September 29, 2012

Regatta Freeport Style

We finally had a sunny Saturday! The last few weekends have been rainy and gloomy so we haven't been able to enjoy our surroundings. But today, today was a day I was happy to live in the Bahamas.

A regatta was held at Taino Beach today. Gorgeous! Just look at the color of that water!

So Rachel and I enjoyed the show while soaking up the beautiful sun we've missed.

The water was so clear today, we even saw a huge fish just swimming right near the shoreline. I have no idea what it was, but it was large.

And thanks to the iPhone's new panoramic camera, I was able to snap a couple of beautiful photos of Taino!

The guys unfortunately couldn't get away, as they have studied indoors all day. They don't have a quiz this week or next, but they're preparing for Mini 2 coming up on Oct. 11. And yes, that's a Thursday. Oct. 12 is a holiday here, so they don't have class. And I have the day off! A three day weekend with Matt with limited materials to study - yes please!

But we're off! Tyrone will be here shortly to take us to the airport to pick up Katie and Dan. We can not wait for them to get here and share the week with them! It is much needed for both Matt and me.

We do want to thank every one of you for your encouragement, prayers and well-wishes regarding Emmy. It's comforting to know we have such a great support system of friends and family as we take on these next few months. Seven weeks from tomorrow we'll be home, with our Emmy, and soaking up as much Emmy time as we can!


September 26, 2012


I've been dreading writing this post.

As you know from reading before, we had taken Emmy in to the vet for some tests due to a swollen leg. We got initial results in, but we needed to do another test to get more specific details.

Emmy after her second surgery.
We didn't get the news we hoped for. 
The swelling is actually a cancerous tumor.

The news broke our hearts.

She has about 6 months on average. 
Our poor Emmy...

I got Emmy in 2008 when I needed her the most. She is the most wonderful friend. And more than a pet. 

We adore her. Unfortunately, there isn't much we can do.

As of now, she doesn't appear to be in any pain. She's still chasing squirrels and eating normally. So we just need to be prepared as things progress.

Being here has had its ups and downs. But this is very trying for Matt and I both. 
To be here, when we both miss her terribly, and want to be home with her more than anything

But we are thankful for our many supportive friends here, at home, for a caring vet and for the wonderful memories we have of Emmy.

The next few months will surely be difficult. 
But say a little prayer for Emmy and a prayer for peace as we take on these challenges. 


September 24, 2012

Singing in the Shower

I am feeling very blessed and loved today. Not that I take it for granted, but I do have the most wonderful husband and support system of family and friends.

Thank you for reminding me how lucky we are.

In the midst of a shower of encouraging words (which shed plenty tears of comfort), I also received this video of someone in the shower.

Don't worry, it's not of Matt. But of the only guy that could contend to be just as adorable as my husband.

Be prepared to laugh uncontrollably and have your heart melt all at once.

For the past few nights, Landon has been singing in the shower. Very loudly. Making up his own songs. How can that not make anyone's day better? So I'm sharing my gift to you in return. Hope this lights up your Monday as well!

But my day got even better. Just look at these beauties!

Gorgeous. What a thoughtful guy I married.

And to top it off, he ordered Dominoes for dinner. Delivery. Woo!

Side note: I have to admit, the Dominoes here is much better than at home. And you can get a large one topping pizza, breadsticks, two liter and delivery for just $18. That's typically cheaper than eating at home.

So again, I can't thank you all enough for the prayers, encouraging words, kind thoughts, support and love. We knew this journey wouldn't be easy, and some days are tougher than others, but we couldn't do it if it wasn't for you all. 

A few things I received today that we will definitely be remembering - God is in control, he won't give us more than we can handle and we can do all things through Him.


September 23, 2012

A Different Kind of Flair

I'm not feeling so fantastic today. I'm not sure if it's the flu, stress, homesickness or everything combined, but it has not been a fun day. The only positive, it's rainy again. So that means it's a perfect day to sleep all day. Which I have done.

Besides sleeping, another thing that can get my spirits up? Gorgeous jewelry. And shopping.

As some of you know, my friend Rachel has a jewelry shop on Esty with her sister-in-law and mother-in-law. They make jewelry and hair accessories. Pretty beautiful stuff!

They have just launched their new shop, A Different Kind of Flair this week. And let me tell you, they have some awesome pieces.

You should check them all out. In honor of the launch, they're offering a 20% coupon code. Just enter ADKOFLAUNCH at checkout. 

This is one of my favs! A gorgeous bracelet with one of my favorite color combinations.

Click here for more info.
And then there's this necklace made with recycled glass prisms.

Click here for more info.
And finally, another bracelet I adore.

Click here for more info.

Beautiful aren't they? 

Notice a color trend? Take note, Matt. 

And, just so you know, they do offer more colors than turquoise. 

You should also follow the shop's blog here. Enjoy!


September 22, 2012

Freeport Inn Circa 1975

Once upon time, a long, long time ago, my mother visited Freeport. (Not that long if you're reading this mom.)

And today, I visited where she stayed!

Let me back up.

Saturdays are typically studying days for the guys. And Rachel and I will usually venture to the beach, but today's weather was not having that. It has rained nearly all day today.

Back at home, we would've spent days like today at the mall or something. But believe it or not, Freeport doesn't have a mall. They just have a straw market. Don't get me wrong, the straw market is fun. But it's outdoors. And by the time you've visited two booths, you've seen it all. And I'd like to go shopping and not get heckled to get my hair braided.

