Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Just Listen

One of my favorite teachers was my 8th grade English teacher, Mrs. Mijares. She taught me the difference between hearing someone and listening to someone. My dear friends, I wish she could have impacted every other person on this planet the way she impacted me.

It's so easy for us to hear someone, to hear his/her rants, excuses, problems, etc. But do we listen? Listening doesn't just involve your ears; it means using your heart. Listening means to pay attention to what that person's heart is trying to tell your heart. Listening means to empathize with that person, to put your own issues apart and to put yourself in that person's shoes (if even for a moment).

Listening? It means caring, like truly caring for that person who's sharing a piece of his heart with you. It means to stop whatever you're doing at that moment, look him in the eyes, and try to understand. Just try to understand what he's expressing.

Sure, it more often than not sounds like ranting, but maybe, just maybe, all he wants is for someone to care enough to listen. You don't have to say anything or do anything, just listen.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Young Girl

Dear young girl,
If only you knew how much you are worth.
You are worth so much more than the "moon and the skies,"
so much more than "Let me buy you a drink."

Oh, young girl, 
give yourself the time of day;
tell yourself you're worth it.
You're worth more than you can ever imagine.

If only you'd understand
there's someONE greater out there,
someONE who loves you,
someONE who will give His life for you.

Oh, wait.
He already did.
He died on the cross for you,
fell to his knees for you.

Oh, young girl,
there's so much more to you than
"You're beautiful."
So much more to you than being "sexy."

Young girl,
can't you see?
You're worth more than anything,
more than anything to Him!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Nom Nom! Cookies! Nom Nom!

Ladies and gents, it's that time of year again. It's baking season!

One of my favorite things to do in December is baking. The other is getting to play Christmas music on my guitar. :) And of course, reading Dr. Seuss books in bed right before I fall asleep.

Anywho, it's baking season. My Vera Bradley apron is ready to get sticky, floury (is that even a word?), and downright smelly (in a good way, like cinnamon and sugar kind of smelly). I already sent two of my elves out with banana muffins and snickerdoodles which were apparently devoured by the villages of their offices. I'll have to make more for them.

On Wednesday, my baking will be out of control. I will have the house to myself for almost the whole day, I hope, and I will be baking:

  • gingerbread men and women
  • sugar cookies, old-fashioned
  • more snickerdoodles, and
  • CAKE BALLS!!!!
I found a bunch of different recipes that I really want to try, and I'm sure that on Thursday, I'll be trying some other baked goods. Hopefully, I can get my camera to function properly so I can post pictures of all the deliciousness that will be coming out of the kitchen.

Dolce far niente except baking! :D


PS#1: I really want to try making these someday soon, maybe for my birthday...

PS#2: I'm starting to sell my baked goods at a very reasonable price, so if you're interested, leave me a comment with your email address, and I will get back to ya asap. :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Happy Bestie Day!

Ladies and gentleman, it's that time of year again. It's Bestie Day!

Do you have a bestie? You know, that person you can call at whatever time of day (or night) and know that no matter what's going on, they'll make you feel better? Well, thankfully, I have two besties.

My bestie, Suri, is the sweetest, most fun-loving, inspiring, humble, and dedicated person I've ever met. I am honored to have her in my life. Despite the fact that we hardly see each other, we're still good friends. We understand the other's heart, and we support each other, always.

Suri, you've been in my life since 2005, and we've been besties since those first exciting days of high school. Thank you for all the fun memories. Thank you for being the sister I've grown to love, respect, and truly cherish.

I <3 you, bestie!

My second bestie, Thomas, is also the love of my life. It's been almost two years since he asked me to be his girlfriend, and every single day has been an honor and a blessing. I have grown to love him more and more each day, and I honestly hope to spend the rest of my life with him. He is the only person who can make my tears of fear, hopelessness, and frustration turn into tears of uncontrollable, tummy-aching laughter in the matter of a few minutes (quite the miracle worker, I'd say). 
Thomas, these past two years have gone by so quickly, and I have enjoyed every minute of it. Thank you for becoming more than a boyfriend. Thank you for becoming my family and my best friend. Thank you for all the little things you do to make every day a little better. Thank you for wiping my tears, for giving me the strongest hugs, and for holding my hand through everything (good and bad). 
Thanks for saving the turtle from getting run over. :)

I love the times you dance with me in the most random places, no music, just you and I. :)

Your silly faces make life so much more fun. <3

I love you more than you'll ever know.

If you have a bestie (aka: a friend who's impacted your life in a huge way), give them a little lovin' today. Be it by sending them a thank-you note/text/e-mail/whatever or by honoring them in the best way you know how (ex:making silly faces all day long).


Monday, December 5, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

It seems to me that Christmas has become all about gifts for most people, so it's always humbling when I remember the real meaning of Christmas: the birth of our Lord Jesus. 

I have never been to particularly fond of Christmas. I just never felt quite there. I guess Christmas, in my family, was nothing more than another gift exchange. Later on in my life, as I celebrated with other families, I simply felt like the poor stranger invited for dinner, so I hope you can sort of imagine how Christmas became my least favorite holiday of the year.

Thankfully, life changes, and so do our points of view. This year, I'm giving Christmas a second chance (again), and I'm celebrating with the people I've grown to love most. 

Our tree is up and decorated (and I even snuck in my own ornament), and Pandora is set to play Bing Crosby's holiday songs. The stockings are waiting to be filled, my santa hat is waiting for Christmas Eve, and there is plenty of hot cocoa in the pantry (right next to the marshmallows).

For the first time in my life, I am actually excited to celebrate Christmas. After all, it's not how you celebrate but with whom you celebrate that really matters most.

