Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Parade

Since moving to Raleigh, we've been going to the annual Christmas parade. And every year while watching the parade, we dream of going to NYC to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. One day we will make it, but until then, here is Raleigh's parade.

Manuel_Thanksgiving09 143

Manuel_Thanksgiving09 159

Manuel_Thanksgiving09 155

Manuel_Thanksgiving09 153

Manuel_Thanksgiving09 152
Betty or Wilma? Betty has always been my favorite.

Manuel_Thanksgiving09 187
Santa's elves made an appearance.

Manuel_Thanksgiving09 174

Manuel_Thanksgiving09 239
One of Raleigh's big floats. They had a hard time keeping him in the air.

Manuel_Thanksgiving09 238

Manuel_Thanksgiving09 240

Manuel_Thanksgiving09 148

Manuel_Thanksgiving09 245
Ezekiel

After the first hour or so, the boys were complaining of the cold. We didn't make it to see Santa at the end. We didn't make it last year either.

Manuel_Thanksgiving09 217
Elijah

Manuel_Thanksgiving09 118
TJ

Manuel & Andrea
Manuel and Andrea were across the street from us.

Manuel_Thanksgiving09 126

Manuel_Thanksgiving09 121

Manuel_Thanksgiving09 142

Manuel_Thanksgiving09 137

More to come.......

I planned on posting while everyone was here for the Thanksgiving holiday, but as you can see, didn't happen. Manuel is still here and I plan on taking belly shots of Andrea and get pictures of me and the boys. I have a lot of catching up to do.....

Dad and I
Dad and I

Monday, November 23, 2009

I dreamt of Samuel last night

The dream started with Samuel and Manuel together. I can't quite remember what they were doing, but they were together in a room. I was also in the room. Samuel's hair was long like in the picture below. He was trying to grow it out to get braids, but we ended up cutting it.

I told Samuel to come over to me because I wanted to brush his hair. He sat down in front of me, I brushed his hair for a second then reached around to hug him. I was holding him so tight.....he was alive! I didn't want to let him go. Then I woke up.

The first few seconds of awakeness, I was happy. Samuel wasn't dead..it was all a bad dream. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. him being alive was the dream. I noticed my arms were wrapped around myself like I was still holding Samuel. I tried to go back to sleep, to bring him back to me, but I couldn't. I lay in bed, wiping away tears.

samuel0009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sledding Raleigh Style

This is probably the only time the boys will ever get to sled. Of course Manuel was the biggest kid.

video
Manuel sledding - he was the fourth one coming down. You can't miss him, he's the biggest one.

video
Elijah sledding...

video
Ezekiel sledding - he is on the left side.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tomorrow

Samuel 045
Manuel, Ezekiel, Elijah

Well, tomorrow Manuel and Andrea will be here. I have so much I need to do today. I didn't get everything done at home this weekend like I should have, so tonight I will be rushing around trying to get everything done....so not looking forward to that! I always seem to wait until the last minute to get things done. We all are excited about everyone coming. I have no clue how we are going to entertain everyone for the week. I'm sure there will be some domino playing, spade playing and lots of eating. Other than that, no clue. I do know I will have tons of pictures, so be prepared.

Weekend Recap

Blog 065
Remnents of Ida blew through Raleigh all last week. It started raining Tuesday night and this is how it was Friday on my way home from work....just nasty.

Hurricane Ida

Blog 076
Come Saturday morning you could see a break in the clouds and sunshine coming through. Unfortunately, Ida blew most of the leaves away.

Blog 073

Blog 074
Outside on the patio

Blog 071
Saturday, Elijah had basketball practice, so Fonzy and the boys went to practice, while I stayed home cleaning, getting ready for all the family we have coming next week. I'm sure the fish were glad we were having company. Their poor tank was horrible and Fonzy said they were fighting to stay alive. Once I cleaned the tank they looked much happier.

Home
back home - not a whole lot of cleaning done - just fish tank and kitchen

Home

Fonzy and I forgot that his aunt was going to be in town on business this weekend. Elijah and I were at the library when I got a text from Fonzy's aunt reminding us that she would be in town shortly and we had dinner plans. Oooops, totally forgot. Elijah and I rushed home so all of us could get ready.

