Big Top Big Day

Today's the big day, my friends. My very excited husband is celebrating 28 years of being awesome.

So wish us luck! Oh and send some sunny vibes our way, preferably strong enough to push out those clouds that loitering overhead.

Source: via Grace on Pinterest

Why don't I have an outfit like this?? I'm gonna have to dig through my closet to find something circus chic.

Happy Saturday, lovely ladies!

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Balloons and how it's all gonna be okay.

Let's talk about what I'm thinking about right now. That husband o' mine. 

It's kinda like I'm always thinking about him, the way this blog reads, eh? I'm in the honeymoon stage and I very well plan to enjoy it and embrace it wholeheartedly. Not that I need to justify anything you, dear reader. But if you know this guy, well, then you get it. And if you don't know him, you should try to. He's just darling, I swear.

So anyways, Wednesday. Adrian's only day off. (Remember? We talked about this before, right here.) This past Wednesday he picked me up from work and we went to counseling. We started going a couple months ago to try to deal with some serious anxiety I was experiencing.

Yesterday was our last session with the counselor cause he's moving. He took some time to talk to us about what he's been thinking about us. He actually told us we were the best couple he's had. Adrian and I high-fived and proclaimed our victory over the other couples. Maturely, of course. He also said he really admires us as a couple, so you know we must be doing something right. 

And that got me thinking. I know I've told you all a bazillion times, but I am a lucky, lucky little lady. My husband came with me to counseling because he wanted to support me. He wanted me to be okay. And actually, it was his idea in the first place. He gave up an hour of his one day off to encourage me in facing some of these little anxiety demons. And each time I start letting those pesky little worries get the best of me, he's there with a bear hug or a phoned-in reassurance that we're going to be okay.

Sometimes I just need that reminder. I need to be told that in most of the situations I get so worked up about, there's just not a whole lot we can do. He always tells me we'll take things as they come, grabbing bits of peace of mind where we can. And that if we're together, no matter where we are or what we're doing, we will be okay.

And in the end, we always are okay.

I think if we're honest, we all need that reminder from time to time. That there is good in this world. That people do love us. And that, somehow, in the end, we will be okay.

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Quick update, friends.

So...quiet around here, eh?

I was out of state. And now that I'm back I can tell you that. Actually my husband was home the whole time. I know you wouldn't have tried to steal all our goods anyways, not with that intimidatingly handsome husband protecting the place.

Speaking of which, I've received quite an outpouring of love in favor of Chicken Tuesdays. And while that one-legged chicken was lovely, I believe it's the "That really happened in Chicago??" factor that got you all so excited. So maybe we ought to shoot more for a Neighborly Tuesdays feature, no? Where I share with you all the awkward glories of living so closely to so many deeply disturbing friendly neighbors? I'll see what I can pull together...

So then. I'm bad at recapping things that happened a while ago. Like last week. So let's just say this: I visited my familia and it was great. I love spending time with them. I think they like spending time with me. Love love love. Family family family. Vacation.

And now that I'm back, blog friends, you have me all to yourselves. You know, in the least creepy "we don't even know each other" kind of way.

Check back in tomorrow for another reason I adore Mr. Adrian.

And then keep coming back. Cause this weekend is the Mr.'s birthday and you know I can't resist making a lovely party.

And cause I know you're curious, here's a clue to the theme of the party:

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Marc Anthony, you're still so good. Even after "I need to know"

Hey all. I'm on vacation this week so my posting's been a bit spotty. Sorry about that. I gotta get some shopping done today but since you came over, I don't want to leave you empty-handed. So here you go:

Now, let me take your questions:
1) Is that in Spanish? Yes.
2) Do you understand anything that they're saying? Yes.
3) Is that Marc Anthony? Yes.
4) Um...he still makes music? Yes. And it's awesome.
5) How is J Lo? I have no idea. Ask American Idol.

Ok good. Hope I answered all your questions! Now, if this song doesn't make you want to run to your community college to enroll in Spanish classes so you can belt it out in the shower, you just might not have a soul.

For more musical wonders by Marc Anthony, youtube him. My recommendations? Abrazame Muy Fuerte and Te Lo Pido Por Favor. (You can find them here and here, respectively). I should also mention that he didn't write these songs. They're classics that he redid. And redid beautifully at that!

