2012 Recap (May to December)

Hi! It's been a while since my last post and it is time to get back to the blogging world. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. So many things has happened in my life very good and very bad. Today I am sharing a mini summary of what I had been up to in 2012.



MAY
Diego graduated from Kindergarten and we could not be more proud of him. It's been amazing watching him mature and learn during the last school year. He learned to read english and spanish.
The ceremony was conducted at Centro de Convenciones; San Juan.

It was a beautiful ceremony based in the Rainbow Fish story book and the kids seemed to enjoy it. Diego's outfit was made by my very good friend Olga Jaca. He was just so handsome.
The graduation ceremony was just the date before, my sister had her surgery to remove a sarcoma tumor at her left maxillary sinus at MD Anderson. The 12 hour surgery was successful. I went to Houston for the weekend to take care of her.

JUNE
My DH was assigned a temporary project in Pennsylvania within his same company. So, we stayed in Pennsylvania during the Summer.  It was a great experience for the kids and me, since while my husband was working, we were able to explore the area nearby with the help of the GPS.

We had the chance to see a Philadelphia Phillies baseball game, Lancaster, New Jersey Aquarium, Philadelphia Zoo and Valley Forge State park among other attractions.

We shared with my DH's family in New Jersey during Father's day. Meanwhile, my sister was in Houston with my mother. Even, the surgery was successful, my sister do not recovered as expected.

JULY
During July, the doctors found that my sisters's cancer migrated to the lungs. They advised to my mother and uncle to not fight the disease any more, since there was not chance of survival. All the family was devastated, since we really had hope. Lots of people from many religious denominations, from many parts of the world were praying for her.

My parents transferred her to Puerto Rico as soon it was possible with the help of oxygen supplement the last week of July.

AUGUST
We returned to Puerto Rico from Pennsylvania the first week of August. Soon after, my sister dies on August 5. It was a very difficult experience and everyone in the family was emotionally overwhelmed. The family and friends support was immense and I am very grateful for it.

The next week classes started and it felt good to return to the routine. In addition, to going to school, we did a family 5K. It was an awesome experience which I strongly recommend to anyone.
I jog the first kilometer holding my kids hands. There was so much people that I had fear to lose my kids. Everyone made compliments or smile at us. We completed the 5K in less than 43 minutes.
During the last week of August, Luis have a gastrointestinal virus. He stays in the hospital for five days since it was a "dengue-like" virus. I just could not believe that I would stay in a hospital so soon. Thankfully, it was nothing to worry about, just a virus.

SEPTEMBER
Luis returned to school the second week of September and to the pre-Swim Team. Diego started playing basketball. My kids started Catechism classes which I am so happy for it, so good for the soul.
I started jogging according to the Run Your Butt Off book and motivated by the past 5K experience. This book's objective is to help you run for at least 30 minutes. I did the program 2-3 times per week using the RunKeeper application to track the mileage and stats.
And when I thought that everything returned to normal my grandmother died the last week of September.

OCTOBER
This month was full of plenty school activities, school oral presentations and reports. During the weekend we went to basketball games. Luis did swimming three times per week at the Swim Team (pre-team). My kids celebrated Halloween with Steve from Minecraft and Red Ninja.
I did the Minecraft costume with a box, several shades of brown cardstock and a 2" square punch.
It felt good to just enter in my scraproom.

NOVEMBER
This was a very refreshing month since there was no extraordinary events. Diego's basketball team wins the PRIBO tournament.

The next day, we went to a wedding in Orlando, Florida.

One of my cousins got married in a beautiful ceremony. Diego dressed his graduation outfit again. I requested to Olga an outfit for Luis. I loved the olive tone she used for his outfit.

Also, we went  camping at "Monte del Estado" in Maricao.
It was my first camping experience and it was not so bad at all. I have to admit that I enjoyed it very much. I strongly recommend this place for camping.

Then, we celebrated Thanksgiving at home, just the four of us. We hosted a Pizza party and invited very good friends. I got to see my best girl friends from high school. It felt good to talk about good memories with them.

I was able to run more than 30 minutes without walking. My running stats for November are: 27.1 miles; 13:18 min/mile (avg pace); 9 activities; total time spent: 5:59:58. My personal record is 11:19 min/mile on November 28.

DECEMBER 
We put the Christmas tree the first week of December. We made Christmas cookies (the appearance was not so good but the kids ate them). My DH plays basketball at the "Masters" league.

