Tag Archives: Stories

2011 Year in Review – Part 1

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”
Henry Ford

I started a tradition quite a while ago of writing a recap of the year before the new one was to begin.  I did start this post before 2012 began, but I just wanted to enjoy visiting with family instead of writing about it.  As I begin this post, we currently are more than halfway on our 2 day drive back home to Dallas from Florida, so with the Cowboy’s game on in the background which is occupying my husband in our hotel room, now’s as good a time as any.

2011 was quite a year!!  It brought both some of the hardest and greatest times in my life.  Here are some of the more memorable moments:

Out of the gate of 2011, in January we had to gather all the courage, strength, and hope that comes through faith. My Mom’s Breast Cancer had come back in her bones with a vengeance. She spent her 64th birthday with her friends and family on January 21st, and then 2 days later departed this world.  She still managed to cross some important things off her “Bucket List” first, including seeing me try on my wedding dress from her hospice bed; and Skyping to see her newborn Grandson, Jacob Richard — Paul & Pilar’s youngest boy — born just a few days before her birthday.

1 of about 7 dresses I tried on before I found the one. Mary Catherine was the Angel who brought the dresses from her Ocala shop that day

In February, before returning to Dallas, Mike surprised me and Dad with a short trip to St. Augustine, Florida.  That’s a special place for me, and I hadn’t been back for many years.  It was a much-needed time away together, and we wanted to pray for all those who had prayed for us during our time of need.  We lit candles and prayed for you all when we visited Our Lady of La Leche at the Shrine, and walked the Sacred Acre where the 1st Mass was celebrated in the US.

A short trip to St. Augustine, Florida with 2 of my favorite fellas. Trying to start getting our heads out of the fog...

Meeting my newest nephew, Jacob Richard, upon our return to Dallas. Holding him was what my heart needed...

Then it was back to Dallas, commencing the journey to find a new “normal.” Of course, wedding plans began immediately in high gear, to plan it in just 5 months down where Mike grew up in San Benito, TX and South Padre Island.  I do not recommend grieving and destination wedding planning, but it’s just how things ended up… And so we rely on God’s grace, and those He’s given us to do what we need to.

I never even got thank you notes out to all the people who sent flowers, Mass cards, gifts, Edible Fruit displays, sympathy cards, books, and reached out in so many ways.  So please know that everything meant so much to us, and we are grateful for your friendship, love, prayers and support – truly.

In March, Mike’s Mom came to Dallas and spent Spring break with us.  We had fun crafting and she was our first passenger in the new vehicle that we bought.  God blessed us with a fantastic deal on fully loaded red Mercury Mariner, with less than 5,000 miles on it.  As hard as it was for Mike to let go of Ol’ Blue, this little crossover has served us well.

Our new Mercury Mariner - we love "Ruby"!

Mike's Mom with baby, Jacob. Can you tell she is ready for more little ones??

In April we went to Hollywood, Florida. I was Alyssa’s, my niece, Sponsor for her Confirmation.  We had a great visit with family, and are so proud of the beautiful young lady that Alyssa has become, inside and out.

Cracking up with my niece Alyssa at her Confirmation Party

On the last day of Spring Blooms at the Dallas Arboretum, we had our Engagement photos taken.  Our friends John Wehlage, and his wife Julie, did an amazing job on both our Engagement Photos and my Bridal Portraits. More photos (includes the events surrounding our wedding) are posted on our wedding site blog, the Martinez Lounge so I’ll only post a couple here:

Mike + Lisa - Engagement Photos at the Dallas Arboretum during Spring Blooms

Bridal Portraits & Engagement photos done by John Wehlage. Taken at St. Ann's Catholic Church, Holy Saturday, 2011

Wow, April was really busy.  We took a jam-packed wedding planning trip down to South Padre Island.  It felt like a contest – how many vendors can we book in one weekend? HA! The last weekend of the month we headed to Eunice, Louisiana where I used to live and work.  Our friends hosted a beautiful engagement Mass of Thanksgiving and Party, Cajun style, at Walnut Street’s Atrium of the dear Miller family — where I served at many events for others.  Again, more stories and photos are all on our Martinez Lounge site.

