Friday, April 26, 2013

10 years and a letter of love

We were fortunate to spend our special anniversary in Cabo ~ 10 years!  10 years, people!  It sounds like a long time, but to be perfectly honest it doesn't feel like it at all.  It doesn't seem like 10 years have passed since we said, "I do," but then I look at our life and all that we've accomplished together and I know that it must have taken some time, because we've done a lot.  I also think back to ten years ago and feel like we were babies when we stood at that alter, in front of our dear friends and family who we love so much, and made promises before God.  We were just 24 and we had our whole life ahead of us.  And it kind of feels like we still do...I look at our children and know that we have so many wonderful, perhaps some challenging, times ahead.  10 years have flown by and I can honestly say that I am just as excited to see where the next ten will lead us.
Ken and Diane were kind enough to watch all the kids so that we could go out.  Stacy and Justin joined us for a special evening.
We started at the beach front bar and then headed to La Gondolondrina, which has wonderful food and a beautiful atmosphere! 
For my love,
Marriage isn't always easy, but I can confidently say that I found the perfect partner for me.  Kyle is the calm when I'm storming, always staying rational, never rising to the bait of an argument.  It's remarkable, really, his ever steady walk through life.  It is a quality of his that I greatly admire and am often thankful for. He's so very easy going.  He is hard to anger and easy to make happy.  I know he appreciates me, which is a gift all on its own.  Kyle is the pillar of faith in our family.  I love that he has willingly sought God in difficult situations and has made an effort to deepen his relationship with Christ.  What a wonderful example he is to our children.  I will also be forever grateful for the comfort that I take knowing that Kyle is protecting our family ~ he provides unselfishly, working so hard, to give us a good life.  He's successful in his job, mostly I believe because he is kind and honest and people can trust him.  That's a rare quality in business these days and he has been rewarded for it.  Kyle makes an effort to make me feel special ~ over these ten years of marriage he has listened and tried to do little things that he knows I will love.  We have had to learn one another's love languages, and we've come along way.  I look back to the start of our marriage and while we had a ton of fun and certainly lived a more carefree life, at this point we know one another more deeply, love more intimately.  While every day isn't perfect, I am proud of us.  Proud of my husband and the love that he has for our family. 
I love you, Kyle and feel blessed to have you as my partner in life.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Cabo ~ Dolphin Day

When I was young, I dreamed of being a dolphin trainer...working at Sea World and playing with those amazing creatures every day.  Marine Science was a direction I looked into during college, but it just seemed a bit too impractical for me.  Would I really be able to train dolphins at Sea World?  I digress, let's just say that I've always had a desire to swim with dolphins and I was just biding my time until one of the children was old enough and wanted to do it too.  On our third day in Cabo, we took off and explored the marina ~ I knew there is a dolphin adventure place at the very end, and Carter had expressed interest so we ventured over and checked it out.  Once we were there, both Carter and I were sold!  How could Kyle say no to both of us?  He couldn't :)  
So, as soon as we got back to the hotel we talked with the concierge about signing us up.  I was so, so excited!  
Getting to see the dolphins swim by was so cool!

Not only did Carter get to encounter dolphins, but he got to hold a beautiful parrot, too.
Where did my cautious boy go?


The next day, we headed back over to Cabo Adventures and got all checked in for our dolphin swim.  
I think Carter was pretty nervous, but he hid it well.  I was so excited I could barely stand it!

Dressed and ready to go!

All Kennedy cared about was getting a stuffed animal.  She had little to no desire to swim with the dolphins and when they offered her the chance to pet one, she shyly declined.  I have to say, I was a bit surprised.  She's usually quite fearless

Daddy and Kennedy happily watched from the viewing area

After our 45 minute swim
It was SO awesome!  I think I may have floated out of the was such an amazing experience.  And to get to share it with Carter, feeling him shake with excitement and smile from ear to ear, was priceless.  I just felt so very thankful that we are able to share such incredible memories with our children.  We are fortunate and so very blessed.

Carter, always on the hunt for facts, also enjoyed learning a lot about dolphins.  He asked great questions and learned how much she weighed (~450 pounds), how tall she was (~8 feet), how many teeth she had (80), etc.  Oh and an Orca is the biggest type of dolphin.  Who knew?

Carter and me with our dolphin, Ende.  She was such a sweet, gentle, beautiful animal.  Not only did we get to pet her, we each swam around the pool with her (me clinging to her dorsal and Carter belly to belly), danced with her, fed her a fish and got a sloppy kiss.  I wish so much that we would have been able to bring our own cameras up to the viewing area, but at $25 each our one token photo was all we got!
Truly a dream come true for me!  
A day I will never forget!

Cabo ~ Sun, Surf and Swimming!

One of the very best things about our week stay in Cabo is the chance to be in the water for the better part of everyday.  Carter and Kennedy love to swim!  And I love laying in the sun near the water :)  This year, Carter really enjoyed playing on the beach ~ jumping waves, swimming in the ocean and body surfing a bit.  We emptied out pounds of sand from his swim trunks each day, but he didn't seem to mind a bit.  Kennedy still preferred the pool and swam most of the day, quite independently.  She's a little fish and is so very happy when in the water!

Another highlight of pool time was enjoying yummy strawberry smoothies!

Ocean time! 
Our resort is on the Sea of Cortez side of Cabo, so the water is relatively calm and there isn't much of an undertow.  The boys had so much fun in the waves!

I love this picture and a glimpse into our future ~ Each afternoon, after playing the water for hours, Carter would have a snack and rest while enjoying a book.  It thrills me to no end that Carter loves to read!

