Wednesday, December 5, 2012

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Merrily With Love Christmas Card
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Merrily With Love Christmas Card
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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Day #6 - Epcot, Take Two

Thursday, May 24, 2012

We had not originally planned to go to Epcot two days in a row, and had planned Hollywood Studios this day, but my brother and Kat decided that Thursday was the best day for them to go to Islands of Adventure and then they would go to Hollywood Studios on Saturday.  We decided that it was better to switch our day #2 to Epcot to Thursday, and join them at HS on Saturday so that we would have someone else to do Baby Swap with for Rock N Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror. Otherwise, Jeff and I would be riding those alone.  No fun!  This was a risk considering that Fri, Sat & Sun are Star Wars weekend, and were predicted to be 9.5 out of 10 crowd levels at HS those days!

Anyway, we didn't roll into Epcot until about 9:30 am.  Whew - what a crowd it was getting in the door at that time of morning compared to the 8:45 am crowds.  Upon entering, we headed to Innoventions West and Jacob really enjoyed the exhibits, including a Piggy Bank exhibit, a Make Your Own Video Game exhibit, and an exhibit on Fire Safety that was really cute and included a game that the whole family could play.  I just strolled Jackson around mostly during that time.  While there, we discovered the Chase Disney Rewards Visa Private Character Meet N Greet (whew, that is a mouth full!) It didn't open until 1:30 pm, so we decided to come back then.  After Innoventions West, we headed to the Living Seas Pavilion and rode the Nemo ride.  Jackson has been so good on all the rides we've ridden.  On the very first ride, Triceratops Spin, he was shaking a little, but after that he's been fine  It's a stark contrast to Jacob riding the rides at 16 months.  It was pretty much disaster from the get go!  After the Living Seas and Nemo, we headed towards the left side of the World Showcase.  We did the Grand Fiesta Boat ride in Mexico.  Jackson enjoyed seeing Donald everywhere.

He's gotten pretty good at identifying the characters: "Dee-Dee" for Mickey; "Min-ee" for Minnie, "Don-a" for Donald, etc.  In fact, the week before we left, I was putting him in the car as we were leaving Chick Fil A and he started saying "Dee-Dee," and somehow I knew he was saying "Mickey," but I didn't see any Mickey.  Well, sure enough, I turned around and there as a Mickey Ears antenna topper right behind me that he was pointing at! Anyway, it's pretty funny walking through a Disney gift shop with Jackson because he has to point out every Mickey he sees.  It takes a while. :)

After Don-a's boat tour, Jacob wanted to ride Maelstrom again, so we did that as a family.  Jackson pretty much fell asleep during that boat ride, and I got him back into the stroller, still sleeping.  We strolled the World Showcase back to the America Pavilion and had lunch at Liberty Inn.  Jackson slept peacefully through lunch until the end when the Revolutionary Quartet came into the Liberty Inn playing a very loud drums, etc.  It was entertaining, but it did wake Jackson up.  That was okay, because we went ahead and fed him some lunch.  We did a little more shopping around the World Showcase, and then got caught in a rain shower around the UK Pavilion.  We hig htailed it back to Future World and stopped in Club Cool and sampled a few sodas.   Then we headed to the Visa Character Spot around 1:20 pm.  We were about 10th or 11th in line, which was good.  By 1:30 pm, the line was LONG.  We got in pretty quickly and had a private meet n greet with Minnie & Goofy.  Jackson has just loved the characters.  He gave Minnie a hug.  He really seems to love Minnie! They took pics and we headed out.  Jackson and I went to the Camera Center to get our free 5x7 that was part of the Visa deal.  Jacob & Jeff rode Spaceship Earth again. We headed back to the house.

