Monday, November 29, 2010

Right Foot Forward

As a new-ish social worker (only a year until I have my Master's Degree!), I have never been more proud of this project, Right Foot Forward. One of my advanced classes is developing a soccer program for the $100 million homeless campus here in San Antonio, Haven for Hope. H4H is amazing because they offer dorms, hot meals, classes, vocational training, jobs on campus, help finding jobs off campus, a chapel, and different clubs to all the members. Our soccer program will be the newest club on campus, one that we have worked very hard to develop all semester. I feel so lucky to be in this advanced communities class, this semester, on THIS project, and even luckier to be named a project leader. We are having a soccer tournament/festival on December 12 at a nearby park, with bands, food, and a medal ceremony for all the participants.

Yes, it has been very stressful getting e-mails from before 8am to past 11pm, follow-up texts to make sure I got said e-mails, and the pressure of having our project fail (thank goodness for my patient boyfriend who listens to me complain about it all). It is more than made up for every time I get to hang out with the teams, scrimmage with them, hear how excited they are, and remember how much happiness soccer brought to my life.

Check out the pictures I took of our first practice here:

and more about the program here:

To any philanthropists out there, we are still looking for in-kind or equipment donations :)

I simply can not wait for December 12th!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Narvarte Women

Anyone who knows me, knows how much my family means to me. This past week I've been lucky enough to spend time with both of my beautiful and sweet sisters. I love them so much, and it's been 5 years since we've all been together in one place. I love these pictures:

Amy, me, and Julia

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Five Days

Five days until I'm in one place with my brother and two sisters, for the first time in so many years. My family is my heart and soul. 

"Though we may be a thousand miles apart 
A brother and a sister have a single heart 
And the beat don't stop for nothin'...."
- Old Crow Medicine Show, "Caroline"

And of course, I'll get to spend time with my adorable nieces and nephews, six(!) in total. 

alana and i'olani during our 10 hour adventure at sea world... i love spending time with them
(doesn't the family behind them look SO HAPPY to see shamu?? haha)

my baby niece eva, torturing my baby nephew diego :)

my little northern snowflakes from denver max and wylie, 
after I bought them sugar straws, and before i released them back to my sister.

I'm not sure how silly it sounds, but a lot of times I'd rather hang out with my nieces and nephews than with people my own age. They are so creative, with such an addicting fascination for everything life has to offer. I can't wait to hug their little faces off!

Monday, May 31, 2010

My Seeeester

My sister Julia is one of my best friends (well, both of my sisters are). We haven't always been close, because she's 12 years older than me, but in the last 5 years we've grown so much closer. She is so gorgeous (blonde, hazel eyes), extremely intelligent (federal prosecutor), and very funny. And her family is GORGEOUS.

pumpkin patch in Rochester, NY

me and Wylie

My nephews, Max and Wylie

Me and Max

They lived in Rochester for so long, and unfortunately I only got to see them about once every year and a half, but a couple months ago they moved to Denver! This is their amazing house:
crazy, huh?

Well, my sister informed me that she and the fam are coming to visit Texas in July! For Mother's Day, her husband bought them all tickets to visit! I am SOO excited because not only will I get to hug and kiss them all, but this will be the first time in over 10 years that ALL my siblings will be in the same place at the same time! Instead of always having one piece missing, it will all be here :) AND we're going to throw our parents a party for their 70th birthdays (can you believe it, 70!?)!

My brother Peter, and sister Julia

my gorgeous sister Amy... she has the most beautiful olive skin!

Dancing in Mexico with my sister-in-law Stephi... We're so close I just call her my sis.

I truly believe that siblings are soul mates... no one can understand the connection that we share. I can't express how excited I am for this whole vacation!!!

Sunday, May 30, 2010


I think we dream so we don't have to be apart so long.  If we're in each other's dreams, we can play together all night. 
 ~Bill Watterson, Calvin & Hobbes

Long distance is hard in every sense of the word. Communication without the comfort of physical touch, hours of conversation without a glimpse of their face... it's a relationship without two of the five senses a person uses to express and receive love. 

Justin and I have been doing this for almost a year now, and it never gets easier. Only harder. We get sad to leave each other days in advance instead of hours, the feeling of sadness is more intense, and we're never really sure when our schedules will allow us to see each other again. I'm aware that so many more people have it harder than us, much much harder, and that is comforting at times. Mostly though, I just miss my best friend. 

Our very first picture together, on the very first night we met :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Addison Food + Music Festival

...... emphasis on food :)

I'm pretty serious about crawfish. I love the meticulous process of opening them, the spiciness, the messiness, everything. I've been known to put away 2lbs easily, and have no sense of shame when it comes to sucking out the brains. It's probably pretty gross for anyone watching me, but I love them. 

There was SO much food to choose from at the festival! In addition to the crawfish I had part of a burrito  and delicious sushi.

We were front row for one of my favorite artists Bob Schneider. He played 40 Dogs, a beautiful song that has always reminded Justin and I of each other, even when we were just friends. 


Justin's iphone pic

soo many people!
beautiful sunset

My social worker friends came up from San Antonio, Justin's friend Russ and his girlfriend Erin came from Ft. Worth, and Justin's brother Josh came with us. We all had so much fun, and might have had a littttttle too much to drink, but it was totally worth the headache today :)

I definitely recommend Taste of Addison who loves music and food! 

