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When Dreams Come True

This was a surprisingly difficult post for me to write.  And it turns out that I had a lot to say.  So please make yourself a cup of coffee and get comfortable.  Let’s talk about when dreams come true.

I am very aware of– and so grateful for– all of the many good things that come to us in life, and also accustomed to looking for hope and meaning in the challenges that have come our way.  I think I’m pretty good at that, actually.  It’s even become a part of my identity.  What I am not so at ease with is actually receiving what I have dreamed of for years.  It feels strange and even a little uncomfortable, if I’m honest.  So I haven’t really known where to start with this post about when dreams come true, and that’s why it’s taken me about five days since we received our wonderful news to write about it.

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If you have been following along here with us for much time at all, you probably know that I am ready for a new adventure.  We have been here in England for over three years, and love so much about this country.  And we’re ready to live somewhere else. You may know that we were really hoping to get a DoDEA job this summer, and were really disappointed that it did not happen for us.  That job would have met so many of our felt needs, and when the doors closed, we regrouped and refocused on making a good life here for another year.  If you’ve been around for a while, you might even know that my ultimate dream has been to move to Spain someday.  And if we take it even further, my deepest longing is to live near the sea someplace sunny.

About two weeks ago, Jeff’s employer emailed him to let him know that the position in Rota, Spain (that had been our fantasy for as long as we’ve been expats) had opened up.  Would he like to apply?

Now I am going to tell you something crazy.

Jeff read me that email, we looked at each other, and quickly dismissed the opportunity.

Why?  I don’t know why, exactly.  We had a few minor reasons that seemed justifiable to us in that moment.  Jeff immediately wrote back with a no, thank you.  That’s right.  Live and work on the southern coast of Spain? No, thanks!

I have thought about this response a lot in the last couple of weeks.  All I can figure is that we were just scared to get what we have wanted for so long.  We had also freshly committed to life in the UK for another year, and had a lot of plans to make this year in England the best yet. We were determined, and at peace with the loss of the previous job opportunity.  So we brushed it off, said no right away.

Before you get too upset, I should tell you that it only took about 18 hours for us to recover from our temporary insanity.  I woke up the next morning thinking, Wait, what??!  Someone just offered us the hope of that very thing we have been waiting for all of this time!  Why would I ever, ever say no to that?

That evening, we went to the beach and I expressed all of this to Jeff.  When we thought rationally about the reasons we had said that we wouldn’t apply, we realized that they were very, very small obstacles between us and our long-held dream.

Have you ever had a dream that didn’t even seem rational?  That’s how it’s been with me and Spain for over 15 years.  I don’t know exactly how, why or when I decided that I want to live in Spain someday.  There were actually very few things that I truly wanted in life in my college years– I wanted to have a family, to help people somehow, and to eat good food.  And I wanted to live in Spain.  I had never been there (or anywhere in Europe) when I decided this.  But I worked diligently at becoming fluent in Spanish. I read a lot of classic novels in Spanish.  I loved Spanish music, watched tons of Spanish movies, and pretty much just kind of quietly obsessed about it.  I had no idea how I would get there, but I just wanted to.

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About five or so years into my obsession, I finally got to go.  Jeff made it happen.  We went to Andalucia for two weeks on our honeymoon (almost 10 years ago.)  We stayed in Sevilla, Ronda, and a tiny white-washed village called Cartijima. We both loved it, and I felt more sure than ever that I’d like to go back and live there.  By the way, this was my first time ever in Europe, too.  Sold!

(The picture on the right is of me, in Ronda almost 10 years ago.)

When Jeff first started looking at jobs with his company, back in Portland, we noted that there was a base they serviced in Spain.  We quickly learned that it was so hard to get a placement there because people loved it and rarely left– and then if it did open up, there would of course be a whole lot of competition!

I don’t think we necessarily expected to be able to get a position in Rota, but we still hoped for that, and it’s one of the reasons we have stayed here.  We have been waiting for it to open up, so we could try for it.

