Heartburn Unlimited

By Molly Bice-Jackson - 1:26 PM





We just returned from an entire week of playing our butts off in Cancun, Mexico. (well...not literally, though I wish. My buttocks could use a good shrinkage with this pregnancy weight I'm gaining)

IT. WAS. DIVINE.

Where to begin is a challenge. I'll start by thanking Kevin and Jennifer Townsend for such a generous gift. After Lucy passed away they donated a week of their timeshare anywhere in the world for our choosing. Jennifer is the sister of one of my dearest and closest friends, Justin Kinnaird. I love the entire Kinnaird family like my own. THANK YOU KEVIN AND JENNIFER!

We had been waiting for just the right opportunity to take the Townsend's up on their incredible offer. With the baby only 7 weeks away and living in the thick of a Park City winter, it was now or never. Off we jetted to the turquoise Caribbean (no arm twisting involved here) to enjoy hour after hour of snorkeling, swimming, rope swings, sailing, eating, lounging, shopping, sight seeing...the list goes on. My wanna-be Latin husband was in heaven. Vic's undergraduate degree is in Latin American Studies and he has spent significant time traveling (by himself--I love that about him) all throughout Central and South America. The resort didn't know quite what to do with "non Gringos" like us. We rented a car and lived like the locals, even attending two separate wards on Sunday. (Which doesn't sound like that big of a deal until you take into account the kind of driving that goes on in Mexico and the lack of direction we had. Not to mention the policia and their love of pulling over the clearly marked rental cars. But not to worry, we talked our way out of two separate tickets--thanks to the skills of my husband and his sister, Joy).

Which leads me to the next part of our tropical adventure--my sister-in-law and her husband (Vic's sister) joined us for four days! The fun meter skyrocketed with the four of us together. Joy served a mission in Bolivia and is just as in love with the Hispanic culture (and just as white and blonde) as her brother. Someone needs to get up the guts to break the news to them that they are as white as they come and there ain't no Latin blood running through their veins. Vic claims he has an Argentine heart (he served his mission in Salta, Argentina) and a Mexican stomach. And while I love a good enchilada as much as the next guy (in fact, I love spicy food), my pregnancy, combined with the contorting moves of swimming all day, proved to be the perfect recipe for unlimited heartburn. It was kind of the overarching theme of my vacation. (That and my made up superhero female Mexican wrestling name, "La Pregunto". Pregunta means "question" in Spanish...and while I changed it to PreguntO...the double meaning of being pregnant and "what on earth is that white little pregnant lady doing snorkeling in the ocean, petting manatees, and jumping off rope swings DOING"? lent itself to endless jokes for which I am quite proud of). Maybe you had to be there.

The breakdown:

Day 1: Promptly get pulled over by the policia within yards of our hotel. Vic works his magic. (What is with the corruption??) Check into our resort (1400 sq. foot penthouse suite...hello!) and go directly to the beach. Eat lunch right on the water under a thatched cabana. Take a nap to recover from red eye flight. Swim in perfectly heated pool and read books/relax. Paradise!



Day 2: Off to church in downtown Cancun. Get lost. See the sights/locals/taco carts (yum) by default. Miss the sacrament but love sitting in church with a tiled floor. Hearing the talks and being there felt just like attending our Spanish Branch at home in PC. The exuberance with which they sang the closing song, "Jesus es mi Luz" (The Lord is my Light) brought me to tears. The youth and children sang especially loud and the spirit in that building overwhelmed me. Luz is one of my favorite Spanish words (and I'll take a moment to interject here that I am so proud of my Spanish skills. I understand about 60% or more of what is said. I want to be fluent so badly! Boy would I be even sexier to my husband) as I was saying, "Luz" means light. And of course Lucy was given her name because of its meaning. The day I said goodbye to my daughter in mortality I was wearing a shirt with a sun on it that said LUZ. She is my sunshine and always will be. I couldn't sing one word of the song I was so overcome with emotion and heartburn of a different kind. What I would give to be able to hold her again.

We made it to the Stake Center to take the sacrament in another ward and enjoyed talking with the Elders. (Missionaries). One of them made the comment that he wished he were in Park City because it was so hot there. Hate to break it to you Elder, but 80 degrees with a perfect breeze is heaven on earth. Be my guest and I'll swap you places for a few months. Have fun shoveling our driveway. Ok, moving on...we read our books by the pool and played in the sand until it was time to pick up Joy and Jason at the airport. Once they arrived we finalized all our plans for the week, ate dinner at the resort restaurant again on the beach and stayed up late talking on our huge California King bed.




