I have designed a NEW personal blog to document my own life plus my new business journey in photography.
I invite you to come visit me at HERE
I have designed a NEW personal blog to document my own life plus my new business journey in photography.
I invite you to come visit me at HERE
I am not old.
Saturday we met for a family picnic which I loved. I LOVE being able to meet everyones families.
I have to admit that I was very nervous about this reunion. There is so much pressure that we put on ourselves. At least woman put on ourselves. I had every intention of loosing a few pounds before the big weekend. That didn't happen. I had every intention on having a new hair cut and color before the weekend. My hair stylest had to reschdule so I was very stressed over my hair. Typical.
All of those petty differences that exist in high school didn't matter. Everyone was comfortable, relaxed and excited to be there.
We have all grown. We all have so much in common yet live very different lives as well. We were proud of our families and interested in others.
Katelyn was very interested in the entire concept of a class reunion. She asked me several times if I was going to see my BFF there. I was excited to report that I did in fact see one of my BFF's from the good 'ol days. We don't see each other often but when we do it is like time has stood still.
Now that our boys attend Skyline.... my loyaties are with the BIG BLUE but I will always be a Bonneville Girl at heart and can't wait for the 25 year event!
My heart has been filled with an overwhelming joy as I watch my children build their relationships with their cousins. They love each other. They play with each other. The younger ones think that the older ones are pretty darn cool.
We are grateful for those friends and leaders in within our church who provided our daughter with an amazing Girls Camp experience. Her first year!
She repelled, hiked, enjoyed the out doors and even saw a snake.
We played together...
Some of us made a fool of ourselves....
I would be the one in the middle.. eyes closed.. screaming..
Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one. ~Jane Howard
This quote has always been a favorite of mine. I have thought of it often through the years and have thought of it's meaning.
We all need a family. We all need to feel a sense of belonging and need the security of knowing that we have roots. We need to know that we have people that love us in spite of all our faults. My heart aches for those who don't have a connection with their families. Those who have strained relationships.
My family has experienced our fair share of heartache and trials. Trust me.
A thought that is constant in my mind through out each situation is that we have each other through the trial. At times we agree to disagree but at the end of the day we LOVE each other and I can't imagine my life without my FAMILY.
These past couple of weeks, I have been able to spend a lot of time with my side of the family. I have five sisters. Between the six of us we have 21 grandchildren. So when we are all together it is a bit of choas!
My sister Katie came home from Georgia with her two girls. She left her husband and two year old and home. :-( But...we were able to have her home for two weeks. My other sister Jen came home with two of her four children and we all headed up to Heise to swim and camp. The above pic shows 15 of the 21 grandchildren. They had just finished swimming so they are not all dolled up... but this is who they are. Tired.... sunburned.. hungry... and not thrilled about Aunt Kim taking a pic!
Each time I am with my sisters and their children I get a bit emotional. Sure it is tiring. So many children... different personalities.. schedules.. etc... it can be stressful. BUT in spite of all of that I am just happy. I love that my children's cousins are some of their best friends.
When I was growing up, we didn't spend time with our cousins. I have cousins I have never met and wouldn't recognize on the street. Both Darren and I do not have large extended families. I didn't attend large family reunions. My Grandfathers died when I was just a baby. It was just something that was missing from our lives.
So... to my Mom and Dad's credit.... even though we are all a bit corky... we spend time with each other. My sisters and I try to see each other as much as possible and most traveling between all families is to see each other. We have never taken a family vacation alone with just our family. It has always been to visit someone on either my side or his or we have met and vacationed together.
It is moments like this one. Katelyn LOVES each of her cousins. She doesn't have a sister so time spent with her cousins is precious to her. She calls them. Plans sleepovers with them. She now is able to Facetime and email them. She loves them.
