The Craziest, Most Foolish, Best Decision I’ve Ever Made

This year has been a big one for me and my husband. In January, we traveled to Italy and experienced a week so magical, I couldn’t have possibly dreamed it up any better. In April, we said our first hellos to our beautiful baby girl. Now we’re in the works of planning a trip in celebration of our upcoming five year wedding anniversary. Five years! Say what?!

This past weekend was a quieter one, spent with Robby’s parents in New Ulm, Texas. Saturday night, Robby and I ventured to the nearby town of Brenham, Texas for a date night. Over shrimp and a beer-rita at a seafood shack followed by a chocolate torte at a two-story-house-turned-Italian-restaurant, I found myself giddy and grateful for yet another adventure with my main squeeze. Over six years together and nearly five years of marriage, and he still manages to make me swoon on a regular basis.

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As many of you know, I was a young’un when I met Robby. I had technically been a single adult for only a little over a year when I met him. Just a month previous I had told someone, a community college friend who asked me what I was wanting from ‘this’ after an innocent kissing session, that I only wanted friendship. And that was the truth, though I could understand the mixed signals. When the eager gentleman before this one told me he couldn’t believe how much he liked me already, on our first date, I ran. Fast. This was partly due to the fact that I was simultaneously managing to have my heart completely broken by someone who was never actually my boyfriend, but instead a friendship escalated out of control. A relationship wasn’t exactly the first thing on my mind the night I met my future husband. Distractions were. But I think I knew even then that if I let my jaded self walk away from someone like Robby, I’d probably regret it. Was I ready? Maybe not. Probably not. But who is ever ready? For love or life or big, scary, maybe terrible, maybe wonderful changes? The most we can ever do is put ourselves out there and hope for the best. So I did.

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Still, in staying with Robby, I had so much growing to do on my own. I was a naive, silly, confused teenager when we met, and no amount of love was going to fix that. Tying that knot did not keep me from making my own mistakes, or accomplishing my own goals. I’ve noticed that marriage has this dangerous potential of guarding someone from becoming their own complete person if used as a shield against the world. But I’ve never been a big fan of barriers. If anything, I feel I came into my own even sooner than I would have as a young single girl, because there was no one to impress or put on faces for. With Robby, for better or worse, I simply am who I am. And I was who I was. At first I was the crazy, emotional, angry, stereotypical teenager who thought she knew everything and actually knew very little at all. Then I was the typical poor college student, nannying on the side, keeping my measly funds in my own bank account. Eventually, I graduated college. I realized what I was passionate about and went after those things. I became an event blogger and started my first post-college career. I gained friends and I lost them. I traveled with Robby, and I traveled with friends and even alone. I adventured and started jogging and filmed a commercial; I hurt and laughed and learned and cried over things that had nothing to do with my husband in the slightest. Robby has been there for me every step of the way, while always giving me space to breathe and respecting my need for freedom within a relationship. I always understood that he couldn’t help me fix my own issues or fulfill my personal dreams. I wouldn’t have wanted him to. 

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What I want from him is something different entirely. I want him because his smile is the purest, most joy-filled smile I’ve ever seen. Because we laugh so much. We laugh so hard that he has tears and my sides hurt. Because he listens to every strange, ridiculous, rambling thought on my mind. Because we could be trapped in a cardboard box together and still have fun. Because he has been through so much more than I have, and he is still so kind, and open and not even slightly cynical. I love him because we have our own language, a dialogue so full of inside jokes and odd remarks that we’d be sure to get odd looks speaking it in public. Because I am still a little taken aback by the the love he gives to me with his eyes, his words, his actions. Because while I have taught him to be more politically and grammatically correct, he has taught me to slow down and savor even the tiniest of moments. Because he loves openly, affectionately and without hesitation. Because he is such a patient, doting and loving father to our redheaded, blue-eyed baby girl. Because I grew up with him, and because I hope to grow old with him.

Looking back, I am incredibly thankful to not have had the good sense to realize that twenty is not usually the best age to get married. I might have walked away from a world of happiness with someone who is not just good to me, but for me. I might have missed out on the adventure of a lifetime, an adventure that I hope will last me the rest of my lifetime. I chose to turn a blind eye to the statistics and societal norms and follow my stubborn, ignorant little heart. And that was the craziest, most foolish, best decision I’ve ever made.

