Monday, December 29, 2008

The Gomez Family Christmas 2008


Manny opening his gift card (or e-card should I say :)




My dad, Manuel and Manny
(<---Manny and my dad
Below...Manuel at my mom's house playing pool)







Manuel diving in to his gifts!






Walking down the stairs X-mas morning and spotting his tool bench! :)







The scene I woke up to Christmas morning-apparently at some point Manuel weasled his way in to our bed, and here's what they looked like in the AM. SO CUTE! And yes, that is my glo-worm from when I was little, now Manuel sleeps with it. It's about 20 years old! :)








Hubby & I at Buscia's house on Christmas Eve









Our cute little tree :)



**PICS OUT OF ORDER BECAUSE I DON'T KNOW HOW TO PUT THEM IN ORDER! :) I tried uploading them in order and that didn't work, oh well, at least I figured out how to post pics! :)**






We had such a wonderful holiday, my family and I. It was filled with laughs, tears (happy ones, of course), joy, hope, and lots of gifts. I had to work on Christmas Eve, UGH, but I got off at 2pm, only to rush home, get myself ready (thankfully, hubby had gotten himself and Manuel ready! :) and head to Buscia's house (My husbands grandmother). It's a tradition, we go there every year, and have lots of food and fun! Then off to my mom's house around 7pm (also a tradition) for more food and fun! We knew that we had the job of "being" Santa when we got home (We had a My First Craftsman tool bench to put together) so we left my moms around 10ish and headed home. Thankfully the good little boy was fast asleep, so getting up to bed was a simple and quick process. Then it was time for us to get down to business. I had everything already wrapped, so all we needed to do was get it under the tree and get the tool bench put together (well, should I say my husband had to put it together! :) We were asleep by midnight! I woke up at 7am to my boys sleeping soundly, but I was just too excited! I got the video camera all set up downstairs to capture Manuel's reaction to the tool bench and then I woke them up (who's the child and who's the adult, I know! :) We sat in our bed and sang HappY Birthday to Jesus, and then proceeded downstairs. Our morning was great...lots of wonderful pictures, and a very happy little boy and hubby too (I totally surprised him with his GPS! :) and oh yeah, I was happy with all my gifts too! :) Then it was a mad dash to visit my dad, dinner at Cindy's (my mother-in-law) and then off to my Aunt's. The running around like a mad family all day, I could do without, but I wouldn't trade my family time for anything on this planet. We had a great Christmas, and never forgot what the TRUE meaning of Christmas is all about!!!!!!!

Oh, and I can't forget...Unfortunately, I can't get in to much detail because I have been sworn to secrecy, BUT, let's just say our family (meaning immediate and extended) has gotten their Christmas miracle. I can't divulge just yet what it is, because we need to get some more concrete "evidence" but I will be sure to share as soon as I can :)

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and blessings for a great 2009! I am going to post a seperate blog, probably tomorrow, about my hopes and dreams (and possibly a resolution or two ;) for 2009

Here are some pics of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day..

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A couple dozen burnt cookies is all the memories we need!


It all started on December 9, 2003...this was the day that we got a call from my uncle in South Carolina telling us that my PopPop (straight off the boat from Sicily! As Italian as you can get! :) had passed away. He was down there visiting my uncle with my Nonna (his wife). PopPop was gone, Nonna was left a widow and it was our job to help her pick up the pieces. She came back home from South Carolina and we knew we had to help her find a new normal without PopPop. And so, along with several other things, we decided to start a tradition that every year, in December, all the girls (women) in the family would get together and bake cookies, FROM SCRATCH! :) And every December since 2003 that's what we've done! We make memories, and make delicious cookies (typically-however this year we burnt more then not!) but most importantly we had a blast. Nonna sat at the table and supervised while my sister, my mom, aunts and cousins, scurried around the kitchen trying to make something edible! :) We had a wonderful time and I can't wait to one day, add a little girl of my own to this tradition. The holidays are all about family and being together. Don't get me wrong, we all like new things, but honestly, I'd be NO ONE without my family and I wouldn't trade them or our traditions for all the gifts in the world!!!!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

