A Necessary Change

For the first time, I am feeling it.

Last week I finally hit the point where I felt like social media was weighing me down more than lifting me up. I’ve done a good job at only following accounts that make me feel good and I’ve always tried to be aware of my time spent on my phone verses the time I’ve spent with my kids/family.

But last week I felt like even though all the content on my phone was good, I wasn’t feeling good. I wasn’t giving my kids all the attention I should be. I wasn’t giving Craig and the attention I should be. Same with my house, dogs, work, etc. Then, when Collin Kartchner passed away (ugh), it made me reevaluate my relationship with my phone even more and made me see even clearer that I needed to reprioritize things in my life.

The time I was spending on my phone/social media wasn’t bad or excessive, but I realized that it was more time than I should be spending at this time. I was giving a little too much energy to the apps and a little less to my kids – and it felt as wrong as it sounds. So I did some pondering. Social media really is a source of joy for me. I really do like it and it is a good outlet for me. I’m definitely not giving up social media – no way. I’ll still be on daily and posting often, but I’m going to be a lot more mindful of the time I spend on it, scrolling mindlessly, etc. I’m going to be more intentional with my time and I’m excited! But the fact is, as much joy and as many highs as I can get through my phone and computer screen is absolutely nothing compared to the joy, the highs and the happiness I get from my real life and my family – and its time I give that more of my energy, again.

Magical Monday: Disneyland’s Updates/Buena Vista Street Opening

Alright. I’m tackling it. Here are my abbreviated thoughts and feelings on the ‘openings’ at Disneyland Resort.

Lets start with the very basics in case you aren’t aware. Disneyland is closed due to COVID-19. It has been since March. Downtown Disney opened back up to the public in early July, but Disneyland and California Adventure remain closed. The governor of California has frequently made it sound like big updates would be coming for the opening of Disneyland Resort, but ultimately, not a whole lot has happened to progress the situation (in my opinion). Not very long ago, the Governor announced that Disneyland Resort could not fully open until California had reached Tier 4 (yellow/minimal) and it would run at a limited capacity of 25%. It has been said, “No indoor queuing is allowed for any attraction or ride. For indoor attractions and rides, develop an outdoor queuing system prior to entry into the attractions indoor operation.” So really, realistically, Disneyland won’t be able to reopen for months. Until that area can reach a minimal risk level, things won’t be happening. Who knows how long this will take. Who knows how long it’ll take for COVID to be as under control as the Governor would like in order to open theme parks. Its frustrating and a little infuriating if you ask me. Thats the basic gist of things.

So now onto even more recent things.

Maybe you’ve heard, maybe you haven’t, but the newest news at Disneyland is that Buena Vista Street is going to open! Downtown Disney District is going to extend to Buena Vista Street, which is inside California Adventure (think Disneyland’s Main Street). Though this doesn’t open up any attractions or anything, it does open up a few new opportunities for Disney-goers! The thing I’m most excited about is the opening of Elias & Co. Thats their biggest, main store in DCA. Having it open is really, really awesome. On top of the great shopping that will now be opened up, there will be food options, too!! Carthay Circle and Smokejumpers Grill offer places to sit down and dine, while plenty of other treat options will tempt you (you should give in) as well.

Its probably important to note that Buena Vista Street is the only thing that will be open in DCA, because remember, technically California Adventure is still closed. We are lucky to have this little piece of it opened back up. Its a little bit more of the magic to grasp.

I think this is great news. Its a step in the right direction, for sure. Also, the thought of walking inside DCA gives me chills, especially since its been so long since the park has been open. I can’t help but hope that Disneyland’s Main Street won’t be too far behind in opening up to the public. A girl can dream, right?

So what are your thoughts on this? Good? Bad? Too soon? Not soon enough? This is a judgement free zone, I’m just genuinely curious what your thoughts are!! Also, if you’re out of state like me, does having Buena Vista Street and Downtown Disney District open make you think you’ll plan a trip there just for those things?

Lets chat about it!!

I hope your week is magic!

