Hands down, taking a Babymoon was a great idea, perhaps one of our best – I’d encourage anyone to do it. Sure, it’s a vacation with a silly moniker attached, but it’s fun and blissful – and in our case, the last vacation as a family of two.
We spent four amazing nights and five days at the Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta, a beautiful, secluded, all-inclusive resort in the “Romantic Zone” of the city (aka south of the city, on the Bay of Banderas). Every day, we alternated between beach and pool, beneath the palapa or the umbrella. Every night, the sunset was phenomenal – God really showed off his artistic abilities. There were several serious conversations about “was this better than our honeymoon?” Although we never determined a solid yes/no (settling on “it’s just DIFFERENT and AMAZING!”), I think if I’d been able to drink the fruity adult beverages and do something adventurous (say, ziplining), it may have put it over the top.
This vacation was a stark contrast from last summer’s big Euro Trip. There, we were blowing and going, seeing 5 things per day and running around like lunatics. This time, we slept late, ate whatever/whenever/for free, toured nothing and were extremely lazy. I read TWO books. It was GLORIOUS.
Holy cow. It’s June 17. Where has the time gone?!
School is out and Chad is loving having the summer off – I mean who wouldn’t?! If we both had the summer off, we’d probably go on some epic road trip. Sadly, I do not…but a girl can dream!
Cooper is now 16.8 pounds – and still as cute as ever! He’s a favorite at the vet and has seriously never met a stranger. He loves everyone! We think he might have an ear infection, so we’re monitoring that situation and not giving him any of the new treats we bought him (sometimes food causes them).
Yesterday was Father’s Day and we got Chad’s stepdad (Brent) tickets to the Lions/Patriots preseason (week 3) game! He’s excited (I think he thought we were joking him when he opened the gift!) but now faces the difficult decision of who to take with him to the game – son, daughter or wife? I do not envy him! Too bad I can’t throw MY hat into the ring!
We’re hoping to go see Chad’s grandpa and his wife this August (and his family would meet us there, from Michigan), which is always an amazing time. Fingers crossed that the dates, price and vacation times all line up! Who doesn’t love the white sand of Ft. Myers Beach?! No one. Also, we did get to see Colleen (grandpa’s aforementioned wife) on Saturday night, as she was in town visiting her sister, who lives in Kingwood. A delicious fish dinner, wine and great conversation were had by all!
And on a sad note, the center stone of my engagement ring was dangerously loose and the prongs were badly misaligned, so I had to give my ring to the jeweler for repair. They won’t be ready until Saturday at the earliest – BOO! I haven’t taken them off since I got them and my finger feels naked :( I tried to convince Chad that he should buy me a placeholder ring while we were at the jeweler, but he wasn’t buying it. Thus, I’ve replaced it with my pre-wedding James Avery ring that Chad got me.
So that’s that!
I LOVED The Devil Wears Prada. Book and movie. Plus, I love Anne Hathaway. I digress…
Chasing Harry Winston is by the same author as my beloved The Devil Wears Prada, and when I was searching for an easy “beachy” read (even though it was for the flight to/from Vancouver), this bad boy was on sale at Barnes and Noble. You had me at hello.
CHW tells the story of three best friends in Manhattan, all looking for “The One.” Well, sort of. One is in a “perfect” relationship with the world’s dreamiest man – except she isn’t in love with him. Another gets her heart broken when her longtime boyfriend dumps her for his younger personal trainer. And the last is a Brazilian multimillionaire who sees men as nothing more than sexual conquests – and she’s winning. Over dinner and drinks (of course), the girls make a pact that sends them on interesting journeys for 1 year.
Let’s be clear – this was not a brain buster. But for what it was, it was entertaining. Headed to a beach soon? Taking a long flight? Taking a long flight to a beach? Consider this one!
One year ago today, I packed up all of my earthly belongings and drove away from my childhood home, where my entire family lives on a single street in a city with a population of 291, en route to Little Rock, Arkansas. Chad and I had been dating for just over three years, living 6.5 hours apart the entire time. I’d secured myself a job and a place to live, and had it on good authority that Chad would propose before the year was up (read: I made him promise he would propose before the year was up before I agreed to move out of state).
