Costa Rica 

This year we decided we needed a kid free vacation. So after considering several destinations we decided on Costa Rica. We have been planning and planning and finally, we are here!!!!

Day one was our travel day. Bj splurged and treated us to first class seats. I was really excited and then a little nervous when we arrived at our seats to see 4 children all around us. Luckily they were super well behaved and I was able to begin my descent from my mommy throne. img_0040

Once we arrived in Costa Rica, we rented a car and drove in to Tamarindo. The drive was so cool. Filled with hills and little beach towns. I was so tired from being up way too late finalizing thugs that I literally fell asleep during the last few minutes of the ride.

We arrived at our hotel and were pleasantly surprised how remote and peaceful it was. It immediately made you feel like you were on vacation. The hotel is spread out with gardens and green vegetation everywhere. Our room has a big terrace we can sit out on and see the beach.

We ate dinner at the hotel restaurant and it was really good. The chef is great with combining flavors from all over. I think we were in bed by 8:30 from pure exhaustion.

Day two

Woke up early to sit outside and do my morning reading. Bj joined me and we sat an enjoyed the morning together. We ate breakfast at the hotel. A big buffet filled with a variety of choices.


We booked our activities for the day. Bj wanted a massage and I signed up for surfing lessons.


My instructor was great and I had two other people learning with me. I've been wanting to surf my whole life after hearing all of my dads cool surfing stories. It was hard at first. Took me 3 tries to finally stand up. And then I did it. Finally!!! Had some quick falls and then several great rides! I was so pumped!!!! It was a lot of fun. A lot of work too. Glad I've been working out so I could handle the endurance part of it.


Right as the lesson finished a big storm rolled in. So we decided to venture out into the town nearby for some lunch. We ate at El Sapo Ristopizza. It's new here and it was really great!


We came back and crashed. We both were easily ready for bed at 6pm. But we made our way to the hotel restaurant for a late dinner and dessert around 10. The chef is amazing here, incorporating flavors from all around the world. We enjoyed everything we ate.

Day 3

I was so tired and sore from surfing so we slept in a little before heading to breakfast. BJ arranged for another massage and I another lesson of surfing. Today we would learn to paddle our own wave. I was able to paddle and stand up several times but my body was exhausted. After this lesson I had had enough surfing. So we booked an ATV tour for our final day.

Day 4

Everyone told us the ATV tour is a lot of fun and you get to see several beaches around Costa Rica. This was my favorite. It has black sand! We loved whipping through the jungle as the rain poured down on us. Made the adventure even more amazing!

We have found our favorite place. We cannot wait to come back and explore more of Costa Rica!

Puravida

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Sacred Holidays Advent Study

sacred-holidays-promo-pictureWho wants a 10% OFF code? I wrote for the Sacred Holiday’s Advent (Christmas) study, He Is: The Attributes of God for Teen Girls (but they have options for women, families, and men too)! Each day we study a different attribute of God. The attribute is the same across all four studies to create a common point of focus for communities, families, and churches, but content is unique for each study. Go to sacredholidays.com/shop/ to check out the shop and use code MYFRIENDWROTETHIS to get 10% OFF your total order.

Potato Leek Kale Soup

I love soup. This winter has been really mild for us and I have missed out on making a few big pots of soup because it just hasn’t been cold enough. I’ve really been craving some potato soup so I bought a few of the ingredients on Sunday and planned to make it before our House Church on Wednesday. 

Sidebar– Our church meets on Sunday’s corporately and then in people’s homes in small groups on Wednesdays. It’s the model of the early church and we absolutely love the community it brings.  

 Anyway, soup sounded like the perfect meal for an easy, quick cleanup. 

I have two recipes I combined to result in my own mixup and the fam loved it. The entire pot was empty after several came back for seconds. 

I had to share with you. Let me know if you make it! 

  Potato Kale Leek Soup
3 stalks of leeks (white parts only)

2 tbs butter

2 cups kale

6 russet potatos 

2 cloves garlic

8 oz sour cream

2 boxes chicken broth

3 cups water

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1 cup cheddar cheese

1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

Melt butter in pan. Slice leeks and sauté with garlic in melted butter until softened. Peel potatos and slice into discs. Add chicken broth , potatos and water to large pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer until softened, about 15-25 minutes.

