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Our Two Year Anniversary

Puerto Vallarta Airport

2012 Arrival at Puerto Vallarta Airport

Two years ago today, the kids and I were waking up at the Hilton Homewood Suites in San Diego next to the airport, wrapping up our last day Stateside before our full-time move to Mexico. We had spent the weeks and months before, packing, tossing, donating, gifting, putting the rest in storage.

Mairead packing it up 2012 8 Years Old

Mairead, packing it up…

That was a process, evolution and journey in and of itself not void of its own fair share of tears and laughter. Going through the previous 14 years of our lives as a couple, down memory lane—some parts bitter, some parts sweet—on the eve of saying goodbye to the lives we had known in San Diego, was no small emotional walk in the park.

The kids and I were grateful for and comforted by the company of our good friend Tony, Frank’s best man at our wedding, who came and spent some time with us during our last few San Diego days, playing pool in the hotel lounge.

Tony Playing Pool with Kids

Uncle Tony bringing comfort to the kids hearts with a fun game of pool!

I really needed this for Mairead and Liam, as their hearts were being exercised and stretched in ways that called upon them to confront issues of tremendous loss and gain all at the same time. They were born and raised in San Diego, and other than our trips to our place in Baja, this was the only city they had known for the first 8 years of their lives and had come to call home.

goofing around at hotel

Goofing around on the hotel’s rolling luggage carrier!

Frank left 4 days ahead of us, transporting all of our saved and “can’t do without” earthly belongings by car and trailer, with Seamus, our 90-pound drooling lab, breathing down his neck in the only available space behind the driver’s seat.

4 Day Drive South

Frank, Seamus & Everything But The Kitchen Sink On A 4-Day Drive South!

We had grown accustomed to being separated for days at a time due to the nature of Frank’s work as a firefighter, but this was the ultimate act of faith, of putting our trust in the universe and finding peace in the division that would have Frank making his 4 day trek across an international border,

Nogales Border Crossing

Arizona/Mexico Nogales Border Crossing

to be the first to arrive at our jungle home in San Pancho, Nayarit, and in time to pick the kids and I up at the Puerto Vallarta airport on November 30th, my 44th Birthday. When we passed through security and were able to get that first hug in, Frank greeted me with a joyful “Happy Birthday and welcome to your new life!”


Our Plane Arrives! Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Puerto Vallarta Airport

Liam VERY Happy to be Reunited with His Daddy!

November 30, 2012 Arrival

“Happy 44th & Welcome to Your New Life!”

Today, November 30, 2014, I celebrate my 46th. It has been an adventure filled 2 years here in Mainland Mexico, our new, multi-colored and multi-faceted adopted country. From the coastal jungle

Jungle Green to the central desert highlands,

open field walkingtruly, no 2 days are alike and I awake each morning with gratitude and the wonder of what the day will bring.

Yes, I will admit, in some regards I am on a permanent vacation. Of course within that, there is the real life of raising children, managing a home, nurturing a marriage, dealing with “bound-to-be” human and earthly bumps in the road….like anywhere in the world.

This blog has been a testament to the joys, the challenges, the rewards, the lessons, the discoveries, the concrete reminder that it is up to you and you alone to proceed forward and pick yourself up by the bootstraps if you so choose; that life truly is what you make of it and that more important than the circumstances presented to you, is the energy and attitude that you hold towards them.  

Our journey and path here has been dynamic and multi-faceted and not all easy. It has been with our combined energies as a family that we have sought and carved out the life that we have. It has been through our individual and collective choices to seek a life that is satisfying, enriching, exciting, colorful, beautiful, dynamic, and ever-changing even within the stability and comfort of finally feeling settled, that we have been gifted and have created this, truly, amazing life we are living. 

In closing, I would like to share a collection of pictures, beginning from some of our first discoveries in the jungle to now here, in the desert highlands of Central Mexico. ¡Viva México! And Happy 2 Year Anniversary to La Familia O’Grady!

Jungle Bugs the size of 3 toes!

Big Bugs

Rhinoceros Beetle

The beauty and joy of new friendships…

kids with friends san pancho beach

First Week in San Pancho, Nayarit

Back-road jungle driving lessons…

Mairead & I Driving in Jungle!

Driving lessons at 8? Sure, why not!

Why, doesn’t everybody have a rooster farm as neighbors?


Victor introducing us to our new friends!


front of boat april 2013 8 years old Marieta Islands

Space to dream and think…

Mairead & Liam taking it all in….

M & L Water's Edge

Nayarit, Mexico

Permanent Resident Pics…

Mexican Mug Shots 2013

Hair pulled back and ears showing!

Hello San Miguel de Allende!


From surfing to high-desert quad riding!

Quads 1

From the coast to Colonial Mexico…

La Parroquia

La Parroquía

From riding boogie boards to riding burros….

Mairead on Burro

From the ocean to aguas termales…

Aguas Termales


And last, but not least….for my kids and all of you who dare to dream…


Live a Life You are Proud of






Anything's Possible


Signing off for now, on this beautiful Sunday.  Just enjoyed a delicious home-made breakfast with my family, tea in bed, cards and love from my kids and husband, heading out to the open field by our house to walk the pups and enjoy the rest of this glorious day where we celebrate my 46th and our 2 year anniversary in Mexico! 




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About the author: Internationally-Acclaimed Author & Relocation Coach Katie O’Grady is a 4th generation San Diegan who together with her retired Firefighter hubby and their now 15-year-old twins immigrated to Mexico in 2012. Los O’Gradys in Mexico is InterNations Top Expat Mexico Blog and has been featured on various distinguished platforms including Elephant Journal, Yucatan Times, and Huffington Post. Seven years into their Mexico adventure, Katie and her family continue to embrace their reinvented, reinspired lives where tacos and fun are part of their daily round! If you are interested in learning about raising bilingual, bicultural, cross-border children and creating a life of design, feel free to contact Katie at [email protected] and on the following platforms: Facebook Instagram Pinterest

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Tomas December 1, 2014, 2:39 pm

    Thanks for sharing! Your story is both inspiring and uplifting. I was born in the US but my parents are from Mexico and I plan on retiring there someday. Your blog makes me want to go now! Saludos!

  • MONNICA O'GRADY December 2, 2014, 2:17 pm

    I Love seeing all your happy faces, you all look so loving toward each other. I just feel so happy seeing those pictures. And congratulations! You have really accomplished something. Seeing the picture of the car and boat filled with stuff made me think of our 1 year camping trip. Loading the trailer and cars everytime we moved, it would take 12 hours. A moving home….
    love you so

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