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A State of Holy F*cking Mom Struggle: (aka) The First Day of School

I’d argue that the first day of school for moms is worse than for kids. Yesterday was Daughter’s first day of school. She’s a new kid. New school. New country. And I was in a State of Holy F*cking Mom Struggle. My emotional stress level was medication-worthy. I was anxious last year but it was an “our baby is starting school” different. This time, she’s the new kid and she knew it. She felt it. So I felt it. In...

When You Move A Family to Mexico: An Adult Version of a Kid’s Classic

Our move to Mexico, while ours, is like anyone’s story. If you’ve moved before, tell me this story doesn’t sound familiar? When you move a family to Mexico… they will have to open a bank account. When they open a bank account, they’ll begin to look for a home. So they’ll search for a couple of days until they find the perfect one. When they find a house… they’ll probably want to get some furniture. So they’ll go to a...

Coffee Talks: No Need to Worry… Mommy is Just Ugly Crying

What’s the first thing you do when you feel like you’re going to cry in front of your kids? You leave the room, right? What’s the first thing you do when your kid gets hurt? Pick them up and say, “Now, now. It’s ok. I’m here. Don’t cry.” We spend a lot of time trying to avoid tears from our kids and a lot of time hiding our own. And maybe we shouldn’t. I’ve been on an emotional seesaw the last couple...

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: 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...

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...

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: 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...

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: 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...