Mom

Yesterday was my moms birthday. She is all things wonderful, amazing, good, happy, peaceful and magic. She is the best of the best. I try so dang hard to emulate all that she is. Did you know I’ve never been embarrassed of my mom? Never. She’s always been my best friend and I’ve always been proud of that. I always wonder HOW she somehow managed to have that same relationship with all of her kids. We are all so close to her and tell her our deep secrets that I don’t know if its super common for kids to tell their mom. My mom knows everything about me and I know that all those things I tell her and pieces of me are safe with her. She has always been a safe space for me. She listens, understands and doesn’t make anyone feel bad for feeling or thinking what they do. She understands everyone is different. She doesn’t try to change people to fit her liking – she likes them for who they are. She is patient. She is the perfect balance of mom and friend.

I want to be her when it comes to mom. I hope and pray my kids love and adore and trust me in the ways that my sisters and I do with her. I want to be the kind of mom she is so I can have the same phenomenal relationship with my kids that she has with us.

She is the grandest. I adore her. I love her and I am so proud to be her oldest daughter.

Love you mom. Happy Birthday (yesterday)!

Big News!!

Eeeeeeee!!!! I am so happy to be able to finally announce this! We moved!! We are in a different home!

It’s so crazy. Honestly, a few months ago if you would have asked us if we had moving on our radar, you would have for a big ol’ NOPE for us! We planned on staying in our home for several more years. We knew how we could make it work and we felt good about it. But then an opportunity came up with the new house. It was an opportunity that truly, we would have been absolutely idiotic to have turned down. We didn’t make the decision quickly, and we discussed the heck out of the pros and cons. We came to realize that both options were right. Staying in our old home would have been fine. So would moving to a new house. So ultimately we just had to just decide which was more right.

We knew we’d be silly not to do it. So we did. We chose to move. This new home has so much more room. It is a good home in a good area. We feel good about our decision. It’s exciting!

We are still in the phase of trying to get used to it all. Quite honestly, it feels like it happened really fast. So now that we are in our new home and slowly making it our own and personalizing it, it’s all starting to really set it.

We feel really fortunate. We feel blessed and excited. Our kids (and dogs) have transitioned into the new home really well and things are going great. Now if only I could figure out how to decorate my new living room!!

I’ll be sharing more about the house and some of the projects we are tackling as we go. Thanks for following along! I really do appreciate you being here.

Magical Monday is BACK

I’ve been really missing the days of frequently posting about Disney. Its such a big part of me and neglecting it here on my blog was making me sad. Couple that with the fact that Disneyland is STILL closed… I just needed some Disney magic. So I’m bringing Magical Monday’s back. What will the topics be? I don’t know, but I can guarantee you they’ll be Disney centered! We’ll jump all over the place from Disney Parks, movies, fun facts, creators, etc. I just know I want Disney back on my blog weekly.

Today I’m keeping it simple with a throwback.

If you’ve been following me for any period of time, you know that around this time every year, we go to Disneyland for the Halloween Party (and because Disney at Halloween Time will forever be my very favorite). This year, tragically we are not there. This was going to be the trip that was Flora’s first time! I had so much excitement for our October trip. But… Well, you know the story. #COVID. I’m just hoping that we can get Flora into Disneyland in the next couple of months. We all miss it and Flora need to experience the magic!

A year ago today, we were there and my TimeHop has been showing me some really, really magical content. Its wonderful but is also shattering my heart. Disney Blues are REAL, folks.

But without further ado, lets look back on a few pictures from last year. Then after that, maybe we should go turn on YouTube and watch walk-throughs of Mickey’s Halloween Party, what do you say?

I hope your day is magical. Lets all try and make it a good one!

Roasted Veggies + Balsamic Glaze

Yoooooooou guys. I made up a recipe (loosely inspired by a few side dishes I’d seen on Pinterest) and I am very pleased with myself. It’s a yummy, easy side dish that I think is perfect for Fall!

