Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Midwest Fun! #KI2016

Kings Island provided my family of 4, tickets to King Island & Soak City in exchange for telling you all about the amazing time we had there! 

Sometimes the midwest gets some flack for not having much fun things to do!
But little do they know of all the fun to be had, right in Ohio!
When we were in town for a family reunion we thought we make one last fun outing before summer was over, & King Island was the place!

The day started out pretty wonderful. But on our short drive from Brandons hometown to Kings Island a storm hit! LOTS of lightening & buckets & buckets of rain! I called & the park said while they were open most rides ect was not running for safety reasons.

We went out to lunch near by & when the power went out; we thought all hope was lost on our fun day. But, when the lights came back on everything dried up & it was the sunny & perfect! So we finished up & headed straight for the park!
Kennedy took this family selfie while waiting for lunch :)

Since half the day over at the point. We wanted to do what we were most looking forward to on hot hot summer day, & that was hit up Soak City!

& it did not disappoint!
We only got a few hours of fun in before another storm started to roll in but we had a blast!

We got to stay cool & hydrated by purchasing a souvenir cup with FREE refills all-day long!

There was so much for the girls to do that was age appropriate but also has so much to do for the older kids, & uh mom & dad of course!

The girls loved the smaller slides they could walk up to & go down by themselves. The lifeguards were so nice. One, would ask the girls something fun every time before they went down! They loved her!

Brandon & I loved the family slides with us in the tubes together & the lazy river!

Even though we couldn't take full advantage of the whole park, they have so much more to offer than Soak City! The whole amusement park is full of rides for anyone in the family, shows & meet & greets with snoopy & the gang! They also have a attraction for the dinosaur lover in your family; this one we were most sad about missing! Dinosaurs Alive, which is a exhibit with more than 65 life like dinosaurs spread across 12 acres!!

& if you can believe it, Kings Island announced today the big news of MORE fun at Soak City!
The 2016 season with the addition of Tropical Plunge, a complex of six different water slide experiences towering nearly seven stories. Three of the slides on the 65-foot tall complex will start with guests climbing inside an Aqua-Launch chamber where they will wait anxiously for the floor to drop out from underneath their feet, sending them into a high-speed, almost vertical free fall through a series of flat loops and S-curves in a translucent flume.

We can not wait to go back for #KI2016! I mean if we had THAT much fun this year, imagine next year with these new additions!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Disney stroller rental

When I was planning my Disney vacation I was SO overwhelmed! There is so much info! SO much to know!
I had alot of help from our Disney Travel Agent & from my own memory from our last vacation & there was a few things I knew I had to have on this vacation.

One of the them was a great stroller.
We flew in & out of very small airports. The girls had very little walking & the use of a stroller just wasn't needed with their ages. & lugging our huge double stroller thru the airport & rental cars was NOT something I wanted to do. However, the need for one at the parks was HUGE.

Yes, you can rent a stroller at Disney. But they are HARD & do not recline & honestly I wouldn't even want to sit in one.

We knew out hours are the park were going to be long & our girls needed somewhere to sit & possibly nap!

When I found Kingdom Strollers the angels sang!

They couldn't make it anymore easier.

You get to choose from a variety of luxury strollers & plenty of extra options {most free} like a rain cover {GET ONE!} & a cooler for your drinks! They will even put water bottles cold & in there for a small fee!!

We chose the City Mini Double. {colors vary}

Okay so after you choose, you let them know where you are staying. You can choose your Disney Resort like us, but they are also delivery to some area good neighbor resorts! Oh wait, did I forget to mention that? THEY BRING YOU THE STROLLER. I arrived at our resort somewhere around 630 AM to check in, & there it was at the bell hop, ready to go!

Your Stroller comes with a tag on it with your family name so it will not get lost in the bustle of stroller parking!

The girls loves the stroller. They had plenty of room & seemed to be pretty comfortable! ;)

Then when our vacation was over, cue sad face. We simply returned the stroller to where we picked up! Right at the bell hop at our resort & tada! That's it!
It is that easy!

