The Saturday after Carter's birthday, we spent a quick (very quick) 24 hours in California. We flew out of Salt Lake at 6:30 that morning, landed at 7:20 in Long Beach, and were at Disneyland and in the park by the time they opened at 8:00. I was still a little sick, so we almost weren't sure if we were going to go, but I am so glad we did!! The first thing we rode...

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The Best Mickey-Shaped Foods at Disney

Let's be honest, one of the best parts about Disneyland and Disney World is the food. There are so many great choices for meals and drinks, but when it comes to snacks, Disney always outdoes itself. We have a few snacks that we get every single time we go to the park: a Mickey ice cream bar, a Mickey Pretzel, a dole whip, and a churro. And we usually get popcorn too, because no matter how hard we try to resist, those dang carts basically throw the smell of buttery-goodness at our heads and it's really hard to ignore.


I had a fun new shirt to wear to Disney this last time, and I felt like I needed to actually live up to what I was advertising. My goal was to eat as many Mickey-Shaped foods as I could find in one day. I'm sure I missed a few, but I went with what I could find! If you know of any other Mickey-shaped foods, let me know!


Mickey ice cream bar - sold at nearly every single ice cream stand

Chocolate Chip Cookie Hot Fudge Sundae - Gibson Girl Parlor in Disneyland

Mickey-shaped Beignets - Mint Julep Bar in Disneyland (they currently have blackberry for the seasonal flavor and it is SO GOOD)

Mickey waffles are served at just about every sit-down breakfast place. Disneyland - Carnation Cafe. Disney World - The Plaza Ice Cream Parlor and Crystal Palace

Mickey soft pretzels are honestly so much better than any other soft pretzel. They can be found at most pretzel carts in every park!


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!

Today is good but tomorrow is better!!

Since our miscarriage, I have found myself just itching to do things. I have too much energy that can't be spent taking care of a baby, so we've been trying to find other things to do. We redid the office, painted the guest room furniture, worked on the blog, worked on my second novel, and still we found ourselves with too much time and energy (although not enough of either to clean the house or make dinner apparently haha). We've been working on our secret project for a couple weeks now, so that has taken up some of our time, but I'm really excited that we have found one more thing to fill our time!

One of my best friends from college does YouTube full-time with her husband. I've always told Brandon that we should do that too, but he never really was interested. Through those friends, we met another couple that live just a few houses down from us, and also lost a son last year. They have a YouTube channel as well, and introduced us to another couple that has a channel! So for the past year I've been telling Brandon that we really should do it, and he kept telling me no, but finally, last week, he decided that we could! We won't be doing it full-time, but I think it will be really nice to start documenting our lives like this. I feel like we are at a point where our life could go a lot of different directions, and I think we will appreciate having it all documented. Our first vlog is, of course, about our trip to Disney! We're still rookies, but we are excited to learn and improve! Feel free to check it out and subscribe to our channel. I'll post the video below, but here is a link to our channel!

It has been fun to see feedback on our vlog so far, but I am extremely excited about our news tomorrow! We'll be sharing it at 8:51 am (mountain time) and everything will be live on the blog at that time, so be sure to check back tomorrow to see what we've been working on!


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!

California: round 2.

Our Memorial Day weekend was spent the way most of our marriage has and will be spent: with Mickey. This was a nice follow-up vacation to our spring break (read post here), because last time we only did the actual Disneyland park. This time, we did California Adventure, and also went to Universal Studios!

Friday afternoon we hopped in the car with our friends Alyssa and Jake, and made the long drive to Vegas. It went quickly, actually, so it wasn't too bad! Saturday morning we were up at five, and on the road by six! We finally made it to the park around 10:30, and were so surprised that it wasn't even close to being hot outside. Thankfully, the sun came out a little later, which I was super happy about because 1: it had been pretty cool in Utah still until that weekend, and 2: I was able to enjoy my traditional Mickey ice cream bar! We got corn dogs, spent a ton of time in Cars Land, rode Toy Story Mania twice, and had bomb seats for World of Color that night. And we of course got to take pictures for our fun little gender reveal. My favorite part was actually giving the balloons away to these three little brothers that were hanging out in the same area as us. They were super excited about them!

