Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Throughout my 23 years of life there are many skill sets that I've honed in on. Ones that I've perfected and mastered. Ones where I would confidently label myself as an expert. No where on that list of skills would you find anything remotely related to "completes a long term goal."

I've read that it takes 21 days to form a habit. Or is it 30? Either way, I haven't stuck anything out long enough to form it into a daily habit. And trust me, I've tried. I began countless years writing one sentence a day, every day in a journal in hopes of having a snapshot of that year come December 31. By the time March rolls around, my journal is usually under my bed collecting moth balls.

And don't even get me started on work out regimens. I've pinned, printed, hung up, and started more work outs that I can imagine. Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred would be perfect, right? Wrong. Three weeks in and I'm done. Sorry Jillian Michaels, but I just couldn't hack it.

So it doesn't come as much of a surprise that New Years Resolutions aren't really my thing. I think they're fantastic, don't get me wrong. But they just aren't for me. I could tell myself that I'm going to eat healthy and journal every day and work out so that I have a smokin' hot bod when I go back home, but really, I'm just setting myself up for failure. Because the reality of it is, my vegetables are going to rot in the fridge before I get a chance to eat them, my journal is going to be left blank, and my work out clothes are... still on the rack at the store because I don't even own them yet.

But then I came across One Word 365. The premise is simple.

Forget the New Years Resolutions. Just Choose One Word.

One word that you incorporate into your daily life. That pushes you, that changes you.

One word. I can definitely handle one word.

So I thought about it. For a whole two hours. I even slept on it. During my afternoon nap.

I wanted to do something cool, like "risk" or "embrace". But no matter how many times I told myself that I had found my word, I kept coming back to the word faith.

Okay, okay. I get it. Girl can pick up on hints, all right? And so faith it is. 

Which is actually way more appropriate than "risk" or "embrace", but slightly more terrifying. Faith implies that I'm not in control anymore. And coming from a girl who gave herself a stomach ulcer in the fifth grade because she worried too much about things out of her control, that's kind of a big deal. 

But the whole point of New Years Resolutions, the forming of new habits, or One Word 365 isn't to stay as you are. They're to change you, to pull you, to prod you, to make you feel uncomfortable. And, ultimately, to mold you into a better version of yourself. There are other words that would have been way easier for me to choose, and many come to mind, but they all defeat the purpose of One Word 365.

So, 2014, here we go. Faith.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Let The Waves Hit Your Feet...

...and the sand be your seat.

I don't know what it is, but you can ask anyone and they will tell you that it's true. I LOVE the beach. Not love as in I enjoy spending time there once in awhile, but love as in I actually can't live without it. CEE is the only school I applied to teach at that isn't within thirty minutes of a beach-- figures, right?

I need the beach. I need to be there. I need to feel the sand between my toes and hear the waves crashing on the shore line. I need to walk through the water (however frigid it may be) and have my biggest worry be whether or not I'm going to drop my sandals in the water. Regardless of weather and duration of time spent at the beach, I leave the beach a better, happier, more rejuvenated person than when I arrived. I need it, I crave it. I physically, mentally, and emotionally cannot live without it.

That being said, it comes as no surprise that I started counting down the days until we left as soon as Sarah and I started to walk the walk and not just talk the talk when it came to planning a trip to Roatan.

We'd been talking about it for almost as long as we've been together in this country. We just never had enough time. Any time that we had a long enough break, we were required to leave the country (tragic, I know) and the time that we had previously planned to go got botched when Sarah was told she had to go to the Grade 11 graduation. But this year we were determined to make it happen.

