Are you missing the holidays like I am? I posted video of our family visit to The Mission Inn’s Continue reading
WATCH BEST GIFT EVER – PART 2
Every year we gather as a family to celebrate Dia de Reyes (Three Kings Day). It is one of the parties I look forward to annually. Dia de Reyes also marks (unofficially) the end of the Christmas holiday season. In our family, this is the party which is held especially for the grandchildren and Continue reading
This was baby Alessandra’s first Christmas & our first year as parents, we saw snow Continue reading
Halloween is a holiday we celebrate as a family! It is all about the kids! Their costumes, the trick-or-treating and making memories! I have many fond memories of celebrating Halloween with Continue reading
Being part of a large family is one of the largest blessings in my life! Every celebration and holiday is made even more fun and special because we have family to enjoy it with! I have lots of good memories from Continue reading
Hard to believe it is already January 13! The Dia de Reyes (Three Wise Men Day) party on January 6 usually marks the end of the holiday celebrations in our family. This year it fell on a Tuesday and what seemed closer to the New Year’s Eve weekend, so we celebrated it on January 10, which was the Saturday that followed. It is a fun gathering, with the traditional meal, cutting of rosca, piñata, children running around playing, and our own family tradition of passing out the Christmas stockings. It is a tradition my aunt started a few years ago and has grown to be the highlight of the party! All the grandchildren and great-grandchildren have a personalized stocking with our name which is hung on the wall to form a Christmas tree. Each year the family grows and we add more stockings to the wall. We take turns taking our stocking off the wall, from the eldest grandchild to the youngest, making jokes, bowing or saying a few words, and taking pictures as we collect our stockings. The younger children use a ladder decorated for the holidays to reach their stocking on the top of the tree (wall). We all take the candy filled stocking home & store them until the party next year when we bring them back (some stockings have been replaced over the years). There is a prize for the first grandchild to bring back the stocking during the holidays in preparation for the Dia de Reyes party.
This year, I didn’t take too many pictures because I was enjoying the moment and spending time with family, being present. It is bitter sweet to end the holidays….but other festivities follow in the coming months. With the large size of our family, we always have festivities to look forward to! As I have said many times, one of the biggest blessings in my life is the family I was born into! I am grateful for their unconditional love, it is priceless! Special thanks to my grandmother, the head of our family, who keeps us all united and organizes these gatherings! These family gatherings aren’t just about having fun, they are also about forming traditions and good memories of wonderful moments of happiness with family!
How do you end the Christmas holiday celebrations? Do you celebrate Dia de Reyes and cut a rosca?
Preparing for the piñata!
My stocking hangs at the bottom of the wall since I am the eldest granddaughter. My older brother is the first one to get a stocking, as he is the eldest grandchild. I have stored my stocking along with our holiday decorations for many years, this way I ensure I don’t misplace it. I bring it back for the Dia de Reyes party every year!
We all receive mail at home, mostly bills, insurance information, bank statements, and advertisements. Nothing too exciting, right? When I was single, I would check the mailbox once or twice per week. Now that I am married, that has changed because my hubby likes to check the mail everyday. I try to go through my mail daily to avoid it getting stacked on my night stand. Every once in while, I will receive a personalized envelope with my name handwritten on it. It is either an invitation, a just because card from a friend (my favorite), or a thank you card. Recently, I received two thank you cards from friends. It was nice!
I appreciate that they took the time to write the card and send it to me! It was so thoughtful. I try to follow the tradition of sending thank you cards when I receive gifts or when someone does something very nice for me, like hold a dinner party in my honor. Sending a thank you card is not only polite, it is also a nice gesture! We have all become so used to using e-mail or texting, that the tradition of sending hand written cards is less common. Sending a thank you card takes just a few minutes and will surely make the recipient smile when they open it. If they are like me, they will probably smile even before they open the envelope!
Thank you cards are easy to find at stationary stores, on-line, and at most grocery stores. I usually buy them in packets with multiple cards at Target, Papyrus, or Marshalls. I also buy larger, individual cards at Trader Joe’s or Target. The cards at Trader Joe’s only cost a dollar and some people may think they are simpler than more expensive cards sold at stationary stores, but I like the designs and cute messages on them. The quality of the paper is also nice. When it comes to thank you cards, it really is the thought that counts, not the price of the card. So, next time you want to thank a friend or loved one for doing something nice – not only send them an e-mail or text, perhaps also write them a thank you card & send it in the mail. I can assure you they will appreciate the thoughtfulness behind it!
When was the last time you sent a thank you card? And, the last time you received a thank you card?
