Monday, February 23, 2015

Aruba 2015

A few days ago, Ryan and I FINALLY made it back from Aruba! The vacation was amazing, but the travel was a nightmare. Literally, nothing went our way. Well, I guess not nothing...we did get everywhere we needed to be safely and in one piece. But, still. 

So, last Thursday, Ryan and I headed to the airport with the intentions of catching a flight to La Guardia and taxiing over to our hotel near JFK airport, where we were flying out of early the next morning. When we got to our gate, we saw that the flight was delayed by hours and hours...so much so that they couldn't even give us a set departure time. The gate agent was doing everything she could, and eventually got Ryan and I on an earlier flight to JFK, saving us the thirty minute taxi ride. Score! She called the baggage room and had them move our two suitcases on to the new flight, telling us we would have to pick them up and recheck them the next morning. NO problem- we needed them anyways, since all of our toiletries were in them. Fast forward a couple hours to baggage claim at JFK. We had been waiting for at least thirty minutes for our bags, which never showed up. Ryan eventually took the initiative to go to the help desk to find out where our bags were. Turns out, they never got transferred to our new flight and were currently sitting at LGA waiting for us. The customer service rep at the airport promised us that our bags would be on the next flight out in the morning to Aruba via Atlanta...meaning we would just have to meet up with our bags in Aruba. Fine. Annoying, but fine. 

The next morning, Ryan and I woke up and took the hotel shuttle to the airport around 5:00 in the morning. We got to the self check-in kiosk, and put our confirmation number in when the kiosk asked us to swipe our passports. WHAT? It was at this moment, we realized we were screwed. Neither of us had remembered to pack the one thing that would prevent us from getting in and out of the country. After hours of running around the airport talking to literally anybody that could possibly help us, we got rebooked on the same exact flight to Aruba 24 hours later, rented a car, and began our drive back to Boston to retrieve our passports. Boo. Meanwhile, our bags are chilling in sunny Aruba without us! About 10 hours later, Ryan and I found ourselves back at the hotel, ready to start the day ALL over again...this time with passports in hand. 

Everything went smoothly the next day, and around 3:30, we were smacked in the face greeted by an incredible amount of heat/humidity, our luggage, and Brad and Susan's smiling faces. Vacation has officially begun! 

We got loaded in to the car and stopped for lunch at Taco Bell before making our way to the resort! 
View from our balcony! 
Sunset on our first night!
 The first night was pretty low-key since we were pretty exhausted from the last two days of travel. We walked along the beach for a little bit, got changed for dinner, and walked over the the pier restaurant across from the RIU. Needless to say, it was an early night.




The rest of the days were pretty much a blur of lounging under huts on the beach...


 swimming in the ocean...


eating...



walking along the boardwalk, eating, and drinking (virgin daiquiris, anyone?!). 




Did I mention eating?!? 

We also spent a couple evenings in some of the nearby resort casinos. Susan and I started out dropping $20 bills in the penny slot machines, which can go a long way but doesn't really lend to MAKING money. Around the middle of our vacation, we got tired of the slot machines and decided to try our luck on the three-card poker table. While it was a lot more fun... we weren't necessarily any luckier. 




Before dinner at "Taste of Belgium" 
Ryan turned 26 on our second day of vacation. To celebrate, we went to the Muguruza's restaurant by the lighthouse for an amazing dinner with the best view on the island.

Birthday boys get presents, even on vacation.








A couple days later, we took to rental car down to the southernmost point on the island, a place called Baby Beach, where not one sign could be found. The men went out snorkeling, while the women lounged under a palm tree.



On our last night, we decided to try our luck one more time at the casinos. Overall, the casinos had stolen some of all of our money, so we had to have one more shot at winning it back. While walking up to the Occidental Casino, Ryan spotted a bill in the parking lot. He opened it up and quickly realized our luck had changed! It was $100! With this new found money in our hands, we walked straight to the three card poker table, split the money in half, and started playing. I ended up leaving the table a couple hours later with the same $50 I put down and Ryan walked away with an extra $40. It was definitely a great way to go out, up $140! We won't talk about how Brad and Susan ended the night (sorry guys!)

Our last few hours in Aruba were the cloudiest of the whole trip (Aruba was as sad to see us go as we were to leave!).



We got to the airport three hours early to clear customs, only to realize that our flight had been delayed a couple hours, causing us to miss our connecting flight out of JFK to Boston. This flight also happened to be the last flight of the night. While our luck at the casino may have turned, our traveling luck continued. 

Once we landed at JFK, we checked the flight status just to be sure it had departed on time. Turns out, that flight had also been delayed. Only problem was that it had been delayed five hours and wasn't scheduled to depart until around 1 in the morning. After consulting with the gate agents and customer service reps for about an hour, everyone was convinced the flight would be cancelled and not wanting to spend another night in a New York hotel, we decided to once again rent a car and drive the four or so hours back to Boston...without our luggage....again. 

We made it home around 2-2:30 in the morning and our bags made it home around 10:30 the next night. 

While travel was a nightmare, the trip was definitely worth it. I can guarantee you that we will NEVER forget our passports again! 


