Archives for 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

Hola friends! I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday with friends and family. Mine was a little odd compared to previous years, but I am glad I got to spend it with my family. Bobby and I were at my parents from Wednesday until Sunday. My sister even flew into town for a couple of days. Here is a quick recap of what we did.

Wednesday, we closed on our house in Mississippi. It was bittersweet, and the first rain we have had in weeks, so it was fitting for my mood.

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We drove to my parents house in Louisiana, and settled in for a few days of hanging out with family. Thursday included a lot of cooking, parade and football watching, and eating.

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Emma Kate watching the parade

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Emma Kate checking out the black Friday sales in the paper.

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After a delicious meal, we all took naps (as you should on Thanksgiving!) and then I went for a quick 3 mile run.

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After some photos, we went to visit some sweet friends that we are going to miss so much!

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On Friday, my mom sister and I went shopping and to lunch. Then Friday afternoon was spent watching all the Friends and Everybody Loves Raymond Thanksgiving episodes. Best shoes ever! We ate pizza and watched more football that night, after my dad brought my sister to the airport.

On Saturday, my dad and I took Emma Kate to the playground.

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My dad and I also ran a few errands, and then we just kind of chilled the rest of Saturday…and watched more football…and ate more food. On Sunday, my parents went to church while we loaded up the car and said our goodbyes after lunch. It was sad, but my family is coming to Tampa for Christmas so that will be fun!

It was nice to have a few days to rest and recharge before the moving in madness begins this week!

Goodbye For Now

I have never been good with goodbyes. I prefer to live in denial up until the last possible moment, and then hurry though and pretend it never happened. Unfortunately for me, there have been a lot of goodbyes going around the past couple of weeks.

Today I leave my house. My city. My church. My gym. My friends. My people. Typing that out is even hard for me. I have always been sentimental, but this time it’s worse. Why? Because I have been hiding something from yall since June. JUNE yall. I didn’t say anything for safety purposes, but now that it’s over I feel comfortable being honest, because I feel that it will help you to understand some of the feelings I have now, and will help explain some of my actions as of late.

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Yes Bobby got a new job and yes we are moving to Tampa at the end of the week. But what you didn’t know, is that Bobby moved away to start said job back in June. Yes, Emma Kate and I have been living on our own since this summer.

That’s why I haven’t been around online as much

That’s why EK was in full time daycare since June instead of her usual 3 days a week

That’s why my parents have been in town a lot and I have gone to see them more

That’s why I have been super stressed

That’s why I have been more quiet about personal things

That’s why it’s so much harder for me to leave.

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You guys, the past five months have been hard. REALLY hard. I have shed a lot of tears, felt really lonely, been scared, angry, frustrated, you name it. The week Bobby left everything that could go wrong went wrong (our house got struck by lightning which fried all our internet and TV boxes and broke one of our TV’s… we got rear ended, had to have two repair guys at the house, one of the machines at the shop broke, Bobby’s grandmother passed away, the internet went out at the shop so we couldn’t process payments, and the biggest spider I have ever seen was on my screened in porch and I had to have a neighbor come and kill it for me <—-yes even he said it was the biggest spider he had ever seen!) I had NO idea how I was going to make it until I could move with Bobby. Thankfully, not all the weeks were quite so eventful, but that first week had me questioning everything.

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Out of all of this there has come some good, which is why it’s so hard for me to say goodbye. After that first awful week, I learned something about myself. I learned that I am capable of handling way more than I ever thought I could. Instead of relying on Bobby to take care of the “yucky stuff”, I had to handle everything on the home front and storefront plus my two jobs I already had. It sucked a lot of days, but I proved to myself just how strong I am. My independence has grown by leaps and bounds, and I just feel better about myself and my abilities as a whole. If you would have asked me back in June if I could face all the challenges that were to come, I would have said no. But that’s the funny thing about it. You always think you can’t handle something until you are thrust into it with no other choice…and then you realize that you CAN do those hard things. I had to keep going for the sake of my family and my child, and I am so proud of all I was able to accomplish and handle. (Also I have a huge newfound respect for single parents and military families!)

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I also had to rely on my friends a lot during this time. I got really close to friends from church and my gym, and that’s why it is so much harder to say goodbye to them. They were my rock, my sounding board, and a lot of times the only adult interaction I had in a day. They took care of me and made sure I was doing ok, and became my family. I know we will still talk and text and hopefully occasionally see each other, but it’s just not the same.

