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DisneyWorld Fun!

I just don’t think you can beat having a DisneyWorld birthday! We decided this would be a great time to take the kids to Disney since: 1. It’s a great time of year to go 2. It was Vaughan’s 5th birthday and 3. Vacations at this time of year will only get harder to do because the kids will be in school. So, we made our reservations, bought our tickets, and we left on December 2nd.

The kids did VERY well on the plane ride. I was pretty worried that Rheya would be difficult because she hates sitting for very long, but Rick kept her entertained and she was pretty happy the whole flight. Vaughan, of course, did great, but I knew he would. :)

We stayed at Disney’s Pop Century Resort because we didn’t want to rent a car or spend an arm and a leg on a fancy hotel room. After all, we only slept in the room, so why waste a bunch of dough on a room in which you’ll have your eyes closed the majority of the time, right? It was a nice enough room and had all the stuff we needed. Plus, we could catch a shuttle bus to any of the parks or Downtown Disney, so it made getting around the parks pretty easy. Pop Century also has a food court area, so we had most of our breakfasts there and a couple of lunches and dinners.

We visited all four parks, plus Downtown Disney. We also attended the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom. That is a MUST DO for anyone visiting DisneyWorld at the holidays. It was amazing and beautiful! It’s quite exhausting to do Disney with two young kids, so we didn’t even see half of what there was to see. We had to take a lot of breaks and walk slowly, so we made sure to do the things we really wanted to do and if we had time for anything else, it was a bonus. We were fortunate enough to get some passes from Rick’s cousin, Luke, who works for Disney. He happily showed us around a little and met up with us a couple of times to hang out. It was so great to get some of the “inside scoop” from someone who really knows!

On Vaughan’s birthday (December 8th and our last day at Disney), we got him a button that said “It’s my birthday!” so all day long people were telling him “Happy birthday!” and he loved that. While we were out, Mickey and Minnie came to our hotel room and dropped off some presents for Vaughan. He got a stuffed Mickey, a personalized Mickey ears hat, a cool balloon that plays music, an autograph book and pen, an autographed picture of Mickey and Minnie, and a cake! It was so great and he was beyond excited to see all his gifts!

As we vacationed, I began to realize a few things along the way. Here are a few of my realizations.

Things I Learned on Our DisneyWorld Vacation:

  • I cannot pull rolling luggage with my left hand
  • Our kids are excellent little travelers
  • It’s ok to let the kids have pudding for dinner and chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast
  • I am capable of carrying a two-and-a-half year old much further and longer than I thought possible
  • It’s hard to be the only one who doesn’t snore
  • Our kids are extraordinarily well-behaved compared to most kids out in public
  • People from all over the world visit Disney – I’ve never heard so many foreign languages in one place
  • Kids find joy in the smallest things…like escalators
  • The $15 R2-D2 light-up, spinning toy is totally worth it
  • It’s ok to let the kids stay up late…it’s vacation!
  • The holidays are an amazing and magical time to visit DisneyWorld
  • Good always triumphs over evil; Love always triumphs over hate

So, we had a great time! It was tiring at times and the kids had tantrums and got grouchy, but those aren’t the memories I’ll hold onto over the years. We’ll all remember the fun and the amazing things we saw and experienced on this trip. We can’t wait to go back again. Maybe for Rheya’s 5th birthday!

Enjoy the pictures!

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We must be a little bit crazy…

We really had no intention of buying a house only four days before we leave for DisneyWorld, but it just worked out that way!

Yes, we just bought a new house! It came on the market, our agent told us about it and next thing we knew, we were making an offer (along with two other people). Our offer was accepted and the circus began. We had to pack, finish the things on our old house that needed to be finished, wait and wait and WAIT to find out if we could close a few days early (we couldn’t), and then figure out how and when we would be able to get all of our stuff moved. You’ll have to forgive me because I was so busy with all of this stuff that I didn’t take any pictures of moving.

The house is bigger and we have four acres of land and a 30′ x 50′ barn! It’s outside city limits, but not very far, so we get all the benefits of rural living without all the distance or hassles. We even still have regular cable and internet service (which works great, by the way) and natural gas rather than propane. We could have horses if we want…although we’d actually rather have a couple of little goats. The bad news is that the house is incredibly ugly and outdated, so we’ll be spending the next ten years updating. It’s totally livable, and we’ve got lots of room, so I just try to look past the ugly walls and carpet and the hideous kitchen cabinets and countertops.

