Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sundays have the best shows

Are you watching The Affair ? If not, I highly suggest it. One of the brilliant things about this show is how it is told from the main character's perspective. Sometimes it is the same exact time frame but the take on it is completely different. Great show.

Homeland didn't disappoint either. Still gets my heart rate up. I am still hanging on to this show and my hope for Carrie Mathieson.

The show that is surprising me the most is The Leftovers. I love that show too. Watch it!

These are the shows that take up most of my time until GoT and Veep come back.

Any other shows I should be watching? Let me know in the comments section.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

City Champs

In the midst of all the craziness this fall, I didn't get to talk about Biggs and her school volleyball team. They won the city championship in their division! This was a huge deal because the school team won last year with an entire team of eighth graders. This team started four sixth graders. They played so well and minimized mistakes. Great season!! My kid played great. So proud of her.

Congrats Biggs!
7 serves in a row in final game


Romo is BACK

I aint gonna lie, 7 in a row HURTS! I was kind of done watching football after 7 in a row on Sundays and the three ugly losses on Saturdays. It is depressing. I was always so hype for the weekends. Boo!

Please, sweet baby Jesus, give your team a win this weekend. We need something to smile about.

GO COWBOYS!

It happened

I know. I have been gone for a while. Not that you all noticed. :)

Before I begin to explain my absence, I have to talk about my baby girl. Remember THIS post? Well, I got a call from the school nurse Monday at about 10:30 am. Nurse said my baby girls was in her office with menstrual cramps. Impossible, I told her. She has not started her period. Nurse put Biggs on the phone. She says she THINKS she started. UGH! No one there could give her any meds for her cramps (against school policy). She had to suffer all day with on and off cramps. Poor thing. She asked the nurse for some "supplies" and I said we would discuss when she we got home. This was a Monday, which is usually a very busy day at work AND I teach Bodypump on Monday nights.

I tried to leave work. No dice. My schedule has been insane at work. I work every night after I get home and do whatever it is I need to do that night. Biggs took the whole thing in stride. I asked her if she was prepared at school. She said she wrapped toilet paper and put it in her underwear (told her to do that). Asked her if she was ok or worried. She wasn't. This was a well covered subject between us. We have talked about this for a while.

I sent a text to TA and my mom. TA asked if there was anything he needed to do when he picked her up. I told him he didn't need to do anything and that I would take her to the store to get supplies after I got home. My mom was worried for some reason. She wanted someone to go to the school to check her. HA! No!! I am not driving to the school to embarrass her even more. And check what?? No one checked me and I was fine. I got my first period in 7th grade. I was a latchkey kid. I had been since I was in third grade. I called my mom at work to tell her I thought I started my period and she laughed. Well, first she screamed "WHAT?!", and then she laughed. I became so embarrassed and unwilling to talk to her about this AT ALL. Not a good way to instill trust.

When I got home, I talked to Alexis. I told her I didn't know what to say, congrats or I'm sorry. I told her this was a big step in her development and that I would always be there to help her with whatever she needs. We went shopping. While we were shopping, she spilled her guts to me. About everything! Any slight piece of drama happening at the school, I heard about it. Anyone giving her shit, I heard about it. I heard her opinions on everyone. It was so great! I loved it. I don't know when I will get that chance again, but I can't wait. I am SO GLAD she trusts me enough to tell me all this stuff. She even called me yesterday to tell me that her crush called her. She talks about him to me a lot. I worry, all the time, that I will do something to something to break this trust unintentionally. The best I can do is just keep being honest with her and constantly showing her she can trust me.

So maybe this was a good thing. A great thing. Hopefully during the next milestones of her life, she will share them with me. Her first kiss. First love. All of it. She is growing up so fast. I hate it. But I love the young lady she is becoming.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Maui

Torrey and I were able to take the family to Hawaii today, including my mom and dad. It was a great thing for us to be able to do for my parents. On the trip, they kept saying they thought traveling to Hawaii would be a dream they would never get to do. That made me so happy. They are there for Torrey and I all the time. Anytime we needed some help early in our marriage, they were there to help us.

We have travelled with my parents before and each time, there is something unusual that happens. This time was no exception. We were in the ER Friday before we left. J broke his arm. Luckily, the ER had waterproof splints. It worked out very well. Three days in to the trip, he caught a fever and a cold. He was a trooper though.
On the balcony of our resort as soon as we checked in
We had to cancel our zip lining tour. No way J could hang on with a broke arm. He hurt it twice while we were there. Once he slipped at the resort and tried to catch himself. The other was jumping off the side of the boat we were on while we were snorkeling. His orthopedic doc asked us NOT to let him swim any more. OOPS! He did all the activities we planned during the day but by the end of the day, he just wanted to rest. I missed the luau but that's ok. That's what moms do. Happy to do that for my boy and everyone else.

Checking in to the beautiful resort with mom and dad

Three generations in Maui

The guys hangin loose

On a mission to give mommy a heart attack
I had more pictures but I am having trouble downloading them now.

All in all, great trip. Thanks to my travel agent for recommending this place, considering the size of our group and age difference. There is no other place I would have stayed. Thanks to Yvette for the setting it all up for us. If you want to travel and don't know where to stay or get the best, let me know. I will put you in touch with her. She is great.

I worked a little while I was there. I wanted to. I am really enjoying my job now. 

Wonderful trip. THE BEST SPA EVER! I came back with no knots in my neck. Great to give this gift to my parents and memories for my kids. The first few days were a tough time adjustment but all worth it.

We came back just in time to watch Sharknado 3!!!


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Happy Birthday to my sweet tiny tiny baby

He's 8. Can't believe it. How did this happen? It was yesterday that I could hold him in my hand. Now he is up to my nose and I can BARELY carry him. Yes, I carry him. I try to carry him. He is long and heavy but that's why I do squats and dead lifts. :)

iFly Houston. Look at the wind blown smile on that face!
I call him my "tiny tiny baby". TA stopped correcting me. He will always be the tiny tiny baby to me. I thought when I was pregnant with him that there was no way that I would love him as much as I loved Alexis. Impossible, I thought. I had no idea I had this much love in my heart. Both my kids have taught me this lesson. I have lots of love in my heart...more than enough for the both of them. They have taught me patience when I didn't think that was possible either. My instinct used to be anger and yelling. It does not work with either. I give Alexis the "I'm disappointed" speech and she's in tears. With J, I have to get to the bottom of why he did what he did. This is not easy. It takes a while and boy, does it take patience. Once I do, things get better and he is able to learn.

