Thursday, May 18, 2017


Over the last few weeks, I've been thinking long and hard about this topic. Why? I feel like it keeps coming up. I've seen family members talk about it, on Facebook. I've heard people, discussing it. And recently, at funerals, there's been a lot of whispering...around this topic.

"Depression...a state of feeling sad, anger, and anxiety. A mood disorder marked by sadness, inactivity, difficulty in thinking and concentration, a significant increase or decrease in appetite and time spent sleeping, feelings of dejection and hopelessness, and sometimes suicidal tendencies."

I looked up that definition. And thought, how many people could fit into that category? How many people that I know. So many! So many of us, just keep moving forward. So many of us, pretending that we're OK.

I'm the Queen of the "I'm Fine" game. "How are you feeling?" "Fine." "How is everything going?" "Fine." "Do you need help with anything?" "No, I'm fine." Because that's how I was raised. To be OK. Not to bother people with my problems. To show people, from the outside looking in, that I was OK.

Until the day...that I wasn't. I can't really explain what happened. How it happened. Or why it happened. I just know, it happened. One day, I was OK. And the next, I wasn't. Not many people know this. But I'm about to share with you, one of the darkest times, of my life.

I was in college. A lot had been happening. I was away from home, for the first time. Hours away from my family. About 2/3 of my friends had moved away. To pursue work, in a bigger field. I had lost 5 pivotal people, in my life. Had 2 major car accidents. One in which, I almost died. Had a major operation. That would alter my life. I wouldn't tell my family about that. And had been held at gunpoint...more times than I can count on my hands.

Life was a little stressful. And I wasn't sure, who I could turn to. I didn't want to damper my friends' spirits. They were so excited about these new adventures. Moving, touring, having the best time. I didn't want to disappoint my parents. Or burden my family. I was falling apart.

And on this particular Thursday morning, I walked into my psychology class. Like I had so many times before. Sat down. And waited for one of my favorite professors, to start teaching.

What I didn't realize was, he was watching me. Studying me. That entire 110 minute class. He knew something wasn't right. When class ended, Dr. D asked me to step into his office. I remember my heart racing. What could this be about?

I would spend the next 4 hours, sitting in a chair, in his corner office...crying. Uncontrollably. He was the first person, to see me fall, completely apart. He saw all the signs that day. Things I would have never imagined. Things he'd watched over the last two weeks. But suddenly, they were screaming at him.

Dr. D would cancel his last class of the day. To talk with me. To make sure, I was OK, to go home. Alone. That I wouldn't hurt myself. He called colleagues of his. To insure, I'd have a doctor the next morning. He set up, all of my care.

I still get emotional, thinking about it. Knowing, this man saved my life. My favorite professor, who talked for days and days. This man, that I'd see at various school functions. That without a second thought, I'd see him and his wife, every single Saturday running up A Mountain. He saved my life.

Dr. D was the person that stopped my train wreck. From the outside, everything appeared to be OK. I went to school every single day. I had straight As, and was on the Dean's List. I worked at the hospital. And doing gigs. Everything seemed to be going great.

But inside, I was broken. Completely, 100%. I would call my parents every day. And for 30 minutes, I'd tell them about all the good things. I made it home, about once every two months. No family visited me. Not even my parents. And it was working out OK. I could hide from everyone.

Now, I was faced, with this demon. The one living inside me. Weighing me down. Eating me alive. Tearing me apart. On that Friday morning, I went to class as normal. Dr. D called the hospital for me, and was able to get me out of work. For the weekend. I went to Dr. D's office. Not only was he a professor, he had a private practice. That is where I went. And where I'd meet Dr. M and Dr. E who would walk this journey with me.

I was going through all of this. And living with chronic pain. In my back and neck. Due to cheerleading. And those recent accidents. I was also experiencing a ton of hip pain. I was not being treated for anything. Didn't even take a Tylenol. I didn't drink. Or do drugs.

All of a sudden, I was in a room. With three professionals. Letting everything out. Telling them about my life. Past and present. I have never cried so much in my life! All of a sudden, it was like the dam had broke. And I couldn't keep anything in. No matter how hard I tried.

I'm a strong person. One that shoulders a ton of responsibility. And every one's problems. But rarely, did I deal with my own emotions. Until that day. By 7PM, I was exhausted! All I wanted to do, was go home. But these three, had other plans for me. They'd rent a hotel suite...and I'd spend my weekend there. We each had our own room. But they could watch over me.

