Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Recapping 2008. Looking to 2009

I don't know about any of you, but I think 2008 was a definate crazy year. Really and for reals.
A year ago at this time I never thought that I would have done the things I have down or even gone to the place I have gone. I never expected to be where I am right at this very moment. It never in a million years entered my mind that I would be engaged and living in Texas.
A year ago I was just thinking about Reagan. A year ago I was thinking mostly of the Bahamian cruise I was going to go on in the spring.
I can't say that I loved every minute of this year. It was very hard for me to decide whether or not I was supposed to go to Texas or stay in New York. It was over month before I realized it was what I was supposed to do.
Saying goodbye was even harder to do. Saying hello to more family that would one day be a part of me was very special. Not being able to see my nieces grow or even see my niece Emily Grace after she was born in October has been even harder.
All the days when poor Reagan has had to just hold me in his arms and let me cry . . .
Then there are all the good things about this year.
Isabelle Mae being born in March, going to the Bahamas in May, meeting Reagan and getting engaged in June, seeing strange new lands west of New York state and learning to live in Texas in August, Emily Grace being born in October.
All of these things in between the hard days helped to soften the blow of the hard things.
God has really blessed this year. Not every blessing that I see what a fun blessing either. Some blessings don't show up when you are having a good day. Some show up when you least expected or when you are having a bad day. The Lord has given me many.

Looking to 2009!
Wow! Tomorrow is the very last day of 2008. On Thursday we will be trying to remember to put a 9 at the end of the year instead of an 8.
I'm looking forward to and dreading what the year 2009 is going to bring.
On April 25 I am looking forward to becoming a wife. Also looking forward to seeing my family again after 8 months.
I am also looking forward to what God has for Reagan and I in the future.
At this moment we are not really sure what He has planned for our lives. For all we know we may not be in Texas by the end of 2009. If that be the case, we will be going where God wants us to go.
I look forward to it, but I also dread it.
There is sure to be loses of good friends and introductions of new ones. There is sure to be good times and bad times. There will be times when confusion is all there is and times of understanding.
What ever the case may be I do one thing that is never failing and will always be. It is that God is incontrol and He will always be with me no matter what.
A song that I used to love as a child went something like this.
"Don' be afraid. Jesus is watching you in the dark night. He is protecting you. Talk to the Lord. Ask him to make you brave. Jesus will hear when you pray.
Jesus is caring for you. Jesus is helping you too. Jesus is always there keeping you, for he Loves you. Jesus is caring for you Jesus is helping you too. Jesus is with you whatever you do.
You're not alone. Jesus is there with you. He can't be seen, but he is there it's true. He is your friend. He'll keep you in his care, he goes with you everywhere."
Ah! A good song to remember during the year ahead.
Happy 2009 Everyone!

Monday, December 22, 2008

My Crazy life between Thanksgiving and now!

Merry Christmas to all of my friends that are reading this.
My life has been crazy since the last time I wrote. Of course that is nothing really new because my life has always been crazy.
I have a lot to be thankful for this year, but nothing more so then the night before Thanksgiving when Reagan and I were smashed from behind by a truck. Those of you who know me know that I have never been in an accident when I was driving the car so this was a very tramatic time for me. Neither of us were hurt although my car had a smashed in trunk and rear bumper along with a few small dents from the front where I smashed into the car ahead of me.
Right now my life is pretty much going to work every day. Although this past week offically kicked off the beginning of our house renevations. Reagan's Papa Kenneth has come to help Reagan's dad put in our new kitchen and our doors. In the mean time Reagan's mom has been busy scraping the wall paper off the walls. (Steamers are wonderful things for getting tough wall paper off the wall.)
Reagan and I took advantage of the Christmas sales and spent money on the wedding.
Wait how many of you with a show of hands can believe that we have only 4 more months to go!
I am so not ready!
We have our invitations. Yah! Now to the gruling task of picking out who we can invite to the wedding, who we have to invite to the wedding and who would come and murder us in our sleep if we didn't invite them to the wedding. It's really hard when you have enough room in the church for about 150 people.
Reagan and I have a lot of dicissions to make in the next few weeks. Around the beginning of November Reagan lost his job. He has been looking every day for something, but it hasn't been easy. Not only that, but because he has brodened his search from just here in the city we live in he has spread it across the country. There could be a very big possibility that moving is in the forcast. (And we just bought the house too)
We keep having to be reminded that God is in control no matter what is going to happen to us.
Keep us continually in your prayers. We need all the prayers we can get right now.

Monday, November 17, 2008

It's that Time of year again

I don't know about you, but I think this year has gone by really fast. Last year at this time I was trying to figure out how to tell my family about Reagan. As crazy as it sounds, I wasn't even sure what I was going to tell them. I didn't know if they were going to believe me or not.
But even so, we have once again come around to my favorite time of year. This year however it is going to be totally different.
This year I am going to Earth, Texas that is, instead of celebrating it with the Westcott side of the fam.
It going to be very strange, but I can tell you that I am really looking forward to celebrating it with my new family. It is just as big and just as crazy as my other half of the family.
I really love Thanksgiving. I don't really know why. It might have something to do with celebrating it with family althroughout my growing up years. I can't say that I can remember a Thanksgiving I didn't love to go to.
But most of all as I have said in the past, I really love Thanksgiving, because the retailers haven't picked up on to how they can commercialize it. Sure they can sell their turkey's and food for the dinner table, they can even think of nothing else but football, but let me tell you, Thanksgiving doesn't have the same tone that so many other holiday's (Christmas most especially) seem to have developed over the years.
Christmas isn't Christmas anymore, it's Greedmas or Xmas (YUCK!!!!!). Easter isn't Easter anymore it's Bunny day. People find any way they can to make people want to buy buy buy and forget what the real meaning of the season is.
Of course I am not going to stop here with out mentioning my biggest pet peeve of Thanksgiving. Turkey Day! No WAYY! Thanksgiving never had anything to do with Turkey's in the first place. As a matter of fact, if I remember correctly they didn't even have Turkey on the first Thanksgiving it should really be called Seafood day or Deer day, because that it was they ate. How about this one happy Berry day!
See, none of those kinds of sayings work, so why in the world would Turkey Day work.
It's more of a case that a punch of Turkey's got together one day and thought that someone ought to celebrate them so they stole the real meaning of Thanksgiving and twisted it to celebrate themselves. Pooh on them. Theirs a reason the Bald Eagle was made the National bird and not the Turkey like a lot of people wanted.
So to all of you out there who love Thanksgiving as much as I do, Happy Thanksgiving.
For all of you out there who call it Turkey day, Happy Thanksgiving. I don't plan on mincing any words just to make you happy. It was Thanksgiving, it is Thanksgiving, and it always will be Thanksgiving.
Let's all thank God this Thanksgiving that He has helped us through another year. I am sure it wasn't easy for anyone. I know it sure wasn't an easy year for me, but as I told Reagan. "I don't want my life to be easy. If my life was easy I would look back ten years from now and not see myself change. With the Challenges that I know God has put before me this year I know without a doubt that next year at this time I can look back and say I have changed. With the many challenges and hardships I know God will send my way this coming year and can look back at my life a year from now and now that God has changed me and that I have changed for the better."
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Word of Hello

I am exited that I have a day off today. Reagan and I are on our way to check out flooring and other fun stuff for the house. We start our remodeling on Saturday. It is both a very exciting time and very scary all at the same time. I am not really sure what is going to happen through all the remodeling. I do know that I am going to have a whole new kitchen and the walls are going to be painted throughout the house. I also know that doors have to be replaced. It now comes down to what we are going to do about furniture and stuff like that. We have a few things including a washer and dryer, but that is about it. Reagan is going to be living as a minimalist by the end of the year. AKA he is going to have a bed to sleep on in the house.
As the wedding gets closer and closer the more we are both realizing that we need every prayer we can get. We are realizing there is some much more happening to us then just getting married. We need your prayers as we make life changing decisions and attempt to let go of our singleness. It is so easy to sink back into being single instead of doing things as a couple. We know God has His hands in everything we are doing and will lead us where ever it is that He want to take us. It isn't fun to have no control of circumstances. I know because I am a perfectionist and I like things to go my say, but I am learning that I have to let God be in control and to sometimes let Reagan do it his way.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Dusty winds and tumble weed.

