A wedding on the beach

The reason we went to Jamaica last week was for a wedding. Even with this much build-up, the event itself stuck out in a week of memories. It was at 5pm, after a day of lounging around the resort but being careful not to overdo it. We got ourselves free of sand, dressed up and headed to the beach to fill in chairs draped with white flowing cloth.

It was a romantic, casual but beautiful affair full of nice details, from the maid of honour singing as her best friend made her way down the aisle, to the gentle crashing of the ocean, and the handmade fans and bubbles. After sitting in the chair for a bit, we moved and stood under a tree to give Baby J some shade and had a great vantage point to see the exchanging of vows, and hear the soft words amid misty eyes and genuine grins.

beach wedding Jamaica

We may have morphed from the rowdy group of people who had been partying all week, a jumble of people shifting from the bar to the pool, spilling beer and shouting at friends, into a bunch of smiling faces, shining with love and respect for the couple who brought us all together and included us all in their love on their special day.

family in Jamaica

cake in Jamaica

After the ceremony, we drifted over the sand, posing for family photos in the golden sun, chatting and joking around, watching Baby J try to lift a rock the size of his head and carry it around. One of the bridesmaids splashed around in the ocean with him, letting him go ankle deep and picking him up – she was totally soaked for the photos after, but didn’t seem to mind one bit.

After the cake was cut, we headed back towards our room, letting Baby J wander the halls a bit (he liked yelling ah! to hear the echo) and changing him into his jammies, then found our table at the reception, held at one of the on-site gourmet restaurants. We sat with the groom’s mother and a few friends, people we hadn’t gotten a chance to spend much time with, and enjoyed the meal together – there was creamy wild asparagus soup that may have been the best soup I’ve ever had. We took turns rocking the little guy to sleep in his stroller, and then had the night ahead to eat, and drink, socialize, and dance.

At the midpoint of the week, it was nice to have the wedding, then a few days left to finish the relaxation on our vacation in Jamaica!

Thankful: Home

We got back last week from a week of sun, sand, and family in Jamaica. Days spent with toes in the ocean, or at the swim-up bar sipping slushy drinks topped with rum, enjoying the buzz of conversation and the feel of the sun on your shoulders. It zipped by too quickly and so I thought this week, even though I still plan to recap a few more moments, I’d focus cultivating my attitude of gratitude with Lizzie’s blog hop, and why I also love coming home.

Catching up with people
Even only being gone for a week makes me miss my family and friends. I feel like I’ve been gone for ages on an adventure and need to see what they’ve been up to. I’m glad to have so many people that want to see me and make me meals, come over for a glass of wine and a chat, or have us over for a play date.

My own food
Don’t get me wrong – one of the BEST things about going to an all inclusive resort is the never ending supply of all the food you could ever eat…but I was happy to pick up some groceries and figure out our meals again. Plain, simple food like avocado on toast and spaghetti in tomato sauce (and some raspberries for Baby J, who literally squeaked with delight while eating half a carton of the squishy red jewels).

Laundry
The smell of fresh clothes has taken on a new meaning since having a child. Thank goodness ne of our fellow travellers gave us a few Tide pouches for sink washes (super handy – I’ll get some of these next time a travel for sure) but all in all, I’m very thankful to have clean clothes at the ready here at home.

Everything in it’s place
One things that drives me crazy is not being able to find things! I felt like I was constantly searching for shoes or sunscreen or a hat that I *just* had in my hand even being in such a small space. I like having everything right were I know it is (for the most part) instead of items floating around the room.

My computer
I pretty much went a week without wifi. Which was fine – I was busy swimming, eating, drinking, and hanging out, and so checking email wasn’t near the top of my list – but I do like being able to sit and read and write and wander the internets reading blogs and keeping up to date.

My little brown companion
Herman the dog was well taken care of and had a blast playing with his best doggy friend Diego while we were away, but I missed his presence, his silky body resting near my feet and his happy eyes.

My bed
Nothing like your own comfy pillow and your own bed when you get home.

