Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sister, I miss you. Rest in Peace

Dear Robin,
It has only been 3 days since you have been gone. Just like that I heard the news in the most horrible way. Through facebook. They didn't even give your family a chance to find out through other means. Trust me Chris was angry. It wasn't fair. It had only been a week since I wrote your father a letter in hopes that he could read it up above in Heaven. But now you are there and I am still in a state of shock. I can't believe you are gone. We were just planning your visit to come see your nephews whom you never got to meet. Why?
I am writing you this letter now to share some things with you. I hope you see this from up above. Robin I love you and you are so beautiful!! I would remind you all the time that you look just like your brothers. Your brother Chris, is hurt. Really hurt. I think you spoke to him through the radio that very next day and you seemed to have said the right things. I, am walking around like a zombie. Chris, he always wanted to protect you. I found out first on this side of the family. I notified your brother and it was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. "Robin, she is gone," I said. You truly are the little sister I always wanted.
Robin you had so much going for you and in fact just the other day I told Chris, "isn't it neat that Robin is in massage therapy and your dad was too?" You had a piece of your father with you this whole time, he was in your heart like he is in the rest of us. I feel like I was short changed! I have been trying so hard to get close to Chris' family and you who barely knew me always called me sister and said I love you! I love you too, and as I sit here, I cry because once again....I feel empty as I watch your brother cry, I hold him and tell him it will all be ok. I find comfort that your daddy up in heaven is now holding your hand and guiding you. But I just wish you were here so we could have talked, everything would have been ok. Robin you are beautiful, smart, and the most unique person I had ever met and I am truly honored to have shared smiles and laughs with you. Most of all I miss the time when you rubbed my tummy when you found out your first nephew was going to be born. We truly miss you and we will be there when we have to let you go forever, on a beach in California just like you wanted. Hugs Baby Sister. I love you and tell your daddy I love him too. May you rest in peace and smile at us from up above.

Your sister in law
I love you both will all my heart.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tulip Festival: Keukenhof, Netherlands

The Tulip Festival in Keukenhof, Netherlands usually lasts for only a month, so we took advantage!! We drove up there and the traffic wasn't that bad, it is about 1 hour and 45 min away from our home in Belgium. Once we finally arrived I saw fields of TULIPS, I had never seen that in my entire life! It was so beautiful!! All different colors too. I wanted to share some photos of our experience because it is so amazing! The way back home though was another story! It took us 5 hours to get back with all the traffic!! EEK!! Our GPS didn't offer an alternate route. Bummer!! Enjoy the pictures!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Kayla: Summer Time Blog 1

My gosh it seems like forever since I have been on my blog, well usually a week missing seems like forever. I have been so busy!! My step daughter is now here for the Summer and we are spending as much time as we can with her! She has grown a whole two inches since we saw her last August, and she is now heading to the 6th grade!!! It scares us because she has grown up so fast. You know usually the first question I get regarding my step daughter is "do you two get along?"   I, with a huge smile say, "Yes we do and she even calls me mama when she is here!" The relationship that I have with Kayla is as if I had given birth to her. I know I am not here to take her mother's place and she knows that...but I love that she trusts and confides in me. I am so happy she and I have always had that relationship, she has always had a smile on her face since the first time I saw her. Kayla is so smart and beautiful, we have always encouraged her to shine no matter what the circumstance. She understands that she has two families but it can be tough at times for her. Yesterday she had shared something with me that really touched my heart as she was staring out the window. She said "you know mom, I just wish that I could pack this whole house up and take it with me when I go back." I almost cried just thinking how much she misses it out here. She has a glow about her everytime she is around her daddy and her little brothers. I love spending time with her and bonding, we normally just eat and talk most of the time! lol. So far though she has shown some interest in sports and her daddy is EXCITED!! I will share more about Kayla's stay while she is here because let me tell you, our Summers are ADVENTUROUS!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Dear Father In Law, It has been 5 years...

