One year older, One year wiser

Katy threw an epic party, and I can't thank her enough for planning it all out!  She made an italian cream cake, a fresh fruit tray, and fajitas for our guests.  She even went out of way to learn how to make papa a la huancaina and causa rellena con pollo!  I also have to thank my sister for making her awesome cucumber salad and my mom for making her delicious ensalada rusa and flan!

This was the first party we had hosted since our post wedding party.  The middle leaf was added to the dining room table, extra chairs were brought into the living room, and the patio furniture was set up. Even though it was about 1/4 of the size, everyone made us feel so loved.  And it was also a lot more manageable! Good times were had in good company.

Then the candles were lit and the "Happy Birthday's" began.  It was at that moment that I realized how truly blessed we were.  I was blessed with 10 months of having Katy as my spouse.  My Mom was blessed with another cancer-free year.  My Dad was blessed with an another injury-free year.  My sister was blessed with another successful academic year.  And the list go on...I began to reflect on past years, and think about future ones.  

Towards the end of the day, we took a walk to the park.  Our attention shifted over to my Dad and my uncle Lorgio as they broke out in a friendly twig duel.  Their shuffle seemed to have come straight from a "Three Stooges" skit, and the laughter was really contagious.  I had to try it, so I challenged Pedro next.  It was great to run around the park like a kid again.  And from seeing my parents and uncles try, I would say they thought it was great fun also.  I suppose it's one of those things won't change with age.

Each year, what we hope for is love, life and happiness.  We experience this in different ways. Perhaps in dinner company with old friends. Perhaps in receiving news of a daughter's pregnancy.  Perhaps in consoling a brother during a time of loss.  Each one of these moments is an opportunity to give thanks to God.  Never take it for granted!

To all of our family and friends that stopped by, thanks for spending time with us!  And those that couldn't make it, we hope to spend time with you soon!    

"Never mix business with birthdays"


It has been another fantastic weekend for Katy and I.  We owe it all to God, our friends, and our family.  

We started off our Saturday in Edmond at Ben and Makayla's wedding shower.  It was truly a blessing to witness the warmth and love shared by their family and friends.  In a special way, Katy and I were reminded of the family reunions, family extensions, and new friendships that blossomed from our own matrimony.  We have no doubt that Ben and Makayla will have a successful marriage and we can't wait to see them take their next step forward into each other's lives. 

After our visit in Edmond, we called up the other Montoya's (my parents, Nestor and Gladys) for a reunion!  Katy and I are making it a practice to treat them whenever we visit.  We took them out for ice cream at Kaisers, an afternoon drive through Midtown, Automobile Alley, Heritage Hills, and Mesta Park and Oklahoma City University neighborhoods, and finally dinner at Big Truck Tacos (there is a tremendous amount of energy that is transforming the landscape of Oklahoma City, but this must be saved for another post).

Katy and I learn something new every time we visit my parents.  It can range from something as serious as how to maintain expense records for income taxes on investment properties, to something as silly as "Never mix business with birthdays" as my dad gave his simple explanation of a good work-life balance.  It is the life experiences they share with us so openly that makes them such great life mentors.  We love them dearly.

Sunday came around with spring in full swing.  We took full advantage of the weather walking to and from Mass, eating lunch on the back deck, and walking around the neighborhood and park.  A new discovery we made together was Supermercado Morelos.  From outside the store we could smell aromas of marinated grilled meats.  We opened the door and a blast of cumbia music hit our ears.  The customers and employees all greeted us in spanish with big smiles and there were aisles on aisles of unique imported goods.  I felt as if I had been transported to the only familiar place I know with the same characteristics: Peru.  It got Katy and I excited about our trip this coming May.  This is definitely our new go-to store for Latin American ingredients.

I love sharing my life with Katy.  Her joy is my joy.  I feel recharged and ready to take on the challenges of next week.