vegan waffles topped with coconut whipped cream.... yes. so good. and of course berries and tropical fruit.
mango fields of gold and green.
rules: don't take home. &if it's on the ground, you can eat it.
Our first fathers day with Alex as a family. Maybe not the most "normal" way to have things, but it didn't feel weird or strange to us that this was finally our first time celebrating father's day together. It flowed just the right amount into M growing and finally being old enough to yell, "happy daddy's day!"
We kept things close to home: food, farms, and yard work. M woke me up bright and early by a tap on the cheek asking "where's the card, mama?" I quickly jumped out of bed, shh'ed her a bit and said "come on, let's be quiet out here." We let Alex sleep in while we made a third card (the second being on the envelop of the first) and made breakfast. For father's day we wanted to get Alex a few things: waffles, cookies, and pizza---obviously we know the best things to get people. The waffle maker made the most sense as a gift. I made waffles, cut up fruit, and made my first batch of coconut milk whipped cream. I made coffee and we marched into the room to wake the man up to a sugar feast. We then got dressed for the day and headed south to a place very familiar to us, Homestead. The land of farms, more farms, mangoes, more mangoes, fruitshakes, and large fields of grass. It was nice going back to a place where Alex and I used to spend our time, but this weekend, many years later, with our little one in tow. It felt right for fathers day, the three of us covered in mango juice at fruit and spice park, tromping around in sticky hot fields. Afterwards, because we just couldn't get enough of Mexico, we headed even further south to the mostly (completely? I think completely) Mexican based flea market for a taco lunch. Covered in dirt and grime, we headed to Miami for popsicles and coffee, before making the trek home to much needed baths and showers.
The next day, we spent about a total of 7 hours outside in the 90 (plus) degree heat working on the yard. We breaked for.... you guessed it, a taco lunch, and headed back outside to clear our space. Every time I work on the yard I think, how much more time can I spend on this place and have it looking exactly the same? For someone outside, nothing looks different or changes. For me, those hours mean piles and piles of roots, trees, and branches, that have been removed for the dream yard we are planning for our family.
It was an easy weekend here. A quiet one. A sweaty, sticky, dirty, and incredibly enjoyable one. Our time with Alex is always a good one. Our time being able to love him, celebrate him, and his presence in our family and his importance to Marlowe? Even better. We love him. He is a really incredible and loving dad and I think I can easily speak for Marlowe (and myself) when I say, we're really grateful to have him here.
I've already wished them myself, of course, but happy father's day to my dad, my step dad, my big-little brother Mark.... and of course, Alex.
M's outfit day one - bonnet c/o urbanbabybonnets. dress: gift from ecuador.
M's outfit day two - boots: hunter. dress: american apparel.
Well, I'm back.... we're back, from you know, Mexico--- a honeymoon. I'm not sure where to start. The past two weeks (and maybe few months?) have felt like such a time warp. Before anything, I should start with a thank you on our big news! All the congratulatory comments, emails, tweets, and whathaveyou's were such a nice thing to come home to and occasionally find in those rare moments of wifi. Thank you! I don't have wedding photos (is it called a wedding, if you elope at a courthouse?)... not yet, anyway, but I can tell you in words, we're very happy we did it. It felt right, just the two of us. No big plans and plan making, just a scheduled trip to Mexico and a "well maybe we can do it before, or there, or after?!" We obviously decided on the before. We woke up bright and early, put on our best outfits, and walked out the door with rings and umbrella in hand. We headed into the courthouse, turned in our papers, and said our vows. We picked up falafel, came back home, and boarded a plane, as a married couple, to Mexico. Simple, us, perfect.
As you can imagine, I have a lot of pictures from our trip. I mean, we were gone for quite a while. It didn't feel like I took a lot of pictures. Without the need of a phone and with little desire to take out a camera, I rarely took photos, but collectively, at the end of it, a fair amount popped up. So this, this is your warning, the next two weeks or so will be filled with many posts of a simple honeymoon life in Mexico.
We arrived, picked up a rental car, and headed south. Between a tropical depression, flooding (the side walks were gone) and whatever else, we were certain we were in for an interesting vacation. Two days or so in, the rain stopped, the flooding began to clear, and the sun came out and our vacation changed.
