Wake Up Wednesday: 2.4

Good afternoon, I hope everyone was safe this past weekend through the blizzard of the decade. There is just something about being stuck inside my house that is kind of relaxing. I couldn’t make plans, and that was nice. But of course all good things must come to an end, and I get stir-crazy after two days anyway.

I don’t remember having this much snow since I was a very little girl, and it did entice me to build a couple forts in our snow piles and play outside with my dog.

Do you need afternoon coffee? Because I do too! Let’s sip together.

Song of the Week:


Lauren Daigle

If you haven’t noticed, I have a love for Lauren Daigle lately. There is something about the purity of her music that catches me. Take a listen, and let me know what you think.

What do you do to relieve stress?:

Run. I run a lot when I am stressed. The only thing about that, is I haven’t been able to run much since having Josey, but this week, I decided it was time to start taking care of myself.

By the time I get home from work, make supper, feed Josey, and put her to bed, I get to chose to either clean up the dishes or workout. This week I have chosen to workout each night, so don’t walk in my house! You can definitely tell I chose to work out.

Is it bad that I’m not sorry? Good because I didn’t think so either. I am not sorry for choosing to spend the two hours each night with her instead of doing the dishes or laundry, and I’m also not sorry for choosing to workout after she goes to bed instead of doing those things. Priorities have changed to say the least.

Just give me a 24 hour heads up if you plan to come over. I’ll just shove everything into my closets.

Bible Verse of the Week:

Need I say more? Give it to Him, it isn’t your battle to fight. EVER.

What habit would you most like to break?:

I NEED to break my habit of not putting unworn clothes back on the hangers. My sanity would be saved even just a little if I didn’t have so much stinking clothes to put on hangers after deciding I didn’t want to wear it in the first place.

Sometimes I get rid of clothing, not because it doesn’t fit or I don’t wear it, but because I get overwhelmed with how much clothing I have to put away! I know – 1st World Problems. “Stuff” gives me anxiety.

Quote of the Week:

It took me 22 years to learn how to genuinely forgive someone without any trace of a grudge. It took me 22 years to learn to appreciate each of my chapters and short stories.

Each person’s book is written differently. Be kind to those whom you don’t have any idea about. And if you do know what the beginning of their story entails, be even more kind.

Who is one person you cannot live without?:

My mom.

I have always loved the relationship I hold with my mother. I will cherish it forever, but what I didn’t know is that I could love her even more after having my daughter.

It’s sad to say this, but I did get a little jealous of the attention that she gave my daughter instead of me. Don’t get me wrong, she is a wonderful grandma, but I still needed my mom. The thing is, I feel like I need her more than ever now than when I was fully dependent on her. So every now and then, I just want to hug her for long periods of time. I want to talk to her always; she has a way of calming my anxiety. You know, she’s like a mom or something.

That’s all I have for you today! I hope everyone enjoys their last days of February! Bring on March!

XO – Hannah

Wake Up Wednesday: 2.3

Good morning! I hope everyone is having a great week! Currently, we are under a winter weather advisory in which we are to get 7-9 inches of snow. From my window, my visibility is a quarter mile right now. So if you are going to or coming from work this morning drive careful! There are 35 states that are being effected by this storm! CRAZY!

Coffee. Coffee. Coffee is the name of the game! Grab your cup and let’s get going.

Song of the Week:

Trust In You

Lauren Daigle

This song is a great inspirational song. I don’t want to spoil it much if you haven’t listened to it! Please do, its a good one!

Would you prefer either a chauffeur or private chef for one month as a gift?:

Private chef all the way! I don’t mind driving (unless its at night) at all. I mean food is my favorite so to eat amazing food would be wonderful. Not that Eric isn’t a good cook because he is great, but to not have to worry about what we are having or actually have to cook it, I could go for that any day!

Bible Verse of the Week:

In what way do you pamper yourself?:

I love to get facials at the spa as well as massages. I also love cheesecake. Those are just some of the ways I like to pamper myself. And I do one of those things at least once a month.

What is the craziest thing you have ever asked siri?:

I am not honestly sure about this, but I did ask her, “what is love?” as a joke once, and she will tell you some funny stuff. Did you know that someone actually listens to you when you talk to her? Ahhhh…

Be careful when you get mad at her, don’t swear to much or say something too bad! Ha.

Quote of the Week:

Do you read labels on food of do you just buy what you like?:

It depends on what mood I am in. If I want to eat junk food, then no, I do not look at the label, because it would probably depress me just a little.

I generally do read a little bit of the labels. I don’t usually read anything but the ingredients label and maybe the carbohydrate levels. I don’t really care about calories etc.

That’s all I have for you today, I hope you all have a great day whether you stay home or go to work. Please be safe out there!

Cruising Isn’t Just For the Back Roads

Recently, my husband and I had the chance of going on our honeymoon. I know – a little late, but better late than never. We had planned this vacation over a year in advance and found out we were pregnant a couple weeks later – so travel insurance we got!

