Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas and God Bless You!

We hope that you are all having a wonderful Christmas Day! Here are pictures of our Christmas decorations. We have enjoyed spending time with our family today and look forward to our other Christmas family gatherings in the days to come.

Friday, December 19, 2008

What's been going on

Hello all! I have been on a sort of blog hiatus lately. I have been busy at work and also busy at home. I have also been reading the Twilight series. I know, I know, it is meant for teenagers, but I couldn't resist. Stephenie Meyer has quite an imagination and I think that she is quite a talented writer. I really do enjoy reading science fiction novels and novels about love and romance (but I have never read an actual "romance novel" except for Nicholas Sparks). This series combines both of them.

Have you finished your Christmas shopping? I hope so, with Christmas only 6 days away! Scott and I did a lot of online shopping this year. I think that we really helped ourselves by doing this. Basically, we did two different big orders on amazon and then we made a list of the other items that we thought we wanted to buy with a dollar amount in mind for each person and we went shopping together one Sunday after church and did the rest. I have had to pick up a couple of things here and there, but basically that was it. It kept us from nickel and diming ourselves to death and overspending. Then, I sat down and wrapped every single gift on one Saturday afternoon. I still have a couple of small things that I bought after the fact to wrap and a couple of gifts that I am making that haven't been wrapped. But, I basically consider myself done.

We had our work Christmas party on Dec. 6 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center. It was a very nice, formal event. Last year they had it at the Fox but they had waited too long to book it this year. But, my understanding is that we will be back at the Fox next year. So, I am looking forward to that. Here are some pictures we took while at the party.

We have several Christmas parties to attend in the coming weekends. Tomorrow we are going to decorate gingerbread cookies at my friend Kim's house from work. I am super excited about this. Sunday is our small group Christmas party from church. We are having a white elephant type ornament exchange and party-type food, so it should be fun. We are going to Scott's cousins' house on Christmas day, seeing his immediate family on the Saturday after Christmas and seeing my immediate family on the Saturday after New Years. Whew! Everything always seems to get packed into the same space. But, I am looking forward to all of our gatherings.

This weekend I will take some pictures of our tree and the outside of our house and post them. I know it isn't cold outside, but honestly, both of our SD cards are rather full which makes them extremely slow to load and I just don't have the patience for it.

I hope that you are all having a very merry Christmas season. God bless you.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Crazy Weather

Just a quick note as I am at work and supposed to be working...

Does anyone else think that our weather is kind of strange lately? I mean, we have the coldest November and beginning of December ever and then it shoots up to the 60s so that it can rain and as soon as the rain ends, it drops back down into the 30s-40s! Crazy. Maybe we'll have a white Christmas. Hopefully, if we do, it won't stick to the streets, just the rooftops and yards!

I hate cold weather, BTW!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Where have I been?

I know it has been a while since I have posted. I have been busy, but I have no excuses, really. I think that Carrie put it best though:

"Are you suffering from post Disney trauma of returning to the real world plus burnout from blogging everything you did on your trip?!"

That's exactly what I think has happened. I will be back soon to finish (briefly) our Disney trip and to catch you all up on what's going on with us.

Nothing very exciting, just normal life. But, I am not complaining!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Scott!!!

Today is Scott's birthday! We are celebrating tonight with a steak dinner. He is looking forward to that! Happy birthday Scott! Thanks for being such a wonderful husband!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thursday-Downtown Disney, Animal Kingdom, and Rainforest Cafe

