Considering homeschooling my preschoolers

I think I’m failing at spending time with my kids at home. I yell way too much. I’m upset and angry too much. I spend too much time resisting my kids and mentally checking-out.

And so I’m considering homeschooling.  I feel called to throw myself into motherhood 100% to be better and really conquer this stage, rather than just letting it slip by and waiting for it to be over.

Now I know we’re not supposed to conquer motherhood. It’s a relationship, not a job. But I feel called to do so much better. Is it just because I’m a product of the times, where a million blogs are promising the secrets to be a better fill-in-the-blank? Continue reading

8 Lessons in Extreme Frugality I learned in Mexico

  1. You don’t need need a bathroom mirror.

We are building our house little by little, which means we’re starting from scratch in every single room.  It’s been 5 years since we moved in, and we still haven’t installed a bathroom mirror. We’ve gotten by just using a little 5-inch mirror that stands up on its own for all these years.

Most women probably couldn’t pull this off. The only reason I can is because I don’t wear makeup or do much of anything to my hair. Not necessarily a goal to shoot for, but the truth is I don’t need a mirror. Continue reading

Too busy? How to slow down and start living: Take time to Make Time

Anyone else out there feel like they have too much to do and not nearly enough time to do it? And when you start feeling like that, do you buckle down and eliminate fun-stuff or less urgent tasks, and try to get all the important stuff done, right now?

I do. When I’m overwhelmed, I tend to want to cut out all the self-care practices that keep my brain-wheel well greased. Making time for friends, exercise, meditation, fun kid crafts, and keeping the home tidy are always out the window when I feel like I need to get ahead.

(ok, truth: the reason I don’t have a meditation practice to cut is because it’s always the first to go, even before it ever gets started).

It’s so funny, what exactly am I getting ahead of? What do I think will happen when my to-do list is crossed off?

(Cue God, descending from the clouds, with a glass of champagne, “You did it Caroline! You’re the best human! NOW you can have some fun!”) Continue reading

Translating in Todos Santos

I’m launching a translation service!

Has it ever happened to you that everyone’s being polite and generous and as a result no one gets what they want? It could be something simple, like you just want to stay home and eat in, but you think the other person wants to go out, and because you don’t want to impose your desire on the other person, you both say you want to go out when really you both want to stay in, and so no one gets what they want, which all along was the same thing: staying in!

This could be a polite Midwestern thing, so maybe it hasn’t happened to you. If not, kudos to you for being so bossy. Just kidding, we all wish we were as self-actualized as you.

Random photo of Carlos prepping banana leaves to make tamales.

Continue reading

Why I stayed in Baja and launched my own business

In Part One, we saw I came to Baja and connected with Dominique, who is a farming aikido teacher. She welcomed me into her home and taught me everything she knows. We worked on the farm, practiced aikido, and made a ruckus in our off-time…

how i moved to baja mexico and launched a brand new business

There are two reasons why I stayed in Todos Santos, Baja Mexico instead of continuing my farming tour of Latin America: Business & Love.

The expat Community in Todos Santos

Todos Santos has a really special expat community. I imagine most expat communities are a little bit special because they are made up of seekers trying to find their little piece of utopia.  Since everyone who arrives is looking for something special, they put their best foot forward.  They imbue the place with the qualities they are looking for.  Here, Todos Santos is known for Continue reading

How I’m fighting my smart phone addiction

how to fight your smart phone addiction

I love my phone.  And I hate my phone so much.  Sometimes I just want to throw it across the room.  But, my precious, my precious, I would never hurt you, no.

I shared a photo on Facebook. It was really sweet. Ryan and I, with his big toothy mouth. I took the shot, noticed my finger was in it, took another shot, and then took the time to post it to Facebook right then and there.

In that moment, I was connecting and sharing with all sorts of people, friends and family all around the world. Lovely.

In that same moment, I was taking a picture of myself connecting with my son, except that in the act of taking the shot (and re-taking the shot) and sharing the shot I had to disconnect from my son. I had to mentally leave his space.

After I posted it, we re-connected; we laughed and giggled. Did that moment in time when I mentally checked out really matter? Continue reading

What’s wrong with Millennials anyway?

I came across this quote from Danielle LaPorte yesterday: “You’ll know you’ve found the goals that are aligned with your core desired feelings when the path to your intentions makes you feel more alive, not less.”

It resonated so deeply and underscored a struggle that I think is not only personal, but also generational.

I know hard-work gets you places…but what if the place it gets you is not where you meant to go? Continue reading

How I picked a career and came to Mexico

It started when I was 24 and searching. I had just finished college, I had embarked on a bicycle trip from Minneapolis to Seattle (in March! That’s a blog post in and of itself), and I had flown back home to….my college town.

So now I was a townie. Great. One of those weird older people I had hung out with as an actual student, wondering in the back of my mind why they didn’t go forth after graduating.

I had graduated in Spanish, without any actual plans as to what I wanted to do with my life. I found a job as a teacher’s aide in a classroom designed for high school students with autism.

It was definitely fascinating and challenging, but I guess I wasn’t ready to settle down because soon I grew weary of being stuck in a building all day. I distinctly remember being bothered by not experiencing weather. If it had rained that day and I didn’t get to feel it because I was working, I was very disappointed. Continue reading

Stepping away from the treadmill: a month of get-togethers

no more hustling: a month of get togethers

It’s been a month of get-togethers and kid-fun!  Carlos and I have been thrilled with the chance to step away from work and reconnect with our kids, friends, and family.

We visited Carlos’s second mom Alejandra in Cabo.  She’s the one under the blanket.

Back story: Carlos grew up in a family of 9 kids out on a ranch, far from schools.  His mom sent him to live with her friend in the city of Cabo San Lucas so he could get an education when he entered first grade.  What a heart-wrenching decision!

Funny story: Continue reading