In the past few weeks I've seen quite a few blog posts on different travel experiences to Tulum (beach). And it just feels or seems to me, that everyone shows the beautiful photos of the picture perfect scenes, but no one really talks about how life is a bit harder out there, and not as easy as it all seems. I mean, I do now know that Tulum can be a very different experience, and it is all what you make of it. But from the campsites, to the jungle, to the pueblo, to the bungalows, to the resorts, there are many different ways to vacation or live out there. We opted for a house, just the two of us, in the jungle. We used airbnb, which for us, seemed fitting. Neither one of us were looking for a catered resort experience, we didn't know the area or really what to expect, but with the help of our host, Fanny, and my great sense of direction (I'm not being sarcastic here, I have an internal radar map system that kicks into high gear sometimes) we found a bit of our way. I liked having someone who knew the area, who wouldn't just recommend where the tourist go, and more. The food on the beach of Tulum was expensive--- really expensive, we were warned of this. And while we don't regret splurging (for us) on constant dinners out, we did spend more than we would have liked to spend, but figured, maybe it was okay, and our time to splurge a little more.
A few days into the trip Alex asked me if I would travel back to Tulum. I was a bit thrown off. I never travel with the intention of visiting the same place again. I tell myself to experience as much as I can, because who knows if I'll ever return. And I'm always, always asking what's next and where else can I explore. But after some thought, I said "yes, I would." The second time around would be with Marlowe and with knowledge of how to make our time not just great, but perfect. The second time around, I doubt we would dine out maybe more than a small handful of meals, if hardly at all. We would spend more time at markets and cooking. Basically--- we would live the life we want to live there and not just visit. Does that make sense? As simple as it was, we'd make it less expensive and more natural.
We loved our quiet and undemanding time together. No internet, rarely there electricity. If you didn't know (we didn't), Tulum (beach) has no land lines-- no source of power. If you had power, it was through solar panels or through a brought in generator. We laughed that our biggest luxury was our air-conditioned car. Our home had solar panels, but there were some problems with them, and also (of course) with no sun, there is no light. For me, the bugs were hard, very hard--- this is my only and biggest complaint. The air atmosphere was similar to florida, but without the buildings and the pavement of the city, the bugs were constant in the jungle. They left Alex alone mostly, but for me, I was left with swollen welts within minutes of leaving our car. They love me, they really love me! On the other hand, we were pleasantly surprised to find the climate to be much cooler in Mexico. We woke up early, sipped water from coconuts, ate sliced mango, and drank black coffee. We spent as much of our time outside as we could, cooked a meal (always of rice, beans, avocados, and fresh tortillas) or ate out, and ended our night, in the pitch black night, with a few lit candles, sipping on tequila and lime.
It sounds silly, but our trip, it changed things for us. We already live a simple life with little frills, but we want more--- more of less. Without saying so, we could both feel the reworking happening. And now back here, in our home, we want to make different changes, together, for our family and our life. I've always mostly known the kind of life I want, but now more than ever, I know the only way to my real happiness is to simplify even more. Not minimalism, but simplicity.
I hope you enjoy our photos of our time in Mexico, I'll be keeping them behind cuts, since there are oh-so-many, and you can decide to scroll through our many, many photos or not. I'll be posting a ton more, plus some of our own learned tips and favorite places we ate at :) Thank you again, for your kind words. I'm really so pleased to have this space, to document my life and surroundings. It has been a crazy journey, but this place we're in, it's good and only getting better.
And for those who asked, "married life", it's good, I like it.
for more photos....
So "hello" from me to Drea's readers. It is an honour to be asked to fill a little space over on this blog. I've 'known' Drea for a while now and although we've never actually met in the real live flesh (but boy do we like to pretend plan it all the time, damn you expensive flights...) we've had the odd skype chat so I feel I can definitely call her my friend, and was happy to do this post when she asked.
Anyway, while she is having a grand old time in Mexico she asked if I'd do a little guest post on the theme of love. So here goes...it won't be sappy, I'm just not that sort of girl I'm afraid.
