26.2… what exactly does that mean?  I know many wonder at first.  Allow me to break it down for you…

12 rounds of chemotherapy & 14 radiation treatments = 26the .2 is just an extra little kick to the cancer to make sure it is D.E.A.D…

So, 26.2 had a much bigger meaning for me than just miles… it represented hope.  Hope that soon we will hear the words… “ALL CLEAR”. 

 That day will come. 


26.2 Miles of Hope at the House of the Mouse… 26 cancer treatments. 

This was for you Jonathan… and ever single child battling this

terrible, horrible, no good, very bad thing called


The Box

It was just a box.  It was wrapped with Christmas paper, had a hole on top to fill it with candy, some wire to be able to hang it… a makeshift pinata… it wasn’t in the shape of a tree, or santa, or anything like that.

It was just a box. 

But that box… brought more smiles, more laughter, more excitement than anything else I had witnessed in a while. 

They loved it.  It didn’t come in a fancy box.  It didn’t need batteries.  It had no apps.  It didn’t cost a day’s pay.  It didn’t need an upgrade.  It didn’t have a remote.  It wasn’t touchscreen.

It was just a box. 

No fancy video games around & no big tree with lots of presents, but a lot of love.  Love for each other, love for the simple things… just love and the box. 

That box, even if it was for the evening, beat the cancer, the worry, the stress…

It was just a box.

But that boxwas happiness

 that boxtaught me a lesson

 that box…  humbled me

Last night I was reminded that big houses, lots of money, expensive gifts are not what make a person happy.  Those things don’t make a family.  Those things don’t get you friends. 

I celebrated Christmas Eve in simplicity.  Sitting in a carport, keeping warm with the heat of the pozole cooking near me, the spicy salsa  and the homemade hot chocolate made on the stove top…

I celebrated Christmas with people who are in the midst of a tough battle… but for that evening… cancer was not there. Cancer was not winning… laughter was.  Family was.  Love was…

The box… Was winning. 

It was literally- a box… with A LOT of candy!

(You can see the homemade pinata (the box) on the top left corner of this picture)

Enjoy the simple things my friends… it is in those things that we learn our greatest lessons and we receive the best blessings. 

Believing is Believing

Christmas has always been a special holiday for me.  I loved the lights.  I loved the shopping.  I loved the wrapping.  I loved the time off.  I loved the food.  I loved the family get togethers.  I loved the power of believing.  I loved the magic.

As a mom, that love has only gotten stronger.  To see it through the eyes of your child is so much more magical.  It makes you believe all over again (although, I don’t think I ever truly stopped). 

So, maybe a chubby man wearing a red suit, using a sleigh and reindeer as tranportation and delivering toys to children all over the world in one night, literally doesn’t happen.  In all honesty, I am the one that moves Ernie around and makes him do silly things and takes pictures of him.  Sorry to disappoint, but yes, that is me.  The little man really doesn’t fly on his own or leave every night to report to Santa.  And yes, it was me, who put in Jayda’s information and pictures to the PNP website so that she could watch a video of Santa telling her if she was on the naughty or nice list.  It was all me.  I confess. 

But, the magic behind it,  the power it has to put a smile on a child’s face, that is not me.  That is the power of believing.  The power of having an imagination.  The idea that maybe, just maybe, it is true.  It is the power of having hope in goodness.  The warmth that a child’s smile brings you.  The power of bringing someone happiness, even if it is for just a short period of time. 

It is a wonderful feeling.  A feeling that something magical exist.  It is the same feeling you have at Disney World- everything feels perfect and you have no worries or stress. 

So if all this makes my baby girl believe, smile, imagine, wonder, have faith, be kind, love and be excited…. it does exist…




(and you know what… Mickey is real too, seriously)

Bottom line… Christmas Magic can be real if you simply believe in it.

Well, I gotta go… Santa is about to feed the reindeer on his  LIVE Cam… totally real too! 


Be Still


The perfect word for God.  Indescribable.  How does He do it?  How does He manage to answer our questions?

At work:

When I start doubting myself as a teacher, when nothing seems to be going my way, the stress is there, due dates are near (or past due), the kids aren’t getting it, others seem to not care, some have other issues at home to worry about, some are trying, but not hard enough… what do I do Lord?  Am I really meant for this?  Can I really do it?  This isn’t for me…

Be still. 

He sends the note, the former student, the current student, the e-mail, the facebook message… that tells me- you can do it.  You are where I need you to be. 

As a mother:

She’s not listening.  What do I do?  Am I enough for her?  What does she need?  Am I doing this mommy thing the “right” way?  Will she need therapy as an adult because of ME? 

Be still.

He is guiding me.  I get the hugs, the kisses, the “I love you mommy” that just melts my heart & confirms- I am doing ok.  Not perfect, but ok.  He fills in the gaps where I lack. 

As a wife:

Am I what he needs?  Do I comfort him enough when he needs the comfort?  Do I make him laugh when he needs a laugh?  Do I apologize when I need to?  Do I? 

Be still. 

He loves me, he tells me all the time.  He goes above and beyond to make me happy… thank you God for blessing me with Michael. 

As a sister, a friend, an aunt, a niece, a cousin… am I enough? 

Be still. 

He makes you enough. 

He is indescribable.  He is amazing.  He is our God. 

He makes no mistakes.  He knows our needs. 

Be still.  Trust Him. 


Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high,
There’s a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.

Someday I’ll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far
Behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That’s where you’ll find me.


This little girl is my ‘over the rainbow’.  She has taught me that no dream is neither too big or too small, imagination is a  wonderful thing and to always be your own person.  She is my proof that…

the dreams that I’ve dared to dream really have come true. 



8 years ago we ventured into this thing we call marriage… it has be stressful, exhausting & mind-boggling… but I wouldn’t trade this thing we call marriage for anything.

 And there is no one else I’d rather “do life with,” than you. 

Here’s to many more years of stress, tears, hugs, misunderstandings, apologies, love, forgiveness & being best friends…

Thank you for being my life partner through the good & the bad…

Love you ALWAYS…


And, seriously… did you ever imagine ….




Neither did I.



Carried by Faith




God has a unique way of doing things.  Sometimes we get hurt by it, sometimes we laugh and wonder, “seriously God?!?”, sometimes it just happens and many times it is a combination of all of that and then some. 

One morning He gave me the courage to “act” on a dream He had planted in me. It was courage I would have never had if He hadn’t of had me dream of something different to begin with …  .

 Through this journey,

I cried many times. 

I lost my cool several times.

I panicked almost daily (ok, not  almost- it was a daily panic).

I stressed.

I yelled.

I broke out in hives (seriously).

I almost gave up.

I lost sleep.

I spoke to God and asked Him on many occasions, “Really, God?  You can’t be serious… I must have misunderstood you!”

Did I mention I cried a lot?

But, I also…

Met wonderful people and made new friends.


Lourdes (Lou Lou’s aunt)

He placed the Reyna Family in my path.

I smiled a lot.

I got closer to God.

I realized the importance of family and learned to appreciate them more.

I felt fulfilled.

I met some real life heroes.



I heard stories of heroes that I wish I had gotten to meet.


I found a purpose.  I grew up.  I snapped out a “feel sorry” for me coma… and learned how to live. 

I was carried by faith through this Journey of Faith…

Who would have ever imagined my dream looking like this:

The moment I got a bit choked up and realized… my dream was happening…






And I got that one last confirmation… God was smiling… and so were a few angels…





Don’t be afraid of your dreams my friends… he will equip you with your needs to make them come true.