Guest Blog

Flying Back Through the Skies — Thank you Guest Bloggers!

Tomorrow Aveline and I travel back through the skies to sunny, soggy Florida. I’ll probably cry taking Aveline away from her adoring grandparents and uncles.  She and I have soaked up every moment of this beautiful trip, and it’ll be far too long until we see them again.

(But Josiah, I can’t wait to run into your arms. Wait… running?! Who am I kidding? I’ll be the one limping along, all wrinkled and spat up upon, diaper bag pulling my shoulder to the ground.)

Instagram of Gina and baby Aveline wearing a sunhat - on Oaxacaborn blog

Anyway, I want to give a HUGE thank you to the wonderful women who guest blogged while I was busy watching Aveline’s Grandpops teach her to crawl. ;-) I’d love if you’d check out their blogs and add them to your blogreaders!

Poetry & Words, Travel/Moving

A Little Girl with One Foot in Europe and One Foot in America

Walking with my mom and brother in Eastern Europe in the 1980s
(Image taken by my dad of my mom, brother, and me in Europe in the ’80s)

Lately, the stories woven into the pages of The Late Homecomer and China Homecoming have been pulling at my heart. Pulling, reminding me what it was like to be a little girl with one foot in Europe and one foot in America. I think about that girl, sometimes. I think about how the familiar European landscape was the home she knew with her heart, and how the American home was only constructed in her mind, pieced together through the handwritten notes from aunts and grandmas.

Sometimes I think it’s even odder now, to look back at that girl. As far away as she was, sometimes I feel even further away. The girl then knew something of both cultures, at least.  The girl now feels like America is too much, sometimes, taking what had been her voice and drowning it in English. Then, her small voice could speak Slovene. Now, English has swallowed what that girl once knew.

She prattled on in that tongue as she squatted down on the edge of the concrete stoop, her chubby hands scraping words with a twig into the dusty gravel. She walked home down Taborska Cesta in the dusk, feet aching from climbing trails and standing up on busses, fingers of one hand safely in daddy’s hand and fingers of the other hand wrapped tightly around wilted wild chamomile flowers.

And now, the Slovene tongue has faded. All that remains is little snippets. “Kajti tako je Bog ljubil svet.”  Dober dan.”  And the constant call of parents to their children, “Pet sem!” 

But there is nothing more.

I live in America now.

In my heart, I feel what it is to be European, to turn on the radio and hear the perfectly enunciated English of  the BBC. I can taste what it is to have horseradish spread on my thick slices of bread and cold boiled potatoes mixed in with my salad. I know the way fresh-pressed apple juice chills me as it slides down my throat, and if I lick my lips I can still taste the zest of mustard sauce over warm wilted dandelion greens. I close my eyes and I hear the magpies, the calming coo coo coo of the dove.

I know what it is to cough the dust of coal and what it is to see yellow rain. I know the scent of wisteria, and can see the ants marching up the twisted vine. I see the long loaves of bread sticking up out of the grocery bags as people walk home from the market in the early morning dew. I hear the creaking groans of wooden racks, piled high with drying straw. I know what it is to see hoar frost dancing on barren branches. I can no longer sing the lyrics of the language, but I will always hear the accordian’s echo off Šmarna Gora.

And when I close my eyes, I am that little girl. I am there.

And someday, I will be again.


hello, florida! tips on traveling with an infant / flying with a baby

well, here we are in orlando, florida. we made it! we made it to the land of frizzy hair and soggy air.

many of you know how nervous i was to fly with a wee one, but it turned out soooo much better than i imagined. (except, we were selected for one of those fabulous TSA patdowns. it was definitely awkward. aveline even got a patdown. i mean seriously?!) but after that ordeal was over, the rest of the trip was fabulous. she was such a perfect baby on the flights (thank you, Lord!) and slept most of the time. the baby bjorn was our best friend for those long walks from one gate to the next. really, the only tough moment was her screaming fit as we were boarding in houston — but it was a short-lived outburst. i am so thankful she didn’t have any problems with the takeoff or landing! she actually snoozed her way through both landings. it was a great experience, and i am so grateful to my jetsetting mama friends who shared the following tips with me:

