BACKGROUND

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Shore to Ship to Shore

We returned from our cruise on Sunday. We were sunburned, exhausted, and thrilled. It was a wonderful time. We left on Sunday, Feb. 17 and returned on the 24th so we had 7 days of vacation and it was truly needed.

We sailed on Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas. The ship was like a city on water. There were several restaurants, pools, a fitness room, shops, two libraries, an ice skating rink...the list goes on and on. We sailed the seas Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. We had amazing food and saw some great shows, but by Wednesday, I was ready to get off the ship for awhile and walk on land.

That day, we docked in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Dear Husband and I spent our honeymoon in Mo Bay (as the locals call it) in July 2005. This time, we traveled two hours by bus to Ocho Rios, where I climbed Dunn's River Falls. It was absolutely amazing. At one point, I stopped and stood with the water gushing over me and just enjoyed the experience, the moment. I had wanted to see the Falls for a long time and finally getting to do just that was worth savoring.

We were back on the ship Wednesday night and Thursday morning found us on Grand Cayman Island. I LOVED IT! I had never been to Grand Cayman and it was beautiful. We started the day with a glass bottom boat tour, followed by a trip to a turtle farm. The turtles were so cute. We got to hold them and learned a lot about them.

Unfortunately, Dear Husband and I got left behind by our tour bus at the turtle farm. We were in the gift shop picking up some souvenirs. Dear Husband went outside to get on the bus and I told him I'd be right there. When I went out a couple of minutes later, I couldn't find him so I thought he had crossed the street to get on the bus. When I crossed the street, the bus was gone. I got on another tour bus that was still in the lot and then our original bus came back to pick me up.

I thought Dear Husband was at the next stop, which was the Tortuga Rum Shop. Nope, he was nowhere to be found there. So I asked the rest of the group if they had seen him and they said no. I told the tour guide that we had to go back for him. We went back to the Turtle Farm and he came dashing out of the store to much applause from everyone on the bus.

We then made our way to the last stop of the day, which was Hell. Yes, I went to Hell. Now, this should not have been any big deal to me - I'm pretty much destined for it already what with being an attorney. Hell is not as bad as people think. Next time someone tells me to go to Hell, I'll have to say "No need, been there and I got the t-shirt too."

That night, we sailed again docking on Friday in Cozumel. I'd been there before as well, but it never gets old. Dear Husband and I did a lot of shopping (A LOT!) and then headed to one of my favorite places to eat in Cozumel, Ernesto's Fajitas. SO SO SO good.

Saturday was a day at sea and Sunday morning we were back in Galveston, Texas. It was a great trip and I am ready to cruise again. Luckily, my best friend and I will be cruising to Cozumel in June and I can't wait! She's an awesome travel partner so I know we will have the best time. Viva La Cruise Ships!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Cruisin'

Dear Husband and I are leaving on a week-long cruise tomorrow. We will be going with his family, all of whom I get along with, which is good. What isn't so good is trying to get ready to go on the cruise. I need a vacation from the vacation preparation.

I've done a few things here and there over the last week like buy some new clothes to take on the cruise. Nothing fancy just some shorts and shirts and a pair of shoes. I've got those washed and ready to be packed. I also went through some paperwork and got rid of things I don't need so they won't clutter the house while my dad is here house/pet sitting for us. Thank God for my dad. He is coming from north of San Antonio (4 hours away) to watch the dogs and the house for us. My dad rocks!

I have a ton of things left to do though. I need to:

1. Make the guest bed
2. Write a list to include the dogs' vet and various instructions about caring for them
3. Answer several e-mails
4. Pack
5. Collect "fun" stuff to take such as magazines and books
6. Call mom since I won't talk to her for a week
7. Pick up a couple of last minute items at the store

I hope that's it. It's probably not, but let me live in my delusion that there are only seven things for me to do, ok? I better get going on some of those items. I will report back next Sunday with news of the cruise.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Seaing is believing

I had a great birthday week! Dear Husband brought flowers to my office on my birthday and lunch from Quizno's. He bought the flowers from the same florist who did our wedding flowers. I thought that was a nice touch. You can see the flowers in the picture at right. That night, we headed out to Bennigan's for dinner. It was a wonderful, low-key evening, which is exactly what I needed.

On Thursday, my friend Angel took me to dinner and a movie to celebrate my birthday. We went to Denny's and then over to the theater to see Juno. It was excellent and I highly recommend it to everyone! I love the main character. She voices all the thoughts I frequently have in my head. I love it when a character in a movie or book seems to be speaking my "language."

In other news, I am getting ready to leave on the family cruise in one week! I can't believe it's almost here. We will be sailing to Jamaica, the Grand Caymans, and Cozumel. I've been to Jamaica and Cozumel before, but never to the Grand Caymans. I've also never been on a cruise so it will be fun I am sure. I am going with Dear Husband, his mom and dad, and his sisters and their spouses and kids. I have to go shopping to buy a couple of formal evening gowns for the two formal nights of the cruise. I'm not at all a formal person so that should be interesting. If it involves pantyhose, I don't want to be a part of it. Maybe that's why I've never robbed a convenience store. I don't like to wear pantyhose on my legs or my head.

