Friday, November 18, 2011

Fall has fallen.

Ok... I know I said I was going to be better about blogging on a regular basis but it really seems like the days just keep flying by!  Can you believe there is only one week until Thanksgiving?  I guess time flies when you're having fun.

We've had a pretty exciting fall so far... though I'm not even sure it is still fall outside.  Today on my run I was in spandex pants, gloves, and a stocking cap with a puffy ball on the top.  That, my friends, is winter in my book!

Brian and I found time to carve pumpkins this year.  It was pretty funny to watch a surgeon carve a pumpkin... he just wanted to make the hole and find out what was inside.  Brian was in charge of Whit's pumpkin and I did Emma's.  It's pretty sad how crazy we are about our dogs!  I can only imagine how it will be with kids!!

Here is the final product.

We also broke out Gordon.  He is a scarecrow that I have had since I was able to walk.  It was pretty surreal because now he seems like this little 2 1/2 foot stuffed object.  I really do remember dragging him around by the leg with all of my might when I was little.  He was bigger than me and my favorite part of decorating for fall would be when my momma pulled Gordon out of the decorations.

It is so awesome to see all of my friend's with little one's who are making the same kind of memories!

Our pumpkins lasted about four days and then they started attracting fruit flies so they had to be moved to the front porch.  As a side note... If you've been driving past our house and have noticed that our porch looks like the house is abandoned you should know that we're in the process of repainting it.  The project has not been completed as quickly as we expected... using a pressure washer and a sander is hard work! Not to mention that the weather needs to cooperate.

The girls were dressed up for Halloween in their homemade costumes.  They were supposed to be princesses in tutus and necklaces but within the week of buying the necklaces and dressing them up they had outgrown them.  I made the tutus and honestly I'm shocked that they stayed in one piece!

We watched the Cards win the World Series!

And then there was vacation.

We were scheduled to go to Cozumel with Brian's sister and her husband on a scuba diving trip.  When I called to get check in instructions for our condo they said we would most likely have to reschedule due to the hurricane... which I of course knew nothing about!  Apparently Hurricane Rina was scheduled to hit Cozumel Friday and we were scheduled to arrive on Saturday.  After doing some research we decided to reschedule our trip to Cozumel for February when there would be sunny skies and clear water.  We were so thrilled about our decision when I received an automated email to all of the condo owners informing everyone that the condo would be out of power and water for the entire week!

This put us in a bit of a bind because Brian is only allowed to take two vacations per year and this left him with a one week vacation and nothing planned.  We debated staying home and relaxing but if you've been following my blog from the beginning I'm sure you remember the post about our last vacation when we had a deathly ill puppy and a broken boat. We were a bit overdue for some R&R!

We were able to find a perfect condo and airline tickets to Bonaire.  It was disappointing that Jon and Andrea weren't able to come with us but we will have a great time in February!  It will be the perfect way to escape the snow.

If I had one word to describe Bonaire it would be.... PERFECT!
We landed on this secluded island and pulled up to our resort which consisted of twenty condo units.  It was absolutely amazing.  The condo came with a full kitchen so we were able to cook breakfast every morning.

We spent the week working on our own schedule.  Our package included unlimited shore diving and a rental truck.
Don't be confused... the suit on the left is not an elf suit!

We slept as late... or in our case got up as early as we wanted. We were asleep every night no later than 9:30 pm, went to some amazing dinners, and just enjoyed each other's company.  Unfortunately, Brian missed the memo that the trend in Bonaire is to wear a Speedo.  I can't believe he forgot his at home...  Look out Jon and Andrea because he is already planning on coming prepared for Cozumel!

Look at that sky.

First night in Bonaire.
The view from our condo after a quick morning rain shower.

I learned how to drive a standard!  It was a little rough at first but I caught on pretty quickly.
The red building in the background is an old slave hut. The dive site is Red Slave... our first turtle spotting.

We saw some lizards which were actually the size of dragons!  We also tried iguana stew... risky!


Goats and donkeys were roaming freely.
Billy goat.
Very interested donkey.

And obviously we saw tons of fish!  I learned very quickly that underwater photography is really, really  difficult!  There is no zoom feature in underwater photography because you have to be close enough to the object to bounce the light from the flash.  Pretty tricky...
Sea snake... I can't believe I got this close to photograph it!
6 foot ray.
Lion fish.

 The diving in Bonaire is absolutely amazing.  You go without a guide and just do your own thing.  We were a little intimidated to go alone but got over that very quickly!
Dive Site: 1,000 Steps.  
It was really fun climbing back up in full dive gear and tanks.


Brian is a perfect dive buddy.  I am so lucky to have found this guy...
My love.

The highlight of vacation was getting to see a sea turtle.  When I was little my dad would travel all over the world for his job.  I have always loved turtles so he would bring me some sort of decorative turtle from every country he visited.  I have a pretty crazy collection of hand painted, glass, porcelain, and crystal turtles from all over the world that are waiting at my parents until I stop moving around all over the country and settle into a "final home".

Alright, Razorback fans... could that cloud be any more obvious?

Go Hogs!

It is pretty amazing to see sea creatures in their natural habitat.  The sea turtles were of course the coolest... they would just sort of chill at the bottom and look around.  Brian was awesome at spotting them and we were even able to "pet" a few of them.  Don't worry we both came back with ten fingers!
Brian with his dive light. 
School of fish.

Perfect example of not being close enough for the flash to really work. 

Smoky Mountain Divers
Kingsport, TN

It was so nice to get away for a while.  We had beautiful days and even more beautiful sunsets.
Happy Halloween!
Dive boats.

Does it get more beautiful than this?

Most of the time at the end of vacation you find yourself ready to come home... but not this time!  I'm pretty sure we could have stayed at least another week.
Sweet chair.
Dinner our last night.  

We had so much fun and are ready to go back!  We ended our week with the perfect dive...Andrea II.  We figured it was a great way to transition into our next trip!  Can't wait to go as a group of four!
Dive hair!!  

Happy Hour.
Now this is what life is all about.
And now for my favorite photo of the week...

Local teen diving off of a platform at sunset.

The pups have been at "boot camp" since we left for our trip and we are itching to get them back.  The house is pretty quiet without the extra 200 pounds running around.  Luckily we get them back just in time for Thanksgiving.

On that note... there sure is a lot to be thankful for this year!  My heart is pretty full these days.  I've been so blessed with such amazing people in my life.  I have the most amazing family and friends anyone could ever ask for.  Not to mention the most amazing guy in the world.

It is FINALLY time to move into the holiday season!  This is obviously my favorite time of year.  The radio in the car is on nonstop Christmas music, the Christmas cards have been ordered, and I am dying to decorate and bake!  We always wait until the day after Thanksgiving... which is so hard but makes it even more exciting.

You can rest assured that every post after this will be accompanied by Christmas music!

See the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. 
Psalm 107:24