Hispanic Heritage Month 2015 Photo Challenge: Day #10

I’ll be participating in the “15 Days of Hispanic Heritage” photo challenge over on Instagram hosted by ¿Qué Means What? and The Nueva Latina. If you want to participate, just use the hashtag #HHM15Foto and take a photo for the given theme on each day! Here’s my photo and caption from Instagram for Day #10: Aventura / Adventure

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As much as I love to travel the world, circumstances ($) have prevented me from doing that as much as I would like. I’ve found the only other way to quell my wanderlust is by making my own adventures close to home, even if it’s just a trip to the international market to try something new. #HispanicHeritageMonth

Hispanic Heritage Month 2015 Photo Challenge: Day #9

I’ll be participating in the “15 Days of Hispanic Heritage” photo challenge over on Instagram hosted by ¿Qué Means What? and The Nueva Latina. If you want to participate, just use the hashtag #HHM15Foto and take a photo for the given theme on each day! Here’s my photo and caption from Instagram for Day #9: Familia / Family

hhm-day-9-latinaish

Even though my side of the family is not of Latin American descent, they’ve come to love and expect the tamales I make each year for our Christmas get-together. I originally started the tradition for Carlos and the boys, but it makes all the work even more worth it knowing everyone is looking forward to eating them… I usually make Mexican-style #tamales instead of Salvadoran-style. My favorites are the rajas con queso, but I also make tamales de pollo with a spicy salsa roja. #HispanicHeritageMonth

Hispanic Heritage Month 2015 Photo Challenge: Day #8

I’ll be participating in the “15 Days of Hispanic Heritage” photo challenge over on Instagram hosted by ¿Qué Means What? and The Nueva Latina. If you want to participate, just use the hashtag #HHM15Foto and take a photo for the given theme on each day! Here’s my photo and caption from Instagram for Day #8: Pasión / Passion

hhm-day-8-latinaish

This unassuming, beat up, little #Spanish dictionary has been with me a long time. I haven’t used it in years thanks to the internet, but it came in handy as I explored my new language beyond the classroom, translated lyrics to songs by La Mafia, wrote love letters en #español, and attempted to understand my new husband. My first day in Spanish class, something was ignited in me, a passion for the language that I couldn’t explain. Unlike so many passing interests in my life, my love for Spanish and language in general, have only grown, and led to travel, friends, work opportunities, new ways of thinking, marriage, and so much more. Is it any wonder I’ve also become a passionate advocate of #bilingual education, and have attempted to raise my children bilingual? I believe it is one of the very greatest gifts we can give them.

#HispanicHeritageMonth

Hispanic Heritage Month 2015 Photo Challenge: Day #7

I’ll be participating in the “15 Days of Hispanic Heritage” photo challenge over on Instagram hosted by ¿Qué Means What? and The Nueva Latina. If you want to participate, just use the hashtag #HHM15Foto and take a photo for the given theme on each day! Here’s my photo and caption from Instagram for Day #7: Tiempo / Time

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#HHM15FOTO challenge day 7, theme: #tiempo / time… The first thing that comes to mind, and the clearest indicator of time passing, is how fast our boys have grown up. I imagine this is one of those universal experiences shared across cultures and ironically, unchanged by time – that bittersweet feeling of seeing one’s children are growing up, or have grown up. The two baby boys who used to fill our days with equal measures of joy and chaos, are now very nearly young men, ready to go out into the world.

My mother and grandmother used to remind me to “enjoy them while they’re young, because they grow up quick.” It seemed like they must be joking on some days, but I remembered and tried to heed their advice as much as possible. Our oldest filled out his first college application yesterday. Gone are the days of first word, first smile, first steps; soon it will be first acceptance letter, first loan, first night away from home as he starts the next phase of his life.

#HispanicHeritageMonth

Hispanic Heritage Month 2015 Photo Challenge: Day #6

I’ll be participating in the “15 Days of Hispanic Heritage” photo challenge over on Instagram hosted by ¿Qué Means What? and The Nueva Latina. If you want to participate, just use the hashtag #HHM15Foto and take a photo for the given theme on each day! Here’s my photo and caption from Instagram for Day #6: Colores / Colors

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#HHM15FOTO challenge day 6, theme: #colores / colors… This is a bag from El Salvador my friend Claudia gave me. The bright colors remind me of the #colorful hammocks that are woven there, too. #HispanicHeritageMonth

Hispanic Heritage Month 2015 Photo Challenge: Day #5

I’ll be participating in the “15 Days of Hispanic Heritage” photo challenge over on Instagram hosted by ¿Qué Means What? and The Nueva Latina. If you want to participate, just use the hashtag #HHM15Foto and take a photo for the given theme on each day! Here’s my photo and caption from Instagram for Day #5: Celebración / Celebration

hhm-day-5-latinaish

#HHM15FOTO challenge day 5 – theme: celebración / celebration… This photo is from a year or two ago. Carlos and Chico both have December birthdays, but Chico wasn’t allowed to have any chocolate cake since it’s not safe for dogs. #HispanicHeritageMonth

Hispanic Heritage Month 2015 Photo Challenge: Day #4

I’ll be participating in the “15 Days of Hispanic Heritage” photo challenge over on Instagram hosted by ¿Qué Means What? and The Nueva Latina. If you want to participate, just use the hashtag #HHM15Foto and take a photo for the given theme on each day! Here’s my photo and caption from Instagram for Day #4: Hogar/Home

hhm-day-4-latinaish

#HHM15FOTO challenge day #4: Hogar/Home … The first time I went to El Salvador, I admired this wall hanging in Carlos’s childhood home. My suegra insisted I take it, so for many years it has hung near our front door. “Dios bendiga este hogar” means “God bless this home.” To be honest, I’m not really religious and at times the words seem a little ironic since life isn’t perfect, (like the fact that my suegra no longer speaks to me and moved out of our home on bad terms), but most days I just try to be thankful for the blessings we do have, even if it’s as basic to human survival as a roof over our heads and clean water to drink, because some in this world, in my own city even, don’t have even that.