Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cruisin' with Jeff

For once I am at a loss of words. I am not sure where to begin to describe the 9 days away. It was so much fun being with Jeff. Even just being on the airplane with a book was relaxing. There were so many great things. One of my favorite parts was listening to John Lund speak. He knows a lot about the Book of Mormon and a lot about marriage. I felt so uplifted. We saw many wonderful things and I am sure I can't think of them all, s0 here goes my attempt and my travelogue. This is more for journaling purposes than anything else.

Day 1: We had a 4 hour layover in Atlanta, so we decided to brave the public transportation. We went to see Millenial Park, but it was closed for a private event. It looked beautiful from the outside. We also walked around the World of Coke, but didn't want to pay since we only had about 30 minutes by the time we got there. There will definitely be more to see when we go again someday. It was much better hanging out there than in the airport!
Somehow I had picked to fly into Fort Lauderdale when our hotel was in Miami (Only me!), so my good friend Ranell (from Oregon), used her investigative powers to find us a shuttle to Miami. There was a crazy lady in our car and it took 1 hour and a half to drive 20 miles. We eventually reached our hotel! We watched the Red Sox game (which we didn't even stay up to finish as it went into extra innings- they eventually lost-doh!)and ate at a sports bar.
Day 2: Met up with our group from Cruiselady. I was excited to have all my activities planned for me. We did notice pretty quick that we were one of the only younger couples there, but everyone seemed really great and excited to be there. They were a neat group to travel with. We went on an airboat tour through the Everglades. It was a gorgeous day. We even held a baby alligator and watched trained alligators. We met a couple from the Northwest and hit it off immediately with them. It was nice to meet new friends.

We got on the ship around lunch time and then just enjoyed the sun and the view of the harbor. It was Sunday and since it was an LDS cruise group, we were able to have Sunday services. The speaker was John Lund, who is incredible, and we were lucky enough to have a concert by Michael Ballam. It was a beautiful way to spend a Sunday.
Day 3: Day at Sea We were able to hear John Lund speak again and we just explored the boat. We were able to sleep in, work out, read, relax and enjoy time together.
Day 4: We went to Grand Cayman. We signed up with the group to swim with the stingrays. I don't have any pictures of this because my underwater camera fell off the strap-doh! But let me tell you, it was so cool! The water was not very calm, but it was crystal clear blue. Exactly what I pictured and more when I thought about the Caribbean. The stingrays were kind of scary at first because they were so big, but they would just come up and hang out with us. I got pretty sick, I think from all the salt water and the next part of the little boat ride was not so fun for me. Luckily I felt good enough later to snorkle some more. It was pretty rainy, so many of the people we met went back to the ship. We figured we were already wet, might as well enjoy the island. We went for a "run" to find the nearest beach. We ended up at 7 mile beach and enjoyed a nice afternoon. I am glad that Jeff is such a good sport!
Day 5: Due to crazy circumstances, this ended up being another day on the boat. There were riots in Honduras, so they didn't feel it was safe to go there. (I personally didn't want to be in a country I didn't know with civilians having guns and protesting, hmm...)We spent the day working out, listening to John Lund, eating, reading, and eating.
Day 6: We were rerouted to Cozumel where we went to the ruins of Tulum. This is a beautiful site and it was great to have the local guide, Lemuel (yep, his real name!) talk to us about the Book of Mormon correlations. You could feel his love for the site.
Our new friends Matt and Ramie!
After riding on the "Mexican Limo" on the way up, we decided to walk back. Then we started our search for a beach!

Day 7:We had found out our plan to go to Belize was also waylaid, this time due to weather. How can you be disappointed when you are still being waited on hand and foot? The replacement port was Progreso Mexico, and we were lucky enough to go visit Chichen Itza. It is one of the new 7 wonders of the world and it was magnificent. I was in awe the entire time we were there. I could have stayed there all day and I could do one post all about it. Maybe I will. :-)It is amazing to think of the ancient civilizations who built these temples and what their lives were like. Our guide was Helaman this time and he was incredibly knowledgeble.
(Here is Jeff proving he did wear his nametag every once in a while!)
We also watched a movie on the big screen on the ship. (Well, Jeff watched it, I fell asleep. Some things never change!)
Day 8- Day at sea- This was the first time we participated in "cruise" activities and we had a lot of fun. We joined in some competitions and ended up dancing, singing karoke (Steph, you would be proud) and dancing some more. We also took a latin dance class, which was a lot of fun. We did some more relaxing and reading and hanging out with new friends we made. We also saw some great shows while we were on the ship- my favorite being the amazing juggler, Jeff's favorite being the show dedicated to 80's music!

