Teaching those little humans

You know those moments when you realize you are responsible for teaching your kiddo major life lessons and you fear you are failing miserably? The moment when you look at your child and all you can think is, Dear God, help us? 

I bought Solomon a few shirts at a second hand store recently. They were in good condition, looked comfy and "cool." I was excited to give him his little surprise, just-because gift. 

His reaction appalled me.  

"That's not new. I don't like those."  

Long story short, I came to the realization that my child had never experienced wearing a hand-me-down. While living in Mexico, we were not close to family or friends whom would potentially share used clothing with us.  He only has one older male cousin, but the age gap is much too large.  

I remember last year at his school in Guadalajara they had a "green" day when all the children were supposed to wear a hand-me-down. Shoot.  

But, of course, time just goes on and we forget about these things.  Until my son rejects a gift I bring him because it is not NEW.  We had a conversation about how lots of kids never have new clothes, and how when something is a gift we accept it and we are thankful.  But mostly I just fumbled over my words in frustration while inside I seethed with anger. Mainly anger at myself for somehow letting it come to this point. 

Since this day, we have had two not pretty outbursts related to wearing these shirts. Seriously. The other day, the most recent, I lost my mind. I was boiling mad inside that I had somehow allowed my child to become a spoiled brat. It was shame that I felt, but instead I directed my anger at my six year old. I knew in my heart it really is not his fault. But, I simply reacted. And then instantly I felt awful. 

I guess I don't have the answers for how to instill gratitude and simplicity in our children. Or whatever else it is we are missing over here at our house. I know that it's not by flipping out like I did. (I'm sorry Solomon.) Rainer and I went to the school to have lunch with him that afternoon because all I could think about was hugging him and saying I'm sorry... I'm broken... We all are. 

At work that night I asked my colleague for a family my boys could buy Christmas presents for. She gave me a list of four little girls, and you better believe my boys were walking the bright pink aisles with me, picking out dress up heels and Dora puzzles. Did it hit home for them? I don't really know yet. But, it's a start.  


week one.

I have completed over a week on Whole30. It has been harder than I thought in some ways, and easier in others. For instance, breakfast cravings surprised me by being probably the toughest time of day. I just want to wake up and not have to think so much about what the heck I can eat. I just want yogurt with granola or cereal or toast or a simple English muffin!! And COFFEE with WHITE STUFF that actually tastes good.

So that's been a bit of a struggle.  Meat, veggies, or eggs are not my favorite thing in the morning, let me just say. A favorite breakfast has been homemade applesauce, fresh or frozen fruit topped with walnuts, pecans and shredded coconut. I have a feeling that's going to get old in a few days, so any ideas are welcome.

Sugar cravings, on the other hand, haven't been nearly as difficult as I expected them to be, as I have a major sweet tooth. I've managed the urges with lots of fruit, blended up mangoes or bananas and raisins from time to time. 

I'm only a 1/3 of the way through, so I realize I need to give it more time, but I haven't noticed any significant improvements or benefits... Yet. Other than feeling super proud at the checkout line of how healthy all my groceries are. 

I'm eagerly awaiting the bursts of energy and glowing skin...

To be continued...


Turkey and detox

What a lovely week we have had! The boys and Mr. P were off the whole week for thanksgiving break. We enjoyed some time to ourselves while our sitter stepped in. Wednesday - Sunday we were lucky enough to host our loved ones. My niece and my parents feasted with us, and my sister and brother-in-law joined for Friday. We ate a ton, went running everyday, played games and watched comedy. It was good. 

Yesterday we drove the boys up to Rowena Crest viewpoint and saw this: 



That's an iPhone shot with no edit. It is really that beautiful. It also happened to be 26*F so we found these:



And these:


and it was gorgeous and freezing and a simple, but wonderful memory. 


I also got my wish of a Christmas tree on Saturday. I bought the first one I saw...And it's perfect. 


Last night in bed I asked the boys what their favorite part of the week was. Here are some responses:

solomon- the turkey!! 

rainer- the Christmas lights! 

solomon- the Christmas tree! 

rainer- playing the robot game! 

solomon- reading books with Nonna

rainer- playing play dough and making stuff!

We didn't go anywhere or do anything, really, but they could care less. It was a full week with people who love them.  


This awful shot may have been the best one we got! 

This awful shot may have been the best one we got! 

