Monday, March 7, 2016

Sailing through the Caribbean

One of the five ways AdvoCare pays is through incentive trips. It’s a performance- based deal…so the more people you help, the more likely you are to earn it. (It is highly competitive though.) We have earned a few of the corporate incentive trips in the past, but turned down two of them because I was due with my sweet boys around the same time. We are so thankful for the trips though because this is where we’ve had a chance to meet some incredible people & make some great new friends we would have never otherwise has the chance to get to know. We love being around like minded people and we like to travel, so we always go for the trips.

We knew pretty early on we were going to earn the Caribbean trip, but couldn’t decide if we were actually going to go. We are just in a season in life where we don’t like to leave our kids. (We both like our little 1 hour at the gym a few days a week, but that’s about it!) It was a 7 night cruise through the Caribbean on the world’s largest sailing yacht (which did sound awesome!), but that just felt like too long to be away. Plus, I as and am still nursing so that would be 4-5 pumping sessions every day. There was NO way (trust me, I explored every option) to bring the milk home, and pumping and dumping that many ounces is just so sad. Nursing mamas, y’all feel me?

We debated, talked about it a good bit, prayed about it fervently, and even reached out to a few of our mentors for their advice, and finally responded that we were going to go.

One of the main reasons we wanted to go was to have some “us” time. It is so important to us to continue to strengthen our marriage, and that’s something we have to be intentional about. Working from home together means we get to spend a LOT of time together, but we spend most of that time taking care of the kids and house and business (which we LOVE & are truly so grateful for!), so we wanted some unplugged time to connect, reflect on 2015 and talk about goals for 2016. You don’t have to go on a fancy vacation to do that, of course, but because it was an all-expense paid trip to some of the most beautiful locations in the world, we decided it was a good time to do just that. Makes sense, right?

Another reason we wanted to go was to have the opportunity to be around some of the top leaders we know. I’m not talking about just in the world of AdvoCare. I’m talking about people who are walking the walk, creating true legacies, raising champion kiddos that have become remarkable adults, and are making a DIFFERENCE in this world. Most of these folks have gotten to where they are because they are incredible people and LEADERS, so we wanted to soak up some wisdom from them. Not just business stuff- way more than that. Parenting, marriage, leadership, ministry, business, investments…There was such a great wealth of knowledge, experience, and wisdom on that boat and we are so thankful to have an opportunity to learn from those folks.

The few days before the trip, we seriously almost backed out about 50 times. Even the day before we were scheduled to fly out, Jonathan and I considered calling to cancel (and just pay back the company for our trip) because we were having such a hard time leaving the boys. (Both of us.) I cried. A lot. I don’t know if everyone’s like that or if that seems overdramatic, but neither one of us like leaving the boys and it was not a decision we took lightly.

Anyway, we (obviously) ended up deciding to go and I am so THANKFUL we did! We needed that time to recharge and reconnect, and I don’t think it’s something we would have made time to do otherwise.

My mom and Jonathan’s sister and dad tag teamed watching the boys for us. We are so, so thankful for sweet family loving on our little guys, and I know we are beyond blessed they are always so willing to help out. I know they had a blast too and made sweet memories with Jase and Kade. We want them to have a strong bond because family is so important to us.

Our trip was from Saturday, December 5th through Saturday, December 12th. The yacht was called WindSurf and it was through Windstar Cruises. We’ve been to the Caribbean a few times & it is absolutely gorgeous, but this trip was some of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.

IMG_0234

We flew into St. Maarten (which was awesome!) & bussed over to the ship.

image

IMG_0236

Thankfully all of the travel was pretty uneventful. I am still nursing so I have to be careful about what I take. I tend to get motion sick pretty easily, but I wore those wrist bands that hit a pressure point (found them at Walgreen’s I think) and they worked like a charm! I never felt sick at all. I did not do the best job taking pictures this trip. Boo for that!

Here are the places we visited:

  • Philipsburg, St. Maarten
  • Falmouth Harbour, Antigua
  • Soper’s Hole, Tortola, BVI
  • Jost van Dyke Great Harbour, BVI
  • Virgin Gorda, Prickly Pear Beach BVI
  • Gustavia, St. Barthelemy  (St. Barth)

IMG_0106IMG_0136IMG_0161image

IMG_0074IMG_0147

St. Barth was my favorite!! It was seriously so, so neat. We bought the boys a book & Jase a pirate shirt that has become his FAVE! He asks to wear it every day.

IMG_0184

IMG_0203IMG_0205IMG_0208IMG_0212IMG_0214IMG_0216

There were some awesome excursions. We signed up for a submarine tour, a helicopter tour, and a segway tour of Antigua.

IMG_0108IMG_0119IMG_0137IMG_0193IMG_0195

Now I’m just here to tell ya, I had NO IDEA what I was getting myself into with that segway business. I almost backed out & almost cried. (TOTALLY overdramatic but I didn’t even care- I was scared!!) Once I got the hang of it, it was easy peasy. But it took me a little while & I was not a natural by any means, so I was seriously thankful for the helmets and elbow pads. (And would have been totally cool with knee pads, shoulder pads, and a cage on the helmet too.) **FYI: Fear is not your friend on those things. Shout out to the mall cops- they’re harder than they look. At first anyway. Jonathan got the big daddy & rode it like a champ. This ended up being one of my favorite excursions! Pretty serious crowd, right?

I think everyone was a little worried for me…shew!

imageimageimage

Meeting one couple in particular was the highlight of our trip. They spoke life into us & shared some things we desperately needed to hear.

It may sound cheesy, but the people are definitely, definitely my favorite part of the trips. The food is phenomenal. They make sure you have some great experiences. You can’t beat the scenery and the weather was pretty perfect. But the people seal the deal for me every.time.

IMG_0055IMG_0064IMG_0082IMG_0086IMG_0089IMG_0093IMG_0167

There is something about the ocean…God’s handiwork is breathtaking, isn’t it?

IMG_0170IMG_0226

When the cruise was over, they took us over to the Westin in St. Maarten & let us hang out till it was time to catch our flight. We had a room where we could relax and take a shower, and we actually ran into my cousin Nicole! Crazy small world, right? They were celebrating their anniversary and it was so great to see them!

IMG_0237IMG_0239

I am so thankful for the opportunity of AdvoCare and for the options it has created for our family. I am thankful for the experiences, for the friends we would never have had the opportunity to meet otherwise, and for the quality time with Jonathan. It was a trip we will always remember, no doubt.

IMG_0178

1 comment:

Taryn said...

Wow so awesome! I still don't have kids but always promised myself I will give time back to my marriage. I made a promise, sort of vow that wr will break away no matter how hard at least once a year for at least 3 nights. And also maybe onec a month a evening to ourselves. I am so glad you did it! You need it and it helps a lot!