Thanksgiving in California

For Thanksgiving we went to California to visit Wild Man’s brother and wife in the San Francisco area and some of my mother in laws family in Modesto. We spent the week in California and it was such a fun week. I already miss the 24/7 family time (but nothing beats sleeping in your own bed amirite?)

San Francisco was amazing! The Golden Gate Bridge was my favorite. The size of that was incredible and seeing how high up off the water it was, was pretty overwhelming.

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We also explored Pacific Wharf for a while and a few of the other iconic tourist attractions. I don’t know what I was thinking but I hardly pulled my camera out so I don’t have as many pictures as I wish I did.

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When we were in Modesto for Thanksgiving we took H to a park at one point for a change of scenery and it was a big hit. The slide and swings were his favorite and nothing could beat the huge smile on his face!

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Spending all that time with family was incredible. I have so missed Wild Man’s brother and his wife so we were thrilled to spend time with them. We played games, watched funny shows/movies, caught up and the laughs were endless.

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I love this picture of his uncle giving him a little shoulder massage.

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Out shopping on Black Friday..

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xoxo

ceeceesparkles

First Birthday Party!

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On November 20th The Captain turned one and it was such a special day. Our sweet boy was surrounded by family and was reminded of just how loved he is. We were so happy to spend the day with those we love most who all gathered to celebrate our big one year old! We had a fun Mickey Mouse themed party that thrilled the birthday boy (he loves anything with Mickey on it) and made the day even better. We had spaghetti (H’s favorite) for dinner with salad, garlic bread and frog eye salad for dinner. The food was delicious and I’m thankful for my mom and mother in law who helped so much with the meal.

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I was hoping that H would get into the gift opening but he was only interested for a few presents then was more interested in crawling away or playing with wrapping paper. So a lot of it was forcing him to sit on my lap while I speed opened his gifts. Our cute little guy was so spoiled and despite the way he may have looked when some of the gifts were opened, he is really into everything he got. Anything that had Mickey on it or was any form of stuffed animal got a great reaction from him, especially.

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My little sister made a little ‘photo booth’ for me that we had everyone use and take a picture with the birthday boy and we took pictures with my Instax picture. I am so excited with how these pictures turned out! It is a fun way to remember such a great day.

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I was so, so excited when I had a client a few months ago tell me that he would love to bake  cake for H’s birthday party. He owns his own baking catering company and was more than happy to bring my cake vision to life with a great chocolate cake. He even added home made Italian vanilla ice cream! Wild Man and I were so grateful to him to take on this task. The cake was huge and turned out perfect and I’m sure it took so much time. What a great guy, right? Best of all, H loved it and it tasked divine. He also added the cute little yellow smiling candle because he said that every time he sees H, he makes him happy. It was such a sweet little addition.

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My other little sister is quite the baker herself and offered to make the smash cake. It was a cute, small Mickey shaped chocolate cake with blue frosting. It turned out perfect! Watching H explore this cake was really funny. At first he wanted nothing to do with it then little by little he started taking bigger bites until finally he was taking fist full of cake and shoving them in his mouth.

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And then he got real sick of the high chair and just wanted out…

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It was an amazing day! I am humbled by how much love my son has from his family and how cared for he is. I love my sweet baby and can’t believe he’s already one!!

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope your day is full of food, family and fun!

This past year I have been trying really hard to be extra mindful of the things I am thankful for. This is actually pretty easy to do when you have a wonderful husband and incredible one-year old (still shocked its been a year), but its been really eye opening for me. God is so good and has given me so, so much. Far more than I ever deserve. I am thankful for my family, I am thankful for the Gospel in my life, I am thankful for my house, I’m thankful for Wild Man’s job, I am thankful for my job, I am thankful for my families health and safety, I’m thankful for my friends, I’m thankful for the atonement, I’m thankful for Disney, I’m thankful for technology (most the time) and I am thankful for the people who take a few minutes to read my blog.

My heart is full and I am happy.

And by tonight I plan not only for my heart to be full of gratitude, but to have a belly full of turkey, potatoes and pie.

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

Its Supposed to Snow Soon..

A few days ago I was with my sister and The Captain and we were up near Wild Man’s work so we decided to pick up some lunch and take it to him and eat with him in the car. When we lived in our old house we were closer to his work so we were able to do this a lot more often, so I was excited this was going to work out.

