My Fiance’s Going to Kill Me…

Remember how I said we’d already reserved a house to rent?

Well, I just couldn’t control myself and I had to go snooping around online to make sure there wasn’t anything better before we signed the contract. And I found a semi-dream house, for the same inexpensive price as the other one. It just became available yesterday.

This one is better because it has grass in the backyard, it includes a stove/oven, it has lots of planters in the front, it’s 2 stories, it has much more natural light, it has 2 bathrooms, and the floors aren’t hideously ugly.

Negatives: There’s no air conditioning (but I’ve lived without AC here for 5 years) the bedroom isn’t as big, the bathroom has no cabinets and the location isn’t quite as good. (Still a decent location, but not as central as the original.)

Here’s a sneak peek (not sure if I’m allowed to do this… you won’t tell, right?)

Dang it dang it dang it! Why did I have to look online?

I just sent a text to the fiance asking what I should do. He’s going to be frustrated… haha.

*Update: The fiance’s text message reply (he’s in Merida this weekend) was “Where is that neighborhood? I don’t know honey, if you like it more than the other house and it’s the same price then that’s fine. But you’re going to be the one to tell the owner of the first house. Make sure it’s close to a street where we can get buses and taxis.” Not very enthusiastic, but… It’s a go! We’re gonna visit the house Monday evening. I’m so glad the fiance puts up with all my craziness.*

Purse Superstitions

Mexico is known for having many superstitions and old-wives tales. I’m still in the process of learning some of them, and in general I just try to ignore them. One of the ones that affects me the most is the purse rule.

In Mexico, it’s believed that if you leave your purse on the floor, you will have bad luck with money.

This is a problem for me, because I leave my purse on the floor ALL THE TIME. For Mexican women, this is apparently not an option. Normally I try to be understanding and gracious, and I’ve changed certain habits without really knowing why, but this is one area where I just ain’t gonna change. Let me give you a few scenarios of what often happens when I go out to a bar with friends:

1. There is an empty chair at the table. Sweet! No problem. All the girls place their purses on the chair.

2. There is no empty chair, but the chair backs are square-shaped and you can hang your purse on them. Most gals will hang their purse on the back of the chair in this case. Sorry, not for me. I’ve had purses whose handles get stretched/torn up that way. (My purses are usually large, and can be a bit heavy, causing more strain on the handles.) I place mine on the floor. Some lady friends might look visibly upset. When I go to the bathroom and come back, I will often find my purse hung up on the back of my chair. I’ll place it on the floor again, and someone will say, “Don’t put that on the floor!”

3. There is no empty chair, and the chairs have round backs. The Mexican girls will spend the entire evening with their purse in their lap or behind their back.  HECK. NO. I might do this if carrying a small clutch. MAYBE. I’ll put my purse on the floor, like a normal person, because eating with a huge purse in your lap is quite uncomfortable. Sometimes everyone will place their purse on top of the table, if there’s room. I find this a bit unsanitary. When was the last time you washed your purse? Maybe I’ll buy them one of these:

Even though my friends get unsettled by this, I keep doing it, for comfort reasons. Despite their best efforts to improve my money luck, my finances are just fine. 🙂

Thanks!

I was pleasantly surprised yesterday to get so many awesome and helpful comments on my post. Thanks to all of you for taking the time not only to read it, but to give your advice. I wanted to respond to all the comments, but it was too overwhelming to do in the comments section. So… I’m doing it here. 🙂

Foxy from The Fox Den said:

You know, that’s an interesting question… and thankfully one you won’t have to answer for a while! I think you can make it a point to surround yourself with happy people – or steer clear of negative people – no matter where you go. There are both kinds in every country. But I know what you’re saying… Mexico does have more of a laid back, happy-go-lucky attitude about it. But I feel that way about my life, and I’m here in the US.

Dear Foxy,

That’s EXACTLY what I said to Jorge about a month ago!! Crazy. I said, “Ya know… I think the key to happiness is surrounding yourself with positive people.” Great minds, right Foxy? Maybe that’s something to take into account… I mean, if applied anywhere, you could be happy in any country.

