Thursday, April 11, 2019

Disney 2019: Day One

As I mentioned in my last post, we surprised the kids by picking them up from school and heading to Disney World.  That was a Friday evening, and our favorite way to travel is to drive about halfway to our destination on the night we leave.  It gets us ahead of most traffic, and the kids tend to do really well.  I think it's because they're so tired from school.  Whatever the reason, I will take it!!

Anyway, we stopped for gas in Franklin, which on the Kentucky/Tennessee line and then were rerouted through Nashville due to an accident (or ten). We stopped for a quick potty and dinner break before getting on the interstate to Macon where we stayed for the night. Luckily, both kids fell asleep around Dalton and stayed asleep through the night. 

Saturday morning we woke up, enjoyed a free breakfast at the hotel and then hit the road. Our "must-do" every trip is eating lunch at Smokin' Pig in Valdosta, Georgia.  I hated BBQ until I married a Western Kentucky boy.  He's taught me a thing or two about enjoying a good sandwich over the years, and aside from some chopped BBQ in Eric's home town, Smokin' Pig is the best we've ever had. 

They had just opened for the day, so our service was quick.  We had fried okra, mac 'n cheese, potato salad, sweet potato casserole, sweet tea, and "all the fixings."  While Eric paid, I let the kids play on the giant front porch then we walked to the gas station right next door so that we could stretch our legs. 

Back on the interstate, we hit some heavy traffic around the Florida turnpike, which has never happened to least when we're heading South.  Seeing as we have evacuated during two hurricanes, we've seen our share of traffic going North. Even though it added an hour to our travel time, it didn't break our enthusiastic sprit.

After stopping for another potty break, we got the much anticipated text from Disney World with our room number and location.  It had easy access to parking and was right across from the pool.  Plus, it was on the first floor.  I was skeptical of the location at first, but wouldn't change it for a thing now. Of course I will go into all of that when I do a resort review. 

After unloading and unpacking, we headed straight to the pool for some fun in the sun.  The main pool at each of the Disney resorts has activities and games throughout the day.  We enjoyed those for a while and then the boys discovered the corn-hole boards and pool tables.  It was a nice time for Ellie to swim and for me to relax a little. 

After our swims, we dressed for a quick dinner and trip to an outlet mall.  Dinner was offsite at Carrabba's and it was delicious. We didn't stay out tool long because we had showers to take, clothes to lay out and sleep to catch up on before our first day in the parks.

Even though we had such a low-key start to the trip, I enjoyed the time to relax and experience the resort.  Sometimes we are so busy in the parks, that I forget to take in the surroundings at the hotel.  Overall, this trip was much slower paced, so we got to enjoy our accommodations much more. 

Monday, April 8, 2019

A Magical Surprise

I've been pretty quite on the blog lately, and while most of that is simply because I've been busy and negligent of this little space, it's also partially because I've been keeping a pretty big secret. We surprised the kids with a trip to Disney World for Spring Break!!!

I know, I know...we go almost every year, but ya'll, we've never surprised them with a trip.  We were supposed to go over Christmas break but just felt like it wasn't the best time. On the last possible day before losing our deposit, we cancelled our plans and moved it to this coming October (2019).  Those travel dates lasted all of a month because in December my siblings and I decided to make it a family affair for Spring Break.  

It was the perfect time to surprise the kids because we knew they wouldn't expect it since they already had it on their radar for the fall.  Plus, the few times we almost let it slip, we covered by saying something about "fall break."

It was quite the experience planning everything without them knowing, especially the week we left.  There were bags to pack, groceries to buy, electronics to charge, cars to clean and so much laundry to do.  Luckily, we took turns keep the kids busy in the evenings so at least one of us could prepare, and we were both able to get off work a few hours early on the Friday of our trip so that we could finalize all the details. 

We met at home, loaded the car and picked them up at school.  They knew something was up because they never get to be car-riders and the few times they have been, it's just me who gets them.  When we both pulled up,  they kinda picked up on the fact that we were taking a trip, but their first guess was camping.  It just cracks me up because we didn't have the camper or truck with us. Haha!

Anyway, to make it fun, we played a game.  There were ten riddles they had to figure out.  Every time they got one right, they pulled off the corresponding post-it note on the frame below.  It was a picture of Magic Kingdom.  The first post-it notes revealed nothing other than the sky or the landscape, but the closer we got to the last clue, the more details they could see.  Every five minutes they got a new clue.  It was such a fun way to pass the time and keep the suspense alive!! 

I'll eventually get around to posting the videos of them figuring it all out. Until that happens, you can expect a lot of Disney posts in the days ahead.  I think I will start by doing a daily overview of our trip with tips and tricks sprinkled in.  After I finish those, I will circle back around with details on the resort, restaurants and other experiences.  Those will probably happen once a week until I get through everything. Yay!  Happy reading,'s gonna be a blast!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

MLK Weekend

We just wrapped up a long weekend that included the MLK Celebration for our school district. The event is on a Saturday each year, and I had Ellie tag along with me again this year.  She does such a great job sitting still and watching the performances.

Unfortunately, we had an unexpected death in our church and lost "Gangster Granny."  We love her so much and just think the world of Larry, Kim and the girls.  It was a tough loss for our entire Mayberry community.  We went to visitation on Sunday morning and then Ellie and I went back to the church to help serve the meal following the funeral.  She is learning from so many amazing women about what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and I am so grateful for the ladies who pour into her.