Thursday was our "relaxing" day. We had breakfast at the Boatright Restaurant at the Port Orleans resort and then headed over to Downtown Disney to do some shopping. We headed into the World of Disney first and about halfway through the store (which is huge BTW), we ran into Bethany and Carrie! Ha! It was so great to see Bethany and finally meet Carrie in person. We talked for a few minutes, finalized our lunch plans, and then finished up our shopping. There were so many things we wanted, but we held ourselves back! We also visited the toy store. We had lunch at the Earl of Sandwich with Bethany and Carrie and sat for about two hours just talking about all kinds of fun stuff. It was quite enjoyable. I wish they both lived closer because I think it would be so much fun to hang out.
After that, we went back over to Animal Kingdom and rode Everest again, watched Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade, walked a couple more of the nature trails, did the Safari for the third time, and checked out a few more shops. I love the safari, it really was different every time. I had forgotten about the Maharaja Jungle Trek, or I would have wanted to do it again too. Then, it was time for our dinner reservations at the Rainforest Cafe'. As we were heading over to the Rainforest Cafe', the park was closing and they were "trucking" Mickey, Goofy, Donald, and Minnie somewhere, I guess their dressing room, and we got to take pictures of them. That was fun. The Rainforest Cafe' is so cool with such detailed decorations. It is decorated to look like a rainforest with all kind of animals that move. For instance, there was a huge snake slithering around on a tree branch that hung out over the dining room and several families of apes that would start jumping and making ape noises randomly every few minutes. I kept hearing tigers roaring and birds cawing. It was interesting. We had to pay for this meal as it was not on our dining plan, so we just shared an appetizer sampler, but it was really good. I believe those were the best chicken fingers I had ever had! After that, I took some pictures of the huge tree that had been put up in front of the entrance to the park between when we had been there on Monday and Thursday when we got back over there. They really had a lot of detail on that tree. We headed back to our hotel and had a dessert of those chocolate covered icecream bars shaped like Mickey's head. Those things were surprisingly good and much bigger than I expected them to be!

You can see here how big the tree was. The whole tree was decorated with all types of animal ornaments and then under the tree were toys and the Winnie-the-Pooh and Jungle Book characters.

This was at the entrance of the Rainforest Cafe'. I thought it was funny.

Scott and I had some fun with the Rainforest Cafe' sign!

So, that was our day on Thursday. We tried to take it easy.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Tuesday - Epcot

Our second day at Disney was our day at Epcot. We wanted to do the ride Soarin' first because we thought it would be really fun. I mean, it was okay but I kept expecting something kind of scary to happen and it never did. But, it was a nice ride. We then went over to Test Track and the beginning was kind of interesting but not exciting, but the second half was great! I enjoyed it! Our favorite ride in Epcot is Mission Space. It simulates a take off in a space shuttle and a trip to Mars. It was a lot of fun...but if you have motion sickness, it is not the ride for you! We also rode a ride called Spaceship Earth that is inside the Epcot ball and it basically is a history of communications between people throughout our existence. Besides that, we visited various countries in the World Showcase, had lunch at the Coral Reef Restaurant which has a huge aquarium as one wall, rose the Finding Nemo ride, and had dinner at the quick service Mexican Restaurant. We sat for a while waiting to see the Illuminations laser and fireworks show that night which was awesome! I really enjoyed walking around and seeing all the countries. We didn't make it to all the countries, but we went back another day to finish seeing them.
This picture is of a car right outside of the Test Track ride. I guess it's the car of the future or something.
These pictures are ones we took inside of "Mexico". They had these crazy big sombreros on sale and we had to try them on!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Oops while I was writing my Wednesday post, I was thinking...oh, I forgot to say this about Epcot and that about our lunch, etc...

I just realized I have not done a post on our day at Epcot on Tuesday. Oops. I'll do that next. heehee.

Wednesday - Magic Kingdom

Wednesday was the big day for Magic Kingdom - what Disney World is all about!

As we entered the park, we were trying to get to Space Mountain and I just wanted to keep taking pictures. This is my very first sight of Cinderella's Castle, the tallest building in Disney World. It really is beautiful! We never did go inside. I guess that's something we'll have to go back for!

It really is a magical place! We got there before the park opened and they had a group come out and do a song and then the train came and brought the family that got to do the countdown to open the park for the day and MICKEY!! Mickey was there! Yay! It was so great. Also, they had completely decorated for Christmas (I think) in that park because they had the Very Merry Christmas Party the previous night! It was so pretty!

