Wednesday, December 20, 2006

One day left......

in 24 hours or so I'll be landing in Chicago :O) SOOO excited! This will be the first Christmas season of family parties that Pat O'Brien & I have attended together. Last year, I came home and we went to Christmas Eve mass at the Holy Name Cathedral, and it was marvellous! But, on Christmas Day he flew to spend the holiday with his parents in Tuscon, and I went to Saginaw to be with my family.

Originally, Keith and I weren't planning on coming home in 2005 since we just left about a month prior to Christmas.....but after spending Thanksgiving solo we decided we wanted to come home because it just sucks spending holidays without your family. If you like your family anyway - which we do!

So this year, we'll be in Chi-town for a couple of days, then hit the road for about a week travelling between Indiana, the 'Naw and Clarkston to spend some QT with family and friends. I'm very much looking forward to it, even though it will be a lot of driving. Pat O'Brien gets kinda cranky when he has to spend a lot of time in the car.....I don't really mind it that much. Probably because I fall asleep right away if I'm not driving......

Tonight, I'm going to go get my birthday present from my parents - they gave me some cash to do with what I wish.......I chose a SPA treatment! they had a special here at a local hotel spa for $800 pesos - 3 hour treatment - one hour massage, one hour pedicure and one hour hydrating facial. I can't wait! Then I'll be all relaxed when I start packing :o) We leave tomorrow morning (we being Milo and I) around 5:30Am or so.....keep your fingers crossed that all goes smoothly!!

I'll be back sometime after the new year - so until then, I hope everyone has a fantastic and safe holiday, and a fabulous new year!!!!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

YAY

I officially made my decision on my new job - I will be a cement salesmen.....well, its called "Market Manager" so it sounds a little fancier, but its pretty much sales. There was a time in my life where I said "No way no how, never ever ever ever ever will I do sales" but, there is a time and a place for everything, and I think this is the right opportunity for me to do it. The territory is Southern Wisconson and Northern Illinois, so it should be pretty fun, even though I'll have to deal with all those Packer Fans.

This also means that Pat O'Brien will be the Engineer for my region, so we'll be working together, sort of. Not necessarily on a daily basis - but it will be pretty cool I think :o) We'll be sharing a home office, so I think we'll need to make some investments in some organization stuff since we're cramped for space there anyway.

This also brings up an interesting subject - if some of you may recal Pat O'Brien interviewed for a position a few months ago (September, I think?).....well, that is the same position I just accepted. Incedentally, its not the first time both of us have interviewed for the same position. Back in 2002 we both interviewed for the Tech Service Engineer position in Chicago (he was moving from Atlanta, and I from Denver). He won out that time, so I guess it was just my turn to win.

Not like its a contest.....although we both are pretty competitive people, when it comes to games and sports and such. But in this situation, its not like we're all cut throat trying to viciousy climb the corporate ladder, destroying anything/one in our path. Luckily, we don't have that type of outlook on work. We just want the best situation for both of us. We have spent a lot of time talking about the subject, and there isn't any anger or resentment...in fact, we're both looking forward to working together.

We make a very good team on so many levels, and I think its pretty incredible that we highly respect each other's position and knowledge. It comes in handy when we're stuck on presentations or letters - or when we just need to bitch........its comforting, in a way, I guess. Its kind of hard to explain. What I'm trying to say is that I think when a husband and wife do not respect each other's careers, or even just jobs, it can cause a lot of tension in a marriage.....like if one person thinks their job is somehow "more important" than the other person's......that goes for stay at home moms too - I think some husbands don't appreciate or respect all the work the moms do, and that leads to a lot of resentment down the road. I kind of got off on a tangent there.....but I'm happy and Pat's happy and we love and respect each other personally and professionally and that makes for one happy couple - and I think a very successful business relationship.

Heh - I guess I could have just said that a paragraph ago, eh?

The best part - we're going to have matching Jeep Grand Cherokee's! How adorable is that? I'll probably order a different color though, just so we don't get confused in the mornings and grab the wrong car :) That would be annoying!

Chicago Eating

My mom asked for some recomendations for a friend for eating and Chicago......since she's having email issues right now (as in - I can't email her at ALL! They keep on getting bounced back....grrrr) I figured I'd post it here so she can finally read the info:

Hey Mom

I'm not sure what she's looking for exactly.......I'm assuming restaurants in the downtown area.....Keep in mind most of these restaurants are pretty expensive ($150 for dinner for a couple, if you buy a bottle of wine). But they are TOP NOTCH - fantastic food, well worth the cash. I would recommend reservations.

