About Me
Name: Lauren         Location: Middle Tennessee, USA

Welcome to my blog! I am a Christian, wife, and mother who enjoys reading, running, and all things Disney. Stop by regularly for a glimpse into my life!
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Saturday, July 31, 2010
Some Facts about Me
I used my food processor to shred a block of cheese last week so we could have freshly shredded cheese without preservatives. Up until this time, the only thing I had used my food processor for was to chop Oreos. I guess that's a clue about my former eating priorities.

I also sifted flour for the first time last week. Hooray! I am learning how to cook!

I am so sad that summer is coming to an end. For one thing, I like having my kids home with me. For another, I love hot weather. I really, really, really, despise being cold, so the end of summer means cooler weather is coming.

I have a wonderful husband. Out of the blue last week, he said, "Let's get you and the kids annual passes to Disney World. I'll go with you some, and the three of you can go as many times as we can fit in one year." Either he really loves us, or he's trying to get us out of the house for a while. :)

My house is relatively clean (for the next two hours or so). My kids went to my parents' house for a few days this week, and I spent my free time going to the doctor and cleaning (a pedicure would have been much more fun). For now, I feel like things are decently in order...until the tornado, otherwise known as my Best Girl, arrives home (you are sure to see her on that show "Hoarders" one day).

And there you have a few updates about my life (whether you wanted them or not). Have a wonderful weekend!

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  posted at 6:09 AM  
  5 comments



Thursday, July 29, 2010
Surprise
I spent this morning at a diagnostic center enjoying an upper GI series (drinking barium, which is a thick, white chalky substance is a really fun way to start the day). After the test, I went to the doctor to find out the results. I was SHOCKED to hear that the tests showed no signs of reflux. That is great news because it rules out surgery, but it doesn't answer the question, "What's wrong with me?"

I told the doctor that I have had suspicions for a while that my problems are related to candida (yeast) issues because of all the antibiotics and steroid medications I have taken in the past 18 months (and I am sure that my former high-carb, high-sugar diet contributed as well). I suspected that he would dismiss this as the cause of my digestive issues (many mainstream doctors do), but I was again SHOCKED when he responded, "I think you may be right."

He explained that he could do a scope to check for sure, but instead, we are going to try Diflucan for three weeks to see how I respond. I have already cut way back on my carb consumption, but I am going to try to eliminate them all for the next few weeks, with the exception of fruits and vegetables.

I am thankful that my doctor was willing to listen, and I hope we are on the path to wellness. I guess we'll know in a few weeks. I can't quit eating, so I would really like to eliminate this problem (although I will gladly accept the 17 pound weight loss that has come with it)!

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  posted at 11:26 AM  
  4 comments



Tuesday, July 27, 2010
What's On My Nightstand - July
It's time for the monthly Nightstand carnival at 5 Minutes for Books. For several months, I was in a reading funk (I wasn't feeling well, and we were very busy), but I am starting to get back in the groove. Right now, I am reading two books: Diamond Ruby and What to Eat. Diamond Ruby is a story about a young girl who works in a carnival-type booth to support her family in the early 1920s. I have read about one-fourth of the book, and Ruby has already survived the 1918 flu epidemic and met Babe Ruth. I can't wait to keep reading! What to Eat is an extremely informative book about our American food and grocery system. Both books are great so far, and I plan to review them soon.

In Defense of Food is another food book. Since my reflux diagnosis, I have been reading some great information. I have heard good things about this book, and I am looking forward to learning more.

Between Two Worlds has been on my pile for a while. I didn't put it off deliberately; life just got in the way. It is the story of Roxana Saberi, an Iranian-American journalist, who was held in Iran's notorious Evin Prison. Saberi writes of her imprisonment, trial, and her eventual release. I am sure it will be a gripping tale.

The last book in my pile is The Lovely Bones. A dear friend sent this to me a while back. It was released in 2002, and I think there has even been a movie about it. I guess I am behind the times, but I am sure I will enjoy it all the same.

That's my stack for July. To see what others are reading, visiting the Nightstand carnival at 5 Minutes for Books today!

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  posted at 6:12 AM  
  11 comments



Thursday, July 22, 2010
Disney, Day Nine
It has been seven months since our Disney trip, and I haven't blogged about the last two days (the other days were recorded on the blog I accidentally deleted, so I need to recover them). I realize that I have waited way too long to post about this, but I want to record the memories anyway.

On day nine, the crowds started pouring in for the Christmas holidays. I have never seen Dinsey World so crowded as it was the last two days we were there. We still had two great days, but I would not want to spend the bulk of my vacation fighting the crowds (that's why we're bad parents and we pull our kids out of school).

After arriving at Magic Kingdom, we headed to Fantasyland and spotted Donald. Who can resist Donald? Unfortunately, the morning sun was shining brightly.

My Best Girl really wanted to see Belle again, so I took her to the princess room in Toontown. Belle wasn't there, but we stopped for a visit with Aurora.

