Thursday, November 29, 2012

I Really Want It Right Now

I wrote most of this post before I went on my trip and then forgot to post it.  Little did I know that there was a VERY good reason for this.  You'll have to read to the end to find out why.

You may recall a few weeks ago I told you that Ian Axel had joined forces with his friend Chad and they formed A Great Big World.

Their album dropped yesterday on October 30th and it's fantastic! Just six songs and for sale on iTunes for just $5.94, I think you'll enjoy it as much as I do.

I know you're dying to favorite song is Rockstar. Each time I listen to it I think about my kiddos and the fantastic futures they have in front of them.  I love uplifting and positive music and this fits the bill!  

Side note: After listening to the album 5000 times, my new favorite song is I Really Want It.

Thank you Ian and Chad for a great album.  And come on already!!!  Come to Denver!

So that is the post I wrote a month ago.  Early Sunday morning, I opened an email from my husband that had been sent the night before while I was fast asleep.  It was the invitation to the Double Encore Holiday Party.  I've been waiting for this invitation for weeks to discover where it would be this year and to know the time so I could finalize my babysitter.

Imagine my surprise and delight to discover that A GREAT BIG WORLD is playing the holiday party. 

I started jumping up and down and silently cheering because it was 5:30am and my kids were asleep.  And then I started to cry.  Have you ever cried because you were so happy and excited about something?

So...this Saturday night, I'll be with Ian and Chad and listening to their music in person! 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Universal Orlando

Universal Orlando has two sides.  Islands of Adventure and the less fun side.  This side is more about movies and although it does have rides (and roller coasters), it also has a faux New York and Hollywood street.  My kids were not very impressed with how real it all looked.

I was very impressed that faux New York had a real Starbucks and I went there to drown my sorrows in a Cranberry Muffin and a Chai Tea Latte.

Side note: We visited this park on the day after the election.

We did perk up however, and enjoyed helping make a movie where we found our new family motto.  And we're....Movin On! We also enjoyed a Simpsons ride that almost made me throw up, a Shrek show, the E.T. ride, and our favorite of all..... Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem!

Look it's Edith! 

This is where I embarrassed my entire family because I hadn't been taking full showers in our crappy little hotel.  Gru has to do a body scan on the group of us about to ride and he shined a spotlight on ME and said that I hadn't showered.  Mallory was mortified!!

We did have a very good meal in faux New York.  Louie's Italian Restaurant doesn't look like much from the front.  In fact, it looks like a tiny pizza joint on a real street in NYC.  This is a counter service restaurant which means if you purchase the meal plan and/or a butterbeer mug, you can get your discounted meal/drinks here.

It is a really authentic looking place with excellent pizza!  Alex gave it two thumbs up!

Click here for to read about what I ate and drank at Universal City Walk.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Perfect Moment: Cuddles

Yep, I'm that Mom.

I miss my kids when they are school and I live for breaks!

I loved last week.

We didn't do much....just ran errands, went to the library and hung out together.  The kids slept in and stayed up a little late.  Sometimes I do like going without a routine.

I thought about this one morning, all day today as I missed my little boy.  Then I was reminded that Lori from Write Mind Open Heart celebrates perfect moments once a month and I knew I had to share.

Alex woke up early one day last week and shuffled out of his room with this favorite blanket.  I was working at my computer in the quiet apartment and he climbed into my lap just like he used to do when he was a couple years younger. He rested his head on my chest and cuddled with me for 30 full minutes!  Six year olds don't do this much anymore....or so I'm told.

I had to capture it on my phone so I could remember that moment.

What's My Name?

Ever so often, the kids get ahold of my cell phone and try to call their Dad.

It's usually to tell him to bring home pizza because the smells from the kitchen don't smell good.

Side note: if they don't stop complaining...I'm going to serve Hamburger Helper every night.

They also like to bug Siri with a bunch of questions that she can't answer.

Side note: Thanks to Siri and President Obama I now have TWO pat answers for questions I want to avoid.

  • That is under investigation.
  • Would you like me to search the web for that?