So… Back to two weeks ago.  Once Jeff and I came to our senses, he applied for the position.  And reflecting on it now, I think our reaction (not even willing to consider it) was simply there for self-preservation.  Because it was a huge emotional roller coaster.  We had nothing but positive signs along the way, but wanting it so much and seeing the possibility was kind of painful.

Something else I had to grapple with was the fear of getting what I wanted.  I am not sure how to explain this, and wonder if maybe you can relate…  I am so comfortable with being thankful for what comes my way– for wanting what I get— and not used to getting what I want.  Does that make sense?  The idea of actually being given what I have been quietly begging for, for years, was terrifying to me.  I am only recently coming into the understanding that it is OK for me to desire.  Desire is not a weakness, it turns out, but a signpost.

When Jeff first applied, I found myself just feeling so scared.  Something in my previous experiences told me that I would receive a punishment along with this reward.  I confided this to some friends, and recognized that this was something I would have to just work through and not let it ruin this for me.  The following morning, I woke up with the realization that maybe it’s not so much about me getting what I want, but about my desires guiding me to where I am supposed to be.  Well.  That is completely different, isn’t it?  This was so freeing.

 

Thankfully, it was less than two weeks between Jeff applying for the position in Rota, getting interviewed, and being offered the job.  Thank goodness!  That was such an intense period of time for us.  We woke up thinking about Spain, went to sleep thinking about Spain, and could hardly think of anything else in between.  We didn’t tell anyone (except for the friends who helped me out with my fear issues) because we felt like we had already taken everyone –you all included– on such a ride with the last job search.  We didn’t want to get anyone else’ hopes up for us, as the disappointment would be that much more painful.

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Last Thursday, Jeff came home a couple hours early, completely unexpected.  He knocked on the door instead of unlocking it himself, and when I opened the door, he was holding a bottle of champagne and shouting, “Vamos a España!”

I think we both felt like we might throw up.  He had been screaming in the car the whole way home, and his voice was hoarse.  We were completely exhausted, and it took us a couple of days to let go and relax into the knowledge that this is happening.

(This photo is of us on our honeymoon.)

We are incredibly happy.  Although this dream has been mine the longest, it’s something all three of us want very much.  Amelia has never been to Spain (besides our trip to Tenerife) but she has sensed our enthusiasm and it’s been on her Places I Want to Visit List for a couple of years now.  I mean, who doesn’t want sunshine and sea in their daily life?

So, we’re moving to Spain.  In February.

There are a few other things I have to tell you about this incredible piece of news.

  1. If Jeff had gotten the job we really, really wanted this summer, we wouldn’t have been able to do this.  He would have signed on for two more years here.
  2. Jeff had tried several times to download a copy of his contract extension for his employer, which would have committed us to staying here for a full year.  He couldn’t get it to work, no matter how hard he tried.  It was getting down to the wire on that.  Then he got that email about the position, and was able to sign a contract for the right amount of time here.  It still freaks him out to think about what would have happened if he had been able to sign!
  3. If we had moved houses this summer, as planned, we would have been locked into a much longer contract, which would have made all of this so much harder to do, not to mention moving households twice in five months.
  4. During our time in Germany, as awful as Jeff’s work experience there was, he was trained in a new paradigm and software system that was being unrolled there first.  He became very proficient in it, and has been a big help to the UK clinic he’s working in, as they have made the transition during the last year.  Well, it’s just now coming to the clinic in Rota, and they don’t have anyone who is familiar with these changes– this gave Jeff a big boost as a positive asset to that team!  I like to think that our crazy time in Germany was part of the preparation process for this one. (Chills.)
  5. We had been planning on going back to Andalucia to celebrate our 10 year anniversary this winter!

Spain!

I’ll be honest that it’s kind of hard to wait.  I mean, it’s Spain!  It’s really going to happen!  We will be living on the coast.  There will be sunshine.  Amelia will learn a second language, which is something I have always wanted for her.  My favorite foods will be in season for most of the year.  Honestly, it’s hard to believe any of this is real.

