Sunday, January 25, 2015

It's the final countdown

Queue Rocky Balboa music.

I woke up bright and early this Sunday to head over to school and prepare for my annual observation. I have no idea what day or class period my boss will show up, all I know is that he said he would come between this Monday and Friday to observe me. 

Talk about suspense. It's killing me. I have been a nervous mess. I hope he shows up Monday morning, first period so that I won't die of a premature heart attack. If I am nervous now, I can't imagine being stress this entire week.

I have been reading the story I will teach and coming up with some questions for the kids. Today I was at work from 9 am to 2 pm and I cleaned my room, fixed my desks, ran the power point to make sure my technology worked and printed stuff for class.

I feel like I am going to be entering the boxing ring this week. I knew this annual appraisal was coming. We all get them, it feels like it came too early and I am so worried, scared, nervous.

In this corner, second year teacher. Former editor and general manager of some tiny newspaper. Covered court trials, murders, happy fundraising events and even witnessed a Texas death row execution. Let's hear it for the nervous wreck Ms. Acosta.

And nothing. The sound of crickets and suddenly, boos circulate. Kids throw books at me, yell and scream.

In this corner. The boss. The Principal. Once attended this freshman campus as a student and now runs the place. He can walk in wherever and do whatever. The one, the only, the key master, the Big enchilada!

Everyone stands up and cheers. He walks up to me, like a boss and gives me "I am watching you" finger pointing sign.

I hope all goes ok and he doesn't leave me till the last minute. Like a bandaid, just pull it and get it over with.

Wish me luck my one blog reader, or Tori Amos fan that found my blog my searching for her and instead got me.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Out of the woods

I waited patiently.
Sitting outside his office, in the comfortable chairs.
People passed by, they stared.
I held on tightly to my notebook and pen.
"Did you get in trouble again ms. Acosta?" One lady asked.
"Yes, I got kicked out of class for disrupting the teacher, and got three referrals," I tell her.
And we both laugh. Of course, I wasn't in trouble, I was waiting to visit with my boss for my annual appraisal meeting. 

As a kid, I only got called to the principals office, for talking back to my photography teacher on the sidelines of a football field before Friday night lights. Long story, maybe some day I will tell it.

The way the appraisal works is, we meet, we talk and he tells me he will make a surprise visit to my class between certain days. For me, it's next week.
I am not going to lie. I am nervous. He makes me nervous. He's a very handsome man I admit, but he's my boss. He's making sure my performance as a teacher is up to standards. Am I worthy to continue to be a teacher? Am I teaching the right content? Are students understanding me or are they lost?

When I was the editor, the only performance review I got came at the end of every week. Did we meet our sales quota? Did we sell enough ads? What size? How many color ads? Did we miss our goal? Did we stay within the 60/40 percent of sales vs news content in the paper? What do we need to do next week to continue making money and keep the paper going?

Here, I am being judged by what I teach. Can I keep the attention of a few hundred teenagers and make them understand the subject?

After we spoke about my appraisal, we spoke about other things. I do enjoy talking to him. He's very down to earth and he's easy to talk to. Sometimes I see him and wonder, was I ever as good of a boss as him? He manages an entire school, filled with hundreds of employees. I only managed a weekly, no more than four employees with a $500,000 budget annually. Not the same.

I hope I do well and I don't fall on my face and make an ass of myself. I hope I don't forget what I am going to say and stumble and sound like an idiot. Dear lord, please don't make me fall. I want to continue teaching. If it's not meant to be for me to stay and tech at this grade level, please help me so that I can teach another grade level.

Today I went to check my mailbox and my secret bulldog appeared! He/she got me this:

Holy monkey, $25 gift card!!

Tomorrow we are supposed to get ice and rain and cold and hopefully some snow. Yay!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Back to work

I had so much fun spending time with my sister. We laughed and joked and talked about everything. I had so much fun and tried to ignore how sick I still feel. The sinus infection is long gone, but the stomach bug is still here. It's hanging out, like an uninvited guest. I have been so sick, I don't wish this on anyone. This is no fun. I haven't been able to eat very well for fear...lots of fear.

I am glad it's going to be a short week and possible snow Thursday. Hopefully it will give me time to get better. Feeling this sick is no fun.

I better get to bed. I have a tough day ahead of me tomorrow.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Table 42

The drive to Fort Worth went well. I left Midland about 8 am and got there just in time for lunch. I was a little upset. I have a coworker, who I hang with. She's been trying to get a car and sell her truck. For some reason she's been looking outside the area for the perfect car. For me, if I want a car I just go to a car dealership and get one. She found a seller from another state and they agreed to meet outside Dallas to test drive and buy the car. She asked me if I could drive her and I agreed. I was already driving to Fort Worth. After all, she's been there for me when I have needed something and I do consider her a friend. I get to her house as planned and instead, tells me she decided against it and starts to tell me why. I was trying to get away so I could make it on time to Fort Worth, but she kept talking. I finally had to tell her I wanted to get on the road.