And, lastly, because you are probably wondering why the word "detox" is in the title....Yes, I'm crazy and have decided to do a 30 day cleanse (Known as the "Whole30" program) for the month of December. For 30 days I am only eating whole, clean food -- unprocessed, no alcohol, no dairy, no grains, no legumes, no soy, and no added sugars or sweeteners. Bless my sister for doing this with me. 

My grocery store haul from yesterday: 



And my breakfast today:



I've weighed in, taken the before photos and measurements... So here goes something that will hopefully break my bad eating habits and energize me for the holidays!! 

We awoke to a dusting of snow this morning and my beautiful white view is (sorta) making up for my black coffee. Sigh.  

Happy Monday to all, and here we go, December!! 


Musings from a newly 33 year old.

I turned 33 on Sunday. I think 33 might be the best life has to offer. 

It was a beautiful snowy day spent with people I love, eating delicious food and dessert (and coffee), getting kisses and gifts from my boys (boxed up toys from their room). Perfection. 


I treated myself to new snow boots, because that is my reality now. We went running in 18 degree weather and I lived! 



I'm one of the extremely lucky ones. A beautiful home, healthy body and mind, and a family to love and hold.

This will be our first holiday season spent with extended family in 8 years. I plan to relax and take it all in. There will be no stressing out or worrying or over thinking. Just calm.  

Im feeling really thankful these days; its a good thing.  



Baby it's cold outside!!!

My phone awoke me at 5:30am with a message from the school district about closure due to inclement weather. Of course, like a giddy child I couldn't go back to sleep. I laid still, listening to the boys' breathing, trying not to let my mind wander to stressful thoughts like utility bills and icy roads and tax paperwork. Focus, Grace, focus. Soft, fluffy, white SNOWWWW.  

I'm currently sitting at our cozy kitchen table looking outside the window at the snow falling down heavily. I can hear the boys chatting it up as they help daddy rake and bag up the last of the leaves. The neighbor kids just ran out and they are all in the middle of our street making snow angels. Mr. P and I daydreamed about this day for so long. And, now, there they are... my little Mexican boys wearing four layers of clothing, laying in the snow in the middle of our quiet street. 

Happy sighs. 

The first snow angel. 

The first snow angel. 

try to think like a six year old.

I'm feeling a little bit guilty about my brief weather rant yesterday. (first world problems!) I told myself I would not become a grumpy northwesterner. I will embrace the seasons! I will buy thicker socks! I will turn the heat up! I will make soup!  

Despite my wimpiness, I must say I'm proud of the fact I'm still walking Solomon to school. At 7:30am. In the dark. Today Solomon let out a big sigh and proclaimed, "I just love this place!"

"What place, buddy?"

"Henderson Road!" 

This kid asks for nothing else but to play outside after school and watch movies on the weekends. If only I were that easy to please.

Last night I made a yummy dinner of cheesy pesto tortellini and garlic sweet potatoes. Solomon exclaims, "I just never knew the food here would be this good! I mean, I knew it would be good, but not this good!"

"The food where, Solo?"

"The food in Oregon!"

I really can't think of much else that warms a mothers heart more than to see her kids enjoying healthy food. And while verbally professing their love for it? Be still my heart!

For the past month or so we've been giving marbles for good behavior, good listening, sharing, using Spanish, cleaning up, etc. The boys share a small jar and each time I see one of them doing desirable behavior, I drop a marble in their jar. When the jar is full, I told them they would get a surprise. Of course, I have no real idea of what that could be, but I thought maybe something special like a trip to the children's museum or movie theater.

Last night while picking out books to read for bedtime, Solo says, "I think I know what I want to buy when the jar is full of marbles."

"Oh really? But, actually I was thinking we could do a fun trip somewhere special we've never been before!"

"No, I would rather get a new toy! {lost in thought} No, actually, I know! I want to get a CHAPTER BOOK!"

{me, stuttering from disbelief} "Ok... yeah... of course...ANY CHAPTER BOOK YOU WANT!!"

Kids, man. They are awesome. The best, most fun and exciting thing ever for this six-year-old is me timing him with a stopwatch as he rides laps around our block. He's perfectly content to create "jumps" out of sticks, and eagerly await the mail truck each afternoon. His idea of the perfect evening is eating pasta with a scoop of ice cream for dessert. Then, an intense game of chase around the living room furniture with daddy.

At dinner the other day...

Mr. P: "So, what's the best part of life for you right now?"

Solo: "Playing chase with you!"

