Saturday, August 4, 2012


In July, we joined my parents and sisters for a cruise to the Western Caribbean abroad Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas.  We stopped in Labadee, Haiti; Falmouth, Jamaica; Grand Cayman; and Cozymel, Mexico.  This was Hannah's first cruise, and she loved it!  Ever since we've been home, she still talks about the "big plane" and "big boat."  The plane trip was also a big highlight!
We set our expectations reasonably, considering we'd have to cater to Hannah's schedule.  She impressed us with her independent streak.  She loved walking the halls and huge atrium without holding our hands.  She said "bye" to anyone we talked with, which brightened quite a few days.  I was struck with the attention Hannah got, particularly from the crew.  Turns out that most of the crew that stopped us had children around Hannah's age they hadn't seen in months.  They'd tell stories that would really tug on your heart.  We were very grateful Hannah could provide some smiles.
This was an excellent ship choice for Hannah, complete with a baby pool, toys that could be rented to take back to your room, a kids play area, Dreamworks characters, Character breakfast and parade, and childcare which we utilized twice when we wanted a more relaxing dinner.  I had high hopes that the wide array of food would be a great way to introduce Hannah to some different things, but we didn't really find anything new.  Her eating habits still are a source of frustration.
Hannah loved watched take off and landing!

Mama and Hannah enjoying time together while Daddy completed in the Sudoku Challenge.  He brought home the gold!

Hannah enjoyed spending time on the balcony.

Labadee, Haiti

"Hey, who put sand on my beach chair?"

Character breakfast

Excited to see Alex the Lion!

Checking out Alex.


Good Hope Estate, Falmouth, Jamaica.

The view from the estate.

Carriage ride at the estate.  Hard to capture a Hannah smile.

Hannah liked our guide, Odessa.

Checking out the shopping guide.

Port view at Grand Cayman

Our tour guide dropped our group off at a mall for nearly an hour.  We made the best of the situation and found some fountains for Hannah to play in.  She had a blast!

Hell, Grand Cayman

At 8 in the morning, no one else is out and about, so Hannah had free reign of the Promenade, which she thoroughly enjoyed!

Because when you have a toddler, camera, and empty casino, you just have to capture the moment.

Hannah found her star!

And she's off!

"Hannah, stop and smile!"

Chatting with Aunt Lisa

Kisses from the sea lions in Cozymel

"You're pretty cool, Aunt Sarah!"


She knew her way around.

Time with Daddy in the pool.

Time with mama reading books.

Beautiful shot of rain over Miami on the left and Ft. Lauderdale on the right.

Saturday, June 2, 2012


It's been over 3 months since I've done the official monthly blog post.  Though there are less milestones at this age, the developments she has had are huge!  Besides walking, Hannah is much more able to communicate which has made things much easier.  We love watching all the new things she learns.  I'm constantly amazed by how God gives these little minds the ability to learn so quickly. 
Here are some stories in pictures:

No Easter bunny visits for us.  It's still early for Hannah to care.  I got the idea on Easter Sunday we needed to do something commercially Easter-ish, so Daniel tossed Hannah's egg shakers in the back yard and I grabbed our berry picking bucket.  Hannah enjoyed putting the eggs in the basket.  She's just recently gotten to a point where she feels comfortable navigating the uneven yard without a hand.

Hannah is a world class puzzle doer and shape sorter.  She has a sphere with 12 shapes on it and can complete this shape sorter in no time.  Her concentration, determination, and ease of manipulating the shapes fascinates me.  I look forward to seeing how this strength of hers manifests itself later in life.

We made a trip in early May to New Orleans to join Daniel's whole family to celebrate his brother Ben's graduation from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.  It was a great celebration!
We try to plan driving trips to largely take place while Hannah naps.  If we drive for longer than an hour, she gets restless.  We stopped in Mobile overnight on the way down and stayed at a fabulous hotel on Marriott points.  The Battle House was Andrew Jackson's headquarters during the War of 1812.  Hannah made herself right at home admist the business travelers.

The next morning we stopped in Gulfport, MS at a children's museum where I did the picture taking and Daddy did the playing.

Doing a Hannah-sized butterfly puzzle

Daddy giving a puppet show

Hannah teaching daddy how to play dollhouse

Puzzles are serious business

Daddy enjoyed the Mexico section more than Hannah

Hannah pilots her first plane

Daddy helped Hannah hop on her first motorcycle

Hannah loves mothering her dolls and fixing tea for all
 While in New Orleans, we went to the aquarium.  Hannah loved it, which encouraged us to buy annual passes for the Georgia Aquarium.
 On Mother's Day, we were driving back from NO and stopped for the night in Montgomery.  We had brunch at Cracker Barrel.  We had to wait awhile, so we took full advantage of Cracker Barrel's time users.

 We were so blessed that Hannah got to see all of her grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins this month!  My sisters and I had a girl's weekend and then my parents were in town for a long Memorial Day weekend.  Hannah got spoiled by Granddaddy.  Here she is relaxing for a massage.  She won't do this for anyone but him.  He also gave her to a mani/pedi.  He has a wife and 3 daughters, so he knows what women want :)