Tag Archives: Big sister

the quinceanera

13 Oct

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This past weekend was my little sister, Briana’s, quinceañera and it was a pretty fun way to spend a Saturday. Not only was it pure joy to see her so damn happy but the experience made me realize what exactly has happened in the eleven months since we first met- she really has become family to me.

For those of you who don’t know what a quinceañera is, I am here to fill you in, considering I am an expert and all now. A quinceañera, also called fiesta de quince años, fiesta de quinceañera, quince años or simply quince, (take your pick!) is the celebration of a girl’s fifteenth birthday in parts of Latin America. This birthday is celebrated differently from any other as it marks the transition from childhood to young womanhood.

Briana’s big day has been a topic of conversation between us for months now. I don’t think there was one detail we didn’t cover. We talked about her desired color scheme (gold in case you were wondering), possible song options for her first dance with her father, her grand entrance ideas, the cake, her bouquet (red roses with sparkly studs glued into the center of each one), her gown (think Belle from Beauty And The Beast), her change of outfit ideas (because even Briana knows you can’t dance all night in a big dress and heels), her jewelry inspirations (a crown, naturally). She even had a pinterest page for all her ideas. I quickly learned that planning a quinceañera is a lot like a planning a wedding. Well, minus having to compromise because a quinceañera is a singular vision and let me tell you, my little sister has got a very clear vision of what she wants, which happens to be one of the many traits I love about her.

On the big day Brian and I got dressed up and set out to the church for the ceremony, which would be followed by a party at a hall nearby.

The ceremony lasted an hour or so. Much of that time was filled with various church leaders talking about the importance of this day in her life. My favorite moment of the ceremony was definitely when the doors opened and she walked in with the biggest smile on her face and killing it in her big gold dress. She really did look like Belle from Beauty and The Beast and I couldn’t help but think….NAILED IT!!

The party to follow started off a bit awkwardly for Brian and me. First off, we only knew four out of the three hundred people. Second, the MC (dressed in a truly fabulous bull fighter type ensemble) for the evening only spoke Spanish and I never knew what he was saying. Brian pulled out his high school Spanish and translated a bit for me but mostly I remained in the dark as to what was going on.

But then the sweetest thing happened. Briana brought all her friends over to meet us, proudly introducing me as her big sister each time. My heart pretty much melted all over the floor. She even made a point to sit with Brian and me when dinner was served. But nothing topped the moment she and her family (mother, father, brother and “real” sister) took the stage to thank everyone for coming, as well as each say something special to Briana. After all four of them spoke the crowd cheered. It was then the MC said something (in Spanish of course leaving me to wonder if maybe it was time to get up and dance?) but then I saw that he was making a beeline for me. For those of you who don’t know me well I am not one to speak in front of an audience of three hundred unless I am prepared. So my first thought was…OH F*#k! I glanced over at Brian for backup but he was in the process of scooting his chair far far far away from me…he’s not known to relish speaking in public without being prepared either (Thanks, babe! HA) Luckily it took awhile for the MC to reach me and I was able to have a second thought (that was far less self involved) before he arrived with the microphone…out of all these people her family wants me to speak, how very touching. Pull it together Kate.

I’m still not sure what I said, in my “I hate public speaking haze” but I do know that I finished with “I love you and I’m so grateful you are my little sister” and I meant every single word.

Such an honor to be in her life.

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inspiration, gratitude & surprises

26 Sep

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I have been a tad absent on the blog recently. I had big plans for the content I wanted to put up (seriously, I had the calendar all planned out) but instead daily life kept getting in the way and I had a hard time sitting down at my computer for a solid block of time. Luckily, I had a bunch of fabulous project 30 interviews lined up- did you read them? They were all fabulous! (Chelsea, Katie, Tobi & Amy Nicole).

The past few days have been full…we had friends staying with us, my momma’s birthday & Rosh Hashanah. In addition I have been under the weather the last two days. It’s just your run of the mill sore throat, headache & body aches but it’s knocked me on my ass. I just want to sleep all day. Sadly, Frank thinks sleeping all day is stupid. He’d much rather torture me with his tennis ball. Seriously, what do people do when they are sick and have small kids at home??? If a puppy is driving me nuts I can’t imagine a baby.

I’m planning on taking it pretty easy this weekend. The only thing I have on the books is a date with my little sister Briana. We are going to Aquarium Of The Pacific! I’m not sure who is more excited about this outing!

