Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Me levante en el pie izquierdo

Directly translated that means, I woke up on the left foot.  Its significance is "I woke up on the wrong side of the bed."  Yesterday was probably one of the worst days I've had in a long time.  It was one of those days that is better spent hiding under the covers...  Watch the video below. 

Have you ever felt like this? 

Because everything in my day was going wrong, I needed some motivation to continue my goal of learning Spanish.  My Spanish classes are really tough right now, and on top of that, our living situation has deteriorated exponentially over the last two weeks.

Below are a few motivational phrases, and phrases on perseverance and self acceptance.  I hope they brighten up your day, and give you hope that tomorrow HAS to be better!  Enjoy. 

"One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself." – Lucille Ball

"Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings."– Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

"You feel your strength in the experience of pain." – Jim Morrison

"A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes." – Mahatma Gandhi

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The ultimate pay-it-forward

Let me start this post off with a few quotes I found about Karma.

Thoughts lead on to purposes; purposes go forth in action; actions form habits; habits decide character; and character fixes our destiny.  ~Tryon Edwards

Our deeds determine us as much as we determine our deeds.  ~George Eliot

How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.  ~Wayne Dyer  

I truly believe all people have good inside them, but some lose sight of that goodness because of a bad experience, a hard life, or simply because they are "too busy".  Many people have helped Jade and me during our time(s) of transition, and I always try to remember that they didn't have to.  Yeah, sometimes we help our family, because that's what you are supposed to do, but to help a complete stranger or someone you just met, well that's downright unheard of and much to time consuming for many of us to do.  I'll just mention here, that I have a wonderful family that really will do anything for me.

Our neighbors in Kansas helped us so much before our big move to Mexico.  They provided for us in many ways that money can't buy.  They gave me emotional support when I needed it and they surrounded us with a welcoming embrace.  They never asked for anything in return, but simply showed us love. 

I've tried to do the same since coming to Mexico.  A girl who was in my classes at school recently got asked to move out of her apartment so they could rent it at a higher price to someone else.  I offered her our extra bedroom and tried my best to give her the kind of home our neighbors gave us.

I recently read an article in the New York Time's about the ultimate pay-it-forward.  It discusses an amazing group of strangers who started a chain of selflessly donating kidneys to patients in need.  This story makes my "pay-it-forward" look not so impressive.  The article is called, 60 lives, 30 Kidneys, All Linked. 

Read the article here,  I would love to hear your feedback.  Enjoy! 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

What my mom thinks I do...

I know you have all seen these.  They have one for any "profession" you can think of.  A few friends posted some on facebook, and the trend kept catching. 

Here is one for a professional poker player.  I must say, it's pretty accurate!

Here's another for my brother, the Doctor!

And one for my sister, the Teacher.

Here is one for our good friend, Noel, who is in a band.  Check him out and listen to a few of his hits at

No, I'm not planning on making one of my own, but I though they are pretty amusing.  While browsing for these on the internet, I came across this.  

Hilarious!  Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Cancun and Akumal travels

In my last post, I mentioned that I haven't had the opportunity to go out and experience the area.  Jade and I have both been really busy, but we finally chose one day a week to spend exploring together.

Last week, I met some really great people, and they took us out on their boat to Cancun.  Jade and I have been so fortunate to meet open and friendly people all over the world.

 The view of Cancun from the boat

Jade enjoying the sun.

We had perfect weather, with a very mild breeze, cloud cover to protect our skin, and perfect, crystal clear and calm waters.  We snorkeled the Cancun reef and after a little break, Olivia and Jade "trolled" for some fishies.  They didn't catch any, but I'm sure this guy did!

I also got to see my very first Cenote.  So cool!  A cenote is a deep, water-filled sinkhole in limestone that is created when the roof of an underground cavern collapses. This creates a natural pool which is then filled by rain and underground rivers.  They are really prevalent in the Yucatan with over 2000 to see.   I can't wait to snorkel or scuba one!

The cenote from the boat.  The water was a little cold and crocodile-filled so we stayed put.

After our day of fun Oliva and her husband Scott, invited us to their home for dinner and drinks.  Jade and are so happy to have met more great people!

Today, we just got back from Akumal.  It was such a beautiful place and so easy to get to.

The hubs and I enjoying the sun

 We were lucky enough to see 2 manta rays and at least 4 HUGE sea turtles almost immediately.  This was my first time seeing a manta ray in the wild, and it was pretty fabulous.  While we were swimming around, a very large sea turtle swam right under us.  He was housing some little fishies on his shell too.

