25 Spectacular inspirational Songs

What keeps you Inspired and Motivated?

What keeps you inspired and motivated? For some, it is drawing, exercising, or creating something new. I love to do those things, but they don’t give me the motivation I need to push through whatever it is I am working with. MUSIC sets my emotions and energetic core on fire! Songs are what I use to get keep my inspiration alive. It has the ability to touch a part of my soul that make me feel alive and powerful. When my soul is being released, music will be the one that keeps me pushing through the struggle.

Why does music touch the soul? It has the power to touch the soul and bring you alive because it sends out vibrations that your soul can feel and understand.  Music can penetrate deep into your subconscious and help you understand what your energy and soul are saying. My taste in music has changed drastically since I was a teenager and young adult. Most of the music I listened to back then had a lower energetic feeling that I no longer want to associate with. When I was younger my soul was crying for help. It wanted to be released and loved, the way I love my soul now. The music I listened to reflected that.

My soul is vibrating at a different level so my taste in music now reflects that. This list of songs has kept me going and strong for the last 5 years. I can never get enough of these. I can put them on repeat and listen to them a million times. Some have lyrics that hit my soul and remind me that I can love myself that way or that I can be the type of person they describe. For others, it’s the way the guitar, drums, and instruments work together to create a harmony that is beautiful and touching.

I hope these songs can inspire and influence you to live a meaningful and strong life that you love!  Leave a comment and tell me what music resonates with you. I would love to hear new inspirational music that my readers love.

5 Movies with a Profound Meaning… You may not have seen

1. Revolver

I have personally seen this movie over TEN times. It’s an action packed movie with an underlying theme about the ego. After seeing the movie so many times, it is hard to put into words what happens. There are so many little and big clues to the ego over the course of the movie. There are different types of egos being threatened in the movie, Jake Green, Macha, and Sorter. Jake Green is the main character who goes through the most mentally. He is afraid of small spaces, such as elevators, and losing his money. And Jack is forced to deal with himself because of two men, Avi and Zach. Macha is a hotshot casino owner that will kill anyone that stands in his way. Macha doesn’t like to feel inferior or weakened. Green brings out this feeling in Macha. Sorter is the best shooter. Macha hires Sorter to take out Green. He misses every time, which causes him to deal with that part of his ego. He doesn’t understand why he keeps missing.

I don’t want to give too much away as it is such a great movie to watch and decode for yourself. The best part of the movie, for me, was each time I watched it I learned something new about the ego and how it can present itself.  I will leave you with my favorite quote of the movie “Where does this game stop, Mr. Green? Is it me that is playing head games with you, Mr. Green? You’ve heard that voice for so long, you believe it to be you. You believe it to be your best friend. Where’s the best place an opponent should hide? In the very last place you would ever look…. It’s all up here pretending to be you. You’re in a game, Jake. You’re in the game. Everyone is in the game and no one knows it.  And all of this, this is his world and he owns it. He controls it. Tells you what to do. And when to do it… He’s behind all the pain there ever was. Behind every crime ever committed. And right now he is telling you that he doesn’t even exist. We just put you to war with the only enemy that ever existed. And you, you think he is your best friend…. Where’s the best place an opponent should hide? In the very last place you’d every look. He’s hiding behind your pain, Jake.  Embrace the pain and you will win this game. How radical are you prepared to be Mr. Green?”

2. The Impossible

The Impossible is about the strength and perseverance a family has after a tsunami hits the resort they are vacationing on in Thailand. When the tsunami hits, the family gets separated… 2 kids with dad and one with mom. The mom and oldest son get stuck in the flood of rushing water. The mom gets stuck with a tree in the side. They fight to get together as they both are pushed with the raging current. Then another wave of water comes rushing toward them. The mom and son are reunited and begin the journey of finding the father and other two sons. It’s a long journey for them. I won’t give the rest of their trials and accomplishments away.

What the mother went through should have killed her. The son was strong and brave for being able to watch her and support her in all the ways he did. It shows you just how tough the human body is when you need to survive. Perseverance and strength are what this movie is about, from beginning to end.

The dad and youngest two kids had a different journey. The younger two boys need to look after each other as they travel into the mountains alone because the father stays behind to look for the mom and oldest brother. Why the dad didn’t go with them, blows my mind, but it’s still a journey they chose to take. The dad begins to travel from hospital to hospital looking for the brother and mother. Meanwhile, the father and youngest two kids get separated. They all valiantly, triumph through this tragedy.

It truly is the impossible. It proves that we as humans can overcome anything we need to when faced with loss and life. It is all mental. The stronger you are mentally the farther you will go. It is possible to withstand many physical and mental restrictions. This movie proves the impossible is possible!

3. Words and Pictures

A writing teacher and an art teacher create a competition between the students. The art teacher  believe that picture is worth more than thousand words so the english teacher declares war. The competition creates a healthy competition between the students causing them to push themselves to do their best. They chose a subject and each class writes or draws their best work. In a presentation, they will describe why, Words versus Pictures, one is more important.

Each teacher had a passion about their chosen form of art. They used that same art to prove why it’s better. This passion was passed to their students. They created a vivid, truthful, and profound presentation. Each character in the movie, had their struggle that was tested during the course of the movie. How each of them overcame and conquered their fears to create something amazing.

