Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Do I still have any loyal blog readers after my last post? haha

Back to our vacation update! After a day at Legoland, we spent the night with my uncle (technically 3rd, I think, cousin but we call him uncle) at his house in Orlando. The next morning, we popped out of bed ready for blue water, umbrella drinks and meals that I didn't have to cook.
Uncle Denny's pretty backyard swing... note Avery's shoes on the wrong feet... she would NOT let me fix them. Little Miss Independent.

I don't have any pictures of the 1st day because this day was overwhelming. Basically every passenger on the boat is on the lido deck, someone is constantly making announcements on the intercom, there are a lot of chimes and that darn muster drill is annoying albeit necessary. This day overwhelmed Parker who has some sensory issues. We started to wonder what the heck we did signing our family up to be stuck on a boat for 6 days.

After a nice dinner, we put the kids to bed at their usual time of 7:30. This was *key* to enjoying the rest of our vacation! They slept until 9:00am thanks to having an interior room with no light... it was glorious.

The kids woke up happy and we breathed a huge sigh of relief when we realized that they weren't so overwhelmed anymore. Our 1st day was at Freeport, Bahamas. So after a great night's sleep and a yummy breakfast, we got off the boat and got a cab to take us to a local beach. Much to our surprise, the water was COLD and it looked like it was going to storm but we enjoyed playing in the sand. Excursions to play at beaches were $60+ dollars a person... we paid $27 round trip for the 4 of us for a cab to a public beach with bathrooms, a restaurant and a nice bar. #winning

No filter! That was really how the sky looked!!
These piggies!!!! I love them!
The next day was Half Moon Cay. This was our favorite day! It was warmer and the island had lots for the kids to do!

They enjoyed the water slides and shallow, clear water. This island was super family friendly and I recommend booking a cruise that stops here if you have kids!

Each night was pretty much the same. We went back to the room at 4. The kids played legos, we rested a bit, showered and then were at dinner by 5:45. We loved our waitress, Yulia. Parker and Avery were great every night at dinner thanks to bread, crayons and random choreographed dances by the waiters. Shout out to Vitaly (yes, like in Madagascar 3) who taught Avery how to "get low" to the "apple bottoms jeans" song. Really proud mom moment when a 22 year old waiter tells you your 2 year old is a "sexy dancer!" We gave him slack and crossed our fingers that was a "lost in translation" moment! haha

The next day was spent at sea.  Unfortunately, Avery had a fever this day so after a few rounds of mini golf, she and Daniel retreated to the room for naps. Parker had a blast in kid's camp while mama laid out alone by the pool with an umbrella drink. It was nice!

We decided to forgo Nassau since we had been there before and just play on the lido deck while there were less people on the ship. We played on the water slide, ate our weight in frozen yogurt and watched silly contest by the pool. I got a massage while Daniel played mini golf with the kids then we met up to get ready for dinner.

Each night after dinner, we went straight back to the room and put the kids to bed. That just worked for us. They were tired and I think we had a more enjoyable cruise because we kept them on schedule. I had lots of movies and TV shoes on a hard drive that I watched on the laptop with head phones while the kids slept. The Sound of Music with Carrie Underwood also happened to be on NBC one night so I spent 3 hours of my life being a little confused by that musical. Carrie Underwood is stunning and sings SO beautifully but it was just awkward in my opinion. PS- The hills are alive with the sound of music... not the forest.

Daniel played poker every night and boy are we glad he did! ;) He won double the amount of the cost of our cruise! Go Daniel! I didn't feel in the least bit slighted because I was not interested in this cruise's on board entertainment since it was geared more toward the 50+ crowd. (More on that in my next post Cruisin' with Kids) Keeping the kids on their schedule worked for us even if that meant turning in at 7:30!