Dear Mr. Gerard
I didn't get a chance to meet you but I hear a lot about you. I hear it through your son's stories, his photos of you and now I feel you coming through my two boys. My oldest son has your hair, it is wavy and thick and he loves dancing to funk music! He also shares your name. Your youngest grandson, he also has your wavy hair and your smile. Kayla, she has your brains and motivation, she is strong and has a beautiful heart, but you know that :).  I know that you are looking down on us and even though I did not get to meet you, I feel your presence all around. I just want to say thank you for raising a son who is such a great father and husband. I see pictures of you in our house and the resemblence between you and your son is remarkable! I truly see you in his smile. Do you know what else is amazing, all of your grand kids have your hands and all of your sons too!! Your family blood is strong, that is for sure! I miss you. I know some may question, how can you miss a person you have never met? Well, I miss all the times I didn't get to spend with you, I miss the fact that we will never share a SF Giants game together, and I miss all the stories you would have told me about Chris growing up. I miss not being able to have a relationship with you and I miss the fact that you never got to meet your grandsons. I miss all of that and if I could only meet you for one day, I would say this, I am so proud to be your son's wife and the happiness he has brought into my life has been a miracle, he came into my life when I needed him the most and he would say the same.. I believe you had something to do with it from up above. I just want to say that you are greatly missed and it has been five years since you have left this earth to be above watching over all of us, I know you are here poking at the boys and making them laugh out of nowhere, you are here with us through the music we listen to. There isn't a day that goes by that your Son Chris is not thinking about you, because I can really see it in his eyes when he looks at his own children. He always wishes that you could have met me and I ask him all the time, I wonder what your dad would do if he were here with us right now. I wonder what he would have thought of me? Would you have liked me? Chris says of course, he would have loved you! I hope so. I just know that on this day and every other day you are remembered. I have had the pleasure to meet your other children and let me tell you,  I love all of them as if they were my blood.  I am truly proud to be a part of your family, always and forever.
Your Daughter in Law

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Poopy Friday....(a day late)

Yes the title says it all!!! Friday morning I woke up and decided to have a little me time while the boys slept. It didn't last long because they both woke up at the same time. I let them play in their room for about an hour while I caught up on reading emails and responding to my facebook messages, totally unproductive right?? Well it wasn't long until I smelled an odor coming from the hallway!!! I thought wow where is that STRONG smell coming from. Both of my sons are still in diapers. My sons are 2 and 1.
So the smell became stronger and stronger as 1 minute went by and so I went and checked on my sons playing in their room to find....MY YOUNGEST SON DIGGING IN HIS DIAPER!!!! AHH!  For those of you who understand, that is the last thing you want to find. I thought it was going to be a routine diaper change but it wasn't!!! My son had wiped POOP on the carpet, tv, and some of his toys! I immediately grabbed him, stripped off his clothes and put him in the bath tub....I had to POWER WASH him. That is what I call it when I give him a shower and have to really clean him up. So after this I also placed my other son in the tub so they could play with bubbles.

After my 2 year old was finished playing in the tub he climbed right out of the tub and asked for his diaper. So I put a diaper on him thinking that this was a little strange...he never asked to come out of the tub and immediately put a diaper on. Not even 2 minutes later I could hear him making those (pushing, struggling) sounds meaning he was going NUMBER 2!!! I was like NO WAY, I just put a diaper on you!! I immediately took his diaper off and placed him on his potty where he FINALLLLLY went number 2 in!! YES!!! This is very exciting as a parent, might be silly to others, but I have been waiting a LONG time for him to go number 2 in the potty!! He was proud of himself too!!! This made up for the poopy mess my other son did.
Moral of the story....don't let a POOPY morning ruin your day. This is just another adventure of this stay at home mother and military wife!!!
More to Come!!

Criminology or Psychology???

