Thursday, February 12, 2015

A Very Merry (Actual) Birthday Toooooooooooo Yoooooooouuuuu!

I decided to run away to Disney for my birthday this year. It was going to be a quick day trip with me and two friends who have passes, but a week before it turned into an overnight with just me and my cousin. We left Saturday afternoon and camped at Fort Wilderness. Saturday evening we spent time at Magic Kingdom. Sunday we spent the day at Hollywood Studios. My one big must do was the Tower of Terror. My poor cousin was terrified, but she did it for me. We had a blast! I was thrilled to be able to take as many pictures and bathroom breaks as I wanted. It was an amazing birthday! There was no place I'd rather have been. I was home Sunday evening to have some quality time with my kids who were amazingly cool about Mommy's Birthday Adventure.

Saturday Night

I was rocking an Alice Disneybound. Nedi did Cinderella. We both had belts the color of the character's shoes which I thought was fun since we didn't plan it. A cast member even noticed my bound this time, Hurray! It was an awesome night.

Mickey Space Rangers
Castle Cinderella

Sunday

I did my long awaited princess Tiana Disney bound and Nedi did Snow White. The cast member at Sorcerer Mickey recognized us both and announced to Mickey that princesses Snow White and Tiana had arrived. It was the best birthday I had in a long time. Here's to a year of many adventures Disney or otherwise.

Bday Coffee Daisy Shoes
Carriage Sci Fi ToT Tada

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Bounding Through Life!

I'm sure I've mentioned how much I love all things Disney a few times. I take inspiration where I find it: Shakespeare, Disney Movies, Ancient Greek Mythology, my old journals, 90's sitcom reruns...where ever. I am not a clothes person. If it's comfortable, clean and I can move in it, I'm good. At least most of the time, I do enjoy feeling girly and getting dressed up. Still with me? To sum up: I love Disney and clothes have always been low priority for me. Good, it will all make sense shortly.

Last spring I took Roo to Epcot, you can read about it here: Epcot on Wheels. In an incredible stroke of luck we were first through the door at the character spot that morning and we ended up in a group shot! Here's that picture:

Whole Gang

That picture was when I realized I needed to take better care of myself. I had carefully selected Roo's clothes, accessories and shoes. I'd brushed and braided her hair (and re-brushed and braided through the day). I had braided my own wet hair and slept on it. I never glanced in a mirror. I didn't even think about sitting up straight because I was worried about whether the girls were looking at the camera. It was only 9am, it's really unacceptable.

So, Disney photos were my wake up call. Now what? I wasn't suddenly going to be a fashionista or wake up early to put on make up every morning. I'd been reading about other people's trips to Disney and I discovered Disneybounding! It's outfits inspired by Disney characters. That was my speed for sure. Here is the blog that started it all: Disney Bound.

I had a trip to Magic Kingdom planned for later in the month so I decided to give it a shot. I dressed Roo as Rapunzel. She wore her Rapunzel shirt with a purple shirt. We did two braids and a sunshine barrette. Everyone got it. I went as Aurora. I wore a pink top and khaki shorts. I put my hair in a curled ponytail with a sparkly gold hair tie. I even painted my nails like Aurora's dress.

Roo-punzel Aurora

Hair & Nails

Hair Aurora Nails

Nobody got my Aurora bound, but that wasn't the point. I gave myself some thought and time. I felt pretty all day and loved all the pictures. As far as Disneybounding it was only my first try if I wore it again I would do white on the bottom and a spinning wheel necklace.

Later that summer I did an Anna bound for a local bookstore's Frozen event and loved it! It was very simple dark blue tank top (the color of her skirt), pink beads (color of her cape) with jeans and boots. I even braided my hair. I felt so good about myself that night. Lots of kids called me Anna that night, so fun!.

Anna Bound Elsa & Anna

My next opportunity was in the fall when I took Riley to Disney for her birthday. I decided to do Rapunzel this time. I wore a purple tank top with a lacy back with jean shorts. My friend french braided my hair and I borrowed some flower barrettes from Riley. I even used my Rapunzel bag. No one got it again, but I was happy.

Katie Punzel Punize Hair

Now that I was getting the hang of it I was out of Disney trips! As it turned out my wonderful husband got me an annual pass for my birthday! Yay! I joined a Disneybounding group and started planning my birthday Disney trip outfit. I settled on Tiana, but the group and blog gave me so many ideas I ended up Disneybounding the whole week!

Monday: Russell from Up

Russell Picture Russell

Tuesday: Bolt

Bolt Book Bolt1 Bolt2

Wednesday: Emperor Kuzco from Emperor's New Groove

Kuzco Boom Baby Accessories

Thursday: Ray from Princess and the Frog

Ray Ray Bound 1 Ray Bound 2 My Evangeline

Friday: Briar Rose

Briar Rose Picture Briar Rose 1 Briar Rose 2

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Getting Through It

I never meant to stop posting for so long. Not to worry nothing to serious happened. I just felt...well like I didn't have anything to say. I did have some adventures and the kids were cute, but the general theme of January was: get through it and don't look back. The more I thought about it the more I realized how much of my life I spend getting through it. Big stuff like major surgery, moving and having both cars broken down at the same time as well as small stuff like registering my kids for school, planning and packing for a trip and going to the dentist. All off which occurred this month except major surgery (knock on wood) and moving (at least for us, someone close to me moved though).