Kingdom strollers doesn't do just stroller either! They have cribs and bedding too to make your vacation even easier!

Disclaimer:As of owner of this blog, I received services from this company. All opinions & feedback are my own.

Planning a Disney Vacation? Contact Heather for all your Disney planning needs! Her services are 100% free and 100% amazing!! {click the banner above to contact her}

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Dance Recital 2015

Our 2nd year of dance! You can see last years photos HERE
We started a little late this year. But Kennedy grew so much in the short months left in the dance year.
I remember her first day back, someone said "it isn't like she is going to learn the dance by recital"

I of course didn't tell Kennedy such a thing, but boy did she blow that out of the water. 

Her love & passion for dance has completely soared this year! She memorized her dance in about 2 months, & was doing it without music! I couldn't believe it. She would see other girls being able to do certain things & would keep practicing til she could do them. She is so much more flexible than she ever was by stretching every day. She will ask to stretch at night! I am just SO proud of her.

When you put your children in these things you just never know how THEY are going to like. & she has showed me just how much she loves it!

Next year start a whole new chapter for her in dance. She joins the competition team & adding Jazz into her classes! She said she wanted to "shake her booty" this year, so I think she is going to be able to do that ;) & Kensley starts up ballet this fall as well! 

This years dance was so perfect & was to "A Spoon Full of Sugar". Mary Poppin is the girls' favorite movie! 

Anyway here is the pics that you want to see :)

Fourth of July

What a weekend!!
We had so much & it was so nice to have Daddy home for a "real" weekend! Those glimpses of how normal families have it always nice every once in awhile ;)

We spent pretty much the whole weekend at the campground! We dont have a "new" camper yet, but while we were looking my mom liked one we were looking at; so we are using their old on in the mean time! It is so so much smaller than our old one, but it does the job!

On Saturday my cousin & his family came to visit & that was wonderful! We always love when we get to see them!

Every fourth of July isnt completely without tons of sparklers, of course!!


Kennedy was killing me with her expressions here!

This is my cousins little girl, my girls just adore her!

& we ended ths weekend with a trip to the zoo!!
I hope everyone else had a great weekend!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Body Image

I have to get this off my chest.

 It pains my soul to see people not thinking they can be proud, happy, beautiful because of their body. Can you imagine not feeling those things because of what you look like? Then to be feed that you can't feel that way by companies that are literally making money off your insecurities. They hide behind their "inspiration" thru their marketing. They actually teach these people to give you, especially us mommas,stories that we can relate to, so without saying it make us think that we can't be proud, & beautiful unless we are fit & thin. 

I bought into it too, until one morning. I got up & Kennedy said "Wow Momma, You look beautiful." It was right after I had glanced at my phone at said "inspiration" & said "Oh no, I look fat." I clench my fat & said "look EW" She put her head down. Took her tummy pinched it & said "oh yeah me not beautiful e-der I fat too" My heart sank. She knew nothing of fat. Until I told her. 

 What if we changed? If we didn't keep seeing these "stories" of how we are to feel awful because of this skin hanging, or how they felt so awful because of extra weight, we wouldn't know we were supposed to too.  How much more happier we could be, being thin.

 Would I like to have smaller arms? Slimmer legs? Sure. But you know what? I live a BEAUTIFUL life. This body GREW & BIRTHED two children. It held even more life though the time was short. I am SO proud of the person I am. I work hard every day to be the person I want to be. The person I want people to remember. & what I don't want, is that people remember me for being fit & thin or bigger & chunky. 

I've spent my time feeling bad over a missed workout. Feeling bad after indulging in a ice cream sundae with my children. Of feeling bad that I wasn't in a bikini at the pool.  & guess what. I wasn't happy. Finally toning up my stomach & arms & losing those pounds didn't make me a better person, wife or mom. Sure it made the superficial me easier to look better in clothes. But is that really what make you happy? Is some SKIN, keeping you from feeling bad about yourself? Heavens I hope not.

