Archive | August 2014

A Secret Pregnancy = A Private Hell

Just a couple of days ago, I read in the news that a young woman had been arrested for placing her newborn baby in her neighbor’s trash can after she gave birth. It was stated that she was afraid to tell her parents she was pregnant.

As I was reading the story, my heart felt so heavy. I was overcome with emotions. All I could do was close my eyes and sigh. Tears filled my eyes for this mom, baby, and family. It seems so simple to just tell someone you’re pregnant, but so often, it’s not.

One of the reasons I write this blog is to reach out and possibly help someone who may feel alone or may believe they have nowhere to turn. If I could prevent just one mother, father, or family from having to go through what we have, it would be a blessing worth all the blood, sweat, and tears.

The  ‘ secret adoption ‘ our family was thrust into has been devastating and writing about it has become a means of survival.

The love and support I have received from strangers around the world really helps me to keep going. I am driven by love and passion for my niece, fueled by our desperate need for justice.

It’s horribly sad that the young and vulnerable make such rash decisions out of fear and desperation, and having gone through what we have, I see beyond what some would view as ‘ a mother just throwing her child away.’ I’m sure she felt there was no other way and judging her is something people have no right to do. It’s easy to give an opinion, but no one but she walked in her shoes ….  

 

 

 

 

 

 

The More I Learn, The Less I Want To Know

The more I know about this adoption and adoption in general, the less I want to know about it.

I hate going through pages and pages of lies, manipulations, and red flags. I got my Child Development Associate’s Degree just to keep my brain busy while waiting for the babies to be born. I’m an avid learner but some things I just don’t want to know about. While reading through my class material, the whole section on adoption literally made my knees tremble. I wanted to skip the section altogether because just seeing the word adoption written out makes me crazy.

The adoptive mother has a master’s degree in psychology. She knew full well the effects of adoption on the child, mother, and family and still went ahead with it, fixing her own infertility by taking the fruit of another woman’s womb. Adoptions done the ‘ right ‘ way need to be treated delicately, but adoptions done in the dark are absolutely wrong.

When goods, gifts, jewelry, and money are being lavished on someone for a child, in my opinion that is a ‘ baby sale.’ All that and more were given to Lupita, my sister never took a dime. Her medical bills remain unpaid, her wages garnished. The adoptive couple swooped in as soon as Lupita gave the green light, like vultures, got the brand new baby they wanted, and they were gone. Paperwork was incomplete, rushed, missing, incorrect, so many red flags that Elliot County still doesn’t want to deal with.

There’s not one thing in this case that is right. It doesn’t matter how much evidence you have, when a ‘ Good Ol’ Boy’ town wants to hide something, that’s what they do. They don’t have to answer for anything. They don’t have to explain why one of their court clerks illegally facilitated an adoption from her workplace, while on the clock.

God never forgets and His timing is always perfect. He will hold those accountable and justice will be served one day. Their dirty deeds will be put out there for them to face, to explain. He knows the hearts of those involved, their wicked intentions. You can’t count on a ‘ criminal’s justice system ‘ but you can count on God to be the ultimate judge.

 

Priceless Art

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The things I cherish have no monetary value. Yes, it’s a blessing that God has provided our family with more than we could ever ask for and we’re very comfortable and thankful. But stuff is just stuff and things are just things. You can buy new clothes, get new decorations for the house, those types of things are replaceable.

I have a memory boxes. Inside my Juicy Couture perfume boxes you’ll find admissions stubs from concerts, plays and movies, post cards, love letters, coins from places I’ve been, things that help to stamp that memory in time.

I wouldn’t matter to me if I had to replace expensive things, if things got broken. It would matter to me if I lost these 2 little cards. I would be heartbroken, feeling like once again she was taken away. 

I always keep her with me and I love having something that we colored together. These little scribbles, shapes, and colors are priceless to me. She’s my niece, I adore her, I miss her, and I need her in my life.

 

 

Love: The Fruit of the Spirit

It hurts me so much to think that no matter how many faces she sees, she doesn’t see any that resemble her own.