14 Weeks

We're baaaaaack! (No thanks to Delta...but that's a story for another blog post.)


How far along? 14 weeks! 

Total weight gain: 3-5 lbs. 

Gender: Don't know yet. 

Baby is the size of a...: Lemon! 

Maternity clothes? Still just leggings and tunics..all day, every day. 

Best moment this week: Other than our great vacation in Aruba, the best moment would have to be FINALLY sleeping in our own bed again. 

Worst Moment this week: Definitely all of our travel nightmares getting to and from Aruba. 

Miss Anything? Seared Ahi Tuna...on it's own, with sushi, and over a salad. Give me all the tuna. 

Cravings: Ice cream, melons (cantaloupe and honey dew), and skittles. 

Symptoms: Nausea and a little dizziness, but overall better than the whole first trimester. 

Looking forward to: A visit from Jake and Colee in a couple weeks!! 

Now, since I missed week 13 while on vacation...here's a quick picture! Clearly not much has changed in the last few weeks.



Happy Monday, ya'll! 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

12 Weeks

Hello!

As some of you may have noticed, I've been pretty much M.I.A. for the past two months and now you finally know why! Ryan and I are off tonight to head to Aruba, where we're meeting up with his parents for what promises to be an amazing vacation! Before we take off, I wanted to get this pregnancy journey started (You're welcome Colee!). When I have more time, I definitely want to document everything that has happened for the first 12 weeks of this pregnancy, but for now a quick 12 week update will have to do!



How far along? 12 weeks! (last Sunday...)

Total weight gain: About 3 lbs.

Maternity clothes? I've been wearing leggings all day every day and recently bought a few maternity sweaters from Old Navy on sale, mainly because they're all super long and I can wear them all with leggings. If I want to wear jeans, I have to now use the ponytail method to give myself an extra couple inches around the waist.

Best moment this week:  Getting to see our itty bitty Smitty move around inside me and hear/see baby's heartbeat again at our ultrasound on Wednesday. Everything measured right on and looked healthy to the doctors, which makes this future mama happy!

Worst Moment this week: While it's getting better, the nausea and sickness have definitely been the cause of any bad moments this week. Also, being stuck in the apartment due to an ENTIRE week of snow days has gotten a bit boring.  

Miss Anything? Recently, I've been craving a Turkey Tom from Jimmy John's and a Publix turkey sub, which is strange since I haven't had a Publix sub in probably 4 years. So, I guess you could say I'm missing turkey subs... and Georgia.

Cravings: I wouldn't say I've really had any cravings, but there are only a few things I've had the desire to eat for like 6 weeks now: bagels and cream cheese, bread and butter, macaroni and cheese with peas mixed in, and pears/apples/grapes/bananas. This week, I also started craving cottage cheese with fruit.

Symptoms: As I mentioned earlier, I've been struggling with morning sickness pretty badly (and afternoon sickness and night sickness). I also tire easier than normal.

Looking forward to: Hopping on a plane to Aruba (via New York) tonight and getting the heck outta dodge before this next blizzard hits this weekend! I couldn't be more excited to trade in these 6 feet of snow for sun and sand for the next week!

I'll be back after vacation with LOTS of stories from the first 12 weeks of this pregnancy! In the meantime, does anyone have any gender predictions?!?

Happy February break!

Friday, January 2, 2015

January Goals



New month, new set of goals! Before I jump into this months goals, I want to take the time to review how last month went for me. 

Out of my four goals for December, I accomplished 1 and a half of them. I say 1/2 because I only KIND OF completed a Christmas DIY. While I technically "did it myself," the craft only entailed rolling a piece of burlap ribbon down the side of our pantry and sticking Christmas cards to it. Instead of being upset with myself that I didn't accomplish the goals that I set for myself in December, I am choosing to be grateful for the times I was able to spend with our friends and family in Georgia and Boston this holiday season. Yes, I could have exercised more and spent more time reading to myself, but instead I went to and hosted Christmas parties and celebrated the season with the people I love. No regrets, here! 

With that being said, it is the 2nd of the month and the new year and I am ready to refocus on becoming a healthier, better me! Before I reveal my goals for January, I first need to quickly recap last month! 
December Goals

1. Read a new book.
Well... I am about seven chapters into Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. So far it's a really interesting book and I definitely have plans to finish it in January. 
2. Take 15 fitness classes.
Yeah....no. I think I got in 10 classes/workouts, which isn't bad in my opinion! 
3. Complete another Christmas DIY.
I already talked about this above, but my "Christmas craft" for the month was our Christmas Card holder made from burlap ribbon and festive clothespins! 


4. Finally go ice skating in Frog Pond.
Success! For our 2nd anniversary, Ryan made this little goal of mine happen! It was by far the highlight of our anniversary night in Boston! Thanks, Ry Guy! 

Moving on.... 

January Goals

1. Exercise 10 times. 
Realistically, I know that I will be beginning student teaching this month and still have no idea where I will be traveling to every day for the next four months. While it's not really a lofty goal, I do know that I can at least exercise in some form 10 times this month. 

2. Drink 64 ounces of water every day. 
I do not drink enough water a day. I do not. This month, I am going to try to pay better attention to how much water I am drinking and take in a little more each day. 

