Thursday, December 6, 2012

Disney Trip {Part 3}

For the last part of our trip we wanted to visit Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Universal Studios. I will be honest, we did not love Animal Kingdom. I had high hopes because we love our zoo here but there weren't really any animals out {maybe because it was so stinking hot?}. It was also so crowded and we didn't find many toddler-friendly things to do. Something else random, but a lot of the areas had little solid fences around them so Landon couldn't see anything from his stroller. Kind of poor park planning I think. :(

We only stayed for a few hours. They did have a fun little petting zoo area where we all got to brush a goat. That cracked me up! And the highlight for Joe was seeing into the veterinary operating room where he said the anesthesia machines are just like the ones in the ORs he works in! That made me laugh so hard! I think this is where they operate on/examine Disney animals and they let people watch when they're running a case.
That same day we headed to Hollywood Studios {the re-named MGM park}. I love this park because I love old time Hollywood but they also had some things for Landon too so that was nice!! We of course had to see the Beauty and the Beast stage show. Loved that!
And my favorite thing was eating at the Sci-Fi Drive-In Diner. You sit in an old fashioned car while you eat. They also had a Little Mermaid show and a Muppets 3D show that were big hits!
The last few days we went to Universal Studios and finished with Magic Kingdom {of course!}. Universal Studios was awesome because they had a huge Dr. Seuss area! We spent hours there! And I really selfishly wanted to go so I could see the Harry Potter area. It was really small but love love loved it. And yes I had some Butterbeer. Okay, I had three glasses. And a Pumpkin Juice. And I got a Pumpkin Juice to bring home. And I know you're judging me but 'when at Hogwarts' in my opinion!!! :)
This is such a random little side note but I want to document it for my memory.. :) We went to Downtown Disney one night and in one of the souvenir shops they had a Mr. Potato Head to buy and huge towers of all kinds of Disney themed attachments for it. I about died! Landon loves it and has spent hours playing with it since we got home! It was seriously the best thing we bought on the trip {besides the Butterbeer. And Dole Whips...} because it's something that kids can interact with that still has a Disney touch to it. And Landon said "eyes" for the first time playing with it. :) 
We had such a great time! I can't wait to start planning our next trip! We want to try to go every year and make a little family tradition of it! We are so lucky because Joe's parents have a timeshare that they book us for free that's one mile from Disney. So that makes it (relatively) affordable!

So magical :)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Disney Trip {Part 2}

While we were in Florida we wanted to be sure to visit the beach. We live about as far away from the beach you can get here in Kansas - we knew we better make the most of it - hah! We went back and forth on which beach to visit {Atlantic coast or Gulf coast} but we ended up going to Cocoa Beach on the Atlantic side. I had been there before but didn't remember it and Joe had never been!

I did not have big expectations for Landon to have fun. I was SO wrong. He LOVED the beach and it makes me even more sad that we don't live closer to one! The water was too cold to play in but he loved chasing the birds and picking up shells. There were no crowds at all so we just let him run and play and we chased after him. :)

Such great memories!! Next time I will share about Hollywood Studios and Universal Studios!! :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Disney Trip {Part 1}

I am so eager to post about our Disney trip but there are so many pictures and things I want to remember that it's overwhelming and I've been avoiding sitting down to sort through it all! We had so much fun! I had so many people tell me that Landon was too young {at 16 months} to take to Disney but I totally disagree and I think he was the perfect age for a first visit!

We flew out on a Monday and back the following Monday. I was the MOST anxious about the plane ride. I knew that once we got to Florida we could be flexible in terms of picking activities that Landon was interested in, but there's no exit strategy for the plane. I spent a lot of time on Pinterest and brainstorming ideas and activities to keep him entertained. We did not buy him his own plane ticket because I thought that may make him more eager to get down and want to run around. We packed an entire backpack of supplies and small toys that were new and interesting to him. We ended up not needing any of it!! He slept almost the entire flight for all four legs of the trip! He had so much fun looking out the window at the baggage vehicles moving around that we were able to keep him still for the boarding and then for each flight I was able to hold him and he easily fell asleep. So awesome!

We landed early on Monday so we decided to visit Epcot first because I knew that wouldn't be a park we'd want to visit for a full day. I actually loved Epcot! The last time I was at Disney World I was 16 and didn't enjoy Epcot at all. I just wanted to ride roller coasters! This time I loved walking through the worlds and tasting foods from all over. We ended up getting fish & chips in "England" and sitting in the little garden there and people watching for a long time. It reminded me so much of London. Love!!
At one point we were wandering around and we happened to see that ALL of the Disney characters were having a meet and greet! We didn't even have our SLR camera on us since we had just landed off the plane but we waited for only 10 minutes and met Mickey! Landon was really excited until we actually got up to Mickey and then he panicked a little. But it was so neat! And I could not have planned a better start to the trip! I think Epcot must be a good place to meet the characters because we saw much longer lines at Magic Kingdom all three days we were there.
On Tuesday we got up early and went straight to Magic Kingdom! I was SO excited driving up! When we walked down Main Street USA for the first time I got teary because I loved showing Disney to Landon for the first time. It is so magical and at 29 I still believe in the magic there!! Main Street USA is my favorite part of Magic Kingdom! You have the best view of the castle and the sidewalk singers are out and everything is patriotic and old fashioned. I love it so much!
 Magic Kingdom is so toddler friendly! Landon was able to ride so many of the rides like the Tea Cups, Dumbo, It's a Small World, Peter Pan, the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and the Carousel of Progress. There may have been more but that's off the top of my head! The best thing we did was get Fast Passes for the rides and come back during our allotted time so there was no wait. We learned that waiting in line with a small toddler was really the most challenging part of visiting the parks.
riding It's A Small World

