Saturday, November 26, 2016

Surprise Announcement!

We have some really exciting news!!!!! We are expecting our first child in April 2017! I can't believe it--it still feels so surreal. We found out in August about 3 weeks before we left for our Iceland Trip, which made me nervous because I didn't know how morning sickness would affect me, since this is my first pregnancy. However, my body had mercy on me and thankfully I did not get morning sickness. I have gotten sick a few times, but nothing consistently. I have been very blessed and hope and pray that my next pregnancies are this easy (so far).

Glacier Lagoon in Iceland! 
We are beyond excited and can't wait for April. I hope it goes by quickly! Over Thanksgiving break we had so many things to be thankful for, especially our little one. This past Monday Nov. 21, I had an ultrasound appointment to find out the gender of our sweet baby. We decided to be surprised and find out on Thanksgiving day with my family in Colorado. We had the sonogram tech put the gender in an envelope so that we could open it with the family. However, since nothing goes as planned, our sonogram tech was going through the pictures and accidentally showed me the gender reveal labeled picture, but thankfully Colby did not see it. Since I knew the gender I decided to make a gender reveal berry pie for Thanksgiving day. It was a success! Not only did the pie taste great, but Colby was very surprised!!! It was so fun to surprise him and our families. It was so hard not to tell anyone and keep it a secret especially when I was around my family and they were trying to make me slip up! But I succeeded and didn't accidentally say anything that would give it away! In the end with the polls between both our families, Girl had 15 votes and Boy had 12 votes - an almost even tie. 

Scroll down below to see our reactions and the strawberry pie! Just as a side note--the berry juices spilled out while the pie baked, so you could tell what the gender was before we cut into it. However, in the pictures it is hard to see.

My secret berry pie! I attempted to make a Turkey on the crust in the spirit of Thanksgiving. I think it turned out pretty well. 

He or She? Waddle It Be? 

It's a.......GIRL!!! I love Colby's reaction! He was so surprised because he thought it was a boy! I look like I was surprised too--even though I made the pie, but I am just super happy that everyone else knows, and that I don't have to keep it a secret anymore! 

He still cant believe it! 

We are soooooo HAPPY! 

It was a delicious  strawberry pie!!! Yum! 
Thanks for all your love and support. We can't wait for this sweet little girl to bless our lives! 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Iceland Adventure {9.11.16 - 9.17.16} Day One

This post is extremely overdue. I am behind on all posts since September. However, I am going to focus on one post at a time instead of doing a quick catch up, so I can have them as memories. I'm going to start with our Iceland trip we took in mid-September. I have a ton of pictures I want to share, so I'm going to divide up the days for each post.

Iceland Adventure: Day Two
Iceland Adventure: Day Three
Iceland Adventure: Day Four
Iceland Adventure: Day Five
Iceland Adventure: Day Six and Seven

Colby and I had an absolute blast visiting Iceland and it was definitely worth it! I have added our itinerary and expenses below, so I can always remember that traveling on a budget is possible to very beautiful and far away places. I should have done this for all of our trips, but I haven't yet. We''ll see if that happens in the future...probably not. I want to mention real quick that northern Iceland is only 20-25 miles from the Arctic Circle. Although we went in September it was COLD! Colder than I thought it was going to be. I pretty much wore the same clothes the entire trip. Just a million layers of long johns and jackets is how I survived. But don't let the cold stop you from visiting his beautiful place. If we had gone just one week later it would have been much colder, but we also would have probably seen the Northern  Lights. I do wish we had seen those, but maybe next time :)

If you wish to see more pictures from our Iceland trip scroll down below:

