Our Story

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Ben and I met in 1996, began dating in 1999 and married in 2001. Now 20 years and 2 children later, we have returned to where our life together began. Ben works for the Federal Reserve and I have the privilege of staying home with our two precious boys.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Back to School for the 1st grader!

Summer is over and I feel like it just began. We're excited that Ethan is a part of Ivy Creek this year and I am jumping for joy over his teacher! She is exactly whom I hoped he would be placed with. Mrs. Callahan, our principal, is definitely looking out for us :-)

Rosters are posted! Mrs. Jones class! Yay!
And he has two little friends from last year in his class as well!
 Open house, what a cute idea!
 The fabulous Mrs. Jones!
 As we were leaving the boys wanted a picture in front of the fountain. While it is new for Ethan, Caden has been attending Ivy Creek one day a week for 2 years so he is completely comfortable with his surroundings :-)
 First day of school...pardon the water on his shirt.
Somehow, he made a mess brushing his teeth???
Ready to head inside
Settled in after hugs
 The first day was great and he had a blast so we celebrated at Menchie's with frozen yogurt. But, then he threw Mommy a curve ball and asked to start riding the bus. While I'm not quite ready for that to happen, I teared up a little and he got up bright and early to catch the bus on the 2nd day of school. He was more excited to ride the bus than he was on the first day of school.
 And this is his grin.
He LOVES the bus and has the sweetest bus driver!
 As I walked back to our driveway, the tears started rolling.
How can he be this big?!?!?!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Six Flags

As part of the 600 minute reading club last year, Ethan earned a ticket to Six Flags. So, the week that we returned home from vacation was the last week of summer and he and Mommy had a special date day at Six Flags! He loves roller coaster, I don't. But we don't have a lot of pictures of our day because I was riding all of the roller coasters with my eyes closed! The things you do for your child!!

However, the kiddie area had some fin stuff that he played as well and I got a few pictures in that part of the park. He loved soaking everyone with the water blasters and he came off soaked, too!
The wagon wheel mini ferris wheel
 He "raced" boats and then we rode the swinging buckets and the Acme truck ride. Then he "played" some arcade games.
 As we were leaving Boomtown, we got to say hi to Daffy Duck!
After that, we headed over to ride Splashwater Falls and got completely soaked. Then Ethan drove the Hanson cars, we rode Superman Tower of Power, the Dahlonega Mine Train, the Great American Scream Machine, the Joker Fun Coaster, then stopped to have a drink to cool off. After taking a break, we rode the MindBender and Harley Quinn Spinsanity. There were a couple of other things that we wanted to ride but they were down for the day.

Before leaving, Ethan took a picture with the Batmobile. We had a terrific day together and he was so good all day! I loved spending this precious time with him even though it was doing something that was waaayyyyy out of my comfort zone.
We celebrated with breakfast for dinner at IHOP on the way home :-)

Monday, August 15, 2016

Collier's 2nd Birthday...and an attempted cousin picture

We rushed back from Disney to Mimi's house to spend the night so that we could be ready for Collier's birthday the next day. When we got there, Uncle CJ was already there!
 Sweet birthday girl "helping" get ready for the pool party...she actually just wanted to blow bubbles ;-)
 What's a good party without some water balloons...the hit of the party!
 Uncle Chad with the big 2 year old!
 Blowing out the candles
 And then...what Ethan has looked forward to since last year...Clay flipping him all the way across the pool
 After the party, we cleaned up the clubhouse and headed back up the street to their house to open presents and enjoy the rest of the evening
 The next morning, we attempted coordinating cousin pictures!
 It was a little too bright for the outside pics so we are hoping to try again on Labor Day weekend

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Summer Vacation: Part Four - Cape May Cafe, Blizzard Beach, and Last Day

