SEE YOU SOON PRIMA

See you soon prima! For my non spanish speaking followers, prima means; cousin in spanish. And let’s just say that I have one special cousin that is so dear to my heart. She was here for her summer vacation from college. Yesterday she left sunny South Florida back for another semester in North Carolina. She is one of my best friends aside from being my cousin. No questions about it. Her name is Natalie. Natalie is 19 years old, going on 35. haha. I really don’t mean that in a bad way. You see..the point that I am trying to make is that she’s not your average 19-year-old. I have watched Natalie grow over the years and the change is remarkable. Remarkable in such an amazing way. I think what bonded us over the years, with me being some years older than her, is her sense of maturity. Watching her grow up from this little spunky girl to such a mature lady has been an honor of mine as her older cousin. I may be older, but I admire her in so many ways.

Natalie is one of the most DETERMINED individuals I have personally met and have had the chance to see the determination in full effect! When she put’s her mind into doing something, anything at all.. you better believe that she will deliver! I have been able to see her work hard for what she has and its honestly inspiring. When she was in high school she came up to me one day and said she was trying out for the “lacrosse club.” I remember looking at her and thinking “Since when does she even know what lacrosse is?!” Well, needless to say, she joined the “club” and taught herself and learned from those who were willing to teach her and soaked up all things lacrosse. That lacrosse “club” soon turned into a “team.” Soon after, we were headed out to her high school lacrosse games and watching her kick some lacrosse butt! Turns out the girl was good! SO good that she managed to be the first in our family to get a full ride scholarship to a University in North Carolina playing lacrosse. Her determination is so great that it never seems to fail her. And I pray that it never does =)

You see, besides being so determined..Natalie is such a loving individual. If and when you meet her, she seems a little straight forward and a bit standoffish. But once you get to know her and draws you in to her fun and laid back personality, you see all the love she has in her. She is so humble at heart, something I hope she never looses. Because Humility is a precious gift to have when you really possess it. She’s also a little jokester at heart and I love that about her because I think its something we both have in common. Laughing is always great, but when we laugh together its even better! I’m so glad that her and I will have so many memories to last us a lifetime. But I’m especially excited for all the future memories we will make!

So the day before she left, we did something we never get tired of doing in this family! Kayaking! Xavier and I packed our little  bags and took her to our favorite park to kayak! It was such a beautiful day! The water was amazingly calm and clear, so we took advantage and kayaked out to this amazing sandbar in the Miami bay. It was like being on a little island surrounded by the clear waters. The view is always pretty awesome with the Miami skyline and the palm trees from a far. Breathtaking! I wish that we would’ve spent more time while she was here for the summer. But being a grown up sometimes limits our time. But at the same time, the time we did spend together was great and memorable and full of good laughs!

Were hoping that we can pay her a visit soon to her School and add to the memory book we already have. So dear prima, you will be missed while away at school but I couldn’t be more proud of all your accomplishments thus far. I already cannot wait to see you the next time. Never forget that your favorite cousin is just a phone call away and will always be here for you! Keep your head up at all times and never lose your humility and that happiness you carry on a daily basis. Keep grounded always and always remember to keep God in your heart! It’s so great to be the audience of your life as of now. I am so proud of the woman you have become and all that you have left to be. I hope you have an amazing season and a great semester! Love you Prima!

❤ Jen

Here is our amazing shots from our day kayaking with the Prima!Processed with VSCOcam with b1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with c1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

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SEE YOU LATER ALLIGATOR! =)

10 DAY COUNTDOWN AND SOME WISHES

25As of today, the 10 day countdown begins till my 25th Birthday! August 29 to be exact. I am quite excited for this day! While I do realize that I am getting older and turning a quarter of a century old.. I still find it exciting and feel amazingly blessed! Blessed to make it to 25; alive, healthy, happy, with a job, with a place to call home, in love with a man beyond my dreams, and a family that loves me unconditionally.

A couple of months ago I shared my feelings with you all when I realized that my birthday was coming up in my post half way to 50. In that post, I remember telling you all how in shock I was when I realized I would soon be half way to fifty. I also stated that I would try to enjoy my last couple months at 24, and in deed I have tried. Like I mentioned before, there are always going to be ups and downs. In these past couple months I definitely have to say that there were a lot more ups than downs, and for that I am grateful. Within these past two months I have tried to adventure out and do things with my parents, like kayaking which I also shared with you all in a post. I have made new goals, like our healthy/fit challenge, purchased my first new car and much more. While at times I complain how tired I am after a long day of work, I am also grateful that at 24 going on to 25 I have a career and a job. I believe that 24 was a good year for me and one that I am truly proud of and will always remember. Twenty-four was very memorable for me and one that I will always cherish. I personally feel like I accomplished a lot and I didn’t realize it until I sat down to share these feelings with you all. At 24 I graduated with my Bachelors in Nursing, entered the field of nursing with a new job, moved out and in with the love of my life who I met in nursing school (killed two birds with one stone ;P) and purchased my first new car! Not too shabby huh?  It wasn’t easy, but it was all worth it.

