Reader Photo Request: The Poodles

For today’s Reader Photo Request, I’m posting photos of my dogs after a day of being crazy poodles (as requested by Krysten at Why Girls Are Weird).

For my newer readers, I have 3 dogs, all girls. They’re mostly poodles with a little bit of maltese. Suki and Dolly (the white dogs) are sisters, while Konan (the black dog) is their niece. They are all descended from my in-laws’ dog Sisi. Dolly used to belong to my in-laws, but we took her in when my mother-in-law was no longer able to have 2 dogs in the house due to minor health issues.

It’s typical in Mexico to breed your own dogs at home, which is obviously how we got ours in the first place. However, after seeing through my in-laws and some other friends how hard it is to find a good, responsible home for a puppy, I wouldn’t advocate home breeding. All of our pups were fixed about 2 years ago; it’s the most common choice back in the USA, but it was considered a controversial choice among our Mexican friends and family.

Since my dogs are absolutely insane, it’s really hard to get a non-blurry picture of them. Last night I tried to get pics of them while we were all relaxing on the couch and watching the Kardashians together, but it was unsuccessful.

Here they are anyway, blurriness and all. Much to my surprise, Konan was the best poser!

Suki

Dolly

Me and Konan

HAHAHA

There we go...

Suki and Dolly sleeping while Konan is being obnoxious... pretty typical behavior all around

Konan and Dolly

Konan and Dolly

Suki

I love these girls… even if they won’t sit still for a picture.

My Run at the Temptation Resort 5K

Yesterday morning was the 5K race I’ve been going on and on about. I’ve been really nervous for the past 2 months while training, but I discovered that there was nothing to be nervous about!

I woke up at 4:30 am (!!!) for a light breakfast and a little Powerade, then I took the bus down to Temptation Resort in the Hotel Zone. Pretty quickly I ran into a bunch of my friends and coworkers who would also be running. It’s so nice to have people there to cheer you on!

Nadia, me, Trina and Tori before the race

They had closed off a stretch of Kukulcan Boulevard (the main road going through the Hotel Zone) on one side, leaving a nice, palm-tree-lined stretch of road to run along. It was early in the morning and not too hot, so overall it was a pretty pleasant run.

Since this was my first 5K, my goal was pretty much just to finish. I had already completed several training sessions where I did 5K or more, but always mostly walking with some running intervals.

It was hard to measure how much I ran (compared to walking) during the race because the distances were not correctly marked. (The halfway/turnaround point said “3K”… ) From the best I can estimate, I ran the first 1.5K, and ran about 3K overall, a personal best 🙂 I didn’t feel too bad doing some walking because there were many other people walking as well.

My time was 42:07, which was a lot less than I expected! I was 89 out of 107 runners in the women’s category, which goes to show that I wasn’t completely kidding myself.

Trina, Tori and me with our race medals (Photo stolen from Trina, who came in 7th in the women's 5K!)

After the race, they gave out some pretty great fruit snacks!

Several friends have asked when I’ll do another 5K. I gotta admit, it is tempting to try and see if I can beat my time, or even run the entire thing! But then I remember that I hate running.

Thanks to Temptation Resort Spa, CancunCare.com, and all the other sponsors for giving to Kindness for Cancer, such a great cause!

 

No Fun Weekend

I tell you what… I am not looking forward to this weekend. We’ve been to the beach 4 Sundays in a row, and this weekend will not be nearly as exciting. Jorge’s work schedule has been changed, and he’ll be working the graveyard shift tonight and Saturday night. Hopefully that means we’ll get to spend some time together Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons, but it will be on a somewhat tight schedule, which I hate. That’s the bad part of living in a tourist destination like Cancun: work schedules can be ridiculous.

Sunday morning is the 5K I’ve been training for, and I’m kinda dreading it. Training hasn’t been going as planned. Yesterday I was supposed to run 20 minutes, but I only ran… well, let’s just say nowhere close to 20 minutes. Today after work, I’m going to try again. At any rate I’ve done 5K several times at the park, just never running more than half of it. I will be fine, if slow.

The Mexico vs Brazil men’s soccer gold medal match is tomorrow morning, though! I’ll try to catch some of it, even though I’ll be at the office.

What are your plans for the weekend?

Religion in a Bicultural Marriage

I grew up in a pretty conservative Presbyterian church in Virginia. Jorge grew up in a Catholic church in Cancun. Both of our families had/have leading roles in our respective churches, so religion played an important part in both of our lives growing up.

