Friday, December 28, 2012

Day 6 - Magic Kingdom

Day 6 of our vacation was spent in Magic Kingdom. We originally had plans for another character breakfast, but once we realized that Abby was sleeping in, I cancelled it. 

So we slept in and took our time getting to the park. 

Our first ride was Goofy's Barnstormer. I had not idea it was a mini roller coaster. Abby was terrified and cried the whole time. 

After that, we were super excited to ride the famous Dumbo ride.

They have redone the ride and while you wait in line, you actually get a pager for when it is your turn. While you are waiting, they have a giant play area for the kids. Abby was in love with it and it was hard to drag her away to the actual ride! 

It was hard to take pictures (while moving and with my thumb in the picture), but you can tell how thrilled she is! 

Of course, she loved the Merry-Go-Round and insisted on doing that one again. 

This is one of my favorite pictures. It is a panoramic view with the castle behind her. Love! 

We waited for a really long time, but of course had to meet Alice in Wonderland. 

Abby's signature move of her hands on her nose. 

And her embarrassed look. I think she blushed more on this trip than her whole life. 

Alice was so nice and was thrilled to find out that Abby dressed as her for Halloween. 

Abby wasn't so sure about the White Rabbit, but she did let him sign her book.

We were very lucky to be blessed to have the Fast Pass + package. Since it was Saturday, it was definitely the busiest day. Some of the wait times were 100 minutes!

Hanging out in Winnie-the-Pooh's house. 

Waiting in line to ride the Winnie-the-Pooh ride. 

We also had a fast pass to do the Peter Pan ride. Thank goodness as it had a super long line and was a really short ride. 

Watching the parade again. Abby loved it the second time around just as much as the first time. 

Then it was on to the new part that they had just opened a week ago. Belle's castle. 

I didn't really know what to expect for Enchanted Tales with Belle.

It was great! It is a really interactive "show" they put on.

Stu got the part of Suit of Armor. He doesn't show much enthusiasm, but I knew he secretly loved it. 

And I challenge you to find a better Mrs. Potts. She was so good. 

I videoed the whole thing and was so proud of both of them!

Abby and Belle after the show.

The Suit of Armors with Belle.
After this, we left the park for a few hours to prepare for the Fireworks show that night. 

Abby and I took advantage of this downtime to take a dip in the heated pool. 

Once we got back to the park, we had reservations for a Dessert Party that had a great view of the Wishes show and the fireworks.

The Wishes show was spectacular. They project images of all the movies onto the castle. People line up hours before to get a good spot. I was so grateful that I had gotten us seats at the dessert party.

Abby watching the show. She loved it!

But obviously was exhausted staying up that late. And yes, she wore her pj's to the park with leggings. It was that kind of night! 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Day 5 - Hollywood Studios

 On Friday, we went to Hollywood Studios. This was probably my least favorite park, but we still had a good time. 

We had breakfast scheduled at Hollywood and Vine with the Disney Junior characters. 

 Abby got to meet Jake from Jake and the Pirates. She normally doesn't like this show, but loves it now that she met Jake.

Hanging with Agent Oso. 

Handy Manny... he was tall! 

June from the Little Einsteins. 

The first show that we went to was Indiana Jones. At times, it was scary for Abby but we really enjoyed it. 

We did a behind the scenes tour (did you know they grow their own food?). Abby was in charge of picture taking. She took this one of Mickey Ears. 

Abby's favorite here was the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids play area. Her and Daddy going through the web.

Climbing on a snail. 

And you have to ride the ant! I totally want to see this movie again!

We had a Fast Pass for the Disney Junior show. It was so awesome, Abby loved it. 

Another of her favorite shows was Beauty and the Beast. 

She was so into it and didn't talk the whole 30 minute show. 

Stu had to miss it, but we went to the Osbourne Lights Show. It was so amazing. They have a bazillion lights and they all play to Christmas music. Abby had a bit of a meltdown and we had a really long wait to get back to the hotel. But it was so beautiful and put me in the Christmas mood.

Day 4 - Epcot

Day 4 was spent at Epcot. Epcot is probably one of my favorite parks. It is probably more "adult" than any other park. Lots of history and education. My nerdy self likes that!

On a side note, we had an arcade at our hotel. Abby thought it was the best thing ever.

Stu and Abby played this game where you hit moving objects with balls at least 50 times. 

Thursday morning, we set out for Epcot. We had breakfast scheduled at a restaurant in Norway (Akershus) with the Princesses. 

As soon as we walked in, Abby got to meet Belle. This picture is horrible, but they actually give you a 8x10 and 3 5x7 pictures as part of the breakfast. A much better picture that they take. We have already framed it.

While we were eating, they started up a little parade where all the kids walked around with the Princesses. You can't see it at all in this picture, but Aurora took Abby's hand in the parade. 

I literally bawled my eyes out. It was embarrassing. 

But seeing the joy in Abby's face to get to hold the hand of a Princess was so overwhelming. I might shed a tear writing about it! 

Then the Princesses made the rounds to talk to the kiddos. Aurora remembered Abby's name (and it was on her shirt) and thanked her for helping her walk. Cue more tears (from me). 

Such a beautiful picture. 

Meeting Cinderella. 

*She also met Ariel (her favorite), but I video'd it. Let's just say, Abby has watched it 10 times. And it cracks me up because the only thing I say is "Fishies" for no apparent reason. 

Blurry, but trying on a sombrero. 

They had Mickey, Pluto and Minnie set up to take pictures with. For some reason, the only one that I took a picture of was Mickey. I think if you follow me on FB, you have seen the others. 

