Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I could not let today go by without blogging, because tomorrow is a big day in the Garcia family! Gianna Avie Garcia is turning 4 years old!
I blogged several months ago about The Best "OOPS" That Ever Happened To Me (follow the link to read)- and that is exactly what Gianna is!
This is the first year we will be having "family parties" for our girls Birthdays- just the 4 of us and any other family who is able to come. We're allowing the Gianna to plan her favorite meals for the day, and she will wake up to balloons and streamers and decorations. Of course, we will end the day with a Barbie Cake and gifts. It will be a day to celebrate her and the gift she is to all of us!
It's so easy to go through the motions of planning a party and a day, and forget to reflect on what the celebration is. I decided this morning that I wanted to write a little something about my baby girl, so it caused me to really start thinking and remembering. I went back and read the blog above that I wrote about her- I grinned ear to ear as it brought back memories.
I also remembered when she was 3 weeks old, a very scary day. Everything was fine as I nursed her and read a book. When it was time to burp her, I sat her up- and something didn't seem so okay anymore. She was kind of limp- well, more limp than what a 3 week old typically is, and it seemed her color was not right. I started to "burp" her a little more aggressively to get her to respond to me. Gianna's eyes began to roll back in her head and her color was getting worse- I knew something was wrong when her lips began turning blue and white. Talk about multi-tasking- while trying to revive my child, I called Lupe hysterical, ran up the stairs to check on a sleeping Tenly, and prayed like I had never prayed before. Of course, by the time Lupe arrived home (he was there in probably 3 minutes with a baby sitter in tow- thank you Jessica) Gianna's eyes were opened, she had a very tired cry and her color was still way off.
We headed to the ER, considering you can never be to cautious with a new born baby. We lived in Columbus, which is a VERY small town- needless to say they were not equipped to deal with infants. They insisted because of her age and the circumstances, we needed to be transported to Texas Children's Hospital, they wanted to be sure everything was ruled out before they issued a clean bill of health.
We spent 3 days there, Lupe and I taking shifts between sleep (they gave us a room in Ronald McDonald House in the hospital) and being with Gia. We held her almost nonstop the whole 3 days, and no one could of convinced me to anything other than that. They ruled it acid reflux, and considering she was 4 weeks premature it sometimes has severe side effects.
A situation like that makes you value your children in a different way......I am so Thankful.
Gianna is one of the sweetest little girls you'll ever know. She is on the quiet side a bit, until she jumps into Tenly's comfortableness, but once she opens up and connects to you- she'll steal your heart. Tenly is her best friend, and she can't wait to have her home all to herself every day. Gianna is a giver, and loves to see others happy. She's a very compassionate little girl, taking every opportunity to tell you how much she loves you. Our little Gia looks like her Mommy, but she has more of her Daddy's personality. She loves to cuddle and sit close- which I take full advantage of. She looks forward to being my little assistant, as she tags along on my errand running and meetings without complaining and ever giving a problem.
Gianna is still known by the little pink stringy blanket and by her wild uncontrollable hair (another thing I gave her). She's a genius with puzzles and anything resembling a computer. But, I believe this little girl- who God told me was called to the world when she was still in my belly (You can read about that one here:Starting Young: Gianna Called To The World) will be know by the love that radiates out of her. She is so special- the best "OOPS!" that ever happened to me!

Monday, January 30, 2012

A Big Lump In The Road...

Moving day/week has come and gone with to many complications to count. I should look on the bright side, at least the complications weren't as expensive as they were last time! No wonder I despise moving!! Of course our bump, or my lump, didn't quite look like the one to the left- but was the one below.