Iglesia.

Day 3: Off to Isla Mujeres! (Island of the Women). Boarded a ferry to the most charming island I've ever been to. (How many islands have I been to?) Rented a golf cart and drove everywhere exploring the island. Ate at little stands, wound our way through the narrow streets and admired the trinkets. Eventually ended up at a great little beach and snorkeled for hours. The sea was salty and the waves ever undulating...I eventually lost my lunch and the fish came swarming!! A sure fire tip for seeing loads of fish---just up chuck in the water and they'll come running. (I know fish don't run...but whatever). We even made our way out to an old rope ladder bridge thing in the ocean and had fun diving off the old dock and playing king of the rope. I could barely reach both ropes at once. (Ok, so I COULDN'T reach, but had some help). Ate at a hole in the wall for dinner -- fantastico. Finished the night with a dip in the pool under the moon and stars.


Only the good looking people were allowed in this photo.

Here's a pregunta (question): which is bigger...the ferry or my belly?

On the ferry headed to the Isla. A wee bit windy.

The darling streets.

Lunch before snorkeling. (shhh...it's the white people who think they are Hispanic).


Can you guess which pair are mine?

Taken not too long after I lost my lunch and the fish got theirs.



More swimming in Isla Mujeres at the North Beach.

La Pregunto practicing her moves.

Seriously.
(Please squint eyes as to not see fat butt and thighs too closely).





Day 4: HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME. Drove over two hours to see Chichen Itza. One of the seven wonders of the world. Ancient Mayan ruins built over 1500 years ago. It was SO hot and I was a little swollen. But I thrilled in seeing my husband's never ending smile. His love for history and knowledge thereof, makes me so proud. Although I enjoyed it, the best part was watching VIC enjoy it. We bought Peter a darling handmade outfit. Ended the day in the pool yet again.





Day 5: XEL-HA! Pronounced "Shell Ha" is an AMAZING "eco park" south of Playa del Carmen. I have never done or seen anything like it. I felt like I was in a movie. It's like Disneyland but completely natural. (In other words, the "rides" include snorkeling through rivers (not man made) swimming in senotes (sink holes), hiking through the jungle, seeing wildlife, kayaking, swimming in Mayan caves, sitting in hammocks, biking...IT WAS INCREDIBLE. We were THE LAST ones to leave the park. I honestly don't know if I have ever had that much fun in my entire life. It's one thing to sight see Europe, spend time laughing with friends, tour the countryside of different places--but to be IN the water, MOVING my body, ONE with nature--all while doing the funnest things and with people you love. I can't even begin to describe it. We played so hard that day we hardly stopped to eat and got very few photos. These photos from the web may give you a small taste for it. AMAZING!! Next we headed to Tulum, another Mayan ruin spot. It was night and we were told it was closed. We hoped to sneak in or at least catch a view from the beach. To our luck and amazement, they had night tours and all the temples and building were lit up. It was magical. As I stood on the look out point over the sea, the stars brilliantly bright above me, surrounded by the spirit of ancient civilizations--I wanted nothing more than to be timeless then and there. To be immortal. To be done with all of this waiting and heavy mortality and be reunited with Lucy. It powerfully consumed me and I sobbed into Vic's chest. Sometimes I truly, truly think, "It is too much. It is just too hard and too much to ask for me to live without her. For us to have gone through what we did. It is TOO MUCH!" I truly start to lose it.
We ended the night by going to Playa del Carmen, walking 5th avenue, and eating at another hole in the wall. There were so many Europeans there. I loved it. (Minus the hungover drunk kid who decided our car was a perfect stopping place to lose his dinner). It had an entirely different feel than Cancun.


Swimming in a Mayan cave. Amazing!


Xel-Ha. We snorkled through this lagoon (a river surrounded by walls of green leads you to this open lagoon) two times. We were all over the map. What a workout. I loved it!

The dolphins were magnificent. One of my favorite animals.

I LOVED the rio.

That was pretty much me but with a snorkel mask and pregunto tummy.

The only thing I wasn't allowed to do was the cliff jumping. But Vic and J and J had a blast.

To my right is what remains of the birthing center for the Mayan women. What a sacred thing to be there.


Day 6: Slept in a little. (Umm...ya. Hardly did that on this trip. It was play, play, play and I was BEAT). Lounged on the beach. Watched Joy and Jason sail. Ate lunch at the resort...off to the airport to drop off Joy and Jason. Cried all the way back to the resort. No internet or phone all week. Felt very disconnected from my support group. I missed all of you. Missed Lucy terribly on my birthday and didn't want to say another goodbye. Went shopping in Cancun and finished the night in the pool.

