In 2011, in the time span of four months, I became a wife, an expat, and a mother (in that order) and now I’m your bartender here at Drinking the Whole Bottle. Me and my crew currently still live in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Oops, sorry. Who’s the crew? You ask. The Crew is Husband, Daughter, Son, and our two rescue pups – the first borns – Olive and Jersey. I’m not sure how long we’ll stay or where we’ll go from here, but for now, me and my crew are drinking the whole bottle, Mama Juana style.
Why Mama Juana style? Check out the answer to that and more FAQs here.
This is partially a metaphor for life… and also a confession.
The truth is I like drinking wine celebrating. But DTWB isn’t just a wine-drinking mommy blog. Every day I get to live a full glass of life doing only the things I want to do: mother, write, love, and celebrate. Because if it’s wonderful – savor it, if it isn’t – move on. Why waste our moments on things that don’t make us happy? Shouldn’t we taste every drop of what life has to offer: use our expensive China, burn our good candles, wear our nicest dress on a regular day, bathe with our finest bath salts every night, and definitely, definitely drink the whole bottle. This isn’t advocating drinking a whole bottle every night, though if you did I’d be the last to judge, but this is about trying everything. Drinking all life has to offer. At least once. Even if it’s a small taste. Don’t hold yourself back. Don’t leave yourself one regret.
This is partially a LOVE letter.
Doesn’t it always start with love? Each glorious second that Husband and I are living out our dreams started with us – our love – our sweet, little love that began in the copy room of an elementary school in New Jersey. And every day since then has been an actualization of that love: our first apartment, our rescue dogs, our marriage, our kids, our move abroad. But our story couldn’t have been realized without our parents’ love story that came from our grandparents’ love story and so on. Our love stories are even grander than we have ever imagined because they are rooted and entangled in so many other love stories before us. Yes, this is definitely partially a love letter.
This is partially a FAMILY chronicle.
One of my biggest concerns when we were moving abroad, was having our family miss out on our childrens’ milestones and childhoods. This became my answer. If I wrote it all down, if I recorded all of the moments, we would always be connected and we would always be reminded that family is made by shared experience and not location.
This is partially a SELF-HELP PARENTING guide.
Parenthood is beauty in its rawest form: it is delight and comedy and love at its most basic. And it is downright difficult. When I became a parent for the first time I was drowning in it and wasn’t sure that I was made for it… until I wrote about it. I began to understand that parenting, like all great adventures, is about self-exploration, overcoming struggles, and a good notebook to document your journey.
This is partially an ABROAD manual.
We never imagined we’d like living abroad enough to stay – we were just a bit tired of the general instructions of our routine lives. Living abroad has its own set of directions too but with space to make your own rules. Navigating life abroad hasn’t been easy at every step but we’ve never regretted it.
This is partially a COMEDIC screenplay.
Two American newlyweds living abroad already had the makings of a hit comedy. Add two toddlers and two dogs – one that’s blind – and a country where red lights are a suggestion, not an actual traffic law, and we’re taking home an Oscar. Hmmm… who would play me in the movie???
This is partially a reminder to let life INSPIRE you.
Take a few seconds everyday to stop. Look around. Focus. Really see the small drops of life that make up the big glass. A good hug. A belly laugh. A warm pair of leggings on a chilly day. A cold beer on a hot day. One of my favorite drops of life is watching my kids when they don’t know it. In those few seconds, the universe reveals itself and forces me to take notice. It says, “Look how magnificent this life is. Look at all the world has given you. Let it in.”
This is your life, friends, your very own adventure. So drink it up.
Every. Last. Drop.
“Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should be sipped, but with others,drink the whole bottle
– Paulo Coelho