Sunday, January 31, 2010


It is Sunday. I love Sundays. I love my primary. I love sitting with my kids in sacrament meeting. And Jason is home. I especially love sitting with my entire family. All of us together.

But today I'm home with a sick little boy. :( The poor guy was up all night with a horrible cough and a fever. So Jason has taken Payson to church today and I am at home on my bed with the laptop snuggling a sick little boy while he watches Cars, already for the second time this morning. But that's how we do things here. When you're sick you get whatever you want. Even if that means watching tv on Sunday (which we normally don't do) or making your mom watch the same movie over and over and over again.

Anyway, my circumstances today made me think of this post, especially the last paragraph. And that paragraph made me think of my all time favorite ever song. And those two things combined with snuggles from the most beautiful boy you've ever seen made me so, so, so grateful to be a mother!! No matter how hard, it really is the best thing in the world.

Monday, January 25, 2010


I thought I was doing great! Really. For the first month I really struggled. I had okay days and bad days. Even one or two good days in there. Then for the last two weeks I've been doing great! I was excited for friends and family who announced new pregnancies, had babies, or found out the gender of their expected arrivals. I knew I wanted a baby soon, but I was okay with letting it happen when it happens. I felt no anxiety or pressure. I wasn't stocking up on pregnancy tests and ovulation kits or any craziness like that. I was focusing on other goals and things and I was having lots of good regards to the miscarriage at least. (There were a few days in there that I wanted to ring little necks, but those are fairly normal around here and just don't count.) :)

Anyway, like I said, I really was doing great. Two whole weeks of great. Six weeks out and I thought I was going to be just fine. I even went to a birthday party with 3 other families and these three women, friends of mine, all had babies under 3 months old. I was the only one without a newborn. But I was okay! I enjoyed cuddling theirs and thinking about how someday it will happen for us and that will be wonderful!

And then today happened. I read a blog. One more pregnancy announcement. And I burst into tears. WHY?!?! I am happy for her! I love seeing my friends little families grow! I love watching new babies come into this world! And I want to feel joy, ONLY joy for these women! Why, today, do I have to feel joy mixed with pain mixed with sadness mixed with jealousy mixed with guilt?! I HATE IT!

So I guess what "they" say is right. ("They" being other women who have experienced a loss.) It comes in stages. Waves. It sneaks up on you when you least expect it. Sometimes with a trigger. Sometimes for no reason.

Ugh. I don't like feeling this way. It doesn't feel like me. It doesn't feel right. And at the same time it does. Because I'm allowed to grieve. I did lose a baby. Some might think it was just a fetus. "Just" a miscarriage. But it was my baby. So I'm going to let myself be sad again today. I'm going to let myself cry. I'm going to wish I was still pregnant, 17 weeks tomorrow. I'm going to wish that 5 weeks ago hadn't happened.

But just for a little while. And then I'm going to make an effort to be happy. Because I don't like not being happy. And I don't want to hurt so much. And because I really AM happy for each of you out there who is expecting or just had a baby. I am thrilled for you! And I love to read your blog posts about the joy of being a new mom, whether for the first time or the tenth!

So leave me comments today. Tell me that it's okay for me to feel sad and all of these other emotions. That's what I need. And then tomorrow I'll be a little better.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Well, I still have to finish up my family vay-cay post (which isn't much) and then there's Christmas and New Year's. Then Jason's and my birthdays. I got Payson's, but I'll still be posting about her birthday party. (Which, thank heavens, isn't until next week, because I'm so behind on everything!) But until I get to it, I'm posting this instead. And beware! It's long!!

Of course I thought about resolutions at the beginning of the month. But I didn't make any. Out of sheer laziness. Then I read a post about the idea of coming up with a one word sort of "theme" for the year instead of resolutions. I thought about that idea for a while and decided that that is exactly what I needed to do this year. And DOABLE! Not like failing miserably every year at resolutions!!

So I though about all the different words I could work on this year. There were plenty to consider that I needed to work on! Healthy. Simple. Consistent. Organized. But none of the words really fit what I wanted this year. Then, finally, I thought of the perfect word for me:


This word encompasses all of the things I want to work on during 2010. I grew up in an incredible HOME. We didn't always have a house. I lived in a few apartments, then a small rental home, my parent's first home, and then the home they live in now, which still feels a bit like home to me. But regardless of where we lived, it always felt like HOME.