Once back at the house, we had some pool time and then Jeff and I got ready to go out to dinner.  The kids had pizza and Jeff and I went over to Animal Kingdom Lodge and looked around and then we went to Sanaa in the Kidani Village for dinner.  We had Habanero Lime Margaritas - delicious!  After a short wait, we got seated sort of in the second "row" of the restaurant, still with a great view of the windows including giraffe views and zebras too. We had the Indian Bread service, which was very good.  Jeff had slow cooked beef ribs and shrimp in green curry sauce, and I had tandoori chicken. Both were just excellent!  After dinner, we were pretty tired and headed back to the house, where we visited with my grandma, dad, dad's wife and brother and sister in law for a bit before heading off to bed.  Another great day!!

Day #5 - Epcot!

We had a fantastic day in Epcot!

We started off being there just before the turnstiles opened at 8:45 am.  Thy didn't do a rope drop, but I ran ahead to get fastpasses for Soarin'.  Test Track is currently down!  We first did a baby swap for Soarin', and John & Kat took Jackson on Living with the Land boat ride.  Soarin' was amazing, as usual.  Dad & Nancy really enjoyed it.  John and Kat rode with Jacob next and the rest of us did the Living with the Land boat tour.  I think it's neat to see greenhouses.  It's a nice diversion while everyone else does Soarin'!  Dad and Nancy wanted to ride again with fastpass, so they went with John & Kat.  Jacob wanted to do Living with the Land, so I took him again (trip #2 for me.)  By this point, it was 10:30 am, so Jeff and I skipped doing another round of Soarin', which was taking about 30 minutes "round-trip."  We scooted over to the Seas Pavilion and didn't have to wait very long for Turtle Talk with Crush.  We all enjoyed the show with Crush.  Jackson especially seemed to like it.  It's a good show!

It was almost 11 am by that point.  We decided to head to the World Showcase.  We had lunch plans for Biergarten at 12:30 am.  We meandered through England, and France and did a little shopping.  In France, I had a glass of dry Rose, that was quite good.  We also went into the pastry shop in France and I bought a Chocolate Croissant and a Apple Tart for later. :)  We skipped over Morocco.  Dad & Nancy had a beer in Japan.  We enjoyed some of the topiaries left over from the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival that ended last weekend in the American Pavilion.  In Italy, we sort of glanced around, but decided to move along to Germany since it was already 12:15 pm.

We then noticed that just after the American Pavilion there was a little alcove and Eeyore and Pluto were there! Further down the alcove, was the one and only Mickey Mouse!  There was pretty much NO wait for these three!  There was not even a Photopass photographer around. Jackson was so excited to see Mickey Mouse!  I was worried about whether or not he would like the characters since we had an episode about a week and a half ago where he was literally shaking at the sight of the Chick Fil A cow who was standing 8-10 feet away.  When it was our turn, Jackson immediately hugged Mickey. Then, we got a GREAT picture of Jacob & Jackson with Mickey.  We moved along to Pluto, but Jackson was not quite so sure about him.  He posed, but he kept giving him side-glances and he wouldn't smile.  He did seem to warm a little more to Eeyore, and smiled for a picture with him. The entire thing was one of those magical Disney moments!  I was so pleased!!

Shortly thereafter, we arrived a Biergarten with our party of 8 and didn't want too long for a table.  Since we had 8, we filled one table.  We ordered a round of half-liters (and a liter for my brother :) ).  I had a Schofferhofer, a hefeweizen style beer, that was really good.  We got Jackson situated and fed a little, and hit the buffet.  The food was really good.  We all enjoyed it.  We took our time eating and at 1:15 pm, the German band started.  They were also very entertaining.  Jackson loved them!  He was dancing in his seat and finally I took him down to the dance floor. He and Jacob enjoyed dancing on the dance floor and we got some good pics and video of them.  We got another Oktoberfest beer with a souvenir glass on the way out of Germany.  It fit perfectly in the stroller cupholder. :)

