Countdown – 1 Week till Disney World!



Only one more week until my family’s next Disney vacation! I’m so excited! I’m so excited that, even though I talked about it just the other day, I’m going to talk about it again. 🙂

This trip will be my second visit to Disney World this year, and it will also be my second time staying at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. This wasn’t our original plan. We wanted to stay at Boardwalk Inn, but when military rates came out, there weren’t rooms available for our travel dates there. Yacht Club was available and still in the EPCOT resort area, so we went with it.

It is lovely, isn’t it? These are my photos from my trip in March. I can’t wait to get “home.” I can’t wait to be part of my nephews’ first time meeting Mickey Mouse. I can’t wait to hug my Mom & Dad. I’m really excited about experiencing the Food & Wine Festival for the first time, too. I think I am even going to have a roller coaster buddy this time around. My little daredevil is finally tall enough, and she says she is IN! Whoop! Whoop!

Anyway, I hope I’m not making everyone crazy. You’ll probably get to see me packing to go, too. I apologize for that in advance.

And in case I don’t have time to swing back by here tomorrow (which is entirely likely since I still have costumes to wrap up and I managed to volunteer myself at both kids’ class parties), HAPPY HALLOWEEN!



Papa’s Pumpkin Patch

We visited the pumpkin patch in Bismarck a couple of weeks ago. You know the drill. It takes me a little while to get the photos out of the camera.

These kids of mine are such goofs. I try really hard to get good pictures of them. One wants no part in it; the other wants to see how silly she can look. I’ve mastered the art of closing my eyes and snapping ten times, hoping for a decent shot. It didn’t work out this time.

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We visited the same pumpkin patch last year. I’ve seen a list of the best pumpkin patches in the country circulating Facebook this fall. Guess who made the list? Papa’s Pumpkin Patch in Bismarck, North Dakota. How about that?

Here’s our “How Tall This Fall?” photo from last year…

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Yes, Neely wore flip flops. We had no idea until we’d arrived – two hours from home. This was when we learned that “put on jackets and bring gloves” doesn’t always translate to “wear warm shoes” in our kids’ minds. Not to worry. This year, we knew better.

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They’ve both gotten taller…and Neely’s hair is a lot longer.

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That thing I said earlier about trying to get good pictures of my kids? It applies to my husband, too. Family photos are always…interesting.

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We had a good time, and we got to stay longer and enjoy more since we all dressed appropriately!

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We bailed almost right after I took this photo. It started to rain, so we snagged a few little pumpkins and headed home.



It’s almost time to runDisney again!


In just three weeks, WE’LL BE AT DISNEY WORLD! I might be just a tiny bit excited. I get to see my parents for the first time since Easter. I get to see my brother, his wife, and their boys for the first time since Easter…it’s the first time my husband will meet our sweet nephew Henry, and he hasn’t seen any of the others since last December! Oh, and it will be Levi and Henry’s first time at Disney World. I’m so glad I get to be there.

In addition to all the normal planning and excitement that goes into a Disney vacation, I’m also preparing to run the 2014 Wine & Dine Half Marathon. Some of you may remember that I ran a half marathon with pretty much no training in September…and PR’ed. So weird. I have been running more since then, but I completely ditched the Jeff Galloway training plans. I’ve been alternating a pretty laid-back week of running with a more intense week that includes a long run. I ran 13.1 two weeks ago – on a treadmill, because the weather was horrible that day. I had a lot of pain in my quads for several days after that. I’m blaming that on the treadmill. Blech. It didn’t make me very excited about winter coming.

Anyway, I’ve got one last long run planned for next week, and that will be it until race day! I can hardly believe it’s this close. Bib numbers and corrals have already been assigned for race day. I’ll be wearing #4388, which puts me in corral F. I’ll be right in the middle of the pack, exactly where I am most comfortable. 🙂

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Is my costume ready? Of course not! I completely forgot to add it in my big list of costumes the other day. I decided to run as Cruella DeVille. I have most of the components sitting around, ready to go. I’ve got my sparkle skirt, my running shoes (which I thought were red when I ordered them, but they’re pink), my tank top, and my running sleeves. The tank top needs a little dalmatian embellishment, and I’d like to find some big, green earrings like hers, too. I’ll skip the cigarette.