Blog 110
On our way to dinner- nice sunset

Blog 109

Blog 112
We decided to go to Bahama Breeze - food was good as always.

Blog 116
After dinner we decided to take Fonzy's aunt and hubby on a tour of downtown Raleigh. They already had the holiday decorations up - very pretty. It made you want to take a stroll downtown. I plan on doing that when everyone get's here next week. Great picture opportunities.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Upcoming

~ Manuel and Andrea will be here on Wednesday of next week for 2wks. I can't wait. I haven't seen Manuel since Samuel's funeral and want to see how big Andrea has gotten. Of course I plan on taking tons of pictures. Manuel is use to all my picture taking, Andrea is not. I'm sure she'll get use to it.

~ Dad and Eva will be here I think on Saturday for the Thanksgiving holiday. This is the first time they've come to visit us. I can't wait because Eva is going to cook all the Spanish/Puerto Rican food I love and can't cook or mess up when I attempt to cook.....pasteles, tostones, plátanos, bacalao, etc. Of course I plan on taking pictures of all the great food and of me eating it! I might even do a Cooking with Mami and document the whole process. I haven't done that in a while.

~ For Christmas, we are heading to Texas. My great, beautiful, bestest friend, crazy mother-in-law got us the tickets. I can't thank her enough. I think she sort of knew I needed to be around family and friends. The boys are too excited about flying! Of course you know this will all be documented. I personally hate to fly, so no telling what this trip is going to be like. I tend to cry and freak out about every little thing on airplanes. This should be fun.

~ I may be giving up a kidney. My father-in-law has diabetes and is need of a kidney. Everyone in the immediate family has been tested and were not a match. I am. I still need to have tests done to make sure my kidneys are fine and if they are, then I will be giving one up. Of course, as everything else in my life, I will document that also.

So that's what upcoming in my little world. Now you know what to look forward to on my blog.

Boys Toys

Ninja Turtle and Hulk
Cowabunga!

.....don't make me angry.......you wouldn't like me when I'm angry.

Faith

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
~Hebrews 11:1

This verse came to my mind this morning while driving to work and missing Samuel. I miss Samuel so much, but I know he is in Heaven. And this morning when a little bit of doubt crept in this verse popped into my head.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for - I hope with all my heart that Samuel is in Heaven with my Mom and other loved ones.
the evidence of things not seen - I can't see him there in Heaven, but I know he is there.

God was sending the comfort I needed this morning.

samuel

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree

Elijah

Football season has finally come to an end. We were all so excited for the season to start and I think we are all kind of glad it has ended. This season has been a lot of ups and downs. This was Elijah’s first year of tackle football. All last year while playing flag, he talked mad junk of how he was going to tackle hard when he got to play “real” football. Fonzy was too excited! While playing tackle at home with Ezekiel and Fonzy, Elijah showed out! And we just knew he was going to kick butt out on the field. Well, football season started and the coaches loved Elijah. He was playing with 7yr-10yr old and they were prepping him to be the back-up quarterback. Well, to make a long story/season short, Elijah did not play to his full potential and Fonzy hated it! During and after every game Fonzy would get discouraged and sometimes downright furious! Both Elijah and Ezekiel have the talent, but for some reason when they got out on the field, they acted as if they had never played football. At home, they would try and kill each other when tackling, but would barely hit anyone out on the field. The rides home were filled with Fonzy asking the boys what the problem was? Why wouldn’t they just play like we knew they could? The boys never had an answer. There was one thing in particular that Elijah did that drove Fonzy nuts! He would trot off the field with his arms up at his side, like the picture above. One day while at a game, Fonzy had had it! He grabbed Elijah by his face mask and told him he better not ever see him trot off the field like that again and slapped his shoulder pads really loud. Elijah started to cry, and walked back to his team. I thought one of the Moms standing nearby was going to call the cops. You should have seen the look of horror on her face!

Every week after the games, Fonzy would say he was going to find one of his old teammate’s dad who had tapped all the games. He would tell us all how when he played football, he was a superstar, and would never miss a tackle. We heard how no one was able to beat their team and they may have even won a championship.