As a teacher, and lover of pictures and words, the movie captured the truth. It showed purpose, truth, and perseverance in the way each artist showed their reason why that form of art was better than the other. Who do you think wins the battle? Possibly, both?

4. Facing the Giants

One reason I watched this movie the first time was because of a short clip I saw on facebook. The clip was of a boy crab walking down the football field blindfolded with a teammate on his back, a death crawl. He told the coach he would go 50 yards. The coach pushed and pushed him to keep going. In the end, the boy finished in the end zone. Everyone was standing in disbelief. They had no idea he could go that far. It inspired me to keep pushing and going just as it did for the players. Having faith that I can accomplish more than I think I can. The clip motivated me and I wanted to know what more the movie had to offer, so I watched the movie.
It is a christian faith based movie about a football coach that has a hard time of it. His car is broken, his house smells, and his wife can’t get pregnant. The group of people team up to talk about replacing his position as coach with someone else because he hasn’t won them a state championship. He uses the words from the bible to bring the boys closer together. They begin to work as a team and win games. The coach made a change within himself which allowed him to move the team forward in a positive light. It moves me every time I see it. The passion and drive he had to change the lives of his players is an inspiration.

5. Exam

The exam is a movie about 8 people interviewing for the most prestigous job. They all have a past that wasn’t easy for them. Now, they have to take an exam, so they enter the room in which the exam will take place. There is a modulator who explains the reasons they were chosen, the rules, and keeps an eye on them during the exam.

The modulator starts the exam by pointing out that the struggles they went through were necessary. The job position they will be in requires them to have resilience to succeed. If they can’t survive the interview process they won’t make it in the job. The company is a powerful company. They can determine certain rules that need to be followed, and their rules are the only rules. The modulator makes sure they understand this my referring to the hardships they had to get to this stage in the interview process.

There are some rules for the exam. They must be followed or they will be disqualified. He reads the rules and asks if there are any questions. They have 80 minutes to find the answer to the question. He says begins and leaves.

The rules for the interview are as follows:

  1. There is one question that requires one answer.  
  2. They are not to try to communicate with the moderator or guard in the room.
  3. They can not spoil your paper, intentionally or by accident.
  4. They can not leave the room for any reason.

The candidates each have a desk, chair, paper, and pencil. They turn the paper over to see what the questions is. There is NO QUESTION!

As they try to figure out the question, they one by one get disqualified for one reason or another. It is a stressful environment for everyone because they have a time limit and no question. Their future careers are on the line. If they don’t answer the question, they won’t be hired. Yet, they don’t have a question to answer. They admit this is the biggest “mind fuck”.  This “mind fuck” tests them causing their personalities to clash in different ways. They each begin to be disqualified one by one.

There are so many little nuances that relate to life and big companies. As they try to figure out the answer, they create conversations and questions about psychology and personalities. These conversations lead to people getting hurt. Only one was able to find the answer and the question.

The one who won, dealt with 3 important things that no one else could while in the room. The 3 qualities needed were listening disposition, attention to dealt, and compassion for their fellow man. These are qualities that not everyone has. I know I struggle with them. Attention to detail, is my hardest. I know this will  and does affect my career in writing.

What I loved about this movie were the questions. Asking myself similar types of questions is how I have been able to raise my level of consciousness and overcome obstacles in my life. This is a thought-provoking movie about life.

Summary:

Each movie has a different aspect about personal development and life that stands out to me. I hope that you enjoy the movies and take from them something valuable. I hope they give you the freedom or motivation you need to push forward in your journey, just as they did mine. Leave a comment and tell me what you think of the movies.

Reasons I moved to Siteground

Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

Moving my WordPress to Siteground

Recently, I have made some changes to my website. I wanted to start marketing to a broader audience. In order to do this, I needed to upgrade my website to have access to an SEO, search engine optimization. This allows people to find me on google using keywords and other information to help my site be more noticed.

I was using wordpress premium for the last two years. It fit into my budget and was easy to use. Although, upgrading so I could use an SEO would be $300 a year. For me, that’s not realistic. I decided to reach out to some of my blogger friends to see if they had any recommendations. A friend recommended siteground. She told me if I did the 2 year plan it would be about $6 a month or so. Thinking, this is a good price, I checked it out.

Changing from WordPress to Siteground:

I thought it would be hard to switch my site from wordpress to siteground. However, it was so simple. Siteground has an amazing customer service department that did all of this for me. I gave them my login for wordpress and within 15 minutes all my posts were changed over. Since I had premium content from wordpress, I needed to change my theme and fonts. They couldn’t transfer these. It took a little time to find a new theme that I love just as much as the wordpress theme. Now, I love my new theme. It has so many more options than the themes I had in wordpress.

Learning the new features:

NOW…. I am in love. I have access to everything. All the plugins, Yoast, and a ton of other useful tools. It has been an adjustment learning how to activate the SEO tools because it was something I had not learned in the past. It has been a great adventure trying to learn all the new features with siteground. There are so many different youtube videos showing how to do this. It takes a bit of time to learn and in the long run, it’s been so beneficial for me. It has been a great experience.