Everyone wants to know who they belong to and where they came from and I don’t think my niece is any exception.

I wonder if she looks for someone who looks like her, I wonder if she can feel that she doesn’t belong where she is or belong who she is with.

I look at her pictures and she resembles every one of us in some way. The other day, my cousin and I held up pictures of our new babies next to her picture that is on my refrigerator,  and we stood there speechless. They all looked like the same baby!

How surreal it is going to be when we finally reunite. I picture us holding our hands up to one another, how heavenly it will feel to hold her and hug her. It’s amazing what losing someone you love and adore will do to your life and spirit. You have to kind of ‘ work around ‘ what is considered normal, because nothing is normal to you anymore once they’re gone. No one else can replace them, nothing but their return will make the pain go away. It’s like you save a place for them at the table, you buy gifts you can’t give them but you buy them anyway and put them in a hope-chest for safe keeping. That’s what it is, putting all your hopes and dreams in a big box, a time capsule filled with love.

But that’s the thing about love. It goes on and never dies. It endures. It adjusts. It always finds a way. Love waits;  sometimes anxiously, sometimes patiently, but it waits ….

 

 

 

 

The Gift

Writing about this particular gift is something that I have to include. Some will believe me, some may not. It doesn’t really matter one way or the other because I know it to be true, and so do my family and friends. It’s not an issue of crazy and only people who have such a gift will just take you at your word for it. Sometimes things happen that you just can’t explain.  

In our family, some of us have sort of a sixth sense. I personally have been able to see, hear, and feel spirits since before I can remember. The earliest memory I have of experiencing anything supernatural occurred when I was five or six. I heard a little boy and a little girl playing outside of my window every single night when I was in bed getting ready to go to sleep. Being a child, it didn’t occur to me that kids shouldn’t be playing outside that late, night after night. I heard them perfectly clear, just as if I were playing amongst them.

From that point on, no matter where I’ve lived, and certain places I was visiting, I almost always felt, saw, or heard the spirits there. Once spirits know you can sense them, they will likely come to you. It wasn’t until later in my life that I put it together that sometimes ‘places’ aren’t haunted, but some ‘people’  are. I’ve experienced things being alone, sometimes with other people. It was only recently that I thought to take photographs to see if anything could be captured when I had a ‘feeling’ and actually seeing orbs and odd lights in the photos gave me some kind of validation. Renovating a house disturbs not only the physical layout of a home, but it can also disturb spirits that are within that space. You can feel the energy and it gets so strong that we have even put our hands through it. It feels electric, cold.

I’ve had so many experiences from hearing heavy boots pacing my house to whispers in the middle of the night. I’ve had premonitions, but I’ve also been able to feel what has happened in the past. I even dreamt of a violent crime that was committed against our friend’s son as it was happening. I frantically  woke my aunt up and told her about my dream and later that morning we found out it happened exactly how I dreamt it. It was like I was there watching from an aerial view and I saw what had happened to him. He was attacked less than half a mile from our house and the energy it produced was so strong that I saw it in my mind’s eye.

When I pulled up to a house I wanted to buy, my first thought was ‘ my life is going to fall apart in there.’ I didn’t want the house, I could feel that it had a life of its own, that many horrible things had happened within its walls. Someone convinced me to buy it, and indeed within six months, my life was a nightmare. You could feel the evil in the house. Boots constantly pacing, pictures coming off the walls, energy so big it felt like it filled the room. It got to the point where we were all sleeping together in the living room. I had a guy I knew who just stayed parked in my driveway just to watch over us but without having to be inside the house. I was never alone there besides the first day I moved in and I heard whatever it was walk toward me, down the hall, and into the kitchen. I remember thinking to myself, ‘so it’s begun.’

I couldn’t wait to get out of there. We didn’t want to be there. I had never fainted until I moved into that house. I fainted five times in that house while I lived there and once I moved it never happened again. It was like that house was meant to destroy everything. It sat empty before we bought it, and it sits empty years after I left. It was built on land that was a slaughter yard and the house had been on fire twice, tragedy evidently struck there. I knew it was going to be all bad there, and it was.