In a way I am glad she didn't hitch a ride with me. I probably would have spent the entire day following her, trying to make sure she got her car. I would be a terrible person if I just dropped her off and left.

My sister and I have been hanging out all day. We had lunch, we went out and now, having dinner at our favorite place. We always sit in the same table.

We talk, laugh or just listen to music. We have been discussing my next move for work. Do I take the test again? Leave it alone? Have the big bosses at work already surrendered and accepted I will never pass the test and so they are not counting on me? Or does it even matter? Do I want to continue going through all the stress? I don't know. I still have a few weeks to think about it and plan for. But like I said, I think it's a big sign that I have taken this test already 5 times and I can't pass it. I take the other one and passed it on the first try. Do I belong here? What's going on? Do unicorns exist? Did Elvis leave the building? I don't know, I should stop stressing myself out.

Tuesday I have a visit from that person I kicked out of my room last week. She asked if I would be ready for her Tuesday. Do I have a choice? I asked myself. I really wish just the big bosses would make all the observations and everyone else would just stay away. The added pressure of an additional audience member is enough to take me into a stressful episode. I am so scared to death all this stress will lead me back to a trip to the ER like last year.

Oh well. Off to relax some more.

Friday, January 16, 2015


I was so tired and drained from work that I fell asleep so early last night. But it looks like I slept ok.

I just have been so tired. Every time we have a meeting the state test is flashed in a power point presentation. Every time I walk in its there, staring at us. No, we are not going to forget. We know. I try not to look at the board when I walk in because like the kids, I am nervous and stressed and even I don't want to remind myself of the test. We eat, sleep, think and talk this test. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I am not working toward the test, I am. I know what needs to be done, but sometimes no reminder would be nice.

Today I had an observation by the boss. The big enchilada. I was so nervous, but what bummed me the most was that he missed half of my lecture about figurative language. I had them. The kids were laughing, participating and they understood me. Instead, what the boss got was a nervous wreck "what the hell was I talking about?" I froze a little but. I got a good observation review from him and I am glad. Still, I know I will get better.

Enough about work....My sister and I have always been like peas and carrots. I have been there for the good and God knows I have been there for the bad. She stood by my side when I got married, and I stood by her side when she got married. I stood by her side when her marriage broke and she was there for mine as well.

Although we have always lived apart and in different cities, we have always made it a point to visit each other, no matter how far or busy we are. She's the first person I text in the morning and she's the last. We chat about anything.

I love my sister. My memories of growing up consist of us laughing until our stomachs ached so much, we couldn't catch our breaths. 

Many nights we spent laughing, talking and giggling until our mother from the room across the house would yell at us to be quiet and go to bed. When that didn't work, she would tell us to be quiet or we would run our is laughter when we got older and not be able to laugh, ever.

To that of course, we would laugh even harder. I don't think I ever felt scared because I knew I would have her by my side.

Even now as we are older, I think the bond and friendship we have has grown stronger. I for one, appreciate her more. Whenever she has needed any type of help, I have been there. She for me.

She and I have always had a special friendship. She's my sister, I love her. When she needs me I am there. I don't ever remember being angry or upset at her when we were growing up.

Sure we can have our bad days when we end up arguing, but for the most part we forget about it after a few minutes and pick up the conversation right were we started.

Tomorrow I leave for Fort Worth. When I found out I had time off, I told her I was heading over. But she's also been a little sick and I need to go take care of her. I am super excited.

Worked kind of sucked yesterday. After one of my morning meetings, someone tried to do an observation and I think with all the stress and everything that's going on in school told her to please go away.  I really felt strongly about this. I wasn't ready. I had been out of school for 1.5 days and still trying to catch up. So much is expected of us. We have to make sure to be our best. But I also deserve the right to say, "please, I am not ready." I won't do that to my bosses of course. Those are required so I have to suck it up and just do it. 

I should pack. Tomorrow will be a nice drive and then I get to see my sister!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

On a side note

These last couple of days have been good, but bad at the same time. The pain is gone, I don't feel swollen from my face anymore and the pain is gone. But the meds have this side effect that's just making me angry. I usually don't ever get side effects from meds, and I am glad I don't have the headaches, feeling dizzy and anything big like that. I am constantly hungry and at night I keep waking up just about every two hours. I haven't really had a good nights sleep in a few days.

Work has gone well. Kids are acting up again. I am not sure what they are thinking, what's going through their minds? Why are they acting up? It's not with everyone, it's only a few classes. 

