03

Falmouth, Jamaica

Jun
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This was our first time to Jamaica and so after investigating our options we decided to spend our time enjoying one of the newer and less tourist-soaked sights call the “blue hole.”  Beautiful cascading waterfalls, and cliff diving into turquoise pools.  We climbed up the rocky terrain to the first jump spot with the aid of our energetic guide.  He was incredibly funny and so helpful and nice.  With my knee still not back to it’s full strength I sat the jumping out, and carefully maneuvered over the rocks to take photos of the rest of our posse’s craziness.  The guide was kind to give me his hand whenever I needed, he was more sure of foot in his bare feet than I was with my Chacos on.  The jumping commenced with a water dunk under the waterfall, then the first jump in a small deep spot maybe 10 feet.  Our guide climbed up to about 30 feet and did a jump into the same pool, CRAZY.  Then we moved down the falls to the bigger and much scarier.  We girls sat this one out and watched the guys commence the madness.  The guides carefully walked them down the front side of the waterfall to a good launching location.  Then once in position you took the leap!  Boys are crazy.  Then we gals got in on a little cave swimming.  Under the waterfall is an open tunnel, much like the old nutty putty cave in Utah that has since been closed off.  But this one there was a large opening under the waterfall.  It kinda felt like the chocolate shell on an ice cream bar after the ice cream had melted leaving this cave to view the water crashing down the side, Beautiful.  We could have spent hours there but we had to head back to the boat.  The poverty of the Jamaican people is something I wasn’t quite prepared for.  While there are some that have beautiful homes many simply can’t afford it.  I was inspired by our guide who at one point pointed to some beautiful homes on the tropical mountain side and said, “Someday I will live in one of those, not right now, but someday.”  His optimism was striking and his positivity was infectious.  I wish I would have taken his photo, for now I will just have to remember his words.  Goodbye Falmouth.Collage-7

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02

Labadee, Haiti

Jun
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We have been to Labadee Haiti before. WP_20150303_007_Fotor_Collage It is a Royal Caribbean owned dock and it is gated off form the rest of Haiti, so this is really a beach day.  There are other activities that you can participate in, like the crazy Dragons breath zip-line, but we took the chance to have this be a relaxed day on the beach to prep for the following days.  We started the day with Yoga on the beach.  While not an incredibly exciting activity, it was a blast.  I loved looking out at the ocean waves as I move into warrior pose.  The looking upward in reverse warrior into the canopy of palm trees was so relaxing.  While sand can be a problem I was able to keep it off my towel during the session and just enjoy the movements and sequences.  The 4 of us had an amazing stretch, which was well needed after a full day of flying in cramped seats.  

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01

Cruise: Preface

Jun
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Well it has been a few years since we packed up with our Friends and hit the open seas.  With the past few years filled with moves and baby additions it has put our cruise schedule a little behind and we all craved the sandy beaches.  Now many may ask, “Isn’t a cruise boring?”  Yes, you’re on a boat, but let me just give you a few tips to cruise correctly and hopefully give you a better opinion:Collage-1

  1. Go with a group or another couple – not that you don’t love your spouse, but for some reason laughing with a group and going on adventures is a lot more fun.  Also Karaoke is way better to watch and participate in if you have a cheering squad!
  2. Pre-plan activities.  You stop at different ports every day so you get to experience a lot of local sights and adventures like these and the ones that will follow this post.  So it’s not just sitting on a boat all the time.Collage-2
  3. Food, enough said.  Free food, lots of it, and lots of amazing dishes.  Every night you get a fancy three course meal with amazing culinary specialties to test and try.  (Big hint: you can order more than one of each course every meal!  One night we ordered 10 entrees between the four of us!)Collage-14
  4. The few days at sea that you do have are filled with a fun itinerary of activities, like rock climbing, wake boarding and surfing on the flowrider, trivia games, swimming in your choice of 3 pools, jacuzzi-ing, oh and if you want to sit and bask in the sunshine, relaxing while reading a book you have been wanting to read you can just do that too.
  5. Talk to people.  Random people.  Strike up a convo with anyone.  Even a quick elevator ride can introduce you to some fun people from all over the world.  Special shout out to Ben and Marissa who we met on our last cruise as our dinner buddies, they are really fun people.  We had a great night of dancing with them!

So if you have been a on cruise and neglected any of these few items then you have a reason to go again.  And if you haven’t been cruising, come with us next time!  Here are a few shots of our days and events on the boat.  Following posts will show you our days off the boat!