Detroit, Part 2

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If you follow my blog, you probably know by now that I was cast as myself in a U by Kotex commercial in May. You may also know that, less than two months later, I was flown to Detroit on an all-expenses paid trip to film a second commercial. It’s been completely nuts. But the best kind of nuts. (Hee. Hee. Nuts. A male anatomy euphemism to describe a feminine care commercial I took part in. I really amuse myself sometimes.) Er….I digress. Here are the details I haven’t quite got around to sharing yet (With pictures! And captions!):

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(Above: View of Detroit after crawling out of an apartment window)

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(Above: Arguably the coolest brewery ever, as one gets to drink their beer next to all of the brewing machinery.)

In the first set of commercials, there were five of us who were cast in “Demo Diaries.” Each of us got our own 2-3 minute online commercial. Because my product is the only one that hasn’t been released yet, I’ve been able to to watch the rest of the Demo Diaries before mine airs. Let me tell y’all, I was completely floored by the talent, beauty and personality that my fellow U by Kotex girls possess. I still feel honored and a bit awestruck that I got to be amongst this group. Now take that feeling and multiply it times about a kabazillion when I found out that I was the only one asked to join the production team in Detroit. Here’s the thing—I’m a confident girl, but realistically so. I know where I stand. I’m attractive, but not drop-dead gorgeous. Due to my years of homeschooling, I have this perma-awkward thing going on, but I’ve managed to usually pass this off as more cute than creepy. I’m goofy and outgoing and I’m kind to people, which I think makes me generally likable. So though I was pretty surprised when I found out I got cast in the first commercial, I wasn’t flabbergasted (That is such a fun word.) But it definitely blew me away to figure out that the production team considered me the favorite of this group of lovely, gifted young women. Still….what is that saying? About not looking a gift horse in the mouth? Yeah, I wasn’t about to do that.

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(Above: Parts of the amazing film crew/ production team/ makeup/ wardrobe artists)

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(Above: Party at a bicycle/watch making shop)

So I went to Detroit and had one of those weekends that made me feel like I was dreaming, or in a movie, or something. As a rather long side note, I must note that I was extremely taken by this city. It’s now on my top five, and maybe even top three of places that I’ve traveled to. I know it’s not in the best of spots right now, but I’ve always had a thing for the underdog. I loved that nearly everyone I talked to in Detroit was actually from Detroit, and how proud they were of that fact. (I think I appreciated this even more, being one of the rare Austinities that is actually from Austin.) And it wasn’t that they didn’t know any better or didn’t travel frequently. It was just that they saw, and luckily shared with me, the beauty and uniqueness of their city. I loved seeing a run-down, vacant building next to a small strip of renovated, classy ones. I loved going to a sleek, upscale restaurant in the middle of a poor neighborhood. It wasn’t at all depressing to me, but rather hopeful and inspiring. I’ve never before seen a city with so much potential. I fell in love, and I fell hard.

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(Above: So much yum FOOD! And pretty coffee! And The oldest bowling alley in the US)

Okay. Long side note over. Where was I?…..

As I’ve mentioned, I flew first class and stayed at the MGM Grand and filmed on-stage at the Fillmore and was shown around the city by a production team that wouldn’t let me pay for anything. (Special thanks goes to Ed, who gave me an incredibly authentic tour of Detroit and didn’t once complain when I made him stop for multiple potty breaks.) I played dress up with a makeup and wardrobe artist and sat in on a meeting where everyone looked over pictures of me in different outfits. (So weird.) As I haven’t yet mentioned, the second commercial I was filming isn’t exactly a commercial. It’s actually a set of video clips that are going to be played on gigantic screens at the Bruno Mars and American Idol tours.They’re meant to be both a form of advertisement and a way to entertain the crowd pre-show. When I told my best friend about this, she told me my life had come full circle. I’d agree. See, when I was a young teenager, I was absolutely obsessed with American Idol. Obsessed is actually quite an understatement. I frequently fantasized about being a judge and convinced myself I was going to marry Ryan Seacrest. (The production team found that bit especially humorous) I once had a serious argument with previous mentioned best friend about which one of us liked Paula Abdul more. No, Really. I have journal entries about such things. Funny how sometimes the past really does meet, or at least interact with your present. Crazy how former dreams can occasionally come to fruition in your present life. It is both amusing and insane to find out that, 10 years later, I am going to be featured on mega-screens at the American Idol tour. So fourteen-year-old me, this may be a bit belated, but this one’s for you. Here is proof that sometimes those big, far-fetched, seemingly unrealistic type of dreams that filled your notebook really can come true. Sincerely, your twenty-four-year-old self and your menstrual cycle. 

