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catch the moment: wk 29

Woo-hoo, we have slipped past the 200 day mark of 2015 – crazy. This time next week I’ll probably be sobbing into my pillow about my first baby boy starting Kindergarten the next day. He’s not nervous but I sure am. It’s pretty backwards that his calm and confidence helps to ease my own anxiety. It should be the other way around but thanks to a combination of his personality and his amazing pre-school / pre-school teachers, he is ready for this big day. Figuring out all the little details has kept my mind busy the last couple of weeks. While I am in not emotionally prepared for this shift, I am looking forward to moving beyond all of the uncertainty during the first few weeks and get into a comfortable routine.

197/365: Thursday, July 16th. School supply shopping with Theo. He enjoyed finding everything on our list like we were on a scavenger hunt. Only it didn’t end with anything cool, unless you call an $82 tab cool.  Seriously, though. It’s cute how excited he is.07-16-2015

198/365: Friday, July 17th. It just wouldn’t be a Friday night in Indiana without torrential rain, damaging wind, flash flooding, and no electricity. Right when I wanted to make dinner.07-17-2015

199/365: Saturday, July 18th. FINALLY! A super gorgeous, super hot day at the lake. 07-18-2015

200/365: Sunday, July 19th. The theme of our weekend was fun in the sun. I had a moment out there on my raft this weekend. I hope these summer weekends at the lake are culminating into amazing childhood memories for my boys. I hope these memories from their childhood when they are grown are as good as my memories of their childhood. Does that even make sense?07-19-2015

201/365: Monday, July 20th. We celebrated Ryan’s 37th birthday with dinner and a quick trip through Target (whoa, twice in one Catch the Moment post), along with a few domino set ups and knock downs. See day 203 below…07-20-2015

202/365: Tuesday, July 21st. Since it had rained and we’d been gone a lot, we hadn’t mowed the grass in 2 weeks or more. It was super long. I can’t remember a summer when we needed to mow so often or our grass was this green towards the end of July. The amount of rain we’ve had is ridiculous. 07-21-2015

203/365: Ryan’s got the boys on this domino kick. My men are thoroughly obsessed. If you follow me on Instagram (mommyinthemidwest), you may have seen a couple videos. The set ups and tricks are getting more and more elaborate. It’s serious business. Don’t you dare knock down someone’s track!07-22-2015What’s your favorite photo this week? I kinda like that one of Theo picking out school supplies but the lake photos just bring up warm fuzzy feelings and happy family memories. Linking up with Mindi,Stephanie, and Carrie for week 29 of Catch the Moment 365.



#mcdanfamloveswdw: Day 1

I have another post sitting in drafts titled “random thoughts” about our recent trip to Disney World. There’s so much swirling around in my mind surrounding the planning and execution of our vacation. I’m a processor. I like to hash it all out and get my thoughts collected in some sort of organized way. The post was turning into a big rambly mess that I know no one would care to follow so it will sit in drafts until I figure out what else to do with it.

Click HERE to see the photos we shared on Instagram from our trip. (or search #mcdanfamloveswdw). On to the fun.

Day 1: Wednesday, May 6th. After having been in the hospital with Dexter less than 1 week earlier, Ryan and I were apprehensive about what could go wrong while we were 1000 miles from home. The 2 things we worried would put a damper on our trip (bad weather and sickness) were non-issues! We’ve had our fair share of illness since then but I am thrilled to say we were all in good health in Florida. My father-in-law dropped us off at the airport. We had a 10:30am flight and got there in plenty of time to let our anticipation build as the boys watched planes land and take off. The beginning of any vacation is such an exciting time.
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I hoped the boys would nap on the plane but they were too excited. By the time we boarded Disney’s Magical Express, they couldn’t hold their eyes open. They wanted to sit together on the bus. They are definitely growing up. It was strange for Ryan and I to be able to sit together in a situation like this. Theo and Dexter are buddies.013

We arrived at our resort mid-afternoon with plans to be at the Magic Kingdom by 4 but things didn’t go as smoothly as we’d hoped. I’d ordered several items from Amazon and it took time to get those to our room. When we got up to our room, our Magic Bands did not work to open the door. Ryan and the boys went back to the check-in lobby while I stood here as time ticked away. I started feeling very frustrated and anxious because I didn’t want to waste a park ticket going to Magic Kingdom for just a couple of hours. The boys were tired – we all were – from traveling all day. We hadn’t eaten lunch. After Ryan returned, I had to go and have my Magic Band reprogrammed, which took up more precious time. We did end up getting to the Magic Kingdom by 5 and as soon as we walked through the gates, all of my stress vanished.017

Theo using his Magic Band to get into the park.019 020 023 024 027

Our first ride, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, was new since our last visit in October 2013. Notorious for long wait times, I made a FastPass+ selection for this prior to our trip. The ride was smooth, fun, and perfectly themed. It was a wonderful start to our adventure. 029

