Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008

I want to write a blog about our Christmas in Miami, but it'll have to wait. 
I am busy busy busy today! I did, however, want to quickly sign in and say that 2008 has been the most amazing year of my life, thus far.
In this year I have gotten married, moved to North Carolina, started my seminary education, started working for the Y, watched some of my good friends (and sister!) get married, watched some of my good friends graduate from school, watched some good friends get engaged, and even some good friends gave birth.

It has been an eventful year. This time last year I had declared 2008 the Year of Alex & Kristel (you know, kind of like the Summer of George). And it has truly been that. We have been so blessed and loved this year as we began our family. I loved every minute of 2008...even the tough times. Thank you to all have been there for us and supported us throughout this amazing year.

I hope everyone has a great new year! I think it's gonna be another good one.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Eve Eve

[thanks for the Christmas cards!]

I wanted to blog one last time before Alex and I head off to Miami for Christmas!

Since we are flying down and already had presents to bring for our families we decided to open up the gifts for each other tonight. As soon as Alex walked through the door from work we were ready to rip open our gifts!

I'm not gonna lie...we got each other some pretty awesome presents this year! We had to make it memorable since it is our first Christmas together as a married couple. :-) I know it's not all about the gifts...but you can't deny the joy you feel when you are able to give something special to someone you love. 

After the presents we made pizza [yum!] and watched "A Christmas Story." Alex always talks about it and I had never seen it. So I figured now was a good a time as any. I enjoyed it. 

I'll add some pictures so you can see how our first Christmas Eve Eve went. Can't wait to fly down to Miami tomorrow morning! [We have to be up at 3 am! A million thank you's to Kena for driving us to the airport at such an ungodly hour!]

Merry Christmas to all. We love you!

[Alex got me new gray converse to replace the black ones that I've had since high school! Can you see the difference?]

Monday, December 22, 2008


I have mentioned before that Alex and I will be going on a mission trip to Mexico in April. We're both really excited for this opportunity. This will be my first mission trip anywhere and I am eager to see what is in store. 
We will be running a baseball camp for the kids in the town we're going to and sharing the gospel as well. I'll be snapping many pictures to share with everyone as well.

There's just one little thing...we need support! All kinds of support. :-) First of all, we need prayer. I'm a little nervous because, as I said, this is my first mission trip. I'm not sure what to expect and I am hoping for God to give me boldness. Also, neither one of us plays let's pray we don't get seriously injured out there! ;-) Pray for God to prepare the hearts of all the people we will be sharing with so that they may be receptive to His message. 

Next, if you have any baseball hats or gloves in good condition that you can donate, please do! We want to be able to give away equipment to these kids to enjoy and have fun with. 

Finally, we need financial support. The trip is $845.00 per person. And there's two of us. If you can and are willing to help please let me know and I'll give you the details on how you can give. There's a tax break in it for ya. ;-)
But seriously, this trip means a lot to us and we need to be able to pay for it. So again, if you can help...even just a little bit...please let me know. Every little bit helps. 

Thanks for your prayer and support. We love you guys. 

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Nothing Like The Holidays

Last night Alex and I decided to go to the movies and see "Nothing Like the Holidays."
I was really in the mood to be immersed in hispanic culture. Sometimes I just need to hear people speaking Spanish and being loud and crazy. :-)
Well, Alex and I walked into the theater a bit late and were shocked to find it completely empty! There were no people in there! No love for the hispanic movie. 

It was okay...we were able to sit where ever we want and talk and put our feet up on the chairs. It wasn't the best movie ever or anything, but we enjoyed it. 
It was exactly what we needed. Alex even busted out his famous Miami people know what I'm talking about. 

Now I'm really pumped about being in Miami for Christmas. We will see you soon!

P.S. Luis Guzman is hilarious.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A YMCA Christmas

Yesterday was the last day of work before Christmas break. In honor of that we had a party for the kids. It was a lot of fun. I was expecting destruction and chaos...but it really wasn't that bad. 
We ate pizza, drank soda, ate candy, decorated cookies, played games...and my favorite activity was decorating one kid from each class as a Christmas tree. The student that we decorated from my class was a good sport because those kids did a number on him. 
Here are a few photos. :-)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's that time of year

I know I've been absent from the blog world. I was in the middle of finals and putting all my energy into studying.
But it's over now and I can breathe!