Detroit, Part One

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I wish I had time to fully explain this crazy, wonderful whirlwind that has been my life lately. But, you see, I just got back from filming a commercial in Detroit five days ago. Tomorrow, I leave for a vacation to visit one of my best friends in New Mexico and from there, road-trip to Arizona with her. (YAY!) As giddy as I am about this, I definitely didn’t plan on leaving the state two weeks in a row. The past few months have definitely taken me by surprise, and for that, I am exceedingly grateful. And on that note—A few weeks ago, I was sitting by my favorite pool, tanning on my day off. My phone rang and I was asked if I’d like to be flown, all-expenses paid, to Detroit to film my second paid commercial for U By Kotex. Considering I should be sleeping at this very moment as I have a 6:30 am flight tomorrow, here are the Cliff Notes of that trip (I’ll save part two for the nitty gritty details.) :

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Detroit Cliff Notes:

  • Flying first class for the first time, and feeling like a duck out of water, being the twenty-four year old girl surrounded by a bunch of middle-aged men. But completely taking advantage of the free drinks and comfy seats. Being confused when the flight attendant handed me a hot towel. It was so tightly rolled that I thought it was sushi at first, but I followed along with the middle-aged men and wiped my face with the thing?! When in Rome  flying first class….
  • Arriving at the gorgeous MGM Grand, and calling my husband, excitedly informing him that the shower was the size of our walk in closet at home. Taking full advantage of the whipped coffee/double espresso machine.
  • Having a makeup and wardrobe artist for the weekend

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  • Sitting in on a production meeting in which I drank wine whilst everyone in the room and on conference call tried to decide what outfit I would wear for the shoot. This also meant everyone, including me, having copies in their hands of uh, me….in different outfits. Okay, that was also a little weird. But a cool kind of weird.
  • Filming at the Fillmore, on the same stage that rock stars perform on.
  • Being doted upon and loved by the U By Kotex peeps, just by being my naturally happy, highly energetic, slightly dorky self.
  • Not being allowed to pay for anything, despite the all too generous per diem that was delivered to me. Oh, and somehow getting paid to have one of the best times of my life. Also that.

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  • Hanging out with the production team after-hours, while also getting a pretty incredible tour of the town. Amongst many other amazing experiences (more about those later)—I partied and mingled at a shop where bicycles and watches were made, slung makeshift slingshots at a sign in an office building, visited a breathtaking island between Detroit and Canada, drank cocktails way past closing time at Sugar House, ate a mix of delicious Mexican and Italian food at El Barzon, bowled at the oldest bowling alley in the US and climbed out of an apartment window to see an absolutely gorgeous view of Detroit. Needless to say, I fell madly and deeply in love with this underdog-rising-up city. And also the folks residing in it.

I really have to go to bed now, but a more thorough part two (with many more pictures!) is soon to come, friends. I wish I could come up with a perfect ending to describe in a few words how very smitten and amazed I am by everything happening to me right now, but I’m about to fall asleep on the keyboard. And I have a flight to catch in less than eight hours. So, er….Goodnight, y’all!

Surreal, But Real. (Demo Diaries, 2013)

I have this really crazy, amazing, unreal story to tell y’all. Except here’s the thing–As unreal as it still seems, it’s all very true. And it’s happening to me. I don’t know where else to start this post but from the beginning. So here goes.

