Saturday, January 2, 2010

The new Year

This New Years was celebrated with Mexicans as compared to last year when we celebrated at home with friends from the states that were at our house. In Mexico New Years is quite different as most people stay at home with family to celebrate. We were originally suppose to go out to a party that was at a couples house who are from the States. Although it would have had Mexican food it would have been much more like a party from the U.S. This couple lives about 20min from town and since Issacs schedule got changed to evenings at the last min we couldn't do that. Instead we got invited to a friends house who lives with in walking distance. This way I could walk there with the girls when ready and Issac could keep the truck and come after work. The girls and I headed over there right at dusk because I didn't want to be there to long without the help of Issac but I also didn't want to walk in the dark. I could, mind you its supper safe here, but Issac doesn't like it when we do. For the first couple hours we just talked and watched the kids play. Once I was able to lay Joslin down around 830 or so I decided to break out the dice and try to teach them all Yatzee. So far in the evening they had all been communicating with me quite well and helping me when I needed it with my Spanish. This, and the thought that Issac would be there within 30 min to rescue me if I needed it, made me think I could conquer this quest. And so I explained and we made a practice round where everyone took a turns. Things had to be explained throughout the game and by the time my husband/translator showed up almost 2 hours later they all understood quite well. The only thing I couldn't get across to them is how sometimes you might choose a lower point at the moment in hopes of having a chance for a higher point later. But this is hard to explain to anyone when they are first learning the game. Then at 11pm we ate dinner, we had spaghetti (Mexican style, which is quite different than what you might be thinking), rolls, and everyone but me had the most delicious looking baked ham. Because Mexicans always take at least an hour to eat it was then time for the count down and grapes. We did do the grapes last year but not wholeheartedly. Being around others who truly loved and enjoyed this tradition made you really want to do it. The goal is to eat one grape and make a wish each time the church bell rings. Right before the bell started to ring everyone was scrambling to do things like putting money in their pockets and bags over their shoulders. Issac was constantly laughing and explaining these things, apparently the bag means you will have a lot of travel time in the year and the money is so you will have plenty all year. After shoving grapes in our mouths and almost choking due to laughing at everyone else with stuffed mouths everyone again was in action. They were grabbing brooms to sweep the porch, putting bags on before running up and down the side walk, and passing a handful of coins around shaking it and rubbing it on their bodies. It was so nice to feel so comfortable because I was laughing at them hysterically. I mean my only tradition with the bell ringing is to be sure and get a kiss from the ones I love. After the chaos and them making me do all the things likewise I asked why they wanted to be cleaning all year because even Issac couldn't explain the sweeping to me. But they said it was to keep out the unclean or bad things more in a spiritual sense. Shortly after, everyone calmed down and we got to eat flan which is my favorite desert. We then headed home around 1am. I couldn't believe it but my 3yr old stayed awake and loved the whole thing. I was so proud of her she only got grumpy a few times. Anyway once again I´m glad for the last min unintended change in plans.

I got this great idea from and I thank her for it. I love to reflect on the past and find out what I can learn from it and to look forward to the future and what I can hope for.

3-4 words that describe this past year... Growth, Learning, Upset stomach (I dealt with learning about my gall bladder issue a lot this year)

If 2009 was a book, I'd title it... Learning to be a Mexican without becoming a Mexican. lol no further comment needed I don't think.

I am really glad I tried... Living more in the moment

Something that really surprised me.... My Spanish is getting so much better.

The most courageous thing I did this year was. . . Going places without Issacs help, Like taking the baby for her injections, going shopping in the Marcado, and going to visit people like family and friends.

I tried to hold on to.... The American side of me. ;)

I felt more hopeful about... Being able to live here and be comfortable with it.

I felt less anxious about ... LIFE

A relationship I feel extra grateful for this year.... My husband, he surprises me constantly with what a great partner in this life he is.

This year, I noticed God at work in .... My spirit by teaching me constantly how to stay calm, not freak out and worry less. These are things I thought were just inherent in me and could never change but slowly God is helping me with it.

In 2010,

Words I hope describe this upcoming year..... Again Growth, Learning, and Healing.

Something new I really want to try... well my resolutions this year are to eat my necessary diet and not complain about it, and to continue to work on not stressing out and worrying (I still have plenty of work to do here)

A relationship I want to pour more of my heart and time into . . . My relationship with Christ deserves more effort this year.

A way I want to reach out to others is . . . I pray that God will show our family when and where we should be giving. I feel we don't give enough.

I'm going to need God''s courage to ...Continue working on my Spanish skills and to break out of the comfort zone I have put myself in.

This year I hope I let go of ..
.fear and anxiety

This year I hope I can hold on to ...The time I spend online with my friends and family from the States. I hope to never loose it.

One dream I have for 2010 is . . .
To be working and to be in a town we want to buy a house for our family to grow in.

As always thank you so much to all my readers, you keep me going with your comments and with all your blogs. This last year has been made so much easier knowing that others are living this crazy life a long with me. I look forward to the next year of blogging. I know this last year my posts have been a lot about the struggles of living here and I plan for the next year to be more about the wonders of living in Mexico. I cant promise there wont be any venting posts but hopefully most of them will be about how much I love it here.


  1. Wow, Amanda. You are really growing! I really enjoy reading your blog and following your progress. I share the same goal that you have of lessening anxiety and worry in 2010 and accept the mission that God has given me...whatever that is :)

  2. sounds like you had fun! We went to a New Years Eve party. It was okay, I have never been out anywhere on New Years Eve, I have always been at home.
    Oh yeah, what all was in the spaghetti? I like they way they make theirs. Everyone makes it different and I have liked everyone's version so far. If you know what all was in it, I am going to try and make it.
    Happy New Year!

  3. Hey! Great job. I hope your relationship with Christ grows too. And your language skills. Keep us informed of your progress. Peace to you, fellow blogger.

  4. Great to hear your Spanish is improving and you're gaining independence. I just read somewhere that trying new things -- learning a new language, living in a different culture -- helps an aging brain. So, here's to another year of growth and getting smarter in the process!

  5. Amanda,

    I'm so glad things are getting easier for you. I'm still living in the states with our 2 kids. Where is a safe place for young americans to live? May I ask you what area you live in? I would love to go and tour some areas that I feel are going to be good places to raise a family.