They say change can be good.
I think sometimes change can also be hard.
With age, I’ve learned it’s easier to just “roll with the punches” and “go with the flow” when it comes to change.

One of life’s most difficult changes is the people you love.  It seems like just yesterday that my oldest nephew was born.  Many years later my brother brings another sweet boy into this world.

Our very own little boy has changed so much in the last year.  As I looked back on our monthly pictures I could not believe the baby we brought home is the same we love on every day.

And in the last two months we’ve encountered more of life’s biggest changes.  
We’ve moved into our dream home. 
We made our first big mortgage payment. 
We spent our first Christmas in our own home. 
We’ve turned these beautiful walls into a place I love to spend each and every day. 
A place we can call home. 
The boy is growing so fast and learning to throw tantrums and act a fool. 
It’s about to get real fun!

10 months

Our sweet boy is already 10 months.  
And the photo sessions are growing more and more difficult each time!  Imagine that!

He’s never before touched the “monthly” stickers and this time he did not want that thing on him at all.  

Nor did he want his photo with the lamb. 

Nor did he want that chalkboard sitting in front of him…

This time I wanted some photos with his new rocking chair that Papaw refurbished for him .

In this last month you’ve learned so much!

You’re growing and making your momma’s heart break and her ovaries ache for another one.

In the last month Easton has….

had some issues with biting, particularly his momma. When I figured out he had 3 teeth coming in one the same day I felt a little sorry for him. Thanks for sharing the pain.
made it a little difficult to nurse.  The biting and the latch with the new teeth have made me second guess or wonder how in the heck I’m going to make it a year with this.  But just like always, we kept going.  Currently the #1 question is “So…how long are you going to do that?”  “That” being nursing.  Some people I respond, at least 4-5 years just to see their reaction.  Most get the truth – at least a year and after that he and I will discuss things.  🙂
had a snotty nose a lot.  A lot.  Teething, cold, whatever it may be.  
Chapped cheeks….from the snot? 
been using his sippy cup much better and we even upgraded to a bigger sippy cup. 
He’s even become an independent stubborn butthead at times and won’t let anyone help him hold it. Not cool, man.  You always need your momma.  Always.  
had really smelly poo…..solid foods = let’s get potty trained quick so you can take care of this yourself, sir. 
8 teeth by September 11th and the last 3 popped through really fast…like within the same day
had his first trip to the Kids Express Clinic (Minute Clinic for Kids) after a night of wheezing and barking cough and no sleep for us. The diagnoses was croup and a steroid.  
4 days later another all nighter with inconsolable screaming and crying.  Went back to the doctor and within just those few days his ear became badly infected and went on an antibiotic.  
The worst feeling in the world was seeing your baby scream inconsolably and not even being able to comfort with nursing.  Not knowing what was wrong with him made me ill. Awful.  
developed a new love for the stairs….thanks to Aunt Cathy. 
a fondness for kissing.  Open mouth kisses.  Juicy kisses.  We are working on blowing kisses.  
He points to everything.  Especially that large buck mounted on Unkie Josh’s wall.  That thing really blew his mind.

a love for knocking anything and everything over and constantly diving over things giving me a heartache.  I even asked the Dr. at his 9 month check up – Is it normal for him to be suicidal?  To which she replied…yes, until he’s at least 4 or 5.  Yikes.

the crawl down….and he can go fast.  He can go particularly fast when you say “no” or his name.  As soon as he knows you’re headed after him he’s like lightning fast.

learned to make sounds with his finger and lips and even the Indian sound with his whole hand and mouth.  His new tricks are fun to show off.

the clap down.  He claps all the time.  And if you don’t clap with him he will give you a dirty look, try again, and basically make you want to clap with him because he’s so damn cute you just can’t resist.  
every girl wrapped around his finger.  He’s a big flirt.  Waitresses love him.  It actually works out nicely because he tends to make a huge mess at restaurants but they’ve already fallen in love so it doesn’t really matter.  
learned the game of Peek-a-Boo. 
We play a lot of, “Where’s Easton?”
“There he is!”
Even in the car with his blankie back and forth over his head. 
still had a love for books, particularly the ones with flaps, parts that move, or things he can feel and touch.  He’s basically gifted.  Right? 
started getting out all the toys in the living room even though he still enjoys the good ole TV remote.  At Mrs. Jenny’s he really loves the kitchen and play food so momma’s going to get him a new kitchen for his birthday.  Shhhh!
He weighed in at home at 22 lbs. 14 oz. so he’s been sitting at that 22 range for a few months.  Major movement all day long has him starting to thing out. 
Don’t worry, I plan on feeding him butter sticks to keep the wrist and thigh rolls going for as long as I possibly can.  
Our month in pictures….
Mikala’s College Goodbye Dinner

and Papaw’s Birthday dinner

Papaw refurbished this awesome rocking chair just for Easton!

