Friday, August 29, 2008

Summer Lovin'

As I stated here, this summer has been busy with lots of things both unexpected and planned.

All in all it went by pretty fast and though I hate to see it end, I am ready for some colder weather. Of course around here...we ain't getting that for a while.

In honor of the Summer Spectacle over at We are THAT family, I am going to post on how spectacular our summer moments were...

I am a Summer fan. I love summertime. I love the warm weather, the pool and as many of you know, the tan. Summers have always been filled with exciting things, vacations and fun memories for me. We are beach people and so in summer we head to the beach. This summer, unlike last summer, we did not take crazy to the beach...I suppose time got away from us, but for the first time in what seems like ages, my hubby and I did vacation on the beautiful beaches of South Florida.

Now...We had an amazing trip. Everything was perfect. The weather was great, the food was great and we had a wonderful time being together "baby free." Of course being in South Florida we did see more skin than usual.

My thing is, if you work out and earned that body I say flaunt it! Or if you are just one of those annoying people who have good genes, "Hey, do what you want." But if you just ain't in either one of those places...please keep somewhat covered. A brazilian thong is mean for very few people!

Now one woman who was near our beach area was there with her husband and 2 small children. She had a very attractive, generally modest brazilian thong on. For those of you who don't know, a brazilian thong is not dental floss, it is more V shaped in teh back covering only a small percentage, but there is more coverage.

So anyways, this woman for having two small kids looked incredible. I applauded her.

Another woman a few days later was wearing a similar suit and well...she had two kids as well. I applauded her confidence!

Another thing we saw a lot of was tatoos. Man! People like to mark themselves permanently. There was one lady, probably in her 30's and she had a tatoo placed in a rather unconventional spot as far as I could see. Unfortunately all I saw were two "crabby" like arms coming out of her small suit and for the life of me I could not tell what the tatoo was of. It was pretty bad because both my husband and I kept trying to nonchalantly figure out what was basically in her hoohaa area without staring too much.

Another very cute young girl had these huge wings on her back...just in case she wanted to go flying I guess.

I am not opposed to tatoos, I am opposed to needles, but I do think that if you are gonna get something...especially as a woman...there are few places that would work well and I better be darn sure that I am going to like the permanence...there is nothing like seeing very old people with tatoos. It makes you question that whale, that is, dolphin on your hip.

That was one of the highlights of my summer. It had been a while where it was just me and my beloved and we enjoyed every minute.

We also went lots of places with crazy like the Zoo, children's museum and of course the pool. In fact, he has a lot better tan than all of us! We also went fishing with him and fed the ducks which he loves to do.

So here are some pics that pretty much sum up the rest! Fun times...

Shopping in Florida...Baby belly starting to pop!

Looking nice and tan!

What a hottie!

Hanging out at home all goofy! World record holder
and Olympic champion...4 "Tete's" in one big mouth!

Fishing with Dad. Reel it in baby!

I got one! Whoa baby!

Cruising at the Museum with my cousins!

Painting it up!

Picking nana's from our backyard!

And that, in a nut shell was our summer! What a blast! And there is so much more to come in the fall and winter!

For more fun summer spectacles, click here.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Vanity vs. Wal-mart

I have sunk rather low.

It is sad. Pathetic. Kinda gross.

Today I ventured out with my son to Wal-mart.

Let me say that though I am not completely against the store, it is not my favorite place to go. I like the low prices, I like the fact that I can get batteries, sippy cups and cereal all a the same place. I hate thier produce, I hate that even if I am looking for just one thing I still spend an hour there and I hate that it is rather far from me so I have to make a whole list of things in order for me to justify that I need to go over there.

But, today was one of those days. I made a list that included batteries, underware for my son, a back pack and lunch box for my son and a surge protector with a long cord.

I was having one of those scrub days. I woke up tired and achy and I feel like I have grown in the last hour.

I finally got out of my pajamas and put on a ratty t-shirt and some gauchos. I did take a shower but did not bother with my hair, I merely pulled it up in a pony tail with all my wisps sticking out. And so with no makeup on I put crazy in the car and we headed out.

On my way over I contemplated on putting on atleast some foundation and blush but this time laziness won over vanity.

You must understand that it is rare that I go out without makeup. I was taught at a young age that that just is not done. My mother always looks great and one of my friends once told me I always look so well put together. It is a vanity thing. It is a pride thing. It's not a good thing. I have come a long way, for in the past I would never had ventured out like this unless I had dark sunglasses on. What can I say, my confidence sometimes resides in my outward appearance.

