my weekend in photos

Untitled

saturday morning miles with the girls, then piyo after soccer. i am sore today!

Untitled

our last soccer saturday!

Untitled

kenley had such a great season. it was so fun to watch her team improve from week to week.

Untitled

cleaning out the garage has been on our weekend list for months now. i took a huge load of stuff to goodwill and it feels so good to have that done. finally!

Untitled

we headed to the park after church today.

Untitled

we played at a new park and watched the planes land. it was so fun!

Untitled

while it was fun, it was short lived because it was crazy hot.

Untitled

superheroes!

***

we had very little plans this weekend and it was so nice! we worked out, got some things done around the house, and went swimming.

how was your weekend?

Dark Side Half Marathon {race recap}

A few weekends ago, I ran my first Run Disney race, the Star Wars Dark Side half marathon! The entire weekend was quite an experience and unlike any other race I’ve done, so I’m going to try to hit on all of the different aspects.

You pay to play.

I’ll get the only con out of the way. Running is an expensive sport and this race is no exception. The Run Disney race fee was the most I’ve ever paid for a race. I also chose to stay on property the night before the race which was an added cost. All in all, it’s a commitment.

Race expo.

The race expo was at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. It started on Thursday since the 5k and 10k races were on Friday and Saturday. I originally wanted to go out to the expo on Thursday, but Kenley ended up having a soccer game. Based on what I have heard, I was anticipating long lines to pick up all of the pre-race goodies. We arrived at the expo a little later than I wanted around 2pm on Saturday. The expo ended at 4pm and I was surprised to find no lines at all! Kenley and I left the boys in the car and walked (and walked) up to get my stuff. The bib pick up station was located in the HP Field House, then we headed over to the Jostens Center. Since there were no crowds, Kenley got her picture with a Storm Trooper before heading in. The t-shirt pick up was at the very back of the expo. There were so many vendors selling so many great things. I wanted to buy ALL the Run Disney gear, but left without anything. Overall, the expo was great and the pick up process was quick and easy, aside from a lot of walking.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Setting my alarm for the middle of the night.

The race started at 5:30am in the Magic Kingdom parking lot. The start time wasn’t that early considering I’ve ran races that started at 6am. However, we were taking advantage of the Disney buses since we were staying on property and we had to be ON the bus by 4am to ensure we were at the start line in time. Therefore, I set my alarm for 3:00am which was a first for me! We walked down to the bus stop and got right on the bus putting us at the start line around 4am. Transportation was a breeze. There were buses full of people pulling in, one after the other. We joked that if there was ever a zombie apocalypse, Disney should be in charge of the evacuation plan. It was like we were all zombies at that time too, considering it was the middle of the night.

We had more than enough time at the start line before the race started. One thing that surprised me the most were all of the the lines for the characters. There were probably 8-10 characters there for photo opportunities and each character had a publicized wait time. The wait time for Darth Vader at 4am was 70 MINUTES!

We had some breakfast, stretched, went potty, then headed into our corral. We were in corral G based on when we signed up for the race (late!) and corral G was the very last corral. While we waited, they played Star Wars movie clips and did trivia with the participants. The race finally started at 5:30am with fireworks! Each corral that was released got their own fireworks show. The start of the race was a big deal! Unfortunately, we saw a LOT of fireworks. We finally started the race at 6:20am, 50 minutes after the first corral started.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Course map.

The race course map was released a couple weeks before the race which I studied intently. I don’t normally look at the course map before a race, but I was really excited about this one. I knew the first few miles would be pretty boring since the course took us from the Magic Kingdom parking lot along the back roads into Animal Kingdom.

Around mile 4, we entered Animal Kingdom as the sun was starting to come up. We stopped for the potty by the safari ride when we got into the park then ran around the entire park and out the entrance.