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31

A Life Back in A little Life

May

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So a little life is a little empty as of late.  Can I just tell you that from the minute we got back from our Christmas vacation, which actually ended up being a Christmas of illness, so really no vacation.  We have been in hyperdrive.  Things haven’t stopped.  We’ve come and gone, we’ve packed and unpacked, little Mr. has grown and then grown again.  It all seems like a flash and it’s 6 months later.  Wow!  And poor little life blog has sat here waiting and thinking if it would ever get to be used again.  But I didn’t forget and I’m going to try my best to post some current and past events that I have recorded.  I know I have forgotten many, but that’s the beauty of our memories right?  Something will spark a memory and we get to remember and relive it for a second even if it’s not documented we at least lived it.  So here’s a little of our life. Me, My Mr, and my little Mr and never forgetting our sweet companion and .5 member Pax.  Who makes us an even better family by giving us that 3.5 to make us feel a little bigger!  So be prepared for a little more life back on our blog!

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22

Decorating for Christmas

Dec
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I love decorating for ChristmasWP_20131127_001 but I have for years I haven’t be able think of what to do with my tree skirt.  I have this cheap velvet skirt that well is nice but it’s just kinda boring.  So I have kinda been on the hunt this year for something new.  You won’t believe the costs of some of the tree skirts out there!  I saw one for $900 dollars, it was beautiful but really $900 dollars, it blew my mind.  picFrame (29)Undaunted I continued my search.  I came upon these at Crate and Barrel last year, their called tree collars, which is something I never heard of before.  I really liked the clean lines, no messy fabric to gather dust and it made the tree look like it was freshly cut from the forest.  But still, the price was a little high for me.  I showed My Mr and without a second glance he said, in his heroic voice, “we can make that”.  So off we went to the local hardware store!  We found a lovely,picFrame (30) large, galvanized pail for $20.  My Mr bore a hole through the center we were set, slipped the tree through the hole and TAAA DAAHH!  It looks so nice and really like we went out and cut it and plopped it in a pail of water.  I just love looking at our tree with it’s fancy new base and I can always paint it or add some fabric to it and give it a new look, Gosh it’s just amazing!  Merry Christmas to our Tree!

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19

A Memorable Christmas

Dec
1 Comment » |  Posted by |  Category:Holidays

WP_20131225_036While last Christmas was a great time of joy as we welcomed our little Mr, it was also one that we felt a little alone.  Our amazing friends the Clines who we lived with while little Mr. grew, had left to spend Christmas with family and we were alone in their house.  As we watched our little one go through the ups and downs of NICU growth, the stress can be overwhelming and we found ourselves lonely in a city we didn’t live in and had no family.  We thought of the gathering and the parties going on back in Utah and while nothing compares to being near your child, the stress of your new situation can make you feel what I would call family sick (homesick).  Missing the support and presence of those who can help buoy you up and give a hug in a time of need.  There is nothing like family.  But we were grateful for our little miracle and I made plans to celebrate with our little one and keep a few of our traditions alive.  I didn’t however feel that My Mr. was going into it with the same vigor as me.  He kept delaying theWP_20131224_007 food buying for our traditional Christmas eve dinner, or getting traditional items to make our unconventional Christmas a little more homey.  I reluctantly thought this must just be stressful for him.  But I was wrong, he had something up his sleeve!  As the days leading up to Christmas neared I was getting irritated with his lack of urgency, and feeling more family sick.  When one night or I should say morning, I got a phone call at 4 AM, as a NICU mom I went into full panic mode as I jolted, drowsily up and looked at my phone.  I confusedly saw my Dads name.  He told me he had sent a package and that it should be there now, and to go to the door.  I was so confused, I stumbled to the front door of our friends home and looked out at a confusing sight.  A bright optical Christmas tree perched upon my parents car.  I dashed to the car falling into the arms of my Dad, tears welled up in my eyes as we WP_20131225_037embraced.  They had come to us.  My parents had left immediately after a party they hosted at their home, packed up, and drove all night with our family’s traditional food and so much more.  They literally brought all my Christmas desires to us.  My heart was full, they didn’t want us to be alone, it was an act of love that I will never forget.  As we all gathered around the little isolette that contained our sleeping baby, and my parents took turns holding their newest grandchild it became a Christmas that I will never forget.  Thank you Mom & Dad, I can never tell you what that meant to me.

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17

Tree Cutting

Dec
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WP_20141128_0032While we prefer our lovely fake tree and balsam smelling candle for our house.  This stems from a couple bad Christmas’s with needle messes and a bunt up vacuum.  And it doesn’t help that at our house we track in plenty of needles from the MANY pines that live and shed all over our house, allowing us to track them in without the addition of a tree.  But I digress.  picFrame (27)

We were lucky enough to get to Join our friends on their hunt to find and cut down their tree.  And yes I will take credit for finding the perfect one for their house.  It was a fun little outing and we braved the rainy, downpour.  Little Mr. took a nap on the ride out so we WP_20141128_0023bundled hip up and put him under dads rain coat to stay cozy until he eventually woke hearing all the excitement.  We picked it and then had the owner come and cut it down for us.  We watched and then I took Alvin and showed him how to could the rings of the tree to see how oldpicFrame (28) it was.  We carefully counted 17 rings and Alvin delighted in knowing his trees age.  We hauled it down to a machine that shook off the old pin needle and spiders from it’s branches.  That was really interesting I had never seen that before.  We paid the huge sum of $15, awesome deal right?!  Tied to the roof and home we went to find it’s final corner.  I’m sure we will have to do this someday with our Little Mr. so maybe we’ll get a cute little table top tree when we do it!  Less needles to clean up if we get a small one!  Thanks to my dearest Clines, our family, for giving us another fun memory!