It's definitely Christmas time in Wake Forest. Many houses have lights, trees, and wreaths up. Some houses have gone a little overboard, but hey, if it makes them feel jolly they should go for it. 

Alex and I were able to go on a tour of the historic homes in Wake Forest. It was beautiful. We got to go inside and see how people decorate and learn a little bit of the history behind these magnificent buildings. Now I want to convince my parents to buy one of those houses and give it us. :-) It would make a great first year anniversary present!

Last week our church had their annual Christmas concert. It was phenomenal. Everything went flawlessly and I really enjoyed the music. Alex was able to participate by playing guitar in one song and creating some loops. The concert really helped to bring about the Christmas spirit. 

Also some of us from small group were able to rake this HUGE yard for an elderly couple. It was my first time raking and I see what a chore it is. But it was fun and we were able to finish in record time [about 4 hours]. Michelle posted about it here

Finally, last night we had our small group Christmas party. We had fun playing games, eating, and chatting. Alex and I are blessed to have found a great group of people to connect with in Wake Forest. 
We hope you all are enjoying this season and I'll try blog more often. ;-)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

a nice break

Alex and I have officially survived our first holiday away from Miami. It was tough. I knew friends and family back home were continuing on in their traditions and it pained me a little to know we wouldn't be able to participate. 
However, Alex's mom came to visit and we got together with the Schoppes (our neighbors and friends from our small group) for a delicious dinner. 
I made a sweet potato casserole from scratch and it came out delicious! I couldn't believe I actually made something that tasted so good. We decorated our place a bit and I think it didn't look too shabby...considering the limited space and resources. 

The next morning we all got up early. Alex headed off to work as Patty and I headed to the Black Friday sales. It was my first time. It wasn't as scary as I imagined it would be, but still not something I would want to do year after year. The good news is we were able to make Alex's wildest dreams come true. A new HDTV! Yay! Enjoy it, babe. ;-)

We spent Saturday taking Patty all over Raleigh and ended the night by decorating our first Christmas tree. It's a stubby little thing, but I love it. I really enjoy this time of the year and I am counting down the days for this semester to be over so I can relax and head home for the holidays. 

I hope everyone else had a great Thanksgiving break!

Here are a few pictures from Thanksgiving and our Christmas tree. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I am thankful for...

Even though it sounds a little cheesy I thought I'd write a list of things I'm thankful for. Lord knows there is SO much, but I'll try to keep it concise...

  • My amazing and wonderful husband who loves me and always takes care of me.
  • My mom and dad who are always there for me...even though they live in Texas.
  • My abuelita...who I miss terribly...and who spoiled me for the past 15 years of my life when we lived together.
  • My sister...because I think now that we're in our 20s we can be great friends. ;-)
  • My amazing friends in Miami who I miss so much... Tati, Lia, Merari, Brigitte, know who you all are.
  • Our cute little apartment that keeps us out of the cold!
  •, what a great show!!!
  • Anything's good for my soul. 
  • Music that makes me feel good, like Death Cab and Rilo Kiley.
  • Super Target.
  • My school...because even though it's tough, I'm learning so much.
  • My church. Again, I'm learning so much and that pastor really has a gift for communicating the Word of God.
  • My small group here in Wake Forest. It's been great getting to know these people and building relationships.
  • My cameras. I should use them more often. They are amazing and I always love what comes out of them.
  • Sushi. Ohhh...I love's so wonderful.
  • Our first Thanksgiving...I'm so thankful to celebrate this holiday (my favorite one) with my new husband in our new home.
  • My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Everyday I realize how undeserving I am of a I'm really thankful for that one. 
What are you thankful for? Name at least one.

i am jen

Last night, thanks to Pandora, Alex and I discovered a new artist.
Her sound caught our interest so we visited her website and were amazed with everything we found. At least, I was! She's really incredibly creative. We enjoyed the videos more than anything. 
Check her out...explore the website.

Friday, November 21, 2008

dip baby dip

My friends over at FAWN made this hilarious video

It really made my day. Go on over to their blog and show 'em some love. 
Oh, and buy their art. :-)

Untitled from Stephanie Montero on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

things that make you go "aww"

On Tuesday night I had a bit of an accident... 
Many of you are aware of the scooter accident that Alex and I were in during our honeymoon. I described my injuries here seems that the abrasion on my knee hadn't healed fully yet because while I was playing a competitive game of 'Capture The Prisoner' on Tuesday night I fell hard on my knees and the wound on my right knee reopened. 

