a little bit more of Mexico...

My friend Robin took so many great photos with her iphone that I wanted to share a few.  I don't have an iphone these days, and I had debated on getting one right before this trip.  Ultimately, I decided on the film camera, but I was really glad to have Robin's digital photos just in case mine didn't turn out. 

The Catalina Resort served fresh fruit for breakfast and it was so delicious.  It was such a treat to have fresh fruit each day because I don't really eat it all that much at home, especially in the winter.  I came home from Mexico feeling so healthy and refreshed, but it's been challenging to keep it up now that I am back into my old routines.  I think I need to go for another week! ;)
I love all the colorful flags over the city streets.  When I think of Mexico, this is what I imagine.  How cool would it be to have colorful flags over the streets here in Wisconsin?!  I might have to put in a request! 
Our yoga studio had these beautiful bamboo shades to keep the sun and wind out while we were practicing.  And one evening after yoga we did a few poses on the beach, and then jumped into the ocean with all of our yoga clothes on!

I know I mentioned drinking from coconuts in my last post, but we were seriously obsessed.  I think the nearby resorts ran out by the end of the week because we drank so many!  Coconuts are the number one agricultural crop in Mexico and we got to see a little bit of the production process while we were there.  The main export is for dried coconut and coconut oil and sometimes the delicious water just gets wasted in the process...such a shame. 
And, I was seriously surprised and excited to bump into Emily Schuman from Cupcakes and Cashmere while in Zihuatenejo!  I've never met anyone famous before and she was so nice to me even though I was acting silly having recognized her and telling her I was a fan.  She writes a style blog in LA, and although I'm not really that into fashion, I am always interested in how successful woman are running their businesses online.  She's definitely figured out a thing or two in that department.  Thanks for the photo Emily!
On our last day of yoga we took a group photo in the studio.  I would highly recommend Scott Anderson's classes and retreats.  He is such a knowledgeable teacher and I've tried so hard this week to put some of his lessons into practice.  Edwin has been interested in my yoga poses and it's encouraging me to do a little bit more at home.  I can't always make it to a class (or Mexico for that matter...) so I think I'm realizing that my living room floor will have to do. ;)  Until next time Zihua!


mexico, on film

I just arrived home from a week long yoga retreat in Zihuatenejo, Mexico.  It was by far the best trip I have ever taken and a memory that I will hold dear to me for the rest of my life.  I'm still sort of in awe of the courage it took for me to go.  It meant leaving my family for 7 straight days and not knowing how we would all handle the change.  I'm happy to report that Nick and Edwin did just wonderful together for the week, which allowed me time to relax, recharge, and grow.

Before I share a bit about my trip, I want to mention that I bought a film camera one week before I left.  I was really feeling like I wanted a change of pace with my photography and with a little hunt, I found a used Canon AE-1 to call my very own.  I shot 4 rolls of film and crossed my fingers that I would get a few good photos.  My first roll turned out to be blank, I must not have loaded the film correctly, but my remaining 3 rolls did not disappoint.  I am so happy that I decided to experiment with film on this vacation and here are a few of my favorites.  I love how vibrant the photos look without any editing.  I think I made the right choice!
Back in December my good friend and yoga teacher, Robin, told me about the yoga retreat through Alignment Yoga with Scott Anderson in Blue Mounds, WI.  It happened to fall over my spring break from work and just seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to get away and reconnect with my love of yoga, something I've struggled to make time for since becoming a mother.  I will always be grateful that Robin encouraged me to go.  She is a role model of mine and it was so fun to spend the week with her.  What started as a yoga retreat quickly turned into a fabulous "girls week" that reminded me of being back in college!
We stayed at the Catalina Resort on La Ropa beach.  It was the perfect beach for walking, running, and diving into the ocean.  It's lined with resorts but still felt peaceful and not too busy. 
We spent 3 hours a day from 3:00-6:00pm doing yoga and meditation in an open air studio on La Ropa beach that over looked the pacific ocean!  After a long winter spent indoors, it was so nice to be moving my body again and I was so inspired by the in depth yoga knowledge.  I've considered getting my 200 hour yoga teacher certification someday, and this retreat confirmed for me that I would really enjoy that experience.

One morning, Robin and I decided to take a sailing excursion to a nearby beach, Las Gatas.  We tried a little snorkeling, drank coconut water (at least one a day!), and soaked up the glorious sunshine.

We also headed out of town one day to explore an archaeological site in La Chole, a 3,000 year old pyramid built by pre Columbian tribes.  On our way back, we stopped for lunch and got to watch an expert make her delicious corn tortillas!

One of the trickiest parts of taking a film camera was using the manual focus.  I have many blurry photos, but I love them anyway.  I took 3 different kinds of film with me to try, but because my first roll didn't work out, you are only seeing two types in this post.  Below are the two examples of film to compare.  The one on the left is Lomography 100 film, perfect for bright sun!  The one on the right is Kodak Porta 160 film, perfect for skin tones and portraits.  If you would like to see a few more of my film photos from Mexico head over to my flickr album.  This trip wasn't about getting "perfect" photos.  I just wanted to experiment and have fun!
I tried very hard to savor every second of my time in Mexico.  Being in such a beautiful place with so much sunshine really lifted my spirits.  I feel very lucky for the opportunity to have gone and for the support in my life that allowed me to do so.   It had been 8 years since I last left the country, and I now have a renewed sense of confidence in my travel ability.  I can't wait to go to Mexico again, someday with Nick and Edwin.  I wished they were with me at times, but for a lot of reasons, it just made more sense for me to take this trip alone.  And I am so glad I did. 


edwin 11/52

There is no denying it.  Edwin is definitely a Thomas kid through and through.

And here's hoping this is my last snowy photo in the 52 project for a good long while.  Fingers crossed for less snowing and more melting around these parts. ;)

Another photo taken by our good friends and neighbors.  Thanks Millers!  


edwin 10/52

I think I win a record this week for the quickest I've ever shot, edited, and posted a 52 project photo.  Time is of the essence these days.  I'm going on a yoga retreat in Mexico next week!  I am very much looking forward to the sunshine, sand, and exploring a new place.  In addition to the beach bliss, I'll be spending a few hours each day in yoga workshops and I can't wait to connect with body and mind doing something that I love.  I am so thankful for the opportunity to go, but I know I'm going to miss my son like crazy.  When I was trying to explain to him where mommy was going, he replied with a sweet and heartbreaking, "Can I come with you?"  Not this time though, Edwin.  As a parent, I am beginning to understand the importance of making time for yourself.  I'm convinced it makes you a happier and more patient person and that your child will reap the rewards of you feeling your best.  I have a lot of new personal goals right now and I think the time away to focus on them is going to do me a world of good.  I can't wait to go and I'm already looking forward to the happy homecoming when I return.


edwin & nick 9/52

A much needed weekend spent with my two guys.  We celebrated Nick's 35th birthday, ate way too many birthday treats, and did our best to ignore the below zero temperatures.  We are always optimistic about March around here and this spring especially. 

I love that I got to capture a moment between father and son this weekend to remember this stage, 35 and 2.  Happy birthday hon and thanks for being a part of the 52 project this week.
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