On Tuesday, while moving some of the boxes and smaller stuff, I began to notice a bump (just like the one I have now had on my right and left eye) starting on the right side of my chin. It was a little painful, but at that point I just could not believe it could be another huge abscess beginning. Well, by Wednesday I started to realize I was very wrong as that I now had a good size lump on my chin along with swollen glands and swelling on my face and neck, and quite painful. I quickly made an appointment with my internist who sent me to in Infectious Disease Specialist. It was an emotional day as I had to retell my weird "lump history" of the past 2 months that no one can give me any answers to. The specialist was unable, yet again, to culture it (UGH!)- but seemed certain I had MRSA and gave me another antibiotic to take.
I went home, continuing to pack while my face, neck, and head throbbed. I was hopeful I would wake up Thursday morning with less swelling and pain- didn't happen. I, instead, awoke Thursday to the exact opposite- I tried to do so much between having to lay down because of the pain. (In the middle of all of this, Tenly had an accident at school and was so emotional I went to pick her up.)
By the time Lupe arrived home, I was considering going to the ER- as absurd as that seemed on so many levels.We still had to pack up the kitchen, clothes, and all of the other loose ends- and needed more boxes to do so. As much as I tried to get around it, I finally made the arrangements for a friend to come pick me up so Lupe could stay with the girls and get as much done as possible with no boxes.
The doctor wasn't exactly thrilled with my being there. He thought I should of waited longer than 30 hours to give the antibiotics time to work- but my face was at least 40% more swollen and the pain had increased beyond 75%- I didn't care! They ran blood work, and ultimately they admitted me to give me antibiotics by IV to kick out the infection.
Part of me was relieved, the other part was overwhelmed with guilt and responsibility. I was relieved that we would get to the bottom of this never ending unwelcome infection that had been haunting me for 2 months!But....Who was going to take care of the girls? Who was going to be there for the cable/Internet hook up? Who was going to finish packing? Who was going to boss the guys around to tell them where to put everything? Who was going to organize everything? Who was going to take/pick up Tenly for school? Who was going to be sure Lupe was going to be okay?
We decided Tenly would stay home from school (the first day she missed), and my brother, who was helping to move, was bringing my niece, Maya, and nephew, Emry, to help (which made my girls not miss me at all)- who did an EXCEPTIONAL job! A couple of guys from the church were also coming to help. (I think we will forever be indebted, especially after they had to move our 2-ton couch!)
The first night in the hospital went with no sleep and vomiting all night due to the pain, then dehydration, and the strong pain meds. Then I began having an allergic reaction to one of the antibiotics, and we wrapped up my hospital stay 2 days later with a severe migraine (I felt I came in with one thing wrong, and left with more). All 3 doctors are still convinced that I have MRSA, and a suppressed immune system- nothing to prove it except the consensus of 3 doctors thinking the same thing. They wanted a plastic surgeon to cut it open, but no one would come in on a weekend.
Anyway, my brother and Debbie took the girls overnight so Lupe could finish moving the rest of the stuff- that was a HUGE blessing! Not to mention, the girls came back saying it was "..the best day ever.."- apparently it was especially funny when Uncle Bubbo (what they call my brother) hit Aunt Debbie with a stick. LOL!
I finally came home, very thankful for my incredible friends and family who prayed, cared, stayed at the hospital, text encouraging thoughts, brainstormed, left messages, kept our children, lifted a 2 ton couch up and down stairs, etc. I wish we had more to give, but we say Thank You and are blessed to have you.
I am now almost done unpacking boxes while my face continues to heal (it's closer to normal). Although, I'm not fond of my too small kitchen, and inconvenient closet- I am thankful I am in a home with my family (and for the wonderful storage closet). I am started to embrace and understand that saying "Home is where your Heart is".
Please pray that this "lump" was the last. I do not understand why this is happening, and have struggled to keep positive throughout. But, I do know things could be worse- and it is gone- Thank You for continuing to pray that this is the last and I am completely healed!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Packing Memories

Not much joy comes out of packing up all of your belongings to move down the road. It's just a pain! Through the headache of it all, I have found some "smiles" along the way.
First, it gives me the opportunity to sort, purge, and organize...strangely enough, this is something I truly enjoy doing! As I was going through closets and pulling down boxes and bins to be moved into our new home, I found myself with a huge smile as I looked up and read the label on the side of a box, "Tenly & Gianna Baby Memories".
Of course, I should never have opened it up- but I just couldn't help myself. Then, to my dismay, I realized that when this box had last been packed, I had packed it very well and efficiently as to preserve "the memories". Every item had been wrapped in white tissue paper and labeled specifically. I kind of let out a big sigh, I really wanted to look at the stuff....yet again, I couldn't help myself and began to unwrap each item one at a time. So glad I did, every one I unwrapped brought back a memory, a tear, and a smile....and I couldn't help but share my "T & G Memories"......