Reasons to use siteground:

I would highly recommend siteground for hosting your self-hosted wordpress because….

  1. The customer service department is quick in response and they make switching over super easy. They made the process painless.
  2. The price is perfect. They have 3 different options to choose from– start up ($3.95/mo.), GrowBig ($5.95/mo.), and GoGeek ($11.95/mo.). I chose the GrowBig because it fit my needs and the price was what I was looking for.
  3. It is Self-Hosted which allows me to have control over my site without having to pay wordpress big bucks. I can add the plugins I want. I can add advertising and any other features I need to make my site make money.

Join Siteground…

These 3 reasons alone were why I decided to switch. I was scared and I did run into obstacles that I quickly overcame. It was well worth it. If your thinking about switching to a self hosted wordpress on siteground, I wouldn’t hesitate to do it. If you have questions, I am here to answer any.

I loved them so much I decided to become an affiliate marketer for them. Here is my link to help you get started. It gives you the plans, prices, and support you may need in finding the right plan for you. I hope you love it as much as I do!

Why Weidergabe?

It occurred to me that people might be wondering why I chose weidergabe for my blog name. It doesn’t seem like a name that you could have for a blog site about inspiration, motivation, and travel. It sort of does. Let me explain…

In the Beginning…

When I was in 7th grade, my family had a PlayStation. For some reason, the language was set to German. We thought this was hilarious, especially when we hit “play”. The word for play was “wiedergabe”. For some reason, I just loved the word, it made me smile. It was unique just like me.

Fast forward a few months…

I was creating an IM account and needed a username. Everything I tried to use was taken. My friend, who knows about the PlayStation, mentioned wiedergabe. I thought it was the best idea. She and I both knew how much this name from the PlayStation made me smile. So, I tried it and it worked. The only problem was I didn’t spell it correctly. Since I have dyslexia, I mixed up the E and the I. I still liked it so I left it and used it for everything.

From then on...

It became my “thing”. No one else used it ever. And it signified my life. It reminds me of battle with dyslexia and writing. It means “play”, which is how I life my life. My life is always on play. I may hit fast forward to look at how to make my current situation better. I am still using the fast forward to continue on “play”. Since my website is about motivation, inspiration, and travel weidergabe seemed to be the perfect fit. Who doesn’t want to live a life on “play”?


6 Books That Will Change Your Life

6 Books that will change your life.

On this journey of life I am on, I have read many books. Some personal development books I read and thought well that was a waste of time. And there are others, I have read and changed my life. Life is a journey of discovering who YOU ARE and the true potential that YOU HAVE locked away inside. Books, travel, and experience can be the KEY to opening that potential.

I love my job as a teacher. It is rewarding and pays the bills. It is not the main thing I want to do with my life. I want to influence woman (or men) to be courageous, brave, and confident in all they do. My journey of discovery started by reading books. Reading all kinds of books. Christian books to spiritual books to business entrepreneur books. I took what I learned from the different books and used them to become the confident, brave, and independent woman I am today.

Since these books have helped me unlock my TRUE POTENTIAL, I wanted to share them with you so you can UNLOCK your POWER.

1.    Breaking the Cycle of Divorce: John Trent

This was the first book I read when I first started my journey of finding myself. I was going through a divorce and felt lost, hopeless, confused, and scared. The book gives you questions at the end of the chapters to help you start to understand what I happening in your life. When I was able to answer these questions honestly, I was able to see where my faults in my marriage came from. This allowed me to start to overcome them.

Standing alone this book does not help me understand everything. I still had questions after I read it. This book allowed me to start asking myself questions. The books that follow helped give this book more meaning and understanding. It was a great starting book for understanding why my marriage and love life was the way it was.

2.    The Four Agreements and The Four Agreements Companion Book: Don Miguel Ruiz

The Four Agreements is an amazing book that creates a new way of being with four simple yet sometimes hard ideas. The four agreements is great by itself, but the companion book is more in depth. It has questions and asks you to create a journal or notebook to write down your thoughts. It gives you more concrete support because it requires action. It’s not just a book you read and put down, but a book that requires thought and effort.  The Four Agreements is more of a read and put down type book. The companion book takes more time because to get the most out of it you do the activities in the chapters.

I do not suggest reading The Four Agreements Companion Book without first reading The Four Agreements. The main book should be read before the companion book. The Four Agreements goes into detail what the agreements are and how you should use them in your life. The companion guide helps you dig deeper within yourself to recognize where they come from.

3.    The Power of Now: Eckhart Tolle

This book helped me understand exactly what the title says… the POWER of NOW. It allowed me to understand what staying in the moment looked like. In every crisis, there is an opportunity hidden within it that you can unveil. The only way to get what is hidden is by not denying the facts. Understanding and accepting reality as it is in front of you.  Crisis, challenges, and any situation that causes you pain and trouble is there for you to uncover some hidden potential or understanding about yourself. The author speaks about transforming relationships, cycles of life, enlightenment, and the power to choose.

