Iza’s Wonderful Abuela

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vcex_image_grid grid_style=”default” columns=”3″ title_type=”title” thumbnail_link=”none” lightbox_caption=”true” custom_links_target=”_self” img_width=”9999″ img_height=”9999″ image_ids=”3595,3594,3578,3582,3581,3583,3580,3586,3585″][vcex_spacing size=”30px” class=”” visibility=””][vc_column_text]We have had the best week. My mom arrived last Thursday and it has been a week of fun, games and a gazillion and one presents.

This woman is amazing! It is her 3rd time here in 9-months and the last two times she has come with a broken foot. With all our stairs it has not kept her down or frightened her away from coming. Two nights ago she even hobbled up the hill to Kurt’s studio all by herself (and this is not an easy feat… it is a vertical mountain climb). She never complains and she is thrilled to spend any second she can with Iza. At home she has another two beautiful granddaughters the same age as Iza and I know it is hard to be away from them when she is here… so it is pretty special we get to have the time with her.

Iza is happy as can be with her grammy by her side. She is learning more English and spending time with activities. And with my mom’s direction, Efrain has been a building frenzy creating a gorgeous easel and 2′ square puzzles. I think next up is a toy chest and more blocks. One amazing gift – a freakin’ Melissa & Doug Dollhouse. Can you believe she brought it in her suitcase? Iza and her friend Amy have been loving it and playing with all the dolls and the house regularly. It is wonderful.[/vc_column_text][vcex_spacing size=”30px” class=”” visibility=””][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row id=”” visibility=”” css_animation=”” style=”” center_row=”” tablet_fullwidth_cols=”” min_height=”” bg_color=”” bg_image=”” bg_style=”” parallax_style=”” parallax_direction=”” parallax_speed=”” parallax_mobile=”” video_bg=”” video_bg_overlay=”” video_bg_mp4=”” video_bg_webm=”” video_bg_ogv=”” border_style=”” border_color=”” border_width=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” margin_left=”” margin_right=”” padding_top=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” padding_right=””][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”3579″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” alignment=”none” link=”http://www.racolife.com/product/schleich-world-of-nature-farm-animals-series-3/”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Last time she came my mom had made Iza the most beautiful farm. She sewed a ‘farm purse’ out of fabric and filled it with premium farm animals from Schleich. Amy loves it as much as Iza does and yesterday she came up to me and asked if she could borrow some of them to play with and bring them back another day. When her mom and I looked into her bag to see what she had taken, it was the whole set![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row id=”” visibility=”” css_animation=”” style=”” center_row=”” tablet_fullwidth_cols=”” min_height=”” bg_color=”” bg_image=”” bg_style=”” parallax_style=”” parallax_direction=”” parallax_speed=”” parallax_mobile=”” video_bg=”” video_bg_overlay=”” video_bg_mp4=”” video_bg_webm=”” video_bg_ogv=”” border_style=”” border_color=”” border_width=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” margin_left=”” margin_right=”” padding_top=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” padding_right=””][vc_column width=”1/1″][vcex_spacing size=”30px” class=”” visibility=””][vc_column_text]My mom and I are very similar in appearance these days and all the locals love to point it out. It is rare to see white hair on the lake, it is not really that common in the Mayan Community, and she is striking. It is fun to watch people watch her.

We have been to the market and the fabric market and this weekend we head to Antigua and her husband Drew will come to meet us for the next week. It is going to be fun! We have a huge agenda for the next week and I am looking forward to playing ‘tourist’ in a place I love to be.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Laguna Lodge – Nature Reserve

Laguna Lodge

Saturday is family day, always. Today we decided to jump in the launcha and head to our favorite town – Santa Cruz and take a hike. We figured we would do this and then head to Cafe Sabor for lunch and then walk home via Jabalito. We started at the town dock and took a leisurely walk to a little place called Paxnax (pash nash). Here is home to the fanciest hotel on the lake called Laguna Lodge. We heard there was a nature preserve owned by the hotel, with incredible vistas, and wanted to give it a whirl.

We started at the hotel and had a little tea. Iza was sleeping so this gave us an extra minute to relax before we started our climb up. It was so much fun! We had a chance to just relax together – it has been forever – and have a check in on life and all the new challenges we have be going through with moving here.

Laguna Lodge Nature Reserve 1

 

The first vista that we found yielded this amazing photo. Such a sight, and using an iPhone nonetheless.

Laguna Lodge Nature Reserve 4

 

From marker “12” there is this view. Kurt stood at the end of the row and took the below photo. Pretty impressive, eh?

Laguna Lodge Nature Reserve 2

While beautiful, this eco lodge is seems really just crazy, outlandishly expensive… but after our hike, we can see why. It sits at the base of a private nature preserve. It is still hard to believe that in Guatemala there is a hotel for $450 a night… when that could get you an employee for 2-months at that rate! Worth it? Not sure, but really a wonderful day and experience.

Holding on for Dear Life

At the computer 2

I have been so busy with work for the last 3 months that I have hardly had a chance to look up and see the surroundings. Sad considering we are located on the titled and celebrated “most beautiful lake in the world.” For all I knew, I could have been in a black box located in Siberia. Now, when I look in front of me I don’t see something I have invested myself into, I see a postcard of a potential future experience. But it feels unattainable to relish in the moment.

I believe many people are like me, they are just literally trying to hold on as the sea of work piles up. No matter what is going on – my daughters birthday, my mom’s wedding, my friend’s crises, I am preoccupied with something else and just going through the expected motions. I give a 1000 percent at work and the bare minimum at home. I am always tired, and always behind. I just feel like I am running on the wheel of life and my stop hasn’t come up yet.

At 33, I am in the middle of my career – a vital point which cannot be ignored; if I stop now, will I drop off the radar? Will I lose all opportunities? I hold onto fear which is a tremendous driver in this unhealthy cycle. But beyond opportunities, another primary fear is money. When will the money dry up and another recession hit? When will we need money for a rainy day? As the current bread-winner, I feel a pressure to succeed on a lot of levels.

But at what cost? Such a crappy way of non-living.

I hit a breaking point two Friday’s ago and I have just had enough of my own excuses.I want to come out from this cloud I have placed above my head and I am determined to be present in my own life again; to finally be able to enjoy time with family, friends and experience this first leg of our Brand Fam journey together. I am ready to stop, reposition and gear up to go in a new, healthier direction. (This, however, sounds good on paper, but I don’t know how to transition and to push beyond my current state.)

All comments and advice are welcome.

At the computer 3