Category: Backstories

Thirty Six

I had one of thee best birthdays!!

But FIRST! Sally’s birthday is on the 13th 😀 ! We usually have an all-out lunch before both our birthdays (where we gorge and split the bill) but we hadn’t had a chance that week. She was having a get-together Friday night, so right after work, I got home and got ready to go to her “Let’s Taco’Bout It” Bash at The Quarter.

We had some laughs and caught up. I made friends with a good friend of Sally’s, Irene. Super sweet lady! I saw several familiar faces and met a few new ones :).

The band took forever to start (that, or I’m just old LOL.) Poor Jorge got home around 7:30pm, but he was tired so he opted to stay home. Sally and I hung around for a bit and I started yawning around 11pm 😆 , so I drove her home after a good Chisme-Fest.

The 14th is my birthday! This is honestly the first year in my 30’s that I didn’t dread adding another year to my life. Up until last year, I just felt like I was getting older and looking the part, but I felt pretty damn fantastic this year! (Thank you: Keto 😆 )

Poor Sally had to work in the morning; originally she was my date to the Selena Brunch. Anyone who knows me knows I ADORE Selena and anything Selena-related–especially if it’s at Suerte Bar & Grill!

[Sidenote: I literally play Selena daily–the entire month of April (much to my family’s chagrin 😆 ) since it’s the month of Selena’s and my birthdays.]

The first (and only) time Jorge and I had tried to go to a brunch at Suerte it was PACKED. So we learned to arrive early. We arrived a whole hour early…and had to wait a little to go in, ha. So we took some photo ops:

(It’s funny!! Calm down…)

We sat at our usual table, near the awesome piano-ofrenda.

I took a photo of this wonderful man, whom I was super grateful to for granting the only wish I had for my birthday: attend the Selena brunch 😆 .

We perused the menu:

And I KNEW nothing on the menu was Keto-friendly, but it was my damn birthday, darnit! And I was going to enjoy it, guilt-free!

Close up of them sweets:

Jorge asked if I liked the concha and the marshmallow, to which I replied, “They taste…purple.” They totally did; they were airbrushed. But I ate them anyway!

We finished up and went to visit the family at Rebecca’s, a cabrito restaurant (Jorge and I only had some Mexican diet Cokes since we were still stuffed). Dina and Javi had come down to bring Grandma some equipment and it was great to have them over for my birthday! We would be meeting for dinner later in the evening.

We left for the mall next. Just as I suspected, Jorge took me to Pandora 😀 ! He knew I wanted a new charm that came in, so he got me 4!

I love them!!

Jaylen was at a chess meet so we scooped him up and then headed to the house. Jorge stayed at home, but Jaylen, Mom and I took off to pick up the other kiddos at their dad’s. It never fails–the kids are always with the other parents on my birthday 🙁 . So I have to borrow them for a little bit.

We celebrated at Rolling With Cream. They have an awesome sugar-free base, so Mom and I were set!

Loved getting to spend time with my babies! They always want to hear stories lol.

I took them back to their dad’s, and when I got home there were balloons! Jorge stayed behind to order some and he stuffed them into the car. Such a sweetheart, I swear!

We took off at 6pm for dinner. I didn’t know the location of our destination, and was rather confused when we were driving South on 10th St. But he drove into Tony Roma’s and I was way too excited to have ribs!!

Jorge tells me to wait in the car and takes the balloons with him. I can’t help but wonder what he’s up to. He comes back for me and the host ushers us to the back room. (The same room the Chamber had my farewell lunch at.) He says he has a surprise…and there are Sally and the kids!

I was so happy to see her!! It was such a great surprise!! But there was more!! My in-laws arrive next and then stroll in Linda and Tommy! I was so surprised to see them I gasp, “Whhaaaattt??” And go to them to hug them.

Of course Linda hands me a gift in a penis-shaped bag 😆 !!

We ordered starters and drinks and chatted and had a great time.

And then our food came:

We continued to talk and chat and the family bonded and suddenly they dim the lights. It takes me a bit to understand what’s going on and then waiters are singing “Happy Birthday!” and bringing in a cake in single file. Sally ordered it, and it was a delicious mostachon!

She giggled when I blew out the candles and plucked out the Princess topper, saying, “That doesn’t go there!” 😆

I’ve never had a surprise party in my life!! It was so wonderful of Jorge and Sally to put it together!! They’re both just too wonderful to me, and I’m so blessed to have them in my life!