I plot a determined and unyielding path from difficult but necessary objectives and I keep on truckin'. That is not at all to suggest I don't have fun along the way. I tend to enjoy myself more often than not. I just can't let those goals/problems hang over me like dark clouds or pile up like laundry. When I'm excited they happen quickly and I feel accomplished. Lately, I was in a rut. The world kept turning as I eternally shuffled things from the mountainous inbox to the completed projects file only to have them sneak back in to the inbox. The engine lights, deadlines, missing paperwork, broken things, early morning fits and endless logistics got heavy. Like baby elephant on my chest heavy not buried alive heavy. At least baby elephants are cute.

I was functioning, getting through it, but not so much enjoying myself. I needed something to look forward to on the other side of all my getting trough it. A silver lining, light at end of the tunnel, a reward. A birthday trip to Disney without the kids ought to do it. Now, I had some gratitude and excitement for fuel!

I still found myself...not as sunshine-y as usual. So, I started giving myself reasons to take care of myself. Doing little things for myself and speaking up. Now, your probably saying "Speaking up? When has THAT ever been your problem." I'm incredibly assertive, but if I want but don't need something I don't tell anyone. So, the other day after a long hot weekend morning shower I told Mike I really wanted a pre-birthday pedicure. Guess what? I got one. Even better I found Riley's new tap shoes ($5 at a consignment store) and then went a few doors down feeling accomplished and had my toes done. It was heaven sitting in the massage chair with my feet in the warm bubbly water.

Not only was Mike perfectly willing to fork over the cash for what we've dubbed "my yearly pedicure", but he asked why I don't do that more often. Now, I have a renewed vigor in everything I do from errand running to getting dressed in the morning. I feel more like myself. I'm so looking forward to an insanely fun and busy February!

However, I do think overachievers need to cool their jets now and then. Sometimes an illness or rut is a great chance to lower my expectations for myself, take a breath and reevaluate. Separating internal and external pressures can be confusing sometimes. I often feel the world will end if I do not find my stamps or get Roo to school 10min early. The truth is both of those thing happened and the world didn't end. It's ok to borrow and stamp for the important letter and be exactly on time or (GASP!) two minutes late. I'm still doing my best so even though the outcome changes I can be proud of myself.

Walt

Saturday, December 20, 2014

ALL ABOARD!!!

I ADORE The Polar Express ever since my second grade teacher read it to my class I was head over heals. It's a beautiful story. When I was fresh out of college and living in New York I got to see the movie in 3D Imax, it was a huge deal back then. The snow, the train careening across the ice, it was all breath taking. I worked for Santa at Macy's 34th street that holiday season and they played The Polar Express soundtrack pretty often. I loved that music and it became forever tied to those wonderful weeks working for Santa, in my memory.

Needless to say, when my father-in-law acquired the Polar Express train and invited us over to play with it and watch the movie I was super excited. My kiddos grow up into between each visit to the rails.

2009

It was more for Isaac's benefit back then, but Riley liked the light and movement.

Excited Boy with Train Isaac Train
Roo & Grandpa

2010

By this year Riley was 18 months old and had the most adorable indignation about the train. She chased it and yelling and gesturing. I think this was the year Grandpa let Isaac drive the train too. So much growing up that year.

Both Kids

2011

We took a year off from the trains for a trip to Ice & Snow! My amazing father-in-law invited us to an amazing adventure with snow, ice sculptures and ice slides! We had a blast. Isn't Roo's tiny (s)no(w)man adorable?

Kids in Snow Mike, Katie & Shrek

2012

By 2012 it was my turn to grow up or at least that's how it felt. This was the year they brought the polar express to our house. I put out appetizers in my Christmas apron, Mike made the grown ups chicken bryan and the kids wore jammies. It felt so grown up to host my in-laws. This was the first year Riley remembered the previous train night. We enjoyed Polar Express in 3D, talk about warm fuzzy memories! Isaac was a much...more careful engineer too.

Kids in Jammies Riley Tunnel

2013

This was the year Isaac got his own train! Here's the story of Isaac's train, it's a good one. It was the second year in a row Roo informed me which pajamas she was saving for train night because by now it was an important event in her life. The train was beautiful all set up around our tree. I love the idea of all the happy childhood memories a passed down toy has already been a part of before we start making our own. Can you tell I cry after all the Toy Story movies?

Both Kids
Isaac's Train Engineer Isaac
Roo & Grandpa

2014

This year we were back at Grandpa's for train night. He remarked how Isaac has matured and is a lot more trustworthy on the train controls. I think Riley will be ready to try her hand by next year. On the flip side Isaac was far to cool to observe the traditional Hot Chocolate song dance break. What can you do? They just keep growing.

Riley Tunnel Engineer Isaac
Big Kid Both Kids