Our families don't understand that. They are old school. Yelling and the belt. That is where they go. I'm tired of yelling. Do I still yell...yes. Have I stopped yelling as much...yes. We have both come a long way as parents. I can't tell you how proud I am of my husband and the father he has grown in to. I told him that God took my competitiveness and TA's competitiveness and he doubled down on J. God did this because he knew we would understand it and help him.

Bottom line, we have taken responsibility for their growth and we will NEVER give up on them. How could you give up on that sweet face? God has a great plan for you, my son. I can see it. Daddy can see it. We are going to help you get there. I pray that my grandfather, my father and TA's grandmother look down on you with great pride. I wish they could have met you now, but you will one day. For now, we get to enjoy you and you are such a joy in our lives. You crack all of us up every day. Thank you for that!!!

I love you TJA! May God watch over you always.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Sunday Night


Between Game of Thrones and Veep, my Sunday nights are awesome!

This season of GOT is giving me life. I swear it is all I talk about. I think the 2 other dragon riders will be Jon Snow and Tyrion Lannister. 

My 2 fave insults from the Jonad files:
supercalifragilisticexpialidickcheese
Teenage Mutant Ninja Asshole

I am going to be so depressed when these 2 shows are over next week.
True Detective starts this summer. I hope it is good! The cast looks great.
Maybe I will finish watching The Wire this summer. 

I love a good TV series. I need more in my life. Suggestions??

Feeling better and attacking

My back feels much better. I pushed a little at the gym today and I think I won't regret it. I didn't push as much as I could have, but I did push a little more than I thought I would. While I was doing my shoulder exercises, I was trying to focus on something other than fatigue. I zoned in on work and how I might attack the next challenge that faces me.

I have a delicate situation at work. I have to get involved in an account, but not really. It is very hard to explain. Friday, I told my boss that he needs to make a formal statement on the status of this very high profile account. He agreed, but asked that I craft a draft for him. UGH! I am in the process of typing the first draft and I am sure it will go through many revisions.

One of the biggest challenges I have will be managing the people that have been on this account for a long time. They are going to remain there, but I am somehow going to be governing this account from behind the scenes. I don't think two of the guys will like that. Yes. I forgot to mention that all the people on this account are male. Not one female. The irony of this whole thing is that one of the guys I will now manage was a guy that showed me the ropes at work when I first got to this company. I do have the feeling that he will attempt to take advantage of me in different ways. It is always awkward. They completely ignore me when I am in meetings with them. I know I will have to start asserting myself at some point but I have this huge learning curve to go through. This is a big all around challenge and I have to focus on how I am going to attack. While it may seem easy to start on the people part, I need to look at the big picture. A strategy needs to be either formed or carried over. All we are doing is firefighting now. We can't live like that any more. I made my way in to an issue today. While I spent the day trying to gather info and really figure out WTH was going on, I got a message from my boss asking me the same question. I had an answer. I gave it to him and the team and he said "You have this under control. Just keep me informed." UGH! I really don't! I am glad he thinks I do but now I really have to get things under control.

While I was shoulder pressing, I could not help but smile about the challenges ahead of me. I smiled because I live for this shit. I live for the pressure and the chance to elevate myself. I can't be scared to fail. If that happens, I will be paralyzed. I don't have time for that. I must move, even if I misstep. Men are often allowed to make many mistakes. Women don't have that luxury but I think I am in an unusual situation. I may be allowed to stumble. I am looking forward to the chance to fall on my face, dust myself off, then attack again.

Monday, June 1, 2015

I Miss My Kids

My kids are with my mom and dad this week. They get out of school a week earlier than most and the camps we have them registered for don't start until next week. My dad is retired so he will be home with them all week. My mom took Thursday and Friday off so they will be in San Antonio for those two days. They are going to have so much fun.

They have FaceTimed me every night so far. It's weird. The older they get, the more I miss them when they are away from me. I thought it would be backwards. Alexis went away for three days to Camp Kappe for school. I was a mess. I missed her so much. If I could bottle up this time and their age right now, I would. I want them to stay 11 and 8 forever! They are so much fun. J constantly cracks us up and Alexis amazes us every day.

They FaceTimed last night. Luckily, we had finished Game of Thrones. If you know me, you know I am obsessed with this show. I feel it is my civic duty to tell everyone who reads this to follow the #demthrones hashtag on twitter for amazing little gems like this.
If you don't know what this means, please look it up now!
I typically have to watch the episode twice because I am reading the timeline on this hashtag the whole time I am watching the show. Last night, we were ten minutes behind so I had to exit the app because I was trying to figure out what was coming up.

Again, I digress...

They didn't want to hang up. How sweet! I love my babies! I will carry J until I physically hurt myself. I desperately want my children to be independent and have a mind of their own, but I need to somehow do this in a way where they do not move too far from me in the future. HA! There is a fine line there and I need to figure it out. I remember when Alexis was a baby and I was going crazy. I was trying to get her to say her ABC''s. One day, TA picked her up from the sitter and he said, "Listen! She is singing the ABC song!" I could hear her in the back and I started to cry. That was something I was trying to do but I didn't get her to do it. Sandra, her sitter, did it. I called my friend Teresa, hysterical that Sandra was teaching her stuff and I was missing it. Teresa calmed me down and said to me, "It is Alexis's life. You have to let go. She is going to do things on her terms and when she is ready." I think about this all the time when they hit milestones or when they do things differently than I would have. I am here to guide her but, it is their life. They live a great life. They are the most amazing things in this world to me. I don't know how these two amazing kids came from me, but they are so unique and wonderful.  I still want to be a big part to them forever so I need to work on this independent/dependent thing. HAHAHA!
Help me! How do I do this? I need answers!!!

