Arizona meet-up & "Shoulda Coulda Woulda" in French



Picture of Mom and me taken by Abdalla of Quebec. We met him and his lovely wife, Colette, who are here visiting Puerta Vallarta. I hope to share more about our meeting with these sparkling sweethearts sometime... 

raconter (rah kon tay)

    : to tell (a story)

raconter une histoire

A Day in a Mexican Life... by Kristin Espinasse

 I visit my Mother's casita for the first time in 18 years... 

At night she tiptoes into the cuarto de visitas, the guest room. "Kristi... Are you awake?"

It is 2 a.m., it is 4:30 a.m. and now, this morning, she arrives at ten to six. Each time, I inch over, leaving room on the pillow as Mom sets her head gently beside mine and there, in the still of the night, she spills her beautiful 64-year-old mind.

I listen to her dreams, to her memories, to her inspirations, every thought unveiled in exquisite detail. Her interior life rushes out, unbridled, and it is my honor to be washed over by the beauty and the unbearable alike.

My heart both soars and it breaks, but I will not break the flow of Mom's story no matter how long it takes.  

Le Coin Commentaires
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Click photo to enlarge. Thanks again to Abdalla and to his wife, Colette, for this photo.


Jules and Breezy.

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La voisine

Un gros bisous à toi et à ta maman, I miss U !

Jeanne of Maumee, OH

Love that she shares her stories with you with her head on a pillow next to you! Cherish those moments!

Eileen deCamp

Great photos of you, Jules and Breezy. The little camera seems to be doing a great job!I know you are having a great time!

Cheryl in STL

This really is a time to treasure! How lucky you are to have this experience with your mom. Enjoy all those precious moments.


Glad you're having a wonderful time--both of you! What are those big metal sea urchin things on the beach?

Gwyn Ganjeau

Wow. The honesty and intimacy of this post has left me a little gob-smacked. It reminds me that to be loved is a priviledge--hmmmm, is that the right word?--it is a gift and a grace and when received deserves nothing less than our best selves given eagerly back in return. how beautifully you illustrated--or maybe revealed--that today.

on a lighter note, Jules, it's such a treat to get glimpses of you in your surroundings! now when i read your posts i'll be able to conjure you up in my mind with Breezy on your lap surrounded by an astonishing blue sky.

it's breezy and cloudy in Seattle, but there's every chance of a bit of sun!

Stacy, Applegate, Oregon

How wonderful to be back in your Mother’s home after so long away.

The photos, your story…wow, Kristi, such loveliness!

I am stirred by the rich beauty of love and honesty that emits from them. What a treasure to share such intimacy with your Mom. Thank you for sharing so intimately with us.

Jean-Marc Espinasse

Beautiful girls...


I too am glad you are having a great visit with your mom. Thanks for sharing with all of us! Have a safe trip home!!

Lisa A., CA

How lovely for you both to have this time with each other. Thank you so much for sharing it. It really makes me look forward to this weekend with my brother's family for his 49 birthday.

Hugs to you both...

Suzanne, Monroe Township, NJ

A wonderful account of a reversal from childhood when I am sure that you stole into your mother's room at night to share your dreams and your heart breaks. It is a gift to have someone ... mother, daughter, friend to both lean upon and to provide the support!

Beautiful photos. I love Jules' vibrant, colorful clothes. The photo of her with Breezy is priceless.

Emily, Bryn Mawr, PA

How lucky you are to have such a relationship with your mother! I consider myself to have a decent relationship with my mom, but nothing like what you describe! I can only hope that my daughter (now 9 years old) and I end up as lucky as you and Jules!

As always, thank you for sharing!

Margaret, Durham, NC

Simply wonderful. I am so glad you are there.

Maureen France

Hello Kristin,
thank you for sharing such precious moments with us all. As always I really look forward to, reading about your escapades. The photographs and stories say it all, you are having such a great time, treasured moments that have been well worth waiting for. Love to both of you, enjoy your special time together.
Best wishes Maureen.

Marianne Rankin

Well, if it has been 18 years since the last visit, it's high time for you to be back!

Share every moment you can while you have the chance.

Passante, I was wondering about those things on the beach, also. I think they might be some kind of barriers left from wartime, to keep ships from landing on the beach (moved since the war, of course). Kristin, is that correct?

Enjoy the great climate at the beach, surely a welcome change from typical winter weather.

