Magic Kingdom – Part 4

After the parade the heat and crowds were really picking up so it was perfect that we had a 4 o’clock appointment.

DJ was going to get her first haircut at Disney’s Magic Kingdom!  There is a small barber shop on Main Street that specializes in first hair cuts.  I couldn’t think of a better place to get a first hair cut and the hair in front was starting to hang in her eyes.


All done and she earned her ears!

image_10Since we were up front, we took a bit of time to take a few more pictures and relax and let her run around.  There was another show coming up at Cinderella’s castle that we were going to see next.

image_11I was so happy to have my mom and sister come with us.  My mom said it was so much fun and she remembered trips to Disney with us as kids with our grandparents coming along.

The group in front of the castle.

Magic Kingdom – Part 3

After lunch we went over to the ride that I remember the most, It’s a Small World.  DJ was really excited about getting on a boat.   The line for this wasn’t too terrible but probably one of the longest we went through that day.

image_3And after this ride, we had just enough time to hit up Dumbo!  DJ has a stuffed animal Dumbo and has watched the movie several times.  I was so excited for her to ride this one because she actually knew the character and got the idea of “flying”.  Again, the line wasn’t long.  It was fun that J and I got to go with her and we all fit to ride together and my mom and sister stayed behind so they could take our picture.

image_5 image_6We loved it and she was very sad when the ride was over.  I think this was the first ride that she didn’t want to get off of and wanted to ride again.  Look at that smile!

Next up was a 3:00 Celebrate It parade.

This parade was fantastic and she loved all of the characters that came up to give her high fives.  She sat in the stroller and just watched and waved.  I wish I got better video of how excited she was jumping up and down to see this parade!

image_7As you can see by this point the hot Florida sun was starting to get to us but we had something special planned for 4 o’clock!

Off to see Santa

Where so excited that Christmas this year DJ would be a bit older and she could also get into the christmas spirit with us. One of the things I was so excited about was telling her about Santa.

She first learned about Santa from a book I made her from Christmas last year that includes a picture of all three of us sitting with Santa. We practiced recognizing Santa all throughout the book and practiced saying Ho Ho Ho. I thought we were I luck for the Santa picture this year

Apparently I was wrong.


She was all excited as we entered the store but as soon as we set her down this happened. We obviously picked her immediately back up and walked around the store for a bit picking out an ornament.

We wanted to get one nice picture with Santa so we went back and didactic family photo. It turned out much better when we sat with her!


First Birthday Party

I know it is LONG overdue, but here is a post about her first birthday party that we planned.

Theme: DJ has a cute polka dot back pack that a good friend gave us.  The bag was lime green with white polka dots and has a pink button with her initial “D” on it.  We use it to pack up toys for longer outings.  It was the perfect inspiration for her birthday party!


I designed these invitations using my favorite design program of choice, PowerPoint.  Its actually what I used to design my wedding invitations too!

I just put them in some white envelopes and passed them out to about 25 of our close friends.  We also invited our neighbors!


J planned on cooking burgers and hot dogs on the grill to serve everyone lunch.  We stuck to a pretty simple menu that we could prep ahead of time.

  • Hot Dogs
  • Hamburgers/Cheese Burgers
  • Veggie Tray
  • Fruit Salad
  • Chips
  • Watermelon


The back porch was all decorated with pink and green.  Again, our good friend made us a wonderful banner that decorated the wall above the food.  To cover the tables I used a roll of plastic table cover and little green bows on the corners.  It was a great way to add tons of color to the room for little cost!

We had two tables set up for people to sit at and eat lunch.  Of course the guys were all hungry and were more than willing to sit down.  On each table I put 6 pictures for each month of her life.  Again, it was a nice cheap centerpiece that was meaningful to us!

We love our Uncle Chuck!


After lunch, we had some activities for the kids including some homemade coloring books (her favorite activity!) and playing outside.  Luckily we had great weather!

Coloring with Mom

Yes, she woke up from her nap and wanted to wear her bear slippers!

She would ride a bike all day with someone pushing her! Bubbles and Four Square kept the other kids happy!


After play time, it was time to gather everyone back up and eat some cup cakes!  We ordered the cupcakes from a new bakery in town called Lucy and Leo’s.  We ordered strawberry shortcake (with whipped cream instead of frosting), vanilla with green frosting, and chocolate with pink frosting.  DJ got a large vanilla cupcake to eat with a big polka dot number one candle!

More cake smash pictures can be seen in this post, where she really got messy!

It was a wonderful birthday party celebrating our sweet little girl with some amazing friends and family that also love her.  It is really so amazing that the year has gone by SO fast!

College Ready

DJ and AL at Bryan Hall FSU

This weekend Aunt L (better known as AL or LaLa) moved to be with DJ.  Ok, she didn’t really move her to be with us.  She moved here to go to the great Florida State University.  Whatever the real reason, we are super happy that she is here.  Now both of my siblings live within 5 miles of us!  This weekend DJ and I helped LaLa get moved into her new dorm room.  As you can see above, DJ loved peopled watching on campus.

DJ and AL in dorm room Bryan Hall FSU

There were lots of fun things to play with in LaLas room.  DJ loved the high beds and fun colors.  Some day hopefully she will be starting college and living in the dorms too!

DJ in Mirror Bryan Hall FSU

Her favorite part was the matching “baby” she found there!  She was giving the baby a high five and kisses until she kissed the other “baby” so hard and hit her nose.


Before my mom left, we had a big picnic outside the dorm with the largest pizza we could possible order. It was perfect for DJ because she got to run and play and we could enjoy the nice weather and watching all the students move in.  We really wish my dad and J could have been with us but they had to work.  I think my mom enjoyed having her three kids and one grandchild all to her self though!

