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Mexico || Almost Home.

We are less than two weeks away from heading home, it’s bittersweet. I think we are both equally as much excited to head as home as much as we will miss it here. Our first few weeks here in Mexico we felt pretty eager to get involved with all of the ministries in the area that were helping the families living in the dump, the orphanage, the prison, etc. We kind of felt the pressure of getting our hands dirty really quickly so that we weren’t ‘wasting our time’ out here after making, what was for us, a big decision to come here. But there was an overwhelming feeling of needing to be patient, ministries not getting back to us, or plans falling through it was kind of discouraging and we were wondering why it felt like God was keeping us from doing stuff here.

But over the past few weeks more and more relationships have developed with locals. If you know David at all you know he’s a bit of people magnet, relationships are his strength. One afternoon David & Poppy were walking up the road and one man literally stopped his motorcycle and asked David to hang out with him. So of course without hesitation David made plans for the next day to go to his house and the two of them have developed a really meaningful relationship. Every Sunday night for the past couple months we have gone out for dinner with the young mechanic that serviced our car one day and have also developed a great relationship with him.

More relationships keep developing and David’s ability to communicate in Spanish with these people has been really amazing. Once again, God knew best… Classic God. Because even though in the past few months we have had the chance to visit a woman in prison, see the families living in the dump, and go to the orphanage (which have all been really wonderful & challenging experiences!) We’ve mostly been learning the importance of slowing down and being available to the people and community around us in the everyday situations. All of the connections we’ve made happened while doing ordinary things because we had the free time on our hands.

I’ve been learning here that you don’t have do grand things to make an impact. To think that something has to make a big change in the world for it to be worth giving our time to isn’t true. It can feel daunting how much needs to be done in different parts of the world and if we wait until we can solve those problems we’ll likely never do it.

If making an impact in just one families life doesn’t feel like enough for us to make the shift and uproot our own comfortable lives for it is somewhat of an arrogant position that we take. Something has convinced us that our own happiness, wealth, and comfort is more important than someone else’s. If the most valuable thing to me is to glorify God the best I can and if Jesus said you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart… You shall love your neighbour as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” then my position needs to change and I need to develop a heart of deep compassion for people. I need to learn to love them the way I do myself when the truth is that obviously I care with all my heart that my kids aren’t hungry, that they get treated when they’re sick, and that they don’t have to stand in highway traffic and juggle to make money for our family. 

We have never necessarily felt like we lived far beyond our means, we’ve lived month to month for the majority of our marriage (#artistlife) but after coming down here we quickly realized what wealth we have just by the fact that our basic needs are taken care of, that our kids have multiple pairs of shoes and have never missed a meal. It’s been really cool here to see how easily someone like us has been able to help people with their needs, provide work, and invest in relationships with them that can be very impactful (on both sides).

It’s humbling.

When you decide to move to do missions work you kind of imagine changing a community, solving problems, “making an impact”. But we were reminded that we are a very small part of a very large body and each single cell of that body matters. God may ask us to commit our entire lives to reaching very few people and those people are worth that sacrifice. Whether it’s overseas or at home creating the time to invest in people is possibly the most important. I’m hoping and praying that I can learn to slow down at home and stop being so busy, that I can break my tendency to fill every day with tasks to make room for the interruptions that a life committed to Jesus consists of.

“Loving people the way Jesus did, means living a life of constant interruptions.” – Bob Goff

Hierve el Agua

I kept seeing signs around town pointing down the road to “Hierve El Agua” so I looked it up online and obviously knew we had to visit this place! It’s about an hour drive from Oaxaca City to the narrow dirt road that leads up the mountain to Hierve. The Mountain road isn’t too long but it’s a very slow drive. Because a dirt road here is the dirt road of all dirt roads and the edge of the road the whole way up is a very steep cliff, so it get interesting when a oncoming car needs to pass. But that drive alone is worth the trip because it’s SO beautiful. I just love seeing such different ways of life here, men riding horses in the middle of no where leading donkeys, goats, and dogs up the mountain, and people harvesting squash on the edge of the cliff. It’s pretty cool.

Thankfully for the drive there our kids kept their cool and we were able to enjoy the beauty of the desert. Once we got there though it was HOT, and a lot of direct sun on our pale skinned babes. We started hiking down to the pools not knowing how far it would be and feeling a little hot & bothered David said “Is it worth the walk or should we turn back now?” haha. Good thing we’re weren’t babies about it because obviously it was worth the 5 more minutes of walking.

The water wasn’t warm, contrary to the name, but it wasn’t too cold to swim in especially in the heat. Both the kids loved it. The water has a very high mineral content and is said to be healing water because of that. We all had a white coating of dried minerals on us when we left.

I don’t have a photo of it but from that cliff you can see the “petrified waterfall” which is beautiful but we definitely didn’t have the energy to hike over to that. The rock floor around the pools has openings to the underground canals that bubble up water flowing into the pool, so amazing, especially in the middle of the desert.

