Posts Tagged ‘life’

19th January
written by Michelle


Yikes. It’s January 19th. My computer tells me I started this draft on January 6th- so, here we are 13 days later.

I remember well in my years before moving to Guatemala and becoming a mom that I would carve out a few hours at the end of each year to reflect. I would curl up in a cozy coffee shop on the mesa, a few blocks from where I used to live, and write and dream and make lists of what I wanted to do in the coming year. I remember 3 of my best friends and I used to go out for dinner at an Italian restaurant, the ones that have the white paper on top instead of a table cloth- perfect for small children, or ambitious 20-something’s. And over rosemary bread dipped in olive oil, we would each write out our 5 goals for the year. We wrote and dreamed about things that most 20 years old want: new relationships and work opportunities and traveling to new countries. I remember distinctly one of those years I wrote something like, “Learn Spanish.” Ha, funny how life works out.

. . .

But this season of life feels different. If feels harder to carve out a few hours to go sit in a coffee shop just to dream and write and plan. In between washing diapers and washing dishes, and coordinating schedules and planning meals, and answering emails and arranging transpiration, and doing all the good stuff that goes into making a life and a marriage work, I find that I have less and less energy and time for me, or for writing, or for even talking to a friend.

But I know first hand it’s not a problem of not having enough time, it’s a problem of having said, “yes” to too much. I have felt this before: this slow stress that comes creeping up and then blindsides you and all of the sudden, you wonder why you’re crying in the parking lot at the grocery store. Yeah, that one. It steals the joy away from whimsical moments, whispering what you should be getting done the moment you stop to rest or play. I know that feeling, and I know I don’t want to go back there.

But, let me tell you people. It’s hard. At least hard for me. If my time and energy were indispensible, I would be saying yes to everything, to leading this and planning that. I would be teaching classes and scheduling events and on-the go-go-go. And the thing is, I probably would get it all done, but often at the expense of those closest to me: my husband and my daughter and myself.

. . .

There was a movie that came out years ago, a total teacher-nerd kind of movie, “The Freedom Writers.” And although not central to the story, there is one scene that I will never forget. The lead (Hilary Swank) is rushing around trying to get ready for one of final big event with her students. The very students she has been mentoring and investing in and for all-important purposes, I mean, she’s helping to changing their lives! She’s a stellar teacher, but you see the sub-plot unfolding. She begins devoting more time to her classroom, and less to her marriage. And in one 3-second scene, she comes home from work to find a note from her husband on the dresser, saying…he’s leaving. I remember sitting on the couch next to my roommate as I was grading my own student’s notebooks, and I started crying.

Something convicted me. It’s like I saw myself. I knew that could easily be me one day. And it scared me.

. . .

Fast-forward 6 years later, I left the public school sector and I am living in a different country, now married and mothering and working with a non-profit organization. I have put my classroom teaching days on hold for now, mostly because I know the days of teaching and playing with my little girl are fleeting.

But two weeks ago, the director of the girls school where I used to teach, asked me if I would be interested in teaching at the junior high? (she just so happens to also be my sister-in-law:). You remember the girls school??!! This one, where I wrote about how I go to their 6th graduation every year and so few of the girls continuing studying because they have to help their families. And now that very school is opening up a jr. high! I was thrilled. I almost said yes, on the spot. I love teaching, and love those girls. It seemed like an easy answer.

But I told her I would talk to Gerber and get back to her.

I shared with him one morning, while standing over the sink, toothbrush in one hand, make-up brush in the other. He listened, and nodded and then remained silent.

He asked a few questions. I got defensive. He said it seemed like our life already felt really full, between juggling work and schedules and groups and caring for our child. He asked why I wanted to add one more thing when he often hears me complaining about not having enough time for things I enjoy?

In my head I rattled off all of my usual mantras, I will be more productive with my timeEverything will get done. I can do one more thing.

He looked at me, as I tried to brush powder on my face and toothpaste on my teeth and said, “I trust you. You can decide what’s best.”

. . .

So I did what I usually do, I prayed while I drove to work that morning and then, texted my best friend.

Usually, what I hear God say and what she says, line up. So that must mean something, riiiiight???

