Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend Rewind

Well as is quite obvious, most of our Memorial Day Weekend consisted of finishing up our trip to Mexico, traveling home, & then playing catchup with household duties such as laundry, mowing the lawn & grocery shopping. Ughhh...the realites of coming home from a week-long vacation.

Our beach from our chairs on the first afternoon.

We have plans to spend the evening with our dear friends for a traditional, informal cookout complete with burgers, rotel, & rice krispy treats. I've got all the photos from our trip put on the computer but I hope to edit them a bit before posting. Hopefully I'll be able to get to that quickly & do a recap shortly.

The most important thing is that we had an incredible time & most everything went off without a hitch (minus a couple of mild cases of Montezuma's revenge & Hubby's first case of swimmer's ear which we are still dealing with). Other than that things were fantastic. The weather was beautiful, the resort was just as we'd expected, & the food was decent.

I'll leave you with a tidbit of our week & how we enjoyed it in paradise!

We walked down the beach for dinner at an open-air restaurant.

Hubby played golf at a beautiful course while I cheered him on & played photographer!

We put on our adventurous hats or helmets in this case & went ziplining, drove amphibious vehicles, & swam in underground caves where the water was only 75 degrees!

We continued our adventure with some snorkeling with sea turtles!

But finished off the week with this view from our chairs, a good book, a final strawberry colada, & a gorgeous day.

We spent 7 amazing days & 8 wonderful nights together and capped everything off with dinner right here.

Oh don't you worry, there is much more to come!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Adios Amigas y Hola Mexico!!!

Well today is my last day of work until after Memorial Day. YIPPEE!!! We're leaving on a 6:35 am flight tomorrow morning and hopefully we'll be on the beach by mid-afternoon. I can't wait & I'm so if only I would hurry up and finish packing!!!

I'll leave you with a few Trip Advisor shots of the Riviera Maya beachfront...isn't it gorgeous!?!?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Say Cheese!

I don't know about you, but the self-timer on my Canon camera is probably one of my best friends. Without it Hubby & I would miss the opportunity to have so many great shots of us together! We would simply have to be satisfied with the one armed stretch shots which inevitably chop off the face of one of the people supposed to be included in the photo. Or you simply have a bunch of photos with just one of you, with a simple caption always included (Hubby was taking the picture or Wifey was taking the picture). So...with the self-timer I am so thrilled to be able to have a shot like the one below to document of 3rd Wedding Anniversary. Sure, the background isn't the greatest...our living room. But the subject matter is what's important...2 people who are very much in love!

And since the self-timer also has the ability to take multiple shots in a row, you also end up with photos like this! The perfect candid shot!
Apparently I was squeezing his neck/Adam's apple a little too tightly!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

On this day...

...I married my best friend

I commit myself to your happiness & self-fulfillment as a person, to your usefulness in God's kingdom, and I promise to honor, trust, & serve you in sickness & in health, in adversity and prosperity and I promise to be true & loyal to you so long as we both shall live.
~our vows May 19, 2007

I've learned so many things in our three years of marriage, that it's hard to even put into words.

I've learned that immediately after you say "I Do" and honestly, even before then, life becomes not about you, or I, or me; but about us & we & our.

I've learned that having the ability to look at your spouse and say "I'm sorry" is one of the most powerful yet most difficult things to do.

I've learned that the honeymoon phase can come to an end, but only if you let it & it can easily be rekindled with a good old fashioned date night or weekend away.

I've learned that true communication is a priceless necessity & so much excitement can be created & so much trouble can be avoided by truly talking to one another.

I've learned that even if you both agree NOT to buy presents for your anniversary that you better have a back up...because you're going to be getting a present anyway! Thanks for the bracelet & earrings Hubby!

I've learned that true joy can come in the most quiet of times, laying softly next to the one you love.

I've learned that the old cliche' "the hard times will make you stronger" really isn't all that cliche' but so, so true.

