Our quick weekend at Disneyland.


Our weekend at Disney was ridiculously wonderful.

We left Salt Lake Thursday afternoon and flew into Long Beach Airport (which I love, by the way. never flying into LAX again), then went directly to our AirBnb to drop off our things. We called an Uber, and got to Laguna Beach around 6:00. Neither of us had ever been to Laguna Beach, as far as we could remember, and it was BEAUTIFUL! We took way too many pictures of the sunset, but it was unreal. We hung out there until it was dark, then stopped for dinner at Urth Cafe before heading back to our Airbnb. Shortly after, our friends Sam and Jennika showed up with their kids! The kids were already asleep, but the grown ups stayed awake for a while and caught up. They just moved to Arizona, and even though we didn't see each other all that often before they moved, I had missed them so much!

Friday morning we all woke up and went to Disneyland!! Brandon and I were so excited to go with the adults, but we were also really excited to do Disney with kids. The first thing we did when we got in the park was take the kids to meet Moana, and seriously, it was so precious. We had some pretty tender moments with the kids all day, and even though it made us ache a little for our own, we had a blast with them. This was our first vacation ever with Sam and Jennika, and on like, the third ride of the day I was already trying to talk them into planning more. So hopefully that will be happening again!

On Saturday, Brandon and I went to California Adventure by ourselves. We got a lot of the big rides done quickly, and realized that we were bored without Sam and Jenn and their kids haha. But we rode the new Guardians of the Galaxy ride (and only waited 15 minutes in line), Toy Story, Cars ride, Little Mermaid, Soarin', and California Screamin' all before 1:00. We contemplated waiting to watch the Frozen show, but we had seen it before, and both of us wanted to go back over to Disneyland, so we did! And it was the best decision. We rode Autopia, Splash Mountain, and Pirates, and just soaked up some last Disney magic before having to leave. We bought Sam and Jenn's kids bubble wands before we left the park, because we had been wanting to the day before and just didn't do it. Luckily, they were still up when we got home, so we all a little pre-bed bubble party. It was so much fun! When we go visit them in Arizona, I fully intend to steal their children and bring them home with me. 

Our flight the next morning left at 7:20, so we left the Airbnb in the 5:00 hour, and spent a good chunk of our time in the airport trying to wake up. I woke up with a cold, but it was so worth it for Disney! Once we got home, we unpacked, took a nap, then just rested for the rest of the night. We're already trying to figure out how we can swing a trip in October. The park was partially decorated for Halloween already, but we want to go when it is the full-blown Halloween Celebration! So we'll see. 

We really did have the best weekend though, and it was a perfect lead-in to a great week! You can watch a recap of our weekend on the vlog, and you can watch Sam and Jennika's vlog here!

Disney World 2017

I want to start out by saying that I've never been so legitimately sad to come back from a vacation. Yeah, it's always a bummer to come home, but I don't know that I've ever actually been sad to see it end. Not as sad as I was when we got home on Tuesday, anyway. This trip was so necessary, and so much fun and relaxing at the same time! We've had to make so many big decisions in the past nine months, so it was really nice that the only things we had to decide on this trip were what rides to ride next and where to eat. And also which snacks to get. (The answer was all of them). We stayed at Disney's All-Star Movies Resort. This was our first time staying on the Disney property as a married couple (we stayed at Saratoga Springs with my parents before we got married) and it was so nice! In the past, we've fumbled with airport shuttles, and shuttles to and from the park, but Disney just does everything right. They have a shuttle that picks you up and drops you off at the airport, and their park shuttles run about every 20 minutes or so. Our resort is one of the value resorts, and I would say that when comparing it's prices to a non-Disney hotel, it's definitely worth it to pay a little more for the convenience of the shuttles!

We went to Epcot on our first day (which seems to be an accidental tradition for us) and had a blast. We were able to do all the big rides, all the chill rides, and eat our way around World Showcase. We had enchiladas in Mexico, gelato in Italy, a soft pretzel in Germany (that was for you, Jake and Alyssa!), and an eclair in France! Eating all the treats is obviously our favorite part of Epcot, but it was a great first day!

