Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Favorite Family Traditions


What are some of your family traditions?
I have so many family traditions its something I have always enjoyed. However, it has been pretty tough to keep some of my childhood family traditions going, but I have managed to keep some of my favorites going. I love traditions. It tells a story about where you come from and where you are going. I love watching my daughters face as another tradition happens. It makes my heart HAPPY!


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Throwback Thursday

I have been blessed to have 3 godchildren throughout my life.... When I was 14 I was asked to be Taylor's godmother and it was the best thing ever. When I was 17, I was asked to be Theresa's godmother. And when I was 32, I was asked to be Leilani's godmother. Each of them are different in their own way and I love them all very much!

Being a godmother to a child is one of the best experiences ever! You love that child like they are your own... My 2nd godchild is graduating from High School this year and I just can't believe it. They have grown into beautiful women and I am so proud of them!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Goals for the future...

There are so many goals that I have for the future... So many to name... I won't bore with you all my goals... I set little ones here and there and then when I cross them off its so much fun!

But my big ones coming up are my weight loss journey and enjoying my summer with my family and friends. I know its not much, but my weight loss is the biggest goal I have and its one that I fight for the most. As well as enjoying my time with my family and friends... 

What are your goals that you have?

Monday, June 22, 2015

Happy birthday to another amazing Aunt...

You an amazing Aunt and you are so loved. You have brought many laughs in my life and I am so thankful for you! I hope you have a blessed and lovely day! I love you so much!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Fathers day to my daddy...

I hope my daddy has a great Father's Day. He has been the best dad a girl could ever hope for and I am so excited to see him on July 11th.... I love you daddy!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Summer Fun things to do with your kiddos...

If you live in my area, here are a few fun things that you can do with your kiddo's. There are a few definitely on our list to go and do! Enjoy!

June 18-21st – FREE Mini Golf – Be the first to play Pop-Up Art Putt… From 5-8 pm. Enjoy a free evening and participate in the new downtown event. Course Hours: Thursday, June 18, 5 pm – 8 pm, Friday, June 19, 10 am – 8 pm, Saturday, June 20, 10 am – 8 pm, and Sunday, June 21, 10 am – 4pm. The course will span the Prairie Line Trail along Hood Street between S 15th st and S 17th St in Tacoma.
           
June 27-28th Slug Fest at NW Trek – Celebrate all that is silly and slimy about the slug.  Human Slug Races, “slime” art, tentacle headbands, bubble tales, slug story time, photo booths with props and more.  Free with admission.  www.nwtrek.org

June 26-28th Taste of Tacoma Point Defiance Park, Tacoma Friday and Saturday 11 am – 9 pm and Sunday 11 am – 8 pm Free admission.  www.tasteoftacoma.com

July 4th Free Swimming at Tacoma Pools Kandle Pool or Stewart Heights Pool.  Noon – 5:00pm

4th of July – Tacoma, Steilacoom, Dupont Tacoma (fair & air show, fireworks): freedomfair.com  Steilacoom (street fair, entertainment, ice cream social, parade, fireworks): steilacoom.org  Dupont (pancake breakfast, parade): www.dupontwa.com

July 4th -  Red White and Blues Festival – at Celebration Park. Starts at 4 pm and the firework display begins at 10:15 pm. Come join us for music entertainment, food vendors, sports for all sorts, face painting, interactive arts, family games and much more! http://www.visitfw.org/

July 11th - Free 7.11oz Slurpee of your choice at any 7-eleven store  www.7-eleven.com

July 13-14 Lakewood SummerFEST- at Fort Steilacoom Park - Live entertainment, Army Strong Fitness expo, food and arts vendors, Kidz Zone (for a small fee), movie Saturday at dusk – The Lego Movie  www.lakewoodsummerfest.com

July 18th-19th Tacoma Maritime Fest Celebrating Tacoma’s working waterfront with hands-on adventures, exhibits & competitions, and kids activities (boat & train rides, catch & release fishing, toy boat building, etc.)  *Take the free Link Light Rail to downtown Tacoma and catch a free shuttle to the Fest to avoid parking probs* MaritimeFest.org 10a-5p Thea's Park (535 Dock St., Tacoma)

July 23rd – Mid-Summer Carnival – Pioneer Park Puyallup, 2-5 pm, 25 cents per ticket. All carnival rides range between 1-4 tickets. There will be games, prizes, face painting, crafts, cotton candy and much more… www.puyullapparksandrec.com

July 24-26th – Renton River Days – Located in Liberty Park. An annual multi-day family festival and celebration of community pride, with a variety of events, special features for the kids, arts and crafts and stage entertainment. July 25th starting at 10 am they will have their Renton River Days Parade.

