Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

We have had such a special Christmas this year :). On Christmas Eve the turkeys were back in our yard in the morning which is always a good omen...

 
There were 13 of them this time!!

 
Maddy spent the day with Mya at Epcot and the Grand Floridian while we did some last minute shopping and assembly for Maddy's big surprise gift!!
 
 
She loved it!!
 
 
I love the fact that my gifts only appear under the tree the night before. Mainly because Mike wraps about as well as he raps...
 
 
Christmas morning was full of trickery. When we opened our gifts in the morning I opened a big package and got really over-excited when I saw the word 'cycle' on the box. 
 
Mike: "Do you know what it is?" Me: "I do! I do!!It's a bike trainer! YES!!"
 
Well it wasn't - it was a bike rack. For my car. Mike looked crushed and no amount of "I wanted one of those too" was making any difference...  He waited until all of the gifts were opened before he gave me...a bike trainer;)
 
 
We all got a kick out of Maddy's silly putty in her stocking. Aahh, the small things...:)
 
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Maddy opened all of her gifts and we cleaned up and relaxed with A Christmas Story. And just when she thought it was time to start getting ready, we gave her a flat screen TV!! Her face was priceless!!
 
And then it was time for the Ugly Christmas sweaters...Looking good Early Family...looking good...
 
 
Our angelic child...
 
 
Brussel sprouts...
 
 
On a less ridiculous note, it was so nice to christen our new home with family. Since we love them, we had 4 Rivers Smokehouse do the food. Everybody brought desserts and snacks too. The food, weather, gifts and company was just perfect :)
 
 
We had a really lovely time and feel like grown ups for hosting a family event for the first time. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to you all for coming and making our Christmas so very special. We love you x
 
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
 

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Cruising into Christmas...

We celebrated our 15-year wedding anniversary a bit early this year with our first Disney cruise!
Things started out really well and we were all in good spirits when we got on the third longest cruise ship in the world - the incredible Disney Dream :)
 
 
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But then...after being in the room for less than 10 minutes I heard yelling and screaming from outside the bathroom and came out to find Mike in agony on the floor and Maddy screaming hysterically. Evidently, he had tried to pull out the sofa bed while standing on it. It had pulled him in trapping his legs in the process. He fell backwards hitting his head, back and arms on the table before hitting the floor and blacking out for a few seconds. I can honestly say I have never ever seen Mike in pain like that. It was really scary. After about 5 minutes he told me that he was pretty sure his right arm was broken and I believed him. In the end we decided to see if he could move it after waiting a while and after about 15 minutes he started to regain some feeling thank goodness. We checked into the medical facility, got some pain killers and made the decision to stay on the boat and take the chance that everything would be OK. It was thankfully - but it was a really rough start to the trip...
 
The top deck is amazing with it's huge movie screen...
 
 
...and endless dance shows and character appearances...


Mike is smiling as we sail away only because he's had 4 painkillers at this point...

 
I'm wondering if there's a decent hospital in the Bahamas in this photo...
 
 
Mike and Maddy at dinner when she finally stopped crying after the traumatic start to our journey...
 
 
In the morning, Mike seemed a lot better so we took a walk around the boat before our visit to the Bahamas. The Disney princesses stopped by for photos with the kids. We could have watched the expressions on those little girls' faces for ages - sooooo cute!

 
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After the ship docked we took a trip to the Atlantis hotel resort for a guided tour for the day...

 
The bridge between the two towers is one of the most expensive hotel rooms in the world at $25K a night. It's called the Michael Jackson suite and apparently he stayed there for 26 days once...

 
They have a massive aquarium with some massive fish. This one is is a Goliath Grouper which the tour guide says has been known to swallow people whole. Sounds like a massive story to me. If only I had access to Wikipdedia I could have called him out on it but Mike confiscated our phones before the trip for fear of massive roaming rates on the ship...

 
After the tour we did our own thing and found the public beach. So pretty...

 
The driver gave us a little tour too and told us a bit more about the Bahamas. He showed us the boats full of supplies and mattresses to help the thousands of people who were impacted by Hurricane Sandy...
 
 
This photo says it all for me...and makes me remember how incredibly lucky we are...
 
 
Back on the boat, we had another ice cream or 3...


 
...and prepared for the big Pirate party! They had a stage show on the top deck complete with a Jonny Depp lookalike. Tons of people on the boat actually dressed up as pirates!

 
The fireworks were amazing!!
 
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 Maddy and I did some 'mom/daughter' dancing...

 
Gangnam style :)...

 
And we watched Pirates of the Carribbean under the moonlight...


The next day Mike and Maddy did the 'AquaDuck' - a big water slide that goes around the whole top deck...

 
Here's Mike waving with his left arm...
 
 
And then we got off the boat in Castaway Cay, Disney's private island :)
 
 
It's the same island where they filmed the opening scene in 'Splash' with Tom Hanks and Darryl Hannah. And it's every bit as gorgeous as I imagined...

 
We had a really relaxing day which was a perfect way to end the trip. We all missed our house (which was actually nice after being uprooted for so long) and only really started to get the hang of the whole activities schedule by the time it was over! I'm not sure that cruising is our favorite way to travel and 3 nights is more than enough for us. That said, I'm really glad we had the experience and definitely learned a lot about how cruises work that will help us next time. And how to safely open sofa beds :).
 

Northfork update :)

The new house is definitely feeling like home now although we still have plenty of work to do:). We have worked really hard to get this far though so I thought I'd share some of the highlights so far :)
 
Still loving the woods. We had 9 turkeys out there last Sunday morning...
 
 
And a red-tailed falcon that was unbelievably tame!
 
 
My fave piece of furniture in our whole house is this dresser..
 
 
And I've always wanted to have a TV on the wall. Makes Dallas all the more entertaining....
 
 
None of our old Christmas decorations match so we are starting over with those too. Love our new stockings :)
 
 
And the tree looks great too!

 
Little by little...we'll get there!!