Many would say that the mother makes the home. I don't believe that. I think my mother probably did most of the work to make it feel that way, but there were certain things my dad did too.

He blessed and dedicated each place we lived using priesthood power. These blessings always reminded me that our home was protected and watched over by my Heavenly Father and that His spirit would always dwell there as long as we were living righteously. This brought me comfort when I was home alone, or especially when Dad was working (his work took him out of town frequently). His presence brought comfort and a feeling of safety. But when he couldn't be there, I knew my Heavenly Father was.

What a blessing that my husband is worthy to hold the same priesthood and has blessed and dedicated each of our homes throughout our marriage! And now that my husband is away so much, it brings me the same comfort as when I was growing up. I need to remember more often to strive to live worthy of that blessing on our home.

My parents, together, made sure we consistently had family scriptures and prayers and family home evenings. Sometimes we were better than others. But throughout my life we were pretty good about that. With Jason being gone so often, I am the one who really needs to make the effort to make these things happen. And to be honest, I'm pretty good about it! But I can be better.

Having the spirit in my home is something else I need to work on. I know my parents always tried to teach us to treat each other with kindness, love, and respect. Of course, this wasn't always how we behaved, but we were taught. I think that keeping myself spiritually in tune is the best way that I can teach these things to my children. I need to be better about having personal scripture study EVERY day. And personal prayers should be said EVERY morning and EVERY night. Again, I'm pretty good about doing these things most of the time. But most of the time really isn't good enough. I know I don't need to be perfect, but I can be better.

Adding to the spirit in my home, I need to turn off the television and computer a little more often. And maybe turn on some music. I know especially on Sunday's this creates a HUGE difference in our days! Especially the mornings!

And speaking of Sundays, I can try a little harder to be prepared Saturday night and be not just right on time, but EARLY (gasp) for our church meetings!

Last, I need to make a better effort to attend the temple monthly. Again, something I do pretty well now. Do I sound like I'm tooting my own horn? I don't mean to. I'm just saying, I do attend the temple almost monthly now. Sometimes I wish I could go more, but being 2 1/2 hours away from the temple, and having young kids, doesn't make that easy, especially with Wyoming's winter roads. Ugh. But aside from simply going to the temple, I can be better about planning ahead and preparing myself, going with a purpose, and paying more attention to the spirit while there.

So there already my theme of HOME has set some spiritual goals in place for me! Yay for no resolutions!!

Aside from spiritual goals, I want to work on managing my home better. This is the first year that we haven't felt dirt poor. Now, we've always been pretty blessed. We've always had shelter and food and clothing, etc. But we've lived paycheck to paycheck most of our marriage. We've had some pretty rough patches here and there. Now that we're blessed to have a little extra...(and trust me, we're trying to live worthy of that little extra by paying tithing and a generous fast offering; although I should probably add being more generous with our financial blessings to that spiritual goal list!)...anyway, now that we have a little extra, I'm trying to be a better budgeter (it's a word). I need to learn better to make each dollar stretch a little further. I need to constantly remind myself that just because it's in the bank account doesn't mean I should spend it! I need to be better about watching how much is going towards debt, towards, savings, towards groceries (maybe I should start couponing for real this year!), etc.

Another part of my home that I need to work on is organization. I do better mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and even financially when I am organized. And the kids behave so much better when we stick to our routines!! And it affects Jason when he's home as well. We
have more time to enjoy each other as a family and as a couple when I help us to stay organized.

Part of staying organized for me is getting back onto a personal routine. That means going to bed around the same time each night, getting up each morning at a certain time, working out again, getting ready for the day before I do anything else (otherwise I end up in my jammies all day long), doing laundry on a certain day, planning meals (which keeps me eating healthy AND I enjoy it anyway!), etc. All of these little things make me happy!! Which brings the spirit into my home. Which helps everyone else to be happy! So why have I gotten off track from doing most of them?! Ugh! Anyway, this year I'm getting back to it!

And last, keeping in tune with being organized, I really want to work on my physical HOME this year! We have had either old hand-me-downs (nothing wrong with that!) or super cheap Walmart buys (a lot wrong with that) our entire marriage. The things that are old needs to either be replaced or fixed up. And the Walmart buys, well, ugh. I should probably stay on track and not bore you with my loathing for Walmart. But this is my blog and I can say what I want! Initially I loved Walmart. It was all we could afford when we were first married! After time (and a very short amount of time at that) every single item we every bought there fell apart. Almost instantly. So we ended up either living with dysfunctional pieces or buying new ones with money we couldn't afford. I finally realized why it matters to buy QUALITY things!! Not expensive, but it's better to go without for a little while and save up for things that will last than to throw your money into the great pit that is Walmart.