(These are the waiters responsible for feeding me lots and lots of food!)
Day 9: Time to check out and head home.
I couldn't believe it was over. I had a great time, but I was definitely thinking about my kids. On the plane ride home I found out Emily had had a febrile seizure while I was gone and it just made me so sad. My mom handled it perfectly of course, but that is something no grandma should have to see. Emily was very excited to see us as was Bryce (who came running!), but Dallin kept on playing video games. It is good to know they are so loved and well taken care of. We were supposed to just miss my mom's flight home, but her plane was delayed so I was grateful to tell her thanks in person. She is a fantastic mom and grandma. They had such a good time with her and I feel so lucky that I could enjoy myself and my time with my sweetheart while they were in good hands.
This was the first vacation that I felt rested when I came home. I was ready to take on laundry and cleaning again, and ready to play with and love on my kids! I am grateful for my marriage and my wonderful husband of 10 years and this chance to enjoy just being together. Thanks for the hot chocolate every night. Love ya babe! You are the best!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Husband Tag

I thought this would be a fun thing to think about before we head out for our cruise. My mom came in today, we had a fun birthday party for Emily, went on a fantastic date night listening to a talk on marriage, and we leave in the morning for Florida. I can't wait to spend 9 days with my favorite person. I am so grateful my mom is willing to do this.

1. Were did you meet?

Good Old Glenwood Apartments in Provo, UT.

2. How long did you date before you got married?

We met in September, first date November 21st, Married the next August 21st, so we knew each other ALMOST a year before we got married!

3. How long have you been married? 10 years and we will be celebrating for the next 9 days!

4. What is you favorite feature of his? His beautiful green eyes and sexy soccer player calves!

5. What is your favorite quality of his?
He is very calm and level headed- opposite of me! He keeps me grounded. I love that! He is very tender hearted and never wants to hurt anyone.

6. Does he have a nickname for you?


7. What is his favorite color?

Blue, I would say.

8. What is his favorite food? Baby Back Ribs!

9. What is his favorite sport?

To watch: Football To play: soccer or waterskiing

10. When and where was your first kiss?

At his parents' house 2 weeks after we started dating. I really wanted him to kiss me on our second date when we hiked the "Y." I had it all planned out in my head, but apparently he wanted to show me that I meant something to him, so he waited! He kissed me at his parents house.

11. What is your favorite thing to do as a couple? Boating, running, any sports! (Except volleyball! He likes it-I don't.)

12. Do you have any Children?

Dallin (6), Emily (4), Bryce (16 months)

13. Does he have a hidden talent?

He has amazing rhythm! I love to dance, and he is a natural whenever we take lessons together. He is good at pretty much anything he tries. Sometimes that annoys me. :-)

14. How old is he?


15. Who Said "I love you" first?

He did, but the feeling was definitely mutual.

16. What do you admire most about him?

He is a great father. He is one of the hardest workers I know. I have learned so much from him. He has definitely made me a better person.

17. Do you think he will read this?

No. :-)

I take Suziepetunia, Jamie Malcolm, Jadie, and Angi, and anyone else who wants to!

See you guys later!!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Mother/Daughter Bonding Time...

...that's what I needed today! Emily and I went for a pedicure together. I had a gift certificate that Jeff had given me for Mother's Day, but I had to wait until my toenail came back. :-) (Fell off a year ago after the St. George Marathon, ha ha!) I thought it would be fun to take Emily for her birthday. My good friend Sue watched Bryce for me and Emily and I had a fabulous time. It was very relaxing. (Chair massage and that was a neck warmer I was wearing!) They brought us hot chocolate and water and took good care of us. Emily is a crack up and I love spending one-on-one time with her. The girls got a kick out of her. I think this will be a fun tradition. (I had to try not to cringe as she chose blue for her nail color!)

Friendly Advice

1. Don't follow another car too closely.
2. Especially if that car is a cop.
3. Make sure you have your updated insurance card in your car.

That's all.