Suzi Hodgson, Lima Mt

What lovely words. Sounds like a wonderful way to spend a morning.
That smile, lights up the world. Be happy ,enjoy each moment.

Karen from Phoenix, AZ

What a wonderful intimate story. Thank you so much for sharing your life as well as Jules for sharing hers. Love to you both.


Your stories and pictures of you and your mom bring happy tears to my eyes - two such beautiful women!


Kristi, Jules,

How touching to share with us these precious moments!


What darling photos of both of you beautiful women! Glad you had some time together and some pleasant weather to enjoy.
Cold right now in Phoenix..colder in Tucson! Upper 20s at night this week..but the 70s are heading back by the week end.
Hugs from Phoenix,

Christine Dashper

This is so beautiful...I am so happy for you both. :)


I am overwhelmed by the sheer raw personal feelings in this intimate story. I almost feel like a voyeur but more than anything feel priviledged to be able to share in these moments. The sentence, "but I will not break the flow of Mom's story no matter how long it takes" is the one that took my breath away and a tear to my cheek. It makes me think how all of us, each and every day, need to practice the art of "listening loudly" and not breaking the spell of shared intimacies. Thank you Kristi & Jules, xoxox Robin Katsaros

Fred Caswell

A glorious, spiritual, experience of love and communication!


Kristine, Dallas

As always, thank you for sharing you, your family and your life.

P.S. I envy the sunshine as it has been icy and snowy all week here in Dallas!

Joan Rooney

I am so taken with the openness and the trust and the love that absolutely radiates between you and your mother Kristi. I have never posted a comment before but I am so moved by your sharing of these moments and hope that one day I can achieve even a fraction of this "gestalt" with my own child.

Diane in Leawood

When I glanced at today's first photo, your mother's lovely face caught my attention, and I knew that she was your mother before I read a thing. Enjoy every minute with her!


The relationship between mother and daughter can be an amazing situation, How wonderful to have that time to continue learning some of the reasons she is the beautiful woman she is :)


Such a beautiful mother and daughter! Your mom is close to me in age, and she glows with life and love, as I strive to do every day. My own mother died when I was a little girl, and I never got to share her secrets. What a blessing for both you and your mom.

Trish et JeanClaude

Lovely. lyrical language, Kristin. And phenomenal photos of you and your Mom: beauties both. Love and Happy Visit from Trish (the native New Yorker of the below-cited French couple)

lou bogue

As the saying goes, the apple does not fall far from the tree, I have always admired your Beauty,even more since I had the pleasure of seeing you up close at the last harvest but seeing a picture of Jules, no wonder you were blessed, two beautiful women, God Bless you both, Love Lou

Carole Buschmann

Two lovely ladies open to sharing private moments. Gracias


Blessings for your visit with Jules. Having a caring, giving, ever-growing mother is the most wonderful gift that life can give.

Mary, Vancouver

Your Mom looks absolutely delighted that you are there with her! Enjoy every moment.

Marti Hinman

Your story brings back wonderful memories of my relationship with my own mother. She is now 101! Thank you for sharing your family stories with your readers.
Marti Hinman


You're recent posts inspire me to tell you how I came across your blog~ My beautiful mom, Rena, found it a few years ago and fell in love with it. She was taking French classes and reading French books and loving all things French. In August of 2009 she died after a very short battle with brain cancer~ She was my world, my best friend.
I wanted to Thank you for enriching her life with your beautiful blog. I know she simply loved it. Thank you for sharing photos of you and your mother, it reminds me of the relationship that she and I shared.

Jennifer in OR

Well, this short post left me undone. So beautiful, my friend. What a treasured gift, those twilight moments of communion.

Carol Folino

Such a moment in time.....


I loved this story! Whenever my sister & I visit, one of us winds up in the other one's bed in the morning, telling stories.

Anne Brixner

What Beautiful Babes! Enjoy every single second together, and bless
you both for all the love and creativity you bring to us all.
oxox Annie and Mike on Whidbey Island


Such a wonderful post. Really cheered up a gloomy, rainy day. Gracias! xoxCandice


Two beautiful women and a touching post. Thank you Kristin and Jules. You two have such a great relationship. Enjoy the moments.

Pat Cargill

Lovely, lovely and then more lovely. Oh, how your words of curling up beside your Mom make me yearn for my Mother who is so recently passed. I am so very happy for you that you are having this time with Jules, for it is a treasure for always. Breezy is happily joining in the fun...love the pic of Jules and B with their backs to us, walking on beach.