 

Ashlie from Ashlie’s Cancun Blog said:

It sounds like you are in a very good space these days. It is nice when you are feeling great about life, love, self, etc. I, too, have often considered returning to Canada once we have kids and I have played around with similar thoughts as you, the pros and cons. Don’t try to figure it all out just yet but rather wait and see how things play out. You make very valid points and often a Pro’s and Con’s list works but at the end of the day it may very well come down to what your heart chooses..wow–what a cheesy comment!

Dear Ashlie,

Thanks! I am in a great place nowadays. I can’t fault anything in my life, and it’s awesome. From the looks of your blog, you ain’t got much to complain about either haha. You’re so right… a pros and cons list can help you lay things out clearly, but in the end you have to go with your heart. *cue Disney music*

 

Brooke from Livin’ La Vida Garcia said:

wow, it sounds like you’ve already answered that. We are looking forward to moving our family to Mexico one day too! There’s lots of things that worry us about it, but hope it happens soon.

Dear Brooke,

Haha well, kind of. I know where I want to live now, but who knows what will happen in 2, 5, 10 years. It would be awesome if you moved your family to Mexico! There are a lot of challenges starting out, but once you get into the swing of things, it’s amazing.

 

Ronnica from Ignorant Historian said:

There’s nothing wrong with deciding that the fast-paced, success-at-all-costs lifestyle isn’t best to raise kids in (I agree with you, actually). In either place, you’ll have to fight for you kids, but against different things.

Dear Ronnica,

As an American, I grew up thinking that you always had to be great at something… or everything. My parents never pressured me that much, even though they always pushed me to do more (which I’m grateful for). I think it’s more from the culture: school, movies, TV shows, etc. Anything less than striving for greatness was mediocrity/laziness. Now I don’t see it that way. Here in Mexico, it’s just more about enjoying life, family and friends.

 

My gorgeous sister Sarah said:

well, if you stay in mexico and have kids, i will just have to move there and be “aunt sarah.”

Dear Sarah,

If you move to Mexico, you will become my favorite sister. (Right now it’s a tie.) I’ll add a guesthouse onto my dream home for you.

 

Leah from In Veracruz said:

I am sure you will know what to do as time goes on. It wasn’t that long ago that I would have never agreed to live in Mexico and now I can’t see myself living in the US again. You never know what life will bring

Dear Leah,

Right? 6 years ago, the last place I saw myself was in Cancun. Now it’s just home. One thing I’ve learned is that you can never plan your life, because God always has other things in mind. The best you can do is be prepared for anything.

 

Cheri from CheGo2 the Kitchen said:

you will notice this same disposition in a lot of non-1st world countries. coming from one, i guess since we dont have a lot, we tend to enjoy what we do have: family. we dont take things seriously. i mean, we have had the worst flood in the last 40yrs, and we’re waving at the cameras when it pans in our direction.

an option maybe you can raise your kids there, then send them to the state for college. you’ll know what’s best when that time comes

Dear Cheri,

HAHA! Yes. Waving at cameras in the midst of turmoil. I can see that happening here, too. In the States, whenever something happens it’s DOOM DOOM DOOM AND HATRED for decades later. I’m glad you brought up the college thing! That’s definitely a great choice, and will let them have great opportunities after they graduate. After college, they can decide what they want to do and where. Love it.

Or maybe we’ll move to the Philippines 🙂

 

The Drama Mama from The Scoop on Poop said:

I kind of agree with you. I mean I’m not hopping to move out of the US or anything but I think the general “unhappiness” here is because the country as a whole is so “rich” and everyone is so spoiled. I am glad that I have never lived in luxury. I think I am happier that way (Though struggling has it’s own stress too).

I remember once upon a time someone told me that Mexicans are very hands on people. If they touch you when they talk to you it’s because that’s how they are. I LOVE that. Studies show that touching is the most positive affirmation of love, so yeah, I love that.

