M. Swabb Decor & Pen + Napkin - We need your help.

Meet the Lopez Family.

We were recently given an opportunity by a nonprofit organization called

Pen + Napkin. Through this organization we are able to adopt a family and through generous donations of furniture, decor, talents and financial support we are able to transform the living conditions of one family per quarter. We have had a huge heart throb this past year to begin serving our community better. We've had hopes of partnering with an organization that would allow us to use our creative gifts and resources to bless families that have never been lavished or loved on. With the population of homelessness in the city of San Diego we knew that there would be no shortage of families in major need.

We stumbled upon Pen + Napkin a couple years back and fell in love with what they are doing, so much so that we wanted in on the goodness. Which explains this blog post... We have just been given our first family! Eeeeek, and we plan on helping transform the homes of one family per quarter. While feeling so extremely excited for the opportunity to finally arise. We have our work cut out for us! And its gonna take a village!

Reading the Lopez family story had us in tears and tugging on our heart strings. We hope that this story makes you want to be apart of giving them a new fresh start.

If interested, please CLICK HERE to donate.

Pen + Napkin is "A California 501c3 approved non-profit whose mission is to provide free professional design services to solve needs in the community. We furnish and decorate the homes of families and individuals transitioning out of homeless shelters and into their first real HOME. "50% of families moving out of transitional homeless shelters and into their first home without furniture end up back on the street. With furniture that statistic drops to 1%." - HumbleDesign | Detroit, Mi We aren't just installing furniture into these homes, but installing hope." - Pen + Napkin


"Well we are the Lopez and Ochoa family, soon to be all Lopez lol. Let me start from the beginning, I met my wonderful husband on May 4th of 2007 it was one of the best days of my life. At the time I was with my 2 eldest’s father who I had been with for 5 years and everyday was a nightmare, the beatings were never too few in supply. The day I met my husband I had just quit my job and was walking home when he approached me to talk because he felt I looked sad.

After a week of talking we went out and I decided I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him, so I made the decision to leave the abusive relationship I was in. At first, things were great but we didn’t live together and after some time we decided to move to Washington with his father for a fresh start, I didn’t like it in Washington, it was way to cold. We came back to California and things took a turn for the worst. My husband broke his arm and the doctors didn’t help, they started him on medication which lead to the start of a battle, I couldn't deal so I gave him a choice me or the pills, thank God he chose me.

We tried to have a baby and went through 4 miscarriages before we had our first daughter Rianna, she looked like an angel. A little bit after Rianna was born my husband left for Washington to look for work and I stayed behind to raise our daughter. My husband once again became addicted to drugs and after a year, I moved to Washington and also became addicted to drugs. I became pregnant again and had our second daughter Yesenia who just like my other beauties was born oh so perfect.

I was clean all throughout my pregnancy but after Yesenia was born I started using again. I hated my life in Washington because we were living in our car for about 6 months, sleeping in people’s attics or on couches and we were a family of 6, not many people wanted to help.

One day while we were in a hotel room and my husband went to sell some items for money to rent the room again I broke down and called my mother in San Diego and told her I had been using drugs and needed help, not knowing that the phone call I made would change the rest of my life forever. With some help from my husbands mother we got tickets to go back to San Diego on a train, this was the longest 2 days of our life.

When we got to the train station in San Diego my mother and brother were there to pick us up, their faces were such a relief to see. We stayed with my mom for a little while going back and forth from her house to my brothers all the while my husband and I continued to get high. My husband had a job at 7-Eleven and it helped pay for our addiction. Sometimes I would wait for my husband in the stores office all night until 1 am when he would get off to rent a hotel to be able to have my kids sleep. One day I went to my mom’s house I was having a rough day, we hadn’t been able to stay at my moms for over a month, so it was getting hard to put a roof over our girls’ head’s, I got in an argument with my mother who later called the cops on me.

The day after the incident CPS was calling my phone and I was in for a whirlwind of change. I met with them because I didn’t care, I wasn't thinking clearly, My husband and I failed a drug test and the next day our life was torn to pieces, our kids were removed. My oldest daughters Maribel and Alejandra went back to their father who hadn’t been a part of their life for over 3 years and Rianna and Yesenia went to my mother. My husband and I would do good for some time then fail again, this went on for 5 years.

Fast forward October 5 2015 the day we got tired of being sick and tired. I admitted myself in an inpatient facility and my husband went home to his grandparents to get clean and work. I graduated and looked for my kids, only to find out that Alejandra and Maribel were being abused in every way. I fought hard to get them, and I did, they have suffered so much mental anguish it has been a struggle to get them where they are now, happy. We ended up in ECTLC where we got married so we could stay together as a family and did the Family Program for a year and completed it, while there Crystal Scott helped us get our youngest 2 back from CPS.

We Finally had a great amount of time clean 2 years to be exact, CPS closed our case and helped us with the deposit of our home. We didn’t have much money so everything we own was either given to us or found on a curb-side for free. Somethings bought from craigslist for like 20 dollars we were not picky just very thankful to our home and all of us together again. I have chronic kidney problems, so I had to leave work which is why I’m going to school, so I can get a profession in Social Work because retail is not what I consider successful. My husband and I work extra hard to maintain our home because we are proud of all we have accomplished.

We don’t live a lavish life but if I had to choose between lavish and comfortable and happy I choose comfortable and happy. My husband works 12-hour shifts Monday through Saturday we get him 1 day a week which is Sunday and it’s the best day ever. His job pays the bills and all our kid’s needs, we don’t receive welfare his income does not qualify but if they only knew we barely make it by. If Gods grace did not exist I don’t believe we would have made it, we owe everything we have to God and we make it clear to our children every day that gratitude and being humble will always prevail. Well that is our story and we couldn’t be prouder of all it has been. Thank you."

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