Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Disney World III: We admired the castle while hangin' with the fam

This will be my final Disney World post. Aren't you relieved? Probably not as much by that as you are that I removed the "It's a Small World" music from my last slide show.

I am so far out of my bloggy groove...I've scared myself. I actually went 4 solid days. In a row. That's 96 hours people...without being online. No Facebook (or MyFace as my mom called it the other night), no e-mail, and no blogging. And the computer wasn't broken.

Just two shiny faces waiting for me to explore all of their new Christmas digs with them. And I obliged. Happily.

I did want to get the last of our Disney trip on record though...before 2009 rolls in.

We had a great time experiencing all of the magic of Disney with Jerry's family. His parents were a major asset from the beginning when Jade wanted to play musical airplane chairs.

And it was of course great to hang out with his sister Sandi and her family...who we don't get to see but once or twice each year.

We tried to get some shots of our own family, but the Florida sun would not cooperate. We were either shooting into the sun or the sun was shooting into us. The girls were a little over dramatic, don't you think?

I tried to get Lily with her Memmy and Paw in front of the castle...but once again she is shielding herself from the sun. A hat? Sunglasses? Why didn't I supply her with some protection for the sake of some decent pictures?

So, I settled for day and night pics of the castle, minus any family members.

Lily was so funny about wanting to go up into the castle. We did walk through the breezeway and saw the murals depicting the Cinderella story, but that was it. I had to tell her that Cinderella and the Prince needed their privacy when she began throwing a fit about not being able to go up into the castle. Thankfully she took me for my word.

I did learn one skill that my sweet Lily lacks...the ability to eat an ice cream cone before it melts. This place served her the tallest cone she'd ever had.

Her mother had previously sheltered her from such cones by always requesting low ones wherever we went. She had quite the struggle trying to stay ahead of the drips.

She ended up a complete mess.

We ended up putting Jade's jacket on her to relieve some of the stickiness, but later had to put her shirt back over it for a picture with Santa. I figured a stained red shirt would make a better Christmas photo than a clean orange jacket that was two sizes too small.

Then I noticed that the ice cream carnage must have made her crotch itch. Ahh, kids. They keep you humble.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Three Fifths of a Century

Happy 60th, Dad...from a few of your favorite and might I add, younger, fans.

Looking forward to celebrating with you at the Mavs game tonight!

Will you be wearing your new vest?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Disney World II: We Rode Rides and Watched Shows

Wow. One week since last post. Oops.

No, Bruce didn't eat us. That'd be a good excuse though I guess.

Before you kill me for getting "it's a small world" stuck in your head for the remainder of the day, I have something to announce. I am so excited to have a new memory of Disney World.

Prior to this trip, I had one...and only one...memory of my family's trip to Disney World back when I was seven or eight. The memory is of me lingering a little too long at the stingray exhibit, not heeding my mom's calling, and ending up crying to the gift shoppe attendant who had to then page my parents.

Lost at Disney World. Such a fond memory...

Until we took the girls on the "it's a small world" ride. I remember riding that ride as a kid. Can you tell that little things get me excited? I love having a new memory of my childhood. So, I've been singing this song a lot lately...and now you will be too.

We had a great time on all of the rides, especially in Magic Kingdom. Lily's height is 41", so she met the 40" height requirement on most of the coasters. She even rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. We were very proud of her for keeping herself together.

We were so fortunate to have no less than a dozen friends with similar aged kids return from Disney in the past few months. We received countless tips about rides and shows that our girls might like.

Lily usually chose to ride with mama while Jade partnered up with Daddy. On many rides though, the four of us all snuggled in together. On those rare occasions when I did get to hold Jade through a ride, this mama sure enjoyed her continually more independent toddler clinging to her neck. Does that make me needy?

It wasn't the flying ones like this that caused her fright, more often the ones that had dark scenes like Peter Pan and even parts of the Pooh ride. Scared by her beloved sad.

Thankfully, Jerry's parents took Jade back to the hotel each afternoon for a nap and we were able to push through non-stop with Lily. This came in handy for the coasters and shows.

During the wait for Goofy's Barnstormer, Lily's first coaster ever, we met this little friend. She and Lily played together through a very long line. Can you believe their outfits? They even had the same exact StrideRite shoes.

Lily enjoyed three different musicals. The Little Mermaid and Finding Nemo definitely kept her attention, but Beauty and the Beast completely mesmerized her. We sat 3 rows back from center stage and I found myself taking in Lily's reaction to it all even more than I took in the show. She loved it.

Here we are right before Lily's first coaster ride.I could do a pretty lengthy slide show just filled with pictures of us trying to dodge the Florida sun. I'll spare you that are a few to enjoy from various rides and shows. Until next week...peace out. Kidding. I should be back.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Howdy from Texas at Christmas

Hats off to BooMama for doing a little Christmas Tour of Homes, or else I'm not sure we'd even have our trees up. I'm sure it is a sin, but decorating for Christmas is not one of my favorite things to do. During the first 5 years of our marriage...before kids...I think we only decorated twice. And we must have hosted parties those years or something, or else I wouldn't have gone to all the trouble.

