Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Another birthday has come and gone.  I turned 35 this month.  I won't go into all the ways that turning 35 sucks, in my opinion.  But I will mention the one that is weighing most heavily on my mind.  "Advanced Maternal Age."  If I see that phrase one more time, I may just freak out on someone.  I have wanted to be a mom for as long as I can remember.  When my first marriage didn't work out, I figured it would only be a matter of time until I found the right person and we were able to settle down and start our family.  But of course, our plans don't always count for much, do they?

I did find the right person and I couldn't be happier about who he is and what he means to me.  But it took too long.  Way too long!  My divorce was final in the month before the year 2000.  It took 11 years to find Jon and for us to make our commitment to each other.  I'm glad it happened the way it did.  I'm glad he and I took our time getting to know each other and becoming friends first.  I'm so happy with our relationship - I've never loved or felt so loved this way before.  Before the wedding, we talked a lot about kids and our expectations for the future.  We both want 2 children and while a girl and a boy would be ideal, we have pretty much decided we will be happy with two healthy children.

So I started doing some research.  I had no idea that 35 was some kind of magic number when it becomes harder to have children.  I'm trying not to let it bother me, but still.... if I waited too long, I'm going to be very upset with myself.  I know... I know... having children isn't everything.  But having a family - our own family - is very important to me.  I want a little girl or boy with his eyes and my nose and his brains and my musical talent. I want to watch and experience a little person developing into the big person that he or she will be.

So that's what this year's birthday meant to me.  I was dreading it.

But you know what?  When you dread something, it can surprise you.  I had a really nice day on my birthday, and a wonderful weekend after it.  Jon was amazing.  He took me out for dinner, and he got me a sewing machine, which I've been wanting forever, and he got me roses and a cake.  And his mother and cousin took me out for dinner during the weekend.  And I had lunch with my parents.  So it was a very nice time.

So I've decided to stop researching and being obsessive.  Stress makes it harder to conceive anyway.  So when we start trying, I'm not going to stress about it.  Because that won't help at all.  :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Honeymoon Recap: The End

We did a lot of other things on the boat - saw some shows, had some photos made, ate some wonderful meals, but really do you want all those details?  Probably not.

After the two days in port, we had a day at sea and then the next day we were back in New Orleans.  The last day at sea wasn't as nice as the first one, since we were heading back to cooler temperatures and it was very windy.  We spent most of our time indoors, looking around the boat and taking some pictures.  I'm posting a few of those at the bottom of this post.

Advice for people who are going on a cruise, especially with Carnival:

- If you drink soda, do the "bottomless bubbles" program.  It's only $30 and gives you unlimited soda the entire trip.  We really liked being able to have coke with dinner and the one time I felt a little seasick, it was great to be able to go to the bar and get a ginger ale.

- They take your photo ALL THE TIME.  Be prepared for that.  I didn't really wear makeup, except when we went to dinner every night.  I would have probably used it every day if I had known they were going to take so many photos.  I didn't bring the every day stuff I normally wear and didn't want to put on my "night" makeup for day use.

- Make friends with your dinner companions.  We had some very interesting and fun people at our table.

- Don't worry about looking stupid.  You will never see these people again.  I should have done karaoke.  :)

- Shore excursions are great.  Do them if you can.  They are pretty expensive, but worth it because they maximize your time.

- Eat something different every night and try things you haven't tried before.  I had Baked Alaska and a souffle for the first time ever.  The Baked Alaska was lackluster but the souffle was amazing.  We both regret not trying the lobster.  :(

- Enjoy yourself!  Take the time to do NOTHING and relax.  Read a book, listen to music, talk to the people you came with.  Don't try to do everything because you will run yourself ragged.

So here are some photos of our boat, and then my honeymoon recap will be complete!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Honeymoon Recap: Cozumel

Cozumel was beautiful.  We were pretty exhausted from the previous day's adventure to the ruins, so we decided to just chill in Cozumel, do some shopping and just look around.  In the touristy area, just after we got off the pier from the boat, there was a nice shopping mall with this beautiful garden.  We stopped and took a lot of photos in this garden, especially of the flowers, which I am not including here because there are a ton of them!

We both posed in front of the garden and took photos because we thought it was so pretty.  If you can see just behind us, there was a sculpture of a snake.  Jon thought it was funny to have the snake in the photo with me, considering how much I don't like that particular animal.  He's so silly.

This is just a wider photo of the garden.  I really loved it - the flowers were different from the ones we have here.  And yet, some of them were the same.  It was pretty cool to just sit and look at them.

This is the shopping area that we were in when we got off the boat.  The shops were all these little huts with the thatched roofs.  I loved it - so picturesque! Each one had different music and a different feel when you walked in, but they all looked so cute and uniform when you looked at them like this.

These guys were pretty amazing!  We stood there and listened to them for a few minutes on our way out of the shopping area.  It was very entertaining.  We also watched some guys playing while we ate lunch at a real Mexican restaurant (the food was amazing - so much better than the stuff we get here!)  so that was pretty cool.

We didn't sign up for any excursions that day because we just wanted to relax.  So we left the shopping area and walked around a little.  This was the outside of the shopping area.  I loved that bizarre plant right in the middle of the photo.  What in the world is it?  I never did figure it out.  We set off walking in one direction just to see what we could see.  We had kind of hoped to find a beach, but we never actually did.

