Birthdays!

These two beautiful people had birthdays last week!! Our Flora girl is two (how?) and Craig is thirty-something 🙂 I’m so grateful for both of them. I can’t think of two better people who are more deserving of wonderful lives!!

Your Little One CAN Go to Disneyland Resort! (updated)

Last time I’ve posted the list of things your little ones can do in Disneyland Resort was back in 2016! And guess what? Quite a bit has changed in the park since 2016, and seeing as people ask me actually quite a bit what I suggest doing with toddlers and babies in Disney, I think its about time I update this post so when I send it off to inquiring minds, its up to date!

Let me start with this, 100% I believe that Disneyland is for ALL ages. Even teeny tiny. I live in Utah so I, unfortunately, can’t get to DLR quite as frequently as I’d like to, but we still go often. The earliest I’ve taken a baby to Disney was when my second child was two months old. If all goes according to plan, we’ll be going when Baby Brother is even younger. Its still magical. Even with teeny tiny people. So if you’re asking me for my opinion on if its worth taking your littles to Disney, my answer will ALWAYS be YES.

So lets get into this, shall we?

WHAT YOUR LITTLE ONE CAN DO IN DISNEYLAND RESORT:

DISNEYLAND:

MAIN STREET USA

  • Disneyland Railroad: This train takes you around the whole park with plenty to look at. Its a great attraction to sit and relax for a while and eat a snack. If you’re a nursing mama, this is a great spot to nurse!
  • Main Street Vehicles: These are the cars or horse-drawn street cars and carriages you see going up and down Main Street. Its another fun way to get off your feet and see Main Street in a different way. Little ones love this, and being pulled by a horse is always particularly exciting! You can also learn your horses name, which hangs in the carriage it pulls.

TOMORROWLAND

  • Astro Orbiter: This is basically the Dumbo ride, but in a rocket. To little ones, its exhilarating and exciting.
  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters: A fun ride with bright, glowing colors and fun sounds. Weather your little one can shoot the blaster or not, its a fun one for them. They also tend to enjoy controlling the direction your vehicle turns.
  • Monorail: There are stops for the monorail in a few spots in DLR, but we’ll cover it here. Its cool, out of the sun, another great nursing spot and little ones looking out the window at a unique aerial view of Disney.
  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage: This is a long, unique ride. You board a submarine, take your seat and peer out your own personal window at Nemo’s world under the sea. Its a lot of fun and there is so much to look at.

FANTASYLAND

  • Alice in Wonderland: A bright, exciting ride that takes you through Alice’s story. Its both indoors and outdoors and you get to ride in a cute, colorful caterpillar.
  • Casey Jr. Circus Train: An outdoor ride with sights and sounds galore. All the cars are different and provide a slightly different riding experience. Our personal favorites are the cage-like cars.
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant: Everyone knows this one, right? Its iconic and something so many people associate with Disney, so little ones get so excited about it. You ride in Dumbo and fly around in circles. Your little one will adore it.
  • Small World: If I could only recommend one ride for you and your little one to enjoy while at Disney, this would be it. Its a fairly long ride, its bright and colorful, its happy and the song is fun (right?!).
  • King Arthurs Carousel: Its your typical carousel on brightly colored horses with great music and sights. My kids always gravitate toward this ride.
  • Mad Tea Party: The teacups always spin, but if you don’t manually spin them, they don’t go nearly as fast which can make for a fun and more tame ride for your little partner.
  • Mr. Toads Wild Ride: A short little indoor ride in a cute little car with a wheel to steer and plenty to look at.
  • Peter Pans Flight: Another classic much like Dumbo. You ride in a pirate ship suspended in the air and fly over London and Neverland. If you ask me, its a must do.
  • Pinnochio’s Daring Journey: A ride very comparable to Mr. Toads – a fun one.
  • Snow White’s Enchanted Wish: This ride has been updated from Snow White’s Scary Adventure and is much more child-friendly now. Again, similar to Mr. Toad and Pinnochio. Even better things to look at.
  • Storybook Land Canal Boats: You ride an adorable boat while a Cast Member gives you a magical guided tour around Storybook Land where you’ll see Princess castles, Monstro the whale and lots more.

TOONTOWN

  • Gadgets Go-Coaster: A children’s rollercoaster thats a lot of fun – there is still a heigh requirement here, 35 inches, its just a lot shorter than the usual rollercoasters.
  • Rodger Rabbits Car Toon Spin: A ride through Rodger Rabbits story – and your car spins!
  • You can meet Mickey and many of his friends in Toontown, too, as well as tour the Fab 5’s houses.

FRONTIERLAND

  • Mark Twain Riverboat: Its the huge white boat out in Rivers of America. Its a fun ride to sit and snack, nurse or sight-see and people watch.

