October 2017

Weekend Fun at Hollywood Studies

This past weekend, we hopped over to Hollywood Studies for a few hours. I’m not gonna lie….I was super stoked that it wasn’t raining when we got there this time (it had been on our last trip for Liam’s birthday). So, we were able to finally check out Cruz Ramirez from the Cars 3 movie. She was revving her motor & talking….so cute!

One of our other favorite parts of having the annual passes is meeting up with family/friends. My cousin, Melissa & her daughter, Giana were at the parks for the day, so we were able to say hello. So much fun!

While the boys were waiting for me on a potty break 🙂 …Liam was randomly selected to be a Launch Bay Guard!!! — How cool was that?!?!

While the Star Wars characters came marching toward the Launch Bay, Liam stood there all by himself BUT was armed with a light saber 😉 …he was the best guard!

Darth Maul & a Storm Trooper each pointed at him & let him know they were watching him. It was awesome!

He was jumping up & down after this ….so exciting for him!

His certificate from guarding could be used as a Fast Pass to meet Kylo Ren. We had seen him back in February, when Liam still had his cast on from his broken arm. So, he wanted to meet him again. The Dark Side characters are so intense & serious ….I love it!

Our last stop of the night was Halloween-themed character dining at Hollywood & VineMinnie’s Halloween Dine!

It was buffet style dining and the menu was seasonal Halloween themed dishes & treats. It did not disappoint!

Each of the characters were dressed up in their Halloween attire. It was so cute!

Donald was hilarious! He was bouncing his springy thing on this helmet back & forth with Liam 🙂

This was THE tallest Goofy I have ever seen.

Liam was most excited for Mickey again ….he loved his vampire costume!

Family pic with the hostess, Miss Minnie Mouse, herself.

We had a really fun evening! It was a real treat being able to get in a little Disney Halloween magic as we kick off this spooky month!

Until next time, friends!

September 2017

Liam’s 6th Birthday Weekend ~ Part 4 ~ Wrapping It Up!

For Liam’s 6th birthday weekend, we had packed our bags & enjoyed a staycation at Walt Disney World. This is the last post in our series. It’s really been a blast sharing our memories & photos. My main purpose of this blog is turning it into a keepsake book for Liam, so capturing all of these special moments & memories is a privilege for him.

You can catch up with the 1st post about our stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge – HERE ; the 2nd post about our magical time at Cinderella’s Royal Table – HERE ; and, the 3rd post about our fun time with character dining – HERE.

I’ve mentioned before how much we LOVE the magic shots throughout the parks. This was a cute one with our friend, Olof, that we found while wandering through the Magic Kingdom.  Showing a little personal flurry & of course, all good things!! — I’ve finally started to remember to ask some of the photographers if they have any they can use 🙂

Ever since our annual passes started in January, we’ve been dying to ride the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at the Magic Kingdom. However, each time I attempted to secure a Fast Pass for this ride, I was not able to & the lines were always ridiculously long. Since we had a resort reservation, though, I finally was able to get one & Stephen and I were stoked. Liam ….not so much at 1st. In fact, he down right almost refused to get on the ride. He’s not a fan of roller coaster rides, and thought this was one. You can see from his face below that he wasn’t thrilled as the ride started….lol.

Got to love the Photopass shots — this one was snagged from the ride & sent directly to our magic bands! So awesome. — Liam was still not loving the ride at this point ….but by the time we pulled back into the cottage area, he was all smiles. Thanks to Hurricane Irma & low crowds at the park lately, we’ve been able to ride it again since his birthday weekend.

Another family favorite ride for us is Pirates of the Caribbean. Love this new fun snap shot that’s yet another Photopass feature. — Murphy family holding it down in the back of the boat!

Family Picture in front of Cinderella Castle….

Believe it or not, one of Liam’s most favorite parts of the weekend was riding the resort buses. He talked about it a lot in the weeks leading up to this weekend. We see the resort buses all the time while we are driving around on property, but we never have (or need) the opportunity to ride in them. I think it has just been the curiosity to be in them and see what they are all about.

He was all about it each time. He even noticed when there was a different type of bus picking us up. In the gift shop of our hotel, he chose the matchbox car gift set of the resort buses as one of his birthday presents.

