Sunday, December 19, 2010

Catch All

Can I just say, I am SO excited for the upcoming week. Check this out:

* Monday - my sister's family will be spending 8 hours in Grand Cayman as part of their Carnival cruise. I can't wait to see their sweet faces again, and to give them a tour of our new home!
* Tuesday - we fly home to Cincinnati and I get to see the rest of my family. I've missed them so much!
* Wednesday - our third annual KruStone Christmas with our C-Mas kindred spirits, Jordan and Elizabeth Stone
* Thursday - Bongey family (relatives on my mom's side) Christmas party
* Friday - Christmas Day!

Then the following Tuesday we head to SC to see Brent's family - and reunite with our precious Walter!

I'm thinking that this will probably be the last post before we head to the States, so consider this a random catch-all for the last couple weeks.

On December 9th, we went to Abacus for our weekly date night. Awesome outdoor eating right in the heart of Camana Bay.

Brent said this place is now in his top five Cayman restaurants. Of course I must share the pictures of our food. Brent's seabass and my goat cheese ravioli below:

That Saturday after our second adventure on the boat, we went back to Camana Bay for the Parade of Lights. Boats of all shapes and sizes get decked out with millions of Christmas lights and "parade" past the crowds. We got there a little late and it was PACKED. We wedged into a tiny spot against the harbor and got to see the boats up close, but then decided to just walk around the vendors and watch the parade on the several large screens set up around the shopping center.

This Friday we went back to Agua for our anniversary date. I really can't believe I waited this long to go back for those amazing brandy lobster crepes! We got to sit outside this time and it was the perfect breezy evening.

Brent got the seabass here too, but liked Abacus' better.

Me and my beloved lobster crepes

Finally, a picture from the sweet swap I went to this afternoon. This event was hosted by one of the girls from Jenn's work and attended by 14 girl accountants...and me. I had such a great time - it was a lot of fun to taste some traditional desserts from other places. Now Brent and I have the pleasure of eating a couple dozen sweets before we leave on Tuesday...

So many wonderful December memories. And I have to say I've thoroughly enjoyed reading all the snow facebook statuses from my toasty apartment. But now I am ready to bundle up and dive into the winter-y Christmas season! America, here we come!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Walk Down Anniversary Lane

Brent woke me up this morning with a huge smile, a cheerful "happy anniversary," and a present wrapped in a paper towel. Oh how I love my husband :)

I spent some time this morning trying to remember how it felt to wake up four years ago on the biggest day of my life. I was nervous, excited, anxious, and so, so SURE. Not for one moment did I ever wonder if this was the right guy or if I was too young or if I would regret this day later. I was worried about my hair and if Brent would like my dress and if I would trip down the aisle...but the man who would be standing at the alter? That was the best decision of my life.

There are times when I look at Brent and think of how deeply I love him, how painful it would be to loose him, how much he does for me, how blessed I am have him...and my heart swells, melts, and crumbles all at once. I'm not sugar coating things - we do have hard days with short tempers and ridiculous fights, but those times leave me wanting to be a better wife and person in general.

It's been an amazing four years. Brent and I challenge each other and help each other and encourage each other, but mostly we have so much fun together. It doesn't matter where we are or what we are doing, as long as we are together. We always turn our anniversary into a holiday, sometimes taking two days to pack in all the celebration. I thought it would be fun to take a walk down anniversary lane to remember the last three years.

A couple weeks before our first anniversary, I cut the tendon in my pinky finger and had to go to urgent care (never ever ever try to break apart frozen chicken with a table knife). They stitched me up and sent me home, but when I returned a week later to get the stitches out and I still couldn't bend my finger, they suggested I see an orthopedic surgeon. The surgeon said I had indeed cut through the tendon and since I had been using the hand for the last week, the tendon had now retreated into the palm of my hand. Great. I needed surgery, six weeks in a splint, and three months of occupational therapy. The surgery was a couple days before our anniversary.

Right after surgery:

I was mostly sad that I couldn't do my own hair for our date...I asked Brent to do it for me and he did a pretty awesome job. We wanted to spend our first anniversary in downtown Cincinnati since that's where we spent our first day as a husband and wife. We went to Palomino's for dinner, which became a part of our yearly tradition.

We did a two-day celebration for our second anniversary, the first night being our downtown date. We went to Palomino's and watched ice-skating on Fountain Square. My favorite part was getting Starbucks hot chocolate and taking a carriage ride through all the Christmas lights.

The second night we went The Melting Pot, our favorite restaurant. I love a good excuse to get dressed up!

Two years!

We had so much fun in 2008, we decided to repeat the formula in 2009. Picture of us before heading downtown:

The next night, before dinner at The Melting Pot:

This year we are waiting for the weekend to do our date night. It will be different from our normal winter wonderland, but fun to celebrate our first anniversary on the island! I am so glad Brent and I are taking two years to have this adventure and create all these awesome memories. I love that we are embracing a life of simplicity here, a "less is more" separation from the material world. It's my prayer that this time strengthens our marriage and teaches us to love one another even better.

Happy, happy 4 years, Brent!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Boat Adventures - Take 2

We were unfazed by our "new" (12 year old) boat's maiden voyage mishap and excited to take it out again last Saturday. We decided to push the 700-pound limit just a little and invite several friends along. At around noon, Jenn, Nate, Maya, Rich, Jeremy, Sheena, Brent and I all piled in the boat with plenty of snorkel gear, cameras, towels and snacks. I was amazed we all fit!