ROASTED VEGGIES + BALSAMIC GLAZE

Ingredients

  • 3 large carrots, sliced
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • a couple bunches of broccoli
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinager
  • 2tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 tbs agave
  • 1tbs lemon juice

Directions

  • Set oven to 400
  • Wash and prepare vegetables. Cut into desired sizes
  • Put veggies in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, add salt and pepper to taste and mix.
  • Line a sheet pan with foil and spread veggies evenly on pan. Cook on 400 for 20 minutes.
  • In a small to medium saucepan, add balsamic vinegar, olive oil, vegetable stock, agave and lemon juice. Heat on low/medium heat.
  • When veggies are done, dump into a serving bowl and add the saucepan mixture.
  • Coat well.
  • Enjoy (best served nice and hot!)

If you guys try this let me know!! I thought it was delicious!

Happy cooking!

Taking Care of MOM

You hear it all the time as a mother. “You need to take care of yourself.” But that can be so hard sometimes. Its something you just don’t totally get until you’re actually in it. I know its so incredibly important to take time out for me. I’m a better mom and wife when I make sure I’m taking care of myself and doing things for myself.

Sometimes it can be hard to figure out just what to do, though. What can you, as not only a mom, but a human being, do for yourself to rejuvenate yourself, refresh yourself and keep the relationship with yourself alive and healthy? I’m going to give you a few of my go-to self care things and some of my fantasy ones as well to hopefully inspire you to do something for yourself!!

Ideas to Take Care of Yourself

  • Take a bath. Not one to wash your hair, shave your legs and ponder the meaning of life. A bath to sit in hot water with a sparkly bath bomb, snacks, a Diet Coke and either a podcast on or something on YouTube. Lose yourself in the moment full of things you love and a whole lot of mindlessness.
  • Go get your nails done. Pick a color that makes you happy. Rock it.
  • Set aside time for yourself to read a book, a magazine, a blog or something of that nature. If reading isn’t your thing, I personally love to listen to a podcast while browsing instagram — or pictures of my kids haha.
  • Exercise. My personal faves are yoga or running. Or heck, try a new workout! Maybe you’ll find something you love and it could become your new outlet.
  • Take a nap. I know some people don’t identify as a ‘nap person,’ but I certainly am and I’m fairly certain that naps can solve lots of problems.
  • Go grab a soda. Going on a ride, listening to music or a podcast and getting a delicious Diet Coke? Sign. me. up. Sounds like a dream come true if you ask me.
  • Call your mom or a trusted family member or friend. Talk to the people who don’t live in your home and just chat. They should be some people that make you feel good.
  • Ice Cream and a show. One of my favorite things to do in the evening is to sit on the couch, watch tv, eat ice cream and play around on my computer. Sometimes I work on blog posts or sometimes I lose myself on Pinterest. Either way I feel awesome.

Those are only a few ideas, but they’re some of my tried and true ones. What are your go-to’s?!

Just remember. You’re amazing and you absolutely deserve time to yourself. You are just as important as your children and your husband. Don’t forget that!

How It All Began

I’ve been getting a few requests to include more Disney back into my blog (and instagram), and believe me – I want to! I plan to! But if we are being totally honest, I’ve just not really had the time recently to dedicate myself to the blogging world and to dive into a topic (disney) that I’m so passionate about and want to talk about in the best way that I can. Does that make sense? However, I won’t be this busy forever. So I promise you that Disney content will come – it just may take a little patience on your part. If you have any specific things about Disney you’d like to hear about, learn more about, etc, PLEASE let me know! I want to make you all happy when you’re spending your precious time on my little page, so just know that much like Mickey Mouse, I am all ears and I will bring you the content you want and deserve!

In the meantime, I thought I’d start with my Disney Story. Being a massive Disney fanatic, I get asked quite often where my obsession began.

Would it be so cliche and silly if I told you in began in the womb? ‘Cause it did!

I was born to a mom who really loved Disney. She grew up going often with her family (some of my favorite Disney pictures are the ones of her and her sister in the Disney Parks when they were younger) and she took that love and made it even bigger. She not only loved it, but dove in and learned so much about it and just made it her lifestyle. My dad (just like Craig when I married him) rolled with it. He recognized it as something my mom loved so he made it something he loved, as well.

