Self Respect Journey

You are kind. You are smart. You are a friend. You are worth it.

I tell my kids this at least once every day. I don’t miss a day saying this because I want my children to remember this. They are young and likely aren’t comprehending what I’m saying yet, but I believe that the more they hear it, the more it will become a part of them. I want them to always love and respect themselves. I want them to believe in themselves. I want them to have confidence in themselves and in turn, I want them to make other people feel good about themselves. I want them to have the ability and the knowledge that they can change their little corner of the world by being a good person. I know there will be days when confidence and self-respect isn’t the easiest thing for them, but I hope they have the tools to combat those negative feelings and I hope they know they can turn to their parents and siblings for a boost in the way they are feeling and the way they are viewing themselves.

As I was thinking about all these things I want for my kids, the thought popped into my head that kids learn by example and they copy what they see. I need to practice what I’m preaching to my babies. I need to be kind. I need to believe I am smart. I need to be a friend. I need to believe I am worth it. This kind of sent me spiraling into this idea that I need to start on a self-respect, self-love journey that my mind, body and soul desperately, desperately are in need of.

And I am so excited.

I’ve been doing some planning and have set up some goals for myself. I’m going to finish the year out strong so in 2019 I can begin the year feeling confident, refreshed, capable and have the self-love and respect for myself that I deserve, want and need. Its also going to focus on serving others and being kind to others, which I feel like is an awesome way to kick off the holiday season!

If this sounds like something you’d like to do with me, join me! I’ll post my ‘schedule’ below – you can switch it up to better cater to you, but I think this would be a fun little journey to go on together during the remainder of the year!

The Weekly Goals

Week 1 Nov. 18-24: Focusing on body love – verbally telling myself things about my body I am grateful for. Doing yoga twice a day, focusing on love and appreciation for my body. I am perfect the way I am right now – I am beautiful the way I am right now. 

Week 2 Nov. 25-Dec. 1: Every day write down 5 good things about my character (no repeats)! Read the list throughout the day and believe those words. At least 10 minutes of quiet  meditation a day (whether that be yoga, laying in bed, sitting in the spare bedroom in the basement, in the bathtub, etc). 

Week 3 Dec. 2-8: Be extra friendly and give service. Every day do something/say something kind to someone else (outside of immediate family) – do this however you think would work best for you and others (in person, on social media, a letter, treats delivered, etc). Be mindful of how many times I say sorry and stop apologizing for my actions that don’t need an apology. For example, sometimes before I start talking or make a comment on something, I’ll start with, ‘sorry,’ or if I feel like I’m in someones way I’ll apologize. I’ll apologize for the way I look, sound, act, etc. Don’t feel embarrassed to have an opinion or to want to speak up or say something. Not all of this needs an apology! I can exist without having to feel like I’m bothering people! 

Week 4 Dec. 9-15: Learn something new each day. Whatever you want to learn about, do it. Want to know more about history? Read about it! Want to learn about constellations? Study them! Want to learn how to paint your nails better? Watch some tutorials. Want to learn how to clean the tile on your kitchen floor? Learn that! Just expand your knowledge every day with something new. Then tell someone what you’ve learned! Don’t feel embarrassed – be proud!

Week 5 Dec. 16-22: Every day write down 50 things you’re grateful for. Yep, 50. They can repeat, just really focus on what you’re thankful for that day. Express your gratitude to the people around you, to yourself and even to objects (haha – you don’t have to, but I’m going to!!) Donate! Find things you can donate to the people around you in need – that can be to people effected by the fires in CA, people who don’t have enough money to have Christmas gifts, people who can’t afford a yummy Christmas meal, etc. Donate and help peoples burdens feel lighter. 

Week 6 Dec. 23-31: Learn more about the Savior. Study the birth of Christ in the scriptures as well as His life. Every day focus on an attribute that Christ has that you want to apply to your life. Strive to be more like Him. Fight the negative thoughts that come to your mind – whether they be about yourself, others, the current situation, etc – and actively replace them with happy thoughts. 

I am so excited to do this. I really am! I have high hopes for this challenge and I’m hoping it really resets my mind. I hope it makes me happier, more positive, more confident and respectful of myself and of others. I believe that if I really do this I will come out a much kinder, happier and content person – and I don’t know about you but that sounds like a dream come true to me!

Holidays in Disneyland!

They’re here!

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taken from the Disneyland website

The holidays are officially at Disneyland!

The holidays in Disneyland are as magical as you’d imagine it to be. There is extra magic in the air. The Festival of the Holidays goes from November 9th to January 8th.

