Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas 2013

Not sure why it’s been taking me so long to post about Christmas, because it was really, really good. That's saying something for me because I'm pretty aloof when it comes to Christmas. I had a joyful time hanging out with so much family.

Christmas Eve was a little different  this year. We didn't have dinner at the Vigil’s and my mother-in-law didn't make tamales. This year she made chile rellenos and they were delicious. We tried told hold out until midnight to open presents, but the older adults were getting tired. The party was bigger than usual with Tia Ruth, Tia Maria, Bobby and Gaby plus all the kids. We were missing David, Aaron, Susie and her family. We had a lot of fun and are grateful for the nice gifts we received.

Me and my Christmas love

Angelina, Janeece, & Tio Carlos

Jose, Chino & Bobby

Audrey, Janeece, & Jr. 

Anthony did so good socializing this Christmas. 

Me, Stela, Gaby, & Angelina

 Janeece & Papi

We sent a shout out video to family that wasn't able to make it and they sent one back. I think it’s really neat that even though so many of the Angulo siblings are split up in different states & countries everyone gathered where they could, in Syracuse, West Valley, Las Vegas, and Mira Loma. 

Christmas day wasn't our traditional Christmas breakfast and presents. Instead my parents hosted an early dinner of posole. It was our usual family dinner with Nene, Sophee, Aunt Diana, Kiki and his family. It was nice to have my Uncle Tommy, Aunt Selma, Marcelo, Stephanie, & James join us too. After dinner we played Catch Phrase, Jenga, and Smart Ass, it was a lot of fun.

My dad’s family in Mexico posted some really  nice pictures that I wanted to add to this post because I miss them and wish we weren't so far apart. 
My aunts and cousins

Sarai and my little cousins

All of my dad's sisters

Gabi and Chonito

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Late 20's

How do you start off you late 20’s? By celebrating all weekend of course. Friday was men only. Jose and his friends went out to play pool and to Keys On Main, a place he’s always wanted to check out. Saturday we had the greatest date. Sunday we did exactly what he wanted, which was relax and start a new Netflix series, Dexter. Monday, on his actual birthday, my parents took us out to Buffalo Wild Wings. I appreciate that my family loves Jose so much. He got jeans, a Harley Davidson ring, and a firearm to add to his collection. We had a really happy time. I’m so grateful to be by his side, sharing these special occasions with him as we grow up.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Shooting Out of My Comfort Zone

Jose took me to an indoor shooting range. It was super intimidating and loud. At one point I had to talk out loud and pretend I was one of Olivia Pope’s gladiators that needed to learn how to shoot. It worked, sort of. I was able to pull the trigger, but still wanted to close my eyes. I did fairly well and hit somewhere on the target almost every time. I feel a lot more comfortable and confident that I know how to hold a gun, load a gun, and shoot a gun. I don’t want to carry one around with me or anything, but for sport, it’s not too bad.

We stopped at Lucky Slice for pizza and wings. I felt so happy chatting, laughing and playing the Nintendo Ninja Turtles game they have. Why are dates so magical?

It was a really snowy day so we stayed cuddle up at home for the rest of the evening with his and her drinks.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Last Girls' Night with Jelem Until 2015

Our group of seven is about to become six for awhile until Jelem gets back from her mission in Virginia. We're excited for her, but we'll miss her. We just had a girls' night a week ago, but we forgot to take a picture and one friend wasn't able to make it so we had another one.
Ana made us a Peruvian dinner of aji de gallina, which is rice, potatoes, and chicken with Peruvian spices. It was my first time trying that type of food. It was really good, followed by pumpkin ice cream pie. 

Everyone's schedules are crazy this month. Miriam  is leaving to Mexico for a few months, Chelsea is going on vacation to the Dominican Republic and Jenny's niece had a drill team performance, so it was lucky that we were all able to get together last minute. 

We chatted nonsense late into the night. I didn't get home and into bed until almost 2AM. I must be getting too old to be doing that on a weekday because I felt tired and puffy eyed all day. Jose calls us grandmas because we sit around drinking tea and talking. We love our time together. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Co-Worker Dinner

The feasting and partying continued on Saturday night with a co-worker dinner at Tiffany's house. We had pulled pork sandwiches with cole slaw, salad, baked rice, macaroni & cheese, and dessert. 

It was fun to meet everyone's spouses, and even funnier joking around with them that we all know everything about the husbands, like when they have to sleep on the couch. 

We played Battle of the Sexes and of course we let the guys win. 

