Sunday, April 26, 2015

David's 80th Birthday Cruise!!!

...It's Sunday night after a week long of crusin' for my stepdad's 80th birthday and I'm having major post-vacay depression! Here's a quick recap just of pics from my phone (this doesn't include the 250+ photos I took on my camera!). Let's start from the beginning...

Last Friday, April 17, AR and I headed to Lambert Airport, got checked in, and found a cake!!! FYI, apparently NO airline (that I've flown at least) in STL has carseat covers but every airport I've flown to does. Therefore, when our flight got delayed in Dallas due to rain, AR's carseat sat in the rain and poor baby had to ride in a wet seat for about 30 minutes. Thus ensued a Twitter battle with American Airlines but no worries, on the way home, shocker, despite American saying most airports didn't have covers, they did and we were safe on the way back, no wet seat.

The Magic House had an awesome little play area set up in the terminal which passed our waiting time and AR loved it. When we flew back the next Saturday, she wanted to stop and play!

Due to having to pay for baggage, I didn't carry her carseat with me, instead brought a carry-on suitcase but she was such a big girl and sat in her seat with the belt on the whole time... well, most of the time. Really wished I had the carseat on the way home... Does she not look absolutely adorable with that packback on? That's what AR calls her backpack.

We made it to Dallas, rode a tram to a different terminal to find our flight was delayed. Since we originally only had 45 minutes between flights, we were happy to be there in time. AR passed the time dancing and jumping from seat to seat (thank goodness for it not being busy in the evening!).

Finally made it to Orlando around 1AM, this pic was pre-flight, sleep during flight, and both momma and baby tired waiting for last tram to get to Nanny.

Saturday morning, we were up bright and early, ready for the cruise!!!

We "chased" this Disney ship all across the Atlantic and AR loved seeing Mickey... good thing, she had no idea he was ON that ship!

Sunday we docked in Nassau, Bahamas. I'd already been to the Bahamas but I wanted AR to get off at each port to "say" she'd been there so we literally were only there for about an hour to walk around and take in the gorgeous land.

Good thing about the ship when you're on it and everyone else is on land, no waiting for anything!!! We had quite the time taking over the kiddie pool area and here's my girl snuggling while we take a little rest.

Nanny and David had a deck so we spent a lot of our time up there when not swimming, eating, visiting with family, etc... So relaxing watching the wide open ocean, nothing ahead of you and just reading a book or playing games.

Monday was a day at sea then Tuesday we were at St. Thomas, my favorite spot of the cruise.

My mom, stepsis Jo, AR, and me spent some time shopping...

Then Jo and I went snorkeling that afternoon... you're welcome for the man candy!

Wednesday we were in Puerto Rico and did a bus tour. Also, Mommy had some sangria... would you believe that was the only alcohol I had all week???

Shocker, AR found a monkey!

When we got back on the ship after Puerto Rico, AR and I had some time to ourselves so we had a late lunch of watermelon, chicken tenders, and ice cream-yum! We also had some fun riding the elevator.

Thursday, we went to Grand Turk. I was most excited about this port but it was kind of a let down... not much shopping or anything to do right off the port. We rented a cabana at Margaritaville where we could go to the beach or swim in their pool. This is AR and Aunt Kim, Aunt Gizzy's hat, us and the ship, and swimming in the pool. By this day, we'd had enough sun so she wore her shirt over her suit.

Naptime in the air conditioned cabana!

Still half asleep on the way back to the ship but we had to get a pic here!

Finally used my selfie stick this night. Of course, AR wanted the pic in black & white, that's her fave!

All of the crew LOVED AR and knew her by the end of the trip. Seriously, if one of us was late to breakfast or dinner, they'd be like, "Oh, you're with AR? Right this way..." They called her Goldilocks and loved her hair! This is Ivan, who has a six-year-old. AR told him all about the birthdays in our family and how hers was next month. He gave her this bunny and a Beanie Baby chicken along with candy, which she loved both! Mila, the hostess, stopped at one of the ports and got her Princess bubbles. Everyone was so sweet and nice!

