The Happiest Place on Earth…Disneyland!!!

A couple months ago we went on a trip to Disneyland and Legoland, and it was AMAZING. David was going to surprise me, but he wanted my input, so he told me ahead of time. We didn’t tell Robbie until Christmas morning.

I’ve always loved Disney, and we went a couple times when I was a kid, but I hadn’t been since I was 15 years old! Needless to say, A LOT had changed since then! For example, California Adventure wasn’t even in existence yet! I was SO excited to be able to take Robbie. He had been talking about wanting to go for ages, and was so excited. There’s nothing like watching a young kid experience Disney for the first time. 🙂

IMG_1114

We left on January 30th-my birthday-and arrived at our hotel in the evening. We didn’t stay in a Disney resort hotel, but it was across the street from the entrance to the park. We literally did not use our rental car the whole time we were there. We were able to just walk across to Disney. I would definitely stay there again….I really liked our hotel.

We headed to the park for a few hours, after we arrived. Peter Pan’s Flight was the first ride we went on….such a classic ride. We rode the teacups and Dumbo as well. It was a Monday, so the park was only open until 8pm. We stayed until the park closed and then headed next door to downtown Disney (where the restaurants and stores stay open until 2am), and we had dinner at Tortilla Joe’s, which is a Mexican restaurant with AMAZING food.  They make homemade guacamole right at your table (it was SOOOO good) and I had the best peach blended margarita….it was seriously delicious. I don’t normally drink, but it WAS my birthday after all.

IMG_1124

Our first full day, we spent in Disneyland.

IMG_1137

Robbie loved Toon Town. It is totally geared toward younger children, and is very whimsical and a lot of fun.

IMG_1142

This is also where you can find the most “famous” characters at Disneyland (Mickey, Minnie, etc.). Goofy was the first character we met. We also went to Mickey and Minnie’s houses and met them. We saw Donald and Pluto in Toon Town as well.

IMG_1149

IMG_1163

IMG_1170

Robbie went on every ride and had a blast. He’s pretty daring. We went on Pirates of the Caribbean and Splash Mountain, and even the Haunted Mansion (though he closed his eyes the whole time).

One of my favorite moments, had to be when Robbie got to meet Darth Vader in Tomorrowland. We kind of stumbled upon it by accident, and I am so glad we did. Robbie LOVES Star Wars (and Darth Vader….that’s his cat’s name in fact) and he is still at an age where he thinks everything is real. It was so fun to see him get to do that. I almost cried. Darth Vader was totally in character (and quite intimidating) and Robbie loved it.

IMG_1288

He also got to meet Chewbacca (who was HUGE) and Boba Fett.

IMG_1285

He LOVED the Buzz Lightyear ride in Tomorrowland as well….we had to go on that more than once.

He was very excited to go on the Finding Nemo Submarine ride, and it was very cool. That was definitely a hit.

To say that I love Disneyland would be an understatement. I felt like I smiled the entire day. It’s such a nostalgic, special place.

Our second full day, we spent in California Adventure, which was really amazing. The first thing we did was go to Disney Jr. Live on stage.

IMG_1193

It was SO cute and Robbie loved seeing his favorite characters from Disney Jr. SUCH a cute show. From there we headed to Radiator Springs…..AMAZING.

IMG_1204

It’s literally like you are in the movie. It is so well done. And, as with everything in Disneyland, the attention to detail is incredible. We got to meet Mater and Lightning McQueen, which was another highlight.

IMG_1218

IMG_1214

Radiator Springs Racers was definitely one of our absolute favorite rides. It was SO Much fun.

In Hollywoodland, Robbie got to meet Captain America and Spiderman, which was really fun. I love how amazing the cast members are at staying in character and making each kid feel special. It was another highlight for me, and we got some amazing pictures.

IMG_1235

IMG_1243

Paradise Pier was a lot of fun as well. Robbie enjoyed all the carnival type rides. This was the main area that I would have liked to spend more time at. Next time we go, I definitely would want to spend two full days in California Adventure. We saw a lot of it, but there were definitely things we didn’t get to do. I would have liked more time there.

Our last day at Disney, we spent at Disneyland again. We also stayed to watch the Main Street Electrical Parade, which they brought back for a limited time….I remember it from when I was a kid. It was AMAZING, and so much fun to watch.

IMG_1303

I love Disneyland so much….I already want to go back. I think I could go once a year and never get tired of it.

Next up, we headed to Legoland!

Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds

First things first….I am now (finally!) a married woman. David and I have been together for 8 years now (since April of 2009), and we do have a 5 year old. We have talked about getting married forever, but we were apparently not in a rush. 😉  We have always been committed to each other and functioned very much like a married couple, even before we were actually married. Still, I longed for it to be “official”. Marriage is important….it’s not just a piece of paper to me. I come from a very conservative, religious family, so it really bothered me that we weren’t married yet. I also hated calling David my “boyfriend”. I always felt like he was so much more than that, but there wasn’t really a better term to use. We very much ACTED like we were married, made decisions together, and we of course have a son together. We were in every way a family, except for the fact that we weren’t married to each other.

