Tag Archives: birthday

The Birthday Boy

Hello my fellow blog followers and fans!

Sometimes life throws you a curveball – sometimes you duck, sometimes it hits you right upside your head. How you react will determine what kind of player you are.

So what do you do when fear knocks on your door? Do you face your giant, or do you stick your head in the sand? Remember there are two sides of F.E.A.R.: Forget Everything and Run or Face Everything and Rise. Takes grit, doesn’t it? More importantly, it takes God’s grace, too.

Eight months prior, was such a trying time for us with all the emotional roller-coaster from one minute to the next. We weren’t sure what the next second would bring, let alone the next day. The days and nights were difficult ones. But I’m here to tell you that the support, prayers, and genuine love from family and friends made all the difference in the world! And I am happy to report that my husband is a walking miracle; (read about it here), and I am so thankful for the goodness and mercy of God.

I recently threw a surprised party for the Birthday Boy, also called the Miracle Man, with many of our close and precious friends. It was an incredible turn out and my hubby was indeed taken by surprised. He couldn’t believe how many people were able to keep the secret from him! Whew!

On July 21st, we celebrated Mark’s life. And I would like to share some of those moments with you through this slide.

 

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Filed under birthday celebration, Survivor

It Is Well With My Soul …

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Dear friends:

These past couple of weeks,  I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster, but my family and friends have literally lifted my spirits. Today, it being my birthday, I am thanking God for His neverending grace and His unfailing love. My journey continues and for that I am truly grateful.

Thank you for being my friend.

About "Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit & Grace"

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Celebrating the Birthday Boy

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Happy Birthday to my hubby, confidant and best friend! You still light up my life, the wind beneath my wings.

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Birthday, Uncategorized

Ageless!

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Age. Aging. Ageless.

I rarely think about my age but the body has a way of reminding me whenever I throw my back out or my knee pops. And yes, in the mirror I sometimes notice an extra line here, another wrinkle there, and as I gaze upon certain areas of my physique I find myself wondering, where did “it” go and when did “that” change?

From time to time I muse about my early years in having to grow up so fast, and then in my teens and young adulthood in raising four children. Next thing I knew my twenties were gone, and my marriage was deteriorating. Divorced in my thirties (I felt like a failure but ya know, the world did not end), and remarried by my mid-thirties (thank God for new beginnings). I can shout from the rooftop that no marriage is so good that it can’t be made better! (You see, I’ve been married most of my life.) Then when I approached my early forties, the seasons changed again for me, this time, embracing the wonders of grand-parenting.

So, in my fifties, as I reflect on this aging process—knowing I certainly don’t have all the answers—I’ve learned a thing or two about what life has dealt me.

I read in Psalms 90:12: So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.”  This passage speaks to me and tells me to make each day count. I must remember to live in the present, not in the yesterdays or in the tomorrows. I must laugh often, love deeply, pray sincerely, and believe that my best days are before me.

As my birthday quickly approaches around the corner (like tomorrow the 27th), I can’t help but think: have I done all I ever wanted to do? Of course, the answer is a resounding: Not even close. Am I running out of time? I believe life is a gift from God and I’ll take each day and cherish the moment. He is the reason for every good thing, every heartbeat, and every second chance.

Age … aging … ageless …?

I’ll take ageless!

I may not know what tomorrow holds, but I know Who holds my tomorrows.

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Shark Bait

In his late twenties, my husband’s occupation was working on a 250 ft. workboat as an offshore surveyor in the Gulf of Mexico, staking out a pipeline for a jackup rig. This is his story …

“It was a fairly nice day, the weather was comfortable. In those days, I was wearing shorts and flip-flops. I had on a heavy belt with my big 7-inch sheath knife. It was early evening, the sun still out. We had to lift anchor and head on out. The jackup rig was coming in and we needed to get the buoys made up and dropped on the pipeline. After about an hour, I had all my buoys made and the boat headed on out for miles, running around getting ready to make our run into the platform.”

