April 30, 2022

Cost Rica, part two

It was the fanciest experience I’ve ever had to sit at a table nestled in the jungle overlooking the ocean while being served fresh juice. There was such a variety of foods to eat and try at breakfast. I became a fan of Costa Rican beans and rice for breakfast.

We took a stroll around the resort grounds and saw our first monkeys of the trip up on the trees.

Swinging from jungle vines will not go down as a skill of mine.

Eric was in heaven spotting all the wildlife.

There was so much beauty around the resort.

Our outing that day was surfing and kayaking.

The boys all opted in for a surf lesson while us girls were content on the beautiful beach and in the perfect ocean water.

We walked to a local restaurant for lunch. There were monkeys on our path on the way back.

Then we went kayaking through the mangroves. I called it mandrakes (like from Harry Potter) so many times that I thoroughly confused myself.

Eric and I got a double kayak. Everything reminded me of Disneyland on the jungle cruise. I saw how well done that ride truly is! Maybe now I will go to Disneyland and think “wow this reminds me of Costa Rica” instead of everything I experience reminding me of Disney.

Look at those mangroves!

Another monkey right there on the branch next to us.

It was so fun exploring these tight corridors.

We asked our guide about weather and he assured us it wouldn’t rain. Seriously 15 min later, we got a downpour as we kayaked. Hahaha. We got a little shelter from the mangrove trees. And then it stopped just as fast as it started.

We ended the night with dinner at the hotel restaurant. Fun day!

April 27, 2022

checking in on my intensity towards life

Volcano Aranal in Costa Rica

It's a blessing and a curse. 

Since finishing my cancer treatments, I have felt an intensity towards living life. It's a constant pull to live each day to the fullest, to choose the bigger life, to fulfill dreams I've always had, to go on adventures, to weed out things in my life that aren't fulfilling, etc. 

This fierce drive has brought me to a place of happiness, fun, confidence, growth, and joy.

I'm taking ballroom dance classes, traveling, developing new friendships, serving youth at church, organizing groups of women in a book club and a lunch and learn group, staying extremely active, reading more, training to be a certified yoga instructor, planning parties, and trying to be a good mom and wife and friend.

So this, also, means extremely full days, less money in our bank account, and not so pinterest worthy dinners and house cleanliness.

See, it's a blessing and a curse.

Last night, I was just thinking about how to manage this intense need to do all the things and maintain balance in my life. 

I know I thrive off of action and involvement. But I know I can get swept away if I'm not careful.

I know not everyone is like this. Not everyone feels so big, so curiously, and with such ardor. But I am certain that I'm not the only one with this tendency. And since cancer it is so much more than it has ever been.

How do you tame a passionate for life soul??

I don't have an answer, but I did want to do a quick check in with myself and send myself a reminder.

It is this: Slow down. Breathe. Life isn't going to end for you just yet. You have time. It's ok if you don't do all the things today. Or even tomorrow. Prioritize. Be aware of how you are spending your time and money. Practice self-control when you need to. Be wise. Choose according to your values. Carve out quiet time and reflection. Listen to your heart, mind, and body. Keep using your time wisely and you probably can do a lot of the things, but not everything. Again, that's ok. You really do have time. 

You have time.

(also, keep practicing meditation because I think it is helping)

April 25, 2022

Costa Rica, part one

Throwback to January when we went Costa Rica on an AMAZING trip to celebrate Eric's 40th birthday!!

It's finally time to document what is now in my top three best vacations ever.

We were gone 9 whole days. NINE DAYS without our kids. Half of the time I missed them like crazy and wished they were there to show them things and share the experience with them and even planned for when I would take them there someday. And the other half of the time I forgot I even had kids. ;)

We had a day of travel to arrive in Costa Rica. Unfortunately, because of an unexpected plane change in colorado we arrived in San Jose but our luggage did not. That meant two days living off of what we could buy in the hotel gift shop and the swimsuits we packed in our backpacks.  

We didn't meet up with our friends until the next morning at breakfast. Then we took a three hour drive to Manuel Antonia area. We stayed at Hotel Parador and I highly recommend it!

We grabbed a quick yet not so quick lunch before leaving for our Catamaran. 

All of the fresh fruit and juice on the boat was a little bit of heaven.

Perfect ocean views and we got to see so many dolphins swimming in the water.

Our boat stopped and we got to swim and snorkel, slide and jump off of the boat.

We watched the most beautiful sunset as we ate dinner on the top deck.

I don't have any still pictures, but we had a fun dance party on the way back to land!

We got back to our hotel and did some late night sneaking into the pool.

It was a perfect way to start our trip. Costa Rica is beautiful!

April 12, 2022

January things

Small moments are what build our lives and I'm glad I captured a few of these in January.

Dancing in the living room...

Kyler took on the rootbeer challenge that we did at Eric's party.

The weather in January in Arizona is divine. Brinna and I loved spending time outside reading together.

I introduced Brinna to the joy of dandelion blowing.

We watched Kacin wrestle at a meet. He pinned his opponent! (Layla didn't like the smell of hard work.)

Brinn and I went on an adventure to Scottsdale to the dinosaur musuem.

Our citrus trees were heavenly. We picked oranges every couple of days and made so much delicious orange juice. 

The girls started letting the chickens out to free range every day. I loved having the chickens running around our backyard until they started pooping all over our porch. Then we had to end the free ranging. But we had a lot of golden moments with the chickens.

Look at that orange Layla picked!

We celebrated Kacin's birthday lowkey with a candy bar and a football game.

We blew a tire on the freeway driving home from the airport.

We read a book about true fun for book club and so after our book club discussion we arranged flowers.

Eric and I took an amazing vacation together in January. After we got home, it was so wonderful to sit in church as a family and have these little hands stretched across my lap holding onto each other. You can travel the world and see so many amazing things, but sometimes the best view is right in your lap.