Happy Birthday, Aunt Kim!

aunt kim and baby taco playa del carmen family vacationMe and Aunt Kim at the beach in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Dear Aunt Kim,

I am so happy, thankful, and lucky to have you as my aunt. From the moment you found out about me, you supported my mama and daddy every step of the way. You loved me from the moment of my birth and your love grows for me every single day. You spend so much time with me; caring for me, teaching me, and simply enjoying me that I reach out my arms to you with delight every time I see you. I giggle at your silly faces and goofy sounds. I laugh hysterically when you tickle me and jump up and down. I am such a happy girl and you are a big part of the reason why.

I am so fortunate to grow up with a strong and intelligent positive female role model like you. You work so hard doing a tough job. You are responsible and dependable. I want to grow up to be just like you.

I hope that this new year will be filled with pleasant surprises and new adventures. I hope you take risks and that they pay off. I wish nothing but the best for you with all my heart.

Thank you for being such a wonderful aunt to me.

Love always,

Baby Taco

Four Years, One Dog, and a Baby

This post is a bit late, but we landed in LaGuardia late Sunday night and I went straight to work the next day. At 7:30 am. Only I was fifteen minutes late because due to delirium and exhaustion, I didn’t set my alarm the night before.

monday morning meme

Yeah, getting back to a regular work schedule has been challenging.

But anyway, ST and I celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary while in Playa del Carmen last Thursday! :-) We had the luxury of a giant, king sized bed so I put Baby Taco in bed with us when she woke up for her nightly feeding. She woke us up early and we were cuddling when ST said he had to use the bathroom. He was gone for about 45 minutes – I figured the tacos he’d eaten for dinner the night before didn’t agree with him.

Little did I know, my sweet husband had asked the concierge about a florist and brought back a big bouquet of roses and a beautiful arrangement to decorate the condo we’d rented.

He never forgets. I’m such a lucky lady.

anniversary roses in mexico anniversary roses in mexico3 bird of paradise anniversary flowers in mexico

Without a doubt, our greatest adventure and best part of this year was Baby Taco. She is the perfect balance between ST and me. I see ST in her delicious little smile, the way she scrunches up her nose in delight, and how she’s content to just lay around the house in her pajamas, playing with us. She’s such a sweet and easy-going little girl. Except when she’s hungry, bored, or tired. Then, she’s all me: demanding. Baby Taco does the cutest thing where she pumps her fists and legs in frustration and anger – because that’s all a tiny 8 month old can do to express her displeasure!

Becoming parents has been a rocky road. From the early days when we slept 2-3 hours per night to my extreme anxiety, ST and I have had some highs and lows this past year. But at the end of the day, I am so thankful this man is my baby daddy. He sings Spanish songs to our little girl, dances with her, and is ready to tackle any poopy diaper, dirty bottle, or mess that comes his way. ST is an amazing father. Baby Taco and I are so immeasurably blessed to have him in our life.

Thank you, babe for always showing me how much you love me, even when you’re exhausted. Thank you for cooking dinner and doing the dishes; for simple acts like folding and putting away laundry, vacuuming the floor, and filling up the tank with gas. Thank you for not only tolerating my parents, but loving them too. You are the best thing that’s ever happened to me because you gave me Baby Taco and in doing that, you gave me everything.

I love you, bae. ;-)

family vacation in playa del carmen el taj condosPlaying on the beach in Playa del Carmen

Sweet, Delicious Freedom

It’s official: I’m a free woman.

freedom meme

I submitted my last assignment for graduate school! I passed my exams! I’m getting my second Master’s degree in September! I’m on vacation in Mexico! I just took a shot of tequila to celebrate!

Who is so excited that she just ended every sentence in an exclamation point?

THIS GIRL! :-)

so happy face

Throughout this year, I have constantly reminded myself how fortunate I was to live in a country where women are empowered to pursue fulfilling careers and have the opportunity to participate in higher education. But I have to be honest: it sucked. It was difficult to work while on maternity leave. It made me feel like I’d missed out on a lot in Baby Taco’s early days. She will obviously not remember me typing away furiously in the background, but I will always be a little sad that I could not give her my undivided attention.

Those days are over now and I am so grateful to my family and friends for supporting me this year. I never could have done this without them!

Anyway, now I can savor the last days of summer. :-P

Well, hello there.

Let’s Be Friends.

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