Some holiday fun happening in the park during the holidays are:

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

It’s a Small World Holiday

Festival of Holidays (in DCA)

Mater’s Jingle Jamboree (DCA)

Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl (DCA)

Haunted Mansion Holiday (is still going)

Believe in Holiday Magic fireworks

Holiday Time at Disneyland Tour

Don’t forget all the amazing holiday themed food and the incredible decorations and overlays!

Happy Holidays!

Mickey’s Halloween Party 2018

On October 19th it was finally our time to get down to Mickey’s Halloween Party this year. I plan to do a post at some point about the whole trip, but before Halloween happens then passes us by, I wanted to make sure I got a post up about our spooky, fun evening celebrating Halloween in Disneyland!

Lets start with costumes. For Halloween this year, we dressed up as some of the characters from Ratatouille. I was Colette, Wild Man was Linguini, H was Remy and E was Emile. If you ask me, it turned out great! It always feels good when you walk the park and get countless comments of admiration from people. (oh also, H had just woken up – very unhappily – from a nap when a lot of these pictures were taken)

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My mom and dad dressed up as Steam Boat Willie and Black and White Minnie. One of my sisters was Kuzco from Emperors New Groove and the other was Bo Peep from Toy Story (we found Woody and he loved her).

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The Cadaver Dans (regularly the Dapper Dans) perform out on Rivers of America during Mickey’s Halloween Party and its always one of my highlights of the party.

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The decorations and spooky effects, as usual were incredible. There is something extra magical about the park during the halloween party. Its amazing what Disney can do to the park. Ugh, I love it.

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The Trick-or-Treating was fun, but H got tired of it kind of fast so we didn’t hit all the different spots (ok by me) and instead we got in a bunch more rides! We still ended up with tons of candy too, so it was a win-win.

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Then there was the parade and firework show, also special to Mickey’s Halloween Party. The parade is my very favorite. The fireworks are also incredible. Its totally worth it to sit around for a while to claim a good spot for both of these events because you’re not going to see them anywhere else but during this party!

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It was a frightfully fun evening. I’m so glad we have this tradition of going to Disneyland Resort during Halloween time. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it a million times more, the best time to go to Disneyland Resort is during Halloween.

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MOM

Happy Birthday to the mom of all moms! I love you lots!!

  • My mom is my best friend and she always has been. I never went through the phase of thinking my mom was the worst or so embarrassing. We have always been very close.
  • She is the reason I’m the Disney-crazed human that I am. She may be the biggest Disney fan I know.
  • She is super Grammy. I knew she’d be a wonderful grandma but she exceeded all expectations I had of her. She loves my kids so much and that is a really awesome feeling.
  • She is humble. I’ve always admired that and always tried to be like her in that way.
  • She makes everyone feel good about themselves. She uplifts and raises spirits easily.
  • My mom is hilarious. Some of the greatest laughs I’ve ever experienced in my life come from laughing at/with her.
  • She leads by example. She’s never been one to yell the rules at me and my sisters, but she always taught us the rules through her actions (does that make sense?) and I feel like it was really affective and powerful.
  • She is the most supportive mom. I could go on for hours with examples. I always think about high school and how she always supported what I wanted to do, who I wanted to be, etc. She let me make mistakes and helped me learn from them. She never made me do it her way, she let me learn for myself. I didn’t realize how much I appreciated that until recently.
  • My momma is a smarty-pants. Things just stick with her naturally. You know, thats how my dad is too — really wishing those genes would have been passed along to me!
  • She genuinely cares for others. She’s kind and compassionate.
  • She loves the gospel and she’s dedicated to it.
  • She is one of those naturally crafty, artsy, DIY people. Everything she touches turns to gold basically. She always makes the cutest stuff and does so quickly and makes it look so easy. She’s very impressive.
  • She is one of the most selfless people I’ve ever met.
  • She listens. She keeps secrets. She’s understanding. She remembers things. She makes me feel heard.
  • She has way too many great qualities to list in one blog post. I’ll end here, but just know – my mom is amazing. I hope you all have someone in your life like her.

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Happy Birthday, mom! I love you!

What You Shouldn’t Miss at Disneyland Resort During Halloween

If you didn’t know already, let me fill you in real quick – I am obsessed with Disneyland, especially Disneyland during Halloween time. The season started on September 7th and goes until October 31st, so you still have time to go see Disneyland Resort during its very best time of year.

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We go a lot during the year, but we always make sure we go during Halloween Time for sure. Seriously, its the best. I wouldn’t lie to you. Because I’m getting antsy waiting for our trip to Disneyland coming up and its still just the beginning of the season, I wanted to share with you my five can’t miss list of things you have to do/see while you’re in Disneyland Resort for Halloween.

