Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas and Gifts Oh Nine...

This Christmas was kinda wierd because it was so different. I wouldn't reallly say it sucked, but it was kind of close to it haha. We had no tree, no gifts, no Christmas Eve dinner, no parties and I have been sick for a week... gosh that really does sound like a crappy Christmas, but it was actually not bad. I was happy because my whole (immediate) family was together. We are all healthy and with no major issues going on in our lives. For that, I am grateful. I was a little sad about having no tree because i LOVE Christmas trees! I did not care about gifts, because we have never really been big "gift people" I'm OK with that.


I like gifts BUT, I don't care much for gifts that are given because you HAVE to give a gift. I think that's kind of dumb. What I like about giving and receiving gifts is the fact that you really thought of a certain person and got something that you think/know will make them happy. I don't like gifts that are given after going to a store and just looking for something, anything under 20 bucks to just hurry up and get it over with. In that point, don't give a gift you know? That's just my point of view though, I know people that get offended if they don't get a gift even though they don't want anything or even care what the gift is. And yes, it is the THOUGHT that counts, but when you are not putting much thought into it... it really does nOt count. IMO.

OK so on with my x-mas story. I really shouldn't complain about any of the "negative" things that happened because there is always something positive to replace each one.

* I was sick... but it wasn't swine flu and I was at home!

* No gifts... but less junk for me to find a place for. (I actually did get one gift and it's great!)

* No Christmas Eve dinner because brother had to work... but brother has a job and we had dinn er the next day all together.

* No real tree... but a fake crappy one that made us all laugh.

Funniest thing ever!

I think the thing that makes me most sad is the lack of photos for this holiday. I don't know why, I just did not take photos this time.

Things could always be better but I am trying to live a happier life by being optimistic. Overall, I could not have asked for a better holiday with my family this year!


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Life's Timelines

I know I have been MIA for a while. But I'm back! I think. Life has been so weird since we got back from Germany. It's like I just lost control of it. Life is just happening around me and I'm just floating along. It is all because of the timelines!

You see, ever since I could remember I have had a sort of timeline or "outline" of what my life will look like in the next couple of years, it has always been in the first page of my journal. That is until now. Life was much more predictable when i was younger you know? You are in ninth grade so obviously next year you will be in tenth grade. No big surprise there. No need to sit and think what you need to do to accomplish that really. Just show up to school and pass.

Now after high school I knew I was going to go to college, honestly I didn't even know there was the option of NOT going. So it wasn't really because I loved something soo much that I wanted to make a career out of it. And it is not a bad thing I mean I got a bachelor's degree out of it, but now what? I remember, while still in college, sitting in my bed that was like 10 feet high in the tiny dorm room one night thinking "what comes next?" So I got my journal and I made two lists (I'm all about making lists!) the first list was of all the things I could think of that I wanted to do before I die and with that I made my second list, which was my new timeline since I had already completed the last one. Having a blueprint of what my life will look like for the next couple of years made me feel satisfied and content allowing me to live life. In that timeline were things like study abroad, get married, graduate from college, get a "real" job... etc. I am now in a point of my life where I have completed many of those things of that list/timeline(which I'm extremely grateful for).

So it is time to make a new one. But for some reason I am having a very hard time making this one. I still have quite a few things on that bucket list I made that night in my dorm room, but it is just not time for them. There are also new items on that list, but there is no money for those haha. So0 everything points to me getting a job and making money!! And that is good with me, but now comes the questions. What kind of job? And I could easily tell you what job I want, but it does not mean I have the qualifications to do it and even if i did that does not mean that job is available for me right now. I come to the conclusion that I must just get a job, any job while MY job presents itself. I have done that and it was unsuccessful. Now I will ponder what to do next and move forward. I am excited for whatever is next in life, but it is the waiting time that is just hard.

I guess I have always been living in the future and now it is time to live the present, but I just don't know how.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Settling into Houston...

Hi everyone!!

So it's been forever since I have written, we have been soo busy lately! Since getting back from Europe on Aug. 1, we have moved to Houston and have been tyring to adjust to the change. It has been allright, and it is better than I thought it would be so that's great. I have been having a really hard time finding a job, so that has been frustrating and Dirk has been pretty stressed at school so it's been a hard month for us although it may not seem like it. We really miss Europe, and our families and friends, but we have also made many new friends. =). We will soon adjust to our new environment and new routines and all will be good. I will keep updating this thing more often now haha. Take care everyone!

I have one oic to share today!

Here we are building our new dinner table!



Saturday, July 25, 2009

Austria, Florence and Rome adventures!

After Germany we took off to Austria first to meet Dirk's dad who was there on holiday. That was our first on many trains we took. It was a realllly long ride... But we finally made it there and it was beautiful!!

Our first train...

My first view of Austria...