So on my way to Wal mart I am vainly praying I don't see anyone I know there. And fortunately, I don't.

And of course, I fit right in. Everywhere I looked I saw people with no make up, too tight pants, muffin tops and grown women wearing t-shirts with tinker bell on them.

I wish I could tell you my lack of "put togetherness" was liberating, but it wasn't. Fortunately there are very few mirrors in walmart. But, it is nice not having to put on the mask, even the oil free, spf 15 kind every once in a while. I'm a work in progress and maybe someday I will have the courage to go to Target as carefree...but I always see someone at Target.

"Father my vanity gets me in trouble so many times. It's almost as if that vanity and pride are etched in me and you are the only one who can either mold it away or fill it with something else. Please continue to do a good work in me. I get so far and then I fall so many steps is frustrating and so annoying! Thank you for not giving up on me and atleast teaching me to laugh at myself. In your precious name, Amen."

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Translator

I have become a translator in our family. I am now fluent in toddlerism. I can pretty much understand most of the words that come out of my kids mouth and am quite proud of myself for doing so. Thank goodness, for his father's sake, his words are pretty clear, but most of the time I wonder how he and his father get along when I am not around.

Early on Saturday, crazy kid woke up and came downstairs. Hubs was in the shower and I was still in bed since it was my "day off."

I have deemed Saturday as my day off because it is out of the everyday routine for me. My husband is home and therefore he takes on the parental duties for atleast that morning. He thinks this is unfair because he states that he therefore never gets a day off.

This is where he is wrong.

You see him getting up early and taking on the parental duties is out of his routine. In fact, he is usually gone by the time crazy wakes and on those days I put on the 500 different hats and go about my duties. So I gave him the gift of having one on one time with his precious son as I get to sleep in or go shopping or have mommy alone time.

So this particular Saturday my son come tripping down the stairs with his "Bie" in hand and his "tete" in his mouth. He enters the room and comes over to my side and quietly says, "Good mowning mama." I grunt back a reply and then he drags his "Bie" into our bathroom letting all the light come in through the doors. I cover my head with a pillow as my son yells out to his father "Good mowning daddy."

At this time I am already irritated. I am aawaken by bright florescent lights, the stream from the shower and a loud toddler.

My son comes back into the room, leaving the bathroom door still ajar. He begins to play with his cars on the floor and then he gets up and slams the door of my room. Why? I have no idea. He doesn't leave the room he just quickly stands up and says, "Oh momma, I cwose da dor, don't worry. Stay in bed momma." Then he turns around and goes back into the bathroom, not intending to close this door whatsoever and he yells to his father, "Daddy, I shut da dor."

And his father yells back, "You ate yogurt?"

My son, becuase his father does not understand him, of course gets louder thinking, "he must not hear me."

"Dadda, I shut da dowr."

"You want to watch George?"

Now I am muttering under my breath, "what the freak, he is speaking clearly why can't you understand your son..."

"No, dadda, I shut da dooooooooooooooor."

And I chime in, " HE SHUT THE DOOR."

"Oh ok, I'll put George on for you in a minute."

Lord help that big man and the little man as well!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Blessed are those who mourn...

It has been a trying and exhausting week.

My eyes hurt from the overflow of tears.
My body aches from the stress.
My head hurts from the lack of sleep.

On Sunday, August 17, 2004 my husband's grandfather, "Patuto" went to be with our Savior early that morning.

Priase to our God that it was easy and peaceful and painless.

He is home and the rest of us who are left here for the time are hurting from the loss of a fun loving, sweet, caring, simple man. A man who would and did sacrifice everything for his family. Who was always so proud of his children and grandchildren and even great grandchildren.

We simply can't get over the fact that he is gone.
He was just here. In fact, not even three weeks ago did he come over for dinner and he sat on my couch and laughed at my son do his famous baseball swing (it involved spitting and grabbing).

And now we aren't going to see him again. He will never walk into a room with a new joke to tell. He will never go into our back yard and inspect our plants and trees. He will never tell us the stories of growing up in Cuba.

We have lost other loved ones before, but for some reason this one is different. Perhaps we weren't ready. Perhaps it really never entered our minds that he wouldn't be here. He had such a presence and now...Perhaps it is because he was a big part of our lives, someone who lived less than 5 miles away and who we saw atleast twice a month.

How long will we grieve? I don't know.