She wrote back, “I know you love teaching, but I think Gerber’s right. It’s ok to say no, sometimes. Your marriage and family may appreciate it.”

Then I heard God say, if you and Gerber aren’t equally excited for something, maybe you should listen to that.

That sounded pretty wise. I swallowed, what I knew was my pride, and called my sister-in-law to say that I wouldn’t be able to teach this year. It was hard, but felt good.

. . .

I know it’s an age-old rule, but sometimes saying no to one thing, means saying yes to something else.

I know myself, and I know that I will always have the propensity to put my work above my family. I know in whatever field I am in, it will be a struggle. I don’t necessarily like this about myself, but I know there is a reason why that movie scene hit me like it did 6 years ago. And I know I need to consistently keep choosing what’s really important. Because just because I can do something, doesn’t mean I should.

I saw something Shauna Niequist or Laura from Hollywood Housewife posted a few months ago and it stuck with me: Don’t Disappoint The Wrong People. And I decided that is my mantra for 2015. That is what I want to repeat to myself this year ahead. This is what I am going to write on a post-it note in my calendar.

Don’t Disappoint The Wrong People.

25th January
written by Michelle

chocolate chip cookie in a ramekin. the after. I forgot to take a picture of the before.

One of the reasons I love blogging (both reading and posting) is it immediately connects you with a whole new sphere of friends. It’s like walking into someone’s home and going, mmm, I never thought about doing that before. I like seeing and learning how other people do life, you know the different ways other people get things done, the shortcuts you take, he recipes you make over and over, and little things you keep in your car or purse.

My friend Becca, from While You Were Napping, recently wrote a “What’s Working” post on her blog last week and I LOVED it. So, I am adding my own:

Here’s What’s Been Working for Us Lately:

In the kitchen:

1) Baking Cookies in Ramekins- It’s been a long week. Solo-parenting…started sleep training…you get the picture. I love homemade chocolate chip cookies, but don’t often get around to making them. I’ve become a big fan of prepping once, eating multiple times! So next time you make your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, roll up half the dough in saran wrap, place it in the fridge and then when ever you want a warm, homemade cookie, scoop a little bit out into a ramekin, bake for 8-10 min and enjoy! I may or may not have done this every night this week (remember husband done, still sleep training, etc). It has become my new favorite way to eat a cookie.

2) Baked Garlic -Parmesan Chicken- this is one of those no brainer, easy, but good dinners. I make it at least once a week because we always have these things on hand. Just dip in olive oil & garlic, rub on breadcrumbs and cheese and some herbs and bake. It makes great leftovers and I bet you could even cut the chicken into little strips for toddler size hands.

Around the home:

3) Water Bottles, Water Bottles, Water Bottles- I am notorious for carrying around my water bottle and then leaving it somewhere and then having to run out to the car at 10:30pm looking for it. I know, I know first world problems. I have started leaving one upstairs in the bedroom, one downstairs by the kitchen and one in the car. I fill them all up at night and have water for the next day. Nursing moms, gotta stay hydrated, right? This brand and water bottle is my all time favorite- leak proof, easy to clean, and for some reasons babies like playing with it?!

4) Pretty Flannel Sheets- Have I told you how I love the Treshold line from Target? Well, I do. Whenever I’m in the US I linger in the aisles, imaging my house decorated with cute, affordable, Treshold things. And then I snap back to reality and remember my two suitcases. Now I know many of you are in this thing called the polar vortex and I won’t even begin to say I know anything about cold outside temperatures. Buuuuuut, even though I’m in the land of eternal spring, it does get down to the 50s sometimes 40s at night here, and with no indoor eating and cement walls, let me tell you, it gets cold inside! When’s the last time you slept in 50 degree weather, huh? So, last month we ordered these pretty, orange flannel sheets. Not too girly, husband approved.

5) Propolis- prop-a-what? You haven’t heard of Propolis? (pronounced “pro-puh-lee”) I hadn’t either until I was visiting my family in December. I started to come down with a cold…sore throat, running nose, blah. My sister, who lived in Italy, said families there use it when someone starts to get sick. You can read more here or here, but basically it comes from bees and it’s strong, healing stuff. I put 20 drops in a spoonful of honey and seriously sore throat, running nose wee gone the next. It will now be a regular in our medicine cabinet. Usually sold at a Whole Foods or your local health food store.

