Sunday, December 5


Emilio took his first steps today. I knew it would be coming soon, but it still seemed so sudden. I had just left the house to study and Kris was watching Emilio before giving him dinner and all the sudden he took not one, not two... but THREE steps! Kris called me and I immediately turned around and was able to catch a couple videos on my camera. Over the course of less than 30 minutes he became a lot more comfortable... it so SO crazy.
Life goes by so quickly. On the one hand I am so happy for my beautiful baby, but on the other hand, he is starting to sprout his wings. So happy and so sad. What a blessing. He is so amazing and such a blessing. Thank you God. Thank you...


Sunday, November 21

The happenings...

Time flies. The weather has already changed and all the leaves have fallen from the trees. Here comes winter again, but this year brings a feeling of something other than just waiting for Spring. It will be Emilio's first birthday and first Christmas. I cannot believe how fast time has gone. He is growing so fast and becoming so aware.  Life is amazing!
An update on the family: Emilio is sooo close to walking, just a little nervous to take that first step. He'll realize nobody is holding on to him and you can see the surprise in his eyes and he drops to the floor. He loves exploring, looking at his books, opening and closing doors and crawling around. He is such a mellow  baby, he is the perfect balance to our hectic lives. Kris and I get home from the craziness of the hospital and the firm and the sight of him brings a sense of relief and happiness. He has such an energizing force. No matter how tired I thought I was, he makes me smile and laugh. With him and Kris, I am home. I truly love my little family.
Lawyer in training

Being silly at dinner
Kris has been so busy with the Immigration firm and loving it, he is nearly fluent in Spanish and uses it daily, after a long day's work, he comes home and supports me endlessly with the obligations of the house and life. He has been SO supportive of me, I know I couldn't do this without him. On top of everything else, he has also decided to take the Patent Bar and has been studying nearly 30 hours a week in preparation.

For me: I have finished Pediatrics and Neurology. I start Psychiatry tomorrow, but I am no where closer to knowing what I want to do with the rest of my life. I still know I want to be a doctor, as exhausting as it is sometimes, so that is a good sign. It's a hard road, but SO rewarding. What an honor and a privilege to have the trust of people with something as serious as their health. I know I have SO much more to learn, but what is amazing is that a life as a doctor is a life of learning. I love that.

 Some recent pics:
Corpse Bride- Halloween 2010

My little Monkey- Halloween 2010

love. M+K+E

Thursday, September 30

Busy, busy but life keeps cruising along

Being super cute and contemplative
It's been awhile and so much to say but not quite the time. I am in the midst of my Pediatric rotation, which is both rewarding and serves to make me a serious hypochondriac with Emilio! Nothing has been more humbling and difficult than working with patients and patients' families who will not live past this year. I've found myself either crying or holding back tears on so many occasions that I sometimes wonder if I'm cut out for this doctor thing. 

Doctor wanna-be

The hours are super long but I find no matter how tired I am, coming home to my beautiful family rejuvenates me. I can't help but smile when I see my happy and healthy little love-bug.
What a good Dada!
Kris has been super busy too, lawyering, running and daddying! He has been training hard for the Chicago marathon this coming weekend and spending long hours at work. We are still trying to find some kind of balance in our lives with career, family, school and other activities.

Emilio has ALSO been busy, pulling himself up to his feet, walking while holding to furniture, and he has expanded his vocabulary: dada, mama, papa, gog (we think he's trying to say dog). 
His new favorite thing to do- splashing in the bath!

With love,
Maria, Kris and Emilio Marcelino

Monday, August 2

The Light

Hooray Dada!

After years of running La Luz trail run bandit, and unofficially winning last year, Kris OFFICIALLY won!!  In a time of 1:24:22 he blazed up the 9 mile course, ascending from 6100 feet to 10678 feet! He is my hero. And after such a feat, he decided for his "cool down" he would turn around and run back down the mountain. Emilio and I also participated in the race, I speed hiked up the mountain carrying him in a baby carrier with the help of our friend Laura. It was Emilio's first ascent up La Luz. He spent the 3 and 1/2 hours mostly sleeping and checking out the scenery. (Yes, it took me two more hours than Kris :) )

The happy family!

Laura, to whom
 I am indebted for the support

I felt so proud to be able to carry Emilio up the beautiful Sandia Mountains all the way to the crest!  It's a good thing he is still under 20 pounds!

The guys


Me and my little love

Monday, July 26


Crawling practice!
We had a very exciting week here, Emilio lifted himself up on his hands and knees and tried crawling to his toys! It was so amazing and I was so happy but so sad at the same time. Sad because he is changing so quickly. Sometimes I wish I could just press the pause button on life and enjoy him just as he is this very second. But I know there is a lot of beauty in the change that is to come as well.                                                                            All this time with him at home has been so rewarding. I couldn't have planned to have him at a better time! Since his birth in December, we have been together all but two and a half months. One month when I had to go back for a block in medical school and the other month and a half to study for Step 1. What an unexpected blessing! I have especially enjoyed the last couple months. He has become SO aware, we can really play. He laughs at funny faces, recognizes sounds and makes my life simple, light and fun!  He has even began to notice when I eat without him and he reaches out and looks at me like I forgot about him! 
"Hey, what about me!"
Emilio has also been helping me with the gardening. So far this year, he's helped me harvest zucchini and the first of the tomatoes and winter squash. We are eagerly awaiting the lettuce, beets and radish to be ready.