Easton’s 1st Tornado Warning….we hid in the bathroom for at least a half hour…with the dog.
It wasn’t real enjoyable but we made the best we could out of it!

I need him to rest his hand right there and keep his arm chubby like this forever.  

First time Peppa watcher.
Definitely, a fan.
Daniel Tiger ranks higher currently.
Don’t tell our Dr. – no screen time til he’s two. 

LOVES his cousins. 

All the Waynes

Labor Day – Last swim!

Reading with his Colton

Spaghetti night was gross.  Really gross.
Definitely a bath night. 

Still loving his swing. 

His Chey got engaged!  He was mesmerized by the ring!
She appeased me and wore the sash I got her for a pic.  

After sitter playdate with cousin Josie!

Oh, these buns!

A sick day at home with momma

Kisses for the highly annoyed dog.  

Watching Colton play football!
I’ll just take the whole chicken finger, thanks ma.  

The kid dresses better than me. 

Cousin tower at the Plank family reunion!

Tormenting the dog

So tired he can’t even change into his pj’s. 

 Happy 10 months of life little buddy….
I know…I can’t believe it’s been that long either!

Out West Part 1

Our trip out west was awesome.  Now, it wasn’t a sandy beach with tropical weather….but there is something just as breathtaking about the beautiful mountains and nature that Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana have to offer. 
The trip started a little rough, I’m not going to lie.  The night before we were scheduled to leave Mike couldn’t figure out why we couldn’t get “checked in” with United Airlines through Orbitz.  Finally, he gave up and figured he would try again in the morning since our flight wasn’t suppose to leave until 5 pm.  The next morning it was his first task to accomplish and roughly about an hour or two after waking up (still in my pjs) he informs me that our flight is leaving at 2 pm, not 5.  
I took a deep breath and made a mad dash for the shower and to finish packing.  I didn’t shed one tear, which is quite an accomplishment for me these days.  I was ready to go in 45 minutes and luckily our ride to the airport (FIL) was over at the house in an hour to get us to the airport.  I did take a quick minute to call Orbitz and scream my head off at some foreigner who proceeded to tell me, “it happens” and they were sorry.  Sorry?!?!  I’m just glad my husband thought to call or we definitely would have missed our flights.  Oh, and I originally booked a flight with one layover and now this one had two.  We had to go to Chicago BEFORE we landed in Denver to then fly again to Sun Valley.  
And wouldn’t you know it that Denver was having some rough weather so we were late getting to Denver because we flew AROUND the storm?  Of course!
However, everyone’s flights were delayed in Denver….so we didn’t miss the second flight to our final destination.  We were suppose to arrive in Sun Valley/Hailey, Idaho around 8 pm and finally made it in around 11 pm.  It was definitely a long day and my swollen feet were seriously unhappy with me….but we made it.  
Side note – Do you know how many moms fly alone with little babies?  A lot!  I was way more observant of this than ever before.  I was shocked.  There is no way I think I could ever do that by myself.  Those babies were perfect, too!  A few tears but mostly sleeping and seriously awesome little campers for a long day of flying.  
Unfortunately we got to the quaint little town of Hailey, Idaho when it was pretty darn dark so we saw next to nothing the night we arrived.  
But when we woke up the next morning….WOW.  My bro and sis-in-law have an incredible property in the mountains.  Right now they are in the process of building their dream home on this property and her dad and sister are there to help this summer.  We’ve seen pictures through text along the way but it didn’t hold a candle to the scenery they get to wake up to every morning.  
Here are a few pictures of their house coming along.  

Guest cabin

Mountain outside their deck

View from their bedroom

Inside look at the loft and the stairs leading up


By the time we left they had installed the deck door here but I forgot a pic!

There’s the deck door.  This is also the camper they are living in while they build. 

Just out their driveway

The next day we all packed up and headed to Stanley, Idaho.  Along the way we made some pit stops to take a look around and see some fabulous scenery of beautiful Idaho.  

There are hot springs EVERYWHERE out west and here’s one of them.
That’s my brother-in-law, David, testing the waters.  

and his lovely white legs

Isn’t my husband adorable? 

I have just about given up on being cute while pregnant.
The scale hasn’t changed a whole lot but boy I feel huge.
And I know it’s only going to get worse!