So many things have happened in the past 365 days – it’s almost unreal. I started a new job. I moved – twice. We joined our first church together. I got engaged! Chad and I took our first vacation together (the engagement cruise). I planned a wedding. I made approximately 16 round-trip flights to Houston for family, holiday and wedding-related things (both my wedding and others). WE GOT MARRIED. We honeymooned in Mexico for the most amazing week of my life. I made significant accomplishments at work. The list goes on and on…
When I look back on it, there is a huge mixture of emotions that I can recall. Lots of nerves when I first moved here. Joy from seeing Chad several times a week, rather than once every 8 weeks. Pure elation and shock when Chad proposed. Stress when it came to wedding planning. A complete surrealism as I walked down the aisle. Total relaxation on the pristine beaches of Playa del Carmen – and so much more.
Yes, it has been quite a year for me/us. It’s amazing how so much can change in such a short time. Let’s all just make sure we’re taking the time to ENJOY life!
Here’s the past 365 days in a slideshow (just the highlights!):
Hello, everyone! I’m sure you could tell from the two-week hiatus that something big was up – and it was! Our wedding! After months of planning and years of dreaming, the Big Day was finally here – and it was everything we’ve ever wanted and so much more.
I could never begin to thank our friends and family for all of their love and support throughout the wedding planning and execution process – I can only hope that you walked away thinking it was all worth it! We are settling into married life well (despite my working 17 hour days the first week of living in the real world as a married woman), but of course the journey will continue on forever. Here’s a bit of what’s been going on in our lives since July 15, 2011:
1. WE GOT MARRIED. It was the most beautiful ceremony in the most beautiful church on the planet. Don’t believe me? Head on over to my Facebook page and check out the pictures I’ve been tagged in recently :) And for those of you in the Houston area looking for wedding venues – I highly recommend Woodlands Church and Belle Rose Maison. They were beyond amazing to work with!
2. WE WENT ON OUR HONEYMOON. Oh Mexico. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways… I mean really you can’t say anything bad about an all-inclusive, adults-only 4-star resort. Our room was right on the beach with a balcony that overlooked the ocean, and we could leave the doors and windows open to hear the waves crashing. There were 9 restaurants, 2 swim-up bars and endless ways to entertain ourselves. Can I go back now? Oh – and did I mention we got upgraded to first class on the way there? Because we got upgraded to first class on the way there. THAT was awesome!
3. WE CAME BACK TO ARKANSAS. Where I worked 17-hour days preparing to announce the new CEO of my company. Despite the long hours, everything went off without a hitch and it was an amazing professional growth opportunity. I am thankful that I was able to be a part of it, but I am also thankful it’s over :)
I think that about sums it up! But perhaps the pictures would help better…
So, lots of you have been calling/texting/talking/FBing/tweeting/etc-ing me about the wedding and whether or not I am excited. Of course I am excited! But I’ve been keeping it cool and just trying to focus on the day ahead of me, rather than the day 4 days ahead of me :) After all, there are still several things I have to accomplish both in Little Rock and in Houston before I say “I do,” not the least of which include making a huge presentation to my CEO today, driving 7 hours to Houston and getting a marriage license. So as you can see – there are plenty of things to overcome before I can TRULY focus on the wedding and get PUMPED.
However, I did get that feeling of OMG THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING last night as I began to pack my bag for the honeymoon. There is something about filling a suitcase with only flowy cotton dresses and bathing suits that fills my heart with joy :) I can’t wait to be on that perfect white sand beach, overlooking the clear, turquoise water – heaven!
…and then I checked the weather for Playa del Carmen for when we’ll be there. Rain (40-60% chance) EVERY. DAY. Dear reality – YOU SUCK. Why must you ruin my fantasy??
We’re back from sunny Florida, and what a GREAT trip it was! Some awesome time with my future in-laws and picture perfect weather. Seriously, not a cloud in the sky and 85 degrees for an entire week – it was HEAVEN!
As some of you know, Chad’s grandpa lives in Bonita Springs, Florida (right between Fort Myers and Naples). We made the trip down and met up with his entire immediate family for the first time in two years – it was worth the wait! Between beach trips, pool parties, hot tubs, shopping, dog tracks and DELICIOUS food, I really can’t say that I would have changed a single thing! Well, unless we could have stayed longer!
I took a million photos, but of course my camera cord is at Chad’s house – so I’ll have to post those later (probably on Facebook). It was sad to say goodbye to everyone, but we were excited about the fact that the next time we’ll all be together is for the WEDDING!!! YAY!!!
So, what has been YOUR favorite family vacation?