Monday, July 29, 2013

3 years old!

My baby girl is 3 years old! Here is a little interview I had with her to remember her at this age:

She is our little beauty. 

On her birthday morning, we had a little neighborhood friend party.  I combined all of her favorite things: cereal, cartoons, rice krispies, and chocolate milk:) 

Sneaking some marshmallows waiting for friends to arrive:

Then the friends arrived! 

Once I turned on the cartoons (Bugs Bunny), it was silent and they would have sat there for hours if I had let them:) 

We did a little craft (cereal snackbag butterflies):

They loved it!

Claire is so little!  Granted all of her friends are at least 6 months older than she is but still!  :) 

Had to sneak one in with the self timer so we all knew I was there! :)  Thanks everyone who came! She loved having you and loved your cute gifts.  

Saturday morning we had a family party for her.  We are so blessed to have such great family who trekked all the way south to see her:) 

(Thanks, Ben, for taking some pics!) 

Pa (her great-grandpa) gave her the rocking horse he made Ben was Ben was a little boy.  Very special and she loves it. She has named it "Spirit" and is very possessive of him. 

Claire is sweet and sassy. She has a tender heart and is aware of how you are feeling. She loves people and asks everyone she doesn't know, "What's your name?"  She's bossy but makes kids feel included and important.  She is independent, but loves her mommy & daddy. She's never been mean to Alex and is always aware of him and wants to keep him happy.  She is a daddy's girl and has him wrapped around her finger. She's smart, mature, and has the funniest sense of humor.  She loves to laugh and make others laugh.  Everyone who knows her, loves her.  All we ever hear from people is how cute she is, 'What a spit-fire!" "We just LOVE her!" 'She's so special!" ... 

We agree.  She is a special girl and an angel in our family.  We are so grateful to be her parents and excited for the fun we will have this next year!  We adore you, Claire. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Costa Rica 2013

This place is amazing!!! And we were lucky enough to be able to visit it again (see 2011 here).

Here's a video that pretty much sums up our incredible trip!
(Thank you to Tina for letting us use her GoPro--it rocked!!)

This was a Garrison trip planned by Ben's dad and Tina but ironically, my family planned a trip to Costa Rica the very same week.  (This took out our babysitters) but allowed us to meet up for a few days and they joined in on some of our activities--which was so fun!

Day 1 we started with river rafting down Sarapiqui Jungle Run.  It was so awesome!  Class 3 and 4 rapids.  TONS of fun, rowing, yelling, and laughing. 

Day 2 we went canyoneering bright and early (which just means hiking down a canyon and repelling down waterfalls).  They ranged in height from 20-200 meters.  SO much fun!!

They dam up the river behind us and then let it crash onto us for a while... love this part.

Day 2 (Monday), we also went zip-lining. We took the Sky Tram gondola up with the best views of Lake Arenal, and then zip lined down 8 cables ranging from 30-760 meters long and heights of 20-200 meters!  So relaxing yet thrilling. 

Day 3 (Tuesday) we went horseback riding (POOR horses... they were so poorly taken care of that it took some of the fun out of it) but it was still so pretty and we hiked to a waterfall to swim for a bit. 

It poured on us on the way back but it was still enjoyable.

These however, were not enjoyable.

Tuesday afternoon, we went kayaking on Lake Arenal.  This was one of my favorite parts.  So peaceful, beautiful, perfect overcast weather, and tons of laughs. 

Wednesday morning, we went four-wheeling around the volacano.  

Our days were jam-packed but we loved it.  Two activities a day made us sleep well at night!  We went caving later Wednesday and this was another favorite activity.  

The cave was so long, so cool, we were able to really explore (unlike a lot of caves in America where they block them off and don't let you touch anything)... 

Lots of nasty spiders (that we almost touched on the walls several times):

And TONS of bats.  The masks were to keep the poop out of our mouths when we looked up at them. 

Thursday we had a relaxing day with nothing planned.  Thankfully, because this was the day that Ben got SUPER sick.  He stayed in bed all day long and we both read a few books:)  So grateful it happened on our down-day. 

Friday we went to The Springs Resort & Spa (where the bachelor Brad Womack took his ladies a couple seasons back). It was an incredible hotel and had it's own zoo and river rafting, with tons of natural springs. 

Ben was still super sick (and continued to be sick for weeks after our trip)--but this was the perfect trip! We had so much fun with our family and loved doing all these wild adventures together.  Costa Rica is so beautiful and we will visit again I am sure!   Hopefully next time with the kids:)