Monday, November 28, 2011

Day Three: Breakfast with Mickey, MGM, Christmas Parade

Our last day in Disney World was packed with fun activities. The day started early – we had breakfast with Mickey, Pluto, Lilo and Stitch at Disney’s Polynesian Resort at 7:30. The whole thing was very well done- the food was delicious (especially the Mickey waffles), and the characters spent time at each table for autographs and pictures. The boys absolutely loved it! Their eyes were beaming when Mickey came over.

mickey waffle boys and stitch 2

lilo and boysboys and pluto

mickey and boys 2Mickey and boys

After breakfast, all of the kids marched in a parade around the dining room. Ty insisted on walking by himself, and Pluto came right up behind him to play!

Ty and pluto

With full bellies, we headed over to MGM (now Disney’s Hollywood Studios). The highlight of the park was definitely the Toy Story ride – even the line had adorable memorabilia from the movie.

boys soldiersDSC01261

MJ also loved the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground.

MJ on ant

We bought tickets to the Magic Kingdom’s Christmas parade that evening (which didn’t start until 8:15), so we knew it was going to be a long day. Grannddad and both grandmas were kind enough to take the boys back to the condo for a nap while Steve and I did a few of the adult rides. We all met back up at the Magic Kingdom a couple of hours later. Since they close the park to all visitors except the Christmas parade guests, we breezed through all of the lines and went on all of MJs favorite rides one last time. The park was gorgeous with all of the Christmas lights and decorations.

castle at nightcastle parade

We are so glad we stayed for the parade – it was amazing! We had front row seats, so MJ really felt like he was in all of the action.

minnie floatmj waving

toy story floatty parade

santa parade

We said goodbye to Disney World the next morning. Our first trip there with the kids was everything we dreamed of and more. We will definitely be back!!!

the end

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day Two: Animal Kingdom and Epcot

Animal Kingdom

The Animal Kingdom was our first stop on day two. MJ and Ty love the zoo, so I knew this park would be a hit. As soon as we got there, we headed straight for Kilmanjaro Safaris- a ride that takes you through the “African Plains” to see all of the animals.

grandparents safariSteve safari

MJ elephantMj rhino

Here are a few pictures of us enjoying the rest of the park- including one of MJ and Steve getting soaked on a water ride!

water ride

mount everestmom, dad, me

Uncle Andrew surprised the boys and drove over from Tampa at lunch time to spend the rest of the day with us…they were so excited!

Uncle andrew

As I have said before, Ty is such a sweet, happy little boy - he hardly ever complains. At lunch, I looked over at him and saw his eyes starting to droop; all of a sudden, he conked out with a mouth full of macaroni and cheese! We transferred him over to the stroller and let him take a quick nap. Shortly thereafter, MJ decided to take a power nap during the the live Lion King show.

ty asleepMJ asleep

They woke up to find they were surrounded by Disney characters…they jumped up and grabbed their autograph books (and left behind any thoughts of being tired)!

Thumperfamily and jungle book


Around mid-afternoon, we headed over to Epcot for more rides and dinner. Then, it was back to the condo for some much needed rest!

epcotMJ holding up epcot

granparents and tyAndrew and MJ

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Disney World Day One: Magic Kingdom

magic kingdom

I can’t even begin to express how much fun we had on our Disney World vacation. Every parent dreams of taking their children to this amazing place…I know Steve and I have been talking about it since the day MJ was born. The trip did not disappoint-- it was truly magical.

We arrived at our resort, Saratoga Springs, on Sunday evening. After a quick tour of Downtown Disney, we headed back to the condo to rest up for our first full day. My parents and Steve’s mom joined us on the trip- it was wonderful to have the grandparents there (we missed you, Grandpa John)!

The first day was spent in the Magic Kingdom. I wish you could have seen MJ’s face when we entered the gates – he was excited beyond words. We were greeted by Daisy, Goofy, and Pinocchio; there were carolers on the streets (Disney started celebrating Christmas that week) doing song and dance routines. The boys were smiling from ear to ear.

dumboteacups 3

grandparentsgrandparents castle

We spent the day doing all of the classic rides – Dumbo, teacups, it’s a small world, etc. I was surprised to find that Ty was able to go on almost all of them…he had blast, too! We got little books for the boys so they could get autographs from their favorite characters - MJ and Ty were not afraid of them at all. In fact, Ty walked right up to Winnie the Pooh and gave him a big hug! It was adorable.

Ty hugging pooh

Family and pooh

The boys powered through the day. We were in the park for 9 straight hours- Ty took a quick nap in Granddad’s arms, and then he was ready to go again.

ty asleep 2

MJ loves the Toy Story movies…I was not surprised that his favorite ride was Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. He got to see Buzz and shoot at Zurg!

to infinity

“To infinity and beyond!!!”


It was such a wonderful (albeit exhausting) day. The boys crashed as soon as we got back to the resort. Don’t worry, they woke up refreshed and ready for day two! (post coming soon)!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Ann’s Wedding Weekend and MJ Turns Three!

ann and julie

We had a wonderful time on our vacation last week! My sister, Ann, had her destination wedding in Naples, Florida on November 5th – it was also MJ’s 3rd birthday! We drove down half way on Thursday evening and finished the long drive on Friday morning. I was the matron of honor and MJ was the ringbearer, so we hurried to get ready and over to the rehearsal. Then, it was off to a lovely Italian restaurant for the rehearsal dinner. I am soooo glad we didn’t bring the boys to dinner- it was a delicious 5 course meal that lasted about 3.5 hours (their attention span in a restaurant is 30 minutes, max)! It was a lovely evening celebrating the bride and groom.

Rehearsal dinner - ann and jeff

Ann and Jeff

rehearsal dinner- ann and julieEngle family

mary ann julia

The wedding day couldn’t have been any more perfect- it was sunny and ~75 degrees without a cloud in the sky. We had so much fun getting our hair and makeup done- yes, that is my hair with curls (I don’t think I have hot-rolled my hair since middle school)!

getting readymj and mommy

Ann and MJAnn, eddie, me

The actual wedding ceremony was on a lawn at the resort that overlooked the beach. It was absolutely beautiful, and the bride and groom were beaming. MJ walked me down the aisle without a problem- he was such an adorable ringbearer! After the ceremony, they had a cocktail hour outside followed by a reception in one of the resort’s ballrooms.

Ann and Jeff surprised MJ with his very own birthday cake. All of the wedding guests sang “Happy Birthday” - he felt so special…he is still talking about it! I can’t believe my little peanut is three!

MJ birthdayMj cake

There was a lot of eating, drinking, and dancing that followed!

Our family

first danceCutting cake

MJ and juliaAnn dancing

All of the cousins from my mom’s side of the family made it to the wedding. It was so great to see everyone and catch up. There have been quite a few babies born since the last time I saw everyone! Two of my cousins, Jakki and Nikki, had babies the same month that I had Ty. In fact, Jakki’s little boy (Jack) was born on the very same day! The three of them were adorable walking around and checking eachother out….

ty and jack 1ty and jack 2

Ty and caleb

On Sunday, we headed to Disney World for MJ’s birthday trip. Stay tuned for pics!