For the Baby:

6) THIS Carseat Activity Bar - my mom bought this for Elena after our first trip to the US when she cried for 90 min straight as we sat in LA traffic. not fun! Needless to say my child doesn’t like her carseat. Granted we are not consistent about putting her in there when we’re here {shocking, I know. don’t judge. Most people in 3rd world countries don’t ever use carseats. I know, I know..gasp!} Regardless, this has helped cut down on crying and fussiness in the car when she’s in her carseat.



7) EASY way to convert pdf-> jpg - I don’t know much about graphic design or coding, but I do lots of editing, writing and emailing for work and always get stuck when I have a pdf file that I want to save as a jpg. Voilà! All you do is click on this website, upload your pdf and then it emails you a link to download your jpg. love, love it!

8) The Notes app on the iphone- Now, I know there are fancier note taking programs like Evernote, but I actually love the simplicity of the electronic yellow notepad. Did you know you can link it right to your gmail account, too? I have like 120 different notes, but they come in so handy. And I can search and access them from my gmail. I have ones with Elena’s medical info, one ongoing one with things we need at the grocery store, blog ideas, things to do for work, the wifi passwords from different cafes and restaurants, etc, etc.

ok, there you have it. That’s what been working for us.

Do share. What has been working for you?

5th April
written by Michelle

I know, I know we are well into April, and I’m a few days too late to link up with Hopeful Leigh, but here’s what I’ve been into { March edition } enjoy!


Cooking and Eating:

Let’s be honest I have been doing more of the latter, the eating. I have tons of great recipe ideas and pins, but my desire to eat often overcomes my patient to cook.

But, I did make this delicious Spinach-Basil pesto from good ol’ Martha Stewart. I have been trying to eat my greens and this seems liked the perfect pesto to just throw in some spinach. Perfect over pasta with fresh tomatoes and chicken.

It’s mango season in Guatemala, so I also made Shauna Niequist’s Chicken Margo Curry from her new book: Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes. It was delightful and a complete meal served over rice. Perhaps, the best part…even better as leftovers! My favorite: stuffed inside pitas, with a yogurt mint sauce.


My book club just finished this travel memoir: Little Princes: One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal. If you liked Three Cups of Tea, it’s a similar theme, but I thought a much better story development and a bit more down to earth.

Also, have been making my way through a Christmas gift from my mom, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within. For any writers or people who wish they wrote more, this is a must! Simple, encouraging truths and much to think (and write) about!


Best of the blogsphere:

Easter was over a week ago, but in Guatemala we get a whole month long celebration. Aly, a friend and fellow expat, wrote a great post about re-evaluating how we celebrate Easter and why.

I don’t know Ellen, but she is wise beyond her years. At 19 she wrote a sincere, honest post about Same Sex Marriage and how maybe all we are called to do is love God and love others. period. I so deeply wish that more men and women who are homosexuals heard this message, and not the one that most Christians preach.

Christena is a women and writer that I met via twitter and the blogword and her posts are always insightful and challenging. She looks at issues regarding social class, race and reconciliation. If you work or serve in a community with people who are different from you, or you just want to be a better listener then you have to read her post about Listening Well As a Person of Privilege
Ashleee, a writer and one of the best photographers out there, looks at social media and wrestles with it’s purpose and intent. Are facebook, instagram and twitter soley self-serving mechanisms that portray happy, perfect pictures that make other people feel like crap? Or is there some thing worth sharing? I have asked many of the same questions myself. Read her post and join the discussion.
I stumbled on this blog through someone else’s and I loved his wife’s post about stretch marks, motherhood and beauty: These are the Lines of a Story.


FREE Stuff on the web:

I love free stuff, especially printable-shareable-on-the-web-kinda free stuff because it’s accessible by ALL- even people without a US IP address. (If my computer wasn’t so smart-damn, IP address-Pandora and Hulu would work here.)

