first beach weekend of the year!

And naturally it rained. Like every day until it was time to go home. We pulled the kids out of school and headed to North Wildwood, New Jersey on Friday…. And of course after we unpacked I had to go get a burger! The boardwalk was deserted and the entire place was like a big misty scene…. The Fitzs arrived then and we headed back to the actual beach (which wow is that a deep beach!) this time and of course ice cream! With bicycles! A solid first day!

our mother’s day…

Was a day where I was sooo very spoiled by Matt. Which is saying something since he always spoils. I don’t deserve it I truly don’t. I was woken up to the smell of my Grammy’s thin pancakes which is an amazing way to be woken up and if you know, you know…. Flowers and champagne and cards oh my! Matt also got me a new necklace that says I love you to the moon and back which is something I always say to the kids. And to which Letty has always responded with “I love you to the heart and back” which has always been adorable. I went for a run and was treated to a bubble bath before David’s final flag football game. A game in which he got four touchdowns and of course I got none of them on video….  Then we all got changed and headed out to dinner with my family where we got to celebrate my mama. Lots of Italian food later I looked at least thirty weeks pregnant but so very happy and loved. 

life lately…

Oh all the things! Secrets of Dumbledore with friends…another field trip that I was unable to go on but still got photos sent to me… baseball and family who supports David… a sleepover with cousins! More baseball and watching soccer and friend swims and friend lunches! Working at the middle school and feeling lucky to see Letty and her friends! A fish caught and a new school ID… a yard sale and lemonade stand… football and another soccer game…. Cats and a good report card ice cream run with Nonna… have I mentioned baseball? Tis the season! Freshly planted palms and flowers and hair cuts for the boys! It is quite possibly the busiest time of year after Christmas time but it is full of fun things!

a field trip

It has been a hot minute since I went on this field trip to Gretna Glen… two years in a row and I can say not much has changed! The camp counselors are still loud and energetic and the pond study is still dirty and icky. But it is a field trip and it is traditionally what the first graders do and I am glad it is back! I had a good group… there was no rain and the sun even came out! What is not to love? The only regret I have is not grabbing a photo of Lena and Dom! Rookie move Laurie!

our easter

I know! There is more! In between all of the festive fun there was actually family and appetizers and a main course and desserts and more family! And I neglected to take photos of the majority of it. I am actually extremely disappointed with myself for not taking an entire group family photo because well, we had lots of family in from New York! Entirely unacceptable. I suppose that just means we were all having a nice time chatting and eating and drinking Rob’s incredibly strong grapefruit cocktail… ahem. 

It was a good day. A long day. But a good one. 

hunt those eggs…

While we were inside dealing with egg madness the husbands went outside to deal with their own brand of madness, hiding eggs. We had certain areas of the yard set up for the different age brackets with Letty and David demanding their own space. Letty asked for her’s to be hidden very very well and Uncle Robbie understood the assignment as we all needed to help her find them. 

We all make them wait their turn, the eldest having to wait the longest but then we all get to witness all the fun! Except it was absolutely frigid and where is the warmer weather?! Please come back!

dye those eggs…

After a morning of far too much screen time we headed over to my parents’ for a day of festive fun! Fun is what we are calling it. First up was our annual egg dyeing. It was a completely calm and quiet, relaxing event. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. 

Not too hard to sense my sarcasm I hope? It was sheer and utter chaos and the noise oh my word! It was all a bit too much with the cooking going on in the background as well and the kids just chomping at the bit to get started before we were ready and pass the blue! No, I want the blue! Lots of that. Good times. Good times. 

But they had fun. 

all on an easter morn….

The Easter Bunny came. As he tends to do. And my children were up before seven, as they tend to do. Naturally he is all about the summer and the pool weather. New flips and suits, tanks and a cover-up, tubes and goggles and sharks oh my! If we will it it will come! No need for more toys in this house oh nooo thank you! Just don’t ask my children their opinion on the matter. 

And as an entirely important side note David now no longer believes. I am surprised I held him off this long as he has been asking questions for years… but I finally acknowledged that yes, I am in fact the bunny. I do have to say though, as sad as it is to have this little childish innocence waning I sure did appreciate the hugs and quiet whispered thank yous we got… and don’t worry, Santa is going strong. He’s hanging his hat on the photo I “got” in our living room of Santa years back….

life as of late….

