Lilypie - First Birthday

Lilypie - Fourth Birthday

Friday, January 24, 2014

In four days Baby K

In four short days, Baby K will turn four months old! How time flies...
January 15th 2014 -- Baby K can ALMOST sit up on his own!  Shall happen soon!
Hopefully this half of Baby K's family shall see much more of my sister and her son during the next third of his life -- difficult to really grasp that he will have spent a third of a year with us already!  (Not including his time in utero of course!)

ALSO, TOMORROW, my aunt is getting married!! She and her husband-to-be have been together (or at least together-ish) for many MANY years now : )  Very happy for them both!!  She just wants to get the papers so not a large wedding at all, but has said she wants to have a celebration once she moves from Nevada back here to CA and we shall celebrate then!!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Goodbye visit (Mexico) - after Disneyland and CA Adventure!

Yesterday and today the "new" family within the Mena family went to both Disneyland (stayed in Anaheim overnight) then to California Adventure; finally were picked up late this evening and came by for a short goodbye visit!  Time has flown by so quickly, hopes that they have a safe journey home and remember what a wonderful time they had visiting different family and friends!

Two Disney images:
Double map of both parks
Mickey and Train Station
as entering Disneyland!



Photo of gifts being sent back to Mexico:

Two family images (as mentioned yesterday) -- yep, all tired:


What a whirlwind week -- still shopping to do tomorrow, but our Mexico family has all of their arrangements in order so tonight was goodbye for now!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Visit from Mexico

As I mentioned this past Sunday, we were planning to have dinner with family [friends] who are visiting the U.S. from Mexico for a very short visit (only one week!  Usually they stay in CA for a week but spend at least a second week traveling elsewhere in the U.S.)

Not only did the family visit (and we had a wonderful dinner!) but my sister also came over with her son Baby K!!  Overall a very happy Sunday!! While I forgot - of course - to actually take photos once dinner started, I did take two or three photos of the set up as well as Baby K... Oh, and as usual, I was asked again (in person instead of email this time) to go and visit Mexico.
Baby K "talking" with his abuelo (grandpa)!!
Prior to dinner (snacking)
Table set for dinner!
Keeping food warm (they got stuck in traffic
in Hollywood! Luckily all food was enjoyed)


Several large roadblocks on my end about going to visit Mexico (although I know they would take GREAT care of me, have gone several times in the past with family) -- firstly, I do not practice my Spanish often AT ALL so I feel inadequate when I do visit and everyone is beyond fluent and speaks quickly; secondly I feel guilty about having others pay for me to go somewhere that I am afraid of the potential violence (not from the family, but the news I keep reading about the drugs and negativity in Mexico in general!!); thirdly, concern for my health... All keeps me saying "not right now, but thank you very much for the offer to visit!!" ... Part of me knows that my reasons are silly.  A larger part of me wants to regress to a child and run to hide under a blanket until life is "safe" again.  Anyway, enough.  Two last photos from Sunday -- also they should be coming by at least for a quick goodbye, if not for dinner tomorrow (Thursday) night!!  So we will get to see them twice instead of just once which is great!!
Tia J walking Baby K to sleep
Baby K asleep
(January 19, 2014)
Shall try to get family photo tomorrow ::HUGS::

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Atop the Christmas Tree

Slightly blurry (sorry about that, my cell phone zoom is not great and no, have not gotten a camera still - not really worth the extra money at the moment) -- however this is the Angel that sits on top of my mini Christmas Tree!

Yes, I still have my tree up in my little space -- it is only four feet plus behind the curtain that is the window with the air conditioning unit balanced... Figured the weather will start to (slowly) warm up again soon, so why not leave the tree up?  After all, it only was put into place a week before Christmas

Very likely one day I will wake up, decide to put away the ornaments (less than 20 -- compared to the garlands and regular Christmas tree this is nothing!), and the pre-lit tree will be placed back into its box.  In the meantime I am allowing it to remind me of good things which is lovely!