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As I packed up Emma Kate’s room a few days ago, it hit me that it would be the last night she would spend in her room, in the house we brought her home to from the hospital. I just stayed in her room and cried y’all. Don’t get me wrong, this move is GOOD, and I know it’s what God has for us, but that doesn’t make change and goodbye any easier. I know that a house is just a house, and it’s the people that make it home. The memories inside the walls will always stay with me, but it’s still hard to let go.

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I am however excited for new memories, new adventures, and new friends. They will never replace the old ones, but I can make room for the new, too.

So even though you didn’t know it, thank you for hanging with me while I did life alone for a little while. Thanks for not leaving my little blog, and for being understanding of what I was going through (even though you didn’t know it haha). It’s funny, I tried SO hard to not make it obvious Bobby wasn’t here, and not many people caught on thankfully (or at least they didn’t tell me they knew). He came back into town twice, and when he was here I was sure to post a lot of pictures so people would think he was still at home! If you go back to my Instagram feed, you will notice he is nowhere to be found except for during two weekends. I may have had to do some tricky things to keep my secret, like setting up a barstool outside and a self timer on my phone for my Sunday church photos, but hopefully you all will forgive me. Smile 

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The store and the house have sold, so I am now excited for us to be back together as a family in our new home in our new city and state. A fresh start is always good, and may be just what we need. So for now, to my friends in Madison, I prefer to not say goodbye but just “see you later” and I love you all. Thanks for being you, you all know who you are.

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QOTD: How are you at goodbyes? Have you ever had a keep a secret from people online/social media?

Emma Kate Does Disney: Part 2

I left off with us going to bed after a bit of stressful arrival day. The next day, we woke up ready to go to the Magic Kingdom. I couldn’t wait to show Emma Kate the castle and my favorite park. We decided to take things slow and let Emma Kate lead the way. I had a couple of fastpasses scheduled, but other than that there was nothing we just “had” to do.

We got to the park right after it opened, and after showing her the castle, headed to Fantasyland.

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We walked right on to Winnie the Pooh (she was so fascinated and slightly overwhelmed!) Then we did the little Mermaid, Dumbo, and Peter Pan.

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Then we had a fastpass for Enchanted Tales with Belle. My mom and I had done it before, but my dad (and of course EK) had not so I was excited for them to see.

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We sat on the front row and watched the little play, and Emma Kate got to get up and meet Belle and get a bookmark. She was really hesitant and didn’t smile, but she also didn’t cry. I call it a win!

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I was so happy Emma Kate’s first princess meeting was with my personal favorite!

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After seeing Belle, we decided to take a little break and get a snack. Emma Kate and I sat down and hung out in the grassy area in front of the castle while my mom and dad went to Starbucks to get us coffee and and a snack. Emma Kate enjoyed running around this little area that was away from the hustle and bustle.

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We sat in the grass and all took a little breather and ate (Emma Kate was again wanting to walk and not hold my hand or sit in the stroller so we had a few meltdowns all before 11:00.)

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After our little break, we decided to ride the train and see if Emma Kate would take a nap. She loves Thomas the train and enjoyed being on it, but it stops so much and for such long periods of time we quickly realized this was not going to work. We got off after a couple of stops, and decided to ride the people mover. After this, she was getting super cranky so I told mom and dad to go take a break and I would walk her around in the stroller and see if she would take a nap (she was so tired but fighting it at this point). I headed off from tomorrowland towards fantasyland by way of the walkway near space mountain, and Emma Kate pretty much fell asleep instantly, so I just kept walking. I made it all the way around the park, then stopped at a quiet corner in Liberty square behind the Christmas shop. I sat down on the ground while she slept. aaahhh.

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After awhile, my mom texted and said she would come meet me and we could switch spots, that dad was getting a snack in Tomorrowland and I could meet up with him there. So I walked back across the park after she arrived and had some fries with my dad. Soon after I got there, EK was awake so we met with my mom and did Buzz Lightyear. We got stuck on the ride for about ten minutes though! After that we decided to take another break in the grass until the 3:00 parade. This time we sat on the other side of the castle.

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Check out Emma Kate putting sunscreen on my dads knees Smile Bless it.

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We made it across the street for the parade and my parents ran into friends from high school! How crazy is that! They ended up chatting during the whole parade and I held Emma Kate up to see. Thankfully I lift weights because holding up a 31 pound child for the whole parade was pretty difficult! But she loved the parade and loved waving to the characters, especially when they waved back!

