meet my niece

isn’t she beautiful?

i can’t believe it’s been four weeks since she made her debut! even more, that it’s taken me this long to post pictures of the newest addition of our family. although i did share some of these on my instagram.

still– it’s not quite an official announcement, until i blog about it.


on the very day of my sister’s baby shower, she went into early labor. i think my niece was anxious to be apart of the celebration. six hours after entering the hospital, ester bought this little bundle of joy into the world.

..and so i’m happy to introduce

Emani Hope

November 5, 2012

5lbs 15oz | 18.5″

she joins big brother, ezekiel and her proud parents

*birthed naturally and welcomed with love






these are just a few pics from our very first visit. she’s gotten so much bigger (and can you believe –more beautiful since then?). izabella is in love with her cousins. snapshots can be seen here and here.

also, i’d like to point out that my hubby is mostly responsible for these great black and whites. check out this website to view his amazing portfolio.

ohhh and TGIF!




The trio. The three musketeers. Big sister, middle sister and baby sister.

Let me just point out the obvious. Yes, my hair used to be orange-ish. Glad we’ve gotten that out of the way. Also, there’s a toddler and two teenagers who tower over her by four feet. Ester and I are three years apart. We practically grew up as playmates. Then there’s Joanna, she’s (literally) the baby of the family. We’re 15 years and 11 months apart. Even with our age differences, we’re managed to bond throughout the years.

 We are sisters. Best friends for life. We couldn’t be more unique, yet our love for each other is the same.

Here we are bonding over curly frizzes on a humid summer day, about to sing annoying car tunes during a family road trip and posing pretty with the obligatory printed pjs on christmas morning.

There’s the artist and the thinker. Has a sensitive heart and a quiet soul by nature. She’s gentle. Another is the athletic. She’s a free-spirit. Quick on her feet. Graceful with her hands. A giver, not a taker. She’s strong. Then there’s the dancer. Always moving to the beat. A bubbly personality with quirky mannerisms. Has a thing for baking desserts and being sweet. She’s witty.

Sister, open your heart, fling your hopes high, and set your dreams aloft. I am here to hold your hand. – Maya Angelou

We’ve laughed until our stomaches hurt (and almost peed our pants). Fought over borrowed clothes that weren’t returned in it’s original condition. We’ve been each other’s makeup artist and hair stylist. Cried our eyes out together, and even wiped the runniest of noses. We’re guilty at yelling at one another. Used the silent treatment. Apologized, made up and hugged too many times too count. Stood up to bullies. We’ve been each other’s best shopping buddy. Shared secrets and stories. Built forts together and endless memories. We’ve gone through bad hair days, fashion disasters and life’s growing pains.

Sisterhood is more than just being born from the same parents. It’s about belonging to one another. The responsibility to have each other’s back. To accept and love unconditionally.

If you have a sister (or lucky to have more than one), tell her how much she means to you today. I know I will.


Way back when wednesday

Happy Hump Day! Today is officially considered the middle of the week. Which means we’re half way there folks. Yay! :)

Every wednesday, I’ll be posting a picture (or two) of a time long ago. Some will be downright embarrassing, others may cause me to shed a tear or perhaps laugh out loud. Either way, I will embrace them and reminisce on a moment that came and went.

So here I am in the prime of my teenage years. I was 16 years old, and my baby sister was only a year old. I can’t believe how little she was, and now she’s thirteen! Looking back at this photograph makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Okay, who am I kidding? I’m a real sentimental mess. You better get used to it. I’m a sensitive soul, and we buy tissues by the bulk in our household.

It’s crazy how my sister, Joanna was the same age Izabella is at the present time. Maybe it’s because as a mother now, my vision is broader and see a deeper correlation. Perhaps it’s ’cause I realize the way I embraced her is so similar in how I embrace my daughter. Even as a young, naive adolescent, the love I had for her was genuine and strong. Being 15 years and 11 months apart gave me the opportunity to practice (for lack of a better word), caring for a baby. You can say she was sort of like my first in a sense. I helped my mom with the diaper changes and the bottle feedings. I happily carried her on my hip, made her laugh and tried my best to comfort her when she cried. I didn’t raise her, but I was always the big sister who looked after her.

Still today, not so much is different (well, minus the diaper changes…haha). I do my very best to protect her from falling. Hold her hand when there are bumps along the way. Give her my shoulder when she needs a good cry. Pick her up when she feels tired. Guide her when she’s lost. Give her a band-aid when she’s hurt. Acknowledge all her steps (whether they’re big or wee baby one). Laugh at all the quirky little things that make her so funny and wonderful. Remind her how beautiful she really is both inside and out.

Funny how life has a way of repeating itself or coming full circle. Now my dear daughter is 14 months and my little sister is a teenager. When I watch them interact with each other, I can’t help but think back to this one picture. Today my sister (who will always be my baby sister no matter how old she is), is the coolest, young auntie to my munhkin. In my heart, I know the nurturing Izabella receives from her aunt is a reflection. It’s a reminder of the power of unconditional love and deep relationships. All the while, I also have the mind-blowing thought of my precious Izzie being a teenager one day too. I mean…woah!!! A little bittersweet, because I almost wish I could keep her in my ergo baby carrier forever. Courtesy to Joanna, I have some serious boy talk and other heartfelt conversations under my belt. Thank you for that dear sister, and for being the awesome gal you are! I love you to the moon and back <3

Yours truly,