Tag Archives: growth

The journey Forward

My nose is familiar with the scent here. The thick, humid, salty air that wraps exposed skin in sticky warmth; even in February, it is as if summer is right on my heels. I have yet to feel the sand between my toes or see the crashing Gulf of Mexico sea on the horizon, but I remember how it feels to be here and await my return there with the morning light.

The drive down was entirely thoughtful and, as I mentally organized my goals for this journey, visions in my mind were vivid – I know exactly what I need to do.

I often long for the familiar rush of creativity coursing through my veins but it seems life and time, in normal day-to-day, doesn’t always lend itself to such a luxury as to sit and explore it – as I drove on through dusty ranch towns and veered around port cities it became clear to me: I must use this time to write.

There are several key aspects to this venture but I feel the need to be transparent as I dive in; to first explain that, if I am successful, the next several days will find me here, naked as I unearth the inner-most core of my history, my walk with God, and my desires to change the nature of my conscious thoughts from cynical to hopeful… No small feat, any of this. I come to these keys fully exposed, willingly, but it is not without trepidation, because in committing to this, I must not fear.

Fear you, dear reader. Fear forgiveness as I seek to walk in time and space with Jesus to know Him better, if for the first real time in my life. Fear that I will be too honest, and peel away too much, and in doing so, give away parts of my most personal struggles to these white blank pages, and to anyone willing to read them once I am finished. Fear to fail – that this time away will not be fruitful because I will convince myself I cannot do this – and I will leave here with my creative venture dead in vain.

Leaving my family, I cried for a good long while. It took me a while to figure out exactly why, but I realized somewhere along the way, on a long empty stretch of highway, that I have attached myself to the identity of wife and mother so strongly that I have, perhaps, forgotten how to truly be alone. I must face, more than anything else, the person I see when I look in the mirror. Here, I cannot blame a messy house on my sour mood. I cannot pick a fight with my husband over politics nor can I lump over on the couch after bedtime bemoaning my three children for how exhausted this day has been. I have nobody here, nobody else to “blame” for whatever supposed unhappiness or discontent that may arise. Just me.

In the coming days, I will write about my most personal struggles. About my mother and Tim and the thousand emotions tied into that time of my life. About having to share Layla with her father half the time, and all that pours into my guilt because of her situation. About coming to terms with what I did with my marriages, and how I have used one very meaningful avenue of my history – of love – as the ultimate reason why I have not been truly peaceful for a long time… I will attempt to dig into how I view the world, and walk through compassion, empathy, and personal awareness as I navigate what I believe, and expect fully to also deal with anger, doubt, and concern over our future as a nation – but ultimately, I hope to arrive at a place of understanding what I value most and thus may go boldly ahead, whatever that means.

I set out on this path because I needed to stop. To stop and realize that this is my life, and I am not living it the way I am meant to. I feel it in my bones. I have for a long while. I have been so good at excusing my self-induced misery and put on a brave face for the world, but the truth is, God knows I need this – and He ordained this time so that I can, indeed, get to the heart of the me He wants me to be.

I want to say thank you to my supportive and encouraging husband without whom this time here would not have come to pass. He tenderly looked into my eyes and assured me it was okay – to have these days to reflect, and know what the right next steps for my – and our life together – are. He wants me to dig deep and seek how to use each day as the gift that it is, and let me go with nothing but happiness in his heart that the woman he loves gets an amazing opportunity for growth.

If you don’t care to know my heart, or fear that my vulnerability and honesty may offend you, or know that your first instinct is not to understand what’s behind it, but instead quickly judge what I feel, when I divulge personal details about my belief systems, and point of view, or even if me talking about my first love and how I’ve spent all these years coming to terms with what happened there just makes you uncomfortable, then please, do not read my writing over the next couple of days. Do not read it, but instead, perhaps wish me well, whatever I may be doing. . .

After all, this is my journey. This is my story – nobody else, not a single earthly being, can look at this and tell me what I feel about my life is wrong – but me, and God. So, to Him, I walk, from the most core of me. Raw. Open. And ready…

The Truth in my Broken Spirit

b4117885913da8c841298b5adf9fb22f

I am failing.

Every. Single. Day.

My heart is not pure. My mind is worse. My flesh is torn with old scars and I have no problem slashing them open again and again with a knife of longing for something I lost. I have a quick-tempered tongue, and a wayward tendency to always want something else.

