Sunday, August 31, 2014

Live In Harmony

It's rare that I post pictures of scripture to Instagram or Facebook or this blog (in fact, I do believe this is the first time I have done so) but this one from today's worship service just resonated so deeply with me. Regardless of where (or if) you worship or what you believe I think this is a message that we can all get behind. Live in harmony. Do good. Be kind. Love. Take care of each other. Live peaceably. The world really could use way more of all of these things right now. It surely has been a rough summer for the inhabitants of this planet of ours. My hope is that autumn's arrival will bring with it a little more peace than we've seen the last few months. xo

Greek Festival Deliciousness

It wouldn't be Labor Day weekend without our town's Grecian Festival. We wait all year for the delicious Greek food (the baklava sundae truly is a little bit of heaven), the wonderful Greek music and dancing, and the chance to support our friends and their lovely church. Thank you, Saints Anargyroi, for putting on this festival year after year! May this be your most successful one yet! xo

Be sure to scroll down to see our Magic Kingdom Adventure! 

The Magic Kingdom

 Knowing full well that we would not be able to top the incredibleness of the day before headed off to the Magic Kingdom the next day. We had a surprise up our sleeve for the girls for that afternoon but before that it was all about doing some classic rides and taking in the magic of the Magic Kingdom. 
Cinderella's Castle. 
 It's a Small World. Grace was not a fan of this ride at all but at least she can say she's experienced it. 
 The Hall of Presidents was a total hit with the girls. They were both so fascinated: "Are they real?" was asked many times throughout the show and even afterward. Their minds were just boggled!
 The Country Bear Jamborree. 'Cause ya just gotta do it. 
After some more rides, and some lunch, it was time to head to the Hall of Princesses to meet up with our friend from the day before. He worked his magic and was able to get the girls a meeting with Elsa and Anna with only a five minute wait time (as opposed to the two hour wait that was listed)! Truly incredible and something that we are eternally grateful for. The kindness of strangers....a true blessing. Now, if only we could have convinced him to take the thank-you gift we bought for him. He wouldn't hear of it, he said it was his pleasure to do this for us and for that we are beyond grateful. 
After that it was time to head to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. Our appointment was at the one at Downtown Disney and it occurred to us while we were in the Magic Kingdom that we should have brought their dresses. Dave, being the amazing papa he is, raced back to the resort to get them for the girls. Meanwhile, Dave's parents, the girls and I navigated our way to Downtown Disney. 
 Emma and her fairy godmothers. 
 Grace and hers. 
 Pixie dust being added to Emma's hair. 
 The big reveal. And her smile says it all! 
 As does Emma's!
One more picture before heading back to The Magic Kingdom to bask in their princessness. Our time at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique was so much fun! I am so glad that we were able to experience this while we were there and know that the girls look forward to doing this again the next time we are there (though next time at the one at Cinderella's Castle, perhaps). Oh, to be a kid again! 
And just like that another magical day comes to a close! xo

Be sure to check back later tonight for a post from the goings on of today. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Peach Day

Today we're canning peaches (and no, their outfits weren't planned). It wouldn't feel like August if we weren't elbow deep in peaches and so it's only fitting that on the last Saturday of August we'd finally get to our peach canning. Now, just to figure out a time to make tomato sauce....xo

Be sure to check the post below about our Frozen Summer Fun adventure! 