I LOVE that my children have so many Aunts and Uncles. They love each of them and are very close to them. They tell their Aunts things that they don't even tell me and I am ok with that. The more support and love they feel the better. I honestly feel like my sisters children are just as much a part of me. We help each other. We support each other as Mothers and are often each others best support system. (Even if that means that one of us is almost arrested becuase we are defending the other.. but we won't go there.)
This weekend we travel again to Utah to spend time with Darren's Mothers side of the family. He has a cousin on that side that I have not met and we have been together for 20 years! So... we are excited and can't wait to once again spend more time with FAMILY.
Here we are at the end of May. When did that happen?
It has been SO cold here in Idaho. We have had non stop rain, snow, and wind for months. I can't believe it is the end of May. We should have some sun by now! :-(
This month has been so busy. All of us say that, right?
Where do I start?
When I found out I was expecting her I was very nervous. I remember going to my first appointment praying that I was going to have only one baby. Not two like I did the first time. One.
Sure enough.. we were expecting one. A few months later we found out we were expecting a girl and we knew our family was complete. I will never forget Katelyn's birth. It was so different from the birth of the twins simply because it wasn't considered a high risk situation. They say that girls wrap their Dad's around their finger instantly and that saying could never be more true.
She LOVES her brothers. She wants nothing more then for them to give her just a bit of attention. She is always looking for small and simple ways to serve them. Whether it be picking a candy bar out to take home or surprising them by doing their jobs. When they offer to take her on an errand with them she is elated.
She LOVES her dog. Seriously. She spoils that dog. The dog knows that he can slowly creep into her room and snuggle in her bad and maybe... just maybe... Mom won't find out. Maybe.
She is not very excited about the fact that she is growing up. She says she is but she is too much like her Mom and really doesn't want to fuss much with all the girly stuff we have to do. It is all about comfort for her so shopping for cloths usually results in a bit of drama.
She LOVES all of her cousins. LOVES to spend time with them. She LOVES to babysit other children and is high demand for her services!
She is so excited to have started attending her young womens group. Can't wait to go to Girls Camp especially since her Dad will be coming up for part of camp.
She is stubborn yet melts your heart at the same time. She has beautiful blue eyes and an amazing smile. She is smart. She is an artist. She is loves to kick Dad out of bed so she can snuggle just a few more minutes with Mom before it is time to start the day.
She has a soft spot in her heart for all animals and wants to work with them as an adult. She is witty and has a quick comeback for most things. Hmmm.. I wonder.
She is 12.
One of my favorite memories of Katelyn being born is that I brought her home and then two days later we celebrated Mother's Day. She was my greatest gift.
We celebrated Mother's Day again. This has always been a bittersweet day for me for many personal reasons. I can honestly say that this year I made it through. I was ok. I was worried that I wouldn't be but I was.
Darren is trained well and did his part. I was spoiled with flowers and gifts. Breakfast. A nap then a great steak dinner. I had my children surrounding me and that is all I need.
I held in my heartache. I thought of my Mom all day and prayed that she knew how much I love and miss her. The day before I took a few gifts to her. All of my sisters and I make sure her headstone is always beautiful. She would love it. She would think it was pretty funny that a bird has left a mark on my Dad's side. That was just her.
The boys attended their Junior Prom. Each time they go to a dance my heart jumps outside of my chest. I can't handle it! They are 17! They have become fine young men. They are polite. They are hard working. They respect girls. They know their Mama will have a few words with them if they don't.
Not a day goes by that I don't consider ourselves blessed. They have great friends. They attend a great school. We really haven't had any serious issues with them. That is not to say that they are perfect. They are 17 year TWIN teenage boys. HELLO? It is interesting around here. But we love them. THEY ARE AMAZING.
Meanwhile... I have spent hours and hours working on so many Express the Moment projects. With the help of a web designer, I rebuilt my entire company site. I have worked and worked to increase business. I LOVE what I do but it takes time. A LOT of time.
I have also been spending hours and hours improving my photography skills. I stalk other photography blogs. Any information or tutorials I can find I watch. I have been building a binder filled with information and ideas. My goal is to build an entire NEW site for photography only and really get serious about putting myself out there and seeking clients.
