Dia de los Muertos in San Antonio & Halloween 2018

Some of the best Fridays are when I get to have lunch with a friend and then take off to go see hubs right after work.

This day I had lunch at Hop Tung with Ne.va.

Yes. I am still consuming carbs. Don’t judge me!

I’ve always wanted to attend a huge Dia de los Muertos shindig since it’s one of my favorite things. It was a last minute event that we saw on Facebook, but the family decided we were totally going to do it that weekend.

I finally thought ahead and packed for my trip the night before so I’d be ready to go right after work the next day. But of course I would see that some boots I wanted were 40% off so I did that right after work first, which set me back around 1 hour.

The drive is always long, but talking to the kids and singing loudly to my music while sipping on some iced coffee or ice cream (yes, I packed it and left it in the freezer at work) always helps the trip go faster.

I really don’t mind it. (It’s the trip back that feels like it takes an eternity!) Seeing the hubs after an extended time is always a relief and he always promises me food as soon as I arrive! This time, it would be Pineapple Ninjas!

We ran into Jerry, the owner of the food truck, as soon as we arrived at The Block food truck park. The park was everything I wished I could have turned McAllen Food Park into when I still worked at the Chamber. It was a chilly night, but there were heaters where the picnic tables were under the bar area, so we were comfy. Jerry brought us some awesome Arizona teas and the food was to die for! Nothing beats fresh, healthy eats!

Ironically, I went all the way to San Antonio to try out Pineapple Ninjas for the first time! I’d never tried them when they were at South Padre Island or at the events in McAllen.

We chatted with Jerry till 1am, so by the time we got back to the hotel it was 2am. That was the latest I’ve stayed up in a LONG time.

We slept in the next morning, obviously. Well, I did–Jorge got up earlier than I did to run to the bank and to get us some breakfast from Bill Miller’s. It was a nice surprise, having breakfast in bed 🙂 .

We got ready and went to see one of Jorge’s projects. I was dressed and ready, and pretty excited, to help him with this project. It was a total trash heap, but the few days of work he’d already accomplished made the place look so much better. He walked me through as he checked off what else needed to be done. He fed me Reese’s and sour candies (even after I told him I was done with sugar! It’s screwing up my face, bad!) and then he did a few things here and there as I watched. Oh well, maybe I’ll help next time!

He took a good nap when we returned to the hotel and then we got ready to have dinner with my in-law’s in Austin. We stopped by Bucee’s to get some snacks (I had the best candied cashews and pecans) and then we proceeded to get stuck in traffic several times. It felt like forever before we finally made it to the apartment!

We chilled out a bit and Mia told us about how happy she was to receive Alf from us for her birthday. Briana told us she had a newfound love for Alf after she introduced her to the series and she had her eye on one at Minnie’s Hidden Treasures. I told her not to worry, I still had my old Alf in the garage! I’d been meaning to put him on eBay since I don’t collect Alf items, but it was truly meant to be that we keep him because he belonged with Mia.

Briana had this awesome cake made for her, too!

We went to Chuy’s for dinner, which was great because we were starving after skipping lunch.

I got my usual fajita plate (was attempting to be Keto-ish) but then had this amazing drink which was sugary (but delicious) AF.

We ate and then went to an outdoor’s 1800’s type haunted house that Briana had heard about.

We weren’t sure what to expect, but I was excited. Poor Mia was nervous and asked Jorge to carry her, since we were advised that phone light nor flashlights were allowed. All that was allowed were the red “ring” lights they gave us at the entrance.

It was dark except for some fairy light-edged arrows pointing us in the direction we needed to go. We can hear people screaming as we reach the more “mature” side of the haunted houses/trails. As soon as we walk in a little girl in white pops out from behind a door and scares the shit out of us. It’s so dark you can’t see when someone slowly creeps up behind you and is breathing behind your neck to “watch out”.

We’re halfway through (I think) when we’re walking down this trail that has dark dips in the ground. We continue to walk and slow down when we see a huge dark puddle–only it isn’t a puddle, it’s a girl, flat as ever, slowly sitting up to grab and hiss at us. We don’t even notice that Briana has run off with Mia, so Jorge, Dinah and I run to catch up. I scream, “Oh no, there’s another one!” as I see another dark spot on the ground…only to realize it’s Briana and Mia who’ve tripped on a branch and fell into a dip in the trail! Poor things! Briana ended up hurting her ribs!

And also…you know you’re getting old when someone literally scares the piss out of you and it takes all your energy not to let it flow!! THEY. WERE. SCARY!!

We were going to the Dia de los Muertos Festival at La Villita in San Antonio the next day. We didn’t really have a game plan but we did want to dress up and paint our faces. The only bad thing was both Jorge and I forgot about his black jacket, but it was too hot to wear it anyway.

We gathered our things to be ready for check-out and had a late breakfast at IHOP, where we had the sweetest waitress named Sharon. She was well-known by everyone in New Braunfels, because she spoke to everyone and hugged everyone as if they were family. Either that, or she was just that sweet.

And I think she was, because when she came up to us she said I was beautiful and told Jorge to “take care of me” and called me Babygirl the entire time. She was just too sweet. Jorge joked that she was trying to get a good tip. I said, “Well, then SHE GOT IT.”

I gave her a huge hug when we were getting ready to go. Jorge left to pay and she waved a hand over me to the next table and asked the bearded gentlemen, “Isn’t she so pretty?” Jorge said he was going to take her tip away for that one 😆 .

