It’s not about me

Last Friday was Mi.Vida’s self imposed deadline to talk to his boss about getting a more significant raise to accompany his very significant promotion and significantly augmented responsibilities. You may remember that Mi.Vida was given this promotion at the beginning of the calendar year. For almost five months he’s talked about asking for a raise but not actually done it. We’ve established in our counseling sessions that Mi.Vida has (mild) disordered anxiety about confronting his boss for a raise, though when I ask if he wants to see Sara, our counselor (not her real name), by himself, he says he doesn’t need to. From what I understand, Mi.Vida has spent the last five months not asking his boss for a raise for various reasons: he doesn’t think he’ll get one, he wants to leave anyway so he doesn’t see the point, it would be better if his direct boss were there to support him (she was on leave for a while), he’d rather avoid the conflict, he’s anxious about it.

As last week wore on, I had a feeling Mi.Vida wasn’t going to talk to his boss about the raise. At first I felt frustrated and betrayed but as the day loomed closer I realized Mi.Vida’s reluctance to ask for a raise has nothing to do with me. In couples counseling he promised himself, in front of me and Sara, he would talk to his boss, but he never promised me. His failure to do so is not a betrayal of our trust or his love for me, it has everything to do with him and his issues. And with that realization, a deep understanding washed over me: so many of the issues between Mi.Vida and I don’t involve me. They are HIS issues and they have little to do with our relationship. It’s an incredibly freeing realization. It’s also terrifying.

It makes sense that I made all this stuff about me. I mean, it seems, for all intents and purposes that these issues are about me, or us, because they directly affect our family. How much money Mi.Vida makes, how happy he is at his job, the standard of living we hope to achieve, these are all very important to our family as a whole, but they aren’t integral issues to our relationship. They are Mi.Vida’s issues, that he has to figure out for himself. For months I’ve thought that the answers to these questions were wrapped up in me and his feelings for me, but they aren’t. Mi.Vida needs to think about these things for himself.

Why is he not asking his boss for a raise, really? Is the anxiety of the actual moment really paralyzing for him? Is he ambivalent because he doesn’t want to be there? Is he reluctant to ask for more money, or look for a new job (there has been glacial progress on that front for the past year as well) because he doesn’t really want to make more money? What standard of living does Mi.Vida hope to achieve? What sacrifices is he willing to make in his professional life to achieve that standard of living? These are the questions Sara asked him to consider before our next appointment.

In the past I would have believed his answer to any of those questions was a reflection of how he felt about me and our relationship. If he LOVED me he would want what was best for us. If he really wanted to be a part of our family, he would make that work. Of course, in my mind, what was “best” for us and what would make it “work” were what I wanted for our family, or followed the compromises I was willing to make. But Mi.Vida’s answers to those questions are about who he is fundamentally as a person. It’s not about me. At least, the actual answers are. The only thing that concerns me is the steps he wants to make after he’s figured out the answers.

Mi.Vida has a lot of soul searching to do to figure out what he wants in life. Right now he is paralyzed, by a belief that there is no job out there that could provide him the money he needs to support his family AND the fulfillment he hopes to achieve personally. Basically he thinks he can be happy making not enough money or miserable making too much but that there is nothing in between. I know how he feels, I feel the same way. It’s a hard wall to come up against. But just as my struggles with this issue aren’t, at their core, about him or our relationship, neither are his about me.

This morning I tripped on a box of law books that have been sitting in our hallway for over three years. For THREE YEARS I have asked Mi.Vida to get rid of those stupid law books. Every time I give up and say I’m just going to do it, he swears he’ll do it himself. But then he doesn’t. For the past three years I’ve seen those law books (every time I pass them in our narrow hall) as a reminder of Mi.Vida’s shortcomings, as a reminder of how, even when he knows something is important to me, he still doesn’t follow through. Today I tripped over those law books and started my same internal monologue.

But then I stopped myself. Those law books aren’t about me. I tried to make them about me by asking him over and over to move them, but they aren’t about me. They are about Mi.Vida and what motivates him to follow through and do something. That box of books is never an issue for Mi.Vida, he doesn’t have to move it away from the wall and sweep around and under it once a week. He doesn’t have to find places for all the other crap that doesn’t fit in our house. He hasn’t moved those books not because he doesn’t love me or doesn’t care about me but because he doesn’t care about those books. They are constantly overshadowed by the millions of other things that are more important for him to do.