Anyway...tomorrow will be all about cruising in several ways. I am driving a friend and her mom down to the ship in Galveston so they can depart on their cruise this week. I will then head over the the travel agency to check on the cruise my best friend and I will be taking in June. I meant to do that last week, but time got away from me. This working thing is such a time suck.

After that, I'm coming home and completing several school assignments so I won't have to worry about them when I am on the cruise. I'm such the scholar. Yeah...so anyway, all in all it's been a good week and I'm looking forward to sailing the high seas if for no other reason than that I will have a chance to read all the magazines (poolside of course) that I need to catch up on. I'm at least six or seven months behind so I hope to catch up.

Monday, February 4, 2008

32 Candles

Today, I turned 32 years old and I have to say that my 30s just keep getting better and better. I am truly enjoying where I am at in my life. I have accomplished a lot and I am grateful for all the trials and joys that have brought me to this time in my life. I often look back on my younger years and think about the things I wish I had known back then. How much pain and worry I would have saved myself in those years when I just wasn't sure that things were ever going to turn out right. If I could write a letter to my younger self...

Dear Teenage Lawfrog,

High School is difficult for everyone. Even those who seem so self-assured are harboring fears of falling from grace. They have the same fears you do, they are just better at hiding it.

You are a geek of sorts, but that's ok! In 15 years, you will be an attorney studying for your Master's degree in psychology. Those who made fun of you truly had their best years in high school and that is a very sad thing.

Be glad you made the choice to go to University of Oregon. You will meet your lifetime best friend there and you will have experiences that you will look back on fondly. You will love the journalism school and you will find out things about yourself that you need to know. Oh, and don't take those two years of French. Take Spanish instead. It will be a lot more useful in your future.

Dear 20's Lawfrog,

Your first marriage is going to be tough. You will spend 6 years with a man who will test your strength and emotions in a way that you don't think you will be able to withstand. Not only will you withstand it, you will triumph and once again learn so many lessons that will be valuable in the future.

Be glad you got divorced early in your life. After the pain subsides, you will use that experience to help a lot of others. You made a great decision to go to Houston. Law school will be a rewarding experience that you will never forget. It will make you feel accomplished in ways you can only dream of right now. You will struggle with some of your classes and you will make, and then lose, some friends. It's ok. You will come through it all with flying colors. You will pass the bar on the first try so don't worry about that. The months between the exam and the results will be trying and scary. Keep praying. It's worth it. Just don't worry.

You will meet the man who will become your husband in the summer of 2004. Early in that year you will suffer a great heartache, one which you don't think you will ever get over. From that experience you will meet two people with whom you will form close bonds. Pain shared is pain halved. Don't forget that. It will help you and it will help others you meet along the way. You will become a more compassionate and understanding person because of the pain you suffer. That will make it worth it. Trust me on this one.

You will love your second wedding. It will be beautiful and everything you want. Your second husband will present some challenges, but they are challenges you need in your life. You will overcome those challenges alongside him and you will be happier than you've ever been. You have a keeper this time. Remember that when you want to smother him in his sleep.

Dear 30's Lawfrog,

The year you turn 31, you will get your puppy, Peanut. She will be the light of your life and you will wonder how you ever lived without her. You will bore your friends with tons of pictures and drive Peanut crazy with all your snuggling and love of her.

On the not so bright side, you will have a tough time finding the right job. You will go through a lot of true psychopathic bosses, but you will eventually land on your feet in the right place for you. You will enjoy it and savor it all the more because you know what it is to suffer in the workplace. You will love your psychology studies. You will be happier and more fulfilled than you've ever been. The 30s are just starting and they are going to be wonderful!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

A Giant Bowl, no, no wait...it's a Super Bowl.

Today is Super Bowl Sunday. I must confess that I am one of the few people in this world for whom this day means nothing. I am not a football fan and until recently, I didn't even know who was playing in the Super Bowl. Thankfully, I am married to a man who is equally uninterested in football. The only sports I care about are gymnastics and figure skating and those are not often shown on TV. Meanwhile, golf has its own channel. Where's the justice?

Anyway, I am spending this weekend in Castroville (just outside San Antonio) with Dear Husband and my dad, who has retired here. We drove up yesterday afternoon and will be leaving today. Usually, we come up Friday night and stay until Sunday, but Dear Husband worked late on Friday so we came up on Saturday. Last night, we went to see Agatha Christie's Appointment with Death at a local dinner theatre that we have been to several times. I LOVE mysteries, a trait I picked up from both my parents who also love them. It was a great play.

After the play, we returned to my dad's house where we had cake and ice cream, an early celebration of my birthday, which is tomorrow. It was a great weekend, although MUCH too short. We're heading home late this afternoon after we have some Bill Miller's BBQ and hang out with my dad's cousins who live right down the road.

Happy Super Bowl Sunday everyone. Hope your favorite team scores a run or a goal or whatever.