the best of the boat.

Eastern Caribbean Instagram Cruise, July 2013
Eastern Caribbean Instagram Cruise, July 2013
Eastern Caribbean Instagram Cruise, July 2013
Eastern Caribbean Instagram Cruise, July 2013
Eastern Caribbean Instagram Cruise, July 2013
Eastern Caribbean Instagram Cruise, July 2013
Eastern Caribbean Instagram Cruise, July 2013
Eastern Caribbean Instagram Cruise, July 2013
Eastern Caribbean Instagram Cruise, July 2013
Eastern Caribbean Instagram Cruise, July 2013
Eastern Caribbean Instagram Cruise, July 2013
Eastern Caribbean Instagram Cruise, July 2013
Eastern Caribbean Instagram Cruise, July 2013
Eastern Caribbean Instagram Cruise, July 2013
Eastern Caribbean Instagram Cruise, July 2013
Eastern Caribbean Instagram Cruise, July 2013
Eastern Caribbean Instagram Cruise, July 2013
Eastern Caribbean Instagram Cruise, July 2013
Eastern Caribbean Instagram Cruise, July 2013
Eastern Caribbean Instagram Cruise, July 2013
Eastern Caribbean Instagram Cruise, July 2013

And of course, here’s the million dollar question:

Do these photos make you want to go on a cruise?

******

Disclosure: Accommodations, most expenses and travel were covered for my family and me while on board.

 

smartphones in the caribbean

On Saturday Addie and I went straight from Sarasota, Florida to Miami, Florida where we got on a boat.

Chillin' out maxin' relaxin' all cool. #SponsoredByCarnival

A cruise ship to be more specific.

The super enormous Carnival Breeze to be incredibly specific.

We’re currently a few hundred miles away from St. Thomas, USVI and this post has already cost $6.50 in satellite Internet.

What am I doing on a boat? Well this super hip ad agency had the idea to bring 10 people and their smartphones on the boat to track moments as they happen on the ship.

We’ve all seen stock photography, the happy family having SO! MUCH! FUN! This on the other hand is real, these photos are our real families doing real things on a real cruise. No models, no art directors, no hair and makeup, no stylists.

The lady on the right had a free sinus wash courtesy of a water slide. #SponsoredByCarnival

My mom’s here too. (Say hi mom!) The moment I walked into our stateroom she said “You’re pretty small potatoes compared to everyone else here.”

Thanks mom.

If we’re going by followers I am 10 of 10 by a long shot. I am shooting with some wicked talented people, but I feel as though I’m holding my own. (I’m also the only Android.)

Comparison is the thief of joy, and right now I don’t want any of this joy thieved.

Captain of her own world. #SponsoredByCarnival

I’m currently sitting in a bar, the karaoke has started and people are becoming a lot more fun with their fruity beverages as I fade into tired oblivion.

There was a lot of water sliding done today.

ALL. DAY. LONG. #SponsoredByCarnival

If you’re interested, you can follow most of my photos right here, or you can see my favorites on my personal account.

******

A special thanks to Carnival for having us on their ship. Travel expenses have been covered for my family and me, all opinions are my own.

the embiggening of addie: part one

Addie and I are back out on another grand adventure, this one started yesterday in Sarasota, Florida and will continue on Saturday into the Eastern Caribbean via enormous cruise ship.

Have you ever been to Sarasota, Florida? I thought Panama City was amazing (and it is!) but it turns out Panama City is just a regular ol’ beach town in Florida compared to Sarasota. Growing up in Utah, Florida was the dream. If you could make it to Florida you were big time. To think of all those wasted summers spent in Southern Utah. (I kid of course, no summer is ever wasted in Southern Utah, but the little girl inside me still squeals with delight when she comes to Florida.)

On the flight down here Addie told me she wanted to be a scientist. Then after touring the circus museum and watching a circus performance she decided she’d much rather be in the circus.

That is until tonight when she decided she would much rather grow up and work in the Tervis Tumbler factory assembling what she deems “THE BEST, MOST AMAZING CUPS EVER.”

