Thursday, November 13, 2008

I'm back :)

I have been so busy lately, that i haven't been able to write on my blog :) so what I'll do is divide this entry in two, one for the month of October, the other for the month of November (believe me, there's a lot to tell from both months).
#1. October:
At the end of August I started looking for flights to the DR...That took me a lot of time, because everything i found was over the 1000 Dollars we said was the most we'd pay for a ticket there... I was going alone with Lara, Peter having recently started a new job, couldn't come, so i was looking for flights that wouldn't take the whole day to get there, or that would stay overnight or anything like that. Those are the cheapest ones :)...Finally, one night at Linsey and Bart's, i found it, booked it, and it was arranged that I'd go to Santiago for 3 weeks, then spend the weekend with my friends the Ernests in Tampa. And all for just over 700 Dollars. I found it almost in the middle of September. It was very important for me that i got there on the first of October, or before that, because my grandma's birthday was the second, so i was very happy with the arrangements. Very nervous, but happy. This was going to be the first time for me traveling alone through various cities, and i was going to do it with a toddler...You can imagine how nervous i was, and every single person i talked to would do that little something people do with their noses when they think you're crazy for doing a certain thing...Like a shrug of the nose, that i don't think anyone realizes, but that if you're observant, you'll see it. For example, when i told my friends i was going to date a guy i met over the internet, there it was (except for Nadia, but she knows I'm weird, so i guess she figured a geek like me wouldn't do it any different than that), or when i told them after a few years that i was going to marry that same guy, and move to Jarabacoa, being a city person and all that (i even got it from my family that time, lol)...You know, that little wrinkling of the nose that people get when they don't want to hurt your feelings, but they are thinking, "you're nuts for doing that"...Well, i saw it a lot, specially from people with children. It would go like this: I'd say, "I'm going to the DR next month", and they'd say "Nice, is Peter coming too?" and when i said no, they'll say "oh, you're going alone with Lara?", and then the wrinkle. I got lots of advice from very well intentioned people, and i followed each and every one of them, except the part about the Benadryl, i just couldn't get myself to medicate my baby like that, and everything went well, she cried for the first few minutes (to me it was like centuries) then fell asleep until we got there, for the most part. On one flight she made a friend and spent the whole flight, 2 hours, passing the magazines and the emergency instructions to him. Back and forth, over and over again. And he was smiling, the whole time. I think i believe in flight angels now, that was the last flight, from Miami to Santiago, and she just wanted to go home, nothing was working until this grandpa (he told me he had two little grand kids, both boys) started playing with her. God bless him, that's all I'm going to say :)
The day we left started early, in fact you could say it started the day before, because since my flight was leaving Minneapolis on the 1st at 6am, we left Fargo after Peter was done from work, and spent the night at a friend's house. I was nervous, but everything went very well. We got to the DR at about 7:30 PM (we had to stay in the Miami airport for 5 hours in between flights, Lara and I probably walked around it 3 times, because she was bored and just for fun, i guess). My mom, my aunt, my cousin Heidy and her son were waiting for us. I was so tired! the flight had been loud and crazy (the poor flight attendants! there was people shouting and laughing loudly, some of them refused to put their seat belts on, etc. It made me respect their work, it is hard to be that nice when you want to hit them over the head with a shoe, I'm guessing, or maybe that was just me... Those two guys were so nice and polite, i think they deserve a raise) and Lara was reaching the end of her rope as well. When my mom tried to hold her, she freaked out, and wouldn't let anyone touch her. It was weird to come back, to see the things i was used to and didn't notice before, like the driving (i almost died of a heart attack a couple times while my cousin was driving us to the city, you got to see it to understand it). We got to my grandma's and stayed there for the night, and a few other nights after that, but it was very hot and Lara kept screaming at night, so i decided to go to my aunt Sandra's house, to see if we'd have more luck sleeping there. And she did sleep better there, so we stayed.
The day after we got there, my aunts threw my grandma a party, with food, soda and a cake, like a little girl :) and she enjoyed every second of it, she even danced around (she just turned 83, but still moves about quite a bit). Lara discovered Kipes, a sort of meat and spices, cracked wheat combination that it's formed into an almond shape and filled with more meat then fried, so on every picture she has one in her mouth. And it's not the same one. She ate at least 4 before i noticed and took them away from her reach, and then other people gave her two more...I thought she'd get sick, but she was perfectly fine the next day. And she had cake. You can tell she's Peter's daughter alright.
The next few days were spent just socializing with my aunts and spending time with my grandma, and Lara got more comfortable and started to reach out to them. By the second week she would cry when my mom left the room...It was fun to see them interact, and get to know each other, a hint of the relationship they'll share in the future...She felt right at home with them, and i believe she knows they're family, for the way she connected with them.
One of the weeks i went to Santo Domingo, to visit my friend Iliana, and to see my sisters, brother and father. From the sisters i only saw one (apparently the other one was too busy), Lara loved Tony at first sight, and my dad made a thousand excuses and promises, which is normal to him, and then never showed up. I feel so sorry for him, he has no idea the joy that it is to be close to people. I'll pray for him, that he finds himself and God. It's funny how that doesn't hurt anymore, how i can forgive him like that - I guess God has been working in me, even without me knowing it. I had a great time, Lara enjoyed Iliana a lot :) she'd follow her around from a distance, real funny to watch. She also had the chance to play with Jael, her cousin (she's 3).
After that, i went to La Vega, to deliver something that Bart had sent with me, met up with Ricardo and his wife, and spent the afternoon with them. I took pictures, but they were lost when Peter put them in a CD in Tampa (another story- i cried so hard for losing them)...From there i went to Jarabacoa, and stayed a couple days with the Petersons, they have a cute little boy named Jeremiah, who would follow Lara around :)...It was nice to see all of them again, and the school, but it was weird to be there after almost a year, and know that i was no longer a part of them. Of course i had Gilberto's chicken, there was no way I'd travel so far and not go and eat it! After a couple days there i went back to Santiago, and spent the next week and a half there, until i left to Tampa. It was a good trip, weird in the sense that it was different for me to come visit, when i was used to being part of the country, weird that now, when i think of home, i think of Fargo. Made me surprised that in just over ten months i had left the country that saw me grow up, to come live here, and to feel it as my home, to miss it after a couple days...It just tells you how much fond of this city I've become, how it grows on you...
When i had to leave, my mom took me to the airport, but there were no tears, somehow we managed not to cry...My flight there was OK, with Lara repeating her 5-minute-cry-then-sleep routine, up until we got to Miami airport (not my favorite one, you got to run from one corner to the other to get your luggage and then find your gate, which happens to be on the same corner you arrived at), then another hour wait, then Tampa. But there was a surprise there, Peter had asked his boss to give him Friday and Monday off, so i got to see my sweetie a little sooner than i thought.
We spent Thursday night, Friday, Saturday and Sunday there (went to a museum in Orlando for free- their computer was having problems, so in we went without paying, it was very cool, it's an upside down house, complete with palm trees hanging...Sort of like the kind of museum you dream about when you're 5, where you can touch everything and run around and not get tired. I'm so coming back there sometime :), then on Sunday we went to Disney. We thought we'd get three people free - Colby knows a guy that works there - and then split the cost of the rest of the tickets, but when we got to the door, there was another employee there that gave us two more tickets, so we ended up going to Disney for free too. We spent the day running around Epcot, then went to Magic Kingdom, then back to Epcot again. It was a lot of fun. We want to come back next year for a longer time so we can see the other parks) We came back to Fargo, and back to reality, the day after that.