I am thinking those oddities are fairly modern/recent sculptures, although I loved Marianne's idea about defense tactics a la picket fences of yore!

Know la famille Espinasse is missing you, too. Happy and safe trails back to La Belle France.

Jan in Colorado

You and Jules are such a fascinating mother-daughter duo--so different and yet so much alike. She, the free-sprited, adventurous one and you, the self-confessed worry-wart and often timid, self-doubting one. And yet you both share the same grace, the same depth of emotion and caring, the same gift for self-expression. Thank you for sharing such private thoughts and moments with us. Treasure each moment of your visit as you make more beautiful memories to last a lifetime.

Sierra Danté

Although I have read other peoples blogs, I never subscribed to one, until now. I enjoy your stories and your readers do to. I recently lost my mother to breast cancer. She was a 9-year survivor. I miss her deeply and miss our endless conversation about la vie. But I know she is always with me, while I'm in my jardin, painting, or cooking a delicious meal, she is always there. Enjoy your time together. sierradante.com

Kathy Groves

Your beautiful description of your of these moments of sharing between you and your mother made me think of a quote that you shared in your column several years ago. It was attributed to Claudine Paquet and it went "Ecrire, c'est se cacher derriere les mots tout en se mettant a nu". I have tried ever since to translate it into English but have never succeeded. Thank you for your unabashed sharing of yourself and your relationship with your beautiful family. You have always helped me see how I can try to be better than I am.

Jill in Sydney

I think there must be a novel to be woven from some of your mum's thoughts and stories and her intriguing life which you give us glimpses of.

I envy your happy relationship.


Mothers & daughters/Daughters & mothers. The connectedness of the past, present and future resonated with me as I saw the photos and read this particular blog thinking of my dear mother, Mimi (no longer here), darling daughter and precious granddaughters. Merci beaucoup Kristin for this early Valentine to a very special kind of love.

Jules Greer


Kristi is in the kitchen fixing us a little plate of dates and oranges and toast...I am
vacillating between a morning siesta or preparing for an all-out assault upon the mountains of Puerto Vallarta in one of our crazy Mexican bus's. Kristi keeps mentioning her desire to see the real Mexico - not just the tame Marina where we live. I have a secret place I found years ago where I would like to live one day in a tree-house-like palapa. One day years ago I was out riding the bus's just to see where they went - I found this area above the ocean, deep in the jungle. Very isolated - my kind of place.

I am tired - our visit has been very intense. We have so much to share with each other - we know in the back of our minds we only have three more days......



Irene Campagna

Hi Kristen:

It was really good to meet very briefly yesterday at breakfast (I took everyone's pictures. Would love to keep in touch with you and maybe even get together while you are here in Puerto Vallarta and with your friends and get Matt's email as well.
Hope to hear from you.



Kristi -
I am so loving these posts with your mom. Wow, reminds me of the time my mom and I went to Puerto Vallarta in mid August one time. The only time I could take off from my job. So memorable. Thanks for taking us all along on your journey. Much love, Kim

Marianne Rankin

I did some Internet searching, but couldn't find any information on those things on the beach. They have a name, which I've forgotten, and it didn't turn up in any site I quickly checked. I still think they may have orginally used for coastal defense, but they do make interesting modern sculptures.

In any case, I hope you will have a wonderful time with your mother and everyone else you meet.

Ophelia in Nashville

Another late post... Thank you for valuing the beauty of the interior life. What a blessing you are to each other.


Hi Kristin: I'm a late comer, because I only stumbled on your blog barely a week ago. But I enjoy so many anecdotes you wrote. Many of them bring back some memories of a certain étape de ma vie. I remember wanting to be close to my mother. But being born in a conservative family that cherished boys over girls, I accepted my fate. I vowed to change that when I would have a daughter. Unfortunately, I do not have any daughter in later years :-(
It's beautiful to read about your mom and you being so close...like sisters. Your mom is a beautiful woman, full of vivacité et sagesse. I like her advice to you about your "messy home", that at least you make the neighbors happy to know their house is cleaner. Hahaha, that makes me feel good to hear that, because my home is often in... disarray. However, at times, I do feel guilty and do my best to clean up after my mess. But I do not let that wear me down every day.
How do you pronounce your mom's name? Jules, c'est normalement un prénom pour garçons, n'est-ce pas?
Bonne semaine à vous tous!

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