Welcome to my little spot of the internet!

Hi! I'm Lacey!

I am a full-time working mom from North Alabama. I love my family, my friends, and my God!

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Just some thoughts...

When I am faced with great sadness or tragedy, I tend to run to my blog.  It’s an easy place for me to put my thoughts into some ramblings to share in hopes of just maybe helping someone, somewhere, in some tiny little way.  Most of my posts on here are filled with our normal day to day happenings but every once in awhile, I truly feel like the Lord gives me a few words to share that are really meant for someone else to read.
Today is one of those days...

Over the last few days and weeks, I have seen so much sadness that some of my friends and loved ones are facing.  Death and sickness and hardships are inevitable in this world but it just seems sometimes to not seem fair.  It’s not fair that someone has to lose their baby before they even get to know her.  And it’s not fair that loveable guy that is everyone’s friend has to leave this world too soon.  And it’s not fair that kids have to be really sick and their parents just have to watch helplessly.  And it’s not fair that some people slip away from their own minds. It’s just not fair.

I don’t know why these things happen and I probably never will.  But I do know that God has a plan for everything and though we may never understand it this side of Heaven, we have to trust in Him.  His plans are so much greater than ours! And there are many times when I just want to act like a little kid and throw my hands up and say really God?  Why this?  Why now?  Why her?  I want to pitch a fit and cry and scream because things aren’t going like I want.  I want to sulk and pout and just plain out get mad.  But I have to stop and remind myself that my God has promised me and everyone else the same thing.  He has promised us great things, to prosper and not harm us, a hope and a future.  It is so hard sometimes to remind myself of this but it is so true. He is in control and He has great plans for each one of us.

This new MercyMe song, “Even If”, is definitely one of my favorites right now.  God may not always answer our prayers in the way we want but He is still in control and His love for us is still greater than anything we can even fathom.  We are going to face hurt and sorrow but He is faithful and I promise you, one day, we will see His mighty plans for it all.  So today for you my friend, I pray for peace and understanding and most of all for comfort in His mighty name.  

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Tips and Tricks I Learned from Disney

So as you are well aware by now, we visited Disney World a few weeks ago.  I love Disney World but there is just so much that goes into planning a trip.  There are so many things to see and do and it really is just impossible to do it all.  We only stayed a few days and had a lot of extra stuff going in with the runDisney stuff so this visit was a little different than most.  I have people all the time ask me for tips and advice and questions about "how we do Disney" so I figured I would share a few things.  I do not consider myself an expert or junkie or Disney fanatic by far so I am sure some are reading this like nope that's not the best idea but it's just some things I have learned along the way!

On planning - Start early!  The earlier you book, the better.  As soon as we decided to go, I started planning with everyone in our group about what the big things we wanted to do were and which days to visit which parks.  You can set up a My Disney Experience account and add all your friends and family to make things easier. You can make most dining reservations up to 6 months in advance and for people staying at a Disney resort, you can pick your fastpass reservations up to 60 days in advance.  I typed out everything we wanted to do including times for things such as FP, parades, and reservations and printed for everyone in our party.

On eating - I have never done a dining plan.  I hear they save lots of money but I personally get tired of "fast food" and don't want to be tied down to a bunch of eating reservations so I have never done them.  We usually just try to book at least one or two character dinings when we go and then the rest we just kind of eat whatever.  I take lots of breakfast, sandwich, and snack stuff with us and so we usually only actually buy a meal or two each day.  This trip, I loaded our suitcases with waters and Gatorades as well!  Bags of popcorn, pretzels, apples, nuts, peanut butter, and granola bars all travel well.  I also throw in a bag of ziplocs and some plastic spoons and knives.

On fastpasses - Like I said before, I try to have "our plan" figured out and everyone set up in my account a few months before we go so as soon as our time comes, I can log on and make FP selections for the times we want.  There are a million different planning blogs that have better FP suggestions but you can read my previous posts to see the ones we do.  As the girls get bigger, our selections will probably change to more of the thrill rides but I was pretty happy with the ones we had this time.  We didn't have to wait more than 20-30 minutes for anything that we didn't have a pass for.

On resort choice - There are so many different types of resort at Disney that it can be super hard to choose which one.  They are all very unique and there are so many details and creativity that really go into each one.  Out of the ones we have stayed at, the Cabins at Fort Wilderness were my favorite.  They are a little bigger than just a hotel room and have an actual kitchen in them.  The value resorts are good if you are wanting to save some money and are still full of character (but they don't have a coffee pot in the room).  They have all plenty of bus transportation to make getting around pretty easy and they each have their own food courts with plenty of eating options for everyone.  I am dreaming of staying at one of the Magic Kingdom area deluxe resorts one day but my pocket book isn't quite there yet.  I hear you can buy Vacation Club points or whatever to make that a little cheaper but you will have to find that information somewhere else. 

