Thank YOU.

This blog is officially one year old today.

Believe it.

Yes, of course I'm celebrating (any excuse to have chocolate =D).

But I also want to take a moment to thank you guys.

You know who you are.

You visit faithfully and even leave comments occasionally. Some of you don't comment at all, but I'm always grateful that you stop by.  Still another portion of you send me emails and tell me your own stories.

And I LOVE that about you.

You relate to being a Cuban refugee, or having kids, or scrapbooking, or surfing, or gardening, or homeschooling, or dealing with an aging parent, or even quoting movie lines.

You tolerate my uber-geekiness, and my love for Andy Garcia (sigh).  And you always play the Kevin Bacon game with me.  ;-)

And I LOVE that about you.

You never complain about my grammar or my moronic punctuation skills (or because I speak parenthetically, and I never quite know where to put the period.  Or because I use run-on sentences, or I capitalize words that aren't Proper Nouns.)  You never complain, at least not to me directly, but that's not important right now. =D

And, of course, we share a love of Cuban food.  And you faithfully visit me over at Babalú every other Thursday for a new installment to Marta's Cuban American Kitchen.  And then you write and tell me how much you loved the dish I made or how no one could ever make it better than your abuelita.

I LOVE that about you.

A big thanks to Henry and Marc for the nice things you said and for putting me on your blogroll when I started this a year ago.  Thank you, Val for putting MBFCF on the Cuban Blogging World map (so to speak) by adding me to your Cubiches list.  I'm so grateful to you guys for showing me courtesy and kindness when we first "met" online.  Thank you for letting me cook for you.  It is an amazing honor to be counted as a Babalúcontributor family member.

Thanks, Humberto, for sharing your fish stories.

Thanks, Carrie for peer-pressuring me inviting me to Cuba Nostalgia and calling me "Candela." 

Thanks, Robert for smuggling us in. =D 

Thanks, Ziva for how much you care and for sharing your sweetest moment.

Thanks, Reinier for stepping up for my family's honor. ;-)

Thanks, Julio for documenting it all.

Thanks to all of you who have accepted me as one of your own without question.

I LOVE that about you guys.

Thanks to my old friends who have always been so faithful and have always encouraged me to be my artsy creative self.  "You're blogging now?? Cool."  And who send me pink boxes when I most need them. =D

I LOVE that about you.

Thanks to all of you who bought my stuff over at Cuba To GO!

(You ROCK!)  And I LOVE that about you.

Thanks Eric, Amy, Adam, Lucy and Jonathan. Even though your lives and actions are constant fodder for this blog, you are consistently so gracious to let me share you all with the rest of the blogosphere.

I LOVE that about you.

Thanks to all of you who come here every day and have your morning cafécito with me.  I hope you all know that This is Your Home.  And that all of YOU make up My Big, Fat Cuban Family. 

I LOVE that about you. ;-)

Thank you for making this one of the most seriously amazing years of my life,