Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Let's remember that: the most precious gift of all, is our Lord Jesus Christ and the salvation that came to us through his loving sacrifice; that the real treasures in our life are our relationships; and that the memories we make the effort to make will stay with us even after everything else has gone away.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Brian lost his job on Tuesday. Just before Aimee's Preschool Christmas Program. The bright side? He made it to the show. The rest of the week has been a blur. My mom with us for 2 days to help with the kids while Brian and I scrambled to search for jobs and I prepared for my last final. Brian has handled it amazingly. He hasn't stopped to rest and has explored every avenue to find a new job.

We have been counting our blessings, our parents have been right at the top of the list. There are a number of circumstances surrounding this that really point to God's grace and provision for us. We have been able to find humor in our situation. Brian has somehow made time to make some great memories with the kids. He didn't have to miss Aimee's first Christmas program.

We have been celebrating Christmas all month in our home. Every day we have done something to celebrate the season. I have continued with those daily Christmas activities, but there have been times this week when I felt like I really might just fall into a heap. Luckily, I havn't and every day seems a little better. For example, today I had a revelation; we are really loved. That helps a lot. We have received many kind words, offers for help, and even a shiny new sport coat for Brian to wear on an interview. "It's Chaps!" :-)

Brian has an interview tomorrow. (Monday at 11). Please please pray, send positive vibes, light a candle, whatever. I have a phone interview on Tuesday, so if you can remember me too that would be great.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Latinos say that bad things happen in three's. (Do other people say that too?) When one really bad thing happens, people usually brace themselves for the 2nd and 3rd. And the evidence that this saying is true can usually be produced when a bad thing or two happens to the people around you. I know it's silly superstition. But these few weeks have softened the little part of my heart that is logical and cynical about these things.

I won't go into details about the bad things that have happened to us and those around us lately. If you are close to us, you probably know of at least 1 or 2. So as we see those around us become victims of life's sadness and we enter into that fraternity along with them, I've made an observation that I think is worth sharing.

As I have become both the bearer and recipient of bad news over the past few weeks I've seen a pattern. When someone has to give bad news, there is usually a seconds-long hesitation. Like the person speaking stops to think to themselves, "I can't believe I have to say this". And when someone makes that little pause, if you are the listener, you can feel it coming. You steel yourself for the bad news to come and wait for it. If you are giving the bad news, When the words finally form in the back of your mouth and escape through your lips with a little puff of air, you can almost feel your soul climb out of your chest and vaporize with those words.

The Bible is SO right about the spoken word. That part about having the power to build and to destroy? Yeah, it's true.

I could never understand the "sweep it under the rug" people. Those people that pretend that nothing is ever wrong. I have to admit that I'm starting to get it. Words are really powerful. When we speak it into our lives, we validate that it's real. In this growing up process, I don't want to sweep things under the rug. I want to accept reality, without becoming an "only happy when it rains" type of person either. (It's SOO easy to become that! I think I used to be one!)
I need words in my life right now. I need the kind that have the healing and rebuilding power. Not the other kind. Even if sweeping it under the rug is easier.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Finals Week- Test 2

I went to Starbucks to study today. The library was closed until 1 pm, so I went to the next logical place.

I'm sitting there deep in concentration when I notice from the corner of my eye a 9 yr old boy staring at me while he was waiting for his hot chocolate. I mean *really staring*. I look up and smile at him. He looks at me for a second, looks away, and then wanders a little closer to me. This scene is repeated 3 more times until he's finally 3 feet away from my table. I finally break the awkward silence by asking him very nicely, " there something you want to know?"
He breaks a smile and fires away this series of questions, "Are you doing homework? Are you in High School or College? (God bless his heart) Is it hard?" So I answer his questions and try to explain what Logic means.

Now let me give you a some more info before I tell you this next part.

We are at a Starbucks. He's ordering Hot Chocolate. At Starbucks. In this economy. He's 9. His mom and Grandmother are buying expensive coffee gifts. He is very well spoken.

So then he says, "I'm in tutoring right now because my mom has made a lot of mistakes in life and I hear homework just gets harder and harder."

Right when he says that his mother and Gma come around the corner and they engage me in a really nice conversation, apologize for the interruption and leave.

I know that may not *sound* funny, but it really was, and the Starbucks Barista's who watched the entire thing agreed with me.

