Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Our 2024 Disney World Vacation, Day 4 - Animal Kingdom

Happy Wednesday, y’all!  Today I’m recapping day four of our trip, and this was our day spent in Animal Kingdom and at the pool!  On our past two Disney vacations we’ve dedicated an entire day to Animal Kingdom and an entire day for the pool, but this year, we decided to combine the two days since we don’t usually need very much time in Animal Kingdom. 

If we hadn’t combined them, and we’d done an entire day for each, that would have also put us coming home on Sunday, and that was not appealing to me at all.  The thought of getting home in the evening on a Sunday from an exhausting trip and then not having a buffer day to sleep in, unpack, and do laundry sounded awful… I did not want to get back and then immediately have to wake up early and head back to school the next day!  So, we decided to cut our Animal Kingdom day in half and then spend the second half at the pool relaxing, and it ended up being perfect. 

Animal Kingdom day was another early one and we were up at 5:45 AM and walking to the bus by 6:45 AM.  Whew.  Doing rope drop every morning at the parks is not for the faint of heart.  ;o)  Also, it was freezing that morning – 57 degrees in Florida in April, WHAT?! – so we had to bundle up.

On the bus, B and I secured our first lightning lanes for the day – Avatar Flight of Passage and Kilimanjaro Safaris.  Those lines are always the longest, so it was nice to know that we were ready to go.  :o)

We arrived at Animal Kingdom and walked into the park right at 7:30 AM for early entry (for people staying in the park).  Then we made our way straight to the Tree of Life for PhotoPass pictures.  The lines are always short first thing in the morning, and you can usually get good shots without 84,000 people in the background.





Once that was done, we ran straight to Navi River Journey.  That line also gets very long later in the day, so we always run to that one first thing.  However, when we got there, we saw that the ride was down, so we decided to pivot and run all the way across the park to Expedition Everest so the boys could ride.  That line also gets very long, but thankfully, the boys were able to get right on.  Olivia had no desire to ride, and I wasn’t about to either with my vertigo, so we were happy to stand in the observation area and watch them. 

B texted me when they were boarding, so we were able to get a picture and a video of them coming down.  They’re in the second row.  That was Jacob’s first time riding that one, so we asked him we he thought when they came out, and he said, “Well, it was… thrilling.”  Haha.  Then he told us at one point he thinks he almost passed out.  Lol.  He recovered quickly, though, and he didn’t seem the least bothered by it after that.  He said he’d probably ride it again, too.  He is his father’s son!


 

By the time that was done, it was time for our lightning lane for Kilimanjaro Safaris.  We’d always heard that it’s best to go on the safari early in the morning because that’s when the animals are the most active.  Well, I don’t know if we caught the animals on a bad day or what, but we barely saw any of them.  It was most definitely the worst safari ride we’ve ever had.  We definitely saw more animals on the previous two trips, and we rode much later in the day both times.  So, whoever says to ride earlier, well, that’s not always true.  Hahahaha.  Granted, it was really cold that morning, so maybe they were all hibernating?  Who knows!!!!





After the ride, we all took a bathroom break and washed hands, and ate our breakfast bars while walking around.  We stopped at one of the PhotoPass spots in the Avatar world…







And then we stopped to buy Jacob some sunglasses since he’d lost his at Epcot. 

We decided to walk to Dinosaur next, but on the way, we happened to see the line to meet Moana, so we stopped to do that first.  She is tucked away in a place where you’d never find her, so we lucked out.  The line was pretty short, too, so we only had to wait about 15 minutes.  We were excited because we’d never gotten to meet her before, and she was able to autograph the kids’ books!





After our meetup with her, we continued to the Dinosaur ride, and I decided not to ride that one because part of it is in the dark and it’s kind of jerky.  I didn’t want to risk it with my vertigo, so I waited in the sun and warmed my bones because I had been freezing all morning.  It was a GORGEOUS day Thursday, but it sure did start out cold.


 

They didn’t have to wait long, and they were done with the ride in less than 30 minutes, so we headed to TriceraTop Spin next since it was right next door.  That one is one of the ones that lifts you in the sky and you fly around in a circle, so it’s pretty tame which meant that I was able to ride.   


