Little sunshine

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Just love. That’s all I feel for this beautiful little person. It amazes me to think that at some point in time we all were THAT cute.

I wonder what goes through her mighty mind, what she thinks of us, what she wonders. Her eager eyes are consuming the universe around her at a speed only matched by light. Little babbles have turned into sweet “mama” and “daddy” (I melt). Her fingers try to imitate mine as we sing itsy bitsy araña…she applauds her own effort prompting the same response from her audience. Does she know just how adorable she is?

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It will soon be a year since her arrival into our world (weird expression since she was so real in my world long before her birth). A year that feels like a year and a half because of its many long nights…yet, it has gone by so fast. A year in which I have slowly grown into the woman who lovingly answers the call when she says “mama”.

I am Karol, mother of Ava, mother of two crazy puppies, wife of the awesome Garrett Feldman. I am blessed and content…I am in love with my little love…soon to be one year old.

PK

3 years of life in the country.

A little trip to the Virgin Islands

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Beach day with my love

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Wish you were here

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Afternoon with my baby

Family vacation officially started 24 hours ago when we all met at Saint Thomas’ airport. Sun, beaches, green hills…the contrast with the below freezing temperatures and snowy days we left behind is rather brutal.

We are staying in a beautiful villa in Caret Bay. The views are stunning! Making our way up the windy, poorly paved roads…not so fun. Thankfully Garrett has taken up the challenging job of driving out car, which by the way has to be done on the other sign of the road. As if not being able to tell my right from my left wasn’t bad enough.

The island itself is not as pretty as I expected. It’s pretty, but the roads are in poor condition, the way construction is laid out takes some getting used to and some of the areas of town we have seen appear to be very ran down. a

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Our deck view

Our first adventure led us to Coki Beach. Beautiful place! The crystal turquoise water made it one of the best beaches I have seen. Ava got her feet wet a few times but overall seemed more interested in hanging out with me than playing in the water.

The issue with the beach, sadly, are the endless and spicy quarrels amongst the people serving tourists. They fight over customers with very salty words and loud tones. It got to the point where we did not want to order anymore because things escalated very fast.

We are done grocery shopping, expensive, and heading back to our villa to have dinner and more rum…rum is so cheap, we might be better off drinking rum than drinking milk.

Hope the night sky is as beautiful as it was yesterday.

I don’t have to dwell in the future

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January 1, 2016…the new year had just rang when my angel said ‘mama’ for the first time. She said it in front of 3 people, daddy included. There was no denying, I was starting 2016 with my title officially announced by my baby. Talk about joy!

Parenting is a lot of things (in my short experience), but perhaps the three that I think about the most are: awesomeness, responsibility and reward. I am baffled by the speed at which my baby has grown. Whatever happened to my little sleepy kitten?

Ava is barely 7 months old and already sits, stands, crawls and takes steps while holding onto objects. When did this happen? It is awesome and rewarding to see this little human cub become a person of her own…one who calls me mom.

I am always thinking of the future…it keeps me going. I need to envision, visualize, dream, plan, device the future then talk about it, then make it happen. That energizes me. That keeps me going. I need to be in the future at all times.

Not too long ago something struck me. I don’t think too much about Ava in the future. I think about work in the future. Garrett and me in the future. Life in general in the future…but not Ava. I worried. Was this a defense mechanism in case something happened? After all, raising a human is a task you embrace a day at a time. Was I afraid of dreaming up a future that might not come? Where was my faith? Did I not want that future? Then the answer came to me.

I don’t think too much about Ava in the future because for the first time in my life the present is overwhelmingly perfect…and I want to enjoy it, savor it, make it mine. I want the present to slow down, I want the past to come back and hang out for a while. I want the present to linger, because it’s perfect.

For the first time in my adult life the present is where I want to be. She keeps me going. I am in love with that little one who calls me mom.

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PK

The salt of my earth

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Celebrating my Andean roots

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I could have never imagined the vast glory of motherhood. Since my daughter’s birth I have experienced a range of emotions I didn’t even know existed. I have learned to survive on little sleep and to celebrate it all, because this is a fleeting season in our journey as mother and daughter.

I adore her…she has added so much flavor to my already flavourful life. She is the salt of my earth…and her daddy is my pepper.

I am a lucky gal🙂

PK…still enjoying life in the country.

Early motherhood lesson

3 weeks of motherhood in summary: I am learning every day and my teacher weighs a little under 8 pounds and expects me to know today’s curriculum yesterday. Keeps me on my toes.

A lesson I would like to share with expecting and future mothers: if you plan on breastfeeding do your homework in advance. During pregnancy everyone shares glorious and downright scary labor stories. Labor lasts a few hours, a day or two…it’s such a big event, it’s only natural people want to talk about it (a lot). I was frequently asked if I was going ‘natural’, did I want an epidural, did I take lamaze  classes, etc.