Once we were done I thanked everyone for everything. Jorge and I went home, and I opened my gifts:

Then, we ended the night doing one of my faves: snuggling on the couch in my blanket with one of my shows. And passed out immediately 😆 .

The birthday celebrations followed the day after! Sally and I went to get mani-pedis. The shop is across the street from my work so this would be convenient if I ended up liking it (and the price). I’m a cheapskate, and could think of better things to do with that money, but the idea of having cute, unchipped nails for 2 weeks sounded fantastic! Plus, my Mama-in-law gifted me birthday money!

Sally and I walk in and start ooh’ing and ahh’ing over the colors. I got a little anxiety-stricken when the lady came to ask what colors I wanted–I WAS STILL DECIDING!! But she was ready to go so I panicked and picked something safe: bubblegum pink and gold glitter on the ring finger.

I was semi-mortified about getting a pedi…my feet aren’t exactly the most feminine…

I was surprised she didn’t have to bust out a sandblaster, to be honest >_<… I don’t take nearly enough time to pamper myself (because I’m a cheapskate), and you could totally tell.

But, anyway, we got hot-stone leg massages and just chatted the whole time. It was such a great experience and something I can definitely get used to!

A couple of days later my boss treated me to lunch at Yoko’s Sushi. I got my usual riceless Yume. SO delicious!

Still can’t believe what a great birthday weekend it was! Planning on making Year 36 a successful and productive one. I’ve got many goals I want to crush–I just need to stop being afraid of failing so I can get it done!

Taking a Breather

Today is Good Friday, which means I have a day off from work. The kids are with the other parents, and since the family is coming down from Austin and we’re hosting everyone on Easter Sunday, I figured it was the perfect chance to tidy up and take care of some more tidying-up-things I hadn’t had a chance to do. But first, I wanted to go jogging! I started up again this past Tuesday when I went with Emmos.

And then Wednesday, both girls went with me and we literally RAN since it was about to start raining.

So of course I would wake up today feeling like a chicharron; completely sore and immobile. And guess what? I slept till friggin’ 10:30 a.m.! So I didn’t accomplish that part of my to-do list. I made some breakfast, Keto Pancakes, instead!

And then I got to cleaning. First I started with my bathroom, which the cats completely destroyed. I love Kika, but my gosh, that cat is sooo messy!

I’d recently finished the book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” because this chick needs HELP with tidying. So I used the KonMarie method last week by starting with all the clothes I own…and got rid of 1 garbage bag. ONE. UNO. I must have done something wrong! But Jorge installed a 2nd rod below one side and now I have space for my pants! Now all my clothes finally fit, thank God. Maybe that’s all I needed! 😆 I still have a mess on my futon though: stuff that needs mending, stuff that needs to go to the cleaners and stuff I want to sell on eBay. (That last one probably isn’t going to happen and the stuff’s gonna end up at Goodwill anyway *sigh*.)

Anyway. Cleaning out my closet entailed pulling out my large storage bin of photo albums. Those albums have been in that bin since Mario and I got divorced and that bin followed me to each house, each closet I’ve had since. They stayed in the bathroom all week until today when I removed some 80’s toys from the bottom shelf of one of my bookcases and organized all my albums. Of course, my ADD didn’t allow me to just PUT the books on the shelf; I had to look through each one of them. I’m not sure if flipping through and seeing my boys as babies, frozen in time, and now I don’t even speak to them on some days because they don’t answer their damn phones! Or seeing the girls as babies, or all the family photos with my ex-family, or photos I had of Jorge with other girls I despised LOL (we were friends our whole lives, remember?), or seeing photos of Gramma and just missing her…but as the day went on I felt this huge cloud of sadness just engulf me completely. I had already finished cleaning the bathroom, the bookcase and was halfway through organizing and chucking stuff in the kitchen when I realized I felt…defeated. I looked around and I felt tired, and I felt like I wasted my day off…and then I suddenly started bawling. For no reason. I just stood there in front of the sink and cried and sobbed. And I just let it happen. I went outside to the porch to get some fresh air, and just as I was calming down, Sandra calls me. I take a deep breath before I answer and we talk and I tell her she called at just the right moment. We talk about her goings on and my goings on and then we hang up. I was tossing out papers in the kitchen and was about to start vacuuming when I decided I needed a break. So here I am. It could also be that I haven’t really eaten; I just had some iced coffee and a few bites of a One bar. But writing has helped. And I called the kids to get an update on their day, so I feel better.

Maybe cleaning made me emotional 😆 ! Jorge got home later on and we went to pick up wings at Pizza Hut and as he’s telling me about all these awesome plans I just start bawling again! He said I was scaring him and that I have no reason to stress right now…and I really don’t! So, who knows, but I feel better now, thank goodness!