I thought this week would be a great week to spend every night with TA but he just sent me a message stating he is busy almost every night this week. Now his weekend is full too! So much for that! I do enjoy my alone time but I want to make sure the marriage is first on the list all the time. As amazing as my kids are, TA is still #1. I have to make sure we remember that always. We have had a motto from day one...Us against the world. It is the mission statement of our relationship. We have now included this kids in this saying but it all starts from the two of us.

But I still miss my kids. :)



(As I type this, I see Bruce Jenner is now Caitlyn. WOW! Her cover picture looks amazing!)




Monday, May 25, 2015

Quick workout when you are in a time crunch

I saw this workout online and I tried it tonight.

10 minute fix

I actually did 12 minutes, 5 minutes of core, and 3 minutes of stretching. Instead of chest press, I did 15 push-ups. I only had an 8 lb weight at the time and it worked ok. I would rather have used 15 or 20. I got through 4 rounds. I was not rushing. I did not take any breaks. I controlled the weight and didn't throw it.

Try it and let me know what you think. Perfect for a quick lunch workout or when you are in a rush at home. I did it because I ate a big sandwich today. :/


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Back


I injured my back 8 days ago.

It is an old injury I sustained long ago in a car accident. I was feeling really good about myself and I went up in weight on my back exercises. I also increased squats and I wasn't struggling to do the weight. I was on a super high! Then I put the bar down awkwardly and BAM! My back started to tighten up immediately. I haven't been able to sleep. It hurts to drive. 

I did teach Monday and Friday. Big mistakes. I was worse on Tuesday and Saturday. Today is Sunday and I woke up feeling ok. I reached for something early in the morning and that was it. PAIN! 

I am so frustrated. This is going to set my fitness back again to a point I was at a month ago. PISSED! I am praying for patience and trying to slow down. I don't know what to do. I want to do something in the gym now. I know I can't, but I want to. It is depressing. 

To keep perspective, one of the other instructors at my gym had surgery this week to get a pin placed in her hip. She is 29. She won't be in the gym for a while and she lived in the gym! She has it worse than I do so I will stop complaining right now and just deal. It will heal. I'll be back. I will push beyond my limits again...one day. :)

The Benefits of HIIT

I have been saying this for years!

If you want to change your body, you have to put pressure on your muscles and tendons. Weights! Weights! Weights!

Now, I can officially say that incorporating HIIT in to your workout will give you quicker results. I am seeing toning in my legs and arms faster than ever by adding HIIT twice a week to my workouts. Of course, you can't eat bad and expect to burn it all off in the gym and you will never be able to work off a bad diet, so that is key. I am not a nutritionist, but there are easy ways to find good alternatives to your fave foods online. As I tell my classes, you get fit in the gym, you lose weight in the kitchen.

Take a look at this article for tips on food and why adding HIIT will help you reach your goals. I disagree that running with make you fat, but running alone won’t help you lose weight fast if that is your goal. I do know some avid runners that are not gaining weight. They are also cross training and eat clean. They love to run, but they know the benefits of confusing your body. Running won't make you fat! But cardio only won't help you get to your goals faster if you goal is weight loss. If you goal is completing a marathon, different story!

Please let me know your thoughts or comments on the article. Knowledge is power.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Make your free throws

My Spurs lost. :(

Now I am full on cheering for the Rockets. My whole family is cheering for the Rockets so this is nice! The Clippers won game 1. Boo! Series is tied now.

Most people say that if the Clippers get in trouble, they will hack D12 as a strategy to get back in the game. I keep hearing people whining about this and asking this be against the rules. Why?? They want to stop fouls away from the ball so the professional basketball players don't have to practice free throws? Make your free throws and this stops! It is so simple. This is their job. They have been shooting free throws since they were 8. It is a charity shot. Free points while the clock stops. Practice them. Make them in the game. The other team will stop fouling you away from the ball. 

Everyone else, stop whining about this!

Go Rockets!!!

Harden is the real MVP.

The end. 

That mom in Baltimore that hit her kid

I'm sad about that whole situation. I am mad about what happened to Freddy. I am mad that these types of thing keep happening to the youth of the country. But now I am upset and scratching my head at all the people that are applauding this woman that, out of frustration, dragged her son from the protests and hit him over the head. I get where she was coming from. She was scared to death that she would not see her son again, with great reason. I know she was most likely thinking that she would rather embarrass him and beat him before the streets killed him. I get it. That was something that should have been done in private. That was their private moment to discuss and for her to let out her feelings to him. IN PRIVATE.

Several other things make me pause about the situation.

Most of the people applauding her are doing it for the wrong reasons. They are saying "Hey! She gets it! More of these parents need to be present in their kids' lives and discipline them to keep them off the streets!" Perhaps. What I saw was a private moment now exploited by most. I am not one for embarrassing my kids in public. I hated it when it happened to me. I won't do it to them. I was thinking about some of the times I was embarrassed in public and how today I completely disagree with the reasons my parents did it. Now, as a parent, I can see how easy it is to lose your cool and go off! I have felt fear turn to rage inside me when one of my kids did something dangerous or they were in danger. Controlling your emotions in that situation is very tough but you have to do it. You have to. I pray for patience and clarity all the time because I know there are times I feel lost as a mom. Feeling lost turns to anger or frustration. I can't let it control me. I try every day to do better than the last. For their sake, I have to do better. We've got to be better than that. We have to!

The first thing I thought when I saw the footage mentioned above was "Now America is seeing that the only way to control a young black man is with violence." This whole scene felt like justification for the actions of the police. The thought makes me sick to my stomach. SICK. I have a son. He is half black. He is half Mexican American. I would HATE the thought of someone thinking the only way to control him is with violence. Teaching someone that violence is wrong with violence doesn't make the point in the long run. It does strike fear. But once the fear subsides, the lesson is lost and the memory of violence remains. I worry about when he gets his first speeding tickets. I worry about his smart mouth and short temper. I worry that he won't be seen as an equal because of his ethnicity. That will most likely happen. I see it now and he is only in second grade. I worry about so many things for him. Things like the situation in Baltimore don't put my mind at ease.