Fogo de Chao is my all time favorite (that’s where we're going to eat our wedding dinner). For dinner, I think it’s like $70 a person, plus drinks and such, so it can get kinda pricey pretty quickly, but it’s well worth it! It’s a great dining experience, and they won't find anything like it in Michigan!http://www.fogodechao.com/

Another place on the higher end is McCormick & Shmicks - great seafood, and the absolute most heavenly apple pie crispy yummy goodness dessert I have EVER had! Pat likes Joe's Stone Crab better though. It’s a toss up.
http://www.mccormickandschmicks.com/
http://www.icon.com/joes/

The classic dinner in Chicago is a good hearty steak dinner. Wildfire, Gibson’s, Morton’s, and Sullivan's are all fantastic choices.
www.gibsonssteakhouse.com/
www.mortons.com/

Some more reasonably priced places:
Lettuce Entertain you restaurants: it’s a kind of a chain of restaurants in the Chicago metro area - I've heard great things about almost all of them, and they are a bit more reasonably priced (but still more expensive than Chili’s or Applebee’s)
http://www.leye.com/restaurants/search.jsp
Osteria Via Stado is supposed to be one of the best Italian joints (ok, its not so reasonably priced…..but its part of this chain), but Maggianos is good too. I like Ben Pao too! Wildfire is one of this chain of restaurants too.

Fronterra Grill and Bandera are two classy gourmet Mexican food places. Fantastic! Pat loves the jalapeño cornbread at Bandera.
http://www.rickbayless.com/restaurants/grill.html
http://www.10best.com/Chicago,IL/Restaurants/Lunch/?businessID=51955

Tavern on Rush – I would go here at Lunch Time – they have VERY yummy salads, and its kind of a classy joint. Skip dinner though – it becomes too much of a “let me show you how small my penis is by how awesome and expensive my car is” kind of place.
http://www.tavernonrush.com/

Jake Melniks - bar type atmostphere, cheaper, but yummy :o) One of Pat’s favorites.
http://www.levyrestaurants.com/levy/diningexperiences/restaurants/group2/jake+melnicks+corner+tap.htm

For breakfast or brunch, I HIGHLY recommend Tempo on the corner of Chestnut and State - it’s the place Pat lived right next store to. I LOVED that place! The only drawback – there usually is a line, especially on Sunday morning….and its cash only – but great prices!
http://chicago.citysearch.com/profile/3668380/

Places to stay away from - Ditka's & Cheesecake Factory. Icky food – way overpriced.

If you want to see the entire city of Chicago way up high, you can always check out the Sears Tower, or try the Hancock Building instead. Go up to the top, but instead of paying to go to the observation deck, go up the next floor up to one of the bars and have a drink instead. It will cost the same….$9.00 to see the observation deck, and $9.00 for a drink - I'd rather have the drink, with less people a floor higher up, know what I mean??

I hope this helps a bit! If she has any questions, just give her my email - I’m sure Pat and I can answer them :o) I hope she has fun!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Huzzah!

No, I'm not a renissance wierdo - I just like that word.


I accepted a job offer today - so I know what I'll be doing when move back to the US of A! Whooo HOOO! Bad news though - they put the Kaibosh on the more money thing though, despite my well thought "they can't say no" proof reasons. I was pretty miffed - but its not as if I'm underpaid right now.....I'll just have to seriously WOW them so I get like a million percent raise come March of 08!


And now........from Cute Overload..........Bert the pupp-a-roo. You have GOT (and I'm serious, I mean GOT) to read his short story of his socks BY CLICKING HERE. Comeon now, you know you wanna!



Ohhhhh - I just can't stop giggling when I see this! He's too flippin miserable/cute!!!!! I just want to snorgle him!!!!!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

I thought it was going to be a nice day!

It started out well - we made it to the airport with plenty o' time, and even saw this cute Bochito "haulin" a load of balloons. Exactly the reason why I carry my camera in my purse!


But, alas, that was our last minute of peace. Keith's plane was 4 hours late, he missed his connection in Detroit, so he and my little Thalia are there for the night, until the first plane out tomorrow morning.