Monday, January 20, 2014

From the kitchen: Apple Charlotte

From the Kitchen : Apple Charlotte
(Taken from my 2014 Downton Abbey Desktop Calendar)

"Apple Charlotte is an easy recipe for a busy cook. To make this traditional English cake, line a buttered pie in with pieces of bread and cover with a layer of peeled apple slices, or pureed apple, and sugar. Continue to layer bread and apples until the dish is full. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour at 350 degrees fahrenheit. Turn the cake out onto a plate. Sprinkle with sugar and serve."

Personally I love any type of baked apples/apple pie/apple crisp/etc served with vanilla ice cream ~ Hopefully you try this and you/your guests enjoy it!!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Gift of Flowers

Happy Sunday Everyone!
Gift of pale pink gerber daisies!
Just had to share this photo of some lovely flowers I was given for a "just because" gift.  Am anticipating a fun (but long) evening -- family friends from Mexico are in town and spending the afternoon/evening with us! Also a chance that my sister and her son Baby K shall visit...

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Something good to read


"Knowing you have something good to read before bed is among the most pleasurable of sensations"

Off to read some more...

Friday, January 17, 2014

Baby K Tummy Time

Two comparison photos (10 weeks between photos, eep!)...

Baby K Tummy Time with Tia J at 5 weeks old (yes, a blanket supporting him so I could feel comfortable moving away to get a photo)

Baby K Tummy Time with Tia J at 15 weeks old (during brief visit this week, first since Thanksgiving Eve/Thanksgiving Day -- miss him TONS and TONS)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Baby K 7 weeks "missing"

Okay, so technically my nephew Baby K was "missing" from our lives for six weeks and six days -- today, Thursday, is exactly seven weeks since Thanksgiving. He is no longer being kept from us!!! Thank you God for at least giving our family yesterday with my sister and her son Baby K!!!

I know I should only feel thankful and happy that a situation arose yesterday which allowed my sister to grace us with her and her son Baby K's presence since Thanksgiving 2013 (for those who didn't catch her decisions, take a look at my December posts)...

Anyway, we are lucky that my sister and her son Baby K stopped avoiding us and we finally had contact yesterday, Wed. Jan. 15th 2014 from about 2pm to 7pm -- yes, they stayed for dinner; however they did not want to spend the night.  Small steps, yes?  Yes. 

Size Comparison photos of Baby K in his bassinet on one of their last visits (technically last overnight was Nov. 27th to 28th -- his two month "birthday" where we got Thanksgiving and Christmas photos taken; then Thanksgiving Day itself -- we took them back to her boyfriends after celebrations were over)
November 2013
Jan. 15, 2014
First time they came over
since staying the night
before Thanksgiving
Did I mention that Baby K's father has finally re-entered the court ordered rehab he had been avoiding for several months? He went in on Dec. 30th 2013 (mostly because the judge was going to make him serve two years instead of the six months he has not done, if Baby K's father did not re-enter prior to 2014).... 

For whatever reasons my sister had not visited (nor, obviously, could Baby K visit) ANYONE from her entire family tree -- half of Baby K's family tree -- since Thanksgiving Day.  Nothing prior to Christmas Eve, nothing Christmas Eve nor Christmas Day nor for New Year's.... Thankfully they both visited myself (Tia J) and C and my parents -- Baby K's grandparents and godparents.  Also a strong chance they will at least have dinner with us on Sunday night (perhaps spend the night for the first time in two months!) -- because we have family friends from Mexico in town for a few short days for the first visit in years.


PLUS-  My sister allowed us extra time so we could watch her and Baby K open their Christmas presents!! Baby K LOVED his first Nativity set given to him by his grandparents (his abuelos!)


God has a plan, always. I need to wait for HIS time (and be patient, loving, open, understanding, willing.... prayers if you can spare them, I need help)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Cousin R's Wedding!