Be cautious of a video with fish in the background and a "translation" for Te Lo Pido. I assume it was done by a Spanish 1 student seeing as it's terrible and inaccurate. Fail.

Alright, gotta go take a shower. Don't judge. I'm on vacation.
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shame on you, bad neighbor.

Remember that sweet little guy who walked me out my own front door the other day and yelled "te quiero much, tia!" when I got to the gate? No? Check back here. Remember too how I said I'd introduce you two formally one of these days?

Well, today's not really that day.


I do have a good story for you.

He called my husband yesterday while we were out to let him know that he had left a present for me at the house. My husband was not to tell me what it was. Lalo just wanted Adrian to know where it was so I'd be sure to find it.

We got home a couple hours later. Adrian checked all around the door where Lalo had said he left aforementioned surprise, but there just wasn't anything there.

Where I live, surprises can't be left outside. Even when they're small gifts of love from a five year old. People take things. And said people took my little surprise.

I called Lalo to tell him the bad news. He told me, maybe they took it because they liked the color.

I told him probably. It was most likely such a nice gift, passersby couldn't resist. I asked him what it was.

He told me

a butterfly pen.

He said he'll buy me a new one.

Sweetest little man ever, I tell you.

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Cockadoodledoo, folks.

Living in the middle of Chicago, you see some odd things from time to time. You know, like a lady peeing on the sidewalk outside the library. Or random mascots in places where no sports team ought to be.

Oh, but this one, today, was not quite as shocking as the lady outside the library but a little less expected. (sidenote: people do lots of drugs. Drugs make people crazy. Crazy drugged people pee on sidewalks. It's sad, really, but clearly, not unheard of.)

This morning as we drove around the block, Adrian sighted this little stunner:
Yep. A rooster. And not just any rooster, but a one-legged rooster. Seriously, people. How the heck does a one-legged rooster end up in the middle of the city of Chicago? Is this someone's pet?? Did he escape from the local butcher with just one leg to stand on?? Furthermore, did my husband eat his other leg for dinner the other night? J/k. Maybe. Tell me, Rooster, what's your story? Did someone try to keep you in their tiny, cement covered backyard as a reminder of a life lived long ago in the ranchito, or what??? Who are you?

So that was awesome chicken moment number one.

Awesome chicken moment number two? Adrian and I headed out last night to pick up Easter baskets goodies for his nephews. When we spotted this little chicken keychain, I just had to buy it for Adrian.
That's one tough chicken.

Seriously, my husband looks like that chicken. Or maybe the chicken looks like my husband.
So tough, but so fluffy and cuddly. Just like my husband.

Chicken factoid for your day: Foghorn Leghorn is called Claudio in Spanish. Apparently Foghorn Leghorn just doesn't translate well.
 T-t-t-t-t-t-today, Claudio.
I promise to not make Chicken Tuesday a weekly feature...that is, unless I spot that one-legged chicken again.

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A case of the lazies.

I've been a little under the weather lately. I can feel it in my throat. And I admit, I'm a bit of a baby when it comes to being sick.

But so is my husband.

One summer a few years ago, I came down with strep throat. I had a temperature of 103 for five days. I was crazy sick, wrapped in blankets in my 90 something degree Chicago summertime apartment.

My husband and I had been dating for a little less than a year at that point.

On the third day of being sick, my husband (then adoring boyfriend) said to me, "Come on. Just get up. You're being lazy." To which, I laughed. And then ever so politely told him I had strep. He said I had a case of the lazies.

Skip ahead to about a month ago. My little husband was sick. I rubbed his back. Got him whatever he wanted. And did so in a loving, calming tone.

After a few hours of that, I took that little sick face in my hands, and with the sweetest syrupy sweet voice asked, "Isn't it nice to be taken care of when you're sick?"

"Yeah" he said with those drowsy eyes.

I (gently) slapped his cheek and said "Well then how bout you do that next time I'm sick, huh??"

Lesson learned.

I've been a little achy, chilly, etc for two days and he's taken good care of me. That then boyfriend, now husband of mine.

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Best way to start a Friday

One of these days, I'll introduce you all to this guy who is pretty special to me.

