The Life & Times of Mommiehood

Here I am finding my way through uncharted waters.

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Happiest Place on Earth.

What a crazy week. We had a lot of fun. Walked 50 miles. Spent loads of time together. Saw lots of characters. Rode many rides. All in all we had a blast.

A couple highlights …

The girl getting all decked out as Elsa at the Bippity Boppity Boutique. She remembered doing this last time and was excited to become Queen Elsa for the day. To top it all off we went and met Queen Elsa and Princess Anna at the end of the day.

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I will try and post more pictures later, our Internets don’t seem to want to cooperate right now.

A highlight from Tuesday was the Princess lunch at Ariel’s Grotto. This time we were able to meet Tiana and Tangled and Princess Minnie in addition to Ariel and Belle. We’ve seen Rapunzle from a distance but not up close and have only seen Tiana singing in California Adventure.

Wednesday we spent a few hours in the park before nap time and then met some friends for dinner and Big Hero 6. Fun to see friends from college and the movie was really great.

The highlight from Thursday was meeting Baymax and Hiro. Not to be outdone by AMAZING seats for Worlds of Color after a tasty dinner. We also ate corn and turkey legs as a homage to Thanksgiving and saw a bunch of characters in both parks, including a special run-in with the Fairy Godmother.

By Friday we were all WIPED and the girl was not wanting to walk around anymore (in hindsight we should have rented a stroller for her, but it’s so much easier without one!) … but we had a good day, got some last minute souvenirs, and watched the Disneyland fireworks from our hotel pool deck before being totally ready to head home the next day.

Saturday morning we ate breakfast in the hotel with Mickey and his pals, packed, wandered around Downtown Disney one last time and headed to the airport.

Long week and we were all ready to be home.

Thankful for our adventures and ready to see where next Thanksgiving takes us!


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the end is near!

With spring break next week, I now have only 9 weeks of work left until the official start of SUMMER!

Can you tell I’m excited?? 🙂

Just had to let everyone know. I printed my door calendars for the last two months of school! (While they don’t seem to help anyone know which school I’m at on any given Wednesday that’s what they are for.) Made me happy to print out the last two!

I’m sure April and May will be over before I know it. And then, so will the summer, but I’m looking forward to this summer in a big way!

I’ll attempt to post something about our trip while we are gone … but don’t hold your breath …

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Weekend in Santa Fe

First the pictures … then the details.

We had a wonderful time in Santa Fe. I enjoyed wandering around the old town and window shopping, eating some tasty food and meandering through a couple museums.

What I didn’t enjoy so much was the long drives. I think my Vue is pretty comfy, but not after several hours! Another strange thing is how time seems to be sucked away when driving in NM. No idea why, if it’s my perception or what, but every mile seemed to take longer there. Like twice as long. Driving through Colorado seemed to go much faster. I drove through Colorado and let Andy drive the rest of the way on our way out and thought NM took longer since I wasn’t driving. Then on the way back I drove till just south of Colorado Springs and NM still took forever. I’m sure the length of time on the road was not helped by our stops at McDonald’s … that are supposed to be quick and easy. Instead, the McD’s in both Trinidad and Raton were completely full and took forever! Thankfully Stephan does relatively well in the car. He may not love it but he tolerates it, often better than I do. At least we saw some beautiful scenery now and then.

Enough about the road.

Our first night consisted of the welcome reception for Andy’s estate planning retreat. We had some tasty appetizers and a couple drinks and met a nice couple with a 17-month-old boy. Enjoyable to have someone to chat with and some good food to tide us over till we figured out what to do for dinner. We found a wood fired pizza place and figured we’d get plenty to eat if we just split a pizza and got two house salads. We were right and the pesto pizza was yummy. Then back to the hotel to crash. Or so we thought. Stephan wasn’t quite ready and took a while to relax and fall asleep.

The next morning we ate our breakfast at the hotel since it was included in our room and what a spread! Often hotel breakfasts can be a little on the sad side … not this one! There was an omelet station, several fruits, breads, cereals, meats, French toast, hash browns, scrambled eggs, bagels and lox, oatmeal, granola and I’m sure I’m forgetting something else. Needless to say we were stuffed! Andy was grateful as well since the “breakfast” included in his conference at that hotel was pretty lame and mostly gone by the time he arrived.