August 5th Kid’s Day at Steel Lake Park: 1-5pm.  Free admission, tickets are needed for inflatable slide.  Inflatables, crafts, lego competitions, face painting, new funland playground for kids ages 2-12.   Reptile Isle is from 2-3 pm. Concessions are available for purchase. 2410 S. 312th St. Federal Way 253-209-2422  www.itallhappenshere.com

August 6th Community Campout 6 - Enjoy a night under the stars. Games, crafts, s’mores, all meals and a big screen movie at dusk "Goonies" will all be provided. Check-in begins at 2:30p Saturday; event ends at 10am Sunday.  PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED by Aug. 11th.  Bradley Lake Park, Puyallup.  $20 per tent space. Cityofpuyallup.org (253) 841-5457

August 22 – Touch-A-Truck – From 10-2 at Valley Ridge Park 4644 S 188th St in SeaTac. Come see and touch vehicles that provide safety and services to the community. FREE!

August 22-23th Sand in the City: Saturday 1-7 and Sunday 10-5 features Sand sculpting, dozens of free art and STEM activities, live entertainment, face painting, dig and create in giant sand boxes, meet live guest animals, blow giant bubbles, climb the rock wall, splash ball, 250 foot interactive stream. Free.  Port Plaza, Downtown Olympia  www.hocm.org

August 25th Fee Free Day in the National Parks
www.nps.gov/FINDAPARK/FEEFREEPARKS.HTM

FREE Outdoor Movies – Begins at dusk:
·         Puyallup (July 11, July 25th, August 8 August 22)   www.cityofpuyallup.org
o   Located at Bradley Lake Park – 531 31st Ave SE
o   July 11: Man of Steel, July 25th: The Sandlot
o   August 8: Despicable Me 2, August 22: Planes
·         Tacoma (July 25, July 31, August 14, August 15, August 21)  MetroParksTacoma.org/Bash
o   July 25: The Book of Life, Wright Park
o   July 31: Dolphin Tale 2, Kandle Park
o   August 14: Big Hero 6, Stewart Heights Park
o   August 15: How to Train your Dragon 2, Gray Middle School
o   August 21: Penguins of Madagascar, Norpoint Park
·         Lacey (July 18, July 25, August 1, August 8)    www.ci.lacey.wa.us
o   Located at Huntamer Park in Woodland Square
o   July 18: The Goonies
o   July 25: Disney’s Jungle Book
o   August 1: Muppets Most Wanted
o   August 8: Back to the Future I, II and III

Summer Outdoor Concerts / Children’s Entertainment
o   Lacey – Saturdays July 11-August 8 @ 7:00pm  www.ci.lacey.wa.us
§  Located at Huntamer Park in Woodland Square
o   Steilacoom – Wednesdays starting June 24, July & August 6:30pm  www.steilacoom.org
§  Located at Pioneer Park. The Steilacoom Community Center is backup location due to weather.
o   Puyallup – Tuesdays July 14-August 18 Noon-1:00p located at Pioneer Park; Thursdays July 9-August 20 6:30-8:30p located at Pioneer Park, Wednesdays July 29 & August 12th 12-1 and 6:30-8 located at Bradley Lake Park  www.cityofpuyallup.org
o   Kent Summer Concerts can be found here.
o   Auburn Summer Concerts can be found here.
o   Bonney Lake Events can be found here.

