11.25.2013

teaching your child Spanish as a non-native speaker



When I found out I was pregnant, I was clueless about a lot of baby-related things. Sleep schedules, stroller selection, and cloth diapering systems made my eyes glaze over like when my sister used to explain calculus to me. One of the few things I was sure about, though, was that I wanted to teach my baby Spanish. As a Spanish teacher, I figured it would be a natural extension of the job I was already doing. I had already poured hours of research into being a creative and knowledgeable Spanish teacher, and I wanted to put that preparation to good use.

Naturally, I turned to Google for additional information. Now, maybe my googling skills are subpar, but if not, the amount of material on the internet specifically for non-native speakers teaching their children a second language is shockingly dismal. There is a bounty of information for 2 native speakers of a minority language living in the majority culture. The resources for one parent one language are ubiquitous. But very few materials exist for a proficient, albeit non-native, speaker to teach their children a second language.

My goal is to find like-minded parents and more resources on this topic. The information is out there, but it will take some digging. Ever since Pip and I started this journey, I have been on the hunt for practical and relevant ways to incorporate Spanish into our daily routine. Here is what I have found and learned so far:

  1. Don't let perfect be the enemy of good. I love reading up on new topics and skills, but sometimes I get a bit lost in the research. At some point, I have to remind myself to just jump in and test it myself, even if that means I don't have a perfect game plan. I would much rather teach my child some Spanish than none at all because I took so much time to figure out how that I eventually gave up.
  2. Sing, Sing, Sing! On Spanglish Baby I found a list of great children's songs and cds in the tiendita. I picked one to buy on iTunes, and have immersed myself in committing those songs to memory. I sing them to Pip in the car, during diaper changes, in the bath, while we are waiting at doctor appointments, and on walks. She has grown particularly fond of Hola Don Pepito. It makes her laugh every time she hears it. She also loves Pin Pon, Que Llueva, and Arroz Con Leche. 
  3. Read aloud. I was really lucky and had a book-themed baby shower, so I received a few children's books in Spanish as gifts. I also had a few on hand from my teaching days. The good news is that most libraries have a small Spanish section where you can find board books and children's books to avoid spending tons of money and growing your collection of "stuff." Not only will you get a lot of repetition of new vocabulary words, colors, numbers, alphabet, and animal, but you will get to practice your pronunciation, too!
  4. Learn baby talk in Spanish. I think it's safe to say that in my college study abroad experiences I learned little to no baby-related vocabulary. I definitely had to turn to the forums on Word Reference to find words for pacifier, crib, high chair, etc. The challenge here is that many words are colloquial, or change from family to family. I just picked the most academic word, or the one I would be most comfortable using in public. 
  5. Ask questions. Especially during babyhood, it's not important to use really complex language structures. I don't use those structures in English with Pip, so why would I in Spanish? Just learn how to ask a few questions you will use all the time: Are you hungry? Are you tired? All done? How are you? What do you want?
  6. Narrate. When you go for walks or are out in public, point out objects, buildings, or animals and talk about the color, size, and number. Keep it simple. Tell them how they are feeling. If Pip is smiling, I just say "Estás muy feliz." If she's near tears, "Estás triste," and so on. 
  7. Find native speakers in your area. This is a tough one. You may be really lucky to live in an area where native speakers are plentiful. If that's the case, see if there is a play group, a mom's group, story time at the library, a Bible study, etc. Check MeetUp or look on bulletin boards at the local library. 


I am by no means an expert, and I am always looking for more resources, tips, and ways to incorporate more Spanish whenever I can. It does take some discipline, but all things worth doing do!

Do you have any experience using Spanish with a baby? What did I miss?

what is…time?

When I was young, my parents called me Lightning. The epithet was meant to be ironic; I was anything but swift as a child. It was not my athleticism they referred to, but rather my deliberate manner. I could not be rushed. Everything would be done in its own time.

I still maintain a propensity for leisure, but alas! I am a polychronic person living in a monochronic culture. I am expected to be on time, even early! Deadlines are absolute, and no one wants to hear my reasoning or excuses for being 10 minutes late. Even if they did, I'm not sure 'getting lost in my own thoughts' or 'I ran into a friend!' would be counted as passable reasoning. As a responsible adult, it is important for me to comply with my culture's view on time.



