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  • Welcome to our blog!

    It seems crazy. Ten years ago Clint and I had just gotten married, and we were so young and carefree. It was just the two of us and life was pretty easy. The house stayed (reasonably) clean, we went out when we wanted, and traveled to some pretty incredible places. We didn't have a whole lot of responsibility, pretty much just to ourselves.

    Fast forward to 2014 and we now have three miniature versions of ourselves, two girls and a boy in the middle. Hayley is six and is as spunky and prissy as can be. Colin is almost five and is the nuttiest little thing imaginable, but oh so sweet. And Sydney, our littlest, thinks she's six and is already the comedian in the family. Despite our kiddos being so little, they not only now outnumber us, but they have managed to turn our world upside down. But we wouldn't have it any other way. We love 'em to pieces!

    The blog is filled with the weekly happenings within the Stuckey family, some funny, some touching, and some a little zany and crazy. Life is definitely better with kids in it! We love ours to pieces. Images + Words = Memories.

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Happy – Seven Month – Birthday Sydney!

Our little “Skittles” is seven months already!  She actually turned seven months old while we were in Costa Rica.  What a way to celebrate right?!  She did so well on the trip.  We teach our kids young how to be good travelers, and Sydney got an A+.   She’s such an easy going baby and is pretty much happy doing anything.  She still loves to be swaddled.   Yep, at eight months the girl still likes to be swaddled before bed.  When it’s time for bed or a nap, I’ll just swaddle her up, lay her down wide awake, and say “night-night” and she’s good to go.  It’s that easy.

Hayley announces all the time “Sydney is the best baby in the whole world” but quickly follows it up with “When I was a baby I was the best baby! ”  Yes, Hayley indeed loves her baby sister and is always helping me to the point that Hayley now insists that she’s “in charge of Sydney a little bit.”  “Okay, Hayley,” we tell her, “you can be in charge of Sydney a little bit.”  Hayley also calls her little sister “Bits Bow.”  I have absolutely no idea where she got that from!  Yep, “Skittles,” “Bits Bow,” “Tiny Monkey,” “Itsy Bitsy,” “Peanut,” “Munchkin,” and “Little Girl” is what Sydney goes by around here.  I’ve actually had a man turn to me and ask, “Is her real name Skittles?”  It’s amazing that she knows that her name is Sydney.

Sydney is the cutest and funniest little thing around.  She’ll just sit back look around and smack her lips.  When she catches you looking at her she’ll smile and then start giggling.   She’s such a social little thing.  She smiles and everyone and gets so excited when someone, even a person she’s never met before, stops to give her attention.

Sydney also learned to sit up this month and has been so much happier (as if she wasn’t happy already).  She loves to be surrounded by toys and gnaw and chew on them.  And for good reason too!   The girl got two teeth this month.  Yep, we call her “two teeth.”  That’s her Indian name.

She’s also starting to say Mama, but in her little voice will say, “a-ma”!  I love it.  I completely melt every time. Yes, we are all completely smitten by this little thing.  We love her!

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MiMiJuly 28, 2012 - 12:10 am

Awwwwwwww – our littlest angel! She’s so darling! I could just squeeze her (but not too hard!) I love the first two pictures especially. I’ll need you to e-mail those to me – I’ve got frames waiting! Love that little sweetheart!!

Grammy JayAugust 7, 2012 - 2:03 am

Isn’t she pretty!!!!

Costa Rica Day 8: Pool Time, Heading to the Airport

Colin and I woke up early again and sat outside for the last time and swung in the hammock together.  I was so sad to leave this place.  Everything so far had been so idyllic.  It really felt like we had been in Costa Rica for closer to three weeks, not just eight days.  For that I was grateful.  Soon I heard little cries from inside and I knew it was time to say goodbye to our little paradise on the patio.  Time to pack our bags.  We had our last gourmet buffet breakfast and had just enough time to hit the pool one last time.  The kids had so much fun splashing around and jumping to their Daddy and letting him throw them up in the air.  It was pretty perfect!  The only thing that could get Hayley and Colin out of the water was cookie decorating at the kids’s club. The each decorated heart shaped cookies, which were super yummy.  We said one last good-bye to our room (I loved that we had one king sized bed and one cute little double bed for Hayley and Colin).  We’ll never forget this place.  Hopefully, we’ll be back soon!

