Category Archives: ShuGar Heart

Dear (Hopefully Future) ShuGar Baby: Dream Biggest

 

Disclaimer: I am not pregnant.

Since my blog documents my heart, I thought it would be neat to share “letters” to our hopefully future ShuGar baby who does not exist just yet, but lives only in our hearts.  To read my first post to our ShuGar baby, click here.  If Mr. ShuGar and I are blessed to one day have a child, I would love to read these letters to our little one and share our love.

Dearest ShuGar Baby, 

I want more reading!

Home Is…

When I was single, I used to take memoir writing classes and I truly loved them.  I really felt like I was in my element.  I was lucky to have some amazing teachers who inspired us to tell our stories.  One of my favorite writing assignments to help get the creative juices flowing was a ten minute free write answering this question:

What is home?

I want more reading!

Dear (Hopefully Future) ShuGar Baby: The Day We Met

Disclaimer: I am not pregnant.

I was having a conversation with someone recently and she said she wanted to write letters to her future child so that she could remember all the things she’s learned and wants her future child to benefit from knowing.  I thought this was a brilliant idea and I would like to do the same. What better platform to do it than my blog dedicated to my heart!

Mr. ShuGar and I hope to one day be blessed with a ShuGar baby. We know it’s a miracle to have a child and we pray we are lucky enough to be given this gift. In the meantime, I would like to open my heart to my future ShuGar baby and tell our baby stories and share some advice.  I also love the idea of chronicling our journey to be parents so that our child can one day hopefully read it and know our ShuGar story.

Dear ShuGar Baby:

Do you want to know how your parents met? It’s an incredible story of luck, destiny, choices and, above all else, love.  

I was looking for an additional job to earn some extra money.  I didn’t have many options because I had to find a part time job that would fit into my limited availability. After searching for months, I finally found one and was so relieved.  Of course, I didn’t know it at the time, but this job would change my life forever. Your daddy was working at this job and trained me on my duties.

However, your daddy and I didn’t initially feel love at first sight because I was in a relationship when we first met.  Plus, your daddy was busy working on his film projects so he didn’t have much time for love. Even though I was with another man when I met your daddy, I was immediately attracted to him the moment we were introduced.  Nevertheless, nothing happened for quite some time because I was deeply involved with someone else.  This someone else was not the right person for me; we had many problems, but I was too blind to see them during that time. Sometimes, you give your heart to the wrong person.

Your daddy and I only saw each other for four hours a week at that job; it’s not much time at all to get to know someone. Yet, that’s all it took. We became friends and I was drawn to your daddy’s kindness and his talent.  We liked each other from the very start. 

 At some point, my dysfunctional relationship ended and I was heartbroken.  It was one of the most difficult moments of my life – learning to let go of an unhealthy love.  Your daddy was there comforting me and listening to my heartache.  He always respected me.  You should know, not all men treat women with kindness and respect.

One of our recurring conversations between your daddy and I was about the movie The Godfather.  He couldn’t believe I had never seen the movie. You see – this is one of your daddy’s favorite movies of all time.  It was hard for him to understand how I never watched his favorite movie.  We had many talks about why he loved the movie and the importance of the film.  You know how much your daddy loves movies, right? Well, he asked me repeatedly when I was going to visit his neighborhood to watch the movie together. 

Time passed – we became closer as my heart slowly began to heal.  I was a little nervous getting involved with someone I worked with because I like to keep things professional at work.  Just like the movie says, “It’s not personal. It’s strictly business.” At least, this is what I always told myself about dating anyone I worked with.  But, I couldn’t resist your daddy’s charm.  We had a chemistry that was undeniable and it was just a matter of time before we took our relationship to a romantic level.

One day, we finally picked a date for me to visit your daddy to watch The Godfather.  When that day came, we immediately connected and from that point forward, we began to establish our love.  We enjoyed spending time together very much.  With each date, I fell in love with your daddy more and more.  How could I not? He’s so dreamy and his heart is endlessly loving. Oh, and that smile!