#2. November:
This month started as any other months, specially when you've been away for so long as I'd have. Doing laundry :), fixing around the house, checking for phone calls i needed to make, getting ready for Lara's check up appointment, etc. Nothing out of the ordinary. I eased into my daily routine faster and easier than i thought, and so did Lara. I thought she'd have a hard time getting used to sleeping by herself again, but she seemed to be relieved that she was back home at last. Never cried at night again, not even the first night.
Peter and I had talked before i went down that we wanted to buy a house in the spring, when our rental agreement was due. We decided to start looking around, just to get a feeling of the kind of house we wanted and stuff, and start the process and all that, so we went to a Realtor he likes (the same one that got him his first house). When they did his credit report it showed a few mistakes, that we had to wait to have erased...We kept looking around and searching on the internet, looking for houses in our range (now we knew more or less what we wanted, a house with some character, around this area, in good condition, and with enough storage). To make the story short, after a couple weeks i managed to come across a property listed back in August that i hadn't seen before. When i saw the pictures for it, i thought it looked promising, so i saved the number so we could go see it. I even drew 2 stars next to it. Peter told the Realtor lady, who made some calls, and we went to see it on Monday. My first reaction upon entering was WOW :) it's not perfect, but it's just what we're looking for! Peter was disappointed it didn't have a fireplace, but quickly perked up when he saw the finished basement...In all the houses we had seen so far, the basement was so low, it was hard for Peter to move around, and not hit his head, but this one was high enough for him to be comfortable, and it had a finished bathroom! we went to see another house, a little bit cheaper, that didn't measure up (it was hard after seeing the first one, i guess), we realized that whatever money we saved by buying the house, was going to go to replacing the old stuff in it (like the 60's pink carpet, and the neon blue bathroom tiles), so we talked about it and decided we wanted to make an offer on the one we liked. And we got it :) The closing date is December 12, and we are so excited that we drive by every time we go out (it's only 5 blocks from here)... I don't have any pictures, but as soon as i take them, i'll show it off. It's my first house in the USA! and i love it.
I love this season, with its colors and the cold :) I like the clothes you wear and the things you can do. I like watching the leaves, and Lara playing with them...I didn't know a place could change so much in such a little time, as i've seen our street change. It's like living in four different places at once :)
I've met so many people here, that i don't feel like an outsider anymore. We went to a museum in Moorhead that had a cultural thing they call "Pangea", it showcases the different foreign cultures that live here, showing their traditions and food so we all can see it. I wrote my phone number so i can help with it next year, who knows, there might be another Dominican here somewhere, maybe we could get together and make sancocho sometime...It would be nice to connect with Spanish speakers in the area too, so Lara can hear conversations in Spanish more often. I'll wait and see.
I didn't join the dancing classes this year, my trip took three weeks, they'd be too advanced for me by now. I want to start exercising in the YMCA, though. I've become too lazy :P
Anyway, it's enough for now. I'll keep you guys posted about any developments :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New Things about me you might not know...

