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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Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Summer Picnic
We enjoyed a picnic on Saturday with our church family. I just love this picture because it sums up summer: playing hard, spending time with friends, FUN. This is what my Favorite Boy looked like after participating in his first kickball game of the afternoon. I should have taken another picture after the second game when he looked even worse!

We are so thankful for our church family and for summer fun. This season flies by way too quickly!

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  posted at 7:46 AM  
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Monday, June 27, 2011
May Disney Trip: Days Five and Six
We spent day five of our Disney trip at Blizzard Beach. The slides are so much fun, and we enjoyed our day. After spending the morning there, the kids had more poolside fun at the hotel (they have games and music all afternoon), and then we headed back to the Magic Kingdom. On the way in, we noticed that the wait to see Mickey and Minnie was only 5 minutes, so we stopped for a visit. The wait was actually zero minutes, and we got to spend a good bit of time with them. Minnie even showed my Best Girl some of their magic tricks (a bird cage with a disappearing bird).

The kids ate corn dogs at Casey's again, and then got a treat from the Main Street Bakery. They were thrilled with their brownie and Oreo cupcake. I confess that got a cupcake as well--it was my no-no of the trip. It wasn't as good as it looked, but it was still a special treat.

Next, we headed to Tom Sawyer Island. As many times as we have been to Disney World, we had never taken the raft over for this adventure. We enjoyed exploring the fort and the caves.

We finished our evening at Magic Kingdom with some rides on Big Thunder, Splash, and the Jungle Cruise and then turned it early (for some reason, my Best Girl wakes up extra early on vacation, even though she should be more tired).

On our final morning, we only had a few hours before heading to the airport. We decided to go to Hollywood Studios for Toy Story Mania and Rock-N-Roller Coaster again. We were at the rope, ready to walk with the mob to Toy Story Mania. Disney does a great job with crowd control, but heading to this attraction first thing in the morning is a madhouse!

We have a tradition of seeing Mickey before we leave, so we stopped to visit before heading to the airport. Even though my Favorite Boy is getting older, he insists upon this practice. Don't worry, Mickey. We'll be back soon!

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Sunday, June 26, 2011
May Disney Trip: Days 3 and 4
On day three of our May Disney trip, we woke up and headed for Hollywood Studios. Now that both my kids ride the Rock-N-Roller Coaster, this is one of their favorite parks. With Toy Story Mania, RNR, the Tower of Terror, and the updated Star Tours ride, touring this park without lines has become more of a challenge, but we were up for it, and we had a fun morning.

After experiencing some of the more thrilling attractions, we headed to the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids playground. On the way, my Best Girl happened by a fun fire hydrant. Both kids enjoyed a brief soaking. Sometimes it's the little surprises that make the trip so fun.

After spending several hours at Hollywood Studios, we hopped on the bus for Blizzard Beach so we could play at the Winter Summerland mini-golf course. Both kids love the Disney courses, and we now play one round each trip. My Favorite Boy and I were lucky enough to get holes in one this trip!

On day four, we headed to my favorite place: the Magic Kingdom.

I don't remember why, but both kids were a little grumpy as we headed off to Neverland. I love Peter Pan, so I didn't let it spoil my fun (and the grumpies didn't last long). Isn't this an attractive photo?

We spent the morning enjoying our favorites: Pooh, Peter Pan, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, and the Haunted Mansion. We also ran into Donald who looked ready for the wilderness. (Donald is my Favorite Boy's favorite.)

In the afternoon, we took a break from the walking and heat to ride the People Mover. My Best Girl had never ridden it before, and both kids were thrilled as we entered Space Mountain. The ride was down, and they had all the lights on, so you could see the track. It's not too fancy looking, but they thought it was really neat to get a behind the scenes look.

We left the park for an afternoon break, but not before my Favorite Boy got an extra special treat. 