I am not generalizing. I am not about the hate. I am one of the most positive people around. I am not obsessing about this. My wish and prayer is that all of us do better. Everyone wants change. I know I do. But do those same people WANT to change? I do. I want to do better and set that example for may family.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

More change

I am getting a new boss. This is the forth time I say this in two years. My boss is getting promoted. YAY for him. It is bitter sweet for me. While I like the idea of having a supporter so high up the chain, I am sad that the supporter won't be my direct supervisor. Probably pretty selfish of me to think that. I am sure that I will gain another supporter in my new boss. It seems like the organization is bringing people in from the outside and merging them with the best of what we had and making the team look a lot better. At least that is how it looks from my perspective. There is lots of opportunity now during my industry downturn to change things and make it look "better". I say better because that is in the eyes of the new leaders. I wasn't ready for this change but I saw it coming miles away.  Lots of change.

I am also kicking myself for not standing up for what I think in a meeting yesterday. Of all the sales directors, I am the least experienced. I think that is why I clammed up. We were all stating opinions. I should have stressed mine bigger and now I am sick because I didn't. UGH! I can't do this any more. I need to open my mouth with my well thought out ideas and opinions. I will never learn or grow if I don't.

I am actually rooting for the Rockets. My normal NBA team is the Spurs. I still root for them too. It is kind of nice for the whole family to root for the same sports team. It is unusual. Won't happen again. Football season is house divided almost every weekend. Tonight is game 5 of the Rockets v Mavs.  We are missing all our free throws. Another thing that is irritating me is people want to change the rules for fouls away from the basket. NO! These are professionals. They need to practice their free throws MORE than dunks. Period. (I can hear my son downstairs watching the game. Jones just hit a clutch 3. My son is yelling "Yes! Spank their booty!" What?)

I am trying to get back to better eating habits. I have been eating like a teenager lately and it needs to stop. I can feel my body rejecting all of this and I just flat out don't feel good. I felt much better when I was eating better. Enough is enough. No more excuses. For example, I am DYING for a Dr Pepper right now. I shall drink this water instead.

I got a MacBook Air this weekend! Good change! This is my first post from my new laptop. I love it. I may never use my iPad again.

Something else is going on inside and I can't figure out what it is. I have not been my super cheerful self lately. People are starting to notice it and I can't put my finger on what it is. I wish I could so I could correct it. I think it is a lot of things. I hope I have an answer soon. It comes and goes. Monday night before I taught my class, one of the members asked me what was wrong. I wanted to tell her but I didn't even know! I always know. Even when it is selfish and ugly, I know what is bugging me. Right now, I don't know. Maybe it is the slow and steady climb of changes that have happened in 2015. I wish I knew. I am on a quest to find out. Wish me luck!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Themes


I know I said I wanted to use this blog as a way to vent. Now I have shifted my focus. There are several things I want to do with this blog.

Challenges as a working mother

I was washing the dishes today when I realized it had been a while since I used a colander. That got me to thinking...when was the last time I cooked a meal for the whole family? It has been a while. I think that when school winds down, I will be able to do this at least twice a week. Right now, we typically don’t get home before 7:30 pm. It is just our lives. The kids are very active after school and I teach 2 nights a week. Next week, my daughter is performing but I have a leadership meeting at work that conflicts. I know I can get out of attending the meeting, but I also want to be at this meeting. I know I will go to the school but I want to be present to my company as a leader, which brings me to my next thought...

Leadership

I have mentioned YODA a couple of times here. I want to be Yoda to my readers. I want to inspire others as well as have them learn from my experiences. I recently attended a leadership seminar where the speaker talked about “claim and grant”. I tried this during my yearly review with my boss. I told him I wanted to take on managing a large section of the business. I told him why I was the right person to do it. He nodded and said it sounded like I had thought about it and he was willing to do it. I didn’t think about this all on my own. I have been in many interviews and yearly reviews where I talked about the past and tried to explain why I was worthy. I don’t do this any more. I talk about vision, strategy and the future in these meetings now. This is a small example of what I want to pass on to anyone who decides to read this blog.

Sharing my life for real

I love my family. I love the life we continue to build together and I am so proud of them. But I want to share the “realness” of what it means to get to the top of the mountain. There are so many irritations, tough times, and sadness that have gotten us here. I am done with platitudes. I want to be real with everyone I meet and share my reasons. You might laugh, but the Bruce Jenner interview that I watched last night gave me that idea. I have lived long enough to stop hiding and start working on the person I want to be. I can’t do that without being real. I have many faults. I embrace them because they make me who I am, but I won’t let them rule my life or define me. I will find ways to overcome them or things to do for myself when I feel them coming on strong. I would like to share those struggles. 

GEAR

I often get asked where I get my clothes or how I put them together. I am happy to share my thoughts on this with my readers. I still think of myself and a t-shirt and jeans kind of girl, but no one  I work with would EVER think that. I try to look “the part” every day and before I walk out of my room, I ask, “is this the best version of me that I want to present today?” Sometimes that sends me back to the closet! HA! I am all about looking like a leader, no matter if it is in the office or at the gym.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Ideas?

Gym Gear

Here is another outfit I picked up at Athlete.


I could not be more comfortable. Loved the tank and LOVED the capris. It is hard to tell but I have on a purple sports bra. Best bra I own, besides the Lulu Tata Tamer. I had just finished completing GRIT Strength 10 when I took this pic and I was waiting on my Friday Grit warriors to come in.

I have a lot of work to do before I go to Hawaii this summer but most of the work I need to do is in the kitchen. I have been on a downward spiral all week. I just need to flip the switch and get back to the better eating habits. It is really bumming me out. I say this as I just had a piece of pizza for lunch. I SUCK!!! This is why I push myself to the limits at the gym...but it is all for nothing when I eat pizza.

It’s over. I’m done. I had the pizza and now I don’t need any for the next 6 months.
Keep me accountable PEOPLE!