Every chapter has amazing insights into how not being in the moment can affect them. An example from the chapter on relationships that helped me understand why I was so unhappy in relationships is “If you continue to pursue the goal of salvation through a relationship, you will be disillusioned again and again. But if you accept that a relationship is here to make you conscious instead of happy, then you relationship will offer you salvation…” Once I read this and truly comprehended it, it changed my life. This was such a huge problem in my marriage. I wanted him to make me happy. I wanted him to make my life complete. After reading that, I understood that the marriage I had would not bring me the life I wanted. I needed to use the relationships to become conscious. This consciousness would lead to a more rewarding and happy life whether it was with friends, family, or a partner.

This book is great to read if you want to find out what certain things just never work out for you. If you read this book and love it, you will want to read the next book on my list.

4.    A new earth: Eckhart Tolle

A New Earth built on what I read in the Power of Now. It made connections to the world and how I can affect the world. It allowed me to understand how evolving my consciousness can change the world. Tolle talks about how our attachments to people, things, and ideas can affect ourselves and the world around us. Have you ever been around someone that just emanates negative or dense energy that makes you want to run away? This could be due to their dense pain bodies they hid within. Tolle describes how our dense pain bodies affect us and the world around us. Pain bodies are not just within individual people, either. They can be within bigger bodies of people, such as nations or countries. The pain bodies can renew themselves by feeding off of drama and thoughts. For more on pain bodies, I suggest you read the book as it has many different aspects.

The book goes in to discovering inner space and understanding your true purpose. In the chapter about inner space, he stated: “You can participate in the dance of creation and be active without attachment to outcome and without placing unreasonable demands upon the world: fulfill me, make me happy, make me feel safe, tell me who I am. The world cannot give you those things, and when you know longer have such expectations, all self-created suffering comes to an end.” After reading that, I understood that the only person that can give me those things are the person I hide deep within. The world and other people cannot fill those for me. I have to find happiness, safety, and my purpose inside myself.

The book is a great book to build on understanding yourself in a deeper level. It changed my whole perspective on life and where I can find the peace I desired to have.

5.    Naked Marriage: Uncovering Who You Are and Who You Can Be Together- Corey Allen

This is one of my most recent reads. I read this book with my ex-fiancé in the states. We read it together as a way to bond and communicate. We were about to head into a marriage that I wasn’t sure I wanted to go into. The book helps identify some false notions of what it’s like to be married. I know, I had been married before I should know the false notions. And, I did know some of them.

“Naked Marriage encourages you to find yourself and fully reveal yourself, so you and your marriage can become fully alive.”- taken from the about the book section. This book really does that. Each chapter states a “myth” and a “truth” about marriage. Some of the myths were new to me. I believed the myth to be true. Once I understood the myth as false, my relationships started to change, current and future. Three of the myths that stuck out to me and why:

Myth: Happy couples do everything together

Truth: More separation creates desire for togetherness

A marriage needs to have two mature and independent people who come together to enjoy life. If you do everything with your partner the desire dissolves. The book gives examples like “remember when you first met how you wanted desired to see him and be with him?” This happens because you live separate lives so you miss that person. You can keep this feeling if you have different lives together. I looked at my life and found something interesting. My parents have been remarried to other people for many years now. They are happy and living a good life together. Do they do everything together? No, they don’t. My mom owns a bar and my step dad works from home. My dad goes to baseball games and other events with his male friends without my step mom frequently. They really have two different lives together. It works for them. It allows them space to be and grow.

Myth: My spouse is my responsibility

Truth: I am my responsibility

He starts the chapter off with a story about a man and a stranger. The stranger had a rope that he tied to his waste. He handed the rope to the man and asked him to hold it. The man agreed and the stranger jumped off the bridge. The man was forced to hold the rope or the stranger would die. He kept asking how he could help the stranger. The stranger just said keep doing that. The man could only do that for so long. (This is just a quick summary of the story because the story was a little long.) The stranger was a selfish and needy person by putting the man in that position. The man felt trapped. This often happens in relationships. I am guilty of this. I did this in every relationship I have had until recently. All the men felt was cornered and helpless. They wanted to help, but they couldn’t. This happens in friendships as well. We want to cling to the best friend or family member so much that we suffocate them causing them to make a “selfish” decision to leave.

Myth: I must work on my marriage

Truth: My marriage works on me

He isn’t saying if the marriage is failing just give up and divorce. What he is saying is when there is a problem in a marriage, it’s not the marriage, it’s YOU. Marriages can bring out the worse in us, so if we use the marriage as a way to better ourselves the marriage is more likely to grow. Before I got divorced, he and I “worked” on our marriage. We didn’t work on ourselves. We went to counseling. We had dinners together. We did almost everything we could except work on ourselves. Nothing changed. I began to understand this while reading this book. It took me until recently to fully comprehend this.

These were three major things that took me away from myself in the past, but once I acknowledged them as false my life changed. This book could be used in all aspects of life, including friends and family. We tend to think the same “myths” with others.

6.    Does woman exist: John Baines

I saved this book for last because it was a very tough and difficult book for me to read. This book hit a nerve. It caused a major reaction that stopped me from finishing the book. I knew that the book had some great insights into becoming the woman I am today. So, I kept trying to read the book. After 3 tries, over two years, I finally finished the book completely. I have read it twice since then. Does woman exist, hits some major points of what society has told woman they should do and be. Topics include marriage and motherhood. It questions what we think femininity is, what being a woman means, and what happens inside a woman’s “world”.