We made a beeline for Space Mountain. The line was short so we didn't have to wait that long and it was still short when we got out so we rode it again!! We also did the Buzz Lightyear ride where you shoot laser guns at targets and it keeps your points (except I didn't realize it was keep points until the ride was almost over, so Scott had about 77K points and I had about 3K). We rode the tea cups, the Winnie the Pooh ride, It's a Small World, the railroad train, Space Mountain (yes, two more times), the haunted house, and we rode the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. I really liked the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. We had lunch at the Liberty Tree Tavern in Liberty Square (we did not ride all those rides before lunch, that was all day). Liberty Tree Tavern was probably our favorite restaurant the whole trip. Yum-o! It rained a couple of times that day so we don't look so great in our pictures. But, what can you do? We saw Mickey's Philharmonic and the Monster's Inc Comedy Club. Both were awesome! It started raining just before dark and we headed down Mainstreet USA and had hotdogs and fries at Casey's Corner. You know, Might Casey? Well, that was a great hotdog. We had to huddle under one of the umbrella-covered tables and dry off our chairs to eat. There were these ducks from the ponds that were walking around and looking pointedly at people hoping for table scraps. They cracked me up. There was this little boy in a poncho that kept following them around. They didn't seem to mind. I don't think they were shy. What could I do except take pictures of them? After dinner, we walked around through a few of the shops and then found a spot for the SpectroMagic Parade. Then, we realized that Cinderella's Castle was all lit up with LED lights and it was blue, no purple, no pink, no turquoise! It kept changing colors. Once the parade was over I started becoming obsessed with trying to get a picture of it in every color! After the parade there was a really great fireworks show. Tinkerbell was even there!! It was a very magical day!

Here are our...ahem...friends...they are pretty cute, aren't they? (P.S. those are rain drops beaded up on those ducks. They aren't spotted.)

When it rained the first time, during the day, we had just gone into some shops. Somehow we ended up in a jewelry store where a barber shop quartet were singing and they were asking us about our Happy Anniversary buttons. The next thing we know, they are making us dance in the store as they sing some "romantic" song to us. Here's the proof.
I took a picture of everything in the SpectroMagic Parade. So, if you want to see the whole thing and the fireworks and Cinderella's Castle, I will just upload all those pictures to a slide show. Just leave a comment.

7 Random Things About Me

Ashley tagged me several days ago to do a post with 7 Random Things about me. I have 10 minutes in which to do this because we are planning to go outside and watch for the space station in a minute.

1. One of my pet peeves is when people turn or change lanes without using their turn signals.
2. I am a procrastinator - but this is a recent development. I haven't always been! Strange...
3. I am terrible with directions. I could get lost anywhere.
4. I love to chew gum. I almost always have a pack or Original Flavor Trident and a pack of Bubble Gum Flavor Trident in my purse and one of each in my desk drawer at work.
5. I love the TV show Bones. It's so good!
6. I love scrapbooking. I can't wait to scrapbook my Disney trip. Then, maybe I'll finally scrapbook out cruise from last year (see why I put so much details in my blogs - I don't want to forget this stuff!
7. My current weight loss goal is 25 lbs. I can't believe how much weight I have gained in the past year - 10 lbs! Craziness! I'm not sure what happened...besides changing jobs twice and going through bankruptcy at one company...hmmm...

There you go. This may be the shortest post ever. More on Disney to come. I have to blog all about it so I don't forget!

Speaking of forgetting, I forgot to tag someone else. I think I am supposed to tag 7 people, but I have tagged lots of people before. But, I'll try:

Midlife Mom

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Monday - Animal Kingdom and Disney Hollywood Studios

Monday was our first official day at Disney. There was an extra Magic Hour at Animal Kingdom that morning and 3 extra magic hours at Disney Hollywood Studios that night. So, in order to capitalize on those, we planned both things in one day! Whew!

We got to Animal Kingdom when they opened and had to go pick up our tickets, which was a small ordeal because of how things were set up, but we got them. When the park opened, we made a beeline for the Kilimanjaro Safari because we had been told that the animals are the most active in the morning. Well, they weren't kidding. This is a ride in which you get in a smallish bus that's kind of like a Range Rover I guess and you drive through this huge wilderness reserve that has "Asia" and "Africa". It have been very well done and there are all kinds of animals. We saw hippos walking around underwater and white pelicans perching on their rearends which were sticking out. There were ostrich eggs sitting around on the side of the road. We saw lots of giraffes and the next thing we knew, a baby giraffe was passing in front of our truck and he was so cute! I got some great pics of him. We also had a White Rhinoceros cross in front of our truck and then walk away with his tail curled up because apparently we offended him and an ostrich walked by so close to me that I could not get his whole body in the picture. That was kind of freaky. There is some stupid movie that I've seen parts of where these two guys are looking for their car and they find it in the middle of a herd of ostriches and the ostriches hold them captive in their car. I have heard that ostriches can be kind of mean. Anyway, they also have an entire island of pink flamingoes and tons of rare animals. We saw real life wildebeasts and warthogs. It was great. There were also these really cool trees that they said people called an "upside down tree", I think it's real name is the Beobob Tree (sp?). I took several pictures of those! (Um, maybe I should have just done a slide show - but you can click on these pictures and see them better!)

