Short Nights, Long Days

Cherry Blossoms in North Carolina

Traveling 70 mph down the highway, cruising with my window down, listening to my dad whistle to music and feeling the hot sun burn my arm. Dark clouds pouring down rain, traffic slowing down to 30 mph and all I see is bright, red break lights that make me inwardly groan. Hazard lights blinking in and out through the ghostly, white fog slowing everyone down more. Tall rock walls on both sides, like a canyon of stone. Beautiful sunrises behind us, lighting the skies up in pink, orange and yellows. The rolling Appalachian mountains that followed us, swooping up and down like a wave on the ocean. A journey may never be perfect, but there is beauty if one looks hard enough for it.

It is quite dark at 3 in the morning.







My father and I left Saturday morning at 3:04. I buckled up, pulled a blanket over my head and tried to settle into the tightly packed vehicle. I had a backpack at my feet, a dresser behind my seat and not a lot of room to wiggle around. And somehow I slept through most of Pennsylvania. Maryland and West Virginia weren’t long at all. By that time it was close to 8:30.
I suggested that I drive so my dad could take a break. We stopped for gas and I

My silly selfie as my dad drove

began to drive. Virginia is a large state to drive down. It went on and on. I played the Alphabet game (Where one looks for the letters A to Z in order) I got through it once, went backwards (got a little mixed up with GHI because I couldn’t keep straight which ones went first when going backwards) and began from A again before stopping around at the letter J when I decided I had had enough driving.
We stopped, stretched our legs and continued on around 11:30.

Trying to take a picture of the building behind me and accidentally catching the guy running down the stairs….awkward!


Thick fog. Good thing my dad is a great driver!

Dad drove through North Carolina where we had slow traffic and rain. And then fog on top of that. We were soon out of it and arrived in Colombia, South Carolina close to 4:00. We stopped at my brother and sister-in-law’s apartment. They took us around the University where my brother goes to school. SC is beginning to have their spring because there were some beautiful blossoms that we don’t see until April or May. The four of us had dinner, played a game, and finally around 7:30 or so dad and I went to bed.
At 3:30 it all started again. I woke up, found my dad was already up and after a quick bowl of cereal, we gathered our things and headed out the door. Dad drove and once again I tried to find a comfortable sleeping position. I must have somehow fell asleep for awhile because I awoke to my dad pulling into a rest area in Georgia. I was going to go back to sleep but after doing some jumping jacks outside, I didn’t find myself as tired. Dad drove for another hour or so until I asked if he wanted me to drive the rest of the way. So we swapped.
Where we drove in Georgia, it was quite flat. And swampy/marshy land. We went

Another cherry blossom

from there to Florida and I swung around on the beltway to miss Jacksonville’s traffic. We continued south and about 15 minutes from our destination dad and I swapped again so I could give him directions from the map on my phone. That was interesting because directions here seem to go everywhere and nowhere.
At roughly 11:00 AM we arrived at the home where I will be staying in Summerfield, FL. My boyfriend was here to welcome us, as the family was gone at church. Dad, Devin and I unloaded the van, putting boxes in the house and garage. Afterwards, dad got to meet Devin’s parents, we showed him some chicken coops outside and then he left to return to my brother’s place in SC before it got to late.
Seeing dad leave was a bit emotional for me. I finally figured that lack of sleep, hunger, and a LOT of thoughts on my mind were what was causing buckets of tears. (That may be a slight exaggeration) But Devin let me rest for a bit, then blabber on about everything that was roaming in my head, assured me through my apologies of crying that he was expecting me to be somewhat upset, and after getting everything off my chest, I got myself some food. I felt much better after all that.
I brought some things from the garage over, put books on the shelves, organized my room and began dreaming about decoration ideas. We watched a movie and said goodnight. I woke up today (Monday) with excitement that I was actually living in Florida. It’s still hard to believe sometimes, that I’m no longer states away from my boyfriend but minutes!!

Discovering new places
Trail to new places

Some thoughts regarding the future. Devin and I are looking forward to what these next days, weeks and months hold. I’m thankful for this time to finally get to know him better in person. While we’ve spent quite of bit of time together in the past, we’ve never spent more then 2ish weeks together at one time. We both want to find a church that leads us spiritually and I dream of a place where I can help in the children’s area. We are excited to explore Florida, there are caves down here, forest land, reptiles of all kinds (including alligators and snakes) and Devin has told me we can go fishing, something I have not done often but want to do with him. And of course we want to relax, watch stars, movies and take walks. There’s a lot we are excited for.
Thank you to everyone who prayed for my dad and I. From what I heard, he was nearly home and will soon be with my family. I am missing family and friends, but with time that should ease. The journey is sometimes messy and hard, but if one looks hard enough, they can see the beauty that is intertwined in it.