During this weekend, I talked more, than I've ever talked in my life! I cried. I let these people, into my life. In a way, that I had never let anyone else in. And on Sunday evening, we made a plan. One that included 2 hour sessions of therapy, 5 days a week. And prescriptions. The only way, they'd let me go home, was to agree to check in, 3 times a day.

And for the next 6 months, this is what I did. No breaks. No days off. Just dealing with all of this. Learning tools, that I'd use for a lifetime. Tools that would become essential, for my basic life.

I'm grateful for their help. For 10 hours a week, I could be honest. Without being judged. I could just be me. After 6 months, my sessions were reduced. To 1 hour, 5 times a week. It was still a lot. But it was what I needed. I remained on this program for 18 months. For the 6 months that followed, I was weaned to 2, 2 hour sessions a week. A year later, I'd go to therapy like a more normal person. 1, 1 hour session, every other week.

I still take medication. Albeit, it's a lot less. Maybe 1/10 of where I started. And I still have a rough day, from time to time. But I spent a LONG time, dealing with my emotions. Working through my problems. And learning, how to deal with all these stressors.

It was a TON of work! But something I will always be grateful for. When I look back, on the last 7 years, I would have NEVER made it...had I not had this experience. I learned how to deal with all these things. And when my Dad got sick, I needed those tools. I needed to deal with things as they were coming. Emotions and all. And I needed to know, it was put some things, on the back burner.

Life has not been easy for me. But it has been something, that I learned how to deal with. I can tell you about countless days, were I'd cry on the floor of the shower. When my Dad was sick. Or the hopelessness, I felt when he died. Or the overwhelming feelings I experienced, when my Mom got sick.

But I learned how to deal with my problems. Have there been times, when I scared myself? Yes! During my darkest days, I can remember that familiar drive back and forth. Three hours one way. And going over the large bridges thinking, "Life would just be better without me." Honestly, I felt that way. It's one of the reasons, I was so willing to seek treatment. Those things scared me.

I never actually tried to hurt myself. But I did think things like this. I often wonder, had I not gone through treatment, how would it have ended? Would I have driven my car, off of one of those bridges? Would I have done something worse? Could I have hurt myself?

I don't know. And honestly, I'm glad I'll never know. Because it scares me now. To think of the things I could have done. To think I could have hurt myself. I could have even killed myself. What would that have done, to my family? My friends? And my parents?

It took me, years to let my parents in. To let them know, I had this weakness. This issue, that I had no control over, when it began. But something I worked hard, to deal with. My parents never judged me. Never thought I was less than. They were only supportive.

Have I had relapses? In some small way...yes. I've continued with medication. Like I said, at much lower levels. I've also found other ways of coping. Running, baking, crafting, volunteering, writing letters/notes to people, working on our foundation, work in general, meditating, praying, through music, and with my pup. It's all been helpful.

But even now, I will Skype with one of my 3 least once every four months. Just to make sure I'm OK. To talk through issues, I might be going through. To just work through stuff.

When my Dad was sick, I could feel myself slipping. Back into those patterns. I'd live in sweats. Didn't care if 2 or 3 days would go by, without showering. Stopped caring about my appearance, if I ate, or even slept. It was getting rough. The last 6 months, of my Dad's life, I was losing myself.

One day, in the hospital, I saw myself. I'd lost 10 pounds. Didn't care about my appearance. Or about anything other than my Dad. It took me back, to years prior. When I'd been 93 pounds. Alone in my home. Without any cares. I wasn't sleeping. And I just didn't care. It scared me.

During this time, I knew I was losing my Dad. I knew there was nothing I could do. I also knew, life was about to change dramatically. For about 9 months, after my Dad's passing, I was just trying to survive. I was using coping skills, that I'd learned. And just trying to work through all the emotions I was feeling.

Had I not had years and years of therapy, under my belt, I probably would have cracked. Had some sort of breakdown. Who knows what would have happened. But being that raw, didn't scare me. I knew, I could work through it. I had a whole bunch of tools, that I could turn to.

I guess, the reason I wanted to write this to be honest. To let you know, it's OK. If you're going through this, it's OK. There are people willing to help. There are people that have gone through the same things, and come out the other side. Most of all, there are people that care.

Contemplating suicide, at any a real emotion. It's raw. It's difficult. But honestly, it should never be an option. There should ALWAYS be someone to turn to. Someone to help you. Someone, that is on your side.

