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Mass @ Church of the Good Shepherd


While in NYC we decided to go to mass on Saturday night b/c we knew that Sunday would be a very busy day since it was my Father-in-law's wife's baby shower. I had been so worried that we would have to travel far to go to church, but to my great surprise there was a Catholic church a half a block away from my Father in law's apartment building.

We went to confession before mass. The confessional booth was so architecturally beautiful. It's been a while since I had the sacrament of confession in a traditional booth. My children were in awe of it. The priest was a Franciscan Monk and my children were also in awe of his garments and sandals. What a nice and kind man this priest is. He left an impression on all of us.

After confession we did our penance and stood for mass. The mass was beautiful. The priest blessed water and renewed our baptismal rites. The organist played beautifully and the singer was angelic. In honor of Memorial Day we sang traditional American hymns. The mass was amazing. The church was absolutely breathtaking with all of it's architectural details.

We are looking forward to visiting this church again the next time we are in New York. It left such an impression on us that we bought a "thank you" card for Father Abbatiello and plan to send it out tomorrow.

Photos courtesy of this blogger: http://catholicmanhattan.blogspot.com/2009/05/63-st-john-baptist.html

Ten Random Thoughts About NYC

  1. The Energy is Exhilarating: There are so many things going on at once. I am entertained with people watching. Being part of the hustle and bustle of the city makes me feel energized. I love the diversity and the culture. Sometimes I forget how awesome NYC is.
  2. Children are so Independent: City kids are so much more independent then suburban kids. I don't know if this is a good thing or not. It is not uncommon to see very young children hanging out alone - crossing the streets going to the store, etc. I am way to overprotective to be a city mom. While enjoying the city I was still very aware of my surroundings and of my children. I was trying really hard not to be a helicopter mom...lol.
  3. People drive like idiots: Why is it that people don't know how to drive in the city? They are very impatient and rude! My driving demeanor changes when I am in NYC. I have to morph into an abrupt barbarian, so that the city drivers don't take advantage of me!
  4. So much materialism: I've noticed that many people's priorities are skewed. They are very into their appearance and keeping up with the Jones'. It seems that humility is a foreign concept for many.
  5. Modesty is Unheard of: So many short skirts and low cut blouses everywhere you look. You can look nice without being vulgar. Even some older women were dressed inappropriately.
  6. NYC has Beautiful Churches: I have a better appreciation for the Catholic Churches in NYC now that I have others to compare them to. The architecture and statues are breath taking.
  7. It's so Dirty: Although I am a New Yorker and will always love my city, I now realize how dirty it is... lol. I witnessed a lady eating a pretzel and throwing her napkin right on the ground (like no big deal) when there was a trash can like 2 feet away! The sad thing is that this is typical behavior. Many don't clean up after their dogs or themselves for that matter!
  8. My house is not small: After being an entire weekend in a NYC apartment, I realize how enormous my house is. I am very blessed. My Father-in-law and his wife entertained about 20 + family members in their small apartment and we had a great time.
  9. So much Yummy Food: No matter what you want to eat you can find it, it doesn't matter where in the city you are or what time it is!
  10. I Miss Walking and Public Transportation: Although I love the convenience of just jumping in my car and not having to carry my groceries 10 blocks :) I miss walking and window shopping. The great thing about NYC is the eye candy - your eyes are never EVER bored!

Visiting NYC

i love new york logo Pictures, Images and Photos

We spent the entire weekend back home. We had such a wonderful time. I forgot how much I love the city and being around our family.

My Mural


One of my friend's recently asked me to post these b/c she never got to see them.

These are pictures of a mural I painted in my daughter's room at our first home.

Gosh, I missed the days when my time was spent filled with playdates, tot time, and when the babies were sleeping I would dove into creativity.

I also miss our first home. That little townhouse was my blank canvas (sigh).

Hmmm, maybe I'll dig up some old photos of some more of my creative works :)

Photobucket
Photobucket

Cutting Corners

This funny cracks me up b/c it reminds me of times when my kids were toddlers and before bedtime would pick the looooooooong books to read; I would skip a few pages to hurry it along. As they got older it didn't work b/c they knew what came next or they sat next to me and could read the words that I was skipping...LOL! It's funny b/c I no longer mind reading long books. I guess I've realized that time flies and children grow up.... really fast.


The Truth About Gardasil Vaccine

Please watch this before you inject your daughters. Many girls are DYING after receiving this shot!





Happy Birthday Sis!


Do you know what's in a flu vaccine?

I am really big on educating myself before I put something into my body. We all need to be advocates for our own health.

Check out this video...it's food for thought.

Got an "A" in my class!!!! I am soooooooooooo stoked!
Hooray!

San Juan


This picture makes me happy. I miss Puerto Rico.
I miss El Viejo San Juan.

Took My Anatomy and Physiology Final Exam

It's OVER! I made it! I conquered one of the most difficult classes offered at my school.


And now I wait for my grade... definitely a "B", but have my fingers crossed for and "A"
The grades will be posted no later than Monday. Will keep you posted...

Picaflor


This is the story about the unhappy wildflower…


One day while the gardener was tending to his garden, he noticed a lonely flower way out in the woods. “What a beautiful flower,” he thought. He stood up, wiped his hands on his overalls, and walked into the woods. What a curious thing, this flower was; so erect and confident, in the midst of the unruly woods. The gardener was tempted to bring her over to his garden, but felt that this late in the season  may ruin her, so he let her be. Instead he got some of his supplies and tried his best to make her comfortable in the life that she was already living. He  fertilized her, watered her, and wished her well.


