Our Maple Tree

Keeping up with The Maples

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Cruise Fun Part 1

For my birthday this year, we went on a five day cruise to the Bahamas. I know! I have the greatest husband ever! We went with another couple. We have been begging our friends to go on a trip with us for years and we finally got our wish! πŸ˜‰ It was so much fun to go on a trip with another couple. I hope we go on another trip together soon!

We took the cruise out of Charleston, SC on Carnival Fantasy to Little Stirrup Cay and Nassau Bahamas. The Charleston port is confusing and small. It is nothing like the Florida ports I have been too. But the people there are very friendly and helpful.


Our first day was a day at sea and my 28th birthday. We spent most of the day sleeping in the sun, drinking fruity drinks, eating junk food and watching the hairy guy contests. It was glorious laying around doing nothing! And for those of you wondering, I wore 100 SPF sunscreen… basically, paint to protect my very fair skin. πŸ™‚

This night was also formal night. So we of course, dressed up and went around the boat taking cheesy pictures.

Yeah… I told you we participated in the cheesy photos on the boat. πŸ™‚ We had fun though and that’s all that matters!


Then they sang happy birthday to me at dinner.

It was an awesome birthday. I got to relax, laugh with good friends and eat cake.

The second day was spent at Little Stirrup Cay, which is a Carnival owned island in the Bahamas. There are a good amount of activities to participate in, but they cost a lot. We wanted to do the jet ski excursion, but it was $100 per person for only 1 hour. We thought that was a bit much. So we just lounged around on the beach all day. I was under the umbrella for majority of the day, of course. πŸ™‚

Barefoot beach on this island was very beautiful. You could walk a long ways into the ocean and the water only came up to mid-calf. There were little fishes and conchs to admire.

We did do a little snorkeling on the other side of the island. The water was so clear you really didn’t need snorkeling gear, but the goggles did help us see the fish better.

A beautiful day + Β a beautiful beach + great company = a perfect day!

Stay tune for part 2!


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May in Pictures Part 2

Caution: Picture Overload in this post! πŸ˜‰

Last weekend my beautiful sister got married! She had an outside wedding on her (now) husband’s family’s farm (that wasn’t confusing). It was great… but quite chilly. A cold front came through Ohio this past weekend, but it was still nice enough to have the wedding outside.

All the bridesmaids getting ready!


Me and the beautiful bride!



All the girls with our red lips!


Finishing touch.


Silly groom.



My beautiful niece and nephew.




A sweet new family. πŸ™‚ I definitely cried a couple of tears at this point. In fact, I heard several sniffles throughout the crowd.


Now husband and wife! Woo Hoo!


Randy found this tree – I love the heart!




I love Mark’s face in this picture!


They were the couple that smashed cake in their faces. πŸ™‚


Father daughter dance.


This is one of my favorite pictures Randy took.


And here is another favorite. I just love it!



And another favorite! πŸ˜‰


Dancing to stay warm.



Being silly. I love all the different faces in this photo.


Onto dancing!





He takes his dancing very seriously. πŸ˜‰




Dancing the night away!randy&i dancing 2


randy&i outside 4

And then to end the perfect day, we finished it with a bang! πŸ™‚

I cannot explain how happy I am for my sister. She is one of the most beautiful, tendered-hearted, spontaneous and gentle person I have ever known. And I believe she has found the perfect match in Mark. He fits well in our silly little family. He is caring, supportive;Β all the while; nurturing her independent streak and encouraging her to grow. It is evident to all that know them, how happy he makes her, and how happy they are together. Congrats Mark and Shawna! I love you both!

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May in Pictures Part 1

I am sorry it has been so long since I have last updated. May has been a blur of activities – church events, family get togethers, double dates, etc.

Lets see… I believe after Easter was Cinco de Mayo. We got together with our Life Group at a fantastic mexican restuarant, Sol y Luna, to celebrate. We were also getting together to celebrate two birthdays.

The whole gang!

lifegroup 5-5-14



A two-handed margarita!



Celebrating their birthdays!

I had to get a picture of us this night because our clothes matched so well! I know, I know… we are so lame! πŸ˜‰



Next was the youth group kickoff at the church. There was pizza, hide and seek and frizbee.



Love this group of kids! They are so much fun!


And then we had a double date with our friends to our favorite cafe in Black Mountain and of course, ordered the nutella mocha that we love! It was just as good as the first time!


More to come in the next post!