There is no right or wrong way to view time. It is a personal and cultural preference. Some view time as a valuable commodity to be spent, saved, killed, or wasted. Others don't think much about time at all, but rather focus on relationships and big-picture objectives. I have found it beneficial to be aware of what my own view on time is, in order to avoid misunderstandings and to compensate when it comes to job interviews, work or school deadlines, and transportation schedules.

No matter how one views time, I am of the opinion that we could all be less urgent. Urgency should be saved for emergency situations where time is of the essence. When you think of yourself as urgent, how does that look? I picture myself as being short with other people, failing to notice the beauty and blessings around me, clenching my teeth, tense shoulders, and an overall aura of unapproachability. It is physically and emotionally uncomfortable, and I never feel good about myself after urgent interactions with others.

When I find myself behaving this way, I try to picture a time in my life where time and pressure were the last things on my mind. I picture myself having a refreshing margarita after class on a sunny Friday afternoon in Quito, playing cards and chatting with new friends. I recall the salty air and long leisurely days of my honeymoon in Mexico. Those were moments when I was taking it all in, appreciating the details and relationships of my life.

Not every moment, not every job, not every lifestyle is conducive to ease and repose. But we always have the decision to act like we're on a beach vacation. Good mood, big smile, relaxed shoulders.

At some point during the school year, the clock in my classroom stopped working. When the students would ask halfway through class what time it was, I always responded, "What is…time?" Some laughed at the abstract question; others were, I'm sure, infuriated. I guess I never told them the time because I was so engaged in the lesson, and wanted the students to experience that same flow. To enjoy the class. To appreciate the opportunity to learn.

Anyway…I guess I'm late a lot of the time. I'm polychronic, I get lost in what I'm doing, I let interruptions distract me. Having to bundle a 6 month old for a Minnesota winter isn't helping me get out of the house "on time", either. It's something I know I have to work on.

Just know that if we plan on having coffee together at some point, I won't expect you to be "on time." Just don't expect me to be, either.

11.19.2013

using music to improve your spanish


Music has always been an effective mnemonic device for memorization and learning. Think back to your toddler and kindergarten days. If your parent or teacher wanted to impart some knowledge or rule, they would sing. The alphabet, nursery rhymes, children's television shows, and even advertising use this strategy.

As a Spanish teacher, I tried to use music at least once a week to enforce whatever vocabulary or grammar we were using at the time for several reasons:

  1. songs are fun
  2. songs incorporate vernacular
  3. songs are authentic resources
In my search for songs to use on my students I would often find songs I myself enjoyed. Reading through the lyrics allowed me to learn new words, sentence structures, and idioms. Singing songs out loud in my car helped me work on pronunciation and also provided entertainment for those surrounding me. 

Here are a few tips for finding music to improve your own Spanish:
  • create a Spanish station on Pandora, iTunes radio, or Spotify. Write down the songs that you enjoy, and look up the lyrics
  • browse the iTunes Latin store for the top songs and albums
  • look up your favorite artists on YouTube. Many of them have a YouTube channel with their official videos
  • follow a favorite artist on Twitter
  • browse the audio section of your local library for latin artists
Once you have amassed a small collection of Spanish songs or procured a CD or two…
  • listen to songs on repeat. Over and over. Play them in your car, while you are getting ready in the morning, while you work out, while you do homework or browse the internet. Remember when you were a preteen and were "obsessed" with a certain artist or song? Remember how you could recite the lyrics to any given song from their album? Do that. You may find yourself googling some idiomatic phrases that don't seem to make much sense, but that means you're learning!
  • look up the lyrics. Aren't you thankful we have the internet, and we don't have to look at the little booklet in the CD cover?
  • Complete a song or two on Lyrics Training. In the top right corner of the screen choose the Spanish language. 
  • use Word Reference to look up new vocabulary words. It's better than Google Translate because it gives sample sentences showing how to use the word. There are also forums that help explain vernacular if you scroll down. 
  • sing in the shower. Practice recalling the words from memory without listening to the song.
  • if you are grammatically inclined, pore over the lyrics and try to figure out verb tenses. Are there any irregulars? Why did the songwriter choose preterite instead of imperfect? Is the subjunctive mood used in the song? Why?
  • buy a karaoke machine and throw a Spanish Karaoke night. Just kidding. But if you do that, invite me, ok?
Personal Favorites:
  • Shakira (Songs I love: Gitana)
  • Jesse y Joy (Songs I love: Electricidad, ¿Con Quién Se Queda el Perro?, La De La Mala Suerte, Una en un Millón) This brother/sister duo from Mexico is great because they are super easy to understand, and their songs are catchy. 
  • Juanes (Songs I love: Luna, Minas Piedras, A Dios le Pido, La Camisa Negra, Fotografia… oh who are we kidding? I love them all. Except Difícil. It's a little whiny). A popular Colombian singer, almost anyone who has taken Spanish at some point in their lives is probably familiar with ol' Juanes. 
  • Fanny Lu (Songs I love: No Te Pido Flores, Celos, Tú No Eres Para Mí.) 
  • Luis Fonsi (Songs I love: Me Gustas Tú)
  • Sie7e (Songs I love: Tengo Tu Love) I think this may be my all-time favorite song in Spanish. Check out the music video. It's everything I want my life to be. 
Music is easily one of the most enjoyable ways to practice speaking and listening in any language. It can be active or passive learning, depending on how much time you have at your disposal. If learning or maintaining the Spanish language is important to you, I would encourage you to give these strategies a try.