The first two to three chapters, were the absolute hardest for me to comprehend and acknowledge. After some shifts, I made internally I was able to see what he was saying. This book is meant for everyone, and at the same time is it not meant for everyone. Not everyone will have the will power to see what the author is trying to convey. It is a beautiful book if you are in the right place spiritually to “get it”. I put it on the list because it has made a huge impact on the way I see children and my life as a woman now. It was a complete life changer.

Marriage… a difficult decision

Marriage is a big decision. As you all know I got engaged (again!) in December. I have been married before so making the final decision to say “I Do” again is a huge deal that I don’t take lightly. I want that someone to be someone that is my partner and best friend for many years to come. I am constantly changing and adapting to things in life. I want someone that does the same. We will have many different types of circumstances to go through in life as we grow older and start to create a family and life together. It’s important to be able to work together, adapt, and change during those times. Respecting each other’s decisions and choices as we build a life together is important as well. These are my top 2 deal makers or breakers in a relationship. Jonathan does both of those things. That is why I said yes. However, there are other things affecting my decision.

There are other huge things that I am considering as I move toward my decision. Jonathan has two children here in Costa Rica. Which is all well and good. I love his children. They are pretty amazing children. Their mother, on the other hand, I am not a huge fan of. She has made our lives a little difficult when it comes to us living our life. Since Costa Rica has some pretty strict child support laws. Jonathan is not allowed to leave the country without a signed paper from her saying he can leave. When we went to Nicaragua, he had to sneak across the border because she refused to sign the paper. This causes many issues. He won’t be able to apply for a visa to the US to visit my family without the paper from her. If I wanted to travel anywhere outside of Costa Rica, I would have to go alone. I like to travel and experience different cultures. I want to take him to my hometown and show him where I am from. I can’t do any of this with him because of our current situation. This could change, as I hope it does. I have to be realistic though. It is highly unlikely to happen. Is everything else good about him worth not being able to leave Costa Rica together? One thing I didn’t like about my first marriage was he didn’t want to travel with me. If we did travel, I had to drag him along. Jonathan would love to travel with me, no hesitations. It just isn’t possible if she doesn’t sign the papers. We could hire a lawyer and fight it in court. The likelihood of us winning… I do not know. I have heard many, many stories with child custody disputes here and I am not looking forward to having to do that with her.

Second, money. We all know money is a huge deal when getting married. How someone handles their money and what they do with it can affect both parties. Jonathan generally doesn’t spend money he doesn’t have. He tends to live within his means. If he needs something and can’t afford it he will go without it or borrow it from someone until he can afford it. This is one thing I admire and respect. On the other hand, he isn’t as open with me about the amount of debt he has. He has told me he has some debt from his ex. He has been straight forward about what happened and he had acknowledged the mistakes he made in giving her his information to purchase a few things on credit. He won’t tell me what the total amount of debt he currently has. You know… a hard number, like $2,000. When he and his ex argue, it is generally over her wanting him to pay her money. I believe something in his past is the reason he acts the way he does towards money. It is like that with most people, including me. I am not a huge fan of that with him.

Recently,we talked about his attitude toward money because we needed something for the apartment, that cost like $4. I asked him to purchase it because I have other things I have to pay this month and I do not have the money to buy it. He got upset with me. As we walked to the store, I explained to him, in Spanish, what was on my mind about his attitude towards money. He did what I love… he just listened. I do not know if this will ever change completely because things like this take time. I have to be patient and watch what he does in the future. How will he take what I said, apply it to his life, and make it better? As time goes on, I will see if he works on himself or if he decides to stay the same.

Somethings he and/or I can work on and change. Others are not so easy. Making the decision to marry him is not an easy one to make. There are so many questions, situations,and circumstances that can arise that make one wonder if things will work out. Are you ever 100% sure that person is perfect for you, no hesitations? For those of you that have been divorced and remarried, how did you decide to remarry?

Nina, our rescue

Nina, our rescue

Life has been pretty good to me lately. I told you all in the last post that we got a puppy, Nina. We rescued her from the street. Nina had fleas, ticks, skin problems, and worms. The local vet treated all of her issues. Her skin is healed and the hair has grown back. The worms and ticks are gone. We are still working on the fleas. Since she was too little we couldn’t give her flea medication. I could only wash her with the flea soap, which helped some.

Wednesday, she had her 2nd round of vaccine shots. She went from 1.3 kilos to 2.8 kilos in a month and a half. Since she is now over 2 kilos she can take the flea and tick medicine. She had her first dose this morning.

She is growing and so full of energy. She is sweet, loving, and intelligent. It has been a pleasure to have her in our lives. I find myself smiling and laughing at her silliness. She has a lot of training that needs to be done. Nina, Jonathan, and I went to puppy class on Saturday. It was really fun. She learned a lot and gained some confidence. I am so proud of her! I am so excited to bond with her while she learns what she is supposed to do with certain things.

Nina is afraid of cars and other animals. When we stand on the road for a colectivo, she won’t stand on the ground. She will beg me to pick her up. When I pick her up, she crawls to sit or stand on my backpack. She will do this until she is no longer scared. It makes me smile because she is so cute when she does it. The only problem is what will we do when she gets bigger? I hope the puppy classes will help her be more confident with the things she is afraid of.

