Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Testimony

Some things I have learned about Jesus...

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John 1:5

This verse is testimony of someone who knew Jesus when He was on the Earth. The Word was made flesh, the Son of God who was also a God Himself, came to Earth in the form of a man to live among us. That is why choirs of angels sang. That is why a new star was shining so brightly. That is the significance of this time of year.

But why did He come?

And he beheld Satan; and he had a great chain in his hand, and it veiled the whole face of the earth with darkness; and he looked up and laughed, and his angels rejoiced.

Moses 7:26

Enoch saw this in vision. It makes my stomach turn. Because we have the gift of agency, we are able to work out our own salvation, but every one of us will also inevitably fall from time to time. This would place us in Satan's grasp, which would be a miserable place to be. But we are not lost, because...

My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. But if any man sin and repent, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

1 John 2:1-2

These are truths I want to pass on to my little children as well. The Father sent His Son as a newborn baby to the Earth to live among us, to show us the way, and to perform important work that would allow Him to be our advocate with the Father.

Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.

1 John 2:24-25

I can think of no greater promise than to know that the things that matter most to me on this Earth can be mine to enjoy eternally. I am thankful to my Savior for that reality, and I share my testimony of these things in His name. Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Firsts worth blogging about

1. Gracie's first ride on the Front Runner

2. Gracie's first trip to Temple Square to see the lights

with Gracie's tias y abuelos
Cynthia & Nicole, Grandma & Grandpa

Yes, she is screaming in every picture, only because we got the camera out at the end of the trip when she was DONE rather than the beginning when she seemed to be absolutely captivated by the lights. Her fit didn't last, though. It wasn't long before she was out.

And the final first:

3. Gracie's first pony-tail. I just wanted to see if my five-month old had enough hair to do it. Cutie pie, she does.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


A couple of weekends ago, I found myself standing in front of the Salsa club at Danilo's university. He'd been asked to come do a demonstration. I just remember thinking, wow, this is not something I would've expected to be doing say, ten years ago. Ten years ago I didn't know more than a lick of Spanish. Ten years ago my dance experience didn't extend past the Boot Scootin' Boogie. I guess I'm just thankful that I'm not the only author in my life, because I don't think I would've written Salsa dancing in on my own. The video below isn't super recent. It was taken on our honeymoon. Please take that into account when you notice the silly googly look on my face. I was pretty excited to be married to Danilo (nothing's changed, I've just toned down the googly look). The dancing's a little clumsy for that reason, too, but I think it gives you a pretty good taste of what we like to do. Please also know you don't have to watch all five minutes and twenty four seconds. I wasn't able to edit it down like I would've liked. I'll stop making disclaimers. Just enjoy!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Oh to be this cute in the morning...

Christmas Tree Found

A taste of this year's Christmas tree hunt...

Posing with the right one
After my handsome man carried it down the hill
And my very favorite, with uncle Andrew
Brightening our little house

First Ticket

I don't know if my first cavity at 17 or my first traffic ticket last week was more painful. I held out on both for a very long time. Tuesday morning, 7:26. Coming back from the gym. School zone lights are on. No kids out yet. I slow from 35 to 25. Is that a cop car parked on that side street? Shoot. I'm going slower than I was, but faster than 20. The car is dark. I don't think there's anyone in it. Or if there is, maybe the officer tolerates going 25 in a school zone when the kids aren't out yet, because surely they would be following me by now. Thank goodness. Wait. The car is pulling out. The car has its lights on. Maybe they got an important call and need to head this direction. Let me get out of the way. I pull over. Please don't pull up behind me. He pulls up behind me. No wait, she pulls up behind me and she's getting out of the car. As my window is coming down, I am thankful to have a little more life experience behind me than the first time I was pulled over at 16 and it made me cry.
"Apparently you didn't see the school zone back there."
"No, I did, and I know better."
"Why were you speeding?"
"I know better."
"You wanna knock out someone's kid?"
"No." Do I tell her I'm a school teacher? No, that will just give her more material.
"Can I see your license and insurance?"
I don't take my purse with me to the gym at 6:30. Well, I do now. No license. I hand over my insurance information. She goes back to her car. Ten minutes later I am handed my first traffic ticket and told to appear in justice court within 14 days. I try not to let words on the ticket like, "defendant," "without admitting guilt," and " IF YOU FAIL TO APPEAR THE COURT MAY ISSUE A WARRANT FOR YOUR ARREST" make me feel like a criminal.
"This will teach me," I tell the officer.
She actually smiles, I think having determined I'm not quite the punk she thought she was going to encounter, and says, "Have a safe day."
I would like to thank the hearing officer who made the experience of going to justice court bearable. When he said, "Ouch, school zone, huh?" and I told him I was a teacher, he asked where. When I told him I was at home now with my baby, he asked to see a picture and said the things moms like to hear about their babies. He then proceeded to give me my options. Paying $125 to attend traffic school was the best one. Yes, that'll teach me. The good news? I still get to be Grace's mom.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