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MiMiJuly 25, 2012 - 2:38 am

It was a pretty sweet set-up. Don and I enjoyed taking the kids to breakfast several mornings and of course loved all the time we had to play during the days.

Spending a little time with Clint and Linsey at night talking or watching a movie was fun too. Pretty perfect vacation!

Costa Rica Day 7: Tortuga Island

During our last full day in Costa Rica, Clint and I ditched civilization as we knew it and headed for Tortuga Island.  The day was paradise!  We felt like castaways, Robinson Crusoe style . . . except of course that we had a catamaran, jet skies, banana boat, gourmet meals, live entertainment, and cute little out-houses.  If you had to be ship wrecked on a deserted island, this is the way to do it.  Our day started out with a gourmet Costa Rican breakfast (fried eggs, rice, beans, salsa, hand made tortillas, caramelized bananas, and tropical juice) overlooking the ocean in Puntarenas.  Breakfast was so good!  I probably would have grabbed another plate, but it was time to board our catamaran.  We were one of the first to board and grabbed a prime seat at the very front on top of the net.  It was perfect!  From there it was an hour and a half ride to Tortuga Island.  Bright blue skies, billowy clouds, 82 degrees, the day couldn’t have been more beautiful.  The crew, all dressed in white, served fruit and drinks the whole way.  We laid back, put our sunglasses on, and enjoyed having not. a. thing. to. do.  It was pure bliss!   Soon we saw Tortuga Island. As we approached, I kept looking for the Swiss Family Robinsons.  I knew they had to be there somewhere.

We hopped off the catamaran and tried to strategically plan out what we were going to do for our next five hours in paradise.  Off in the distance Clint spied some jet skies.  Let’s do it!  We each hopped on one, listened to a 30 second safety tour in broken English, and we were off.  Complete freedom!  It was glorious!  We came back and played in the water for a little bit and hit the souvenir shop (I’m such a sucker for souvenirs).  Then it was lunch time.  Hello one of the best meals I’ve ever had in my life!  Seriously, and I know I keep saying this, but the food in Costa Rica – at least at the places we ate – was some of the best I’ve had anywhere!  Under white billowy canopies with a live music playing, they served us a four course meal of ceviche, four salads, grilled tropical chicken with rice, and tropical cake for dessert.  Simple, I know.  But, the flavor was so good.  The meal they served was even featured in Gourmet Magazine it was that good!

After lunch, we swam in the ocean some more and then hopped on the banana boat.  I was a bit nervous because I knew there could be sharks swimming in the water below, but the driver wouldn’t go very fast would he?!  Wrong!!!  We took off, bouncing up and down, and soon the guy took a sharp turn and we all flew off!  Ahhh!!!!  I couldn’t get back on the banana boat quick enough.  We rode around some more having a blast, luckily no sharp turns this time, and eventually headed back to shore.  Just before we got there, the driver of the boat shouted, “Bye!!!!  See ya!!!” and swerved the boat.  We all went flying!!!  Then he sped away laughing.  Nice . . .

We only had about an hour left, so we decided to go check out the horses.  Exploring the island on horseback, this could be fun!  My horse was really sweet.  Clint’s horse refused to cooperate.  He went every which way, but straight.  The guide even had to give Clint a little whip.  Whip that boy!  Whip that boy!  It was quite hilarious!  Soon though we hopped off our horses, grabbed a few souvenirs, and went to stand in line for the catamaran.  We were 10 minutes early – I’ve never been early in my life – but we had to get our prime spots at the front of the ship on the net.  And we got ’em!  We laid back zipping across the ocean and sipped on pina coladas, and ate unlimited amounts of pineapple and watermelon.  This was the life!  Just an hour and a half later we were back to reality . . . sort of . . . the good thing was that we were still on vacation.

We got back to the hotel early that evening with three adorable kiddos all clean and in their jammies.  Okay, I must admit, I’d trade “paradise” for reality any day.  We love them!  We also loved having Don and Carla along, and love them too!  We let Don and Carla sneak out for dinner and when they got back we snuck out.  This time Clint and I ate at the Puesta del Sol.  Clint and I had tortilla soup and fajitas.  I’ve gotta say, these were some of the best fajitas and best tortilla soup I’ve ever had. I tell ya, if you want go food, go to Costa Rica.