So on these last 10 days until that BIG 25, I will wait patiently and keep enjoying these last few days as 24 years young! And before I blow out my candles on that day and make some wishes.. I have some wishes before the day comes.

On that day I wish..

to be with my family and xavier’s…

to be with my honey xavier..

to be surrounded with peace..

to be somewhere I haven’t been to before..

to laugh as much as my belly allows..

to enjoy my day no matter what may happen..

and to eat some yummy cupcakes! why not right??

But most importantly, to keep in mind not just on that day.. but everyday, how truly blessed I am. To keep humble and do everything wholehearted. To always remember that God is good and to keep praying for his guidance, no matter what comes my way! I wish that this year more things get accomplished and that I stay true to who I am and who I hope to be. To be a better person. To stay committed to whatever goals I put out for myself. To spend more time with my family. To be a better me for Xavier, my family and myself. I wish for better and greater things for Xavier and I’s relationship. And lastly, I wish that if I fail in any, I learn from them and keep humble at heart. Because who I am and what I have are all by his grace and love. I welcome you with open arms and an open heart 25!! T-minus 10 days! See you soon 25!

Love,

Jen ❤

 

 

SUNDAY FUNDAY

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetToday we decided to spontaneously have a SUNDAY FUNDAY! Well kind of.. Late last night we decided that we should head over to one of our favorite places, Oleta River State Park. We also send out a last-minute invite to my parents and my little sister and they said they would let us know in the morning. So upon waking up, I guess they decided they felt a little spontaneous too and agreed to join us. We made a quick breakfast while my parents met us at our place. When they arrived we were ready to head out and we were full of excitement! This was going to be the first time we took my parents and my little sister to the park where I became Xavier’s girlfriend. Well the excitement was also due to them joining us on a kayaking Sunday in Miami. It was actually my moms first time kayaking and I couldn’t have been more proud of her! She did so well and was so much braver than I thought she would be. I think we all had a laugh or two seeing my parents on the same kayak and one doing all the work! At one point we looked back (since we did get a head start) and we just saw my mom holding the paddles still while my dad paddled to keep up! It was hilarious. My little sister definitely got a kick out of it and was glad she rode on our kayak. She was so cute today and was so excited every time she got a splash of water on her. She was a bit afraid at first, mostly because she kept thinking about “sharks” being in the water. Lets just say once she was on that kayak with us, her excitement and happiness took that fear away. We, re-assured her that she would be okay and that we wouldn’t let anything happen to her. We used the story that only dolphins lived in these waters and sharks lived a lot further away. Worked like a charm! haha. Well needless to say, the day was gorgeous. The sun was shining, and so were we! We made it out to a sandbar and had a blast in the water. It was so nice to be able to share one of our favorite past times with my parents and little sister! Their smiles today were priceless and heartwarming. But most importantly, it was wonderful to spend some quality time with them today…especially being such a beautiful day! We are hoping that next weekend we can head out there again. But next time we hope its with Xavier’s parents and our brothers and sisters. Im hoping we can make it happen! I love where we live. Miami is definitely great place to have in our backyards! This was our day through our iPhone’s.. Hope you all had a wonderful Sunday!Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with g3 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with g3 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with c1 presetCheers to SUNDAY FUNDAYS!

Love, Jen ❤

OUR FITNESS/HEALTHY CHALLENGE

A healthier usHey all, tonight Xavier and I decided to start our own fitness challenge! We both can honestly tell you all that we have slacked off big time. When Xavier and I were in nursing school, we both were very much dedicated to working out and having a healthy lifestyle. Well, love comes along and… Just kidding! haha. But on a serious note, I think our slacking started off on our last semester in nursing school.

It was such a busy time for us during our last practicum and our time was very limited. We had to work around or preceptor schedules and finally started doing those 12 hour shifts..exhausting! Lucky for Xavier he had day shift, so he had some wiggle time. Unfortunately for me, I had no choice and ended up on night shifts that last semester of nursing school. Lets just say that juggling in a nurses 12 hour shifts 3-4 times a week, plus classes, study time, endless amounts papers and the beginning of our relationship as boyfriend and girlfriend, was exhausting. We were definitely fortunate to share the same struggles and challenges in many ways for sure. Needless to say, Xavier was so good to me helping me juggle night shift while he was in days. So as you can see, time definitely played a role in us lacking efforts to make it to the gym and keeping motivated.

