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!


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Week with Gma and Gpa

This post is about my grandparents. I've been collecting pictures and screenshots for a while! 

I spent a week with them. It is always a wonderful, relaxing time! While there, I visited my friend, Lucy. She goes to their church and we commiserate over bookkeeping whenever we are together and she teaches me new things having to do with that.

Can't do a Biore strip without documenting it - ha!

We walked to the lake one day. On our way there, I found a snail.

We started playing "Kick the Snail All the Way to the Lake".

It didn't make it too far before the shell shattered :D

Walking around the lake...

Of course Gramma made delicious dinners every night.

Our bat-moth friend came for a visit. EEEEK.

Now for the screenshots - 
Nicole sent me these a while ago and I put them away for safekeeping and such a time as this! 

First Nicole sent me this picture - Facetiming with Gramma...up close and personal!

Then Facetiming with Grampa!

Nicole then explained to me what happened - her texts are in white -
So basically Nicole's phone rang - an accidental call from Sis. Wakefield. But she doesn't know she's the one that made the call and tells Nicole how happy she is that Nicole called her. Lol! 
If any of you have WhatsApp, you know how easy it is to accidentally tap the call button up in the corner and call somebody!

Another one! 
Sis. Wakefield texted me this and the balloons - I was impressed!!!
Her texts are in gray, mine in blue. 
(She asked me how I was doing...)
"Pum" is Spanish for "Bam" or "Ta-da!"

Sis Wakefield also sent me this - She was listening to Odyssey and just KNEW it was Hadley....Hahahaha! This one thrilled my very soul! :) 

Today is Sis. Wakefield's birthday. I love her so very much!!!!


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Around My Place

I came home from school and my little neighbor kids were out on the front porch playing ball. I noticed that Edgar and I had on the same shoes. :)

Me and Ximena
Edgar had English homework one day so he came over and did it at my house so I could help him.

Ximena wasn't about to miss out on the fun so I pulled a coloring book out for her.

All of a sudden she started looking very uncomfortable. A couple minutes passed and I got a whiff of a not-so-sweet-smelling savor. She hopped down from her chair and ran back to her house. She came back a bit later all clean and bathed and smelling like a bouquet of flowers!

I shut one of my little friend's octopus legs in the freezer. That was a sad day because it was a particularly long strand which I was very proud of.

I love it when Austin comes over - we listen to stories and I feed him my leftovers and treats.

Soledad stayed with me for a few weekends when she'd come for church on Sunday. Areli, her granddaughter, came with her once and just loved the rug in my living room. Rolled and rolled and played around on it.

I found a huge beetle in my garage...

The trash truck comes around each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in my neighborhood. You have to put your trash out at just the right time, but you can't really predict what time the trash guys will be by. You can't put it out too early or the dogs will have a hay day with it. I pretty much always miss the trash truck because I'm either not home to put my trash out or I don't get it out in time. 

Well, it was getting bad and my trash was piling up. I was determined to have it picked up this day. I put it out on the street like usual, but placed it right under my second-story bedroom window so I could check on it. Whenever the stray dogs would get close and start sniffing at it, I'd dump a huge glass of water on them. They never knew where it came from, but it'd send them running for the hills! 
This is a great tactic.

This is a house up the road from the church... 
They want everyone to know something, as they've spray painted the message on both sides of the house... 

(That moment when apparently your neighbors believe they own prime real estate.)

This is a sign down the street from my house...cracks me up!!! 
The yellow one - says "Estetica Paul Mitchell" which means, Paul Mitchel Beauty Salon. HAHA!!! 

I originally took these pictures of my dinners so I'd have a little food diary for the future when I couldn't think of anything to fix myself to eat....(And to send to Nicole and Gramma to compare notes on what we are all fixing for dinner LOL...)
Never planned on blogging it. 
But I ran across these pictures just now and thought...Well, for my own memories sake...  
These were the glory days - when I'd fix myself these perfect meals for one... It took me a while to find my groove with cooking for just me. I finally figured it out though and take it as a personal challenge of sorts.
Chicken, cauliflower and mushroom, and sweet potato
Omelette, cauliflower, fruit with yogurt and hot tea
Cauliflower pilaf, green beans, and what we called beef milanesa. Beef flattened out real thin.
Pork flattened out real thin, green beans, cauliflower pilaf
Mushrooms, cauliflower pilaf, salmon, and salad
I got on a green-bean kick apparently, lol! 
Cauliflower pilaf, green beans and tilapia. Yeah, that cauliflower pilaf got a little old - ha!
 And a little party food for good measure - 
We got a new restaurant in Puebla called Wild Dog. Delicious food! This is a chili dog...

And a burger...

A store in the mall called "Hussi". LOL. Fitting! Because look at the type of clothes they sell...

 We passed a billboard in town one night that was apparently having technical difficulties. I wonder if the person behind the screen knew they were projecting their desktop up for the whole city to see? 

And the last of these funny things I've seen around town lately...
A BMW Golf! Haha! 


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