On Sunday afternoon, as we were heading over to Epcot, we stepped onto the bus and Liam was holding his matchbox version of the same bus. The bus driver noticed he had it, and the two sparked conversation. She told him all about the bus and gave him little cards that looked like trading cards. They have photographs of the bus on one side and info/stats on the other. He loved them.

When we got to the park, she asked if we could wait to leave until everyone else stepped off. We obliged. She then asked if it was okay if Liam sat in her seat & wore her captain’s hat. O M G — yes!! He was over the moon excited! She raised the seat up for him to reach the steering wheel & pointed out some buttons. He was beaming! — It was so kind of her & we will forever be grateful 🙂

Sunday evening, we hopped over to Animal Kingdom. Doesn’t the Tree of Life look amazing at night?

We also were excited to check out Pandora — The World of Avatar. I had previously taken Liam back in May for the annual passholders preview event, but Stephen had to work. Thus, this was his 1st time checking it out. The first night time experience for all of us. The lighting effects throughout were very cool….

Last sleep as a five year old …..the next morning, our sweet boy woke up SIX!! 🙂

We have love all things Disney & this Build Your Disney Family image & decal was super fun to create. Check it out HERE while it’s still available! The best part of all is that it’s FREE!

Liam’s entire 6th birthday weekend was filled with so many wonderful memories and special experiences. We are blessed to have been able to share that together as a family, and it’s a time we won’t soon forget. He’s growing in to an amazing little man! Watching his personality flourish and seeing him mature before our eyes is the greatest blessing as a parent.

Until next time, friends,

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September 2017

Liam’s 6th Birthday Weekend ~ Part 3 ~ Character Dining Fun

For Liam’s 6th birthday weekend, we had packed our bags & enjoyed a staycation at Walt Disney World. If you’ve been following along on my last few posts, this is the 3rd in a series from Liam’s birthday. We had so many adventures this year that I wanted to break it up, as there were a ton of photos to share. You can catch up with the 1st post about our stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge – HERE – and the 2nd post about our magical time at Cinderella’s Royal Table – HERE.  As part of our celebration, we splurged on a few super fun character dining experiences.

On the morning of Liam’s actual birthDAY, we had breakfast at the Crystal Palace on the corner of Main Street at the Magic Kingdom. It’s a buffet-style service, and the food was good. We enjoyed the charming atmosphere, which is inspired by the Victorian greenhouses of the late 1800s.

All of our favorite friends from the Hundred-Acre Woods were there, so that made little man’s day! He even got to particpate in a celebatory parade that marched them all around the restaurant with the characters. So cute!

Winne the Pooh….

I couldn’t decide between sharing the hug picture above or this regular ‘cheese’ pic ….had to do both. Loved the hugs from Pooh Bear.

Seriously, how cute is Piglet? 🙂

Not even sure how Eeyore signed the book, but kudos to him! That was one area, too, that Liam was completely on top of. He made sure that no one forgot about his book. That was top of his list before any hugs, pics, or small talk with these guys. It was too funny!

Can’t say enough about how good all of these character meet & greets are at the dining experiences. They take so much time with the kids & are so patient. Love it!

Tigger…..

Our final character dining experience took us over to Epcot to the Garden Grill in the Land. We had dinner at Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Harvest Feast. This is a family-style dining meal with food that’s grown from the Living with the Land area there. OH.MY.GOODNESS — it was SO delicious!

It is also neat because the restaurant slowly turns in a circle while you eat, and you get to see different part of the Living with the Land attraction. While you’re dining the characters come around to your table.

We had told our server it was Liam’s birthday, so they presented him with this signed birthday card & stickers. So sweet & he was thrilled!!

Hanging with Chip….

Sharing a laugh with Dale …..

His best pal, Pluto…

So in love with the one & only — Mickey Mouse …& loved his farmer Mickey outfit, too!…. 

We had THE best time at all of our character dining experiences over Liam’s 6th birthday weekend. I’m sure we’ll be looking for more unique visits in the future. The food at all the venues was so yummy, and all 3 of us LOVED the convenience of the meeting the characters right at the table.

