Monday, August 20, 2018

Mexico, Idaho, and Everything in Between

Rewinding to one year ago - August 2017... 

I'd just found out we wouldn't be continuing with another year of school. I'd abruptly lost what had been the focal point of my life for the past 5 years. I felt disoriented, but not necessarily disappointed. It'd been a difficult year up until this point anyways. I was tired...ready for change. I did a lot of crying, praying, and more crying. I don't like not having a "life mission". I still had my church responsibilities, but it wasn't enough. I was restless. Dad told me one day, "You're just in a time of transition. God is about to do something, there's going to be a change in your life. You just have to wait on Him." I think we could all feel things being shaken up. 
Two months later, Nicole surprised me on my birthday and came down to Puebla. A couple times throughout her visit she mentioned me moving to Idaho. My response was the same each time: "Absolutely not, never in a million years." Besides the fact that my sister had moved there 9 months prior, Idaho might as well have been Alaska. Budapest. A foreign land, populated mostly by potatoes and some strange people at Walmart. The one perk I knew of: there was a good church. 
The day after my sister flew back to Idaho, Dad called and asked if I could do school with Austin for the day since they had errands to run. It was raining and muddy outside so he came and picked me up. On the way to their house, Dad casually mentioned something about me moving to Idaho. I remember the annoyance I felt and what was going through my head. "Are you being serious? What would I do there?? I don't want to leave Mexico and especially not for Idaho." I loved Mexico - my church, my Mexican family, my little house, especially. My little house brought me so much joy. 
Dad didn't say any more on the topic. I went into their house, upstairs to their room. I sat on the bed to think for a minute. I don't know how to explain what happened. I was completely against it in one moment and in the next, I wanted it 100%. Those of you who know me know I can be impulsive, but it was more than that. In an instant I felt a burst of inspiration and courage and my mind was made up. I was moving to Idaho. All of the confusion, frustration, and despair I'd been feeling five minutes before had gone. Instead I felt excitement, expectation, hope...peace. It wasn't a decision that I had to spend weeks praying about. The prayers of many days, weeks and months before had brought me to this point and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was right. 
Theeeeeee MOMENT

My Dad got home later that day. I walked into the dining room where he was seated and told him, "Dad, I'm moving to Idaho." Then burst into tears. 
Looking back, I see God's hand in it all. My family had already bought tickets to fly to California that month. We were to be leaving in 25 days. I had twenty five days to pack my house up, say goodbye to everyone, and pack for a permanent move to the States. It was a busy time. I ended up moving out of my house and back in with my parents for my last few weeks in Mexico. In the daytime I was busy - I had something to throw myself into and occupy my mind. At night, the weight of my decision would hit me. I cried myself to sleep every night that October. I dreaded telling my church people I was leaving. I didn't want to cry, I didn't want them congratulating me, I didn't want them trying to change my mind. I ended up putting it off until the week before. 
I'm including these pictures because they are special to me. My sweet little house. It was my hobby for that last year and brought me so much joy. 

It was my constant project! 

My tiny little bedroom. 

My house soon was turned upside down...boxes everywhere..

And just like that, I was out and the next people were in. 

Our people threw me a going away party the night before we flew out. It felt more like a funeral, in all honesty. Each person got up and talked about their favorite memory with me, said something nice. I recorded it all, but it is hard to listen to. It was so sweet and so sad. One of the ladies stood up and said I'd taught her how to laugh. Bro. Juan talked about a Christmas party we threw for the people some years ago and what it meant to him. One lady thanked me for teaching her boys in school. One lady who'd been with us from the very beginning talked about the conferences - how she, and the church as a whole, felt proud when Nicole and I would sing and do the music. They bragged that we were from their church. My friend, Lucy, was to my left clenching her husband's hand and taking deep breaths, on the verge of losing control of her emotions. 