Oh! AND... we installed a new front door! This might seem a weird thing to share but I am very excited.
Ignore the railing. We still have to paint that black too. BUT I have waited and waited for a new door and the day finally came. I am grateful.
Add to the mix my job at Sunrise, all of Darren's commitments, the kids schedule, cooking, cleaning, NON STOP laundry... LIFE.
We are pretty busy around here.
How was your month of May?
We have SPRING FEVER here in the Rose home. Our weather has been crazy. We will have a bit of a peak of spring then we have constant wind, rain and snow. Yes.. snow.
My poor kids are going crazy! They are ready to be out side, ready to ride their bikes, ready for some fresh air!
I am going to continue to hope. Continue to look at my window each and every morning and cross my fingers that the skies will be clear and the wind will be calm.
In the mean time.. I thought you might like a NEW Recipe Idea.
A friend of mine brought this salad to one of my events and it was a HUGE hit! This is a great recipe for pot luck or family events. Perfect for the upcoming summer barbeques we are all looking forward to!
We are also FINALLY having our new front door installed tomorrow. It has been a long wait and much hassle getting this door, so to finally have it installed has me very excited. I thought it would be fun to make a spring wreath for the new door as well. Take a peak.
I started with a simple grapevine wreath. I purchased mine at JoAnns Fabrics here in Idaho Falls but I know you can find them at most craft stores.
Using floral wire, I secured the two wreaths to each other from the back side of the wreaths. Simply thread the wire through the smaller wreath bringing each end to the larger wreath then twist your ends together and tuck under. I secured the wreath in five different spots. This will be on my front door and I don't want the Idaho wind to blow the top wreath from the bottom wreath.
The next thing I added to my wreath was pink cherry blossoms. I purchase several stems again from JoAnns. I cut the stems into several pieces measuring about 7-8 in. in length. Look for stems that are full and have complete blossoms.
Thanks for taking a peak... :-)
Are you ready for spring?
I am SO sorry that it has taken me so long to update my blog. I know you have lost sleep over it... right? :)
I made it home safe and sound (luckily) from my amazing adventure. I can honestly say, it has taken me this long to catch up. I love to travel, but each and every time I do, it takes me at least a week to catch up on all the work I fall behind on when I am gone. I think that is why I carry so much guilt with me when I travel. I am always thinking of the long list I have to come home to!
PLUS.. this trip was a bit different. I didn't get home until after mid-night Monday night and it took me several days to recover and get feeling better. I felt so dizzy and still felt like the ground was rocking underneath me. It was a very weird feeling. I had a full week and didn't get to really rest until Friday. :(
I have had several people ask me about my trip. I have had time to think about it.... think about what I loved... what I would do different.. what I learned.. etc. I can honestly say that it was a great experience BUT I did learn a few things along the way. As with all new adventures.. right?
Let me back up a bit... last May I had the amazing opportunity to attend Brave Girls Camp You might remember my post HERE At this camp, and since the camp I have been able to meet women from all over the world who share the common thread of Brave Girls. After our May camp, Brave Girls founders Melody Ross and Kathy Wilkens started to organize a reunion cruise for all of those gals who have been attendees of camp since their first camp in the fall of 2009. Plans were made.. excitement began to build and before we knew it we were on our way to the Bahamas.
Top Five Reasons to take a Cruise #1: One of my dearest friends was able to attend camp with me last May and so decided to attend the cruise together. I kept thinking of how lucky I was to have her with me the entire trip. If you ever decide to go.. be sure to go with someone you like! We had very long and interesting travel days to and from Florida. I can't imagine anyone (except my hubby) who I would rather have made this trip with.
Once we arrived in Florida, we connected with our dear friend from Oregon. She stayed in the hotel with us the first night. We laughed and laughed and talke and talked all night. Margaret is one of those people in my life that I have only known for a short time. Chance brought us together and we instantly connected. She has an amazing spirit. Plus.. she is a riot!