CRITTER COUNTRY

  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: Board a beehive and ride through the Hundred Acre Woods to go on an adventure with Pooh Bear and all his friends.

NEW ORLEANS SQUARE

  • Haunted Mansion: This gets a wrap for being a scary ride. Smaller babies don’t seem to care that its ‘scary’ and its possible your LO will be a little frightened, but I know from experience that you can talk your child through it and help them realize its only pretend scary. Try and give it a shot if your little buddy will let you.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: There are two smallish drops on this ride, but considering a teeny tiny baby could still ride this, that tells you its not too dramatic. This is another that may seem a little scary, but is likely more exciting and has lots to look at.

ADVENTURELAND:

  • Enchanted Tiki Room: This is a show where you get to sit and listen to the birdies sing, chant and thoroughly entertain you. Its bright, loud and lots of fun. Another good spot to nurse.
  • Jungle Cruise: A cruise through the jungle with a  hilarious Skipper and lots of animals (and the backside of water!) to look at. Super exciting for a little one!

CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE:

  • Little Mermaid’s Undersea Adventure: One of my personal favorites. You ride in a big sea shell and basically go through the movie, Little Mermaid. It is bright with so much to look at and there are songs throughout the whole ride.
  • Red Car Trolley: This is the Trolley that rides on tracks around Buena Vista Street. Its a fun way to sit and let your little one look around.
  • Disney Junior – Live on Stage: Ok, its not a ride but I had to mention this one. Its a bunch of the Disney Junior shows on stage! If you have little ones (especially ones who love Disney Junior) then this is an absolute must.
  • Monsters Inc. Mike and Sulley to the Rescue: A fun ride through Monstroplois. Its short, air-conditioned and bright. The outside of this ride is an awesome photo op too, by the way.
  • Golden Zephyr: Soar around in a spaceship! Its fun, spins and is something a little different for the kids.
  • Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind: Do you remember Flik’s Flyers in Bugs Land? This is it! No really. Its the same ride, just repurposed. Ride in a cute Inside Out themed bucket around and around.
  • Jessie’s Critter Carousel: Quite possibly the cutest carousel ever. Woody’s Roundup animals are all together for you to ride on in the most adorably themed carousel.
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic: A fun 3D show featuring Donald Duck popping in and out of different Disney movies.
  • Toy Story Midway Mania: Ok, admittedly this rides a little rough for some little ones. There is some fast and jolty spinning, but I’ve taken small babies on this and its been just fine. Lots to look at – and its indoors.
  • Pixar Pal Around: A big, fun ferris wheel! You have the option of a swinging gondola or a non-swinging one. It gives a great view of California Adventure and for me, its an excellent time to breast feed (and sometimes not have to fully cover up!)
  • WEB Slingers: I. Love. This. Ride. So. Much. I love that all ages can enjoy it. Go on an adventure with Spider-Man, himself, and help him destroy the rampant Spider-Bots by slinging your very own webs! Seriously, the greatest.

So there you have it, friends! An updated list just proving there is so much for little ones to do in Disneyland Resort! And these are only the attractions – there is still so much more! Parades! Fireworks! Shops! Shows! The list could go on..

I hope this is helpful! You’re all amazing and lovely and magical!

Lately..

Hi, friends!

Gosh its been forever. But the break has been good. Pregnancy really kicks my booty. I’m still feeling so nauseous and throw up frequently and though some energy has come back, I definitely don’t have it all yet (will I ever?) and also chasing around three energetic little kids…oh boy. Its all a lot. I’m not complaining though! This is all I’ve ever wanted. I love my people and in the long run, I know that I’ll miss this pregnancy someday and I mean, nine months isn’t thaaaaaat long (but it does feel like eternities when you’re in it).

We are so happy to have peeks of warmer weather lately. Its like pool season is just around the corner and I can’t wait! This is truly one of the most beautiful times of the year and I love being able to experience it all with my kids and taking them out to explore it all. We’re currently in the middle of Spring Break where we decided to stay home but do something fun each day (so far its consisted of the zoo and the dinosaur museum) and its been a blast!

I’m sure hoping to be here more often. But ultimately I’m a mom and my kids, husband and my health take the front seat – so sometimes that means the blog is put on hold for a while. But at least right now, I just feel ready! Sooooo hopefully see you again soon!!

SURPRISE!

TA-DA!!

We have been keeping an exciting little secret for the last several weeks and I’m overjoyed to be able to share this news with you!! A sweet little baby will be joining our family later this year! Our fourth baby! I’m feeling so, so grateful. This is my second rainbow baby, and this little one has already calmed, healed and helped my heart in so, so many ways.

