Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Our FIRST cruise!

Ragnar and I had the pleasure of going on our first cruise last week. We had a wonderful time!! It was a great experience to remember ourselves as a couple and remember that we came first. We sure love our kids and missed them, but it was a great time to refocus on ourselves for a short time. 
We were off. After a couple hours to board and some anxiety about leaving the kids, we made it on board. I decided to trust in my parents ability to take care of the kids, because they are quite capable, and try and relax and enjoy myself. 
Here was our boat. Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas.
We spent the first night enjoying our view and the beauty of this amazing earth.
There was such a pretty sunset and the weather was great all week.
Monday we woke up and worked out and then went to watch a soccer competition. In the afternoon we watched an ice skating performance called "Encore." It was really good and I was amazed at what those ice skaters could do on such a small piece of ice. We really enjoyed it! 
That night was our first formal night. We weren't sure exactly what to expect, but I think we found ourselves somewhere in the middle of the attire worn. We were seated at a table all week with 3 other couples. At first I wasn't too excited about having to come up with conversation with strangers, but after a couple of awkward nights, we ended up really enjoying the couples we sat with. They were all about the same age as us, and on their first cruise as well. Misty and Mark were from Dallas, Erin and Aaron were from Indiana, and Marilyn and Ben King were from Maryland. The last couple actually ended up sharing our religion and they were LDS too, so that was nice to have that in common. We also had a fun waiter whose name was Robby. He would always ask if we were ready for our "yummy yummy". He was from Indonesia and his assistant Tatiana was from Russia. They were both great.
Don't we look dashing ;) That night we went to a show by Travis Ledoyt which was pretty good. 

Tuesday we went running again, but this was the only day I actually noticed the rocky seas. I was running on the treadmill and man I was having a hard time running without falling off, so I finally just called it good and went to the bike! Ragnar managed fine. That afternoon we went iceskating which we were actually pretty good at. I knew Ragnar was good because he is very coordinated, but even I held my own ;) We read and napped and visited the ice cream machine and then that night after dinner went to the show "In the Air". It was amazing. It was almost like a cirque du soleil. I was very impressed by the tricks.
Our room attendant had left us some fun towels for a couple days. 
On Wednesday we had our first port day. We were in Costa Maya Mexico. 
I had never been to Mexico, so it was fun to visit the country so close to Texas. 
We had a nice welcome band. Our first stop was the Chacchoben Mayan Ruins. We had a really funny tour guide named Lisbeth who was great to tour with. We were on the first bus with no problems. 
We made it and the structures were pretty impressive.
We saw a monkey carrying her baby jumping through the trees. 
The tour was super hot, but it was very interesting learning about the Mayan people and their customs. Our guide was half Mayan and was very proud of her heritage.
I can't imagine how long it took to uncover this and even build it in the first place.
I am glad my room is larger than that small area to sleep.
We enjoyed the tour and when we got back we did a little shopping for the kids.
I spent a little time trying to find wifi to see if the kids were behaving. I managed to check in and say hi! Sadly Deacon wanted nothing to do with us! Thankfully he had Bpa as he calls grandpa to make him feel at home. 
Some fun things to see about the culture as we were shopping.
First stop was complete and a success!
The next stop was Roatan, Honduras. We went on a beach excursion this day.
 It was a beautiful little beach and was not busy at all!
We facetimed the kids and relaxed on the beach.
Such a nice day with my man!
After reading and laying out we went back to the port and shopped around and then headed back to the boat! We had another formal night and then went to a show with Scott Record. Sadly he was funny for about 30 min and then it got slow and ronchy, so we headed out early. We played some games and hung out.
Friday was my favorite stop, Cozumel, Mexico. It was the prettiest stop in my opinion. We got off the boat early and headed to our dolphin excursion. 
This is the resort area we went to swim with dolphins. 
This was our trainer, Fabula, and our dolphin Naunica.
We were excited to get in.
Ragnar was loving the dolphins. He was happy to be kissed...
And kiss the dolphin.
Me...not so much. It was neat to watch them do tricks, and feed them, and shake their hands and such. Ragnar and I were most surprised by how soft they were. They look kind of slippery and rough, but they almost feel like suede. They were so soft. We had a great time. We got to eat there, and kayak and it was wonderful! We made it back to port without a hitch and then naturally shopped again, and then headed back to the boat. We ate and then went to the night show of the comedian Sam Fedele. He was pretty funny. I was laughing pretty hard. After him we went over to the battle of the sexes show, and of course, the women won ;) 
Saturday we just relaxed. We went for a long run, read, napped, ate, watched karoke, and then went to the last show called Saturday night fever, the musical. It was not my favorite, but we made it through. Sunday morning we woke up and got off the boat early as we were eager to see the kids and relieve my parents. It was such a fun week. Ragnar and I had a blast together, and everything went so perfectly. It was a great trip and I am so grateful for my parents. They are the best. The kids had a great time, and when I got home, their laundry was done, the car was filled with gas, the house was clean, food was in the fridge, and there was even dinner in the crock pot! Talk about service!! We are so grateful to them! We have the best family and are so glad to be home to the kids!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Start of Summer 2016.....