I am not in the Word – not as much as I could be. My history distracts me from believing that I can involve myself in more than what immediately satisfies me. A learned behavior pattern from my youth, but it wasn’t always this hard…

When I was a small child, I remember vividly having a fire for the Lord. I did. It was important to me. It mattered. I shared it with my friends. I sat at my father’s feet and listened to him and my mother recite scripture and then explain its application to our young lives. I believed in God not as a supernatural being but as a tangible friend in my heart.

I lost this. Some time ago. With age comes a million wide roads, and I had no problem walking those instead of the narrow path that drew me close to God.

Sometimes, I think about this – I remember a skinny brown-eyed-girl with long legs and a brave, pleasing heart – I remember her and I weep. I remember that God sewn in my spirit an evangelical gift and I shared my faith with people confidently. A child, with little exposure to a world beyond Vancouver Washington… I wanted to share what I knew to be true, with no fear. I had purpose. I had knowledge of who I was, and who I wanted to be… I just needed stability, and people to believe in me, and keep showing me the way.

What happened to me? Where did that child go?

In the time since my childhood I’ve seen my parent’s divorce when I was in 5th grade because my mom wanted to be someone else, with someone else. I looked around me and from what was a family with two parents and their five children in one home, I could not recognize the two new lives they both led, and watched the utter abandonment of my parents to their children as they themselves tried to reconcile this new experience.

With this came me seeking approval and love outside of my two homes and halfway through my adolescence I found comfort in the arms of way too many boys. Sexual promiscuity became my identity, under an easily penetrable guise of self-confidence – my parents weren’t watching so they missed it entirely; I was lost, completely, and wanted love so badly that I reached for it wherever I could grasp, at the incredibly devastating expense of my self-worth – though I hid that part deep inside.

From that, I obviously struggled in school… It was my last priority, but deeper than this, nobody noticed how I was struggling. They just … did not care. I think about this now and I have begun in this moment to tear up. I was still a child – their child – God’s child… But I felt nothing but alone. I remember a counselor pulling me aside in 11th grade. He asked me what my plan was to recover my GPA so that I could graduate. I just started crying because he was literally the first person to notice. I went home that day and tried to talk to my mom but instead of help me, she got angry – I guess because I was a disappointment taking the same path she and my father did. That was the first time I was kicked out of my house…

After the first semester of my senior year, it was clear I could not recover and instead of fight for me, and try and figure it out, my mom walked into my high school and withdrew me. Against the advise of the principal, and counselors literally shaking their heads at her. I walked around school that day, my last day, with hidden tears and a smile as I said goodbye to my friends. My gosh I still cry even now, in this moment, because I remember it so well. The humiliation. The devastation. The feeling that I had failed and it was all my fault. I feel anger now because I think of Layla – she is struggling right now in 2nd grade. She is in several programs, counseling, and we hired a tutor. Because that’s what you do – you, the parents, don’t stand back and watch your child fail – I would never allow that, and I am still not sure why my parents did. This part of my history I don’t talk about, and few people actually know this, because I have spent all this time feeling so ashamed of this, but the older I get, and as I mother my own children, I realize it was NOT my fault – not entirely. I could have went the other way and buckled down in school, I know that, but all around me at home it just didn’t matter – nobody showed me it was worth it. At least not until it was too late and I was made to feel like a failure…

Shortly after my last day of high school, I got my first job working at Papa Murphy’s Pizza. I moved out on my own, and life moved on… Entirely different from how I had long imagined it would. Three years after this I said goodbye to my mother at the age of 39 because alcohol is a cruel beast and she could no longer fight it off… One month after that day, I boarded a plane and left everything I knew behind. Devastated. Lost, entirely. The man I moved to I barely knew, we met barely a month before my mom died, and my heart still loved another with everything I had, but I left anyway – I had no other choice.

Through all of this time, I can remember periods of time I would feel God pulling on my heart. I would know it was Him – with certainty – but I ignored it. I had failed. In countless ways. The little girl I had been was lost underneath the weight of my guilt and disappointment and sadness. I was more angry than faithful… How could He let all of this happen, hadn’t I once served Him, even in my childlike innocence and lack of knowledge of the world He put me into?

I am almost 33 now. Twice divorced, two of my children have different last names from each other and from me. Three daughters that call me Mama, and it is my charge from God to lead them, to guide them to Truth. To dedicate myself to them, entirely, but I fear this more than I fear much else: that I am failing them.