I tell you this story for two reasons: 

(1) Never settle for someone you do not deserve.  Many women are afraid to leave an unhealthy relationship because of the fear of either being alone or of not finding the right mate. Regardless of these valid concerns, you need to give your heart to someone who is worthy of holding it in his/her hands.  Do not waste your time and energy with someone that does not respect you.  It will be the mistake you regret for the rest of your life.  I am proud that I was able to walk away from an unhealthy relationship. It was scary, but I finally had the courage to do it.  Always remember your worth.  

(2)  Never lose hope of finding love. You never know when love will find you. Don’t let your heartache cloud your faith in love.  You can survive a broken heart. When I met your daddy, I was not looking for love. I was completely absorbed with someone else who wasn’t the best partner for me.  I never knew that accepting that new job would bring me to the love of my life.  There is no formula to finding love; just believe and never give up. It may not be easy to find it, but you will.   Finding and choosing your true love are important choices you will make it your life.  Choose wisely and do not despair. Love will find its way into your life when you probably least expect it.

Turns out, it was always personal and not business.  I fell in love with your daddy because I allowed myself to make it personal and not strictly business.  I opened my heart to the possibility of loving and trusting someone again.  Life is about these personal choices and connections we make. It’s why we live and it is why we love.

We love you, ShuGar Baby.

Photo credit: Gabriel Suarez

Mrs. ShuGAr Signature1

We

we black

My two-year wedding anniversary is only a few months away. I can’t believe how fast the time has passed. I have so many things I’d like to discuss about marriage on my blog.  I have learned so much and I know I have still much more to learn. I do not proclaim to be any kind of expert at all.  Nevertheless, I would love to use my blog as a platform to explore my marriage journey with my lovely readers and also hear from others and their experiences.

Something important I try to remember in my marriage: “we” does not replace “I”, although people may advise you otherwise.  This does not mean that at times the “we” must supersede the “I.” After all, compromise is key to any healthy relationship. With Mr. ShuGar, this is sort of a non-issue since we both encourage and support each other’s personal endeavors. I want him to spend time with his friends without me. I want him to pursue his art, even if it takes up quality time from “we” on the weekends.  He wants me to go to Zumba. He wants me to blog.  However, I have to continually remind myself of this because I sometimes feel guilty when I take time for myself. I shouldn’t since this guilt is self-imposed, but I do on occasion. In our ShuGar world, the “I” is the foundation of any healthy “we.”

Just the other day, I had a revealing “we” moment with Mr. ShuGar. We were in a rush to eat dinner after work because we were going to a screening of Lost in Translation with none other than Sofia Coppola in person. You can read about my Sofia obsession here.  After we parked and started walking a few blocks to the restaurant, I realized I had forgotten the movie tickets in my car. Instead of wasting time with both of us running back to the car, we decided to split up.  I would get us a table at the restaurant and Mr. ShuGar would grab our tickets.

And then it happened. He quickly said, ”Just order me something you think I would like. Surprise me.” My jaw nearly dropped to the sidewalk. I was at a loss for words. I didn’t know Mr. ShuGar trusted me THAT much to order his meal. That’s a lot of responsibility and pressure to get it right. I should know; I am ultra picky when it comes to food. If I am hungry, if I eat crappy Mexican food, or if I don’t like the taste of anything, I get in my infamous food mood. Warning! Stay Away.

Yet, without any hesitation, Mr. ShuGar entrusted me with his dinner and off he went to fetch our tickets.  I quickly got to the restaurant and ordered for “we.” When Mr. ShuGar finally came back, he told me to keep his order a secret until the server would bring his food. He wanted to truly be surprised! Amazing! I don’t think I could handle such a surprise. I am such a control freak with my food. It’s too personal. Not for Mr. ShuGar. He believed 100% that I knew what he wanted in that very moment.

I admit I was a little nervous the whole time, waiting for the food to come, as I wondered if I had made the right choice. Did he really want that? Well, the server brought his BLT and corn on the cob and Mr. ShuGar was in food heaven. I did well. I ordered exactly what he really wanted. In that moment, I felt proud. Proud not only to have made him happy, but proud that we have reached an intimate level in our marriage. I know his heart and he knows mine. I listen to his wants because I value who he is.  The same is true when it comes to me.  I admire the type of “we” we have become.  It has sometimes been a jagged road to get to this point, but we are here.