This overlook was incredible.  

Look at that bump.
Everything is getting larger…ya hear?

Here’s my sis-in-law, Louise, her dad Rich/Dick/Richard/Funny Old Man, and her sweet sweet sister Elaine


We stopped at Red Fish Lake on the way.
Beautiful lake and LOTS of kiddos swimming in some super cold water.
They even had a dog beach for Judy and VooDoo!

Judy’s their sweet stinky dog.
She’s a lot like Shiloh. 

Meeting other dogs on the beach. 

Judy and VooDoo

Here’s another hot spring in Stanley, Idaho.
Of course, being pregnant, it was one of the many things I couldn’t enjoy on the trip.
I’m definitely traveling back out west without a fetus so I can horseback ride, maybe whitewater rafting, and enjoy some hot springs. 

Here’s the cabin we stayed at in Idaho and the boys grilling dinner.
We had delicious trout!

This was looking out behind our cabin.
A beautiful cattle ranch on the Salmon River. 

There’s always part of vacations where the husband wants to do something that totally interests him and sounds terribly boring to me.  I love him dearly so I roll my eyes and go with the flow for a bit to see his eyes sparkle and his smile shine. 
This was that part. 
The dredge. 
He can probably tell you way more about it than I can because I had to pee most of the tour and couldn’t pay attention.  I was also terribly bored and wanted to stick a fork in my eye.  

Basically it’s a huge machine that works like a CoinStar except they were looking for gold.
He would kill me for explaining it like that, but that’s how I understood it. 

Looking sexy at the dredge waiting to hear where the bathroom is. 

The rest of these pics were totally my husband.  I have no freakin clue what they are but I know he wants to show his buddies….sooo……scroll down til something sparks your interest. 

Then we stopped at a ghost town, Custer.  
It use to be a hopping little town for those who worked on the dredge and now it’s nothing. 
BUT, you can walk through some of the buildings which is really neat and see what life use to be like.  
Kind of reminds me of Conner Prairie, without the cool people to reenact.  

I wanted to see inside this house until a rodent crawled across the floor, then I was out.  

Children’s graves who had been lost in an avalanche. 

Still taking work calls.
The man never stops. 

Loved looking at these horses outside of the cabin. 

That’s all for now!
After Hailey and Stanley, Idaho we headed up to Idaho Falls and Yellowstone….part 2 later!
Truly Fortunate for a Beautiful Vacation, 

It’s a…..BOY!

Wow, baby boy, you sure are loved so much already.  Look at all these people who showed up last night just to see if you were a girl or boy.

You literally had a whole “team” on your side and even those, like your momma, who wore pink wishing for bows and tutus will love you just as much.  They were just trying to support your momma who truly wanted to over rule your poppa and flood him with estrogen.   Maybe next time! 😉

It was so fun having so many of our loved ones around to find out what you would be.  We were hoping to have this little party in our back yard where you will spend time running like a wild man eventually.  However, this summer in Indiana has been nothing but rain and we had another crappy weather day.  I don’t feel nearly as bad for myself and not having our party there as I do all those farmers we love so dearly.

Of course we had a few of our favorite little people who really wanted to help us open the box….Brody and Willow.  You see, they were married the same day we were and thought it was only right.  
At this point I was so nervous about opening this box I truly thought I was going to puke everywhere.  

And then it was time to open!

and OH MY GOODNESS I was definitely shocked when those blue balloons popped out. 
I thought for sure you were a girl!

Check out momma’s face. 
Seriously shocked. 

But so happy!

and I instantly wanted to find that ultrasound pic to see what the tech was so “confident” about!

And then there was the “turtle” they claimed we would see. 
And yup, it looks like a turtle. 

Look at your daddy’s face.  He is so stinkin proud. 
And this one below is where I figure out your cousin, Shailynn, is not so happy about having another boy cousin.  I felt really bad, but there is nothing I could do!

Mommy and Daddy are happy!

 and so are your grandparents! 

Notice how all the grandparents wore blue.  They wanted you pretty badly!
I couldn’t have pulled it all off without a BUNCH of my favorite women and definitely this one, my best friend, for allowing us to backtrack from her clean party barn and make it happen.  She has a little guy too who will probably teach you all the bad things you need to know!

Kynsey’s excited!

The happily married couples!

Here’s a photo of your future wife (inside Melissa’s belly) who should arrive in this great big world about the same time as you.  We’ve already arranged your marriages.  You’re welcome!