Mi.Vida and I are different people. I can’t determine what I would do in a situation and then use that same expectation to judge why he is or isn’t doing something in the way I would do it. And I can’t see all his decisions as a reflection on how he feels about me. That is not an accurate representation of things.

Our counselor (who I swear is pregnant and not telling us, and it’s really starting to make me mad) is going to be gone for two weeks. After that we’re supposed to get together again, the three of us, and see where we are. Then we both need some individual sessions and hopefully, by the end of the summer, we’ll have a general direction mapped out. And while there is a part of me that feels incredible frustration that it’s taking us so long to get wherever we are going, another part of me is grateful we’re at least trying. Hopefully, some day, this will all be resolved and the effort we’re spending now will feel so worth it.

But the trudging through of it is hard. And I’m tired. And I can’t wrap my head around the fact that we seem to have made so little progress while also coming so far. The whole thing feels like a constant contradiction.

The Junk Drawer

Mi.Vida and I have been in couples counseling for two months now. I’m tired. Physically. Emotionally. We only go every other week but the effects of it are constant. While I truly believe we’re making progress, sometimes I just wonder if it will be enough.

You know what’s funny? I can’t remember why we even started counseling. Were we really that unrelentingly unhappy? Was their a specific catalyst or did we just hit a new low? Was it as simple as fighting more than we used to, and for longer? I can’t remember what caused us to finally step back and say, we need help, we can’t do this on our own.

On one level things seems better, good even. On the surface, the day to day, things are actually pretty great. We are kind to each other, considerate even. We share chores, offer to help each other out. When one of us wants to do something the other finds a way to make it work. When we both have plans we ask for outside help. We joke. We laugh. Things are not bad. Maybe that is why I can’t remember what got us here.

At a deeper level though, I’m not sure. When you dig past the day to day, when you get to the heart of the matter, it’s much more confusing. The reality is we’re still coming from very different places, we still want very different things. When it comes to the big ticket items everything requires a negotiation.

Negotiation is not my thing. It’s not that I don’t like conceding – I don’t mind giving something up to get something, not most of the time anyway – it’s more like I don’t like the effort it takes. I don’t care for the back and forth, the constant conversations, the talking it out, the trying a compromise on for size, seeing how it fits, determining whether I can live with it. Usually, instead of negotiating I just give in. I’d rather watch a movie I’m not interested in or eat at a restaurant I don’t enjoy all that much than try for a compromise. I also think it’s silly to have both people doing something they kind of want to do just to keep one person from doing something they don’t want to do. At least in the latter scenario the other person is going to have a good time.

But these are all small, inconsequential sacrifices. Which movie we watch or where we eat a meal are decisions that affect incredibly small amounts of time. In a few days the experience will all but be forgotten.

The bigger issues are of course, much harder. And it turns out all our big decisions require negotiation and compromise. From what I can see, for every single defining aspect of our life, either one of us will be significantly unhappy or both of us will be less than content. Is that really a way to coexist? Maybe it is and I didn’t realize. Maybe my expectations were too high.

It’s not that I think couples counseling caused this discord. It was there all along. It was there when we decided to start trying. I wanted to start much sooner than he did. Mi.Vida wanted to wait quite a bit longer. In the end we got a result neither of us was very happy with. For me the waiting created a negative, anxiety filled TTC and pregnancy experience, scarring something that had always been one of my life’s greatest dreams. For Mi.Vida starting a family earlier than he wanted made the transition to fatherhood longer, more drawn out and considerably more difficult. While the years before having Isa were incredibly challenging for me, the years after are just as challenging for Mi.Vida. I suppose at some point, down the road, we may look at it and decide those prices were worth what we got in return. Maybe later we will determine that, in retrospect, we wouldn’t change anything even if we could. (Of course Isa was worth everything we’ve endured, I’m talking more about the state of our relationship).

What I worry about is that the cycle will continue, over and over again, until we’re both so wiped out that neither of us has anything left to give. If we don’t easily agree on every aspect of our lives – how we make our money, how much money we make, where we live, the size of our family – how can we ever fashion a life we’re both happy with? Can that level of compromise, on so many issues of that magnitude, really result in lasting contentment?

