Back to the Pura Vida - Home Sweet Home

We've been back for a month and I'm ready to blog! Let's start by talking about our AWESOME week with Grammy. Yes, I'm about a month late on this post since Grammy visited in July -- but that's a pointless detail. We did some park, some pool, puddle jumping, a volcano, a zoo and the best thing ever, the monkey lady! 

Our first night home, the kids had to head to their favorite place -- our neighborhood park. We even hijacked a sweet Mercedes. 

Our first night home, the kids had to head to their favorite place -- our neighborhood park. We even hijacked a sweet Mercedes. 

Nothing makes my kids happier, or more angry, than a trampoline. You see, they each love it so much, but we have a "one at a time rule" in our house, and that doesn't always go over so well. As you can see from these pictures. 

Nothing makes my kids happier, or more angry, than a trampoline. You see, they each love it so much, but we have a "one at a time rule" in our house, and that doesn't always go over so well. As you can see from these pictures. 

Happy girl, in morning light. 

Happy girl, in morning light. 

And, when it rains, we HAVE to jump in the muddy puddles!

And, when it rains, we HAVE to jump in the muddy puddles!

More jumping...

More jumping...

My sweet baby loves water. Even if it's mixed with dirt. 

My sweet baby loves water. Even if it's mixed with dirt. 

We took a day trip to Poas Volcano and had a blast. It was Grammy's first visit there. 

We took a day trip to Poas Volcano and had a blast. It was Grammy's first visit there. 

After Poas we hit up an amazing little restaurant with a beautiful garden. Of course, my camera came out. 

After Poas we hit up an amazing little restaurant with a beautiful garden. Of course, my camera came out. 

And this one was surprisingly cooperative. 

And this one was surprisingly cooperative. 

If you ever make your way to Costa Rica, I highly recommend paying this lady a visit. She has several monkeys on her property, and for a small fee you can really get up close and personal with these creatures. 

We also did a day trip to Zoo Ave. Maddie was in one of her special moods, so she didn't really enjoy it too much, until it was time for Ice Cream. Then, she turned her attitude around and declared that she would begin to act grateful again.  

Kenzie having fun at one of our new favorite places, Picnic. 

Kenzie having fun at one of our new favorite places, Picnic. 

No Grammy visit is complete without bedtime stories. We've missed her a lot!

No Grammy visit is complete without bedtime stories. We've missed her a lot!

So, back to Florida Grammy went, and it was just the four of us again. Here are a few random shots from the month. 

Nothing better than a happy baby after a long afternoon nap. 

Nothing better than a happy baby after a long afternoon nap. 

Reading on the sofa

Reading on the sofa

This is my life, by the way. I workout every morning and I have the "best" workout buddy. Clearly.... 

This is my life, by the way. I workout every morning and I have the "best" workout buddy. Clearly.... 

Oh, and I also took a selfie. 

Oh, and I also took a selfie. 

And Kenzie and I had a few post-workout dance parties. Gosh, this girl is sweet. Most of the time... :)

And Kenzie and I had a few post-workout dance parties. Gosh, this girl is sweet. Most of the time... :)

We went on a ferris wheel at the mall. For some reason they kept telling me to put my camera away. I wonder why... 

We went on a ferris wheel at the mall. For some reason they kept telling me to put my camera away. I wonder why... 

In my house, screen time has been happening a lot more frequently than it should. But when we were about to end our day and I still didn't have a decent 366 image, I went with it (and i'm glad I did). 

In my house, screen time has been happening a lot more frequently than it should. But when we were about to end our day and I still didn't have a decent 366 image, I went with it (and i'm glad I did). 

We also learned that Madison really, really likes face paint. 

We also learned that Madison really, really likes face paint. 

Disclaimer: I generally dislike taking these posed images with props. I just don't think it's my forte and I prefer a more natural approach to images. But, there is something about this setup that I can tolerate -- especially when Maddie actually cooperates for photos. As you can see, the cooperation didn't last as long as I would have liked, but at least I got a few keepers. 

