Kentucky Video

Kentucky Trip: Part 2

Once MB’s family came to town, we had such a great time catching up. Eva just adores her cousins and wants to be with them constantly. Finn and Spencer were really cute together, too. We swam at the pool a lot, went to the Cincinnati Children’s Museum, played in the backyard and did crafts together. One day we went down south an hour to visit my other sister Ashley and my uncle and aunt. The last day before we flew out, we took the kids to Coney Island for the rides. We had such a great trip with all of them and my parents, and can’t believe my sister’s family is half way around the world now!

Kentucky Trip

My sister who lives in DC moved to Switzerland last week, so before she and her family left the country, we met them in Kentucky to visit my parents. The kids did really well on the airplane, I even got Finn to fall asleep on the way there, thankfully. They were busy but happy, at least.

Before my sister arrived, we were pretty busy! We went downtown to the splash pad, visited Findlay Market, attended a concert in the park, and went up to Tower Park in Ft. Thomas for their birthday celebration-family night. Here are the pictures from the first half of the trip! 

Bear Lake

The last week of June, we headed up to Bear Lake with TJ’s family for a little vacation. It wasn’t warmest week up there so the water was still pretty cold, but that didn’t stop us from having a great getaway!

The first evening, we explored town a bit and spent time at the park right there on the lake.

Wednesday, we hit up the beach right away in the morning where the kids played in the sand and we kayaked some. At lunch, Finn loved sitting outside because he was able to watch all the trucks and cars go by. He called each of them out, obviously. Then I took Finn on a drive where he napped for an hour and I drove around the whole lake. It was so beautiful! That evening we went to the park again and then enjoyed s’mores on the beach. The wind was nuts, but the views made it worth it!

On Thursday, TJ’s brother’s family arrived and we had another beach day. The kids loved collecting little shells and splashing in the water. We rented jet skis that afternoon for a few hours and we all took turns taking them out. I was so happy Eva loved it (Finn tolerated it). We enjoyed raspberry shakes together in the afternoon, then went to the pool for a bit, and that evening we all went out for pizza.

Friday, we rented RZRS and took them out all afternoon. I had to take dramamine, but it was such a blast! We saw a moose and were able to explore up in the mountains a bit. While we took turns taking them out, my mother in law helped them make necklaces and do other crafts. We wrapped up the trip by having a big BBQ with all of TJ’s extended family and had a big Hillbilly Golf tournament. The weather was perfect that evening, thankfully so it was such a pleasant night outside with everyone.

I can’t write the whole post and not write about how Finn experienced, what we think was, night terrors for the first time. Of course, it happened while we were on vacation and sharing a condo with our family. Honestly, I’ve never seen him like that and it was terrifying. He was up screaming his head off for hours for the first few nights but by the end of the trip did better. It made us all really tired but I kept telling myself we’d just sleep when vacation was over. It definitely wasn’t ideal, but he was happy during the day making us be able to handle it enough.

We had such a great trip and sure hope we can return again!

 

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HIGH Fitness Instructor Certification

A few months ago, my good friend, neighbor, and High Fitness instructor Holly and I started discussing the idea of me getting certified to teach High and possibly team teaching together. I went back on the forth on the idea for a while, unfortunately I waited too long and the Utah one filled up and passed by. Then I realized there was one in Arizona right around our anniversary, so I decided to sign up for the training and make an anniversary weekend out of it with TJ!

It was the first time TJ and I had left the kids together before; the first trip without kids we’ve ever had since having kids. We did leave Eva for one night when I was in the hospital having Finn, but that’s it. So, I think it was time! We left out of Provo on Thursday, and I couldn’t get over how easy it was to fly with my kids! It’s been FIVE YEARS since I’ve flown sans kids. I literally had a small carry on (which TJ carried) and my book. BTOML. I read 100 pages on the airplane and didn’t have to change a diaper in the teeny airplane bathroom. I still can’t get over it.

Thursday night we met my brother and his wife for dinner, then relaxed outside for the evening. Friday we spent the entire day being incredibly lazy. Well, TJ worked a lot. But I laid out by the pool and read for hours. Take me back! Friday evening we met our good friends Ryan & Kacy for dinner and stayed up way too late talking about our funny college memories.

On Saturday, moms got free French toast at Kneaders so we headed there for breakfast (Kacy & I gave the toast to our husbands lol… I wasn’t about to eat unlimited French toast before working out all day long), at which point I headed to the gym for the High Fitness class before the training. The class was amazing. A packed house taught by Amber, one of the creators of the class and a bunch of other great instructors.

My friend Natalie got certified with me so it was really fun having her by my side the whole day, it really took away a lot of the nerves! Fun fact: Natalie and I were in the same Stake back in Kentucky, so we kind of grew up together and we sang in a children’s choir together for a bunch of years. We both moved out to Utah and have done 21 day fix together this year and now are both doing High! Yay!

After the class, we had a lunch break so Natalie and I went back and took a quick shower and changed (we were soaked after the first class). Then from 12-7 we were in the training learning choreography and pretty much what it takes to become an instructor. We then broke into groups and had to teach the rest of the class songs, while we were being graded. I passed with flying colors… hurray! It was a nerve-wracking day but one of the best ever. I literally held back tears several times because I was just so excited and happy for this new stage of life!

To celebrate, Natalie and I headed out to dinner right after at Grimaldi’s (I really wanted to eat at Shake Shack, but their grill was down… WHAT?) and split a pizza and canolli (we were starving after working out all day)! It was a perfect ending to a perfect weekend!