While in Toontown, we also enjoyed Goofy's Barnstormer. Toontown will probably be gone by the time we return (they are expanding Fantasyland), so we tried to soak in the sights of Toontown one more time.

We enjoyed more of our favorite attractions, and then it was time for lunch and souvenir shopping. Generally speaking, the kids only get one souvenir during the trip, so we save these special purchases for the end after they've had time to see many things. My Favorite Boy chose Mickey hands. These are now hanging on the ends of his curtain rod in his bedroom.

My Best Girl chose a pink ruffled umbrella. It is decorated with Mickey-shaped ballons, flowers, and her name.

I staked out a spot for the Christmas parade while Dad and the kids enjoyed a few rides. The Christmas parade was wonderful, and yes, I waved to all the characters as enthusiastically as my kids did.

After the parade, my Favorite Boy and his dad headed back to the hotel to chill and watch football. My Best Girl and I stayed for several reasons. First, she wanted to see Belle again, and we planned to watch the castle lighting ceremony again (so amazing). We went to the fairytale garden to wait for Storytime with Belle. When we arrived, Lady Tremaine, Anastasia, and Drizella were there. They are so funny and true to character, and they had my Best Girl laughing crazily by the time we left (they tried fixing her hair and even hung her umbrella on the Christmas tree).

Storytime with Belle was next, and it was one of my favorite parts of the entire trip. Belle selects children to act out parts of the story (this particular story was about Christmas at the Beast's castle). My Best Girl wanted to be chosen so badly. At one point, Belle said, "We need someone who looks just like an angel. Someone just like...you!" She pointed at my Best Girl and asked her to come up onto the stage. My Best Girl ginned from ear to ear and gazed adoringly at Belle the entire time she was up there. It was so sweet that I was crying by the end. I know that by the time we return to Disney World, my Best Girl will realize the difference between real and pretend, so this event will always be special to me.

After the castle lighting, my Best Girl and I enjoyed the walk down Main Street (so beautifully decorated for Christmas) and returned to the hotel to rest from a magical day. Just recounting all this seven months later makes me so ready to return!

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  posted at 7:25 AM  
  2 comments



Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Kid Picks
I guess I am a loser mom and former teacher. For the past few weeks, we've been so busy (or sick) that there hasn't been much reading going on at our house! When I started trying to think of books to share this month, I couldn't think of any.

But, then I did think of something that my Favorite Boy enjoys reading over and over and over. Last Christmas, we purchased him a subscription to Sports Illustrated Kids Magazine. When this arrives in the mail each month, my Favorite Boy reads it from cover to cover multiple times. He has already asked for a renewal next year. (Last December, amazon.com offered a year's subscription for $5, so if this is something your kids would enjoy, keep your eye out for a good deal.) I highly recommend this magazine for sports lovers, but I think magazines also have great appeal for reluctant readers as well, especially boys as they hit those middle years when books seem to lose their appeal.

We plan to go to the library tomorrow to find some new books to read. I am also going to check out the other Kid Picks at 5 Minutes for Books today!

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  posted at 7:25 AM  
  7 comments



Monday, July 19, 2010
She Likes the Stage, But Not the Spotlight
My Best Girl is not one to shy away from the camera. Unfortunately, we have a huge problem with pictures taken outside because she does not like bright sunlight. (Sunlight doesn't seem to be a problem when she is swimming or playing, but it always causes a problem with pictures. Hmmmmm...) She often squints or covers her eyes when I try to take a picture outside, and I have two recent examples.

Not long ago, I shared a picture of her first missing tooth. One week later, she lost her second. I finally got around to taking her picture when we visited the farmer's market, but since we were outside, it was just too bright.

I also took a picture of my Best Girl with her daddy before church last week. I tried to place her in the shade, and that kept her from covering her eyes, but she's still a little squinty.

I certainly have a drama queen, but she's not ready for the bright lights yet!

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  posted at 6:54 AM  
  4 comments



Thursday, July 15, 2010
Our Beach Trip, Part Two
The second half of our beach trip was just as exciting as the first. We visited the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, and the kids had a ball. We knew they had a water area/playground, so the kids wore bathing suits. They had a ball! (I love the suit my Best Girl has on from Land's End. It looks enough like clothing to be worn somewhere like the zoo, but it is swim suit material, and it dries super quickly.)

When it comes to the animals, my Best Girl is hands-on. My Favorite Boy likes to observe from afar.

After a fun day, my Best Girl and I enjoyed dinner, ice cream and an early bedtime, while Dad and my Favorite Boy went to the Rays/Red Sox game. My Favorite Boy wore his David Ortiz jersey, and he was rewarded when Big Papi hit a home run. Very exciting for my baseball fans!

We visited Adventure Island, the Busch Gardens' waterpark, and this was a highlight for both the kids. They enjoyed seven hours of water fun, and they would have been happy to stay longer.