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15

A Year, doesn’t it go by in a blink

Dec
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It’s been a year: one year since the birth of our amazing miracle baby.  His birth, weighing in at a huge 3lb 13oz, was miraculous and I use that word with real thought and depth of feeling.  It wasn’tWP_20131220_005 happenstance that he came to us, and the people who were part of that amazing process were surely guided by the hand of a loving thoughtful Heavenly Father.  As I look back and remember the steps along the road to his adoption, and the steps since, I know that they testify of the divinity of our loving God who watches over all.  Even in our times of loss or pain, of which there were many, even those testify of His grace.  He molded us into the people we are now to help us to truly appreciate the miracle of our Little Mr.  The past year has taught me about love: the kind that looks beyond this life and into the next.  Without this little angel that I am so lucky to call mine, I would not have had the blessing of feeling that, of experiencing that.  So while yesterday marked a year of his life, that day also signifies so much more, as it continues to remind me and stand as yet another example of my Savior’s love.  What a wonderful reminder I will have for the rest of my life. Happy Birthday, My Little Mr, you have given us such immeasurable joy.

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03

Christmas Card time

Dec
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Its that time of year and the cards are in!  I love creating our card each year.  I’m weird and start thinking about the design and info in July, yes I know CRAZY!  If I don’t start that early, at least thinking about it, it won’t happen!  I know that an actual card can be a little old fashioned with all this email high tech’ery.  But isn’t there something nice about getting something other than adverts and bills in the mail?  Something fun and from a friend/family?  Though each card is the same each address is reviewed and thought about and each person on the list is someone our family cares for and it may be silly but it’s thoughtful in a way.  To know that someone is thinking of you want wants to share their tid-bit of life with you.  Christmas is in the air and our greeting will be on its way soon!

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01

Pies a Plenty

Dec
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So with my fear of pie making behind me I set out to make a few pies for Thanksgiving.  2 double layered chocolate Oreo pies.  A key lime because who doesn’t like a little tang.  Then came the last 2 a chocolate pecan, which is based off this recipe, but instead I left out the pretzels entirely, they remind me too much of the pretzel raspberrypicFrame (26) desert, which is really yummy but the pecans add enough crunch I think.  I also melted the chocolate and added it to the filling before I added the pecans at the end, making the filling more chocolaty gooey.  And then a peanut butter pie with chocolate graham cracker crust.  I referenced a few different pie recipes and pulled all the ingredients that sounded good to me and made a peanut concoction of delicious goodness.  Brushed the top with leftover chocolate and it turned out not only pretty but creamy, smooth, and yummy.  They will be perfect for our Thanksgiving breakfast, yes that’s right we want to make sure we have plenty of room for pie so we eat those first thing Thanksgiving morning!  A fun tradition that was shared with us and we decided to add it to our family.  Everything turned out wonderfully, Thanksgiving pies we’re a success

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30

December 1st 2014

Nov
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It’s that time of year where we cuddle down, grab a blanket and a cup of Cocoa and watch White Christmas!  I love that show!  Bing Crosby was my favorite Christmas artist as a child and still to this day.  His voice brings back memories and smells to my mind of the season.   The deep and un-auto tuned sound of his voice is really lovely and I could listen to his version of White Christmas, with the whistle section forever, that song is Christmas to me.  Happy December lovelies, I hope your all excited for the season!  We were challenged by our home teacher to reflect on and take time to study the life and Atonement of our Savior during this season.   I really appreciated that challenge as much as we may try to have a Christ centered holiday it is often difficult with all that goes a long with the season.  So while I will enjoy my Bing, I will also make time to focus on something infinitely more important, my personal relationship with my Savior.  And this is the Season for that!

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24

Clam-cation

Nov
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So My Mr. is kinda a Clamming King!  He is so patient and persistent, rain or shine My Mr. will find the those little beasts and harvest them.  The clamming season is really sporadic here in Washington, opening and closing at random times.  With a little luck though he picked a weekend perfectly and he headed out with the scouts recently on a rainy weekend to Long Beach Washington.  Using his trusty clam gun he dug and dug and hit his limit of 15 lovely clams to bring home.  He boiling and shelled them, made a lovely batter to incrust them in and yes, fried them!  This has to be done outside as I really don’t like my house smelling of oil.  But his recipe was perfection and we enjoyed them for the next few days. 

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