We grew up visiting Disneyland and Disney World frequently. I was an only child for eight years, and honestly some of my greatest memories of my time as an only child are from visiting Disney. Then my sisters were born and the trips only got better. Some of my favorite family memories were made within the Disney properties and I don’t care how dorky this sounds, I’m eternally grateful for Walt Disney for creating these magical places so I could live out such wonderful, magical and amazing experiences with my loved ones.

The first time we brought Craig along on one of our Disneyland trips was exhilarating – and quite a test for him haha. We were still only dating and I was curious to see how he’d hang with us. He knew it was my favorite place and a giant piece of my life, so he fully embraced it. It was on that trip I feel like he really started to delve into the lifestyle and appreciate it in a way he’d never thought of before.

Being able to take Harrison and Emmett into the parks (can’t wait until we take Flora girl!) has been the cherry on top of this whole Disney thing. Seeing the magic through the eyes of your children, no matter their age, is beautiful. Truly exquisite. There was this one time that Harrison and Mickey shared a hug for well over a minute and that changed my world. Seeing Emmett excitedly point at each and every thing he saw as we walked down Main Street when he was around one is still one of the most tender memories. As they’re getting older and able to retain some Disney memories of their own, I try so hard to make sure they don’t forget these things. We talk about the park often. We talk about our favorite rides, listen to the music from the park and attractions and study maps frequently. And lets not forget all the Disney Park content on YouTube that we binge watch.

I’m so grateful I was born to a woman who had Disney in her veins and magically passed it on to me (and my other sisters)! Disney has shaped me in so many ways. Its kept me positive. Its given me magic. Its directed my life in many ways. It is 100% one of the most important and special things in my life. I can’t even imagine not being a Disney fanatic – and its all thanks to my amazing mama.

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Are you a Disney fan? Want to share how your Disney Story began? I’d like to start a series here on my blog where I share a short interview with people who also identify as Disney Fans! If this sounds interesting to you – comment, email me, contact me on social media, whatever and give me your email and I’ll send you over the little Disney questionnaire and in return I’ll let you know when you’ll be featured on my blog!! You can be featured with your name, or anonymously. I just want to share even more Disney on this page!!

A Few Weeks In…

We have been doing home school for a few weeks now and…its going so well! I’m so pleasantly surprised! I was worried, to be honest. I was worried I’d get frazzled while making lesson plans and kind of quit trying as hard as I knew I could. I was worried the boys wouldn’t take class time as seriously as I wished they would. I was worried Flora would make teaching her big brothers nearly impossible. But all of my worries are no longer worries because we are just getting really into the swing of things and its all going so awesome. I have a flow I’m loving and the boys eagerly look forward to preschool.

They’re the cutest. When we are in our classroom, they both call me ‘teacher.’ They raise their hands. They pay attention and they actually try hard. I’m adoring this.

Now lets just hope it continues going this well the rest of the year!

Speech

This year Harrison is starting his third year on his Speech Therapy journey. I cannot express enough just how truly grateful I am for this program. Like, for real. When Harrison started speech when he was 2, he didn’t speak. He didn’t even open his mouth! He would communicate through grunts and the occasional little sound, but that was it. I was so stressed out during those months. I was worried that I wasn’t doing something right and that I’d never figure out the right way to help my sweet boy communicate with people.

But then we took a leap and got him evaluated and sure enough, and very unsurprisingly, learned he had a speech delay. Immediately we got him into therapy. From the ages two to three, a speech pathologist came to our home to work with him and he improved leaps and bounds. Years later I still get emotional about it because it was absolutely miraculous.

Once he turned three we got him into speech classes through the school district which have continued to greatly help him. This will be his final year in these particular class before he starts Kindergarten next year (gulp) and its making me feel all sentimental and just so, so, so thankful. I am very proud of Harrison. He has done amazing things. He can do anything he puts his mind to. I’m forever in awe of him and his abilities.

This year definitely looks different with face masks and face shields, but nonetheless, we are going to keep on going. Harrison is going to keep on working and making us so beyond proud.