Right now things feel messy. Counseling has caused us to unearth all manner of unhappiness and discontent. It was there before counseling, we just couldn’t see it. Like a closet that never get’s opened we kept many of our fears hidden, lest they spill out in an avalanche of reproach and regret.

You know how when you clean something out things get messier before they get better? Like when you dump the contents of a junk drawer on the floor so you’re forced to deal with the miscellany in its entirety? Once you’ve done that you can never go back. You’re left with innumerable little trinkets that have no home and yet you can’t bare to throw away and you must chose to either consider each one individually, sorting through them in a painstakingly careful way or throw them all away and risk losing something quite valuable. The one thing you cannot do is put it all back in the drawer because even if you do you’ll know it’s there. And it probably won’t fit right once you’ve upended everything inside.

Mi.Vida and I dumped our junk drawer on the ground and now we don’t know what to do with it. Slowly but surely we’re sorting through the debris but we’re getting tired, we’re losing steam. We only have so much time in each day to work at the mess and in the meantime it’s still their, strewn all around us. We’re forced to step over it each day, walk around the piles, be reminded constantly of its presence even when we don’t have the time or energy to deal with it.

That is where I am right now, in the frustrating lull of the junk draw clean out. I no longer feel the anticipation of possibly accomplishing this immense task, the giddy excitement of throwing caution to the wind and dumping that cursed junk drawer because I have faith I can deal with what I find. I’m way past the part where organizing its contents is a challenge I relish, armed with shiny new boxes and trays from the organize-it store.

I guess I’m at the part where I’ve put away the stuff I know what to do with and I’m left with all the rest of it, the stuff I didn’t even know was there but now I can’t get toss without risking tremendous guilt or possible regret. I guess now I’m at the part where I feel frustrated and hopeless, where I just want to give up and throw the rest of it in a box and stuff it way back into the depths of the drawer, where I won’t have to deal with it again for a long, long time.

Except I can’t. Because the things I don’t know what to do with are my hopes, my dreams, my determination, my goals. The stuff I’m not sure where to put is the life I always wanted. And I just can’t bear to let it go.

Useful Tuesdays: Sharing Control Exercise

On Sunday, my therapist and I talked a lot about the issues that Mi.Vida and I have been struggling with. It seems that both Mi.Vida and I feel very overwhelmed with all the work we have to do around the house, the stress of our jobs, the fact that we’re not exactly financially solvent and feeling constantly at the mercy of our daughter’s whim. Basically  (it can seem like) neither of us has any control over our lives so we try to assert control over other things with varying degrees of success. I also believe there are some things that bother Mi.Vida more than me and I think he might feel even more out of control with his life than I do.

My therapist gave me an exercise for us to do so that we both feel we are getting what we need. We choose four topics that seemed to cause the most stress between us (chores, jobs, Isa-care, sex). I presented each topic and asked Mi.Vida to score his stress level related to this topic (10 was incredibly stressful, 1 was not stressful at all). After he scored himself, I gave my score. Whoever had the higher score then expressed how the other could make this area less stressful. For example, Mi.Vida scored his “chores” stress level at an 8 (which was higher than my 5). He said that mostly cooking stressed him out and he decided that creating a list of healthy go-to recipes, and organizing them in a binder, would help ease his stress surrounding making dinner. I also offered to wash dishes on the days he cooks, which was always done at my own house growing up (the person who cooked NEVER did dishes). Mi.Vida did say that if I ever felt too tired I could stop doing the dishes and he’d finish up in the morning. Also, he would always put away the dried dishes in the morning before work. Recently, it was decided that I didn’t mind doing the grocery shopping either so I’m doing that from now on too. In this way Mi.Vida had a chance to make a decision about how best to alleviate his own stress and in a month or so we’ll reassess to determine if it has helped his stress level decrease. If it hasn’t we’ll do the exercise again.

We did this with all the four topics and found that Mi.Vida’s stress level was higher for most. The only one I scored higher for was Isa-care, and I only asked that Mi.Vida not judge me for being on my phone for the first 30 or so minutes of being with Isa after work. This transition time is really difficult for me as I am extremely tired when I get home and Isa is extremely energetic when she gets up from her nap, which is always RIGHT when I get home. I need about 30 minutes of time with her where I also have the option to read blogs or do other things, before I jump into all-Isa-all-the-time mode (which usually begins with dinner, a stressful endeavor to be sure). During this time Isa plays very contentedly in her playroom and I sit right next to her, engaging her when she looks up at me. He agreed that this was reasonable and our plan was made.