Dear Drama Mama,

That’s kinda my theory too. I think humans love to have problems, and when everything is perfect, there’s a subconscious need to create a problem. (I call this the Lindsay Lohan Theory.) The more people have, the more they complain about it. Mexicans are hands-on people! Here you always greet people with a handshake, a hug or a kiss on the cheek, even when you’re just meeting them. As a “cold American”, I used to be annoyed by this. Now that I’m used to it, I see it as a great icebreaker and a great way to touch base with everyone when you’re at a get together. (Whenever I go back to the States and see someone I know, I always start to lean in for the cheek peck… then I remember I shouldn’t do that to acquaintances in the States, and I start to freak out over what I should do with my hands. haha)

 

Margaret from Single and Sane said:

Parents have a role in determining how much or how little pressure kids feel growing up. Now that you have lived in a culture where you don’t feel as stressed, you might be able to translate much of that feeling to life in the US – that’s up to you, wherever you live.

Dear Margaret,

Hmmm food for thought! I agree that parents are the most important role models. I think school has a large impact as well. One thing that worries me about the education here is that people don’t seem to push kids to do that well… copy pasting from the internet, and copying off other kids’ tests, isn’t really discouraged here. In Mexico it’s the norm, whereas in the States it’s unspeakable.  I’m not ok with that, and I’m not sure I want my kids learning that behavior, so that’s another thing to think about. (Sorry I’m a little off-topic haha)

 

TGalvan said:

I lived in Cancun for years and moved back to Canada 2 yrs ago….big mistake. Exactly like you say….there I never really had a worry or stress in the world, here that’s all life is. Just like you my husband is Mexican and we had talked about moving to Canada on and off and for a couple reasons we decided to come live back in Canada for a couple years. I think since the moment we got to Canada I have been counting down the days till we go back to Mexico.
We recently had a son and I now more then ever want to go back and raise him in Mexico. Family, friends lifestyle and way of life are something I find much more important in Mexico then in say Canada or the US. Here it’s work $ work stress and more stress, people don’t put that aside to really enjoy what is close and precious in life here.
I could go on and on on this topic but in the end to each our own but what I have learned from experience is that really really think hard about the future before you make big decisions and if you do that everything will turn out for the best!
Sorry for the rambling!! hehe

Dear TGalvan,

Wow, thanks so much for this response! That’s exactly what I’m scared of… moving back and then realizing things were just fine in Cancun. I feel like I’d have “backwards culture shock” or something. When I think about getting back all the comforts of the States I get all happy  (nice roads, Target, great shopping, drinking water out of the faucet, flushing toilet paper down the toilet, etc), but now that I’ve learned to live without those things for 5 years, I realize they weren’t a big deal to begin with (except Target). How could I live without palm trees, ocean breezes, keeping my windows open all day, walking to the corner store, spur-of-the-moment gettogethers with friends, fresh seafood… I dunno. Thanks for sharing. You really hit the nail on the head.

 

Julie M from Mommie Cooks said:

Great Post. I do agree that there are plenty of people in America that see the cup as half empty rather than half full. I think part of the problem right now is just the economic state we’re in. So many people have taken a hit financially and when you’re in a country where money is king, that can sour people.

What people here need to realize though, is that money is not everything. There is so much more that can bring you happiness. My hope is that as people start to adjust to the “new and less rich” America, they will find happiness in the joys of life and not the dollars in their pocket.

Dear Julie,

Hmm maybe you’re right… I’m sure a lot of what I’m seeing lately is financial woes, so hopefully it’s temporary. I hope people will stop giving money so much priority as well, but it will take time. It’s such a huge part of our culture. Money = success = happiness.

 

Becca from Bare Feet on the Dashboard said:

the pace of life is so different, and that makes or breaks your stress level. God is in control, no matter how many plans you make. i think y’all will figure out what is best for your familia. if you are content where you are, you can make it work for your future kiddos as well.

