Monday, July 25, 2016

Miami in all its glory



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I've always wanted to go on a girls trip somewhere. With either friends or family, it didn't matter. I just wanted to be away with girls that I was close with because that was something I never had the opportunity of doing in my early 20s. So when my cousin said that she wanted to go to Miami for her bachelorette I was beyond happy. 2016 has definitely being a year of many great things!

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We booked our flight, we booked our room, we shopped, and made plans on the things we wanted to do while there and everything was going great. It was a last minute sort of thing but everyone was on board and excited for it. We had some group drama about two weeks before the trip over a prank but thankfully came the day off and we were pretty much over it. 

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Thursday before we flew out we drove to NJ to a cousin's home to just chill and kill time before driving to the airport. When we arrived she was waiting for us with a super traditional breakfast, Mangu! This cousin is one of the youngest and the one I was closest to while growing up so I still see her as my little cousin and it's been hard trying to accept that she's not little anymore. She's a grown mid 20 gal that can throw it down in the kitchen hahaha. You go girl!

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We arrived at the airport like 3 hours early, I have no idea how this happened because everyone knows that Dominicans are never on time, let alone early. So from 330 until boarding time which was like at almost 6am we just took ownership of an area in the waiting room and napped. Well, some napped l, some took pictures, some browsed social media/the web, and so on. Boarding time came around and we were in our way down south. 

About two and a half hour later we landed in west palm beach (I know, we're crazy to have flown in through there but because it was a last minute trip this was the most economical way to fly down to Miami). My high school best friend was awesome and went to pick us up at the airport which saved us a ton of money. I love you girl!

Once at the hotel, we stayed at the Catalina Hotel & Beach Club which was pretty nice, no complaints. Since it was quite early for check-in we just changed into our bathing suits and headed to the roof top pool which pretty much took over our entire afternoon. We had lunch there, calamari and coconut shrimp and some buffalo wings with pretty good mixed drinks ;) some pool time and nap time and by 4ish we headed down to the room to start getting ready for dinner.

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By 6pm the bride and I were ready so I treated her to sushi/wings and mojitos while the others got ready. Afterward everyone met outside the hotel and we walked along side of the beach till we reached the restaurants area and we decided on a place to have dinner. We had dinner at about 8pm and I honestly cannot remember the name of the restaurant but I was not impressed with my choice of meal. I had some pasta with clams and well, yuck! The drinks were so so. I wasn't impressed at all. After dinner we walked down the strip some more and ended up at Mangos. Well that didn't go as planned. I already talked about that here, so I won't get into details to prevent even more drama and judgement.

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The next day we started our day off with breakfast. My best friend also came along and she stayed with us until after dinner.

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After breakfast we walked down to the beach, enjoyed some beers and great time together. I'm not a beach girl but I do enjoy my time there with good company, whether it be my kids, husband, or just friends.

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As you've read here, there was nothing exciting about this day, our last day if I may remind you. After dinner we did go out just us three and we ended up at Wet Willie's. We planned on getting call-a-cab but that was way too strong. I foresaw a headache from the very first sip of the sample so that was out. We tried other drinks and decided on a Bob Marley mix. That one was so so but drinkable. I probably will never have it again. We ended up calling it at night at 2am. I think we were all just disappointed and couldn't enjoy ourselves which was very unfortunate.

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The next morning we woke up around 6am to start getting ready for the flight back and noticed that the girls were still not back. We gather our belongings and called an uber. Once again we made it to the airport three hours early. I wanted to do the beach before heading to the airport this day but we received an email from the airlines to arrived earlier than originally stated because they expected some delays so off we went. As we were about to walk out the room the other girls were just walking in. No words were exchanged. We bumped with them in the airport again, as expected, and we have not exchanged a single word since. At least I haven't. 

You could only imagine all that has been said by our parents. I'm sure they are all just as disappointed at the outcome of the trip as we are but at last, things happen for a reason. 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Miami.... The Bad

I decided to start off with the bad first to just get it out of my chest and to not end up with a sour taste. I hope to revisit Miami again but next time I do I'll make sure it'll be with my better half

Some days I can't figure out if the saying that everything happens for a reason is something that I really believe or if it's my way to get over a disappointment in life. Let's elaborate. 