Now all I can think about is your nursery and all the little things I want you to have and how I can get ready for your arrival.  20 weeks away!

I can’t stop thinking about watching you and your dad outside in the barn working on things.  I can’t wait to watch him teach you everything he knows….and he knows a LOT about fixing things and building things.  You are truly one lucky little boy to have a dad like him.

I can’t wait to love on you and snuggle you, my very own little boy.  I’m excited to welcome you to this world.

I know that despite the difficulties that come with this last name it’s very important for a family name to be carried on, and you will carry it on well my little man.

There are great big things in this world that are waiting for you and I can’t wait to show you them all.


Your Truly Fortunate Momma

16 weeks

Finding out about this little fetus around 6 weeks and looking back……has it really been 10 weeks since then?

Apparently it has!
Last week we heard the babies heartbeat and our doctor has a hard time keeping up with the babes movement because he or she kept moving around. She called our baby “very active.”  Oh great!
I lost two pounds in between appointments and my husband threw me under the bus and made sure to tell my doc I was eating popcorn for dinner. 
Trust me, I know better but for some reason dinner is my struggle. At this point in the day I am very nauseous and nothing sounds good. The last thing I want to do is cook and even my favorite reputations don’t sound great. Food just doesn’t sound good. Occasionally I could get down some popcorn so I figured that was better than nothing. Apparently not. 
I’m working on the eating part and ice cream and slushies (particular Tuttle’s strawberry) are my cravings most days. 
This heat is brutal and I’m starting to feel pregnant as in overweight and large.  Got myself a little hard pooch (as opposed to my soft one before) and getting up and down our stairs leads me to huffing and puffing.  I need to keep up my love of walking but that’s going to require early mornings or late nights and then consuming even more calories that already don’t sound good. 
My apps and book say 3 different things for this week. The baby is either the size of a dill pickle, lemon, or avocado. I think they relate the baby to foods just to make me feel more nauseous. 
I’m avoiding telling you about the really nasty gross perks of pregnancy.  I save all those for telling my husband. He wrinkles his nose and shakes his head but deep down I know he loves it.  He’s just as gross so who cares. He’s a man!
Just less than a month and we find out what bambino is. Going to keep it a secret all day and take the news to our local florist. We will have her put balloons in a box and have a reveal that night with some family and friends at our house. Can’t wait for that!

Reflections and Resolutions

Back on January 1st of 2014 I vowed to make these my goals….

A bad habit I’m going to break: leaving my straight iron on
didn’t totally happen but I did purchase one that turns off automatically!  score!

A new skill I’d like to learn: quilting…something very simple
nope…didn’t accomplish because my sewing machine broke.  Currently searching for a replacement

A person I hope to be more like: Pioneer Woman
I did try many new meals (a lot of hers) so we shall call this one a success – However tonight I tried her corned beef and cabbage and it was a major FAIL.  Never again.  I also think my nose is absolutely ruined from the smell.  

A good deed I’m going to do: serve at a women’s shelter or soup kitchen
Did not accomplish….fail

A place I’d like to visit: Idaho
Our next vacation…for sure!  Hopefully summer. 

A book I’d like to read: the Bible
read more this year than the year before!

A letter I’m going to write: to my friend Lauren R
communicated a little but no official letter…

A new food I’d like to try: some Asian cuisine besides chicken fried rice

I’m going to do better at: communicating to my loved ones
I think success….some may disagree

So as the year 2015 begins I’d like to tell you about a few things I plan to work on.  Some people call these resolutions….these are just my HOPES.  I feel like the word “hopes” is a bit more realistic.

My 2015 hopes and plans….

1) I’ve joined the SSMT (Siesta Scripture Memory Team) thanks to my friend Jeffer’s invite.  The idea is that I will be memorizing 24 verses of scripture in the next 12 months.  I’m pretty psyched because this will get me reading the bible more, talking to God more, and using His word to guide me and calm me down a bit.  I’ve decided to start with Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”  (NIV)

I chose this particular verse because I’ve been having anxiety and worry about our next step in life….children.  It’s not happened quite as quickly as I would have liked.  So through reading this and memorizing it I plan to work on not being anxious and presenting my requests to God through praying just a little more often….especially when I get anxious.

You can find out more about the SSMT by clicking here   It’s through Living Proof Ministries and one of my favorite gals to listen to and get inspiration and guidance from….Beth Moore.  

