Posts Tagged ‘vacation’

Thankful Tuesday

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011 by by
I am thankful for VACATIONS! Even the mini ones.
Our weekend trip to Orlando was a blast. It was also hot and sticky and ohmigod HOT, but it was a great time. I expected that we would take a bazillion or so pictures, but I was so wrong. On the first day, I was actually worried because I forgot to bring the camera charger, but that worry was for nothing (as usual) since we took probably less than twenty pictures over the three day trip. I blame the heat. It was just too hot (have I mentioned how hot it was?! Hotter than hot!) to stand out in the sun long enough to pose for pictures, or to even bother with taking the camera in and out of my backpack. That was precious energy that I need to keep myself from passing out from the heat. Also, those pictures probably wouldn’t have been pretty anyway. I caught a glimpse of my reflection in a window and, uh, you guys don’t need to see what I saw anyway!

We arrived in Orlando Saturday afternoon and, (more…)

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Vacation – Part Two

Friday, June 24th, 2011 by by

After the Hard Rock tour, we decided to see a movie. That is one thing that I have missed since becoming a parent. It’s such a big deal for me to go to the movie theater these days. I had to do a little convincing to make it happen on our trip, but eventually I got my way. The compromise, of course, was that I had to see a boy movie. They chose The Green Lantern. I had no desire to see it, especially in the theater, but I actually really enjoyed it – and not just because of the eye candy either (Ryan Reynolds = hot stuff!). The movie was actually pretty entertaining.

Oh, and before the movie, I purchased my “souvenir”.

I have been wanting a pair of Tom’s shoes for mooonths. There are only one or two places to get them locally, and neither of them are convenient. I refuse to buy shoes without trying them on, so I ‘ve been waiting for the opportunity to do so. I scooped these babies right up when I saw them at one of the surf shops at City Walk. Never has a person been (more…)

Travel Tip

Thursday, June 16th, 2011 by by

If you go on a trip with Katie, don’t put her in charge of the rain gear.

Today, Nashville treated us to some seriously scary thunder, lightning, and rain – lots and lots of rain.  Buckets, really.  Nonetheless, once things settled down a bit, we braved the elements and ventured into Nashville.  Katie proudly armed each of us with an umbrella before we left the car, just in case the weather decided to act up again.

Twenty minutes into our walk, the rain began to fall again.  Katie and I smugly opened our umbrellas as we watched everyone around us scramble for cover.  Yep – we sure were lucky we had those umbrellas with us.

Five minutes later, we purchased our first two Nashville souvenirs.

Gone Country

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011 by by

My friend Katie and I are in Nashville for the week.

The drive here was great until I took the wheel.  My leg of the trip consisted of torrential downpours with zero visibility.  It was a white-knuckle experience for sure.

Today, when I drove, we ran out of gas, and by the grace of God I somehow made it to a gas station and didn’t have to pull into the parking lot of the Adult Book Store that was basically the only other major business on the road we exited onto.  We were on fumes.  No joke.  I have no clue how we totally forgot to check the gas gauge, but we did.  I literally willed us to make it to a gas station, because I was not about to look like an idiot on the side of the road – especially because we were in dresses and sandals.  Not exactly “walk for gas” or “push the car to the shoulder” attire.  We are now filling the tank with gas after every 20 miles we drive, and I have decided that bad things happen when I am in the driver’s seat, so it’s safer for me to remain the designated passenger.  It’s like I’m cursed South of the Mason Dixon line where driving is concerned.  This kind of thing never happens in Illinois!

So far, we are having fun even though I miss my kids like crazy.  It’s funny how, no matter how much you pray for the chance to run fast and far from those lovable monsters, the second you cross state lines your heart just aches to be back in their vise-like grip.  There’s just no winning in this game.

I have many more foibles to report, because Katie and I together are like Lucy and Ethel. Crazy antics follow us wherever we go by no fault of our own.  We are just innocent victims of circumstance…or the sad sack characters in a country song.  Take your pick.

I’m totally getting cowboy boots while I’m here, and I’m going to make it big as a crooner.  If Gwyneth Paltrow can pass herself off as a country singer, then it should be grits and gravy for me.  CMA’s, here I come.