We both spent a short amount of time in North America before returning to Honduras for New Years Eve and then our long anticipated trip. It was a whirlwind week of airport travel, a late night ringing in the new year, and early mornings to catch ferries and make the drive to La Ceiba. Which resulted in a decline of proper/ adequate sleep while also showing an incline in an incredibly erratic pattern of sleeping in cars/ buses/ other modes of transportation and an overcompensation of lack of sleep at odd times of the day. Needless to say, we were so ready to be in Roatan.
The original plan was to wake up early the morning of the 1st, drive to La Ceiba, catch the 4:30pm ferry, spend the 2-3 in Roatan, and then take the ferry home on the 4th. Did that happen? Of course not. Were we surprised? No. We ended up staying a night in La Ceiba due to the ferry not running on the 1st since it was a holiday. But ironically enough, we stayed in the EXACT SAME ROOM that we stayed in almost exactly a year ago when we went to La Ceiba. I'm sensing an annual anniversary trip in the works here.
We finally make it to Roatan and its fantastic. Everything I could have ever hoped for in a vacation on a tropical island with some of my best friends. It happened to rain the ENTIRE day we were there, so we didn't get to actually do many beach-y things, but it was so. nice. to be forced to relax. We napped, we hung out, we read books, we watched TV, we laid in the hammock. We didn't have a choice. And it was wonderful.
The rain let up for a couple hours in the afternoon, so Cristian and I took a lancha to West Bay. Where we snorkeled. At sunset. With fish. But not sharks. That I know of.  The water was so blue, I couldn't get over it. Nor could I get past my fear that I was going to snorkel over some coral, slash my leg open, and die right in the Caribbean. I didn't, obviously.

Sadly we had to take the 7am ferry back to the mainland the next day, so we didn't really get to experience too much of Roatan. Which, tragically, means that we'll just have to go back sometime. Where snorkeling, the underwater museum, a dolphin tour/ boat ride to Cayos Cochinos, and a glass bottom boat tour are all in order.

It might not have been the trip to Roatan that we expected. (And really, you'd think we would stop expecting anything on any of our vacations because something seems to go awry every. single. time.) But it ended up being the exact trip to Roatan that we needed.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

'Cause This Christmas I'm Home.

Maybe you've heard this song, or maybe you haven't. Maybe you're familiar with the regular version, or maybe you're not. Regardless, I stumbled across the Christmas version while spending some time in Ohio and I couldn't even handle how much it put into words how I felt.

Especially this part:
I can close my eyes and see the angel on the tree,
A blanket of snow outside
And all my friends and family
And though I know that you're no farther than a call away
I need to see your face
A call could never be the same.

I know that I can talk to anyone in my life at anytime. Facebook, email, iMessage, MagicJack, etc all make this possible. Anyone I want to talk to is literally just a phone call away. But a phone call, or even a FaceTime, isn't the same as physically being with someone. I can't reach out and hug a person through my phone. A call could never be the same.

So I spent eight wonderful days actually visiting with some of the people who mean the most to me.

Did I want to go to Mongolian BBQ with my little, grandlittle, and BFFs? Absolutely.
Did I want to give my best friend the biggest hug in the world because only seeing each other for 48 hours a years just doesn't cut it? Without a doubt.
Reunited and it felt so good.
Did I want to spend some time at Headlands Beach with my Daddio while trying to not complain about how stinkin' cold it was? 100%.
Did I want to go to the Christmas Eve service at church with my family? Of course.

Did I want to be the only girl at a giant sausage fest and then be able to recreate this picture from 2007? For the most part.

Did I want to be reunited with the friends that I may not keep in touch with super well while I am gone, but can always pick up right where I left off with when I come home? You bet.
Been friends with these goons longer than my students have been alive.

Did I want to stuff my face full of bacon wrapped cocktail wieners? Um, is that even a question?
Did I want to smooch my mama under the mistletoe? Yepp.
Did I want to slide down the stairs while wearing matching sweatshirts with my sister? With my whole heart.

God knew exactly what He was doing when He gave me her as my sister.
Did I want to take this family picture just like we have every year for the past 23 years? More than anything in the world.

And guess what? I actually got to do all of those things. I didn't have to want and wish, I could actually do. I didn't have to be the person missing family events or dinners with friends. I didn't have to by Skyped in to anything to be present. I ACTUALLY got to be present, I actually got to be there.

I could have been anywhere in the world. I didn't care, as long as I was with all of these people who love me and support me. Who so clearly pour into me and encourage me when I need it. Who I love with all my heart and don't have nearly enough opportunities to tell them so.

I could have been anywhere in the world, but I had the added bonus of being in this beautiful town.

As Blake Shelton and Michael Buble so eloquently stated "It'll all be alright when I'm holding you tight. Cause this Christmas I'm home."