2)  Less junk food and sticking to the NO’s on my grocery list.  I always keep my grocery list as a “note” on my phone.  I’ve added some no’s to that list….such as Pepsi.  I may treat myself to the occasional pop but I’m no longer going to keep it in the house.  No more buying that Kettle corn popcorn Smartpop I love so much.  There is nothing “smart” about that stuff when you can consume an entire bag, by yourself, in one sitting.  No more purchasing chocolate….my students already know it’s my weakness and they provide me with enough in gifts.  I swear I have enough chocolate from their Christmas presents to last me until next Christmas.  I’m not buying it anymore! I’d like to also say no more ice cream….but saying no just seems silly  How about less?

3) Workout 4 days a week.  Lately I’ve been squeezing in 1…maybe 2 days.  Which is such a waste of my gym membership.  I always tell myself I’m too busy, but I know I feel better after I get there…even if it’s for only half an hour.  In that half an hour I can get 2-3 miles wogged and feel better and maybe…just maybe…eventually look better.

4) No credit cards.  I’ve cut up a few and I’m going to focus on paying them off in 2015.  Then, I’ve kept 2 for those just in case emergencies.  BUT I’m going to keep them somewhere NOT near my purse so they aren’t that easy to use.

5) A cleaner mouth.  We discussed this at Christmas Eve.  If we’re going to try and bring a child into this world we have a lot to work on… thing being a cleaner mouth.  Sure they don’t understand it when they are first born but my goodness we will have a child destined for the principal’s office if we don’t clean it up!  We never mean harm by the things we say, and usually they are said with laughter….but still.  Time to clean it up.

6)  Less DVR and more books.  Just today I deleted a bunch of Intervention episodes and other crud.  I always have something on the DVR to watch.  Sometimes I just play in the background to have noise.  Most of it is junk.  I’ll never let my Real Housewives go…..but there are many things I can do without.  And with less DVR I can read this huge stack of books I’ve bought and been craving.  Then, I can spend all my Barnes and Nobles gift cards from my totally rad students and read even MORE!

7)  Last but most importantly…..never forget to date my husband.  The love of my life, my lifetime partner, and very best friend.  We were engaged last Valentine’s Day and married in July and then life threw us for a bit of a loop.  I got so wrapped up in planning a wedding and then we had to focus on some major life changes…and I think we’ve just totally forgotten how to date.  I’ve forgotten how to get all sexy and stuff for him and would much rather throw on a hoodie and go to dinner.  Fact is….he needs to date me….and I need to date him.  We’re still young (kind of) and without children we really should take advantage of all that life has to offer….including special date nights.  It doesn’t have to be a fancy restaurant or something mega expensive, but I should still look my best for him because he always does for me.  We have an entire jar of date ideas that my wonderful family and friends gave us at the awesome bridal shower.  We haven’t even picked one.  I think we need to get on that….pronto.    And maybe….just maybe….if we date enough then my hope for a little one will also work!

I love this man and I certainly hope that 2015 only gets better.  I’ll stand by his side no matter what curves that life may bring us.  It’s hard to even imagine that 2015 could top 2014 when I married the man of my dreams….but I’m hoping it will!

p.s. – I’m typing this on my new laptop the hubs got me for Christmas and it is FABULOUS!!!

I miss you Bahamas…

The air is starting to get a chill to it.  
I’m going from flip flops to boots, from shorts to sweat pants, from painted toes and shaved legs to not caring a dang bit. 
And it makes me miss….our honeymoon….and the Bahamas. 
We took a cruise with Royal Caribbean (highly recommended) to the Bahamas for our honeymoon.  A 4 night trip which included Coco Cay (their personal island), Nassau, and a day at sea.  
Our float was EARLY in the morning on Monday.  Very, very early.  Looking back I am so glad we had all of Sunday to get things unpacked a little at home and then packed again.  
We arrived in Port Canaveral several hours before we could board the ship so we got a rental car and ate a late breakfast at a random but fabulous restaurant, the Big Biscuit.  Those kinds of places are always the best.  
I can’t wait to go back someday!
Then, we drove around and killed some time.  Finally, we decided to return the car and head towards the ship.  I was shocked at how long the lines were.  Apparently it is tradition for Argentinian girls to head on a cruise for their 15th birthday.  Like, over 300 girls.  Who don’t speak English…..and have little to no supervision.   I was already slightly annoyed.
After customs and checks and random conversations and being nosey wondering where all these people were from…we finally made it to our room!
This was our room…
It was tiny, but it was perfect for what we needed.  (wink, wink)
Someday our children will be so grossed out by that.  Ha!

This is us getting ready to leave from Port Canaveral in Florida.  

I’m so lucky!

Yup.  We’re married.  Flash that ring baby!

