Sunday, May 28, 2006


One of the more fun days we've had since living down here also turned out to be one of the most frightening.

Sunday afternoon, Mike, myself and our friends, Chad and Sommer, headed to Pensacola Beach to rent a boat for the day. It was a beautiful day. First, we stopped at a little beachside grocery store to load up on snacks and drinks. With two pregnant women, you really can't get us to go anywhere without a sufficient snack supply!

We boarded the beautiful (not so much) Southern Star just before 2 p.m. and sailed into Pensacola Bay. There were tons of boats and jet skiers racing around. I wouldn't say we were racing by any stretch. Since the speedboats were so expensive to rent, we settled for a pontoon boat. I can't say it wasn't spacious!

We traveled a few miles to a secluded beach area and jumped out to swim. The water was a little chilly, so Sommer and I took our sweet time, going in inch by inch. The guys, of course, dived right in and then proceeded to chase us down for a quick dunking. I tried to run, but as you know, running in water up to your waist when your feet are sinking in the sand is a real challenge. My foot got stuck and I fell face first in the water before Mike even got to me!

Chad found tons of sealife including live starfish and hermit crabs. (I was watching out for larger life including sharks and sting rays. None to speak of, thank goodness.)

We had a wonderful time and were on our way back when we encountered a HUGE boat speeding by us. This monster created three foot waves that were coming straight for our boat. We were on the wrong side of the canal, so Chad had to cross into the waves. We floated up, then crashed down as the wave consumed the front of the boat. Mike and I were sitting up front. I was up to my knees in water, trying to get to the back of the boat which was tilted high. I thought we were going to sink! All I could think about was that my camera and cell phone were going to the bottom of the ocean. Sommer was in the back, a look of terror on her face. Chad was trying to catch our radio that fell in the water. Mike was the only calm one, just watching the water recede out of the boat. We all caught our breath, but only just before the second wave hit. Same thing. Water filled the front end and it looked as if we were going under. I seriously thought we'd be swimming after that. I pictured all of us climbing to the back of the boat like in Titanic. What would we have done? What would we have said to the renting company? "Uh, sorry. We had a great time on your boat, but she sank few miles back."

We did finally make it safely back to shore with the Southern Star in tact and floating. We laughed and talked about it afterwards over burgers, hotdogs and root beer at a little beachside restaurant. It will certainly be a day we won't forget! We actually want to rent another boat again in a few weeks. We'll hopefully do without the near disaster next time. :)

Note: Casey is often times over-dramatic in recounting tales of exciting events. In all likelihood (and according to her husband), this incident was no big deal. But it was nonetheless scary!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Dinner with Friends

I can't even remember the last time we saw our friends Kevin and Ginger before Tuesday night. It's been years. Mike and I went to the same university with Kevin. They were both Sigma Chi's at Eastern and lived next door to each other. Kevin married Ginger shortly after we graduated. Since then, they have welcomed a baby girl, Anslee, into their family.

Kevin called to tell us they'd be in Destin for vacation this week and we happily agreed to meet up with them for dinner. We met at Fudpucker's Bar and Grill in Fort Walton Beach, the midway point between Pensacola and Destin.

It was good to see them and to catch up. It had been way too long. Ginger and I talked a lot about having kids and she gave me some insight for what to expect in the next year. We all laughed and talked for a long time. It was a great dinner with great friends!

Houseguests and Home Repair

Mike and I were so happy to have Mike's brother, CJ and his wife, Amber, come to visit last weekend. Mike and CJ took advantage of the mild morning temperatures on the golf course each day, while Amber and I took advantage of sleeping a little longer and then getting some sun in the backyard. We traveled to the beach one afternoon and then out to eat at a place called Peg Leg Pete's (an oyster bar on the beach). They have really good food. We grilled out some of the meat Mike ordered from Omaha Steaks on the other two nights. Delicious! We all enjoyed steak, hamburgers and "gourmet" hot dogs that were as big as my forearm. Quite tasty though.

Unfortunately, as Mike and I were preparing for CJ and Amber to arrive, there was a small accident. Mike opened the window in our guest bedroom that morning to let in some cool air. We were sitting in the living room a little while later when we heard something come crashing down. We ran to see, finding that the bottom portion of the window had somehow fallen right out of the wall! (It was one of those that opens and then can be leaned toward the inside for cleaning.) So we had a gaping hole in our house for the entire time our guests were here - in the guests' room.

CJ was so nice to help Mike take the rest of the window out in order to replace it. They worked for three hours scraping out glass, aluminum and mortar. Thanks to them for being patient and helping us with our home repair while on their vacation.

Other than the window fiasco, we had a wonderful time catching up with CJ and Amber. Thanks for coming to visit guys!!!

CJ and Mike (wearing sunglasses for protection from flying glass) tearing out what's left of the window. Poor Mike cut his finger in the process.

A quick stop for ice and beverages before heading the the beach.

CJ and Amber.

Enjoying seafood and Peg Leg Pete's.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Arriving Soon: Baby William!

My brother, Brian, and sister-in-law, Carrie, are anxiously awaiting their baby boy's arrival. William is due the first part of June. Carrie may be induced as early as June 1st. She's doing great, besides the expected aches and pains of being 9 months pregnant. Please pray for a safe and quick delivery and for a healthy newborn.

I'm very excited to be going home after the baby is born to visit and help out for a week and 1/2. Brian and Carrie, we can't wait to meet our nephew! See you in just a few weeks.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Congratulations, Lyndsay & Pat!

