OCTOBER, I’M BACK!

Apple picking, fall

Hello guys!

After being absent for quite a while, I’m so happy to say that I’m back for fall! A new season is a promise of so many possibilities and new adventures, and you know what really puts me in a fall mood? Apple picking!

Last weekend I got my plaid shirt out of the closet and visited an apple orchard for the very first time. Now I totally understand why so many people are obsessed with it – it’s the perfect way to kick off fall! My family and I headed out to a lovely farm located in a little town in Wisconsin, and we had an incredible day. The sun was out and the air was crisp but yet warm since it rained the day before. It was amazing to be able to savor the scenery, to step on crunchy and colorful leaves, and to capture the moment with pictures. However, my favorite part was when I jumped up on Dan’s shoulders and risk my life to pick up the best ripe apples (okay, maybe I’m being a little dramatic here, but I was seriously convinced I would have an epic fall when I was up there). I’m actually not a big fan of apples – or any typical fall recipe that contains the word “pie” or “cinnamon” in its title really -, so I’m still trying to figure out what to do with so many of them (any suggestions?).

After the adventure in the orchard, we went to check out the farm’s market where we picked up some fresh vegetables and Dan and my in-laws enjoyed a fresh cup of cider and homemade apple cider donuts. It was such a wonderful time. Now I can’t wait to go to a pumpkin patch!

Apple picking, fall

Apple picking, fall

Apple picking, fall

Yael Serena

Apple picking, fall

Apple picking, fall

Apple picking, fall

Apple picking, fall

Apple picking, fall

Apple picking, fall

Apple picking, fall

Apple picking, fall

Apple picking, fall

Apple picking, fall

Apple picking, fall

Apple picking, fall

Apple picking, fall

Apple picking, fall

Apple picking, fall

pumpkins, fall, halloween

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Happy fall everyone! 🙂

 

feet from shore

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HAT SPECTACLE

Yael Serena

This was probably the funniest part of going to the horse races last Saturday – to try on some crazy and fancy hats! I still don’t understand how the people in charge of the store didn’t kick us out; we literally spent more than 20 minutes grabbing the hats, playing with them and laughing out loud. The store wasn’t too big, so I’m sure everybody was looking at us in a veeery awkward way. But hey, when you’re being a kid and having fun, who cares what people think? 😉

 Hats

Yael Serena

Hat

Hats

Yael Serena

Sorry for this goofy and nonsense post, I promise next one will be better! Which hat is your favorite, btw? 🙂

Have a nice day!

 

feet from shore

MY ROCKS

Mom & Grandma

Today is Mother’s Day in Spain, an official day to honor the women who brought us to this world; although I like to think that every day is their day. There is something very special about moms; their unwavering love and devotion make us all share one same thought. I’m sure that when we think about them, we all genuinely believe that we’ve got the best mom we could have ever asked for. They are our biggest fans, our biggest supporters, our rocks in life. They just can’t be replaced.

I’m lucky to say that I have the privilege to have more than one rock, since I’ve always considered my sweet grandma my second mother. I find it difficult to say what they mean to me in just a few sentences; because they are, plain and simple, EVERYTHING. They both were, and still are, dedicated to giving my siblings and I tools to help us live happy and fulfilling lives; and they are always there supporting our dreams and aspirations.

Living away from them is surely the most difficult thing I have to face every single day. Part of my head and heart is always there with them, wishing to live closer to be able to feel their warmth. They mean home and comfort to me, my moms are always where my home is. They are my dearest friends; when no one is listening and nothing seems right, I run to them.

My mom and grandma are love, kindness, courage, generosity, sweetness and beauty all wrapped into two tiny bodies. When people tell me that I remind them of my moms, I am honored. They are my inspiration, and I can simply not imagine a life without them.

I love them so much.

 

Hoy es el Día de la Madre en España, un día oficial para honrar a las mujeres que nos trajeron a este mundo; aunque me gusta pensar que cada día es su día. Las madres representan algo muy especial, su amor inquebrantable y devoción hace que todos compartamos un mismo pensamiento. Y es que cuando pensamos en ellas, cada uno de nosotros creemos que son mejores de lo que nunca hubiéramos podido pedir. Ellas son nuestras mayores fans, nuestras mayores admiradoras, nuestros pilares en esta vida. Ellas son, simplemente, irremplazables.

En mi caso, tengo el privilegio de tener más de un pilar, ya que siempre he considerado a mi dulce abuela cómo mi segunda madre. Me resulta difícil explicar en pocas frases lo que significan para mi; porque ellas son, simple y llanamente, TODO. Siempre se han dedicado, y aun lo hacen, a darnos a mis hermanos y a mi herramientas que nos ayuden a vivir una vida feliz y satisfactoria; y están siempre ahí animándonos a seguir nuestros sueños y aspiraciones.

Vivir tan lejos de ellas es, sin duda, lo más difícil que tengo que enfrentar cuando me levanto todos los días. Gran parte de mi cabeza y corazón siempre está ahí con ellas, deseando vivir más cerca para ser capaz de sentir su calor y cariño.  Significan hogar y confort para mí, dónde sea que ellas estén, esa es mi casa. Son mis mejores amigas, cuando nadie me escucha y todo parece caer en picado, siempre acudo a ellas.

Mi madre y mi abuela son amor, bondad, coraje, generosidad, dulzura y belleza todo recogido en dos cuerpos diminutos.  Cuando la gente me dice que les recuerdo a ellas, me siento orgullosa. Son mi inspiración, y jamás podría imaginarme una vida sin ellas.