Dear Becca,

The slow pace here used to stress me out more! I got frustrated not knowing what time people would show up, getting stood up unannounced, having to wait hours before plans could be carried out, etc. Now it’s something I appreciate. Once you just accept it, it’s so easy to go with the flow. I’ve realized that things will always get done eventually. There’s no hurry to do it RIGHT NOW.

 

Salt from Salt Says said: (haha try saying THAT 3 times fast!)

I think that when the time comes for you, you are going to know exactly what to do and it will be the right decision. A lot can change between now and the time you have children. Heck, something might happen here that is so huge that I’ll relocate my whole family to Mexico.

Target is nice though. I would definitely miss Target.

Dear Salt,

That’s it, isn’t it? My life plans have never gone the way I thought (heck, I’m in Mexico for cryin out loud), so I guess I’ll just see what happens in a few years. Maybe the US will have another Great Depression. Maybe Mexico will be overrun with zombies or something.  Oh, Target…

 

Lauren from On Mexican Time said:

Hey amiga – I sooo get what you are saying!!! I always hear someone complaining about something back home, and here, rarely. I mean of course, well allll complain, but it´s different.

Also, one of the reasons I agreed to live here with hubby was that we could have our ¨dream¨home sooner. I could be a stay at home mom. Back in Calgary, Canada …. would have had to give up A LOT in order to get those things…. years, and years later.

You´ll figure out what to do when the time comes!!! Until then…continue enjoying life amiga!!

Dear Lauren,

Hola, amigisima! Yay! It’s NOT just me! People living up north DO complain more. Here we complain, too… but it doesn’t seem to let us down. A setback doesn’t put us into a depression, ya know what I mean? Maybe all the sunshine and seafood softens the blow haha I keep thinking about buying/building a dream home, too. When I picture doing it here, it seems like something we can get started on in 1 or 2 years, then build onto it little by little without accumulating much debt. In the States, it just seems like decades away, followed by even more decades of mortgage payments. Maybe I’m wrong or overly optimistic, but that’s the impression I get.

 

K from Michigan said:

You have time to think it over. But life in the US is stress and more stress!

Dear K,

*sigh* I suspected as much. Why is that? Do Americans just DO more than Mexicans? Or do they just freak out about it more?

 

Ang from Football, Sushi and the Pursuit of Happiness said:

Hey, thanks for the plug!

I’m glad you’re happy right now… just roll with it for a bit. Leave the future in the future and deal with it as it comes… or at least in a little bit. Happiness is fun, enjoy it!

Dear Ang,

You’re welcome! Cell phones while driving annoys the crap outta me. You’re right, life is good now. Maybe that’s enough 🙂

 

Megan from Twinsomnia said:

Gah, life in the U.S. is stressful. There is a reason I’m always saying I should move to the Bahamas!!

You know, you have all the time in the world to figure out what to do. You may change your mind once you have kids, or you may not. But the fact that you’re happy right now, with your life and where you are, is awesome. Enjoy it!

Dear Megan,

DO IT! Move to the Bahamas! I’ll go with you haha

 

Conclusion:

We’re just gonna save tons of money over the next few years, then decide where we want to spend it later on. Either way, there will be a guest house for ya’ll to come visit. 🙂

Thanks again, guys!

This is exactly why God is in charge instead of me

My girl Ang over at Football, Sushi and the Pursuit of Happiness had her own mini-campaign against texting while driving yesterday. I don’t have a car (yet!), but I have talked on the phone while driving a few times myself… and it was kinda scary. I can’t imagine what would happen if I were texting and had to focus on pressing buttons and correct spelling!

At my request, Ang made me this awesome button (which matches the flowers in my header… pretty cool, right?). If you want to participate, just steal the button, or shoot her a comment and she’ll make one in whatever color you want!

