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Friday, May 16, 2014

Valentina's 10th Birthay Party

I may be getting old but having fun with my girls never gets old.  For Valentina's tenth birthday party, my cousin, Lorena, decided to have a mommy-daughter sleepover.  Since my sister could not make it, I had the pleasure of being Viviana's "in loco parentis" for this party.  I think I would have crashed it anyway!  It was so much fun.  Lorena is the queen of parties and this little spa-girly-girls-will-be-girly-girls shingdig was no exception.

Strawberry and peppermint-chocolate macarons I made for the birthday girl

The setting: Lorena is in the process of transforming their typical ranch style home into a contemporary organic abode.  Vaulted ceilings, polished cement floors, white walls, naked windows, and a few exposed beams of distressed wood are just the beginning.  She blends these elements with furnishings that bring warmth and playfulness to the space.  I tell you, whenever I visit, I want to go home and re-decorate but I am a Country-Frencher at my core and I could never pull this off.  I know I will eventually gravitate toward overstuffed chairs and pink hues.  Maybe she can help me marry the two styles?  If anyone can do it, she can!

The party favors: Upon arrival, Valentina's guests were treated to new pajamas, socks and a toothbrush.  It was so cute to see the girls in matching pajamas.  So as I said, Lorena is a party queen and she is a tricky one too.  With the girls in their matching pajamas, there was no need for lavish or over the top party decor.  The girls were the focal point of the party.  Very clever, Ms. Lorena.

Activities: Going with the spa theme, the girls were treated to manicures, compliments of Jeanette.  Like Mary Poppins and her back of tricks, Jeanette showed up with her bag of tricks, only hers included scented nail polish, glitter, and nail stickers.  This was the highlight of the evening. Of course, no girl get-together is complete without a talent show of song, dancing, story telling, and just plain silliness.

The next morning, the girls were treated to hot chocolate, paninis, and french toast.

I'm sure this is a party that will not easily be forgotten.  Good job Lorena and Valentina!  Love you!


Friday, May 9, 2014

A Blessed Evening

Words cannot express how proud we are of Mateo for taking this very important step in his faith formation.  For two years, he prepared for this day with catechism, retreats, community service, and prayer. For two years, I have been thinking about this important step and this evening with great expectations and I am so happy to say that it was perfect!  The mass was solemn, beautiful, and full of holy inspiration and after mass, we had a small and intimate reception.

I wanted the reception to be simple but meaningful and symbolic and I was not sure how I would accomplish that.  Then one day on the week of the event, I got my inspiration on my way to work.  Candles!  We will light lots of candles all over the kitchen.  The reception would be at night so the light of the candles would shine.  The symbolism is simple; God asks us to allow our light to shine and be the light of the world. That is our prayer for Mateo, that he go forth and be the light of the world.

Mateo was born in October, the month we celebrate the feast of St. Francis of Assisi so we chose the name Asis for his middle name.  Asis is the Spanish name for Assisi, the town St. Francis was born in.  St. Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of animals and the environment and he is known for his love of the Eucharist.  While I was expecting Mateo, I had some complications and I remember praying daily for St. Francis' intercession.  His prayer is one of the most beautiful prayers I know.  For his confirmation, Mateo chose St. Francis as his namesake and for his sponsor, Mateo chose my cousin, Saul.  It was such a difficult decision for him as he has so many positive role models with many attributes.  In the end, he chose Saul.  Saul is kind and thoughtful and living his faith and I know that he is someone that Mateo can go to with any problem and he will not have a problem with letting Mateo know if he goes astray.

Lori and Saul got Mateo's cake.  It was gorgeous and delicious!  Mateo wanted chocolate with Nutella and strawberries.  I was a little skeptical but it was actually very yummy.

I love the ombre effect of the ruffle frosting.

 Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace; 
Where there is hatred, let me sow love; 
Where there is injury, pardon; 
Where there is error, truth; 
Where there is doubt, faith; 
Where there is despair, hope; 
Where there is darkness, light; 
And where there is sadness, joy. 

O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console; 
To be understood as to understand; 
To be loved as to love. 
For it is in giving that we receive; 
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned; 
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Bishop Alex

Let's raise a glass for Mateo!


Congratulations, our beautiful son.  May the Lord bless you and guide you always.  May you always be the light of the world, seek what's true and walk the narrow path of righteousness.  May St. Francis continue to inspire your gentle spirit and may Mary pray for you.  We love you so much!