I went to a MOPS meeting today, for the first time... When i woke up this morning, i though it was the worst idea I've ever had. What was i going to do, behave or say in a room full of women that are so different culturally from me?? I wrestled with the thought all the way there, and if i had been by myself, I'd probably have turned around. But Peter was there, and as usual, pushed me towards my own good, even when i resist it. I had a lot of fun, and i met lots of new people, and realized that even though i wasn't born in this country, i can relate to people here just fine...And that i love Peter so much for pushing me to see that...
The past few weeks and month have been really crazy, with Peter losing his job, staying home for a month looking for another one, then getting hired by a new company, just to be offered his old job with a pay increase...He didn't take it (well, not completely, he now works for both companies- Full time on one, then monitors from his computer a couple hours at night). As for me, I've been adapting, little by little, but moving forward nonetheless...It helps that i like it here. Fargo is a city full of great things to do, and friendly people. We might not have the biggest buildings, but what we lack on height we have on friendliness. I find people willing to help me everywhere i go, and going to parks and riding the bus always provides the joy of talking to different people, and learning about the different cultures that make this area. I remember reading the inscription on the Dollar bill, i think it is "Et pluribus unum" or something like that, but i didn't fully understand what it would be for a nation to be "from many, one" until i got here...So many nationalities, so many different cultures and ways of living, living together, calling themselves Americans... I wish people in my country took as much pride in their flag and their country as the people I've met here. I have a friend that doesn't like the USA, to the extent of never coming here to visit. She lives in Europe, in Italy. I don't think she has ever had the chance to meet the people, just has read what the papers have to say (that sometimes is far from accurate) and has decided to believe it. Living here, i can say that nothing she ever told me is true, I've found plenty of good things about this country, so many, that i have actually decided to in its due time, become an American too. I love how organized things are here, how things work, when you have lived in a country where fixing a road takes 2-3 years, this is refreshing. People complain a lot here, about politics, the economy, traffic, the weather, etc- They might be insensible to the great things that happen here, just because they've always been around them. It's like when you walk into a store with a new smell in it, the people that work there can't feel it anymore, but since i just came in, it's really intense for me...I'm hoping that never fades, and that i learn to continue to recognize the many blessings that God has in this country, i wouldn't move anywhere else in the world, i might go visit, but i simply love it here. I really do.
Next month I'll try yet another adventure, going BY MYSELF to the DR...With Lara. Prayers would be appreciated. Ideas of how to handle a cranky toddler during a two hour flight without a movie, accepted too.
Ps. I'll keep you guys posted for any new developments, I'm planning on taking a dance class this fall...Lots of funny pictures might be taken (i have two left feet, specially before i get my period...The worst case of PMS I've ever seen, lol)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The treatments are over!

