Sunday, July 28, 2013

Big news!

Nope, our family remains (and will remain) at 5 "+ one member", as the girls describe it, having been confused by the addition of Mira and how to say something similar to, "Now there are six people in our family" - but with the realization that Mira is not a person.  So we are "5 + one member".  "Six members" was too orthodox, I suppose.  :)

Instead, this blog - after almost six years - is moving homes!  I've begun the transition to move everything to a wordpress site as part of a larger project I'm doing.  I really do hope you'll redirect bookmarks, resubscribe, etc over there - I'd miss you otherwise!

And to tempt you right from the start, there's a new post there.... ;)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Before the big birthday party...

... there was a cake smash session.  Behold, some pictures of the cutest boy I know.  Seriously, I can't take it.

The rest are in the April album here.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Easter 2013

This year was so much fun with the girls, who were finally able to really take ownership dying their eggs!  Some of my favorite pictures...

Nolan supervised
Easter was pretty typical for us - serving at church for hours and hours (wouldn't have it any other way!) followed by an evening with my family.  No egg hunt this year due to some scheduling conflicts, but nobody seemed to mind.  The family is where it's at, anyway :)

My picture perfect crew.

...aaand, reality. ;)


WCMOTC Spring Party

Easter, really? It's almost August.  *sigh*  Oh well, they were already cute back then, too, so I press on! :)

We all made it to the WCMOTC Spring Party again, which now I realize as I write was probably our last twins club function since we've just started donating most of our stuff instead of spending hours tagging and selling it.  Interestingly, not at all bittersweet.  I'm mostly indifferent, though thankful for a couple of great friendships from there. But (as often is the case,) I digress...

The kids had a great time as always with crafts, snacks and an egg hunt!

And hey, the Easter bunny appears to have gotten an extreme makeover! ;)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Disneyland/California: March 5 and a Wrap-up

Remember that nearly perfect ending I mentioned?  Yeah, let's pretend our trip ended there.  The night following, as some of you know, all 5 of us at once experienced the most violent Norovirus.  It was worse than I could have even imagined, even in healthcare - and it was all of us, all night.  Oh my gosh,  I wish I could erase that night from my memory.

We spent the early morning hours determining whether we could even fly home or would need to extend our stay a day and rebook our flight.  With lots of meds and prayer we decided to go for it and try to get home, knowing it would be even worse to be so sick in the hotel.

To complicate matters, snowstorms at home threatened to cancel the second leg of our travel, nobody got dinner, we had yet another lost gate check item that took almost two hours to retrieve (after waiting an hour for our other bags to arrive (stupid, consistently awful Dayton baggage claim)).  Our most expensive, largest suitcase was destroyed in the process, too, which was fun.  It was truly an awful, awful day - but we were so thankful to have had the entire trip prior to enjoy without illness.

We were told repeatedly (I lost count) that we'd hate Disneyland, having been to WDW so much.  True, it is minuscule by comparison.  True, my beloved "Disney bubble" that completely cuts me off from real live is absolutely non-existent.  True, Sleeping Beauty's castle - aside from the walkthrough - is kind of lame when compared with Cinderella's abode.  That's all "they" got right, though.  This place was absolutely magical.  The nostalgia factor is indescribable if you're a culture nerd or Disney buff.  The rides are worth exploring for the favorites, the changes to favorites, and the dozens of rides not available in Florida.  And Southern California has so much to offer that we wished we had been able to stay for weeks.

We thought it would be a once-in-a-lifetime trip, essentially to check something off of a to-do list.  Now we can't wait to go back.

All the photos are up now, aside from Photopass pics.  With the move, etc, I honestly have no idea where those ended up :)  Someday...

Disneyland/California: March 4

Our last day at the Disneyland Resort - boo!  There was, of course, so much left undone... but we looked at some options, made our top choices and headed out.

We started the day at California Adventure, waiting at Rope Drop to get fastpasses for Soarin'.  First stop after that was Mater's Junkyard Jamboree.  It was already a 25 minute wait (we are so spoiled, I know!) but it was well worth it.  We hung out in Carsland with Nolan while Kyle and Elise rode, then headed back to Condor Flats to ride our still-favorite ride.  For the sake of time, I road with the girls.  They got a kick out of Duffy "riding" with us (in the under-seat storage area).  He enjoyed it just as much as we always do!

We saw the real Duffy next (who doesn't sign at DL - odd) an ate a delicious lunch of one last corndog and some phenomenal skewers (including a dessert skewer) from Paradise Pier Garden Grill.  After lunch, we walked through Carsland and It's a Bug's Land one more time on the way to Hollywood - Disney style.  The charming version, not the sketchy one ;)

We had tried to prepare, but there were no words to describe how incredible the Animation building is on the West Coast.  We were all speechless walking in... and now I've deleted the rest of this sentence three times trying to describe it.  Just go, already.

In the animation building, we checked out the Sorcerer's workshop (incredible!) while waiting for our scheduled drawing class.  If you've been to the animation academy at WDW, this is similar - but absolutely humongous.  With the size and schedule it's much less intimate of course, but it's perhaps a trade-off for going as often as one would like?  We drew Tigger and Minnie, and had a great time as always - then said a sad goodbye to California Adventure!

Across the Esplanade at Disneyland Park we headed first to Tomorrowland.  The girls wanted to ride Space Mountain again (yes!) so Kyle took them on Buzz while I got fastpasses.  They weren't for a while, so we went to Adventureland to check out DL's Jungle Cruise.... and get a Dole Whip, of course, despite absolutely not being hungry.

We also got to ride "it's a small world" again before heading back to Space Mountain - which was closed, again.  What gives, Disneyland?!  While we waited for it to reopen we said hello to a Stormtrooper (who can't sign autographs because he can't put his blaster down, "just in case"), took another trip through the castle walkthrough, and rode Astro Orbiter.

We had absolutely intended to see the Disneyland Story and Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, but I think we'll have to try that when we have somewhere for the kids to go or when Nolan is much bigger. As a 45 minute show, we had almost an hour to wait for the next one, too.  Not happening with a <1 5-year-olds="" a="" and="" been="" bench="" building="" check="" etc="" extra="" from="" fun="" griffith="" having="" impatient="" in="" including="" incredible="" maps="" models="" nbsp="" old="" out="" p="" park="" t="" the="" things="" though="" throughout="" to="" two="" was="" year="" years.="">
We finally headed to our parade spot where everyone sat while I picked up some delicious sandwiches and soup from Jolly Holiday and desserts from the Confectionary.  By this point, we had determined Nolan's previous GI issues were not likely allergy-related, as one-by-one we all fell to the most wicked stomach bug Kyle and I have ever seen.  It's not all that surprising though, that we still thoroughly enjoyed the nighttime parade in spite of ourselves.  It was a wonderful end to our vacation!