Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I'm back. And this post is boring.

Wow. It's been a minute since I posted. 2.5 years actually. Which seems crazy because I just reread my last post and it seems like that just yesterday. When in fact, it did not. I haven't been to Zumba long enough for my ass to have tripled in size. Well the fact that I just had a baby 2.5 months ago doesn't help that either...

And that's where I am. I'm a mom. I have a baby girl, named Evelyn. She's amazing. When people talk about how hard having a newborn is I nod my head in agreement but inside I'm thanking God for giving me such an easy baby. She sleeps 6 hours a night consistently, naps like it's her job and eats like a champ. A pudgy, healthy champ. She's my joy. Actually, that isn't entirely accurate. She's part of my joy.

Mondo is another part. He's consistent, and kind. He takes care of me in ways I didn't know I needed to be cared for. Yes he still snores all night, and sometimes makes me so mad I want to throw something, but he's a gift. And I'm very lucky to have him. In spite of the fact that I tried really hard to ruin our marriage, he managed to stick by my side.

4 months after our wedding, Mondo's mom passed away. She had a stroke, and was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. She died February 26, 2 days before her and Joe's 41st wedding anniversary. It was a dark time in our house. Mondo was the glue that held his family together during that time, but when it was just us I could see the boy who missed his mom. Her death changed us. It made us stronger sure, realizing we could handle anything. But it changed us. We became a couple who without a doubt could see through the other's smile. Know what the other was really thinking and feeling. We felt things differently. When we fell asleep in each others arms at night we knew we were home, really truly home.

And then a year later I started to feel like maybe that weren't true. I started struggling with our life. We were spending so much time with my father in law. I hated my job. I felt like a terrible wife when I came home and couldn't muster up the energy to cook or engage with my husband. We started to house buying process and for a time I felt like me again. I had a focus, a goal. There was paperwork and viewings. Logistics to settle for the move, and cleaning to be done. We moved in, settled in, and the depression decided it was time to return. Most days I could manage it. I got a new job, working from home. For a bit it was really nice not to have to worry about getting dressed or wearing makeup. But after a couple months I started noticing my desire to be a part of the outside world waning. I didn't care if I even spoke to anyone else. I was perfectly content sitting with my computer, watching hours of tv and eating. Non-stop eating.

With the holidays at our doorstep, Mondo agreed to an impulsive purchase and New York was on our radar. We spent 10 days breathing crisp, cool city air. Walking for hours a day taking it all in. Eating like kings, and genuinely enjoying each other. It was just what I needed. I came home recharged, ready to take on the world. I had plans. I was going to drop some weight, get my Christmas shopping done early, and spend time every week doing something I loved.

Then, December 5th I found out I was pregnant. What a shock to my system. We obviously weren't trying to prevent it. We knew we wanted kids, and we had a plan. After New York we would start trying...and bam! I've never had EVERY emotion run through my body at once like that. It was crazy.

Without all the details, I'll just say this. I did NOT like being pregnant. It was hard. I had a great pregnancy, healthy all the way. But I will say that pregnancy is for the birds. I hated being completely out of control of my own body. Aside from the hormones, there was the unexpected body odor, the vaginal discharge and the peeing when I sneezed. And the eating...oh man it took everything I had in me not to eat everything in sight.

But 9 months later I had a beautiful, strong, funny little girl. And she was mine. And Mondo's of course, but she had come out of me. That bond will never die. I pushed that little 7 pound 12 ounce lump of flesh and bone out my lady bits and I will hold that over her head for the rest of my life.

Motherhood has been a real ride. Most days are filled with smiles, and laughter. She's quirky and sassy. She makes me want to be the best person I can be. Which I will ultimately fail at, because some days I don't make the conscience choice to be my best. Some days I let her ride in her swing every time she naps, and I cry watching an episode of Law & Order SVU I've already seen. I eat donuts and cookies, and then some more cookies because I feel bad about my weight. I text my friends, and ask for prayer because I feel like I'm losing myself.

And that's why I'm writing today. I don't know if anyone will read this. But I needed to write it down. I feel like I'm losing myself. Like I've suddenly become someone else. I'm a mom. I love my daughter. But other than that I feel nothing. I don't feel like a wife, lover or friend to my husband. I feel like a stranger in my own home. Hired to take care of Evvie, and keep the house clean. So I guess I do feel something. But it's not what I want to feel. And I don't know how to shake all of it. Mondo asked me what I needed, and I couldn't answer him. Because I don't know what can be done or said to bring me back to me. I think maybe acknowledging how I feel is a good start. Pretending like nothing is wrong isn't good. So embracing it, putting it into words, must be good.

Man, this blog is boring.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


All right you guys, I've done it. I've started taking a Zumba class that meets Mondays and Wednesdays in a back room of a church up the hill from our apartment. And let me tell you this, IT IS FUN. Now, I say that because I've got rhythm (I just googled how to spell that word correctly- I always want to spell it rythym) and I really enjoy dancing. If you can't say the same thing for yourself, my advice would be to either get over and do it anyways, or stick to a treadmill. Whatever you want to do with your life is fine. It's your life.

