Sunday, December 7, 2014

Baby J Sunday and a Princess!

Today is Sunday. Normally about this time I am getting things ready to make breakfast for our little Baby J and her daddy. But today they are not coming!

But never fear! I'm not sad because we were lucky enough to spend the whole day with her yesterday and she got to meet a Princess. This Princess is her cousin Clarissa, my brothers daughter who celebrated her 15th birthday with a traditional Mexican party known as a Quinceanera. This is the equivalent to a Sweet Sixteen or a Debutante Ball and marks the transition from childhood to young womanhood.

Because our family is Catholic, the celebration begins with a thanksgiving Mass. The Quineanera arrives with her parents, grandparents, god parents, and family. She also has her court of honor which is her best girlfriends each accompanied by a young man.

Here's a picture of my mom and Clarissa (in pink). At the bottom you see Baby J, she fell in love with Clarissa and thought she was a Princess and didn't want to move far from her. This was a very special day for my mom, to see her granddaughter celebrate her 15th birthday is a huge deal!

During the Mass the Quinceanera is presented with several items of religious significance and that will have special meaning for her as she gets older. She receives a ring, a tiara, a rosary and a cross. Here's a picture of my mom presenting the cross that the Priest has just blessed.

My mom also presented her with a very special gift. A ring chosen just for her symbolizing her Catholic Faith. Clarissa has always been very special to my mom. Ever since she was just a baby she would come and sleep overnight with my mom. This tradition carried on throughout the years and in fact Clarissa was here just a few months ago and spent the night with my mom and she always wants to sleep with her Nana.

This is a special time for family and we were all so proud of Clarissa and of her parents for honoring her in this way. Here's a picture of my mom and her four children, her two sons Federico and Jaime and my sister Lisa and I.

After the church ceremony the party continued at a reception hall a few miles away. The place was decorated beautifully, even David Tutera couldn't have done a better job! I wish I had taken more pictures. They had set up a photo booth for the kids to take pictures in various costumes and using props. They had a Candy Table with Crystal Jars and Bowls filled with various types of candy and a three tiers of candy apples in the Quinceanera's favorite colors of Pink and Purple.

As soon as you walked in the door of the hall there was a guest book to sign of course, but then there was a special tribute to Clarissa's precious paternal grandfather, my dad and her Tata. I was so touched that they remembered to honor my dad. He would have been so proud of her on this day, as he was every day from the second he met her!

There were so many special things to see that I can't get to it all, so I'm just going to post pictures with a brief explanation so I can have this memory forever.

Here's a picture of the Court of Honor.

Here's a picture of the father/daughter dance. My brother was so nervous and yet so proud!

So it was a big day for us all. We were all blessed to be able to share this day with Clarissa and to still have our mom with us. It was a beautiful day for our family and Baby J got to spend the day with her "Nene", she fell in love with the stained glass windows in the church, she played with her many cousins, especially her cousin Melissa who is next in line for a Quinceanera and her Uncle Jaime still had a baby to hold in his arms while his own baby was enjoying being a grown up girl at her wonderful party!


Monday, December 1, 2014

Sisters - Forever Friends

This post was inspired by the novel, The Mill River Redemption by Darcie Chan, about two estranged sisters who are forced to work together in order to uncover the hidden inheritance left to them by their mother. Join From Left to Write on December 2nd as we discuss The Mill River Redemption and enter to win a copy of the novel. As a member I received a copy of the novel for review purposes.

This year has been a pretty good year for my online book club. We've read some really great books that created quite a bit of discussion and really inspired all the members to share thoughts and feelings and experiences. I believe this is the last book for 2014 and it's a good one. I can't wait for 2015!!!

I only just started this book over the Thanksgiving Holiday and have to admit I haven't read it all but was inspired right from the beginning to write about sisters.

One of the best posts that I've ever written, and my personal favorite is this one entitled simply SISTERS. It starts out with one of my favorite paintings, Deux Soeurs (Two Sisters) by William Adolfe Bouguereau. I love these two sisters together. The older one protecting the younger one and yet you also see the older one leaning on the younger one for support. I felt this when I wrote the post about my mom and her sister.

I feel that when I think about my own sister. There is a special bond between sisters and definitely a strong bond between my mom and her sister and me and my sister.

"Sister. She is your mirror, shining back at you with a world of possibilities. She is your witness, who sees you at your worst and best, and loves you anyway. She is your partner in crime, your midnight companion, someone who knows when you are smiling, even in the dark. She is your teacher, your defense attorney, your personal press agent, even your shrink. Some days, she's the reason you wish you were an only child." - Barbara Alpert.

My Sister Lisa and I in Mexico on vacation with our parents
As a big sister you're brave because you know your little sister is watching you, waiting for your reaction. If you're not scared, she's not scared.

"Sisters function as safety nets in a chaotic world simply by being there for each other." - Carol Saline

My sister Lisa and I at a Halloween Party this year
When you're with your sister you know that you have a ready-made friend. Someone there that's always ready to be your partner in crime!

"Sister is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship." - Margaret Mead

My sister Lisa and me this October in Lake Tahoe
"A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost." - Marion C. Garretty

Lisa and I in our aprons ready to do our mom's bidding while making Christmas Tamales
"If you don't understand how a woman could both love her sister dearly and want to wring her neck at the same time, then you were probably an only child." - Linda Sunshine

Lisa and I in the bleachers waiting for her sons Graduation Ceremony to begin
"A Sister is a gift to the heart, a Friend to the spirit, a Gold Thread to the meaning of Life". - Isadora James

If ever Lisa and I have to work together to discover a hidden inheritance I think we will do quite well both in finding the inheritance and in spending it!