But in the meantime, we are working really hard at being present here in England.  Fall is arriving at least a month early, and I am wrapped in a wool blanket and a wool sweater as I type this.  It’s raining.  But autumn here is absolutely glorious.  We have been foraging this weekend, and last night I started a huge batch of Elderberry Wine.  We’ll drink it at Christmas time in Spain in 2015.  Imagine that!

If you have made it all the way to the end of this post, I just want to thank you.  Thank you for listening, and for being here with us on this very exciting and sometimes terrifying and usually wonderful journey.

Have you ever had a big dream come true for you?  What was that like?  Were you scared at all?

When Dreams Come True...

 

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74 Responses to When Dreams Come True

  1. ellen6014 August 25, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

    All the very best to you all. It is amazing how the universe works sometimes, isn’t it? Enjoy living your dream, and accept the gift!

    • ariana August 25, 2014 at 8:39 pm #

      Thank you, Ellen.

  2. hrwhite August 25, 2014 at 3:17 pm #

    My heart sings with yours! Thank you for sharing this with us. I am so thrilled for you to be living out your dream!

    • ariana August 25, 2014 at 8:39 pm #

      Thank you so much, Heidi. I love the visual of singing hearts– very accurate for me right now!

  3. sherry August 25, 2014 at 4:13 pm #

    Life works in mysterious ways — and aren’t we delighted that it does? I loved reading how this came about. So very happy for you.

    • ariana August 25, 2014 at 8:40 pm #

      Thank you, Sherry! Life is a such an adventure.

  4. Christina August 25, 2014 at 4:34 pm #

    Ariana, you and your family amaze me. What a beautiful post. I am so thrilled for you and your family. Thank you for all your posts. I look forward to you sharing your journey!

    • ariana August 25, 2014 at 8:41 pm #

      Thank you so much, Christina. Being able to share our journey with you all just makes it so much sweeter. <3

  5. Rachel E. August 25, 2014 at 4:39 pm #

    Wow! Tears in my eyes as I finished reading this. What a wonderful story and it’s real life–yours! I can so relate to the dread of “what if my dream really happens” as it took several starts and stops for me to go into international teaching. I hated telling people about possibilities only for job offers to fall through.
    Wishing you all the very best in Spain!

    • ariana August 25, 2014 at 8:43 pm #

      Thank you, Rachel! So glad you presevered and were able to make it overseas! We didn’t get the first job we wanted, and actually turned one down (in Naples) before we made it to Germany. It can take a whole lot of persistence, but it’s so worth it!

  6. Courtney August 25, 2014 at 5:40 pm #

    Congratulations! I am a fairly new reader, but I am still very excited for you! I just got accepted to grad school in Germany and was able to permanently move into an apartment, so I can definitely relate to the uncertainty and stress involved in living abroad and moving around so often. So, congratulations again!

    • ariana August 25, 2014 at 8:44 pm #

      Thank you, Courtney! And congratulations on your adventure in Germany. We really loved living there! All the hassle of moving can be rough, but worth it!

  7. winterrestfarm Leigh August 25, 2014 at 6:19 pm #

    Yes! We’re going through it right now. And I totally understand your “grappling with getting what you want”. After 2 years in my own adventure, I’m finally starting to get what I want and I’m NERVOUS about that! I admire what you’re doing, so it makes me feel more normal for you to be so open about your feelings. I love your posts! Keep up the great work!

    • ariana August 26, 2014 at 11:36 am #

      Happy for you, Leigh! If you are not used to asking for things or expecting them, it can be such an uncomfortable process, right? I think it’s important to talk about this!

