Letter to my unborn daughter.

Dear, Daughter,

I wanted to write you a letter as you grow in my belly. First, I want you to know how loved you are already. You are so wanted. We, your father and I, can’t wait to meet you, see your smile and learn about your unique personality. We prayed for you. I can honestly say you are a wish in our hearts that has come true.

Photo credit: Vic & Marie Photography

I wanted to share some life lessons with you because our lives are going to be different. You’re going to be growing up in a different world than what your father and I grew up. We’re going to do our best to protect you, always, and to also make sure you are surrounded by love. You were made from great love by us and our Creator.

I wanted to share with you some life lessons that I’ve learned along the way and hope that we can teach you.

Lesson 1: Be A Helper. You’re going to grow up probably way more privileged than your father and I and most people in this world are. We came from blue-collar, working-class and immigrant families from the Midwest. Your father has been working for everything he has since he was 12yrs old. You will probably not have to work as young as him for a new pair of shoes or the latest technology. However, I want you to recognize how lucky you are that we don’t have to beg, steal or depend on the government or anyone else for food and basic human needs to survive. This is not to make you ever feel better about yourself since you will notice that we may have more than others. It will be your responsibility to help those in need. You don’t lose anything by helping others and being a giver in this world.

Lesson 2: Be A Fighter. Yes, I’m encouraging you to fight! Fight for your rights and those of anyone else that needs your help and voice for equality. This is your power. Use it peacefully and always. Hopefully, by the time you are old enough to realize injustice, we’ll have made progress as a country for women, people of color, immigrants, Muslims, and all of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. If not, you must always stand with those who are fighting for their equal rights to exist. Most importantly, you must vote for them, with them and on their issues. Those will be your issues, as we are one. Be a fighter. You will lose nothing by standing in solidarity with others, but you will gain significantly deep relationships with those that are different than you when you stand up and fight with them.

Photo credit: Vic & Marie Photography

Lesson 3: Be Curious. I think you’re going to inherit this naturally from the both of us. I’m wildly curious about people. Your father is wildly curious about the world. Since the day I met him back in 2004, he always told me how he wanted to experience the whole world. You’re probably going to visit more foreign lands than we did at any given age you are. Your father and I, traveled a bit before you were born. We don’t plan on stopping, but taking you with us on most all of our adventures. Keep your passport near and dear. This is your ticket to the world. The 1st thing I want you to learn when you go to new places or someone’s home, eat their food. You may not always be able to learn the language but learn the basics of any home or country you visit. Be curious. You will be filled with a lifetime of adventures and memories as long as you stay curious about the world and its people.

Lesson 4: Do You, Girl! Seriously. Let me explain what I mean here. There’s going to come a time in your life when people are going to try to discourage you or not understand your dream(s). Someone is always going to try to tell you, “no” or “you can’t do that”, don’t listen to them. Your life and destiny are that of your own. This is your journey and yours alone. Let no-one else try to define your life, especially a man, friends or even us. Eat what you want, go where you want, live in whatever city you want, date who you want man or woman. Have fun discovering who you are. It’s going to take awhile, but know that you’ll get there and feel so confident in who you are when you do. Know that you deserve your blessings. Never let anyone intimidate you or dull your shine. Your mama never did and I forbid it for you. Do you, girl!

Lesson 5: Be Kind. Probably most important of all, kindness. The basis of humanity is based on kindness for one another. One of the things I love the most about your father is he is one of the kindest people I know. You’ll see because he’s probably going to be the kindest to you. You must know and acknowledge the simple fact that you are born in the United States, you’re already freer than most people around the world. You are only a few generations from being a migrant worker or coal miner in this country. You are the granddaughter of immigrants. You must never forget this. Everyone you meet, you must be kind to them, no matter where they come from or how they came into your life. You must have your heart open to people everywhere from those without homes, struggling in poverty, to all the new people you will meet when you travel the world. Be kind. Always. When you are kind you will notice the world and universe will open up to you. Your life will be filled with an abundance of joy because your heart is pure.

Photo Credit: Vic & Marie Photography

Finally, I want to remind you that you are the greatest gift and blessing in our lives. As we prepare to meet you, I feel I’ve already known you my whole life. Be patient with us and we’ll do our best to be patient with you. We’re all new at this thing, but I think we’re going to figure it out together. We love you more than you’ll ever know.

Our PCOS journey and miracle.