New Site, New Adventures

This weekend I will be heading down south to sunny, Florida. As I have been preparing for this time to come, I’ve been debating whether to change my blog around or not. I originally made it for family and supporters as I went to Belize to be a Missionary Nanny. As I am no longer with a specific ministry, I wasn’t sure whether to disband the whole thing, change it or leave it and continue writing. After much thought, I decided to change it and continue writing.

Much like when I was nannying in Belize, I plan on writing about my adventures through the sunshine and rain. I can’t say whether it will be consistent writing, once a month or less, but I hope to share my thoughts, experiences and adventures that come my way.

I’m excited to see where this goes and what I can come up to write with. I give you my new blog: A Cow Girl On A Beach!


The End and Beginning

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” – Proverbs 16:3

Over a year ago, I remember finding this verse, praying over it, writing it down and taping it to my bedroom wall to be as a reminder of what I was committing to the Lord.
I wanted to be a Missionary Nanny. I wanted to be the hands and feet of Christ, to serve in ways that would be of a help to the Kingdom of God. And three months later, I found out that I was actually going to do that. I was going to be a nanny for a family overseas.
And the Lord was faithful. He brought me through so much. Sickness, homesickness, lack of sleep, hurricanes, stolen items, months and months away from family and friends. He showed me his faithfulness, his grace, he taught me to be patient, to take a deep breath and keep going even when I wanted to cry, he taught me to speak up and to shut up. He reminded me of former times, that I’d been through it once and I could get through it again.
Through the time as being a nanny I learned to love water again, I watched the pure joy of a three year old girl whether she was dancing over a crab or the white snow outside. I learned to be patient when a little one year old boy could only communicate his anger by throwing things. (Thankfully that didn’t happen often!) But with time he slowly learned to sign with his hands and soon after begin to say simple things, such as “hi-ee, haaaal-p! Haaaal-p!” ( Honestly, it was the cutest, but more relieving thing to hear, because before he learned to say that, he would yell at me to get my attention, so my ears are thankful)
I learned so much, grew in knowledge of children and cultures and habits and so many other little things. I could never have imagined half of anything that I got to go through and experience in my time as a nanny for a missionary family.

Before I get to anything else, I want to take a moment and go back to a little over a week ago. I got to watch the dad and his two children learn to skate for the first time. (Here I am with the kids, watching people skate, and me and Faith out on the ice) Apart from jumping into the Caribbean Sea with the kids in Belize, this was probably my favorite thing of everything I’ve done with them. We didn’t spend a lot of time on the ice, and both children had trouble staying up and skating, but the whole thing was just so fun and I’m super thankful that we got to do it.

And through all of it, I knew my time would one day come, where I would have to pack my bags and end my time with this beautiful family. I would be starting a new beginning of memories, experiences and adventures.
It’s hard to move on and figure out where life is going next when I don’t really want to do what’s next. This past week was hard, trying to move back into my family’s house, talk to people about what’s next, find quiet corners to cry in, and take a moment to breath and move on.  I have plans and hopes and dreams, but at the same time, it would hurt so much to talk about when I had just left the best job I could have ever asked for.
But like everything else from life, I have survived. I still miss people, that’s normal. I still have moments (like now) where I’m overwhelmed by the sadness of having to leave. But I know that there comes a point where I have to get up, carry the memories in my heart, and move on.
Thankfully, every day it gets a little easier. I have lots of things that I hope for the future and I look forward to what God can do with me and through me over this next coming up year. I look forward to seeing what new adventures I can go on, how many crazy awesome memories I can make, and see what new ways God can shine through me as we go through life together.

So, the one question that I hear most, the one thing everyone wants to know.

“What’s next Heidi?”

Honestly, I’m done for now with being a Missionary Nanny. I have plans to maybe stay in the states, maybe begin working, maybe save up some money, maybe get married, maybe have my own family….but it’s a lot of maybe’s. Right now I’m just taking it a day at a time. I’m looking towards the future and hoping, planning and dreaming of what may come.

One other new beginning that I’m going to do, is (for now) I’m going to set aside writing in this blog. It’s a bittersweet feeling. I’m so thankful for the time I’ve had to share my experiences and adventures. I’m so thankful for the people, the prayers and encouragement I’ve received during this time. Maybe one day I’ll bring it back, but for now, it was a season in my life of keeping up with family and friends.
Either way, I have a phone number and email (as well as a Facebook account), if anyone needs to catch up on life and hear more on where I’m headed or how I’m doing. Feel free to call, email or message me at anytime! I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time,


When There’s a Curve in the Road…

When there’s a curve, a fork in the road, or a dark tunnel  where one can’t see five feet in front of them, a driver must continue on. They have trust that around the sharp curve, which they can’t see past because of the mile high stone wall, has more road and not rocks in the way. When they come to a fork they have to trust that their GPS, map, or instinct is right in which way they are going. With a dark tunnel they have to trust they will come out into light again.