Las quiero tanto…

 

Serena Paredes

Mom & Grandma

Mom

“A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.” – Tenneva Jordan

 

feet from shore

EASTER RECAP – A toast to new traditions

Easter

Life has been so crazy lately. I know I’ve been saying that for a while now, but it’s the truth. There is a big project I’m working on that is consuming literally all my time. I don’t want to use that as an excuse to justify my lack of presence here though. I’m the one who constantly says that there is always a way to make time for the things that are important to you.  But when you spend most of your day cooped up in a room working on something you need, and still want to be a good daughter, wife and friend to the people you love, something has to give. As much as I hate to say this,  that “something” has been my blog. It hasn’t been easy, there are a lot of things that I miss about blogging. Since I started, this has been my little space where I let myself be creative, share my personal stories and photography, and connect with strangers that somehow I started caring about (that is probably what I like the most about all of this, if you ask me).
I know the storm will pass (hopefully soon!), and when it does, I’ll be back as active as I used to be here.  In the meantime, I really appreciate your understanding and patience friends.

Easter was a much-needed day, a moment of relaxation where I didn’t have to worry about work or deadlines. It felt so good to be fully present in the moment, enjoying a delicious meal and quality time with my loved ones. Earlier in the week, my sister-in-law brought home a whole bunch of eggs and an egg decorating kit to dye them. I’ve never done this before, so I was as excited as a little kid would be! We decorated them as animals, and I feel like we were able to give every single one of them some personality! We laughed a lot and made fun of each other’s creations, coming up with goofy-egg names that made us laugh even harder. Oh… I just love moments like this!

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Easter

Easter

Easter

Easter

Easter

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Easter

Easter

Easter

Easter

I hope you guys had a wonderful Easter full of good memories with your family! 🙂

 

feet from shore

 

HEY LOOK, I GOT A FISH!

Fishing in Chicago

The weather was wonderful in Chicago this past weekend – it was actually nice to be outside! We were debating whether to go to the zoo or fishing with my in-laws, and since they preferred the latter, we went for it. I’d never been fishing before, so I thought it would be cool to try something new and see if I liked it. And I certainly did!

We started the day off by going to get our licenses and some bait. It is crazy how many things you have to take into account when you are going fishing – choose the right hook, the right bait, the right bobber, etc. Thank God Michelle knew what she was doing and decided for us.
Our initial plan was to go to Lake Michigan, but one of the salesmen recommended we go to Busse Lake in Elk Grove and we followed his advice. The area was very nice, even though it was a little bit crowded when we got there.

Dan and I were terrible with the fishing pole; so we had to spend most of our time untangling the fishing line instead of catching bluegills. It was the perfect excuse to make fun of each other though. Alex and Michelle were awesome, and they caught a fish every 2 minutes at least!

Overall, it was such a fun experience and I can’t wait to learn more about it!

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

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Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

And you guys, have you tried to do something out of the ordinary this past weekend? Have you ever gone fishing? If so, did you like it?

I hope you are having a great start of the week!

feet from shore

SWEET UNCLE

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Today all my thoughts are with my lovely uncle Ico, who is having heart surgery. I wish I could be there holding his hand in this rough moment, but it warms my heart to know that my mom and grandma are taking good care of him.

Ico is the most joyful person I’ve ever known; it’s hard to not be happy when he is around. He always welcomes everybody with a warm hug and a sweet smile, his love is so pure, unconditional and special. I grew up playing and watching cartoons with him, he was to me the old brother I’ve never had. I remember he always tried to protect me from getting hurt, held my hand while we walked around the city or asked me to stop in front of the crosswalks. I am pretty sure he is probably the person that has taught me the most valuable lessons in life. Thanks to him I have the ability to empathise with others, to be kind to strangers, to not judge anybody for their appearance, to not be afraid or shy to show my love for people or animals, to live in the moment, and to enjoy the little things. He made me a better human being, and I’ll always feel blessed for having him in my life.

linia about me page

“When you focus on someone’s disability you’ll overlook their abilities, beauty and uniqueness. Once you learn to accept and love them for who they are, you subconsciously learn to love yourself unconditionally.” — Yvonne Pierre

“Often people ask, “How can you say you’re blessed to have a son with Down syndrome?” My outlook on life has forever changed. I see my own challenges differently. He’s always showing me that life is so much bigger than self.” — Yvonne Pierre

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BACK TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE OCEAN

live your dreams

Hello friends! I’m back to the States after a long 24 hour trip. I hope you had a fabulous week-after-New Year as we’re all easing back into regular life.

To be honest, I’m a little bit sad that I can’t be in Spain right now – January the 6th is a special day in my country. Known as “El Dia de los Reyes” (Three Kings Day), this holiday represents the height of the Christmas season. My family always get together to enjoy a delicious meal that ends with a special King’s cake dessert known as “Roscón de Reyes“. This year my dad decided to make one himself –  I can’t imagine how good that must have been!

These weeks at home with my family have been so special, and getting back to my life here in the US is going to take a lot of strength. Each day I realize more how important it is to me to be close to the people I love, and it hurts so much to know that I’m missing time with them right now. Today, more than ever, I have to remind myself the reasons why I am here, the goals I want to accomplish and be positive about the future. I know one day everything will fall in place, and until that happens, I have no option but to keep fighting for the things I want.

Here there are some of my favorite pictures I took of my family during the holidays. As I already said yesterday at the airport with tears on my eyes, I love you guys so much. Every single one of you.

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 Have a great day!
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