Our first year of preschool is over and done! Whew. What a year. Miss Molly did so much for our Myer. Of course he learned so much like numbers and letters, but he also learned how to share, how to make friends, how to control his emotions, and how to express himself. I've seen such a change in him that was a huge answer to prayers. I see less tantrums, less hitting, and a desire to identify his emotions and then articulate what's wrong. YAY! Miss Molly told me that he loves loves loves to learn and I think that is how we can keep high-energy-Myer engaged. She has found a way to channel his too-smart-for-me brain. I mean he's already reading. He got the award for Best Reader too. So proud of you Myer.
And it was such a special treat to experience preschool with his cousins. Navy and Myer will be in the same class next year. Can't wait!
Not only did I get to sleep in, breakfast in bed, and the cutest homemade cards, but I GOT A BIKE! Jake totally surprised me! I honestly thought I was getting a bunch of frying pans and kitchen stuff. (Because all my kitchen stuff is from when we got married. So ya, I was thinking it was time for an upgrade.) We immediately went for a ride, all of us in our pj's, and rode around the neighborhood. Myer was thrilled to find out I actually could ride a bike and complimented my "new found" talents. It's a bike that can ride in the mountains and on the streets so looks like I'll be trying some mountain trails with my boys...
Then we had dinner at my moms with all my siblings, their spouses, and kids. It's been a while since we've all been together. It was loud, crazy, and just how it should be. Myer played with his cousins and Jessie's dogs, and Lennon loved all the attention. I quite frankly loved that I didn't have to cook!
Then Elder Thacker gave us a call! THE BEST. (Jake went home the kids so I face-timed him in on the phone call.) I am so dang proud of my brother. He is in a tough situation with his jaw and his companion, but he was so positive, optimistic, and full of faith. I could see him not only living the gospel, but being the gospel. It shines out of him. His quick sense of humor is still there along with a slight Filipino accent (so cute!) I loved hearing his testimony is Tagalog. So proud of him learning that language in just 9 months. So again-- we were all together. We are all in different places in our lives but we are there supporting each other. I feel genuine love from and for my siblings. They are examples to me in their stages of life, and I draw courage from each of them. Parents included!
It was an awesome weekend with the temple, hanging with my family, riding my bike, and getting a hello from the Philippines. I miss my two sisters and little brother already, but good thing for emails and face time.
My sister scored 15 tickets to the Payson Temple Open house. And luck would have it, that it was on the same weekend, Mother's Day weekend, that both my sisters would be in town. So we were all together!! In the temple! (Except my brother who is serving a mission, but we got to talk to him just two days later on Mother's Day. More on that later.) We were a large group, but so very neat to be as a family. Again, Myer and Navy held hands through the whole thing. Gosh those two are so dang cute together.
When we finished the tour, we couldn't leave. The grounds and the temple were so beautiful. (The inside of the Temple was large and so many rooms!) We stayed and stayed and stayed on that green lawn until the kids nap time crept up on us. I love the feeling in and around that beautiful place. Can't wait to go back.
The highlight of the trip! We thought we only had tickets to see the show, but we had tickets for the dinner as well-- a "gourmet experience" and a table right up at the front. Oh yeah! And that was the best part because the food was incredible.
I'm probably not describing these amazing platters adequately, so excuse
my lack of foodie vocabulary. Just know, that the food was amazing and
I've never had a meal so ritzy. You could even eat the menu!
They first brought out the appetizer plate which had smoked salmon, ham and mango caviar, crab salad, and goat cheese. And yes there is dry ice coming out of that planter.
Then the main course-- I had the salmon and Jake had the Roast.
And then dessert came in a wooden book!!!! There were 4 different desserts-- dark chocolate cake, tropical pudding, fruit tart, and creme brulee. AMAZING. Jake and I were the nerdy couple up front "oohing" and "ahhing" over each bite.
Then of course we still had the show which was equally amazing. They had a juggler, a contortionist, Chinese acrobats, a tramp as large as the stage, gymnasts, jiu jitsu pirates, trapeze artists, etc. etc. etc!! Add all the gourmet food on top of it? Made for a very memorable night. Another perk from Landvoice. I cannot thank Jake's work enough for this trip. Thank you thank you!!
After sweating all morning in the heat of Tulum, we cooled off in a Cenote (a natural pit with fresh water) Gotta admit I was a little nervous swimming in a somewhat dark cave with bats over head, and who knows what fish below me, but I was so hot my bravery wasn't real hard to find.
