We had our first trip to Disneyland on Thanksgiving weekend! This has been a highly anticipated trip for us and we were so excited to be able to experience it with our whole family. On Thanksgiving day, we strolled through Downtown Disney and then my parents treated all 15 of us to a dinner at Goofy’s Kitchen. The kids got their first character interactions and got to meet Goofy and some other friends during our dinner. We had more than our fair share of delicious food and so many fun memories were made. The next day was our first day in the park and we had the most magical time! From Fantasyland rides, to character meet and greets, to giggles on the carousel, and taking in the beauty of the firework show up close. I have to say that a highlight for me on day one was watching Everly see Elsa for the first time in the Christmas Fantasy Parade. She had waited so long to meet her favorite Disney princess and seeing her excitement and anticipation was so precious. We were watching the Christmas Fantasy parade and the Frozen float came by. Everly was wearing her beanie and jacket and when she spotted the float she took off her jacket (on her own) so Elsa could see her dress. Both Anna and Elsa spotted her in the crowd and Elsa looked right at her, waved, and blew her a kiss. But the best part for me was the way Everly turned to me after the parade, wrapped her arms around me and looked at me right in the eyes, then gave me the sweetest kiss. The definition of Disney magic right there. The kids just about closed down the park and we squeezed in some fun big-kid rides while they slept in their strollers. The next day we started out in California Adventure with a visit to Santa. The kids explored the tree house, my dad met Doug the dog in his Carl outfit, we went to the Frozen meet and greet where Everly got to meet Anna and Elsa up close, danced in the Disney animation building, watched another parade, snuck in some more rollercoasters, and then headed back to Disneyland for some more rides for the kids, some sweet treats, and one more ride on Small World. And finally, at the very end of day two, Oliver got to meet Mickey and give him a hug. He squealed and pointed to him and I had to hold him back from cutting in line to see him. There were so many beautiful moments on this trip and some of the most precious ones looking back were all the things that happened in the in-between. Watching Ollie give Dan kisses while waiting in line for a ride, the smile on Everly’s face while getting a piggy back ride from her Nana, watching my Dad hold Ollie while he grins from ear to ear and claps, seeing Everly holding hands with her cousins, and seeing Oliver giggle while his Uncle holds him and tickles his belly. It was so special to be able to pull off this trip with the whole family. There were 9 adults, 3 kids, 2 toddlers, 1 baby, and a partridge in a pear tree, haha. I’m forever thankful for my family and I’m so grateful that we all have each other.
It’s been such an action packed couple of months! I unfortunately had my Facebook account hacked and then disabled, and because my Instagram account was linked to my Facebook, that got disabled as well. I still haven’t regained access but I’m hopeful I will get everything back! All that to say, I haven’t been able to share with all of my friends and family everything we’ve been up to lately. Between photographing weddings, family photo shoots, and all the fall family fun we’ve had, it definitely has not been boring over here. So in more or less this order, here’s what we’ve been up to!
In October, my mom, dad and I participated in a 19 mile skate, bike, roll along the CA Coast with our rollerskating club, Coast Skate Club. We were the first place team for fundraising bringing in $8400 for an organization called B4BC that funds Breast cancer awareness and survivorship programs. We had such a great time and look forward to doing it every year!
Daniel and I loved taking the kids to a couple different pumpkin patches this year. Everly and Oliver loved feeding the farm animals, going on a tractor ride, playing games, jumping on the bounce house, and enjoying all of the pumpkins and hay everywhere. We always love it when Nana, Papa, and Papa Carlson can join in on the fun as well! So many fun memories were made. We got to squeeze in a couple of beach days before the weather got cooler too. It’s so fun taking my kids to the same beach that I grew up going to as a kid. It’s one of their favorite places to be.
We booked our first Disneyland trip and we get to enjoy that with our whole family soon! So we got the kids new pjs and mouse ears to celebrate. They loved getting to dress up and go trick or treating together. At the pumpkin patch they dressed up as Mickey and Minnie, but for trick or treating, Everly wanted to be Rapunzel. She is definitely most happiest wearing her princess dresses. You can find her wearing them 90% of the time here at home. It’s hard to believe how grown up she is now. She is constantly blowing us away with how smart and mature she is now. Sometimes it’s hard to realize that she’s only 3. I’ve been doing some at-home preschool with her and she loves it! She is the best big sister to Ollie and so sweet with him. They of course have their moments but overall they have such a great relationship. They truly are becoming the best of friends.
We visited Papa Carlson’s house, had cousin Brian over here at our house, and of course, the kids had numerous visits to Nana and Papa’s house while Daniel and I were out on photo shoots. Our pup Rusty Roo turned 10 years old! He’s been in our lives for the last 8 years and we have so many great memories with him. The kids love him so much and I love that they get to grow up and make more special memories with him. We celebrated my first niece Kaylyn’s 9th birthday with the family, we went to a car show, and Oliver had his first hair cut! I loved getting to do it for him. He’s such a little sweetheart. His personality is the cutest. Lately, I’ve been getting so many kisses from him and he’s been talking so much! I started writing down what he says just so I can remember. Here are some of the words: wow, uh oh, car, cookie (cuh cuh), book (buh), Dada, Mama, Elsa, Papa, Nana, Hi, bread, eat, no, hooray, I did it (di di), sun, poo poo, dinosaur (so-ah-so), banana (nana), and play. He also is starting to recognize and say certain letters of the alphabet. His Auntie Breezie also taught him sign language for “more, eat, and please” so he’s been communicating that way too. He’s been such a joy and delight and I’m so thankful for all the giggles and fun. He just recently turned 18 months old, so we took him out for a little photo shoot. It was so fun capturing his cuteness. He’s constantly on the move and climbing on everything so capturing him standing still wasn’t the easiest, but we’re super happy with how they turned out. Ollie loves reading books and doing puzzles. He’s constantly coming up to me to crawl up in my lap with a book. He likes brushing his teeth and gets really excited and smiley whenever that time of day comes. He’s been sleeping so well lately! He’ll go a full 12 hours + through the night on most nights and we’re soooo grateful for that.
As I’m reading back these words I’m writing, I’m just reminded of the miracle these little ones are in my life and how much God has blessed me. This life is beautiful and I’m so filled with gratitude.