I really have to get an underwater camera!  The fish and turtle sightings were unbelievable and unforgettable!

And these views are pretty amazing too!

If you are traveling to Akumal for the first time, don't fall for the $100 tour guides.  We got on a Collectivo bus in Playa del Carmen and it took us to Akumal for $35 pesos.  When we were finished snorkeling and relaxing on the beach, we walked back to the highway and waited for the Collectivo bus to come back by.

 Don't be scared to stick your thumb out and hitch a ride!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Things I am missing, parte dos

As I sit here in a coffee shop, stranded in between school and home because of the torrential downpour, I can't help but think of some of the people and things I miss from home. Fortunately, in Playa del Carmen there is a huge American and European influence, which makes enjoying some of the things I love even easier. Check out my previous post for an example.  And the wonderful advances in technology make talking, texting, and even seeing my friends and family even more convenient.  Thank you Skype and the iPhone!

I'm so fortunate to have such a caring family. But I do miss their physical presence tremendously. I can't wait for my brother, Dan and his fiancé, Jackie, to make the trip down to Me-hico next month. And I'm patiently looking forward to my sister and her husband traveling here in June.

Aw... I love my family!

Perfect NYE with my sis, our husbands, and my mommy.

My Grandma, Aunts, Uncle, and Mom

Yeah, out of all the pictures I took in Victoria BC, this is the photo I choose to show my brother and fiance!  Sorry guys, but it makes me smile!

I also miss some silly things like:

Plush carpeting

How could Ace possible get this comfortable on tile floor?

Or this comfortable?

My wedding ring

I know it's a little silly to miss something like this, but I love my ring.  Jade surprised me with it after I married him, and he had it designed perfectly. 

Making yummy fruit, veggie, and cheese platters

One of my favorite things to do for company was crack open a good bottle of wine and make this beautiful appetizer.

Baking cookies, cakes, pies... anything!

Because we don't have an oven, I am not able to make these yummy creations, or my famous coconut cream pie. 

Thanks to all my friends and family who have made a HUGE effort to stay in touch with me this last month.  Miss you all so much!

Monday, February 6, 2012

It's the small things in life

It's the small things in life that bring me joy.  The other day while shopping at the super, huge, ginormous MEGA store... yeah, it's really called Mega, amidst all the raw cuts of beef, chicken, shrimp, and fish sitting on ice in the middle of the aisles, I found these babies...

dum da dum!

Yes, finally a real burger for me.  I know my dad, the beef producer, is probably rolling his eyes into the back of his head while reading this, but I love veggie burgers.  So along with these babies, I bought some potatoes, and we will be having an American meal this week.  The hubs of course thinks these burgers are disgusting.  I think the phrase he uses is, dirt burgers, so I will be making him a real beef patty. 

Dad, now you can stop rolling your eyes and begin breathing normally again.

Along with finding Amy's Burgers I made a stop at my home away from home, Starbucks!

Yes, it's the little things in life that make me smile!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

1 month anniversary

Wow!  I can't believe Jade and I have been here one month already.  Where does the time go?  I feel like we haven't done much outside the city of Playa del Carmen, but Wednesday we are heading to Akumal for some snorkeling and fun in the sun.  You can read about Akumal here, and see the wonderful pictures others have posted of the turtles and manta rays.  I've never seen a manta ray in the wild, so I'm totally pumped to go.

I recently finished all my scuba diving testing and studying.  Now all I need is to get in the water.  I'm still having trouble clearing my mask underwater.  It's hard for me not to freak out a little bit when the ocean keeps rushing into my mask, eyes, snorkel, and mouth... and my lungs, nose, esophagus, stomach.  I think I've swallowed half of the Caribbean trying to learn how to clear my mask and snorkel.  But I'm going to get it next time I go out.  I can feel it. 

I haven't had a chance to get the camera out too much since we arrived.  Every minute I'm not spending at the gym or studying Spanish or diving I feel extremely guilty, but, I did manage to take a few pictures last week. 

Is my backyard way better than your backyard or what?  JK!

 Even though I hate these birds, I thought this was pretty cute.

PS... One pooped on me... Jade says it's good luck... 

 Not exactly the raddest waves...

 Some pretty stellar graffiti on the beach.

The hubs posing for the annoying lady behind the camera.

Cloudy, but still beautiful!

This little boy was chasing and feeding the pinche sea gulls. Innocence is so cute!

I love palm trees!

Vamos a ver el Super Bowl!  Hasta el proxima!