"Father, your word says, "Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted." We need your comfort Lord. We have so much hope in you and we know that we will see Patuto again, but it still hurts Lord. You understand, father, you cried when your friend Lazurus died; You know our pain. Help us get through this. Help us remember our hope in you. Heal our hearts. In your precious name, Amen."

Thursday, August 14, 2008


It was January, 1959.

Fidel Castro marches into Havana and takes over Cuba.

Many thought he would be a good change. He made so many promises and gave so much hope. He was charismatic and charming and had the potential to change Cuba.

A few hundred miles away in the a small city of Elia, outside of Camaguey, a young man felt in his heart that no good would come of this. The promises seemed far fetched, as if so much was not being said.

He worried at the outcome of his beloved country. A country that was in many ways paradise with it's white sand beaches, perfect blue coast and sweet smells of tobacco, rum, sugarcane and pineapple lingering in every town. In his eyes, Cuba was Eden.

His family had been so blessed from the soil, la tierra. From the land his father grew plantations filled with pineapples, sugarcane and where hundreds of cows grazed. He had expanded on their properties, creating factories for ice and lumber and their electric company provided electricity for the first time to the five towns that surrounded them.

He loved his land. It was his inheritance. It was what he would leave to his children and their children.

Life was good and full and blessed. His father had provided for him and his children and they lacked nothing.

Then, the storm came in. At first a few clouds rolled by, but before the end of that year the hurricane force would take over.

Banks confiscated their savings. "All you have now belongs to the people of Cuba." Land was confiscated, possessions were distributed to others and homes were quartered.

Before it could get any worse, He left. He took his wife and three children and with 500 dollars in his pocket, they boarded a plane headed for Mexico hoping that this regime would all blow over and believing that they would soon return.

He left all his remaining assets to his younger brother who would take care of everything when things changed.

In Mexico he worked as a ranch foreman.

A few years later he put his wife and children on a raft and crossed the Rio Grande.

American Residents as soon as they touched the free soil.

He has never been back to Cuba. Paradise was lost again.
His brother and mother came over a few years later.

The land, the factories, all that they had worked and sweat for was gone. Stolen.
That same land is now baseball fields and dirty, old apartment complexes.

He continued to work hard through all his years. The family grew and were all successful. He is blessed with grandchildren and great grandchildren. He has a legacy. Perhaps the land and the dream was stolen, but the legacy will live on for generations. And maybe one day his sons will return to Eden.

The Portilla men on Patuto's 80th Birthday. Sam had been
born a month before.

Patuto and Sam, so far the last of the Portilla boys.

Patuto, Orlando and Sam. I think they kinda' look alike.
They have the same facial structure.

"Father thank you for legacies and for your hand that was over every detail of this family. Thank you that we are a family of believers. Thank you for stories that I will tell my children again and again. Thank you for such patriarchs who do all that they can for the good of their loved ones. In your precious name, Amen."

Sincerely, from me to you.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Today was a rather stressful day. A very stressful day.

It started at 9:00 when I got a phone call from my mother in law. "Patuto (husbands grandfather) is going to the hospital. He is having a hard time breathing and is disoriented."

My heart fell. Fear overwhelmed me. Every bad thought and diagnosis entered my mind.

Nothing was known. We had to wait.

I called my husband and he could hear the fear in my voice. I scared him. He got on the phone and called different people. "We can't start to worry yet," he said to me after awhile.

I am not a negative person. Usually I am very positive. But when loved ones are in the hospital and when I have little control, my defense mechanism is to prepare for the worst.

What is the worst thing that can happen? I make a list of such things in my head and then I make a list of the things I need to get done before that occurs.

I got on the phone. I called friends to let them know what was going on and to make sure if I needed someone to watch my kid I could quickly drop him off at a moment's notice. I then cleaned my house. I put away the dishes, did a load of laundry, swept the floors, cleaned the bathrooms and continued to pick up the toys my little one kept bringing out.

I kept busy and thinking, if this goes bad atleast the house is clean and everything else is covered.

We didn't hear any news until about 4:00 in the afternoon.

Good news? No. But not terrible news. Hopeful news.

"Thank you Jesus for hope. Even if it is a glimmer in the midst of fearful and uncontrollable situations. Thank you God for reminding me that You are always in control of everything. I pray for Patuto as he is asleep in his hospital room. Pour your peace and presence all over that room tonight. Place your healing hands on his lungs, heart and every organ in his body. Bring peace to his wife and rest. Let tomorrow be a day of good news. In your precious name, Amen."