Yes, again I am several months behind, however here is the promised post about my cousin R and her wedding to her now-husband C!  Everyone had quite a lovely day/afternoon/evening!!

Engagement Images/Pre-wedding day --
Photo showing the ring
Gift from Maid of Honor to Bride for her wedding dress
(obviously given prior to the wedding day!!)
From R and C's engagement shoot

Wedding Ceremony (Sunday October 13th 2013) --
R walking down the aisle with her dad
while she (unsuccessfully) tried to not cry
Maid of Honor, R and C, Best Man
Full wedding party (just as the sun starts to set!)
Lovingly teasing one another during personal vows
"You may now kiss the bride"
Official first walk as husband and wife!
Between Wedding Ceremony and Wedding Reception --
R and C with R's immediate family (Left to Right: R's brother,
R's mom and dad, R and C, R's older brother and his wife)
Love this of the newlyweds...
Wedding Reception --
Entering the reception (Guest book, an engagement photo,
old table top piano from engagement shoot with box for
cards on top, watercolor of two sloths - R and C's animal)
Creative photo of R and C first dance!
(Tables were labeled by a wine bottle with the cork
slit to hold a single record. This table was Atlantic.)
Bride and Groom (R and C with their backs to the camera)
with their parents (C's parents on left; R's parents on right)
Wedding Cake! (Toppers are two sloths - "their animal")
Candy table (all guests could make a bag - or two! - while waiting for
the cake to be cut; assortment of sweets, sours, hard, soft candies)
After eating candy --
Let them eat cake!

Always lovely to gather together family for a positive celebration!
Congratulations again R and C! We love you both!

Monday, January 13, 2014

What you really want cannot be bought

During December I found this image/quote online yet did not find the time to post it.  Wanted to share it today because there were literally only three things on my Christmas "list to Santa" this year: vaseline or plain chapstick; a new set of sheets for my bed; to spend more time with people (especially family) whom I love.

I think as you grow older your Christmas list gets smaller
and the things you really want for the holidays can't be bought

Overall I have been blessed and quite lucky to have gotten nearly everything I wanted this past Christmas -- this past year included special events (wedding, baptism, birthdays, etc) with both sides of my family tree as well as various family friends!!  However my sister C and her son ("our" grandson, godson, nephew) Baby K have not slept in their beds here since the night before Thanksgiving.  In a way it is helping remind me that people make their own choices and if I talk about rights -- well, it is not my "right" to see my nephew.  Perhaps this separation is necessary (although only God knows what the future holds/why things occur) and hopefully it will serve as the longest period of time we shall all have to spend cut off ... disconnected ... apart ... Eventually I believe (I hope) we can all appreciate and enjoy spending time together -- life is too short as it is.  Thankfully I am no longer mad, I am more hurt/disappointed.  Better for health, yes? Also with certain "free time" I have forced myself to return to cleaning and sorting/donating which is a bonus

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Baby K Baptism

(Personal Note: I am "handling" things slightly better than during December, however my only sibling, my sister C has still chosen to not visit with her only child, her son Baby K - our parents only grandchild and my only nephew.  Several posts last month... They spent two nights/day before Thanksgiving with us - Baby K was exactly two months then two months one day -- and have not had either of them over since because my sister decided late on Christmas Eve that she was 'done' and we could not see her son.

Hopefully -- because we have newlywed long-time family friends visiting from Mexico next week -- C and her son K might put in an appearance... After six and a half LONG weeks of no visits.  Luckily we did get one single text message with a single photo of Baby K this past week!  He looks so very different, obviously, instead of eight weeks he is nearly fifteen weeks!)

Okay, done with rant.  My apologies.


I know I kept promising a baptism post (my nephew) -- and here it is!
(Also coming up this week is the wedding of my cousin R to her husband C)

Baby K was baptized by our long-time family friend, Father Edwin, on Sunday, November 17th 2013 in a small private (Catholic) ceremony -- isn't he ADORABLE in his white suit?? He was asleep as we arrived at church, so waited until the last minute to add his white suit (with tails!)


