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Friday, February 28, 2014

SUYL Favorite Vacation Spot!

I wrote a post back in 2011 about my favorite U.S. vacation spot, Ocean Isle Beach, NC
But today, I am talking about my other FAVORITE vacation:

A Royal Caribbean cruise

I do not even know where to start because these vacations are absolutely amazing. I went on my first cruise in the third grade and have been on 7 cruises since then. My first two were with Carnival, but once we made the switch to Royal we never went back.

The Royal ships I have been on include:

Freedom (twice)

Each ship has something special to offer but I am going to go over some of the things that they all offer. Whether you choose a smaller ship or the biggest one in the business, you will have the time of your life!! The one concern I hear about this type of vacation is "what if I get motion sick?" I'm here to tell you that I have pretty bad motion sickness and have never once been bothered!! It is like a paradise resort that you don't even know is moving unless you watch the wake off the back of the ship. 

First of all, you get to vacation while traveling to your vacation!! I feel like I have visited a great portion of the Caribbean, thanks to cruises. The beaches you visit just don't compare to anywhere else in the world in my opinion.

 Roatan, Honduras

 Labadee, Haiti

Grand Cayman

Not only do you get to visit these beautiful places, but you also get the chance to be immersed in their culture. Most of the shore excursions you go on are guided by locals and it gives you a great taste of what their island life is like. 

As wonderful as the islands are however, the true experience is back on the ship! First of all, the service is impeccable! From your dining staff, to your room steward, to the bar tenders- they are beyond friendly and truly take the time to know you and what you prefer. Not to mention they are from hundreds of countries all over the world so it is really neat to talk with them and find out about their culture! I always become friends with my waiter and room steward :)

Just a fun plus? Towel animals! In your room every night. Along with your room tidied up and your covers pulled back! Now thats service!

During the day, there is SO much to do!! You have an itinerary delivered to your room each night and you would not imagine all the fun options. Sitting by the pool listening to the steel drum band is my favorite thing to do but there are contests, bingo, art shows, kids camp, flow rider, rock climbing, and some ships even have putt-putt courses and ice rinks. 

& night time? Even more fun options. Dinner in itself is something to talk about. The waiter knows your drink order by the second night and has it ready for you when you sit down (Sprite for me!). The menu changes each night to offer the yummiest options for everyone. There are even nights when the dining staff put on a show. Dinner is one of my favorite parts of cruises!  After dinner you can head to a show, a dance club, a pool party, a movie on the pool deck, or bed! ha ha There are endless choices.

Finally? Just the view of the endless ocean is calming and breathtaking all at the same time. 

If you haven't been on a Royal Caribbean cruise, I HIGHLY recommend it. You will not regret it. Soon, you will be loyal to Royal too :)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Midweek Update

 I want to give a random update on the last couple weeks! 

To be honest, last week was AWFUL and BRUTAL from start to finish. I can easily say it was the hardest week of grad school so far. We have the "medical-based" classes this semester so it is basically like being in neuroanatomy all over again-except harder. The professors' only way to test our knowledge of all this stuff is to TEST. So within the last two weeks I've had four tests. Also? We had intervention plans due for each client last Friday. That's four intervention plans and two tests on top of the usual therapy, meetings, lesson plans, data collection, SOAP notes, and reports. Needless to say I had no sleep all week and then got the news of my Mama Faye on Friday. When it rains it pours and thats the truth. 

Let's take a look at some of the lighter, happier things shall we?

While I was home over Valentine's Day weekend, I finally received my personalized otter box phone case I got for Christmas!! It didn't ship until late January so this was the first time I got my hands on it

in. love. 

And just to add in a cute picture of my Momma and my puppy from that weekend. I love them to pieces. 

I picked up a shift at the daycare on Friday mornings from 7:30 to 12:30 and I'm SO glad I did. It is tough to wake up that early after a long week but it's definitely worth it. I miss those babies so much since I don't have regular hours anymore so I am happy to end my week with toddler snuggles :)

Lastly, I can NOT believe Spring Break starts next week. This semester hasn't seemed like it has gone by very fast but I just can't wrap my head around the fact I'm already half way through it. All I have to say is: Thank God! ha ha

Monday, February 24, 2014

Mama Faye

My beautiful, sweet namesake went to be with the Lord on Friday, February 21.

I am so happy for her that she is dancing with Jesus, completely healed. She has been dealing with dementia, strokes, and a fall that left her body weak so she is SO much better off in Heaven now. 