IMG_0133

Finally, we decided to just go for it. We were never really technically engaged. We picked a date, and I made an appointment at the Seattle Municipal Courthouse. I picked that one because of the amazing views of the city during the ceremony. We picked up our marriage license on July 18th (which is also our son’s birthday), and then got married on Friday, July 22nd. We wanted to keep it simple, so we opted to only invite our siblings (and of course our son Robbie was there). It was PERFECT for us. Neither David nor I enjoying being the center of attention….the thought of a hundred people staring at us during a big wedding is a nightmare to me. I’ve never wanted a wedding, even before I met David. I simply didn’t care about all the details and it sounded totally stressful. I have absolutely no regrets.

My sister (who lived in Eastern Washington at the time…she since has moved to Arizona) was able to come a few days before the wedding to help me prepare, and it was such a special time. I will always treasure those days.

IMG_0102

I found a dress I liked on Macy’s website, so we headed to Tacoma to check it out in person. It ended up being PERFECT and exactly what I wanted. It was a simple lacy creme dress, and it seriously ended up being around $20 (it was on crazy clearance)!! It was the first dress I tried on, and I loved it. It was sleeveless, so I found a cardigan to wear over it.

We went shopping for shoes and even found a special outfit for Robbie to wear.

IMG_0090

For some reason, we decided that it would be a good idea for Lindsey to cut my hair herself, the day before the wedding. I just wanted a trim, and she cuts her husband’s hair all the time, so she was confident she could do it. It was a DISASTER. We immediately made an emergency appointment at the Gene Juarez near our house. Lindsey felt horrible and was freaking out and practically in tears. She was taking it MUCH harder than me, in fact I was comforting her. I knew that it would be fine….I’ve had shorter hair many times over the years, so I knew it would be fine in the end. It actually all worked out for the best. It was fun to go to such a nice salon and get my hair done and feel pampered a little bit. The stylist was super sweet and spent a lot of time on my hair, and it ended up looking great. Crisis averted! 🙂 And I found a good salon, that I will definitely keep going to (not an easy feat!).

Lindsey helped me get ready the day of the wedding. David worked the day we got married, so he didn’t see me until we got to the courthouse around 4:30 that afternoon. Lindsey painted my nails, did my makeup, and even styled my hair. I was happy with how it all turned out.

We made it downtown and then headed to the courthouse, where David and his brother were waiting.

We checked in and then waited with all the other couples who were there to get married. All weddings take place after 4:30 (when court is over for the day), and each judge (there were several) took a couple to a different section of the courthouse, so there could be multiple weddings going on at once. We were bummed that we didn’t have time to go to Pike Place and pick up some flowers from me to hold. To our surprise, my sister Kelsey showed up with flowers for me! That was really special, and meant a lot to me. Kelsey doesn’t always think about things like that, so it was special that she thought of me.

IMG_0136

Once our judge came to get us, we headed to her chambers, where we did the paperwork. She also got to know us a little bit and gave us options for vows and such. She then put on her robe and we headed up to the room we got married in. We stood in front of floor to ceiling windows that overlooked the Seattle skyline….it was an amazing view….and looked cool in pictures. 🙂 The ceremony itself was actually a lot more meaningful than I thought it would be….she did a really good job.

IMG_0138

After the ceremony we took some pictures (my brother in law was taking pictures for us the whole day) and then headed back to her chambers to sign the marriage license. David’s brother Tony and my sister Kelsey also signed as our witnesses.

IMG_0128

IMG_0130

IMG_0131

IMG_0091

IMG_0134

 

After the wedding, we headed to the waterfront, where we had dinner at Anthony’s. My mom met us there. We didn’t go on a honeymoon….we plan to go somewhere for our first anniversary in a few months. Robbie’s 5th birthday party was the next day, so we were able to tell our relatives about the wedding.  The following picture is four generations on both sides of the family….my family on the right (Robbie, me, my mom, and my grandma) and David’s on the left (his grandpa, dad, him, and Robbie). It was taken the day after the wedding, at Robbie’s birthday party. We thought it would be a special picture to take since we were married and all officially family. 🙂 I have to say, it’s fun to have even more family. David’s family has always treated me  like a daughter in law, but it’s nice that it’s official now. 🙂

IMG_0147

It was all very surreal….I couldn’t BELIEVE we were FINALLY married. It felt SO good. It’s hard to explain, but it felt like everything was finally as it should be. Words cannot express how much I love that husband of mine. We were also surprised by how different we felt. Nothing changed in our day to day lives (except for my name…), but it just felt “different”….complete somehow. Like we were finally REALLY family. Such an amazing feeling. I still have to pinch myself sometimes, because I can’t believe this is my life.

It was a simple day, but absolutely perfect for us, and I will cherish the memories forever.

New Name, New Blog

New name. New blog. I wanted to start fresh in a new space. I really miss writing, and enjoyed blogging in the past. I got out of the habit, and rather than try to “catch up”, I thought I’d start over. Too many people in my “real life” discovered my blog, and I felt like I couldn’t be as honest or as candid as I wanted to be.

I finally got married and feel more settled and content than I’ve ever felt. I’m looking forward to sharing things I’m learning and enjoying, and also our adventures as a family. We also bought a house relatively recently, and I am having a lot of fun decorating, organizing, and even cleaning (funny how even CLEANING is so much more fun when you’re not renting. Pride of ownership, I suppose). I plan to share a lot of that process as well. I feel like I have so much to talk about.

Here’s hoping I can make this a regular thing! 🙂