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?!
First, let me start by wishing all the mommies, grandma’s, caretakers, guardians, stepmommies, aunts, cousins, sisters, etc., a belated Happy Mother’s Day!
I had THE BEST day ever and I’m not exaggerating :D!
I started the day by rolling around lazily in bed while my love made me breakfast. Emily and Alaethia helped him, of course :). My little chefs. Jorge came to get me, walked me to the dining room with his hands clasped around my eyes and, after the boys prodded Justin awake they yelled, “Happy Mother’s Day” and I got hugs all around.
I’d been meaning to blog since that day but we had so much going on throughout the day and Grey’s Anatomy to catch up on (yes, I’m newly obsessed and have in turn made Jorge become obsessed!).
So after my epic breakfast, the kids and I devoured the iced Oreos and we watched Grey’s Anatomy while the kids all took turns bathing. Jorge was driving Javi somewhere, so the kids and I watched Friends while they continued to take showers. The hall bathroom is being remodeled so we’re down to 2 restrooms and 2 showers, but both showers are in the same bathroom so that doesn’t help, heh.
Jorge and I had an announcement to make to the kids, and we figured it was the perfect day. We’d announce it during dinner. I even recited a whole loving speech. I was ready!
So everyone got ready and then we piled into both cars and went to Cracker Barrel.
The kids skimmed the menus and everyone ordered. Jorge and I were fidgety…and figured let’s just do it, let’s tell them. So I called everyone and told them we had an announcement. Jaylen, Jorgie and Justin all yelled, “I think I know what it is!” And Justin said, “Either you’re married or you’re getting married!?” And Jorge and I looked at each other and laughed, and we said yes, that was it.
Alaethia said, “Wait, you’re not married??”
I still kinda fumbled with my words and told them they’re officially siblings and that we’d eventually have a wedding and they’d all be in it. Eenan said, “I’m not going to dance.” And I laughed, “No, you don’t have to dance, you’re just going to be up there, with us.” Then Justin told Jorge, “When did you propose?? What’s wrong with you??” And we had a good laugh. Love them all. Then they went about their business like it was the most cadual thing.
So my speech didn’t go exactly as I thought it would, heh. But I’m glad we didn’t have any rolling eyes, or sad faces, heh. I really was nervous once we were in the moment. I had no idea I’d freeze like that. Never in my life has that happened!
Jorge and I are finally, officially married :D. When I made the announcement at work, or when I tell people about it I get a “FINALLY!” right before the “Congratulations!” It really was about time. We’re already in a marriage and have raised our kids together for 4 years so we figured now was as good a time as any.
Of course I’d like an actual wedding, but it’s not anything that’s SUPER important or anything I want to stress myself with right now. We have more important things going on right now that we need to take care of first. And I’m just thrilled to officially call Jorge my HUSBAND :D.
So, to continue with our Mother’s Day, we finished up at Cracker Barrel (oh my gosh, did I glut!).
The waitress brought us our desserts and Julien randomly yells, “The whole world loves you, Mom!” Which made me get all the feels!! That just made my day!
Jorge brought Jorgie, Justin, Jules and Alaethia home with him since Aly wasn’t feeling good. She got a bad stomach ache while we were still at the restaurant.
We went to visit Gramma and took her her gifts and flowers. We talked and took photos and then we came home where we relaxed the rest of the day.
I made my announcement at work the next morning–quickly, right after my weekly update to everyone’s surprise. Everyone congratulated me and then we went out for breakfast at Denny’s (not because of my announcement LOL).
The rest of the week has been the same: work, home, cook, spend time with the kiddos…
…put kiddos to bed then Grey’s Anatomy. That show kills me and Jorge a little inside every day.
I took the girls to the doctor on Wednesday. Those darn colds never seem to go away! Alaethia was already starting with a throat infection.
I took the morning off work on Friday so I could take Mom for some blood work then go to the girls’ Field Day:
…and then I had a meeting before meeting my love at Wallbanger’s with the guys for lunch.
Jorge and I didn’t have the kids this weekend, so we had a date night on Friday evening. First Zoe’s Kitchen.
Then a drink and dessert at Longhorn Steakhouse.
Then Grey’s Anatomy, heh.
We were invited to Corner Bakery Cafe’s soft opening at Palm’s Crossing so I picked up my love and we met EZ, Michelle and Rosie there. Everything went smoothly and the food was delicious.
Michelle, Rosie and I went to Michael’s to buy flowers to glue onto our cheap Walmart full-length mirrors, like we saw at Mariposa Boutique during the Cash Mob.