Who are your favorite artists that sing in Spanish? Are there any favorite songs I missed?

11.18.2013

why discipline is freedom (or why INFJs need budgets)

I don't know why, but I love personality assessments. I think they help me gain insight into why I am the way I am. I have never taken the official Myers -Briggs Type Indicator, but I have taken plenty of shortened versions online. Every single time I have come up with the same result: INFJ. One of the traits of INFJs is a lack of interest in details and minutia. I strongly identify with that - and if you don't believe me ask my mother about my wedding-planning involvement. (Hint: little to none). 

I think that might be why the beach life calls to me. I always imagine it as a simple life where I rarely have to wear shoes and can enjoy the simple pleasures. 

Through trial and error, however, I have discovered a profound truth of life: details matter. 

This is unfortunate for me. 

But here's the good news. If you pay attention to the details, and if you remain disciplined, it leads to a life of freedom. When I follow the budget and balance the checkbook, I feel free to spend the money I have allotted for food or clothes. If I don't follow the budget, I feel guilty about every extra dollar I spend on non-necessities. 

When I set goals for each day - the top 5 most important things I want to do that day - I feel free to relax over a cup of coffee in the morning. When the things I want to accomplish remain in a jumbled cloud in my mind, I tend to feel tense throughout the day, like I am forgetting something. 

The same logic applies to working out, eating healthy meals, and reading the Bible. 

By paying attention to a few important details up front, my life feels as laid back and carefree as any beach vacation later on. 

Being disciplined can seem boring and regimented to many people. I sometimes worry that if I pay attention to details and stay disciplined, then how can I be spontaneous and laid back? The way I have reconciled it in my mind is that discipline does not mean rigidity. In fact, being disciplined allows me to splurge, cheat, and be spontaneous. If I have faithfully kept to a budget in order to pay down student loans, then I have the financial freedom to travel if the urge strikes. If I have faithfully eaten clean, healthy meals, then a rare pizza night or ice cream sundae is no big deal. 

(by the way, whenever I need a reminder to stick to my goals, I read or listen to a little bit of Zig Ziglar - the guy is a genius on this very topic)

Although some days it goes against every fiber of my being, I strive to remain disciplined only because I crave freedom from details so very much. 

11.15.2013

YOLO stresses me out

Recently I have seen a rise in articles, compelling essays, and inspirational pictures on Pinterest imploring the reader to be more present in the moment, live every day to the fullest, and don't EVER TAKE A SECOND FOR GRANTED.

Frankly, that sounds exhausting.

Listen, I am all for having adventures, making conscious decisions to enjoy the life you have chosen, and appreciating the people around you. But can anyone (should anyone?) be that intensely "on" every moment of every day? Sometimes it feels like we are being beat over the head with YOLO. You only get to live once! Are you present this morning while you change diapers? Enjoying that stack of papers to correct? You can still have a positive attitude about unpleasant things and sad situations without necessarily enjoying every minute of it.

Maybe instead of asking: am I enjoying every moment of my precious life?, but rather: how am I using my precious life to praise God and serve others? Every moment of serving God and others is not pleasant. In fact, we are promised the opposite of that.

