Frigid

Hoping stray animals found shelter.

Hoping people who are or feel homeless found ways to stay warm and safe.

Hoping those caught in fires and accidents on the icy roads, found a way to get away from harm.

Hoping those who feel lost, and cold, inside and out, find clarity, peace, hope, and warmth soon.

p.s. This cold keeps getting colder. Keep warm, and be safe, folks!

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Morningside Visit

Lunch on our first internship supervisor’s tab.

A conversation about adapting to a new place and a story about immersion in Taiwan.

Spain tips: things to do, what to expect, people to perhaps, meet.

Reminders to send post cards from Australia and Spain.

Good luck, best wishes, and sweet farewells.

Hugs.

p.s. Joseph and I popped in to say hello and see you later to our high school internship. It’s always lovely to visit our old stomping grounds. This office has supported us in so many ways by offering us jobs, recommendations, donations, and genuine support for all our new opportunities. They always think of us, and I hope to find work in the near future that has the same attitude as this non-profit org. Here’s to that!

Being Petite Rules

Try everything on before you buy it.

Don’t tailor something if it will cost much more or about the same as you have paid for it, unless you believe it’s really worth it (like your prom dress or wedding dress, of course).

Look for sizes besides small and zero. If not, don’t swell, and move on to the next store.

Don’t get discouraged. You will find something. You always do in the end. Shopping is a process for everyone.

Avoid buying online products, unless you know the style, cut, and fit of the product because you already own it.

p.s. On Sunday my mom and I went shopping for my birthday celebration outfits, and it was such a struggle finding the right fit and size. So here are some rules for petite gals who have gone through a similar situation. Being petite rules (literal tips)! Being petite rules (ultimate power…just kidding)!

Christmas & New Years at Grandma Mary’s

She cooked white rice and red beans for Jaden, made breaded chicken and calavasa (pumpkin)in the habichuelas (beans) for me, tostones (refried plantains) for Katelynn, with Italian bread for my mom, and a touch of Pepsi for my dad. Joseph joined us, and we had a lovely time eating and talking over a wonderful dinner especially made for us. Then we moved to the living room to exchange gifts, laughter, photos, videos, and jokes.

p.s. We had a get-together with my grandma last Saturday. We hadn’t seen her since 2 weeks prior, and so we celebrated the holidays with her on one day. It was so special. Here’s to celebrating the holidays and Día de Los Reyes (3 Kings Day) with our Grandma in New York!

España

So far, YouTube videos have given me the scoop:

Don’t have paella (a rice dish with seafood) in the center of Madrid. Apparently, it’s microwaved. For more authentic paella, go to the outskirts of Madrid, or the local streets where tourists aren’t.

Notice the differences between old and new Spanish cities. Madrid will give you a big city feel, similar to New York. Barcelona will give you that old, ancient Spanish feel. So get to both, and get to other places than just the city center.

There are lots of name brand stores in Madrid. Make sure to check out flea markets everywhere to get authentic, non-commmercialized products.

Everyone speaks Spanish, so speak Spanish. There are signs in Spanish everywhere -restaurants, bathrooms, airport, websites, and prices are in euros.

Spain parties a lot, and people eat (what Americans would consider) “late,” and everything may go at more relaxed pace. Get ready for it all.

p.s. I’ve been doing research for the past couple of days on what to expect in Spain about its culture, customs, laws, water, food, people, etc. I’ve watched YouTube videos of tips to consider as tourists. Because of it, I feel much more prepared and excited to get to know this country and its various cities. Can’t wait to experience these things for myself. Here’s to the España feels!

21 Wishes

1. breathe deeply
2. calm down
3. listen better
4. practice patience
5. write more
6. consume new news
7. let go
8. be distant to those who need it
9. be closer to those who deserve it
10. pray for those who are not so kind
11. be kinder to those are who kind to me
12. indulge in books in Spanish & English
13. travel obsessively
14. create more video content
15. be in the moment
16. be in tuned
17. be delighted and delightful
18. find the happy in the sad
19. learn to cook
20. change
21. reflect

p.s. On Thursday, my parents and I created an invitation for my birthday brunch to celebrate going away and me turning 21 all at the same time. This made me think of all the things I’d like to accomplish– all my wishes, dreams, and goals for this year. So, here’s to wishes, hopes, dreams, and goals!

Christmas in the New Year

Kate’s expression with all her new make-up for herself and clients.

Jaden’s expression with his new video games, sneakers, and foosball table.

Mom’s expression with her new sneakers.

Dad’s expression with his old, new fragrance, Fahrenheit.

p.s. We opened gifts last night in January. Crazy! But it was well worth the wait. Thanks Santa!

Favorite Moment, Food, Experience

Mom: Spending Christmas and New Year’s Eve with my parents and sister. All of Grandma’s (Mom’s)food. Velocity Air & Sports.

Dad: Seeing Grandma and Grandpa so happy when we first arrived to their home after 18 + hours of driving. Grandma’s sancocho. Top Golf.

Kate: Doing Grandma’s hair and make-up for New Year’s Eve. Golden Corral.
Gun range.

Jaden: Seeing Grandma and Grandpa. Golden Corral. Watching the new Jumanji.

Joseph: Sitting outside, watching the fireworks, and talking. Grandma’s lasagna.
Gun range.

Me: Being so emotional after Grandma and Grandpa gave me more than I could ever imagine toward my campaign for Spain. Grandma’s shrimp tortellini. Velocity Air Sports.

p.s. On Tuesday, as we were driving back to New York, we reflected on our favorite parts of our family vacation. Here’s to an unforgettable trip celebrating the end-of-the-year holidays with my grandparents and cousins in Florida! Not sure when we’ll do this again, but it’s been an incredible end to 2017.

New Year Hopes

a better grasp of the Spanish language

rekindling old friendships

seeing the world in a whole new way

watching and reading the news more closely

keeping in contact

listening carefully

not being afraid

p.s. So excited for what 2018 will bring. 2017 was full of so much love and hurt across the world. Looking forward to a better tomorrow, a better future, a better year!

New Year’s Eve Moments

grandpa’s toast

grandma’s party favors

food on the table

getting ready with my mom and sister

watching my sister glam up my grandma

seeing my family together

cousin’s face after winning Monopoly for the last day of the year

the music

taking photos with loved ones

stepping outside to watch the fireworks with Joseph

celebrating the new year with the same people I celebrated Christmas with

p.s. What a lovely time we had together as a family in Florida. 8 days of such fun and joy. That’s a wrap for 2017. Hope you ended it on a high note!