The next day we went to Universal Studios, and basically hung out in Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade all day long. We ate an early lunch at the three broomsticks, watched a little show, and drank our weight in Butterbeer. The Hogwarts Express goes between the two parks, so we rode it three times both ways haha. We were a little all over the place! We also rode the new Jimmy Fallon ride, and E.T., but those were the only other things we did. Universal is mostly 3D simulator rides, and I don't do so well with those, so we didn't do quite as many things as we probably could have. We did watch the Animal Actors show, and good news everyone, the real Marley isn't dead! I got to pet another pup that was in the show and for a moment we locked eyes. It was magical. 

Day three was spent at Animal Kingdom! They were open from 8 am to 1 am, so we had already planned for a nap in the middle of the day. It worked out really well, because we were able to get most of the rides done before noon (when it got blisteringly hot). We even got to ride Expedition Everest twice that morning! That night, we watched the new Rivers of Light show, which I very highly recommend! Animal Kingdom used to close before dark, but this show alone makes the extra hours worth it! We also were able to ride both new rides in the new Pandora section. We waited an hour for the river ride, and while it was cool, I don't know that I would wait that long again. The banshee ride however...wowza. We waited two hours for that ride (from ten to midnight, I was dying) and it was so worth it for the first time!! I can't even explain how cool it was, you'll just have to plan a trip and see for yourself!

Hollywood Studios is my second favorite park, so I was really looking forward to our fourth day of vacation! We got there as soon as the park opened, rode Rockin' Roller Coaster, then went straight to Tower of Terror! I always forget how much I love Tower of Terror, it's so good! After breakfast, we went to Star Tours, then tried to walk to the Backlot Tour, only to be disappointed. Everything in that area, the Backlot Tour, Lights Motors Action, and the little city section of the park are all closed!! That's where they are putting the new Star Wars area, but I was so sad!!! And then we discovered that they changed Pizza Planet to Pizzerizzo, and honestly we should have just called it a day then. We were seriously so sad. Brandon had even purchased a Pizza Planet hat, and we had the perfect picture all planned out, only to be disappointed. The rest of the day was fine, despite those few things. We had lunch at the Sci-Fi Diner, had two fastpasses for Toy Story Mania, watched Fantasmic, and got to see most of the Star Wars fireworks. All in all, a good day!!

Magic Kingdom is both mine and Brandon's favorite park, and we saved it for last. Like the other days, we got there as soon as the park opened, and surprisingly it was not very crowded. We didn't get to ride Pirates in Disneyland, so that was our first stop on this trip. We rode Pirates, Peter Pan, and Small World all within the first hour of the park opening, and did the Jungle Cruise shortly after. That park is seriously such a classic! I could go on forever telling you about every ride we did, but I won't. We rode rides and had some snacks, then had lunch at Be Our Guest (also highly recommend, for any meal, just make sure you go inside!). We felt like we had done most of the rides, so we went back to the hotel for a nap, and I just kept Brandon awake the whole time. I was exhausted, but my excitement for being at the park was stronger than my fatigue! We went back, had a snack at Gaston's Tavern, rode more rides, had hot dogs at Casey's Corner, then wandered around to find a spot to watch the special 4th of July fireworks (even though it was the 3rd). While we were walking, a girl snagged Brandon and told him she had some space, and was just looking for normal people to share it with, so we ended up with seats in the very front row closest to the castle!! The light show was great, and the fireworks were so good! It was really hard to leave at the end of the night, and I'm already wanting to plan another trip! 

Even though we've been so many times, I feel like we learned a few new things on this trip. I'll post those a little later, since this one was so long. If anyone wants to book a trip to Disney, we're in!


Disney World Summer Packing List


I know what you're thinking. Didn't they just go in January? Don't those people go to Disney enough? To answer your questions: yes, and no. Definitely no to the second one. We go a lot, but did you see the article about the guy who has gone every day for like the last 2,000 days? That would be the life. I don't consider myself an expert by any means, but Brandon and I have done Disney enough times that we have the packing part down. We haven't done Disney in the summer for a few years now, and I was really excited to be able to pack summer clothes! It's supposed to be 86-88 degrees the whole time we are there, so it will be perfect. There are so many different ways to do Disney, and packing will ultimately come down to your preferences. We prefer to kind of go all out, as you can see in the pictures below, but it doesn't have to be that way! Here is a rough list to get you started.