Anyway, on a completely non-related topic, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about life and happiness. I’ve realized lately that I am extremely happy with my life. Things couldn’t be better. I have almost zero stress (any stress in my life is related to my dogs, usually), I have a great job that pays well, I speak 2 languages fluently, I have hundreds of friends (as proved by my enormous wedding guestlist), I have an amazing family, I have an amazing future husband, I live in a city that I love… God has truly blessed me.

Most expats living in Mexico that I’ve had the pleasure of knowing (online or in person) have this same outlook. They tend to focus more on the joys in life, and they usually see the humor in bad situations.

Via Facebook, I’ve seen that such is not usually the case with my American friends still living in the States. There are many cryptic facebook statuses, working awful hours at work, self esteem issues, family stress, financial stress, and the list goes on. Not that they’re depressed… but they just don’t seem as happy. That was me, once.

Jorge and I had always planned on moving to the States when we have kids someday. I’m no longer so sure that I want to do that. People just seem happier here in Mexico. Everyday struggles don’t seem like such a big deal. Obviously Mexico has its issues, but I can’t deny that the lifestyle usually leads to a healthier outlook on life.

So what do we do?

Do we move back to the States once we have kids, where education is great (and pretty much free) and there are so many opportunities, but the culture seems to lead to stress and self doubt? (Target is also high on my list of reasons to go back.)

Or do we stay here, where a good education is gonna cost us, but the culture will allow our kids to feel more confident? I feel like here we’d also be more able to build a dream home in a great location. In the States, it could take decades, whereas here we could have it within a few years if we play our cards right.

I used to think I had to raise my kids in the States for the education. I wanted to give them every opportunity I had. Lately I’ve read so many blogs about Americans raising families in Mexico, however, and they just seem so happy. Maybe it’s not a bad idea after all?

Sorry if I’ve offended anyone, and maybe I’m generalizing a lot. I sincerely love both cultures, and the USA has given me so many opportunities. I love my friends and family there, and it has so many pros over Mexico. (That’s a blog post for another day!) But that’s just my observation, and that’s what’s going through my head as Jorge and I try to make these decisions.

At least we have a few years to decide (assuming everything goes as planned, which it rarely does in life).

Then again, maybe I just shouldn’t plan ahead anymore. Things usually turn out better that way (probably because God is so much smarter than I am).

If you’re still here, thanks for putting up with my random thoughts.

Sunset, Wii and Charades

Well, we really are some party animals. We live in Cancun, one of the party capitals of the world, and we still prefer to spend a Saturday night on my friend Juan’s terrace playing Wii, playing charades, and singing some karoake. Am I getting old?

Thanks to Ang and The Drama Mama for helping me out awhile ago with how to take pictures at night. I tried out the “sunset” and “twilight” settings on my cam, plus changed the ISO settings a bit, which made a world of difference! I’m no photographer, but at least these nighttime pictures aren’t blurry… baby steps. (I’m thinking about trying to find a photography course. I love taking pictures for the blog, but I just have no idea what I’m doing!)

Me practicing my photography skills

Looking out over Juan's neighborhood. It's a strange combination of wood huts, corner stores, and large houses, all mixed together. Not the safest neighborhood, but since Juan's family has a good reputation in the neighborhood, they never have problems.

I really like this one, for some reason.

...and this one. This is my favorite time of day: the sun has set, but there's still light out.

Me vs. Kimo playing Wii Resort: Table Tennis

Lilian vs. Choco

Jorge vs. Choco ... Choco brought his projector. This is the only way to play, folks. (In the next few rounds, I totally dominated the table tennis. No joke.)

After some Wii, we tried to hook up karaoke but the mic didn’t work. I ain’t complain’, because all the songs available were in Spanish.

So we decided to play some charades: boys vs girls. I’m not sure who won because we forgot to keep score, but it ended up pretty even. I played surprisingly well considering Spanish is my second language. It’s surprising how many Spanish movie titles I knew. I was able to keep up with everyone, and even do better than some of them! (Don’t tell them I said that.)

Call me a nerd, but I love charades! I also love any board game or card game. Can’t get enough of them.