Monday, April 20, 2015

13 years

Today is our 13th wedding anniversary. People say that it feels like it was yesterday but it really does. I keep telling my husband that we are just getting started! I strongly believe that. In the grand scheme of things, 13 years is not that long. It feels long because we have been together since 1996. That is almost 20 years together. Still feels like we just started.

We didn’t do much to celebrate now. We went to Monday burger night and I ate WAY too much. I swear I can’t walk out of that place without gaining 20 pounds. Saturday night, we went to the Rockets’ playoff game. They won! We had fun. We actually rooted for the same team. Lord help us if the Spurs and Rockets play each other in the next round.

Tomorrow, we head to NOLA for Uncle Steve’s funeral. Torrey is speaking at the service. He’s been thinking about what he would say for days now. My daughter wants to speak too, which means my son will feel obligated to speak. HA! He has to do what his sister does. Torrey was close to his uncle and aunt so he is being very thoughtful about what he will say. Our kids loved him. There is already slight drama but doesn’t that happen with every funeral? I told TA that I have been through enough funerals with my family to know that it is always better to rise above and take the high road. You will never feel better when you get on the lower level that some people go to during these times. It is not right. You won’t like yourself later and think of the people that you will possibly hurt in the process. Take the high road. It is better up there. I have seen family members take a swing at each other on the day of the service. It is crazy! Is this just my family? I never talk about this but I assume the crazy is usually contained in my family. Let’s hope it is not spreading.

TA is a really thoughtful person. One of the things I love about him the most is his forward thinking. When I am stuck on something, he is able to help me reason out of it in to a solution. He is the only person I know I have to bring my “A” game to when I debate/argue. He always pulls out something unexpected and smart. What a PITA! I know people say this about their spouses but he is a natural leader. He is someone people want to follow. He has worked on developing that skill and he is getting better and better all the time. He is a leader in every arena of his life. He is a YODA! (I think I am going to start a label and any time I talk about a leader I admire, I will tag it “Yoda”.) Anyone who knows me knows I would never choose to spend my life with a dud. He is far from it. He’s the best man I know. Maybe he’s the best person I know. He challenges me mentally and always pushes me to be better. I can’t say enough great things about him. He frustrates me weekly *coughdailycough* but there is no one else I would rather be with every day of my life. Everyone has a light, and he makes mine shine brighter. I know I do the same for him.

Here are some pics from our time together. I love my big lug!
Our Wedding day, right after we said “I DO"

House divided college edition. Game day! This was the game Johnny Football was suspended for half the game.
We won. They lost. :)

Our couple shower a month before we got married


We were dating in this pic. This was in Seattle when we went to visit Travis in college. This is TA with hair!

Alexis took this picture and used a photo editor. She was about 5 at the time. Her take on her parents.

House divided, NFL edition, at Jerry World. Cowboys won this one. YAY!

Date night at Tasting Room. Fun night for us.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Joaquin’s First Communion

Here are some photos of our fantastic day... the day Joaquin received his first communion.

Funny stories of how we got his outfit to come. For now, here are some of my faves.

Right before mass

J and my aunt Rachel, his Godmother


Lex got to alter serve that day

Anna Clair Gaal and Trent Joaquin Andrews - our dear friends’ youngest daughter

J and his Godfather Travis, TA’s brother



Notice his face after tasting the wine. :)

After mass with Fr Victor. Lex and I wore blue, J’s fave color.


Our friends The Gaals and their two youngest girls

Monday, April 6, 2015

Happy Easter and other thoughts

We went to Alice, TX for Easter. The weather did not cooperate but we had a great time...until J got sick. Saturday night was not good for him. He had a high fever and threw up a couple of time. Poor baby! He just laid around and watch the Bugs Bunny marathon on TV. He loved it! He watched old school Bugs and laughed his head off. Those cartoons are timeless. Not like the ones on TV now. A few times he asked me to watch with him. I happily obliged. That stuff is hilarious.

He felt better Sunday and went with us to church that morning. During the homily, the priest asked that we reach out to those that could not be with us that day and wish them a happy day. I really enjoy this priest. He is so charismatic and authentic. He is a true leader. He's a YODA. You can tell because the service was packed. A few years ago, that church was empty on Easter and Christmas. When I look at leaders, I try to see if they have the "yoda factor". Do they have the quality, when they speak, that inspires you to get up and do something? We don't need another Luke. We need more Yodas. (If you don't understand these references, you are dead to me.) I have three key words that come to mind when I think of my leadership style: Passionate, Courageous, Authentic. I interchange the word courageous sometimes with inspiring. I try to be a yoda both at home and at work. I have a young female leader at home. I am doing my best to guide and inspire her to develop those inherent leadership skills. She really is a leader and already very charismatic. She is held back a little in being who she really is (the price of attending a small school) but I try to re-enforce her uniqueness and all the beauty in who she really is at home. She is going to be a great leader at whatever she chooses to do.

I am a day late but I would like to wish all those who read this a Happy and Joyful Easter! Whatever your beliefs, this is a great time to celebrate life and celebrate your family.

And also...GO BLUE DEVILS!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Change

My company is going through some changes. These are good, I think. But some people are not reacting well. I have to admit, I am very nervous. I want to help lead this change but I have so many questions. There are some very valuable people that are getting caught in the crossfire or putting themselves in the crossfire. It's strange. While I want to be supportive and move forward, I hate that these changes will lead to some big losses. I am sure most companies go through this and I try not to get too personal but it does affect me. I am passionate about my career and the things I care about. I don't want to lose any good people because I want to DOMITATE. I have only been at this company for four years but I want to win and I want to do what I have to do to win. I think about it a lot. These are the moments when I am silent. You can tell I am thinking or something is up when I am quiet.

Schedule changed at my gym. I didn't agree with it but I will roll with it if it is what the team thinks is best. My Tuesday class at work is going away. I actually gave that one up. If I want to focus on my career, I have to start giving up some things. One of them might be my classes at work. That's ok. I don't have to be in charge of everything! I have to let some little things go so that I can focus on the other areas of my life. I will miss it but I still have Thursdays.