On clothes - I go completely for comfort at Disney.  My daily outfit consisted of shorts, tshirts, and casual tennis shoes.  I packed a few cardigans and sweatshirts for the cooler mornings and nights too.  I haven't mastered the whole "athleisure" look but that would definitely be a good option to go for as well.  I did see several dresses, cheap flip flops, and wedges though but I am pretty sure they were miserable.  For the girls, I went for just a tshirt and either leggings or shorts.  You will see kids dressed in everything from smocked dresses to tank tops without pants but I wanted to make sure the girls were comfortable and had on something that I didn't mind getting messed up or dirty (thank you chocolate Mickey Mouse popsicles) so we went the play clothes route.  There are so many cute and expensive Disney clothes options all over the internet but I didn't want to spend much money on a bunch of Disney clothes that we didn't need so we just hit up Kohl's and Target for a few tshirts and pretty much just let them pick what they wanted.  Some days they just wore non-Disney clothes as well and that is just fine!  They walked a lot as well so it was tennis shoes for them as well.

On packing - I am the single most forgetful person in the world so I made a very long and detailed packing list (maybe I will get around to cutesying it up and sharing it one day as well).  I listed each bag I planned to take and what went into each one well before I began my actual packing.  For the plane ride, we each had our own bag.  The girls had little backpacks filled with snacks and entertainment and Jarrod and I each had our own bag as well to carry our extra snacks, waivers, resort information, and travel documents. I tried to pack pretty light so we took lots of small travel size toiletries and only wore a couple of pair of shoes each.  Mostly clothes, toiletries, shoes, and food went in our checked luggage and our running stuff and things for the afternoon at the park (camera, sunscreen, magic bands, etc.) went in our carry-ons.  I did somehow manage to forget Hadley's panties and ended up having to buy $20 panties from the gift shop though so I don't recommend doing that at all!  

On running Disney - SUBMIT A PROOF OF TIME!  This was our biggest regret for sure.  We enjoyed the race but it would have been a little nicer to be a little closer to the starting line.  Plan plenty of time to spend at the race expo and allow lots of travel time to and from each event.  Bring a throw away pullover whether you think you really need it or not.  I made sure to pack everything we needed for the races (including clothes, shoes, watches, sunglasses, headbands, icy hot, etc.) in a carry on duffle bag in case something happened with our luggage.  Slow down and enjoy the race.  I was so glad to not be running for time on this race.  I made sure we stopped for plenty of photo opportunities and really slowed down to take everything in instead of just running as fast as we could.  And take advantage of the freebies they give out after the race.  They are full of goodies you may have never tried and might actually really like.  You paid a lot of money for this run.. you might as well take full advantage of it!

On some other stuff - You will spend lots of money when you get there so plan for it!  We had Disney reward dollars and gift cards to use for most of it but having plenty of cash on hand made it easier as well.  I am a big budget person so it was nice to not have to worry about money while we were there.  I budgeted what I thought we would spend and went to the bank and got cash before we went so there was no questioning if we were overspending.  Also, those little portable battery chargers for your phone are a life saver.  My phone was drained all day long and they had plenty of spots to recharge them around the parks too.  We used our phones for maps, fastpasses, and finding each other in the crowds so it was pretty important to keep them charged.  For me, purchasing the memory maker was totally worth it!  You got so many fun pictures and I even got to be in some instead of always being the one behind the camera.  I took my nice camera (on a good sturdy and comfortable strap) and used it a lot but it was so nice to have those more professional photos to go with the ones that I took.

There are so many other little tidbits I have learned but I won't bore them with you here.  Like I said, I am no expert and there are a lot of people much more Disney World savvy than me but I always like to share things that have helped me!


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Happy 4th Birthday Hunter Claire

To my Hunter Claire on your 4th birthday...

How in world are you four years old my little baby?  You have grown and changed so much this year! You are truly a little girl now.  This year, you started preschool, learned to ride your big girl bike, and finally finally finally decided to use the potty!

You still love everything Wonder Woman but you have also added unicorns and Alice in Wonderland to your list of favorites.  You love to eat.  You really love macaroni and cheese, poptarts, "hot chips" and yogurt and get super excited to go to Taco Bell and McDonalds.  You love playing dress up and your wigs are your most favorite accessory for sure.  You love to play pretend with your dolls and you sing ALL THE TIME.

You always have some type of little medley going on when you are doing something. You know all the words to pretty much every song you've ever heard.  I am always seriously amazed at how quickly you pick up the words to songs.  I will hear you singing a new song and be like how in the world do you already know those words?

You are one tough little booger.  You cannot be persuaded to ever do anything you don't want to. There is no coaxing or bribing you no matter what we say or do.  I could offer you a million M&Ms and every toy at the store and you still won't budge.  I am kind of hoping you stay like that as you get older.  You definitely are not one to follow the crowd.

You love your sister more than anyone in this world.  You are always hugging her and praying for her.  You always say you miss her when she is at school.  You are both so different in so many ways but you play together really well most of the time.  You really love to play "mommy and sister going to town" or "baby in my tummy" together and you are both always coming up with little performances and shows to do together.

You love to dance and perform but not in front of an audience.  You shake our little booty and prance around as long as nobody is watching.  You always refuse to get on stage and hate being in the spotlight.

You are so smart and learning so much every day.  I get so tickled when you use big words.  You always talk about being "respectable" and I love it when you say "I'm thiiinnking..." when I ask you a simple question.