For a kid who is addicted to ‘How It’s Made’ on the science channel, touring a real live factory and getting to assemble her own cup using crazy fancy machinery? Life made.

Addie made her very own custom Tervis Tumbler (with cats) at their Sarasota factory.

She also wants to be a travel writer, a baby nurse and a ballerina doctor.

Addie, she comes with big dreams and it’s one of the things I love most about her.

What’s been most amazing on this trip so far is that other writers brought their own children, and Addie has made friends with all of them. Hearing her in the back of the van whispering, giggling and bonding with other kids makes my heart sing. Earlier in the year Addie would hide behind me and cower when it came to meeting new people. We’ve practiced meeting new people for the last two months and today she proved that practice makes perfect. She’s managed to look every single person she has met in the eye, smile, shake their hand, and say “Hi, I’m Addie.” which is HUGE.

This little kid, part of me wants her to stay this age forever while the rest of me can’t wait to see what she grows into.

Wave jumping at Siesta Beach. @VisitSarasota

Especially if she grows into a circus performing cup assembler who moonlights and a baby ballerina doctor.

********

(Disclosure as usual: Our travel expenses have been covered by the Sarasota Visitors Association and we couldn’t be more thankful to them for this opportunity to visit. Opinions as always are my own.)

foods! toddlers! don’t do drugs!

Whew.

How is it almost the middle of July already, wasn’t it just January last month? Stuff’s been busy around here. Summer’s winding down, the toddler is wound up and Addie — let’s talk about the emotions of an eight and half year old girl shall we? SO many emotions. She’s SO tender.

Seriously, let’s talk.

Over on babble:

Curious what I looked like as a toddler? Here you go! (Plus some comparisons of the toddlers I made!)

“Don’t do drugs, but if you do — use a clean needle.” And 16 other conversations I’ve had with Addie in my head about the tough stuff.

FOOOOOOOOD.
I love food.
Here’s some of the best foods I’ve had.

our third try at the fourth

This post is sponsored by Disney Story. To find out more about this brand-new story-creation app – and how it puts the power of storytelling in your hands – click here.

The weather last year was so dry that fireworks were deemed illegal and all firework shows around Indy were cancelled.

It was a total bummer.

The year before Vivi was teeny tiny and Cody was deathly ill. All I remember about the 4th in 2011 was having to navigate through ALL THE PEOPLE watching fireworks in order to get to the drugstore to get Cody medicine.

While I realize there’s a lot more to America’s birthday than fireworks, I can tell you last year was really weird without them.

We managed to make up for the last two years of strange Fourth of July holidays yesterday with our new BBQ, perfect weather (um, ignore the downpour that happened right as Addie and I were leaving the store.) and a raid on the local fireworks store.

Fourth of July 2013
Unlike little Addie, little Vivi LOVES fireworks to an almost disconcerting level. (Fearless that child is.)

[Read more...]

the tackiness of toddlers

In an effort to keep Vivi from screaming for snacks in the car due to sheer boredom we have started a new game of pointing out all the trucks.

“BLUE TRUCK!”

“WHITE TRUCK!”

“BIIIIIG TRUUUUCK!”

On Monday Addie had about a million follow up questions to our truck observations which led us to talking about truckers.

For some reason Vivi has no problem saying ‘truck.’

However ‘truckers’ gives her some trouble. The ‘tr’ is replaced with something that sounds an awful lot like an ‘f.’

Keeping a straight face down I-70 the other day proved to be a challenge.

She also alternates between calling Percy ‘Poopy Cat’ or ‘Pussy.’ Some mornings Percy breaks into Vivi’s room and I’m awoken by a tiny little voice saying “Hiiiiii Pussy!”

Honestly, why do I let her out in public?

I love how oblivious she is to social norms.

Sticking her hand up my skirt in line at the grocery store? Totally normal for her.

Licking mirrors in dressing rooms? Normal.

If you talk to her while she’s pooping she’ll hold up one finger in your direction and scream “NO! SHHHHH!”

Needless to say it’s awful fun to bug her when she’s pooping.