Anyway, I had forgotten all about the little boy and girl and then one day I just remembered. I told my aunt what I had heard when I was a child and she said ‘ I remember you telling me when you were little.’ I couldn’t believe it. Years later, I was wide awake early one morning, my bed started shaking side to side, I was absolutely terrified. When I finally had the courage to come out of the room about 7:30 in the morning, my son was on the couch and when I asked him why, he told me that something was shaking his bed and pulling his blankets off. He was pale and I could see it in his eyes that he experienced what I did. So that morning, something came to both of us. I’ve had so many experiences throughout my life that continue to this day.

I was giving one of my babies a bath not too long ago, and I knelt down to fill up the bathtub, and when I stood up, the shower curtain had come down around me. I  just screamed once and pushed it out of the way. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. There was no way it could have come down because I always fix it so it’s completely out of the way. I don’t feel any fear from whatever it is, but I do feel like it tries to get my attention.

Energy lingers for one reason or another. Sometimes the feeling is good and sometimes it’s so heavy and dark. I never experienced such a force of activity like the house I left. It was scary just being there. It felt so uncomfortable. One morning I was in bed and something sat on my feet. It took the air out of my lungs, I couldn’t even breathe. Everyone that had been there with me will say yes, there was definitely something there. A lot of somethings, and they were all bad. There was no ‘ light ‘ in the house, it felt like the house was depressed and angry. I couldn’t wait to get out of there, and the night I decided enough was enough, it was like we were running from something we couldn’t see. The house was freezing, even my car had frozen over which is unheard of. Noises, and energy I was walking through, I didn’t even look in the rear view mirror as I drove away. That house was the worst place I had ever been and I was elated to leave it all behind.

I’m glad that I have been so blessed and that my spirit feels free because if that weren’t the case, whatever is in my new house would be feeding off of and adding to my emotional turmoil.  The only thing missing from my life is my niece. She is the only piece missing in my puzzle. I love hard and deep and I am loved just as much. I have the best career, the happiest and best times of my life have all happened in these last five years. We have been blessed with five new babies in the family, two of them being mine, blessed with a lovely home in my hometown. It feels like a fairy tale when I’m in my garden picking fresh vegetables with my almost 2-year-old son, and my three-month old baby daughter outside in her cradle in the shade. So I’m just so thankful that love fills our home because love is the only thing that can fight it off.

But no matter what, things always go bump in the night. I sleep with my Bible next to my bed and I have emergency Holy Water on the mantle over the fireplace. I feel something come into the room, I feel it leave. I snap photos and take videos where you can actually see little flying orb style lights. My mother-in-law has stayed in the guest room once and said she wouldn’t sleep over again because she kept hearing something walking down the hall. Light switches click on and off. The freezer door opens as wide as it can be opened, I hear my family come home, get all excited and rush to greet them, only to find no one is there.

It’s just so incredible that this is a side of my life I don’t talk about but it’s such a huge part. I guess because things happen every few days so it feels like second nature. I try not to pay too much attention, but at the same time, it’s hard to ignore. I still have a half painted bathroom because the night I was painting it, my CD kept ejecting itself. Every few minutes, six times total it ejected from a brand new laptop and it didn’t happen before or since. That was the same night I heard the muffled voices and my first instinct was to look in the vent because of the sound it made. After that, I just decided to have the rest of it finished by a friend. Every time I do any kind of renovating or rearranging, the activity kicks up a notch. So with each new project I choose to do, I get nervous and rightfully so. But I have the best protector on my side. I’m such a strong believer and I feel safe because I know God is watching over us and will never let anything harm us or chase us out of our home like it did before. When I left what we all called ‘ The House ‘ and not ‘ home ‘ it was such a relief. I felt this sort of unexplainable blackness in my heart when I was there.  When I left, it wasn’t there anymore. I felt so good when I walked it felt like I was floating.