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Back in May, I received a message from a cameraman on the site that I use to schedule photo-shoots for my modeling hobby. He said that he’d love for me to come out and audition for a commercial. I then read over the details and found that they were looking for someone “Outgoing, authentic, confident, charismatic”, “Very likeable”, “Willing to take the camera crew and viewers into her personal life and share information about her life and style.” and, oh yeah, “Someone who other girls would like to be.” Oh, you know. Only a little intimidating. Gulp. But the pay was more than great, the location happened to be right by my university and I was wrapping up the last bit of my finals. I was leaving for a cruise in the next couple of days and was working that afternoon but had a little bit of free time to spare. I thought about it and then I thought, “Why not!?” So I went in for the audition. I walked into a crisp, corporate building, went up an elevator and was escorted by an assistant into a room with bright lights, two dudes and a camera. I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t nervous. But the guys were so friendly and genuinely sweet that I felt myself almost immediately calm down. After a few basic questions, they asked me about my hobbies. If I was to pick a question to be asked in an interview, that would probably be it. I’m all about my hobbies, y’all. So I ramble on (I was still a little nervous and my rambling becomes pretty intense when I’m nervous) about my hobbies, probably glowing a little as I talk about my most recent endeavors as an event blogger. The guys are smiling and I feel giddy with adrenaline. Before I know it, the audition is over. But before I leave, Travis (cameraman who emailed me) told me, “I think you’re our favorite of everyone we’ve interviewed so far. And we really don’t just say that to everyone.” As the assistant walked me out, she smiled as she let me know, “They really haven’t said that to anyone else.” If I wasn’t glowing yet, I know I was by that point.

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I found out in Louisiana, the day I got back from my cruise, that the production team also saw me as a favorite and that I had been cast in the commercial.

A few days later, I was meeting up with part of this team to go over details and sign the contract.

A day after that, I had the U By Kotex film crew begin following me around for a week in my life, filming for an online commercial entitled “Demo Diaries.”  They recorded me as I event blogged (I was trying out a new water sport that week, so it worked out pretty perfectly), hosted my on-campus radio show, went out with a friend, ordered a drink from a coffee shop (Everyone seemed a little stunned as we walked into a small-town coffee shop with a full camera crew. A barista proceeded to ask me if I was famous.), BBQ’d with my hubby, and even as I did laundry and vacuumed (Travis informed me that I didn’t seem real if they were just filming me doing cool things like flyboarding and hosting a radio show. I am very real, I swear it! Thus the everyday life things. Ha.)  

It was an incredible, surreal, insane, whirlwind of a week that I will never ever forget. I worked with an absolutely fabulous crew and cannot even describe how blessed I feel to be given such a crazy, wonderful opportunity. I’m tempted to say it’s a once-in-a-lifetime sort of thing, but apparently that’s not quite the case.

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I was going to wait for a couple more weeks, when the commercial aired, to let y’all know about all of this craziness. But then I got a call from the production team, asking me how I felt about doing a second commercial. Oh, and how would I feel about them flying me to Detroit to do so? Um, what!?…Huh!?…Impromptu vacation!?.. Filming another commercial!?…Yes,yes,yes!!! (That was basically my thought process within the phone conversation.) Long story short, and to condense the shock and excitement that I feel into a short amount of words, I will be flying to Detroit tomorrow night. The pay will be just as much or more than my previous commercial, which is crazy to me because I would probably pay to have an experience like this. Thursday I’ll have a wardrobe fitting. Friday I’ll be filming all day in the new-to-me city of Detroit. My heart started beating faster just typing the previous sentence down. I still can’t quite believe all of this is happening. I’m completely stunned, but in the best way possible. I’m dazed and grateful and thrilled. I’m trying to wrap my head around the fact that as surreal as this all is, it is still real. So, uh, because I’m apparently not dreaming, I still have a bag that I need to finish packing?! Stay tuned for part two, y’all. Detroit, here I come!

Tell me I look like her one more time. I dare you. That’s it, I’m writing a blog.