We walked for about a mile and a half and found this little sea wall area where we could sit and watch the water.  So that's what we did.  We took a few pictures of this little area, but I liked this one the best.  While we never got to a sandy white beach, this one was pretty neat with all the rocks and the absolutely gorgeous water.  After sitting there for probably 45 minutes, just talking and enjoying the view, we headed back to the pier area.

They had some nice lounge chairs set up under some palm trees close to the restaurant where we wanted to eat lunch, so we sat there for a little while, looking at the water and watching people come and go.  This was the view of our boat from those chairs.  After lunch, we did some shopping - purchased a few more souvenirs for ourselves and family members, and then got back on the boat.  We decided that next time we would go diving.  I just have to get certified first!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Honeymoon Recap: Progreso, Mexico

This one will be photo-heavy, because we took over 150 pics at the ruins.  I have to say, although I haven't been to a ton of places, I have seen some interesting things and have traveled a bit.  But this place, hands down, was the coolest place I have ever been!  This is a photo of us in front of the temple - the largest structure at our part of the ruins.  I assume it's the largest structure in all the ruins, but we only saw one part of them, so who knows.  It was certainly an impressive structure, whether it is the largest or not.

We rode a bus for 2 hours to get to the ruins.  I took some shots from the window of the bus to show a little of Progreso.  Here they are:

We arrived at the ruins and Jon took over the camera.  He took some amazing shots during our tour and the "free time" we were given afterwards.  Here they are: 

After the tour, we got back on the bus and drove two hours to get back to the boat.  We made it about 30 minutes before the boat was scheduled to leave.  We went to our room to drop off the stuff we purchased (a blanket, a Mayan calendar wall hanging, and some magnets for family members) and got ready for dinner.  It was a great day.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Honeymoon Recap: On the Boat

Tuesday was our first "sea day," and we took full advantage of the time to relax.  We spent the entire day either sitting on the deck in the sun with our books, sampling food in the dining rooms, or people-watching in several of the various places available for that purpose.  We needed that day to relax, and it was heavenly.  See our happy feet and the beautiful water? This was the highest point on the boat that you could just hang out and read.  I started the first book of the "Mistborn" series and Jon worked on the newest "Sword of Truth" book.  Since we haven't had a moment to just sit and read, or sit and talk, or sit and do nothing in about 8 months, this was exactly what we needed!  We also planned our next day, the first day in Mexico.  We were to go to the Mayan ruins outside Progreso, Mexico.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Honeymoon Recap: Getting on the boat

If anyone has wondered if a cruise would be a fun way to vacation, I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed it!  After our wedding ceremony, we went home and grabbed our suitcases, changed clothes, and hit the road for New Orleans.  We didn't really stop to eat anything at the reception (except wedding cake, of course!) so we were starving by that time.

We stopped at a Cracker Barrel and had dinner on the way to our hotel in New Orleans.  This photo is of Jon at the restaurant on our wedding night.  You can see his wedding ring on his finger!

We got to the Hilton at 10:30 pm and got to our room on the 18th floor.  The view was really beautiful.  After a great night's sleep (really, this room was soooo nice) we got up later than we usually do and headed out to play around in New Orleans for a few hours before getting on the boat.  I took some photos of the Riverwalk and some other New Orleans sights.

We walked around the Riverwalk for awhile, and I told him about all the trips to New Orleans that we took when I was in high school.  He had been there a few times too, but not nearly as much.  I think we were obsessed with New Orleans when I was in school.

We ate at a sports bar - we sat outside because it was such a pretty day.  It was Halloween, so the servers were all dressed up in costumes.  After we finished lunch, we walked back to the car and punched in the address for the cruise terminal on my GPS.  We drove around for a little while because the GPS seemed to be telling us to drive somewhere we couldn't drive.  After asking for directions, we realized it was actually telling us the right way, we just didn't see the road.  We found it and went on our way.  Getting onto the boat was actually a pretty easy process.  We showed our boarding passes and passports and got right through the line.  It was maybe a 30 minute wait to get through security, where we showed everything again and they x-rayed our carry-ons.  Then we went to our desk and got our cards that would allow us to do anything and everything on the boat.  I loved those cards, really I did.  It's so smart to do it that way - nobody carrying a bunch of cash around or lots of credit cards.  We locked our wallets up in the safe when we got to our room and never had to touch them.

We were accosted by the first of many (many, many, many) photographers right after we got our cards.  When we looked at the photo later, we decided we both looked exhausted.  And then we boarded the boat.  This boat.

Sunday, November 06, 2011


I have a whole recap of the wedding and honeymoon planned, but it may take awhile to get to it.  For now, know that everything was wonderful and perfect and I wouldn't change a thing!  And we are so happy to be married and done with all the wedding stuff!

Look for some back-dated posts about wedding and honeymoon stuff, as well as some how-to guides for our decorations and other DIY stuff we did for the wedding.  I should have content for the next couple of months just with all that!  I'll give you a teaser photo - no pro pics yet, but some family members took a few shots.  Here's my favorite.