Until next time, friends,

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September 2017

Liam’s 6th Birthday Weekend ~ Part 2 ~ Cinderella’s Royal Table

For Liam’s 6th birthday weekend, we had packed our bags & enjoyed a staycation at the Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge. As part of our celebration, we had a special birthday dinner in Cinderella’s Castle at the Magic Kingdom at Cinderella’s Royal Table.

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This restaurant is described by Disney as a ‘one-of-a-kind fairytale dining experience’, and it 100% was. We all LOVED the entire night! I literally had to book our reservation months in advance, so this was one dinner we had been anticipating for a while. The restaurant, itself, is quite small & quaint but I think that made for a more personable experience. It’s situated in the back half of the 2nd floor of the castle. You can see it from the carousel area.

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When we 1st went into the castle, we were greeted by the lovely, Cinderella. Liam was smitten ❤ — She chatted it up with him & danced with him. It was seriously the cutest moment ever! We snagged a nice family pic with her, as well. 🙂

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While we waited to be seated, we hung out in the downstairs area where Cinderella was. Both floors are decorated in a medieval-style & you totally feel like you are in a page from the storybook.

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A winding staircase takes you up to this view, which is where the actual restaurant is ….

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So many pretty details everywhere you looked to make the experience feel complete. Our server was so sweet, too! She referred to Liam, as ‘my Prince’. I was ‘my Queen’ and Stephen was ‘my King’. Loved it!

Each of the boys got their own sword and I was given a wand 🙂 ….We also were given a ‘Wishing Star‘ that Fairy Godmother helped us to make a wish with toward the end of the meal ❤

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While dinner got underway, MORE PRINCESSES came out & around to everyone’s table. How cool is that?!?! — They took their time & chatted with Liam for a minute & then posed for a picture. This mama appreciated that they didn’t leave until you acknowledged that you got a pic you were happy with 😉

Ariel from the Little Mermaid….

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Snow White …..

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Aurora from Sleeping Beauty…

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Jasmine from Aladdin…. 

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Now, let’s talk about the food for a sec because it was fabulous! Both Stephen & I had the beef & shrimp dinner. So yummy! I didn’t take a pic of his, but Liam had the kids mac n’ cheese. Holy cow, it was probably the best mac n’ cheese ever. SO good! For dessert, we had a dark chocolate mousse dish, “The Clock Strikes Twelves“. — heaven!

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Liam got to make/decorate his own cupcake for his dessert. Our server also brought out an extra birthday cupcake with a candle & we sung to him ❤

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It was such a magical evening & such a memorable way to celebrate this special boy’s 6th birthday. We even timed the reservation pretty perfect, as we were able to see & listen to the Happily Ever After fireworks show as we finished up dessert. So fun!

Love our sweet boy & loved everything about this night! Until next time, friends,

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August 2017

Liam’s 6th Birthday Weekend ~ Part 1 ~ Animal Kingdom Lodge

For Liam’s 6th Birthday weekend, we packed our bags & had a staycation at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

This was honestly our 1st real vacation away from home as a family since Liam was born, so we were extra excited for this experience. We stayed in Jambo house, and our room was off of the Kudo Trail on the 2nd floor. This is the view of the massive lobby area when you 1st walk into the resort. It is gorgeous!!

The details that you see throughout the resort are incredible. The entire resort is themed after the Animal Kingdom theme park. You can tell, at every glance, that great care was taken to showcase the culture, wildlife & artwork of Africa.

As soon as we started exploring the grounds, we found the fire pit that is surrounded by rocking chairs. If it wasn’t 100 degrees outside, it would have been perfect….LOL!

I usually am not one to talk about food, but I would be a fool to not rave about all of the deliciousness we enjoyed throughout the entire weekend. We ate at some pretty cool dining experiences, and there’s definitely more to share in my next few posts.

First up –> Boma ….This is a buffet style restaurant with African-themed dishes, and all of the food was amazing. We ate there for breakfast on Sunday.

Their signature drink at breakfast is Jungle Juice. It’s a tasty mixture of orange, pineapple & mango juices. Liam didn’t quite care for it, but Stephen & I thought it was pretty yummy!

Mickey Waffles 🙂

Now onto the grounds outside the resort …..there is a cute, shaded playground for the kiddos & it’s close by the pool.

