13 December 2010


today i am annoyed and frustrated at how people can be so fake. I would think that by the time you are in your upper 20's, 30's and even 40's that you know who you are and how you want to live your life without making excuses. I guess maybe i expect too much of people and think the best until proven otherwise--which i will keep doing, But it is very sad when people prove you wrong.

I expect people to say and act like the real person they are---even if that person is a jerk or negative or anything----but be REAL and authentic. Even if i dont care for you as a person, at least i know who you are, what you like and dont like, and can trust that what you say matches what you do. It's ok not to please everyone, but respect us enough to be yourself and show us the REAL you.

I've realized I can't handle it when people talk one way and then do something contrary. I can't stand it when people back out of committments----on ANY level: a relationship, a contract, a job, a party, etc. It really bothers me that people make excuses instead of just "manning up"and saying Ï'm scared or i'm not cut out for this or i just dont like it or I am not ready for it . Instead they make excuses and try to sound noble, when the reality is different.

I don't vent like this often on here....I try to keep my blog about things that are important to me and things I think people wanna hear or should hear, but this one is for me i guess....to just vent a little of my frustration.

08 December 2010

turkeyless thanksgiving

This last month FLEW by so fast! I'm amazed that in a little over a week I'll be headed back to the states (and the cold) for Christmas! Sorry for the lateness of this....being about thanksgiving, but i forgot! jaja no other good excuse:)

Well here is a glimpse of life in Tampico in November. To answer some questions: Yes, there are still shootings and drug related things happening, but not that often. No, I am not scared living in Mexico. Yes, I like my new job. Yes, the people are great here. Yes, I am learning more and more Spanish day by day. No, I never get sick of the warm weather.

Over Thanksgiving this year we had a whole week off of school, so my mom and dad came down for a road trip visit. We traveled to 5 different cities and enjoyed the scenery, the cities, markets, and of course the food:) On actual thanksgiving I was eating tamales, dad had enchiladas and mom ate chicken. It was a great time!

Here's some pics from the trip--enjoy!

Mom and dad at Las Pozas in Xilitla (Day 1 of trip)

Me up high on a staircase in Xilitla.

Dad being our "burro" (or pack mule) while shopping the market in San Miguel Allende. I got new glasses, shot glasses, dishes, and other fun things:)

Mom at Puente de Dios (Bridge of God) in Tamasopo.

Mom and I on the boat for our adventure to Cascada de Tamul (huge waterfall) courtesy of our random guide Cesar!

03 November 2010

halloween happiness and fun

Here are some fun pics of this year's Halloween fun! School was decorated big again, and kids were dressed to the nines ! Check out some of the fun:

yep you see popcorn, cupcake, a barbie, and a blackberry---they always get creative!

The fridge, annoying orange, italian chef complete with table (in my class last year), queen of hearts from Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter, and ALice behind her...so great!

Then we had a staff party with mostly foreign people and played some games USA vs. Canada vs. Mexico...it was a great time:)

our costume contest winners---Jon and Emily!:)

Team USA Midwest vs. Mexico Team #1----USA all the WAY!

Can we look more opposite? Crazy evil butcher vs. Sunshine

Fun times with Nicki, Meg, Catherine and Katie!

Carolina and cousin Fernando....being tough! jajaja...not!

Our hosts: Steve and Meredith--they switched costumes obviously!:)

25 October 2010


It's been so fun getting to know new people this year. I've been deepening friendships with some I met last year, and embarking on new ones this year, both foreign and local people. It's amazing how friendships form sometimes with no effort, while other times it feels like you really have to put an effort into them. I've just been thinking of that the last month or so.

I dont have much to say, but i wanted to include some pictures of my friends here in Mexico--both new and old:)

me and meg

Jon as Miguel Hidalgo for independence day

Alyssa, Meredith, and Emily

Autumn, Alyssa, Me, Meg and Emily playing cards......we like games!
Mireya and Nicki celebrating Meg's bday

2 of my 3 neighbors: Jon and Dave

a whole bunch of foreigners with Pily and Carolina for some birthday fun

Me and Ricardo

Catherine, Nicki and Alyssa on Mexican Independence day!