Anyway, now that I'm done with my Walmart rant. So I have a few goals with my physical home this year. First, I want to replace every piece of crap furniture I own. If it's not quality, I don't want it. I figure if I am thrifty and careful with each penny, that I can save up throughout the year and purchase beautiful, quality furnishings for every room in our home. I may find bargains on otherwise expensive pieces, I may have to put a lot of love and work into older pieces, or I may have to scrimp and save for certain pieces that I really want, but whatever it takes, I'm going to do it!

And not just on the furniture. I waste all kinds of time ogling over the beautiful creations of crafters on blogs. There is no reason I can't do that too! So I'm not creative when it comes to coming up with new and exciting decorating ideas! So what?! I can just copy theirs!! :) So, throughout 2010 you will be lucky enough to see several before and afters of my little town home!

By the end of the year I plan to have gone through, one by one, and completely organized, furnished, and decorated each room and closet and space in this little rental we call home. I may not love my town home, but if I love everything and everyone in it, then I'll grow to love it too! Right? Well, that's an idea, anyway.

And I've already got a great head start!! :) Jason got a great little bonus in January. After buying a laptop for himself (which he needs because he is going to be taking online classes to finish up his degree), and a new iPod (he justified this purchase by planning to give me his old one, since I don't have one), he left the rest of the money to me! So I paid tithing and bills, paid down some debt, put some in savings, and then WENT SHOPPING!! :)

I hate my family room. And it's the room in the house where we spend the most time. I have a sofa. A nice sofa. Problem is, I bought a cream-ish microfiber sofa, which ALWAYS looks filthy because of my children's grubby little hands and mouths! The color on it, wipe their hands on it, spill food on it (even when I try to get them to keep it in the kitchen!), wipe their snotty little noses on it, etc. Ugh. I thought the furniture salesman said that microfiber was easy to keep clean and super child friendly?! LIAR!! So I've resolved that leather will be my only saving grace.

I spent lots of energy trying to come with with ideas that would suit my taste AND compliment a leather couch. I'm not an interior designer, so it probably took me longer than it should to come up with what I wanted. But once I did I had an exact idea in my mind! And over the years I have learned that it is better to wait for what you really want than to just grab whatever you can afford and hope that one day you'll get what you want. You've got to make it happen!!

So that's what I'm doing! Making it happen. And it will probably take a while, but eventually I'll have just what I want and it will be great quality and beautiful and last me forever! And if it doesn't, well I'll just have to deal with it because let's face it, I spent a good chunk of change and I can't afford to try something else. :) But really, I highly doubt that I won't love it for always! Because it's what I've always wanted!!

Obviously, I started with the family room. Like I said, we spend the most time there. It is where the kids play. Where I relax. Where I fold laundry. Where we play the Wii together (Payson beats Jason at bowling EVERY time!!). Where I work on primary stuff. Where I read blogs and waste time on the internet. Where we curl up to watch family movies on that stupid microfiber couch. We LIVE in that room! It has to be the first to change!

Our tv sits in a black armoire. I actually still love this armoire. I bought it from Target a few years ago. (Although you sometimes need to be selective, Target is generally not like Walmart!!) It is still in great condition and beautiful. It is a sturdy piece and will give us several more years of enjoyment. And it was a great price for a solid piece. So I definitely don't want to get rid of it. However, very soon there will not be enough drawer space for all of our dvds. We have already moved our games to another drawer to make room for the dvds. And, well, it just doesn't match what I have in mind surrounding my future leather sectional.

So I plan to take the armoire upstairs. It matches our bedroom perfectly. We can use the extra drawer space and it will be nice to be able to shut the tv behind doors. So this month I purchased a gorgeous tv stand and hutch from my absolute favorite store in the world!! I have been addicted to this store for ages! But couldn't ever really afford it. Or so I thought! Come to find out, it's not as expensive as I would have guessed! And with Jason's bonus, it fit into my budget just right! I was so excited when I found out how much it was at the store that I bought it without talking to Jason at all! (Normally he and I discuss any purchases more than $100 or so dollars, but he was at work and I couldn't get a hold of him, and, well,...I knew he'd understand this one.) :)

Anyway, not only did I end up purchasing an entertainment unit, but I purchased 2 desks, 2 chairs, and a bookcase for the opposite side of the room. This will not only contribute to my goal of redecorating the room, but also organizing it, as well as giving me a great place to get myself and my routine organized. PLUS, I'll have a little workstation where I can plan meals, make grocery lists, work on primary stuff, read my scriptures, plan FHE, etc. to help me with all those other goals I've got going on. See? I'm getting use out of every penny spent! Accomplishing all kids of goals!