Top Five Reasons to take a Cruise #2: This was my first trip to Florida. I wasn't able to see much of the area simply because we went from the airport to our hotel then from hotel to the ship. BUT from what I saw.. Florida is beautiful. The area around the docks was amazing. AND the weather..... man.. why do I live in Idaho? I loved being able to wear my flip flops that day and not worry about a coat. It has been so cold and dreary here at home that being in nicer weather was.... well.. heaven.
To Five Reasons to take a Cruise #3: We cruised the Norwegian Cruise Line. They are most known for their "FREESTLYE" cruising which means that you can eat in most restaurants any time of day. There were only two restaurants on the ship that you had to make a reservation for. From the moment we boarded the ship food was available. When I left, my boys made me promise that I would take pictures of the food. They didn't care that I was going.. they were just jealous that I would be able to eat. They are so funny!
What is even MORE funny is that of course there was plenty of seafood to choose from AND I won't eat it. SO.. when my friend ordered lobster.. I was happy for her.. but trying hard not to freak out. I know.. I know.. you can't believe it.. but honestly.. all type of seafood creeps me out. I can't touch it.
I was happy to see this available...
Top Five Reasons to take a Cruise #4: I was immediately overwhelmed with the size of the ship. AND the ship we cruised on is not the largest ship by any means. Other cruise lines have much bigger vessels including the line we took. It really depends on the route you take and what the ship has to offer. Our ship consisted of 12 floors. 12!!! They are floating hotels. Seriously. Spas. Pools. Theaters. Restaurants. Basketball Courts. The works! I would LOVE to be able to go again simply to explore a new ship!
We arrived in the Bahamas the next morning. I couldn't believe it. I was in the Bahamas! What? I am just a girl from Idaho. Little 'ol Idaho. THIS is what I saw from my ship. The infamous Atlantis hotel. Being a small town Idaho girl, I didn't have the $$$ to go explore the hotel but it was pretty cool to see non the less.
The first day, we explored Nassau. Again... it is a lot of $$$ to be able to snorkel, para-sail, take tours, etc so our group simply window shopped a bit. Found a great restaurant and enjoyed each other. I am always amazed at other cultures. I am reminded quickly how grateful I am to live in the area of the world that I do and am SO grateful for the many things I have been blessed with.
The city reminded me so much of other European cities I have visited. The streets are very close together. Cars drive on the other side of the road. People are EVERYWHERE and it is a bit chaotic. These islands economy depends on the ships arriving each weekend. It is said that it is like Christmas to them when new tourists arrive. In Nassau you either have very wealthy or extremely poor people. There is not much in between.
So many people have jobs just like this one.. they spend the day watching the shore lines. Finding fish with sharp sticks. Adding them to buckets and taking them up to the restaurants. I wondered what their life had been like and if they would ever know anything outside of this small island they live on. Had they even heard of Idaho?
Top Five Reasons to take a Cruise #5: You get to experience a new world. A new culture. You have to step outside of your comfort zone and try food you have never heard of. Not once did I see good 'ol Idaho meat and potatoes on the menu. You come home THANKFUL for what you have, where you come from and most of all your family. You realize that as an American.. in spite of the many issues our country is dealing with.. we are a blessed people. We enjoy so many little things that people around the world don't even know exist.
We had fun singing karaoke. Well.. others had fun.. I was the observer.. I don't sing. Melody ROCKED the house singing "Smokin in the Boys Room" I couldn't believe it. She was so brave! I would never be able to do that.
We watched several shows... enjoyed a few of the games that were offered in the lounges.. but most of all simply enjoyed visiting and getting to know each other. Each of these women hold such a special place in my heart and I will be forever grateful for experiencing this NEW adventure with them.