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We had a 3:30 reservation at Crystal Palace, so as soon as the parade was over we checked in. I was so curious to see how EK would do with the characters. To sum it up, it took her a little while to warm up to them but then she did really well. Tigger was her favorite.

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The issue here was that my super active child was over sitting still in her high chair after about seven minutes and wanted to run around the restaurant, which I wouldn’t allow. She ended up on the floor of Crystal Palace throwing a complete fit and I immediately picked her up and took her outside. I was really frustrated but tried to remind myself she is two, and is really overwhelmed and probably still wasn’t feeling great. I was just tired from chasing her around all day and dealing with the terrible twos. My mom finished eating and came outside to swap with me so I could go eat, but I still didn’t get as much as I wanted because I knew she was being difficult outside for my mom and I wanted to hurry up.

After we finished eating, we decided to leave, which Emma Kate did not want to do, so I apologize to anyone who was on Main street when I strapped my child in the stroller and power walked to the front of the park as she screamed. It was super fun for everyone I’m sure.

When we got back, we took EK to the playground right outside out building. We were on the first floor so it was nice to just walk right outside.

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The playground is near the water and has a great view of Disney Springs.

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I can’t remember exactly what we did that evening but I’m guessing just hung out in the room. Our original plan was to go to Hollywood Studios the next day, but since we got a contract on our house the day we left for Disney, we decided it would be best of my dad and I drove to Tampa to meet with my realtor and look at homes because we needed to make on offer on one quickly for all the closing dates to line up. My poor mom would be left with EK by herself, but I am thankful she volunteered so that I could get this handled since we were so close to Tampa!

More on that adventure in the next installment. Smile

QOTD: Did your/do your kids like the characters at Disney?

Emma Kate Does Disney: Part 1

I finally have some time to sit down and write out a recap out Emma Kate’s first Disney trip. Fair warning, it was a doozy. Poor EK was sick most of the trip and this made her cranky and miserable and everyone else cranky and miserable. I’m still so glad we got to go and experience it for the first time with her grandparents, but it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. Read on anyway!

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Like I said EK had been sick with some sort of virus but her doctor put her on some medication just in case it was bacterial since we were going out of town. I picked her up after lunch from school, and we drove to my parents. Poor girl slept most of the way down. We hung out at my parents house that afternoon, and went to bed early. Emma Kate ended up having a rough night and neither of us got much sleep.

The next day, my dad and I had fun trying to pack all of our stuff and Emma Kate’s stroller in their car. We were able to get it all in, and we left for Florida around 10:00. We stopped in Biloxi and ate lunch, and soon realized it was going to be a long drive. Emma Kate slept about an hour but then fussed the whole rest of the way to Tallahassee where we were stopping for the night. After having trouble finding our hotel, we were all ready for a break so my mom and dad went to grab us some dinner and I stayed at the hotel with the sick one. It was yet again a night of little sleep for everyone (she did not want to sleep in the pack n play so ended up in bed with me, and the child does not lay still). We were optimistic though, and the next morning we hopped back in the car and headed for Orlando. EK slept about two of the four and a half hours, and cried the rest of the time which made for an interesting ride. Finally, we made it to my happy place, and pulled in to Saratoga Springs.

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Our room wasn’t ready yet, but that was ok so we decided to grab lunch in the food court and then take Emma Kate to the pool. Unfortunately, EK was tired of sitting so she lasted in the high chair all of 27 seconds before I had to take her outside. I ate about three bites of lunch (which would come to be a theme of the trip!) We walked around and played in the splash pad while my mom and dad ate lunch, then we all drove over to the super nice pool at the Paddock and changed there.

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I was really impressed with the play area. It was totally fenced in and had tables and chairs for the parents. There were two slides and it was zero entry all the way around. Emma Kate LOVED it and went down the slide about 50 times.

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After our rough start, I was so glad to see her having fun.

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Since we had a two bedroom villa, our original plan was to let my mom stay with Emma Kate while my dad and I went to the grocery store to get food for the trip. However, because our room wasn’t ready, we had to call an audible and just stay at the pool. We were all getting a little tired of waiting and finally at 4:00 our room was ready. We hurried over and unloaded, and then put Emma Kate in the stroller and walked to Disney Springs to activate our Annual Passes before heading to dinner at Whispering Canyon Café.