Another top priority on my list was to try Lefou’s Brew -frozen apple juice with a hint of toasted marshmallow, topped with passion-fruit mango whipped cream, from Gaston’s Tavern in New Fantasyland. It was everything I dreamed of and more. YUM. 035

Moment of truth! The majority of rides with height restrictions at Disney World require guests to be 40″ tall. Part of the reason I planned our trip for this time (rather than February 2015) was that I wanted Dexter to have plenty of time to grow. I knew that him being 40″ would make a substantial difference in the number of attractions we’d be able to experience as a family. I had Dexter measured at the doctor’s office with shoes on prior to our vacation and the nurse said he was 40.5″ but I was still nervous. I didn’t know how precise she was or how precise the measuring at Disney would be. There was no doubt, no reason to double-check, tell him to stand up straight. He was over 40″ and he was thrilled! We all were. Throughout our entire trip, I never tired of watching him confidently stand there when cast members asked to check his height. He was proud to be big. As we all stood in line for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad on that first night, I felt like my heart could burst. Here we were, just the 4 of us, at Walt Disney World. It felt like a dream. And now we were riding big rides together. I wanted this but at the same time, how did we get to this point so fast? My kids are riding roller coasters? What? Granted, we’re talking about Disney roller coasters, but you get my point. 040 043

Sad to say, this is my only picture with the boys in front of Cinderella Castle. We kept meaning to get that traditional, obligatory photo on Main Street but the time was never right. We were only ever on Main Street when people were pouring in or out of the park and I was hoping to get a photo without so many strangers’ butts, faces, shoulders, strollers, and elbows intruding into our special shot. I kept saying “next time,” and then eventually there wasn’t a next time. This will have to do. 052

We hadn’t specified a time we would try to leave but we were all wearing down by 9:30 or 10. It was so hard to leave when wait times for most rides were 5-15 minutes. We ended up staying until after 11pm and rode 13 rides in 5 hours! We stopped to enjoy the parade on our way out. 057

The boys couldn’t stay awake for it. What a big day!058Okay, now I’ve rambled more here than I planned so I think I’ll stop at Day 1 and pick up Day 2 (my birthday at EPCOT) next time.



catch the moment: wk 14

This week has flown by! Usually I am writing this post on Wednesday or Thursday night, and here it is Saturday morning. I’ve been gone so much this week and haven’t had the energy when I get home late at night to pull out the laptop. Ugh, I’ve been struggling these last couple of weeks with finding balance. Work-family-self-home-friend balance. And I have been wanting to write about it all just to process and see if anyone has any feedback that’s helpful but like I said…balance. Or lack of. It seems like I’m having a hard time getting it all done lately. More on that later. (Maybe.)

Linking up with Mindi at Stavish Stills Photography, Carrie at My Life, Our Journey, and Stephanie at Behind the Camera and Dreaming.

092/365 – Thursday, April 2nd.  Oh, April and her showers. We sure are looking forward to May’s flowers because the last two weeks have drowned us in rain. It looked somewhat promising for a long neighborhood walk this night so we grabbed the strollers and went for it. Thirty minutes in, the sky unloaded buckets and buckets of rain on us but we were very lucky to be on the backside of our neighborhood just where we could run through a couple of unsuspecting neighbors’ yards to get back home. The boys thought it was quite an adventure, getting all wet and muddy and sneaking between the houses. I wouldn’t have been as worried about it if I hadn’t had my DSLR with us. It was kind of fun though.04-02-2015

093/365: Friday, April 3rd. I see Spring things happening! That rain really is good for something.04-03-2015

094/365: Saturday, April 4th. Finally a clear day! We visited Ryan’s parent for Easter weekend. It was chilly but the boys loved running around outside. See that dock there? Yeah, that’s the one that Dexter stepped off of on Easter Sunday in the afternoon…it was about 55 degrees. Ryan was right beside him and got him out within a few seconds, but he was frozen and drenched from his shoulders to his toes. The water is shallow here but it was scary for all of us!04-04-2015

095/365: Sunday, April 5th. Easter (a few hours before Dexter fell in the lake!) with Nana, Pop Pop, and cousin Spencer. A few of the boys’ favorite people in the world.  This was not the first Easter that Dexter made more more exciting than necessary…remember THIS?04-05-2015

096/365: Monday, April 6th. Late night after the gym and this was about the only willing and awake subject I could find. Big fat Niko waiting for me to turn on the faucet after my shower.04-06-2015

097/365: Tuesday, April 7th. I came home from work and put on my pajamas and Theo said “Mommy, you’re not going to the gym tonight?! You’re not going anywhere!?”  Cue my heart breaking. Yeah. Balance. 04-07-2015

098/365:  Wednesday, April 8th. Midway through another week of nothing but rain. 04-08-2015This week my favorite pictures have to be days 94 & 95 – our time at Nana and Pop Pop’s for Easter weekend. So lucky to have such wonderful in-laws! Hope you had a nice Easter weekend.