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A Tree Full of Stories: The Evolution of Our Favorite Christmas Ornaments

What is more festive than twinkling lights on a beautiful tree as the backdrop to delicate, unique ornaments that each have their own story? The first Christmas tree Husband and I had together, in our first apartment, was pretty void of any such ornament. I had a couple of personal ornaments that I brought to the table and he had none so most of our ornaments were store bought. You know the kind; classic ornament balls – some with glitter, some shiny,...

Missing Christmas: A Downside of Being an Expat

There were so many details and procedures and considerations to think about when we were moving for the Dominican Republic to Mexico. But one of my top concerns was Christmas and if we’d make it home. Throughout our 6 years in DR, we went home for the holidays every year. I’ve never missed the holidays at home. Not a single one. Ever. (Did I mention I’m 3 years shy of being 40 And since my kids were born, they haven’t...

Vacation Photos: Our First Beach Trip in Mexico // SnapShots of Platanitos

We just got back from a mini family vacation in Platanitos, Mexico – our first beach trip in our new home country. It had been 5 months since we left the beaches of the Dominican Republic and we hadn’t been to a beach since. Needless to say, we were all pretty darn excited about getting back to the sun, sea, and sand. We tried fish zarandeado, drank buckets of beer at the beach, and made a proper Thanksgiving meal. Here...

My Dad’s Story of Leaving Cuba: The Swim {The Man of Little Words Series}

Many kids from Havana came to Caimanera with the same hope of leaving Cuba. Many died. My mom reminds us, “You had to know the ocean. That there was a pattern to the channel. And if you didn’t know that, if you were caught in the current when the water was too strong, you would be washed out to the sea with no chance of making it back. You had to be from Caimanera like your father.” Read Part One...

leaving Cuba

My Dad’s Story of Leaving Cuba: The Wait {The Man of Little Words Series}

Half of my dad’s friend’s house sat right over the water. The boys would have easy access to the Bay without being noticed by anyone by lifting the floor boards of the house. The plan was to stay in the house until the evening, hidden under the floor boards, until the sky was dark and the tide was high. And then they’d jump in the water and make a run swim for it. Read Part One. Their plan became a bit more...

My Dad’s Story of Leaving Cuba: The Beginning {The Man of Little Words Series}

Sometimes we think that because someone hasn’t got much to say that they must not have a story to tell.  The truth is, sometimes those who stay quiet have the loudest stories. Stories that need to be told. After a few Coronas my dad might get chatty. But he is – and always has been – a man of very little words. Most, if not all, of my previous boyfriends were terrified of him. “I don’t think your dad likes...

SnapShots // La Catrina Festival in Guanajuato & Falling in Love

  Fresh off the heels of Halloween, we made our way to La Catrina Festival in Guanajuato this last weekend. Four days. Everything Catrina. Who is Catrina, you might ask? Well, along with tequila and Mariachi, La Catrina is Mexican cultures’ most recognizable icon; she’s a big deal here and going to the festival felt a bit like being injected straight into the vein of Mexico.   And no one internalized it more than Daughter. The first event on Saturday didn’t...

Our Favorite Halloween Tradition

Come on guys.. you didn’t think I’d forget about the Halloween Bucket, did you? The most treasured tradition of all our Halloween traditions? Heck, maybe the most treasured of all our traditions, period, exclamation point! Let me remind you, we recently moved. To a different country. Across an ocean. We let go of and wept over many things we couldn’t bring with us when we left the Dominican Republic. But do you know what was packed in suitcase #1… the...

When the Past Punches You in the Heart

For any of you that have moved, you know there is the whole rainbow of emotions that comes with relocating and I knew our move to Mexico would include every f*cking color. I anticipated tears and emotional discord as we took down our life in the Dominican Republic and rebuilt it in Mexico. We knew with certainty that we’d be bleeding money these first few months of settling in. I assumed the kids would be shy and unsure of new friendships...