Archive for May, 2012

31st May
written by Michelle

One of our first fights was about eggs.

yes, really. It went something like this:

“umm, have you seen the eggs I bought? (indirect, accusatory way of saying, this is your fault.)

“yea. I used them to make eggs this morning.” (nonchalant, because what else would you do with eggs?)

“whhhaaat!? I was going to use them to make banana bread.” (over-reacting example of how I had an idea in my head but failed to communicate it out-loud.)

And then it only got worse; quickly spiraling into an argument about being too controlling, someone over-reacting, someone else not communicating, and you can imagine how it went from there. Both of our ugly sides came out.  Both of us mad and angry… about eggs.


•   •   •


I look back now and think how ridiculous it is to fight about eggs. But it’s never really about eggs, is it? It’s about something deeper. It’s about something that comes up when all of the sudden you’re in love and married and trying to figure out the right way to wash dishes and what should or should not get hung on the walls. All of the sudden the small things like who uses up the last of the eggs become big things.


Maybe that’s what I’ve learned. Marriage is about learning how to share eggs.

And somewhere in their you have realize that it’s impossible to share eggs when you’re stuck labeling things as mine and yours. Egg sharing is serious business. It means you have to learn how to not complain if someone preparers their scrambled eggs different from how you prepare yours. And you have to learn to forgive quickly when someone breaks the last egg. And sometimes it means you may buy the eggs, but not get to eat them.

The truth is sharing is sometimes hard. I am sure for some personalities and people egg sharing comes more naturally. For us we’ve had to work at it. And we will continue to have to work at it.  The truth is I love my husband and because I love him so much I want to be able to share who I am and what I have. I want to not just do life together, but really learn how to share life together. However, sharing by definition mean giving something away. You can’t want to share a life with someone and be insistent about always get things your way. It’s just doesn’t work. I believe what you gain in marriage, is because of something you lose. You lose a little freedom, control and perhaps your way of doing things. But what you get in return is so much better.

So, we’re learning how to share a life and share eggs.*


 *authors note: we have not argued about eggs since that first fight. We have however argued about numerous other things.


The Truth about Marriage is a new series I plan on writing about from time to time and inviting other people to join in and share their perspective.

In a culture that feeds us stories of either fairy tell weddings or of marriages that crumble into messy divorces, I think its important to have places where you can tell the truth. What does real, not perfect, day-to-day marriage look like? What does loving someone with everything you got look like when a minute later you’re so frustrated wondering how on earth this is going to work? Maybe when we learn to be honest about what marriage looks like (the good, the ugly and the confusing) we’ll be less and less inclined to worship the idea of it. Marriage is wonderful, but it is certainly not a means to end. I want to tell the real story. The truth about marriage.


I’m curious, if you’re married what does marriage look like for you? How is it different than you expected? Or is it?

If you’re single and wanting one day to be married, what are the expectations or ideals that you have been told about marriage?

23rd May
written by Michelle

I posted this on instagram earlier today because it was my detour while driving to a meeting up at one of our schools. What you can’t totally see from the picture is there is a 50 ft drop off on the left side and an another drop behind the tractor.

this. is. guatemala.

I thought I’d share a few rules of the road that I’ve learned in the past few years:

-Always, always look out for speed-bumps. They’re on every street, often every 10 feet. (it’s great practice for downshifting from 2nd to 1st gear) #yesilearnedhowtodrivestickshifthere

-when you come to a narrow street, bridge with one lane, etc. the bigger car always has the right away. (thankfully because I drive this beast around so I usually get the right away) #myhusbandshareshistruckwithme

- If you need to run into the store, grab coffee, get something at a tienda, etc- just pull over and leave your flashers on.

It means “sorry-I-know-what-I’m-doing-is-illegal-but-I’m-going-to-do-it-anyway.” It works especially well for “parking” where it’s red or when you know you’re blocking one lane of traffic. #everyonedoesit #weuseflashersalot

-you CAN pass cop cars or in this case cop trucks (not joking!)