TRULY blessed

Take a second, right this VERY moment, to stop and think how blessed you are. I know it's hard...we are faced with so many trials and tribulations each and every day that we always think "Poor me", "This can't be my life", "Can this really be happening?", "Not AGAIN!", etc. and yes, times are tough for most of us, but you have to remember THINGS COULD ALWAYS BE WORST! ALWAYS! Trust me, I know, our family has had a very rough year from the passing of my nephews (www.caringbridge.org/visit/brannockfamily) to thinking my dad wouldn't make it through another medical bout, to my husband being unemployed for about 2 months, and every little trial in between but you know what, I'm blessed! I have a family who is truly wonderful-not just my husband and son, but my mother, my sister, and my aunts and uncles. We are blessed to be so close! We are the type of family where cousins are like siblings and Aunt and Uncles are like second parents. I know not everyone has that, so I know it's a HUGE blessing. We always tend to look the every day blessings (like a roof over our heads, a great family to come home to, etc.) and the negative always overshadows the positive. But I'm telling you to STOP and take a minute to realize the small stuff (oh my, so cliche, but true! :) When you are down in the dumps and think life can't get any worst, remember there is someone out there who would trade lives with you in heartbeat!

And let's go back to the topic of my son...I am SO blessed to have him. I know at times he can drive me crazy, and he's almost 3 (1/31/09), so he is tipping the ornery scale like there is no tomorrow, BUT I have him physically with me here on Earth, and for that I couldn't thank God more! He was sitting in the family room last night talking and talking and talking and would NOT stop! :) I was trying to watch one of my favorite shows (Survivor) and I thought to myself, "Geez louise, he is talking too much!" (I know, sue me, I'm a horrible mother for thinking that! ;) and then I stopped myself, and realized how at that moment there will millions of parents in this world, crying, missing their children who are now in Heaven, wishing they could hear them run their mouths for hours on end, one last time. I follow several, I'd guess around 30, Caringbridge sites and Carepages of children (angels and those still fighting on this Earth) and I know many of those parents would trade their best day for one of my worst days. I read about the IV, LP's, chemo, radiation, Picc lines, fluids, NG tubes, CT scans, scaniexty, MRI's, and the list goes on and on and on, and I can't even picture being in their shoes with MY son, with MY baby. But I'll tell you one thing, reading these stories and following these children (or their parents and families after the children are gone) really gives a new perspective on life. My husband doesn't understand how I do it, how I read these stories day in and out ("It's so depressing" he says and he's probably right), but talk about a wake-up call. Wow, it REALLY is! And honestly, I think I'm a much better person by following these children, I really do! Alexis, Andrew, Dylan, Brett, Julian, Coleman, Kennedy, Morgan, Morgan, Rachael, Sinjin, Trevor, Connor, Liam, and all the others have made such a huge impact on me as a person, and the mother that I strive to be!

Think about your blessings. Even if you think you have NONE, you do! :)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I guess I should blog? :)

I was really in to creating this blog, but I guess I need to get the word out that I actually HAVE a blog for people to come and read it :) I'm hoping that by posting comments on other people blogs people might be curious and come and check me out. The thing is, I don't know how to post pictures on my blog (or perhaps I do if it's the same way you post them on Myspace blogs. I think I need to try it!), I don't know how to do fun, crazy things with my blog (neat captions, buttons and such), and well, there is just a lot of stuff I don't know how to do that's necessary for a blog, but you know what, just like Myspace and Facebook and anything new and savy, it's a learning process. So we'll see what I come up with. First I guess I need some readers! :)

**On a side note...my son said the cutest thing the other day! My husband, son and I were laying on our bed, just lounging before dinner and Manuel (my son) patted me on the head and said, "It's okay cutie!" :) I guess he thought I was down about something. I'm not a fan of being a full-time working mother (but you have to do what you have to do), however, those precious family moments mean SOOOO much to me. I love my boys!**

Thursday, November 20, 2008

For those who say I take WAY too many pictures

I am reading a book called "Notes Left Behind-135 Days with Elena" written by Keith and Brooke Desserich who's 6 year old daughter Elena died of an inoperable, terminal brain tumor. I was touched by a paragraph that he wrote, in reference to their first family portrait that they had taken AFTER Elena's diagnosis. Everyone always makes fun of me (in a friendly manner, of course) for taking SO many pictures. But trust me, I know that each one of those pictures comes with a memory that can never be replaced. Here is what Keith says,

"The experience was one I wish we had had every year. Oh how I wish I could look back upon the past years and say, "Look at how young she was," or "She couldn't sit still then." Every picture tells a tale of the happier times-we just never took enough. And although the burdens of today will fade into what we will discover in the burdens of tomorrow, one thing will remain clear; the love expressed in those photos will help us overcome any challenge ahead. Take a picture."