I think now, how selfish it would have been, for me to drive off of a cliff. But at the time, in a three hour drive...I'd think about it, at least 10 times. Now I realize, had I done that...who would have taken care of my Dad? Or now, my Mom? Where would my crazy dogs be? My family would still miss me. And so would my friends.

But when this disease, has you, in the palm of it's ugly just can't think straight. If you are struggling. And reading this...send me a message. Let me help you. I WANT TO HELP YOU!!!

People always think, they can yell at you. Get you to snap out of it. Like you are just sad. But you're not, just sad. It's more than that. And you need help. You need a caring hand. Someone to just listen to you. Sometimes, just to sit with you.

Will this be a lifelong battle for me? I'm not sure. I'm nearing a monumental point in my journey. Stopping all medication. But continuing to journal every single day. To meditate. To work on my illness, in other ways. I'm excited. And scared. Scared to death, that I might have some sort of relapse.

But it's definitely time, for me to do this, without medication. To trust my body. And work on my mind. To know, that it has been years, since it's been really bad. That those days of not eating, not caring, and spending all my free time sleeping...are well behind me.

It's a little more complex for me. I was diagnosed with OCD, when I was 7 years old. It's something that I've had to work through. It explains why instead of playing, I'd spend hours organizing my books, as a child. As a teenager, I'd rather hangout alone...than deal with the chaos that too many friends made. Or why in my home, every single thing, had a place. No dish, or spoon, or hair tie was ever out of sorts. Every single surface was scrubbed clean. The yard, looked like I had a gardener.

But when you mix that with depression, it's tough. It makes your mind feel like, a complete world of chaos. All the time! Little things trigger, anger and frustration. Migraines, are just something I deal with, because of all these issues.

But all of these things, don't overwhelm me. They've changed the person I am. And maybe when I do things. Like avoiding the plague, on the weekend. Only doing my grocery shopping, early in the morning. Or just staying home. Because for me, the triggers are stress, chaos, and crowds.

I also know, I want to live. I want to live a long life.  A successful life. And I productive life. I know that one day, I want to have a family of my own. And I want to have these issues, under my belt. Not in the forefront, of my life. As hard as some days are, they are worth it. Just to know, that this is not always my life. I'm full of hope. That tomorrow, I'll be stronger than today. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Saving for a Rainy Day

The one thing, that my Dad instilled in me, was to save money. ALWAYS! Pay yourself. Right after you pay the bills. Make sure, there is something in the bank. Yes folks, it's what he taught. It's what I learned. It's who I am.

So the last few years, have killed my savings. You know, lots of medical expenses, business expenses, and then funeral expenses. Dying, is costly. The aftermath, is crazy! And more expensive. And when you think you are done paying for things, you get some more bills in the mail.

A year and a half later, things are starting to settle. Into a new "new." My big girl panties are on. And I've pulled my boots up. In other words, life is moving forward. And it's time to start planning for the future.

Growing up, my Dad didn't just let me have money. Everything, went to savings. Do you remember my big birthday parties? People may have thought there was a wedding going on. But oh no, there was some little girl turning 3. All my Birthday money, Christmas money, First Communion money, because Tatie felt like giving me money, etc. went to the bank. All of it. Except maybe $20. That my Dad would let me buy a Barbie with.

Growing up, I went with my Dad almost everywhere he went. And while he was talking shop with mechanics, or buying parts, it was my job to walk the parking lot. And pick up cans to sell. Any change I found, went into the drink holder in the truck. And when we got home, my cans went into the driveway to smash. Eventually, we'd go and sell them. My change went into these HUGE glass jugs. One for quarters, one for dimes, one for nickels, and one for pennies.

Every few months, we'd head to the bank. My Dad ALWAYS made sure, I was with him. And we put the money, in my savings account. Later, we'd buy CDs. And my money would be there, for college. At least, that is what my Dad told me. When I went to college it stayed in the bank. Just waiting. And I worked my way, through the expense of medical school.

I don't think my Dad ever anticipated that I'd save money for nearly 32 years. And then use it to have his funeral. But that's how life works. And you just move forward. Because what else can you do?

Around November, I started to think, I need to grow my savings account. It's pretty devastating, to see the balance shrink. And shrink quickly. Sure, it's not going to be, what it once was. Not overnight. But I could get started. So I started the 52 Week Savings Challenge.