Overall it was a great night with great friends (and some new ones!).

Renting a House in Cancun: Show it to Me!

For Show Me Your… , Brooke from Livin La Vida Garcia asked to see a room in my house. Well Brooke, I’ll do ya one better…

Yesterday we found a new house to rent!! Yay!! It’s situated right on the same street where I live now, so moving should be a piece of cake.

The layout is actually exactly the same as my current house, except it has a few extras, like closets, kitchen cabinets and air conditioning. The only drawback is that it has the same hideous floors as my current house. I’ve never seen such ugly floors in my life. (Although they’re great for hiding dirt…)

It’s not the prettiest house I’ve seen, but it should be quite comfortable for Jorge, me and the puppies. The master bedroom in particular is pretty cool. I think with a little paint and a little love it will be quite cute. 🙂 It’s got potential.

Here's the front, which I think we'll end up painting pale yellow or something because the color's a little faded at the moment. Unlike my current house, it has a gate!!! No grass, though. Still, it should be a nice place to sit and chat in the evenings with Jorge, or to have friends over. (On my street, people love to have patio parties on Fridays.)

Inside the front patio. There's a planter for a bugambilia tree or something!!! Hurrah! Success!

beams over the front patio. The owner's gonna clean them up a bit, and we're gonna try to get some climbing plants all over them. (There are some gorgeous climbers around here with huge yellow flowers.)

The living room. A bit depressing, but we'll figure something out. WHY CAN'T I GET AWAY FROM THESE AWFUL FLOORS???

Kitchen... same as my current one, but with prettier countertops and this one actually has cabinets! No more storage bins for this gringa.

Bathroom... the owner is planning on turning the sad sink into a vanity before we move in. I hope it happens. This one has doors!! My current shower is a curtain rod held up by a wire, with a flimsy curtain.

There's a cabinet above the toilet!!! No more cleaning products stuffed under the tank. 🙂 It looks a little sad though... maybe a little paint and some new handles?

Front bedroom. In my current house, this is the same room I have, except mine has no closet doors. Just an empty space and a bar. At the new house, this room will be Jorge's Nintendo room. (He's excited.)

The back bedroom. At my current house, it's just the front part of what you see here. The owners of this house have added on the back room. I think we're gonna use the first part as a dressing area, and the back part as the bedroom itself.

Closet doors and entrance in the "dressing area". I haven't had closet doors in 5 years. This is exciting.

Shelves in the dressing room! and storage space!! I haven't had shelves or storage in 5 years!

Peeking into the bedroom from the dressing room. A bit of lower tile missing, but the bed should cover that up.

Inside the bedroom. A domed ceiling!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and an air conditioning unit! Oh, the simple joys in life. (Negative: The window looks out onto the boring patio. We'll have to put some potted plants out there or something.)

The back patio, leading out from the kitchen. BLAAAAAAAH. Dog-friendly suggestions for sprucing it up are welcome!

Well, there it is. If you wanna know what my current house looks like… just imagine a completely stripped-down version of that. Like… this house, with just the walls and the disgusting floors.

Buddy the Gecko

One of my fave things about living in Cancun are the little critters we share this space with. Some of them are less than desireable… like scorpions, mosquitos and cockroaches.

My favorite, however, is the gecko. When you have a gecko in your room, you’ll usually notice fewer mosquitos and no spiders. They also make this fun high-pitched clicking noise from time to time… sounds like they’re clicking to a horse or something.

In my last 2 homes, I have experienced the joy of a live-in gecko. At my previous house, where I rented a room, there was Sticky the Gecko. Sticky was a loner who liked to hang out behind picture frames and above my door.

At the current house, I have Buddy the Gecko. He’s also a loner, and he enjoys hanging out behind my curtain and on the wall above my TV. He was shy at first, but in the last 2 weeks or so he’s really come out of his shell. He’ll hang out in open wall space for long periods of time, instead of being constantly behind my curtain.

