Beautiful Boy

Out on the ocean sailing away,

I can hardly wait,

To see you come of age.

But I guess we'll both just have to be patient.

Yes, it's a long way to go,

But in the meantime,

Before you cross the street, take my hand.

Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans.


Beautiful, beautiful,

Beautiful boy.

-- John Lennon




Merry Christmas!

You must look carefully...

This is what I've been up to lately. These kinds of images are going to be a big part of my overall branding and blog effort in the coming year. I'm very excited because they are so much fun.

From my babies to you -- Happy, Happy Christmas.

Muy Bueno

Growing up, there was nothing ... and I mean nothing ... like the food that came from the kitchens of my Grandma and my Big Grandma (what I called my great grandmother). They could take an almost empty cupboard and turn it into a feast. There is something about a grandmother's meal that warms your core, ties the fabric of a family like a Boy Scout knot. It was this way in my family. Every Sunday after church, we would meet at Big Grandma's and we would eat. And we would laugh. And we would leave with our souls filled. My great aunt Vangie and her two daughters, Yvette and Veronica, are preserving Big Grandma's recipes in a book to be published next fall. Muy Bueno Cookbook  is a labor of love and I couldn't be more thrilled at the thought that the family recipes that came from the incredible matriarch that is Jesusita will live on ... and knot families ... forever.

This past October, the ladies of Muy Bueno hosted a tamalada. Being able to capture it was almost as good as digging in to the masa with my own hands. Yvette reminds me a lot of myself in the way that we carry with us an unyielding devotion to our grandmothers (we both grew up with them) and we totally wear that on our sleeve. Vangie has always been an amazing chef, so it was a treat to get the live demo and to see my Grandma interact with her sisters and nieces. (For the full post and more pictures, see the Muy Bueno Cookbook post Tamalada ~ Con Mucho Amor.)



The book does not come out until next year, but you do not want to miss the many AMAZING Mexican recipes on the Muy Bueno blog. My mom made the Ponche Navideño over the weekend, and it was a delicious pot of fun ; )

Wishing you a holiday season filled with family and your Grandma's best recipes.


My Natalia


Today my baby girl is six. I fill with joy, completely bust at the seams with happiness, with every one she has. The day I brought her home was the day before Thanksgiving and I couldn't have been more thankful to be counting those sweet little toes and swaddling that tiny body. Then two short years later, there was bad news, a vicious fight for her life, and I was praying for more days... and more birthdays... and more years. Please God, please. She has taught me almost everything I need to know about life... Treasure it. Appreciate every slice of it. Love without condition. Believe. It's because of her that every time I hug my children (I have three), that I squeeze them tighter, breathe them in, stockpile the memory for safekeeping. It's because of her that my insides go completely warm whenever I have a conversation with any one of my grandparents. (Treasure it, appreciate it.) And when she crawls into bed with me, I wrap my arms all the way around her and I thank God... and I ask for more days... and more birthdays. So whenever there is a birthday in this house, it's an outright celebration of life... a cue to count our blessings and tuck every memory somewhere safe and sound.

It would appear here she can't fill my shoes (and by the way, did you see those legs?), but really it's quite the opposite ... I am striving to fill hers. When I was strong, it was because she was stronger.

Natalia, for every ounce of happiness and courage and strength you have given to me and to the people around you, thank you forever sweet angel. Happy Birthday to you. Here's to more birthdays. I love you.