Opal Siren

My life in dreams

2014 Here we go!

Happy New Year!!!

I am so excited for this new year and all the wonderful things that it is going to bring.

I know it! I know it is going to be a good year. I feel it in the air. It feels like I have taken my dark sunglasses off and I am able to see things clearer. I know you feel it too.

My husband and I decided to start the year right and give thanks the our Creator. We attended mass and plan to attend as often as we can to lift our spirits and appreciate all that we have.  As we sat there listening to the priest give his sermon, I was shocked to hear him say that he was anxiously waiting for the Downtown Abbey premier. I have never seen the show, but it is a good sign to listen to a priest with such a great sense of humor. The service was so light, funny and finally entertaining with a strong spiritual message: God leads us into the most unexpected paths! I know 2014 is going to be one of those unexpected paths for me.

In addition, last night was a good indication that it is going to be not just a good year but a spectacular one as well. I dreamed of my late grandmother. Oh, how I love having dreams with her in them. I spoke with her for a moment, but I do not remember what was said. All I remember is that we walked through a beautiful, very high cliff. From the top of that cliff I could see a lake and people swimming in it and having the best time. The lake was very clear. I could see the very bottom of the lake from where I was standing and I could see how deep it was. I remember thinking “Wow! That lake is so deep. I would drown swimming in there!”. But for some reason I did not feel scared or anxious that I would fall into it. The opposite is true. I felt so happy and comfortable walking at the edge of that cliff and seeing how calm and clear the water was. My grandmother gave me a guitar and asked me to play something for her. I do not know how to play an instrument so I am not sure why she asked me to play. However, in the dream I started to play so confidently and well. I was surprised as I was playing all sorts of songs and started to move with the music. I never felt so happy in a dream.

It is not the first time I have heard music or singing in my dreams. Personally, I think it is a good sign that abundance, brilliance and happiness is upon us. I felt so joyful and I know that I will feel that way again at some point this year. My mind and spirit have never been so positive. I know that we are here to create, explore, make mistakes and start over. I know that we are on the right path already and that the most important thing is to share and feel love. I know that this year will be a manifestation of all those things I have mentioned and more.

Happy Reading and Cheers to a Brilliant Year!!!

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What to be for Halloween?…How About a Chief’s Wife?

My husband has been promoted to Chief Petty Officer. I am so extremely proud of him. He has worked so hard to get this promotion and it has been an incredible journey. It has been bitter-sweet for us though, with the passing of my mother-in-law and the difficult year we both have had. Nevertheless, I know he will be an amazing leader, mentor and support to all of his sailors.

When I met my husband, he was barely an MM3 (Machinist Mate Third Class). I remember studying with him and making sure he got all the qualifications needed to make sure he made it to the next grade. I also remember running to the cleaners to pick up his Navy Uniform. You know, the one that looks like this:


Well, he no longer wears that uniform. He now wears something like this:


I felt sad, for about two minutes, when my husband informed me he no longer would be able to wear the sailor’s uniform, but it made me happy that he feels accomplished. What I was not expecting are all the activities we have to engage in and all the fund-raising we have to do. My husband and I have kept a : “work and family separate” rule, but now that he is a Chief I am also expected to engage, take part and be of support to other Navy families. Wow…so much responsibility and so little time! I think I am the one that needs the support! 🙂

Feels kind of weird being the wife of a chief, but I am sure it feels just as weird for my husband; being the he is the one that has to lead and not the one that has to follow….Well, he was not that much of a follower anyway! 🙂

Happy Reading!!!! Happy Halloween!!!!

Images courtesy of Google search/Google Images.

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My wish as a future mom

Hello all!

I know I have been absent. I have been so very busy and trying to do so many things at once. Therefore, I will now be posting once a month. I have decided to do this in order to be fair with myself and not drive myself to the insane ward.

