I'm a redeemed child of God and the momma to four vivacious daughters. I'm passionate about finding hidden blessings in the trials of life, living it out in an honest and open way, while encouraging those around me to believe in better.

4 Apr

good-bye costa rica

We’re headed home! But before we do, I thought I would post some final thoughts and memories from our experience here in Costa Rica.

Yesterday was a crazy[ish} day. First off, I think I’ve kept no secret to the fact of how hot it is here, right? So imagine my surprise when I heard thunder this afternoon. Thunder! And CJ goes, “that can’t be thunder.” But yes indeed, it was thunder.

I asked him if it would start raining. “No!” he says, “it’ll never rain.” But yes indeed, it rained! A fresh, cooling, rain … heaven!

And then the animal sightings … it was crazy! The girls have taken to feeding any living creature that comes near … birds, iguana, coatimundi’s, monkey’s {well, we tried with the monkey’s, but they wouldn’t buy it}.


We had a showdown first thing in the morning between an iguana and a baby coatimundi … the girls loved it! Then we went to the pool and were surrounded by monkey’s. We’ve had monkey sightings while we’ve been here, which is pretty cool … but the trees were covered with howler monkey’s … and little baby ones too. Precious! As we were playing in the pool, they’d start hollering … cool!

After we got back to our room in the afternoon, the monkey’s started moving through the trees and as luck would have it, they passed through the trees outside our room … but they decided to stay. They started hollering again, and it was just so cool!


Then it was bathtime … I’ve way loosened up on the bath scene while we’ve been here and they desperately needed them. After baths, I put them in the little robes the hotel had out for them {but we hadn’t used yet} … the girls loved it! They were so cute loving their little robes … all cozy and snuggly.

The girls were not happy when I asked them to get dressed to go to dinner. They wanted to stay in for room service and became whining, crying, crazy children when we said they needed to get dressed. Piper asked if she could wear her pajamas … I said sure. So Wynter and Hunter wore theirs too. Quite the sight we were when the kids came traipsing in to the restaurant ready for bed!


As I’ve said, we had a great trip, but are anxious to get home. Here are some final musings from our trip:

  • googolplex is the word of the vaca … the girls {especially wynter} used it in every possible circumstance.
  • water poured on the head and a sip of diet coke provide much needed energy during a jungle walk
  • taylor likes to play with her hair
  • nothing but trouble abounds if i don’t brush the girls hair for 3 days!
  • i love my children
  • crabby girls love water
  • it’s hard to catch up when email goes down
  • cj sets boobie traps for me at night {shoes in my path, doors open} that ends with the toilet seat up
  • hermit crabs become domesticated in chlorine water
  • they also die from too much chlorine water
  • our connect four game should have a passport
  • we love to feed wild animals
  • hunter gives the most evil look if you take a nukie away
  • for pete’s sake, would someone remind me to bring piper’s bday present next year?  two years in a row … forgot!
  • cj is {still} a germaphobe
  • wynter and hunter have skin that tans in the shade
  • taylor wears make up in the middle of the jungle
  • mary jane crocs are not the shoe of choice for a jungle hike
  • if hunter sees a large furry animal {unknown species} she immediately says “awww, it’s so cuddawy”
  • cj speaks excellent ‘spanglish’ ..
  • a serious case of carpal tunnel sets in after using a laptop ‘mouse’ for 2 weeks.
  • if you think you could eat chips & salsa {and guac} for the rest of your life … you’re wrong.
  • my girls can find adventure no matter where they are.
  • hunter-ese:
    • weapster = leaspter
    • sun cweam = sun screen
    • mogwani = iguana
    • sisters = piper & wynter
    • moobella = umbrella
    • wizard = lizard
  • i love movie nights with tay … slumdog millionaire, four christmases, yes man, bride wars
  • my husband is deaf
  • i don’t enjoy laying in the sun as much as i used to
  • the girls prefer being naked
  • howler monkey’s are the coolest … their babies are even cooler
  • i love to travel with my family
  • i am blessed

You can find photos from our trip here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here!

Posted in blessed, costa rica, family photos, vacation

3 Apr

costa rica {day thirteen}

We are all getting a little anxious to head home. CJ has ‘hell’ week coming up, so he’s getting antsy with some business stuff and decisions. I’m getting antsy with the store stuff {even though I strongly believe it’s all good … I wish I were there}, and I’m going to be gone next week at a workshop {more on that later}. So I won’t be back at the store for another week. And, if you know me … that’s weighing on me.

Believe it or not, the girls are missing home too.

We’ve had an awesome time and are so blessed to have this experience … but … there’s no place like home! :)

The rooms here are made up of little villas sprinkled throughout the hills, so it’s a bit of a walk to get to the pools, beach, restaurants, etc. … so we take a golf cart ride to get to where we’re going. The night we arrived, we were shown to our awaiting chariot {golf cart}. There’s a seat that faces the back and then one that faces forward behind the driver’s seat {kind of a stretch golf cart}. So … the girls all run to sit on the backwards facing seat … and as luck would have it … the littlest one lost out on a seat! She was NOT a happy camper and refused to sit on Taylor’s lap.

Lesson learned … when the cart comes now, she literally books to the seat and jumps on. Fortunately, they’ve managed to squeeze all four of their bottoms onto the bench … but it’s too precious watching this littlest of the bunch fight her way to a seat.

Okay, so here she is actually waiting for the cart to come in the morning. Early bird gets the worm, right?


Last night we took a sunset catamaran cruise … it was beautiful and the girls loved it! Here’s Hunter on our way out to the catamaran.


