I can hardly believe it. Even though it has come and gone now, I still am in shock that my sister, her husband, and three kiddos made it down here!! They were here for a whole week-to explore Nicaragua, and meet the newest member of our family. It was so much fun to have them here.
I don’t even know where to begin! Okay, so there are five of them, plus three of us, which just by default makes us a traveling freak show. It began right away, at the airport, because hello, five blond hair and blue eyed beauties-Nicaraguan people really don’t see that very often! Just when I thought I got looks being foreign and pregnant here, man, it is hilarious to see people stopping what they are doing to see a line of five toe heads walking down the street. Cracked us up every time!
Anyway, we started the week off with a sweet boat tour of a local estuary. We opted for the three hour tour (Doesn’t Gilligans song just pop into mind when you hear those words??). The five hour tour included seeing some giant crocodiles-which everyone really wanted to see- but we opted out because A. we didn’t know how long Eliana and the kids would do and B. the guide said they can be 15-20ft and while it might be cool to see one, we weren’t sure how sketch that might be with four kiddos on board! The three hours was perfect, seeing as how it was a slow tour down the river. We spotted birds, iguanas, ROUS’s, (well, a giant raccoon that is) some amazing trees that the roots actually grow up out of the ground, and oh yes,need I forget, mosquitos. Thankfully, they were just on land when we got off the boat to look around, and we stopped to look at an old well and before we realized it, Kate-my sister’s youngest, had four on her head, and I had five on my back. We ran like crazy to the beach, and sprayed down again, and hoped back into the boat. Yikes.
- Brandon being a good sport and taking turns holding an umbrella over Eliana. My sister and her youngest Kate-she is kinda pink there-it was toasty!
- My brother in law, Ryan, and Tyler enjoying the ride.
- The tour included a stop at this iguana farm… a place they breed iguana’s to help protect them. It was in the middle of no where, and with fencing on all sides and under the ground. The eggs had just hatched about a month ago, so there must have been about 100 iguana’s running around. It was so creepy! But little did I know this was a delight to all three kids, and they spent some time trying to catch and hold one… they were so fast I bet the oldest guy, Carter, a dollar he couldn’t catch one…well-all three kids caught one on their own!!
- Even the littlest one, Kate, caught one all by herself! She was fearless, and determined, it was great. She did get a little dirty in the process…
Sunday was Mothers Day, and oh what a day. My very first Mothers Day, and one that I have been waiting a long time for. It was perfect. It was an extra treat to be spending it with my sister, one year after last years somewhat awkward Mothers Day. Side note: I have to share this story with you, stick with me. Every year I do something little for my sister for Mothers Day, and last year she felt like she really wanted to get me something for Mothers Day. The background is, we had been praying about “thanking God for the miracle before He does it” a very bizarre concept someone on a short term team in Haiti was talking with me about. I didn’t understand what that meant, and so I talked with my sister a lot about it. How do thank God for a miracle He has yet to do? Isn’t that audacious? Or presumptive? Or just plain odd? I had never heard of it, and neither had she. So, we decided to start praying for the miracle of a child in mine and Brandon’s life. This would of course have to be a miracle, because at that point we had been trying to have kids for almost four years. In addition, we were talking about adopting, and trying to that from Haiti would take nothing short of a miracle. So we started praying. And as my sister began to pray, after a few months, Mothers Day was approaching. She felt the Holy Spirit telling her to send me something for Mothers Day, in particular a baby blanket. She thought, no way. We are super close, and she thought for sure I would freak out and be upset. I mean, that is pretty risky. She prayed about it and prayed about it, and off it went to arrive in Haiti for Mothers Day last year.
I cannot tell you the emotions I felt when I opened up the package. I was confused at first. Then just irritated. And then I cried. That is, until I read her card. She explained everything that I just shared with you, and I was impressed she had the courage to send it, I don’t know if I could have if I were in her position. The funny part was, I put it aside in the back of my closet and didn’t really think much more about it. I didn’t want to dwell on it and start to hope again. Nor did I want this constant reminder of what I didn’t have. So, I just moved on. Well, barely over a month later we found out we were pregnant.
Even a year later, it brings tears to my eyes to remember such events. I love the way the Lord works. He is so amazing. His plans are so intricate, and intimate. One year later, after a huge step of faith for both of us and especially her, we are celebrating mothers day-together. She booked the tickets to come here sometime in March and we didn’t even realize she was going to be here for Mothers Day. But God did. All along He knew what He was doing, and He watched as two women continued to put their trust in Him. He heard our prayers, and the prayers of many of our dear family members and friends who prayed alongside of Brandon and me for a child for so long. Oh what a long awaited and special day.
- We had so much fun opening up presents together! My mom even mailed gifts for us to my sister’s house to bring down for us on Mothers Day-so sweet of her! And my sisters kids all brought all goodies for her to open too-and they even packed a few treats for Aunty!!
- My amazing husband made us all french toast. It was SO good. He knows my favorite!!
- He really stepped it up on the gifts too. He got me two beautiful scarves, a pair of cute sandals, and two adorable outfits for Eliana. How amazing is he??
- Look at those beautiful scarves!!
- And a sweet friend Colleen made, yes made, this beautiful sling for me! It’s simply gorgeous, and so special to get on Mothers Day.
- At church on Mothers Day. And the kids did great at Sunday school in the back, uncle Brandon was their translator!
- After church we went to the beach. The waves were crazy but the kids had fun nonetheless. Kate enjoyed trying the local snacks!
- Just another day-Brandon saved some guy’s life. !!! He was watching this guy for about ten minutes, as he drifted toward the rocks. Brandon’s eagle eyes and years of experience as a lifeguard told him this guy was for sure a rescue waiting to happen. He didn’t want to offend the guy though, so he waited a few more minutes. He then quickly swam out to him, and sure enough he was actively drowning. He was heading for the rocks and Brandon drug him back to the shore. It was pretty sketchy, since there were rocks everywhere. He guided him through as best as he could, trying to make sure he didn’t go under, hit a rock, and loose consciousness. They finally made it out. Oh, my hero! Swoon swoon. No really-he did save his life. We praised the Lord that Brandon was there!!
- Poor Brandon! He got jacked on the rocks trying to protect the other guy-who walked away without a scratch, and his life! This was the first time, in all the years Brandon was a lifeguard back home, that I got to see him rescue someone. It was pretty incredible I”m not going to lie, What a stud.
- The reason I got to celebrate Mothers Day this year.
- Two very happy moms got dressed up and went out to a nice dinner just the two of us. It was such a nice treat for the boys to watch all the kids!
- A lovely garden view. My sister even got me this super special necklace with Eliana’s name, birthdate, and Psalm 21 engraved on it. You should read Psalm 21-she shared it with me right after I told her I was pregnant. Pretty special.