Sunday, October 26, 2014

"Stories of a Happy Mom" is 6 years old!


My blog turns SIX years old today! Wow!  I will never forget the day I was sitting in front of my computer thinking of a special gift I could give to my children.  I've always wanted them to remember their childhood as intensely as they have lived it and to understand how intoxicating the love of a mother can be... So that day I thought about writing a blog for them with the intent of printing it out one day and giving it to them (in the form of a book) when they turn 18 years old...and that is STILL the plan!...it's going to be a hell of a LONG book! LOL!
While my blog has evolved throughout the years, my children are STILL the main reason I keep it up. Every post I publish is for THEM and nothing more.  I will also say that it makes me very happy and humbled to know that some people find my life interesting enough to read my posts now and then and the encouraging comments from friends and others also keep me going and feeding this crazy adventure that is blogging!
It takes effort, dedication and TONS of inspiration to keep a blog so today I celebrate finding and having whatever it takes to keep this going, for as long as I am blessed to do so!
Happy Blogging and Happy Birthday, blog! :)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

"Stay at Home Mom": one year later

Yesterday marked ONE YEAR since becoming a "Stay at Home Mom"; one year since I left my career path to dedicate myself to our children and our home, one year since I stopped bringing home a full income and ceased being that "career oriented" woman I always thought myself to be. It seems like just yesterday I was stressing out over whatever my boss said or whatever was pending by the end of the week. Just yesterday I was stuck in front of a computer finishing up reports while unknowingly (and unwillingly) spending too much precious time away from my children; whether or not I was physically present, I never really felt I could give my kids 100% attention because there was always "something", usually work related, that took precedence over whatever they wanted to tell me or do with me....
Now, I'm not by any means saying that working moms don't give their children attention, what I AM saying is that I WASN'T doing it... it's a balance I could never achieve and something that I always longed for.
So.. how did this year unfold?  How do I feel about leaving my career a year later? was this year as productive as I expected it to be? Was becoming a "stay at home mom" the right decision for our family?
Well.. so many questions and so many thoughts... While I don't regret the decision of quitting my job to stay home with the kids, I will say that it has been HARD... sometimes I feel like I'm still mourning a loss.. the loss of my autonomy and my sense of independence.. There are days when I feel lost and even though I keep myself busy (I even have a **part-time** job as a certified Google trainer- from home), there are tons of days when I feel like a "stay at home person" and an "unproductive" member of society.  My husband has been extremely supportive the whole time and he is my biggest cheerleader, always motivating me and telling me how much he appreciates everything I do. He has also been a great sport about any financial adjustment we've had to make and has been fully dedicated to being the main bread winner and supporter of our household.
The kids have LOVED every second I have been able to spend with them during this first year and I have learned so much from them.  I have been able to spend more time in school activities, take better care of our home and even our cats.  It has definitely been a VERY productive year in the home front.
Will I assume this role forever?... well.. I honestly couldn't answer that now... All I can say is that I have gained a great deal of admiration for all the moms that have made the sacrifice of putting their careers aside for the benefit of their families.. It is a HARD job, extremely demanding and not always rewarding, but it is definitely life changing and it has given me so much perspective in life....
Am I happy?  ABSOLUTELY! I believe God put me in this path for a reason and I am incredibly thankful for this amazing experience that I get to live... I love this life and wouldn't change it for anything... I have learned so much this year and I have enjoyed my family to the fullest...
As far as my plans go... I will continue to work from home at my current **part-time** job and will continue to strive to be a better wife and mom... I will continue to enjoy this life and face every challenge that is thrown at me, and I will always do so with a smile on my face! :)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Movie review: "The Book of Life"

This is one of those movies which for some reason attracts certain audiences and others not so much; the theme seems to have a certain "target" and many have criticized its director saying it's "too folkloric".
Well, let me tell you dear readers, this is one of the BEST children's movie I have seen in a LONG time and it appeals to every possible audience, in my humble opinion! ;)
Even though the concept of the movie is based on the Mexican tradition of celebrating the "Day of the Dead" , this story is so well written that it is guaranteed to captivate every person of any age.
The movie contains several elements that are part of the Mexican (Hispanic?) culture, which some people might understand better than others, but the characters are so engaging and the movie is incredibly colorful and creative.
It is also loaded with beautiful messages about the afterlife and the idea that even if a person is (physically) gone, he/she is never forgotten as long as we keep their memories in our hearts.
The movie also features modern tunes that have been "tropicalized" (I am aware that is not a real word!), which makes it even better.  You will seriously love the soundtrack!
The plot develops around 3 friends (Joaquin, Manolo and Maria), who grow up together and go through many adventures as kids. As expected, both boys are in love with Maria and fight to win her heart, but Maria's heart is set on one of them and their love is pure and triumphant despite every tribulation (of course that is an extremely summarized version of the story, but I really don't want to spoil it for anyone).
All characters, scenes, songs and themes are age appropriate and the folkloric aspects of the movie are written with such gentleness that it tugs at the heart strings (in a good way!) of every person who watches.
I strongly recommend this movie to EVERYONE and I sure will be buying the DVD/Blu-ray as soon as it comes out.
4 out of 4 stars in my book! :)

**On a site note, this movie was extremely healing for me; it gave me this beautiful picture of the afterlife, where I believe my loved ones that have passed are currently enjoying their time**

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Oh...hello there... neglected blog!

I feel like I haven't blogged in FOREVER... and maybe it is because I actually haven't blogged in forever! Ha!
I had such a good thing going last month; I was inspired and writing fairly often and all of a sudden I got swamped with motherly responsibilities among other things and I got away and now my mind is flooded with things I've been wanting to write for a while but my ideas are a mess!
So, because I know there are *some* people who read this blog I felt like popping in to say "hello"!
This month has been crazy; the kids are so busy with school work and I in turn am busy with school work too!  I am involved in a lot of things at church and at the kids' schools and I can't seem to have any down time.
Last weekend I participated in a wonderful retreat (Walk to Emmaus) and I really enjoyed my time away from the world; it was a weekend with no cell phones, no family and no watch even...definitely an enriching experience that provided me with an amazing opportunity to reflect and think about the blessings in my life... definitely recommended to anyone who was ever considered being part of this retreat...
We are getting ready for Halloween, which is without a doubt one of the kid's favorite holidays; they have got their costumes ready and we are planning a fun family party to celebrate.  Even the cats got some adorable costumes, which I have to post pictures of.. I promise you they are adorable and hilarious all at the same time!
I am also working on some things I want to post about, including my thoughts on a debate I recently had with another mom regarding "Homework" and my ongoing ideas regarding the "Culture of Overparenting".. some good stuff is coming up... so stay tuned!

Happy Blogging! ;)