I also had to cancel my original flight, because when I checked in to see if my cat carrier was accepted they told me there were absolutely positively NO animals allowed in the passenger cabin........even though when I booked the ticket it was OK. *sigh* Long story - but after much calling and running around and crying - here I am with a new flight on American Airlines, and a $580 cancelled AeroMexico ticket (yay! i get to use it sometime in the next year! lucky me!). The good news is that I get to come home early!

So, now, I shall sleep. I didn't get anything completed that I wanted to get done today, but at least my travel plans are confirmed, and both of my kitties are safe and warm.

Friday, December 15, 2006

I {HEART} getting money when I'm not suspecting it!!!

December is a great month. Its the month of my birthday, Christmas, the end of the year, peppermint mocha at Starbucks, snow - there are just so many things I love about it!

I just fell in love with it again! I got paid by Apasco today, and lets just say I'll be Ho Ho Hoing it all the way to DEBT FREENESS baby :o) Officially my first Debt free Christmas! This is just really flipping exciting! I got FOUR different bonuses this month -
  • Savings bonus. Apasco takes out dough every month, puts it in savings, then gives it back every six months plus interest
  • Apasco 8% matching bonus on that savings
  • Aguinaldo. This is Mexico Law. They have to give you a 50% of your monthly salary as a December bonus. Lucky for me, Apasco gives 150%!
  • Prima Vacacional. Another Mexican Law...You get it every year on your anniversary. its essentially a bonus of 80% of your daily salary for the amount of vacation you have. For example - if I get paid $100 a day, and have 10 days vacation - I would get a bonus of 80% of $1000 - $800! Not too shabby!

Now, all of this isn't just extra money. I'm essentially being paid the same total amount as I was the US, I'm just getting it at different times....but it seems like extra money because I've adjusted my spending habits to account for the reduced monthly salary I get. Not sure if any of this makes sense.........

The important thing is that I can pay off my bills, and get married Debt free, as in my original plan! Its just exciting to know I can do that!!!

I created a Slide Show! Check it out!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

View on Mexican Politics















I'm a firm supporter of the Steward / Colbert 2008 Presidential Campaign.....if nothing else from this coverage of the Mexican Presidential issue. Hilarious :)


Operation Purge Crap – Phase 1 complete

Lo and behold to thier Word – the Salvation Army (or rather, Ejercito de Salvation) was at my house shortly alter 1:00PM yesterday to pick up my crap. I was amazed! Taking into account Mexican Time I figured they wouldn't be there until a day later at the earliest. Color me happy and pleasantly suprised! It’s a little bit of a chore to get the receipt, they don’t just give you one right away. I have to fax a list of everything I sent, along with all my info, and they will send one back to me. Hopefully I’ll get it, but if not, it was all donated for a good cause anyway.

According to my very humble estimations and lists – I gave away about $2000 in schtuff. Quite a bit, eh? Amazing how it all adds up. It feels good to have it all gone – most of my clothing is officially gone through, and about 80% of my maid’s quarters is now cleared out. I still have the big daddy to wade through – my office. There is SOOOOOO much crap in there – its even getting hard to walk. Well, part of that is our laundry which we hang in there on chairs, doors and ladders to dry, but the other part is just pure crap. I have about just under a BILLION papers to go through and shred. Just the thought of it is daunting. I already went through files/bills from 1995-about 2002 earlier this year…..but I still have four years to go. It’s a huge pain in the ass, but I know I’ll feel cleansed after its all done. I don’t need to store things that I don’t even need, know what I mean??

Also on slate today – taking the Furry McFurrisons to the vet. I’m going to get their health certificates and update vaccinations and stuff so we can bring the kitties home next week! Thalia is going with Keith on Sunday, since she’s such a good traveler, albeit a bit noisy. Milo is coming with me on the following Friday, since he tends to be more of a barfer/shitter/peer when he travels, sometimes all at once. He just has never traveled well. I’ll be more prepared for accidents this time though…handy dandy napkins, baby wipes, and plastic bags for disposing. Last time I waited to give him his tranquilzer because I didn’t want to give it to him if I didn’t have to….he’s not getting any younger, and older cats sometimes have difficulties processing the medication. But it will just be less stressful on everyone if he’s all high, so I’m going to give it to him right away – before we even leave for the airport. It will be easier on me!

Year end.......

Thank you so very much for all the kind birthday wishes! It meant a lot to me :o) Each and every one!

