Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thank you

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice. - Meister Eckhart

Yesterday at the supermarket, the woman in line ahead of me had a few meager items in her basket - mostly what you would see in a "canasta básica" - rice, beans, spaghetti, tomato paste, plus a few other "luxuries" like milk, some pastries, and a big bouncy ball for her 3 or 4 year old son that was with her. From her tired eyes and rough hands, I knew she was a hard working woman - probably someone's maid. I watched as she stared at the monitor, blinking and swallowing as each item was scanned and the total at the bottom of the screen increased.

I glanced into my own shopping cart, filled to the brim with supplies for my husband's birthday party, our Christmas dinner and breakfast - thousands of lempiras worth of food.

And I couldn't help tearing up when I heard her say to the cashier, "Please, don't let it go over 400 lempiras ($20) because my gift card is only for L 300 ($15), and I only have L 100 ($5) more to pay."

I watched the monitor as well, silently praying that the total wouldn't go over.

As I crossed my fingers behind my back, tears started streaming down my face. And it wasn't out of pity. It was because it wasn't that long ago that I was in the same exact position as she was now. I was pregnant and unemployed, and we could barely make ends meet with Jose's salary. Only by the grace of God did I get enough invitation jobs to make my car payment each month. Everything that we got for Nicholas was loaned or donated by friends and family - even my maternity clothes were borrowed. And so our grocery budget was laughable - it was easily enough for one person to spend on dinner out at a chain restaurant. I spent hours meticulously planning a menu each week from the sale ads at La Colonia in order to spend only what was necessary. And I remember on many, many occasions, watching that monitor in the check out line just as carefully as she was doing now, crossing my fingers, and blushing as I told the cashier I had decided I "didn't need" the last few things.

With each beep of the scanner the total increased closer to L 400, and finally she selected a few items to leave out. She decided to sacrifice the pastries, the milk, and the tomato paste in order to afford the ball for her son, who was jumping up and down with excitement when she handed it to him.

I wiped my cheeks and told her, "Please, take it all. I'll pay the extra." She looked in my eyes - I think seeing the reason for my tears - took my hand in both of hers, and said "Thank you, young lady, thank you."

Saturday, April 23, 2011

if you still believe in the easter bunny, you probably shouldn't read this

My older cousin is probably the one that broke the news to me. I probably tried to act cool - like I already knew. I don't really remember the exact details about finding out. And I don't clearly remember telling my mother about my new found knowledge. But I do clearly remember the devastation on her face when I told her I knew that she was the Easter bunny.

Most parents stop playing those parts when their children "grow out" of it. But I have a special kind of mother, the best kind, who up until this year, still labeled gifts from Santa, and still surprised me with treats "that the Easter bunny left at her house." I remember one Easter when I was dating my husband, the Easter bunny even left a basket for him at their house.

This past Christmas, she broke the news to my brother and me... Santa doesn't visit you anymore when you have your own children. My brother (whose wife was expecting) and I understood. But deep down, I think we were both a little sad. "No more Santa? Just because we have babies? No fair!"

Tonight, I prepared Nicholas' first Easter basket. As I contemplated where to leave it (his room? the stairs? the kitchen counter? Where does the Easter bunny leave these things?!), it suddenly dawned on me why Santa doesn't come's because I am Santa. could I not realize this before? Now, I am the Easter bunny. I'm Santa. I'm the Tooth Fairy.

I don't feel old enough for this. But here I am...wife, mother, Easter bunny.

I hope I can fill her shoes.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

rule #1

The first rule of driving in Honduras...

there are no rules!

Make your own lanes (as seen above), drive on the sidewalks, drive over medians, drive in reverse down ramps, ....I'm telling you people I've seen it all. If you can drive in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, you can drive ANYWHERE!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

dear soptravi,

Since you regraded the road I take to work, I really like you...

Pave it, and we could be talking love...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I got pulled over today...

The officer approached my car and said, "Su licencia y revisión, por favor." (License and registration, please.)

I said, "What? Yo no hablo espanol," with the gringo accent turned way up.

"SU LICENCIA! LICENCIA!!!" he said like he was talking to a deaf person.

"Ohhh, my license?!?" I asked in English, playing dumb.

"Yes," he replied in English. For a moment I panicked and thought OMG he speaks English...this isn't going to work!

But then he said, "y la revisión??"