I love myself more at the bigger weight than I ever did at my smallest. I AM the mom that is running around the pool in the tankini not worrying about a string coming undone, or something "falling out" I AM the mom that is eating ice cream with her kids after having a big meal that my family had laughs over & conversation. I AM the mom that is comfortable in my skin actually showing my children what I have been telling them their whole lives: That the outside is not what matters, it is who you are that does.

 I pray to God that my girls, when they are wives & mothers don't have feel this pressure.  I want to be able to tell them when that time comes, that like they tell me everyday; they are beautiful & wonderful, & them believe it. That those weeks, months or years after having their babies, they are as beautiful as they were before their soft middle. That who you are in the inside has nothing to do with this outwardly shell. Some shells are thin, some are soft. But what's on the inside is what counts. & no wrap, drink, pill or shake is going to give that you, ever. 

PLEASE love yourself. Don't let your body make you feel anything negative, or positive for that matter about yourself. Love YOU for YOU, big or small.

& I promise this "inspiration" if that is what it did for you, came from my heart. I am making no money or going up a level for sharing my true, unprompted, unscripted story with you :)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

hey YOU

Hey you!
I thought maybe you needed to hear this today.
Your sink is full of dishes, you look at it & think how is it possible it is already full? Wasn't it just empty.
You were just caught up on laundry & now? Baskets full. & the clean ones you had put away are thrown across your childs floor, because well I don't know why but they emptied every.single.drawer.
You cant even get started about thinking cleaning the house..again. You can actually feel it getting dirty.

You are trying to figure out dinner tonight, before your husband gets home. & you just don't want to. Where will you find the energy?

You feel like you have ran marathon by just trying to get out the door to make it to dance/soccer on time.

You are thinking to your self you just want to get to bedtime, if you can just make it to bed time.

Just make it to bedtime, you keep saying.

& now maybe you're in bed yourself. maybe you're sitting on your couch drinking wine. or maybe your hiding in the bathroom because even though you put your children to bed they are still up.
Youre wondering if you cut out for this. There is always too many dishes, another accident, and its seem like every other momma has it figured out. they seem so..together.

You are waiting for a encouraging text or call from your spouse or friend to tell you "everything is going to be okay" but your phone doesn't ring.

You want to quit. You think it doesn't matter & no one notices that sink full of dishes or that you were up to 1 AM folding those clothes & putting them back into your sleeping toddlers drawers. You feel over looked, & after sitting in your car crying, head on the steering wheel from breaking up the millionth fight in the backseat, you realized you forgot the damn redbox AGAIN . Its been 2 weeks & could have just bought the damn movie by now. You  want to throw in the towel put up that white flag. you want to scream you have had enough. 

You're thinking that you couldn't possibly do this motherhood thing anymore and that you really dont matter or make a difference and that you are never ever going to catch up on laundry.

But you happen to open your phone/tablet/laptop to this message for me to you that YOU..right your chair,bed or bathroom; matter more than you understand.
You, your life, your sore voice from screaming for the millionth time to go to bed, you're ever giving, loving beautiful heart matters.

There is going to be days & weeks & sometimes longer that are just plain hard.

But you can do this, I know you can.

You can be a mom today. 
You can look at your child & tell them you love them, even if you can still remember the way they just screamed at you & threw a mega fit.  You love them unconditionally. You make them their macaroni & cheese, get out their favorite juice even if you remember & can still feel the sticky-ness on the floor from yesterday when one dumped their whole bowl on the table & the other squirted the juice all over the floor. YOU love THEM, like no one else ever will.

You think you have messed up. But look at all that you do. All the good. The sitting up with you child after a bad dream. The making the perfect lunch with all their favorites. the wiping faces, & bottoms. the reading . the folding clothes. watching them sleep. surprising them with their favorite movie after dinner. finding their favorite shirt to wear. hanging up the picture made just for YOU. the time you let them stay in the bath as long as wanted. remember when you let them finger paint? They will.