(Excuse my crappy selfie-taking LOL.)
I also found a white frame on clearance and I finally got around to hanging my papel amate painting.
We went to Homegoods afterwards. It was my first time there. I wanted everything, but the big decorative stuff was still too pricey for me. I did end up getting new pot holders, dish towels, a large frame and a small globe.
I dropped the girls off, then Mom and I went to visit Gramma and went grocery shopping. I got home, paid all the bills online and then I made my love his (Vitamin) Rib Eye, as John jokingly called it.
And then we sat down for a long, heartbreaking bingefest of Grey’s.
As for this morning, I made us some awesome breakfast sandwiches and we had some Mimosa’s.
We’ve been lazying around waiting for laundry to be done, and we have a few errands we need to run so that’s the rest of our day. Then it’s back to the grind tomorrow!
I think we’ve successfully gotten into somewhat of a routine now that school’s started. Unfortunately, that means waking up at 5am every. single. day for me. And being exhausted by 8pm. And passing out on the couch. And forgetting to wash my face at night. And starting the cycle again.
BUT!! The girls are doing well in the morning. We had a couple of days when Emily cried and didn’t want to stay at school, and a couple of other times when she got in a bad mood before leaving the house, but she’s doing so much better, thank goodness. Waking up at 5am and waking the girls up by 6:30am means that we leave the house by 7:35am and Emily gets to test her book. It annoys me that–even though I wake up at 5am–I’m still arriving at work at 8:15 >_<. I'm just glad my bosses don't mind.
That first week was crucial to the girls (especially Emily) getting accustomed to attending school again, so it was crucial that I drop them off in the morning, but a group from Irapuato had scheduled a visit for the end of that same week and I had to be at work super early Thursday and Friday. Ugh. It's always fun taking the groups on tours, don't get me wrong, but I just wish it had been a different week.
I worked late Wednesday to meet the group at the airport with my boss, and when they took too long to show up I left to a training Michelle, EZ, Wally, Maritza and I had. We all passed!
We started the tour Thursday morning with breakfast at Cracker Barrel:
[caption id="attachment_2424" align="aligncenter" width="300"] A somewhat healthy meal from Cracker Barrel[/caption]
We finished up there and continued with our tour for the entire day; a lot of it being outdoors in the heat, and later: humidity >_<.
It was a late night for us. We didn't end up eating dinner till 10pm and left Republic of the Rio Grande at 11pm. (My first time there, ever.) Needless to say, I was beat. The girls were already in bed thanks to Mom so I re-tucked them in and kissed their foreheads =\.
I had an early morning. Michelle met me at the office to help me pack up my truck with all the stuff we'd need for the El Salvador Consulate Ribbon Cutting. Thank God that went without a hitch; though the building was teeny tiny and hot. Bob and EZ helped us take all the equipment and stuff back to the office and then my boss and I were picked up by the limo where we met the group at the Library. We went on our way for the rest of the tour and it was supposed to be another late night, but I got out of going to the going-away party. It had been raining all day, I was tired and wanted to go home to the kiddos <3.
It was a mix of bubbles and painting and the boys being silly, like always. I cleaned and was literally in the kitchen most of the day so I gave myself a break to re-pot some of my succulents. I love them, but sometimes they stress me out! I just want them to LIVE. I don't know what got into me, but I saw my plain clay pots and decided to draw and paint them. I didn't really even measure, so it was a bit crooked, but I think it came out alright:
[caption id="attachment_2407" align="aligncenter" width="300"] My first painted sugar skull pot[/caption]
I had to come in to make dinner, but I couldn’t wait to make more. I got a lot of compliments on it :).
We had movie night with them on the porch, which we hadn’t done in a while. We got snacks together and watched “Blended”. It was SUCH a good movie!!
The next morning (the 31st), I had the itch to make a good breakfast. I had been wanting biscuits forever and decided to make some from scratch! They were a hit (thank goodness hehe)!
The girls had a playdate with their BFF’s later that day. They’re not in their classes together, so Jenny and I agreed that we needed to have a playdate every once in a while so they could spend time together.
We started the date off at Ben & Jerry’s then went a few doors down to Barnes & Noble.
They spent a lot of time, running through the isles and giggling. We were surprised nobody kicked us out or “ssshhhh!!”‘d us heh.
They had a short playdate back at Jenny’s and they were so disappointed when it was time to go, but I had laundry to do and dinner to make and they only had a couple hours before they needed to get in bed.
It was Dad’s 1-year-anniversary since his passing. I’d been thinking about him a lot; regretting, still, not taking that final photo at the hospital. Not having that last bar-b-q :'(.
