Deliverance

I have a more detailed post in the works, but since my laptop seems to be on it’s last breaths and keeps shutting down on me, I’ll have to leave it for some other time. Oh yeah, I have to get up early for work, too, heh.

Speaking of, my last 2 large events are over, Hallelujah! I’ll update on those, too.

I feel a weight off my shoulders and even though I’m pretty busy with other activities at work, it’s nice to go through the day not feeling rushed, or worried. I had a perpetual heaviness in my chest I attribute to stress, and it seems to be completely gone from one day to the next! Don’t get me wrong: I really, truly enjoy my job, but the urgency I feel 24/7 comes with the territory. It’s expected. But it’s nice when something you worked so hard to accomplish comes to a fruitful end :).

It was a cold, drizzly, gloomy day. I even packed a soup and sandwich for lunch at work because I refused to go out in the cold.

I researched what to make with what I already had at home and figured Hasselback zucchini and potatoes would hit the spot. So, as soon as the girls’ homework was done and they were off playing Minecraft, and after talking to the boys, I got to work. And the Hasselbacks were a hit! Even the girls liked them :).

Hasselbacks!
Hasselbacks!

I wouldn’t consider them “healthy” (the butter, oh Lord, the butter!), but it sure was comfort food at it’s best! You could make these all sorts of ways. I’d like to try a sweet potato recipe soon! And although the slicing and waiting and filling are tedious, it’s pretty simple. I followed the recipe from Cupcake Project for a guide on the potatoes, only I substituted her ingredients for onion, tomato, turkey and American cheese–all stuff I already had on-hand.

For the zucchini, I followed Yummily Yours’ recipe, only I set the oven to 400 degrees to bake both dishes together and I reduced the amount of thyme to 2 pinches instead of 2 tablespoons.

Ok. My laptop died again and won’t come back up, wahh. Finishing this up on my Note. I need to make sure I backup all my photos and just everything on it. Ugh. Why now, laptop???

The Good Stuff

I managed to successfully complete my to-do list at work from yesterday and today.

I’d started this to-do list last Tuesday, because I knew I wouldn’t be in the office till Monday. I was still at work, but we had a Delegation coming in and I’d be away from my desk. Which made me nervous as heck because I have several events I’m working on and deadlines!!

I was nervous about the visit itself since we weren’t 100% in charge of the activities, but we went along for everything anyway and the things that didn’t work out were really only behind-the-scenes stuff and the back-up plans worked out really well. It was a stress-free visit, for the most part.

My treat during these visits is usually the food itself, heh. Don’t get me wrong: I really do love to learn about all the inner workings of our city and I always love visiting all our “landmarks” and the people! I love meeting all these different people. But my absolute favorite part is the FOOD!

Tiny desserts at the Airport
Tiny desserts at the Airport
Chicken Marsala at House.Wine for lunch
Chicken Marsala at House Wine for lunch
A prickly-pear Margarita from Republic of the Rio Grande
A prickly-pear Margarita from Republic of the Rio Grande
Enchiladas del Mar from Republic of the Rio Grande
Enchiladas del Mar from Republic of the Rio Grande
Tomato parmesan bisque, salmon and cheesecake from Peppers at Renaissance Hospital
Tomato parmesan bisque, salmon and cheesecake from Peppers at Renaissance Hospital

I was so sad I couldn’t finish that cheesecake! *sigh* I love food, what can I say, heh.

One of my favorite parts of the trip was the low-key visit to Quinta Mazatlan.

The beautiful Quinta Mazatlan mansion
The beautiful Quinta Mazatlan mansion

I would love to own a home like Quinta. Or to at least have a garden like the front yard at Quinta. And that succulent fountain they have. And this swing hanging from a gorgeous old oak tree:

"Iiiiiii'm gonna swiiiiingggg!!"
“Iiiiiii’m gonna swiiiiingggg!!”

The ladies and I had fun taking turns and taking photos. They were such a great group! I was so sad that I couldn’t properly say goodbye to everyone since they were let loose at the mall for some shopping during their last hours of the visit and I needed to leave to pick up the kids.

I picked up the kiddos and Emmos was tired and was throwing a tantrum. I can’t even remember over what. The other kids and I spoke about her, and the reason why she’s spoiled sometimes. We picked up pizza, got home and Emily was still sobbing and went to her room, but she’d calmed down. I’m walking down the hallway and she opens the door to her room and says, “Mama? Can I speak to you in private please?” My mouth drops at how mature she sounded. I said sure, and opened the door and we sat together on my bed. She very maturely let me know what was on her mind, and I told her what was on mine and that I would work on being better, on being more patient. I pulled her near me and embraced her and said, “I’m convinced you’re a 20-year-old in that little 5-year-old body.” She has her moments (such as tonight; she was tired and mopey and didn’t want to do her homework), but she’s just such a great little lady .

My heart feels like it’ll explode from the love sometimes. I passed by the boys’ room and saw them all in there, peaceful, happy, without a care in the world and I’m just so grateful I had to capture the moment.