I've learned that as long as my husband thinks I'm beautiful & loves me, nothing else in this world really matters...and he certainly does think I'm beautiful & loves me more than I know I deserve.
I've learned in our three short years of marriage, God had such a plan for us to be together, to compliment each other in every area of life where we are true opposites, and to support each other in those areas where we are identical. God placed Nick in my life to be my hero, my leader & my rock. Thank you Lord for providing me with such an incredibly man!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Weekend Rewind

Rain, rain, please STAY away! This morning actually started with sunshine & not rain clouds for the first time in about 5 days. YUCK!! According to our local weatherman, we've had about 5.4 inches of rain in the month of May and all about .15 of it came in the past week. That's over 5" of rain in a week! Ughhh...bring on the summer sunshine!

Needless to say any weekend plans we hoped to have this weekend were washed out. However, we made the most of the weekend & Hubby was able to get in some good, quality study time.

Friday night I was ready for a night away from the kitchen so we went to Qdoba & had a quick meal. We had plans to play cards with some of our friends and we had some free time before we were supposed to be there. So...we took advantage of the extra time & decided to satisfy our dreams by driving around one of the super nice neighborhoods in the area. We LOVE to dream about our future & what our dream house might look like someday! Definitely most of those homes are WAY in our dreams, but no harm in dreaming right?

We had a great time playing cards & spending time with our friends Derek & Andrea and their kiddos Dawson & Lydia. Nick was able to play Wii with Dawson and I allowed Lydia to "pretend" cut my hair before they headed off to bed. I even had the privilige of reading Lydia a bedtime story because that was the only way she would agree to go to bed. They are such precious kids & it does make me hope for a cute little family one of these days.

Saturday started off with more rain & I headed to work while Hubby stayed home to study. I spent the afternoon being a housewife by doing laundry and cleaning up around the house. We also both managed to squeeze in a nice nap which was definitely one of the highlights of my weekend!

Saturday evening we headed out to run some last minute errands for our Mexico trip & to pick up a late Mother's Day gift for Hubby's mom since she came into town last night. We live about 15 minutes from the original Bass Pro Shops and that was our first stop for some water shoes (not Aqua Socks! ;o) and also a mask & snorkel for each of us. We have plans to do some snorkeling & we both agreed that it's just a little weird to use the rented equipment! I don't want to stick a snorkel that a hundred other people have used in my mouth.

We had dinner at a local Chinese restaurant similar to PF Chang's. They have the BEST lobster wontons aka lobster rangoon! We quickly stopped at the mall for some jewelry for Hubby's mom, grabbed Hubby another new swimsuit & we headed home. It was such a great evening together with my wonderful husband!

Yesterday we woke up to more rain & rumbling thunder which made it incredibly hard to get out of bed for church. But we made it & enjoyed a great sermon about the landmines every couple can experience in their marriage. After lunch Hubby headed back into our office to study some more while I headed to Walmart for our weekly shopping trip.

Insert venting moment: They have recently completely updated our local Walmart & everything was absolute chaos for awhile! I dealt with it in order to recognize the need for improvement & just hoped for the day when everything would be complete. Well, they are done & it is still chaos! They have the sugar on one aisle & the flour on the next, part of the ceral on one aisle & the rest of the cereal/breakfast items on the next! Yes I realize I'll get used to it, but come on. I'm all about marketing strategy but that's being a little ridiculous! End of venting...

Mid afternoon we headed to the airport to pick up Hubby's mom & came back to the house for a bit before small group. It was our last official small group of the year but we've already got two different bbq's on the calendar. After small group we grabbed pizza and had a quick dinner before taking Bogey for his first walk in about 3 days. Poor guy, he's been stranded in the soggy, swampy back yard with all this rain.

We've got lots to do this week, Hubby's test is tomorrow-say a quick prayer, or a long one if you want, our anniversary is Wednesday & Saturday we leave for Mexico! I better get to packing!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Midweek Ramblings

Is it seriously only Wednesday? I feel like this week is moving at a snails pace. Of course I guess some of that might have to do with the fact that next week is Hubby & I's 3rd wedding anniversary & that Mexico is only 10 LONG days away.

Just a bunch of randomness this week, which is nice...

~I've quickly realized that reading too many reviews & forums about our resort can quickly lead to less excitement & much more stress about our vacation. One instance of sea lice or bad food or being bumped to another resort or having to get up before dawn for a chair on the beach is one too many for me to read. Seriously, why do I keep reading this crap?!? Thankfully today there was a glorious review & I'm more excited than ever.

