31 firsts for 2009

  1. Went to an NHL game (Red Wings vs Kings)
  2. Woke up early to watch a presidential inauguration (okay, this was the first inauguration I watched)
  3. Got a speeding ticket
  4. Joined a gym
  5. Cooked a pot of beans
  6. Saw Fabulosos Cadillacs live
  7. Took a daytrip to a winery with my mom and sister
  8. Won at the Black Jack tables in Las Vegas
  9. Got my first pair of Nikes (Cortez!)
  10. Played Brain Age on Nintendo DS
  11. Watched (most of) The Wire (’nuff said)
  12. Had catfish made by Alan’s mom
  13. Took a yoga class
  14. Learned why a 4-6-3 double play is called that
  15. Ran a 5K (and lots, lots more)
  16. Got a porcelain crown
  17. Went to the Hollywood Bowl for a classical music concert (twice!)
  18. Celebrated my birthday at Disneyland
  19. Went kayaking in Lake Casitas
  20. Went to a Yankee game at Yankee Stadium
  21. Spent an afternoon alone in Central Park (see photo)
  22. Ate sweet potato fries
  23. Saw the Dodgers hit a walk-off hit in the playoffs
  24. Had a glazed donut at Bob’s Donuts in San Francisco
  25. Was published in the NY Times blog
  26. Went to a NBA game (Pacers vs Clippers)
  27. Became friends with Jordan
  28. Made albóndiga soup (my mom approved!)
  29. Went to the opera (The Barber of Seville)
  30. Fit in to Lori’s pants
  31. Lost [redacted] pounds
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Christmas Past: Adoración del Niño Dios

Every Christmas Eve, Mamá Toni leads the family in a Rosario. At the end of the Rosario, we do the adoración del Niño Dios. The doll is always dressed nicely in a little outfit made by Mamá Toni.

Two children are chosen to be the padrinos and hold the baby Jesus doll as the rest of the family kisses the doll. Afterward, the doll is placed in his proper space at the center of the Nacimiento.

In the photo above, my cousin Patty holds the Niño Dios while Tony (her brother) gives him a peck and my tía Luisa waits in line. I think I was holding a second doll (we usually have two).

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Christmas Past: 1984

Every Christmas, Grandma would buy the girls in the family new dresses. She bought them at a store called Carousel on Atlantic (in the same shopping center as the IHOP). Mom says the dresses were pricey, maybe $50 each. That was a lot in the 80s. It’s still a lot now, especially if one is buying dresses for four granddaughters.

This Christmas will be the 10th without Grandma. For a long time after her passing in January 2000, I was ambivalent towards Christmas as Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were the last days I saw Grandpa and Grandma, respectively, alive.

I’ve come around on Christmas but still miss Grandma and Grandpa. That feeling doesn’t go away.

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