Hopefully today I will not get any observations, it feels like I have been getting one everyday this week, except for Tuesday, since I was out. Dear DCs and VPs and principals, be nice and give us a break for a few days ☺️.

I am told we have Monday off. All this time I thought the kids were off and we had to work. Not sure what to do for three days. I need to plan something!

Enough blogging, must get ready for work.

Monday, January 12, 2015

The trip to the doctor

Anyone that knows me, knows I hate being sick. I can't be sick. I don't do sick very well. I am a bad patient.

When I had kidney stones, when working at Dell and I was in the middle of finishing  a presentation at work, I refused the ambulance that came to help. "I am ok...ouch!" I told my manager.

It was not until I felt a burning sensation inside my body that my boss finally drove to the hospital.

"Have you ever been in labor?" Asked the ER doctor.

"No sir, I don't have children," I told him.

"Well this is how it feels when you are in labor and having contractions," he said with a smile. "I guess you can say you are giving birth to a little rock."

"Well then you better make sure the meds keep coming doctor. It's open bar on my kidneys today."

Haha, not. Poor doctor, he was trying to make me feel better. It didn't work.

Last year when the ambulance came to school (notice there's a pattern here), to take me to the ER for elevated high blood pressure, I refused. "I am OK, I don't need to go..."

After some convincing I was wheeled out.

This past week I have been feeling so fatigued. My entire body has been hurting. I have been congested, ears and throat have been in pain. Did I go to the doctor? Nope. Until today. I just could not handle the pressure and pain anymore.

I went to tell my DC that I was planning on leaving because I was sick and then told me to talk to one of the VP's who then told me to talk to the principals secretary, who told me I had to go back to him and then told me to go back to her. After I got everything straightened out and my paperwork ready and she had some subs ready for me, I walked over to my boss to tell him I was sick and leaving.

"You are going to the doctor, right?" He asked.

"I am in pain I just want to go home and sleep," I told him.

In all honesty, going to the doctor didn't even cross my mind. I just wanted to sleep and rest. The pain will go away on its own. My stubbornness was getting in the way, again.

In the end, he convinced me and told me I should go.

So I did. And wouldn't you know it, I have an acute sinus infection. Well no wonder I have been feeling like hell.

First they checked to make sure I didn't have the flu. How did they do that? Glad you asked. The nurse poked me, up my nose, with a thin looking cotton swab that looked like a tiny toilet brush. She came out of no where. Before I could even ask, she just went in there and poked. Maybe she knew the type of patient I was. She knew I would interject. Ten minutes later, she said I was negative for the flu.

The doctor then checked my temperature, the inside of my ears and throat and pressed on my face and all I could say was "ouch that hurts!" She gave me two kinds of meds, a steroid and a penicillin antibiotic.

Hope I get better. I hate being sick.

In other news, I had lost my fitbit charger and was so upset. For part of last week and the weekend, my fitbit had not been charged. I drove to several stores on Sunday to buy one, but wouldn't you know it, they don't sell chargers. Strange. So I went to Amazon and bought me one online.

This morning, as I was walking to my car in the cold and rainy morning I got an email. I checked and it was Amazon letting me know my charger had shipped. Hooray! I then opened the car door to set my things and as I looked down what was lying on the ground? In the middle of parking spot 19?? Yep, my fitbit charger!!! Who knows how long it had been there all by itself. But I am glad I found it. It was wet and frozen, but it still works.

So in a few days I will be getting a new fitbit and wrist band that came with it.

Oh well. I need to go back to bed. One of  the meds knocked me out earlier. I hope I  get better.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Well that was odd

Last night I woke up after having a rather unsettling dream. It was dark, cloudy, there was lots of confusion going on. I think it may have been a riot. I remember it was cold and I didn't have a jacket. I was standing in the middle of the road with a lot of other people that were just as confused as I was. I remember looking back and seeing a house shake and explode. We all yelled. Remains of the house had landed a few blocks away, causing a big fire.

I looked for my phone and quickly called for help. We heard bullets, we felt bullets and people pushing each other.

We all jumped in on a bus and escaped from the craziness that was all around us. The bus suddenly stopped, everyone ran, except for me. I was caught in the middle of the gunfire. I couldn't escape. I remember finally running away from the bus and as I ran away from where I was, I was suddenly at the school gym. A pep rally has just ended and the bell had just run to go home. I walked like nothing was going on and started walking outside to my bus duty station. A few of my students said hello.

I woke up with fear. Why did I dream this?

And today as I was leaving work and saw this:

And this 

I was startled. Another teacher was in the building and I quickly went to tell her. We came back and noticed what looked like bullets. We counted five.