Yes there really is such thing has tumble weeds and we are talking those things that are made up in the movies. Okay so maybe they are something taken out of the movies, but let me tell you one thing, they hit it dead on when it came to the wind.
I came home from being at Reagan's house tonight and the wind was whipping something up that I wasn't so sure about. It looked like either dust, fog, or maybe even rain that wasn't acutally hitting the ground. Whatever it was, it is a sign that we are in for colder weather. I guess I am going to have to start wearing my jacket again. It was cold for a while, but I finally came to the conclusion that I didn't need it so I stopped wearing it to work. Now I am think I might.
For those of you who were wondering, I am doing well learning my job at the bank. It's by no means as easy as the Tellers make you think. You have to continually aware of everything as it comes in. Fake checks are the hardest thing to find, but we found one!
Friday is the big day! Reagan is going to be signing papers and closing on the house Friday and the house will finally be ours. I think Nana Joyce is happy about that. I am too!
Now we can have fun.
Of couse now that I have a job, I am able to buy things again for the wedding. I had the opportunity today to do some searching and I find some good deals. I think I am going to go with them because I don't think I could get a unity candle with the two candles for 29.99 in too many places. Maybe I'm wrong.
They tell me I should look in Hobby Lobby so maybe I will wait until the sales come, but I am iching to get more stuff for the wedding. Especially the invitations.

Keep me in your prayers. Because I have started working after two months of no work, my body has gotten out of the grove and I have been very tired lately. I get home from work and my brain shuts down and I have to close my eyes and "reboot".

Oh I didn't tell you! I'm an auntie again. Emily Grace was born on October 27 to my sister and brother-in-law. From what it sounds like her two big sisters are very proud of her.
Unfortunately this little sister hasn't seen pictures yet and she is wondering where they are. I really should get my sister to send me some.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The news you've all been waiting for!

I finally have a job!
Thank you to all of you who have been praying for me to find a job. I got the call I have been waiting for and that is the job that says "We have a job for you. Would you like it?" Yes YES, a thousand times YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I will be a teller at a bank. I am really looking forward to doing something diffent then retail. Anything, but retail!
It will be nice knowing I don't have sit reading or writing all day. Now I have something to do while Reagan is working.
I will also be able to sleep at night now, too! That will be a wonderful thing.
That was just one blessing that happened to me today. We also got the email we have been waiting for. It is the one that says that our house is going to be offically ours probably by this weekend. That means we get to start tearing out rugs, pulling of wall paper, paint over walls and going to the store and picking out what we want for the house. I am so excited!
I don't know about anyone else, but I can tell you that I am very excited to be able to offically go into the house and say "This is Our House" (in the middle of the street. . .)
The Lord has truely blessed us today.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Okay Okay! I'm writing in my blog!

I really still am here. I haven't gone anywhere. I am still alive and kicking in the wonderful wide open space of Texas.
As a matter of fact the President is supposed to be going past the house at any time now. We just saw a helicopter flying the route and we are waiting to see if Air force 1 has landed yet or not.
Hey that's what I get for living in the home town of the President. What can I say!?
The reason I haven't written in my blog in a while is because I haven't really had much to say. Life has been pretty normal.
Every day I drive Reagan to work and stay their the entire day and read, write, and look for a job. No job yet. I am able to drive around a lot better than I did when I first got my car. Road are looking familiar to me now.
I am an official Texan now. I received my driver's licence in the mail yesterday. That was pretty exciting.
I have been to a Symphony since I have been here. That was pretty neat. I met the man who taught Reagan how to play the trumpet. Cool!
I have been to several Football games. Okay I understand football a lot better now. Doesn't mean that I enjoy watching it, but at least I know what is going on when I have to watch it.
I have learned where the best Milkshake in town is and I have also found out where the best place to eat is. Yeah Cracker Barrel!
Last week the ladies of the family went to a craft show and then ate out. It was a girls day out! Then Reagan and I had our pictures taken around the city in which the mosquitoes found me and ate me alive. I have never had so much problem with mosquitoes. I guess they like my hand lotion. We came to that conclusion when we went for a walk last night and I was wearing the lotion and got eaten alive again.
As to the wedding plans in case anyone was interested. We are working on Registries, musicians, and photographers. There is still a lot to be done so your prayers are much appreciated. We are also still trying to get our house. We have the house, we are just having problems getting the loan. Prayer there is wonderful, too.
Okay because you are all forcing me to write in my blog and am going to gloat. While all of you in the East are preparing for winter and watching the mercury fall in the thermometers, I enjoyed a nice cool day of about 90 degrees yesterday. Okay so the mornings are cool and I have to wear my Orange Texas Longhorns hoodie, but by the afternoon I am sweating and in need of air conditioning.
Next week we will be celebrating Reagan's birthday. He has is birthday off so we may be going on a road trip, it all depends on houses and whether Alicia thinks she can drive 5 hours in one day and still feel awake enough to celebrate when she get back. We see.
Come see me sometime. I would love you to see this amazing state where you can sit in a field and see stars you didn't know were even in the sky or stand on a small hill and see 30 miles away. Or for that matter drive toward the city at night and see the beautiful twinkling of the city lights. I have to say that although I miss my mountains, the sights I see in Texas are amazing!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Have I really been here almost a month?

Yikes! I can't believe that I am coming up on almost a month here.
So much has happened in the last four weeks. I have done everything from go to the doctors, pick out rings, set up marriage counseling, Celebrated labor day and a birthday, and gone to not one but to football games.
Let's just say that I actually understand a little better the game of football. Doesn't mean that I like the game, but I can say I am willing to watch it now and I understand what a first and down and a deep snapper are.
Not only that, but I have experienced flooding, a huge full moon, and several amazing sunrises and sunsets.
Did I mention I had to drive through my first flood?
I have been spending my days going with Reagan to work every day. I even found time yesterday to just sit down and really write. It's been a while since I have done that.
Now if I could just start walking so that I could fit into my wedding dress we would be doing well.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Welcome To Texas! Have a sinus infection!