Sloane was a little fish, too!

I got in a little baby time too!

swimming with Grandma

venturing out to the beach...Kennedy got a bit more brave as the week went on

Auntie Stacy and Miss K

Uncle J and the boys

On our last full day, we took a water taxi out to Lover's Beach at the tip of the Baja (where the Pacific meets the Sea of Cortez).  It was so fun to explore and get a little tour of the area.  Our guide was great and so sweet with the kids.  He pointed out fun rock formations and gave us a bit of history too.

lots of rock climbing and exploring

Kennedy took our picture!

These two were inseparable the entire trip.
This particular morning, Bennett wouldn't swim until Carter came down to the pool.

On our last morning, Kennedy finally decided that the ocean was fun ~ she splashed and played and had a great time!

love that smile!

Monday, April 22, 2013

{Cabo San Lucas} ~ 2013

We took our bi-yearly trip to Cabo earlier in March...our vacation could not have come at a more perfect time.  The winter weather was getting us all down and life had just been so busy.  A week long vacation in the sun felt like a little slice of heaven.  Not only did we get to spend lots of quality time as a family, but it was such a treat to have a break from our daily routine.  No rushing around in the morning to get to school on time, no packing lunches, no racing around town for baseball or dance or dentist appointments.  It was just a blissful week of rest and relaxation!  We went to bed early, woke up with the sun, usually went for a morning walk and then spent the majority of our day in our bathing suits.  We would usually clean up and head out for dinner, which was a treat in itself (no cooking or dishes!).

We were the last to arrive on Saturday afternoon and Bennett was thrilled to see Carter.  We enjoyed drinks at the beach and the kids were swimming in the pool as soon as we were able to get into our rooms.

We were all so happy to be there!

The kids were at such a fun age and really enjoyed playing together.
B has the sweetest smile!

Fun and so cute, Sloane was excited to be in Cabo too!

First night, we headed to The Crazy Lobster for dinner - Carter's favorite.
I love this picture of Kyle and Sloane - he is so good with kids.  Not just our own children but all kids love him!

Day #2
Cleaned and dressed for our dinner out...this time it was to Poncho's.

handsome boys


I always tortured the kids and made them take lots of pictures before dinner each night.
But I am so glad I did, these are so me of my most favorite pictures!

Enjoying ice cream after dinner ~ this was something that the kids enjoyed several time during the vacation.  After dinner, we'd head to the little store downstairs and let them choose an ice cream treat.  
This was after our first full day in the sun and even though we used SPF 70, Carter got burned.  
Poor little guy!

Our morning exploration ~ we'd head to see the turtles and flamingos at the resort next door and then take a little walk on the beach.  I wish I would have taken advantage of the morning hours a bit more...although enjoying my coffee on the balcony with a book was pretty lovely too.

Carter could not get enough of the beach this year.  He wanted to be out in the ocean the whole time.

headed out to dinner at one the best Italian restaurants we've ever found.  Crazy that it is in Mexico, but the food is so amazingly good!  It was great evening.


The one and only morning that we didn't spend in our swim suits!  We got dressed and headed over to explore the marina (with a quick stop at Starbucks, of course :)

We got to see a big yacht being moved from the bay.  
It was fascinating and it looked like it was a very precise job.  I kept thinking how much money it would cost if one of the workers made a mistake.  Once raised from the water, it was just rolled over to a parking type area.  Crazy.  We saw a lot of very, very big boats...some with helicopters and more rooms than our house!

Sloane knows how to hitch a ride with Uncle.

Surprise, surprise, Kennedy found a map!
There was one area that had maps of the marina and it was like a beacon to Kennedy, she spotted it right away. 

Kyle and the kiddos

The whole crew on the water taxi ~ our resort is in the background.

love my sweet boy

our beach girl
Kennedy was not the hugest fan of the beach but she warmed up as the week went on.  I think the waves were a little scary and the sand definitely bothers her feet.

our family photo
a huge success that everyone is looking at the camera with their eyes open!

Solomon's Landing ~ this was a new restaurant for us and we loved it!  It was in the marina and had the best seafood.  The hostess was the mother of Carey Hart, Pink's husband, which I thought was pretty cool.
Auntie Stacy and Carter shared sushi when we ate at Solomon's Landing.  Carter loves sushi but even tried Nigiri this time.  He's such an adventurous eater ~  I love it!  He was also allowed to get Sprite a few times...we don't do soda at home, so this was a big deal and a very special treat.

It's really not a party until a baby has a diaper on her head!  
Sloane is such a character ~ she is in constant motion, loves to run and has the biggest smile.  
Kyle and I found ourselves commenting that we were thankful to be past the two year old phase - it was exhausting!

Another funny story here ~ Stacy mentioned that she wanted a massage, so Carter assured her that he could do just as good of a job as the people at the spa...and he wouldn't charge her nearly as much :)  He set the timer on her phone and was all business.  If his hands got tired, he would pause the timer and take a rest.  He was so pumped to have the chance to make some money.  Our little entrepreneur!  

A quick little photo shoot on our last night in Cabo
The grounds of our resort are so beautiful and the kids did a good job of cooperating.

Of course there were lots of silly ones too!

on our morning walk

The kids got a bit braver on our last morning and tried to touch the turtles.  

Such a wonderful, fun filled, relaxing vacation!
I am so very thankful for this week that we had together.  It was the perfect way to recharge and I came home so grateful for the rest.  We all had so much fun!!!
(I took over 500 pictures, so I had to split up our trip in a few posts)