Since she is still a puppy, she can’t stay home alone while Jonathan and I are at work. It is too long of a time without someone to play and interact with her. So, I bring her to school with me every day. She is crate trained now so she stays in the crate during the times I teach and she wanders around the classroom or plays with the students during my free time. It is super nice having her with me at work. I can make sure that she gets the love she needs. She also learns to be around children. It so great to have a job where I can have the opportunity to bring her to work. It is such a blessing.

I am so happy to call her my little Nina. She needs a lot of exercise and love. I am happy to give it to her. She is like a baby to me. I am sure you will be seeing many photos of her in future posts.

Communication… is hard

Sometimes relationships aren’t all sunshine and roses. There are times full of difficulty and confusion. It’s not easy to go through and in the end, it does make you stronger if you work through whatever is put in your path. I have talked about some amazing things that have happened in my relationship with Jonathan. He is a great guy that respects and shows me love. Our relationship is good. We have a lot of fun and silly times. However, our relationship lately has been tested by a number of things that we have worked through for the most part. There is one thing that is a constant issue for us.

COMMUNICATION…. This is the hardest part of our relationship. Since we don’t speak the same language fluently it makes it really hard to communicate. I believe it is the hardest for Jonathan to do because his main love language is physical. He has a harder time putting into words what he wants to say or communicate. My main love language is words of affirmation. It is much easier for me to talk and ask questions because it is how I feel the most love.

I believe he gets overwhelmed when he wants to communicate with me because I don’t always understand his Spanish. My Spanish has come a long way since I moved to Costa Rica. I do still have a long way to go with understanding and using the language. It is not always convenient to use google translate. And quite frankly, we get tired of using the phone to talk. Neither of us knows what to do about this, other than be patient with each other. It is easier for him to be patient with it because he feels love the most with being physical. I get frustrated and upset because I don’t have the communication I want. I can remind myself all day long that it’s temporary because I am learning Spanish and it’s not enough sometimes. I want that communication with him. When I have girlfriends to talk to it does make it easier. However, my girlfriends have lives that don’t always allow us to hang out and chat. Also, it is not the same thing talking with girlfriends as it is talking with him. I want to know him more. We have only been together for 6 months; there is so much more we have to learn about each other. I want to be a part of his life. If we aren’t talking about his life, I feel like I am not a part of it.

I don’t need or want to talk all the time or every day. I do want to know what’s happening with his children, and what his plans are for the future. He was supposed to take an English course. It hasn’t happened yet. I ask what’s going on with it and his response is I don’t know. Am I asking too much to want to know these things? Is it a cultural difference between us? What will I do about it if it continues to stay like this?

What do you guys deal with in relationships that have you feeling upset and frustrated? Do any of you have a relationship with someone who doesn’t speak your native language? If so, what do you do to communicate better?

Nicaragua Trip Part 2

Even though I had surgery and was sick, I had a lot of fun too. We went to Ometepe Island for the first 2 days. Jonathan’s friend was getting married there.

We took an hour long ferry to the island. Which was a beautiful ride. The water is kind of nasty looking. The view was amazing. The island has two volcanos and some small lakes. It has a tiny airport you can see from the ferry too. We rented a motorcycle while we were there. It made getting around much easier. It was only $30 for the two days.

The first day we visited his friend for an hour or so. It was nice to meet the bride and their children. They cooked us a nice steak lunch and showed us their house. After, we went to a swimming hole. The water was freezing yet it was so much fun. There was a Tarzan swing we used to get into the water. The cold water was nice to keep my fever down. We did some swimming and relaxing before heading to see a local beach.

The beach was not really a beach because the tide was so high. We just drove by and saw the town. I was hungry and tired so we went back to the hotel for the rest of the evening. We had tacos, which are more like taquitos, for dinner. They are one of my favorite Nicaraguan foods. I fell asleep in the hammock the hotel had around 4:30pm. I was so exhausted I slept through the night.

The next morning we went to Charco Verde. Charco Verde is a nature reserve with a lake on the island. We went pretty early in the morning. It was beautiful. They had a butterfly exhibit. They had a beach, which we couldn’t swim in due to the tide being so high. They had some beautiful trails we walked through. It reminded me of the fall time in the US. They had leaves falling off the trees with a cool breeze. A light jacket would have been perfect. Leaves were covering the trail as we walked. I started to get a fever and body aches so we headed home. We rode the motorcycle through the runway of the airport which gave us a beautiful view of the volcano.

Once at the hotel, Jonathan ordered soup for lunch and made a trip to the pharmacy for medicine. I took a nap that lasted from 11 am to 4:30pm. I knew at this point I had the flu and needed rest before making it to the wedding at 6pm.

After spending two days in Ometepe, we headed to Acoyapa, Jonathan’s hometown. It took us 6 hours to get there from Ometepe. Two buses and two cab rides.