I knew it was going to happen. Every time I go somewhere I always get sick. Here in Texas it was no different. I even predicted to Reagan that I would probably get sick with in the first few weeks of being here. And I am. It started on Wednesday. I woke up with a horrible pain in my ear. I looked at my throat and it was pretty red. I took Tylenol and that seemed to help. Yesterday my throat was very sore and I told Reagan I thought I was coming down with something. By last night I knew I had a cold or something.
I didn't set my alarm this morning so Reagan had to wake me up around 9. Yes Alicia is getting lazy. He gave me some DayQuil and told me to just rest. I laid down while he did some accounting for me on the computer, and I promptly feel asleep for two straight hours. My nose is still clogged and I am fighting off another desire to sleep, but I feel a lot better than I did this morning.
Tonight I am going to try some NyQuil and see what happens. We have nothing planned until the evening. Maybe by then I can bring the rest of my stuff over to Nana Wanda's house.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

A Full Week in Texas

Has it really been a week? I can't believe that just a week and I was coming to the realization that my parents were about ready to leave the next day. Today was completely different.
A lot has happened in the last week. First off Mom and Dad left on Wednesday and I was very much amazed at how well I did. I have been kept so busy that I haven't had the time to even think about what it is that I should be thinking about. Or what people think I should be thinking about.
On Wednesday we spent most of the afternoon at Nana Joyce's house, Aka, the house that Reagan and I are buying, while we waited for the moving van who happened to be two hours late.
That night we went out looking for a car for me. We found a really nice car, but we couldn't do anything about it until the next day because the car lot was closed for the night.
The next day we went back after Reagan and I spent the morning at Reagan's Job interview and then in the afternoon we went to a Jewlers where we picked out our wedding bands. I can't wait until I see what the jewler thought up. They are going to be beautiful!
On Thursday we spent from 3:30 until sometime after 6 getting the car and that night I drove off with a gold Honda Accord.
It has a lot of bells and whistles like a 6 CD changer, auto air, seat heaters and a sun roof. I can also change the channels on the steering wheel.
It's a pretty awesome car.
Then the fun part began. After I got my insurance I started to drive around the city. Let me tell you that it is not easy driving in this city. Of course one of the biggest problems is you have to loop around just so that you can go the opposite side of highway. Ah but maps are wonderful things! Someone left a map in my new car and after I had looked at it for a while everything clicked and started to make a whole lot more sense then what I had that it was in the first place.
On Friday Reagan and I took Brittney and Brianna to Chick fil A and had milkshakes and watched the girls play in the play place.
Saturday We spent the entire afternoon doing our Registry. We now have to go on and fix my mistakes. I am so marrying a child. You should have seen Reagan as I attempted to show and explain to him what certain things were. He was so cute!
Sunday was spent enjoying a very long and much needed nap. I think my body has now gotten used to Central time.
Monday was spent with family, celebrating Labor Day. I had a lot of fun with the girls. By the time we left, I was once again very tired.
Today was a crazy day!
Reagan excepted a job in a near by city so now I am in the process of getting a job in the area because I will have to drive him to work every day. I really hate online applications. They drive me to distraction.
At least we did something fun today. Reagan took me to the mall and we walked around for several hours. At one point I looked out the door and realized that it had been pouring rain. I asked if it was unusual to have rain this time of year and I was told that this was actually the beginning of the rainy season. It's been pouring rain since the afternoon.
Now it is time to finish for the night. I have been writing this in between applications and I'm tired.
Let's hope that tomorrow goes a lot better.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Finally Here!

Well I am finally here. I think the shock of all the traveling and all the other things that have been happening in the last few days has started to wear off.
It's been a really long week and now that it is over sometimes I am still trying to figure whether I am in a dream or if I am actually here.
Traveling through Texas was completely different then what we had actually expected. We were expecting flat and dry. Instead we saw rolling hills and green. Of course the green was because they had rain just a week ago so everything is green from the rain.
You know how in the movies they talk about the big Texas sky. Well, I am here to tell you that it is a real thing. There are parts of the state that as you drive, all of a sudden you look out over the land and all you see is miles and miles and miles of sky and flat land. It's beautiful!
I fell in love with that big open sky quickly.
Okay for all of you who are wondering about the bugs and the heat and all the other nasty little things that are in Texas, I haven't seen any bugs and was told I probably wouldn't because West Texas is too dry. The weather has actually been really cold. It's only been in the 90's this week.
We got lost trying to find the house. It was a little confusing, but I can tell you that I think I can find my way here if I get on the loop.
Yesterday was very busy! First we went to church and I met a whole lot of people. I have a few people that I will remember names, but I can tell you now it is going to take me awhile to remember every ones names.
Then we went to an engagement party for us and I met a whole bunch of other people that I hope I can remember there names too. I also got to meet four of Reagan's little cousins. I was very excited when they actually warmed up to me fast.
Last night I was so tired that I slept all night and when the alarm went off this morning I was amazed that it was time to get up.
Today we are going to go see the house that I am going to be living in for the next 8 months and the house that Reagan and I are buying.

Friday, August 22, 2008

One day closer

I have to say that traveling almost 800 miles in one day can be very exhausting.
The day started out in Ohio where we got up at 6 am, had breakfast and left the hotel just after 7.
When we got to Cincinnati, I had the privilege of taking some awesome pictures of the amazing buildings we passed.
After crossing over the boarder of Kentucky, I promptly curled up in the back of my well backed back seat and fell fast asleep. Not far after that I took my turn driving, but didn't last for long because by the time we stopped for gas and lunch, my contacts where bothering me. On Right one got lost in my eye earlier in the morning so I was having problems with my eyes rejecting them both all day long.
We stopped in Cave City, Kentucky and sent Reagan a text message to let him know where we were in our travels and I realized that some time while I was driving the time changed to Central time.
Although Mom and I talked in Central time, Dad continued in Eastern time.
We had a lot of fun going through places like Louisville, KY and Nashville, TN and Memphis, TN. I got some pictures, but when you are going 70 miles and hour past those points of references, it doesn't always come out well.
Around Six Central time we crossed the Great Mississippi River. It looked rather dry.
We crossed over into Arkansas and I knew that we were very close to Texas.
I am hoping that soon I will be able to put pictures on the blog so that you can see some of what I saw today. We had a lot of fun trying to pronounce the names and we even laughed at some of them. One of the best names was Mouse Tail Landing. Who would have thought of naming a town like that.
Well now we are somewhere outside of Little Rock.
We didn't do so bad in our travels. We only got lost twice. That's pretty good for my family. Thanks To Reagan's dad we have really awesome instructions and it was the readers error and the map makers errors.
Tomorrow we will be in Texas. I hear it is very flat. Whatever the case, I don't care. Tomorrow is leading me to Reagan and that's good enough for me.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The beginnings of a journey