I fear… That is my first mistake. That I am nothing more than who I have been; all these years of history still tarnish my spirit, and I cannot rise above feeling less-than who I was meant to be. How can I lead them, how can I teach them truth, when I don’t hear it for myself?

So many “wiser people” have tried to counsel me that it is as simple as being in God’s word. That, if I do this … If I pray more, if I seek fellowship more than seeking solitude, if I stop living in the past or the future but live right now, if I… If I… If I… Then I would finally “get it”, and God would flood my heart with meaning and purpose again, and I would be redeemed. I’ve even been told my crippling anxiety is not so much a mental disorder but its satan, and I can fight it if only I were just a better Christ-follower.

I’ve heard it all. I’ve told myself maybe they are right, and so I try it. For a while. I read scripture more, and really meditate on it and apply it to my life practically. I pray, sometimes with many of my breathes directed straight to God, and then I listen, patiently. I fellowship with those wiser people, and I listen as they tell me how THEY “hear God”, and I try not to feel their superiority over me, because I just don’t seem to hear God talking to me at all, and so I must be doing it wrong.

When I became a mother, that covenant God made with me was to raise them with truth and purpose greater than my own – it was set ablaze in my soul. I look at them and sometimes, to be honest, the way that I love them – how deep that goes – it rushes to the surface and I feel this overwhelming and intense flood of tangible, fierce loyalty and devotion to them that I could literally scream as loud as I can – because it has to come out of me (I guess that’s a hard one to adequately explain…) My face flushes, my heart beats fast, and I tremble with love.

The purpose of being their mother is the greatest I have known, and I fear too often that I will let my past failures convince me that I am not going to be good at this. I hear my father tumble out of my mouth when I am impatient for no good reason, or when they spill the milk and I just can’t take such an offense. I hear my mother spill off my tongue when I snap at them to hurry up because I am late for this or that, and of course I make it their fault. I hear that little voice, so cunning, sneak into my thoughts and it whispers so cleverly disguised as the inevitable that I am going to fail anyway, so why even try to do better next time? It uses my history – it uses my shame, and regret, and pain – and it knows just how to grip me, stop me dead in my tracks…

It keeps me from picking up the Bible, because I’ve tried that, and I didn’t stick to it, because Christina never sticks to ANYTHING. It keeps me from all the good I could be doing, instead distracting me with meaningless tasks that don’t root my heart, or theirs, in truth and purpose.

I guess all of this – these thoughts pouring from me now – this trip down memory lane, it might seem like an excuse, but it is so much more honest than that. I come to terms with what cripples me here, and name it, and face it, and I think THAT is brave.

But it is what I do now. It is where I go from here…

I picked up the Bible this morning and read some of the Psalms. Delaney was restless and done with her cereal so I got her out of the high chair and together we trekked up the stairs. On the crook of our staircase the banister jets out oddly and I accidentally hit her head into it, leaving a little knot and her tears painfully soaking her face. I immediately prayed to God to take her pain away, and to forgive me for hurting my precious baby girl. It was immediately apparent to me that I was praying because I didn’t panic and cower underneath self-loathing, which is my typical pattern whenever I do anything wrong. I think it was that I sought God, intentionally, that my mind was able to go THERE instead of where it normally would go…

Perhaps there is hope for me yet?

I desire a child-like faith. The kind of relationship with God that I can write about, the kind that defines my life, starting in these frail moments when I am still floundering, and growing into something that permeates every avenue of my life, and my children’s lives. I want this so badly, and I am so tired of convincing myself, and letting the enemy convince me, that I cannot do it. That my history proves I will fail, because I always failed.

My spirit knows there is God, I was born knowing this, and for some reason, He made me especially aware of it and able to share it as a small child. I see this in my children, and I dream for them the kind of upbringing where that is fostered and grown and nurtured, and they see it from me – they model it from me.

I’ve got to stop ripping open my heart and seeing only the parts of me that have failed.

I want to be vulnerable to something more. I want to be the kind of person who doesn’t hide from who she was, and has the strength to admit where I went wrong, but then lay that down – that is the part that I don’t do well. I can’t seem to let go of how easily I fall apart in the name of who I’ve been and what I’ve been through.

My eyes want to be stuck on the cross, and see the world as I did when I was a child.

