Wednesday, December 28, 2011

'Twas the Week After Christmas

Happy Holidays* from the Caribbean!

(* I am not being PC; I am referring to Chanukah, Christmas and New Years … oh yeah, and since we are on a European island, Boxing Day … and maybe my birthday since it was just a week ago.)

The hubs and I, along with his parents and the boat crew, celebrated Christmas (and my birthday … and Boxing Day for that matter) in Sint Maarten.

I’ve been here once before, two years ago, when I was part of said boat crew. It’s been great spending an entire afternoon at the beach without having to sneak back on the boat before the owner knew we were gone.

And despite my love/hate relationship with the yachting industry, it feels good to be back on the boat and to be surrounded by others (… boats and people).

Oh, you know, just the neighborhood.

I was spoiled by my husband and by his family this year. And I'm traveling to Cincinnati in a few weeks to celebrate my mom’s birthday as well as a second Christmas and my birthday with my family! (Yeah!)

I’ve spent four birthdays with my husband. And he surprises me and spoils me every time.

During my first birthday, he flew me to London, um, proposed!!!

the ring!

and on his deathbed (he was seriously ill, he almost passed out at while waiting to see the crown jewels) took me on a tour of Grand Ol’ London-town. … That was before he flew me to Seychelles to spend Christmas with his folks.

Oh, just a little picnic spot.

The year after, everything was a bit chaotic. We both had spend the last three months working on the boat in the Caribbean, so when my birthday came, we had 48 hours to fly into Miami (a city with neither of us were familiar) and find an apartment (while I was also attending school orientation), fly back out to Cincinnati, celebrate Christmas, fit in some wedding planning, pack up everything I own and move back down to Florida.

Half the chaos

Amidst all of it, my hubs managed to surprise me with a HUGE bouquet of flowers (which I always tell him that’s ALL I really want, but he rarely listens).

The lilies were MASSIVE!

Last year, while driving to my parent's place for the holidays, we spent my birthday in Nashville (one of my favorite cities). We actually stayed at the Opryland Hotel, which if you ever go, go at Christmas-time; it’s magical!!! The hubs gave me with a HUGE make up case with tons of make up inside (he is actually a card-carrying member at Sephora now).

And this year was no different.

The day after we arrived in Sint Maarten, he took me to a jewelry store he regularly shops (seriously, every piece of real jewelry I own, minus the engagement ring, is from this store).

After a big welcome and happy birthday from the employees, they brought out a tiny box, which I promptly ripped open to find this sparkler:

Mark bought the ring a week before he came home before Christmas. When he came back, we did our usual Cheesecake Factory dinner date, followed by a mall walk. We walked into a jewelry store and I told Mark that in about five years or so, I think I’d like a new wedding band (To my defense, Mark had talked about “upgrading” my engagement ring, but it’s too special to me. So I wanted to let him know that I wouldn’t be opposed to a new (and less expensive) band.)

The funny thing is, the band I described was almost identical to the one I received; and until that day, I’d never mentioned the band before. Not only does the hubs know me, he is the WORST secret keeper in the world, so the fact he managed to not give any hint to the gift was ah-mazing.

The jewelry shop employees organized a cake for me as well. I am currently dieting for a competition that’s in a couple months, so technically I’m not allowed the cake. However, they went through so much trouble I didn’t want to be rude.

And again, with Christmas, I was spoiled. On my birthday we walked through Phillipsburg (the main shopping area on the island) and I walked into Longchamps, telling the hubs I’d like to have a bag next birthday/Christmas (a few day earlier, he told me he wasn't able to find the gift item I had previously asked for. He seemed so upset about it, I was convinced he actually had found it and was trying to keep it a secret). So much to my surprised went I found a green Longchamps box on Christmas.

One of my goals for 2012 is to be super organized and on top of everything. Having a matching purse and cosmetic bags makes me feel that more Type A :)

We have another day or two before Mark and I head back home. This will be our first New Year’s Eve in travel, therefore we hope to actually make it out.

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