“Now, the ship has to get real close to the platform, make a sharp turn, then line up on the pipeline and start dropping the buoys where the pipeline is supposed to be.”

“So, I’m standing there on the back deck, everything is going good, and my buoys are all made with the rope trailing in the water.”

“I’m just kind of walking around with nothing to do, so I start to clean up. I throw scrapped rope off … tin cans … I’m just cleaning up the back of the deck. There’s this empty spool that usually has rope on it. I lift the spool and hoist it over the deck and immediately think, Oh, no! I run to the back of the deck because I got my ropes on the buoys trailing on the water. I reach the edge of the boat and I’m watching that spool get caught on the rope. It’s like slamming on the brakes. My anchor shoots like a bullet right off the deck! And where I had it positioned, the buoy comes flying around and hits me from behind and just knocks me right off the back-end of the boat into the water.”

“The first thing I figure out is that you can’t swim with flip-flops! I kick those suckers off!. I’m down under and freaking out, and just as I come on up, by instinct I start swimming for the boat. Now the boat’s doing 20 knots. There’s no way on God’s green earth I’ll ever catch it! And I immediately stop. I feel something and look around and realize I am inside the other buoy line! That thing can wrap me up and take me right under! I dive back down real quick and swim off to the side and come back up again. Then I start yelling for the boat … like they can hear me. Because of the engine noise alone they can’t hear me. They also got all the pumps on in the back deck going as well. Nobody standing on the deck can hear me if they’re looking at me.”

Homemade buoys

Photo source: unknown

“I’m paddling my arms along and wondering, What the heck do I do now? I’m looking around and see the buoy that knocked me over. Now the cane pole on the buoy is broken; the flag is down in the water with the light bulb thingy. So I swim for it and grab a hold of the thing, but it really isn’t enough to keep me up. It helps to keep me buoyant, but it doesn’t really float me. I kind of hang onto it while lightly paddling to keep up. After a while I’m sitting there, watching the boat heading off into the distance … heading off … heading off. Now I can see the platform from where I’m at. I see the boat get right up to that big old platform and I think, Okay, right about now they’re going to make the turn. The boat turns and I think, Right about there, I’m suppose to drop a buoy. I’m watching and the boat makes another turn and then I think, Right about now, I should be dropping another buoy. And then, Right about now they’re going to realize something might be wrong! Then the lights come on in the boat! The spotlight is on, the boat makes a sharp turn heading back on around.”

250' workboat

Photo Source: unknown

“All during this time, party chief Mike, is running through the boat, first going straight to my bunk, thinking I’ve fallen asleep through the whole thing. He then heads for the bathrooms, and starts to panic. I’m told that Mike is going absolutely crazy; everybody is searching for me! The first thing that popped into their minds is that I had dropped a buoy, but had gotten wrapped up in it and went down with it – that’s what they thought. Now I can see the boat way off in the distance. As it comes on around to the platform, they start dropping the divers over searching for me, fearing I’m tied up in the buoy some place down below. I’m sitting there all the while thinking, Hello. Hello guys. I can’t get that flag back up, because it broke about 3 or 4 feet above me, so I can’t really reach it to get it up. I’m thinking about breaking it while I’m paddling and then it dawned on me, There’s a counterweight on this thing!”

“I dive down but can’t get the thing broke off. I’m chewing on the tape to try to get it to tear and finally got it torn. The counterweight drops away and I swim back up. The buoy lies flat but it’s holding me up now. I was finally able to rest and hang onto it. I’m looking at the platform and was reaching for my knife to cut the rope lose and then I realize, My knife is gone! Apparently, the buoy hooked my knife when I got knocked off and ripped it right off my belt. So I’m sitting there trying to untie this thing. I’m working at it and working at it, and I could not get that thing untied! (I make a mean buoy.) It’s polypropylene, so there’s no chewing through a thing like that; it’s just really tough stuff. I finally give up on that (which is actually a good thing because God is good, I had lost my knife, and that I make a mean buoy). If I had cut that rope, and tried swimming to the platform, I’d have never made it. The current was going the other way – two, three miles away. I would have never made it. I’d had just gone with the current and would have been long gone. No telling if and when they would have found me.”

