Wednesday, December 30, 2009


December 18, 2009 marked the year anniversary of my Dad's passing. The date hadn't been discussed in the house all that much, even though it weighed heavy on my mind. That morning, as I was getting ready for work, Tyler came into my bathroom crying and said he'd had a scary dream. He told me part of his dream (something about thorns chasing him) and then said that in the beginning of the dream Grandpa Mike was there. He told me that Grandpa Mike came to him to say that he loved him, he missed him, and that he hoped he had a very Merry Christmas. Then he started to cry. We hugged, and hugged, and hugged some more and I told him the importance of what the day was and how special it was that he was able to get a visit from Grandpa Mike. Wow.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Oh What A Year!
Wasn't January Just Here?!

Lucy Jane Turned Two
And Now She's Almost Three
She Goes to School on Mondays
And Uses the Potty to go Pee Pee.

Tyler James is Five
And Attending School...Pre-K
He's Busy Playing Soccer
And Chasing the Girls Away!

Zach is Having Fun
With All of His Toys
His Newest is a Motorcycle.
Ugh! Boys Will Be Boys.

Jenn Helped Coach the Soccer Team
And Helps in Lucy's School
She's Busy Playing Sports
And Keeping the House That She Helps Rule!

Ten Years of Marriage
Have Quickly Come and Passed
Five of Those Years Spent Chasing Kids
We Hope the Next 15 Go Fast!

This Year We Made New Memories
While Remembering Grandpa Mike
He's Especially Missed During the Holidays
There Will Be No Gravy That We Like!

We Wish You A Merry Christmas
And A New Year So Bright
We Hope Next Year Is Savored
And Doesn't Pass With the Speed of Light!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Snow in El Dorado Hills...Again?!

Since we've moved into this house we have had snow three times in four years. That's more than we've had total in all the years we've lived up in the hills. However, Jenn was NOT excited to wake up on December 7th and see this snow. We were trying to leave for our Disneyland trip that morning and this put a bit of a damper on the plans. But, after playing in the snow for an hour and seeing that people had attempted to leave our neighborhood, we decided to head out of town. Especially since it started to snow harder.
This was our backyard at 7 in the morning
Lucy was enjoying herself on this snowy morning!The kids attempted to build a snowman
Even though we weren't totally excited about the snow that morning it was still a rare (though becoming less so) and beautiful thing for our neighborhood.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Our Trip to the Happiest Place on Earth!

Finally! It was time to go on our trip to Disneyland...and we woke up to six inches of snow. Seriously?! And the weather was forecasting rain for the three days that we were going to be in the park. No way! So, our trip started off dramatic before we even left the driveway. Our first goal was to get out of the neighborhood, then over the grapevine, and then to enjoy ourselves in adverse conditions. But, luckily, once we arrived in Southern California the rain stopped and the good times began!

We woke up to sunny, but cold, weather on our first day for the park. We were able to enter the park an hour early (7 a.m.) and beat the crowds. We took the obligatory picture at the park entrance....and then rushed off to ride the Finding Nemo ride that was rumored to have up to a two hour wait time at certain points in the day.

After riding Finding Nemo and some rockets we had our picture taken in front of the castle. It was awesome because nobody else was really at the park and there isn't anyone in the background of our picture. Too bad we are a little shadowy, though.
We took tons of pictures and rode all kinds of rides, but I mostly posted the pictures of us with the characters. Call me selfish, but that's my favorite part! We spied Princess Tiana hanging out in New Orleans Square so we were able to get a picture with her and Prince Naveen. Lucy was a little nervous of the Prince, so I had to be in the picture with her. I think this was the first character we saw on the trip. She warmed up more and more as the trip went on.

The Hundred Acre Wood! We seemed to have perfect time on the whole trip. We walked up to get in line for pictures with Winnie the Pooh and gang right when they got back from a break. The wait was short, and other than the shadowy pictures, everything else was perfect. Tyler just hugged and hugged and hugged on Pooh and Tigger. Lucy was a little skeptical of them, but she did take pictures and give them high fives at the end.

In the middle of day one we took a break at the hotel (which Lucy seemed to like better than the parks) and then went back to Disneyland in time to see the Christmas parade. While Zach held our places in line we spotted Mickey and Minnie on Main Street and got in line for pictures with them. Again, perfect timing, as we were one of the last families that they allowed to take pictures before whisking Mickey and Minnie off to be in the parade.

