Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 In Review

Chris proposed to me :)
Right after he proposed :)

The blanket he spread out to ask the question :)  I called being engaged "Step 1" and marriage "Step 2" so we never had to say scary words when we discussed the future ;)

Seriously an amazing night!!
He had all of our families waiting on us at a restaurant when he had finished proposing!!
I became a mom to the most incredible pup ever
Annabelle when she was a baby puppy!

"Mom! Taking my picture again?!"

She's my girl!

Annabelle brought us so much joy in our move to Louisville!

Stood beside a best friend of mine as her MOH as she married the love of her life!

I got into graduate school and started studying Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at University of Louisville

We moved to Louisville

I fell even MORE deeply in Love with Chris

I had Katie, Kirsten, Mom, Robbie and Dad visit me in Louisville
K and I in front of a Louisville Bridge downtown

Mom, Robbie and I at Ramsi's Cafe!

Katie and I at Louisville SLugger Museum

Dad and I at dinner with the Louisville skyline in the background

I ran my second half marathon and beat my pr by 16 minutes!

I picked out my wedding dress :)

Visited Panama

Made bunches of new friends in Louisville

And thanks to Krista from One Beautiful Life, here are some questions I used to help me think back on 2011 with a broad perspective:

1.What is one truth you learned? 
God is bigger, better and more mighty than I could imagine

2.What is something that you did that you are particularly proud of?
I am proud of the rich, joyful life I've started in KY.  I'm proud of my graduate program, the church we've become a part of, our small group, the group of friends I've made, training Annabelle, learning to cook, and training for a half marathon, all on my own (well, all with Chris ;) )

3. What was the hardest thing that you had to do?
I had to set myself free to be truly loved by Christ.  This allowed me to let myself be truly loved and sometimes taken care of by Chris. 

4. What is something that you changed to improve the way you live?
I think I allowed myself to slow down.  Before, I was afraid to because I was afraid to have time to deal with hard things I was going through.  Speeding through life, filling it in with activities is one way to live, but being able to sit and soak in certain moments, good and bad, has been very good for my soul :)

5. What was your favourite Arts and Culture discovery (this could be a book, movie, song, etc.)
Definitely the Actors Theater in Louisville! What a GEM it is!  I also fell in love with Lady Gaga ;o)

6. What was something new you tried?

7. What experience did you appreciate the most?
The couples small group Chris and I joined  God blessed us with and brought us to and the friends we've met through it.

8. What did God surprise you with?
This is corny, but God surprised me with Chris being even better than I'd ever imagined. And he continues to out do him self in loving me and in the ways he wholly seeks the Lord.

9. What was something that inspired you?
I think going to school at the UofL Health Sciences Campus has inspired me to make a difference.  To use the blessing of my brain and the education that I'm receiving to do something good in the science/health field! Everyday that I walk to class I walk past 3 research buildings, 2 hospitals, a dental school, and a med school. Lives are being saved as I'm walking and I want to be a part of that!

10. If there was one word to describe 2011, what would it be? 
Exciting :)

Panama Day 4

Yesterday was one of the most relaxing, best days I've had.  
I slept in late, then walked over to the restaurant for breakfast.  I drank my coffee, read my book and took in the peacefulness and beauty around me.

My view
Yummy Breakfast
Then my brother Robbie joined me and we sat there for another long time while he ordered and ate his breakfast

Love this boy!
THen we played a family game of monopoly.  

3 hours later I was first to loose.... (Don't bring it up) and so I began my afternoon of sitting by the pool reading:)

Rossy and I
Before their last surf trip of the day

It was heavenly!

THen when the sun had set, we went to a new local restaurant

The outside....
My meal

Needless to say we were still hungry when we left, so we went to the original restaurant for dessert :)

It was a truly lovely and peaceful day!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Panama Day 3!

I had THE coolest day today!! 
It started at 5:18 this morning when dad woke me up to start getting up and ready.  Then we drove about an hour to BocaChica to meet Carlos, our dive master! He owns and operates Boca Brava Divers and I can NOT recommend him enough.  The experience could NOT have been anymore amazing!
This green parrot and gorgeous flower tree were just hanging in his back yard!
OMGee it was paradise!  
We got on his boat that was in his backyard (absolute BEST backyard ever!), and drove it about an hour to our first dive site.  The boat ride was AMAZING! We passed by several small vegetation filled islands.
The view when we first left Carlos's House!

When we got to our first stop, I had to admit, I was nervous! I've only ever dove at a spring and only went about 25 feet deep!  But, I plunged into the water, took some practice breaths and started my decent down.  I have to stop real quick and tell you how awesome our diving conditions were.  There were 6 of us on the boat, 4 of which were diving.  Of the 4 diving, it was me, dad, the dive master Carlos, and a dive instructor, Richard.  Richard also happened to be an underwater photographer and had brough his camera along for some picture taking!  I think he got some good pics of me and dad! How cool is that?!  So dad and I each had our own guide.  I stayed right next to Carlos the whole time. He was awesome! So patient, helpful, calming and in control.  

When we got down there it was GORGEOUS! I literally was swimming around where they make our bio 2 animal diversity lab videos!  Coral, huge fish, schools of colorful fish, eels, lobster. HUGE Conchs, ah so much! And so much color!  I mean I could sit in one spot close to the coral and find new things for a long time.  We stayed down for about an hour!

Then we rode to an island that had a small beach on it and got off there to have lunch.  Oh my gosh. Literally it was my paradise! It looked like where they had filmed Lost!  
Me on our boat right before we landed on the paradise Island!
Dad and I before we landed
So we hung out there for 2-3 hours.  We had a yummy lunch that Carlos provided and then we all just wondered on our own around the beach and explored the island.  
Hermit Crabs attacking the pineapple I dropped!

BEST Pineapple I've EVER had!
I climbed over some rocks and found another tiny beach with tons of shells, rocks and coral!  Definitely brought some home.  

The rocks I climbed over to find my own private beach 

The island was literally heaven.  No one else around for miles, rich vegetation behind the beach area, a gorgeous view of the pacific with more islands in it... It was divine!
View from the boat!
View from "My Private Island"
Dad and bean!

I was sad to leave!  But we left and went to an underwater mountain that peaked like a rock.  We dove here for about 30 min and saw bigger fish and things.  

THis is the tip of the underwater mountain we dove around
Me completing the last dive!
Then we came up and made the boat ride home.  We thanked Carlos immensely and then we began the drive home.  P.S dad rented a car and is doing this driving I'm speaking of :)  Ah jeeze!  But we made it home in one piece.  In fact, we  even stopped at a fruit stand and got some of the yummiest fruit you've ever tasted!
Another beautiful pic
THIS is the definition of a TRUE seminole.  Dad has found the website with a live stream of the game, has found the best internet spot in the house and is camped out with his Pineapple! I love it!
Another shot of paradise!

View on the ride home!