It is with great joy and excitement that I say congratulations to my oldest and dearest friend, Lyndsay Smith, and her high school sweetheart, Pat Szydlowski, on their recent engagement. Pat surprised Lyndsay with a marriage proposal onboard a cruise ship during their vacation a few weeks ago. Pat is a genuinely sweet and funny guy with the best personality. He and Lyndsay are truly a perfect match. I am so happy for them and can't wait until next summer for the big event.

Thank you, Lynds, for asking me to be your matron of honor. We have been the best of friends at every stage of our lives thus far, and I am absolutely honored and thrilled to stand beside you for this one! I can't wait for all the showers and parties we'll have for you two! Love, love, love you!

Monday, May 15, 2006

A New Mother's Delight

As we drove through Nashville on the way back to Florida yesterday, Mike made an unexpected exit off I-65. I wasn't sure where we were headed as we had just stopped for gas. He pulled up to a Circuit City. He said he'd like me to help pick out my very first Mother's Day gift. With that, he lead me over to the digital camcorders and told me to pick one. We came out with this one. It does all sorts of cool stuff, and it fits in my palm so I'll be taking it everywhere. I was so excited to get one of these!

It will be wonderful to capture all the precious moments of our baby's first days and years. After we made the purchase and walked out of the store, I told Mike, "... and Happy Father's Day to you!" Ha, ha. Thank you, honey, for such a wonderful and thoughtful Mother's Day gift!!! Don't get mad when I have the camera in your face all the time. Heh, heh.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

A Quick Trip Home

My long-time friend, Kyle Simpson, tied the knot this weekend in Louisville, KY. Kyle and I attended all 12 grades together, then went on to the same university. Our parents have been close friends since they were in school together. Mike and I drove home to attend the wedding. We left mid-morning on Friday, arriving around 10:30 p.m. eastern time. I was happy to have had most of Saturday to spend with my family before we all went to the wedding that night. It was great to see some of my high school buddies and their families.
Kyle and his bride, Chelsea

Mike with our friends, Jay and Pat

Me with my dear friend, Lyndsay

Sitting down for a delicious dinner at the reception

I was also glad to have been able to wish my mom a Happy Mother's Day in person on Sunday before we had to leave. She loved the embroidered pillow we got her. It reads: "Every Time a Baby is Born, So is a Grandmother." We also got her a silver bracelet engraved with her initial.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom! Love you!

It was a very quick trip to Kentucky, but one I'm so glad we were able to make. I'm looking forward to going back home next month to greet my nephew, William, who will be arriving the first part of June, and to attend two more friends' weddings.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Entering Our 17th Week

I FEEL GOOD!!! Na na, na na, na na, na.

We're now in our fifth month of pregnancy. Almost to the halfway mark! And guess what?! Finally, FINALLY I'm feeling good. Three and a half months of 24/7 nausea was a challenge to say the least. I'm thrilled to be on the fourth day of a 'feeling-normal-streak.' I thought I was going to have to battle morning sickness until October. What a relief!!!

At church on Sunday, a nice elderly lady (didn't know her previously) commented on me being pregnant. We were excited someone noticed! I've gained five pounds so far. From here on out, I'm supposed to gain around a pound per week.

During this month, our baby's brain starts to develop rapidly. The ears are almost completely formed, and the baby can hear internal sounds such as my heartbeat. By the end of the fifth month, he or she should be about 10 inches long and weigh from 1/2 to 1 pound. I should be able to feel the baby's movements any day now. I thought I felt movements a couple times, but I'm not sure.

Our next appointment is May 22. Oh, and just three more weeks until we find out if it's a boy or girl!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Our Weekend

Mike and I awoke Saturday morning with plans to go to the beach, but the weather didn't cooperate, so we headed into Pensacola to look for baby furniture. It was so neat to look at all the cribs and carriers and strollers and think, we are actually going to get this stuff because we are actually going to have a baby soon! We went to a place called Storkland. They have a big selection of really nice baby furniture. We picked out a set that is beautiful! We may look around some more, too, but there aren't many baby furniture stores around here. We are so, so excited to find out what we're having so we can start on the nursery.

I thought my morning sickness was slowly going away, but I'm going to be honest with myself and realize that I'm going to be sick until this baby is out in the world, kicking and screaming. I went to an aerobics class yesterday morning. I was feeling fine until the drive back where I almost didn't make it home in time. I was feeling better later on, so we packed up our bikes and took a 17-mile ride on a paved path called the Blackwater Trail that starts near us and ends at the Whiting Field Base (where Mike will later train). Besides a slight headache, I was alright for the entire bike ride. We had fun and gave our legs a really good workout. We came back with sore backsides, though!

We had gone to the Farmer's Market earlier and picked up some fresh watermelon, strawberries, oranges and grapefruit. So after our bike ride, we cut some of it up and threw it in the blender for some delicious smoothies. Not long after that, we decided to do KFC for dinner (mashed potato craving). Well, in the drive-thru, the nausea returned, full force. I was searching frantically for something to be sick in and could only find a plastic newspaper sleeve from that morning. You know, those long skinny bags to protect the paper from rain? Barely covered my mouth. I tried my best to hold off until we pulled away from the drive-thru window, so I didn't disgust the the nice people working there. Mike was trying to get me home as fast as he could, but alas, I didn't make it. Fruit smoothie is not fun to throw up. Especially in a moving car into a bag with holes in it. So we pull in to the driveway (I'm still getting sick) and along comes our very friendly neighbor, Buddy, to introduce himself. Mike apologized for me as he shook hands saying, that's my wife in the car, but she's sick right now. How embarrassing! I pulled myself together after a couple minutes, collecting the little bag and napkins and got out of the car to say hello. I'm sure Buddy's first impression of me was not the best. Oh well! What can I do?

I began to feel better after eating the mashed potatoes. However, this morning the sickness has returned. I may go insane.