~It's almost 80 degrees in our house but I'm avoiding turning on the air conditioner for as long as possible. No need to start racking up the energy bills when it's going to be 70 here again tomorrow. A good dose of fresh air & some ceiling fans go a long way.

~Having the windows open means Bogey likes to sit in his lawnchair, look through the window, & wimper to come out and play. Later bud, we'll go for a walk later.

~My parents are leaving for Jamaica tomorrow...have a good time! That means work could be a little crazy, as if it hasn't already been super crazy enough this week!

~Hubby has been studying, studying, studying for his CPA exam, Auditing. Have I ever mentioned what an incredible man I am married to? I am so proud of his work ethic & focus & drive to beat this thing. Seriously, I don't know if I've ever been more proud to call him mine. His exam is on Tuesday...say a little prayer if you would.

As I was reading my Bible this morning before work I was praying for a little bit of guidance & support. As I looked under perserverance/endurance among others the following verse was brought to my attention...thank you Jesus.

"2 Dear brothers & sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing." ~ James 1:2-4

Monday, May 10, 2010

Weekend Rewind

As weekends go, this was a pretty standard weekend. Nothing real exciting going on, but somehow the time seemed to fly by and before we knew it Sunday night was here & it was time to get ready for another week.

Friday night we had plans to grill steaks & eat at home but in the mail we had a surprise from Hubby's mom--a gift certificate to Ruby Tuesday. So, we decided to use it right away and relax a bit instead of staying in. We also went to Lowe's & bought three new matching planters to fill with all of my new annuals. I had plans to spend the rest of the evening potting but unfortunately we failed to buy enough potting soil. After 2 pots, I had to quit for the night...I hate it when I do that.

Saturday morning I had to work & Hubby had class again. After work I went with my parents to my favorite local greenhouse to get a few extra things for our front flower bed. I think I'm done buying plants for the year. I made a quick trip to Lowe's for more potting soil & came home to start planting again. I just love planteres that are overflowing with colorful annuals--bright pink geraniums, snapdragons, wave petunias, sweet potato vine, spikes, & impatiens. They make such beautiful pots & normally they'll last all summer (as long as I keep the water flowing!) I quickly finished up the pots & got several things put in the ground before Hubby came home. I've still got some work to do, but that will have to wait until tomorrow night since the temps are in the 50s today with rain & strong winds. Ughhh...what happened to summer?!?

Saturday night Hubby & I grabbed pizza at one of our favorite pizza places & then ran a few quick errands. Nothing like leaving mother's day gifts until the last minute! I also found another swimsuit for our trip which is in LESS THAN 2 WEEKS! and a new pair of shoes. It was a very productive evening & we were home fairly early ready to just relax.

As Mother's Day was yesterday, we got up much earlier than normal to head to church with my parents. After church Hubby & I got busy helping to prepare lunch. Just standard fare of burgers & homemade french fries complete with peach cobbler & chocolate chip cookies. I'll have to share the peach cobbler recipe good & so easy! We had a great lunch with my parents & both sets of grandparents. What a blessing all the mothers & grandmothers are in my life! We'll be able to spend some time with Hubby's mom in about a week when she comes down for a quick visit--Can't wait to see her!

Ok, we totally didn't talk to each other about what the other was wearing but how crazy is this!?! Like mother like daughter!

My beautiful momma with her other baby girl!

We spent most of the afternoon at my parents' house letting Bogey run around. We left just in time to get to small group at 5. Our women's study has certainly been challenging as we're discussing the importance of creating a godly vision for my life & living each day with that vision in mind. I really need to put all my desires & goals in writing but it's so scary once they're actually written down--it seems to make them so much more permanent! We're about to wind down for the summer & I'm going to miss seeing everyone each week. Hopefully we'll still be ablt to hang out quite a bit, but it's so much more difficult to plan a get together when it's not already on the schedule!

