Monday, July 8, 2013

Unleashing the Fire Hydrant o'Photos

Since June was such a whirlwind of travel, preparing to travel, and coming home from traveling, I never wanted to took the time to share some pics from our adventures.  Because, let's face it, I've never been a great friend with uploading tons of pics to Blogger.  That's not to say I've shied away, just that I put it off until there are so many pictures to share that it is like unleashing a fire hydrant.  

Hold still, you're going to get wet!

First up, I hosted a bridal shower for my youngest sister who is now just a mere few weeks away from her wedding day (yay!).  It was a vintage-garden-themed-brunch shower.  We were to all wear big floppy hats, sip mimosas or tea, and nibble on fruit, bagels, and sweets while enjoying conversation, gifts, and a game all out in my backyard.  June can be a little tricky weather wise around here, and especially the first part of June.  True to it's past history, the day turned out to be a bit blustery.  We tried so hard to keep with the outdoor theme, but at some point, you just have to count your losses and invite people, you don't really know very well, into your home which hasn't been cleaned or prepped for visitors.  Bliss.

Afterwards, we sat on the porch and enjoyed some sunshine:

The bride and the bridesmaids (except one)

The bride, myself, and my mini shower helper
And then we were off!  Universal Studios Florida and Disney World were calling our names.  We spent eight days hitting the parks, swimming in the pool, and just hanging out as a family of four.  This was the first trip (longer than just a night) were it was just the four of us.  Can you believe that?  I guess you can say we like to travel with people.  It was nice to be just the four of us and do whatever the four of us wanted, whenever we wanted.   Not that traveling with others has been bad, this was just different.  And nice.

Here are some of my favorite pics (although we are missing a large number of pics due to getting the wrong disc from USF):
 Be still my beating heart, we made it to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  This was the main focus for the entire eight days.  It was amazing.  The details were spectacular, and in general we ran around like little geeky wizards and witches for two days.  Fun.

We rode rides so many times, that I literally had to call it quits.  The kids and The Hubs never say die, though, so they kept on going until the park closed.  I guess the Butterbeer kept them fueled.

Besides Wizarding World of Harry Potter, there was other fun to be had:
A little bit of Mexico the Epcot version

New York City

The Hubs thought he would try out for Fear Factor, but missed the final cut for casting.
Animal Kingdom

My roller-coaster riding junkies.
Ah, yes.  The Tower of Terror.  Back row, baby! (at least that's what the kids said)
Purposely acting silly on the Revenge of the Mummy roller coaster

I sprung for the digital PhotoPass so I could be part of the pics this time.

Saying good-bye was sad, alas, it was good to get home.
Home brought us laundry, more laundry, and a quick turn around time before we headed back on the road again.  This time the kids and I hit up South Dakota.  This is where my paternal grandma lives along with much of my dad's side of the family.   We road-tripped it, saw almost all the family, ate a lot of burgers, and the kids watched a lot of Netflix courtesy of The Hubs's Hotspot which brought wi-fi wherever we went.

(Seriously, these kids these days!  We had Barbies, coloring books, and our imaginations.  That's it!)

We still had a good time as a family (my parents and uncle joined us), and it was very special to see my grandma, who is 96.
We heart you Netflix

How cute is she?

Four generations

The Little Man's favorite part: 4 Wheeling

The Girl's favorite: Catching frogs

Grandpa's favorite: Driving tractors with the grand kids
As an aside, I've road-tripped it out to good ol' SD probably about 25 times in my life.  In all those times we've never stopped at the Ft. Kearney museum.  If you aren't familiar with I-80, in Ft Kearney, Nebraska, there is an overpass that spans over the entire highway that has been made into a transportation/Westward expansion museum.   I think my dad was motivated with having the grand kids along, as on this trip, he decided making a stop might be fun. And it was!

The headphones were for a self-guided tour.  We also got to weave our way around a fort-type maze where you punched a card at the start, at designated points in the middle, and at the end.  It got a little competitive at that point, and there may have been a couple of tears, but all in all, it was the best rest stop I've ever been to.

And speaking of rest's a good place for a rest.

Up next: pictures I can't believe I even took, swimming, and a birthday boy.

June, you were so busy!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Still Whining About an Ear Infection

"To stay upbeat about life, accept that you won’t be perfect all the time, and neither will the people or things around you."- Joyce Myers Ministries

I needed this encouragement this morning as I battle with a still raging ear infection, antibiotics that didn't work the entire weekend I took them (except to give me the wonderful gastrointestinal side effects), and a summer that feels like it is slipping through my fingers as I lay in bed for another day.  

He has been faithful by my side through this morning.  As I feel frustrated, He encourages me, comforts me, and reminds me of His perfection in all things, times, and circumstances.

Lord, help me to find rest in this time.  Sitting still long enough to heal physically and be renewed spiritually.  Forgive me for impatience, a constant need to rush and do, and for finding joy in circumstances instead of you.  Amen.