My DH and me had a nice date night where we went to a nice restaurant "DiVino" at Isla Verde. We went to a very elegant Christmas party at the Caribe Hilton hotel where we got to see very nice and good friends. We went to my DH's company end-of the-year party.

Luis dressed as shepherd at our church. Diego performed in the Christmas program from the school. And finally, both of my kids learned to ride a bicycle, in just one hour. Awesome!

I am pretty sure that I forgot many other events and details. So many things can happen in eight months.   My objective with this post was to summarize the 2012 and to give you an update of what happened in my neck of the woods. Sorry for not keeping updates at the blog. I just not felt doing it, since this blog is an happy place after all. I just wanted to retreat.

And now I can say...
Looking forward for the good things the 2013 will bring and make the best of it.

Happy New Year!

Yara

Getting by!

Hi, everyone!


I apologize for not posting as much on the blog since the beginning of the year but I will say that it was unfortunately necessary. Sometimes events occur which can change our plans and our routines.


I was working full-time until the end of april. I had a 1hr daily commute at heavy traffic.
In addition my kids had (still have) basketball clinics twice per week. But this is not the real reason for stopping blogging or creating. 


The real reason was that around the end of january, it was found out that my sister had an unclassified  left maxillary sinus tumor.


Honestly, this fact messed up our family routine and I got a bit overwhelmed with everything and haven't had the energy to spend much time on the computer and/or the scrapbooking room.


I think it is fair to let you know that my sister has intelectual disabilities. She is a 6 year old kid in a 30+ woman body. She does not have other family other than us.


This started on december when she had complaints of teeth pain therefore my parents who take care of her got her to the dentist. From there, she went to a local Emergency Room. From there, they went  to the temible "Centro Medico". This hospital, is operated by the Medical Services Administration of the Department of Health of Puerto Rico. It is locally recognized as the hospital with the most specialized equipment in the Caribbean. All the critical cases that other hospitals cannot handle are delivered to "Centro Medico". "Centro Medico" is the trauma center too.


Photo taken on January. She has a small bump on her left cheek.


Why it is temible? We spent "wasted" almost two months in "Centro Medico". Since it belongs to the government, waiting periods are long, long, long... They gave us appointment after appointment and they did not provided us a treatment plan. From "Centro Medico, they sent us to a private oncologist. Then, the frustration of getting aware that the nearest appointment with a local oncologist was 4 weeks. Meanwhile, the tumor was growing and my sister was more weak only taking liquids. At this stage, I do not dare to post photos of her online (not even february or march from this year). You can see a layout of my sisters and me here.


Finding out that Puerto Rico does not have the resources for treatment of this type of cancer, we went directly to MD Anderson Emergency Room at Houston. This was at the beginning of March.


We chose this hospital not only for its ranking as no. 1 in cancer treatment, but that we have extended family living over there at less than 1 hr distance from the Texas Medical Center.


I took this photo from the Hospital Room


We saw the light at the end of the tunnel. She was accepted immediately for evaluation and treatment. They recognized it was an aggressive and very rare tumor and that it must be treated urgently. She have already two rounds of chemotherapy. She lost already her hair.  And next week she will have the surgery. She is being care by my mom (full-time). My Dad stayed with my sister some days, so my mom could take a break. It has not been easy, especially for them.


Please, keep her on your prayers. Cancer sucks!!!! 


I do not have to tell you that my MOJO is gone. Even, I cannot stay with her as I want. She occupies my mind.


BLOG & SCRAPBOOKING
When I started this blog, it was for participating in scrapbook challenges and design teams with sporadic personal posts. Not sure, if I will be active in the online scrapbooking world as I was before. For sure, I will not be on five design teams at the same time as I was last year. 


Lately, I am feeling inspired in mom and happiness blogs.  


I'm trying to work out how and why and what I want to use this blog for - I will like to use my blog as a personal tool for helping me complete my projects and goals other than scrapbooking. I'm just going to go with the flow until I figure that out. 


So right now I am concentrating on getting by  and spending as much time with my family. My kid is graduating from Kindergarten. The graduation preparations are keeping me busy. 


Luckily it is the summer season and we do not have the school's constraint. My DH is doing a lot of work traveling, so I see this as an opportunity to travel with him too. I do not have anything scheduled. I will just go day by day.


I am going to take it easy, PRAY, support my family as I am able. Looking forward to see my sister free from cancer.


And, hopefully I will be up and running full force in the Fall!





