Our Easter Race

You know when you have a full day ahead of you and you pack everything you need and you’re feeling pretty good about yourself and then you realize you forgot the most important thing?


Well. That happened to me.

We had a busy day on Saturday with our schedule filled every hour.  Of course I brought my camera (HELLO!  It is my third child!) but I forgot to put an SD card in it.

People, that is like taking your newborn somewhere and forgetting to pack diapers.  YOU MAY AS WELL CALL THE OUTING A FAILURE.

Fortunately, the phone can take pics, right?

David signed our family up to run in a race.  David ran a 5K and I ran a 1 mile race with the kids. (I use the term “ran” very loosely here, it was more like Hannah ran and walked, while I pushed Dallin in the stroller.  I stopped to take a few pics of them running, and Hannah pooped out just before the finish line.)

Here’s the kicker . . . I WON A FIRST PLACE RIBBON.

WHAT?!  I know, I was just as confused as the rest of you are!  I ran a 12 minute mile pushing and chasing my kids and somehow that got me first place in my age division.  Oh, yeah . . . the other thing  . . . somehow I was in the 25-29 age group, so apparently my skin care regime is working!  I thought about setting the record straight, but what the heck . . . (And for the record, I do not have a third child.  The baby belongs to my friend, it is one of her twins, I’m not sure which one I’m holding, but he likes me.)

Check out Hannah rippin’ up the pavement in her Crocs and a dress of course!  Go Hannah!

Dallin thought all of his little boy dreams had come true: I ALLOWED him to run IN the street.  Ah, life was good for him at that moment.

After our race, we headed out to Thanksgiving Point to attend their Easter egg hunt and other Easter festivities.

NEVER doing that again.  Kids were trampled and they cried as the PARENTS grabbed as many eggs as they could.  IT was over in less than 5 seconds.

To top it off, it was freezing and the lines for the bouncy slides rivaled the rides at Disneyland.

Not worth it I tell you.

Plus, the Easter bunny was kind of scary to Dallin.  Come to think of it, the Easter bunny is sort of creepy.  He just doesn’t have the same appeal as Santa.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Happy Easter!

Even though the Easter Bunny was very tired and very sick, he still made it to our house.

I was also very tired and very sick.  I barely had enough energy to get out of bed, so I propped my eyelids open with my fingers as I watched my kids jump up and down with excitement with their Easter baskets.

I have no pictures of their Easter stash.  (They scored way to much candy.  I’ll be sure to let the Easter Bunny know that next year they don’t need ANY candy since they share that sweet stuff too much with their parents!) I was able to snap one picture of Hannah in her new Easter dress though: (Thank you H&M . . . dress $5, leggings, $5!)

Dallin wore his race shirt from the 1 mile race we ran on Saturday.  It was neon green with lots of writing on it.  LOTS.  Why do I tell you this?  Well, not only was I blinded by the neon shirt all day, but since he refused to take it off, there was no way Iwas going to take his picture while he wore it!  That nixed a picture of the two kids together.  I shot this image while he was wearing his green shirt, but as you can see, it was mandatory that I convert this image to black and white.  🙂

We had a lovely day and hope you all did too!

Easter?! It’s Practically Here!

I just realized that THIS SUNDAY is Easter.

I’m not sure when I thought it was . . . some ambiguous date in the next few weeks I guess.

The good news is that I’ve had the kids’ Easter baskets ready for weeks . . . the bad news is that I haven’t had two seconds to myself to even come up with some fun Easter activities for them.

Time to outsource, right?!

Looks like we will be attending the Thanksgiving Point Easter Egg Hunt this year!  (No stress for me, LOTS of fun for the kids!)

In the mean time, we did manage to color some eggs.

Dallin was very bossy.  It comes with being two I guess.

While we waited for the eggs to color (and dry) Hannah passed the time by talking to my sister Jenn.

Dallin practiced doing what he does best . . . being a darling two year old.  Oh!  I could just squish those cheeks!

The Palazzo in Las Vegas

Las Vegas is about the half way point between Los Angeles and American Fork, so we broke up our 10 hour drive by staying in Las Vegas one night on our way home.

David found The Palazzo for us and our hotel expectations will never be the same.

Goodbye Motel 6.  We never liked you anyway.

Hello Palazzo.  You are the long lost best friend we never knew, until a couple of weeks ago, and now we wonder how we ever lived without you.

The Palazzo opened in December 2007, and is part of the Venetian Hotel.  It is beautiful, and clean, and new . . . you can just smell the new-ness of the place.

Our view from the 37th floor was perfect for watching the pirate show, and fireworks from Treasure Island.