Taylor and Piper settle in for the ride.


Wynter reflecting … don’t you wish you could know what goes through their minds?


Hunter and the “papa”razzi …


My gals at the end of the cruise on our way back to the beach.

After our cruise, the girls headed back to the room for a room-service dinner {their favorite}, while CJ and I went to dinner for date night … thank you Tay for watching the girls for us!  You can find more photos from the day here.

We’ve got another day here in paradise … it’s been a tremendous experience, it’s a beautiful country, the wildlife has been incredible … and the sun HOT! But as I said …

There’s no place like home!

Posted in blessed, costa rica, family photos, vacation

29 Mar

look who showed up for breakfast!


Posted in costa rica, vacation

28 Mar

on the move again {day eight}

Good-bye Tambor … hello Papagayo! I didn’t think Costa Rica could get any more beautiful … but hot-dog, I was wrong!

Papagayo is beautiful … the hotel is discretely set into the landscape and … well … beautiful!

The long drive into the hotel was lined with howler monkeys! Yay! The driver said they are ‘roosters’ in the morning and will wake us up … Huntie can’t wait.

We took off {and came in last week} on this small little runway. The airport consists of a short runway and a bench with a tin cover for shade. Oh! and a small parking lot. I remember when we were coming in for the landing, Curt’s looking around asking me if I see an airport. I happened to spot a runway … far cry from an airport though! And pointed it out to him. The fact that he didn’t spot it was shocking and telling.

I was sitting next to Hunter {her against the window} and was telling her we were landing. We were above water and as the plane got lower and lower, I could see the confusion and wonder in her eyes … “seriously? we’re going to land in the water?”

Just as I thought it’d be a beach landing, we hit pavement and landed. Anyway … the same freakiness today with our takeoff. We did a short runway takeoff … basically where the brakes are on, but we go up to full power … so when they take the brakes off we take. off.!!

So there we go, screaming down the runway towards the water and at the last final moment, we take off. I have some photos of the day and some I took from the plane here.


Crabby Wynter made an appearance again today. Here she is on the plane. She was dying of thirst. She finally came to with a can of club soda {for the record, that’s the ‘soda’ they usually get}. And okay, I’ll get over the ‘soda guilties’ already!


We finally made it to the hotel. Got settled in. The girls had a little swim in our plunge pool. Worked up an appetite and …


This is what dinner for a hungry family of six looks like. :)

Posted in costa rica, family photos, vacation, wynter

27 Mar

a visit to town {day seven}

We decided to head into the local town this morning. It’s always such a humbling experience to see how other countries live. Especially a country still considered third world. The countryside here is so beautiful. The hills, trees, landscape scattered with small one room houses … lots of acreage, some cattle. As we’re experiencing these things and seeing these things … I often wonder how my children are seeing it.

I don’t really talk to them about it … maybe I should? But I always wonder what would be the right approach. In one way it’s unfair to say these people are ‘less fortunate’ than we are. Because in most cases, they don’t know any different and don’t know they are ‘less fortunate,’ you know?

When we pray at night, we always start by thanking God for all the blessings he’s given us, and most times we’ll list out many of the blessings … including the travel we are blessed to experience.

Sometimes I feel like I don’t talk to my kids enough about stuff like this. I need to think about that …


Anyway. We headed into town on another hot, blistery day. We saw kids in school uniforms on a break. Piper and a little girl her age passed one another and gave each other the ‘stare down.’ Again, I wondered what went through each of their minds as they looked each other up and down …

Here’s Wynter in the grocery store. We always love looking at the different types of food and what’s available.


Then it was a visit to the local produce place. Everything was out in large baskets. You could smell the freshness of the veggies! Here’s Hunter picking out the best looking carrots.


Crunch! {p.s., her lips are orange from fanta, not the carrot}


And bribing with soda never gets old! I promise soda for the kids is a rare occasion {Jenny, don’t judge me! :)}


After the visit to the grocery store, where the girls got ice cream and popsicles, they needed a little crab-fest break! We found this staircase where they chilled for a bit before continuing our walk. There was a guy setting up a ‘shoe store’ on his car and the girls were completely intrigued.

The photo was kinda boring with the wall somehow the same color as their skin, so I decided to play with it a little bit …


After our jaunt in town, we headed back to the house for some swimming before lunch. Piper found a new friend to play with … this awesome looking locust-type bug. How do they tame these things?

She brought it up to her room during rest time and had it hanging out watching SpongeBob for a couple of hours. At one point, Taylor went into their room … I was sitting in the hall here on my computer and heard Taylor’s famous shriek … I knew immediately what happened. I went in laughing to find Taylor at the bottom of the bed freaking out, while Piper explained that Taylor almost squashed her new friend.


Of course, no afternoon’s complete without a game of nakie Connect Four!


And finally, this is what ‘rest time’ looks like for Taylor. Don’t remember what she was crackin’ herself up over … but I’m pretty sure it was good! :)


We had a great last day, but are ready to move on. Piper was ‘sad’ this afternoon, but couldn’t put her finger on why exactly. It was sort of sweet to see her feeling these emotions, but not quite sure what she was feeling. CJ is getting a little cranky … in fact, we told him we were putting him to bed early tonight … to which, he got a tad too excited. At one point {in the midst of three girls crying … I may or may not’ve been one of them!}, he asked, “why are you girls so touchy?”

He has no idea what he’s in for, does he?

I have a few more photos from our day here.

Posted in costa rica, family photos, vacation