But here's the reality. Zumba makes me feel better. Which is not something I can say about most physical activity. Usually I just want to hop off the elliptical and go eat a box of Oreos. Not the normal size bag, but the Family size that has 5 rows of 12 cookies. And I want to dip them in whole milk, and then drink the entire glass with all the Oreo crumbly goodness in it. Yes, that's the exact same reaction I have when I get off work, finish cleaning, or am having a slightly-less-than-excellent day.

Zumba though, it makes me feel like I'm engaging every part of my body. I'm sweating and getting my heart rate up but I working my thunder thighs, keeping my gut tight, and using those fatty limbs that protrude from my torso called arms. And on top of it all, the 50 minutes goes by and we're in our cool down song, and I can't believe it's over! And for someone who can call walking down the flight of stairs to take the trash out a workout, this is a BIG DEAL.

I'm hoping to continue, at least once a week, but fingers crossed twice, and maybe my pants will start fitting again. Maybe.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Stuck In The Middle With You

All right, I'll be honest. That song is playing right now and it just sounded like a great title to a blog. The chorus is as follows:

"Yes I'm stuck in the middle with you,
And I'm wondering what it is I should do,
It's so hard to keep this smile from my face,
Losing control, yeah, I'm all over the place,
Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right,
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you."

It's pretty perfect for where I am in life right now. Most of the time I do feel like I'm all over the place. Sometimes it seems as though I've blinked and days have gone by. I feel as though I'm missing something, and at the same time cannot possibly experience one more thing.

As I lay in Mondo's arms last night just before falling asleep I muttered a few words that Mondo and I say rather regularly to each other...."I love our life." And there's so much truth and vulnerability in that simple statement. There are good days, and there are definitely bad days, but overall I'm living a life I couldn't have ever dreamed of. And I'm stuck in the middle of it all with a man who knows me better than I know myself, who puts up with my unbelievable brattiness, and who loves every part of me, no matter how good, bad or ugly.

I have these moments of extreme adoration for our life, and sometimes that quickly evolves into fear that it's just too good to be true. That God is playing the ultimate practical joke on us, and soon enough we'll realize it. That the other shoe will drop, so to speak. The first shoe being the last 6 months of course. I remember the wedding, the honeymoon and the holidays, and then I remember nights at the hospital, tears falling from my entire Rivera family's eyes as we said our final goodbyes to Tina, and I vaguely remember speaking at her funeral. But I don't remember much about the in between.

January and February saw more ache, and more pain than I've ever experienced. Not only did I witness the life of an incredible woman end, but I watched my husband lose his mother. And we're grieving together, as best we can.

Mondo is amazing in so many ways, and this tragedy has somehow managed to only bring us closer together.

I'd gladly be stuck in the middle with him anytime.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Calm Before The Storm

I think I'd like to give blogging a try again. There have been so many moments, so many breaths, that I'll never remember because the thought of writing them down seemed to hard. And quite honestly, it still seems too hard. Because the last few months have known more heartache and pain than I can ever remember in my life. And writing about them feels like I'm reliving those months all over again.

And that, is something I'm not sure I can handle.

But I'm going to try. Because maybe somewhere in the last few months I can find that little spec of joy, that flicker of hope that somehow pushed me through. Kept me standing. It was only by the grace of God that I survived. And maybe if I take a deep enough look, in order to write clearly and truthfully, I'll be able to see that grace.

So that's where I am. I'm not going to rush it by cramming everything into one blog. I'm going to take my time, and really work through what has happened in life. How I got to where I am, right now, in this moment.

I know I didn't post a lot around the wedding and honeymoon. Part of me wishes I had. That I had kept a better record of my thoughts and feelings leading up to, and following our amazing wedding. And there's a part of me that is so glad I didn't. Because now, I look back and all I see is happiness. Incredible beauty in the support of our friends and family, joy in the faces of our bridesmaids and groomsmen as they stood by us, relief in my heart when things went off without a hitch and it became official. I look at our wedding pictures and smile when I think about how much fun it was getting ready, how panicked I was that the dress wouldn't fit, and that moment when Mondo turned around and our eyes met.

And that's all I need to remember.

That being said, I remember vividly our honeymoon. It would take a thousand posts to fully explain how much I loved our honeymoon. For so many reasons, it was the perfect trip for us. We were able to do exactly what we wanted. And that was to relax, and just enjoy each other's presence. Oh, and drink beer. We did a lot of that too. We were able to sleep in, go to bed early, and do whatever we wanted in between.