Right after we boarded the ship and I changed clothes we immediately had to check everything out. 
We also realized that the ship had my very favorite Moscato….and with the beverage package we purchased I could have it free….all….day….long.  I was super excited!
By the end of the week I actually started to despise it and my stomach started to rot, I think.  
Top of the ship!  
VERY windy that day.  

A few of the pool deck…

A large movie screen that played stuff all day. 
I know the littles would have loved it.  Frozen was on practically every night!

Dinner our first evening was incredible. The menu changed each night but I always indulged in what I love….RED meat.  I had the prime rib and my love had the salmon.  It was delicious.  They encourage you to get appetizers, salads, and even dessert because it’s technically already paid for!  
At one point in the meal he said, “Shhhh….do you hear that?”  
I was so confused.  We were in a loud restaurant.  There was a lot of things to hear!
To which he replied, “No phones….”  🙂
It truly was one of the best parts of the trip!
You always had the choice of a restaurant called “My Fair Lady” which was a sit down meal or a few other places which were quicker and more like cafeteria or deli style.  They even had a little Starbuck/Ben and Jerry’s shop!  Yummm
After dinner we did a little bit of people watching and then some gambling in the casino.  
The next day….we started with some breakfast in bed. 
A cup of delicious Starbucks that my sweets brought me.  
Then….a trip to Coco Cay.  
The first day out we were off the boat on our their private island, Coco Cay.  
Of course it was a rainy morning and we had to take a little boat to reach the island. 
When we arrived it REALLY started to rain and we debated for about an hour if we should head back to the ship. 
We stuck it out and walked the entire island and eventually…the sun came out!
Our “excursion” we paid for was a pair of floating mats.  It was delightful.  
Michael doesn’t really know how to relax, but I think that even he enjoyed it.  

We didn’t pay for this excursion, but it looked fun!

Ahhhhh relaxation!

While relaxing we did watch some hula and limbo contests. 
Did a little bit of shopping for overpriced tourist trap crap.  
Ya know, the things you have to take home to say you’ve been there?

Beautiful water.  

A picture of our ship from the island…

This is one of the little boats that would take you back and forth.  

When we do go on a cruise again I will remember to book the excursion of “luxury cabana” FO SHO.  

The little boat made me sick.  Very ill. 
So, this is the view from Mike behind the camera as we traveled back to the ship. 
I was below deck about to vomit.  

Coco Cay’s island

That evening was our formal dinner. 
This was our captain.  

They had an evening parade of all the ship’s employees and the flag representing their native country. 
Really neat to see there were so many people with us from all over the world.  

The boys from the US represented us well by dancing to the “Cotton Eyed Joe”

And we waited in a line to get our photo on the staircase!

This was our favorite bartender, Ariel, otherwise known as ARod.  

One of the lounges that had karaoke every night.
Unfortunately I never got to sing….

They had a very cute and super cheesy “Honeymooners Meeting” so we could meet all the others on the ship that were also on their honeymoon.  
They took our picture with a cake and we danced to some Michael Bolton song.  
They also did a raffle for some champagne and we ate some of the cake.  
Kind of cute.
Dinner that evening was duck for the man and some sort of red meat for me. 
I can’t remember…
We also saw a comedy show that night. 
The guy was super hilarious and very wrong.  
There is always something to do on a cruise ship.  
We also met back up with ARod and the other bartender at the bar we liked, Myra, to have a night cap.  
The day we were in Nassau, Bahamas and decided to do the “See and Sea” Tour for our excursion choice.  We would have loved to try Atlantis….but it was so freaking expensive.  Definitely next time now that we know the price!

This was our Sea guide.  He reminded me of a Jamaican Flava Flav.

One of the pictures is Oprah’s house. 
Every picture of a house is someone famous but I really can’t remember who. 
Oprah has 2 houses in Nassau. 
Who the hell needs two houses in Nassau?
Apparently Oprah does…
One house belonged to a prince with 7 wives. 
Another house belonged to the owner of Heineken. 
In the Bahamas the beer everyone drinks is called “Kalik”

We took a boat out to another boat where we climbed under for the “Sea” part of the tour. 
This boat took us out to the coral reefs so we could see all kinds of sea life. 
Very cool!

The Jamaican Flava Flav took our pic.  

Here’s a little bit of useless knowledge for you that we learned…
This is Atlantis. 
That bridge thing was built way back and is now known as the Michael Jackson suite because that is where he always stayed.  
Now you can stay in it for $25,000 a NIGHT with a minimum 4 NIGHT STAY!
Say whaaaaat???
And the kicker…’s booked for the next 5 years. 
Who in their right mind would spend $100,000 to stay there?  It can’t be that wonderful.  I mean, come ON!