A dear cousin is getting married in 4 short weeks in the Dominican Republic. As her bachelorette celebration we decided to fly to Miami for a weekend and enjoy some bonding time and fun in the sun. Everyone was super excited specially because the bride, as a gift to us, covered a good portion of the cost. There were six of us going including the bride and we are all cousins. This would actually be the first time all six of us got to bond and go on a weekend getaway together so you bet that I was super excited because I always thought that we were lucky to have such awesome relationship even with our differences. But I guess I was wrong. 

Everything started to go wrong even weeks before the actual event. Arguments and disagreements between the girls about everything that you can think of. But even with that and flights booked we decided to brush it under the rug and keep it moving. After all, we are family is not like we're going to stop talking to each other. 

Everything started out great. Well, sort of. We ended up leaving later than usual that Thursday night. Then we got stuck in traffic for 3 hours when it should had taken us an hour to reach our destination. Then we came across issues with transportation taking us to the airport which got resolved fairly quick. We had a good flight and everyone was getting along great. 

We arrived at our destination only to find out that we had left a luggage behind in the airport back home. Fortunately that luggage only contained a pair of dress shoes and tons of make up which yes although it was a good chunk of money invested by the owner at least it was just make up. Thankfully the luggage was found by security and taken into custody shortly after we had landed in Florida. We decided not to let that ruin our short trip so we made plans to just pick up the luggage when we returned and start the festivities. 

All was well during the day but come nightfall lack of communication created a huge problem between the group. The issue was such a big deal breaker that we called it quits on the night and 4 out of the 6 left back to the hotel while the other two continue the partying until 5am. 

Come the next day (24 hours later and 24 hours left of the trip) everyone was over it and we decided to start the day with a nice breakfast and enjoy the morning at the beach. 3 hours later and everything went downhill. Now remember this is a bachelorette getaway so like it or not the only person who really matters is the bride. We're here for the bride. The bride is the center of attention and everything we do should revolve around her, right? Or at least that's what I've always thought so someone please correct me if I'm wrong. 

Well again 3/6 girls decided to go and do their own thing instead of coming back to the room to shower and get ready for lunch. It wasn't that big of a deal because it was going to take a while for everyone to get dressed anyways so we figured half can get ready now n then the other would follow. Well I guess not everyone had the same idea. Minutes before getting ready to go get the other group we receive a message saying that they (the 3 girls who went to do their own thing) were going to skip lunch and that we should go ourselves. Wtf! Now I'm like ok what's really going on? That is unacceptable. But again the bride was chill and although very disappointed in her "bridesmaids" she let it go and we did lunch ourselves. It ended up being an early dinner because it was way too much food and by the time we finished eating it was almost 6pm. 

We walked our way back to the hotel only to find out that the other girls were still not getting ready. Ok.....

They walked in shortly after we did and started to get ready. Well this is when it really become fucked up. After we're all ready and about to walk out the door one of the girls says that she's not going. She stated that she was in a bad mood (I'm still trying to figure out why she was in a bad mood by the way) and did not feel like going out anymore. WTF!? The other one says that she never planned on joining us anyways so that we could leave without her. At this point I have fumes coming out of my ears so I could only imagine what the bride must have been feeling. Not only are they her bridesmaids but we're family. If we can't even count in our own family how can we trust anyone else. 

One of the other girl had left the room to answer a phone call therefore she was unaware of what was happening. The bride walks out the room because what else can she do, and so did I. The fourth girl, who was one of the ones who didn't make it to dinner by the way, stayed behind and I figured it was to talk some sense into the other two but after some minutes of waiting outside for her I called her only to have her tell me to "go ahead without her and that she would message me to meet up later on". What the triple FUCK! I was speechless. That was the cherry on top. It was like we traveled to Miami with complete strangers. 

We stood outside trying to figure out what just happened and what we were going to do next but the heat was too much so we went inside the lobby to sit down while we figured it out only to see the girl who "was not in the mood come out tonight" with a change of clothes and ready to enjoy her night. She was shortly followed by the one who had no intentions to go out with us anyways and the one who wanted to meet up with us later. Her face expression was priceless when she saw us sitting in the lobby. She stood there with her eyes wide open and all I could see was her mouth mumbling "Oh Shit!". Really? Really?!