(Pay no attention to their messy, unmade beds .)

My ducklings!
My ducklings!

The girls and I passed out on the sofa and Jorge moved us to our beds. We had to get up early for Jaylen’s game on Saturday.

We all woke up super early (except Eenan, of course!) and Jorge, Justin and Jorgie went to Justin’s game and the girls and I went to Jaylen’s. We dropped him off at school, and since we had an hour-and-a-half to waste before the game started I took the girls for breakfast at McDonald’s.

Little ladies!
Little ladies!

Jaylen did so well at his game! He’s progressively getting better.

My boy!
My boy!

It still made me cringe every time I saw one of the kids get hurt, though, ever since Jorgie broke his leg (I’m still pending that post!). Several boys on the White Team got hurt. Jaylen told me one of them dislocated his shoulder *shudder*.

I waited for Jaylen, picked the girls up (they’d left with Mary to Sonia’s) and then we got stuck in traffic. There was a 5-car accident on the Expressway thanks to non other than a drunk driver. When we finally got through, I picked up Justin, who was with Jorge at a job site. Took the kiddos home, then made them lunch.

Sunset Sessions was that evening so I got the kids all pumped up to go. Well, all of them except the 2 teenagers. Eventually Jorgie was convinced so only Eenan would be the one to stay home with Mom. Emily and I went to HEB to get picnic stuff. We were finally going to break-in the picnic basket Aunt Sylvia gave us and the girls were super excited.

AND THEN IT STARTS RAINING. And the lights go out at HEB. While we’re still inside. And didn’t even have my phone.

Dammit.

Jorge wasn’t going to be out of work on time and there was no way I could move Jorgie along in his wheelchair in wet grass/mud. So we scratched the idea. There was an audible, “Ahhhhhhh!!!” from all the kids. Even Justin said, “We don’t get to plan things often and then this happens!” No kidding!

So, what else do you do when you have a blanket and a picnic basket packed and it’s raining? You have a picnic on the porch, of course!

Porch picnic!
Porch picnic!

It was Michelle’s birthday that day, but we didn’t get to hang out. She called that she was on her way to Sunset Sessions but she understood that the rain+kids wasn’t a good idea. I promised her we’d celebrate later.

About 30 minutes later, the rain stopped and a rainbow popped out. FML LOL.

Jorge got home and debated for about an hour whether he was going to take up his boss’ invite to go to the ranch. He eventually decided “yes” and took Justin with him. I hung out with the kids for a while, watching TV and put them all in bed. The girls were happy to snuggle with mama :).

Woke up the next morning and made the kids wheat pancakes. Relaxed, did laundry, then Jorge got home and I made shrimp Alfredo. More tidying up and then I decided that I would relax. But not before making banana bread.

Homemade banana bread.
Homemade banana bread.

And then playing 4-square with the girls. And THEN I got to be lazy for a few minutes before I started on dinner. I hadn’t made tuna casserole in a while. The girls helped me with the ingredients and then Eenan started joking around, like always. We get into a conversation about why we’re not very huggy with Mom and both John and I tell him, “Well, we weren’t really brought up that way. She’d hug and hold us when we were little, but as we got older well, she just wasn’t like that.” Justin’s standing next to me and pats my shoulder and says, “I know the feeling.” So I say, “Get over here!” and grab him into a hug. I say, “I think it had the opposite effect on me; I think that’s why I love hugs and hugging the kids.” Emily, then Jaylen and Alaethia run into the group. Julien hears the commotion and goes into his famous running hugs. Then Eenan comes in for a hug. We’re all giggling and in a huge, wonderful group hug and poor Jorgie rolls in from their bedroom and says, “Hey, what’s going on?” We all laugh and then I realize that I hadn’t preheated the oven. John says, “Well if you weren’t over there getting group hugs…” Buahaha!

We ate dinner quickly and gathered around in the living room to watch “The Walking Dead”. It was 2 minutes in before we sent the girls to their room. It was much more gorey this time!! But such a good episode!

Put all the kids to bed and then a new week began. And I kicked Monday (and Tuesday) in the ass!! I even went on an interview. As much as I dislike those, because I’m always afraid I’ll screw up, I just went with the flow. And it worked out :).

We picked up a cake to celebrate Michelle’s birthday at work:

Happy Birthday, BFF!
Happy Birthday, BFF!

I got home from work and took Eenan to get a haircut with Emily in tow, of course. Mario waited for the kids while we got home and he took the boys =\. I’ll never get used to that.

EZ, Michelle and I went to Wing Stop today to celebrate her birthday. And I finally got one of my projects completed this afternoon and finished today’s to-do list. I have so much to do still, but I hope I can keep the same momentum going! I feel good about everything I got to accomplish. We sent all the kids to bed and we’re catching up on “The Voice” before I have to shower. Have lots going on tomorrow. I’m sure I’ll feel like this at the end of the day:

Mabby!
Mabby!