This was not my first rodeo, with the 52 Week Savings Challenge. I've done it in the past. But it's a nice way, to get into the habit of saving money. Every Friday, I pay myself. This past Friday, was week 32. Yes, $528 saved! But let me tell you, I didn't just start here. It would be a good place. But I'm kind of anxious, to see the numbers grow. So what did I do?

Well, January 1, 2016...I got 3 jars. I printed 3 of these papers. And glued them to my jars. Every week, I've doubled the amount of money that is on the paper. Week 1, every jar got $2. By week 32, every jar was getting $64.

Why? I want to save quicker. If you had been going by the printout, I'd have $528. Which is really good. A nice way to put away money. But I'm proud to say, I've got $1056. In each jar! Wow! And it really hasn't been that difficult.

I don't have 3 jars of money in our house. No way! I'm not that crazy. I kept the jars, until about week 10. When I had over $100 in each. Then I went to the bank, and set up 3 savings accounts. Every Friday, I go make a deposit. This way, the money is safe. And bank is paying me, to have it there.

So why 3 separate jars? Well, first is just to save. My first savings, is solely for saving money. At the end of the year, I'll go purchase a CD with the money I've saved. The goal is $3000. If I keep going with this plan, I'll have $2756. And will just have to make a $244 dollar investment. Good stuff!

Jar #2 is for a trip. I hope to take my Mom on some sort of vacation. Next summer. So I've also thrown in some extra money. Like for my birthday, my friends sent me a bunch of giftcards. So money I would have spent on a dinner out, a movie, a shopping trip, a haircut, whatever the giftcard is for...I've put in the jar. Every single time I use one of the giftcards, I put that money value into this account. Let's see how much I can save by next summer.

Jar #3, is a little something for me. And a plan that I have. It will take about 10-15 times as much money. But y'all have to start somewhere! This is just the beginning. And I know, this project is going to make my life better.

Is it easy to do something like this? Yes. And no! I'm not going to lie to you. The first few weeks, and months actually, are pretty easy. I mean, who doesn't have $1 a put into savings? Even $20. I know by October it will start to get more difficult. And those last few weeks...that's a lot of money. But it's worth it.

I'd suggest, trying this out. You don't have to wait until January to start. You can start today. Next week. Next month. Is there something you are planning for? A trip. A new car. A big party. A house. A renovation. Maybe a new baby. Perhaps your little one is growing, and heading to college.

The 52 Week Savings Challenge, is an easy slowly ease into saving money. In fact, my friends and I started doing this, when I was about 20 years old. We'd challenge each other. Sometimes it wasn't a specific dollar amount, that we'd put away each week. But say, every single time we had a $5 bill, it went into savings. Or when we were all pretty poor, it was every single time we had a quarter. But you get the picture.

So what do you say? Would you give it a try? Would you start saving? If you started this week. By next year, at this time, you could have an "extra" $1378 waiting for you. To do something with. It's the little steps people. And when all those little steps are added up, big things can happen. ♫

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


This is the post, were I get all crazy, and heavy on emotion. If you're not prepared for that, you might not want to read this.

I don't know what it is. I'm not a person that lives life, by the numbers. You know, I didn't care when I turned 21. Yes, my friends and I were in Las Vegas. But we were there to work. I was just happy to get my favorite mini wedding cake. :) So when I turned 30, just a few weeks literally came and went. No "BIG" excitement.

I got phone calls from family and friends. A ton of messages on FB, and Twitter. It was nice. But it was just another day for me. Maybe because my parents, never really made a big deal about birthdays, when I was growing up. Maybe because my Dad never remembered, it was my birthday. Or that there has been so many family issues going on, that I just didn't care.

But something has been missing. And I wasn't quick, to figure it out. Until yesterday. It got me thinking. 12 years ago, I thought I'd be married by 20. Done with school by 22. And would have a couple of kiddos running around my home, by 25. Yes, I've accomplished a lot. Received more than 1 degree. Debt free, I might add. I've paid off my home. And my car. But something has been missing...

Yesterday, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Maybe because I got to spend a few hours, with these cute twins. And honestly, all  my friends...and their kiddos. Maybe it's because, I'll be in a friend's wedding this weekend. As the "Maid of Honor." For the umpteenth time. Maybe it was my sweet Goddaughter's meltdown on Monday night.

