Monday, April 27, 2009

Our Caribbean Cruise

Well here we go - pictures of the trip we just got back from. This was a trip from one of our blind suppliers (possibly the last one we'll earn for a long time at the rate things are going....) I was a little bit nervous about going on a cruise because our last time wasn't our favorite vacation (fun - but not our favorite). But then our friends Mindy & Jesse decided to come with us, and we had a great time!

The cruise left from Ft. Lauderdale, FL on Monday. After a lot of traveling (we left Sunday night from our local airport) we *finally* boarded the ship. We didn't leave until Monday evening, and the weather started out pretty crummy. We were nervous that it would be like the last cruise (which rained almost the whole time), but the weather did clear up later in the trip. Our cabin didn't have a balcony (like Jesse and Mindy's did) - but it was actually pretty big. Almost twice the size of our room on the last cruise! It didn't feel cramped at all, it was quite nice.

Tuesday we docked at Nassau, Bahamas. We took a tour on segways and it was a BLAST! It took a little time to get adjusted to the segways and how they worked, but by the end we were wishing that we had more time to play around on them. Then we came back to the port area. We went shopping and had lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe (where my food came back un-cooked - blech!). On the way back to the ship the weather fell apart and it started POURING rain, which was quite funny because after we came back to the ship and were SOAKED - but then it stopped raining almost as quickly as it started.

Wednesday we docked at a place called Half Moon Cay - Carnival Cruise Line's private island. We settled in on the beach (a gorgeous place!) and relaxed a bit. Then we headed over to another part of the island to swim with the Sting Rays. We had done something similar in Grand Cayman on our last cruise and I have to admit...I was a little bit disappointed in it this time.....we were in a caged in place, there were only 9 sting-rays, and they were kind of strict with how we interacted with them (we weren't supposed to stand up -we were just supposed to swim around). We fed them squid....but it was weird because we almost couldn't feel the food being sucked out of our hands...then afterwards we ate some lunch, swam a bit in the water and relaxed in the shade on the island.

Thursday we docked at the island of Grand Turk. We took a small tour around the island before heading to the place we were doing our Power Snorkel trip. This island had been hit by hurricane season last fall and it was still devastated. It was heartbreaking to look around and see all of the destruction and messes, not to mention the poverty. It was sad to see. We went to this little place on the beach to try Power Snorkel - otherwise known as "the lazy-man's snorkeling" or even referred to as "James Bond snorkeling". It was fun to do something new....but I love "normal" snorkeling so much that it was hard to do something different. This didn't seem as relaxing....but we did get to cover a lot more "ground" (or water) - because we were getting drug around with our motors. We saw some amazing stuff - TONZ of fish of all different sizes, sting-rays (which were cooler to see in the wild), and even several small groups of barracudas. It was so neat! We were swimming in an area that was 15-25 feet deep. Then there was a drop off (like on the movie Finding Nemo) that dropped off to 7,000 FEET! It was gorgeous. I didn't get as many pictures as I would have liked to....but it was pretty amazing. My snorkel was HORRIBLE, and towards the end I was getting really tired from having issues with it (not breathing right, getting water in it, etc) - but it was great.

Friday was our only full day at sea. We spent a lot of time laying around in the sun (covered in sun-block...well at least I was). We watched people, read, listened to our iPods, ate, etc. A lazy day, but it was wonderful - I could do with lots more "lazy days".

Saturday we got off the ship and spent a lot of time in airports before finally arriving home.

It was fantastic to be on a trip with my sweetheart and with good friends. We had fun, laughed, ate WAY too much, did some new things, and got "away". We have been so lucky/blessed to be able to go on these trips over the last few years. That has definitely been a wonderful perk of our window covering business. It has enabled us to see many places, do wonderful things, and explore parts of the world we wouldn't otherwise have gotten to see. I am so grateful for that!

falling in love.....

Ok - I know my birthday is a ways away - but I'm starting my wish-list early this year :)

Isn't this camera bag fantastic??? I saw it in Scrapbooks Etc and I think I might actually be in love.


I thought I was going to get all kinds of digi-scrapping done on our trip....nope. But here are a few layouts I've done lately.

Also - just a reminder that today is Elemental Scraps $1.00 days today. Some cute stuff there for a good deal (and I'm all for a good deal!)

Nana and Papa

While Cory & I were on our trip this last week my parents were so great and came to watch the boys for us. My dad loves National Parks so they took an outing 2 of the days - one to Bryce Canyon, and one to Zion's National Park. I'm so glad they took pictures so we could see how cute they were and the fun they had.

I'm so grateful that my parents came to spend time with the boys, and to help us out while we were gone. My mom has come to watch the boys when we've traveled before - but my Dad has always stayed home to work. This time he took time off to come with her. I hope it didn't wear them out too much. :) It was great to have loving family watch the boys - I didn't worry about them for even a second.

We are so blessed to have supportive family members on both sides of the family - pretty darn blessed!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Spring Break with the cousins

A few weeks back Gabe and Hunter took off for a week at Grandma and Grandpa Ellis's house. The Mullen cousins, Aunt Ashley, Aunt Kori and Baby V were all going to be at Grandma's house, so we met up with Grandpa and he took the boys up for almost a week! Cory and I enjoyed some reconnecting time at home, and the boys had a BLAST with their cousins, aunts, and awesome grandparents. They made crafts, treats, went to the planetarium, had a great FHE (dressing up as prophets and learning the stories in the scriptures), trips to get kids meals, treats, and fun!

Thanks again for everyone who made the fantastic week happen - great memories for sure!