Thursday, January 20, 2011

Italy or bust!

There is so much to write about and unfortunately, it is very late here and i need to get to bed at some point soon. So, this might be short and sweet but hopefully it will get me up to date so i can start writing about life in Santa Marinella!

Planning an international move is not easy but i must say, im glad it only lasted two weeks and im so grateful for the help from my family, especiall my bro-in-law, juan, my mama, my best friend's hubby, alberto, laura, and greg. Yall made it so much more bearable...thank you!

My cousin, Liz, moved to San Antonio at the same time as me so we were able to have a joint "goodbye" party. It was at this cool place called the T&P Tavern in Fort Worth...its next door to the building where my dad worked for 17 years so its very special to me. Man, so many people came and i loved every minute of seeing everyone! It was a great way to take off...having seen so many people that i love so much.

My flights were fantastic...i hope all of my future flights are as good as the ones here! My flight from DFW to London seemed so quick...maybe because i slept for all but about 2 hours of it! I had only slept about 7 hours in the 3 days prior to my departure so i was exhausted! Luckily, i was in a bulk head row and had it all to myself! When i wasnt sleeping, i had a table to prop my iPad and watch a movie (Office Space) and even had a ledge to prop my feet...i felt like i was in first class! And i cant talk about my trip without sharing a gift that i received from my good friend, Nicole. She bought me a book that i love (Postsecrets) and forbade me to open it before i got on the plane...she even tied a tight bow with ribbon to make sure i wouldnt sneak a peek. (She knows me well...ha!) well, i couldnt wait to open it so as soon as i settled in my seat, thats the first thing i it! She had written notes for me throughout the entire book. It was so touching to me that she took the time to do this and so i (of course) cried. I read the entire book by the time i arrived to Rome...i was determined to! Thank you, Nicole. You made my plane ride so special! (Pics to follow soon.)

I arrived in Rome and after my luggage (yes, 3 large suitcases) arrived, i was greeted by Alvaro, the Genungs friend, who picked me up and took me to my new home! He was very nice and thank goodness for the little English he spoke or else we would have sat in silence for 45 minutes! When we arrived at the Genungs home, the kids were so excited! It made me so happy to finally see them! Kiki looks just precious pregnant and Matt still has "raspberry lips" (inside joke)! Alvaro's wife, Rosalba, was also waiting for me and had cooked a yummy cake and Kiki had bruschetta (my fav) and some other treats waiting for me. I couldnt believe that i was in Rome!

It has been so much fun being here...i just cant believe that this is my new home!!! I will wait until the next post to share about my time here. I am having trouble with the pictures too so i will add them later.

I love you all so much...thanks for sharing in my Roman experience with me! Ciao...for now!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I'm one weekend closer!

It is Sunday evening so I now only have one weekend left (and a couple of days) before I leave to Italy! I can hardly believe it!

This weekend consisted of moving toward the resolution of my car selling situation, shopping for warm clothes & boots & other necessities, and spending quality time with my family and some friends who I just do not see often enough. Last night, I went bowling with my sister, Sandi, her hubby, some friends, Kathy & Matt, and my cousin, Cindy. We had a great are a couple of pics that we took:

Our group...minus Cindy who took the pic

Kathy & Cindy...student & teacher

Sisters, sisters...

I love me some Sandi & Miguel!

The happy newlyweds
 I was really looking forward to today...Sandi & Michael had come into town so we could have one last day for all of us (minus the Genungs & papa, of course) to spend time together before I leave. I was totally spoiled and everyone made my favorite mama's enchiladas, arroz con pollo, my favorite salad, cheesecake lollipops and a La Madeleine fruit tart dessert, and we even had Grape coke to drink!  It was great to sit around and talk and watch the kids play for hours & hours...I will sure miss them! On top of such a great weekend, it snowed today! I woke up to see this view of our gazebo at my apartment complex:

I sure will miss hanging out with my neighbors here!
 I know you can't really see the snow too well...but I live in Fort Worth, I'll take what I can get!

By the next time I post, these are the items I would like to have checked off my "To Do" list:

* put my licensure on inactive status

* clean out one closet

* get luggage and begin packing

I'll keep you updated on my progress...wish me luck!

Friday, January 7, 2011

What a life!

I am sitting here in my nearly empty apartment in complete awe of the amazing (which doesn't even begin to describe it) life that I have been blessed with! I could go on and on and on about this but I'll save it for another time when I don't need to be in bed...perhaps on my plane ride to Italia? ;)

Yesterday brought about more confirmation that God is very much in control of this move and is paving my way straight to Santa Marinella! After approximately four (very long) months of trying to get out of my lease, I received confirmation that the new girl who was wanting to move in, will in fact be moving on February 17! I am so grateful that this is going to work out, for her sake and mine! I was grinning from ear to ear when I read that email from my just takes me one step closer to my exciting future that awaits me!