The second day was spent on the private island of Grand Stirrup Bay which the Norwegian Cruise line owns. It was by far most most favorite day. The weather was perfect that day. We were able to relax along the beach. Enjoy great food. I even read a book. I never have time to read all the books I have on my list to read so that was a real treat for me.
The ship actually anchored a few miles from shore. We had to get off of the ship onto a smaller cargo type of boat and be taken to shore. It was a weird feeling boarding another ship in the middle of the ocean.. I tried not to think of it too much..
TIP: After we boarded the ship.. and especially that first night.. we quickly realized and were informed that over half of the passengers on the ship were SPRING BREAKERS from Florida. In fact, the ship we were on is known as the party ship among all the ships within the Norwegian line. I keep telling people that if I was to do it over, I would research a bit more which ship I was taken, the time of year I was going and what the ship had to offer. There were only a few gals that had cruised before, but what do we know? We were just there to be together. Who pays attention to that stuff or would have even thought to find out? It didn't even occur to me in all the months of planning.
So... here we were... very conservitive.. modest.. older.... wiser.. woman there to enjoy the scenary.. the shows.. the food.. etc and we did. Trust me we did. But with that came hundreds of very young people.. making very poor choices.. which.. well.. is always entertaiing when they are 100% plastered and think they can sing. Good times.
Again, I came home so grateful. Grateful for the friends my children have. Grateful that they are not surrounded by other kids that encourage them to party like these kids were. Grateful for our family unit. For my husband. Grateful for our religious beliefs.
Grateful that I was able to go. Experience so many new things. Connect with old friends and make new. I learned so much from each of them and hope they learned a bit from me.
Excited to start planning my next cruise. Next year Darren and I celebrate our 20 year anniversary. I think... think.. I just might try to pull it off. They can be affordable if you spend some time planing. And suggestions?
AND... don't think I forgot.. I have a beautiful bracelt from the Bahamas.... for...
Congrats! Email me.. I will ship it to you this week!
This week is one of those weeks. My TO DO list is is a mile long and I don't have any idea how I am going to complete it.
I have the amazing opportunity to be leaving Thursday for a 3 day cruise to the Bahamas. I know.. I know.. it sounds to "Ooh.. La.. La.." I have been so self conscious about it and have kept it on the serious down low. Not talking about it at all. In fact, I just told most of my sisters I was going just a few weeks ago. Don't ask me why I am being weird about it. I am just am.
Myself and about 20 other friends are going. I am traveling with one of my absolute best friends Lori. It will be an adventure.. but we are excited! It has been SO cold here in Idaho that the idea of soaking up some sun... feeling sand in my toes.. looking out at crystal blue water.... laughter.. fun.. friends.. well.. it sounds simply wonderful.
I have had so much to do before I can leave. It is a lot of work for "Mom" to be gone. A lot of work to leave work. Trying to catch up.
FIRST AND FOREMOST let's announce our WINNER! I appreciate all of the comments left and can't wait for each of you to start scrapbooking again. I believe in this new way of scrapbooking with all of my heart and personally invite you to join me! JOIN the ETM monthly club. Let us inspire you each and every month. Let us help YOU catch up and enjoy the process again.
Tell me.. where have your travels taken you? What have been some of your most memorable trips? Have you ever taken a cruise before? What are some insider tips?
Leave a comment and I will bring one lucky reader a goodie from my trip! :)
I have had an ongoing list sitting on my desk of things I need to do. Do you know what has been on the top of that list? Update my blog. Yikes. I can't believe it has been so long since I have updated. I have never done that before! I can honestly say that I have been so busy. I am trying to build and update an entire new ETM website. I took a trip to visit my sister in Georgia. Am right in the middle of planning preparing for the next ETM Crop. Trying to prepare our taxes. Working non stop on ETM plus all the regular stuff like housework, laundry and raising a family. I am tired. Very tired.