After a super cute show with the Turtle from Finding Nemo (and it was super interactive), we checked out all the other fish. Abby loved this tank of Nemo fish.

Wearing 3D glasses for a show. Stu is super excited. Abby is intense. 

She loved getting her picture taken in stuff like this. I think this was Mexico.

We had an amazing dinner in Italy that night. Stu (who is soooo picky) loved it. Mine was delicious as well and I ended it with this yummy chocolate gelatio. 

My only regret of our trip was missing Illuminations, the fireworks shows,  at Epcot. But honestly, we were so exhausted and just wanted to go home.

Plus, I had a big spectacular fireworks plan for Saturday night :).

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Book Club Friday

Yay for Linking back up with Book Club Friday! 

Heaven is Here by Stephanie Nielson


Stephanie Nielson began sharing her life in 2005 on, drawing readers in with her warmth and candor. She quickly attracted a loyal following that was captivated by the upbeat mother happily raising her young children, madly in love with her husband, Christian (Mr. Nielson to her readers), and filled with gratitude for her blessed life.
However, everything changed in an instant on a sunny day in August 2008, when Stephanie and Christian were in a horrific plane crash. Christian was burned over 40 percent of his body, and Stephanie was on the brink of death, with burns over 80 percent of her body. She would remain in a coma for four months.
In the aftermath of this harrowing tragedy, Stephanie maintained a stunning sense of humor, optimism, and resilience. She has since shared this strength of spirit with others through her blog, in magazine features, and on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Now, in this moving memoir, Stephanie tells the full, extraordinary story of her unlikely recovery and the incredible love behind it--from a riveting account of the crash to all that followed in its wake. With vivid detail, Stephanie recounts her emotional and physical journey, from her first painful days after awakening from the coma to the first time she saw her face in the mirror, the first kiss she shared with Christian after the accident, and the first time she talked to her children after their long separation. She also reflects back on life before the accident, to her happy childhood as one of nine siblings, her close-knit community and strong Mormon faith, and her fairy-tale love story, all of which became her foundation of strength as she rebuilt her life.


Confession: I have heard this story and only once randomly clicked on her blog to read a little.  So I went into this book not really knowing anything about her or her story. This book was amazing. It was extremely well written and just a beautiful love story. Not only with her and her husband, but her love of God. It makes you believe in miracles. Some parts were hard to read (about her physical issues...I'm really squeamish), but it was just such a good story. I highly recommend this book, even if you don't know her story. And since I didn't know all of her story, I loved the ending and clicking on her blog to see how they are doing now. 

Linking Up Here:


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Lights

 The Saturday before we left for Disney, I met my bestie Lindsay at a local shop to get a few photos of Abby.

I just think these are so amazing. She looks so grown-up. 

This last one really captures her personality. She likes you, but she is reserved about showing it.

I love this little gal more than anything and I adore her shyness. She can be really shy, but give her about 30 minutes and she is talking your head off. 

Day 3 - Magic Kingdom

 Wednesday morning we were up super early for a breakfast. We had heard that we needed to get on the bus at 6:30 to make our 8:10 reservation. We ended up at the restaurant at 7:00 AM. Luckily, we were able to get in and didn't have to wait.

This was gorgeous. It was a giant lit Mickey Ears that looked awesome in the morning. 

We had breakfast at Chef Mickey's, which was our first character meal. 

They let you eat first before the characters make the rounds. 

Thank goodness, because this girl was thrilled! 

Check out that smile! 

Such the little diva with her hand on her hip.

Goofy signing her book. 

Abby was so enchanted by her favs coming by to see her. 

Donald Duck

Who do you think she is so excited to meet?

Well.....of course it is Minnie. 

BFF's in the matching polka dots. 

 Getting a squeeze from Pluto.

After that, we took a quick tram ride to Magic Kingdom! 

We were lucky enough that it was overcast with an 80% chance of rain. This kept the masses away and we were able to enjoy a fantastic day at Magic Kingdom.

Abby taking our picture with the castle. 

But she was not happy about getting her picture taken! 

Finally got a semi-decent one though. 

But as soon as we went through the castle and she saw the Merry-Go-Round, she was all smiles. 

Abby and Daddy on the Aladdin ride. 

I couldn't believe that Daddy rode it as he hates rides. They had a blast though. 

One of my other favs was meeting the fairies. 

Tinkerbell imitating Abby with her fingers on her nose.

So cute. 

Her sister Periwinkle. She was too adorable. 

She even kinda got Abby to pose with her hand out. 

These glasses are hilarious. Too bad Mommy lost them a few days later :(

This meeting brought the first tear to my eye. Abby's favorite Princess is Ariel. These pictures don't do it justice, I actually videoed so I didn't have many pictures.

Driving a car with Daddy. About 2 seconds later, she jerked the wheel and terrified herself. 

We lined up early to watch the Parade. Abby is such a little list maker, so to kill time she wrote scribble. But she is so serious about it. 

We actually had a woman ask us if Abby knew cursive. She thought that was what Abby was writing...uh no, just scribbles!

The parade was amazing. For there to be so many people, it really does seem like the Princesses wave to individual people. Abby had the best time. I wrote about our special moment here. It really was one of the best moments of our trip.

Need I say anything? Girl was out like a light, with Minnie curled in her arm. 

BTW, Abby and I shared a bed for the vacation. Which means that I slept on the edge of the bed with little feet in my back and a hand thrown across my face. I woke every morning to either giggles in my ear or a tapping on my face. We are not co-sleepers at all, so this was interesting. It was sweet, but I was ready for her to move back to her big girl bed!