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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,...

Dominican Independence Month Has Me Emotional AF

Today concludes Dominican Independence Month at CMS. The Early Elementary kids parade through the school in a parade while the older elementary kids participate on Comparsas, a show beyond all shows you’ve ever seen an elementary school put on. Throughout the school, there are celebrations and music and smiles. And I’m here, sobbing in a corner. Ok, maybe that’s exaggerating. I’m not sobbing in a corner but rather all around in random locations. And don’t think Husband is any better. The...

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...

A Heartbreaking Decision Even I Didn’t See Coming

I’ve been holding on to a secret for a while now. The truth is, every time I let down my guard and allow myself some space to think about it, my body starts to shake and my eyes swell up with tears so think there is no room for them to go anywhere but out. Even now, having only written two sentences, I’m already in sobbing position. But there is no more time to hold on to this. By this weekend, much of...

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...

13 Kickass Songs with Power Messages for Raising Confident Kids

I’ve been brainwashing our children. For some time now, I’ve been playing them a CD I purposefully crafted with – love your life, be strong & kick ass – type messages, a playlist for raising confident kids, essentially. And it’s working. Rafaella wails “Roar” by Katy Perry with such devotion,  it brings this proud mama to tears. I mean, she straight up nails it. The other day, on our drive up to Las Terrenas, I overheard Santiago in the back seat trying to...