Day 7: Cried all day. Felt very alone. Exhausted. Forced myself (Vic helped me) to get out and go sailing. Loved it. Reaffirmed my desire/decision/need to move to New England so Vic can sail (and because it's my favorite part of the U.S.). Cried.Relaxed in our room then headed out to do some biking. Great workout. Ordered pizza and had it delivered to us on the beach.Cried. Wrote in my journal and watched the sunset. Cried. Swam in the pool with the resident Loch Ness monster. Ordered brownies and ice cream and a mango daiquiri at the swim up bar. Packed up and off to sleep. Cried and didn't really sleep.

Getting ready to set sail.


Last night.

Vic took a final dip in the ocean from the pier on our last night. The water is so clear that even at night his whiteness shines through the water. I mean...his bright spirit.


Thar she blows. The Loch Ness.

Day 8: Home again, home again, jiggidy jig.

Day 9: Oh so tan.


I could see her everywhere I looked. She was in every fish, every dip in the pool, every smile on my face and every tear.

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38 Loving Lines

  1. ok, I giggled uncontrollably at your tiny prego body doing the splits! Genius! Even if I could do the splits (pregnant) it wouldn't look the same all lanky and uncoordinated!

    AND...what the gorgeous pictures! I want to go cliff jumping there!!

    Happy Birthday! What a blast!

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  2. I really love the handstand picture. You should frame that for sure. Its looks like such a nice vacation. I wish I could have gone... I got a bonus at work that would have allowed me to go actually, but I didn't know it was coming. Dang. I'm jealous. Its ok to cry and have fun at the same time Molly. I'm glad you guys got to go.

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  3. Molly- what beautiful pictures! It looks like a well deserved vacation. It doesn't look like you rested a whole lot, which in itself is amazing! We went on a trip when I was about as far along as you are, and climbed the ancient Mayan ruins. I felt like I was going to die by the end of it! The pictures of you doing the splits, and handstand are awesome! You are my hero in more ways than one. I have to admit I laughed out loud at the puking, and the fish. (sorry you were sick) but I can totally relate! I throw up my entire pregnancies. We were snorkling in the ocean, and I was with my daughter. She was holding my hand, because she was a little scared to go on her own. I got a taste of the salt water in my mouth, and lost it right there. Immediatly fish swarmed around us, and my daughter started freaking out, because there were so many fish surrounding her. She starts yelling, "I really don't like snorkling with you! You can let go of my hand now. It is way scarier to swim with you than by myself!" Thanks for the walk down memory lane. :) Your trip looks amazing. I am sorry you were missing Lucy so much. I imagine, that never leaves, and I'm sure birthdays/holidays are worse than the other days. I hope you were able to have a happy birthday anyway. I'm so glad you were able to get away with your white/hispanic husband before your little miracle makes his appearance.

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  4. You are amazing Molly...seriously, handstands and the splits?? Oh I how I giggled at those pictures, so priceless. I am so glad you were able to get away and truly enjoy yourselves for a while. Thanks for sharing!! The pictures are GORGEOUS.

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  5. I am a big fan of crazy, playful prego pictures! I want to schedule a whole photo session with an action photographer with my next huge belly! It is so out of the ordinary to see a woman with a huge belly doing something other than shuffling and sitting. And yet, some people (like you) still have a large range of physical ability when they are pregnant. So, of course I thanks you for posting those pictures. inspiring!

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  6. AAAHHH! That looks so fun. And you, La Pregunto, are hilarious, and you should be proud of your awesomeness! Just thinking of you doing headstands and splits all over the beach makes me smile inside out. My favorite part of the splits picture are the goggles on your forehead, it's the perfect finishing touch. I'm just thinking that if you really join the mexican wrestling circuit, the goggles should stay. I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!

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  7. Love this post! Thanks for the run-down of the trip, I am grateful for such generous friends that you have and the opportunity to enjoy a "babymoon" before Peter comes! You look AWESOME (as do the rest of the gang!) and I love your splits & handstand photos. I love the sunsets and all of the Cancun-ness that you enjoyed together. What an awesome trip.

    I especially like the title you chose for this post. Heartburn with your pregnant belly,& a missing heart-burn for sweet "luz" Lucy.

    Thanks for sharing the ups and downs and beauty of your Mexican getaway!

    (AND, que divertido hablar espanol!)