What inspired me this week?

30 things to start doing for yourself 

All the beautiful and moving essays that have been posted on the Manifest-Station recently

This quote…”The things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling.“- Fabienne Fredrickson

What am I grateful for this week?

Long visits with Taline and baby Liam

A beautiful Rosh Hashanah dinner with family. It was such a warm evening filled with love and laughter…Shana Tova!!

Lunch with my brother and my momma to celebrate her birthday at a restaurant on the sand

My family for offering to take Frankie out on dates these last two days to give me a break while sick in bed

A margarita date with my friend Jen Pastiloff 

It’s officially fall…bring out the pumpkins and pumpkin candles!

My dear friend Ali had a healthy & beautiful baby boy

My husband…always my husband

What surprised me this week?

My experience at the DMV…story coming Monday!

Lastly, have you seen this video yet? I’m obsessed

currently…

7 Feb

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Hellllllllo weekend. I’m SO very happy that you have arrived because you are going to be a good one. Tonight Brian and I are having a date night- we have three different restaurants in mind that we could possibly hit up. It’s between Mexican, Pho and Cuban. Tomorrow during the day I’m taking my little sister Ana on our second date….miniature golfing here we come! Tomorrow night we are having two of our favorite couples over for our monthly dinner club…we usually go out and try new restaurants but this time we are staying in because we have a new addition to the group…baby Margot!!! Hopefully Margot likes pizza and wine. And Sunday Brian and I are going to tackle booking hotels for our honeymoon and probably just be cuddly at home all day.

currently…

reading….The Goldfinch for a book club that I started recently. I have been falling behind on my reading and needed a little pick me up. I used to read every night when I got in bed but now I seem to fall asleep on the couch while we watch tv. Pathetic! There was a time not too long ago when I didn’t even own a tv! I got so much more done. I also love hanging with my fabulous girlfriends and will find any excuse to have them all in one room, so I thought…I should start a book club! Our first meeting March 22nd. Are any of you guys in book clubs? Do you have any tips on how to throw a fabulous one? Or any great questions to ask?

working on…writing various personal essays. I’ve written four in the past few weeks. I wrote one about the body image issues I developed after ten years working as a professional fit model, one about an interesting encounter I had with a neighbor, one about our trek through Nepal and lastly one about my seven-year battle with anxiety – which I’m happy to report I’ve been winning recently. Each essay has a life of its own and I’ve enjoyed the process of writing them. Oh and the feeling I get from putting them in a little folder entitled “finished  essays”…pure joy. Now, I plan on writing more and trying to get the others published.

watching...sadly, not much of substance lately. I’m patiently waiting for Walking Dead, House Of Cards & Grey’s Anatomy to return and in the meantime I have found myself watching episodes of The Real Housewives Of BH. I know, I know…truly embarrassing.

loving…nesting and working on home projects (I spent far too long mulling over different shades of grey for our walls. Don’t worry the perfect shade has been chosen. PHEW), planning and daydreaming about our upcoming honeymoon (I can’t wait to be away with Brian for a whole month. We so need it) Apples with almond butter (it’s becoming an everyday occurrence), my new Polaroid camera (FUN! although Frank doesn’t seem to find it too fun. He barks and hides when the picture pops out), the coral mirror that my darling husband painted for me (he’s a keeper), trying on my bridesmaid dress with Rachel for her upcoming wedding ( I LOVE it and her) & dinner dates with my beautiful pregnant girlfriend Taline ( I still can’t get it through my head that my best friend is going to become a mama. It blows my mind)

eating…paleo. I’m not strict about it everyday but I’ve been sticking to it Monday- Friday and I really feel a difference…more energy, flatter stomach, better digestion…blah…blah…blah. I’ve even gotten Brian into it. He says he likes it.

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“If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely” – Roald Dahl

let’s do this 2014

6 Jan

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My vision board for 2014 is finally done! It took me a bit longer than anticipated. I usually finish it in one day but this year I found myself more contemplative (is this a sign that I’m getting older?) about what I wanted on it. Since 2013 was focused on my home life…I hope 2014 can be a year focused on my career…and maybe 2015 the year of the baby? Brian just read that and probably lost his breath a bit. HA! I have so many career goals and I felt like they took a back seat this last year. I’m not complaining…I feel like some years have themes and everything ebbs and flows. But now I am raring to go. That doesn’t mean I want 2014 to be allllll about my career because that would be just plain boring. Life is so much more than just your career.