Celebrating with my Cajun Family - Cajun dancing with Garrett

Last year it was May Showers, Bridal Showers that is. A beautiful shower was hosted on Mother’s Day (aren’t my friends amazing??) by friends & CRHP (Christ Renews His Parish) sisters. The other was graciously hosted by St. Ann’s choir members after a Wednesday night practice. My Bachelorette Party was hosted by my Maid of Honor, Kelli, at my friend’s, Cynthia, home in Coppell. We also attended Engaged encounter, along with our NFP classes.  My oldest nephew, Daniel, graduated from High School. My Dad came to stay with us before the wedding, and so we began the big move of Mike into the Condo – and it was the three of us in close quarters until the wedding. Wedding planning pretty much consumed all the other moments – LOL.  Lots of photos of those great moments on our blog. I’ll leave you with a few.

Bridal Shower with friends & CRHP Sisters

Bachelorette Party - Hostesses, Cynthia & Kelli

My nephew, Daniel, graduated from High School.

That’s the first part of 2011.  More to come friends, but sleep most come first!

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A Life Well Lived: My Mom’s Obituary

Eve Marie Sanchez

January 21, 1947 – January 23, 2011

Praying for Mom

Our Family Praying Over Mom after her Diagnosis

Eve Marie Sanchez, 64-years-old, died on Sunday, January 23, 2011, at her home in The Villages, Florida. After her valiant fight with Breast Cancer in 2006, Eve’s battle resumed in May 2010 with Stage 4 Breast Cancer that spread to the bones. Her strong will to live, unwavering faith in God, and the love and prayers of family, friends, and many supporters carried her through 4 more months of grueling Chemotherapy. Yet even throughout her own struggle with Cancer, she reached out to others affected by the horrendous disease in many ways, including: 4 American Cancer Society Relays for Life, 2007-2010; Support Groups with other Survivors; participating in John Hopkins Cancer Research Study, and even just comforting others sitting nearby receiving their Chemo treatments simultaneously.

Eve was born on January 21, 1947 in Detroit, Michigan to Anthony and Helen Perlaki. The oldest of 4 beautiful girls, her sisters – Karen, Nancy, and Susan – still live with their spouses – Bob, John, and Wally respectively – in different areas of Eve’s home state of Michigan.

Known for her ease in frequent conversation with even total strangers, some may be surprised to learn of the extreme shyness of her youth. Yet even as a child, she possessed a contagious smile and an entertaining sense of humor. Throughout her life she maintained a sweet and simple demeanor that won the trust and hearts of many, who even now are being changed by her witness of constant nurturing love and faith. Her signature gift of joy, shown through her constant smiling, laughter, and joking around, will never be forgotten.

After graduating from Allen Park High School and working as a Secretary, she met her Sweetheart, Richard Sanchez, during a summer camping trip. The couple was married the following year on August 19, 1967 at St. Mary Magdalen Church in Melvindale, Michigan.

Married for 43 years, Eve & Richard raised their 4 dear children, Paul, Jeffrey, Christopher and Lisa over the years in Inkster, Livonia, and finally in Dearborn, Michigan. Possessing a true servant’s heart, Eve faithfully cared for family and friends through delicious cooking/baking from scratch – including cake decorating, sewing and crafting. A woman of faith and the heart of the Sanchez family, Eve shaped their spirituality by her tireless Christian example, and also through various Catholic Charismatic prayer groups and activities. With a real zest for life, Mrs. Sanchez loved to dance, write, read, pray, bowl, play games/cards – especially with her Grandchildren, chat with friends and family, and travel…just to name a few.

After the couple’s retirement in 2000, they built a house in The Villages near several of Eve’s brothers and sisters-in-law, and later many close friends. She loved to go on outings with her Red Hat Society and eat with friends through the Enrique Dinner Club.

Her surviving family members are numerous, but mainly include:

Husband of 43 years: Richard P. Sanchez

Mother of 4 Children & Partners: Paul and Pilar Sanchez, Jeffrey and Annette Sanchez, Christopher and Jennifer Sanchez, and Lisa Sanchez and fiancée, Mike Martinez.

Grandmother to 6: Daniel and Abraham Moreno, Jacob Sanchez; Alyssa, Jon, and Annalyse Sanchez

Immediate family: Mother, Helen Perlaki; 3 Sisters and Partners: Karen and Bob Hayward, Susan and Wally Green, and Nancy and John Bialowicz

In-Law’s: Bob and Virginia Sanchez, Joe and Barbara Sanchez, Pete and Carmen Bava, Mary and Bob McIntyre, Virginia and Doug Atha

Other family members: Unfortunately too many beloved cousins, nieces, nephews, and God-children to list or even count.