That night we drove to our hotel in Burbank, which was a super great idea on our part, because we didn't feel like we had to rush to wake up the next morning in order to drive to the park. We slept in a little, then made the quick drive to Universal. Our first stop obviously was the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We loved it so much in Florida that we had to go to the one in California asap.

First stop was to take pictures with the conductor of the Hogwarts Express. Guys, I don't know if he was actually British or not, but he had a full on conversation with us and I felt like I was in London. Everyone but me was wearing a shirt or robe that indicated their house, but the conductor guessed that I was a Hufflepuff, and said that you can just tell. Then he launched into this story about how the founder of Hogsmeade was a Hufflepuff, and how we wouldn't be there today if it weren't for him and I was seriously crying. I'm just waiting for J.K. Rowling to expose herself as the designated historian for the magic world because I'm pretty positive that everything she writes is true.

Anyway, we got butterbeer immediately after that (which, in itself is magic), and I was thrilled. You know the feeling you get, like when you try and remember something really awesome or really tasty, but you know that remembering just doesn't do it justice? That's how my relationship with butterbeer has been for the past eighteen months. But I'm also sure that my saying "UGH THIS IS SO GOOD" at a higher than normal volume was just an echo of what everyone around me was thinking, so no, I'm not even ashamed. We stood in line for The Forbidden Journey after that (an hour wait outside, plus more time inside) but were given the magical powers of the wizarding world once we got inside and a staff member told us to go to the front-of-the-line line and say "Expecto Patronum." Guys. We got to skip the rest of the line inside and go straight to the front. I'm pretty sure he overheard us talking about the benefits of staying in line to see the castle (mostly for the benefit of prego me, who couldn't actually ride the ride) versus jumping in the single rider line, but I don't even care what his motive was. It made our whole day.

After the ride, we were starving, so we headed to the Three Broomsticks (casually, you know, as we would do on any other day in Hogsmeade) for a delicious, English lunch. And more butterbeer. I made a goal to drink at least five butterbeers that day, and am super disappointed in myself that I only actually made it through two and a half. I started out with gusto, drank a whole one by myself, then the entire rest of the day, Brandon and I just shared. So we'll just have to go back! We wandered through the shops, rode Flight of the Hippogriff, wandered through more shops, and then finally decided to venture out and do other things. We did the studio tour, which I have always loved, because I like seeing the behind the scenes stuff. We got to the sound stages where they film The Mindy Project and The Voice, and a bunch of other cool things. Later, we watched the Water World stunt show that Brandon was obsessed with, then just kind of walked around before going back to Wizarding World a little later. 

We called it a night before the park closed so that we could get plenty of rest before the long drive home the next day. We did the entire ten hour drive in roughly eleven hours, including bathroom/food breaks and traffic, so it really wasn't terrible. It was a great weekend, even though it was too short! And shout out to Jake and Alyssa for being so easy to travel with! Definitely makes for a fun vacation. We already can't wait to go back! 

A little surprise.

Before we get to the meat of this post, no, the little nugget was not a surprise. I mean, he was, in some ways, but we won't get into those details.

What was a surprise, though, was our ultrasound appointment last week, when we found out that the baby is a boy!!! From the very beginning, Brandon and I both felt like it was a girl. And for a long time, I didn't have a preference on what we were having (still don't, by the way), but after feeling so strongly that it was a girl for long, it was definitely a shock to find out that we're having a boy. When we went shopping after the appointment, it was almost weird to be looking at boy things and not girl things. It still is sort of weird, to be honest. But we are extremely excited to have this little boy in our lives!

We just got home from California (post on that coming later), and baby is just as excited to be out of the car as I am. He is moving around so much! Which is probably an early sign of what he'll be like as a child...wildly energetic, just like his dad.

Hope everyone has had a fantastic Memorial Day/weekend, remembering those we've lost, and spending much needed time with family!