It’s hard to believe the day has come: my 17 year-old, my Guinea Pig, my first born has graduated high school!!
I still remember holding him in my arms as a tiny baby, in disbelief that I grew this little butterball of a human in my belly, and thinking, “I’ll be 35 when he graduates, 36 when he’s 18! That’s still so young!” And it seemed like it would be eons till that time would come–but really, it went by in the blink of an eye 😥 .
He’s accomplishing so much, which makes me even more proud because I know how his social anxiety and just his anxiety in general can immensely overwhelm him sometimes.
He got his permit to drive:
And I’ve taken him driving a few times. We’ve realized that Anxiety+Anxiety=OMGWTFBBQ!!!
Case in point:
It’s crazy how nervous I get, seeing as how I not only taught myself how to drive, but John, too! But I need to suck it up and make time to take him more often. Maybe drink some calming tea beforehand 😆 !
He took his tests for college and passed them all! Was even exempt from a couple due to doing so well. He was in a group photo with other seniors my workplace had awarded scholarships to. He looked nervous, and awkward, but he didn’t complain about going. And once he overcame that obstacle, he was on to graduation.
The girls sat with their dad, since they were at his house and they were expecting a large party, but Jaylen came over to sit with Jorge and I.
Mom sat away from us because she wasn’t about to hassle with stairs LOL.
I was ready, I had both my phone and camera out so I could catch Eenan walking in….And then Jorge says, “Isn’t that Eenan??” And I totally missed it and caught his back only. Durrr.
And then they called his name and I got all teary 😥 . But I held it together!
And then they were done and it was total CHAOS trying to find your kid. It was like ants trying to find their way after someone disrupts their neat little line; just crazy. It didn’t help that another graduation was happening THAT MINUTE and people were trying to get in, while others were trying to get out. We were on the phone with Eenan, driving him crazy, no doubt; Mary, Mario, me. Then Mary and Jaylen went to find him, Jorge’s anxiety was through the roof due to people rubbing up on him so he went to the car, Mario was waiting near his car and poor Mom was tired AF since we had to walk all around the darn parking lot. Finally, we found him, and finally it was time for photos with the graduate!
As I mentioned on social media: no matter what, in spite of everything, I’m glad we can all come together to celebrate the kids’ accomplishments, no matter how big or small. That’s what’s important!
He overcame another anxiety-inducing moment by attending a luncheon honoring him and the other scholarship recipients. He did well, even when he had to stand up, introduce himself and state his university and major.
So proud of my guy and all he’s accompmished! Can’t wait to see what he does next. And we’ll be there every step of the way!
(Ok, I’m not sure what the mobile version of WordPress did, but I can’t seem to resize photos and now they look all wonky. My apologies 🙄 .)
I had a long, busy day on Saturday, the 11th of February, what with shopping, Audrey’s birthday party and Rejeana’s baby shower (yes, baby shower! She’s having a baby in March!).
The girls, of course, didn’t want to leave Audrey’s party (it was quite dramatic. Alaethia quietly went to the bathroom to shed some tears and Emily and all their friends followed to check up on her. So cute!). Jenny (saint that she is!) offered to keep the girls and take them home with her so I could pick them up later. I thanked her profusely and took Jules with me to the baby shower. He had fun digging into all the snacks Rejeana had available at the party. We stuck around for a bit, even helped tidy up the hall at the end of it, and then we went grocery shopping. Once we were done, I dropped Jules and the groceries off, picked up the girls and headed to Target to get a few more things for Jules’ birthday. *whew*
He had made up his mind: he wanted to go to the zoo for his birthday this year. The big brothers–or should I say, the Meany Bullies–tried convincing the poor thing to ask to go to Cracker Barrel instead, because they didn’t want to walk in the heat the next day. He stuck to his guns and said no: zoo. They even went as far as threatening to kick him out of the room! So when Jules came back and sadly said he wanted to go to Cracker Barrel, Jorge pulled him aside and he said he wanted to go to the zoo, but the boys wouldn’t let him in, so Jorge told them all off 😆 . AND they alllll had to go to the zoo and I told them they had to do it with a happy face for being mean to their little brother!
The house stayed a mess, since I was out and about all day, and Jorge didn’t let me finish the day without hearing it 😡 . Ohhh, no he did not. I made sure to let him know I was not ok with that 👿 .
So we got over it by the morning, had breakfast and packed ourselves into our 2 vehicles (Mom was tagging along, so we *had* to use 2 cars!).
We got a group rate (woo!) and wandered throughout the zoo. It was such a beautiful day!
The petting zoo! The part that makes a the walking worth it!
We stopped at Mcdonald’s for lunch (my, how teenage boys eat!) and then we headed home, where Jules opened his gifts. He asked for Hotwheels and dinos, so we complied 🙂 .
Then it was time to make dinner. Jorgie, Emmos and Justin helped with the lasagna.
And finally, we all gathered around to watch The Walking Dead. Love our family time together!!
We truly have a lot to be thankful for this year. I know it’s been a disastrous year for many of our beloved famous figures–but personally, it felt like an easier year than last year, for some reason, and I’m thankful for our health and being together.
I’m also thankful that on November 17th, I got to finally meet Tia Tere and her daughter, my cousin, Anna. Tia Tere is the aunt everyone would say I resembled in her younger years 🙂 .
