Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Intermediate Blogger

I told myself I wouldn't be the kind of "blogger" that really only wrote every 6 months or on important dates.  But here I am 6 months since writing my last entry.  However, I just couldn't let this day pass without sending up a big Happy Birthday to our Eva.

Today, you would have been 6 years old, finishing up the last quarter of your kindergarten experience.  You'd see Vandro and how he loves to build with Legos, his love of Batman and how he teases Camila.  You would see your beautiful little sister and how much you and her look alike.  She is just like you, she is such a girl, loves pink and purple and is one tough cookie!

You would be so proud of your Papa and how much he's learning and how hard he's working and how much he loves what he's doing!
You'd be excited about having a new baby cousin Arialise and how happy grandma and grandpa are! How grown all your cousins in Tucson are and you how baby James and baby Devan are NOT babies anymore.

Today my sweet girl, we will celebrate you, the day you came into our lives, the day that everything changed, not because of a diagnosis but because you made us parents, you made me a mother, you taught me how to love in a way I had never experienced. Today I will also celebrate motherhood and all it has to offer, the good, the great and the tiring parts!  Today I get to remember that day I heard your first cry, when I first kissed your face and realized you are mine for time and all eternity!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY YOU BEAUTIFUL GIRL!! "I'll Love you ForEva, I'll Like you for Always and as long as I'm living my baby you'll be"

January 28, 2009
Our First Meeting!

June 2012

Eva and David Keller June 2012

One of Eva's most favorite people, Susan Keller. June 2012

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Un-Pause...I needed that!

Monday June 16, 2014...This was the day of the "un-pause"!

Today (well Monday...since its like 2am on Tuesday), the kids and I headed out to Chicago to visit with the Beers!  You know the Beers...David and Cassie, Naomi and Sydney (born 2013)!

June 9, 2013 Spanish Fork, UT
This year we could not make it out to Arizona, we could not put flowers on your gravesite, we could not visit Utah and all the wonderful people that knew you and us with you!  Today we just went to visit the Beers.  Vandro and Camila played with Naomi and Sydney, we had lunch and then played in the backyard and the baby pool.  Just a fun day with friends!  David bought little cupcakes for Vandro and Naomi's upcoming birthdays (June 21st & 28th).  It was a fun day.  We packed up after what seemed like a fast afternoon, and headed back to Indy.  Except when I got in the car and drove away and as I looked at your brother and sister fast asleep in there car seats....memories came flooding back!  The winter you born, the pizza at our house with the Beers, General Conference at their tiny apartment in Provo, their new home and our "mommy" dates their.  Cassie and I's pregnancies.  And June 2012, the last week you were with us. The Beers, Vandro and Naomi playing and for the last now three summers, us singing an early Happy Birthday to Vandro and Naomi.  And my heart ached for you.  I can not tell you though, what a blessing today was, to be with friends, to talk about you, to remember you, to remember our times in Provo.  I felt you there with us, with the Beers!

The last week of your life, we spent it in Utah, we had so much fun, we forgot to take a lot of pictures...I always thought, "oh, I'll do it next time".  We stayed with the Beers and we visited all of our favorite Utah people.  Oh, but I have the memories, how much Naomi loved you, how she couldn't wait for you and Vandro to stay in her home!

David Keller

Susan Keller

June 11, 2012 Page, AZ

Last year, we remembered to take pictures...we took a lot of pictures!

June 2013 Cougareat

June 2013

Birthday boy and girl, June 2013

Vandro is quite the trooper!
Today we played, we laughed, we had joy!  The heartache will never completely cease, I know that, but I know that it is our Father in Heaven's wish that we have joy.  That we love the lives He's given us, I love my life, I love my children, I love your heart hurts when I think of kissing you, holding you!  But I know that mortality is filled with trials, and it is the trials that make the sweet times, sweeter!

The babies

June 2014 Birthday cake

"My big sister soars in heaven"
And here we go, the un-pause.  Its my new year, its time to move forward, to look towards the new adventures, the new memories...and Eva, you will be right there with us!  I love you my Angel daughter!  THANK YOU BEER FAMILY for a wonderful day, that meant more than you know!!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

My Dearest Evita,

I can't believe its two years today.  I can't believe its been that long since I've held you or kissed your face.  This year will be the year of the unpause.  Since you left I have felt like time has stood still, except it hadn't, I had.  

Today we will think of you, remember you and the promises made by our Heavenly Father! Families are Forever, I know this is true.  Till We meet again, my sweet angel.

Till then you will forever be in our hearts.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Happy Birthday Eva - 2nd Birthday in Heaven!

After your Phoenix Pizza Party, with cousin Corrine!

Singing Happy Birthday to you at our favorite Pizza Place (3rd Birthday)!