The next morning we woke up bright and early for our favorite character breakfast, Cape May Café. We love being on the boardwalk and Yacht & Beach Club. The first character we got to see was Minnie!
 Then Goofy, who they always think is absolutely hilarious!
 And last Donald
 We were a little disappointed this year because they usually have a couple more characters but these guys still made it special. Minnie came back around and we did group shots
 And then Donald lead everyone in singing Happy Birthday to Ethan. He was wearing his birthday pin that he was given at check-in since he had a birthday a couple of weeks before we came.
 Then he blew out his candle and had a cupcake at breakfast...what is more Disney than that!
 We strolled around the resort a bit after that and got a couple of family pictures
 By that time, Caden had had enough and this was how he felt. I had to document this because this pretty much summed up his week ;-)
 After that, we headed back to our resort and rested a while before splitting up after lunch. Ben, Ethan, and I headed over to Blizzard Beach and Mimi and Caden went to the Cozy Cone Pool (where Caden ended up deciding the Nemo pool was more fun so they went back to it instead)
Blizzard Beach was fun! The wave pool was awesome with tubes to just float around in! Way more tame than Typhoon Lagoon's wave pool. They had a lazy river as well and then Ben and Ethan checked out the water slides while I relaxed on a lounge chair :-)
We met back up at the resort for dinner, then finished up our last minute gift shopping before checking out the next day.
The next morning, the boys had breakfast in the room while we got everything ready to be loaded. It was such a NEAT room with so many detailed features!
 Complete with Radiator Springs right outside the window
As we were leaving, the pelicans squawked their goodbyes as we walked past one last time

A truly, memorable trip!
So long Disney, see you in a few years. Over the last three years, we have exhausted every part of what you have to offer on property and we are ready for a relaxing beach vacation next summer!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Summer Vacation: Part Three - Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios day started early for Ben and Ethan to get signed up for Jedi training. Caden was old enough to participate this year but he decided he did not want to. Mimi, Caden, and I met them at the park a little later before the park got too busy. The first thing we saw were the toy soldiers looking for volunteers to start soldier training. Ethan was all about it while Caden hung back.
 March Out
 Then it was time for Toy Story Midway Mania, a park favorite for our family!
 We had a long line for the ride even though we fast-passed it(but they gave us another fast-pass!) so by the time we got finished, it was time for lunch. This was the first time we had ever dined at the Sci-Fi Dine In Theater and we were excited! I had passed it up in the past years because I thought it might scare the boys. This year, they loved it! It was such a neat experience! Who would have ever thought about making a restaurant centered around cars at the drive-in.
They showed all kinds of old movie bits
 Then it was time to go ;-)
After a bit of exploring, we saw the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular, another family favorite, especially for the boys!
 And the boys got to see Tori again! She works on the set and we met her last year when we were at the show. Last year, we were allowed to sit next to the sound booth and Tori was taking pictures for promotions. She was SUPER SWEET to Ethan and Caden and gave them a play by play of the whole show and answered their million questions. Afterward, she took the boys down to meet the stars of the show and they all got to take a picture together. They have talked about her for a year so it was awesome that after the show this year we were able to find her and she remembered them!
 This year, she asked one of the staff to bring the "precious idol" over that encapsulates the show and the boys got to take a picture holding it.
 After the show, it was time for Jedi training!
 Getting ready
 After Jedi training and a break for ice cream, it was time for Disney Junior: Live On Stage
 The boys still love this show and seeing the characters!
 Clapping along with the songs
 Then dance time
 After the show, Ethan and Ben headed to Tower of Terror and we got settled for dinner. We all had a yummy dinner, then headed to Star Tours. I'm not sure why I don't have any pictures of that :-(
After Star Tours, it was time for the Star Wars Dessert Spectacular, one of the park's new Star Wars events. It was super cool for the kids to get to walk around with the Stormtroopers and whatever these things below are and see table after table of desserts, drinks, and ice cream.
We even pulled out our ears for this picture!
 The dessert party gave us priority seating to the park's new Star Wars Galactic Spectacular fireworks show.
 Which, I must admit, was spectacular. They used a combination of laser, fireworks, and projection all in the same show.
A long, hot day but a good one :-)