We moved along to China and glanced around.  Dad & Nancy got a Chinese beer.  Next, we went to Maelstrom.  Jackson fell asleep after lunch, so Kat sat with him while we all got in line for Maelstrom. We waited about 15 minutes in line - probably one of the longer lines, for one of the shorter rides, but it's sorta fun!  After Maelstrom, we looked around Norway a little and then headed onto Mexico.  In Mexico, you just have to get a Fiesta Margarita, which is a frozen layered strawberry, lime and mango margarita.  SOOO good!  Just after we got our Margarita, we noticed Fiesta Donald Duck in an alcove near Mexico, so we stopped to take a few pictures with him.   Jackson got a Donald Duck stuffed animal yesterday at Target, which he has been attached to, but he was a little cautious around this Donald.  Perhaps it was the giant sombrero that through him off.  He did take a picture with him though.  We got some pictures of Dad & Nancy with Donald as well.

Then, we headed off to Mission Space. My brother works at HP, and HP sponsors Mission Space.  So, HP has a private suite in Mission Space for its employees and guests.  It's a really nice place to sit, relax, have a soft drink, use a nice restroom, print a photo or two.  They also had a 3-D computer that was really cool.  You can see into the Mission Space ride, and when you are ready to ride Mission Space, you have priority over even Fast Pass riders!! Jeff, Dad, and Nancy rode the "green" side of the ride that does not spin.  John rode full "orange" version.  Kat, Jackson, Jacob and I went to the waiting area of Mission Space where there are some neat games, etc.

After Mission Space, we rode Spaceship Earth, which is actually a pretty neat ride.  Then, we headed out of the park.

Later on, Grandma Elsa arrived and we had steaks for dinner!  Great day!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Day #4 - Animal Kingdom!!

We got up and all got moving by about 8:30 am.  We headed off to Animal Kingdom and made it just around park opening.  I scooted over to Expedition Everest through Dinoland while the rope drop crowd, including Jeff, Jacob, Jackson, John, Kat, my dad, and Nancy went the other direction to Asia.  I secured the 9:40 fast passes and soon our crowd met up with me.  Jeff, John, Kat and I rode Expedition Everest and we were on the ride within minutes.  After we rode Everest, Dad &  Nancy decided to skip it, so we headed back to Dinoland and we all rode Triceratops Spin.  Then, everyone but Kat, Jackson and I rode Primeval Whirl.  By this time, it was about 9:30 am, and we headed to Kali River Rapids, where the line was actually up to 15-20 minutes.  We didn't wait too long for Kali, and the first group, my dad, Nancy, me, Jacob and Jeff rode first using a baby swap.  We ended up being on the side of the raft that went backwards, so we got absolutely soaked.  We tried using ponchos, but I can't say they worked all that great.  Except, I did wrap the poncho around my hips instead of wearing it, and it actually kept my behind from getting wet, but my shirt was drenched. Next, John and Kat rode and Jacob rode a second time!  Jacob was soaked!! Jeff ran and got us fastpasses for Kilimanjaro Safari that would work from 11 am to 12 pm.

After Kali, it was about 10:30 and our fastpasses expired at 10:40, so we hightailed it back over to Expedition Everest and just Jeff, John and I rode.  We got a great picture on the big drop and purchased it!!  While we rode, the rest of the party went to the Maharajah Trail   After the second trip to Everest, we went over and waited at the end of the Trail for everyone else.  When they got out, it was almost 11 am, so we scooted over towards Safari.  Jackson had fallen asleep!  He slept on the way to Safari and through the line until we had to park the stroller.  Sidenote:  hate the stroller parking at Safari - they "valet" park your stroller and you can never find it when you get off!  We made it onto Safari pretty quickly with fastpasses. It was a great Safari!  We saw a lot of animals.  Particular highlights were the elephants and the giraffes.  We saw several baby elephants, and also some elephants that were in the  water and were spraying themselves.  We also saw more giraffes in one spot than I've ever seen - maybe 7-9 all eating in the same set of trees, and very close to the Jeep.

