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A Thursday in the Life of Melissa Valdez

Melissa grew up in Bedford then moved to San Francisco and Tampa before returning to North Texas two years ago. A former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, she is a special events sales manager at AT&T Stadium. Melissa and her husband Shawn, a producer for ESPN, live in Grapevine with their 6-year-old son, Jake.

2:36AM Like clockwork, Jake comes into my room. “Mommy, I missed you. Will you lay with me?” I think to myself, You will miss the days Jake misses you in the middle of the night 2–5 times. He’s my baby boy. I’m cherishing every snuggle. Plus, my stomach is growling like crazy, and I know if I don’t eat something, I won’t go back to sleep. I grab raw almonds on my way to Jake’s room. 

4:55AM I wake up in a panic and have no idea where I am. Jake’s room. Phew. I walk back to our room.

4:56AM My fluffy princess cat, Piper, jumps next to me on the bed, meows and taps my shoulder to pet her. Am I on Candid Camera?

5:08AM He’s baaack. “Mommy, I missed you. I have a headache.” Jake crawls into the bed. He knows this is allowed since the Batman clock has a 5, 6 or 7 (and not as the last number — he tried to pull that a few times). I wonder if I should sleep or go to yoga. Biggio, our Russian Blue, starts crying for food so I shut the bedroom door.

5:18AM Who am I kidding? I’m wide awake. Yoga it is. I frantically put on my yoga items in the dark, feed the cats and roll out.

5:45AM Hot flow yoga — the one hour in my day for me, and just me. No cellphone, email, interruptions, tug of war or anything else. Just me on my mat sweating profusely and building strength. So cleansing!

6:45AM Throw my PJs back on, drive home and crawl back into bed for morning snuggles with my boys. 

7:18AM Shoot, I fell asleep! In Tasmanian devil-like fashion, I zoom around the house to shower, dress and gather my belongings. 

7:58AM I give a kiss to Shawn and remember he’s leaving today. After nearly 10 years together and nonstop work travel for him, you would think I would be used to it. We give a big hug and say I love you. I always think those words are important, trip or otherwise, because … you know. Then I ask him where he’s going. After awhile, you can’t keep up.

8AM One last giant hug from my nugget, and I’m out the door.

8:33AM I pull up to AT&T Stadium and finish putting on mascara and lipstick.

8:42AM Start a proposal after a fantastic phone call with a potential client yesterday. Need to make this one dazzle.

10AM Proposal done! I send it off with fabulous photos and fingers crossed.

12PM Time for boot camp. Three days a week, H2T Fitness comes out to the stadium for a 30-minute boot camp workout. Today is cardio-core conditioning — my frenemy. I emerge from the changing area like Superman out of the phone booth. What are these brown stains in my shirt? How did that happen when these gym clothes have been in my bag for three days (I think)? I pray that it’s chocolate or mud.

12:11PM Side plank, bicycle crunch, side plank, crunches. This won’t be so bad…

12:15PM “Melissa, grab two 25-pound kettle bells and a riser.” Perhaps I spoke too soon.

1PM Sweaty and ponytailed, I return to my desk for my working lunch. I receive an urgent email from a client wanting to make payment for her event. Who actually wants to make payments? My client does, and I am grateful for it.  

1:10PM Receive an email from a group who had a stadium site visit with me for an event in January. They have decided they want to try and make it work. Hallelujah! When does she need the proposal? By Monday, of course. I will work on this at home.

3:45PM Jake is hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa. When I call to talk to him, Jake says he’s spending the night there, then says, “How are you doing, Mommy?” My heart melts and I want to beg him to come home with me, but maybe I can get some things done — like a hair appointment.

5PM Jake changes his mind and decides he misses Mommy after all and wants to come home. Can y’all meet me at the salon?

5:49PM Michael (the stylist) and I talk color and cut. I want to go shorter, keep the color and cover the “wisdom,” as Michael says. 

7:29PM I meet my dad with Jake in the parking lot. Jake shows me his new toy. It’s a creepy-looking character from the Power Rangers Super Mega Morphin’ Dino Charger collection … or something to that effect.

8:01PM We walk in the door. I tell Jake he has to get in the bath immediately. Fortunately, he has already eaten dinner at Grandpa’s house. I prep the bath and he grabs 37 toys and gets in. 

8:08PM I grab Jake’s PJs, set up his iPad (my old one), feed the cats, open the mail, debate with Jake on his proper school attire for tomorrow and laugh when he says, “What are my options?” Then I take his lunch order for tomorrow: chicken nuggets, Goldfish, apples and Star Wars Gogurt.  

8:17PM Jake is finally lying down. We play three games of Tsum Tsum Stackables on his iPad as a team. It’s our latest way to bond.
9PM Jake is asleep in bed. Dinner — finally! Leftover Italian sausage and rice. It’s delicious. 

10:05PM I gather items for Jake’s school party next week, clean the litter box, go through my skin care routine and get sucked in to the last five minutes of Chip and Joanna Gaines’ show. I text Shawn, begging him to move to Waco so they can redo a house for us. 

12AM After pointless activity, Internet browsing and a DVR recording of a show featuring Misty Copeland, I know I am going to regret this tomorrow. Goodnight, moon. Goodnight, stars.