I have jumped off a bridge in Ecuador (much to my mother's dismay). I have ridden horses through the mountains, zip lined in Costa Rica, frolicked through fields in Siberia, sat on the banks of the Seine in Paris with my husband taking swigs from a bottle of wine. I have stood in two hemispheres at once, had beer in a biergarten in Germany, sipped café in Bogotá, slept under the stars on a beach in Mexico, and rappelled down waterfalls in the jungles of Ecuador. I have been indescribably blessed to be able to do all of that before the age of 25. But what to I have to show for all of these experiences? A few good stories, pictures, memories. All blessings from God.




Probably, though, the less story-worthy moments are the more important ones. The larger missions I had the opportunity to help serve when in Mexico and Russia. Guiding the group of high school students I got to chaperon in Costa Rica and Germany. In essence, the experiences that are not about me and my life are the ones I should be striving for.

Let's focus on how we can use our gifts to serve God and others to the fullest. That would be a life worth remembering.

11.14.2013

adults

It seems like our generation has an aversion to "growing up." For some reason, we hold lack of responsibility in high esteem. Maybe past generations felt the same way, but our generation has social media, and thus a larger platform to proclaim our disdain for all things adult. Budgets? Gross! Going to bed early in order to be well rested? I'm so lame! We seem to live in a prolonged state of adolesence because our culture tells us that our 20s are a time to "discover ourselves." Whatever that means.

Anyway, my point here is not to bash our culture or even the longing most of us twenty somethings have for freedom from responsibility. I feel it, too! Although I'm married with a 5 month-old and a dog, the thought of buying a house terrifies me and makes me want to go live on a boat. Sail the high seas and never look back.

My point, actually, is to remind myself that being an adult is awesome, even though adults have to balance their checkbooks and change diapers and not ignore the check engine light in the car. There were so many things past me couldn't wait to do when I grew up. There are so many things past me didn't even know about! Adulthood has its perks, folks! Here are my top 10 perks of adulthood:


  1. You can buy any cereal you want. Even the sugary ones. Even the ones that are actually cookies disguised as cereal.
  2. No curfew. Except the self-imposed ones because of work. But really, if you want to stay out all night, you can! You just have to suffer the consequences the next day. 
  3. You are rarely forced to eat foods that are repulsive to you. 
  4. Happy hour.
  5. Within reason, you can do whatever you want. You don't have to ask permission to go hang out at a friend's house.
  6. Candy. I remember thinking when I was about seven or eight that it would be so great to make my own money, because then I could buy as much candy as I wanted. Don't think I'm not taking advantage of that power now that I have my own bank account.
  7. You can live and work wherever you want. 
  8. The simple pleasure of enjoying a glass of wine, beer, with dinner.
  9. Probably no one says as you're walking out the door: "Oh. You're wearing that? Are you sure?"
  10. Binge watching television. The only repercussions are that when you finally get off the couch you feel like a vampire and also dead inside, but at least your mom or dad won't come home and yell at you. When my sisters and I were younger, but old enough to stay home alone, my mom would go to work in summer and leave a chore list behind. Usually folding the laundry was on that list. We would put that one off until the last minute, gather in my parents' room (because that's where laundry is folded) and watch The Price is Right until we saw Mom pulling into the driveway. Then it was operation Pious Children. Everyone knew the drill. TV off. Neat piles of folded clothes on the bed. Act like the rest of the chores took you all morning. #confessions
I'm somewhat embarrassed that exactly 1/2 of the list has to do with food and beverage. But really, what it comes down to is that as adults we can basically do what we want, when we want. Hopefully our parents raised us well, and we know that natural consequences for our actions exist, but we can choose to experience those consequences if we want! 

 Yes, some parts of adulthood suck. It would be awesome to be able to drink juice boxes and play capture the flag in the backyard all day without a care in the world. But now, we get to drink boxed wine and watch 7 hours in a row of The Office on Netflix. Even better.



11.13.2013

i'll be happy when

By now I have read enough positive thinking literature to know that it is a fallacy to believe I will be happy when something I am looking forward to occurs or when I achieve or obtain something I desire. For example, I am setting myself up for disappointment if I tell myself I will be happy when I buy a new lens for my camera. I will be happy when I expand my wardrobe. I will be happy when I lose those last 5 pounds. I will be happy when the weather is warmer.