On better news: Happy Mother’s day to all the mommies out there, bloggers or not.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. The most important member of that village is a mother or a mother figure. Some of us are blessed to have many mothers or even figures in our lives who have been like a mother to us. I, for one, am the mother to my pet Carrott Top, but I truly do not know what being a mother is and I do not pretend to. All I know is the type of mom I would like to be one day; if I learned anything from all of my moms. Here are a few of the things I hope to carry on in my journey as a mother one day:

1. I hope to cry at all school events. I know I will because I cry watching the silliest of movies. I remember how special I felt when my grandmother would come to my school plays and I would see her in the audience wiping her tears out of joy. I can only hope my child would feel the same and not die of embarrassment.

2. I will hold my child and kiss him/her constantly! I received many hugs and kisses from grandma and even my mother. There is nothing like a mother’s hug or kiss, especially when you are not feeling well. What I would give to hug my grandmother right now! I also do not care if my child is extremely spoiled because of the excessive holding and kissing that I will be doing to him or her. I say that children grow way too fast and they will have their entire lives to learn lessons and be adults.

3. I will dress my child in children clothes, not “adult” like clothes. I hate seeing children wear clothing that resembles that of adults. Again, they will have their entire lives to wear what they like. Besides, I now treasure the hand-made outfits my grandmother made me. I know she made them out of love and it was a great way to bond with me. I will always hold dear to my heart all of those moments when she would take my measurements, cut fabric, measure some more, allowed me to cut some of the fabric…It was great! We had so much fun!

4. I will take my children to the dentist. I hate going to get ANY dental work, but I know that if I had proper dental care from the start, I would have not had all the complications I did as an adult. Even though I did not like my mom for taking me, I am thankful now that she did. Thanks to my mom I won’t need any false teeth any time soon…I hope?

5. I will sleep in the same bed with my child. I know this one is a big no-no. But, I remember sleeping in the same bed with my grandparents and to this day my grandfather calls me HIS child. We have an unbreakable bond. I still had my own room and I did sleep in my room as I got older, but I was not forced to sleep alone and it happened when I was ready. I am doing some reasearch on Attached Parenting and the benefits of this philosophy on children, regarding this same very topic.

6. I will sing and read stories to my children. My grandmother used to sing to me and carry me as she did so, I loved her so much because of it. She gave me the attention that all children need and want. Children feel nurtured, loved and cared for when they are read and sang to. Her singing not only comforted me but also brough much joy when I needed it, especially when I dealt with very traumatic events.

I am sure I am missing many more items on this list, like listening with an open mind and feeding my child (That one is very important LOL)…What are some of the things you think I should add to the list that would help me or anyone be a good/better mom?

Happy Mother’s Day and Happy Reading!!! 

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This month has flown by!  It literally became an Eagle with wings, and decided to take me on a wild ride. I can’t even believe that Easter is upon us, I celebrated my 5th wedding anniversary, and St. Patty’s day came and went, with its pot full of gold at the end of the rainbow. By the way, I do not recommend watching the Leprechaun movies on St. Patrick’s day while being sober…Wow! Those movies were terrible! But the craziest of all things that could happen in March, is the amount of snow that I am seeing here in VA. I mean from light snow, to shower mixes, to a possible storm as I am writing this, I mean when is it going to stop? I guess Winter does not want to leave us so soon after all. Could it be that the year is going by so fast, that the seasons are not catching up? I mean, for me, it feels like time is going at the speed of light and I can barely keep up.

And then there is Easter. What a great time to celebrate with family and all the children of one’s family. I hope time will slow down a bit, just for this one day, so that I can get to enjoy it!

It is interesting how when we are young, we want everything to happen right away. We want time to speed up and grow up. But as adults, the opposite happens. Not only do we change as people, but we also have a different view of time. We simply do not want it to go by so fast. We do not want to grow old and we want to hold on to the good times as much as possible.

Sometimes, it feels like life itself is just a dream. An illusion or a thought that simply lingers long enough to create memories. Then one day we can refer back to it, whether it was a good memory or a bad one; but nothing is really real. Nothing is that detrimental or constant. Eventually things change, situations change, people change, circumstances change. The only thing that is constant and for sure is time. It is always there creeping upon us.

So on this month of March, I hope that we all take time from our MAD schedules to reflect, spend time egg hunting, eat way too many chocolates, create good memories, and take it one day at a time.

Happy Easter! Happy Reading!!! 

