Our Life in Boxes

Wife | Stay at 'Home' Mom | Student | Still Living in Boxes

Hidden Culinary Gems

Back home, I used to watch Food Network a lot to get inspired to do more cooking.  One show in particular I love is Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.  Basically, one man travels the country and finds these amazing restaurants in the small-town parts of America.  They are local favorites that you wouldn’t normally consider.  Of course Texas Roadhouse is great food – everyone knows that, but do you dare try the small Ma & Pop restaruaunt around the corner?? 

Watching this show has given me a very sad false sense of reality.  Every small town must have one of these local gems that produces THE BEST of what is food.  Let me tell you, as a woman traveling from small town to small town – this is completely false.  We do have one more place in El Campo we hear is great food, and its right up Rudy’s taste with fresh seafood.  Hopefully we will try it before he move again, which is rumored for Tuesday.  

I quit believing the rumors a few days into this adventure, most of them are either too early or just entirely false and created out of complete stupidity.  I was hoping we’d be on break in Louisiana by this time, but unfortunately some murmured threats of job loss are preventing us from taking that break.  

On the “home” front – Deidrick is trying so hard to crawl!  Although I’m convinced he could care less about it, I’m hoping he at least does a little bit.  He’s more interested in walking.  Whenever he is sitting up and can get his hands on something higher than him, that’s his opportunity to pull himself up.  He bounces, smiles and coos with joy – and then plops back down again.  But – he is like a living definition of Chumbawama’s “I get knocked down, but I get up again…” because he just keeps grabbing and keeps trying.  The only time he gets frustrated is when he’s hungry (he is MY child, for sure…) or when a toy is just out of reach.  

Laundry yesterday proved to be an exciting one for Deidrick as he made a few friends close to his age.  It is such a wonderful thing to see, and as much as I enjoy this time with him while he’s little – I can’t wait to see him grow up and show compassion towards others.  He’s always so considerate and friendly to anyone around, so I pray he keeps that and it translates to a big heart when he gets older.  Of course, if he’s anything like his parents – a big heart comes standard.  

Another exciting update: Deidrick is now in a big boy car seat.  He seemed a little unsure when we first strapped him in, but now he’s happy to see out the window a little better.  Let’s hope it is more comfortable for him on the next big drive.  

Much love from the Sanchez family — soaking up the sun in Texas! 🙂 

1 Comment »

Hello from Texas!

Well, it took us 3 long days to get to the new job site, but we finally made it.  Luckily we got to break away from the crew after the second day and go visit some of Rudy’s family.  Granny D hadn’t seen Deidrick since he was a few days old, so it was so special to see the two of them together again.  We also met a few cousins and great aunts/uncles while we were there.  Even Deidrick’s Uncle Anthony (Rudy’s brother) was able to come see the family.  It was truly a special and heart warming experience to watch my husband remember childhood memories and reminisce with his family.  Something about walking around the grass and under the trees where Rudy spent so many summers growing up, just makes me feel that much closer to him.

When we finally arrived in El Campo, we checked in at the same hotel that the crew was staying in.  It was ridiculously priced and when we got in the room, there was black mold all over the bathroom.  By this time, it was 11:30 at night and we were exhausted..but we knew it wasn’t safe for Deidrick, so we asked to switch rooms.  The second room was worse than the first!  So we decided against that hotel and ended up staying at the Days Inn next door for even more money.  We had to find a cheaper place to stay, and be out by 11 am Sunday morning…so it was up to me.  We knew that the other couple on the crew found a cheap place across town, but I worried about how clean it would be.  Thankfully it is nice and clean, the owner is really friendly and it will do for our last week in a hotel room.

Our tax money is coming back this week!! Not only that, but I got money back from my school today AND Rudy gets paid!  So, we are taking a break and heading to Louisiana to pick up our camper and visit more of Rudy’s family.  I’m so excited to have our own space and not have to live out of tubs anymore.  We’ve gotten really good at packing and unpacking, but there is something to be said about your own space.  It really hit me the other day that we don’t have a home… aside from a city, and couches/spare beds that are always there from our loving family, we don’t have 4 walls to call our own.  That was a pretty hard realization, but I hope that fuels our fire to keep taking care of business so we can buy a house when we go back to Greeley.