Seriously though, I got a LOT of pieces that are super amazing quality and EXACTLY what I want. AND they serve multiple very needed purposes in my HOME!! YAY!! I really can't tell you how excited I am about this darn furniture! Only downer is that they take a little time to order and ship and finish and everything.

Anyway, another part of this goal/resolution/theme thing is a PIANO!! I play. Did you know that? Not well, but I play. I started when I was 11 ish. I wish I had started sooner, but my family was pretty poor until then. Anyway, I want my children to play. And if later they choose another instrument that's fine. Anyone who knows anything about music knows that the piano is the perfect introduction to playing any instrument. Payson will be old enough to start lessons in the next year or two. (I've heard some say to start at 5 and others say later; I'm still forming an opinion; any suggestions or opinions welcome!) And aside from Payson starting lessons eventually, I'd love to start working on my sight reading some more. Because I really stink at sight reading. Ugh.

So a while ago I started looking on KSL for pianos. I found one that was what I wanted and the keys all worked. Only problem was that it was ugly. But who cares! I actually want to refinish it to match my new furniture anyway! (And I saw this piano here and fell in love!! Looks like a TON of work, but such an awesome result!!) Anyway, this piano was only $200!! So I emailed the guy and he said it was mine.

So I looked into hiring movers to get it here for me. Jason is always out of town, my brothers are always busy and my dad is, well, aging. :) (A post to come on that soon, actually!) How much does it cost to move a piano? About $110/hour. When you're only paying $200 for the piano in the first place you may be able to afford the extra money to move it. But when you live in Wyoming and would have to pay for labor time PLUS driving time there AND back, not so much.

I emailed the guy and apologized for wasting his time, explained about the cost, and wished him luck with his sale. I was pretty bummed. I really wanted that piano! Ugh. Then I got an email back from him the next day. He really needed the space in his home and if we could find a truck he was willing to call his brother in law and between him, his brother in law, and Jason (he was willing to wait for Jason's week off, obviously) they could get the thing loaded. Then we could just call some neighbors to help unload it when we got it home. AND...he would just give me the thing for free!!!! WHAT?! Yay!! I get my piano! Such a nice guy!!! (Of course I'm a tiny bit skeptical and will definitely play every note on the piano to make sure they all work before we waste time loading it, but this guys seems like a good guy!)

We're heading to Salt Lake next week to pick up my new (to me) piano!! I can't wait! Another piece in my family room. One step closer to finishing the room without even having to spend the money!! See, a piano was in my plans. And those plans included saving up a lot of money for a piano if needed. Now, I just have to pay for gas to transport it!!

What's left in my family room, you might ask? Well, I'm pretty picky about my leather sectional. I know what color and shape. And I'm hoping to find one with a sleeper sofa in it. And I'm just picky about weird details. I don't want to buy another couch until this one is torn to shreds, so I want to make sure that I get exactly what I want. I'm considering going the custom route, even though it's super spendy. But will it be worth it in the end? Or should I compromise? I haven't decided yet.

So a leather sectional. Two small end tables. MAYBE a small coffee table. I'm not sure if I want a table there to take up space or not. Still deciding. Jason wants a nice new flatscreen to go in the new entertainment unit. But that's last on my priority list right now, as I have a completely functional television. Then there are accessories, most of which will be repurposed items from around our place or things that I make or refinish from thrift stores. Other than that, I have a dresser upstairs that I plan to refinish and bring downstairs for some extra storage.

Maybe that sounds like a lot to you, but for the most part, the large pieces are taken care of! Yay!! I can't wait to get them all in and in place and take before and after pictures and show them to you all!! SO EXCITED!!

Well, now I've rambled on for long enough. I need to get some sleep. I have two full days of laundry and cleaning ahead of me. Plus I've got to get started sorting through some of this junk to make room for my pretty new furniture. So I'm off to dream of home furnishing and a nice, clean, organized 2010!! Good night!!

A Day Late...Bad Mommy!!

Can you believe that this TINY little beauty...

