A Birthday and 34 Things | #25-34


Today would have been my Mom’s 60th birthday and is also the anniversary of the day she was buried. The weather outside this morning, rainy and windy, was a reflection of my mood, but only for a brief moment. On days like these I am melancholy in the morning. I can’t help it. I am sad, and sometimes full of tears, that my Mom is not here with us to celebrate this milestone birthday. But I share with my husband and with my six year old what day it is and how I’m feeling and their comfort, encouragement and hugs bring a smile to my face.


It is fitting that my final 34 Things entry falls on this day. For me, days like these, while filled with emotion, will forever be a reminder of why memory keeping is so important. I smile because I know that by sharing stories through photography, scrapbooking, and even this blog, when my 60th Birthday rolls around my daughters will have a full picture of who their mother was. They will know the story behind that favorite picture of me in my youth and will have a beautiful record of my growing up story and of theirs.

For these past few weeks, in loving memory of my Mom, I have been participating in 34 Things with Jennifer Wilson at Simple Scrapper. You can see my original post here. I’ve shared 34 Things I want my daughters to know about me. I’m so grateful that this list of 34 Things is the start of a long list of stories about myself I can share with my daughters. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have.

Here are my last few entries:


25. I went to Europe with two great friends in late fall 2006. The weather was supposed to be miserably cold and it was a bit cold but not enough to dampen the trip of a lifetime. My favorite memory of that trip is dragging my friends to the top of the Eiffel Tower one night. It was freezing but the view of the city from the top was magical.


26. This is my favorite picture of my brother, Alex, and I. It looks like I’m having so much fun having a 15-month-old baby brother around that Christmas.


27. Grandparents Day in elementary school was one of my favorite days of the year. My grandma never missed it and we got to leave school early and go out for lunch.

28. My group of friends in high school got nicknamed the Pink Ladies after we dressed up as the characters from Grease one Halloween. I love these girls. We had the BEST Christmas get togethers and the tradition continues today and hopefully for many more years to come.


29. I have the Kika look and you probably will too. The way our eyebrows come down and our  mouths pout just a little when we’re upset is inherited from and named for your Great-Grandma Kika.

30. I often spent one week at Tia Martha’s house during Christmas break. She would take all of us younger cousins to all the amusement parks around Southern California and to other interesting places. We made gingerbread houses and went Christmas Caroling around her neighborhood. I looked forward to that visit every year.

Ali's Wedding 022

31. I love weddings! Ever since I was little I remember having so much fun at these huge parties, even though I always cry during the ceremony (even as a kid). Your Dad and I went to a lot of weddings together while we were dating, and yup they still are lot of fun.

32. In Jr High the first time I ever plucked my eyebrows myself I made them WAY too thin. Beware of tweezers!


33. I was baptized at the 200-year-old Mission San Luis Obispo in the city where I was born. The priest looks like he was quite a hippy.

Grandma's 80th Birthday_1

34. I don’t have a lot of pictures of my Mom and I together as adults. I wish I had more. I will be sure to always have lots of pictures of our family together.


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So that’s it. Or at least the start of it. There are of course a million and one things I want to share with my daughters but this was a great way to get those ideas flowing and a great way to share with you all the importance of telling our own stories.

Before Your Story started yesterday at Big Picture Classes. Jennifer shared a sneak peek of the classroom area and an unboxing video that you can view here. I stayed up too late last night going through the week one materials. Jennifer has a great way of making big projects like these way more manageable. If I can keep up and follow her instructions I know that at the end of this class I’ll have a gorgeous albums of my own stories all ready for my daughters in time for Mother’s Day. What a great gift to myself and to them.

Do you have any big stories you want to document? Your own growing up story? Maybe a big vacation? Let us know in the comments.


14 Comments on A Birthday and 34 Things | #25-34

  1. Dani
    March 7, 2014 at 6:25 pm (1 year ago)

    Marina, your post is heartmelting. I could feel the emotion in your words. Love the idea of listing 34 things about me. Thanks for sharing.

    • Marina
      March 10, 2014 at 5:30 pm (1 year ago)

      Thank you for reading Dani!

  2. Melinda
    March 3, 2014 at 12:58 pm (1 year ago)

    I like the work you’re doing, writing and journaling. What a beautiful gift for your family. I enjoyed reading your blog on Fri, my sister-in-law’s (more specifically, my dear friend’s) birthday. I took time to pause and appreciate memories of our time together — conversations, movies, coffee, vacations. Loved the pictures you shared. So moved by your mom in the red dress. Thanks for sharing these 34 things about YOU

    • Marina
      March 10, 2014 at 5:30 pm (1 year ago)

      Thank you for reading. I so appreciate all the support you give me and my family. Yes that picture of her in the red dress really is beautiful.

  3. Angie
    March 3, 2014 at 3:43 am (1 year ago)

    What great sharing! I love the memories you are recording for your family. It’s beautiful.

    • Marina
      March 10, 2014 at 5:29 pm (1 year ago)

      Thank you Angie!

  4. Helen
    March 1, 2014 at 9:55 am (2 years ago)

    Marina thanks for sharing from the depths of your heart. I could totally feel and see the strides you are making in your life. I know this is a grand step for you and healing past wounds and future growth . Very proud of you! Reya and Lola are reaping such beautiful memories through You and Reza:)

    • Marina
      March 10, 2014 at 5:28 pm (1 year ago)

      Thank you for reading. I am so grateful for all the support you have given my family.

  5. Layla
    February 28, 2014 at 6:45 pm (2 years ago)

    This got me thinking about that husband of yours and I when we were kids. I remember when seatbelt laws were uninformed. RJ and I would play in the backseat of our family car (an old brown Toyota Camry) like it was a playground, crawling around, fighting over space and laying down in the back, etc. We also used to sit upside down in the back and play astronauts. I had so much fun on road trips in the car coming up with crazy kid games to pass the time in the car. My parents and RJ used to try to trick me into not talking so much and suggest we see who can be quiet the longest. Of course, I could never shut up longer than a couple minutes. Needless to say, I always lost :)

    I love the pictures you’ve posted and the memories you shared with us all. Those kids of yours really have a great mom raising them, which means your mom also did a great job raising you. I’m sure she’s so proud of you and your own beautiful family!

    • Marina
      March 10, 2014 at 5:28 pm (1 year ago)

      Thank you Layla! Haha those games sound fun. My parents were much more strict with seat belts.

  6. Sarah
    February 28, 2014 at 6:01 pm (2 years ago)

    I really like the pictures you posted! You can tell that you really love your mom and that you gals had a great relationship.

    • Marina
      March 10, 2014 at 5:26 pm (1 year ago)

      Thank you Sarah! I appreciate you reading. Like many mom and daughter relationships, ours definitely had its moments especially through those teen years (not looking forward to those with these two girl haha). When I had Reya it really helped us bond again.

  7. Rachelle
    February 28, 2014 at 5:28 pm (2 years ago)

    Beautiful cousin! So inspired by your writing and creativity. This was a wonderful idea, and gets me thinking of things I can look forward to doing. Love you! Happy birthday Aunt Chris!!

    Ps I made a picture :)!

    • Marina
      March 10, 2014 at 5:23 pm (1 year ago)

      Thank you for reading cousin. Start documenting now! You have so many exciting things going on :)


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