Insert emoji of angry fuming face right here! 

And then I question myself on why I have trust issues. This was honestly one of the worse experience of my life. I had no words. I think about it and still cannot believe that family, bridesmaids, can be so shady to use a bride to pay for part of the bachelorette trip only to bail on her on what is suppose to be a happy and memorable time. Honestly this brought me to tears. Even as I type this (on the flight back home) I'm shedding tears because I can't believe this really happened. We are family for God's sake. Where's the loyalty. This is plainly fucked up. I mean it when I say I have no words. 
Like you seriously have no heart to pull a stunt like that. That is beyond unforgivable. 

I don't know about the other two girls but I don't need people like that in my life. I'm not the bride and I feel so hurt that I want nothing to do with them for as long as I live. I am no one to not forgive but that doesn't mean that I have to deal with them so as far as I am concerned and as much as it may hurt, those girls have been excluded from my world. They are officially cut out of my life and I don't know if I'll be getting over this anytime soon. I pray that they never get to experience something like this, yet again it won't really matter because it's obvious that they have no heart and they most likely don't care. 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Miami... I ain't about that life

Plain and simple, I can't hang.

I'm not the kind of girl that drinks all day and dresses up at night to continue drinking at a club and make it home at 7am. Even if I don't have my kids around. 

I've always wondered how my friends do it? How do they go out and drink their asses off to come home the next morning and not feel hangover, well most times anyways. If I go out drinking all night I would need at least 48 hours if not longer to recuperate. #truestory  I always felt left out, like if I was missing out on something fun but after this Miami trip, which is something I've always wanted to do meaning a girls trip, I've only came to the conclusion that I'm not about that life. I can't be out all night. I rather be in bed by 11pm after kissing my kids goodnight and calling it a day rather than just start off the night. 

I mean, there's no judgement on those that are about that life and those that can hang, more kuddos to you. 

It's funny. I've never been about the partying life. I did it in high school and it was more to hang out with my friends than anything but if I remember correctly by 11pm I wanted nothing more than to be home. So why have I been trying to be someone else all these years? Why do I try to force myself to like the things that I don't truly enjoy? Why can't I just be happy with the person that I am? And be content with the things that I do like and enjoy, with the things that make me who I am. I really need to stop worrying about what others think and how others feel about me because the only person who that should matter to is me. 

I really hope that I don't forget this. And I have a feeling that I never will after Miami. I do enjoy to dance and have an alcoholic beverage with close family and friends but if there's one thing I need to be clear about is that I am not a party girl, never was, and never will be. I'll let my sister hold the throne for that while I just sit home and sip on wine, read books, and bake ;) 

Thank You Miami, for opening my eyes to what I really like and want. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Thank You Mom



It doesn't have to be the first Sunday in May for me to appreciate how much I love my mother. The older I get and the deeper I'm involved in the role of  motherhood the more I understand how much my mom loves me. She did so much for me I when I was growing up, when I first became a mother, and even now. If it wasn't for my mom and her support in all my endeavor I probably wouldn't have made it this far.

Currently, at this stage of my life, as I pursue an education in the medical field while being a mom of two and playing the current role of a wife and part time employee she has been picking up the slack around the house with the cleaning. Some days I come home overwhelmed with brand new information that was introduced to my brain or simply stressed after studying for the back to back exams I have at the end of the week and the last thing I want to do is clean the dishes and sweep the floor covered in dog hair and it's like this wonderful lady reads my mind because on days like these I walk in to a freshly clean house. 

Other days she does my laundry as well as that of the rest of the family and as if that wasn't enough she folds it all for me! She folds my laundry guys!!! 

She will also take the kids to the park or to run errands with her to provide me some alone time to get school work done, after having watched my kiddos since the early morning. 

She cooks at least 3x a week for us. 

She'll babysit for us over the weekend either in the morning when hubby has to work or in the evenings for us to go out with friends or got us to have date nights.