Shortly after graduating and passing our boards we were very blessed to have jobs 2 months after! But in between those months we finally found ‘some’ time to make it to cross fit or the gym. On some of our days we were heading over to mountain bike trails and getting some kayaking in as well. Well our two months were up and life started! We began to work the 12 hour shifts 3-4 days a week and for a new nurse, it was mentally and physically exhausting! we work in a very fast paced hospital, at least I seem to think so.

Well enough is enough! Some weight was gained, and some toning was lost! And now its time to reverse that and loose the gained, and tone the un-toned! We have a trip lined up in October to NYC, and we made that a time frame for our beginning goal.

Our goals from now till then will be simple to get us back into that rhythm of eating better and being more active!

So our goals for now will be:

  1. Eat healthier, cleaner foods.
  2. Cooking at home more often (especially for work)
  3. Choosing healthier options when eating out
  4. Going to the Gym AT LEAST 3 times per week (4-5 preferably)
  5. More outdoor activities

Tonight we started by going to cross fit, something I was a little apprehensive about. Only because I personally feel there’s more of a risk for injuries. Xavier had done cross fit for some years before so I compromised with him. If he agreed to start our challenge the clean way (no chemical filled powders) I would join him in cross fit. So tonight I went to  the beginners class, learned proper form and techniques to start our compromise.

Xavier wants to lose around 10 pounds from now till october, and I ultimately just want to help him be motivated, lose just a couple and tone up myself and gain my endurance back! All in all, it was a great night to start ‘our fitness challenge’!  If you have any suggestions, tips, ideas or your own fitness challenges, we would love to hear all about them! So go out there and join us in putting on our running shoes more often!

Ready… set… GO!

Here’s a little glimpse into what we want to get back into!

We will keep you all posted! Have a wonderful, healthy day!

-Xavier and Jen

TO OUR MOM: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

mom10This week we celebrated  our moms birthday. Let me just tell you all before I go into details, that I haven’t seen that smile on her face in a long time. It was great to see her so happy. To start off, this year my dad had a great idea to surprise her. And boy was she surprised! The plan was to take her out to dinner to a place that she had never been to, but by the beach. Well, the question was, what restaurant?? There are so many down here in South Florida. We wanted to take her to one where we knew she would enjoy the food! ( she’s a picky eater, haha) The second part of the plan was that she would be under the impression that it was only going to be her and my dad. So the search for a restaurant and to make it seem they were going out to a birthday dinner date began. Part of the plan was for my boyfriend and I to pick up my little sister an hour or two before they left for their date. The next part of the plan was to get all my brothers and us of course, together that day to surprise her.

Well on a more personal level, no family is perfect… mine including. So to make a long story short, getting all of us siblings together with my parents was a big step. But by grace and with forgiving hearts, the arrangements were made and we were all on the same page and ready to surprise our mom!

So this past Wednesday,  a couple of days before her actual birthday (we have a wedding to attend on her birthday) we all had the night off from our busy everyday duties..so we used that opportunity to surprise her! I got up that day and picked up some delicious Misha’s cupcakes instead of a traditional birthday cake. ( I highly recommend to try these cupcakes, they are soo yummy!) After that, my boyfriend and I headed over to my parents and picked up Sofia two hours before dinner. We tricked her into thinking Sofia was going to join us for dinner with x and I and his parents, and she fell for it! Shortly after, we got ourselves dolled up and we were of to a restaurant by the beach here in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Sea Watch on the Ocean. All us siblings headed to the restaurant first, to wait for her big arrival! We held up our menus so that she wouldn’t see us as she walked in. But when she walked in, she followed my dads instructions to close her eyes.. and long behold, a big “SURPRISE” was definitely heard in the restaurant!

Her excitement and reaction was beautiful and heart warming.  I think deep down we all secretly shed a tear or two with her. She was so overwhelmed with appreciation that we were all there and TOGETHER. Something that had not happened in a long time. I still remember seeing her face and how happy and moved she was. I think as we get older, we seem to appreciate our parents happiness a lot more.. and becomes something you only wish you can fill their hearts with. I think we all did just that this night. And the best part of it was that we all came together for HER and did that and brought her happiness.

After our delicious meals, we headed over to the beach. It was literally right behind the restaurant so we continued the celebration! She blew out the candles on her cupcakes and made a wish that I bet was already complete! Cheers to our mom, friend, and the reason for many of our cries, laughter and love! We wish you so many more by our side!

So dear, Mami..

Happy Birthday from all of us.

We love you oh so much and enjoy seeing you happy!

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Isn't she beautiful?
Isn’t she beautiful?

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Happy Birthday Mami
Happy Birthday Mami

Happy Day my beautiful mother.. You are loved so dearly. May God Bless with you many more.. May he fill your heart with more love, more forgiveness, more happiness and more dreams in your heart.

Love, Jen and the family.