Tag Archives: adventure

True Love

He loves me,

He loves me not;

He loves me,

He loves me not …

Well, maybe it worked as a young schoolgirl, but I don’t think this is a very accurate way to determine someone’s love!

So, how do you know when someone really does love you?

(And if you love them?)

I’ve been reading through Philip Yancey’s book, Disappointment With God, over the last couple months. When I came across the following quote, it stirred up a lot of emotions and got me thinking about my current marriage – and how it is vastly different from my past marriage. Here’s the quote from page 122:

“Love is most persuasive when it involves sacrifice.”

Sacrifice.

To forfeit (one thing) for another thing considered to be of greater value.

Free Dictionary

It’s a word that has a lot of negativity connected to it. And yet, is the “giving up” always difficult, or is the love that prompts us so much stronger than the sacrifice that it doesn’t feel like anything has been lost?

Looking Back

Originally, our top 5 reasons for moving to Mexico were:

5. To give our kids an overseas experience (and have our own, too!)

4. To get out of the “Rat Race” (which leads to #3)

3. To be able to live off less money than we earn (which leads to #2)

2. To buy a sailboat and learn how to sail (which leads to #1)

1. To travel and recreate our lives!

We have certainly traveled a lot with our 39′ sailboat and 37′ motorhome. Summer trips, sailing adventures, and lots of flights to see family during the holidays have filled our vacation time. We have also enjoyed the slower paced life here (#4 above).

Our Family

But, we had to re-evaluate our priorities after having kids. Realistically, the impact that #5 will have on our ability to see family, especially the grandparents, over the next 18 years of our precious children’s lives, has prompted us to make some BIG changes.

This past June, we decided to move from Mexico up to Flagstaff, AZ. We want to provide our kids with a stable and familiar place to call home. And we want to be able to afford the time and money needed to visit with family. But to do that, we had to consider our financial situation. So, here’s the big question:

How affordable is it to own and maintain a sailboat, RV, and a home?

Well, if you’re a millionaire, it’s probably just fine! But for us normal folk … it’s just not realistic. While discussing this reality a few months ago, I asked my husband which one he would prefer to not have.

And without a thought, he said,

“We’re selling the sailboat.”

He’s sacrificing the dream that led us to Mexico, but he’s replacing it with the greater dream of having a family – OUR FAMILY. (Even now, I’m moved to tears by his love for me and our kids.) I told him I appreciated his sacrifice, but he simply turned it around and acknowledged how much I sacrificed to move here by giving up my booming business and the wonderful life I had in Colorado.

His love is so real to me. Every day I see him working hard to provide for us, spending time loving on our son, giving me hugs and kisses all the time, and telling me how beautiful I am. Washing the cars, taking out the trash, folding the laundry, and the list goes on.

Is it a sacrifice, or is it simply allowing previous dreams to be exchanged for what is “considered to be of greater value”?

“Love is most persuasive when it involves sacrifice.”

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Filed under Life Journal, Living in Mexico, Moving to U.S., Travel

The Importance of Being Earnest

Lady Bracknell: “My nephew, you seem to be displaying signs of triviality.”

Jack: “On the contrary, Aunt Augusta, I’ve now realized for the first time in my life the vital Importance of Being Earnest.”

If you haven’t seen this Oscar Wilde play-turned-movie, rent it for your next movie night at home and be prepared for some laughs! This comedy is set in 1890s London. Two friends use the same pseudonym (“Ernest”) for their on-the-sly activities, which result in confusion and the possibility of losing the women they worked so hard to win over. Ultimately, they both understand the need for earnestness (honesty).

New Beginnings

Another beautiful sailing day in San Carlos

A few days ago, I was thinking of the earnestness these protagonists came to value while thinking about our life here in Mexico. We originally came in 2010 with the intention of rebuilding our lives together after both having gone through divorces. We wanted to have a new beginning and start our own family. We also wanted to escape the “rat race” living of the U.S. and be able to travel.

Before we met in 2009, my husband, M., had the desire to buy a sailboat and live a cruisers life. He hoped to eventually travel down the west coast of Mexico, through the Panama Canal, up the east coast of Mexico, enjoy the Caribbean, then perhaps even sail to Europe.  Most importantly, he wanted to do it all with a woman that loves adventure and also wanted a family.