Meg, James, and Steve at game night at my house

04 October 2010

happy happy

do you ever have one of those days where for all logical reasons you should feel crappy or at least in a just okay mood? Well today should have been one of those. I literally slept like 1 hour cut into 5 minute increments last night (aka horribly), i'm trying not to let the frog in my throat become a cold, work is busy and kids go a little crazy sometimes, i had to go to the bank today (always fun huh) and so on....

but today instead of being in a bad mood, i felt an inexplicable happiness all day long. I felt giggly and fun, chatty and just like my face was going to explode from smiling. And the crazy part is honestly there is no specific reason.

Maybe it's everything in my life put together---all that important stuff that is deeper than the day to day happenings. Things aren't perfect and will never be, but i am happy and today was a day that i felt it fully, deep down to my toes:) Its a great feeling and i hope i have many more like it in my life and recognize them when they arrive.

21 September 2010

start of Mexico year 2:)

Wow! I know it has been many months since i've updated, but let me tell you--it's been a crazy time. I almost dont even know where to start, but i think i will do a month by month review for you:

June/July: Time back in the states was great. I finished up my final masters course and have the diploma to prove it! I spent some good time with family in Morton, made a quick trip to Kansas to see great friends, held numerous babies, and then finished the summer by going to North Carolina again.

At the surprise grad school graduation party my parents threw for me:) Drinking tequila from Mexico of course!
Cute little Bianca! one of the 5 babies i got to see over the summer---and many that i can't wait to meet sometime in the next year!

We were in NC for the anniversary of my shark bite---We got to meet up with Molly (the woman that helped soooo much when it happed last year), did a shot of a drink called a shark bite (Thanks to my aunt Fran) and together Molly and I went back in the ocean very close to where it happened. I mean i didnt swim around and have a grand ole time, but i did get in futher than my waist, took a picture, and then came out:) i figure that is better than nothing right?

August: I headed back to Tampico the last week of July, spent the first week getting my new house fixed like i like it and just getting back to life here. Then the following week I began again at ATS, but this year as the Assistant Principal. I was sooo happy when everyone started arriving back from the summer. It was nice to see the foreign staff that were returning and then waiting to see who our new friends would be.

The new staff arrived and i was so happy to see that they were so great! A very positive and fun group, so that will be a great change this year. We immediately spend time at the beach, going to dinners, playing games and just getting to know one another.
Some of us foriengers at dinner---this is only one side of a big group!

Some of the new staff with 2 local staff at a birthday party !

The toughest part of August came when one evening while driving with some friends, we heard gunshots and ended up witnessing what the cartel's are like up close and personal as one drove right up next to us with their guns pointed out the windows! Crazy right? Thankfully the guy driving our car has great instincts and reversed us out of that situation fast. It was scary and i still can't believe it really happened. Some of the new (and old) people were quite shaken by this experience and one even decided to leave.

Because she left, i was then given the responsibility (with some help from the principal) of teaching 5th grade (in the states it's 6th grade) English/Language Arts for 4 periods a day. Yeah, so i had 2 new jobs to learn pretty fast. This whole time was quite overwhelming and exhausting. I think it's the first time i really felt stressed out in my whole life! jaja

Thankfully things have settled down and are in a good routine. People are great and kids are great and i am learning so much!

September: I know we are only partway through the month, but its also been busy. This past weekend was the celebration of the Bicentennial for Mexico--Happy 200 years! So we had a great 4 day weekend. I traveled to see a friend in Cuidad del Carmen (south near the Yucatan) on thursday morning, then friday we decided to go to Merida---but then chose spontaneously to go to Cancun! lol i know--it's crazy huh? So I was in Cancun Friday night-Sat. noon, then when to Merida Sat night- sun Morning and then drove back to Carmen to catch my flight by 2:00! haha...it was a fun adventure for sure and something i will always remember. What a great time to be so spontaneous!
Fun spontaneous choices!!!:)

Crazy celebrating at a bar in Cancun---look at all that confetti! the cool air sprying out felt great!

yummy yummy food in Cancun:) I love Mexico!

