Category: Yay!

2019 – Everything’s the Same, but Everything Changed

I guess instead of updating weekly or even monthly, I’m going to do a bi-annual update. Or better yet: yearly. πŸ™„

I’ll probably go back and post a mass photo dump of birthdays, holidays and events–because I hate missing recording those moments here. But I guess a quick recap of the last year will have to suffice for this post.

We spent a lot of time going back and forth between home and San Antonio every other weekend. Well, I did–Jorge was already there, obviously. I’d usually go when we didn’t “have kids” and they were with the “other parents”.

Sometime before the holidays I stopped “Keto-ing” and screwed up my eating habits terribly. I’d go back to attempting to hop back on the low-carb train but it was to no avail–it seemed like my lack of willpower had completely derailed my Keto train and crashed into a firey wreckage. Needless to say, in the last 6 months I’ve packed on about 15-18 of the 20 lbs I’d lost and managed to maintain for 1.5 years while I was doing Keto. So disappointed in myself!

This also means that I’ve gone from running at least 3x a week to doing nothing. Which is pretty bad considering my awesome, super-low-key job is 95% sedentary.

I had attempted a “Run for 30 days” goal for myself in the month of December to counteract the sweets-binging that was happening since Halloween…only to injure myself 8 days into it because I was trying desperately to run an 11-minute mile πŸ™„ . So there went that.

I knew I needed to keep myself occupied–especially with Jorge away so much–otherwise my thoughts and anxiety would slip away from me and it was over.

So–the brilliant idea I came up with was I’d start school! I had finally ordered the assessment training book I’d need to review to take the mandatory placement exam I’d have to take to start school in the Spring/Fall, and I had my mind set: I was going to do this! Even if it meant graduating with my kids πŸ˜† !

At the end of December, once I had mostly gotten over the sprain from the beginning of the month, I started running right after work and was really happy with my routine:

Drop girls off at school, go to work, eat lunch at work (it helps me focus on low-carbing), change into running clothes at work at 5pm, run, pick up HEB Curbside if I had to (Curbside and HEB Delivery are a GODSEND), get home and shower and make dinner, talk to Jorge on the phone, sleep.

It was a great week. (–Yes. I only got to keep my routine up for 1 week. I’ll get back to that shortly.)

Then comes the new year and I’m finally motivated enough to stick with my plan.

Sandra came over on January 4th to catch up and have cocktails. Jorge had invited Robert over after work for drinks too. As we’re sitting around, Justin calls Jorge about picking him up from his mom’s. Then their mom calls to tell Jorge to pick Justin up. They had just gone with the other parents the previous day, so we found that kind of peculiar. Jorge is going back and forth on texts with Justin and with their mom and finally, Justin decides he’s staying with his mom.

Cut to Saturday night, where Jorge and I are alone and had ordered take-out and were watching “Black Mirror: BANDERSNATCH”…till 2am! We kept “playing” over and over again to achieve the maximum happy ending…until we gave up lol.

We wake up at 9am on Sunday, January 6th to find missed calls from the boys at 5:30am. We panic and start calling and texting frantically until we finally get through to Jorgie and rush over to their mother’s apartment to pick them up. We didn’t know what to expect; all the other times we’d tried to pick the boys up when we “weren’t supposed to have them” there were always cops waiting.

Long story short: Jorgie and Justin have lived with us permanently ever since. Jorge was home for a few weeks and so the transition wasn’t anything drastic–yet. Then came time for Jorge to leave back to work and I needed to figure out driving schedules. When I told them how early we’d have to leave and how late I’d have to pick them up after work I was positive they’d change their mind entirely and say they wanted to go back to their mom’s. But, they didn’t. They were okay with the upcoming routine. I look from them to Jorge after the discussion and I say, “So, that’s it? They’re ours?? They’re gonna live here?” I give them both hugs and Jorgie says, “So I can call you Mom now??” I said, “Dude, I’ve always been your mom.”

(Just to clarify: I have never and won’t ever try to take the place of their biological mother. On the contrary, I’ve encouraged them to reach out to her, even now.)

