I tried my best.

Anyone else have those days when everything just seems to take forever to do?

This is the stuff my nightmares are made of. Honestly. One of the most stressful recurring dreams I have is where I'm desperately trying to leave my house on time to make a flight. And I always end up missing it. I leave and realize I forgot something and run back into the house to get it. Then I leave and realize I've forgotten something else and go back in, etc etc. This repeats for what must be hours because I then wake up incredibly stressed out.

No dream like that last night. Actually I slept quite well last night. Instead, my little stressful nightmare was my waking life.
Good movie, bt-dub.

So tonight I didn't have to catch a flight or anything but when my husband comes home at like 9:30 or 10 (or 10:30 or 11...or sometimes 12...stupid job), I like to report to him that I've done something with my life. You know something more than loafed around. 

So here's what I've got to report back:


Here those crickets? Seriously, I've got nothing. And it wasn't for lack of trying. (Add to list of failed attempts: look for cricket image. They were all too ugly...or British..you know, like that game...it is British, right?)

Ok so let's take a look at what I tried to do tonight that just did not happen:
1) Tutor. I'm supposed to work with a friend's daughter for two hours but she didn't show up.

2) Book a flight. Who would have thought it'd be so difficult? Apparently when United Airlines gives you those vouchers for flights, they'd like you to personally walk the vouchers on over to your nearest airport (yeah, like I'm gonna joy walk on over to O'hare, the world's worst airport) or photocopy them and then mail them to somewhere in Michigan. Hey United, remember Y2k? Computers and technology didn't lead to the ultimate demise of the world so how bout you let me redeem these electronically? And when I give your people attitude charm, how bout they don't tell me angrily they've sent me an e-mail confirming our conversation? Cause it's like two hours later and that "e-mail" hasn't come. So yeah, now I've gotta go to O'hare or put my trust in Chicago's postal service (bad idea) in the next ten days or they give away my reservation. Thanks, United.

3) Update the firmware on my Cricut...with a mac. Yeah, apparently that's not do-able either. Maybe Cricut and United should team up and fight for their right to not join the 21st century with the rest of the U.S. Oh and when I thought I had the problem fixed cause I brilliantly remembered that I have one of those little mini laptops, Cricut went ahead and told me that my PC's not good enough cause the screen resolution isn't high enough. Oh I'm sorry, Cricut-locks. Why don't you tell me then, which computer is juuuuuuuuust right??
Go on, Cricut-locks. Keep eating the dreams and souls of all your mac-using customers.

4) Eat dinner. Yeah this one didn't happen cause I was just too frustrated.

Thank the good Lord I have the day off tomorrow, during which I will attempt to accomplish something.  I'd say lunch with my old roommate counts. 

Anyone else have a similar day/nightmare??

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Taking a risk

The past few days/weeks, I've been contemplating taking this little risk. You see, I'm not much of a risk-taker. In fact, I'm really not a risk-taker in any sense of the word. I like safe. I like comfortable. I like to know what's going to happen. And perhaps most crippling importantly, I like to know that I will succeed. If I don't think I can come out on the other end as a success, well, I'd just rather not try.

So how the heck did I end up living in Chicago when I didn't know a single person there and I had never even visited prior to moving? Well, the semi-safe way of course. I came via volunteer program that gave me a house and roommates. We say semi-safe because the not finding a roommate or an apartment risk was, obviously, very low. That part, safe. The neighborhood, not so safe. Story for another day. Regardless, it was a safe move. I knew what I was coming to and what I'd be doing and I knew I'd be teaching in some capacity and, at the time, I thought I was pretty decent at teaching. So relatively risk-free.

I come from a long line of worriers.  My mom worries about me constantly (and endearingly!). She worries about where I live and about my job and about my future and probably about the kids that haven't even become a twinkle in my eye. And I, like her, will always worry. About everything.

Additionally, I'm of fiscally conservative kinda folks. (Thanks mom and dad!). And I try my darnedest to be so as well, but by nature I just don't think I am.

Side note: I was hanging at Michael's (of the craft store variety) and this man offered me his empty basket on his way out the door. As he handed it to me, he said, and I quote, "This is a lucky basket! Won't make you spend too much money." I laughed and said that would probably be good for me. To which he replied with no hint of sarcasm, "You certainly don't look like the thrifty type" and laughed a little friendly laugh. I told him he was right but my husband would sure love if I was a bit more thrifty. Friendly old man. End side note.

Anyways, I'll probably end up with a serious complex at some point here. I'm a worrier who likes to spend money but I know I shouldn't because I'd love to have a big old savings account. It's truly a vicious cycle of worry, spend, shame, worry ad nauseam.

