A Day In My Life – Lately

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010715-ADayIntheLife This year I am trying my hardest to document my life, life with my children, with my mother and with family in friends in general.

As I treat this blog as an autobiography of sorts, I started what I hope to be a weekly summary post of things that happen in my life, and for the lives of so many others that I meet, I know, I’m acquainted with, that I live with and spend time with.

I gave it a catchy title and a tab of it’s own on the blog, called Weekly Round-Up of Fun and Crazy.

My life is ordinary to me, but as I’ve grown to realize in the past two years, it really isn’t ordinary to other people.

Don’t ask me why it took me so long to figure this out.

Doesn’t every intelligent, math loving Hispanic girl from the poor side of town become a Civil Engineer in the job of her dreams, marry the man of her dreams and end up taking care of her parents with a beautiful family?


Yeah, I just figured this out recently.  Don’t judge.

I feel ordinary and here’s a day in my life to prove it!

I got to work at 730 AM this morning.  I went to the parking lot (yard) where the vehicle I am assigned to was parked and got out my safety jacket and hardhat to go into the field to do one of my favorite things, review a roadway.

(Now before I go on, this is no longer a normal thing, as I go down to an office now, but I am talking about today.)

I met my co-worker at the yard and after we got our paperwork, we drove almost 30-miles to get to the road we were reviewing today.20150106_100048_resized

We spent the next three hours reviewing the road. It’s not very glamorous, but I get to take cool photos like the one to the right.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen an asphalt dike with a curve like the one along the side of the roadway in the photo.  Sometimes thing have to get noted.

My coworker and I took a late lunch, where I left work to install a raised toilet seat for my mother.  It wouldn’t fit.  That was annoying and I had to leave because lunch was over.

raised toilet seatI’ll spare you the photo of the seat not fitting….

It’s weird, but it’s my life. photo 3

Anyway, after work, I had a scheduled appointment with my Personal Trainer. I haven’t been to the gym since July.

(Search #myviewtoday to see the progress of my #knee recovery on Instagram.)

I had to go get my mini poodle from the groomers after the gym.

I finally got home and thank God my husband braved the store with three kids to get us food because that was the last thing I wanted to do today.

I wrote a blog post while watching Marvel’s Agent Carter on ABC.

There were many things I didn’t get to do today.  But that’s not the point of this blog post.

I want to inspire you to say to yourself – “Look at all the awesome things I did today!”

You know you did even “ordinary” stuff that makes the world more amazing right?  Hopefully you think of the people whose lives you influenced today.  Maybe you think of the kids that you are raising and helping to grow into the next generation of game-changers and world builders.

Maybe you’re like me and just did your job of reviewing a road for the public with a great co-worker.

Whatever it was, I hope you know that you are awesome. Have a great day tomorrow friends!

Paving Another Road

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I have the best job in the world.

Well, it’s perfect for me anyway.

Shoes on ACI am a Construction Engineer.  My title is Resident Engineer because I get to stay on the project site when the Contractor works. (Hence the “resident” title, meaning “stay on-site.”  You can read more about my job here: I love my hamster wheel.

The project I have been on lately is all about paving a road.  I say that “literally” because I understand that the term “paving a road” can be used as an analogy for doing something new.  In my case, the most appropriate term is ‘overlaying’ a road, but that won’t get good search results in Google, so I went with the word paving.

The first thing that happened on this project was the grinding.  The job starts before I get there, as long as an Inspector is on-site to keep me updated and I am able to call the shots by phone and email.

A grinder grounds up the existing asphalt in a set distance so that we can match back to the bridge.

A grinder grounds up the existing asphalt in a set distance so that we can match back to the bridge.

We start out pretty early in the morning, although in California the rule is you have to pave Asphalt Concrete (AC) when it’s 50-degrees and rising and with the recent storms and fog, it’s been pretty cold in the morning.

The first day we paved, I met two men I have met on other projects, Dave and Craig.  They make the job fun and are two men that I describe in my previous post about my job, I love my hamster wheel.

 Men at work....In this photo, Dave, Craig and I (and everyone else not pictured) are waiting for the asphalt trucks to haul the asphalt from the production plant where it’s being made to the site.  This happens often when paving and the Contractor doesn’t over-hire trucks to haul the AC.

The asphalt is then dumped from the bottom of belly dump trucks into winrows.