Friday, May 14, 2010

let's try again

Okay, I'll admit I'm SO BAD at keeping up with my blog. I am in awe of people that form serious friendships from blogs, and can turn mundane life activities into interesting short stories. Blogs are like windows into a stranger's life and I've always wanted to have one, but sadly I'm really bad at keeping up with them.

 I will update with pictures and the wonderful (and a bit mindless) book series I've been reading on Monday. For now, another fill in the blanks:

1. The very best thing about the summer is hands down, the warm, humid nights! I LOVE being outside, cooking out with my family, fishing at my uncle's lake house, having beers, partying, or eating crawfish. I especially love the minimal clothing needed for summer nights ;) I love it all, as long as it's outside.

2. My first crush ever was Michael Montoya in pre-k. I liked him because he was the only other kid whose parents let him watch Red Sonja and Conan the Barbarian, and he was the best one in our little karate class. 

3. This may sound really silly but 
gum really freaks me out. I have a serious problem with the sugary smell, the smacking sound people make while chewing it, its stickiness, the fact that people throw it ANYWHERE they want; it's just completely vile.    

4. I squeeze my toothpaste from usually the middle, and then I roll it up from the bottom when I'm running out.

5. My absolute favorite 'comfort food' is anything my mom makes, but more specifically her cheese potatoes and split pea soup (with chunks of ham, mmm). They are the epitome of comfort food during cold weather! During the summer, I usually lean towards mexican food, especially at places that have patios and margaritas :)

6. A random fact about me is that I love action flicks from the 80s/early 90s. LOVE them. I blame my dad for always making me watch martial arts movies when I was young instead of girly (and age appropriate) movies. Kickboxer, Bloodsport, Lionheart, Road House, Rambo First Blood parts 1 and 2, all the Rocky's... I would pick these any day over a chick flick. I think my boyfriend Justin loved this about me for a little while, but now he has no excuse to see the romantic movies he secretly likes :) poor baby.

7. The one piece of technology that truly makes my life better and I couldn't live without is my mac. I have to write a lot of papers for grad school and it's so so SO nice to have a laptop doesn't blue-screen 11 times before actually starting up. I've had it or a year and half now, without any problems whatsoever. I am turning into one of those annoying mac people that convinces pc users to switch over :)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Fill in the blanks

In an attempt to keep current with my blog, and to celebrate finishing another semester in my master's program, here's a fill in the blanks session:

1.  My favorite book growing up was     Goodnight Moon and Where the Wild Things Are. Goodnight Moon always made me feel safe at night, and I loved the idea of escaping to another world like the little boy in Where the Wild Things Are    .

2.  The funniest book I've ever read was     I have to agree with "I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell." I read it in two days and laughed the entire time .

3.  The one book that has truly changed my life is      "Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortensen. He started a non-profit that builds schools in the middle-east, and this book is about how the non-prof got started. It's so inspiring, and played a role in me becoming a social worker.

4.  If you're looking for a real "tear jerker" you should probably read     "Water for Elephants." I'm not usually one for mushy romance novels, but this really got me. It is set back in the 30's in a traveling circus, and puts "The Notebook" to shame :)   .

5.  If I could meet any author living or dead I would want to meet    Absolutely John Krakauer. He wrote "Into Thin Air" and "Under the Banner of Heaven," two of my favorite books. He's an adventurer, researcher, and a very dynamic writer.     .

6.  The next book on my "to read" list is      "Drood" by Dan Simmons. It's a fictionalized account of the last years of Charles Dicken's life. My sister-in-law's mother, a librarian, recommended it  .

7.  If I was snowed into  remote cabin in the woods and could only choose three books to bring with me I'd bring      I'd have to cheat and cluster the Sookie Stackhouse novels into one group, the Harry Potter novel's in another group, and Homer's Iliad and Odyssey in the last    .

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

diego's first birthday

sooo smiley!

my two gorgeous nieces 
(everyone says my niece eva, left, looks like she could be my daughter.... i think it's the eyebrows)

the evalu

my sister in law, brother, diego, and eva 

I can't believe a year ago to this sunny day, I was sitting with my sister-in-law in her room, holding hands and timing contractions with her. Diego is the happiest baby I know, and his sloppy, open-mouthed, drooly, bite-your-lip kisses are to die for... but maybe I'm a bit biased :)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

meet me in...

Gruene, Texas.

I took my sweet soulmate here for a day date, and fell in love.

The old antique-y photo place

Hamburgers on the river (I'm a sucker for a good burger with jalapenos and cheese)

At a wine tasting, splitting a bottle of wine.
(we joked that our bottle of strawberry dessert wine looked like a bottle of boone's farm)

This was the best dessert I've ever had. A brownie cake, with fresh strawberries and homemade vanilla ice cream. Plus our strawberry wine... I was in heaven.

a little cheese :)

listening to a local band and drinking beers


J said if we end up getting married, we should get married here in this little town. I said we should start with a weekend at the local B&B, with tubing on the river, and a show at the famous Gruene Dance Hall ;)

These pictures make me so happy, especially on days when the distance between San Antonio to Dallas feels as large as an ocean.