Our room had a step down lounge area and three (count them, THREE!) HD TV’s.

Dallin spent a lot of time with his cars on this marble ledge.

Yes.  we could get used to a place like this.

I convinced the kids that the bathtub was just like a pool . . . possibly more fun!  (OK, so the pool was closed after we checked in and it opened after we checked out, I had to convince them!)

What a novelty to all of us . . . watching TV in the bathroom!

This beautiful butterfly in the lobby of the hotel was made out of flowers.  Um . . . I’m totally borrowing this idea!

Bottom line:  We gave the Palazzo 5 stars!


Disneyland Day Two

First off, I would like to mention that I wore a pedometer everyday at Disneyland.  I really wanted to see how far we walked each day!

Day 1: 10 miles

Day 2: 10 miles

Day 3: 11.14 miles

If you do that math, we walked 30 miles in three days.  Guess how much weight I lost?


Guess how much weight David and I both gained?



Darn you Dole Pineapple Whips and Churros!

I’ve heard that 80% of weight loss is diet . . . I don’t doubt that for a second!

Now, moving on . . .

We scheduled a hair appointment for Hannah at the “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.”  It was the highlight of her Disneyland experience!  They welcomed “Princess Hannah” and she met several Fairy Godmothers.  She got to pick out her hairstyle, makeup, and face jewels.  She thought she had died and gone to princess heaven!

She was told the nail polish had real pixie dust in it to help the polish dry faster.  She was super impressed!  🙂

Hannah chose the biggest hairstyle available (it came with a hairpiece!), with the brightest colored eye shadow on her makeup palette.

She loved EVERY thing about her beauty parlor experience!  She walked away from the salon with a loot bag with everything a four year old would want: a crown, a sash, hair extensions, a ring, makeup, hair brush, and comb.

Somehow, I got talked into going on the Dumbo ride with the kids.  Can I just say how gross I feel after going around in circles for a few minutes? BLEH.   Remind me to delegate the “going around in circle rides” to David.

Too much Disneyland fun . . . We didn’t make it back to the hotel in time for Dallin’s nap, so he caught a little nap in the stroller.  It wasn’t ideal, but it helped  him to enjoy the park  later in the evening.

Our kids LOVE Tinkerbell.  THEY LOVE HER.  I knew Dallin was going to flip out when he saw Tinkerbell . . . I just knew it would be the most defining, memorable moment for him at Disneyland.

Well, wouldn’t you know it . . . HE SNUBBED HER!

Maybe he was star struck?

Maybe she was life size and he was expecting a teeny tiny Tinkerbell?

Hannah thought Vidia and Tinkerbell were pretty awesome.

Thank goodness Hannah didn’t snub them!  (Wait, that sentence doesn’t even make sense . . . Hannah snub someone?  It’s not in her personality makeup.  Dallin on the other hand has that skill mastered!)

We ended our day by purchasing a bubble blower that every other kid at Disneyland had.  The kids LOVED it and so did we!

Honestly, Disneyland is such a magical place!

Our Magical Week in iPhone Pictures

We took hundreds of pictures on our trip.  That means we have hundreds of images to sort through and edit as well.

That is going to take me another day or two since I have work to finish for clients first.

I thought I’d post a random account of our trip with some of our iPhone pics.  On a side note, Disneyland is so high tech . . . you could show up to the park without your camera and walk away with lots, and lots of pictures that they have taken of you!  You see, they use my same camera, (Nikon D90) and flash (SB900) and same flash diffuser (Gary Fong Lightsphere) to take your picture at all the character venues, at all major attractions, etc.  They simply take your pic, and hand you card (it looks like a credit card) and you can then hand that card to any Disneyland photographer for them to take more pics of you and your family.  Honestly, next time, I think I might skip taking in my camera to the park (too much worry to keep it safe, dry, and on my person at all times) and just record our trip on the phone and use the great service provided by the Disneyland photographers!  You can get a  CD with all of your images from your visit for around $50.  It’s worth it I tell you.

Let’s move on to the random account of our trip:

This ride is “It’s a Small World.”  If you don’t know the song yet, don’t worry, you will know it by heart after hearing it 300 times during one ride!

It is a fun ride and certainly a family favorite.

Dallin wasn’t very keen on meeting a bunch of tall, strange, characters, so he passed on meeting the characters up close.   However, Hannah was dying to meet EVERYONE!  She met Pluto and he was in LOVE with her.  🙂

I rode the carousel with the kids like 5 times in a row and I almost barfed.  (I do not have the stomach for such rides!)