After a break, we returned to the Magic Kingdom where the kids enjoyed dinner at Casey's.  They love the corn dog nuggets and watching old black and white Disney cartoons while eating.

We enjoyed some ice cream and fit in a few attractions before the fireworks, including Pirates of the Caribbean.

Then, we ended our day at Magic Kingdom with the Wishes fireworks. What a wonderful way to spend the evening!

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  posted at 3:41 PM  
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Saturday, June 25, 2011
May Disney Trip: Days One and Two
The time has come. My daughter informed me, as gently as she could, that she didn't think the characters at Disney World are real. She said, "Mom, I'm not sure about Mickey and Minnie yet, but think about Pluto. He stands up all the time and his tongue isn't wet. Real dogs aren't like that."

Okay, so she has a point, but I asked her if we could just pretend, and she readily agreed. I hate that this day has arrived, but I am thankful she believed the magic for so long, and I know we will continue to enjoy Disney just as much!

If you remember, my husband gave the kids and me annual passes to Disney World this year. He either knows how to make us happy, or he's trying to get us out of the house. In May, I took the kids for six nights at the end of school, and we had a wonderful time. Since Disney provides all transportation from the moment you step off the plane, and since my kids both meet all height requirements at the parks, it really isn't a difficult trip to make. Because we are together 24/7, the kids do have issues at times, but overall, I love these special days with them.

Our first stop was Typhoon Lagoon. We spent our first morning and early afternoon enjoying the slides and wave pool. Since we had a very cool May in Tennessee, we were excited to spend time in the Florida sun. After a fun day, we headed to Animal Kingdom for the evening.

First, we ate dinner at Pizzafari (I am so thankful we were eating at Disney--they made it much easier to stick with my diet--their special diets department is fantastic!), and then we walked over to the character greeting trails. We were excited to meet Thumper for the first time, and Goofy and my Best Girl compared smiles. They are both missing their upper middle teeth. :) Donald spent some time with us as well.

Next, we headed to Expedition Everest, one of my kids' favorite attractions, and managed to ride it twice. I called it quits after that because I'm getting too old. My head and stomach can't handle those rides like they used to.

We also rode the Kali River Rapids, and the kids were disappointed that they didn't get very wet. They solved that problem at a fountain near the ride's exit.

Before leaving the park, we headed over to the Boneyard, which is a very cool playground. On the way, we stopped to visit with Tigger, Pooh, and Eeyore. How can you not love this cuddly bear?

We turned in for the evening, and woke up the next morning ready for a day at Epcot. As usual, we enjoyed Soarin', Test Track, Mission:Space, Nemo, Spaceship Earth and Journey Into Imagination.

We also spent time in the World Showcase trading pins, exploring, and completing a Kim Possible Adventure (you get to fight bad guys using a cell phone in the different Epcot countries).

Before leaving Epcot, I talked the kids into trying the Living with the Land attraction. They thought it would be boring, but they liked it, especially the greenhouse portion.

We ended our day by stopping in for a visit with Mickey and his buddy Pluto. Notice that Pluto is standing up and his tongue isn't wet. It's possible he's not a real dog.

I realize my blog is turning into a Disney travelogue this year, but I am so glad to be able to document our fun. We never tire of these adventures!

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  posted at 8:19 AM  
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Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Family Fun
Last week, we had unexpected overnight guests. Because of some airport issues, my brother and my youngest nephew got stuck in Nashville. We were excited to have company (but we hated that they had to deal with the airport hassle). My Best Girl and Favorite Boy loved the attention from their uncle. My brother didn't have his luggage, so he had to make a trip to Target for some diapers. He took my kids along for the ride. My Best Girl came home with a pedicure set, and Uncle R allowed her to paint his toes. She thought this was so cool! Thanks, Uncle R for being such a willing victim!

Unfortunately, my nephew was not too excited about all the commotion. After spending days away from home and a few frustrating hours at the airport, he was just plain tired. I felt so badly for him, but he's adorable..even when he's crying.