Tacoma Nature Center – Two miles of nature trails and habitat, indoor exhibit area and lab. Outdoor nature-themed play area, Discover Pond, open daily 9:30am-Sunset. Location: 1919 S Tyler Street, Tacoma. There is no admission fee, but donations are gladly accepted (Suggested donations $3 per family, $10 for larger groups).   www.metroparks.org

West Hylebos Wetlands Park - 411 S. 348th St., Federal Way.  Open dawn to dusk daily.  FREE.  Equal parts wildlife refuge, ecological and hydrological conservatory, nature trail, and just plain natural wonder.  The one-mile-long boardwalk (great for strollers) immerses you in forested wetlands. 

Kitsap Live Steamers 7 1/2 inch gauge railroad at South Kitsap Regional Park.  Rides are given to park visitors on a donation basis the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, April through October, weather permitting.  10:00 am-4:00 pm.  Departures are from the passenger depot near the Jackson Ave. play field and riders traverse about 4000 feet of ground level railroad track, one trestle and one bridge.  www.kitsaplivesteamers.org

Blueberry Park Playground, picnic area, and FREE blueberries to pick (Jul-Sept).  7402 East D St, Tacoma

Fircrest Tot Lot Fenced playground just for the 5-and-younger-set.  Convenient bathrooms, sandbox, picnic tables, swings and play equipment.  Across from Fircrest Park at 444 Contra Costa, Fircrest. 

Spray Parks:
·         Tacoma – Opens daily May 25th-September 7th, hours are 10 am-8 pm. Parks listed below:
o   Franklin Park, Jefferson Park, Kandle Park, Norpoint Park, SERA Campus, South Park, Titlow Park, Verlo Playfield, Wapato Hills Park, Wright Park
·         Seattle – Opens May 23rd – September 7th. Parks are listed below:
o   Ballard Commons Park, Georgetown Playfield, Highland Park, Jefferson Park,                            John C. Little Park, Judkins Park, Lake Union Park, Miller Playfield,                                       Northacres Park and Pratt Park
·         Lynnwood – Open June through Labor Day, 11 am until 7 pm
o   North Lynwood Park and Daleway Park
·         Auburn
o   Les Gove Park
·         Puyallup – Open daily from 10 am until 8 pm
o   Kiwanis Kids Spray Park


Recommended Blogs:
·         Meaningfulmama.com : The Place for you to find ways to live and parent in a more meaningful way.  Each day filled with an activity, tip and a character development idea. 
·         Soundsfunmom.com : Fun for kids & families in the SOUTH sound.

“Kids spell love T-I-M-E.  To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today. “

Throwback Thursday

This is my lovely Aunt Madelyn and I back in 1997, I believe. I think that is how old I was... but this was when she was living in San Antonio and we went to visit her in Texas. I love her dearly and miss her more than she will ever know.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Have you ever felt judged by others?

The answer to this is YES.

I have been judged before by someone very close to me and it affected our relationship for a little around a year. It was definitely a rough time in my life, but we have moved past it and things are great now.

Remember...

"There's a story behind every person. There's a reason why they're the way they are! STOP JUDGING."

Another quote I found online that I love:

"Judging a person does not define who they are. IT defines who YOU are!"

And my all time favorite quote about judging others:

"If you judge people, you have no time to LOVE THEM!

God does not want us to judge people. The only person that can truly judge someone is Him. He wants us to love them!!!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Throwback Thursday

This is my best friend Jenn. We met in December of 2005 and that was the beginning of our joined lives together. She has walked with me through thick and thin, literally! She was by my side for my first wedding. She was by my side through the birth of my daughter and all the crazy pregnancy emotions. She was there through my divorce. She was there through a crazy bad relationship. She was there through my 2nd marriage and she continues to stand by my side through life. We do not always agree but we love each other like family and I would be so lost without her and her family in my life! They are my family here and I wouldn't want it any other way!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Happy Anniversary to these 2 love birds...

 &


Happy Anniversary to my oldest brother and his wife... I hope ya'll have a blessed anniversary and an even better year ahead of you! Here is to many more years together... Love you both!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The struggle with losing friends after a divorce...

In an ideal world losing friends and family after a divorce would never happen, but that is not the real world. I would love to say that I didn't lose friends and family after my divorce, but I did.