Woke up early again on Labor Day to drop the boys off at school. There was tons of traffic, so for the 3rd morning in a row, Jorge dropped the girls off. I spent the day cleaning, visited Gramma with Mom, ran errands and cleaned some more. I at least got to paint one of my pots :).
It was back to the grind on Tuesday. That was the morning Emily had her first meltdown, which I should have seen coming when I went into their room at 6:30am to snuggle them awake. As I lay there next to her she softly says, “I don’t want to go to school today, Mama.” She was fine until we got into the cafeteria. She cried and wouldn’t let me leave and then Alaethia became sentimental for her sis and started crying, too. A counselor had to intervene and held her back. I hate when they do that, but I know I have to let her be strong and leave. It’s just heartbreaking to look back and see the counselor holding her and Emily pulling forward with her arms outstretched for me :(. Alaethia calmed down, too, but not before saying, “Why can’t you just take her home, Mama??”
I didn’t make it on time to my morning meeting, and my boss asked me about my absence at the end of the day. I apologized and explained about the girls and he listened and empathized. Thank GOD.
Jaylen’s Meet the Teacher night was that evening and of course, his teachers had nothing but nice things to say about him. He’s such a good boy :). His football coach also said, “He’s doing well. I put him up against some big guys and he took some pretty good hits.” Oh, my little guy!!
I went back to Mario’s to see Eenan and the boys and I took a selfie:
I love my guys!
Emily did a little better the next morning. There were still a few tears, but nothing like the day before. Alaethia was alright, too. It was pouring, so they were grateful I still took them all the way into the school. I was drenched :(. I headed straight to the place of one of the events I help coordinate. We had a great turnout, despite the pouring rain. Dania, one of our local artists, made a wonderful, inspiring presentation. Her story really hit home and I felt motivated. Jorge kept saying how good I was at painting my sugar skull pots and I decided that I may just start selling them :).
I got home that evening and the girls were inspired, too. They asked to paint some pots, so I let them while I made dinner :).
Eenan’s Meet the Teacher Night was Thursday evening. Again, good things from his teachers, of course. He DID get his phone taken away during his World History class that day, and the teacher held on to it to give it to us that evening, but he wasn’t angry about it. He said he wanted to hold it hostage so we’d show up for sure, hehe.
He’s doing PE this year and he runs and works out every day. He’s sore all the time, just like the other 3 boys who are in football LOL. I’m glad they’re all getting physical activity this year!
I worked for only half a day on Friday, which was awesome. I met Jessica at Cheddar’s and we celebrated her birthday almost a month late, heh. We caught up on all the gossip and life in general. It was good seeing her :).
I went to Hobby Lobby to pick up a few supplies for my pots. I love that place! I could spent hours (and tons of cash, heh) there! But instead of doing that, I scurried out of there. It’s dangerous!
I was bored all evening without my love and the kids, who were at the other parents’ homes for the weekend. Jorge was driving back from working at the Island. I’d wanted to go to the Music After Hours-Craft Fair, but I had already gotten into PJ’s and felt lazy, heh. When he got home we sat at our kitchen nook while he played his Clash of Clans and I painted :).
The one on the far right is one I’ll have up for sale. I was pretty amped up about starting this :).
We made ourselves go to bed since Jorgie, Justin and Jaylen were all having games the next morning.
We were so proud of those boys :). Mary had Emily and Alaethia with her and we all sat together and cheered Jaylen on. I was crossing my fingers that he’d get some play time, so I was thrilled when he went into the field every single time :)!!
And they won!!!
I stayed at home mostly that day, paid bills online and painted another pot. A black one this time. I got a lot of good feedback for that one!
When Jorge got home that evening, he asked what I wanted to do after all. We had discussed the night before that we were totally going to go out, maybe to a bar…but we decided on Kumori, heh. In our defense, we did have a cucumber Martini! It was great just talking and spending time together, just us two :).
We debated doing something after dinner…but decided we would just go home. And we were both okay with that :).
I started painting another pot as we sat at our usual spot in the house. This time the pot was for Dina :). Briana was in town so I wanted to send it back with her when we saw her the next morning :).
I sent her a photo and she liked it :).
Jorge and I woke up the next morning and got ready to go to Peñitas to meet Briana and the kids. We had breakfast from Subway (been wanting one of those breakfast sandwiches for ever!) and then were on our way. We tidied up the house a bit, caught up, I brought back a few wild succulents and then we said our goodbyes and Jorge and I ran some errands at Walmart. We dropped the stuff off with Mom and then met Jr. at his apartment so we could go hunting with him. It was hot, but it was fun :).