One last thing before I sign off, I want to share a photo of my daddy.  On March 14 it marked the 5 year anniversary of losing him to multiple myeloma.  Especially now, when Deidrick does something silly or hits a milestone, I wish I could call him.  I miss him so much and although I can be happy in my life knowing he’s always watching over me, I still have those days.  So here are a couple of photos of me and my my handsome father.

daddy and me6 Arianne & Daddy daddy and me daddy and me3 daddy and me4 daddy and me5

Leave a comment »

Rough Couple of Days

The feeling I got when I turned in my resignation letter was one of excitement and readiness for the next chapter in my life.  I was getting so frustrated with management and the stress of it was affecting my personal life.  So when I got the okay to quit and start traveling with Rudy – I was thrilled.  

My last day working was bittersweet… I found myself in tears and complete confusion as to why.  I knew I’d miss some of my co-workers that had grown to be amazing friends of mine, and I knew I’d miss the residents that I’d grown so close to, but I thought I was ready to stay at home with Deidrick all day and embark on this adventure with my husband.  

Some days here are great, and I look back at that old job and smile…but some days, after cleaning the 5th bottle or washed the dishes to cook on them and wash them again.. I miss the simplicity of my paying job.  Yes it drove me crazy, but I had days off…and going to work for 4 hours a day meant 4 hours of adult interaction.  Being a stay at home mom is a 24/7 job, especially when we’re away from friends and family.  

A combination of emotions and not feeling well have knocked me off the health kick for a few days…but we’ll get back on.  We go to Walmart everyday to get stuff for dinner and walk around, so I walk by the clothes everyday and get myself motivated.  

Word is we’re going to Texas, probably in 2 days.  We are headed to El Campo, which is only 30 minutes from the ocean! Not only is it close to the water, but we’re very close to Rudy’s family – including his grandpa who is selling us a camper once we get our tax refund (yay taxes!!).  

Missing everyone back home… Much love from the Sanchez family – hopefully leaving Kansas soon! 

1 Comment »


It’s 11 am here, and I am feeling like a rock start today.  Laundry is put away, the room is picked up and cleaned (also thanks to the amazing housekeeping staff here), I’ve started a new workout routine that kicked my butt already & now here I am blogging – all while booger is still napping.  

Today – I’m most excited about the 30 day challenge I’ve started.  Thanks to Pinterest, I found a workout that is literally 12-20 minutes long & really works.  Day 1 you take a fitness challenge to gauge where you are physically, and set up a goal for 30 days.  By the time I reach 30 days – I hope to blow these numbers out of the water.  

I’m giving up soda and going to drink more water.  I will work out 6 days a week, and mind portion sizes as well as start cooking healthier.  My truth is… I have several reasons to push myself to a better/healthier me.  Number 1 and most important is my son.  I want to set a good example for him so he grows up healthy in this otherwise unhealthy world.  

I also am pushing myself because I want another baby – no not anytime soon (hold your panic please) but by the time we are ready for the next one, I want to be fit & healthy – so as to hopefully avoid the scares we had with Deidrick.  I’m not sure what the deciding factor was for my mom, but when she decided she was going to get healthy – she has not lost steam since she hit the gas and that was several years ago.  Let’s face it – my mom looks amazing!! I look so much like her, and damnit I want to look that great when I’m her age,so I’m just going to do it.  

Whew.. I can feel my muscles getting sore already, and what a great feeling that is! Time for me to get ready so we can go outside today and enjoy the sunshine. 


Leave a comment »

Hello From Hays!

All the waiting around Great Bend, and then what seemed like instantly – we were finally packing to go to a different city.  We’d heard a few places, but the final resting place for a few days has landed us in Hays again.  We are actually at the same hotel we stayed in when we came to visit in January – so we are sleeping AMAZING thanks to their great beds!