NOTE: I have been debating whether or not to pull this post off the blog. When I wrote it I meant it to be a cute story about feeling better after resolving one of those disagreements husbands and wives run into from time to time. But when I read over it, I can't tell if that's the message someone reading would get or if it just sounds like I'm venting about my husband online. That's not my intention. It's kind like a text message...some of the feeling gets lost in the words (if you're anything like my sisters and me, you carefully plan whether to put a period or an exclamation point, or maybe two exclamation points to send the right idea :). Anyway, know how much I love Danilo, how thankful I am for the way he treats me, and please read this for what it's meant to be.

Danilo and I were both upset the other night after a talk we'd had on the way home. As I busied myself around the house and he worked on his homework, I kept thinking of things I thought would feel so good to say to Danilo in response to some of the things he'd said in the car--now that I'd had time to stew over it. Words that would sting...something along the lines of, well if that bothers you so much, what were you thinking when you married me? I would play it out in my mind, telling Danilo exactly what I thought I wanted to, and reveled in how good it would feel when I delivered the words like a punch. Moments like these make me thankful for the marriage covenant. It makes me step back and think, is coming out on top in this disagreement more important than my marriage? So far the answer has never been yes. A testimony of the importance of marriage in God's plan, my love for Danilo, remembering what I read once in this article , and my husband's sweet example of always apologizing first gave me the push I needed to step up and repair the rift between us that night. After it was done, I remembered thinking how good I had thought it was going to feel to tell Danilo off earlier in the night, and was so thankful I hadn't. Better to cause no damage than to feel hollow satisfaction that would probably turn into regret by morning. With it all resolved I could see clearly that being in love with him was a much more satisfying feeling to my soul than saying what I wanted to say to him would have been.

The link on the picture below takes you to a trailer for one of our favorite movies. It revitalized how I think about my marriage. I get excited to be married to Danilo all over again after I watch it. Have you seen it?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween!

As mentioned in the previous post, little things have become a very big deal lately. I usually can't wait for Halloween to be over so we can get on with Thanksgiving and Christmas, but having Grace around this year made this Halloween the most fun I've had since I was nine!!

Gracie spent Halloween with friends

Grace with Austin Bergstrom

and family

Grace with Uncle Andrew

and pulled off quite a sweet black cat.

Now the only problem is figuring out how to get her cat nose off before church this morning.

Soap and water didn't work last night. Almay lipstick is powerful stuff (on lips and noses)!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

I love how...

...little things have suddenly become a very big deal....

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Adventures in Substituting

I started substituting in the elementary and secondary schools in the last month or so. I go in one day a week and Gracie's grandmas have the chore of taking turns watching her. It's been fun to still keep my foot in the door as an educator because I really enjoy teaching. Other reasons why substituting is great:

- everything is prepared for you when you get there

- someone is coming to pick up where you left off the next day

- if a class is unbearable, you don't have to face them the next day :)

I've also enjoyed getting a taste of every grade level. I think I could teach almost any grade and enjoy it, and believe it or not, the substituting I have done in jr. high has been my very favorite so far.