After the Safari, we headed to lunch at Flame Tree BBQ.  We've eaten there on every trip to Animal Kingdom.  We like the food, the portions are huge and it's fun to watch the ducks walk around as you eat.  Jeff and I split a Pork BBQ sandwich and onion rings.  It was all yummy.  The rest of the group enjoyed their food too.  After eating, we had a great time watching a mama duck being followed around by four baby ducks.  Jackson especially enjoyed chasing them around.   After lunch, Jacob wanted to go back and ride Primeval Whirl, as well as do some of the games in Dinoland.  The rest of the folks were ready to head out.  

Jacob and Jeff rode Whirl again, and then we let Jacob play 3 of the Carnival games.  He first played Whack a Mole, and he lost  :(  Next, he played a squirting game and he won!  He was excited.  He next played a game where he rolled a ball on a smaller version of skee ball and a water buffalo raced other buffalos depending on where you rolled your ball.  He was running last the entire time, but came back to win.  He was soooo excited.  

After that, we headed back out of the park by 2:30 pm or so, and most everyone got into the pool.  We capped off the day with hot dogs & burgers on the grill.  It was a great day! 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Day #3 - Arrival in Kissimmee!

Monday, May 21, 2012:

Sunday night was a little tough!  Jackson woke up at 4:15 am and cried a little. I rearranged his stuffed animals and he went right back to sleep. However, after that, I couldn't go back to sleep.  I tossed and turned until 6:20 am when Jacob woke up.  Jackson woke up shortly thereafter, so I went ahead and got up for the day and showered and got dressed.  We headed down to breakfast and had our last yummy waffles with strawberry sauce (and blueberries for Jackson).  We finally headed over to Sugar & Papa's around 8:30 am. We had a good visit with them and it was sad to say goodbye.  Finally around 10:00 am, we left for Kissimmee.  The plan was to meet Dad & Nancy at the Emerald Island pool home ( around lunchtime.  We made pretty good time and made it into the Formosa Gardens area by 11:45 am.  We decided to go to the Winn-Dixie near the pool home and get some things to fix a quick lunch. The Winn-Dixie is so interesting because it is near the former (now deserted) Splendid China theme park, which was open from 1993-2003, so the shopping center and the interior of the Winn-Dixie, are themed similarly with Chinese architecture, and even Chinese dolls and a koi pond inside the Winn-Dixie.  

We headed over to Emerald Island Resort by 12:30 pm and got checked in.  We fed the kids a quick hot dog and they made a bee-line for the swimming pool.  Jeff swam with them, and then finally a little later, John & Kat arrived.  Kat and I made a plan for dinners for the week and headed off to Super Target for groceries. Just before we left, Jeff and I finally got Jackson down for a nap.

I was so tired, and Super Target had a Starbucks.  The iced coffee hit the spot!  In about 1.5 hours, we had filled our carts and were headed to the house.  When we finally got back, it was time to RELAX!  I had a Corona Light and got into the pool with the kids.  It's so nice renting a pool home!  This is our fourth time doing it!  My dad made BBQ chicken legs and chicken breasts for dinner and we made corn on the cob on the grill as well.  We also had baked beans and cole slaw.  It was a yummy dinner!!

After dinner, we got the boys into the bathtub, and got them to wind-down with a little TV.  Then it was books and off to bed.  Jeff and I put our swimsuits back on and headed for the hot tub with my Dad and Kat.  We enjoyed ourselves!  I found some Peach Smirnoff at the store and mixed it with Diet Sunkist.  It was tasty.  After the hot tub, we showered and headed on to bed! After all, we were off to Animal Kingdom in the morning!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Day #2 - New Port Richey

Sunday, May 20, 2012 - New Port Richey

This morning, Jacob woke up bright and early at 6:10 am.  Unfortunately, I was already awake around 5 am... finally went back to sleep and slept until 7:30 am when Jackson woke up.  I was greeted by birthday hugs from my sweet boys. We took our time and went down to breakfast around 8:15 am.  We are at the Homewood Suites in Port Richey.  The make your own waffles are the best part, but they did have a egg & cheese english muffin that wasn't too bad after being heated up a little more.  They had nearly fresh blueberries for the waffles.  Jackson & I love blueberries. :)