Our porter loved AR and called her by name every time he saw her and asked what kind of towel animal she'd want that night. He had a birth mark on his face and AR asked him what it was. I wasn't embarrassed, I took it as a learning moment. We had a lot of learning moments on this trip as she encountered wheelchairs, different languages, birth marks, etc... I think it's important to answer as honestly as I can so that she understands from the get-go that it's okay to be "different" and that like our porter who had a birth mark, she had one too, just in a different spot.

Anyway, way off topic there, but we loved the staff!!!

More hostesses that loved AR!!! She also loved dancing with them every night. And here's the chicken and rabbit.

All 13 of us that cruised together at Grand Turk!

We got back to Florida early on Saturday morning. We found a park where AR ran out a lot of energy before heading to the airport.

A ship, a shuttle, a car, a plane, now a tram, and one more plane then back to STL!

Made it back to Lambert!!!

One little girl who was happy to see her Daddy and her doggie(s)!!!

Thanks for the great time and memories!!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

My Favorite What If by ME!!!

TITLE: My Favorite What If
AUTHOR: Lyssa Layne
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
COVER DESIGN: Kage Cover Designs
LENGTH: 54,000+


One year after Jacob "Smitty" Smith is stood up at the altar, his good friend Jules encourages him to redeem his honeymoon package before it expires. Reluctantly, he agrees, and finds himself sitting beside free spirit Sloan Talbott, who is attending her sister's destination wedding at the same resort. Both have been hurt. Neither is looking for love. Will one week in paradise be a fling to remember or could it possibly lead to something more?

Book Links
Barnes & Noble

Carrying my cup of coffee, I walk back to my bedroom and look into the suitcase. So far everything looks alright—swimsuit, shorts, t-shirts, dress slacks, and dress shirt. Jules came through on her other promise to go to the store for the trip—deodorant, soap, toothpaste, condoms. Wait, condoms?!

“Jules, what the hell is this?” I ask, holding up the box of Trojans.

Not missing a beat, she grabs the box from me and throws it back in the suitcase, zipping it up. “I got everything you could possible need. Soap, toothpaste, Pepto, Pedialyte—”

“And condoms?” I ask with a raised eyebrow.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t know you had another preferred method of safe sex,” she quips as she pulls my suitcase off the bed and drags it to my front door.

“And just who do you think I’ll be having sex with?”

She shrugs as she walks back to the bedroom and shoves a pile of clothes in my arms. “I don’t know, I don’t care, but you need to get laid. So go to paradise, find some lucky woman, and get some.”

Other Books by Lyssa Layne

If you want to find out more about Smitty's friend, Jules, check out Everybody's After Love

Boxed Sets

Next Release
Lyssa's next release Until You Fall In Love and will debut June 9
Single mom Jordan Glastetter doesn't know how she'd survive without her best friend, Abram Tomko. He's the father her son never knew and he's the rock she's always leaned on. When Abram's father suffers a heart attack, it's Abram's turn to depend on Jordan, finally seeing her as the woman she's become and not the little girl he grew up with. Will they risk their friendship for a chance at love?

About the Author

Lyssa Layne is first, and foremost, the proud momma to her precious daughter, AR. In addition to working full-time and being a mommy to AR, she is also an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan, a runner, blogger, and an infertility survivor.
Having watched one too many medical dramas and being inspired by author Rachelle Ayala, who introduced her to the world of indie writing, Lyssa decided to try her hand at writing a romance story. Her attempt turned into the Burning Lovesick series. You can find Lyssa’s own interests throughout her stories although all stories are fictional.
Contact Her

Facebook Party & Takeover
Friday, April 10 Lyssa will be taking over the One-Click Addict Support Group
Also, join the My Favorite What If Gossip Fest one week after it's release so that we can chat about Smitty & Sloan, discuss their future, and share other spoilers. The party will be April 14 at 8PM CT. Join the fun here!

Enter to win a Lyssa Layne ebook of your choice, this pair of Love earrings, or a piece of surprise jewelry from La Jolie Fille Boutique. Rafflecopter will close April 14.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Our Holy... Cow, We're So Busy Week!!!

