the cheese into small little squares for the tacos.

I can't wait to have them tonight.

I will write another post about her at another time.

For this time, it's a time to celebrate her birthday.

My mom was an amazing woman, mom and grammie (here she is with both my girls when they were wee ones)

This one picture I captured of the two of them is one of my all-time favorites.  Just sitting on the back patio against the wall talking and enjoying each other.
Happy Birthday Mom.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Feeling Free

I was recently reminded of a time recently......

The other night on Facebook a conversation was going on in which I was involved with.  In that conversation, I was reminded of one particular day........


One day this last summer I drove up to L.A. to pick up my youngest daughter from the airport, as she went on vacation with my sister.

Because of the traffic up in L.A., and the fact that it was a good excuse to take time off from work, I made extra time to go visit a dear friend before picking up my daughter.

He was working in downtown L.A. that day, by MacArthur park.

We got to chat and have a nice visit.  We discussed so many things, in depth talks.  We were sitting on a ledge/half wall in the park.  During that time, we noticed performers preparing to begin their show.  He nodded for me to come watch.

Wow....I was blown away.

I can't even tell you the name of the group, but the energy they provided as they performed made me feel alive.

I stood there, entranced by the music.  The show.  I danced along.  I stayed there as long as I could, as I truly did not want to leave that moment, that event.

Even now, 3 months later, when I think back to that day, I can FEEL the energy, the sense of truly feeling ALIVE.   Feeling like anything is possible.  Wanting to bring my girls to a concert like this.  A feeling of just being free.

And as corny as this sounds, watching that performance, and the static energy all around, I felt like I could get some sense of how it was back in the 60's.  Just feeling FREE.

This is a feeling I want to hold on to.  The feeling that anything is possible.   The feeling that I CAN do this.  The feeling that I want to live life to the fullest.  Fulfill my dreams.  Take chances.  Make my way through life dancing, living, smiling, laughing, even crying, and appreciate everyone in my life around me.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

100-step Photo Walk

I read about doing a 100-step Photo Walk from my dear friend over at Bella Wish.  The purpose of this is to challenge you to take a closer look at what's around you.  To take a photo every at every 100 step. 

This evening my youngest daughter and I went for a walk around the neighborhood.  This is what I saw in our walk:

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Women Before Me.

I have a post I'm working on, it's just semi-difficult to get into the right words.  It's a post that I need to post, for me.  But in the meantime, I'm reposting a post I did a few  years ago on my old blog...........

This post is about the women before me.  My ancestors.  And a necklace....

In my possession, I own a cameo necklace.   It's a family necklace.  Here it is:

And here is a closeup of the cameo portion:

This is the only picture of I have of my great-great-great grandmother, Anna:

She came over from Switzerland with her husband Caspar in the early to mid 1800's. That is about the only information I have of her. I know that she and Caspar had their children here in America, and that this picture was probably taken here in America.  I don't know if she was the original owner of the necklace or not, but I do know that my great-great grandma Lydia had it, as you can see she is wearing it in this picture:

Here is her daughter, my great-great Grandmother, Lydia:

This picture was probably taken circa 1900 or so. I do know it was passed on to her daughter, Lillian, however she was not the "eldest" daughter, so I don't know why it was given to her (not that being the eldest daughter automatically means you get it or anything like that, at least not back then, I'm just curious as to why she possessed it).

Here is my great-grandmother, Lillian:

This picture was probably taken circa 1920. I know I have a picture of her somewhere where she is wearing the necklace as well. My Grandma Lillian died far too early in her life. Throughout many years the family thought that she had died some mysterious "woman" disease. It wasn't until a family reunion in 2000 where we found out that she had died from an abortion gone wrong. This was in 1934. And it was in South Dakota, which makes me even more upset about South Dakota trying to pass a law against abortion. I have no idea why she had an abortion back then, but I can only guess that maybe it was because it was during the Depression era, and possibly they barely had enough food for her, her husband, and 3 children. Maybe it was a medical reason why she had to have one. We'll never know. I do know that the necklace was passed down to my grandma, who was the eldest daughter:

My grandma never had a picture taken of her with the necklace. I do remember getting to look at it now and then when I would visit her. My grandma didn't have the easiest life either. She was 12 when her mom died and her and her sister had to go live with an aunt and uncle (because back then it wasn't proper for a father to raise girls by himself) and thus she was separated from her brother and her father. She got to see them during the summers however. Then her aunt and uncle were in the military and were being stationed in Puerto Rico and another aunt, Aunt Edie, thought it was far too improper to have children being raised in Puerto Rico, so she took over care of my grandma and my aunt. While I'm sure Aunt Edie loved them, she was much more strict on my grandma and my grandma ended up eloping with my grandpa John when she was 19 because she knew Aunt Edie would have forbidden the marriage. After my grandma passed away in 1993, the ownership of the necklace went to my mom, the eldest daughter:

This picture was taken during the mid 1960's. My mother also never had a picture taken with her wearing the necklace. When my mom passed away in 2004, the necklace then came into my possession, the eldest daughter.
I knew far, far in advance that the necklace would one day be mine. My mom always told me that. Even though my mom's death was sudden, she did state her intentions with certain family items, and the cameo necklace was one of them.
So now it is in my possession, stored securly in the safe. My great aunt Joan (my grandma's sister) told me that I should wear black when wearing the necklace, it highlights the necklace more. So one day soon, I will take a picture with me wearing the necklace.
And one day I would like to take it to get it appraised to see if they can even determine where the necklace had originated from, when it was possibly made. The value of the necklace is priceless to me.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Turning the Corner

This past week I made a decision.

