This album is a gift for our beloved daughter Ana, who successfully graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in Geography/Environmental Studies and minors in Geospatial Information Systems and Public Affairs. We put together 22 years of precious memories to remind her how much we love her.
Mom and Dad
For 9 months I dreamed about you, I imagined you, I felt you growing inside of me. And when you finally were born on June 8, 1998, I knew we were the luckiest couple in the world and had been entrusted with the biggest gift and the most rewarding job: to be your parents.
Your abuelos from México, Olga and René, were so happy to meet you. In fact, my mom was in the delivery room! Later you named them Yeyi and Ne.
Your grandparents from Michigan, Pat and Anne, better known as Papa and Nana, could not get enough of you either!
Dad and you liked to do piggyback rides.
You probably don’t remember your first trip to Niagara Falls.
You have always been close to Lala (Aunt Laura).
Here I was pregnant with your brother Pablo. You were ready to be a big sister.
You’ve always been a great sister for your brothers. Here with baby Pablo.
Seeing you grow has brought me so much joy. I have lost count on the number of friends you have. We were so blessed to live in such a safe community when you were young. Saint Thomas School, Wilcox Park and Wallinwood Street were safe places where you could do what children are supposed to be doing: play, laugh, be happy.
Going to Mexico has always been fun, a time to reconnect with our family there, practice your Spanish and try new activities and new food!
Halloween running up and down our street, with your brothers following your lead, was an adventure every year. The season started with picking up costumes and carving pumpkins and ended with hiding candy from mom and dad!
You have always been a great sister for Pablo and Daniel. Michigan’s Adventure was always a must every summer.
As you kept growing, it was clear that the day didn’t have enough hours for all the things you wanted to do. You tried everything and you were good at everything!
Uncle Jack had a special way to make kids laugh. You were speechless when he took his dentures out during dinner once!
Daddy-Daughter dance was a big event at St. Thomas. Dad was so proud of going with you! You were growing so fast!
Baking has always held an attraction for you. I’m sure you helped me decorate this cake. Eventually you became the baker of the family.
The only one of my children that was an altar server!
Summers at the cottage… Being the only granddaughter, you were the only cousin allowed to invite a friend every year!
Blandford School (6th Grade)
I wonder if going to a school located next to the Blandford Nature Center helped in any way to foster your love for the environment. You learned to identify all the trees and leaves in the trails, to get sap from the trees, to make jelly from blueberries, raise chickens, and spent most of the school year outdoors.
You always had fun with your brothers and cousins even though you were the only girl (until Una and Lenore came along).
You always have been good at mixing friends from different schools and making them all feel that they belong.
Having your own chicken and selling eggs was so much fun!
I wanted to stop the passage of time, but at the same time enjoyed watching you become a teenager. The sports became more competitive and you continued to excel in school and grow your circle of friends.
Watching you play basketball was the highlight of my winters. I don’t think there was another mother that cheered as loudly as me!
Sisters for a year. Montse lived with us as an 8th grader. You were attending 7th grade at St. Thomas.
Dad loved being your softball coach that summer
Time with the Corcoran cousins at the lake always translated in lazy days in the water, rainy days playing Monopoly, and a tight circle around the fireplace telling scary stories after eating yummy S’mores.
Catholic Central High School
Catholic Central was an easy transition for you since most of your friends moved with you. For Dad and I was a little different since we were not as involved with school, except with sports.
I loved having you at Spanish Camp as a helper, after being a camper yourself since your preschool years.
You loved your uniform at Catholic Central. In fact, it’s still hanging in your closet today!
Papa and Nana never missed a sports event. They were the first ones to proudly cheer for you and your brothers.
During Daniel’s First Communion in second grade. The little angel!
The Cone Shoppe was the place to go for ice cream. You could always count on seeing somebody from the neighborhood. A must after the Spring Program.
Art Prize was the time where Downtown Grand Rapids would come to life. A perfect excuse to stroll with some of your good friends.
Summer 2014 was particularly hard for you. We needed to pack, sell our house and move to California. On top of that you were traveling to Ireland with Irish Life Experience. Being your last summer in Michigan, you had second thoughts about going, but at the end it was so worth it! You got to visit a very important part of your heritage. In your own words, you walked away from the experience with a second family and a second home!
Knowing you, I’m sure there’s no beer in that glass!
More friends to love.