INSANE! Its so hard to believe we've been here over a year :o) But, alas, we have, and we have zillions of photos to show for it. I know I've shared my scrapbook pages quite a bit....but I thought I would put together a 2006 Mexico Year In Review video for your viewing pleasure. Its about 6 minutes long or so, and can also be seen on YouTube.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

DECEMBER 12


Happy Birthday to me! At around 7:00AM on the morning of December 12, 1977, I was born unto this earth a naked child, helpless and unable to care for myself. Now, 29 years later, I am still naked in some senses (aren't we all naked underneath our clothes?), but I am no longer a helpless little child. I have been very fortunate to keep within my heart and soul a child-like wonder; an ability to to find joy in seemingly insignificant things and events; and an ability to love with all my heart. Now I am strong....and not only able to care for myself but also able to use my determination to chase my dreams, and achieve them - regardless of obstacles thrown, or grown, in my way.

For that - I am proud. Proud of myself now, proud of where I've come from and what I have accomplished - and oh so proud of where I am taking myself in the future. And that, my friends, is a very good place to be! Good job Karin!

Also important for me this day, is El Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe. Its kind of cool, because at Midnight, every church in the Republic (practically) sets off oodles of fireworks at midnight (as they are doing right now). That might not seem like a lot of noise, but when there is a church every couple blocks it adds up! I figured I would stay up at least that late, because I remember last year I was woken up by all the hullaballo anyway. I know the fireworks are for her, but I like to pretend they are for me too. After all, us having the same day and everything, I've always had a special connection to her.......so its OK if I take some credit, right?


Here's a quick morning prayer for this very special day:

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Heart of my Mother, Our Lady of Guadalupe, I unite to thy purity, thy sanctity, thy zeal and thy love, all my thoughts, words, acts, and sufferings this day, that there may be nothing in me that does not become through thee, a pleasure to Jesus, a gain to souls, and an act of reparation for the offenses against thy Heart.

AMEN!!!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Happy Monday!

:::::::::::::::BIRTHDAY SHOUT OUT:::::::::::::::

A shout out to Lori - an ol' college roomate/buddy who shares the birthday next to mine :o) She's in Seattle now, after a stint in Houston, finishing up her Doctorate in Neuro Psychology. One smart cookie, she is! She'll be finished soon - so best of luck to you girlie and have a great birthday!!!

:::::::::::::::WEEKEND ACTIVITIES:::::::::::::::

Saturday was our company's Holiday Party - complete with fantastic food, liberal libations and great music. And I even won a top prize - a 21" TV :) I haven't checked it out yet - I'm trying to see if I can score a camera instead....since Pat and I already have like, 20 TV's between the two of us. I'm sure if I can't score the camera, I'll put the TV to good use!

:::::::::::::::I'M FALLING APART!!!!!:::::::::::::::

I've been rather ill since Friday - Friday and Saturday I had the stomach ickies - yesterday was OK, but now I feel like hairy ass because I'm all congested and stuff. Its just no fun. I have, like, a negative immune system. I just want to be healthy for pete's sake! To top off this fun, I also have had this strange rash / pimple forest on my back for the past month or so, which is now accompanied by these little circular dry patches that, I'm sure, will quickly become oozing lesions. That, and a bruise which appeared in July on my right thigh and hasn't gone away since. Oh, and I have a numb spot on my left thigh that is very mysterious - that showed up about two weeks ago. I'm pretty sure its the beginning stages of lepracy. *sigh* where is a good dermatologist when you need one?

Oh one more malady - I think I have a cavity. Its on my bottom left side - and although it doesn't hurt like a MO FO when I drink cold stuff, it is kind of sensitive. I'll keep an eye on it, its bothered me for the past few days, but I'm hoping it just goes away with two extra daily brushings and flossing. I don't want to go to a Mexican Dentist. I'm afraid I'll come out with a gold grill or something like that! Actually, I'd be afraid to go to an Amercian Dentist at this point too. I mean, its great and all that I've taken care of my teeth and that I don't have any cavitites, but at the same time, 28 years and 364 days of cavity free living tends to build up the whole cavity repair catastrophe in your head. I've envisioned something just short of the animation of Frankenstein on my head.......not the kind of good vibe happy thoughts you want in your head right before you sit in the dentist chair.

:::::::::::::::REPATRIATION BUSINESS:::::::::::::::

Aside from that - I have to engage in some salary negotiation today.....give me good vibes that it all goes well! Apparently I am supposed to have the job offer from the other potiential job this week as well - which is good! I think I have made up my mind, but I have to see both offers before I am absolutely sure!!!!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Tracking Traffic.....

