Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Escape 2012

Well, we are freshly sun-kissed and home from our vacation in Grand Cayman.  For those people who have zero clue where the Cayman Islands are, mainly because a lot of people have asked where it is, here is a map! It is the tiny group of islands SW of Cuba.
It is a tiny island, only 20-ish miles long and a few miles wide. We LOVED our time there! Everyone we met was super friendly, I never got propositioned to buy drugs, and always felt very safe. John & I went with my brother and his wife, Kathy. The 2 couples definitely have very different ideas of what "vacation" includes. For John & I it means waking up at 7 (our inner alarm clocks unfortunately) plenty of beach/pool time, but having that equaled out by plenty of exploring and excursions to stay busy. For David & Kathy it means sleeping in and oodles of beach/pool relaxing time, with other outings sprinkled in. We had a solid dose of both though for our vaca together! Many of our planned outings got cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy making its way through the Caribbean to our east, which made the water super choppy and the weather very windy/sporadically rainy. But it was fun watching it rain sideways :) And the government there has the ability to close all on-the-water activities that include any tourists. BUT that made for those days to be spent reading on the beach and enjoying drinks by the pool bar!

So Sunday was our first full day there and we spent it 100% relaxing and figuring out what we would do with our week. David & John figured out they weren't going to be playing "good" volleyball all week, which was a tad hilarious to watch. Me & Kathy started our tans (well, my burn). We explored the ocean in front of our resort, which was very rocky but also cool because it was coral all over and we saw tons of fish just standing in knee-deep water!

Monday was our snorkel day! We all caught on fairly quickly and made our way from the pool to the dock right in front of the resort. We swam in schools of these big blue/silverish fish, saw tarpon, a starfish, and tons of other fish I couldn't even try to name. We then made our way to a place called Rum Point and snorkeled around their pier, which was my favorite spot. There were lots of rocks and coral and we saw tons of different colorful fish all over. Our final place was called Starfish Beach, which wasn't that great for snorkeling except for a couple spots, but we saw these tiny, clear jellyfish that freaked me out at first until one of the locals said they were harmless. We saw 4 starfish while there; John & David picked a couple up. They feel like a rock! We ate at a delicious beach-side restaurant for lunch and then made our way back to enjoy the pool for a few hours before the resort party. After the resort-party we made our own drinks in our room.... and photo-taking ensued.

Tuesday we went to the Botanical Gardens and saw tons of cool plants and 7 Blue Iguanas! Tried a failed attempt at 7 Mile Beach.... We ended up walking through tons of "private beach" area while on our search for the public beaches, ate at a tasty restaurant (but really... everywhere was tasty; I didn't eat a single thing that wasn't beyond delicious on this trip), and finally drove up to the public beach. By this point, however, it was pouring... So we just drove back to the resort where it wasn't raining and hung out on the beach.

The rest of the week was spent mostly on the beach & by the pool as well because literally every outing was cancelled, but the weather was stunning! We made most of our breakfasts and 1 dinner to save some money. Read a ton. Ate more delectable food. Best dinner was for sure at this place called Tukka about 5 mins from the resort. I had the 2nd best steak I've ever had (nothing beats Ruth's Chris) and John had a tuna steak, which he said was equally amazing. We spent 1 morning/early afternoon shopping in Georgetown and finally at 7 Mile Beach. Also, found out that island time is a very real thing... everything was super laid back and fairly "slow". I loved it... John was going a tad crazy from it :)

John drove on the wrong side of the car & rode... That was terrifying! Especially when David was in charge of the map ;)

All in all it was an amazing trip! HUGE thanks to Meghan & Trevor for letting us rent out their timeshare! If the kids had been with, solid chance I may have stayed!

Book series suggestion from the week: The Circles Series by Ted Dekker. So good!

AND exciting news that happened the day before we left, John got a job! He is going to be a personal banker at Wells Fargo and starts next week! PTL. Now we're off to hopefully get some cute costume pics of the kids... and definitely using a friend's technique of bribing with candy for cuteness!

Happy Halloween everyone!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

In A Nutshell

Well, it has been a while!

I haven't felt very "bloggy" for quite some time. Mainly, because I didn't want to come on here solely to whine/complain about junk. And John was gone a lot this summer, so odds are that is what would have happened. But I thought I would do a little update/rundown for those of you wondering what is going on in our lives! Its exciting, I promise ;-)

John was laid off 3 weeks ago. Currently in job-searching mode. And as much as this time in our life sucks because of it (losing his job 3 weeks before a vacation... not exactly great timing!), I can see a bit of where the "it all happens for a reason" and "God has it in His plans" talk can come from. His grandpa Gint passed away last Thursday. This time off work gave John time to visit Gint in his last weeks much more than he would have been able to, and to help his mother and father plan the funeral all week that is tomorrow evening. His uncles are spread across the country, and one was on a trip to Germany at the time, so a lot of the "burden" of this time has fallen on the shoulders of my in-laws. But from what I have seen of their work on the arrangements it is going to be beautiful, and fitting for a man who very much deserves to have his life celebrated, as he seemed to always be celebrating life when I saw him.

I am still working as a nanny, and the kids still come with every day. It has truly been amazing watching them all grow up around each other. Addison & Brooke growing from 2 year olds  to being almost 4 and being so incredibly bright it amazes me most days. And such great little playmates, there is nothing those two cannot create in their imaginations together. Aaron was 3 months old when I started, and now he is almost 2 1/2! He and Jake went from being two separate little boys who did their own thing throughout the day, to being mostly inseparable. If it has wheels, it is gold to those two.

Brooke is almost 4! She starts gymnastics in 2 weeks, and is so excited to start school so she can learn to write her name just like her cousins. Growing up wayyy too quickly for my liking! She definitely still has her little spit-fire personality, and I just love it :) It drives daddy a tad insane some days! She has decided naps are unnecessary, but we still have "quiet time" every day. At home it is with her princess cd and tons of books. At work it is with a movie and dolls. Although, I am looking for a longer cd to bring so we can cut the movies out of the equation. Brooklyn is all girl. If it is pink, sparkly, Barbie, or "cute" it has her name written allll over it. She loves shopping. And superheroes. A girl after my own heart <3

And Jake is almost 3! Only 2 months away! He has grown so much physically and developmentally in the last 6 months it baffles me. He went from barely talking, to 4-word sentences. He barely toddled around and tripped all over himself, and now he loves to show us how "super fast" he can run by literally running as fast as he can all over the apartment. Trucks, tractors, and trains are his favorites above every other toy or topic you could bring up to him. He excitedly watches out the window while we're driving to make sure he points out every semi-truck and dump trunk he can see. He can count to 10, can say his prayers, and loves to copy big sister. He is growing up so fast, but will never stop being my baby boy! It is a good thing he still loves to cuddle so much :)

Well, time to finish the last-minute packing and get some rest! A week on the beaches of Grand Cayman is calling our names.... only 1 more day to get through!

Have a lovely week all :)