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CarlaJuly 23, 2012 - 1:32 am

Tortuga Island is beautiful! Sounds like a wonderful day! We had a delightful day with the kids too! Everything was just as it should be in paradise! I was hoping for a picture of the banana boat, maybe I’ll have to have Clint draw one for me though – I just can’t picture what it must have looked like to throw all of you off with a sharp turn. :)

BridgetJuly 27, 2012 - 7:27 pm

I hate to be the one to tell you this, Clint, but your wife is hotter than you!~! Looks like you guys had fun!

Costa Rica Day 6: Costa Rica Adventure Tour

As predicted, Colin woke up at 5:30am (what is with this kid?).  But having fallen asleep just after 9:30pm the night before myself, I woke up and couldn’t wait to get outside with my book.  We snuck out on the patio just the two of us.  Colin watched Jake and the Neverland Pirates and I curled up in the hammock.  Oh, if only every morning could be this splendid!  Costa Rica has a way of making you feel so relaxed and content.  Those mornings were pure bliss.  I didn’t want them to end.

Sure enough everyone else started waking up, Hayley a little earlier than most mornings.  She knew that today she and Colin were going on an excursion with Mom and Dad, and she was so excited!  She was all dressed by 7:00am and ready to go!  We had breakfast and then the four of us hopped on the shuttle and headed into Jaco.  Sydney stayed back with Mimi and Papa.  It was SO nice having Clint’s parents there!!!!

Once we got into Jaco, we met up with our private tour guide, Nelson.  Like most tour guides in Costa Rica, he’s American and, like Mike from the day before, has no intentions of going back.  It was hard for us to go back too!  😮  Nelson hopped on his ATV and Clint and I and the kiddos hopped in our 4×4 Rhino, scratch that – off-road mule – (the Rhino was in the shop) for a half-day 100 km adventure through the rainforest.  We saw waterfalls, streams and rivers, the countryside, incredible vista, small villages, hidden bars, and restaurants.  We wanted to see how people really live in Costa Rica.

That day was so eye-opening.  We sat there eating handmade empanadas overlooking the rainforest, and learned that some of the happiest people have nothing but sheets for walls. “Happy happy!”  They are literally “dirt poor” but have food, a place to sleep, friendships, family, and the inherent beauty around them.  They are such a grateful and happy people.  They probably make a hundredth of what we make, but would they trade their life for ours?  I doubt it.

We stopped along the way to visit small towns and to just take in the beauty of it all.  Costa Rica is truly one of the most beautiful countries I’ve ever been to.  It’s no wonder those Ticos are so happy all the time.  For lunch we stopped at this beautiful family owned restaurant deep in the rain forest.  Without a doubt the fish and chicken were caught that morning and slapped on the grill minutes before we arrived.  Preservative?  What’s a preservative?!

While we were waiting for our lunch, Hayley and Colin grabbed a fishing pole, and Hayley . . . with a little assistance . . . caught a fish!  Go Woozle!  She was quite disappointed, however, when we told her she had to throw it back.  I’m not sure what she had in mind, put the fish in her suitcase perhaps?  We stopped at a little market on the way back.  It’s was the town’s HEB/Wal-Mart/Party City/Home Depot/Hallmark all wrapped into one and was no larger than a service station mini-mart.  We told the kids they could each pick out one prize to take home.  Hayley of course picked out a princess doll and Colin picked out . . . a roll of paper towels.  Yes, out of everything there, Colin insisted on bringing home a roll of paper towels.  Now the paper towels had Mickey Mouse on them, but they were still paper towels nonetheless. He’s a funny little kid.

When we got back, we get the kiddie pool for a little bit and then we gave Don and Carla the night off.  Ah, we’re so nice.  Trust me, they deserved it!  Don and Carla had date night, and Clint and I and the kiddos grabbed sandwiches from the little coffee shop.  Only a day and a half left of our vacation . . . ah, what will I do?!

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MiMiJuly 22, 2012 - 12:35 am

Love all the pictures and the day by day travel log! It was sure a fun trip. Thanks for letting us tag along!

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