Thanksday #65

So I cruised for the first time. And you know what, it was GLORIOUS. Sure…the average age of my fellow cruisers was approximately 73, and sure, we ate dinner early and went to bed early. But it was still a blast. I got to rest, nap, be served, not have to cut up food or carry a sippy cup. I was able to have conversations with Greg that weren’t spoken in code. I didn’t check email but one time (which I immediately regretted and didn’t check again until well after we arrived home). I was off Facebook the entire week.

I repeat: it was GLORIOUS.

Our cruise was through New England and Canada, and we visited: Bar Harbor, Maine; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Sydney, Nova Scotia; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; and Quebec City. I’m sure it’s no surprise that Quebec City was my absolute favorite. I got to mumble a few words  in French and pretend I was in Europe. We meandered through cobblestone streets, lounged at an outdoor cafe and strolled along the water eating la glace (ice cream). I could enjoy spending a few more days there, bien sur.

It was (all together now): GLORIOUS.

(I’d include some pictures, but haven’t transferred them to the computer from the camera yet. Because that would require locating the cord.)

As I anticipated, it cost entirely too much to connect to the internet while on board, so that’s my rationale for not posting last week. After all, why spend money on cruise ship internet when you can spend it on a manicure, scalp massage and jewelry souvenirs for yourself instead?

Thankful this week for:

1. Cruising. I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to go on this cruise. The group we went with from church were awesome, and I loved spending time with them. We had so much fun. And as I mentioned, being a couple for a week instead of a family was much needed for this quality-time-love-languager.

2. Wellness. I boarded the ship fully prepared to deal with seasickness, but didn’t have a single instance of it. I did feel the ship moving along, but never got sick from it, and the pills and patches I brought sit unopened. Praise the Lord.

3. Coming Home. Seeing the kids when we pulled into the driveway was the best. Being greeted with shrieks of joy and bear hugs is the best. Having your toddler repeat over and over, “I so happy to see you” is the best. Hearing your daughter say on Monday at the pool “I love our family time” is the best.

4. Souvenir Mug. Greg bought himself t-shirts in most of the ports on the trip as a souvenir. I wanted to save for something extra special (like a manicure and scalp massage). But in one cute little store in Charlottetown, I saw this mug and knew my life would forever be incomplete without it. If you’re a graphic designer, you’ll understand. Drinking my coffee in this brings me endless joy each morning.

Geeky Love

5. Omelets. I had an omelet almost every morning on the cruise, and watched riveted each time as they made them. Because I’ve never been able to make an omelet to save my life. But the way they did it flawlessly. So I decided to try it this week the way they did it. And I totally crushed it. So I made another one the next day. And crushed it again. Watch out family — we might be having breakfast for dinner most nights of the week from now on. With maybe a side of bacon and hash browns. I just don’t know.

6. In-Ear Thermometers. Paxton developed a 24-hour virus this week and a really high fever. But the poor thing also had severe diaper rash at the same time, too, so I just couldn’t bring myself to take his temperature the usual way (if you catch my drift). I bought one of those in-ear thermometers that checks the temperature in about 2.3 seconds. He giggled and said it tickled. Praise the Lord.

7. The Pool. The pool is now open, and we spent a few hours there on Monday as a family. Paxton has turned into an absolute fish, wanting to do nothing but jump in from the side (holding our hands). So much so that breaking for lunch was an ordeal. I’m anticipating a ton of fun poolside this summer. Just have to get Jaana through one. more. week. of. school. UGH.

8. Manual Check. I have decided that in order to increase my productivity, I’ve got to get a handle on the email situation (don’t check email in the morning and all that jazz). Because I’ll be in the middle of a project (or time with my kids) and then email will come in and completely throw me off and distract me. (Not to mention make me grumpy.) So on both my phone and computer, I’ve changed to the settings to only check email manually. Which means I only get emails coming in when I’m ready to check for them, instead of having beeping and buzzing all the live-long day. And you know what? There’s a lot of freedom in that. Because, my friends, ignorance is bliss.

9. Church. Between being gone for Greg’s graduation, being on the cruise, and serving in the Children’s ministry, I hadn’t been in a church service in four weeks. Until last weekend. It felt so incredibly good to be back, like home.

10. Kindle. I’m repeatedly grateful for my Kindle, but especially this past week or two. I’ve read no less than five books, all with the insta-download available. It was an absolute gift to be able to have so much time to just sit back and read uninterrupted. A gift, I tell you.

Your turn! Let me know what you’re thankful for this week and share the love. Leave a comment below or link up with Candra. It’ll melt you like a scalp massage and be as refreshing as an afternoon at the pool.

Thanksday #64

  • Dramamine? Check.
  • Seasickness wrist bands? Check.
  • Seasickness patches? Check. ($52 later.) (Thank you insurance and flexible spending.)
  • Bonine? Check.

The sweet irony will be that I’ll get sicker from the seasickness medicine than from the sea itself.

“But Monica, why would you need seasickness medicine? You’re landlocked in the mountains of North Carolina.”

Good question, my friend. A good question, indeed. I hope you look good in green; I’m going on a New England/Canada cruise. Seven GLORIOUS days cruising a part of the continent I’ve never seen. Seven GLORIOUS days away from constant cell service and email. Seven GLORIOUS days away from normal. Seven GLORIOUS days with my husband. (And yes, about a dozen or so people from church, but they’re fun, so it’s going to be awesome.)


(Can I mention, though, how weird it’s going to be to need a passport to get into Canadia? Because I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and we took road trips to British Columbia a lot. And passports were laughed at. Or maybe they weren’t. I was just 19, what did I know other than I didn’t need one?)