A while ago I put code in my blog so I could track who was coming to visit and read.....its a pretty cool system, and after I installed it I was obsessed with checking my traffic stats. I can proudly say I've gone from approximately 8 visitors a day to over 14. WHOOO HOOO!

I've always been hesitant to mention it because it feels kind of "Big Brother" ish, you know? But what the heck - there are pretty much trackers on EVERY website you visit, so why should mine be any different?

The cool thing about it - besides the fact that you can see what city and country they are visiting from, how long they were reading, when they left, the IP address - is seeing how they arrived. I see if the readers arrived from a click on an email I sent, or from a link on a message board. I get a lot of random visits from people searching google. Some of the most recent searches.....

"Pilsbury Sock it to Me"
"Love Toe Socks"
"Porristas Big Ass Butt" <-- porrista is the spanish word for Cheerleader

There has also been a lot of searches for Christmas Music - from Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers to the Vince Guaraldi Trio. Pretty interesting actually. Recently I noticed I link from another Mexican website, so I went to visit. Apparently it is a listing of all the English blogs that are written from Mexico. Both Keith and I made the list - you can see it here --> BLOGS OF MEXICO Pretty cool how its all interconnected, eh?

::::::::::::::MUSICAL INTERLUDE::::::::::::::

So my brother Kyle has been working at his music from the second he learned how to play a guitar (maybe 14, 15 years old ish?). I've always enjoyed listening to his music, even if its not really "my style" per se. He recorded a CD with a friend, Jim Baker - but it was never released to due publication issues......

Jim moved from GRap to Chicago, and is working with another group (which apparently started back in Flint Town way back in the day) - more of a hip-hop rap jazz fusion sound - called The Massey Trio. They released an album called "The City of Ill" and you can purchase it on iTunes (sorry I don't have the link - iTunes is blocked from work. Dammitall anyway!)....or you can hear some samples on their myspace page or CDBaby - a review site for independant music. Kyle is featured on a couple songs, although not an official member of the group. I was just amazed and blown away by the track called "Lost Apostle". The other track he sings in is called "They Think They're Soliders". Check it out - Kyle is the one singing the vocals (not the rapper dude). The rest of the album is OK, (Like I said before, not really my gig) - but the Lost Apostle really caught my ear.

They are playing next Friday night, the 15th at THE NOTE in Chicago (Wicker Park area). If you have a sec check them out!

::::::::::::::SELF ESTEEM::::::::::::::

You know, for not having a lot to say today, I sure do have a lot to say!

I decided to run and experiment this week.....I was going to see if I could go every day this week with doing my hair, dressing not frumpy and wearing makeup. The truth is I never saw much benefit in getting all hussied up every day just to make yourself easier on the eyes of other people. I'm not big on doing things just for someone else, you know? But, when Pat O'Brien is around I find myself trying to be more presentable, just cuz it feels good, you know? Not like I need to impress him, but I guess I was just doing it unconciously (until I noticed it last weekend).

So I started my experiement Monday. Well, I didn't do it Monday because Pat O'Brien left super early and I was tired, but every other day I did. Now, I didn't get all hooered out or anything - just a couple swipes of eyeshadow, a scoshe of mascara & eyeliner, blush and some lip gloss. And you know what, I felt pretty good about myself all week. I looked nice, I got complements from random people....I think it was not just because I actually did look that good, I think it had to do with the attitude I was portraying. I smiled more, stood taller, etc etc. So my experiment showed me that 10 minutes of primping in the moring is actually good for the rest of the day. Hmmm....maybe it will become a habit.

Happy Friday!

First, a belated Happy Birthday to my Dear Ol' Dad, who just hit the big 50 yesterday! I promise I was a good daughter and called him, even sent him an eCard too :o) I hope you had a good day Dad!

I have nothing real exciting to blog about today. Oh, well, I recieved an offer for a job yesterday! That was kind of exciting - I have until the 18th to decide, so I think I'm going to wait until I get the other one to decide for sure......

I've got 95% of my Christmas shopping done. I have to head to the market to look for a couple more things......I really would like to find some cool Christmas Ornaments -but the only ones I can find are at Wal-Mart, and those really aren't that cool.

One of the things I bought - I can share here because its for my nephew, and I'm pretty sure he won't be reading this blog. Its a T-shirt, and just makes me laugh everytime I see it....