Over the weekend, I was sending an email to myself (you don't do this? It's a great way to remind yourself of things) and I saw that my nickname in my address book was....strange.

Keith thought I'd been hacked!

Yeah....I'd been hacked alright, by a mastermind named Mallory!

Tomorrow...another vacation post.  All about Universal Orlando, the less fun side.  

Friday, November 23, 2012


Gratitude turns what we have into enough. ~ Melody Beattie

It was just going to be the four of us for Thanksgiving this year and iKeith was going to smoke a turkey again and he hates leftover turkey.

I happen to LOVE leftover turkey sandwiches with cranberry sauce on white bread.  YUM!

I went to the store on a Sunday afternoon which is ill advised.  It's the church crowd all dressed up and smelling like mothballs.

There were numerous older gentlemen standing around the frozen turkeys, painstakingly looking at lists which I'm sure had very detailed instructions on them.  I don't even want to think about what happens if they bring home the wrong turkey!

I really didn't want a frozen turkey.  I'm not afraid to spend a little bit a cash on my turkey to get a fresh bird.  Which is obvious by the amount I paid for last years organic, happily raised, gently killed health food store turkey.  See...two years ago,  I tried to embrace my inner tree hugger and then I realized that bitch is crazy!


I was looking for a 10 pound turkey and I didn't care how it was raised.  And I was in a hurry to get out of the store with my extremely full cart.

The closest I found was a 7 pound fresh bird for $18.  SOLD!

Fast forward to Wednesday night when Keith was preparing his brine.  I was enjoying a little Charlie Brown and Cabernet.  Keith came over to the couch and informed me that our turkey was missing a few things.

Things like wings, legs and a heart!

I ran to the kitchen because I had to see this for myself and I had to avert my eyes.  It was so terrible that I decided against sharing a picture of this sad, sad bird.  There are no words to describe it.

Our turkey was a quadruple amputee!

I was puzzled and my husband was concerned that I've been hitting the bottle a little too much.  I mean, how else does a Martha Stewart wanna-be like myself come home with a turkey like this.  I went through the stages of grief pretty quickly, especially when our daughter disolved into tears because all she wanted for Thanksgiving was a turkey leg.

Being the amazing father that he is....Keith ran to the store to search for turkey extremities!  It was much like running to the store on Christmas Eve looking for a Tickle Me Elmo.

He came home with two thighs and 20 little turkey drumettes.

And now we had a FrankenTurkey!

Yesterday, we could laugh about it.  I decided it really is true.  God never gives you more than you can handle.  My sister pointed out that I should be careful who I share this story with because some people might say we are racist because our turkey only had white meat!

A Republican Thanksgiving?

Say it isn't so!

Disclaimer:  I do not mean to offend quadruple amputees, real racists, liberals and tin men everywhere.  I also mean no harm to old people and controlling old bitties that make lists and beat their husbands.  My apologies to Martha Stewart and blondes for making them look bad on Thanksgiving.

And a big thank you to God....for not giving me more turkey than we could handle! 


I told them...if any one of you looks at the camera, NO PIE FOR YOU!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


My kids are out of school all week for Thanksgiving Break and we're having a great time. One thing we did was go to the library and check out some books. They love it!

I laugh every time, because Mallory always runs up to this statue and sits on it's lap. She calls her Grandma.

Her Grandma reads all the time (must be where I get it from) and she loves sitting close with this reminder of her sweet Granny who lives so far away.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Take Offs and Landings

Take Off

I scheduled our Florida bound flight for late afternoon because it was cheaper and I thought the kids would be exhausted from traveling and the time change and fall into bed when we arrived.  I didn't anticipate that they would be so excited to leave on vacation that they would bug me all freakin day asking if it was time to leave.

We're finally on the plane and they shut the doors.  We're taxiing to the runway when I guy a few rows ahead of me hits the alert a stewardess button.  She addresses him over the intercom and tells him to shut it off if it's not a real emergency.

He doesn't shut it off.

Two stewardesses come to the row and he explains that the guy next to him has just passed out and he thinks there is something wrong with him.  They ask if anyone is a doctor.  There are NO doctors going to Orlando at 4:30pm on a Sunday.