Once we found the Uzima Pool area, we didn’t want to leave. This pool is amazing! It is SO big — 11,000 square feet & it has an awesome water slide.

Liam was thrilled for this slide! He went down it over & over again 🙂

Cheese!

Our room was nothing short of incredible. It felt like we stepped into our own safari get away the moment we walked in & I’m sure that was the plan. We were fortunate to be able to have the savanna view room, and it did not disappoint.

When you stepped out onto the balcony, it was immediately overlooking one of the savanna’s. There were beautiful animals freely roaming around so close to you. It was awesome!

In total, there are over 30 species of wildlife out on the savanna here. We loved the Wildlife Field Guide that was in our room for helping to track & discover some friends we spotted.

This Giraffe guy, here, was one of our favs. He stayed close by our balcony a lot. ❤

Zebra friends….

Ankole Cattle….

White-Bearded Wildebeest….

Addax….

At one point, on Sunday afternoon, we looked out & saw a little heard of friends 🙂 ….

We saw so may other amazing creatures during our stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. So many birds, cranes, Ostriches, & Gazelles just to name a few. Even by walking through the resort, there are so many spots you can stop & observe the savanna’s or even catch little spots, like the Flamingo area that’s over by the pool. It was truly an experience we will never forget and one that we all LOVED!!

The Animal Kingdom Lodge was, hands-down, a magical Disney experience. It was a perfect way to ring in little man’s 6th birthday! We hope to someday return ❤

Until next time friends,

 

 

 

 

August 2017, Sponsored Post

DISNEY ON ICE DARE TO DREAM + TICKET GIVEAWAY!

Hi friends! As you know, my family loves all things Disney. Not only are we avid annual passholders now, but the last few years, we also have been huge fans of the Disney On Ice productions! It’s like getting some of the best parts of Disney magic right in your own backyard.

That’s right, it’s that time of the year, and I’m SO EXCITED to be partnering with Feld Entertainment as a Blog Ambassador once again when Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream comes to the Amway Center here in Orlando from September 8-10, 2017. Liam is beyond thrilled to see his favorite Disney heroes  hit the ice. His eyes especially lit up when I told him his new fav, Moana, would be there at center stage! I must admit that I am pretty stoked too! It definitely brings out the kid in me, for sure! I am super excited to be able to offer you, my readers, the opportunity to also be able to take your family. More on that, in just a minute.

Disney’s Moana voyages onto the ice for the first time as Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream, produced by Feld Entertainment Inc., brings courage and adventure to hometowns across North America. Hosts Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse bring audiences on an expedition across raging seas and snow covered mountains in this action-packed extravaganza featuring Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Frozen, Tangled and Cinderella with other beloved Disney characters to help tell these extraordinary tales. Tickets are on sale now!

Dare To Dream takes families on a high-sea adventure as Moana sets sail on a life-changing quest to save her island with help from the demigod Maui. With the ice floor transformed into the vast oceanic scape, Disney On Ice allows Moana’s strength and determination to take center stage. This engaging atmosphere lets audiences deepen their existing connection to their favorite wayfinder and discover one’s true identity is never out of reach.

“As parents, we strive to find role models who embolden our children to choose kindness and exhibit the values we aim to impart, and this production of Disney On Ice truly embodies this goal,” said Executive Vice President of Feld Entertainment and Producer of Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream, Nicole Feld. “With Dare To Dream, I want to inspire the youngest members of our families with the heroic stories of their favorite Disney characters and allow them to discover the hero within themselves.”

Photo Credit: Feld Entertainment

 

Beautiful production numbers invite audiences into the world of Beauty and the Beast, as Belle shows what it means to be fearless. Along with her new friends in the enchanted castle, Belle is encouraged to step outside the ordinary and find joy in the bleakest situation. As she looks beyond the harsh exterior of the Beast to reach his gentle heart, fans learn there are teachable moments in everyday life.

Through the athleticism and grace of Anna and Elsa, Rapunzel and Flynn, and Cinderella, brave heroes from Frozen, Tangled and Cinderella ignite passions to believe. Showgoers will witness each characters’ unique qualities and talents inspiring children around the world to discover their inner hero.