My kids. They are growing fast. It is never more evident than when my parents are in town. My daughter is now taller than my mom and my son is not far away. She was in a play this weekend. She looked so grown up and like a star on the little stage. It was surreal. I didn't get to watch the whole thing because I was manning the concession stand. :) My son is something else. He is finally maturing..slowly...but it is happening.

All this change has my head spinning. It is time to get myself organized and focused. When I feel like I am in a cloud, I know this is what I need to do. It is scary...sort of. I need to widen my line of sight and listen. LISTEN. I am constantly learning from everyone around me. It is like the more I learn, the dumber I feel. HAHA! I can't let that hold me down. It hits me for a second but then I am back. Lots of changes. Lots of challenges. Time for leaders to step up and I am a leader. As a leader, I need to get back in the game and get out of this cloud. This cloud will kill me.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

THE TALK

I decided last week that I was going to have “the talk” with my daughter this week about her *gulp* period. I also decided I was going to break this up. I will talk about the science and medical terminology of her cycle. She is not ready for the emotional side of it. She has no interest in boys just yet. No need to rush the “this is how you get pregnant” speech. She’s 11. She’s a young 11 that still likes to snuggle with us every night and mostly just wants to play with her brother. Not ready for that.  At least I don’t think she is.

It went well. It was fast. I showed her a video I found online and I paused it to discuss different things  about it I thought the video skimmed over too quickly. I told her this was just the start of our talks. She may not have a bunch of questions for me tonight but she can ask me questions any time about this. I will need to work up the script for the boys talk. I was given a slight glimpse of this a few days ago.

We went to Lost Pines in Bastrop this week for Spring Break. The weather wasn’t that great but it we still had fun. The girl said some boy was talking to her in the lazy river. She told us at dinner. After the story was over she said “it’s obvious he liked me.” I had to tell her that just because a boy pays you some attention, it doesn’t mean he “likes” you. It can, but mostly it doesn’t. I saw her face drop for a second, then a light bulb came on in her head as if maybe her mommy was making sense. TA didn’t like this story. He wanted to know what he looked like so he could eyeball him. HA!

I am just glad that the talk went so well. She asked me a lot of questions. Mostly logistical questions. It wasn’t as bad as I made it out to be in my head. My talk lasted a long time and came with a very weird brochure. HA! My mom is a nurse. The big questions from her was how to track your period so you don’t get surprised at school. I will have the sex talk later. I am sure most people won’t agree with my approach. That’s ok. I know my kid. She will handle this better in chapters.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Saturday Workout

We are not really doing anything for Spring Break until the middle of the week. We sent the kids to the Y for Kids’ Night In. I decided I wanted to do a heavy weight workout their first hour in there.

I am FEELING it today. Since I had that “incident” with my knee, my goal has been to strengthen my glutes and hamstrings. I can tell where my weaknesses are now after that workout. I did a heavy back workout (heavy for me) and I am feeling it today! I am sore all over. I love that! I am hardly ever sore after a workout anymore. I did some extra stuff and was just about to finish with 5 minutes of core when TA told me, “They close in 15 minutes.” UGH! I still had to shower because we were going to dinner at Jonathan’s The Rub.

I hate showering at the Y. HATE. I always forget something. This time, I forgot shower shoes. Gross, I know. This is going to sound so rude but I would like SOME privacy while I shower. There are always these older women in the shower when I want to go in there and they are letting it all hang out! I am just not there yet. They just glare at me. I don’t look at them but I can FEEL them looking at me. DON’T LOOK AT ME! Maybe one day I will be showering at the Y and there will be a younger and fitter woman trying to take a shower and I will glare at her too. MAYBE! I am sure I will have to shower many more times at my YMCA but it will never be my preference...unless I can shower in the kids’ locker room...but I am not a creep!

Again, I digress...

My back workout started with heavy bar hand cleans in to a half squat. Three sets of 10. After each set, I would do 10 deadlifts. Those hurt. I wasn’t wearing gloves so when the bar got heavy, I felt like it was going to fall out of my hands. In between sets, I did 15 push-ups and 1 minute hover. That was only 1 super set.

I got to use my wireless Beats by Dre earphones again. I cannot stress how much I love those things. I can easily do burpees with them on and they never fall off. I did a total of 30 burpees (did them in between the leg press sets) with no issues.

That was MY TIME. I finally got an hour of my time in a workout. When I teach, while I LOVE it, it isn’t my time. It is my class’s time. I don’t get to zone out and focus on pushing myself during class. I  get to do that when I workout alone. I love it. TA was watching me workout and afterwards he told me, “You were getting after it!” I love that he said that. He is the KING of difficult weight workouts so to hear him give me a compliment like that made my day.

We had a great dinner with no cell phones out. He forgot his which made my day. :)

I wish the sun would stay out! I am sick of this rain and cloudiness. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate when we go to Lost Pines.

Balance

I was out of town last week at a conference so I am behind. I am behind on everything.

My house is a mess, at least I think so. It just feels cluttered. It is not a HUGE mess.

My kids need help in school and I have been on autopilot for a while. They were doing so well so I just let it go. They did too! HA! I feel like I took my eye off the ball for a second and now they are dropping the ball.

I feel behind at work too. While I like having these conferences, esp SSTB, I hate that I get behind. I suddenly feel the stress building up in my shoulders and it goes all the way to my heels.

At the time I started this post, I needed help with balance. I am ok today. I am caught up at work and home. I feel better. What helped me was getting my thoughts organized by putting pen to paper. I made a list each day at work of things I needed to accomplish that day. I didn’t go crazy. Just chipped away day by day. It worked. By Friday, I was jumping ahead to other things and planning for stuff way in the future.

At home, all I had to do was talk to my partner, TA, and we made a game plan for the kids that week. I also decided I would increase their chores by 1 each, just to make sure they remain focused through the end of the year. Last week was not bad. They picked up their pace and finished the week stronger than they started.

