Cruisin’

 

Johnny and I just got back from our first cruise. Did I have a good time? Yes! Would I do it again? Not for a very long time!

Everyone I have ever talked with about taking a cruise either loved it or hated it. Johnny and I were looking for something to do for our 15 year anniversary so we decided it was time to try a cruise. Last January we scheduled a cruise to coincide with our 15 year anniversary in June. Due to several circumstances (kids, family health, jobs etc) we were not able to go in June and thought we’d just lose out on the money we had put down as it was past our cancellation date. The folks at Carnival Cruise Lines were fantastic though and after we explained our circumstances they were able to move us to another cruise in January.

So, here we are, January 2018 and taking our 15 year anniversary trip 6 months late. It came at a perfect time too. We had just finished the very busy Christmas season and were needing a few days to unwind, just the two of us. You know, just be able to have a conversation between the two of us that was not being interrupted twenty times by kids. I need to pause her and say how wonderful our parents were while we were gone. We left on a Wednesday night and came back on a Monday night. That meant that grandparents were in charge of taking kids to school, practices, ballgames, etc. All of this with Johnny and I in the middle of the ocean so they couldn’t just pick up the phone to ask us questions about the schedule. They handled it with no issues at all (and from what I hear our kids behaved better than they do with us!).

(Johnny super excited to be headed to Galveston to leave)

Johnny and I left on a Wednesday night to drive half way to Galveston, Texas. His dad is working in a little town in Texas right now so we were able to stay with him for the evening. We woke up early Thursday morning to make the remaining drive to Galveston. I can say that the drive from Hot Springs to Galveston is a very easy drive. We arrived in Galveston around lunchtime and started making our way to the ship. Let me just say, don’t expect much out of a cruise dock. It is a shipping yard, not much to it.

Once we got on the boat we felt a bit lost. We found the Lido Deck, which was where most of the food options were, got some lunch and found a table to relax at until we were able to go to our state rooms. I can say I was surprised at the state rooms. I expected a much smaller space but there was plenty of room. We had a king size bed, a couch vanity area and a bathroom. We also had 2 portholes, which we figured out we needed to keep closed to help manage our motion sickness! Once spent the rest of the day exploring the ship. The only issue, it was freezing outside! We bundled up and explored the deck for a while but finally had to give in and stay inside. We also met our table mates at dinner. They were a nice couple from Houston who also had 3 kids. We had a lot in common so we enjoyed our dinners with them.

 

Friday was our first full day at sea. Again, we spent the day exploring the ship. It was starting to warm up a bit so we were able to spend a little more time outside. However, we never could really find a place to settle in. Johnny and I are readers and all we really wanted to do was find a quiet corner somewhere to sit and read. Unfortunately there was not many places like that to be found, especially on a day when it was a bit cool outside. Johnny’s sea sickness was also setting in and not letting him enjoy too much of the day.

 

Valor 4
Formal dinner night

 

Saturday was our day in Cozumel. It was warm and beautiful. However, we had booked an excursion to take a 45 min catamaran ride to an island for the day. Let me tell you, 45 minutes on a catamaran in rough seas is NOT FUN. I think half the boat was ready to puke by the time we got there. The whole time we were on the island all I could think about was the terrible ride we would have going back to the ship. It was a nice day though and I did enjoy relaxing on the beach and shopping at the little shops they had set up there. We were also able to enjoy a great Mexican buffet while there. The water was too cold for swimming but all I really wanted was to lay on the beach and listen to the waves anyway.

 

Valor 5
Isla Pasion

 

Saturday evening was miserable. The sea was so rough that I was getting sick also. We had planned on going to a couple of shows that night but ended up calling it a night early because we just did not feel good.

 

Valor 6
Feeling a bit sea sick

 

Sunday was the best day of the cruise. It was a beautiful, warm day. We were finally able to settle in and find comfortable places to sit, read and soak up the sun. They even played an NFL came on the big screen TV on the Lido Deck. We saw some shows, listened to some live music and just really enjoyed the day.

Monday morning we pulled back into port in Galveston. I can say, we could not get off that boat fast enough.

