Diaries of a Notebook Addict

I have this problem.. When I see notebooks I have this strong urge to make them mine. I love holding a new notebook and flipping through the pages, deciding what I could fill the pages with. I used to give into these urges all the time. It got bad. I would have piles of notebooks, journals, planners and notepads just sitting there – waiting to be used. The only problem was I didn’t have a use for them. Over the years I’ve got better about not always giving into my notebook addiction, but you can bet you’ll still find me in those aisles at Target, longingly holding fresh notebooks, trying to decide if I could possibly have a use for the empty pages of these cute notebooks.

Because of this problem I have found …made up… many reasons to ‘need’ several notebooks in my life. Maybe you are like me and want lots of pretty notebooks and pages to fill in your life too! If thats the case, this post is for you. Here are all the different notebooks I currently have and what I use them for. But heres the deal — If I’m telling you about all my notebooks, I want to hear about all of yours! Maybe you’ve found a reason for a notebook that I haven’t yet and will most likely now ‘need’ too, you know? Thanks in advance.

My Planner. I would be lost without my planner so this one is actually a necessity. Mine is from In The Leafy Treetops and I highly recommend it. I’ve been repurchasing the same planner every year for three or four years now and I don’t see how I could ever possibly stray from this one. I love, love, love it.

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My Journal. I have kept a journal and write in it at least once a week (but usually more) since I was 8, I think. I feel better when I write so this has for so long been an outlet for me. Its been my own form of therapy and its been a way for me to unwind, vent, relax and let my mind go. Pro tip: Buy smaller journals so you fill them up quicker and have an excuse to buy a new journal sooner.

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My Gratitude Journal. I decided I wanted to keep a gratitude journal because I found a really cute notebook a long time ago and couldn’t come up with a need for it until I remembered someone telling me they kept a gratitude journal. So I decided I too would keep one. I’m actually really glad I do this. Its helped me focus on gratitude with more ease and has become something I look forward to doing daily.

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Our Family Calendar/Planner. Every Monday we sit down as a family and discuss our upcoming week. Any family plans or bigger individual plans go in the family calendar/planner. Its an easy way to check in with each others plans and to stay up to date on stuff coming up. Yeah, I totally could keep all this information in my own planner (oh wait, i do), but its fun to have another place to write stuff down.

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My Boys Journals. I had the idea about a year ago to keep journals for my boys as if they were writing them. I try to write in them once a week, but it happens a little less than that usually. I just talk about their current likes and dislikes, their stats, their funny little mannerisms and whats going on in their life. I’m hoping someday it’ll be something they look back on and read and are grateful I did it.

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My Scripture Study/Church Notebook. I like to take notes and jot things down when I’m reading the scriptures or a Conference talk. I do the same during Sacrament Meeting talks and Sunday School and Relief Society lessons.

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My Healthy Living Notebook. This is where I put my fitness and healthy lifestyle goals. I write down my goals or challenges and write down positive affirmations and words of motivation. This thing totally holds me accountable. I’m very motivated by being able to check off a box (not on a phone – like with a pen on a piece of paper), so I like to be able to check off that I did a workout or drank all my water that day.

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So what did I miss? What other notebook/journal items do I need??

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The Great Disney Stroller Debate

A lot of the time when people are asking me about advice on their upcoming Disney trip, they ask me what kind of stroller they should bring. Do you bring your big one you use at home that is significantly bigger? Or do you bring an umbrella stroller thats much smaller?

My vote?

The big stroller.