After much research, he found that there were many benefits to moving to San Carlos, such as a lower cost of living and a huge sailing community of North Americans. Since M. works by phone and internet, he can virtually work anywhere. So, San Carlos was the next stop for him. The first time we met, he talked about his idea. As you know, I jumped on board and after over a year of dating, we made the move to Mexico and got married.

Now, after two years, we have a fantastic marriage, a little tyke of one year, and another baby on the way (due March 2013)! We have a 39′ sailboat, a 37′ motorhome, and many wonderful traveling experiences. We’ve enjoyed building friendships with people from all over the world.

Family Time vs. Travel Time

We’ve had relatives and friends visit us in Mexico, and have spent many hours driving/bussing/flying to visit them in the U.S. Here’s a typical vacation:

  • Drive seven hours to Tucson (or an additional two hours to Phoenix), AZ
  • Spend the night at a hotel
  • Fly to Spokane, WA or Dallas, TX or southern CA
  • Enjoy several days with family or friends
  • Fly back to Tucson (or Phoenix)
  • Spend the night at a hotel
  • Drive around like maniacs and spend A LOT of money shopping for everything we can’t get in Mexico, from clothes to household items to food
  • Spend another night at a hotel
  • Drive seven (or nine) hours back to San Carlos
  • Fall into bed exhausted
  • Wake up to a house full of purchases that need a home in our home

Essentially, every vacation turns into four travel days, one shopping day, and however many more days M. can afford to not work in order to actually be with the people we are traveling to see. Most of M.’s family lives in Spokane, WA and my parents live in Dallas, TX. The rest of our family and friends are in southern CA and Colorado Springs.

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to take a trip up to Spokane this summer as originally planned, so M.’s Mom will not see her grandson until Christmas, which will be an entire year from last time. Thankfully, my family has been able to travel to see us several times in the last couple years, both in Mexico and the U.S. this summer (July 2012), but we likely won’t see them for another year until next summer.

Camping with my family in Flagstaff, AZ

We’ve been feeling an aching in our hearts that’s been growing stronger since the birth of our son. And we’ve had to be honest with ourselves about who and what is really important in our lives. We want our kids to grow up knowing their grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins. We want them to experience family gatherings, especially during the holidays. We want them to have other kids to play with regularly. We want them to have opportunities in the future for education that are not available here.

So, we’ve been rethinking our lives in Mexico and we’ve decided to make a move. Literally. We are moving back to the U.S. next summer and once again redreaming our lives!

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Filed under Life Journal, Living in Mexico, Moving to Mexico, Travel

To Enjoy List

During my morning run in the beautiful sunshine under bright blue skies with brush-stroked clouds, I was thinking of all the things I’m looking forward to this winter and spring. As I mentioned yesterday, we plan to head to the U.S. for a three month summer road trip in July. Before we go, there are things I’d like to accomplish. And there are people I’d like to spend time with. I’m even hoping to blog about it all!
So, here’s a list of 21 things I’d like to spend time, well, enjoying:
  1. Working on Ethan’s baby quilt (and other miscellaneous projects)  on Tuesdays with a friend during our quilting/sewing day
  2. Sailing on the weekends with my hubby and son (we often invite friends, too)
  3. Running 2-3 mornings a week to train for a half marathon in March and possibly a full marathon this summer
  4. Using Baby Sign Language to communicate with Ethan (hoping that he signs back!)
  5. Directing the Easter Cantata for our church (including 8-10 weekly rehearsals)
  6. Creating an enjoyable home environment (cooking, cleaning, laundry … the regular stuff)
  7. Participating in our church’s six-week journey called, “Hearing from God,” including a weekly devotional and one meal fast (part of the “Touch San Carlos” ministry expansion campaign)
  8. Walking most afternoons with baby in a carrier and dog in tow to get some Vitamin D (which, apparently, you don’t actually get from the sun)
  9. Creating a shutterfly photobook or two to catch up to this year (my version of a photo album)
  10. Blogging at least once a week
  11. Finishing Ted Dekker’s Circle Series by reading “Green” (already on p. 170 out of 392 pages – I read “Black”, “Red” and “White” a few years ago and didn’t know he published a fourth book until eyeing it on a friend’s bookshelf last October! Just looked it up … originally was only a trilogy – behold, Book Zero?!)
  12. Leading worship at church during two weekends (to give our regular worship leaders a break)
  13. Compiling some original recipes on my blog
  14. Making all of Ethan’s baby food, including as much raw food as possible (if you think babies can best digest cooked foods, the raw food world offers another viewpoint)
  15. Completing six months of solely breastfeeding my currently almost 5-month-old baby before starting him on solids (Based on lots of research, it’s supposed to be much better for his health. I sure hope it’s true, because this has been a huge commitment. Not to mention that he doesn’t take a bottle, so it’s just me and him!)
  16. Cooking/making almost all our meals to save money and eat healthier (we have committed to not eat desserts, too – though we sneak in an occasional “undessert” like a banana with PB, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, and agave)
  17. Riding my awesome road bike (a gift from hubby!) once a week after a 10-month hiatus due to being pregnant and giving birth
  18. Investing in my son’s life daily through playtime, prayertime, cuddles, and clean diapers (we use cloth, too!)
  19. Investing in my marriage daily through playtime, prayertime, cuddles, and clean clothes (we’ve grown out of our diapers, thankfully!)
  20. Investing in my friendships through walks, phone calls, emails, facebook, lunch dates, and smiles
  21. Sharing God’s love with my neighbors by living a godly life and looking for opportunities to minister to other

