We are on day one of a long vacation and have decided to stay on St. Croix and remind ourselves of all the wonderful things we have here instead of traveling elsewhere. This morning we packed up our gear and headed East to hike the trail to Isaacs Bay. Penelope loved the hike! We saw hundreds of butterflies! Once down to the beach, we claimed a little hut for shelter, lathered in sunscreen and had an awesome time! Our little girl is walking and beach time is so much fun now :) She fell asleep on the hike back but was a trooper. Excited for tomorrow!
Our little girl, Penelope, just turned one year old! This year has been one of the best years of our lives. Aaron and I were a bit worried in the beginning (aren't we all?) about all the changes a baby would bring to our lives, but we had no idea that this small child would bring so much joy. It is simply amazing to watch a child grow and learn. And, the love! The love we feel for her is just the most wonderful feeling I have ever known. I have been able to stay home with Penelope this entire year and I just can't get enough of her.
For her birthday, we decided to have a joint party with another couple on island who's little boy Marin was also turning one about the same time. We didn't like the idea of a huge party and all the fuss, so instead we decided to sail to Buck Island for a fun day on the water and beach with just a few others. So, the birthday theme was sailing :) I made Penelope a sailboat cake for her actual birthday and little sailboat cupcakes for the sailing trip. They were a lot of fun to make and Penelope really loved eating the cake! Aren't they cute?!
Our friends who took us sailing have a beautiful boat and three amazing little boys who help them crew. I love being in a community where friends are willing to take others along for fun adventures like this. Thank you so much Julie and Dave! On the way to Buck Island we even got a visit from some dolphins! It was amazing!
Look at that happy little face :)
Some of you may be wondering what we gave Penelope for her first birthday. We are those people who like to make our own gifts and we came up with something very special for her and Marin, but that will be saved for the next post ;)
The beach is full of so many interesting things: sand, coral, shells, crabs, sticks, seaweed, and more. Some of these are okay to put in your mouth, but some aren't, so we still have to keep a good watch on this little girl while at the beach. She really enjoys testing each item out! Coral seems to make a good tooth sharpener... Sand does not seem to agree with her but she continues to try it out. I wonder what she thinks about as she shoves a fistful of sand into her mouth moments after coughing the previous fistful out...
This photo was taken one afternoon at sunset after a beautiful day at the beach. I forgot to bring her hat that day, so I used my shirt as a make shift head wrap :) This meant I might have gotten sunburned but at least her little head was safe. Isn't she cute? :)
Sometimes I forget just how wonderful and amazing the ocean really is... Seeing the joy on Penelope's face when she is near the water is simply perfect. I don't think I have the words to describe it. My heart swells knowing that she will always know the ocean and I really hope she will always be in love with the sea. This picture is from when we first moved back on island and I stumbled upon it this morning. I think it captures this feeling... Joy!
There is nothing I like more than seeing a smile on Penelope's face. Being at the beach makes her smile and that in turn makes Aaron and me smile :) This was the first day that she really got to sit in the sand and play in the water and she loved it We unfortunately have her hat and long sleeve sun guards packed in a box somewhere, so Aaron's handkerchief as a makeshift hat and a borrowed shirt from a friend put us back on track for a beach day. I did lather Penelope up with sunscreen and kind of forgot to protect myself, so lesson learned... After being out of the sun for almost a year, I need sunscreen! This might be the whitest I have ever been...
First beach day back was a success and momma really loved the long nap that came afterwards! Can't wait for the next fun day which should be tomorrow or maybe this afternoon...
Continuing our trip out West, we spent a few days in Boqueron, PR and really loved the vibe of this town. Boqueron is located near Cabo Rojo and has a long beautiful beach lined in palm trees and calm blue water that is perfect for sailboats. We are always searching for beaches on Puerto Rico similar to our amazingly spectacular beaches in St. Croix and this one comes very close.
Once we scoped out the beach, we set up camp underneath a beautiful poor man's orchid tree (not sure of the scientific name) that had tons of pink blooms. How horrible to have a beach spot underneath pink flowers?! This was the first beach that we took Penelope swimming at and she was not so sure about the salty water at first. But she soon began kicking around :) With all of our trips to the beach, we are really hoping that she will love it at a young age.
This beach was a prime spot for spectacular sunsets and Aaron even caught a green flash for the first time here. I unfortunately was not watching so I have yet to see one, but he swears that it happened. I will continue to wait for my turn... Surely six years is long enough to wait right? Maybe I need more beach sunsets :)
It seems like a long time ago when we were waiting anxiously for our little one to arrive. Now that she is here, we are in the beginning of the parenting adventure and we are loving every moment. We are introducing her to the beach early with the hopes that she will love it as much as we do :)
Seems like a long time ago that she was still waiting to arrive.
Sometimes things just don't work out like you had planned. After spending a full day at government offices to apply for Penelope's birth certificate and social security card, we headed to the beach to relax and enjoy a beach picnic. We arrived well before sunset and laid out all of our gear: beach mat, beach chairs, cooler, diaper bag, beach bag, and towels. The tide was up more than usual and Aaron suggested moving our gear over a bit just in case a big wave came through, but I didn't think we would need to worry about any of that. Wrong...
We were both thoroughly enjoying the relaxation when all of a sudden a large rogue wave came crashing through and covered our entire picnic spot.Everything was soaked! I grabbed Penelope before she could be washed away to sea (just kidding of course) and Aaron tried to collect all of our gear before the next wave came through. There we were frantically grabbing our entire wet picnic and trying to decide if we should salvage the day and move to a new spot when a swarm of noseeums came through and began having dinner at our expense. Fail! Now we really were running around like a couple of crazies :) Time to leave! So... we enjoyed our picnic in the safety of our car before finally deciding to drive further down the beach to find a new spot.
On a positive note, we were able to catch the sunset a bit further down the road where the bugs were not so bad and grabbed some good photos. So it wasn't all bad... Always good to remember that things aren't always perfect and you might have to improvise :)
Our first outing as a family and of course we chose the beach. We arrived right at sunset and captured some amazing photos of our two week old Penelope's first sunset. Not much longer until she will be playing with us at the beach! Can't wait!
After our trip to Dominica, we stayed in St. Croix for 10 days before heading back to Puerto Rico. This gave me a chance to work at the office and Aaron was able to get our house ready for the next renters. Amazingly enough, we were able to stay in our house while there because our trip lined up perfectly with the previous tenant moving out. It was kind of strange to be back in our home and I have to admit, we were both sad to have to leave.
My mother came to visit while we were in St. Croix and helped us clean the house and finish up a few projects. Thank goodness because after working at the office all day, I was not really in the mood to clean or work on projects :) We caught the sunset on the beach almost every evening and spent the two weekends at the beach. We even made the trip to Buck Island for a day! It was a great trip!
A good friend of mine even threw me a surprise baby shower while I was there. This was such a great surprise for me! Moving to another island where I don't speak the language and don't know anyone has been a bit tough on me while going through my first pregnancy and I am so grateful to have wonderful friends back home. Thanks so much to all of the wonderful women I know in St. Croix!
Because the beaches and sunsets are so amazingly beautiful in St. Croix, we tried to take as many pictures as possible to document the growing baby. Here are a few of my favorites.
Theresa and Aaron
This blog is dedicated to our life here in St. Croix and the experiences we have each day.