Teachers and really anyone who works with little kids this site has TONS of printable flashcards- letters, colors, numbers, emotions, parts of the body, shapes, etc. It’s also is a GREAT site for anyone teaching beginning ESL.

And what a cute idea is this— downloadable (is that a word?) and printable stickers for a monthly photo or onsie with your little one. I just might try to do this once a month with our Baby Girl.

Pillows and Bathrooms:

Any pregnant mama will understand: I now sleep with no less than three pillows. One for my head, one in between the legs and one under the belly. I know they make fancy body pillows but I’m worried if I got one there would be no room left for Gerber. For now, I’ll choose him and be thankful that my three pillows are working : ) Now, on the subject of bathrooms— let me just say pregnancy makes you appreciate stores that have free, public bathrooms. I now plan my errands around which places that have access to a bathroom- the bank: no. the local grocery store: nope. Cafe Barista, Dona Luis, and Cafe Condesa: yes, yes and yes! (apparently I make lots of stops at coffee shops and panaderias : )


Baby Girl:

Have I mentioned that I love, LOVE etsy- especially the baby stuff. My friend Carrie sent me this link for a super cute diaper bag/tote and I have been eyeing this hat, his “you are so loveable” baby sleep sack and this washable changing pad.

Two friends, Meredith and Becca both swear that this lovely necklace is ideal for new moms, because get this, it’s baby-proof?!? I mean they say your baby can pull, tug or chew on this thing. Sounds like a win, win. Maybe it’s really more for me, than Baby Girl, but I’m adding to it my wishlist regardless.

By the way this is one of the best lists I’ve found of the top 50 etsy baby shops.

Bilingual Resources:

I’ve been searching for more online resources and so far Spanglish Baby and Inculture Parent have been my favorites. Check out these links for great list of spanish/english kids books and a fascinating article about bilingualism how introverts and extroverts learn language.


ok, that’s it for now. Happy Monday!

30th August
written by Michelle


For the majority of my twenties I was the single girl in a group of mainly married friends. Thursday nights we’d  all squeeze onto an over-sized sofa to watch The Office and most weekends we would meet up at the beach on Saturday afternoons. In between passing bags of Kettle chips back and forth, the girls and I flipped through magazines and chatted, while the boys invented games using seaweed and driftwood as markers in the sand. I never felt left out or “less like an adult” because I didn’t come with a significant other.

That is until it was time to leave.

I watched as they hopped into their cars, two-by-two, and drove away together.

I sat in my white Honda with the sunroof down and felt the twinge of sadness that sets in when you realize, I’m going home alone.

Somehow I had imagined my married friends driving home together having incredible conversations; discussing everything that had just happened and responding with active listening skills. Upon arriving at their driveway, I pictured them walking through the door hand-in-hand, having magical moments as they talked in the kitchen and then cuddling up on the sofa, before crawling into bed together.

Now, four years later and 8 months into marriage I can confidently say that I had some unrealistic expectations about marriage.

The truth about marriage is most days are very, very ordinary.

Someone has to take out the trash. Someone has to put gas in the car. Someone has to make the bed. And in our home, it’s whoever is the last person to get-up (which is usually me). There are towels to fold and emails that are waiting for replies. Some days someone is tired, or someone else is stressed and the conversation doesn’t get beyond who is going to the bank? did you call the doctor? And who is going to the airport to pick up the next group? As I write this now, we’re both on our computers. He’s at the table, I’m on the bed. There is no magical moment happening in the kitchen. Unless you count the stack of dishes that are patiently waiting in the sink.

Of course this is not the whole picture of marriage, but it’s definitely part of it. And I think it’s important to tell this part, less any single person is watching their married friends drive away together and still thinking that they are going off to the magical land of holy matrimony.


Marriage is made up of a million, mundane daily tasks. And I have found the beauty in marriage is getting to do these ordinary tasks with someone. Or for someone.

Of course there are still meaningful, long conversations, and spontaneous moments of pure fun and hand-holding while walking through the park, but I have found real intimacy through learning how to do daily life together. And I think this may be be one of marriage’s intended gifts. More than love and magical romantic moments, most of us long for intimacy with a spouse or partner.