It has been a journey for us trying to conceive. In May 2016, I found out I have PCOS. I wasn’t getting a period. I need one of those to get pregnant. I wasn’t ovulating. In August 2016, it was confirmed what they had already suspected that I also have a Pituitary Gland Tumor. It’s a major gland that controls many things but mostly hormones and what my doctors believe was contributing to my PCOS. Therefore, with both of these things, it was going to make getting pregnant naturally extremely difficult. I was on prescriptions of Metformin and Cabergoline.

I couldn’t use the Ovulation kits to tell if I was ovulating or not. Due to my PCOS, every time I took an ovulation test it came out negative because of my hormones. Yes, making it extra hard to predict if I’m even ovulating or when I’m ovulating.

I finally had a menstrual cycle in the month of August. It was the first time I was excited because it means my body is finally working as it should be. We were excited to start trying in September. If only I knew if I was ovulating or not? With PCOS it’s common to get a period but still not ovulate.

We went to the doctor on Friday, September 16, 2016, for our annual physical exams. I told them I was waiting to get my period the following week.  They did a pregnancy test and it came back negative. I was a little sad as I was hoping by some miracle the doctor would’ve told us, “Surprise! You did it! You’re pregnant!” It didn’t happen.

Nine days later, on Sunday, September 25, 2016, I was waiting on getting my period. It was supposed to come that Friday. I was cramping, bloated, sore breasts, and tired just like when I used to get my period. My husband was cooking out and the smell of the food was making me sick. While he was outside on the grill I snuck upstairs and took a pregnancy test. Right away the stick showed two lines (Pregnant)! I was in disbelief. I started to shake and pace back and forth. I kept saying out loud, “Oh My God!” “Oh My God!”

I knew I had to take another test because what if this one was false? I started to drink another glass of water as to force myself to pee on a stick again. By this time, my husband had come back inside. I called him up to our bedroom master bath. I asked him to look at the counter as I left the positive stick there for him to see. He turned to me with tears in his eyes. I had tears in my eyes. He said, “I love you so much!” I said, “I’m going to take another test just to make sure.” I took the other test and again right away two lines aka positive pregnancy test. I showed my husband and again we cried together as he held me in his arms and kept kissing my face. We couldn’t be happier or more excited!

Do you know how hard it was for me not to tell my mom and everyone else in the world? All I wanted to do was tell the world, “We’re pregnant! We’re pregnant! We’re pregnant!” I made an appointment with my OBGYN on Wednesday, September 28, 2016, to confirm my pregnancy. It was confirmed.

For those 9 months, it had been a roller coaster of emotions. There have been more frustrations than I can count. This was the most beautiful surprise ever. What I’ve learned over the 9 months of trying to conceive and going through health issues, is patience and learning to surrender.

I learned to surrender to God’s timing. I accepted if it wasn’t going to happen for us, it’s OK. We were going to be OK. We were going to live our lives to the fullest. I learned that I can plan my life as perfect as I possibly could but ultimately I couldn’t plan this. It was a great reminder that God is in charge and He is who bestows all of our blessings. The night before I took that first pregnancy test, I knelt next to my bed. I prayed. I asked God and La Virgen de Guadalupe to help me be patient on this journey. I asked them to see what was in our hearts and to answer our prayers but that we would be patient. I prayed to La Virgen de Guadalupe to help me to become a mother like her.

When I say, “I prayed for this miracle”, I did. Becoming pregnant with PCOS is difficult. Becoming pregnant naturally with PCOS and a Pituitary Gland Tumor is extra difficult. I’ve become more compassionate for my fellow sisters out there also struggling with infertility issues. I know it’s hard. I know it’s frustrating. I know it’s the most helpless feeling in the world. I know our husbands sometimes get a front row seat to our emotions and fears but remain our most loving and kind part of our sanity. I know how it feels to have heartbreak when someone asks, “Are you pregnant yet?” or “When are you guys going to have a baby?”

 

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Thanks, to Caligrafia Bella, for the beautiful custom artwork and announcement.

 

While I’m reveling in this miracle pregnancy, I’m praying for those who have the same prayer in their hearts. May your prayers be answered. I’ve been there. You are not alone. It helped for me to open up about it and find a support system of women outside of my relationship. The camaraderie of womanhood runs deep. I’ve been prayed for by women I’ve only ever met online. I’ve been prayed for by the women in my family. I’ve been prayed for by my very best friends. If anything, I’m not short of prayers in my life. For me, that has made all the difference. Baby Sunshine is due June 2017. She will be our greatest adventure!