I found this beautiful little purple (my favorite color) butterfly!

When we first got there Dirk's dad took us up a mountain to see a HUGE waterfall. That day was actually nice and sunny! The next day not so While we were up there I found a Nikon camera lens cover, and my dad kept it and put it with all his other random findings haha.

This is on the way up to see the waterfall.

YAY!!! We made it! And the waterfall is there but we block it haha

After this we went back down and we went to a restaurant where everyone knew Dirk's dad so we (they) even got free liquor of some sort. It was really delicious food too! When we walked out of the restaurant the view looked really pretty with the lighting of the sun setting i took a picture and Dirk's head came out in it too haha it looks like we cropped him in lol!


We only stayed one night so the next day Dirk's dad wanted to show us another mountain. He is really into hiking these huge Alp Mountains! He was really disappointed because it started raining, but he was really excited to show us so he geared us with umbrellas and sweaters and jackets and off we went! lol

There we are leaving to go on the mountain.

Here I am all bundled up...which didn't last long because I came back down before everyone else. lol

Later that day we went back to the cabin we were staying at and ate lunch/dinner really quick and we took off. We almost missed our train! And then one of our stupid trains was LATE 25 minutes! So we were freaking out because that meant that we would miss our sleeper train in Munich that would take us to Italy! So Dirk took off to find someone to help us He came back with two Korean girls and an answer! lol He said that those two girls were also going on that train that we were so Dirk called the people in Munich and told them to wait for us because we were a group of 8! IT was a lot more crazier and more hectic than this but its the short version haha. So then we were finally relaxing knowing that our train would wait and one of the girls asked if she could take a picture of us bc it was just such a funny story and we said yes, then she took out her camera and it was a Nikon so my dad gave Memo the lens cover and memo went and put it on her lens and it was a perfect fit! She was like HUH!? She said that her sister had lost her lens cover in London! It was such a funny coincidence! Soo we finally made it to Munich and we RAN to our sleeper train and settled in!

Here is the girl with the Nikon camera haha.

I love this picture! Our sardine sleeper! It was actually very comfortable!

Something kinda scary happened while we were on this train. The security lady had come in at night to let us know when she would come wake us up and told us to double lock our door! Not only use the chain but also another lock at the top, because if you put the chain you can still open the door like 5 inches. So according to my dad and memo (cause I was knocked out!) some guy opened our door like at 4 in the morning and was trying to undo the chain!! He was speaking a weird language that he had never heard and Memo woke up too and was watching everything from the window at the top from his bunk. He said it was two guys. My dad woke up because of the noise that was right by his head so he grabbed the dude's hand and yelled at him in Spanish haha. And they took off. Creeeepy!

So we made it to Florence! We got there at 6:30 am and we couldn't check into our apartment until 10am! So what did we do?? We sat near the office for 3 hours with ALL our luggage! LOL. When it was really early it was ok but by like 9am there were a lot of people on the streets and we just looked weird haha. And plus we were in like a rich street or something bc it had stores like Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci and other brands that I don't care for just know that are EXPENSIVE! lol

Arriving to Florence finding a nice corner to

We finally got the keys to our apt. and we went to find that we were on the last floor of a building without an elevator! And my parents had HUGE suitcases! haha. It was soo cool tho! We had the whole top floor! It was an AWESOME apartment! We all loved it.

A view of the kitchen in our Florence apartment. And the table where we had many loooong conversations right Ale? hahaha

The awesome piles of gelatoooo!

One day in Florence we climbed some mountain thingy to get a view of the city from the top it was really cool! I took a lot of pictures haha. On our way up some guy started talking to us to I asked him if he could take a picture of us and he said yes, but he really had not idea how to take a picture lol. The first time only 2 of us came out and the second time a bunch of other people that weren't with us came out so I just cropped them out haha.

Our family going up the mountain (cropped) lol

Two views of Florence from the top, isn't it soo pretty?!?

Florence was my favorite! So the way to Rome was CRAZY! For some reason our train tickets departure said were leaving from a train station that is apparently not used very often called Campo di Marte instead of the main station so it was really hard to find it! And when we asked people i swear EVERY single person pointed a different direction! So we finally got on a bus asked the driver if he was going there and he said yes so we were like yes! finally!! Then some old lady over heard us talking abt Campo di Marte and was like...(in Italian)

"um we aren't going there"

So this lady starts telling us in Italian we are all going the wrong way and then another lady sitting next to my mom tells my mom that

"that lady is wrong, I'm going to campo di marti too"

and so my mom is on the "other lady's side". But Ale and I trusted the first old lady more. So these two old ladies are like yelling back and forth to each other about the location of this train station. And then this other lady in the back starts yelling telling the (crazy one sitting next to my mom) that shes wrong and that we are going to wrong way. And then the man sitting next to me starts saying that that station doesn't even exist or something like that! And then a younger lady comes and is like

"OK where are u trying to go?"

and we tell her and then by this time the whole freaking bus is discussing! It was HILARIOUS! So by this time I start not understanding because they are all talking so fast and loud and all 6 of us are just looking at each other laughing. (oh and all this is going on and us with all our crazy huge luggage in the bus) So finally the bus like stops like really hard and the bus driver says in Italian

"I'm NOT going to Campo di Marte, all of you OUT!"