Wild Man got in the car and suggested we go eat at a nearby park instead. It just made me laugh that we are in mid-November and are able to have an enjoyable picnic!! I love this Fall weather. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to the snow that I’m assuming will eventually make its debut…

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xoxo

ceeceesparkles

Magical Monday: So Many Disneyland Pictures and Stories

On October 19-22 we were in Disneyland and it was so magical and perfect and if we’re being honest I may be shedding a nostalgic tear or two because I miss it so much and there was no better feeling than seeing my son take in the entire vacation and just love it. Oh, Disneyland – thank you for truly being the happiest place on earth. I love you forever and always.

I was debating how I wanted to go about blogging about this trip. I’m going to do some how-to posts and some posts offering Disney advice and expertise, but for the first post I just wanted to sort of journal our experience. We took so many great pictures and we have so many happy stories that I just wanted to share. If this isn’t your jam I won’t be offended if you don’t read. Or if you just want to look at the pictures I get it. But if you care to get a little taste of the most magical week of my year (because this was by far my favorite Disneyland trip thus far) then keep on reading.

On our first day we had Mickey’s Halloween Party (i wrote a small post about what the party is here) and it was so much fun. I think I’ve kind of become the Scrooge of Halloween at home because I’m constantly comparing Halloween at home to Halloween at Disneyland – and it can’t be beat. It just can’t, guys. We went to Disneyland with my family and there were seven of us total, so we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be the Seven Dwarfs from Snow White. We all had our own character (wild man – grumpy, H – dopey, me – happy, my mom – bashful, my dad – doc, my sisters – sleepy and sneezy) and if I do say so myself, we looked awesome (thanks to my mom and sister for making the costumes) We had a lot of compliments on our costumes, we had complete strangers ask to take our pictures and whenever anyone saw The Captain dressed as Dopey they’d all melt and I sure can’t blame them. CUTEST Dopey ever ever ever.

Disneyland does not mess around with treats when you Trick-or-Treat. Each stop dumps handfuls of candy into your bag and there are tons of stops. Its a sugar-lovers paradise. During the Halloween Party there is a special parade and special firework show and also a special Cadaver Dans (Dapper Dans) show among other special things you can only see during the party. My favorite was the parade. We didn’t go to the Halloween party last year (i was giant pregnant) but the year before I wasn’t super impressed with the parade. It was really short and just underwhelming which really pains me to say, but its true. However this year was incredible! Disney went above and beyond. It was spooky, it was entertaining, it was exciting and it was perfect. I’ve watched it on YouTube approximately 1,000 times since returning home and I don’t regret a second of it.

H was awesome on this whole trip. He stuck to his sleep schedule really well and still napped good in the park. Some of my favorite pictures from the four days in Disneyland were the ones of him sleeping on someone in the family. I can only assume that he was having really magical dreams. He was so good and well-tempered. He was happy, he went with the flow, he pointed and squealed at everything and he genuinely enjoyed himself. I am so grateful for my sweet Disney-lovin’ baby boy! He’s a good boy and has set the bar pretty high for our future kids.

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On our second day my bangs were bad – so please disregard them.

Wild Man was really excited to take The Captain on Pirates of the Caribbean. Towards the beginning of the ride there are two drops in the dark. He did not like them! His little arms would spread out wide as he’d startle and he’d make this little whimper and then hold onto Wild Man’s arms tightly. It was sad he was scared but also totally sweet.

H also found a new found love for Carousels. We went on King Arthur’s Carousel in Disneyland and King Triton’s Carousel of the Sea and he was crazy for them. He loved holding onto the pole, patting the horse/sea creature he rode and you couldn’t wipe the big smile or look of complete curiosity and amusement off his face.

On this day we ate at Carnation Cafe (a restaurant on Main Street in DL) and my day was completely made because we were seated under the gazebo! It was so magical. On top of that the food was phenomenal – I highly recommend the chicken-fried chicken, fun fact it was Walt Disney’s favorite – and the Soundsational Parade went by while we ate our dessert and it was a great view. When H saw his BFF Mickey Mouse on top of a float he was so excited and stared at him for as long as he could. I bawled. It was a really perfect experience.

We found out H hates Toy Story Mania and also 3D glasses. However Wild Man and I killed it on that ride and both got our high scores!

Something else noteworthy was that my youngest sister rode Jingles on King Arthur’s Carousel. It was Walt’s wives favorite horse. To learn more, please go watch Saving Mr. Banks.

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We started our third morning off with breakfast with Minnie Mouse and some of her friends at Plaza Inn. Here we saw Minnie, Chip and Dale, Eeyore, Winnie the Pooh and Captain Hook. This was H’s first real encounter with characters and he did not disappoint. Oh my gosh! He was so in love with them because I’m pretty sure he viewed them as giant stuffed animals that moved (and gave him lots of kisses). He was flirting with Minnie, snuggling with Pooh and Eeyore and laughing with Chip and Dale and sleeping while Captain Hook stopped by our table. It was so much fun and there was so. much. magic!