Disclaimer: I generally dislike taking these posed images with props. I just don't think it's my forte and I prefer a more natural approach to images. But, there is something about this setup that I can tolerate -- especially when Maddie actually cooperates for photos. As you can see, the cooperation didn't last as long as I would have liked, but at least I got a few keepers. 

Cake decorating! Our lovely neighbor brought this project over for Madison's birthday. Maddie had SO MUCH FUN decorating this beauty, goldfish and all. 

Cake decorating! Our lovely neighbor brought this project over for Madison's birthday. Maddie had SO MUCH FUN decorating this beauty, goldfish and all. 

Who doesn't love Starbucks, puppies and a splash pad? 

Who doesn't love Starbucks, puppies and a splash pad? 

Another HUGE milestone happened a few weeks ago. Maddie had her last day at Discovery. We LOVED that school, but this big girl graduated. They had a sweet Mother's Day celebration (we celebrate Mother's Day in Costa Rica in August), and it happened to take place on her last day.  That is the reason for the cowgirl outfit. We don't always dress like this :). 

Another HUGE milestone happened a few weeks ago. Maddie had her last day at Discovery. We LOVED that school, but this big girl graduated. They had a sweet Mother's Day celebration (we celebrate Mother's Day in Costa Rica in August), and it happened to take place on her last day.  That is the reason for the cowgirl outfit. We don't always dress like this :). 

If you follow my Facebook or Instagram, you know that I also received some sad news about a close friend of mine -- her cancer is back. I know she will beat this again, but, in my opinion, prayers are ALWAYS helpful. So, I bought her these flowers and say a prayer every time I see them. If you're the praying type, send one for her and her family. I know she will come out of this stronger than ever -- she's just that type of person that amazes you daily -- whether it be her mothering skills, the work she does, her STUNNING images, her amazing advice, etc. I also know that I am not very good at macro photography. 

If you follow my Facebook or Instagram, you know that I also received some sad news about a close friend of mine -- her cancer is back. I know she will beat this again, but, in my opinion, prayers are ALWAYS helpful. So, I bought her these flowers and say a prayer every time I see them. If you're the praying type, send one for her and her family. I know she will come out of this stronger than ever -- she's just that type of person that amazes you daily -- whether it be her mothering skills, the work she does, her STUNNING images, her amazing advice, etc. I also know that I am not very good at macro photography. 

Big milestone 2 - Maddie started at her big girl school! We LOVE it so much. After her first day, we hit the pool and I couldn't help but snap a pic of her pruney little toes. 

Big milestone 2 - Maddie started at her big girl school! We LOVE it so much. After her first day, we hit the pool and I couldn't help but snap a pic of her pruney little toes. 

This baby NEVER stays this still. I'm shocked that I was able to capture this!

This baby NEVER stays this still. I'm shocked that I was able to capture this!

I've been REALLY inspired lately to pull out my tripod and remote. Can't you tell? I also found a new perfect spot in my house for these photos with a blacked out background :)

I've been REALLY inspired lately to pull out my tripod and remote. Can't you tell? I also found a new perfect spot in my house for these photos with a blacked out background :)

On Friday, Maddie celebrated her birthday at school with her new friends. I walked in JUST as she was blowing out her candle. 

On Friday, Maddie celebrated her birthday at school with her new friends. I walked in JUST as she was blowing out her candle. 

Maddie's last day as a three year old -- I painted her nails and she let me take her picture. Win!

Maddie's last day as a three year old -- I painted her nails and she let me take her picture. Win!

Sort of... but still adorable as ever!

Sort of... but still adorable as ever!

And then it happened. She woke up four. My goodness, it was a difficult day yesterday, but words cannot express how much I love this child.  Speaking of this child, it's time for me to go get her from school! Adios!

And then it happened. She woke up four. My goodness, it was a difficult day yesterday, but words cannot express how much I love this child.  Speaking of this child, it's time for me to go get her from school! Adios!