I was actually rather amazed at how much of a good sleep I had last night. I slept pretty much through the entire night without waking up. I really figured I would be up wondering what time it was, but as it was when I woke up around 6:30 this morning I couldn't believe I had slept through the entire night.
This morning was pretty much used to make sure I had everything in the car. I had to wait until mom had the rest of her stuff packed so that I could be sure where I was going to put everything.
Around 10 Mom and I took a walk to the post office and Kinney’s so that I could drop off something at the post office and get my pay stub.
Then at 11 Dad and I went back down to the post office where I said good bye to one of those crazy friends I have made in the last year.
We had our last meal of Spaghetti before Dad took a quick nap and Mom and I made sure we had everything.
I’m telling you, I don’t really think there is anymore room anywhere in this car. Yes I am actually typing this in the car somewhere near Cleveland, Ohio. I love laptops!
Reality kind of hit me while I was holding Isabelle, realizing that the next time I would be seeing her, she would not only be crawling, but she very well might be trying to pull her self up and standing. She will have changed so much when I see her again.
We left just before one after Cliff came home early from work to say goodbye. I tried very hard not to cry.
I squashed into the back of the car and I mean squashed because of all the stuff I have next to me. I feel like I am going to college all over again, except for the fact that we used a van and not a car.
Mom started us off driving, but she only got about 2 hours in when she needed to stop change. Dad wanted to know I would like to drive through Buffalo, but I was afraid we would hit high traffic by then so I went back to my little corner of the car.
Good call. It was way to heavy in the way of traffic for me.
We stopped for supper around 5. It’s a good thing we brought food. We were already making really bad timing and I was feeling suspicious shaking by the car. So when the car light came on and it said low tire pressure I knew it had to be on my side of the car.
We stopped at a gas station where we found the front right tire was a little too flat for comfort. Of course that didn’t make any sense because we just got new tires a couple of days ago. Unfortunately the gas station didn’t have an air pump that was working so we went the other way looking for another gas station and wouldn’t you know we found a service station instead. Dad stopped and asked if he had air and the guy filled up the tire and then discovered the valve on the tire was really lose and letting out a lot of air. If the gas station had had air we might be wondering why our tire was losing air so often. That service station was a blessing.
We aren’t making the grandest of time right now. We are still over a 100 miles from our first stop and it is already 7:30. We had planned on being there around 8. Don’t think that is going to happen. Hopefully we will make better time tomorrow.
The sky was beautiful today. There were wispy clouds floating in the sky. They looked a little like horses tails flying out behind them as they ran.
The sun was a beautiful orangey pink color as it disappeared behind gray blue clouds. I tried to take pictures and put them on the computer, but for some reason the computer doesn’t register the card.
Oh well maybe I can figure your it out tomorrow.
Tomorrow I will be taking my turn driving. Happy times!

Saying Goodbye

Probably the hardest thing to do in life is to say goodbye. I'm pretty sure if I could I would never say goodbye because I hate crying. It's not fun.
I am just taking a quick second out of my final minutes here to let all of my friends know that I am on my way.
I am about ready to embark on a grad new adventure that God is sending my way. I've had a lot of friends I have had to say goodbye to this week. Some I have been fine about, other I have not.
But a Good bye should never be for forever only a word which means "May God bless you as we are apart and until we met again".
So until we met again I say goodbye for now, knowing I will see you all again.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Of Last Days and Dust

The last few days have not gone the way I expected them to go.
Friday was my 3rd anniversary at work. That was interesting just simply because the store had inventory and the day flew by so fast I couldn’t believe how fast it went. It was over so fast I was trying to shake off the fact that I now only had one more day of work to go before I was finished. I sat down that night and wrote a long blog about my three years at the store and all the experiences I had had during that time.
I remembered all the people I had come into contact with and even remembered all the places I had gone without ever once leaving the store. I even talked about some of the pictures that I had seen that will forever be ingrained in my mind. Some good, some bad. And then the inevitable happened. I lost everything I had written. An entire hours worth of blogging gone. GRR!!
Saturday started my last day of work. My coworkers threw me a pizza party and gave me snacks for the trip to Texas. Yummy! I had a lot of people coming into the store asking me when I was leaving and I surprised them by telling them that it was my last day. I kind of surprised myself every time I told them. I seriously don’t think reality ever actually set in. I didn’t spend much time at all in the photo department, instead I got to do one of my favorite pass times, outdates. Don’t ask me why, but I have always loved to look for outdates.
I was really expecting to have tears in my eyes as I left the store and I was actually very surprised when I walked out the door and I had no tears at all. I personally preferred it that way. I really didn’t want to cry.
I expected Sunday to be another hard day. Saying goodbye to all the friends I have at church was something I wasn’t really looking forward to. I did very well, surprisingly, only once choking up when an older lady got tears in her eyes. Once again I don’t really think reality struck. It was just another Sunday.
Today was just plain strange. My brain kept telling me that I needed to be at work because Monday’s are always days that I work and so not to go to work today just felt weird.
I cracked down and forced myself to pack. Wow! I have so much stuff! I finally did the one thing that I have been dreading to do. I cleaned under my bed. Of course I haven’t cleaned under my bed because I haven’t been able to reach underneath. So after looking under my bed for a few minutes, I decided that if I can get my legs under the bed I could push all the stuff I needed to with my feet. I’m actually glad I did it that way, because there was too much dust under my bed. If I had gone under the bed face first I am sure I would still be sneezing.
So I come to now. I do believe that tomorrow I will be able to finish up my packing and do any last minute stuff necessary before my move on Thursday. Ready or not Texas, here I come!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Another day in the life of packing

It was a rather eventful day for me today. It started out with mom and I going to get a hard drive case for my computer which ended up being the wrong thing so Now I have to take it back. Grr! Mom and I kind of got lost because we are never sure which way we were going.
At noon the UPS man came and brought my wedding dress. That was very exciting! But when I put it on, I couldn't get it completely zipped up. It may have just been because I ate before I tried it on, but whatever the case, it looks like I am going to bringing it with me when I go to Texas.
This afternoon I finally decided that I really had to sit down and do some more packing so I forced myself to pack. I still don't feel like I got very far, but that doesn't mean that I haven't. I am once again leaving the garbage men a present. I got rid of a bunch more papers and other things that I really don't need. Was it two or was it three more boxes I have packed. I also filled up my cupboard today with those boxes. No I hadn't planned on taking them with me. I also did my laundry. Now I can set out my close for the week and pack everything else.
Tomorrow is my next to last day of work. It is also my 3 year anniversary of working at my drug store. We will be celebrating with a smash by having inventory.
I am really looking forward to change. I don't know what it is going to be, but I do know that I am ready.
More packing tomorrow night I am sure.
In the mean time I am watching the Olympics in between working, packing, and talking to Reagan on the phone.
Go Michael Phelps and Shawn Johnson!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Won't the garbage men be surprised!

Mom pulled out all the stops today. She opened the computer room closet and started pulling out box after box after box until finally she had brought out everything that had to do with me. Then she and I sat in the living room and disposed of a lot of stuff. And we aren't just talking about the little stuff, we're talking about at least a ream of paper going on there when we were finished.
I had so much paper leaving this world that the shredder had to be emptied four times. Crazy as it seems I am still going through my stuff and finding more stuff to throw away.
Mom and I think that the garbage men are going to wonder what tornado struck the house when they collect the garbage tomorrow. It's amazing the mess we made. There were strips of paper everywhere on the ground. I have yet another box completely packed and ready to go.
This box has some pretty interesting stuff in them. I have special things in them such as stories and other writings from Elementary school as well as Artistic endeavors from first grade and on. Hey I was an artist and writer way back them. Why didn't I see that?
Anyway Tomorrow I have to go to Circuit City and buy a casing for my computer hard drive before coming back and trying to clean my room and pack some more.