I'm not sure when or why exactly we must grow out of this beautiful stage of simplicity and gratitude and WOW EVERYTHING IS AWESOME! I'm so grateful for my living, breathing, daily reminder that life really can be 1,2,3 and A,B,C. It's me with my faulty expectations and over-thinking tendencies that messes things up. 



While living in Mexico I often fantasized about fall. I would imagine the vibrant red, orange and yellow colored leaves, pumpkin spiced lattes and the abundance of candy corn and apple cider wherever you turn. 

Let me just tell you, though I am enjoying aspects of this long awaited season of boots, sweaters and scarves, it is a bit overrated. The cloudy skies are putting me to sleep at about 8:30 every night, and my running shoes are taking a beating tromping through wet piles of leafy mush. And perhaps the ultimate letdown? My first (and only) pumpkin spiced latte of the season which set me back $4.65. I mean, REALLY?! I don't even want to think about how many street tacos that could have bought me. 

Alas, onward I will trudge. I will vacuum up tiny golden leaves from my entryway each night and sip on locally pressed apple cider curled up in fleece jammies on the couch, trying not to think about my Mexican buddies frolicking in the park in their flip flops. I will embrace the cold wetness, dangit, like a true Oregon girl should,  running outside in the rain, only using an umbrella in torrential downpours, and drinking a second latte each chilly afternoon. 

Vitamin D drops, anyone? Anyone? 


Photo update

I want to have words this morning, but I don't. I sit here and the screen remains white and my fingers lifeless.

So, pictures instead. Enjoy. 



Mr P and I have been running together once a week in Post Canyon. It's glorious! 

Mr P and I have been running together once a week in Post Canyon. It's glorious! 

one of many weekend morning sunrises on a run

one of many weekend morning sunrises on a run

pumpkin patch was a success! 

pumpkin patch was a success! 

alone time on a 10 miler

alone time on a 10 miler

our neighbor and Solomon contemplating life...

our neighbor and Solomon contemplating life...




boogers and babies

My sweet, dear, precious lifelong friend had her baby yesterday. 

Ohmygosh he's soooo cute. Even in the wrinkly, sort of creepy newborn squishy-ness, he's actually cute.  

Something about seeing someone you love's fresh newborn makes you stop a minute and slow down all the crazy daily routines of life stuff and actually be still. There's something sacred about life so fresh from God, truly a miracle. 

The weirdest thing, I texted her, is driving home from the hospital. I remember thinking that I wasn't sure if they should actually trust me with this human being. (of course it was Mexico, and we were driving away with him laying in my lap, but that's beside the point, or..?)

Remember, you know him better than anyone else on earth, I wrote.

I read her sweet words and looked at that sweet face one last time on my phone, before setting it down for my present reality... Which, happened to be dishes and dinner clean up and two boys to put to bed by myself.  

The first time I held Rainer Marco, I felt so complete. Then, a rush of gratitude that he was here with us. And somehow he has grown at lightening speed into a chatterbox who gives me kisses unprompted at bedtime and loves to play jokes on people like today when he served me a cup of water - complete with plastic straw - filled with rocks from our yard. Man, that glint in his eye. 

Remembering Solomon as a baby is a bit more blurry. I wish I wasn't such a basketcase. I do remember vividly wrapping him in a blanket and swinging him in the hammock until he fell fast asleep, dressing him up in polo shirts for a stroll in the park, and dancing with him in our tiny rooftop apartment. Tonight, as the clock crept closer to 8:00pm and my freedom was within my grasp, I started to feel annoyed at his request for water, another book, the infamous "But I can't get comfy!!"  And, then, the final straw.

"Mommy I have a booger."

"Then get up and throw it in the trash."

"But, I don't waaaant toooooo."

"Neither do I, and it's your booger, AND you have two legs. So go throw it away."


......me lost in my own thoughts of warm sleeping newborns and my mint ice cream sandwich hiding in the freezer.....

.....more silence.....

"Solomon? What did you do with your booger?"

"I put it back in my nose."

Then, I just laughed. Such a release of built up stress and fatigue. I couldn't stop laughing.

Kids, man.  First you are sucking out those boogers so the little guys can breathe, and then they are giving them to you like long lost golden treasures, and I imagine I'll soon find them decorating walls and carpet throughout this lovely house.

Arriba los boogers!! 

On being homesick and making a home and all that in between stuff.

