Tag Archives: Mexico

37 Weeks!

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I’m 37 weeks pregnant today, which is a milestone – if Luke is born, a stay in the NICU is no longer required! That doesn’t mean it won’t happen (though we pray it doesn’t!), but it’s not a certainty – and I like that.

Luke is head down (not breech – yay!) and I have no idea if he has “dropped” yet. How do I tell? The list of things I don’t know grows by the day.

However, the list of things that need to be done before Luke arrives is getting shorter (yes, there is a literal list hanging on the fridge). Once I cross everything off, feel free to come out and play, Little Guy!

We will have a final growth scan next Thursday, so please keep praying that Luke is getting bigger and that my fluid levels are rising (or are at least above 5). Now that I’m drinking at least 100 ounces of water per day, I feel his kicks a lot more! I think he’s swimming in all of the extra fluid :)

Finally, Mom, Chris, Kourt and the kids are on a cruise to Mexico, Belize and Honduras until Sunday – and of course mom is freaking out about Luke coming while she’s at sea. I don’t see it happening, and I’m happy to report that we are now half way through their vacation with no signs of labor (knock on wood)! Let’s keep Luke cooking until Nana and Company return :)

Babymoon!

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Babymoon!

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.

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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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Married!!!

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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…

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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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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!