Disney World!

We rang in the New Year in quite spectacular fashion this year — at Walt Disney World!  On New Year’s Eve, we flew down to Orlando where K was waiting to greet us at the Grand Floridian.  Over the next several days, we racked up the miles at Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, and at the resort itself.  It was a wonderful trip — Nell loved absolutely everything, including the animals, rides, parades, princesses, and pools, and Guy was all about the roller coasters.  (Unfortunately, Guy was about an inch too small for most of the roller coasters, which means he wanted to ride the same roller coaster over and over and over and over…)

Here are some pictures from our trip!

The safari at Animal Kingdom, which the kids loved because it featured all the animals from the Lion Guard so they were already familiar with many of them and SO excited to see them up close in real life

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One of the absolute highlights for Nell was meeting Rapunzel — this was one of her requests when she first found out we were going to WDW.  It was a precious moment, and I guarantee you that look of adoration that she gave Rapunzel while Rapunzel was fixing her hair is NOT the same look I receive every morning before school when I try to wrangle her hair into a ponytail.

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Costume Change (because it’s Nell and KK spoils her!)


A special surprise that KK planned for us was breakfast with Mickey and the Clubhouse characters.  We joined K’s friend who had two daughters, 3 and 5.  Nell and the other 5 year old had a wonderful, fabulous time.  Guy and the other 3 year old were NOT fans of the characters and refused to take any pictures with them.  Guy scrambled into my lap or under the table any time one of them came by.

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Another character encounter — Olaf at Hollywood Studios after seeing Frozen Live Sing Along

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Strangely enough, this is the only picture I have from Epcot…


Random pics from Magic Kingdom.  I promise that Guy is not only in the first picture, but he’s driving!  You can guess how well that went!  

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Not a bad way to start the New Year!  Happy 2017!


We are home now, and I finally have a chance to pause and look at some of the pictures from the rest of our trip, including our trip to a very magical kingdom on Wednesday, which was really a wonderful day.

Nell was Cinderella for the day, Guy got his very first haircut at the Disney Barber Shop on Main Street, and we all got to go on rides and enjoy shows and musical acts around the Park. It was the perfect end to a fantastic (but far too short) trip to Florida.

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And what trip to Florida would be complete without a meet and greet with an alligator?

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We jumped right back into life this weekend with a little celebration for Mom’s birthday yesterday and our best buddies over today for chili and football, and Monday is going to come way too soon. We have all thoroughly enjoyed our time away from school and work.

It’s Always Summer…

…in Florida! And that is where we are right now, enjoying a fabulous vacation with Gramma and Papa (and Rose the dog, of course). We rolled in yesterday afternoon after two days of driving, and one night in Myrtle Beach, and the kids are having an absolute blast (though Guy has made it very clear he does not want to get back in his car seat any time soon).

I don’t have a photo resizer on this laptop yet, so I can’t download all the great shots, but in the meantime, here are just a few pictures of how our trip has begun…

The Skywheel in Myrtle Beach


A trip to see the mermaids — Nell got to wear her mermaid outfit, which was pretty much the best thing ever.

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We started our drive at 28 degrees and traded it in for 70s and sunny. We’ve got a lot of fun things on the agenda over the next few days, including, of course, a trip to meet Elsa. But now it’s time for a little more sunshine.



It’s been more than a week since my last post.  Since then we’ve rung in the New Year, we’ve de-holiday’ed our home, we’ve flown to Florida and back, we’ve had luggage lost and — far too long thereafter — luggage found.  But most importantly, we paused life long enough to enjoy five wonderful days in Florida with Gramma and Pappa, Rose the dog, Mickey, and Minnie.

I love starting a new year because even though we have 365 days a year to reflect on how good life is and how lucky we are, we’re usually too caught up in the minutiae of everyday life to soak it all in.  Of course we are grateful for those little minutes and moments, but we don’t always step back and look at the big picture.

But in January, we do.

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And folks, the big picture is amazing.

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We’re at that exciting time in life when every year brings new things, big changes, life’s milestones.  Engagements, marriages, homes, dogs, kids, jobs.  Every year has brought something major, but in 2014, we’re looking forward to a year to pause — to enjoy our family, our home, our life in Southern Maryland.  Without needs or wants.

(I mean, I want to fit in my pants again.  But I am referring to REAL needs or wants.)  We’re good, and it’s time to pause and enjoy it.

Our first act in the year of enjoyment: our trip to Florida and to Disney World.  Travel was hell and the weather wasn’t Florida’s finest, but it was Fun.  A toddler went to the Magical Kingdom for the very first time — and didn’t want to ever leave — and a baby boy enjoyed his first airplane trip and his first time in a swimming pool.

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Happy New Year, friends.


Goodbye to May

Before I launch full-speed into summer, I need to close out May with my final set of pictures from our trip to Florida.  These aren’t in any particular order, nor is there a theme, but several of these are trip favorites, and none of them could be left out.

Nellie discovered her love of little scooters. No matter where you set her down, she would find her way to this toy and wait for you to get her on board and push her in circles around the living room.

(As you can see, dogs in Florida love Nell just as much as dogs in Maryland.)

This kid is going to be a roller coaster dynamo. She loved being pushed around the living room in super fast loops, and in the water, she loved nothing more than to be flung around the pool in her float in fast, whipping circles. Luckily, her daddy was more than happy to play the role of water ride operator.

This is pure baby delight:

Nellie thinks squeaky toys on pools are awesome.  G agrees.

Life can’t be scooter rides and water sports all the time, however. Sometimes a baby just has to relax with her Gramma.

I’ve never seen Nellie so tired as she was after her trips around the pool.  She would fall asleep in my arms just minutes after being scooped up and wrapped in a towel.

Happy family.