CASTAWAY ISLAND AND A BIRTHDAY

summer has been wonderful for us, i think gracie and i are about 3 shades darker than we were in april just from the past month.  the sun has been shining away and we’ve been soaking all of it in.  a couple of weeks ago we celebrated ellie’s birthday at castaway island in TY park.  it was our first time visiting this water park and it will most definitely not be our last.
PicMonkey Collage5^^we met up with some of our cousins.  can we talk about how diverse our family is for a minute??? seriously it’s the cutest thing seeing these girls all play together.  also, what a blessing it is to be able to live close to family and to watch the little ones grow up together^^PicMonkey Collage 1^^i think this is my favorite picture of baby simon.  he was the only boy at the party (other than tio jorge) and i think he held his ground pretty well^^IMG_7815^^be still my heart^^PicMonkey Collage4PicMonkey CollageIMG_7765PicMonkey Collage3PicMonkey Collage2^^this little cutie was a bit scared of the slides.  she spent most of the time playing in the shallow end but i’m sure she didn’t mind.  that smile is priceless^^IMG_7907IMG_7947^^gracie was so scared of the slides at first that she asked to go home. we had just gotten to the park so i offered to hold her.  i spent the entire time at the park with her in my arms while holding other little ones hands, and making sure no one got hurt.  this pregnant momma was exhausted at the end of the day but i honestly would not have traded it for anything.  i know the day will come when she asks to go down the slides by herself and won’t need me to be there with her.  so for now, i don’t mind the exhaustion.  i’ll hold her and ride down the slides 100x if it means we get to enjoy them together.^^
PicMonkey Collage^^these balloons were ellie’s birthday present from gracie.  it was so sweet prepping for the handoff.  the night before the party we bought the balloons and practiced saying happy birthday ellie.  we also threw in a lesson on giving and blessing others.  goodness, my heart was so full watching her let go of the balloons we both knew she wanted for herself.^^IMG_8031^^happy 3rd birthday princess ellie. we love you so much!!^^

 

{T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park is located in hollywood florida.  it’s $8 per person and $5 after 3pm (kids under 1 get in free).  if you go, bring LOTS of sunscreen and snacks.  during the summer there are tons of camps that stop by with busses full of kids but around 12p it dies down while the campers eat lunch… this was the perfect time for us to snag up the big watersides without waiting in line.  there’s also a little kiddy area that’s great for the tiny ones but not so exciting for the 3+ year olds.  oh and they don’t let you bring balloons inside the park (something about them being a choking hazard)  ellie’s balloons sat in the car until it was time to go}

{WHEN IN FL} AND JAXSONS ICE-CREAM

although this is not a travel or restaurant review blog per se, we often like to highlight some of our favorite places around our town.  we have gotten a few questions on places to eat, date night spots and other family friendly things to around south florida.  so, we are currently working on a “what to do in fl” page to add to the blog. until we finalize it, we’ve added a category titled when in FL leading to some of our favorite posts on what we like to do and go.  PicMonkey Collage- jaxson 1

jaxsons icecream is one of our go-to ice-cream spots to visit.  they opened their doors in 1956 and have attracted thousands of people with their classic vive, eclectic look and outstanding ice-cream.  a couple of weeks ago this pregnant lady was craving some ice-cream and we were also due for some quality time with ale’s parents.  it worked out perfect.  we hopped in the car together and zipped on over to dania beach.  PicMonkey Collage- jaxson 2jaxsons is a full restaurant that also serves favorite classics like burgers and hot dogs (which is perfect for lunch after a incredibly sunny FL beach day).  i love their crinkle fries that are probably fried to order because they’re always so fresh… and of course their milkshakes are outstanding.  they also serve their famous kitchen sink it’s a ridiculous amount of ice-cream served in a sink… seriously. we’ve never had it before but we’ve seen it and it’s a beast!

PicMonkey Collage- jaxson 3the front of the restaurant has an old fashion candy and toy store making you feel like you’re back in the 50’s.  it’s really cute and cozy AND they serve complimentary popcorn while you’re working on your order.  that’s always a win in my book!PicMonkey Collage- jaxson 4the entrance of the restaurant has a to-go window for people who just want a few scoops of their favorite ice-cream AND a tiny carousel for the little ones… can’t ask for much more.

^^also how cute is this little lady?!^^

(last year we made a quick stop by jaxsons while celebrating my birth week)

 

TO ELIAS, ON YOUR WEDDING DAY

elias and corinalittle brother,

i know time will be short for us today. we probably won’t have a chance to talk in the midst of all the last minute preparations, jitters and excitement of the evening. i probably won’t get a chance to tell you that i am proud of you. that watching you marry your best friend will be one of the highlights of my life. that seeing you prep for this wedding has driven us all a bit loony, but knowing that your face will light up tonight when you see your bride will make it all worth it.

i know we’ll be busy this evening, but i wanted you to know that i remember holding moms pregnant belly and telling her that i would help her take care of you. i would kiss her belly often knowing that you were in there and that i would get to see you soon. i also remember trying to fit you back into your yellow ducky pajamas when you were way to grown up for them and i remember your excitement when you all surprised us that november your plane landed from venezuela. you were so little and had so much to say… you kept saying “tere, tere, tere” i don’t think you stopped to take a breath till you turned 15. thanks for those sweet memories. 

tonight, when we celebrate your union to your beautiful wife, i will be thinking of those memories and many others. i will be thanking God for the man you have become. i’ll be thanking Him for your kind heart, your willingness to give, your desire to serve Him and for your courage to take on your new role of husband. i know that He will equip you and guide your marriage because He is your foundation and a cord of three strands is not easily broken (ecc. 4:12).

so, here’s my chance to tell you that i am so honored to be your sister and that i will always be rooting for you. i love you so much.

 love,

your favorite sister.