Friday, March 21, 2014

lessons learned the hard way

When I was 14 my grandmother died; I was too young to understand the depth of it. I was sad but I was really sad for my mother. You see I took the call from my tía that said she had passed. I had rarely seen my mom cry but this time I saw her cry and it was very difficult for me to watch. She went to Mexico for her funeral and we couldn’t go. My grandmother lived in Mexico and the last time I saw her I was probably 8 or so. I was too young even then to appreciate her, whenever we would go to Mexico I rarely spent time with her. One of those things you just don’t realize when you’re a kid.

Then when I was 20 my grandfather died, this again was difficult for my mother and that made me even sadder. I loved my grandfather very much and did get to spend a lot of time with him since he got to live some time here with us. He had great stories and very funny jokes he would tell. When he died, my mom was on her way to see him, in the middle of a 24 hour bus ride. She received the news during that bus ride so I’m sure it was very hard for her to know she still had so many hours to go and she didn’t get to see him before he passed. For me that weekend was the weekend my husband proposed to me. It was a roller coaster weekend for me and I’ll never forget it.

Still my grandparents were older and one would say they lived a long life; they were peaceful when they passed so you don’t feel sorry for them just sad.

However, when someone that is young dies its different. Your mind naturally wonders what they could have been or done, that loss is a lot more tragic. My family has known a few friends pass; they were mostly my sibling’s friends so the impact was harder for my siblings than me. You find it harder to console people since words like “they lived a long life” don’t apply. You try to muster up your most delicate words of condolences. Sometimes you don’t have any words of condolence so your presence must do the talking. I have been to many a funeral in my time.

Still with each death one holds their family a little tighter, you say “I love you” a little more and you pray a little harder for them. One must learn something in death. You have to try to understand why they passed and what you learned from it. When my grandmother died I learned to cherish the moments with my only grandparent left, so when he died I felt peace like I knew him and am able to carry on his stories and legacy.

For each unexpected death of a young person I learned that you never know when you are going to pass so you always have to be right with God and make sure you don’t have any pending grudges. I have tried to live my life according to that. Going to church regularly and praying daily.

This past month another family friend passed. She was young and beautiful and had a promising future. But her life served a different purpose, one that we may not understand right now but we will with time. When she died again I reflected on what to learn from the experience. A lot of times when someone dies I spend a lot of time dwelling on their death. How it happened, if it could happen to me, or where I will go once I die and if I will say the best last thing to my family and friends. But with the passing of this young friend it got me thinking on her life instead of her death.

She was an individual; she was different but she owned it. You could see right through her, to her core where it was warm and genuine. When you were around this girl she didn’t make you feel insecure she made you feel liked and accepted you. It got me thinking on what people feel when they’re around me. Do people feel warm and at home with themselves around me?

Sometimes willingly or unwillingly we make people feel uncomfortable. People can feel any tension on your part, whether it’s intentional or not. Sometimes we want someone to be mad or to ruin their day. Were all humans we have those emotions, competitiveness or condescending. People can tell if you’re being fake or genuine.

I also learned life isn’t about accomplishments even though she had many; she had just graduated with her bachelor’s degree and was moving on to her masters. Life isn’t about adventures, even though she had many, she went to many countries and cities and got to experience new cultures. But what matters most is your encounters with other humans and how they feel in your presence. Even if it’s a chance encounter with someone, when I see a stranger I treat them as if I’ll never see them again, but I never think if my exchange with them will affect them for the better or for the worse.

I have said this before but I am going to try to be transparent with people. I want to make people to feel liked and accepted be genuinely kind to everyone. Everyone that I meet I want them to feel better, so when I die people can say “she made me feel good about myself”. That no one will have any unkind words to say about me either. Hopefully you’ll see a change in me but most importantly you’ll feel a change in me.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bold Yet Bashful!

I spent a week at my parents' house in Mexico for my dad's birthday this past month. I had a great time marveling at the peacocks across the street. Following my dad around as he tended to his sheep and chickens. Studying my moms hands as she sewed me a dress. Eating fresh cut fruit on the porch, listening to stories of my parents childhood.

We gave my dad a DVD player for his birthday and gave him old home videos. He loved it and insisted we set it up right then to watch the videos. Admittedly, it took us a few good hours of figuring out which colored cord went into which slot. It can get confusing. After an hour or so we got it to work! 

So many childhood memories flooding back as I saw family and friends appear on my parents 17-inch screen.  I saw my old neighborhood and I paused and stared at shots of the inside of our old house. I saw my old stuffed rabbit, Floppy Ears, a gift from my oldest sister when I was sick. There he was, brand new, still fluffy as the first day I got him. I saw family members in 80's hair and makeup, then I saw my 5-year-old self! 