They wake the guy up and he says he's fine.  They ask him a bunch of questions and he keeps passing out.

Next thing I know, we're turning around and going back to the gate.

My kids lose their shit!  They want to go to their favorite place in the whole world.  Orlando! I love you Orlando!  Sea World and Disney and putt putt golfing!

The doors burst open and several Denver Firemen board the plane and start checking the guy out.  He finally comes around enough to tell them that he sat in a bar and didn't eat.

Dude is DRUNK pants!

They removed him from the plane and we were finally able to take off and head for Orlando!

I bonded with my seat mate during this ordeal and I'm kicking myself for not getting her information.  She was awesome!

Side note: Stewardesses frown upon you taking pictures of drunk guys on airplanes.  I really was just taking a picture of the hot fireman.  Whatev.

The Taxi Ride from Hell

Wednesday was a rough day for us. We woke to learn that Obama had been re-elected.  Talk about putting a damper on your vacation!  During the day, Keith decided that he couldn't stay in our cheap little hotel room another night and that his wife desperately needed a hot shower.  (even Gru noticed, but more about that later) We'd planned to move to Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort on Thursday morning but Keith couldn't wait so we called and booked an extra day.

We called for a cab and 20 minutes later, a van arrived and loaded our stuff.  The guy spoke very little english and had a GPS that he used to enter the address of our destination.  It didn't come up on the GPS thingy.  He called someone and they gave him vague directions.  Keith looked up the hotel on his iPhone and tried to direct him but he didn't understand.  We drove around and around passing the road that we needed to turn on and finally....the guy understood enough to get us to the hotel.

Side note:  I should know by now that my husband is a snob and can't stay in budget hotel rooms that may or may not have hot water issues.


Another late afternoon departure but this time the kids were fine with it because we spent the morning at the pool!

The cool thing about flying west in the late afternoon is that the sun sets for a couple hours as you pass through time zones.  It was spectacular!

We knew it was cold in Colorado but we didn't realize that a freak snow storm had hit an hour before we landed.  As we were taxiing to the terminal, we saw at least 30 emergency vehicles on the runway and learned that a plane had slid off the tarmac as it was landing!  My phone was blowing up with concerned family and friends that knew we were flying in that night. wasn't our flight and I was able to update facebook with the news that we were safe! Gosh I love facebook.....

The problem with living in Colorado and traveling to a sunny location in late fall is that the temperatures could very well be warm when you leave (so you don't bring winter coats) and then when you return 6 days later, it can be snowing and your vehicle can be frozen to the ground.

Plan accordingly.

Vacation Posts:

Great Things....On The Way

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Vacation Food Posts:

Three Broomsticks

Shop Amazon - Black Friday Deals Week

Friday, November 16, 2012

Another Greeley Story

We interrupt my vacation posts to bring you yet another outrageous story from my hometown of Greeley, Colorado!

According to The Denver Post, It seems that a woman was swimming in a zero depth swimming pool yesterday when her belly button ring got caught on the pool drain.

It took firefighters an hour to release her and they had to partially drain the pool!

How does this happen?  ONLY IN GREELEY!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

It was a dreary and rainy day in Hogwarts but we didn't care.  It only made us believe more that we were in England and were about to meet our three best friends.  It also helped that half of the UK was on vacation with us so english accents were everywhere.  

We had to pinch ourselves to prove that we were not dreaming!

We hightailed it to the castle and it seemed to take forever!  It's at the far end so you have to walk quite a ways.  Ever so often you catch a glimpse of the castle and get so very excited!

We made our way to the Forbidden Journey ride.  Mallory wasn't tall enough to ride it but there is so much to see as you are waiting in line.  The tour of the castle was much too short because I really want to take more time but you have to keep moving.  Lines are shorter in November.

Universal Orlando has a brillant program called Child Swap!  This works great if you have a kid that isn't tall enough or family members that can't handle the ride.  They provide a little room just off from the line for the you to wait for your party to return from riding and then you can jump in to the line.