We learned that my moving strategy is a little bit flawed.  We still have loose ends that don’t travel well and I didn’t really think about the fact that Rudy would have to be moving the totes on his own.  It took a lot longer to leave the room in Great Bend than it did to unpack in Hays.  In fact – we were unpacked and functioning in about an hour here!  

The chaos of moving yesterday just solidified the fact that we need to get into a camper – and soon.  It will be so much easier to leave quickly when all we have to do is hook up to the pickup and go.  

Anyway – little man is up from his nap, so its time to get going again.

Much love from our little family here in HAYS! 🙂  

Leave a comment »

Rude Awakenings

When Deidrick was a newborn, he almost always woke up around the same time Rudy went to work.  It worked out really well for me because Rudy would bring him to me, he’d eat and then we’d snuggle in bed for a few more hours before actually getting up for the day.  I have been excited that recently, we’ve gone back to that.  I think it’s a great time for us to bond & he does sleep better when he’s next to one of us – so the added bonus is a few more hours of sleep.  Lately, we’ve been waking up around 9/9:30, but today was a different story.  I was in the middle of a strange dream, when I thought someone was knocking in my dream.  I can’t remember what was going on in my dream, but I ended up answering the knocking noise in my dream.  Then I heard the hotel room door open, which is extremely loud.  That early in the morning, I just assumed it was Rudy coming back for something or not working for the day.  A second or two passed and he didn’t come over to the bed, so I opened my eyes and I see an older gentleman finally poke his head around the corner.  He was embarassed and tucked his head and said “Oh goodness..” as he scrambled for the door.  I recognize him, thankfully, as the owner of the hotel – so I assume he was just doing housekeeping stuff as we were expecting to leave today.  Needless to say, Deidrick was up for the day at that point – so our schedule was pretty off today, but that’s okay.  

Something about the morning…maybe it was the fact that we woke up so early, or the even better fact that Deidrick slept through the night last night, but I decided we were going to get ready and go exploring.  We also had to stop by Walmart to get stuff for tonight’s dinner.  Once we finally left, I was too hungry to attempt grocery shopping on an empty stomach – but I didn’t want to get food and drive around and eat.  So I did something today that I never thought I’d ever do.  I ate lunch alone in public.  Strange feat of mine to conquer  but I am very proud of myself.  Not only did I do that, but Deidrick was so well behaved through the whole thing!

We wandered around Walmart for two hours, more or less because we were both getting pretty sick of sitting in the room all day.  I’ve come to learn today that Deidrick likes to people watch.  I’m sure it is fascinating to him to see so many different faces considering he only sees Rudy and I these days.  By the time we finally got back to the hotel, we had to walk through dark hallways to our room as the power was out.  It was actually a great time for D to take a nap and I ended up talking to one of my best friends back home, but after 2 hours we started to get cold. So we loaded up in the car again and drove around until I saw the sign for the hotel had power again.  

It seemed like a very long day, but it was just nice to get out of the room for a while.  I keep waking up and hoping for sunshine to melt all the snow away so we can go play at a park or take a walk around town. 

Leave a comment »

Little Conveniences & Big Dreams

I’ve come around to accept this phase in Deidrick’s life – I will be up in the night again and up early to feed my little man because of his increasingly growing appetite.  Coming to this acceptance has made it easier to wake up at night, so last night when he woke up around 1 am – I was ready to go.  After three failed attempts to get him back to sleep on his own, I stood by his crib rocking him and doing my best to hold my eyes open.  I started thinking about how it could be easier.  Living in a hotel room for a little over a week now, I have obviously thought about the things I miss about living in a house or even an apartment.  I miss a full kitchen, first of all.  Before we came, I was finally starting to get adventurous with my cooking and scaling it down to one small skillet meals kind of restricts my creativity there.  Along with some other obvious things like a dishwasher, seperate rooms for everything and storage for things like food and clothes – last night I found myself REALLY missing my rocking chair.  The Thursday before we left for Kansas, I rocked Deidrick to sleep in the rocking chair and found myself strangely sad to be leaving it behind.  I sat there and pondered how I could somehow bring it with me, but of course found no answers. It made me giggle a little bit to realize some of the things I miss, that I really thought I could do without.  