When we were dating, there were several times when I wanted to discuss religion to find out exactly what Jorge’s beliefs were and how they lined up with mine. Anyone who has lived in Mexico knows that this is like pulling teeth. Even though Mexicans are admirably firm in their beliefs and principles, there’s still a cultural barrier that prevents them from talking about it. The Mexican culture doesn’t like to talk about anything that could lead to conflict, including religion and politics. (This is starting to change a little bit with our generation, internet and social media, but that’s a post for another day.) If you bring up religion or politics at a gathering, Mexicans will usually close up a bit… or maybe Americans are just a little too open. I guess it depends on who you ask. 😉

After several years, Jorge and I were slowly but surely beginning to discover that despite our different upbringings, our core beliefs were exactly the same.

Once we got engaged, I had some very good conversations with Jorge, his parents and my parents as we planned what our wedding would look like. In the Catholic religion (at least here in Mexico), you need to be married under the Catholic church. We couldn’t do that in our case because I’m not Catholic. Jorge might have been able to get some sort of permission to marry me under his church anyway, but I have some disagreements with the Catholic faith that prevented me from having a Catholic-approved marriage under good conscience.

With a little (not a lot) of pressure from both sides of the family, Jorge and I compromised. We had an outdoor religious ceremony at our wedding, but we made a point to combine wedding traditions from Protestant and Catholic faiths so that everyone involved would feel comfortable. My uncle John (who performed the ceremony) even had a talk with my in-laws beforehand, which helped to ease a lot of their concerns a few days in advance. We received many compliments from both sides of the family on how beautiful the ceremony was, so it was a huge success thanks mostly to my uncle.

Jorge with his mom holding the "lazo" at our wedding

For awhile after we got married, neither of us were going to church. I don’t have any good excuse for this. Sunday is my only day off and I love to sleep in, so I was always too lazy to find something. Last December, after seeing several online friends mention an English-speaking church here in Cancun, I decided it was time to rebuild my relationship with God and began attending. This non-denominational Protestant church is small but with a great community atmosphere and excellent sermons.

Jorge and I had decided long ago to try to look around for a church that made us both happy, and he agreed to go with me once his job started to give him Sundays off 2 months ago. He seems to really like it, and we’ve been together a few times.

At our "legal" wedding ceremony (different from the religious one)

That’s where we stand now. Time will tell if Jorge continues to like our current church or if he wants to explore more options later on. If we were in the US, there would be tons of options that could offer us a more solid compromise… maybe an Episcopalian church or some sort of Unitarian church. Here in Cancun, however, we’re limited to mostly Catholic churches and only a few Protestant options. We also go to his church when we’re in the neighborhood or on special family occasions. I really like the church he grew up in, but again certain beliefs prevent me from ever officially joining.

Our talks about church used to get a little tense and end in hurt feelings. Even though our beliefs about God line up, we both have different ideas of what a church should look like and what religious traditions should include, but I feel like things are beginning to fall into place after 5 years. Now that we’ve both seen that there are churches out there that we both like, we have more hope for the future.

Do you and your significant other have the same religious beliefs? What compromises have you made?

Tequila, Lightning and Neon Pants

Today is a pretty crummy day, so I’m re-posting some of the pics I posted to my Facebook page over the weekend to help myself realize that our life is pretty frickin awesome and I need to shut my mouth.

Friday Night

Jorge and I went to a friend’s wedding at a lovely little garden event area in downtown Cancun. There was great food (catered by the groom!), some salsa dancing and even one of the infamous Mexican wedding tequila lines.

Saturday

I was bummed to be at the office on a beautiful Saturday morning, but it was brightened up by this Hotel Zone view from my cubicle…

…and a friend lent me these! So excited!

Saturday afternoon, I continued my 5K training at Parque Kabah (I really need to do a separate post on this park!), and I ran 1.2 km two times, with a 5 minute walk in between. I am so proud of myself that I can’t stop talking about it. It’s not a big distance, but it’s much further than anything I’ve ever done before.

Saturday night, a lightning storm came through Cancun with ridiculous amounts of thunder. It didn’t last long, but I managed to get a few cool photos of the storm from my street.

Sunday

Jorge and I went to Dreams Cancun Resort early in the morning to pose as models for a friend’s business photo shoot. It was a ton of fun!

Later in the day, we went to a pizza lunch for my church at California Pizza Kitchen. Along with familiar faces, Jorge and I also got to make a few new friends! (We go to a small, English-speaking protestant church.)

Since we were already at the mall, Jorge and I decided to do some heavy-duty clothes shopping. Jorge got some much-needed shorts and shoes, while I got jeans, shorts and several tops as the last of my new “skinny wardrobe”. (This is the first time I’ve been able to wear shorts in about 4 years! Can’t wait to show off my legs next weekend.) I’ve been waiting for almost a year to buy a pair of Guess jeans as a weight-loss gift to myself. I was planning on regular blue jeans, but then I saw these and knew they had to be mine…

Whatever. I’m in a uniform 5.5 days a week and only wear regular clothes on weekends… so I think neon orange jeans were a fantastic choice.