Well, true to his word, he found the teammates dad still in Odessa and his mom picked up the tape and FedEx it to us. Fonzy was so excited, he told his mom to send it overnight. So the Friday before Elijah’s last game, Elodia calls and tells me she has overnighted the tape for $45! I threw a fit! $45! We could have waited a few days for that tape, but Fonzy couldn’t wait. After Elijah’s game that Saturday morning, we rushed home to see if the video was there and it was. Fonzy couldn’t get inside fast enough. We gathered in the spare bedroom where the VCR is to watch the greatness that was Fonzy V. We fast forwarded the beginning of the tape which was old family videos and found the football footage. We saw Fonzy in his childhood, all suited up in his football gear. (picture below) We saw him tackle a few people, but we also saw him missing a few and then SITTING on the field. Oh my gosh, if Ezekiel or Elijah had ever sat on the field during a game that would have been it! Fonzy would have lost it! But the moment that was worth the $45 to send the tape was when Fonzy trotted off the field in the EXACT SAME WAY Elijah had! Oh my gosh, I laughed so hard! I tried to get Fonzy to rewind the tape, but he refused. I swear his little trot off the field was the spittin’ image of Elijah. The one thing that made him the maddest, he himself did! It was priceless!

One of Fonzy’s favorite saying when he meets the parents of the kids he teaches is, “I swear the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”

Nope Fonzell, it doesn’t, it sure doesn’t :)

Fonzy

Another sleepless night

Last night was another sleepless night. I swear I saw every hour creep by, 11:30, 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, 3:30, 4:30….I finally dozed off and the alarm went off at 5:30am. I have the biggest headache right now, and on my way to a second cup of coffee.

2nd cup
taken with blackberry

While tossing and turning I thought about Samuel and writing his killer. I don't know why, but I have been thinking a lot about that. I want this guy to know Samuel, to know his brothers, to know me and the pain his actions caused. I want him to explain to me why he felt the need to shot Samuel in the back as he lay face down on the ground.

Samuel

WHY!? WHY!? WHY!!!!!!

MOMScalendar
taken with blackberry

The holidays are upon us and even though Samuel didn’t spend every Christmas with me, at least I knew he was alive and well. Just listening to Christmas songs bring me to tears. I wanted more time with him, I wanted to see him grow into a man, fall in love, experience more in his life. 19yrs is too short. I think about all the other MOMS going through the same thing. I’m so thankful to have found this group of ladies. I know that whatever I am feeling, they are more than likely feeling too. One of the MOMS made a calendar for all of us. It lists the dates of our kid’s birthdays and the day they died. In the month of their birth, there is a baby picture and in the month they died, it has a recent picture. Some people don’t understand why we would want a calendar to remind us every day of the pain, but again, that is someone who has not lost a child. We want to remember the dates for other MOMS because we know on those days; they are going to need extra love, phone calls, thoughts, and prayers. We want them to know that we remember their child and he/she is not forgotten. I think that is one of our fears, that our child will be forgotten. As time goes on, Samuel’s friends and even family will no longer remember his birthday, or the day he died. He will slowly fade away. But as his Mom, I will always remember the day he was born and the day I got the call that he was no longer here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bah Humbug

Christmas Carol
This past weekend, Karen and I took the boys to see A Christmas Carol in 3D at the IMAX Theater. This was my first time at an IMAX theater and I must say it was worth the outrageous price of the tickets....especially in 3D. When Scrooge was flying through the air with the ghosts, it felt like you were flying with him. The snow fell right on your lap! Of course not literally, but it looked that way. I noticed the boys a few times reaching out their hands to touch it. Some of the parts were a little scary for them, but all in all, we had a great time. I recommend going to see it. In an IMAX theater if you can.

Us
Of course before we headed to the movies, I had to take pictures. It wouldn't be right if I didn't.

The boys
I can't tell you how many shots I had to get of the boys before I got a decent one. I don't know how photographers do it. I had the boys yelling out all kinds of things to get a good shot. I finally settled for this one.

Elijah and TJ
Finally, on the way to the movie!

Ezekiel

Karen and TJ
Karen (my lil' sister) and TJ - TJ loves his momma

Tj and the boys
Sitting on the floor while we waited in line for the movie

Karen and TJ
Finally, we got to our seats with our very stylish 3D glasses. 3D glasses have changed. I remember having the little paper ones with the red and green cellophane lenses or whatever that material was.

The boys and I

I have to say I look just like my Aunt Elba in this picture.