the search for green, our first playdate and parade.

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in preparation for this past weekend, i toke a looksie into my (almost) organized closet. not one single green top! well, except for one–a long-sleeved striped thermal. which didn’t count, because i’m living in florida now. duh and ugh! i really need to weed out my wardrobe. again. i’m a tab bit of a hoarder, and sometimes it takes a few tries before i part with things. green is not one of those things i collect, obviously. our entire family is lacking that color of the rainbow, even though we really do like it.

so i did something pretty awesome–a quick run into target. why is it awesome, you ask?

  • i made a trip to target. not any target, but super target. while i could have easily spent an hour there.

i didn’t.

  • super targets in florida are waaaaayy better. so i could have technically gotten lost in those aisles for more than two hours.

but i still didn’t…

  • i picked up drinks for the kid’s st. patty’s day party.
  • i snagged a tee for izzie in the boy’s department–$3!!! and yes, i had my toddler in tow.
  • i was attempting a world record (for me at least). i was so determined, i didn’t look at the price or much of the graphic. all i knew, that it was green. at the cash register, the baseball tee rang up at $12! win again!

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i deserve a pat on the back. except, for 2 minor things….

  • #1. hubby toke on the responsibility of running after our very curious and active 20 month old. so, thanks for that sweetie. also, for acknowledging the challenge of shopping with a little one (and not wreaking the entire store).
  • and #2. it wasn’t until the next day, i realized something that made me giggle. the three-leaf clovers were precisely positioned over the girls. it seriously looked like pasties. not exactly the look i was going for.

still, it served it’s purpose…

i wore those pasties to our very first florida playdate last thursday. izzie’s of course, but i may have been slightly more excited. a group of lovely mamas and their little leprechauns celebrated and played at the park. we felt welcomed and grateful to be a part of the festivities. here’s a vine from that day (with accompanied mommy conversations in the background).

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a bird’s-eye view

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on st. patrick’s day, i made this for breakfast. then daddy–our very own patrick patryk. (he’s polish, not irish.) accompanied us to a small, artsy downtown parade. izabella’s very first one ever! there was lots of green attire (we repeated ours), red fire-trucks and some familiar faces too. we ran into a friend from our mommy and me group.

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new friends :)

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izzie’s bottle even matched

at that point, our tummy’s were growling. so what better day to have an authentic corned beef and cabbage, than on st. patty’s day?!

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see what i mean…pasties!

we walked around for a while, dodging the rowdy crowd and discovered a few consignment shops just as izzie fell asleep. i got lost in those aisles, for good measure ’cause i didn’t get to do it at target ;-)

then we headed back home, just as the sun was setting.

raquel

p.s – happy first day of spring!

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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

Thanksgiving thoughts

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It’s a day shared with dear family, close friends and good company. There’s turkey with all the fixings, and pumpkin pie of course! More importantly, It’s a day to say grace and give thanks. To remember the little things, the big blessings, the important people, life lessons and memorable experiences.

To others, it’s just another dreaded holiday to survive!

  • First of all, it’s can be a huge production. From cleaning, cooking, decorating and pretending you’re Martha Stewart to make an impression on your guests. Half of which, you may not be thrilled to have in your home.

Even if you aren’t the honorary host this year, it can still be stressful. Let me illustrate…

  • You might be worried if your dish is up to par with your mother-in-law’s “never good enough” expectations.
  • Maybe you’re cringing about the annoying interrogation session with cousin Amy. You discovered her obsession with your personal life is so she something to gossip during her “slow days” at work.
  • Perhaps it’s the unsolicited parenting advice from your aunt Josephine who has no real relationship with her own children.
  • Maybe it’s the criticism from your old man about how your life philosophy as a grown adult contradicts his beliefs, and how you were raised.
  • Mother dear could be on a mission to play the comparison game with you and your siblings. After all she doesn’t have a favorite, remember?
  • Your grandparents…God bless them, are upset and confused as to why there’s tension during what’s traditionally supposed to be a happy occasion.
  • There’s your teen nephew who’s always finding a way to get back at you for “tattle tailing” in 2007. He loudly announces this is your fifth serving of sweet potato pie.
  • Of course your family’s friend, Maria chimes in and nonchalantly asks you if you’ve gained a couple pounds.
  • Then there’s all the little ones including yours, running around high on life and on tons of sugar. You can thank your great aunt Eva for feeding them all her baked goods, because she’s too proud to see left overs.
  • To top it all off, there’s the obligatory family photos that can feel so forced and awkward. There’s half of you that really wants it for your child’s digital scrapbook, and the other half that doesn’t want to remember the three and a half hours of torture.
  • Your head and heart are pounding at this point. You’re about to snap on your uncle-in-law for asking you a million times over, “What’s wrong?” followed by, “You should smile more often, it’s a better look for you”.
  • Then from a distance, you see your husband getting into a major political dispute with your brother-in-law.
  • Your sister takes a horrible, unflattering picture, instantly posts it and tags you on facebook. She swears she loves the unwashed-messy-bun-makeup-free-look-of death style you’re sporting. You get angry even after she deletes it, because you’ve just had enough.

Perhaps the above scenario sounds mild, in comparison to your get-togethers. If that’s the case, then I give you tons of credit. Or maybe you actually look forward to Thanksgiving. Everything is pretty pleasant, aside from aunt Sophia’s green bean casserole. Consider yourself very fortunate you don’t need to carry the entire medicine cabinet with you. If extra strength advil and bepto bismol are your favorite meds of choice, I recommend not waiting the day of. Those things go like hot cakes! I’m kidding. I actually just made that up. All joking aside, I wonder if our negative experiences are partially affected by a contrast of perspectives and expectations.

Like this iconic painting which depicts an idealized Thanksgiving holiday. Norman Rockwell is the artist and dreamer behind this scene of pure bliss. It looks so posed and unnatural. At the same time, I am tempted to jump into this painting because it intrigues me. Even if I could teleport myself somehow, It wouldn’t feel like Thanksgiving because they aren’t my family afterall.

Perfection shouldn’t be the goal of your holiday celebration. It’s about the consideration of the people in your celebration. After all, without people there would only be things. A feast but no one to enjoy it with. You’d be talking to yourself, rather than having a conversation. A beautiful table, but no one to sit next to. We can either pretend and expect everything to be perfect or we can acknowledge we aren’t perfect and make amends.

When we do that and take accountability for our actions, I bet everyone would be happier (and not because of the spiked apple cider, either). If only Amy saw the hurt she caused her cousin and apologized, there wouldn’t be any awkwardness. It’s sad when unfortunate circumstances and distance creates a reality that falls short to great potential.

However your Thanksgiving looks or feels like. Whether all warm and fuzzy or something straight out a soap opera, I urge you to find something to be grateful for. Imagine we woke up tomorrow without the things we weren’t thankful for? Then we would all realize that we should appreciate the little things, even if that’s all we have.

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Wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to my family and friends from near and far.

With Love from our home to yours,
R