I came home after 5 hours of studying to a jubilant celebration from Aimee and Daniel. They were very happy to have spent time with Daddy, but they missed me too and it was nice to get a happy greeting.

THEN, a good friend performed an amazing act of kindness and generosity by bringing over 3 square meals. THREE. Aimee and Daniel, who were offered up their Dad's special grilled cheese and bolognia sandwiches for dinner, were very glad for it, indeed.

A much needed GREAT DAY!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Finals Week.

It's so much more stressful when you have to make 3 meals a day and make sure that 4 people have clean socks.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


So Yoli (my sister) had her wallet stolen today. You can read about it on her blog. It made me think of how much it sucks to have your stuff taken from you. It can affect you in ways that you don't expect. Share your own experiences in the comments section if you like. Misery loves company.

It's happened to me a few times.

1. I was a freshman at Purdue. I was President of a Latino student organization. I had put together an amazing party as a fund raiser for the group and to celebrate Hispanic Heritage month. I had been at the party location all day and I took all my stuff to get ready for the party in my nice Eddie Bauer backpack. I tucked my bag in a cabinet in the bathroom thinking, "Hey! I know most of the these people! No one would take something that wasn't theres anyway right?" WRONG. Items Lost: Some clothes, a new bottle of Estee Lauder perfume, all my make up, the nicest backpack I ever owned. I couldn't believe that someone that I probably knew would do that to me. It still stings a little when I think about it.

2. I was working for a health insurance company. I was a community relations manager and I did a lot of charitable work in the inner city. It was Christmas time. We were doing "Free Pictures with Santa". Someone broke into my car. Items Lost: The Santa suit and my work bag with a cute little album with my wedding pictures in it. It makes me angry when I think about that cute little photo album.

3. Working for the same insurance company. I was invited to join an coalition of organizations that help ex-cons reintegrate into society. I was at their annual meeting. Someone broke into my car while three guys on their lunch break watched. They came out to tell me what had happened, no one thought to call the cops. Items Lost: My brand new car radio that I had JUST received for Christmas from Brian. A large collection of CD's, and my work pager. (They tried to get me to pay for it.) Ironic.

I'm sorry Yoli. It's a terrible feeling to realize that someone has violated you by taking your stuff.

PS.... Where is the secret service when you need them? Isn't Hyde Park supposed to be like the safest place in the nation next to the White House now?

Monday, December 01, 2008

New Link

I listed a new link on the blog roll. It's listed as "Anonymous Friend". This is a good friend of ours that needs to remain nameless (you will see why when you click on the link).

Check it out. If you like The Office or hate your job, you will really like his blog.

Say Hi and tell him Lizzie sent you!

Realities of Life

I can now say that I am absolutely and undeniably a grown up.

I once read an article that defined what made you a grown up. I don't remember all of the criteria, but it included having a mortgage and having kids. Puerto Ricans say that you aren't a grown woman until you can make a good pot of arroz con gandules (Puerto Rican Rice). I still can't. I can tell you that having a mortgage and having kids doesn't always make you feel grown up. Sometimes you just feel like a kid with a mortgage and kids.

These past few months have solidly brought me into adulthood. Having to make difficult choices, suffering with those around me because I can't do anything else to make things better, not having time to be selfish, trying to build an fort of emotional safety for my kids so that they don't react to my stress, knowing that it's ok to not please everyone, making decisions that I know others will not approve of because they are right for my family, and finally, having the judgement to leave a really fun social event before the kids have a total meltdown even though I am having the time of my life (and being glad I did); these are the things that have made me grow up.

It is sobering. It's kind of sad.

I am starting to understand that cliche' about kids being a joy and all of that. When you are feeling really grown up, watching them joyfully experience life can fill your heart with so much tenderness (and yes, joy) that you can feel like a kid again and really appreciate it this time around. As hard as parenting really is, watching my little Danny toddle around while Aimee puts on a singing show makes me so happy that I actually feel light-headed sometimes.

Being a grown up isn't all I thought it would be. Early 20's was much more fun. Life was hard then too, but it didn't seem so real. Being in my early 30's with 2 little lives (3 if you want to count Remmy) to watch over makes every decision so much more FINAL and SCARY.

But you know what? It is great to share in moments of child-like joy with my kids. It feels good to know that I won't shut down, that I can deal with life, and that I can shake off the things that are unimportant. It feels damn good.