Tenly's Home From The Hospital Outfit

Gianna's Home From The Hospital Outfit

The Girls Hospital Shirts and Blankets and Tenly's Baby Brush From Dana
Tenly's Dedication Outfit at BWOC

Dedication Bibles Given To The Girls From Pastors Tommy and Rachel
Gianna's Dedication Outfit- BWOC

Tenly's First Birthday Dress From Aunt Chris

Gianna's First Birthday Outfit
Daddy Brought Back Mexican Dresses from His Missions Trip To Mexico

Tenly's First School Backpack

Zakia Had This Hung Over Tenly's Crib When We Arrived Home, Signed By All Of The BMI Staff. Very Special

The Girls Each Have A Box Stuffed Full of Sonogram Pics, Birthday Invites, Finger Paintings, Little Projects, and All of The "Firsts" I Am  Able to Keep a Small Something From.

Each one of these hold a reminder of God's goodness and  faithfulness in our lives.
There's another box I haven't gotten to yet, it is packed full of all of Lupe and my memories....I will spare you all of the pictures and memories of all that....
Little bits of smiles and happiness in packing............................ 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Reliving The Past......

School never came easy for me. Even when I was in Elementary school, it never was easy for a variety of reasons. One reason was I started young, I have a September birthday, and although the teachers said I was socially above average (even then I was a social bug), I had a difficult time processing the things in my brain in order to communicate them verbally or written.
In the first grade, I had a teacher who was very hard on me. She did not seem to be able to tolerate my need for more or different instruction or direction. I never felt what I did was good enough and began to fear trying because no matter how hard I tried it wasn't good enough.
I believe everyone has the need to be praised and strive to please to some degree- some more than others- and some, like me, too much. So, when I began getting sad faces with tears drawn going down the page on my class work- I would hide them from my parents because I feared disappointing them. I also began to hide my work from my teacher in school because I would rather be in trouble for not having it done or losing it than to chance myself being marked by another sad face. I also feared asking for help, because weakness, or not understanding, was just not okay. That sad face, to me, represented an emotion of disappointment, failure, stupidity, weakness, inadequacy. I'm sure many others who were/are graded with that type of system, it probes them to try harder- which I know that's what it is intended for- but it did no such thing for me. In fact, the exact opposite, it kind of strangled me.

Mom with Tenly

My wonderful mom, has always been very intuitive, she very quickly saw how I was retreating and beginning to give up and recognized the connection it had to school. Some may find it odd and petty that I, and others, would be so strongly effected by something as "simple" as a sad face- but my mom went with that gut feeling- that mom's know so well, and decided she would fight for my self esteem, self confidence, self worth, emotions, and education. She had many meetings with the teacher trying to help her understand that this grading system was having a very bad impact on me. Things changed, but I still dreaded going to that classroom, I honestly remember absolutely dreading it- as a 6 year old. I was held back in the first grade by my parents, and finally began flourishing during my second year in 1st grade with my teacher Mrs. Lay. She went over and beyond the call of duty making sure she would do what was within her power and ability to rebuild what had been crushed. I hope I am able to thank her one day for her kindness and willingness to make a difference, and not do what was easy, but she dig deep to find what would work.
Throughout my life, I have struggled with my self confidence and still do at times. Watching myself strive for attention and being eager to please is not a trait I am proud of. Sometimes, now in my mature 30's, I find myself standing on the side lines refraining from doing something or talking to someone because I fear it will be viewed as desperation or a need for attention. Did some of this stem out of deep rooted things that came from sad faces and humiliation in the 1st grade? Maybe it didn't, but I'm pretty confident it did. You know, I was hurt- just because the mark/scar that was placed on me could not be seen, does not mean it's not there.
I'm reflecting back on these not so pleasant memories because of a little situation we faced with Tenly this past week. I actually put it in my status on Facebook and was taken aback and enlightened on the feedback from it. Tenly was given a sad face, her second one of the year (she, to my surprise, was keeping count)- and her reaction to it scared me and pained me. The pain because it hurts to see your child hurt, and scared me because I feared watching her go through what I did. It pained me so badly to see my child hurt in that way, I had to leave the room more than once to cry myself- I could feel myself reliving it. If she wouldn't have had much of a reaction to it, I would of been proud that she saw it as an opportunity to try harder. But, to my dismay, that was not the case.
Tenly shared with me that at school she cried, was very sad and did not want to go back. (Now, keep in mind, that has never been the case and she adores her teacher.) When I questioned why, she began to cry as she explained she had received a sad face, her second one, and Mrs. C was disappointed and sad with her because she could not try hard enough. I began to encourage her and explained what Mrs. C had intended by giving her that sad face, and that we just needed to continue to try hard. All she kept processing was that Mrs. C was sad with her, and her "smart brain" could not try hard enough anymore.
While doing her homework later, we struggled for her to even put anything on the paper because it might be wrong and if it was wrong she would get another sad face. It got to the point that we left it and have continued to go back and try throughout the weekend, because she just could not get past the fear of a sad face. Mind you, in times past, Mrs. C typically writes "practice at home", "work on this skill", "needs more practice", "keep trying". Tenly has always responded very well to these notes, and embraces continuing to practice or work on whatever skill necessary.

