Easter weekend

We spent the Easter weekend in Leon with Adan’s family and took a couple of day trips. One to Guanajuato where we realized that everyone else in the country that wasn’t at the beach was spending the holiday weekend there.

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 I know it’s practically a page out of Where’s Waldo trying to pick me out in a crowd of Mexicans so I will just say that I am the one in the gray shirt with the belly screaming “Almost Third Trimester!”

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We had a BBQ the next day at a place where the kids could and did go horseback riding. I have to say that I have never really understood the appeal of dragging all your food and kitchen paraphernalia to the Great Outdoors to cook and eat it. But I think I am in the minority. Clearly, that just proves that everyone else on the planet is wrong.

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This photo captures the stages of early motherhood. Me, pregnant. My sis-in-law with a one-month-old and my other sis-in-law with a two-year-old. From my personal observation, pregnancy is the hard part. Once they come out of you, it seems to be a cakewalk.

I am at that point of pregnancy where I can’t wrap my head around the fact that I’m actually going to get bigger. At our last doctor’s appointment, we were delicately told that the baby was fat (yes, those were the exact words followed by “in the 90th percentile”) and that I should really cut back on bread. (Apparently, babies at 28 weeks usually weigh around 1 kilo. Ours weighed 1.2 kilos at 26 weeks).

Which is really weird because I only eat complex carbohydrates three or four times a day. I don’t know how it would be possible for me to cut back. After the appointment, Adan and I went out for pizza and talked about how might be good for us as a family to eat less flour.

Other than that, am still feeling great. We are super anxious to meet the little Jalapeño Popper already! And not just because I can get back to eating a loaf of bread and pasta for every meal.

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A White Christmas

So this was our Christmas Eve:

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Started out with a light dusting. But quickly turned into this:

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That’s Adan running out to play in the snow.

20171225_160710 I know that if you predictably have cold winters every year and especially if you were buried in snow over Christmas, this seems tragic and dreary. But we live in Mexico and Adan had never seen snow like this before so to us, it was spectacular.

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20171228_174926Apart from frolicking in the snow, we partook of all those other Christmas activities that I so love: watching movies, eating non-stop, catching up with people, enjoying the fireplace.20171227_120104

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20171224_142018And then, here is Adan doing some very Idaho-specific Christmas activities:

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Or rather, posing with some Idaho-specific props in this case.

20171229_165135Naturally, Matt and Daria took him shooting:20171229_165117

 

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20171229_154324We had such a good time!

And because it just seems fitting to make resolutions and set goals during this time of year, here are mine:IMG_0226 I guess I am not one of those “Go big or go home” people. For me, it’s always go home. Home is great. Why would anyone want to go big?

The time Charlie’s Angels visited Mexico City

Kennetta, Jess, and I took a trip to Mexico City…. I want to say it was 13 or 14 years ago..?

We stayed at a hostel somewhere in Zona Rosa for 100 pesos a night or something ridiculous like that. Once in a great long while (usually when I am moving house and should be busy packing but would rather procrastinate), I pull out old pictures from the shoe box they reside in and whenever I see these I laugh because I remember how the three of us were walking around Parque Chapultepec and one of the street vendors saw us and shouted after us, “Hey! It’s Charlie’s Angels!” To this day, I get a kick out of that. I can’t believe he is the only one who’s ever noticed my striking resemblance to Lucy Liu.

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Beautiful back yards

Matt and Brenda have a great yard. It is large and green and peaceful. IMG_1390IMG_1393IMG_1394IMG_1391Brenda is the Queen of Repurposing. She bought that Mary statue at an auction (which people fondly refer to as One-Armed Mary, though you can’t see her handicap very well from the angle of the shot) and then that dome you see covering her? That’s an old bathtub she found.

IMG_1392Isn’t it awesome? I love seeing what people do with their yards in Idaho. When I was up for Daria’s graduation in June, this is the sort of taxing thing you would have found me doing:

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Becky and I enjoying the yard and the 20 minutes of sun! (it was unseasonably chilly for June)

Adan and I talk about having a garden some day. For the moment, it is made up of one baby lime tree. When Adan brought it home and planted it, I joked that we would probably have college-bound children before it bore fruit.

Speaking of college-bound, I was in Idaho for Daria’s high school graduation, of course.

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her graduation party!

She is off starting college. Seems like just yesterday that she would sneak into my room in the basement in footie pajamas and steal all my chocolates. IQ9A5240 I am incredibly proud of her because she’s such an accomplished and intelligent young person. But more so because she is accepting of people’s differences and kind to others, which I think is more important. Can’t wait to see what trail she blazes for herself.

 

Ways in which my life has changed in the past three years

 

For our third anniversary, Adan and I had booked a beach getaway to Barra de Navidad. It’s a bit further out than Vallarta and much less touristy, which can be both a good thing and a bad thing. We loved that it was more peaceful and low-key. The bad part? We found restaurants to be just as expensive as Vallarta but not as good. And as a general rule of thumb, we realized that the more breathtaking the view, the less tolerable the food tended to be.IMG_1404Like this place? Gorgeous view, but the shrimp was just so-so. It reminded me of that stereotype of how really pretty girls tend to not be funny or smart or have a good personality because they just never needed to develop those characteristics. (I for one think this is a wildly inaccurate stereotype. Either that or I just happen to know a lot of outliers). I guess these restaurant owners must think that if you have a lovely view, no one will notice the food.

