Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My Caribbean lucky am I?

Last week my dental office went on a Caribbean cruise for 4 days. I am only working very part-time but they took me anyway. Isn't that nice? Travis and I decided it would be much more cost efficient for him to stay home and play Mr. Mom, so off I went not quite knowing what to do with myself and all MY OWN free time. Travis does such a tremendous job with the kids and the house, but I must say I was a little concerned with how prepared he was just 2 weeks after completing radiation. Thankfully, he was brilliant and everyone had a good time at home. Of course, I had the best time ever. I really needed a break. It was amazing. 

This is at the second port in Cozemel. My ship was called "Grandeur of the Sea." 

My roommate, Ally and I along with 3 others from my office went on a 2 tank dive in Cozemel, Mexico. This dive spot is among the top few diving areas in the world. The water was was a comfortable 78-80 degrees. We went over 80 feet down and the visibility was over 90 feet. We saw vibrant fish and coral as well as lobster and crab. We swam through a couple of tunnels. Happily we saw nothing scary. Who isn't terrified at the thought of a shark encounter?

I am standing on the southernmost point of Key West on a pier. The water was the most gorgeous color and SUPER clear. Ally and I got a Pina Colada (virgin, of course) and walked around the pier and soaked up the scenery.
For almost the same price as a bus tour, we were able to rent scooters and cruise around the 2 by 4 mile island at our leisure. I felt a little dangerous, but cannot deny what a blast it was to see the whole island from a scooter. I loved every minute of it. I topped out at 26 mph. It was hilarious!
We had a great time on the ship and did a lot of eating and laughing. We went to shows every night and I even ended up singing a little Britney Spears at Karaoke Night. Talk about moving outside my comfort zone. My friend, Heather, sang  Madonna and ended up winning 3rd place in the finals on our last night. What makes it so unbelievable is that she is usually very quite and conservative at the office. Did I mention she is a dentist and mother of 4? She blew us all away. She pulled out moves I haven't seen since the 80's like the Roger Rabbit and the Running Man. She definitely tapped into a hidden talent.

I also did well in the negotiating department in Mexico on a shopping adventure. I got some lovely pieces of silver and haggled my way down to a fair price. I enjoyed that quite a lot. Oh, did I mention that I got bitten on the face by a macaw while being photographed with 3 of them on my shoulders and head? That was interesting. 

 I loved the chance to get away and recharge my "Andrea" battery. It felt great to laugh and do nothing but entertain myself for 4 straight days. But I have to admit, I got a little antsy towards the end and my instinct to get home and take care of my family really kicked in. My love and appreciation for Travis only grew while I was away. I came home Monday night to happy kids and a clean house. Travis is quite the guy, huh? It's so cliche but true, "absence makes the heart grow fonder."  I have a truly blessed life.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Utah Trip

Travis and I spent the weekend in Utah as an "end of radiation celebration trip." We went with our friends, Kathryn and Randy, and had the absolute best time. We met up with some other great friends who recently moved to Draper, Mike and Angie. We went to the BYU game on Saturday and watched San Diego get beat badly. The weather was and sunny. I got to wrap up in a coat, scarf and gloves- my favorite things. There was even snow on the ground and the mountains were completely covered. We slept in, ate lots of yummy food, and enjoyed every minute of freedom from the kids.
We stayed at the Marriott Residence Inn in Provo. We spent both nights hanging out playing games, watching movies, and eating treats. The boys enjoyed the game, "Settlers" (thanks, Mike) while the girls preferred visiting in the other room. But is was all a fabulous time and a much needed vacation. 

Cheese frys and hickory sauce from Training Table, Brick Oven Pizza, Downeast Outfitter Outlet (outlets are always a must since everything's so cheap, right?), Tai Pan Trading (Kathryn and I wanted a U-Haul to take home all the stuff we fell in love with), and of course the BYU Bookstore for cool souvenirs, brunch at The Homestead (did you know you can scuba dive in the hot springs crater there? We are definitely bringing swimsuits next time), the view....Timpanogos Mountain is breathtaking! Spending time with friends.......

Hot chicks

We love our wonderful friends. We are so blessed to have such amazing people in our lives. 

My honey and me

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Fun-Filled Halloween

Olivia and her friend, Megan with balloon versions of themselves. Amazing and so cute!

Bumble Bee Maizy after face paint.

Me with Lil' Pumpkin Paisley. (4 weeks old)

A 6 year old me as a princess with my brother, 4 year old Josh (scary pirate) and 2 year old Emily as a bunny rabbit. (my mom worked the pink coat into the costume.....clever.) Those were the days when everyone wore homemade costumes. I'd like to get back to that. How about starting next Halloween?
We have been lucky enough to attend a huge Halloween party at my brother-in-law's Aunt Sandy's home the past several years.  It the party of the year and my kids never want to miss it. There is an incredible balloon guy, a face painter,  inflatable jumps and (BIG) slides as well as decked out food tables with Halloween named items and treats from Sweet Cakes. She has a complete Halloween village from Department 56 that my kids love to stare at and her home is decorated in every nook and cranny. Most everyone is dressed up and everyone has a great time.
Ryan is waiting patiently for his turn with the balloon guy. He requested a RED pumpkin. He was very specific about the color. Now this balloon guy can do amazing creations, anything the kids ask for. Ryan is a boy of simple taste, apparently. 

Our little Queen Amidala (from Star Wars) wasn't complete without her crown.

My mom, Juanita, with my niece, Maizy the Bumble Bee.

My niece, Miah (aka Sleeping Beauty) and Ryan or Jango Fett. (bounty hunter from Star Wars)

My whole Star Wars clad gang. I just love how Ethan (Jedi Obi Wan) poses. He knows how to work it out with the camera. 

I remember the excitement of Halloween evening when I was a kid. Getting my costume on and feeling that thrill of what the night would hold. (of course that being to get as much candy as possible.) My mom always made all of us kids eat a good dinner before we went trick or treating. I could hardly stand the waiting! 

Living in Utah meant that half the time we had to wear coats over our costumes. Now what would that be like? My Arizona kids will never know.