Life Experiences Mark Us

We all have various experiences that we carry around with us throughout our lives. They leave a mark on us whether we like it or not. These experiences can range from exhilarating and joyful to frightening and tragic. In my opinion the average person has a balance between the two extremes, but there are those…

Goodbye 2018

Reflecting on the year gone by I have realized that it has been a blur. Two things that stick out the most are finding out that I’m pregnant with baby #4 and living through Super Typhoon Yutu. The discussion of baby number #4 had gone on for over a year and we finally decided to…

Time Does Not Heal

I have had many dreams about my parents since their death, but there is one that seems to be reoccurring. In the dream they find me and tell me that they have not died, that it was all a mistake. Obviously, in the dream I am shocked and beyond happy. I never want to wake…

Fruit and Machetes

As I have done most of my life since 1998, I have been missing Rome. Rome is always calling to me, no matter how crazy the city gets. I dream of living there again some day in a sunny, rooftop apartment near Piazza Navona. I envision my grandkids coming to visit me and exploring the…

Longing for the Dolomites

As a mom and teacher, you find yourself in constant search of peace and quiet. A peace and quiet that seems to never materialize. Most of the time you don’t even realize you are searching for it until it suddenly appears and you’re sitting in your car at a red light and you can hear…

Life on a Small Pacific Island

Saipan is a tiny island. You inevitably run into someone you know, no matter which store or restaurant you choose to go to. Seeing students out and about is a normal occurrence and soon you even get used to saying hello to people you don’t even know. The beauty of this island is indescribable. Whenever…

Shaken Up By Tragedy

As a child a year seemed never-ending. Life itself seemed like it would go on for an eternity. Tragedy happens to others, it won’t happen to me. Sweet deception. The truth is a year goes by rapidly, never slowing down to allow you to catch your breath. Life on earth is merely a fraction of…

Dad, I Miss You

Dad, this was your first birthday without you. Most of the day I kept busy, trying not to think about you. Yet that didn’t work too well, as by the last half hour of school, when I was teaching sixth grade science, tears just started rolling down my cheeks. I always remember your tender heart…

A Weekend in Saipan

Three. Day. Weekend. Words that mean you get extra time with family, friends and self. Although my three-day weekend did not go as planned, I had a good time nonetheless. Saturday was a flurry of activities: children’s birthday party, soccer game and a friend’s birthday party. Didn’t have much time to lounge around, but sure…

Reflection

It has been a windy day; not exactly a beach day. I have been very tired the last couple weeks and enjoy a day at home. I was able to reorganize the kitchen while the babes were out with Neemias at worship practice. It’s amazing how organizing can make you feel at peace. Since I…

Peace

I love this small, quirky island that we now call home. I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around what our family purpose is. It’s never easy being the new person in town, but we have been trying to build friendships wherever we can. It has been interesting observing the workings of Saipan. Everyone seems…

A Year of Hurtful Firsts

It’s been a year of many firsts. First tragedy in our family. My first Christmas without my parents. First time experiencing an outpouring of endless love from around the world. It’s the first time I have ever gone through the emotions of real anger, deep sorrow, intense grief and what seems like unending loneliness. It’s…