As the “manager” for the Public Entitiy, I don’t do much other than check AC tags that come with the trucks and check the quantities.  Really my glamorous title of Resident Engineer is a fancy name for paper pusher, but I still love being on-site when I can.  I sit in my vehicle most of the day and get to view fields such as in the photo below.

A field of almond trees is my office view on this project.

A field of almond trees is my office view on this project.

Every once in a while I have to walk that field for a specific purpose, and I’ll let you use your imagination on what the purpose is.

Anyway, the paving machine picks up the asphalt in a device in the front of the machine called a “hopper.”

This is the paving operation in a nutshell.  The dump trucks dump the asphalt on the ground and the paving machine picks it up and lays it on the existing surface.

This is the paving operation in a nutshell. The dump trucks dump the asphalt on the ground and the paving machine picks it up and lays it on the existing surface.

We pave both sides of the road, one side at a time to allow the public to pass the working area on one side of the roadway.

This photo shows a winrow of asphalt concrete (AC) on the left and an already paved surface (the overlay) on the right.

This photo shows a winrow of asphalt concrete (AC) on the left and an already paved surface (the overlay) on the right.

 We do this all day long as long as there is daylight and it doesn’t get below 50-degrees.  The Contractor I worked with on this project is phenomenal, and I hope I get to work with them again.

One last photo for the record book –

My anthem is beautiful. So is yours. #30daysnomakeup on IG

My anthem is beautiful.
So is yours.
#30daysnomakeup on IG

The grinding machine operation is behind me on day one.  I read an Instagram post that immediately spoke to me and I have become a part of movement that I hope really catches on.

The photo above has become very important to me.  Until recently, I didn’t realize how unique I was in that I

(1) work around men who are under my supervision,

(2) don’t wear make-up on a regular basis, and

(3) didn’t think about what my position in society could mean to many other women.

I have this thing about myself that I can’t explain – I have an enormous amount of confidence.

I am blessed to know that I’ve had it since I was in high school but I can’t directly tell you where it came from.  I think it came from a lifetime of being told by my mother that I was “better than that” and being able to convince myself that I was going to be different from both my parents, no matter what it took.

I write this blog primarily as a means to communicate to my children (and even my future self.)  I hope I get the confidence thing passed onto my children somehow.  It’s a gift I’ve been given and I don’t know what I’d do without it.

The thing I do know about confidence is that it’s all about you.  It’s not something that someone else can give you.

For me, it comes from the Lord who gives me everything.

Coffee keeps me going.  I have two cell phones on me everyday and I wear and purchase clothes for myself and my children from Old Navy.  Please feel free to browse advertisers I purchase products from.

10 Things this Working Mom wants for Mother’s Day

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Oh the ultimate question of marital bliss (as a mom) for the whole year from my husband:
“So what do you want for Mother’s Day?”

I’ve been married to this man for 17 years.

I’ve had his children and been a mom of a living child for the past 8 years.

And he asks me what I want for Mother’s Day.

<Insert big sigh.>

In his defense, my husband works from home, takes the kids to school, makes their lunches, and usually makes dinner.  (So please don’t get me wrong – he is an amazing man.)

Considering my wonderful husband doesn’t know what I REALLY want I’m going to tell him, right here, right now.

10 Things for Working Moms DayI didn’t put this list in any particular order, but just random thoughts that came into my mind as I contemplate my “wants.”

(1) Time to sleep

Oh the precious gift sleep is.  I have three children ranging from 8 to 3 years old and have every desire in the world to be with them. Sleeping baby

But for one morning – JUST ONE MORNING – can I be the one to get to sleep in?

(2) Alone time with my hobby

NOTE: That did not say “hubby.” (That’s another one below.)

This for me is to crochet or finish a book I’ve been trying to read for years.  I’m not talking about one-hour; I’m asking for at least four hours.  (Maybe more.  I know eventually I’d get bored.)

The three books I have in my library to read when-I-get-to: “The Life of Pi” by Yann Martel, “Start” by Jon Acuff, and “Smart Money Smart Kids” by Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze.  I’m looking forward to starting the latter two and finishing the “Life of Pi.”

(3) Adult time with my hubby adult time with the hubby(My love is 6′-5″ and I’m 5′-2″…)

Yeah, you read that right!  This would probably be a date of some sort doing something, you know, adult-like.  One of the perks of getting-married-to-your-best-friend kind of thing.