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Apparently all the running around at the pool wasn’t enough to tired her out, so EK wanted OUT of the stroller. This was a problem because there were people everywhere and she wanted to walk all on her own (another foreshadowing of the trip). We finally made it over to guest services, and ended up there for over an hour. They couldn’t get my parents Annual Passes to work for some reason, and so we just had to keep waiting. Meanwhile, Emma Kate had meltdown after meltdown because she wanted to go. We took turns going outside with her but she wanted me and only me so it made things difficult. We ended up missing our dinner reservations because we were there so long. EK was acting up so much that I was kind of glad. We ended up going to Earl of Sandwich and eating outside so EK could play in the splash pad and we could watch her.

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She had a LOT of fun with that (the kid loves water!) and made friends while she played. But, she had another meltdown when it was time to go. We walked back to Saratoga Springs ready for a good nights sleep before heading to the Magic Kingdom the next day.

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My dad and I ended up going to the grocery store after Emma Kate went to bed, and I was so tired I just wanted to hurry and get back and go to sleep, which is exactly what I did. We had gotten off to a bumpy start, but we were hopeful that in the light of the next day things would be magical!

QOTD: Have you ever had a Disney trip start off as not so magical?

Refresh Summit

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen some pictures from this past weekend when I went to Refresh Summit South in Tennessee. Last year I had the privilege of being a speaker, and this year I was a last minute attendee!

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Refresh Summit is a Christ centered fitness retreat. A great time of learning, sharing, and sweating with other ladies! After the crazy summer I have had and with preparing to move, it was great to get away and be still as I get ready for a huge life change. We filled the weekend with worship,

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food,

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conversation,

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workouts,

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group fitness,

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country glow zumba,

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and a bonfire with s’mores

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It went by super fast, but was just what my soul needed in this season. I took a long hike by myself on Saturday afternoon, and it was great to just drown out the noise, no social media, no texts, etc. and just walk, pray, and listen. Sometimes I think we are so busy doing all the talking and praying that we forget to just BE STILL and listen. (At least I do!)

I am so glad I got to go back to Refresh and see old friends, and also make new ones!

QOTD: Have you ever been to a retreat or conference? What is your favorite part?

Mizuno Wave Rider 20

I am pretty picky about my running shoes (as any runner should be) and I can be pretty hesitant to try something new. I have worn shoes from Mizuno before but it had been awhile. However, I had heard so many great things about the new Mizuno Wave Rider 20, that I was dying to try them out!

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My shoes came in a beautiful box wrapped in platinum paper. As soon as I unfolded the tissue and saw the gorgeous coloring, I legit let out an audible “oooooo!” even though I was the only one in the house. Well, besides the dog, and she obviously doesn’t wear shoes. (But she did however think I was unwrapping food).

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I immediately laced up and went out for a quick run. Smooth and bouncy would be two words that immediately came to mind. These shoes have a could wave technology that allows for a comfortable ride. It has more cushion in the heel than wave riders of the past, but it didn’t feel bulky at all.

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These shoes also have really great mesh that provide breathability and movement. The wave rider 20 is a neutral shoe, and it is 33% more durable and responsive than previous models (wow!) They come in narrow and wide which I think is great, since people don’t all have the same shaped foot! I personally don’t like when my toes feel cramped, but they felt great in these shoes. I have gotten lots of compliments, and am enjoying getting in some miles in my new shoes.

For more information, photos, and colors (cute ones!) check out the wave rider 20’s on Mizuno’s site and give them a try!

QOTD: When buying a running shoe, what do you look for as the most important feature?

This post was sponsored by Mizuno, however all opinions are my own.

Novmeber 2016 Goals

Another month! October flew by and we are now in my favorite time of year! I may or may not have listened to a Christmas CD in the car on the way home from Disney #SorryNotSorry. I usually hold out until after Thanksgiving, but since we won’t be getting our tree up until the week after Thanksgiving due to the move, it made me happy to have some Christmas going on right now.

Anyway, I feel like I say this every month but November is going to be super busy! We are MOVING at the end of the month and there are so many moving pieces that I am hoping will fall into place. Before we look at my goals for November, let’s check out how I did in October:

1.) Not gain weight: B+ I am giving myself this grade because I am currently up a pound, but I’m pretty sure it’s bloat and water weight coming off from the trip. I didn’t eat all that terrible to be honest. Best way to not stuff yourself silly in Disney? Bring a 2 year old and you will be scarfing down a small plate of food in less than five minutes before you are off chasing them somewhere. We had breakfasts in the villa, and only did two sit down meals. The rest were shared counter service meals and snacks which we brought from home. I had ice cream twice but that’s really it for junky food! I didn’t even get a dole whip (sad panda) Also, we walked an average of 8/9 miles a day and I ran once on my own, so hopefully that helped keep any extra weight away.