My love did pretty good, although he lost a few birds in the field. Jr. and I just lounged around watching, and we can’t forget the amazing bar-b-q Jr.’s Dad’s friends had made!
We cleaned up and I was relieved ’cause I REALLY needed to pee. The guys kept telling me to “pop a squat” but I just got the heebie jeebies thinking about it. *shudder* I was grateful to arrive at Jr.’s, where we hung out with Rudy and then came home :).
It was back to the grind the next day. It was such a good, productive week, and I’m grateful :). I’m hoping we can do really great with these events. I just have a feeling they’ll be great. I hope I can continue to be excited and motivated about it and not feel overwhelmed and stressed *crosses fingers*.
I made a Halloween wreath on Wednesday night after I spoke to my boys. It’s always good getting an update from them, though they were somewhat distracted this week, with their games. Eenan did let me know he’s been reading my blog. I still don’t know how I feel about that LOL.
Emily has done so much better all week, I’m so proud of her :).
Thursday morning was a bit hectic and it seemed to continue all day. I picked the boys up in the evening after work and Jorge picked up his. My boys and I had all different sorts of conversations. I’m glad we can be so open in our talks :). We got home and I made dinner and then we put all the kiddos to bed.
Took the boys to school the next day. We didn’t converse as much as usual because Jaylen was reading his book. The day was already so much better than Thursday. Something happened that bothered me, but I eventually shook it off after I had lunch with Jorge. We went to Mom’s Smokehouse and we had this:
Yes, you read that correctly: Cheezepotle Elote and Shrimp Ceviche Tostadas. Since I was already in a crappy mood I was annoyed that there wasn’t any “green” in my tostada (some avocado or lettuce, c’mon!) but it was just amazing!! I could go for one of those elotes again!!
I picked up my kiddos after work (the girls included, since Mario took them with him when he picked them up). It started pouring as soon as we got to Dollar General. I needed detergent and of course they had a garden sale so I got a bird feeder and a bathmat for the boys’ bathroom and a few other things. It took us a while to get home since it was pouring. We had pizza night when we got home and just relaxed the rest of the evening since our 3 football players had games very early today.
Thunder woke me up around 3am and when we woke up at 5am it was still going. We knew there was no way they’d play in this weather, but we got no warning from anyone. The kids ate, got ready and Jorge took his boys to their school and I took Jaylen to his. We could hardly see in front of our windshield, the rain was SO BAD. I was going 30-40 miles per hour on the expressway, sometimes even less, hydroplaning all over the place. When we finally arrive at the school, all the parents and kids are still in their cars, in the darkness and only the headlights showing how hard the rain was coming down. A few brave kids got down to ask if they were playing and the nice boy in the car next to us signaled a “no”. The other kids signaled everyone else and little by little everyone left. Jaylen said, “I hope they don’t make those who left do Lombardi’s!” LOL
So we made the trek back in the scary rain again. It was worse for poor Jorge, who drove all the way to Palmview and they said the game was still on, so he drove back to McAllen, where the game was being held, just to get a call when he’s almost there to go back to Palmview ’cause they cancelled the game. Eff our lives!!!
Poor Jorge had to go back to work, but I threw myself on the sofa where I eventually passed out and kept waking up ’cause the boys were playing Destiny. I asked Emmos to take a nap with me, but she wanted to play instead hehe. I got to rest just a bit before hanging out with the kids, picking up McDonald’s for the boys and getting the girls ready for Jessica’s little baby’s party. It’s POURING again by now and we park at the party place. We try 2 unsuccessful times to get out of the car and into the building, but the rain is just awful and the parking lot was flooded. Jessica and I are going back and forth on text and Facebook and after the girls and I have been trapped in the car for over an hour she calls to ask if I can see the empty parking space. Then she says, “Can you see the Boot Jack?” and then I feel like a complete moron because we’re at a completely different party place!! My poor girls were looking forward to it and I didn’t pay attention so they didn’t get to have fun. Ugh. We tried making it the last 30 minutes of the party, but the rain was so bad down Dove Ave. that I didn’t want to risk driving with the girls anymore so we picked up Burger King and headed home. They didn’t seem to mind, thank goodness!
So here we are, lazy and home and I’m so glad. Poor Jorge was stuck in Brownsville for a while and he said the road was completely flooded, even on the Expressway. We ordered pizza and I’m hoping to finally, finally sleep in till at least 7 tomorrow, heh.
And I hope our pond dries up a bit >_<.
[caption id="attachment_2421" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The backyard![/caption]