  8. Susan Gaines August 25, 2014 at 6:25 pm #

    Ariana, I so enjoyed reading this post; the agony and the ecstasy of it all. Yes, 36 years ago when God finally granted my desire for a husband at age 29, and not just any guy but THE guy I’d waited on to ask me out for two years and when he did and it led to engagement, I nose dived into a black depression that didn’t lift until 7 months after we married. Paralyzing fear, plain and simple. How grateful I am for those who came alongside me. How grateful I am to have chosen rationally and trusted in God’s provision even though my wedding day was spoiled by debilitating fear. I would not have become the person I am today without my husband’s influence. I’m convinced that sometime in the near future he and I will jump up and down together in heaven laughing and thanking each other for being there for the other, for being thorns in each other’s flesh, for mutually facilitating growth in one another, for learning to mutually extend love and GRACE to cover our individual multitude of shortcomings. Loved your transparency. Am very excited & looking forward to experiencing sunny Spain with you via your blog. In all of God’s magnificent attributes the only one I never hear mentioned but frequently experience is His sweetness to me.

    • ariana August 26, 2014 at 11:40 am #

      Thank you, Susan. And thank you so much for sharing your story about fear over getting married, when you had wanted that for so long. Wow! I was also terrified on my wedding day (although probably to a much lesser extent than you,) and ate so many ginger altoids to keep from throwing up. Thankful for all of the grace and mercy. And love your note about God’s sweetness.

  9. Dana August 25, 2014 at 6:28 pm #

    Congratulations!!!! It’s amazing how circumstances can work magic like this… the Germany job, the contract download etc. and now it all makes sense. It was all worth it! And btw, I have a hard time when things work out, as well. My identity has a lot to do with being strong in the midst of suffering and I feel guilty when I’m better off than others… much to think about with regard to where that comes from though I have some ideas. :-) Good for you and your family, Ariana!

    • ariana August 26, 2014 at 11:42 am #

      Thank you, Dana! And I think we see eye to eye on where some of that stuff comes from. The good news is that we get to work on it and leave it behind, bit by bit. And in light of all that is happening in the world, it is a true discipline for us to be able to accept with nothing but gratitude. Not easy, but I think it’s important.

  10. Amber Pixie (@PixiesPocket) August 25, 2014 at 7:27 pm #

    Felicidades!!! (pardon my very rusty high school Spanish that I’m about to attempt)

    Hablame si tu quieres practicar que hablando sobre “homesteading” y fermentacion!

    • ariana August 26, 2014 at 11:43 am #

      Hola Amber! Todavia no he aprendido el vocabulario para platicar mucho sobre esos topicos, pero pronto los aprendare! :)

  11. Liene K August 25, 2014 at 8:12 pm #

    Congratulations to all three of you! Another wonderful opportunity, and I know you will make the most of it.

    • ariana August 26, 2014 at 11:44 am #

      Thank you, Liene!

  12. Kiernan August 25, 2014 at 9:45 pm #

    So moving. I completely understand that desire — and your response gives me the courage to keep hoping for the future. Thank you for sharing your journey!

    • ariana August 26, 2014 at 11:44 am #

      That is encouraging to hear, Kiernan. Thank you!

  13. Beth August 25, 2014 at 11:27 pm #

    I absolutely love when you can look back at the hard times like that and realize that they really did happen that way for a reason. Gives you chills. So glad you’re getting your dream of Spain! Can’t wait to read more about it once you get there. :)

    • ariana August 26, 2014 at 11:46 am #

      Thank you, Beth! I think that even if you have a basic belief that all things are for a reason, it’s sometimes hard to believe it, or you just don’t expect to see exactly WHAT the purpose was each time. So it’s really cool when you do see things so clearly in retrospect. So thankful!

  14. Jenny August 26, 2014 at 2:46 am #

    Congratulations! Very happy for you. I love it when things fall into place- it’s like the “master plan” is revealed. Can’t wait to follow along on your journey. Make sure to take a weekend in Faro, Portugal. Looks like you’ll be within driving distance and it’s lovely.

    • ariana August 26, 2014 at 11:48 am #

      Thank you, Jenny. And we have been dying to visit Portugal! So I am sure this will be one of the trips we’ll be taking in the springtime. Cannot even fathom the ease of driving there right now… Sigh.