We did manage to cheer him up with a Diego umbrella. His cousins entertained him with this for a few minutes.

We look forward to seeing these two again in July, along with my other nephew, my niece, and my sister-in-law!

We enjoyed more family time over the weekend as well. My husband's grandmother celebrated her 91st birthday, and (almost) all the extended family attended. After spending several hours in a rain delay at a ballgame, we worried that the weather might not cooperate for the party, but the skies cleared just in time, and the celebration was lots of fun.

We are thankful for the time we had to spend with family this week!

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  posted at 1:32 PM  
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Wednesday, June 15, 2011
More Summer Fun and an Update
As I have mentioned before, we've been spending lots of time at the ballpark. We enjoy it so much. For reasons I won't delve into here, my Favorite Boy ended up on two teams this year. He has learned from both of them. One of the teams finished up last week, and the other continues through July. Here he is hoping to score from third base and pitching. I have gotten lazy about taking my camera to the games, so I hope to get some better pics before his season ends.

My Best Girl finished her softball season last week during a very hot game. Since there's no shade at her ballpark, I was thankful to be the dugout mom for that day! My Best Girl was excited to play first base in her last game, and she definitely enjoyed the post-game cupcake. She brought home two very nice trophies and a game ball as well.

In other news, I haven't run in five weeks. Something is wrong with my lower back/hip on the right side. I was hoping that rest would clear it up, but no such luck. I will be visiting the doctor next week. I really hope it goes away because I am supposed to do a half-marathon in September, and I need to start training.

I am still on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet to heal my reflux. It is not gone, but it is much better. The progress encourages me to stick with it. It's tough, especially in social situations because I can't have anything with disaccharides (no sugar, milk, starches, grains, etc...). Although the rigidity is difficult, there is a silver lining: I am the same size I was in high school! I would never have set that as a goal, but I'll take it! I am never hungry, and I eat as much as I want (plenty of meat, butter, cheese, nuts, veggies, and fruit), but without the grains, sugar, and starch, the weight has just fallen off. At least I have a silver lining when I am wishing for a cupcake or ice cream!

I have been blogging infrequently, but I am working hard to catch up on my scrapbooking. I am two and a half years behind, but my goal is to catch up by the end of the summer. I am trying to work on it a little every day. My dining room will look much better when I catch up on this project.

That's all from here. I'll update again soon!

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  posted at 7:07 AM  
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Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Summer Reading
My Best Girl started feeling sick Sunday night, and by Monday morning, I suspected strep throat. We were supposed to go to my parents' house for the day and night, but the sickness left us home bound (my almost two-year-old nephew is with parents so we were very disappointed, but smart enough to keep our germs at home). My Best Girl didn't feel like doing much, but my Favorite Boy needed some activities other than video games and television. Thankfully, his summer reading filled a big chunk of the day.

My Favorite Boy prefers nonfiction, primarily sports books. Our library's summer reading program encourages the kids to explore variety of genres, so I am excited to report that he is reading some fiction this summer. Some of his favorites this week are Holes by Louis Sachar (which he devoured in a few hours) and books by Andrew Clements like The Report Card. He still has quite a few nonfiction books in his pile, but I am glad he is finding some fiction to enjoy.

Although my Best Girl didn't want to read much today, she is enjoying books this summer as well. She really likes Amelia Bedelia, and she has found a nonfiction series to explore. The Wonder Books are leveled readers that cover a variety of topics and include beautiful photographs. My Best Girl has always preferred that I read to her (even with books she can read on her own). I am glad she is excited to be the reader, and I am thankful that the library program encourages her to do that!

We are having lots of fun this summer, and I am glad books are a part of that. To find out what other kids are reading, be sure to check out the Kid Picks at 5 Minutes for Books today!

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  posted at 7:09 AM  
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Previous Posts
  • A Disney December, The Final Chapter
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