I found this exercise to be very helpful because it allowed us each to practice making decisions in an attempt to improve a problem. Generally I am the one who does this but now Mi.Vida was articulating his own needs and finding ways to meet them. It took the pressure off of me and empowered him. If the plan doesn’t work he will have to figure out a new plan to be implemented; he now has at least some control over the issues that most negatively effect him.

I hope this exercise can be of some help to you and your partner as you navigate the challenging arena of shared responsibility. I will let you know how successful it is for us.

Making space (and feeling grateful)

Today Mi.Vida and I started thinking about “child-proofing” our house. Isa is not crawling yet but she is a strong 7.5 month old girl who is trying hard to get her little butt in gear. We have a small (tiny) apartment and a lot of work to do before she can have free reign over any room. And the reality is, she won’t ever get to run free in any room of our house, and that is okay. I’m not the kind of mother who will change everything so my daughter won’t accidentally hurt herself because you know what, accidents happen and my daughter will hurt herself and that’s okay. I just want to make sure she doesn’t stick her finger in an electrical socket or pull a bottle of Merlot from a tall, wobbly, wine rack.

Actually, the wine rack is what we focused on today and finally, after much discussion, we took the top part off (it’s really three racks from IKEA that are stacked on top of each other) and put it in a closet in the living room and decided we’d “get rid” (read: drink! yay!) of the rest of it as soon as possible and just give the other two away. And while we were cleaning out the closet for the rack we’re keeping I found an AWESOME pair of size ten pants that I had forgotten about and am so excited to wear while I’m still losing my pregnancy weight.

And for some reason, while we doing all of this, I was over come with a feeling of intense gratitude. I am sooooooo thankful that we have to make our house safer for our happy, healthy baby girl. I am so grateful that we are getting rid of pieces of our past life to make space for our family life. I’m even excited to have a chance to wear those pants I love so much while I’m still a little chubbier than I once was. I’m happy for all of it, because my daughter is the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me and I couldn’t be more grateful to have her in my life.

I was talking to my therapist on Monday morning and she commented (as many have) on how happy I am. She said she was worried that my pregnancy anxiety would transfer onto my daughter once she was born and I’d become an anxious mother. But I’m not at all. She said I seemed so calm and at peace, and so genuinely fulfilled. I told her I was the happiest I’d ever been and I was even thinking about “number two” a lot, because “number one” was such a joy. She said that very few people want to be mothers in that way, mourning nothing from their past life and loving everything about their new role as a mom. She said most people did not have that deep need to nurture someone else. She said that many women would not be counting down the days to try for another baby, but would be wondering when they would start to feel like themselves again.

But that is just the thing, I feel more like myself now that I ever did before my daughter was born. This is who I was even before she was here, and that is why everything felt so incomplete while I was waiting for her.

As I left therapy yesterday I was happy that someone seemed to understand how much all of this means to me. I was also sad that that person was my therapist and not a friend I could have coffee with, sans writing a hefty check. I know it will be hard to find a friend who get’s how much all of this means to me, how fulfilled I am by embodying the simple and yet maddeningly complex role of mother.

And not having that friend, that person who “get’s it”, that is (one of the reasons) why I write this blog and read the blogs of all these amazing women – because they are just like me. They are also the uncommon ones, the women who need, deep down in their souls, to have a child, to be a mother. They are like me in that they won’t ever feel complete without realizing that role.

And as I walked out of therapy yesterday I cried. I cried tears of gratitude for everything I have and how happy I finally am. And I cried tears of sadness and frustration for all the women who are still struggling and don’t know if or when they will ever get here.

When I was trying the thing that bugged me the most about all the fertiles of the world was that they didn’t realize how good they had it, they weren’t grateful enough for what they had. I felt I would begrudge them nothing if they just acknowledged how different it could have been for them, how difficult it is for so many women. I hope you all know that even though I had a relatively easy time getting here, that I never once, not for a second, take it for granted. I am constantly in awe of my good fortune and while I’m not a religious person, I consider myself to be incredibly blessed. And I want nothing in the world (not even another child) as much as I want all of those women, the ones I know and the ones I’ll never “meet”, to have what I am fortunate enough to enjoy.

November ICLW – I’m thankful…

Happy November ICLW!