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2.) Get organized for Disney: B+ This also gets a B because I felt super stressed right before our trip, BUT, we made it there, and I didn’t forget anything major, and everything was fine! Our plans ended up changing a good bit but not because of lack of planning.

3.) Sell our house: A+ YES!!!! I am happy to announce we are under contract. This was one of the reasons I was a little stressed before leaving for Disney. We had a showing the day I was to drive down to my parents house, but I had already allocated that time to pack, and they ended up staying at the house for 45 minutes! Thankfully they ended up putting in an offer, but I was in quite the time crunch getting the house show ready and then packing up after they left. Anyway, the inspection went well, just a couple of minor things to fix, and we are scheduled to close the day before Thanksgiving. It’s all happening so fast and I have so much to do, which brings me to November’s goals!

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1.) Get the house ready for moving: This one is going to be a doozy. We have packers and movers coming, but there are things I want to take with us that I don’t want them to pack and fragile/valuable things as well…so I have to sort through everything/throw things away etc. before they get here. We will be at my parents over Thanksgiving and then in a hotel for about three days before we get into our new house, so I need to think ahead for things for Emma Kate etc. for that trip. (Oh did I not mention? We put in an offer on a house in new Tampa and are closing November 28th! Praying the inspection goes well on Monday!)

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2.) Workout consistently without boot camp: Now that my beloved boot camp session is over and I’m not joining the next one since I’m moving, I need to hold myself accountable for working out. I can still do my HEAT classes at the gym and of course run, but I will need to lift on my own so I don’t lose the muscle I have worked so hard for.

3.) Get Bella groomed before we move: I know this seems silly but I have so many things to do before we go and Bella needs a haircut! It may be awhile before we find another vet so I want her to have a fresh cut right before we move.

4.) Change our address on all the things: This will be our fourth house, and definitely one of the things I dread most about moving. All the paperwork like forwarding mail, changing addresses on all the things, credit cards, auto bill pay, anything I buy online, etc. etc. Hopefully we will be in this house for a good long while!

Free fitness and goal tracking printables

Do you have a hard time sticking with monthly or smaller goals? You can download my FREE printable goal fitness trackers here to help you stay on track for this month!

QOTD: What is a goal you have for November? When do you put up your Christmas tree?

Back from Disney World

Hey friends! I am back from Florida. It has been a whirlwind week and a half, and it is so good to be home! If you will recall when we left for Disney Emma Kate was sick, and let’s just say we have had better Disney trips. She was super cranky and fussy (rightfully so) and keeping it real, it really stressed us all out. Her fever broke the day we got to Disney but that didn’t stop her craziness. I’m not sure if she was just super tired, or overwhelmed or what, but I have never seen her act the way she did in Disney…she was a hot mess! I think not knowing what to expect was difficult on us, and let’s just say I need a vacation from my vacation. We for sure still had fun and happy moments, and I can’t wait to share them with you over the next couple of weeks. You will get the good, the bad and the ugly of taking a very strong willed two year old to Disney. Smile I loved seeing her meet the princesses, ride the rides, and experience my happy place. Of course there is still so much more I want to show her, but we got a good start on getting her obsessed with Disney just like the rest of the family. She said cute things like “BIG CASTLE!” and “Pluto has a big tongue” and “Emma Kate and Minnie Mouse!”

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My parents recently bought into the Disney vacation club and generously used their points for our trip, and getting a two bedroom villa was for sure the way to go. We could put Emma Kate to bed at night and still hang out in the living room without having to be quiet. We were on the first floor of Saratoga Springs and it was great to let her just walk out of the patio and out to the grass or playground. Having a full kitchen and washer and dryer was a plus, too!

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Our room was on the bottom right behind the bench in the back of the photo.

Also having our car was the way to go because we didn’t have to wait in long bus lines with a toddler having a meltdown. We still were able to ride the ferry and the monorail which Emma Kate liked.

My dad and I went to the grocery store the first day to get groceries so we cold eat snacks and breakfast in the room each day to save money. We also grilled outside by the playground the last night which was a lot of fun. Emma Kate loved the pool/kids water play area and we went there three or four times in the afternoon after nap.