Ok so let's bring all these points back together, you know, if I lost you along the way. I don't like to fail. I like success. My mom worries. I worry. My parents tried their best to instill in me a sense of financial responsibility. I like to spend. I feel bad.

My husband is the opposite of all this. He doesn't worry. He thinks things will work themselves out. That the world conspires to make dreams come true. Please don't read that as taunting. He actually has proven himself right more than his fair share. Furthermore, he's a little entrepreneur, which, I swear must be a recessive Mexican gene because, with only my mom being part-Mexican, I missed that one.

This is all to say.... that I'm thinking about opening an Etsy shop. I know, I know. Not much of a risk, right? Here you were thinking I was gonna say I was attempting to cure cancer or run ten consecutive marathons or something truly grand. But you know I just can't bear the thought of not being successful which means this would be a risk. There's a good chance that with so many shops on Etsy, mine could be easily overlooked. But, ultimately, my husband (and my old roomie, Jenny!) has gotten to me. He's just got that "si se puede" attitude and it's just so dang contagious. And that Jenny, she's speaking little "you can do it"s too. And I can't not listen.

So I'm gonna give it a try. Probably not tomorrow. Or the week after. But sometime before summer comes barreling in with it's tempting beaches and makes-you-not-move temperatures.

So I guess what I'm really saying is keep a look out for an Etsy shop. And if you don't see one before those lethargic summer days roll in, give me a slight cyber-whack aside the head.

This can be done, right?

P.S. I'm waiting for my tutoree and with no time to seek out exciting pictures, I apologize for just words.

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Since we're on this Mexico kick...

I went to Mexico this past summer. Hung out with my fam. Hung out with the husband's fam. And it was lovely. In that non-Cancun kinda way. Not that I'd know since I've never been to Cancun. In fact, I think my goal is to get thee to a beach next time I'm in Mexico. That's what everyone else seems to do when they go there...

Anyways. I took some pictures when I was there. I wanna share them with you. But don't steal them. They're mine. mine. mine. mine. Reallys.

She's famous. She lives in Mexico City. I caught this here glimpse of her from the top of a bus.

That's a horse. Tied to a gate. In the middle of a road. I think he likes to chill in San Miguel de Allende. But I don't really remember. That's what happens when you go to Mexico to see family. They take you a lot of places and you get the places all mixed up when you come home.

There's that same horse, different view. My dad used to say something like "something something something animal headed north." He'll read this and let me know what all those somethings were. And those signs there? They say no parking. Wonder where you put the parking ticket.

That's in Mexico City. Near the Anthropology Museum. I don't think anyone has ever made it through that entire museum. I certainly didn't.

Church. Somewhere. I forget. But I'm liking those colors. Shoulda framed the shot a bit better though, don't ya think? You win some, you lose some.

Good thing Wikipedia knows what this is...cause I, the bad tourist, forgot. I know. I know. Heaps of shame upon my family. It's the National Palace in Mexico City. Tough to get a good angle but this one's decent, I suppose.

And lastly, the flag thrown in for good measure. I waited forever for the wind to kick this flag into place. Can't see the whole thing but, eh, what can you do?

So there you go. Seven months late but vale la pena, eh? Worth it, right?

Mmmmkay, enjoy!

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Can we get a little awkward?

Do you mind if we get a little awkward and maybe uncomfortable for just a moment here? Is that okay with you?

Because I'm about to turn this nice family dinner atmosphere we have into something a little less polite.

I wanna talk about immigration.

Did you leave?


Ok. Good.

You see, this past week, there was this guy, a politician, who made a comment about undocumented immigrants that made me a little upset.

He, this fellow from Kansas, said, "Looks like to me, if shooting these immigrating feral hogs works, maybe we have found a (solution) to our illegal immigration problem." cnn.com

But then he apologized. You know, after a bunch of people complained and he felt political pressure and whatnot. He apologized.

And while I can appreciate a good apology when it is indeed genuine, what I cannot appreciate is the suggestion that immigrants are like hogs, hogs that ought to be shot.

See that's the part I have a hard time with.

Now, I don't really want to get into a political discussion of whether immigrants who have no papers ought to be allowed to stay or whether they are criminals and need to leave or whether our economy needs them or if they're a strain on society. What I do want to talk about is how they are people.

People in my classrooms. And in the houses next door to mine. And on the buses that pass. Or at the schools down the street. And in the pew beside me at church.