So I just wanted to share a few things about this very personal side of me. I’m not saying I’m psychic or a medium or anything like that. I’m a devout Christian believer that can see, hear, and feel spirits. It’s just as simple as that and I’ve learned that I have nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed of. Millions of people claim to have a sixth sense and they’re not all insane. They come from all walks of life. Two of my kids so far have the same gift, and it’s something I’ve had to teach them not to be afraid of. We always share our experiences and support each other because we know it’s very real.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mija, Meet Your Auntie ….

As I wrote to my niece about the places I’ve been, I really thought that I should share some personal things about myself with her. Throughout this almost ten years that we have been sucked into a turmoil we still can’t understand, it has been all about my niece, to my niece. Details, facts, red flags, but nothing about me as a person. I’ve written her so many handwritten letters with little things here and there about myself, but never made myself the focus for her to just get to know things about her auntie. 

Since I scheduled my final surgery date, I’ve really been reflecting on my life since anything can go wrong when you go under the knife. I’m so nervous and scared. I’ve been doing a lot of praying, more than usual, and asking God to help get me through this because I have a very important date when a special little girl turns eighteen. So I’m trusting that He will get me through the procedure and the excruciating recovery that will have me in bed for at least a month with black eyes and a little cast on my nose. I’ll have a little bell next to the bed because it will hurt to even talk. 

On weekends I’m usually out on the town, but I’m just taking it easy these next few days, spending time with my niece the only way I ever can which is through my writing. I’m six days away from surgery to reconstruct my nose after an accident last year. An accident that was a blessing in disguise because they found an infection at the base of my brain, which was not good and they were able to take care of. I’ve already had one nasal surgery last year but this one is to fix the damage inside and outside my nose.

So these next few days, I’ll be writing some personal things. I just want my niece to know me as a person. So without further ado, I want to sort of  ‘introduce’ myself to my babygirl by just telling her things that I love and things I don’t love so much, some of my eccentricities, some of my dreams, some things that touch and hurt my heart.

 

I’m awaiting the time I can truly be her auntie, and here’s some things about me I’d love for her to know….

 

I’m a preschool teacher, event planner, soon to be private investigator, and I’m also an Adoption Reform Advocate.

I’m a mommy.

Terms of Endearment:     Lisey, BabyLisa,  Tiny, Cara Mia, Lisa Love  

I’m loved by so many but only love one.

 

My Favorite Colors:     Turquoise blue, black.

 

My Favorite Foods:     Sushi, seafood, tacos, almost all fruits and vegetables, especially cherries and asparagus, Jell-O,  pasteles, tamales, pizza, carrot cake, Togo’s sandwiches, medium rare steak, anything my mom makes, and I have a major weakness for French fries.

 

My Favorite Drinks:     Orange juice with crushed ice, ginger ale, Slurpees, and whenever I dine out, I always order a Shirley Temple.

 

Foods I’m Famous For Making:     Taco dip, fruit pizza, roasted red potatoes, soy chicken, shishkabobs, taquitos, tacos, stuffed mushrooms, lumpia, chile verde, grilled oysters and shrimp skewers, chocolate covered strawberries, guacamole, enchiladas, patio potatoes, French toast, scrumptious bacon ( I never ate bacon until I made it), shrimp ceviche, beef skewers, fried green tomatoes, bean and two-cheese dip, custom cakes and cupcakes, homemade baby food, perfect steaks, pot roast, garlic bread, eggs Benedict, homemade applesauce and baby foods. Really, everything…. I make everything with love and it shows. One of my kids’ friends came over one day while I was making an appetizer tray and with great excitement said, ‘ You’re a food artist ! ‘ That still makes me smile to this day !

 

My Favorite Books:     I absolutely love to read and still go to the library that I’ve been going to since the second grade on a regular basis. I could spend all day in a bookstore. Some of my favorites are:      The Bible, The Diary of Anne Frank, Night by Elie Wiesel, All Rivers Run to the Sea by Elie Wiesel, The Help, The Prince of Tides, Beach Music, The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, Hind’s Feet on High Places, Battlefield of the Mind, Rutka’s Notebook, all Holocaust survivor books, God: Please Help Me ( a collection of prayers), Sybil, When Rabbit Howls by Trudy Chase, Diana: In Her Own Words, The Art of War by Sun Tzu, A Child Called ‘It’ trilogy, The Summer House, Survivors: True Stories of Children in the Holocaust. I hardly ever read anything that is fiction and never anything science fiction.