Nah, not this handsome fella. He's just my husband

I'm talking about this little man:

That's Eduardo. Or Lalo. My husband's nephew. Best little five year old ever. 

And one day I'll tell you more about him. Maybe next week when I'm on vacation. But for now I just wanna tell you this.

I adore him.

Really, really adore him.

And this morning he came over cause he didn't have school and I didn't have to work til late. We played with an alphabet set I bought him. We spelled his name and talked about uppercase and lowercase. He's still not totally convinced that e and E are the same thing. But we'll get there.

Then I got ready for work. He stuck around to hang out with his uncle. Lucky guy.

I put on my shoes. I grabbed my bag. I gave the little guy a kiss.

Then came the good part. The really good part.

He walked in front of me to the door. Opened it. Held it open for me. And watched me leave. As I got to the gate, he called out:

te quiero mucho, tia. I love you so much, aunt.

And I went off (happily) to work.

*Pictures courtesy of fragola productions

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Somethings are better left behind...

I watched Angry Beavers the other night.

They're so angry.

My nephew, age 5, was over and we were looking for something  5 year old appropriate on Netflix. You can imagine the scene. Me, kid, couch. "OhmygoshAngryBeavers! We gotta watch this!! I used to watch this with my brother and sister!" I say to my nephew who speaks mostly Spanish. He smiles and says, "Ok."

So we watched it. And it was pretty awful. I was annoyed that Dagget was so uptight and that Norbert was such a lazy bum. I don't remember feeling so irritated. In fact, I remember quite the opposite, hence my insistence on watching it.

I often allow the past to remain in the past. In that lovely hazy warm summer day kinda place, your memory. I have the tendency to heavily gloss over my past. When I think about childhood, I am entirely convinced I had the best childhood possible. And when I reflect on my school years, I think the same. And so on and so forth for every stage of my life. Time has a way of turning all my days into the best days ever.

But when I'm deeply honest with myself, I do remember the more difficult time. The pressure of living up to my own expectations in high school, the loneliness that sometimes loomed in the corners of my college days when I just wanted to be home, or the confusion of trying to figure out who I am or, worse yet, who I'll be. I remember that. And I feel it. I know I haven't completely forgotten the trying times. Inevitably they live inside me each day, having made me who I currently am. But I choose not to allow them to make a home in the foreground of my mind.

I prefer, instead, to remember each person as the best version of them, not necessarily disregarding the broken parts but perhaps just giving more weight to the beautiful pieces. And I generally do remember each event, though again perhaps allowing those pleasant ones to linger a bit longer.

Even with these touched-up memories, it's rare that I find myself longing for the past. I generally recognize the beauty of the now. I appreciate this season of life. This time of loving my husband and our little home and the absolute freedom to revel in one another's company with no bratty adorable children to demand our time and attention. While I love to glance through old pictures or sit around sharing stories of days gone by, I almost never wish to return to those times if it would mean giving up what I currently have and the person that I've become.

However, every now and then, a little piece of past sneaks up behind me or, at times, I invite it in. And it confronts me, begging me to remember it as it actually was.

And sometimes I'm let down. My adult self is disappointed with my choices or even my tastes, as in the case of the Angry Beavers. Somethings are best left behind, where they can live happily untainted in your memories.

And sometimes I discover that that time or person was just as wonderful as the memory I've carried with me all these years. Like when my uncle recovered a video of myself and my siblings with my grandfather as he led the chant "We want cake NOW!" as he did every year on his birthday.

Other times though. Oh, those other times, I'm shown something that my younger self somehow missed.

A picture of my father's parents begs me to see that my grandfather loved not only his grandchildren but also deeply, deeply loved his wife. Something a younger version of me had no capacity to understand.

A picture of my sister at age four with her arm around two year old me accompanies my aunt's words, "See how much you love each other." And I don't hear the arguments that reigned throughout our childhood relationship. I see what I couldn't then see from my younger "my sister is so mean" eyes. That it is indeed possible to argue over jeans while still caring deeply for each other.

These kinds of memories, they have a way of finding you when you're finally the you who is ready to accept them as they really were. And sometimes that's difficult. Oh but sometimes, you find something even sweeter than what you remembered.

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