Thursday, February 25, 2010

One year new!



Andrew Jackson will be ONE Saturday.

Seriously, where did this year go? It just feels like yesterday my brother/SIL were calling to tell me they're expecting and now he's already a year old! Man...life is flying by!


I know I'm partial, but Drew is perfect! I have to say, I'm 2 for 2 in the Nephew department!



meeting daddy!




Finally meeting my newest Nephew!



brothers!
Will is such a good brother!

summer 09


Uncle Ben watching out,
after finding out that Drew knew how to head butt!



How adorable are these two?
(borrowed from Marn's FB and edited by me!)


I'm one proud Aunt!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

misc

-I have bronchitis for the second time in a month. I'm on strong(er) antibiotics, steroids, and cough syrup so hopefully I'll be feeling better soon!



-I can't believe I forgot to post the most amazing dessert ever! It is called "Cup of Joy" and it was heavenly! I could have eaten a "mug of joy" but they only made them this small! It is basically a chocolate mousse with marshmallows and graham cracker (I picked off the raisins), but it was delicious!


-Tuesday (before I was sickly) we went out to celebrate Fattertine's day (combo of Valentine/Fat Tuesday)! We went to PF Changs and it was delicious! It was my first time eating there and I wasn't disappointed! We had: the lettuce wraps (we had a free coupon thanks to our Realtor!) which were yummy and could've been our meal, sweet & sour chicken and fried rice! Needless to say we had a doggy bag and full tummies when we left!

I forgot to get the waiter to take our photo, so we did the self shot thing! Ben's a pro at taking these photos...ha!


-In other news, today marks day 4 of NO CAFFEINE for me. I'm giving up coke/sweet tea for Lent and it hasn't been easy! I'm determined to stick it out, so we shall see!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Hunt!

Last night I decided to get creative for B's "Valentine's gift".

I broke out some scrapbook supplies and went to work. I cut out 10 hearts and decided to create a "love hunt" for B to go on! He's always wanted to go hunting...ha!

On the door from the garage I placed this sign:

When he entered, he immediately goes into the kitchen (it's off the garage), so I placed one heart on the fridge, one in the oven (where his dinner was), and one on the tv in the living room!

Then, I put one on our door, the bath tub, and in his closet! I also put one on the dog's food tub for him to find in the morning. He also takes his ring off when he gets home, so I placed on under it too!



On each heart was a reason I loved him!

He was too funny and wanted to find them all right then, so I gave him a couple hints!

I think he really enjoyed his "hunt" and he was touched I went through all the work to do this for him!

(total cost: free! Beat that Hallmark!)


Happy Valentine's day y'all!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Day 7: final day at sea

Our lovely time on the lovely Emerald Princess had to come to an end.
Unfortunately.

My mom and dad gave me a gift certificate to the Lotus Spa on board. I had an appointment bright and early at 8 AM, thank God for wake up calls! I had the 20-20-20 treatment: 20 mins of: massage, facial and body scrub. It was my first spa experience and it was amazing. I'm spoiled now! Ben better watch out!


After my pampering, we decided we should eat at the buffet for breakfast. They have an omelet station that Ben loved, so I decided to get one too!

It was rainy that morning, so we just hung out around the ship, until it was time to eat again!

Of course, only a couple short hours later it was Pub Lunch time! We decided to try the Cottage Pie and it was delicious! However, I was craving some fish and chips and the beauty of cruising is...you can get 2/3 entrees etc!
cottage pie!



The sun was out full force, so after lunch mom, Bubs and I headed up to the sports deck to check out the putt putt golf course! The course is tough. My brother plays a mean game of golf and he even had a hard time. They have bird chirping and even a man saying "fore" in the back ground though, so that helps make stinking better!
fore!

Then Ben and I went to the sun deck to soak up the sun one last time. Marney made fast friends with two women from Michigan while laying out, so we sat and mingled with them!

while we were laying out, they had an ice carving demonstration!
Neat!

At 3:00 it was tea time! Every day they have afternoon tea, complete with white glove service! I wanted to at least try it one time, so my mom, Mrs. G and I decided to check it out! We were seated with a couple who were "one uppers". If you've done something, they've done it and did it better etc. Annoying. However, our tea and scones more than made up for the company!

Ljupce was serving Tea too!

After tea time, we put our edumacation to the test in the trivia contest!
FYI: Elvis' middle name is ARON, with ONE "R"!

After trivia, mom and I went to scope out our photos from the week! Its always fun trying to find your pictures and seeing your new "friends"!

Later that night we had to get ready for the early show with the funny comedian and a juggler/magician guy! It was fun and a nice way to end our trip!

Dinner that night was American night! Krasimir recommended the meatloaf, but I didn't think it would have been good as Mama's! I opted for the ribeye steak!

It was time to bid adieu to our amazing waiters, Krasimir and Ljupce. Krasimir is building a house in Bulgaria and will most likely only be doing one more contract with Princess. He was gracious enough to show us the photos of his house! It was beautiful!


We were all a little loopy at the end of those 7 days!


No.More.Pictures.

After dinner, we headed back to the cabin to do the dreaded packing. Earlier in the week, I asked our steward, Mike, if he could make Ben a "towel animal" since it was his first cruise. Normally Princess doesn't do this feature, but he agreed. We walked in from dinner to TWO animals: a dog and bunny! Ben was surprised!




Emerald
(our dog towel animal)

Princess
(our bunny animal)




We had an amazing 7 days and no words could adequately describe how wonderful it was.



Thank you Mom, Dad, Brian, Marney, Mr. and Mrs. G for the lasting memories!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine memories...

