Thursday, April 23, 2015

Thanksgiving Thursday - My Birthday Edition



For those of you that don't know what Thanksgiving Thursday is, it is the one time during the week where you stop and basically count your blessings. Even if you've had one of those weeks, I promise you can find at least one thing to be thankful for, no matter how big or small.

This week I am thankful for...

  • Another birthday. I feel like the years fly by faster each year.
  • My family that has helped turn me into the woman that I am.
  • My wonderful husband that has been in my life for 11 of my 32 years.
  • Two amazing children.
  • Friends that are like family.
  • A roof over my head and everything inside.
  • Weekly runs that clear my mind.
  • A job that challenges me, pushes me outside my comfort zone, and gives me a ton of laughs.
What are you thankful for this week?

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Pig Run 2015

I'm definitely behind on sharing what has been going on, but we have been so busy!

The day before Easter, Scott ran his yearly race, The Pig Run of Lake Nona. He loves this race and it's my chance to stand on the sidelines to cheer him on. Since we knew the route this year, the kiddos and I were able to run around and meet him at different points of the course.

The thing that sets this race apart from any other 5k is that right after the halfway mark, you have to stop at the Pig Pen and eat donuts.

When you sign up for the race you have to pick how many donuts you are going to eat. The options are zero (which is lame), 1, 3, 6, 6 that are a mystery assortment or...an entire dozen. They're all freshly made glazed donuts. The winner of the race this year and last year ate an entire dozen. Just typing that makes me nauseous.

Scott only ate one donut and then clipped along. He beat his time from last year, which is always something to celebrate. 

After the main race, they held their kids race. The race is broken down by age and the kiddos took off. Aaron actually was the first kid in their age range to finish. Jill was just a little bit behind him.

They also were able to partake in some donuts. All of the kids race finishers were given backs of munchkins. How great is that?

We decided that next year the whole family is going to run the 5k. I'm going to have to start training now. I don't know how well I will do with a freshly glazed donut in my belly in the middle of a run, but I'm excited to find out!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Thanksgiving Thursday



For those of you that don't know what Thanksgiving Thursday is, it is the one time during the week where you stop and basically count your blessings. Even if you've had one of those weeks, I promise you can find at least one thing to be thankful for, no matter how big or small.

This week I am thankful for...

  • Scott jumped at the chance to make a pinewood derby car with Aaron.
  • Aaron who helps me with menu planning each week and always compliments the meal (even if it doesn't have roasted kale like it did on Barefoot Contessa). 
  • Jillian and her progress at Sylvan. She is working really hard and I love seeing the results.
  • Family all around us.
  • The ability to jump in to a marathon. I never thought I would run one and now I am. Holy crap.
  • The end of the heavy pollen (seriously, if I say it enough it will happen).
  • A good book.
  • Newman's Own Sesame Ginger dressing. It's the best.
What are you thankful for this week?

Monday, April 13, 2015

Hippity Hoppity Easter's On It's Way...

Easter kind of snuck up on me this year. I wasn't really wasn't planning on us doing anything since Scott normally has to work, but surprisingly he had the day off.

We started our Easter celebration with Easter vigil on Saturday night. I really enjoy this mass, even though it tends to be long. There's something about sitting in total darkness and then coming into the light that really brings the message home.

The other perk of going to Easter vigil is that you can somewhat sleep in on Easter Sunday. I say somewhat because Aaron came piling in at 2:30 to let me know that the Easter bunny came. I politely told him to go back to bed. Jillian was next at 6:00 to tell me the same thing. I begged for another hour. It was granted.

The kiddos tore through their baskets and the discovered that eggs were hiding all around the house and in the front yard. They had a total blast looking for the eggs! Jillian even yelled (yes, yelled, not said) that it was the best Easter ever.

Now, I love chocolate bunnies as much as the next girl, but I really like to make sure that the kiddos receive the full message of Easter, so every year we make resurrection rolls for breakfast. It's the easiest no-fuss breakfast and it gives an interactive element to the story of Easter. All you need is some crescent rolls, marshmallows, cinnamon and sugar, and butter.

Here's what you do. Melt some butter and mix together some cinnamon and sugar in a separate bowl. Unroll your dough and place on a cookie sheet. Grab your marshmallow (Jesus), dip it in the butter (oil), roll it in the cinnamon and sugar (spices) and then wrap your dough around the marshmallow (tomb). Bake according to the package and when they are done, the marshmallow is no longer in the dough (Jesus has risen). It's a great way to teach kids the story of Easter.

Since we already went to mass the night before, we were able to just hang out in the morning. Then I started on our yummy late lunch/early dinner. I made a super yummy ham with a Riesling and peach glaze, rosemary roasted potatoes, green beans and asparagus. Dessert was pumpkin pie (not very Easter, but it's Jill's favorite) with homemade whip cream.

I am not even kidding when I say that I watched my son put away some serious ham and potatoes and then 2 hours later asked what was for dinner.

