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Saturday, November 23, 2019

Movie review: "Frozen II"

I'll shamelessly admit that I was among the thousands (millions?) of people who were eagerly waiting for the Frozen sequel; I, like many others, made conjectures about what the brilliant writers and animators could do with one of my favorite Disney movies...
So naturally, we went to see Frozen II on opening night, happily ready to see the greatness that was to come...
Before everyone starts throwing the word "amazing" around, I'll go ahead and write my honest (and objective) review of the much anticipated sequel...
Let's be honest, Frozen II had VERY big shoes to fill; from the storyline to the incredibly catchy songs and marvelous characters, it was a challenge to begin with, and I'm sad to say that the sequel left much to be desired. While I know that hardcore Disney fans will probably disagree with me, Frozen II was lacking the magic of the original and had many things wrong with it.
I will begin by saying that the storyline is way too somber and even complicated for younger audiences; on top of that, and in typical Disney fashion, there was a political agenda to be pushed.. (few will catch this!).. the story was not cheery at all and at times Elsa seemed to be off...even Olaf (the sweetest and funniest character) verbalized anger.. character development was lacking overall and some of the scenes were very cheesy and seemed disgruntled and incoherent.
But once I realized the storyline was poor, I decided to settle for good music; I was waiting for THE song.. that one catchy song that would make me sing Frozen for years to come...and it just never happened.. even though some songs were deep and passionate, there wasn't even ONE catchy song and at times the movie seemed more like a musical with the excess singing, including a Kristoff song resembling an 80's solo from a boy band... (what was that about?!)...
The animation was beautiful and some of the details on the characters were very impressive.  There were also funny moments (mostly around Olaf) and some quick jokes that made for a somewhat entertaining movie despite the overall letdown.
I know I'm a harsh critic, but let's keep in mind that this was a movie we waited six years for, one that was hyped up for years too and I guess I was expecting more... it dragged on and it didn't completely capture my attention; the story took wait to long to take off and the plot never really climaxed enough to make me want more...
I'm sorry, Frozen II... I wish I had better things to say about you!  This one gets 2 out of 4 stars from me! :)

Go see it and tell me what you think! :)

Monday, November 18, 2019

He doesn't buy me flowers...

If someone had asked me what I thought romance was about when I was in my teens, I probably would have answered "flowers and chocolate"... heck even when I got married that's what I considered romantic and I most definitely wanted that in my life, all of it, the chocolates, the flowers, the greeting cards, the over-the-top gifts at birthdays and anniversaries.  I wanted the romantic meals, surprise getaways, anything that spelled "ROMANCE"...because that's what perfect men are about.. right?
Well... my husband of 14 years (Happy Anniversary, by the way!) does not buy me flowers... or chocolates...or over-the-top gifts...we rarely do romantic dinners and he's definitely not the surprise kind of guy...
He is, however, the kind of man that lets me sleep in every Sunday and as soon as I make a peep he brings me breakfast in bed, every single Sunday.  He is the one who texts me a random "I miss you" in the middle of the day and doesn't stop sending heart emojis until I respond "I miss you too!"; he does the dishes every night and makes sure that everything is put away because he knows I hate cleaning the kitchen.... and I don't even have to ask!
He has no idea how to put a travel itinerary together and forget planning a surprise getaway but he helps make sure I go to each one of the places on my travel bucket list simply because he knows I love traveling and he wants to make my wishes come true....and he poses for the pictures too! ;)
He's not a great cook and he could honestly eat rocks if I served him that every day, but he can make a mean avocado toast and boil some eggs and makes sure to serve me that with a lot of love and care whenever I'm not in the mood for cooking.
See in the past 14 years I have come to realize that this is the kind of love I want to experience in life; the love of a partner that gets me a blanket when I'm cold even before I know I'll get cold (ha!), the man that caresses my back when I'm tired; I want to feel the kind of love that is unwavering, the good kind of love, the one that doesn't need to impress me because it's so strong that it needs no charades or explanations.
And that's my Iggy; a man with a noble heart, a man that lives to make me happy, a man that has worked his butt off for years to make sure I can stay home with the kids, one who supports all my crazy ideas and encourages me to soar higher, one who tells me every day "your happiness is my happiness" and really means it.  He shares with me the kind of love that only he and I can understand; he holds my hand every Sunday at church and cries simply because he feels "so blessed" for having me as his life partner; he is the love of my life and I thank God every day for making him for me!
So on our 14th anniversary, I have a completely different definition of romance; I know now that it isn't about the flowers that wilt, or the chocolates that get eaten, or the flickering lights of a candlelight dinner or even about the surprise getaways that pass.
Romance is about the things that don't fade, the beats our hearts skip and the love shared between two people whose sole purpose is to make the other happy!
I love you, Iggy! Thanks for making me the happiest woman on earth for the past 14 years... I can't wait to see what the next 100 bring...
Happiest of Anniversaries..here's to many, many, many more!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

I’m trying...I REALLY am!



