Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Happiest Place on Earth!

Yay! We're back from a super fun weekend and whirlwind tour of the Happiest Place on Earth! If you're keeping count, this is the boys' THIRD trip to Disney and YES that is insanely ridiculous, but I love it more than they do so I keep going back. {And I have another trip planned with one of my friends in April and I. AM. PUMPED.} This time around we planned a "Mystery Trip" and unveiled it to the boys the morning of. They knew we were going SOMEWHERE, they just didn't know WHERE. This was the first trip I'd ever made down in my LIFE without my mama, but she decided to stay home and wait for Baby Liam to make his arrival.


As soon as we arrived back from basketball (we had an 8:30AM game) and we told them where we were going we packed the rest of the car and hit the road. I think we left around 11AM. Not TOO bad.





We headed STRAIGHT to the Magic Kingdom when we arrived in town! We walked in at 4pm right when they were doing the Flag Retreat. This happens every day but we'd never seen it before! They do the Pledge of Allegiance and the Dapper Dans sing several patriotic songs while they lower the flag. It was really nice and very moving!






After the Flag Retreat wrapped up we hoofed it over to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad for our first Fastpass of the evening. We hadn't ridden this one before {I may have but I cannot remember...the boys definitely hadn't!} and realized that it was IN.SANE.LY crowded in the Magic Kingdom. Shew! It is no joke going on a holiday weekend!




After BTM we checked a few times on the Disney app and decided to head over to Hall of Presidents to see that show. James really liked this but Will was BORED TO TEARS. Bless him.



Because of the CRAZY crowd and all of the long wait times we were a little bit all over the park on this day. After Hall of Presidents we headed to Fantasyland to ride The Barnstormer - Goofy's roller coaster. This is a crowd FAVORITE at our house. If there's a short line we've been known to ride a few times in a row, but we had to wait for about 30 minutes on Saturday night.




We left The Barnstormer and headed back to use another Fastpass, but as we passed Ariel's Grotto we realized that there was only a TEN minute wait for her! My boys are decidedly anti-princess, but I've decided that if I plan our trips to Disney World they're going to have to bear a few girly things for me! HA! So I FORCED them to meet her {their first princess EVER} and I enjoyed every second. Both boys were just mortified that I was making them meet her, but they were also both pretty smitten, I think. She was very sweet.





We hustled on to Peter Pan to use our next FastPass after meeting Ariel. I think this is a really cute ride, but I just don't get why the wait is SO LONG! Tip: If you go to Disney and your kids are small, FastPass this one. If you ever walk by and the wait is under 20 minutes, RIDE. 

Later in the evening we stopped by Pirates to use our third FastPass and it was down SO we got to use it on anything we wanted to. Jungle Cruise is right next door so we spent it on that. I realize that we should've used it on something a little more worthwhile, but it was right there and it was getting late!

We stopped for supper at Peco Bill's again like last time. It was very good and lots of food. (And not just chicken fingers and french fries!) James got nachos, Will got corn dog bites, and Eddie and I shared a burrito. I scooted over to Adventureland while the boys were eating to grab a Dole Whip, too.

We intended to watch Wishes, but it was going on during our supper so we missed out. It was getting LATE by this point but we still wanted to see what else we could ride. The best option was Small World so we headed over there and rode. Will didn't remember it from last time and really enjoyed it.


Y'all, I cannot remember if we did ANYTHING else, but I know we headed out around 10:30. We stopped to take one last picture at the entrance and then went toward the monorail. As we exited, Eddie started talking to a cast member about whether it was ACTUALLY crowded like it felt. He said that he'd heard at 9pm there were 44,000 people in the park. Y'all. They don't hit "capacity" and begin turning people away until 75,000. And that's not even *true* capacity! Whoa.




We hopped on Monorail, grabbed a tram, and headed to our car way out in Cruella. {My only dislike about MK is that you have to park SOOOOOOOO far away. Last time we stayed at Contemporary. You get what you pay for! That was just about ten steps from our ROOM to MK. Lol!} Because the boys were SO tired but needed showers, we handed them our phones and told them to play until we arrived. We also did online check-in and we were able to go STRAIGHT to our room, which was really nice since it was so late. We stayed at All-Star Sports Resort this time and it was just "eh" for me. We do not stay in our room except to sleep on most of our trips, so we really don't NEED anything nice, but this was just exceptionally blah. Next time, I'd probably splurge and do a moderate instead of a value resort, but Eddie would probably disagree.


Once we'd all showered and laid our heads down is was already midnight and we had to get up bright and early to be at Epcot by 9AM. Woof. We slept like rocks all night. I'll share about Epcot soon!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Happy Birthday to You!