Remove kale from stalk and roughly chop. Add to soup along with leeks, sour cream, cheeses, salt and pepper to taste. Use a potato masher to combine mixture. Simmer for 5 minutes.  Stir and serve. 

(This would also be great with ground Italian sausage. )

Thank you Kayla @Pregnancyperfect for the recipe inspiration. 

Merry Christmas

This pic from our mini photo session today has me feelin’ all the feels  

   

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Celebrating 10 in NYC

Earlier this year, I got a wild idea to surprise Hayden with a trip to NYC for her 10th birthday. She loves traveling. Reading about new places and experiences and I thought this milestone birthday would be the perfect thing for her.

She has flown in an airplane before, but was too young to remember.

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Celebrating 10 years at PizzArte

We had an amazing time. Some of the notable places ate at Cafe Lalo, Pizzarte, Randolph’s at the Warwick (where we stayed, thank you Hotwire for a great deal. It was a perfect location and the hotel has so much history to it). We stumbled across the most amazing rare book store while on our way to breakfast one morning. (Westside Rare & Used books) Hayden picked up a hardback copy of 20,000  Leagues Under the Sea as a souvenir.

We rode the subway (more than we planned, when we took it the wrong direction 19 stops and ended up in the Bronx instead of the South Ferry), the Staten island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty, a train from Newark to Manhattan, and ended with a cab ride. She was so interested in all modes of transportation. We kept trying to change her mind on the cab ride, but she was so intrigued. So we took a cab from our breakfast spot to Penn Station, which was only going to be about an 8 minute ride (luckily for BJ, who gets extremely carsick). We took off and I could see Hayden, in the rear view mirror, eyes wide with surprise as the driver zipped through traffic, stopping and starting with jolts, making lanes where there were no lanes. He let us out in the middle of the road, where all the cabs were stopped and we got out as Hayden says “Mom, I thought we were going to die”.

We got tickets to see Finding Neverland on Broadway. It was beautiful. The music was fantastic and inspiring. There were sniffles and tears through the audience. It was magical.

We loved the city and took in as much as we could in our short 3 day trip. I cannot wait to go back.

 

 

 

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October

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A new month, crisp air, clean slate. Makes me want to purge clutter , refocus my meal planning, start a new study in the Bible, do a fitness challenge.

Here are some of the things I’m doing:

-drinking more water / 4-32oz. water bottles

-quiet time and exercise in before the boys wake up

-getting to bed by 10:30

-october squat challenge @rebeldietitian

What are some things you are doing in October?

Give me solitude

You know how when you are young and you get cranky and tired and your parents tell you, “You need a nap” but you don’t want to take a nap and surely that isn’t the remedy. But you keep getting fussy and frustrated and whiny (and you really just need a nap) but you don’t want to let down for one second???

Well, apparently that still happens as an adult, but on a much bigger scale. I haven’t been able to put my finger on the exact remedy until recently. I walked into church and the message was on the discipline of SOLITUDE.

As a mother, I don’t get much alone time much less unhurried, solitude with God. I mean, I have all the cliché’ examples and they are all true for me (knocking on the door the second I close it to use the restroom, people calling to me to ask me questions while I shower, exaggerated hand motions while I make phone calls and on and on and on).  I get lost in laundry and homework and entertaining five children of all different attention spans and desires. Plus a husband. And friends. And family. Someone is constantly hungry, needing to be held, needing a peacemaker to intervene, needing instruction, needing discipline. Needing, needing, needing.

It’s exhausting.

And it wears on my emotions and my patience and in many cases a major mommy meltdown follows.

{I will add in here a funny story. Last week as the boys turned one, I was talking with Hayden and reflecting on the year. She gave me a congratulatory smile and said “We did it Mom, we made it one year with the new twins. Good job! And we haven’t freaked out ONCE.”  Um…….Insert WIDE EYED EMOJI here. Apparently this child either has a high tolerance for “freakouts” or a very short memory span.}

When I heard this message at church I sat there and thought, YES!! THIS IS IT!  I NEED SOLITUDE! But solitude with five children, a husband and a million responsibilities is extremely difficult to find, maybe even impossible but just like the parent telling the small child they need a nap, I need solitude.

