The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

- Robert Frost

the 1 less traveled by

A move to Nicaragua

Browsing Category:

Before we leave


Pet Health Certificate

Two dogs, a baby, and a borrowed Accord

Its been a little tough to figure out exactly what we need to do to prepare our dogs for the move.  Some websites say we need to get our dogs micro-chipped, although it doesn’t sound like very many places have the scanner.  Some people say you need to get the Health Check Certification stamped by the USDA (which the closest one to us is located in Los Angeles), while other people say they got their dogs in fine without it.  I guess we’ll find out if we did everything correct once we get there.

Luckily I called our vet yesterday to schedule an appointment for the Health Check.  Everything I’ve read is consistent that the dogs need to get certified within 10 days of entering Nicaragua.  When I called the vet to make an appointment at the end of the month, they told me that Nicaragua requires that the dogs get rabies vaccinated no less than 30 days before departure…that’s today!  So I loaded our two dogs and Titus into my mother-in-law’s Honda Accord this morning and drove to get their Rabies, Canine Distemper. Parvovirus and Hepatitis vaccines.  Next step is the Health Check Cert at the end of the month.  I have until then to decide whether I’m driving that document up to LA.

This is the website the vet used to see what is needed:


The Little Things


I’ve been wanting to make feet impressions of Azalea for quite sometime now.  I saw the idea on Pintrest ( and I thought it would be a cute idea for our future steps to the garden area.  Now that we’re leaving for 2 years the pressure was really on.  I needed to get those tiny fit in some cement quick, before we go and I loose out on the tiniest feet.

I used the plastic trays for catching water under plant pots, sprayed a coat of PAM on each one and quick dry cement.  It was easier than expected and turned out great!  I fudged the date slightly so I’d have something from 2014. : )

Previously I purchased quick dry concrete and the large gravel makes it impossible to get a clean impression, so if you decide to do this, make sure you buy cement.


I <3 Bubble Wrap

Pictures & mirrors all packed

I have a new found love in bubble wrap!  This stuff is amazing! It sticks to itself, protects all my fragile items and comes in HUGE rolls!


Toddler Tales

Last night I succumbed to my daughter’s request to “lay with me for a couple minutes”.  I had read this article about laying in bed with your toddler the previous day while daddy was away at work and had promised the next night when daddy was home that I would lie with her. I had posted the article on Facebook and the comments were very inspiring, talking about how when my friends take the time to lie in bed with their kids, that’s when they have the best conversations.  So after daddy read books I passed Titus off to Kharron and snuggled up close to Azalea in her toddler bed.  I asked her about her day and we discussed how the next day we were going to take a load to storage.  Looking up, I couldn’t help but think of the task of having to dismantle her never-been-used loft bed that was currently her room’s monkey bars.  I told her about how when we move back from Nicaragua that she will be so big, she won’t fit in her bed anymore and that Mommy is going to buy a mattress for the bed above us.  I pointed out the ladder I had draped over the unused wood mattress panels and how she would get to climb into bed at night and Mommy could climb up there too.  She could fit even more stuffed animals on that bed!  I explained how tomorrow we would have to take it apart and put it in storage so it could wait for us to come back. She seemed to take it well and today before pulling it apart, I let her take her maiden voyage up the ladder.


Sad De-party-tures – Azalea’s 3rd & Our Last Party

This day was such a blast, our home filled up with friends & love so thick it was palatable.  I found myself continuously getting caught up in the moment. Moments that were so sweet and so spontaneous that I couldn’t help but feel the intense smile spread across my face and the glow radiate out of me. But on this day, this smile was proceeded by an uncontrollable sting, like a cancor soar you forgot about. Even as my neighbors entered our house with big hugs and bigger smiles I could hear a voice whisper, “You’re leaving soon.” As I watched a friend mimic my directions of where to put the gifts, “You’re leaving soon.” Watching the God Mother of my kids know just where our wine key is kept, or my husband’s best friend’s wife fill my wine glass & make a new batch of margaritas, “You’re leaving soon.” My mother-in-law’s friends we haven’t seen since our wedding coming in baring gifts, hugs, and a sincere heartfelt smiles. My dad, ever the obedient guest, cutting taco meat, refilling chips, rice, & beans, “You’re leaving soon.” Watching the “littles” play in the baby area I set up – Avery already big enough to go down the slide, but I’ll probably miss her first steps. Is it possible I’ll miss Ben’s first week of walking too? I looked across the party and a table was full of the only nanny Azalea has ever known, her husband, daughter, baby son, and even her parents. Love, love everywhere. You could have painted the house with it, thick like glue…stuck to everything, every plate, fork, laugh, every step thick with love. A twinkle in every guest’s eye, like a tear might be forming below the surface.

The kids put on a singing show and my parents, teary-eyed had front row. I know what they were thinking because its the same recording that was playing in my head…”Soak it in, they are about to leave, no more moments like these for two years.” I was seated across the yard at a table with the neighbors and nursing their grandson, the guilt and love equally enveloping me.

Once in bed, I could still hear the muted sounds of my husband & a neighbor out in our bar, The Drunken Chicken.  Still laughing. Are we really leaving all of this? Two years…will it really only be two years?  Where will life take us?


Life Savors

With only 6 weeks left I’m instinctively savoring every moment here in San Diego. Today the family hit up four local spots; The Carlsbad Chocolate Bar, 83 Degrees, Privateer Pizza, & of course Dini’s (where Kharron and I met).