It was gross!

The scar tissue was peeled back, revealing a pretty deep hole, and the blood came pouring out. 

I drove myself home where Alex was waiting for me and he took me to the hospital. After some x-rays and being examined by the doctor, I received quite a few stitches and was on my way home.  I'm on crutches again...they are the bane of my existence. I've been instructed not to put any weight on my leg because it's very sensitive and the wound could rip open again. Nasty! Alex posted pictures of course. 

But that's not what's going to make you go, "aww." 
Last night my co-worker, Kathy, came by and brought me cookies, stain remover [to get the blood off my favorite jeans], and several letters from the kids at work.
They are SO adorable. Kids can really be sweet sometimes. :-)
Here are a few excerpts:

  • Dear Coach Kristel, Are you okay? I hope you will be back hear. I hope it didn't mess your brane up.

  • I hope your leg gits betr.

  • I hope you feel better...I love your hair short you are sweet pretty...My mommy said you pretty and I said I know why because God wanted a pretty girl like you.

  • Dear Coach Kristel. Coach Kristel I hope you feel much better. Coach Kristel I think you are going to be better. Coach Kristel I hope you are not to much hurt. Coach Kristel I hope you come and teach us in school.

  • I miss you. You been gone for two days now. Wene will you get back?

  • I hope that you come back to the YMCA. PS I mess you.

::tears:: I hope you enjoyed those as much as I did. ;-)
[any typos are intended,'s exactly what the kids wrote]

Friday, November 14, 2008

new classes

There are only a few weeks left in this semester. 
Crazy to think how fast it has gone by! I've really enjoyed my first semester of seminary. I'm still getting into the swing of things. I don't feel like I totally "get it" yet, but I'm enjoying the ride...for the most part. ;-)

I already picked my classes for the winter and spring semesters. The winter term is known as a "J-term" around here. It's a two week course during winter break. We have a really long winter break here, so I  thought it would be wise to knock out a class since I'll probably have so much free time.  I'll be taking Counseling Theory, Monday - Friday from 8am-12:30pm for two weeks straight. I haven't had an 8am class since I was a freshman in college. There's a reason I quit taking 8 am classes. That is just TOO early in the morning! However, since it's only for two weeks I think I'll be able to survive...pray for me. ;-)

For the spring term I'm taking Christian Ethics, New Testament 2, Christian Theology 2, and my fourth class is the one I'm most excited about. It's a mission trip to Mexico in April. I'm excited because it'll be my first mission trip, I'm getting seminary credit for it, and my husband gets to come too! We'll be there for a week during our spring break. We are basically running a baseball camp for kids and also presenting them with the Gospel. I volunteered to be the "media director," which really just means I get to run around and take pictures of everyone and everything. 

I'm really eager for the spring semester to begin...but of course I have to get through the rest of this semester first. I still have a few papers to write and exams to pass. So I have to buckle down and get things done. 

...But I'll wait until after this weekend. :-) Kat and Lenny are in town and I have to enjoy their company while I can!

Monday, November 10, 2008

death cab for cutie music video

I love Death Cab for Cutie.
Words cannot express how much I enjoy their music. Ben Gibbard is an amazing song writer. His lyrics always touch me. 
I saw them live in Miami once and I absolutely loved it. I hope I can catch their show again soon.
Apparently they made music videos for many [if not all] of their songs from the Narrow Stairs album. You can see it on their myspace page. 
Here's one of my favorites...

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Our First Fall

Alex and I have lived in Miami our entire lives. 
Now that we're living in North Carolina we have the privilege of experiencing our first fall together. The weather has been really nice lately [except when it rains]. There's always a cool breeze and a clear blue sky. And the leaves...oh the leaves! Who would have thought that dying leaves could be so exciting?? I love seeing the bold yellows, reds, and oranges. Every time I drive I have to make sure I don't get too distracted by the beautiful trees that surround me.

Yesterday we took a walk around the park by our apartment. The sun was setting and it was a beautiful sight. Good thing I brought my camera along!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Eric & Lia Vazquez

This past weekend Alex and I were in Miami for the wedding of my beautiful friend, Lia.

When I first met Lia I never imagined that we would become such close friends and would walk in each other's weddings.  But here we are, about three years later.  I was really happy to be a part of my friend's incredibly important day. 