I don't know when this happened, but I do remember not seeing that when I walked by. I also remember as I was busy lesson planning hearing some loud bang and something hitting the floor. I ignored it because whenever I am in the building alone, I always hear noises. I hear bangs or knocks and well, I try to ignore any noise that's going to scare the crap out of me.

My dream came to mind. I got a little scared and all I wanted to do was go away. My blood pressure started to go up. 

Tomorrow we go back to work. It's going to be a long ass and hard and difficult and stressful day. Well, stressful semester. Advisory is starting tomorrow, an extra class to teach. Thirty new students every week for two months. Will they understand? Will the grasp the concepts? Will they want to learn?

I better head to bed.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Most. Not. Get. Sick.

I hope I am not getting sick.
I have been tired and my body has been hurting all week. Today I have sneezed and been stuffy all day long. The inside is my ears are itchy, a sign I am getting sick, for me at least I know that's weird.

I didn't go outside at all today. It was cold, rainy and some ice fell from the sky. That was cool.

Mostly I slept, watched tv and cooked. I rested and hoped this was just allergies and not a cold. I can't get sick. I have to work.

Tomorrow I have to go to work and get ready for the week and for advisory. I hope and pray I will not get any observations Monday. But who am I kidding, with my luck I will get three. On Friday I had two observations.

Anyway, I better get to bed again. I want to rest as much as I can. Must not get sick. Maybe if I repeat that over and over again I won't get sick.

Thursday, January 08, 2015


This has been one tough week, both for my body, and mind. Kids are starting to act up. I am tired, sleepy, hungry. Some of the kids are loud and even act louder when I get observations. Today I had one, even though this person asked me if she could come to check things out and I had asked her to please not, since I was nervous and wanted to try the lesson. Nope, she showed up and walked in. And right in to my loudest and biggest class and right after a meeting we've had. I am all for observations and making sure we are improving, but seriously - not cool. Not trying to complain but we are human - give us time to compose ourselves, this job, although very fun and rewarding - is stressful.

Anyway, as you can read, my one blog reader, is why I haven't really posted anything in a few days. I end up sounding like all I do is complain and that's not me. I am just having a bad week. I just hate that that time when its all feeling like everything is coming down - observations happen.

I guess there will never be a right time. It's just going to happen - like breaking news. It happens and you have to jump at the scene.

When I am stressed or work is moving to fast, a breaking news story I covered a few  years ago comes to mind. I had just put the paper to bed when the breaking news happened. I was the editor of the weekly, but I was also the daily reporter for the daily paper. Breaking news were here and I had to cover it. Whatever time of the day, breaking news happened, I had to drop everything I was doing and cover for them. 

That day I had been at the office at 4 am to organize and plan and paginate the paper and as usual by 3 pm, I was getting the ok for the pages to be send to press. 

But I also had a minute by minute deadline. Go to the scene of the crime, take photos with my phone, get information and post on facebook, Twitter and the website. That day ended closer to midnight. I wanted to stop everything and just sleep. I was tired, I wanted to give up, but I knew I had to do this. I guess what I am trying to say is, whatever the jobs is, you have to be ready no matter what. Jump at it and do it.

What was the story?

Family of six found shot in Bay City


Nov. 30, 2011 at 5:30 a.m.
Updated Dec. 1, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.

BAY CITY - Six members of a family were found shot at a home in the 2700 block of 10th Street about 3:15 p.m. Wednesday.

Bay City police officers went to the home in response to a call about a woman being shot. When they arrived, they discovered the six-member family - four children, a woman and a man - shot, said Bay City Police Lt. Andrew Lewis.

The children were flown by LifeFlight helicopter to different hospitals in Houston.

The suspected shooter was dead at the scene from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Lewis said.

"We know the female victim is currently in surgery," he added.

Arturo Gonzales, who worked with the woman - identified as Laura Gonzales - said she was 24 years old and worked as a waitress at La Casona, a Mexican restaurant in Bay City.

She had worked earlier that day, and Gonzales said he could not believe the news.

"I came to the scene as soon as I found out what happened," Gonzales said. "She is such a good person and friendly."

Gonzales said he knew the couple would constantly argue.

Gilbert Garza Jr. said he was coming home from work when he saw school children running down the street and their mothers pulling them out of the way.

Students from nearby Cherry Elementary School - about two blocks away on Cottonwood Avenue - were leaving school for the day when the shooting occurred.

At the scene, the shooter was covered with a blanket soon after police arrived, he said.

"This is just horrible to see," Garza said. "My daughter goes to school with one of the kids."

Neighbor Laura Perez said one of the injured children was 2 years old.

Garza said the older children ranged in age from 5 to 8 years old.

Front-door neighbor Casta Alvarado was surprised by the shooting. Alvarado said she always saw them walking across the street to the Cherry Elementary playground.

