Thursday, January 30

awesome vacation 2014

January 11
Buddy Dive
A long day of travel brought us here. Well worth it to see the moon so crisp in that bright blue sky. And we had a tv in our room that played Jeopardy every night at 8 pm. If that's not the sign of a good vacation, I don't know what is.

January 12
Buddy Dive
After our dive orientation we got suited up for our first underwater adventure! There is a spectacular reef just off the dock at the resort. Don't mind if I do.

January 13
White Slave
After some shore diving we took a trip around the southern part of the island. These are old slave huts for the workers in the salt flats. It's pretty much a concrete tent with no door and a really nice view.

January 14
These guys are everywhere and they like people for dropped food and bare toes. 

January 15
Buddy Dive
My first tropical drink (beer doesn't count). We spent the day boat diving, playing Yahtzee, and watching the sun set. And then we probably watched Jeopardy.
I think I'm pretty good at vacationing.

January 16
North Shore
Driving up the coast. It has the tendency to take your breath away with all the different blues.

January 17
Washington Slagbaai National Park
The northern part of the island is one giant, protected national park. We spent the day driving on the dirt roads and stopping at all the attractions. Andy liked to pretend he was the ocean's orchestrator.

January 18
New place! We took a quick flight over to the next island! It's got a lot of old stuff.

January 19
The Floating Bridge
Really neat to see this entire bridge swing open like an arm when a boat needs to get through.

January 20
Ostrich Farm
I rode an ostrich. A life goal has been met. And I don't remember it being as terrifying as my face suggests.

January 21
Mostly I'm storing away this paint job in the "future dream home" folder in my head.

January 22
Getting some produce and the floating market. Behind all these stalls are boats from Venezuela loaded with fruits and veggies.

January 23
Lac Bay
These trees are crazy! Like a zillion fingers reaching down into the ocean and making it crystal clear with magic.

January 24
Salt Flats
This place fascinated me. The water was so pink (pinker than it looks) and giant mountains of salt were coming from it. And just across the street was the bluest ocean you ever saw. Sent my color wheel into overdrive.

January 25
Bonaire International Airport
A sad, sad day. Fine. That's not completely true. Two weeks is quite awhile so I think we were both ready to get back home. Not to the snow. The busted pipe. Or work. But maybe the comfort of our cozy wood-stove heated home.

It's very difficult to choose just one photo to share from each day when there is so much color and fun and newness! 
If you want to venture further into our vacation, you can click HERE.

Monday, January 27

ten-day countdown

January 1
Living Room
Rough start to the year. I wet myself.
JK! I was trying to open a water bottle between my thighs as I was driving home and was squeezing too hard.

January 2
Living Room
Christmas comes down. But not without watching one last Christmas movie.

January 3
Mounds of shortbread dough just waiting to be cut out and baked! I can see the excitement in their saran wrap wrinkles.

January 4
Cyborg Room
See how happy they are as stars? Hopefully the neighbors will be happy too!

January 5
Cyborg Room
Getting ready for Awesome Vacation 2014. Andy tried on my super stretched out skin. It accentuates his bosom. And I tried on my wetsuit. It accentuates my crazy hair.

January 6
We just happened to have all the ingredients for s'mores on hand and a hot fire in the woodstove....

January 7
First photo in the series Andy Drinks Liquids.
He's also beating me in Scrabble.

January 8
Second photo in the series Andy Drinks Liquids.
In this one, he's chugging Emergen-C to ward off an illnesses that want to threaten Awesome Vacation 2014.

January 9
Living Room
One bag packed. Do notice the snacks that are stuffed in every crevice.

January 10
Joe's Inn
Congrats-to-Molly and farewell-to-Lydia drinks. 
Molly has crazy eyes because she loves anchovy paste so much.

Wednesday, January 1

the last 31 days of '13

December 1
Schemmel House
Relaxing after a nap. That's right, she slept in those tiny sneakers.

December 2
This may look like a big mess, but it's actually electrical progress.

December 3
Right after a major "oh shit" moment. (I read a deadline wrong, and what I thought said December 13 actually said December 3.) I was planted here for two days. 

