Aaron and I have worked together for over 15 years and have sweated with each other through all of the fun and not so fun projects. There has been lots of building, demolishing, cleaning, painting, chopping, burning, and of course the occasional crying. More than anything we have been learning together, and after moving yet again, our relationship was tested... Again... Coming home to our house that we have worked so hard on, we found ourselves staring at a HUGE cleaning project. As for learning, we both agree that we will never rent our personal home again. After weeks of working, our home is finally back in shape and we are finally beginning to enjoy being home. To celebrate this, selling our TX home, and my birthday, we bought matching machete bracelets from Crucian Gold, a local jeweler on island. I think these bracelets are a pretty good fit for us :) Team Boswell!! Should we get a small one for Penelope??
I am so happy to have my swing back and it looks like my little girl loves it as well :) I am already making plans on building a swing in her room and maybe in a few other spots around the house. I would love to have a swinging bench on the porch or under a nice shade tree... How many swings is too many??
There is nothing I like more than seeing a smile on Penelope's face. Being at the beach makes her smile and that in turn makes Aaron and me smile :) This was the first day that she really got to sit in the sand and play in the water and she loved it We unfortunately have her hat and long sleeve sun guards packed in a box somewhere, so Aaron's handkerchief as a makeshift hat and a borrowed shirt from a friend put us back on track for a beach day. I did lather Penelope up with sunscreen and kind of forgot to protect myself, so lesson learned... After being out of the sun for almost a year, I need sunscreen! This might be the whitest I have ever been...
First beach day back was a success and momma really loved the long nap that came afterwards! Can't wait for the next fun day which should be tomorrow or maybe this afternoon...
After 18 months of living in Puerto Rico, Aaron and I are back in St. Croix for good and wow does it feel great to be home! In addition to Buddy and Bonnie, we now have Penelope, our young daughter, who will be sharing in our adventures and many projects. She will surely soon have her own tool belt :)
Our stay in Puerto Rico was not nearly as adventurous as we had expected when we first moved, but we were still able to explore most of the island and make great memories. Having a baby in Puerto Rico and being able to spend quality time with her has been an amazing and wonderful experience for both of us. Even though our family dynamic has changed, we still have the same dreams and goals and will still be remodeling our home, possibly building a new boat, and enjoying each and every day of our island life.
Our welcome home has been phenomenal and we are constantly reminded of our island family and how absolutely wonderful our friends are here in St. Croix. This is one of the best things about St. Croix! Everyday, we run into more and more friends here (it is a small island) and we love it :)
After renting our home for a year and a half, we unfortunately have a lot of cleaning ahead of us before we can move back into our house. But, thankfully everything is still standing and in good shape and all we need is some serious elbow grease, a few days, and maybe a few 6-packs of beer to be ready for move in. We are currently renting an apartment for a few weeks while we get things ready and will be moving yet again in a week or so. Oh the joys of moving... Maybe a beach day will brighten our moods :)
Being from a small town in the country is one of the main reasons Aaron and I are lovers of the quiet, peaceful outdoors. We were raised surrounded by the simple things in life and our childhood was filled with farming and country living. We enjoy driving through the farmlands of Puerto Rico and love our little rental here in the mountains. But, it is not the same as the farmlands in Texas.
A few weeks ago, I visited our hometown in Texas and was immediately surrounded by the smell of fresh cut hay. This is one of those smells that you never forget if you lived on a farm in the country. This smell is Spring. This smell is tractors on the road heading to the fields early in the morning. It is bales of hay slowly growing among the land. It is hope of a good harvest. It is farmers doing what they do best. This smell is home...
Aaron and I will always be farmers underneath all the Caribbean adventures and professional careers that we pursue. Deep down, all we really want to do is dig in the dirt and make something grow. It is our upbringing and our secret passion that we attempt to stifle with our quest to find our path in the world. One day we may just settle for what we both know is in our nature. The simple life. One day...
When one chooses to live on an island, seclusion and distance come with the territory. This might be a negative feature to many, but to the select few of us who live this way, we love it. Knowing that we are hundreds and thousands of miles away from the rat race that we despise is a primary element of our decision to live here.
This distance means that we are very often traveling by plane. At first, Aaron and I both had some feelings of nervousness when boarding airlines and were a bit overwhelmed at airports. However, after many flights, we are now very comfortable with flying and maneuvering through airports. Of course those really really small airplanes that bump around at the slightest change still make me nervous....
Since September, we have been traveling with a small companion who has made traveling even more interesting. Penelope has already been on three trips with a flight total of 13 flights! She has been great on all flights and is becoming quite the little traveler. In June we will be boarding a very long flight to Spain and Penelope will be coming with us. It amazes me that she will have been to Europe before turning one! Aaron and I are very much enjoying our little traveler and love being the ones who get to give her new and amazing experiences.