The pastor who officiated one of my friend’s wedding a few years ago said this and it has continued to be one of my favorite pictures of marriage:

“Within marriage, you are free to fail without being rejected. You are free to succeed without causing jealousy. You are free to journey through one stage of growth to another, while drawing strength and support from your partner. You are free to face huge problems knowing that each problem will be less intimidating and more manageable because you will face it together. Marriage also allows the freedom to exchange hopes and fears and the whole gamut of feelings with one another. Such intimacy requires hard work and courage, but it is a kind of hallowed journey and, ultimately, a source of fulfillment and freedom.”

I believe this is the kind of marriage you create when you embrace the ordinary, and make time and space for intimacy to grow.


If you’re married what does your “ordinary” look like?

If you’re single have you ever watched married friends drive away together and thought something similar? Why is it so easy to do that?


Keep checking back for more posts on, The Truth about Marriage. I plan on writing from time to time and inviting other people to join in and share their perspective. You can read the first post here:

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.

9th August
written by Michelle

I’ve been out of the blogging world for the past few weeks— thanks to a wonderful group of 35 high schoolers who were here for 7 days and a terribly persistent head cold that has kept me in bed, coughing and congested. But I wanted to give a little update about what’s been going on and a look at day-to-day life in Guatemala.

So, here’s what we’ve been…

Doing: G has been building installing and building water filters like crazy. If you don’t know about the water filter project you can read more here or if you’re really into the engineering and design you can see the technology they use here. I’ve been hosting teams, responding to emails with bzillions of questions, and meeting to plan out 2013. I know, I know 2013 planning is so un-Guatemalan- but since we work with schools and churches that have their master calendars set years ahead of time we have to adjust  : )


Eating: When I was in the states in June one of my many treasures that I brought back was a CROCKPOT and I’ve been loving it. I’ve made this whole chicken recipe a few times since then and it’s delish. Who knew cooking a whole chicken could be so easy? And the best part is you can use the left overs to make chicken stalk or soup for the following day!


Reading: G’s favorite nightly reading is anything on this website. I just finished Michael Pollan’s, Food Rules and a novel called The Surrendered by Chang-rae Lee.


Learning: That the culture wars fought over facebook and twitter that pin the right versus the left and argue over chicken sandwiches and who said what is really not what it’s all about. It’s actually quite embarrassing. I’m thankful for voices like these that offer a different perspective and hope for what I believe really matters: Jen Hatmaker and Meredith Miller. (one blog friend, one real friend : )


Watching: the Olympics…obviously. But, with Spanish commentators. More on that later.


Listening to: If you’re at all interested in justice work and wonder how short term mission is or is not effective listen to this: Kara Powell from the Fuller Youth Institute gives a challenging and humbling message that should cause you and I to question how or why we serve.


Hoping for: That this horrible cold will be gone- I’ve exhausted all of my natural cold remedies and am getting frustrated that I’m still not getting better (c’mon honey-lemon-tea, warm-salt-water-gargles, wheatgrass-shots, and your magic, pleeeaaassse.)

Celebrating: My sister and Brian’s ENGAGEMENT- You can read the whole proposal story here- Getting excited for another family wedding (and not so secretly looking forward to the fact that I don’t have to plan this one : )


What have you been____? (fill in the blank)


17th July
written by Michelle


Last night I posted a [before] picture of my first attempt at making kale chips. 10 minutes later I pulled out something that resembled burnt seaweed, and looked nothing like the crispy, curled lovely chips seen on the recipe’s website. I immediately chalked it up to the fact that Guatemala kale must be different than kale in the states.

However, I was not about to post an [after] picture of my failed kale attempt because some how failures and mess-up don’t seem Facebook and Instagram worthy.

I sometimes wonder if the danger with Facebook and instagram is not what we do post, but we don’t.

Next time you’re scrolling through instagram or Facebook notice what do you and I tend to post pictures of? Cute kids and smiling couples, gorgeous landscapes from recent travels, fun weekend outings and our pinterest inspired recipes success, right? And I believe all of these things are true and worthy of celebrating and sharing, but I have to remind myself that it’s not the whole story.

