Friday, June 10, 2016

April Birthday Fun!

Chris and I both have birthdays in April, so it's usually a month filled with a variety of good times. This year was no exception.

Technically, we started the celebrations at the end of March with our friend Dave's birthday. Like so many of our celebrations, it was enjoyed at Disney World. 

Our Goofy kid and Mater at the Flower & Garden Festival at Epcot.
Dave and James like to wear many hats. All of them silly and fun. 
Look out for the ninjas!

My birthday was next and Chris took the day off so we could spend the day together at the Flower & Garden Festival. I love flowers, Epcot, and the many awesome foods and drinks available during these special events, so jackpot!

Love my little family!
This dragon in China was really cool!
My boy surprising me with kisses. xoxo

Knowing I love gifts that are both meaningful and useful, my wonderful boys surprised me with a homemade gift designed by James. It's an elephant-shaped earring holder to hang in my closet with the necklace holder they made me last year. I love it! 

Safety is adorable! 
My sweetheart posing with the finished project. He chose the design and the colors. So cute!

I was lucky enough to also enjoy a wonderful birthday dinner with friends at one of my favorite restaurants, Francesco's. I wish we had actually taken a big group photo! Thanks again to Caroline for watching all the kiddos so we could enjoy adult conversation!!

Stacy and I all dressed up and ready to eat! And drink! See our smiles? They say, "Woohoo! No Kids!"
My grandparents, Tom & Joyce, came over for a birthday visit as well. James made them pipe cleaner hats. 

The fun continued with small celebrations and fun times out and about.

James lost his top two front teeth within a day or two of each other.
Our caterpillars completed their metamorphosis and we had butterflies!
A moment of rest and reading in our backyard. 
Date night selfie enjoying Matt Shenk at the House of Blues.

Chris's birthday wouldn't be complete if we didn't spend the day at Disney (seriously, we do go other places), so we hung out at Dockside Margaritas at Disney Springs listening to Matt play and then headed over to Epcot for a fun dinner with friends at Biergarten Restaurant in Germany. 

James made Chris a book of all his favorite things that they do together. So sweet!
Chris's parents surprised him with an acoustic bass for this birthday. He's in love!
Enjoying a frosty beverage of his own, while we sip on margaritas. Florida living...
Still not too big to sit in my lap and snuggle. For now. 
Matt and Ayesha took us out to the amazing Jazz Tastings for great food and even better live music!

James "dancing" to the German music at Biergarten Restaurant. Look out, Michael Flatley!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Springtime Fun in Florida

Our spring weather this year was perfect. Warm, sunny days that weren't too hot, cool evenings, no afternoon thunderstorms to interrupt outdoor fun. We took advantage of this and enjoyed some of our favorite local activities, as well as some new ones. 

Playing in the dirt. Always a classic.

Instead of going to the Florida State Fair, we decided to meet up with our friends, the Paul family, at the Strawberry Festival this year. It's much smaller, but the kids still managed to have a great time on the rides and as long as they have "fair food", I'm good!

The kids are on there somewhere...
James and Reese are on the right side, mid-scream.
I'm pretty sure it's impossible to look cool while eating a corn dog.
Swings are always fun. Always.

James had a great time at the Renaissance Festival last year and since we are studying the Middle Ages in History this year, it seemed appropriate to attend again this year. Given how much we all enjoy it, it appears it's going to be an annual tradition for us.

James got to try on chain mail and experience how heavy it is.
Much better than just reading about it!
He took part in a "sword" fight with some other hoodlum children.
Can't pass up an opportunity to jump really high on a trampoline!
He even charmed this woman into letting him play the hammer dulcimer. The kid has skills. At charming. Not at this thing.

Chris enjoyed a weekend away at Sebring with his brother, Corey, to take in the 24 Hours of Sebring race. While they were gone, I had the pleasure (?) of taking our niece, Taylor, to the Shawn Mendes concert at Universal Studios. It is a testament to my love of Taylor that I did this. Thousands of screaming, weeping (yes. weeping.) girls who feel the need to simultaneously sing along and video the entire thing on their phones, is not my idea of an awesome Saturday night. But I was going for "Aunt of the Year 2016" and I'm pretty sure I nailed it. So, when my trophy arrives (still waiting...) I'll post a selfie with it.

Before the madness began. When it was just waiting. Three long hours of waiting for a one-hour concert. So much love.
Do they know they are there in real life? SO MANY PHONES!

We scored some free tickets to Gatorland, so, of course, we had to check it out. They have a lot of gators. Hundreds. The kids had a good time. I don't know that I feel the need to go back again anytime soon, it's not much of a repeat-visit kind of place, but it's good to see if you're in the area.

He wanted to pretend he was being eaten. It just looks like the gator needs to floss.
Enormous gators launch out of the water to eat raw chicken on a string. Those jaws are something!
Reese, Quinn, and James. Love these crazy kids!
Springtime means babies! Look at the tiny little things. So cute!!
That's one way to get where you're going. Not sure it's the safest commute...
James always insists on a funny-face selfie. He's cute so I agree. 
James sitting on a gator. The things I agree to.
Reese and James checking out the albino gator. It's so beautiful!
Yup. That's my boy.