Neither of us had cruised before (and really had no desire to) until we had talked to a couple of our friends who are seasoned cruisers. I knew that if I was going to have the best possible time cruising, I’d want to go with someone who knows what they are doing. So with that, we decided to go on our “honeymoon” with some of our best friends. (Before you judge us and form opinions about who, what, and where we should or shouldn’t have honeymooned, let me just kindly remind you that this was our decision, and our honeymoon). And let me tell you, we are glad that we did!

Flying into Miami on Friday evening, we decided to grab a bite to eat and hot tub. We went to iHop on Saturday morning, and I learned two things about that city in a hurry. 1) We weren’t in Iowa anymore Toto, and 2) the cologne game is strong! We were definitely the minority in Miami; thank goodness for bilingual individuals. And although Saturday was gloomy, it was still 55 degrees and we went to South Beach anyway.

Day drinking was the name of the game. We walked up and down South Beach before landing at Leslie’s. And of course we drank here because it was named after my mother. The drinks were enormous, bigger than my face!

My mom’s bar

We chose to board the Carnival Magic, a ship that houses over 6,000 people (both crew members and vacationers). After staying in Miami for a a day or so, we boarded the ship on Sunday, January 27 in Miami, Florida.

The boarding process was relatively easy and quick. A lot of little things I am sure we would have found out on our own, but it was nice to have a heads up from friends beforehand. The way the cruise line disembarks, restocks, and boards a whole new “batch” of cruisers in 8 hours is nothing short of amazing and mind-boggling.

Because the ship had ported in Miami that morning, and the cruisers disembarking had literally gotten off of the boat and hour before we got on, you don’t usually get into your rooms until later in the afternoon. Your luggage is brought to your room in the afternoon as well, so this means hanging out on deck or exploring the ship for a few hours.

Tip: Take a swim suit in your carry-on so you can hop right into a pool or lay-out during the first few hours after boarding.

Carnival Magic

There is just no way to explain how big this boat was unless you were on it. We stayed in the top – front section of the boat (Serenity Spa Rooms = worth it). For the few hours we had on the boat before we “set sail”, we made ourselves familiar with the boat and the different areas of entertainment.

Day 1: Day at Sea

To get to our first port, we required a “day at sea” traveling to the Dominican Republic. We spent most of the day in our swim suits, what do ya know? Fearing a major sun-burn on the first day, we both lathered on the SPF 100. Yes we brought our baby’s sunscreen. That’s what you get for being so pasty.

We hadn’t bought a drink package because we weren’t sure if we could make it worth it. After buying our drinks for the first day, it didn’t take us long the next morning to purchase that.

Tip: Just buy the drink package. We only had to drink 5 a day to make it worth it. Top shelf drinks all week, makes for a potential liquor snob when we come home.

Each night we have our own reserved table in the dining room. There are two nights that require elegant attire, which is a lot of fun, but otherwise just “cruise casual” (basically no swimwear) for the rest of the week. Each table has their own waiters and head waiter, and they know your names and had our drink orders down by day 3! It was pretty impressive.

Each night we got to choose an appetizer, main meal, and dessert. The best thing was that if you didn’t like something, you could order something else, or you could order two appetizers if you wanted to try both. Eric and I got to try a lot of dishes that we wouldn’t have ordered had we been in a restaurant that we had to pay for each dish. Although we had eaten a few of these already, we tried rabbit, alligator, lamb, and a few others. The dining experience was one of my favorite parts about vacation.

Side note: There was a family next to us with a pretty little girl that was not yet 1, and it reminded me of Jo. That mom probably thinks I was stalking or creepy because I just kept looking at her missing my own little one. So sorry to you and your family if you’re out there.

Day 2: Amber Cove, Dominican Republic

Each morning, we started with breakfast buffet. One of the downsides to cruising was waiting in line for buffet breakfast for like 5-10 minutes especially on days we ported early and everyone wanted off the boat. You’d think it would be a cluster with 5,000 people trying to get off the boat, but they really did a nice job of making it run so smoothly. We hardly had to wait.

We ported in the Dominican Republic at 7:30 AM, and had to be off the boat for our first excursion of the trip by 8:30 AM. We chose to go zip-lining. I had been zip-lining in Colorado and Costa Rica prior to vacation, but this was Eric’s first time. He loved it, minus the tight straps in the crotchal region, but who likes that?

We also toured a plantation while we were there. I have pictures below of some of the country’s biggest exports and favorites. I had never thought about where cinnamon comes from, but I guess it grows on trees.

I found a read-to-harvest almond. I became extremely curious because I eat a lot of almonds.
Layer 1 gone.
Finally after 5 days, I got to the middle! And I now know why almonds cost so damn much!

Following our excursion, we boarded the boat and got ready for dinner and spent most of the night in and out of hot tubs. Four out of our six nights we spent in the comedy club for the late shows; we saw Jason Cheny, Lenny Schmidt, Dan Chopin, and Louis Johnson. Almost every show started with a joke from the host which followed with, “if that offended you, you should consider leaving”.

Funniest opening joke I remember (inappropriate text disclaimer….): Why couldn’t Miss Piggy count to 100? ——Because every time she got to 69 she got a frog in her throat.