There was a family of turtles swimming around us. It hard not touching them because they were everywhere, but of course we obeyed the rules and did not touch. Jake lived in that water, exploring every nook and cranny. Me? I was good after a half hour. Then I just hung on the dock watching Jake basically become one of the fish.
It was still the best way to cool off and one of those things to say I've done it. Jake wants one in our backyard. I love how we compliment each other. Check!
We signed up with Alma LDS Tours and took a tour of Tulum one morning. We learned an incredible amount of information, especially relating to the Book of Mormon and the gospel of Jesus Christ in ancient times. Of course these ruins aren't during the time of the Book of Mormon people, they were many years later, but it gave us a clue of what life was like back in that time, and how the Mayans and Incas were trying to live religiously. There was so much symbolism all over that place-- the Tree of Life, the Godhead, Temple Ordinances, Christ's birth and resurrection, and Christ's visit to America. We learned a lot about the people themselves--they were astronomers, geologists, archeologists, and mathematicians which was enlightening because I always thought they were a barbaric culture sacrificing human life and such. However, from looking at the carvings and their structures of temples, it showed they were trying to feel the spirit and hold onto religious teachings.
Tulum sits right on the edge of the beach and it was breathtaking. It was probably the prettiest beach I've seen. They built their temple on the highest point in the area so they could help steer in the canoes from the beach. On each side of the back wall of the temple, there was a hole through the structure. When the people out in the water could see both holes, they lined their canoes in between them and it helped them steer in between the reefs so they wouldn't crash getting to shore. The ability to figure all that is amazing. What a highly educated culture.
On this smaller temple you can see parts of 3 statues. The first one is of a baby, then a king, and then a God. Our LDS tour guide explained that this could be interpreted as Christ's life on earth. The Mayans probably put that on their temples and many others to remind and teach of His life.
There was so much we learned! It strengthened my testimony about the Book of Mormon and Christ's visit to America after he was crucified in Jerusalem. It also bore testimony to me of the Prophet Joseph Smith who translated the Book of Mormon. He was truly guided through the translation and received Divine help and could not have made this up all on his own. For example, throughout the BOM there is a phrase "and it came to pass". This helped the editors of the BOM know when a new verse or chapter began because there wasn't any punctuation during the translation process. In the Mayan language there is one symbol that only means "and it came to pass". Interesting little tidbits like that we gleaned from just a few hours with our tour. We loved Tulum and felt the spirit there. What a beautiful place.
I think another word for "paradise" is Playa Del Carmen. We soaked in the white sand, turquoise water, and the hot hot sun. Or maybe it was our resort that we stayed at--the Mayan Palace. It was beautiful. I don't know if we'll ever stay in as nice as place as that ever again. So we took advantage! We slept in, ate when we wanted, worked out at the gym together, napped on the beach, jumped from pool to pool, ate dinner really really late (because we didn't have to work around bedtimes!) and then sacked out ourselves no matter how late. It was just me and Jake. No schedules. I want to go back!
And the best part was, we flew down in First Class. On our first flight to Dallas we were in the back of the plane (above). Right by the engine. But then on our connecting flight to Cancun, they gave away our tickets to people on stand-by so they upgraded us to First Class. There was leg and elbow room, and warm towelettes. And a meal. Now that's how you fly.
The reef was close to the beach so they had 3 piers that led you out to the clear water and soft sand. Jake was a regular. And me too.
Everything was giant size-- the pool, the market/boutique (two pictures up), restaurants, and even the planters. So exotic!
The resort was covered in Jungle. All the pathways were these wooden walkways that twisted and turned through all the foliage. Our hotel room looked out to all this greenery and it was not a bad sight to wake up to every morning.
It was a vacation that I will never forget. It's been hard coming back, so good thing for my babies and their sweet hugs or else I'd be on a plane first thing in the morning. What mattered most to me was my one-on one time with Jake. I love this man. I love him more than I did when we got married so I felt spoiled being with just him for 7 days. We talked about silly things like "what's your favorite birthday memory?" or "what vegetable would you eliminate?" and "what oreo should they make next?". Some serious stuff. It was just what we needed and we felt lucky to have this trip given to us for free. Thank you Landvoice for your generosity and a trip of a lifetime!