 

My Favorite Movies & Such:     Sybil, Imitation of Life, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, Not Without My Daughter, Beaches, The Water is Wide, Somewhere in Time, The Color Purple, anything by Stanley Kubrick or Quentin Tarantino, She-Devil, My Chauffeur, Legend, God Bless the Child, Beautiful, The Secret Garden, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Dolores Claiborne, An Eye For An Eye, My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding, The Money Pit, Years of the Beast. I love black & white movies and I hardly watch regular television but if I do it’s anything with Gordon Ramsay or Joyce Meyer Ministry, and I admit I do love ‘ Teen Mom 2 ‘. I love the History channel, Discovery and the Military channel. I love documentaries.

 

Things I Enjoy:     Writing, reading, cooking, cleaning while listening to loud music, traveling, painting, photography, pool, darts, Dominoes, playing Spades, chess, having BBQ’S for the Superbowl, boxing and UFC fights, the beach in Santa Cruz especially in summer for Movies on the Beach, the sky at night, going to the library or bookstores, taking the kids to the park, teaching preschool and a kids’ cooking class, tea parties with the kids, hosting a kids’ book club, reading to children and elders,  interior/exterior design, event planning, getting tattoos ( I have 16),  being out on the water, sunsets, road trips, room service, taking care of everyone I love, making costumes, baking and decorating cakes and cupcakes, going to the gun range, learning anything I can, candlelight bubble baths, dancing, deep tissue massage and acupressure, rainy days, playing board games with the kids, the finale of fireworks shows.

 

 

Some of My Talents:   Teaching, cooking & food design, party planning, interior/exterior design, reading aloud to others, photography, painting with puffy paint, writing; and my revolving door of house guests tell me I’m a gracious and hospitable hostess. I multitask and I take the lead to get things done.

  

 

Places I Go To Escape, Reflect, & Be Inspired:    

Santa Cruz:  The beach is so relaxing and the boardwalk has the best comfort food. I can stay there from morning until night  enjoying the fun and scenery.  Every summer, my family and I go to see the movies on the beach. ‘Glamping’ on the private beach with a fire, tent, cozy pillows, and sound of the waves is incredible.

 

Secret Spot in the Hayward Hills:  There’s a place I’ve been parking since I was 14 where you can see the city at a distance. From one secret spot you can see all of Hayward, from the top of the hill you can see the entire Bay Area. It really does look and feel like the top of the world. I’ve only been there with a few people because it’s a very personal and intimate place for me. You see a million lights through all the cities from San Francisco to San Jose, the moon reflecting off of the darkness of the water is breathtaking. Sometimes I sit there in complete silence, sometimes I talk it out with God for hours.  On 4th of July, you can see all the fireworks from San Francisco to San Jose.

 

Hayward Library:  I’ve been going to the same library since I was in second grade, and I still go regularly to get away from it all. I get a stack of books, put on my glasses, and escape into different times and places. I so easily get lost. It’s euphoric and fulfilling.  

 

Lake Elizabeth:  The perfect place to barbecue, have a picnic lunch, get cozy on a blanket on the grass with a good book, where the kids play all day and love to feed the ducks. It’s such a blessing to have such a beautiful place to go that is ten minutes away and brings such great solace, serenity, and best of all, brings the family together. 

