My heart grew twice…


  Paul was barely a few days old.  Due to being a premie, he was not allowed to be out of the NICU for very long, and I wanted Rob to meet and hold his baby brother.

As I gently placed Paul in Rob’s arms, I asked him, “how do you feel?” and immediately he said, “my heart grew.”  (image is the actual moment they met)

Well, as you can imagine my heart burst!

What Rob didn’t realize was that my heart too had grown.  It had grown twice.  First, when I held him in my arms 23 years ago and again 8 years later the moment, Paul was born.  I knew that feeling. I knew exactly what he was going on in his little 8-year-old chest. 

It was real!  

You see, when love is felt in an imaginable way, your heart grows.

Becoming a mother is an experience, unlike anything anyone can prepare you for.  You walk around with your nerve endings exposed.  Your emotions raw and your sense of safety and security for your child heightened to the point of alarm.  You live in a perpetual state of reaction. And you are constantly having a conversation in your head “what if,” at least I do. Maybe this is just a Puerto Rican thing…if not, can I get an Amen!

Being a mom is a selfless 24-hour job of constant prayer and worry.  

Being a mom is hard.  We are disappointed, hurt, and honestly sometimes forgotten and overlooked.

Being a mom is rewarding.  Their triumph is your win. Their success is your smile, and their health is your comfort.

Being a mom is lonely.  We make out mistakes and hope not to be judged too hard. We learn the ability to love and dislike at the same time.

Being a mom is overwhelming – our dreams and desires are deferred solely to be transferred into their happiness, their dreams, their joy, their peace, their freedom.

Being a mom can oftentimes be the biggest joy and the greatest heartache.

Yet one thing I know for sure,  your heart doesn’t stop growing.

Your heart doesn’t stop loving.

Your heart doesn’t stop believing.

Happy Mother’s Day to ALL the moms out there doing their VERY BEST!!!

We see you!

‘Til Tuesday

-Annette Ortiz Mata

Eat. Love. Pray…..and just show up!

As the youngest of seven siblings, I often wonder what could I offer my oldest in times of trouble. Well…this past year has put that to the test.

David battling Leukemia and Angel battling End Stage heart disease in need of both a kidney and heart transplant has required me to…

Eat, Love, Pray, and just show up!

Visiting siblings in a hospital and knowing how truly critical their health has become is incredibly paralyzing, but the power of love allows you to show up.  The power of prayer allows you to believe.

The bond of a life built together along with shattered moments has created a beautiful mosaic that holds us closer.

We will laugh out loud, eat too much, love with all we have, pray with unique desperation, and continue to show up…


No matter the disappointment of the past memories, the present requires you to show up and love!

‘Til Tuesday