We spent the first couple days just wandering around Dublin, enjoying the sights, the people, and the Guinness. After that we picked up our rental car, headed south to Cork and spent the evening pouring our pints and watching TV at Bull McCabe's with Ireland's friendliest bartender and 7 other people. It was a night we'll never forget because Mondo was able to see his dream of sitting by a fire at a pub in Ireland with a pint of Guiness come true. It makes me so happy to see my love so happy. The next day we went to the Blarney Castle. It was early enough that there was still dew on the ground, and only a few other cars in the parking lot. We walked onto the grounds and were instantly in love. It was exactly as a castle should be, tall and looming in the distance, with acres of lush, green land surrounding it. Before going to the castle we decided to follow a trail through the grounds and spent the next hour or so enjoying the quiet. After taking our tour of the castle (and NOT kissing the Blarney Stone- gross) we drove through quite possibly the world's most beautiful scenery, listening to Radiohead on CD since whoever rented the car before us left it there. We drove through areas that looked like they were straight out of a movie. Green hillsides, narrow roads, signs in Gaelic, and then finally the ocean! We both squealed, I kid you not, with excitement at seeing water. We both knew Ireland was surrounded with water, but when you first see it.....I can't explain that feeling.

We spent the next few days driving, stopping for seafood and knicknacks along the way. We took our time, and just soaked in the beauty. In Kilkenny we had the most mouthwatering, satisfying bowl of seafood chowder then headed over to Darby O'Gills for the night. We grabbed a beer in the hotel bar, listened to a local sing and get drunk and harass his friends. the next day we went exploring and drove out to the Cliffs of Moher. What a breathtaking view! It was cold and rainy but that didn't stop us from spending the better part of an hour just looking out onto the gray ocean. On our way to lunch we stopped to take a picture of a huge cow, and Mondo noticed water spraying up from the rocks. We figured they were just small cliffs, but when we got closer, we realized they were probably 200 feet tall. It was so fun to watch the waves crash on the rocks and tempt them to splash us! We were freezing but it was worth it to watch Mondo act like a little kid. From there we headed out to our next destination Galway. We weren't super impressed with the city, but spent the following day unwinding from all the driving. We holed up in the Dahl Bar, for lunch, a mid afternoon drink and dinner- with a few beers in between. We did a bit of souvenir shopping, and enjoyed not being in the car. That night we had our last Guiness/Bulmers in Ireland and tried to soak up as much of the trip as we could. The next morning we headed to the airport.

There is a slideshow of pictures on my previous entry "Honeymooners"- check it out.

At this point we were about halfway through what we thought was going to be the craziest 3 months of our lives, given we'd just gotten married and were headed straight into the holiday season.

We celebrated Thanksgiving here in Denver, where all of Mondo's family gets together. It was so far beyond the normal family crazy I experience at Thanksgiving, due to the fact that Mondo's family size easliy doubles mine. It was an exciting day, and we enjoyed the time with everyone.

Christmas we went to AZ thanks to free tickets from Southwest. Yes, we have still been doing enough flying to earn free tickets. After a wonderful time spent with my family, we came home ready for the new year. Ready to start "normal" life.

And on New Years Day everything changed. I can't hardly write that without breaking down, because what happened next is the hardest thing I've ever had to go through. Losing Tina hurts everyday, and I miss her so much. And that story, will have to wait for another post.

That felt good. To write. To reminisce. Here's to continued therapy.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Ireland. Such a great country. My heart breaks that they're in such a financial mess, but hey, who isn't these days right? We all need a little help sometimes.

And Mondo and I certainly did our part in boosting the economy over there, spending plenty on beer, food, and miscellany fun stuff!

Here are a few snapshots of our trip. Such a great time, a trip we'll never forget. Ever. (I don't know why the pictures are so small. Sorry!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

You May Kiss The Bride!

I'm a married woman.


And let me tell you something people- I'm glad the first few chapters of our lives are over.

I loved being single, and then I loved being pursued by Mondo. After that I fell in love with Mondo and loved being his girlfriend. The night he proposed I loved him more than I ever had. And the last year of our engagement although one of the hardest, has been one of the best, and I loved it.

But I LOVE being married.

And the wedding....oh the wedding. What an incredible night! I had the most amazing time, and I can't wait to see more of these.....

My good friends over at SessionNinePhotography were amazing, and made the whole process so easy and fun! I can't wait to see the rest of the shots, and once we get them back I'll post my favorites here!

And Thursday, Mondo and I leave for our honeymoon. In Ireland. Yup. IRELAND.

Life is good :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Call me MRS.

Well folks, today is the last day I will post anything before The Big Day.

I'm honestly without words.

I cannot describe to you all how unbelievably ECSTATIC I am. I wish that there was a way I could project all the feelings inside of me into this blog so you could feel what I'm feeling.

I liken it to the night before Christmas, when you're 8, and you just KNOW that Santa is giving you exactly what you asked for. You've been so good all year, you did extra chores, weren't as mean to your siblings as usual and have made sure to clean behind your ears without being asked. You're a shoe-in for that (fill in the blank with whatever your heart desired at 8) and you've only got to wait 10 more hours to get it!

And if I'm feeling that way now, a week before said Big Day, I can only imagine what the next week will hold for me.

Be praying for us! It's gonna be a hectic week, and we're going to need all the help we can get!

Next time I post, I'll be Mrs. Rivera. :)