She said she didn't think the couple was having problems.

"I saw them at the park, and they looked so happy," she said.

Perez also said the family was very quiet and that she always saw them playing outside with their kids.

"I don't understand what made him do that," Perez said.

The father, Jose (last name unknown), had recently lost his job, and his wife had moved into the Matagorda County Women's Crisis Center, Perez said.

"Whatever made her come home this day I don't understand," Perez said. "I would not come back."

Later in the evening, people were flocking to the site, dropping off balloons, bears and lighted candles.

Maliyah Griggs said she came to visit to pray for the children.

"I left a bear and rosary and Bible," she said.

"It's sad what happens and it breaks my heart that this happened. (I did it) to remember the children and help the family get through it," she said.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Catching my breath

Today has been a mix of happiness, sadness and stress and just, well, nervousness for this coming semester.

I am trying to catch my breath. We just got back from holiday, but it feels like everything is going wrong already.

To start the back to school week, I got an email stating my test results were in. 

I got nervous. I have been ready. I knew it would take three weeks. So these last two weeks I spent the time relaxing because I knew it would go both ways. But I kept telling myself, Pass or fail, I would be ok. I studied like there was no tomorrow. I dissected those questions left and right. And for what?

I failed.

Can I suck anymore at this?

I went to say hello to my boss during lunch. One of my teacher friends says its weird that I just walk over and stop and say hello to him like he was an old friend. I can't help it. I like talking to him. And I do that with everyone. If I like talking to you, you are getting a visit from me, so watch out.

I talked to him about the Christmas break and other things and then told him I failed the test. I swear, the look on his face looked like disappointment. I know he probably didn't do anything, but I walked in with the mindset that I would be telling him bad news.

I honestly don't know what else I can do. I feel like I am not only disappointing him, I am disappointing myself and even embarrassing myself.

He did tell me my 18 week assessment scores for all my kids and I was surprised because they were good. Well, not good, but high for me. Compared to the average score in the district, they were ok. I am glad he told me. Maybe be was trying to cheer me up a bit? Maybe it was a warning? Do this or else? Whatever his reason for telling me, I appreciated it.

Why can't I pass this test? What is wrong with me? Am I that bad?

Then to top it off I got an observation during 8th period. I knew it was coming. Two other teachers I know told me they got one in first period and I knew this would happen. I don't agree with first day observations. Specially after coming back from two weeks of doing nothing. But that is their job and I understand it has to be done. I tried to stay upbeat all day today, but all I could think of was the stupid test and how bad I suck at this.

Anyway, today is totally the suckiest of sucky days. I failed the test, again and got a not so good observation. I need to go to sleep.

Friday, January 02, 2015

Out of the rain

Today's plan to leave for Midland were placed on hold. There's this big arctic storm that doesn't want to leave the area and I am told all the roads are covered in ice, it's rainy and there's snow, and lots of it. I have watched news clips where people are standed on the highway or at a standstill. So yeah, I am in no rush to get back at all.

This morning I drove to pick up my sister from the airport. At 5 am I drove to this massive airport that was a ball of messiness. Turn here, exit here, park here, left, right...aaaah! Airports stress me out because I never know where the heck to turn. Luckily there's not much traffic at that time, so I was able to maneuver my way through. When I dropped her off on Tuesday, it went well of course.

After I picked her up we went to eat at this cafe that was featured on the Food Network and it was the most delicious food ever.

Seriously, it was amazing.

We napped and hung out the rest of the day and then headed to dinner before heading back to the airport (third time for me) and pick up my sisters boyfriend. They flew in different airlines and times because of cost. Darn you airlines! It was super rainy all day and going up there was no different. I had to be more alert and aware of everything. We had to pick him up from a different airline and so the terminal was different. 

We are back home now and still trying to decide if I should leave tomorrow or stay through Sunday. I really am in no rush, as long as I make it on time for work on Monday, I am ok. I haven't been to my apartment in about 13 days...what's another day right?

I am exhausted and just want to go to bed. Just 237 more days to go!

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Page 1 of 238

Every year I try to reflect on the life I have lived, the things I have done and what I want to accomplish in the future. Today, as I sipped hot coffee, enjoying the cold weather and thinking about work next week, it dawned on me that my next birthday will be my 40th. I know, I don't look or feel 40, but it's coming. It will be here before I know it. Will I be ready? What will happen between now and August?

I am still single, not married and with no kids. Is this how I was meant to live? Will I forever be known as "Tia?"

In 238 days, yes, I counted, I will turn 40. I am saying goodbye to my 30s and welcoming my 40s. I am crossing that threshold of adulthood. I know, I have been an adult for quite some time. But I have always felt that 40, is that number were we have to accept our fate. We are that much closer to the midway point of 50. 