  • Matching shirts. Okay, not really a requirement, but mostly they are just really fun. We bought two new shirts for this trip, and have a couple other sets. Sadly, I couldn't find links for the I'll Be Your Mickey / I'll Be Your Minnie shirts on Disney's site. If they are posted again, I'll add the links below!
  • Light-weight shirts. Orlando gets hot, especially when you are walking around in the sun all day, so dress appropriately! You don't want to be miserable in the Happiest Place on Earth!
  • Shorts. My personal preference is one for every two days we are there. It's hot, and I don't want to be re-wearing sweaty shorts too much! I usually wear pants on the plane, that way I have a pair just in case I need them, but for the most part, you'll want shorts!
  • Sunscreen!! Especially for your little ones.
  • Comfy shoes. A lot of people prefer to take a good pair of tennis shoes, I prefer to take my vans (honesty they are more worn in than my athletic shoes haha) Whatever works for you!
  • Sandals. Whether they are for the park or pool, take a pair of sandals. My feet get tired of being enclosed all the time, and I'd rather be barefoot anyway, so sandals are a nice break from my sneakers. 
  • Swimsuit! For all those midday breaks you might need.
  • Appropriate head attire. Take a hat if you'd like, or pick up a seat of ears when you get to the park!
  • Backpack or cinchy bag. We always carry water with us, and occasionally bring jackets, just in case. There are lockers for rent if you don't want to carry everything.
  • Ponchos (or an umbrella). We prefer ponchos, just because they are a little bit easier to navigate the crowds with. We bought Mickey ponchos in the park a few years ago, but you can always pick up a pack for cheap at your local grocery store!
  • A water bottle. We generally buy a cold Dasani at the start of every day, and refill it as we go, but you can always bring your own bottle to save on that cost. With the heat and how much walking you'll do, be sure to stay hydrated!
  • Camera (the one on your phone will work!) You'll want to capture all the memories and magic, so be prepared with a camera!

What are some of your Disney must-haves? You can shop our goodies below. Happy packing!


Just a little behind the scenes of what it's like trying to take pictures in our house. Laying on clothes is his favorite thing.


Just mouth things.

I have another emotional post written up and ready to go, but I thought I'd spare you and save it for next week. You're very welcome!

A couple things are on my mind as we round off this week. First, I've had a huge influx of followers on Instagram this week. If any of you newcomers are reading this post, thank you for being here! Thank you for reading our story and getting to know our boy, and thank you for all your kind comments. I'm happy our story is reaching people, and am especially happy (I guess?) to connect with other angel moms in the world. What a sucky club to be a part of, but I'm thankful we have each other to lean on and talk to.

Secondly, Brandon has been a saint this week. While I was in Vegas, he cleaned the house, got the oil changed in the cars, washed and vacuumed both cars, and even worked on a little DIY project that technically was supposed to be mine to do (but I'm honestly so grateful I didn't have to do it haha). On top of all that, I was sick on Tuesday, and he stayed home with me all day. He's just so wonderful. Everyone should have a Brandon of sorts.

Third and finally, I have to have a small procedure done on my gums today. Seriously, so small; like ten minutes at the most. I'm trying so hard not to stress, but stress is basically my middle name, so that's how that's going. I just plan to have ice cream for dinner and sleep from the time I get home until tomorrow morning. So most likely I'll be up at three haha. Also! I pre-ordered Moana through the Disney Movie Club and have been waiting somewhat patiently for it all week, so I'm hoping it's waiting for us when we get home!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Disney traditions.

Six weeks before Brandon and I got married, we went to Disney World with my family. Disney was a big part of my life growing up, and I had been to Disney World twice before (not to mention the many trips to Disneyland), but it was so much fun bringing Brandon into that world-figuratively and literally. Anyway, while we were there, Brandon said to me "let's do a Disney vacation every year. To the land, or the world, or another park, or a cruise, or Aulani, or Adventures by Disney-doesn't matter. But let's do it." He might regret that eventually, but we have held to it! 

