Time for Some Gratitude

 (This is in front of our new little home.)

Feeling grateful for:

  • Internet!!!! We’re finally back in business here.  🙂 🙂
  • Hard boiled eggs. They save me completely. A reader here said she takes them when she travels and I now carry one with me in my bag at all times in case I get in a pinch and I can’t find something to eat. (Danny is making me some now as we’re going big trip tomorrow.)
  • Water that we can drink out of the tap. Yes, I’m serious. The water in Cuenca is clean and drinkable! (Though this isn’t the case in the rest of Ecuador.)
  • A magnetic knife holder that we managed to find here. (Better than storing knives on our tiny counter.) Little things are completely delighting me these days.
  • A huge knitting and weaving shop where I will take lessons from the most amazing Ecuadorian woman.
  • New friends in Cuenca. Yes, in a week we’ve already made four new friends (in addition to wonderful new neighbors and several friends that we made on our month long visit here.)
  • Popcorn that they serve at most restaurants before the meal (instead of bread). I love this tradition as it’s gluten free.  🙂
  • Wonderful, wonderful housekeepers who charge $20 for 5 hours!!!! 
  • A happy, kind, loving husband who (get this) LOVES to get all snuggly due to the cool nights.  🙂  🙂

What are you grateful for today? It’s SO nice to sit and think about it and make a little list. Doing this regularly during the darkest time of my life was actually a huge part of how I transformed my life.

P.S. Danny and I are going to be off traveling…again. I really can’t believe it. We mostly crave being put for awhile. But – my parents, sister, brother-in-law, niece, and nephew are all up in Colombia at a friend’s country lake house near Medellin, in the town of San Carlos. How can we not go join them?! My brother-in-law says: “San Carlos is a waterfall wonderland with seven rivers
intersecting in this hilly area. It’s a beautiful home with more than
enough room for all of us. It’s a beautiful, old-fashioned town with a
square and a church where everything is within walking distance and everyone knows
each other.” Off we go, my friends. Our first South American adventure begins!

Get The About Love Experience


  1. Emily April 9, 2014 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    I'm incredibly happy for you guys! Enjoy your travels <3

  2. zben April 9, 2014 at 2:22 pm - Reply

    I was in Medellin (and all over S. America) this fall, and it was one of my favorite cities, so beautiful! So I'm sure the surrounding area will be breathtaking. Have fun!

    • mara April 9, 2014 at 3:45 pm - Reply

      Awesome!! So fun to hear that. 🙂

  3. kh April 9, 2014 at 2:39 pm - Reply

    This makes me so happy! Here's to a wonderful year of adventure, learning and happiness in South America! (And three cheers for drinkable water in Cuenca–what a luxury!)

  4. Amanda April 9, 2014 at 3:39 pm - Reply

    I'm curious to know the ballpark you pay for your tickets to Columbia. I'm trying to figure out the most cost effective way to get to Ecuador this November for my humanitarian trip. Right now I'm considering using my points to get to Columbia, then flying to Ecuador. I know flights are much cheaper once I leave the US. Thanks!!

    • mara April 9, 2014 at 3:54 pm - Reply

      Tickets to Medellin (from Cuenca) were actually shockingly expensive. Like in the $700-$800 range. We could have taken a bus for 3 days (each way) but we decided we didn't want to lose the time so we booked a separate ticket to Quito, then another from Quito to Medellin. It was cheaper to buy the two legs separately. Total it was still about $381 each. (Though on the way back we'll fly to Quito then take our time traveling by bus back to Cuenca. )

  5. christina April 9, 2014 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    I've been feeling extra grateful lately! Most excitingly, I am wrapping up the job that I've worked at for the past 5 years in order to do ….. nothing! Well, that's not entirely true. I will be working a temporary nanny gig, but then I get to spend 2 glorious months planning my wedding, getting married, and then taking a road trip through the southwest. I feel so incredibly privileged to have this opportunity. I've pretty much worked continuously since I graduated college 8 years ago and I feel so grateful for this little rest!

  6. Lamisa April 9, 2014 at 9:58 pm - Reply

    I am grateful for my gym membership! I used to hate exercising, but seriously, going to the gym is like church for me – all my best stuff comes to me when I'm moving!

  7. Harmony April 10, 2014 at 4:44 am - Reply

    As someone who cleans houses for a living, I really hope you pay them more than $20 for 5 hours!

    • mara April 15, 2014 at 3:08 am - Reply

      The minimum wage here is actually about $2.70/hour. Seems crazy to us, I know. But their economy is just so different. I've read that some housekeepers charge more like $12 or $15 per day. And I saw somewhere that school teachers make about $4/hour. So that gives you an idea. We're all new at this, too. I'm sure we'll learn a ton more about pricing and wages over the next few months.

  8. Harmony April 10, 2014 at 4:45 am - Reply

    Although, what do I know? Maybe that is a liveable wage in Ecuador? I really have no idea the equivalency…?

    • Gardenella April 10, 2014 at 9:28 am - Reply

      Harmony, I am Ecuadorian, $20 is great. Unemployment really high there, and yes, we have U.S. dollars, and people there use every single coin they get. They don't have a piggy bank for the change.

  9. Leah April 10, 2014 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    cute shoes! brand? The weaving classes sound awesome.

  10. Elizabeth Kelsey April 10, 2014 at 4:27 pm - Reply

    I saw your post about moving to Ecuador in the B School group; we made a similar move to Thailand! Wishing you tons of success and joy!

  11. Katie Elizabeth Hawkes April 11, 2014 at 4:33 am - Reply

    Hardboiled eggs! Seriously just sitting here trying to think of what food to take on a camping trip tomorrow night (I'm gluten free). I went camping a couple weekends ago and thought I could just snack my way through it…..no bueno. I need to learn better "travel" gluten free meals! Working on it. Also, going to ICELAND in June and was so glad you made mention of what you did for food along the way!

  12. T. Nathan April 13, 2014 at 1:14 am - Reply

    Wow, you look happy and you definitely sound happy with the grateful list. I am so jealous of you. You are living my dream….I want to go on a worldly trip and experience their surroundings….oh wow $20/5 hour. It must be very cheap to live there. Enjoy the trip and good to both of you guys.

  13. Florian Berger April 15, 2014 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    I'm very happy for you guys! Hope you're have a great time in Ecuador

  14. brlracincwgrl April 16, 2014 at 1:26 am - Reply

    I love this grateful list! I actually made myself sit down tonight and do one, as I was feeling very down when I should be feeling the complete opposite. Amazing how it can change your mood :).

    • mara April 16, 2014 at 1:30 am - Reply

      SO amazing. I loved hearing that this helped. I think it's crazy effective. Back in the day I kept a list on my phone and read it over and over at times when I needed it.

  15. Ashishpathak April 20, 2014 at 2:36 am - Reply

Leave A Comment