Boy howdy, what a cruise we had! How do I sum it up in a little blog post? My parents, sisters and I were as thick as thieves huddled together talk, talk, talking for five days straight. We covered everything from how to get Claire to stop wetting her bed to global philanthropy and everything in between. I’m so thankful for what an inspiration these guys are to me. Wow I’ve got a lot to live up to with these parents and these sisters.
I came back all rejuvenated and motivated and then got hit smack dab in the face by life. It’s not quite as easy as I thought to turn over a new leaf and become the person I want to be overnight like I planned. Hmmm. Things like stacks of mail, lists of e-mails to reply to, trying to function properly and not get grumpy on no sleep, trying to fill the empty pantry and fridge, trying to catch up with non stop explaining and talk from my kids about every detail of life that happened while I was gone, trying to thank everyone enough, (especially Dave who I’m in debt to for a VERY long time), for everything they did to cover for me while I was gone etc. etc. etc. are all things I’m trying to weave in among the new things I really want to be able to accomplish, and man oh man it is no small feat!

But I find myself here at home with my family amazed that my already completely overflowing heart full of adoration for them can get even more full. It’s crazy how a little get-away like that can almost burst your heart wide open with love…you just realize even more how darn lucky you are. I mean seriously, how could anyone in their right mind stand being away from these faces for long?(Of course I couldn’t stay away from Grace, Elle and Max’s faces either but seriously, I’ve got to go…no more time for collages. And Dave’s going to kill me for that one as it is!)

Ok, I totally digress. On to the cruise:
We were “at sea” for two days. We were supposed to stop in Grand Cayman the second day and had a trip to “Sting Ray City” planned but it was too rough to stop so we just kept going. Sad yes, but ok because hey, more time for uninterrupted talking up on the deck.The second night was formal night. Talk, talk, talk, non-stop. We sure never had a lag in the conversation.Then we got off the boat in Cozumel. I was back to my old stomping grounds from when Dave and I went in November. We took the ferry over to Cancun and went to Tulum to see the ancient ruins there. Awesome stuff. Our tour guide’s name was Nephi.Gorgeous overlook at the ocean…seriously look at that pure blue!
These iguana type things were all over the place. My sister insisted my kids would LOVE to see me with one, and she was right.
And can you really go to Cozumel without some scuba diving? We decided no.
The best parents. Ever. These two were phenomenal in the speeches they gave to our group. Their topics were “Amazing Parents in the Book of Mormon” and “Outstanding Marriages in the Book of Mormon.” Great insights. (It was Book of Mormon focused because the group we were with was LDS and wanted to see these ruins to kind of feel more in tune with how things were in BofM times. These ruins were from way after BofM times, but hey, we got the picture.)
This picture is to show the “special” VIP sign we got on our door…even though you can’t really see it. It said our group was LDS so the guys across the hall were quick to check on us each night to make sure we weren’t a little tipsy.
At the juggling show…my Dad wanted to be SURE to be on the front row for this one. And to his credit, it was really a great show.
My favorite picture of my mom.
Sisters. Gotta love them. No one can tell my baby sister Charity (who is on a mission in London) about this. Poor girl.
Then we went to Belize. Boy oh boy I love that place. There’s something about third world countries that just draws me in. I just want to reach out and do a service project for them or something. And then I look at their shining happy faces and realize maybe us crazy Americans are the ones who need the service project to help us slow down and “enjoy simple.” I love that the people there were so humble and beautiful, that they spoke English so we could communicate well, and they were all SO friendly and kind. All the kids wear school uniforms and are so darn cute.
We ran into these kids across the street from their school. I wish we could have gone in and watched in their classrooms a little bit, but didn’t want to be big, disruptive Americans. We found this humongous pool at the “nicest” hotel in town to hang out by for a while, then walked around the city. I loved this place.
And the flowers weren’t bad either.
Then my parents and I had to catch a flight to come back from there (had to get back for kids and speeches). My sisters stayed on from there for three more days and got to go to Honduras. Lucky gals. But I was pretty lucky to get back too. It’s always great to be home.

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  1. Hi Shawni — Megan again.:) I think we’ve been on a similar cruise — cozumel, belize and honduras — sure makes you appreciate what you have and where we were born.:)
    Anyway, Seeing the pics of your parents just made me nostolgic. My Mom was a single Mom for a long while. She raised us with your parents books. I can remember our peg boards very vividly.:) Since then she has purchased all of their books for me including “I didn’t mean to be a witch…” I love that one! We even got to be on a talk show with them — “People are talking” was the name of it I THINK??? it was in San Fransisco. My Mom was THRILLED about the whole experience:)(I think I was about 10?) Point of this LONG comment is — thanks for having great parents — You probably already know this — but they have helped tons! Including my MOM.:)

  2. WOW! WOW! WOW! It’s got me antsy… I just have to GET GONE. (4 weeks to Israel!)

    What a great trip Shawni… everything about it! SO glad you got to GO.

  3. Sounds like a great trip! How fun to go with your parents and sisters! We went to Belize a few years ago and I loved it too!
    Your pictures are really fun to see.
    I bet your kids and husband really missed you.
    Good luck on all that catch up!

  4. So fun to read all about your trip. I was so glad you got to go. I am seriously more jealous about all the talk talk talking! I’m not kidding. I would have loved to be there and been in on all that great discussion. I want to hear your new theories about getting 4 year olds (or 6 year olds for that matter) to stop wetting the bed!

  5. Looks like a fabulous time. I am in need of a vacation without kids. Gorgeous pics and what a fun family it looks like you have.
    Totally interested in your parents books. let me know the names of them and where to buy. No wonder you are such an amazing person/ mother / wife / friend… great parents that taught you a lot.

  6. Oh wow Shawni, Your so lucky…I would love to go to Belize and other parts of Central America..then down on into South America. How fun to go with your family too! You look beautiful.

  7. Shawni-

    Loved your update on the cruise and well as all your other posts. I check your blog often and am always inspired by your outlook on life and parenting. Your family looks awesome and (could you be any more beautiful?!)

    I’m glad you had a great cruise. What precious parent and sister time.

  8. WHAT A TRIP. My heart is racing a million miles an hour with excitement. All of these pictures are beautiful and I just love your writing.
    I’m glad I popped in to take a break from PLANNING OUR OWN CARIBBEAN CRUISE RIGHT THIS SECOND!! I think we’re doing Western Caribbean. Can hardly wait now…
    Beautiful post.

  9. Mark & I took the kids on a cruise last year before the babies were born. We stopped in Belize and LOVED it. Cam & Ellie ate termites on a tubing trip we went on while there. They are so proud of themselves. We missed the ruins in Cozumel because we had a medivac episode (not us personally, but an older gentleman) that cut our trip in half to that city. It was cool–the Coast Guard pulled him off while we were still sailing. But, I digress…your pictures are BEAUTIFUL! Your blog makes me want to go on another cruise so bad. Someone cooks for you, makes your bed, entertains you, turns your towels into little animal works of art… Thanks for sharing! Glad you had fun and got back to your babies.

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