oh snow you don’t!

Last Sunday, we had our one and only snowstorm of the entire winter! It’s been so warm that I didn’t expect any appropriate precipitation, but fortunately, I was wrong! We had about 4 to 6 inches overnight and awoke to a beautiful wonderland.

birthday weekend!!

I’m a pretty lucky girl, because for my birthday, so many of my favorite people came to visit! AND we got to eat one of my favorite foods- GREEK!!

Just look at all of these boring fun people I had to share my birthday cake with.

I made my own ice cream cake this year! Michael bought me one from Coldstone Creamery last year, and it was definitely delicious, but this time I needed a big cake for a lot of people who are obsessed with ice cream.

It was mint chocolate, oreo cookie crumbs, and death by chocolate; all covered in homemade vanilla whipped cream. YUM.

My mom couldn’t be there, but of course she sent me some cool stuff- like new running clothes and a horse wall hanging for the kitchen!

A few days before my birthday, Michael let me get these new shoes! They’re “barefoot” shoes, and I am loving them so far! It definitely takes your body a little while to adjust to them, but it’s so much fun to wear these and I never want to go back to regular shoes again. Thank you buddy!

cozumel, mexico

Our second stop was on the island of Cozumel!

We went on a snorkeling adventure over two reefs! It was my very first time snorkeling, so I was a little nervous when they told us we’d be swimming for an hour to an hour and a half. I’d never even swam in the ocean before! I did just fine (except that I swallowed a little too much salt water. Whoops!)

We saw many many fish (including baby barracudas!), a sea turtle, and a stingray! Supposedly there was a shark too, but I didn’t see that, and I’m kind of glad!

The water was so clear and beautiful.

you better belize it

The first country we visited on our trip was Belize! We had to tender to shore. How exciting!

Michael and I had signed up for a trail ride at the Bacab Eco Park, so we were pretty excited!

Our horses were “Brownie” and “Ivan”. MIchael always gets the cute one. I’ll try not to pick on poor Ivan 🙁

We had a really great time and the tour guides definitely know so much about the plants and animals of the land. It was a “ravine forest”; not quite a rainforest. We heard Howler monkeys screaming in the trees, but didn’t get to see any. It was still pretty exciting!

We saw the tallest palm trees I have EVER seen in my life. Our guide told us that American hotels will pay $100 per foot of palm tree. Crazy!

 After the ride, we got to have a typical Belizean meal. Red beans and rice, fried plantains, and “Choo” chicken. I loved the spices. It was so delicious.

We ate lunch in this awesome hut. (That’s the national flag up there!)

We also saw a baby crocodile!

Michael was so excited to get in a hammock.

The day went so fast and I’d wished we had more time. Bye Belize!

Christmas day on the ship!

The ship was all decked out for Christmas! It was fun to have a full five-days worth of holiday cheer. I feel in love with this huge Christmas tree on the fifth deck.

Michael and I spent time up by the pool, just relaxing (and eating ice cream, of course)! They had an ice cream machine right there, and that was definitely the place to be. This was Michael’s second cone within about 15 minutes! (I might have helped with this one, though 😉

They also had a lot of really awesome carved fruit around!

Dinners on the ship were always a really big deal. On Christmas, the dress code was black-tie, so of course our family was looking pretty suave.

Our waiter was Paul from Jamaica, and he was so fun and awesome. When anyone would ask him if they could have something, he would say, “Yeah man, why not?”

They had a special holiday menu.

The turkey was sooo delicious!

Jeffrey tried the veal!

The boys definitely took advantage of their chance to have more than one dessert!