It gets old

I have never had the best relationship with my Parents. We have never really seen eye-to-eye per say. My mom led a totally different life, never believes she is wrong, and I can count with one hand the number of times my Mother has hugged me, kissed me, or even told me she loved me. My Father has always been in and out of my life. Now that I am a Mother, I can put into perspective my synopsis of how my Parents make me feel.

One thing that is so important includes being the change. The subtitle of my Blog is, “Break the Cycle, Be the Difference”. The reason being, I have spent the majority of my life finding ways to go the route contrary to my Parents due to their examples and lack of support for me in my life. Yes, they’ve made strides to be there for momentous occassions, but it has never felt real. It has never felt pure. My Parents have always had another agenda. It is what it is, I’m almost 36 (it’s my Birthday month haha).

IG: Stimulate_Mental

You know how everyone has a pet peeve? Well, mine are liars. Both my Parents made a lot of empty promises to me growing up. As a Parent myself now, I can imagine that initially the promise was made with every intention on fulfilling it. However, I feel like honesty is the best policy at all times, whether in your personal life and especially your kids.

You have to live with some degree of integrity. I have worked so hard to achieve the reputation that I do today. That isn’t because I just wanted the attention. It’s because I want to always be remembered as someone always willing to lend a helping hand.

I digressed… I guess it just pisses me off when my Parents begin to implement those false promises with my kids, their grandchildren. Don’t lie to my kids. You lied to me so much in my lifetime, shit on me all day for all I care. But, do not repeat the cycle with my children as that to me is where I have to cross the line. I had to recently confront one of my Parents about it and I am glad I did. It is not okay, and if my Parents want to maintain a relationship with their grandchildren, then I think there is a degree of respect, honesty and integrity that they should maintain themselves.

Okay – rant over.

My kind of White Rice

Ingredients:
Long grain White rice
Water ~ Agua
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 tbsp Vegetable or Olive Oil (I usually jump between Vegetable Oil and Olive Oil)
1 Garlic clove peeled (garlic powder also works, half a tsp/dash)

Steps:

  • Add your desired number of cups of rice to a dutch oven style pot (deep enough for rice and water) I usually cook 2-3 cups
  • Wash the RICE! Make that RICE your b*&$# at least 10 times (yes, 10 times lol)
  • Drain as much water as you can, the clearer the water the better wash it has
  • Once you’ve drained the water from the RICE BATH, add enough water until you can rest the tip of your finger on the bed of rice under water. Once the water reaches the first bend/line on your index finger, you have added enough water! Trust me, it works lol.
  • ADD:
    -1 tsp. sea salt
    -1 tbsp. veg oil (i jump between veg oil and olive oil)
    -1 garlic clove peeled (garlic powder also works, half a tsp/dash)
  • MIX it well
  • COOK:
    Place pot uncovered on stove on HIGH, and let boil until water is almost gone
    Lower temp to simmer/low with the lid closed tightly once you see water is almost gone
    LEAVE IT ALONE please 🙂 no peeking!!
    Give it 10-15 minutes dependent on your stove heat level
    Open lid and fluff your rice with a fork (also turn heat to lowest temp unless your husband likes burnt rice like mine does)
  • ENJOY! Please leave your review in the comments if you get to try this! 🙂

Thanks for cooking with me!

The Ex-JW wife

Being married to an ex-Jehovah’s Witness isn’t as peaceful as you would think. There is the constant judgement, consistent influence and preaching whether you like it or not, comparisons and such. Though my husband has not practiced the religion in over 20 years, the desire for him to repent remains. If I thought I had issues with my mother-in-law it would only be due to this. I wish Netflix or some platform would interview spouses of ex-Jehovah’s witnesses to get a feel for what these people went through. But what about us wives? When do we get to stop being judged? While I can’t give enough shits about what anyone thinks of me, the family dynamic and where we fit in to the puzzle is a misfit.

I have been married for almost 15 years. Since the beginning of my marriage, when I met my in-laws (notice, not before I was legally married), I have been critiqued, judged, talked about, envied over, the works. When I was first introduced to my husband’s family, I had a 15-year old girl tell me I would never feel welcomed since I am clearly different from them.

As for my kids, I was told that when Armageddon decided to show up, that we would be destroyed since we are not Jehovah’s Witnesses. Perhaps they don’t have a pulse to understand how much that hurts to hear.

I have been asked multiple times why I chose to marry into such a complex family dynamic. Love would be the obvious answer, but not I. I do love my husband, but that’s not the point.