Over our many trips, we have started a few different traditions of things we do/buy. We buy an ornament for us and now one for Carter, occasionally a puzzle, the traditional picture in front of the castle, a mickey ice cream, a mickey pretzel, and a caramel apple (so most of our traditions involve food, sue me).  My favorite tradition is the caramel apple. That sounds so weird and random, and it is, but I love it. They always have one special one depending on the season or the celebration or their movie releases. I don't even know exactly when the tradition started, because looking back at pictures, I don't think we bought one the first or even second time we went, but we have bought four now and it makes me so happy. Of course, they don't last long when we get them home, but they are fun to look at before we eat them.


Cute little Dory apple.


This picture doesn't technically belong to me. We got an apple just like this but slacked and didn't take a picture.


I feel like traditions are just part of the Disney magic anyway. There's always that favorite ride you go on more than one, the restaurant or churro cart you have to go to, the pins you buy, the character you take a picture with...it's all about what brings your family together. Apparently for Brandon and me that's food, but what can you do. Everyone has a weakness 

A much needed vacation.

I can't believe it's already Monday. And I can't believe it's the end of January! This month went so fast, especially once I started working again. There aren't enough hours in the day to work and cook and clean and relax and work out and all the other things we want to do!!

We rounded off January with a trip to Disneyland. James and Candis were going for her birthday and invited us to go with them. Last Saturday, Brandon and I looked at flights, but they were more than I wanted to spend, and we didn't know if I would need surgery or not, so I was a mean wife and said we shouldn't go. But then Sunday morning, I woke up before Brandon, and decided that we needed to go. So I booked the trip while he was still sleeping, and actually got a really good deal on it. We couldn't drive, since I don't technically have any days I can take off from work, but we actually got the flight and hotel together for less than the flights alone had been on Saturday night, so it worked out pretty well!

We made it to Anaheim without any flight delays or cancellations, which is actually a big deal for us. We got to Disneyland at 9:30 pm, and went to the park until midnight. They didn't do the fireworks that night, but we got to watch the Main Street Electrical Parade, do a couple rides, and eat a churro. Then we walked to the hotel, and got a whopping five hours of sleep before waking up to do it again. Saturday was spent in California Adventure. We did basically all of the rides, watched Frozen, ate more good food, and rounded the night off with World of Color. Yesterday was far too short. We got to the park at nine, did all the good rides (Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain, Star Tours, Matterhorn, Splash Mountain, Haunted Mansion) all before one, which is pretty dang good. Pirates was closed the whole time we were there, so we didn't get to ride it. We got a Mickey ice cream and wandered the park for a bit, then had to said goodbye at 3:30 to head to LAX.

It was a super quick trip, but it was so fun! There were seven of us: James, Candis, two of her siblings, Brandon's brother Shawn, then Brandon and I. It was a super chill group, so the whole weekend was actually pretty relaxing. Also, Brandon and I love doing the Thomas Kinkade Disney puzzles, and we found a Pirates of the Caribbean one at the park that we're pretty excited about. It was hard to come back home though, considering that it was eighty degrees yesterday when we left the park. Disney vacations never last long enough!

Second lunch.

I think I've stated it before, but pregnancy is the weirdest thing. After we came out of the first trimester, I felt pretty good for a few weeks. To the point that sometimes I actually forgot I was pregnant, which makes me sound like a terrible pregnant lady, but it was actually kind of nice to not feel bloated or sick all the time. After I got back from Seattle, my little bump popped a bit. Apparently no one else can tell a difference (still), but I definitely can. I actually feel pregnant, which is just strange. I don't feel bloated or anything, but I can feel this new weight/pressure right around and below my belly button. It's super weird.

Something else that's new is the fact that I am hungry all the time. From weeks seven to twelve I ate a lot to keep myself from being sick, then I stopped being hungry for about five weeks, and now all of a sudden I am starving every single second of the day. Yesterday and today I had two lunches! They are small, but still! Two lunches seems like so much! But if it's what the baby wants, then the baby shall have it. We used to make smoothies every morning to take to work with us (see post here) but we had them every day for three weeks and I think they kind of got old. I guess I'll just have to figure out something else to keep me full!

This weekend we are headed to the happiest place on earth, and also the most magical place on earth (in my opinion)! We will spend tomorrow at Disneyland, and Sunday at Universal Studios seeing the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, California style. We are super stoked, but not super stoked about the long drive! 

We'll be posting the gender reveal sometime tomorrow (because it's only appropriate that we do it Disney style), so get ready!!