While he learned and filled his brain Stephan and I went down to check out the pool and then got ourselves cleaned up and walked around Santa Fe a bit before heading back to get some food in the little tyke. I found some neat shops to revisit later with Andy. Shortly after Stephan finished his lunch Andy was back for the afternoon and we went to Tia Sophia’s. BEST MEXICAN FOOD EVER! I loved this place. For lunch I got tostadas and a sopapilla and it was delicious. The beef was wonderfully seasoned and everything was perfect. I would have gone back but they are only open for breakfast and lunch and we didn’t need breakfast and Stephan didn’t wake up from his nap till after they were closed on Saturday.

After lunch we went to a store I wanted to show Andy and got some gifts for the peeps back home. The shop owner was totally adoring Stephan and he got a couple suckers, which he really liked. We then took Stephan back to the hotel for naptime where I discovered that the Georgia O’Keefe museum was just down the street and FREE on Friday evenings. I was excited! I love her flower paintings and have always wanted to go to her museum. So when Stephan woke up we got him some dinner and then walked over to the museum. Since we got there a bit before the free hours started I got to look through the museum shop and found two prints. Since we didn’t have to pay to get in, I was able to get a great souvenir! And, with the museum being so small we were done in time to head to the wine tasting Andy’s conference put on and get some more free appetizers. This time sushi and other tasty seafood treats. Once Stephan decided he was done with that, we wandered back out into Santa Fe and started looking for somewhere to eat a light dinner since we’d eaten a lot of appetizers. While we didn’t find anything Andy got to go through the Palace of the Governors which is a NM history museum, also free on Friday nights, and got a history book to read and a little wooden plane for Stephan.

We never did find anything that looked just right for dinner and were not super hungry so we just got some ice cream and coffee. Well, I got some ice cream and Andy got some coffee. And that was it for Friday, I was very tired and so ready for bed. Stephan did a little better going to sleep, but not much.

We went for breakfast together again on Saturday morning and then sent Andy across the street to his conference while we went up to the room to hang out. I was still pretty tired and really just wanted to sit by the pool and read. Since I cannot do that with Stephan I read while he played and then he went down for an early nap and I read some more. He had a fabulous nap, but as I mentioned before, slept too long for us to be able to go back to Tia Sophia’s. Instead we went to the Ore House after he woke up and ate some pretty good food. Spicy hot though, I’m a spicy hot wuss though. I don’t mind the flavor of the spices but don’t like the heat so this place was just ok in my book. My margarita, while VERY strong, wasn’t the greatest either. The salsa trio appetizer was pretty good though, best part of my meal.

After our late lunch we wandered around the art festival in the plaza and went back to the hotel room to get ready for the pool. Stephan thoroughly enjoyed himself in spite of a few teary moments. He sure does love the water! We got cleaned up and went back to the pizza place for a light dinner. Split a salad with some tuna and other tasty toppings as well as a pepperoni pizza. Both were delicious and the waitress even brought out some pizza dough for Stephan to play with. Of course he ate some of it and couldn’t quite figure out what to do with it really. He did enjoy mackin’ with the other people eating at the restaurant and walking around a little while we ate. We then wandered a bit more and stopped for ice cream again since it was so delicious the night before.

I shouldn’t have, but I stayed up late reading the rest of Healing Stones and last night I stayed up listening to the end of Shopaholic Ties the Knot which I also shouldn’t have done but I digress … we woke up when Stephan, our alarm for the day, “went off”. The three of us cuddled some and then went down to breakfast. After that the packing frenzy began and after getting everything in the car we stopped at a Starbucks on the way out of town and were headed home!

While I certainly love the destination better than the actual traveling there and back, the longs drives were worth it and I had a great time with my boys. Just wish my in-laws had joined us since they both would have had a blast as well!

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Florida Fun

Here’s a slideshow from our trip to FL.


Things have been busy since we’ve gotten back! After getting in on Friday night, ordering a pizza for dinner, picking up milk at the store and unpacking the essentials, we crashed. The good thing is that Stephan adjusted to the time change well. I feared he’d be ready to rise and shine at 5 am but he’s been sleeping till 7:30 in the morning. We had to turn his crib into a daybed and I was nervous about that but he’s handling that pretty well too, aside from falling out once or twice a day. I love that I can lean down and kiss him good night now.

