Archive for April, 2011

30th April
written by Michelle

Most days I wake up thankful, well, let’s be honest…most days I wake up, tired and groggy because I am not a morning person. But today I woke up, missing Santa Barbara.

I miss strolling though the Saturday farmers market. I miss the ocean breeze and running into people I know downtown. I miss Mesa Lane, the Good Cup, Panino sandwiches and sitting on grass. I miss going to the beach with friends and hearing my students call me Miss Acker. I miss trader joes and being able to buy pre-cut veggies and ready-to-eat chicken. I miss Santa Barbara sunsets and the purple hills behind. I miss people and places that can’t be packed in a suitcase. And I miss the smells and sounds that can’t be captured with a photo.

This is what they call homesick, right? I think it’s normal every now and then.

For anyone who has ever moved or packed up your life into two suitcases you know that you must leave something behind, in order to receive what’s to come. But sometimes, there’s a still a missing for what was left. Ingrid Michaelson’s song “Maybe” played on repeat in my car all last spring while I was packing up, storing away and saying good-byes. This line always struck me,


“oh, the only way to really know is to really let it go”

So, I let it go. I let a lot go. And some days, especially on Saturdays I miss it.

20th April
written by Michelle

Check out my guest post today on my friend and author´s new blog: All Groan Up!

You can find all kinds of`practical wisdom about living life in your twenties, including some personal tips about falling in love ♥


15th April
written by Michelle

I missed out on last Friday’s post, but I am back this week.

Thanks to Gypsy Mama’s FiveMinuteFridays. All you have to do is just write for 5 min. And not worry if it’s just right or not. No editing. No revising. Just write.

Today’s Prompt: Distance

Distance is the longing that stretches between countries and also the emptiness that can so easily fill a room. It’s interesting to me how we can feel distant from loved ones who live in a different time zone; there is a missing, a nostalgia and a longing that permeates when there is a physical distance between two people. I know, I feel it often. However, there is another kind of distance and perhaps it’s more painful. It’s the distance that isn’t measured in miles, but in emotions. It’s teh distance you feel when you’ve argued with someone you love. You can be sitting in the same car, or even on the same couch cushion but feel miles apart and misunderstood. This kind of distance is heavy and lonely.

I’m not sure if I like the word distance….do you?


13th April
written by Michelle


“What if the only things you had today were what you gave thanks for yesterday?”

My friend Jen shared this quote with me last week because she and I both know it’s much easier to complain, than it is to give thanks. I am the kind of person who likes (and unfortunately is quite good at) pointing out the things that are not quite working. If you’re familiar with the Enneagram I am a classic One; The Reformer.

I like to make things better. I can walk into a room, a meeting or really, any situation and my immediate thought is, “Ok, how can I make this better?” Words like change, improve and fix are my manta, but I am finding that these words leave very little space for gratefulness and contentment.  When you’re often focused on what’s not working it’s easy to lose sight of what is.

What if instead of trying to make everything better, I started trying to be thankful for how things are?

• I want to be a person who gives thanks for my health and the ability to move and run free from aches and pains. •  I want to be a person who sees the opportunities I’ve had to travel, attend college, and own a car as a privilege that I have been given, not a right that I have earned. • I want to be a person who gives thanks that I have enough money to buy today’s meal and plenty to share tomorrow.  •  I want to be thankful for my country, but not abuse its power or support its’ abuse of others. •  I want to be grateful for running water in my house, a soft bed to lay my head and a roof that protects me from rain—luxuries that almost 2 million people in the world don’t have. • I don’t want to take for granted the fact that I can read a book or breathe in clean air or walk without fear in the street. • I am thankful that I have the freedom to choose what I want to do, who I want to marry and what I believe. • I want to be person who gives thanks for the small things; a hand to hold, a friend who knows me, a gorgeous sunset. • I want to learn how to have a thankful heart, even in hardship and loss. • I want to be a person that can be thankful for the what, even when I don’t understand the why.


So, I ask you dear reader: “What if the only things you had today were what you gave thanks for yesterday?”

What would you give thanks for?




6th April
written by Michelle


I am not good at hellos and good-byes. I get so excited to welcome someone here, but then equally sad when the realization sets in that I also have to say good-bye. My parents were here for a week and I just said good-bye on Monday. Last month I got to spend a week with my sister and brother. But once again the hello-and-good-bye process felt hard.

I am nothing but grateful that they would chose to fly down here to spend time with me. There is something about being together- sipping lattes in a garden café, walking by colored walls and laying by the lake that cannot be shared via skype and text messaging.

I am firm believer that sometimes just showing up is the best way to maintain relationships. Show up for his presentation at work. Show up at their new house with cookies. Show up at the hospital to welcome the little baby, and show up at the funeral to mourn together. Showing up is important.

Last week my parents showed up in Antigua. They showed up at my school with 60 5th and 6th graders asking them questions. They showed up to see my apartment. They showed up for long dinners with me and G. They showed up for coffee dates and chocolate tasting, for good conversations and sunny afternoons. They showed up to see my life here. And it meant the world to me, especially since a lot in my life has changed in the past year.

I have much to be thankful for. There is a beauty to embrace and a challenge to accept living in a new place, within a new language and culture and country. I know it means there will be more good-byes to people I love, and probably some exciting hellos as well. My friend Carrie, has this quote on her blog from Miriam Adeney, an anthropologist and global studies guru:

“You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.”

This is how I feel.  Indeed there is a price to pay for loving and knowing people in more than one place.

Mom, Dad, Steph and Andrew, Thanks for coming to visit!

(Christine, you were here in spirit)



1st April
written by Michelle

It’s Friday. Which means, one of my new favorite blog traditions:

Five. Minute. Fridays

{Judging by my recent blog posts it seems like I only take five minutes to write on Fridays. This means I have been a little extra with busy hosting visitors and school events, or I maybe should start a Five Minute Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday routine. Either way, I like this practice and the discipline of writing for 5 minutes. No editing. No thinking it over. And no worrying if it’s just right.}

Ready, Go.

I remember I once got a Hallmark card once that said something like,the best things in life, aren’t things. they’re people.” And I have never forgotten that.

Most of favorite times have been shared with people. I think of playing the backyard and running through sprinklers on hot summer nights with my sisters and brother. I think of family dinners shared around a table. I think of college dorm life and late night giggles and chatting with three of my best friends. Afternoons spent drinking tea and talking about life with June. I think of walks along Mesa lane with Jen. And Tuesday nights eating hot dogs and beer on the beach with Chelsea and Jeff.

I think of moments spent laughing on the couch with Gerber or being held when there are tears. I think of walking hand in hand, knowing this someone loves you no matter what. And I think how such it means to have two of the most important people in my life, here with me, right now, in Guatemala.


What are some of your favorites right now?