I guess the main idea here is to get organized, ask for help, and find an outlet. I did all those three things and my shoulders feel fine. HAHA!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Venting

My post yesterday was therapeutic. I went to bed feeling better and today I have a clear head about my "stress".

This is all self-imposed stress. I need to quit. I have stress at work. Trying to cut a budget to save jobs is stress. Going to a conference and worrying about my knee is not really stressful. It is annoying but is it really stress? Stress is worrying about how to feed your kids. Stress is wondering how you are going to pay the light bill. We all have our own levels of stress but I feel like an ass for complaining about the things I complained about last night.

Truth is, I have a very blessed life. I was looking at a picture that someone posted of my daughter last Friday at school during Go Texan day. She looked super cute. Cutest girl in the school that day. That picture hit me like a ton of bricks though. She looked so grown up. I hated that feeling of her being an adult and not being in our house every day. I love that girl. She is the most amazing person I know. Why am I always stressed? I have a great life. I have set it up to be busy and now I am complaining? UGH! I gave myself a reality check last night and let all that crap go. I will get through the week and do all the things I have to get done with a smile on my face and with some grace.

There is a friend of mine that is constantly complaining on her FB about the every day life of raising an 18 month old daughter with her husband while trying to have a career. Her complaints irritate me. She hates being criticized but is the first to criticize other moms. I could go on and on about her but I won't. I mention her because she is a constant reminder to me to be grateful for my beautiful, healthy family. No need to complain about homework, schedules, and lack of sleep. I have it easy compared to others. This is my attempt to be a little more relaxed.

I was stressed all weekend and why? Nothing I was doing really was life or death. Why do I stress so much about the kids being tardy to school? So what? Who really cares. It is not like it goes on their record as a negative. I'm in traffic gripping the steering wheel trying to get there as early as possible. Time for me to focus my attention on the thing that really matter and not whether or not my son has the proper belt on for school that day.

I don't know how I am going to do this but I am going to try to start releasing some of this "stress". It's not stress. It is just a semi-full schedule. Nothing we can't handle. I am going to stop using the phrase "super busy" and "crazy busy" and see if that helps. I am sure this won't be the last post I make about how off I was previously but I am working on it. I am a work in progress. My husband wanted this blog to be cathartic for me. So far, so good. Thanks babe!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Stress

My first stress post. I can predict there will be more. I will number them once I get going, but, for now, I will just call this one “Stress”. Maybe I should number them so I can see how much I whine. I hate whining.

Crazy week. Everyone says that about their weeks but my head is still spinning. I took the lead on budget cuts for our department and helping my boss meet his budget goal for the year. 20% cut. Ouch! This would not be bad if I had been involved in the budget the entire year and known where the numbers came from. I don’t. I am doing a deep dive in to each category I was asked to evaluate and I have 1.5 days to do it before I leave town for a conference.

Tuesday through Thursday I will be in NOLA for a conference. This only stresses me because of my exercise program. The stress has doubled because I ran a 5k this weekend. I have not run in 8 years. I knew I was in good enough cardio and physical shape to finish and finish strong. My company put together a team of almost 30 people to run either a 10k or a 5k.
Half of our run club team

Stacy and I pre-race


I did it. I finished strong. I went WAY faster on the last mile than the other two. My goal was to pass 20 people. I passed way more than 20. One day later, I remember why I don’t run. My knee is KILLING ME. I have had trouble with my Iliotibial Band (IT band) for the last 8 years. I first noticed it after a 4 mile run 8 years ago. It has been trouble ever since. It has never hurt this bad in 8 years like it does today. It hurts to walk down the stairs. So frustrating. I have been to numerous doctors and spent so much money on trying to get this fixed just to have it ruined in 30 minutes. I am scheduled to teach Bodypump tomorrow and I am trying to figure out WTF I am going to do. Still haven’t found a sub for my Wednesday class. I will probably have to stand in front of the class on Monday with little to no weight on the bar for squats and lunges or get a sub. I hate this. I am also worried about the conference. How am I supposed to walk around for 2.5 days with pain like this. Just typing this, I know it must sound trivial to whomever is reading this but I am so upset. We all have setbacks but I am tired to this one. I just want to be able to bend my knees to pick up something without worrying if I will injure myself while I get up. This is stressing me because I want to exercise while I am in NOLA. I don’t know how I will do this. I typically work from early in the morning until very late at night at these things.

The budget. It is hanging over me like a dark cloud. Cut or cut more heads. I don’t want that. I received pretty good news on it on Friday about our progress but I still want to get it completed so I can move on with my normal job. Our performance evaluations are due tomorrow as well. I hate those things. I spend so much time writing them and then they become meaningless. 

My kids are taking their standardized tests this week. Good week for them to do this because I will be out of town. They won’t have much homework. But now I am stressed about their eating and if they will get enough sleep while I am away. I stress about my husband’s stress level while I am away. 

This is one of those time where I know I need a few days off. Typically, I would handle this stress by exercising but now that option is limited. I need a release. Maybe I will meditate. I don’t think that will work but I can give it a try. 

Work
My health
Conference
My kids
My husband
My other job
=
Stress (right now)

Any suggestions that don’t cause me to empty all the liquor in the house are greatly appreciated. :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Gear

TA bought me some new tights for the gym. Actually, he said he and the kids picked them out. They are pretty loud but I am obsessed with them! I couldn’t wait to wear them and was saving them at the same time. He actually bought a complete outfit.


Complete outfit

Bodypump attire. Love these things!

TA bought medium and even though I thought they were a little loose in some places, I would not buy small. They would have been too short. You can find these here. I really like the sonar capris. I may have to get more. Maybe I will try on the smalls. Did I mention the weight loss challenge? Forget that! I will be at Lost Pines for spring break! Mama wants to look...decent....in her swimwear.

I recently tried Fabletics. Not bad. I really liked the capri tights. They spaghetti stringy top was only OK.

The Oscars. I was obsessed with Rosamund Pike. She looked amazing! I have to admit JLo looked fab too. The tan she purchased matched perfectly with the dress she wore.