But more importantly she provides me with the greatest love there is, the love of a parent to a child. She lets me vent to her, she makes me laugh, she takes me shopping, she gives me advice, and she continuously shows me how much she loves me with all the small gestures she does. 

Having my mother move in with us has been for sure a blessing and I don't think I could ever find the perfect gift  to give her as my token of appreciation. All I can do is say Thank You! and hope that somehow, someway she'll realize just how much I truly mean those words. 

I love you mom, I thank God for blessing me with a mom like you. XOXO 


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Summer 2016: Day In the Life!

Steven 29 years old
Pamela 29 years old
Lito (foster child) 11 years old
Steven Jr 10 years old
Adrían 3.5 years old
King Piggy 5 years old

Friday July 8, 2016

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0430 | Hubby wakes me with a kiss before he leaves for work. I mumble the word "I love you, have a blessed day" and carry on to my sleep.

0515 | My first alarm goes off and it continues to go off every 15 minutes as I carry on to hit snooze. For a while now I've been wanting to start my day early because I feel that there are not enough hours in a day for me to do all the things I want. It's been working out OK but sometimes I still don't get out of bed as early as I want, specially when I have my 9 o'clock class or when I have nothing to do early in the morning.

Yesterday after a very overwhelming day with a house full of kids (5 total) Steven and I sat outside on the porch and drank some wine while the kids watched movie. We ended up going to bed a little after midnight and this morning I don't feel like waking up this early.

0630| I finally decide to wake up and as I turn and toss thinking about which side of the bed I want to get out of. I feel my whole body aching, even more than yesterday. This is the only thing I don't like about going to the gym, feeling the muscle aches several days later once you start to feel comfortable with the workouts.

0645| I start to get ready and really have no desire to. I skipped out of doing my hair last night and now I will pay for it because I have no idea how to style it. Styling my hair when it's not blow dried has been a challenge ever since I transitioned and trust me, it is no fun. You'd think that at almost thirty years old one would be able to manage their hair appropriately.

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I begin to get ready and it honestly takes me an hour and some change to finish dressing up because I find a million other thing to do than what I should be doing. It never fails. My energy level is at its peak minutes after I rise from bed. I started by cleaning the room, making the bed, cleaning corners, separating laundry, and getting my clothes ready. Thankfully I had decided on what I wanted to wear last night. I head to the bathroom and wash my face, brush my teeth, etc. All this takes me about 15 minutes and I move onto the bedroom to get dressed. I return to the bathroom to do my hair. Now that I think about it I wish I would had taken a picture of my hair after waking up because that was not pretty hahaha, maybe that was done intentionally. Anyways so I finished washing my hair, a partial wash which pretty much entails rinsing with conditioner, and I fixed it to the best of my ability being tired and lacking caffeine. By that point it's 745, it took me an entire hour to make my bed wash my face get dressed and do my hair and setting a side my makeup. 

As I get started on my make up I realize that I still have to cook something for breakfast (and then I wonder why I'm always running late). I try multitasking on applying makeup while making coffee and making myself a spinach and chicken omelette with some leftover chicken breast from lunch this week. It turned out to be pretty good but it was nothing like the one I had at the diner the other day. I look at the table and at the mess of school papers from the night before from when "I attempted" to do homework. Something that should have taken me 1.5hrs max took about four hours and I didn't even get to finish it all because I had a house full of kids, crazy, hyper, and very active kids so there was no kind of concentration whatsoever.

This morning I go in to check on the kids before heading downstairs and I see this. 5 bedrooms in our home and they all decide to sleep together on the floor. Is this a a boy thing?

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When the hubby came home I poured us some wine and we sat outside on the swing and before we knew it was 11 o'clock so there went the rest of my studying. This morning I had planned to wake up early go to the gym, make my kids pancakes before I left, and maybe read of the assignment for today but as you have guessed none of that was done. Absolutely nothing. And that my friend is a regular morning in the life. I go to bed with an idea in mind of what I want to do the next morning but when the morning comes I get one thing done, if that, out of all those things that I wanted to do.