So beautifully put by a father who wishes he had taken more pictures!

What I Love

I'd have to say my favorite part, or one of my favorite parts of each day is driving my son, Manuel to daycare. Although I wish I could be a stay-at-home mommy, that's not in the cards right now, so he goes to daycare. I LOVE LOVE LOVE his daycare provider, Linnie. She has cared for him since he was 8 months old and loves him as if he's her own. It's an in-home daycare, and there is about 4 other children who attend on a regular basis. Manuel loves it, and for that I love it! But back to my point :) ...I love our commute to daycare each day. It's about a 45 minute drive (95 and 895 traffic that time of day is not for the weak of heart :) and the conversations we have are priceless. There are SO many funny things that come out of Manuel's mouth during our drive, and sometimes I wish we were being recorded because I know these are times that I definitely will look back on and think how lucky I am. (especially when he's 15 and despises everything I say and do! :)). This morning, amongst many things, we were talking about Thanksgiving and how we'll be eating dinner at Aunt Lucy's. I then proceeded to tell him about everyone going around the table and saying what they are thankful for. Grant it, he's only 2 1/2, but trust me, he's advanced (per his neurologist might I add ;) so he gets what I'm saying. And I say, "Manuel, what are you going to say that you are thankful for?" And his reply was, "I'm thankful for Thanksgiving." :) To each his own! :)

I love my son and I am SO greatful for our time together each morning. My day wouldn't be complete without our conversations, and him always making me laugh by the off-the-wall things that come out of his mouth! :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Firsts

My FIRSTS
I stole this from Michelle, and Renee, and thought I'd try it...

1. Who was your FIRST prom date? I only went to one prom and that was my senior prom with Aaron Fout.

2. Do you still talk to your FIRST love? when I see him out and about

3. What was your FIRST alcoholic drink? It was a beer, and I could only take like one sip. I hated the taste of beer. I think I was like 17

4. What was your FIRST job?other then babysitting, I worked at Amoco as a cashier, UGH!

5. What was your FIRST car?A 1999 Kia Sephia, it served it's purpose until EVERYTHING on it started falling apart!!!

6. Who was the FIRST person to text you today? no texts today, I'm not big on texting

7. Who is the FIRST person you thought of this morning? hmmm, probably Manuel, and how he was in our room about 3 times last night waking me up! :)

8. Who was your FIRST grade teacher? Miss Hubbard

9. Where did you go on your FIRST ride on an airplane? I've only been on a plane ride once and that was from B-more to Miami.

10. Who was your FIRST best friend and are you still friends with them? Cherie. We've recently reunited thanks to Myspace.

11. What was your FIRST sport played?I played a season of rec lacrosse. Other then that, I never played sports. I'm not very athletic.

12. Where was your FIRST sleep over? other then over families house, I'm sure it was Cherie.

13. Who was the FIRST person you talked to today? Manny

14. Whose wedding were you in the FIRST time? my cousin Tanya's

15. What was the FIRST thing you did this morning? turned off my alarm clock and wondered why Manny hadn't left for work yet.

16. What was the FIRST concert you ever went to? New Kids On The Block

17. FIRST tattoo or piercing? My ears when I was teeny tiny, a few months old, I think

18. FIRST foreign country you went to?I've never been out of the USA

19. What was your FIRST run in with the law? hmmm, probably a high school party I went to and the cops were called. I've never been arrested or anything! :)

20. When was your FIRST detention? I had detention once my senior year because I didn't bring my gym uniform.

21. What was the FIRST state you lived in? Maryland

22. Who was the FIRST person to break your heart? BMD

23. Who was your FIRST roommate? my sister, her fiance and I lived together after she graduated from college for a bit.

24. Where did you go on your FIRST limo ride? I guess my cousin Tanya's wedding from my house to the church.

Christmas countdown, Thanksgiving, oh, how about a little of both!