Sure, I might experience a surge of enjoyment in some of these circumstances. I will probably derive at least temporary pleasure from them. But it is unwise and incorrect to believe that we must wait for the perfect circumstance to experience happiness. If we believe the onus is on situation or condition to provide happiness for us, we relieve ourselves of personal responsibility.

Paul writes in his letter to the Philippians (4:11-13), "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength." Paul knew the secret to happiness was not the perfect conditions, but rather the attitude. The perspective that everything we have is a gift of God - and an undeserved one at that - breeds contentment and happiness. It is our decision to wake up each morning thankful for what we have, to be cheerful and charitable in our interactions with others.

Despite this head knowledge, practice is quite another thing entirely. Being happy is hard work! And it's always the little things that get to us. I almost find it easier to put on a brave face when the big things go wrong. It's when I'm already 10 minutes late and I can't find a pair of matching socks that my patience goes out the window. It takes discipline and presence of mind to take a deep breath, put on a smile, and go calmly about your task when things are going awry.

I'm working on it. I'm getting better at it. Several times a day I need to realign. Shoulders relaxed, jaw unclenched, cleansing breath, smile. Oddly enough, I am finding that other people are delight to be around when I work on being a delight to be around.

Here's my challenge to you. Find your personal "I'll be happy when…" statement. We all have one. I do not long for more possessions. I don't think life will suddenly be perfect when I lose the last of the baby weight. Mine is: I'll be happy when I'm not so busy. Boy, do I hate when I feel that commitments, serving others, or social obligations are encroaching on my introvert recharging time. I value time over possession. Experience over things. Thusly, I always imagine that if I have a certain amount of free time, I will suddenly evolve into a zen and joyful being.

False.

It is precisely in the busy moments that I must choose a positive attitude.

Once you have identified your own peculiar "I'll be happy when…" statement, you can then begin the process of overcoming it.

Don't be happy when. Be happy now - through God who gives you strength.




11.12.2013

spanish outside the classroom




One of my favorite assignments to give my high school Spanish classes was Exploring Spanish Outside the Classroom. They got to choose activities of varying difficulty with corresponding point values, then write up a summary paragraph detailing what they learned from the experience and listing new vocabulary words. The point of the assignment is for the students to see why Spanish is relevant to their lives - what's the big deal? Why are we doing this? If students can't see relevance, why would they waste their time learning it?

Clearly I was not the first Spanish teacher to come up with this assignment. Almost all world language classrooms have some variation of this assignment. And why not? It works. It get the students excited about their language. It includes culture and community. And it's kind of fun!



Now that I have decided to educate my daughter and am no longer in the high school classroom, I am constantly looking for ways to incorporate Spanish into our daily routine. I am actually really struggling with baby talk in Spanish. I mean, I could discuss the merits of magical realism, or summarize Pinochet's regime - making sure to throw in plenty of pluperfect subjunctive- but I'm not sure Pip would care that much. Instead, I am lamenting my profound lack of diaper vocabulary in Spanish.

I have concluded that while I am familiarizing Pip with the Spanish language, I would have to do my own "Spanish Outside the Classroom" assignment to maintain proficiency and acquire new vocabulary. The following is an overview of the methods and media I use to that end. In future posts, I will detail specific examples and delve into the pros and cons of each.


  1. Music           I like to listen to the Spanish pop station on Pandora, iTunes Radio, or Spotify to discover new music. For old standbys, I turn to my Spanish playlist on iTunes that includes plenty of Juanes, Jesse y Joy, Paulina Rubio, Sie7e, Carlos Vives, Fanny Lu, Shakira, and Camila. Music is a great way to learn new vocab, and especially to hear vernacular turns of phrase. 
  2. Movies/TV Did you know you can change the language of some TV shows on Netflix? Under Watch Instantly, click Subtitles and Captions, then change the language to Spanish. You are left with a whole list of American shows and movies to watch en español. From Hercules to Arrested Development, there is quite a variety! Don't forget about foreign flicks like Motorcycle Diaries and La Misma Luna to get some culture as well!
  3. Books          If you happen to find yourself with some spare time, peruse the Spanish section at your local library. Start with YA fiction and work your way up to Isabel Allende. I can't tell you how many new words I have discovered reading aloud baby board books like the Hungry Caterpillar in Spanish. I advise my students to begin with a book they have already read in English so they already know the plot and can focus on the new words. 
  4. Podcasts      For the busy commuter, podcasts are an easy way to passively learn some new phrases. I find these to be especially helpful if you are traveling to a country for a short amount of time. Coffee Break French prepared me to order food, tell my cab driver where to go, and ask for directions when we visited Paris. Similar Spanish podcasts exist, and can be played while you commute, walk on the treadmill, or take the dog for an evening stroll. Just be prepared for some sidelong glances when you repeat "I would like a large coffee," in your language of choice in public. The best part is that podcasts are free to download on iTunes!
  5. Internet       Change your Facebook, Twitter, email, or cell phone to Spanish. Pay attention to the words for "new message" or "retweet." Follow Spanish-speaking athletes, singers, politicians, or writers on Twitter or Instagram. Connect to CNN en Español or other Spanish news sites. 