So since I was in Junior College, I have been at a crossroads on what career path I was going to follow. It was either going to be teaching ESL or teaching English. I had no idea so when I went to get my Bachelors Degree I immediately became a Sociology Major, how that happened, I HAVE NO IDEA! I was sort of intrigued by how people lived and by what made them decide on how to live. Sociology wasn't my only major though, I decided to double major in Spanish as well. I had taken so many classes because I was a minor but my advisor told me if I went an extra semester, I would only need 3 more classes to get my Major in Spanish, so I DID. I also took an emphasis in Criminal Justice as well because I love studying the behavior of criminals. Towards the end of my senior year I was working as a Loss Prevention Officer at a Retail Store and loved it so much that when I graduated from College I was going to apply to become a police officer in Colorado. During this time as well I met the love of my life, Christopher, and we fell in love FAST. So fast that by the time I decided to write out my application I found out I was pregnant!!! I had my degree and was ready to start my career and in the course of my pregnancy I received a promotion at work which made me into a Asset Protection Coordinator (Loss Prevention Manager) just another fancy name for it. I didn't enjoy that job at all but it allowed me to sit at a desk while I was pregnant instead of chasing down thieves. So for about 9 months I did that until we received orders to Belgium and I gave birth to my first son.
Right now I have been out of work for almost 3 years!!! That is a long time since I have been working since the age of 12. I have been taking care of my kids and enjoying the time off but at the same time I get so stressed out that I just want to work and help my husband financially. He says I don't need to but sometimes I feel like I am 100% dependent on him.
I am at a CROSS ROADS now. I am going to start my Masters Degree really soon and I need to choose what path I want to go in, do I go into law enforcement or get into Psychology. Either way I want to help women and children and even men. Whether it is fighting crime or sitting down and talking to them on a professional level. I want a career. I have experience in the law enforcement field but I want to do more with it. So for now, I will be thinking of what to do and what is available. Chris and I do not have a long way to go here in Belgium, in fact we are looking at 3-7 months. WOW!!!
Today I did a little research on the job market and opportunities....so in the meantime, I will still be getting in shape and living a healthier lifestyle, thrifting and doing zumba. And in one week, my step daughter will be here and I AM SO EXCITED!!! I will keep you posted on my master plan once I figure it out!! LOL!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Baseball in his Blood!!

This blog post is dedicated to my husband.

It all began here: Nov 26th, 2007.
On the phone for the first time with my husband:

Chris: Sofia do you like baseball??
Sofia: YES
Chris: SO what is your favorite team??? In his mind (please don't say the LA Dodgers)
Chris: NO way really?? I love the SF GIANTS and LA is their RIVAL.
Sofia: ha ha!!!

Chris said this could have been the deal breaker but since I at least liked the sport, he let this one slide!!
And well it was my good looks and personality that won anyway! Of course!! lol!

Baseball has been a huge part of my husband's life. He has been playing since the age of 5, so that means he has been on the field for the longest time. When I met him though, he had stopped playing..too busy to play maybe or just didn't have the right motivation. Baseball had been forgotten, but when we met of course he had just come home from a deployment. The first year we were together Chris tried out for a baseball team in Colorado...and boy did he love the feeling of getting back on the field. On the way home today from his baseball game (Brussels Astros Vs the Knights) I asked my husband how old he was when he first started playing and he gave me a story...I love his stories by the way because he goes into so much detail and when I listen to them, it is like I am living it.....
He said he began playing at the age of 5 but stopped at the age of 12. Grades he said, his parents benched him until his academics improved. Which is fair. So he began again at the age of 16. Later to quit playing....I believe at the age of 17. He was good too!! I have a better appreciation for baseball now because my husband explains all the plays and what certain things mean. Back to the story....So when we received orders to come to Belgium, my husband was concerned that they wouldn't have a baseball team to play on, so he settled for softball on base. He enjoys softball but BASEBALL is in his blood!! He later found out that they do play baseball in Belgium and not only that he could try out for it...so needless to say he plays now for the Brussels Astros. The teams here are only allowed to play two AMERICANS at one time on the field, crazy!! We have players on the team that are Belgian, from the Dominican Republic and from the United States. I was surprised to see that. It is also amazing how many languages you will hear in just one baseball game, don't get me started on tournaments because there are even more languages to figure out.
Since being here my husband has played for the city of Mortsel and now the Brussels Astros. Let me tell you, they make them sign a contract here and if you somehow quit, you have to wait a year to be released in order to play for another team, just like the pros!!
Watching my husband play baseball makes me proud, as much as I fight about the drive up there and the stress of chasing my boys while he is playing, it makes me happy to see my husband on the field, because he is having a great time. He deserves that time for everything he does for me and my family. He deserves that time for all the stress he receives at work. He deserves it for being a great man. But best of all my boys get to watch him play too. My 2 year old loves playing as well, he bats left and throws left. Watching my son and my husband play in the backyard instantly makes me teary eyed. My son will always remember it, and when he plays on his first team he will remember daddy teaching him how to throw and how to swing his bat. My son gets so angry too when his dad doesn't set up the baseball on the tee fast enough. It is so funny!!
My husband's batting average is 400 as of today and this may not mean too much but he is playing just as good as he was when he was in high school. He was an MVP in high school (Most Valuable Player). I am getting good at the acronyms! I love the sport because my father would play when I was little and he would take me along to watch. He is a Chicago Cubs fan and to this day I will call my father and he will give me a play by play of how the Cubs did during the week. I miss watching baseball with my father. I think that is why I love to watch baseball with my husband, it is weird how alike my father and Chris are, but I will save that for another post!!
My husband will probably play baseball until he can no longer run the bases. I just can't wait to see him as the Tee Ball dad!! I will cry for sure when that happens!!
So to cut this short, my husband doesn't have to worry about sitting the bench unless of course too many players show up for the team!!!
Baseball in our house means a lot. Needless to say I am a SF GIANTS fan now!!! But I still keep my LA DODGERS gear buried in my closet for laughs.
Chris if you are reading this, I am proud of you and all of your RBI's, HITS, and even your OUTS. Something about you in uniform still gives me butterflies!!! 

