Puzzle pieces.

Homes. It’s always around the holiday’s that I start thinking more about this home thing. Where we are from and what we grew up with makes us part of who we are. We try to decorate our homes with things we love that make us feel a belonging. A space to call our own that we can let our hair down and just simply “be.”

Now, that we have an almost five month old -traditions and the thought of a home have become even more important to me. I want my baby to have grand memories and memories that she can pass on to her own children someday. As Thanksgiving and Christmas approach I can’t help but think of where we are going and where we came from. I come from my grandma’s Christmas cookies and cutting down our own Christmas trees in the snow. I come from sledding, and gingerbread making, snow forts, snowball fights, and stockings on Christmas morning.

Wisconsin. marriage.Korea. Morocco.baby tori. Mexico. When I sit down and think about it…it feels like we’ve been around the world and BACK. & whew! It’s been such an incredible 6 ish years or so. but mama needs a break. I needed some roots. At least for a bit.

When we were thinking about where we wanted the next “home” to be Mexico was appealing. After we left Wisconsin for a new adventure in Korea I realized how important it is that you love where you live. It plays such a huge role into my daily happiness level and how we spend our time. Korea had the most gorgeous hiking, camping, mountains, and we lived on the ocean. It had seasons, but much less harsh than those brutal midwest winters. BUT it was so so far from family. Our jobs were extremely laid back, but didn’t challenge us professionally. & after two years it was time to go.

Morocco, was SO INTENSE. After Korea, I craved a place that would just feel. We were seeking passion. Morocco, provided incredible scenery, incredible growth, and a whole heck of a lot of trusting God cause oh, my goodness we walked through that desert. We lived on the ocean and had a gorgeous apartment that proved to be just the oasis we needed. We eventually found an amazing community of other families and other Christians trying to navigate a Muslim world. We belonged. Our friends became family so fast. & we needed it. but we felt so far away. Our jobs weren’t sustainable. We had insanely horrible internet (which sounds silly but it was our connection to our family and friends back in the states) and it was flipping hard. Like so hard. Every single thing was a struggle. With a baby coming we knew that our time in Morocco was finished. I’ll never forget the stunning Sahara sand, the most amazing stars in the desert, our community, the traditional Moroccan music. The spices. The markets. The colors. The passion.

and that brings us to our newest home here in Mexico. Where I sit in our adorable casita in the cutest neighborhood. With the kindest locals. Mexico. Much closer to our families. A lot more like the states. We can DRIVE to Texas. The weather is glorious. Tom is happy in his job (SUCH A BLESSING) and the most incredible gift of it all: I am able to stay home with our precious baby. I get to be a stay at home mom. Which is what I’ve always dreamed of. It’s always taken us just over a year after moving to feel at home in a place. to really find our stride. Find our people. and now I have lots of time to think about this little thing called home and how our piece fits into the puzzle of life here.

What do we want? What’s important to us? Where will be next? What traditions will we create for our daughter?

We have a crazy love for the mountains. We do love the seasons but perhaps just not the long dark winters that last for six months of the year. I would love to be a weekend car trip away from family. I would love to eventually speak the language where I live 😉 We both want our daughter exposed to different cultures and hopefully to be bilingual. We want travel to always be apart of our lives. Right now, Mexico provided a lot that we couldn’t get in the states as far as finances go. I don’t have to stress about working and can focus solely on Tori which is a huge blessing. We are living off one teacher’s salary here in Mexico which is probably nearly impossible without me working in some capacity in the states. We are sooooo much closer to family. It’s a 2 hour flight to Dallas and a 2 hour flight from Dallas to Minnesota. We live 15 minutes from the airport here. We can come back to Wisconsin and Minnesota to be with family for Christmas and also eight weeks in the summer.

So for now, I have a lot of thoughts that sit with me. I always think of our life here on earth as pieces of a puzzle. He has them all in the box & then slowly we put them together. Each experience, decision, or life change adds another piece to the puzzle. Will Mexico be home for more than another year or two? Will we move back to the states or do we want to stay abroad? It’s been five years since we’ve even lived there. Our lives look so different than most that I know. As my friend Diana once said… I so often feel like a “fish out of water.” I am American but I don’t live in America. I am a mama, but I don’t speak the language here. I am a teacher. but I am not teaching right now. I have a home, but we don’t own it.

I don’t have the answers and right now I’m okay that we really simply just do not know. It sure is often on my mind. I am thankful for the life we have lived and are living abroad because man have I learned so much more than if I had never left. I’ve been challenged, I’ve been humbled, we’ve explored. we’ve learned. and my oh my goodness how we’ve grown. but there’s something to be said about coming…home. & right now home is right here. in this sunny corner of the world in Mexico.

 

Comments

  1. So glad that you are enjoying Mexico. someday when we finally settle down once again, I can see us doing it in Mexico. It just about checks every box of ours.

    We have now been 10 years without a proper place to call home and to be honest we really don’t miss that, we do however miss our families and that is the hardest part of not being near them. We always try to see them at least twice a year and encourage them to come and join us where ever we may be at the time.

    Seeing new places and learning about other cultures has been an amazing experience so I know exactly where you are coming from. Keep on enjoying life there in Mexico and have fun over the holidays with your families.

    Ruth

  2. I love hearing your thoughts about life, faith, and living and traveling abroad. I always learn something new. One thing that struck me as I was reading this is that, while all my extended family lives in the US as do we, very few are within an easy drive. I have family on the west coast, the east coast, and the southeast. Some we don’t see every year (though we try so hard to, but sometimes, with large families, it is just hard to see them all) and some we see multiple times a year. Living in the same country doesn’t always make it easy to see family. But, making it EASIER to see family, especially when there are cousins of similar ages, watching your child(ren) grow with your nieces and nephews, and for grandparents to have time to build a relationship with their grandchildren…that is a gift. I don’t think it is necessarily living in the same country or even the same state that ensures that, however, but intention and the commitment to spending time with family. Mexico sounds like the perfect place for you right now and what a blessing that Tom loves his job and you love your role too being home with Tori full-time. And to feel at home – what a blessing! Thanks for sharing:)