Thursday, August 26, 2010

Our 3rd day was spent off ship (YEA!) in Cozumel.  It was DREADFULLY hot when we got off the ship and terribly humid.  But, we were headed to a water park so we were (somewhat) prepared!!

The front of our ship docked in Cozumel
After walking around waiting for the water park to open up, we wanted to eat pretty quickly after we got in!  We had a hamburger - (at least that's what they SAID it was...)
We played in the sand and water in this little bitty lagoon area.  It's actually the only part of the beach that isn't rocky with cliffs.  It's the only place you can walk down into the water like this!  Malachi had a BLAST!
Exfoliating Daddy's skin!  He LOVED smushing the sand all over Daddy!!
Overlooking the ocean - it was gorgeous!
All the little huts towards the middle of the picture were places where you could rent snorkling gear.  So, mom and I did!!  We snorkled for about an hour, then Thomas and Tanner joined us for a little while.  Thomas, however, was NOT into it, so he got out about 15 minutes later!
Finally it was time to rinse off in the fountains before getting back into the taxi!  (BTW - "air conditioning" in Mexico is rolling the windows down and driving like a maniac...just thought you might want to know)
We got back that afternoon and freshened up before dinner.  Lolli and Pops took Malachi so we could have some quiet time together and we sat and talked for about an hour and a half just looking out over Cozumel!  It was wonderful!
That night at dinner was "Italian" night and during one of the songs everybody twirled their napkins in the air!  SO FUN!
This is a terrible picture of Malachi, but the best one that any of us had of Barb, our waitress.  She was fantastic and in LOVE with Malachi.  (common theme throughout the cruise)  He thought pretty highly of her too and it's taken about a month for him to stop asking for her!
My dessert that night with my husband's artistic flair!  Sweet thought!
There are only so many ways you can keep a 2 year old entertained.  This was one of them!
Pops and Mali resting after eating dinner! 
The rose guy loved Malachi too and gave him a rose after dinner.  So, he did what any good grandson would do, he gave it to Lolli!!
So she took him dancing! 
Then he started dancing with these two sweet people.  That gentleman is 80 years old and the lady with him is his daughter.  Malachi just went right up to them and they took to him so well!  Then, after the dance, he gave Malachi a gold dollar which now resides in his piggy bank for safe-keeping!  SO sweet!
Our next day looked a lot like this...RAIN!  We ported in Key West and had about an hour before it started POURING down rain! 
We ended up getting out in it and playing!  SO fun!
Sad part is, it was raining so hard that my camera got ruined.  I didn't get any good pictures in Key West, or for the rest of the trip.  (Which was really all traveling anyway!)  We got home safe and sound but will NEVER forget the fun we had on our cruise!!!!

On another note, you will see on the sidebar that I've stolen another idea.  This time from Today in Dietzville.  She and I are both working (with our husbands' leading, obviously) on getting out of debt and she put up her debt owed and debt paid amounts...LOVE how bold that is.  However, I also realize that several people will be encouraged by seeing that it CAN be done - SO, I've done the same! 

As of today, we have $10,550 left in consumer debt and $44,000 left in Student Loan debt.  Considering that we started with $32,746 in debt just over 15 months ago, I'm thinking we've done pretty well!  At this rate, we'll be out of debt (not including student loans) by December or January...dependent upon a few circumstances!  We'll tackle our student loans after that - SO, conceivably, we COULD be completely out of debt except for our house by the time we're 30!!!  Thomas has done an incredible job of keeping us on track with spreadsheets/charts/graphs, etc.  But, we don't spend a dime without the other knowing about it and we're using our envelope system to keep us accountable!  It can be done - you CAN win with money!!! 

Monday, August 16, 2010

2nd Day and Captain's Dinner!

After we ate our first meal in the windjammer and got all unpacked, it was time to chill out for a little while before dinner!!  So, Daddy and Mali relaxed for a little while watching Little People!! 
Mali decided he wanted to try on Lolli's hat before dinner and put it on all by himself.  In fact, he wore it a LOT.  (Only while we were in our rooms, of course!  hahaha)
This was our first night right before dinner! 
We woke up the next morning thinking it was early so we could get up and watch the sunrise.  Well, it was 9:00a.m.  SO, we got up, got our swimsuits on and headed down to breakfast.  Malachi kept looking out the window saying "We Moving?  We Moving?"
MMMM...breakfast!  As you can see, it was deserted.  NO ONE gets up that early on a cruise!  So, we had a large majority of the area to ourselves!!
We climbed in the pool (seawater...yuck) and had the whole thing to ourselves!!  No other kids, no teenagers...and it wasn't burning up either!  BEAUTIFUL morning!
He wanted to wear my sunglasses...and he wanted me to wear Daddy's sunglasses...
A little girl at the daycare made this hat for him and it was originally all colored in.  Needless to say, I don't think it was waterproof!  hahaha  I still love this picture of our sweet boy!
Climbing on Daddy's back!
Funny Story - children that aren't potty trained are not allowed in pools on the ship because they're not filtered or chlorinated.  (I think that's why)  Even swim diapers aren't allowed.  However, I bet I had to show no less than 5-7 people his underwear to prove that he is potty trained...NO ONE believed me!  Here we are giving that gentleman a high-5 after showing off our underwear AGAIN!