No one really talked about the biggest hurdle I would face postpartum. Not lack of sleep or the scary thought of being 100% responsible for this tiny angel. The biggest challenge I have faced thus far has been breastfeeding. I didn’t know this was a skill that had to be learned. Didn’t know pain and endurance were part of the mix.  I didn’t know there was a thing called ‘proper latch’ and failure to do this could result in cracked and sore nipples. Breastfeeding can be hard and when not done properly extremely discouraging.

Thankfully, I’ve had access to great resources; a lactation consultant, a great book, good websites and my ever patient husband. I want to especially thank two ladies who have encouraged me, answered questions in the middle of the night, shared their own struggles and victories, and helped me get over the very hard, first few days of my breastfeeding relationship with Ava.

Christine & Lorena: THANK YOU! I am so glad I haven’t given up. I love seeing Ava’s big brown eyes staring at me as she eats…there’s nothing sweeter than the smile that comes after she falls asleep with a full belly. We are enjoying it a day at a time🙂

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Update: our baby is almost 2 months old now and breastfeeding is going great. The pain is behind and I am so glad we have overcome the different challenges that have presented along the way.

Day at the dog park

Spring has sprung! Time to enjoy the outdoors with our beloved four-legged friends. It’s also a great opportunity to dust my camera and try to learn to use it beyond auto mode.

Here’s what I got yesterday afternoon🙂

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Big smile and ears fly free

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Eyes on the ball

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Awkward doggie hug

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My ball, my ball, my ball

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Agility and beauty

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Playing tag...you're it!

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Just because

What have 30 years on this planet taught me?

Hawaii 2015

Hawaii 2015

I have learned that what I do doesn’t define who I am…what I do, reflects who I am. I am capable of creative genius, I make mistakes, I have great days, I have bad days, but none of this takes away the fact that I am a great human being.

Self awareness is very important. I like feeling awake and aware of myself and my surroundings. This sounds silly, but so many times we walk through life breathing and going through a routine as if following a script…unaware.

I have no major regrets in life…sure there are some episodes I would do away with if I could travel in time, but for the most part my life is one I have enjoyed. I have learned exciting and sometimes profound truths along the way.

There is not one thing I would change about my teenage years. My late teens and early twenties comprise the most selfless and productive season of my life thus far. I am still reaping the fruit of a time invested in others. Some of my greatest memories involve a group of brilliant kids whom I will always treasure in my heart, la generacion JET. I learned that we are designed by God with a very specific purpose, we are equipped with very specific gifts to reach this purpose and we can only experience fulfillment while walking in that purpose. I learned the beauty of mission and commission.

My 20s were awesome! I can think of cheesy phrases like: ‘the world is my oyster’ or ‘the sky is the limit’ to summarize what this decade has meant to me. I have learned to reevaluate where I stand and accept that success has many shapes and forms. I have learned to be grateful for everything. I remember being 22, it was a special year in my life: my horizons broadened as I discovered a new continent, a new language, a new side of me. 25 brought a new sense of independence which we know as “having my own place”…this also brought a new level of responsibility called “paying my own bills”…and I survived.

I am resourceful, I am creative, I am beautiful, I am a storyteller, I am a dreamer, I make things happen, I cry, I laugh too loud, I love sunflowers. I photograph my dogs way too much. I would paint my world orange if possible. I love the ocean…I am a lousy swimmer. I have the best parents on earth, my brother will always be my baby, my sister will always be my rock. I am married and deeply in love with Garrett. I feel nostalgic about the past and excited about the future because of the wonders it will bring us.

I have understood that it is not God’s will for us to make painful mistakes. I don’t like when people say: “it was God’s will for me to lead this or that lifestyle so I could share my experience today”. I believe we were given free will and the tools to choose wisely, but we choose differently, knowingly. Because we have an insatiable curiosity, or because at some point our heart rebels…and this is human nature. We make use of our free will and venture into places not intended for us, and we are hurt, and we are broken…and we grow and we learn, and we are saved from ourselves and brought back to a place of stillness so we may hear the voice of God again. And in His infinite mercy and wisdom our pain is turned into valuable experience we can now share with others…no father wills pain upon His children.

I have learned forgiveness. I have been forgiven and I have forgiven. Forgiveness is possibly the biggest treasure and truth I have encountered in my 30 years on this earth, and the truth has set me free. Nothing weighs and damages a heart more than lack of forgiveness. Lack of forgiveness is an ugly, greenish purplish, gooey monster that takes hold of our heart and our mind, and our liver, and our gut, and our all; and unless it is expelled from the very core of our being bitterness and sickness set in. The one thing I have strived to keep pure (mistakes and all), has been my heart. This I consider to be the noblest war I can fight…the war to keep my heart free and pure so that I may love and multiply in others.

As I look into the future I think of a little greeting card my sister gave me when we were teenagers…it said: –My future is so bright, I gotta wear shades-. I believe this, and not because I am so awesome and deserve it (deserving is such a funny word)…but because of a mercy and a love I cannot put into words.

Ecclesiastes 7:14: In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.

My 30th year on earth will bring the best gift ever and my heart is overjoyed. My daughter, Princess Ava. I love her so much already.

I am Princess Karolita, daughter of the Most High King.

Happy birthday to me!

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