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October Catch-Up

Remember this post about cutting back from June?!?!  Well, that didn’t quite happen.  In fact, these past few months have been the busiest I’ve ever had.  The extra income is a blessing, but I’m ready for a break.  And with the new baby coming – a break I will have! You know life is a little too busy when a new baby means life will be easier and less hectic:) I had two photoshoots this past week and those are my last until the end of February.  In a few weeks I may miss my photography outings, but right now I’m pretty excited about being done for a little while.  It will be nice to be a normal, attentive stay-at-home mom again.  With the older kids I wanted to go into labor early but this time I’m hoping I go a little late so I can have a few weeks to myself to catch up on stuff I’ve been putting off – one of which is blog posts.

So, I’m going way back to October to start my catch up.

We realized at the end of September that we still had 3 days of Disney passes we had to use by October 22nd or they would expire.  I had 15 photoshoots scheduled for October and a trip  planned to Vegas so it was complicated to carve out the time to use the passes but luckily we did.

We took a day trip to Magic Kingdom with my dad on Saturday, October 1st.  I hadn’t scheduled any sessions that day because of General Conference, and I didn’t want to choose Disney over conference but we did.  It was either go that day or a day would go unused.  We figured it’s easy enough to catch up on watching conference nowadays.  I felt a little guilty all day but we had a great time, nonetheless!  Grampie purchased the 4 day passes with us at the beginning of the year so he joined us. We always assign each child to an adult and he was the most popular adult.  Everyone wanted to be his buddy and ride with him on each attraction!

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The most memorable part of the day was the run back to our car. My dad headed home around 5 or 6 so he could get to Priesthood Session.  We were going to stay longer but around 7pm the clouds started to build and we could tell it was going to pour.  After consulting our weather app we realized it was going to be a long rain, too, so we decided to head home for the day.  However, on the walk to the car the skies opened and we got drenched!!!!  We had ponchos for the kids, but Ben and I didn’t bring anything for ourselves.  On the tram ride to our cars we were getting that heavy, sideways rain blown right into our faces.  We ran through deep puddles of standing water in the parking lot while the torrents of rain fell on our heads from above.  Sadie and Jax thought it was hilarious. Luckily we had brought PJs for the kids so we changed them into dry clothes in the car.  Ben and I had to drive home in soggy, wet clothes though.  All my layers were still soaked when I got home two hours later.

Here’s a picture from when we were leaving and the rain was just starting.  McKay didn’t like the rain so Ben carried him the entire way back.  Bless that man.

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Fun times.

We booked a hotel room in Orlando and stayed there October 19th through 22nd, and visited Disney again on October 20th and 21st.  It was so nice not to have a long drive home at the end of the day!  We also went back to the hotel each day and took naps so we were fresh and rested in the evenings.  My parents joined us for much of the time and that made things extra fun!

We went to Disney Springs on the evening of the 19th when we arrived.  I think the kids enjoyed Disney Springs more than the actual Disney parks.  We ate at Rainforest Cafe, played at the Lego store, danced at the outdoor dance party, and indulged in Ghiradelli Ice Cream Sundaes.  It was a really fun evening! A few phone pictures….

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The next day we visited Epcot.  I wasn’t sure if that was the best choice of parks for our kids’ ages but we had a phenomenal time!  We rode a bunch of the bigger rides and enjoyed them all.  I think Soarin’ was the boys’ favorite ride, and Sadie and I loved the new Frozen ride.  We took mid-day naps at the hotel and then stayed all the way until the Fireworks show at the end of the night.

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My parents left us on Friday to join Kimmy and Michael’s family for a trip in North Carolina.  We decided to do another day at Magic Kingdom.  We got there bright and early and did a bunch of rides quickly before the crowds rolled in.  Disney is so much more enjoyable when you don’t have long lines to wait in!

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We realized when we when we were leaving mid-day for naps that the park closed at 7PM that night for an exclusive Halloween party.  Luckily, we were able to upgrade our tickets to park hopper tickets for a small amount of money which allowed us to visit any park.  The others stayed open until much later than 7PM so that gave us a few more hours to play.  We visited Animal Kingdom in the afternoon and then went to Epcot in the evening to do Soarin, Frozen, and the fireworks show again.  I’m so happy we were able to visit Animal Kingdom!  The kids loved the Nemo show and Lion King show.  We also rode the Safari ride.  I wish we had more time to explore that park.  I always underestimate it.

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On Saturday morning I went to the temple while Ben watched the kids.  Joe and Julie happened to be there, too, so that was extra fun for the kids.  I had a photoshoot in Orlando that afternoon and then we headed home.

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Good ‘ole Disney.  It’s fun to visit every few years, but I don’t feel the need to go too often.  The crowds, waiting, and walking can get annoying. Although, those Dole Pineapple floats do help to make up for it :) Mostly, I felt we had a parental duty to take the kids and I’m happy that we did.  They had a great time. And we had a great time watching them have a great time.

One more October trip: Vegas.  Ben had a business trip scheduled and we thought it would be nice to have a few days alone together before this baby is born.  My parents were kind enough to watch the kids so away we went.  Ben arrived on Wednesday for business stuff and I joined him Friday through Sunday.  We didn’t do a whole lot.  I don’t know if it was the altitude or my low iron but I had very, very little stamina this trip.  I needed to rest a lot and often so we kept things calm and low key.  We stayed at the MGM Grand. Our big outing was going to KA, the Cirque du Soleil show at our hotel.  It was really impressive!  We really enjoyed it. We also visited a lot of the other hotels so we would know where to stay if we ever return.  I’m not sure we will return.  I don’t think we’re Vegas people.  The smokey casinos, drunk people, trashy shows….pretty yucky place, I think.  It was a fun little getaway but I’m not sure we’d ever choose to return to that destination.  We mostly ate our way through Vegas.  We were always thinking about our next meal and asking about the best restaurants.  My favorite meals were a French Toast breakfast I had at our hotel and an amazing Tomato Goat Cheese appetizer at Mon Ami Gabi, a French restaurant.

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