Routine
I never really thought I was a schedule person, but I’m pretty strict about keeping Baby J on a routine – mostly so I know when it’s time for food and naps and so I know he’s rested enough to be happy. I’m sure being away long enough would make us adapt and start a familiar process, but it’s nice to get back to the old routine (and I”m thankful we all adapted back into it pretty well!).

The start of spring
The week we left was a snowy slushy mess, while we were gone there was a ton of rain, and now that we are back, things are inching towards the beginning of a spring that never seemed like it would arrive. But most of the snow is gone, the air is starting to turn fresh and pleasant, and I *think* spring is happening.

House with flower

The memories
Now that we are home and settled, I’m thankful I was able to take time away with such a wonderful group of people and that the trip was so fantastic. So many funny, touching, relaxing moments, so much running around. All very, very worth it. I cna’t wait for our next adventure somewhere.

What do you love about home?

(all images in this post cc weheartit.com)

Ten Things of Thankful

A break in the Jamaican sun

Back to blogging and real life after a week away in paradise! I usually blog while I’m away – I love getting the little stories down before I can forget them, but the resort we stayed at didn’t have wifi in the rooms. Bummer! So I’ll just add a few posts sketching out the highlights, and borrowing some photos since I didn’t take as many as usual.

It was a great trip. There were 64 people all together for the wedding – easy-going, funny, loud, quiet, sweet, wonderful people. Moments either seemed to be jostling and full of noise and people, like our arrival at the airport: we got in line behind about fifty others and were quickly ushered to the front so we could get settled faster, amidst smiles and hellos and tummy tickles for Baby J.

Then, our arrival in Jamaica after a great, crying-free (for us) flight as we all bustled onto this bus, shoving suitcases and strollers, juggling carry-ons and snacks and well, a baby, surrounded by excited voices as we took in the dusky light and warm weather on our way to the resort.

resort life

Once we got to our room, it was the other kind of moment that filled in many spaces on our trip: quietly alone in our bubble of three as we tried to settle Baby J in a tiny crib with his blanket. He could pop up and see us from everywhere in the room, so we hid out in the bathroom and sneakily ate room service hamburgers.

We settled into a routine of stuffing ourselves at the morning buffet where there was everything from freshly made omelets to tropical fruit, breads, waffles, bacon and other dishes; Baby J really liked eating chickpeas in tomato sauce, taking bites of pancake, and drinking the carrot-mango juice. We’d spend some time letting him wander the stone pathways criss-crossing between the building and the pool, gently brushing his fingers over glossy green leaves, poking at pink and white blooms, and getting into the dirt.

resort Rose Hall

Most afternoons were spent talking to people, walking the beach and feeling the water on our feet, swimming in the pool, or hanging out at the kids club where they had a great little waterpark, ball pit, sand filled with shovels and trucks and a play structure.

playing in the sand

walrus

One nap would be in our room, in his crib or our bed, and one would be in his stroller so we could get out and lounge by the pool or head into the water and the swim-up bar. With lots of family, there were lots of people more than willing to hang out with him and give us a break, and we did take advantage a few times. One night we left him with Tyler’s aunt and uncle and headed to the glimmering waters, an open stretch of brackish water that lit up when you touched it because of the plankton (?) living there. The bottom of the water felt like silt and it was warm against the dark night.

When we got back we learned that he’d been sick and was snoozing but I felt badly that we weren’t around. Scary when you aren’t at home – and many people offered suggestions as to what the cause could be – but luckily he rallied quickly and was his regular happy self, for the most part, the next day.

sunset in Jamaica

Many mornings, I felt a little pang of jealousy as I would listen to everyone recount the hilarious and fun things that happened the night before, well after I took the little guy back to our room for the night, and everyone else met up at the lobby bar, at the disco, watched shows and amused themselves. I commented once to one of the other girls that I missed out on all the fun. Later that day, in the pool, I was getting in the water when Baby J reached for me and squealed happily as he nestled into my arms, resting his head on my shoulder. I felt a tap on my other shoulder, and the same girl said: And that’s why you shouldn’t feel like you are missing out on anything.

So, so true.

baby in dinosaur robe

baby in dino robe