Tuesday, December 27, 2011

To: Brittney From: Danilo Extended Cut

Scroll down on the right hand side and hit pause on our blog soundtrack... it's going to get noisy.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


While I have always loved Christmas, I discovered something a few years ago that makes the experience sweeter and more enjoyable. I used to see Christmas Day as something we were all working up towards, i.e., this Christmas concert I'm attending is helping me get ready for Christmas Day, this trip to see the lights at Temple Square is getting me ready for Christmas Day... and then Christmas Day would come, and all day long I'd tell myself, "Savor it, savor it, this is what we've been prepping for all month long! Are you savoring it?!" It was exasperating. While there is build-up involved, I have recently decided to view the whole experience as Christmastime and not just Christmas Day .... those cliche phrases like, "the joy of the season" have so much truth to them. When I am pulling out the decorations I haven't seen since last year, that's Christmastime. When I am building gingerbread houses with my family, that's Christmastime. When I pick up Christmas stamps at the post office, when I plan the grocery list for the Christmas dinner I'm hosting, when I prep Gracie with a showing of Miracle on 34th Street so she can have a fun instead of traumatizing experience with Santa Claus this year, that's Christmastime. When I look at the Nativity and ponder how God came to Earth as a man to experience life as we do and to overcome sin and death, which we needed more desperately than we will ever need anything else, and when I sing the hymns that tell the story of His birth, I am able to worship Him in an especially heartfelt and beautiful way because it is Christmastime. I love this joyous, wondrous time of year and how it makes me feel closer to my friends, to my family, to my fellowman, and to my Savior Jesus Christ. 

¡Lo hicimos! We did it! We did it! Yay!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Subject: Update on a Former Student

Dear Mr. Costa,

While I know you weren't the principal of Coral Gables High School when my husband graduated in 1996, I hoped you wouldn't mind reading the following.

I was a 5th grade teacher until my daughter was born. I had a Spanish minor to go along with my teaching major, and as a result had all of the ESL students (we call it English Second Language here, I don't know if it is the same there) in my classroom. I remember feeling especially for the students who were placed in my classroom knowing absolutely no English. As we would move ahead with long division or write a persuasive essay or illustrate a section of literature we had just read, I remember wondering how those cute kids would ever catch up with their peers. I did my best to incorporate the teaching strategies I had learned for teaching students who are learning English and just hoped for a bright future for each of them.

It wasn't until I had left the classroom that one day it occurred to me that when my husband came to the United States as a 13-year-old in 1990, his age gave him a little more of a disadvantage than even my 5th grade ESL students. So I asked him about it. He remembers arriving in Miami and being thrown into classes where he had no idea what was going on. Someone picked up on it eventually and placed him in a class at his middle school especially for English language learners. Little by little because of his placement in this class and his interaction with other students, he learned English. 

This Friday my husband will graduate from Weber State University in Utah for the second time. He graduated a year and a half ago as an x-ray technician and went on to specialize as an MRI technician for which he will receive a bachelor's degree. He works in departments at two different hospitals. He is a loyal, responsible, and hard-working husband and father and I just thought it would be significant to let someone from his high school know that he did indeed catch up and has made something wonderful of himself.

Thanks for your time and have a good day.


Brittney Collado

P.S. The picture is of us and our daughter and my brother's recent Eagle Court of Honor.