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A Peek Into Our Week: Guess where I was all week?!?

Thank you, thank you, thank you for letting me take almost the entire week off from blogging this past week. It was the first time I’ve ever done something like this and it was so good — despite the fact that I missed you all something fierce. {I ended up composing seven lengthy blog posts in a document while unplugged. Because, well, I just can’t not write!}

We’re in the midst of a lot of changes and big decisions in our family and businesses right now, so this long-planned vacation couldn’t have come at any better time. It was so good to be unplugged… and I wasn’t only unplugged, I was actually completely disconnected with my normal life altogether because we were blessed to get to go on the Love Like You Mean It cruise with Family Life again this year.

We started out the week in Miami. Above was the view from my treadmill during Monday morning’s workout. Talk about exhilarating!

Monday mid-morning, we boarded our cruise ship and spent the afternoon tying up loose ends with our businesses while the ship was still in port and we still had free wi-fi. We got those things taken care of and then we pulled the plug for three days while we took in some beautiful sights, ate delicious food, listened to incredible speakers and musicians, and spent hours just talking and reconnecting as a couple.

Monday evening, we attended a concert by Steven Curtis Chapman. This was by far one of the highlights of the cruise for us. Steven is such a humble, authentic man and his family’s story has impacted our family deeply.

Tuesday morning, we woke up near Key West. I fell in love with this tiny island that we saw from the side of the ship. Can you imagine living there?? I don’t want to imagine how much the houses probably cost, though. :)


In Key West, we stopped by Truman’s Little White House, found the Audobon house, and tried to find Earnest Hemingway’s house. In the process, we ended up getting really, really lost in a less than desirable part of town. We were so lost that we thought we weren’t going to make it back to the cruise ship before it was leaving the port.

But I’ll save that slightly dramatic story to share with you next week. You won’t want to miss it — or the lesson we learned from the experience! :)

Wednesday, we docked in Cozumel. I was really excited to finally make it to Mexico as I’ve never been before. But unfortunately, they’d only let us see a tiny, tiny part of Cozumel — and that tiny snippet was highly tourist-y. But oh well. At least I can say I’ve been to Mexico now.

We spent Thursday and Friday traveling back to Miami and in Miami and today traveling back to Kansas. The whole week was truly relaxing, refreshing, and rejuvenating. And most of all, we both felt like unplugging completely for a few days allowed us to have in-depth conversations that were so, so good for our marriage. Plus, we just had a lot of fun together — which is also a good thing, too. :)

Anyway, that was our week in a nutshell. Thank you for allowing me the time away. I already have a slew of posts written for the next few weeks so I promise I’ll make up my absence to you!

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  1. Lori says

    Glad you had that time to relax and rejuvenate … and glad you weren’t on the cruise ship that had so much trouble last week!

  2. Heather H says

    Happy to hear you had fun! What lovely pictures…and that little island…what a beauty! Oh, wouldn’t it be fun to have your own private island somewhere? Dreaming….

  3. Katie says

    We honeymooned in the Florida Keys, and we found Hemingway’s house when we drove to Key West. Unfortunately, we too got lost and found ourselves in a less than desirable area.

  4. Elizabeth says

    We were supposed to be taking that same cruise this Monday but it got postponed until April! Can’t wait! We’ve never been on a Carnival cruise…only Norwegian and Royal Carribbean. How did you like it?

  5. says

    Looks like you had an amazing week. I am so glad. I am a bit jealous of that view from the treadmill! WOW Can’t wait to hear your story about getting lost, I get lost a lot while driving, I tell my kids the same thing my mother told me “we are taking the scenic route” although often it is not too scenic but instead a real eye opener as to how blessed we really are.

  6. Danielle says

    When I read this headline I thought for sure you were going to say you were on the *other* Carnival Cruise ship! So glad to hear you had a safe & relaxing week!

  7. lynn says

    I was born and raised in KW and moved off the rock ASAP after I turned 18. It is a wonderful place to visit, but not so much to live. Too expensive, too many drunks, too few family centered things, too much too. I can assure you that even in Bahama Village you were very very safe :) Glad you had a wonderful trip!

  8. says

    I’ve been reading MSM on and off for ~5 years, and am stuck by just how hard you work and how many balls you have in the air at any given time! I’m glad you got to take a break. When you are rejuvenated, we all benefit :)

  9. WilliamB says

    FYI, *all* of Cozumel is extraordinarily touristy. It can be very pleasant but it want to see Mexico, rather than generic lovely beaches and such, you’ll have to go somewhere else in Mexico.

  10. says

    Glad you had a great trip! I’m sure it was a blast to get away!! It’s nice to unplug every now and again :) My family & I live in Key Largo (first island coming into the FL Keys) & have seen that beautiful island in your picture whenever we visit KW- glad you could enjoy it, too :)

  11. rkessler says

    One of our stops was in Cozumel, Mexico also. We took the opportunity to go to Tulum the Mayan ruins. Now because of all the bad things that are happening, Mexico is not a port that I would like to return to.