I’m that driver. There’s a curve coming up to the end of my journey with this beautiful family I have been blessed to serve. While I want to put on the brakes, stop time, and continue this life for longer, I know that it’s coming to an end.

It’s about 12 days until I return home for Christmas. 12 days to love on three precious children, to make memories, laugh, fix boo-boo’s, wipe tears and noses, sing silly songs, dance crazy dances, hand out snacks, change diapers, read books, run around making too much noise, playing house and school, letting little ones drag me around, cuddle and snuggle with baby Ben, hand out snacks again. 12 days left.

I don’t like goodbyes. Living in Belize on a YWAM base where every 2-3 months one has to say goodbye to friends, it was tough. One would think that it would get easier in time but it doesn’t. And so I push back the thoughts of leaving and saying goodbye to this family.

To be completely honest, there is a little bit of excitement. I look forward to where the Lord is leading me next. I know that he’s got amazing things in store for me. But that doesn’t exactly mean I’m excited to leave the life I have here. That curve. That road that splits. The tunnel that I’m coming to and is clearly marked “UNKNOWN”. Those are the things I begin to slow at. I wonder why I can’t know where I’m going. Or what I’m doing next. Or why everything seems so dark.

And through all of it, God says to trust. Trust that even if there are rocks in the road around the curve he’ll help me around them, trust that he’ll show me and make it clear as to which road at the fork is good, trust that the tunnel may be dark, but he’s right beside me holding my hand and leading me through it.

None of it is easy. But there have been rocks I’ve already had to dodge. There’s been forks I’ve had to choose at and dark tunnels I’ve been through. But God has never once left me, and I know these next couple months of unknowns will be the same, as long as I continue to trust Him.

I’m going to live these next two weeks to the fullest and enjoy life. And after that, I’ll see where the curve around the corner takes me. It’s not easy, but sometimes there can be even more beauty on the other side.


Autumn Days

Let it be known now. I love autumn with all the glorious colors, freshly fallen leaves crunching beneath my shoes and getting to bundle up in cute sweaters and colorful clothes. BUT! I do not like the cold that comes with it. My hands and feet get cold, and if the weather drops too much, I must wear more layers which just makes things a little more annoying. But I guess if I can learn to embrace sweating in Belize, I can learn to embrace the freezing in Virginia.

Things have been busy around here. A couple weeks ago my best friend came down to visit and we celebrated our birthday’s together. It was so nice having someone I knew from home down here with me. I have missed family and friends a lot! When looking at my age, I’m now 23, yet still feel like a little 16 year old at heart. It was a lovely day playing with the kids, taking pictures, eating cake and ice cream, talking to friends and family on the phone and opening gifts. It’s safe to say that year 22 was a good one, and I’m looking forward to this next year that God has blessed me with.

The kids are doing wonderful! Faith is learning the days of the week, Josiah is learning new words and Benaiah keeps his eyes open more often. Faith was digging in the grass awhile back and discovered a worm. She got super excited and began to show me, her brother, and parents. She then went on to dissect him. I guess that’s one way to introduce kids into science, right?

Oh! And speaking of leaves earlier, we made a pile of leaves for the kids! In Belize there were huge almond trees that had big, oval leaves. I remember one time close to April or May where they turned a dark red and brown and fell down. There weren’t enough that we could make a pile to jump in, but there was enough to have a leaf fight. Behind the house here in Virginia, there are several oak and maple trees. Faith and Josiah had so, so, so much fun helping rake the leaves, jumping into the pile and throwing the leaves at each other. The smiles and giggles were worth every leaf I later had to vacuum up from my room that I had brought in with me from rolling and jumping into the pile.

Lastly, Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I want to take a moment to thank God for all that he has provide for me. First my super, awesome church family who has provided financially and prayed over me daily. I’m very thankful for friends and family who have supported me during this past year. I’m thankful for this amazing family, the way they love me and have allowed me to love on their children. I’m grateful for the friends, culture and adventures that I have been immersed in while nannying in Belize and the States. And lastly, I’m thankful for the journey that God has brought me on, the way that his love has been shown more clearly to me, the way beauty can come from ashes, the way His strength comes in my weakness and the way my obedience brings forth his Glory.