 

 

Places I’ve Been:   

 * Miami and Fort. Lauderdale, Florida ( separate trips )

* Texas

* Arizona

* Lake Tahoe, Reno, Genoa, & Las Vegas, NV

* Seattle & Oak Harbor, Washington

* Quito, Ecuador ( I went on a 16-day missionary, stood on both sides of the Equator, visited historic churches. )

* Puerto Rico

* Nassau, Bahamas (Atlantis, horseback riding in the water)

* St. Thomas, Virgin Islands (Butterfly Garden)

* Turks & Caicos (Resort)

* Acapulco & Mazatlan, Mexico (House of Masks, Botanicals, La Quebrada)

* Inca Ruins

* Galapagos Islands

* The Amazon Rainforest

* Monterey Bay, CA ( Aquarium )

* Napa, CA ( Wineries )

* Bodega Bay, CA ( Where A. Hitchcock filmed ‘The Birds’ )

* San Francisco (Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Warf) and the entire Bay Area, CA

* Santa Cruz & Carmel, CA ( Love the Boardwalk )

* Yosemite, CA

 

My ‘Wish List’ of Places to Visit: 

* Maui, Hawaii

* Paris, France

* Summer Fiestas in Mexico

* Anne Frank Museum

* Niagara Falls, NY

* A Joyce Meyer Conference

* Alaska

* Japan

* Vermont

* Grand Hotel, Michigan

 

Things I’m Afraid Of:     My niece never coming home, the ocean at night, flying, losing anyone else I love.

 

Things I’m Passionate About:     My niece knowing the truth, the protection, nurturing, and education of children, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, studying the Bible, studying the Holocaust, tending my garden, helping those in need in any way I can, having dinner at the table, rocking my babies to sleep, showing people I love that I love them.  I have a special place in my heart for soldiers. Five of my family members are serving or have served this country proudly in the Navy and Air Force, so programs like Soldier’s Angels are dear to my heart.  I make the best care packages to make our heroes feel that some of home came to them and that they’re not forgotten. I study history, particularly WWII and The Holocaust. The more I learn about it, the more books I read and footage I watch, it makes thankful to even be alive. I made a beautiful and colorful memorial piece with paperclips and handwritten names to represent the people whose stories I’ve read or names I’ve come across. ( People who were against the war wore paperclips on their lapel, originating in Norway. ) It has seven different frames put together that hangs on our dining room wall, just to remind us of how blessed we are and to bear witness to those lost so they’re never forgotten and always remembered.

 

Things I Despise or Disturb Me:     Shows like Family Guy and South Park,  science fiction, crimes against children,  injustice of any kind, video games, how technology is so out of control that people are so out of touch, bullying, the fact that people are so distracted by the garbage of Hollywood that hardly anyone cares about real issues like starving children, the homeless, and important world issues. Everything Disney, adoptions that are immoral or unethical, how demonic the world has become, reality t.v. and talk shows, the Illuminati and those pushing a New World Order, those who are non-appreciative and lack compassion, the death of Lacy Peterson, those who abuse their authority, Satan and his evil deeds, always having to defend my faith.

 

Things That Have Hurt Me The Most:     Losing my niece, losing my grandmother, losing my love to a motorcycle accident, losing three best friends due to dangerous drug use, losing friends as my faith grows stronger and I become a more devout Christian, the end of my parent’s marriage because of this horrible situation, the miscarriage I had ten days after I found out about the adoption, that life was never the same after losing my niece, not knowing what happened to my friend who tried to commit suicide because she left the hospital without staff approval or knowledge. (She had over fifty staples from her sternum to her belly button from a self-inflicted stab wound.)  Seeing a woman take her last breaths after an accident, the recurring nightmares about the adoption, the haunting memories of having to leave my niece behind after visits.

 
My Favorite Flowers:    Pink Gladioli, Pink Stargazer Lilies, Purple Lotus, Yellow Snapdragon, Purplish-Blue Hydrangea, White Gardenia, White Magnolias.

 

My Favorite Fragrances:     Juicy Couture, Love Spell, Ed Hardy, Exclamation.

 

I Admire:     The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit, Saint Jude the Patron Saint of Lost, Desperate, or Impossible Cases, Saint Christopher, Job, Diana: Princess of Wales, Bruce Lee, Sun Tzu, Hattori Hanzo, Cathy O’Brien, John F. Kennedy, Anne Frank, Elie Wiesel, my family members, Judith Land, survivors of trauma, the doctors, staff, parents and patients at St. Jude, single parents, military personnel, Joyce Meyer.