I wonder when I'll go into autopilot on I-84 and without thinking ease right at exit 62. Or when my pen will stop hesitating at the zip code line on forms as I repeat it in my mind.  Where do I live, again? I wonder when I'll stop aching at the thought of what we left behind. The ache doesn't mean what we have now isn't beautiful and amazing and breathtaking. It just means what we left behind was also beautiful and amazing and breathtaking...in completely different ways.

I stopped at the mailbox today to chat with my neighbor. She's the sweetest lady, in her mid-forties, beautiful and delicate, kind and sincere.  I commented on the large stack of mail she was holding onto, and she replied that most of it is her mom's mail which is forwarded to her now. A couple weeks back she had shared briefly that her mom passed away last spring, but I didn't know why or how. 

There are days when I'm ok and I go about my day, and then there are moments like right now when I see her magazines and I fall apart. 

Her eyes welled with tears, and she began to weep. 

If you would have told me ten years ago that I would lose my parents in ten years, I would have laughed at you. No way. No way. But, you just don't know. My mom was the healthiest person... stage 4 pancreatic cancer... 3 months, and she was gone. And it makes no sense.

Magically, at that moment, it started to rain. Barely more than sprinkles, and almost as if it was coming down sideways with the wind. The tiny yellow leaves that cover our street swirled up into the air like confetti. Both she and I stopped our conversation to look up into the sky, searching for the cloud to blame. But, the sky was blue and the sun shining, and those droplets kept falling like miniature diamonds. 

Maybe it's my mom, sending her own tears down from heaven.  She laughed and began the string of apologies for crying and talking and taking my time. 

I love to know people and their stories. I am continually fascinated by the depth of human experience that lies within each of us, hidden behind our normalcy. I love the art of revealing the intricate layers that strangers gradually gift us as we become friends. 

It's hard starting over in so many ways. But, then, gifts like the conversation at the mailbox remind me that it's also a chance for new stories to be written and for old stories to told.


sometimes I just want to eat a ripe mango and go to the park with my friends and then lay in the grass in our itty bitty back yard and watch the palm trees.


Look! The view from a run...


It's breathtaking here. 


I went to visit a 26 year old brand new mommy yesterday. She is Vietnamese with only some broken English. I brought her a packet of resources and brochures, a tiny pastel yellow sleeper and a pink floral swaddle blanket for her precious bundle. 

With the help of my Google Translate app and creative gesturing, I was able to complete the screening process for our program and even convey complex questions surrounding topics like depression, support systems, and financial difficulty. 

She's been here just a year now, she explained kneeling next to me with her two month old baby cradled sleeping in her arms. There we were in her quiet empty house, just the two of us, awkward with our cultural differences, but not so different, really. 

I didn't try to explain myself, but I hoped that in my eyes she could see that I've been in her shoes, I've been that foreigner with that new babe, somehow making it work day by day. I've been overlooked because interacting with people different than us takes effort, it takes time and creativity. I wanted her to know that she was important, and that she was worth it, to me. I left her with my phone number, the print outs I translated to Vietnamese online, and my most genuine smile. She stood in her doorway and watched as I drove away.

So, we moved.

We've been living in our new house for 11 days now, and I am finally feeling like my head isn't spinning. There is still a list of to-dos (which will likely never end, right?), but we have curtains up and our closets organized and I just ordered the boys' Halloween costumes, so I'm basically superwoman. . . or something.

I'm learning the ins and outs of living productively here in the US of A. Important things like depositing checks with your iPhone and how to properly recycle so that the truck actually empties your bins. Going to the grocery store still feels weird, as I awkwardly try to navigate the aisles of English labels and endless choices, but I haven't had another near-meltdown, so we're good. We are still bleeding money, but that's part of starting over, and it's definitely bittersweet. I feel lucky and blessed to hang pictures on our new walls and drink water from our faucet. Solomon stands on the stool in his bathroom, cupping the water in his hands and slurping it over and over.

"Look what trick I can do, daddy!" {overheard from the other room.} "Oh wow, Solomon, that's like how the Native Americans used to drink water from the river!"

It's the little things. 

My heart swells as I watch my boys play on the sidewalk in front of our house, running barefoot through the grass and to the house next door to play with the neighbors' Chiweenie. (Yes, that's a thing.) This morning Solomon tagged along on his bike for my morning run, and in less than a mile we were on a trail, alongside a creek, shaded by huge beautiful trees, Mt. Hood in the distance. The short stretch of actual road we ran on was glorious as the cars MOVED INTO THE OTHER LANE to pass around us.  I still can't believe it, sometimes. 