I had to ride alone because Alex was too scared to ride it again.  Be is a little scary and the fast moving.

Next was the Flight of the Hippogrift, a fun roller coaster that the entire family enjoyed!

Our final stop was Ollivander's Wand Shop.  This was the longest line we were in the entire week and it was well worth it.  

We passed the time by eavesdropping on our fellow line standers and trying to guess what country they were from.  I think the couple behind me were on their honeymoon and trying to make a little Harry while on line.  

The wand ceremony is really fun and if you're lucky a wand will pick your kid.  If you want to increase your odds....have them wear full Harry Potter regalia.  After the get to enter a wand shop and let a wand pick you.  They have specially trained wand picker outter helpers that can assist you in finding YOUR wand based on your favorite numbers. 

The wands run around $36 each. 

Be advised that when you're five year old gets back to the hotel and tries to make her brother levitate and then discovers that the wand doesn't have any REAL magic and that she's not really a wizard, that she will cry and throw her wand across the room. 


All in all....THE best three and a half hours of our trip!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I'm sitting in the school parking lot eating fried chicken. I'm waiting for my son to get early release from school and then I'm going home to work on posts about my trip...I swear!

Side note: did you read The Rookie Foodie today? I'm so freakin excited!

So...this morning I spent two hours in a meeting with moms from Mallory's class to plan the Holiday Party.

One of the Mom's ('s Mallory's future Mother in law) is disconnected...from the world!

I didn't know there were still people in the world without Internet and phones that don't do anything other than call people.

It's been so long since I've been connected....that I can't remember what it's like not to be.

Do you know anyone that isn't connected?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Great Things...On The Way

I feel like I have so much to say about our trip to Orlando but I don't know where to start.

 I want to tell you about how we escaped from our semi-crappy hotel in the dead of night during rush hour with a cab driver that didn't read or speak english and I really want to tell you about all of the food and drink I had.  If you're at all interested in that part, I'll be telling those stories over on The Rookie Foodie.  (hint hint...go follow that blog)

I want to tell you about how my kids are still on Florida time and are up at the crack of dawn this morning and that I have ZERO desire to leave my house today.

I want to tell you that I thought about Owls during the whole trip and why. (hint's about Christmas)

And I really want to tell you about the very eventful flights in both directions and how my husband believes that I'm cursed and likely doesn't want to travel with me anymore.

Instead, I'll leave you with one funny Mallory story.

We were standing at the bus stop waiting to go to Disney Epcot when a man asked if we were from Colorado.  Both Alex and iKeith were wearing Bronco hats so everywhere we went people commented on them.  Mallory looked at him and said, 'How did you know that?  Is it because we speak english?'

The entire bus stop busted up in laughter!

Side note here: Apparently....we visited Orlando with half of Europe.  While American children are toiling away until Thanksgiving...Europe is on Fall Break and as my dear UK friend put it, it's bloody cold there!   We heard lots of accents and other languages. more funny story.  This one about iKeith.

Our shuttle bus from our hotel to Sea World and Universal Orlando was driven by a guy named Terry. He was so much fun and had the whole bus singing songs.  One day...we ran out of songs and he asked for suggestions.  My kids had been practicing a song that they have to sing TODAY at a book store and Keith broke out in that song.

He taught all of these Europeans a song about a turkey hiding in the woods to avoid being killed for Thanksgiving Dinner!  I found it so funny because they don't celebrate Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Almost Home

Our flight leaves Florida at 4:53pm but until then...we're sitting in the Florida sun listening Jimmy Buffet by the pool!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Day One: Unplanned Thrill Seeking

Some people say that little rain clouds follow me everywhere I go. And by some people...I mean Keith.

He stopped taking me on vacation after a tsunami ruined our Orlando Honeymoon and torrential rains messed up our New York vacation a few years later.

I'm praying for NO rain this week.

I'm also praying that my husband stops messing with my carefully thought out plans.

Sea World....wasn't in my plans today but we had fun anyway. Okay...I had fun anyway.

My kids are little thrill seekers now. Unless it involves water and a 50 foot drop! I loved it!

Tomorrow...we see where Harry lives!