Skip wanted me to just let him go and crawl around here, he loves being in the water, it’s pretty cute. My semi-OCD husband was very strict about how close to the cliff edge we were allowed to get 😉

 And then two Vultures landed beside us… buhhhh bye.

The drive home was not quite as beautiful and peaceful, Skipper is good at a lot of things, sleeping in the car is not one of them… He puts up a good fight before he’ll fell asleep in his carseat. Driving in first gear the entire way down a mountain with a crying baby in the backseat isn’t my idea of a good time. But worth the trip, and I still had a bag of Sal y Limon Fritos & the worlds largest coconut in my lap to sip so I can’t complain.

Also, does anybody else’s husband have you spoon feed them while they drive…? David got a cup of very juicy fruit with chile for the car and I spent the last half of the drive putting each bite into his mouth and catching the juice from his mouth with my hand lol… true love right?

Puerto Escondido

This past weekend we flew to Puerto Escondido in Mexico. David visited this surf town 12 years ago, as a young hopeless romantic gazing into the sunset feeling like Ryan Atwood. So when we decided to move down to Mexico for the fall he said we needed to visit Puerto. We decided it would be a good idea to plan a vacation for ourselves halfway through our 4 month trip. We also came down here to do a photoshoot for a non-profit shop we will be launching soon at a location we booked in the tropical desert.

I thought the beach sounded great but getting there did not! It’s not far the way the crow flies, but there are only small winding mountain roads to get there, about a 7 hour drive that everyone we talked to confirmed your kids will vomit. Soundsssss awesome. But after some digging on the internet we found a pilot that does the flight most days in his little cessna, he books via whatsapp and you pay him cash when you land haha. My fear of small planes also made this option sound terrifying. But after hearing that he’s done this flight roughly 10,000 times (!!!) I felt a little reassured and said yolo. The plane in the photo above, was the “big” one we took home, the way there was a tiny little VW bug in the sky.

We visited the infamous surf beach, Zicatela, one morning and as beautiful as it was it was totally ruined by a little miss Poppy. She was hot, tired, and whining. We realized that our days of laying on the beach watching the waves are better saved for an adult only vacation and that hermiting ourselves at the resort for the weekend by the pool was the way to go when trying to relax with little ones.

Waking up to the sound of waves and beautiful sunrises is probably by favourite thing about the beach! Every morning I went out on the patio before the kids were up and did yoga (thanks to the French man that lent me his yoga mat) with this view, bliss!!! I could do that every day for the rest of my life and not get tired of it. Also nap times spent at a swim up bar happy hour aren’t so bad either, I’ll take those every day too.

The surf was quite rough at the beach we stayed at but that didn’t stop David from diving in. He found an old beach bum lifeguard (that talked exactly like Crush from Nemo) to take him out into the water and learn how the currents work. When he asked him if they should worry about sharks “Crush” responded with “There are plenty of fish in the sea bro…”. David said it was maybe the best 45 minutes of his life (I was slightly offended by that haha….). When we got home, he had already started looking into buying a wetsuit, as he was planning on taking up surfing lessons. As there were a lot of suits to choose from, he came across a review recommending something like the O’Neill wetsuits to buy online. You didn’t have to tell him twice. He was ready to get this and straight onto the phone to book some lessons. He was so serious about it all. I’m glad he was able to find something he loved on our trip.

It was really good to face my fear of small planes, I actually wake self up regularly from dreams of our family going down in a plane. This season of life has been all about overcoming my fears & anxieties each little one at a time, and it really is freeing. I’ve definitely learnt that there is no such thing as chasing safety, so why try.

I’ll post a video soon of more beach shenanigans and releasing baby turtles into the ocean!

Poppy These Days

Poppy is 3.5 on creeping up on 4 years old (in January). I can’t believe she has been around for the majority of our marriage now, It makes sense though, I really can’t remember what life was like before her. She is becoming funnier by the day, I really enjoy seeing her creativity and sense of humor develop. We have one rule though… no lame jokes. If the punch line to your knock knock joke is “bum bum” you will receive no pity laughs from us, try again. If you’re going to be the next Kristen Wigg you need to practice up.

Ten things about Poppy these days:

  1. Her favourite song is Nothing Compares To You by Sinead O’Connor  (yes!)
  2. The longer a dress or skirt is the better; more princess like.
  3. Underwear is usually off for the day by 11am.
  4. She likes to impersonate people while making a face like Jim Carey
  5. She won’t let me cut her hair because she’s going to look like Rapunzel
  6. She is obsessed with the idea of going to Disneyland (ever since her older cousin went)
  7. She keeps mispronouncing “Easter Egg Hunt”… She drops the “egg” all together and replaces the “H” with a “C” (I’ll let you figure that one out) I have some great videos of her saying it that are too explicit for the internet
  8. She speaks gibberish to the kids here in Mexico because she assumes its the same as Spanish
  9. Wakes up every morning yelling “I WANT TO CUDDLE MY BROTHER!!!!”
  10. If I let her dress herself she would wear the most obnoxious pink & purple sparkly dresses every single day

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