And thankfully, I’m still nannying a little longer then a month, before returning home for Christmas. (in other words) This shouldn’t be my last blog post!

I love you all!


The Crazy and the Calm

With the coming of a new baby, some reason I expected quiet days, with a calm and peacefulness filling each morning. The kids would share their toys and play nicely. A sort of halo of perfection would come upon Faith and Josiah and they would learn to keep their voices down, bodies to themselves and all would be well.

And then reality hit and all expectations were thrown out the window.

Leaves are slowly beginning to change color

Life is busy, but not bad. It’s quite enjoyable here in Northern VA. The mornings are chillier and by mid-day we have a high 70’s. The basic routine of the past week is going to a class for one or both of the kids, driving home, playing for awhile (whether before or after the class, sometimes both) having lunch, the kids take a nap and by 4 or earlier they usually up, ready to play some more. Before dinner, Israel and I would take them to the park and let them get

Playing at the park.

more energy out, we go home and have dinner, the kids get laid down and we would get up the next day and do it all over again.

And then add Baby Benaiah into the mix. Thankfully, he sleeps through most cries or loving pokes from his older siblings. Faith and Josiah love, love, love their brother. They love to give him kisses, or hug and touch him. They are slowly learning how to treat their brother and from what I’ve seen, they are doing a great job. Being able to help teach them to be kind and gentle to a newborn is hard, but it’s such a great experience to be a part of and I’m super thankful to be able to share in this time of the kids lives.

Making birdseed pinecones. They loved making them and the squirrels loved stealing them off the tree.

For me personally it’s been going good. Having somewhat of a schedule is good for me. Being able to take the kids downstairs and play with them, drive them to classes, or being a part of their class, is different, but good to experience. Josiah is in a gymnastics and swim classes where an adult has to attend with him. I got to be the adult this past week and let me tell you, if you aren’t dressed properly for either one of those, things will not go as planned. Don’t worry, I had great clothes on, but there were moments where I wondered what I had just gotten myself into. There have been days where the parents go out to run some errands while the kids are sleeping. One day I ended up having all three kids awake with me, no parents home yet, and I still survived. I felt like the best nanny in the world during that because they weren’t fighting, the baby was still sleeping in my arms and neither older siblings was trying to love on their baby brother. Not every day is like that, but slowly it’s becoming to get easier and easier.

Something that I’ve written about in the past, that really, really excited me, was going to a library and getting books out. This past week, Josiah and I walked to the closest one, which happens to be about a 15-20 minute walk. Just yesterday, much to my excitement, I was able to get a library card and came out with four books, three for the kids and one for myself. My dream of reading to them, showing them picture books on animals, trucks, trees, flowers, ballet, airplanes and so many other options have finally come true. While I may only be here for three months, this is the one thing that has made me most excited since before I arrived in Virginia and hopefully the kids will pick up on my love for books.

Holding two and waiting for the last one to wake up. Loving live!

A few prayer requests:
1) Pray for my health as I think I’m getting a cold. I don’t want the kids, especially Ben to catch it. I’m currently drowning myself in tea.
2) Pray for me as I haven’t been getting enough sleep. Part of that has to do with me not going to bed early, which I’m slowly fixing. The other part is just waking up and tossing and turning for hours on end. With a busy schedule and needing to be on my toes constantly, it’s better to have a good night’s sleep.
3) Pray for me as I try and wake up early. The reasoning behind that one, is I find that I really enjoy reading my bible and praying early in the morning. Being a Christian, and having that time to spend with the Lord is very important to me and not being able to sleep well, being careless and going to bed late or whatever the reason, it’s been hard to keep up with my quiet time in the morning.

Every day has its crazy and chaos, but at the end of the day, there’s a lot of peace, calm and love sprinkled in between.


Daily Choices and News

The past couple weeks have been really good for me. I’ve slowly been getting into the routine of playing with the kids in the morning, driving with their mom to swim/dance/gymnastics classes, having a break in the afternoon while they nap and ending the day by playing with them some more before having some more down time.
This past week, Israel (who has been doing some construction work for a couple weeks) ended up staying home. All week long! It was nice because I had a little more extra time on my hands to do my own thing and just be “on call” if they needed me to play with the kids or join them to a trip to the park or store. It’s been nice having the extra free time, but a little spoiling.
Lately, I’ve been finding that in coming back to the states, there is cable. On television. 24/7 tv that is really addicting. Along with ice cream. And chips. And cake. And lots of other food that is not quite what I’ve been use to eating constantly for the past 9 months. To suddenly be sitting in front of a television with snacks only ten (or less) feet from where I was sitting was quite a nice treat.
And I had to suddenly decide to choose between what I wanted or what I needed and was best for me.