Day 2 began with our ears! We had gotten these on our last trip to Disneyland when Jenn turned 30! Don't we look so cute?!

We had an early entrance pass to Toon Town, so we went in there first thing and rode all the rides and took pictures with most of the characters. Donald and Daisy eluded us, but we got the rest of them! We waited in line at Mickey's house and took a picture with Mayor Mickey. Then we took a tour of where this famous mouse lives. Toon Town is so neat!

The line to meet Minnie was kind of long, but Zach is a sucker for anything that Lucy wants so he relented and waited in line to take our picture. Again with the timing, we were the last family in line to get a picture before Minnie needed a break. Yahoo! After our picture was done we went into the house to see Minnie's digs and her phone was ringing. Lucy ran back up to Minnie and said, "Minnie! Your phone is ringing!" It was so cute.
We were able to catch a picture with Goofy in the Toon Park. He's silly and Mommy's favorite! Or one of them...
We were able to catch Pluto in Frontierland with his reindeer antlers on. The detail and costumes at Christmas are so cool!
After the Toon Town madness we made our way over to California Adventure and rode some rides and saw some shows. This was during the Muppets 3D Show. It's funny to think about, but our kids don't even really know who the Muppets are. The 3D show was really neat and not scary at all for the kids.

We had heard that you could pictures taken with Lightning and Tow Mater, so Tyler was very excited about that. However, on the first try we were told that they were filming a commercial for Disneyland Paris and wouldn't be available for pictures. Dang! Luckily, they finished early and were able to "pose" with the kids. Tyler thought they were really neat, but wanted to know why they weren't talking to him!

We also saw Koda and Kenai from Brother Bear in the Grizzly Reservoir Area. Again with the timing. We just happened upon them right at the end of their shift. Lucy hasn't even seen the movie, but Tyler didn't want to be in any pictures. He was getting worn out with Mom's desire to have EVERY character in Disneyland pose with us. Lucy gave high fives and said hi to Koda and Mike. Silly girl.

To end the second day we had dinner at Ariel's Grotto. Lucy was SO excited to meet all the princesses. Beyond excited. The first princess we met was Ariel and Lucy wanted to walk up and meet her alone. It was precious. They were talking about how Lucy was wearing Cinderella's dress, but then Lucy told her she just had regular shoes on and not glass slippers. It was priceless!

Each princess came around to our table after that. Here's Lucy and Belle. She was thankful the Beast was not with her.

And then there was Sleeping Beauty...or Aurora...or Briar Rose...whatever her name is.
Cinderella spent the most time with Lucy. She was excited that they had on the same dress and asked Lucy if she wanted to pose like a princess. She didn't. She got a little shy after that, but still smiled big for the pictures.

"Snow White. Where are your Dorfs?" Lucy wanted to know.
On our last morning we did a character breakfast with Minnie and her gang. It allowed us into the park early and it gave Tyler some characters to see that weren't princesses! We were one of the first families into the restaurant and we got some special treatment! Minnie took Tyler by the hand and walked him to the table. Then we got a big group shot with all the characters. It was so much fun. Even Zach enjoyed himself.

See...look at that big smile with his buddy 'ole pal Tigger
Lucy was SCARED of Captain Hook, but she did tell him she liked his hair.
After breakfast we headed straight over to Pixie Hollow so that we could meet the Tinker Fairies. Lucy was able to meet Silvermist and Tinkerbell. But then she wanted to know where the rest were. It's never enough...

After riding one or two more rides we left Disneyland because we had done almost everything possible in the park. We took one last trip into California Adventure to finish up that park! We were walking in Hollywood and saw Handy Manny just hanging out. So fun!
And then we turned a corner and saw Mr. Incredible. Incredible!

As we were rounding a corner we ran smack dab into Mulan. She told us that a show was about to start and at the end we could meet Cinderella at the end of the show. We had already met her, but Lucy did not want to pass up an opportunity to pose with her AGAIN. So we stayed for the show.

This was at the end of the show...just as Mulan promised.
But then we also got to meet Wizard Mickey
And Woody! The best part about Woody's costume is that they put the name
ANDY on it just like in the movie. Attention to it.

We really had an amazing trip and got so lucky with the weather. We had three beautiful, sunny days. It started to rain on Friday, so we knew that was our queue to go home. What an experience!