“One of the most magical things about Disney On Ice is the performers’ ability to authentically showcase the best qualities of Disney characters,” said Director Patty Vincent. “At our shows, moms and dads are able to experience the magic through the eyes of their children, allowing them to reconnect with their favorite characters and once again experience the childlike wonder and hope that inspires us all.”


Where: Amway Center, 400 West Church Street – Suite 200, Orlando, Florida 32801

Dates and Times of Performances:

Friday, September 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 9 at 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, September 10 at 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Ticket Prices and Purchase:

Tickets for Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream start from $18. Market pricing applies to all tickets. Rates can fluctuate based on factors that affect supply and demand. Lock in your price and location today!

All seats are reserved. Tickets are available at http://www.DisneyOnIce.com or http://www.ticketmaster.com, at any Ticketmaster outlet, by calling 800-745-3000, or at the Amway Center box office (phone for information only: 407-440-7900). For group ticket sales and information, call 866-248-8740.

SAVE 20% OFF SELECT SEATS WITH CODE: SAVE20. NOT VALID ON PREMIUM VIP SEATING. HURRY FOR THE BEST AVAILABLE SEATS!! CODE EXPIRES SEPTEMBER 7, 2017.

 

For a complete list of tour dates, visit the Disney On Ice website (http://www.disneyonice.com) and stay current on the latest developments through social media:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DisneyOnIce
Twitter & Instagram: @DisneyOnIce // #DareToDream #DisneyOnIce
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/DisneyOnIce

 

Photo Credit: Feld Entertainment

 

Ok, friends, I promised you a giveaway and here are the details….

Feld Entertainment is providing 4 tickets to one lucky reader of this blog!!

Please note that this is for the Orlando showing of Disney on Ice presents Dare to Dream at the Amway Center and no substitutions can be made. Winner will be able to choose either the opening night show on Friday, Sept. 8th @ 7:30 pm OR Saturday, Sept. 9th @ 11:00 am. Contest runs today, August 16th through Monday, August 21st at 8:00 am. Winner will be chosen at random and will notified by reply to comments in this post. Winner must respond back to me with show choice no later than August 22nd or prize will be forfeited & another winner will be chosen at random.

 

TO ENTER:

1. If you do not already, please subscribe to follow this blog (Enter your email address on the “Follow Us” link on the left-hand side-bar of this page).

2. In the comments below, share with us what Disney character your family is most looking forward to seeing at the Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream show!

3. Be sure to “like” Disney On Ice on their Facebook page or “follow” them on Twitter or Instagram to stay up-to-date on all the latest updates & offers for the show.

4. One entry per subscribed email address, please.

That’s it! Pretty easy, right?!?!

Photo Credit Feld Entertainment

 

Everything about Disney is magical & I know this Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream without a doubt will bring a lasting smile to my family’s face ❤ ….hope to see you there! — September 8-10, 2017. Remember, tickets are on sale now, and you can use code SAVE20 to save 20% off select seats! Get ’em before they are gone.

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*I am a Feld Entertainment Blogger Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and other exclusive opportunities.

August 2017

Disney Fun ~ Character Meet & Greets!

For Christmas, we were beyond excited to get annual passes to Disney!! Santa brought Liam the news & we shared that HERE. While we have made one-day trips here & there to the parks over the years, this is honestly the 1st time we have ever held annual passes. It’s made both Stephen & I feel like little kids, ourselves 🙂

Those who are familiar with the annual passholder program know that there are several different tiers for the passes with various different blackout dates, benefits, etc. — We opted for the Gold passes, which have just two different weeks of blackout dates throughout the year and no water park admission (which is okay for us). So exciting that parking is included (that, alone, saves $20 a visit) and the Photopass Memory Memory Maker. Oh my goodness — We LOVE this Photopass feature and use it SO SO much! First, it is fantastic to be able to snag a quick family picture and the convenience of having the Photopass photographers just immediately scan it to download to your magicband is awesome! I can then save it right to the pictures on my phone. LOVE! Second, the Character Meet & Greets! We are obsessed! We have gotten some of the cutest pictures …and again, FREE downloads to your magicband! Liam also loves to get their autographs filled up in his book.