Several months ago I was trying to decide what direction I wanted to take Express the Moment in 2011. I am working on this new site. I added a new Page of the Month Club. We are opening our warehouse to the public once a month. Many exciting things. If you are familiar with our monthly club Moments and have been a member the past several years, you know that each year we introduce a new project. This project is something we build on each and every month through out the year. In addition to the ideas and projects we show you using the kit, this project is an exclusive project that only ETM club members participate in.
I knew exactly what I wanted the 2011 Club project to be. In fact, it is a style of scrapbooking that I have shared with customers for years and years. I only kick myself for not doing something about it and finding the resources to marked the idea. I could be making serious bank by now! :(
Anyway... I want to share with you what we will be doing through out this year and invite YOU to join us. Invite YOU to simplify your scrapbooking while still being able to use those products you love. I promise, that if you join us this is a technique you will come to love and use for many years to come!
1. For this year long project, you need to make a commitment to focus on your photography. This might already be a goal you have set this year. The idea behind this project is for you to take ONE photo each day. This is a very popular idea right now and you will find many ideas online on how to use these photos. ETM is excited to add our own twist to this challenge. IF taking a photo each day is too overwhelming to you, don’t worry. Simply take the amount of pictures that best fits your schedule and lifestyle. Maybe focus on events instead of daily photographs.
2. Organize, sort and PRINT your photos each month. One of the biggest problems we have fallen into is the advantage of digital cameras and not having to develop film. We each have hundreds of photos on our computers that need printed. This year PRINT your photos!
3. Each month, you will receive your NEW Moments Scrapbooking Kit.. We will continue to show you traditional pages and altered projects using your kit. In addition to these projects, we will show you how to create two 4x6 journal cards. These journal cards will be inserted in the specific sheet protectors that are also included in your kit. The purpose behind these cards is to indicate the new month/section of your album through out the year. You can of course create additional cards to fit the openings of the sheet protectors.
4. We are using divided sheet protectors by We R Memory Keepers. For this project, we will be sending you a variety of pages from the Multi Pak and the 4x6 orientation pak. If you would like to order additional sheet protectors for your project, please contact ETM.
5. In addition to your journal cards, you will add your photos to the divided protectors. We will send you a variety of protectors so you have options on sizes of your photos.
6. By the end of the year, you will have completed an entire album! This is a quick and easy way to stay current on your photos as well as go back and use this system for previous years. With this system you will achieve the best of both worlds. You relieve the pressure of creating a full 12x12 layout for each set of photos but still get to use the pattern, paper, ribbon and embellishments that we all love. We also encourage you to create one 12x12 layout as a cover page for your album. You can create this page using any of the kits this year and the layouts we show you.
7. I personally, will be using a 12x12 RING binder for my project. It is VITAL that you choose a ring album. The sheet protectors we send you will not fit into a post bound album. If you would like to order an album, we have several color choices and options available. Please contact ETM for more information and pricing. A 25% discount will be offered to CLUB MEMBERS!
Here is a peak at this months journal cards:
Are you feeling inspired? Do you want to join us? Simply contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get you started. Trust me... you will fall in love with Scrapbooking again! You will complete your album this year and LOVE the end result.
Anyone want to WIN a FREE January kit to get you started? Leave me a comment telling me what you love about this project. Do you like the idea of using divided protectors but still creating adorable traditional projects to add to the pages?
I will choose one luck reader and send you a FREE January kit! Good luck!
Plus... stay tuned.. more goodness to come!
Whew! I am not going to lie to you. A part of me is VERY happy that the madness of the holidays are over. As women, we work and work. We do the shopping, we plan gifts and treats for neighbors and friends, we menu plan, we decorate our homes, we CLEAN non stop. Frankly, by the time New Years comes along I am exhausted. Which is why we consider ourselves boring and never have grand plans on New Years. :(
This year, we decided to take our family to Disneyland for Christmas. Several months ago, we sat our children down and asked them what they would think about traveling for the holiday. We explained that the trip would be their Christmas and additional gifts would not be given. Each of them were very excited and said that they love the idea. I LOVED not having to do as much shopping this year. Loved not having to fight the mall and tried to simplify as much as I could. BUT as we all know traveling is A LOT of work too!