The Sell-Donate-Pack Delemma

Sell, donate, pack…this is the tape played in my head like my own personal mantra. Every item my daughter picks up, every toy I place my son on or in, every piece of clothing I wear this chorus sings. I made my husband get our storage a month earlier and take 2 loads just so I could have some space to organize my categories.

I’m planning for a 2 year hiatus, so anything that my son at 2 1/2 and my daughter at 5  wouldn’t play with or use needs to either be packed or gotten rid of.

Sell – containing several subcategories; sell on eBay, sell on Craigslist, sell at garage sale.
Some of the things I need to sell are worth more than what I think I can get at the planned garage sale.  For instance I partially use cloth diapers and believe it or not, there is a market for these designer diapers on eBay.  Cute knitted kid beanies, cell phones can also be sold on eBay.
On Craigslist I post larger items that might be out of a garage sale connoisseur’s price bracket – my baby food making system, our front porch furniture, office TV, computer.  This category will soon include my husband’s truck.
Garage sale – I loath having garage sales.

Donations also gets separated into many subcategories; Goodwill, non-profit, brother who is soon-to-be father.  Since I despise people bargaining over my junk, I frequently do Goodwill drop offs containing my unwanted clothes, old sheets and other items I want to save the embarrassment of people hassling over.
I am part of a non-profit women’s organization called Contemporary Women of North County, we fundraise as well as donate necessities to a variety of non profits.  I have been separately things like books, material, and new baby items to donate to this group for the various projects.
My brother recently announced that he and his fiance have conceived, so they will be the beneficiaries of a HUGE pile of baby stuff – baby bath, bassinet, blankets, toys, high chair, activity mat, baby swing… My poor parents will be lugging a Prius full back up to Santa Cruz after our daughter’s birthday party this weekend…and I can’t wait for it to be gone!

Then there’ pack… 6 suitcases slowly filling as I make trips out to the garage to shove items into the small unzipped hole at the top of each one.  I duct taped our names to the corresponding suitcase so I know when each person has met their max and will need to reassess the contents.  Clothes & toys for the kids.  Do I need baby Tylenol? Aquafor? No Tears bath?  Shoes, clothes, rainboots, summer PJs for me. A monitor, webcam, and shorts for Kharron.


Finding Renters When Moving Abroad

The home we’re leaving behind

Taking pictures, posting our house on Craigslist, and showing it to potential renters has reminded us how truly lovely our home is.  I used to look at every floor board scuff or nail hole with disdain, now I see sweet bitterness as I remember how it was created and add it to my mental “Fix It” list.

I recently redid our daughters room, complete with chandelier, pink flowery wallpaper, bright pink curtains, new closet organizer, and a loft bed she hasn’t used.  Its going to break my heart to have to tear apart the unused bed and pack up all her toys & stuffed animals.  Worse, I’m worried that it will break her heart! I’m not procrastinating this task, but I dread the tearful outcome.  Should I do it while she’s away at preschool or in front of her??  She’s only just turning 3 years old, so I’m not convinced she will understand what is occurring.

We decided on a family to rent our home.  They have a 10 year old son and a 2 year old daughter, so we’re hoping they will fit into our amazing neighborhood and enjoy their time here as much as we have.  They are allowing us to keep some shelving up, the flat screen TV arm brackets, a corner cabinet, the plants, and our 2 chickens.

This is the first time we’re becoming landlords and its under strange circumstances.   One of the families we interviewed didn’t like that we were just looking to rent for only 2 years.  They wanted to “dig their roots in” and thought they wouldn’t be able to do that knowing we were returning.  Other people had a lot of questions about whether we might come back prior to two years. Our simultaneous answer was that we will definitely be gone for 2 years, whether that’s in Nicaragua or another country.

We’re truly going to miss this home, our neighborhood, and our wonderful neighbors.  We’ve created lasting friendships for both us and the kids in this neighborhood and we know we are blessed to live here.

luggage stuffing

Packing To Move Abroad

Is it too early to pack?

My husband & his family are making fun of me, we are 2 months out and I’ve already began packing the suitcases.  Actually I’ve barely started packing, but started accumulating items for the move; scourging the thrift stores for extra large suitcases (since we’re only bringing 6), scanning Craigslist for boxes & dog crates, sending group texts to neighbors to collect newspaper, buying packaging tape…  Its true, I am a planner, but with all there is to do “I don’t feel like this is too early!”, I say with a defiant stomp…well, at least that’s how it gets played out in my head.

I’d like to do more, but Kharron isn’t convinced that getting our storage space this early is necessary. I’ve never done a move like this.  When I moved from Northern to Southern California, everything I owned fit in my Honda.  I didn’t have kids to worry over, I didn’t have a whole house worth of belongings to compact into a 15 x 10 space, and I couldn’t just call my mommy if I forgot anything.

Now my and Ze’s closets contain no shorts nor sundresses…I think that’s a fair start.



Advice from an awesome Kiwi

Date night at Karl Straus Brewery, Carlsbad CA.

While having date night drinks & apps with the hubby, a man walks up to the bar. My husband, who has met no stranger, of course starts a conversation with the accented man. Turns out he is from New Zealand and has lived in 8 countries and had a kid born in 4 of them. We asked his advice on our move… “Only do one big thing.” he said, “Don’t plan a trip in the first 6 months, don’t have a baby the first year, and don’t start a business right away.”  I’m what you might call a busy body and have already made plans to go to Belize in July to visit some friends visiting there.  Part of what I want to accomplish (there I go again) while living in Nicaragua is to see the surrounding countries, work for a non profit, and maybe invest in a business. Although I haven’t changed my plans, his advise certainly does put everything into a realistic perspective.