For my father in law who is in Heaven, Chris still proudly wears his SF Giants hat and your tshirts, which I make fun of because they have holes in them, but will never allow Chris to get rid of them. Your scent is still there no matter how many times we wash them and Chris will always remind me that it was once your tshirt and how much you LOVED the SF Giants.

I love you Christopher and your continued and never ending LOVE of the GAME!!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Military Spouse Appreciation Day

Today is the day when we are all feeling a little special. OK, well I FEEL REALLY SPECIAL!!! I am a U.S. ARMY Wife and I feel proud to be serving along side my husband because I am a part of the Army as much as he...sure I didn't sign the contract but I go through deployment, training, and a lot of sacrifice too! I didn't do too much today as I had a really horrible toothache, my husband took care of me and called in an appointment to see the dentist on post. I was able to get in and the miracle of it all is that normally military dependents can't see the dentists on post unless they are cleanings. I FELT very SPECIAL because the dentist saw me today of all days and helped me because I was under a lot of pain. To make that story short, I need to get my wisdom teeth pulled! OUCH!!

I just want to write and say THANK YOU to all military spouses out there, thank you to all of you who support the military even if you are not a spouse. THANK YOU to the girlfriends, fiances and boyfriends out there as well because you support your military member! As a military wife I have gone through a PCS move overseas with a newborn, lived out of a suitcase for more than 60 days, endured tough work schedules and have sacrificed so much. That does not compare to what my husband has to go through when he is deployed or serving stateside. But some will say that the MILITARY SPOUSE is the toughest job in the MILITARY. I don't know if I believe it but my husband will tell you that is the truth. We are the backbone. So give yourself a pat on the back because you deserve it!!! Not for today but for all the times you are there to support your spouse, for all those Years, Days, Hours, and Minutes!

God Bless You and Your Troops!!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Moody Man Lives in My House

Ok, so I exaggerated just a little. A moody man doesn't live in my house all the time, but he comes out once in a while, but the best thing about it, is that it doesn't last that long. A military wife on my YT channel asked me if I could make a video on how to help turn your moody man into a happy one. That is tricky because every man is different and especially in the way they deal with certain situations. I answered the question as promised!! I asked my husband for input on this one, he is so great at giving advice and so BLUNT about it. LOL! I know I can always count on a straight answer with him. One of the answers he gave me I did not share on the video and that was The "S" word....yes MAKING LOVE...SEX, whatever you want to call it. It makes a lot of sense actually. Love Making can be very exhilarating, relaxing and scientifically proven to make a person happy or in a better mood!! Maybe I should have added it!! Anyway, I have so much fun making videos for anyone who needs advice or another perspective. I was happy to make this one because it gave me the opportunity to communicate with my husband about it. And well now I know what makes him in a better mood....CHOCOLATE ICECREAM, and here you thought I was about to say SEX. lol!! Anyways, get your mind out of the gutter....just kidding! So next time your husband comes home in a bad mood try one of my tips or tricks, IT MIGHT WORK.  Let me know what you have tried and comment down below if you have any advice on this topic!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Response and Reflection

