Have Courage & Be Kind



Ever since I was a little girl I have loved all things Disney.  I loved the stories, the adventures, the characters and the magic that Disney has created over the years.  As an adult, I think I love Disney even more.  Each Disney movie has such great depth and lessons to be learned.  My recent favorite is the new Cinderella that just came out to theaters.  I have already been to see it twice.  Yes, I am a Disney fanatic.   This past week I took my daughter to see it with me.  Having already seen it by myself once, I was able to watch her eyes light up as she saw the magical tale.


This latest version of Cinderella is very close to the original Disney animation, but has a few differences.  I won’t give any spoilers for those who haven’t been to see it yet, but there was one thing that I loved in particular about the movie.  Cinderella’s mother dies when she is a young girl, but before she passes, she asks Cinderella to do something that will help her through all the trials she may face in life.  “Have courage and be kind.”  Something so easy to say, but often difficult to live out.  It truly shapes Cinderella into the person she is.  Over time, she loses her parents and is basically turned into nothing more than a servant in her own home. And yet through it all she remains kind no matter what hardship she faces.  Unlike in the animated classic, this time we get a small glimpse into the hardship that the step-mother has had to face in her life.  She too, has known grief, but has instead become the complete opposite of Cinderella.  Over time the step-mother has become bitter and cruel.  Seeing this side of her made me feel pity for her.  A little.


The characters could not be more different and I think show a lesson to be learned.  How often have the struggles in my own life made me bitter?  Have I been more like the step-mother always seeing the worst instead of finding the good?  Who do I want my daughter to see as she grows up?  The step-mother who looks at life with resentment and bitterness?  Or the young girl who found the courage to stay strong and always be kind?

Because Sometimes $30 Is Worth It

Painted Penguin

This weekend our cabin fever had reached its limit so we decided to get out of the house.  Where did we end up?  The mall.  Haha.  Well, it may have still been indoors, but it was at least away from the confines of our house.  We decided to take our daughter to the Painted Penguin thinking it would be something she would enjoy.  (For those who have never heard of the Painted Penguin before, they offer various crafts for kids to do.  We chose to paint, but they offer a few other activities as well.)  In our house, I am the cheap thrifty one.  Originally my plan was just to let my daughter paint an item.  They offered various objects to be painted, but the least expensive was about $10.  This may as well have been $100 in my stingy frugal mind.  My hubby decided he wanted to paint something and after finding some fun Disney items, I begrudgingly decided I would too.

Painted Penguin

The three of us sat with our supplies and had great time.  Most of my time was spent cleaning the brushes as my daughter changed paint every five seconds, but we were all genuinely having fun.  I told my hubby that I was glad I ended up painting with them even though it meant spending extra money.  He made a comment about how if we hadn’t, we would have spent the entire time on our phones.  How sad that is, but true.  Sometimes you have to know when to put technology down and enjoy the moment.  Sometimes you have to spend $30 so you don’t miss out on making memories.  I’m sure glad I did.

Painted Penguin Objects

Real Magic



There really is magic when you visit Disney World.  No really.  I’ve seen it. When we took our daughter last fall for her very first trip, we got to experience the magic firsthand.  We had a breakfast reservation at Epcot and a Character Greeting kinda close together.  So we got to the park before opening so that we could get our Character Greeting done in time for our reservation.  (I learned the hard way how NOT to manage dining reservations with the FastPass+ times.)


Since we had 45 minutes to cram our Character Greeting before getting to our breakfast in time, we booked it as soon as the gates opened.  For those who have never been to Disney, Character Greetings can take a while if there is any type of line.  And meeting the Characters is not something you want to rush doing.) Needless to say we made it to our destination and were first in line.  In fact, we were the only ones there.  This worked out perfect since we still had to walk around the park to get to our restaurant.  We waited a few minutes before they were ready to open the doors. That’s when the magic happened.


They didn’t open the doors to let us in.  Instead we saw Goofy, being goofy, right behind the glass doors.  Then a few seconds later Minnie showed up.  When they finally opened the doors Minnie and Goofy personally came right out, took my daughter by the hands and led her inside the building.  Magic.  Pure magic.


My hubby and I followed behind snapping pictures and video like crazy.  Then we came around the corner and there he was.  Mickey himself.  My daughter was beyond ecstatic.


It was a challenge getting up that morning and leaving early.  We were so exhausted and had only been there a few days.  The vacation itself wasn’t inexpensive.  But that moment of magic…Worth it.


Surviving in Siberia


Nothing is certain in this life except death and taxes.  And dirty dishes.  And laundry.  And the fact that I now live in Siberia.  (Ok, so I don’t live in Siberia, but it sure feels like it!)