My Dear Eva, 

Happy 5th Birthday, its your 2nd birthday in Heaven.

Last year was rather quiet around our house, I still felt raw and tender and my heart still ached in a different way than it aches today.

So, last year, we remembered, we remembered the details of your birth; our family and close friends that helped welcome you into our family. We remembered the feelings that surrounded that day.

I remembered what you sounded like, felt like and looked like.

I remember the wonderful nurses that put up with my hourly calls to see how you were in the NICU while I recovered.

I remember the immediate need to protect you, a feeling I had never felt for another human being before. 

Your last birthday with us, your pizza party in Phoenix and your swim party in Tucson!! How you loved the water!

Happy Birthday my Beautiful Angel!!

Eva when I think of you my heart is full, because of you my heart is full when I look at your brother and sister.

Because of you, I feel so grateful to be their mother.

Because of you I am so grateful to hear them cry out for me.

Because of you I am so grateful to catch every one of their kisses and hugs.

Because of you I don’t take for granted how quickly time flies.

Eva on January 28, 2009 you gave me the greatest gift bestowed to a woman…motherhood!  

I dreamt of you, I prayed for you…and you certainly gave me more than I expected. You have and will always be my perfect child!

Because of you I found out some great things about me, things I could never have been with out you in my life; qualities about me that I probably would have hid away for far too long.

Because of you I want more, I want to know more, give more and be more.

Because of you, Evandro and Camila have all of me.

There is not a moment that goes by that you are not missed, there is not a prayer that is said that you are not mentioned or celebration in our home that you are not included.  I will never forget you, your father, your brother and sister will never forget you!

Happy Birthday My Angel Daughter, Eva Isabel Peña, "some only dream of angels, I held one in my arms" 

We made some cupcakes to share for your birthday!!
It was a little too late for sissy so she was in bed!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Day I Didn't See Coming

My Dearest Eva,

Your delivery day, was a Day I Didn't See Coming.  I had read about mom's going about their day when their water breaks or they begin active labor, no packed bag, no dog sitters or baby sitters.  Husbands being called out of a meeting, work or school. I guess I didn't think that would happen to us, or maybe I was in denial that you would eventually have to leave the safe haven of the womb.  That day we were literally had our hands in the masa, in the process of making tamales, your Tia Cata and Tio Gerry were getting your Papa and I ready for a freezer full of Mexican food!  We stopped for one of my routine ultrasounds, when you decided to scary everyone and stop moving and lower your heart rate, who would have known that you would do that to us many many times after you were born.  No bag, tamales on the stove...I was admitted.  Your Tio Gerry called your Papa, who was in class, and said, "Its time buddy".  It was so surreal, you were coming, all the anticipation for months, what would you look like? would I get to hold you, alive? how long would you live? would you need surgery?  All these questions I never shared with anyone.  That day I was scared...scared to let you go.  Inside you seemed to be doing well, I somehow knew you were safe, I felt like I could protect you better.  But it was time, time for me to let go, for the hand and the will of our Father to be done.
Then you came, surprising us with that loud cry!  Laying there all I could do was cry, cry with gratitude, to hear you complete your 1st goal...obtain a body, a living breathing body.  Then the worry long, how long would we have you.
That worry never really disappeared, it was a worry I lived with for 3 1/2 years.
Oh, Eva, a year ago this week we had the best vacation and so much to look forward to.  Papa made it, he got into medical school, we found out you were going to have a baby sister, we got to see Sister Keller and Margaret (your other moms)...a year ago this week, we were kind of blissful!  It had been a long time since we felt this ready for something different, it had been a long time since we all slept through the night with no seizure waking us or frightful dream.  We had the best time with David, Cassie and Naomi!
Boy how fast things change, here we are Eva, a year later, we are back at David and Cassie's except they have a new baby now, baby Sydney, and we're staying in the same room, Papa, me, Vandro and except the baby girl that is in that room now is Baby Mia, not you!  Papa started his 1st year of medical school but Eva, it was hard, he took a leave of absence, he needed a break, he needed to mourn, we needed to regroup.  In some ways we are back at last year and some things look the same, he will start in the fall, his 1st year, we will be a family of four, one boy and one girl, one Mama and one Papa.   I won't lie, this has been the worst year, with a couple of magical highlights, Baby Mia being one and this vacation being the other.  I miss you so much, I want to be fussing with my 3 kids, I want to hold all three of you, there is a hole, a missing piece in our family, its you.
This morning your Papa is running the 1/2 marathon again, for you Eva.  He does it for you.  You should see him, he still is so nervous, he still doesn't see his own greatness.  I know he misses your cuddles, you were the best, I know, like me, he misses your inspirational looks. I know he misses "counseling" with you about his feelings, his day, his dilemmas.  Our home is different since you've been gone, we struggle a little, all of us to see how special we are with out you too!  It was easy with you Eva, to feel feel that the Lord had a special plan for us.  I know the plan hasn't changed but its been hard with out you.
Next week marks a year of that, Day I Didn't See Coming.  We had the best week, we were all ready Eva to move to the next city, next chapter, Together. I got comfortable, I wasn't afraid, anxious, nervous yes, but not afraid.  That morning I as supposed to take your Mama Luz to the hair dresser, and then you and I were going to take Mama Luz and Tia Cuca out to lunch!  We had it planned a girls day.  Friday, June 15, 2013.  I didn't see it coming, if I had Eva, I would have cuddled you all night long.  I would have taking sooooooooooooo many pictures, I would have made sure that I had your scent on every thing...maybe even bottled it.  I would have...I would have...I would have...  But I didn't see it coming. You little stinker, I guess you knew me.  I would not have let you go, I wasn't ready to let you go.  Frankly, I'm not sure I was every going to be.
I lost more than you that day, I lost a little bit of me too, its like my super powers were removed on the morning of June 15, 2013, from your Papa and I.  Vandro reminds us here and there that they aren't gone.  Baby Mia has been such a blessing Eva.  I swear she has your smile and your eyes.  I see you in her.  Her little toes remind me of you.
I do cry, almost every other day, but I do cry tears of gratitude too Eva.  I am so grateful for our 3 1/2 years, when I think back to January 28, 2009, your birth day I was scared, I wished to hold you even for a moment lasted 1,277.5 days!
I hope the next Day I Don't See Coming is the day that I don't ache as much, to feel complete and to hold all of my children again, for now I will work towards happiness, gratefulness and for my salvation.    I will endure to the end.  I miss you my sweet girl, I love you so much and don't worry we will all be ok, we'll be ForEva Strong!