Anyway, today has been another good day for us.  Rudy is out in the field and hopefully finishing the job up so we can move tomorrow.  Of course, I’m not holding my breath for that…this is the 3rd time I’ve heard that.  When I went to pay for the room for tonight, she asked if it was for a night or a week, when I told her just tonight because we might be leaving tomorrow, the owner overheard and mumbled “Yeah, we hear that everyday.”  I wasn’t sure what to say, so I just took my room keys and left.  I’m sure her attitude comes from dealing with Rudy’s fantastic boss.  Obviously he upsets more than just his workers and their families… 

We’re watching a marathon on Spike of Bar Rescue.  Rudy and I love this show, and every time I watch it I go back to a conversation or two we’ve had about maybe someday opening a bar of our own.  I know it was a dream of Rudy’s when we were in Greeley and long before he met me, but I like to think that the business degree I’m earning would help with the financial side, where Rudy’s vision could make it a success.  

Right now I’m embracing the stay at home mom lifestyle, but I just don’t see it as a permanent thing for me.  As much as I got frustrated with Grace Pointe – that job gave me a sense of independence that I still crave in my life.  I enjoy being home with Deidrick, and not missing any little moment in his life – but I also look forward to the day when I can punch the time clock again and earn a little income for the family as well.  

Leave a comment »

New Routines

There for a while we’d gotten to a very blissful place in Deidrick’s life.  Once again, he was sleeping through the night and even sleeping in some mornings.  I’m not a fan of co-sleeping, it makes me incredibly nervous…especially with how much I toss and turn in my sleep.  So nights when he goes down peacefully in his crib, and sleeps there all night without a peep are just heavenly for me…even with this horrible mattress we’ve got.  Lately, he’s hit a growth spurt.  I can’t find any evidence of a 7/8 month growth spurt online, but I’m convinced.  He eats like a teenager, and is still never satisfied, and I think he’s grown at least another inch!  He also – no longer sleeps through the night again.  The past two nights he’s been like clock work.  2 AM and 6 AM when Rudy gets up. 

I know, I know… I’m a MOM! Parent’s don’t get real sleep again until much later in our children’s lives.  My son is just a little tease, that’s all.  When he does sleep through the night, Rudy and him go to bed close to the same time.  So when my boys are asleep – I used to use that quiet time to work on homework, or do something for me.  Now that he’s made it quite clear that we will be getting up in the night AND early in the morning – I call it an early night too.  Thankfully, I married a wonderful man & every time Deidrick is up during the night and just won’t go back to sleep, he gets up to help.  Even though he gets up at 6 AM and works hard all day – I never hear a single complaint out of him.  He’s always been happy to help, and words just cannot express how grateful I am for that. 

So here’s some good news – the sunshine the past few days has finally allowed the crew to get out in the field and work today.  This is the FIRST day since we’ve been here that they are working a whole day, so I’m thrilled.  It’s also a big test for me, to see how D handles just me all day.  We’ve gotten so used to Rudy coming back around noon, so we’ve got to adjust to that.   

One strange thing for me, is the idea of having someone else clean up our room… I am not a huge fan of cleaning, but I would have my days where I enjoyed an all day deep clean.  It reminds me of a story I heard about my mom and aunt April… the two of them shared a room growing up, and one day mom went to bed completely messy, and woke up a total neat freak!  She even went so far as to make a line down their room, to keep April’s mess on her side. (If you two read this and I told it wrong — feel free to correct me!)  Anyway, I get like that some days.  Strangely enough, I get in the cleaning mode when Rudy is gone.  Maybe it is because when he’s here, it is just nice to lounge around and cuddle all day – and when he’s gone I like to pass the time.  Regardless, there is only so much I can do to clean now.  So for today, I’ve picked up, organized, finally finished the tub of dishes, and now I’m waiting on housekeeping to come finish up.  So as strange as it is to me to have a stranger vacuum, dust and change the sheets where we’re ‘living,’ I’m going to have to just get used to it. 