Now it's back to life---Soon i will only be teaching one class a day so that will be a lot less work to do in that aspect of my job.

This year has been so different, but soooo good. I'm still loving life here and promise to update more often now that life has settled down a bit.

09 June 2010

ends and beginnings

Well, the last day of school with kids is almost here---it's tomorrow! I am ready, mostly because I am tired--haha. But I know i will miss seeing those sweet faces everyday, laughing with them, and getting such sweet hugs everyday. I'm looking forward to a long (but pretty busy) summer break. Also we are doing a lot of saying goodbye to some foreign staff. There are roughly 20 of us total and many are finished with their contracts and a few are cutting theirs short so there will be a lot of good byes---but that also means fun new hello's coming in the fall with new people:) We'll say goodbye Tampico style with the beach and beer involved i'm sure in the next few days.

This year in Mexico flew by so fast! It's funny to think back to everything new that I have experienced here. I keep telling people that I feel like I am living someone else's life because mine has been traditionally a little "boring" but now it's so different. I am so glad I made the hard choice to do this now in my life instead of staying comfortable in my little life in Kansas for the next years. I think this has caused me to really understand myself better, what i want to do in my life both personally and professionally, and has given me more opportunities for different things. I really feel at home here and am so glad after the summer break i will be coming back to my 2nd home:)

So what are my summer plans?? Well I have 4 more days of work at school (teacher stuff) till next wednesday, then thursday I fly to cuidad del carmen to go visit ricardo for a few days before flying back to IL Monday. I'm then taking a 2 week course online (l;ots of reading and writing) to finally finish my masters!!!:) AFter that i'll make a quick trip to kansas city and then off to NC to the beach for a while----i dont think i will have the guts to go in the ocean there :) bad memories ya know!:) haha Then a few days later i'll be flying back here at the end of july! this will go so fast i am sure!

ok, well here are a few little pictures from the beginning of the year to the last monthish of my life to close out the school year

crazy hair day!!!

80s day!

Ricardo and i in Oaxaca

Happy Earth Day from 2 smiley girls!!:)

Happy Summer everyone!!

15 May 2010

winding up the year

What a great month so far. I can't believe I only have 19 days of teaching left for the year! This year feels like it has gone soooooo fast! As I mentioned I went on a little road trip last week. It was so great and perfect timing to get me through the rest of the school year. Went down through Veracruz for a night, down to Oaxaca city, spent 2 days there seeing ruins at Monte Alban and going to see some amazing natural springs at Hierve el Agua. That was amazing! Then came back through Cuernavaca and back to Tampico. 5 days, 8 states, stayed in 3 cities....really good trip!:) I loved seeing more of Mexico and learning to be a better mexican driver:) too!:)

Me at Monte Alban in Oaxaca, Mexico.

The natural pools at the top of a mountain in Hierve el Agua about 40 minutes from Oaxaca. Soooo beautiful right?

Me kissing my new boyfriend in Oaxaca:) haha

A volcano i saw on the trip....can't pronounce the real name so i call it mount popo!:)

Now I have some news I feel like I can finally announce: Next year I will not be teaching 2nd grade anymore, instead I will be the elementary assistant principal at ATS. I'm excited for the change, a chance to be even more challenged and learn more! I love organizing and helping so I'm excited for a chance to do those things. Of course I will miss having my own class, but I will still get to see kids every day and actually get to know even more of them in this new position.

So 19 days of teaching, 23 days of work left and heading home to Illinois June 21. It's going so fast. It will be filled with a lot of goodbyes as many of the foreign staff are leaving (some are finishing their 2 year contract and some have just come this year and have decided to leave). It will be sad to see them go, but I'm looking forward to meeting all the new people too!:)

I'm sure I will get really reflective on the year as soon as I have time to think about all that has happened, all I have learned and all that....but i'll save that for a later post:)

happy spring/summer!!!

