Tuesday, December 27, 2011

20 Years

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times,
always with the same person.
     ~ Mignon McLaughlin 

We have decided that 20 years of marriage is something that you don't celebrate for just one night with a fancy dinner, or a party, or even a romantic getaway.  Twenty years of marriage is a momentous accomplishment, and as such should be given the proper amount of celebration.  We think that means celebrating all year long.  2012 is now officially The Year of the 20th Anniversary.  We plan to commemorate and celebrate all year long.  I have no idea what that will entail, we are going to make it up as we go along.  I do know that it will be fun, and most likely really romantic.  Happy Anniversary to us. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Rest of Christmas

Chinese food, stuffed stockings, a movie marathon, some presents, and a bulldog in a Santa hat.

That was our recipe for the perfect Christmas Day.  

I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday. 

Merry Christmas! 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Very Disney Christmas

I am very big on family traditions, especially holiday traditions.  I surprised myself when I suggested that we forgo our usual Christmas and go to Disneyland instead.  Steve and the kids were all for it, so I ran it by Steve's Dad (who we always spend Christmas with) and when he agreed to come along we were all set for a non-traditional holiday.  That meant that we wouldn't be putting up a tree or lights or decorations, we were going to let Disney do all that.  I liked the idea of not doing all that work, but I'll admit that it was hard going through the month of December with no visible signs of Christmas.  When we walked into Disneyland and saw the gorgeous tree on Main Street, Steve said, "There's your Christmas Tree."  Best tree ever.

My Christmas Tree

 Christmas Lights

Christmas Decorations
When the kids were very little we used to go to Disneyland once or twice a year.  It's a very easy place to vacation with children and we made lots of fun family memories. We did get a bit burned out and as the kids got bigger we went less, Steve hasn't been there since Dagny was 6.  The kids and I went with some friends when Dagny was 10, and that was the last time she was there.  Dane and I have been there most recently, just the two of us went in '10.  Going to Disneyland is always a mix of nostalgia and excitement.  There are the things that never change that bring back fond memories, and then there's the new stuff that's all exciting because you haven't seen it a million times.  The new stuff was pretty great, (World of Color, Toy Story Mania...) but I am a sucker for the nostalgia. Every step we took brought back happy memories of my happy little kids.  I think that is the kind of magic that Mr. Walt Disney created. 

 Too old for Dumbo? Apparently not.

The new Little Mermaid Ride
 (if that had been there when Dagny was 3 we would have had to ride it all day)

 Haunted Mansion Holiday

Too much fun on the Teacups

Yep, that's our family


Dagny got to ride an otter on the King Triton Carousel in California Adventure
(knowing how much she loves otters you can imagine her glee)

Train Ride

The Grizzly River Run with Grandpa and Sue

Inside the Tower of Terror

Dane's Favorite ride is, and always has been, Splash Mountain

There was a time when meeting characters was the highlight of the day, this time not so much.  We saw tons of characters around both parks but only stopped to say hello to a few.


Jack Skellington!  
Loved him, best character we have ever met

Dagny and an old friend


Duffy, the Disney Bear
Never heard of him, but isn't he all cute and Christmassy?

On our last day as we were leaving, Dane said, "We Disneyed the Disney out of that place." That was his perfect way of saying that we couldn't have possibly had any more fun.  We left completely exhausted and feeling like we had done everything there was to do. Nobody does Christmas like Disney, and nobody does family like Disney, so it was the perfect place for our non-traditional family Christmas. 

Captured by pirates on Tom Sawyer's Island
(luckily they escaped and managed to end up with the treasure)

Seriously, there is nothing more delicious than a Tigger Tail
I mean that, it will complete you

You know why Dane isn't in the teacup?  
He wouldn't fit, his legs are too long.  No Joke.

Pretty Princesses

Steve never stops trying to get that sword out
(he would really like to add it to his collection)

The World of Color

Driving around ToonTown with Grandpa

Lotso-Hugs Bear smells like strawberries

Yes, we are adorable

The End

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Bay Area Fun

When we have out-of-town guests it gives us an opportunity to do all kinds of fun, touristy things and also show-off how awesome the Bay Area is.  

First stop, The Jelly Belly factory because who doesn't 
love a factory tour and free Jelly Belly's?

Next, the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum.  Brigitta is fascinated by Egypt
 and mummies, lucky for her there is an actual mummy in San Jose. 

Christmastime is not complete for us without a trip to the Dickens Fair.
 This year everybody got to  share in the Victorian Christmas fun. 

You can't call yourself a tourist in San Francisco without a stop at Fisherman's Wharf. 

 The highlight of the trip, for me, was walking across the Golden Gate Bridge.

 The final stop, Christmas lights at the Mormon Temple in Oakland. 

We had such a good time, and after all that we didn't even scratch the surface of all the cool things to do in the Bay Area. I guess everybody will just have to come for another visit.