(And yes, I said “Canadia” on purpose. That was for you, China White.)

We leave promptly when the rooster crows on Saturday morning. And in case you’re wondering, NO, I haven’t started packing yet. Packing is strictly an 11th hour job for this girl. I’m typically in a crunch getting ahead of work and home issues before I get away, that the packing part is the easiest.

Especially since I have a sticky note for my packing list.

No, not the old-school paper ones; I mean the desktop Stickies application on my laptop. Where would I be without my Stickies? They remind me of everything from what to pack, to what to buy, to how much it costs to print square invitations. If only my Stickies would sync with my iPhone reminders. THEN, I’d be virtually OCD organized.

Or at least appear to be.

Regardless, Friday is my everything-I-have-to-do-that’s-not-work-related day. Which includes, but isn’t limited to: laundry, cleaning, packing, grocery shopping, organizing the kids and all that jazz.

(All that jazz.)

Due to cruising and the high-cost to internet and all, I can’t promise I’ll be Johnny-on-the-spot with my posts next week. But if I’m appropriately relaxed and inspired, I’ll post when I’ve reached some free wi-fi cafe in Quebec City while asking the garçon where les toilets are s’il vous plait?

(Maybe another shade of green would work better on you.)

(Holy parentheticals. It’s kind of annoying now, no?)

Thankfuls for this week!

1. Cruising. My first one. I won’t get seasick, right? Do we all remember the lovely sunset sailboat cruise around MAUI and my several instances of vomiting? Surely that was an isolated incident.

2. Greg’s Laughter. I’ve mentioned a few times, I’m sure, how when Greg really cracks up at something he sounds like a weeping woman. Few have been privy to this limited display of hilarity. But those who have seen it now believe and even try to force it. (Bolivia Team 2011, I’m talkin’ to you.) Well. Will Farrell was the guest host on Saturday Night Live this past weekend. I couldn’t tell you which skit it was, but Greg fell victim to the weeping woman fit of laughter. I frantically searched for my phone to record the moment for all of you to see. But I was too late. But it was awesome.

3. Front Seats. For the first time ever, I let Jaana ride in the front seat this week. Only for a few short miles, and it won’t be a habit. I’m too much of a MeMaw about that. But she acted as though I had told her she was going to Disney for a week. And sometimes, winning a little battle here and there is more important than winning the war. (Or something like that.)

4. New Phrases. Recently introduced into my daily vocabulary: “hither and yon.” As in, “I’ve been running hither and yon all day, and I’m exhausted.” Isn’t that all kinds of fun?

5. Free New Bag. A friend of mine’s mom recently gave her a new bag as a birthday gift. And she didn’t want it. And she said, “hey, do you want it?” And after one look I knew it would be perfect for the cruise. Can’t beat that, jack. Not even with a stick. Kindle, camera, Bible and journal…meet your new home for the next seven GLORIOUS days.

6. Greg Coming Home. Greg was gone for a solid week for classes out of state, and we went to pick him up at the airport over the weekend. As we waited for him near the Baggage Claim and escalators, I saw signs everywhere welcoming home the troops. And I mean, everywhere. Banners. Large ones. Then we saw Greg. Paxton shrieked and went running to him. They embraced in a very smothering hug. Passersby clucked, “Awwwwww, so sweet.” And then I realized. And I felt so bad. I almost yelled out: “He was only gone for a week! He’s not in the military! Save the touching clucks for them!” Then next I thought, “Hey, it might have only been a week, but he’s still our hero.” (But hello…awwwkkkkkwwwaaarrrddd.)

7. Happy Hairs. While in The Big City, I visited my Hair Guy and he made my hair feel like it naturally belonged to the blonde. And, as a bonus, he tinted my eyebrows just enough so that I don’t have to waste time trying to give them some color with a pencil. How fun is that?

8. Fun. Evidently I’m all about the fun this week. Maybe to overcompensate for the grumpy and crazy of the past few weeks?

Speaking of fun, I inquired of a friend via text picture if my new nail polish color was okay. She then queried her co-workers and sent me a text that said, “It’s right on time.” To which I replied, “What is that? New lingo I’m supposed to know?” To which she replied, “Yes, it’s all the rage here in the ATL. It means it’s cool. On trend.”

This. This from the girl who the other day said, “She was totally ragging on me” circa 1992.

So later, when she told me something that was kind of a bummer and notsomuch fun, I said, “That’s so late.”

And then I almost drove off the road because of the tears of laughter in my eyes.

9. Grace. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — where on earth would I be without the grace of God? I’ve been such a total bonehead lately. A grumpasauraus rex. A Debbie Downer. It’s been very frustrating, to be honest; I loathe myself when I’m like that. And the mistakes or slips of the tongue (or keyboard) I’ve made are embarrassingly high. But praise the Lord, He continues to give me chance after chance for redemption. And He’s gentle enough with me to remind me I can’t do it on my own, and to just chill. out.

10. Red Shoes. Sometimes, a girl just has to bite the bullet and buy some impractical red wedge heels. And so I did. And now I’m trying to incorporate them into my wardrobe with a devil-may-care-I-just-threw-it-all-together-without-thinking attitude. But that’s hard. Because then I want to do the red lipstick and the red jewelry and sometimes I’m just too darn matchy-matchy. So here’s to red shoes and switching things up.

(And here’s to me stopping with parenthesis AND hyphens.)


Your turn! Let me know what you’re thankful for this week and share the love. Leave a comment below or link up with Candra. It’ll make your day GLORIOUS and keep your nausea at bay. (Pun intended.)