Monday, January 31, 2011

Unconditional Love with a Memory

Circa,  Salt Lake City-2005
Family has been on my mind a lot lately because of the fact that I have my mother and sister 1769 miles away living in Texas. Besides my husband's family, I feel that they are all that I have on my side of the family, which brings me to the point of this post.

I grew up without a father. I don't remember him very much, because I was five years old when he abandoned me, my sister, and my mother. All I remember are small details about him...and that I am a spitting image of him. There is only one memory that I have of him, and that is when my mom came home with him from picking him up at the bus station. He came to the couch I was sleeping on {I had no bed of my own} and he told me that he was going to sleep on the floor next to me with my mom. He then said to me, "...if you hear snoring {makes snoring noises} that's me. I remember laughing a bit when he said that. That's all. The only memory. The next morning he left without saying goodbye to me, my sister, and my mother.

I love my mom and know that she did her best in raising us by herself before my step-father came into the picture. I might have had some resentment because all my friends had both their mother and father. At times I'd even show my anger and give my mom mean looks. Not once did I ever call her any bad names. I might have thought them, but I never verbally said them. I love my sister and she is my best friend. We have been through a lot together. She is my only sister and I always let her know that I'm there for her.
Circa, Salt Lake City-1996
I can never imagine any of our children disrespecting anyone. Especially me or their father. That's not how we're raising them. We teach them to forgive, serve, fellowship and love others unconditionally.

Unfortunately, there are kids in the world today that don't or didn't receive the nurturing, laughter, family bonding time, or communication growing up. Instead, they are growing up or grew up with contention, anger, cursing, and guardians that literally fought and exchanged words of hate. Those kinds of examples are not a healthy environment for any child, whether they are two or twenty. Children of divorce and abandonment have it worse. The result usually ending in being a mirror image of the people that raised them.

Even though my father left us, I made the choice to not let that affect me. Sure, I had issues and was a rebellious teenager and did things I wasn't proud of, but I changed. My conversion in choosing to live a Christ like life saved me. I strive each day to be like Him.

I have a family of my own now and I treasure them; I don't take them for granted. That's why I chose to stay at home and raise them. I stopped working when Alexandra was born.  The thought of being in an office right now doesn't seem like the time. I'm there for every piano/violin recital, drama production, parent/teacher conference, field trip, etc. I'm involved with my church and in my community. I believe that in being a stay at home mom has made me a better person. My kids pretty much lead a happy and normal life. We are not the Brady Bunch, but we make each day count as if it were our last.
I have no clue where my father is, but I don't talk bad about him. I try to keep that one memory of him locked in my mind. I carry no ill will towards him.

If he happened to knock on my door today, I just might let him in.

That is the example I am showing to my have unconditional love towards others & to their grandfather they may never meet.

"The family is a haven in a heartless world"-Christopher Lasch

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Double Birthdays

What a treat it always is to have these girls celebrate their birthday on the same day! It saves me money and time. One birthday cake in which they can share & all we have to do is add a few more candles for Lexie after the birthday song is sung for Chelsea. Gifts given by family, and relatives are always fun, and the day we bought these American Girl dolls for them in New York City was a dream come true. They had to include Ruthie and Felicity in the pic. These girls are growing up way too quickly for their own good. I don't know if it's the fact that living in Jersey makes the years go by quicker or that that they're getting older. Whatever it may be it's bittersweet. I pray that they will always enjoy their future birthdays together even when they are old and grey! 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Special Day

The Maldonado Family
Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend my dear friends sealing in the Washington D.C. Temple. Temperatures were in the thirties, and I had four children in tow. The two and a half drive was worth it. Worth it to see my friend Stephanie whom I met almost three years ago here in New Jersey. She now lives in Virginia with her husband Mike and three children, Julia, Tyler, & Aiden.

As I listened to the words that were being said to this wonderful family by the sealer (who by the way was the same sealer that sealed them a little over a year ago) brought tears to my eyes. They were tears of joy that brought back memories of my own sealing back in 2003.  There was one thing that was said to them by the sealer that struck a cord in my soul.  He advised them to treat each other with kindness because they are going to be together forever. How simple a word, kindness. That word was etched in my mind all day long and has been this whole past week. I love the temple and the peace that nurtures my soul when I enter in. Going for that purpose rejuvenated my spirit and is a constant reminder to me that families can be together forever. 
It was a great day to have shared it with them among other friends.

To blog or not to blog.

Scrapbooking can become a bit tedious and although I have enjoyed doing it for the past 15 years I want to take the time to seriously write about their lives. My kids are growing up way too quickly, and because they are five years apart each of them have a different direction as to who they are becoming, and what they are doing. Since I love to write and take pictures, I figured it was time to join the 21st century, buy a computer, and start a blog...and so far I am loving it!

For the past 16 years I have been scrap booking my kids' lives that entailed glue sticks, pretty stickers, ribbon borders, cardstock, sheet protectors & of course those nice sturdy binders. We all have to have the nice colored binders right?
sorry for the blurry photo!
Aside from writing about my kids I also want to make my way into writing personal stories too. I never kept a diary growing up, and because so much happened throughout my childhood I'd like to write more in depth about that, but right now I will start off with my family because at this moment that is what makes me happy. The nitty gritty will come when I feel it's time to let it all out for the world to read! I'm also trying to figure out the nuances of blogging, so bear with me as this blog develops.

One thing for sure is that I'll continue scrapbooking, but won't get into detail with all the colored paper, and stickers and stuff. I'll still put all the girls' certificates that they receive from school and any other keepsakes that they desire to put in their scrapbook (or box).

So forgive me if I post every single day. I'll more than likely have a lot to share and hope that as I put my thoughts on the web for y'all to read that you'll find it uplifting and inspiring. I really want to accentuate the positive things in my life, but I'm sure that won't happen every time. If it doesn't meet up to your expectations then just scroll on to the next blog.

*Are you a scrapbooker?
*Did you think twice about blogging?