Monday, August 11, 2008


I have come to the conclusion that summer's are busy for us. I don't remember summer's being this busy the first few years of our marriage, but these past two summer's have been kinda crazy. And, it's not like we are busy because of the fabulous vacations we are taking because unfortunately extravagant vacations are a dream not a reality.

All to say that we ave been busy. With what? you ask. I don't really know.

I suppose June wasn't that busy, but July was crazy! And it came and went so fast.

Fortunately, our August is for the most part not busy!


I do have lost of things to do as I mentioned before here.

But we are on schedule for the most part.

As far as Baby girl is concerned we have made progress. We were blessed with an amazing deal for a crib and dresser. It is beautiful and exactly what I wanted.

So I have made a few ventures to home depot and have about 100 swatches of various shades of pink.

Then I dragged my beautiful husband to this huge fabric store downtown a few saturdays ago and purchased the fabric for her bedding. We got a fabulous deal because it just happened to be on sale and perfect and the 7 yards of satin cost us $35.00. Can you believe it! I also bought the silk organza for the crib skirt and all I need to do is find some pink velvet. So fun!

So...progress! it's a good thing.

And in about 4 weeks, crazy kid will be starting mother's day out for two days a week! hold on a sec...ok I have regained my composure, the tears have subsided for now.

So I have to get him ready for that...I need to get him a back pack and nap mat his teachers and...hold on I have something in my eye...

I guess August is busy in another way. So much to do! One baby on the way and my other baby...looks more and more like a big boy.

"Father thank you so much for this kind of busyness. The fun kind. The project filled kind. The kind that is filled with exciting fulfillment in in the end. Lord help me to keep my eyes on you. To not get overwhelmed but to enjoy every moment. Thank you for blessing us with great deals on all our purchases and continue to help me find good deals and be wise over the purchases I make. You know how I can get...I mean, have you seen the racks of pink! Thank you Jesus. In your precious name, Amen."

For more tackles, click here.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Weather it'

So I will be turning off my computer for at least a day due to the weather out here.

We are suppose to be hit by hurricane Ed so my one precaution is to shut down my computer.

No...I am not worried. At all.
Maybe I should be. Maybe I am too nonchalant about hurricanes.
I'm sure some of you out there would be freaking out, buying gallons of water, canned goods and generators...not me.

Now, if it were a category 3 hurricane, I would be more cautious. I would have gone to Wal-mart this morning and bought a few items. But, it's only a one so...yeah...

Of course, you'd think this was a huge deal by the way people are flippin'. According to a friend of mine, the water was gone at Wal-mart by 4 this afternoon. Lines were forming at gas stations and some even boarded up windows in our neighborhood. Seriously, people! Come on!

It's not the hurricane we should worry about, but the rain. That could be bad, but fortunately it has never flooded around here. And tornadoes, I hate tornadoes. But what are the chances?

But I guess it's like if you lived in "Tornado Alley," which by the way, I would move so far from anything called the "alley." Think about it. Only bad things happen in alley's. Muggings, shootings, being beaten up by cops, strangers lurking about, being sold a fake coach bag. All bad things.

Anyways, according to a reliable source ( my very good friend from college - a good ol' texan girl who lived in the alley for a while but fortunately moved back to texas) says that when a tornado hits, people don't even go underground. They continue what they are doing without a hitch. She says the sirens would go off and they continue to eat their barbecue! CRAZY!

And Earthquakes...Now that is scary. I will never live in California or Japan. No way! Apparently when "tremors" happen, which apparently happen often but don't count as earthquakes, people aren't even phased.

If the ground is moving underneath me, "OH MY GOODNESS!" I mean, the bible talks about earthquakes a lot, so I'm thinking those are serious things. I have never read anything about hurricanes. So...I'll take my chances here by the gulf.

I have my flashlight, new batteries, candles and that's about it. I hope we don't lose power because then I will have to entertain my son all day without TV. (Don't worry, we stick by that less than two hour rule...two in the morning and two in the afternoon.) Thank goodness for portable DVD players!

So...all that to say "Goodnight and see you after the storm!" I'm going to go charge that DVD player right now.

"Dear Father, protect my family. Protect my home, from property line to property line. This is your home Lord, so encamp your angels all around. Do not let any harm come to it or my family where ever they are during this storm. And for all those out there weathering the storm or maybe another kind of storm, wrap your arms around them so that peace that passeth all understanding will fill their hearts. Thank you for being so merciful and good. In your precious name, Amen."

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