One Year in Paradise - St. Croix

One Year in Paradise – A Reflection

In Uncategorized by Sarah6 Comments

One Year in Paradise – A Reflection

I know…it has been 3 months since our last post. It may sound trite, but life really DID get busy over the past 3 months. I’ll attempt to play “catch up” to get you up to date on our current “goings on” and also provide my “One Year in Paradise – A Reflection” as well.

Playing Catch Up

The boys had a lot of fun things going on in their classes – especially as the end of the school year approached. Miles finished up 4th Grade and moved up to 5th Grade and Gabe moved up from 2nd to 3rd Grade. They both LOVED their teachers and were sad about having to say goodbye for the summer.

Stewart had a busy last few months as well. In April, he got to visit and go on choir tour with his best friend. He was called and sustained as the Branch President of the St. Croix, USVI Branch. He also still loves his job as an Executive Assistant to the Head Master at the Good Hope Country Day School.

I spent much of the months of March and April substituting at the school. When Stewart was travelling I also substituted for him. My parents visited for a short bit – which was fantastic! Mid-April, I was asked to take over the Elementary Art position at the school due to the art teacher needing to leave for personal reasons. I jumped at the chance!

At the beginning of May, I visited Utah for my mom’s retirement – she has been teaching for 45+ years! It was interesting to be back in Utah. I think the best way to describe it would maybe be – it’s like Brigadoon. Stay with me on this….nothing had changed. Sure a few new developments, the usual road construction, and a new house here and there…but it was all still the same. I loved seeing family and friends. I missed my little island home though. I have changed and have had life experiences that no longer included these people with whom I’d spent so much of my life. It’s not a bad thing – just very interesting and a little hard to put into words.

A few weeks after I returned, on May 23rd, I was asked to fill the Elementary Art Teacher position going forward into next year. I am very excited to be teaching Elementary Art to 1st – 5th Graders! I have big shoes to fill as the previous art teacher was talented, well connected, and loved in the community – and yet I know that I have a great support system. It will be wonderful to continue to get up, go to school, and come home all together as a family.

As you can see, life has been crazy! Stewart with a new church calling and me with a new job! We are also still trying to launch a jewelry business – more to come on that later. Stay tuned. We will continue to post to the blog and keep you up to date on all things in the Caribbean!

One Year in Paradise – A Reflection

As I type this, it was one year ago today that we were anxiously awaiting our trailer of our household things to arrive. It is a little strange to reflect on the past year. So much has changed. We have grown as a family. We have grown as individuals. We have learned a lot and continue to learn.

Things I Have Learned (or had reaffirmed)

  • I Can Do Hard Things!

    Hurricanes, cleaning up debris, zillions of bug bites, diy-ing a kitchen (working on that post!)….I can do hard things!

  • Island Life is NOT for Everyone

    It takes a certain kind of person to handle the lack of speed in everything (government processes, customer service, shipping…just to name a few), the humidity, the lack of retail stores, and of course, things like tsunamis and hurricanes. Island life is really hard – not going to sugar coat this one…however, it is completely worth it for me.

  • Be All In 100%

    We have met so many people that have been really surprised that we bought our home and did not rent first. “What if you ended up not liking it?” they would ask. We say, “So what?” If we found that we didn’t like it….we would get out. We are not naïve enough to think that it would be simple, but we know that the only things that are permanent in this life are “death and taxes.” I would also add that the only thing constant is CHANGE! So, we knew that if there were a “way out” it would be entirely too easy to take it. So many people make a change but leave a foot in the door. They leave a way out of a possibly “scary” (meaning the outcome is completely unknown) situation. When one does that, one sets themselves up for failure.

  • If you move to a new location – be it one block or 3,000 miles away from your old house – if you don’t decide to allow yourself to “be all in – 100%”, you will never acclimate to the new place, surroundings, or community. We live in a time and age when we are constantly watching out in case “something better comes along.” You know….FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). We took a leap and jumped right in with our home, our church, and our community. God absolutely had a hand in getting us where we are today. We were willing to BE ALL IN – 100% – and He blessed us. If you are making a change – be it moving or otherwise – be all in – 100%…see what happens! It might just surprise you what else might be possible.

Well, that’s it. I’ve tried to keep this blog updated as the year has progressed (ok….nevermind the past 3 months…I know). Those things I have learned over the past year are only a few of the myriad of things that I continue to learn each day. Each day is a blessing and I am grateful I get to choose joy and try a little harder to be a little better!

What nuggets of wisdom have you
gleaned from your past year?


  1. 10 months ago I made a soft decision to finish my Park service career. 13 seasons equals 12 years; my lifelong dream. I am not training to be a TSA officer (no gun,) I feel I’ve been lead here, to this position. I want to make a difference, not sure what that means yet, but… Here I am.

    1. Author

      Way to go! That is a big decision! AND you are going to be a great TSA officer…one that knows how to smile. 🙂

  2. Sarah- Thank you for sharing your story. Last year at this time I was still in Texas and looking at everything I could about moving to St. Croix. I found your blog and loved it. I followed you after Maria with great interest. Would you stay or leave? And today I sit at a desk in St Croix having moved here in April. In fact I work just down the street from Good Hope near Straker Motors!! I am in 100% and completely agree with you that you must be in order to acclimate. My husband and I did not let the hurricane deter us from our dream of moving here and your blog definitely helped to keep us motivated. Keep writing and keep sharing. Thank you. Pam

    1. Author

      Pam – First and foremost, thank you very much for reading our blog. I am so happy that it helped you to stay motivated in getting here! We LOVE it! We love when wonderful people move to this beautiful island….and we love it EVEN more when people work towards their dreams – whatever they may be! Thank you for your kind words. Please say hi if you see us on island – we’re bound to run into each other sometime….after all, it’s a small island!

  3. Great stuff! I am not surprised by any of it. Tell the boys hello for me. I wish you all the best. Your a blessing wherever you go. Tear it up!!
    Love the Jones

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