22 April 2010

long time no write

wow...i didn't realize how long it has been since i have written on here! the last month has been full of so many things that I guess I just lost track of it:) I dont really have much to say (at least none that i feel comfortable talking about online where everyone can see..lol) but here's a quick update about my life the last month:

**March flew by with tons of fun with friends, spring break for 2 weeks where i went to see my dear friends Rachel and Brandon in Colorado Springs for a few days and then to my parent's house in Morton. Got to see friends, my lovely sister, parents, and enjoy English TV too:) haha. I shopped and visited and shopped and relaxed and felt refreshed in my time there. But I also missed being in Tampico too...i missed seeing my friends here and I was ready to be back about 1 3/4 the way through my break.

Coming back from break I was bombarded with a lot of things. One thing that has been going on is some violence from the drug cartel groups present in Tampico. Up until April there had only been a few random times where I even heard about them here---most of that action is happening in the DF or the border towns. Sadly it escalated over semana santa and the weeks following, so it's been interesting. I thank the Lord I haven't actually seen anything, but what i have heard about what is happening is scary. Of course I know i've told many of you and you've been praying, so thank you. This is uncertain times for people here too. This is their home, where they grew up, and now they don't feel safe. What a horrible feeling that must be. This week has been calm as far as I know...nothing happening since the weekend, so I'm praying the worst is over.

I've also been busily finishing my masters courses and my graduate comprehensive exam last week. Thankfully that is done and i'm just waiting to hear if i passed:) then only one paper, and one small course this summer and I'll have my masters finally!

Other than that things are back to usual, school is still great, kids are energetic as usual, the weather is getting hot again (sadly i tried my AC about a week ago and it is broken so i'm hoping it gets fixed really soon so i can sleep well again)

I'm amazed at how fast the year has gone...only 7 weeks of school for kids left! I am also looking forward to a trip coming up in may, going down the coast of veracruz and down to Oaxaca. I haven't been anywhere in Mexico since last fall so it will be fun to go on a mini-vacation in about 2 weeks:)

So in summary, things are weird and scary and fun and busy, but i feel completely calm and incredibly happy and very thankful!

Much love from me in tampico!!

08 March 2010

little things

I love how the little things in life can make a big difference. The last week or so has been full of those little things that just make my day so great so i thought I would share:

* random hugs
* someone saying they miss me
* a student saying they love me
* laughing over a meal with others
* driving with the windows down on a beautiful evening
* spending time with people you really have fun with
* seeing a flowering tree on a cloudy day
* a good song that totally goes with how you are feeling
* my favorite drink when i am really thirsty
* my pillows:)
*encouragment in the form of a smile or just listening to me ramble about unimportant things
* someone asking me how my day was
* watching a fun show on TV
* good smelling lotion
* hot showers

I'm sure there are many more that i can't think of right now...just look for those little things today that make you happy!

21 February 2010

february fun!

This month has been so much fun! I've been to a ton of new restaurants, celebrated 2 birthdays and an engagement, and just had a fun month so far. It's been great getting to know people better, going to new places, having a good time---especially since it's also been a rainy month which makes me feel blue and bored! So here are a few pictures of the events! Enjoy!

Here is a picture of the group at emily's birthday dinner--it was so fun to celebrate something mid-week at a great restaurant with great friends (february 2nd)

Then the celebrating continued with my bday celebration the following saturday.

the group pictures

dancing fun:)

ricardo, yolanda and cheryl havin' fun

the girls and ricardo.

more friends-- dana and robyn

it was a late night (i actually was up till 5AM!! crazy huh?!?!) but so much fun dancing and hanging out with friends here.

So things are still going great here in Tampico and I'm still very happy with my decision to come. I am so happy at my job and making local friends here has helped make it feel like home even more.

Oh, and a random and long overdue sharkbite update---the only lasting effects now are numbness on the top of my foot still, i can't move my 4 little toes up and sometimes when the weather changes my foot feels swollen or strange. I tried to see how doing yoga would work, but my foot kept slipping and so it didn't go so well. I'm not sure if i just need to exercise it more or if my little toes, foot and ankle actually are just not strong enough to help me grip the floor for the moves. It's a little sad b/c i really enjoy yoga, but i guess i'll find something else to do.

Thanks for all the prayers, thoughts, and keeping in touch!