When our passes were 1st activated, we had to wait until the 1st week in January, as we were in one of those small blackout windows due to Christmas. However, once we had the greenlight, we were like kids in a candy shop! I think we went every weekend for that 1st month 🙂 ….Mickey Mouse was our 1st Character Meet & Greet. This one is from Main Street at the Magic Kingdom. We were blown away when we saw that he spoke and interacted!! So cool!!

In January, we also visited Animal Kingdom & got our 1st taste of magic shots. This is Pascal from Tangled on little man’s head ….LOL! I haven’t been too good with asking for many of these yet, so definitely have these on my list for future pictures…

Russell from Up …..

Safari Donald also at Animal Kingdom ……

In Epcot, we met Baymax!

We also met Mickey (in a different outfit this time….more classic looking), Minnie & Goofy 🙂

We found Daisy near Spaceship Earth. She kissed Liam & made him blush …loved it! ❤

In February, we made our 1st trip to Hollywood Studios. We skipped the end of night fireworks & instead, went to meet Kylo Ren from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. We were just a little bit bummed because they said no one from the First Order signs autographs BUT at least we got a cool pic. It was serious business time with this guy! Haha!

Chewbacca!

In March, we went back for some more Hollywood Studios fun… After some face painting, we ran into Green Army Man from Toy Story 🙂

So excited to find Moana! …she was so nice 🙂

Buzz & Woody from Toy Story ….they said Liam looked like Zurg & they were scared! Too funny!

He was thrilled to meet his pal, Pluto. He still says that this meet & greet is one of his favs! ❤

On Spring Break, we also bounced over to the Magic Kingdom. We found Donald Duck dressed up as the Astounding Donaldo Snake Charmer in the Storybook Circus Fantasyland area.

We also found Goofy here dressed as a stuntman, the Great Goofini 🙂

In Frontierland, we found Chip & Dale ….they were so super cute! These pics are a few of my favs so far ❤

Our trips to Disney have been filled with so many smiles & so much laughter. We are thankful to be creating some really awesome memories together as a family. We have lots more fun to share, so stay tuned ….

Until next time, friends

July 2017

Happy 6th Birthday, Liam!

This week, we celebrate our kiddo’s 6th birthday!

I can’t believe we have a SIX year old now! He has grown up so much since last year. I see a lot of change in him when I compare his pics from month to month, and he also has matured a great deal. Not to mention the fact that he will soon be taller than his mama. LOL! — He’s definitely getting closer & closer.

Here is the latest teddy bear pic ❤

If you follow our adventures, you know this teddy bear pic is a fun regular measure of growth for us. Check out all our past pics & updates HERE.


As is our tradition, we conducted our annual BIRTHDAY INTERVIEW. As with previous years, some of his answers were both quite surprising & entertaining! This time around, and for the 1st time, Liam actually insisted on filling out the form himself! He even read the questions. I was quite impressed. He got tired of writing midway through, so I took over, but he didn’t do too bad!

MORE FROM THE PREVIOUS YEAR’S QUESTIONNAIRE THAT WE USED:

What is your name?: Liam

How old are you?: Six

What is your favorite food?: Pizza

What makes you laugh?: Daddy shaking his butt

What are you afraid of?: Bears

What is the best time of the day?: Spending time with Mommy & Daddy

Where do you like to go?: Animal Kingdom Lodge

What do you like to do with your family?: Snuggling with Mommy & Daddy


Other notable things these days….

We have a kindergarten graduate! It was an amazing school year.

We have a kiddo who can now read! He has been doing a great job of keeping up with his reading on his own over the summer, too, and building on his skills. I can already tell 1st Grade is going to so much fun for him 🙂

He is also very good at spelling now, too. Gone are the days when Stephen & I can spell things out to one another when we are trying to talk about something without him knowing.

He stayed pretty even with his growth for the majority of the school year and was wearing a size Extra-Small to Small in boys and a size 13 boys in shoes. However, towards the end of Spring, he went through another growth spurt, and we could tell that he’s probably grown a few inches again. He is definitely moving into a size medium boys in clothes and has already went up a half size in shoes this summer.

We started karate (taekwondo) in October, and he’s been doing so well. I think he has probably built some lean muscle from all the work he’s put into his classes there, so I honestly don’t think his weight has changed too much, but we’ll see with his annual check up in a few weeks. He can almost do a full splits from all his weekly stretching in class…that’s pretty impressive. Last we checked, he was at 52 lbs. He is definitely a strong boy!