And they're real people. With kids and grandkids and mothers and fathers and sisters and nephews and aunts and cousins. And they all have faces and personalities and idiosyncrasies. Real people. Like me. And maybe you.

And I know them. Some better than others. But I know them. So when you say they are a problem to be eliminated like hogs that are shot, you're talking about people that I know. They're neighbors and students. People who have welcomed me in their homes. Who made food for my backyard wedding. Who have supported me and taught me. And loved me and cared for me when my family was so far away. So you're talking about shooting people I know and people I love.

And if you shoot them, that leaves kids without parents, parents without kids.

See I have a problem with that. With not treating people as people and with thinking that some are more valuable than others.

But he apologized for making an inappropriate comment and has vowed to be more careful with his words in the future.

I'd appreciate if he'd apologize for his thinking and would vow to be more careful with his thoughts in the future.

You're still here? You feel a little awkward? I know it's not right to talk religion and politics at the dinner table, but sometimes when religion and politics affect the people at the dinner table, you can't help but whisper a word here and there.

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After so much said against immigrants, particularly Hispanic immigrants...

"Ultimately, you can't fight demographics. Hispanics are already here, and most them aren't going anywhere. Instead of wishing otherwise, Americans would be better off accepting this new reality. While they're at it, they should acknowledge the positive impact to their communities and their country of having a growing population of people who are, by nature, conservative, hardworking, optimistic, patriotic and entrepreneurial. Hispanics aren't a threat to the United States; they're an essential component." 

I agree. Thanks, CNN.

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Invitation design...in microsoft word??

So if you know me in real life and we're even friends (and by that I mean on facebook, obvi) then you know I've been wanting Adobe Illustrator. And photoshop. And Lightroom (which I now have, thanks!).

Ever since I planned a little wedding, I have been dabbling a bit in design. Mostly invitations. Occasionally other things. And since I don't yet have Illustrator or Photoshop, I do all my designs in....

Yep, good old microsoft word. 

Thanks to Bill Gates, i can design my own invitations! This is a ridiculous statement, I know. I mean seriously, who does any sort of real designing using microsoft word??

Ummm, me? Cause I don't have enough money to buy anything better?

Now before you scoff at me and tell your best friend and/or significant other how I've gone off the deep end, check out my latest design. Mostly cause I'm a wee bit proud of it.

Backstory: Long ago in my wedding planning days, I came across this little site weddingbee.com. It was lovely! Lots of girls, planning weddings, and willing to help you plan yours!

Long story short (cause I seriously gotta go to bed), I check weddingbee from time to time, in search of ideas for parties and whatnot. This past weekend, I read about a girl who had been planning a circus/carnival wedding. I was like, "oohhh I should make an invitation." You know for poops and giggles.

And this is what I've come up with...in microsoft word:
Just like a little ticket, eh!

And then.... my real pride and joy:
Remember that blank screen up there? Yeah that's what I started with. Then I made all those little stripes and then all those little gray hanging down things. Yep. Each little one. It took a while.

So there you have it. Invitations via Bill Gates.

Si se puede, peeps.

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Google chat. Androids. And guarding my Wednesdays.

My husband works six days a week. From 12pm to usually 10, 11 or 12pm. He works too much a lot. I work five days a week, beginning at 9am and ending somewhere between 3 and 5 pm.

You're starting to see the problem, right? I work in the morning and afternoon. He works in the afternoon and evening/all night.

Me gone in the morning + both gone in the afternoon + him gone in the evening = not much time together.

So, I was reading over at lamidge.com (a lovely blog, go check her out) that apparently there's this study that said that the average couple spends just two hours together.

Two hours.

Shoot, we're lucky if we get two hours. Which I think was not the point of the study. But, reallys, we love days when we have two hours together.

On the other hand, maybe there are others thinking, "hey, we'd probably be better off if we only had two hours together." Less time to bicker and nit pick and generally get under each other's skin. And yes, there is certainly something to be said of having too much time together. Unfortunately, I'm not discussing that. Wait til we're old and retired and have nothing much going on, then check back here. I'll probably blog about that then.

Until then...

If you're like me and you just got married and you only spend two hours (or less) together each day, how can you have any semblance of a functioning relationship? Especially when there are days when I wake up and he's still asleep and he goes to bed and I'm already asleep, meaning we completely missed one another the entire day?

Ahhh yes. Communication.

Enter google chat. (Shout outs to my friend Chris who works at google. I don't care if google chat was invented before you started there. I'm sure you were involved somehow. So thanks.)

Oh, and android phones.

