Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Festival of Fantasy Parade

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Some of my favorite moments from our week in Disney World were the parades!  We were lucky enough to watch a few of them.  The first day we were at the Magic Kingdom and we saw people lining up on the streets.  After getting a heads up from one of the Disney Employees “cast members” we found one of the best places to stand for the parade.  We stood right in front of the traffic circle at the front of the Magic Kingdom.  This provided a great view of the floats and people because we got to watch them come all the way down Main Street USA.

We ended up sitting next to a Disney World employee who was just there taking pictures.  So many of the people in the parade recognized him and walked up close to us to say hi or wave at the employee.  Lucky us!

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We did have to wait in this spot for over an hour before the parade started.  Bradley spent a lot of the time waiting trading his Disney pins.  We gave the kids a land yard and a collection of pins before they left for the trip.  Children can trade pins with Cast Members who are wearing pin necklaces.  Bradley didn’t waste any time trading some of the pins he didn’t love for new pins! 

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After a lot of waiting the first float arrived!!  Belle and her dancing royal friends!

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A bunch of our favorite princesses followed Belle in the parade!

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The floats were spectacular! The detail was amazing!

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Sleeping Beauty’s metal dragon actually breathed fire!

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Just looking through all of the photos makes me smile!  Bradley and Ellie were entranced during the entire parade.  They waved at their favorite characters and princesses and had a ball in their up close seats! 

I have gone through the hundreds of photos and was able to put together a Shutterfly book about our Disney Trip.  They are on sale right now, so I got a great price.  I can’t wait to share more of the fun and pictures with you soon!

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Monday, December 22, 2014

A Magical Visit

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We just got home a week ago from the Most Magical place on Earth!  I am still coming down from the whirl wind trip, organizing our photos and trying to get our family set for Christmas!  Despite the chaos of our return, it was such a wonderful time of year to go to Disney World.  The lights, the decorations, the Christmas parades, the fireworks….the list goes on and on!  My children had the time of their lives (even if Ellie was sick for the entire trip!!) We made the best of it and had a blast.  Here are just a few of the photos from our Disney photo pass.  I can’t wait to share more!

Grace stayed home with my sister and parents, thank you Lindsay and Mom and Dad for watching her while we were gone!

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The first morning we had breakfast at Chef Mickey’s!  Ellie has started to run a fever the night before our first day when we arrived.  I don’t think the tonsillitis had fully hit her the first day, and she was still in good spirits for most of the day!

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The first day she got to meet some of her all time favorite princesses, Ariel and of course Anna and Elsa!

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Even with planning over a year in advance, we were not able to book Anna and Elsa as a fast pass+. Which basically means we had to wait in line.  I ran over to their meet and greet the very first morning we arrived right when the park opened and it was already 80 minutes!!  Chris and I checked the wait on and off the first day it finally dropped down to an hour (I know, crazy!) and he took her to meet them.  Her life is complete now.  You can tell by her hug to Anna that she is in love with them.  We probably passed around a nasty case of tonsillitis to the princesses, but hey we were only there for a few days!

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We all got to meet another favorite, Merida.  If you go to Disney, definitely splurge on the Photo Pass!  We did, and I am so so thankful!  I don’t think I have been in this many family photos in my life.  It actually looks like I went on this trip too!

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Poor Tangled! We did have a fast pass for Tangled and Cinderella on this trip.  When we got up to talk to them the first thing Ellie said was, “I really want to meet Anna and Elsa, but the line is too long.”  Sorry Rapunzel, you used to be #1 in our book!  I still love that movie though!

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After a little chat about how that might have made Rapunzel feel bad, we decided to ask Cinderella if Gus Gus really talks.  That seemed to lighten the mood!  God I love this little girl!

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We also rode the tea cups and then got to talk to Alice and the White Rabbit!

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You will probably notice in a lot of the photos that Ellie is missing.  She missed about three of her five days in the park.  Bradley felt great and had a fun time the whole week.  In some of the photos she was there, but asleep in the stroller if  you don’t see her!  Bradley got to spend two days in Animal Kingdom, because once Ellie visited the hospital and started to feel a bit better (YES, she was THAT sick!), then we all returned to the Animal Kingdom because Ellie really wanted to ride on the safari and see the animals.  We never got a chance to visit Epcot because she was ill, so that means we will be back again!  We will bring all three children next time!

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I still have 100s of photos to dig through and presents to wrap.  For now I will end the long overdue blog post of Cinderella’s castle lit up with Elsa’s ice!  Gotta love some Disney Magic!!

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Raising Grace

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There is no formula for parenthood.  There is no supreme guidebook that tells you exactly what to do.  There isn’t  magic potion to drink at night that will give you all of the answers.  (although sometimes wine works)

You are just IN it.  You LIVE it every day.  You figure it out day by day.  You make mistakes.  You fall down.  You try again.  You have the highest highs.  You have the lowest lows.  You try your best with the tools you have. 

Raising Grace has been a test of everything I thought I knew as a mother and then some.  She has worried us.  She has made me feel sick with concern.  She has had such hard moments.  She has had tremendous growth.  She has re-learned how to sleep, learned how to talk in less than a year, and surprised us with her observance of the world around her.

Grace has tested everything I “thought I knew” about early childhood and development.  Children have set-backs, and those same children can have amazing growth and progress.

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I have been almost hiding from my blog.  I am not 100% ready to share our most recent journey with Grace yet.  I have debated sharing our struggles in such a public place.  But, the other night I sat down and read every post I had written about Grace since she was born.  It was so cleansing.  After reading all of the posts I felt that this is still the best place for me to write from my heart.  Just sharing sweet pictures of our family at the beach isn’t the full story of my life right now. This is my little place to share our journey.  And currently our journey is rocky and hard. We still have some more hills to climb and mountains to conquer in the next few weeks.  If you have a moment say a little prayer or send some positive juju our way.  My little world of motherhood has been turned on its head this past month.  It isn’t life altering, it is just hard stuff.

Parenting is hard no matter what journey you are on.  We all LOVE our children with a fierceness that is scary.  This littlest one with the sweet blond curls holds the key to my heart. 

I love you my fearless Gracie girl.

Your sweet little sunflower swim suit jumping into tide pools this summer.  I will think of this when we are climbing our mountains together.

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