I feel like, because this is November’s ICLW, I should do a quick post on what I’m thankful for. Here goes.

I’m thankful …

… for my beautiful daughter, who is already 5.5 months old.

… for my dedicated partner, who is helping me get through some tough, sleep deprived weeks.

… for the almost six months of “maternity leave” I enjoyed with my baby girl. I might not have gotten paid for it, but it was absolutely worth every minute of it. (Thanks FLMA leave!)

… for all the support I get from my family, and my partner’s family. I literally couldn’t do all this without them.

… that I’m almost done with graduate school. My last assignment is due December 8th. I can manage that, right?

… that my sister-in-law is going to be with Isa when I go back to work in one week. I know my daughter is in capable, loving hands.

… that I have four days to spend with my partner and our families this weekend.

… for therapy tomorrow – I have so much to say about going back to work next week. I need some propping up.

… that I’m getting sick now, before I start back at work, instead of after I’m back and I have to talk to class after class of middle schoolers all day. I’m also thankful that Isa seems to be unaffected (so far).

… that I got to see Harry Potter 7.1 today with my sister. It was really, really good.

… that my daughter went down without crying tonight. I’m sure crying will ensue, but it was nice not to start the night with screaming.

… that Safeway sells breastmilk storage bags. How many trips to the dreaded Babies R Us would that knowledge have saved me!?

… for the raise I’m getting this year. Goodness knows, with all that time off and paying for childcare, we’re going to need it.

… that when I see pregnant women I don’t automatically think of loss anymore.

… for this blog and the community of amazing women it’s brought to me.

… for mindfulness, acceptance and loving-kindess. I don’t incorporate them nearly enough into my life, but they do bring me much peace and understanding.

What, or who, are you thankful for this holiday season?

My name is Esperanza and I’m a Shopoholic

There is something I’ve been struggling with a lot lately. Something I’ve never mentioned here until today. Something that has always been a problem but that I’ve never really acknowledged seriously before. Something that I’m just started to tackle for real.

That problem is shopping. I’m a big spender. As a teenager and even college student, I enjoyed the dubious financial double whammy of having parents that paid for everything I needed (and then some) and lots of opportunities to make money to spend superfluously.

Shopping was also something I did for fun. My mom loved to shop (though she was always VERY responsible with her money) and it was our bonding time. She also taught me the love of the sale – my mother can tell you all the myriad discounts she got on any item of clothing, it’s starting price and what she ultimately paid for it (usually about 20% what it was originally). To this day I feel compelled to buy things that are very much on sale, just because I’m saving SO MUCH money buying it (yes I see the irony in that).

Anyway, in my adult years I’ve struggled more with this spending habit for a couple of different reasons. For one I don’t have much money. My parents do not pay for my necessities anymore, nor have they for well over a decade. I’m also a teacher who makes very little money and lives in an incredibly expensive city. Secondly, I don’t have any place to put all the things I buy. Our apartment is incredible cramped and now that we have a baby (and all the accompanying accouterments) it’s even worse. The two things I buy most compulsively, clothes and books, take up a lot of space and space is something we don’t have. My third problem is the internet. Even if I don’t leave my house I can buy anything my heart ever desired from the comfort of home. Did I mention I have an Amazon Prime membership, which means EVERYTHING is free 2-day shipping? I even have an VISA card, that is how much I love that fricking site.

Anyway, I love shopping and I do too much of it. I used to tutor enough to make ends meet and have never paid interest on my credit card. But with Isa here, and all the fun things I can buy for her, the shopping has gotten out of control. In the past few months I’ve needed Mi.Vida to help me pay off my VISA bills and I feel bad about that. This past bill has me really looking at things hard and I’ve accepted, I think for the first time, that I honestly have a problem with spending. It’s not just irresponsibility, it’s a compulsion. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said to myself, “no spending this week, none” only to ignore myself completely. This is a real problem and needs to be treated as such. I need to deal with this or it will keep me from being a good mother to my daughter and I will teach her horrible spending habits. I don’t want to do that. I also want to retire some day, so I need to get this under control pronto.

I’m currently reading a book (To Buy or Not to Buy), and working through a workbook, a little bit every night. I started bringing it up in therapy. I’m trying to run every purchase by Mi.Vida, to make sure we really need what I’m planning on buying. It’s going to be a really long road and I’ll make mistakes, but if I don’t start on this journey now, it could be too late to forge a different path.

