Our Loteria Meet and Greet at Cafe Calacas was so much more than I expected. Everything about the night was perfect. The owners and workers at Calacas were beyond welcoming from their smiles, handshakes and delicious food and drinks. My drink of the night was Habanero Lime Refresher. I was running around the entire time so it truly hit the spot with it’s refreshing crispy lime taste and a special kick at the end of each sip–a not so heavy habanero touch–mmmmmmm is an understatement! Cafe Calacas is definitely a place to check out when ever you are in the Santa Ana area.
Meeting our Social Media family was definitely a treat for both Abuela and I. We enjoyed hearing all their touching stories. It’s so encouraging to know how our videos have helped some through their toughest times. It’s so humbling to know that we have grow in their hearts through their times of need. Both Abuela and I will hold what they shared with us in our hearts and will continue to pray for them in the days to come. Know that I do pray for this YouTube channel. I pray that God would move across the screen and touch lives, heal lives and speak to the lives on the other side of the camera who may be fighting some sort of battle. So when you share with me-us something that is personal, we take it to heart and take it to God. I know that He hears and sees the tears, pains and joys of our Social Media family. And even if you don’t feel it–He is working– I know personally. In His perfect timing he has answered my prayers. Maybe not in the way I expected, but He has seen me through much and continues to do so.
The recent growth of our channel has really brought so many amazing things, including getting to know family that I didn’t even know existed. We had a chance to reconnect recently over Social Media. One day a gentleman with the “Contreras” last name reached out and said, “Como han estado. Saludos a la familia.”. Although I didn’t recognize the face, the last name, which is my Abuela’s last name caught my attention. I thought to myself, “Could we be related?”. Something within me felt that we were. After a short conversation over Instagram, we threw out names that ended up connecting me to his family. The meet and greet was where I got to meet them all and I’m so happy I did! **Shout out to my new family Frank Contreras, Yolanda Contreras and Gloria Contreras among many more!
Having my aunts and all their children present also touched my heart. If you attended or saw our Meet and Greet Video, you probably noticed a lot of people wearing the black “La Abuela” loteria shirt– well, they were all family. It made the night more special than it already was. There was another event going on in the area and finding parking was pretty stressful. But they stuck it out and showed up! I am extremely thankful for that. La familia is important and we must stick together. And to this day, I can say that we have been present for each others accomplishments! Here is to many more FAMILIA! Love you all!
Although all these factors and so much more that happened that night made the event special, I would have to say that my highlight was to see my Abuela’s eyes sparkle. I live for those moments- I long for those moments–when I get to see her face light up with joy–so much joy that for just a moment she can forget about her worries. I love our drives home after our events. Hearing her talk about her experience and the people she met and what she talked about is such a joy. My heart becomes filled with gratitude for those moments. She has gone through so much in her life and has done more for others than anyone I know and she deserves all the attention and spoiling she has gotten because of our videos. My mom has made special appearances in the videos, cooking her own recipes and many of you also know her as well. It’s an added bonus to see her get recognized too. It’s just such a great feeling for me.
You all know that these videos started off as a way to document my Abuela, her cooking and ways for my kids and future generations. But I must say that they have evolved into way more than that (not by luck, chance or coincidence). It’s because we don’t show you something we are not. What you see on video is really us. I know everyone loves Abuela, and I’m just a facilitator in the videos but what we do share is our real relationship and the relationships we have with our entire family; and I believe you are a witness of it. I know there are a few people who don’t like how I speak, how I act or even how I look but what’s the point of sharing with the world things that are unrealistic or unattainable. My Abuela is a humble-hardworking woman, my mom is a God fearing woman who has worked hard to gain ground in the U.S. so that I could have a better life, and me… Well, I do have a hard time saying who I am because of my own personal insecurities– But I can say that because of what these women have done and accomplished in their lives, has paved the way for me to be the woman that God has created me to be. I can enjoy what they worked hard for, and honor them for it through my life. In addition, it is an opportunity to show the world that Mexicanos/Latinos(as) (that know the value of life and the meaning of hard work) can overcome all obstacles. Those who understand and believe, realize that there is power in pushing each other to reach higher, without forgetting our roots. Our roots keep us grounded and our God becomes the rock in which we stand.