Edited to add a little more explanation: Believe it or not, I was having a very good day. After being sick for 3 days, I finally was over it and felt like a million bucks! I got out the door a little late to meet with the class I teach at a grocery store, and apparently I was too focused on getting there. A cop pulled me over and said I was following him too closely. He told me that is what causes road rage and isn't safe. The sad thing is I didn' t realize I was even following him that close. It was a tough wake up call. I will pay attention better. As far as the insurance card, honestly Jeff always puts the new one in our glove compartment. It has been 7 years since I was last pulled over, so I don't really check for it too often. Doh! Tough lessons to learn.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Fun with Friends

We have lived in our house for 7 1/2 years and we have been lucky enough to be surrounded by amazing people. We have incredible friends who we really enjoy being around and who have been there for us. These past few weeks have especially been filled with some good times. Here are some of the moments:

1. Annual Beach Trip- This was our 7th year! We have 6 couples who go.It is always a little crazy, and no one really gets any sleep, but we love hanging out, going in the hot tub, playing poker, playing the Wii, going shopping and just relaxing at the beach. (The only bummer was that I left the beach house for a few hours to take charge of this fun family triathlon. )Each year we joke that we will just go with the adults, but the kids look forward to it every year!
(Flashback pic: This is the first year we went to the beach. Tyler and Dallin were the only kids and they just under 1 years old. Now there are 15 kids under 7!)
2. Impromptu dinners- Sarah can tell when I am having a tough time and is quick to invite us over for dinner. We love hanging out with their family and eating yummy food. This past weekend we got together with a couple of other families and ate and chatted while the men went to the Priesthood session of conference.

3. Enjoying the fruits of their labors- Our good friend Ranell and family live on beautiful acreage and we have spent a lot of time there this past year. Ranell and I are both very laid back when it comes to child care and have done quite a bit of swapping. I love watching the kids run around in nature. I also love eating out of their garden, since I can't get mine to grow! This past week we joined 2 other families and picked apples and pears.

4. BYU football- There is no better reason to get together than to watch a BYU game! They are ranked nationally this year and the games have been fun to watch. We watched the game on Karen's big screen while the kids just played. When Jeff discovered the Red Sox game was on after, they let us hang around and watch that one too. It was a great night!

5. Running Buddies- Oregon is a beautiful place to be a runner. Luckily, it is also pretty easy to find people who also want to run. We have a great group of women who meet early in the morning to get their exercise in and chat. On Saturdays, we are joined by a few of the men. Jeff and I have been hiring a babysitter to do some of these Saturday runs together. We were training for a 10k together. The race took place last weekend. Unfortunately, Jeff was sick so he didn't feel great, but he still had an awesome race. It was great being with good friends and cheering each other on. When is the next race?

I am grateful for the good friends that we have. I am trying to get out of my nervousness of having people over at my house because I do want to hang out and play games more. My ADD causes me to stress about the planning part. My friends accept me for who I am, weaknesses and all. They make me want to be a better mom, wife, friend, and person. They make me laugh, let me cry, and help out where needed. Without having family living near us, my friends have become my family. I hope they know how much I love all of them.

In a little bit of sad news, I think this is the end of the summer. Bryce gave me one whole week where I could let him go up and down the slide by himself. Then, he started to pull this craziness. Maybe it's good it's the end of the summer. Next year, his body might be caught up to his fearlessness!

Post below about Em's birthday!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

My Princess is 4!

Emily's birthday was today and we had a great day with her. She woke up to a new Princess vanity. (Although if you call it that, she will tell you it's not, it is a "mirror thing.") One of the things I love most about Emily is how excited she gets. You can hear it in her voice, and she starts using her hands, and if she is really excited she will jump up and down as she is talking to you. She loves to talk and has a hard time sitting still. (Wonder where she gets that from?) She still loves all things Princess, but this year Sleeping Beauty is her favorite. She had fun putting on her makeup in front of the mirror. I am hoping she will let me do her hair more now that she has a mirror to watch. We had a couple of friends over to sing Happy Birthday and she opened a few gifts. Her eyes got wider with each one. It was precious. Here are 4 of my favorite things about Emily:

1. She is so sweet. She loves to give me hugs and kisses and tell me she loves me just because.
2. She says things backwards. I think it is so cute, and some of her phrases are sounding correct now, but I love when she pronounces things wrong.
3. She is feisty! I don't always love this part of her personality, but I hope I can steer it in the right direction so she will be a strong girl who sticks to her values.
4. She has a great imagination. I never really played "pretend" and I love hearing her tell stories to her princesses. I try to sneak in when she is playing by herself or with friends.

I hope I show her how much I love her even when I get frustrated.

We even had time to play some guitar hero! It was a fun night with friends.(And look who will be fighting Emily for the mirror thing!)