Just recently, I posted a video called Sofia's Spiel: Deserved a Voice. I will post in down below.  Some of you may have watched it and some of you may have not, that is perfectly ok. I was on there venting about some messages I had received from another Military Wife and well it did not have a positive outcome whatsoever. I was blocked before I even had the chance to respond. I learned an important lesson though that is for sure, BE CAREFUL on who you give advice to even if they are asking for it. I didn't intend to start any drama with my video, I wanted to share what I thought about the messages I received. In my heart I still feel the same way. Now the video was shot "in the moment" and maybe if I had taken a day to wait and cool down, it could have been more rational. I still don't regret the video though. I feel that every person should be GIVEN the opportunity to defend themselves, with words and their thoughts especially. We all have our own opinions on things because we all have been raised differently around different people. I used to be the shy girl who hardly ever spoke in high school, however, I had many friends because I was very OPEN-MINDED. I tried to be friends with everyone. On my YT channel I offer advice on Military Related Topics, Relationships, and on anything else anyone wants to hear an opinion on.
I feel like I was attacked by offering advice from someone who specifically asked for it. She is a NEW military wife who needed help. I have had some experience in many things about the military. I was previously Married to the USMC and now the ARMY. I have had my share of knowledge and insight on how some things are run or NOT run in some cases. There are NEW wives out there that know MORE than me and I LOVE that. I love that I can learn from them because they are FRESH new faces. We all know a little something about a lot of things because we have LIVED through it.
My point here is to say that we all have lived through very distinct lives!! We are all different. Not one of us is stronger than the other, we can't live our lives separating ourselves because we really only have eachother in this world. I received messages from one particular Military Wife that stated "I am STRONGER than YOU" and "I have been through MORE in my life than YOU will ever go through." Really? Was that really necessary? I know what I have lived in my life and by no means can she ASSURE me on anything that has anything to do with my life, because she doesn't know me. I don't know why she says she is STRONGER, what does that mean, some people are able to live through the most traumatic and heart breaking situations in life and others just curl up into a ball, is that what she was referring to? You can't measure a person's strength, you can only feel it when you get to know that person or hear their story. In closing I will say, I am proud of my soldier, I am proud of what I have accomplished so far in my life because it isn't over yet and by far I WILL NOT let this MILITARY wife bring me DOWN. I just wish we could all just get along.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama Bin Laden Killed.

His death should make me happy and put a smile on my face. A part of me wants to smile the other part makes me worry. I worry about retaliation. I worry that there are U.S. Soldiers in harm's way right now as we speak. They are now even more of a target as HATE still exists. This morning we heard that we had to be on high alert when traveling to Brussels because there are Al Qaeda terrorists groups there ready for us. I don't think it is that extreme but we do have to be cautious. Living in a foreign country where WE are the minority isn't easy. My family and I try to blend in, but it is so hard!! We are Hispanic and we stand out like a sore thumb! Even if I try to dress "EUROPEAN" I still stand out because I am not fluent in the language. I believe even if I were, they still would know. I am not afraid to live in Belgium or a foreign country, it just means we have to keep our eyes open and our ears open as well. We have to watch what we say too because anyone could be listening. You know, one rumor I heard when I moved here is that they built a line of "Asian" Restaurants between the two bases here because Americans love to go and eat and well TALK. The rumor is the people running the restaurants are spies for many Asian countries. Wow, really?? Well sounds a little goofy but in reality you don't know who could be listening to your conversation, so yes you have to watch what you say and around who. I am not at all saying the rumor is true, but I am saying that people do listen even if they are American themselves. I mean how else is PEOPLE and STAR Magazine making money!? lol. Back to the subject. Osama Bin Laden is dead so what now? Hate still exists, and now retaliation is lurking. Another thing I heard on this subject is that the President knew this compound existed in Pakistan for a year now? Hmm Really?? Well I think we won't know the truth, the only truth here is that a man, a COWARDLY man who killed his own people is now dead. Celebrate? I have mixed thoughts. It won't bring back all the men and women killed fighting the War on Terrorism. It won't bring anything back but more HATE. Osama Bin Laden is dead and this War is not going to end and they are not going to start sending our Soldiers home. It just does not work that way. They are not going to give up on terror, they will find another leader to replace him, build another compound and it will continue to be hell for us waiting for our soldiers to return safely.
Osama was knocking at heaven's door this morning, and NO ONE was letting him in!!! I pray that this event changes the war some way. I am not keeping my hopes up on this one. I would love to hear what you think on what happened to Osama Bin Laden. Comment below please.