It was my sister Alma's Quinceanera video, her Quinceanera was in the theme of a rainbow. All of her "damas" were in all the colors of the rainbow, my mom made all of the dresses. On our heads was a tulle bow the size of our own heads the color of our dresses. The chambelans in black pants and a white button up with a tie, ready to walk the rainbow dressed girls down the crowded aisle. I was too young to be a dama, so I was her bible girl, holding her bible down the aisle instead of a floral bouquet. I was dressed in a silver dress representing a cloud. All I remember about that dress was that it was very itchy as my mom used tulle for the skirt. The ceremony was very long and I fell asleep standing up, right there on the altar right next to my celebrated sister. After the very long ceremony we headed to our childhood home for the reception. Back then they didn't hold receptions in hotel rooms like they do now. The video continued there and this is where I had my biggest revelation of myself. 

I had always thought I'd been a quiet and bashful girl. Growing up, I was always very quiet and if you knew me at school you would know that I was very shy and quiet. But that's not what was revealed in the video!

Me on the end next to my sister in the blue dress, my other sister and cousin in the red dresses

I saw my sister drive up in her decorated car, it was the fanciest car we knew! My uncle's black "Cougar" with bows and ribbon all over it. There my sister stood as her guests all circled her to greet her and there I stood as well. Knowing I would appear on camera and video. Even then I loved to be on camera! I saw a friend of my sister's greeting her and wishing her a happy birthday, then I heard a tiny voice ordering this woman to move 'cause she was blocking the camera! The owner of that tiny voice was none other than my 5-year-old self!! Yet as soon as the words left my tiny mouth, I hid behind my sister.

How can a little girl be as bold as that then, in the same moment, be so bashful?

I pondered on this as we drove the six hours back home. Those characteristics have followed me my whole life, as I think back to all the confrontations I've had. Except, now, every time I'm confronted with a situation, I will remember my 5-year-old self, but I won't hide behind anything anymore.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


If you were old enough to live through this, do you remember a few years ago (probably a decade ago at this rate) when WWJD? Was the “it” thing? Did you ever ask yourself that question when encountered with a tough decision? Should I go left, or right? WWJD? Should I wreak havoc or stay calm? WWJD? Those are just a few random possible examples.
Years later, do you find yourself asking a similar question in tough decision making? If you were ever between a rock and hard place, do you stop and think about what you will do or how it will affect yourself or others? Well, those are some of the things, I say, are qualities of a mature person. defines the word mature as: fully developed in body or mind, as a person.
There are more than likely a few times where you have given advice to someone on what you think they should or could do in a situation whatever it may be, and you leave it at that, just advice. For many years, my friends and some acquaintances would come to me for advice, which I offered, as well as a shoulder to cry on. I didn’t mind this then, I don’t mind this now. I am a Leo, characterized as being loyal, having honor, being decisive, intensely proud and wonderfully romantic. (Just to throw that in). I take pride (no pun intended) in some of the more mature decisions I’ve made in life i.e. starting a family, keeping a close group of friends for years, feeding my thirst for educational and random knowledge.
Do you ever come into a situation similar to what advice you just gave? In other words: would you/do you follow your own advice? Depending on the situation, depends on your answer.
Recently, I have personally had a chance to follow my own advice that I gave, or tried to give, to a female about a year ago; she chose to ignore my “advice” thus causing tremendous turmoil in her life and those involved. Because I chose the route she didn’t, I saved myself from similar turmoil, which I’m very proud about.
Sometimes we are given a problem to solve that requires little work, lots of thought and lots of maturity. Whether it’s choosing to save your family, your job, your friendships, think about what your actions will require and who will suffer-near or far- in the end. Ask yourself not what Jesus would do, ask yourself what the mature thing is to do; after all, the saying goes “older and wiser” not “older and dumber”.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I recently went to Austin for SXSW. Let me tell you all that it was so much fun. There was so much to do that I wish we would have been there for more days. I got to see some really cool bands. I think my favorite part of the trip was going to Congress St. and having myself a Margarita. It felt really nice to just kick back and relax.
I really want to plan a big vacation soon. This time Daniel and I will bring the kiddo. We are thinking of a fun place to go to. I guess we'll see where we end up.

Pop That Sucker!

Santa Monica, CA 2012

I grew up in an area, as most, where people are very family-oriented, deep-rooted and - more than anything - comfortable. For most of my youth, I wanted to go somewhere; Montana: quiet, large, open. After a while, I saw more in Europe, and even neighboring states. Everything interested me, and the history of some cities/countries are beyond me. I love history. Growing up in this neighborhood, it was inevitable to most of us that traveling anywhere was nowhere near possible. Whether it was the money or time, it was just something that wasn't the norm. Or to some people I knew, it was the fear of leaving a place that brings comfort and security.