Then, I came home and helped my sister, Virginia, and my best friend, Ashlee load up what now looks like was the majority of my belongings. It was so fun to see their faces light up at their new furniture and other home items because I know that 1) they will enjoy it as much as I have, and 2) they will remember me when I am away (self-centered but true!) Here are a couple of photos from before and after:


One view of my living room

Blurry photo of dining room. This table and hutch were given to me by my parents and originally belonged to my paternal grandparents. Very special to me!

My kitchen

My pieced together bedroom. I never got around to decorating it. The print above my bed belonged to my dad from when he attended the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. Also very special to me!

(much worse quality photos taken on my phone)

Living room with much less furniture

Bedroom with no furniture and lots of piles.

What a mess! I have so much to do!

Well, I am learning that there are many perks to planning an international move. I'm sure more are on their way, but here are just two...

* Driving around in this city that I love so much, Fort Worth, and cherishing every view that I love so much...places that I have gone with family and friends, the museums that I love so much, the streets that I almost passed out on as I was running races, restaurants that exposed me to some amazing food of so many different cultures, showing people the building where my dad worked for 17 years and the gorgeous church (St. Patrick's Cathedral) that where he walked to for daily Mass (see photos below)

Outside view of St. Patricks Cathedral. About 5 minutes walking distance from my Pop's work.
Inside view of Cathedral. Going to church here makes me feel closer to my Papa. <3

* Spending quality time with everyone that I love so much and cherishing each moment with them! I have already begun my "goodbyes" with friends and I have just been blown away over and over and over again by how these people who have known me for a far shorter time than my family (who has to love me...ha) have expressed such love and joy for me and offered to help in any way that I need. It continues to boggle my mind! I feel the need to try to describe it but there are simply no words. You all just blow my mind. You will never know what this has meant to me.

Next on the agenda:

* Sell my car (all prayers are welcomed...this is a daunting task)

* Start cleaning out boxes

* Continue to get better

Ever since I returned from El Paso last Tuesday my throat has been bothering me but I woke up today and there was no doubt in my mind, I was sick! I'll spare you the details but after a trip to my doc, 2 shots in my booty, and a promise that I will be well by the time I board the plane, I already felt better and it has continued throughout the evening as well. In the words of XFT, "Thank you, Jesus!"

Stay tuned for more...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Only two weeks...

...and I will be on a plane headed to Rome!  January 18 is d-day!

Things seem to be falling into place...I resigned at work and bought my plane ticket!  I am getting rid of everything I own and have scheduled for the majority of my furniture to be gone by tomorrow. :) Other than that, I am just trying to wrap up loose ends...put my license on inactive status, finalize my move out of my apartment, plan to see family and friends, etc. Wow...this is so exciting but so much work! 

Well, I had an Eat Pray Love date with my fabulous friend, Rachel, and her oh so handy hubby, Brandon (who was totally watching the movie with us while "working" in the kitchen) and they started to ask me about where I will live. I didn't even know!!! I've been so busy, I had not even looked up the town I am moving after a quick google search, look where I will live...

Could it be any more amazing?!? I think I can handle giving up Costa Rica for life in Santa Marinella!

The support that I have received is amazing...thank ya'll for being so wonderful. You make me smile. :) If I could please request some extra prayers...I am hoping to get out of my apartment before February and sell my car with little trouble and very little cash ;-) so those prayers are greatly appreciated!

Genungs, prepare yourselves...Tia Wetwi is on her way very soon!!!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A new year...a new mission!

Happy New Year!
If you are reading this, it is most likely because you are a special friend or family member of mine. So, first of all, thank you all so much for all of your prayers, cards, phone calls, etc. during that time when my dad was sick, passed away, and the period of adjustment after. Your love and support was so powerful and got me and my family through a very difficult time. I cant even believe that its been almost a year and a half since my sweet Pop passed away. It feels like yesterday but at the same time it feels like FOREVER ago! I miss him so much but I think I handled it as well as could be expected (most of the time). I started working again in February, moved out of my mom's house into a wonderful apartment complex in Fort Worth (with the best neighbors ever) in July , and continued working on my PhD. I just tried to get back to life as normal but something had changed. I couldnt really put my finger on it and I kept trying different things in the hopes that i would feel like i did before Pop died. It didn't work. So, i had a realization in September...I was no longer passionate about the things that I loved so much PhD, counseling, etc. On the day that i realized this, I decided to take a break from school and do the only thing that made sense...I wanted to move!!! It's funny how things work out because a good friend and "household sister" from Franciscan University, Mary Byers, called me and came to see me on that day...she is a traveling nurse and was temporarily living in Fort Worth just minutes from where I live. God knew I needed her in my life at that very moment and she was such a great support to me as I started my plans to move away. Although I was open to any international country, I decided that Costa Rica was the place that I wanted to go and started making plans...I felt so rejuvenated and excited about my new journey! I had planned to move this month (January 2011) but things were not falling into place as quickly as I had hoped so I bought a plane ticket and planned to visit Costa Rica at the end of this month to interview for jobs and hopefully find a place to live. Well, God had different plans for me...

