Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A lot can happen in a year.

Top: Theo then and now.
Bottom: Margot then and now.

 Once when I worked at a company our team had this big meeting/presentation all about the book "The Secret." It's a mysterious sounding book and concept that basically boils down to--"If you think about something constantly and make it a main goal in your life, you will achieve it." And they applied this technique to making money, achieving career goals, and finding a front row parking spot. If you believe, you will achieve, they said. Of course, it's common sense that if you put all your positive thought and energy into something, most of the time you can achieve a lot. I thought the whole meeting was a little silly but decided to go all in on this concept, and at the time Jon was applying to dental schools. "We will live in Oregon," was my constant thought. And sure enough, it happened. And I guess it worked again because we have never stopped thinking about wanting to go back to Portland, taking jobs that would help us get back there, etc. Serendipitously and through a very round about way a job opportunity came along, Jon interviewed and we waited and waited and waited, me with too much hope and expectation and also little hope and no expectation. On the plane en route to Mexico Jon was offered the job, and I started sobbing two feet away from a flight attendant. We never expected to have two moves so close together, but we are so excited about this opportunity and could not pass it up. Jon gets to work in public health, which he loves, and we get to move back to what we consider our home. In less than a month. So a lot has to get done between now and then, but luckily we never fully unpacked. Soon we will be back in the clouds just in time for berry season, and get to reunite with friends that feel like family to me. I'm really excited to meet new friends too, although in our short time in Las Cruces we have met some really wonderful people. We will always remember New Mexico and our time here, and I will always put green chiles on my burgers and pizza for the rest of my life. (And you should too, it's delicious.)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

There was far too little Mexican food involved.

She climbed up my legs rather than touch the water first, but we got there. And I am about to talk a lot about ice cream, which brings me to my #1 travel tip--buy a blousey swimsuit. Hides an impressive amount of coconut laden sins.

Arlo loooooves sand.

This is what a beach vacation with kids looks like. Cap'n Jon at his finest.

Taken by my sis Kenz

My mom made robes for all the grand kids. An idea I had earlier but laughed it off because it was so crazy. My mom is pretty awesome.

Right before we went to Mexico with my whole family I started to get nervous. There were a lot of things that could possibly go wrong--and as the person who planted the "let's have a family vacation!" seed into my parents brains, which then sprouted and grew in to a trip to Cancun with six children five and under--I was worried that I would regret suggesting it in the first place. But, if you have the right set of expectations, a vacation can go well with three babies who nap twice a day. First of all, take all relaxation expectations and just get rid of them. I love a beach vacation merely just to sit under an umbrella and listen to the waves and have no responsibilities whatsoever. I think one afternoon I had about two hours where this came true. It was awesome and unexpected, and appreciated. Mostly we tried our best to all be in the same place at the same time, letting the cousins play and just following their lead. We stayed at the resort and ordered countless non-alcoholic mojitos, and went from beach to kid pool to hotel room to nap. Theo loved it all and loved having his grandparents to swim with, and copied his cousin's every move. Margot hated the pool, ocean, and sand for the first few days but gradually swam with me willingly and touched her hands into the sand (you can't win them all). It was an all inclusive resort so the kids were able to eat whatever they wanted for five days. Margot subsisted almost exclusively on lunch meat, as she likes to pick one food group when we travel and stick to it. Theo ate...well, some days I'm not sure if he ate more then fruit loops, fries and ice cream, but I didn't care too much. The ice cream was delicious, and self serve (not to be confused with soft serve), and Margot and Theo (and I) fully enjoyed eating coconut ice cream for both lunch and dinner. And maybe because it was magical vacation time--but I loved giving it to them. Caution to the wind! Endless ice cream for all! I'm not eating much ice cream this week.

The most exciting thing we did was sail on a catamaran, a boat that is as fun to spell as it is to ride. Jon learned how to sail it and loved taking us all out on the warm ocean. Cap'n Jon now wants to buy one, but I'm pretty sure all the splashing may make it less fun in colder waters.

We had a really good time and I'm so grateful to my parents who undertook this huge event. It was good to spend time with my siblings and respectfully make fun of my brother who tried to wind surf with no prior experience. It was so entertaining. Jake, you have more courage than I!

Also entertaining--our trip home. After being delayed in the Cancun airport for two hours (which while very clean, is hot, humid, and lacks free wifi) we had to sprint through the "express" customs lane after a baggage claim jammed and held our carseat hostage, barely made our connecting flight after they closed the plane door and started retracting the walkway. (Is there a bigger, more spread out airport than Dallas? I don't think so.) We made it to El Paso at about 10:00 pm, then found that our car battery was dead. After jumping the car I realized I lost the parking ticket, and the generator we used to jump our car blew out the fuses on our head lights. And that concluded possibly one of the last times we take very young kids out of the country. Now I know why America bought Hawaii. Customs!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Costco run (also, Chipotle)

Juarez and the fence.

Last weekend we drove down to El Paso to buy a bike trailer/jogger from Costco. When you get to El Paso, the freeway does this slight bend and runs along the Mexico border, giving you a peek over a small canyon into Juarez. Every time we make the trip I'm fascinated by it--this completely different world that exists right there past the river. You know what else fascinates me? The Mormon colonies that are over there. Maybe it's growing up in Idaho, but I did not even know they existed until we moved here. A lady in the branch was talking about how her husband was born in the Mexico in the colonies and then Mitt Romney was talking about his dad, and everyone else in the southwest who has some cousin's friend who lived there and it made me wonder what they were talking about. Now after the fact it feels a little ridiculous I did not know about this little Mormon subculture. (Unless you didn't know about it--did you?) It reminded me of the time in college that I found out wolverines were real animals. My world was rocked. Also narwhals. Animals are not my forte.

We are headed to Mexico soon, obviously not Juarez or the colonies part. I am bringing a book you can physically hold and read. And a sun hat and a rash gaurd and hopefully no tan lines. Cause I love shade, ever so much.