When a framed 1000+ piece puzzle that had taken 6+ people and 3 days to finish came randomly falling off the wall, I thought to myself “that’s it...my week is officially crappy!”...and then my husband calls to tell me that he is stranded in Colombia because he lost his passport and can’t return as planned...ugh!
The puzzle debacle and the infamous phone call came on the heels of a few difficult days; I recently found out Gaby is being bullied at school yet again and is showing symptoms of anxiety, days after I had to pull Olivia out of cheer because, well, adults don't know how to adult; days after the time change that always messes me up, and unending headaches and back pain that prevent me from consistently sleeping for periods longer than three hours...
Despite the fact that I could barely function because of my headaches and lack of sleep, or that my daughter asked to be picked up early from school 3 days in a row because she couldn't deal with the bullies and I don't know how to help her,  life goes on and we gotta keep trying...
But putting on a face is not always that simple and we've gotta come to accept that sometimes it's ok to crumble; it's ok to want to sleep it off or not want to talk to anyone for a few days...
I'm trying.. I really am.. I'm trying to keep laughing when my kids tell un-funny jokes, I'm trying to stay awake when I have to help my daughter with a math lesson I don't understand, I'm trying to clean up the cat's litter box when I can barely bend over because my back hurts so much, I'm trying not to cry myself to sleep because I'm so exhausted and tired of my husband being gone so often every month...I really am trying...but I'm at my wits' end
And when I get tired of trying and feel overcome by exhaustion and defeat, I think of all the times where I have tried and succeeded, I focus on the moments when my kids are proud of me for simply trying and that makes it all worth it and it makes me want to try again and again!
So in my search for ways to fight the overwhelmingness, I came across this article from Motherly and it was very reassuring, not only because it helped me realize that I am not alone in feeling "done" sometimes, but it also gave me a few good tips on what to do when feeling like life comes out at me harder than I can handle...sometimes it really is all about breathing, moving and slowing down!!
Here's to hoping next week is better than this one! :)

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

I'm a GIVER!

I've been awful at keeping up with my blog lately, partly because I've been really busy and partly because I've been in sort of a funk in my personal life...
The kids' school responsibilities are overwhelming, Iggy's business trips are exhausting and life, in general, has come at me very strongly..I've also had my share of disappointments with people I consider close and I've been dealing with raising a quasi teenager who has more bad days than good ones; I knew the day I'd be called a "mean mother" by my kids would come, but boy did it hit me like a ton of bricks.. so I think I've been a bit down and understandably so!
 I have questioned my parenting more often than not in the past few weeks and I have frequently felt discouraged generally speaking...
I'm not a fun person; I don't drink, I don't party, I don't like staying up late, I don't enjoy the beach and I'm pretty serious in everything I do; I don't generally get invited to social events and even the people who I consider close don't include me in whatever they do. I spend most of my days volunteering at church or school and very rarely do I do anything for me..maybe I'm just.. BORING?...
I'm very critical of myself and also very observant and sometimes I feel like even though I'm a good friend, I'm just not a "desirable" person, maybe I speak my mind too often and too loudly? Who knows...  There are days when I try to analyze those feelings and maybe look at them through a different lense; there are days when I wonder if people just see me as a smart person who gives really good advice (because people do come to me for advice and input) and can solve problems easily but there also days when I think people just take advantage of me for the very same reasons...is either of those things a GOOD thing?  I'm not sure anymore...
When I recently made this blog entry, a very wise friend told me that usually the "givers" are the happiest people and I realize that she's completely right and maybe that is my "problem".. I am a GIVER.. I do everything FOR people, I don't expect anything FROM people and maybe I'm completely fine with the idea of eternally being the person that isn't invited to social events, or the person who sits on the sidelines watching everyone have fun until they need something from me.
I'm not often one to have self-doubt but being a giver is a tough spot to be in.. sometimes I need that social interaction, sometimes I thrive on fostering two-way friendships and I just don't see it happening that often...am I wrong to want that?

Thursday, September 26, 2019

He's 4!