He is still our little dancer and is SO good at it. We love to watch him. His latest obsession is the JUST DANCE game for Play Station, and it’s hilarious how good he is! High scores all the time!

He also loves to sing and still knows the words to most songs better than me.

When he is happy or excited, you will see him skipping along next to you.

He loves to color, and is really good at staying inside the lines now.

If it’s dark in a room in the house, he doesn’t like to go in there alone. He will ask you to come with him and turn the  light on first.

He is wrapping up his 2nd summer of Junior Summer Camp. This year, we continued enrollment at the same camp but also mixed in a week of vacation bible school, which he absolutely loved.


This year, we spent his birthday weekend at Disney. Back at the beginning of the year, we asked him if he would like to have a whole Disney weekend of fun & stay at a hotel on property or have a party with his friends. He was thrilled to choose to stay at the hotel. We don’t do many overnights away from home, and almost all we’ve done in the past have been staying with family. Thus, he was extra excited to check out a hotel experience & do it in Disney style!

I have SO many pics to share soon, but for now, here’s a few of our favs. We stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and the first evening, we celebrated his birthday with dinner in Cinderella’s Castle at the Magic Kingdom — Cinderella’s Royal Table. During the meet & greet with her before dinner, she danced with him …..it was THE sweetest moment!

Happy 6th Birthday, our sweet little man, Liam Michael!

You continue to overflow our hearts with joy, love & laughter. You are our biggest & brightest blessing. It is our privilege to watch you grow into such an amazing & beautiful little person with the biggest personality! Daddy & Mommy love you!

 

December 2016

Our Merry Christmas {2016}

Merry Christmas!

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With Christmas falling on a Sunday this year, we had a whole weekend of fun-filled holiday goodness! Liam was out of school the week before, so he had a ball at winter camp with a few field trips & activities. Both Stephen & I had to work through the 23rd, and that evening, Liam had a very special celebration, but more on that soon! Once we wrapped all that up, it was full-on Christmas mode! I have been blasting Christmas tunes  everywhere I go since just before Thanksgiving, and this weekend was no different. I LOVE Christmas music and it really tickled me this year because we noticed that Liam now knows many of the words to the songs we play on the regular.carpenterschristmasChristmas Eve, Liam woke up to a special present from Mr. Elf. He also delivered his good-bye letter to him that included a note that he could hug & kiss him bye again this year for a few minutes without his Christmas magic leaving. Mr. Elf was set to return to the North Pole with Santa that evening. Last year, Liam was VERY sad to see his friend leave, so we were anticipating that again this year. However, it was not as bad this time around because of the gift he brought Liam. He had asked Santa for a stuffed Mr. Elf toy, and THAT is exactly what he got from Mr. Elf! He was ecstatic!!

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That afternoon, we attended the Christmas Eve service at our church. Towards the end of service, there was a candlelight activity as we shared how Jesus is our light for the world ❤

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Some of our family was unfortunately sick, so thwarted plans landed us out to eat. We chose Bahama Breeze, and it was a perfect dinner! We beat the crowds, and the weather was amazing to sit outside.

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Liam was even able to play corn-hole while we waited for our food 🙂

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Once we got home, little man helped me to make cookies for Santa! We even made them from scratch this year. If you know me, then you know that’s means LOT 😉 …I haven’t made this cookie recipe in years, and was honestly so happy to do it with Liam this year. They came out so cute!

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After cookie baking, we put on jammies and put out the reindeer food in the front yard. Liam thought he kept hearing Santa’s sleigh ❤

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Even though he knew Santa wouldn’t come until after he fell asleep, Liam was not happy about bedtime. When we put out Santa’s cookies & milk, I asked him to smile for a picture. This was as good as it got. Ha!

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….and, once he was fast asleep — Santa arrived! ❤

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Christmas morning, wee-man slept ’till about 7:00am. Stephen & I laugh because, as kids, we can remember waking up before dawn with excitement. Not our kiddo. He {like his mama now} loves his sleep, and has snoozed till early morning every Christmas so far. When he did get up, he came into our room to wake us, and said, “I got presents! There’s a big bag & that’s my drum set! Come look!