And heres my top five reasons why:

  • You really won’t move through crowds that much faster if you have a small stroller such as an umbrella stroller. I hate to break it to you, but if you have a stroller (of any size), you’re just not going to be zipping through the park as quickly as you would sans stroller. IMG_5508
  • The storage is beautiful. Our stroller has a big pouch in the bottom and we utilize that space so dang much on our Disney vacations. We stick our sweatshirts down there, souvenirs, bags, blankets, leftover food, water bottles, etc. You don’t get that luxury with a teeny stroller. IMG_1274.jpg
  • Your little one is more comfortable in a big stroller. I love that when my boys fall asleep, I can recline them a bit, or know they have a little more wiggle room so their sleep is a little deeper (and heavens knows that little ones need those naps while in Disneyland!). IMG_8596.jpg
  • The cupholder/top storage. Ok, this is just assuming your big stroller has a cupholder and a little extra space to store things up top. I’d lose my mind without that. Thats where we keep drinks (obvs), Fast Passes (when you still needed the paper ticket), easy-to-reach snacks, pins, cel phones, sunglasses, etc. Half the time what I wear to the parks don’t have pockets, so this is something especially important to me. IMG_5162.jpg
  • A bigger stroller often times can also become a double + stroller. Its so nice to have it all just in one spot. When everyones loaded, its great to have everything we need (mainly our children) right there in one stroller – one spot. I especially love our stroller because we have a little connector piece that we bought that a third child can stand on called a glider board! (H loves to switch from his seat to the glider).

I don’t know guys. If you ask me, you just can’t go wrong with a big ol’ stroller. You know what the say – go big or go home!

Also, if you’re interested in the stroller we have, you can find it here. I LOVE it. Yes, its a pretty penny, but its absolutely worth it.

63 Years of Disneyland

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Sixty-three years ago today, Disneyland opened its magical gates for the first time. If you ask me, that day changed the world. Can you even imagine a world without Disney magic? I’m so glad that Walt Disney stuck to his dream and didn’t let the naysayers convince him that he should give up on this big, magical idea.

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I’ve been a Disney-addict since birth (thanks, mom). I really, truly cannot imagine my life without the influence of Disney.

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A lot of times I get asked which I like more, Disneyland or Disney World and 95% of the time I respond with Disneyland. “Why? Disney World is bigger!” Yes, but Disneyland is Walt’s baby. Disneyland is what Walt Disney envisioned as he sat on a park bench and watched his daughters on a carousel. Disneyland is what Walt Disney saw when others only saw an orange grove. Disneyland is Walt Disney’s creation and though it is ever changing, there are still so, so many pieces of him in that magical park.

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I love Disneyland because it really is a getaway unlike any other. When you enter its gates, you leave the world behind as you enter a new, magical world of fantasy. Its a place to temporarily forget about the worldly things and let yourself have fun and immerse in the magic. Its  place to get closer to family and an incredible place to make memories you’ll remember throughout your whole life.

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Seeing the magic through my own kids eyes has been a new way for me to experience Disney recently and its better than I could have ever imagined it to be. Walt Disney is right, its a place for children of all ages! Barely born to 110 years old, its for everyone. There is something there for everyone.

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Happy Birthday, Disneyland. Thank you for the endless magic. Thank you for being my happy place and my safe haven. Thank you for being my lifestyle. Thank you for the countless memories and for the memories I haven’t yet made within your walls. Thanks to my friend (yes, i do consider us friends, thank you very much), Walt Disney for dreaming this land up and for making it a reality and a place for the world to enjoy.

Gosh, I just really love Disneyland.

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“To all who come to this happy place, welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.” -Walt Disney

June GBOMB

June was great. It was relaxing, but still full of fun Summer activities. There were birthdays, lots and lots of time spent in the pool, late nights, baby milestones and awesome new memories made. I’m hoping July can be pretty similar because if all summer was like this month – our summer will be near perfect.