Tu Madre que te adora!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

This Mother's Day I felt different, for more than the obvious reasons, I felt a little more pensive about the Mother's that were not quite mothers, those that have had trouble with fertility, or have had trouble carrying to term.  The Mothers that on Mother's day some times feel forgotten or are reminded of those little ones that never made it into their families.

I came into motherhood, by most standards, late in the game.  I was in my mid 30's about when I became a mother.  Eva changed my life, my mindset and my desires.  I truly believe she led the way for her siblings to come into our family, for me to love them in the manner in which I do.  However, I do also feel that I got to mother long before these children of mine came along.

I was an aunt for 24 years before I was ever a mother, my nephews and nieces were a preclude to the love I feel for my own children.  I have seen my nephews and nieces in there successes and unfortunately in their failures.  I have rejoiced with them and cried for them.  Some of these feelings surprised and scared me, I thought, "if I feel this way, how do their mother's feel!"

Motherhood is love, its sacrifice, I believe young teachers even feel these things before they have children of their own.

I'm grateful for the opportunity to serve in this calling of Mother.  I never knew if I would get to be a mother, frankly I never really planned on it, but it came at the perfect time for me.  I would do anything for my children, but I do take my job seriously enough not to endanger their growth by playing a blind eye either.  Saying this is a tough job, is an understatement!

Our newest member of the family hit a milestone again, Baby Mia is 6 months old!  Time certainly is not kind and it waits for no one!  It seems like just yesterday we found out we were pregnant and here Baby Mia is 6 months away from being 1year old!!!!

Enjoy these little pictures of her last 6 months!!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Its funny how a smell, a picture, a comment can be a strong trigger for an emotion or a memory.  Some times its good to have those triggers, I love Norteño music, it takes me back to the memories (good ones) of my childhood, of our family parties, of my father's love of his native land, of my mother and sister's cooking.

My parents often watched Spanish language movies, Pedro Infante, Vicente Fernandez, La India Maria...whenever I see one playing on Spanish TV on a Saturday night it takes me back.

The smell of the ocean reminds me of my summers in Southern California as a child with my big sister and her husband.

As we experience life and it's trials, there are triggers that will no doubt exist to bring us back to these moments.  The moments that filled us with pain and darkness.  Oh how those triggers set me back...

I guess I'll have to keep working on the good, the happy memories and triggers.

Lyrics to Eva's Lullaby
by Jose M Pena (Papa)
written Dec 2008

Eva, my angel, oh dear sweet kind child
Hear me, my dear child, I want you to smile.

Little one, precious one
This song's for you
Eva my angel,
please know I love you.

One day, long ago,
your mom and I met.
We loved each other
and so we were wed.

Little one, precious one,
we prayed for you,
Eva our angel,
now know we love you.

Time has now shown us
that life can be sweet.
Even when we face
some days tough to beat.

Little one, precious one,
you make us smile
thank you our angel
we know life's worthwhile.

Little one, precious one
This song's for you
Eva my angel,
please know I love you.