Taking a Leap of Faith

I’m sort of glad it’s taken me a while to write about this; I don’t think my heart could take it had I attempted to write sooner. There’s been a lot going on the past few months (Gramma passing away in November, Mabbers passing away in January, etc.) and I’ve just felt like my heart is constantly grieving these days, so I couldn’t write about it as it was going on.

On January 31st, I left my job–my home and my Work Family for the last 7.4 years. It was such a tough decision to make, but I felt that it needed to be done 🙁 .

I had so much guilt; not only did we have events coming up (the Health Fair, Taste McAllen, a reception etc.), but I felt like I was going to let our boss, the CEO, down.

I remember what a relief it was back when I was hired on September 9, 2010. I was right smack in the middle of my divorce and I was desperately trying to get on my feet since I was starting all over, from scratch. Work was my distraction from the heart-wrenching custody battle over the kids. A distraction from the drama that followed after Jorge and I got together. All the tasks and new projects kept my mind busy.

All the drama, court dates, the time that the ex-mother-in-law stole Alaethia from the school–my bosses were so understanding. Any time off I needed; any time I needed to just run off because the kids were sick, they were incredibly understanding.

I was comfortable. I only had to worry about going in at 8:00am sharp on Monday for our Monday Morning Meeting. Our Boss was so lenient with our time. I would sashay into the office around 8:15am every day, sometimes 8:20am depending on the traffic after dropping off the girls or dropping off the boys 1 hour away.

Then there was the time that my bosses and co-workers all banded together to help me when Dad passed away and I was broke and doing the arrangements completely on my own. This was a huge one for me. I didn’t know how to repay them, or if I’ll ever be able to. They became even closer family to me that year, in 2013.

But then, just half a year ago, came the under-appreciation. I know most administrative assistants feel unappreciated, but that’s just something I wasn’t okay with anymore. I worked my butt off. I allowed way more than was humanly possible to be placed on my plate and I excelled with flying colors. I was stressed out 24/7. Just to be thanked with sub-par evaluations at the end of the year? And although they say it’s not all about the money when you love your job and I DID love my job: I realized that I was severely under-paid for the amount of work and the type of work I did.

The first time I really felt upset and walked-all-over was after Taste McAllen 2017. I wrote about how upset I was and I just couldn’t get over the anger and resentment. I felt depressed. I dreaded waking up and having to go into work, and it wasn’t the first time that happened. It would happen every-so-often when a certain someone made me the subject of her drama, or others’ drama and made me feel like people didn’t like me, or someone was out to get me and it was always bullshit (trust me, I asked). But this had nothing to do with that. This had to do with me valuing my work ethic and dedication, even if nobody else was going to. So shortly after, I updated my resume after 7 years of not touching it, made an account on Indeed.com and started looking for other jobs. I started off with 2 applications. Then I got 2 “We regret to inform you…” letters and that lit a fire under me to submit more applications. Out of all the ones I filled out since April 2017, I had one interview by October (with the fire department), and that was it. And shortly after I received yet another pity letter that the position had been filled and so I stopped filling out applications.

Then in early November, a friend/co-worker tips me off about a job. It’s at an agency I had already applied to once before recently, but I wasn’t called for that position and never heard anything about it. So I nervously apply and cross my fingers.

Work had gotten crazy again, what with the Health Fair going on, and the holidays werent helping with the tardiness of trying to fill up booths. And I was once again comfortable. Something about the holidays and our Christmas party just filled me with renewed affection for my Work Family and I couldn’t bare leaving them. Yet somehow, as I sat with Sandra, Sarah and Bob and we laughed the night away, deep down, I had this feeling that it would be the last Christmas Party I would take a group photo with the crew 🙁 .

I don’t hear anything from the last agency I applied to for about 2 months, and then suddenly, they call and I have an interview. Only 3 friends at my office knew I had one.

The day comes around, January 10th, and I arrive to the office I’m interviewing at. I’m a nervous wreck as I’m signing in. They lead me into a room with green carpeting and a desk with a desktop computer. My first tasks are writing a letter and creating an elaborate Excel document. I get through the letter quickly, but because I can’t remember how the hell to match descriptions to the sections on my pie chart :roll:, I take an eternity. I was so nervous, I felt a lump form in my throat from the nerves. I couldn’t believe this was happening!! I even re-do the entire pie chart from scratch and I still can’t remember! At least I got the formulas correct?!