Nothing. I repeat nothing happens. The first time Gerber zoomed around a police truck I just about peed my pants. I may have screamed, “what the heck are you doing?” Shocked, he looked at me dumbfound. Whatttt??? Since then I’ve taken on the same nonchalant attitude and I pass a cop at least once a day. #youcouldneverdothatinthestates

- When you have to break suddenly or you see a long line of cars in front of you braking. What you do? Use the flashers. I think it signals to everyone else, hey, I’m really breaking here. again #weuseflashersalot

-I’ve already written here about Guatemalans’ creative use of tree branches and other forms of saying CAUTION while on the road. So not only do you have be able to interpret tree branch and rock code, but look for the use of flashing brights. If someone coming the opposite direction on the highway flashes their brights at you it means “hey, watch out…something is up-ahead.” I think I’d like a Morris code system. Something like one quick flash = hole in the road, two quick, one long flash = accident ahead and one short, two long = mudslide. But what I do know is you have to #alwaysbeonthelookout

- seeing people in the back of a pickup is totally, 100% normal. I mean check out this girl- she is not worried at all about seat-belts, head injuries, accidents, and everything she learned in physics about the moving velocity of objects inside a car keep moving at that speed even when the car comes to a stop. #ipaidattentionindriverstraining

Happy Wednesday to you! Drive safe out there.

Are there any new driving laws in the states?


12th May
written by Michelle

{ phone credit: }


To: The women for whom Mother’s Day means something else-

There are many things I don’t yet know about motherhood. But I do know some of you have been trying for years to get pregnant and can’t. There are no answers, no explanations, just frustrating trips to the doctor followed by peeing on pregnancy strips, hoping for a + to appear. Each month the aching grows deeper;  the endless google searching for explanations continuesI can only imagine the sadness, longing and frustration that eats up your insides, wondering…why? I know for you, whose deepest desire is to be a mom, Mother’s Day can be a reminder of what you are not.

And then there are others of you, who were pregnant. You know the joy of seeing a tiny blur on the screen and hearing the subtle heartbeat of the little one inside. But you also know the secret, lonely loss of losing the baby. We call it a miscarriage, but maybe for you it felt more like a death. I’ve heard it said that a “woman becomes a mother at conception, and a man becomes a father at birth.I wonder if on Mother’s Day you grieve for what you had and feel the pain that any mother would feel when something happens to one of her children.

I read this week that a 31-year old professor from my old university died in surgery complications and left behind a beloved wife, expecting their first baby in July. Things like that shouldn’t happen. And maybe you know what that’s like. Maybe you’re a mom whose life didn’t go as expected. You know the tragic loss of having to bury your own child. I don’t think it matters if your child was 18 months or 18 years. The pain seems unbearable and unfair. Or maybe like the wife of the professor, you lost your first love. The man you dreamed of being a father to your children now will not. I am sure Mother’s Day is a swirl of emotions. You may remember the joy your children or grandchildren bring, but you cannot deny the gaping hole longing for the other child or the spouse who is no longer here.

You may be a mom who is not grieving the death of a child, but perhaps is longing for a restored relationship, or any relationship with your son or daughter. All you want is to be a part of their life or meet your grandchild, but maybe there is so much history and hurt in your relationship, that they have shut you out.  And maybe Mother’s Day is a reminder of your attempts to bring healing and forgiveness, but you still live the painful reality that you’re not as close to your kids as you’d like.

Or maybe you’re a single women and this Mother’s Day feels hard for a different reason. Something inside is ticking and with each passing year your desire to be a mom grows. Seeing a woman walking down the street with her baby bump or a baby snuggled in a stroller is enough to make you cry a little on the inside. You ask why it seems like other people get to live the life you’ve always wanted. You go to baby showers, and listen to friends talk about breast feeding and birthing plans, inside secretly wondering when you’ll get to contribute to the conversation. You so deeply want to be a mom, but you also want to be married first. And waiting for two significant things that feel very much outside of your control is hard. And Mother’s Day reminds you not just of what you don’t have, but of you what you had hoped would have already happened by now.

And then there are some of you who have lost your mom. It may have been a few months ago or decades ago, but Mother’s Day reminds you of her. Maybe she died when you were younger, but now that you’re a mom, you find  yourself longing for and missing her in ways you didn’t know. Maybe your mom’s life was robbed unexpectedly from cancer or a car accident. And you are angry that she wasn’t there for you growing up. Or maybe your mom lived a long and happy life, but your last memories of her- weak, frail and suffering- bring you sadness. Perhaps this Mother’s Day you to chose to remember and honor the mom who is no longer with you.