By the time we were done at TriceraTop Spin, our lightning lane window for Avatar Flight of Passage was open, so we headed there next.  On the way, we made two stops – one to see a couple of boats sailing down the river, one of which had a band playing music, and one that had Timon from Lion King on it!   



Then, we just so happened to be walking by when Kevin, the bird from Up, was coming out to take pictures with people.  They only let him stand out there for a couple of minutes, so we got lucky and were able to snag some pictures with him.  He was so funny and he kept posing a bunch of different ways with the kids.  It was great.




I was on the fence about whether or not to ride Avatar, Flight of Passage because it’s such a cool ride and I really didn’t want to miss it, but I ultimately decided it wasn’t a good idea since it’s so immersive.  It made my belly flop the last time I rode it when I didn’t have vertigo, so I was worried it might do a number on me since I’ve been having so many issues these last nine months. 

While Brian and the kids went to ride, I found a nice spot in the sun to sit and hang out while I waited, and then I did some browsing in the Avatar Flight of Passage gift shop.

Both kids wanted one of the Avatar shoulder buddies when they got off of the ride, so they used their Disney gift cards to purchase those, and then we headed out in the direction of Navi River journey since B had been able to book a lightning lane for us.

As we were walking that way, I heard, “Lindsay?” and I looked in the direction that my name had been called to see a lady that I didn’t recognize.  She introduced herself, and it turned out that she is one of blog readers!  What a small world!! 

That was the first time I’ve ever been recognized from my blog, and it was a surreal experience to say the least!  We ended up chatting with her for a bit, and she got to meet Brian and the kids.  She was such a lovely lady, and I was so happy she’d stopped me to say hello!  We took a picture together, but I forgot to ask her permission to post it here, so I’m not posting since I didn’t get her consent.

It was just a really neat experience, though, and it was so nice to meet a reader!  If you ever see me out in public anywhere, feel free to say hi!!  Unless you’re some sort of psycho creeper… then please don’t.  Hahahaha.  KIDDING.  I know I have the best readers and I’m very grateful for all of you.  <3

After that, we headed to Navi River Journey, and we hardly had to wait since we had a lightning lane. 

By the time we were done there, the only thing left to do was go see the Komodo dragons.  Jacob always likes to see them when we’re there.  Every time we go, they’re always asleep, and that day was no exception.  One of these days I’d really like to see them walk around or run or something, but they’re always lazy when we’re there.  Haha.


Once we were done there, we decided we’d done everything we wanted to do in the park, so we walked back to the bus stop to head back to the hotel.  It was noon, so it was time to get some lunch and head to the pool!

When we arrived back at the hotel, we went straight to Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory.  They have tons of grab and go options, so we knew it would be quick and easy.  I opted for a grilled chicken sandwich, and I figured it would be pretty basic, but it was actually delicious as it was topped with fresh mozzarella, basil aioli, balsamic glaze, arugula, and tomato.  Disney food never disappoints! 

After lunch, we walked back to our room, got changed into our swimsuits, and we headed straight to the pool.  It was a GORGEOUS day, but the high was only 75, so there weren’t many people at the pool… I think since it had been so cold that morning, people just decided it was not the day for a pool day.  Haha.  So, we were able to grab loungers right by the water slide which meant that B and I could both relax and watch the kids at the same time.  Two years ago when we went, we were barely able to find chairs anywhere at all, so to be able to get a prime spot was awesome.

The kids got in immediately and played for the next three hours… neither of them were ready to go when it was time.  They both went down the water slide countless times, and it was a nice, relaxing afternoon.  Brian got in the water with them a couple of times, but I never so much as put my toe in because I had been freezing all day and had no desire to get in a cold pool.  They do heat the water and keep it at the same temperature year-round, so it wasn’t very cold, but everyone was freezing every time they had to get out.





By the time we were done at the pool, the kids were starving since they’d played so hard, so we walked over to Scat Cat’s Club – Café to grab beignets.  Yes, ma’am!  One of the things I love about Port Orleans French Quarter is how close everything is.  We were able to go grab those straight from the pool and eat them right outside at a table on the sidewalk in our swimsuits. 

