Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

We have so much to be Thankful for this year. Mainly, our daughter's health. Even if she has Cancer, she is still fighting. And is stronger than many other kids going through the same thing.

Familia C is also very Thankful for our friends and family. Honestly, we couldn't do all of this without their support. When we are down, they lift us up. We are so blessed in that!

Today is not all about parades, football games, and food. Although, we enjoy all of that very much! It's about family, friends, and all of our blessings. Thank you for our great support team that we have! And I want to Thank all of my readers. Who would have thought that I would start a blog and stick with it? I didn't! That's for sure. But Thank you for keeping me motivated to stick this out!

Happy Thanksgiving! Now it's time for me to go get another piece of pumpkin pie with whipped cream. Maybe even a turkey sandwich. :) ~C

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy Dia de los Muertos

Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead happens to be Sarita's favorite holiday. In case you missed it, we're Hispanic. We're Americans, but our families did come from Mexico. My husband is a 2nd generation American, I'm a 3rd generation American.

We lived near the border until we lost our home in a flood in August 2006. And then our daughter got sick, and we moved east for her treatments. But we've never forgotten our heritage. My husband is a musician, and it's a big part of our culture.

We noticed that our daughter had a HUGE fascination will skulls and skeletons. When she was very young! Very, very young! We thought, maybe it was because we were always in the hospital. I don't know. Then maybe it was because her Nana is studied to be a doctor. And she's always with some medical book or journal. Still, I don't know. But Sarita likes her skeletons. A lot!

And Dia de los Muertos is her favorite holiday. She counts down to it like it was Christmas! Last year, we got to be home for the big day. And we went to see some friends perform in a local town. It was so much fun! And Sarita soaked everything up! She got to decorate a few Sugar Skulls. They were loaded with colorful frosting, lots of candy, and they were simply pieces of art! She colored pictures, made necklaces, etc. It was a super fun day!

Juan got to play the music for the event. And Sarita danced and danced. It also helps that everyone we know is a musician. And we knew everyone at this event. But our girl had a blast! All dressed up and part of the parade. :)

This year, we're stuck in the hospital. And Sarita was already feeling pretty down about it 2 or 3 weeks ago. She wanted to be part of the big show again. And honestly, I think she just wanted to enjoy the day. Could you imagine being 4 and not being able to celebrate Christmas, your birthday, or Easter? That's what it was like for Sarita.

Juan called La Chiquitita. And they talked it over. La Chiquitita sewed a cute "Muerto Bride" costume for Sarita. and Juan went and bought a "Skeleton Makeup Kit." We're going to dress up our little girl today. And she is so excited! The doctors can't wait to see what she is going to look like!

In case you're wondering, Dia de los Muertos is a Latin American holiday. You are celebrating the lives of your loved ones who have died. It's kind of like All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day. You are supposed to build an alter and place sugar skulls, marigolds, and your loved ones favorite foods and drinks on the alter.

Since I can remember, our family has done this. It's a day to celebrate the lives of your loved ones. When I was really little, my abuelitos (grandparents) would take us to Mexico with them. And we'd visit the graves of family and friends. Leaving food, sugar skulls, marigolds, other flowers, drinks, etc. Musicians would sit in the graveyard and sing and play. Everyone would sing along and dance. And it would go one for hours and hours. Usually until the early morning of November 3rd.

The celebrate can be as long as 3 days! Starting on October 31st. But the big day is November 2nd! People sit around telling stories about the dead. The entire celebration is to offer things to your loved ones. Hoping they can hear you. And your prayers. It's about honoring the lives of the people you love.

A lot goes into this day. You bake lots of yummy things. And cook tons of food! Toys are left at the graves of children, and alcohol is usually left for adults. You can find people leaving blankets and pillows. Those are for the souls to rest on. :)

Pan de Muerto and Sugar Skulls are the most common thing you'll see on this day. It's like eggs on Easter or turkey on Thanksgiving. Matachines and Mariachis are very common too! But in all, it's a fun celebration. Maybe you can see why Sarita likes it so much! Now, I've got to go dress up my little "Muerto Bride." ~C