3. Meal Plan for six meals every week. 
Even if we don't eat six meals a week at home, I want to do a better job of making sure we have dinner options in the fridge this month. I know there will be some nights where we just do not want to cook dinner, but I'd rather choose to go out or order take-out instead of being forced to because I just don't have anything planned. Plus, if we have dinner options in the fridge or freezer, we will most likely choose to just suck it up and eat at home instead! 

4. NO clothes shopping! 
Santa The Schoeff's and the Smith's spoiled me this Christmas. So much so that my half of the closets and dressers are literally overflowing. Really needing a complete clean-out of everything I own, it is definitely a goal of mine this month to not buy anything new for myself! 

There you have it! Here's to a happy and healthy January! 


Thursday, January 1, 2015

My Year In Review: 2014

What a whirlwind of a year 2014 has been! I cannot believe it has officially come to a close!

Before diving head first into the new year, I wanted to take a little walk down memory lane and review some of our favorite moments from 2014.

January:

We began January in a little cabin in West Virginia with Lauren, Eliot, Juan, and Jaclyn!



Shortly after our mini vacation ended, I dove headfirst back into my job and the three courses I took towards my Master's degree (math, science, and social studies/history). As you can imagine those things took up pretty much my entire life, so the blog, along with my social life, took a back seat for a couple months. 

February: 

In February, we celebrated Ryan's 25th birthday... 


...and took another mini-vacation to Foxwoods with Rachel, Chris, Tim, Ashley, Amy, and Kent. 


March:

In March, I drowned in schoolwork and apparently didn't surface for long enough to take a single picture. Fun stuff..

April:

April was the month of celebrations! First, we celebrated Eliot and Lauren's engagement in Maine.


We also made a trip down to Georgia to celebrate Rachel and not-yet-born baby Leah! We threw her an "About to Hatch" baby shower around Easter that turned out adorable!


Finally, we celebrated the marriage of my college roommate and best friend, Vida to Joe!


May:

In May, Ryan and I made a weekend trip down to Plymouth for a marriage retreat with Life Community.


I also took an 8-day, 5 hours a day, intensive course (differentiated instruction).

After the intensive, we celebrated by attempting another weekend of camping with Eliot and Lauren. So far, we are two for two on choosing crappy weekends to camp. Maybe 2015 will be our year.

June:

In June, I finished my first year as a paraprofessional and said hello to Summer vacation!



This month, we also made our first trip up to the top of the hub at the Prudential Center with Kristen and Stephen and a short weekend trip to NYC for a Yankees game!



July:

I dubbed this the beginning of the summer of travel for myself. In July, Lauren, Ryan, and I ran the Tory Row 5K for beer.



We also traveled to Indiana for our annual Schoeff Family 4th of July celebration.




After our trip to Indiana, Ryan flew back to Boston while I hitched a ride with my parents back to Georgia for the remainder of the month.

Towards the end of the month, my family (minus Ryan- boo) went on a glorious cruise to Cozumel and Grand Cayman Island.



August:

This month I celebrated my 25th birthday and Ryan and I made our first trip to Europe!

Towards the end of the month, we boarded a plane for an overnight flight, putting us in Dublin, Ireland around 8 the next morning! We spent a week touring much of the country, stopping in Cork, Killarney, Doolin, and Dublin!




My birthday was celebrated in Killarney, where we drove to Blarney castle to kiss the stone and ate my favorite Irish dish, shepherd's pie!


September:

In September, I began a new job as a 1-1 paraprofessional in the third grade classroom. It was a trying, exhausting month but the patience and experiences I gained in the education field were well worth it.

Aside from work this month, Ryan and I were lucky enough to score tickets to an Eagles concert at the Garden!


 October:

Fall was officially in full swing this month! October was also the month of visitors. This month, we hosted Susan, Aunt Jane, Brandon, Rachel, Uncle Dave, and Aunt Carolyn in three consecutive weekends! While it was a whirlwind of a month, we felt so blessed to have the opportunity to show some of our loved ones around our "new" home.




Aside from our part-time jobs as New England tour guides, we also enjoyed some apple picking and apple pie making with friends!
November:

November was a glorious month. The weather was still beautiful and fall-ish and we enjoyed three Friendsgivings and one Thanksgiving (AKA stuffed our faces for thirty days straight!). This Thanksgiving, we rented a cabin in Virginia and met my parents, Ryan's parents, and Jake and Colee!




 December:

In December, Ryan and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary with a dinner at the Chart House, ice skating in Frog Pond, and a couples massage at Oasis Day Spa!


I hosted my first ever scarf swap which seemed to be a big hit! I will definitely be making this an annual event!



We made our trip home for the holidays, soaking up as much time as possible with our family and friends and officially becoming godparents to precious baby Leah.



To ring in the new year, we sat on the couch and watched the Yellow Jackets whoop up on some bulldogs from Mississippi. Those puppy dogs from all over got nothing on us this year!!

Phew, What. A. Year! While 2014 was a wonderful year, I have a feeling 2015 is going to be even better!

Happy New Year, everyone!