We had another good drive to go so we took selfies while we drove. Or, I should say that Jorge drove and I took selfies:

I brought minimal makeup for our face painting: an ELF liquid eyeliner, normal black eye liner and some hotpink rhinestones. I forgot my eyelashes, earrings and the base paint. So our first stop was Party City, where we got Jorge some face tattoos and some white paint and new rhinestones. Then we stopped at Dollar Tree where we got some eyelashes.

We found a parking space downtown near La Villita and then took about 30 minutes to put on our makeup. I quickly dabbed on white paint and drew on my swirls with eyeliner and stuck on my rhinestones. Then I helped Jorge stick on his face tattoos and fixed the ones that cracked with the liquid eyeliner. All-in-all, I think we did pretty good for 30 minutes!

We met up with everyone and admired the ofrendas.

Then we all decided we were hungry so we went to a nearby restaurant. We didn’t really know what to expect, but it was nicely decorated…(and very expensive for the type and quality of the food LOL.)

Still, it was nice spending time with the family. Poor Briana was feeling sore from her fall the night before, so she was taking it easy.

The Procession began while we were still eating but Jorge, Mia and I ran out anyway.

It was quick, but the costumes were pretty cool.

We looked around a bit more and were total tourists taking photos wherever we could.

Then it was time to say our goodbyes :(. Not before Briana gave me a gift! I love them!!

Jorge walked me to the car while everyone else waited in Dinah’s. They’d be dropping him off in New Braunfels 🙁 . We kissed goodbye and then again when I dropped him off at the car on the way back out of the garage.

Of course I would take the wrong turn, but once I was safely on the road began my car concert all the way home. That ride…felt like it took forever.

I sucked it up and got ready for work the next day. If I remember correctly, it was a low-key Monday.

The girls finally told me what they wanted to be for Halloween: 3 days before. Emily wanted to be Agnes from Despicable Me and Alaethia a character from The Purge with a very specific mask. So of course we would spend the evening scrambling. First stop: THE DREADED MALL.

First, we scooped up Aly’s friend Jaylinn. Then we made our way to the mall.

Emily wasn’t feeling well and I thought it was so cute that Alaethia took this pic.

Emily needed overalls so they looked around at H&M and Tilly’s. She ended up with some overalls and a tee from Tilly’s and Alaethia ended up falling in love with everything at H&M. That one’s a shopaholic like her mother 😆 .

We got them some Starbucks and we took a little break.

It’s about darn time they make a Starbucks inside the mall!

The girls wanted to meet their other bestie at the Disney store, so we trekked that way. After a selfie sesh we continued our search for the mask…but all the possible stores were sold out since the day before. OUR LUCK.

We got some Auntie Annie’s pizza and cinnamon pretzels and we made our way to the Spirit Halloween Store…where they and the other stores sold out. Finally Alaethia decided she’d be a baseball player (random!) so she found a men’s shirt and socks at Target. I would figure out the letters and number she wanted on the shirt later. I was EXHAUSTED.

Another easy day at work on Tuesday. I got lunch from Lei Lai, which I instantly regretted because I wanted all the noodles…but ended up chomping on rice anyway 🙄 .

Ne.va was in the office and we got to talking about the girls’ costumes and I told her I still needed to head to Walmart after work for felt to sew on Alaethia’s baseball number. She rolled her eyes at me and said that wouldn’t do–we should go over in the evening and she would screen print the shirt for us. She’s the best! Of course the girls would fall more in love with her lol.

Emmos dressed up for school the next day; Alaethia didn’t in case she would be “dress-coded”.

I wish I’d had time to fix her hair up like the real Agnes!

Work was another low-key one, heh. My biggest stressor is determining where I’m going to eat. My life lately is constantly thinking about what I’m going to eat next–because I’m kind of tired of eating 😆 It sounds crazy, but I’m sort of tired of always nit-picking if there are carbs present just to screw up and eat the carbs anyway 🙄

But I had fish that day, so that was good.

I had to mentally prepare myself for the evening. Sally and I were taking the kiddos to watch “Thriller” and Trick-or-treat Downtown. The plan was to also go to the library but I would take too long getting myself ready 🙁 . Sally was able to get out an hour early–I got out at 5:15 and had to rush home, grr. Still, I think I did ok for getting completey ready in 30 minutes. The eyelashes take long enough!

Once we were all ready, we took off and found some parking after circling the area several times.

Alaethia wanted to go trick-or-treating with her friends, so naturally, my whiny tween was whiny. There was lots of eye-rolling, sighing and teeth-sucking going on 🙄 (Help me, Jesus!)

But they still watched the show and did a teensy bit of trick-or-treating. (We were late for that, too, since we watched the Thriller Dance Mob first!)

On the way to the car we *had* to stop by for a photo shoot at the mural wall! Finally, finally had a chance to stop by.

We noticed the time and rushed into the car because once again, we were running late. We tried meeting up with Alaethia’s friend and her sister in the neighborhood we typically go to for trick-or-treating, except we couldn’t find them OR a parking spot and my anxiety was shooting through the roof. I even snapped at Alaethia to get on the phone instead of Snapchat to get the details of their location better. We finally get somewhere and park at the park I usually run at…which meant a lot of walking. in wedges. FML and choice of footwear.

We meet up with the girls and have to keep up. I can tell poor Sally and the little girls are getting tired, so I leave Alaethia with her friend and older sister and they would drop her off. What a relief. We still however, had to make the trek across the park to the car. Sweet. Jesus. But we still took a photo op!

We got to the house and I dropped Sally off at her car, then Emmos and I rushed to pick up McDonald’s. It was already late, so this mama was not cooking! All-in-all, it was a great day!

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!