Visitation information for friends and family of Eve Sanchez: There will be a Memorial Service with a Rosary led by Deacon John Sullivan at Hiers-Baxley Funeral Home, 1511 Buenos Aires Blvd, The Villages, FL 32159, on Wednesday, January 26, 2011 from 4:00 – 7:00 pm.

The funeral Mass will be presided by Fr. Gene Weis at St. Timothy Catholic Church, 1341 Paige Place, Lady Lake, FL 32159, on Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 10:00 am. Pallbearers include: Paul Sanchez, Jeffrey Sanchez, Christopher Sanchez, Mike Martinez, Joe Sanchez, and Wally Green, with Bob Hayward, Jon Sanchez, Abraham and Daniel Moreno, as Honorary Pallbearers. A luncheon reception for the family and close friends will be held at St. Timothy’s Parish Hall immediately following the Funeral Mass.

For more information, please call: Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services of The Villages, Florida at (352) 753-8353

Memorial donations can be made to:

  • Communities of Prayer in Dallas, Texas: A Memorial Fund to be set-up in Eve Sanchez’s memory for the organization Lisa Sanchez, her daughter, is helping establish. Checks payable to: Communities of Prayer, 1303 Hillsdale Drive, Richardson, TX 75081, or online at http://communitiesofprayer.com/donations
  • The American Cancer Society, Marion Unit Office, 2201 SE 30th Ave, Ocala, FL 34471
  • Christian Foundation For Children and Aging, 1 Elmwood Ave, #301, Ocala, FL 34471, for the child from Venezuela, Edgardo Alfonso Suarez Hernandez, that Eve and Richard have financially supported.
  • Yet, beyond financial donations, Eve always lived by the Golden Rule: Treat others the way you would like to be treated. i.e. Do a loving act of kindness, make someone laugh, send a card, give a hug, or say “I love you” to your special friend in her memory.

The family is deeply grateful for the outpouring of love, prayers, and support in many heart-felt forms from too many people to name individually, but including: Hospice – the amazing Village Team, family and friends – either through prayer and/or visits, neighbors, and even random acts of kindness through total “strangers”. A special thank you to Mary Catherine, owner of an Ocala Bridal Shop, who helped Eve cross one life-long dream off of her bucket list: She brought 10 dresses to her home in order for her to shop and buy her newly engaged daughter, Lisa, her wedding dress.

The urn that Eve’s earthly remains will be held in nicely sums up, in one sentence, how fondly she will be remembered: Our Angel that lived, laughed, and loved.

This is the Obituary written by yours truly, Lisa Sanchez, in honor of my dearest Mother. It is my tribute to her memory, which will be carried on in the legacy of love which is now each of us – the lives she formed and touched by her love.

NOTE: All funeral arrangements and details can be found on my Mom’s page with the funeral service we are using, Hiers-Baxley.

Messages, donations to preserve her page, online “candles”, pictures, videos and the like can all be left there at that page,

which is: http://www.hiers-baxley.com/obituaries/Eve-Sanchez/

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2009 Christmas Missive

“It is Jesus in fact that you seek when you dream of happiness, he is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; he is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is he who provokes you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise.”

– Venerable John Paul II

2009, oh what a year it has been!  As has become my custom, I am taking my Christmas holiday as an opportunity to both reflect and write on what has annually transpired in an effort to catch up with y’all.  Pardon the electronic format, dear ones, but it holds within it the same love as my paper copies tucked away in Christmas cards that I’d love to send if I weren’t attempting to be so resourceful!  Always looking on the bright side, the benefit is that this way you can also watch my year – courtesy of my 2009 picture slideshow too!

Transitions began early this year, as I rang in the New Year with a promotion at the hotel to Catering Sales Manager.  What a time to learn and grow it was, all the while hoping that the bumps eventually would smooth out just like the learning curve.  Yet as the opening quote so beautifully stated, Jesus would not allow me to settle.  Using situations to move me to where I now need to be, by mid-July I had lost my job.  Recognizing my lack of fulfillment and knowing that many of gifts and talents weren’t being utilized – but not quite poised to break out yet – I have experienced a great freedom through this experience.  I knew that the time had come:  The time for me to stop pursuing other people’s dreams and start chasing down my own.

