Thursday, November 21, 2013

Freeport Bahamas

Welcome to the crazy train...or bus/van/taxi ride to the only beach safe enough to be recommended for cruise ship travelers to visit.
It was fun for the kids to check out the typical flea market shops that always cover the piers of the various ports.
Brynne wanted to buy all the purses, conch shells, and giant sun hats she saw
Garrett decided to entertain the locals and cruisers alike by trying out his monkey skills
The crowd that continued to grow the higher he got were all just as surprised as I was at how high he climbed.
The locals all shouted out their tips on the best way to get one of the coconuts down from the tree.
Then they helped him dig into it!
Proud of the accomplishment, but not such a fan of the actual fluids inside!
The blue skies and bluer waters at the beach were a welcome sight after a 20 minute ride through the island with frustrated drivers and tons of pushy shuttle drivers pressuring you into their vehicles all to this one destination
There was half of a pier there
and a smattering of covered tables you could rent for ridiculous prices
But the water was perfect and our crew wasted no time in getting right in
The girls danced and splashed their way in
Paigie pie caught a ride in Daddy's arms
Ashlyn glammed it up
and Brynne attached herself like a barnacle to me 

and Wes
and Haley
 And Peyton followed suit
These cute girls were so fun to watch 
 Big enough to help out with the younger ones
old enough and cute enough to turn heads on the beach
and young enough to still enjoy just playing in the sand
The big kids hung from the pier
 jumped from the posts
splashed their mothers
  played ball with friends they had made on the ship
 and just looked cute.
But we were all constantly harassed by the hoards of locals wanting to sell us things or braid anyone's hair.  This sweet lady though stole the hearts of our little group and ended up earning quite the paycheck in the process. Wes even got a few little braids from her.
Brynne and a few of the younger girls were ready to wrap up the beach day a little early and head back to the ship but these guys stayed out as long as they could and soaked up every last little bit of Freeport that they could!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Party's Over!

I had a party this morning and you totally weren't invited. Nobody was. Just me. I find that pity parties are best done this way. They tend to come rather unexpectedly so there never really is a good time for them to start, but I have found it's pretty important to know when it's time to wrap it up.  You know that old saying that every party has a pooper? Well its true, and nobody wants to be around a party pooper, so if you know it's going to be you, it's best if you just forget that invite list all together.  Sure sometimes it's nice to drag someone else along and unload a little but I've found a better way to wrap up these parties that I am prone to on occasion.

Almost exactly a year ago Brynne had her eyelid surgery. Almost simultaneously there were several other things that happened in my little world that had my heart beyond heavy. For weeks at a time it was more than I could do to just get out of my bed and breathe.  I don't know that I have ever felt quite so low in my life.  And then my friend Brandi went into surgery. As her health drastically deteriorated and knowing she had no husband and no family anywhere close by I had to help. I thought things were hard until I watched my friend fight for her life and live for just those few moments she could be with her kids. I lost myself in caring for her and helping with her kids. I was too busy to worry about my heavy heart.  As I saw her struggle with the smallest of tasks I was blatantly reminded that things could be worse.  After a couple of months of this I realized I was okay again.  My heart hurt for my friend but I was so grateful for the opportunity to serve her because it saved me too.  

I think it's okay to have a pity party now and then, but only if we don't get carried away. So today I will be busy.  Today I will be grateful for what I have been blessed with. And if I need a little kick in the pants beyond that, I'm calling Brandi! She is back to her healthy happy self, a constant reminder of being grateful for the little things in life, and more than capable of giving me a good kick in the tush if I need it. It's time to wrap this party up!