It's more than just moving

Reagan reminded me that I haven't been on my blog in almost a month. Everything has been crazy in my life in the last few weeks that writing on my blog has been the last thing on my mind. Not only that, but I did start a blog entry when I was at the writers conference a few weeks ago and got distracted and never finished it. But the time has come that I must write again, because as soon as Reagan reminded me that I hadn't written in my blog I realized I really need to write in my blog. My dad just bought a new laptop computer to once again I can sit in my bed with a computer on my lap and type to my hearts content. It has been an amazing summer. I can't say that I have had a stranger one than this. As a matter of fact I have to say that I have had one of the strangest years of my life. I year ago I would never have imagined that I would have a ring on my finger, would be planning a wedding, and my leaving my job to move to a totally new state. This Saturday I will be saying good bye to the place I have called my work place for 3 years this Friday. I have been working as a photo lab person for 3 very hard long years. I can't so that I have enjoyed every minute of it, but I have to say that I wouldn't have traded all the experiences for anything. I loved working for the people of my home town. I made friends with many of them. I know a lot of people by name. I have celebrated all the good times with them and have cried during the hard times. I have been around the world without actually ever leaving my work place in front of the photo computer. I have learned a lot of things about people that I would never have begun to learn had I not taken this job 3 years ago. I also discovered my love for photography just by looking at other peoples photos and saying "Wouldn't it be wonderful if I could do pictures like that?" I guess I honestly have to admit that I didn't realize how many friends I have made by the people I take care of on a weekly bases until I started telling them that I would be leaving at the end of August. Whenever I tell them that I will be leaving, some of the first things that come out of their mouths is "Why?" I tell them it is because Reagan lives out in Texas and I want to be closer to him. But in reality there is a lot more to it then what meets the eye. Reagan is not the only reason I am going to Texas. For me it is a time for change. I feel that my ministry here is finished and that it is time to start a new one. My life needs to turn into a completely different direction. In a lot of ways I feel that God is calling me to leave my comfort zone and begin something different outside of my bubble. It won't be easy. I know that I will be giving up a lot in order to leave. I am giving up to the ability to see my family often. I am giving up my ability to see my new niece, Emily Grace, when she is born in October. I am also leaving my friends behind. But am I really giving those things up? I really don't think that I am. People may see my leaving as giving up seeing my family often, but I still have family. Reagan is my family and so is his family. They are close to me and will have a lot of interaction with them. Yes I will have to give up my ability to see my new niece, but that doesn't mean that I can not still be an important part of her life. I can't say that I am giving up on my friend. Yes I do have friends here, but not friends that I cam going to miss and those that I will miss I will still have contact with them. Moving for me is not about moving. It's about a new way of life. On Thursday, August 21 I will be embarking on a new chapter in my life. I will be traveling from my long time home of NY to the foreign country of Texas. It will be hard, but it will also be an adventure. Someone told just recently, "Where you go is what you make it out to be." If you go believing that you were meant to be there, that God is calling you to go, you will have a happy experience, but if you grumble and refuse to except the fact that you are here and not there, you will never find true happiness. Something that I have told my good friends is "If We are in the center of God's will, we can never be unhappy. If for some reason we are unhappy with our circumstances we need to be sure that we are in God's will. On Saturday as I walk out the door to work for the last time, I am more than sure that I will have tears in my eyes if not tears coming done my cheeks. I will miss the friends I have made, but I am about ready to embark on adventure that will take me to place I have never been before. I am going to take you with me. For the next few weeks I am going to attempt a nightly writing in my blog. Starting with packing and other preparations. I will then be letting you ride along as I discover places I have never seen before. I hope you will join me.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Packing it up!

I have come to discover that my mom is right. Packing gets harder the older you get. I have come to the conclusion that I really need to throw away a lot of stuff, which if you have see what I have been doing in the last few months you will know that I have probably thrown away 30 pounds of paper (Yes I did recycle) and proabably equally that much collectable garbage.
But throwing away memories hurts me more than it does my attic. As a matter of fact, if you go to the back of my attic where all of my stuff is, you can actually lie down and take a nap. Wouldn't suggest it though. A box might fall and hit you.
Right now I am going through my boxes and totes and saying, "Need now, need later, need when I have kids, probably need to just plain throw away!"
I have gotten rid of many boxes that way.
I've actually almost forgotten what it was like to pack up my boxes and move. Nine years is a long time to stay in one place and traveling back and forth to school doesn't offically count. I have to admit though I am feeling just a little bit like I am packing for school. In this case I have to pack as if I am going to school. Take only what you need without the school books. Thank you Lord!
Things that you own become your friends over the years. They are familiar to you and when you have to give them up it can be like you are in morning for the death of a dear friend. Sometimes it is all I can do to let that item slip out of my hands into the garbage can or even into the pile for the garage sale. I put it into a I'll think about it pile and then when I am not thinking I will just throw it away and not realize I did it. That works with me!
Isn't it funny? One minute you see something you had forgotten even exsisted anymore and the next moment you think you have to keep for some odd reason because you think you might need it again. I do that all the time, but who knows why!? Seriously am I really going to use it someday or is it going to continue to clutter up my room and attic?
So I suppose I should really stop writing on my blog and go do some packing. Maybe say good bye to a few good "friends".
I have to admit I am really looking forward to this move. Going all the way across to the other side of the country, a part of the country I have never actually been to before. To be like the pioneers of old who said "Go West, Young Man, Go West!" Okay so in this case it is "Go West, Young Woman, Go West!" I'm going, I'm going!
Well back to debating with the boxes.
Watch out Texas, here I come!

Come Check out the Website!

Reagan and I are very pleased to announce that you can now go to www.reaganandalicia.com and check out our wedding website.
It will answer any questions you might have and more.
Have fun, enjoy and leave us a note in our guest book.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Reagan- My Love Story