“I’m trap here; I’m not going any place. It’s getting dark and I’m thinking, Man! They’re never going to find me! And then it hits me, I have a light here blinking and a flag! So I reach over–I can finally grab the broken part and actually hold it up out of the water–and now I’m siting there waving it around. You know, miles away it’s really hard to notice a flag. I then see some of the other boats on the platform untie; running around and racing off down the south of the platform, just going in different directions. I’m thinking, What the heck are those guys doing? It turns out they were chasing all the little glow in the dark things I had thrown over the side ! So they’d see a speck of light out there and just head straight for it.”

Photo Credit: Oleg Doroshenko #9417199 (stock photo)

“Finally, somebody spots my little itty-bity light off in the distance and heads towards me. I see my ship and a crew boat coming. My ship is heading for me on my right, and a little crew boat–maybe a 75 footer–very low on the water–heading for me off to my left. They’re coming at me and then I thought, Okay, now is when a SHARK shows up! I’m sitting there hanging on, waving my flag and they’re coming up. One of the guys has one of those big liferings.”

“Now you have to remember, this is a big boat. The bow of that thing is way the heck up there. I mean, it’s 15 feet or more, so there’s no way I’m crawling up there. I have to be able to come up the back or something. Anyway, one of the guys has this ring and he yells, “‘Mark, here, catch this!'” He flings it out, and it goes boing! and just stops cold and swings down; it doesn’t even touch the water. I put my arms out and I’m like ‘hello?‘ I then turn to swim for the crewboat because it’s so low in the water that I just climbed right up. The guys give me some drinking water and then transport me back to the other boat. It’s late on into the evening when I am finally rescued. I was in that gulf for 6-7 hours before they found me.”

Photo Source: Pinterest

Photo Source: Pinterest

And so the moral of the story is…?

“I always carried three knives after that!”

Gotta love him.

Here’s to my wild and crazy, adventurous husband who was lost at sea for nearly 7 hours. He conquered fear–void of encountering any sharks–and remained of sound mind in the midst of danger. Thank God, he didn’t drown and had lost that knife, or he would have tried to swim and then been carried away with the current.

Happy Birthday, babe. You’re the cutest shark bait that I know. And I’m so glad God saved you for me.

I love you.

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© M.A. Pérez, 2015, All Rights Reserved

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Filed under Lost at Sea, Man Overboard, Offshore Surveyor

In the Thrill of It All

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Once again, my birthday was planned by my beautiful and creative daughter, Anna Marie. She has always believed and supported my writing endeavors that I’ve started calling her my publicist. While I was on vacation, back home she rallied up my hubby, her siblings, as well as secretly contacted my list of friends. (I believe she even hacked into my FaceBook account, for goodness sakes!) The outcome being a wonderful, surprised birthday celebration for yours truly.

To my delight, I realized that my daughter planned out a theme for my birthday this year to honor me. She centered the theme with “Running in Heels,” my working title of my completed memoir. She designed and printed out bookmarks, created a decorated donation box, and had taken up a collection from donators who believe in my work.

This cloud-nine feeling by such love, the support and all that took place was surreal. I can’t imagine EVER getting used to having people who truly are fans, and those who faithfully remain in my corner, while cheer-leading me onward towards the finish-line. I have been deeply touched and I am grateful. But my work is not yet over.