 

My Favorite Sports and Athletes:     Football ( Raiders, Cowboys, and Bears ), UFC & Boxing, Manny Pacquiao, Canelo Alvarez, Danny Garcia, Miguel Cotto, Felix Trinidad, Cristiane ‘Cyborg’ Justino, Roy ‘Big Country’ Nelson.

 

My Favorite Musicians:     Sade, Mary J. Blige, Aaliyah, Davina, Andre Nickatina, Tupac Shakur, Phil Collins, Tears for Fears, Simply Red, classical musicians, my friend Marinda. I don’t just listen to the beat of songs, I listen to the words and if I don’t agree with the message I can’t listen to it. I used to listen to so much music, but now it’s been cut by about 80%. I just can’t listen to any music. The quote below is so true.

                 ~ “ Music directly represents the passions of the soul. If one listens to the wrong kind of music, he  will become the wrong kind of person. ” ~
                                                                                       ~ Aristotle

 

My Favorite Comedians:     Katt Williams, Dave Chappelle, Paul Mooney.

 

Things I’m Looking Forward To:     Having a relationship with my niece, visiting the places on my ‘wish list’, getting my house boat, decorating my new classroom, watching the kids grow up, getting more grounded in my faith, the printing of my book, completing my private investigator’s course, being fluent in Spanish and Sign Language. The kids’ baptism in April, going to the fiestas in Mexico next summer, obtaining a ‘Helping Hands’ volunteer position at St. Jude. This year’s vacations.

 

My Favorite KJV Bible Verse:     Ephesians 6:12     ‘ For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places ‘

 

Things I’m Thankful For:     My family and loving protectors, my relationship with God that continues to get stronger, that God gave me many talents, that I learned from mistakes I made and was able to forgive myself. The food, shelter, and clothing we have, that I am becoming the best me I’ve ever been. I’m so thankful that my eyes have been ‘ opened ‘ and now I see things differently, people who have loved me and stuck by me through all this pain. I’m thankful for feeling safe, secure, loved, appreciated, and valued.

 

Some Odds & Ends:     I love sneezing, vacuuming with my Dyson, I can still do the cherry drop from the monkey bars, I believe in Angels, I stood on both sides of the equator in Ecuador, I was first published when I was ten years old for writing a story about a math book that the school bully destroys. I changed an entire company with an anonymous letter I wrote about discrimination, I’m a night owl, I’m a writer, I love Chinese, Japanese, and Greek culture, I cook from scratch, I’ve never been stung by a bee, I love music, I love bamboo plants, I’m a great speller, I make brunch every Sunday, I love learning sign language, love thigh-highs and platform heels, I love thrift stores because you find treasures there, I’m a poet and love poetry, I love the San Jose flea market and their famous flavored pistachios. I love Santa Cruz, miniature golf, camping on the beach. I love Marilyn Monroe, drive-in movies, I’m a Pisces, I was and continue to be a  straight ‘ A ‘ student, I’m a member of ‘ Couch Surfers ‘ which is for travelers. I never drink alcohol or smoke, other than French fries, I don’t eat fast food. I love puffy paint, I never take a bite of food without praying first, even if I’m at a restaurant. I’m the neighborhood mom, things that I cherish have no monetary value,  I’ve been baptized twice. I love being a teacher, my classroom is my second home.

 

 I hope one day I won’t have to keep record of such things, but for now, I do. I’ve gotten lost in the commotion of all this and I at least wanted to give my niece a little glimpse of who her aunt is as a person. I want her to know that I am not defined by this case alone ….  

Around the World, I Pray ….

One thing I love to do is travel.

The feeling of ‘getting away from of it all’ is what helps keep me going. Although no matter where I go, or how far away it is, I always wish my babygirl were there.