I don't know. I can't pinpoint the exact reason. Just that something has been feeling "wrong" for a while. I mean, even 6 months ago, I wasn't this miserable. But now, I run from one crazy place to another. I'm taking care of a sick parent. Trying to juggle 100+ hours of work. School stuff. Writing for a magazine. And a newspaper. Endless paperwork for my parents. Running errands. Crazy traveling schedules. Really, I don't have much "down time." And I'm starting to get resentful, because of it.

Remember how I told you, that by 25 I thought I'd be married, a mommy, and well the "Keeper of the Home." But it hasn't happened. Honestly, I thought I'd be that mujer. That would get up early. Make her hubby breakfast, see him off to work. Spend my days breastfeeding, changing cloth diapers, doing said hubby's laundry, cooking meals, and digging in our garden.

I never thought it would be easy. Do you know my family? Nothing has ever been easy. I expected that there would be days, that I'd want to pull my hair out. That my beloved husband, would drive me nuts! And those babes that I'd birthed...I just knew, they'd test me in ways, that I'd never dreamt of.

But somewhere along the lines, I've sacrificed my life...for other people. I've put my dreams, on the back burner. I've buried myself in work. Because in those walls of the hospital, little can bother me. Little can hurt me. And I can control, most of what's going on.

You see, I can go to work, and forget about family crap. The siblings that make life...well a living hell. Not all of them are like that. But there are some, that just don't let me live. And in the hospital, I don't have to worry about them. I also don't have to worry about people, who try to keep me from my grandparents. Or aging parents, who I'm deathly afraid of losing.

Hurt and pain, can be minimized at work. You can hold yourself at arms length. You can get lost in hours of surgery. In complicated cases. In sick kiddos, who just want your help. You can quickly forget, that you are alone in this world. Maybe that's why so many of the doctors, don't mind these crazy schedules. Or the fact that we go to work at 5PM. And rarely leave before 5AM. That most days, we spend more time, in the hospital...then out of it. That we make more trips to work, in one day, than most people make in a week.

But then, in the quiet moments, you start to remember life. When you're holding an innocent and sick realize that's all you want. Is a baby. Even a sick baby, is better than no baby. A little person, that is part of you. When you see married couples, you realize, you want that. Even the ones who continuously argue. And might I add, about stupid things. Like the flavor of gum, the husband has just bought. You want, and crave, that company. That person to lean on, when times are tough.

I had this raw conversation with my good friend J, last night. We were making final travel plans for this weekend. When I'm the "Maid of Honor," and he's the "Best Man." Making sure I knew when and where to be. So I didn't miss the flight. We were finalizing the Bride and Groom's Honeymoon plans. Because this man is so incredibly sweet! He's paying for their Honeymoon!!!

It just got me thinking. And emotional. Having read this, just hours before...didn't help matters. Because it was everything, that I was feeling. And I caught myself, silently praying that same prayer. That J stays single for another 10 years...

You see, years and years ago, we agreed on something. Something silly. But something the two of us, have hung onto. Silently. Never talking to each other about it. Just hoping. That by the time I'm 40, if neither of us are married, or have kids...we'd have some babies together. Possibly get married.

I read this on Monday. When we were flying back from Dallas. And I kept asking myself, "What are you waiting for? He's the one! You've always known it!" The reality is, I think I've always known it. From that first instant, when we locked eyes. Those green eyes, they had me. That sweet smile, made me melt. Even in a crowd of people, as I performed, he grabbed my attention. But I've always been scared. Because what if it doesn't work? I'd be losing my best friend. What if he doesn't love me, as much as I love him? What if I got hurt?

All of those things, have allowed me, to stay at arms length. To keep J, just far enough away. But close enough, to lean on. Because let's be real, when times are tough, he's the one I run to. My friend is the should I cry on. All 6'4" of strong, muscular cowboy. With that crook'd smile. Sweet green eyes. Sandy colored hair. He's the man, that makes me feel safe. Like really safe.

He doesn't judge. Knows every stinking thing, about me. And loves me, for me. You know, he laughs at the silly stories. The stupid things I get myself into. He's proud of my accomplishments. And is ALWAYS there, when I need help.

No matter what it is. A shoulder to cry on. He's there. I swear to you, that little "nook," was made just for me. I don't know how many shirts of his, that I've ruined. Because the tears came way too fast. Or how many times I've called J, because I need some help with my tuition payments, buying a book for school, or I'm not ashamed to admit it. He's been there. He's come with boxes of food, when he's noticed I'm without. Not judging. Just brought it through my front door, loaded up my fridge, and gave me a hug. J even created a position in his company, so I'd have a job.