In marriage, if you cherish the “I’s” in the relationship, the depth of “we” will naturally grow.  I look forward to discovering more about the sweetheart I married.

What have you learned about the “we” and “I” in your relationship?

Hands

Mrs. ShuGAr Signature1

Bottom photo credit: Ashley Rose Photography

Daddy’s Girl

When I was a little girl, I thought my dad was one of the tallest and strongest men on the planet. To me, no man ever came close to the level of admiration and respect I have for my daddy. At least, not until Mr. ShuGar came into my life.

For women, I am a firm believer that the relationship you have with your father will profoundly influence the type of partner you choose to spend the rest of your life with. This can cut both ways; if you have a dysfunctional paternal relationship, your future may not bode well, but if you have a healthy relationship with your father, you can potentially be on the right path to finding a suitable partner.

Of course, these are sweeping generalities, but I do think there is some truth to this. Precisely for this reason, a woman’s relationship with her father is instrumental in her understanding of what a true “man” is. I can say that Mr. ShuGar embodies all the qualities of my daddy that I have always loved and admired. In essence, my daddy modeled to me the man I should marry. Without my daddy’s guidance, I probably would have never married Mr. ShuGar. For this, and so many other reasons, I am eternally grateful to daddy.

Sadly, I think that dad’s don’t get enough attention. After all, traditionally, they spend less time with their children because they are at work all day. However, a dad is the first person who shows you how to love the opposite sex. This is the greatest gift my daddy has ever given me – the gift of love and how to be loved.

My daddy is my inspiration. He superseded many odds to be an accomplished educator. He attended one of the best universities in the country with the additional challenge of only learning English a few years before his college years. He always sat down along side me to help me with my homework, even when I couldn’t master it. He would be there after a long day of work – encouraging me and teaching me.  I credit my daddy with giving me my Beatles education, which would later come in handy when I would meet Mr. ShuGar. These days, he is also our unofficial handyman and I appreciate all he has already done for our home. My daddy taught me the art of writing. He gave life to my words and, ultimately, to this blog.  He never abandoned us  — my sister, mother, and me; not physically, not financially, not emotionally. He was always there.

Now, in all honesty, my daddy and I have not had the easiest relationship. We both have very strong personalities; a little similar is what I have been told, which has caused a lot of clashing. Oh, those teenage years were the worst! My dad was strict, but always fair. Sometimes when I am at work, I still think of the discipline and perseverance my daddy taught me. It has paid off in my career.

Above all else, my daddy taught me what kind of man I deserve to love by showing me himself.  When I see daddy now standing next to Mr. ShuGar, he doesn’t appear to be the tallest man in the world anymore. In fact, Mr. ShuGar towers over him. But my daddy is still my first love.  I cherish him with every beat of my heart. I wish he could know how much of my heart belongs to him.  After all, you never forget your first love.

Daddy and Mr. ShuGar

Daddy and Mr. ShuGar

My heart melts when I see Mr. ShuGar and my daddy get along so well.  It’s every girl’s dream for her dad and her husband to be friends. My daddy loves Mr. ShuGar so much and vice versa; It’s in the air every time they spend time together. It’s the cutest thing I have ever seen! I’m so glad my daddy gets to have the son he always wanted.

I know my daddy will read this….and I am happy he will. In fact, he is the one person that always comments on what I write. He is my most avid reader! For this unwavering support, I don’t have the words to adequately express what this means to me. It’s beyond words.

My Daddy

My Daddy

Daddy – since I know you will read my blog and comment, I want you to know one thing: You are my hero. I am so lucky to be your daughter. My heart is filled with devotion for you. I have lived my life to make you proud. It is my greatest accomplishment. You need to know that I am still that little girl that liked to play on your feet and look up and think, “Daddy, you are the tallest and strongest man in the whole wide world.” I love you.

Mrs. ShuGAr Signature1

My Pocket

Nene Pocket

Photo credit: Ashley Rose Photography

I am really silly with Mr. ShuGar.  The only other people I ever act like this with are my family. I sing to Mr. ShuGar random songs I make up in the moment; I do these funny dances right in front of him; I make up funny words or nicknames. All of this to get his attention and to just act playful in front of him. It’s a part of me I give to him for “his eyes” only.  These bursts of silliness are little parts of me that I give to him.