I was a little nervous at first because I am newest to the group and wouldn't really say I'm friends with any of them. I've always been cautioned about being "friends" with your co-workers. However, maybe it depends on the type of work you do. My best friends are people I've previously worked with. My husband is cool with all of his co-works and that's one reason he really likes his job.  Some of the more seasoned people at my work have said their funnest time was when they were young and had a tight group. Since you spend 40 hours a week with these people you're bound to form some type of bond, so I'm okay with just letting it flow. I know I won't be confiding in them 100% and putting all of my business out there, I have my girlfriends for that, but I do believe we all have something to learn from each other and I don't want to pass up the chance to connect with them. 

What are your thoughts on co-work friendships? 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

I scheduled a few days off for Thanksgiving because we were planning on taking a trip to California. It didn't pan out so we stayed here. I'm glad we were around because it was nice to be able to visit both of my families and enjoy some amazing food and company. 

At my mom's house of course we had to go around and tell what we were thankful for. It's not my favorite, but this year I felt prepared to give gratitude for my marriage, husband, and job. I love the support system I have and I'm grateful for everyone who was at the table. Individually we've all been through some tough things this year, from divorce to death. It's comforting knowing that you're not alone and there are people that love you. Not only are we there to support each other in the down times, but we enjoy celebrating together too. There is so much to be grateful for but I would choose love as my number one. 

Perea Vigil Family

Angulo Negrete Family

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Fight With Tools Pt. 3

It feels like we got to our breaking point and got serious about respecting each other because we love each other and want to make it work. We've been doing good for the past few weeks, more effort and more happiness. We agreed that it wouldn't hurt to get additional help. I believe it's really important to address mental health issues and quit seeing it as taboo, so we scheduled a counseling session through my work's employee assistance program. I was really nervous, but appreciative of my husband's willingness to go. 

Our session with Rich went well. He brought up that life is a process and that many times when couples keep bumping into a brick wall they don't realize that together they can get around it, instead, out of frustration they think it's easier to split. We're at a brick wall and ready to get onto the next step in our process together. 

He acknowledged that we're young and should be enjoying our free time before children. That's a hot topic because my husband wants to start a family. We've had serious talks about it, and in May I decided I would go along with whatever happened, but I wasn't whole heartily ready. I've made many excuses like after I get my bachelors degree, after I find a job, after I get my masters degree. I love kids and have spent a lot of time learning about pregnancy, natural birth, cloth diapering, breastfeeding, all of that, but I'm scared to make that leap and get pregnant. The counselor wanted to know why and in my rant of trying to justify my reasons of being scared of changing and taking on the responsibility it came out clearly that I don't think I'll be a good enough parent. 

Rich suggested that I really focus on working on my insecurities, rewriting the scripts in my head. I need to stop assuming the worst by reframing my thoughts. Is there an answer of why people end up this way? Was I taught to think bad about myself? He made a good point, I would never treat anyone they way I treat myself because it would be considered abuse. Now it's up to me to be conscious and work on overcoming my weaknesses. We have a 2nd session scheduled in December. I like how he straight up said it's not my husband's job to make me feel less insecure, he has his part to play in supporting me, but it needs to be something I fix. I don't exactly know how to stop being insecure or negative other than paying attention to my self-talk and changing it. I'm open to suggestions and additional readings. 

Fight With Tools Pt. 2

The last night of the 8-week Conflict Resolution and Negotiation classed ended with us all going around talking about our experience and what direction we wanted to take with what we learned. I was surprised and happy for many of my classmates' progress. It was helpful to hear everyone's journey and I love that in the past two years we've all  grown comfortable enough with each other to be vulnerable. One of the most important things I'm learning is that I'm not alone, even if my inner critic makes me feel like I am. 

By the end of the class I felt like my husband and I did a great job discussing our needs, but we were stuck in limbo of how to step up and meet them, because they seemed to conflict with each other. I wanted more quality time, to get off the couch and away from the screen. He wanted to be more social and go out with the guys. I tried to see him going out with friends as a better option than being a coach potato. I was really hung up on how he wasn't meeting my needs fast enough that I had to rein myself in and stop assuming he wasn't going to meet them. 

I'm very pessimistic and often times assume the worst. I have these negative scripts about myself running through my head that need to be stopped. Every time my husband goes out with his friends I assume the worst. Again, I had to stop and think about what I was really feeling. I have irrational thoughts that my husband would rather go out with other people because I'm not fun enough. 