Time spent off the grid, away from conversations, demands, responsibilities, to simply hear God. To hear what His plan for ME is. I know He created me to be a mother, but I know there is more to my calling than just being a mother. I need to hear His creative plan for me. To understand how my life fits into my calling and what steps I need to take to stay in His plan for me. To just hear Him.

I am linking up the podcast here because I know there are others that need to hear this like I did. It was so encouraging and made me feel like I wasn’t a crazy person, I just need time alone with God. More than my daily time with him, more than weekly bible study and worship times. Absolute solitude. In the meantime, I am working harder on carving out time for myself away from my everyday norm, to take care of me, but also working towards planning time for myself away from EVERYTHING. I encourage you to do the same.

SOLITUDE PODCAST

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Liam & Rivan turn ONE – A Modern Bear Birthday Bash


  
  I had the best time planning Liam and Rivan’s birthday party.  From the adorable invites to the perfectly simple cakes, every detail was so much fun to curate.

Cookies & cakes – Cuppie Cakes

Invites – etsy /  MadeInBVWedding

Stamp – etsy / sixandgrand

Bear toppers & rug -borrowed from a friend

Don’t feed the Bears sign- etsy/ designfancyshop

Chalkboard art – freehand by my hubby

Boys shirts – Whistle & Flute

Shorts – Wild little comfies

Moccs – leetlechickenhop

Cake stand – handmade by cousin
We had a trail mix bar with to go bags, we played a game throwing bean bags into holes I cut in the big photo where the boys mouths were (feeding the Bears) , ate cake, and sweat our guts out. It was so hot that day, but our lovely friends and family still endured the heat to celebrate with our little dudes.


  
  
  

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Monochromatic Nursery | Twins: Liam + Rivan

I cannot believe that we are on the countdown to the boy’s turning ONE. Just hours away.  I was sifting through photos for this post and just oogling over their tiny faces and feet and awwing over how far they’ve come. The first year with multiples is so hard. But it is also so precious. I tried to really savor each day with them being so small, knowing how quickly the time does go by.

Monochromatic Twin Nursery | Liam + Rivan

<<7 weeks old>>

We’ve been spending more and more time in their room these days, reading and learning to play. I get questions weekly about where I got certain things and what stores I shop for their clothing. {Clothing post still in the works}So here is a post for all that love #liamandrivan .

Last summer I was HUGE pregnant. Hot, swollen and miserable. To pass the days and stay busy, I poured myself into designing the perfect room for my little guys to come live in. It definitely kept me occupied and anxious for their arrival. I had the best time finding each item that was included and am so pleased with how it turned out.

Monochromatic Twin Nursery | Liam + Rivan
Monochromatic Twin Nursery | Liam + Rivan Monochromatic Twin Nursery | Liam + Rivan
Monochromatic Twin Nursery | Liam + RivanMonochromatic Twin Nursery | Liam + Rivan
Monochromatic Twin Nursery | Liam + Rivan
Monochromatic Twin Nursery | Liam + RivanIMG_7605

Sources:
Cribs- StorkCraft
Dresser -Ikea

Changing Pad Cover- modfoxllc
Crib Sheets –Modfox
Lamp-Target
Basket-Target
Truck Nightlight- Target
Triangle Wall Decals – Urbanwalls
Pray for Rain Print – Urban Outfitters

USA Decal – Urban Outfitters
Adventure Print- Cheerful Ink
Mirror- Target
Scripture Prints –PrintandBeMerry
Boppy Cover –Modfox
Swaddle Blanket –Aden + Anais
Triangle Swaddle Blanket – Modfox
Glider – West Elm

Rocking Chair – Amazon

TeePee- Instagram @Tnees_tpees

Curtains – Urban Outfitters 
Rug – Urban Outfitters
L & R – Hobby Lobby
Stripe Blanket – Ikea

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Monochromatic Love

Today I had somewhere to be and then it got pushed back two hours, so I made an impromptu  shopping trip with my little dudes.

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Once I made it to the dressing room, I chuckled at myself at the monochrome pile I had accumulated. Hey, at least I’m branching out. Usually I look and it’s all black or gray.

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Left
middle right and on Lindsay

Plus, I snagged something for this growing little beauty. Such a cutie, that girl!

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On Hayden

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