I always imagined by this time I would have a significant other, with the 3.5 kids, the mortgage and that cool job. Well, I have the cool job and the 3 kids I can forget about. Why? Well, I told myself if I ever had one I would be married or at least in a committed relationship and those options are not in the books for me right now. The .5 I can still get. I haven't decided yet if it will be a cat or a dog.

I often wonder if this is what God intended for me, or did I by some cosmic way made an unconscious choice. Did he put forth the best two scenarios for me and I unintentionally without notice, just made it? In essence, did I make my own bed? Did I have that symbolic two doors and I walked right through one without giving it a second though?

Well, in seeing that in 238 days I will be turning the big 40, I will try to live everyday to the fullest. Let's see if my "Project 40" will turn into something. Will I learn something along the way? Is this just my own therapeutic way of accepting that I am indeed getting super old and just want to make myself feel better about it? Who knows. 

Last week I gave my brother a copy of my life insurance papers and told him I had made Aly and Caleb my beneficiaries. When I die, they will get a big chunk of money.

"But you are only 39 Tia..." He told me. "39...young."

Once I decided this was going to be my next blog adventure, I couldn't wait to get idea to paper. People always make their New Years resolutions and I for one have never been that good in keeping them. So this blog, will turn into my "Project 40" of some sorts. Sure, I will use it to write about whatever is happening and if I think about it, it will stay to be the exact same blog, but now it will have a purpose. What will I write about you ask? Well, I am not sure. I am sure I can focus on my bucket list or expressing myself about work or my love for coffee - but this I know - it will have sometime of a countdown. I will set some goals. I will write something motivational, for me that is.

For now, here are some ideas I have jotted down on paper. I wanted to put all this out into the internet world, before the clock struck midnight. I wanted to post something the first day of the year. 

Let's see where this crazy idea will lead me to. Will I find what I am looking for? Will it make me happier? Not sure, but this I know to be true, "Today is the first day of the rest of my life." And I can be comforted to know, that I will dance like Taylor Swift when times get tough. With Confidence, freedom and not carrying about what anyone thinks.

A thousand years

Today was a very laid back day. Prudence the dog and I woke up late, but was able to get in about 9 hours of sleep. That's way insane. I need to be sleeping that amount during the work week, not vacation!

This morning Prudence relaxing on top of me.

After lounging around, listening to music and reading my book, I headed out for a very late lunch.

But not before taking Prudence for a small break. It was super cold and she didn't want to get wet. She's such a delicate flower. Hehe

It's very rainy and cold and being New Years Day, had no idea if anything would be open - but let's face it, this isn't a small town, this is Fort Worth and everything is open. I drove to my favorite chicken place.

I took this photo super fast, but this was the best chicken ever. This is in the top five favorite foods for me and just a slot down from my dads delicious grilled chicken.

And to keep warm, I headed to a Starbucks near the restaurant.

Last night I went to bed a few minutes before midnight and I was ok with that. I spent some time reflecting on 2014 and what I want for 2015, things I will do differently and what I need to do to be a better person.

I should head back to the apartment, I need to bum out a bit longer. I am picking up my sister from the airport at 6 am and decide, depending on weather if I should leave home. I hear theres going to be about three inches of snow there tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Best is yet to come

Today marks the last day of 2014 and I am spending it just like I have for the last six years. Not by choice, well, you could say it's by choice. I am single after all and family and friends are off celebrating this day with their loved ones.

I am looking out the window of the Starbucks and I see life passing by. People covered in layers of clothes because it's cold and I think, isn't that ironic that I too do that, but with life. If I wanted I could be with people. I could spend today with friends, but instead I am shielding myself from reality. The cold bitter truth that is, I am alone and another year is about to embark upon us and I am here, still alone.

But like I have said many times before, don't cry for me. I am happy. I am living life the best I can and enjoying every minute of it. I thank God every step of the way, without him, I would not be the person I am. He has a plan for me, I just have to be patient.

It's tradition, I suppose that I chose to spend this day alone. Every New Years I celebrate doing the exact same thing. I make me a nice dinner, I buy a bottle of wine and eat a delicious dessert. Today I bought some champagne. Hopefully next year I will have someone to celebrate and keep the tradition, but with lots of laughter and great music.

Today was fun. I went to have lunch at my favorite Chinese restaurant. I have been coming to eat here for more than 10 years. My sister introduced me to this amazing place when she moved here and we have been coming here ever since.

Then I headed out to see an exhibit at the museum. I felt so cultured.

The exhibit.

I was in awe of the paintings as these were originals from the actual painters. I saw three original paintings from Vincent Van Gogh. I wanted to touch them, feel the painting. I wanted to touch the more than 100 year old painting, but every few feet there were people standing next to them. Those painting security people who would more than likely cut off your arm if it looked like you were going to touch anything remotely closed to the painting.