His mother (my sister C) and her boyfriend B very lovingly took turns holding their son Baby K.
Left to Right: Godfather M; Godmother P; Dad B holding
Baby K while the priest pours holy water over his head;
and Mom C (the camera angle has her slightly blocked
however you can see the purple flowers in her hair)

Our parents (M and P) were Baby K's only godparents (as is tradition in the Catholic Church -- one practicing Catholic of each gender is chosen for each baby -- sometimes only a single godparent is chosen though which is allowed if two are not "wanted"/"available").
Immediate Family: Baby K, his parents (C and B),
God parents (M and P -- are C and my parents so
they are also Baby K grandparents), and myself, J


Photo of FOUR GENERATIONS on BOTH SIDES of Baby K's family!  He is such a lucky little guy!!
Mom C, grandparents, great-grandparents in purple
Dad B, grandparents, great-grandparents in green
(white are Godparents and Father Edwin)


I KNOW there must be photos of the reception after (as mentioned, small, perhaps 25 guests??) however I cannot find a single photo, not even of Baby K's baptism cake! If I find them later I shall share : )

Saturday, January 11, 2014

What is a 'weekend'?

Courtesy of my Christmas Gift, The Downton Abbey Desktop Calendar for 2014:

Downton Abbey Calendar Weekend 52 of 52
(Current Events: April 1912 the Titanic has sunk)
Downton Abbey Calendar Weekend 52 of 52
(Current Events: April 1912 the Titanic has sunk)
Downton Abbey Calendar Weekend 51 of 52
(Violet, the Dowager Countess of Grantham, is honestly bewildered and
perplexed when the new heir mentions the unknown word "week - END"
as she pronounces it... Hence the second weekend image for the desktop
calendar has her asking "What is a 'weekend'?")

Downton Abbey Calendar Weekend 51 of 52
(Violet, the Dowager Countess of Grantham, is honestly bewildered and
perplexed when the new heir mentions the unknown word "week - END"
as she pronounces it... Hence the second weekend image for the desktop
calendar has her asking "What is a 'weekend'?")

Friday, January 10, 2014

Prayers... Taylor, Michael, Abigail, Gloria WunderGlo, and more

Gerber Daisies -- yellow to represent a certain family but these
are also the unofficial flower of our high school (FSHA - Flintridge
Sacred Heart Academy)... Sure to be at Gloria's life celebrations which
start tonight (she was one year ahead of me in high school) - more in this post

 January 10th (2014)

Initially lit a couple years back for angel Taylor. For me this
image reminds me not only of her - also of two of her angel siblings
(Michael and Abigail) -- also many others who gained their wings too early.
Always in my thoughts and prayers -- the angels and their families.

Already posted this week, however Gloria "WunderGlo" diagnosed with stage four colon cancer at age 28.  She fought long and hard yet finally passed away Sunday after getting to celebrate her 32nd birthday, last Christmas, and last New Years on earth. Viewing and rosary tonight with a full day of celebrations tomorrow (info located here). If you are a Face.Book individual you can also simply type in Gloria Borges

Friday, Jan 10th 6pm-9pm
Viewing and Rosary at St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church
133 N 5th St, Burbank, CA 91504
(Saturday, Jan 11th
10:15am-12:30pm/Memorial Tribute at Walt Disney Concert Hall/111 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012
12:30-1:30pm/Light Reception in the Blue Ribbon Garden

2:00pm/Funeral Mass at The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels/ 555 W. Temple St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
3:15pm/Procession to Interment Ceremony at Forest Lawn Memorial Park/6300 Forest Lawn Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068

Open House Celebration Party immediately following at WunderGlo’s house
3260 Bennett Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068)


 January 10th (2014) ... Has become another day to stop and remember many, and as the image below reminds me, [we] must pray hardest when it is hardest to pray.  Love, prayers, support, and ::HUGS:: to so many, named and un-named, as well as their families and loved ones