It is so much work to put up and take down, but since we have little ones I would never think of skipping or no party. I usually like to get it up early so we really have time to enjoy our labor, but this year a little excursion to Disney World has really thrown me off. I am blaming our tardiness on that and the fact that this year we put up 3 trees.

3 trees for someone who doesn't like decorating. Thank God my husband does. The number of trees is partly my in-laws' fault too. They are the kind that always like to change things up...constantly rearranging furniture and the like...I love that about them. They'll get a skinny tall tree one year and a short chubby tree the next...decide they don't like it...and voila...we inherit a new tree. That is how we got two of ours.

The third one we got on a whim this year...we decorated so late that when we got back from Disney, Calloways had any type-any size tree on sale for $50. We ended up with an 8 foot Noble Fir with its tips flocked for $50. Full price was $180. Yee haw!

Here is the fat chubby inherited one that we put in the girls' playroom. It has multicolored lights and random ornaments from our childhood and ones they've received too.

Each year I buy them a special ornament specific to something they've done that year and also a photo ornament. I love to see how much they've changed from year to year. Jade was just 6 months old last year. Lily loves her ballerina ornament she got right after her first dance recital last December. Jade hasn't done much yet...she basically claims a few "I was born" ornaments.

In our formal living room we have the hand-me-down tall skinny tree. We've done this one in all silver and glass with white lights for years.

I love how the frosted glass balls glow.

After one little incident, this little stinker will probably remember it as the "NO!" tree.

We decided to do a Texas theme on the live tree. We later realized that the flocked tips didn't really fit into our theme...I was wearing flip flops and short sleeves when I photographed it today...but nonetheless we love it. We did red, white and blue lights and topped it with a red cowboy hat and lasso rope.

The garland is also rope and there are plenty of little bandannas, stars, and pine cones...straight from the Piney Woods of E. Texas.

Here are pics of two of my favorite nativities. One of Jerry's uncles adds to them for us annually. Lily loves to play with them and act out the story of our Lord's birth. Did we do an okay job with the super glue? Hint. Hint. Uncle Howard, Lily needs a Fisher Price Nativity Set.

Hope y'all have a wonderful Christmas!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Disney World I: We Met Characters

I am still processing our Disney World trip...and the 230 photos that are left after I deleted the "bad" ones.

It was an amazing time. Completely magical...just like the commercials advertise it to be.

I promise that I'm not turning the blog into a Disney review site, but please bear with me as I try to get some of the details down that I don't want to forget. The next few posts will be me doing just that. Hey...I've got to keep the familials happy.

I think the most memorable part of our trip for Lily will be the meeting of all of the characters. It was definitely her favorite part, which made it my favorite too just because I loved watching her interact with them.

I couldn't believe how "in character" they were, how kind they were, and how they really acted like there weren't 10 more people waiting in line for pictures and autographs.

Memorable moments:
When we hadn't met a princess within an hour of being there, she started to lose interest.

The first two characters we came across were Mary Poppins and Alice in Wonderland. I will never forget standing in line with Lily while she shouted out to them repeatedly..."Mary Poppins! Mary Poppins! It's me, Lily! Alice! Alice! I'm here...over here, Alice!" It was a sight to be seen and heard. And remembered forever.

I had made reservations a while back to do the Storybook Princess Lunch at Epcot. The only princess they guaranteed me would be there was Ariel. The Little Mermaid is one of her faves, so we dressed as Ariel. The past couple of months I kept telling Lily that she'd be having lunch with Ariel. She took me at my word. The sincere and completely heartfelt, genuine tears that flowed when she realized that Ariel would not actually be sitting down at our table to eat...OH MY WORD...I would have spent a lot of money to keep my word the way I had presented it to her. I felt awful. We ended up boxing up our dessert and asking the waitress to take it back to Ariel. Lily was happy with that.

I never want to forget how real every character was to her. She would touch them so fondly...their necks, their jewelry, it was probably weird for the actresses, but oh my...Lily was in heaven. She had very real things to say to each character...completely relevant to the movie they had been in.

One of my favorite moments was when she marched right up to Cinderella's stepsisters and told them that they shouldn't have torn Cinderella's dress! They went back and forth for nearly ten minutes. Lily stomped away truly upset with them. It was priceless. Lots of laughter from the others waiting to meet them.

Snow White proved to be hard to find initially. Lily would not let it go either. Then she spotted her during one of the nighttime parades. She screamed so loud that even though Snow White was quite a distance away, we heard her say, "Oh my!" This was Lily's face at the moment. Priceless.

Jade was a little young to enjoy the full effect of Disney. She did get to meet her favorite character though...Winnie the Pooh. She cuddled right up to him and even gave him a kiss. It was the sweetest thing ever.

I snuggled in close for a picture with the Fairy Godmother hoping to swipe her magic wand...but alas, it was gone. The stepsisters had stolen it earlier in the day...that was her response when Lily asked of its whereabouts anyway. Good thing they were out of sight or Lily might have given them another piece of her mind.

Every character meeting had its own special moments, but those are the ones that stand out most to me. Below is a slide show of the other meetings.

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