I'm finally home, after so many days traveling back and forth between Rochester MN and Fargo... We have been traveling to the Mayo clinic, for Peter's infusions- He has a kidney condition, and they are treating him with an inmuno-depressant for the past month, and several times before that... It was so tiring to go there every week! We'd leave Lara with the grandparents and then drive for the longest time to get there (it seems longer to me, because i came from an island that you can cross side to side in just over 4- 5 hours) and then we'd stay in our cousin's house, so we could go on Monday mornings to get Peter "connected". I'm so glad this is the last one, it's hard for me to see him lay in bed with stuff attached to his veins. He's a strong guy, and never complains, not even when a nurse turned him into a pin cushion (she poked him three times in different places- we guess she doesn't do IVs very often). Now i can come back home and concentrate in making it look like i live here. We still have boxes with books on the corners, and most of my clothes are in a suitcase. Peter's clothes are on a table in the closet room, because our real closet it's so small, we can't fit anything in it, and that's why we're moving Lara to the smaller room, and we are moving our stuff into the room next to the kitchen.
I want to paint her room a nice shade of either sky blue or green, because I've decided to decorate it with the Sesame street characters, and we're getting a really cute toddler bed we saw in Walmart :) It's time for her to have a bed she can climb to by herself. And it works for all of us, because she doesn't need so much space for her clothes. I think it's going to look really pretty. I'll post a picture when I'm done.
It's nice to be able to relax at home, and think about the things we'll do here to make it more "homey"... Right now, everything it's arranged in a functional way, with no personality whatsoever, but in the next months, I'll start changing that- i want to do some art (haven't decide if photos or paintings) for my walls and i want to renovate the china hutch that Linsey gave us. As i said, I'll post pictures when I'm done.
My friend Jason from Chicago was here this past week :) it's been fun to walk around the city and show him everything that this city has to offer. Makes me realize how much Fargo has become my home, and how used i am to the pace here now... I like specially to go around in the MAT buses, just for fun- you get to meet really interesting people there, and it's very cheap. And i'm getting used to Libraries where you can find virtually every book you want :) but i need to make a list of the books i want to read, i get lost with so many, LOL.
There's so many things around here that were so strange for me when i got here, that now are so normal that i find myself wondering what happened when i don't see them. One of them it's the squirrels- there's at least 50 between my block and the park, in different sizes, i think they are very cute to me, but i'm guessing that if you have a garden, they might not seem so cute then. Another one is the train, that i hear more than i see, but that it's like a background music for me. People in bikes are next in my list- you don't see adults riding bikes in my country, unless they're in a club or something, here everyone seems to own a bike, and use it. The police lady that puts the tickets on cars that stay too long on the street (she seems to enjoy her job so much- i saw her put three tickets with the biggest smile in her face)- The mail carriers (a guy for us, but sometimes a woman- i guess he needs days off too)- The insane amount of pure junk mail we get EVERY DAY, except Sundays- The huge amount of food they serve in restaurants (a child's portion is bigger than what i eat- i get lots of leftovers)- The Alien restaurants (that poor guy in a suit when it's almost 90 degrees out, it breaks my heart) and the people that complain about everything ... Sometimes i feel like telling them to go and live in my country for a while, were the politicians are crazy, people drive any way they like, teenagers can legally drink (and they do, a lot), gas is twice as expensive as it is here- but people make three times less money than the lowest income household here on average-, there's blackouts every day, doctors go on strike almost every week, water has to be bought because if you drink from the tap you might get REALLY sick, and there's no real social security, etc.- but everyone is happy, and they think americans are the luckiest people on Earth :) We humans are a funny kind, the more we have, the more we want.
There are so many things about this country that i love, that i don't understand when people complain about it. I wish most of the people in my country were so proud of our land as to decorate their houses with flags, like they do here (i think it's called "americana"), and that things were as organized as they are here, but we still have a lot to learn there (or they have, as i start feeling more part of this country as time goes by).
Anyway, it's being a crazy week, with the traveling, going to the Valley Fair (FUN! i was too scared most of the time, but next time i go, i want to ride all of them- well, maybe not the one that you sit and they pull you and let you go, it's like 13 stories high!), having people over and getting used to being home again.
I can't wait to start settling down. Again :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

