Cleo update!

It’s been a while since you last saw Cleo. Have you wondered what she’s been up to?

Well, she’s been sleeping…

…and getting into trouble…

…and sleeping…

…and getting into trouble…

Yes, she actually does sleep with her tongue hanging out. It’s the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen.

Yes, that’s my cell phone charger, in about five pieces.

Yes, that’s her innocent “What? What could I possibly be doing wrong? I just can’t imagine!” face. She uses that face a lot, usually while getting caught red-pawed doing something very naughty, like eating par-cooked meatballs off the counter, or sticking her face in the bowl of frosting I was whipping, or leaving mysterious paw prints on the television screen. Boy, it’s a good thing she’s so cute!

 

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I believe in signs.

I believe that everything happens for a reason, and I don’t believe in coincidences.

I truly believe that when you are doing what you’re meant to be doing, things will just fall into place. Not that it won’t take time, or it won’t be hard, or that things won’t go wrong – they will, but then things will somehow, impossibly, go right again.

For a while now, I’ve harbored the dream of eventually owning my own coffeeshop and bakery in Spain. I don’t talk about it much on here, mostly because it’s a slow process. I’m not looking to get rich quick (or maybe ever), and I know that things worth doing take time. Owning one’s own bakery is not exactly an action-packed adventure, and the journey is marked not by large milestones, but by tiny crumbs, dropped in your path like Hansel and Gretel, to show you you’re still on the right track.

This week, I got two such crumbs. Two friends who I haven’t talked to in years both contacted me out of the blue, and both just happened to casually ask how my coffeeshop idea was coming along. Maybe it doesn’t seem like much, but I was completely surprised that they even remembered it at all. There isn’t anything very special about a desire to own a bakery – I mean, it’s not as if I’d told them my goal in life was to be President or be the next Warren Buffett or marry Brad Pitt or anything. But I guess something in the way I told them struck them and they’ve both remembered ever since. It makes me think that maybe this isn’t such a crazy idea, and it might just be possible. Maybe it’s not a pipe dream, and maybe I’m not alone – maybe people are rooting for me, and maybe destiny is, too.

It’s happened…

After two years of dating, one long-distance over thousands of miles and one together in our tiny Santiago apartment…

After six years of knowing each other…

After meeting the families, and Sunday afternoons on Isaac’s family farm, and trips to my home in Chicago…

After countless car rides on the endless winding roads of Galicia, with Arcade Fire and MGMT blasting on the radio (okay, and sometimes Pitbull, too)…

After thousands of meals of “try this, you’ll like it!” and introducing each other to hamburgers, cinnamon toast, cupcakes, cocido, and pollo con fideos…

After adopting our kitten Cleo and making a little family of 3…

After hikes in the mountains and afternoons on beaches and nights out on the town…

After long late-night discussions about hopes, dreams, the perfect little country cottage, a bakery, and a house full of animals…

And after a million “I love yous”…

…we’re engaged!

Merry Christmas! Wait…what? It’s February?

Oh boy. February 2nd. Probably should get around to talking about Christmas, right?

I started this entry several times, and then scrapped them, each time, because the entry seemed too nostalgic, or too bitter, or too controversial, or just too plain boring. Isaac and I went to the States for Christmas. It’s one of my favorite times of year but it’s also a hard time. Hard to be away from family, sometimes hard to be with them. Anyway, things happened over Christmas that one day I will tell you all, but for now I decided it’s best not to. Let’s just say it involved a run-in with immigration police. Suddenly the Discovery Channel show “Border Security” hits a little too close to home (not to mention “Locked Up Abroad”).

Anyway, this blog sometimes is like a straw in a thick milkshake. You know, where things are going along smoothly and suddenly everything gets blocked up by my need to write things in chronological order, and even though I have tons of ideas and things I want to talk about, I couldn’t talk about them until I talked about Christmas. And I couldn’t talk about Christmas, and then before you know it it’s February and the last thing I talked about was Thanksgiving. There you have it, folks.

So let’s not talk about Christmas. Let’s talk about how Isaac and I are famous! Yes. I probably didn’t tell you this story when it happened because it was just so ridiculous. Just a week or two after I moved here, we were taking a lovely stroll around town, when we passed this group of college students (actually, they looked more like hippies, but you know what I mean), who were filming something. They stopped us and asked us to help them out with their video. We asked them what we’d have to do, and they said something along the lines of “Oh, you just have to climb in our dark scary van with strangers while we film it…”<shifty looks> So of course we said yes. Now, I preface this by saying that even though everybody’s mother (including mine) taught them not to get into cars with strangers (who by the way, weren’t even offering candy), it just didn’t seem like a bad idea. I mean, they were hippies.

To make a long story short, we got in their van, and they filmed it, and then (mercifully) they let us out again and told us to look up the video in a few weeks’ time. That was about a year ago. We’ve thought about it every once in a while since then, usually fondly recalling “that time we got in that random van with total strangers just because they asked us to”, but we never actually got around to looking up the video. Until about a week ago. I don’t remember what jogged our memories, but sure enough, there it was on YouTube, an ad for sailing in Galicia, with a whopping 410 views.

For your viewing pleasure, Isaac’s and my 0:02 minutes of fame (look for us between 0:42 and 0:50). Don’t blink or you’ll miss it!