Friday, July 23, 2010

Cruisin' Together

This past Christmas was one of the most memorable Christmases yet. Maybe, you say, because it's the most recent Christmas holiday to date, but most likely because my parents surprised all 5 kids (well adults, with the exception of Christmas morning!) with a Royal Caribbean Cruise! We woke up to see that Santa had decorated the Christmas tree with sun visors, speedos, and flip flops!

Merry Christmas Cruise!

Oh, and don't worry, in case you were afraid we forgot the stylish tropical visors for the trip, you're wrong. My mom definitely saved them for our "welcome aboard" picture!

welcome aboard!

We planned in anticipation as the next 6 months flew by. Brett, my brother in law (aka 'cool guy') decided to add some more excitement to the cruise and introduced the "Thames-Rowland-McDowell Tuff Guy Fitness Challenge". The email he wrote goes as follows:

"OK, folks, it is exactly 89 days until we depart on our Caribbean Bash. That’s 89 days to determine who will be the leanest, meanest, party machine on the ship. That being said, we all know what’s at stake – total bragging rights. Besides bragging rights and chiseled abs, the winner will also get at least one great prize. I propose we begin the Thames-Rowland-McDowell 75 Day Ultimate Tuff Guy Fitness Challenge asap.

Let’s say we each commit to a $30 per person entry fee which will go directly to the purchase of the grand prize(s), a brand new pair of $200 polarized sunglasses and a custom-made champion’s T-shirt. Brand and style of sunglasses is winner’s choice. T-shirt design and message are non-negotiable and will be determined by Sage, Brett, and Ryan.

From what I have briefly researched, the only fair way to do this is to measure the results based on body composition, more specifically bioelectrical impedance analysis, unless you medical types have a better or cheaper method. There may be adjustments made to handicap the contest where necessary (male vs. female, etc). No one’s individual results will be shared, only their % improvement over 75 days beginning Friday, April 2 and ending Tuesday, June 15 .

Below is a link to a scale that we can order if we want to (one for the Lubbockites and one for the San Antonians). We will take several measurements in the beginning days, several in the middle, and several near the end to make sure we have good data. We should have time to get the scales in prior to the beginning of the challenge.

There will also be a series of tasks that you may be required to complete in order to qualify yourself for the grand prize. Those are also TBD and will be developed by Ryan, Brett, and Sage. We will give “adequate” notification regarding the details of these special tasks.

After this challenge, all we will need to do is replenish our supply of blue speedos or gold speedos for those of who are into gold speedos. Game on. Brett."

This crazy a-hole meant business, and if anyone was up for a challenge it was Ryan & I (or so we thought). Haha...well, life comes at you fast, and Ryan spent the last 2 months studying for his board exam and I prepared for the fitness challenge with minimal work outs and late night runs (well drives...) to What-A-Burger & Papa Johns, so needless to say, we didn't win. Across the state in Boerne however, the McDowells were turning up the heat. Brett was working out daily, and being married to Ginger, conveniently didn't get to eat much. It was a recipe for success and Brett was crowed the Ultimate Tuff Guy of 2010.

Ultimate 'Tuff' Guy 2010

The cruise was amazing and no words can describe the fun we all had as a family. We ported in Nassau, St. Thomas, & St. Maarten. All the ports were amazing but the most memorable days were the ones spent at Sea! We met so many great people on the boat that we hope to stay in touch with. Cruises are the best form of travel ever, and if you haven't been on one, book it now! Start with the Oasis of the Seas, it's the largest ship in the world and you won't be disappointed!

So most of these photos I took on the cruise and edited in Photoshop just for fun. In the meantime I started brainstorming about how much I love design of all forms.... interior design, graphic design, and even design involving photography! So since I resigned from my job recently, and am wanting to continue moving forward in the field of design, I have decided to play around with a logo and the possibility of my own business. Food for thought right now, but let me know what you think about this logo! I would love some critiques! I have about 10 more on my computer that I am deciding between but this one's my favorite so far:

I'll keep you all posted on my plans... as of now I'm considering going back to school to get my Masters of Science in Environmental Design and/or doing contract design/photography work on the side! I'm so excited about the future and can't wait to sort all these crazy ideas out in my head!

Combined my mom and I took over 1100 pictures, and even I get tired of looking through all of them! So, as usual, I put together a cheesy little video so you can all share in an abbreviated version of the fun! Until next time!!

Cruise Video