We've got a fairly calm week with not much going on. However, I need to start getting stuff ready for our trip. Time is winding down at work until we leave for vacation & I'm so ready...only 9 more working days! Bring on the sunshine & crystal clear blue water!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mom's Day 2010

A few days ago on the radio, a female country star (I can't remember who) said that she & her mom are best friends so really Mother's Day is just another day to celebrate her best friend & their incredible friendship. Well, I feel exactly the same way. My mom & I have a priceless relationship and she truly is my best friend. We talk at least once a day, see each other most days, & I tell her almost everything. God truly blessed me with an incredible mom who loves me unconditionally & has ALWAYS had my best interest in mind.

Thanks for...
~singing The Unicorn Song to me before naptime when I was a little girl
~teaching me how to bake
~being my mom when I needed guidance & support
~fixing breakfast, lunch & dinner for our family each night so we could have meals together
~being my friend when I needed opinions on fashion, boys, & life
~taking mom day's with me to go shopping for whatever we might desire
~always having my best interest in mind even when I thought you were crazy & just being mean...oh how thankful I am for you watching over me
~sending me off to school each morning with a kiss...even when I started driving myself instead of you dropping me off
~taking us on family vacations to teach us about the world & how important family time can be
~helping me plan my wedding day while living at home with you & dad, I had the time of my life!
~for showing me what a loving, Godly, wife & mother is supposed to look like!

I love you mom, here's to many, many, many more years of being best friends!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Four Eyes No More

For most people who know my husband at all, it goes without saying that he was genetically gifted with a much less than perfect set of eyes. Not only does he have pretty bad vision, he was also discovered to be "color confused" at a fairly young age. He's not completely color blind, but it's pretty much a certainty that he doesn't see colors like everyone else.

In addition to these issues, after college and also a long drought from seeing an optometrist, a new doctor diagnosed him with yet another eye issue called Keratoconus. A normal cornea has a smooth concave shape but with this disease the cornea begins to develop a cone or for lack of a better term, the eye starts to develop a nipple type shape. With this diagnosis came a transition from soft lenses which were allowing the cone to become more pronounced to hard lenses which would hopefully smash down the cone & help with vision. Basically, when the cornea is cone shaped a soft contact lens cannot lay flat on the surface of the eye causing distortion--hard lenses are enough smaller that they will lay more flat & vision is greatly improved. For those of you who are wondering, the only surgery that will cure this particular disease is a corneal transplant & this hasn't been perfected enough for the doctor to consider this as an option...not to mention the fact that it's probably close to $10,000 per eye.

Hubby has definitely had his fair share of frustrations with the hard lenses including increased susceptibility to dust & light sensitivity. The light senstivity was becoming a major issue & Hubby scheduled an appointment with his doctor. The doctor was not concerned as light sensitivity or photophobia is common with those who have blue eyes & is increased with hard lenses that do not cover as much of the eye as soft lenses.

So...instead of one pair of contacts, Hubby is now sporting 2 pair--a soft contact with a hard contact on top in each eye. Yup, he's wearing 2 contacts in each eye. The doctor called this piggybacking & the hope is that the soft contact (with little to no prescription strength) will protect & shield the eye from light and the hard contact will continue to suppress the Keratoconus. Over the weekend Hubby was already able to tell a huge difference & is thrilled to have a solution to yet another eye issue.

Needless to say there have been plenty of vision jokes around our house in the past few days--
Six Eyes is now much more appropriate than four eyes. ;o)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

not just another day

I know for some people a birthday is really just another day with no celebration, no presents, no cake; however, in our family that couldn't be farther from the truth. Young or old, we still plan a celebration of everyone in my immediate family & most of the time we even get together for birthdays of my extended family (aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.) . For the most part presents are only involved for the immediate family members, but there's always cake, ice cream, & family!

Monday morning before heading off to work Hubby opened his presents from me & his parents (who made sure they were mailed in time to be here). I stuck with mostly clothes since that's what he had asked for. Most everything fit, but it never fails that something doesn't just work quite right. From his parents he got a Michigan Wolverine garden knome but probably even more special was his "bucket list." Together with his dad, Hubby has a fairly large, but mostly realistic goal to play golf at the Top 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses during his lifetime. Golf Digest produces a plaque with pegs to check off those that have been completed. Normally they are able to check off at least 1 course if not more per year...they better get busy if they're going to reach their goal! Hubby's dad already has a similar plaque and I'm so glad he now has one of his own. Golf is such a huge passion of his & I think this is such a fun goal for Hubby & his dad.