You may want to quit. But take that white flag back down. YOU are the perfect momma to those children. you CAN do this.

I believe in you. & I think you are BEST momma.
& God made you for your children. HE choose YOU for them. No one else. YOU.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

as we approach 3..

This morning as I sat down to my cup of coffee, I read my devotion & took a peek at Facebook, I came across this article by The New York Times & it had me reflect on so much of my little kenselys life & as we approach 3, I felt like I should talk about it a little.

Besides the rounds of IVF I pretty much could have written the article I linked above. Things she said like -- "But I’m still mentally preparing myself for the worst, running through the scenario at the doctor: the silence of the ultrasound technician when something is wrong, the stillness of the fetus, the trauma of everything suddenly being over. The knowledge that I’ll have to go through it all again." . That's how I spent the majority of really each pregnancy but more so with Kensley. She was our last our shot at what we hoped would make our family "whole". I felt like I could never really "connect" with her while I was pregnant. I was riddled with fear, as I was with each pregnancy. But, I knew in my head to never get too attached. It can be over as soon as it started. Every appt I waited for the turn of the screen, the "I am going to the send the dr in now.."  but it never came. You would think that would make you the happiest in the world, but it didn't. It just meant my anxiety carried over to the next appointment and onto the next.

Then I thought, delivery, YES that will be it. I am gonna hold her & bond & feel the way I was supposed to feel.  & then when her little self tried to come far to early, far too many time I was even more scared of the things that could come from that. Luckily we got her hanging on just 6 weeks early. It was a dramatic entrance, but still when they whisked her away to check her, there was so much fear my happiness was dwindled away. Then, I held her. I can't even type well over the apples of my check smiling so big I can barely see over them. When I first looked at her she was frowning. The biggest pouty lip I had ever saw. & that is so..Kensley.

this picture conveys all the fear in my face right then

I loved her, I loved her so much. She was so small & fragile. When we got home, whether it be the hormones or just natural new mom anxiety, it happened again. I kept thinking, this isn't real, something is going to happen. It can't be going this well. I am going to be that girl, on that blog, that something happens to her baby. I didn't feel deserving, I remember saying "maybe all of this happened to us because I wasn't supposed to be a mom after all" can you imagine? I am crying right now thinking of that place I was in. A person that being a mother literally runs thru every inch of her body, thinking that. Some where along the way thru rolled twice little pants, shirts that were dresses,  & all that hair she stole my heart. It wasn't like with Kennedy it was so different, it wasn't as easy for us. I would be nursing her & look at her after the every day colicky cries that start at 5:45 on the dot every night til 9 o clock, I would realize like I do every day that God gave me her to save me, and I was deserving of her & her sister.

She is tough this girl. She is very much the person she was before she was even in my belly. Tough, bull headed & does things on her own terms. She cries & whines probably 80% of the day. & is a dang spitting image of me. She has made me a better person & momma. I am more patience, more kind, & less scared about the person I know I am meant to be. She is who reminds me daily that God wanted me to be mom, he wouldn't have given me such a wonderful, beautiful little girl to just any one, she is too special. 

I think I will always have a little bit of what the author of that article called PTSD thru our journey of being parents, even now with Kennedy being 4. The hurt never goes away, but embracing what he has given me & be grief stricken about what he hasn't can not control my life anymore. & every day she shows me that. I hate a classic #blessed but seriously I feel like this should end with a big freaking hash tag freaking blessed! 

Happy almost Birthday my sweet Kensley! 
These have been the best 3 years of our lives!

& if you are out there struggling to get here, or riddled with anxiety like I in those months of pregnancy can I talk to you for a second? God wanted you to be a momma. I know its so hard to see that right now, but I believe he hand picks the ones its hard for. He knows he is picking the right one that will trudge thru it & feel every bit of blessed that he wants you to feel when you get that baby. He choose YOU to be a momma to THAT baby. How neat is that? I am praying for you. Hang in there.


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