 

I’ve Been To:   

 * Miami and Fort. Lauderdale, Florida ( separate trips )

* Texas

* Arizona

* Lake Tahoe, Reno, Genoa, & Las Vegas, NV

* Seattle & Oak Harbor, Washington

* Quito, Ecuador ( I went on a 16-day missionary, stood on both sides of the Equator, visited historic churches. )

* Puerto Rico

* Nassau, Bahamas (Atlantis, horseback riding in the water)

* St. Thomas, Virgin Islands (Butterfly Garden)

* Turks & Caicos (Resort)

* Acapulco & Mazatlan, Mexico (House of Masks, Botanicals, La Quebrada)

* Inca Ruins

* Galapagos Islands

* The Amazon Rainforest

* Monterey Bay, CA ( Aquarium )

* Napa, CA ( Wineries )

* Bodega Bay, CA ( Where A. Hitchcock filmed ‘The Birds’ )

* San Francisco (Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf) and the entire Bay Area, CA

* Santa Cruz & Carmel, CA ( Love the Boardwalk )

* Yosemite, CA

 

I was supposed to go to Hawaii this year, but since I’m having surgery, I thought it was best to reschedule. I can’t wait to visit and it will very likely be for my next birthday.  I also want to go to Paris. I have dreamed of going here since I was a little girl and this will be the trip after Hawaii so it’s getting closer. After that, I don’t know where else to go because it feels like I’ve been everywhere! I had to share some pictures because I want my niece to know that I’ve said prayers for our reunion from around the world.

WALLEYS

David Walley’s Hot Springs Resort : This two-week vacation was so memorable. I relaxed in the pools, had delicious dinners, and stayed in the most luxurious room.

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Virgin Islands: It was so hot but so fun!

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Turks & Caicos: Sitting on the beach in a such a remote place was very surreal. It was so charming.

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Santa Cruz: This where I go every couple of months, it’s a paradise that is less than hour from where I live. On this particular night, it was ‘Movies on the Beach’ and I went with my family to see ‘Beetlejuice.’ The boardwalk is always so fun, it’s an all-in-one play place for adults and children alike. I’ve been ‘escaping’ here for more than half my life.

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Puerto Rico: This is the first time I had ever been there. It brought tears to my eyes to actually be in the place my ancestors came from, to eat the food I grew up on, to finally see ‘my island.’

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Nassau, Bahamas: It was always a dream of mine to visit the Bahamas and when I finally did get there, it was the paradise I always dreamed of. I could’ve stayed there forever!

miami

Miami: Talk about a hot and humid place!

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Lake Tahoe: The sky looked like cotton candy and I had to run in to grab my camera. Sunsets are one of my favorite things to photograph.

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Lake Amador: This lovely sunset looked like two skies, one on top of the other.

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Cal State Hayward: This is where I’ve been going to reflect and gain inspiration since I was a young teenager. You can see the whole Bay Area, from San Francisco to San Jose. On 4th of July you can see the fireworks going off in each city. This really is the top of the world ….

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Las Vegas: I moved here for six months to sort of find myself after an extremely difficult and emotional time in my life. I lived alone with my kids and just proved to myself that I could make it all on my own. Natives of Las Vegas have a liking for people from the Bay Area, and this city really rolled out the red carpet for me. I absolutely love The Bellagio, the beauty of the water show is sure to amaze and the art gallery is breathtaking.

ACAPULCO2

Acapulco, Mexico: We couldn’t have had a more perfect view. We arrived in the middle of the night and when I woke up, it was like looking at a postcard. La Quebrada, the botanicals, the house of masks, the central market center, room service, this was a real vacation.

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Mazatlan, Mexico: When I took this photograph, it looked like it was a direct route to heaven. I got in the ocean for the first time in over fifteen years and caught the waves with my kids. I was dressed up, wearing a skirt, but just couldn’t resist getting in the water. It was exhilarating!

raider game

Oakland Coliseum: I had to add this photo because I’m a Raider Fan and there’s nothing like the tailgate! Raider fans are passionate about their team, and they go all out! Ice Cube performed at this particular game, we had perfect seats, it was such a fun day!