Tag Archives: sailboat

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

Tribute to Captain Jack

This morning I wept. I cried while looking at my beautiful son’s face, knowing that our dear friend, Jack Conrad, would not be able to see his sweet smile and hear him laugh. I cried, knowing that my husband and I would never again feel Jack’s arms around us in his loving hug. I cried, thinking that the many days of sailing we shared are forever memories and we won’t be able to share those sunny sailing days with him in the future. I cried, feeling sad for my husband to lose a very dear friend and father figure.

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We found out last night that Jack Conrad, our dear friend, passed away on Friday, October 21st. Jack was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in October 2008. AML is cancer that starts inside bone marrow, the soft tissue inside bones that helps form blood cells. The cancer grows from cells that would normally turn into white blood cells.

Jack was declared in remission by New Years and had even received a bone marrow transplant from his sister. He was doing so well that he and his wife, Lyndy, came down to San Carlos to enjoy a warm winter. They had purchased Gitana, a 39′ Irwin sailboat a couple years before, wanting to sail throughout the Sea of Cortez.

M. had met Captain Jack, as we call him, in May 2010 when he came to San Carlos for the first time. Jack took M. out on Gitana and they talked all things sailing while enjoying some beer. Jack wanted to sell her, but M. wasn’t ready to buy. Later, M. told me about Captain Jack and his beautiful boat, not knowing that we would be the proud owners of Gitana within a year!

I met Jack and Lyndy one afternoon in November last year. M. and I ran into them while eating at Soggy Peso, a beach restaurant/bar. They mentioned again that they wanted to sell their boat and would love to take us sailing. So, after having looked at many sailboats, from 23′ to 53′, and knowing that we hadn’t found our lady, we climbed aboard Gitana on December 3, 2010, and immediately fell in love! She called to us and we knew we were home!

We enjoyed many breezy but sunny winter days with Jack aboard Gitana. Lyndy and I would often go as well (being pregnant didn’t always lend itself to being out on the water!), but there were many times when M. and Jack would go alone. They even sailed up to San Pedro Bay one weekend (see whale pictures from their trip).

Though we won’t see Jack again in the flesh while on Earth, we do know that he asked Jesus Christ to be his Saviour within a week of his passing. I imagine Jack is standing in heaven now, with his capri sailing pants on, sipping a beer and smiling while talking with his friends about how good life is.

I miss his laughing eyes. I miss him greeting me with open arms and asking, “How’s our Mama today?” I wish Ethan could snuggle up in his chest like he does with his daddy. But for now, we will have to be content with knowing that he is at peace, and find that peace for ourselves with God.

“We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself … That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands … God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit. So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. For we live by believing and not by seeing. Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.”

2 Corinthians 4:14, 16-18, 5:1, 5-8 (NLT)

Visit Jack’s “Caring Bridge” website. (CaringBridge provides free websites that connect people experiencing a significant health challenge to family and friends.)

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Back home for the countdown!

Only 5 weeks to go until we expect our little one to arrive on the scene! If you have been following my blog, you’ll know that I haven’t posted for 9 weeks. Well, life gets busy sometimes … but I’m back! In the last 9 weeks we moved houses (still living in San Carlos), bought a motorhome, and visited friends and family (and had 3 baby showers) during a 5 week road trip around the western U.S.

Being pregnant and traveling in a car would not have been nearly as comfortable. I love the motorhome! I could get up at any moment to get a snack, use the restroom, change clothes, get a book, or whatever I wanted. What a great way to travel!

Lunch in Gunnison, CO

We decided to get an older RV and tow our Honda CR-V behind. The motorhome is a 1990 37′ long diesel Monaco Crown Royale, has a 9K diesel Kohler generator, air bag suspension, air brakes, a jake brake, air leveling, bus style storage bins underneath, and tons of interior storage. It has a bedroom in the back with a queen bed, two closets, and plenty of storage cabinets and drawers; a large bathroom (bigger than our current house) with a corner shower, toilet, sink, and room to put in a washer/dryer unit; a kitchen with a 4-burner stove, a convection oven/microwave, a built in blender, a large sink, a refrigerator/freezer, and an extra small freezer; a living/dining area with a jacknife couch and a stowaway table with leaves; and two amazingly comfy, plush captain’s chairs to enjoy the views from. Our RV retailed for $290,000 in 1990 brand new – and we got it for a steal!

We’re planning to enjoy summers in the U.S. (to get away from the heat and humidity here) and the RV gives us a way to take our home with us, especially with kids coming on board.

Lunch in Gunnison, CO

So, here we are, back in San Carlos, enjoying the sailboat again and getting ourselves situated in our new home.