He was done swimming and so was Daddy (not mommy...she could've stayed in all morning!) - so they lounged together by the pool!
After swimming and napping it was time to get ready for dinner!  Thomas taught Malachi this "look" - he's really perfected it since then, but this was the first time the whole trip that we got it on camera! 
Here's me and my wonderful family right outside the dining room before the Captain's dinner!  It was so nice to get dressed up with my handsome husband and son!!!
My beautiful mother and I! 
My brother, Logan and I - He cleans up pretty nicely huh?
All the handsome men we traveled with.  (L to R - Tanner (Logan's best friend), My Dad, Logan, Thomas and Mali!
Our family!
Seriously - does it get any cuter than this?  And, to think, he's only 2 and behaved like an ANGEL! 
Yes, the people in this picture are gorgeous, but LOOK at that view!  We got to dine by the water EVERY NIGHT!
Malachi's ketchup smiley face from our favorite waitress, Barb!  She LOVED him and the feeling was VERY mutual!
Eating like such a big boy
Every night he would finish early and sit by the window...still saying "We moving?  We moving?"
The requisite sunset picture...that I tweaked a little!  I LOVE the finish on this picture! 
This was our first towel animal!  It's watching the TV with Leroy (the monkey on the left) and Zolt (the monkey on the right, named after the DJ on the ship!)
And here's our very unhappy boy ripping his sunglasses off that stupid towel!  He was SO sleepy by that point!!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Best Vacation EVER - Part 1

As many of you know, our family goes on a big family vacation every July to celebrate my brother, Logan and our Mom's birthdays!!  We've gone to Dallas, Colorado, New Mexico and San Antonio...this year, Logan turned 21 and my beautiful mom turned 49 - SO, we HAD to do it up big!!!  We began planning this vacation in January, paid it in cash (Go Gazelles!) and finally left July 21st for our voyage on the Grandeur of the Seas with Royal Caribbean!!! 

We flew out Wednesday at 4:00p.m. from the Amarillo airport - you can see who the star of the show was!  I think all eyes were on our sweet baby from the second we stepped into that airport to the second we stepped out of it back into the Amarillo heat! 
He LOVED the airplanes and couldn't wait to get on!

Once on the airplane, our long day REALLY started.  Our first flight was only an hour from Amarillo to Dallas.  Our second flight began after a 30 minute stop in Dallas to pick up more passengers and then it was another hour flight to Houston Hobby.  We had an hour and a half layover then we were supposed to fly out at 7:40...we didn't actually leave until almost 9.  This put us in Fort Lauderdale at 12:00...where we finally settled into our hotel around 1a.m.  Thankfully Malachi slept from Houston to Fort Lauderdale so the travel there was fine!!  Unfortunately, he thought it was time to wake up once we were all ready to go to sleep so it took us a while to get him back down!!
Malachi and Daddy from Dallas to Houston!  Hands up for takeoff!  WEEEEEE
And from Houston to Florida!  Isn't that sweet?

The next morning we all got up pretty early because we were so freaking excited!  We could see the ocean from our hotel rooms and we could even see our ship from Mom and Dad's room!  Here's my sweet husband and our beautiful (albeit very sleepy) little boy waiting for the shuttle to the ship!
On the way!!
THERE IT IS!!  We were literally only 5 blocks from the port!  SO exciting!
Yes, I know, I'm a dork!  This is just the most anticipated trip we'd ever had!!
Stomping down the gangway after waiting in several lines!  He did SO well!
If you know me well, you know that I was more than a little apprehensive about being on open water.  We West Texas girls aren't exactly used to that much water!  So yes, I took a picture of the lifeboats!
This was the view from the looking towards downtown Fort Lauderdale!  BEAUTIFUL!
Of course, our first stop on the ship was to the Windjammer Cafe - all you can eat nearly 24 hours a day! 
Then it was time for Muster...they allowed us to leave pretty early on since we had a young child!  Oh, and yes, my son has a leash on.  I HATE HATE child leashes, but I was terrified (see above) of the water.  I had MANY nightmares leading up to the, he wore a leash for the first few hours until I got comfortable with letting go of him.  It really was very safe...I just needed to get comfortable!  No apologies!  At least this one was a monkey!  Malachi actually loved it!  Thanks go out to my boss and his wife...they lent this to us!
Finally, it was time to shove off!  Thanks to the Coast Guard for keeping us safe and guiding us out into open water!  (Oh, and that big boat in the was a Dole boat carrying either bananas or pineapples and it was HUGE!) 

Stay tuned...part two will include our first couple days on the ship including the Captain's Dinner!!!!