On tap for this weekend - the Apasco Holiday Party and probably heading out to El Centro de Metepec to drink.....hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

And now…….your moment of Scrap.

Its been a while since I’ve posted anything scrapalicious…….so here are some of my favorite recent layouts. I’ve been retro-scrapping lately. I recently discovered a plethora of older pics when I was cleaning up my disk on my computer…..so I thought I’d bust out a few of those

::::::::::::::::::::::ST MARYS GLACIER::::::::::::::::::::::
Template - Traci Reed Photo Collages; Paper, ribbon, cardboard - Julie Howard Kim Giarusso Urban Trash; Leaf, eyelet, brads - Jen Wilson; Circular Date Stamp - Jen Star; Drop Shadows - Traci Murphy; Font - Jailbird Jenna, My own handwriting created by September Myles

Journaling Reads: With our 4x4’s we would head up into the mountains for a day of romping around. This trip, we went with Priscilla and Mark to camp out near the Glacier - I believe it is still in Clear Creek County. It was a short drive, but it was fun - lots of beautiful vistas, a few nice rivers to traverse. I don't think Troy and I stayed that night - we probably drove home due to my anxiety issues - but it was fun while it lasted!

::::::::::::::::::::::CHRISTMAS 2002::::::::::::::::::::::
Template - Heather Heinzer; Kit - Shannon Lee - Victorian Christmas; Alpha - Courderoy Alpha - Shannon Lee; Fonts - Thirsty for Souls, Arial; Drop Shadow Actions - Traci Murphy

Journaling Reads: Christmas is always full of fun at our home. This year, we captured a few of our cousin’s kids enjoying the fun! Erik & Michael (Cindy & Tiny Castillo’s kids), Brianna & Zach (David Hernandez’s kids), and Zach & Cecilia (two of Gina & Jav Ruiz’s kids) were all caught in action. Also caught on film - Grandma Medel, Mom (behind Erik & Chino) as well as the Mayer family (Karin, Troy, Keith, Kyle, Karli, Chino & Samson)!

::::::::::::::::::::::COUSINS::::::::::::::::::::::
Kit - Shannon Lee Bubble Gum Girl; Crochet Lace - Shannon Lee Croched Lace #1; Frame - Shannon Lee Frame It Up; Word Art Tags - Jen Wilson; Staple - Lauren Bird; Drop Shadow Action - Traci Murphy; Warming Action - Holly McCaig; Font - Gigli

Journaling Reads: The children of my cousins are just way too adorable! Here are Cassie & Monique, as well as Cecelia & Ericka playing outside at Grandma Dora’s house. May 2002.

And, here are some of the more recent photos…..

::::::::::::::::::::::WAITING FOR THE RED LINE::::::::::::::::::::::
Kit - Shakespeare's Canvas by Marcie Reckinger; Torn Cardboard - Gina Cabrera; Drop Shadow Actions - Traci Murphy; Fonts - Susie's Hand, Edwardian Script

Journaling Reads:
Waiting for the Red Line Train,
Thorndale Stop, 2006 October 1

I love these photos of you Patrick. You look so contemplative, adorable with your hair sticking up in back, and incredibly sexy in that jersey - all some of my favorite parts of you, caught on a pretty much ordinary day. We were standing here waiting for the red line train so we could hit up BW3 and grub down on some wings and beer. It wasn't a particularly monumental trip, but it sticks out in my head - I guess sometimes the memories we make are unexpected, especially when we're doing nothing important at all.

::::::::::::::::::::::WARM BLANKET OF LOVE::::::::::::::::::::::
Papers, flourish, frame, tags - Jen Wilson Meaning 7; Alpha - Shannon Lee Corduroy, Tiff Brady Pin, Michelle Coleman Handstamp; Beads - Michelle Underwood; Font - Poesie Noire, Bosshole, Batik Regular

This is an entry for Jen Wilson's Meaning 7 Challenge. I chose to use the prompt "comfort", because that completely describes where I am right now in my relationship - even when we're out in the freezing cold, its still lovey dovey warm when he's around :)

Journaling Reads:

Being in Love.

Hiking in the Rocky Mountains.

Sitting outside in the cool mountain air, while sitting in a steaming hot tub, sipping cheap champagne and nibbling rocky mountain chocolate.

Hearing the sounds of the still earth around us.

Being at peace.

The trip we took was short, just a couple days before our meetings started, and it was such a fantastic decision. Really, anytime I am with you, Patrick, I am always secure, happy and comfortable. But this last trip was extra special. Thanks for going along with me and my crazy ideas, and thank you for wrapping my world in a blanket of security, and for letting me love you!

