Saturday, May 16, 2009

Because of You

My all-time favorite love songs are the ones that are sung  just for me... literally!  Just like a love-letter written in your beloved's own handwriting, music performed in my beloved's own voice is priceless.  So imagine how time stood still for me when my fiancee-to-be singled me out in the middle of a "highlight-of-the-year" talent show to sing me our song... and then asked me to marry him in front of our closest friends of LLUSM (along with a couple hundred other students and faculty)!!  After making me an offer I couldn't refuse, he did it again as I walked down the aisle to close the deal.  Needless to say, I was not the only one crying at either of those events!

Believe it or not, this is a "pre-dating" picture.

It's amazing to me that 5 years have already passed since I was so sweetly serenaded.  And when I think about what I've been blessed with and how I've grown in that time, I can honestly say, "It's because of you!"  I love you, Michael!

We've been through thick and thin...

"He has made everything beautiful in its time.
He has also set eternity in the hearts of men;
yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end."
--Ecclesiastes 3:11

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

Like all things underrated and taken for granted, I never fully appreciated my mother until I became a mother myself.  And I'm learning that the rewards of motherhood far outweigh its costs... they must, because my mom has surely forgotten all the heartache (well, most of it) that I remember I caused her!

A package from Mike gets Mother's Day weekend started early

A tower of treats from Harry & David - Max was excited, too!

"Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
         The fruit of the womb is a reward."
--Psalm 127:3

Moms were honored with roses during church service

Giving Mom the gift of music with a private live concert

No, that's not our sister. ;)

Great husbands come from great moms (and grandmothers)!

The best gifts on Mother's Day

In the children committed to her care, every mother has a sacred charge from God. "Take this son, this daughter," He says; "train it for Me; give it a character polished after the similitude of a palace, that it may shine in the courts of the Lord forever."  
    The mother's work often seems to her an unimportant service. It is a work that is rarely appreciated. Others know little of her many cares and burdens. Her days are occupied with a round of little duties, all calling for patient effort, for self-control, for tact, wisdom, and self-sacrificing love; yet she cannot boast of what she has done as any great achievement. She has only kept things in the home running smoothly; often weary and perplexed, she has tried to speak kindly to the children, to keep them busy and happy, and to guide the little feet in the right path. She feels that she has accomplished nothing. But it is not so. Heavenly angels watch the care-worn mother, noting the burdens she carries day by day. Her name may not have been heard in the world, but it is written in the Lamb's book of life.
--Ministry of Healing (E.G. White), p. 376-377.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Max's Great Rescue

If there were ever a time that Maxwell would prove his love for his sister, today was the day.  We were seeing my brother off at the train station, which may seem like an ordinary and mundane place.  But for Max, the sight of trains and buses ignites a burst of energy and eloquence that is otherwise reserved for sightings of large earth-moving vehicles and favorite uncles and aunties.  He was so focused on the train that I didn't even think he was aware of Maya's presence who was peacefully sleeping at his feet in the car seat carrier... until...

He suddenly became anxious and upset about an approaching baggage cart.  I saw the cart and expected that it would be passing by us, though several feet away.  However, in the eye of this toddler, he was perceiving impending danger.  I quickly realized what he was thinking when he suddenly pointed and expressed that something was "coming", which was immediately followed by a valiant effort to grab Maya's carrier and move it away from the path of the baggage cart.  My initial concern was that he would tip her over, so I helped him move her a couple feet over to where I was standing.  

Max's eyes stayed on the baggage cart as it passed without incident.  Then, gradually his brow relaxed, and his face was full of relief.  As I replayed in my mind the sequence of events that took place in those few seconds, my heart swelled with pride and admiration.  "Were you trying to protect Maya from the cart?" I asked.  He just nodded and looked at Maya.  I tried not to cry as I pondered the bravery and sense of responsibility and love that was displayed by this little man! Thank you, Max, for reminding me and inspiring me to do what I can to protect and facilitate the well-being of those entrusted to my care and those unable to protect themselves.

The Hero!