I often panic, to think he might realize how handsome he is. Or what a good catch he is. How all those women, are really looking at him. And what a catch, all of those women really are. You know, size 0, smokin' hot, great personality types. They practically scare Jesus out of me. But J, he's usually concerned with bulls, oil, chili, pecans, or something else like that.

Seriously, how many men do you know...that are happy to play princess with their Goddaughters? Or go out and buy every pink food and drink, so those same Goddaughters, can have a tea party. Or like Monday evening, run around town, looking for that doll...that was ruined. Not many. And let me tell you, nothing melts my heart more, than watching J with kids. When I walk into his home, and he and one of our Goddaughters are fast asleep. On the sofa. Big, muscular Cowboy J. Covered with a princess blanket, and a small girl nestled on his chest.

He's the same man I call, when that one light bulb burns out. Because I can never reach it. The one I call, to tell all about that tough surgery that I had. The one that last 2 hours longer, than I expected. And challenged me, in every possible way. I call him, when I'm especially worried about my Dad. And he always makes me feel better.

J is the man, that I can spot across a room. Or a field of chili. And immediately lock eyes with. Somehow, that connection, makes my heart sing. He's the man, that makes me feel safe. And happy. That in every sense of a man, is a gentleman. He makes you feel, like a woman. Treats me with respect. Is more in love with God, than even I am.

He listens to me. Gives me the best advise. Helps me. Encourages me. Challenges me. Makes me laugh, until I swear I can't breathe. He distracts me, from my troubles. But helps me work through them. J is that one person in my life, that knows what I'm thinking, before I think it.

10 years ago, I dreamt of being married. Barefoot and pregnant. I had big dreams. Dreams that meant a lot to me. I was ready for all of that. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Who would have thought, during those first few weeks of college, that I'd meet this man. The one, that continues to make me dream. And hope.

When I think I can't dream any bigger, he challenges me. Because J, he dreams HUGE!!! He works hard. And plays HARDER. He loves with every being of his body. And expects, the best out of everyone around him.

It's been a tough year. We're only 3 1/2 months in. And I'm spent. I'm worried. In some areas, I've given up. Like Valli, I don't NEED a man. Or babies. But I WANT them. I've sacrificed so much, to get to this point. I've taken care of everyone around me. Maybe I'm just ready, to let someone take care of me. Remind me, that life is going to be OK. That not every single day, needs to be on the "edge of disaster."

I sometimes think, that God is screaming at me. Telling me to stop being so stupid. To let love in. And learn to let go, of certain situations. To make people, more accountable for themselves. To quit caring so much.

It's crazy when you get to this point. I even without realizing it, told J something, that even shocked me. "I'd get married. Tomorrow. If I could go on that trip, have a pair of CL stilettos, and just be happy for a second. Really happy. You know what I mean?" I hope he didn't get the wrong idea.

Lastly, I'm pretty sure Dr. S' wife, "The Bride," was equally shocked. Yesterday morning. When in passing I told her, "I'd walk away from it all. This career. My home. My hometown. All of this. If I could find real love. Could make a real family, for myself. And can be happy. Even if, for just a second. I NEED that. I don't need all of this. I just want to be happy."

Monday, December 12, 2011

Amigurumi Guy Giveaway

Welcome everyone from Sew, Mama, Sew's Giveaway Day! This is the first time I participate. On my blog! And I'm excited. I was going to crochet up a scarf and hat. But time got away from me. Happens all the time! Thanks to final exams. But look for that giveaway soon. :)

So I thought about it. And figured my Amigurumi Guys would be perfect! What do you think? You have your chance to win one! I'll be giving away three of these little guys. In the colors of your choice.

Just leave me a comment, with your favorite holiday dessert. Yum! I like to bake, so I think this would be perfect. A link would be appreciated, but not required. My giveaway is open from now until December 16th at 5PM PST. Please leave an e-mail address, if it's not on your profile. I'll be drawing the winners on Sunday, and contacting you via e-mail. That's it! Good luck! And don't forget to look at the other giveaways. ♫

Friday, December 9, 2011

101 Christmas Recipes

I recently came across this cookbook. And I had to stop, and drool over it! :) Yes, I really did. The recipes look so delish! I saw it at the JoAnn. Unfortunately, I didn't pick it up. I should have! And now, it's out of stock. :(

Can you see the luck I've been having lately? It's ridiculous! But that's life. Right? I've been stalking my local stores. No lie! I really want the "101 Christmas Recipes" cookbook. I guess, I could always go online, and buy it.