The countdown begins! Well, actually, it's already began, but it's officially begun on my blog. The countdown for what you ask? Until my husband, son and I decorate for Christmas. Not sure how much help Manuel will be, but still, he'll love it! :) I love, love, love decorationg for Christmas, I always have. Ever since I can remember the day after Thanksgiving was THE DAY, the day our Christmas "season" began. Even after my parents divorced when I was about 14, the tradition still continued. And my hubby and I have decided to keep that tradition going with our family. 9 days, 9 days, 9 days! WOO HOOO!!! A little add-on to that tradition that Manny (my hubby) started last year was while we are decorating he cooks our own little mini-Thanksgiving dinner. A) It's delicious and B) it gives us leftovers for the rest of the week and weekend, YUM, YUM! Let me back track by saying that I'm not one of those people who "skips" Thanksgiving and goes straight to Christmas! Oh no, I LOVE Thanksgiving, and actually, it's my favorite holiday. There is just something about that rings so special and true to my heart. I really think it has to do with our tradition of going around the table at Thanksgiving and everyone says what they are thankful. Typically it is a lengthy process because each family member (which is usually about 12-15) doesn't mention just one person or thing they are thankful, oh no, I'd call it more of a monologue, which no one seems to mind. We all sit around laughing, crying (oh yes, lots of tears, normally happy ones) and just reflecting on how TRULY blessed we are for not WHAT we have, that's not important, but for WHO we have!!!!!! I am already preparing my "speech" for this years dinner in my head. I am even trying to have my 2 1/2 year old have something prepared to say. He doesn't do well on the spot so who knows what, if anything, will come out of his mouth. But boy, if he says something, the table will be filled with "awww's" and tears! :) We will remember the good, the bad, the happy, the sad from our year, but bottom line, we usually always walk away from the table happier people! If you don't do it, start that tradition at your house this year.

Oh, and another reason I just might LOVE Thanksgiving is because Thanksgiving 2005...it was my husbands (well, boyfriend at the time) turn to say what he was thankful for and I was SO nervous for him. It was his first time doing this, and I was apprehensive as to what might come out of his mouth (sometimes he doesn't think before he speaks! ;) So when I got to him he said, "I'm thankful to be a part of this family. I'm thankful for Christina (moi! :) and what I'd be most thankful for is if you would be my wife Christina..." (cue the "awwww's" and tears. ring comes out of pocket). My jaw dropped, I was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO shocked. I started bawling my eyes out, and of course said yes. Ohhhhh, I just love re-living that moment!

Off to draw a diagram of how I want the outside of my house decorated this year (this is our first year in a non-apartment, so I am going to go all out. Classily, of course! :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I do have things to say...

Two posts in one day, I guess that's a good start to this blogging world! :)

How many of you have heard of DIPG? If you were like me, up until about 10 months ago, that term was not something I had EVER heard, until I came across a beautiful little girl named Sophie Quayle (www.smilesforsophie.com). If you read her story you will NEVER be the same! Through her site I came to know tons, TOO MANY children, with DIPG. DIPG stands for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma. It is a inoperable brain stem tumor. A diagnosis of this type is terminal, and in fact most children don't make it a year past diagnosis. Please go to www.icouldbeyourchild.org and read about all the wonderful children who are sadly afflicted with this disease as well as those that have earned their angel wings. DIPG is a cause very near to my heart because of these children and the horror they go through!!!!! We need to get the word out about this pediatric cancer (as we do with ALL pediatric cancers) and get research going and find a cure. Also, if your interested please visit www.colesfoundation.com and become a part of their "team", I did and it is truly a blessing. I follow several Care pages and Caringbridge sites and it's nice to be part of a team that prays for these sick children. I don't want my blog to only be about cancer and dying, as that can be very depressing, I know. BUT it's a reality of life, and we need to get the word out and have Pediatric Cancer a number one priority for President-Elect Obama.

Really? Am I am a blogger?

Well, I guess that remains to be seen :) I absolutely love following blogs, reading what other mommies and people in general have to say, and thought, "Heck, why don't I give it a try?" Do I really have anything THAT interesting to say that I'll get subscribers (other then my mom :) or followers, I'm not sure. But I love to write, I love telling stories about being a mommy and wife, so let's give this a shot. If I like it, I'll be a blogger, if I don't, then this could be one and only posting. Or, I may just use this as a journal of sorts to remember all the adorable things my son says and does. Hmmm, we shall see. I'm excited! I have a blog! :)