Y’all stay posted.  I’m fixin’ to download some pictures tomorrow morning.
Bless your hearts for being patient.   You are just too precious for words.

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Visiting Tio & Tia

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011 by by

We finally did it. We took the kids out of town. Albeit, a short trip for the morning, but a trip out of town none the less.

It only took a little bit of planning on our part. The night before, I packed everything up: sunscreen, bug spray, Benadryl, Motrin, bandaids, snacks, cups for drinking, a spare change of clothes, books, crayons, coloring books, and a few other mommy/daddy essentials.

Once the kids woke up, we just did our normal morning routine. We changed in to clothes, breakfast, bathroom, and then last minute checks started.

I was shooting to get us out of the house by 8:30, and we managed to leave 15 minutes earlier. IMPRESSIVE.

They were very well behaved. I couldn’t believe it. It had to be the Dr. Seuss audio books. No DVD player for us!

The kids had a blast. Tio and Tia also had a good time. I can’t wait to go again.

The kids were definitely all cozy!


Once we got there, we checked out Tia’s garden. Mommy had garden envy. I learned a lot from Tia. Can’t wait for the fall to arrive so I can plant green beans and snap peas! (more…)

Family Vacation at Indian Shores, Florida

Saturday, May 14th, 2011 by by

Bear with me for this long blog post. Sometimes, my blog is going to read a little more like a diary. I want to get some memories down on paper – I mean computer – before I forget. It will give me something to look at and enjoy when I am an old lady and have forgotten the little details!

On Saturday April 23rd, Noah, Dan, and I flew down to Tampa, Florida. My mother and father, who had already been there for a week, rented a big condo to fit us, them, and my sister and her family.

Noah was (thankfully) extremely well-behaved for the trip. It doesn’t hurt that there were T.V.’s on the back of the seats. He was pleased to enjoy The Wiggles and the Backyardigans on his own personal television. I had also packed a backpack for him with sticker books that were completely new to him. He had been on 4 airplane trips already – St. Maarten, Kelowna, Chicago, and Paris – but this is the first time that he really was aware of exactly what was happening, so that was pretty exciting! (more…)

Long Time No Post!!

Sunday, April 24th, 2011 by by

Let me start off by saying this…..we are all done teething in this house! HALLELUJAH!! Ever since Lo was born, I’ve been looking forward to this day. It’s a wonderful feeling. ((sigh)) So anyways. Lots of exciting things going on around here. I have my first wedding shoot 2 weeks ago. And yes, I’m still editing the pictures. Where do pros find the time?!?! Geesh. It was my best friend’s wedding. She’s 4 months pregnant and the happiest she’s ever been. It’s a beautiful thing. Here are some pictures I edited on the iPad using instagram……

(more…)

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Branson: Part 2

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011 by by

We spent our second day in Branson at Silver Dollar City, which is basically Six Flags/Great America’s country cousin.  Instead of cartoon characters, loud pop music, and indifferent employees in visors, there are shaded walkways, artisan demos, and a cast of earnestly enthusiastic “pioneers,” all in 1880′s period costumes.

Our very first ride was on the “Powder Keg,” which indicated that children between 36″ & 42″ were eligible to ride with an adult.  The entrance was rather deceiving, because you couldn’t really see much – all I noticed was that there were a couple of large-looking twists, which gave me pause.  Kellan was super-jazzed to ride though, so when the cars pulled up, he ran into his seat before I had time for second thoughts.  The ride delivered us to a platform where we were essentially at the same level as the spectators.  We were in the middle of waving to daddy when all of a sudden the coaster’s name became stunningly clear – we were literally shot out of the chute.  We went from zero to 150 in about 3 seconds flat and were immediately plunged into a huge dive – followed by another.