In the meantime, the spare room in my Condo was getting great mileage in the beginning of the year between friends and family.  Easter brought not only the Resurrection, but also the visit of not only my parents but also much anticipated one of my brother’s family – Jeff, Annette, Alyssa, Jon, and Annalyse.  From visiting the Stockyards, riding the Go-Carts at Speed Zone, painting Easter Eggs on my balcony and teaching them to “pock” eggs after the Easter Egg Hunt, to a 4-month early 40th Surprise Party for Jeff…well, the time together was a great blessing and the memories now are filed under “Things I Cherish”.

I was blessed to be able to make some visits of my own this year as well.  From quick jaunts to the Houston area for a conference or a weekend get-away with my best friend, to full-out excursions, I’m always up for new adventures!  My 1st big trip occurred over the 4th of July holiday, with the ambitious itinerary to visit 4 old friends in 5 days in Washington State and Vancouver, BC areas that looked like this:

  • 1st stop – the splendiferous Saratsis family on the Air Force Base in Tacoma
  • 2nd stop – the magnanimous Manni family in Oak Harbor
  • 3rd stop – dear old friend Sarah of the clan Roberts from my hometown of Dearborn now in Vancouver, BC
  • 4th and final stop – the Italian flower Nausica and her new hubby, Brian, in Seattle

The time went quickly but was ever so well spent reconnecting with old friends, many with new additions to their family’s that I had never had the chance to meet.

I was blessed by another opportunity to reconnect with another set of dear old friends when I attended “Homecoming” at the Franciscan University of Steubenville.  A celebration of friendships and faith, I can’t believe it already was time for our 10-year College reunion!

Some of my travels have taken on a business nature as well.  Two weeks after I got the axe, I was extended an all expense paid road trip to my 2nd home in Louisiana.  What was originally intended as a weekend get-away spent with friends soon became a 10-day business related trip.  While stopping by to visit my dear friends, Myrna & Garrett, who are my former employers – Walnut Street – we discovered once again that we both had needs that we could assist each other with.  Just like old times, I lent some help in the office a couple of days after which Myrna took me to their new 2nd location, a shop in the French Quarter of New Orleans.  Thus began the contract work that paved the way for the other opportunities that have kept me busy since.  With God as my Boss, I’ve been serving in various capacities from Marketing Consulting, Project Management and Copywriting – writing web content and Press Releases.  I’ve completed content for 2 out of 3 of the sites so far, and the other will soon be live as well.

The trip to Louisiana also began a time of discernment with my best friend, Kelli Simon.  Through much prayer, we felt God calling her to live with me in Dallas.  The doors all opened, and at the end of September my home became our home.  I’m so blessed to have my “soul sister” living and praying along side me at this time in our lives.  We are currently in the process of discerning laying the foundation of a new ministry organization as well, so please pray for our efforts with “Illumine the Nations”.  We have felt God calling us to help foster greater unity in Evangelistic outreach efforts in the Catholic Church – by building a network to connect, inform, exchange, and assist efforts internationally.  The Lord has a plan, and we are just trying to be in it!

In November, I was also invited to travel to NCYC (National Catholic Youth Conference) in Kansas City, MO to join over 21,000 others in participating in the largest youth rally in the nation.  Working with the Catholic musician, Curtis Stephan, and the band to complete his website – I captured photos and video clips during their Praise & Worship session.  My first attempt at amateur video editing can be viewed on the website above (link to YouTube on main page).

I currently am enjoying my 2nd big trip, a 2-week holiday in Florida spending time with my parents and Jeff’s family.  My longest chunk of time in the Sunshine state, it seemed appropriate to take advantage of the lack of filing vacation requests!

Time out of a traditional office setting has bore a lot of fruit this year, both personally and professionally.  I’ve been building my repertoire, especially concerning my writing – a skill that I’ve felt a calling to focus on once again.  A friend and I have also done a “Garage Band” recording of a song I wrote that she’s been working on with me, based on my favorite prayer – “Anima Christi”.  I’ve also been applying for freelance writing work, and we shall see what 2010 has in store for me.  There are already prospects on the horizon, and I am excited to prayerfully continue chasing down my dreams.  Affording me the time to foster personal and spiritual growth, I have even pursued inner healing sessions with some Prayer Warriors at my Church.

The Lord has reminded me this year, “Be still, slow down, don’t loose your vision…no excuses now!”  The Lord has certainly shown me once again that he is my Provider and that His plan is much bigger for me if I will trust Him to lead me through it.  I pray for the journey that you are on as well.  I love and miss y’all, especially at this time of the year.  Merry Christmas and let’s all have a New Year abundant in blessings!

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