I think the best part of all of this is just how excited my boys are for this baby. They’ve known for a few weeks now (and have done a great job at keeping it secret) and are so beyond excited. Its precious! It gets me all teary-eyed just thinking about the great love they already have for this little one.

As far as myself, I’ve been feeling very…well, pregnant. I’m sick and throwing up way more than I care to admit. I’m super weak and get dizzy pretty easy. I have no motivation. Like, maybe lately its kinda-sorta trying to come back for a few minutes at a time, but for the most part, my energy is at a big ol’ 0. BUT its hard to complain when I know I’m getting the great honor of having another sweet baby.

Its an exciting time, friends!! Thanks for being here for it all!

The Slow, Happy Start to 2022

Oh, hey! Its been a while, hasn’t it? I’m not going to lie, I just haven’t been in the headspace lately to really keep up on my blog. Even Instagram, which I really love, hasn’t been my favorite for the last couple of months. Just sometimes things come easy and sometimes things don’t, you know? So I decided not to force anything. If I felt inspired to blog, I was going to – but clearly, it never happened.

BUT I’m starting to feel the itch to do this all actively again. Its exciting! I’m glad I gave myself the break. It felt good and it felt right. Now it feels good and right to be back.

2022 has started off really slowly for me. I was comparing the beginning of this year to the beginning of 2021 for me, and wow it has been different. In 2021 I started off strong and so determined to put my health first. I was a powerhouse. I was crushing goals. I was feeling so ambitious and motivated. It was awesome. For 2022, I made the decision not to set a whole lot of goals/resolutions at the beginning of the year. I’m not sure why exactly, because its so unlike me, but again, it just felt right in the time. I just decided to focus on my family, myself and putting service at the forefront of our minds. Its been nice. I’ve felt a lot less pressure. I’ve figured out how to be grateful for each small moment. I’ve learned that I have accomplishments all the time, they’re just small. Accomplishments don’t have to be massive and monumental. Its been really good for me.

My family and I have had a really good year so far. Admittedly, I think we are all looking forward to warmer weather a bit, but even still, life is good (and the snow is so stinkin’ pretty). I’m not entirely sure what this year will look like. Like I’ve said, for the first time in a long time, I don’t have these milestones I’m working towards. I’m just taking every day in stride and enjoying it all.

Life is good. I am happy. I hope you, my friends, are as well!

New Year Hot Take

I’m doing something so out of the ordinary for me this new year. Part of me honestly hates it, but even more of me thinks that it’ll feel really good. So I’m doing it for me! What is this ‘thing,’ you ask? New Years Resolutions. I’m not doing any this year.

The goals I have this year are the same goals I’ve had for myself the last several years as a human/wife/mother. But I’m not really setting any specific 2022 goals. I just want to focus on being a good person and making good choices. I want to keep working on my word of the year and focus on serving others. I just want to focus on the good things I’ve got going instead of having a list of things to work on, thus making me feel like I’m not ‘perfect’ yet (don’t worry – I know perfect is unattainable, I just couldn’t think of a better word). I’m going to give myself grace, patience and love. I’m going to encourage myself to be a good, motivated person that works towards my dreams, takes care of myself and my family and just feels good about what’s happening around me in my corner of the world.

So I guess my resolution this year is to not have and focus on them.

Word of 2022

One of my favorite things to do at the beginning of each year is to assign my year a word. In the past I’ve had words like, ‘Home’ and ‘Secure.’ Every word I’ve picked has been something that I’m really proud of and a word I’ve really worked on getting better at/cultivating/etc. I put a lot of thought into my words and don’t take them lightly throughout the year.

In the later part of 2021 I started thinking about what my new word would be. Around this same time I started to really get the pull and strong urges that I need to be more giving and serve more. I felt like I have worked so hard on myself in 2021 and now in 2022 I need to look toward others and be a help and a better friend. We also have a quote that sits on our mantle that has really resonate with me in the past year that says, “Search Inward, Reach Outward, Look Heavenward” (Thomas S. Monson) Between the urges I’ve had to serve more, and this quote that I can’t quit reading and saying in my head, my word came to me pretty easily.

My word for 2022 is

In 2022, I am going to look outward and be better at serving and showing my love for those around me. I don’t have a huge plan for this word yet. In all honesty, I plan to just listen to my gut and let it and the spirit guide me to whoever I need to help. I plan to really help my kids catch the bug to look outward as well and hope I can inspire them to serve and love openly as well.

I’m really excited for this word and for the possibilities of places it will take our family. I feel so good and eager for this and plan to bring you guys along on our OUTWARD journey throughout the year as well, so stay tuned!!

