Sunday, December 29, 2013

Catch Up!

Wow…I've had so much going on in my life that I haven't been able to keep up. To start off, we received a special gift this Christmas…we brought a young foster boy into our home. It wasn't planned but God put him right smack in the middle of our lives and heart. I've definitely learned over the years that the safest place to be is in "God's Will"for my life.

It's crazy how we can plan a direction for ourselves and when God steps in…He brings you to a screeching halt and says, "Go this way," tugging & pulling at your heart. It was a very short process and through the whole thing we continued to pray, "YOUR WILL GOD, not ours." The doors flung open, one by one until I received the final call, "He will be coming to your home today."

"Woah...what, really? Am I ready? Am I capable? Can I do this? I've never done anything like this before." Doubt. Fear of the unknown has always stopped me in my tracks. A pattern. A place that I needed to learn to walk out in faith; knowing that when God answers prayers…HE will provide everything that I may be lacking.

He answered in a big way! Our little guy is blossoming quickly. He has adjusted to our home, our kids and us. I know it won't always be easy and rosy. I know that everything takes time. Patience. Love. Understanding. Routine. Love. Love. Love.

God is in charge and I am learning to walk out in faith as never before. I pray this coming year is one of increased faith, love, joy and trust, as you allow God to work in and through you to shine the light of Christ on those around you. You'll be amazed at what you can do through HIM!


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Don't Make Me Go Karate Kid On You!

Last weekend, after Anthony did the Pastor Chuck Smith Memorial Paddle Out and we walked down to watch Adam & Elijah's beach flag football team play (that was our first time watching and will be another blog post in itself…drama!) We decided to walk back to the pier again to get Ruby's for lunch. While we were walking back, there was this pelican just hanging out on the railing.
Me: "Hey, why don't you get really close to it so I can take your picture? Hubby: "Okay." There's not very much he refuses me anymore after almost 14 years of marriage when it comes to taking fun pics or new adventures, well…except for going to haunted houses during Halloween. I tried and tried but he won't budge, he hates being startled. 
So my hubby cautiously inched his way up as the pelican was primping himself. Once he got really close, I started snapping away.
All of a sudden the pelican seemed to notice that someone was right next to him. He slowly turned around and looked at him, which made my hubby quickly back away…and everyone walking on the pier started cracking up, including my hubby.
Then Mr. Pelican slowly assumed this position as if to say,
 He turned around with one final look before settling in to enjoy the cool, foggy, fall beach day.

Just another fun day at the beach here in Orange County!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Paddle Out for Pastor Chuck Smith

On Saturday, October 19, 2013 there was a paddle out for Pastor Chuck Smith...the founder of Calvary Chapel churches and a great man of God.
My hubby decided he really wanted to go. I told him I'd go with him and take some pictures. I had no idea that it was going to be so crowded. I was late as usual and had my hubby a little stressed, but I dropped him off and then luckily found a spot in the pier plaza parking lot as some people were just walking up to leave. I then made my mad dash to capture the moment.
When we got there it was PACKED!! Every inch of the pier from the beginning all the way down to Ruby's Restaurant at the end of the pier was 3-4 people deep to reach the railing to see.

Luckily, I was able to locate a small space, turned my body sideways and held my arm over the rail to snap shots. Of course people then scooted a little to the left and right to let me up front...WOO HOO!!! What can I say, it's ALWAYS about finding a way to get that AMAZING shot!
The fog quickly began to roll in but before it covered us an amazing rainbow, which actually looked like a white light in person, touched down right smack in the middle of the circle. It was an incredible sight to behold. It would go away and then appear again and again. It was breathtaking and made you feel as though God was right there in the midst of this incredible tribute to an amazing man. 

There's my hubby with the flower in his mouth. I was so far away and it was foggy...lucky I got this shot!

I loved this shot of a birds wings (looks like Angel Wings) as it dove for food during the ceremony

"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" Matthew 6:26

What a wonderful tribute to a man who spent his life serving the Lord!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Joshy's 25!!!!

My oldest son Josh (aka Joshy) turned 25 on August 1st. This sounds so ridiculous to first born is now 25? In honor of my Joshy let me tell you a little bit about him:
When Josh was born he was HUGE!! I have to be honest and tell you I was a little upset that he was SO BIG! I wanted a newborn for my first baby. But out pops Joshy looking like a 6 month old already. He weighed almost 9 pounds and had a full head of curly black hair (I had to give him a haircut the day I brought him home.) He didn't have the wobbly little newborn head and was as strong as an ox. He'd lift his head up curiously looking through the clear hospital baby bin, checking out all the puny babies surrounding him. He seemed to know that he was already stronger and more coordinated...starting life out ahead of the pack.