I use to never like going to restaurants because I had to choose what I wanted to eat. I hate when I have a lot of options because I get overwhelmed. What am I going to choose to eat? Should I go with something I’m familiar with or something new? I don’t like when I have 10 doors open, behind each one something different, exciting and new. I don’t want to choose which to go through, because I don’t want to make the wrong choice and I’d rather have someone tell me where to go and just point me in the right direction.
The same idea goes with my daily choices. Do I eat the cake with ice cream because it’s been months since I’ve had them together. Plus the cake is warm. Nothing is better then warm cake. On and on, this past week especially, has been a battle between which is a better option, which is a better choice.
This is where I admit that I am human and do not always make the right choice. But I am getting better. It just took awhile.
Because I have no one to really point me towards the right door I had to choose from, I made some not so wise choices. This past week, I had two days where I decided to sit back and relax while the kids were napping to watch this TV show called Gold Rush. After 2 hours, the kids woke up from their nap. Not feeling like playing with them, I choose to let them sit in front of their own screens (a phone and Ipad) and let them watch their own shows for another hour while I continued to enjoy Gold Rush. And guess what?!?! The next day, the same thing happened.
I’m not proud of either day.
It’s safe to say that it hasn’t happened again….yet….thankfully!
It took two days, but I finally realized, I had to start getting my life together. I could make a choice of laziness, or I could begin to focus on the whole reason I came to be with this family. God is constantly reminding me that I’m not here because of me. It took so many prayers, tears, love, family, friends, and more prayers to get me here. But most of all, it took Him, my heavenly Father gently nudging me towards the door he wanted me to take. And I had to choose to obey him.
And now here in this moment, I need to choose to obey him again. And sometimes that means turning off social media, the TV, close my book, turn off the movie or music and choose to play with two kids who needed my attention more then Gold Rush.

Making good choices are not easy and I’m no where near being good at it. But I’m trying to get better. Sometimes the choices are easier, such as whether to have blueberries, grapes, raspberries, or strawberries for a snack instead of ice cream. (So I have all of the above!) It’s making choices like drinking disgusting apple cider vinegar with my water twice a day because everyone is saying that it’s got good stuff in it. I have to make a choice to take a deep breath and go for a walk on a beautiful day, or work out for thirty minutes or more. And honestly, a week later I’m beginning to enjoy the choices I have made. The apple cider vinegar is still gross, but more bearable to drink twice a day. The exercise is hard without a partner, but I find new ways to enjoy it by myself. And about that T.V. After my two days of rebelling in a lazy boy, I started to take my responsibilities a little more seriously and play with the kids, instead of letting them entertain themselves on their own screens. It’s not easy, but it’s worth the laughter, giggles and fun we have together.

And it’s a good thing I’ve been paying more attention to the kids, because they got a new baby brother!!!!!!! The day finally came last weekend, which is one reason why I was so late to getting this post out.
I’m very excited to announce that Benaiah Timothy Esquivel joined this world on Saturday, October 14, at 10:02. He weighed 8lb 1oz, and was 20 1/4 in long. Mom and baby are doing great! Since Saturday morning (6:30ish to be exact) I have been helping with the kids, holding and snuggling cute baby Ben, and helping out more with the kids! It’s been a long weekend and it will be interesting to see how things transition as this new baby is here.
And I can guarantee that there will be more choices that I’ll have to make, whether good or better. It’s going to be a handful as I try and balance helping mom and dad with baby Ben while both Faith and Josiah are asking for attention. I’m sure with time it will be easier, but right now, things are sometimes a little hard to figure out how to make sure to love on both these older kids and help with the baby.
About the older siblings, Faith is super excited to have another baby in the house. Anytime someone takes him, Faith is sure to tell the person to be careful with the baby. “Be careful, k? Careful!” She’s a proud big sister. Josiah, now a big brother, seemed a little unsure but curious at first. He had been hearing about baby brother being in mommy’s belly, but to suddenly see him, I think it opened his eyes a lot! He is doing well, though he’s still learning to be gentle around the baby. He also loves to give kisses in abundance! He’s super sweet.
I am not one to usually snuggle with babies. I’m content to hold them for awhile, then pass them on. With this little guy, I take every opportunity I can get to hold him. He’s so tiny. It’s been such a long time since I’ve been constantly around a newborn and I’m really excited for this new step. One struggle is to find the right way to hold Benaiah, and let Josiah or Faith sit on my lap without bumping or laying on top of the baby. As I said before, lots of changes and choices, but it’s a new experience and exciting time….most of the time!