More of me

A friend of mine once sent me an email about how people you meet have a reason to be in your life at that specific moment and time. There's people that stay in your life for just a little time, and then they go, when you have learned what you needed to learn from each other... but there's another kind of friend, that no matter how long it's been since you last talked, or how much your life or circumstances have changed, they keep coming up to you, over and over again, and every time, it's like the old times. I'm so grateful to God for the wonderful many friends he's blessed me with throughout the years, friends that love me sincerely and that i love, friends that live far away, but are close at heart. These last few months, being so far from family and friends, this is the only mean of communication i have, that it's free of charge :), and it's always a pleasure to find people i care for, that i haven't talked to in a while, and learn about their lives. This week, two of my best friends, one from school, the other one from college, wrote. It's funny how something so simple as to find out that your friends both had babies, one in Italy, the other one in Bulgaria, and read about how different their lives have become, see baby pictures, and realize that even though we're far apart, we still think the same way, and we have chosen similar paths, makes one happy. We are still the same, yet different, and that makes me feel good. Very good.
Today i had the courage to go out of my "comfort zone" and went to explore the city, alone. Everything seems so different to me here, so organized. I have gotten used to having people ask me how to make tacos (i have no idea, I'm not Mexican- no offense, but there's more countries down there besides them, we make rice and beans, and pork, and beef- similar to southern cooking, but not spicy), I'm learning to use Dollars (they still don't seem real to me), to trust the police (if you are from Santo Domingo, you know what i mean- they're not bad, but it's better for you if they are not too close), to the health system here (complicated, if you ask me- and the nurses do most of the work too, unless you are really sick), to the notion that practically no one knows where the Dominican Republic is (I've thought about keeping a map in my purse), and to have people think that I'm Hindu, specially old ladies (i don't know why)... And the list goes on and on. Don't think I'm having a hard time, oh no- I'm having fun. I went to see my favorite painters in Minneapolis, and almost cried- I went camping, the American way, with air conditioning and cable TV, i sat by a lake to watch the 4Th of July's fireworks (beautiful, by the way- it's called Leech Lake, in Walker MN) and went to see a parade earlier that same day. I got in a lake up to my knees (the water was warm, not freezing, that's for the people that say that it's always cold up here), i drive from town to town (but only to the supermarket in the city, i get stressed with so many people around me). I can find my way around in Cashwise, Walmart and Target (when you have a kid, you visit them quite often)...I even know which bus to take to go there (Peter says that's easy, considering i used to go around in public transportation that doesn't have a map and that stops everywhere, full of people to over capacity, when i lived in Santo Domingo). I've even made some new friends here, people it's so friendly, and I'm starting to feel at home. I like this city a lot, there's a lot to do and a lot to see :) next month, when we don't have to go back to Rochester for Peter's treatment, i want to go to watch a play, or two. And maybe go dancing (i heard there's some salsa dancing downtown- maybe we should give it a try, if i can get the grandparents to keep the baby sometime, that is)
Well, anyway, enough with my chatter, until next time,