Scrapbookers-Anonymous Challenge | Maps and Brads


Challenge:
This month is all about maps and brads challenge. It is time to use your patterned paper with map designs and to dig your stash for brads (any quantity, any color) - the more the better...

Submit:

Due Date:
April 30, 2011 before 9:00 PM ET.

Prize:
My Minds's Eye Good Day Sunshine Girl line + other goodies!

Challenge Note:
This is the last challenge at Scrapbookers-Anonymous. Theresa and Lea decided to not continue with the challenge blog looking for life's balance. I totally understand. I am a little sad to see the end since, this was a special challenge for me.  I treasure all the friendship made at Scrapbooker's-Anonymous. 

Layout:
The patterned papers used are from Basic Grey "Out of Print" collection. This collection offers several patterned papers with map patterns. I was happy this paper shows Spain country, since it is part of my layout's theme. The photo shows one chamber in the spanish fort San Cristobal located at Old San Juan. This was one of the quarters where some of the troops slept. Definitely, living conditions were not easy. Other supplies are the flowers and brads.

Hint: 
Do not forget to read carefully, the Scrapbookers-Anonymous post, there are several contests and a trivia in addition to this challenge. This is beside the amazing inspiration from the gals at the design team.

See you soon!
Yara

Finally!


Finally, as the title of this page states.
Today, I am sharing my take in the A to Z challenge at Scrapbookers-Anonymous

This month is the letter G!

G can be GCD Studios, Glimmer Mist, Girl layouts, Glitz, Garden, Graphic 45, Glitter, Grass, Goats, Gummy Bears, Ghost (if you want to scrap past halloween photos), or maybe you can scrapbook someone with the name George or Lady Gaga! LoL!
etc. and do not forget the colors green and gray.

In addition, this layout is about reaching one past goal.

I used the Vintage Blue collection from Glitz that came with my October 2011 Trio Kit from 3 Scrappy Boys (already sold out). 

When I entered college, I gained 10 pounds in the first semester. I was not able to lose that weight just until six months after I graduated from my bachelor degree. This photo reminds me about the time, I reached that goal. I still remember when everyone said that I was too thin. Oh my, how I would love to hear that again. Now, after working full-time, being married and having two kids, I will like to reach that goal, again! Yes, I know how many again, we can have?

So do you want to play with us??

You have until 9 PM ET on February 29 to upload your layout here

Yara


February Challenge at Scrapbookers-Anonymous

Hi, everyone! I am a little behind these days. Just super busy with working full-time and the routine of the daily life. Today, I am just sharing the layout I created for the February challenge at Scrapbookers-Anonymous.


Challenge
Create a scrapbook layout with at least three (3) hearts and stitches:


Example
All you need is love.
This is about the three mens in my life. Well, my dad is missing, here.
I took the photo during checkout from a hotel in New York city on January 2009.




I used a past kit from 3 Scrappy Boys. This layout shows a combination of American Crafts Amy Tan collection and Jillibean Soup. I used yellow knitting thread and my WRMK Sew easy too. The sketch is from Page Maps CHAW12 sketch Contest.

A random winner will be picked at the end of the month for a chance to win a paper pack from MME.and goodies. You have until 9PM EST on February 29 to enter your project.

Have a great weekend!
Yara

50 Things I will like to try... Check-in

Sneak Peek of 2011 February Main Kit from 3Scrappy Boys Kit club.




On January 4, 2010 I wrote a list of 50 things I would like to try on 2010 or in the near future. Some were things I planned to do anyway and others were dreams or wishes. This should have been done one year ago. Now, I am completing this, better now or never. (Check in done in January 29, 2012). I love to work outside home, but one of my regrets it is the limited time, I have for myself. Sometimes, I feel that I want to live on a slower pace, but at the same time I need to keep up the pace for my family. This sunday evening, I took a time for myself. This is the rationale for writing this post.


I want to add that, this is mostly for me, to have in my records. If you are not interested in reading it, it is OK. If you are curious, then go ahead.