Frozen Summer Fun

 When we were planning this trip my friend Lori shared a link on her Facebook page about the Frozen Summer Fun Premium Package. Lori also happens to work for TMC Travel-The Mouse Connection so she has the inside track on all the fabulous things going on at Disney. The timing of Lori sharing about this Disney add-on and our trip couldn't have been better. When Dave got home that night I showed him what she had posted, and he agreed that we definitely needed to do our best to make this event happen for our family. He consulted with his parents to make sure they were game and then made a call to Disney. Amazingly enough the customer service person he spoke to (who had also just learned about the Frozen Summer Fun package when he arrived at work that day) was able to book it for us that day. It was a total score as we learned that they sold out of these packages within one week! I'm so glad that we didn't hesitate at all. We knew we were in for a treat but we had no idea how stellar this day would be until we experienced it for ourselves. And what a day it was!
After we checked in and were given our credentials we had a wee bit of time before the opening parade. We arrived at the snow playground and the six of us were totally in awe! The girls (being the good New England girls that they are) just could not understand how it was possible that there was snow in hot Florida in a building! 
In the snow playground each group of kids was given ten minutes to play. When their ten minutes was up these two guys would appear and rake the snow! What a sight!
 We didn't skate but we sure had fun watching the zamboni clear the ice!
A family picture and then it was time to head back for the parade. 
 We arrived back in the VIP seating area and quickly discovered that not only did this package get you great seating it also got you free refreshments (in this area) too! There was a frozen lemonade stand in this area and Dave and his Dad went over to get a couple. It was then that they learned that the frozen treats and water were free! Totally perfect as we were definitely in need of something to help us cool off! Just about the time we all finished our frozen lemonades the parade began. 
 It was the moment we had all been waiting for- Queen Elsa and Princess Anna arrived (and this mama got choked up for the first time this day)! The crowd went wild! 
 Once Elsa and Anna were on stage we in the premium seating area were invited to get practically at stage level. Talk about incredible! I have no pictures of the girls seeing them at this point as they were right there at rope level and I was farther behind (but still had a visual on them, of course). 
 Along with premium seating and refreshments, we were also given a choice of which Frozen Sing-a-long to attend. We chose the first showing as we figured it would be a fun way to cool off in the early afternoon. We arrived for the show on the earlier side as we had heard that seating was first come first serve.  There was only one other couple there and we got to chatting with them. Turned out one of the guys was an art teacher by day and Disney expert at night. We all hit it off and before we knew it we had hatched a plan to meet up the next day at Magic Kingdom to meet Elsa and Anna. 
 More awesome seats and more Disney magic. The looks on the girls faces just say it all. 
 The narrators. 
 Grace and Emma were both completely transfixed! 

 And yes, for those wondering we all sang, we all laughed (this mama once again got choked up) and at the end it even snowed! Truly magical. 
 In between the parade and the sing-a-long we headed over to one of the shops to purchase princess dresses for the girls. They couldn't believe it when their Grandma Joan asked them if they'd each like a dress. Would they?! She didn't have to ask them twice! We agreed that they definitely needed to wear them when we returned for the VIP party and fireworks that night. 
 This is easily one of my most favorite pictures of these two (in general and from this trip). From the moment we stepped on Disney property (to the moment we left) everyone who saw them in their dresses greeted them and bowed. "Hello Queen Elsa! Hello Princess Anna!" At firs the girls really didn't know what to make of it, but by the end they had totally gotten used to it! 
 We arrived and checked back in at the premium package area. We knew that there would be "decadent desserts and beverages" but this we did not imagine! Disney truly knows how to throw an amazing party! The food and drinks were in endless supply! 
While we ate and socialized there was a really awesome cover band on stage. The name of the group escapes me but they were fab! They played 'till dark and then it was time for the show and fireworks to begin. 
(Photo by Dave's Dad)

Elsa and Anna returned to stage, there was more singing, more snowing, more tears (on the part of this mama) and the whole night was capped off by some truly incredible fireworks. 
Ever since that day I have been trying to find the right words to convey how truly amazing the entire day was. It was more than we ever could have imagined. The four of us adults kept remarking that this package was worth every additional penny (it truly was). Just when we thought it couldn't possibly get any better it would! The wonder, the magic, the attention to detail, it was beyond our wildest dreams! This day will be on that I carry with me forever. Thank you for such a magical day, Disney. xo

Don't forget to check in later today to see our post about what we were up to today.