In my school books I found places that had beautiful history, structures, art, shores, food, and much more. I took my first French class in high school and I loved it. I wanted to go somewhere with that, someday.

After high school is when those seemingly impossible travels were made possible. My first major trip was to Miami Beach, Florida; it was also my first time on a plane (yeowza!). It was fantastic! Beaches? Check! Food? Check! A great experience?? Double check! It was only for a few days but we did so much, even better was that it was all expenses paid!

Since then, I have been to many, many places on a plane or in a vehicle. San Luis Potosi, Mexico?! Done! Memphis?! Done! Vegas?! Done!! SoCal x3?! Done!! Even in this great state of Texas, there have been many-a-travels to its major cities and small towns. I love this state!!

I never thought I would have visited so many places in my life already, but I have and I will continue to do so. I love to travel! I love to "do as the Romans do!" I love to see new places, new people, and new scenes. The world is bigger than just your neighborhood, your comfort zone. The world is out there, waiting to be seen and experienced. Don’t live in a bubble! Pop that sucker and see what else is out there! You’ll be amazed!

come fly with me...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

DIY: Coffee & Sugar canister

I recently joined the world of Pinterest, you can find me here, and I fell in love! I saw this post and decided to try my hand at it! It was really easy to do and my counter tops have never looked so pretty! I even created a tutorial on youtube to show you just how easy it is!
What you'll need:
  • Round plates (bases)
  • candle stick
  • glass jar
  • cabinet knobs
  • hot glue gun
  • glue sticks
  • paint
I got all of it except the paint at Michaels, the paint I bought at Home Depot but we had this lying around the apartment, gotta love the fella being an artist. Take a peek at Pinterest and pique your interests!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What's Your Love Language?

Ever gotten into one of those drawn out arguments with your boyfriend that left you confused and questioning their sanity? Ugh, haven't we all? It's not because he's crazy. It's not because you're crazy. It's because y'all aren't speaking each other's love language.

Everyone interprets love in different ways. Certain actions make one feel more loved than others. Do you like going anywhere with your boo, even just to the grocery store? Your love language is probably quality time. Do you feel bothered when your boyfriend doesn't greet you with a hug and a kiss? Then your love language is likely physical touch. For the judgmental and simple-minded, this may sound needy. Let's put the cynical and bitter thoughts away. If you're coming from a place of love and understanding, learning to communicate your needs and compromise is the master key to your relationship. It can prevent feelings of neglect, as well as help you make your boo feel loved and happy, which makes you happy. Everybody wins!

So what are the five love languages? And what can you do to make the other feel loved and acknowledged?

Physical Touch - Not just about sex. Hugs, holding hands, and kisses show affection, care, and excitement.

Words of Affirmation - Saying "I love you" goes a long way. Compliments about appearance or talents are good, too. Heart-to-hearts about how good your relationship is going can also make the other person feel valued.

Acts of Service - Make dinner, help out with a presentation, change a tire. Show your partner you want to take care of them and help out with responsibilities/burdens.

Quality Time - Commit to a weekly date night. Think of new ways to spend time together and make reservations! At the end of the day, make time for uninterrupted talking. It's all about listening and being present.

Receiving Gifts - When you're out of town, buy them a souvenir. Surprise them with flowers or a random gadget. Celebrate holidays, anniversaries, and birthdays. It doesn't have to be over-the-top or expensive; it's really the thought and effort that counts.

Now discover your love language! Take the quick assessment here! I encourage you to ask your partner to do the same. If you don't have a boo, you can take the Singles version and have a cocktail night with your girlfriends and talk about everyone's results!

My primary love language is quality time. When I don't spend time with the people I love - friends and family included - I feel out of sorts! Once I get that quality time, I feel refreshed and confident! What's your love language? Any dumb/funny fights that came from misunderstandings? Do you think this is a crock of self-help crap or useful information? I love talking about relationships! I'd love to hear!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lessons My Dad Taught Me


Now don’t get me twisted; I am not by any means saying that I am Miss Perfection when it comes to this lecture, but I do aim for that title: having self-respect. Because if you don’t find it within yourself then who will? Throughout my life, I have done pretty stupid things that I can look back on and think Wow, now that was not classy... and remember my dad’s words. My dad knew that one of his roles in life was to teach his little girl to respect herself enough so that future men would not even attempt to disrespect her. That is why my dad never let me go out looking like a hot mess. It’s a big, huge difference on having “fashion” or just plainly looking like a Harry Hines girl. And if you still don’t get it… that means looking like a two-cent hooker. It aint cute!