*Edited to add this picture of us in front of our new house on Christmas morning*


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A Mug With a View

As usual, the day of the Cheyenne Christmas Parade (always the Saturday following Thanksgiving) was freeeeezing cold. I was set on not attending the parade because I was just not in the mood to brave the cold temperatures. Then Rick and Vaughan went to have their usual Saturday morning breakfast at The Egg & I and received an invite from the manager to come back that evening to watch the parade go right by the window. What a great plan! So, we drove over shortly before the parade started and enjoyed some hot chocolate as we watched the parade from the comfort of a heated restaurant! The kids loved it and we didn’t freeze!

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Thanksgiving 2011

This Thanksgiving was perhaps a little more difficult since it was the first one without Dan, but we did dinner at Barb’s house and had a nice time visiting and watching the kids’ antics. Our friend, Joe, and his daughter, Kitty also came for dinner. I almost forgot to take pictures! I took a few at the beginning of the evening and then didn’t think about it again until we were done eating.

I am always thankful for my family and our health, but this year thankfulness seemed even more important. I need to make more of an effort not to take things for granted.

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Cookin’ Up a Storm!

We’ve been on the lookout for a kid’s kitchen for quite a while. We were thinking about building one, but Rick has just been too busy, so when we found this adorable (not pink or plastic) kitchen, we had to buy it! It was an early Christmas present for Rheya and she was delighted! She loves to cook in her new kitchen. Mostly she pulls out every pot, pan, and piece of play food that she has and scatters it all over the stovetop. Her favorite thing to make is mac and cheese!

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Catching up on the iPhone Pics

I have a whole slew of iPhone pictures to share since the last time I shared them (back in June). So, enjoy the slideshow!

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Lights, camera…cute kids!

I’ve been seeing photos like these lately. It’s one of those trendy things, I guess. I thought it looked kind of fun and neat, so I decided to give it a try today. Honestly, I just needed a break from all the packing and boxes and moving stress. As usual, Vaughan was my cooperative model and Rheya was napping (although, I did manage to get a few cute shots with Rheya after her nap). I wish I’d had more space to try some other neat effects with the Christmas lights, but maybe next year when we’re in our new house…

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Killin’ time

Today we have someone working on the drywall in our back entryway in preparation for our house being sold soon. So, needless to say, it’s really noisy in the house. Rick and Vaughan went out to run some errands, so Rheya and I holed up in the bedroom to watch a movie. I was noticing the nice light coming in through the windows, so I broke out the camera to get some cool shots. Jinx was also acting as a very nice model for me today.

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Fall Pictures 2011

As I did last Fall, I decided to take some pictures of the kids outside around the house. Once again, I did their pictures on different days because it’s always easier to just deal with one at a time. It was a beautiful day for Rheya’s pictures and you can see that there’s still some green-ish grass, but in Vaughan’s pictures you’ll notice some snow and it was pretty cold, too. They really are good kids and I find myself thinking just how lucky we are to have been blessed with two smart, healthy, beautiful children.

So, here they are! Rheya is just over two-and-a-half and Vaughan is nearly five.

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Great Big Halloween Post

Instead of adding three separate posts about our Halloween adventures, I’ll just post everything together. Halloween is a busy time of year. I think it’s a close second behind Christmas. We always seem to have a lot going on, so there are a lot of things to photograph. We’ll start off with the Momentum Academy Halloween Party. That’s where the kids take karate lessons and this was their first annual Halloween bash. They went all out and the kids really enjoyed themselves. There were lots of great costumes (both kids AND adults) and tons of sweet snacks!

Next up was the Discovery Unlimited Halloween Party at Vaughan’s preschool. Rheya and I stuck around to take pictures and help out. I uploaded all the pictures of the preschoolers to my website where the parents could view and download them. I figure it’s my way of bringing a treat (since I’m absolutely useless in the kitchen). Rheya had so much fun playing with the “big” kids!

And, finally…trick-or-treating! In Wyoming, Halloween is generally pretty cold and sometimes snowy. Most of the time the kids who come to the door are so bundled up in winter coats, you can’t even see any of their costumes. It’s kind of a bummer. This year, it wasn’t super cold, but we decided to trick-or-treat at the mall so everyone would be comfortable and warm. Besides, I wanted to make sure these adorable costumes could be seen!


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