After breakfast, John & Kat came to our hotel and then we all went over to Sugar & Papa's around 10 am.    I must say, I think my grandparents are doing okay for being almost 90 and 79.  They have had some health issues which have slowed them down considerably, but overall, they are doing okay. We visited with them for about 2 hours and then headed to lunch.  Jeff suggested Sweet Tomatoes, which we have at home and found here on our last trip.  Bonus!  I had a BOGO coupon I got in my email for my birthday.  You do have to by $5 in drinks to save $9 on your meal, but it still helps!  John & Kat don't have Sweet Tomatoes in Texas, so they were first timers.  We all had a good lunch and enjoyed ice cream for dessert. Hey!  We are on vacation!  Why not have ice cream dessert after lunch!  :)  The service was actually really exceptional at this Sweet Tomatoes. In fact, our "server," or rather, "tray & plate collector" was really good.  She brought us a bowl of chocolate chips cookie bars to sample. I think they may be a new item.  She chatted with us and found out it was John & Kat's first ST's visit ever.  As we were leaving, she brought them each a small bag of chocolate chip cookies. She was very sweet.

We decided to head back to our hotel and then everyone except Jackson and I would go to the Congo Mini-Golf nearby.  Jacob loves some mini-golf!  By the time we got back here, we decided just to let John & Kat take our car to take Jacob to mini-golf and Jeff and I would try to get Jackson to nap.  Well, they headed out, and despite trying for over an hour, Jackson just would not nap.  We finally got him to at least wind down by watching some SuperWhy, but he would not go to sleep. We gave up.  Around 3 pm, we heard from John & Kat that they were heading to their condo to get Jacob some moleskin - apparently, he had some blisters from his sandals.  They made it back to our hotel around 4 pm, and we ordered up quite a bit of Cracker Barrel.  Cracker Barrel is a great place to get take out from.  The portion sizes are good, and they have something for everyone.  In years' past, we would take my grandparents out to dinner, but they now prefer not to leave the house, so we bring dinner to them. We had planned to get back over to their house around 4:30 pm, so timing wise we were doing well.  John & Kat had to run back to their condo, so we headed to pick up the Cracker Barrel order. Jacob AND Jackson fell asleep in the car. After we picked up the food, we tried to drive around a little extra to give them a few more minutes to sleep.  Once we got to my grandparents, Jackson was not too happy, but we finally got him settled.  After a little while, we all sat down for dinner.  My Papa gave a beautiful blessing that brought tears to my eyes. We enjoyed our food and then cleaned up.  We took a bunch of pictures with Sugar & Papa.  They gave me a lovely birthday card and gift that again, brought tears to my eyes.  Completely unexpected. We visited a little longer, catching up on old times.   We finally left around 6:30 pm so we could get the boys to bed at a decent hour.

We repeated last night.  I bathed the boys while Jeff readied our bedroom.  We are in a one bedroom suite, so the boys are in the "living room/kitchen" side and we are in the bedroom.  We like to have everything in the bedroom so that we don't have to go to the kitchen.  So Jeff got ice, wine, beer, snacks, etc. ready for us.

Tomorrow, we will head back to Sugar & Papa's for another visit and then mid-morning leave for Kissimmee.  We hope to meet my dad & Nancy by lunchtime at the pool home we've rented. Tuesday will be our first park day - Animal Kingdom!

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Obviously, I have not blogged in a really LONG time. In fact, we've added another member to our family, our sweet Jackson, now 20 months old. So we really are Four Jones now, but we've got this name, so we'll stick with it! I look back at some of our vacation blogs and I *really* enjoy reliving the details in our blog posts, so I figure I'll use this vacation to try to get back into blogging and to document our vacation details for all eternity! So come along with us on our trip to FL!