The two thank you cards I recently received from friends.
Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of lent. This weekend we will change our clocks and set them an hour ahead for daylight savings. Spring will soon begin and in a few weeks it will be Easter Sunday. It is amazing how fast the first two months of the year have passed.
I had not gone to mass on Ash Wednesday in a few years. Yesterday, I visited my sister and nephews, and we went to mass together. We also saw my brother and his family at the church. It was a treat to see them all! Since I got married and moved away from the south bay area of San Diego, I do not see my siblings and nephews as often as I used to. I also don’t go to mass as often. It was nice to go to mass yesterday, to feel a sense of tradition, family, as well as beliefs and faith.
Some of us believe in a higher being and have faith. Over the years, I have learned to rest in my faith and to trust that whatever outcome occurs, it is for a reason. A reason I may not understand today, but eventually I will. It is not always easy, but praying and having faith help me relax and let go of my worries. I am also thankful for the many blessings in my life and my family’s life, many times I pray not to ask for things, but to be thankful.
Lent is also a period in which I reflect – on life, on how fast time goes by, on family unity and the love it brings, and on traditions. I am looking forward to the spring and Easter. Most of all, I am looking forward to spending time with family and friends, as we celebrate the tradition of Easter – to seeing the flowers bloom as gardens are transformed into beautiful, colorful works of art!
No matter how busy our lives get, it is always nice to stop and appreciate it, take it in, relax a bit, and realize time goes by way too fast. Enjoy today, because you will only live it once! Enjoy the present, as the saying goes, it is a “present” (a gift)!
I took the picture of the flowers above while I was on walk recently. It was a random, colorful bunch of flowers that was just blooming in the middle of pebbles on the edge of a parking lot. It wasn’t part of a garden or planned landscaping, it was just a few flowers blooming! It made me smile and stop to appreciate them, and take a picture. It made me realize spring is just around the corner. Hope you enjoy the coming of spring and the blooming flowers that come along with it!
Do you have plans for Easter? Do you follow any traditions this time of the year? Can you believe how fast the first two months of the year already passed?
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It seems just a few years ago, Halloween for me was about dressing up to go to a party at a night club or friend’s house. Then, the television station where I work sponsored a family-friendly Halloween event at a local mall and I spent three years in a row working on Halloween night, which was fun because I would get to meet viewers and lots of cute children in their costumes. I’d head to my friends parties afterwards. The last Halloween party I went to was about three years ago at my friend Pablo Palomino’s house, it was fun! Now that I have nieces and nephews, Halloween for me is about spending time with them, talking to them weeks ahead of time about which costume they want to wear, and then taking them to trick-or-treat on Halloween night! Five years ago, my nephews weren’t even born and my other brother did not live in town. So, it was funny because we took my nieces trick-or-treating and there were seven adults and two children, haha! We’d all stand on the sidewalk as one adult walked them to the neighbors door to knock.
This year, we got together at my sister’s house and all the kids were in costumes. She was also wearing a Hawaiian costume. I have a few costumes at home from past years and decided to wear the geisha costume to match with my nephews Asian theme as a ninja. All the kids looked adorable in their costumes! After trick-or-treating, we went back to my sis’ house and had snacks, chips, with chamoy, chile, & lime of course, we are Mexican after all! Now, getting together on Halloween to go trick-or-treating with the kids has become a family tradition. We are building fun memories and these moments are priceless for me! What did you do this Halloween? Do you have any Halloween traditions?
Some of the neighbors really went all out in decorating their homes!
My sis and adorable nephew! I love how she is always smiling!
My sister-in-law with my nephew. Guess who she was dressed as (she is missing her black frame glasses in this pic)? What a clever costume!
The two little one’s going up to a house and ringing the bell, they are growing so fast!
Group pic 🙂
This lady’s house had scary decorations, she was sitting at a table at the door passing out candy and even had a smoke machine going.
My brother – also – taking pics of the kids.
This house was super scary, I went up to it with my older niece’s…you can’t see it here, but this car in the driveway had smoke coming out of it….the entire driveway and path to get candy was decorated in a spooky manner!
This person had an inflatable costume, it was huge!
My sister and her youngest son, she had bought him another costume, but he wanted to be a lion again, so they put last year’s costume on again! He would roar after he told you he was a lion, so cute!! Love my sis & this little boy!
She had drinks and snacks set up for us to enjoy after trick-or-treating 🙂
My niece was dressed as a pirate, she is a sweetheart of a girl!
My sis had an assortment of chips for us to snack on…can you see all the chile bottles and lemon squeezer in the background? Yummy snacks!