When a few more weeks passed and they were still with us and I took them to pick up stuff from their mother’s after school, they put their white trash bags full of belongings into the back of car. As I got ready to drive off, realization hits me again and I say, “So this really is for real?” Justin looks over at me and says, “Gee, Yajaira, I thought this was for real.” I explained to him that it had happened before–they would get into it with their mom and stay with us and then she’d want them back. They said, “Nope. Not going back.”

It’s still surreal to me that after all the custody battles and years of trying to “get them”, just *poof*. All of a sudden, they live here.

Needless to say, my trips to San Antonio came to a standstill, since now we had the boys and it would get expensive lol. Instead, Jorge would come home–when then started taking a toll on him and his sleep schedule and work schedule. That, in turn, caused us to be at each other’s throats.

Since Jorge works away most of the week my schedule changed completely. I’d wake up an hour earlier to get the girls and Jorgie and Justin in the car and dropped the boys off by 7:15am (an hour and 45 minutes before they even had to be at school, poor things), then I’d drop the girls off by 7:35 to get to work by 7:55. It was tiring for everyone, but we had to make it work; there was no other way.

Same for the afternoons. I’d get out of work and instead of going to run or to buy groceries I’d go straight to pick the boys up. Again they’d have to wait for me for an hour and a half after they got out of school to be picked up.

We spent a lot of those first 2 months stopping by a place called Snowball Express–buying junkfood and sometimes completely forgoing dinner to have snacks. I wasn’t running or exercising at all. And I felt the difference from one day to the next–no joke!

That shit creeps up on ya!

I’d completely stopped low-carbing, and was much less sticking to the Keto diet. And it showed. Because my acne had ALSO made a comeback. Ugh.

Then, to top it off, my brain was going 100mph, non-stop and I’d begun clamping my jaw again from stress, which resulted in needing to use my mouth guard again. I hadn’t used a mouth guard since I left the Chamber!!

As I’d mentioned in my post from October 9, 2018, (my last “in-real-time post”) I was beginning to come to terms with the fact that my anxiety was taking a toll on my well-being. I had accepted it. But the little breakdowns at work (it’s happened 3 times) for absolutely no reason except that I was probably on my period and incredibly hormonal and someone slightly inconvenienced me–well, that shit needed to NOT HAPPEN.

So, in February, I went to the doctor because they needed to see me in order for me to get a refill on my acne topical medication. I told the doc about my acne problem and since it was a new doctor I’d never visited with before, I gave her some history. She asked about stress and I told her that I seriously didn’t have much to stress about–my job was the most chill job, ever–but it was perhaps all the free time that I had at my job that caused me to cycle thoughts in my head repeatedly. She asked what a day was like for me and I told her about the kids and how I recently became the boys’ primary parent, in essence, and about how I wanted to start school, too. I told her how my husband worked away from home most days–and then IT HAPPENED. I STARTED BAWLING FOR NO REASON. I pointed to my face and choked on a sobby-laugh and told her, “You see what I mean?? It just happens! She said, “What you described in 1 day is way more than one person can/should handle. And then you want to add school, which is great, but we need to get you to get to a good state first.” So, she prescribed anxiety medication–which I was adamant about staying away from for years, but I figured I’d give it a go. What’s the worse that could happen? I chill out? LOL

Cut to 6 months later and although I’m much more carefree about things (sometimes TOO carefree) I still stress out, just toned down about 80%. The one side effect that I’ve had the most trouble with is the 15 pound weight gain I’ve had. It’s depressing. The pill makes you lethargic, which in turn makes you want to sleep. That’s all I wanted to do at first. I had no energy so I became infatuated with Bang drinks (Frose Rose, Rainbow Unicorn, Cotton Candy and Georgia Peach Tea are my faves!) but they heighten my heart rate and anxiety, boo. The lethargy is also the reason I’ve stopped running and working out, plus the kids’ end-of-the-year stuff.

Alaethia and 2 of her besties (they call me mom ?). Alaethia was wearing one of my new dresses and heels!