LOL!! So we get dropped off God only know where... and we are just CRAcKING UP! Oh and to top it off that crazy lady that had said she was also going to Campo di Marte had gotten off like two stops before haha! So we are in the middle of the road laughing hysterically and we hear the bus screeeechh to a stop and someone yells to us and they just put out a suitcase my dad runs to get it cause he forgot his suitcase in there! HAHA Good thing that Dirk had been following the bus on his map, because he didnt really understand the Italian, so he kinda knew where we were at. So he got us to the right place but walking. That was the funniest part of our trip!

So we finally made it to Rome, we were not there too long, but long enough to celebrate my dad's birthday it was really fun!

The family at the Colosseum.

My dad on his birthday at the Foro Romano.

Feliz Cumpleaños Papa! (taken at the window of our Rome apt.)

We ended our Italy trip to a trip to the Vatican, that was very interesting. It was wayy to crowded but it was nice. I liked the Basilica Papale di San Pietro in Vaticano AKA St. Peter's Basilica.

The End!



Saturday, July 18, 2009

We're Baaack! -Germany-

Okay so it wasn't exactly a "small" vacation. We did A LOT! It is going to be really hard to try and wrtie "short" stories about everything, but i will try. It was so much fun! I loved having my family here in Germany showing them what is familiar to me. At the same time it was soo weird it was like two worlds were coliding, i would look and there was my whole family at Dirk's Oma's house! It was just weird haha but awesome!

So they all came in from different directions and we all met up at Berlin. We first passed by Leipzig and picked up Ale at the train station, then we picked up my parents at the Berlin airport (they flew in from McAllen) and then a couple of minutes later we got Memo who flew in from Houston.

**Reunited and it feels so gooood!***

So while in Berlin we went and did all the tourist-y stuff of course. The first day everone was so jet-lagged and tired that we just went to eat and hung out at the hotel room and laughed too much! Then the next day was my mom's bday!!

The family in BERLIN!!

Nice graffiti we found just for my mom!

My parents look REALLY happy to be on the metro. Notice the two women on either side don't look too excited haha.

So we went to the city and saw the Brandenburg Gate, Check Point Charlie, the Wall and many other things... They got to ride on a 6 person bike so my mom LOVED that! And then we saw the TV tower, and the world clock. Under the clock there was a big memorial set up for Michael Jackson who had died the day before.

*Sidenote - I was soo shocked! I could'nt beleive it!! I found out about it in German so it was even MORE surreal. The music world has lost a great icon...

Here is the memorial for Michael Jackson. I think that is when I was like oh crap it is REAL! =/

There you can see them riding the weird bike and my mom having the time of her life! hehe

Here they are back from their ride!

Oh yea we also decided we were going to start a band and this is what our album cover will look like:

Haha JK! But it is a cool picture! =)
We ended my mom's bday with dinner at an interesting vegetarian restaurant and a visit to a castle at night. There was a wedding going on at the castle and they were playing Spanish music so that was cool and then there were fireworks!! And that was the end of my mom's bday!

Packed up and ready to leave Berlin and face our new adventures to come! HAHA.

The next day we went to another castle with some of Dirk's relatives. It is in Potsdam and the caslte is called Sans Souci (without worries in French, don't ask my why it's in French... lol) It was HUGE! And very pretty.

A little peice of the caslte... with the darn construction! nice... lol

We walked around in the gardens of the castle for most of the day and when we got to the chapel part of the castle we found that there was a funeral going on. It was very sad, we found out it was a funeral for the man who was in charge of the restoration of the marble of the castle. He died in the AirFrance plane that went down in the atlantic. He would travel a lot to Brazil for his job. This made me sad...

A flower in a fountain set for the funeral...

Then we were off to our next destination: Leipzig!! Where Mom2 is from and where most of Dirk's relatives live.

We didn't do AS much tourist-y stuff here. It was more family time and it was soo MUCH fun! First stop was Oma's house. She is such a CUTE grandma!! She had the table all set up and tons of food for us when we got there.

At Oma's house!

We rented an apartment in Leipzig for my family and Dirk to stay at. That was interesting... and fun. The shower was crazy... but thats a whole story haha. So at Oma's we just at and "chatted" and translated haha. That is until someone brought out the WINE!

After this everyone seemed to understand eachother MUCH better haha.