  15. Joanna August 26, 2014 at 8:15 am #

    So happy for you and the way things have worked out. Life is incredible isn’t it. This is the third piece of encouragement this week to come my way to keep plodding on.

    • ariana August 26, 2014 at 11:51 am #

      Thank you Joanna!

  16. Mary Ann August 26, 2014 at 10:23 am #

    I think the feelings are akin to “am I worthy” and the resounding response through trust is………….. hell yes!! but even that seems , at times bold and forward,,,,, our dna sometimes tries to grab us by the short straw to deliver a false message of confusion around a joyful experience………. but you have a beautiful and powerful handle on it my dear, it’s a wonderful lesson to us all, trust and forward actions of intimate conversations with friends and family can quell the neurological naysayer……….. because the final glorious message is……….go forward with love and trust and experience the experience at hand with a full and open heart…………. let the adventures begin!

    • ariana August 27, 2014 at 10:42 am #

      Well said, Mary Ann. Thanks for your encouragement!

  17. Dana August 26, 2014 at 11:19 am #

    Welcome to the Med!

    • ariana August 27, 2014 at 10:43 am #

      Thanks, Dana! Cannot WAIT!

  18. Devon August 26, 2014 at 11:55 am #

    I’m so very happy for you all! We have visited Spain twice since living in Germany and the last time we rented an airbnb place close to Rota, right off the beach and met up with friends who work there. It’s a devastatingly gorgeous place which I feel a strong connection to. I understand the feeling of dread when you feel like something good is coming upon you. I don’t really understand where it comes from, but it’s errible. I tend to try and take a deep breath, focus on the moment before me and realize all is well and that’s all that matters. Wishing you the very best in the time you have left in England and in preparing for the move XO Devon

    • ariana August 27, 2014 at 10:58 am #

      Thank you, Devon! Brenee Brown calls that feeling of dread “foreboding joy” and it’s something I have been working with a lot lately. It is not easy, to just welcome all the goodness without fear, but so important to try!

  19. Laurel August 26, 2014 at 12:01 pm #

    OMG so happy for you! I’m obsessed with England the way you are obsessed with Spain, so I’m sad for myself that you won’t be posting any more great photos of England. BUT I’m really looking forward to all of the pics of Spain! How awesome that you will be by the ocean too! I hope Rota is everything you hope for.

    • ariana August 27, 2014 at 11:00 am #

      Thank you, Laurel! Don’t worry– I will be focusing on sharing more English adventures through the fall here! I have one already planned for next week, visiting a coastal town and a castle. :)

  20. Elizabeth August 26, 2014 at 3:06 pm #

    Wow had so much fun reading this post! Congrats! So awesome! God is good!

    • ariana August 27, 2014 at 11:00 am #

      Thank you, Elizabeth!

  21. Karin August 26, 2014 at 3:25 pm #

    I have tears in my eyes! I am so happy for you. You deserve all that your heart desires, it is just hard sometimes receiving it.

    • ariana August 27, 2014 at 11:01 am #

      Ahh, thank you Karin!

  22. carol August 26, 2014 at 4:13 pm #

    So thrilled for you.

    • ariana August 27, 2014 at 11:01 am #

      Thanks, Carol!

  23. Diana @ My Humble Kitchen August 26, 2014 at 6:02 pm #

    Ariana, I couldn’t be more happy for you and your family. My son just got back from visiting family in Sevilla for 3 weeks. They stayed in Rota for a week. I can’t help but be a smidge jealous as my dream has always been to live in San Lucar. Do visit, especially the fair in June! You’ll love it! I can’t wait to follow your journey in the place I treasure the most. Much love, Diana.

    • ariana August 27, 2014 at 11:02 am #

      Thank you so much, Diana. I didn’t realize that your family is from there– how wonderful! I am totally open to all kinds of suggestions of what we can see and do!

