Photo blog of my trip to Austin and a quick detour to San Antonio on the way home to have some Lucky Noodle.
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!
Mother’s Day 2018
I was more than sure I was going to spend this Mother’s Day weekend alone–well, just Mom and me. It was bringing back memories of almost exactly 8 years ago, when Mario and I were separated before the divorce and it was his weekend with the kids. It was thee worst Mother’s Day I’d ever had. I just felt so disconnected and lonely at the time, and it felt like history was repeating itself now, but under completely different circumstances, of course.
Jorge started a new project away from home a week ago. Since it was a brand-new project, and I knew he had time constraints, and the kids would be with the other parents this year I had already conceded to the fact that I was going to have a rather lonely holiday.
The girls were leaving on Thursday with their dad, but he had some things to do so the girls got to hang out with me a bit longer :). We snuggled on the couch to watch Grey’s Anatomy, where they both used me as a pillow 😀 .
I was a wreck and the girls cried, too. JAPRIL, man. Never gonna get over it!!
We got some last-minute burgers and made it back right on time for Mary to pick up the girls. I was still bawling from Grey’s, and from the girls leaving. AND from realizing that it was the start of a lonely weekend. BUT I put on my big-girl panties and went for a run. And talked to Jorge on the phone and whined about how shitty I felt. I regretted watching Grey’s, as I pinpointed that episode as the root cause of my sudden depression. 🙄 Everything else was just bonus sadness, I guess.
Friday was a quiet day at work, but co-workers from another department were visiting so we chatted for a bit. The group that was visiting was making plans to go to lunch so I was going to tag along. At the last minute it ended up being just 2 of us. We ended up at 5 Guys Burgers and Fries where I had a Little Bacon Cheeseburger with extra bacon and cheese (Keto Tip: they don’t charge for extra bacon and cheese when you order a bacon cheeseburger!) It made the afternoon go by faster, getting out of the office for a bit.
Mom and I started off the weekend by seeing Frankie Valli in concert Friday night! It was John’s Mother’s Day gift to us, which was really awesome of him.
We ate at Taco Rico (Mom’s choice), and I kept it Keto.
(Well, except for the beans, heh.)
Then we left to the Performing Arts Center. Of course, Ticketmaster never ceases to fuck my night up–once again, my tickets didn’t “work”. Apparently they weren’t saving the text with the barcode so it wouldn’t scan 🙄 . So I had to leave Mom in the lobby, go back outside to the box office, and get the 3rd degree from the lady at the window. After 10 long and sweaty minutes, I finally got a little notepaper with permission to enter the premises. Geez.
I needed a drink after that, so I found our seats and escorted Mom and got myself some whiskey and Diet Coke (low carb!).
And finally, the concert started and it was magical–it really was. It was so nice to hear Mom singing along and I knew most of the songs too. It was pretty awesome when “Can’t Keep My Eyes Off You” came on and the entire theater was singing their heart out. And Grease!
It was a really good concert!
And we made it to my car before the throngs of people started spilling out, so that was a bonus!
The even better cherry on top was that Jorge said he was coming home after all! And I made arrangements with Mario to pick the girls up on Saturday to spend time together! So that was a huge relief!
I started the next morning off with a run. I remembered why I prefer running in the evening…it was only 9am and the sun was already starting to beat down on my face and it was quickly becoming a humid, sweltering day. I got home and made myself some breakfast.
Then I showered and got ready to pick up the kiddos. Jaylen was doing community service and Eenan decided to tag along at the last minute so it would only be us 4.
I asked if they wanted food, ice cream or Starbucks and of course they chose Starbucks. I only had an iced coffee as I planned to “fast” during lunch.
Then we went to buy flowers for the moms and Gramma’s grave at HEB. And some Halo Top for me and other little groceries. Oh yes. And a new wine-based Margarita mix. They were having tastings and they had me at ‘Hello’! It would be perfect for when we met up with Dinah later.
We headed home and Jaylen was dropped off shortly. Eenan introduced us to a cartoon on Netflix called Aggretsuko, because he said he assumed it was how it was for me at work. Well, my previous work lol. Sure enough, we were able to compare real co-workers with characters 😆
We got hungry eventually so we ordered a botana from Taco Ole…and I was NOT able to stay strict Keto. Those darn tortilla chips are my FAVORITE.
We hung out and lazied-around a bit more before I had to drop them off. They were going to a party later that evening and I’d go back for them the next morning.
Jorge arrived before I got home from dropping the kids off. He ate and then we ran some errands before meeting Dinah and Javi at their hotel. We exchanged Mother’s Day gifts–Dinah and I both got each other succulents!
Jorge prepared us some drinks and they were pretty darn good! And strong!
Apparently, too strong. I couldn’t remember certain parts of the night and I just had this strange feeling when I woke up the next morning. I thought about it as I did my morning routine and once Jorge woke up I asked him what in the world happened because I couldn’t remember the car ride home.
He said, “Um. You don’t remember? You, um, cried on the way home…”
I was mortified. “Whaaat??? What was I crying about??” I finally got a spark of memory; I remembered feeling sad…and babbling 🙄 . Oh geez.
He said, “Everything, Baby. Life in general.”
I apparently cried about feeling inadequate, like I don’t do enough or make enough money. About how I haven’t gone back to school. About feeling lonely–ugh, just thinking about it now makes me cringe!
How dare that stupid alcohol unearth such deep-rooted issues I didn’t even know I had!
It was a slow realization, but I’d recently noticed that ever since leaving the Chamber and starting at my new job, I’ve sort of cut myself off from everyone. I really only hang out with Sally when she has time. And even then, most of the time I feel like I’m bothering her. I know it’s not true–because she told me so–but I can’t help but feel that way because of that annoying little nagging voice in the back of my head. That voice is the reason I don’t reach out to most people. And then I feel lonely and the cycle continues.
It doesn’t help that Jorge isn’t around sometimes due to work. That’s been the hardest of all 🙁 .
I also feel like I should do more. But I felt that way ever since the Chamber days: like I should be going to school, making more money. My job now is SO EASY and laid back that I have tons of time to think and dwell and beat myself up over stupid shit. Ugh.
ANYWAY. Back to my original story: we showered and got ready and took Mom to breakfast at Taco Ole.
We chilled out a bit at home before I picked the kiddos up for lunch.
Took this pic of my Emmos, looking adorable, as always!
She gave me this awesome card:
She’s so sweet to her mama!
And I also received a Yeti mug and wine glass from hubs!
I also got shopping and nail money, which is ALWAYS appreciated!
Jorge said he was going to stay behind since he was tired, so only Mom the kiddos and I went to lunch at Wing Stop. (I swear, my whole life is EATING!)
We chit-chatted and had some laughs and then I dropped them off. Mom and I made our way to the cemetery to drop off Gramma’s flowers and tidy up her grave a little. It’s our first Mother’s Day without Gramma 🙁 .
I saw later that both girls had Snapped and Instagrammed Mother’s Day posts to me! As bad as it may be on some occasions, I love that I can “see” them express themselves through social media.
I’m only sad that she didn’t have another photo 😆 😆 !!
All-in-all, couldn’t ask for a better Mother’s Day! My heart and soul were thrilled and fulfilled!