Please keep us all in prayer as we transition with the new baby here. Pray that I get good sleep so that if the parents don’t, I am fully energized to take on both Faith and Josiah for the day. Pray that I continue to make good choices and keep up with being healthy, whether mentally, physically or spiritually. And lastly, pray for wisdom and guidance as I help in raising these two with their new baby brother. This is kind of new for me and I don’t want to be making a bunch of mistakes.


Thanks everyone!


A Week Into New Life

It’s been a week here in Northern Virginia and things are going well! Nothing is like I expected, but it’s been fun finding new things, rediscovering America pleasures and blessings and watching the kids learn about new things that many people take for granted.

This first week has not been bad at all. While we wait for baby C to be born, we’ve been running kids to several classes that their mom signed them up for. Faith has gymnastics, ballet/tap and swim classes. Josiah has swim and ‘gymnastics’ (Zoom Around the Room) Both children have had bad moments and good moments in each of their classes, (or missing class because of colds) but both are warming up or absolutely love them, which their mom, dad and I are all thankful about.
My tasks currently are helping in the morning with dressing, getting them into the van for classes, entertaining the opposite child who does not have class (unless they are playing on their mom’s phone, then I sit, mesmerized by the

Faith in her swim class. (She was a little nervous but slowly warmed up to the water)
That moment when you realize the cute guy next to you is dressed the same…..

child who is in their class) We get them back into the car, drive home and sometime get lunch or sometimes just head them towards bed for a nap. They fall asleep in the van pretty quick, so I have tried to keep them awake. Josiah is harder to keep awake then Faith. Anyways, during the afternoon I spend time reading, writing in my journal or watching movies until about 3:30 or 4. Alyssa texts me to let me know when the kids are up and I either go the main floor, or stay in the basement (where my room is located) and where the kids have a bunch of trains, puzzles, books and coloring stuff.

My little room!

It’s been a week, but transition is going well. Like I said earlier, there are a lot of things that are here in the states that I use to always take for granted or never really noticed much until now. Things like hot water. I sometimes feel guilty for taking a nice, steaming hot shower. I never had a hot shower once while I was in Belize. Things like wearing pants or sweaters and not being covered in sticky, smelly sweat. Socks, shoes, sidewalks, mailboxes, leaves, wind that is cold and doesn’t blow my hair everywhere. It’s strange, but I’m still getting use to sleeping on a soft bed because I can’t feel board planks through the mattress. I actually have a dresser, closet and space to spread all my stuff. I have 4G internet that is faster then the wifi in Belize. There are stools, leather chairs, comfy lazyboy recliners, or couches that I  can choose from while I read and write. Stairs! I love stairs and these stairs have carpets. Now all I need is a super-duper (footed PJ’s) and I’ll be all set! (They are the best thing for sliding down the stairs. And yes I’m joking on the footed pajama’s, I don’t actually want them.) There’s things like drinking hot tea, eating cake and ice cream, or even just being able to walk into the kitchen and open a stocked fridge and pantry. Driving/riding in the car with a seat belt. (golf carts don’t come with those) Or buckling the kids in car seats. Stoplights. San Pedro island has 0 stoplights. Teaching the kids to stop, look, listen and hold hands when crossing the street. They love running on the sidewalk, playing with chalk and taking walks. I enjoy taking walks through the crisp, autumn air as well, and I find it’s great exercise.
There’s probably so much more that I haven’t mentioned. There are times where things surprise me, where I have a moment of reverse culture-shock. Thankfully though nothing has been really bad or overwhelming. I’m super thankful for being able to be transiting with the Esquivel family and it makes returning to the states easier. I love what I’m doing and how this week has made my future weeks look. Nothing will always be easy, especially with the new baby coming soon. But it’s an adventure, exciting and new paths and something completely different from the little island in Belize. (Below are several pictures from our walks around the neighborhood)








I’m so thankful for where I’m at. And for grapes, ice cream, cake and tea!



What is Next Heidi??

Many people have been asking what my next plans are. Simply it’s this: to Nanny Faith and Josiah again!

Who would have guessed….heehee

There are still a lot of unknowns, such as scheduling, what I’m doing, how does life look, etc. But there are some things that I do know. For the next 3 months, I will be living in Washington D.C area. (About 20ish minutes outside the capitol) I will be helping in running Faith and Josiah to classes (which I’ll try and update about later). And also, the new baby! Faith and Josiah are going to have a brother! I don’t know how much I will care for the new little guy, but I hope to at least help out a little with him.

