Sunday, January 21, 2018

meet you at the beach.

After last night's goodbye party, I've been reflecting with an achy heart on farewells. Usually they aren't forever, but sometimes not knowing when the goodbye ends makes it feel just the same. It seems I've lived that feeling of breaking away so many times since that first time I said goodbye to my family and friends and got on a plane to Mexico. 
I never thought I would stay long enough to be the one on the other side of goodbyes, but that has turned out to be a steady constant during my life in this city. 
And I'm learning that sometimes it hurts a bit more to watch others leave as you stay behind. 

Actually, this is an achy heart that has been building over the past couple weeks alongside the stacks of boxes that get filled around the house. 
This achy heart has been reminding me to cherish moments like last night's barbecue on our friends' little rooftop patio as the sun set over the skyline. 
This achy heart is proof of how precious the friends I've been surrounded with are. 

Watching seasons come to a close is hard. 
But this was a beautiful one and to say I'm thankful is to greatly understate how much I've absolutely delighted in the time spent with Andrea and the sisterhood that's grown between us...sharing a home, sharing big breakfasts and cinnamon rolls, and sharing and living the ups and downs of every day together. 

Andrea - thank you for giving me a home, coffee every morning in the Tinkerbell mug, and for being a sister to me. 
I love our story and couldn't have written it out more perfectly if I tried. 
Meet you at the beach. 

Monday, November 20, 2017


The ruse was this: make Gama believe that I finally needed my Acapulco chairs back (thanks for giving them a temporary home, by the way). 
Oh, and Gama - would you carry them all the way up to the roof? 

He did because he's great like that, and when he mounted the last of the winding stairs and turned the corner up onto the roof, we were all there to cheer and call out birthday wishes. He went from person to person, hugging everyone, and convincing us that he definitely was surprised. 

The coals were already stoked, sending a dry smoke curling around the rooftop. Tanya had secretly stashed meat, her famous salsa, and nopales in a diaper bag so Gama wouldn't notice. But now, those things made their way out of the bag and everyone else's contributions to the carne asada were unpacked onto the long folding table. The first round of grilling was underway and we started assembling tacos & quesadillas (and we didn't stop for hours). 

Heavy footsteps from the kids stomping and chasing each other around mingled with bursts of laughter floating away from each little cluster of friends. 
And slowly, the party wound down as the sun tucked away between layers of cityscape, leaving us with a 360 degree view of one of the most picturesque sunsets to end the night. 

We gathered the last of our things until all that was left was the set of Acapulco chairs. 
Gama brought them back downstairs and loaded them into the car again because I wasn't actually ready for them...sorry

P.S. ¡Feliz cumpleaños!

Friday, November 17, 2017

¡bienvenido max!

When people use phrases like "sharing life" to describe community or relationship, I feel like it falls so short. 
What I've seen and experienced has been people living each others' hurts & heartaches as deeply as their joys & celebrations. 

Today was one that was filled joy. The kind where all of a sudden you realize how much your cheeks hurt because your smile has been stretched so far across your face for so long. The kind where laughter comes easy and often. 
The girls gathered together at Casa Tassel and celebrated our sweet friend, Azucena, and lived the joy of her pregnancy, the anticipation of baby Max's arrival, and the excitement that comes from planning and dreaming.  

But just a couple weeks ago, Azu and her husband were forced to evacuate their apartment because the earthquake rocked the building's foundation and left it structurally unsound and unpredictable. The tone of that day was much different. Heavier, more somber, and touched by hurts and fears that kept making their way to the surface. 
Some of the guys from church rallied together and made as many trips up and down the seven flights of stairs that they could. 
Azu wasn't allowed back in the building because of her pregnancy, but she stood on the street just outside with one hand on her belly and the other hand reaching out to take the hand of neighbors, to hear their stories, and to pray for them. 

I'm thankful for both events and to have been able to live them with my friend and to learn from her example of cherishing people 
and finding joy and delight no matter her circumstances. 

But I'm especially thankful that today was a day to celebrate.