Archive for December, 2013

Christmas Newsletter 2013

December 2013

Dear Family & Friends:

As I sit down and write this letter, I realize another year has gone by with two big accomplishments.  Happy 2014! I had my 1 year anniversary with Stanley Security Solutions (Stanley Black & Decker) – 1 year of working full time, and I survived!!! Sahid graduated from high school – YES!

We went to Orlando two times.  One to celebrate Diana’s 15th birthday (the daughter that I never had) and that was so much fun.  It was nice to be able to spend time with the whole family and dance the night away.  The other time was for the Disney Princess Half Marathon – what fun was that. Martha’s mom made tutu’s and crowns for all of us!  An unforgettable race for sure!


Diana, you really know how to throw a party like your titi Mili – to many more!


Martha – thanks for an unforgettable race and thanks to your wonderful mom for having us look so good!


Too much fun – I had to stop and have someone take the picture!

Our book club turned 9 years old this summer and we did more socializing this year than reading, but we did read some: “White Oleander” by Janet Finch, “El Olvido que seremos” by Hector Abad Facio-Lince, “On Chesil Beach” by Ian McEwan,  “The Sandcastle Girls” by Christ Bohjalian, “The Unbearable Likeness of Being” by Milan Kundera (if it hadn’t been for the great book discussion Claudia led on Kundera’s book – I would have never been able to understand or like this book).  Yet, every time we met either to “discuss a book” or to socialize, the conversation always turned to “50 Shades of Grey” – we always wonder why?  But what a great group of women we are, sisters – and as I said at the Christmas party, we are always ready to celebrate L.I.F.E. (meaning Living Intensely, Freely and Enlightened) – Mercy couldn’t have baptized us with a better name for this group of menopausal women who can now all go to heaven.  Ladies – it was an awesome year!  Too many, many more together! 

“Do not read, as children do, to amuse yourself, or like the ambitious, for the purpose of instruction.
No, read in order to live.” 
~Gustave Flaubert~


@ Maria Teresa’s House – Colombian Territory 🙂 – to discuss “El Olvido que Seremos”

Why not discuss a book in pijamas?


@ AZUCAR! What an unforgettable night! And Pedro was in absolute heaven!


My first communion buddy!! Good Catholic girls always!


Summer Fun @ Rosario’s!


Why not discuss a book in a Toga? I wonder what Milan Kundera would have thought of us discussing his “The Unbearable Likeness of Being” book!


Tensy – You rock-even though my dogs were quite perplexed when they saw your hair piece!!!


Thanksgiving @ Mercy’s! Always thankful for having each other! (Theme: Hats)


Always together, no matter what the season or the reason!

So, Sahid graduated, YES!  What a year and how much excitement with all his senior activities.  Of course, his senior picture had us doubting for a moment whether he was going to come through or not…and he did.  The graduation ceremony was absolutely beautiful and afterwards we went out to lunch with Emily (his girlfriend), her sister and mother.  It was a nice way to end the day.


Graduation picture – kind of scared me when he showed it to me as I wasn’t sure how serious he was taking graduation :-)!


Graduation day with his girlfriend Emily.

Sahid continues to go to the Baker School of Aviation as an adult, yes, as an adult.  He will be there around 1 more year so that he can complete the courses to take the two exams for the FAA, Powerplant and Airframe.  The goal is for him to go to Embry-Riddle University after that to complete his Bachelor’s in a security related field.

Pedro continued with his travels and this year they took him to Laos and Costa Rica.  He continues his work in international development and IT consulting.

Johann is doing well and has finally submitted the first draft for his Master’s thesis.  As he explained to us, this might be the first of several before he gets to formally present it in person to the university.  Hopefully he will be done with this by the summer.

In July we went to PR to visit our families and Emily came with us.  What a good sport she was – eating all that good PR food!  It was a fun weekend and even though much time was spent with family, we were able to sneak out and do some sightseeing so that Emily could enjoy the beauty of the island.