Everyone had such nice things to say - my whole family was moved. My dad got up and spoke at the end. I remember him getting choked up and saying, "We had no idea..." I knew what he was feeling. 
My new-convert friend, Lucy, came home with me that night. We sat on the couch at my parents house until well past midnight talking about little Perlita who would be born in a few months, about our friendship and the good times we’d had in such a short time...and tried to avoid the topic of leaving. It was a tough goodbye.
Trying to hear the baby's heartbeat :P

I milked those last weeks for all they were worth. I spent a lot of time with my brother, went to the dentist a lot - haha - and stocked up on some things I wouldn't be able to buy in the States. I also made my brother lots of food. I had some stuff to use up from my freezer :P 

Finished up the last of my piano and guitar lessons...

Slept in the top bunk of my brother's bed...about 2 feet from the ceiling. 

See? Haha :) 
I tried to turn over one night and scraped my knuckles up on the ceiling. 

Austin and I went downtown for ice cream on one of my last days...
All of a sudden it was important to get plenty of pictures with my brother. 

We ate our ice cream and watch an anti-capitalism parade in the street below. 
The state of the roads and downtown area because of the earthquake a couple months before...

Stephanie trying to keep calm in church withOUT carrying on! 

All my things packed into boxes and covered by plastic so the leaky roof wouldn't ruin anything...

One final family dinner at Gramma's house...

A $2 dollar haircut...

And off we went to U.S.! 

I packed as much as I could into 6 suitcases - that's 300 pounds of stuff :) I moved to Idaho on November 17, 2017. Just in time for winter. BRRRRR! 

As it turns out, I was meant to be a Twin Falls girl! :) To say that I love it here is an understatement. I love the town, the people, Twin Falls in general. I love my pastor and all of Bethel Temple. The church has been amazing. I have more friends and family than I know what to do with. I think I cried through every service for the first couple of months - it's been a time of refreshing for me. I've been able to stand back a take some deep breaths. I'm just happy. I got a job working for an attorney and that's been a whole 'nother adventure. I LOVE my job! It is an adventure every day. It has definitely provided me some "bloggable" stories, but unfortunately people here speak pig-latin so I can't tell you guys!! HA! 

As I said before, I arrived here in the winter. Snow makes for beautiful pictures, but it is sooo cold! I'm not crazy about that, but the spring and summer have made up for it a thousand times! There's so much to do - fishing, camping, BBQ's, feeding horses, hiking...Oh! And I mowed my first lawn ever this summer! There have been a lot of firsts. A few times muttering, "ugh...Americans"...with an eye roll. I just text my friend Allana in Honduras and we bond over how strange white people can be. For example: they have a thing for vacuuming. Even if the carpet is totally clean. HA! I actually could do a blog post on that. 
Anyways - I'm about to experience my first Idaho fall! They say it is beautiful and I can't wait to see for myself. 

This little blog site has reached its end. I think only my nearest and dearest even read anymore, but I felt I owed it to you all and wanted to update for my own sake. To end an era. Putting that thought down in writing makes me said, but I don't really have another option. My mom should have had a couple more kids. LOL. Some people have asked if Austin could pick up where I left off and that might be a possibility, but I'll need help persuading him. He definitely has a lot to say - but right now it's mostly about parachuting, survival gear, flashlights, and climbing trees. Ha! 

Alrighty folks. Comment down below if I skipped anything important or if you'd like additional details. Talk to you later :) 


Friday, August 17, 2018

Nine Years!

Guys!!! This blows my mind! It's the blog's 9 year anniversary today! 

Awwwwwwww! Happy birthday, little bloggie! How I love you. You are my online brain. Sometimes I can't remember the name of a place we went to or am looking for a picture from such and such service when Bro. So and So was here...ya'll. I just google it. And ta-da!! There it is. Such good memories...

It's been a while. But guess what? I am working on a blog post right now. For some of you, this update is going to catch you off guard and knock your socks off. For others, you already know :)

So stay tuned! I'll have it up on Monday!


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