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Numéro Cinq

My husband and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary a few days ago. Wow! Times has flown right before our eyes.

It was a low-key celebration: We went to Olive Garden, and the following day we went to CineBistro for dinner and a movie. We like to keep things simple.

When it comes to traditional gift giving, gifts that one is supposed to give their spouse on anniversaries, until recently we had no idea what the correct items are supposed to be. We give each other what we want throughout the year for the most part, so on holidays and anniversaries we can just share a card and spend time with each other. This year my husband really wanted  a nice travel cup with a straw included. I got him a nice large size cup for him to take to work. He got me chocolates from our local Hallmark store…Which I love!  He also got a new T.V. set in January and new sneakers a month ago. That is not including his GameStop games and other items he gets throughout the year. I got some natural and organic beauty items I really wanted and soon will be going on a shopping spree for clothes. Very simple…No fuzz 🙂

I thought it would be nice to share some traditional gifts couples SHOULD give their spouses each year of marriage.

Note: I am only including years 1-10. These are some of the traditional items here in the U.S.A. Information extracted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedding_anniversary

So here are the traditional items for each anniversary, and what my husband gave to me for our special day; but may or may not have been on the exact day of our anniversary:

Year            Traditional(USA)       Us (Michael to Arlene)

1rst              Paper                          Dave Matthews Band concert tickets…That can count as paper!

2nd              China                          Jewelry  (Earrings)

3rd               Leather                       Coach Bag ….Definitely counts as leather!

4th              Appliances                   Jewelry (Claddagh Ring)

5th           Wood/Silverware            Chocolates/Clothes

6th              Iron/Wood

7th              Desk Sets

8th             Bronze/Linens

9th             Pottery/Leather

10th          Diamond Jewelry

Happy Reading and St. Patty’s Day!!!

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Golden Globes….Who are you rooting for??!!!

So tonight The Golden Globes Awards are on! I am so excited to be watching with my husband. We do not have many things in common, but watching award shows is one of them. He watches for the beautiful women, I watch for the gowns…I mean, come on! Who does not watch these shows for the beautiful gowns???! From Prada, to Gucci, Elie Saab, Vera Wang….The list is endless and I love all the creativity and color on the red carpet. My grandmother was a dress-maker, so I am used to the fabric, pattern, and pins and needles of the fashion world. I can appreciate the tailoring and the craft that goes into creating a well made gown or suit.

My husband and I also like watching the award shows for the movies that are being nominated. We enjoy going to the movies as a hobby. Watching our favorite films and stars win or lose nominations is fun for us. We try to make the night of the awards a fun date night of pizza and hanging out. One of the films we are rooting for is LINCOLN.  When we saw the film we absolutely loved it and enjoyed the historical facts that were added to the film. Sally Field did an amazing portrayal of Mrs. Lincoln (Mary Todd Lincoln). She really put in a lot of emotion and passion to the role. Daniel Day-Lewis also did an exceptional job as the late President and, in my opinion, he nailed it!  I am not an expert of all things Lincoln, but Day-Lewis was amazing and he really looked and acted the part. I was hooked! I also love Anne Hathaway as an actress, although I have not seen Les Mis which is what she is being nominated for. I just know that Hathaway is an amazing actress and has been nominated years before. Also I have to root for her, being that she did such a good job in the latest Batman movie as Catwoman 🙂

I cannot wait to see what Joan Rivers, Giuliana Rancic and the others on Fashion Police, which airs on the E! network, have to say about all the fashions and moments of the Globes and the rest of the award shows. I mean, that is one funny show and it also a great way to catch up on who wore what and by whom.

Are you watching The Globes and, if so, who or what movie are you rooting for?

Happy Reading!!! 

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The Three Kings

The other day my husband and I had a special delivery. It was a 65 inch, flat screen television, complete with 3D capabilities. New year, new T.V. and a new job which I start tomorrow!!! Anyway, I was taken back when one of the men, who delivered our T.V., mentioned that we had not taken down our Christmas tree or decorations. I did not know there was a deadline to take holiday decorations down, but we are one of those people who put their tree up way too early in the holiday season and take it down way too late. We really enjoy the holidays, minus the gift-buying craze that goes along with it, and the decorations.