My dear sweethearts, I completely understand the desire to have attention drawn to ourselves. Hell, I was the girl that wore toe socks in high school and ran around the halls screaming, just to have someone look my direction, but….. I have come to find out that we all carry a sense of beauty that we must channel and it shall bring out our shine... and that’s without having to wear that tight-ass dress that [come on now] does NOT fit.

Leave things to the imagination and don’t just put it out there for every man, woman, and child to gawk at. Trust me when I say this: 95% of the damn time that man, woman, and child is thinking, “she looks like a slut” or “that does not fit” or “she really thinks it's cute” or “I wonder how much I must pay.” We can look amazing with just the right amount of skin showing. It is possible!!! But having your boobs and ass popping out all the time just screams “damn it, y'all just look at me already!” Plus, I must add in, if you have not been given the volume to fit it then don’t wear it! Just because they are booty shorts does not mean they give you booty, it just makes it more obvious that you lack it. Just saying.

We are beautiful! We shine without the clothes and glamour. Our character and personality is our key! Not the ass and boobs! Leave it for Halloween or a private time between you and your boo. But don’t welcome the whole world into your bedroom by walking out and having the world to see. We can “work it” without showing it out. If you were blessed with some beautiful boobs then wear a good support bra that will give you coverage and the girls will still scream out “hi!” without having to show them off with a super low cut shirt. The backside can also be embraced by wearing a fitted skirt or some nice skinny jeans that will bring out the curves without having the cheeks come out to cheapen the outfit. And if you have neither, then girl work your beautiful face! Honestly our face is what we should always emphasize on! That’s what they should stare at and see first, if they don’t then its time we talk about what momma has taught them!

R-E-S-P-E-C-T (find out what it means to you)
Love me some Etta James

Thanks Daddy! Love you

Friday, February 17, 2012

We're all friends at school!

I don't know how many times I say this during the day! We're all friends at school! Children have to be constantly reminded of how to be a friend. It got me thinking of adults and how many times we have to be reminded of how to be a friend.
I'm the type of person that its easy for me to make friends, but it wasn't always like that. It took me years to come out of my shell. At first I was shy and couldn't make friends. Then when I had my group of friends I honestly thought I didn't need any more friends. I had my few great friends and that was it. I knowingly closed myself off from people. It's completely different now I love meeting new people and having lots of friends!

Sometimes, however, the old me will revert back and I have to remind myself we're all friends and how to be a good friend! I myself have to remember to keep in touch, to call occasionally just to see how my friends day is doing. To extend a helping hand if a friend needs it. To invite friends over for cocktails and laughs. Take a moment to evaluate your friendships, do you need to come out of your shell more? Not only to make friends but to be a good friend.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Old Me

As a child in school, we were often asked at the beginning of the school year to describe ourselves. One word that would more than often come up was “shy.” Shy Sylvia. It stuck around for most of my life, high school and even in the early years of college: Je suis timide (French class).

A few years ago I was given the opportunity - several times - to come out of my shell and show the world what’s inside, but I was still too timide. I have a friend whom I've had for a few years now that finally broke me out of that shell. This summer was that moment. I don’t know what came through me... maybe it was a change that was needed at a chance that was there to take. I grabbed it by the horns. Although I don’t remember what kicked it off, I do remember the moments thereafter.

I was never one to get up and get jiggy with it (yeah, I said it); I would be the one holding the wall up, or keeping the seat warm, drink in hand and shuffling my feet down below. I felt the music inside me, but that energy was too concerned about opinion showing itself. I didn’t like that feeling: caring what others thought of my sassy dance moves. I wanted to dance and that was that.

So it happened. One night, while out celebrating my freedom, liberation - whatever the reason - with my good friend Linda, I started dancing: feet, body, arms and ALL! There I was, Shy Sylvia, NO MORE! I loved it! Another sense of freedom rushed through me - I knew this feeling before, and I know it again now. It was great; I felt accomplished, energized, satisfied. I wanted more of it! We were at a place where people danced whatever their body felt; no matter how funny or awkward or “stupid” they looked, they were letting it happen. Seeing that definitely helped in getting those sassy moves onto the dance floor. Let’s dance!

Trying some shoes on for my next outing. Nice!

Linda and I at the Dave Nada show.

Don’t let anything or anyone keep you from doing what you want. If you like it, you like it; if you love it, you love it, and that’s that! Whether it be dancing in public (like me) or accomplishing some other task, get it done and get it done now. Life is what we make of it, so make it happen. Take the bull by the horns, ride 'til you die…‘til the wheels fall off. Cheers to life!