I love to read romance novels! I have to admit that I am a sucker for a well written, well beloved romance writer. If you give me a good one to read, I more than likely will have it read in less than a day if not in an afternoon.
Since my first real romance novel, The Bluebird and the Sparrow by Janette Oke, I have dreamed of what my love story would consist of. Of course tall, dark and handsome are kind of the normal when you first get started. Hey you have to start somewhere, right?
I dreamed of the million different ways I was going to meet him. On the street, at a party, while in college, even at church when his family walked in for the first time and introduced themselves.
Yes, I even dreamed of the dashing young prince coming along on his large white horse, sweeping me off my feet and carrying me into his castle where we were wed and lived happily ever after. Okay, so I knew that dream wouldn't come true, but it was a fun dream. And if you are a girl, you've had similar dreams. Don't go denying it either.
I had days when I would look at someone and think to myself "Could he be the one?" Scratch that. I seemed to have this criteria for what it was I was looking for and at my every look, it went splat like a water balloon, spilling out all over the sidewalk as he walked by. Definitely not the one!
And then my brother did a strange thing. He found a wife on Eharmony! Go figure! My brother find a girl, and get married!!!!!????? It sounded crazy, but it really happened.
I figured if my brother could find someone like that so could I! So I tried.
You don't know how many matches I had. As a matter of fact I don't know how many matches I had. But one right after another came up and one right after the other got scratched off the list. No way!
Around July I was getting rather discouraged over the whole thing. I almost gave up, but I decided to give myself three more months. Maybe, Just maybe something would come up.
Then it happened!
In September I got yet another list of names and started going through them closing down yet more that I really had no interest in or that had no interest in me. Then I came across this one match. It was
everything I hadn't planned on. Worst of all he was far away, like Texas far away. Right away I had my pointer on the close button. Then I stopped. I went back up to the top of the page and read his profile. It intrigued me. I decided to wait to hit the close button. Maybe later I would, but today from some reason I wasn't ready to do it.
Then a few days later I got a communication from him. I was stunned. I seriously did not expect anything to come out of me not closing him down. But I was so intrigued by this that I had to answer him. That was extremely dangerous!
We asked and answered many questions before we started talking about our families, likes, dislikes and everything else under the sun.
Then we told our families! That was fun! I don't know about his parents, but when I told my family that I had met someone named Reagan and he was from Texas they were all in a little bit of shock.
I let the name Reagan sink in for awhile, but kept back a very important characteristic about him that I had told only one person.
At Christmas I finally revealed the one thing that I had held back from my parents, Reagan was blind.
It surprised my parents, but for me it was never an issue. Since the day he told me, I was very fascinated. To me it was adventure.
Slowly and over time I would reveal this fact to more and more people, but I still didn't tell everyone.
Valentine's day was the beginning of a change for Reagan and I. He sent me flowers. It was like a light had turned on and a door had opened that had been just beyond our sight. We started talking literally every night. It was easier during that time because Reagan was in Arlington, VA and in the same time zone as I was. I knew there was something somewhere along the line that had changed between us so I went into my dad's office and pulled off a book from his shelf that I knew I needed to read, The Five Love Languages. I told Reagan about the book and discovered that he had actually bought the book and was about to read it. So over Easter while he was flying back from Easter brake, but he read the book.
That night we knew God had put us together and that we were meant for each other.
We started making plans in earnest. We already knew Reagan was coming in June, but we both realized after many long discussions that he wasn't just coming to meet me, he was coming to propose to me.
In April I got sick and the next day discovered a bouquet of beautiful flowers waiting for me at the front door.
Then one night I called Reagan on the phone, and knew instantly something was wrong. He had fallen down the stairs and for the next two or three hours I kept him saine as he battled the utter pain that he was in. I would have gone instantly to him if I could have. I was even more positive about my decision to marry him.
30 days before he was to come, I recieved two dozon roses at work making my coworkers jealous.
On June 19, as I watched the plane touch that Reagan was in my heart began to race. I asked myself what in the word I was doing. My heart was smashing out of my chest so hard I was sure everyone could see it.
As I got my first glimpse of Reagan coming out of the gate every emotion was running through me. But as soon as we had hugged and then started away from the gate walking with him was as natural as if I had been doing it all my life.
June 20 found us on our first date. In my mind I thought it was a disaster just simply because it was pouring rain and I couldn't find my way to where we were going. On the way home it was a rather quiet ride. I knew in the back of my mind that Reagan was going to ask me to marry him that night. Call it woman's intuition, I just knew.
We got home and I was very disappointed because it was freezing cold and Reagan thought it best we didn't go for a walk.
Reagan went up stairs and I followed him a few minutes later. He pulled me into his arms and began to quote something beautiful to me. At the time all I could think about was the beauty of the promise he had told me.
And then in the dark in the middle of the room, Reagan got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. All the words I was going to tell him when he asked me disappeared. To this day I can't remember what I was going to say. All I could say was Yes!
That night everything seemed to go wrong, and yet in the end I wouldn't have changed anything. It was so amazing as he slipped the sliver heart shaped ring with a gold cross onto my finger. I knew I had made the right choice.
And so on April 25, 2009 Reagan Lynch and I will be getting married and starting our own love story that is even better than any romance book anyone could ever write.

Sunday, July 06, 2008


A young boy went with his father to a swimming pool. The little boy was not a very good swimmer and so his father very lovingly and carefully fastened a life jacket around the boy so that he would feel safe.
The father then got into the water and started swimming around. After a while he looked up and noticed that his son still stood at the edge of the pool looking in. Being the loving father that he was, the father swam over to the boy and held out his arms.
"Jump to me. I won't let you drown!"
The little boy stood there for some time listening as his father continued to tell him to jump and that he wouldn't let his son drown. Then the boy made a decision. Instead of trusting his father and jumping, the little boy turned around and bolted from the side of the pool, got as far away as he could, and refused go in.
How do you think that father felt? That Father felt like a failure because his son didn't trust him enough to know that if he jumped, dad would catch him.
The little boy had an irrational fear that his father wouldn't catch him because he was blinded by the fear of the water. Nothing his father said to him would change his mind about the water. He refused to trust.
How are we with trusting God?
So often we try to figure things out for ourselves. We go from day to day worrying about where the money is coming from and going. We worry about things on the news. We are natural worriers. It's in our blood. We pass it down from generation to generation without giving it another thought. But let me ask again. How are we with Trusting God?
I have recently been challenged by this true story that I have just told you about the little boy and his father, and trusting God.
I heard on the radio this morning an interesting statement. Most everyone believes in God. It is very easy to believe in God. It is much much hard to believe God.
God, our Father, stands in the pool of life His arms out wide calling to us to jump because He will catch us and won't let us drown. We, on the other hand, stand at the edge of the pool with our life jackets on and shake our heads before turning around and high tailing it out of there.
We refuse to believe that God will catch us if we jump, but instead that He will watch us jump and then get out of the way so that we will go splat right into the water and drown. We have lost our trust in God.
Are we willing to put our faith back in a loving Father who would never under any circumstances let us drown? Are we willing to jump into His arms and let Him do the rest?
May we all be instead like the small child who stands on the stairs and sees his father walking by and shouts "Daddy, catch me!" before jumping into the waiting arms of a father he knew would catch him and wouldn't let him get hurt.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

4th of July Inspiration

I got a little patriotic today. Sat down at the piano and started playing. I haven't really sat down and played the piano like that in a while and I was in the mood to play so I did for about an hour or so. After awhile I decided to prepare for the 4th of July tomorrow by playing "Battle Hymn of the Republic", "My Country, 'Tis of Thee", and "American, the Beautiful".
I learned to play all of those songs as a girl taking piano lessons, and I loved every minute of playing them. Milking them for all they were worth every year in church. But there is one song that eludes my fingers. Time and again I have tried to play the song only to stop because I can't get those four flat to come out of the keys. Maybe some day the National Anthem will be a breeze for me to play, but for now I will have to attempt to sing it, high notes and all.
So I stopped trying to play the song, because once again I thought maybe I could try, and sang it.
We are all familiar with the first verse. It's song at all the popular sports games, and the high school games. We get tears in our eyes every time we hear the song, while men, women and children alike screech out that very high E that no real mortal can hit.

"O Say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?"

But did you know there is a second verse to it?
I guess I knew, but I never really paid attention to it. For that matter I couldn't quote you the words like I can the first verse, but I found it interesting that we leave that part of the song completely out of the mix.
Maybe it is because the words are kind of hard to fit with the tune so we think "No big deal, it's the first part that matters." But once you have read them, you may think differently.

"O thus be it ever, when free men shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation!
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just;
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust!"
And the star spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!"

How timeless that verse is! You can't tell me that it is not. We need to be screaming this song from the roof tops and yet here we are totally forgetting everything that this verse is saying.
You've probably seen the saying that I have seen recently. It says "Real Freedom isn't Free". How true can that statement be?
Everyday our freedom is being fought for and despite that our cause is a just cause and so we must conquer, we hear nothing but complaining about the fact that there is a war. When has there not been a war somewhere?
In order for our star spangled banner to wave triumphantly over the free and the brave we must be willing to sacrifice ourselves for the freedom of others.
So the next time someone complains about our wars remind them that with out our wars, we would not be free. Also remind them that despite the fact that we try to take God out of the picture these days, we should "Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserved us a nation" because without Him our flag and all our freedoms would have been a distant memory, if a memory at all.
May God Bless America Today and always and may we never forget that our Freedom, whether it is political, physical, or spiritual, is never free. Someone has to pay the price.