I mean, I guess there is some merit to that. Look at those views! (Here I refer to both the ocean and the handsome man 🙂

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20170714_110732Went through a bit of a Goldilocks conundrum with my vacation reading… first picking up Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, which was riveting but also highly depressing (explosion at a museum, death, PTSD, murder, substance abuse, orphaned protagonist, etc., etc.,) then Ellen DeGeneres’s Seriously… I’m Kidding, which was too fluffy and insubstantial. Finding the “just right” book to read by the pool can be a challenge. (Big Little Lies strikes that perfect balance of engrossing and funny.)20170715_125826It’s been a bit of a bah humbug sort of month. Just… I don’t know… doubting and anxiety and emotional exhaustion. I don’t often daydream about what could have been or think about how my life might have turned out differently had this or that not been the case, but lately I find myself mulling it over which I know is not healthy or productive. It seems cathartic at the very least to admit to the fact that I’m struggling with it.

Still, there are things in my life that are constant and wonderful sources of comfort. Like thinking that I have been lucky enough to be married to this guy for three years.

20170714_105642My friend Shannon always says, “Marriage rocks!” and I have to say I agree with her. One of the best things about marriage is that by some implicit arrangement you almost never are freaking out at the same time to the same degree. Usually, if one of you is losing it (in this case, me), the other person is calm. And then, once the first person finds their bearings, only then is it okay for the second person to get bogged down in self-doubt and anxiety (okay, again, usually me). In short, no matter what the crisis, you have someone there holding your hand and talking you off the ledge.

Another great thing about marriage is that I can now watch crime/detective shows at night. Once, when we had been married less than a year, Adan was away at an overnight men’s retreat and I watched a few episodes of Elementary and I was wide awake all night, thinking that I would be murdered the moment I closed my eyes. This used to happen to me when I was single even if I happened to just watch the trailer for a scary movie.

Also, (though I admit this is true specifically in the context of being married to Adan and not a truism about marriage in general) no matter what you put in front of the man for dinner, he is going to think it’s the best meal he’s ever had. He eats with enthusiasm and is always impressed by how “fancy” the meal is, how I must have slaved over it (even if it’s something I made in the crock pot, which let’s face it, the only thing easier than a crock pot meal is ordering a pizza), impressed as if you’d just sawed a person in half and then put them back together in front of a live audience. He’s too funny.

And lastly, being married to him is a treat because he almost always is the one to apologize first after a fight. I mean, I guess technically this might make him the “bigger person” but I like to think that there’s value in being the one to offer him opportunities for growth.

Fascism explained

Some of our recent adventures in Chapala and Ajijic.

 

(That’s a German restaurant we really like and I admit, at first we were skeptical because I couldn’t name a single German dish outside of saurkraut and bratwurst so I thought maybe that is all they eat there. But we’ve now become very big fans, and we really love their veggie to meat ratio: 20 to 80)

As you can see there’s no unhappy people around.

In fact, I’m pretty sure there’s no sad or irate or despondent people in Chapala at all. I can only imagine two ways in which this might be accomplished: 1) there’s secret checkpoints when you enter the town with happiness security men who keep out the people that are despairing. Or 2) you come to Chapala all bummed out but then ten minutes in this town cheers you up and your glass is now all full of happiness elixir. Either way, people there are happy.

I do have to point out one small detail that didn’t make me jump up and down in joy. We love going to the hotel pictured above. It has a pool with the best view of the lake. It used to be that you could bring your own food and drinks and sit all day by the pool. You are now no longer allowed to bring food and drinks from the outside world though, which hit us hard because we are cheapskates (I mean, frugal). Let me just say that it is totally fascist to not allow people to bring their own potato chips and sandwiches. It would be like not being allowed to bring our own soda to the movie theater (which admittedly is not allowed but we sometimes do when my purse is large enough). Being the rebels that we are, we did manage to sneak snacks in anyway. And let me just say, there is a certain level of ingenuity involved in bringing in contraband peanuts when you are carrying a transparent beach tote.

I have been reading the ever hilarious Mark Twain. I think he must have been the first standup comedian because he clearly had a heart of gold (I mean, he’s dead so I can’t speak ill of him) but his humor is at times… mean? Biting? Sarcastic? Not sure what the correct adjective would be… let’s just say he’s not very politically correct. I’m not sure if he does it on purpose but quite often while being flippant and humorous, he will catch you completely off guard with some sort of truly profound observation about life. Like:

“Many a man lives a long life through, thinking he believes certain universally received and well-established things, and yet never suspects that if he were confronted by those things once, he would discover that he did not really believe them before, but only thought he believed them.”

Here he was speaking about snow in August. But I think it succinctly describes every real encuonter I have had with Jesus.

And then there’s:

“Moralizing, I observed, then, that “all that glitters is not gold.”

Mr. Ballou said I could go further than that, and lay it up among my treasures of knowledge, that nothing that glitters is gold. So I learned then, once and for all, that gold in its native state is but dull, unornamental stuff, and that only lowborn metals excite the admiration of the ignorant with an ostentatious glitter. However, like the rest of the world, I still go on underrating men of gold and glorifying men of mica. Commonplace human nature cannot rise above that.”

I’m still struggling with that one myself.