A "You CAN Do It" moment

Many people thought/think I am blowing this out of proportion and making a bigger deal out of it than it is, because I am going to ask for a conference to brainstorm with Mrs. C a more appropriate way of grading Tenly, that will encourage her rather than discourage her. And, maybe I am making a big deal out of nothing, maybe I am reacting out of the fear of what I went through as a child. But, I am going to follow in my wise mother's footsteps and ask God to guide me as I ensure Tenly will have the education she needs to make her successful.
I may be an overprotective, panicky, petty, pain-in-the-butt, erring on the side of caution, Momma- but I can live with those titles for my kids. I would always rather be over cautious than under cautious.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


WELL, it is official....we are moving into a new apartment in 1 week!!!
I finally embraced that we would be moving, and started doing tons of research and phone calls to help Lupe out (prior to this, my denial left everything up to him). Last week, on Lupe's day off we hit the road with Gianna in tow to look at more apartments than I can count! I do know we were in and out of the car for over 6 hours.
Lupe ran across a place that looked to have potential, so the next day we all loaded up to go take a look. As we were driving over, Lupe looked at me and said we need to pray- sitting at the red light at Sunrise and Nob Hill, the whole family prayed for favor, guidance, and direction.
We walke into the model apartment, and I instantly liked it- not crazy about the kitchen- but I can handle  it. While Lupe was talking to the manager of the complex, she thanked him for being so kind and told him she was going to give him some more benfits on moving in. She waived the prorated rent for the month of January, gave us $300. off our move in costs, gave us $130. off the first months rent, and told us not to worry about paying a deposit until the day we move in. Believe me, we had spoken with so many complexes and none of them offered us this many discounts (if any at all). It was a huge blessing, I would say God definitely gave us favor!!
My girls are excited, although Tenly did say yesterday that she would miss this apartment- as will we all. It was our first home in this new season!!
Now, the packing has begun! The girls are so excited to help- they are doing a great job, but I do miss Sarah, Sandi, and Cat (and so many others) who helped me so much when we moved from Texas! It's been so much easier moving down the road, we will have about 4 days to get it all done little by little. 
I messaged my friend, Kim, to let her know we had found a place. She responded, asking if I was relieved. I really had not thought about it, as I was responding back to her- I realized just how relieved I truly was. Resistant is the only that will describe my initial response to moving. Now that a decision has been made, we have found a place we really like for the right price- I am so relieved!
It is no secret how much I despise change and fear the unknown- and this move fell into both of those categories. We had to move within weeks and there was not a place in sight- that really scard me. Although, I still do not love the fact we are moving- at least we know where we are going and we like the place (I may even like it more). We are also saving a significant amount of money that will give us a little more breathing room. 
I have to trust God in this, He knows what He's doing. We will be moving to a different school district, but we are hoping the school district will grant us reassignment for Tenly's current school.
Anyway, there are a couple of other things going on I want to post about, maybe in a couple of days!!
By the way, I wanted to post some pics of packing up the apartment- but my camera is not working! On the bright side- I just realized we have a warranty replacement plan- hopefully that's a great thing!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Totally Missed The Point

It suddenly HIT me last night....I had totally missed the whole point! I do not usually do posts so closely together, but after my sudden revelation last night- I had to write an update!
If you did not read my post from yesterday, I will do a little recap.
I'm in the process of starting a new Bible Study at church, Me, Myself, & Lies: A Thought Closet Makeover. The study challenges you to become aware of your thoughts and how they affect you in the different areas of your life. After the awareness, you are challenged to change your thinking into what God says and to disengage from worry, anxiety, and negativity.
That process brought me to realize how negative my thinking was and the reality that I saw myself as unimportant, useless, talentless, not needed/necessary. It was very disturbing and pretty much shook me to the core.  I could not believe I did not serve any purpose outside of a wife and mother- not that those are not important and celebrated- but I needed to be more.
That discovery and revelation of my thoughts felt like I slammed into a brick wall.
It was not until last night while I was cooking dinner that the light bulb suddenly went on! I was doing it again- letting my and what I believed to be others thoughts and opinions of me control me. The premise of this study is to replace the negative "stuff" with what the Word of God says.
Jeremiah 29:11 (the verse I've been "standing" on), says the complete opposite of what I have been feeling, not to mention the many more verses that I read, and read, and read!!
It's almost embarrassing to realize how I so easily almost missed it all only to begin spiraling downward again. I do not really know what my purpose, talent, usefulness, or importance is- but, I can say that I know I have one- huge difference!


