entering a new decade

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my twenties consisted of college, graduation, marriage, and having our baby girl, izabella. that decade will always be special for those reasons. alot happened in those ten years–mostly sweet memories but also some bitter moments too. growing pains, struggles and  heartbreak just to name a few. there were big milestones but also big disappointments. sometimes it felt like i was taking five steps forward and two steps back [gasp]. nonetheless, i’m here. i made it to the big 3-0, thanks to my loved ones and God’s mercy. you know that saying “you live and you learn”?  i’d like to think the learning part, is what you do while transitioning into your thirties. don’t get me wrong, my troubles are far from over and my flaws are a sight for sore eyes. despite my weaknesses, i’ve matured through the years.

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her kisses melt my heart. it’s exactly what i needed on such a cold, snowy day. i wish i could keep them in my back pocket whenever we’re apart. which i hope is never, but surely she’ll need to fly out of the nest. someday ;-)

i recently embarked on a journey of self-discovery. it’s been liberating but also quite scary. losing sight of that shore can be intimating. yet when i explored beyond the horizon, i expanded my perspective. i become more informed about myself, the people in and out of life and those things which float somewhere in between. it hasn’t been smooth sailing, if you know what i mean. not everything i discovered was lovely. i’m still working on accepting those realities–those things which i can’t change. the ugly truth is still ugly, even with the rosiest colored-glasses. it’s a part of the risk of exploring unknown territory. it’s probably why some people may never leave their comfort zone. yes, i’d agree…ignorance is bliss, but you can’t disagree that knowledge is power. when you know better, you do better. i’m feeling wiser and more confident about my decisions. a little more book smart and hopefully, more street smart too.

goodbye twenty-nine! it was nice knowing you.

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^^^ these two kids over here. they love to play. all the time. supergirl izzie pretends she has super-duper strength and can defeat even the world’s strongest man. they also enjoying “rarr-ing” at each other while playing catch and hide-and-go-seek. the latest is the over-dramatic, fake cough to get daddy’s attention.

hello thirty!

you came to me with a bang blizzard, a northeastern snow storm on the exact date of my birthday. what are the odds of that?! even weirder, was the name. ‘nemo’, as in the clown fish from the disney animated movie, ‘ finding nemo’ (at least that’s what comes to my mind). i couldn’t help but ponder of the symbolism of this, because that’s what i do–think and over-think things. i blame my anxiety and attention to detail [big sigh]. so anyway…before getting carried away into another direction, (i may also have slight ADD <—- the downfall of being a creative) i wanted to share the words of dory:

“when life gets you down, you know whatcha got do? just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming swimming swimming.”

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if only you could hear that laugh. it’s the type of laugh, a parent would do anything for. even the most embarrassing things. this is not one of them. thankfully!

even though dory was the fun, forgetful, care-free fish in the film, her sayings were meaningful. i know this is a silly kid’s movie, but there’s something more substantial and identifiable, especially for me. it’s hard! life, that is. it’s really, really hard sometimes. like unbearable-knock-you-off-your-feet, sort of hard. there’s loss and life threatening situations. like the kind Marlin had when his son, nemo was taken away from him. the majority of the movie is a loving father overcoming obstacles, conquering the sea and his fears in order to rescue his child. which he does, by the way (sorry–spoiler alert!) but not without feeling hopeless and defeated in the process. a caring friend (dory) reminds him to continue forward and have faith. she even gives (the above quote) a catchy, slightly annoying ring to it (almost a song), as she swims by his side. that is the same tune which played in my head, every time i heard about the storm. i also added my own words, “i must keep moving. i must push forward. i have to. i need to”.

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if it seems like my locks got (even) shorter, that’s because it did! i figured my big birthday storm should be paired with an extreme haircut to match.

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^^^ this is how you spell L-O-V-E <3

 i’ve been telling myself this for a really long time actually. these past ten months (especially) have been a grueling boot camp. it wasn’t about finishing first, but about raw, hard-core survival. i gave it all i had and stayed focused, even when i had my moments of despair. i had that initial adrenaline rush, but then it wore off. perhaps, my pace slowed down. maybe i had to take breaks every now and then. perhaps i needed extra support when i did fall. i’m human. i’m not a robot and i’m surely not superwoman (although that would be fantastic). i may have trouble catching up with others, mostly because i’ve been injured and i’m still recovering. i have my limitations and perhaps that’s due to the muddy paths and dangerous terrain i’ve encountered. i’m not as fast or feeling as strong as i used to, but i still have determination. slow and steady…slow and steady wins the race.

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note to self: baby should have a snow suit on, even if it’s just for a couple minutes. i’m paying dearly for this mommy fail. poor izzie has been sick since then :(

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i was told that “noo” is a delicious, refreshing snack.

so there i was, snowed-in and reminiscing on my special day. i’d gotten this far with a massive blizzard to mark the entrance into my thirties. to tell you the truth, i was feeling a little down in the morning. i’m not a fan of cold weather or the snow. what can i say– i’m a winter baby stuck in a summer baby’s birth date. there i was, sipping coffee watching the snow fall. i was thinking back to the whirlwind of my twenties, while also going seventy-five miles ahead. my poor brain was hurting! my heart was hurting too, because i was getting emotional. i saw a parallel with the unexpected, unpleasant times of my life with this storm. it reminded me of the hardships. when it snows, it snows….or something along those lines, right?

