Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Since the new year is almost here, I'm going to tell you a motivational story about Gerson.

He once told it to me, and now I love to share it with others.

My mother-in-law has told me plenty of times that Gerson would always say he wanted to become a doctor. Adults would ask him "What do you want to be when you grow up" and Gerson's reply was always "Un doctor!"

When Gerson graduated highschool in Colombia, he had to serve the military for one year. It's mandatory. After he finished his year, he went to the public medical school of Bogota to apply and take an exam that was required to pass to be accepted. There are some private medical schools, but he knew he couldn't afford any of them. So he went to take this exam and to his dismay, he failed. He wasn't even close.

He recalls wondering what he was going to do. All his life all he ever wanted to do was practice medicine and be Dr.Pineda. His dreams were basically shattered. Can you imagine how that must feel??

Thankfully, that same year, his whole family was given the news that they would most likely be moving to the country of abundance, the United States of America.

A year later, the Pinedas arrive to Texas, as residents of the U.S.. They had been given a religious visa through his father who was a pastor for many years.

Gerson enrolled himself to a college to learn English. After a year, he decided to go to seminary school and studied two years at Christ for the Nations. Through out these years, Gerson told me that he felt as if God was giving him a second chance to fulfill that dream he so longed for… the dream to become a doctor.

He then graduated from Christ for the Nations, transferred his credits to Dallas Baptist University and became a full-time student majoring in Biology. There was no doubt in his mind that this was God opening a door, giving him an opportunity to try again!

Nevertheless, as he started to take the biology class that every student is required to take, he realized it wasn't as easy as he thought it would be. Actually when Gerson told me this story, he said "I was dumb! A dumb student!" He barely passed his first exam for his biology class with a C. He became very discouraged because if biology 101 was difficult, he thought, how would he ever pass microbiology, organic chemistry, pathology, calculus, etc...

There are many people that would have probably thrown the towel, but Gerson decided to do something he had never done before. He began to declare words over his life and tell himself that he was indeed smart.

He told me that everyday he would wake up and tell himself "I am intelligent! I am smart!" He would write it and remind himself daily that he was smart and that anything was possible with God.

Then he started studying like never before! He read and read and studied and studied until he understood the material completely.

In 2006, Gerson graduated with a B.S. in biology and a minor in chemistry. He graduated with honors and a great gpa. According to his professors, Gerson was one of the best students from the Biology majors w/ excellent grades. He still keeps in touch with them.

The great gpa served him well, when he applied to medical schools in the U.S. He was interviewed and accepted to 4 different schools and decided to attend the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.

He's now in his 3rd yr of medical school, and God willing in 2012 his dream to be a doctor will become a reality!

This career is not easy, but Gerson believed in two things… First he believed in God. He believed that with God he could do it, and although it wouldn't be easy, he knew God would give him the wisdom and strength he needed. Second, he believed in himself. He not only declared and believed he was intelligent but he worked at it too.

As you can tell, I am a proud wife and admire his determination and dedication. He has been an inspiration to my life. We can do anything we set our minds to!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

MY ROOM (videoblog)

At my parents house for Christmas but they're doing some work to the house... check out my room as a teen!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Collector

I was thinking the other day, that I'm kind of a collector.

I tend to collect many things, sometimes unintentionally. I kind of feel bad for Gerson because he has to help me complete my collections.

I haven't bought one in a while, but I collect denim jackets. It's not even considered a fashionable item, but I love having different styles. I have dark, light, washed, striped, ripped, cropped. They're fun and you can wear them all year long!

I guess you can also say I collect shoes. I own probably 100 pairs, so that's a collection right? I was looking at my shoe boxes the other day, and there are many shoes that I don't and probably won't wear anymore. Hopefully these next months I can get rid of some.

Because Gerson and I love to travel, we collect things from the places we visit. We have magnets from all the cities we have visited. We also buy mini-snowglobes. But the last time we moved apartments we accidentally packed and put them in storage. Hopefully they're safe. And we also collect the Starbucks city mugs from each place (that has a Starbucks)... Which was the majority, but we never saw one in Croatia.

Something that I also buy when I'm in a different city or country, are earrings. If I can afford to buy me several I will, but if not, I'll buy me a pair from each city.

