Showing posts from 2018

Safety in Mazatlán, Mexico - My personal experience

We’ve only been back in the states for a little over six months, and already our time in Mexico seems so distant. So “foreign”, for lack of a better word. 
When I think back on our decision to spend two winters abroad, in one of the most dangerous states in Mexico, I don’t have any regrets. But now that I’m safe at home in my own country, I can understand why many of our friends and family thought we were a little crazy for moving our family to Sinaloa.
Nine months ago, after returning to Mazatlán from a quick weekend trip to Oregon for a friends wedding, I was mugged at a popular tourist viewpoint in downtown, or what is commonly referred to as Centro to the local folks. 
It wasn’t the mugging necessarily that shattered the sense of safety that I had felt up until that point. I understand that muggings happen in lots of cities around the world, and in hindsight I definitely could have done more to protect myself. But really, it was what happened after my phone was stolen that caused…

House Envy

I use to have house envy. Before I had a big, nice house of my own, I would lust after my friends houses. I thought that if I had a nice home, I would be happy. 
And I was happy...for a while. 
I loved decorating, I loved having space to entertain and throw parties. I loved having room for guests to come stay. A home office. Portrait studio. 
It was perfect... until it wasn’t.
When we downsized in May of 2016, it felt good. It was freeing to get rid of the debt, and the responsibility that inevitably comes with homeownership. I loved blessing other people with stuff, as we got rid of probably at least 75% of what we owned at the time.
It freed us up to have the adventure of a lifetime with our kids. We spent 2 winters in Mazatlán, Mexico - escaped the cold, rainy weather here in Oregon, and gave our kids a chance to experience another culture, and a huge jumpstart in becoming bilingual.
I’ve been back for 6 months now. The kids and I moved back into the 2 bedroom townhouse that I bought in …

The perfect job👌🏼

So back in May, I registered Kenton for pre-school at a 100% Spanish Immersion school in Milwaukie. I knew I wanted him to go to pre-school since he had already been attending school full-time while we were in Mexico, and I definitely wanted him to continue his Spanish. The only thing I didn’t know at the time was how I was going to pay for it. As any of you working parents know, child care is not cheap and add in the fact that it’s a language immersion school, I was looking at a price tag of $900-$1100 per month. Ouch! 💵 
It was a hard commitment to make, given I had no income at the time! But I knew God was going to provide. I didn’t know how exactly, and that was challenging for me, so the summer was definitly a test of my faith. 
I felt like I should be looking for a job, but I also didn’t want to begin the search too early and then get offered a position that I would have to start during the summer, before the kids went back to school. (I secretly wanted to have one last summer va…

March 20th, 2018

(I wrote this a month ago, but I’m just now finally brave enough to share it here. If you comment, please be kind.)
I’ve probably taken 25 flights over the last year or so, and every time up until now I’ve thought that things would be better if the plane I was on just crashed, and I died, and Rob could collect the insurance money and hire a nice nanny to care for the kids and I could just go to heaven and be with Jesus instead of having to go through all the pain and hurt that comes with getting divorced.
I know that this is completely selfish of me, and I would have never done anything to intentionally end my own life and leave my kids without a mother, but I honestly felt that death was the only way out of the situation I was in. I was not strong enough to leave my marriage, but it had become quite apparent that I was not strong enough to stay either. 
Today I took off on an airplane, on one last solo trip before I become a single mom, and for the first time in over a year, I didn’t pr…

Tulum, Mexico 🇲🇽

The skinny road leading in and out of Tulum is busy with tour vans and people on bicycles (without helmets of course). The combination seems dangerous, especially with the way our driver has been driving, but maybe the danger and the thrill of things like that in Mexico is partly what makes it a fun and different place for people to visit.
The ancient ruins of Tulum are an incredible site! I love wandering through thousand year old architecture for some reason. I always have, ever since I spent the summer in Italy during my senior year of college. 

These here in Quintana Roo are the most beautiful I’ve ever seen, probably largely due to the amazing scenic backdrop of the Carribean Sea. 

After a 30 minute educational tour we were set lose to wander on our own for another hour. Here’s the two minute time lapse version if you want a taste of what it’s like here:

This was our guide for the day. He gave the tour in English and French but also spoke fluent Spanish of course, and 2 other languag…

Snorkeling in Cozumel

Today was such an awesome day! I got up early to take the 45 minute ferry ride over to Cozumel for a 4 hour snorkeling tour. 

The snorkeling honestly wasn’t even that great. The first reef we stopped at had some pretty Dori and Nemo fish… that’s what the kids like to call them, but after that it was pretty boring.

Maybe I have watched one too many documentaries, but I really feel like the ocean here is polluted and dying, not at all how it is advertised. Not how it probably use to be 15 or 20 years ago. 
Anyway though… back to my amazing day. Despite the lame snorkeling, the boat ride was exciting and I met a really nice girl from France, who is currently living and working in Northern Mexico teaching French. And she was on the tour with two nice young Mexican gentleman, brothers on vacation together from Monterrey, that she had just met that morning. 

After the tour was over the four of us spent the afternoon together. We walked around Cozumel, stopped for drinks and shrimp tacos, and le…

Day 3 in Playa Del Carmen... Starbucks again

Day 3 in Playa and I’m back at Starbucks. Not the same one, and I actually set out specifically not to go to Starbucks, yet here I’ve ended up again. 

I wandered down the busy 5th Avenue district for quite sometime, trying to find the perfect restaurant to stop at, but the thing is, even though I’m craving Mexican food, the thought of having a Mexican man wait on me right now is not appealing. 
More on that topic later, it might warrant its own post. For now, let me tell you about the perfect Starbucks. It’s right on the corner of 5th Ave and Calle 10 Nte.

(Is it just me or is it a little confusing that there is 10 Avenida Nte and a Calle 10 Nte that intersect)
I have a great view of the Sur Steak House across the street, with their giant awesome outdoor bar and floor to ceiling wall of lighted liquor bottles. 

I can people watch from the comforts of my chair, with mellow Starbucks music playing in the background, air conditioning, and no worries of being harassed by an overly zealous Mexi…


Starbucks is so much more than just a place to get a good cup of coffee. They have created a place where people can feel at home all over the world.

You see, traveling is great. I’ll be the first to say how much I love visiting new places, and while I like to “go where the locals go” sometimes, other times I just want to relax in the comfort of something I know, something that is familiar. 
I think that a lot of times we tend to look down on businesses that have “gone global.” I know I personally use to hate seeing McDonalds all over the world, because I associated them with unhealthy food. 
It might be hard to argue that nutritionally speaking Starbucks is any better than McDonalds, but again, I don’t think it’s the product that they are selling necessarily that makes them appealing... its the feeling you get when you go there. 
Everything is familiar, you can order the same drinks you order at home and be pretty confident that it will taste the same, the staff is friendly and polite …