(These are old pictures that were scanned really weird, but it's all I have!! So sorry that it's weird.) now THIS?!

I can't. I'm in complete denial! My baby girl, that beautiful little thing that made me a mother and gave me the best job in the world, is now a FIVE YEAR OLD!!!!!

That gorgeous little girl came a whole month early and gave me a good scare. We spent way too much time in that darn hospital, hoping and praying every second that she would be strong enough to come home with us. Well, she finally came home, still on all kinds of tubes and monitors and wires. But we were so grateful to get to hold her every second!! And the day the doctor said she was finally perfectly healthy and we got rid of all that medical junk was a serious party for us!!

Now she is my big helper. She likes to help with cleaning and dishes and laundry and with her brother. She helps me with Primary stuff and we do crafts together. We paint nails and watch movies and play with polly's and barbies. And we laugh!! She is such a silly girl. I love her sense of humor!!

But my favorite thing about this girl is that she is just so naturally GOOD. She wants so badly to do what is right. I love that! I rarely have to get after her.

She gives the best hugs and kisses and is so loving and affectionate (at least with me). Although with most everyone else she does things on her own time.

Anyway, yesterday my beautiful little (not so little) Payson Marie turned 5 years old. We made a deal that once she turned five she would stop growing up, but I have a feeling that just won't happen. I guess I'm okay with that. Because every minute of her life with me has been a complete joy (yes, even the hard minutes!) and I can't wait for every minute more that I get with her!!

I love you more than you'll ever know, baby girl!! Happy birthday!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Day 5

You didn't think it was over, did you? Sorry! We had a couple of busy days. Back to the vacation!!

I'll bet you can guess what we did the morning after Thanksgiving. That's right!! We slept in. Again! At least as much as you can when my kiddos are around. They were pretty exhausted at the end of every day, so we got lots of good sleep. It was heaven!!

Devin had to fly home that morning to get back to work. His lame boss actually made him show him his flight itinerary before he left to prove he'd be back Friday in order to get the time off for the trip. Weird. So we said our goodbyes and Dad ran Devin to the airport.

After lounging around all morning, we hit up Tom's Tacos for lunch again. Even though we were trying not to eat out too much. Tom's was totally worth it though!! SO GOOD!! Then we headed back over to Disneyland to spend some time shopping at Downtown Disney.

We just walked around and shopped. Jason and my Dad were the most excited about this part. (Note sarcastic tone.) This picture of Maren and Payson cracks me up. It shows off both of their attitudes. :)

I bought the kids Disney suckers a) because they're a must when you're a kid at Disney, and b) to keep them happy while I hunted for some stocking stuffers.

Jack especially enjoyed his. I love that face! (No, that's not sucker or drool all over his shirt. He has been playing in the water fountain.)

I was stuck in line at one of the stores, so the kids watched the bird show outside the Rainforest Cafe.

After shopping we went back to the pier at Huntington Beach.

This was the coolest day we had, but it was still so gorgeous!!

Everyone but Mom and Madie!!

I know this isn't a great picture of anyone, but I just love the reflection of the sun on the water!

Writing Jack's name in the sand with my toes. He's trying to do the same. :)

Payson running from the waves. She was still working on her sucker. This was before the sucker landed in the sand. There were tears.

We rolled up our pants and walked through the waves.

Payson kept running.

So Jack followed.

My gorgeous sisters. Even with Maren's ugly face. Pictures like this of the two of them together sometimes make me a little sad that I'm not "growing up
with them. They are some pretty awesome sisters!!

This kid got so excited every time we went to the beach. If only we lived there...

Payson kept running and running. Eventually a big wave caught up to her. She was soaked.

Cute little crack!!

The kids started to get a little whiny and cold. I didn't care. I could have stayed all night and looked at this.

Madie's turn to write in the sand.

The waves crashing under the pier.

I know some of these pictures are similar, but they're so gorgeous!! I love this place!! So many memories of weenie roasts, ward beach parties, family outings, reunions, just playing with friends, meeting up with Astle's (cousins), and since we've moved memories of visits back, always between guard stands 3 and 5.

The sunset was so beautiful!! There were about a dozen families there with photographers taking pictures. How can resist a backdrop like this?

Everyone (except photographer Mom) on the pier.

The pier.

This pretty girl was cold and tired. I wasn't smart enough to have brought a change of clothes. Isn't she stunning? And that guy holding her isn't so bad either! :)

We stopped at a little shop on the pier and the kids wanted these starfish. They had been talking about starfish since before we left, so I couldn't resist. Here Jack is with Grandpa, showing his off.