I know Americans are notoriously bad about living beyond their means. I do not want to be apart of the culture. We have so much and we don’t need anymore. I shop for so many reasons that have nothing to do with what I’m actually buying. I’m not yet sure what all those reasons are, but as I work through this problem they make themselves known.

I want this blog to be an honest account of my transition into motherhood and I don’t intend to sugar coat it. I can only hope that my journey, and what I learn along the way, can help someone else.

A reminder that the Big Book Giveaway is this Friday, 9/24! Submit your entry (or entries) as a comment any post this week!

BUENAS NOTICIAS – We actually made it to Trader Joes today. We’re VERY proud of ourselves.

A reminder

I went to therapy last night and it was a good visit. First of all I wasn’t late and didn’t lose 10 or 15 minutes like the last two times. Second of all, I walked out feeling genuinely better about things.

I talked about a lot last night. A lot of things that I’d written about in my post. I talked about my computer being stolen and my worries about our finances. I realized as I was talking that I wasn’t so much worried we would blow through our savings, but that we would blow through our savings BECAUSE I couldn’t make responsible financial decisions. I was worried my silly spending would be the cause of us having no nest egg left at the end of next year. I also realized that I really, really didn’t want to make the changes necessary to ensure that my spending wouldn’t lead to our financial ruin. I literally feel like a small child having a tantrum about how unfair it feels that I can’t just get what I want, when I want it.

I am a person of extremes. When I used to diet, I could restrict my food intake along very rigid lines and never suffer a set back. I could say, no sugar, no wheat, no processed foods and actually do it, no matter how difficult it was. But if someone told me to just eat a healthy diet in moderation it would have been impossible for me. I would have absolutely freaked out at the mere thought of such a ridiculously impossible prospect.

The same holds true for so many things – I don’t know how to do something half way. I can either not do it, or do it big. I suppose I’m looking at the finance stuff the same way. Right now I buy pretty much whatever I want, when I want it. I’ve spent a lot on maternity clothes and purchased pretty much every pregnancy book that gets a decent rating on Amazon. And now that my computer is gone, and I desperately want a new one, I feel very, very frustrated that I can’t have it (or shouldn’t buy it).

As I further contemplate the financial situation we’ll be in next year, I can’t seem to see the middle ground. There is the way I currently spend, which is unnecessarily frivolous, and a way reminiscent of my grandmother’s stories of never seeing a movie for 20 years and only eating out at White Castle once a month, two burgers each. I feel like I know how to do either of those (though one would be miserable), but carefully considering every financial decision responsibly, well that is just way too much for me to handle.

My therapist reminded me that I don’t have to get there tomorrow or even next month. I have time to practice flexing my “moderation muscle” and it’s okay if I make some mistakes along the way. My therapist also reminded me that change is very hard and people always writhe against it. Nobody likes to change and it can be painful when they do.

Once again I was reminded that I need to accept feeling bad about things and realize that it won’t last forever. Right now I am going to feel angry and frustrated about my computer being stolen and the fact that I can’t get another one. I need to accept those feelings when they arise, not judge myself as spoiled or silly. Over time those feelings will diminish and I can make a decision about the computer that doesn’t involve my emotions or my bruised ego. And as I have to make harder decisions about what I need and what I want, I will also have moments where I feel pretty low. But those too shall pass.

I realize that all this has everything to do with my other situations. Grad school makes me feel shitty sometimes and so does work. Situations with friends don’t always happen the way I want and I feel lonely or isolated. I have to accept that and move on without judgment or prophesying about the way things will be. I need to remind myself to accept the present moment without trying to change it, even if I don’t feel the way I want to.

These are hard lesson to learn and relearn. Our society is all about instant gratification and feeling great. There is no space for the negative feelings that have to be a part of life. You cannot alway be happy, there has to be space for sadness, anger and fear. If I can make space for those things without trying to avoid them, I I’d be much better off. Let’s hope I can remember that the next time I move the mouse of the computer I’m using and the “wait-a-second” circle starts to spin.

BUENAS NOTICIAS – It’s Friday and it’s beautiful out. I’m taking a long walk with my mom today and tomorrow I’m going wine tasting (or accompanying friends who are wine tasting) in Napa. It will be so nice to share the nice weather with friends.