Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Our Spainiversary {Year 1}

We have officially been in Spain one year.  One year ago yesterday we left our hometown of Seattle and got on a plane to start our insane adventure of living abroad (we arrived in Spain one year ago today).  We have had an amazing year and while it was also an extremely tough year, we are oh so happy we made the leap of faith to move to Spain.

So why was it such a tough year?  Well.... we had a rough start.  Those first few weeks (and even first few months) were some of the hardest of my life, even harder than the newborn stage, but still so worth it.  We have also been so ridiculously sick this year.  We are being exposed to new germs and also have a toddler who brings everything home!  Trevor and I have both had some pretty nasty illnesses -- nasty colds, a summer time flu, various stomach viruses.  And Serafina has had all these as well as some common (yet totally awful) children's viruses.  We know with the Peanut starting Spanish school we will be exposed to even more nasty stuff, but we just keep telling ourselves that we will all be (hopefully) immune to everything by the time we leave Spain.  And then of course the insanely steep learning curve of living in a different country where you don't speak the language (and for us, the learning curve of being civilians on a naval base).  I feel like we often take one step forward and two steps back when doing things around here -- both in our town and on base, but it has forced me to be patient and take things a little slower, something I really suck at (despite being a teacher).  I do need to write a post about being a civilian on base because it has presented some challenges -- nothing that is deal breaking by any means, just often things require a few extra steps.

But even despite our challenges, we seriously love it here.

We have made some incredibly amazing friends who have become our family here -- the best is that our kids all get along and are best buddies and it is just adorable to watch.  We get to experience a very different culture from the one we are so used to in the states.  Many things are done differently here (not bad different, just different) and more often than not, we find that we love the differences.  There are many times where we shake our heads and say "oh Spain" but we just laugh it off and embrace the Spanish culture.  We get to experience raising our child in a different country and culture, including going to Spanish school and swim lessons in our town.  I love that we are all learning Spanish.  Hearing Serafina speak Spanish is just about the cutest thing ever (in my opinion).  I love when she tells me "no totar momma" (no touch) or counts in Spanish.  We have made so much progress over the past year -- while it may take some planning and thought, we can usually communicate our way through various situations.

And most importantly, I love that we are showing our child the world.  While yes we have responsibilities and a house and a job, and and and.... we still take the time to travel and see other cities and countries.  Traveling overseas with a toddler can be extremely challenging, but we make it work.  Each trip gets easier as Trevor and I get better at figuring out what we all need and as Serafina gets older.  And Serafina won't remember these early trips, but we have picture proof she has been to some amazing places.

I had a friend recently told me it takes you six months to figure out if you are going to like it here and then another six months to get used to it and that could not be more true.  We knew we liked it at six months but I finally feel like one year later, we are settled and have a handle on things.  And I can't wait to see what the next year holds!

And a few of my favorite pictures from the past year --


  1. Happy Spainiversary!! I sure remember the phone calls in the middle of your night those first few weeks. But you guys seem so happy there and it sure is fun to visit!

  2. Hi Abby! I came across your blog and started reading it because it was tailored more towards us civil service than active duty military. Then I read that your husband's name is Trevor and that you are from the Seattle area. I was telling my husband about it and he says he knows your husband and that they used to work together. We have been trying to get to Rota, Spain for several years now. While my husband and I are both Navy Veterans and are both current civil service, I've been looking for a blog from the civilian point-of-view. There's an opening right now in USAjobs for my husband to apply to so hopefully this time we will be selected. Keeping my fingers crossed and praying. Anyway, wonderful blog!

    1. That is wonderful! We love living in Spain and I sure hope you get to experience Rota as well! Keep me posted on your journey to get here!!


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