What should I focus on...

Would it be crocheting?



All three I love with a passion.

But as my daughter and friend/mentor told me.....I need to pick one.

That doesn't mean I have to abandon the others.

It just means I have to put my main focus on one passion and run with it.

I need to own that passion.

Show that passion.

Live that passion.

A few events came into play this past week to render my decision.

I was commissioned for some work with this passion.

I was introduced to another fellow artist by a longtime friend of mine, and this was without her knowing what decision I had made.

I was "friended" by two fellow artists on Google+ who chose the same passion I am choosing.

A friend encouraged me to enter a blog contest.

All of these events happened within a week of each other.


Or were they signs telling me what was in my heart all along?

However you look at it.

I chose it.

I chose photography.

I know I have a long way to go to find my niche in the photography world.

But it's what I love.

It's a passion that I rekindled a couple of years ago, with many possibilities.  I was making contacts.

A passion that I had to put on hold for a little while.

But no more.

I'm back.

And it's what I love to do.

And I can't wait to keep rekindling that passion as I keep pushing forward.

Stay tuned......

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Finding Balance

Yin Yang Symbol

"Balance is essential to harmony and health"

"Yin-Yang represents the ancient Chinese understanding of how things work. The outer circle represents "everything", while the black and white shapes within the circle represent the interaction of two energies, called "yin" (black) and "yang" (white), which cause everything to happen. They are not completely black or white, just as things in life are not completely black or white, and they cannot exist without each other."

Finding that "Balance" in your life can be VERY frustrating.

Things aren't going your way.  You feel you are trying and trying and getting nowhere.

I get that.  BELIEVE me, I get that.

The past 14 months, actually the past 2 years I have felt that way.  Between a marriage ending, finding a full-time job, finding my place, taking care of my girls, living in a house that likes to suck in water when it rains REALLY heavy for a LONG time, getting a new car, trying to keep order going, friends, family, etc, etc, etc.

You get it.

It's not easy.  There are many a time when I just want to crawl up into a ball, shut out the world and say "forget about it".  Or yell and scream and cry and say "life's not fair"!

And then I have those self-doubts.  You know them. We ALL have them.  I don't care HOW confident you are, you know you get them too. 


You've got to find the good in everything too.  You've GOT to find the balance to even that all out.

You've got to find the positives.

The marriage ended, but I get a chance to showcase who I AM.  I had to find a crappy full-time job, but I got to learn new software and learn how to tolerate other things and find a new job that starts soon.   I felt lost at times, but I smile and am more happy now than I have been in a long time.  My car broke down, I had to get a new smaller, car with payments, but it's MY car, and it's cute, and I like it.   Yes, there's chaos in my life, but I try and look for the positive every day.  To try and find out a lesson that I'm learning to improve myself. Friends and family will tell you that I am a very impatient person.  But I am learning patience.  And that is vital to me.  To my psyche.



I DO have a lot on my plate.  But I make time for ME.  For myself.  To go enjoy life with the people I care about.  Share special moments.  Make others smile.  Make me smile.

And that is a key important in finding that balance.  You may be starting to undertake a HUGE committement in your life.  Or start to take on a project that may be life altering in some aspect of your life.  And it may seem overwhelming. (Trust me, I feel overwhelmed PLENTY of times).  But take time and go have fun.   Go by yourself or share it with friends, or a special someone who makes you smile. 

Find that balance in your life.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A New Path Is Forming

Our lives are one continuous path.  One road.  That road may twist and turn a LOT, but it's still a path we must take.

Today I took a step on a new path that I have been wanting to take for a long time.

My beautiful magical friend encouraged me to take it.

She has been pushing me to take this path for a long time now.

She inspired me to take it a few years ago.  And that path, while it was a small one, was a start of a journey I am on now.

That path didn't dead end for me, but it did come to a standstill, for the time being.

I am hoping to pick up that path again very soon.

And while I'm not sure if the path will entail the same elements it did before, it is a path that I feel I am ready to start back up on.

A path for ME.

A path that I have to believe DO believe is meant for me.

A path of creativity.  Of success.

A path where I have the confidence of showcasing that part of me and believing in it.

I know it won't be an easy journey.

There will be many ups and downs, self doubt, worries, highs, lows, but I CHOOSE to believe that  this is something for me.

I still can't quite put my finger on exactly what it will be, but I have friends who see me down the road, being successful.   They can feel the energy that will be there.

And if they believe..............

Then I must as well.