My favorite part of the day was when Brent spotted a dolphin jumping in the waves right next to our boat. With the way Jenn started screaming, I thought the dolphin was stuck in our motor or something! But no, she was just very, very excited :) I tried to take a picture of our little buddy, but after uploading my pictures, I realized there is no dolphin in this scenic shot. Oops.

Rich and Maya riding up front:

We had a great time at stingray sandbar, then drove to the reef. The boys dove in hoping to catch some lobsters with Nate's homemade snares. The ladies stretched out in the boat, blissfully soaking up a little sun and girl talk.

Did I say my favorite part was seeing the dolphin? Scratch that - my favorite part was definitely getting towed home...again. That's right, we've taken our baby out on the sea twice and had to get pulled back both times. We aren't sure of the cause this time. We were just cruising on home and all the sudden the motor died. This time wasn't nearly as worrisome as last time - I guess we are now pros at being stranded! We just waited for a boat to pass by and waved them down.

Thank you, "Last Dollar"

We all had a good laugh as we were pulled along. I'm so glad our friends were good sports and not at all bothered by the situation. I'm also glad that boat etiquette pretty much requires that you offer a tow to any stranded boat. We seem to take advantage of that rule whenever possible...

The "Last Dollar" dropped us off at the yacht club and Jeremy offered to walk home to get a car. What a good friend! We pulled out all our snacks and had a little picnic as we waited. You'd think we'd be bummed about the boat's fickle nature, but it really wasn't a big deal. Just rolling with the punches in true island style :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Work Christmas Party

The week before "The Big Move," Brent told me Cayman PwC has a themed Christmas party each year and people go all out. HR emailed him in advance in case we wanted to pack things for our costumes. Well, at this point I was knee-dip in boxes and stress and just laughed saying, "Right...let me drop everything to go 1920s theme party shopping!"

I decided to order a few things from Amazon about a month after we got here. I had them sent to Jess and she packed them in their suitcases. I ordered a wig, necklace and fringe dress from Ann Taylor. Unfortunately the dress from Ann Taylor was too big and sent back with Jess to be returned (thanks again for all the trouble, Jess!). I ended up in a black dress I already had...not very "flapper-ish", but with the wig and pearls it worked.

Brent and I before we left...neither particularly 1920s, but we at least put in some effort:

Luckily they had some extra accessories at the party. I quickly snagged long black gloves and a beaded headpiece. Brent got this funny yellow didn't look quite so bright in person...

Maya and Jenn

HR was right - people did go all out! It was fun to see everyone dressed up in their flapper-finest. Even the boys got into it with hats, bow ties, suspenders, and fake mustaches.

Dinner was delicious. You got to order in advance what you wanted. I had stuffed chicken and Brent got the fish. Festive chocolate logs for dessert!

Eating is serious business, no time for silly mustaches:

On an unrelated note, here are a few pictures from our last dinner with Jess and Ben in town. We went back to Deckers for more of that amazing Lobster Mac and Cheese. I love seeing all the restaurants decked out with Christmas lights!

Best buds:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Baby Shower Featured on Bump Smitten

Yesterday my sister Sarah emailed to say that the baby blessings shower I threw for her in January was featured on Bump Smitten, a site dedicated to baby shower inspirations. I was so excited - my first featured party! Anyone who knows my sister knows she is the champion party planner (remember the Bon Voyage party?). I'm glad I got to shower her with a little of the special treatment she so frequently pours out on others.

To see more picture of the party, you can check out the post on my KruBooks blog.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Our First Visitors

Soon after we announced we were moving to Grand Cayman, Jess and Ben planned their 10 day trip to visit us. They actually bought their plane tickets two months before we bought ours! It is so nice to have friends who are willing to spend the money and take the time to visit. We had such a great time together! The first half of their trip, the Wehners got to stay in the LTB studio apartment literally five doors down. I was glad we could offer the family of three some extra space while we had it. They moved in with us in the one bedroom on Tuesday, and stayed till Sunday afternoon. It was a tight squeeze, but we had a blast together. Lucy was SO well behaved and smiley, even though she wasn't doing much sleeping at night (to Jess and Ben's dismay). Vacationing with an 8-month-old baby is no easy thing, and I was very impressed with J&B's tag-team parenting! I thought it went pretty smoothly, but I guess we'll have to wait and see Jess' blog post to get the real story ;)

I've already put up a couple pictures from their visit (see boating and Thanksgiving 2.0), but here are a few more. First, we had to hit up Haagen Dazs' last day of the "buy two scoops get one free" deal. Reflection from store window: 1+1=3

On Wednesday we went to Copper Falls Steakhouse with Jenn and Nate. A+ restaurant! We loved that one cocktail and two sides were included in every entree price.

The Wehners next to Copper Falls tree

Brent's sirloin steak with burgundy mushroom sauce

My pork chop with homemade apple sauce and sweet potato fries - yummm

Jess took this shot of us outside the restaurant after dinner:

She was inspired by the SLR and decided to take some "artistic" shots:

On Thursday I snapped some family pictures for the Wehner's Christmas card. What a good-looking family! I just love these friends!

Thanks for the great visit, Jess, Ben, and Lucy! We miss you guys already!