The summer began about a month ago, and it has flown by!!! We have been having a great time together and I have LOVED having the kids home!!
We kicked off the summer bowling with friends!
We tried a new splash pad which the kids loved it!
The beginning of the summer has been really rainy and wet. It started pouring on us, and the kids were so excited to play in the mud! Something I don't let them do enough!
They also tried rock climbing! The gym I work at has a rock climbing wall and they really enjoyed trying it! After several tries Ella made it up!!
Cavin is so close! He needs a few more times of practice and I'm sure he will get up next time!
Channing...well, let's just say we got her equipment on and she let us let her go for a few rocks before saying she was too high ;)
I even tried! I haven't rock climbed much since my college days. It's amazing how weak you feel when you haven't done it in a while! I need to pump some more iron! I did get up a few times though!
Next we got a fun visit from my sister Marisa and her family! The kids hadn't met her twins yet and they sure loved them!
I think Channing was constantly asking to hold one of them, and as soon as she was finished with one, she would ask to hold the other ;) Needless to say, she loved Kate and Addy!
Ella also adored them!
We joined Ethan, Liam, Aubrey, and Grandpa at the zoo one day and sweat it out nicely! Zoos may not be the nicest place in the summer in Houston! 
We had fun though and got to have lunch with Ragnar at the Toyota Center afterward.
We went to Bouncing Bears with all the cousins who live in Houston. They had fun and got nice and sweaty.
One day we headed back over to the splash pad so the kids could show their cousins the fun place!
I sure love these kids!
Then the last day we got to celebrate my nephew Liam's birthday. He turned 6 a couple days after they left so we celebrated early. He had a star wars party, so naturally they had a jedi battle! As a family, we haven't seen Star Wars...I know I know..pathetic. So each week this summer we are watching one movie. The kids have enjoyed it and look forward to it each week.
This is all the kids except one twin who was sleeping! It was so fun to have both my sisters here and my brother Chris, we sure missed my other brother Corey and his family though!
Other than that, we have been visiting the pools! Also the kids spent the last week at AUMC bible school which they really enjoyed!
We also have been "soccering"
Ragnar took Cavin to the COPA America game at Reliant Stadium. He watched Mexico vs. Venezuela. I don't think Cavin had had a real soccer experience before that game. He commented on how loud it was and that he had beer spilled on him! He seemed to have fun though!
As a family we went to the Houston Dynamo soccer game as well. It actually wasn't too hot in the shade, and it even sprinkled on us at the end! We have of course also been watching the U.S.A. Olympic trials and cheering on Germany in the EURO cup. They won today! Yay! On to the Semi-finals! Go Germany.
It has been a great start to the summer!!!