Sunday, August 28, 2016

I Don't Even Know Where to Start...

A few weeks ago, I unintentionally fell off the face of social media. Nothing life changing has happened, a whole lot just happened all at once & I got completely overwhelmed. And the reality is, when life gets crazy, my blog is the one thing I can let go of without impacting the well being of my family. So, I'm sorry. For those of you who reached out to see if everything is ok, thank you. Once the school year is underway & I get the cast off my hand (long story), I will share all of the adventures that have kept me from this space that I love so much!

Rocking my sweet cast last week...

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Disney 2016: Day 2

Day two of our trip was one of the days I was most excited for, because Magic Kingdom always has been & always will be my favorite Disney park. You just can't beat all that magic! 



I had big plans for getting there in time for the rope drop show, but that didn't happen. Traveling with 8 people - two of which are children and one of which is not a morning person - kind of derailed any & all of my bright and early morning plans. Even though my kids were up at 6:30 each day, it just took awhile to get them both fed, dressed, and park ready! 

We did get there right at 9 though, so we were able to walk right in to meet Tinkerbell. She is one of Ella's absolute favorites, so this was a big deal! 


The two of them had quite the conversation & Tink even let Ella touch her shoes. Then, she made Ella's whole life when she said, "I just love your bun! It's just like mine!" Ella smiled from ear to ear because in our house we have only four hairstyles - Anna braids, Elsa braid, Rapunzel braid/pony & of course, the Tinky Bun. 


After we met Tink, we headed up Main Street for our first Fast Pass of the day. We met Rapunzel & Tiana - both of which Ella loved. It was really dark in these rooms though, so I feel like all of my pictures in them stink :( 



Then we got to riding some rides! First up was the carousel. Ella loved it as always & Livy was kind of like "Meh, can I have another snack?" Which was pretty much Livy's thoughts on this whole trip :) 



We then rode Seven Dwarves Mine Train, which Ella HATED - even though she was tall enough, it was definitely more than she could handle at 4. She legitimately said, "I don't think we should have come here mom," after riding it. I almost died laughing, she was so adorably distraught. So we followed it up with the Tea Cups & all was better! 




We rode Peter Pan's Flight, Winnie the Pooh's Honey Pots, & then headed to our lunch reservation at Be Our Guest. I have to say that this was one of the best meals we had in the park. Everyone loved what they ate & the castle is very beautiful! 

After we ate lunch, we headed back to Riverside to swim & take naps. We did this every day & it was the best decision we could have made. The kids would have been done by 3 if we didn't take them back to cool down & rest each day. 

After our break, we changed into non-sweaty clothes & headed back to the park! 



We did a bunch of rides in Adventureland & Frontierland. Ella's favorite was the Magic Carpets! Then we had dinner at Pecos Bill's, which has a pretty awesome (and large) chicken taco salad. 



After dinner my sister & Matt headed back to the hotel while the rest of us found our seats for the Electric Parade! Ella REALLY loved this parade & was totally into it. I'm so glad we ended up seeing it twice on our trip because it was just announced last week that it is being retired! 


This was Eric's favorite float & this pic is from his SnapChat to his friends
telling them how cool this parade was. Some boys never grow up :) 

After the parade my mom & I headed to get some treats at The Main Street Confectionary. If you don't know, that is a rice krispie treat covered in chocolate and M&M's. It also happens to be my favorite treat at Disney! 



And that was Day 2! It was definitely one of our longest ones, but Ella loved it so much that I didn't mind in the least! 

And if you missed it...



Friday, August 12, 2016

Disney Vacation - Day 1

It has taken me a full week to recover, but we're back from Disney & I'm happy to report that we had an amazing time! This upcoming week will be all about our trip, so prepare yourself for some serious princess overload!
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Our trip started VERY early on Saturday morning. Eric & I got up at 4 am, then woke the girls at 4:25. We were in the car & on our way to the airport at 4:45. At this point, all Ella knew is that Grammy & Gramps called & we needed to go meet them. She was too tired to ask questions...

When we got to the airport, she was excited, but a little confused. We just kept telling her that we were going to meet Grammy & Gramps. It helped that Aunt Britt & Uncle Matt showed up with the same story as us too.


We flew Southwest & I am ever so grateful for their family boarding policy! We got seats in a row of three (Livy sat on our laps), and my sister & Matt were able to sit in a row of two right behind us. 


The flight felt long, but that was mainly because we had to keep switching out activities every 10 minutes. I had thought Ella would watch shows the way she does on car trips, but with me at her side, she expected to be entertained. Thankfully it was a non-stop & only a smidge over two hours. 


Now, once we arrived in Orlando, we got off the plane to find my parents waiting for us at our gate! Ella was SO excited to see them & ran right over. I gave her a wrapped gift & told her it was one last birthday surprise. When she opened it, it was her Magic Band! We then explained to her what it was & that we were in Florida to go to Disney World. Her reaction was priceless. The poor thing was in shock at first, but once it sank in she was pumped! 


We made our way through the airport to board the Magical Express & were on our way to our hotel - Port Orleans Riverside. Our rooms weren't ready yet, so we ate lunch, stowed some luggage, and then zipped off to Epcot! 


The first character that we found was Alice! I'm super sad that this photo is so blurry, but apparently I sweat sunscreen all over my lens. #ew It was definitely the hottest day & there was no shade during this wait. Thankfully, the rest of my photos turned out really good! Ella absolutely loved meeting all of the princesses, but was NOT having anything to do with characters in costume like Mickey or Goofy.


We met Belle in France, who told Ella how she loved her glasses.


Anna was my favorite princess all week. She was so bubbly & kind to Ella. They chatted for a few minutes & Ella just loved her! I absolutely loved the Summer House that they are hosted in because a) it's air conditioned & b) the theming is fantastic. There are adorable photos of them as children with their parents, as well as photos of them with Olaf, Kristof & Sven. It also smells faintly like chocolate in there.


I couldn't resist hopping in with Ella & meeting our idol Elsa. Let It Go is our go to car karaoke song! 

That night we had dinner at Via Napoli in Italy and it was delish! My mom & I shared a pitcher of white sangria and the whole group of us took down massive amounts of truly authentic pizza. We had to work hard to get those reservations, so I'm glad it was worth it! 

We finished off our evening by riding the Test Track & Soarin'. Ella was just tall enough to ride Soarin' & she says she loved it... but when Eric & I invited her to ride it with us (because we were doing rider switch) she declined. The new Soarin' Around the World is pretty impressive & I personally loved it. 

We got back to Port Orleans around 7:45 & had all of our unpacking to do - so it was kind of a late night for the adults. But the kids slept soundly & we were up bright & early the next morning for Magic Kingdom! 
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