The kids with my father!


Being tourists at El Morro!


The kids at El Yunque Rainforest!

I continued to run, but of course, as the weather got warmer, not that it ever got cooler, the miles were less.  My new job kept me very busy, yet very happy!  I got involved with the Employee Engagement Committee at work and helped organized for the office the “Mercedes Benz Corporate Run” – that was so much fun! I was in charge of registration. We were a group of about 30 with a tent, food and tons of good humor and energy to run a 5K.  We all trained together 1 night a week after work for about 2 months – that was also tons of fun.  In July, I was given the opportunity to see if I wanted to take on the responsibilities of Human Resources – helping the team with prescreenings, interviewing and recruiting.  I jumped at the chance and challenge and I’m so happy – I love it!  I just love so much working with my team – they really are an amazing and dedicated group of people – firm believers of what we do and wanting to be the best at it.  I’m in heaven!


In support of Breast Cancer Month – Pink Rules – part of my team!

Bongos_8 (1)

Part of my team, Christmas Dinner @ Bongo’s!

In the fall Pedro and I decided to take on a new challenge, Portuguese classes, and signed up for a beginners intensive conversational level course.  Our teacher is absolutely awesome – she just talks in Portuguese the whole time – and at times, plays Roberto Carlos for me in class!   We have loved so much learning it that we are signing up again for the spring for the Level 2 class.

And yet another race in the fall, our traditional family Key Largo Bridge Run…and afterwards, breakfast at Walter’s!


Pedro & Tyler were very ready – Sahid wasn’t too excited about having to get up mega early to be at the race at 6 am in Key Largo! Unfortunately we couldn’t take the bed with us!!


The hottest 6 miles I’ve ever run…but I finished them-I guess my goal was not the finish line, but Walter’s Coffee Shop!

I went again to my Homecoming reunion in October, 31 years since I graduated from Catawba College.  As always it was so much fun to see old friends – regardless of how chilly the weekend was.  Once again we look forward to the next reunion and as we said our goodbyes all we could say was, “Same time, next year”.  Look forward to seeing everybody again in 2014.


Halloween Party with the guys dressed as “packages”! What a fun party! We danced the whole night!


My Alma Mater!

We finished the year on a high note.  Taylor was accepted at Embry-Riddle University in Daytona!  What a great honor and experience it will be for him as this is one of the best universities in the world for the field of airplane mechanics which is what he wants to pursue.  We got him ready for school, doing the shopping, got him a computer and Pedro drove him and left him settled in his dorm.  He worked very hard to get here and we can only wish him nothing but the best as he embarks on this great ride.  Taylor you make your mother and us proud!  Always remember that they sky is the limit and that you should always reach for the stars!


Tyler & Pedro @ Embry Riddle.

And of course, we couldn’t end the year without a Christmas party – this one with the 70’s theme.  Fun or what!!! Thanks to all of you that made it so much fun!  Can’t wait for the one next year – what will be the theme?


Louise (Emily’s mom) & I


My former FIU colleagues & Alicia. Ana (one of my former bosses @ FIU w/the long blond hair)


IOS Partners Team


Robert (my former boss) & his beautiful wife Patty


John (my current boss), his beautiful wife Christina, James Portalatin from SBD & Emily


Book Club queens Mariel & Tensy


Pedro in action!


Book Club beauties!

Fiesta 5

“Just dance, put on your red shoes and dance with me…”

And so we come to the end of another year, 2013.  We have a lot to be thankful for, it was a good year and a lot was accomplished.  We have health, we have our families and we have work, what else can we ask for.  I will pray for peace and love, we can always use a little bit more.

We wish you a wonderful 2014.

“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘it will be happier’…”  ~Alfred Tennyson~ 

Lots of Love, The Souss-Maldonado

December 31, 2013 at 5:43 pm Leave a comment


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