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GOOD

  • We finally got to meet our new niece and she is everything perfect, beautiful and angelic. She also made me insanely baby hungry.
  • E started crawling!! My baby is getting bigger and bigger so fast! Its bittersweet, but more than anything its super exciting.
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  • We have spent so, so much time in my parents pool. H will spend hours upon hours in there and it makes him sleep so good at night! E is actually really fond of the pool as well! I’m so glad we have access to our own clean, heated pool.
  • Our last day of our last Disneyland trip was in June – so of course I have to mention that. We already miss it and our next trip can’t come quick enough!
  • Not to toot my own horn but I have been killing my workouts lately. I’m proud of myself and I don’t feel too awkward about saying that. I am putting in the work, I am getting sweaty and I’ve just finally started to see some small results!
  • Our family friend gave us a fancy little leash that she said helped her lab who is about the same age as our Penny on walks. We were eager to also try it and — it is MAGIC. I don’t even know how it works or why, but I don’t care. What matters is that she walks so freaking much better now and I love, love, love it.
  • Wild Man had his birthday in June. He is so stinkin’ humble and doesn’t want to have any hubbub dealing with him — so I love his birthday because its a day/week that he gets the attention that he very rightfully deserves. That man is a good one and he deserves lots of spoils and recognition.
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  • H took his first round of swimming lessons the end of June and he loved it and did so good! He’s still so young so he didn’t advance on levels or anything, and isn’t swimming laps, but he is getting more familiar with the water and learning it can be dangerous (he has literally no fear of the water and it terrifies me). His teacher was great, H looked forward to this every day and we are so excited for the next session to start!

BAD

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  • Now that E is down on the floor and moving around at an ever increasing speed, I’m having to be much more cautious of whats on the floor and it turns out we produce a lot of crumbs!! Also, I’m learning H is not a fan of sharing. E is sneaky and will grab a bunch of the things that H is playing with and he does not like that. I can’t tell you how many times a day I hear H scream, “No! Em! No!” We are working on it and he is getting better, but its a daily battle.
  • I think my eye prescription has changed again. All the sudden I’m squinting a lot more and things are blurry. I’m so blind already and I’m only 27. Will I be legally blind by the time I’m 30? Maybe.
  • I got an epic sunburn. Is it possible to be a person thats immune to sunscreen? I don’t understand how I keep getting so fried.
  • For the last two summers I’ve been good about getting a group of friends and their kids together weekly at my parents pool and I have been a huge slacker on that this year. I’ve had individual little swim dates with friends, but I haven’t planned a big get together yet and it makes me sad. Hopefully in July that will change, because these pool dates end up being some of my very favorite summer memories each year.
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ON MY BRAIN

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  • Potty training. Its been on my brain all month. It makes me excited and makes me frustrated. I feel like one day its working and we are nailing it and other days I wonder why the heck I’m putting us through the misery. H is awesome though and is generally doing a great job. I just really wish we could figure out this whole pooping in the toilet thing. That would be incredible.
  • I didn’t do my May GBOMB and its been bugging me all of June. At this point, I’m just not going to do it and hopefully will forget about it soon.
  • I’m finding myself back on the I-Want-Bangs bandwagon. Ugh. I got bangs about two years ago and they were cute and much more manageable than I thought they’d be. But I let them grow out and now here I am wishing for them again. But do I do it? My hairs definitely easier to do without bangs…but they’re cute! Ugh. Someone make my life decisions for me.
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  • For about two months now I have had some weird wrist pain in my left wrist. It hurts to have any pressure on it (which is making my yoga practices HARD) but when I’m not putting any kind of weight on it, it feels fine. I’m debating if I need to see a doctor or do I just wait it out? I’m usually very on the side of wait it out, but its lasted so long!
  • While we are talking about seeing doctors.. I want to go to the dermatologist. As I mentioned earlier, I got a terrible sunburn and sometimes I get incredibly paranoid that I’m doing something damaging to my skin when that happens. It really wouldn’t kill me to get a screening anyway.
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Dad

I’m so grateful for my sweet dad. If you know him, you love him. He is friendly, happy and such a humble, generous person. He has a unique and hilarious sense of humor that he’s passed on to me and my sisters. He has great dad jokes. He is an encourager and will back his family up on their dreams and helps make them come true in any way he can. He is concerned about the happiness of those around him. He is a hard worker and successful businessman. He is kind and dedicated. He listens well. He has a laugh that is the funniest sound and without a doubt makes the rest of our family laugh along with him.