The story of how me and my husband 'got together' is sort of a silly one. And perhaps not the most ideal one in life. I'm certainly not looking forward to the day my son asks how we finally got together after knowing each other as good friends for 10 years and I have to explain I drank waaaaaay too much beer, Bowie was playing in the club, and somehow your father saw his chance and jumped me. Then we ended back at his. Oops. And for anyone living in London I had the most hideous journey back from Dalston to Wandsworth Common...before the wonderful overground line was there. Bus, tube, and then train including shame and a hangover. Not a fine start. I won't even go into details that as I was meeting 'just' a friend, massive black pants (to you lot in the US that is knickers) and unshaven legs were fine since there was no chance I was going to get lucky. Yes, I most certainly was not a girl guide.... #alwaysbeprepared
We met when we were both 18 at 6th form college. He went to the 'cooler' one and I went to the one for swots (his words, not mine) where I met all the friends he'd been to school with. We were always out together. I liked a good time and so did he. So that's how it begun - just two friends enjoying our youth. We always stayed close, even when one or both of us had girlfriends/boyfriends. We were in London at the same time after graduating from different Universities and hung out a lot - going to gigs and clubs together. Him living in North London and me living in South. It was just another catch up meal that night with him that for some reason things all changed when we were both single and about 28 years old.
It was one of those nights I was hoping to write off. I thought maybe we'd ruined our friendship for good. And if not ruined, that he would laugh at me for years because of those damn pants. It turned out somehow though that we didn't . We met up to chat about why an earth that had happened suddenly after many a night out of drinking beer in each others company. Yet somehow something this time was different. It had changed between us, but in a good way, the best way. How lucky was I, that friend would eventually become my husband. That friend I'd been recommending to many girls because he was fun, handsome, cooked, cleaned, was generous, thoughtful and even did a spot of sewing(!!!) was now mine! Some of my friends that went to school with him were surprised and shocked at first. Ben? From school?! Are you sure they would say. Well yes...he has changed a little since he was 8 years old, he's had 20 something years to change, grow up, sort out his hair etc etc....
We will have been married 4 years this September, yet friends for 17 years, and we have a beautiful sweet boy called Stanley who is two and almost a half. An equal part of both of us. It is great when these mistakes turn out to be the best kind to make.
-Sarah of Sarah Dyer
A Blue Funk Kind Of Love
Hi! I'm Nicole from Rose Runs Wild blog. I am so thankful that Drea asked me to hang out over here today and share my little love story with all of you! Ours has definitely been a journey so let's start from the beginning and I'll try not to bore you too much. ;)
Growing up, my mom always told me that "you'll just know when you are in love" and I believed that. That worked for her and my dad, they've been together for over 30 years, so it should work for me right? All love is the same. I believed that you just know and that you should never have to think about it, second guess it or work at it. It should be magical and wonderful at all times. So amazing that you just know. That might be the case for some people but it wasn't that easy for me. As people grow older, go through experiences, relationships and moments that shape them they develop baggage, different views, and may have a hard time trusting themselves and their feelings. Of course I am talking about me here, but I know this to be true for others as well. Love at first sight or first feeling is not true in all cases and it's also perfectly ok. I no longer live under the false guise that if you are in love it should be rainbows and puppies all of the time or that you should know immediately after laying eyes on another human being.
I met my love, Gray, many years before we ever started dating. If you ask him, he knew right away that we were meant to be together. Me, I blew him off. Several years and a divorce from a terrible relationship for me later, our paths crossed and we began the journey that is our relationship. A relationship with one of us in Las Vegas, one of us in New York. Then me in Indiana and him still in New York. Finally both of us making a home, together, here in Indiana. Our relationship has been a roller coaster of emotions and situations. It's been amazing and mind blowing at times and it's been horrible at times too. We've brought personal baggage, had fights, been annoyed beyond annoyed with eachother because that is the reality of any relationship. But, we've also learned so much about eachother, what the other person needs, how to show the other love and it's been amazing. When I look back on the past four years of us. . . I see a process and a true love that is more beautiful than I can put into words. We've become this home, an amazing team, a family, a couple that I know can get through pretty much anything life chooses to throw at us. We were engaged in August of last year and are now four months away from our wedding day. It feels amazing to be at this point in our relationship. Both so eager and excited to completely give ourselves to one another.
When people ask me how I know I love Gray, how I know he is the one, I don't say something like "I just knew he was the one!" because I honestly didn't. I know I love Gray and that he is the one because his happiness is more important to me than anything else (well, besides my child's but that's a given). Seeing him happy makes my heart full and it's something I will do everything in my power to make sure he feels. His happiness makes me genuinely happy. I've never experienced that before. I want to see him reach his dreams, his goals and am always willing to do whatever I need to do to help or support him getting there without thinking twice about it. I will spend ridiculous amounts of money on Batman action figures just to see the smile on his face. I put his needs and wants before mine because his happiness is number one to me. I know he is the one because I know that he feels the same way about me. I know because he shows me and reminds me he feels that way each and every day. He goes above and beyond in big ways and small ways to show his love and care for me. He supports every hope and dream I have. He takes care of me and my son and does it because our happiness is truly important to him.