Now generally I despise the idea that anyone could get a hold of me at any time because I am quite selfish with my time. I don't like this notion we sometimes have that we ought to be able to get a hold of anyone at any hour. You may not get a hold of me any time of any day. Unless you're Adrian. Or my mom. And sometimes not even then.

Regardless, Adrian and I mostly stay in touch while at work through the genius of google chat and android. They might not be lengthy conversations, but it allows us to connect in small ways so that we each feel a part of the other's life. Topics range from "Whose waterbottle is this under the sink? I've never seen it" to "Dairy Queen tonight?" to "These people make me crazy" (obviously his coworkers, not mine. Love ya Tolton!) Snippets of life that if you don't share, you miss.

We also guard Wednesday's with our lives. I never make plans on Wednesday unless I've checked it over with him. My coworkers are incredibly understanding and never schedule meetings with me after class on Wednesdays. We guard that one day and we make it about us. Sometimes about us and friends. Or us and family. But also grounded in us.

And I think that's a big piece of how we manage. I've learned that sometimes (namely every Wednesday), I just have to say no. Adrian says I have a hard time telling people no, but when it comes to the middle of the week, I have no problem. I think because there presents such a clear priority, my husband and my marriage. And thankfully, people have been understanding and less and less put me in a position where I need to say no.

And I guess that's (partially) how we do it. For now. I know one of these days, we'll get to be normal and do normal people things together during the week or on the weekends. Or maybe even spend a whole day together without one of us having to ask for the day off. But until then, we'll continue sharing the small details of life that slowly shape us and guarding those little times we do have.

How bout you all? How do you make it work with all the obstacles and the choices and the distractions?

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To anyone who may have donated to Operation Layla, thanks!

The girls were able to raise over $4500 in just 48 hours. Pretty wild, eh?

There's still most costs associated with her appointments and medications after surgery, so they continue to collect money. But the important part is that she will definitely have her surgery.

Every now and then good wonderful things do happen in this crazy world.
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Operation Layla.

For a long time, I've been reading this blog over at wish fullfillment everyday. Layla, the author, is articulate, witty and honest. And that's what I've always enjoyed about her blog. She's been honest and open about having had cancer (at age 30) and all the issues that have resulted from a surgery to remove the cancer. She is now unemployed (due to the health issues), without insurance (denied from her husband's because of these pre-existing health problems) and has worked out a deal with a doctor to have a surgery to relieve her pain if she can get $4500 together in the next two weeks to pay as a cash patient. (You can read the full story here of watch Layla's vlog about it here).

I know you don't know her. And I know I don't know her. And really, I probably never well. But every now and then something just grabs at your heart and you know you can't walk the other way and remain who you are. So if you read her story or you listened to her in all her honesty and something pulls at you, please consider making a donation (there's a donation button here).

For more information, please check out: operationlayla.org

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seriously, happy friday.

My boss e-mailed me when I was just about to leave saying I didn't have to come in for another hour.

Seriously, friends. You gotta take joy in the small things.

I've been singing, dancing, designing invitations, and making my husband wish I was already at work ever since.

Dance your cares away. Worries for another day. Let the music play.....Man, Fraggle Rock, you just get me, don't you??

Enjoy your Friday.
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Things are crazy here.

Seriously, crazy.

I'm in the middle of a writing project with both of my classes.

I'm almost done writing grants for work.

I'm creating a website also for work.

I'm designing the invitation for my friend's wedding.

I'm designing the invitation for another friend's quinceanera.

I just finished designing the invitation for my husband's birthday....and his coordinating t-shirt...and matching cup stickers (awesome little stickers that go on cups with clever sayings that match the theme)...and soon to be doing cupcake toppers....

Oh, and I'm trying to make sure my husband gets enough love and attention.

Forgive me for my serious lack of posts. One day when I finish all these little projects, I'll post them. But not the birthday stuff til after Adrian's birthday. Cause the theme is a surprise. And it's gonna be awesome.

Ok new post ASAP, pinky swear.

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Journey makes my heart sing.

Dear Lite FM,
Thank you so so so much for playing Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" today. This offered me the opportunity to really put my whiteness on display to my predominantly (roughly 83%) Mexican neighborhood. Of course, I had to roll down the windows and turn up the radio as loud as my poor little speakers could handle. And yes, I certainly did belt it out at the top of my lungs. What was that? Did I take an extra spin around the block so everyone could enjoy an earful of the wailing guitar solo? Why, I'd be selfish not to!
So thank you again for allowing me to share a bit of my culture with everyone within a two mile radius.
Street lights and people,
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