::::::::::::::::::::::IT IS::::::::::::::::::::::
Elements, Alpha - Jen Wilson Meaning 8; Papers - Jen Wilson Merry Days 6; Font – Decker; Drop Shadow Actions - Traci Murphy

Journaling Reads:
It is being good to each other

Try to restrain

the anger

the poison

the hurting each other knowingly


It is not taking each other for granted

Try to appreciate

the laughter

the love

the small things we do to show we care


It is growing together

Try to ensure

the respect

the dreams

the realization of a long and fruitful tomorrow


I love you

The most important thing

is you and I

working together

to make sure this is it!

Purging.......

In a good way. I have a lot of crap. Like TONS. I think when you buy a big house, all you do is fill up the space with a lot of poo. Stuff that doesn't matter. But somehow you develop an emotional attachment to it and can't let it all go.

Case in point: My home in Belleville with Troy was about 2500 square feet, with another 1000 or so in the basement. Chock full of crap. Good crap - but crap just the same. When we filed for divorce and I was moving to Mexico and all that jazz, we realized for the first time how insigificant all that crap was. We had a garage sale for a few weekends - sold about $1000 worth of stuff, plus another $2000 in fish tank stuff we had......then donated another $2000 worth of stuff to Goodwill.

Crap I tell you - just crap!

So Troy took his half and I took my half, and even after getting rid of **ALL THAT STUFF** I still had plenty to fill a 1200 sq ft condo down here. YIKES! Thats still alot of crap!!!! I've managed to purge a lot of it - but its just shoved in the Maid's quarters for now.

So, when I repatriate to Chicago in February, Pat O'Brien and I will be living together in a 900 sq ft condo......with both of our stuff. There is just no possible way it will all fit! We walked around my place on Sunday night just noting things that we will need in the condo, stuff we don't, stuff to give to family and stuff that can go in storage (because we probably will have a house someday - it will be hard to fit the 20 kids we will have into a small two bedroom condo). It was rather frightening - looking, AGAIN, after all the purging I've done, at ALL THE CRAP I HAVE!!!!!

I would rather give it all away, you know? Whats the sense in packing it all just to unpack it and give it away in the US? I've looked and asked repeatidly for an organization to donate too, but there isn't a presence here in Mexico like there is in the US. I couldn't find Goodwill, or Salvation Army. Really, I think there is more of a need for them here!

Last weekend, when Keith, Pat O'Brien and I went to the mall, there was a kids choir singing songs right along side a familiar sight - a Salvation Army collection kettle (no bell ringer though - just kiddos singing)! Except it was called Ejercito de Salvación....which is why I couldn't find it in the phone book or online! I donated a few pesos, and picked up a little paper next to it - which had a phone number and message saying they accept ALL KINDS OF DONATIONS!!!!! I was soooo excited! So I called yesterday and they said they do come and pick up any donations, and also give reciepts for taxes and such.

YIPPIE!!!

So, yesterday I started the Purge of All Purges! I did a lot of my clothes - but still need to hit the T shirts and exercise stuff. Then I'll work through the kitchen, and then the office area. I want to get all the tax break I possibly can, so I'm going to catalogue the stuff I already have separated in the Maids quarters. I'm planning on having this done by Sunday, so then I can call them to come by and pick up during the week.

I need to watch more epsiodes of "Clean Sweep" to get me motivated. I love that show!!!! And I know I will feel a lot lighter, and a lot more free, when I let go of all this stuff that is holding me down!

Monday, December 04, 2006

My Jammies :)

Here are pictures of my new jammies I got from Pat O'Brien!!!!!!

BLINK

:::::::::::::::NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER AGAIN:::::::::::::::

It happened again – I blinked and my weekend was over. Pat O’Brien left Toluca this morning at 5:00 AM on the Caminante bus to Mexico City. I’m pretty sure I’m NEVER going to drive to Mexico City’s airport again. Ever. EVER EVER EVER EVER. Well, I actually think I have to take Keith there in two weeks because he’s taking one of the cats with him…..but aside from that – NEVER AGAIN.