Monday, June 16, 2008

Father's day is over, at last. We had the family over, Grandpa and Grandma Schott, Andy, Micah, aunt Myrna, another aunt i can't remember her name, her husband and two more cousins... The house was full of people for the first time. I enjoyed every minute, but I'm glad is over, I'm sooooo tired :) I've never seen so much food either, the Schotts really know how to P-A-R-T-Y, LOL, so we had BBQ ribs, Bratworstz and plenty of corn in the cob and potato casserole. It was a really fun day, and everyone enjoyed Lara a lot. We really need more chairs, though.
I've been looking around for fun Elmo furniture and stuff for Lara's new toddler room (one I'm planning, now that my baby is getting too big for a nursery), and that's fun. Not finding anything under 80 dollars anywhere, not fun... Can you believe that it would be cheaper to fix our bedroom than to buy toddler furniture??? I'm guessing that crazy parents spend more money than other people. I'll keep looking, i know somewhere there's someone whose kid has outgrown the stuff i want, that it's willing to part from it at a reasonable price (i can dream, can't i?)
We also joined the YMCA this week, and as of this next week I'll start exercising regularly (Peter's going to make me, not my choice- but i know it's for my own good, so I'll do it) I might need to get some guidance though, i haven't had a workout or anything like it since i learned i was pregnant...So wish me luck. And now back to Craigslist to keep looking for the Elmo stuff. For the 12th time.
Ps. I joined another art class :) i'm so happy!

Friday, June 6, 2008

The art class

It's official, I'm taking an art class... After years and years of thinking about it, and deciding not to for one way or another (always thought i wasn't good enough - that even though i like drawing, since I'm rather more of a cartoon drawing person, i didn't qualify as an artist- but there's a very good museum close, and i think I've fallen in love with the beauty here, because i long to be be able to paint it, so i got myself into a "plein air" class :) I've never been out in the open with people i don't know, in a different language, but i though it might be fun to try. What can be wrong, as long as i don't wear white, I'm safe from the buffalo flies, they said (i don't even know what the heck they are- but if i see anything flying towards me, I'm going to run. And scream. Like a girl) I get more and more nervous as the weekend approaches, it's been years since i took a class with a real teacher, and a real artist, and my girl awkwardness comes out again... I've been having thoughts i thought i ditched back when i was a teenager, but that somehow have come back out in the open in the past few days... What if they don't like me? what if they just tell me to pack and go, for i am the worst pupil they ever had?? what if... You name it. It can all be made into one word: FEAR. Fear to the unknown that lays ahead, fear to being less that the perfect standard that i have imposed to myself, i can't remember when or how... Why do i tend to judge myself more severely than i would other people??? I don't know, and i probably would never know. But I'm working on it, and by the grace of God, who gives me the strength that i lack to overcome my demons of pure and unadulterated fear, I'm being bolder now that I've been in years of being me. Not just the shadow under my parent's names, ME.
For those who know who i am, and who my parents are, they'll understand what i mean. For those who don't, I'll just say that both my parents are very talented people, both in their own personal way, but way more outgoing that their shy offspring. My father's famous in my country, a folk singer- my mother's famous in her own way, I've never been to a place (except here, of course) where they didn't know who she was. Both of them can sing, so people expected me to as well... Maybe that's why i don't. I was in every singing group there was in my school, and i can't sing a note. They just wouldn't give up, i guess. It was impossible that i couldn't, that i was different. And that's where my problem with my self image started. I wanted so desperately to be like them, that i forgot to be me, and got frustrated when i couldn't live up to the standards I had made in the first place. I've worked through it my whole life, and i think I'm getting better at it as i grow older, learning to enjoy ME, the person that God created, not the image i had of me.
When i moved here last year, i didn't think my doubts about myself would resurface. I'm a new mother, too busy working around the house and tending a toddler to have time to think about herself, right? well, i was wrong. Now that I'm here, forced to be ME by myself, I've learned that i do share some traits with my parents, that i can be friendly and warm like my mother, and funny like my father, two things i was too busy to recognize in my quest to be their perfect daughter, the person they wanted me to be...
That's why i went ahead and signed up to this class, even when i felt like a deer that had seen a car too late, i won't let the fear be the one that tells me what to do. Who knows, i may make some friends in that class, people that are like me, inadequate and quirky, but fun :)
That's how i want my daughter to see me, as a person that despite not being perfect, did the best she could with what she had, praising God along the way, and laughing at herself when she had to... Just a person that enjoys being herself :)
Ps. I took that picture with my cellphone camera... Can you see the geese flying?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A walk in town

