Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Thoughts on family time.

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This weekend, my youngest brother, Jeff, his wife, Jill and their son, Marcus came to stay with us. We were so happy to have them come down our way for a visit. It was their first time to see the Rio Grande Valley. I picked them up from the airport on Friday afternoon and as luck would have it, the torrential rains began on our drive back to the house--thanks to Hurricane Hermine. The irony is that since Hurricane Alex hit back in June, we have had little to no rain. Ugh!!! There was so much rain in fact on Friday, that we had severe flooding in the streets with the accompanying massive thunder and lightening. Timing could not have been worse, but we were dead set on enjoying the evening anyway.

Given the fact that we were pretty much confined to the house due to the terrible weather, we sent the men out to brave the storm and get us some of the valley's finest tamales, Delia's. Our favorite tamale being cream cheese and jalapeno. Literally, the best tamales on the planet!!! As we like to say in Texas....they were mouth-waterin', finger linkin' good...yum...yum!!! I felt a little guilty about sending the guys out for Delia's because it ended up taking them over an hour to drive the 2 mile drive and back in the rain, but they were successful and oh my goodness, the trip was {as I expected} so worth it. The tamales were sooooo good!

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Little Man so enjoyed getting to hang out with his cousin, Marcus.

I must admit though it made me a little sad to see them together. It is becoming more and more apparent to me when I watch my son play and interact with other children, he needs a brother or sister to grow up with. I wish more than anything that I could give him those siblings, but for whatever reason, it is not in God's will for us right now. I pray that a special day will come, in the not too distant future, where he will have that opportunity to giggle, laugh and play with his own siblings like he did with Baby Marcus this weekend. Nothing would make me happier!, my friends--that is what I keep reminding myself when I have these sad feelings. ;-)

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Aunt Jill and Uncle Jeff came bearing presents for Little Man in honor of his 4th birthday he celebrated last week. They also brought a special gift from Little Man's Uncle Brent, Aunt Sheri, Beck and Kinsey {another two of his cousins}. Wow! This was an unexpected surprise!!

Oh my, how excited he was to be showered with these presents and attention! He is a blessed little boy, that's for sure.

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And no visit to the Rio Grande Valley would be complete without a trip to KoKo's, one of our favorite restaurants in McAllen. A few of our favorite items on the menu are the queso dip with meat, authentic steak fajitas and their to-die-for limeade beverage.

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Needless to say, we had a nice time dining at KoKo's and all left with full tummies!

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On Saturday afternoon, we took a drive over to South Padre Island to eat at Dirty Al's and look around. It was a relaxing afternoon and thankfully we had zero rain.

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Little Man got a lesson on how to bottle-feed a you can see, Baby Marcus was being so very patient.

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Uncle Jeff encouraged Little Man to try out his size 15 tennis shoes...holy cow!!! Now those are some big shoes.

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On Monday, we had to say our good-byes. The Hubby, Little man and I drove them to the Harlingen airport {all the way praying that their flight would make it out before the Hurricane Hermine reared its ugly head}. We were sad to see them leave, but I think Little Man took it the hardest.

By the time we got home, he was completely pooped out from the fun weekend and fell fast asleep on the couch while the Hubby and I watched a documentary on Thomas Jefferson...yes, I know...I know.... we have turned into that 'ole married couple. But I must admit...I wouldn't have it any other way. Time at home with my two fellas is my favorite thing to do.

I don't know about you, but I find life to be ever growing in its hectic nature and fast paced tendencies. To the point where I feel sometimes overwhelmed and suffocated by all the vast transferring of information and "busy"ness of it all.

Growing up in the South and in a small town, I saw firsthand as a kid how life was once simpler and slow paced. If you remember the Andy Griffin show, that is how I remember my hometown. A peaceful, slow-paced, lovely place to grow up as a kid. In essence, we were sheltered from the world in many ways. I remember my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents gathered around the dinner table with their children and grandchildren, all of us engaged in wholesome and worthwhile conversation. Laughing and talking for hours. No one was busy or distracted by watching satellite or cable television. None of us were glued to a computer checking our email or blogging ;-)!! You never found us occupied with texting or talking on our cell phones and so forth.... you get the jest of what I am saying here...these were truly simpler times. A time in life that allowed for the cultivation of more fruitful and meaningful relationships with family and friends.

I sometimes miss those simpler days.

I often wonder about the multitude of distractions of our day and age.
I wonder if "they" {meaning the distractions} are Satan's greatest tools to interfere with our spiritual progression. Our progression as individuals, as parents, as sons and daughters, as husbands and wives. I can only speak for my family when I say that admittedly, we are super busy during the week with work, church and well you name it - a plethora of commitments. I'm sure you all can relate to that.

For us, the weekends are a time to savor and enjoy our time together as a family. I will be the first to admit that I don't have all the answers when it comes to making it a priority to spend more quality time as a family, but we are trying our best to make this more of a focus. One thing I will share that we have tried this year, which in the beginning was SO VERY HARD for me...we discontinued our Dish Network (satellite tv subscription). OUCH!! I never thought I would survive without my t.v. shows, but you know hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be. In fact, I have found that I am more productive and less distracted by the media. I have more time to focus on hobbies, working out and obviously---spending time with family. Surprisingly, I have now been without my satellite subscription for over 9 months and I really don't feel that sad about it.

Now whether or not we will be without satellite or cable t.v. forever, that I cannot say {we are sorely missing it right now as the College Football season begins to ramp up} but I can say without hesitation, not having it has been a refreshing respite from "the world". We talk more, we laugh more and we play more as a family. And, I would also add that I have noticed we have a greater sense of peace in our home as a result of this one little change. Now don't let me mislead you...we still watch our DVD movies and enjoy our Netflix downstreaming when we can - however, these feel less intrusive for us.

So to wrap up this diatribe and little tangent of mine.... I know that if you and I want to feel less influenced or affected by "the world", it is crucial that we prioritize what and who matters most in our lives, continue to put family first and as a result, our relationships will deepen, and our happiness will increase.

This weekend was a reminder of that for me as we spent time with family.

And speaking of this fast paced and hectic world we live in, check out this tender video on how we can better navigate through this thing we call L-I-F-E....


So...there you have it my friends, that is how we at Casa de Mask celebrated our Labor Day weekend 2010. Spending quality time with family.

Good times and good memories, indeed.




  1. You have a gorgeous Family and lovely home! I wish I had your house!! Jealous! lol


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