Every year since his 60th we have had to celebrate without him while he has celebrated in Heaven. Typically, we recreate his 60th birthday and head to our local museum where we spent his last birthday when he was still with us. THIS year, we have a HUGE, EPIC, COMPLETELY UNBELIEVABLE birthday celebration planned. We didn't actually plan it this way, but he would be thrilled about it so we're running with it! It's a surprise and the boys don't have a clue what we're doing, but I'll be back soon to share the details! Eeeekkkkk!


We also have our fingers crossed that bitty baby Liam will make his debut today and be Poppy's birthday twin! {Because I'm a horrible blogger, this will be nephew #1 for us! The boys are SO EXCITED TO MEET HIM. Come on, Liam! It's time to play!}

We miss you every day!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Merry Christmas!

I know I've been MIA, but I wanted to pop in and share our Christmas card with you for 2016! Every year I've ordered a card and have taken a screen shot of it on my computer to share with you here, but Shutterfly has blocked that feature this year (I get it, I do...), so this is a picture of our card with my phone. Lol! It looks great! ;) I JUST got these in the mail yesterday and today so they're on their way, but they are late this year!!! These are not my favorite cards we've ever sent. Every year I say I don't need to get a photographer and every year I kick myself for not doing it. Oh well. Maybe one year I'll learn!

I hope to blog again before the end of the year, but in case I don't, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!




Tuesday, December 6, 2016

North Pole Breakfast!

This year's North Pole Breakfast was less put together than in years past. For the past two years, the boys have had to wake me up to share that GEORGE IS BACK!!!! I totally stayed up WAY TOO LATE the night before. I need to get it together. I am such a night owl and it just messes up mornings like this!

George sets up a fun breakfast for us and brings a few little goodies to kick the season off and typically he comes the Saturday after Thanksgiving (it is sometimes a little later depending on when Eddie and I are out of town - December is BUSY).

This year, both boys got reindeer legos and an ornament for their Georgia tree that's in the playroom.

And some Charlie Brown jammies! These are SO CUTE!

George and Clark W. Griswold. 
(That plant is not dead...it goes to sleep at night. I've kept it alive longer than any plant EVER so I just wanted you to know. We got it as a gift from one of my students at St. Patrick's Day this year!)



The boys were THRILLED with George's return and have anxiously looked for him each morning. George is not the most ambitious elf. He just moves from place to place without much fanfare. He did, however, get a little lazy this year. One night he didn't even move AT ALL. I told him that the boys weren't big fans of that and that he needed to move, but he didn't promise it wouldn't happen again so we'll see. These elves have minds of their own, you know.

(I have it on good authority that Santa is sending George a few things to perk him up this week via Amazon so we'll see if that makes it a little more fun.)

Friday, November 11, 2016

Cub Scouts!

James earned us a SECOND day off this week, this time because of some middle-of-the-night vomiting. Ugh. Thankfully he was one-and-done but he and I spent the night camped out on the sofas in the den. He felt 100% better after he got sick and proceeded to stay awake until at least 2AM watching Duck Dynasty. My only wish is that it had happened on election night so I wouldn't have had two nights in a row that I was up so incredibly late. He's napping this afternoon because he slept almost none, but he feels great so that's awesome.

Since I had a little time, I thought I'd update about James' current favorite thing. Of all the sports we've played and activities we've participated in, Cub Scouts may be his very favorite.



The day that Scouts came to school to advertise the start of their "season," James came home THRILLED to tell me about it. Eddie had been counting down the days {to his doom...not because he was excited} and knew that first grade was the year. We suspected this would be right up Mr. James' alley, and he agreed. He came in waving the flyer in my face and asked me how long it would be before he could go camping and shoot a gun. {Where is my BABY?!}



Scout handbook in the mail? PUMPED. Scout uniform? PUMPED. Learning his Scout Oath, Handshake, and Law? PUMPED. First badge? Check. First campout? Check.

This past weekend was the weekend. We borrowed some supplies and Eddie prepared himself to sleep ON THE GROUND and off they went on Friday afternoon with some of James' school buddies.



To say they camped is a stretch. I grew up wilderness camping and this camping was REALLY not that. At all. They had a tv and internet access for crying out loud. But they had a great time camping, shooting, grilling out, and playing. Someone will be getting MOSTLY camping stuff for Christmas.

For sure our first experience with Scouts has been pretty great. James loves it. The meeting nights are CHAOTIC because there are SO MANY little boys participating this year, but we've been told that some of that will fall off AND that it's great to have a lot because you want plenty of friends in it to make it more fun.

James is already starting work on his second badge {he has his Bobcat...the next is Tiger, I think} and has started talking about his Eagle already. LOL! The kid has goals!


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Happy Halloween!

We had the best Monday morning! James had a fever for about twelve hours Sunday so he earned himself a day off from school yesterday which is much appreciated after a weekend of BIG fun at our house. I'll share more about that later. The boys spent the morning eating cinnamon rolls and watching Christmas movies. While it's not quite time for decorations (I still have Halloween out!), I am not anti-movie!