Not for them, but for ME.  For me and my girls.

Here we go.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Happy Birthday to My Baby!

Today my baby turns 9 years old.

Wow, this is her last year in the "single digits" age.

I always like to reflect back on their life so far on their birthdays.  Jordan didn't come into the world as most babies should, on time.

No, she came 6 weeks early.  I remember that day so vividly.  It was scary and exciting at the same time.  I was going to get to see my baby!  But oh no, my baby was coming too soon!  My friend, Michelle, was in the delivery room with me most of the day and I'm so glad she was there with me!
I so incredibly scared those first few days of her life.  When she was born, her lungs weren't fully ready to be used on their own.  She was on oxygen, and ended up having a collapsed lung and had to have a chest tube put in her.  

Like clockwork, I was in NICU to see her every 3 hours.  I made sure I pumped because I was going to make sure she got my milk, because I knew it was the best for her.  I probably had the quickest recover every from delivering a baby, because I was always walking over to NICU to be with her.  And thank goodness the hospital let me stay there, because there was no way I was leaving my baby.

Jordan a few days old

THANKFULLY she was able to go home after only just a week.  She recovered quickly and was strong.  She had jaundice for quite a while though.

Of course after that, she rarely let me sleep for more than a couple of hours at a time.   There were times that I had to put her in her car seat and I literally slept on the floor just so she would sleep for a little while.   I wasn't going to do the family bed with Jordan, but it ended up better, just so I could get some sleep.  And, for those of you non-believers, she sleeps FABULOUSLY now, in her own bed.

1 year old
Here she is at 1 year old.  as you can see she thrived very well her first year of life.  One thing about her is that she liked noises.  Maybe it was from being in NICU?  I have no idea.  But she was always making noises.  You can ask her sister, she will remember too.

Halloween 2003

2 years  old
One thing about her is that she's always busy with something, or curious about something.  She'll ALWAYS ask us "WHY"  And she has such a creative mind.  She will come up with the most interesting things.  One day in the car, she was sitting there and she had a notebook and she drew and created her own Superheroes!  Her imagination astounds me sometimes. 

She is also much more comfortable with "routines".  With my older one, I could put her in the parks and recs preschool here, which is 10 weeks and then off for 6 weeks.  She was fine with it.  This one?  Not so much.   Deviation from the routine would leave her in a quandry.  I found a Montessori Preschool which she ended up loving.  It was every day and she needed that.  She needed that continuity.  She still does.

3 years old
She has always loved to play dress up and was thrilled when her grandparents got her this dress for her birthday. I just love her smile.  It warms my heart every single time.

4 years old
Here is a prime example of her "spontaneous spirit".  She was in her nightgown and looked outside and saw leaves falling all over the place and so she wanted to go run around the backyard in them as they were falling and flying all over the yard.

She is one though that has always liked to be by my side and want me.  Even as a baby she did, but she was always so curious as to her surroundings.

 She can have her "oddities" as well.  She likes to have things a certain way.  That's not to say that she's neat. Not by a longshot.  In fact, she is most definitely the messiest person in this house.  And it drives her sister crazy too.  And I do get to a point where it does drive me crazy too, but I have to pick my battles with her.  She is one that knows what she wants.  And she is one where she will decide what time she is ready for something.  I tried to take her to swimming lessons and after the 2nd time, she was screaming to get out of the pool.  So we didn't continue.  But she swims just fine now.

There are times she has her certain habits, which drive some people crazy.  One time my cousin and her boyfriend came down to visit and after 1 day of it, her boyfriend called me a saint to be able to put up with everything she does.

I see the creativity in her.  I see the wheels turning.  I allow her to be creative in who she is.  And if it means being a messy person, so be it.

I do have to say that she does clean her room from time to time now, which is a feat in itself.

  She has the most amazing eyes, doesn't she?

To first know her, she is very shy.  But not as shy as she used to be.  You couldn't even get her to say Hi to you before, but now, she will at least do that.

But at school?  Geez, the girl had friends arguing over who gets to play with her.  I am dead serious.  And the thing is, is that she doesn't care, for the most part, who she plays with.

One time in Kindergarten, my friend, Sandra, came up to me one day and said that it was so sad, she saw her  on the playground by herself.  I told Sandra that that was because she didn't want to play with anyone.  That was her choice.  And maybe that's why kids are drawn to her, because she has such a laissaz faire attitude with it all.  Well, except when it comes to her sister, and or wanting something.  Then she is as stubborn as hell and will not stop.  And as annoying as it is now, it's going to be a big asset for her when she grows up.

And this girl is smart.  Boy is she smart.  I think things come fairly easily to her and she doesn't feel the need to have to try that hard.  At least when it comes to education.  SO FAR.

And with sports?  If she applied herself she could be a real athlete.  I see it in her.  But she comes off as goofy and uncoordinated, because I think she doesn't apply herself, because it's not that important to her.  Which is fine too.

I allow her to be who she is and who she wants to be.  I see the magic inside her.

Happy Birthday to my Sweet Baby J.