Ang Gets a Lesson in Cooking…

Dad spent many hours scanning old photos into digital form and he usually gave them good titles too. The following was titled, “Ang gets a lesson in cooking.”

That’s me at a young age peering over Mom’s shoulder while she cooks up some red enchiladas. Mmmm, I can taste them now! See the red chili sauce cooking in the pan at the lower left? Looks like she was stirring some refried beans at the back of the stove.

I didn’t just learn how to cook from my mom. I have learned SO much more from her. What an amazing woman who I am blessed to have as my mother. Excuse me while I rattle off a list of a some¬†things this wonderful woman has taught me:

  • Cooking
  • Cleaning (she’s still teaching me this one ūüôā )
  • Sewing
  • Gardening
  • Mothering
  • Loving
  • Health
  • Budgeting (you might think Dad was the financier of the house but my Mom did it all and always managed to so much for all of us!!)
  • Caring
  • Compassion
  • Generosity
  • Faith
  • Respect for myself
  • Dreaming and then going for it!

I learned how to parent from the best. I learned how to be a good wife (a team player), sibling, aunt, niece, and a good daughter. You can tell the truth mom, I’m your favorite out of all my sibs and not just because I’m the baby. ūüėČ

I remember my mom working really hard. She was always up before anyone else getting breakfast and our lunches ready for us before we trotted off to school, and her being the last to go to bed as she finished up the day managing the house. I fondly remember her tucking me in at night and planting a gazillion kisses on my face (something I now do with my babies). I remember her being there for me when I had bad dreams, and always supporting me in every endeavor. I remember her working hard outside the home and then coming home and working harder still. I remember her face as my oldest brother and I departed from the driveway of our childhood home when he helped me move to find work. Leaving was hard for me too. I remember her being there for me when I had my own babies.

When I look back on life during my childhood I am amazed at how much energy she had to get everything done that she needed to, rarely finding time for herself. When I look back on HER life, I feel ashamed for complaining about mine because life is so much easier today!

I call my mom very often, almost daily, just to chat. I don’t have anything in particular to say, all I know is that I miss her and want to be with her always! So just hearing her voice and being able to call her to tell her about my day is all I need, but honestly, I just want to call to let her know that I love her! I consider her to be my best friend. How can she not be? She knows everything about me, has seen me at my best and at my absolute worst and she still loves me!

If I had to pick ONE thing that I have learned from such a beautiful woman, it must be unconditional love because she has given it to me in spades.

Tomorrow is her birthday, but today my thoughts wander towards her in this writing. I love you with all my heart, Mom. If God wants to know, and he already does, you have been the shining angel that he asked you to be and as your baby girl, I am ever so grateful.

All my love!!


Tower of Pillows…


A moment captured several years ago. I’m pretty sure I haven’t posted this one yet, but if I have, well I apologize–it was long before I moved over to WordPress–and if I haven’t then this is a fun one.

I have been gravitating toward this photo for the past couple of weeks. I love all the colors; the crazy amount of pillows we have in this house; and just the memory that my kids were so quiet and cooperative with each other for two hours while the three of them schemed to put this together. When I look at it, I think about the fun they had and the sheer joy of childhood.


Bicycle Ride/Walk…


I’ve been having fun with my camera lately. I need to find other people to photograph besides my brats because they are sick of me and pretty much refuse to pose for me anymore. My daughter is being kind to me lately though, and helped me out with this particular photo which was taken at a resort on a quick overnight trip. We stopped to walk our bikes up the hill while on a bicycle ride and when I saw the trees I knew I wanted to capture the moment. Now I know I could have Photoshopped the writing on her shirt off, but you know what? My instructor in my photography class said sometimes you just go with it. I didn’t think it was worth it. What do you think? Do you like the overall image?

Ollie Oop…


We stopped at a skate park on an overnight trip so my son could get his skate on. He likes to visit new parks when given the chance. It is amazing to see his fearlessness; making huge leaps while propelling himself forward on hard concrete…ah youth!

Click the image for a bigger view. This is a composite, of course, of a series of shots of him performing an ollie over some stairs. The photo does not do the height of the stairs justice. He landed it on his third try. Amazing.


Happy Father’s Day, Love Jolinta…

Today is Father’s Day, and I as I sit here looking out my front window, I am thinking of course of my own dad who was a hero to me. He was so intelligent and a man of many talents. As I reminisce about him I am pretty amazed at all the wonderful talents he possessed and yet, he was so humble about them all.

He could take apart and rebuild anything, was a carpenter, electrician, mechanic, jeweler, farmer, gardener, geologist, poet, and I can’t forget photographer! He was a so special to me. I will never forget the time my curling iron spring broke and asking him if he could show me how to fix it. He responded, “Well if I tell you, you won’t need me anymore.” WHAT a joke because nothing could be farther from the truth even seven whole years after his passing. I miss him, his presence, his jokes, and his advice.

Thankfully, I have two wonderful older brothers who fill some of the ache I have from missing Dad. They both have some of Dad’s qualities and as I we grow older I enjoy watching them mimic some of the things he used to do, seeing many of his characteristics and talents present themselves in his sons.

When I see my oldest brother, I literally see my Dad. He looks most like him with those deep dimples on either side of his full lips. He makes the wise, sound decisions. He has his sense of humor (corny), is studious, can be strict but playful, and has a deep humble love for his kids and family.¬† He really has a lot of humility but expects a lot from his kids only because he wants the best for them. They probably don’t see it that way, but I do because I remember how my father was with me.

My second oldest brother received many of our dad’s handyman talents. Like Dad, he can probably take apart and rebuild anything, and learn how to DO anything. He is spontaneous and adventurous. He is passionate about everything, funny and a tough guy with a big heart. He loves deeply and is always there for you when you need him. He is fiercely independent and a man of his word.

Both of my brothers offer me great advice all the time, are my protectors, and just talk to me the way Dad would have done. I love them so much.

In speaking of Dad, I want to say a word or two about my husband. It’s kind of clich√© to say “I married my father” and a little funny too if you knew my husband, but, in many ways I see characteristics in my husband that do remind me of my dad. My husband is simple, a man of few words, he doesn’t SAY he DOES. He is humble, a protector of his family, and a great provider to us all. He supports my dreams and lets me be who I am without judging, always cheering me on toward my goals.¬†

I am ever so grateful for the men in my life, not just because they are here for me and I have the pleasure of knowing them, but because they fill part of a void in me that so desperately needs to be filled. They remind me who I came from; they keep my memories of my Dad alive so that I will never forget, but how could I anyway? A man like that is not easily forgettable. His legacy lives on through them.

Happy Father’s Day to the men in my life. I love you all.