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izabella is a july baby who loves the snow! …and i’m a february baby who isn’t the biggest fan :-/

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^^^ that’s a film camera my hubby is using. yes, you read correctly….film! it’s a vintage 1981 canon. we can’t wait to see the developed prints!

it also made me think about the big production of this day. it wasn’t a regular ‘ol friday. no, it was news-worthy and memorable. it was nothing short of  dramatic and eventful. it made me think even harder and deeper. sometimes storms push us forward, if we dare to go with the current. sometimes we go off course, because we try to avoid it all together. i’m no surfer (or swimmer for that matter), but i know one basic rule: if you don’t want to be swallowed and spit out by a gigantic wave, you need to surrender to it. i hope this birthday storm of mine is a sign. a foreshadowing of this new chapter of my life: it will be big and bold in the most positive way. i can’t say “adieu” to my umbrella or my snow boots. i know storms come and go with each passing season. what i am hoping, believing and praying, is that better days are in the forecast.

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my sweethearts. i love them to the moon and back!

so what’s a beach lovin’ girl to do a very wintry day? why, she cuddles with her husband and daughter and plays with the fluffy white stuff. “if you can’t beat them, join them”…is what i say.

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okay, so i had a little fun too :)

despite it all, boy–i’m a lucky girl! i really do count my blessings and seeing these pictures, makes me all the more thankful. watching the wonder in my daughter’s eyes, the love she shared with us and the extra hugs and kisses made my day special. birthday calls from family, facebook wishes, yummy cake and beautiful roses were the perfect ending to the beginning of a new and exciting decade.

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these were the most cheery, orange-hued flowers for such a wintery occasion. just gorgeous!

how did you spend winter storm memo? hopefully it was safe and warm surrounded by the ones you love.

raquel

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a special post about mister molczan

me_3on january 17, 1981 a baby boy was born in częstochowa, poland.

about two years later, a baby girl was born 4244.2 miles away. who would have thought that over two decades down the road, they’d just so happen to meet? not just anywhere, but of all places–online. coincidence? i think not. it was part of their destiny.

that boy is now my man, soul mate, husband, friend, lover and father to our baby girl. today i honor the wonderful person he is and celebrate yet another year of life. another three hundred sixty-five days shared with my “prince charming”, as i clearly stated in my online dating profile.

the reality is it hasn’t always been a fairy tale. this past year especially was filled with many difficulties and disappointments. yet through all the struggles, his love hasn’t failed. if anything, our relationship has gotten stronger. being married and having a family with mr.molczan has been a blessing for so many reasons.

below is an open note to my sweetheart.

how do I love thee? let me count the ways…

since you turn thirty-two today, here are 32 reminders why you’re so incredibly amazing.

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1. for the sake of making me laugh, you’ll do the most embarrassing things.

2. you give me the crispy, browned pieces of the food on your plate (even though you also think it’s the best part).

3. three words: vacuum cleaning, laundry, and cooking. thank you for being so domestic!

4. you believe in me and my aspirations. you’re my biggest fan.

5. izabella is your princess and you treat her nothing short of it.

6. your work ethics surpass all my expectations.

7. you actually listen to me when i need to vent.

8. without asking, you’ll serve me fresh brewed coffee and breakfast on my most exhausting days.

9.  sometimes you leave sweet notes for me in random places. they always make me smile.

10. you care and love my family, as if they were your own.

11. you order/build/fix/handle all our computer issues (nerd!)

12. i can’t remember the last time i asked you to put the toilet seat down.

13. my sensitivity is something you embrace and never take advantage of.

14. changing careers takes courage and i admire your passion and determination.

15. your warm body temperature makes snuggling all the better.

16. it’s wonderful we share the same faith, beliefs, political views and parenting style.

17. you’re fair and will alternate a chick-flick with your action film.

18. allowing izzie to share our bed most of the time (even though she kicks you all through the night)

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19. i love that we often think of the same thing, at the same time.

20. you’ll change a poopie diaper, even if you’re literally gagging. literally.

21. on that note, you think farts are hysterical.

22. you let me hog the blanket and won’t complain (sometimes)

23. you came near to losing hope, but you didn’t. i’m forever grateful for your shift in perspective and God’s care.

24. you recognize my worries and sadness a mile away and react compassionately.

25. our first date was at the guggenheim museum, even though you had something else in mind.

26. you don’t make fun at me when i cry at sappy commercials or movies.

27. the smiles and laugher you share with izabella makes my heart melt.

28. you’ll defend me like a roaring lion, no matter who is wrongly accusing me.

29. sometimes if you need my attention, you’ll ask me to stop whatever i’m doing and give you a kiss.

30. you don’t read all my posts, but support my new blogging venture…

31. …and you make an effort to read most (hopefully this is one of them)

32. you have integrity and deep convictions.

33. when you’re wrong, you always apologize.

34. you love my hair, no matter what color/length/cut it is/has.

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35. a long day apart, means multiple text messages and phone calls to say you miss “your girls”.

36. i love you’re not timid about appropriate pda.

37. you compliment me when i get dressed up.

38. …and oddly, also when i’m in pajamas and i feel like a total mess.

39. we share the same enthusiasm for the walking dead tv series.

40. you tell me i’m a great mother and boast it to others (even strangers).

41. somehow, you knew you were going to marry me since the first day we meet.

42. even though i was skeptical about your predictions, you waited (patiently) as i played “hard to get”.

43. when we argue, you always make an effort  to make up asap.

44. no matter how crazy our life gets, you’re crazy in love with me.

45. i appreciate you stayed true to your vows.

46. you’re not perfect, but you’re perfect for me. period.

as you can see, i got carried away and my list went past 32. the truth is i could have easily written for hours. my hubby is more than i could have imagined or dreamed of. God didn’t just give me what i wanted. even better, he gave me what i needed. for that, i’ll be forever grateful.

wishing my hubby joy, peace and all the desires of his heart.

happy birthday baby!

xoxo

your proud wife,

raquel