This doesn't heal the pain we all feel from missing her but it is comforting to know we will see her beautiful smile again some day. 

After hearing how she impacted all the people in her community this past weekend, I felt so honored to be the granddaughter of such an amazing woman. Her services truly reflected how she will be remembered, a precious woman of God with a huge servant's heart and a contagious smile. 

While most of our family gatherings included my 6 aunts and uncles and 15 cousins, I always cherished the alone time I got with her and I have sweet, sweet memories that we shared. 

She bought me the prettiest, fanciest clothes whenever she came to visit. 

I think I will always be able to remember her exact tone and rising intonation when saying "Lorrrrdd" in response to the crazy stories we would tell.

She always wanted to make me (or anyone!) feel comfortable- whether it was sharing her jacket at a restaurant, rubbing my back while watching TV, or getting me a blanket when I got cozy on the couch.

On our family beach trips, she stayed inside and was right ready to cook lunch for us or just hang out when we came in from the beach tired and ready to cool off.

We had some special alone time when I was at ECU. Since it was only an hour and a half away, she and Grandaddy came to eat dinner with me at Outback one night and I can still see her laughing and shaking her head at my Grandaddy walking next door to Wendy's while we were still eating to get us Frostys. (Yes he really did this, you see what a good woman she was? :)

There was also a time when just her and I went to get mexican in Clinton and pick up some sandals that I had been wanting for a long time.

When my mom facetimed me from her rehab center shortly after her stroke, i was cooking dinner & my mom asked me to "show her around" my apartment. As I was walking through each room she kept saying "shes gonna burn her dinner, you need to go check on that dinner." She always had our best interest in mind & I think I may get some of my anxiety from her ;) 

She and Grandaddy had a trampoline for all of us cousins and she would come out and watch us jump and laugh (and worry!) about our tricks and stunts. 

She made THE BEST creamed corn ever. I lived for her creamed corn no matter what family function it was, she made it and it was delicious.
She could also make the best casseroles, chicken tetrazini being a favorite.

Most importantly, she loved each one of us grandchildren so much and she prayed for all of us daily. 

I love you Mama Faye and I can't wait to see you and give you a big hug again!!!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Exciting Weekend!

I went home this past weekend on Valentine's Day since I hadn't been home yet and I wouldn't be seeing Andy (remember... we went on our Valentine's date in the middle of January ha!)

What I didn't know was…
that my brother was going to propose that night!!!!

We all knew it was coming but we didn't know the exact day he'd do it. It just so happened that the ring was ready on Valentine's Day!

Lucky for us, (not so lucky for him) he was having car troubles last week so my mom, my sisters, and I got to pick him up from work before he popped the question :)

Look at my handsome bro with all of Leah's Valentine goodies and a ring in his pocket!!!

There he goes…

The rest was relayed to us by phone after it happened

he did good!

We love Leah and are so excited Will is so happy with her!! I will be gaining another sister soon! Let the wedding fever begin :)

Saturday, February 15, 2014


So. Much. Snow.
I can't believe all the snow we got this week!! I went crazy taking pictures of it and here is a little bit of the progression.

Around 2:00pm Wednesday

Around 4:00pm Wednesday

Around 8:00pm Wednesday

You can tell how much was falling from looking at my car! I loved having my window & blinds open and watching the snow fall. I have such a pretty view!

We sat around watching the Olympics & I noticed at one point there was a complete white out outside my window!
(yes Meghan still hasn't taken her stocking down from Christmas ha ha)

I also face timed with my Mom since they have had just as much snow in Charlotte and I said hello to Chapman :)

Around 10:30, Meghan and I decided to measure the snow outside & gather snow to make snow cream! It measured 6 inches and felt so deep!!

We couldn't take pictures with the flash on because it was still snowing so hard


Thursday morning we woke up to a couple more inches and a full snow day!! It is so rare for Appalachian to cancel an entire day!

After taking it easy all morning, Meghan, Mindy, and I decided to go PLAY! While Boone gets a good bit of snow each year, it is usually 1-3 inches each time, we are still in class, and it is gone by the next day or so because the road crews are so diligent to clean it up. This is the first time I've played in the snow since Sophomore year and we had FUN :)

The main roads were all clear on Friday so App just had a delay and it was back to reality! After two days of staying in it was nice to get out and see my sweet babies at work :)

I have been saying all winter that I wanted just ONE BIG snow storm and then for it to get warm!! So now that we've had a few fun days in the snow, I'm ready for warm temps! :)