I had grand intentions of attempting to run in a wig for this. I even bought one, but the more I think about it, the more it scares me. If my head is overheating, I will lose my mind, and will probably end up throwing the wig away. I can’t really bear the thought of just tossing a $30 wig, so I’m trying to come up with a new plan.

I think that I will either a) wear two braids, or b) wear some crazy, teased-out pigtails. Whichever of those I choose, I’ll spray one half black and the other half white. What would Cruella do? Braids or pigtails? I really do need help deciding, if anyone wants to throw their two cents into the pot.

Catching up…part two…

I know you’ve just been sitting around for the last two days, wondering what else could possibly be keeping me so busy that I’m not updating my blog. I’m back to add to the list, and ease your curiosity. (ha!)


This year, Aidan has chosen to dress as a Minecraft skeleton, and Neely is going as Anna from Frozen…with the request that I dress up with her, as Elsa. She comes by it honestly. I love a good group costume.

After many stops and restarts, I finally finished the Anna costume last week.

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The skeleton is still a work in progress. I’ve got the body/sweat suit done. It’s the stinking box head that I need to buckle down and finish. I know it won’t even take that long. I’m not sure why I haven’t motivated myself to get it done yet. Poor Aidan. This will probably be the costume that isn’t ready until October 30th. At 11:59pm.

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The Elsa dress is nowhere near finished. I got the bodice sewn together, three weeks ago, and when it came time to attach the skirt, I realized I’d cut a piece out with the wrong side of the pattern on the fold. No problem, I’ll just go get more fabric, right? Wrong. I bought the last of the bolt. I waited a week to see if our Joann’s would restock it, and they didn’t. They can’t ever tell you if they’re going to get more of something, either. It’s ridiculous. So I ordered more online. One week later, my order is canceled, BECAUSE IT IS OUT OF STOCK ONLINE!!! I checked my local store again. Still nothing, and there wasn’t anything left in the same color to make due. My super wonderful fantastic mother saved my butt. She went to her Joann’s, in Tennessee, found something in the same color, and shipped it to me. It arrived yesterday, so I need to get back in gear on this dress. At least all the other material I bought and already cut out won’t be going to waste, the way I was afraid it would be.

I’m a bit afraid to share the last costume I’m working on. This one is for me, too. We’re attending a Halloween-themed event on November 1st, and I’m weird. I don’t want to use my Halloween costume for it. This dress is a major work in progress.


Does anybody have a guess? I may not share it unless it turns out. We shall see…


I’ve got some catching up to do!

Time has been getting away from me lately. Last week, I sat down and started to write a big post about what’s been keeping me busy, but it was extremely disjointed, not to mention crazy long. I’ve decided to break it down into small bites throughout the week. You may start reading and think, “Who cares?” And that’s fine. Come back another day. 😉

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To begin with, I’m still getting over the end of summer and the kids starting school. Even though I’m not the one going day after day, I still feel busier. I have to be out of bed before everyone else. I’m packing lunches. I’m making sure everyone is awake in enough time to eat, get dressed, fight in the bathroom, etc. I haul my kids to school in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon. I unpack (often mostly untouched) lunch boxes. I empty backpacks and make sure homework is done. I help practice spelling words (painful), and I sign behavior charts. Daily.

Sometimes, I get to throw in PTA meetings and trips to the school to volunteer. We’ll be having Halloween parties soon, and a Book Fair, and parent-teacher conferences, and Turkey Bingo, and Popcorn Day…EEEEEK!

This is not even the only place I volunteer. I also have to, you know, find time to do the work I’m being paid for. I feel like I’m still in the adjustment period, even though we’re two months into the school year. By the time I learn how to balance everything just so, it’ll be time for summer break (which I’m totally cool with – I love summer break!).

Anyway, there’s reason #1 that I’ve been away from the blog for a while. I’ll come back with reason #2 another day. Small doses, people. This is all I can handle right now.