Michael and I met on match.com (before online dating was cool!). We talked on the phone a few times and decided soon after to meet in person. We both felt an immediate connection and have been inseparable ever since that day!
We share a love for good food and exploring new places. We have traveled to some amazing countries together, including Argentina, Peru, Israel, Mexico, Italy, and some of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean. Our daughter has shared some of these experiences with us as well. We are proud to say her passport is filling up with stamps and she is gaining an appreciation for other cultures at an early age. We are so excited to be able to share this with a new baby one day. Not to mention Sofia will be thrilled to have a brother/sister to share our adventures with!
As for the weekends, we are usually on the go. We are often taking Sofia to one of her activities (she's currently really into gymnastics and dance), a friend's birthday party or a playdate. Michael's family lives nearby so we get to see them regularly which has been great for us, but we also feel so lucky that Sofia gets so much quality time with her grandparents. When we don't have anything planned, you will find us at a local children's exhibit or museum where we explore with creativity!
Our home is cozy and airy and has high ceilings when you first walk in. Our favorite room is definitely the kitchen. It has a great view to the outside and tends to be our family's gathering place or just the place to come check out all the birds outside. We often cook and eat as a family. At dinner time, we get to share about our days, and bond as a family. For birthdays or holidays, we often have our families over for dinner and Kenia shares some of her favorite Latin dishes. We have a deck in the backyard that is great for family cookouts and a play-set for Sofia and her friends to have fun. We have a large family room that we use as a playroom and we have a spare bedroom that we hope one day to convert into a nursery.
We live just 30 minutes outside of NYC, and the city we live in has a great downtown area with restaurants and city-like energy while the north end where we live is more suburban with no shortage of playgrounds for the kids! Outside of New York City, it might be one of the most diverse cities to live in on the east coast. There are many family friendly activities in the area including parks, festivals, and museums. We also live 15 minutes from two beaches and just 10 minutes from an amusement park and local marina which we often visit in the warmer months.
As you can see from our pictures, Michael and I are a mixed couple. Michael's grandparents were from Russia and Austria while I am Latina. I was born in the Caribbean and grew up in the countryside close to the beach. My mom was a single mom, but I grew up with 10 aunts and uncles, dozens of cousins and amazing grandparents! I learned at an early age that family was simply the people that love you and want what is best for you.
I am very grateful for the many opportunities I've had as an immigrant. But I still feel very proud and connected to my Latino roots and try to teach our daughter the same. She is also learning to speak Spanish, and we often travel to my home country to visit family. I think it's very valuable for children to understand and be proud of their background, and if we are lucky to have another child through adoption we will make sure they know as much as possible about their own roots as well.
I am very passionate about cooking. Maybe I get that from my mother, but I really enjoy being creative in the kitchen...my motto is simple and healthy. One of my favorite things is to host meals for our family and friends. I love to create memories over the dinner table. Some of my favorite memories as a child were helping my mom in the kitchen. The meals she served were like platters of love.
I currently work from home for a not-for-profit organization. I love working from home as it allows me a lot of flexibility. It also means that I am usually not having to rush out the door so I can enjoy a nice breakfast with Sofia each morning.
Am I the fun one? Perhaps or maybe I just want to make sure kiddos will feel comfortable to be silly and not worry about what others think. Some might think my sense of humor is corny, but my laugh tends to make others laugh. On a more serious note, I am not one to make excuses. It is even truer since Sofia has been born. My father always led by example and never complained and I truly hope my children will find a similar quality in me.
As part of my 24 years of training in karate, we are strongly encouraged to attend regular meditation classes. After we meditate, my grandmaster provides a lecture. These lectures are some of the most powerful life lessons one can have. Time and time again, we are reminded that we practice karate-do and not just karate. That is, what we practice is not just kick and punch rather we must lose our ego and grow as a person. If not, we have learned nothing.
I am also really passionate about soccer. I started playing when I was 4 and although I do not play as much these days, the love has never waned. Sports, in general, has definitely provided a way to get together with friends over the years, especially big events.
As for my career, I have had my fair share of experiences and would not trade any of them. From acting to stand-up comedy to day-trading, it started off as quite an adventure. Eventually, I landed in the corporate world and worked as a manager for a financial services company and then about 4 years ago, I started my own consulting business and have not looked back.
Working for myself definitely has its advantages, including being in charge of my own schedule. With everything going on in life, the moments I look forward to most is when I come home from work and get hugs and kisses from my family and if the weather is nice, spend some time in the garden. From there, I am ready for another round of whatever life brings me.