Last night he got into optimal posing stance, and stayed there while I took pictures. I was worried that Buddy would be scared off by the flash, but he seemed to enjoy his photo shoot. Oh Buddy, you’re such a diva.

Tuxedo Rental

Yay! Yesterday I broke my record for daily site visits.

191 visits yesterday! Woo-hoo!

This past weekend, we went to check out tuxedos for the groomsmen. We took along Jorge’s brothers, Jair and Darwin.

Darwin insisted he wanted coattails. I didn’t say anything, hoping that Jorge would take charge and take a stand against it. (Nothing against coattails, but I just don’t see our wedding being THAT formal, plus it would look funny alongside Jorge’s tux.)

We had already rented Jorge’s tux at a store called Royal Tuxedo. It cost $1200 pesos (about $100 USD) for 3 days.

We heard that a store called Omni was much cheaper, so off we went on Saturday. When we got there, they had more vest color choices, but they were all pretty ugly. The suits themselves looked a bit outdated. Most of them were available for around $800 pesos, however, so we thought if we could find something decent it might be worth it for the cheaper price.

Darwin started getting all excited about a suit with coattails (NOOOO!) and instead of standing up for his own wedding, silly Jorge started pointing at it and talking to the sales lady. DOOM! DOOM!

We were told, however, that nobody could even try anything on until 15 days before the event, and we had to have the money with us just to try it on. (What?) Also, the rental was only for 24 hours. Since the wedding is out of town, we’d need at least 2 days, meaning it would cost us $1600 pesos.

We decided to just go back to Royal Tuxedo, which would end up being less expensive because they rent for 3 days.

After looking around, Jair and Darwin decided to try on a simple black suit (no coattails!) with a vest and tie that I had originally wanted Jorge to get. (Jorge ended up with something equally cool, but the one his brothers tried on was my personal fave.)

While they were trying suits on, Jorge whispered to me that the reason Darwin wanted coattails was because he has no butt, and he didn’t want anyone to notice. BWA-HA-HA-HA!!

I was so excited when I was told the particular suit the brothers tried on was only $700 pesos!! for 3 days!! Talk about lucky.

So there you have it… Royal Tuxedo has great service, cheaper prices and much better suits.

Jair looking like a stud

The name's Mendez... Jair Mendez.

Darwin lost a lot of weight recently and he looks AWESOME.

I know 2 guys who need a haircut before July 22.

I love this color! It matches my dress 🙂

World Cup and Weight Loss

At work today we had a drawing for a World Cup pool. Everyone put in $20 pesos (about 2 dollars) and drew 2 countries from a hat. If one of your teams wins, you get to take home $320 pesitos !! (about 30 bucks)

I got Uruguay and Argentina. Let’s go, South America!!!

This Friday morning is the World Cup kickoff.

Guess who’s playing in the kickoff game? South Africa vs. Mexico!!!!!

Guess how many people will show up to my office on Friday morning? Probably just the Americans.

It’s gonna be an exciting month!

I haven’t been posting my calorie counting lately because I’m lazy. I’m still eating well, however. I’ve cut most of my portions down to about half what they were before. The other night I had 2 slices of pizza, when I would normally have 4, for example. At lunch, I can fill up on a soup and a small salad. Sometimes I can’t even finish the salad. It’s awesome 🙂 I eat things I love and fill up on whatever I want… but I fill up so easily now! It doesn’t even feel like dieting.

Almost everyone I know has told me I look so much thinner. I can tell I look much thinner! I also tried on a size 10 pair of jeans this weekend at the mall, and IT FIT!!! First time in about 2 years that I fit into a size 10. And it fit WELL. Exciting!

My stomach and love handles are completely gone, it seems.

I can also wear skirts pretty much every day without my inner thighs rubbing together too much. (ya’ll know what I’m talkin bout!) I used to only go 1 day with a skirt because it would hurt after too much walking. No longer!

Here’s the weird part… I haven’t lost any weight since January. :S I think I actually GAINED 2 pounds. What’s up with that? I guess the weight just shifted around?

