The Puerto Rico Experiment

We've spent the last 3 months in paradise! In fact...we even sold everything and MOVED our life here to beautiful and enchanting Rincon, Puerto Rico. The people here are amazing and so welcoming. The food is perfection. And the beaches...OH! The beaches.

BUT...we've come to the decision that we much prefer visiting islands rather than living full time on one. 

Yep, we're coming home! Back to the states. Next week in fact.

I'm purposely over simplifying this heart-wrenching wasn't an easy one. But through LOTS of prayer, late night tearful chats, and seeking good counsel...we've heard very clearly that this was just for a season. 

We believe that God guides us in all that we do...and we were beyond a doubt led here. It was super clear. But the way God works doesn't always make sense in our human minds. Sometimes you are led that you can find a new path that you might not have gone down otherwise. A re-direct.  So we trust. And take the next step. 

This isn't a disappointment. Or a failure. It was an amazing experience in which we learned a lot about ourselves and what we really want right now in our life.

And yet, our hearts will grieve it as a loss. Every change in our lives is a form of loss.

In one of my favorite podcast episodes of all time, Rob Bell says...that sometimes even GOOD seasons come to an end. And you can just say...

"This was great. And now we're leaving because it was great. We're going to stop doing this because it did what it was supposed to do. And now...we're going to do something else." 

He continues with perfect wisdom "...hold your palms open and let it go. And you grieve whatever you need to grieve. And you say YES to whatever the new season is."

We have some ideas about what our next move will be...but we'll wait until we have a solid plan before we share it with everyone. But whatever we do...there will most definitely be lots of beach time sprinkled in. We will be forever grateful for this time we've spent falling in love with the ocean. Without Puerto Rico...we may not have discovered how deep this love ran.

And so we adventure search of a rainbow leading to the next beautiful thing. 

9 Months of Adventure

Whew! Can you believe it? 9 months. We set out in September with prayers soaring and big dreams to change our life and now we've seen all of those dreams come true! We're excited to settle back into our HOME in the mountains of Boulder (mid-May)...and enjoy all of that remodeling we did last year! 

Our essential oil business has completely transformed our future plans...and we have some pretty fun ideas up our sleeves. If you've been wondering what it would look like to join our TRIBE, click on over here to see what it's all about! Our leaders are experiencing big changes in their lives as's so fun to be a part of it!

As many of you have noticed...I didn't blog much these past 9 months. When I get busy living and loving life, I tend to "blog" over on Instagram instead. So if you've missed any of that, check it out here. But I thought it would be fun to chat about some of the highlights of our trip (as pictured above!).

Filling in the Map: We have now visited 47 states! We're just missing Rhode Island, Alaska and Hawaii. I've actually visited Alaska back in my military days, but not as a family. What an amazing thing to look at a map of the U.S. and have memories and friends in almost every single place across the country. We are so deeply grateful for all of those experiences...we will forever have gypsy hearts because of it.

Matt & Sara Go to Jamaica: Whaaaaaaat?! This was hands down the most amazing thing we've done in a long time. It was THE FIRST TIME we had ever left the girls overnight in 11 years of having children (thank you Nana & Papa!). We spent 8 days and 7 nights in Montego Bay at an all -inclusive resort...completely paid for! It was so fun to spend time with our friends and experience a much needed re-connection with each other as well. We fell in love with each other all over again...AND with the Caribbean! We already have plans to go back as a family later this year. I'm slowly conquering my fear of the ocean and now I want to do ALL THE SNORKLING!! **share your favorite snorkeling spots in the comments please!**

Oh California: People ask all the time what our favorite state is...where we would go over and over again. It's California. We spent a lot of time there this go-around. San Diego, Encinitias, Oceanside, L.A. Malibu, San Francisco, Petaluma...just typing those city's names makes me happy. We spent the most time in Oceanside at a sweet little RV park by the ocean. It was only a few blocks from the ocean and some of our friends camped with us during that time. It was a blast. Several of the images above are from our time in Cali. Cuz that's where my heart is. Love it.

Have Kids, Will Travel: It's been a very different experience this time around, as we've had THREE kiddos and TWO doggies with us on the road. It's always a circus around here...and we like it that way! :) We're always looking for fun excursions and things to experience as we travel. Some of our favorites were the Monterey Bay Aquarium (always a fave!), Redwoods, learning to surf, and seeing a pod of orcas up close (on our beach in Oceanside!). And then of course...just exploring cities together...on the other side of the U.S. Asheville, Nashville, Detroit,'s been a whirlwind!

As I type this, I'm soaking up the sunshine in "my office". Listening to the birdies and coaching my team. Loving every minute of our life. Even on the hard days. And yes, we have hard days. In fact, we've had our fair share this year. But God is so gracious and His love for us shines SO BRIGHTLY. Brighter than any darkness or hardship. And did I's so good to be almost HOME! Weeeeeeeee!

Winds of Change

There are lots of wonderful things about living up in the mountains. There are also a lot of challenges. Cold. Lots and lots of snow. Wind like you've never felt before. Mama was about to lose her mind being so we prayed a lot and waited. And after finding a subleaser within just 1 day of listing it, we headed back to the low lands...with a new understanding that we can LOVE the mountains and enjoy them without actually living IN them. (A side note for those who are new here...we moved to Nederland for a "mountain trial run" with the intent to re-evaluate in July when our temporary lease was up...we just came back down a few months early!).

All packed up...a familiar feeling for us! It was a pretty easy move because we didn't own any furniture except our bed.

Longmont welcomed us with open arms and a big 'ol sunshiney day to move into our new house. Can you believe this temperature is just one day after the first photo up in Nederland?! Crazy.

Lucy (and Bella) are pretty smitten with our new place...and so are we. It's a quirky little house built in the early 1900's...but it was completely gutted and remodeled about 4 years ago. It's got everything on our "list" and we are LOVING being closer to city life again. Oh, and see that little mailbox there? I love having a mailbox ON my house again! Send me a direct email if you would like my new address. (janssenfamily (at) gmail (dot) com)

An empty trailer. Yay! We are getting settled...although with me being 34 weeks pregnant and Matt working full-time, it seems slower than our normal pace. We moved in about 5 days ago and we have have found all the furniture we've needed on Craigslist, so we're super happy about that! I'm in full nesting mode...creating a cozy space for my family and for a new little one. I'm very ready to embrace the final weeks of my pregnancy...enjoying the warmer weather and being closer to my community of friends and family.