A Day in Xela

 

I’ve been learning about the history of Xela this week, about how it was built up before the turn of the 20th century by immigrants from Europe and other parts of the world.  There was once a train that stretched from here to the Pacific coast, but a combination of natural forces and government corruption did away with the train and the industry it brought.  If you look closely, though, you can see the history.

restauranthouse
You can see small details, architecture, pieces of history that seem untouched by time.  Some of these buildings were preserved by choice, but some are probably here just because there was never money to tear them down.

theater

Every country I’ve been to seems to have its own character, its own kind of beauty.  Guatemala is sometimes completely itself, and sometimes a borrowed mix of a thousand other places.

restaurant

Some of these things I’ve probably walked past a dozen times, but haven’t taken the time to notice–like this tiled wall outside a tienda down the street.

tiles

Everything has a story, and I wish I knew more of the stories in this place.  For now, I think it’s pretty amazing what we can notice if we just open our eyes.

vwbug

Life Experiments: Natalie’s Story

Today, I’d like to introduce you to Natalie Seitz, who along with her husband is celebrating National Adoption Month by fundraising for their adoption.  This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart, and I’m so excited to celebrate these amazing risk-takers today!


At the ages of 24 and 25 with a lot of student debt, my husband and I decide to begin an international adoption. We had been married only six months. [Read more…]

To be Heard

This week, I am participating in the #Fireworkpeople blog tour.

We all want to have a voice. We want people to listen to what we have to say and tell us our words are important.  As a result, we have a celebrity-obsessed culture that judges your value based on how many people listen.  No matter what you are actually saying, if you have millions of twitter followers, you must be important.  [Read more…]

To be Seen

Some days remind me of this quote from my favorite movie.

Or have you ever, like, seen somebody? And you knew that, if only that person really knew you, they would, well, they would of course dump the perfect model that they were with, and realize that you were the one that they wanted to, just, grow old with. 

When Sandra Bullock’s character in While You Were Sleeping falls in love with a man she doesn’t even know, she wishes more than anything just to be seen.  Not just glanced at, but really seen.  Because there’s a difference after all between being seen and being seen [Read more…]

Life Experiments

October is my favorite month of the year, so to celebrate I am launching a brand new guest post series called “Life Experiments.”

2014-09-22 11.11.28

I believe that it’s okay to experiment, it’s okay to take risks, it’s okay to fail.  I’m looking for bloggers to share their stories about overcoming failure, adventuring, or trying new things.  If you would like to submit a post, email me a document, an idea, or a link to a blog post by Wednesday, October 1st.  I’d love to hear from you!

I will be posting a new “Life Experiment” every Friday in October (because Fridays are the best, after all).

When Everything Goes Wrong

“What are you afraid of?” he said. “Don’t you trust that God has a plan?” I had this conversation with a pastor in the beginning of my junior year of college.  I had spent the summer selling over-priced vegetable plants for minimum wage while my many of my friends had landed great internships, gone on exciting trips, or gotten engaged to the love of their life. The recession was in full swing, and I was terrified of what would happen when I was no longer living my life by a course catalog. God was at work in everyone else’s life, but was he going to take care of me?  [Read more…]

The Stories that are Unfinished

I remember learning about the elements of a story in my elementary school library, looking up at the overhead projector from my little table by the card catalog.  We learned that a story has a setting, characters, a plot, a conflict, and a resolution.  Nowadays, story has become a bit of a buzzword, as we often discuss how to tell a better story with our lives and write it in a way that draws other people in.  [Read more…]

The Hardest Part of Leaving

For months, I dreamed about leaving.

I sat in coffee shops talking with friends about how we were going to live more exciting lives some day, I recorded every episode of House Hunters International, and I spent a lot of time taking virtual vacations on Google Street View.

For years before that, I dreamed about staying. 

I wanted to put down roots, to form lifelong friendships, to find a job I loved, and to spend less time hauling boxes in and out of dorm rooms and houses and city apartments.  I’ve always known there’s something valuable about staying.  Communities need the ones who stay—the ones who are dedicated and responsible and stable.  In the English language, it’s hard to describe the need to leave without using words like flighty, restless, or discontent, and that’s not who I wanted to be.  [Read more…]

Suddenly, Everything Changed

“Enjoy it while you can, honey, because once you’re married you’ll just wish you could be single again.”

I’ve heard this one a few times, along with various other pieces of jaded advice from unhappily married women or well-intentioned friends who are trying to make me feel better. I’m sure most singles have experienced this — the “You should be happy you’re single, because marriage isn’t all its cracked up to be” pep talk. When we’re thinking about something we don’t have yet, it’s easy to console ourselves by writing it off and saying it must not be that great anyway.

Continue reading at Single Roots
Sunset from Kiliney Hill (Ireland)

Sunset from Kiliney Hill (Ireland)