Another great day in southern California! And another exhausting and relaxing one. Man, those condos beds were great to go back to! This was our last day to play. We were leaving for Vegas the next morning. So sad. But it had been such an incredible week! I couldn't complain at all!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day 4 - Thanksgiving!!

After an exhausting day at Disney, we all slept in...again. I think I woke up around ten. I don't even remember the last time that happened. Everyone wanted a day to relax so some went to the pool, some watched tv, some played games, some napped.

My mom and I eventually made our way to the kitchen and made all the traditional stuff. We had literally everything we would have had at home. The only difference was the tiny kitchen and lack of large pots and pans. But we made due with what was there.

Our fancy set Thanksgiving table, with Mom and I in the kitchen working away, while Madie looks for snacks to spoil her dinner.

Super delicious appetizers!! (Ignore how pretty I looked. I slept in and stayed in my jammies pretty much all day, hair up and sans make up. It was lovely.) Our veggie tray came from all the yummy vegetables we bought at the farmer's market on Day 2. SOOOOOO good!!

No pictures, but we had turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, Mom's amazing homemade stuffing, my super delicious homemade cranberry sauce (with orange zest, so good!), my sinful candied yams, homemade rolls, green beans. We like the green beans with toasted almonds. So good! Dad was in charge of toasting the almonds. They got burnt. Ah, well. Everything else was PERFECT!! And of course we had pies for dessert. We ordered the pies. We've never been pie makers. So razzleberry and pumpkin pies were picked up at Marie Calendars.

My favorite part of dinner was when my dad was carving the turkey. We were all sitting around the table and he picked up a HUGE hunk of chicken breast he had just cut. He was dead serious when he said, "Look at these beautiful, perfect white breasts!" HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!!!!!! We all died. He hadn't even realized what he'd said. It was classic.

We spent most of the rest of the evening playing games around the table and just talking and laughing. The only thing missing was my brother Brennan. (The only one who didn't come on this trip, lame!)

For who knows what reason we all ended up making weird faces around the table. We took pictures. Wise choice. Documenting our ugly moments.

Devin needed help. I obliged.

Jason. He had never been more attractive to me.

Madison. So lovely.

Dad used to always flip his eyelids like this and chase us around the house as kids.

This was Jack's reaction:

And then back to the silly faces. Crazy Pays!

Jack joined in.

Grandma will be pleased to know I posted this for all to see. :)

Finally, Devin figured it out.

Maren. You could shove quarters up that girl's nostrils!!

At least Jack thought we were funny!

We played Phase 10 and Tricky Trump and talked and laughed until we were all exhausted. We talked about what we were grateful for. Some sincere, some hysterical. I'd share some of the funnies, but you'd probably find most of them offensive. That's how we roll.

We were all beat after that and spent the rest of the night zoned out in front of the tv watching Christmas specials.

It was such a fantastic day. I wondered if it would feel like Thanksgiving since we weren't with more extended family. And because we weren't at home. But it was perfect! All of the most important people in my life (except Brennan) were there. It was the epitome of Thanksgiving.

There is nothing in this world I am more thankful for than FAMILY. More specifically, my eternal family, and everything that that means for me. The beach is so fun and relaxing. Disneyland is amazing and magical. But none of it would mean anything to me without them!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Day 3!!

Align CenterAh. The Happiest Place on Earth. Disneyland!!

The day began, for me, at around 4 am. I had to shower and do my hair and everything which I knew would take me forever. So I got up super early to get ready so as not to make everyone late. I got the kids up at the absolute last minute, around 5:30am, to get them dressed, and fed, and ready for the day. They were so out of it, but so excited when they realized that this was the day we had been counting down to since last Spring! We finally made our way out the door around 6:30 ish, arriving at the Park around 7am.

My dad and Jason dropped us off and then headed to park the cars and meet us later. We headed to get in line. But the security tables weren't even set up at that point. We were the absolute first guests there. So we hung out for about 20 minutes or so. And so did Jason and my dad, as the parking lots don't even open until 7:30.

There was a behind us while we waited in line. He knew way too much about Disneyland and told us all about how they had wanted him to come work for them, but it just didn't work with his commute, etc. We dubbed him Mom's new boyfriend/Dad's competition. He would not stop talking to her. It was hilarious!