My entire life I have been a misfit. I was always the rare breed, the runt of the litter per say. I know what it’s like to be nothing to most yet everything to everyone when needed.

Leaving a cult isn’t the easiest thing to do. Being disassociated as they say equates to being shunned. If you were walking down the street, no one could look in your direction let alone share the same path. The best part, the same people who preach this Jehovah word are the same people hypocritically and intimately involved with minors. I have more examples, but that’s enough for tonight.

I stick by my family, but I know right from wrong. It’s the one decision my husband doesn’t regret. I am forever grateful he left that cult religion, or else I would have never met him. Here we are, still standing strong together.

Good Night…

What she didn’t know…

Growing up I was always left out of the loop. Like, there were no family meetings, no “hey, by the way” moments – unless it was to tell me something to do. I grew up in silence because, as a Parental child, it is the only way I knew how to be. While I had my moments of tantrum and anger as a child and/or teen, I was relatively the one who went along with everything. Things that, as a parent now, I would never imagine putting my children in that situation.

My parents did the best they could, and I should be grateful. I get that. There can only be so much “Woe is me” in your 20s so that once you reach your 30s, you’re basically defining who you are so that by the time you reach your 40s, you can live at your prime and get your 2nd chance at life. Travel more, see more of the world (hopefully without a mask on), make memories and create a sacred home filled with love – endless love. However, at what point do I get to talk about how much SO much fucked me up mentally to where now, as an adult, I realize SO many foundational pieces I missed out on learning growing up?

It just amazes me how much now, as an adult, I have learned about how much I didn’t know. Perhaps my parents were protecting me by not sharing things with me. Maybe they wanted to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders and not inconvenience me. Whatever the case, the critical moments of my life that were foundational to my future were missed.

Now, as a mom and wife, I strive daily to ensure I don’t miss out on those foundational moments with my children. Like how I work daily to teach my children of the future by exemplifying an intellectual conversation without yelling and arguing – sometimes.

Evolving as a woman during this self-discovery phase feels revitalizing. I feel like I sweat less over the drama. I choose my battles and opt out of the bullshit. It’s amazing how as we age, the bullshit becomes less enticing. I am happy for this time because while it has felt like a vicious cycle, it has set me up to actually enjoy the remainder of my life the way I deserve to best.

Peace for all…

This might get me in trouble…

Sometimes I get fed up. Like 150% ready to walk out type fed up. Marriage is hard. They don’t tell you about the un-death until you part, good, bad, ugly, all that… It’s rough! My patience runs thin. I wonder why things are being done the way they are. My OCD kicks in to overdrive, ugh the questions that develop in my anxiety mind are plenty…

My husband and I are night and day. I’m the social butterfly who wants to party every weekend, hit the beach somewhere in there, and work hard during the week. I want to take adventures with my kids and hubby, explore the world and live it up; lol, while that sounds super fun, I am also super responsible and a classic housewife when it comes to my cleaning and cooking skills.

My husband is an introvert, often times difficult to understand, a strong Cuban man (personality emphasized here) from Miami who believes that he is RIGHT 1143598749857% of the time. Despite popular belief, his ego serves him well. He is a fucking genius. My husband is an Engineer for Microsoft and I love to brag about it. A man who came to the USA from Cuba when he was 12 years old with only the clothes on his back. He knows struggle and sufferance more than anyone I have ever known. He fears nothing due to the hardships both he and his extended family endured living through Cuban exile. He knows what it means to, “start from scratch”. I believe that’s why we have relentlessly persevered through everything we have gone through in our marriage, because he is amazing at bringing me back to my center and reminding me of my value, my worth. He uses his strength from his losses to help others, he is selfless and he is my husband. I have loved this man since 2004 and I continue loving him. I don’t always agree with him, but I know he’s got my back like no one ever has. I am forever grateful for that, but I am also entitled to my tantrums!

Super traditional, I agree things should be shared and compromised to ensure fairness and inclusion within a marriage. My personality has modernized with age though, and I believe in efficiency. It could be something that small, like why I cannot understand why my husband does things a certain way when I know how to do it in a more efficient manner?! You see? My OCD kicking in…

As I approach 36, I learn more and more about the importance of picking your battles. During such an unprecedented time, I know better than to linger in that sorrow of constantly fighting with your spouse just to fight with them. THAT gets old! Marriage can burn you out AND bring out the best in you at the same time. I have seen it do both within the almost 14 years I have been in my marriage.