The last thing I could say I collect but don't have too many of are signs. Hopefully, I can fill my home with lots of signs one day.

Is there anything you collect? Or would like to begin collecting? Is there something you collect unintentionally? Tell me about it, I would love to know a little piece of you! :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Heart

There's something symbolic about the heart.

When I first met Gerson and he mentioned that he wanted to study medicine, I clearly remember him telling me that he wanted to specialize in a field that involved the heart, because to him it was a symbol of life, not just physical, but eternal life.

This past week, I was running around town, meeting with different centers, churches, and organizations for a project I'm working on at my job. On Friday, I met with a man named Pastor Clayton. He has a church on the East side of San Antonio.

Well Pastor Clayton is a man that knows the East side like no other. He was born and raised there. Growing up he became part of a gang and basically just got into a lot of trouble. He told me that God called him to talk to people that could relate to him. He had been in prison, crimes, fights, gangs, drugs, and he wanted to share about God's love exactly where he was raised.

Pastor Clayton doesn't like to preach to the gang members or drug addicts. He simply likes to reflect love, reflect Christ. He thinks it's pointless telling people that they're wrong, or that they're going to hell. Or telling them what to do and what not to do.

Pastor Clayton mentioned that he had visit a gang member the day before. He said the gang member who doesn't live in the best conditions, nor has much, had a sandwich and insisted on sharing half of his sandwich with him. Although this guy is in a gang and tattooed, he has a heart just like all of us. And although he runs the streets acting tough, probably hurting others, his heart has a piece of kindness. Pastor Clayton is convinced that if he continues visiting and showing love to him, showing God's love, he will be captured. He believes this because he has so many testimonies to share of people that lived in that same situation and were captured by God's love. He then said that it's important to learn to see a person's heart, see the kindness, the sorrow, anger in them, because when we do we, we get the opportunity to build a relationship with them.

The meeting that I had with Pastor Clayton taught me two things. First, that I need to constantly show love to everyone and remain transparent so people can see God's light in me. Second, that I need to build relationships with people that need of God. Get out of the "church walls" and build relationships with others. I honestly haven't even attended church in a while, but even so, I truly believe that through me others can meet God the way I have and eventually have Him touch their hearts the way He touched mine.

I also couldn't help but think about the opportunity I have not just at my workplace but in my life to impact a heart. Just like when Gerson told me he wanted to work in a field that involved the heart, I too, want to work with families, people and their hearts. I want to speak life to hearts. I want to speak life, just like many have spoken life to me that inspired me to change and excel.

Meeting Pastor Clayton was such a pleasure. He touched my heart by learning about the work he is doing in the community. I really hope this is the first of many meetings with him.

As I walked out, I took a picture with my phone of Pastor Clayton's church. It's in the heart of the East side of San Antonio.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dressing up your veggies!

So I have high cholesterol.

I know it sucks! It's probably from all the ice cream I love to eat. But since I don't want to be on medication, I just make sure I watch what I eat. I'm really hoping it lowers the next time I go to the doctor.

I do however love eating salads and vegetables. If I don't have a vegetable for lunch and/or dinner, I feel like my meal was incomplete. I especially love creamy dressings on my salads. The bad thing is that all those creamy caesars, ranches, and blue cheeses are filled with calories, fat, and CHOLESTEROL!

But here are some that will make your veggies tasty:

Brianna's Chipotle Cheddar is delicious! You can prepare a healthy, southwest salad with this dressing. It actually has zero cholesterol, and fewer calories compared to other dressings.

Cardini's Caesar dressing is actually the original caesar dressing. His name was Cesar Cardini, and I believe they named Cesar Salads after him. Well, if you've ever been to Chick-fi-la and have tasted their cesar dressing, it's Cardini brand, and it's creamy-licous! But it's EXTREMELY unhealthy. Bummer I know... Until I tasted Cardini's Light Caesar Vinagrette. It's just as good with only 60 calores, 5g of fat, and zero cholesterol per 2 tablespoons.

Marie's Yogurt Ranch dressing is the best ranch dressing with low calories that I have tasted. I've gone through several bottles of different healthier choices to substitute a fatty, caloric, ranch and none were good enough until I tasted Marie's . Since it's made with lowfat yogurt, it has fewer calories and fat.