Hannah also met Goofy and explored a lot of California Adventure Park.

The kids waited patiently in line to meet Tinkerbell . . .

And even though Dallin LOVES Tinkerbell, (It’s not a joke, the kid LOVES Tinkerbell!  We think he has a crush on her!)  he wanted NOTHING to do with her when he saw her face to face.

Disneyland was beautiful at night.  It sort of made me wish I brought my tripod so I could take some long exposures, but I was there to actually experience Disneyland, so I left the tripod at home.

I took Hannah to an animation class at California Adventure Park while David took Dallin back to the hotel for his nap.  Can I just say she LOVED the art class?  You may have noticed how much that kid loves to draw, so it was a hit!

Look at her all grown up, sitting in a classroom with stadium seating, ready for her art lesson!  Gosh, she kind of looks like she’s ready for college and she hasn’t even started Kindergarten!

She followed along very diligently, and was taught by a master artist from Pixar.  What an experience!  (It may not be super obvious from her drawing, but she drew Piglet.)

Did you have a chance to watch the video I posted on our trip?  Well, this is the ride she was explaining in the latter half of the video: “Hollywood Tower of Terror”

Immediately after the ride, she said she didn’t want to ride it again.  However, today she says she DOES want to ride it again.  What can I say, she is a roller coaster junkie!  Check her out on Space Mountain in the picture below!

She is LOVING it!  Check me out on California Screamin . . . I am NOT loving it!  All I could think about was, “WHERE IS MY BARF BAG!”

To top off our trip fun, my good friend Melanie (she blogs over at Write Stuff) hung out with me for a bit at Disneyland with two of her kids for a few hours!  She read about us going there on my blog, so I guess it pays off to broadcast your whereabouts on the internet!  As an exciting side note, her first manuscript, “The List,” was picked up by Covenant Communications and was released last week!  What does that mean?  You ALL can read her new book now!  Pick it up on Amazon or at your local LDS bookstore!  Gosh, I have some famous friends who are big time over-achievers!  🙂

My friend Sheri, (you’ve seen her here, and here on my blog and she blogs here) who lives 15 minutes from Disneyland, also read about our trip to California and contacted me so we could meet up for breakfast!  Can I just say how much I love my friends?  It is always so nice to reconnect and chat!  I was able to see her new six week old baby, (as well as her 15 month old) and we all had a lovely breakfast at IHOP.  I was sad to have missed my friend Bethany who just moved to Southern CA, (who also caught wind of our trip) but we simply ran out of time!  Next time, I will plan EXTRA days into our trip to see everyone!

Gosh.  When can we go back?

Disneyland Video!

It’s up!  We have a video to share with you!  Thanks to the trusty iPhone (can I just tell you how much I LOVE our new iPhone 4?  It kind of makes the 3G seem like a piece of crap . . . and I know the iPhone 5 is coming out in a few months, but I STILL LOVE the 4!) we have video footage!

Remember how we didn’t tell our kids we were going to Disneyland? Well, the first part of the video is mostly of Hannah . . . trying to figure out where we were going for our “special day.” Fortunately, she didn’t have an aneurysm when she realized where we were! She was very occupied trying to take it all in, so her expression was a bit calmer than I expected. (Maybe a bit overwhelmed or in disbelief.) However, be sure to watch for her account of the ride “Hollywood Tower of Terror.” She is in true Hannah form there!

Please, enjoy some of our vacation with us!

A Glimpse of Our Magical Week!

We’re back!

Oh.  My.

Disneyland was incredible!  WE LOVED IT!  In fact, we are already planning our next trip there!  🙂

I have several hundred images to sort through, and I have assignment deadlines, so this post will be short . . . but expect full coverage of our trip in the next few blog posts!

The weather was PERFECT at 70 degrees everyday.  We missed the spring break rush by about a week (that was planned on our part) so the lines were reasonable (about 15-30 minute wait per ride) and the crowds were manageable.

The kids saw Minnie (and several other characters . . . images later) and it was so magical!

We ate at Aerial’s Grotto and met Aerial and several other princesses.

The breakfast was delicious and worth every penny to see Hannah interact with every princess!

Rapunzel was a popular character to visit.  Often times, the line to see her exceeded two hours!  Thankfully, we downloaded some apps that helped to make our Disneyland experience run smooth.  If  you are planning a trip to Disneyland (or Disney World, whatever) you need to download the “Disneyland Insideout” app.  It tells you wait times at each ride, which rides are closest to you, where the closest bathrooms are, etc.  So . . . we only waited 30 minutes to see the popular (and beautiful!) Rapunzel and Flynn.  The app also tells you park stats, like how full the park is.  Disneyland was at 65% capacity when we went, and California Adventure was at 50%.  It was nice to walk around the park with a plan, (hitting all the short lines) and not aimlessly standing in line FOREVER.