 

Valor 7
Happy to be back in our car!!

 

Overall, our first cruise experience was a nice getaway and we are glad we did it. However, it was far from one of our favorite vacations and if we ever go again, it will be a very long time from now.

The Daily Grind

Today my mantra was “stick to your guns”. I’ve been letting the rules slip over the Christmas break. It’s time to lay down the law again. The fighting  amongst themselves and the fit throwing is at an all time high.

The day started in the typical fashion, I woke the kids ups around 6:15 to start getting ready to get on the bus by 7:10. Noah woke up in a terrific mood. Macy, fairly normal mood, not quite awake yet, a little irritable but nothing terrible. Logan for some reason, wakes up and immediately starts picking on his brother and sister. It’s like he makes it his mission to make one of them cry before they get on the bus. Nothing new though.

This afternoon, I thought I might lose my mind. No, I was going to lose my ever lovin’ mind (as us Southerners say though I have no idea what it means). Logan had an appointment to have his cast replaced on his broken wrist and I had to take ALL 3 OF THEM to the doctor with us. The original plan was for their daddy to meet me just before the appointment to take Macy and Noah from me but he got caught up at work. Now, keep in mind that I had just decided to “lay down the law” and I was not letting them have any screen time during the school week. That means no iPads, iPhones, TV etc.  I could not hand over my phone to them to keep them entertained during the wait (and it was a long one). Not that it would have mattered anyway, I only had 1 phone with me so they would have all 3 been fighting to get to use it. I spent the next 1.5 hours telling Noah to “keep your voice down, get up off the dirty floor, stop touching your brother/sister, stop looking down the hall, no you can’t touch the skeleton (though an awesome nurse let him and it made his day), no you can’t have my phone, stay out of my purse”. I was at my wits end by the time we left, but they did not touch my phone. Then we had dinner at Chick-fil-A and made a quick trip to Lowes. When we got home, I was done. I was mentally exhausted but we still had to get through homework, baths, piano & saxophone practice, more questions about why they can’t watch TV and bedtime. Thank goodness that all went fairly smoothly, just one small break down from Macy. Guess what, I “stuck to my guns” and the kids survived and went to bed with smiles on their faces. The best part of the night was the sweet prayer Macy prayed at bed time asking God to heal her brother’s broken wrist before summer so he can swim. That kind of thing makes the daily grind all worth it.

Now all I need is a good nights sleep so that I can be ready to do it again tomorrow.

Verse of the Day: “Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire.” Proverbs 29:17

Workout of the Day: None, I was too exhausted by the time we got home to do anything.

 

Weekend #1 of 2018

Weekend #1 of 2018 is in the books. Basketball game for M & N, memorial service for my great-uncle Willie Hamilton, birthday party for my nephew Carter, church, cotillion for Logan, grocery shopping and church meetings. Needless to say, it’s been a bit busy. Best part is, the kids go back to school tomorrow!!

I am a bit excited about them going back to school. I swear to you, my kids loose their minds when they are out of their normal routine. They have had terrible attitudes and they have been fighting more than usual. Honestly, I get a bit grumpy when we are out of routine too. We are definitely a family who operates better on a schedule. So, here we go, getting ready to start our busy school routine back and I cannot wait.

Verse of the day: “…You do not have because you do not ask.” James 4:2 Our pastor gave a fantastic sermon on this verse today.

Workout of the day: None today but I got a good workout in yesterday morning. 30 minute run/walk

 

 

Just another Thursday

Verse of the Day: “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 7:36

Workout of the Day: Day 2 of Couch to 5k…30 minute run/walk. I feel great after completing it. I wanted to stop in the middle of it but I pushed through. Now I feel fantastic. I also spend the day moving and assembling furniture for a new office for the firm I work for. I’d consider that a pretty good work out too.

Tired…

I am just plain tired today. I guess I’m still trying to adjust back to my normal work schedule. I really spoiled myself last week staying up late and then sleeping in. I don’t feel all that great either, headache, stuffy head, all that lovely stuff.

We ended the day with dinner at my mom and dad’s. It’s always a treat to get to spend an evening with them.