Halloween was a hit around here, but it sure went by too fast! Our fall festival at church fell on my birthday this year (which made me a little grumpy, to be honest!) and we loaded up the boys and had a big time there and then eating dinner with some friends afterwards. 



{Please note here that he's riding the train in character...you'll see what I mean in a minute if you don't already.}

On Halloween, James had Cub Scouts and he had to go because he earned his first badge! He was so excited (but nervous to go up in front of everyone to get it!). He earned his Bobcat badge. (I'll share more about Cub Scouts later, too, because he has LOVED being involved in it.) Will and I stayed home and handed out candy to a few trick-or-treaters while we waited on James and Daddy to get home. When they did arrive, we trick-or-treated our cul-de-sac, the "spooky house" in our neighborhood, and Grandmama's house. I think we hit 11 houses total, had two bags full of candy, and called it a night!



The boys have planned their costumes for MONTHS. Will has been obsessed with the movie Rookie of the Year for about a year now. He watched it laaaaate one night when he couldn't fall asleep. I recorded it and he has watched it over and over and over and over since. Back in February, we gave him a Cubs hat for Valentine's Day. (Rookie of the Year is about a little boy who hurts his arm and when it heals the tendons in his shoulder are tight and he can pitch like no one ever. The Cubs recruit him and he goes on to help change the direction of their franchise.) Anyway, he has planned to be Henry Rowengartner since at least February and never wavered. It wound up being a pretty timely costume since the Cubs won the World Series last week, too! It's been a few days of Cubs celebrations at our house. I hope he always remembers it. I think they might be "his" team. :)



The day after the World Series I promised him he could wear his Cubs shirt. {I washed it AFTER the game ended at 1:30AM!!!!} He had pictures that morning but wore it after and he was a happy boy!

As for James, he wanted to be a character from The Sandlot. I decided that was a perfect plan since I love a themed Halloween. We just went with a baseball movie theme this year. (I tried to get Eddie to dress up as Jimmy Dugan and I wanted to be a Rockford Peach from A League of Their Own, but it was a no-go. Oh well.) James decided to be Squints since he had the perfect glasses. His costume was the easiest thing EVER to put together. We bought the shoes for it from Target (knock-off Converse) and they have been the best shoes ever! Both boys got a pair and they LOVE them. I bought his shirt for a whopping $5 from WalMart and had a friend put "Squints" on the back of it for me. I may never have an easier costume for either child!




I've thrown out a few suggestions for next year including various 80s movie characters, cartoon characters, etc. I hope that they always want to go as a duo, but I also think that my time for that is pretty limited. We shall see. Here's a look back at all of our Halloweens-past! Aren't they PRECIOUS?! Where did my babies go?




Happy Halloween, y'all! (I've already moved on...I bought not one, not two, but EIGHT Christmas gifts just this morning. I'm awaiting a call from our credit card company about all the recent charges! LoL!)


My co-teacher and I even dressed up. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Singles Day - Jen!

It is SINGLES DAY over at Kelly's Korner! If you have no idea what I'm talking about, Kelly Stamps writes a "mom blog" that I have read for at least 7 years. Each year, she does a link up called Singles Day and so far she has had ELEVEN couples meet and get married through it! The world is such a crazy place.


I have never participated in Singles Day before, but this year I am so excited that I get to introduce you to one of my favorite people in the world! Everyone say hello to Jennifer! Hi, Jen!

Jen and I have been friends practically forever. We took dance classes together as far back as 3rd grade, but we don't remember meeting until 5th grade. We went to middle and high school together and then reconnected in a college class at the University of Georgia waaaaay back in 2003. We became even better friends about 3 years ago when I moved back to South Georgia where Jen lives and started a book club that Jen has been a huge part of.


So...about Jennifer. First, she is one of my favorite people in the world. Seriously. She's HILARIOUS and makes me laugh all the time. What you see is what you get with her. Doesn't everyone need a friend like that? She's very honest and opinionated and I love that I can go to her and know I'm getting someone's REAL opinion about things.

Jen is amazing with kiddos. She loves my boys and talks to them like they're real people. I love listening to their conversations with "Miss Jen" because she wants to really know about them and thinks they're fun and worth talking to! And not just my kids! All of her friends' kids feel special when she's around!


Jen is a second-year middle school English teacher, she's 33 years old, and she lives in South Georgia. She loves to read, travel, spend time with her family and friends, watch Georgia football, and craft. She's always up for going on an adventure - whether it's to a movie and out to eat or on a trip somewhere. She's seriously the most fun!

I would love to help you connect with her! If you're interested, feel free to comment here or email me at fresh.lauren@gmail.com and I'll send you her way!