birthday



We are so excited to celebrate Ivan’s 3rd birthday! Thankful for this sweet boy.

Here’s a video showcasing his past yearhttps://vimeo.com/242863640

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I so appreciate a son who is open to try new things. We love Ethiopian food and took Ivan for his first birthday and this year that’s what he wanted again. We celebrated early with Nick since we won’t be all together on his actual birthday. I don’t know if he remembers 2 years ago but when I gave him options: Indian, Chinese, Italian, sushi, Ethiopian…..it won. It maybe helped that I told him he could eat with his hands!

My Birthday was this week so I celebrated like I wanted to.  I went out to brunch with a friend on Saturday then after dropping off Ivan with my Sister-in-law Nick and I went on a hike. WP_20170318_13_27_03_Pro

With my current food restrictions I decided it wasn’t worth paying to eat out a simple meal, so instead I found delicious recipes and Nick and I spent the evening cooking together.  It was terrific and very tasty.  Here are some picture and links to the recipes.

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Iranian Eggplant Dip was both of our favorite!  This was amazing and I will definitely make it again.

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Lamb Shawarma was very tasty, but our chunks of meat were a bit too small so they were a bit over cooked. We did roast veggies with this and made the tahini sauce. The mint was an interesting addition to the roasted veggies.

Herb crackers was for me to be able to eat the eggplant dip. Though these are delicious and I will be making them again.

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On Sunday we celebrated with our church family and I made a special dessert that I could share with everyone.

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On Monday, I made a special breakfast with my hand at homemade hollandaise sauce. Ivan and I met up with Grandma Karen at the library for story time and mask making after I got a walk in with a friend. After Ivan’s nap we went to Caribou Coffee for my free drink then to a playground.  In the evening, Nick watched Ivan so I could go out with friends to InTea as well as Wahoo Fish Tacos. I was so excited to see spring flowers for my birthday. In 11 years of being in CO I don’t think I’ve ever seen early spring flowers.  I have been enjoying all the blooms this year! Nick as super creative and sneaky and bought us tickets to go see Jim Gaffigan.  He presented it in a fun way with the tickets inside his book so we can read that together for now.  Here’s to a great 35!!!!

We had the privilege of being invited to go on vacation with a Nick’s uncle (who was celebrating turning 50) and some of his friends. It was over Thanksgiving which is a holiday we usually try to stay home for, however this was a great opportunity. I flew down with Ivan the day before his birthday to squeeze in one final free flight and Nick joined 2 days later.

We stayed in Playa Del Carmen at a resort.  I felt very pampered staying at a resort. I didn’t have to cook, clean, drive or really entertain Ivan for 12 days!!  He loved the beach, so all we really had to do was take him and he would dig and dig and play for so long.  We of course enjoyed playing with him, but it was also such a joy to just watch him having fun. Nick really challenged him to get in the water with the waves as well as conquer the “big slides” at the Aqua Center. Ivan also loved all the animals that we found on the resort: monkeys, donkeys, chickens, roosters, bunnies, ducks, birds, raccoons, macaws, peacocks, and coatis.

Ivan was such a blessing to others with his smile and pleasant demeanor.  We made quite a few friends of the staff from cleaning to building to restaurant workers. The resort had different evenings with shows telling about the Mayan culture, and legends. Ivan saw parts of some of the shows and really enjoyed the “dancing owl”.

We were able to do a day excursion to Tulum, a Mayan Ruin site discovered in the 80’s.  We had a private tour for our group which was nice. It included free time to walk around and shop as well.  We also had a terrific day on a private boat that we all pitched in together to rent.  So Thanksgiving was spent on the water! We swam in the ocean, ate on the beach at Isla Mujeres, snorkeled at some reefs, held (photo opportunity) a shark, and just relaxed in the sun on the boat while it coasted along!  What a great way to celebrate and be thankful for our so many blessings.

Here is a video of our highlights!

https://vimeo.com/193652365

wp_20161116_16_14_23_proWe are so excited to celebrate Ivan’s 2nd birthday today, November 16th.  While everything with him is really a highlight, some memorable moments of the past year of his life include the 2015 holidays with Reimer family in Michigan and Hostetler family in CO.  We traveled to see other family including Great grandparents in Washington and Kansas.  The summer time saw us thoroughly enjoying hiking with Ivan and camping (both as car camping and backpacking).

In all, Ivan has stretched us; but we have enjoyed watching him grow physically (walking and talking), mentally (understanding and communication), emotionally (loves for mom/dad, trucks, kitty), and spiritually (bible stories at night, praying at meals, our church family). He is a happy, social, joyful, good son.  We love you Ivan, thank you Lord for giving him to us.

Below is a video montage showcasing some highlights of this year!

https://vimeo.com/191677771

P1260065While camping this summer, Nicolas made a comment that he wanted to do a backpacking trip while Ivan was still little enough to carry.  We planned it for his birthday weekend. We decided to go on a trail off a 4*4 road that looked pretty secluded on the map we had. We packed up Saturday morning early and got on the trail about 11am.  We were hiking beside a creek and up in elevation.  We knew after a while we would loose our water source, so we had to decide if we were going back down or continue up.  Nicolas was by then carrying Ivan and he felt good, so we kept going.  The view from the top was beautiful and we enjoyed it. We then needed to find water to set up camp, so we went down the other side of the mountain and pretty much hiked the whole 11.5 mile trail before we found water and a place to tent. We set up tent exhausted and hungry.  We slept reasonably well and packed up in the morning and headed back out knowing we had a long hike back to the car.  We had some great time talking together, listening to Ivan chat and thinking quietly as well.

Here’s a fun picture of Kara and Ivan from our first backpacking trip side by side with this trip. IMG_0359

Check out the video of our adventures below: https://vimeo.com/179750804

My birthday usually falls around spring break, so that means we often spend it with Nick’s mom and whoever else comes along from Kansas.  This year it was his brother and girlfriend.  We went to the mountains and snow shoed.  We then spent the entire second day in PJs playing games.  It was great fun and despite Ivan not sleeping much it was good to get away from the routine of normal life.

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