Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cruise - Part II

We took another trip to Tulum. When the ship docked at Cozumel, it was raining. When we went to meet the ferry to take us over to Playa del Carmen, it rained even harder. It let up some once we got over there, but rained again as we drove to Tulum. Happily, it stopped raining for exactly the amount of time we were at Tulum. When we left, it started to rain again, and contined to rain as we crossed on the ferry. (NOTE: Take Bonine before taking the ferry at Cozumel.) We were among the first getting off the ship, and almost the last getting back on. It make for a frantic day of rushing around and we didn't even get a chance to shop for a single souvenir in Mexico.

Although we had scheduled to go again with Helaman, we were instead met by Helaman son-in-law, Carlos. He did a good tour for us, which was different enough from Helaman's tour of 3 years ago to make me feel like it was all brand new. Tulum is still breathtaking, not only in the ruins themselves, but also the way it sits up on the cliff overlooking the ocean.

These stairs down to the beach were washed out on our last visit from a recent hurricane.

The next day we had a day at sea, so I killed some time trying to get a picture of me and Lane. He kept pulling faces - but none so funny as this one. I laughed and laughed until I cried. The ship photographer took a pretty funny one of him at dinner one night, but I just couldn't bring myself to pay $20 for it. We laughed thinking about what the cashiers reaction would have been if we had taken it up to purchase. Still - it wasn't as good as this one. I don't care what anyone says. I'm blowing it up and putting it on my desk. It makes me laugh every time I look at it.

Yep. That's champagne. One of my frustrations this cruise was that instead of giving away their "Ship on a Stick" trophies like they have in years past to winners of various games, this year they only gave away champagne. I'll have to write a letter to Carnival about that because I refuse to believe that we were the only 6 non-drinkers on the entire ship. And I wanted another trophy! Anyway, I have a bottle of champagne now (yes, we brought it home), and my friend Jennifer has one too. We would have had a 3rd if not robbed in one competition! It still hurts.
The other good thing about this picture is photographic evidence of Lane in a Hawaiian print shirt. He actually has 3 of them and he will only consent to wearing them on the cruise ship. He does it under duress and only to please me. But whatever it takes, you know?

Cruise - Part I

Oh, the silky, soft sand of the Carribbean islands. Our first stop on our trip was at Grand Cayman. We've been there before, 2 years ago, and we did the Stingray thing. This time we visited 7 Mile Beach and paid nearly $40 for a mediocre lunch. The day was warm enough, not hot, and we enjoyed a long walk on the beach and some souvenir shopping around town. There were 4 cruise ships there that day, so it was crowded downtown and the streets and sidewalks are narrow and the car traffic is always heavy so getting around town is a bit frustrating when your life-long philosophy is that crowds should be avoided.

Please don't notice that I still have old nail polish on my toes. I'm so ashamed.

The silky soft sand of the Carribbean islands is accompanied by crystal clear water. It's my Happy Place.

The water is too shallow for cruise ships to come all the way in to a pier, so they anchor a ways out and transport passengers in and back by tender. This is Lane and I headed back to the ship on the tender. This is also one of the few decent photographs of Lane before he decided to be non-cooperative in photo-taking.

This is our ship as we approached it on the tender. And we were one of the smallest ships there that day. You can see another tender alongside the ship.

Looking back over the back edge of the ship. I'm surprised this turned out this well since the sun was bright in my face and I couldn't really see what I was doing.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Addie was baptized on Saturday. How is it possible that 8 years have passed since those early, scary days of her life? We went through weeks of agony, wondering if we would even be able to bring our baby home, and now here we are, 8 years later, with a beautiful girl who is too healthy for her own good. You would never know there was anything wrong with her - and sometimes we manage to forget. What a blessing she has always been to us.

So it was with great pride and gratitude that I helped her change into her white clothes to be baptized. She, too, was very excited about the whole thing. She smiled at everyone who came to share her special day, and listened reverently to the speakers.

When her turn came to be baptized, I walked with her into the changing room, and opened the door to the font, where her dad was waiting. It was at this point that she fell apart. I don't know if she was overcome by the magnitude of being baptized . . . or feeling the spirit . . . or just plain scared. But she cried. And cried. I hugged her tight and told her how much we love her. Finally she nodded that she was ready, and off she went to be baptized. Poor Lane - it must have seemed like an eternity that he was standing there, wondering what was going on.

It is sort of a sad thing to have the last one baptized. It is such an exciting day: a day they are old enough to always remember, a day they have been anticipating since they were in nursery.

This was especially important to me because Addie never had a Blessing Day. This was her first Big Day in the world of Mormon milestones. She was blessed the same day she was born. Lane and his dad gave her a blessing and they were the only ones in attendance. We had received permission from our bishop to give her the blessing there at PCMC because her prognosis was so precarious, we wanted to get her on record . . . just in case. They couldn't even put their hands on her head - they had to do her foot because it was the only part of her tiny body not hooked up to something.

Well, after some pretty scary days and nights over the course of those 7 weeks in November and December, we were able to bring her home and she has thrived and been amazingly healthy. I think she only ever had 1 ear infection and rarely got sick (other than a few occurances of RSV and croup). She still doesn't get sick with all the stuff going around as much as the rest of us do. There is no logical explanation for it - we were told she would always be small-ish and sickly looking. My faith tells me it comes from the words of the blessing given that Halloween afternoon, 8 years ago; words of a blessing I never heard with my ears . . . but felt with my heart.