Friday, June 13, 2008

A Week of Cruising- Saturday

May 31, 2008
Friday night into Saturday morning was a very long night. Because of where we were situated on the 4th floor we could hear crew members working all night long for when we got into port. Things were rolling and thumping and pretty much just too loud.
To make matters worse people were coming down the hall at all hours of the night, laughing and talking loudly. Stumbling along as they head off to bed to get rid of their hangovers. This went on well into the morning and I think I heard the last one sometime around 2 am.

Saturday morning started bright and early. Laura was determined to see the sunrise so we got up at 5:45 am because the captain said the sunrise would be around 6:15. By the time we got up to the top deck the sun had already been in the air for awhile. I still got some pretty pictures before we went back to our room and fell back to sleep.

We would have stayed in bed had it not been for the noise that once again started up. Not only that, but for some reason the Steward thought we were out of the room so he started to come in.

I don't think I have actually mentioned our Steward. His name was Joel. He and his partner were amazing. They kept our room so clean and neat. Laura and I would go off to breakfast or something and we would come back to find our beds made and everything neat. Ever time we walked out the door and he was there, Joel would say hello and ask us how our days were going. He even remembered our names. We were pretty impressed simply because he remembered our names despite the however many hundreds of people he talked to every day. He made us feel like queens.
I finally knew that sleep was not going to happen for me so I got up. We had our last meal on the deck while watching New York City come into view. I got more pictures of Lady Liberty, Ellis Island, and the Empire State Building.

We also watched the tug boat The Cape Cod pull us into port and the seagulls flying behind us before heading down stairs to gather our stuff and prepare for Express Disembarking.

We seriously expected Disembarking to take well over and hour, but from the time Laura and I hit the line to the time we walked to the Taxi it was all of 45 minutes.

Our taxi driver this time around was a Much better driver and this time we really got a New York City driver. He weaved in and out of traffic so fast and he got us to where we were supposed to go in less time then the first guy. Laura and I tried not to pay attention or we might have had a heart attach just watching him drive.
We checked into our respective airways and while Laura was checking in, I was entertained by a pigeon who had gotten stuck inside. No one really seemed concerned. They just pointed and laughed and went on their way. Poor thing! Not sure he knew which side was up at that point.
We had about half an hour before I needed to go through me line and get to my gate. We stopped at Subway and had subs. It was rather a subdued conversation. Finally around noon we said good bye and I made my way through the line.
All morning we had been watching the weather. The sky was very cloudy when we got into port and it was progressively getting darker as we went along. By the time I sat down and was writing in my journal, I knew that we were in for a nasty storm and not twenty minutes before We were supposed to board our flight we had a nasty Lightening storm. The sky was very black and the rain came down in sheets. I called dad and warned him that I may be delayed, but by the time we were to board, the storm had stopped and the sun was out again.

What a fascinating ride that was: )
If you ever want to learn about the steward or stewardess on the plane, sit in the bulk head or the very first seat. I struck up an interesting conversation with the stewardess the entire way home. That was fun.

This time around I actually got to sit by the window and that was just amazing! I took a bunch of pictures out the window. Mostly of the clouds. Do you know how many dreams I have had of being above the clouds? Not only that, but we were going into big Fluffy clouds. We had a bit of a bumpy ride as we had a draft while going through the clouds. That was really neat because all I could see was white out the window.
I was so grateful to touch down. As the wheels came down on the runway I was grateful that my journey was finally over. I loved the trip and I loved the adventure, but it was so good to know that I was almost home.

Mom and Dad met me and together we got my suitcase before heading for the car. It was heavy. When I left on Sunday my suitcase weighed somewhere around 35 pounds. When I got home it weighed somewhere around 42. Where did I get all that stuff? :)
When I got home we had show and tell before I headed off to have my water cameras developed.
I also made a phone call at that time.
Saturday was the end of my journey, but it took me several days before my body realized that I was no longer on the ship. Every once in a while I would have to grab hold of something just so that I could balance myself. I felt like I was drunk or something : ) Sometime around Tuesday or Wednesday my body became used to the swaying of the ship to the point where my body was compensating for it. Now I know why Pirates really swaggered. It wasn't because they had too much rum, but because they were at sea for so long their bodies had started to compensate.
If any of you are thinking about taking a cruise, Do it! If you don't have the money, start saving up a little at a time. It is so worth every minute of it. I can't wait to do it again.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Week of Cruising- Friday

May 30, 2008
Heading home
"8:20 PM
'Oh Lord, my God, when I in Awesome wonder
Consider all the world Thy Hands have made.
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy Pow'r thro'out the universe displayed.
Then Sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee;
How great thou art, How Great thou art!'
There are no better words to describe what I have seen today.
You don't know the meaning of "as Smooth as glass" until you have seen it for yourself on the ocean. Tonight the water was so smooth it looked literally like glass. The sunset was spectacular with the sunlight shimmering off the water. Laura and I spent from just after supper until just after the sunset out on the deck. It was warm at first, but by the time the sun was gone, we were freezing.

We started the day a little late. Laura was going to see the sunrise, but set the alarm wrong. By the time I woke up and looked at the time, it was quarter after 8.
We went out to the Promenade this morning after breakfast before going to the meeting for disembarking. I got to be the time keeper because Darin said he wanted everything to go quickly. He said no more than 20 minutes and was done in 10.
We went final day shopping before lunch, then I sat out and got a suntan. . . er. . . um. . . burn. Oops!
Then we watched ping pong, ate ice cream, and talked.
We even saw a large sting ray swimming near the surface of the water. Really Cool!
Today we honestly did nothing but sit around and read. I can't tell you how relaxing it is to do nothing, but sit in the sun, read and watch the water while listening to the waves hitting the sides of the ship. We did walk around the ship.
I have pretty much everything packed now. Just a few odds and ends of stuff still sitting on the nightstand. I am so ready to go home.
Laura says she could live on the water. Now me, I love the cruising, but I know I couldn't live on a ship in the middle of the ocean for a long period of time. I'd miss too much of the world."
It was the last day on the ocean. It was rather bitter sweet. Laura and I both knew that in the morning we would be saying goodbye and going our separate ways. The week had gone by really slowly, but for some reason on that last day it felt like we had just gotten on the ship. I have to admit that at certain times of the day I had to catch the tears from forming. Laura and I had had such a wonderful week of feeling like queens and not having to work.
Sometimes there are no words to describe things. I was so thankful I had my camera because without it there are certain things that I have talked about in my blog that wouldn't have made any seance at all. Sometimes even the pictures don't do it justice. Sometimes you have to experience the winds blowing your hair, the smell of the ocean, the sounds of the ship, and the little things that make the ocean, the ocean to understand everything there is on here.
So close your eyes and smell the water, run your hand against the railings and feel the salt build up, face towards the wind and a little over the rail and feel the salt spray on your face and feel the wind. Taste the salt as it slips onto your lips. Listen as the waves slap slowly and methodically on the sides of the ship. Go to the back of the ship and watch as the ship makes waves and turns the water into a green foamy color and listen to the noise of the motor. Look out and see the strange creatures such as flying fish and stingrays as they swim beside the ship.
There is nothing like it. I was so blessed with the opportunity to celebrate God's creation out on the ocean. God must have used a very special paint brush when He created the ocean because He made sure you could see the curve of the horizon so that you know the world is round. He played around with every color of blues and greens and swirled them together to make the water. And every night He takes that delicate paint brush up in His hands and splash the beautiful colors of orange, yellow, blue, green, purple, grey, and white and makes an ocean sunset. How much more beautiful can creation be then that!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Week of Cruising- Thursday