...This past week was spring break where I teach at which means not trying to cram two job hours into one work week. I was excited that I'd get to sleep a little later and things would be just chill... I was so wrong!!! The week ended up being crazy, insane busy. Let's start from the beginning. Monday... well, Monday was so long ago I can't even remember what we did. So moving on to Tuesday, AR had her last PAT appointment. She did fantastic and I know what we need to work on this summer (taking steps split and taking her shirt off on her own). Then she headed to the sitter's and I worked until ten. Wednesday... OMW-insane!!! Worked all day, went home, dog had accident and spent 40 minutes cleaning it up, jet to pick up AR, egg hunt, drop her off with my sister, come home, and crash. Her Aunt EB hung out with her before and after preschool on Wednesday and she always gets the cutest pics of her. Check out this one of AR and her cousin Zeus!

We went to an indoor egg hunt Wednesday night which was pretty awesome. Honestly, I think this is the first egg hunt we've ever been to. We've done Breakfast with the Bunny two years but no egg hunt. She really liked it and I'm kind of bummed that we didn't go to more but 1. I think people are incredibly rude at egg hunts 2. My child doesn't need any more candy! 3. Easter bunnies are super creepy. I'll be glad when they get out of my FB feed!

Thursday was Matt's birthday so another cray cray day of running around. I got up early to drop donuts off at his work, packed his lunch with his favorites, picked up AR from my sister, then went home to get Matt, took him to dinner at Texas Roadhouse then home and crash. AR was super excited to ride the "horse"... Daddy, not so much!

Friday I went to work, left around eleven to pick my grandma up for her last radiation treatment. We had lunch at Jilly's where we both ate our cupcakes before our meals even arrived. I got the best day to take Grandma for her treatment because she "graduated" and got to ring the bell. It was so great, all the employees signed her certificate, even the valet guy!, and then all the people in the waiting room cheered for her. Three people got to ring the bell while we were there! God is good and now we pray that the cancer stays away!

Saturday morning was no day of rest either. Luckily, we all sleep in but once we were up it was baking bunny cake, boiling eggs, and then when Daddy left for the farm, the girls turned AR's crib into a toddler bed!!! Go me, go me! My picture courtesy AR.

Okay, I had a little help transitioning the crib...

Of course, she thinks it's just a trampoline...

So far the first day went well. She woke up at 4AM because her blanket fell on the floor. I put it back on her and she went back to sleep. The next morning, she just yelled for us instead of coming in our room. I don't think she realizes she can get out yet so we'll see how long this last...

What do you know, Sunday morning the Easter Bunny had hid all our eggs! She was more into pointing them all out vs actually picking them up.

Daddy had to walk around with her too.

Ta-da! Got eggs... and a belly shirt!

After the egg hunt, her and Daddy explored her Easter basket which was really everything she'd already gotten thrown into one plus a few extras that Momma Bunny put in there like a Frozen reading book and sidewalk chalk.

This is my monster requesting to use my DSLR to take a picture

AR with all her eggs

Easter Family Pic 2015

Someone wanted no part of being in the family pic at first but hey, got a good one of the hubs and me!

How fantastic is this picture... I'm actually kind of in love with it!

And because no one ever offers to take a pic of Momma and her girl, a selfie of the two of us!

My gorgeous little girl who is beautiful both on the inside and out. God is good! Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Easter Activiities 2015...

...I think the name of this blog should be, where does time go??? Seriously, it's already Easter??? And here I am about a week late posting about our Easter activities. Last Saturday, we went to Breakfast with the Bunny. AR was obsessed with this hopscotch!!!

This is one of my co-workers daughters who I remember being a camper and now she's driving!!! Once again, where does time go???

AR with the bunny. Maybe I don't think he's so creepy because I know him but still...

The Mayor was there so of course AR had to go say hi!

AR's crush, John was there and he was the first person she asked to see when we arrived.

The G Gals with the Bunny

After the bunny, we went to church to practice for her big Palm Sunday singing debut. Here she is "Jumping Up & Down."

And how cool, they even got to play the bells!

Here's a video of their actual performance. If you listen closely, AR is a little late and you can hear her shout "Hosanna!"

And lots more stuff we're doing this weekend! Happy Easter!