Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Longing for the Old Days

All I have to say is "goodbye" to this (the binki)
means a lot of thisHanging in there!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


If anyone’s keeping tabs on Midwest weather lately you know things are pretty bleak. Well, not long ago Shawn mentioned that he was going to be teaching a course in Orlando, Florida at the beginning of February and maybe I should come and bring the kids. I came up with an even better idea though…maybe I should come without the kids!

Well, thanks to my beautiful, smart, wonderful, caring (is this too much sucking up?) sister Arah who agreed to come to ice cold Michigan and watch my kids for a week here I am! Shawn and I were talking about it and I’m pretty sure that this is the first time just the two of us have gotten away together (without meeting up with friends, family, or bringing kids) since our honeymoon. Good times!

So, we arrived last Saturday and will be going home on Friday. Shawn didn’t have to start running the course until today, so we had the whole weekend plus together and here are just a few of the things we’ve done:

Our first night here we went and saw the Blue Man Group. We had heard good things but had no idea what to expect. It turned out to be a super fun and super random show. If you ever get the chance, go!
This is the band for the Blue Man group; the guys who play instruments and light up behind the screen anytime the music gets going...hard to explain
Because the next day was Sunday we went to church and then mostly hung out at the hotel. Shawn took this picture of me and said he was going to tell everyone this is what I did our whole time in Florida. Hey, it is my time to relax!
and who wouldn't want to hang out at the hotel with this view? So anti-michigan right now, I love it!
On Monday we went straight over to universal Studios because we knew it was supposed to rain and we wanted to catch some rides before getting rained out. The first ride we took was Dr. Doom's Fear Fall. Anyone who knows me knows I love a good scare. Well the worst (and best) feeling for me is a free fall. I was screaming so hard and so were the women next to me. All the sudden I heard nothing but myself and when I finally opened my eyes I just saw the two women next to me laughing their heads off and Shawn just grinning and shaking his head. Hey, I didn't know that ride was over as I was still screaming, "No, no, no!"
After some pretty weak pictures Shawn and I decided to have a little fun with our photography
Until we got rained out. : (
By the way, Shawn says my pose is totally unnatural on this surf board, but who do you think looks more unnatural?
So today we returned to Universal (we bought a week pass) for one last bout before Shawn started working. We didn't have much time but we did run into Donkey (from Shrek) and he was hilarious. We only got a little bit of video of him harassing us, but he was really great and funny with everyone, I wish we would have recorded the family before us:

So, after Universal today we checked into a new fancy shmancy hotel (the one where the workshop is being held) and I miss our other hotel. I feel so out of place in hotels like this, I feel like you have to tip people all the time for things you could totally do yourself and everything costs...everything! Give me a simple, clean place and I'm happy - let me park my own car, carry my own luggage and drink a bottle of water for less than $5!

By the way, has anyone ever heard of “turn down service?” A maid just showed up to my room to turn down the sheets for me and leave some chocolate with relaxing raspberry and chamomile to help me sleep. Really? Are there some people who can’t pull down the sheets for themselves? Weird!

Ice Skating

In January I went ice skating with the youth group I work with at church. Keely has wanted to go ice skating forever and so I brought her along. I kind of expected the worst. She’d try, couldn’t do it, would fall down and/or hurt herself and give up (why am I so negative?).
Turns out though that the girl has a lot of heart and determination. She did fall down and she did hurt her knee, but that didn’t stop her. Keely kept trying and really had a great time!

New Year's Eve

You can say a lot of things about Kristin and Abram Ellis, but you can’t say they don’t know how to throw a party! Really, great food, great people and super fun games. I can honestly say that I think this was the best New Year’s yet!


This year Santa brought Keely a bike...
and Ben an indoor trampoline.All Mattie got was a Santa hat and shirt
We had a great day that lasted and lasted thanks to our 1 present an hour deal. Right before bed we finally gave up and let Keely finish up her last few presents all at once.

Christmas Eve

We had Christmas Eve over at Kristin and Abram’s house and got to share the night with some of our favorite people, the Ellis family, the Quinn family (Ryan and Amy) and the Elder family. As is custom the kids put on quite the Christmas pageant for us. There really is nothing sweeter than kids trying to put on a show. Ben, as you can see was a shepherd, and honestly he was proud and knew he was in a show even if he didn’t know why or exactly what it was about.
What would Christmas Eve be without opening Christmas jammies?
And here was the final product at about midnight. Time for bed!