0822 | I get on the road heading on my way to school and like always I can't leave on time. I always try to leave by 815am to have some time before the professors arrive but it never works out to be that way. Although I'm only 10 minutes away and I will still be there early I want to get myself into the habit of getting places early and not "on time" like I currently do. I meet up with two classmates and we take our usual walk to the classroom. Class started a little after 9 AM, today we're starting the lecture Fluids & Electrolytes. Yippee!


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1030 | By this point I'm over the lecture. I am completely lost. We got divided into our clinical groups to do case studies and since I was unprepared to class by not finishing my prep work I had no idea what was happening. Luckily our case study involved blood transfusion and I'm familiar with that so I was able to contribute a bit. I've started recording the lectures so I plan on going back to it at some point before finishing my study guide for this test. 

1120 | class is dismissed!

We walk toward our cars as I message my cousin about picking up her little sister to take her swimming with us. It takes me about 10 minsutes to hear back from her at which point I have to decide whether to go East or West on the highway. She responds just in time and I head East. It takes me almost 2o minutes to get to her house only for her to tell me that her fiancé doesn't think is a good idea that I take the kids because "they can't really swim and they don't listen". I was livid! I was one minute away from her house when she tells me this BS.

"Whatever" I said, and continued home.

Seconds later I get another call, my BIL is at my house and no one is answering the door. He tells me that he will just drive to his house and wait for us there while I figure out where my mom went with the boys. I call her and she tells me that she just dropped the boys at the Boys & Girls Club and that she had just arrived at her sister's house but she agrees on bring AJ home for me (she'll do anything to be kids free earlier than she has to hahaha). I call back my BIL to have him pick up Lito and Steven while I go home to get our swimming clothes, sunscreen, and towels.  
Soon after getting that all squared away the hubby calls. He's getting out of work early and practice for the baseball tournament was cancelled so he wanted to go swimming. He didn't know that I was ten step ahead of him :). We then agreed to meet at his father's house.

1230 | About an hour of driving around for nothing and six phone calls later and I am finally home. Honestly as soon as I walked in all I felt like doing was taking nap. I felt so tired and the silence within the house was so tempting that I just sat on the edge of my bed for a good 15 mins of just doing nothing. Have you ever done that? just sit, or stand, without a thought in your head and just unwind? Well if you haven't I really recommend it, it is super relaxing and much needed for your sanity ;)

1245 | I start to gather our things and put a load of laundry in the wash. I call my mom to see what's taking her so long and even though she's telling me that she's leaving now I have the feeling that she's no where near leaving so I just tell her that I will go pick him up. My suspictions turn out to be true because she quickly replied "ok great!".

I finish packing a loaf of slice bread, ham, cheese, go-gurts, and watermelon to feed the kids inbetween swimming then I head out. I talk to the hubby again and he will be bringing over some wine to sip on, now that's what I'm talking about. Thank God Is Friday! too bad I work in the morning.


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As I'm driving I jam to my Enrique Iglesias Pandara station. I snap a couple of pictures. Per snapchat, the weather is currently 90 degrees and it definitely feels like it. I can't wait to get in the pool.
1320 | I pick up my little monster and he quickly looks for his picture that I keep on my dashboard, since he doesn't see it he asks me where it is and I tell him it fell and it must be under the seat. He asks me why and why don't I get it. Oh Aj. We have a little talk about swimming and using lifejackets but he says that he's a big boy and that he doesn't need a lifejacket becaused he knows how to swim and he's not going to drown. We discussed the importance of wearing lifejacket when in the pool but he is not having it because "he's not a baby". Oh dear.

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1330 | We're finally here! I get a phone call from SIL from Cali. She wants to know AJ's clothes size because she's going through her son's clothes and she wants to see if there's anything she can to send him before donating them. I of couse am please because that's less shopping we have to do for him. We talk for a max of 5 minutes and we end the call. The kids all change and jump in the pool right away. BIL takes AJ with him in the pool so I lay back and just relax. I still feel like taking a nap but there's no way that's going to happen while kids are jumping in the pool every 3 minutes. I contemplate doing some studying but I have no motivation. I keep looking at my backpack knowing that I really should do something, anything, but there's not a cell in my body that takes the lead by reaching for it so I let it go.  