We went for a walk today. This is a beautiful place to live in, there are lots of trees that have lots of flowers, squirrels, birds all over, rabbits...And tulips, lots of tulips that are starting to show everywhere :)

My husband had the idea that we should go and have lunch with him, so at about 11am, Lara and I went out to meet him. It was a beautiful day, warm and sunny. We walked down to Island Park, then turned left to walk to Main, across the rails, to Broadway :) it was a fun walk, there's a lot to see, with all the history and the different types of trees that i'm learning to recognize now. Everything is amazing to me, not used to the change of seasons, i didn't expect to see the amount of new life that would spring out in just a few days...It looks like a complete different place from the winter wonderland that i first saw when i came here. I just love Spring, and all that comes with it...

When it was time to come home for Lara's nap, at about 2pm, i was almost sad i had to go indoors in such a pretty day, so i decided to go meet Peter after work so we could walk some more. This time we went to the Park and stayed there for a while, watching the kids play and laugh together is one of the best things of this day. Lara found a little friend, and they played for a while until it was time to go get Daddy :)

This time we went down (or up, i'm not sure yet ) Broadway to a store called Zambros, or something like that...If you ever come up here, i'd recommend that you find that store. I love what they sell, but what i like the most is the little soda shop they have in the back. They make the best strawberry soda floats in town. I was dissapointed that we got there too late to get some floats, but ended up buying chunky color pencils, a big pad of blank pages, and a puppy book for Lara, who has developed a fixation on dogs lately... And a couple postcards to mail to my friend Joanne in New York City, who doesn't believe she actually knows someone that lives here :)

We've been thinking about biking around the city together as a family, so we went to the bike store to see one for Peter. We ended up buying one, that he'll use to go to work every morning from now on. I have a bike that Andy (Peter's brother) gave me, so i got a helmet for me too. Now we'll look for a cart for Lara (probably on Ebay, they're quite expensive new). Then we just walked home again.

There's something about walking with people you care for. It seems to me that the best times i've had with people is while we walked somewhere... I remember walking with my dad, one time we went to the beach. I remember going home with my cousin Chanel from the Mall in Santo Domingo, and another time in Santiago. Walking with my aunt Tania to go to school in Puerto Plata. Walking with my friend Linda across Bayardo to get to Torre Alta when i was in highschool. Walking with my friends from JCS after watching a movie, before i was married and i spent my weekends at their house.Walking with my sisters in Zona Colonial. Walking with my mom in El Conde. Walking around in Cabarete holding hands, before we had kids, and after. Always walking. There's a closeness that you get by doing this simple thing together that i can't describe. As i walked with Peter and Lara down that street, i was praising God for my family, all the wonderful people that one way or another have walked with me, when i was happy to share my happiness, and when i was sad, to hear me out and lend their shoulders so i could cry on them. I love my beautiful baby, and the wonderful man that God gave me as a husband.
I'll remember this day forever.
PS. I found that postcard on the internet :)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

We're moving to Fargo

It's official, we're moving to Fargo. Peter got a really good job in the city, and he is to start next Friday, so on Wednesday we'll go and spend two days looking for an apartment to live... We've seen some on the internet, and he even filed an application for one that's close to his job, but we don't really know where we'll end up. Now we need to pack and get ready, and start a new life, from scratch...
I don't know how this is going to turn out, but God has always blessed us in the past, and we're sure he'll do it again in this new city. We'll be going to Bethel Church, where i'm hoping i'll make new friends, and find a spot to serve, and we have some family in the city as well. I'm going to enjoy living two blocks from a park, and being able to go to museums and the movies :)
I'm feeling very optimistic about this move...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Winter Storm Watch