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Filed under Life Journal, Living in Mexico, Sailing, Travel

Meeting M.

Today is the 2nd anniversary of when M. and I met … well, sort of.

We met on Easter 2009, but the date was April 12th that year. We were living in Colorado Springs at the time. I was going through a divorce and a friend, S., called to invite me and (ex) over for Easter lunch. (I hadn’t seen her for a few months, so she didn’t know my situation.) She had already invited M., knowing that he was going through a divorce and didn’t have any family around.

Side note – Interestingly, S. & hubby, M. & (ex)wife, and (ex)hubby & I, had all attended the same church in southern California, but I had never met M. So, three years after moving to Colorado, I met him at a mutual friend’s home … and it wasn’t even a set up!

M. and I enjoyed chatting that Easter. He talked about his plan to move to San Carlos, Mexico, and buy a sailboat. Being raised overseas, I thought it sounded exciting and asked a lot of questions. Apparently, that was quite unusual! Most women he had talked to weren’t interested in living outside the U.S. – especially in Mexico – and weren’t keen on sailing or living a partially nomadic lifestyle. So, I caught his attention.

We started talking on the phone about everything – the challenges of going through a divorce, our relationships with God, our friends, our hobbies and interests, things we wanted in our futures, M.’s plans for a cruising lifestyle. We started re-dreaming together. Of course, talking led to seeing each other … which led to dating … which led to getting engaged one year later at S.’s house!

Since meeting, we have had many adventures together. Hikes, dinner parties with friends, camping trips, exploring new places, motorcycle rides and trips, mountain biking days. Here are a few pictures from our adventures in the U.S.:

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We have had many adventures together in Mexico, too, since moving here last June. But, since I have so much to tell, I’ll save those pictures for future blogs.

Disclaimer: We have many ordinary days, too – working, cleaning the house, laundry, grocery shopping, preparing meals, taking the dog for walks. And our ordinary days are wonderful because we enjoy them together!

“Life is an accumulation of mostly ordinary moments –

with glimpses of the spectacular.”

~ Florence Falk, On My Own, p. 176

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Playing dolphins

We had another great day sailing in the Sea of Cortez. After being out for an hour or so, we had visitors!

Four beautiful dolphins swam toward our boat and began playing near the bow as we were sailing through the water. As they got close to the bow, they would turn on their sides and look up at us through the water. These were the first dolphins I’ve seen up close, so I was loving it! (M. had seen pilot whales during a guys weekend up sailing up to San Pedro Island. Read about his adventure here.)

Even Dude, our chihuahua, was enjoying their company!

They stayed with us and played in the water for about 45 minutes. Then they glided away in pairs, their gray backs undulating up through the surface, then down again. We are so blessed to have this amazing lifestyle. The opportunities for incredible adventures are endless!

I’m looking forward to seeing more marine life as we continue to sail farther from our home in San Carlos. In winter, we are hoping to either cross over to Baja California and perhaps stay in La Paz, or sail south to Mazatlan. With a baby coming, we will wait to see how good our sailing skills are before deciding. Not to mention the biggest factor involved – WEATHER!

For now, we will continue to enjoy local day sailing and perhaps some overnighters.

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Filed under Marine Life, Sailing