We still have bad days and good days like everyone else but at the end of the day, we don't want to be with anyone else, we make eachother happy, we truly love eachother through it all. I think to be able to go through the hard times that life gives you and be able to come out a stronger, better couple on the other side of it, that is love. Love continues to grow stronger, day by day, in the best or times and the worst of times.
Thank you again Drea for having me here and I hope you are having an amazing time in Mexico!
-Nicole from Rose Runs Wild
Four years together and I never get tired of telling the story of how Peter and I first met. I was 20 working at a store in Williamsburg Brooklyn. This store was the beez neez. It was home to a bunch of name brand consignment clothes and vintage too, and well I can go on and on about that. Peter was 24 and just happened to be working at the best pizza joint in Brooklyn (Drea will like that ;)) around the corner from my job. I would go to that same pizza place for lunch a couple of times a week. There was this Italian boy there, and I usually spent most of my lunch hours flirting with him. After a couple of weeks of flirtations I was over him, so over him. Very much the usual scenario for yours truly. One day, after a tiny dating intermission I noticed a new set of bright blue eyes in said pizza shop (they had vegan pizza too you know!).
Accompanying those eyes was a large smile, tattoos, and the curliest and floppiest fro. I mean, he had me written all over him! Moving on.
After a few pizza lunches, and I am guessing a few pounds later there was a shift in the air. One day a frequent shopper came into the store and was wearing a sweatshirt with the pizza shop’s logo. Over small conversation I asked her about the guy with the blue eyes and large smile. I didn’t know his name yet. I was just gaining crucial background information, ya know. I informed her not to say anything to him of my digging, and she swore to it. Swore to it!
A few days later I returned to work after a mini vacation. My co-workers informed me that a nervous, tall, curly haired, blue-eyed guy came looking for me not one, but three different times! So, like the brave soul I was, I walked to the pizza shop for lunch once again. After ordering, and feeling totally let down by his nervousness, but more so of his lack of conversation, I slowly walked out of the pizza shop. As I was headed towards the door that same guy blurted out something magnificent with the shakiest voice, something that still gets me quite giddy. “Would you like to hang out tonight?!” I replied; “Yes, I’m out of work at 6”
From that night on we’ve spent no more than four days apart. Peter still gets nervous around me, and I still giddy around him. And well, I am guessing by the end of this you already know that my frequent shopper did spill the beans to that man of mine. I am so happy she did.
Thank you Drea for letting me share our story!
-Latonya of Old, New, And The Wee One Too
-Latonya of Old, New, And The Wee One Too
I’ve known my husband for eight years now and somehow everything and nothing seems crazy about Scott being my husband. When I think of the fact that ten years ago I was eating my lunch alone in the stacks of my high school library wondering if I would ever meet anyone beyond my family who would truly know me, everything about it seems crazy. But when I think about how nature is the avenue we both use to understand this world, how living life and loving our families are our first priorities and how we both enjoy simple pleasures like riding bikes, drinking beer and eating burritos (and apparently things that start with the letter b), nothing seems crazy about it.
We met down by the beach, as you might have imagined. We were at a mutual friend’s birthday party located in the small garage of a weathered beach house. There was a keg of beer, a ping pong table and about ten other party guests engaged in drinking games. It was a clear, invigorating January night and damp salty wind snuck through the cracks in the garage. I was in my sophomore year at The University of San Diego and he was in his at San Diego State. Our interests weren’t too far off from what they are now.
The first thing I noticed about him was his face. I think I lost my breath a little when he walked in, even though I pretended not to notice him. The second thing I noticed was that he wasn’t wearing any shoes, despite the cold. One of the first things he noticed about me was my wetsuit tan. The contrast between my tan hands and white winter arms was pretty obvious and proved to be the perfect topic for our first conversation.
A few minutes after Scott and his roommate Mark arrived, my roommate Kate and I got a phone call letting us know that our friend was having a party at his house out by San Diego State. We prepared to leave, but in order to exit the garage we would have to walk by Scott and Mark, who were nonchalantly standing in the doorway.
**Please brace yourself for my corniest/craziest/creepiest (but most successful) pickup line ever.
I went to sleep that night with three of my roommates in a queen size bed lying awake not because of discomfort, but because every part of who I was had been awakened.
-Devon of The Mermaid Chronicles.