Family

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The Best Family Car Mitsubishi Space Wagon

Dear Lord, Not the Space Wagon!

Last weekend as we drove, almost literally, through the ocean on our way to the secluded Bahia de las Águilas, it reminded me of why The Space Wagon is the best family car… ever. Of all the Evers. With us since our first month in DR, the Space Wagon has been what anyone would want out of a good friend: dependable and comfortable with the right amount of quirks and whistles. Used already when we found her, she had that feeling of a pair of familiar,...

Coffee Talks Rafa

Coffee Talks: The Only Thing That Matters When Moving with Kids

During these last few months of searching for our next move abroad, we talked about it endlessly with everyone. Everyone except for our kids. I wasn’t scared to tell them; I just didn’t have anything to tell them and “I don’t know where we’re going” didn’t seem like a solid answer for their inevitable followup question. Last week, after Husband accepted the job offer in Guadalajara, it was time to talk and here’s what I learned from that talk: when...

handmade-baby-quilt-by-nana

Patching Generations: A Handmade Baby Quilt | The Cuba Libre Series

Some years back, Nana, my Cuban tia/prima* (aunt/cousin), helped make a project a reality. I had collected some of Rafa’s baby clothes that I just didn’t have the heart to part with and Nana cut out, designed, laid out, and sewed a handmade baby quilt special for Rafa and very personal for me. When we did our first round of packing in preparation for our move from DR, it was the first thing I packed. That quilt will travel the world with...

thanksgiving-cabarete-beach

SnapShots: An Expat Thanksgiving at Cabarete Beach

Talk to most expats and what they’ll tell you they miss most when living abroad are the special moments they miss back home; holidays probably being the biggest and hardest. With holidays come attached nostalgia, memories, and traditions and moving away from that could be impossibly hard but our community at CMS and our Annual Thanksgiving at Cabarete Beach hasn’t been your typical expat holiday. It has all the feels of a family dinner with with none of the mess or...

going trick or treating Dominican Republic

Going Trick or Treating: An American Tradition with a Caribbean Twist

When I was a kid, in our suburban New Jersey neighborhood – which could have been any suburb in the States – going trick or treating was everything. We ran home from school to switch our book bags for empty pumpkin buckets and began our evening’s work because make no mistake, this was a job. Our costumes were well thought out and practical; they had to withstand the dropping temperatures of the evening. There was no time to return home for...

Halloween Candy Pails

The Sweet Tradition of Small Things: A Tale of Halloween Candy Pails

I have very visceral memories of running around on Halloween in my cookie-cutter, suburban neighborhood of New Jersey with my sister like 2 mad escapees. For a long time, we had matching costumes and for probably even longer we had matching Halloween candy pails. Thanks to our parents who usually – and with no intention – went bigger than any parent I knew, while everyone else was collecting candy in a normal bucket or pillow case, sis and I were sporting around the Cadillac of...

Alone at Home During the Storm

Alone at Home During the Storm: A Lesson in My Marriage

I’ve been alone at home with Matthew – the hurricane that is – and school has been cancelled in the Dominican Republic for four days. Normally, it would be a welcome break. Normally, Husband would be home. But on Sunday, hours before we received notice of the first school cancelling, Husband boarded a plane for Mexico. Calm down, it sounds much more scandalous than it really is. He’s in Mexico on a work trip, a conference that happens yearly and...

to the sibling that stayed behind

Coffee Talks: Comforting Words for the Sibling Who Stays Behind

A new phase began in our lives: our first child went off to school. But my concern was less for the one that went and more for the sibling that stayed behind. I’m a mostly rational adult that knows how to deal with uncomfortable feelings, and my emotional state was a mixed bag of sadness, uncertainty, and excitement. So what about our son, the younger brother and the sibling that stayed behind? I could only imagine his confusion. We’ve been fortunate to live abroad for the...

Multi-Generation Family Vacation

SnapShots: A Multi-Generation Family Vacation

We often plan for family vacations but what about a multi-generation family vacation – a family vacation with not just your nuclear family but also your parents or in-laws? No. I’m not drunk or crazy talking. I’m serious. I know, I know. Planning a multi-generation family vacation could be tricky for many reasons: blending personalities, combining interests, limiting your thoughts of karate chops to the throat to once a day, and finding a place to go that works for kids, parents, and grandparents....