Josh excelled at every sport- soccer, football, baseball, and track. Wait a minute...I have to add basketball to the list! The one time he decided to try out for basketball in Jr. High School, even though he'd never played before...he made it! To top it off, he helped his team make school history by beating a rival private school which they'd never done before. They pulled off the huge upset in the final seconds of the game when Josh stoled the ball, passed it to his teammate who threw it up for 3 points at the buzzer to beat the then undefeated team by 1 point. The following year, they did not invite our Jr. High to their tournament.
Josh had an easy going, whatever attitude about his ability. He never was one to show off or talk himself up. He just knew that once he stepped onto the field, track, or court...his abilities would speak for himself. Coaches loved him. They all tried to get Josh on their teams and all star teams. One year during baseball season, Josh was a pitcher. We had gone away on vacation during a holiday break and I decided to work with him on his pitching. He threw sidearm. It was incredibly fast and accurate, but I was worried that he'd blow his arm out throwing that way, so I tried to break his habit. We worked and worked at it, until he no longer pitched sidearm. Well, when we got back, his pitches weren't as fast anymore and the coaches asked me, "What'd you do?" OOPS! Well, the team then got the BEST and FASTEST center fielder they'd ever seen. The coach knew that anything hit into the outfield would be caught. Not to mention his incredible bat speed where he hit homerun after homerun! He was a superstar! One All Star game, Josh was flying all around the field catching the right and left fielders balls as well as his own. I was so embarrassed, wondering what he was doing. It wasn't until after the game that he told me, "Mom, the coach told me he wanted to win and that it was a big game so I needed to catch ALL the balls I could get to even if it went to right and left field." Well there you have it. I bet the coach had no idea that with Josh's speed...there was no where on that field that he couldn't get too. THEY WON OF COURSE!

In track he broke the Frosh/Soph school record in the 400 meter. He was placed on the Varsity team as a freshman after an incredible "heart" performance in his very first meet. He was running the anchor leg (4th) on the Freshman relay team. His team was so far behind it looked hopeless by the time he received the baton. Then he did the impossible. He needed to catch the leader who was already 200+ meters ahead of him. He took off and slowly began to catch him. By the time they reached the final 50 meters, Josh and the leader were now neck in neck. The crowd was screaming. His coaches and team mates were running alongside yelling and cheering. No one could believe that he'd actually caught the leader and had a chance to win. As they reached the finish line, Josh pulled ahead and the other boy's legs gave out and he fell from trying to hold him off. Josh crossed the finish line...victorious.
His sophomore year, he and his relay teammates traveled to compete against the best of the best in Texas in the 4x400m relay teams. They were also invited to the top in the nation, elite, Arcadia Invitational Night meet and went on to win CIF and compete in the state meet. He showed not only his natural talent & speed but also his heart.
During his freshman football season, the coaches decided to move him from running back to wide receiver. He looked more like a wide receiver and the coaches thought they could utilize his speed better at that position. He also played corner on defense. After the summer passing league, Josh no longer was enjoying football because he didn't like playing wide receiver and he was ready to quit. He knew he was a running back. He loved that position and had played it his whole life. The coaches talked to him and agreed to rotate him in at running back and start him at corner. In the very first game against San Clemente, Josh didn't get one single carry in the first half of the game, they used another running back instead. Our team was down at the half, 21-0. During the second half kick off, Josh caught the ball and ran it back for a 98 yard touchdown. The next offensive play they put him in at running back. On the first handoff, they pitched it to him. He hit the corner and was gone...80 yard touchdown! He proceeded to score two more additional touchdowns and we won! He set a freshman rushing record with over 1,000+ yards rushing. His senior football season was filled with disappointment when he tore his MCL on the very first kick off return against San Clemente. His team ended up having a great season, and he learned the important role of being a supportive teammate on the sidelines. Trying to lift others up even though he was unable to be on the field to help them.
Josh has had his share of ups and downs, as we all have, and yet, he continues to hit life running. He's learned to weather life's storms, to keep pushing forward and to never give up on a dream. I know that all of his past experiences and the lesson he's learned growing up playing sports has served to show him that no matter what happens...don't quit, the breakthrough is coming.
Josh's birth changed my life! I was blessed with a healthy boy who I love with all my heart (more than I ever thought possible.) As he grew, I wanted him to know that no matter what kind of frustration, anger, disappointment or hurt, he experienced, I would ALWAYS be there for him with unconditional love and encouragement.
I am so proud of Josh for his quiet determination. His perseverance and will to continue to go after what he wants in life. I can't wait to see all that he achieves in his life! The Lord truly blessed me and gave me an amazing Joshy!
HAPPY 25th BIRTHDAY JOSH! I love you with all my heart and I am so grateful to call you my son!!!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Jullien Herrera-CHAOS Magazine Video

When I sent my son off to New York the day after he graduated high school at 17, I thought it'd be a fun and exciting life experience. He's traveled the world, Paris, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and London, to name a few. He's been in major Fashion Shows, shot with the world's top photographers, appeared in hundreds of magazines and also several videos. It's been a whirlwind with ups and downs that go along with any career. But I'm so glad he's been able to see and do so many things that I never have.

The one thing I didn't expect when I put him on that plane was that he'd LIVE there for years (4+ years and counting.) I guess I assumed it'd be for a couple of years, then he'd come back home and head into another career. But he's made a life for himself over there. He's now studying to get his real estate license and eventually go into commercial real estate along with his modeling (men are able to continue finding modeling work well into their 30's, unlike most women.)

Here's some new magazine pics:
Jullien is wearing the had and sunglasses (far left)

Here's his latest video preview for an upcoming CHAOS MAGAZINE issue:

So it looks like my son will be staying. It's hard to be so far away (Southern California) and only see him once or twice a year. But I know as parents our greatest hope is to see our kids succeed and more importantly to be happy in their profession. I'm proud of him, but as a mother, my heart misses him so much.