Fun Fact: Two comedians start the trip and fly home from one of the ports, and they fly two more comedians into that port to finish the rest of the trip.

Day 3: St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

This was the day I was looking forward to the most. Since I was around 12 years old, I have had St. Thomas on my bucket list. It did not disappoint. Our excursion in St. Thomas was to spend the day on Megan’s Bay. Although this is a beautiful beach with the softest sand, it is a very popular beach with hundreds of people. Did I mention that over-populated areas irritate me the most? It was a good time with even better friends.

Day 4: San Juan, Puerto Rico

Nathan convinced Eric to go scuba diving for an excursion in San Juan. I would have loved to see the sea creatures, but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to handle the breathing under water skills. Eric saw an octopus, schools of fish, and a barracuda. And now, he thinks he needs to become certified because he can scuba dive so often in Iowa!

While the boys were off doing their thing, Tawny and I decided to go off and check out the city. We walked up and down the port area. But first stop was a Walgreens, which was desperately needed. (I needed dawn dish soap to be able to clean my pump parts; yes, I pumped throughout our whole trip and brought most of it back.)

That night we boarded, ate, and went to one of their theater shows they put on. They have a different one just about each night; we went to three of them. I’m sure the boys were less than enthused, but us ladies didn’t mind them at all!

Day 5: Grand Turk, British Indies

I had the least of expectations for this port, but came away with a mind-blowing experience. This was the one port that I really didn’t know much about. We didn’t have any excursions planned for the day, but I’m glad we didn’t. The beach near the port was so beautiful; we got to spend a couple hours at the beach before our scheduled couple’s massages. (Yes, you read that right. I convinced my husband to get a couple’s massage). He might not admit he liked it in public, but I know he’d consider another.

The two main money makers for Grand Turk are tourism and sea salt; I have a photo of both. I would like to go back at some point; this country was unexplainably beautiful!

There were crabs and jellyfish in the water which kept me a little near the shore, but not too many people were effected by that. The water was so gorgeous.

Day 6: Day at Sea

To get off at each port is a lot of fun, and it gave a little taste of a lot of countries I probably wouldn’t choose to vacation to exclusively for a week. But it was nice to see each of them. The last day was a day at sea, and it was great to have that low-key day to lounge and slowly start packing and gathering your things.

Here are a few more photos from our trip.

So this was our trip. And although we missed our dear baby girl so much, we had a wonderful time. I will be forever grateful that we were able to get away during the -60 degree temps and that I got to spend some time with my husband as that time is pretty far and few now. (Insert your “welcome to parenthood” comments now). I am also extremely thankful that our families live so close and are more than willing to help us out with our little girl and our blonde four-legged fur child.

I will be going on another cruise in my life if I get the chance. And I don’t just mean the on the back roads!

Wake Up Wednesday: 2.1

Good morning, good morning, good morning! It feels so good to be back! Thank you for being patient with me; my husband and I have had a rather hectic first month of 2019. I hope everyone has had a good start to the year, I know I have plenty of things to cross off my list for the year, I just chose to start my 2019 a month later.

January, for me, consisted of a job change, baby things, and vacation. All of which were extremely exhausting to prepare and go through.

So cheers to today, the beginning of February. Cheers to 2019, let’s get this party started! Grab your caffeine drink of choice, or alcohol, that works good too! Happy Wednesday all!

Song of the Week:


-Maren Morris

This song goes hand in hand with the quote of the week. It encourages strength from within to understand that everything is going to be okay. Take a listen and see what you think.

Where did we go one vacation?:

We called this vacation our “honeymoon”. Since we had gotten pregnant right away after the wedding, we decided to hold off on the honeymoon. Anyway, we went on a cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. It was both of our’s first time cruising, but it is definitely something we will do again! I will have a separate post about just vacation, but for now, here is a picture taken at one of my favorite places – St. Thomas.

St. Thomas – January 30, 2019

Have you ever made a homemade gift for someone?:

I thoroughly enjoy making gifts for people over buying them. There is just something about the thought that goes into it that makes it so much more worth it. I also love receiving homemade gifts because it makes gift getting and giving so much better. Valentine’s Day is coming up, maybe I’ll break my 7 year tradition and use this approach.

Bible Verse of the Week:

Never ever stop praying or striving for what you want in life. Go get it; go get it all! Do whatever you have to do to accomplish your goals.

Which would be impossible for you to give up for your life: Coffee or Soda?:

I think we all know the answer to this one. Coffee, coffee, coffee. I do not drink much soda. My mom never kept it in the house growing up so I really don’t even crave it. Every now and then, I’ll buy a 12 pack, but it generally takes a while for us to drink it all.

Quote of the Week:

This quote is validation enough! Believe that you are truly the only person who knows the best decisions that need to be made for yourself. I could have used this quote in the last couple months with becoming a new mom and all of the new decisions and changes in our lives lately. It took me a lot of pros and cons lists to make those decisions and although I am comfortable with those decisions now, it took me a long time to get there.

Well that’s all I have for you today! I will be working on my vacation post and try to share that with you soon! I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their week and weekend!