I don’t know where you will be this Mother’s Day. But I pray that when you gather with family or friends, at church or around dinner tables, in backyards or living rooms, that you would be able to just be. And that there would be room to celebrate new life, grieve the lives that are gone, acknowledge crushed dreams and hold on to hope for those that can longer dream for themselves.

I sincerely hope we can re-define this Hallmark holiday and write and speak about all that Mother’s Day encompasses.

From a woman hoping to one-day be a mother,


P.S. What does Mother’s day mean for you this year?



6th May
written by Michelle

Carrie and I met online.  Really, she is proof that blog friends can become real friends.

We both were following this blog written by a women who knows what cross-cultural marriage and coming-going looks like. Carrie and I were each writing our own fiveminutefridays when one day I got a comment, asking if I lived in Guatemala?


From that comment on, we became friends.

We found out we both speak myers-briggs, enjoy coffee, and doing crafty DIY projects. When we met she was months away from marrying her husband-to-be and I was weeks away from getting engaged to mine.


And she gets what some people just can’t.

The beauty and challenge of doing life in a culture that is not your own.

The crazy, in-betweenness of feeling at home, but still being an outsider.

The wonderful complexity of navigating marriage not just between two people, but between two cultures.

I never understood until being married just how important it is to have other people in your life as a couple. The first thing I’d say to newly married couples is find some friends who will tell you your not alone, who will laugh at you when awkward things happen and will encourage you to keep going.

Today Carrie and Mardo celebrate their first year of marriage!

I am thankful for their honesty, their friendship and their example to how to live together.

 {It is an added bonus that they like The Office,  live music and having dinner together every Tuesday}


Felicidades a uds! Vamos a estar aqui para celebrar su segundo año!

{i think this is the secret to a happy marriage: sharing desserts like this }

What’s your advice for the 2nd year of marriage?

2nd May
written by Michelle

Wednesday are my attempt to capture part of what life is like here in Guatemala.

Feel free to join in. Wherever you are. 

Sometimes I am reminded how different things are in Guatemala. Like last week’s sighting.

Now on to this week.

I was skyping with my friend earlier this week and she heard a horrible noise through the microphone.

She gasped and asked “what the heck was that?”

Oh, nothing. Just gunshots.

yes, gunshots.

this. is. guatemala.

I say it nonchalantly because it is. kinda.

When I moved into our home the next door neighbor warned me that every night between 10pm  - 2am there are gunshots. Supposedly, the guards from the different residential communities (ours included) shoot their guns into the air as a way to ward off potential criminals.

I imagine it’s like dogs marking their territory.

Something like, hey I got this place covered. It’s mine.

Although maybe it’s just what they do to stay awake between those awful hours. I dunno.

Regardless, it is somewhat normal. And now I don’t even notice it.

And if it’s not gunshots that you hear, then it will be firecrackers.

I tell you if there is ever any real attack in Guatemala, I will not know it because firecrackers sounds very similar to bombs going off.

(not that I really know what a bomb sounds like).

But just go with me.

However, most days my life looks pretty normal. No guns, no firecrackers and no bombs.

( see proof below)


normal life. waiting in line at the bank.

finally bought a bedside lamp. it’s a little small, but my stack of books finally has a purpose.

we take naps. like father, like…. dog.

And try to exercise.  This week we played ultimate.

However, the real reason I play is it’s the only opportunity I get to wear these sexy shoes.

i buy lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.

And carefully soak all of them for 5 min to get rid of any creatures that may have caused this.

(and yes, I keep our fruit basket on top of our washing machine. you don’t?)


see, pretty normal.


I refrained from taking pictures of the guns that our guards carry. This is a family friendly blog : )

If you’re really interested google “guns in Guatemala.” You’ll get the idea.

What did you take pictures of this Wednesday?


I don’t have kids. So I take pictures of our dog.

I never, EVER thought I would be one of those people who posts pictures of their pets on the worldwideweb. But here I am.

What is the world coming to?

My sister and friend Chelsea are going to be shocked. I know.