It was Mother’s Day when we came home, and I was so happy to see the kids! We sure missed them but were so grateful they were safe and happy with their Uncle & Aunt (who sent me lots of snaps per my request!). I definitely cried a lot when we left, it was so hard to leave Finn for some reason. But the weekend away with TJ was so needed and the training was an incredible experience!

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Disney: Snapchat Edition

I love snapchat. It’s just so casual and fun. Such an easy way to document the regular part of your day. So, I snapped some at Disney and put it all together. I love rewatching the part about what Eva packed in her bag for Disney. Too funny!

 

 

California Adventure

The final day of our trip, we went to California Adventure. The weather that day was perfect and the crowds were at a minimum… so it was basically a perfect Disney day! We got to ride everything we wanted, Eva was tall enough for bigger rides which was so fun! We got to ride Tower of Terror for its last time and experienced the World of Color for the first time ever, which is complete magic and an amazing way to end the trip! Turkey legs, corn on the cob, Cars Land, it was a great day!

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Mickey’s Halloween Party

On Monday of our trip, after we went to the beach for a few hours, we had tickets to Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland. I talked a little about this on my Disneyland tips post, we really enjoyed all the decorations, the parade, and villains, but probably wouldn’t do the trick-or-treating again. Once we figured out what was going on and realized the rides didn’t have any waits because everyone was trick-or-treating, then we finally got to relax and enjoy our time! The kids, however, loved getting candy (duh!) and looked so cute in their costumes!

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Beach Day

On Monday, we had tickets to the Halloween Party at Disneyland starting at 3, so we took the early afternoon to go to Huntington Beach for a little bit. The water was cold but not too bad. The waves were huge, but Dustin and I decided to get in for a bit. The last one knocked me down so hard, I got bruised up and thought my legs may get broken so I got out pretty quickly! But we loved watching the waves, playing in the sand, and admiring the beautiful view!

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Disneyland Tips (Especially during Halloween)

It was another fabulous trip to Disneyland. I’ve been thinking a lot about it, of course, and wanted to share some tips with you. Now, it’s not like we go to Disneyland all the time. So, for all the tips, ideas, clothing inspiration, seriously anything you need to know on how to do Disneyland, head over to my best friend’s blog here.

  1. Just expect it to be busy. I had these high expectations this time that it wouldn’t be busy so when the Halloween Party was a crazy-hot-mess over at Toon Town, I almost threw a fit. So lower your expectations. It most likely will be busy, so just plan on being surrounded by tons of people. Then, when it’s not, it’s going to be even more incredible! That’s how it was on our final day over at California Adventure and it was so wonderful!
  2. Bring in snacks and drinks! Last time I went I didn’t realize you could bring anything and everything (except glass and alcohol) into the park! This time Danica gave me all her amazing tips and told me to bring a soft cooler in the bottom of my stroller and fill it with drinks! It saved us a bunch of money and was so nice to be able to bring in all of Finn’s bottles.
  3. Bring jackets and light blankets. If you are like us and end up wanting to stay until close each night, it always gets cool (especially this time of year) once the sun goes down. So bring jackets for you and your family and also blankets to put on them in the stroller. The blankets can also be used to save space at the parades/light show.
  4. Maybe skip the Halloween party? I don’t know. TJ and I can’t decide on this one. We LOVED the parade, atmosphere, graphics on the castle and main street, all the other extra festivities at the Halloween party, but there were some parts of it that weren’t exactly worth it. So, I guess if we did it again, we wouldn’t trick or treat much at all, we would go to main street to see more of the villains, and definitely skip the pre-party over at Toon Town. So, okay… the Halloween party is fun, just do it right! And dress up! I was a little grumpy when I realized how many people were there but then as soon as I got my little beast into his costume and literally everyone was commenting on how adorable he was, it cheered me right up! Oh, so while everyone is trick-or-treating, go on the rides because you can pretty much walk onto everything!
  5. Get fast passes for the World of Color show and stand on the bridge! We got there about 45 minutes before it started and had an amazing spot!
  6. Depending on your group size, split up first thing in the morning and get fast passes to the Cars Ride, Tower of Terror, and Soaring. Then when you go in to the ride, go in separately and each get stroller passes! We seriously worked the system at California Adventure and literally didn’t have to wait for anything!
  7. Get fast passes right away for the Frozen show (or whatever show is out). We planned on getting those around 2 but unfortunately they were already taken by that time!
  8. Prep your kids by showing them Disney movies! It was so fun to have Eva know all the characters and be excited to see everyone from Woody to Sully to Tiana to Pluto.
  9. Bring your stroller. After living in the city for a couple years, Eva became a stroller kid since it was our mode of transportation. She still enjoys being in one and I knew, even though she could walk the whole thing, it would be much better for her to have the option of sitting (especially when walking to and from the hotel each night). I was going to bring two strollers, but then my neighbor generously offered to let me borrow her amazing Bob double stroller and it was like gold! It made our trip so amazing! It steered so well through the crowds, was comfortable for the kids (Finn took many naps in it), and had great sun shades for the kids. So, I’d say at least until your kids are five years old, have a stroller for them!
  10. Bring a baby carrier. I brought my ergo, and kept forgetting to use it, but the times I did, was glad I had it! Finn is heavy and gets so hard to carry!
  11. Keep your wallet/phone/essentials in a small purse that you keep on you all the time. The other not-so-important stuff, keep in a backpack in the stroller. It was so nice to just get the kids out of the stroller and not have to worry about getting stuff in and out of the stroller.
  12. Use the Disneyland app. The wait times weren’t always accurate but it did have tons of information about where characters would be or when the parades and shows would start.

Okay, that’s all I can think of for now! Just go with the flow, and if you go with kids, remember you are there for them. Take it at their pace!