Within those days we also went downtown Leipzig and Dirk's aunt was our "tour guide" she studied the hsitory to bee able to explain everything to us. It was really nice. We also visited another caslte, a HUGE monument, had a picnic, went on a horse carriage ride through the forest and had dinner at Dirk's relative's gardens. (My FAVORITE part!)

This is the huge monument we climbed to the top! Look how little my family looks at the enterance! haha. Völkerschlachtdenkmal OR ---> Monument of the Battle of the Nations

My dad caught on quickly with the typical drink of the German lol. He had no issue getting used to that part hehe. This is in downtown Leipzig.

I love the German gardens!! I can't wait to have my OWN! We had a BBQ one day at one of the gardens and everyone loved it! Dirk's uncle and aunt kept showing us all the different herbs they had, we tried them ALL! We picked and ate raspberries, currant berries, cherries, and carrots!! The potatoes, apples and other stuff weren't ready to eat yet... We also had mint tea with fresh picked leaves!

Onkel Frank teaching us about herbs as my dad clutches on to his beer haha.

The kiddos and I picking cherries!

Parents = Happy!! --------------------------------Me = Happy! haha Fresh carrots!

Okay so this is getting tooo long, so to make it short -- We also visited Dresden and then Meißen (where they discovered porcelain in Europe) Then to Chemnitz (Dirk's hometown), visited a couple more castles and went on an awesome ferry ride in a huge lake.

Hellooo Memo?? haha Us on the ferry ride.

Germany Chapter ends here - Next up: Austria and Italy adventures!



P.S. I'll try to make the next not AS long! =)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Im Off!

Hey Everybody, Just letting you know that i will be off on a small family vaction. Making new adventures!! So i will probably not write anything until after July 14!! Don't forget about me!!!! lol Take care and have a wonderful week! =)



Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Vroom... Vrooooom!

**Reminder: you can click any picture and see it in BIG! Just don't take them please =-)**

We got to go to see a motocross race qualifier thingy! haha I don't really know exactly what to call it but it was fun. It was a really huge race track, and there were motorcycles and little race cars racing and practicing for the race in a couple of weeks. We got these cool "backstage-VIP helper-passes" from someone that knows someone or something haha. Point is, we got to go to where not many people go and it was COOL!

Here is dirk with our "Helper" passes

It was kind of funny because when i woke up that morning i was like "i want to dress cute today! I have not been able to bc of the stupid weather!" And we get there and tt was sooo windy, therefore freezing COLD! I ended up wearing my jacket and someone's windbreaker on top... so much for cute! lol. So we got there and the motos were really loud but awesome!

They are about to take off!! (If i were the lady in orange I'd run!)

There they are turning, their knees almost touch the ground!

Looks like they are about to fall over haha.

Then we got to go "behind the scenes" and it's funny because all the riders (i guess that is what they are called?) are there with their whole families supporting them! They go in those huge camper homes and they live there while the races are going on. They have like a little home set up and a table to eat and some even TVs and stuff and then to the side they have their "moto garage" where they tune up or fix their bikes it was cool to see. We even got an autograph of one of them. I don't even know who that was tho haha.

Here is someone fixing up their bike...

I loved this! I'm guessing they are supporting a family member. It is so cute! haha

While we were there backstage, the other race was about the start. this one is crazy... it is with little like go-carts kind of, but they have a person driving and another person in the back shifting the weight for the turns. But these people are not strapped on! And they are going like 160 mph!

Here is one giving me the "thumbs up!"

And here is another from the back... isn't that crazy?!?!

And there they are on the track going really fast. See how the dude on the back is like half off the cart?!

So after a while we went to go sit down on some stadium stands and there were a ton of flags at the top, representing the counrties that were racing. I decided to take a picture of the good old German flag, because i don't have many pictures of it. For some reason Germans don't like to display their flag like Americans and Mexicans... hm.... Anyway, I took like 15 pictures trying to get the best one bc of the crazy wind and finally i got this beauty...

...only to find out like 2 seconds later that that is indeed the belguim flag NOT the German one! LOL. (Smart one Mari ;)) So there I go find the actual German one and here is the best shot i could get:

So the pic didn't come out as great as the other but at least it's the right one! haha

Before we left we got a picture of Dirk and I with the pretty scenery. The weather may not be great, but the scenery in the summer that is gorgous!

Marisol and Dirk, and if you look closley, we caugh a bike in between us!

We were done for the day and while we waited for Dirk's cousin and Mom2 to pick us up, I found the cutest little flowers =). We had not seen Dirk's cousin yet and I was really excited because she had a baby in March and so we got to meet baby Celine!! Here is a pic:

You think I'm ready for one??? I don't think so... I look really little =/ HAHA But she was sooo cute! =)

And my precious little flowers =)



**Reminder: you can click any picture and see it in BIG! Just don't take them please =-)**