The grandmas who "have" to watch Grace

I've prepared a little game for all our blog readers. Guess what grade level I was teaching when I had each experience: (your choices are: elementary, jr. high, and high school...award yourself extra points if you are dead on with the grade level)

a. Was asked, "Can we call you Mrs. Gordita?" when the students found out my last name was Spanish. I responded, "Mrs. Chubby?" and everyone else went, "OOOOOOOOO!"

b. "Your name is Mrs. Camaro, right?"

c. Saw several of my past students in the hallway and taught four or five of them in Pre Algebra and Utah Studies.

d. Had my cousin in English class. She sent a text message to my sister who was also in the building that said, "I am not texting in your sister's class."

e. Supervised students covering each others' faces in plaster for a true mummy experience.

Answers below:

a. High School. Junior English.
b. Elementary School. 1st grade.
c. Junior High. 7th grade.
d. High School. Junior English. Again. Cute Katie.
e. Elementary School. 6th grade.

I'm thankful I can help out a little financially doing something I enjoy. And the very best part of substitute teaching? Knowing that in a few hours I get to come home to this: (my mom sent this to me today on my phone while I was gone)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Yellow! Red! Orange!

Yesterday my family swung by to pick up Grace and me on their way to a leaf drive. We drove all the way up to Bear Lake and came down through Sardine Canyon where we saw some simply GORGEOUS LEAVES! I know I must officially be a mom now, or at least grown up. I remember sitting in the back seat of the car hearing my Mom rave about the leaves and now I get almost as excited as she does. "Look at that RED! Look at that YELLOW!" We did manage to grab some raspberry shakes while we were up at Bear Lake. Delicious.

Grace and I missed having her Dad along, and we're so thankful for all he does for us. These are the first and second year students in his radiology program at the hospital.
After working for Goldenwest Credit Union for the past two and a half months, Danilo was able to get on as an RPT (radiology practical technician) at the hospital which means in addition to doing clinicals at the hospital, he will work there as well with a limited license. Goldenwest has been a really enjoyable job for Danilo that landed in our lives at an important time (around the time Gracie was born and my last paycheck from the school district arrived). We feel so blessed!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tending Gracie

Those that have followed our blog long enough might remember a post from May called $59 and a Really Wonderful Husband. It told this sweet story about Danilo following me through a nursery picking out flowers and tools for our first "garden" on our front porch. Well, folks... except for the toughest of the tough, the flowers are dead. Here's a little before shot of our freshly planted flowers:
And here's a picture I took today before I toss them... the picture is slightly crooked because I was holding Gracie in one arm.I was so excited the day I planted my flowers. I told my mom, "These are going to be the best taken care of five flowers in the world," because that's about how many I planted. Well, here's how it all went down.

The petunias were flourishing until my water broke and I didn't get back to our house until four days later. They were crispy brown when we got home.

The gerber daisies needed more sunlight than our shady porch provided, and I watered them to death.

The violas were in a pot with the gerber daisies. After several revival attempts, I finally tossed the whole thing.

The vincas are the only flowers that have survived. There have been a couple of occasions when I've been sure I've lost them. They'll be drooping and looking super thirsty. I water them and when I see them later that night, they'll be chipper and upright again. There's a lesson in there somewhere.

When I told my mom about the sad state of my garden, she told me about a book she'd read called Tending Roses. It's about a young wife who goes with her husband and family to live with her grandmother and the lessons she learns there. Here's a pretty line from the book, "The best times in my life, the times that have passed by me the most quickly, were the times when the roses grew wild." The woman had been wishing she had more time to prune her roses. She's not able to tend to them as she'd like to because she's raising her little ones. That's the lesson she learns from her grandma. I wish I had wild roses instead of dead flowers on my porch, but I don't know, tell me. Is she worth it?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sweetest Day

Gracie was blessed this past Sunday and as I look back I realize what a truly special day it was. She was blessed in the same dress my Grandma Parke made for my blessing 25 years ago.