Mickey’s Halloween Party – Just so you know, Mickey’s Halloween Party is a separate ticket event. Meaning you have to buy another ticket for this party. Yes, its an added expense, but its worth every buck. When you attend Mickey’s Halloween Party you get to dress up in your Halloween Costume (all ages can do this! – but its not required, if thats not your cup of tea), and you can trick-or-treat around the park! Oh, and they do not skimp on the candy (but there are also some healthier options). There is also a special parade for Halloween which is…I don’t even know the appropriate words to describe this parade. Its phenomenal. I highly, highly recommend you watch it if you choose to go to the Party. There is also a special firework show! There are extra characters out and about in their adorable Halloween costumes, lots of villains, fun photo backdrops and ops all over.

Typically this party happens in Disneyland in the evening. Disneyland closes for everyone else and just people with tickets to this event are allowed in Disneyland. As for everyone else, they get to go hang out in California Adventure!

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Photo Ops – The photo ops aren’t just during Mickey’s Halloween Party. There are also so, so many cute holiday-themed spots to take your picture throughout both parks and Downtown Disney that aren’t special for the Halloween Party. My favorites are the giant pumpkin at the top of Main Street, all of Cars Land with their Haul-O-Ween overlay and the outside of Haunted Mansion, which is Haunted Mansion Holiday during September through December, which brings me to the next can’t miss thing…

Haunted Mansion Holiday – Through the Halloween and Christmas Seasons in Disneyland, Jack Skellington from Nightmare Before Christmas takes over Haunted Mansion, making it Haunted Mansion Holiday and its so much fun! The original Haunted Mansion is my very favorite attraction in Disneyland, but I’m ok with it not being its original spookiness for a few months because when Jack takes over, he does a great job! Its a perfect mix of Halloween and Christmas and its something that just can’t be missed.

All the Food – Meals, snacks and treats at Disneyland are undoubtably some of my favorite things about Disneyland Resort, and Disney really ups their game when it comes to holiday food. I’m contemplating doing a separate post all about the treats in Disneyland Resort during Halloween because they are phenomenal. They taste great and look magical.

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Cars Land/Haul-O-Ween – I still can’t get over how incredible the Cars Land overlay is. Haul-O-Ween in Radiator Screams is everything we never knew we needed. The attention to detail is ridiculous. You could spend hours in this land just oogling over all the decor. Lightning McQueen and some of his friends even come out to visit for pictures and are dressed up in their own Halloween costumes! Make sure you also check Radiator Screams out at night. The lighting is so cool. Lets face it, everything about Cars Land is cool at all times of the year, but especially September and October.

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The Halloween Time @ DLR Pump Up Post

Just in case you needed it, here is a post to get you pumped up for Halloween Time starting at Disneyland Resort! (disclaimer: a good chunk of these pictures are from Cars Land because I still can’t get over how awesome the overlay is there)

Halloween Season officially begins in Disneyland Resort today, September 7th, though decor, etc has been popping up for the last couple weeks. How excited are you? On a scale from 1-10, I’m definitely at a solid 100. I’ve said it a million times and I’ll say it again, Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort is the very best time to go to that magical park. I promise.

I’ve gathered several of my favorite Halloween Disneyland pictures for this post to get you all excited for your upcoming trip, or give you some motivation to get there. Or, if you can’t make it, then hopefully this can help fill that Disney void for you!

*Most of these are taken by my dad – he does such a good job.

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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

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!!

Halloween at Disneyland Info!

I get asked a lot of questions about Disneyland and I’m trying to figure out the most efficient way to answer people’s questions. So I’ve decided that on topics that I will likely get asked frequently about, I’ll write up quick blog posts to relay some information!

There is no secret my very favorite time to visit Disneyland Resort is during Halloween time. The decorations, the overlays, the characters in costumes, the food, the attractions that get fun changes for the season – it’s just my favorite and adds extra magic. If there was only one time in the year you could visit Disneyland, I would highly recommend going during Halloween time.

Disneyland just released this information about this wonderful time at the parks!

Halloween time will begin at DLR September 7th – October 31st!

Tickets for Mickeys Halloween Party go on sale June 5th for Annual Pass Holders and June 12th for those without passes. If you are wanting to go to this amazing party, I recommend buying your tickets soon as possible! These events tend to sell out quickly.

Now I’m switching gears, mostly to try and convince you all of how badly you need to go to Mickeys Halloween Party.

Yes. It is a separate ticket event, meaning you have to purchase tickets separate from your general admission tickets to go to this party but it’s so worth every single penny, I promise. Here’s why..