This holiday season was very special to my husband and myself. He had just returned from a very long deployment overseas. We got to celebrate Thanksgiving with a very romantic turkey dinner. We got to go to Florida to see our relatives. We even managed to celebrate New Years together. After spending so many holidays and birthdays apart, it was nice to be with each other when it mattered: Celebrating Christmas!

Yet, everyone is in such a hurry to take down decorations, put away the massive amounts of gadgets, toys, and items that will not get used, that they forget about Three King’s Day. I know it is not a major holiday here in the U.S., but in the Dominican Republic it is very much a HOLIDAY. It is the day that most children actually receive gifts from The Three Kings and not Santa. Children put out grass for the Kings’ camels, water, and food items similar to the Santa Claus tradition. The Santa Claus tradition did not start until more recent times in the D.R. and it is also celebrated with the exchange of small gifts. Three Kings Day, however, is a tradition that is based on the Bible. Imagine, a holiday that is based on gift-giving and it is actually religiously based on a sacred book, and yet no one seems to remember it or know about it!  So much for us being “Wise Men”.  This is the part of the holidays that is a huge turn off for me. Christmas is no longer about being with family, socializing, gathering and exchanging love. It is not even about what it was originally meant to represent: The birth and celebration of Christ! I mean, I celebrate and admire all cultures and religions, because somewhere in the mindset of every one of us there is the interchange of love, and we are all capable of it. But we should at least try to understand why or what we are celebrating even if we do not agree with it. You do not have to be religious, or even believe in anything, to take part in exchanging good vibes or love with family and friends during the holiday season. Love is the universal “religion”. And yet, we have manged to turn the holidays into such a spectacle to see who gets more gifts, that we completely miss the mark and do not even acknowledge what it is that we are celebrating. We are quick to take down the Christmas tree and the decorations to move on to the next holiday. So quickly we move on to the next thing, that we forget about the Three Wise Men or the Three Kings, and their visitation and presentation of gifts to Jesus. Again, you do not have to be religious or a believer to appreciate the story and the meaning behind their visitation, or the meaning of the holidays for that matter. However, it is part of history, folklore and culture, and that is something that deserves honor.

So for everyone out there who still appreciates a little culture, history, meaning, and spirituality: Happy Three King’s Day and Happy Reading!!!

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How many gifts does it take to make it through Christmas?

Every year during the holidays, my husband and I make a list of gifts to buy and their recipients. Most of the recipients are children like nieces and nephews and a few cousins. We also try to set a budget so we don’t go broke or into major debt. However, each year it gets harder and harder to buy gifts. The latest gadgets and toys that most children want are very pricey, and it is difficult to be fair with everyone.

One of the things my husband and I do is not exchange gifts with adults. We decided a long time ago that Christmas is really a time to bond and share with families, but the gifts are for the little ones. We do a small gift for our parents or for whoever is hosting Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day, and that is basically it! We also do Christmas cards for everyone else like grandparents, friends,etc…

The other thing my husband and I do is to cut off grown children, like certain 20-year-olds that should be working or attending school. This is a matter of choice of course and I am by no means telling anyone how to spend their money. But, once I was 16-17 I had a job and Santa stopped dropping gifts for me. Therefore, I do not understand why grown adults should be receiving gifts unless it is from a parent or spouse.

Although my husband and I do not have children and we try to stay within the above guidelines, I feel pressured each year to buy more and more gifts. I know that the parents of our nieces and nephews should be the ones purchasing most of the items for their children, but I still feel pressured into buying as much as the parents. Should I be feeling this way? Afterall, my nieces, nephews and the other kiddies in the family, seem to get so much for the holidays that at times it does seem excessive. So this year my husband and I opted for gift cards instead.