Sunday night, Jorge and I watched an episode of The Mentalist on DVD, and I spent some time reading my new Game of Thrones book.

I was in a bad mood when I began this post, but now I’m feeling pretty good! All those amazing things going on in our life, and that’s just on a “quiet” weekend. 🙂

 

 

How was your weekend?

Are you having a bad Monday, too?

Are you pro- or anti-neon pants?

 

 

How Not to Hit on Girls at Clubs

Saturday night, my husband Jorge went to a bachelor party while I went out to the Cancun Hotel Zone with some of my girl friends. Our first stop was Surfin Burrito for some drinks, which was great because I’ve never been to Surfin Burrito at night!

A few hours later, we walked up to Party Center to see what all the tourists were up to. Nadia was dying to dance, so we went into Congo nightclub.

Inside Congo, Nadia and I were dancing our hearts out on some stairs in the middle of the club. Some random guys asked to take a picture with us… which was weird, but we were in a good mood so we smiled and posed. A few minutes later, one of the photo guys was trying to dance with Nadia while the other one began asking where I’m from. No big deal, but it was a little crowded anyway so we moved to a platform at the edge of the club where lots of girls were dancing solo.

“Perfect,” I thought. “We’ll be able to dance because nobody can hit on us up here.”

So. Wrong.

Not 10 minutes later, an 18-year-old guy hopped up on the platform and began awkwardly dancing near us. Eventually, he asked me if I spoke Spanish, and I told him I did. Then he inched closer to Nadia and after 3 minutes or so of awkward kind-of-dancing, the kid asked Nadia if she minded that he was dancing there. After another 5 minutes of shyness and no success, he excused himself to go to the restroom and never came back.

Nadia and I got to dance for awhile once again, until two guys hopped up on the platform and began awkward “I’m dancing far enough away from you that I might be dancing by myself, but close enough that I might be dancing with you” behavior for several minutes. (This is the worst because I can’t tell them I’m not interested because they’re *technically* not dancing with me, but at the same time they’re taking up my space on an already small platform.) I had my back to them, and one placed his hand on my shoulder. Already annoyed by their hovering, I immediately shrugged him off and kept dancing.

The other one continued to try to dance with Nadia, but she was definitely not interested. To save face, the 2 guys stayed on the platform for a few more minutes dancing on their own, and that’s when we decided to leave.

Can’t 2 gals in committed relationships go to a club without spending 50% of their time wondering how to get rid of creepers?

I dunno. I totally get that lots of single people try to make a “love connection” or whatever at clubs, and if you have the guts to try to make contact with someone, that’s GREAT! I don’t mind at all. I’ll even be nice to you. But why beat around the bush? Just swoop in and make your move already! That way I can turn you down politely and quickly, and we can both move on without 10 minutes of awkward “Are you trying to dance with me or are you just uncomfortably close?” action.

 

Ok readers… Have you ever experienced any awkward advances? Tell me about it!

 

Reader Photo Requests: Where We Met

Yet another Reader Photo Request: Julie at Mommie Cooks asked to see where Jorge and I first met.

Something that not many people know (until now, I guess) is that Jorge and I met on the internet.

Today that’s not  shocking at all, but just 5 years ago it wasn’t very common to meet your significant other online (online dating sites weren’t yet in full swing, and Facebook wouldn’t be popular for another 2 years), so we didn’t tell many people about it. Well, now the cat’s out of the bag. We had a few friends in common and went to neighboring universities, and we ended up chatting online as acquaintances around October 2006.

I started casually dating another guy around that the time, but he stood me up on a date one night in December. Needless to say I was feeling pretty down on myself, and I got online to see which friends were available to talk. I think it was late at night and my friend Jorge was the only person online, so I used him as a virtual shoulder to cry on.

From that night on, Jorge and I began chatting more and more as friends. He left for 2 weeks on vacation in late December, and I didn’t think much of it at the time. However, when I saw him online once he was back in Cancun, I remember feeling so happy to see his screen name pop up. I hadn’t realized that I’d missed talking to him.

In late January 2007, we made plans to meet up in person and hang out. Our meeting place was outside a church near where he lived.

I was sitting on that ledge under the trees.

From there, we walked to his parents’ house and watched the movie Nacho Libre together. One week and a few dates later, we had our first kiss and he asked me to be his girlfriend.

Long story short: Jorge and I are married now because some guy stood me up on a date 5 years ago.