Oh, maybe I can add this to my "Christmas Wishlist." That could work right? You know, if Santa brought me this cookbook, he'd get some of those yummy cookies! ♫

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Ruffly Dresses

For the last 2 weeks, I've been trying to put in an order, with Old Navy. Yes, it's been a struggle. Left me wanting to just run away from my computer! It's some sort of issue with using a "VISA gift card." But I'm not giving up. One being, I have a $500 gift card to use! And I really want this dress...

Isn't she pretty? The minute I saw it, I wanted it! Yes, I did! The style, the color, everything about this dress makes me happy! Those ruffles, oh they are AMAZING!

Then I saw this blue one. Which I LOVE even more! But it's out of stock. Ugh! I wish they sold these in the stores. Or get a new stock. I really want this beautiful, blue dress. ♫

Monday, November 28, 2011

Craft Books

Am I the only one, that's been living under a rock? I didn't know that Mark Montano wrote a craft book. Check that, he wrote 2 craft books! And now I want them. Both of them!

Yes this book looks amazing! Those pillows on the bottom left, caught my eye. I'm not going to lie. They did. :) So did those dolls on the top left.

Everything about this second book, looks so fun! Do you think Santa reads my blog? I hope so! Craft books would be the perfect Christmas present! ♫

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Life as a Musician...

Life as a musician is NOT always glamorous. Don't get me wrong. I have had many days filled with diamonds, designer clothes, people doting on my every move, private planes, and Penthouse Suites. All unnecessary. But for some of our gigs, that just the way we roll.

But this week, it's been crazy. Monday was full of school stuff. Lots of work, at the DOH, and the hospital. And a last minute flight to Sin City. Followed up with a long rehearsal. I needed to know the music, that I would be teaching. Everyone else had had 8 hours of rehearsal. Yup, I was just trying to keep up! My night didn't end there. Nope. It ended with 2 exams online. And 2 hours of sleep.

Tuesday and Wednesday were fun. I can't help but admit that. Lots of teaching. Spending some quality time with el Maestro. Learning from him, when we weren't teaching. And more rehearsals. But a little bit of the glamour did peek through...

When I wasn't teaching, or practicing, I was enjoying a little bit of Sin City. The amazing food, the glorious Penthouse Suite, and all of my amazing friends. Oh ya! Have I said this before? I get the largest room, and I travel by myself. All by myself. I've asked about this, but no one ever answers me. So I usually let the "Itty Bitties" sleep over. Yes, me and about 10 little girls. Watching cartoons early in the AM! Ordering Room Service full of yummy breakfast treats. Because it's all comped!

Thursday included 6 hours of teaching. Realizing I forgot my bridesmaid's dress. And a mad dash to catch our flight. Back home. Because we were scheduled to perform at 6PM. Rain had a different thing in mind for us. And the Tornado Warning, well that just postponed things too. But we celebrated Little M's 3rd birthday. Enjoyed some cake and ice cream, in one of the ballrooms. Because, we weren't allowed to leave the Convention Center. Not to worry! We could entertain ourselves. :)

Then we played. 2 hours. The rain came. We left. The entire group headed to A's house. About 10 minutes away. To relax. And take everything in. OK, it also included eating. And making fun of one of our friends. He's getting married on Sunday. And was in some major trouble with his mujer.

We headed back to downtown, and we played for about 5 hours. When? At 11:30PM. Because we had to play for El Grito. In the wee hours of the morning, I finally headed to the hospital. To do some work. A few hours later, I headed home. More than an hour away. To shower, grab my dress, and check on my house.

Friday morning, I tried to catch up on Facebook. I was ridiculously behind! I managed to pack my Bridesmaid dress. I even watered my flowers and lawn! Then I met A for breakfast, and we headed out to rehearsal. Oh ya, my car, I haven't driven it since Sunday. I have a sorta major oil leak... :(

Breakfast was extra yummy that day. IHOP. Seriously, I rarely eat there. But those Nutella Crepes, are just like heaven! Our rehearsal wasn't too bad. Or too long. La Senora Adriana was hilarious! As always. And I'm pretty sure she was eying A. Especially when we busted out our fancy dance moves. :)

Then I headed back to the hospital. More work. About 4 hours worth. Then, back to the concert. Where, my friends totally surprised me. With tickets to go see Santana! I LOVE me some Santana! So A and I rushed to his house, to change and head out. Yes, our Compadres bought us tickets, and dinner. As a little Gracias, for being good to their ninitos. :) We've got some incredible friends!