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Daddy & Mommy picture courtesy of Liam 🙂

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So, he went for the big gift bag 1st to open, as he was convinced that was the drum set he had asked Santa for on his list. It wasn’t {it was the castle in the pic below}. However, Santa did bring him that drum set, so he was stoked when he did finally open it!

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Silly boy….

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Liam’s BIG gift this year was one that we were SUPER excited for, as well — ANNUAL FAMILY PASSES TO DISNEY!!!!!

Liam had a special gold box to open with a few things inside to reveal the gift:

Santa wrote him a letter to explain that he was getting the passes & why.

A fun “ticket” that said, Liam is going to Disney! All by himself, he actually read it & that was awesome!!

A Disney autograph book to take to the parks.

Magic Bandits to put on his magic band once we get them.

His Mickey ears {fun fact: I found these in his closet from when we took him on his 2nd bday for his very 1st trip there, so this worked out perfectly. You can check out that post HERE}.

*special THANK YOU!! to everyone who helped make this happen ❤ *

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His face as he was reading his ticket ❤

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I would say that is the face of one happy, little man!

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The animals were not left out of the morning, either. Santa brought them some treats. Timber snoozed most of the morning, though, while Simba raced around stealing bows & pieces of wrapping paper. Don’t be fooled by this cute pic….the tree skirt later was dragged half way across the living room! By Wednesday, this year, the tree was down. We have always waited to take our decorations down until after the New Year, but this crazy boy kept me on my toes just a little too much 😛

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After a relaxing afternoon, we headed over to our good friends to have Christmas dinner. Plans turned into the three of us having dinner at home, but we are very thankful & blessed to have great friends who insisted we not be alone for Christmas dinner. We really had an enjoyable evening! Here’s a pic of Liam & James playing out back with James’ new boat.
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We are so grateful & have full-hearts as we wrap up another magical Christmas season! We had a lot more fun throughout the rest of Liam’s winter break this past week, & I’ll be sharing more of that soon.

For a look back on our previous Christmas celebrations —

2013

2014

2015

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Much love…

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September 2016, Sponsored Post

Disney On Ice Fun — Follow Your Heart!

We recently had an afternoon of family FUN as we enjoyed Disney On Ice presents Follow Your Heart at the Amway Center downtown.

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We are always pumped to take a trip down to the Amway Center. Being downtown is just fun, in general, as we don’t frequent it often, and we love to check out the venue that the Orlando Magic calls home 🙂

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As soon as we stepped off of the escalator, these yummy sights & smells surrounded us. Liam chose the cotton candy & crown combo 🙂

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The show started off with a skating rendition of a hockey game to incorporate elements of Inside Out and the theme of Following Your Heart and doing your best. Riley made her appearance throughout the game and all the skaters were awesome! Liam LOVED it!

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And, of course, Mickey & the gang were there, too ❤

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It was very cool to see our favorite friends from Inside Out. Liam’s eyes definitely lit up when they came out!

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I’m pretty sure I said it last year, but my personal fav is Beauty & the Beast. I loved this rendition of ‘Be Our Guest’! Super excited for the live action movie next spring!!

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The Sorcerer’s Apprentice…we are big fans of watching this on Fantasia so it was awesome to see this on the ice.

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I was beyond thrilled to see Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs as a part of this year’s show!! Liam hasn’t see this movie yet, so it’s definitely added to our list …LOVE this one ❤

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Finding Dory ….so fun & such a great movie. We can’t wait to add this to our home collection.

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Toy Story is one of our family’s all time favorites and the performance they did for the show was SO good!

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It was fantastic to see our favs Rex & Hamm come skating out….Liam jumped out of his seat for that!

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All the Disney Princesses came out throughout the show and did fantastic performances. Ariel from the Little Mermaid’s performance, though, was one that we couldn’t take our eyes off….

What a way to close out the show….Frozen!

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Let It Go!!! ❤

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FINALE!!

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Smiles All Around!!

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Such a great afternoon with my boys! Always wonderful memories made with Disney, and of course, little man did not take this crown off all day! Thank you to Feld Entertainment for this amazing opportunity for my family!

Until next time, friends!

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I am a Feld Entertainment Blogger Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and other exclusive opportunities.