2017 Resolutions

I’m not typically the one to make new year’s resolutions. I don’t believe in them much. Do you?
I decided that I was going to try to change and implement some new things in my life this year. Is that a resolution? Sure, why not. I don’t care what you call it.

1. Last year, we went to a comedy show. I had a fantastic time. I couldn’t remember the last time I had laughed that much for hours on end. I went home with my cheeks hurting and my soul feeling a little lighter and brighter because of the good energy and time spent laughing. I want to do more of that this year. Do you know between all the stress of being a grown-up, adults typically don’t laugh as much throughout the day? Then, you spend time with a child and they spend their day laughing, I want to be more like that. I want to laugh way more than before.

2. If I had to pick a motto for 2017, it’s going to be, “Can’t steal my joy”. I think I may still be recuperating from the last election season. I was left sad, angry, and in disbelief. However, I’m not going to stay in that space. I don’t want that energy or negativity of the media or others put a damper in my life. I’m going to focus on my blessings. I have too much to look forward to this year, nothing or no one else will matter and you can’t steal my joy.

3. Yeah, I’m going to start using the delete button figuratively and literally a lot more. It relates to resolution #2, but this is where I put it into action. I will not tolerate anyone else’s negative energy in my life or on social media. You, it, they, them will be deleted, again and again. I have many blessings coming my way. I’m preparing myself for them. I have no room for anyone or anything that is not in my life to celebrate and bring joy.

4. Finally, I’m going to mind my own business a lot more. Ok, at least, I’m going to try. Why? It goes back to what my mom has always told me half a billion times, “if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say it at all.” It really is an invaluable life lesson. How can I say, I’m not going to tolerate others negative energy if I don’t check my own. If I’m not a blessing to others in my life than that leaves me being a burden. Maybe, not in the sense where I’m asking them for something, but I’m not bringing my best to them.

How is your 2017 shaping up? If I had to leave one wish for all my friends and family in 2017 it will be this: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind” – Dr. Seuss

 

 

La Vida Sunshine: is LOVE colorblind?

While I’m happily married to what I’ll say is a Caucasian man, you would never know that I wasn’t interested in dating him seriously. Why? Because he is white? Yes.

It’s embarrassing to admit. It makes me cringe internally every time I think about it. To think I almost rejected the greatest love of my life all because of something so insignificant. Let me explain why. I’m a proud Mexican-American woman. As a woman of color growing up in the United States, it has always been real to me that racism exists. It’s not something we have made up to help ourselves feel better. I really could have lived without the blatant and quiet racism I have experienced from children growing up and now as an adult from other adults.

Since all of my racism had been experienced from white people, I believe a part of me thought a white person could never understand my struggle as a Latina living in today’s society.

I would be the 1st person to say, “I could never marry a white guy!” Seriously. Bring on the internal cringe, again. Why would I say that? In my imagination, my dream marriage would have been with a fellow Mexican-American, Catholic, and someone who basically had the same life story as that of my own. We could connect and understand one another on every level; physically, spiritually, emotionally, politically, and mentally. I was convinced that my soulmate could be no one else other than a Mexican-American man. How could I be so wrong? I was. How could I be so close minded? I was.

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After 3 months of dating, he took me to Europe for our 1st of many adventures together.

As my husband and I started to date, I couldn’t stop myself from falling in love with him. If I could’ve I would’ve. He wasn’t my “ideal” person. He is everything no one else ever was and everything I never knew I was looking for. I tried to fight the idea of falling in love with him, but once I submitted to love, my entire life has changed and my heart opened like never before. I stopped to think: What if the shoe was on the other foot? What if he was discriminating against me because I am Latina? How would I feel about that? I would feel like garbage! Obviously, I got over it and let it go. Thank you, Jesus! Life has never been sweeter than it has been with him in my life. 13445739_10106450861887998_1926507803917262464_n

The funny thing is I no longer look at my husband and think, this is my white husband, nor does he look at me and think this is my Mexican wife. We are simply husband and wife. I forget or it’s not on the forefront of my mind ever when I think of him or us together. It’s not usually until someone else brings it up, not ever in an offensive way, either. I think more people are interested in how we’ve been able to seamlessly tie our two families and cultures together.

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Labor Day in Minneapolis, MN. With both our families, celebrating my sweet father in law’s birthday.