One of the silly phrases I frequently tell Mr. ShuGar  is this:

I’m going to put you in my pocket and take you with me all day.

It may sound cheesy, but I do literally want to insert Mr. ShuGar into my pocket and have him “be” with me all day.  So much of my day is spent without him. So much of my day is spent with people I cannot be silly with because I need to be “professional.”

I daydream for a mini-Mr. ShuGar in my pocket because I want to carry that love with me throughout the day.  I am constantly amazed at how cold and, frankly, how mean certain people can be.  Our daily interactions with people can be jarring and sometimes upsetting when stress and conflict are involved. Whenever I want to escape any difficult situation, I fantasize pulling Mr. ShuGar from my pocket so that he can give me a hug and tell me, “Don’t worry. Everything is going to be ok.  Remember, I love you.”

That’s all. Is there anything more special than that? In an instant, he can make everything all better.

I heard a song on the radio the other day that reminded me of this silly pocket phrase I tell Mr. ShuGar.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WGF8ydD3_U]

The song is called “Penny” by Hanni El Khatib and he sings about a penny he wants to keep in his pocket and never lose. Hanni repeats throughout the song, “You’re my perfect little penny. So please shine on.”

Mr. ShuGar is “my perfect little penny.” If only I could sneak him into my pocket so I could face life’s daily challenges with him by my side. He would be my little pocket secret. But for now, coming home after a long day of work to receive a hug and a kiss is as close to heaven as I am going to get.

Spoon Me

Spoon Me

Ugh. Tomorrow is Monday – another week jammed with deadlines, responsibilities, pressure, meetings, and emails. Don’t get me wrong – I am grateful for having a job I love.  But working full time inevitably takes me away from the person I adore most in this world – Mr. ShuGar.

When I think of the amount of time spent at work versus the amount of time spent at home, it makes me miss Mr. ShuGar, even on this Sunday when he is steps away from me in the other room. Yet, I rarely think of this during the week because my job doesn’t give me much time to reflect.

Marriage is comprised of mundane events – washing and folding the clothes, cooking a quick, easy meal, taking out the trash every night, paying the bills, sweeping the kitchen, cleaning the countertops, food shopping for the week.  The beauty in marriage is cherishing these every day events that you share with your love. They are the moments you are together – only me and him. It’s our universe and I value it above all else.

Among the weekly routine, there is a time at the end of my day that trumps all others.  Gone are all the obligations from 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. What is left is Mr. ShuGar and I in bed with no noise from the outside world but our souls lying side by side. And then it happens  – Mr. ShuGar tells me he loves me and spoons me. Heaven on earth.

No matter how stressful my day is, I always have the night carved out for Mr. ShuGar and I. Nothing soothes me more than feeling the warmth of his embrace under the covers. I am his; he is mine. The world is ours.

So, actually, my marriage is comprised of a series of daily spooning nights that get me through the work day.  I would cross the ocean just to be spooned by Mr. ShuGar. I do daily and I forever will.

An Ode to Ma

I recently read a beautifully written blog post about a woman describing her mother’s hands. She wrote about the importance of remembering your mom’s hands because one day they would be gone forever and all that would be left is your memory of these hands. I can’t seem to find that original post, but it touched me and inspired me to write about my mom.

I am blessed to have two amazing parents; they are my greatest gifts. Over the past few months, Mr. ShuGar and I have been extremely busy with life and all its demands. As a result, I haven’t seen my family as much as I would like.  I saw my mom a few weeks ago and I saw her a little differently. It’s strange what kind of perspective time will give you.  I know my mom is not 40 years old any more, but I always thought she was ageless. She has to be in my mind; I would die without her. This last time I saw her, she changed. She’s older now; time is creeping up on her.  Please make it stop.

My mom is currently visiting family in Mexico and I probably won’t see her for a while. I miss her. I am a part of her, as much as I try to fight it sometimes. I write this post to stay connected to her and for her to know I carry her in my heart, siempre (always). I want to document my feelings for the woman who gave me life.

My Ma is a petite Mexican woman, but don’t let her size fool you. She’s one tough cookie, filled with immeasurable strength and unconditional love. She has dedicated her entire life to being a mother. The sacrifices she has made are boundless, but she has done them happily for all for us (my dad, my sister and myself).

