Wow… Happy Birthday to Me!

I’m a little embarrassed. 

I am a little embarrassed, as it has been nearly ONE month since I last posted.  I feel like this is the difference between being a student and a teacher.  I am always there to remind my students to write every day.  Who’s been around to remind me?

It is, however, a rather important day.  I turn 30 today!  It’s even nationally recognized, and we don’t have school today.  Just kidding.  It’s a Mexican holiday–but not one of the really important holidays (so we’re agreeing to pretend that we have no school due to the nation-wide recognition of my birth.

I can’t believe I am thirty.

I am really going to milk this one for all it’s worth:

1)  I started the day with a chocolate doughnut, chocolate milk, and then a Chocolate Covered Cherry Green Smoothie.  (The last item is actually pretty healthy–but all the health benefits were cancelled out today by the previous two items…)

2)  I woke up at my regular 4:30 to have my “Me Time.” “Me time” is usually spent working, but this morning I’ve used it wisely watching Harry Potter.

3)  I washed the dishes this morning because we got back too late last night (so they were actually yesterday’s dishes), but I won’ be washing any more today.  That means that I will probably have to wash them tomorrow, in case you were wondering…

4)  I will be eating at a restaurant today.  I will also be drinking coffee in leisure with my family.  (Can I just say something about family time?  Everyone always talks about taking dates without their kids.  Maybe it hasn’t been long enough, but we don’t really see the point.  I mean, I waited 30 years to become a mom.  Why would I let someone else watch her so that we can do something without her?)

5)  I will spend an itty-bitty teensy-weensy amount of time working.  This is actually pleasurable, as it is in preparation for my soon-to-be job as literacy coach.  My mentor and vice-principal and I will be conducting a training this Friday on Early Childhood language development.  

6)  I will look for an excuse to have people sing Las Mañanitas to me–and I won’t even feel bad about it.  I’ve waited a long time to have someone sing that to me.  I will be hoping for a mariachi for future birthdays.  

7)  I will celebrate what God has given and I am oh-so-grateful for:  life, love, and family.

Thirty will be great–I just know it!  I don’t feel the least bit sad to leave my twenties behind.  Here’s a little recap though, just for old-time’s sake:  

When I was 20 I moved to Minnesota.  When I was 21 I started college.  When I was 22 I made it a point to watch as many mid-day movies as possible. When I was 23 I graduated and moved to Florida.  When I was 24 I moved to Virginia.  When I was 25 I learned to accept myself.  When I was 26 I lived by myself for the first time.  When I was 27 I quit my job and moved to Mexico.  When I was 28 I met my husband.  When I was 29 I had my precious pichita (“baby” in Chiapas).  

Whew!

I can’t wait to see what the thirties have in store!

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My Mama’s Daughter: A Tale of Cookies

When I was young, my Mama would make cookies. If you’re imagining chocolate chip cookies, stop right there. My entire childhood, Mama NEVER made chocolate chip cookies… Mama’s favorite cookie is a chocolate oatmeal cookie-you know, the no-bake kind? She usually made two batches: one with raisins and one without. Yummo!

It was always a very exciting time. It went something like this:

First, in a bowl, she mixed oatmeal, peanut butter, and vanilla. My friend and I affectionately dubbed that “Kitty Litter.”

On the stove top, she added milk, butter, sugar, and cocoa powder. The trick is to bring it to a boil and allow it to do so for one minute. Once it has boiled, with the timer blaring in the background, Mama began hollering.

“Girls!” she yelled, “Help!” Put down more wax paper! Move out of the way! Careful, this is hot! Now, git! Stop messing!” We would look on as she spooned out cookies with gusto. Careful to not get in her way, we eyed each splatter with glee. After all, those were free. We could eat around each cookie while we waited for them to cool.

Fast forward twenty years to my kitchen here in Torreon. Without all the proper ingredients, but close enough to make it work, I began cookies the other night. I’ve made these cookies almost as many times as I watch my Mama make them, so I know the drill. I am, however, my mother’s daughter…

“Victor!” I said, quietly (but urgently) as to not wake the baby. Here I was, elbows deep in chocolate and oatmeal, stirring furiously at my bowl. I wasn’t too pleased when he strolled through the kitchen a few minutes later. He obviously has not learned the drill. Cookies can’t be made without hollering for help.

“I needed more paper!” I immediately blamed him. “I yelled for you, where were you!?” I continued accusingly. Oblivious, I had to made it work without him, and I laughed to myself. But my immediate thought, Gosh! He is just like Daddy! was followed with a more honest reflection: Could I be more like Mama?

Oh, sweet cookies. I am doomed.