While living in China, I read a fantastic book by Peter Hessler called, “River Town.” In the book, Hessler writes about his time as a Peace Corps volunteer living in a remote town in Fuling, China. At the time, I resonated with much of what I read, but now, seven years later, there is one part of the book that remains distinct in my memory.

In Chapter Three, Hessler describes going for a run to the summit of Raise the Flag Mountain and how at first, he was not able to read the signs, which he eventually figured out (and was disappointed to learn) were propaganda signs. So at first the signs looked something like this:


And then over time, he began to know the meaning of more of the symbols and was able to read more and more of the signs.

Peter’s story came to mind as Belén was showing me how she is now able to identify and write the words, “I”, “A”, “can”, “we” as demonstrated on a partial sheet of white card stock from her kindergarten class. I thought of Hessler’s progression as he mastered hanzi (simplified Chinese characters) and thought it might be fun to similarly capture Belén, and eventually, Eloise’s mastery of scribing the English language.

So, I perused the Interwebs to find an interesting opening paragraph to a kid-friendly book and settled on Raold Dahl’s, “The Witches.”

We sat down on the couch and Belén pointed out the words she recognizes as of today, October 18, 2014.

The Witches words

It will be fun to see the progression and check back in to see where she’s at on her Kindergarten Graduation. And by then, the build up to the rest of the story should be such that we’ll have a much anticipated addition to our bedtime story bookshelf.

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I’ve been debating about whether or not to write this post for at least a month. Like so many things that Andy and I have been dealing with over the past eight months, there is no right or wrong, no user’s manual about how to move forward. We’ve been navigating new waters, doing the best we can, consulting with counselors, family and a few close friends to help guide us through an epic storm.

If I’m going to continue with the metaphor, I’d say that the storm has passed but it’s sort of lingering in the atmosphere as we move forward into calmer waters. Most of the debris has washed ashore and life is moving on. And now that you are wondering what the hell the storm represents, it is our marriage. Andy and I have been legally divorced since a judge signed our divorce decree in early-July. I bought and moved into a house back in our old neighborhood and all of our belongings have been divided. We are becoming experts in co-parenting and it’s going surprisingly well for the most part. Put it this way, our kids have adjusted quicker than their parents.

Our divorce is not one of those typical, bitter divorces you often hear about but instead an arrangement that had to be, between two grown ups who both have the well being of their kids as their top priority. There was almost no fighting, little to disagree on and I think we spent less than $200 on it, not counting moving expenses. And at the end of it, we remain good friends.

Despite this situation, we recognize how fortunate we are. We experienced an incredible 13 year marriage, have wonderful families who enjoy spending time together (even still), have great friends and most importantly, share two amazing daughters who are the smartest, cutest, funniest, most endearing little girls we can imagine.

I suspect that many of you have been wondering about what is up, why haven’t I posted, etc. and I feel like we owe you an update since I’ve been writing about our family for years. Andy and I are both adjusting to solo life half time and single parent life the other half of time and while it definitely has its challenges, its lonely moments, intense bouts of missing the kids and getting used to not seeing them everyday, we are definitely adjusting and can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Like many other things when modifying the family unit through a divorce, it is unclear what I should do with this blog. When I was a happily married woman, the last thing I wanted to read about was someone dealing with a divorce but then again, I would have loved to have been reading about someone in my shoes while we were going through this. I’m finally to the point where I don’t bawl my eyes out as I sit down to the keyboard so I need to figure out if and where I should write.

But that is a discussion for another day. Today we are finally sharing that we have been through a storm and made it through and that we are okay. And thank you for caring about us over the years and continuing to care about us as we figure out how to navigate these new waters…


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We’ve been talking about it for months now and the day finally arrived, today was Belén’s first day of kindergarten. She picked out her outfit weeks ago and this weekend we put the finishing touches on the accessories. (Thanks to Nana for the lego earrings and Scrabble ‘B’ ring.) School supplies were purchased and dropped off at orientation last week and the Frozen (what else?) backpack arrived from amazon before we left on vacation. This weekend, B and I put together her “Birthday Book” which isn’t “due” until November but we were giddy for a school project. She also did an awesome job of filling out and coloring the pages of her “All About Me” book.

Fast forward to 8:30 am where you could find Belén holding a hand of each of her parents, skipping down the sidewalk towards her new school. We congregated on the playground with a hundred other kids and parents waiting for the bell to ring, explaining how to line up, telling her how proud we were of her.

Needless to say, she was thrilled the day had finally arrived and giddy to start this next chapter of her life.

She was even more excited about the school year at the conclusion of her first day so I’d say it was a success. On to new adventures an exciting career as a student. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a step…

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Jul 27

Things You Cannot Do When You are Not a Toddler

Those of you with toddlers will especially appreciate this.

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May 01

Dear Eloise (@ 3 Years Old),

Dear Eloise, It is with great pleasure that I wish you happy birthday after three amazing years of life. I can’t believe that three years ago today, I was in the hospital staring into your beautiful eyes, breastfeeding you for the first time and being amazed that I could love another child as much as […]

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Apr 28

Dear Belén, @ Five-Years Old!

Dear Belén, Today, you, my dear, sweet, oldest daughter turn five. It seems impossible that you have been a part of this world for five years already and yet, I can hardly remember life without you. I can honestly say that even in at your young age, you have truly made a positive impact in […]

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Apr 20


Happy Easter! One of the annual events we look forward to most throughout the year is the egg hunt at my parents house. We realized today that it is the fourth year we have been doing it and so far, every year has been filled with amazing food, beautiful weather and the perfect location for […]

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Mar 13

A Week in Barcelona, España

I recently had the pleasure of attending one of the largest technology trade shows, Mobile World Congress, in its beautiful host city, Barcelona, Spain. I hadn’t previously had the opportunity to visit Spain before, so I was ecstatic about the trip, all except for the part of being away from the kids for so long. […]

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Mar 08

Let’s Go Fly a Kite

Let’s go fly a kite!

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Feb 07

Why I Don’t Post Cute Pictures of the Girls Anymore

Taking photos of little girls is harder than it looks…

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