On our final day, we visited the Clearwater Marine Aquarium before heading to the airport. Winter, the famous dolphin, lives at the CMA, and both my kids were excited to see him. (Click HERE to find out more about Winter.)

Our visit to Clearwater was so much fun! Although we didn't spend much time in the sand, we had some great experiences, as well as plenty of sunshine and water fun. Now we look forward to a trip to Chicago in August. It will be our last hurrah before school begins!

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  posted at 6:24 AM  
  1 comments



Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Our Beach Trip, Part One
Wow! I am posting three days in a row!

For starters, I just realized that I never finished the Disney posts that I started before I lost my blog. I am sure that eight posts were enough for some of you, but I am going to blog about the last two days at some point so I can preserve the memories for myself.

Before I do that, however, I am going to post about our trip to Clearwater Beach in May. On the last day of school, we picked up my Favorite Boy and went straight to the airport. By late afternoon, we were checked into our beachfront hotel, ready for summer!

Unfortunately, my Best Girl got sand in her eye on the very first evening, and it hurt her for days. So, we spent very little time on the beach (although the kids swam in the pool a lot), and my Best Girl had her hand over her eye in almost every picture.

Here are some pictures to show what we did the first couple of days. We enjoyed the children's museum in St. Petersburg...

Have you ever seen a newscaster so expressive with her hands?

Captain Memo's Pirate Ship (a fun two-hour cruise filled with games and treasure hunting)...

Dinner at Frenchy's on Clearwater Beach...

Our first two days were fun-filled! We also enjoyed the live entertainers who performed on the pier next to our hotel (my Best Girl loved the fire-eating man, and my Favorite Boy enjoyed the break dancers). Our next few days were just as exciting. I'll post about them soon!

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  posted at 6:57 AM  
  3 comments



Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Sidelined
Well, my plans to run a 10K on Labor Day are out. I am 99% sure I have a stress fracture in my lower shin. I haven't run in two weeks, and it it still hurting some, so I know it's not just a minor injury. I haven't gone to the doctor because I know they will prescribe rest for 6-8 weeks, so I am just going to prescribe it for myself. I'll be able to start running again about the time the kids start school, which will be much easier anyway.

I am disappointed about missing the 10k, but the Disney Princess Half-Marathon is my ultimate goal, so resting now will enable me to train. Also, when I start back, I am going to go very slowly. I have been pushing to go faster, and I am sure that's why I am hurt. I am not going to worry about time when I start back; I am just going to take it easy and enjoy it!

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  posted at 11:32 AM  
  3 comments



Thursday, July 8, 2010
Our Week
For the first time this summer, we have done absolutely nothing this week. My Favorite Boy has been sick since Monday, so the kids and I have been homebound. He couldn't have timed the illness better since he has no baseball games this week, no camps, and no VBS. Unfortunately, I am now mother of the year because I didn't take him to the doctor until today, and he has strep (of course, when I rush him in, it's always a virus). In my defense, I have asked him multiple times if his throat was sore, and he said no every time!

Hopefully, the antibiotic will kick in quickly and he will be feeling much better. I know he is ready for more summer fun (but I think both kids have enjoyed the extra television time that comes when someone is sick)!

In other wonderful news, someone has been making fradulent charges on our credit card, and a rock broke our windshield this morning. I am glad we are getting all this stuff out of the way at one time! I hope next week, we can get back to camp (my Favorite boy has a fun enrichment program to attend next week), baseball, and swimming. That's much more enjoyable!

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  posted at 2:30 PM  
  2 comments



Friday, July 2, 2010
Off to the State Tournament
We've had a lot of baseball games around here lately. We finished the district tournament this week after playing seven games over a six day period (we were actually at the ballpark all six days, but we had a rain out). My Favorite Boy's team finished second, and we were so proud of them. The boys were very disappointed with second place because they lost in the championship game to a team they had beaten 11-1 earlier in the tournament. It was a tough pill for them to swallow, but that's they way life goes sometimes! They played so well: they only allowed 24 runs over seven games, which was by far the best defensive record of all the teams. My Favorite Boy was quite the slugger during the tournament, and we hope he will keep his bat going as we start the state tournament tonight.

At the end of the tournament, we were all completely exhausted. We are the family who is always in bed by a certain time, and we had several very late nights. After the championship game, my Best Girl dissolved into tears when she realized she wouldn't get a medal like her brother (she does like bling, you know). Daddy saved the day by bringing her flowers, which are now sitting in her room. He knows how to make his girl happy!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Fourth of July weekend. We will be spending it at a ballpark about an hour away from home (thankfully, the state tournament is relatively close). Go STARS!

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  posted at 7:31 AM  
  3 comments



Previous Posts
  • A Disney December, The Final Chapter
  • A Disney December, Part Five
  • A Disney December, Part Four
  • A Disney December, Part Three
  • A Disney December, Part Two
  • A Disney December, Part One
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