The FL trip went well, as you can see I took the most pictures at the beach. I’m bummed I didn’t end up with too many at the wedding but I’m usually the one taking pictures and as I was occupied with the wedding and Andy with chasing after Stephan, there wasn’t anyone to snap pictures for me. I think I might try getting us both dressed up again for some pictures, we’ll see if there’s time!

We enjoyed spending time with our friends Scott & Rebecca at their home in northern FL. Spent some time at the Jacksonville Zoo and were able to get a tour of a nuclear sub on the Navy base where Scott works. Even Stephan got to go with. He was cute too. Cramped quarters on a sub and we were often in the way so I was constantly saying sorry. Stephan picked up on that and after a bit was saying sorry to every person we saw like it was hello or something. We also got to shop is a cute little downtown area where I got my souvenir, a Vera Bradley purse. I was very excited.

On the way down to my aunt & uncle’s house in Vero we stopped in Daytona, hoping to drive on the beach. This did not live up to expectations since it’s not like a road really, it’s more of a parking lot. So people were walking from cars to the beach and driving super slow because they wanted to park on the beach. We didn’t end up driving on the beach at all. We also stopped in Cocoa Beach to go to Ron Jon’s surf shop, also a disappointment. Though I did get some new flip flops and Andy got a hat. The best little “pit stop” was St. Augustine. Such a cute town and fun to explore a bit from our car. I’d love to go back and wander more and see what the town has being so old and full of history and all.

The time in Vero was great, very relaxing and laid back. I really loved reconnecting with my aunt. It’s been WAY TOO LONG! Maybe we’ll be able to go back again soon. The beach was great, we got lots of pictures and seashells. Even some pretty large ones.

The airport was insane, but the wonderful person to check us in let us check three bags, a PNP and a car seat when technically I think we should have had to pay for the PNP. She said the car seat didn’t count and we surely didn’t complain! Security was a nightmare and the adrenaline was flowing freely till we were on the plane and in the air.

Good to be home.

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Life is Good!

Here’s a smattering of things I’ve been thankful for lately but haven’t posted about.

     Probably one of the biggest things is that we were able to go to MN. I’m so thankful for the time with our family, especially our grandparents! We have been wanting to go to MN for quite some time since it’s been probably about three years since we had gone back but when we had the time off we couldn’t afford plane tix or gas for the drive. While hearing that Andy’s grandpa wasn’t doing well was a bummer, we are so thankful God provided some extra work so we had the ability to pay for gas and hotel rooms and food along the trek!

     I’m also grateful that we were able to visit with our grandparents. We could tell Grandpa wasn’t doing well but were blessed to have some great conversations and he loved meeting his great-grandson, as did my gram. Grandpa was quite concerned however that I wasn’t getting enough sleep. He commented several times (due to memory issues or utter concern) that Stephan was “very active” and “keeps you busy” and would then ask if I “slept when he took naps.” No matter how much I assured him that Stephan sleeps pretty good at night and I do nap when he does if I need to, he was still very concerned. I think just watching Stephan run around and get into everything made him tired! My Aunt Steph told me that her oldest was the same way. Go, go, go and then just crash when it was bedtime. We agreed that snuggly times are precious since they often only come when sick or tired.

     When in MN we stayed with Aunt Ginny & Uncle Ken who have been home several years after being evacuated from the Congo where they were missionaries for several years. Great down to earth people who will do anything for you and are wonderful examples of living and loving as Christ showed us when he walked upon the earth. I’m thankful they made us several dinners so we didn’t have to spend as much money eating out and let us take over their basement for a week.

     Finally, I’m thankful for safe travels to and from MN. We had a few long days on the road but Stephan was a trooper and WE MADE IT!!

     I’m also thankful for good reading. I’ve read the final Yada Yada Prayer Group installment yesterday while Andy was driving, and while I’m sad the series has ended since I’ve learned a lot from the ladies in the books, I’m looking forward to Neta’s next book/series. I also read for women only which was a great book about what men are thinking and what they need from us as wives and mothers and my hubby and I started reading through Love & Respect. While sometimes I am frustrated by the generalizations I’ve learned so much about my hubby and what he needs that I’ve been clueless about and hence not providing for him. We are only through the first part of L&R and I think after our initial read through together will head out and buy the study guide for some material to help us take these concepts deeper and really understand each other better. I’m thankful for resources that came along during a season in my marriage where I really needed to understand some things and make some changes. I also hope to pull together two couples who are engaged and share this book with them from the start of their marriage, not seven and a half years into it!! Like the author of L&R says these concepts won’t automatically give you a perfect marriage but with a little effort can give you the tools to have a fabulous one! Here’s to keeping that courtship love alive!!