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I feel like my thoughts are so scattered right now and I will get more specific when I give you my daily recaps, but I did want to check in and let yall know I am still alive and that you will hear more about the trip. I hope everyone had a great week!

QOTD: Were your expectations too high the first time you brought your child on vacation?

Finally Fall

Fall finally decided to show up in Mississippi this weekend. It was gorgeous and sunny Saturday and Sunday with lows in the low 50’s and highs in the 70’s. For our third year and a row, my dad took Emma Kate to the classic car show in our city and out to lunch at McAlisters. This year was the most challenging because last year she was just learning to walk and the year before she was only a month old!

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How cute is this display?

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It’s fun to walk around a free event checking out all the cars. It helps when the weather is beautiful! We are all about free things to do.

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There were rows and rows of classic cars of all different colors.

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We walked over to McAlisters and sat outside for lunch before walking over to our yogurt shop for dessert.

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Saturday night we had a fall get together with our life group from church. It was at my friends house who lives down the street, so we just walked over. We had chips and dip, chili, soup, and caramel apples. Emma Kate had a blast playing with all the other kids. I didn’t take any photos, but if you saw my Instagram story then you saw Emma Kate wipe out on some playground equipment (she was fine).

Then some friends came over and watched part of the LSU/Ole Miss game. I went to bed at 11:00 because the game didn’t start until 8:15, so it was way past my bedtime.

Sunday we went to church and then had the annual fun fest at our church. It’s a free community wide event with games, candy, and lots of fun!

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How adorable is she?!?

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We went in the bouncy house about five times, watched the puppet show, and helped with the photo booth. She slept like a rock that night!

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It was our third year at fun fest and it is something I will definitely miss when we move.

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QOTD: Do you go to any community or church fall events?

Swim Readiness: Then and Now

This post was sponsored by Speedo. Thanks for the products you sent to me and Emma Kate!

Before I had a baby, getting dressed and ready to swim was a fairly simple task. I only had to think about what I needed to do for myself, and myself alone. Oh how I took for granted those simpler times, because getting a child ready to swim is a whole different ball game! I wanted to take you through my step by step process of what it’s like now to get ready to go to the pool/water with a toddler.

The dance of the swimsuit:

First I have to actually convince my toddler to get into her swimsuit. This may or may not involve chasing, begging, wrestling, and crying (me, not her). Ok, so maybe I’m kidding a little, but once Emma Kate saw her adorable new sun shirt from Speedo, she asked me to immediately help her get it on. This sun shirt is quick drying. It also is UV50+ and provides protection from harmful sun rays. To learn more about this product, go to this page. Emma Kate was obsessed with the butterflies on it!

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The “slather”:

Putting sunscreen on a child is very, very important, but also extremely difficult. As a teenager, I worked at a local summer camp, and distinctly remember how hard it was to get squirmy four year olds to stay still long enough to coat them in the protective stuff. Inevitably, one would turn their head and sunscreen would get in their eyes, hair, etc. Thankfully, Emma Kate understands the importance of sun protection, and knows she will not get to go near the water without it, so she generally complies without too much fuss when I slather it on her.

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Swim Shoe shuffle:

We have a water table and kiddie splash pad we like to set up in the backyard. However, we quickly realized that when the concrete gets wet, it’s quite slippery. I immediately got Emma Kate some swim shoes from Speedo, and now she is much safer. They are also great for the pool or pool deck so their little feet don’t get blisters! We love the awesome colors too, and how easy it is to get them on and off with their four way stretch.

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Rules were made to be broken—er… followed:

I know Emma Kate is only two, but she had a pretty firm grasp on what is expected of her when we are near water. No running, no getting in the water without me, and always wear your swim vest/life jacket. We obey other adults and life guards and stay in the shallow water. Even at her age I feel it’s important to be consistently repetitive so she knows what is expected of her ahead of time.

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The rinse:

I always think it is wise to rinse off in the shower (most pools have an outdoor one nearby) before getting in the water. I mean, we are dealing with toddlers here, and at any given time there are five different kinds of food stuck to her face and in her hair, and we don’t want to get that in the pool.

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So on top of getting mommy in her cute Speedo swimsuit and cover up, (My new swimsuit has great adjustable straps on the top, and is stretchy and flexible. My cover up is super comfy and has a lightweight, cute racerback design) and getting sunscreen applied, there are a lot of other things to consider these days. I have to plan ahead, and make sure I have allowed enough time to get together everything we need for a fun and successful day in the water.

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