I left Belize on the 18th and headed to Florida. After seeing my amazing boyfriend for a few days, I just flew into D.C airport today where the Esquivel’s picked me up. The kids were asleep in the car, but once Faith woke up, she was overjoyed (literally) to hear my voice (as I was sitting behind her) She couldn’t stop giggling, the little cutie. It was one the best ways to be greeted to a new area.

I’m looking forward to all that this season will bring but am quite nervous as well. A few prayer requests I have are:
– Finding my way around the D.C area (It has been awhile since I’ve had to figure out my way around a new area, especially when driving)
– Transitioning well
(A lot of reverse culture shock can happen…)
Health (My head hasn’t been doing well with all the air pressure from flying.)
– Wisdom and Guidance as I continually help in raising these two kids
(It’s tough knowing how to raise kids who have just gone from the beach and island to roads and houses)
– Safety as I drive with/without the kids
(Like I mentioned before, I have no idea where anything is, nor have I driven in a vehicle in the past 3 months)

Right now that’s all I have. I’m super excited about this though, especially being closer to home. There so many changes from Belize and even New York, but I will try and get into those another day.

Thank you everyone for the prayers, love and support.
Until next time,


My Second Home

For once I’m not writing in the Air conditioning, away from flies and mosquitoes. I’m staying away from my comfy bed that has a fan blowing straight on me and sitting on a hard bench, slightly hunched over on a too high wood table, a whisper of a breeze and watching tiny ants crawling all over my computer screen. There are plenty of bugs out here that keep landing on my fingers and though I’m in the shade it doesn’t stop the humidity from making me sweat a little. And this is the real thing, the reality that I’m leaving in just a mere 7 days.

Every time I try and tell someone that I’m leaving, not just to visit the states, but to actually leave with a one-way ticket, I feel as if they don’t understand what I’m feeling. This is my second home. It’s like a piece of my heart and I’m ripping myself away from it. The thought of leaving such a beautiful place makes me so sad. But just the other day I was talking to a friend, and she said that we need to rejoice, be thankful and grateful. And I think that totally summed up how I feel. I am extremely grateful for all that I have been blessed with here in Belize. And I while I’m sad, I don’t want it to be everything I’m leaving, but everything I’ve learned, seen and done.

Therefore, this is a post about things I’m thankful for, but also a bit of a walk down memory lane and the little things I will miss, but am so thankful for during my time here. There’s little things and  big things, so hop the traveling train through Heidi’s time in Belize. We have no idea where it may take us…

From the first moment of stepping off Tropic Air, I had no idea what I was in store for. Especially since I was dressed in a hoody, jeans and the high heat was suffocating me. The ride to Youth With A Mission Destination Paradise (YWAM DP) base felt so long and I couldn’t stop staring at all everything. We were clearly not in the country anymore. Upon arriving at the base, I met strangers, who are now friends, people who have helped me through so much. I discovered a land of sweat and joy, saltwater and love. A land that I would forever hold deep in my heart.
Living in Belize, on the small island of San Pedro, is not just to nanny two adorable, sweet, carefree children. (Though that’s the main reason I came) Living in Belize is getting up early to catch the sunrise. It’s walking barefoot everywhere that when I go to my home away from home for a visit, I forget to put on shoes when I head out the door. Belize is a culture of joyful people, amazing food, and country like no other where no one else has tortillas that are as good as Belizian home baked ones. Belize is a place where it’s normal to catch a water taxi to get a ride home. It’s a place where I can jump off a dock, choke on salt water and do it another 10 times because of a child’s screams of delight. And there’s so much more.
For me, Belize is so special because of the YWAM DP base where I have learned to step out of my comfort-zone in so many new ways. It’s a place where Christ has show me so much, taught me more then I’ve learned before, and showered me with love and grace that goes deeper then the Caribbean Sea. It’s a place of amazing leaders, people who aren’t scared to get their feet a little dirty, or share their dark secrets. It’s a safe place, a sanctuary where one can run and never be judged, only guided and lead in love. It’s a place where I’ve come to know as home. H.O.M.E : Happiness Outside of Mommy’s Arms. (Yeah, yeah, I know, arm’s doesn’t start with an E) Either way, it’s true. That’s where home always was, where my family was in NY. Then I stood at the edge of the nest, took wing and flew, to discover a new home.

