Sunday, November 18, 2018

Unscripted: El Paso, Texas

The theme of this blog has always been the "unscripted" way life tends to happen.

You may, for example, be doing an RV trip to Mexico and all of the sudden life converges, and BAM, you settle down in El Paso. You know, theoretically.

That's what happened to us. I was dealing with Graves' disease, working part-time, homeschooling 3 kids, and nursing the baby while Ben was working on his doctorate, dealing with RV hauling/setting up/repair, and then got a job as a live-class ,online teacher.

Sounds fun, right? Know what's even more fun? Keeping the kids from going crazy in an RV while it's cold and rainy outside and your husband is teaching an online class and SERIOUSLY needs them to stay quiet. I'm sure most people would be great at this, ;) but for me it was a struggle.
Zoe enjoyed playing mini golf for her 2nd birthday.

Ben and I had previously looked at settling in El Paso because it checks a lot of boxes: bilingual/multilingual community, very close to Mexico, dual-language schools, cultural events, universities/colleges, fourth largest city in Texas, mild winters, decent cost of living... you get the point.
Elias is taking apart a lawnmower that doesn't work.

We arrived in El Paso after Ben got hired as an online teacher. My part-time contract job was complete soon after. As we discussed options for me to find another job, Ben decided it was time to enroll the kids in the dual-language program in El Paso so that I could also work teaching Spanish online. Within what felt like a week in November, everything fell into place: the kids started school, we found a house we loved with a yard we could rent, I was hired to teach online, and Ben found a church he liked. It felt like something had exploded, but, in a good way.


We were able to see family for winter break.

So, for now, and probably at least until Ben is done with his doctorate and gets settled with whatever he wants to DO with the doctorate afterwards, we are in El Paso, and it feels nice to be back in Texas after 9 years abroad. There are so many things that are new to us again: Libraries! Public parks! Supermarkets! Local phone calls! A working postal service! I think my favorite things so far have been my mailbox, backyard with grass, and a clothesline... and it's nice to be able to drive and see family when we need to, though it is a full day of driving. I love teaching Spanish!
Monkeys in the backyard...

We like that it's closer to Ben's dad, and that he drives through on business occasionally.
We have pecan trees!

My family jokes that we found the furthest possible place to still be in Texas but still be about 12 hours away from them. At least we're in a closer time zone, though. It's crazy how big Texas is!

I didn't have a 3 and a 7 for Ben's birthday, so I used a 4 and a 7...

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