Our little green house

Living here allows us to travel and enjoy a mobile lifestyle – the whole reason we moved to Mexico! Eventually, we want to sail off into the sunset (so to speak) and visit other areas of the world. But for now, we’re happy to enjoy land travel and gain better sailing skills.

Anchored in Martini Cove for an afternoon swim and lunch with friends

And of course, the random horses wandering by in the afternoon, nibbling on grass wherever they can. Yes, we love San Carlos!

Horses wandering by in front of our house

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

Having a baby in Mexico – Part 1 (We’re pregnant!)

After my Cardio Pilates class this morning, two ladies asked how I liked my doctor here. That got me thinking about our journey so far with this pregnancy.

Easter Sunday

I am currently 24 weeks and 2 days (or 6 months) along. I’ve gained 15 lbs. and 6 inches around my belly (and a few inches in other places!). I’m feeling quite good these days – just needing naps most afternoons. Exercising is getting more challenging, and thus I’m becoming less motivated. However, continuing to go to classes at the gym and be with others while eeking out that 24th crunch or 12th bicep curl really helps!

We found out we were pregnant the week after committing to buy our sailboat, Gitana, a 39′ Irwin Citation. That certainly wasn’t our choice for timing, but I suppose babies come when God gives them to us.

We had gone up to Anthem, AZ, for me to participate in a triathlon on Saturday, December 11, 2010. Unfortunately, I had gotten sick with a cold a few days prior to leaving for Arizona, but I still wanted to go. To top things off, I realized that I was a few days late and my breasts were feeling tender. Yes, the light bulb went off, but I didn’t say anything to M. – yet.

I mentioned the possibility of being pregnant to M. the night before the race, but he needed time to digest the news. We had wanted to get pregnant and were not preventing, but hadn’t expected to conceive so quickly (only three months). I had surgery two-and-a-half years previously (which you can read about on my post, Re-Dream? What’s that?) to correct some infertility issues.

So, the morning of the race I went to the pharmacy and bought the tell-tale pregnancy test. Of course, the + sign popped up awful quick and we knew we were pregnant! At that point, we were both very excited and knew that God had given us this baby at the right time – His time!

Yes, I still completed the race and just went slowly if I didn’t feel well. For those of you interested, it was a sprint triathlon and here are my times:

400 m swim (.25 miles in a lap pool) – 8:36

20 k bike (12.4 miles) – 50:32

5 k run (3.1 miles) – 30:04

for a combined total of 1:29:12.

Back to the pregnancy …

We went home to San Carlos with a boat and a baby coming – only six months after moving to Mexico!

And so we began our journey toward parenthood (and sailing)!

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Semana Santa weekend

We experienced our first Semana Santa in Mexico.

One word … CRAZY!

Walking down Main Street on Friday night

I woke up at 6:00 am on Easter morning to booming techno music. Curious, I put on my bathrobe and peeked outside. Through the window of the rental next door, I could see a room filled with young Mexican adults, dancing and drinking to the music. It seriously sounded like I was inside a raging discoteca (Mexican disco club)! The music was sooo loud and had been going since 2:00 am! Thankfully, it was the last night of Semana Santa. I was definitely looking forward to a peaceful Monday.

Semana Santa, or Holy Week, is the week leading up to Easter, when the resurrection of Jesus Christ is celebrated. Since Mexico is 90% Catholic (according to INEGI), Holy Week is a very important holiday. Officially, Semana Santa is the week before Easter. But, most students and some employees get a two-week break, so the week before Easter as well as the following week comprise the Semana Santa holiday. (Think: Spring Break!) Apparently, there are various kinds of religious observances of Semana Santa throughout all of Mexico – processions and passion plays (dramas re-enacting the events leading up to Jesus’ death).

Since it is spring break, beach communities get a lot of tourists. Our sleepy little town of 5,000-6,000 swells up to over 100,000 during the peak of Semana Santa, mostly with young Mexican adults ready to party through the night! Here in San Carlos, people start arriving on Wednesday, with Saturday being the  biggest party night. By Monday morning, everyone is gone and only the trash remains. Sadly, trash is strewn all over the city – on the streets, in yards, and on the beaches.

The beach crowd on Saturday

Mexicans think of all sorts of ways to make money during this time. There were mobile ice cream carts, tons of food stands everywhere (everything from toasted cricket tostadas to tacos to hot dogs), trinket stands (sombreros, wood carvings, beaded jewelry), even portable toilets were set up charging 5-7 pesos for each use (40-60 cents)!

A makeshift taco stand (trailer) and port-a-potties

We did enjoy walking down Main Street on Friday night. The Oaxacan food stand was our favorite. They had homemade ice cream in so many yummy flavors! But we were thankful to be able to retreat to our boat in the bay to get some much needed sleep away from all the noise on Thursday and Friday nights.


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