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After a hard Fall dealing with tragedy, we decided in December to go back to Idaho for Christmas. The purpose was to spend time with family but also to spend time debriefing with people outside of the community and doing counseling. Although it really changed what our December looked like it was well worth the trip. And the bonus was getting to spend Christmas with my parents and my sister and her family. The trip started off with a "bang" in our house when we settled down on Sunday night after ...

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Deciding to go to Boise for Christmas was totally unplanned. So unplanned that our great family had already planned and sent all sorts of Christmas gifts down and they were all wrapped and hidden in closets. It made zero sense to haul all of that back to the US only to return here a few weeks later so we decided to have a Family Christmas here in Quito before flying to Boise. The kids were excited and all for the idea!   We hung stockings, we pretended it was Christmas Eve the day before an...

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Surprised? I totally was. While I had been skeptical about the chocolate cake in my fridge Nate had an explanation for it and I was headed off to work. I threw on some clothes and went to my office in the dark to do a couples session. After they left I waited the requisite 5 minutes before following them out and was just getting ready to leave when I heard footsteps. Thinking they'd returned for help with the gate I popped my head out and was met with streamers and whistles and a giant yellow ha...

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  Apparently this year there was supposed to be a surprise birthday party for Christine & I. I think Nate had the idea of combining them, though they are a month apart, because he knows how hectic it gets between Christmas and New Years. But with some really hard, stressful weeks due to the loss of a friend a full on party didn't seem appropriate and the party was canceled. Instead, once things had settled a bit, we still wanted to celebrate Christine so we threw a much lower-key versio...

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These ladies and their families were some of our very first friends when we moved to Quito. We met through Gymboree and haven't let the friendships wane since long after our Gymboree days have ended. We've watched our first babies grow from crawlers to Kindergarteners, we've added siblings to some of our families. We've made different choices in schooling and work since those early stay-at-home mom days that have led to it being much more difficult to get together but that hasn't stopped us from...

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Just after Thanksgiving we decided to put up our tree since we had a free morning. We made our way to our traditional Christmas tree lot and brought home this small beauty. As is often the case, it was sunny and 80 degrees when we brought our tree home and it took us ten minutes to get the price from $80 to $35. But what would it be without all the regular traditions, right? This year we got smart and asked for more of the base cut off at the lot. And we carried it in on a blanket, eliminating a...

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We had such a treat for Thanksgiving this year: FAMILY!! It was our first time celebrating this holiday with family since we moved to Quito. Kora, Mark and the girls opted to fly through Quito for a quick, three day trip on their way back from a conference in Cancun and we were delighted to have them. They are about the easiest guests to have and we would have kept them another week if they'd had the time! Lu played so well with Canaan and Eden and the three roamed the house with imaginations bu...

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In the wee morning hours of Halloween day we loaded the kids into our already packed car (SO nice to be all packed up the night before), met up with the Passmores and Christy and headed for the beach! The traffic was light, the air was festive, and the books on tape were abundant. Though waking up at 5am is never my strong suit I loved being at the beach before lunch. It was so worth it and I bet we will do it that way often now. We stayed at the Shedd's condo at Playa Almendro and loved the var...

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We did our traditional squash carving a few weeks before Halloween. The kids each had a mini squash to decorate and per usual Nate handled the big one. I did my usual job ... separating the seeds from the guts and making pepitas to snack on! This year our Halloween looked a little different. No party at our house and we didn't do the Campo Alegre trick-or-treating. This was because we would be at the BEACH for actual Halloween. Nate had signed up for a triathlon at CasaBlanca and so a crew of us...

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