On another note, the remodel on the Fourth Street property is moving along. They expect to pour the concrete footings and our new concrete living and dining rooms tomorrow! I am so excited that this project that we have been talking about for over a year is finally underway!

Our future kitchen
Our future porch, living and dining rooms

Our future Zen garden
I will post more as the project continues. Now off to mommy-hood!

Monday, July 19

Getting his greens!

We wanted to make sure he was always healthy, but we never expected him to be eating chard at such an early age!

Sunny California with a 1978 VW Van

It was a dry heat they continued to say as we headed out on our first road trip as a blossoming family. It may have been dry, but it sucked all the moisture we had and left us begging the sun to relent as we were off the side of I-10, broken down for 5th time in our "new" 1978 Volkswagen van that doesn't have an air conditioner. 

Emilio was uncharacteristically wailing, I felt desperate but to my surprise in a matter of minutes, we were off and cruising again heading towards the sunset. We arrived at nearly 4 am into the damp and moist air that is characteristic of the San Diego weather I grew to know and love while I lived there.  It struck us with great relief and I knew we were going to be okay. 

Four days in San Diego, celebrating with friends that may as well be family and off again up California's beautiful Highway 1 to visit the Greats.  Great Grandma Rose in Anaheim and Great Grandma Houghton in Fresno. 

We stopped first in Laguna Nigel to visit my Uncle Lolo, my very pregnant Aunt Nilda, and cousins AndrĂ©s and Anessa.  Good conversation kept us up late, but in the morning we headed out for Anaheim. 
Grandma Rose welcomed us as feisty and sharp as ever. She is Emilio's Great Great Grandma, and was born in New Mexico before it became a state!  She made us laugh saying "Sientate muchacho" to Emilio while he was squirming around on her lap. What a blessing it is to have her in our lives and that she was able to meet her great-great-grandchild! She seemed nostalgic of New Mexico and missed her sisters who still live in Albuquerque. After visiting for a time with Grandma, Aunt Priscilla and Vic, we hit the road again. 

Driving well into the darkness up Highway 1, we decided to camp near the ocean south of Santa Barbara. Falling asleep to the sound of crashing waves was amazing.  We awoke just after sunrise to the sound of the beach gulls and the brisk, cool air of the pacific beach. 
On the road again, still heading north on Highway 1. Although, we had few problems with the van since leaving San Diego, we were still uneasy after the rough start.  The slightest hitch put lumps in our throats, but we pressed on.  Although we were supposed to be heading to Fresno, we couldn't resist another day at the beach. Spending the morning and afternoon in a beautiful little spot just south of San Luis Obispo. Emilio was relieved, I'm sure, to be free of the confines of his car seat and able to roll around on the sand! We took in the fresh air, napped on the beach and couldn't resist our last opportunity to jump into the chilly water.  It was time to hit the road again and unfortunately leave the cool air of the coast for the dry heat of inland California. Equipped with a huge ice chest filled to the brim with ice, water and snacks, just in case something happened, we were off again. Although it got hot, Emilio was kept cool with the occasional ice bath and we passed the time by reading his books and napping. 

 It didn't take us long to arrive to Sanger and we were welcomed to the house by Great Grandma Houghton. She had been anxiously awaiting our arrival, and was sitting right at the front door when we arrived. She too, like Grandma Rose, is doing so well, her mind is so sharp and it makes you realize how frustrating it must be to be trapped in these bodies that cannot keep up. The aches and pains of age must be difficult, but both these women have aged with such grace, and that is inspiring!                                                                            Our time visiting with Papa, Wan and Great Grandma Houghton was so much fun. It was a nice change of pace from being on the road. Emilio got to sleep in his own little crib, take his much needed naps and have lots of playtime! Kris and Papa spent the evenings catching up well into the night. Too much to talk about and so little time. 
        We talked movies, politics, history, genealogy, but mostly about family it seemed. It's trips like this that make me sad that our families are so spread apart. California, Oregon, Hawaii, Florida and New Mexico.  
Wan spoiled us thoroughly with amazing food! French toast with fresh berries and pure maple syrup for breakfast, Thai salmon dinners with fresh jicama salads... it was amazing! My mouth is watering just thinking of it.                                                     We stayed there for four days: days spent floating down the creek, reading and resting. Nights filled with laughter, good conversation and food!  It seems there just never seems to be enough time with family and upon leaving there is always the deep sense that you are leaving something real and valuable. There are always plans to return soon, but life gets a grip on you, and before you know it, it's been years. 
We left again for Albuquerque early Tuesday morning. We decided to make it home as quickly as we could, but had to stop in Needles, CA for a rest from the heat. We stayed the day in a hotel and left at midnight. Kris and I took turns driving and passed the time singing and playing games.                                                                                                                                      The time went quickly and it stayed cool, even cold as we went through Flagstaff, AZ. Driven by the desire to get Emilio home  and the bad news we got of the passing of Uncle Paul, we trucked on. 
Driving in on I-40, we were so relieved when we saw the Sandia mountains of our home. 


Happy 5th Anniversary Kris!  

In memory of my Uncle, Paul Richard
December 20, 1948- July 3, 2010