Tag Archives: Cozumel

365 Days

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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!):

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Recapping the Cruise

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Well, you all already know mine and Chad’s favorite part of the cruise – ENGAGEMENT! However, some other stuff did go down during those 4 magical days on the Carnival Elation – so in case you care, here are the highlights:

Wednesday, December¬†8 – The Day Before We Leave: Chad’s birthday! Except he had to work late :( Originally, he was going to get off at 6…then 7…then 8…and finally he showed up at 8:40. While waiting, I managed to get my nails done (that came in handy!), buy some new makeup, pace back and forth in his apartment (the ring was in the SAME ROOM and I had no idea!) and take out my frustration via Twitter. We had a romantic dinner of sandwiches in the car as we drove to Jackson, MS, to spend the night. All was well until we got to Pine Bluff, AR, where we encoungetered the thickest, scariest fog ever. I put my big girl pants on and forged ahead, keeping the end goal in mind, but inside I was terrified – it was like a horror movie! Speaking of horror movies, at one point while driving I suddenly came up on some bright lights RIGHT IN MY FACE. I screamed HOLY CRAP! and my heart was RACING. What was it, you ask? A cross covered in Christmas lights. Yeah, I know. Embarrassing.

Thursday, December 9 – Day 1: Hooray! The day is finally here! We had an icky hotel breakfast and quickly got back on the road. Across the street from the hotel was a Dunkin’ Donuts (too bad we hadn’t seen it at 2 a.m. when we arrived or we could have skipped the icky hotel breakfast!), and you bet your bottom dollar I hit that up! We made the 3-hour trek down to Mobile, AL, and boarded our home for the next 4 days – the Carnival Elation. We ate and explored our way around the ship before finally making it to the casino after dinner. A few hours later, we were up $300 and called it quits – SUCCESS!

Friday, December 10 – Day 2: We started the day laying out by the pool and in the hot tub, enjoyed some trivia and a show, headed to dinner, GOT ENGAGED, and then hit up a comedy show. Obviously the best part of this was when we got engaged – which you can read more about in my last post. (Have tissues handy!)

Saturday, December 11 – Day 3: Our first day as an engaged couple! We spent it on a gorgeous Mexican beach, on the secluded southern tip of Cozumel. It was perfect – 80 degrees, sunny, two beach chairs, an umbrella, adult beverages, the best fajitas ever, magazines and FIANCES! Seriously, I could not have imagined a more perfect day in my life.

Sunday, December 12 – Day 4: This day…not so good. From perfection the day before, this day brought 65 MPH winds, 10 foot waves and a ship that rocked back and forth violently ALL DAY. Of course, it made me nauseus all day, so I didn’t get out of bed. Chad and I watched football and every ship event was cancelled :(

Monday, December 13 – We’re home: We got back into Mobile, got off the ship and got on the phone – calling every person we’d ever met in our lives :) Chad drove the 8 hours back home while I told our engagement story over and over again – and he didn’t complain once :) We even rocked out to the wedding playlists he’d made – grouped by ceremony, dinner and reception. This is why I love him!

All in all, it was the most amazing vacation of my life, with the love of my life!

The Proposal!

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First of all, THANK YOU to all of my wonderful friends and family who have congratulated us and sent their well wishes upon our engagement! We are SO excited and SO blessed in SO many ways!!!

I know I’ve told a lot of you already, but here’s the proposal story :) And if you read this and hear me telling it again (and again, and again), just go with it :) It’s a good story!

It was the second night of the cruise – the night of formal dinner on the ship. Chad and I got all dressed up in our best outfits and headed to the first of Carnival’s onboard dance shows. During the show, I sat as I always do – with my hand on Chad’s leg. Little did I know that it was a mere inches away from the box that held my gorgeous engagement ring! After the show, we met up with some of the ship friends we’d made and Chad suggested they take pictures of us in the big atrium. I shot him down, saying we needed to go pick up our fancy bottle of expensive wine I won at a museum benefit a while back and then head straight to dinner. At dinner, I once again sat on Chad’s left – the side of the ring box pocket – which made him nervous. We made it through dinner (and the bottle of wine) and Chad suggested we leave with the other couple from our table. I shot him down, saying I wanted to relax and finish my wine. Finally, I said I was ready to go and that I wanted to take a picture by the Christmas tree in the front of the dining room – Chad eagerly agreed :)