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  8. holy smokes, such great photos. splits?? cartwheel?!!
    i'm so happy you had a wonderful trip, how INCREDIBLE to be able to escape the winter and play at the end of your pregnancy.. i long for the salty goodness of the ocean and warmth of the sun.
    welcome back xoxo

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  9. So here I have been so worried about your well being, with no recent posts to mention and lo and behold you are on a tropical vacation! That picture of you doing the handstand is unreal. How is it I couldn't tie my shoes while pregnant and you are doing handstands? It looks so beautiful there and your pictures are amazing.
    Countdown to baby Peter! Yeah

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  10. What a magical vacation - you deserve it!!!

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  11. I'm coming out of lurking to tell you how much my spirit jumped for joy to read about your marvelous vacation in "la casa de mi corazon"...
    I am an Arizona native, born to a "white guy with a brown spirit" and fierce Latina mama! We spent many joyful summers in Playa Del Carmen and the areas around it, even though I inherited my fathers super white skin!
    I married a man who spent years in Argentina learning the language and helping to build churches and though we haven't been back to South and Central America since our son was born, I know he will sense his history there when we do make it.
    Thank you so much for sharing your story, I know that I am ever grateful to read your testimony...

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  12. Sista, you would never cathch me doing a handstand that prenant!! Or the splits!! I can hardly stand up with out help. I am glad that Lucy was there everywhere you went. What a beautiful song to sing in sacrament to remind you of her. (I love those moments, even though I sob through them)

    Gavin's Mom
    Michelle

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  13. Molly, Welcome back. Oh how I love Mexico. The water near Cancun is so good for the soul. Thanks for the run down and pictures. I recently had my birthday without Mason--it was the hardest day I'd had in a while. Another first another goodbye. I'm so glad you ate at the taco stands by the way. Definitely a highlight of Mexico in my book.

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  14. You are a great example to all of us, Molly. With all you've lost, you and your husband are still committed to living LARGE (and I don't mean your stomach!). I think the two of you are making Lucy proud every day...and that amazing vacation is just another example of it.

    PS. I, too, had to laugh at the hand stand picture. You are definitely an original!

    PPS. I love that you did your crying and then went and did your living. In fact, you sailed. What a metaphor!

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  15. Vic and Molly Welcome back! What a great trip and good recap! Molly I tried to do a cart wheel with Hailey in my belly, nothing near as spectacular as your hand stand! You look great-no fat what so ever! Thanks for sharing, I can almost smell the salt water! Jenny

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  16. if there were a genie before me at this moment i would wish that my legs & butt could look as good as yours do when you are nearly FULL TERM!!!

    glad you had a ball.

    rachel r

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  17. Wow, this sounds like a wonderful vacation and you'll had such a great time. It's amazing to look around and see what has been created for us. I love the handstand picture. My daughter has to get a handstand picture everywhere she goes. I don't think I could have done one when I was that pregnant. This is a wonderful time in your life, you know that, even as hard as it is, and you celebrated it wonderfully! Take care and please keep us posted. A friend in East Texas, Pam. PS - the weather is suppost to get close to 80 today, I'm so ready for summer/spring!

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  18. Hi! Is my first comment in your blog. I dont know how i found it some time ago (sorry for my english, i speak spanish). Im from Argentina, i live in Buenos Aires. And in this post i red that J has "an argentine heart"... was so cute to read this, to know that someone so far away can love my country as i love.
    I love to read your blog, i think often about your adorable lucy, i feel your pain, and im happy for this baby to come.
    Hope to continue blogging. And perhaps...if sometime you come to Argentina, i will be waiting for you.
    With really really love, your argentinian friend

    Candela
    my mail: candelapintos_chaja@hotmail.com

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  19. That looks heavenly... Wow. Can I just say, I would give anything to look as good as you when I was pregnant! Wow! I am so admirous of your energy, when I was 8.5 months pregnant I was permanently on the couch. Love you! Hope you had a good birthday!

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  20. Wow! What a fantastic way to celebrate your birthday! That was a generous gift too. And, Molly, the splits with 7weeks remaining...super impressive!

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  21. I have been reading your blog for some time, and finally decided to come out of my blog stalker-ing-ness and comment.
    I found your blog through the Johnsons-
    Molly- can i just tell you how inspiring you are?!?! Never have i known a woman with strength like yours-(nor the flexibility... what are you now 7 months??? INCREDIBLE!) You are a constant reminder to me to notice the small things and to be grateful! Your little Lucy is an angel, truly in every sense of the word. Thank you for sharing your journey with me. You are an inspiration.
    Your family is always in our prayers.