  • You get to dress up (all ages are permitted and there are only a few costume restrictions) and trick or treat around Disneyland and they don’t skimp on candy!
  • There is a special parade and firework show only available to those who are going to the event.
  • There are added photo spots that are so fun and turn into some of the best Disneyland pictures you’ll have in your collection.
  • Have you ever ridden a ride in Disneyland while in a Halloween costume? There is something really neat about it – I’ve thought this since I was a little girl.
  • The Dapper Dans become the Cadaver Dans and sing on a raft in the Rivers of America. It is entertaining and something so unique and special to Mickeys Halloween Party. You won’t want to miss it!

I hope that convinced you. If you need more convincing send me a message. I will be more than happy to continue the bullet points.

Now for some last little facts to add in hopes of answering more questions I may receive.

  • Mickeys Halloween Party is not every night during September 7 and October 31. It is only select nights (I believe there are 15 days?) that you can view when purchasing your ticket.
  • There are Halloween decorations and overlays in both Disneyland and California Adventure.
  • Like last year, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT will become Monsters After Dark again! Space Mountain will become Ghost Galaxy and of course, Haunted Mansion will transform into Haunted Mansion Holiday.
  • Cars Land will once again become Haul-o-Ween!
  • There is incredible Halloween merchandise sold during this time that you most definitely need to check out.
  • Oogie Boogie is taking over California Adventure this year as well!
  • The Headless Horseman will start the parade riding through the route on his horse (this is so cool).
  • Extra villains will be seen throughout the park to celebrate the holiday.

I can’t say enough just how magical Disneyland is during this spooky season. I’m getting so excited for it now just thinking about it and it’s only May! I hope I was able to answer some of your questions – if you have any more let me know! You know I’m happy to chat Disney with you all day long.

Have a magical day!

An Honest Post on our Puppy

Apparently today is National Puppy Day! Well guess what? We have a puppy. A huge, psycho, exhausting, almost 70lb puppy. Truth is, a couple days ago Wild Man and I were nearly 100% set on selling this puppy. Seriously. Several months ago we thought the perfect time to get a puppy (one that was going to grow to be quite large) was when I was several months pregnant and we had a toddler. What were we thinking? I don’t know. Lets not get into it. You’ll often hear me joke…or not joke…about how getting a dog was likely my largest mistake. There are just days where I want to open the door and say, “see ya later!” and watch her run down the street. I have days where I really, really struggle with her. Have you seen Marley and Me? I think about that movie on a daily basis. Penny Girl isn’t as bad as Marley, but…she’s our own personal Marley. Sometimes I wish I could track down a time machine, go back to June and never get that cute black puppy that loved H.

But the fact is, there is no time machine and we have her. She is our doggie and even though sometimes I don’t love admitting it – she’s family.

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This post probably sounds like I hate her. You guys, I don’t. I really don’t. She’s an energetic puppy that requires lots of attention and energy-releasing outlets. Its just hard to give her all the attention she so badly wants when I also have a two year old and four month old. But we manage.

I’m glad we do. All the puppy-bashing aside…

Our Penny is a good, good dog. She is a black lab. You always hear how labs are amazing family dogs and thats ultimately why we settled on a lab. We wanted an amazing family dog. She is just that. H is rough with her. He snuggles her, he throws toys at her, he hooks her to her leash and walks her around the house, he shares her bed, he crawls in her kennel with her, he plays in her food and water while she eats. He pulls on her limbs and holds her tail. He crowds her personal space, holds her face and bosses her around. But she never seems to mind. She loves him and follows him around all day long. They play together all the time and she makes H laugh so hard. They are the best of frenemies. I can’t wait to see how E acts with her and how she acts with him as he begins to get mobile in a few months.

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Life would be easier without Penny. We could wear light colored clothing without spotting black fur all over it. We wouldn’t have a huge dog bed in our living room. We wouldn’t have to teach her how to walk on a leash – she thinks she’s a sled dog, I swear. We would be more relaxed and have less worries. We wouldn’t have had to throw away several ruined toys and a few ruined shoes.. I’ll be honest, some days a dog free life sounds amazing.

When Wild Man and I made a list of pros and cons about having Penny – there were more cons than pros. But the pros were more…powerful, I guess. We were so, so close to putting her up for sale. But we didn’t. For some reason we just couldn’t. Dogs have a way of sneaking into your heart. Its funny. Its frustrating. But this is our honest truth.

She is ours. We love her. She’s sweet. She’s loyal. She’s happy and she’s our huge ball of energy. I just can’t wait for the day she’s a much calmer, older lab.

That happens, right??