Recap: Colombia Trip & Family Love

imageLast month, hubby and I headed on vacation to my first home, Colombia! It was an exciting time for us for many reasons. One being that although most of my family still lives there, I hadn’t been in over 10 years! It was especially exciting for me to show my husband the place where I initially grew up as a child, where I first lived and called a place a “home.” Essentially, it was moving and exciting showing him such a big part of what makes me, ME, and the other part of what has made me the person I am today. We got to see my father’s side of the family, which my husband had never met and that was such a special moment. I felt like it showed him the other side of what makes me Jennifer, gestures, my sense of humor and other little things we just bypass on a daily basis, that I get from my father’s side. Of course, we spend lots of time with my mom’s side too, and that was special in itself because we have so many memories together, that the list goes on. It was fun, it was humbling and it was a great time with family. I think that part of this trips success was how much we enjoyed all my family and how we spend such good quality time with them . They’re good people, they are grateful and live a simple life. They have a passion in them to appreciate and love with all their hearts, that maybe as a small child I did not know how to appreciate because I was far too young to even know what that meant. They showed Xavier and I so much love that we will forever hold close to our hearts until the next time we see them.

This trip meant a lot to us, the time we spend was needed in our hearts and minds. It was good for us to leave our reality for a little while, and see things we don’t get to see here in Florida. There is something about seeing greenery all around you, tall green luscious mountains, horses by the rivers, herds of cattle in the fields, natures fresh air and the small town folk sitting around tables enjoying small talk and the more simple things in life. It was definitely a breath of fresh air after some storms that had been thrown at us. It was good for the soul. It was a good reminder for us that family is with us, that in the midst of whatever trials are thrown our way, we are blessed. We are blessed with the opportunity to have had the chance to travel and travel safely, see family and have family, to love and be oh so loved by all our sweet family, that whether it’s here or in Colombia, we have loved ones that surround us and embrace us, and that even through sorrows we still have a happiness that is much much greater!

Psalm 23:1-3, The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.

Hope you guys enjoy our photos and the scenery. Pictures don’t do this beautiful country justice.

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how handsome does my hubby look in the Colombian jersey?!

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HELLO 25.. HELLO ST.AUGUSTINE!

hello25I think Birthday’s are just another day to be thankful and to realize how much we are blessed. Usually my birthday’s consist of a nice family dinner and day out! Well this year, for the big 25 it was more than just a dinner and day out. Thanks to my lovely boyfriend and family, it was a Birthday weekend getaway! It was so great and special of him. Since Xavier and I started dating, I have always made comments on how lovely it would be to just take a drive up to St. Augustine, FL. Well about a month before my big 25, I made it known that for this birthday I really wanted to go somewhere that I had never been to before and to be able to share it with his and my family. I think he got the point because one, he told me to stop worrying about it and two, he secretly planned the whole thing. He got my parents and his family all on the same page and they agreed to make the drive up for my birthday for the weekend.

I think one thing we did learn throughout his planning is how hard it is for both of our families to keep secrets,haha. We had a couple of people slip throughout the process. My mom during the week, slipped and asked me how the weather was in St. Augustine. His Aunt mentioned St.Augustine in a conversation about hotel rooms. And our friend Anita during lunch made it known that we weren’t going to be here for the weekend. Needless to say, I kind of had an idea a day or two before the actual trip. haha, my babe at least tried. Don’t get me wrong, I was still pretty surprised. Surprised because even though I kind of knew, I was surprised that not only did my parents go but also his parents and his aunt and uncle and their daughters. It was definitely shocking that he was able to get both of our families together, since we’ve failed several times at doing so. With the exception of some other individuals that I wish could have made it. It was still so special to have the ones that were able to make it, get away with me and leave their busy schedules behind.

The night before the trip, midnight to be exact, I got my Happy Birthday wishes and a beautiful watch and a card stating that we were leaving for the weekend! He can be so sweet. So the day of my birthday we got our bags and headed to my parents house. Turned out we were driving up with them, so off we were! Xavier than let me know that his parents would be driving up the next day since they had to work. Long behold, after a 4 1/2 hour drive we were there! Xavier’s parents and aunt and uncle would meet us there the next day.

All in all y’all, it was such a great birthday weekend! It meant the world to me that my family was able to be a part of yet another birthday. Turning a quarter of a century old is a big deal after all!  I truly feel beyond blessed to have such a caring family, not just MY OWN but also Xavier’s. My family and his, are all so supportive of our relationship and have such loving hearts for both of us. I really feel thankful of everyone who put their time and effort on making this birthday special for me, especially Xavier for making the plans. Life can be overwhelming at times, but life can also be wonderful if we choose to make it that way. Life is also about all the little moments we get to experience and who we get to experience them with. This past weekend the moments were memories I will cherish for a life time. THANK YOU EVERYONE!!! You all made me a very happy birthday girl.

And just so you all know, St. Augustine, FL is a beautiful little city! It is full of history, scenery, relaxation and so much more! Being known to be the oldest city, it is so incredibly cute and charming. There was so much to see and experience all in this little place. The views and the stories behind every thing you saw were remarkable. I highly recommend a trip to this charming little city! You truly will be taken back by all it has to offer. It is romantic, relaxing, exciting, and full of charm all at the same time. It was definitely a hot hot summer weekend, with much walking, but it was so worth it! We all fought through the heat and soaked up all that we had to see and learn there. I won’t tell you too much so you all experience it yourselves one day but here are some shots we took while there. Some of our stops throughout the city included: The Fountain of Youth, Castillo de San Marcos, Flagler College, St. Augustine Lighthouse and museum, and a couple of the oldest churches in the city. Those were a few of our city stops to just name a few! Lets just say my camera was very happy there!! And so were we!! (unfortunately I don’t have too many pictures of Xavier’s family since we split up for some of the day they were there for different activities, but they very much were a huge part of my celebration!)

Again, a big THANK YOU to all my loved ones for making memories with me. Love you all. ❤

And to the Love of my Life… thank you for all your efforts in making this birthday extra special for me. Love you to the moon and back times infinity! ❤

-Jen<3

PS. I had an obsession with the beautiful doors

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Thank You for the wonderful memories St. Augustine, see you soon!  Thank you to my family and most importantly.. Thank you God for giving me yet another day & another year, to share with my loved ones and to enjoy this life you have given us!  I am so grateful.

So what places have you all visited recently? =)
*all images are property of La Vida, life as it comes