  12. Ellen says

    Please don’t feel like you need to thank your readers for “letting” you take a break. It is YOU we need to thank for working so hard on this site, and you don’t owe us anything. Whatever you need to do as a wife and mother ever needs to be apologized for or explained to us. Glad you had a great time!

  13. Heather says

    Glad you had a great vacation!!

    Funny you mention living on Key West — my husband was recently offered a job there and we turned it down solely due to how much housing is!! Instead, we moved to a little town in the NE that gets lots of snow and has a low COL, but anyone who finds out we turned down Key West looks at us like we have 6 heads! :)

  14. Lisa says

    Good for u everyone needs a break from kiddos to spend with there hubby so glad u had a great time what a blessing to go to all the places u went . Me and my hubby roger will be married 30yrs September 3 I hope and pray we get to go away like that for few days .i love him more than the day we got married if possible we have so much fun together .and yes we’re still young only47 we still have a 17 year old.other2 grown daughter RN in Columbia ,SC. And oldest son has all kinds of building ,contractor heating ,etc. license , so maybe we will get to do something fun wait and see . Love you and your family may our Good LORD above continue blessing every part of your life,Lisa

  15. Lana says

    So glad you were able to get away and rest! We got lost in Nassau one time. We gave an elementary aged school girl a few dollars to walk with us and point us back to our ship. We got to see the back alleys and places tourists do not go!

  16. Shannon says

    What a blessing! So glad you went and rejuvinated. I love Carnival and isolated incidences happen with every company so I would feel completely comfortable going on one of their Christian cruises.

  17. debbie says

    Aghh! So jealous! But really so excited for you and your marriage. I’m in awe at how well you take care of it. Also, glad to hear how rejuvenated you are and can’t. wait. to. hear. what is new in your family and business!!!

  18. Pam says

    Glad you had such a good time. I arrived home two weeks ago from a Carnival cruise. An 8 day from NY to the Bahamas. We also had a wonderful time. We have been on 6 cruises with 3 different cruise lines and have found that they all have pros and cons. My husband loves to cruise just to relax and recharge. As far as breaking down I believe any of them could.

    • says

      So wonderful that you could get away and take a refreshing break! Next time you try Mexico you should consider visiting Campeche. The little known jewel of a vacation spot! We’d love to be your tour guides! Praying blessings on you as you get back into your routine.

  19. Kelley Franklin says

    I’m so glad you had that opportunity Crystal! We were at a Weekend to Remember in Hilton Head this weekend and our speakers were the owners of Pine Cove (I noticed your husbands shirt). We had friends on the same cruise and if I would have know I could have told her to look for my favorite blogger. 😉 You are an inspiration to me and thank you for being a great example of Godly lady, wife and mother. Blessings on you and family.:)

  20. Cindy Crawford says

    So glad you got on that Carnival cruise ship and not the other. But i even think if you were on that ship you would of made the best of it. I heard they had prayers meetings and got really close to new friends that they would of never met. But anyways, glad you had a fun time and it was a good getaway for you and your hubby.

  21. kathy says

    You are welcome! I am so glad you had this time together. We all have to keep our priorities straight. I know for me that is God first, then husband, then family. I filter all opportunities and requests for my time and services.through this filter. Thanks for all your hard work to help us save.

  22. says

    I am so happy for you! Time alone is so crucial for marriages and it sounds like this was especially good. I hope that your time away has rejuvenated you and helped you to feel closer to your husband, to God and to your precious family!

    • Damaris says

      So happy for you! Like it was previously stated you don’t have to apologize for taking a break you deserve it! Besides your marriage is your first ministry. Looking foward to hear your stories when you get back.

  23. says

    Congrats on your fun getaway! We all need those sometimes. And like me I would totally be writing blog posts too while away…it seems like my mind can flow a little better when I am out and about having fun. So glad you had fun, you need to do this more often!

  24. says

    Looks like so much fun! My husband and I want to go on a cruise for our five-year anniversary. We’ll have a two-year-old at that point so I think it’d be a good time to leave him or her with my parents for a week (?) and go relax. Maybe I should do a Love Like You Mean It cruise!

  25. BetsyD says

    So thrilled for you, Crystal! My husband and I were doing the exact same thing last week– on a cruise to celebrate our 10 yr. anniversary, unplugged, away from responsibilities and able to make more memories together. Thanks to your encouragement through this blog, we were able to enjoy it knowing that we had paid for it all (excursions as well) ahead of time so we could come home without fearing the cost. What a wonderful feeling! These times of refreshing are a blessing from God….so glad you enjoyed the same.

  26. Chrissy says

    What happened? Why didn’t you go to Grand Turk?

    We were on a Carnival Cruise a couple of weeks ago. We were supposed to go to Grand Turk and Half Moon Cay. But they changed our itinerary. We too went to Key West and then Freeport and Nassau.

    I hope you had wonderful, relaxing time!

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