So pretty outside. It was cold, but overall a nice day for a trip to the museum!

And of course, my usual. I couldn't not come here on the last day of the year.

Had my last peppermint mocha of the year. Sigh, until next year!

Here is what's waiting for me in a few hours.

And here's my New Years date. 

I feel the need to post something about what I learned from this year, how greatful I am and what is coming up for me next year, but I will do that later. Right now, all I want to do is relax and take in the fact that we are about to celebrate the birth of a new year. What will next year bring? Who knows, but I hope wonderful and amazing things.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Here in my head

Prudence and I have been relaxing in bed this morning. I dropped off my sister at the DFW airport this morning. Not going to lie, I was a little sad. We've been hanging out, talking, laughing, telling stories, taking care of each other and yes, even getting a little angry at each other for the past eleven days.

But she will be back later in the week. For now, I am staying at her downtown apartment, which by the way I love. The apartment is conveniently near stores and restaurants. All I have to do is take an elevator to the first floor. The apartment also has a cool parking garage.

I told myself I would be off exploring the city, but now I am not so sure. I am enjoying the comforts of this bed, coffee on hand and Prudence the dog by my side.

And work? Yeah, I am trying not to think about that. Like I have said in previous posts, this semester is going to be a tough one. The focus is the EOC and we have to plan, teach and make sure these kids grasp the concepts. Last year my numbers were not so great and I felt like I was to blame for it. I took it pretty hard. I didn't have anyone to tell me to learn from the experience. No one to tell me, this was my first year, the numbers are bad, but make sure I knew what's in store next year. Prepare, focus and go for it. Last year I was so lost, confused - I had no idea what in the world I was doing. This year I still get intimidated, I just hope I can teach this to were the kids understand what is going on. I want them to pass.

Enough about work. Let's see what today has in store for me.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Week off part 2

Saying goodbye to family after a week of visiting, laughing, eating good food and just having a great time is always the sucky part.

My sister and I said out goodbyes to mom and dad on Saturday and it just felt terribly sad. I know I am going to see them in three months - for yet another awesome celebration, Caleb's birthday party, but it sure sucks to wave goodbye from the car and see tears in your mommas eyes.

I cry because I want my mommy and I miss her, but at the same time I am so proud that she allowed us to be dreamers, chase our dreams and achieve our goals. We left home, got educated and got awesome jobs.

The checkpoint is always, for me at least, the point of no return. That's when you know you have left the valley completely and moving north. Leaving the area you grew up behind and head to adulthood. Once you say, "yes, sr. American citizens," you cross to the other side of responsibility and adulthood. 

We arrived in Austin for one night. We spent time with my brother and Jan and the kids. Oh how I love those kids. I wish I could see them everyday. They make me so happy.

We left yesterday for Fort Worth. My sister is leaving for a week and I will vacation the rest of the week here. It is so weird that I have been coming to this city for more than ten years and have never really explored it. If there's no major arctic freeze, that's my plan. Oh and lesson plan to of course. I am trying not to think of work, but the new stressful and tough semester is coming up. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Welcome home

I left Midland early Saturday morning. I wanted to get to family as soon as possible. Having had some stressful workdays leading to vacation time, I sure needed the escape. Two weeks off and three different cities was my ticket to relaxation.

But first, we finally revealed who our secret Bulldogs were. Mine was surprised and had no idea it was me!

And who was my secret bulldog? My boss! The big enchilada. I sure had lots of fun giving him gifts this semester. When will I ever have an excuse to give him awesome gifts without looking weird or stalkish? Haha

I sure enjoyed giving him gifts. I haven't given a gift to a man in a long time, so I had fun thinking of what to give him. I hope he enjoyed them.

My secret bulldog on the other hand, just gave me an apology for being a terrible bulldog and then walked away. I was left feeling hurt and bummed. I had so much fu giving away gifts, I got caught up in the moment. I imagined mine would come in with an amazing gift. Everyone in the room had gifts for everyone. I felt a little cheated.

These are the last two gifts I gave my secret bulldog aka my boss.

The last day of school was stressful and tiresome. I had some issues with some grades and was exhausted.

Anyway, first on the itinerary for my two week vacation: Fort Worth.

Heavy fog prevented me from leaving early on Saturday, but I drove slow and made it out of the heavy fog area.

I spent the day hanging out with my sister. Much sister time was needed. Then early Sunday, we had breakfast at our favorite place before heading out to Austin.

Then we spent two amazing days with these bundles of joy:

They opened the Christmas gifts we gave them and it was such a magical time. They loved their gifts!

