|A proud moment for the De Jesus family: when they were the champions of the Hispanic League.|
Since I met Gerardo ten years ago, (holy crap has it been ten years already?) we have always spent a lot of time with his family, especially Sundays; through this time together, my Mexican family has truly changed and shaped the person I am today and the life I live. For example, by watching how close his family is and how they spend time together and laugh with one another and tease one another, I have also come to recognize how important my own family is to me. Their bond with one another is one of the reasons that I knew I did not want to be far from my parents when I had my own kids, and allowed me to recognize how blessed I am to be surrounded with fun and caring people in my own immediate family.
My Mexican family has taught me to loosen up a bit and laugh more at myself. Yes, Blanca, I know I am still overly sensitive compared to your family, but I do think I have toughened up a bit over the years. And the De Jesus clan also taught me how to understand Spanish, and even speak a little, which I did not know before I started my relationship with Gerardo.
In addition to these important life traits, I have also acquired a taste for chicken with my spaghetti, and I learned how to dance salsa/merenge/banda. (I didn't even know these music types existed before.) I can take a tequila shot like a champ or mix it with Squirt and lime and salt, and I put hot sauce (Valentina if you care) on my Lays chips. I know tortillas are best warmed in a plastic grocery bag in the microwave and if you go to Marymoore Park at 8:00 on Sundays you will find amazing tamales being sold out of a trunk next to the soccer fields. I know that you are serious when you ask me to "kiss the baby Jesus" doll on Christmas and I know to watch out when I eat some bread on Three Kings Day, because I just might bite into a small baby doll. America will always beat the Chivas soccer team, and all soccer is taken seriously at all times. De Jesus family, I love you and my life has never been the same since I met you.
Here is how a typical Sunday goes in my life.
We load up into the car. Carlo is climbing into his car seat, as I am putting Eli in his car seat. Gerardo is putting the breast pump, cookies, and shirts into the car. Carlo falls out of the Expedition and has a huge bruise on his head, which all of the De Jesus family notices and teases me about for the rest of the day.
We drive to Northwest Hospital, the place where Eli and Carlo were born, in order to return the breast pump since I am no longer breast feeding. It is closed for the weekend. I did not check the schedule online before we drive to Seattle.
We arrive at a reception hall in Mountlake Terrace. Gerardo was asked to do a bid for the floor there and Gerardo's Tio is not there yet. We dance to some Lady Gaga as we wait.
Tio Chano arrives and we are in the hall while Gerardo measures the dance floor for the tile.
|Here are the center pieces for the tables at the party.|
|Eli is crawling about and there is really nothing in the whole space that he can get into except for some wonderful looking cords on the stage. Eli is exhausted and starts crying so I try, unsuccessfully, to put him to sleep in the car.|
We are driving up to see my in-laws when we get a cryptic message on Gerardo's phone that we listened to five times. It said in a low grumbly voice, "I need a Red Bull, can you pick one up at a gas station?" It was from an unknown name and unknown number.
|It turned out that Gerardo's tile setting partner's 17 year old son was grouting for them and needed a Red Bull from a gas station. We proceeded to the gas station and bought the desired beverage.|
We leave the job site after dropping off the tools and Red Bull and head to my father and mother-in-law's place.
|Yes, that is my game boy from 1989. Carlo calls it his boy-game. He is having trouble making Mario "jump on those ducks."|
|Carlo exits the vehicle from the driver's side always. He does not like to leave from his door.|
|Grandma Patty cuddles with Eli.|
|Carlo loves seeing his grandparents and he loves playing with all the cars that Grandma Patty collects to sell in Mexico at the market.|
|Eli finally falls asleep one minute before we have to get out of the car.|
We head to Blanca's so we can go watch some of our nephews play soccer.
|We all get into one car. I feel fortunate that we have six people in the Expedition instead of the Civic. Gerardo likes to see how many people we can cram into a car.|
|Grandma Patty finds the game boy.|
We arrive at the field in Snohomish.
4:25 We head back to Blanca's and have dinner.
|Menudo was served, which is intestines I think. I am pretty open minded but I couldn't bring myself to try it.|
6:04 We head home because Eli is exhausted, Gerardo has to do a bid, and I need a rest. It was another great day at the De Jesus household.