So this is either a huge conspiracy or everyone in the world reads my blog. I’ve been told FOUR times in the past two days I look like Zooey Deschanel. I wrote a blog about this about a week ago, when I heard the comment about twice a month. Yesterday my boss (who is a stalker….er… I mean fan…of my blog) tells me he watched a movie and that I really do look just like her. Oh, but It gets better. A lady comes in about an hour later, telling me I look just like Zooey, and then claims her husband is friends with her.  I somehow doubt it’s true but she ended up snapping a picture of me and apparently was planning on ‘sending it to her.’ She had already sent it to her husband before she even left Starbucks. (My boss says her and her husband were most likely swingers wanting me to join in on the fun, and my husband says she probably was a lesbian wanting a picture to touch herself to… Sigh. Men.) Ahem. I’m still not finished. Today I worked with a girl helping us out from another store. Not even an hour after meeting her she asks me “Do you know who you remind me of?” I replied without missing a beat and without the tone of a question in my voice at all. “Zooey Deschanel.” I responded so fast it threw her off and  took her a minute to reply. “Yes…Exactly!!!!” I told her I get this all of the time and she continued. “Not just the way you look…You act and talk like her too!” So apparently,guys, I not only resemble this girl…But I actually AM this girl. I always feel ungrateful by my reaction so I made sure to add an apology and tell her I took it as a compliment. “You should.  She’s so cute! I love her!” Fast forward to not even two hours later. I was all Zooey-ed out for the day and about to buy lunch as I conversed with a pretty girl about my age at our check-out counter. We had a nice talk about attempting to cook our significant others food and then I sat down, enjoying my mini scones. She actually walks up to me while I’m eating and says “Sorry to bug you again but…..” I tell her it’s no problem and she continues. “Have you ever seen 500 days of summer with that Zooey girl? Are. You. Serious. She goes on to tell me that I  have her mannerisms and voice and bla-de-bla.  Again, I didn’t want to seem rude after not seeming shocked at all so I thanked her,smiled, and told her I took it as a compliment. “You should. I love her. She’s just so cute!” Um. I DON’T HAVE AN IDENTITY ANYMORE!!!!!! I’m going to start introducing myself as Zooey Deschanel because apparently I look, talk,act, and freaking breathe like her. So… Anyone want an autograph?

I’ve been investigating this.  I’m really curious as to how people look at me. I don’t really see a resemblance and I’m dying to know what other people see in me that they must all say the same thing all the ding-dang time. I went on You-Tube and watched and watched and watched. And,dude, I realized something. I like the way people see me. I like it a lot. It’s funny, both girls and guys alike are smitten with her ( I know this both from the internet and because whenever I’m given the likeohmigodyou’relikezooey comment it is usually followed by “I loooooove her she’s sooooooooooo cute!!!!”)  But she’s not what you’d call hot right off the bat. I’m not what you’d call hot right off the bat. She doesn’t try to be.  & I don’t either. I know I can be sexy and all but that usually just ain’t my cup of tea. That’s not what I go for, unless I’m in the bedroom with my boy. (And then I do a pretty good job…Hee.) My husband didn’t even see the resemblance ’til we watched her in a movie.That’s when he saw it. And this is where the moral of the story (blog) comes in. Personality is key. I know some damn sexy people with shitty personalities that people don’t give a second glance after getting to know. And I know some average looking people who are super attractive to me because their personality is just unbeatable. I won’t tell you looks don’t matter. They do. Honestly,my hubby (who is pretty picky) probably wouldn’t have looked twice at me if I was busted ugly.  But without a personality? I wouldn’t have ever gotten a second date. My signature trademark is not sex appeal but my dorky cutesy-ness. I look like I’m twitching when I try to wink but I do have one cute giggle.  I look like I’m eating myself when I bite my lip but I know how to make people laugh (both at and with me.) My sexy stare comes out as an evil glare but I say silly things that you can’t help but smile about.  My attempt at being a bitch comes out more like a child pouting. I can’t dance worth a shit but when I try it’s definitely a show. I’d pick my husband’s old Hane white tee over a sexy black dress anyday.  I love feeling pretty but I’d much rather make you happy than make you want to do me. I’m not a jaw-dropping diva but more of an approachable oddball.  No one usually describes this Zooey chick as “The sexiest woman alive” but you see “So cute”, and “Adorable” quite a lot.  On top of  all of this, She’s rather awkward. Even the way she moves herself around is very pronouncedly…awkward. A little off. Cute and endearing but quite odd. Very girl next door. Have I ever told you I’m the most awkward girl on the planet? ‘Cuz I am. I have no coordination, I bounce around like a bubbly-rabbit-butterfly-thing, and my clumsiness and air-head-ee-ness is what I’m known for. I am in no way a playboy bunny but more of the sweet and slightly strange girl next door. Truth is,She freaking does act and talk like me…or…. I act and talk like her.  So. This is how people see me, huh? I can deal with that. Through the years and lots of practice, I’ve come to accept and even work with my quirks. I’ve come to like who I am and be confident in myself even with all of my flaws.  I’ve learned that if you can love yourself, it makes it really easy for everyone else to love you too. I’m definitely no Meagan Fox, but my unintentional Zooey Deschanel is sorta-kinda how I make people fall in love with me.  I,Christina Cirotto Boudreaux, am exactly who I’m supposed and want to be. Not perfect. Not super-model-hot. Not a super-sexual-goddess. But an unconventional-awkward-cute-really-weird-but-lovable-girl-next-door. Hell, It works for me. Now if only I could make myself rich and famous that way….