When Dallin met Lightning McQueen at California Adventure Park, all his dreams came true!

He hugged him!   Checked out his tires!  Gave him a few “good ole’ buddy” swats!

It was love I tell you.  Brotherly love.

I have so much more to share from this trip, especially Hannah’s reaction which we recorded.  Hopefully I’ll have a video to share later this week as well.  You don’t want to miss it!

We’ve Been Keeping a BIG Secret for Eight Whole Days!

Hannah has been talking about going to Disneyland for months.  And by talking about it, I mean, SHE’S DYING TO GO.

I’m not even sure how she knows so much about it honestly.  Remember how we live in Utah and not California?  Clearly we have nothing here that even resembles the happiest place on earth, so really, unless she has heard an earful from her friends, we have no idea where she is getting her information.   She is CONVINCED she has enough pennies to get us there and is ready to go STAT.

Well . . .

We have wanted to take our kids to Disneyland since before they were born.  In the last several months, we have been entertaining the idea of taking them, and trying to figure out the best time.

You see, both Hannah and Dallin still take mid-day naps.  (Yeah, yeah, go ahead and play the world’s smallest violin for us . . .)  Toting around cranky kids in the afternoon just sounds like SO MUCH FUN, we decided to NEVER try it.

We decided to take our kids to Disneyland after Dallin gave up his nap so all of us could go ALL DAY and not have a meltdown.

Well . . .

After our successful vacation last week in Las Vegas, where our kids took a three hour nap in the hotel room and  Dallin didn’t have a panic attack (like I expected he would) when he realized he was going to sleep in a foreign place, we decided to entertain the idea again.

And by entertain the idea, I mean we got home from Vegas and three days later, David sent me an email (I was out and about running errands or something) with our tickets, and hotel confirmation.

I know.  The guy rocks!

So my friends . . . we are going!  Next week!  All week!  Three days of driving (one to get to CA, two days to get home) and three days of fun at Disneyland and California Adventure Park HERE WE COME!

Here’s the thing . . .

Our kids don’t know!  I mean, I’m sure we could tell Dallin and he wouldn’t say anything or be overly excited for that matter because he is not the one saving all his pennies and talking about going all the time . . . but Hannah . . .

Oh. My.

Have you seen how excited that child gets?  I’m not sure I could handle her anticipation!  She might explode!

As many of you know, Hannah is an early riser.  During the early morning hours of 6:00 AM to 7:30 AM, she happily keeps herself busy.  A few days ago, she created these images during the hour and a half she waited for us to wake up.

This is her at Disneyland, as a princess of course!  Check out that castle!  Looks pretty authentic to me!

In this image, she told me she is thinking about Disneyland, that is why the castle is so small.

This next image is of David, and Hannah, and me, with a LAMP.  Please friends, let’t not forget to pack a LAMP on our way to Disneyland!

Check out my long legs, and low maintenance hair!  She got David’s buzz just right, and look at how cute she is!  Not sure where Dallin fits into this picture . . . maybe we didn’t have room for him in the car because we had to pack a HUGE LAMP.

Oh, how I love her hearts.  This one reads from the bottom up:

“Emily and to David.”  Apparently, we are on a first name basis with her.  Also, I LOVE how she spells.  Soon enough, she will spell everything correctly and I’m just not ready for that day.  Can’t she just stay four and a half FOREVER?!

This next picture is of Lighting McQueen.  (I’m sure it wasn’t obvious, so I thought I’d help you out on the interpretation of this image.)

And finally . . .

Her shoes.  She traced them on the paper and then drew the straps.  She has informed me that she is wearing these shoes to Disneyland whenever we go.

Clearly we have a child that loves to draw and can’t wait to get to Disneyland.

We’re not sure when we’re going to tell her, but we’ll be sure to video tape her response!  We’re thinking the parking lot of Disneyland would be a fine place to tell her . . . what do you think?

Based on how she responded when I brought home a “princess dress” last week from the Disney Store (she jumped up and down, squealed, yelled, “I’m so GRATEFUL!” and then started to cry tears of joy!) I’m afraid she might have an aneurysm when we tell her!

How am I going to tell her she has an appointment to get her hair done at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique?  And that she’s going to have breakfast with every princess she can think of a Ariel’s Grotto?  What about the World of Color?

As you can see, we are just as excited about all of this as she is!  I can’t wait to tell her!