I also recently, FINALLY, had a visit with a dermatologist to get to the bottom of my acne problem. She prescribed a brand new topical medication plus a new pill that I have to take at night with a snack. It’s also a diuretic. AND, I was trying to get back to Keto and was doing really good until she confirmed I needed to lay off the sugar and DAIRY if I want to make an actual, internal difference, not just on the surface. That about killed me. The only thing that was left to bring me joy was cheese and Halo Top/Enlightened ice cream–and now I couldn’t even have that!! Suddenly, my goals of being healthy and happy with a clear complexion weren’t looking too appealing! I seriously wanted to throw in the towel; but decided not to. I’ve just got to focus and get serious about it. It’s just incredibly frustrating that I KNOW what being on Keto does for you and I’m still expecting the same results as last time, which was an 8-lb weight loss in 2 weeks, but I keep sabotaging myself!. And the last time I was finally focused and was eating how I should (starting April 20th till I sabotaged myself after my dermatologist appointment) I had GAINED a pound in over a month!! BUT–I know I’m not being completely consistent because I’ll mess up during the weekend and then I have to start all over. Ugh.

Being an adult is hard.

But it’s also got its silver lining. My kids are becoming more independent! At the end of the school year Jaylen started driving and we’ll send him off for errands. And Justin is driving too now, so he was driving himself and Jorgie to and from school. That was pretty darn badass and a relief that last week of school lol. At least we have a solution to that now, thank goodness!

It’s always fun hanging out with the kids, too. Which is mostly what my evenings and weekends consist of these days. They’re my best little broke friends πŸ˜† and they’re pretty darn awesome.

Also, John is a DAD NOW!! I finally have a baby to love on and buy things for ??. I just wish I could see them all the time ?!!

So there you have it, folks. It is now summer vacation and I must start some kind of worthy routine, which includes school. I need to do this for myself. NEED TO!!!

St. Patrick’s Day Weekend Trip to San Antonio

I didn’t think I’d get to go on a weekend trip with my hubby so soon after he started his new job, but I did! It happened to fall on a weekend the kiddos were with the other parents so it was a last-minute thing for me. I got out of work on Friday and went grocery shopping for Mom so she’d be prepared during the weekend. Right after I got home and unloaded the truck I left to Infusions to meet Gerry for some catching up and gossip πŸ˜† !

Sandia Lollipop
Shrimp Pasta

Gerry and I shared this beautiful plate. I only ate a little teensy pasta :D.

We finished catching up on each of our goings-on and then I went home. Jorge and I watched a little bit of TV before I–as usual–passed out on the sofa πŸ˜† .

The next day, we got ready calmly and slowly. When we were all packed, we went to Rodeo to grab some food. It was an insane line, as usual, so there was a bit of a wait. We got some seats and our food was finally ready. I ordered Menudo and water–super Keto!

Alaethia saw it on Snapchat as soon as I posted it and she sends me a message that says, “????” LOL I told her they’d join us on the next one.

Unfortunately my menudo was extremely spicy, so I passed it on to the hubs. Even HE said it was spicy so we left it there and he picked me up a taco.

And then my truck got a bath:

Unicorn Pee??

And then finally, we were on our way! We laughed and blasted music–I took over the playlist when he had his weird music on repeat. I turned on our Amazon Music and Jordan Davis – Singles You Up came on. He said, “This was me looking at you, baby!” I love this man :D! I can’t believe I hadn’t heard that song!

We had some Keto snacks:

And I took a selfie to commemorate St. Patrick’s Day. I was ready in green!

When we got close to San Antonio I Google-Mapped our destination and then we arrived: for lunch at Wing Stop!

My love had a meeting (the whole reason for the trip) and when he was done we checked in at the hotel. We were seriously lucky to find a room during St. Patrick’s Day weekend!

As we’re unloading our things we notice the Bow Tie Chevy Emblem is missing from my car. We immediately think someone jacked it…but then we remember the lovely car wash. It must have knocked it off! But fear not–Jorge was already on eBay ordering a new one LOL.

We lazied around and watched TV for a while. Then we freshened up to go to the River Walk and get a bite to eat.