Thank the Lord for coffee.


And for snuggles with this wee lass.

With Heartfelt Thanks

American Sniper Movie Poster

I went to go see American Sniper when it was released a few weeks ago and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since then.  To say the movie was intense would be an understatement.  I’m not really one to cry during movies.  In fact, I can count on one hand the number of movies that have ever made me cry.  This one definitely made that list.  American Sniper gives a glimpse into the life of one of our country’s greatest heroes, Chris Kyle.  The movie itself was done extremely well.  Bradley Cooper did an exceptional job portraying Chris Kyle and  Clint Eastwood was very respectful in the way he directed the film.  After it was over I was completely humbled.  It made me realize just how much I take for granted in my life.  It also made me realize that I do not thank our military enough.

So I would like to take a moment to thank those in our armed forces.  Thank you for keeping my little family safe.  Thank you for making the tough choices that no one should ever have to make.  Thank you for serving to protect our freedoms.  Thank you to your families for their sacrifices as well.

Truly.  Deeply.  With all my heart, I thank you.

*To anyone reading, please consider finding a way to give back to our military and their families.  The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund is an organization that I personally give to.

Super Mom I Am Not

Super Mom.  It’s a title that I have tried desperately hard to live up to since I became a mother.  As parents, we all try to be a super hero for our families.  Folder of the clothes, dish washer, chef, maid, story-teller, taxi driver, event coordinator, teacher, nurse, referee, dirty diaper changer and the list goes on.  Trying to be a super mom is no small task.  And let me tell ya, it’s an exhausting profession.

If you are a parent and haven’t seen the movie I Don’t Know How She Does It, starring Sarah Jessica Parker, it’s a must watch.  It wasn’t my favorite movie ever, but I really connected to Sarah Jessica’s character.  It was comical to watch how she tried to juggle both work and family commitments.  The family and friends just don’t know how she keeps balancing everything.  Well, it’s because she doesn’t.  She manages for a while, but just like the rest of us, it all kind of comes crumbling down into a big mess.  Now I’m no corporate executive.  I’m just a little stay at home wife and mother.  But even those titles come with its challenges.  Over the last year I have discovered that I just don’t measure up to the Super Mom role.  I used to have a picture in my head of what that role looked like.  It looked like a scene from Leave It To Beaver.  (Please feel free to laugh hysterically at my utter ridiculousness.)  I’ve realized that my expectations of myself are entirely too high.  Which would be why I feel everyday like I have failed my family when I don’t accomplish each and every one of those things.  Because of this I have found that I don’t enjoy the little things in everyday life.  Those little moments when my daughter is asking to do a puzzle.  Or read a story.  When my husband just wants to sit and snuggle on the couch together and catch up on some Dexter (great show!).  Because of my laughable expectations I haven’t been enjoying every moment as I should.

So I’m redefining what my role is as a wife and a mother.  And I’m also giving myself permission to fall short occasionally.  I may not be Super Mom, but my family just might think I’m pretty super.


Where I’ve Been…


Well, hey there strangers.  I just realized that it has been almost a year since my last post.  No need to send out a search party.  I know ya’ll missed me, but no worries, I’m back.  It’s hard to believe that it is the start of another new year.  Where did 2014 go?  Seriously.  (Yes, I watch entirely too much Grey’s Anatomy.)

I’m not sad to see 2014 come to a close though.  It was a rough year to get through.  Thankfully there were no major problems and my little family is doing well.  But it was just a tough year emotionally.  I would try to  sit down and write, but I just couldn’t.  Some days I just had writer’s block and didn’t know what to say.  Most of the time I was just not in a good mood.  Not that I believe I need to be bright and shiny all the time to be able to write.  It just ultimately boils down to the purpose of why I began blogging in the first place.  I want to be reminded to find the joy in everyday life.

Let’s face it.  Life throws a lot of “stuff” at us on a daily basis.  Health issues, family drama, finance troubles, and the list goes on.  But I don’t want to come here to write and just share my woes and complain all the time.  That’s not the person I want to be.  I want to share the best of myself with everyone else around me.  It has nothing to do with not wanting to be vulnerable or share when I could use encouragement and support.  But I have found that negativity begets more negativity.  And that’s not what I want to do.  Just as I look to other blogs I read for a reminder to see past all the daily minutia, I want to do the same here.  I highly doubt that I will ever be able to help anyone with my posts.  I do not think myself so important as all that.  But maybe something I write will bring a smile to just one person someday.

So that’s where I’ve been, but hopefully not going back.  2014 is finished and gone. My resolution for 2015 is to not be the same person I was in 2014.  To grow (hopefully not wider) and change past habits.  And always at the end of the day find the little things in life to be thankful for.