Landon napped in his stroller and we would either walk around or sit and take a break and people watch. That part was so easy! We did go home for naps one day and then came back in the afternoon and that worked great too.
My most favorite part was just watching Landon point to things and get excited about running around and exploring the park. We tried to let him walk as much as possible when it wasn't too crowded. I know he didn't really know who the characters were but there's still so much he looked at and loved :)
on Tom Sawyer island

It was SO hot, even being the end of October. I think we will try to go back next year in early December when it's quite a bit cooler and I've also never seen Disney at Christmas :) We spend A LOT of time at the Tiki hut getting Dole pineapple ice cream and Dole Whips. Dole Whips are my favorite thing to eat at Magic Kingdom. I think I had seven across the week! Hah!
We had the best time! Next time I will share about going to Universal Studios, Hollywood Studios and the beach for the first time! :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Updates and Big News!

I haven't been on the blogging block for a while now and boy has a lot happened in the last couple of months! I'm going to start blogging more frequently because this is my personal journal and I know I'll miss not capturing our lives when I'm looking back in a few years! And I've missed y'all! Are you still out there!? :)

For the big news {no I am not pregnant!} - Joe officially accepted a job in September! He will finish residency at the end of June and his offer is two-fold. We will move to Little Rock, Arkansas {gulp} in June for a one year fellowship and then we will permanently move to Kansas City the following June. We are sort of going to be gypsies for the next year and a half! His fellowship will be in Pediatric Anesthesiology for Arkansas Children's Hospital. I have never been to Little Rock! I think Arkansas is beautiful but I am so nervous about leaving and starting fresh somewhere. And selling our house and finding a new place to live and finding someone to cut my hair. You know, the important things! This is such a good opportunity for Joe and I think it's going to be an adventure for our little family. So I'm 99% excited and 1% scared! Hah!

We went to Disney World about a month ago and I CAN'T wait to show you the pictures. I loved it so much and there is seriously nothing like taking your own baby to Disney for the first time. It was magical!!

I turned 29 two days ago! I had such a good birthday and I'm so lucky to have had so many girlfriends plan fun things to do with me (and Joe too!)!! I can remember a few years ago I really prayed and prayed because I really wanted to meet some new friends and get close with more girls in my life. That can be so hard at this age because I felt like everyone had kind of established their permanent friendships and having moved for residency and not working in town made it even harder. Anyway, all that to say that I have been so blessed to have so many good girlfriends to celebrate with this year!

So there, you're all caught up now!

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


I'm not sure if you noticed, but there is a new little ticker in my sidebar ---> :)
We are going to Disney next month!

I have been in full preperation and research mode! I found out that you can get a set of free customized maps for all the Disney parks from here. I went though and had it highlight all the rides and activities that we could do with a 1.5 year old. We got them in the mail today and they are really nice quality! I think they will make a great little souvenir for Landon's memory box when we are finished with them.

I also ordered him a couple personalized shirts from Etsy. I think they turned out so cute!
I actually stumbled upon a bunch of women's Disney shirts at Wal-mart for $5! I was going to get a "family" set of custom shirts like the one above but Joe nixed that idea. Hah!!

To make the set complete I also got a pair of personalized mouse ears. Every kid needs mouse ears! I love these and I'm going to keep them on the hutch in his room after we get back. Plus, they have a chin strap. Love that! :)

I can't wait!!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Brunch & Craft Playdate

On Monday I hosted a playdate for some of the other doctor's wives here in town. I love hanging out with them because they understand the long hours and other facets of the job (to do a fellowship or not?), most of them are away from their families too, and we just always seem to have a lot in common. And most of them have small children!!

I had everyone over for brunch and to do a little craft and then just play. This is the easiest brunch set up and I think it looks so much nicer than it should given the amount of time I spent getting it ready! I love easy with high impact!!
 The night before I just made three batches of muffins - they are store bought! I popped them in the oven over and over until they were done and while I was cleaning and getting everything else done. I got four kinds of fruit and cut them into bite sized pieces. I even used my heart cookie cutter to make heart shaped watermelon. It didn't take long at all and it looked so cute! I made a simple fruit dip to put with them. I had everything done and ready to go the night before except the ham and potato casserole. I call these "dump and bake" because there's no measuring required and I just mix everything right in the pan it bakes in! {recipe below} I think this recipe is probably awful for you but it's always a crowd pleaser like most fattening things! 
I used one of my chalkboard platters in an easel to show which muffin flavor was in each wrapper. 
I decided to do a hand-tracing craft, based on this picture I saw on Pinterest. I wanted something that didn't involve glue/glitter/small items because I didn't know if I had it in me to clean that kind of mess up from a lot of kids! Hah! I could never be a kindergarten teacher!
 I picked out some scrapbooking paper from Michael's and we let the kids trace their hand and then frame them in little frames I got from the Dollar Tree. Some kids even colored on theirs too. I thought they turned out so cute! I traced my hand and then layered Landon's hand over it and put it on the mantle.
I really love having people over and I especially love when I can do it without feeling like I have to spend hours cooking and cleaning and getting everything together!

Simple Fruit Dip:
1 regular jar of Marshmallow Fluff
1 regular box of cream cheese (at room temp)
Blend both ingredients together until smooth. Serve chilled.

Ham & Potato Casserole:
1 package frozen hash browns
1 2c package sharp cheddar, reserve some for topping
1/2 package diced ham
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 large container sour cream
1 stick butter, melted
Mix everything together in large baking dish coated with Pam. Add cheese to top. Bake @ 360 for 45-60 minutes.

Happy play-dating! :)


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