1400-1730 | We swim and eat sandwiches, snack on watermelon, snap some pictures , and plainly have fun. Hubby comes over after his haircut and joins us in the pool. I didn't get to eat a sandwhich so he orders pizza for us. We agree on it being dinner since it's later in the day by the time we get it and the kids will be snacking on popcorn later tonight while watching a movie. Hubby, BIL, and I talk about random things while we sip on wine.

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This all happens at the same time and whithin a matter of minutes. I decide to start writing the post for DITL as hubby walks in with the pizza. The boys are playing with a football in the pool and AJ is playing with his toys on the deck. I look over to my right and glance at hubby taking the pizza to the table but I immediately return my attention to my phone and hear AJ say "yayyy pizza". Less than 5 seconds later I look to my left and don't see AJ, instead I hear small hand splashes and see the crown of a head above the water. I quickly yell "Babe AJ!" I get up and before I take a step closer to the pool hubby jumps in clothes and all, grabs him, and hands him over to me. I pat his little back as he coughs up any water he swallowed. This was so freaking scary! My heart sank!

After everything slows down we asked AJ why did he jump in the water without his lifejacket (remember that talk he and I had in the car about lifejackets? well never did I imagined that this could actually happened) or mommy or daddy and his response was just "I wanted to swim with my brother". We had a very serious talk with our boy about getting in any pool without an adult regardless of having a lifejacket on or not and I honestly think that after that scared he gets it now. He randomly repeated the rest of the day that he would not jump in the pool without his lifejacket and I kept finding him starring at the jacket like they were having a silent conversation. It all happened so fast that no one inside even noticed or would have known if we wouldn't have said anything.
I was embarrassed to mention this on this post. I  felt ashamed for taking my eyes off my baby, but I thought I'd share anyways to remind you, anyone who could be reading this, that it only take seconds for a tragedy to happen. Please keep all your senses fixed on your surroundings especially when there are kids around, even if they are not your own. You could save someone's life.

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1800 | We packed our belongings and drove home. It took about 15 minutes. We had the kids jump in the shower while hubby and I  figured out where we were going to go for date night. We haven't been out in a while. We decide to go to Brewworks and my cousin and her fiancé are planning on joining us. 

A little after 7pm I jump in the shower to start getting ready and hubby followed a little while after.  Sometime after I headed upstairs my brother showed up with his daughters. He was going to babysit for us. My cousin told us that she would be here by 8pm and surprisingly hubby and I were both ready on time (that hardly ever happens) unfortunately for us we waited over an hour for them. They didn't show up until after 8:30pm and by the time we got to Brewworks it was almost 9pm. I was worried that my brother was going to back out of babysitting because he had his girls with him and he worked in the morning. Thankfully he didn't but I did had to bribe him with $$$. There's no  family loyalty anymore hahaha. 

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While we waited we sat outside and just chilled. I mean what else could we to do? Naila, Emiyah, and AJ sat outside with us and I snapped a few pics of them and us while thinking about adding them to the post. I love how much they each love each other and how well they play together. As we continue to became adults I see our littles playing together and creating loving relationships and memories that I can't help but to reminisce on my own youth with my cousins and how much has changed since. This is definitely Bittersweet. 

This waiting phase would have been perfect if my older child would have waited for us to finish dressing so that we can played the Bean Boozled game. I wanted to play before leaving and I thought I would have been perfect to make a collage of all of our face reactions but my impatient child went ahead and did it himself with Lito. They even recorded and uploaded a YouTube video about it. YouTube has been his latest addiction. 

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2045 | We started our double date night. Once there we ordered drinks, food, and had conversations upon conversation about everything from wedding to being in our early 20s to the craziest things we've been exposed to with our friends. It was such a good time, I'm so glad we did it. We were here until a little past 11pm and it was worth every minute. Some days adult times is all you need to unwind from the week whether it was a good or bad one. And some days you simply need adult time with no little rascals running circles around you ;) 

Once at home our kiddos were in their bed and we got a report from my brother. We all said our goodbyes and while the hubby closed doors and set alarms I prepped my work clothes for the morning ahead. Lucky enough we made it to bed before midnight calling it a double win. 

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