The power is out here in Puerto Rico. For some people,this may be an inconvenience, or a nuisance, if you will. For us though, it gives us a chance to slow down (slower than we already go) and to appreciate the sound of the rain falling as the tree frogs sing to us. No TV, no news, just the sounds of nature on the island. 7 years ago, when we moved to the Caribbean, we dreamed of long nights by candle light, as we romanticized what life on an island must be like. So tonight, as we frequently do when the power is out, we fired up the BBQ grill, lit a few candles, popped open a cheap bottle of wine, and played a few good games of cards while the rain came down, the trees frogs sang, and the lightning danced through the sky. It's moments like these that we cherish about living the good life, here in the islands ;)
My hook bracelets from St. Croix were each chosen at a very specific time in my life and have tremendous meaning associated with them. So much meaning in fact that I never take these bracelets off.
In 2009, during our first visit to St. Croix when we decided that we would move to the island, I bought my first hook bracelet from IB Designs. After considering all the different shops and designs available, I chose the infinity design which is a symbol of everlasting friendship, love and memories.This was a turning point in my life and I wanted to always remember the true importance of life every time I looked at this bracelet.
After we moved to St. Croix, I purchased the wave bracelet from IB Designs to symbolize embracing the wave of life. And it was a good thing I began embracing change, because our life in the years to come was ever changing. I mean, really not constant at all!
Aaron surprised me with the Lavi bracelet for our anniversary in 2013 very quickly after I hinted many many times that I loved the new Lavi design. From IB Design's website, the Lavi represents "Love the life you live. Embrace it, cherish it, and share it joyfully with those you love." I absolutely love this design and now have the entire Lavi collection :)
My next two bracelets come from Crucian Gold, another local jewelry shop in St. Croix.
In 2014, Aaron and I won 1st place in our devision during the Christmas boat parade in St. Croix and one of the prizes was an anchor pendant from Crucian Gold. Since Aaron kept the pendant from our prize the year before, I got to keep this pendant and exchanged it for an anchor bracelet.
This totaled my collection to four bracelets by the time we moved to Puerto Rico in 2015.
Penelope arrived in 2015, and as a baby shower gift, one of our best friends on island gave us the butterfly corded bracelet for me and my soon to come baby girl. Thank you Yonka! This was the only jewelry I wore during the birth of my daughter and I will forever remember this wonderful happy time in my life when I look at this bracelet. I had both pendants made into hook bracelets and will be keeping Penelope's baby bracelet as a keepsake for me. Since I am keeping Penelope's butterfly bracelet, she was in need of her own hook bracelet...
So, on our recent trip to St. Croix, Aaron and I took Penelope jewelry shopping in the local Christiansted shops. Since the infinity design was my first bracelet, I thought it fitting that it should also be her first bracelet. It is beautiful and I hope she will treasure her bracelet as much as I treasure each of mine :) It is also fun to note that both of her grandmas have the infinity bracelet as well :)
Theresa and I have been living in Puerto Rico for 14 months now, and last week we had the opportunity to spend the week back on beautiful St. Croix, from Sunday to Sunday. We have been back a few other times, for various reasons, but this time we sincerely loved our visit. The outpouring of love and hospitality for our little family was overwhelming. Everywhere we went, we were greeted by old friends with smiling faces, and everyone was filled with joy as they played with our little girl Penelope.
St. Croix is a truly unique place where everybody knows your name, and for us, that is just the way we like it. When I say we were met with hospitality, I mean we literally had a full agenda of friends who wanted to cook, beach, brunch, dine, wine, laugh, visit, fruit roll-up, swim and play with us and the baby.
We didn’t get nearly as many pictures as we typically do on a vacation because we spent so much time visiting, laughing, storytelling, and making more memories. For all of you who we had the opportunity to see, thank you for welcoming us home with open arms, and to all of you who we missed, thank you for reaching out to us to make us feel special.
We came to St. Croix as complete strangers in 2009. Many of our friends have come and gone, and some come back again, as do we. We can’t wait to be back home for good this summer, and get back to our old life. Until we meet again St. Croix, we love you, and again, thank you for loving us.
Anyone that follows us know that we are both HUGE fans of the amazing coffee here in Puerto Rico. They really know how to make amazing coffee here and the thought of moving back to St. Croix this summer, although exciting, has me already dreading the day of no more Puerto Rican cafe con leche. How can we prepare for this loss?? Should I binge drink coffee while I can?
Well because I already con Aaron into multiple trips to the coffee shops a week, I might already be binge drinking.... I started thinking and decided that we should just have our own espresso machine! After doing loads of research online, I had a few picked out but alas the No shipping policy ruined my day. So, we packed up and headed to the mall. Macy's had a good sale going and we bought a Cuisinart EM-100 machine.
Eight lattes in and we are loving this machine! I will continue working on my barista skills and hopefully will be able to make some fun designs in the milk foam before we leave. Practice and lots of coffee drinking :) What fun!
Theresa and Aaron
This blog is dedicated to our life here in St. Croix and the experiences we have each day.