The pear, apple, peach, and cherry orchards fill the air with the sweet smell of nourishment, of life, of new beginnings. The views of Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood are breathtaking. I'm sure a time will come when I'll be too rushed to take it in, too lost in my own worries and concerns to appreciate its beauty. I hope not. 

I miss the fruit truck in Mexico. I even miss the noise, sometimes. I miss my friends and my kids' friends, and I miss our nanny. I miss the mangoes.  I miss walking to the plaza and watching the night come alive. 

I do have peace in knowing that we made the right decision, at the right time, for our family. In every change there are things you give up, and there are moments you will wonder if what you gained outweighs what you gave up. The doubt may always be there, but you have to somehow find a way to trust yourself, and move forward. 

You know what surprised me the most in all of this crazy madness? 

I never knew how many things I could feel, so deeply, and all at once. 


You're Six.

Solomon, today you're six. 


Your nose has a splattering of dark freckles, much browner than I remembered them to be just yesterday. Your right front tooth is chipped, and I don't even know how it happened. Was it from something you ate? A bike fall? A fight with your brother? All too soon that broken tooth will be a foggy memory. 

Your eyelashes seem thicker today, enveloping your chocolate eyes like a fur coat. Your arms are lankier, longer, tanner. I've loved the hugs you've given lately; spontaneously wrapped around me, warm breath in my face and your goofy smile, too wide for your face. You probably feel vulnerable, like we all do with these changes before us and within us, needing a little bit tighter, a little bit more frequent embraces.


Your latest {re-kindled} love is bike-riding. You ask to go to the bike track or the dirt trail by Nonna's house or the skate park, or simply ride old fashioned loops around the neighborhood from the moment you swallow your last spoonful of Cheerios. It doesn't matter if it's 90* outside, you cannot be persuaded to leave your bike shorts - complete with shammy - or your Pearl Izumi gloves behind. This love is real, yo. 

My favorite thing about you right now is your thirst for knowledge and your innocent curiosity. Why do bikes have gears? What is a gear? What is it for? 

Are blueberries healthy? Are tacos healthy? Is everything that grows healthy to eat?

Some observations you've made since we moved back to Oregon... The mailboxes. At first, you were fascinated by all of the shapes and sizes and frequency of mailboxes. They were a mystery to you, and for some reason delightful. Another is the houses, and how they are not behind walls or gates. "Everyone lives in a coto here!"  You miss the corner "tiny store" in Mexico, and let's just say you ate your weight in mangoes when my sister bought some at Costco the other day. 

I think you are really looking forward to our new home, and having routine and some semblance of normalcy. I know that the idea of a new school is still a bit too much to wrap your mind around, so we are still taking it slow. There's time.

You surprise me in so many small and wonderful ways. This morning the doorbell rang, and you bounced up to answer it; for a few split seconds abandoning timidity and just being "you." I smiled. You often feel compassionate toward Rainer and his very extreme emotional outbursts, and instead of resenting him, you seek ways to make him happy. Truthfully, you are often the only one who can snap him out of his tantrums, and it makes you feel important.  Entirely on your own, you decided to give Rainer nearly half of your presents from your birthday party. You love making people happy. 


Today I asked what you wanted to be when you grow up. Instead of the usual answer of "Ninja" or "Superhero," you thought for a good 10 seconds and then responded assuredly, "A Planter."

"A planter? You mean, like, a Gardener?" I asked.

"Yeah. I want to grow things."

I love you in all of the silly ways, the tickles and giggles at surprise bodily sounds.  I love you in all of the inexplicable tears, the heartaches and disappointments and rubbing tired eyes.  I love you in the drawings and beautifully formed letters, and in the spaceships built with purpose and care.  I love you in the fears, the ones that make the least sense are the scariest of all.  I love you in the hot sun;  jump after jump, kick after kick, throw after throw, ride after ride.  I love you in the enduring drive to learn and grow and just BE. 

"Solomon, don't ever grow up! Promise me! Stay five forever."

::giggles:: "Oh yeah, I am! I'm gonna grow up!" ::giggles:: 

Today, you're six. 


10 sleeps.

10 more sleeps until we get the keys to our home! OUR HOME. That's going to feel so good.

The high school soccer field = free private water park! No swim suit, no problem!

The high school soccer field = free private water park! No swim suit, no problem!

these boys still don't understand car seat safety by U.S. standards...

these boys still don't understand car seat safety by U.S. standards...