Mother of the Year that I am, I clung to my seat for dear life with my eyes screwed shut, screaming at the top of my lungs.  For all I knew, my 3-year old was sailing over the crowd. When the ride ended, I opened my eyes and looked over at Kellan, who had the exact same nonplussed expression on his face as when we started.  (more…)

Branson: Part 1

Thursday, April 21st, 2011 by by

When I was on the desperate hunt for a spring break destination I came to discover that when you live in Illinois, a Wisconsin water-park is pretty much the Palm Springs of the Midwest. Road trips are only fun once you travel anywhere outside a 12 hour radius of Illinois. Within the radius, it’s all pretty much flat land, cold weather, and attractions of questionable interest. The only viable destination that seemed tolerable by car was Branson, MO. The only impression I had of Branson however, was as a cross between “Hee Haw” and “The 700 Club”. Branson conjured up images of wholesome Christian family singers sharing the spotlight with toothless hillbillies plucking 2-stringed guitars as the entire readership of “The Weekly World News” looked on. Not exactly the exotic family vacation I’d envisioned, but desperate times called for desperate measures.

“This could turn out to be the worst idea I’ve ever had,” I cautioned my husband. “We could always stay home,” he replied. The threat of the parental equivalent of house arrest was all it took to get me packing. We loaded up the RV and headed out on a 9-hour adventure into the land of gospel and gauche.
As it turns out, we were indeed the recipients of a miraculous revelation during our trip. We’d arrived as doubters and left as devotees. Branson is F-U-N! (more…)

Vacation Lessons

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011 by by

I think I learn something new every time we take our boys on a trip. Some good things, some not so good, but I have to say, this past weekend was probably the best I could have asked for. Sure we had a major dilemma when I couldn’t get the DVD player to work and it caused an almost panic, but we made it through by actually……wait for it……..looking at books, talking, singing, coloring….GASP. It’s amazing, isn’t it! We made it 4 1/2 hours with no movies, with NO crying. Nope Jay and I handled it just fine ;) Seriously though, I couldn’t have been prouder of my boys. They really traveled well and were so well behaved, even at meal time DOUBLE GASP! I have to admit, that’s what I was most nervous about because let’s just say that meal time has been a wee bit of a challenge here lately. Yes, Will was his typically messy self, but I can handle that over the throwing food, banging utensils…..
So what did I learn?

1) Troy needs very little sleep. Period. Sleep has been a common topic for me and I have been stressing about it forEVER. However, I realized just how little Troy needs to function. We didn’t get him in bed until midnight Friday and he was up at 5:45AM. Yes, you read that right. We tried to get him back to sleep, but nope. And no, no nap, no falling asleep in the car, no bad moods, no grumpiness…nothing. We all went to bed the next night by 9:00 and he slept until 7, but the next day, another short short night. That was my fault though. “Let’s wake him up to pee so he’ll sleep later” HAHAHAHAHAHA good one. It worked the night before, but Monday, he was up at 3:30AM and never went back to sleep. See, lesson learned.

2) I have the absolute best family in the world. My cousins we stayed with and visited are the nicest people and the most comfortable to be around. We see them rarely, but yet, when we visit, it’s like we talk all the time. My boys were even comfortable in seconds (which is rare). And Jay’s family is just the same. We saw his sister and nieces and the boys just made themselves at home (again, a rarity). Now, if only they were all closer…..

3) My boys are a lot more flexible then I give them credit for. Not that I have a strict schedule I follow, but we are on a schedule of sorts. When you go on vacation, that goes right out the window and it used to cause me so much stress. This time, we just went with it and everyone survived and had a blast. No meltdowns when naptime approached and went by while the boys were still playing. Yep, they just went with it and fell right back into routine today. Nice.

4) I am seriously addicted to my morning coffee.

5) I have become seriously addicted to exercise. I needed the break from my routine, but I was so jealous of all the people I saw running and taking walks. Let’s just say, I was back up at 5:45 this AM ready for Bob and Jillian to kick my tail

6) You can eat healthier at fast food restaurants (not that I chose to everytime, but there are decent options)

7) Back to the kids for a second. I should’ve learned my lesson on our last trip in November, but I didn’t. When Mom picks up a book or something to do in the car, the boys always want or need something. When Mom is driving and Dad is in the passenger seat, they need nothing. Why is that (see Why Do They Do This :) )

8) Lastly, I always need a vacation after my vacation. I am exhausted.

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