Indiana {August 2017}

The kids and I headed up to Indiana this past weekend. We had an action packed four days in my home state. Brace yourself, there are a lot of pictures!

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We arrived on Saturday just in time to help set up for Maggi and Greg’s wedding shower! I am so thankful that we were able to be there to celebrate the happy couple. The theme was a fiesta in honor of their destination wedding. Everything about the shower was absolutely perfect. Abbi did such a great job with all of the little details that made the day so great. It was so good to see a lot of friends and family in one place too!

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On Sunday, we got to see my grandparents, aunt, and uncle for lunch and fun around the fire. The kids got to spend some quality time with Arie and took turns taking her for walks. I think poor Arie was ready to be home after the long weekend.

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We had a great lunch at BRU Burger on Monday, then headed to the Indianapolis Zoo. It had been so long since I had been there. The weather was absolutely perfect, and we drove by Victory Field so the kids could see where mommy and daddy met!

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For dinner, we had a little pizza party with Celeste, Reese, Meghann, and Harper. It was so good to catch up with the girls, though it was short due to bedtimes for the littles.

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The kids played at the park on Tuesday, we did a little back to school shoe shopping (what my mom and I do best!), and had lunch before heading to the airport.

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I can’t believe how fast four days flew by! We had such a great time, but we were happy to get home to daddy too.

my weekend in photos

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we headed to grammy’s house on friday afternoon. the kids didn’t waste any time, they jumped right into the pool for a swim.

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six manatees that came up to the dock to drink the water from the hose, including a little baby!

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friday night sunset.

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saturday morning sunrise.

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i got in ten miles on saturday. solo miles are not as fun but i did listen to a new podcast!

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we headed down to the beach on saturday morning. the water felt amazing!

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making the coolest sand castle.

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after naps for all, we headed out on the boat.

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our little navigators.

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the kids loved the sandbar!

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dinner and ice cream!

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after dinner family photo.

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i stopped for a quick picture during my run this morning. can’t beat that view.

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we had such a fun weekend at grammy’s house. how was your weekend?

Legoland Beach Retreat // April 2017

To end the month of April, we headed down to Legoland to check out the new Beach Retreat. We started the day at the Legoland water park before heading over to check in to our room. We drove over to the Beach Retreat and checked into right from our car with the drive-thru check in. It was super convenient.

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Our room was in Seagull’s Cove and we shared a bungalow with the Herolds. Each cove has its own playground that is visible from each room. The kids loved walking right out to play.

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The rooms are super cute! Just like the Legoland Hotel, there is a small separate room with bunk beds for the kids. The kids didn’t go right to sleep by any means, but Greg and I sat on the porch after they finally went to bed. The set up of the room is just so much better than a standard hotel room and it really makes such a difference!

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After we got settled, we headed over to the pool for some swimming before dinner. There was also another larger playground and a bar right by the pool. Once we saw the set up, we knew we should have spent the afternoon at the resort instead of the water park. We definitely made a mental note for next time.

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After swimming, the kids played Legos at the bungalow until it was time for dinner. The restaurant was also right by the pool so we walked over to have dinner.

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The next morning, everyone was up early! We headed over for breakfast, which is included in your reservation, before heading back to Legoland.

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We spent a couple hours at the park riding roller coasters and rides. Since we all went to bed late and got up early, we headed out after lunchtime so the kids could nap the whole way home.

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Overall, we had such a great time with the Herolds. The Beach Retreat is so so cute and we will definitely be back!

my [long] weekend in photos

we headed down to sarasota for the long weekend for some family fun and beach time. we celebrated bobby’s 12th birthday and visited with cousins who we haven’t seen in a while.

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sunday was a beach day. we had such a good time! afterwards, we walked to dinner and got ice cream for dessert.

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we went to the ringling today to check out a new park. the art museum was free today so we checked that out too on the way out. the entire place was really cool and we’ll definitely be back when it’s a little cooler out.

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we finished the long weekend with a little swimming once we got home. the kids love diving for rings and crosby decided to do it in the deep end!

we had such a great trip, it was a much needed weekend away.

how was your long 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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

Disney Dream // March 2017

Over spring break, we headed over to Port Canaveral to finally embark on the Disney Dream! We originally booked our trip for October 2016 but didn’t board the ship due to Hurricane Matthew. We opted to re-book for spring break since the kids would be off school, so we waited another five months to set sail. For the whole month of March, I spent a lot of time on Pinterest reading all about the ship, what to do, what not to do, etc. and I still didn’t feel prepared for what was to come.

We drove over to the ship on Monday morning. The embarkation process was super quick and easy. We got checked in and right on the ship. I carried Crosby on my back in the Ergo so we didn’t have to worry about him wandering off. It worked out great for getting on and off the ship.

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Once we were on the ship, we scoped it all out, had some lunch, and went to our rooms. We had connecting rooms with my parents and the rooms were huge! We lucked out when we re-booked and these rooms must have just opened up. They were twice the size of the other rooms on the ship and we had two windows! We are certainly spoiled for future cruises. I didn’t ever get a picture of it, but the couch turned into a bed and the top bunk came down from the ceiling. The kids took turns sleeping in the top bunk which was big fun for both of them.

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We spent the rest of the afternoon at Nemo’s Reef splash pad and the pool until it was time for our muster drill. After that was over, we headed up for the sail away party and waved goodbye to Florida for the week.

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Dinner the first night was at the Enchanted Garden. We didn’t end up seeing the show the first night because the kids (and adults) were already exhausted, so we figured we wouldn’t push our luck on the first night.

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On Tuesday, we docked at Nassau, Bahamas, but we decided to stay on the ship. We took advantage of all of the fun activities planned throughout the day. The daily schedule was action-packed! The kids went to the Oceaneer Lab and Oceaneer Club, which we referred to as “kids camp”. They absolutely loved it! Crosby’s favorite part was Andy’s Room and Kenley liked Pixie Hallow.

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One of my favorite things throughout the week were the random character sightings. We saw so many characters, but some of them were by happenstance and those were way more fun! On the way to breakfast on the first morning, we ran into Pluto and Goofy! We also saw Stitch, but weren’t able to snap a photo with him.

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After naps, the kids were off to kids camp again and the adults headed to a mixology class. We made a variety of drinks and it was very informative. We ended up back in the same bar that night to order one of the drinks we made.

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We also did some swimming on Tuesday and enjoyed shorter lines on the AquaDuck since some passengers were still at the port. I was surprised that we didn’t do more swimming throughout the week, but we rode the slides as often as we could. The Mickey pool was shallow for the kids, but there was also no jumping allowed, so Crosby got called out a few times (I know that doesn’t surprise you!).

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Kenley got to meet Belle before we had dinner in the Royal Palace on Tuesday night. Dinner each night was amazing!

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Instead of seeing the villains show, the kids went to camp for a little while after dinner and we headed to the Pink Wine & Champagne Bar and Skyline for some after dinner drinks.

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I’ll share about Castaway Cay, pirate night, and our day at sea in the next post!
Stay tuned!

4th of July weekend, continued.

I shared last month about our trip to Indiana over 4th of July weekend. Since then, I’ve finally gone through the pictures on my camera, so I wanted to be sure to post those too.

Maggi and Greg hosted the Lower clan for a fantastic brunch on Saturday. It was cooler than normal that weekend, but the kiddos still took advantage of the pool and water balloons. Kenley was so excited to see that Sami had the same swim suit as she did!

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Family photos were a must since so many Lowers were in town from four different states!

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On Sunday, the Faris crew came over for lunch after the Outrunning Autism 5K and 10K.

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It was a great 4th of July weekend with family!