Freeport, Grand Bahama Island
6 AM is officially too early to get up in the morning!
But a beautiful sunrise is worth getting up for.
We got up and threw on clothes before heading up stairs to see the sunrise. We stayed for about 15 minutes or so on deck 13 watching as the ship pulled into port and the sun began to rise behind the many machines loading a large barge possibly heading for the US.
Sometimes pictures are the only way to describe something.
We ate breakfast before getting ready for the day.
We were going snorkeling!
Neither one of us had ever been snorkeling before and we were both very excited about the prospect of taking pictures under water.
By 8 Laura and I were ready to go. It didn't take as long to gather everyone for a morning of snorkeling and we were off. Of course we found out later that we left two behind and they came with another bus.
After showing us how to put our gear on and the types of fish we might see in the reef we were headed out. It's so much fun trying to figure those stupid masks out. A bunch of us struggled with getting the snorkel to go on right and the mask to not leak. Whatever you do! Don't swallow sea water. It tastes nasty and gives you a big upset stomach. Yuck!
Besides the fact that I swallowed a lot of water before the knowledgeable guy fixed the mask for me, I really enjoyed seeing all the fish. Laura and I both had two cameras a piece and we took lots of pictures of the reef.
We were only out for about half an hour or so before we ran out of Film and became very tired of swimming.
We got to sit on the front of the boat where they unfurled the sail and we floated lazily back to shore while listening to Bahamian music. I have never been on a sail boat which has always been something I have wanted to do and so I was very excited. Laura and I closed our eyes because of the salt we had swallowed. I listened to the people as they talked. I heard some rather fascinating stories.
Just going up and down on the waves was relaxing. The sky had a few clouds in it and the water was once again every shade of blue and green imaginable.
It's amazing how the weather can change within a matter of a few minutes. We had gotten back onto the ship and were eating lunch when it decided to rain. It was big fat rain drops that came down and then were gone. It just made the humidity worse.
That afternoon the almost no sleep on Sunday and continuous activities of the week hit me. I was so tired, I took a nap before Laura and I went up stairs to the Spa. She had a massage while I had a manicure.
That night we sat outside and watched the sun go down as usual. Then we went inside and started making the room neater so that the next day when we packed we wouldn't have as much to do. We had every intention of going to the Chocolate night at 11, but I was so tired I knew I wouldn't be able to keep my eyes opened so we didn't go. I am sure that the little piece of Heaven would have been there if we had gone. Oh well. Maybe someday.
Here is just a cute little observation that I saw while on the ship. There were many families on board and a lot of little children. Every night Laura and I were entertained by different babies. They were so cute. The Fathers really seemed to enjoy the fact that they had time with their kids. One such father made me smile. He was at the kids pool with his two daughters who were around the ages of 1 and 3. They had just gotten out of the pool and there was a girl on either side of him. They were running along when he just stopped. Then he asked the girls if they could hop, so he started to hop and they followed. He did this several times asking them if they could walk a certain way. The little girls would look down at his feet and figure out what he was doing. It was so cute.
We were now officially head north once more. We said goodbye to the Southern waters realizing that when we got back it was going to be a whole lot colder.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Week of Cruising- Wednesday

Nassau, Bahamas
The day started out the usual way of Laura and I enjoying breakfast outside.
After lunch we watched as the ship pulled into the Port of Nassau. Another ship was already there and there were people coming in and out of the ship. We decided that our ship was without a doubt much prettier because it had colorful pictures on the sides and the other ship only had words. I should mention here that When we got off the ship we were both sweating bullets within just a few minutes because of the humidity.

We noticed once again that the water literally changed colors drastically. We could see the tour guides lining up to take us to our distinations. We even saw a pirate or two or three. (not real ones mind you. Here is an interesting tidbit of information if you ever go on a cruise. They will take pictures with dressed up people just to try to get you to buy the pictures.)

Our tour that day consisted of a city tour with stops out Fort Fincastle, Fort Charlotte, and the Queens Staircase.

It ended with a tour of the Pirate museum. A must see if you are ever there.
Our Tour guides name was Carvin. He told us that if we forgot what his name was to remember it's what you do with your turkey.... He was a big black man of about 250 to 300 pounds and he had the most awesome Bahamian Accent which he called broken English. It was very quick and many of his words ran in together.

I learned some very interesting facts about Nassau such as the fact that if you see a pink building, it is going to be a government building.
Carvin said they based the color off of their National Bird, the Flamingo. I also learned that the Baptist church is the offical State church in the Bahamas.
I also learned that the Bahamas consist of a large collection of islands and if you are rich and interested and want to retire somewhere in the Warm south, you can buy your very own island.

Nassau has many hills and everyone of them has some sort of fort on top. When you go to the top you can see for miles around.
The government will not stand for law breakers. If you break the law you will either pay with your money (and not cheaply), your time (more years in prison than we Americans could ever imagine), or your life (if you kill, you be killed. Captial punishment is awesome.)
It was rather odd riding around in the van because the drivers side was on the left hand side, they drove on the opposite side of the road then we do, and there aren't any stop signs or red lights except for something like 150 of them. Road rage does not exist there. Who ever is sitting at the cross roads first, gets to go first.

One of our interesting tour stops was the Queen's Staircase. It used to be called I believe the 64 Steps for the 64 steps that were carved out of the mountain side. We were told that it was carved by hand out of the stone face by hundreds of slaves that were forced to work long hours on it after they finished their work for their masters. They work on it for 10 years and never knew that sometime during those 10 years they were freed and could have stopped. But no one ever told them, so they continued for many more years. It is not a staircase for the weak and weary. It goes pretty much straight down.
During our time at Fort Charlotte, I helped the economy by buying two necklaces and a bathing suit wrap.

At last we ended our tour at the Pirate Museum where we entered a replica of a pirate ship and took a tour of the lives of different pirates. We even entered into a battle with Black Beard himself. Of course we were on the winning side and he was killed in the end and we survived.

After that we learned that many stores in the Bahamas close down much earlier then here in the US. Many were closed by 5 :(

We had grad plans of going into certain stores and buying them out :) But of course they ended up closing before we got there. At least I can go to the website. (Anyone interested in products that turn color in the sun go to www.delsol.com There's some really cool stuff in that store!)
We were able to stop in Diamonds International and get our free charm bracelets. And after taking a tour of down town, we stopped at a few shops that all the other tourists were visiting and bought some more stuff. That was so much fun.
We also stopped at a little plaza before heading back to the ship and bought some intereting jewlery. Did you know that you can make pins and earrings out of fish scales? Those were really cool. Laura bought one for her sister, but decided not to tell her that they were fish scales.
We got back on the ship in time for supper and I have to say that once again it was wonderful to sit down.
They had a little bit of heaven for supper that night. A chocolate mousse cake. I am convinced it is going to be in Heaven. It was SO GOOD! Of course I had to make sure it was good with a second piece.
Laura and I finished the day by watching two movies. The first one was August Rush with one of my favorite child actors, and the ever Favorite Movie of mine Enchanted. By the time the movie ended around midnight, Laura and I both were almost completely asleep.
Laura had plans of seeing the sunrise so we set our clock for early because not only were we going to see a sunrise, but Snorkeling was at 8 in the morning.