  24. Valerie (Job) Malcolm August 27, 2014 at 8:13 pm #

    i’m working hard at not crying my eyes out right now.
    I’m so happy for you and that your dreams came true! It gives me hope and let’s me say my new favorite mantra: “I’ll have what she’s having!”

    Desire has been my new guide and I’m learning to lean into them as a measure for what is going to be best for me.
    I’m reading The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte. I think you’ll dig it outright. It’s all about tapping into desire on a daily basis.
    Love it, I hope you get to read it and take from it as much as I have.

    I’m currently in the longing phase. Longing so bad for a resolution in my work. For work that will fill me up with pleasure and spark me to be excited. Longing for a miracle.
    You gave me hope today.
    Thank you!

    Val

    • ariana September 2, 2014 at 12:48 pm #

      Hi Valerie! I think your longings are such a wonderful guide for you, and look forward to where they will lead you. I have not read The Desire Map yet, but have watched some video interviews with Danielle LaPorte. I like her philosophy!

      Thank you so much for this lovely note, and wishing you all the best for your next chapter.

  25. Naz (@CinnamonEats) August 29, 2014 at 4:38 pm #

    I’ve been meaning to write a comment ever since I read this post when I first saw you share it on FB but haven’t had a chance. I’m so happy for you and Jeff and Amelia on the exciting new adventures you have ahead! You know I know what it feels like to be somewhere where you don’t feel like culturally you fit in and to desire to be somewhere else so I’m so so happy for you that this opportunity has come up! I’m excited to follow on with your adventures in Spain and see all the AMAZING food you’re going to get to cook with and eat over there! :)

    • ariana September 2, 2014 at 12:53 pm #

      Thank you, Naz! I was so happy for you, that you guys could move to a place that feels like a better fit for you, and was also wishing for that at the same time. SO thankful! And I am definitely looking forward to cooking and eating over there. So much so, that I can hardly stand it!

  26. Kimberly Montgomery August 30, 2014 at 1:50 am #

    How very exciting to have your next adventure. And since you have the holidays before the move you get to savor this time with a happy heart. Thank you for sharing your story and the wonderful serendipity of timing. It’s like you had to “settle into staying” before the doors opened for your dream.

    • ariana September 2, 2014 at 12:52 pm #

      Thank you, Kimberly! I do wonder about that dynamic, of accepting our current situation before being offered the one we most hoped for! And yes, the holidays will be extra-sweet. We’re also flying home to Los Angeles to see family for Thanksgiving– so many good things happening at once!

  27. nepdxbungalow September 1, 2014 at 2:33 pm #

    How incredible, and how exciting!

    • ariana September 2, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

      Thank you so much!

  28. makecomplete September 2, 2014 at 4:02 pm #

    I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!! What a thrilling thing! I’m so excited to follow along with you through your upcoming adventures.

    Living in Spain is also one of my dreams, and I can only imagine how I’d feel if my dream that seems so unrealistic and far away came true. The mix of trepidation, incredulity, and finally pure joy… I’m so, so happy for you! This made my morning :)

    • ariana September 19, 2014 at 7:22 pm #

      Thank you so much!! I know a lot of people are slightly disappointed that I won’t be covering England any more, but I am really happy to hear that you also love Spain and can enjoy seeing it through our eyes before you make your move one day!

  29. amandaspain September 8, 2014 at 5:36 pm #

    Ariana this is awesome! thank you so much for sharing this experience, it’s inspiring and reassuring that life does indeed provide all of the opportunities, experiences and synchronicities that we need to live our lives on purpose – we just need to trust and have faith and walk through the doors as they open. I’m so excited for you and look forward to following your next adventure! xxx

    • ariana September 19, 2014 at 7:23 pm #

      Thank you so much, Amanda!! And happy to hear that you will be following with us. xx

  30. Anna September 9, 2014 at 10:45 am #

    Aha, here’s the info! Congratulations! And personally, I think it makes complete sense … to be scared of your dreams actually coming true. We have just moved to France … decades old dream … and it’s terrifying! But yet … here we are, right? :) Blessings.

