February 7, 2016

Life Lately

We have had a wonderful start to 2016.  As we mentioned in an older post, Kevin’s parents were here to visit in the beginning of January.  We enjoyed two weeks together surviving the heat, relaxing in the mountains and kissing by the sea.

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We are regular visitors of the several parks in Managua.  This park near our home is always packed, even during the hottest part of the day.  You won’t always find people playing, rather they are sitting under the play equipment, enjoying the shade and free wi-fi.  Estela and I are usually the only ones climbing up and down!

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We, along with our neighbors, celebrated the quinceañera of our neighbor Luisa.  Each neighbor helped with an aspect of the party, some provided the food and drinks, others did her hair and makeup, and we took the pictures.  It was a lovely evening of laughter, dancing and friendship.

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My dad’s best friend and my second dad, Dave Foy was here in the middle of January.  He was working in Honduras and came down to visit us, experience our lives here and meet Estela.  We had a great time and so appreciated his visit.

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When Dave was here visiting, we went up to Estelí to see the cigar making process from start to finish.  We had a great day learning about this amazing crop.  Below is a field of tobacco leaves being cultivated by oxen. 

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My junior high friend Erin and her husband Lucas came to Nicaragua at the end of February.  We spent time together in Managua, Granada and the beaches of Tola.  We had such a great time together!

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Fish tacos have been a favorite of ours lately.  We have been eating them whenever we have the chance to, whether that is out at a restaurant or at home.  Yum!

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I have continued to take Spanish classes with my friend and teacher Mayela.  Estela is usually along for the class, it works out perfectly when she naps!

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This is how I do yoga these days!  My workouts now have a big, but welcomed distraction, and she does add some extra weight to the routine.

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I love our little family.  And I love living by the ocean!

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And the most exciting news of all, we welcomed our niece Ivy Lane into the family through adoption.  My brother Justin and sister-in-law Kate are now parents to this amazing little girl.  Here is the first of many facetime calls for the primas!

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The month of February has started off quite well.  Our friends Eric and Nikki and their kiddos are currently here visiting us for a couple of weeks.  School is also keeping us busy.  Later this month, we have plans to head to the Poetry Festival in Granada and a girls weekend in Matagalpa.  All for now!

February 1, 2016

Oma and Opa Visit

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We were so grateful to have newly named Oma and Opa come for a visit during the first days of the New Year. There was much trepidation and planning that went into the trip. My mother needed a passport, instructions for passing through airports were provided and eleven days of adventure and exploration were developed.

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My mom still had not been here, in fact she had neither traveled abroad nor seen the ocean prior to their visit to Nicaragua. Things did not always go as planned; the parents arrived after the ball dropped on New Year’s due to plane problems, the trunk of our rental car decided to not close at some inopportune times and Nicaragua chose to be quite hot and humid during the visit.

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But we had a wonderful time! One of the greatest highlights for all was the time that Oma and Opa were able to have with Estela. It was great to see them get to know one another and great to see the ways in which love transcends language.

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Beyond that we wanted to share with them some highlights of the wondrous place that is Nicaragua. I am so happy to share that my mom loved the ocean, it was here favorite part of Nicaragua, except for Estela of course!

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January 25, 2016

Our New Place

Late last month, we left our amazing home in Tierra Prometida and moved a couple of kilometers to the east.  We were hoping that we would not have to move, but after offering double the rent and almost everything we own, the home owner said that he just really wanted his home back.  We understood and decided to move back to Tres Ochenta, where we first lived with our host family when we arrived in 2011.  We live right next door and enjoy sharing our days together. 

Pros – Living close to our good friends Pedro, Gretel and her kiddos, Tortilla vendor directly in front of our home, Central location, Second story is cool and breezy, New and clean bathroom, Open design, Smaller meaning much less to clean, 3 minute walk to our favorite sushi joint and pool

Cons – Open design leads to a lot of dust in the house, Less security, No place to hang a hammock, Kitchen design, Miss our old neighbors, No garden, Far from our favorite fritanga, Ant problems

We thought we would share a few pictures of our second floor apartment.  Enjoy!

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This is a view from below.  We are up on the second floor.

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Come up the steps and see our new place.

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Brisa hanging out in our brightly painted living room.  This was not my choice for wall color, and sadly Brisa is no longer with us.  The neighbors below have nine dogs (no joke, some are newly born puppies) and a mean cat and Brisa was very anxious living here.  We gave her to our old neighbor who is taking very good care of her.  We do miss her though!

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Kevin getting breakfast ready in our kitchen.  We miss our old kitchen as it had excessive amounts of counter space.  We now find ourselves sitting and cutting things on the floor.

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Here I am hanging up our laundry.  You can see our neighbor’s roof on the other side.  Being up high gives us a cool breeze, but can also lead to a lot of dust.

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Cloth diapering, they dry very quickly in the direct sunlight.

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Our water tank.  This is a definite plus for when the city water goes out.

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This is the view out of our front gate.  Thanks for reading.  Come and visit anytime!

January 18, 2016

Café

The best part of waking up is coffee in your cup!  When I (Kevin) was growing up there was an often played commercial for a national branded coffee company which featured this little jingle.  Go ahead and sing it!

Cassie, Estela and I, along with our friends and family, have enjoyed hiking through the coffee fields before the bright red beans were harvested this year.  I did not have the opportunity to do any harvesting this year but it was a joy to walk through the farms, see the process play itself out and enjoy a few fresh and marvelous cups of coffee!

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