 Friday, May 18, 2012 Adventure Begins!
 We are headed to FL for the next 11 days! We will first stop in New Port Richey. My brother & his wife will meet us there for a two day visit with my Grandparents. My Papa turns 90 on June 5!! On Monday, May 21, we will head to Kissimmee and meet my dad and his wife. We have rented a five bedroom, four bath pool home in Emerald Island Resort, and plan to hit Disney from Tuesday-Sunday, and then head home on Memorial Day!

 On Friday, I worked a half day at work from 7:30 am to 11:30 am. At 11:30, I headed to Janet's to pick up both boys Jeff had taken off work the whole day and had accomplished so much by the time we got home! He mowed the grass and packed the car all by himself. We got home by 12:20 ish and after a few last minute preparations, we were on the road by 12:43 pm. About an hour later, we made it to I-95. and we kept on going! By around 2:30 pm, we had made it to the SC border. Jacob needed a potty break, so we stopped at the rest area right at the SC line and hopped back in the car. The boys had been pretty good thus far, and we had several different options in mind. Option 1 was to drive to Savannah (about 5 hrs total) and stay at Embassy Suites (leaving about 7 hrs for Saturday); Option 2 was to stay at a Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham in Kingsland, GA, (7 hours / 4 hours to go Saturday) about 3 miles from the FL border; Option 3 - which I just thought of Friday morning, was to drive to Ocala, FL (about 9 hours, leaving 2 hours for Saturday) and stay at a Homewood Suites there. Option 4 would have been to go the entire way to New Port Richey, which would have us arriving after midnight. By about 4:00 pm, we decided we definitely wanted to drive past Savannah, so I cancelled our hotel reservation there. By 5:40 pm,, we had been in the car about 3 hours, but all was going well, so we cancelled the Kingsland reservation, and decided to stop in Brunswick, GA for a quick dinner and then press on to Ocala. It seemed to make more sense to try to get the boys to sleep the first couple of hours in the car, and have a shorter trip on Saturday, and we normally stay up until 10:00 to 10:30 pm anyway, so why not be driving? We ended up getting to Brunswick by 6:30 pm - I could not believe we drove four hours straight without a potty break! The boys were being SOOOOO good, I was extremely impressed.

We stopped for dinner at Wendy's, and while we were there, we put their PJ's on them in the parking lot of the Wendy's. For Jackson, not such a big deal, but for a 5.5 year old, a little funny!! ["Jacob, don't show the world your undies!"] We got Jackson set up with the Ipad to watch a little SuperWhy and Jacob watched something on the Iphone. We let Jackson watch two episodes of SuperWhy and then turned off the Ipad, by a little after 8 pm he was asleep. Success! We let Jacob stay up quite a bit later than usual, until about 9 pm before taking the IPhone away. He fell asleep shortly later, but clearly was pretty restless and not too comfortable. Very glad we didn't expect him to sleep in the car very long.

 We pushed on and got to the Ocala Homewood Suites around 10:15 at night. I had called and told them we would arrive at 10 pm and would need a pack n play. Alas, it was not in the room on our arrival. Not too happy. I made up the sofa bed for Jacob and prepped the room. The pack n play arrived about 10 min later. We got the boys in and settled by about 10:45 pm. Jackson was very thrown off. He whimpered on and off for about 10 minutes. Then, quiet. Jeff and I finally fell asleep around midnight. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012:
We were awoken at 6:10 am by Jacob. He also woke up Jackson. We put them in the bed with us, but they wouldn't go back to sleep! So, we were up. Jacob told us that the night before, when Jackson kept whimpering, he sang to his brother, Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, TWICE and then Jackson went to sleep and was quiet. He is just the BEST big brother ever.