She has the cutest sideburns, which remind me of Elvis Presley – she claims they are still in style. Her shoe size is  4 and I probably weighed more than her starting in junior high.  My mom, although bilingual, only speaks to me in Spanish, except when she is mad. Her raspy voice soothes me like nothing in this world; it takes me back to age 6 when lying in her arms was my respite. Till this day, I still like taking a nap while laying my head on her chest. She lulls me to sleep by reading me a book in Spanish, much like she did when I was younger, and I inevitably doze off. There is absolutely nothing more peaceful than listening to my mom read me stories in Spanish. It’s probably why I love writing.  She taught me from a very young age to love words.

My mom and I have had our disagreements in my adult life.  I am very outspoken and willful; I believe I learned that from her.  It’s funny because sometimes we’ll be talking on the phone and raising our voices at each other and Mr. ShuGar will ask, “Is everything ok?” I respond, “Yeah, it’s how we talk to each other. It’s our normal.” However, I acknowledge I have said some hurtful words and I know they have caused her pain. I wish I could take those words back. Why do we hurt those we love the most?  I am sorry for the past, for the present and for the future.  I am all grown up now and I may do things you don’t agree with, but I still love you.

My Ma is my best traveling buddy. We have had so much fun traveling in South America. She becomes so free and adventurous. I will cherish our traveling memories forever. I know my love of travel started with her and my Abuelito.

And, of course, my mom’s hands are precious.  They too have aged because of all her dish-washing, cooking and the dreaded arthritis. But, her hands are still so beautiful. Even now, I walk hand in hand with her and get stares from people. It must be unusual to see a mother and her grown daughter show this kind of public affection, but, again, it’s my normal.

Her cooking is beyond delicious and I have tried many times to replicate her recipes, but fail. I can never measure up to my Ma. She towers above all women, including myself.

Hopefully, one day, I will be a mother, too. I think then I will understand why you said those things or acted that way. I am scared to not be even remotely as amazing as you. But what terrifies me is to one day lose you. I could not breathe without you.

Ma- you are my angel.

I thank you for showing me what unconditional love feels like and for loving me for who I am.  You feed my soul and define my heart.  Te quiero hoy y siempre ( I love you today and always).

Ma All Smiles

Ma All Smiles

ShuGar Baby

ShuGar Baby

Photo credit: ravelry.com – Suzanne Resaul

No, I am not pregnant. But for the first time in my life, I wish I were. As I mentioned in a previous blog post about my maternal instincts, I have never been the type of gal to say her life long dream was to be a mother. I have always been very career-focused and my only dream was to travel the world.

Something happened when I met Mr. ShuGar.

Before I met him, I had several relationships, but none that ever inspired me to want to be a mother. It was not until I fell in love with Mr. ShuGar that I began to entertain the thought of starting a family. Soon after that, I would catch myself gazing at him and wondering if our ShuGar babies would look just as cute as him.

Life, in its infinite wisdom, is not making it so easy now that we decided to try for baby. It’s almost as if we are being told, “Well, now that you changed your mind, you’re going to have to work for it.” I guess I always thought that once you decide to have a baby – poof! You become pregnant. Nope. It doesn’t work that way.

I can recall the exact day I knew I wanted to have a ShuGar baby. It was just this year and I had made yet another appointment with the infamous OBGYN. I asked my supervisor to leave work early to go to the doctor. Of course, there was traffic at 2:30 p.m. It’s LA after all. I was basically stuck in a parking lot on a semi-major street watching the clock taunt me as the minutes passed by. I couldn’t believe that I left an hour early to go less than ten miles and I was going to be late.

After about 30 minutes in bumper-to-bumper traffic, my car (and I) were fuming. This was to be my first official pre-conception appointment and I was going to miss it!

And then it happened, a car hit me from behind. Now, I have been in several accidents before so I am well aware of the thoughts that rush into your head the second you are hit. Yet, none of those thoughts popped into my head.

Instead, I thought, “Who cares? I just gotta make this appointment. I’ll just keep on driving.”