Untitled

The course then took us through the Animal Kingdom parking lot and up the main roads for the next couple of miles. After one large on-ramp just after mile 9, we entered the back side of Hollywood Studios and ran through the park.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

We passed mile 10 while in Hollywood Studios are were only another 5k away from the finish. At this time, the sun was up and blazing. It was hot! We headed out of Hollywood Studios and made our way towards Epcot and the finish line. Along the way, we ran pass the Swan and Dolphin Hotel and along the Boardwalk.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

We finally entered Epcot in England just before the mile 12 marker. The International Flower and Garden Festival was happening so it was great to see all of the fun foliage! We ran through all of the countries and out the entrance of Epcot. The finish line was in the Epcot parking lot which was lined with spectators and fans as we ran out of the park.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Final verdict.

During the race, the course was insanely packed. I was bummed that we had to start in corral G because we were bobbing and weaving through people the entire race. We started behind the 3 hour and 30 minute pace group while our goal time was around 2 hours and 15 minutes. I now know the importance of submitting a time during the registration process for Disney races. I know the experience on the course would have been completely different if we were running with others who were our same pace.

Overall, the race was amazing! I was shocked by all of the entertainment along the way. I knew there would be characters to meet and greet, but I was surprised to see all sorts of other entertainment, such as sound effects, light shows, music, and movie clips along the way. What I thought would be the boring part of the course was actually just as fun as the rest of the course. We didn’t stop to meet any characters since there were lines at each stop. I also am too competitive with myself to think about stopping during a race. This was by far the most fun race I have ever done. We finished in 2:31.44 which I am considering a great time for a Disney race. It may not be anytime soon, but I will definitely be doing another Disney race in the future.

Untitled

my weekend in photos

Untitled

i started our busy weekend with 7.5 miles around ucf with the girls.

Untitled

we were off to soccer when i got home. kenley’s game was first this weekend.

Untitled

crosby had his last game after kenley’s game and he actually played!

Untitled

crosby finished his season on a high note and got his trophy.

Untitled

maggi and greg came to visit on saturday!

Untitled

on saturday night, we headed downtown to the new orlando city stadium for our first orlando city soccer game.

Untitled

so so happy to see her this weekend!

Untitled

enjoying date night!

Untitled

goal!

Untitled

we saw two goals which were both so exciting.

Untitled

we were slightly spoiled with our amazing seats for our first game.

Untitled

the stadium was so nice and the game was so fun! we will definitely be back.

Untitled

my crazy mother’s day brunch bloody mary.

Untitled

after naps, we spent the rest of the afternoon in the pool. i floated around for over an hour. it was amazing!

Untitled

we finished mother’s day with dinner at tijuana flats with my favorite people.

***

happy mother’s day to all the mothers out there.

how was your weekend?

my weekend in photos

Untitled

i came home on friday to a really fun package! so excited to be a bridesmaid this year!

Untitled

meemaw got into town late thursday night for the weekend.

Untitled

we celebrated cinco de mayo at the brass tap on friday night. it was a little chilly, but we all survived.

Untitled

i missed the memo about the cold front coming in. i got in a four mile run and some coffee time with the girls before kicking off my saturday.

Untitled

saturday morning soccer!

Untitled

this girl played great on saturday! she stopped a goal then dribbled down the field and scored her second goal of the season!

Untitled

we broke in greg’s new tap handles from westside boards made out of recycled skateboards. they are so cool!

Untitled

saturday night movie.

Untitled

sidewalk chalk and bubbles on sunday.

***

we had a great weekend and such a great visit with meemaw. we played in the pool most of the day today and even got some spring cleaning done.

how was your weekend?

Disney Dream Part II // March 2017

I’m back for the continuation of our spring break cruise aboard the Disney Dream. On day three, we docked at Castaway Cay! We had breakfast then headed off the ship to explore Disney’s private island.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

The tram from the ship to different spots on the island, but we opted to walk. I wish I would have grabbed the Ergo before heading off the ship because it wasn’t long before the kids were “so tired” of walking. Luckily, we passed by a row of strollers and wagons which ended up being free to use!