Hubby had no choice and married into our crazy (use any excuse to get together) family! So...on Monday night I planned a small get together of some close friends & family to celebrate Hubby's big day. Not everyone was able to come but we ended up with a great group & a great evening. I made chocolate cake with homemade cream cheese icing but also ordered a cookie cake with lots of icing which is Hubby's favorite. We didn't really need all that food, but I hadn't had chocolate cake in a long time & decided we'd just have an over abundance of sweets!
The spread...Yum!

Hubby & I with his golf-themed cookie cake!

Make a wish...I wonder what it was?!?
One of the gifts from my parents was a St. Louis Cardinal bean bag toss game. After it was opened my dad grabbed the camera & said "put your heads through the holes & we'll take a picture!" Why oh why do we always do stupid things when people tell us to?
Alright, so it's actually a pretty cute picture, but ridiculous!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Weekend Rewind

As you can see, things have been a little busy around our house since I'm just now getting to the weekend rewind post. We had lots going on this weekend & had an absolutely fabulous time!

I just had to show you our's going crazy this year & looks beautiful growing up the side of our house!

Friday night we grabbed a quick dinner at our local dairy queen, ran a few errands & headed back home. I ended up not having to work on Saturday morning so I made a quick decision to participate in the neighborhood garage sale. I spent a couple of hours gathering & organizing things from our closets, cabinets, & other hideaway places. We actually ended up with quite a bit of stuff--and good quality stuff that we either didn't use anymore or was just taking up space! Hubby was in charge of pricing everything and as he put it...everything was priced to move. We weren't really looking to make a ton of money I just wanted to get rid of the stuff!

This is what we started with...

So...I woke up early on Saturday morning to have the doors open by 7. The weather was gorgeous and in our little neighborhood I bet over 12 families set up shop! Hubby headed to class so I was left alone to make some money. I should probably say at this point that this was my first garage sale to host, my mom wasn't big into garage sales so we always ended up giving our stuff away to charity or sending it to someone else's garage sale for them to sell. So basically, this was a first for me!

The morning was incredibly busy with SOOOO many cars on the streets, it was crazy! By the time noon rolled around I was definitely ready to close up shop & I'd sold about all I figured I would...I actually made $130 in a little over 5 hours! Woohoo!

Out of everything this table is all we had left!

After the garage sale I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning house & packing up for a quick getaway to St. Louis. For a combined birthday gift & end of tax season present, I bought tickets for Hubby & I to go see the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday afternoon. Hubby got home from class about 4, we grabbed our stuff & headed out. We managed to get a quick bit of shopping in on Saturday night so I could get a few more things for our Mexico trip & then we called it a night. We headed over to Busch Stadium fairly early & I was ecstatic when I saw where our seats were! I'm gonna brag a minute...they were fabulous! We just love going to Cardinals games together! So fun!

The view from our seats
Of course we stuffed our faces with hot dogs, nachos, peanuts, & a cup of Ben & Jerry's ice cream! Not a healthy day, but that's not what ballpark food is all about! It was a beautiful day at the ballpark complete with a great hit by Mr. Albert Pujols to close out the game with a victory! Cards 6, Reds 0!!!
Fredbird was definitely celebrating the win!

Mr. Pujols with a postgame interview!

What a great way to celebrate Hubby's birthday & another complete tax season!

After the game we hopped in the car & headed home. We managed to get home in time to do some other work around the house & take Bogey for a nice long walk. I'm sure he wasn't too thrilled about us being gone! What a fabulous weekend!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Hubby's Happy Birthday!

Today, a tribute to my hubby. Happy Birthday!

A birthday from many, many years ago!

I can't wait to spend many, many more birthdays with you...even if I am a few months older! You truly make me laugh each day with your crazy antics & God definitely knew what he was doing when he sent you to me. You are my rock & my provider & I have no words to describe the joy I experience when we're together.

Happy Birthday Nick, you are truly the love of my life!