I love my husband. He is a pain in my butt, but I love him. We bring out the best in each other. We both had a rough upbringing and had to learn a lot at a very young age without the ability to really have a voice until we became adults. We know what it’s like to be put last for everything, carry the load of your family to ensure that your parents are able to work, the works… It has made us into this power couple, we feed off each other’s energies. Now, we work hard to share the life we have always wanted.

But, he just irks me sometimes! RANT OVER… 🙂

Jay’s Red Salsa

My husband and I enjoy most of our time together cooking in the kitchen. Making Salsa for us is a Saturday hangout treasure. We make drinks and we just relax while cutting up fresh ingredients and spending time together. I wanted to share this deliciousness with my followers so here you go…

First: Set oven to Broil at High/~500 degrees

Ingredients:

◦ 1 cilantro bunch

◦ 6 Garlic cloves

◦ 1 Green pepper

◦ 1/2 Red pepper

◦ 2 Jalapeños (adjust heat to your liking)

◦ 2 Red Onions 🧅

◦ 6 Tomatoes 🍅

◦ 1 tsp kosher salt 🧂

◦ Salt and pepper to taste

◦ 1/4 cup lemon 🍋 juice

Steps:

◦ Get all ingredients except Cilantro, Salt and Lemon Juice

◦ Place on a cookie sheet(s) on the top rack of your oven so they can cook until charred (7-10 minutes)

◦ Using a food processor or blender, add cilantro, lime juice, charred vegetables and blend to the consistency of your choice

◦ Add salt and pepper while blending to flavor your salsa accordingly

◦ Chill your salsa in Mason jars for a minimum of 2-4 hours so all the flavors can merry!

◦ Enjoy!

First day of School…

This school year looks a lot different than previous years. My boys started their school year from home this year. I am officially in the business of homeschooling my kids. I am grateful that my kids love each other more than they hate each other because they spend every break so far hanging out together. Technology issues are something I don’t believe my school district pondered thoroughly. I understand all the mass chaos around Teachers not wanting to go back on campus for their own health and safety, trust me – I get it. As a working mom who works remotely, it is only because I do that I am able to keep my kids home.

Honestly, my husband and I talked through our situation and decided it was best to keep our boys home. I can’t imagine what the families went through who either don’t have a 2-salary household or just don’t have the means other than to send their child(ren) to school. Last week, when I was rushing to prepare my kids for their first day school, it hit me how blessed I am. I realize a lot of shit that I complain about, but not as much as I used to because I realize how much we have compared to others, and I never want to take that for granted. So many people are struggling with the Pandemic, the Coronavirus, not knowing how they should have their child’s education delivered, working remotely with 101 distractions, the list goes on…

I’m sure moms alike can agree that the world only hits the fan when we are seated, calm and collected. The moment we log in to our first morning meeting, one of the dogs comes back in with their paws muddy. My OCD kicks into overdrive, and I obsessed about wanting to clean the mess until I actually do. I swear, I hope my boss sends me those bluetooth headphones she mentioned because I could do so much more during this time. They’re picky about us logging into meetings from our computers versus our cellphones, or else I’d be all over that.

Going back to the meaning of this post, I just still want my kids school experience to be like it was, not like it is. I miss buying school supplies with them, meeting their teacher and signing up for everything we could probably waste our money on. I enjoy being a part of the PTA, I still hope for Teachers to get paid more, for students to feel more inclusive and embrace cultural diversity, etc. I hope for a lot right now that just isn’t happening.

My PSA for this post is a wish that every student is given adequate if not more than necessary to feel fully supported learning from new platforms, with technology that isn’t cheap, trying to manage multiple applications as Teachers who are used to developing a lesson plan and cutting out their own custom figurines to entertain their students. School is different, and I just want to give my kids a good homeschool experience!

If any parents want to share insight on what it’s like to Homeschool, I’m all ears!

Letter to my Son excerpt…

Yesterday, my first born son turned 13 years old. It was such a good time shared between the four of us. Though this was now how we planned on spending it quarantined, it was awesome to just get out of our respective offices and be together – in the moment. I love my boys. I have a unique relationship with my first born son. My son understands me at my worst and, often times, helps redirect me. My son has literally told me before, “mom, it’s not a big deal”, and I’ve looked right at him and let a huge sigh out before I replied, “you’re right, it’s not”. I am not ashamed to admit this because as a mother, I worry a lot. Heck, as a Parent – we all worry!

May you always know how much I love you. I was told I would never get pregnant because of how many women issues I had. You are a blessing to my life, both my babies are. I love you so much, and I am grateful for you because you have made me a better woman, a better friend and a better wife to your dad. I never realized how much #mentalhealth stuff I needed to sort out before having kids. No matter how you plan life, life has its own plan. I’m relieved it happened that way, because through raising you I have identified the areas I want to work on myself.