    • ariana September 19, 2014 at 7:23 pm #

      That is really wonderful, Anna! Wishing you well on your own exciting journey– super cool!

  31. Julie September 21, 2014 at 12:13 am #

    Hi There Anna,
    Just got around to reading this as I’ve just recently relocated from Wisconsin to Southern Oregon. I’m very happy for you and look forward to your adventures and watching your daughter and your family grow. Blessings on your new adventure!

    • ariana October 13, 2014 at 11:44 am #

      Thank you so much, Julie! And I hope you are adjusting well to your new life in Oregon!

  32. Katherine Kelley January 14, 2015 at 11:00 pm #

    Such heartfelt congratulations for you. It’s almost here! I long to be in London the way you long for Spain, so I understand exactly what you mean. I live by the ocean now, in NC, and I want to trade my beach life for British life. :) Best of luck on your new adventure.

  33. Danya Adolphs January 14, 2015 at 11:02 pm #

    Hello Ariana, I have been writing a letter to you in my head since the moment I first came across your Facebook page and book. I felt transformed by the knowledge that someone else out there shares such a similar story as me. That letter may still come, but in the meantime, I must celebrate this exciting news with you! Believe it or not, after having tried to obtain your book on several occasions, I just got a copy of it now…as your post of “When Dreams Come True” popped up on my newsfeed. Again, perfect timing. Thank you for being an inspiration to me on how to make the best out of our seemingly hopeless situation, and a believer in the process of it all. I look forward to hearing how this next chapter unfolds for you and your family. Best wishes and ENJOY!

  34. Nell January 17, 2015 at 11:05 am #

    i have been reading your recipe posts for a while, but only today i came across this entry: wow! i life in spain myself, originally from austria and: cartajima is the neighbour village :) ronda is where i shop and my girl does her afternoon activities… great news for you- spain can be a inspiring place to live… all the best!

  35. Debra Dorn (@TheSaffronGirl) September 15, 2015 at 1:33 am #

    I had chills and goosebumps reading the last part of this post. Yes, there are times we don’t understand or know why we run up against closed doors, negatives, or things just won’t work the way we want them too… but then there are all those coincidences that actually lead to somewhere special, some place great and to exactly what we’ve been longing for. What a cool experience to reflect upon and how very wonderful that you are now living your dream in my beautiful country! I grew up just around the corner from where you are living! I hope you get to enjoy for a long time! xo Debra

  36. Caitlin Krisko October 9, 2016 at 10:29 am #

    Thank you so much for this post!!!! Recently my life has become really surreal. Many of my dreams that I’ve had for 15 years are finally starting to come true (including my first tour through Europe that I leave for on Monday!) and I find myself…a little scared? Not of the outcome at all….just….scared like: is this REALLY happening? We get so used to our dreams being this intangible just out of reach thing that when it finally becomes a reality it feels almost LESS real than the imagined dream…if that makes sense?

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    […] go wrong… and they can go right. (And things can seem to go wrong and turn out to be right– here’s a great example!) I could hurt my knee falling down the stairs, slipping on our tile floors, tripping over the rug […]

  5. When Doors Close... - And Here We Are - July 6, 2015

    […] One more point. Expect the best. Here’s what happened shortly after I wrote this […]

  6. Six Months of Life in Spain - And Here We Are - August 19, 2015

    […] later, it still blows my mind sometimes. I recently had a friend ask me if it was as great as I had always imagined it would be. And the answer is YES. I love it. I am amazed and thrilled and thankful. Especially […]

  7. 2015: The Year We Faced Our Dreams - And Here We Are - December 31, 2015

    […] big move or a simple day trip. I am not an anticipator. I am a right-here-right-now kind of person. Dreaming is often scary for me. Whenever Jeff would start reading about El Puerto de Santa Maria to me out of guidebooks or […]

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