Iceland itinerary: (Feel free to skip over all of this. Unless you really want a detailed summary of where we went.)
Iceland Itinerary 9.11-17.16
“Frommer’s EasyGuide to Iceland”
We drove the Ring Road counter clockwise around the Island. We started in Keflavik and ended near Keflavik where the airport is located. To Navigate we used the app on my phone. It is an app that uses only GPS to navigate. All you need to do is download the map area before you go using wifi. The app and downloading maps is FREE. Once the map is downloaded it does NOT need wifi to work. I had my iphone on airplane mode and had my cellular data turned off and it worked great and I had no outrageous international charges on my phone. By using this app we found all the campgrounds we wanted to by zooming in on the area where we wanted to stop for the night. It was very useful and I highly recommend it to anyone traveling abroad. *Everyone in Iceland learns English starting at the age of 6 and all through school. It was nice to be able to get around because everyone spoke English, including most of the tourists from other countries.
Day 1: Keflavik-Hvolsvollur – September 11th, 2016 – Our plane arrived at 5am.
        I.         Thingvellir National Park (pay for parking only once), (p. 100)
     II.           Geysir & Strokkur (p. 105)
   III.            Gullfoss – waterfall (p.97, 99, 105-106)
   IV.            Eldsto Café and Guesthouse (booked on Airbnb before trip)
Day 2: Hvolsvollur-Skaftafell – September 12th, 2016
        I.          Gljufurafoss & Seljalandsfoss- waterfalls (p.247)
     II.            Eyjafjallajokull – Volcano that Erupted in April 2010. We stopped at a Museum on the side of the road to view the Volcano and learn a little more about it. The Museum cost money, so we just read the signs outside. (p.240-242, 253)
   III.            Skogafoss – waterfall (p.250)
   IV.            Dyrholaey – Ocean Arch (p.251)
     V.            Reynisfjara & Halsanefshellir – Black beach and Sea cave (p.252)
   VI.            Fjadrargljufur Canyon – Spectacular Canyon (p.256-257)
VII.              Skaftafell Campground
Day 3: Skaftafell-Egilsstadir – September 13th, 2016
        I.            Vatnajokull National Park (p. 258)
a.       Svartifoss, Magnusarfoss, Hundafoss, & Bjodafoss – waterfalls (p.261)
     II.            Svinafellsjokull glacial tongue (p.260)
   III.            Kviarjokull glacial tongue (p.263)
   IV.            Fjallsarlon glacial tongue and lake (p.263)
     V.            Jokulsarlon glacial tongue and lake – Glacier Lagoon (p.263)
   VI.            Foladafoss – 939 road waterfall – Saw this beautiful from the road. Not even in the book and should be.
VII.            Fellabaer Campground
Day 4: Egilsstadir-Reykjahlio – September 14th, 2016
        I.           Seydisfjordur (p. 289)
     II.            Jokulsargljufur National Park
a.       Dettifoss & Selfoss (p.219) *Use west road if NO 4WD, book is wrong
   III.            Leirhnjukur Lava Field (p. 207)
   IV.            Hverir geothermal field (mudpots), (p.207)
     V.           Reykjahlio Church (p.205)
   VI.           Bjarg Campground
Day 5: Reykjahlio-Borgarnes – September 15th, 2016
        I.           Grjotagja Fissure – Hotspring too hot to swim (p.205)
     II.            Hverfell – Black Crater (p.205)
   III.            Dimmuborgir “Dark Castle” (p.205)
   IV.            Skutustadagigar – Pseudocraters (p.206)
     V.            Godafoss – waterfall (p.202)
   VI.            Akureyri
a.       Jolagardurinn – Christmas Shop (p.200)
b.      Akureyri Church (p. 190) – Pay for parking *confusing, so we just took a picture from the road.
VII.            Tjaldstaedi Brunastadir Campground
Day 6: Borgarnes-Njardvik – September 16th, 2016
        I.          Hallgrimskirkja Church (Hallgrims Church), (p. 57)
     II.            Reykjadalur (Hengill area) Geothermal area with a hot river you can soak in (p.119)
   III.            Raufarholshellir – 2nd largest lava tube cave (p.118)
   IV.            Reykjanesfolkvangur Nature Reserve (p.118)
a.       Graenavatn – crater filled with blue, green lake
b.      Seltun geothermic field – hot spring boiling mud pots
c.       Kleifarvatn – Black sand beach on a lake
d.      Blue Lagoon – The most popular hot springs in Iceland. Expensive, but worth it. Unfortunately, we did not have time to go. (p. 109-110) Definitely coming here on a layover to somewhere else in Europe.
     V.            Reykjanes “Smokey Point”
a.       Valahnukur- coastline with strong winds (p.116)
b.      Gunnuhver geothermal field (p.117)
   VI.            Bridge between Two Continents – Plate tectonic ridge between North America and Eurasian Plates (p.116)
VII.            Gardskagi & Gardskagaviti – Rocky point on Peninsula with 2 lighthouses, one of them is the tallest in Iceland (p.115) *book is wrong about going to the top of the tallest lighthouse.
Day 7: Keflavik Airport – September 17th, 2016

          I.            Slept in for the first time the entire week. We stayed at an Airbnb place in a family’s home. It was fun and interesting to talk with them. Then we repacked and organized our luggage. Gave our rental a carwash before we returned it at noon at the airport. Our flight left at 3pm. 

