October 14, 2016

Where There's {Pants On} Fire...

Who do you think you are?
You don't fit in here.
You don't know what's in style.
You don't even know what to talk about with these people. You're basically an alien.
No. You're wrong.
They aren't really there. It couldn't last that long, that distance.
You've changed.

August 29, 2016

The Wonder of America // A TCK's Experiences

When we were in America two years ago our friend took O for a walk around her neighborhood. When they returned, he walked in the door and said, "Mama, Nina says I'm inquisitive." After I picked my jaw up from the floor, I replied,
"She did? What does that mean, that your inquisitive?"
He said, "It means I ask a lot of questions." I wasn't completely surprised that our just-turned-three-year-old was inquisitive, that's a pretty typical thing for that age. I may have been shocked at his grasp and understanding at that new vocabulary word though - but I never really thought anything else of it.
Until now.
Our son is now five, and has spent some of the most formative years of his life living in Tanzania, East Africa.  From ages two through five he's known nothing but dirt roads, optional carseats, only the freshest produce, no air conditioning or heating systems, power outages, and never drinking out of a faucet. He's known livestock roaming the streets, monkeys climbing in our trees, open-air markets with used clothing and textiles, mini-busses rushing down roads with passengers hanging out the doors, and more friends that don't speak his language than those that do. He knows Christmas & New Years vacations on the Indian Ocean, camping on the side of Kilimanjaro with armed guards walking around the camp, a home with one computer for his occasional entertainment, and temperatures that range from 60*F to about 98*F.  He knows when it rains, it's cold because it's winter. He knows when it's hot, it's dry, because it's the "dusty season" (his words.)
So naturally, at five years old, the world is his oyster and coming to America has been an eye-opening experience for him. And for his parents. Who have learned to be patient and very thorough at explaining every. single. thing. he wants to know about. Because, unlike his parents, he didn't grow up in America and he doesn't have any basis for most of the things we pass by without noticing.

July 14, 2016

The One Where We Re-Become American

"Mama! There are so many Tanzanians here!" our five-year-old excitedly proclaims as we sit in the Boston airport at 11pm on our way from Phoenix to Charlotte.
"Um." I hesitate. "Those aren't Tanzanians, sweetheart, those are African Americans."
"Oh!" he exclaims, as the proverbial lightbulb goes off, he matter-of-factly continues:

June 13, 2016

When Your Life Turns into an Episode of ER {Alternately Titled: Another Miracle to Add to the Books}

The following blog will be graphic, emotional (on all ends of the spectrum), and surprising.  It is entirely real-life with no exaggeration or fictitious parts.  It will be long, but I need to get it out. I need to inform so many of my family and friends that have been left in the dark, and writing is my therapy.  It's also my hope that somehow, somewhere in the world someone will benefit from my story. Someone will read this and be filled with hope, see Jesus, or just know they are not alone.

This is not intended for a young audience, parental preview strongly suggested. 

Let's start at the beginning.

{May 1st : Tanzania}
The little bean on the ultrasound machine is clear as day. Measurements match up with my dates - we're 8 weeks pregnant. After trying unsuccessfully for an entire year, then giving up, we are completely and utterly shocked at this happy surprise. Our heads spin as we consider the ramifications of the timing of everything. My heart beats fast but I push it back down in my chest, remembering the last pregnancy that didn't end so well.

April 18, 2016

Five Hundred Twenty Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes...

... how do you measure, how long since I've blogged?
Sorry 'bout it.
It's been a.... well, it's been a minute.

Reader's Digest Catch Up:

January 10, 2016

Christmastime in Tanzania // A Poem in Pictures

'Twas the weekend after Thanksgiving and all the walls were bare
So we set out to decorate with an excited little Bear.

December 16, 2015

12 {more} Signs We've Adapted to Life Overseas

If you haven't seen the original post, you should check it out here.

31) We can tell who's driving down our road based on the sound their car makes.

31) Similarly, we can also tell who's at our gate by the sound of their horn's honk.

32) When I saw pre-shredded & packaged cheese at the supermarket, I took a picture of it.  I'm so used to buying block cheese (and for a pretty penny at that), it was hard to believe the shredded stuff was there. (But no way was I paying that price for it!)

33) No one in our family is any longer afraid of tarantulas.

December 10, 2015

A DIY Christmas Overseas

It's our 3rd Christmas in Tanzania... and our third Christmas of DIY-ing the decor associated.  Please know that we don't have a Hobby Lobby, Dollar Store or Jo-Ann Fabric's store around here.  This is legit-DIY - developing country style! :)
We keep adding to our collection every year and this year might be my favorite one yet.
Let's get started on a little tour of our Christmassy Home:
One of our first items of Christmas decor from three years ago -

December 04, 2015

Because I Just. Can't. Even. {Think About the Holiday Season in America}

It started at Thanksgiving time.
It's our 3rd Thanksgiving in Tanzania, and this is the year that it hit me the hardest.
I missed my people.  Our people.  Back in America.  I missed them somethin' fierce.
I didn't want to be in America.  Not even a little bit.
For reasons like (and mostly related to) this:
This ad popped up on my phone after using a photo app.  I literally said aloud, "What in the -- are you KIDDING me?!" And I snapped a pic of it so I could show my husband later.  He had the same reaction.