This year, I will be celebrating Jesus' birthday with Thomas and his family. I will be a part of a tradition that is all-new to me, and I can't wait to start taking it all in. 

And....since it's not officially Christmas season, for now I will leave you with a "Happy Advent!"


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thank you!

It's so easy for us to live through and through each day and to forget about how much we have to be thankful for. A lot of us (including myself) don't often take the time to say "thank you," and it's about time for me to start.

I, for one, have plenty to be thankful for.

  • Thank you, God, for giving me this beautiful life. Thank you for protecting me when I haven't felt safe. Thank you for guiding me toward a better path when I've been lost. Thank you for loving me infinitely and for showing me how to love others. Thank you for being my best friend through the rough patches and through the blossoms of my life. 
  • Thank you, Suri, for never giving up on me, for leading me back to Christ through the gift of music (way back in 9th grade), for supporting my decisions and respecting my beliefs. Thank you for being the best sister an only child can ask for. 
  • Thank you, Thomas, for showing me that I am worthy of love and for making me feel beautiful inside and out (even if I'm not wearing make-up and my hair is sometimes in a crazy mess). Thank you for being a great friend but an even greater boyfriend. Thank you for your love, your kindness, your humility, your respect, your prayers, and for opening up your heart to me time and time again.
  • Thank you to all the families who have helped me grow over the years. Thank you for opening up your homes and hearts to a stranger and making me feel like family. Thank you for opening up my mind to new ideas and experiences, and thank you for all of your constant prayers. I am forever grateful to all of you.
  • Thank-you to all our service-men and women who are willing to give up their lives for this country every day. A special thank you to Leo and Robert; you are both an inspiration, and I am honored to say I am your cousin. Thank you for never giving up on this country's freedom. God bless America!
If you are somewhat like me and more than often take the little things for granted, say thank you to someone today. You don't have to go all out and make a celebration out of it, just say thank you to the school crosswalk lady or to a police officer directing traffic. Say "thank you" to your mom and/or dad, your siblings, your neighbor, the mailman, or the cashier at the supermarket. Everyone deserves to be appreciated, including you, so thank you, whoever you are.

Happy holidays,


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Time after time

I've been thinking....you know how we have four seasons in a year? Well, I sort of have my own "seasons" too.

Winter = Hot cocoa season
Spring = Walking everywhere season
Summer = Arts & Crafts season
Autumn = Knitting season

Right now, I'm in my knitting season. I sit down to watch TV, and I knit. During my lunch break, I knit. I listen to music, and I knit! I have two projects I would like to finish soon. First, my scarf, which is currently switching colors from teal to white, and eventually it will change back to teal. Then, there's my blanket which I had to restart because there were so many holes and knots that it was impossible to keep going. I hope my blanket will be done by Christmas of 2012. :)

Since I'm living in Miami, it still feels like my art & crafts season, so every now and then, I make a few rosaries, bracelets, boxes out of magazines, or whatever new project interests me. 

I hope your autumn is going great so far, and that you enjoy whatever hobby you choose this season. 

God bless!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Long time no see!

Okay, I have to stop this right now. I keep ignoring you, and I'm sorry! :( You should see how many "drafts" I have from starting a to write a post....and eventually, getting distracted. Thus, I arrived here. About two or three months from my last post. 

I could do the usual and tell you how my life has been these past couple months, but that's boring. Instead...I have a (click here ->) RECIPE! Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes! Who would have thought? Personally, I love chocolate cake, and I love cheesecake even more, but together? All I can say is yum!

Well, I'm in Miami now, for a while, and I gotta tell ya, I miss Tally...a lot. Good news is I found a job. I'm saving up  what I can, and soon, I will have my own catering company! By soon, I mean a year or so from now. :)

I know there was something else I wanted to write, but my mind is on its own train track today. If I remember anytime soon, I'll make sure to share. :)

In the meantime, God bless everyone, and stay dry out there! It's pouring rain here, and the old man won't stop snoring...

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Adieu! Adieu!

I realize I haven't written or posted anything in quite some time. My life has been an honest mess this past month somewhere between figuring out where I'm going to live and how to deal with the pain my family causes me.

First things first, I'm moving. Not just to another apartment but to a whole different city. I am moving back to Miami. (Lord, help me not go completely insane.) I hate the thought of moving back to the place that robbed me of my innocence, of my childhood, of becoming me, but I'm going back. I can't stand the thought of leaving Tallahassee, but honestly, it's time to say goodbye and move forward.

Dear Tally,

You've opened my mind in so many ways, and I cannot possibly thank you enough for that. Here, I got to know a very important person...me. I got the chance to learn about my political views, about the kind of person I wanted to be, and I learned about love and hate and letting go. Now, I actually have views on my religious affiliation, and I know what I believe. Tally, you allowed me to heal, to mature, and you let me know that it's perfectly fine to build up a few scars. "It builds character." :) Tally, you've given me more than I could ever ask for. You gave me the gift of independence, and for that, you will never be forgotten.

Noah Verrier, http://www.noahverrier.com/id2.html

I am heart-broken knowing that I am leaving this place where this new Esther was born. This is my hometown, and I won't have it any other way despite if I was born in Jersey. As for Miami, there's still room in my heart for second-chances. Yes, I'm going back fully aware of my past, but I'm also going back stronger because I have this new person within me, and she is ready to kick ass if need be.

Miami, I will see your face again in a month and a half. Let the packing up begin! Oh, the joy...

On a happy side-note, I finally tried the nail marbling, and it is fascinating! I cannot wait to have the time and patience to do it again.

Well, I hope everyone's summer is going great...if anybody actually reads this blog...