I think the whole story is that most of us have some hard days and some lonely days and some days where nothing goes as we planned- like burnt kale. But we don’t usually post those pictures. Now, I am not advocating that Facebook become a confessional for venting every lonely, angry or frustrating moment. But I do wonder if sometimes we find it harder to admit and acknowledge these small daily failures or feelings when it seems like everyone else’s instagramed and facebooked life doesn’t have them.

I’ve mentioned Shauna Niequist on here before, not because I’m a slightly stalkerish, but because I really like her willingness to share the whole story. She spoke at her church this Mother’s Day and talked about “taking off your fancy facebook self - because no one’s life is as good as they make it appear on Facebook.” And then my friend and writer, Lesley Miller wrote her reflections to that talk and what it means as a new mom and wife of cancer survivor.  The hope in writing or sharing the whole story is that someone else will feel less alone.

I appreciate both of them for their honesty and their bravery to share the real story of motherhood, of less than perfect families and less than perfect recipes.

Facebook and Instagram don’t tell the whole story, and maybe they are not meant to. But I do believe we need people in our life who do see the whole story. Other writers, friends, moms, mentors and couples who see and tell the whole story. It makes me appreciate the kind of friends who are committed to telling the whole story:

When the recipe works and when it absolutely fails.

When the adorable baby is nothing but joy and when she is cranky, spiting-up and won’t-sleep-for-more-than-three-hours.

The beauty of when you promised, “I do” and the difficulty of keeping it three years later.

When you’re planning an exciting vacation and when you are tired of traveling by yourself.

When you purchase a new home and how you struggled to get out out of debt.

These kinds of friends inspire me to want to do the same: to share the whole story….

…starting with posting how I failed at making kale chips.

 What keeps you from telling the whole story?



25th April
written by Michelle

Yesterday I saw a woman riding a scooter. No big deal, I know.

Lots of women ride scooters.

But this woman was riding on the back of a scooter…



no joke.

There are many things Guatemalans do that I try to incorporate into my life.

But, this will not be one of them.

I am certain.

(this is not a picture of the breastfeeding woman. I was too shocked/amazed/confused to even begin to pull out my camera. This happens to be the only photo I have of a family scooter experience)

this is guatemala


Happy Wednesday wherever you are!

20th February
written by Michelle

Thanks to Beyonce for making this phrase popular and oh-so-catchy. But, I know what you’re thinking. Michelle, you’re not single anymore.  

Somehow it seems that once someone “crosses over” to this other world called marriage you lose the right to speak about awkward first dates, lonely nights at home or being single.  However, in my defense I have spent more of my adult life single than married so I think I have something worth saying. I remember well- very well- what it feels like to be single. So, single ladies- here me out.

I have been married all of 3 months. Just enough months to realize that marriage is wonderful in so many ways, but it takes work. A different kind of work than other relationships. And in these 3 months I have also realized that marriage is no replacement for female friendships. (some of you are saying, duh, obviously not)  I have listened to married friends and mentors and wise women three times my age always tell me this-


but maybe it’s like most things in life, you don’t always believe it until you’re in it.

Since being married I have probabaly enjoyed my female friendships just as much if not more than ever-- a 2 hour skype sesh with one of best friends in California. The kind where the topics change quickly, interspersed with laughter and “wait, wait, do you remember when____?”  A long email exchange from a friend who is honest about where she’s at so it gives me permission to do the same. And an afternoon walk with a friend here where you lose count of how many times you passed by the same street because the conversation is that good.

I have learned these are the kind of relationships that are so important. And I think all too often dating couples, newly engaged and recently married people forget this. Or when we’re single we think- well, I’ll hang out with these girls for now, but once I’m married my husband will fill this role. wrong.

It think it’s safe to say your husband or your future husband will never, ever be one of your girlfriends. It doesn’t matter how caring or thoughtful he is, he will probably never want to sit in on the couch in his pjs and gush about how great that movie was or discuss what color nail polish you should paint your toes. In fact I’d bet money on it.