We are so happy that LaLa has moved here and can’t wait to see what wonderful things you get to see and do while in college!

First Birthday – Almost One.

I’m a bit sentimental this week because in a few days my baby turns one.  We were off visiting GiGi and Jaja this weekend and she got the Rotavirus and decided we needed to spend a few extra days down there recovering.  As much as I hated to see her sick, it was nice to have a cuddly sweet baby again.  When we got home and she was felling better, we went to the mall to get a few one year old pictures taken. I am so happy that we decided to capture her at this age.  She is just so sweet and so much fun.  After we did these pictures we also did a few pictures with a first birthday cake which I will add soon.

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We are also very busy preparing for her first birthday party.  We have most of J’s family coming and some of our best local friends.  I feel a bit behind on the planning since we have spent a lot of time sick in the month of July (Josh for a week and now DJ).  I am trying to work on setting up everything and decorating the back porch in the evenings.  Everything I am working on, you want to play with though so progress is slow.  I’m sure it will be a wonderful party though and we will share lots of pictures.

What a great birthday!

As many of you know, I am not huge into birthday surprises but this year I was in the celebrating mood! I guess I kinda felt that this would be the last time I would celebrate my birthday and could be selfish about it before becoming a “mom”. Friends and family really overwhelmed me with love this weekend and it really made it special.

First of all, my family was on vacation but my parents and sister made sure to send me cards and even sent J and I a restaurant gift card for one more good date night before baby arrives!

That day at work, we had scheduled an office lunch and it kinda morphed into a birthday lunch. It was a very nice treat to get to relax for a bit with our team. We do work really hard and get to kick back every now and then but getting out of the office makes it more fun. Plus, they treated me including a nice big piece of chocolate cake as an afternoon treat.

When I got home from work J was so sweet and had the house clean and flowers and a card waiting for me. I think this is only the third time he has EVER bought me flowers so I was very touched. Money is tight right now saving for the baby (I had told him my breast pump could count as my birthday present) but he surprised me and took in all of our loose change and turned it into an iTunes gift card for me.

iTunes Gift Card

He used one of the CoinStar machines that doesn’t charge a fee if you turn the money into a gift card and it turns out we had over $60 in change! I am going to use the money to buy some new tunes for while we are in the hospital. Also, our roommate left me a a sweet card and a really cool gift!

It was really sweet. Then….

Just as we were sitting on the couch discussing what we were going for dinner, J’s parents walked in and surprised me! We got to go out to dinner with them! They dropped the two grandkids off so that made it extra special. It was such a nice time with them and really made my evening. After dinner we went to get their grandkids (J’s niece and nephew) and they surprised me with cupcakes and a balloon. I forgot how much kids love birthdays!

Like I said, it was a wonderful birthday surrounded by love!

The Season of Giving

December 4 Prompt

Author: Jeff Davis

Prompt: Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

This is a really hard prompt.  I am a planner and that typically leads to a lack of “wonder” in my life but I like it that way.  I think the most wonder that I help cultivate is in gift giving.  Giving someone a gift is really a way that I show them I love them or am thinking about them.  I love the excitement of shopping for a great gift (and hopefully getting a good deal on it too).  I love wrapping it up and sending it on its way hoping and wondering if the recipient will enjoy it as much as I expected them to.

This also means I love Christmas time because I can buy plenty of gifts!  So far I haven’t done great on my shopping list but we will see what I can come up with.

For J:

J obviously already knows about this, so I guess there is no “wonder” there.

For my Mom:

My mom has been looking for a good set of these so her coffee is warm when she gets out of the gym in the mornings

For my brother:

My brother loves fishing and clothes, combine the two and you get a fishing shirt!

For my sister:

I found this snowboard at a local goodwill store. Its a Ride GNU it great condition. My sister will love it!

For J’s parents:

J thinks they would really appreciate a nice matching set of pots and pans. We are going in with his other sisters to get them a nice set.

As you’ll notice, there are still quite a few people left off this list! We still haven’t finished our shopping but we will get there soon!


Looking back on 2010

J and I were discussing the other weekend what in the heck we were going to accomplish in 2011. So much happened during late 2009-2010 that I’m not sure what else we need to do!

June 2009 – Got engaged
August 2009 – Find house we want to buy
October 2009 – Finally close on great first home
December 2009 – I finish my MBA
January 2010 – Now that all that other stuff is out of the way time to start wedding planning
March 2010 – Purchase first vehicle together
June 2010 – Wedding’
July – November 2010 – Finally settle into new home
December 2010 – First Christmas at home

I am going to try to participate in Reverb’s 2010 reflection challenge. Here is today’s prompt:

December 1 One Word.
Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?
(Author: Gwen Bell)

My one word for 2010 would have be Love. We were surrounded by so much love in 2010 it was amazing. I have never felt more supported by our friends and family.

A weekend with Mason

With my new camera (Canon T2i), I am spending lots of time photographing my favorite subject, Mason!

Throughout the weekend, here are some of the shots I took. All of these are taken with the kit lens.

Good morning Mason! He stands outside our bedroom door and stretches and yawns. He waits to be let out and be served breakfast.

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We were out and about all weekend doing yard work and hanging christmas lights. By the time we got back in the house, Mason was happy to lay down for a while. He loves this $20 bed I got at Costco although his long legs don’t quite fit.

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Then around dinner time the begging starts.

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Oh but it probably tastes so good.

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Oh man, lip stuck again

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He is always so excited when we get up from the table because he knows he usually gets the left overs. He eats outside in the garage (he’s a messy eater) and then whines to come back in. When he gets in he sniffs around to make sure he hasn’t missed anything…

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And then he crawls up in my lap (front two paws only) to snuggle and watch some tv.

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At the end of the night he crawls back in his bed and waits to start it all over again!