I started looking into Brene Brown's work about how many of us don't think we're worthy of love. We think we'll be worthy when we're skinny enough, complete our degrees, or get a promotion. That's me, I never feel good enough. I am always aiming for better, I demand a lot from myself. There's nothing wrong with having dreams, but I think I'm so worried about checking things off my list that I don't stop and enjoy where I'm at. 

I've been really anxious about social situations lately. We run into conflict when I want to go out, just the two of us, and he wants to invite friends. Again my scripts started running that I'm not fun enough, he has to invite other people. I'm not afraid to push myself out of my comfort zone so one night I decided I'd go with it. A lot of friends met us at a bar to watch a UFC fight. I decide not to drink because I needed a clear head. I made it through the evening with a bunch of drunks. I got annoyed several times, but my intentions were to give my husband the night he wanted, free from judgment. I did it, I didn't like it. Getting drunk and acting a fool is not my idea of fun. I feel like I did what I could to meet his need to be social, while kind of meeting my need to spend time with him. It wasn't ideal, but it was another step in the process. 

I've started really hating these new friends my husband has, who are out at bars attracting girls' attention and pulling him away from me. It started getting so bad in those two months that we spent several weekends apart and had some serious talks about our marriage. It seemed that we both wanted different things and maybe we weren't going to find those things together. Which was heartbreaking. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Fight With Tools Pt. 1

These last two months have been mental torture for me. I can't think of any other time in my life where I've felt so sad, so alone or so lost. I've had to pull out tools to stabilize my life. Things like daily journaling, reading, exercise, acupuncturemusic, affirmations, counseling, support from friends, and even turning to a higher power.

I've pinpointed that the process started in October during my Conflict Resolution and Negotiation Class. My cohort went in there expecting to learn about dealing with conflict in the work place. BAM! Little did we know we would be working from the ground up and learning how we personally deal with conflict. Learning about ourselves and how to handle conflict with those we care about most was the best place to start. 

Despite its negative connotation, conflict doesn't equate to bad. Conflict means that you care enough to confront what is going on. We started out by digging into the past and writing about our earliest memories of conflict. I identified that conflict for me is like a grenade, I build it up, then pull the pin, resulting in a feeling that I need to run before my surroundings blow up. We also had to interview several people about how it is to communicate with us. I asked my mom, husband, and office mate. To summarize, they said I'm very direct, to the point, raise my voice when I'm passionately speaking, and often times dismiss others' views if they don't match up with my own. I don't disagree. 

The first night of class we were introduced to the idea that many of us have a hard time identifying and sharing what is really bothering us; being vulnerable. We use superficial things in an argument to mask our feelings. This video is an example of what we were discussing. My professor's example was much better, and we'll never think of a pie in the same way again. Our homework was to think about what was really bothering us. I had a great example come up. I had been sick for days and just wanted my husband to comfort me and take care of me. I got upset and started going off about how he is always playing video games and doesn't' help me. I had to go into the other room, force myself to think about what was really bothering me, then go back and talk to him. I didn't want to continue on with him thinking I was really mad about the video games, when my real needs were that I needed to feel  like I was a priority and loved. 

This was new for us and didn't go as smoothly as I imagined. I didn't seem like we made any progress, but little did I know it was all part of a greater process.  I had no idea why I was so tired and drained after talking, but I soon discovered it's called a vulnerability hangover.  Something interesting my professor pointed out; although I'm direct in stating my needs, I often run before giving anyone the chance to meet those needs. I thought it was great observation and I completely agree that I doubt people pretty early on of being capable of meeting my needs. I like to do things myself and I set really high standards. 

That was the first notable step in this process, I'll be writing several more posts about what unfolded. Like I said, I never expected it to take so long and go full blown, but I feel good about what is happening and if this first step never took place I wouldn't be on my way to a better life. 

My professor has a blog called Canffirmations that has some really great posts if you're interested in reading. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Jr.'s 2nd Birthday

My youngest nephew turned 2 this month. My sister-in-law invited us over to her new place for dinner and cake. He doesn't talk much, just grumbles like a pirate. He's a curious toddler who loves books and playing ball. He's the sweetest little mama's boy.

His Nana got him a bed set for his new room. He loves the football pillow it came with. 

It was so funny when he pulled out this package of underwear, he did an exited jump. Maybe he's ready to start the potty training game.

Big Sis calls cake pancakes and wouldn't eat it because she said she doesn't like pancakes.