We finally boarded the ship around 1pm on Saturday It was so cool to say goodbye to land and end up surrounded only by water!

Before we pulled out of port, we watched some of the other cruise ships leaving. This boat below (Oasis of the Seas) is the only boat bigger than ours (The Liberty of the Seas)!

Goodbye, Florida!

The first thing we all did was eat (it was our first meal of the day!), and then of course, Michael and Jeffrey wanted to go on the rock wall!

Michael said that this is when we passed Miami. It was the last we saw of the land!

go with the flo… rida

Before we got on the cruise ship, we had to actually drive down to Florida! Ahhhh! It sure was a long ride, but Dad is awesome and amazing and drove the whole thing without even stopping to rest!

We got to our hotel the night before we boarded the ship, so of course we went out for a Chinese buffet and then went swimming!

The pool was out on the rooftop. How awesome is that? Swimming on the roof in December in Florida!

My family is crazy.

They had a hot tub too! Since I had my camera, I just stuck my feet in and that was good enough for me!

When we woke up the next morning, Michael and I went exploring on this wetland trail next to the hotel. It was pretty cool to see all the vegetation, but there were some not-so-cool spiders hanging above our heads! There was one that had to have been at least 5 inches long… YIKES!

Here’s Michael in his shorts and flip-flops with the hotel Christmas tree.

And then we were off to board the ship!

christmas with lelia

On our way home for the Christmas cruise, we stopped at Lelia’s house for a visit and some gift-giving! It was so much fun to see her after what felt like forever (a.k.a. six days since she moved out…)

I had been working on Lelia’s surprise Christmas present for what seemed like an eternity. “Toothless” (from “How to Train Your Dragon”) was the hardest thing I have ever sewn (part of the difficulty was attributed to the ambiguity of the instructions…), and it was totally worth it in the end! Lelia was so excited about it, and I had a lot of self-satisfaction just looking at it and thinking, “Hey! I made that cool dragon!”

Before Lelia had gone home, she had a brilliant idea for a gift for Michael. We went in half and half on it, and it was awesome seeing his surprise when he opened it.

We still need to go get it inflated it and try it out! That is a lot of fun just waiting to happen!

Lelia spoiled me too, but this gift has to be my favorite because she and her mom came up with it AND created it!

A camo hat that says “HARDCORE” on the back! That’s probably my favorite/most frequently used word… In fact, if you looked it up in the dictionary, my picture should be next to it, because I am the definition of HARDCORE!

a piggy christmas

I really wanted to do something cute with my pigs for Christmas, and I had an extra string of lights this year, so why not ruin their happiness have some fun with that? You can’t go wrong with a pig in a Christmas basket!

Until someone tries to use the basket as her daily intake of fiber…

And, another type of “pig” that comes with the holidays would be all of us human pigs, eating sweets! I made these cupcakes for our Church Christmas party! Credit for the holly berry idea goes to Lelia!

lelia’s graduation!

Alright, I know it’s January, but between making Christmas presents and going on a cruise, I have failed to document a whole lot of things! So, for your viewing pleasure, I’ll be backtracking a whole lot. Prepare yourself!

We had a big life change on December 16th: Lelia graduated university and moved out in the same day. I definitely miss having my best friend living with us! She will be coming to visit soon enough, though!

There were so few grads in December! The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences alone filled up the floor back in May, but this is EVERYONE! See if you can spot Lelia (good luck!)

It was pouring outside, so we got creative and stood under the doorway of the Institute building for some photos. You would never know how gross it really was outside!

So fun to see our friends Caitlin and Mike graduate too!