Anyway, I guess so long as I look and feel great, that’s all that matters. I ain’t complainin.

Wedding Blessings

45 days til the wedding!

I have to admit, I was stressing out for a few months because costs just kept adding up and adding up. I hadn’t really told anyone that except for Jorge and my wedding planner, Marina.

It got to the point where I wasn’t sure if we were going to be able to have a few things I wanted due to budget constraints. I just couldn’t get excited about anything because I was worrying about money, and I felt guilty for anything that wasn’t absolutely necessary. We got everything at a great price, but with 250 guests and 25 tables, EVERYTHING is expensive!

We love and cherish every single one of our guests, so cutting the guest list was never an option. Actually we did cut it… it WAS at 330!! It stressed me out having so many people, but when I think about it, how awesome is it to have SO MANY friends that you care that much about?

Anyway, recent budget changes and some very generous family and friends have placed everything well within our budget!!! Hurray!!! Stress no longer! I can finally enjoy this, and I’m gonna be milkin it for all it’s worth!

Anyway, I’d like to take this time to thank the people who have made all this possible:

-My parents, who have generously paid for most of our wedding budget. Without you, it wouldn’t be as beautiful as it’s going to be. I hope you both love it as much as I do.

Noelle, Mommy, Daddy, Sarah and Yours Truly

-My mother in particular, for her amazing talent. Thanks to her seamstress skills, my $5,000 dream dress only cost $250. The wedding invitations she made look professional, and only cost $100. (Remind me to do a post on the invites! They’re so cute!)

-My grandparents, who have helped all my family members to be able to make it down to Cancun.

-My future in-laws, who are helping us financially as well as helping us make so many decisions. I know at the end of a long day, the last thing you want to do is go over a guest list with me… AGAIN. Thanks for doing it with a smile on your face.

Jorge and Glenty at their vow renewal reception

-Juan and Viri, our great friends, who are generously paying for our cake. (chocolate-nut flavored! woo-hoo!)

-Jorge’s aunts and uncles, who are helping us pay for a few things and have saved us so much money (We’re renting a charter bus for my family to get from Cancun to Merida the day of… one uncle got the price from $1500 to $600 dollars!)

-Jorge’s grandmother, who is making the flower girl dresses herself

-Jorge’s mother, who is making 100 candles for us, along with the centerpieces.

-My bridesmaids, who put up with my indecisiveness and always make me feel special. (I’m missing pictures of Isis, Jorge’s cousin, but I love you just the same!) My mistake was having seven gorgeous bridesmaids. It’s gonna be tough to outshine them all!!!

Thanks sisters, for always photoshopping me in when I couldn't be there.

Me with Zareth and Viri

Damayanti

Julyssa

-My wedding planner, who is doing all this for FREE. You’re awesome, Marina. Thanks for putting up with all the last-minute changes, for all the great ideas, and for winning the hearts of florists, makeup artists and DJs. You’re going to make an awesome wedding planner, and I’m proud to be your first bride.

Me with coordinator Marina and bridesmaid Julie

-Iliana, the sales manager at Hacienda Teya. I have sent you thousands of e-mails, and you always responded within 24 hours. You’ve made everything so easy, and thanks for bending over backwards to get me everything I’ve asked for, even when you didn’t have to. You’re my favorite person I’ve never met.

-My horrible math skills, which brought me great relief in times of trouble. (I might have miscalculated a few things and thought it was going to be $1000 dollars more expensive than it was going to be… oops. I felt really stupid and somewhat concerned about my financial skills, but also friggin ecstatic, when I noticed that slip-up.)

I’M SO EXCITED NOW!!!! 😀 I think it’s awesome that so many people have come together to make this day awesome for us, including all of our guests, who are traveling short and long distances to be there on our special day. (250 people willing to travel anywhere from one hour to 10 hours just to be there? Amazing. God has really blessed us.)

Check back in tomorrow to see pictures of the tuxes for the groomsmen!!