Perfect Only In Her Imperfections.

(Pictures all from this weekend)

The view from my balcony isn’t all that much, but I’ve come to love it. It’s just our parking lot but when the sun is setting and the air is a little chilly, I love opening the door and looking out every once in a while.  It’s not perfect, it definitely isn’t our honeymoon view, but it’s pretty.

(La Tapatia with Fernanda on Friday)

I too, am pretty imperfect. I am confident probably 75 percent of the time and the other 25 I’m a mess. There is usually one day out of seven that I am just absolutely not happy with myself.  I see a pretty girl in the mirror usually, but there’s times I look at myself and want to shave my head from hair day frustration or Taebo out my growing booty I have going on from too many double cheeseburgers. I say things I don’t mean. I have a bladder problem.  I try to seem more put together than I am.  I am the most impatient person alive and if something doesn’t get done on my timing I don’t respond well. I’m attracted to anything shiny or bad for me. I always do things I’m told not to, just to see.  I try my best to handle situations accordingly and count to ten, but when I’m hurt I respond in frustration. I constantly regret the words that come out because of that.

(A couple of my girls at the bar this weekend.)

I have a potty mouth. I make friends super easily, but I don’t make enough time for the people who matter the most. I’m so unorganized that people are scared to drive in my car.  I sometimes want to feel more pain so I can relate more to a song. I’m not healthy. At all. I’m annoyingly prideful, ridiculously hot-headed, and way too stubborn for my own good. I sometimes argue to hear myself talk. I’m selfish. I’m messy.  I cry and yell and scream when I can’t handle what’s going on in my head.  I have too many bad habits. I’m at times too egotistical and at others too hard on myself. I love cheesy movies and Miley Cyrus. I have too much going on and usually don’t get everything I need to done.

(Cool bartender and Miss Vicky)

My husband loves me not because I am the most amazing person alive. I am not a rocket scientist or a super-model or a girl who even knows what it is she wants from this life yet.  I am a 20 year old, confused, slightly psychotic, girl. I laugh a lot but too loudly, I’m lovable because I’m the biggest dork you’ll ever meet,  I like myself because I try even though I fail plenty, I’m happy because I’m too naive to know otherwise. I used to have this mentality that I had to be a certain way for somebody to love me. To have something super special that made me deserving of those three little words. Nope.  He loves me simply because I am me. Because I am a dorky, insane,  usually lovable, sometimes stupid, always ridiculous mess.  Because that’s good enough. Because through all of my shortcomings, I am good enough. Not because of something crazy special I do, not because I am perfect in any way but because I am me. Imperfections and all.

Here is a great example of me being uh, imperfect. Dude lost his tongs. Guess who was playing with them? Told you I can’t resist shiny objects. You can also see my growing booty! I’m actually kind of glad it’s not so small anymore.