Here they are:
  1. Family trip to Walt Disney World. (done Summer, 2010)
  2. Read War and Peace from Leo Tolstoy - done (2010)
  3. Visit Austria - not in the plans
  4. Visit Museum of Puerto Rico - done (there are several layouts about this day).
  5. Complete Ali Ewards Yesterday & Today Class - (not started)
  6. Complete Lisa Day The Challenge of Me Album - (not started)
  7. Get a COPIC certification - (not started, not in the plans and not sure if I am interested)
  8. Complete New York Marathon - (it is still a strong dream)
  9. Lose 25 pounds and maintain the weight - (I really want to lose at least 10 lbs. Honestly, I feel comfortable with my weight right now, even I will love to be more lean).
  10. Write at least one new post weekly to this blog - (need to take the time for this, now that I am working full time, it is getting more difficult just to blog, I need to wait just 2 or 3 months when I will return as a SAHM)
  11. Start a small business - (not sure, if I am interested.)
  12. Get a Master of Business Administration degree (not interested since I am not interested to create a business, however I want a MS in Statistics. I really want to continue doing projects on an occasional basis at pharmaceutical companies, as I am doing right now.)
  13. Learn to sew - ( I want to learn, but not this year.)
  14. Visit Saint Petersburg (not now.)
  15. Enjoy a weekend trip to New York with my DH and best friends.  (This will be a great 40years birthday...)
  16. Learn ADOBE photoshop - (I am planning to do this after june this year).
  17. Learn photography - (same, in the plans)
  18. Do a professional photography session at the beach of my family (I forgot about this, maybe in the summer).
  19. Get an abdominoplasty (still interested)
  20. Take writing courses (not interested)
  21. Renew my wardrobe (now that I am working, I am budgeting for this)
  22. Complete Nic Howard Point of View class (not started)
  23. Write a love letter to my husband (yey!!!!, now I know what I will do for Saint Valentine's day)
  24. Enjoy a weekend by myself - (someday)
  25. Enjoy a weekend with my husband (no kids) - NYC trip????
  26. Do a digital Layout - (this should be not later than 2013)
  27. Organize the garage - (I did this, but it always pick up what we do not know where to keep)
  28. Organize each children room - (done)
  29. Decorate the master room - (in the plans)
  30. Finish decoration of kids room - (no yet, it should wait)
  31. Frame artwork and hang in the walls - (I really do not remember why I wrote this)
  32. Visit Greece ( not now, I am not interested to go there with the actual situation in Europe)
  33. Visit France countryside _ (someday)
  34. Organize my closet - (need to repair the shelves, first)
  35. Read Lord of the Rings ( I forgot about this)
  36. Read all the books listed in Amazon wish list (someday)
  37. Go to the Olympics - (2012 and 2016 will not be that year)
  38. See my children get married - (this one of the best things I hope in my future)
  39. See my grandchildren - (I cannot wait to meet them)
  40. Take a cooking class - (I need this urgently)
  41. Learn how to use Twitter - (no yet)
  42. Complete Couch to 5K - (2012 is the year)
  43. Read all posts from Goggle Reader - (what??????)
  44. Take a history class - (in my 50's)
  45. Visit the countryside of Spain - (in my 50's)
  46. See the Nutcracker ballet at New York - (hope this is a reality in 5 years or less)
  47. See the Radio City Christmas Spectacular - (the same)
  48. Complete LO from Got Sketch downloads - ( I do not remember where are they?)
  49. Visit Italy - (no yet, right now with the actual situation, not interested.)
  50. Take a cooking class in Italy - (someday)
This was a great exercise, especially that after two years many of my interests changed.I am pretty sure than more than 50% of the list changes already. Definitely, this is something I want to do again.
But this is for another post.

Have a great week.
Yara

ABC Challenge at Scrapbookers Anonymous

Hi, everyone! I am back! I am fine. I just took a little break from scrapbooking and blogging. Okay, I really been busy in my 2012 projects for the home, fitness, organizing, decluttering, reading, money (budget)... Still working on my PLAN. I have a long list of to do items that I am just working on crossing off them. I am working with my other life's areas first before taking scrapbooking at full swing. More of this theme on later posts.

We are up to letter F at Scrapbookers-Anonymous challenge blog. You can create and upload your projects including manufacturers like Fancy Pants, Fiskars and or embellishments starting with the letter F such as... flowers, felt, and/or themes like friends, frogs, fun, family...

Here is my take. Actually, this is my first layout of the year after more than 3 weeks scrapping hiatus. I used the past winter collection from Fancy Pants. It is Hot Chocolate. And you know what. I love this collection as it was really new.
I added some flowers from Making Memories and Purple Pumpkin. The photo is from our weekend trip to Lucerne on 2003 (the winter when we lived in Italy and before having kids). The city is beautiful but it was really cold. I just wanted to drink hot chocolate and stay inside. I used a sketch #189 from Creative Scrappers.

Do not forget the January's challenge. Use your mist, paint, masks stash. More details at this post.

Have a nice day!
Yara

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