Verse of the day: “Therefore submit to God but resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4: 7-8

Workout of the day: None…I didn’t feel much like working out when we got home around 7:30 pm. I better get back on top of it tomorrow.

Back to work I go…

Today marked the official end to my vacation. I had to get out of bed before 8am for the first time in more than a week (insert crying face here…). It wasn’t a terrible day, it was actually a surprisingly  good day considering I had not been in the office for more than a week. Yes, I walked in on some fires to put out but nothing that couldn’t be handled. I also got the chance to have lunch with a young lady who is in college and considering the paralegal field as a career. It was fun getting to sit down with her and her mom to talk about my profession. I hope I was able to shed at least some light on what to expect if she chooses this as a career.

The more interesting part of my day was taking Logan in to the orthopedic doctor. They confirmed he does have a broken wrist and he got a pretty blue cast. So far he has not let me sign it, I’ll wear him down eventually. I do think he’ll be staying off of pogo sticks for a while.

We ended the night at our favorite restaurant close to our house, Mi Pueblito, for dinner. I was in no mood to cook after spending 2.5 hours in the doctor’s office. Now I’m cuddled up in my chair trying to stay warm (we’ve had 2 days of temps below 25, not your typical Arkansas weather).

Verse of the Day: “This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become ONE FLESH.” Genesis 2:24

Workout of the day: None…I’m trying to do my running plan every other day. I’ll be back on the treadmill tomorrow.

Welcome 2018!!!

Here we go, 2017 is in the books and we are starting 2018. We are said goodbye to 2017 with a bang, just yesterday our oven caught on fire and Logan broke his wrist. Let’s just say, I was not sad to see the year end.

All of that being said, 2017 was not actually a bad year for us. Our kids stayed healthy over all, we combined JB and I’s dream vacation and took an RV trip to Walt Disney World to stay at Fort Wilderness, both of our jobs have been crazy busy but satisfying and our extended family has just kept growing with the birth of our niece. Of course we had our downs too. Mostly my Dad’s health as he had to go through 2 very serious surgeries this year, one involving repair of a tear in his brain sac and another for prostate cancer. He came through both with few complications and also ready for a fresh start for the new year.

So, what are our plans for 2018???

Well, JB and I are starting the year with our first ever cruise. (One we had originally planned to take in June 2017 for our 15 year anniversary but had to move due to several circumstances) We leave on January 18 and we are both super excited about it. Then in July we will be taking a 2 week RV trip to Yellowstone and the Black Hills. Once again, a dream vacation. This time we will be going with a couple of other couples and their families. There will be lake trips squeezed in between and hopefully a lot of time spent in the pool we put in this past September.

Now, what are my personal goals??

First, I intend on using this blog as a journal. I want to write something every day, basically a way to keep a record of my thoughts, feelings and our daily family activities. That means some posts will be remarkably boring, some more interesting. Also, some will be locked down because, let’s be honest, not everyone needs to hear the crazy thoughts that go through my head at times. (sometimes you just have to hide your crazy 🙂 )

Second, it’s time to take my health more seriously. It’s more than just a weight loss goal to me at this point, it’s about my health. Let’s face it, my family has a history of heart issues, depression and anxiety. I need to do what I can to take care of myself so that I can take care of my family. Today I started a “Couch to 5k” plan. JB is on this journey with me, though he is way more advanced in his running than I am. Now we just have to hold each other accountable.

Third, which is related to my second goal, my family needs a healthier lifestyle. We fall into all the traps of every modern family. We are busy and we have way too much technology at our fingertips. As I’m typing this my kids are fighting over the television in the other room. How am I going to do this? I don’t completely know yet. What I do know is that I can plan meals better and I can plan more active activities for us to do as a family (hiking, biking, playing basketball outside).

Fourth, (these are not in any particular order of importance) my walk with God will become stronger. Do I believe in God and that He is my creator and my savior? YES. Do I disappoint him every day? YES. I started my morning with a new bible study and I will be completing that study every day. I want to be constantly looking for ways to move into a closer relationship with God and for people to see God in me.

My verse of the day: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1

My exercise for the day: Day one of Couch to 5k…25 minute walk/run