Tuesday, May 31, 2011

8 years ago....

I married this cutie.....
After 8 years, we've become this:

A family of four

It's hard to believe how far we've come in 8 years. I think people look at us and think we are this perfect little couple/family, but in all honesty, we aren't and it's been tough! We've had our fun and our not so fun moments too. Rumors have it that the 7th year of marriage is the hardest...well, I must admit, I never thought that was going to be our case, but I have to say, that's very true! This year has been an emotional rollercoaster between us. We've learned so much more about each other than I ever thought imaginable. But, through everything, bad and good, it's brought us closer together and our love for each other has only grown stronger. I can only thank God for this because without God, we wouldn't be where we are today. I hope we have many more years ahead of us.
Happy Anniversary to my best friend. I know we've had our best and worst moments, but I believe it's only made us stronger. I love you!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Getting to know you...

1. What's something you've eaten and liked, but didn't think you would? Blue cheese. I used to hate the smell and the thought of it and then I started working at Olive Garden and it was introduced to me. YUMMMM!

2. Plastic surgery..yay or nay? back in the day I used to be so sad for girls who hated their bodies..thinking they should be happy with their own, UNTIL I had babies and my boobs became empy saggy prunes and my stomach became a road map with excessive wrinkles and stretch marks. Now I say go for it! I may when I can or if I can afford it one day. But just so you know...I'm against being over excessive and becoming noticeably plastic too!!! aka, cat woman.

3. 2 things you love about spring are.....? Warm weather and short sleeved shirts.

4. When's the last time you went on a picnic? Arrington Vineyards a few days ago-I love love love this place. Mix the atmosphere with great wine and fun friends and it's muahh..perfecto!

5. What's your favorite phone app? texting...to the point and quick! I still like talking though..don't get me wrong, but when all I need is to know a quick something, it comes in so handy.

6. Who does the grocery shopping in your house? Up until 2 weeks ago it was both Robert and I somewhat. Robert got into the couponing thing and has now passed that on to me since I'm at home now. Publix bogo's mixed with coupons...lots and lots of savings!!!

7. Would you rather take a spin class or zumba? Zumba all the way! Never have done spin actually, but zumba is in my blood somewhat with the merengue and salsa music...however even though I'm 100% hispanic, I've got zero coordination when it comes to dancing, but I like to think I know it regardless. It's a lot of fun.

8. How often do you go out to dinner? About once a week...mostly on weekends. I try to cook 4-5 nights a week, except Tuesday's and Thursday's. I've got bible study on Tuesday's and Robert's got volleyball on Thursday's. We're on our own at home with sandwiches or microwave crap.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Kissing work goodbye!

I worked at THDA (TN Housing Development Agency) for 5 years, with one year being at another state job. I gave 6 years of service to TN. I've made a lot of friends! Some which became best friends that I'll continue to hang out with and talk to and some whom I'll probably sadly never speak or see again. Only because that's just how it is. My memories of working with the state will always be ones I'll never forget. I've learned a lot-work wise, I've grown both personally and professionally too.

When I first started, I was only 23 years old. I was a bit timid work wise and wouldn't speak up unless asked to speak. I would get walked all over...really! People would take advantage of me. Now, I'm no longer that timid 23 year old and I say what's on my mind. I remember my first boss once said to me, "It doesn't matter that you speak Spanish, nobody cares...." At that time, all I did was stare at her and let her say those things. I wish I could push the rewind button and go back and tell her to her face how inappropriate and lonely of a woman she really was and how no one liked her and so on and so on. I would have turned her in for being so rude and racist to a certain point. Fresh out of college, that first job was hell, but I learned what not to deal with. I regreted every minute of that job, but I look back now and know that it made me a stronger person. Really!

However, because of that first job, I met Crystal...who to this day, we remain really good friends. It was actually quite a small world because she went to UTM with my best friend and knew a lot of the same people I did. I also found my father in law his job there where he is currently thriving and has now become the Computer/IT director for the IT department there. He's making good $$$. Had I not been involved with the Hispanic community, I wouldn't have met the executive director of the job (the job i just left-THDA) I then stayed at for 5 years. He loved me and hired me on a few months later.

At THDA I was a Business Development Specialist and ended at Public Affairs Specialist. I went from training realtors and lenders on our mortgage programs all over TN to promoting our programs at housing events and sponsoring tons of events. I even took ownership of the our division budget which was over $150k. I know, if I go back to the workforce I will be prepared to handle any major projects. My life verse, "I can do anything through Christ who strenthens me." I kept this on my computer monitor at all times!!

Any whoodles, I did make long lasting friendships at THDA. I loved the people I worked with...most of them at least. I also worked hard, I hated it at times, got bored at times, but overall liked my job because I worked with people...which I enjoy/ed! I was just sick of the fact that my salary was no bueno and the drive took me about an hour and our boss didn't fight for us like others did for their teams.