Then we traveled in a smelly van with half of our group with a crazy Bahamian driver around the city of Nassau.  Now, don’t get me wrong I am totally glad he was driving and I wasn’t but there is a dang reason why every car in that city has a dent in it.  Smallest streets ever + worst drivers = terribly damaged vehicles.  
Another tidbit of random knowledge for you…..the top 2 industries for the Bahamas are tourism and banking.  There are banks in every other shop there.  Now that I have seen the place I think it is the last joint I would keep all my money.  It’s obvious why people do….tax free….but I’m not sure I would spend more than some daylight on that island.  
We saw the governor’s house, the straw market, the Queen’s staircase, the Bay St. (no…I didn’t get any diamonds)

Despite being offered peanuts (code word for drugs) and the mass amounts of children or people without shoots and little kids smoking cigarettes…the island is truly beautiful. 
It’s certainly a different culture and a different way of life. 
Thank goodness it takes all kinds to make up this world. 

After our official tour we decided to branch off and head to this “fish market” everyone kept talking about.  We knew it wasn’t safe to travel alone, but there were two other ladies in our group who were interested in going as well.  We figured it would be okay if we traveled together. 
We found a taxi driver who took us to the fish market.  It was just loads of restaurants with conch and all kinds of fresh fish.  Smelled delicious. We ate at Curly’s. 
I tried conch.  Figured I had to because the cab driver kept talking about it.  Too chewy,.  I also ate some fried shrimp and got the grouper sandwich.  The grouper was heavenly.  
The place was a little sketchy….especially since this area was clearly a natives hangout.  
We ate our lunch and headed back to a location a little closer to the port,. 
Before we loaded the ship we shopped around for a while at the straw market and other little shops.  Found the Harley store where you can buy a shirt that says the Bahamas for $50 just because they can do that.  The straw market was definitely overwhelming.  Every person in there hounding you to buy their goods saying “Oh pretty little girl you need this….and that….” 
It was so flippin hot this day we eventually headed back to the ship.  
The alcohol was free and so was the food on the ship. 
We needed some air conditioning!

We came back to this cute little guy….

We found a bar that had random trivia. 
We sucked at the trivia and quit early. 
Got ready for dinner that evening. 
Delicious french onion soup for me and lamb for my guy.  
We gambled very late that night. 
They took my money….if only I knew when to quit. 
The next morning we had the breakfast buffet.  It was so delicious. 
We grabbed our swimsuits then found the adult only pool…the Solarium. 
Laid there for most of the day (our day at sea) and read. 
We highly recommend that you never take a cruise without the 18+ pool.  
It was so nice to swim, eat, and drink all day.  I even slept for a while.  
Then, we showered and purchased the pictures we wanted and shopped a little bit. 
Gambled some more…
Arranged for our rental car the next day and changed our flights to get home a little earlier. 
While on the computer there was an announcement that they were going to check out this “unidentifiable floating object”.  I freaked a bit. 
What if it was terrorists?  Or pirates?  Why were heading towards this thing? 
It was only a bumper. 
Panicked for no reason.  Imagine that.  

Saw a show that evening in their large theater and it had all kinds of bits from famous musicals including Hairspray and West Side Story.  It was fun to sing along.  
Best steak ever for dinner at the Chops Grille.  We had lobster and dessert too  
Again, heavenly. 
Then, we decided to check out the “Quest” game show.  If you ever take a quiz, we highly recommend it.  It was a lot of fun.  It involved both of us taking off some clothing at some point.  A piece of mine was even held up by the cruise director.,  Loads of laughter.  
Mike got up the next morning at sunrise for more pictures.  
We were already back at port very early.  
Quickly got off the ship and customs was seriously a joke.  A few random questions and we were back in the USA kind of freaked by how easily it was to get back.  
We rented a car then headed to the Kennedy Space Center.  It was crazy packed so we ended up at the Orlando mall instead.  Walked around shopped and killed some time.  Ate at the Hooters for lunch and then sat in the airport for hours waiting for our flight.  
My dad and Sandy were super sweet to pick us up late from the airport.  Our flight was all screwy. 
And they were even waiting to take our picture when we got home., 
It was so good to see both of them….and of course to be home.  
It was a honeymoon I will never forget!
Can’t wait to go cruising again…

Just the two of us

We are so blessed to have amazing photos from the very talented Meigan with Blink Photogaphy. She and her assistant, McKinsey, captured some of my favorite moments from our day. 
Just the two of us…

You may have seen this one in the paper. 
Or, you may not have, considering it was blended in with the classifieds. 
I’m so glad I paid $53 to be blended with the classifieds. 

