Chinola Margaritas and Amazing Women

November 21, 2011




When Husband and I would talk about our move, we knew that we had made a good choice. Besides leaving our family behind, the choice to come overseas was a no-brainer for so many reasons. But how would our idea of living here and our reality match up? When we got here we realized that our reality was much better than anything we ourselves could have dreamed up. Everyone was welcoming, helpful, accepting, genuine, it was almost unbelievable. And isn’t that what family is?

When you are part of something special, take it in and be thankful that you get to be a part of it.

Yesterday, many of the girls from Carol Morgan went to Boca Chica to celebrate a baby shower. We drank champagne on the bus and I got to spend time talking to Melissa about her experience traveling abroad (she’s been doing this for 18 years!) Her stories of visiting Canada for Christmas and having snowball fights conjured up ideas of what Christmas looks like in my mind. Particularly funny was her story about her daughter who, because never having lived anywhere cold (she was born in Africa), refused to put on boots. She walked around in flip flops for half the trip! It was nice to think of snowball fights a s must do instead of something you had to scrape yourself off the couch to do because like with most things, when you don’t have it, it becomes a priority.

We arrived at the restaurant, built on a dock connecting to the water. Drinks were immediately ordered with the majority of the table ordering Chinola Margaritas – passion fruit margs. Spell delicious… C-H-I-N-O-L-A M-A-R-G-A-R-I-T-A.

While drinks are a favorite part of my social get togethrness, the people sitting around that table were quickly competing with a good glass of wine – and if you know me, that is saying a lot. To my left, Courtney and I shared our love for our dogs and how a dog is in every memory of your life, becomes engrained in who you are. She had gotten her dog after college and he was with her for all the landmark moments of her life. I started thinking how true that is with our dogs. When we look back at our life, Jersey and Olive lived with us in our first apartment. They are in our Cinco de Mayo engagement pictures with sombreros on, our wedding pictures attired in a tuxedo and wedding dress. They traveled with us to our first abroad experience. They were home for the arrival of our first daughter.

To my right, Shayna and I have become instant friends. Reminding me of most of my friends, Shayna is fun, fun, fun with a side of sparkle and a dessert tray of sneaky. When Jolene started opening presents, I was excited to give her mine, a ROCKSTAR themed present: A bib and outfit saying, “My Mom Rocks,” a guitar decorated onesie, and a mix CD of Rockabye Baby with a collection of timeless rock songs turned lullaby. Wait?! Where did my bag go? I knew I took it off the bus. I knew I had only had one Chinola Margarita so I couldn’t have lost it yet. I looked down the table and spotted it 3 seats down. How did it get there? Had I though about sitting there. No. Eventually I realized that sneaky Shayna took it and hid it at the other side of the table. When Jolene was finished opening presents, Shayna’s newest idea involved jumping off the dock and holding hands for a picture. So we did!

We decided to swim to the resort next door to see if we could find a volleyball for the net in the water and then the others swam over. Interestingly enough, Jolene, about 7 months pregnant was the best player that day.

After a while of playing, Noreen announced that she had lost her wedding ring. Immediately, my mind remembers when my mom told me of my grandmother’s wedding ring getting lost in the ocean, never to be found again. Nine women carefully swam felt around the ocean floor looking desperately as if it was there own ring that had been lost. We tried searching in a grid, lining up and combing the sand, a stranger even joined our search. I borrowed snorkeling gear and brought back the Snorkeling Dude who helped us. We searched for what seemed like forever. Usually a great finder of things, I was pessimistic about this. Noreen, realistic but I’m sure sad, announced that the search was over. “Thanks guys, but we’re not finding it. Let’s go have some cake.” And as we gave up, Snorkeling Dude exploded out of the water like a Great White erupting with a shiny ring. We all screamed in disbelief. Snorkeling Dude was covered in bikini wearing women. There was an eruption of celebration. It was like we all felt the loss of that ring and were just as invested in its being found. As if nothing happened, Snorkeling Dude was gone with no expectation of being rewarded. Maybe being part of someone’s forever story was reward enough.

It was an amazing day for me. I finally felt like I was getting back to normal. Amanda said, “I knew when I met you, pregnant and all, that you were in there.” And she’s right. Pregnant Me was still a powerhouse but in a different sense. Parts of me were packed away like sweaters in the summer. I was me, always me, but toned down and more careful. I had to be, it wasn’t just me that I was thinking about. But yesterday, made me feel like me again. And what a wonderful group of ladies to share it with.

As I looked around the table, I was thinking that when you are part of something special, you have to take it in and be thankful that you get to be a part of it. Thank you for letting me be a part of it.

Although I didn’t get to spend time with everyone, this was written for amazing women whose stories I would one day like to know over a vodka sprite with Chinola and lime drink. (Yep! I made that up on the spot and it was relish.)


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