Untitled

The entire morning was spent playing in the sand and in the water. The water was a little chilly at first, but not too bad. We had lunch at the BBQ buffet on the island. Greg took Crosby back to the ship for a nap while we bummed around for a little bit longer. On our way back to the ship, we stopped into the shops and Kenley got her hair braided!

Untitled

GOPR0741[2]

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Once we were back on the ship, it was time to get ready for pirate night! Based on everything I read about pirate night, it was a big deal so we were prepared for a full night of festivities. At dinner, the kids got a light up cup which I put to good use the rest of the night.

Untitled

Untitled

After dinner, the kids went to camp and the adults got to explore. We checked out the pirate party that was happening on the pool deck, then we headed to the show of the night, JUNKK. It was really good and I think the kids would have liked it, but they were having a lot of fun getting their face painted in camp.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

We had a couple of hours between the end of the show and the start of fireworks at 10:30pm! We weren’t sure what we were going to do or if we should even be staying up that late, but we decided that it was vacation, so we were going to do it. In our free time, we saw some of our favorite characters in their pirate gear!

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

This was the first time of the trip meeting Mickey and Minnie and I was happy we crossed it off our list that night. I didn’t feel like we had to make a point to see them on our last day. By the end of our character visits, we were rushing up to see the fireworks. After being so worried about all of our free time, we almost missed the fireworks show! We headed to the back of the ship and didn’t see any of the show leading up to the fireworks, but it was still really cool!

We headed right to bed after the fireworks show and were up early the next day for our day at sea! We didn’t have much planned for our last day, so the kids went to camp in the morning and the adults went to the adults only area of the ship. We had our fair share of ice cream cones, did some shopping, and continued to explore the ship.

Untitled

Untitled

My parents met us at dinner after winning at trivia. Our last night of dinner was in the Animator’s Palate, which was our favorite restaurant. We were lucky enough to sit by the interactive screen and the kids got to talk to Crush from Finding Nemo. It was really neat!

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

After dinner, the kids went back to camp for the last time and we headed to the pub to watch some March Madness basketball. The waves were crazy so we were swaying all over the place. After a couple of drinks, we got the kids and headed to the show, Disney’s Believe. I won’t share much about the show other than it was amazing! Everyone sat so nice and just loved it.

Untitled

Untitled

The next morning, we headed back to Animator’s Palate for a very early breakfast and disembarked the ship. We were back home in Orlando by 8:30am and everyone was ready for a nap.

Untitled

While there were certainly rocky moments and a couple attitude problems during the week, we had such a great time. We’re already looking forward to our next Disney cruise.

DIY Teacher Appreciation Week Gifts

Happy Teacher Appreciation Day! A couple years ago, I shared some easy DIY teacher appreciation week gifts so I am back to share some more! Teacher Appreciation Week is here but there is still time to put together the cutest DIY gifts.

Thank you for helping me grow!

 I found this idea on Pinterest from jenny collier but I thought I would do my own take on it. I picked up a couple orchids for each classroom and used supplies I already had at home for the card (card stock, stamps, and twine).

diy teacher appreciation gift thank you for helping me grow

We DONUT know what we would do without you!

This adorable free printable is available from Happiness is Homemade. Print and deliver with some yummy donuts for a treat for your teacher. I love this idea because if there is more than one teacher, everyone can enjoy this one.

diy teacher appreciation gift donut

Thanks a LATTE for all you do!

Here is another adorable free printable from Life Anchored. I attached if directly to a Starbucks gift card for all of the teachers, but I also love sticking the gift card into an empty Starbucks cup. Super cute.

thanks a latte teacher gift diy

What are your favorite ways to show your teachers how much you appreciate them?

my weekend in photos

Untitled

friday night date night

Untitled

saturday morning started early with soccer pictures and a game for crosby.

Untitled

kenley had a bye week, so she was the designated cheerleader for the day!

Untitled

after soccer, we headed to legoland! we played in the water park, then stayed at the beach retreat, which was so adorable! more pictures to come.

Untitled

we went back to legoland for a couple of hours today before heading home.

***

we had such a fun weekend! how was yours?