We're still trying to explain to the kids that frozen yogurt is only breakfast food on cruises and that mama doesn't cook 4 and 5 course meals. They may have gotten a wee bit spoiled but that's what vacations are for, right?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Holly Jolly Holiday for HIM

I'm going to interrupt my series on our cruise pictures, I know you're devastated, to discuss something way more exciting to most of you...unless you're my dad or mother-in-law... then you just need to quit reading right about now.....

Disclaimer: The following post is outside of the normal content of this blog but I felt inclined to share because it's important...and Biblical in the confines of marriage...and fun...and free. That said, if you're a prude... you won't like this post so come back tomorrow for cruise pictures! ;)

You see, Daniel and I don't exchange presents under the tree... well that's not true... it has been under the tree before but bare with me. We buy presents for the house that we need like vacuums, steam cleaners and Ninja blenders but we start using them the day we get them... ie... 2 days after cyber Monday.... shout out to Amazon Prime. That doesn't mean *NO* gifts; it just means we choose to spend $ on our children, things we need for the house and other people. I ALWAYS give Daniel Reese cups in the shape of Christmas trees in his stockings and he gives me... a Christmas hug aka nothing. My stocking is always so sad... hint hint.

Last year in mid December, my friend surprised me out of the blue with an email. I was hesitant to click on it because of my aforementioned issue with collecting a wide range of spyware. I'm a link clicker and I'm really trying to be better! Remember those free Starbucks links on facebook last winter? Scam. I learn the hard way...

Back to the email... it read "The 12 LAYS of Christmas." Little background on this friend... She is a Godly woman, bakes the most beautiful cakes, does lovely vinyl work, crafts with the best of them and is all around a Betty Homemaker so this email caught me off guard but perked my interest.

The premise is, for the 12 days before Christmas, you'll bless your husband with the present he REALLY wants...  once a day for 12 days in a row. No ladies, he does not in fact, want a polo shirt, or cologne, or a partridge in a pear tree... he wants YOU.... 12 times. I downloaded the flirty files and took them on a thumb drive to Staples to print out on pretty shiny cardstock. Little piece of advice: always fully read what you're printing out before asking someone else to do it for you to avoid any embarrassment. Side note: your hubby doesn't care if these are printed on shiny cardstock in color... black and white on flimsy paper is just fine. Once I reassured myself  "I'll never see the Staples print manager again. It's no big deal," I got to cutting them out. Each morning, I'd find a way to slip him the note so he had the whole day to think about it. I imagine he was super productive at work the 2nd half of December.

It was his favorite present... EVER.

So it's that time of the year again when all you ladies are in the line at Marshall's/Homegoods that wraps around to the back of the store to buy your polos and wallets. He doesn't want it or at least he wouldn't want it if he knew this was an option! Save yourself the time, $ and stress. I'm gonna make this simple for you.

Just Do It... and I don't mean go buy him Nike shoes.

I've scoured the internet for you and saved your computers from all sorts of viruses and spyware that attack you from googling phrases like "naughty days of Christmas," "12 lays of Christmas" and "sexy days of Christmas"... you.are.welcome.

Here are some fun links to different 12 lays of Christmas ideas.
Disclaimer: I did not make any of these on my own and I have NO idea what is on the rest of the sites but these particular links are PG to PG-13.  ;)

This one includes little gifts that go with each day:

This one also has little gifts that go along with each day and is cute enough to save and reuse next year!

If you don't like some of the poems or gifts in the previous 2, here are some poem options to create your own little coupons:

This one doesn't have any gifts or things you need. SCORE! She also has 2 years worth of poems so you can over achieve and do 24 lays of Christmas or just pick the ones you like the best:

This one is for the dating/engaged couples! You better not be doing this one if you're married... I'm just saying... he'll be disappointed:

 If you aren't comfortable with these little poems and ideas, create your own! He'd love it just as much, if not more, if it was original and from the heart!

You better hurry! If you start this Friday, the 13th!, you'll finish the 12 lays on Christmas Eve and as a bonus for you over achievers, some of those links also have a print out for Christmas Day. 