We bought a three-pack to share, and we opted for the warm caramel sauce to dip them in.  Those things are pure heaven, and we were all looking forward to having them again.  The kids have mentioned them often since our last trip two years ago.


When we got back to the room, we all took turns showering, and we all got ready for the evening.  We had a dinner reservation at Sanaa at Animal Kingdom, and we were all excited about it because it was something new that we’d never done. 


Sanaa is African and Indian cuisine, and I’ve never had either, so I was a little nervous about eating there since I have a sensitive stomach.  I love trying new things, though, so we decided to go for it, and I’m soooo glad we did because it was ah-mazing. 

Sanaa is located in the Savanna of Animal Kingdom, and it has sweeping views of all of the animals roaming around.  When we arrived, we had to wait about five minutes for our table, so we walked out onto the deck to observe the animals.  There weren’t many close by, but we were able to see some giraffes (which are my favorite!) and a couple of other animals that I wasn’t able to identify.  Lol.  Once we were seated in the restaurant, I could still see the giraffes from our table, which was really neat. 


Brian had read that the Indian-style bread service is a must at Sanaa, so we started our dinner with that + some Prickly Pear Mules – VUSA African Vodka, Belle de Brillet Pear Liqueur, Prickly Pear, Ginger Beer, and Lime.  They were divine. 

The Indian-style bread service was incredible… oh my goodness, it was so delicious.  It came with five breads – traditional naan, garlic-ginger naan (it was incredible), spiced naan, onion kulcha, and paneer paratha.  The bread was accompanied by nine different sauces – cucumber raita, roasted red pepper hummus, mango chutney (which was my favorite), tomato-date jam, tamarind chutney, coriander chutney, garlic pickle, red chile sambal, and spicy jalapeno-lime pickle.  They ranged from spicy to mild, and we tried all of them. 

When I say that we tore up this massive bread board, I mean it.  We have the pickiest kids on earth when it comes to food, and they LOVED it.  We all agreed that the garlic-ginger naan was the best, and the kids ended up eating most of it.




After our bread service, they delivered our entrees, and oh my word, the food was just incredible.  I opted for the braised beef, basmati rice, and rajma masala.  They serve everything in separate dishes, but the server told me to dump it all out and stir it together for the optimal culinary experience, and – *chef’s kiss* – she was right!  It was so dang good.


The kids opted for American food from the kids’ menu, but I was so proud of them for trying the different kinds of naan and sauces and loving them.  Jacob was super stoked about the basmati rice, though… he did get that for his side because he loves rice so much.

The kids’ plates came with dessert, and they both opted for the “Timon Grubs” a la Lion King.  The Timon Grubs was a bowl of banana pudding topped with graham cracker crumbs (to look like dirt) and it’s topped with chocolate rock candy and gummy worms. 

Neither of our kids like bananas or banana pudding, so we had asked our server if she could just bring them a bowl of the chocolate rocks and gummy worms and leave the banana pudding, but they accidentally brought out the whole dessert for both of them.

We assured her it was fine because they could just pull the chocolate rocks and gummy worms off of the pudding, but she still went back to the kitchen and brought each of them a big extra bowl of the candy.  DISNEY GOES ABOVE AND BEYOND ALWAYS, Y’ALL!


And since the kids didn’t want their banana pudding, that meant that Brian and I were able to eat it.  Oh, my word, was it delicious, too!

We were all stuffed by the time we left, and everything was just exquisite from start to finish.  I cannot recommend that place enough, y’all!  Just note that you do have to have a reservation to eat there, and the reservations book quickly.  We booked ours 60 days in advance of our trip, which was the earliest possible.

After dinner, it was dark outside, but we decided to take a walk out on the deck one more time to see what we could see, and there were various animals walking around.  We saw a zebra and a couple of other large unidentifiable animals, as well as some large birds.  You could also hear the animals making various noises.


 
After that, we drove back to the hotel, filled our water bottles at the hotel café, and then we got to bed early because the next day was… MAGIC KINGDOM DAY!!!!  We saved the best for last, and my goodness, was it the best day ever!

And just in case you want to see our entire day summarized, here it is…

 

Summary:

Hours spent in park – 4.5 (7:30 AM – 12:00 PM)

Rides/Attractions – 6

Characters met – 2

Autographs obtained – 1

Disney Photo Pass pictures and videos taken – 30

Steps taken – 16,447

Miles walked – 6.50

Weather – Sunny, high of 75 degrees, low of 57 degrees

 

Schedule:

Wake at 5:45 AM

Walk to bus stop at 6:45 AM

Bus at 7:15 AM

Arrive 7:30 AM

PhotoPass Pictures at The Tree of Life (everyone)

Expedition Everest (Brian, Jacob)

LL – Kilimanjaro Safaris (everyone)

PhotoPass Pictures in Avatar World (everyone)

Shopping for sunglasses for Jacob (everyone)

Met Moana from Moana (everyone)

Dinosaur (Brian, Jacob, Olivia)

TriceraTop Spin (everyone)

LL – Avatar Flight of Passage (Brian, Jacob, Olivia)

Souvenir shopping (everyone)

Stopped to talk to a blog reader (everyone)

LL – Navi River Journey

Saw the Komodo dragons (everyone)

Left park at 12:00 PM (everyone)

Quick service lunch at Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory (everyone)

Pool time from 2:00 – 5:00 PM (everyone)

Beignets at Scat Cat’s Club – Café (everyone)

Back to the hotel room to shower and get ready (everyone)

Reservation – Sanaa for dinner (everyone)

Back to hotel for early bedtime

Happy Wednesday, y'all!

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Our Week - The One with Kindness from a Stranger, New Plant Babies, TTPD, Pressure Washing, and Two Birthday Parties

Last week was pretty good overall, with the exception of Monday, and I didn’t feel quite as exhausted and overwhelmed as I had the week before when we got back from our trip, so that was nice.  Here’s the recap!

Monday, April 15

Monday, most definitely started out as a Monday.  I woke up at 6 as I always do, and I headed straight to the shower to wake up.  Boy oh boy, did I get a wakeup call that I did not want!  Our water heater had gone out sometime in the middle of the night and I had to take a cold shower… on a morning where it was only 54 degrees out.  EEKS.  I don’t think I’ve ever washed my hair and body so fast in my entire life.  It was awful.

After that, I got the kids to school, and then I headed home to work and do laundry for the rest of the day.  Sunday I’d had a terrible time with technology, so I was hoping for a better day Monday, but unfortunately, I did not get my wish.  My iPhone was still not playing well with my PC, and I still couldn’t retrieve my pictures from the week prior.  I also had a blog post deadline looming later that day. 

I ended up having to go through my camera roll on my phone and email myself every single picture and video from the past week – around 120 of them – and to say it was time-consuming is an understatement.  I was so frustrated by the time lunch rolled around, and I ate with B as a much-needed break.

After lunch, I got right back to it, and I managed to knock out the blog post before it was time to leave to pick up the kids, but that didn’t allow for much else.

As I was leaving, the plumber was arriving, and by the time we got home, they were finishing up.  They said that one of the heating elements had, indeed, gone out in our water heater, but they said that it was pointless to replace it as the water heater was 15 years old and it would probably die soon anyway.  He recommended getting a new one, so that’s exactly what we did.

The plumber picked it up for us and got it installed, and while we had him there, we asked him if he could check our water pressure and our thermostat for the hot water while he was at it.  For the entire 15 years we’ve lived here, we’ve had the most non-existent water pressure.  And our “hot” water was always so mild that we always had to turn the shower nozzle all the way to the hottest it would go to take a comfortable shower.  I’ve never been able to take a bath because the water wasn’t ever hot enough.

He did check both of those things and he confirmed that our water pressure was, indeed, very low, and the thermostat was, too.  So, after fifteen years in this house, I don’t even know what to do with myself because we have so much hot water!  And someone can now use a faucet or flush a toilet while someone else is in the shower without the shower water going down to a literal trickle.  It’s amazing. 

Why we waited this long to get someone to do something about both of those issues, I will never know.

When we got home from school, I did a Bible study while the kids did homework, and then I helped Olivia study for an upcoming test.  The kids played outside for a bit, and then Jacob watched some YouTube while Olivia worked on her song lyrics.

I’d put Ranch Chicken Pasta in the slow cooker Monday morning, so I had minimal prep to do for dinner.  We ate that, along with steamed green beans and garlic cheesy bread for dinner, and then after dinner, we all went back outside because it was glorious.

Brian and the kids played wiffle ball while I got in a run, and then I grabbed Maui and took her for a walk after my run because I wasn’t ready to go inside.



After that, the kids and I all took showers with our new water situation, and it was ah-mazing.  I can’t believe we waited that long to get someone to check the pressure and temp for us.  It makes a HUGE difference.

After my shower, I hung out with Olivia in her tent for a while, I put away some laundry, and we got the kids in the bed.  Once the kids were in bed, B and I watched some more of American Idol, and then I finished my book before bed.  It ended up being a pretty good ending after a crappy start!


Tuesday, April 16

Tuesday morning, I woke up to the most glorious hot shower with the best water pressure we’ve ever had in this house, and boy, was it a much better way to start the day than I did on Monday!

I got the kids to school and then I headed home to work on the blog and laundry all day long. 

At 3, I grabbed the kids from school, and we headed home.  The kids both worked on homework while I did my Bible study, and my Bible study was particularly good that day.  I love it when the words on the page just jump out at me!  This was one of those days that I even took the extra time to do a little doodle.  Although, I need to get some better pens for doodling as these aren’t ideal.



After that, Jacob and I swung Olivia by the dance studio and then we headed home.  I got an email sent out to my fellow 7th grade room moms with all of the details about the upcoming 7th/8th grade dance that we have to plan, and then I headed outside to greet my mother-in-law and step-father-in-law who were dropping off their pressure washer for us to borrow.  She said that it hadn’t been used in over 20 years so we crossed our fingers and hoped for the best!

After they left, I got in a short strength workout, and then Jacob and I took Maui for a walk around the neighborhood.  Since Jacob’s golf season got cancelled for spring, I’ve been trying to get him outside in other ways to keep him active.



After our walk, it was time to start dinner, but when I went to pull out the ingredients for sausage, peppers, and onions tacos, I discovered that last week when I was on the struggle bus, I’d forgotten to buy the sausage.  Lol.  That meant – breakfast!  It’s the one thing that I always have on hand.

When Brian and Olivia got home from dance, we all sat down to eggs, grits, bacon, sausage, and toast, and then it was off to shower for Olivia.  I tackled a little bit of laundry and tied up some loose ends from the day, and then we got the kids in the bed. 

B and I watched more American Idol, and then we headed to bed.


Wednesday, April 17

Wednesday morning, I dropped the kids at school and then I had to run a few errands – the library to drop off some books, my annual ENT checkup, and to put gas in my car.

I have a standing annual appointment with my ENT doctor to get my ears cleaned out, because for some reason, my body makes excessive wax, and my ear canals get blocked to the point where I lose some of my hearing.  My doctor told me there’s nothing that I can do about it and that some people’s ears just make more wax than others.  He did tell me about an at-home earwax removal kit that I could do on my own, but since I’ve had so much trouble with my ears throughout the years (eustachian tube dysfunction when I was pregnant, ringing in my ears since 2018, and now this vertigo), I’d rather just pay the $45 copay once a year to get my ENT doctor to remove it safely.  The last thing I need is an at-home kit making my issues even worse.

Since my last visit one year ago, he said both of my ear canals were at 80% blockage which is just so crazy to me!  I can always tell when they start to get full because the ringing in my ears starts changing pitches randomly, and the ringing also gets louder on and off sometimes. 

While I was there, he asked me how I was doing with my vertigo and dizziness since he was the very first doctor to treat me, and I told him I’m still having dizziness every single time I lay down, every single time I sit up, and occasionally when I’m walking or running.  I also told him about my two brief vertigo spells back in February, and he could not believe that I’m still going through this.  He said that he’s never seen anything like this before in all of his years of practicing.  He said, of course, there are people who have Meniere’s Disease and various other diagnoses that cause them to have ongoing issues with dizziness and vertigo, but since all my tests came back clean, they were able to rule all of those things out.  So, he is perplexed.

He ended up talking to me about it for quite a while, and I told him about my theory that it could be the braces and the fact that my face and jaw have changed so drastically… that in conjunction with the fact that I also have cervicogenic issues because of my anxiety.  He told me that at this point it sounds like a solid theory, and he told me that he kind of wants to make me a case study since there’s not very much data out there about this.

Since all of my other doctors have released me (other than my primary doctor, of course) – especially since the neurologist released me – he wants to take me back on as a patient again for the vertigo so he can monitor everything.  Whether he is actually going to make a case study out of this, I don’t know, but I am going back to see him in six months so he can check on me again. 

Leave it to me to be the weird medical girl!  Sadly, this is not the first time (or even the second) in my life that this has happened.  Sigh.

After my appointment, I headed home to work for a couple of hours, and then I headed to my appointment with my therapist.  After that, it was back home to eat lunch and finish up working for the day.

After school, we dropped Olivia at dance, and then Jacob and I headed home.  I did my Bible study and wrapped up a couple of things while he did homework and had some computer time, and then he and I headed back out to pick up Olivia since Brian was going out to dinner with friends.

Olivia ended up getting out super late like she does pretty much every Wednesday, so we decided to stop by Chick-Fil-A on the way home.  Normally, we get it to go, but we decided to eat in the restaurant Wednesday, and I was so glad we did because we had the best experience.

While we were eating, an older gentleman walked over to our table with a bagful of hand-carved and painted hearts, each one with a different Bible verse on them (all of them had John 3:16 on one side and a unique verse on the other side).  He gave one to the kids to share… their Bible verse was Ephesians 6:1-3… “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.  Honor your father and mother – which is the first commandment with a promise – so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

 

After that, he asked me if I wanted one, too, and he asked what color I’d like.  I told him I’d like a purple one (because he was out of pink… y’all know I would have chosen pink!), and he ended up giving me this one with the Bible verse Philippians 4:6-7… “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” 

The verse could not have been more perfect for me!!  It’s one of my favorites of all-time, second to Proverbs 3:5-6.


He was just there, spreading kindness throughout the restaurant and expecting nothing in return, and it was just the loveliest thing.  It made my whole night!

After the kids were done eating, they asked for milkshakes, and I just happened to have a free birthday dessert on my Chick-Fil-A account, so I said, “Why not?”  They both opted for cookies and cream, and they enjoyed every single sip.

We headed home after that, and Olivia tackled her homework.  I helped her study for her word work test, and then I headed upstairs for a stair stepper workout while both kids got showered and ready for bed.


By the time they were ready, it was time to get them in the bed.  Since B wasn’t home yet, I did the bedtime routine with both of them, and then after meditating, I headed downstairs, gave Maui her treat, and then she and I curled up on the couch together to read.  I had started a new book earlier in the day, and it was so good I couldn’t put it down, so it was nice to have some reading time.

B got home shortly after that, and then he and I watched a few minutes of American Idol before heading to bed.


Thursday, April 18

Thursday morning, I headed straight home after dropping the kids, and I got to work.  I had a super productive morning, finishing up one blog post and putting big dents in a couple of other Disney posts.  I also worked on some other odds and ends – “life stuff” as I like to call it – and then just before lunch, I headed to our local plant nursery to pick up everything for summer. 

I ended up with four ferns – two hanging and two potted (per usual) – along with two herbs (rosemary and basil), and various other flowers to plant in my pots.  Oh, and a massive bag of potting soil.  We can’t forget that!


When I got back home, I unloaded everything, put the ferns in their pots, and then I headed inside to eat a quick lunch at my desk while finishing up my work for the day.

After school, the kids and I headed straight to music lessons, and then we headed home for the evening.  Their school had a fine arts night, but we decided to skip since neither of them were performing in anything. 

Instead, I got my Bible study done and put the laundry away, we had pasta leftovers for dinner when B got home, and then we all spent the whole evening outside.  B started up the pressure washer and got some spots off of the back porch, and then I got all of my new plant babies potted.  The kids played kickball while we did that, and then Olivia helped me plant a little bit. 

After all of that was done, I headed out for a short run, and then I did an arms workout in the driveway when I got home.  I also snapped some “before” pictures of our driveway since I’d hoped to start pressure washing it soon, and I also checked on my plant babies to make sure they were doing well. 






After that, it was inside to shower and get in PJs, and then we watched some random YouTube videos of roller coasters in Six Flags in Atlanta.  Jacob gets to take a class trip there next year, and he’s never been, so he wanted to watch some of them online.  He loves a roller coaster, but he’s only ever been to the ones at Disney World, and they’re a little tamer than the ones at Six Flags.  He still has a whole year before his trip, so time will tell whether or not he’ll want to ride certain ones.

After that, B and I got the kids in the bed, and then I went to meditate.  Right as I was heading downstairs, I saw that Taylor Swift had posted a little sneak peek of her music video with Post Malone, so I popped back into Olivia’s room to show her. 

As I was leaving her room, I told her I loved her, and then she told me she loved me more, and then we both said, “I love you more than Taylor Swift’s new album!” at the same time!  Hahahaha. 

For a little back story, we have this thing that we do where we try to outdo our I Love Yous and we’ll say that we love the other more than ___ (insert something fantastic that we both love).  And it was so funny that we both said that at the same time.

Also, this is how she's been sleeping every night lately... she's been making a fort over her head.  Haha.


Once the kids were in the bed, B and I headed downstairs to watch Saturday Night Live with Ryan Gosling.  I had already seen a bunch of clips on social media as a couple of them went viral, but I was happy to watch them again because they were so hilarious.  Did y’all see that skit they did with Beavis and Butthead?!  I had tears rolling down my face because I was laughing so hard.  I seriously have not laughed that hard in a long time.  Jacob had come out of his room to get some water right when Brian and I were finishing up the skit, and I’m sure he probably heard us laughing and thought we were straight crazy.  Haha.


Friday, April 19

Friday morning, we awoke to the news that Taylor Swift had surprised everyone with, not one, but TWO new albums… or technically, a double album, if you will.  I was elated and I couldn’t get the kids to school and back home fast enough to download it.  EEK!  It’s so good!

I spent the rest of the day *trying* to work and listening to that album.  It’s 31 songs (two hours and two minutes to be exact), so it is quite a time commitment.  Not to mention I was trying to decode every little lyric and searching on social media to see what everyone else was speculating.  Ahhhh, the joys of being a Swiftie!  <3

There was also lots of work that needed to be done, so I had to turn off TS a few times throughout the day so I could focus on my writing, but I couldn’t wait to get back to the album on the way to pick up the kids from school!  I ended up listening to it most of the time that I sat in the car line, but I was also SUPER into the book I was reading, so I did take a few minutes to dive back into that. 

It was a good day for music and books!  ;o)

After school, the kids and I headed straight home.  I did my Bible study while they got everything unpacked and put away from the week, and then Jacob had some computer time while Olivia read. 

Olivia had a birthday party to go to at 6, so we had dinner super early.  Brian picked up Five Guys and brought it home since it’d be quick, and then we all headed to the birthday party since it was at a local entertainment center.  Jacob had been wanting to go, so we figured he and B could hang out while Olivia and I did the birthday party thing.

On the way to the party, we did swing by Target first because… I had ordered the Taylor Swift Target exclusive special edition vinyl and I wanted to pick it up… even though I do not own a record player.  Lol. 

The place where the birthday party was held is really unique.  Brian and I, nor Jacob had ever been, but Olivia had been raving about it since going with a friend months ago.  They have various rock-climbing activities, a foam blocks pit, trampolines, various other activities, and a zip line that attaches to the ceiling and lets the kids fly around the whole venue. 

Both kids played hard all night and they both had a blast.  Neither of them wanted to leave.  Haha.  And they were sweaty and exhausted by the time we got home at 8:15.







When we got home, it was showers for them, cocktails for B and me, and then after they went to bed, B and I finished SNL, and then we watched an episode of The Chosen before calling it a night.


Saturday, April 20

Saturday morning, we slept in, and then Olivia helped me make homemade waffles for breakfast.  After that, I spent a few minutes on my computer while I drank my tea, and then it was time to get down to business. 

I threw in a load of laundry and got in a short mixed cardio workout, and then it was time to head outside to do all the things.  Our new outdoor rugs and pillows had arrived, so I got the back porch swept off, and the kids helped me move the furniture and lay the rugs while B edged the yard and blew off the clippings. 



After that, we moved everything off the front porch and fired up the pressure washer.  I did the whole porch and a small portion of the sidewalk, and then my hands turned to jello from having to hold that handle down for so long.  Brian took over after that while I went in to make lunch, and then we all took a break to eat.

After lunch, it was back outside for everyone, and I watered the plants and got everything back on the porch while B finished pressure washing the sidewalk.  I also switched out our welcome mat from our winter mat to our summer mat, and B switched out the Georgia flag for the American flag. 

He also used the pressure washer to wash off all of the front porch furniture because it was filthy.  And then I finished up the last square of sidewalk for the pressure washing.  I freaking love pressure washing so much… it is one of the most satisfying things ever to me.  I just wish my hands and arms would physically allow me to do more of it.  My hands get tired and weak so fast!  They were shaking for the rest of the night after that.

Porch Before and After:




Sidewalk Before and After:




Just look at how filthy the sidewalk was!


Meanwhile, the kids worked on their laundry and got showered, and then later in the afternoon, they played video games for a bit.

I spent a few minutes in my office working on a blog post, and then it was time to get ready for church.  What a productive day, though!

My cousin who lives in Washington was here with her boyfriend Saturday night, so she came to church, and then my whole extended family did Mexican for dinner at our favorite local place.  We had a big group Saturday night!

After dinner, we headed home, and thankfully, all was well at our house.  Just as we were leaving for church, a massive thunderstorm was starting to roll through, and our neighborhood Facebook page had alerted all of us that the power had gone out.  They got it back on just before we got home, though, so that was a relief.

When we got home, we all hung out for a bit and Jacob tinkered at his piano, and then after we got the kids in the bed, B and I watched two more episodes of The Chosen.  The episode of Jesus with the kids… OMG.  So sweet. 

B and I were so tired from all of our manual labor that we ended up going to bed earlier than usual for a Saturday night, and that was a good thing, because we ended up having the loudest storms ever in the middle of the night which resulted in me lying awake forever because the thunder was so loud, aaaand Olivia ended up in our room because she was scared.  In other words, I hardly got any sleep Saturday night.

 

Sunday, April 21

Sunday morning, I didn’t roll out of bed until 8:30, which is later than normal for me, so we ended up eating breakfast a bit later than usual, too.  We had cinnamon rolls, and then I headed upstairs to get my planner ready for the week ahead, watch my Sunday morning sermon, and do some yoga stretching… my usual routine.


 
Jacob had a birthday party at 10 AM, so Brian went to drop him off at the local arcade down the street from our house, and then he came home.  We swung by on the way to my MIL and step-FIL’s to pick him up, and he’d had a great time with all of his besties.

Lunch at my MIL and step-FIL’s was nice.  We hadn’t seen them in a couple of weeks, so we were able to catch up a bit and eat some yummy food.  As usual, we sat around the table chatting long after the meal was over, and then we headed home.

When we got home, the kids scrubbed their bathroom, tidied up, and prepped everything for Monday, and then they had some screen time for the rest of the afternoon while I worked.  Those Disney posts are so much fun to write, but they are so time intensive!

I had a productive afternoon, and then it was time to go to my parents’ house for Sunday dinner.  My Momma made her famous spaghetti, and it was delicious, as always.  It’s always a favorite!!

After that, it was more chatting around the table, and then home to get the kids in the bed.  B and I watched some of American Idol, and then we headed to bed early to start the week off on the right foot!

Happy Tuesday, y’all!