We finally went down to breakfast a little after 7 am. We showered and then got back in the car for the almost 2 hour trek. We arrived at my grandparents a little before 11 am. We stayed until around 12:15 or so, and then went to Chili's with the boys and my brother and sister in law. The boys were pretty good considering how tired I'm sure they were. Jackson fell asleep in the car immediately. When we got to the hotel about 10 minutes later, I checked us in and then we went to get the boys into the hotel. I carried Jackson and he did not wake up the whole time. I laid down with him in the bedroom part of the suite while Jeff unloaded the car. Jackson slept a whole hour, which is a great nap for him (for us... he naps two hours sometimes for Janet, but we are lucky to get 30 minutes out of him). After naps, we went back to visit with Sugar & Papa for about 2 hours. At 5 pm, we headed to the grocery store and picked up rotisserie chicken and sides to take back to the condo my brother had rented. We fed the boys and prepared the dinner. By about 7 pm, we headed back to our hotel. I bathed the boys while Jeff prepared us for staying in the bedroom part for the night. We got them to bed by about 8 pm, which was a great success. Jackson did not even whimper tonight! Relaxing now with a glass of wine. We'll visit with my grandparents again tomorrow, and have Cracker Barrel take out fir dubber. Monday, we are off to Kissimmee and Tuesday to Disney!

Monday, November 21, 2011

5x7 Folded Card

Family Wall Christmas Card
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Monday, November 22, 2010

2009 Disney Book

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Christmas Card 2009

Seasonal Chic Noir Holiday 5x7 folded card
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Shutterfly Rocks!!

As a longtime customer of Shutterfly, I am so impressed with this years’ selection of Christmas cards! They are so reasonably priced at around $1 each for beautifully designed cards that are personalized with my own photos. I’ve just put together our card for this year and selected a 5x7 folded card. I was pretty impressed that I could also put photos and additional text on the INSIDE of the card and it was no additional price!

I especially love the designs by Stacy Claire Boyd and Fresh Lemonade. I chose one of the designs by Blonde Designs. I'm including pictures of our sweet new baby boy, Jackson!

I’ve also used Shutterfly in the past to create Jacob’s birthday invitations. I used photos of Jacob from the past year and put together an invitation based on whatever theme we were using. Shutterfly even addressed and mailed them as well for a fee that was just a little more than a stamp!

This is a great time of year to also put together a photo calendar for the grandparents! We do this or a photo book each year! Makes a great Christmas present!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Catching Up....

So, I'm not a great blogger. I can't find the time to do it on a regular basis, but for the last few vacations we've taken, I've tried to blog about our trips, which also serves as sort of a way for me to go back and relive some of our experiences.

We were in FL & Disney last week, and I'll get to the trip in a moment, but first, to catch up from where we left off in Dec 09.

Jan 10: Jacob and I took a trip with my mom to FL - two nights in Naples with Grandma Elsa and two nights in New Port Richey with Sugar & Papa. We hadn't been to FL in about 11 months, so it was a good time to go. We had a great visit with them, albeit short!

Also in January, I found out I was pregnant with our 2nd child!

February: We had a pretty decent snowstorm and had a good time playing in the snow!

March: We took a trip to Myrtle Beach for a weekend and we told our families about our new addition and learned around the 12 week mark that they were 95% sure we were having a boy. Jeff and I also celebrated our 7 year anniversary with a stay at the Hilton in Durham and a meal at the Melting Pot.

April: We had a Level II Ultrasound that confirmed we were having a boy and that all looked normal. We also went to Wilmington for the Azalea Festival where my friend from childhood & beyond, Kim Munley, was the Grand Marshall of the Azalea Parade. Thanks to Dad & Nancy, Jeff and I attended the black-tie Patron's Gala and got to spend time with Kim, her daughter Hope and her brother, Wesley.

May: We took a trip to the NC Zoo for Mother's Day, and I got a cool new camera (Yay!) Later in the month, we had a Fetal Echocardiogram at Duke which showed that this baby boy has a normal heart! We also went to Wilmington for Memorial Day Weekend and enjoyed visiting family and swimming in Dad's pool.

So that brings us to June! And our trip to FL!!

