Some observations made on our trip...

Blogging has been on the back-burner lately as both Parker and Joel have experienced a terrible flu. One of the things that irritates me the most is when you tell someone you are sick and they immediately ask if is contagious. I always think that is so rude. However, I became that person this week as I was spraying Lysol all over and keeping my distance from my husband. After experience way too many weeks of morning sickness, I wasn't about to start puking again. There was really no way to stay away from Parker because I was the only one who could take care of him. And little kids have no concept of trying not to breathe in other's faces. So far, so good, though...we'll see.

I do have some things to write about regarding our trip. I have a few thoughts; some worth writing and some...maybe not:)

*Why do American women tend to wear bathing suits that are a few sizes too small for them? Just wondering. It seems as though a good 60-70% of women on our cruise decided that smaller was better when it came to their suit and I felt so bad for them. I really wanted to go and have a talk with them about how a well-fitting suit is so much more attractive. Of course, I didn't, and so I'm writing it here. Maybe it is on my mind because I am in a state of growth and very aware of the need to change sizes when needed.

*I don't like flying anymore. Well, it isn't exactly flying that I don't like--I'm not afraid and I used to like the rush of the airport that flying brings. I really just don't like being that close to people for an extended amount of time. We flew a red-eye flight and I was very sensitive to body odors and some extreme cases of bad breath. I also, for the first time, felt very nauseated with each take-off and landing...and we had many.

*My lips were not designed for the Bahamas. For those that know me, you know that I am well-endowed in the lip area:) While I didn't enjoy this feature when I was younger, I appreciate my lips now. But when I'm in sun for a good amount of time, my lips become so sun-burned (even with SPF 40)! And it isn't just a little sunburn. My lips were so fried on our cruise that they swelled up so big overnight that I had a hard time speaking the next morning. Then they went through a few day of intense peeling--very attractive! I guess my Norwegian heritage should have warned me that we fair ones are not meant to endure such strong sun!

*This trip was good for me. I don't think that I realized this, but I was a little burnt out before we left on our trip. I think I was just so tired of trying to keep everything together that I was beginning to be less of a mother, less of a wife, less of me. I had whole days where I didn't think about what I had to fix or what I had to do better. I realized for the first time in a long time what it was to be still and know that God is God and that I am not. How truly refreshing.

Joel and I also needed this extended time of being just us without Parker. I'm not sure if we had forgotten what it was like because it felt totally normal, but very special. We reconnected and reflected on the past few years and how we're so glad they're over! It was fun to be silly and without responsibilities. We went on dates, slept in, stayed up late...things that we don't do as often now. We want to do trips without kids much more often and certainly not take this long to take a trip without the next baby.

I also really needed this time away from Parker. I missed him but I also had fun doing things that I wanted to do instead of "mama" type of things. I came back refreshed with more patience, more of a sense of humor, more love for Parker, and more love of my role as his mama. I need to take more time for myself, by myself, in order to better appreciate my time with my child(ren). This is one of those things that I read and thought I understood prior to becoming a parent, but I haven't put it into action as much as needed. Parker has, all of the sudden, become cuter, funnier, smarter, and more amazing than ever--all since coming back and even with the flu!

There you have it; my deep thoughts from our cruising adventure! We highly recommend a cruise if you're in need of a no-stress, no-responsibilities, beautiful vacation--which we were!


We're back!

We're back from our cruise in the Bahamas and reunited with Parker! Of course, we had an amazing time together and everything went so smooth--including leaving Parker and his time with Gramma. I may reflect more later about some of our experiences, but for now I will give a quick rundown of some of the things we did:

slept in, read a few books including this one, went to lovely meals, sunbathed at the pool, worked out in the exercise facility, toured around Nassau, saw a couple productions in the theater on board, experienced a pool party with a buffet, drinks, dancing, ice carving, etc., snorkeled in Coco Kay, burnt our skin a bit on the amazing beach, met fun people at meals and on excursions, (Joel) went rock climbing, toured around Key West, went to the aquarium, went on another snorkeling excursion... this time 7 miles off the coast of Key West over a reef...and missed Parker just a little bit:)

Here are some of our pictures from our time together. If you look really close, you may see a few pictures of this growing girth-- lucky you!


