Thursday, December 31, 2009

Before the New Year comes....

.....I really just need to wrap this year up by posting about our Florida trip. We have been home for over a week and it has been hanging over my head. I won't do it it justice, but oh well...

A couple of weeks ago (on the 18th) I surprised Chad by telling him we were leaving for Florida that afternoon. I had planned and packed everything and we took off for the Sunshine State in the rain. It rained the whole way there -didn't let up for one minute, which I felt really bad about because Chad hates driving in bad weather. "Happy Birthday Chad - let's drive in nonstop rain for six hours!!!" We stayed the night in Jacksonville and then drove to Daytona Beach the next day, where we stayed at a condo that we had gotten through Chad's grandma's timeshare exchange. It was across from the street from the beach and it felt soooo good to unthaw a little.

Ollie loved to chase birds.....

And eat sand.

The boys built a great sandcastle that first day.

After church on Sunday (where all three boys embarassed us in sacrament meeting. It was really bad folks), we walked around Main Street in Daytona. It's weird but I really like my van in this picture.

On Monday (the 21st - 30 days before Chad's 30th - get it?) we went to The Magic Kingdom.

We used RideMax again for Disney World (*and let me just state real quick that I LOVED it. It was super crowded there but our longest wait for 20 minutes and we did everything we wanted and some rides multiple times*), and one of the main suggestions is being there early early early. We were! Here is Colin showing off his mad hula-hooping skills before the gates opened. Several people managed to get in the gates before us, but by the time we got to Cinderella's castle, no one was in front of us! I love jogging down Main Street with all the workers waving their Mickey hands at you.

We paused for just one picture before hurrying along - notice I didn't even stop long enough to turn Ollie's stroller around!

Ollie and Gabe on the first ride of the day - Dumbo.

Gabe's absolute favorite ride - Tomorrowland Speedway. He was so excited on this one that he spontaneously burst out singing "Oh My Darlin' Clementine." It was priceless. He had been so tense up until this point on the trip - he HATES being out of his comfort zone - that we were worried he wouldn't even enjoy DisneyWorld. This was the second ride we went on and I was so glad to see that smile come out!

We talked Colin into going on Splash Mountain for his first time. Despite my careful watching, I didn't get a picture of them on the big drop, but Colin said "it wasn't too bad." He did decline going again later with me though :o)

The steamboat at sunset - always a good way to unwind a little and let the boys take it easy - although Oliver didn't allow us to sit still. He still hadn't taken any sort of nap at this point and was just wild whenever he got out of his stroller.

Oliver finally fell asleep at around 6:30 and took about an hour "nap." He was up in time to go on the Haunted Mansion with us - which is the ride Gabe claims was his favorite. I was sitting next to him and I would claim differently.

We watched the fireworks right in front of Dumbo - it was perfect, we had a clear view of everything without a crowd.

Riding the carousel one last time before leaving.

I really loved being there with all the Christmas lights up. I couldn't take my eyes off Cinderella's castle at night, and as we were walking down Main Street to leave (towards that big Christmas tree) it was "snowing." Perfect way to end the day.

Spent the next two days chillin' on the beach. I wish it had been about 15 degrees warmer (which would be have been Florida's average December weather), but it still beat the cold weather back in Charlotte!

Colin insisted on boogie-boarding again, despite the cold. I couldn't believe that kid!

Got home at around 11:30 on Christmas Eve Eve to a home that was 55 degrees inside. When can we go back?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Keepin' It Real Wednesday

To person who owns this black car parked outside of Krispy Kreme in Daytona Beach:

I try to stay relatively positive on this blog, but I'm just gonna say it:

You are a tool.

Not just for having these sentiments,

Not just for choosing to express these sentiments on your car window,

but for having these sentiments and choosing to express these sentiments on your car window

Come on.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


My dad made a fantastic family dinner this year at their house on Christmas, and after we were done stuffing ourselves, we dug through our nativity costumes to make assignments for the kids. I pulled out a tyke sized angel costume that was first worn by a 14 month old Gabriel in 2006, and remembering how precious he looked in it........

...thought it would be sweet to dress 16 month old Oliver in it for this year's nativity.

I thought it was a good idea,
he did not.

Christmas Morning Pictures

Yes, more pictures, with more to come. Deal with it :o)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Morning

Coming downstairs on Christmas Morning and (slowly) discovering what Santa left.

Christmas Eve

My mom and dad joined us for pizza, a drive to look at lights, and opening pajamas and one gift. After they went home, we read the Christmas story and tucked the kids in. The kids were pretty worked up, but we managed to get them all asleep by 8 pm. It was a good night.

I can't believe how old Oliver is looking these days.

Christmas Eve 2007 here and here. Christmas 2008 here.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Off again!

I surprised Chad yesterday with a family trip to Florida - which is why I have been so busy lately. I have been secretly getting ready for it. We will be home Christmas Eve, so if I am not back on before then, Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Keepin' It Real Wednesday

I get really dry skin in the winter when it is cold and we are running the heater all day. Last week was especially bad, and I was slathering my Dove lotion on every day to try and alleviate the flaky skin on my legs. I was about to do a post asking for lotion recommendations, because this stuff just wasn't working! My legs were unbearably itchy, and every time I showered, I could just feel the lotion washing right off.

I won't be needing those recommendations.

I finally read the lotion bottle a little more closely...........

...and realized that I had been rubbing body wash into my dry skin for the past week.

Itchy legs? Yep, that'll do it.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


On Saturday, I mixed some eggs with leftover spaghetti , scrambled them in a frying pan, and begged Colin and Gabe to try the concoction that I grew up with. They both sampled it and both agreed that it was a tasty meal.

Chad, who turns his nose up at spaghetti-eggs, shook his head in dismay when he heard the news. That's what happens when you sleep in, bub.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Found while cleaning the downstairs the other day:
15 paper airplanes, all made within 24 hours by the same little boy.

This is where he learned how.

This is the video that he likes to watch over and over again.

Colin now says wants to be a pilot when he grows up. I say he should aim for the skies - I would love some ticket hook-ups.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Back again, both Chad and I

I can't remember the last time I went a week without posting! It has made me more than a little anxious.

Chad was out of town again. He traveled 3 out of the last 4 weeks, but thankfully he was home for the weekends. It wasn't as bad as I expected it to be, but I was just plum busy and tired.

No more traveling this month, and boy is it good to have him home - just have someone to wash their hair at night while I get their pajamas ready, someone else in the house who washes dishes and does laundry, someone to cuddle who isn't fighting me about bedtime!

The boys are just so much happier too. They don't really know how to express it, but they just aren't as happy with dad gone. I've said it before, he is the joy in this home!