I have mentioned Ann Voscamp in my posts before, but I wanted to tell everyone about The Joy Dare: Count 1000 Gifts in 2012 . It is also an opportunity to change your thinking. Everyday of 2012, you are challenged to be grateful for 3 things. Ann even has a "prompter" for every day to probe your thinking. It is a "Dare To Live Fully Right Where You Are". Wouldn't that be incredible, to embrace and enjoy every moment to the fullest- from doing laundry to a sweet a gift? At some point, maybe at the end of the year, I hope to have my list of 1000 gifts and may even put them in my blog. I hope some will join me and grow with me....

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Peeling Back The Layers Is Straight Up Ugly!

First, I will give a little up date on our situation. We are narrowing down our options on moving. We've pretty much decided we are going to move into another apartment for now, one that fits better with our finances. We have a couple we are choosing between. Continue to pray with us about the school zoning, we are believing that Tenly will be granted permission to stay at her current school even if it's outside our zoning. No, I have not started packing yet- waiting until we sign on the dotted line and it's official. Anyway....

The last couple days, I have not been the best person to be around. When I am "challenged"- by circumstances, my children, my husband- I just seem to break. It has not made me the easiest person to be around, to be honest. My frustrations are valid, by why do they seem to just knock me over?
One reason, I think, is because of some things I've uncovered...and I don't like it! I have begun reading through the book, "Me, Myself, & Lies", and it forces you to take a hard look at yourself.
There are many questions, in this study, about what I think of myself and how I view myself. After over analyzing the questions (as I do so well) and thinking way to long about my answers- I was a little shocked by what I saw as I pulled back some layers.
Words, such as: useless, needless, unimportant, untalented, failure, unsuccessful. Now, I am not saying all of this for attention and reassurance. Many people throughout my life have reassured me of everything opposite of those words- but for some reason I don't see what they see. I am at a place of having to reshape my mind to see and think what God sees.
I am a good mom and a good wife, but when my impatience and frustrations overwhelm me (as of lately), I no longer see a good mom/wife- I see an impatient emotional woman that no one wants to be around, including me. In those moments, it's easiest to just shut down and sleep or clean so I don't have to face "me".
I really want to discover what I am good at, what am I here for? I know I'm here to be Lupe's wife, and a mother to Tenly and Gianna. But, do I have any purpose outside of that?
I was asked a couple of weeks ago if I wanted to finish my teaching degree, my answer was, no. I do want to go back to school and have my degree in ...something. I have no idea what! Really, I do not know. That is so frustrating to me, to have no idea what I want to do. Is my purpose to throw myself into being a great Godly wife and mother?
I see different people and think to myself, WOW- they are so talented, what a great speaker, what an incredible athlete/singer/writer/dancer. I cannot fill in that blank for myself. What am I passionate about?- I'm not really sure.
Don't get me wrong- I know I am crafty, organized, and I do love being a wife/mother.
But, it was almost painful when I realized that what I tell myself probably more than anything is that I am not needed or necessary outside of wife and mother. I know deep down that that just cannot be true that I have no purpose outside of the obvious. So, I tried to try and think of where am I needed, where are my talents necessary, what am I so passionate about that it just oozes out of me, what desires drive me???? I could not come up with any answer to those questions.
Well, I am determined to grow beyond "this". I do know that God's Word and God's Plan for me does not include all of those words I listed above. As I made these disturbing realizations about myself, my first instinct was to close the book(s), shut off my thinking, and run. I was like, no wonder I am not successful- look at me- my thinking is so negative! It was just depressing realizing my thought process.
This is where I am beginning- but this is not the end. I am writing all of this to document this process, for myself- if it helps someone else, even better. To be honest, this was a very hard post for me- I am seconds from pressing delete- this is making me look just to transparent. Many of you may read this and be shocked by what I wrote- and that's fine- no need to write to tell me how backwards my thinking is (believe me, I know). Just pray for me and love me through this process- and you may need to be a little patient with me also, lol. Still standing on Jer. 29:11.