Once the security area was open, we got checked and then Devin, Madie, Maren, Jack, and Payson headed to the gates to wait in line. First there, yet again. And my mom and I went to buy our actual tickets. Then we met up with everyone, including Jason and my dad at the front gates.

We still had about 20 minutes or so until the park opened, so we just hung out talking, people watching, and staring at the big flower Mickey Mouse. While waiting, we noticed who we dubbed "The Green Family". There was this adorable blonde family all in matching outfits (which were Green). They were so obviously Mormon! And not just Mormon. UTAH Mormon. :) We were cracking up. We sat and speculated for a few minutes, even "accidentally" saying things about Utah and the LDS church loudly to see their reaction. Then finally I walked over and tapped the matriarch on the shoulder and asked. She laughed and said, "Oh, you know we are! Why are you even asking?!" It cracked me up. So we asked where the were from and it turned out they literally lived right down the street from my parents! It sure is ... A Small World!! Ha ha ha! I crack myself up. :)

When the employees were finally waiting to let us in we found out that it was our ticket-taker's birthday. So of course my family LOUDLY serenaded her. Happy birthday Teresa. Although I'm positive you are not reading this.

Anyway, here are my cute babies waiting at the security check.

And waiting at the front gates. So close! Just let us in already!!

Payson hanging on the gate. And don't worry. That's Grandpa's hand trying to tickle her. Not some random pedophile in line.

Finally, they started the count down and the gates were opened! Everyone took off into the park. We didn't want to waste time posing for a family photo in front of Mickey, so you get just Mickey.

Jason, Jack, Maren, Madison, Me, Payson, and Devin walking down Main Street. I was in heaven!! I had so much fun pointing everything out to Jason and the kids!! I really honestly felt like I was 6 years old again! I LOVE DISNEYLAND!!

Jack was slowing us down. So Daddy gave him a ride.

Dragging Payson along.

We knew that the day before Thanksgiving was historically one of the busiest and worst days to go to the park, but it was our only option because of some other things. So we actually purchased (for super cheap) a software that plans out your itinerary for you. RideMax has you plug in which rides you want to hit, what days you're going to be at the park, when you want to break for meals, etc. and customizes a plan for you. Anyway, read the website if you're curious as to how it all works. But we decided to do it to make sure we got in everything we wanted since we were only there one day.

We had our itinerary out (which we made fun of all day long) and headed straight to Fantasyland, walking right on to Peter Pan!

Payson and Maren walking through the line.

Devin, Madie, Payson, and Maren getting ready to fly away on their pirate ship! Devin always makes this face. So hot.

Jason, Jack and me. I was so excited for them to be experiencing their first Disney ride. It was ridiculous!! And Jack was so excited to be on a pirate ship!

Next was Dumbo. For months before we left for Disney I was forcing Disney music and movies on the kids and Jason. I wanted them to be familiar with the music and rides to make the trip more memorable and fun. Then for several weeks before we left when I would ask Jack if he wanted to go on certain rides or meet certain characters (all his favorites) and he would tell us no. He only wanted to go on Dumbo. This was because he had seen the flying Dumbo's on the Disneyland commercials. So our next stop was Dumbo!!

Here he is with Uncle Devin, in line.

Payson watching the ride while waiting.

Jack FINALLY on his ride!!

Maren and I on our flying elephant!!

Payson telling Grandma to leave her alone and quit taking pictures so she could enjoy her flight!!

We hit the Storybook Land boats and Alice in Wonderland next. Jason and Jack on the boat.

Jack and Madie chillin in their caterpillar.

Payson and Grandpa.

Next was my favorite ride. Mr. Toad's Wild Ride!! Devin and Payson posing by Mr. J. Thaddeus Toad, Esquire himself!!

Jason, Jack, and my turn!!

Next were the Teacups!! Dad and Maren on the way over.

Dad/Grandpa, Payson, Jack and me, about to hurl. I don't do well with dizzy. But the kids loved it.

Maren getting dizzy.

I don't know why this picture is out of order, but I'm too lazy to fix it. So back to Alice in Wonderland!! Jack and Madison.

Then Madison, apparently having a marvelous time on the Teacups!!

Next we headed to Frontierland for Big Thunder Mountain. Grandpa walking with his grandkids.

We saw Pluto on the way from one ride to another and had to stop. The kids were so excited to meet characters!!

And Jack was beyond thrilled to see Woody and Jessie!! He wouldn't stop staring for a picture. :) Although he was very disappointed that Buzz wasn't with them.