I woke up yesterday (New Years Day) to a phone call from my mom telling me to pray for my sister, Cristina, who lives outside of Rome because she started having early contractions and has been placed on bedrest until her baby girl is due in May. I instantly knew that I had a new mission...I needed to move to Italy to help her. I called my sister and told her what I was thinking. She was relieved saying that they did not know how they were going to find help with their three kids and said that this would help them out a lot. There are two lessons that I feel that I learned from my dad's passing...1) everything happens for a reason, and 2) no matter what the situation, trust in God. I know that God had prepared me to move out of the country exactly for this reason...Costa Rica will always be there and when the time is right, I will move or visit there...but for now, I need to go to Italy!

I know that this will be hard and challenging at times but I also trust that God will take care of me and provide for me while I am there. I am planning to leave in just two short weeks...just long enough to finish up at work, get rid of all my belongings, and pack up! I am really excited to travel around Europe, eat the most delicious Italian food (and learn to cook it), learn some Italian, and get to know my nieces and nephews there on a more personal level! 

I feel so blessed right now...God has taken such great care of me and I know He will continue to until my next mission! Please pray for my sister, the health of her unborn baby girl, her husband, and their 3 little kiddos while they adjust to life with a mommy stuck in bed...and please pray for me as I prepare to move abroad!

Besides getting back on Facebook, I have decided to blog while I am overseas so that you can read about all of the predicaments I get myself into as I adjust to life in Italia! I hope to stay in touch with yall and I pray that 2011 treats yall as well as its already treated me!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone!

This was a great Easter...even though we were missing so many family members.  :(  Pati & her new lil family stayed home because she hasn't been feeling too well.  They are trying to adjust to life with a newborn baby.  Karolina is just precious but is not yet on a feeding schedule.  Kiki, Matt, & the kiddos are in Italia but luckily, Matt's family is visiting so they are having a grand ole time with them!  This was our first Easter with our Papa :(  but we talked about him so much.  We talked about previous Easters with him and talked about how the mess the kids made would drive him c-r-a-z-y!  My, was he predictable! 

This was a good Lenten season for me...I did pretty well at giving up sweets and Facebook. I did cheat a couple of times, I won't lie...but I did try!  I really tried to pay attention to what Lent is really about and keep Jesus' sacrifice for me in mind as I wanted to complain or get upset about small things. 

I was thinking that it would be nice to continue giving something up each month...I'll have to keep thinking about it & get back to ya'll.  :)

Have a great week!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Well, hello again...

I realize that it has been quite a while since I wrote on this blog...I honestly don't even know where to pick up! :-/ Well, here is a short list of the major events:

1 - I moved in with my mom Thanksgiving weekend. It has worked out pretty well since she has been trying to adjust to the house without my dad. And since I quit my job when my dad was sick, it has really helped to not have rent to pay!

2 - The Christmas holidays were a little strange without my dad but we are all sure that he had something to do with the beautiful snow we got on Christmas Eve!

3 - I am still in school! I am sure that is no surprise to anyone but wow, this semester has been a doozy! I am taking two classes, Family Systems and Family Financial Counseling, and although I have really enjoyed them, these classes have been extremely demanding! Only one month left...

4 - I started working at Mental Health Mental Retardation of Tarrant County and I am working with adults with mental illnesses and provided psycho-social rehabilitation to them. It is both similar and different than all other jobs I have had but I am really enjoying it so far.

Well, I think that is pretty much it! I feel like my life has really just been consumed by work, school, and trying to get into a workout routine again.

I am about to turn 30 and I cannot believe it! April 24 is approaching much too quickly and because the funds do not allow for a vacation, I am trying to figure out what else to do. Whatever it is, I really hope that I am able to relax and spend time with my friends & family I love so much!

Other than that, I will share with you that my sister, Pati, had a baby yesterday! Karolina Elizabeth was 9 lbs 11 ounces and 19 1/2 inches. She is just precious and has been such an easy baby so far! She was born just in time for Easter so I am sure she will be the highlight of our Easter get together this year!

Well, I guess I will end this here for now. I really hope to continue writing so I promise that I will work on it. I hope that you are all doing well and enjoying 2010 so far!