The town of Acoyapa, has one hotel. To me, is in the heart of Nicaragua. I was the ONLY non-Nicaraguan there. People would look at me as though I was a foreign object that didn’t belong. I didn’t quite feel safe there for this reason. Anytime we left the hotel, Jonathan was at my side. Most of his family lives here. I was able to meet many aunts, uncles, cousins, one of his children and his grandmother. They were all inviting and nice. I enjoyed my time with them as well as their cooking. They made me feel right at home. They understood I was sick and in pain for most of the trip. They made me feel right at home.

For most of the time there, we spent time at his aunt’s house. I took many naps because I knew my body needed it. It was also too painful to do much walking. We attended a rodeo on Christmas day. It was not like the rodeos in Costa Rica. There were too many people that it was too overwhelming for me. We stayed for an hour and a half.

Later in the evening, Jonathan told me he had a gift for me. We were sitting in the living room watching a rodeo in Costa Rica. He and his cousin were looking for his jacket because the gift was inside. After a good 5 minutes of looking, he comes over puts his knee down and asks “will you marry me?” I was in shock for three reasons. One was because he said it in English. I thought if he ever asked it would be in Spanish. Second, his aunt and grandmother were there. Third, the ring was gorgeous and not what I expected.

The Friday after Christmas, we took the bus to Juigalpa to do some shopping. I got new shoes, a dress, and a pair of earrings. Jonathan got new work shoes. The town of Juigalpa has many markets that line the streets. You can find anything you need there. Shoes, pants, beds, sunglasses, diet pills and all kinds of other things.  

I stayed at the hotel all day New Year’s Eve. I had a lot to take in from the engagement, surgery, and difference in culture. I needed some time alone. He brought me food for lunch and dinner. I just spent the day relaxing and watching Netflix. He spent the day making a doll for them to burn for the New Year with his friends. It’s a tradition they do every New Years. It signifies the start of a new time by burning away the old. There was a ton of fireworks. It sounded like a war was going on outside the hotel. I could see the night sky lit up from the hotel window. It was a nice calming feeling being with myself in this new country.

We went home a few days later. I was so happy to be back in Costa Rica. I missed the hot showers and the safety of the familiar. The night after we got back someone posted on Facebook that they needed a place for two puppies. Jonathan mentioned getting a puppy this year. I responded to the post, within 15 minutes, I had two puppies. They were super cute and adorable. A boy and a girl.

The next day, we took them to the vet to get medicine for the worms I was sure they had. I got the correct food for them as well as flea and tick soap. The boy puppy found a home before we even left the vets office. Jonathan and I just had the girl. We named her Nina.

It has been a great experience with her. She is learning so many things quickly. She spent one night in the vet’s office for dehydration. Other than that, she is recovering well. She hasn’t pooped in the house in 3 days. She is learning to like the crate. She is absolutely the perfect puppy for us. We are happy to have Nina as part of our family.

The 3 weeks I had off of work was full of adventure, pain, and growth. I am happy to start the New Year off with a new puppy and a great man. I am excited to see what more this year will bring!

Nicaragua Trip Part 1

waiting to see the doctor

It has been an adventure filled few weeks. During the holiday’s I went to Nicaragua with my Jonathan. It was one hell of a trip. I woke up in the morning with a sore throat. That turned into the flu the next day. I had the flu for about 5 days. That’s not even the worst of it.

Getting through the border was easy. Getting to the border was interesting. We took the bus really early in the morning. There were quite a bit of people on the bus so we had to sit in the open area where the wheelchairs go on the first bus. The second bus we sat on the stairs by the back door. Since there were a lot of trucks waiting to get checked at the border, there was a line of trucks. The bus was unable to pass. We would have waited for hours and hours, so we decided to walk. It was about 4 miles to the border from where we were. We walked about 2 miles before a colectivo picked up.

The buses in Nicaragua are a whole new experience. They pack the buses full. They will put as many people on these buses as possible. Most of the buses we rode on while in Nica we had to stand for a minimum of 30 minutes if we didn’t get on the bus first. The longest we had to stand was an hour and a half. You pay for the bus after you get on the bus so the man you pay is trying to walk between the crowd of people to get everyone’s money. The one good thing about the bus is people will sell you things at the stops or on the bus. We were on one of the buses in Nica for 3 hours. We bought corn on the cob, cooked beef with salad, and cough drops during the 3-hour trip. We either yelled out the window or the person was on the bus asking us if we wanted any.

On the second day of the trip, my Bartholin gland became infected which caused some pain. I have had them before and antibiotics would take it away within two days. That did not happen this time. I tried sitting in a hot bucket of water 3 times a day as well. Nothing worked.

