International Love

I’ve been really lucky to know three of my grandparents my entire life. My paternal grandma died at the hands of breast cancer when I was a wee babe, so I never really knew her, but her memory has been kept alive in my family in such a way that I feel like I do….

Moving Day

In transition. That’s how life has felt for the past year and some months. For five months of it, I had the privilege of living in wonderful Casaverde in Potrero, all of that time with Marcela and two of those months with Erik and Sigrid. With Erik and Sigrid heading back to Sweden and Marcela…

Review: Somebody Else’s Kids

In March of this year, I began my first full-time teaching job. My teacher training comes strictly from being a writing tutor throughout college and from a one-month Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) program I took here in Costa Rica. While the TEFL program certainly prepared me for a lot, my first few…

Review: Paris Letters

I decided to read Janice MacLeod’s Paris Letters for two reasons: (1) Janice’s ongoing story of working to ditch her tiresome 9-5 corporate life for something bigger resonates deeply with me, and (2) well, Paris. A relatively quick read, I’d recommend this book to anyone who has even the slightest inkling that there might be…

A Mindful Mother’s Day

When I was in middle school, I became friends with a girl whose mom had died. I remember coming home one day after hanging out with her and sprawling out on the couch in the family room, sobbing about her not having a mother on Mother’s Day. Of course at that point, I had never…

Río Celeste in the Rain

I’m told rain is coming. On the days that reach 92, 95, 97 degrees and the air conditioning at school breaks, I’m told rain is coming. Every morning after having woken up the night before around 2:00am to a pillow drenched in neck sweat, I’m told rain is coming. I’ve seen intermittent evidence of this,…

Rock Bottom

Let me start by saying that I know when I write about this, I write from a perspective of privilege and safety. That I know my rock bottom is still pretty damn good compared to what others experience. That my rock bottom isn’t really even rock bottom. But all experiences are relative, right? That being…

Selfish in Costa Rica

When I first visited Costa Rica in May 2017, it was my first time in Latin America. The culture, the people, the music, the beaches absolutely swept me off my feet. I spent the week doing things I’d never done before: scuba diving, riding horses on the beach, skinny dipping, drinking beer in the bed…

Sufjan Stevens’ Carrie & Lowell

Released in 2015, Carrie & Lowell is Sufjan Stevens’ devastatingly beautiful response to his childhood and mother’s death. I listened to it many times before John’s death and even more so after – I remember the first time I finally cried listening to “Fourth of July.” I wish I could personally thank Sufjan for this…

Valentine’s Day

Last year on this day, I had no idea that I had less than two weeks left with John. I had no idea that going to see Lion that evening was the last movie we’d ever see together in theaters. I had no idea that when I looked at him across the table under the…