Saturday, February 9, 2019

Disney Vacation 2018: Pool & Beach

Disney World, and the wonder of it all, cannot rival the time spent as a family in the more serene moments of our vacation.  That's why the memories captured in the photos in this post are embedded in a more sentimental place in my heart. 

Cocoa Beach is only an hour's drive from Orlando.  We wanted to seize the opportunity to play in the sand, frolic in the waves, and allow Lydia the chance to experience the ocean for the first time.  After a brief detour to the Kennedy Space Center, we headed for lunch at an adorable little dive called Jazzy's Mainely Lobster.  The scrumptious lobster bisque was the most remarkable cuisine of the entire vacation.  After filling our bellies with incredible seafood, we were off explore the shoreline.

We are a water-loving family.  Our time spent at the pool was enveloped in smiles and laughter.  

 See, Mom?  I put plenty of sunscreen on Leanne.  No sun burns on my watch!
 Josie and Leanne's signature love fests often delay our activities.  It's something we must come to expect.  Merryn's eye roll, though!  Ha!

Disney Vacation 2018

We've talked about taking the kids to Disney World forever.  We were just waiting until the kids seemed to be the ideal ages: old enough to remember it but still young enough to be enchanted by the magic of it all.  We timed it perfectly.  Our family vacation to Disney World sent our rough year out on a high note.  

The weather was perfect.  Our resort had a heated pool so we were able to swim.  We even took Lydia on her first trip to see the ocean during a day trip to Cocoa Beach.  More pictures to come!  For now, here are a few photos from Disney World's Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios:

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Christmas 2018: The Big Reveal

According to James Corden, the most American thing you can say is "Oh my God, You Guys: this is amazing!"  Those are the words that came to find when I finally figured out how to resize all of the photos in my photo bin on Photoshop!  Cue the Mormon Tabernacle Choir:  Hallelujah!  I've watched an embarrassing number of tutorials and googled it so many times and, I was just messing around with it and "Oh my gosh, You Guys!!!"  Why should you care?  Because it will no longer take me a ridiculously prohibitive amount of time to upload multiple photos to the blog.
Now, let's talk about Christmas so we can talk about what happened the day after Christmas.  Years ago, Travis and I established a little rule in an attempt to avoid falling into the trap of allowing Christmas to become about gluttony, excess, and materialism.  It's quite simple: each child gets 3 gifts.  One gift is from Mom and Dad.  One gift is from your sisters.  And of course, Santa leaves a gift.  We don't take issue with the way anyone else does Christmas, but this is the way that works for us.  Our kids have plenty.  PLENTY.  All the more reason to keep Christmas simple.  
This year, one more gift was added to the mix: Leanne got everyone a gift and vice versa.  
 Leanne asked for one thing: a "Hit Bit (Fit Bit) like Mom's."  You see, my mom was a slave to her Fit bit.  It was rather funny.  Apparently the darn thing buzzes at you when you've been inactive for a period of time.  Well, when this would happen, Mama Hop would just bounce up from wherever she was and dart out the door to walk.  No explanation; no farewell.  It was like a mirage: now you see you don't.  
The void where gifts from Mama Hop may have been, was filled by several of her wonderful friends who sent so many fun things for the girls.  
 Gifts galore, wrapped in loving wishes from sweet friends and family.
 Karen, about that microphone: we need to talk.  I can hear Mama Hop's cackle from the heavens as Josie walks around the house singing at the top of her lungs, amplified by that darn microphone!
And then there's Merryn, our 40 year-old trapped in a 7 year-old's body.  Santa fulfilled her only request: office supplies.  Look at that face:
 We all know the best gifts are the homemade ones, like this nifty bracelet the girls made for Travis.  Forget the Rolex, Gucci, and Versace. It doesn't get any more stylish than plastic beads, strung with love.
When it was all said and done, and all of the gifts were opened, Travis went downstairs to retrieve one final gift in a big box.  It was a family gift.  Here's a clip:
That's right: after having a very difficult year, we ended 2018 in "The Happiest Place on Earth."  Stay tuned for more!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Christmas 2018

Confessions of the Chromosomally Enhanced (CCE) is our online family photo album/scrapbook/biography.  December 2018 has been a busy month (as Decembers with children always are) full of many photo ops.  So please forgive the brevity of the written portion of this post, as Christmas 2018 will likely require at least 2 additional posts.  So let's get this photo party started: 
 We made the customary pilgrimage to the mall in Christmas attire to complete the annual cattle-call-rite-of-passage-of-every-well-adjusted-childhood: a visit with Santa.
 Merryn took it upon herself to write a collective note to Santa.  That "Get it done" stationary she chose was a nice touch.  Subtle.
My precious little angels posed for photos in line while we waited.
 Waiting in long, boring lines is no problem for these perpetually patient, perfectly-behaved little darlings of mine.  It would never occur to one of MY children to attempt to scale a wall and plunge into the mall Christmas display below.  No, not with Santa's watchful eye just a few feet away...
 For the love of coal, Biddy: get down!!!

  I nearly had to take out a second mortgage to pay for one measly 5x7 print!  Santa looks like he's seen jollier days.  Maybe next time I'll bring him some eggnog with extra rum and we'll see if we can get him to look a little less miserable.
Of course the children had to ride the North Pole Express.  Aunt Leanne won the award for the most enthusiastic conductor.  
We took a few individual portraits by the tree.  Matching Christmas dresses slipped my mind, as Mama Hop always made that purchase in the past.

 But we did manage to squeak out a Christmas card this year, thanks to inspiration that came in the form of an adorable gift from a beloved friend, Theresa: personally embroidered aprons.  She's so talented and such a thoughtful gift-giver.
If you look closely, there's a special tribute to Mama Hop in the photo.  The glass holding Leanne's egg nog was made by Mama Hop.  I have several sets of beautiful goblets that Mama Hop decorated with beads and wire.  I will cherish them always.

Stay tuned for more as Christmas 2010 in photos continues...