I thought I’d start by introducing some of the crazy characters of our stories … The Family!

I’m Ashley, or mom, and my hunky husband is affectionately known as the old man, daddy, Boss, B or Barry. We have a total of 4 kids. Seth, 22,  lives in Austin, TX while he finishes his Anthropology degree. He is Barry’s son from his first marriage. Seth is a wonderful young man!  Next up are Emma now 13, and Lillian,11, who are my biologicals’. They live in Belize with us along with baby Sabrina. Yes, a baby. Thirteen months. Born, and so far raised, on this tiny island we call home. Last, we have Alley the cat. Alley is a special feline who has traveled from Austin to Belize with us and has adjusted to island life quite well. Like she was meant to be here. She’ll give me some stories to tell for sure.

We happily reside on an island 7 miles from Belize City called St.George’s Caye. Barry and I manage the St.George’s Caye Resort, for roughly 1.5 years now. It is beautiful here.  The ocean views never tire. The sunset rarely disappoints. Even the rain dances for us. I imagined big things for my life, but I honestly did not ever think I would  live, work and raise my children on a tropical island in a foreign country. We live a dream. And we are vigilant to remember this.  That said, haha…. We do LIVE and WORK and raise children here in this paradise life we live. So naturally it’s not all sun-bathing topless and drinking rum punch all day.

Welcome to our stories.  🙂
Big Love.

Growing Under Pressure

The last ten days have been challenging. You know the old saying that when it rains it pours? Yes, well its been pouring. The good news is this is how we grow. By dealing with and handling stressful, unpleasant situations and feelings; without killing other people in the process. This is how we grow as emotional beings as family units and as compassionate understanding people. What we do here is not easy on any given day for the adults much less the older girls, and how they have dealt with their feelings and the realities of how and where we live makes me more proud and fond of them each day. Part of what makes it hard for us as Americans coming to live here is the fact that we are not as busy all the time. We are not running from activity to activity, to homework, to eat, to bed, to wake up and go go go again the next day, then shop shop shop all weekend. (God, I wish!! I miss me some shopping!) We often have days in a row where we walk and talk and swim and look at things online together. But we are together even if we don’t say a word. What this means is we have more face time to interact with each other making it hard to hide true feelings. This allows us to be more authentic with one another thus emphasizing our individual and family strengths and weaknesses. So I feel like it has been a time of purging, if you will, at our house. Old maps, or ways of doing things, are being torn apart; they aren’t taking us where we want to go anymore!! It’ uncomfortable, trying to learn new ways to be a successful family. But when we do it with LOVE and COURAGE and COMPASSION and KINDNESS we are certainly headed in the right direction!

With that all said, here are some pictures from last week….

Sabrina at her Pediatrician visit. She had her first shots!
At 14.5 months she weighs 18 lbs. and is 30″ tall (2.5 feet)
The three island Princesses going to town for a fun trip to the grocery store 🙂
At the Grocery store…. haha, Sabrina had a blast.
She wanted to get everything off the shelves!
Barry and his best man, Cornel.
Sabrina just being herself.
She is always making funny faces
We participated in the International OCEANA costal clean-up
this past weekend. The girls and I picked up trash from the