But, since Freeport doesn't have this option. We could A.) Fly to Miami or B.) Go to Cost-Rite.

Since we don't have an extra $300 laying around, we chose to go to Cost-Rite. It's the Sam's Club of the Caribbean.

On our way home, Tyrone took us past the Freeport Inn.

Now, back to the fun part of the story.

Back in 1975, my mom's highschool senior class took a trip to Freeport. She's told me stories about their trip many times, but once we found out we were heading here, she broke out the photos and we rehashed their trip quite a bit. I had her send me a few pictures of her pictures so you can share the experience. (Conveniently enough there weren't any photos of her.)

I had asked Tyrone if he knew where the Freeport Inn is a few weeks ago and told him my mom had been there after highschool. He said oh well, you're mom sure isn't 17 anymore then. I guess the Freeport Inn has taken quite a turn since 1975.

After graduation, about 55 kids from her class at Westview traveled to Freeport for a week. They stayed at the Freeport Inn which is in downtown Freeport. Turns out, it's only about five minutes from where we live. How cool!

My favorite story is when they went to a show. Turns out, it was a topless show. As my mom says, just imagine all the naive kids from Shipshewana and Topeka, at a topless show. I can only imagine the absolute horror of the chaperones when that moment came.

She also talks about visiting the International Bizarre. It's still here, but it was significantly damaged by a hurricane at some point, and hasn't been rebuilt to what it used to be.

Visiting the Freeport Inn today was pretty neat. It made me a little less homesick to be in a place that my mom has been, even it was a few years ago.

Now, the Freeport Inn is no longer a hotel. It was recently sold to the public hospital of Freeport. Tyrone wasn't sure what they were going to do with it now. But Tyrone did say it used to be the hotel to stay at in downtown Freeport.

So here's a look at what the Freeport Inn looks like today!

The main entrance.

It looks better than I anticipated. And mom recognized it right away! 

I think I would've liked to visit the Freeport Inn in 1975. Especially with my mother.


September 19, 2012


These last few weeks have been trying to say the least. I feel like Murphy's Law is just laughing at us right now. We're getting by, it just seems like we're wading through mud to do so.

I'll try not to just complain through this blog post, but we'll see how that goes. I'm not promising anything.

Going in to this trip, we knew we would have struggles, challenges, and a tough time making some of the adjustments. But when it rains, it pours. The little things that shouldn't matter, have mattered that much more because of the volume of it all.

One thing that is hard to deal with are the things we are missing at home while we're gone. Our friends, our family and the time of year. Life shouldn't stop for those around us, and we don't expect it to, but it's hard not to be a part of those memories our loved ones are making and to be in touch with everyone regularly. We feel like we are missing out on so much.

Fall is my favorite time of year. Football, sweatshirts, crisp leaves and chili in the crockpot just seem heavenly for us who are still baking at 90 degree temperatures.

We've had a minor ant problem in our apartment. They are small sugar ants. But they are everywhere in my kitchen. I've learned that if I scrub down my countertops with Mr. Clean every time I go in there, they aren't bad. But as soon as I forget, they are out with avenges. Don't get me wrong, I'd rather have sugar ants than roaches or rodents.

Our flight home was cancelled. Yep. The one thing I was looking forward to the most. Our flight was from Freeport to Louisville on Bahama Air. Then we were supposed to fly Louisville to OHare on US Air. Well beginning this week, Bahama Air has suspended all flights to Louisville.

You can imagine my frustration. US Air told me to have Bahama Air reroute us. And Bahama Air told me that US Air should accommodate us. But they would be willing to refund our flight from Freeport to Louisville. Which would leave us with a random flight from Louisville to OHare. What good would that do us with no way to get to Louisville?

So after many conversations through Skype calls and internet that barely works, I was finally able to get refunded both flights. Now that we need to book new flights, the flights have increased in price and we are going to be out a few more hundred dollars that we haven't budgeted for. And on our already tight budget, that doesn't help with the stress level.

That's another thing. It's nearly impossible to budget here. Some days a gallon of milk is $5. Some days it's $7. Sometimes a taxi will cost you $10 to go to the Port. Sometimes it will cost you $25. You can try and plan a grocery list as best as possible, but there's no guarantee those items will be at the grocery. So you'll have to substitute and thereby ruin your budgeted amount. And we haven't even gotten our first electric bill yet. That should be a fun day.

We've got a couple other things going on, too. But like I said, I don't want to complain through this whole post.  Bottom line, we are ready to come home. I think we could just use a couple extra prayers for peace and contentment.

I hope you enjoyed Matt's post the other day. We'll see if I can make it a bit of a habit. He had another quiz on Monday which went really well. The material is certainly getting more challenging. Interestingly enough, there's already been quite a few people drop out. Last semester's passing rate was less than 50%. Those who drop out are calculated into that percentage as well, so that has something to do with the numbers.

Today marks the half way point of the MERP program. We fly home two months from yesterday. We're certainly ready to see the familiar faces, familiar amenities, be surrounded by the comforts of home and to see our sweet Emmy.

As I was going through my phone. I stumbled across a couple pictures of her from before we left. Ending a blog post with cute dog pictures will surely make me feel better.

Her puppy glare sending me the message of - I can't believe you're giving me a bath and taking pictures.

Catching up on her Kindle. 

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