Friday, June 4: I had a morning meeting at the NC Bar Center and after the meeting, headed home. We left home around 12:30 p.m. for our trip. We drove to Savannah and arrived around 5:15 p.m. We stayed at the Embassy Suites near the airport - it's pretty new - only open a couple of months and is a new, more modern design for Embassy Suites. It was a very nice hotel! We went to dinner at a nearby Ruby Tuesday's and headed back to the hotel to settle in for the night!

Saturday, June 5: Jacob awoke right at 6 a.m. - I swear that kid has an internal clock! We had to kill time until 7 a.m. to go to breakfast at the hotel. We packed up and had the car packed before we ate. Breakfast was great - Jacob had made to order pancakes. Jeff did too. I had a yummy veggie omelet. We discovered that Jacob loves Fruit Loops - which is interesting because he has not eaten any cereal (other than occasional Frosted Strawberry Mini-Wheats) in well over one year. The E.S. breakfast also had rice krispie treats! :D We got on the rode just before 8 a.m. headed to New Port Richey to visit my grandparents. (Unfortunately, a few days before we left, my grandma, we call her "Sugar", fell and broke her hip, so she was in the hospital.) On the way, we stopped near Ocala and had lunch at a McAlister's Deli. We arrived in New Port Richey at Sugar & Papa's house and visited with Papa. Later that night, we went to the Chinese buffet in NPR that we've now gone to for our last few trips. After dinner, we headed over to my Aunt Alice's house where she had ice cream cake for Papa's 88th birthday which was that day. After cake, my Aunt & I went to visit Sugar at the hospital. We stayed until about 9:30 p.m. and I was exhausted, so we went back to her house where we were staying and Jeff and I went on to bed!

Sunday, June 6: My sweet Aunt Alice set her alarm because she knew Jacob would be up bright & early. She made us a HUGE breakfast of pancakes, eggs, sausage, fruit salad, muffins. Everything was delicious! Then, we headed back over to visit with Papa for a little while. We stayed until 10 a.m. and then headed to Orlando where we were meeting the Darroch family at Downtown Disney to get started on our trip! At DTD, we did a little shopping and then went to Earl of Sandwich for lunch. I was surprised to find it wasn't too busy compared to previous visits. Looking back I think that is because Sunday is probably a travel day for many people. Especially, lunch time on a Sunday. Jeff had the original sandwich, and I had the chicken cobb wrap - it was very good. Jacob went with peanut butter & jelly because that was what Sterner wanted!

After lunch, we let the boys (Jacob, Sterner & Grayson) ride the small carousel and the train ride. By then, we decided we should probably head to Super Target for groceries. When we got to Super Target, Jeff took Jacob & Sterner to look at Wii stuff on the other side of the store, while Kim tried to keep Grayson happy and the three of us (Kim, Steven & I) shopped. Our goal was to get the weeks' worth of groceries in one trip! Kim & Steven had smartly planned a menu for the week and made a list of groceries. By the time we checked out - our total bill was $273! We packed the groceries into the car which was no easy feat considering both cars were PACKED still from the trip down. We headed to our rental house - at Emerald Island Resort in Kissimmee. Jeff & I stayed at Emerald Island Resort in February 2009 with my brother & Katherine and my mom and really enjoyed it. The house we rented this year was even better! It was nicer and bigger too - its a 5 BR with 4.5 baths and it's own pool & hot tub. All the houses in the subdivision have their own pools. By the time we got to the house, it was a little before 4:00 p.m. We decided the first thing to do was to go swimming!! Well, of course, after we unloaded the cars, put away the groceries & explored the house!

After our swim, we got cleaned up and made dinner for the boys - they enjoyed fish sticks w/ veggies & fruit and we tucked them into bed by a decent hour, 7:30ish, and enjoyed an adult dinner later of steaks on the grill, baked potatoes, salad, and grilled bread. Which is the same meal we had the first night of our trip to the Outer Banks last September, so I guess now it's a tradition!! After getting dinner cleaned up, we made plans to be ready to leave for Epcot the next morning at 8 a.m.! More to come!!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Jacob's First Car

From Grandmother... (Mrs. Bullock)