Doug, Provider Man
The moment I met him came with a shock when he introduced himself as, “Tom Tuttle from Tehachapi,” and proceeded to head-butt me way too hard. You’d think with moves like that I’d fall for him right away, but it took five years. In the meantime, he bought an electric-blue truck, taught me how to surf, and proposed in the snow. We married in ’94, complete with a butt bow, Ray-Bans, and a little poof in my sleeves.
His Sundays consist of serious naps, watching football, and any form of sugar in a bowl. He bikes and runs and misses legit tacos in Baja. But he doesn’t miss being called Doog-lass.
He’s entrepreneurial, a fierce provider, and has a manic commitment to leftovers. Quantity over quality blesses my corazón.
Micah, The Bearded Techie
Born in SoCal suburbia and raised in the Baja countryside, this white boy loves dirt.
After flipping a dune buggy at age nine, he added motorcycle to his resumé and downshifted out the gate. I had a deep appreciation for the vehicle with a roll bar, but apparently it didn’t go fast enough. Plus, it’s pretty cool to drive into middle school on a moto.
At twelve he learned to maneuver a car and started playing ukulele. Lessons vacillated between awesome and horrible, but we had a deal: three years of one instrument and it couldn’t be the drums. So he fulfilled his desire to hit things by playing in the school marching band, leading parades down our dinky main street between skinny stray dogs and steamy horse poop.
He fulfills his technology bent by working for a video production company, shooting videos with his drone, and teaching me everything he thinks I need to know about my phone. He also got his FAA license, so now we all know where drones aren’t allowed to fly.
When we were moving away from the only culture he ever remembered, he stood over six-feet tall with strawberry blonde hair, über white skin, and freckles. And still played the ukulele.
As if we didn’t stand out enough.
Brock, Captain Chill
It takes a lot to ruffle this guy’s feathers. A tad introverted in public, he plays lacrosse and is in love with cheese and spicy chips.
He first rode a motorcycle when he turned seven, plays the ukulele, and is fascinated with robots. He’d like to invent one to do his chores and bring him cheese.
He moved to Baja eight months along in my belly and holds over a dozen years of legit Spanish behind that white forehead. #jealous
When we moved back to the States, he was a true foreigner. Everything from mobile classrooms and U.S. History facts, to English grammar, drop-off lanes, and unnecessary grass leave him asking why.
He’s now a lacrosse guy and dog whisperer, with a knack for tech shortcuts and tacos. Also, he would like Chick-fil-A to be open on Sundays.
Mali & Jovie
If you’re not a dog lover, skip this part. It’s okay—I’m not a cat lover. I mean I like them, I just can’t eat a whole one myself.
Mali: the brindle boxer who can jump over the lab. She’s a little loco, loves to cuddle, and could probably beat Usain Bolt–if she could run in a straight line.
Jovie: the yellow lab who always looks desperate for food and love. She acts her age (teen), begging for attention and getting in trouble on the regular.
They’re outside dogs who spent a decade in Baja, barked at innocent horses, de-feathered chickens, snuck out at night to scavenge for scraps, and slept through entering burglars. Everyone in Mexico has a dog, and everyone is afraid of each others. Good thing—these girls are mostly all bark.
Getting used to U.S. culture had them all confused: suburbia didn’t provide snacks when they snuck out ’cause they couldn’t tip over the huge trashcans with wheels.
A Week with The Fam
We skipped Wednesday church in Mexico to engage in family game night. Our jam-packed game cabinet held dozens of cards, spoons, boards, chips, and dice, but we preferred games that didn’t require a battery and took less than an hour to play. Monopoly rarely won.
We found out Jenga with Spanish-speakers is pretty easy. Scrabble is not.
Weekend pancakes usually include walnuts, coconut oil, and chia seeds. The guys are fine with those but frequently ask for some insane amount of chocolate chips.
Sunday rest was never an option. After church and lunch, we hunkered down for 30 minutes of quiet. No talking or the time started over.
Sometimes I wished they would’ve talked.
In promoting qualities of the Sabbath, Sunday is also a day of no work, no chores. Dishes start to pile, rooms become messy, and nobody cares. Took a while to get used to, but now I look forward to the only day I let myself read, nap, and play… without guilt or a timer.
You should try it. It’ll change your life.
Our family has issues, but we’re in it for keeps. We disappoint, argue, misunderstand, and frustrate. But we also play, listen, apologize, and above all… love. Our goal is to keep Jesus the center of our home, and we know He intentionally gave us each other. Period.