Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Vacation Bliss

Jeff and I just returned from our week-long trip to The Bahamas. It was our long overdue honeymoon and 5-year anniversary trip all in one. To say we had a great time is a gross understatement. It was the BEST vacation ever! People keep asking us what we did while we were there and our answer is always the same: NOTHING!! And that, folks, is what a vacation is all about. It was by far the most relaxing and enjoyable vacation I can ever remember!

We took a ton of pictures while we were there, and I couldn't decide which ones to post. So, I decided to post them all! This blog is our family scrapbook so I wanted to make sure and document all the fun we had. We probably won't be taking a vacation like this for another 5 years so we'll always have these pictures and memories to look back on. So here you go, our vacation bliss in photos and captions.

First picture of the trip: Me at the airport Pappasitos restaurant enjoying a breakfast taco and a large Coke. This was photo-worthy because it was my first official day of my diet "break" and I was in heaven eating carbs again. Notice the huge smile.

After we arrived at our resort, Jeff and I posed in front of some of the resort views.

This was our first of many pictures together at our resort. The grounds were beautifully landscaped with tropical plants and flowers.

The resort had a private island that you could only access by a 5-minute boat ride. We spent our first couple days at the island enjoying the restaurant, beach, pool, swim-up bar, and outdoor spa.

In this picture, Jeff is standing on the edge of the island with our main resort grounds off in the distance. It was really neat being at the island -- kind of like a secluded little getaway away from everything else.

On our first day at the island, Jeff noticed that the swim-up bar had a posted list of their speciality drinks. He decided he was going to drink the entire list in 1 day, which was 11 different drinks. Needless to say, he was done for the day.

Each morning before breakfast, Jeff and I went to the fitness center to work out in hopes of minimizing the damage on the scale. I am not someone who typically enjoys treadmills or gyms, but who wouldn't love this view??

Each night during our stay, we had reservations at a different restaurant at the resort. It was fun to try different foods, as well as dressing up a little after hanging out in our swimsuits all day. I always made Jeff take our picture so I could have one in all my different outfits. :-)

Before our trip, when I told people that we were going to The Bahamas they would immediately ask, "Oh, are you staying at the Atlantis?" I had never even heard of the Atlantis before, but it is this HUGE resort in The Bahamas on a private island with an enormous waterpark and tons of other amenities. Jeff and I decided to take a day trip to the Atlantis to see what all the fuss was about. It was really nice, but it was PACKED with families, teenagers, and kids. After being at our quiet couples-only resort, we weren't too fond of the crowds and kids. We enjoyed seeing the Atlantis and surrounding area, but we were happy to get back to our hotel!

Another day, Jeff and I took a city bus into the downtown market area. They had rows and rows of local merchants selling all kinds of homemade crafts.

Despite the daily exercise, I gained about 10 pounds during our week away. No joke. I was eating everything in sight, especially desserts. On most nights, I ate enough dessert for both of us. I was busting out of my clothes, but it was so yummy!!

On our last night, we took the boat back to the private island for a romantic dinner at the restaurant there. We walked the beach and just tried to savor our last evening with each other and the incredible views. It was such an amazing vacation, I think we pinched ourselves the entire time we were there to make sure we weren't dreaming!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Spring Break

This week is Spring Break for the kiddos, but I also decided to have my own little "spring break." I hired our favorite babysitter Mory to come over all day so that I could get some errands and things done without kids in tow. When I mentioned it to Julie, she thought it would be fun to join in, and what do you know... we had ourselves the making of a Girls' Day!

Mory came over Monday morning with her sweet daughter Rebecca and we left them with Connor, Kaitlynn, Benjamin, and Lily. Julie and I headed out and went straight to the Galleria for some shopping, lunch, and much-needed girl time (without kids)! It was such a fun day. I had been feeling a little overwhelmed lately with everything going on and Jeff's busy work schedule, so this day for me was SUCH a nice treat. I was also able to pick up a few new pieces for my upcoming beach vacation wardrobe. It's amazing how a fun and relaxing day away like that can really lift my spirits and recharge my batteries. Happy Spring Break!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Yee-Haw, It's Rodeo Time!

Every year we make at least one trip to the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. Sometimes we attend the nightly concert and other times we just take the kids to the carnival and livestock show. It's always so much fun for all of us. This year, we met up with some of Connor and Kaitlynn's buddies to ride the carnival rides, indulge in some carnival food (YUM!), and enjoy the gorgeous spring weather. We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day.

One of the kids' favorite parts of the Rodeo experience is riding the Metro Rail (light rail train) to the Rodeo entrance. Connor was SO excited to ride with fellow cowboys Benjamin and Timothy, and Kaitlynn really liked the "choo-choo" too.

When we arrived at the carnival entrance we met 2 more of Connor's buddies, Brady and Tanner. These boys all attended the same daycare for the first several years of their lives and they continue to enjoy spending time together (as do their Mommies). We made all 6 kiddos sit for a quick picture since they were too cute in their Western wear.

And when I saw the following picture, I cracked up. Poor Kaitlynn in the middle of all these boys, it looks like she has her head in her hands thinking, "Woe is me!" Ha!

The first thing we always do at the Rodeo is let the kids ride the ponies. Kaitlynn was one of the first to ride and she was NOT loving it. She whined and cried a little bit but then seemed to tolerate it, but not without her trademark scowl.

Connor, on the other hand, LOVED it! He and the other boys had a blast on their pony rides.

After the ponies, the boys enjoyed their first ride: the big slides. I was able to capture this quick video of Connor and Benjamin going down the slide, which seemed a little scary to me!

Next was a little obstacle course. Here's the three 4-year-olds climbing the net on the course.

Then we walked past this cool "human bubble" game and the boys all were mesmerized.

By far, the favorite ride of the day was this race car ride. The boys all rode it several times and all had huge smiles on their faces. Here's a picture and quick video of one of Connor's turns.

Kaitlynn spent most of the morning strapped into the stroller because it was too crowded to let her run loose. She definitely had had enough by early afternoon.

Of course, the favorite part of the day for me was lunch! I had been planning all week to cheat on my diet with some yummy carnival food. And oh my, it was delicious and worth it! After lunch, I made sure to get a quick photo with my Rodeo cuties.

It was another great year at the Rodeo for all of us. So now it's time to put away our boots and hats until this time next year! :-)