Thursday, May 31, 2012

Marcos Prieto, A.A.

Yesterday we had a great time celebrating Marcos at his graduation from Durham Technical Community College.  He went back and forth about participating in the graduation ceremony, but it is the first time Marcos has letters after his name, so we decided to just do it.  He'll be starting at UNC in the fall, and his classes are so much more up his alley than the classes he had to take in the University Transfer program at Durham Tech, but he has made some very good friends and it was a blessing to finish his GEs for a really good deal.  Saying that we will miss it is kind of a stretch, but the community college has served us well, and for that we are grateful.

This is Marcos' favorite German teacher and advisor, Frau Jokum.  It was my first time meeting her and I could tell that she was very impressed with him, as all teachers are.  He's been a teacher's favorite since grade school.  Shocking, I know.

Gigi must have picked up the jargon of the day, because at one point in the evening she starting saying in her sweet sing-song voice, "Congratulations, Papai!".  I think we could get used to seeing her in a graduation cap as well.

And then it was out with my mom for Tex Mex (our new thing) to celebrate Marcos' accomplishment.  Every time we go out we justify the cost of eating at a restaurant by saying it's a celebration of whatever we can come up with, but this time we actually had something legit to celebrate!  Yay Marcos!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Moving... Again.

I'm sitting here enjoying milk and Joe-Joe's (which is Trader Joe's speak for "way better than an Oreo") and loving the quiet of a fairly organized downstairs.  Simple, barely decorated, with the furniture placed but not too much wall action yet.  We have been moving in this past week and a bit, which is why I've been absent from this blog.  Again.

We're now in our fourth rental place since we've moved to Chapel Hill.  Each time is a progressive step up in the world, so I feel like we're moving in the right direction, but heavens, please say that we're done with moving for a while!  The whole being pregnant thing and still having some effects from my organ removal has added a level of complication, but last time I was this pregnant I was climbing sky-high cathedrals in France so I've learned to bite the bullet, I guess you could say.  And even if I were more out of commission, anything is possible with a ton of help from Marcos and the endless hours of packing and cleaning that my mom has put into this project.

Gigi has been having fun, for the most part.  She has completely neglected her toys since the boxes of cleaning supplies and sharp tools have been available at her level.  Just kidding, but she is really enjoying the chaos, and all of her access to things that are usually kept in a certain place.  Now nothing has a certain place, so it's free game.

* Pretend there is a cute photo of Gigi here.  
(Oh heck, since we're pretending, pretend it's a cute photo of me.
That's much less likely to happen in real life). *

One thing that is somewhere in a box is our SD reader that sucks the photos out of my camera cards so that I can post them on the blog.  I know we have some cuties of Gigi participating in the "packing" process, but you'll have to take a rain check on that one.  For the most part she has been really good during this whole transition, but there was one day that she watched too much TV, and a few days when we sent her to our neighbor's house for a playdate to get her out from underfoot.  It's just hard to get a box packed when the two-year old unpacks it behind you.

And that's our weekly update.  More excitement and a surprise visit to come!

Monday, May 14, 2012


For people who want to feel close to God, having kids can really eclipse some of the personal time and energy we have to pursue spiritual things.  Reading anything scriptural or uplifting can be like trying to focus on a conversation in the middle of a circus - I can't tell you how many thoughts bump around in my head vying for my undivided attention.  I'm lucky if I get through a verse or two with some deepened understanding.  And too often by the end of evening prayers either Marcos or I are asleep.  

Which is why I so loved taking Gigi to the Raleigh Temple on Tuesday.  Marcos was asked by some friends to go and do family names, and to make good on a plan we've had for a long time, I decided to take Gigi to the Temple grounds while they were doing good work inside.  In the car on the way over, Gigi and I had a chance to talk about the Temple, and its meaning for our families.  I explained to her that vovô had died, but that because of Temples our families can be together forever.  

I know she doesn't fully understand my feeble attempts to explain death, the eternity of a soul and our greater purpose in life, but she understood enough.  And for me it was amazing just to feel the joy of it again while I was talking with her.  Yeah, I told myself, families CAN be together forever!  I don't know a lot of things, but when you say things out loud that are true, they settle into your soul in a certain unmistakable way.

So although I birthed her two years ago and part of my brain and capacity to concentrate forever fell out with her, now that she is old enough to understand and communicate about increasingly important things, maybe now I will be able to regain some of that feeling close to God when we talk together of Godly things.  

Friday, May 11, 2012


Today it was so beautiful outside.  Not warm enough for an adult to love running through a sprinkler rigged up to a cold water hose, but the kiddos didn't seem to mind.  Especially this little girl.

I promise there were friends involved - we were at Emerson and Olivia's house - but they decided to go commando by the end of the party, and all of the photos I caught of them were not for the blog.  (I'm waiting to use them in the wedding slideshow if Gigi and Emerson ever decide to get married...  just kidding).

I hope that she is enjoying her childhood, because I sure am.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Up To

I think it's time for a little post about what we've been up to.  It's a good thing that guilt is not a very strong motivating factor in my life, because I might have felt a little miserable that I've been so neglectful with this blog.  But there is a season for everything under Heaven, and some seasons are for writing about your life, and some are just for living it.

The week before last, I was convinced that it was time to get up out of my sick bed and embrace the world, so I asked if I could join a strawberry picking expedition with our friends Jen and Adelaide, and Gigi and my mom.  It was one of North Carolina's first perfect days, and it was so good to be outside at Jean's Berry Farm enjoying the fresh air, the great company, and the worlds best strawberries.  I felt achy in my bellybutton wound that evening, which was my sign that I had overdone it a little, but it was so worth it.

This past week was my first full-week back to work, and each work day wiped me out entirely.  One day I finally had to close my office door and lay down on the floor for a few minutes before I could resume functioning.  I was hoping that my days off would be relaxing, but they were filled with appointments - midwives, where baby checked out very well and everything is great, and my post-op appointment, where the nurse reached over and ripped the glue off of my wounds.  It looks like everything is going as well as can be expected with my healing and changing body.  That's a relief!

As if there weren't enough transitions going on in Prietoland, Marcos also heard recently that he was admitted to UNC for the fall!  He has two more years to finish up his Bachelor's degree, and I think it's swell that he's going to such a great University to finish up his studies.  We review frequently how silly it sometimes seems to stop a great job making websites (which have won awards recently, I must add) so that he can go back to school and acquire debt, just so that he can get out of school and find another great job, but we're moving on faith that it will all be worth it in the end.  

These photos are from an afternoon when Marcos went to UNC to start setting up his future collegiate life, and Gigi and I had a date in Southern Village.  We started at the park, but it was so hot and the playground was so full of steaming equipment, that we quickly ended up indoors at Whole Foods with pina colada popsicles to survive the heat.  I really enjoy Gigi's company.  She is a great little gal.

And finally, a few photos from our Cinco de Mayo party last night at the Olsens with our old Home Teaching group.  I clearly stink at getting group shots, but I got these of Gigi's first encounter with a piñata.  So nice to get together again, Bush, Vanderwalker and Olsen clan!