I spent the last several months planning our trip. My older sister and her family came with us and my younger sister from Phoenix drove over and met us there.
We decided to drive to California which for us is a 14 hour drive. We were smart and broke the trip into two days. We stayed in St. George on the way down and then in Vegas on the way back. The first night we stayed at the Worldmark resort in St. George. Some friends of ours have ownership in the resort and were gracious to coordinate a room for us. WOWSERS! It was an amazing room and both or our families slept comfortably. My kids and my sisters kids are all close in age which is nice when we travel because they all have a buddy. I think one of my favorite parts about the entire trip was watching each of them enjoy eachother and be goofs. I didn't grow up having a relationship with cousins so watching my children be so close to their cousins brings tears to my eyes.
Christmas Eve was spent driving. LONG day. We made several stops along the way. If any of you have ever made the drive from Las Vegas to LA along I-15 you know what a desolate drive it is. Above is a pic of the worlds largest thermometer. Odd I know. But the bottom sign rings true. You are entering death valley!
One stop included a picture of the above sign. My brother in law and niece insisted on stopping insisting it was from a book. So we have a picture of a sign. Yep. We are easily entertained.
I love the picture of Michael checking his phone. Seriously. When I was a teenager, we made this drive several times and never once did I have a phone, a i pod, a dvd player, or any other type of electronic. I remember when I had a set of magnetic checkers for the car I and thought we were pretty lucky as kids. Our drives were all about the license plate game and listening to my Dad sing the Beatles over and over and over again. On tape mind you.
We arrived at our hotel later that evening then spent the rest of the night playing games, ordering a pizza (nice Christmas Eve dinner) and gearing up for a full day.
Christmas Day was spent in the park. This is the second time we have taken our family but the first time we have been in the park on Christmas Day. I was immediately overwhelmed with emotion. There truly is something magical about this place. I was quickly reminded as to why we love it here. The park is immaculate. No detail is over looked. From the employees perfected uniforms, to the cleanliness of the bathrooms and the amazing food. We had a wonderful time!
I couldn't resist a pic of the Photo Supply Store. I love Main Street of Disneyland. LOVE the old, antique feel of the street, the decor and stores. I am in awe of all of the items that can be purchased and always wish I had a BIT more cash on hand!
I was so impressed with the amont of employees that were working on Christmas Day. Hundreds and hundreds of people leaving their families in order to create a magical day for mine. The ride operators, the parade dancers, the band members, the shop clerks, the ticket booths. I tried very hard to THANK as many of them as I could for working that day. It was fun seeing their reaction when they actually realized they were being thanked.
Did you know that the selection for being a cast member is quite the process? Each character has very specific qualifications in order to fit the costume or look they are trying to acheive. Very interesting.
We watched the Christmas Parade in Disney and the Pixer Parade over in California Adventure. Both parades were amazing. Beyond words. This is my younger sister with my two boys and my niece and nephew. I could never express in words how much they all love her. We are so happy she was able to come with us.
I know this post is long. I could share hundreds of more photos but the above one pretty much sums it up for me. It is a pic of Katelyn, my niece Ashlee and their younger nephew Dylan. The two girls were walking him to a ride while some of the older kids were already on a ride. The thought the entered my mind was that THIS is what Christmas is all about. Even though we had the opportunity to be in an amazing place, we really were most excited to just be with each other. Of course there was a bit of drama. What family doesn't have drama while traveling? Setting all of tha aside, we had a wonderful time. Memories were made. Our children had a wonderful Christmas and will always remember this trip far longer then they would a gift from under the tree.
SO... I am trying to catch up. I have NOT forgotten about the give a way promised and will post that this weekend with ANOTHER awesome contest and idea for you to think about. Tell me about your holiday?