365 Snap Shots of Life Blog Challenge: Day 19

January 19,2012

For the next few days I’m posting photos of my neighborhood. This blog challenge inspires me to grab my camera and take it with me everywhere I go. Last Sunday I went for a short hike with my daughter Elena. I decided to put on my “tourist eyes” and challenged my self to look at my neighborhood as if I was on holiday, just passing through. It’s amazing how much a place can grow on you, then you take it for granted and it ceases being special anymore. During my self guided tour I found out what a rich little community I live in and I’m so glad I moved here. These images are part of  large a mural that is on the wall of the 7-Eleven convenience store…amazing right? 🙂 Challenge yourself to put on your “tourist eyes” and view your surroundings as if you’re seeing them for the very first time. You’ll be surprised!






-EVA SANTIAGO copyright 2012

365 Snap Shots of Life Blog Challenge: Day 16

January 16,2012

Dare to Look for the Sacred in the Ordinary

I spent a week a couple of summers ago, with a childhood friend. She would go to work while I’d relax in her cozy condo. One morning I took my cup of tea to her outside porch. She lived in a heavily wooded place which I welcomed because where I live there aren’t any woods, just miles upon miles of tumbleweeds and cactus. That morning I dusted off her rattan furniture, I could tell she hadn’t been out there in a while. I settled into a comfy chair and as I took in the serene scenery, I happened to look down from her 2nd story condo. This is what I saw and it delighted me. I thought, gee, I wonder if my girl friend is aware of this pretty little oasis practically right under her feet? So I photographed it because I wanted to capture the feeling of peace that it brought me as I sat in my spot for the next few mornings. Sometimes you DO have to slow down enough to see the extraordinary in what seems ordinary.

365 Snap Shots of Life Blog Challenge: Day 14

House of Ghosts

This is the house I finished growing up in. 2 summers ago I went back, not sure what I expected to find. I’m not one to take a stroll down memory lane. My husband on the other hand, is one to go back to all the old neighborhoods of his childhood every time he has taken me to his home town. I always found that a bit tedious, so when I did it, I came away with the same detached emotion. Personally, it’s better to reminisce about the past in my mind and forget about going to the actual places.Things change true enough; however there are things that remain intact and when I showed up at this house,  I felt like I did back then, nothing. I meant nothing to the people I lived with in that house, and I still am nothing to them. Hence my lack of emotion for the place.

Eva Santiago copyright 2012

January 14,2012

365 Snap Shots of Life Blog Challenge Day:13

January 13,2012

In Your Face!

Weddings are so much fun to attend! I went to this one when I was in college; the couple in this photo are dear friends of mine who were there for me at a time when I had no one. At the end of the wedding when the bride threw the bouquet, she aimed it at me and I ducked. I sure didn’t want that experience  in my life yet. I’ve been to several weddings, this was by far the most enjoyable. Cheers to T & M!!

EVA SANTIAGO copyright 2012

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 18

Please refer back to my earlier posts and read what this challenge is about so that the later posts make sense. :)

Day 18 Question # 18: What is the earliest lesson you can remember learning as a child that you have followed throughout your life?

Answer: I just had a talk with my kids about embracing their Latin roots and  my answer comes from this talk. I was explaining to my kids that I love the Latin culture because we always seem to find the positive in the negative. That way of thinking permeates everything including our music. One day when my second daughter was younger I was listening to a ” EL NIAGARA EN BICICLETA“, a merengue by Dominican born star Juan Luis Guerra. She asked me to translate the words for her and when I did she was amazed and she said, ” Wow! Such happy music but the words are so sad.” I told her that our Latin music is a lot like that because we stay joyful even when things aren’t all that hot.

When I was in the 4th grade Sister Mary Valentine, my teacher was reading to us about some of the miracles of Jesus. One day she read to us how Jesus healed 10 lepers and out of the 10 only one came back to thank Him for his miracle. I remember thinking.’ WOW! I want to be like that guy! I want to say thank you all the time.’ And that’s what I’ve done my whole life. I go out of my way to say thank you to God, family, even the cashier at the grocery store who rang up my groceries.

I believe that when you have a thankful attitude, it shows up in all you do. That is what I wanted to impress upon my kids the other day regarding their Latin roots. Latin music is happy because no matter what the lyrics say, no matter what you’re going through in life, we always find something to be thankful for and we sing and dance about it!


A girl at school was just kicked off the soccer team because another class mate complained to the school officials that said girl would not be friends with her. Now the school officials are accusing the swimmer for being a bully. Who is the real bully here?

I just recently was kicked out of a church. Yes, you are reading correctly! My family and I are not allowed to come back to a certain church because I refused the pastoral counseling being offered to me. That was the main reason for our having been banned from this church. The other reasons are of no lesser significance: I was also told that the pastor did not like some of my views on this blog. Hello! The 1st Amendment guaranteeing my rights to freedom of speech were infringed upon. Lastly I was  told by this same man that my husband and I had to meet up with some key people he had already designated for us because we needed to learn from these people how to be “Godly parents”. Apparently this pastor is under the impression, that after  raising 4 great kids together for the past 22 years that we’ve been married, we haven’t a clue as to what we’re doing. 

Folks, when your kids were younger did you ever try to pick out their friends for them? That’s crazy right? So how can a school and a pastor even think that they have any say in whom a child or two adults choose to associate with? It’s a MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD and that madness has creeped into some churches.

Perhaps the best thing this pastor did by banning us from attending his church was to spare us any further hurt by him. Now THAT’S a silver lining on my cloud!