So if you're a salad lover, I highly recommend you to try these. Actually, try several of Brianna's dressings. You can make all sorts of flavorful salads and veggie sides with them.

Do you have any favorite dressings you can recommend???

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I’ve had such great feedback from all my blog readers!

People that I never imagined would even be interested in reading have text, called, emailed, commented, FB-ed me about the posts that have inspired them. I am so grateful for each one of you that have found my blog inspiring and entertaining. It means A LOT to me!

Not too long ago, I read a book that had their definition of blogging. It was defined as personal websites written by somebody who is passionate about a topic, provide a means to share that passion with the world and to foster an active community of readers who provide comments on the writer's posts.

Besides really liking the definition,I also thought of several of my friends who have a blog. Here are few :

* http://chantelortiz.com/

Not all of them blog w/ a specific aim or topic, but many do, and I like that. Which is why I have decided to transition my Pieces of Me blog, to a blog w/ a more specific subject .
I have many passions, but ever since I was a teenager, I loved writing about one topic. I enjoy it so much I’ve even created theories of my own haha.
For now, I will not say more. And for those who know me well,you probably already know so just keep it to yourself so I can think of a new name for my upcoming blog ;)

The plans for these next coming weeks are to blog often about pieces of me. This way I can share a little bit more about my experiences and end it well to transition next year to my new blog.

Thanks again for all your positive feedback. I really hope you continue to read my blog posts. Although, I want to be less general and more concrete, I still plan on writing about my crazy experiences and life lessons. God willing, I’ll be spending New Years Eve in Chicago with the cold of the Midwest! Gerson and I have never experienced weather below 5°F so if we do, there’s no way I’ll skip blogging about that! ;)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Content & Unsatisfied

Several weeks ago my husband started telling me quite often that "we have everything we need, and lack nothing". It's sort of became a motto in our home.

During Thanksgiving weekend, we stayed with my in-laws in Dallas. I'm sure I've mentioned this a couple of times, but my husband (and his family of course) are from Colombia. Which explains why their dish network provides all the Colombian channels and the reason why we watched the Colombian news while we stayed with them.

I blame it on the tons of work I have, but I learned that weekend that Colombia was going through some major floodings. Anytime we see tragic news, where people are losing their homes and belongings it hurts, but I think it hurts even more when it's happening in your native country.

The next day, Gerson and I went to have lunch w/ Ari. Discussing the situation in Colombia then lead to this conversation. Gerson told my sister that for the past weeks he tried to think of something he NEEDED (not wanted). Daily he would think of one thing he desparately needed and would come up with nothing.

Gerson then said that he realized that the society we lived in had no satisfaction. Our society always wants more of all the STUFF. We want more material things, we want more money, we want more from our relationships, we want more in our careers. We simply are never satisfied because we often think "If I had an Ipad..." "If I had a boyfriend"... "If I had a house" ... I would be satisfied. But the truth is you wouldn't, because you would still want more!

Now, is there anything wrong with wanting more? Gerson, Ari, and me came to the conclusion, that it's part of our society and nature to want more. All 3 of us, are dedicated, determined, ambitious, and hard workers by nature. I doubt we will ever settle or give up on the goals we want to achieve. But sometimes we just need to be like a children and be content. Look and see that you probably do have everything you need.

I guess the best way to phrase it would be to passionately work towards those goals and things you want, but live the present contently. Let's count our blessings and look at the things we do have. I'm sure that the people reading this blog have tons of the STUFF!

Moving to San Antonio took a twirl for us. Being unemployed, financially limited, and now living on one income has taught me more than I ever imagined. I've definitely learned to value the things I do have and live happily with just that.

Friday, December 3, 2010


I have been getting so many compliments on my current nail color that I had to blog about it!

My older sis, who is an amazing hair dresser and make-up artist, told me that the in nail color for this season was gray. So I went to every store you can imagine looking for that perfect gray. Not silver or frost, but gray.

I finally found it, at a Walgreens on the South side of San Antonio. And even after a week of polishing them, I still get compliments everywhere and anywhere!

It's from Sally Hansen's Xtreme Wear. It's called Wet Cement. I found this picture on google images, they're not my nails, but that's exactly how the color looks. Do you like?