I want to give my daughters the kind of example worth having – one of perseverance where they have seen me fall but I got back up, and I tried again, in spite of the difficulty of fearing I will fail. I want them to see that this IS worth coming back to, again and again, and that I will support them as they navigate this world, and I will be there – no matter what.

I look at my history and see that everything I’ve gone through has equipped me to be a pretty darn good mother… Because I’ve experienced almost every avenue of where NOT to go, and what NOT to do. And I know with certainty I won’t just stand back and let their life happen in front of me without helping to guide them to truth.

The truth is, as I see it, is that God is still here, inside of me. I cling to that. I unbury that truth with these tears on my cheeks because I am so grateful. I am so grateful that I can be who I have been, and to Him I am still that child on her knees, sharing Jesus with her Kindergarten class – I can be that girl again, because she never left me. She just got lost to this world, but not to Him.

I will hold onto that, and try this yet again… I will fail, but I will not give up, and I think that is one of the gifts He gave me. One I saw in myself as a child. Something I see in my own children. I cannot wait to see where God takes us now.

What Life Taught Me at Thirty

I have been wanting to write for a couple of nights in a row now, but the inspiration, and the right words, seemed to elude me. As the hours wind down on this productive, beautiful day, I feel that familiar pull towards the keyboard, and I am grateful.

47618_10150146775664676_2732238_n

Tomorrow marks the 30th year since my birth. At 1:04am, April 23rd, my mother laid helpless on an exam table as the doctors told her not to push. Unable to control it, she did what they instructed against, and soon the Obstetrician was bleakly staring at two tiny feet. A one-pound, eleven-ounce 26-gestational-weeks old, and far too little to survive – or so they thought. My parents waited anxiously, praying for a miracle, as their newborn preemie lay on an operating table at 48-hours old; heart surgery the only option to get me stable as the hole in my heart failed to close on its own.

Three months later, I got to go home. After numerous tests, scares of apnea (where a NICU nurse would run in and gently push on my chest to get me breathing again), and several procedures to ensure my health, I finally got to call my mother’s arms home… I finally got to be held in my father’s hands – my head the size of a tennis ball at the tips of his outstretched fingers, and my feet dangling at the base of his wrist. A miracle, they said, of that little premature fighter. My mom said, when she was stuck in the hospital on bed-rest, that she knew – if I was to be a girl – my name would be Christina Marie. She swore to me, her whole life, that an angel told her to call me this – but I never knew if she was serious, though she seemed to believe this was true.

Well, that bald, translucent-skinned monkey-baby is now turning 30.

You know, so many people talk about growing older, and how it just seems to keep getting better. I sincerely hope this is the case, because my life up until the past two years has been an interesting, difficult journey. The ups were intoxicating, and the downs suffocated my soul on numerous dark occasions. However lost I was, I eventually got found. However happy I was, eventually, some circumstance came along, waving its wicked little temptations or frustrations, and I was knocked back down again. The myriad of lessons I have learned – heartache, happiness, sadness, grief, and how to find strength again – well, I believe I am a better woman because of these moments.

For a long time, I guess really the past decade, I have been finding myself in bits and pieces of the places and names now left behind. I sought out love and laughter, then tasted the bittersweet ending of yet another relationship. I wanted peace, but so many times I found myself wallowing in the tumultuous nature of chaos all around me. Along the way, however, I know my heart was tested for a reason. One very big reason.

So that I would appreciate the day, for it was sure to come, when I could simply marvel at the journey itself, and be truly grateful for what kind of person I am now. I do not say these things to claim accolades, or to portray myself as someone whom knows anything anyone else does not know. Merely, I mean to adorn my testimony with failure and triumph, time and again, so that the one who deserves the praise is seen in my eyes. God, He is the one I thank now…

Because life throws us a grand master plan, and sometimes we determine what roads we travel, other times we allow fate to take refuge in our future, allowing the chips fall where they may. I can sit back and see each scenario, and I know, looking at myself then, that there were pivotal moments of choice, and the outcome, whether I made it happen or allowed it, has brought me to a great place.

A place where I can smile. A place where I no longer feel such a need to question my past, or to name all the reasons it failed or succeeded, but to watch it, observe it, and thank it – that is it – time cannot be unwritten once it fades, and there is nothing a wise heart would do then but to acknowledge and move on.