We left straight from the church to meet our boys at the gym because it was our first weekend of winter conditioning for baseball.  Spring will be here before we know it! Of course I didn't get a single picture to prove we were there.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Mammoth Spirit Night: Hardee's

Monday was a crazy busy day with work, basketball practice, getting new tires and our Mammoth Spirit Night!  Because of all the busyness, we weren't able to get there right on time, but some of our awesome families held down the fort for us!

I'm not sure just yet how we faired with the money, but any little bit helps.  I know I've said it a thousand times, but this group of boys have such a special spirit about them.  The don't give up...ever.  They have a natural "fight" in them.  Together, they are something wonderful!

We appreciate the support of our community.  The boys are excited about the spring season and night's like this one help make it possible.  Thanks to everyone who came out.  We're less than a week away from kicking off our first practice!!

The Sugar Bugs Strike Again

My kids have the worst teeth, and I don't think it's just had oral hygiene.  They seriously have the worst luck with "sugar bugs" or cavities for anyone who doesn't have young kids in the home.  I took Eli in today for have one of his cavities filled and it took forever because they just kept finding little areas of concern.

In case you're wondering just how long we were there, just observe Ellie's body language in the photo above verse the photo below.  Haha!  She was totally D-O-N-E!!  But ya'll, they were so good.  Like really, really good.  Eli normally flips out anytime he has a medical procedure but he was super chill.  Of course the "happy gas" probably contributed to that. 

The sweetest moment of the day came when we got the new of more cavities.  Ellie was so concerned.  She climbed up into the chair with Eli, put her arm around his neck and kept patting his back.  How sweet is that?

There was no school today because it was a teacher word day, but I am so thrilled we were able to get this little visit out of the way on our day off instead of having to take them out of school.  It looks like we will have a few more dentist visits in our future...stupid sugar bugs!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Weekend Fun

After several short work weeks, five days back into the routine was refreshing...and long!  Ha! In keeping with our typical pace, we had a weekend full of activities and kicked it all off with a birthday party for our baseball buddy, Logan. 

Mason had already left when I remembered to take a picture, so I hate that he's not in it.  Nonetheless, it was good to see some of our boys back together.  We start winter conditioning (aka hitting practice) again next Sunday.  I can't wait!

Saturday started off with some basketball.  Our team is still undefeated, but barely.  We played a rough game and things got heated.  I know I can get "right" with some hollering during a baseball game, but I'm over it as soon as we leave.  I could care less about basketball, so it was interesting to sit back and enjoy the chaos.  

After the game we ran by Sam's because Eric needs two new tires thanks to stupid roofing nails.  If you're keeping count, that would be FOUR flat tires between the two of us in less than six months.  I'm over it.  

They ended up having to order the tires, so we split up since I was shooting a wedding that afternoon.  We had a little time before we needed to be there, so Ellie and I stopped for lunch at Azipp Pizza.  (That's Pizza spelled backwards.)

After lunch, we headed straight to the wedding.  It was at The Charleston, which is the most gorgeous venue!  It's right up Ellie's ally with it's grand staircase, white marble trim, and gold accents.  I took a picture of the bathroom because we were both in love with it!  Wonder if Eric will let me do something like this in the new house? 

The wedding was for a church friend, so it was nice getting to enjoy celebrating with our friends.  Ellie loves a good party and danced the night away.  Eric and I have decided that she isn't allowed out of the house once she turns 16.

Sunday we had church and ate at Steak 'N Shake for lunch before heading to Wal-Mart for the kids to spend their Christmas money.  They did great staying within budget, but not so great staying on schedule.  We were in there for two hours.  Luckily, we got our groceries too, so I didn't have to go back out.  Instead I worked on getting caught up on laundry.  

This picture was taken as the Sunday Night Blues started to set in, but how grownup does this girl look? 

Monday, January 7, 2019

Better Late Than Never

We were finally able to celebrate the Christmas with my family a week AFTER New Year.  It's so hard having both of our families so far away, especially during the holidays.  But like they say," absence makes the heart grown fonder," or something like that.  HA!

As with previous years, we had a basketball game on Saturday morning.  As soon as it was over, we hit the road for Lexington. The kids did awesome controlling their excitement about getting new presents.  I mean it's almost three hours in the car trying to be quiet in a confined space while anticipating the new toys!!

I did a terrible job getting pictures of the whole present opening process, but the kids were so excited.  They loved giving and receiving gifts with their cousins, and I must say that Eric and I racked up in that department too!

We brought some games and had the best time playing Monopoly, Pictopia, and Bean Doozled with my siblings.  The highlight though was Watch Ya Mouth.  You wear these ridiculous looking mouth pieces and try to read crazy phrases and sayings to your team.  My dad was terrible, which was just so much fun!

Ellie got Chow Crown for one of her presents, so we gave it a whirl.  It's so much harder than it looks.  I'm not sure anyone actually won a round, but the kids love anything that makes a mess or makes the players look silly.

On Sunday we went to church with my family before we had to hit the road.  My dad is the music pastor there, and it's the same church I went to as child and later got married in.  It was special seeing my kids walk and play in the same space that so familiar to me.

It was such a short trip that I hated leaving, but I also knew it would be a killer week back into the routine of life since it was our first full week since mid December.  Plus, we had to unpack and put away all the gifts.  

I have to say that my mom sure knows me well.  How perfect are these Disney kitchen goodies?!?  I still hate cooking, but at least I have these princess gadgets to make it more fun!