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner

Today over on Kelly's Korner is all about favorite Valentine memories!

Some of mine:

-In highschool my dad would always send flowers to school on Valentine's. It was so awesome to get flowers at school! He definitely set the bar pretty high on V'Day "gifts" though!

-Our first Valentine's day was celebrated 3000 miles (or so) apart. Ben was in Iraq, so I made up a huge care package full of stuff to help him remember home etc! My mom and I split a heart shaped pizza and watched a chick flick (my dad was at work)!

-My sophomore year in college, he had just gotten out of the MC, so we finally had a real Valentine date! He picked me up and took me to Marina's, a nice Italian restaurant, in the town's (Murfreesboro, TN) square! We got dressed up and had a lovely dinner!

-Valentine's 2007 Ben surprised me with Dixie Belle! We then went to a really nice dinner at "The Stockyard" steakhouse in Nashville. YUM! The waiters are really "old school" and have excellent service. When I went to the restroom, the waiter covered my dish up with a silver dome, to keep it warm! I was floored!

After dinner, we headed back to our Valentine, Dix! I started running a fever that night, so B thankfully took me to the DR the next day.

The funniest memory I have:

-The Valentine's 2008 (before we married that April) I came down to visit him. I heard a knock on the door and he told me to answer. It was a package for ME! I was excited, so I hurried and opened it. It was a "Vermont Teddy Bear". I was happy he remembered the day, thought of me, planned etc etc but at the same time confused as to why he spent $$ on a stuffed animal.

Anyways, I opened the smaller box to reveal the bear and see a sign on the neck saying: "TI AMO EMILY".

Bless his heart, he ordered the SPANISH version! I took Latin in HS and didn't have to take a foreign language in college, so he's lucky I'm smart and figured it out! ha!

I still give him a hard time about my Spanish Bear!



-Last year we played it low key and this year our plans are combining Valentines and Fat Tuesday by going to a nice, fattening dinner at PF Changs (we have a coupon from our Realtor) on Tuesday (since he works on V'Day)!!



Thursday, February 11, 2010

There has to be...

laws against this, right??

Apparently I have skin issues and they say this is for my "health" so I don't tear my skin up further, but I don't believe them!

Mom has threatened for a while now, but I never thought she would go through with it! They put this cone on and then laughed at me while I ran into everything! Jerks!

But....dad finally caved in and took it off before bed. I have him wrapped around my paws!

Well, off to scratch/lick some more! ha!

Love,
Dixie Belle

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Day 6: Grand Turk

(I'm almost done, I promise!)

We arrived in Grand Turk around 1 o'clock on Friday!
beautiful water of Grand Turk




We had scheduled a "Snorkel and Stingray Safari" excursion so we quickly disembarked so we could enjoy the island before our tour!

We got as far as the Margaritaville, but hey when in Rome, right?




The parrot!
A nice couple saw us about to take "single" photos and said "We'll take yours if you take ours"!



Margaritaville has a wonderful pool that is free to use, so we searched for a chair and hopped right in. We were literally the only ones from our ship (well, according to the DJ!) there at the time, but the Carnival pax treated us kindly!

The pool had a neat swim up bar, so of course I walked over (yeah, I didn't want to get my hair wet before our snorkel adventure...ODD I know) to get a couple margaritas.

$20 bucks and 30 minutes later, we had our drinks. I have to say, I've had better.

We can now cross "drinking a margarita from Margaritaville" off our bucket list!


Enjoying the pool!



We swam for about an hour then headed to meet with our excursion group.

We quickly boarded a catamaran (or some type of boat) and headed for our snorkel site! We then were given instructions, flippers, a vest and a mask.

We stopped then off we were...snorkeling in the deep blue ocean.
on the catamaran heading to our site


One of our guides!
He was from Jamaica.
yeah mon!


It took a few minutes to get the whole breathing under water thing worked out, but once I figured out how to keep my tube out of the water, I was good-to-go! Salt water doesn't taste too good!



LOOK! A BIG FISH!
:)


Next time we will be prepared with a better underwater camera!
These photos do not do the water/coral/fish justice.

The part of the ocean we snorkeled in had a huge coral reef. Then all of a sudden, a huge drop off! The fish were beautiful and bright. It was surreal actually swimming by these creatures and awe inspiring to see!

After we snorkeled, we loaded back on the boat and headed to a smaller island where we'd meet the sting rays!
One of the stingrays!
Of course as we pulled up to the stingrays my camera died and we were out of our disposable.

The sting rays swam right up to us and it was an odd experience to let them touch you etc. These were female stingrays, they're bigger than males and they're more friendly, thankfully!

We were able to pet, hold, feed (they don't have teeth so they literally suck it up like a vacuum) and some even kissed the SR's. Feeding them was a neat experience and I jumped like a little girl when the sting ray actually sucked up my fish!

Ben was more hesitant, probably b/c he's seen too much Discovery Channel nightmare shows! But, he quickly came around to letting them swim by/touch him!

We had to go back to the main island and ultimately back to the ship to head home.

The only part of Grand Turk we saw was the "pier" section, but if we ever go back, we're definitely snorkeling again (not much else to do there)!


Dinner that night was (I believe) "Captain's Choice" or something like that!

I must be having a senior moment b/c I really can't recall what we ate! (See why I take so many photos...b/c my mind is no good nowadays!)



I do know we had the "Ménage à trois" for dessert.

We had a lovely day of firsts and were sad to realize our amazing cruise was coming to an end.


Next up: last day at sea