Aly couldn't decide what gift to play with. It was precious and hilarious. She just stood there, until she picked one and went off to play.

Aly, making Tia very happy since June 2011.

Here is Caleb building the train we got him for Christmas.

Some more fun moments:

And my favorite:

Endless hours with these two, watching television or playing, was the best part of it all.

And before we headed out to my parents house to the RGV, we made a stop at a coffee shop that has this sign. I wanted to take a photo and finally did! It was cold, freezing and windy. They have delicious coffee too!

And I saw that my college bookstore was opened, so we stopped and I took photos and bought a lot of alumni stuff.

Here at the university seal. 

I miss this school so much. Good times were had here.

We stopped in San Antonio and ate here:

I know, I felt like such a tourist.

Then my sister and I arrived home. We made the drive in five hours and it was all worth it because this was waiting for us. Homemade food. Yum. Yum.

Then I photobomed Prudence the dog.

Lots of coffee and food.

I have been so happy this past week. I know that a lot is waiting for me next semester with advisory classes, more lesson plans and more stress because of state tests. I will try not to think about work for another week. Until then, more fun is waiting for me.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A little bit of the past

Today was the day.

It was the day I had been dreading for the past three months. No, not dreading, I was glad. I was happy. I knew this was the day that would end it. This day would define me. It would be a new beginning. A new chapter in my life.

Busy typing away at work was all I could do to keep myself from getting nervous. I watched the clock, watching for the hour to strike to leave. I kept busy. Calling for interviews, writing articles. Anything from stopping and thinking about what was about to happen.

Today, I was getting my divorce.

The decision did not come easy. A decade spent with this person. Friendship, attraction, then came dating and finally marriage. We had a long distance relationship for the first two years. The long trips back home, then the long flights. Visiting family. Work. School. Finally, we decided it was time.

The happy life that I worked hard for, was about to be over.

The court house seemed dark. Lonely. Everyday as a reporter, my job was to go in and make a quick left. That would get me to the deeds department, marriages and divorce records. Names of unknown people that I would write down and print in the newspaper. I always wondered why this type of information was made public. Why must a local newspaper  send someone to get the information and print them out.

But this time, I was making a right. I was heading to divorce court. I was nervous, afraid. I had no one with me to keep me company. I had no support, no family or friends. I felt ashamed. I worked hard. I wanted this to work. 

He didn't fight for me. He didn't try.

After a few hours of sitting in court, watching other cases of people getting divorced, others adopting children and others just trying to fight custody battles, I couldn't help but feel naked. Here I was, sitting and watching others go through a life changing event. It was an open book for everyone to see. Such a vulnerable time in people's lives. 

But my name never came up.

The last case was called and the judge was about to leave. 

Then he noticed me. I was all alone, standing in the isle. Despretly not wanting to be forgotten.

"I am sorry, I don't seem to have your case."

A few minutes later I got called. He had found it and I was indeed the last case. I raised my right hand and swore to tell the truth and nothing but the truth so help me God.

"You are here to get a divorce is that correct," the judge stated.

"Yes, sir," I said.

And were was the husband, was his next question.

"Oh, never mind," he said.

He quickly saw that he had signed his rights away. He didn't want anything to do with this divorce. Whichever way the judge decided, he signed away any rights to anything.

The divorce proceedings lasted but a few minutes. 

Any kids? No.
Any debts? No.
Any property? No.

"Congratulations Ms. Acosta, your divorce has been granted," he stated with a smile on his face.

Once I  thanked him and I walked out of the court house, a feeling of relief came over me. I was free. The state of Texas said so.

Then it started to rain.

Was that the universe crying for a broken heart? The end of what should have been a "till death do us part?"

I felt numb. And that feeling didn't leave me for a very long time.

Even know, six years later. This day of celebration is met with uncertainty. Did he finally do what he said he would do if I left him? Would he ever do what he said he would do and spend the rest of his life making it up to me? Or is he happily married now with three kids? 

Unsettling questions have gone unanswered. I try to live life in the moment. But little things I see during the day sometimes bring back memories.

I see happy couples. I see coworkers married, with children and I wonder - what would life have been like had we stayed together? Would I have made a good mom? Would I have been able to follow my dreams had I been married?

A day does not go by where I don't think of him. I think of what went wrong. What could have been? Would I be here if I were still married?

It seems that as soon as my divorce was final, things in my life changed for the better.

After enrolling in journalism school, and becoming an editor at the university paper I soon after, become the editor and general manager of my own newspaper. I had finally accomplished what I wanted in life.

Today, six years later, I wish that I would stop remembering this day as if it were a birthday or a celebration. I wish I could just forget this day. But there are certain days you never forget. Your birthday, family birthdays and celebrations, other people's days and then there's yours: the day you get married and the day your marriage ends.