In my case I’d like to eat clam chowder on the coast of California somewhere and walk on a beach in the evening with no kiddos and just the man the Lord created for me.

I got to get him to work on that one….

(4) Think about the time I told you when I wanted ….


(I get that this one is hard for my husband.)  I can remember what we got for our wedding and who gave it to us.  He can’t remember what he ate for breakfast yesterday.

I’m sure I told you about those Work Boots (size 8) and that purse (it’s black.)  How cool would it be to get one of those things all of a sudden, because you remembered?

(5) Check my Amazon Wish List

I know, this can be a hassle but I’ve already arranged my list in order by what I want first and how high the priority is – just in case.

I’m just saying.

(6) Check my Etsy Favorites List

Did you know I had an Etsy favorites list?  It’s a little heart on the Etsy website where I get to click the things I REALLY LIKE but they might be too expensive or just-not-the-right-time-to-get kind of things.  I like handmade shirts, crochet patterns, earrings, etc.  Pretty much anything on that list would be great to get, because it looks like you KNOW ME!

Hint, hint: You will have to create an account to find me as a friend and follow me to see what I like.

(7) Schedule a professional portrait session with a highly recommended photographer

A little on the pricy side for some, this is something that has become very important to me.  I want to capture those beautiful little faces with the right lighting, hand-selected clothes that coordinate, and non-fake love that only those photographers are able to capture in photos.  I know this can cost a good chunk of change, but it’s worth it because it’s not just for me, it’s for our three little beings we brought into our lives too.

(8) Get my kids to talk with me and know me better

I found two Pinterest Pins that I’d love have done from my kids, (with your help) so that they can learn about me more.  Have our oldest ask me questions and get answers for this printable (maybe over dinner a few nights during the week) and have the little ones answer these questions about me so you can read them to me.

(9) Pick out photos with our kids about special times with me and get them printed

I’m not asking for anything fancy.  You know just as well as I that our photos are stored on disks and jump drives and computers.  Buy a 20-page photo album for 4×6 photos, and send a few photos to the printer.  Or organize some of the photos we do have printed (because you know we’re older than the digital age) and pull some of those out to put in an album.

One word:

(10) Please give me all the handmade gifts my children made
There really is nothing more important to me at the end of the day than those little handmade cards and possibly gifts that the kids made.

If they want to make me cookies or a cake, I don’t care if it’s not in my “healthy eating diet” – I am going to eat a few or a slice.  I put those handmade pencil holders on my desk at work.  I sigh as I re-read and stare at the cards and homemade drawings I hang on my walls and on the fridge at home.  It’s all important and I want them to know that.

I hope this list helps.  I’ll be over here waiting patiently for you to ask me again what I would like for Mother’s Day because now I’m ready.

St. Patrick – The Patron St. of Engineers

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An Old Irish BlessingAh, St. Patrick’s Day.

A great reason to wear green, drink green beer, and try not to get pinched – anywhere, by anybody.

I love St. Patrick’s Day.  I don’t know why, or should I say, I didn’t know why.  Until today.

I found out today that St. Patrick is the Patron Saint of Engineers.  Now, not being Catholic, the “Patron Saint” part really doesn’t mean anything to me.  But being an Engineer, the fact that St. Patrick is the Patron Saint of Engineers means that I have permission to like St. Patrick.

I spent a little time (an hour or so) researching him and his life, and I wanted to share a few stories.

Here’s a quick video from the History channel that was packed with information.

An Engineering Website had a funny blog about it, where the line “But then, after that (according to catholic.org), he lived in poverty, and endured much suffering until his death.  Now if that isn’t living like an engineer, I don’t know what is.”

That’s just funny to me because of my college living.

Thankfully, I don’t “suffer” for my job as an Engineer.  My family might, but you’d have to ask them.

I’d like to think that I had some sort of inherent Engineering quality that just really appreciated St. Patrick’s Day for what it was – a day to just have a party.

Now I know that the guy we are celebrating was really cool and is called the “Saint of the Engineer.”  There’s very little info on why he was chosen, but a site or two mentioned that he helped the Romans with their amazing buildings, and he is credited with developing arts and crafts (hmmm, not so sure about that one.)  I got that off of Wiki Answers, so take it for what it is… just a person like you or me writing that about him.

I have a smile on my face now though.  It’ll be good all throughout the day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you – May you be blessed and your family be safe from pinching people!