Search Results for: label/puerto rico

My Parents’ Vow Renewal – Rio Grande, Puerto Rico

Last August, my family went to Puerto Rico to celebrate my parents’ 30th anniversary. We had a blast, and on the last full day, we took family portraits on the beach.

After about 30 minutes of taking portraits, my parents went back to the hotel to “change into something nicer” so they could take more elegant photos of just themselves. Us kids stayed back and took more photos.

After about 30 more minutes, we started to become worried about them taking so long, because they said they had only booked the photographer for an hour. They finally come walking up, but in full-on beach wedding gear! My mom had on a simple and beautiful wedding dress holding a bouquet of flowers, and my dad was wearing your typical groom-at-the-beach attire. :)

We were stunned!

…as you can see from this photo. We had no idea!! Reggie is the funny one, looking at his watch, noting how long it took them to change, but not yet realizing that they were about to renew their vows!

Carley, my younger sister, had the most heart-felt reaction of us all!! She sat there with her mouth open for a full minute before starting to tear up. Haha!

They thought the looks on our faces were hilarious.

Luckily, I had brought my camera, so instead of taking photos (since we already had a photographer), I decided to record it all.

My dad’s wedding ring had just gotten lost in the ocean that day. But the pastor made a save and grabbed a long leaf from a nearby tree so my mom could tie it around my dad’s ring finger as a sign of commitment. :)

Yay!!!! :)

After the pastor serenaded my parents with a beautiful song, my mom and dad gave an amazing speech.

In short, they said that though they’ve managed 30 years, it hasn’t been all peaches and cream. They’ve had to work hard, and sometimes even felt like quitting. But they said that marriage isn’t a 50/50 thing. When one falls short and isn’t giving their 100%, that’s when the other one takes over and gives above and beyond 100%. They also said that marriage isn’t about just two people. It is about a covenant between three people – the husband, wife, and our Lord. Jesus was the only one able to keep them going when neither of them felt like it.

It was amazing. They both cried a little, and you could tell that they’re mission in their vow renewal wasn’t for them. It was to be an example to us, their children. God totally used them that day, and I will never forget it.

My parents are truly my angels.

Then my mom threw the bouquet, and guess who caught it? Yup, Carley, the only one of us who isn’t married. Hah!

Me and my dad. Yes, we still kiss on the lips. :)

My pretty mama and my handsome papa. :)

(The above three photos, the black and white one, and the first photo in this post are the only ones that I actually took. All the rest were from the photographer that the hotel hired for us.)

Cuties. :)

More family photos. P.S. My niece is just too hilarious in these two photos!! :’D She’s really the only reason I included both!

The original six.

We then had a “reception” outside under one of the hotel’s pavilions. It got super dark, so the only photo I took was the cake. We had yummy food, wine, and had so much fun talking about how surprised we were about the vow renewal.

Afterwards, we went back inside the hotel, and Mark found a piano so he could play and sing songs while we danced. So fun! We then went back to my parents’ hotel suite and told stories of mom and dad. It was such a great day.

The next day, as a congratulatory gesture, the hotel graciously reserved one of their verandas for my mom and dad to enjoy. It usually costs money, so that was pretty awesome of them.

Us kids left to go back to Texas that day while mom and dad stayed back to enjoy a day for themselves. They deserved it!! :)

[All photos were taken in August 2012.]

Our Beach – Rio Grande, Puerto Rico

Not really our beach. Just the one we got to spend every day on while we were there. (If you’re new, a while ago I put up tons of posts on my family’s trip to Puerto Rico. Check ’em all out here.)
These photos were taken on the last day we were all there together (my parents stayed one more night). I hadn’t taken any photos of the beach yet, besides our evening arrival, so I took an hour just to walk down the beach and snap a few.
It was raining on and off that day. Annoying because of me getting scared about my camera, but I got over it. I love rain on the beach. And seeing a storm far off over the ocean.



I love the above photo. These colors just belong together. :)




After walking a short while down, the beach gets a little messier. But I love it. This driftwood is what makes a real beach, and defines true nature. This beach is probably only a quarter-mile down from the hotel we stayed at, yet it is totally different than the beach we experienced at the hotel.


Just a few steps more, and we came to the mouth of this river! It was so beautiful. If I had had more time (and didn’t have my camera with me), I would have waded a bit down the river just to experience it.
I took a few steps in at one point to try to go across, but wimped out for the sake of my camera. I’m a klutz when I have something valuable in my hands, but extremely agile when I don’t have to worry about anything. Hah!


This water may not seem clear to you, but I assure you, it is. The brown you see is the color of the sand. And I love that you can see the billows of sand clouds under the water as the current churns it about.