We all met at Velma’s house. We shared anecdotes and family history (Lipan Apache was confirmed in Velma’s Ancestry.com genealogy! I want to do mine!) and when I told everyone about trying to reach out to my Grandfather back-in-the-day I learned that he was actually a family friend (Velma’s mom and dad’s compadre)! So that was interesting to say the least. We had a wonderful time, laughing and eating. Velma’s always such a wonderful host 🙂 .
They opened the Performing Arts Center on the 18th and we got to take a tour and hear the acoustics. It’s pretty state-of-the-art and just impressive!
November 18th is also Jorge and my “All-Together” anniversary, and to keep tradition with previous years, we had lunch together at Kumori!
Neither Jorge nor I were thrilled with that photo, so it didn’t make it onto social media 😆 !
I had to work at the Food Park the next evening at Unplugged (and had to pick kids up in between), so I didn’t get to go to the all-day mini-reunion the family was having 🙁 . Tia Tere visited Gramma. I’m so sad I wasn’t there to see it for myself. The sisters hadn’t seen each other in years!
I made myself feel a little better about not being able to meet more family by totally pigging out on these pork belly Kimchi fries from one of my favorite food trucks, Nuri Food Truck!
I learned the next day that at the mini-reunion at Gramma’s, mom decided to tell my life story (even the embarrassing and depressing parts) to my “new” relatives. Without my consent or knowledge. I couldn’t believe her. Let’s just say Linda said everyone was shifting uncomfortably and looking off into space. I asked Linda why she nor anyone stopped her and she said, “It was her time to shine!” 😆 Oh geez!!
Anyway. I showed my face at the next evening’s reunion with Aunt Nora and Linda. And apologized to my tia and cousins for having to endure my mother’s rambling on. I got to meet another cousin and her little girl, which was pretty damn cool :).
The next morning, Sunday, I hung out with my Littles. They don’t require as much attention as they used to, but they still do love to follow Mom around, even if it’s just to sit in my company. Seeing as how I also have teenagers who spend most of their time playing video games, football or asleep, I’m going to let Emily, Alaethia and Jules follow me around as long as they want. There will come a day when I’ll miss them doing so!
Jorge and I bought some pork belly from Gabriel, our friend that owns Nuri, so that I could make Jorge some kimchi fries while Nuri was on Thanksgiving break. Even though it wasn’t exactly like Nuri’s, I’ve gotta admit: it was tasty:
So, feeling as guilty as I did after consuming what’s seemingly an entire PIG the month of November (we LOVE Nuri!), Jorge and I decided to have lunch at Gumbo’s for something light. I ordered my usual: Island Salad. It’s like the most scrumptuous dessert!
Buuuuut…I also had broccoli soup in a bread bowl. Aye.
It was…as warm, delicious and comforting as it looks! My stomach wasn’t too happy with the cream (as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized I’m INCREDIBLY lactose intolerant!! Why meee?! Why cheeese??), but man, was it worth it!!
The kiddos had been with Mario that week up until Wednesday, and this year all 7 kids would be with us till 4pm, since Maggie wanted them at that time. So I picked up my babes and we had a small PokeHunting sesh since they’d just started with the new tracking system.
This was also the day John moved out (and we haven’t really seen him since) so he was missing from the Thanksgiving festivities. Dina, Briana and the kids came down, including Nick’s friend Tony. He was such a polite young man!
As soon as they arrived, we started with the preparations for the feast.
While the turkey baked, we visited Gramma.
I didn’t get a proper photo of the spread since we were cutting it close before the kids had to go 🙁 . But Alaethia said grace, and the food was delicious!
(Jorge didn’t get into any photos!!)
The Holidays don’t usually pass without some kind of hiccup, and there was a small bit of drama but it didn’t last long, thank God.
The kiddos left with their other families around 4-5ish so the adults kind of just relaxed watching a marathon of “Forensic Files”. Jorge and I did our Christmas shopping for the kids from the couch (OMG, got SUCH good deals!) and literally just about finished shopping for the big boys that same day!
I snuck out early the next morning, by myself, to do some minimal Black Friday shopping at HEB Plus. There were a few things I absolutely couldn’t pass up for the kids, so I *had* to go. Happy to report that everyone survived! HEB Plus was pretty straightforward with their rules (they gave you a map, a circular and the rules as you arrived) and let you know they weren’t taking shit from anyone and would escort you from the store if you caused trouble.
Jorge had to work that day, and Dina went to visit her mom so Briana and I hung out with the kids and then went to the park to meet Lisa and Joyce since the kids were becoming stir-crazy. Later on we all met at Fantasy Land Skate Center. Totally made me miss the kids, but I distracted myself by helping Mia and Maddie stay on their feet.
That salad is truly the tastiest! (Darnit. Now I want some…)
I did some grocery shopping the next morning (with my $20 coupons I got from shopping the day before!) and then we kinda lazied around till we went to the Food Park that evening. Had to take Briana to SnoBro Raspas!
We had actually dressed for going to the park and doing a run, but we stayed nearby and went for a walk at Archer instead. Nick and Tony played football and Mia chased fireflies. It was the sweetest!
And then we picked up Whataburger for dinner. So much for our walk!!
But that’s what it’s all about right? Having fun with your loved ones, eating, drinking and being merry?!