THDA decided to do be a goodbye party...which was sweet of course and I didn't think it was necessary but they wanted to. Actually I was a bit embarrassed by it since I wasn't retiring or moving. I was quitting! All they knew was that I was quiting to be a stay at home mom, but they (directors and stuff) didn't know one of the other reasons I was leaving was because it's so dang policital and so power driven too. And yes, I still liked my job (ignoring that part of it).

My work and personal life was hectic and I wasn't putting my all into my family as I should have been because I was so tired and exhausted from my days at the office. My life turned into a routine. not good! I felt I never had time for anything. For a while I'd been wishing for the opportunity to be at home and God opened those doors. So with a huge smile on my face, I kiss work goodbye with no regrets. It's been a journey of lessons and it's been great professionally and personally.

Here are some of my work people at my going away party.

My teammates...Patricia-boss (left), David, my dear Debby to the right of me and Charmaine. wasn't this nice of them though? I thought it was!

Peeps I worked with....Tammy...one of my fav coworker friends...And my Executive director, Ted Fellman. He's the one who hired me on five years ago.
I will never forget my experience with THDA or my full on year with the boss from hell. 'I wish her happiness and health', as my friend Crystal would say. :) Goodbye work and hello my beautiful precious girls. NO REGRETS!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Summer wear

Aren't these pillowcase dresses so cute!! I can't wait to take pictures of the girls in them. I had these made for the girls for the summer with their first name initials. They can use the dress for a long time too up until like 8 years old as summer shirts eventually. I sometimes wish I could sew but I just don't know if I'd have the patience and talent for this. My skills are elsewhere. I love the hot pink and green though. Aren't they adorable? I picked the fabric myself too!

Monday, May 2, 2011

What?! A stay at home mom?! Hard to believe.

After working 6 years for the state of TN, the doors have opened for me to be a stay at home mom and quit my job. Seems a bit wierd, because I've seriously worked since I was 18 and haven't quit. From high school I went straight into college working at least 20 hours of week on top of school. My last 2 years of school, I not only was married and had school, I worked a side job and had interns all at the same time :). Basically 3 jobs! From there, I graduated and started my professional career immediately. Any ways, it's wierd thinking I'm no longer working. Wow!

And I know...I'm really not not working, I mean being a stay at home (sahm) is a lot of work in itself with both my girls being under 5 years old. They're active and like to do different things. One can sit and watch a few cartoons, while the other one can't stay doing one thing for no more than 5 minutes at a time. One can stay in her crib and sleep 2-3 hours for a nap, while my 4 year old has the freedom to get up and open doors. This is going to be an adjustment for me as I haven't spent this much time with my girls EVER! Other people knew my children better than myself. Sad when I think about this, but really true. I mean besides the vacations and the weekends and the occassional days off, I've never really spent a whole day with them for long periods of times.

I praise God for the opportunity though. I've honestly prayed for this since Arianna was born. My now 4 year old. So you see, it's all in God's timing. Not mine. There's was a reason for me having to stay working and bringing in my income...4 years ago Robert's job was not income consistent on a montly basis. We never knew how much he was going to come home with that month as a Loan Officer. That was when the market crashed and loans were hard to get! When that happened, he decided to go to school for 2 years to get his masters in Accounting (while then working as an interim-student at a federal job-USDA). Obviously did this not allow for me to be a stay at home, after his graduation, his job expired since it was student based. He decided to take summer off to study for his CPA. He's a smart guy and passed all parts of his CPA the first time around. Any whoodles, because of his passing, he was quickly noticed by a CPA firm which then hired him (in September of last year). This gave us light at the end of the tunnel. Really!!! Good steady job with decent pay.

Things became more apparent at the beginning of this year. Exciting to say the least. We finished our Dave Ramsey class and paid of our credit cards (over $8k that we built up on necessities while he was in school) and well our budget was back to normal and we were able to make it work.

So when I say bittersweet, I mean that in the best way. We'll have to make sacrifices as we aren't bringing in 2 income and honestly, I'm going to miss all the friends I've made over the years, BUT how sweet to be able to stay home now with my girls and enjoy them before they go off to school and grow up!!! I have to praise God for allowing this opportunity. I know it's going to be hard, but I know it's the best decision we've made.

Arianna's prayer last night made me cry...really! I think she really understands that I'm at home with her now. She prayed, 'Thank you God for my mommy not going to work and staying home with me."

They really need me...really! And I have to say, I've really learned to wait on God when I want something so badly. It took 4 years to learn this. However, I'm still learning as I'm not the most patient person still. Thank you God for blessing us!!! Always praise and thank God because He will reward you when you least expect it.