Captain Hook tried to steal my wedding ring and seemed very disappointed that I was married. Sorry, Hook, shoulda found me sooner. Jk, I’d never marry Captain Hook because he actually secretly terrifies me.

I took a picture with Wild Man in front of Matterhorn this day because I had to give him a special shoutout. He was not particularly a Disney fan before he met me. I am so lucky to have married a guy who found out me and my family were insane Disney crazed humans and decided to embrace the lifestyle and take it head on. I can say with 100% certainty now that he too, is a crazy Disney guy.

We ate at Cove Bar in California Adventure and the food was delicious. I had the Cotton Candy Lemonade to drink and our table shared the lobster nachos and the steak nachos. So good and I so recommend this place.

Oh and you’ll see that giant Mickey Pumpkin a few pictures down. THAT IS CAKE! Its in the lobby of the Grand Californian and is a site to behold. Its so perfect – also where do I sign up to eat it all?

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Our last day was my favorite day I think. Wild Man, H and I wore our Haunted Mansion shirts and were looking pretty cute (if i do say so myself) and it was a really perfect day.

We rode Tower of Terror for the last time ever because unfortunately I don’t think we’ll be to Disneyland again before January 2nd when it closes to transform to Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout. That ride is so good. I’m still completely heartbroken that its closing down, so lets not talk about that. After dark Tower of Terror changes a bit and the entire ride is pitch dark…thats all I’m going to say because I’m not going to give away anything, but it was incredible! So clever. There was also a cute photo spot outside of Tower of Terror that we took advantage of, hence all the pictures of us outside of ToT.

Wild Man’s brother and his wife celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary in Disneyland and they were there the same time as us! They live in San Francisco and we miss them dearly so we knew we had to meet up with them. We all had lunch together at Cafe Orleans (POMMES FRITES!) and it was so fun! Too bad H was tired and really ready for a nap and pretty fussy during the whole meal. It was such good company and fun to get off our feet and socialize for a while all together.

We went to Pooh Corner to meet Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore and it was the best. We were there with my family and Wild Man’s brother and wife and there was just something about the experience that was perfect and so magical. My sister-in-law is a crazy Winnie the Pooh fan and H is recently a huge Pooh fan, too, so that probably had something to do with it. We got some really fun, happy pictures from it.

Wild Man and I rode Big Thunder Mountain with his brother and wife and we got stuck on the train for 20-ish minutes and were escorted off. Our train apparently didn’t hit its mark and stopped the whole ride so they shut it down. It was fun to sit and then be able to walk the track for a little while and we’d basically finished the ride by the time it shut down so we didn’t miss anything.

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Its always a bummer to be done with a Disneyland Vacation, but the memories we made will hopefully be enough to hold me over until next time!!

Congratulations to making it to the end of this post — if you did! haha

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

Happy Halloween! (kind of a Magical Monday too…sorta)

The day is finally here! I hope while you’re reading this you’re stuffing your face full of candy. We had our big Halloween Celebration earlier this month in Disneyland and attended Mickey’s Halloween Party, but of course we still are making today a happy (but not scary – i don’t do scary halloween) Halloween! Our costumes were part of a group costume with the rest of my family. There were seven of us total so naturally we had to be the 7 Dwarfs from Snow White. My mom goes all out on making costumes every year and she did an incredible job this year as usual. Although these costumes were a little simpler than her usual craftsmanship because she’d had a big surgery not too long before our trip, they still turned out perfect and we got tons of compliments in the park, lots of people took our pictures and we felt like the coolest people in Disneyland. You can bet we’ll feel that way tonight too when we trick-or-treat to a few houses – even if we will only be three of the seven dwarfs. (fyi: wild man is grumpy, h is dopey, i am happy — my dad was doc, my mom was bashful, one sister was sleepy and the other was sneezy)

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I hope your Halloween is great and I hope we all have a wonderful November! Its going to be a busy, exciting month for us!

xoxo

grumpy, dopey and happy

Pumpkin Painting

One of my favorite parts of October is the tradition my family has, which is painting pumpkins. Carving pumpkins is gross – just admit it. Painting them is much less gross, a bit less messy and they usually look pretty close to how you wanted them to. I will be a pumpkin painting advocate until the day I die.

This is H’s first October and I have been looking forward to him painting a pumpkin. He’s 11 months old and he liked this activity for maybe five minutes total, but it was just enough to make me feel happy about the ordeal. And he did a very nice job. However he definitely got more paint on the cardboard underneath him and on his own hands and belly.

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xoxo

ceeceesparkles