If you’ve picked a word for the year, I would LOVE to hear it!! Let me know!

Love you all. I hope your New Year is lovely and I hope you know you’ve got a friend in me.

Thanks, 2021

Say what you want to about 2021 (I mean come on, we all know there’s a lot to say), but I’m just going to bid adieu to the year by saying this:

I’M GRATEFUL

A lot was good this year. A lot was hard. There were mundane days, special days and every kind of day in between. I had some of my hardest moments and some thrilling ones. But all in all, as I reflect on it… my heart can’t help but swell with gratitude for another happy year lived.

So thanks, 2021. It was real.

Bye-Bye, November!

November 2021 was a whirlwind.

I feel like I just got done with a marathon I didn’t even sign up for. There was a lot of good, a lot of frustrating, a lot of happy, a lot of bummers. I mean, that’s like every month, right? But this particular month just felt…more.

All five of us got covid and it was spread out between us just enough that it felt like we were in quarantine for years. We had two birthdays, both in quarantine, and I felt sad they couldn’t have the big family parties they’d planned, but luckily these birthday boys are resilient and find the goodness in everything, so they had a wonderful time nonetheless. Also, I still can’t even believe that my boys are six and four now!! We did a lot of reorganizing. We got out all of our Christmas stuff, and thats a lot of stuff and is a whole ordeal. My Christmas shopping is allllllllllmost done. I’ve had tremendous amounts of mom guilt. I’ve ate a tremendous amount of junk food and the gym has become a distant memory for me.

Like I said, it was a whirlwind.

But OHHHHHHH I am excited for December. The traditions. The smells. My birthday. The snow. The lights. The outfits. The jammies. The glitter. The family time. The excitement that hangs in the air. The service. The true meaning of Christmas. The closeness.

I’ve got high hopes.

The Month C*vid Got Us

Holy crap, you guys.

November did NOT start the way we assumed it would. Were we expecting anything big or special during the beginning of the month? No. But were we expecting what we did get? Also no.

On the third, Craig left to work, normal as ever. The day went on as usual, then when he got home around five, he looked and felt…not great. As he listed off the symptoms he had I grew more and more suspicious that he had Covid, because every symptom he had sounded like symptoms we always hear about in the media. Plus, that night I had commitments, we had appointments coming up and both boys were in school. We needed to know if we had someone who’d tested positive in our house so we didn’t go off and contaminate more people. So I made Craig test and wouldn’t you know it – positive. So then I had the boys and me test as well, honestly expecting them all to be negative.

Emmett and I were negative. But poor Harrison was positive, too. Telling Harrison he had to quarantine and couldn’t go to school for ten days was one of the harder things I’ve ever had to tell that sweet, school-loving, social boy. It was rough. That night he sat in my lap and cried (pictured below) and just told me how upset he was. Ugh.

But we made it work, and to the best of my abilities, I made life fun stuck at home. Craig got thrown into our extra bedroom/office and his parents brought him over a blowup mattress and there he stayed for 10 days – though it felt an awful lot like 10 years. We have two couches in our living room, I dubbed one the ‘Covid Couch,’ and the other the safe couch. Harrison stayed on his covid couch while Emmett, Flora and I occupied the other. Honestly, keeping a five year-old away from his little siblings/best friends is HARD and at times felt 100% impossible. But I did the best I could.

A few days later we noticed Emmett had a fever and right around that time, Flora had also become so mellow and needy. So, because why not, the three of us tested again. Again, I was negative, but this time Emmett and Flora were positive. So 4/5 out of us. Great. Awesome.

Speaking of ‘impossible to quarantine,’ did you know it, in fact, IS impossible to keep a mom quarantined from her three young children when their dad is isolated in a different area of the house? I couldn’t keep my distance from them, so basically I just hoped my vaccine would keep working its booty off and keeping me negative.

Thankfully, besides Craig, no one got sick-sick. Harrison never had symptoms. Emmett and Flora both had fevers on and off and were a little on the sleepier side, but that was it. All in all, we can’t really complain about that.

It didn’t surprise me then, when a few days later I tested out of curiosity and got a positive sign. I mean, I was trapped in a house with four positive people – three of which were my children under 5 who needed me. So was I shocked? No. But was I bummed? Yes. I really thought I was going to make it out of this without a positive sign. As for me, I still have a couple days left, and have been basically unscathed. I’m a little more tired than usual and occasionally have a mild sore throat. Not bad at all.

We have made this fun as we could. We set up some of our Christmas stuff, we’ve played, we’ve had some great chats. We made it ok.

Everyone is able to go back out in to the world now except for me. The boys were SO excited to go back too school. Craig was happy to leave the house for work. And I can’t wait to do the same in a few more days!!