So. The things I’m thankful for the most? The things that I’m going to miss, but will rejoice about getting to experience? The little things? Let’s see what we can come up with, starting with my feet….
I’m thankful for the sand. The white sand that gets everywhere. It sticks, especially when there’s been a rainstorm or if I’m sweating. It comes into the casita’s. I don’t think I’ve ever had clean feet here that was free of sand because the moment I step out of the shower, it’s on the bottom of my feet again. “Dusting” off my feet at night before climbing into bed helps a little, but the little white grains always decorate my blue sheets. Not the best color to bring here. The water, which can be different colors, depending on the day, is always fun to walk in. It cools me down, the waves coming to shore are slow, but calming and relaxing.
I never liked getting dirt on my legs and arms. I am thankful for little hands though. I’m thankful for little fingers that stick their hands in the sand, dumping it, smushing it, stomping on it, then putting their beautiful, sand covered hands all over my back and arms as they trip and catch themselves on me. (eww) I’m thankful for the way they want to sit in my lap, and for the way I’ve allowed myself to let them, though they are sand, water, sweat or food covered. (Well, the food has limits) I’m thankful for foot prints from sand or cement dust that go up my shirt as the kids try to climb me and flip. And from both sand, dirt, dust or food, I’m thankful for a washer and dryer that I can clean my clothes.
I’m thankful for the food. While chicken, rice, beans, chicken, rice, tortillas, chicken, rice, salad or chicken and rice can get boring, I’m thankful that there is much, much more food besides that. I’m thankful for fresh watermelon, pineapple or papaya. I’m thankful for the eggs and pork (oh, I love, love, love the

Fry Jack and watermelon juice

pork) I’m thankful for food like fry jacks, soup, park tacos, ice cream or freshly squeezed watermelon juice. (It’s totally a thing here…who knew!) I’m thankful for simple things like beans and rice, and complicated things like nacho bar where I have no idea what I’m suppose to do with all the food.
I love the smell of salty air. The mouth watering aroma from the kitchen. Fresh coconut. It may sound weird, but I like the smell of the mosquito fogger (a machine used to keep the mosquitoes away from base.) I love the smell of freshly washed babies after a long swim in the ocean. I’m thankful for the way I can smell so many things and how it instantly reminds me of my Belizian home.
I’m thankful for the bird calls. The unique tweets and calls between mates. I’m thankful for the small crash of the waves as they come up onto shore. I’m thankful for the wind in the trees. I’m thankful for the squeak of the dining palapa door, that is so loud in the morning and I’m afraid is going to wake up the whole base. I’m thankful for the thump of the dock under my feet, and no matter how silent I try and be, the one board always  groans under my weight. I’m thankful for children’s squeals, laughter and tears. I’m thankful for their words and manners, and attempts at speaking new words and sounds.
I’m thankful for the hugs of people around me. I’m thankful for the people who know that physical touch isn’t a huge thing for me, and will do it anyways, just to get a smile out of me. I’m thankful for the people who make time to talk to me, joke with me, spend quality time and share part of God’s heart with me. I’m thankful for people who don’t have to say anything but smile at me and make me feel so loved. I’m thankful for the way I can see them helping each other, the way I get to see them selflessly drop everything and do everything they can for others. I’m thankful for people willing to buy me a ticket on the water taxi, people who buy me pizza or write me notes of encouragement. I’m thankful for people who I can do life with, who I can share struggles with. People who I can call more then friends, who I get to call brothers and sisters.
And last but not least, I’m thankful for the way I can see things, the colorful, bright, cheery colors that God has placed all over this island to display his beauty. I’m thankful for the green palm trees at every corner. I’m thankful for red, yellow and green almonds. I’m thankful for brown leaves that make me feel like it’s autumn in summer. I’m thankful for large coconuts, medium and tiny baby coconuts. I’m thankful for one fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish. (okay, I’ve actually only seen a blue fish….) I’m thankful for large ones like the barracuda, small ones like sting rays that are hard to see, and tiny baby fish like the yellow and black striped that Faith loves to try and catch. I’m thankful for black and white birds, red birds, yellow birds and the way they are different sizes from pelicans to hummingbirds. I’m thankful for flowers that are vibrant red, yellow, pink and orange. I’m thankful for the colorful paint that people use here. Blue, yellow, red, gold, purple. You name it, and it’s probably here. I’m thankful for the green, blue and white in the sea. And of course, I’m thankful for the colors I see when I wake up to watch the sunrise. I’m thankful for color.

I’m sure there is so much more I could be thankful for. There is so much that I can write about and how this place has left little footprints on my heart. But I think that I’ve gotten my point across. In leaving Belize, I’m leaving so much that I’m thankful for, so much that I can look back on in the future and rejoice that I experienced and discovered. Syracuse NY will always be my first home and Belize my second, but that doesn’t mean I can’t make a new one. Which is why I’m looking forward to going to Washington D.C in just a couple weeks. I’m so excited to live in a new area, meet new people, try new things, and see what God has in store for me. I may be leaving behind a lot, but I’m looking forward to what I’ve gotten and what God can do with my future.

Until next time,