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Yes, I am the author of this story. I lived and survived those years. I wrote the words on the pages through hours upon hours, throughout the night when sleep escaped me, and upon every available moment when at home in front of the computer or jotting down on a writing tablet. To my dear friends and family who have made this birthday gal feel loved and special, to the readers and fellow-bloggers who’ve encouraged my work, and to my supporters who went and will continue to go above and beyond, words cannot express the gratitude that is in my heart. Together we shall make a difference. Together we shall see this project completed.

From my heart to yours one beat at a time.

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© M.A. Pérez 2014, All Rights Reserved

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Filed under Birthday, memoir book project

Birthday Boy

 

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Celebrated hubby’s birthday.

Cooked him a nice lasagna meal with the family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hard to believe that this good-looking boy

would waltz into my life one day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As an added bonus, gave hubby a surprised party with friends the next day.

 

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He completes me.

He had a rugged, but kind, short-bearded face

Happy Birthday, Mark.

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Through the Eyes of a Child

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I’m ready!

So for my post this week, I celebrate my granddaughter, Grace, turning seven years old. She is a miracle, a bundle of pure joy with a remarkable outlook on life. She can make my husband’s heart melt and she still makes mine skip. Her bubbling personality and radiant smile beam brightly. She teaches us about life, and we celebrate the beauty of living through her eyes.

My birthday gift for Grace was to take her to see the Nutcracker Ballet Show. Now, I’m not much for heights, but our seats was in the nosebleed section. As I white-knuckled the guardrails and gingerly walked down each narrow step, fighting vertigo, Grace didn’t have that problem as she bounced along ahead to our seats.

With every squeal, giggle, and clap, watching the show through the eyes of a child is magical in itself. But for those who don’t realize just how much of a magical moment spending time with Grace is, you will need to go here –  Amazing Grace

This was indeed a special time. And I wanted to share this moment with my readers.

Going to the "Nutcracker" 2013

Going to the “Nutcracker” 2013

"It's taking too long." zzzZZZzzz

“It’s taking too long.” zzzZZZzzz



Snack time

Snack time

New Friends

New Friends

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© M.A. Perez, 2013, All Rights Reserved

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Filed under Fun, The Nutcracker Ballet

Faded Roses?

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Age. Aging. Ageless.

I rarely think about my age but the body has a way of reminding me whenever I throw my back out or my knee pops. And yes, in the mirror I sometimes notice an extra line here, another wrinkle there, and as I gaze upon certain areas of my physique I find myself wondering, where did “it” go and when did “that” change?

From time to time I muse about my early years in having to grow up so fast, and then in my teens and young adulthood in raising four children. Next thing I knew my twenties were gone, and my marriage was deteriorating. Divorced in my thirties (I felt like a failure but the world did not end), and remarried by my mid-thirties (thank God for new beginnings). I can shout from the rooftop that no marriage is so good that it can’t be made better! (You see, I’ve been married most of my life.) Then when I approached my early forties, the seasons changed again for me, this time, embracing the wonders of grand-parenting.

So, in my fifties, as I reflect on this aging process—knowing I certainly don’t have all the answers—I’ve learned a thing or two about what life has dealt me.

I read in Psalms 90:12: So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.”  This passage speaks to me and tells me to make each day count. I must remember to live in the present, not in the yesterdays or in the tomorrows. I must laugh often, love deeply, pray sincerely, and believe that my best days are before me.

As my birthday quickly approaches around the corner, I can’t help but think: have I done all I ever wanted to do? Of course, the answer is a resounding: Not even close. Am I running out of time? That’s God’s business. I believe life is a gift from God and I’ll take each day and cherish the moment. He is the reason for every good thing, every heartbeat, and every second chance.