Why, you ask? Well, Thursday night I decided it would be so much easier to pick up Pat at the airport instead of having him take the bus to Toluca. WRONG! Keith and I left our house at 6:30 – thinking that even with heavy traffic we’d arrive at 8:30PM – right when Pat was scheduled to arrive. NOPE. There was MEGA traffic – worse than I’ve EVER been in my life – and it took us 6 HOURS to get to the airport. Yeah, you heard me right – SIX FLIPPIN HOURS. The main artery to the airport was closed for reconstruction, and on top of that it was a three day weekend, so there were a shit ton of people trying to get the hell out of Dodge.

Normally, if there was such a hellacious delay, it wouldn’t be a problem in today’s communication friendly world. However, Pat’s cell doesn’t work in Mexico – and even if it did my cell was not functioning (I forgot to charge it because I’m a big giant dork brains). So, we were over 4 hours late to pick him up, and there was absolutely no way for us to get a hold of him and tell him.

I was so freaking out….crying and the like. I did not want to make him think we were kidnapped and dead in a ditch somewhere. It was an absolutely horrific feeling, and I apologized profusely throughout the weekend. We found him in the bus station lobby – where there are some pretty comfy chairs, phones and internet service. He was pretty happy that we were OK, but even happier, I think, that this was his last trip to Mexico. He isn’t really a big fan of this country – but thank the sweet lord he loves me to pieces and was a trooper and toughed it out the five trips he made down here. I’ll forever be grateful!

:::::::::::::::BACK SEAT PEEING:::::::::::::::

Does anyone know what its like to be in a car 6 hours when you’re only expecting to be in two? One thing I would have done differently – not drank the 24 oz green tea on the way there. I had to pee like a MoFo! I actually ended up trying to pee in a bottle at about hour 3, but didn’t have much luck. Guys are much better equipped for that sort of thing. I got half in the bottle, half on the tissues trying to protect the bottle, and another half all over the back seat and floor. Yeah, that’s right – I peed all over my car. It had to be done though – there was no other choice. There isn’t a McDonalds every three miles to stop at, you know? And you just don’t pull over in unknown parts of Mexico City. That’s how you end up car jacked and sliced up. No thanks – I’ll take peeing on my car any day.

:::::::::::::::WEEKEND ACTIVITIES:::::::::::::::

We didn’t really do much, as is our plan – we don’t want spend money nor do we want to shove 1000 things in three days. We spent a lot of time lounging around watching football – then headed to the mall a time or two to go eat and the like. We also stopped by Caliente so the boys could place a few bets – Pat won one out of three bets – and ended up about $10 in the hole – I don’t think Keith won anything.

Saturday night we rented a couple movies and downed a 24 pack of Noche Buena – a seasonal dark beer that is produced here. Its very yummy, and VERY potent. I think about a 5.9% alcohol content. Needless to say we were pretty silly that night. The evening ended when I was trying to read Pat a wordless picture book about a snowman – and he launched the snowman which went flying across the room and knocked over my cup of water I was trying to drink – all over me, the book, the snowman and the couch. I think I stormed up the stairs in fake disgust….but I couldn’t stay mad for long because the whole situation gave him a serious case of the giggles…..and its hard to be mad at someone when A) the situation was just ridiculous to begin with and didn’t warrant any anger and B) they are completely adorable in a fit of laughter.

:::::::::::::::BIRTHDAY FUN:::::::::::::::

I got my birthday present from Pat O’Brien! Two sets of awesome PJ’s and a matching pair of fuzzy slippers. It was pretty hilarious because we just talked about PJ’s on our last trip – he said there was NO way he would ever buy me flannel PJ’s because that means I’ll start to say “I’m all cuddled up and cozy warm and you can’t touch me because I’m covered in flannel!” – which I thought was just ridiculous. :o) Anyway, so I got one pair of blue flannel PJ’s covered in cute little penguins, and another silky satiny yummy sexy pair, black with red stripes.


It was just awesome because he didn’t even ask what I wanted, he just got them for me – and it is a perfect present. Thanks Babe! Really, I adore PJ’s – it all started when I worked at Victoria’s Secret….they had such cute sets there many moons ago! There isn’t a type of clothing I like more.

:::::::::::::::CONCLUSIONS:::::::::::::::

All in all, it was a very fun, relaxing weekend. And I also had a milestone – no tears at all when Pat O’Brien left! Not last night, not this morning when I dropped him off! I’m sure that has everything to do with the fact that I’ll see him in a little over two weeks for Christmas, and more so that we’ll be together for good in a little over 10 weeks. YIKES! That is not a long time! It will be here before I know it – which means I should probably get back to work 