Friday, July 30, 2010

Summer 2010 Cruise Vacation Pre-cruise/ Day 1

James and I left on July 9, 2010 to go on our summer cruise vacation. We left early in the morning from the lake house in Tennessee to head to Atlanta for our flight. We had a fabulous flight to Los Angeles. This plane had many "in-flight" options which we were thrilled with. We had our choice of 10 various movies and lots of different games and shows to watch. It made the 4 hour flight fabulous!! It was the best plane I have ever been on! I know it sounds crazy to be excited about a flight, but when you travel with a husband who is 6'6'' anything to entertain him during the flight is a good thing!! The airplanes are just not comfortable for him, so this helped to make the trip a little more enjoyable!

We arrived in Los Angeles and headed for our hotel in Long Beach. I had gotten a FABULOUS deal on priceline for the Hyatt Regency. I was very happy with its location. It was right across from a marina, and the view was amazing. The weather was perfect so we went exploring around the boardwalk. We truly enjoy getting out and see the Long Beach area!

The next morning we got up and had a great and leisurely breakfast at the hotel. We wanted to get over the cruise terminal a little early so we could get settled in. We were asking for a taxi at the hotel. We saw 2 empty taxis, but couldn't find a driver. The conceirge at the hotel went and got us a private car to go in. It was a very nice Lexus SUV, so we were blessed immensely by God! We love when he blesses us with even the smallest things that others wouldn't see. We could have ridden in a dirty cramped taxi, but instead we got the "plush" treatment of riding in a private car.

We arrived at the terminal and handed our luggage to a very kind porter and headed off to the VIP check-in. We had booked a suite on the cruise, so we were once again blessed with the option of doing a quick VIP check-in. The people were very gracious and kind. We had all our cruise documents handed to us, and we were all set to board. We ended up waiting about 15 minutes and we were headed onto the ship! It was so awesome because we were literally one of the first to board the Carnival Splendor. We headed up to the Lido deck because our rooms were not quite ready. So, we got our normal first meal on the ship- grilled hamburgers and fries. We set out on the deck and watched World Cup soccer on the giant screen by the pool. Spain ended up winning, but James rooted for The Netherlands just to be different. he he It's not like he's a sports fan. He just likes to root for the "underdog".

At 2:00, we were able to head to our room. We were pleasantly surprised with the great layout of our room. It had it's own little dressing area, which I loved. The bathroom was huge (for cruise standards) and had a whirlpool tub as well. Of course, the balcony is always my favorite!!! It would become my bible study and napping spot for the rest of the week.

We got our luggage really quickly, unpacked, and were off to explore the ship! We had to have the usual "muster" drill that afternoon, so we headed off to find our spot. It is not as bad as it used to be at all. We didn't have to take our life jackets or anything! It was fabulous!! I always like the muster drill because you get to see all the people that you are going to be living with for the next week. It's always a great "people-watching" adventure!! Cruising always gives you lots of great people watching opportunities. You will start seeing the same people off and on, so you never know what they will be doing the next time you see them! I love it!

After the muster drill, we went back to the room and just relaxed a little. We were still very tired from the time zone differences. Each cruise, we get the late dining times, so we knew that we needed to get a little rest before dinner.

At dinner, we met the people that would be joining us for the week. What a great experience it turned out to be! We met some great new friends, Kathleen and Michael. Kathleen is a teacher, so we both hit it off instantly. Michael and James both have those funny personalities so they were laughing with each other within the first few minutes. We ended up spending a lot of time with these two for the rest of the cruise. It was a great blessing!

Our two waiters were Roel and Wilford. We had a wonderful dining experience with these two for the week. They made dinner a lot of fun!

Our night ended with a late night show. James and I went back to the room and ordered room service (which is free and a MUST for every cruise)! They had a creme caramel that is much like flan that I really liked, and James tried lots of different options throughout the week.

It was a great first day on the cruise. We were excited about the week's adventure!

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Over Christmas I did a few paintings for family and friends. Here are a few of them. The picture quality is not that great, but at least you can get the idea. :)

This was one for a sweet friend of mine who was having twins. She used this in her nursery.

This is a gift for another sweet friend of mine. Just a message from God.

Razorback block for my razorback fan friend!

This is a moose outline for my brother and sister in law.

I know I'm not an expert or anything, but it's a great stress releiver. It's just really relaxing to me. I just like to play around with colors, etc. :)

Valentine's Day

There has been so much happening in our lives over the past few months, but I wanted to write about our Valentine's Day for sure. I am trying to use this blog as a reminder of the small and large moments that God brings into our lives.
This Valentine's Day James went above and beyond for me. First, he had tulips sent to work on Thursday. They were absolutely gorgeous. Then on Friday I was surprised with a dozen gourment chocolate covered strawberries! They were beautiful, and VERY yummy as well. I had been giving him small presents along the way as well, such as: a dvd he wanted, chocolates, and a necklace for his cross.

We ended up going to Tulsa on Saturday to run some errands. We went to Cheesecake factory and had a great meal. We had an awesome piece of strawberry cheesecake. Then later that night we drove over to Miami, OK to go to The Ultimate Date Night. It was a couple that did a comedy and marriage night. It was pretty fun. We got to the church early to pick up our tickets. When we went in, a VERY nice gentleman invited us to join them for their dinner. I was very reluctant, but we went anyway. The chicken was to die for!!!! Everyone was very friendly. James kept saying, "This is how the family of Christ is supposed to be." We felt like we were at home. We drove home late that night and collapsed!! But, it was a fun day.

Then on Valentine's Day we went to church and that evening we went to Ruth's Chris for dinner. It was fabulous! So, our Valentine's Day was a fun one, and I think we both felt very special and loved!
I'm thankful for the man that God has given to me!!! He is truly a God-send. I love you James!

Here are the strawberries....YUM!

The box that they came in...

The tulips. They were gorgeous! They are even prettier when they open up all the way!

These were the beautiful daisies and calli lillies that James got me the weekend before Valentine's Day week. They were incredible as well!! I LOVE flowers!


Christmas 2009
I didn't take very many Christmas pictures this year. Here are a few, though.

Christmas tree with presents.

The snowman Christmas cookie.

Various decorated cookies.

A few close ups.

James the "Head" cookie decorator!

We really had a fun Christmas. After Christmas we left and headed to Mississippi for a few days. It was beautiful there. However, there is something wrong about being at the beach and the weather being in the 30's. It just made me wish for the summer a little more. After staying a few days in Ocean Springs, we headed back toward Atlanta to enjoy New Year's with our family. It was fun as always!! Lots of laughing and talking. It was a wonderful Christmas break!!!

Ordination Service

While in Florida we also had a church dedication and ordination for one of our church friends. Here are some pictures. James was also ordained to Pastor at that service. Here are some various pictures.

Pastor and Nina being admonished and ordained by Bishop

Pastor admonishing Curt's family


James telling stories about Curt

Pastor Stephens talking during the service

Labor Day

In September of 2009, we met up with our church family in Orlando, Fl. We stayed at our favorite resort! It is incredible!!! Then we went to Walt Disney World. Here are a few pictures from the weekend. :)