breaking news

For the last five weeks, I’ve been unable to focus. Stuck. Tense. Edgy. Scatterbrained.

Maybe you noticed?

Because my blogging has certainly suffered. When Something Else is taking up all my mental energy, it’s nearly impossible for me to write about the normal stuff. Manuvuering around the elephant in the room is exhausting work.

My husband would come home in the evening and find me listlessly lying on the sofa, moaning miserably, “I can’t do this anymore.”

“No news?” he’d say.

“NO!” I’d explode.

“Well, there’s nothing we can do about it” he’d say all rational-like, and then he’d go about his normal life. So exasperating.

Last night, exactly five weeks after we first found out about the possibility, we received the green-light phone call. We are going to Guatemala with Mennonite Central Committee for the 2013 school year, January through October.

We’re taking the kids and skipping country! We’re going to Guatemala! We’re going to Guatemala!


Last night, my husband and I were in a meeting (regarding Guatemala, in fact, but more on that later) when his cell phone rang. He didn’t recognize the number so he ignored it. Not until we got home did he see he had a text message and a voicemail, both from MCC headquarters.

We scanned the text message and then whooped and high-fived. We must’ve been pretty loud because our older daughter got out of bed and came downstairs to see what was going on. We had moved on to listening to the message on speakerphone and were standing stock still in the kitchen, straining to hear every word.

“We’re going to Guatemala!” I whispered.

“We’re going to Guatemala?” she asked, eyes big.


“We’re really going? We’re really going? We’re really going! We’re going! Yes!” She was trembling with suppressed squeals and jumping up and down. She stopped long enough to give me a death-squeeze around my middle and then tore off upstairs to tell the other kids the much-awaited news.

A little later when I went upstairs to tuck the kids in, my older daughter was laying in her bed, a million questions on her lips, my younger daughter was sound asleep, still unenlightened, my older son was smiling drowsily, and the littlest? The littlest was curled up in a ball under the covers, crying.

“I’ll miss Charlotte! I’ll miss my friends! I’m scared of the airplane!” he sobbed.

So. This is pretty much what we’ll be like for the next two months—all over the map.

Hang on to your seatbelts, people. It’s going to be some ride!

PS. I have so much to say about this—five whole weeks of stored-up angst and thoughts and stories, to be exact. You’ll hear all about it, probably more than you want to. Stay tuned!

This same time, years previous: silly supper, brown sugar syrup


  • Mama Pea

    Omigosh! How do you even begin to plan for taking off on this adventure? Your kids will have an experience of a life time. One they will remember their whole lives. How awesome! You will all return changed (and, of course, I meaning in GOOD ways), especially the kids. Wow, wow and wow! You seem like the perfect family to have this experience. Wow!

  • Jennifer Chappell Deckert

    I have stopped commenting about how similar we are…but my friend Larisa pointed it out to me a long time ago, and it is quite uncanny. There are even days we make the same food. Anyway, I just returned from a three year MCC assignment in Colombia with my three children and husband. I am glad you are going, and I look forward to following you here. If you want to read more about our adventures, go to It is all so challenging and so worthwhile at the same time. I hope you love it.

    Best wishes!


  • Margo

    I KNEW IT as soon as I saw that blog post title on my sidebar! I'm so happy for you, knowing how badly you wanted this! (But I'm selfishly hoping you will continue to blog and stay in touch. . . )

  • Starr

    Yay, that sounds awesome! We're planning our own leave of absence from this country although it'll be a long time coming.

    Anyway, great news!

  • Christine Fairfield

    This is soooo cooool! If there was anyplace other than Germany where I'd want to go with my kids for a length of time it would be back to Central America somewhere. I can't wait to read your blog while you're there!!!!

  • Kathy ~ Artful Accents

    Wow, this is exciting news! Can't wait to go along with you vicariously on your trip…you will still be blogging from Guatemala, right? Oh, I hope so!

  • Aili

    Oh wow! That's awesome! And crazy! And we'll miss you…but .. congratulations!!

    It might be possible/advisable to arrange a call or skype with Steve and AnnaMaria's girls. They (especially Eliza) were … reticent to go on their trip, but it sounds like they are having a totally amazing time.

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