Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Small Town Fourth of July in Pullman

This year for the 4th of July we were invited up to Pullman, Washington with the Barnett family!  We love visiting this small town and it seemed the perfect way to commemorate small town America! 

We started out the trip by enjoy a street market.  There was a cute little area set up for kids.
There was a really cute toy store where Harper convinced us to get her a minnie mouse.  She's never actually persuaded me to buy something I wasn't already planning on buying but its nice to let her think she has skills.
London was happy to just to watch the madness unfold
and guard her bubble from any intruders.
Danger lurked all around her.
There is also a pretty fun indoor playground in Washington.  The cousins enjoyed chasing after each other.

Harper spent a good amount of time in the play kitchen. 
On Sunday we spent time at home
And then went to take some family pictures.  Grandma is helping London get in the mood.  It didn't work.  She screamed the WHOLE TIME! I was mortified and exhausted!
She just wanted to play on the ladder.
All of the grandkids.  Jack Jack did a pretty good job of helping to keep London calm.
On the Fourth, we drove out to a REALLY REALLY small town for a parade.  Maren and I had just come from the gym and I had a shirt on but it was a lot colder than we though and London literally took the shirt off my back!
Everyone eager for the parade to start
Small towns do not have to worry about being politically correct. Which makes some floats a little unorthodox and hilarious.

Everyone enjoyed the parade and I'd visit that small town again just to experience it.
After nap time we went to a local park that was hosting an Independence day event.  Maren wasn't to thrilled to go and now I understand why, there wasn't much to do.  The girls did enjoy the ambulance and firetrucks that you could explore.

The girls favorite event was really playing in the backyard.  We hadn't really decided to get a swing set, but after this weekend we realized its a must have.

Good times on the Trampoline
Fireworks did not go as well as planned.  Starting with the really loud, bright and high ones is not the wisest idea.

She kept trying to put it in her mouth... 18 month olds are exhausting.
She was happy to just sit and relax with grandpa though.
Brent finally coaxed Harper into holding a sparkler.
She wasn't convinced
By slowly the fireworks grew on her.

By the end of the night Harper and Braden were little fire bugs together.

Nothing is better than relaxing with grandpa and new baby Carly!
It is such fun to celebrate the holidays with the girls and discover how they react to these traditions!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Adventures in Costa Rica

People think we're crazy.  I'm sure there are a lot of reasons for this but one major reason is because we have toddlers and still travel a really good amount.  Of course we'd love to travel more but money and time are not unlimited so we try to keep it reasonable. 

This time we headed to Costa Rica with some of our best friends, the Driscolls.  It was a great idea because we love each other, our kids love each other and we love each others kids!  

Spencer is a crazy travel saver, so he knows all the best ways to save money and make trips affordable.  After we made it to Costa Rica we spent the whole morning at the beach.
This was a private beach at our hotel, and it was perfect.  It was sandy, shallow, warm and practically empty. 
We put life jackets on the girls so I felt more comfortable letting them play on their own.  They still preferred to have us.
Harper is so beautiful. We make pretty cute babies.
This is what our morning looked like.  Adults were in and out of the water and so were the kids.  
We also decided to rent a jet ski.  I took Harper out.  She didn't love it but she also didn't hate it.  This was my first time on a jet ski and I was a little uncomfortable at first.  I had to learn how to do gentle turns and how to slow down since there really isn't a break.
Brent and Erica took a moment to check in.
London didn't want to play in the water too much.  She enjoyed the sandy beach quite a bit. 
While Erica and I were checking out the resort, Brent, Spencer and a few of the kids were busy playing with monkey's that were outside their room.
Brent spent a good amount of time trying to bug them.  They didn't appreciate it.
On top of the beach, the resort had several pools that the girls really enjoyed.
Another day we went on a hike into the Costa Rican jungle to see the hot pots.  
It was suppose to be a two mile hike.  This is one of my favorite pictures from the trip.
It was not two miles.  I don't know how long the hike was but it felt closer to six miles at the end of it.
We took several breaks through out and the girls were really good at finding things to interest them.
At one point we thought we might have taken a wrong turn.  The kids ate a snack while Brent and Spencer ran back to make sure we took the correct turn.  Luckily, we were on the right track.  This is also the spot where Harper decided she needed to poop. So we learned about pooping in the woods. She truly adores pooping in nature and often tried to when a restroom is readily available!
Landon is such a sweetheart.  He takes good care of Harper and London.  I am sad to think about the day when he will realize that girls are yucky and start avoiding them!
One of the boiling hot pots.  This one was so hot it made me nervous having the girls so closer.   
It was at this point that the hike started to become really tedious. At this moment my mantra became "Just keep walking."
At this point it became "Please, just kill me."  This is another time it was great to have friends along.  Erica and I are really great about helping each other.  We would rotate between carrying the kids, holding hands and keeping the kids motivated. We could probably be sister wives...
Eventually we did make it and to be honest it was really fun.  This is stopping for lunch at a side street restaurant. 
It got dark really really early, which is difficult because our girls stay up pretty late.  On vacation we become lax with the binkies and the tablets.  At home the girls really don't watch tv or play on tablets. On vacation both are used to help calm the girls, help them relax and unwind after crazy days.  It works pretty well for us but I think being together helps more than anything. 
One morning we dropped all the kids at the play center so we could have a double date zip lining.  Before we got suited up we found this amazing butterfly that let you get ridiculously close. 
I love dating this boy.  We do way more fun dates now than we ever did
when we were actually dating.
Our guides would sometimes let us do funky poses, this is upside down!
Brent riding the rails
Travelling with kids is hard but I love it.  It would be so much easier and relaxing if we ditched them at home but for the moment I am very happy to have them with us creating memories and experiencing things that home doesn't offer.  Costa Rica was an awesome experience and with every trip there are several things we will learn from but so many things that I wouldn't change for the world!

Next stop for the Huntley/Driscoll Party... PARIS!