Every time one of my kids' birthdays rolls around, I can't help but get all mushy and sentimental; I like reminiscing about the time they were tiny babies and I also think of my life when they simply were not around!  I never imagined a life with a son, I never thought my third baby (which I never imagined either) would be a sweet and cuddly little boy that would literally turn my world upside down...but God loves me (and trusts me!) so much that he gifted me with OLIVER and for that I will forever be grateful.
Oliver brings so much joy to our lives and our family; he is smart, witty, helpful, caring and incredibly loving.  He tells me he loves me every day and always makes sure that I have a reason to smile.. I don't know what I did to get so lucky!
His birthday was yesterday and I can say this is the first year he actually knew why the day was special for him... he requested cupcakes for school and Chili's for dinner.. and that's exactly what he got! We will also have party with his friends this coming Saturday and he hasn't stopped talking about it since we started planning it.  Oliver is obsessed with PJ Masks, Disney, coloring books (he has become quite the artist!) and funnily enough he loves going shopping with his "own money".  He always offers to pay for me, which I find incredibly hilarious.. not sure where he thinks he can get all this money from! LOL!
Oliver loves spending time with his sisters, sleeping in our bed and playing outside; he also loves cats, Netflix, going to Disney and traveling...he's such a fun little boy!
My dear baby boy, I know one day you will read this and knowing how sweet you've always been will put a smile on your face! Thank you, God, for this wonderful little boy I get to call my son! I am immensely blessed to have him in my life!
Happy 4th Birthday, Oliver!

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The day I stop caring...

It has been a while since I last posted on my blog and I feel sad about it.. there's so much I have to write and so many stories to catch up on, it just seems as though life sometimes happens quicker than we realize and sitting down for a blog entry seems like quite a luxury!
Life has been busy.. the kids started school last month, Iggy's travel schedule has been insane and by the look of my daily agenda, I definitely seem to have too much on my plate.. oh well!
But despite the crazy fact that the days have slipped out of my hands like water, I've had a lot of time to think about myself and the personal relationships that I've invested in throughout the years, especially in recent times and in some particular cases pertaining to family members...
I've always been believer in family and have placed a lot of emphasis in having tight relationships with all my family members...extended family included..
Those who know me are well aware of the fact that I am very passionate and give my all in everything I do.  I pride myself in being rather resourceful and helpful to people around me; I am also extremely loyal and a very reliable friend... My grandma used to say the secret to a happy life was to "never expect anything from anyone" and as much as I agree with her golden rule, sometimes I disappoint myself by doing the exact opposite.. thinking that people will be as invested as me!
I've had many disappointments in life regarding people who I consider my friends or family members that I consider caring and I wonder when will be the day when I stop caring...
I've lived through times when I'm excluded from parent activities, not invited to parties of people I consider close, ignored at public events, disregarded in different ways but I recently had one particular incident with a family member that made me seriously question my persistence to even have a relationship with that person...
I often think people can change, I give the benefit of the doubt, I open my heart and forgive but I'd really like to stop caring for people who don't care for me... I'd love to be more detached and less emotional, more realistic and less naive.. I yearn for the day that I stop caring, the day when people who don't love me can't hurt me anymore...

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

12!

I always end up exhausted (both physically and mentally) once I'm done celebrating the girls' birthdays back to back... it was fun at first.. and even practical...but now it's a bit of a hassle to find ways to make each of them feel unique when their birthdays are literally one after the other..
Today Olivia is turning 12 and for the first time I actually felt some resentment on her part about "almost" having to share the birthday spotlight with her younger sister; it has definitely been a trying year for us because we are all navigating unknown territories that deal with pre-teen mood swings, dominant personalities and a lot of self-discovery. 
Olivia is and always has been a sweet and sensitive girl; she's wise beyond her years and very much in tune with her emotions.  She is a caring daughter and sister and has a clear understanding of respect and dignity.  She's a great student and has a heart of gold, I'm proud of her for so many reasons...but her shiny and grounded personality doesn't make her invulnerable to any of the difficulties of the tween years and we're all definitely learning as we go...I can only hope she continues to be humble and learn from her mistakes.
I feel blessed for having a daughter like Olivia; she supports me in more ways than I can tell and challenges me every day to be the best mother I can be.  She put me in the path of motherhood and has unknowingly set a good precedent for her siblings who look up to her in everything they do. 
Happy 12th birthday Olivia! We love you so much and we'll always be here to support you and cheer you on!
Thank you God, for this wonderful daughter!