My mom always loved to tell my birth story. It was one thing she did on my birthday each year, and I am sure it is not hard to understand why. We endured that together, that birth. And although I was not cognizant of my experience, I am the only living person whose soul moved through her body in that moment; I was the feet that emerged as she struggled, uncertain and afraid, and I was the tiny baby she held on her hip for the next two years after that, surely just grateful to have her daughter alive and well.

Tonight, I missed hearing that story. I missed hearing about that moment she knew that I was going to survive. I miss hearing her say, smiling, “you were the smallest baby in the NICU at the time, and you went home healthier and faster than babies who were not even born as sick as you!” She knew, from the onset, that she had a fighter on her hands, and I like to think she always admired that about me, and thanked God for my tenacity.

My birthday has been sort-of bittersweet each year since the woman whom delivered me died. Not to have a pity party or anything, but it still does sting that she is gone, and though it has already been eight years, I miss her even now, and some part of me wishes – against all odds – that I’d have one more birthday with my mother.

I accept the direction I traveled before now. Lord knows it was intense and beautiful, and I could have avoided some mistakes and worked harder to appreciate other’s and my own accomplishments along the way. The biggest thing I have learned in this time is to appreciate the moments – the small ones – as I grow another year older, may I never lose that insight that even the small things count.

My children will someday be 30, God willing, and I hope I am there with love in my heart, and birth stories to share, as they too find it easier to understand themselves, and navigate this world with greater intention, earnest effort, and pronounced appreciation.

We grow. That is life. We change. That is time. We struggle. That is sin. We triumph… That is God.

I see it so clearly.

May the next ten years be the best I have ever known. That is what I am working towards now. But I wanted to take one last moment and appreciate where my twenties took me. From Timothy Lee and his sparkling blue eyes. To the love we shared that was first love at its finest, to the last moment he whispered he loved me before I boarded a plane… To George, San Diego, and the stop lights where we played over our favorite song each time the light turned red – to ice-cream cones in his face, and the moment we found out our baby would be a girl – to her birth, and finally, our separation when we admitted it was over… To AJ and all the chaos that comes from two perfectly UN-matched people – he taught me how to walk away from something that is not right, and how to smile at the misfortune of our love, though at least it brought us a healthy, beautiful baby girl… To the moment, in an airport baggage claim that I saw a tattoo on a long-haired hippy and the introduction Cathy gave us when I learned his name is John – to the home we share and the way he makes me push to be a better mother, friend, and partner…

I have known a lot of love in the past ten years, and all but one I simply wish to thank and then set free in my heart…

Because my heart knows a deeper love now, and I see it when I look at the two beautiful daughters that God has given to me. To Layla, born on a special day – my first baby… My sweet blue-eyed Lebanese Princess. To Jemma, my brown-eyed wildcat…

They are the most incredible gifts I can imagine. They test me, push me, and make me so mad I could literally go temporarily mental. But they love me, and allow me to love them, and we endure to make each other grow, and see the world for what it is…

And John… He has endured with me through my failures, and he knows my flaws. He knows what makes me angry even though it should not get anyone THAT upset. He knows that I like to control the radio and that I am not partial to silence unless I am writing. He knows that I love Jesus and that my mistakes and accomplishments were gifts from God to help me learn and grow. He knows that I can’t really eat cheese unless it is Tillamook medium cheddar because all the other cheeses make me gag. He knows that I would sleep all day if I could, but that I want cuddle time – especially when he should be working. He knows that I love him, and that I thank him for all he does for my children, and for me…

My life has been amazing. Truly, it has. It would be wrong to say I would NOT change a few things, because for sure there are moments I would redo or erase entirely… But I accept them all, even the hard, deep wounds; God has a plan, and it all works together to make something beautiful.

I looked in the mirror today and just studied my face. Briefly, I felt a twinge of pain at the youth that is leaving me – even in some minor fashion – but then I marveled at how I have become something better, and more than I ever thought I would be.

Learning French. Rock climbing. Raising two beautiful children. Tolerating a dog in my house. Writing. Finishing my Bachelors degree.

30 will be great, of this I am as sure as a believer in fate and choice can be. I hope, for the next ten years, they interchange in the best possible manner – that God guides me, that I listen, and that I choose – when I need to – the best thing. I will know the best thing, now, because I’ve lived enough life to realize what matters. Love. Acceptance. Appreciation. And the fight. The fight to never stop trying to be greater than you think you are. Life, man, 30-years of it will teach you that.

