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,

Sunrise Surprises

The past couple weeks, every few days I’ve been getting up to see the sunrise. The sun comes up around 5:30-5:40 AM. To get up, dressed and out the door in time to see the color before the sun actually hits the horizon, I try and get up by 5:00 and out the door by 5:15. Many mornings I am tired, but getting to see all the colors, the beautiful yellows, pinks, red, orange, gold all mixed together, is so worth it. Here a few I’ve captured and edited to enhance the coloring.

Last summer and winter, I really enjoyed getting up early to see sunrise. Since April, when I started nannying, I haven’t taken the time to get up. Part of that was because I wasn’t sleeping well. Part of it was laziness. Part of it was new schedule. But recently realized that I am actually leaving soon. I wanted to be sure that I made an effort to get up and watch the sun slowly rise from behind the Caribbean. It’s a special time for me, is full of special memories and moments, between friends and my Heavenly Father.



The one thing that I find most fascinating is that the sky is always different. There’s never the same cloud structure to catch the light and color. The waves of the ocean sometimes capture red, sometimes gold, sometimes a beautiful orange and yellow mix. Every sunrise is different. Everyday is new and unlike any other morning that has already come.

I think that the sunrises will be the one thing I miss most about Belize. It’s a struggle to actually get up out of bed when I’m still sleepy. Or finding my way around a dark casita with half asleep eyes. Or walking all the way from my house to the dock. Or just the fact that I have to get up so early. But through it all, it’s very worth it. The smell of salt water, the quiet wind, the ripple of waves and waited anticipation of what the new morning will look like.

I am looking very forward to coming back state side! My flight is to leave on September 18.  I’ll be taking a short vacation in Florida to visit my boyfriend, then I’ll be flying up to Washington D.C area to join the Esquivel family and begin another new adventure!!


Catching up on Life

I have been wanting to write for awhile but due to complications, it just never happened. Finally here I am, with a blog that will hopefully work, full of stories and pictures! The past couple weeks have been different. Very different. I thought I would try and give a little inside on what has been happening with me and the kiddos and catch you all up on nanny life.

To summarize, about 3-4 weeks ago, Faith got heat rash and due to that the kids and I have had to stay out of the hot humidity and stay inside the house where there was A/C (Other then meal times, where we would have to go outside for lunch) We wanted the rash to completely heal and staying indoors was the best way to do that. I thought it would be one of the easiest things ever. After about a week later, I was helping push a sailboat out of the ocean and hurt a muscle in my upper leg. I was thankful to have to be inside so I wouldn’t have to try and hobble over the rough sand trying to keep up with these two. Three days later I thought I was all better, but found out real quick that it was not better and took another ten days of taking it easy, stretching and not letting the kids jump on me, for my leg to stop hurting. Two weeks ago we had rain for a couple days.  I was quite glad to be stuck inside. And now, mostly recently, we have had no wind. Without wind to cool the island, the temperature is much more real, and the mosquitoes come in swarms. Literally. Once again, I’m thankful to have to be stuck inside, where there is air conditioning and the only bugs that fly around are the few lucky ones who make it through the door.

Of these past 4 weeks, the first week was great. We played with puzzle, trains, cars, playdoh, minnie mouse and stuffed animals. We colored with crayons, drew with markers, traced our hands, painted shells, painted on paper, painted on our hands, cut paper, glued pom poms on paper and covered paper and each other in stickers.
And then, we did it again the next week.
And again the next week.
And again the next week.

I finally was getting so bored of playing with the same stuff and running out of things to do, so I started trying to get creative with things. We have tried playing human train where I them on my back and carrying them  from the livingroom to the bedroom and back again. It’s a workout for me and they both really enjoy the ride!
There is a building here on base called the Sandroom. (I heard at one time it was full of sand, hence the name) It’s a large, open, spacious room where the YWAM community has worship three days a week, movie nights on the weekend or other large celebrations. During the morning the students have their classes held in the Sandroom. Because it’s in out of the sun and heat, I began taking Faith and Josiah over on Saturday’s (when there were no students) to play in there. They ride their scooter, draw with chalk, or just run, scream and get out energy that has been hard to release in the house during the week. Faith has already asked several times yesterday and today we we could go, so I know she loves it a lot.
There are a lot of other things that we’ve been learning how to make fun, and how to get creative in our play. But finding new things has been tough. I get lazy and don’t follow through on the things I was going to do. The kids don’t like what I worked hard to do for them. Attention span for them or me doesn’t last long. But I’m finding that, at the end of the day, it matters most that I’m spending quality time, loving them and helping them love each other.
Overall, I’m doing really well! These two crazy kiddos are so fun, and I wouldn’t trade my life for any other. It’s not easy and I’ve had quite a few days that drag by. But it’s rare when I wake up and don’t want to spend time with the kids. I look forward and I’m so thankful, so, so, so, so thankful that I get to be blessed to help raise these two. (Enjoy the pictures, but I apologize for them being all over the place, that is something I haven’t really figured out how to do yet)


Playing in the Sandroom
Playing in the Sandroom
Faith pretending to be a dog.
Piggy-back rides!
Playing in the Sandroom

Magnate puzzle
Faith with some of the shells she painted.
Feeding all our animals pancakes.