I just heard that there's a WINTER storm coming our way... It is not winter, that i know, it's SPRING! if anyone could explain to me how is it possible for the planet to be warming up when is the end of April, and it's still cold up here?? Is it warming up everywhere else or something?? Any way, they say it might snow (4-5 inches, mind you) and to travel with a winter emergency bag, that i had never even imagined existed until i came here... I can see from my window that the wind is pretty bad, and all the cute animals that have been running around in our yard are gone... I was getting used to the warmth :) guess i'll have to wait a little longer...Maybe in June it would be warm, lol.
Peter and i are very happy, he's got 2 job offers, in two completely different cities! in the next few days, we need to decide where to go... Hopefully we won't have to travel through snowy roads (believe me, it's not fun)
I am so warm and cozy in here, it's hard to believe it's cold and drafty outside... I even saw a bunny yesterday! I'll take pictures if it does snow (i'm hoping it just rains)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

April update on my life

Today is Wednesday, April 23. We still live in Kulm, but in a week or so we'll be moving...Somewhere. We've been looking for apartments like crazy since last week, because Peter got a job offer in Minnesota. I haven't even thought about it yet. I like that we'll be living in the city and we'll have lots to do with our daughter, including that children's museum i love, but it's scary any way. It scares me not knowing what's going to happen next, not knowing how our lives are going to change...When we move, we'll start from zero - we don't even have furniture (except for a bed Pete's parent's got for us, and the baby's crib) and i don't have a job yet. I've been looking for a job as an interpreter, but they haven't answered yet...This is so disturbing to me, we have to find a new church, new friends, find my way in a new community...It's all so hard for me, it seems to be easier for my husband, being his country and all...At least i'll have the comfort of having art museums i can go (that always makes me feel better for some reason- there's something special in seeing so much beauty around you i guess) I just hope i get some answers from that job, it's hard to move without really knowing what's going to happen. I'm so upset i don't even make any sense :)
Change has always been hard for me... And coming here has been a big change, and just when i was getting used to living in small town America, God moves us to a city... I wonder, what does he want us to do there?? I wish i could get a map or something, some to do list or anything... But that's not how God works, he leads you places, and lets you find out in His time what you are supposed to do, which is very hard for a control freak like me.
So, for now, we're looking at apartments in the Minneapolis area, haven't found anything yet that would accommodate our dog, us and our budget in the same place (by the way, what's with all the pools everywhere? apartment complexes here look like hotels to me, lol- you'd think with all the lakes, people wouldn't need as many pools)
I'll write again when we find/decide anything

Monday, April 7, 2008

This is me...

I'm a wife and a mother, in learning...I make lots of mistakes, get frustrated at times, but enjoy every minute of my life. I'm married to a wonderful man, that brings out the best in me, even when i resent his pushiness, that thought a good idea to bring a girl from the tropics to the cold winters of North Dakota :). I love snow, scrapbooking, drawing, cooking good food and playing with my daughter, but most of all i love those catalogs that come in the mail here, but i never buy anything- I guess i'm not ready yet. I like going into stores and looking around, just an excuse to let my dreams roam the aisles free, i guess. I like a show named "what not to wear" by TLC, it shows me what i would wear if i could afford it, and if i knew how to put outfits together. I love to read, mostly novels from the past, like "pride and prejudice"...I hate doing dishes, ugly houses and bland food. I'm a Christian, looking for a place in the flock that God has for me, but that i haven't found yet...In a few words, i'm an imperfect being, trying to do the best she can to please her maker, and be humble at the same time. I wouldn't change anything about me, or my past, for i believe everything has a reason to be in your life.
I decided to write this blog when i was driving home with my husband today. I moved here recently, in December, and i still don't have a close friend to whom i could talk about my life and frustrations at getting used to living here. So i decided to make someone bored here instead :)
Hope you enjoy my ramblings,
Ps. I love fast food, too :) This country is so good!