Also, I do not understand why children must have every single toy or item that is on their list or every item that is new on the market. As as child growing up in the Dominican Republic, I saw poverty first hand. There were times that I did not get gifts from Santa, and when I did I got maybe a nice big gift and maybe five or ten smaller ones. I remember feeling like it was a mountain of toys and feeling so happy and grateful. Never did I question how many things I should have gotten. My grandmother always made it a point that I donate what I was done using and she always dragged me to the poorest sites of the country, so that I saw first hand how other children lived. I always loved Christmas because of the trees and lights and all the donating we did at this time of the year. For me, Christmas was about being happy and with family and not so much about gifts. So for me, giving a child over 50 gifts just from the parents alone is a little much. So we only do one or two gifts per child, and yet I still feel like it is not enough or we are not doing enough.

I am not sure what my husband and I will do when we decide to have our own children, but I do know that I would like my children to be grateful for everything that they have. There will be trips to GoodWill and The Salvation Army to give donations, and I guess most of  Santa’s list will be covered as well 🙂

Happy Reading!!! 

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A real tree for Christmas

My husband and I have made the very difficult decision (NOT!), to go to Florida for the holidays. We have spent our Christmas holiday these past few years in New Jersey, with both of our families. This year we have decided to spend the holidays with my husband’s sister and stepfather out in Florida. We are actually very excited about it, since my husband has not been back to his home state (home as in FL) for several years. Sorry if this is confusing!

As you may have noticed, my husband is from NJ and FL. I am originally from NJ and the military has brought us here to Virginia. We are happy to finally be spending time with his stepfather. Besides it would be pretty awesome to be in sunny Florida for the holidays 🙂  My husband, sister-in-law, stepfather-in-law, his wife, and my mother-in-law will be there. They are pretty laid back people and that is what I am looking forward to the most…A laid back Christmas. All of them enjoy cooking so that saves me the headache to get into a kitchen. I can just do what I do best…Cleaning duty!

Since we are not going to be in good old VA or NJ for the holidays, my husband and I decided not to decorate or get a Christmas tree. We figured no one would be coming over and we are leaving to enjoy some much-needed sunny weather. Of course that decision did not last long, when we went to Wal-Mart and the Christmas trees were lined up at the front of the store. Once we were in the store, the holiday music, the sales, and the holiday cards caught our attention. We could not help ourselves and caved. Not only did we buy holiday cards, gift card holders, and a poinsettia for our dinning room, we also managed to score a gorgeous real tree and wreath. The smell in my home is amazing. This is our first real tree and real wreath, and I do not think I could go fake ever again! The warm feeling that having a real tree brings, only a real Christmas fan like we are could understand and appreciate. I also felt bad that my husband was deployed all those months and would not be able to enjoy a Christmas tree at his own home. It is his favorite holiday after all…So we just got the tree and decorated it for ourselves to enjoy 🙂

I truly hope that this Holiday Season is everything my husband wants it to be. He served our country all those months in a never-ending deployment, and he truly deserves it. I also hope that all of you have a wonderful and peaceful holiday season as well.

Happy Reading!!!!

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The Return

I have been a bit absent these few weeks preparing and enjoying my husband’s return from deployment. After six months, of what seemed like an eternal series of unfortunate events, I got my villain prince back. We both definitely changed as people and physically. We both lost weight and are ready to continue to face the challenges ahead. 

It was nice to see the Enterprise or  “Big E” at the pier the morning I picked my husband up. This was the carrier he was on for so many months, and will be working on for a while now that he is home. It is a historic ship and one of the oldest to be on active duty. It is also currently being inactivated. I am so proud that my husband got to serve on such a historic ship, and also gets to work on decommissioning the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.  

The morning of the homecoming was nerve-wracking. I was pressed for time to look my best for my husband and to also get on the road. I was glad to have missed most of the homecoming festivities and the massive crowds. I already knew he would be one of the last sailors to disembark the ship. As I pulled up, my husband had just disembarked the ship, and was waiting for me with his dress blues and his iconic white sailor hat on. Hugs and kisses later, we were on our way to a nice dinner minus the lines of traffic. 

I am so relieved that my sailor is home and most importantly that he is safe. I really hope that all of our troops get to return home sooner rather than later, and that they all return safely to their families. Most of all, a big THANK YOU to all our men and women who serve our country, and to the Big E for all its years of service. 

Happy Reading!!!

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