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let the gratitude begin!

1. sunshine that now greets my early morning instead of darkness

2. time with far-away friends

3. finally meeting far-away friend's offspring

4. baby smiles

5. a successful business trip

6. surprise orange julius from a friend

7. cell phones for a cross country "good night"

8. afternoon walks

9. cherry blossoms and other fresh blooms

10. a safe return

11. a morning latte after a late night airport pick up

12. a smile and a "its good to be home"

13. exciting conversations about upcoming opportunities

14. learning of someones FIFTH baby on the way

15. God given joy in my job

To learn more about the gratitude community click here.

thoughts for a tuesday morning

Dave has been in Alabama for two days. Alabama. Very random. He has been there on business and thankfully will be back tonight. I've decided that it's easier to have him gone on weekends (for fishing trips or what have you) than during the week because there isn't a set routine on the weekends and he's just so part of my every day routine. We miss him.
I never really think about Alabama much. Sorry to you Alabamians. Alamamites? It's just one of those states down there with Arkansas and Missouri and Mississippi that just get all lumped together in my mind. Maybe that's because I have never been there. Actually I may have driven through on my way to Louisiana once. Does that count? Anyway, I think I would like to visit. I'm just saying.
I think I may have only put deodorant under one arm this morning. I'm telling you, my routine is all goofed up.
I spent last night with two out of town friends. So.Much.Fun. We laughed until we cried and then we laughed some more. Oh how I miss them. It's hard when friends move away and friendships change. Laughter and Sebastian Joe's makes everything a little bit better.
I was introduced a while back to this website by my sister-in-law. It's so beautifully written. I love to read it in the morning as a little devotional, especially if I've waltzed out the door without reading my Bible. It just helps to get my heart in the right place. She started a Gratitude Community and I'm going to join. The author said her life has been transformed by taking note of and being grateful for things big and small. I encourage you to join as well! We can be grateful together.

Cruisin': Odds and Ends

This is the last cruise post. I promise.

I just couldn't sleep at night knowing that I've deprived you of photographic gold such as this:

Every night our steward made a creature out of a towel. That is some serious talent.

And just as awesome were our outfits for one of the "elegant" nights. My sister designed and crafted a dress for me and Dave donned a vintage jacket. We were all matchy matchy.

Our last night we dined at the fancy restaurant on board and Dave got a steak the size of his head.

Well that's all folks. Now it's back to the hum drum of our normal lives, Aren't you excited??

Cruisin': Cozumel

Cozumel was our last stop. It was relaxing as we spent the whole time lounging on the beach.

Correction: the girls spent the day lounging on the beach. The boys spent their day in the following way:

This is where Amanda and I camped out. Behold our little slice of heaven:

Lessons learned in Mexico:
1. no matter how much sun screen you put on, you WILL get burned
2. all you can eat and drink deals may not be worth it
3. don't be too hasty to purchase vanilla because a better deal is sure to come along
4. renting an umbrella is always a good idea
5. get back to the ship late and they will leave you behind! We didn't have to learn this lesson fortunately, but they did leave a few people behind in Cozumel. They are most likely still boozing it up at the Three Amigos bar. Smooth Move.

In other news.....

The dryer is working again....for now! Two nights of working on it, and it's back to life. My dad helped me, and put in some serious late night work. THANKS DAD! We figured out what the problem was....there was a dog stuck in it!!! HA HA HA HA HA LOL, J/K, ROFL.

thoughts - monday morning edition

There are clothes draped all over our furniture because our dryer is broken. Bummer! Hopefully it can be fixed and we don't have to get a new one. A new appliance is not really in the budget right now. But Dave did make a pretty cool clothes line in the back yard.
We spent part of Saturday afternoon at a biker bar. My brother's band was playing there. It was really more of a death metal venue than a biker bar. Either way, the band was out of place and so were we. Although - I did see some biker/death metal dudes totally getting into it. Those body tattoos and spiky bracelets don't fool me. Those guys are all giant teddy bears!
Am I ever going to finish the Cruisin' series of posts?? Probably. It's harder to do posts now because I don't lug my new camera to work with me to dump the pictures on my computer like I did with my old camera. That means I have to do all my posting at home. We are never home. Herein lies the problem.
Dave and I had a family meeting yesterday for that very reason. We need to be home more often. Our house is stressing me out because we are never home long enough to clean it, only to come in and make it messy and leave again. We decided things need to change. We need to schedule time to just be at home. That sounds ridiculous, but it's true. I'm looking forward to more time at home, time in the garden, time to organize and clean, time with each other. It will be glorious.

Hey Everybody, Dave at your service. I had a picture of the make-shift clothesline, and I thought I would add it in.

Cruisin': Belize City

I am a city girl. I love the hustle and bustle, the excitement, the architecture, especially in old cities. Belize City, however, is not exactly on my list of top 10 favorites. And perhaps it's because we never got very far away from where we docked, but there were just people everywhere asking us for money, or asking us to buy them booze, or trying to sell us drugs, or..other services. It wasn't all bad. We got a chance to walk around a bit of the city and see an old cathedral.

But after we left the cathedral area, a man named Harry latched on to our group and he was trouble. He was very friendly at first but after a while he got a bit inappropriate with me and Amanda, so we decided it was time to leave.

Our time in Belize city was short, but eventful, and completely different than our first trip to Belize.

All in all, I'm glad we saw a different side of Belize, even though it was a frustrating, uncomfortable side. It makes for a more well rounded, real experience.

Cruisin': Isla Roatan

The second stop was quite possibly my favorite. It was a little island off the coast of Honduras. At first we were a bit disgusted by the artificial "village" that they shuffled us into when we docked (wanting us to stay in one area and spend all our money) but we were able to get out of that area and see some of the real Roatan.

We hired Arturo to take us to a few places and it was money well spent. He was great! First he took us up a crazy steep road to a "look out" over the ocean.

Next, we requested a visit to the monkeys, which I can assure you was Dave's favorite part.

And finally we hit the beach and thankfully one that was not riddled with other cruisers.

Look at that water! Nothing says tropical paradise like two toned water.

Dear Isla Roatan, you are one fantastic little island!

Cruisin' : Grand Cayman

Say hello to our friends Caleb and Amanda.

They live on the other side of the world so it was pretty much the best day of our lives when they said they could join us on our cruise. Really. We did happy dances.

We met up in Miami and then sailed the open seas for one whole week. It was bliss.

Grand Cayman was our first stop.

We drove around in this:

And spent a bit of time here

We didn't have much time on the island, and it was quite cloudy that day so we just tooled around in our sweet jeep and ended up at this restaurant

It was called Vivine's Kitchen and it was literally her kitchen. As in..she lived there and cooked and served out of her actual kitchen. She had a great seating area in the back equipped with hammocks.

As Amanda would say, the food was "yum."

That's all for tonight kids. I promise I will be back with more soon. Oh so much more.


Since we are having issues putting a trip post together (mostly because we haven't been home since coming home) I thought I would give you this mouth watering picture of Isla Roatan, which was one of our stops.

A real post is coming soon, I promise!