Tips on Traveling with an Infant

  • nurse the baby during the take off and landing, even if it’s not “time” — this helps the baby handle the change in air pressure
  • use a carrier or sling — it makes walking so much easier, and it keeps strangers’ from touching baby’s face
  • allow plenty of time to get from one gate to another if you’re changing flights
  • pack more diapers and baby outfits than you think you’ll need
  • pack a change of clothes for yourself
  • don’t bring a travel-size package of wipes, pack a full package! ;-)
  • stay calm even if your baby is screaming — getting frazzled yourself only makes it that much worse
  • have baby’s birth certificate with you, as some airlines require this documentation

so yes, florida. i am so happy to be back with my amazing husband. i missed him so much. i missed us all being together. i missed my own bed. and as you can see from this photo, little aveline missed her bed, too. doesn’t she look adorable? co-sleeping is the best! i love it.

baby blog - oaxacaborn - Aveline Alenka at six weeks old - cosleeping on a Summer Infant contoured changing table cushion with a Summer Infant organic cotton cover


Have any other tips for traveling with an infant? Share them in the comments!

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Life in Photos

leaving on a jet plane

hello, readers? is anyone still hanging around? this little blog has been sadly neglected of late. i’ve been living out of my suitcase and only able to post via my iPod. but, tomorrow i’m leaving on a jet plane, back into the arms of my love. i miss him so.

and florida? i know we didn’t get along so well last time. i’m willing to forget all that if you are. here’s to new beginnings.

(please excuse little miss A’s manners. she wasn’t feeling too excited about having her picture taken.)

Poetry & Words

a different kind of valentine’s day

this morning dawned grey and brooding, with thick clouds drawn tightly over the sky, pulling down wind and rain through the tousled treetops.

it had all the ingredients that could have made for a really bad day. monday. exhaustion. valentine’s day. a night of restless, fitful sleep on an air mattress on my in-laws’ living room floor. a fussy baby. all our stuff on a moving truck. husband putting the last few items in his suitcase to leave for florida. me staying behind for two more weeks.

yes, i cried.

but then, my baby smiled at me.

and my husband brought me lilies and roses while i was still in bed.

and God gave me peace.

wonderful, deep, incredible peace.

that doesn’t mean i didn’t cry any more after that. after all, it’s still overwhelming. i still physically don’t feel good, and i am still ridiculously tired (although my recent diagnosis of anemia explains that. hello, iron supplements!)

but i am at peace. i am content. happy. excited about this next chapter. excited to see what God has in store. madly in love with my husband and with my miraculous daughter and with this wild and beautiful life.

Inspiration, Travel/Moving

introducing ‘next stop: ireland & scotland’ – a collaborative inspirational travel blog

i’ve become quite enamored with all things irish. my husband shares this penchant, too (can’t you tell, just looking at this very celtic-inspired canvas?) and of course, it’s no secret that we both have the travel bug.

so, we’re pleased to announce the launch of our brand-new collaboration, next stop: ireland and scotland, where we will each be posting tidbits pertaining to scottish and irish design, culture, and travel in general.

From the website:

We’re Josiah & Gina, and ever since we returned from France & Spain in 2009, we’ve been dreaming of our next trip. Itching to travel again, we have Ireland & Scotland on our mind.

We’re not sure when this trip (with our soon-to-be-born little girl!) will happen; but until then, join us here as we dream, research, plan and share inspiration for our visit to Ireland and Scotland.

won’t you join us on our virtual journey?

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Poetry & Words

A Brief History of Cinco de Mayo

Does anyone find it mildly amusing that Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of  the Mexican militia’s victory over the French?

Apparently the French were peeved that Mexico had stopped repaying a loan they owed France  and took it upon themselves to invade Mexico. (You know, they say Abraham Lincoln took Mexico’s side, but he didn’t exactly do anything about it — he was kind of preoccupied fighting a war of his own).

Oaxaca, Mexico, gringo toddler with spanish man playing guitar

Continue reading “A Brief History of Cinco de Mayo”