Anyway, got try on these tights and let me know if you like them as much as I do. I may never shop at Lulu again!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Sunday Brunch

I can never decide where to go on Sundays for brunch. Typically, we end up at either Escalante's or Churrasco's. Both great, but I wanted something different this time.

This Sunday, TA suggested Urban Kitchen. I almost hate to put this out there because I don't want it to get too crowded but I can't help myself! It was great. Best part...FULL BAR!
I had the chicken and waffles. Excellent. I ate the entire plate in record time. TA had the fish tacos. Also good.

The night before, we went to Devine Affair. We had probably the best sea bass we have had in a long time. It is right across the street from Urban Kitchen. We love our neighborhood and our area. If you are on the west side, try both of these places. Small, quaint, and great food.

PSA - DO NOT go to Dry Clean Planet on Memorial and Kirkwood. They ruined one of my jackets and now they will not refund the cost of the dry cleaning. They have given me the run around for too long. I am feeling the need to rage a full on war, but I won't. I will just take my fight to social media. Anyway, don't go there. They suck big donkey balls.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ash Wednesday

Went to Mardi Gras this weekend. I was ill prepared for the weather so now I am sick. Fever and cold. But I dragged myself out of bed to go to mass and get my ashes for the start of Lent.

On the drive there I was still wondering what I was going to sacrifice for Lent this time. Typically I attend Stations of the Cross but my Friday schedule will probably make that tough. I wondered what I could do. My main idea was taking a few steps closer to God. What can I do to accomplish this?

The first thing that came to mind was my blessings. I forget OFTEN of the many blessings in my life. Did I have it easy growing up? No. Did stuff happen to me that was out of my control? Yes. But now I am in control and I am making this life for me and my family. I think about that all the time as a working mom. Part of me feels like I need to be there more for my children. A bigger part of me KNOWS I need to demonstrate to them the value of hard work and seeing their mom succeed. They need to see me reaching for high goals so they can one day reach for the same. That was the role model I had growing up in my mother.

I digress..

Getting closer to God. Not that hard to do. Thank God for my many blessings and the chances I have now through his grace and love. I do always want to excel at everything I do. That is why one day this blog will be THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME. HAHA! Rarely do I stop and look around at what I have and have accomplished. I am always striving for more! Reaching for higher ground. That’s OK, but there is a piece to that puzzle I hate to admit that I have. That unsatisfying feeling I have when I realize the goal I accomplished wasn’t the highest I could go. I can go farther! I always say I hate losing more than I love wining, so this ties in to that. I am happy. I could not be more happy. I just want the constant feeling of having to overachieve to go away. I can’t be the best at everything. I certainly have tried. People tell me I make stuff look easy. As they are telling me this, they have no idea how many times that day I have beat myself up for not doing better. It happens daily. I think sometimes it is my ultra competitive nature that kicks in but I am not sure if that is really it. I feel like it hampers some of my relationships outside of my family. I don’t want that. That is the LAST thing I want. I need my friends and my support groups.

My goal is to let that go. Giving thanks for my many blessings and praying for God’s grace daily I hope helps me accomplish the ultimate goal of strengthening my faith. I don’t know if it will work. I will give it my best shot. I doubt I will ever get rid of the ultra competitive part of me but I have to try to take it down a notch. I will always want to succeed. I just can’t let it dominate my thoughts like it does now. I will always strive to be better. I just want some inner peace while I am at it.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Work and Fitness

Last week, my company had a conference out of town that I attended. It is a customer specific conference where we have discussions and presentations all day. It is amazing how we get all these very smart and impressive people all in one room all at once.
So many smart people in the same room


Great subjects. Great energy and great passion around all the subject matters. One of the things I stress about at these conferences is my eating. It is not always that easy to find the "healthy" alternative when the main dish on the menu is alcohol. The conference started Wednesday. I got a small workout in before I left town that morning. Wednesday night was not good. Lots of food and lots of booze. I know I don't HAVE to partake but....

Thursday morning I am feeling gross. I snuck out of one of the sessions and did GRIT Strength in a little corner in the hotel gym. I really pushed myself and I have the bruises to show for it. They didn't have a free straight bar so I had to do the clean and press with a curl bar. OUCH! My thighs! I went up in weight and I could feel it! Thirty minutes, and I was done. Ran back to my room, showered, and returned to the conference. I know I got a good one because I was sore the next day.

I am going to post a pic because I wanted to talk about my necklace. It was a little out of the box for me to wear a necklace like that. I should do that more often. Lots of people liked it. I love gold with black. I used to only do silver or black with black outfits but I am expanding. I like popping a little color with the black outfits.
Post GRIT workout...back to work



Before the evening festivities, I called home twice. The second time, I caught my husband. He sounded so tired. He was studying with the boy and the boy was struggling with his spelling words. Sounded like things were not going well so I hung up. I began to feel bad for not being there to help. I know what it is like to be there alone and studying with one of the kids and they are either not in to it or not getting it and you are dog tired. GUILT! Mommy should be there to help. Does he ever feel like this when he travels? I have no idea. I have never asked him. Maybe I should. Then again, I am working RIGHT NOW! I got out of the room and on with my night. I ran in to another mom of two that I admire that works for my company. We chatted for a while and I felt better. I had to get in work mode before I saw any of my clients so I was glad I ran in to her. We vented to each other and then got in to business mode and took off. I purposely wore tight jeans so I wouldn't over eat, even though I wanted to wear the loose skirt. NO WAY! I am on a mission. They may have been too tight so I better get my ass to the gym more often.

The evening was great. I discussed relevant business for the next 4 hours and logged in that evening to send messages to Asia on the different issues that came up. The next day was easy. Another round of great presenations and only a half day. All the clients looked very pleased with the outcome of the conference and the alignment we gained in that time. I love my job. I am glad to finally find a company to call home. My four year anniversary is coming up at this company. Feels like I have only been here a year. I am still learning every day and excited to learn. That's a good sign. I now feel like I can spread my wings and take on more of a leadership role here.

I am also exhausted but I live to fight another day! I have an extra busy weekend coming up but that deserves its own post.