Friday, June 19, 2015

Hank does Florida

It’s so funny how much things can change in just one year. This time in 2014, Stephanie & I were comparing our swollen pregnant cankles and resting our ice cream bowls on our bellies at what we deemed “Pregnancy Camp.”

On Sunday, June 7th, DW & I picked up Steph & Hank from the airport in Orlando. Steph has always flown in for a visit in the summer, but this was the first time she’d have extra cargo with her! ;) I held up a little sign I’d scribbled while waiting that said, “Welcome Hank!” Sure, we were super excited to see Steph, we always are, but HANK was coming to Florida for his FIRST visit!!!! IMG_3627

When we made it home, our three littles were all napping and Hank was a little out of sorts. He laid over on my mom and snuggled up with his great-aunt… we’re pretty sure this was because she looked like his MiMi or maybe he could just tell she was good people. Either way, mom enjoyed it! :) Like most, it takes him a minute to warm up to new surroundings and new people, but as soon as Tucker woke up he was good to go. It was precious. IMG_3612

With a lot of ground to cover and only four nights to do it in, we hit the ground running. IMG_3619

Monday, we lunched at Piesanos. It’s a fave, and since this was round 2 of Pregnancy camp (I’m predicting it’s a GIRL!) for Steph, she needed some of their rolls.

It’s Florida in June, so if you aren’t swimming, you’d better find something inside to do, so we hit the Florida Museum of Natural History. IMG_3716IMG_3651IMG_3688IMG_3699IMG_3715

That evening, after dinner, we took Hank on a little ride around the farm. We saw some cows, got up close and personal with the horses, IMG_3776

and let the wind blow through our hair…IMG_3807

Tractors, dumptrucks and all the big equipment in between…IMG_3741

It really is a little boy’s paradise…

IMG_3791We got Hank’s hands dirty and grease under his fingernails, so he had his first experience with GoJo hand cleaner. IMG_3771

Just another check mark on his man-list. ;)

The next day we headed to the beach for our last two nights together. IMG_3827

These two lived it up and I even went crazy and let Steph talk me into letting them ride in the germ-mobile at Publix. They loved it. IMG_3872

The boys turn 1 in August, just four days apart. Since we won’t get to be together for their first birthdays, we let them have a little pre-birthday practice on the beach with a smash cake. DSC_2232

DSC_2223They were wearing their matching monogrammed boxers. DSC_2186Too much.


We learned Tucker loves cake as much as he loves sand. DSC_2204Almost.


We had a great time on the beach, in the pool, and just being together…DSC_2267DSC_2374DSC_2343












Sadly, the fun came to an end on Thursday morning. We woke up bright and early, to head to the airport. IMG_3975We stopped halfway and had breakfast and dropped them off at 9:00. We hated to see them go. Tucker looked at the empty car seat beside him all the way home and I know wondered where his buddy had gone.

It was a lot of work and effort on both parts (especially poor Steph & Hank who had 7 hours of delays on their flight home!) for us to get together and have such a fun visit (not to mention our overly understanding husbands, who “get” that we need to see each other at least once a year) – but I wouldn’t trade our times together for anything. Steph is closer than a sister to me and I want my children to know and love her and I want her children to know and love me. I want them to all grow up knowing and loving each other. That closeness doesn’t just happen overnight and just because we want it to. It comes from putting in the work. I’m glad that we’ve always both seen it as worth it. We’ve already said though, that next visit our moms (Grammy & MiMi) might have to come, too, to help with all these kids (especially since we’ll have another one to add to the mix next summer!) Ha…

I’m so thankful for their visit and the memories we made.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A day at Disney…

We had one day left on our Disney tickets and invited our BFFs to go with us. We decided on a day during AB’s last week of school, so she got to skip one of the half days. IMG_3268

We left the house early and made it to the Magic Kingdom just after 9:00. I know what everyone was thinking… they’re going to Disney in JUNE with FIVE kids?!?!?!

Some call us crazy – some call us adventurous. Whatever you call us, we survived it and had a great day. IMG_3294

I think our saving grace was going into with NO EXPECTATIONS.  We knew it was going to be 150 degrees and crowded, and we also knew we didn’t want to stay late and make a full day of it.

This was Whitt’s first trip and after riding the monorail to the Magic Kingdom, he declared it his favorite ride. :) It could have been that it was “his favorite color, John Deere green” though, that made him love the monorail.

We rented a stroller for he and Mamie as soon as we got there, and that might have been the wisest $30.00 I’ve spent in quite some time. I was worried the strollers would be hard to push and maneuver but it was a dream. I’d definitely rent one again.

We made our first stop to see Tinker Bell. IMG_4951The wait was 10 minutes and we checked off seeing a character on our list.

We hit the carousel, which is a MUST for Mamie.IMG_3304 IMG_3300All the kids enjoyed it and Tucker was too big for his britches sitting up there like a big boy. IMG_3297

The big kids all took a turn trying to pull the sword out of the stone.IMG_3545IMG_4956IMG_4957IMG_4958IMG_3315 This was right before our girls climbed up on top to get a better angle and the cast member had to come over and tell them to get down. Oops.

We did Enchanted Tales with Belle next. It was about a 30 minute wait, which Aunt Carrie helped pass quickly by dolling out gummy bears and gold fish. The kids all got parts and loved being in on the story.IMG_3327 My girls were an enchanted portrait together.IMG_3333 It made me so proud to see AB watching out for her little sister. IMG_3347IMG_4961IMG_4960

We hit the Little Mermaid ride next.IMG_3358 Sleeping Tucker  rode with me and the big girls, while Whitt & Mames rode with Carrie. IMG_3357

We were going to wait to see Ariel, but the kids decided they’d rather spend their 45 minutes waiting for a ride, not a character.

Dumbo was next, who Whitt calls, “Jumbo.” IMG_3372The kids enjoyed playing on the playground while we waited and Carrie and I were happy to sit in the A/C for 20 minutes. We switched up and the littles rode with me and the big girls rode with Aunt Carrie on Dumbo. IMG_3365IMG_3387

After that, Aunt Carrie took one for the team, and rode the teacups with the gang.



We looked down at our watches and it was almost noon and we knew the street party parade would be starting so we headed to Mainstreet to see it. We got a great spot right by the castle and the kids had the best time dancing along. IMG_3465IMG_3473IMG_3475IMG_3484

We were soaked with sweat and the kids were fading fast. They’d all gotten up so early and mixed with the heat, they were just exhausted. I knew there was only one thing to save us… Dole Whips in Adventureland. To my surprise, they’ve move the Dole Whip stand to a giant one behind the magic carpets. The line moves SO MUCH FASTER. We waited no more than 3 minutes. It was just the cool treat we needed to rally and keep going. :)

The kids all wanted to ride the train, so we caught it in Adventureland and rode to the front on the park. IMG_3505There, we hit the Toon Town Theater to get in line for Mickey Mouse. We couldn’t pass on Mickey.IMG_4962 The wait was touch and go, but worth it when we made it in to see the mouse. IMG_3510IMG_4963IMG_4964IMG_4965IMG_3508IMG_3511IMG_3521

We caught the monorail back to the parking lot (and let Whitt believe it was a “ride”) and headed home.

It was a fun little day trip and Carrie & I definitely flexed our momma-muscles on the way home and adjusted our capes – because we didn’t just survive it- we all had fun, too. (We agreed we’d never do it that way again, though! If we go back together, we’re spending the night and not going in June!) :)IMG_4967