And the perfect photo for our thank you cards….

I think this one is getting framed….

I don’t normally love pictures of myself, but I do love these….


My veil and my dress don’t match at all, but wearing my mom’s veil made the day even more perfect. 

I’m so glad I didn’t hide my tattoo.

Happy Monday everyone, 

That First Look

Before I saw the man I would spend the rest of my life with….I wanted to see the guy who would give me away.  
Emotions ran high for some very obvious reasons.  
I was more nerve that my dad would be a mess and then I became a mess.  The thought that I would be given away almost terrified me.  For 30+ years I was his little girl.  Now, I had to grow up and start a family with someone.  Hopefully someday have our own little ones.  
Seeing my dad brought up so many thoughts and emotions. 
He looked so handsome. 
Looking back I feel like after this moment the entire day just flew by. 
Again, I want to thank Meigan and McKinsey with Blink Photography for capturing all these amazing moments.  

Then the photo gals took me outside to wait for my guy. 
The look on his face was priceless.  
He looked terrified, yet ecstatic.  

He grabbed my hands and said, “wow….that dress”
Those words said it all. 

I probably could have stayed in this moment for the rest of the day.
Just looking at each other. 
Melting away in the heat….and love.  

Then he pulled away again and just kept looking me over. 
That, ladies, makes you feel REAAAAALLLLLL good. 

And we walked towards the gazebo.  The place we would say “I Do” just a few short hours later.  
I knew I wouldn’t have the sense to take it all in during the moment of the actual vows so I’m glad we took the opportunity during photos to do so.  

This man is my forever.  

Love him so, 


I apologize for the delay in wedding blogs, but life has dealt us a different hand of cards I was not expecting….to say the least.  Life gets busy and you forget about how enjoyable and relaxing it can be before the craziness of back to school begins or the aftermath of a major life event…like our wedding.  
I hope to continue blogging for as long as I possibly can, but I’ll just have to be honest and admit that it may not be as regularly as I had hoped.  Just like the stack of books I have to read.  I may not get to read them as often as I would like.  End of the day approaches and most of the time I just want to lay down and close my eyes.  That book sits next to me wishing to be read…and I just don’t have the energy for it.  
One thing is for certain that I have learned in our first month of marriage.  Life isn’t easy, but as long as you have your family and close friends by your side….it’s manageable.  And through it all, I know that there are a million other people out there that have it way worse than me.  Sure I through a couple of pity parties for myself…who hasn’t?  In the end…I’ve got my husband who is working really hard to make this marriage the best it can be.  I’ve got my family who kicks ass at being by my side through it all.  I’ve got great friends who know just what to say at the right time.  
So….let’s take a look at our lovely rehearsal back on July 17, 2014.  The weather was perfect.  The people were perfect.   The littles did so well, which made me highly doubt they would be able to pull it off again in two days.  The moments of rehearsal made me nervous.  It was all becoming incredibly real.  Not like I was going to vomit, real.  Just shaky, real.  

Chatting things over with Bridesmaid Amanda

This would be the scenery behind us as we got married.
I paid attention at rehearsal because I knew I wouldn’t be able to on the real day!

Sassy Pants Willow

Flower girls getting ready for practice!

My best friend.  My girl.  My MOH….Meg

Love this boy and all his antics.  One of our handsome ring bearers…

Bridesmaids Jeffer and Krista Lee

Another cutey ring bearer…Brody Law

Practicing the giving away part.  I got a little emotional here.  

What hams!

Miss Mallory

Who knows what was being said at this point!

I know it’s hard not to criticize ourselves in photos….but MAN that butt is big.  

Loving Brody’s look here.  A few of our groomsmen, Cody and Joel and ring bearers Brody and Colton

A good looking group of men!

The parents

Chunky boy Walker

Brody waving!

This was incredibly uncomfortable!

Decorating crew +1!

He just loves having his picture taken!

The holding cell.  

One more round of practice!

If only they would have done this on the real day.
Cutest thing ever!

I really don’t know what Willow is doing.
Probably the queen wave we’ve always taught her. 

The ladies

Signing my life away…

Or the marriage certificate. 

Pastor Woody!

Shai and Walker!

What a great evening.  I’m so glad we have the pictures to remember all these special moments.  

Love to all,