I handed the camera to the hostess (who, unbeknownst to me, was an accomplice to Chad’s plan) and was about to turn around for the picture. Behind me, I hear Chad say, “Are you ready for this?” and as I turn to say “Well yeah, it’s just a picture,” there he was, down on one knee! I said “Oh. My. God.” and immediately began crying as he said “I knew from the moment I met you that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?” I immediately said YES! and he stood up to give me a big hug and put the ring on my finger :) I said yes again – just to make sure he heard me :) The whole time, the hostess was taking pictures of us, so we have THE most perfect pictures from the engagement that are absolutely priceless to me.

The ring is an emerald cut diamond set on a white gold band of smaller diamonds – and it’s better than anything I’ve ever dreamed of. Later I found out Chad has had it for MONTHS – clearly he is more patient than I am :) All in all, it was the perfect engagement, the perfect ring, and the perfect man – I could not be happier!

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And Then There Were Two…

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Yes, TWO days til the cruise! I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am :) However, there are still about 9 million things I need to do between now and 6 p.m. tomorrow, so there’s always the last minute stress that comes with that. Am I alone here?

Does anyone else wait until the last minute to do things, or is that just me? Sure, I planned out and packed all of my cute outfits last night, but you can’t be 100% packed because of the necessities that require waiting until the last minute. Plus I have to make sure that Chad has everything he needs too – heaven forbit we forget an essential, like a passport, bathing suit, etc. And then there’s work, which is actually really busy right now! SIGH.

Woo-sah. Two days. Just two more days.

Time to Get Serious

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Okay, y’all. There are 19 days until the cruise. It is crunch time – literally, it is time for crunches.

I was doing really well on the excercise bandwagon for about a week. Then work got insane and I went to Seattle, so I fell off and rolled a few miles off course. However, I jumped back on last night, and I must admit that I feel GREAT today! Hopefully this is the kickstart I needed to get my butt in gear for the next 19 days :) (Thanks, Carnival, for the countdown to my cruise on your homepage.)

That being said, Thanksgiving is next week. That’s going to be rough. With my family in town and holidays to celebrate, it will be quite a challenge to eat well and stay active, but I’m going to do my best. If anyone here in Little Rock wants to hike Pinnacle or do anything else active during Thanksgiving week, please let me know! I will do it with you!

SURPRISE!!! IT’S TRUE!!!

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Oh. My. Gosh. you guys!!! I’ve been waiting a few days to tell you this because I had to let it sink in and be 100% true it was for real – but I am SO happy to announce that Chad and I are going to MEXICO December 9-13!!! It will be our very first trip together and Chad’s first trip out of the country. I cannot tell you just how excited I am about this – I LOVE to travel, and I love Chad, so this is the best of both worlds!!

Chad surprised me on Wednesday night by saying “You need to request off of work, and research which cruise you want to go on in December – we’re going.” That’s all I needed to hear!! Needless to say, I was ALL OVER IT and could not have been happier or more surprised. Chad knows how much I love surprises and “just because” things (not to mention my OCD love of planning!), so it’s like I got multiple gifts – the surprise, the planning and the trip itself :)

We decided to combine his birthday (December 8), Christmas and my birthday (February 7) into one big present. We got a great deal on the cruise and I am anxiously counting down the days until we are living it up on the Carnival Elation. We’re leaving out of Mobile, Alabama, and will be gone for 4 days, stopping in Cozumel, Mexico for some beach frolicking. What’s better, Carnival upgraded our room because I’m a past guest and because it’s Chad’s birthday – we’ll also receive the anniversary package because we weren’t able to celebrate our 3rd anniversary in July because Chad was busy moving to Little Rock! It’s like 4 holidays in 1!!! HOLLA!!!

The last time I went on a cruise to Cozumel it was with my BESTIE (Lindsay) and the good doctor (Andrew), and that was definitely a good time. This trip will be a little different – no longer am I a single 21 year old in her senior year of college – but it will definitely be amazing :)


46 days!!!