There we people EVERYWHERE! There was some Tejano/Conjunto type of event going on and people in lawn chairs with all sorts of clover accessories littered the streets. We finally found a parking lot (that was of course charging for parking!) and were literally across the street from the Hard Rock Cafe. The last time we ate there was in 2013 before “The Cowboy Rides Away” George Strait concert. Darn old man. I’ll never forget how expensive those tickets were because we thought the old geezer was going to retire! I do believe he’s still going strong! But…it was a wonderful concert and we’d had a wonderful weekend!

Anyway, my mind is wandering again. So we walk across, making sure to avoid being pummeled by the beautiful Clydesdales pulling carriages. I’m Ooohing and Awwwing and snapping photos as we pass. We get into the restaurant, which is obviously packed. They send us up a flight of stairs to get to another host and we’re lead to the wrong side, so people are cutting in front of us. My anxiety is already slowly rising. There’s an hour wait. So we head to the bar and BOOM, we find 2 seats!

The background wasn’t the most aesthetic, but it had to do.

This was supposed to be our appetizer!

My plate.
Jorge’s plate.
Shots

Needless to say, I was stuffed and packed about half my salmon and sides to go. The bartenders were hilarious and making conversation with us. We had a really good time πŸ™‚ .

My St. Patrick’s Day pins; finally wore them after storing them for 8 years!

When we’re ready, we leave the restaurant and decide to take a stroll through the River Walk.

The only time I’d ever been there before was when we’d eaten at Hard Rock in 2013, but hadn’t really explored. So really, this was my first time exploring the River Walk that I can remember. The water was dyed green for St. Patrick’s Day and there were lots of people around, naturally. We were going to take a ride on one of the boats floating the river, but the line seemed never-ending so Jorge got us a carriage instead!

It was such a beautiful evening; it was fresh and clear. I had a cheesy smile plastered on my face and told Jorge, “I’ve always wanted to go on a carriage ride!” He said, “I know, that’s why I wanted to bring you on one.” People waved as we passed and a girl yelled, “You better propose!” We laughed and Jorge said, “Way ahead of you!”

We were dropped off right in front of our car and had an easy time getting out of the parking lot considering how many people were out and about. We stopped at a gas station for some waters (and a 6-pk. for Jorge lol) and I found these!

Jorge and I split them, and it wasn’t long after that I passed out. I slept so well!

We woke up the next morning and showered, then watched Golden Girls as we packed. We checked out and made our way to La Madeleine, a quaint French cafe. Jorge and his partner had had breakfast there the week before and he said he had to take me because he knew I’d love it. And love it, I did!

Looking sleepy!

Jorge asked if I wanted pastries but I was so full I declined. NEXT TIME FOR SURE. I mean, look at this!

I’d been asking to go to Trader Joe’s to get some Everything But the Bagel Seasoning that so many people on my Keto Instagram swear by, and my babe took me :). I found those AND my favorite One Bars.

(I’ve been obsesssed with that seasoning on my cream cheese eggs ever since!)

Next we drove to the outlets in San Marcos to find Jorge some work boots and meet up with Dinah, Briana, Javi and the kiddos for lunch πŸ˜€ .

I had a maximum allowance of 2 stores to visit -_- and ended up buying lotion and tees for the girls from Justice lol. Totally forgot I wanted new shoes!

We went to get Jorge’s boots next and meet up with the family. Briana and I tried on boots and Mia showed me all her cool Riverdale stuff. I kinda got her hooked on it LOL.

We had an awesome lunch at The Outback:

And then it was time to say see you later to the family πŸ˜₯ . Time goes way too fast!

It was back to co-pilot duties for me on the way home. Jorge is the best and–when I told him I wanted photos of bluebonnets–he stopped at every patch to make it possible. We even found some other scenic areas. I just love that man!!

This is my current wallpaper on my phone.

It was such a great time. I can’t wait to go back!!

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 πŸ™ .

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 πŸ™ .

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 πŸ˜₯ . 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 πŸ˜€ !

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 πŸ˜₯ .

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?!” πŸ˜† 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 πŸ™„ . 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 πŸ˜₯ .

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 πŸ™ . 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!