I sometimes wonder if we place too many expectations on this one person- in this case one man. One person cannot be your best friend, your sole supporter, your lover, your counselor, your partner, your advice-giver, your empathizer, etc. It’s just not possible people.  And I don’t really think it’s healthy either. Don’t get me wrong G is a wonderful husband and we’re enjoying figuring out marriage together, but I think he would agree with me. He can’t and doesn’t want to be all these things for me. In fact he knows, as do I, that I am a better version of myself when I have time with girlfriends.

I mean there are some things that only a girlfriend is going to get. And it doesn’t matter if you’re single or married, divorced or dating. Something about having those female friends who have experienced similar stories of cramps, uncomfortable gyno appointments, hilarious waxing stories and painful birthing stories. Those female friends who know you and your heart and have seen you at your best and at your worst and can tell you when you need to change. Those are the kind of women you want to keep in your life- it doesn’t matter what you’re marital status is.

Do you agree? Married Ladies? Single Ladies?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

8th October
written by Michelle

•  •  •

For the past few months mine and Gerber’s conversations have gone something like this:

 “hey, did you get a copy of the title of the house?

-oh, yeah in October

 “Hun, we still need to scan and email the lawyer our birth certificates.”

-ok, in October

“Mi amor, we still need to reserve the band, right?

- yep, in October

 “We need to plan for the groups that are coming in January.”

-ok, in October

“Can you send that email to our supporters?

- sure, in October

Do you notice a trend?

 Apparently October is a big month for us. We have made big and lofty plans to be productive, efficient and basically, get everything done.


in. October.


And why, not? October seems like a perfectly acceptable month do tackle wedding planning, legal and visa issues, final exams, school graduations, upcoming travel plans, and ministry projects for next year. Did I mention that it’s already October 8th?

Stay tuned for end of the year graduation photos, a shrinking to-do list, plans for next year and reflections on what they don’t tell you about engagement.

happy {rainy} saturday afternoon!

14th February
written by Michelle

Conversation from Friday afternoon:

Me: hey, do you wanna do something on Monday?

Gerber: umm, sure. What’s on Monday?

{awkward silence}

Me: Dia del Cariño. Ya know, Valentine’s Day?

Gerber: ooohhhhh, right.

♥  ♥  ♥

Monday is Valentine’s Day or as we say in Guatemala, Dia del Cariño. Here Dia del Cariño is generally celebrated by niños en la escuela and is not a huge holiday for people over the age of 14. However, it’s funny how in the states this hallmark made, florist exploited holiday has been marketed to mainstream society. And a day that is supposed to be about showing love to those you care about easily becomes something else.

In light of Valentine’s Day and Dia del Cariño here is what I’ve been learning about love recently:

Love gives the freedom to be yourself, but also the challenge to become a better person. ♥  Love leaves room for mistakes. ♥  No one knows how to love well until you practice. ♥ “I love you” and “I am sorry” hold equal importance.  ♥ You can’t love someone else well, until you learn to love yourself. ♥  “I was right” should be said with caution and used in very small doses. ♥ Sometimes love means simply listening, and not always sharing your opinion.  ♥ Communication is a fine art, that takes dedicated practice. ♥  Being honest about the little things, make trust in the big things a lot easier.  ♥  Love can make you feel so comfortable, that it’s easy to give our leftovers to the person we love the most and our best to strangers and acquaintances. I think it should be reversed.  ♥  Hugs should be given in abundance. ♥  I am convinced we should laugh the most with those we love. ♥ Love involves waiting. ♥  Love hopes for someone, when they’ve lost the energy to hope for themselves.  ♥ Love lets dreams and ideas flourish, but also holds them loosely. ♥  Manipulation and control bring nothing good. ♥  Love is persistence through the process. ♥  Love reminds us of the One who first loved us. ♥  Some people love talking about calendars and dates, some people don’t. Love means finding a balance. ♥  Love stands consistent through the tears, anger, disappointment, and grief.  ♥  Love gives permission to agree to disagree. ♥  Love learns to live between “let’s see what happens” and “let’s make something happen.” ♥  Love allows room for change and growth. ♥  Love celebrates the little things.

Whether you spend today with a dear friend, a wonderful sister, a tiny child, a faithful spouse or an incredible boyfriend, my hope and prayer is  that we may learn how to love others well.

♥  ♥  ♥

photo credit: sister72

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