Dedication: A Mother’s Love

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!  Let the love fest and PDA obsession take over today’s social media feed.  Everyone will express their form of love towards their significant other, families, friends, whoever it may be.  Although Valentine’s Day has become a superficial holiday where societal expectations include flowers, chocolates and a nice meal, today feels a bit different than any other day.  Today I get to enjoy Valentine’s Day with 2 children who I brought into the world.  Two children who have a roof over their head and food on the table.  Two children who have different wants and needs since one is 8 years old and the other is 9 months old.

My loves, Angelina Jade and Brandon Erikson (iPhone 6+ photo quality)

Love was a fickle word to me.  I was told to love people, but never understood how to feel it.  I would say “I love you” to my family and it would have no meaning behind it.  The movies made love look easy to find when you’re looking or not.  Love was something that had to be discovered and understood in order to feel it.  I didn’t know what love was until I met my husband.  In 2008, I attended a spiritual 3-day retreat in Upstate New York  where I faced my fears and anxieties including my out of wedlock pregnancy.  I felt ashamed and carried a big burden on my shoulders assuming my boyfriend (now husband) wasn’t going to stick around as a parent.  At the end of the 3-day retreat, I received a nice basket of love letters with praises of love and courage for the path I was walking on.  Before I opened any letters, I saw a big green envelope with my boyfriend’s handwriting on it.  Right then and there, my heart sank and I started to cry like a big baby.  I discovered love.

Watching Sebastian Maniscalco at NJPAC (iPhone 6+ photo quality)
Brandon’s baptism (iPhone 6+ photo quality)

Love has many faces and transforms itself over time.  Love is expressed in different ways that may or may not make sense.  Love is pure, honest, and transcends above anything.  Love has been tested many times in my life.  The biggest and greatest test of love has been bringing my children into the world.  Both pregnancies had different paths and challenges, but the end result was the same.  I have never loved another person so much as I love my children.  Their innocent expressions and smiles make my heart jump all the time.  Their laughs and giggles make me want to freeze time so I can hold onto their sounds for a few seconds more.  My children have brought a lot of happiness into my life.  They have challenged me to discover another level of love.  Even though one talks like a teenager and the other talks with single syllable sounds, I know how they say “I love you”. When my daughter is rewarded after doing well at school or home, she gives the best bear hugs and says, “You’re the best mom”.  When my son wakes up from a nap, he has the biggest smile when he sees me enter the room.  When I wrestle with my kids and attack them with tickles, their laughter and excitement brings joy to my heart.  Without my kids, my life wouldn’t be the same.  They complete my married life and have the best features of my husband and me.

To my kids, you are the greatest gifts that life could ever give me.  I will face more (parenting) challenges as you grow up.  I will be by your side with all your accomplishments and victories.  I will carry you when you fall and help guide you to whatever dreams you strive to.  But for now, I will squeeze you both in my arms and enjoy these precious times while you’re both little.  I love you my little babies.


Let’s Look Like a Human

These past 8 months have been solely focused on Brandon’s development which is naturally expected.  With all the weight gain and lost, highs and lows of cystic acne, and unpredictability of when the next shower will be, I have been feeling and looking like a zombie.  I sometimes walk out of the house with no bra on, food spit up on my shirt or in my hair, or without the care of brushing my hair.  Again- zombie status.

When Brandon started getting bigger, I started to make the effort of looking like a decent human being.  I no longer have to be at Brandon’s beck and call.  He shows more interest in his surroundings especially his toys and Sesame Street.  I make sure to distract him whenever I need “me” time.  When Brandon’s not looking or focusing on me, I rush up the stairs into the shower or put on some makeup to feel some type of normalcy.  I recently did a huge purge of my makeup collection.  I found (unused) items that I’ve been holding onto for 3-4 years and others have been long expired.  It took me 2 days to go through these items, prioritize what I need versus what I want, and discard the expired/unused.

Current makeup collection since 2012 (iPhone 6+ photo quality)

After sifting through this enormous pile, I realized there are certain makeup products that are a necessity to making me look like a human.  These items are a mix of drugstore and high end.  It takes me about 20 minutes to do a full beauty look: my complexion is balanced, brows and eyes are defined, cheeks are contoured and colored, and the complete look is topped with a nice lip color.

Products that help me look like me (iPhone 6+ photo quality)

Items in the picture are as follows (from left to right):  Maybelline Dream Cushion foundation (#30), NARS Velvet Lip Glide (Bound), Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray, Kevyn Auction Contour Duo On The Go, Make Up For Ever (MUFE) HD Cream Blush (#215), Maybelline Dream Matte Powder (medium), MUFE Aqua Matic (S-52), Charlotte Tilbury Rock ‘N’ Kohl (Barbarella Brown), Lash Star Beauty Full Control Mascara, MUFE Brow Seal, MUFE Pro Sculpting Brow (#40), Shiseido eyelash curler, MUFE Skin Equalizers (nourishing & redness correcting primer)

I uploaded a tutorial creating this makeup look on my Youtube channel.  Go ahead and check it out.  My mission for 2017 is to get back on track with creating more content for this blog and my Youtube channel.  Thanks for not abandoning me since the last time I posted here.  If I start to drift away, don’t be afraid to remind me.  A little reminder helps when you’re occupied with 2 kids.