We also Skyped with my parents, sister, niece and her boyfriend. I think that was the hardest I heard my kids laugh in a long time. My Dad was in rare form, too, which is alway awesome to see.

I hope everyone enjoyed their Easter as well and had a great time with family and friends. I know I am definitely thankful that this is the last big holiday for a while, not that I don't love making a huge feast and all.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Staycation Vacation - The Final Chapter

Our last day of our staycation was spent sleeping in and then heading to Downtown Disney to walk around and bowl at Splitsville. I love this place and the kiddos have so much fun bowling. Scott had never been before, so it was a definite blast showing him to ropes. 


After an hour and a half on the lanes, we headed home to get the puppies. To say they missed us would be an understatement. 

I was able to stay home with the kiddos for another two days. We went to the movies and saw both Home and Cinderella. We even brought Mimi with us to see Cinderella. 

Our Spring Break was so chill and relaxed, it really was the best. I know the kids had a great time and it's a trip they will talk about for years to come. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Thanksgiving Thursday



For those of you that don't know what Thanksgiving Thursday is, it is the one time during the week where you stop and basically count your blessings. Even if you've had one of those weeks, I promise you can find at least one thing to be thankful for, no matter how big or small.

This week I am thankful for...

  • Scott and all that he does to support us. He's had a crazy couple of weeks with work and still makes all the games and makes time for us girls, too.
  • Aaron and the notes that he writes me. This kid absolutely melts my heart.
  • Jillian, who even though she's really trying my patience this week, can be the sweetest little girl on the planet. 
  • Family all around us.
  • Peanut butter.
  • Friends who are pretty much family. I love when we can spend time with Bob, Vanessa and Baby J!
  • An end to pollen season (if I say it enough will it happen?)
What are you thankful for this week?

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Staycation Vacation Part 2

Let's keep the staycation going!

The second day of our vacation started with breakfast at Boma at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. The kiddos and I have loved this buffet since we went with Tay Tay and Lorren over marathon weekend. Jillian is a huge fan of their jungle juice and I am huge fan of their breakfast potatoes. Aaron is a fan of the whole thing.

After a super filling breakfast we headed over to EPCOT. Our plan was to do the behind the seeds tour at the Land and then the Easter egg hunt through World Showcase.

We managed to score the noon tour and there was only one other family with us. The tour before us and directly behind us had several more people.

The first part of the tour our guide taught us about how they control pests in the greenhouses. The kiddos were then given a vial with lady bugs to hold on to for later in the tour. We went through the different greenhouses and learned about all of the growing techniques they use and how they keep everything growing all year round.

At the end of the tour the kiddos were able to release their lady bugs on to a plant of their choosing. If you ever have a chance, definitely stop by the desk and sign up for the tour. It's really interesting and the kids loved it.

After the tour we picked up our map for the Easter egg hunt and then headed to lunch at Nine Dragons. The kids LOVED everything they ate and I think this will become a place that we continue to frequent.

With lunch done, it was time to focus on the Easter egg hunt. We have never participated in this before and had no idea what we were even looking for. Thankfully, a cast member gave us a clue on what we had to do.

Each country around the World Showcase had an egg decorated like a character hidden somewhere outside. You had to locate the egg and then put the coordinating sticker on the location on the map they give you. I have to say, some eggs were pretty easy to find and then some...well...let's just say we looked all sorts of special walking around with our maps and heads turning every which way.

The kiddos really got into the hunt and were beyond thrilled when they found their final egg in Canada. We headed to the Ports of Call shop and they picked out their rewards. Each person that completed the hunt was able to get an egg of their own. Jillian naturally picked Tinker Bell and Aaron snagged Pluto.

With the hunt over, we headed back into the countries to hang out and go on some rides. We took the kiddos on Test Track for the first time and we may or may not have had to bribe Jillian with ice cream. They were both a little nervous, but the fact that they were able to design their own cars definitely put them at ease. Once we were on the ride there was a lot of giggling and "woo-hoo!" going on. The kids loved the ride and I think we may be going on it often.

After the ride we headed over to France for some ice cream and I had the most delicious ice cream sandwich. They take a brioche, add a scoop of ice cream and chocolate sauce. Seriously. So delicious.

The final plan of attack was to locate a spot to watch Illuminations. Scott thought we should head to Mexico and nosh on some nachos, therefore scoring us a seat on the water. Sadly, we were not the first people to think of this. So we still grabbed the nachos (and maybe a margarita) and sat outside of Mexico on the water.

It was actually pretty chilling that night, so the kiddos and I snuggled under a blanket. This was also their first time watching Illuminations, normally we leave the park before it starts to beat the crowds. I think the kids were most excited about staying up way past bedtime.

The kiddos were out before the bus pulled out of the parking lot. Our second day of staycation was a total blast and I know we were not ready for the day to end.

One more day of the staycation to go. Check back for the conclusion!
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