    A friend,

    Jenna Wright

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  22. What wonderful pictures, I am so glad that you have had a wonderful break away ~
    Tale care ~ Love and hugs Tabitha XXX

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  23. Since I have already talked to you about my many thoughts on this blog, let me just keep it simple and say Thank you again so much for letting us tag along and such an amazing trip. I LOOOOOVE the Loch Ness photo of La Pregunto! That still makes me laugh, both the Loch Ness and all the Pregunto jokes. I loved staying up late and being every where together and talking and thinking about Lucy and life and living. You really are an amazing example of "smiling through tears".

    And in my defense, I did work for the Mexican Government where I was almost latin from 8am to 5pm every day. I have the check stubs to prove it! ;)

    Joy

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  24. Molly you crack me up. I can't believe you were able to raise your feet above your head and do the splits all while being 7 months pregnant. That is simply amazing darling! I am so happy you were able to enjoy such a fun vaca before baby comes.

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  25. You are converted now too aren'tcha? Maybe with a special initiation Vic and his sis will let you into the wanna-be-latin club. :) (you know you are only teasing them because you wanna be one too!)

    Gwenevere

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  26. I think you are absolutely fascinating. I love you so much.

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  27. This post brought a smile to my weary face today! However, preggos everywhere, my self included, winced at the awe & wonder of your moves---that is incredible!

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  28. Molly,
    I too want to thank you for sharing so much of yourself on your blog. Two years ago, I lost my beloved younger brother. In addition, to the pain his death has brought me I am struggling to help my mom through this trauma that has shattered her life (in ways I know I can't understand). What this post about your vacation shows so vividly is that a person can experience the extreme depths of sadness and still choose to be alive in the present. That experiencing joy does not negate the loss.
    Thank you.

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  29. you are awesome, I love your el pregunto pictures. They made me really miss you. Hey, my brother Jimmie served in Salta, i'm not sure of the years, maybe 96-98...something like that. Ask him if he knew an elder nelson.

    Much love being sent your direction,

    Kim Hirt

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  30. Wow! What an amazing trip. It reminded me a bit of when Jason & I went the Canary Islands when I was pregnant. We also went to the Spanish wards there & it was so spiritual - even though I only understood probably 30%.
    I LOVE your pictures. Your handstand & splits are incredibly amazing - I'm sure Vic is extremely proud!
    I also LOVED the picture of your cute belly popping out of the water. I'm jealous of how cute and round it is. I can't ever show my tummy with all my stretch marks!
    Finally, I loved the "lucy in the sand." She is amazing. You guys are amazing.
    Happy birthday again.
    Can't wait to see Peter in the outfit you bought for him.
    We'd love to see you guys again soon!
    Love you.

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  31. What a fantastic vacation! I love the pictures. Such a great opportunity to spend time together and with family. Also, what a blessing to be able to feel Lucy there with you.

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  32. You are the coolest pregnant person I know! Who does those kinds of acrobatics when she's that far along! I was cracking up. My fav is the one of your belly foating about the water. So much fun!

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  33. Molly!
    This looks like just the vacation you and Vic needed! I am going to Hawaii in 13 days and I can't even wait, it will be a chance for me to escape and leave this place where there is a lot of things that remind me of Matt and my sadness. I hope it helped! Love you, hope to see you soon. Hang in there.

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  34. Molly!
    This looks like just the vacation you and Vic needed! I am going to Hawaii in 13 days and I can't even wait, it will be a chance for me to escape and leave this place where there is a lot of things that remind me of Matt and my sadness. I hope it helped! Love you, hope to see you soon. Hang in there.

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  35. NO! You are NOT doing the splits while 8 months pregnant, on the beach no less, are you?

    If I could paint a picture of the "Molly" I know, that picture would be it!

    The pics are breathtaking. WOW!

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  36. I'm quite impressed with your splits-while-prego skills! Amazing! Lovely blog...I'm so sorry to hear about your sweet daughter. It breaks my heart. May you be blessed with comfort.

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  37. So not only do I know your sister Amy through her husband (my cousin) Chad, I ALSO know Jason Payne! I'm from Albuquerque and dated his cousin Rus. Small, small world. Your trip looks SO fun, and by the way, how in the world do you not have stretch marks? Insanity. What a beautiful tummy! I could never show my pregnant tummy because it's one gigantic ball of stretchmarks.

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  38. I look at your blog constantly. I am so sorry for the loss of your daughter Lucy. May her heart always be with you- Your family has gone through a lot, give your husband and your new son, Peter a hug for me.

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