Next is the interview. I’m once again interviewed by 3 people (the only other time I was interviewed in my life by more than 1 person was when I was interviewed by the firefighters a few months before). They ask all these questions and I try to answer to the best of my ability. I feel like I could have answered some better, but I know I excelled at others. When I’m done, I thank everyone for their time. For the next few days I feel like my stomach drops every time I think about it. I keep thinking, “What if they call me?” And then–even worse–, “But what if they don’t??” I’d be devastated! But then I’d be sad to leave my Work Fam! And would I be able to drop the girls off on time at school to make it to work by 7:50a.m.?? EVERY DAY?? It was such a battle in my head every. single. day.

The kids would be with the other parents the weekend following my interview–the weekend of Jorge’s birthday–so we took a weekend trip to the beach together. He felt overworked, too, and he most definitely deserved a break (that’s an understatement). We both did. It was just the thing I needed to stop stressing about work events, to soothe the sting of missing Mabbers (yes, that was still affecting me) and to stop wondering about the interview and if I got the job. On the final day of our trip, I get a call that I’m being considered. I felt like I was going to throw up from the nerves!!

I went about my week, waiting on pins and needles and they finally called on the 24th from HR that I was chosen! I GOT THE JOB!!!

Now came the hard, gut-wrenching job of telling my bosses 😥 . That was so hard to do. And the cherry on top of my guilt sundae was that I wasn’t even giving a 2-week notice! I was only able to give 1 week!

I couldn’t even tell our Boss Boss the actual reasons for my decision to move on from the organization when he asked as I sat across from him. I wanted to spew it all out; the reasons whizzing around in my head like an airplane banner the moment he asked why, but all I could muster was, “I…just needed a change…” And then I got emotional and cried and gave him a hug. Blanca said I should have gotten it all out, but I told her, even after everything, I couldn’t say anything ill about anyone. Still, she was super happy for me. Her future husband is now my new boss 😀 !

I told Gerry and Jorge, who were in the office next door, and I bawled like a baby. Sobs and everything. But they both said they were happy for me. I was going to miss them so much 😥 .

My Boss was in shock, to say the least lol. When I walked in to his office and said, “Heyyy,” he turned slowly, looked at me strangely and said, “What do you want?!” 😆 He already had a feeling. I didn’t mention anything about my hurt feelings from months before, but I did hint about my evaluations. He said it was the opposite, that I went above and beyond, which made me raise an eyebrow but I left it alone. I just wish he’d said so on paper 🙄 . But after our long talk, he congratulated me.

I went around telling everyone in the next few days, each time bawling my eyes out. (So embarrassing.)

Nancy said, “You were a bright light around here. The Chamber will be darker without you.” Cue the waterworks. We hugged and I thanked her for taking a chance on me 7.4 years ago; she was my first supervisor, the one who hired me as a temp back then.

Even Tom, who was one of the newest employees was so kind and said, “You’ve made it a joy to come to work every day.”

Michelle and I had a good cry on my last day. She was my first true, good friend there when I started in 2010. We went everywhere together those first couple of years.

Jan and I kept sharing our future plans and how we’d miss each other. We were both kinda over being walked all over, to be honest.

Bob yelled, “Don’t goooo,” from his office as I walked down the hall on my last day lol.

Leading up to my departure I took photos of paintings, the hallways, my desk area…because I’m a sentimental weirdo and I was going to miss my 2nd home 😥 .

You can see my post-its from the girls and Eenan and Jaylen when they would visit. I had so much stuff to pack it required 2 boxes lol.

Beto suggested we all have lunch together before I leave. Maritza and Blanca sent out the email for everyone to RSVP. I tell you, they are all too good to me.

Gerry and Blanca treated me, and Maritza picked up the most awesome Italian Cream cake. We all chit-chatted and then my boss clinked his fork on his water glass and made a speech. I didn’t hear half of it because I was bawling but he said I was great at everything I did and I was the spirit of the Chamber ?. I couldn’t even say the speech I had planned because I was crying. Hence the reason my face was nice and rosy in the next photo.

My Boss suggested a group photo and I’m glad he did. Love these people!

I felt like the day just went by so fast. Sarah is the interim assistant taking my place and I literally had 2 hours to “train” her! So I told her to text me for whatever. I went around saying bye to everyone, and bawling in the process, but lots of people had already left 🙁 . I had an appointment to cut my hair at Curl Up and Dye, so I had to rush out, too. I’d be starting at the new place the next day–no break at all–and as broken as my heart was, I was as ready as I was going to be!