For anyone still reading but feel unsure about it, did you know there are 29ish (some were far reaching) scriptures in the Bible (according to my trusty friend, Google) dedicated to the topic of intimacy within marriage? 1st Corinthians 7:5 literally says "do not deprive each other."   So basically God wants you to give your husband the 12 lays of Christmas. (Dear theologians... I'm sure I took that out of context... feel free to not inform me. I like my version better.) 

What better way to bless your husband at Christmas than to take time during the craziness of the holiday for each other? You'll reduce holiday stress, set him up for smiles at all family functions and give him something to look forward to each day! Don't forget... it's also kinda like gifting your husband a present that's really for you too. I'm not sure if that's selfish of savvy but I'm going with the latter. 

Merry Kissmas and a very Happy (and potentially fertile for some of you) New Year!  ;)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Surprise! We went on a vacation!

Well hello again! Do you know what happens when you set your computer on the floor next to a bath tub to "play on facebook" while the kids bathe? Said children like to "swim" in the tub... they splash... and laptops don't enjoy water as much as toddlers do. It still works... except for the letters QWERTYUASDF.... just the top left side of the keyboard.... who needs those letters anyways? I emailed myself those letters from Daniel's computer so I could copy and paste them as needed but that's REALLY annoying. Like really...really... obnoxiously tedious. Lesson learned... keep electronics away from bath time.

Thankfully, my husband hoards computers so now that we're back from our vacation and settling back into our routine, he'll set one up for me with locks and limits like a child because I am the QUEEN of computer viruses and spyware... and run on sentences.

Due to my love of spyware and social media, the hubby made sure to remind me NOT to post that we were going on vacation because that's like saying "Hey y'all, come steal all my stuff.  I won't be home to stop you. Oh and by the way, the Christmas gifts are hidden in the guest room closet. Help yourself. Please feed the seahorses while you're here. Thanks! Love, The Wise Family"

So... surprise! We went on a vacation!

Last December, we planned a 6 day cruise to the Bahamas to unplug from technology and enjoy being together and unreachable from work, facebook and the 75 emails a day I've been getting since joining the HOA communications committee. Ok, so not 75... but too many...  We committed to 6 days as a family, unplugged, in a warm destination, with every meal prepared for us and umbrella drinks. *BLISS*

While on vacation, I took a whole 60 pictures... that's it.... and I wasn't in a single one of them. Photo fail? or Photo win? On one hand, I don't have many pictures to document our fun vacation. On the other hand, I was living in the moment instead of behind the lens. I lie... I took 1 picture of myself.
Those are my short, stubby toes in the sands of Half Moon Cay, Bahamas. My feet look like those of a 97 year old woman. Why are my feet so wrinkly?!

I digress. We went to Florida 2 days before our cruise so we could take the kids to Legoland. We thought Parker would LOVE it! Come to find out, he mostly just loved the exclusive Lego minifigures. Had we known that, we would have spent the $140 in tickets on lego ebay treasures and he would have been more than pleased. Unless your child is over 42 inches and can walk through a Lego store and not buy something without explosive tears.... don't waste your $.

They're marketing geniuses at Legoland, you see, so most rides exit through a themed store. The "Knights Kingdom" roller coaster ride either ends in tears from not buying the castle or you drop $89 on tiny plastic pieces that are suppose to form a castle except my child mixes his sets and can't build them alone so really they're just land mines that you'll eventually step on and curse yourself for purchasing. We managed to leave Legoland with only $24 in minifigures and $18 in stocking stuffers but we also left with Avery in tears because she was too short to ride everything except the carousel and cars.

While we DID have fun, all in all, I would not recommend Legoland unless you're already in the Orlando area and get majorly discounted tickets. Also, purchase parking online... it's discounted to only $12. UGH. Am I the only one who hates paying to park?!

Next up, cruise pictures! I also plan to do a "cruising with kids" post. We plan to cruise again soon and there are some things we learned this trip I'll definitely implement for the next one. My last name isn't "Wise" because I married into it... oh wait... it is ;)