We're off....almost!

We're heading off tonight to go cruising in the Bahamas! I'm so excited and pretty sad about leaving Parker. I know that he's going to be fine, but I've never spent this much time without him. We really intended on doing this type of thing sooner because we want to keep our marriage a priority and we also want to raise independent children. I thought we were doing so well when we went on a date without him when he was one month old:) However, here we are, a year and a half later and we're going on our first trip alone! I'm hoping that Parker is disobedient this afternoon so it is easier to leave him. I do know that this is going to be so fun...so good for our marriage...so good for me as a mother--and I think God is going to bless this time. I also think that Parker is going to have a blast with Grandma (thanks mom)! However, my nerves are still all over the place, so please pray that all will go well. Can't wait to tell you all about it and show you great pictures!

And a little side note: Happy Birthday to my beautiful niece, Audrey. She's one today! Parker is such a fan of little Audrey...he even knows how to say her name (Dawdry). Cousin love already!


blackberries and the fair

Of course...more pictures to share! We've done a lot of fun things lately. To celebrate my dad's 51'st birthday, we went up north to take a drive and we ended up picking blackberries. Parker was not dressed for the occasion but he certainly dug right in! He was literally eating the (unripe) berries off of the vine. He was just in heaven! When he realized that Grandpa had perfectly ripe berries in his basket, he found an easier way to get the good stuff. He was covered in blackberries and, then later, dirt--because a little boy must sit down in a dirt pile on every occasion possible!

To celebrate my parent's 30th anniversary, they invited us to go to the fair! We saw all the animals, ate the very healthy fair food, and enjoyed watching Parker boogy to the fair music coming from all directions. Parker can't help but dance when he hears music. He would just stop in the middle of the walkway and begin to really feel the music. My mom actually has some great pictures of this happening. Being a little kid must be so fun!


Growing Girth: Installment #2--17 weeks

I wasn't going to do this until Tuesday or Wednesday because I already posted today, but my friend Jenn posted her cute belly and now I want to! Jenn looks super cute and I don't look that cute, yet. Anyway, it is worth sharing because it is fun to see the changes. I've chosen to spare you my head, once again.

Any guesses, Aleah?

Some more pictures from last weekend...

We also were able to go to my cousin's wedding with my family. It was one of those times that I totally forgot (or avoided) taking pictures. Do you ever just want to enjoy an event without having to remember to take pictures? This was one of those times. I did, however, get a great picture of Audrey's baby with Parker's Hummer. I love how my little boy is so into cars and boy things and Audrey loves her baby and girly things. As the wedding was going on, Parker started to say, "mama, dada, mama, dada"--repeatedly...and Audrey was continually quacking, so Andi and Joel took the kids to a nearby field to keep the peace:) They left baby and hummer to enjoy the wedding. I thought that was very nice of them. We also were able to get a very nice family picture. Kelsey looks really, really tall! Of course, it was a very fun evening and we all enjoyed spending time with one another.


Some graduation pictures...

Joel and some of his classmates at the ceremony

Joel and his brother and sisters at his graduation party

Celebrating Joel's graduation...

Parker and two of his cousins at the graduation...they were so well behaved.

Just wanted to post a few pictures of all of the celebrating we enjoyed last weekend! I have so many more, but I'm getting impatient with my 'puter. It was so nice to have some closure and celebrate all that Joel has accomplished. Joel's sister hosted a great party the night after the graduation where we were able to spend time with family. It was such fun! It was unique in that we got to spend time with both sides of our family. Thank you to all of our family for making it such a special weekend!


Thursday Thirteen: September 7

13 things I should really blog about but I just haven't gotten to yet...because I'm a slacker!

1. My lasagna recipe...yummy!
2. Joel's graduation and all of the festivities surrounding this blessed event
3. My 17 week OB appointment
4. The book I'm reading
5. Another growing girth photo
6. Our anniversary
7. Our upcoming cruise to the Bahamas
8. Without Parker :)...:(
9. The pacifier debate
10. My parents 30th anniversary!
11. Parker's love of his cousins
12. A list of thirteen reasons why I would love a certain family to live here
13. Anything Parker related because he is oh so lovely...

For more Thursday Thirteen lists, visit ThursdayThirteen.com

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