The everyday little things that make our life perfect.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Santa came to see us!

Hannah only asked for one thing from Santa this year, Playdoh in her stocking. She jumped out of bed Christmas morning when I went in to get her, exclaiming, "Santa came!"

Christmas was so much fun this year! Hannah knew exactly what was going on for the first time this year and enjoyed counting down the days until Santa came. We had a great early Christmas with my family and then celebrated on Christmas day with Chet's family.

(The dog in the video is Sam, my parents' dog. We were 'dog-sitting' for them over Christmas.)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Princess Tea Parties

Every once in awhile, I get the "itch" to do something creative. With Chet out of town this last weekend, I took the opportunity to work on Hannah's room. We put together her "big girl" room about a year ago, but it was definitely still a baby's room just without the crib. Now that she is older, it was time to add more of her personality (and storage) to the room.

Hannah and I had a lot of fun doing this project together. We headed to IKEA after dropping Daddy off at the airport and picked up the bookshelves and curtains. Everything else is stuff we had around the house or already in her room. I put together the bookshelves and hung the curtains up while she was at school. As soon as she walked in and saw it, she said in amazement, "Wow!" Every time we'd add another touch she'd exclaim, "So beautiful!"

Her play area with kitchen set, dress-up clothes, and other toys.
Her "princess" bed as she has named it. (And her pink Christmas tree she picked out!)
Reading Corner
Dress-Up Center
As you can see, Hannah loves her room! She loves cooking dinner for her babies (especially in her princess dresses).

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


We had a great weekend! Hannah loved getting to trick-or-"tweat" and learned very quickly how it worked. We have been talking about it for a few weeks getting her ready for the big day. When asked, "What happens when you say 'trick-or-treat'?" She'll tell you, "You get chocolate!" That's my girl!

We started our weekend at Boo at the Zoo at the Fort Worth Zoo. Hannah decided to be a fairy that day.

She loves the carousel!
Watching the giraffes

On Halloween night, we went to Trunk-or-Treat at my parents' church. Hannah decided to be Alice in Wonderland that night. After a practice round with Mamaw, Hannah took off like a pro going up to everyone and holding open her bag. By the end of the night, her bag was so full she couldn't hold it up anymore! She definitely had a blast!
Taking a break for chocolate!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fun at the Park

Hannah and I headed to the park this afternoon after school to enjoy the beautiful day. (And to burn off energy after her Halloween party at school!) She decided to be fairy for her halloween party today, but the wings didn't make it to the park.

We have a busy, fun weekend coming up. We are heading out to the Fort Worth Zoo for Boo at the Zoo and then Trunk-or-Treat on Sunday. We'll see who Hannah will be on Halloween night, but I am guessing that she will choose Alice in Wonderland.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Our Normal Obsession

As much as we travel to the Disney destinations with our business and for vacation, we often hear, "Why the obsession with Disney?," "Do you ever go anywhere else?," "Hannah is so lucky to get to go so much," and most recently, "When is your daughter going to realize that going to Disney so much isn't normal?" Most of the time, we laugh it off saying it is part of the job and we enjoy it. But that last question has been on my mind this week. Normal?

Yes, we do visit Walt Disney World a lot. Hannah has been eight times since she was born and is already directing us around the parks at two and a half. But who can say that isn't normal for us? With Facebook and blogs today, we are more in tune with the daily lives of our friends and family. There isn't one family that looks and does things like another. Our normal is that we both work from home with multiple trips for Chet to speak and to Disney. It is normal for Hannah to have a dad with no arms and who uses a wheelchair. I see families that go camping multiple times a year, families where both parents work outside of the home, families with children from different countries, families that love the beach, families where one parent has to travel for weeks at a time, families with five kids, and families with no children. No, these families do not look like or do things the way that we do. But they don't look like anybody else's family, either.

Why do we love traveling to Walt Disney World so much? We have always said that it is one of the few places we could go that it truly accessible. We don't ever have to worry about how we are going to transfer Chet's chair, if we are going to be able to experience everything we want to as a family. We love seeing Hannah's face when she meets her favorite character and when we take a ride on "it's a small world." Chet said something the other night that really struck me. When we are there, we are treated like a family. Walt Disney World is not only accessible and accommodating, but it is also inviting and accepting. I daresay, more than some churches we have visited.

Disney trains its Cast Members to respect and treat everyone as equals. When we are out in public, most of the time nobody acknowledges Chet. They will only talk to me even if it is about Chet, he is standing right next to me and he asked the question to start the conversation. We've walked into churches where Chet is to speak that morning and no one will speak to him until they realize that he is the speaker. We are stared at all of the time because we don't look like a "normal" family. That is not the case in Walt Disney World and the way it should be in our churches. Cast Members directly talk to Chet. We are just like every other family when we are there enjoying our time together and making new memories.

If "normal" is what we are to strive for, then we are going to miss out on some awesome experiences and miss the chance to meet some awesome people. Jesus certainly did not do what was classified as normal while he was here. On all of our trips, both to Walt Disney World and other places we travel to, we are able meet people from all over the country from all kinds of backgrounds. It is amazing how much ministry can be done on the sidewalk of Main Street U.S.A. while waiting for the parade to start. Sharing a passion and sharing experiences is a great way to get people to start talking.