Eventually we made our way to Toon Town. The kids loved it!! Devin, Payson, Maren, Jason, Jack, and Madison in jail.

Jack playing in prison.

Payson, breaking out!!

Maren with the fish.

And Madie's turn.

Maren posing at Mickey's desk.

And of course we met the Mouse himself!! Jack was SO excited to give Mickey a hug!! He kept telling me afterward about how he hugged Mickey and made Mickey happy. :)

Payson, playing on Donald's boat.

Next we hit Chip 'N Dale's roller coaster. Devin and Madie. Me and Payson (who looks like she's having the time of her life!). :) And apparently I was talking and itching my ear. Lovely. And Jason and Jack.

Surprisingly, the ride didn't end with Jack in tears!

As we got off the ride, we saw this!! That's my mom there with the camera. Notice that handsome fellow next to her? Well, next to his wife?

Yeah. That would be Mr. Jon Voight. Yep. Angelina's Dad. Just chillin at Disney with his fam. We saw his wife and son. And they were there with a guide and some kind of youth group. Who knows. As we left Toon Town we walked past him. He asked my brother if Jason was in the military. No idea why. He and Json shook hands and Jas told him that we were all fans, etc. And then complimented us on our handsome little Jack. (Payson was up ahead with my parents). As we walked past I wished him "Happy Holidays!" To which he replied, "Happy Holidays to you too, honey!" I beamed. Jon Voight just called me "honey". We're BFF's now. Anyway.

Next we went to Small World. Jack gave us the peace sign. No clue where he learned it, but it sure is cute!

Payson on the Small World boat.

Don't remember where this picture was taken, but that sure is one handsome boy!! (They blue-eyed one.) :)

We ran into Alice and the Mad Hatter. The Hatter was impressed when Jack walked right up to him and turned around, posed for a picture. He was a pro at the character thing at this point. :)

Waiting in line for the Matterhorn with my sistas. And that's a fruit pop in my hand. So yummy!! A must have at Disney.

Payson playing with that big ball that rolls in the water in Tomorrowland.

Waiting for "Honey, I Shrunk the Audience" to start. Cute show, but I still miss Captain EO.

Jack wasn't big enough for a few of the rides, so we did the child swap thing a bunch. Mom, Dad, Madie, Maren, and Devin went on Splash Mountain while Payson, Jason, Jack, and I waited with the kids. Then they waited with Jack while Payson, Jason, and I went. While they were waiting for us, Jack watched Brer Bear and Brer Fox battle it out with light sabers. :)

Jack LOVES pirates! He sang "Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me!" over and over and over again with Aunt Madie while we waited in line for Pirates. LOVE that ride!! And so did Jack.

This was as we were getting off the Jungle Cruise. I love their stupid jokes. Cracks me up every time!! We were heading to Tarzan's Treehouse (formerly the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse) when Payson decided to show us what Tarzan's says.

Next we hit Indiana Jones. The only ride in Disneyland Payson was not able to go on. :( So we did the swap thing again. Payson and Jack were getting a little sleepy at this point. It had been a LONG day!

Sweet, sleepy Jack snuggling Grandpa.

He eventually crashed, drooling on Grandpa's shirt.

The last ride of the night was Space Mountain. We had already hit everything else. Every ride! On one of the busiest days of the year! Without running from ride to ride! Thank you, RideMax!! We had planned on hitting Space Mountain earlier in the day, but it was closed. So we headed back to find it open, but the wait was over an hour. It was late, so they were no longer giving out fast passes. The kids were already crashing.

Oh! I lied! We hadn't hit Autopia yet. So I sat and waited with the kids at Space Mountain while everyone went to ride the Autopia cars. When they finally came back, both Payson and Jack were lying on my lap on the ground asleep. And I was pretty beat too. Remember? I was pregnant. And this was the end of busy day #3. Everyone was pretty beat. So we just decided to skip Space Mountain. Everyone but Jason and Payson had been there, done that. And as much as we love the ride, we were ready for dinner and bed. So we loaded up sleeping kids and all our junk and headed for the tram to the parking lot.

Although we did make one stop on the way out! I couldn't stand to leave without a churro. Don't ask me why. Eventually we made it home and crashed. Every part of my body ached from the walking and carrying of kiddos. And every ache, pain, and shred of exhaustion was completely worth that perfect day with the people I love most at the Happiest Place on Earth!!