That is so-not a Mrs. ShuGar response. After a few more minutes of sitting in my car contemplating what to do, I stepped out and talked to the young lady who rear-ended me. She was clearly upset, tears filling up in her eyes, and immensely apologetic as she explained her excuse.

Me – I was calm and direct. “I need to make it to my doctor’s appointment. We want to have a baby.” That was the first time I uttered those words out loud – to a stranger no less! Something kicked in inside of me as soon as I said that. I quickly instructed her to exchange our information.  I then got into my car, found a side street and began maneuvering my path around the traffic jam. I swirled in and out of all sorts of cars and, in the meantime, called my doctor and told her I would be late, but I WOULD BE THERE.

Driving to the doctor, I began to get really emotional. I wasn’t going to let anything get in my way of this appointment. I wanted to be there – I wanted to become a mommy.  Crying at this point, I was thinking that this maybe was a sign that I wasn’t supposed to have a child because I never wanted one before. I felt remorse and guilt for my previous feelings and, by the time I got to the doctor’s office, my face was all puffy and red. Nonetheless, I made it and I was only 45 minutes late.

That was the day my ShuGar baby was born in my heart. On that day, I felt my motherly instincts kick in and I had never really felt that before. Semi – tangent: And so my blog was born out of my desire to chronicle my journey to become a mother.

Turns out, wanting to have a baby and having a baby are two very different goals. The former took me a while and the latter is proving challenging. Yet, we are finally here and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Turns out the missing piece was the right person to be the daddy. Now, all we need is our ShuGar baby to make our family complete.

BFF – How Do You Know When It’s Over?

Image from Wikipedia

Image from Wikipedia

As a child, my sister and I watched a lot of movies. Maybe it was a combination of growing up in L.A. and having protective parents who each worked full-time jobs. Whatever the reason, we spent a lot of time indoors. It was safer for two girls to stay at home during those long summer months than to allow us to run around the neighborhood. Hence, movies became a fun way to pass the time. One of our favs was Beaches, a story of two women who met as children and grew to be the best of friends, despite being polar opposites on many levels – Hilary came from a privileged background and became an attorney and CC from a working-class family pursuing her life-long dream to be a successful entertainer. As a little girl, I wanted to have a best friend, just like in Beaches.

For reasons that I will not divulge here, I have struggled with female friendships throughout my life. With women, there can be so much jealousy, cattiness and drama involved and I have not had great experiences with girly BFFs. I know I am partly to blame for the circumstances that have led to the dissolution of several female friendships. This is probably why I loved the idea of a male BFF – less drama involved.

I have been fortunate to have a male BFF who has been a great friend for over a decade now. I am also lucky to have some truly amazing girl friends – they are my heart and they know it. My BFF was there when my first marriage crumbled; we’ve traveled the globe together and he was my bridesman at my wedding. I couldn’t imagine my life without him. At least, not until now.

When someone starts a new relationship, things change in a friendship because a new person is added to the circle. You want to spend more time with your new love and the friendship gets downgraded a bit. It’s only natural – it happens. In a marriage, your spouse (and child ) takes priority above all else. You must take his/her feelings into consideration and you no longer have much time for other areas of your life. Life has a strange way of weeding out friends so that when the years go by, only the truest of friends stick around. However, sometimes, relationships dissolve and the circumstances are beyond your control.

We never had any huge fight or have ever even discussed this issue, but I feel like the BFF I once had no longer exists, or least not the way he once did. I sometimes wish we had had a fight like in this scene in Beaches because then our hearts would have been exposed. But, alas, I choose to blog rather than argue.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDHWvnNRv_U]

Yet, I wonder if this is just a consequence of life and two people evolving. When people find love and bring another person into their life, the dynamics of all relationships in their inner circle are bound to change in some way. You can no longer expect to have them available at all times or do the same things you once did together. Mr. ShuGar learned this the hard way by losing one of his BFFs when we started dating. It’s unfortunate, but se la vie. Ironically, I now find myself in that same predicament and I am asking myself, “How do you know when your friendship is over?”

At this time, I think I am mourning the friendship we had and learning to accept a new reality. I would rather do that than lose the entire friendship. Nevertheless, it hurts and I am sad. I hope I can reach the point where I accept the new friendship and its evolution. After all, BFFs are forever; at least you are blessed if they are.