They have lots of places in Animal Kingdom where you can see live animals like Tigers, Lemurs, Otters, and lots more including live bats (ew). I love the Tree of Life, which is a fake tree in the middle of the park and has all kind of detailed animals carved into it. At Animal Kingdom we also loved riding Everest and we rode it a couple of times because the lines were pretty short. We also did the safari again later in the morning. They had a character greeting set up for Pooh, Eeyore, and Tigger and we waited in line for that because they're my favorite and I think Scott is a big fan too! That was a lot of fun! The sign at the top of this post is the sign we saw just before we went over to look at the tigers like the one you see sleeping in the picture to the left. I loved it because it looked like Tigger in the original Pooh books by A.A. Milne that I grew up reading!

We had lunch reservations at the Sci-Fi dine-in theater in Disney Hollywood Studios, but we wanted to swing by the Caribbean Beach Resort first and get our room keys and also officially have our meal plan stuff before we went to eat. The Caribbean Beach Resort looked just like your typical, nice beach resort. I actually didn't take a lot of pictures in the resort because there wasn't anything exciting, just palm trees and exotic plants.

Disney Hollywood Studios was so cool. I loved all the buildings and the street names were just like Hollywood. We loved the Tower of Terror and the Rockin' Roller Coaster with Aerosmith. We rode each of those twice. I screamed...the entire time! We looked in some of the gift shops and watched the Beauty and the Beast show as well, which was excellent!

This is the picture that was automatically taken of us on the Rockin' Roller Coaster ride. Scott knew when it would take the picture and liked to pose for those shots, hence his cheesy face. I really was terrified...and screaming. I took a picture of the screen with my camera...heeheehee.

We knew that we wanted to watch Fantasmic, a laser/fireworks/character extravaganza with limited seating. So, we got over to the seating area super early and ended up sitting behind a couple of guys visiting from Atlanta as well. We talked to them and people watched and just had a good time. The show was well worth the wait!

We had dinner at a quick service place called Rosie's All-American Cafe which was gross. Don't eat there if you go!

Altogether, it was a great, memorable day!
To those of you whose blogs I read - I am behind on your blogs and hopefully will get caught up in the next few days. I feel very out of the loop! I hope you are all doing well!
Also, check the previous post because I am about to add a slide show in there from our Sunday pictures!

I wanted to add a couple of notes. First, in talking to Lauren tonight I remembered that we saw the Lemurs, live bats, tigers, and the komodo dragon in the Maharaja Jungle Trek. It was something that I wasn't sure I wanted to take the time to do and it was so worth it. So, do it. You'll be glad you did.
Also, Carrie asked if the price difference was worth it for paying to stay in the Caribbean Beach Resort (moderate) as opposed to staying in the Pop Century (Value) and it was worth the extra money and it was actually only about $250 extra for 5 nights, so that's like $50 a night. So, maybe that's a lot, but the beds were much more comfortable. And you get a free fridge!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sunday-The Drive and Boardwalk