This is my favorite river photo. The river headed out to sea. So pretty.


This is the last of my Puerto Rico posts for now. We did have a family portrait session while there, and when I get my hands on those photos, I would love to share them.
[All photos were taken in August 2012.]




GALVESTON: Pleasure Pier | Pointe WestSan Luis Pass Beach
HOUSTON: Discovery Green | Chase Tower Sky Lobby
WEST TEXAS: Balmorhea State Park | Big Bend National Park | Brownwood, TX | Guadalupe Mountains National Park | Palo Duro Canyon
OTHER: Lost Maples State ParkWinkelmann – A Ghost Town


Tucson, AZ (November 2014)
Sedona, AZ (December 2014)*
Antelope Canyon – Page, AZ (December 2014)*
Zion National Park – Utah (December 2014)*
Glacier National Park – Montana (August 2015)
*Plans are subject to change without notice. Please contact me to inquire about collaborations, sponsorships, and/or reviews.
Grand Canyon National Park – Arizona (March 2008)
Arches National Park – Moab, UT (March 2008)
Great Sand Dunes National Park – Colorado (March 2008)

Manoa Falls – Oahu, HI (October 2008)
North Shore – Oahu, HI (November 2008)
Turtle Bay – Oahu, HI (November 2008)
Germaine’s Luau – Oahu, HI (November 2008)
Jamaican Honeymoon (March-April 2009)
Walking Art Tour – Dallas, TX (January 2010)
Fredericksburg, TX (March 2010)
South Padre Island, TX (July 2010)
Virginia Beach, VA (March 2011)
Glastonbury, CT (August 2011)
Emma Long Park – Austin, TX (September 2013)
Ketchikan, AK (May 2014)
Misty Fjords National Monument – Alaska (May 2014)
Juneau, AK (May 2014)
Skagway, AK (May 2014)
Glacier Bay National Park – Alaska (May 2014)
Hoonah, AK (May 2014)
Stika, AK (May 2014)
Victoria, BC, Canada (May 2014)
Krause Springs – Spicewood, TX (July 2014)
Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area – Oregon (August 2014)
Lost Lake – Oregon (August 2014)
Painted Hills – Oregon (August 2014)
Smith Rock – Redmond, OR (August 2014)
Tumalo Falls – Bend, OR (August 2014)
Cascade Lakes – Oregon (August 2014)
Crater Lake National Park – Oregon (August 2014)
Lemolo Lake – Oregon (August 2014)
Oregon Coast (August 2014)
Harry Potter World – Orlando, FL (October 2014)

Lake Dunlap – New Braunfels, TX

My family has made a tradition of going on a family vacation every summer, whether it’s somewhere far or just a weekend getaway. Last year, we went to the Texas coast on the island of Galveston, the year before was our family trip to Puerto Rico, and the year before that was to Cape Cod.

This summer, we enjoyed a weekend getaway to New Braunfels, a small Texas river town, which is located 25 minutes northeast of San Antonio and 45 minutes south of Austin. We found a perfect house via HomeAway on a small lake called Lake Dunlap, which is derived from the Guadalupe River.

The house had enough beds for us all (13 of us), a kitchen, a grill, a small yard, and a private deck right on the riverbank. The deck featured an awesome rope swing AND a 12-foot-tall jumping platform. Even my 4-year-old nephew jumped off the platform. No fear at all!

We even had a party one day to celebrate a few of our birthdays, and invited friends who lived nearby. Everyone had so much fun grilling out, eating amazing food, floating on the river, jumping off the platform, swinging on the rope swing, throwing the frisbee, singing around the ukulele, playing boardgames, and just enjoying each other’s company.

I barely took any photos because of how much fun I was having with my family and friends! No regrets. :)

Don’t forget to enter for your chance to win a National Geographic US National Parks guidebook!

[All photos were taken in June 2014.]

the places you’ll go travel party #5

Thank you to those who linked up to last week’s travel party! And thanks to all who checked out their links!

I’m so glad I just got back from vacation. Otherwise, I’d be jealous like usual of all of the places you guys have been. My trip to Puerto Rico has tamed my wanderlust for this month. 😉

Here are some of the amazing posts that were linked up last week:


1. I never even knew this place existed! Thanks to Rachel from Huckleberries and Rain, I am now adding Snoqualmie Falls to my list of places to see.
2. I haven’t been to The Big Apple in 8 years and Mia from Little Woman Little Home is making me want to go back!
3. I live an hour from this place and take it for granted all the time, obviously. Kim from Picking Poppies shows how amazing Galveston Bay can be by taking several photos during sunrise.
4. I’ve always wanted to visit Garden of the Gods, and Niki from Hello Paper Moon is making me want to even more.