You are independent and such a leader.  You definitely dance to the beat of your own drum and could care less what anyone else says or does.  You make friends with everyone and you are always so fun to be around.  You are the most fun kid there ever was. You are such a free spirit and your little personality always shines.

You are so creative and have such a fun imagination. You are beautiful and kind and I love so much to watch you grow and blossom even more each and every day.  You bring so much joy to our family and to everyone whose path you cross.

Happy big girl unicorn birthday to you my sweet sweet baby girl!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Disney World Part 7 - Magic Kingdom

I am just going to go ahead and apologize for this really long post with serious picture overload but we had a really long day...

We headed back to Magic Kingdom to spend our last day at the parks.  We had all intentions of getting there early enough for the welcome show but we were moving a little slower than we had planned and the lines to get in were really bad.  We gave Jarrod our bags and the rest of us bypassed the lines and headed on into the park. I have to take a minute to brag on Jarrod... he does NOT like crowds at all and was such a trooper the whole trip.

We first stopped off to meet Merida and then headed to the back of the park to meet Ariel.

By time we got done with those, Jarrod finally caught up to us so we hopped on the Ariel ride again.

We then had a fastpass for Enchanted Tales with Belle so we headed over there.  I was really looking forward to this one.  I had never done it before and Belle is my favorite!  The girls didn't want to do a part in the story but we still enjoyed it.

After Belle, it was time for our FP for Peter Pan so we crossed across to ride it.  HC kept saying I can't believe we are flying.  By then, it was just about time for our lunch reservations at Chef Mickey's so we snapped a few more photos and then took the monorail over to it.

We loooove character dining.  I refuse to stand in long lines to meet characters (considering one of my children wants nothing to do with them) so character dining is a must for us.  My aunt Nancy gifted us with lunch at Chef Mickey's for Christmas and we hadn't had a chance to see all the "main" Disney characters so this was a perfect way to catch them all.  HC was still a little leery of them but the others loved it.  The food was really good and they have way more food than you can ever eat.  Pretty sure the girls loved the ice cream buffet the best!

When we got back to the park after lunch, it was almost time for the parade so we found a spot to park and went in the gift shops to let the girls pick out a souvenir and spend their gift cards they got for Christmas. After exploring the whole store a time or two, they finally settled on a stuffed baby Bambi and a new Elana doll.  I got myself a new coffee cup and some Wonderland Tea (that is awesome).

When we got done shopping, one of the cast members asked us if we would like to come sit in the reserved seats in the circle for the parade.  The people that were supposed to have them never showed and she saw us waiting across the street so offered them to us.  This was so exciting and we felt super special!

The parade was as great and wonderful as it has always been and we all loved seeing all the characters up close and having them all wave directly at us.  Hadley was a little scared of the dragon and moved back to the stroller for a minute. Chip (or Dale) came up to HC and gave her a hug.  I think she was a little mortified but didn't have time to react so she just sort of nervous smiled and I got to get a really sweet picture of her.  Everyone agreed the parade was one of our favorite parts of the whole trip.

After the parade, everyone was in a fairly good mood so we found a photographer and took some castle shots before heading to the Enchanted Tiki Room to cool off.

The Tiki Room isn't the most popular attraction but it has always been one of our favorites.  You are truly missing out if you don't go check it out.  Brynlee fell asleep during the show so the rest of us ventured over to the Magic Carpets while she rested a little bit.

It was then time for our Splash Mountain FP.  HC barely made the height requirement and literally jumped up and down when they told her she was good to go.  She was so excited to ride but I was pretty nervous about how she would react.  Hadley had been talking about Splash Mountain ever since our last visit when she was barely tall enough to ride so we were all really looking forward to it!

We then headed over to the Storybook Circus area to ride Dumbo.  Hadley decided she rather play in the play area while the others rode. 

It was getting dark by then and Hadley still really wanted to ride another roller coaster so her and Jarrod headed over to Big Thunder Mountain while the rest of us went to check out the Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.  We had to wait about 30 minutes but this is the BEST line to wait in.  It is full of fun stuff for the kids to do and pass the time.

We then had a FP for the Jungle Cruise but by time we got over there, it was temporarily closed so they told us we could use it on pretty much anything else in the park.  We hadn't been to Tomorrowland yet so we headed over there to use the FP on the Buzz Lightyear ride.  Hadley wanted to use hers on Space Mountain instead but it was also closed at the time.  Her and Jarrod were both pretty bummed about that.

When we got done with Buzz, the fireworks were almost over and the littles were pretty done for the day so we tried to beat the crowd out... but we got stuck coming out of Tomorrowland.  After a little maneuvering and stepping on toes, we squeezed our way through and were heading back down Main Street.  We were all so sad to say goodbye to Cinderella's castle but our time was coming to an end.   Hadley cried and cried because she said she was going to "miss the best time of her whole entire life."

It had been a long and tiring day so we grabbed something quick to eat back at the resort food court and headed back to the room to pack up to leave the next day. We really needed about 10 more days to get in everything we wanted to do but it was time to say good bye to another really wonderful trip full of lots of magical memories!

Fitbit step count for the day: 17,864.