The first official day of our vacation was Sunday, Nov. 9. We left Loganville pretty early in the morning because we wanted to optimize on our time in Disney. I took the first driving shift mainly because I didn't want to drive in Orlando. We stopped at an outlet mall about 14 miles from Disney because someone Scott works with had told him they had a good Disney outlet. I was not impressed. I was impressed with the outlet mall and could spend a week in that place alone, but we did not even go to one store because there were no parking spaces. Plus, by that time, I really didn't want to shop. What? Yeah, I know. I was pooped. So, we drove on to Disney and checked into our hotel. The package that we had purchased from the travel agent did not include our first night there so, Scott had gotten us one night at the Pop Century Hotel (one of the "value" hotels on Disney property). This place was seriously cool. It had stuff from the 60's, 70's, 80's, and 90's. When I say "stuff" I mean they had huge words on the sides of the buildings (one building for each decade) that said stuff like "Totally Radical Dude" and "Far Out". The background for the pool area outside the 70's and 80's building (we stayed in the 80's) was a huge laptop (like the size of the side of a building huge). They had one of those softish play mats close to the pool that was a huge qwerty keyboard. And the best is that they had a huge Roger Rabbit standing on a barrel of turpentine that was as tall, if not taller, than our building. Also, almost every stairwell was topped with a rubix cube, which lit up when it got dark. This place was definitely pointed more towards families with kids, but it was fun. They had a huge gift shop. After we checked in (before we saw all that stuff I just listed), we spent about 45 minutes looking at the gift shop.
After we checked out our room, we headed over to the Boardwalk Hotel. Behind the hotel, they have a real Boardwalk that looks out over the little lake area that connects Epcot to several hotels and Disney Hollywood Studios. They had a bakery, several places that sold hotdogs, and the ESPN Club, which is where we ate dinner. There were a surprisingly large number of Steelers fans there. It was kind of shocking. The food was okay. I guess it was typical sports bar food. But, it was fun to be there on a Sunday night with all these die-hard sports fans. A kid next to us had gone to the bathroom and came back exclaiming about it: both bathrooms had a flat screen tv hanging over the stall (one for every two stalls). We both had to personally check it out because he was so excited about it. Crazy.
Well, our camera is kind of slow to download pictures once the SD card gets full and I am trying to download from a full one. So, I have about 10 minutes left on this one. I'll do a slide show and add it to this post from Sunday soon. I probably gave too much detail, but hey, it's my blog, right?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

We're Ba-ack!

Hello all! We are back from Disney! It was a great trip! I am actually glad to be back. While I really loved Disney, I am tired and ready for some good sleep and days where we don't walk around for hours. And, I must say that before we left on our trip, I found out the real reason that Scott tripped up the stairs - he had gotten me a surprise anniversary present and had run upstairs to get wrapping paper to wrap it and then asked our neighbor to put it out so that it would be there when we got home. But, I was in the closet in our office where he had hidden it to get a bag on Saturday night and saw it. He got me a globe, which I have been wanting for a long time. We had agree we would not be buying each other presents though because we are planning on buying a really nice camera soon and we were going on this really nice vacation right around our anniversary (which is today!).

We took a ton of pictures, but there are so many and I haven't really had time to look through them or try to name any of them or anything, so for now, please let this link to the photos that were taken by the PhotoPass people in the park suffice. I have been adding various borders to a lot of the pictures because you can just order the whole CD for one price and I figure the more Disney-ish stuff I add the more bang I get for my buck. So, I have about 25 days to go through and add borders and edit those pictures.

So, keep checking back for a more descriptive story about our trip and tons of pictures!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Disney Surprises Already Starting!

I had a moment and wanted to blog about the first Disney surprise for us before our trip even started. My "online" friend Carrie, who is "real life" friends with my friend Bethany from college won a trip to Disney to stay in the Swan and Dolphin Hotel for three days next week while we will be there!! I have been really wanting to meet Carrie and how funny that we will finally be meeting in real life in FL of all places! And, I have not seen Bethany since her wedding right after we all graduated which was...ahem...7 1/2 years ago. But, whose counting, right?

I am super excited. Please say a prayer for our safety while traveling and an extra little prayer for poor Scott. While I ran up to Kroger today to pick up a prescription, he went up the stairs to our bonus room to get our small suitcase and tripped up the stairs at the top of the first little section of stairs (there's a short section, then a half turn, then another small section if that makes any sense). Anyway, he believes he hit his head on the hand rail. I came home and thought he had gotten into it with one of the cats, but then he told me the story and when I looked at it in the light, he has quite a little gash in his head over his right eye. Yikes! This really makes me nervous because what if he had poked his eye out?! He tends to do things like this though. Shortly after we were married, he turned around too quickly in our apt. and go disoriented and bashed his head on the corner of the door so hard it was gushing blood. And, that was on a church morning, so we went to church with a huge band-aid on his head between his eyes! He said that since our 5th anniversary is so close, he figured he needed to celebrate with a new scar! (Yes, he still has a scar from that incident with the door.) Anyway, Scott has no swelling on his head, but he says he feels light-headed. I am a teensy bit nervous about that. But, we are about to eat so hopefully he'll feel better after that. So, pray for no more accidents!

Disney or Bust

Well, we are leaving tomorrow morning for a fun-filled week at Disney. We are both really excited. I will probably set up a slide show at some point in time during our trip and put it on the side bar, so keep checking back. In the meantime, below are the pictures from the Reformation Day Party that we had at church.

Have a great week! We'll see ya real soon! (hahaha)