He loves baseball, like a lot. He loves Disney and especially the family time that happens there. He loves donuts. He loves watching comedians and videos/memes of people getting hurt in comical ways. He has an amazing collection of Disney button-up shirts and wears them proudly. He loves his grandsons tremendously. He loves babies and they love him right back. He is a believer in naps. He loves taking pictures. He loves the gospel and his daily life is proof of that. He likes to read and I swear he knows a little something about everything (don’t even try to challenge this man in any kind of trivia game, trust me).

Most girls claim they have the best dad ever, and I believe that for me, he is the best dad ever. He’s involved, supportive, understanding, patient and caring. He is one of my dearest friends and I love him very much.

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Happy Fathers Day, dad!!

Happy Birthday Wild Man!

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One of my favorite qualities about Craig is his ability to make people smile. It doesn’t matter if its a close friend or a random stranger, Craig leaves them happier than they were before. There is something calming and secure about him and it blesses everyone around him. He is a giver, the best listener and absolutely hilarious.

I have always been very aware of how lucky I am to be his wife. He is very a involved and helpful husband (fun fact: Craig doesn’t get the infamous man cold and I super love that about him) and he truly makes me feel so special, important and valued. He also has taken my Disney lifestyle by the horns and its one of the best things about him.

He is a hands-on dad who changes diapers, puts laundry away and is 100% involved and aware of his sons. He knows how important his role as a father is and he respects it and loves it. He is the greatest example I could ever want for our kids.

Happy Birthday Craig! I love you to infinity and beyond.

Another Trip to Disneyland!

Last week I took my boys and together with my mom, the four of us went to Disneyland. It was exhausting, magical, exciting and tiring all at the same time – and it was very special and different. Leaving behind my family and Wild Man was weird, and they were all very missed, but we still had an amazing time. We decided to go at H’s speed. We did what he wanted, when he wanted to. We were pretty slow moving and sort of all over the place, but it was perfect for H. E was just happy to tag along and take in all the sights and sounds – seriously he was an angel baby, an absolute dream.

This trip was saying goodbye to A Bugs Land and hello to Pixar Fest. Bugs Land closes sometime in late summer and we aren’t 100% sure we’ll be back by then, so just in case I made sure we spent some quality time with our bug friends so if that was our last time I can rest assured that we gave it a good farewell. My mom had already seen Pixar Fest, but I hadn’t yet and I was especially excited about seeing all the Pixar themed goodness in both Disneyland and California Adventure and lets not forget all the special food! It was incredible. I’m actually planning on doing a couple posts with a little more detail about Pixar Fest in the future, so if you care, keep an eye out for those.

Some of my highlights from this magical getaway were:

  • Fantasmic, as usual. I will never tire of that show. Seeing it through H’s eyes has made it even more incredible and adds a whole new layer of magic.
  • The Pixar Play Parade in Disneyland was great. I loved the added floats. Its a water parade now and shoots water kind of unexpectedly throughout the parade. Unfortunately the first float to go by drenched my mom and E and he was heartbroken about it – but thankfully he’s a happy kid and perked back up fairly quickly and went back to enjoying the show.
  • H in the Disney Junior Show was the best. He is turning out to be a very shy little guy, but you can tell he so, so wants to be brave. In this show there is a lot of dancing and moving encouraged by little ones. I really didn’t think H would participate and would just hide in my lap but he totally got involved and danced his little heart out, pulling moves out I’ve never seen before! #magic We also got to sit in VIP seating!
  • We had a lot of awesome Cast Member interactions this trip. When a Cast Member makes my children feel special, there is nothing else like it.
  • H was map obsessed. He memorized where most his favorite rides were and he learned so many new words from the map that he’ll actually use frequently now! I should have known that Disneyland Resort would be a great form of speech therapy!
  • My boys were great. There were so many opportunities for them to be difficult, but they were phenomenal and I’m so proud of them. They make my heart happy.

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