After my divorce I can't really say I lost friends. I think that the people I lost in my life were not my real friends to begin with. They were my ex husbands friends and I became friends because of him. After the divorce the friendship just wasn't there.

I think the biggest relationship that was altered was my relationship with my father in law. He was my best friend for so many years and we spent a lot of time together... Getting a divorce changed that. I would love to say that things aren't a little awkward when I do see my ex in laws, but they are. I can't explain it, it just is... I think in a way I am super sad about that, but in a way I am blessed with the time that I was able to share with him and all the things I was able to learn in that time frame. My daughter is super blessed to have such great grandparents and I look forward to her relationship with them growing over the years.

My dad said something right after I separated from my ex that has stuck with me to today... he said: what will define you and anyone else in this position or some other circumstance is how you handle what yourself in times like these. You can let it tear you down or you can learn and become a better person after.

Don't let something like a divorce define you. Learn from it, better yourself and life life to the fullest. Take time to grieve and move on... I know its sounds so easy, but it isn't. It will be a hard battle, but you will get through it!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Favorite Craft Store

I have a love of all craft stores... I think my favorite one has to be Joann Fabrics in Federal Way on Pacific Highway. I feel like Michael's is very high priced for their stuff and I feel like I have gotten better deals at Joann Fabrics...

HOWEVER, now that we have a Hobby Lobby ~ I definitely love going there as well!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Happy Birthday to my lovely Aunt

You have been an amazing Aunt growing up and I am extremely blessed to have you in my life. I love you so much and I hope you have a super blessed day!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Throwback Thursday

This was our first time going to the fair. We went with her Aunt Jenn, Uncle Tom, and their 2 kiddos. This was us after walking around for a little bit. We took some time and just enjoyed the sun setting and some time visiting before moving on... C loved the grass!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Farewell Thoughts

I wrote the final article for our newsletter for our MOPS year and I wanted to share it here.. 

Farewell Thoughts by Michelle Cruz, PM coordinator

This year started with the theme ‘Be You Bravely’! And my year with MOPS definitely started out that way… When I was asked to be the co-coordinator for MOPS, I thought why me? I was not ready to graduate from MOPS yet, so I decided to interview for the position. I didn’t know what I was getting into, but I soon learned how to ‘Be Me Bravely.’  What an amazing theme for us mommas who are trying our best. Sometimes, all we can do is to be us bravely! 
At times this year, being brave has been tough. As I write this, I am currently waiting for our end-of-the-year meeting Purchase Order to be approved because I had forgotten to turn it in. With five days left before the end-of-the-year meeting and no supplies purchased, no party stuff prepped and no approval to spend the money... I sat and cried. The chance that my error could affect all the ladies at MOPS is a hard thing to take on. But I am human and I make mistakes, we all do. This is MOPS life, this is our life.
I was doing some research for what I wanted to say for the final newsletter before I graduate, and I found this poem and wanted to share it with you all!

A symbol of courage, a feather enables flight. 
Risking heights, a first flight requires bravery to jump from the nest.
A bird will fail to experience all it was made for, if it fails to fly!
(The same is true for us)
May this year change your life, 
May you hear whispers of hope,
Stirring in your soul…
May MOPS remind you to breathe in and breathe out,
Because we are in this together.
The first step may test our bravery,
But courage is the key around our necks,
Be you, BRAVELY!

I cannot imagine my life without being a part of MOPS, so I am struggling to deal with the emotions of graduating out this year. The tears will come eventually, but 

I found a quote online that made me smile. It says: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” I have made so many wonderful friends throughout my years at MOPS and I can definitely say that MOPS has changed my life for the better. I have grown so much in MOPS and by stepping into leadership. There were some crazy moments this year, but I hope that you have all had a great time. Even with the highs and lows, I have tried my best to be a great co-coordinator for you ladies. Thank you all for making my life with MOPS incredible. I appreciate all of you and I can’t wait to hear how MOPS continues to grow throughout the years!

This is the year I will be stronger, bravery, kinder and unstoppable! This year I will be FIERCE!

So, ladies… don’t forget to grab your BRAVE self and get ready to flourish.