Monday, July 16, 2018


What is home? Where is home? 
I use the word a lot and sometimes even confuse myself when I say it. 

Maybe it’s the house my dad built with the American and Marine flag out front 
and a big yard out back that spills into the field where we played baseball every day after school with the cousins as often as the weather allowed 
(and even sometimes when it didn’t). When our baseball, football, or frisbee ended up in the creek, Travis always went in for it, thankful for some excuse to hop in. 
It’s where the mulberry tree grew and we stained our shirts, hands, and lips over and over all summer long. 
It’s where I wrestled with my brothers, where I sat on the swing for hours, and where I cried in secret when the reality set in that I was leaving for Mexico. 

Maybe Mexico is home. It’s the place I built an entirely new life. 
Where my heart ached for that first year struggling to love a place that felt so foreign – where felt so foreign. 
It’s the place that I learned to speak a language that opened up doors to have the most stunning relationships with people who opened their homes and hearts to me without reservation. Where I danced salsa on rooftops, learned to love chile on everything from mangos to grasshoppers, and became equally overwhelmed and enchanted by the vibrancy and endlessness of the city. It’s the place I swore I’d live forever. 

Maybe Colorado is home. Here, I’m captivated by the mountains and the way the sun casts golden light onto the foothills until it tucks away in a cool, pink haze.  
Here, you can feel the difference of the fresh air on your skin, in your lungs, and in your soul.  
Here, I have many old friends and have made many new friends. 
We ride bikes to ice cream shops, pass a lot of time at back patio grills, and forever plan the next trail and trek to tick off the list. 
Here, I plan to start over again. I don’t have all the details figured out just yet, but I have peace and that’s enough for now. 

I’ve said it a thousand times: goodbyes are hard. 
I knew that with whatever decision I made, there would be pain. No one scenario could play out perfectly. 
As I return to Mexico to pack up my things and say my goodbyes, my heart aches once again – much like when I left my first home in Chicago. 
It also skips a beat in excitement when I think about what’s to come. 
I’m not sure how such conflicting emotions can live together, but as I simultaneously mourn and celebrate, I’m thankful for the home that I’ve had in Mexico.

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!