Her dad gave her a wonderful blessing. I truly felt like the heavens were opening and Danilo was speaking to Grace on her Heavenly Father's behalf. He wasn't wearing a t-shirt and shorts at the time. That was after, when we got to the park. The men in their black suit coats were a little jealous he'd had time to run home and change. My parents said this picture belongs in an aftershave ad... tough yet soft.

Gracie had all of her grandparents there...

I had all of my grandparents there...I am so fortunate to still have them! (See Grandma Parke above, apparently Grandpa Parke didn't get dragged into any of the pictures.)

All of Gracie's adoring aunts...
And Uncle Andrew.
Thanks to my aunts and uncles and cousins who helped with the luncheon afterward and made the day so meaningful by being there. We love you!! Y tambien mandamos saludos y mucho amor a nuestra familia en Chile.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Back to School

Mrs. Collado's Class Picture 2009-2010

PICTURED (left to right): Mrs. Collado, Grace Collado

Curriculum: smiling, cooing, rolling over, sitting up, teething, crawling, laughing, solid foods, "da-da", "ma-ma"

Thanks to Gracie's Dad and all he's doing (school, work, and clinicals) so that I can be home with our baby girl.

Thanks to Jackie Norris for photographing Grace and Mom at three weeks old. Jackie and I were neighbors growing up and she has become quite the photographer. You can see more of her fabulous work here.

I also want to thank my friend Amy Woody, another up and coming photographer who is responsible for the family picture at the top of our blog. Good grief, she made us sound like the good guys for allowing her the privilege of photographing Grace at three days old. We were so thankful!!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Yay for Mom!

Something important happened last night. Let me rewind a few weeks. When Gracie came home with us, she slept in the bassinet to the side of our bed, my side of the bed. Every time I woke up, I would jump up and check to be sure she was okay and breathing like she should. This is how we did things for the first ten days or so. Then Danilo who has to get up for work and/or school in the mornings suggested that after her first feeding during the night, I move her into her crib in her own bedroom. Ouch, that idea tugged at my heart. I loved having her be one of the last things I see and hear before I go to bed and I love knowing she's next to me. But I could see why it would be a good idea. Our little girl is famous for making horse noises when she's sleeping. That's the best way I can describe them. I realized when we tried it that night, put Gracie to bed in her bassinet and switched her over to her crib where she would wake up in the morning, that I slept much better because the cute horse noises were muffled across the hall but I still was able to hear her when she needed something to eat. So last night, Danilo was trying to get to bed early for an early morning and so I was doing Gracie's bedtime routine in her own room so her dad could fall asleep. My intent was to put her to sleep in the bassinet like we always do. Then the thought occurred to me that since we were already in her room, I could put her to bed in her crib to begin with. I shut out the thought immediately. We couldn't possibly try that yet! I hadn't planned on making the transfer to her crib until Gracie was a month ol.....Gracie turned a month on Thursday. Oh dear. I was coming face to face with a scary hairy fear of mine. I am quite in love with this little girl of ours and always will be. But I don't want it to be detrimentally so. As she grows I envision her always by my side....But what happens when her friend across the street calls to see if she can come over to play? I don't think I should go with her. Or when the first day of school rolls around....As a former teacher I know how obnoxious and inappropriate it would be for me to sit on the back row of her classroom all day to be sure that she's okay. My mom loves me just as fiercely as I love Grace, yet I'm grateful she didn't accompany me on my first date! And as I sat there in the rocking chair I started to understand the subtle balance a parent needs to find between loving and caring for and teaching their children, and allowing them to grow and discover things on their own and trusting their ability to do it. I realized the sooner I started exercising those "letting her grow" muscles, the better it would be for both of us. So I cried a little tear, kissed my baby girl on the cheek as I laid her in her crib, and went to sleep next to Danilo. And I was excited to see her in the morning.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Happy 3rd Anniversary [yesterday]!

I am pretty thankful for my wonderful husband and wanted to put up some pictures that illustrate some of the fun we've had together over the last three years.....

Danilo....I'm so glad I married you!!