10259490_10152804944939676_2086334560_n

163765_10150146775684676_3140661_n

10297602_10152802540539676_8815914734480635797_n

Why I Love My Sister

157064_10150146775614676_5594437_n

Growing up, we did not always get along. As with all our siblings, we fought. One time, when we were about 14 and 11, I pushed the wrong pre-teen button and she got so mad she literally grabbed my head, threw me to the ground, and proceeded to bash my skull into the glass of the sliding back door. Yeah, I guess you could say my sister and me never really could see eye-to-eye…

But, we were kids. The two girls in a brood full of boys, there were times we were forced to form an alliance; those guys never saw it coming when we cocked our rubber band guns and shot them down like Clint Eastwood in a cheesy Western film. One thing always rang true, no matter if we were duking it out or joining forces – I always loved my little sister unlike I loved anyone in my life.

When I was 21, shortly after our mom died, I moved away from our hometown in Washington to the sunny beaches of San Diego. Amanda was a new graduate and on her way to University of Washington to pursue a Mathematics degree and me, well, I just wanted to get the hell out of town. We lost touch for the next few years, but eventually got better at using that crazy invention called the telephone; our relationship, as adults, was just beginning.

I became a mother at the age of 24 and suddenly realized how much I needed my sister. Always the more maternal one by nature, I sought out her years of nanny training and demanded she tell me the secret to raising a good child. She was by my side soon after Layla was born, and I can honestly say there were times I thought I would lose my mind, a crying baby on my hip with no clue how to soothe her, but my faithful sissy was always there to help me through… And this was well before she ever had kids of her own.

As I have gone through my adult life, with as many trials and heartaches as I have endured, she was always a constant force of encouragement, and occasionally that hard dose of humility and, well, reality that a woman needs once in a while. She never said things just to get her word in, but instead, she was kind, compassionate, and truthful – and as I have become a mother, twice now, and grown so much, there is a great deal of that wisdom that came from a young woman I have been lucky enough to call my sister.

Now, she is a mother herself. After a surprise double-visit from the stork, Amanda and Jennie now hold two precious baby girls, and Lexie and Vienna are the sunshine they had been craving for years. I was blessed to get to travel to Boston just a month after their birth and meet my two precious nieces, and I got to watch my sister perform the wondrous dance of motherhood for the first time.

It was… amazing. She is everything I want to be, as a woman – a mom, a passionate pursuer of knowledge, and just as the kind of friend anyone is lucky to have – and I just loved the opportunity to watch her in motion.

I am home now, and tonight I got to thinking how fast life moves. These moments we have with the people we love are often for some and few for others; her and me are hundreds of miles apart, as I am from my entire family, and the time we get together is precious and too-few. When I think about the fact that I am almost thirty, and realizing there is still so much I have yet to experience and do, I am grateful that as I live my life, I know I have a loyal, loving companion whom accompanies me on this journey even from miles apart. She is the reason I am still in college, frankly, because she’s all but forced me not to throw in the towel. She is my inspiration and I am so lucky to have her for my math classes (Lord knows I wouldn’t have passed them without my genius math-whiz sister!)

I think of Amanda and realize how much bravery she has. I admire her strength of conviction, and the tenacity she had to face who she was, and face this life, and instead of cowering to the pressure to be like everyone else, my sister is blazing a trail and making her life beautiful.

If I could have even have of her courage, I would consider myself beyond blessed; when I am fearful about the choices I face, or when I am down and exhausted with life, I think of her and I realize how much more I have to give. Because she never gives up on pursuing her dreams. I want to be more like that.

We all have a journey to travel, and for the most part we do this alone. But there are reasons for the people we know, and the people we meet. Some of us get lucky to meet several great people in this life. Some of us are lucky to call them family…
I know several people, and I love many, but none so have my heart quite like the girl who was raised beside me. None so much as the one whom helps me marvel at life, and see things a little clearer. Because I’ve known her since her birth, and I believe our relationship is a testament to what real family looks like; we were destined to be sisters.

Please, cherish the time you have with your family. Appreciate the phone calls, the conversations, and the embrace of a loved-one… We are here and then we are gone, and it happens in a blink. Do not take the moments lightly, but instead, cherish them, because, after all, that is what life should be about.

10168507_10152753323474676_230795360_n

10169102_10152753191034676_2003995741_n

10173274_10152749128119676_101258928_n