My 2014 goals…

TRAVEL / SOUTHEAST ASIA

I can’t imagine a year that I won’t put a travel goal on my list. I live and breathe travel. My life feels the most full when I am traveling. The first year I stared this blog my goal was to travel across the country and I did just that with my lovely girlfriend Rachel. It was a wild adventure…a wild adventure that had us sleeping in tepees…, getting chased by what we thought was a tornado…exploring haunted cemeteries in New Orleans…touring Graceland…and so much more…it was a month of bliss. I still think about that trip, often. Last year my goal was to travel overseas with Brian and we ended up heading to Asia…we explored Hong Kong and trekked the Himalayas in Nepal. That trip changed me. Seriously, it changed me. It opened my eyes and my heart in ways I hadn’t expected. I had never been to Asia prior to that trip and I fell in love…hard. The experience left me wanting more. So this year Brian and I are planning on taking our belated honeymoon through parts of southeast Asia. The four locations we are looking into are Thailand, Bali, Vietnam & Cambodia. Depending on many variables…we could end up going to one location or all four. I’m sure you can imagine I would love to go to all four but we will see!

VOLUNTEER / BIG SISTER

Last year one of my goals was to join the BBBS program and become a big sister. I was niave enough to think this would be a quick and simple process but, it is not. After submitting may application…it took months to hear back…than I had to go through background checks and interviews…once given the OK I had to wait until I was matched with the right child. I will say that I think it’s amazing how thorough they are. They give a lot of thought on which child to pair you with depending on your likes, dislikes & background. When I finally got a call saying they had a child in mind it was a few weeks before our wedding and I knew it would be irresponsible of me to take it on at that moment, considering my head was being pulled in a million directions. So I told them I would call back after the dust settled in December. When I finally did I went through an interview with the family…first the child alone (to see if she liked me)…then her parents (to see if they liked me) and then each of us sat down with a case worker to see if we all liked each other. I’m kinda thinking this is the future of dating, no? Seriously! In the end we ALL liked each other! PHEW. Starting this month Brianna, my new little sister (who happens to be the sweetest, cutest and most creative 13-year-old girl) and I start our bimonthly dates. I’m so excited and slightly nervous I won’t be able to come up with fun activities.

WRITING / MY BOOK

Oh, my book….my book…my book. It’s been on my brain for two years now. I wrote the book proposal many moons ago…then the first chapter…a chapter in which I’m pretty proud of. But the problem with books…they just don’t contain one chapter. Writing a book also take a lot of time and focus…two things which I seemed to have none of this last year. But I’ve finally arrived at a place in which I have both time (well other than my new commitment to watching every “Walking Dead” episode- I’m obsessed) and head-space to create. My goal is to have a finished manuscript by the end of the year that I am ready to submit.

PUBLISH / SIX ESSAYS

I am a huge fan of personal essays.  I love reading them in all the forms they come…short, long, funny, sad, depressing, uplifting- I love the insight they give into different people’s lives. Because of my interest I took a personal essay writing class with the incredibly talented Taffy Brodesser-Akner a few months ago and decided that I not only wanted to read personal essays but I also wanted to write them. So I’ve made it my goal to publish six essays this year. Wish me luck!

HOME / DECORATE

As many of you know we moved into our new home well, shit, almost a year ago and our office still looks like a bomb went off in it, we have no dining table & our walls are white. Try having people over for dinner without a dining table…dare you. I wasn’t aware of how far back we had fallen until our building hosted a loft tour for owners to show-off their units to other owners. You know…a fun way to meet neighbors and compare decorating tips. Clearly, I wasn’t stupid enough to sign our home up on the tour but I also wasn’t expecting to walk into units and feel like I was in the pages of Home Decor. Each unit felt wildly different and they were all beyond gorgeous. After the tour ended…I walked into our loft and I vowed I would change it…SOON. The funny thing is I love decorating- I find it so creatively full-filling. I blame our wedding for the fact that our house looks like we just moved in. I swear weddings…such time suckers! So now that the wedding is off our plates, I want to focus on finishing our home this year.

my motto this year:

“Your life shows up for you, when you show up for your life.” – Marianne Williamson

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