While my husband may be considered white/Caucasian he has his own culture, as well. Which people of color tend to downplay the cultures of many white Americans. While many may not even know or understand where they come from, I married into a culturally proud German, French, and Hungarian family. I’ve learned new family traditions. I’ve learned new family recipes. I’ve learned a lot about world history. I’ve learned that love is universal and people of all colors are accepting and kind. I have never ever experienced a bit of racism or prejudice from anyone in my husband’s entire family. They have been completely loving and 100% accepting of me and my entire family from day 1.

At the end of the day, we’re two Midwest kids. We come from two loving parents, who wanted more for their children than what they had. Two families that understand and embrace the immigrant experience. Two middle class and working class families. Two families that fiercely and unapologetically love one another. Two families that believe in love, family, and God before everything else. Instead of focusing on our differences, that really don’t matter, we have consciously or subconsciously chosen to focus on what has brought us together. That is love, unconditional, soulful, colorblind love.

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Our wedding day in Playa Del Carmen, MX. Where else would I have gotten married? Photo Credit: Melissa Mercado Photography

Are you in an interracial relationship or ever have been in one? How has your experience been?

La Vida Sunshine: is LOVE colorblind?

While I’m happily married to what I’ll say is a Caucasian man, you would never know that I wasn’t interested in dating him seriously. Why? Because he is white? Yes.

It’s embarrassing to admit. It makes me cringe internally every time I think about it. To think I almost rejected the greatest love of my life all because of something so insignificant. Let me explain why. I’m a proud Mexican-American woman. As a woman of color growing up in the United States, it has always been real to me that racism exists. It’s not something we have made up to help ourselves feel better. I really could have lived without the blatant and quiet racism I have experienced from children growing up and now as an adult from other adults.

Since all of my racism had been experienced from white people, I believe a part of me thought a white person could never understand my struggle as a Latina living in today’s society.

I would be the 1st person to say, “I could never marry a white guy!” Seriously. Bring on the internal cringe, again. Why would I say that? In my imagination, my dream marriage would have been with a fellow Mexican-American, Catholic, and someone who basically had the same life story as that of my own. We could connect and understand one another on every level; physically, spiritually, emotionally, politically, and mentally. I was convinced that my soulmate could be no one else other than a Mexican-American man. How could I be so wrong? I was. How could I be so close minded? I was.

wp-1449868767139.jpeg

After 3 months of dating, he took me to Europe for our 1st of many adventures together.

As my husband and I started to date, I couldn’t stop myself from falling in love with him. If I could’ve I would’ve. He wasn’t my “ideal” person. He is everything no one else ever was and everything I never knew I was looking for. I tried to fight the idea of falling in love with him, but once I submitted to love, my entire life has changed and my heart opened like never before. I stopped to think: What if the shoe was on the other foot? What if he was discriminating against me because I am Latina? How would I feel about that? I would feel like garbage! Obviously, I got over it and let it go. Thank you, Jesus! Life has never been sweeter than it has been with him in my life. 13445739_10106450861887998_1926507803917262464_n

The funny thing is I no longer look at my husband and think, this is my white husband, nor does he look at me and think this is my Mexican wife. We are simply husband and wife. I forget or it’s not on the forefront of my mind ever when I think of him or us together. It’s not usually until someone else brings it up, not ever in an offensive way, either. I think more people are interested in how we’ve been able to seamlessly tie our two families and cultures together.

wpid-img_114641010926664.jpeg

Labor Day in Minneapolis, MN. With both our families, celebrating my sweet father in law’s birthday.

While my husband may be considered white/Caucasian he has his own culture, as well. Which people of color tend to downplay the cultures of many white Americans. While many may not even know or understand where they come from, I married into a culturally proud German, French, and Hungarian family. I’ve learned new family traditions. I’ve learned new family recipes. I’ve learned a lot about world history. I’ve learned that love is universal and people of all colors are accepting and kind. I have never ever experienced a bit of racism or prejudice from anyone in my husband’s entire family. They have been completely loving and 100% accepting of me and my entire family from day 1.

At the end of the day, we’re two Midwest kids. We come from two loving parents, who wanted more for their children than what they had. Two families that understand and embrace the immigrant experience. Two middle class and working class families. Two families that fiercely and unapologetically love one another. Two families that believe in love, family, and God before everything else. Instead of focusing on our differences, that really don’t matter, we have consciously or subconsciously chosen to focus on what has brought us together. That is love, unconditional, soulful, colorblind love.

fb_img_1463492248671.jpg

Our wedding day in Playa Del Carmen, MX. Where else would I have gotten married? Photo Credit: Melissa Mercado Photography

Are you in an interracial relationship or ever have been in one? How has your experience been?