After a delish dinner at PF Changs, we headed off to the concert. Where, let me tell you, we had a BLAST! A and I happen to be, the hilarious 2 of the group. We LOVE to dance. And just have fun. And we did just that. For the entire concert. Santana has still got it!

As we were leaving, we got a call. From our friend and boss. Could we possibly head back to that concert, the one we were supposed to play? Senora Adriana wanted to know what happened to us. And you know, we worked so hard on that dance routine. Seriously?!?!?!

Luckily, we got changed, and to the venue. With about 2 minutes to spare. And the last 2 minutes of the show, some how became another 90 minutes! Have I told you? Los Mexicanos like to celebrate their independencia. But we all had such a great time. It was well worth it.

You'd think we were ready to pass out. Honestly, it sure felt like it. But everyone headed back to A's house. We all needed to get changed. And since he lives closest to the airport, that's where we went. Some of the guys grabbed some food on the way. And we all ate and changed. Their wives, girlfriends, and kiddos were all there too. Why? We were all headed to the airport...

At 3AM, we were ready to head out. Straight for Sin City. Pretty much, everyone on the plane slept. Except me. I had my laptop out. Doing homework, writing a paper, and trying to study. You do it when you can. Right? This is when I'm glad, that my professors rarely ever, have us go to class. Usually, I hate them because of this very thing. But this week, it's been nice to just to my work, and get to do my paying job too!

And that's where you find me. Somewhere high above the Earth. Doing homework, and blogging. While everybody sleeps. A is next to me, holding one of our Goddaughters. Both are out for the count! And I'm typing away. About HFCS and I's/O's. I also have to find time for 2 exams today. Wish me luck!

Because when we land, well get a few minutes, to head back to our rooms at the casino. Get cleaned up. And then, we've got some rehearsals and sound checks. It will be the only rehearsal time, with the performers, that we're backing up tonight. We'll quickly go through a few of our numbers. Then off to a fancy lunch. With the "High Rollers" in Sin City.

Later, we'll have a "Fancy Pants" dinner. And of course our show. Which we're all excited about! I just hope, that I don't fall asleep, during any of this. Oh, and our amigos are getting married tomorrow afternoon. The Mariachi is in the wedding, and playing for it! Can you say...BUSY WEEKEND! But I'll finally get to see this guy again! He's back from Spain. Happy Saturday! ♫

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Fill In #37

Could it already be Friday? I can't believe it! But then again, this has been a crazy week! Including a trip to Sin City, a couple of days of teaching, a trip back home, a long night of playing, and a crazy weekend ahead. And very little sleep! Yes, this is just one of those busy weeks. So I better get this week's Friday Fill-Ins done. Before I have to get back to work...or I fall asleep! Happy Friday!

1. Why do I always feel so tired and hungry.

2. They always want us to stay.

3. By far the most important part of life, is the people we LOVE.

4. I've ALWAYS been a PROUD American. ALWAYS!

5. But when life gets hard, I really find out what I'm made of.

6. I've wanted to make my home feel and look like "Home" for the longest time.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to playing the concert with la Senora Adriana, tomorrow my plans include playing the "Big Show" in Sin City and Sunday, I want to enjoy mis amigos wedding! ♫

Que Viva Mexico!

Today is Mexico's Independence Day. Yes, it is! And all the bad weather last night, well that didn't bother our celebration. No way! We played well into the wee hours of the morning. Yes, it was a good night. Celebrating El Grito!

I'm very proud of my heritage. And the fact that I get to share the gift of music with so many people. To be a part of something fun, uplifting, and enjoyable...well it feels good. Because lately, there has been so many "Debbie Downer Moments" in life. It's nice to forget our problems, even for a few hours, and celebrate an important day.

The celebrating hasn't stopped. And by the looks of our schedules, we'll be playing all weekend. But that is definitely part of the fun. We're Mariachis after all! Now I'm going to go eat something yummy, try to finish up some work stuff, and figure out how to catch a few minutes of sleep...before the celebrations continue. Oh ya, and we'll be doing a heck of a lot of this....

all weekend long! ♫