     I love to read and have also been excited about my new devotional Bible. So far the devotions have been great and I’m thankful for a little encouragement at getting my quite time back. There have been great insights and questions that I’ve thought about and what can I say … I’m thankful for birthday cash!

     So good to be home again. I’m thankful my friend took great care of my cat while we were gone. Graycie was very affectionate when we returned and quite obnoxious during the night, but she is a sweetheart. She snuggled up in Stephan’s blankies in his crib while we were gone. She must have missed him since she usually snuggles up in our bed. She also let him pet her and sat right next to him on the couch last night … I was impressed. I’m thankful that the person parked in our spot last night was easily located and moved his car so we didn’t have to deal with towing him and were able to bring in all our crap more easily. I usually get so frustrated but my friend had called and said that she’d seen a truck in our spot so I was prepared. I’m thankful my chiropractor was open and got me all snapped back into place after the long drives in the car and different beds for a week. He even used a fancy massage tool to loosen up my muscles. I’m thankful I slept in my own bed last night. Isn’t that a wonderful feeling?

     Finally, I’m thankful that my hubby’s working his butt off today after driving all day yesterday. I’m sure he’s tired and wishes he was somewhere else and maybe even wishes we’d left on Saturday and he could have had a day off before going back to work but he’s back to the grindstone and not complaining about it either.

     I’m also thankful that I had a week off work … but that will make it all the tougher to go back tomorrow and be focused and productive and efficient.

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heading home soon

can i just say that I HATE PACKING. on top of that it was cheaper to buy two gallons of milk than just one and now we have a full gallon of milk that we can’t use or take home. OY! stephan’s been a real trooper through this whole trip and we’ve had a great time connecting with family. i’m ready to be home though. wish we didn’t have to drive the whole way there though. can someone please develop a portal that we can drive through and just go wherever we want. that would faciliate me being able to visit several people i want to much easier and more often. anywhoo, off to eat a yummy lunch made by my aunt and then finish packing the car. we’ll head out around four so hopefully we won’t have to entertain stephan long and we’ll get farther than we did on the first leg of our trip. we’ll be crashing in omaha and then back to denver tomorrow … hip-hip-hooray!

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in case you were wondering, WE MADE IT

WOW! Traveling with a one year old is crazy and takes forever. We drove out to MN to visit with our aging grandparents and several other family members. And …

We made it. After driving for what seemed like FOREVER, we are here in MN. We left after Andy got home from work on Monday and just drove a few hours to North Platte. Not bad. Stephan fell asleep almost immediately and slept for the whole drive only waking up now and then when we stopped briefly. My sister called and the conversation kept me awake and alert and we had a good conversation so that was great since I was driving.

The hotel we stayed at was crap. Got $20 bucks back though so that was very good. I mean seriously, the heater shut off and refused to turn back on at 3:00am and the alarm in the room next to us started going off at 6:00am and DID NOT SHUT OFF!! Was pretty cute though that when we got in Stephan was so wired. We thought he’d not go back to sleep. We got all ready for bed as fast as possible and then with all the lights off he chatted and giggled. Thankfully after about ten minutes with no return attention he went to sleep and didn’t wake up till the heater fiasco when he got too cold.

Yesterday on the road took FOREVER and Stephan actually handled it better than I! He was such a trooper and we had no meltdowns. Course we stopped regularly and let him out to wander for a few minutes on his leash. Best $10 we spent in preparation for this trip. Was also glad for the toys and when those didn’t work the Baby Einstien DVDs were a life saver. He enjoyed those and was pretty chipper till we were pretty close to Great Auntie’s house. Was so glad to make it here finally! We are going to try and balance the drive a little better on the way home so we don’t have another awful long (12 hour) day.

Well, we’re off to go hang with Stephan’s GreatGrandpa. Will be fun to catch them on video.