Love you, girl. I pray blessings upon your marriage! Come visit us in North Carolina. ;-)
Eric, take care of my girl. ;-)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Y

I finally got hired!

I've been working at the YMCA for about a week now and I am really enjoying it. Basically I'm a tutor/counselor/coach for the 3rd graders at the Y Learning Program at Franklinton Elementary. It's a good age. I'm glad I don't have the older kids because they think they're "grown." 
3rd graders are still sweet. 

I'm happy I got hired because now I won't be so bored at home...and it isn't TOO time consuming, so I will definitely still have a lot of time to devote to school work. 

Another plus is the free YMCA membership I get for being an employee! I'm hoping to find a pilates class that can fit into my schedule. 

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Little Stop Motion Fun

Yesterday Alex and I decided to do a little experiment with our camera. 
The previous day we had been looking at some really amazing stop motion videos, so we decided to try it out for ourselves. 
Here is a short clip of our first attempt in the world of stop motion. 
Perhaps we will continue to experiment and improve in this area. What do you think?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Alex's Blog!

My husband is blogging!

Photo blogging that is. Follow his blog here

I'm sure he'll have some interesting things posted up. 


Love you, Hubs.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Young @ Heart

Alex has been dying to see this movie for a long time. Since we now have a netflix account I decided to put it on our queue and move it up to the top of the list so we would receive it right away. 

Well we watched it last night and it was incredible! We were both brought to tears as we watched these people pour their lives into this chorus. The stories were so touching and really inspiring. Not to mention, the soundtrack rocks. The songs range from "Fix You" to "I Feel Good" to "Schizophrenia." 

The movie reminded me of my grandma. She was always so full of life and she loved music. I remember when she would come visit us in Miami. She would always play the guitar for us and sing songs about Nicaragua. 

If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend this documentary. 

Thursday, October 09, 2008

a round of congrats

A lot of great things have happened within the last week. 

Kat and Lenny got married. 

Ely Marie and Izzy got engaged

Rey and Lauren got engaged

And Glennis gave birth to Baby Jasmine. 

[Also, a couple weeks ago, Baby Vika came into the world!]

I'm so happy for all my friends who are experiencing all these joyous occasions in their lives. I miss you all and pray for your continued happiness. Can't wait to see you all again and give you a big congratulatory hug. 

Monday, October 06, 2008

Abuelita Vilma

We had a great weekend in Miami. It was really nice to see friends and family. 
And of course, Kat & Lenny's wedding was beautiful. 

Unfortunately I also received some not so great news. My mother called me yesterday, during the wedding reception, to tell me that my Abuelita Vilma had passed away. 
This is my dad's mom who lived in Nicaragua. She had been sick for some time dad rushed out to Managua on Saturday because the doctor said she would probably be passing soon. 
I am glad I had the chance to visit her back in March. I wish I could have gone one last time. 
She was an incredibly amazing person. I have such fond memories of her... I know it is better for her now...she is no longer in pain from all the health issues that were ravaging her body and mind. But it's difficult for the rest of us that she's leaving behind.
I haven't spoken with my dad yet...but I can only imagine how he must be feeling. 
And my grandfather...I mean, once you've been with someone for so long, it must be so lonely being without them. They had the kind of love that chick flicks are made of. ;-) They were the best real life example I've ever seen of what it means to love someone and be committed to them. 

They're burying my grandmother this morning in her hometown. I don't remember the name. I believe it's Jinotepe, but I'm not sure. I was trying to find a way that I could go and be with her this last time, but it didn't work out. 

Just pray for my family...especially my grandpa. 

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Going Home!

Alex and I are off to Miami for the weekend!
We're leaving tonight and come home on Sunday night [right after Kat and Lenny's wedding...I predict craziness].

I'm excited to see all my friends and family...and I'm excited for the following things:

  • gallo pinto!
  • Uni-K Wax (how I miss thee)
  • Lunch with Alex's co-workers
  • Early Birthday Lunch with Alex's mom
  • Lia's bridal shower!
  • Kat and Lenny's wedding
  • Visiting the Lighthouse
  • Seeing Little David!
  • Being with my abuelita
Hopefully I get to see everyone. If not, we'll be back at the end of the month for Lia and Eric's wedding. 

Yay Miami! ;-)

Monday, September 29, 2008

okay fine

Since you asked so nice, here it is...

It's definitely a change! I love light and easy to manage. I believe I'll keep it this length for some time...until I get bored that is. ;-)