Real Magic

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Surviving in Siberia

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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!)

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Thank the Lord for coffee.

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And for snuggles with this wee lass.

With Heartfelt Thanks

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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.

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Where I’ve Been…

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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.

Numbers

51 – The number of days since my last post.  It’s been a tad bit chaotic.

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31 – My age.  I had a birthday during the past 51 days.  There was no grand affair, but it was quite enjoyable despite how crazy January was.

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0 – The amount of times I cooked over the last month.  People who know me well understand just how tragic this occurrence is to me.  I celebrated my return to cooking last night by making this glorious ham.

1 – The number of jeans I currently fit into.  While January was very busy, it definitely was not a very active month.  It was good news for the fast food chains though.  My family made up for all the people who went on diets for their New Year’s resolutions.  However, I discovered some of Jillian Michaels workouts on my Amazon Prime Instant Video.  Skinny jeans here I come!

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14 – Negative 14, that is.  The coldest temps I have ever lived through.  And the wind chill was even worse.  It’s not something I would care to repeat.

Hope y’all are surviving the cold temps this winter.

Stay safe and stay warm!

The Last Week Or So

So I’ve been a little busy the last week or so.  I’ll give you a few hints as to what I’ve been up to.

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I’ve been doing this…

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And these…

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And I had a very special helper this year.  She was beyond excited.

Christmas cookies have been a special part of my Christmas season since as far back as I can remember.  I’m not sure why, but I remember making Christmas cookies with one of my older sisters, Tricia.  I’m sure that I made them with my mom and my other sister too, but for some reason the memories have stayed with me of the two of us making Christmas cookies.  So every year when I keep the tradition going, it brings back the memories I had from when I was a little girl.  The rolling and shaping of the cookies.  The smell of them baking.  Biting into a warm cookie straight out of the oven.  The tender crumb.  The heavenly aroma.  The melt-in-your-mouth goodness.  Excuse me.  I hear a cookie calling my name right now…