Monday, April 25, 2011

Please ignore my spacing issues. I can't fix it. :(

Easter Sunday

We had a lovely Easter Sunday with the Colyer/Ottley clan (we need a combination name like the celebs. The Cottley's? Or the Ottyers? Mmm...not so much). Church with my parents and then all of us went to John & Judie's (minus John who's in Africa) for brunch and an Easter Egg hunt. My hubby got off really easy yesterday. I let him wear a t-shirt to church and I never asked him to pose for a family picture. I'll just console myself with the fact that we wouldn't have gotten a good one anway since a 19 month old boy is part of our family.

We tried pretty unsuccessfully to get one of the Colyer cousins:

Not interested:

Recognize those pants, manda? :)

So thankful that Easter means so much more than putting cute clothes on our kids and hunting for Easter Eggs. And I love that Bennett grasped that meaning a little more this year.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Just have to share my proud mama moment of the day. Last Friday when we got to preschool, there was a big whiteboard outside their classroom and it said, "Please sign in". There were several other kids who had already written their names. I was shocked. Bennett has never been interested in coloring and writing and we don't encourage it much at home since any writing utensils inevitably end up marking on stuff besides paper (ex: walls, desks, chairs, couches, body parts...need I go on??) On Valentine's day, I had him "sign" all of his cards for his class with a little scribble. He couldn't write one letter, let alone his whole name. I figured we better start working on this at home since he was obviously behind a lot of kids in his class in this area. I told Jon we should have him practice at night before bed each night. So we did that. Twice.
We got to school today and my sweet boy did not need his mama to sign in for him this time!

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Well, we're back to reality after a long and luxurious week to ourselves. It was beyond wonderful to have that whole week to reconnect and remember how much fun we have together when all the pressures of daily life are removed. Cancun was nice. It was insanely windy every day but that was nice when we were laying out because you never felt that hot. We hung out at our hotel and relaxed a couple days (Jon has recently discovered the joy of books on tape so he could actually stand to layout for more than 20 minutes at a time without going stir-crazy. It was awesome!!) and ventured out a few of the days. We were about 30 minutes away from the "Hotel Zone" and we didn't have a car so we didn't have many options for food. We refused to pay $39 per person for the hotel buffet (and that was the cheaper of the two restaurants!) so we ended up eating at this little shack of a restaurant that was in a parking lot next door. It was really good and really cheap so we went there about 6 times and hung out with the locals :) They had awesome guacamole so I was happy!

On Isla Mujeres (a small island, a 20 min ferry ride from Cancun):

At Xel-Ha (Shell-Ha), an all-inclusive place with snorkeling, cliff jumping and lazy river. We were excited to stuff ourselves silly this day since we were skimping on food the rest of the week but the food wasn't great. (Besides the Nutella pancakes for breakfast!). A bummer, but it was still a really fun day:

We found out about the Cenotes (Caverns) you can dive in in the Riviera Maya so we knew we wanted to do that for sure. We debated back and forth whether it would be worth the $150 per person it would cost us and decided it would be worth the splurge. We called to book it but they weren't going on the day we were hoping to go. The lady at the place gave us the name and number for one of the dive masters. We called and he was available so he rode the 2 hours down with us and took us on our own. Between the rental car, what he charged us and renting our tanks, we paid half of what the other tour cost. It worked out perfectly. The funny thing was, Jon got pulled over on the ride there for not wearing a seat belt. Thankfully the dive master (who was Mexican) was with us and he translated for us and told Jon he could just give the policeman $10 as a bribe and he'd let us go. Jon was cracking up when he got back in the car to tell me what had transpired. I thought he was joking. It was pretty hilarious. The dive master told us if it was a Federal Police, they won't take less than $100 as a bribe so we got off pretty cheap ;)

Here's the entrance to the caverns and where we started the dive:

There was a diver with a professional camera down there so we purchased the pictures he took since they were so amazing.

Second Dive- Jon couldn't go on this one. His nose was a little stuffed up and he couldn't clear his ears properly during the first dive and it was causing him a lot of pain so the dive master took me on a quicker route to see all the stalagmites and stalactites in the darker part of the cave. This was just on our camera:

We surfaced inside this completely concealed dome covered in stalactites, the size of a large room. It was so incredible. There was a small hole to the outside so the air inside was breathable but it was still pitch dark and eerily quiet.

These dives were one of the coolest things we've ever experienced in our life. It was fresh water and it was completely clear so it felt like you were just floating through air. It was just amazing.

It was convenient to have the rental car for two of the evenings, so we asked for a great authentic local place to eat. Someone told us about Las Palapas. This is a bad picture but you get the idea- kind of like an outdoor food court. We were the only Americans there and there were tons of families with little kids so it was really fun. We made the mistake the first night of dumping some toppings on to our tacos that we thought were just onions and cilantro and proceeded to set our mouths on fire. The next night we got empanadas for $1 a piece and they were muy delicioso.

We don't necessarily have a desire to back to Cancun (like we do with Aruba) but it was beautiful and made for a great week. We're glad to be back home to our sweet boys (who seem so much sweeter after a week apart! ;) They were totally fine the whole week we were gone. I was worried about the aftermath when we got back but they haven't really been out of sorts. Dawson's been a little more clingy but its been more sweet than difficult. He'll be across the room and say, "Ma ma!" and put his arms out and run to me. I think I was prepared for the worst so I was able to be extra patient and anticipate their melt-downs. So very very thankful for the week to reconnect with my hubby. And so thankful for both of our parents for taking on the childcare for a week! A huge job but they're wonderful at it- the boys truly are just as comfortable with them as they are at home. Such a blessing to not worry about them at all!