Leave a comment »

No Work and No New Bed…

I was really excited yesterday when Rudy told me we were possibly moving today.  The strange part is, I was most excited to see our “moving plan” in action.  I really want to see how quickly we can pack and unpack with our “system.”  I also was excited for a new bed…the one we’re on is so uncomfortable I am living in a constant state of soreness.  Lastly, I was happy that the crew would be working again.  It was my impression that because they haven’t been able to get to the job this entire week, they were giving it up and going to Colby – where they COULD be working.  Unfortunately, that is no longer the plan.  I’m not a big fan of Rudy’s boss… but that’s all I’m going to say about that.

We’re getting pretty good at cooking in the room.  It dawned on me at the store last night, they make frozen meals that you fry up in the skillet in the freezer section.  I know this because I am far from a skilled chef, and when I was pregnant the last thing I wanted to do after an 8 hour shift was come home and cook from scratch.  So it is not quite homemade, but they’ve got lots of options which work out great for us.  Another thing we realized, we can make taco salad!! I think taco salad might be the only meal I cook that Rudy really enjoys, so we’re both pretty excited. 

On the topic of food – Deidrick tried his first meat last night.  He had chicken and chicken gravy.  I wish I had thought to take a picture of his reaction to it, because it was priceless.  I don’t blame him, it smelled terrible, but I do worry he’s going to be a picky eater for me.  I am starting to wonder if he’s going through a growth spurt, or maybe it’s just because I’ve got myself a boy, but he is like a bottomless pit lately; nothing satisfies him. 

Anyway, here we are another day, trying to think of ways to pass the time.  We are probably going to go swimming again, and I have to study for my math final later.  Deidrick has been a daddy’s boy all day today, so although I wish he was working it is great he’s here when D is demanding him. 

Leave a comment »

Laundromat Lessons

I find it amazing how many lessons I can learn about parenting just by watching the world around me.  Yesterday, we finally toted the laundry basket (now overflowing) down to the car and ventured off to find a laundromat.  After a little drive around town to calm Deidrick down, we pulled into a nice looking place.  When we went in and started our laundry, it was very quiet.  We were the only ones there, and it was actually quite nice.  So we started our clothes, and watched Rudy play one of the classic pinball machines (VERY enticing to Deidrick, of course!).  Just about the time Deidrick was finishing up his dinner, a whole crowd came in.  With them, came three children.  As soon as they hit the door, they were running around and screaming.  I found it ironic that I had the youngest child in there, and he just sat in amazement watching them…but never even so much as screamed with them.

I understand – when Deidrick gets older I’m sure I will understand better what it is like to have a toddler running around screaming, but I hope to at least instill some sense of discipline in him.  These parents just stood by laughing and talking among themselves, completely ignoring their children.  One of them actually started running around in his underwear after he’d stripped in the bathroom.  When his dad finally realized this, he screamed at him so loud it startled D.  Just amazes me to see two extremes in one parent.

If you’re reading this and shaking your head at me, I know we will have our moments with our crazy little man.  I’m sure even more when we have our second child.  I just like to think that my kids will grow up and respect us as their parents, trust us with their secrets, and laugh with us as often as we can.  It is such a joy to be a parent, and brings with it a sense of excitement and fear to realize that we are shaping his world around him right now.  He learns life, bias, hate…based on what we teach him, and when I look around me and see such hate in the world – I feel truly blessed to raise our kids differently.

Whew… On a lighter note!  Rudy came back from work today to inform us we are probably moving tomorrow.  So for now, its off to Walmart (yet again) to get just one more tote and we will see how well our “packing planning” pays off.

Much love from the Sanchez family — finally MOVING to a more comfortable bed in Kansas…I hope! 🙂

Leave a comment »