The truth is, you don't need a fancy Rosetta Stone program or hours of free time to learn or maintain proficiency in another language. All it takes is being intentional about how you use your free time, commute, and screen time during the day. Obviously if we all had unlimited time and funds we would just immerse ourselves in the country of our choice and live the language. But most of us have chosen paths in life where our time and attention is demanded of us. If learning another language is important to you (and it should be!), you will find a way to do it. It does not have to be difficult or expensive; it is merely a commitment and a concerted effort. 

11.11.2013

experience your coffee




Imagine you have come into a large sum of money. What are you going to do with it? Besides the obvious paying off of student loans and impulse purchases, what would you just love to do with it? I always pictured myself moving to an oceanfront property in a secluded beach town. I would wear oversized open-knit sweaters as I strolled barefoot on the shoreline. I would finally be a writer, so naturally I would set up my writing station in front of a large bay window overlooking the strand. In my vision I work on a typewriter, but more likely I would do my writing on my trusty MacBook. After my morning stroll, but before my work day begins, I take a leisurely coffee. I wrap my hands around the warm mug and shrug my shoulders as I inhale the comforting aroma. I gaze out my thinking window and seek inspiration from the waves.

This is a super specific daydream. Obviously I have put a lot of thought into it, as I have wanted to be a writer since kindergarten. But why wait until I inevitably come into a large sum of money? I may not have an ocean on which to focus my thoughtful gaze, but I will not let that stop me from the quiet repose and simple delight that is my morning cup of joe. Here are the simple steps I follow:

Select your beverage of choice. I prefer something warm. You know, so I can wrap my hands around the mug and shrug my shoulders as I inhale the scent.


Don an oversized sweater, or perhaps a bathrobe. 

Make a routine of it. Choose a favorite mug. Mine has an exotic pattern, but it's just from TJ Maxx. Maybe yours is an ironic "#1 Grandma" mug, or one you brought home from a memorable trip. Your mug can be inspiring, comforting, or just downright wacky. Be sure to have your choice of creamer on hand! 

Designate a location that is prime real estate for window gazing. That's where the best thinking is done. 

Read or think. While great conversations can often be had over warm beverages, your morning cup is just for you! As a youth, I started each morning with a bowl of sugar cereal and the comics from the newspaper. Also, the Dear Abby column. If one of my 5 sisters had already claimed the comics, I settled for the back of a cereal box. Currently, I read my morning devotion or a good book. Maybe you want to be alone with your thoughts. Plan your day, reflect on an inspirational quote, or count your blessings. 

Make the decision to start your day deliberately. Linger over your coffee. Make time for it. Be a morning person. Decide to be in a great mood today. Remember that you are living in one of the richest countries in the world and take advantage of the perks that come with it. You can afford coffee! We have flavored creamers! If you are reading this you probably have shelter, food, and clothes, plus unlimited access to the internet! 

Seriously. Quit rushing out the door with your travel mug. Stop and smell the coffee, or be doomed to live forever in a constant state of haste. 


the beginning

¡Hola y bienvenidos! Welcome to Emilia de la Playa.

The idea for this blog has been marinating in my subconscious for some time now. I am so excited to finally put my thoughts and essays out there for the whole wide internets to read or possibly ignore.  Both of those thoughts are terrifying!

This will be a space where you can find stories and hyperbole about my life, how to live life like a beach vacation, essays on happiness and positivity, and even the occasional inspirational quote.  

This will be a different kind of adventure. Here we go!

"Si piensas que la aventura es peligrosa, prueba la rutina. Es mortal."   - Paulo Coelho
"If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it is lethal."