The flower alone in the woods, sometimes felt lonely, but knew that this was her home. She knew she could never be tamed, for she was a wild flower. However, the fall came and the season got rough and the flower sometimes wished that she was covered and sheltered along with the gardener’s other flowers. Winter made her spirit falter and she felt that she would never live to see the spring. However, the flower was strong and she survived the turbulence of the seasons.


One spring morning when the gardener went to check on the wild flower, he noticed her companion, a little sprout. Amazed and bewildered the gardener congratulated the flower and tended to her and her sprout. The flower then did an amazingly selfless thing - she begged the gardener to move her and her sprout to his garden. Being the wise man that he was, the gardener hesitated and questioned the flower about her motives, for he knew that moving a wild flower could be imprudent. She explained that she was afraid for her little sprout and knew that a sheltered life would be best for him. Although apprehensive, he obliged, and committed to move them.


The morning that they were to be moved the flower felt a great relief – she knew that her sprout would now be safe and she need not worry anymore. The gardener came as he said he would, and carefully moved the flower and her little sprout. He chose the perfect location and put them near his most precious flower – a flower so precious to him that it inherited his name. The gardener knew that his lovely wildflower would be in great hands near his namesake. He knew that his namesake, a responsible and wise flower would do everything in his power to protect the flower and her sprout.


Seasons passed and everything seemed well. The sprout grew to be a lovely flower. He proved to be as responsible as the gardener’s namesake when three more sprouts came along. The former sprout-now flower, played the part of both teacher and playmate to the three new sprouts, and they all got along. The wildflower seemed happy and knew that she had done the right thing by moving to a sheltered life for the sake of her sprouts. However, her color was not as vibrant as it once was, and her posture faltered. One day when the gardener came by, his namesake called to him and requested that they speak in private. The gardener temporarily removed his precious flower and listened to what he had to say. It was not good; the gardener’s namesake was worried. He was worried that the wildflower was unhappy, that she was losing her color and with it her life. The gardener asked him what they should do. As sad as he was to say it, he did, “Send her back to the woods,” replied the gardener’s namesake.


The gardener approached the wildflower the next day and asked if it were true, if she was unhappy living at his garden. The wildflower admitted that although she was grateful to the gardener and the companion that he had chosen for her, she was indeed unhappy. She missed being untamed. She missed the unruliness of the woods and the seasonal birds that came and went. She mostly missed the Picaflor, the bird that fed of her pollen and whispered sweet songs of melodies. The gardener, being the wise man that he was, shook his head and explained to the wildflower that he was afraid that this day would come. He explained that he knew that one day she would become unhappy with the shelter that he provided and the companion that he had chosen for her. He then went on to say that the same way he knew this day would come; he also knew that one day she would regret leaving. Despite his warning and his advice the wildflower insisted that she needed to be set free, and as she said it, the gardener followed her gaze and saw the Picaflor. The bird had been waiting patiently by a tree, for he too knew that his persistence and temptations would soon wear the wildflower down. When he first started coming he thought that it would never happen, for the wildflower was in love with her companion and her sprouts, but when he saw her color fading he knew that his sweet songs would do her in. He came by every morning and sang to her until she faltered and he KNEW that she would then return to the place where she was fooled into believing that she belonged.


So with much sadness in his heart, the gardener set her free. He took his beloved wildflower and let her go back to the woods. He felt so sad to see her go, but knew that he would be there if she ever needed him…


The wildflower thought of no one, but herself as she straightened her stem out and felt the sunshine on her petals. She was free!!! She felt exhilarated and happy. She enjoyed the unruly woods and looked forward to mornings, when the Picaflor would come to feed off her pollen and sing sweet songs of melodies. When her sprouts took over her thoughts she begged the Picaflor to sing louder and he did, for he knew that if he didn’t she would soon realize that she no longer belonged. The Picaflor did everything in his power to keep up the charade because he needed the sweet pollen the wildflower brought. It was the pollen that he was really after all along.


One morning the Picaflor did not come to feed or to sing. The wildflower thought nothing of it because she knew that the Picaflor sometimes wandered off, but he always came back. It wasn’t till days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months that the wildflower began to worry. Her color was beginning to fade when the gardener paid her a visit. He always seemed to come when she needed him most. She cried and explained to the gardener that she had been so happy with the Picaflor, but that she now was so empty without him. She said that without his sweet melodies to distract her, she missed her sprouts and his namesake. The gardener listened attentively and smiled. He then explained to the wildflower that when she thought she was alone, she really wasn’t – they had always been there, watching from afar. They could see the fa├žade and knew that her happiness was superficial. They knew that this day would come, the day she finally realized the TRUTH. Although born a wildflower she did not belong in the unruly woods where her beauty was lost and used by the Picaflor. She belonged in a beautiful garden where her exoticness stood out amidst the rest. She deserved the shelter that the gardener provided. The gardener felt raindrops and thought that if he were to move the wildflower, he must do it soon. However, he realized that it was not going to rain. What he felt were tears on his hand, tears streaming from the wildflower. She felt sadden by the realization that she had made her sprouts and her companion suffer for a dream that never existed. She wished she had listened to the wise gardener who always knew what was best for her, even when she didn’t. She was saddened to realize that the Picaflor was a liar. He tempted her and sang her songs of melodious lies.



By:Yvette Negron-Torres

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