You cut veggies like a Champ! When I’m cooking dinner, I always appreciate how much I can count on you if my veggies are still whole. When your birthday needs help leveling up in his video game or cooking his own food, you opt to come right away and help him out. Your leadership is evident and I am so proud of you and love the bond you and your brother share.

Now that you’re 13, an official QuaranTEEN, I admit that I am nervous. Society is so different compared to when I was growing up, add a Pandemic and Homeschool to that. I have faith that you will do amazing this school year. You will always have a path for you to accomplish your goals and live your best life. Thank you for being who you are. Thank you for being so good to me. I love you and I am grateful for you as a blessing of 2.

Happy 13th Birthday to my baby boy, I love you today, forever and always.

Growing up…

I have learned a lot throughout the course of this depression battle for the past few months. I learned more about myself though mostly. One particular harsh reality was how much I am like my parents. The distribution of these qualities during development was unfair for me as the middle child. I got the best qualities, which I love, but I also got the worst qualities, which I hate. Despite the reasons, I think it’s important to take it all and manifest it into what you want – so, that’s what I’ve been doing my entire adult life.

Seriously though, after experiencing 2 cross country moves in less than 6 months, the worst job experience of my career, a business deal gone bad, my children experiencing change and the ultimate pandemic coronavirus situation, and more ever since my years as a Parental child/teenager. Aside from your typical financial impacts as a result and starting from scratch again, it’s a tough pill to swallow. The level of defeat was underestimated. Dramatic rant over.

Now that I’m working again, it’s my 2nd week at my new job (excited), I’m starting to get back into old but good habits. I am using my planner again, setting alarms and getting runs in, making a to-do list and adding chore responsibilities to my boys to balance OUR soon-to-be-school/work/life schedule, the works. Hubby and I make a weekly meal plan of our favorites, and then I try to cook it with the least amount of butter and healthy fats for oils. In our attempt to kind of rebirth our family during this overcoming period, we are also trying to eat healthier.

This is all growth for me. I feel maturity has worked in my advantage during this time and now permanently. I have noticed that things I once worried and overthought about no longer exist. I feel the most empowered to spread my voice and go back to that young writer who aspired to change the world and help as many people as she can.

Even as a working mom and chairwoman for the local school district, I’ve noticed my patience level increase. Any mom or parent alike could agree that for about the first 10 years of your child’s life, your anxiety levels are through the roof – no secrets here! Let alone raising a child during today’s current events, my “hat” goes off to all parents now more than ever. I feel a sense of relief as my boys morph into their own personalities and personas.

We all must grow to see the other side, the side you only hear about on someone’s social media reel, story or LinkedIn featured. I say it because I do it myself. But it can be like that sometimes?! Manifest your own Destiny. No matter how dark the shit is you go through, remember there’s always a blank canvas waiting to be dusted off that resides in each one of us – theoretically speaking. Another chance. A new start. Fresh beginnings. Never give up.

Buenas Noches…

The aftermath..

This time last year was so different, so much better to be honest. I had just graduated with my master’s degree and was at a good place in my career. I allowed influence and stress to take over my life, and the livelihood of my own family. Multiple factors made us vulnerable and drove us to radical changes. We moved across the country twice in one year, and experienced a lot of hardship in between. We thought we were making the right choice, but our journey as a family had taken a sharp turn into turmoil. I experienced things that reminded me of my childhood, and I was quickly reminded of why it was not a good choice to make this move.

Truth has it that, we as people, get stronger with every trial and tribulation we endure. I believe it. It has been 10 months since all that madness began, and I am NOT the same person I was. My perspective has changed. My boundaries have been redefined. I consider this a positive since we all must grow from our mistakes as adults.

I have learned a lot about myself and my behaviors. Always being focused on breaking the cycle and being the difference took a toll on me. The urge to seek the attention and love I lacked as a Parental child growing up in a single-parent household haunted me. It led me across the country yearning for something that just is not there, and I get it now.

I am back in my home State of Florida, and time has given me clarity. My feelings towards the people who hurt us have been rehabilitated. A grip of reality and the ability to accept things as they are. A new perspective towards the future and what will come. I have faith things will continue to improve.

I decided to start this blog to connect with community as I document this journey. As I grow closer to my “late 30’s”, I want to utilize my passion for writing now more than ever. Being quarantined in the middle of a Pandemic has definitely provided influence! I look forward to documenting my experiences as a wife, mother, dog mom, and working mom.