I love the lyrics to “Every Good Thing” by The Afters:

I tend to be busier than I should be
I tend to think that time is going to wait for me
Sometimes I forget and take for granted
That it’s a beautiful life we live
I don’t want to miss the moments like this
This is a beautiful life You give

You’re the reason for every good thing, every heartbeat
Every day we get to breathe
You’re the reason for anything that lasts, every second chance
Every laugh
Life is so sweet
You’re the reason for every good thing

There will be days that give me more than I can take
But I know that You always make beauty from my heartache
Don’t want to forget or take for granted
That it’s a beautiful life we live
I’m not going to miss the moments like this
This is a beautiful life You give

It’s our family, it’s our friends
It’s the feeling that I get when I see my children smile
You’re the reason for this life, everything we love
It’s You alive in us
You’re alive in us

You are here in every moment, and I know that You’re every good thing
You are here in every moment, and I know that You’re the reason for
You are every good thing

For the love I still see in my children’s eyes, the laughter in my grandchildren’s voices, the warmth of my husband’s embrace, the scent of rain lingering in the air, and the taste of grateful tears streaming down my cheeks, I am thankful for the goodness of God in granting me another year.

Someone said that age is a myth and beauty is a state of mind. I like that.

Faded roses? No. May I grow old gracefully, forever blooming where I am planted, one petal at a time.

A heartfelt thanks to my lovely daughter, Anna, for putting this video together

A heartfelt thanks to my lovely daughter, Anna, for putting this video together

 

© M.A. Perez, 2013, All Rights Reserved

 

22 Comments

August 24, 2013 · 9:04 PM

Mi Boricuan Familia

I just returned from an accelerating  week’s vacation, which was also a surprise visit to my family in Florida. Other than planning everything with my younger brother, I didn’t want any beans spilled, so I gave no clues and left no hints. My ten-year-old grandson accompanied me; his first time on a plane. He was so excited and never at a loss for words the entire flight.IMG_0624[1]

The trip and the family time together were awesome!

My first stop was at my older brother’s. The shock on his face and the familiar choice words that he uttered in seeing me were priceless. His entire household welcomed me warmly. My three tall nephews are strapping young lads. We all talked at once and managed to hear every word. Soon, my sister-in-law and I enjoyed some overdue and much-needed girl talk alone (after kicking out all the boys).

1092153_158266174363129_1689987005_oThen we drove to my dad’s home where I was greeted with more1157638_10201825671551316_948345146_n hugs, tears and kisses. (Click on the link to a video and listen to my daddy’s exclamation phrases over and over of: “¡Ay, mi madre!” as well as, “¡Ay, Dios mio!”)

Before too long, savory food waft from the kitchen calling my name. I couldn’t wait to sample my step-mother’s Puerto Rican cuisine. She did not disappoint and prepared a delicioso feast of pollo frito arroz_con_gandules(fried chicken), plátanos fritos (fried plantains), and arroz con gandules (rice and pigeon peas). Mmm hmm good! ¡Que rico la comida!

IMG_0694[1]My sister later drove into town (also surprising our daddy – yes, it’s in our blood) and soon we were catching up with the latest news over family, food and fashion. I got to exchanged stories with her fine son, amazed by his sharp wit, then observed he and my grandson enjoying one another’s company with the latest video game. Finally, my dad announced it was time to play dominoes, beating everyone in the game just the way I always remembered.

In the days that followed we shopped, ate to our heart’s content, spent the day at the beach, the pool, 1095099_10201755977529307_1400669289_nand shared pictures on FaceBook (a vast differencemai kai from having to pull out dusty album books like the old days). Lastly, we enjoyed taking Daddy to Mai Kai Polynesian Dinner and Show.

I wanted — needed — to be present to help celebrate my daddy’s 80th birthday that Sunday, and so grateful to be able to escape my hectic schedule to make the grand event. If not, I would have been filled with regrets. Now I have wonderful additional memories to hold onto for a lifetime.

With every visit, conversation and reminiscing, we simply picked up where we left off so long ago. It felt good to be “home” again and reunite with my boricuan familia.

And now you know where I have been this past week.PicMonkey Collage

© M.A. Perez, 2013, All Rights Reserved

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August 17, 2013 · 1:39 PM