November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving in Mexico

I really enjoyed Thanksgiving this year.  We don't always celebrate, it sort of depends on whether I feel like cooking or not, since I don't really have any American friends here.  When we were newlyweds there was a huge Thanksgiving celebration that we'd attend but the families who hosted those moved back to the U.S. a long time ago.  So, since then I think I've hosted Thanksgiving five or six times.  This year was pretty low-key.  I cooked all the food and some friends brought dessert.  The menu inclued smoked turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet corn on the cob (yay Costco!), herbed carrots, stuffing and cranberry sauce.  Instead of green beans, I made poblano pepper rajas with cream and corn and a friend made two loaves of pumpkin bread (no one in my family likes the pie).  I used to make a basic bread stuffing but since I didn't want to spend a ton of money on gluten-free bread, I bought a stuffing mix at superama.  I couldn't believe they had stove-top stuffing or that it only cost 25 pesos!  I also found a can of cranberry sauce for 15 pesos there.  Everyone liked both the cranberry sauce and the stuffing and nobody cared that the stuffing wasn't homemade.   While reading other mex-pat blogs, I have realized how lucky I am to live in a larger city that has Costco and Sam's and stores that carry many American products.  I didn't know how difficult it could be to find a turkey or other traditonal Thanksgiving type foods.  

Really though, the food is secondary when I think about Thanksgiving.  It's always more about spending time with my family and friends and remembering all the blessings we have.  For me this day will always stand out in my memory because it's the day I found out I was pregnant with my first son.  We had been struggling to conceive for more than a year and I remember waking up that morning and just knowing I was pregnant.  That was an awesome day, twelve years ago.  This boy has blessed me more than I ever imagined.   He's got a sense of humor that cracks me up.  He's so talented in so many ways and I just enjoy spending time with him.  I love him so much!   I'm so thankful for him and his brother and their dad!  I'm truly bursting at the seams with thankfulness.

November 20, 2015

Friendship between women is an amazing thing.  We women care for each other so well, don't we? We listen to each other when our husbands haven't got a clue what to say, or just try to tell us how to fix things.  We lean on each other.  We care for one another's children.   We commiserate about our weight, our hair and much deeper issues, like fidelity (or the opposite).  So, I wonder, is there some switch that changes this deep communion between women to bitchy rivlaries?  What causes us as women to suddenly act like "mean girls" (like the ones from the movie)?  I asked my sister yesterday and she answered simply, "it's science." I actually spent some time reading a few articles that give her answer some credibility.  I'll post one at the end.

This week something untasteful happened.  Its something that I learned on Tuesday and really struggled over for a few days and still, I think, will have repercussions for many months, or maybe even years to come.  Remember the picture of friends I posted a few years back, from my friend's son's first communion party?  Well that group of friends is growing a bit . . . and shrinking too it seems.

I don't want to go into all the details of the situation, just that some things have come to light that remove the shine.  I liked to think of us as a group of women that would have each other's backs in any situations.  I thought we were above the gossip and bitchy interactions, at least between us. Yesterday I spent a few hours over coffee with two of the other affected people.  As we were expressing our disappointment and hurt over what had happened, we noticed something.  In that picture (that I mentioned before), one person was missing.  She is a newcomer to our group, maybe we've known her for a couple of years but not more.  I won't blame everything on her, but she seems to be sort of a switch in our group.    There is a bit more competition when she's around.  Her son is always #1 in the group.  (Nobody else cares.)  She makes comments about other's looks in backhanded derogatory ways.  She compares herself to some of us physically.  Now, I've been in other groups of women where that was the way women dealt with each other on a regular basis, but I've never dedicated any more time to them than necessary.  I used to sit with a group of women while waiting for my sons to finish soccer practice but I would always avoid invitations to meet outside soccer.  Why?  I could tell that these women were competing and I don't have time for bitchy competitions.  Its hard enough being all the things I'm required to be, let alone try to be things I'm not to impress people I don't care about or don't care about me.

In light of all the things happening in the world, I know this is so not important.  But it really bothers me.  What is important to me are the friendships I have worked so hard to build over so many years. I hate to see things fall apart.  I don't want it to come down to one group against the other.  I feel like I got sent back to middle school this week and it's been worse than when I was 12.  If I've learned one thing over the years, especially living away from my family and culture, its that I need to have good friends in this life.  I can't do this alone.  I need to vent and complain to someone who gets what I'm going through,  Don't we all need that?

November 11, 2015

Hi there!  I just dropped off my boys at school and the house is cool and quiet.   Its very peaceful this morning.  I love these moments of quiet in the morning.  I don't always get moving very quickly, sometimes I just like to sit and reflect and read a bit or write.  I can take the time to do that.  We have a retail business, have I mentioned this before?  Well, my husband runs a business he's owned since he was right out of college and that makes mornings a little less stressed.  It doesn't open until 10 a.m. It's nice to take mornings slow and enjoy a bit of breakfast together while chatting.  We have time for a second cup of coffee most days and I love it that we do.

Recently I've been thinking about our pace of life and the pace of life we might have if we lived in the U.S.  We have a unique situation, due to our business.  During busy seasons we are very busy and don't get to spend so much time together.  In December, my husband will be working a ton and usually even open the store on Christmas day.  It took me many years to get used to that.  The nice thing about our life is that he is normally with us for lunch at 2:30 p.m.  We have very reliable employees so he can be home with us and be present with the boys daily.  Of course his mind is always working and planning and many times he stays up late doing managment tasks, but he is here to kiss them goodnight and he is here for soccer games and homework and daily life as well.
I imagine that if we were living in the U.S., we'd both be working full-time and running the rat race. It's hard to say, since we've never lived there as a family.  I just know how tough it is to live on one salary there.  

Well, I hope you have a great day!  I'm going to go have breakfast with my husband :)