At last I am home with the family in Mexico!
What a thrill to be here for a few weeks after being away for almost 3 months.
It has been a week of doing favorite things – reading stories to the kids, snuggling with them at night time, date nights with Paul, seeing friends, and of course, eating my way through Monterrey.
Some people think we are crazy to live in Mexico, but it has some distinct advantages – friendly people, sunny weather, palm trees, and the best tacos in the world.
First, the people. We would not be making it without Angie and Cecia, our Mexican angels.
We adore these women and are so grateful for their service. They are happy, inspiring women. They keep things running smoothly at home and care for everyone – our family in addition to Paul’s work staff (who are now officing downstairs).
The people of Mexico are supremely gracious and have a warmth that is heartfelt and genuine. The only way I can describe their loving nature is that they put people and relationships first. The teachers at the kids’ school are kind and loving and have given the children extra attention. I receive an email with a photo of Reed each week from class, so I can stay connected with my son. Our Mexican friends have gone out of their way to help us in any way they could. Paul’s business associate traveled all the way to Europe to obtain holy water for a close relative. When he ran into Paul’s partner in the airport, he gave him the holy water for me. I saw him the other night at a dinner and couldn’t hold back the tears in gratitude for his kindness. Without fail, our friends in Mexico say that their family is praying for us. What beautiful people.
Now for the food. With doctor’s orders to gain weight before I start my next treatment, I am totally justified in sampling the best Monterrey has to offer .
Since you can’t be here, I will take you on a quick tour of my favorite eating establishments.
Most of the pastries in Mexico are too dry for my American taste, but these empanadas are just right – not too much crust, lots of filling, and freshly made.
This weekend, we went to our favorite taco place – El Fogoncito (“The Little Hearth”) . They specialize in tacos pastor, which are thinly sliced pork tacos with pineapple. Sam calls them “Heaven on a plate.”
The kids now enjoy the tacos as much as Paul and I. They like “authentic” tacos – meat, lime, onion, cilantro and salsa – never any beans, sour cream or cheese. Most of the kids like the corn tortillas, but Sam is still a holdout for flour. Both are divine. They order a Fanta or Manzana (apple) soda in a glass bottle. We stay away from soda in the states, but in Mexico, we let them because it just feels right.
The kids’ favorite place for a treat is Al Fresco’s, where you can get Italian gelato, or Orange Cup, where they have ultra-healthy frozen yogurt. Ice cream in Mexico is sub-par judging from what I am used to, but they do have a Haagen-Dazs and a Cold Stone if you are feeling nostalgic for American ice cream.
For a fancy treat, we stop at Binny Brunn. Their chocolates are fabulous. Everyone is very gracious in Mexico and brings gifts when they come to your home for a party. Someone brought a box of these one time to our house, and I think they are the best chocolates I’ve ever had.
Enough about the food. Although food can be part heavenly, real heaven is being with my family. I can’t imagine being without them. Even if I can’t do much in the way of activity, I like just being close to them.
I am still recovering and resting, and (sort of) taking my sister’s advice: “Always be in bed when they get home from school.” They are so stinking cute that it is hard not to get pulled back into their world of school, homework, friends, driving, and other activities.
One of the blessings of living in Mexico is that their world is expanding. Neal is teaching me new words in Spanish popote (straw) and se acabo (all gone) and wants to tell me all about his friend Jose. In fact, he proudly announces on a daily basis that “Today I played with Jose and I did NOT punch him in the face.” Reed speaks Spanish around the house and Pablo is completely fluent.
Clark and Sam complain that they are not learning enough Spanish, but they play Spanish games on Dad’s Ipad to pass the time and are better at Spanish than they think. Former intern and friend James used the Pimsleur CDs and was fluent by the time he came to Mexico, so maybe we will try that next.
I will enjoy my next two weeks with the family with all of its motion. I am just glad to be home.