December 4
I got up only for meals and quick stretch breaks. I think I can tolerate raw beets in smoothies because of the beautiful color they make.

December 5
Party City
Holy cow candy heaven! Molly and I went for piñata supplies and oogling. I'm not sure if I could handle this if I was a kid.

December 6
Smith House
Loudon County, VA
This time every year, we travel to Northern Virginia to get our Christmas tree at the fire station Andy used to volunteer at. We usually stay with his cousins one night and some friends the other night. Here's our cousin-nephew we're meeting for the first time. Sleeping.

December 7
Fire Station
Purcellville, VA
Picking out a beauty and freezing our tooties off!

December 8
West End, Richmond
Our first (and only so far) real taste of winter weather for the season. It was minor and barely lasted an afternoon.

December 9
Living Room
After the decorations are done and the Christmas movies are watched!

December 10
Andy's birthday is coming up and I've got this surprise planned. Here's the beginning of that piñata I mentioned earlier.

December 11
We relocated so we could keep things top secret. Molly made the tail and attached it! (It kind of blends in with the comforter.)

December 12
Cyborg Room
Christmas cards are arriving! I really enjoy the annual switch-out on the fridge and seeing how much all these sweet kids have grown.

December 13
The Whitten's
I finally found a way I can tolerate this chore, which is my least favorite: Man the blower.

December 14
The Bott's
An eight-year-old's birthday party. American Girl themed. Very entertaining.

December 15
AMF Lanes
A thirty-year-old's birthday party. Bowling. Also very entertaining.

December 16
Coat of paint applied. All we need is the fringe! Really, we are quite please with our work.

December 17
My favorite. Meat pie. I'm kidding.

December 18
Cyborg Room
Here he is! And here's the party! Why the whale piñata, you ask? Well, Andy has always wanted to harpoon a whale and I hope to goodness this is the closest he ever gets.

December 19
Party clean up isn't so bad when this is what the trash looks like.

December 20
Schemmel House
Adah is getting baptized in a week and luckily she is still small enough to fit into the gown that all these family members have worn since 1972. It's a duplicate of the original my mother and her siblings wore.

December 21
The River
I watched the sun set from the dock while Andy made a mantle in the shop. You can just barely see the first star shining.

December 22
Peterson House
I fell asleep on the floor when I was supposed to be making cookies. I woke up to this right above me. Uncle Bjorn was taking a nap too.

December 23
Living Room
The Rollers did a secret Santa exchange and this is me with my gift (and in my robe, don't judge)!

December 24
Another Schemmel House
My sister and her in-laws have been kind enough to adopt me the past two years on Christmas Eve while Andy worked. These cousins love each other.

December 25
Jefferson Hotel
The Frost-Schemmel-Smith ladies go touristy. I'm sorry I can't ever make a real smile. I think my face is stuck like that...

December 26
Living Room
Christmas continues! Andy and I exchanged our stockings and he was super excited about all the travel toiletries (or condiments, as I keep wanting to say) I got him. Also, we both got each other salt and pepper shakers. Dinosaurs and owls are battling it out on our dining room table now.

December 27
Schemmel House
Christmas continues! This is what happens when he tells my sister he wants a Baywatch calendar.His new most exciting gift.

December 28
Schrader Lanes
Peterson family Christmas bowling. My father-in-law is way cool. 

December 29
I guess it's inherent in kids to enjoy sitting in laundry baskets. I sure remember liking it.

December 30
I'm sorry this is not exciting. But at least you all know that we had curry for dinner. Let me share something with you. There's avocado in there. Try it and you'll thank me. (Well, you'll really need to thank Sammy.)

December 31
Larkum House
The newest addition to our potluck group: Hazel! She might also be the best dressed.

I guess that wraps up another year. Can't say I'm too disappointed to see this one go. It's been full of trials, but also a lot of people to help get through those trials and fill the rest of the time with laughs, love, and fun. So for that, I'm grateful. But it's funny how going to bed one night and waking up the next day can make you feel so refreshed, hopeful, and ready. Just because the year changed.