Yes, we do go to Walt Disney World a lot and that isn't going to change. Yes, Hannah is a lucky girl but not because she gets to go see Mickey Mouse several times a year. She is lucky because she has a mom and dad who love her and love sharing experiences with her. She is lucky because her parents not only take her to church but are trying to teach her how respect others and act as Jesus would whether we are at WalMart or Walt Disney World. No, we are not a "normal" family but isn't that what should be striving for anyways in all aspects of our lives?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Alice in Wonderland

People often ask us why take little ones to Walt Disney World before they can really remember anything. We reply that there is nothing like seeing the joy and amazement on their faces when they meet their favorite character or see the castle for the first time or take a spin on Dumbo. It is still real for them at this age, not make-believe or fantasy. Besides, it is as much fun for Mom and Dad to see her experience these things as it is for her.

Hannah loves Alice in Wonderland. We went to see Cousin Kayden as the March Hare in the play version about a month ago and Hannah has been obsessed ever since. We bought her the Alice dress the first day we were there and she wore it on three different occasions. (It might have been more, but it was beginning to smell!) We met Alice for the first time ever on this trip. Alice made a big deal about how they were dressed alike and Hannah just lit up. She was so excited to show her dress to Alice.

This is why we love taking our two year old to Walt Disney World.

Back in Texas

Here a few more pictures from the rest of our vacation. We had a great time but are definitely glad to be home! Hannah hasn't quite figured out that we just can't get in our car and drive to Walt Disney World as we have been doing every day for the last week. I told her that we are planning to go to the zoo tomorrow and she said we would see animals from a truck (like one of the attractions at Disney's Animal Kingdom) and that she wanted to ride Mansion (Haunted Mansion).

From our cruise (or on Mickey's boat as Hannah called it!)...

She loved to look out over the balcony railing to check out the view.

A few more from Walt Disney World...

Mom and Dad decided that we would finally stand in the long (45 min) line to see Tinker Bell and the other fairies. As you can see, it was definitely worth it!
Hannah loves Sleeping Beauty and the other princesses!
And, of course, Mickey and Minnie!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

From New Orleans to the Bahamas

We've had a great trip so far! Here are a few highlights from the first half...

We enjoyed delicious beignets from Cafe du Mondes in New Orleans.

Hannah hopped on a Vespa at our hotel at Universal Studios.

Hannah was so excited to see all of the princesses again. Sleeping Beauty remembered meeting us when we were here in May.

Hannah got to meet Alice for the first time this trip. She is her new favorite right now.

We had breakfast with Lilo and Stitch before heading out to sea.

More pictures to come soon!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Keynotes and School

Last weekend, Chet was invited (along with his dad) to be the keynote speaker at one of the general sessions of the CareNet conference. CareNet is a gathering of the administrators of pregnancy centers across the nation. Chet speaks at many of their fundraising events throughout the year, so this was a great opportunity for him to share his story and make new contacts. They did an awesome job, of course! Chet even had Hannah come up on stage at the very end for the first time ever. She did great until she realized that 1300 people were watching her!
The conference is held at different locations every year. Last year, we went to Baltimore. Next year it is in Orlando! :) This year, it was held at the Gaylord Texan Hotel which is only about thirty minutes from our house. We loved being able to participate but still sleep in our own bed. The Gaylord is a beautiful hotel with many fun things to do when a two year old is tired of sitting at the booth. Hannah also discovered how much fun escalators can be! We have never been on one with her before since we always need the elevator. There were escalators in the exhibit hall that occupied much of our time.

Escalators and trains: what more could a two year old want!

Hannah had her first day of school on Tuesday! She loved it, of course! We met her teacher last week and ever since, she has been bugging me about going to school.

First day of school last year! She has grown up so much in the last year! She looks like a preschooler now, not a toddler.
We head to Orlando next week for some fun with Mickey! This is our annual gathering with our agents and this year we are taking them on the Disney Cruise! We'll post as we can during the trip.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Rainy Day Dress-Up Fun

We took advantage of the break in the 100 degree temperatures today to play outside! Hannah loves to dress up with princess dresses and other dress up clothes. This is her Halloween costume (that we just found on clearance at the Disney Store!). I tried it on her today to make sure it would fit for our upcoming Disney trip and she wouldn't let me take it off!

My new favorite picture!

Getting blown away!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Play-doh Creations

Things have been really quiet this summer! We have been able to stay home except for a few quick trips here and there. It will all start picking up again the first of September, so we are enjoying these last few weeks at home. We have also started potty training and have only had one accident so far today!

Since it has been so hot lately, we have had to creative and find some fun things to do inside. This week, we have been playing with Play-doh. Hannah loves it! She played for several hours this morning! We have also been enjoying Nana and Poppa's pool in the evenings when it starts to cool down some! Hannah loves splashing and swimming and is brave enough to jump off the side of the pool into my arms. Two weeks ago was the first time she had been in a big pool since she was an infant!

Here are just some pictures from playing this week. I love how her expression changes from picture to picture!