By the time Christmas came along I was just sleeping all day because the flu and the pain were unbearable. I wanted to wait to see my doctor in Costa Rica. I couldn’t make the trip back even if I tried. We went to a local gynecologist in Jonathan’s hometown. We explained to the doctor what was the issue was and how many times I have had the cyst in the last year. None of the doctors spoke English. We decided the best course of action was to have surgery the next day. I told Jonathan there was no way I could make the trip to the hospital (2 hours away) on the bus. I was crying all the time because the pain was horrible. Jonathan arranged everything for me. He hired a driver to take us to and from the hospital. He made sure I had all the medicine I needed. The local bank would only accept Visa and my card was a Mastercard, so we had to borrow some money from his aunt to help pay for the doctor. He took care of everything.

the hospital

I didn’t sleep well the night before the surgery. No matter how I laid, I couldn’t stop the pain. I was not allowed to drink or eat anything so medicine was out of the question. We woke up early to make it to the hospital in time for the surgery. The hospital was an open-air hospital. In the middle of the hospital, there was an open area with trees and flowers. There was no air conditioning in the main part of the hospital so this open-air allowed for it to stay cool. We sat in this little room with another doctor as she took all my medical information. They did blood tests and gave me an IV of fluids. I sat in this room with Jonathan for a good two hours. At one point, I killed a spider or two while we waited. The wait was one of the worst waits I have ever experienced. I am thankful I brought the pillow from the hotel to sit on because they didn’t offer me a pillow, a bed, nothing to make the waiting better, even after I kept crying. Jonathan was having a hard time as well because there was nothing he could do to make the pain go away. The lady had put the tape on my IV a little too tight so the fluids weren’t actually entering my body. We told the nurse. Her response was it is a very slow flow. Jonathan and I tried to explain to her that the tape was hurting my arm and the fluids were not going in my body at all. She didn’t seem to listen so we just waited. While we waited I went to use the bathroom. Since there is not a good water system in Nicaragua, using the bathroom was interesting. They have a huge container of water sitting in the middle of the bathroom with a bucket inside. After you use the bathroom, you take the bucket full of water and dump it into the toilet. This allows the toilet to flush.

The inside of the hospital. We sat in the room at the end of the hallway.

After two hours another lady came to get me. She walked with me to the operating area. At this point, Jonathan was not allowed with me. We stood for a few minutes in a hallway linking the main hospital to the operating area. It was cold and much cleaning than the other part of the hospital. The lady noticed I was in pain and got me a bed to lay on. As I laid on the bed she fixed my IV so that it wasn’t so tight and the fluids were entering my body. I do have to say I am proud of myself for being able to communicate and somewhat understand the nurses and doctors. I was in the hallway for about 15 minutes. The doctor wheeled me into the operating room that was really clean, cold, and half-updated. They had new lights and equipment. The table was a more outdated one yet it functioned and was clean. They used cloth for everything instead of the disposable linens they use in the US. I got situated in the stirrups.

Next thing I know, I am feeling and seeing crazy objects I can’t make out what they are. I was thinking where am I, what is happening. Then I remembered I had been put to sleep. I didn’t feel like I was in my body. It was like my body is laying on the table and my consciousness was someplace else. It was like I was in a kaleidoscope of reality and something else. I could tell the cyst was gone and I had no more pain. I am not sure how long I was in this state of disconnect. I kept trying to look around the room and see where I was. What I thought at the moment was that I was in the scene of interstellar when Cooper was in the black hole or alternative universe. He’s in what seems to be a library that he moves around in until he finds his daughter and the house. He sees his daughter and is yelling and screaming for her. She can’t hear him. That’s how I felt. I was floating in this space that I didn’t understand until I could slightly see the people in the room. I wanted to ask them questions. I wanted to open my mouth and ask where Jonathan was. I just wanted Jonathan. No matter how hard I thought they couldn’t hear me. There were 3 nurses and a man that had surgery as well. None of them could hear my cries in my head. Not only was I crying in my head, but my body was also crying too. I have never felt anything like this in my life. I started to feel really drunk as I started to reconnect to my body. The nurse took my IV out and rolled me to the hallway where Jonathan met me. He told me it was time to go.

I could start to speak what I thought at this point. I told him I couldn’t get dressed on my own. I felt so drunk that I had no control of my body. I couldn’t hold my head up without help. He got me dressed and we slowly walked out of the hospital. I was laughing because I felt completely crazy by the drunkenness. He put me in the cab, got the prescriptions, and headed home. It was hard to sleep because I didn’t feel right. I felt tired and awake at the same time. The experience of drunkenness lasted until much later in the evening. It gradually decreased as time went on.

The next day, I felt normal. I was still tired from the surgery, yet I was happy I wasn’t in any pain. The surgery I had was a marsupialization. It is where they drain the cyst and use stitches to hold the skin open. This allows for the gland to still drain. I needed to use warm water and antibacterial soap to clean it 2 times a day. Since there was no hot water, Jonathan borrowed a coffee maker from his aunt for me to sponge bath myself.

The whole experience was intense. I had no idea what to expect. I was nervous I wouldn’t wake up from surgery. I was afraid the doctor would mess up and cause more damage. I had a ton of fears going into the hospital. I have only had surgery under general anesthesia once before in the US. Having it done in a country where I speak the language very little was terrifying. No translator. Except google translate which doesn’t always translate correctly. Jonathan can translate certain things into a more simpler form of Spanish for me. Yet it’s not as clear as it would be if it was in English.

I am happy that I was able to go through this there. I felt safe having Jonathan and his aunt with me. She is a nurse so she was able to help us find the doctor and answer some questions we had.

The day we got back to Costa Rica, I had my gynecologist look at the area to make sure it was healing well. It is doing well. He said it looks just like it should. They would have done the same thing.

I am still healing two weeks later. I have another appointment with my doctor next week to check it out again. I am happy with the results.