Below we start our trip! I should mention that our plane arrived at 5AM in the morning. Then we immediately received our rental car and started driving. It was a tiring and long day, but we crashed real good when we finally made it to our place to rest. 
The blue highlighted route is the route we drove around the island. We started where the pink pinpoint is at the airport and traveled counter clockwise. Google maps only allows ten spots along the route, so I added all the other red dots to roughly show where we stopped and looked around.

This was our total expenses for everything for ten days. I think we did a pretty god job. Just imagine what our end expenses could have been if we did not camp...yikes! 

Our very first adventure in Iceland was to buy some food and water. We brought most of our food with us from the USA, but because of weight restrictions on the airline (just like any other airline) we had to buy some of it in Iceland. Also, luckily we found a store that is open almost a full 24 hours because all of the other stores didn't open until 11am or noon! Icelanders like their sleep, but who could blame them? In the winter they don't have much daylight and it is freezing! I would be sleeping too! 

We did not buy this. I just had never seen an entire pizza made out of candy before. I actually think it looks gross, but that is just me. 

This is Iceland's type of yogurt. It was pretty good, but not my favorite.It had an interesting chalky texture to it. Colby loves it, but we only bought it a couple times.  

We had a tiny rental car, but Iceland has some serious luxury monster trucks and SUV's. This was not the biggest one we saw. They were crazy ridiculous! I never even knew such SUV's existed! 

Iceland sheep! They are everywhere!!! They have more sheep on this island than they do people. I couldn't believe how many sheep we saw.
 Thingvellir National Park: "No single place epitomizes the history of Iceland and the Icelandic nation better than Þingvellir by the river Öxará.
At Þingvellir - literally "Parliament Plains" - the Alþing general assembly was established around 930 and continued to convene there until 1798. Major events in the history of Iceland have taken place at Þingvellir and therefore the place is held in high esteem by all Icelanders. Today Þingvellir is a protected national shrine."For more info click -->HERE
This is also a famous area for it's geology. It is a great place to see an active area of the mid-atlantic ocean ridge.
In between one of the rifts of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. 

 Next stop took us to a geothermal area with geysers: Geysir and Strokkur

Stopped to see Icelandic horses along the way! So small and cute (Ponys??)

Geysir literally means "to gush." This is the original geysir for which all other geysers are named after. It has some really neat history and if you want to know more about it click HERE.  
Gullfoss waterfall: The mighty gullfoss is one of Iceland's main tourist attractions and means "Golden Falls"

 Eldsto Cafe and Guesthouse: After a long day we finally made it to our first airbnb place. We made some good 'ol mac and cheese and mash potatoes from the U.S and went to sleep.

Iceland Adventure {9.11.16 - 9.17.16} Day Two

Day two of our Iceland trip starts by leaving our nice, warm, cozy and expensive Airbnb. We spent the day walking black sand beaches,visiting several waterfalls and canyons, and climbing hills to see beautiful natural arches and lighthouses.

Breakfast is served at Eldsto Cafe

Apparently Icelanders like oreos for breakfast or they think Americans do 

Gljufurafoss waterfall

Seljalandsfoss waterfall 

Embracing my inner Mary Poppins

This volcano exploded in 2010. The snow capped mountain in the picture below is what the volcano looks like today.

Skogafoss Waterfall 

Admiring the beautiful scenery and geology along the Ring Road. 

Dyrholaey Ocean Arch and Elephant rock. Believe it or not, but that arch is large enough that small planes can fly through it.

Reynisfjara & Halsanefshellir – Black sand beach and sea cave surrounded by columnar basalt columns - a geologist's dream. 

Fjadrargljufur Canyon: One of my favorite places in Iceland. It was breathtaking! 

This was not part of the canyon, but just along the road on our way to the canyon. The rocks were covered in thick moss that went on for endless miles. To me it looked like a place right out of "The Lord of the Rings." 

On our way back from our canyon hike, Colby insisted we take a picture of this sign. It was in the middle of NO where! That is all I will say. You can interpret it as you would like

Made it to our first campground for the night! We managed to hide in the very few trees it had to offer. Everyone else set up in the grass fields.