"My what?! I'm sorry, yo no hablo español!" I said, still playing stupid.

"La revisión del vehiculo. DEL VEHICULO!" he said slowly.

"Ohhh...this??" I asked, pulling out my registration.

"Yes," he replied in English.

He walked to the back of the car to consult the other officer. They both laughed. He came back, handed me my license, and sent me off with a smirk and a "que le vaya muy bien."

"Grassy-ass," I answered with a grin, and drove away WITHOUT a ticket or having to pay a bribe.

So for future reference...learn from my past mistakes and current success:

Being mean, being nice, and crying do not get one out of a ticket in Honduras.

Pretending to not speak, that does the trick!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I picked up my carné de residente (ID) today!! I'm an official Honduran resident! Wahoooo!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

i knew this would happen

What did I tell you? I knew I wouldn't keep that resolution. But a girl's gotta try, right?

I've got lots to say...just no time! HELLO, I have a new baby. Everyday is a new adventure. But there's not a lot time when you have one of those. AND, I feel like I would bore you all to death with only baby news.

So how's this?

I spent way too much of my baby-is-sleeping-so-you-can-get-stuff-done time looking at the urban outiftters website tonight. My heart skipped a beat at the sight of almost everything. I love eccentric things. I mean, just look at that scarf strips shag rug! No one in Honduras has one of those. And those Alice drawings! So unique!

But, oh my, would you look at this headboard??

I saw it and fell. in. love. My heart said YES. My wallet LAUGHED. And my brain said HEY maybe YOU can make that!

What do you think? Should I give it a try????

And, of course, the obligatory cute photo...

Monday, January 10, 2011

silly goose

A few weeks ago Nicholas spit up all over himself (the story of his life). I said, "Don't do that, you silly goose! Now we have to change your clothes AGAIN!"

My husband asked, "Why do you always call him that? Silly goose? That makes no sense."

"It just means he's being silly."

"But why goose? That makes no sense."

Hmmmm. Good point.

So off to Google I went. It took a little while, but I found the answer.

According to Brewer's Dictionary of Fiction and Fable, calling someone a goose/geese means that they are foolish or ignorant due to the "alleged stupidity of this bird."

And now you know the rest of the story.

And now I REALLY want this book.

Your obligatory cute photo of the day...

Saturday, January 8, 2011

our trip back to los EEUU!

I really thought traveling with a baby would be more difficult. Nicholas was SO wonderful on all 4 flights...even the flight attendants commented on how well he behaved! :)

We really enjoyed our time back in Kentucky. My family was thrilled to finally see Nicholas in person (vs Skype!). Everyone thoroughly spoiled him. :)

And as much as I like it in Honduras these days, it is so nice to visit the states where the streets are straight, quiet, and SAFE! When we were landing in Atlanta, I told Jose... "It's funny...I know it's not like we live in the jungle or anything, but I really feel like we're coming into civilization for the first time in a year!" The first day we were out and about, we stopped at a major intersection in my town. I rolled down the window and said, "Listen's so quiet!" We were surrounded by about 30 cars, and there was complete silence. No children begging at the windows, no one selling cell phone chargers, no one yelling the newspaper headlines, and NO HONKING HORNS! So strange after a year in Tegucigalpa, ha!

While we were there we shopped and shopped and shopped....and then shopped some more. The first thing I wanted to do when we got there was go to Walmart! We spent hours there, just walking up and down the aisles. I kept saying, "oh my gosh look at how many types of ___ they have!" Or "oh my gosh look how much/little those ____ cost!!!" Funny, because I hated that place when I lived there. Now I wish I could pack up Walmart, Target, TJ Maxx, and Hobby Lobby (really, I could keep going...) and bring them back to Honduras with me!

We also had a list of places we wanted to eat while we were there. Arby's, Starbucks, Olive Garden, Mariah's, Rafferty's, DQ, White Castle, PANERA!....we probably spent the majority of our budget just on food! But SO worth it. Yum!

And while it was good to be "home" for 10 days and visit family/friends that I haven't seen in a long time, it actually felt good to come back to Honduras. I never thought I would say that! But this is home (for now) and I think I sort of missed the crazy chaos of the streets, I definitely missed my maid and nanny, and absolutely missed my dear friends. :)

And ps, Nicholas grew into a new size while we were there! Already in size 6 months!