Maya and big brother Max

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.
John 15:13

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day

Maybe it's a subconscious thing.  Maybe it's a "I'm-too-busy-to-think-about-anything-but-the-kids" thing.  Whatever it is, I wasn't quite ready to acknowledge that Valentine's Day was coming 'round the bend.  So when a box of fresh flowers showed up on the doorstep on Friday afternoon, it set my mind in a time zone of its own for a few moments.  I appreciate the simple beauty of flowers anywhere on any day, but the ones in this box were a touching and tangible reminder that even though the other half of my heart is on the other side of the globe, my Michael is closer to me than any other person in the world.  And with a man like this, I've found that the real reason this little holiday caught me by surprise is that every day with Michael is a Valentine's Day renewed.  I LOVE YOU, Michael!

So close and yet so far away!

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Champion

8 years ago today was the date I officially submitted and admitted to "defeat."  After years of strictly platonic relationships and "being picky" (which, in many cases, was essentially romantic snobbery on my part), I finally decided to give someone "a chance."  As a fairly independent, self-sufficient, women's college graduate, I initially thought for sure that this dabbling in the dating world would be a fleeting chapter in my medical school career.  Little did I know... 
  1. how quickly I would fall for my very first boyfriend
  2. that my first dabbling would evolve into THE deepest dive of my life
In my pride (and secretly competitive spirit), I was awestruck that my heart had actually been successfully hooked by another.  I even remember expressing my acceptance of his courtship by telling him, "OK, you win.  You're the champion."  [It didn't seem like that eventful of a victory for Mike... until I saw written in his calendar "I AM THE CHAMPION!"]

The rest is history.  It's been a bumpy ride, but I have no regrets!  Michael, darling, you may have been victorious... but I'm the one who got the prize!  ;D I love you!!!

In the arms of my CHAMPION!

Monday, January 12, 2009


Well, after 3+ months of bloglessness, I am finally emerging from cyber-hibernation!  The main inspiration:  the arrival of a new year and a felt need to keep loved ones -- most importantly, a very loved husband and father who is currently working WAY too far away to commute from home -- updated on the state of affairs of the rest of the Mercado family.

The remainder of 2008 was more blogworthy than I could ever imagine, full of birthdays, family outings, and precious moments of parenthood.  But to keep this train of thought moving forward, I will save the reminiscing for another day.

It's time to declare my 2009 resolutions... which are probably better-termed as "projects."
1. Invest in eternity
2. Get fit
3. Stay educated
So there's my list in its simplest form.  (I guess I could've added "Simplify life" to that list, too!)  Hopefully, I can take these raw goals and come up with a plan to attain them... and make my little world a better place.

"And do this, knowing the time,
that now it is high time to awake out of sleep;
for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed."
--Romans 13:11

Monday, September 22, 2008

Maxwell is 2!

We celebrated Maxwell's 2nd birthday over the weekend at one of his all-time favorite places: the aquarium! And on the way home, we stopped for Japanese food (another Max favorite) which was topped off with tempura ice cream (which, ironically, we had to trick Max into tasting). Today, he & I had some one-on-one time at the park which was followed by a pizza dinner with Grandma & Grandpa and more birthday ice cream (courtesy of Auntie Val). The only favorite thing that was missing was Daddy, whom he did get to talk with on the phone and webcam... and who sent Thomas the Train as his representative! (Can't wait to see you again, Mike!)

Scenes from Max's birthday:

It's hard to believe that my baby son has become a little boy. His personality and unique characteristics and interests have been developing and evolving along with a rapidly expanding vocabulary and unexpected motor skills. I have been especially amazed by his increasing self-confidence and independence. Not that he's doing his own dishes or anything. (Although, I can hardly wait till that day comes!) From the simple task of using the appropriate utensil to move food from his plate to his mouth (without spilling most of it somewhere between), to fearlessly swimming across the pool with nothing but inflatable arm floaters to assist him, to sharing his toys with Maya or cousin Josiah without even being asked... these little things make the infamous "two's" seem not so "terrible".

Early rhythm perception and motor coordination at 1 year old:

Refining his hand-eye coordination at 2 years old: