Random Things That Make Me Think Of You…

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The death of my brother affects me every single day of my life especially when I’m alone with my thoughts. “They” say it gets better but it doesn’t get better you just don’t dwell on it every single second of the day like you did in the beginning. At some point, you are able to push it towards the back of your mind but the pain is still there waiting to be exposed at slightest thought of you.

For example how the mind wanders. We moved and I thought of all the people who would stop in now that we are closer to town. This made me think of the days when my brother used to stop in every night after work at our first house in town. This made me sad to think that he didn’t do that when we moved to the country. Then I thought, maybe if we had lived in town and he had us to come visit he wouldn’t have resorted to drugs. Then I feel guilty and sad. Then I cry as I try to push something else into my brain so the tears will stop.

Someone talks about their adult brother. I automatically think of the brother I don’t have.

I watch the television show “King of Queens.” I think of the times my brother would stop over after work and we would watch it together and laugh. The big guy “Doug” is kind of goofy like my brother was which is why I think he liked the show so much. He would talk about the funny parts in this show all of the time.

Someone says the word brother and I think of you.

I drive by your grave and I think of you.

I see your obituary hanging on my refrigerator and I think of you.

I eat Doritos and I think of how we used to fight and fight and fight over the bag when we were little.

I open a can of beans and I remember how much you hated beans.

I open a can of tomato paste and I think of the time you cut your finger on a can in a kitchen growing up.

I see a daschund dog and I think of how much you loved our dog Chelsea.

I think of you more than you will ever know. I hate myself for thinking of you more now than I did before you died. I should have been a better sister. I should have not took for granted the time we had together thinking that there would always be more time….


First Day of School 2013

first day of school 2013Unbeknownst to us at the time, this would be our last “First Day of School” photo from this front porch. 9 years I have taken photos from this spot and we moved in October….2013 is the first day for a sophomore, 7th grader, 3rd grader, and 2nd grader. They are growing up way too fast!


Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival #DisneySMmoms

One of my favorite parts of Disney is the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. This runs from March through May every year. It is so beautiful and makes for so many great photo opportunities.

You will find topiaries of your favorite characters!

The kids had a blast in the Fairy Garden, where they were able to do a little scavenger hunt for sticker prizes!

You can see more pictures from the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival here:

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Disclosure: I paid to attend the Disney Social Media Conference. In return, I received highly discounted park tickets, hotel, and a gift bag. There was no monetary compensation or posts required in exchange for this package.

My Stay in Disney’s Cinderella Castle

The first official day of the Disney Social Media Moms conference something magical happened. One of my best blogging friends, Andrea, won a night’s stay in Disney’s Princess Castle.

Right before her number was called in the random raffle drawing, she leaned over to me a whispered, “Forgot the other prizes, the Princess Castle is what I want.”  I noticed Crystal was holding her breathe before the final number was called and Andrea was rather quiet too. Then all of the sudden, Andrea is saying “Shut Up.” She reads back the numbers and it is her number! You can see Andrea hopping up to claim her prize.

After winning, she learns she can have up to 6 guests stay with her in the castle. When she asked if I wanted to stay, of course, I said YES!!!! First, I had to ask my aunts if it was okay if I stayed the night as they would have to watch the two little ones. They were emphatic that I go as it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

I didn’t even know the Princess Castle existed.  You can’t buy your way into the castle even though rich folks and dignitaries have tried. You have to have a special invitation to stay in the most exclusive spot in perhaps the world?

We were whisked away right after the conference sessions at 4 p.m., which made for a completely whirlwind day. I had no idea when I started my day I would end up in the Princess Castle. Considering this was my first time to stay on Disney property and I said at two of the nicest places The Grand Floridian and Cinderella’s Castle, I think I am now spoiled!

Our first guide Sean, explained that we would have our own personal guide around the park and we would be able to shop, eat, ride rides, or just chill in the suite for the evening. Steve, our guide for the evening, was basically our human “Fast Pass.” He was able to get us into even ride we possibly wanted without any wait, which is quite a way to spoil a girl! 🙂

We were also given lawn seats to the Castle/Fireworks show as well as front row seats to the evening parade. These are just a few of the perks of staying in the Castle.

The Cinderella Suite is absolutely fabulous. Upon taking a private elevator up to the suite, you enter into the hallway, where there is detailed artwork, Cinderella’s crystal slipper, and more!

We were welcomed by chocolate, strawberries, and drinks!

The next morning we were brought back to reality after having a magical breakfast with the princesses, which is something anyone can do by making reservations for Cinderella’s Royal Table.

You can see more pictures below:

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Disclosure: I paid to attend the Disney Social Media Conference. In return, I received highly discounted park tickets, hotel, and a gift bag. There was no monetary compensation or posts required in exchange for this package.

Indianapolis Indians Game in July

I’m amazed how quickly this summer is passing us by. Most of the spring and summer was consumed with what sometimes seemed to be endless evenings of baseball. While fun, it did make the time fly by.

Since we obviously didn’t get enough Pee Wee or Travel Baseball this season, we took the boys to a Indianapolis Indians game with FREE tickets Bryan won at a golf tourney.

It was hot. I mean hot. Did I say hot?

Like feels like 104 hot.

We did have a slight breeze.

The team gave us a good show. The game was tied 4-4 at the end of the ninth inning. It was fun but not so much fun that we were going to stay all night.

I’m not even sure how the game ended up. It doesn’t matter. What matters is we had fun family time with the boys!

But I must conclude with this funny story.

As we were walking back to our car, we passed the White River Gardens concert. OAR, whoever they are, had performed for the evening. We witnessed a very overly intoxicated woman being pushed in a wheel chair to her car while her husband had a talk with the police. Apparently, it was the talk of the concert.

How embarrassing for her.

How a Cupcake Can Reduce You to Tears

Sofia helped my Aunt Beth bake and decorate cupcakes recently.

Sofia told her she wished she could share her cupcakes with Uncle Billie.

That is how cupcakes can reduce a person to tears.

I wish your sweet Sofia could share her cupcakes with you too Sugar Pants (Sofia’s affectionate nickname for Uncle Billie.)

Magical Laundry at Disney World

After several days and a nap time accident by one of the kids, it was time to do laundry. After spending a day around the pool and at Disney Downtown, I decided I would do laundry after the kids were settled in for the night.

Around 11 p.m. I trek two buildings over in the Caribbean Beach Hotel to the laundry room. Of course, I had only dollars and was counting on the change machine.

The light on the change machine said it was out of order and I was so disappointed. Thinking I was going to have to trek it back to the main building, I called the front desk from the phone in the laundry room.

To my HUGE surprise, the attendant said they would send someone to the laundry room with change. I was in complete shock.

Surely enough, just a short time later, a man came with quarters and quickly exchanged it for my dollars.  Even the laundry is magical at Disney…if only, the laundry fairy would come to my house!

He was, however, surprised someone was doing laundry that late! HA! I’m a mom, we’ve been busy all day, when else do people do it?

Apparently at some other time of the day because the laundry room was silent except for me the entire hour I was there.

Disclosure: I paid to attend the Disney Social Media Conference. In return, I received highly discounted park tickets, hotel, and a gift bag. There was no monetary compensation or posts required in exchange for this package.

Photo Credit: Asfarley

The Flight to Orlando

After the big announcement on the day of the trip, we headed to the airport. Eli tells me he is afraid to fly and doesn’t want to go. I assure him it is very safe to fly and he flew once when he was around two years old. He knew we were planning on flying to Arizona in a few weeks but this was the first I’ve heard of his fears. He goes on and on about crashing, I’m sure loud enough for other passengers to hear.

Hey, I won’t lie, I get a little nervous flying too. My rational brain tells me statistically it is much safer to fly but there is something about being thousand of feet in the air with no control that makes me say my prayers before take off! It seems like the more I fly, the less nervous I get so that is a good sign.

As we were boarding, I mentioned that the little guy was a little scared to fly. What happened next was really cool and one of the many reasons I love to fly Southwest Airlines. The flight attendant asked if they wanted to see the Pilots and allowed them to visit with them for a minute where they were given wings. This seemed to ease Eli’s nervousness about getting in the air a little!

Sofia on the other hand only cared about the snacks. Asking me numerous times when the snacks would be there. I think she was disappointed we didn’t get cookies.

The kids did fabulous on the plane! Even sitting next to each other and NOT fighting. Unfortunately, things wouldn’t stay this good the entire trip. The good news is on the flight home, Eli announced he had “overcome his fear of flying.”

Stay tuned for more post as it was an adventure filled week – one that took me someplace I never thought I’d go nor can you pay to go, magical meltdowns, vegetarian meals, and of course, the actual conference.

Disclosure: I paid to attend the Disney Social Media Conference. In return, I received highly discounted park tickets, hotel, and a gift bag. There was no monetary compensation or posts required in exchange for this package.

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