We have enjoyed our time bouncing between our families' homes, sleeping on floors and in guest rooms, living schedule-less for the most part. We've woken up whenever the boys wake up and we do whatever they feel like doing.  There has been lots of bike riding and skateboarding and ice cream and free cookies at the grocery store.


There has been plenty of shopping, stocking up on new home necessities, and lots of beer sampling and trampoline jumping and walks to the corner store.  I have enjoyed some long bike rides with my sister, and running everyday in new neighborhoods, wherever we happen to be. The digging-through-boxes-every-time-I-need-to-find-something part hasn't been my favorite, however.  It will be so nice to unpack and put things in drawers and shelves and closets.  To make a home for our little treasures. 

Off-roading with Grandpa!

Off-roading with Grandpa!

I'm so excited to explore Hood River with the boys, discovering the parks and trails and creeks. Google tells me there's an Aquatic center and BMX track, skate park and waterfront playground. There will be swimming and paddle boarding and creek walking.  Endless running trails and cycling loops and orchards longing to be explored. 


The adventure (still) awaits!

My track workout buddy... (losing his shorts!)

My track workout buddy... (losing his shorts!)


Panicky Pickles

The other day Mr. P and I snuck away for a few hours to tackle some shopping to-dos. Target beckoned. We complied. 

I needed to find a birthday gift for Solomon, some birthday party items and miscellaneous groceries for a BBQ. 

After a comprehensive walk-through of the entire store (not my wisest moment), I was starting to feel overwhelmed, overstimulated, over hungry and over tired. 

But pickles. I needed pickles. After 8 years of pickle deprivation, you cannot have your burger pickle-less. You just can't. So, despite my urge at this point to run to a dark, quiet corner and hide from the world, I ventured back into the grocery section for the final item on my list.  

Let me just say; I don't recommend the pickle aisle if you are still freshly re-entering the US.  

Sweet relish in a squeeze bottle. Sweet relish in a jar. Dill relish. Spicy dill relish. Mini pickles. Jumbo pickles. Sliced pickles, long ways. Sliced pickles, the other way. Diced pickles. Bread and butter pickles. Sweet pickles. 

I. Can't. Even. 

Ensue: mini breakdown in the Target pickle aisle.  

Send tacos.  


Old friends

Some "old" friends from Guadalajara visited this week. Darius was Solomon's first best friend. Last year we spent a weekend together in Vegas over the fourth, and this year they came to Portland. It was awesome watching the boys pick up where they left off a year ago like it was no big thing. 



First things first, blueberry picking... The perfect introduction to the beautiful Pacific Northwest! 



It was fun to see our home through the eyes of someone from Vegas, desert born and raised. The trees took on a new depth of beauty, and the mountains and rivers and waterfalls did not disappoint. 

Next stop: Silver Falls



And you can't visit Portland without experiencing the cycling scene...

we got to watch Uncle Johnny race a criterium, too! The boys' eyes were like saucers!! 



Lastly, some 4th of July classics! 


Have a wonderful week!!!



After three weeks apart, daddy is home. It feels right. I'm still in denial that we won't be going back to Mexico when summer ends, but luckily we will have plenty to distract us. 

At the moment, life is piles of clothes in hampers and boxes filled with old photo albums. It's laying our heads down, exhausted at 9:00 pm, on unfamiliar pillows in cool and quiet bedrooms. It's a whole lot of unknowns still, and yet, a whole lot of knowns. We are blessed to have our families who can care for us during this transition. I knew it wouldn't be easy, and it's not... but it's right. It does feel right.  

My heart is still hesitant to fully let down and settle in. I feel in between an old life and a new life, and I am uncertain of where my loyalties lie. 

I bought a car on Wednesday. It was the strangest thing to hand the guy a personal check for my down payment, a piece of paper really, and drive off in this beautiful, foreign machine. It felt weird to be so trusted. I wanted to show them my passport and visa and birth certificate and notarized copies of my drivers license and my bank deposit receipt with a stamp, seal and signature. But, no. A personal check will do. 

I'm not in Mexico anymore.  

And I've already completely freaked out my mom and my sister with my driving. And I swear I'm trying really hard to be normal.  

This is home again.  

((Some pictures of the last couple weeks))


Picking strawberries


Hiking with aunt juli


Taking clothes off (as usual) at the skate park


Helping uncle john wash his bike 


Our new car!!



Slack line fun 


World Cup sticker madness brought by daddy!


Riding bikes for dayzzzz


Views from my run