Oh doing all the things! Cat cuddles and football, eating out and baseball, school stuff like an award for Letty and a spring party for David, the first day of fishing and the last day of Wednesday night church, new found hobbies for Dominic and then Jesus Christ Superstar with some lady friends! Just living the dream these days!

the aquarium once more!

We are just taking advantage of being members at the National Aquarium… this time taking my sister and her kids! Love that our pass allows any two adults and four kids! And hey Tenley is still free! I think my kids liked knowing the lay of the land and telling their cousins what’s what. And it was such a gorgeous day to walk around Inner Harbor and eat lunch outside! We need more of these days please!

the pool has returned!!!

Oh it happened alright. We opened her up! Of course she is quite cold so naturally only the boys really use her but then we were blessed with a few warm days where turning the heater on seemed worth it! Oh I missed you so you dear pool you! I love looking out back and seeing the covers off…. I think I must always live by some sort of body of water… preferably with palms. 

the easter bunny and hersheypark

Last weekend we met up with my family at Hershey for our annual Easter Bunny visit! And this time without masks! What a difference that makes! The first around we didn’t get everyone or everyone happy but the second time is a charm! We rode Chocolate World for the millionth time and then headed into the park for some more rides! Matt got a season pass this year after a years break… and we are just so happy to have him back! Summer is so close you guys!

a weekend away!

We have been plotting this for months… getting away again with “the Philly group” for the weekend. This time with no real plans, no hotels or restaurants, no city. We figured hey the kids just want to hang out all day anyway so why bother with activities! Not that this house didn’t have activities, it did. Ping pong and pool, a gym and sauna, a hot tub and pond… lots to do! The weather didn’t really cooperate as it got super cold so they weren’t able to be outside as much as we would have hoped…. But we still had a great weekend of shenanigans and friend time! A time to relax and eat all the things. That I am still trying to work off a thank you….

reading night!

Another event to make its first appearance since pre-covid era…. Our elementary school’s reading night! During Read Across America week there’s all sorts of activities that happen at the school including reading a book together as a family (still working on that). But this night of fun! Face painting and tons to do in the gym, stem activities and snacks! Also just a ton of friends for all so I’m glad it is back... Even though it is chaotic to watch my three and keep track of them it’s still worth it. And this time my sister and niece and nephew were there! Lena’s first one! One more step back to the old days!

roller skating

This last weekend Dom was invited to a friend’s birthday party at a nearby roller rink and his friend’s parents were so kind as to include the other kids and I as well! So Letty finally got her skate on that she has been asking for all winter! David was hesitant but within a half hour took off practically running! Dom doesn’t like to do things that he isn’t good at so he gave me a little bit of grief until a worker came and tightened his wheels for him and then he was off! I hope Trey had the best party! We sure had fun!

biztown

We have been hearing about BizTown all year long and I have been confounded by the description of what that exactly was…. It is Letty after all. But from what I’m could piece together it’s a tiny town and all the kids have jobs… get paid, deposit their check, eat and shop. Much more to it of course but that was the gist. The kids had to interview and Letty got the job of an Account Executive for the newspaper. I got to volunteer the day of which was quite the job in and of itself… but I’m so glad I got to see it! It was exhausting and a long hectic day but Letty had so much fun! 

the wizard of oz!

And for the final act in our week and a half of musical viewing was The Wizard of Oz at our local school district. One of Letty’s best friends was a munchkin so no matter what we had to be there. But first of course was a lunch with the girls! Then it was show time! Alyssa did so great and we are so so very proud of all the hard work she did! So much time and effort!

the sound of music!

Letty and I have been really seeing a lot of musicals lately! She is living the dream!! This year for Christmas the Fitzs and our family decided physical gifts were out and experiences were in… and so this day was planned. The men were left to plan their experiences and well, you can bring a horse to water but you can’t make them drink... Us ladies though had a fabulous dinner at Max’s Eatery before seeing The Sound of Music at The Fulton. It was such a great show and the girls just loved it! I am always so impressed with their shows!

crush, i mean squirt’s adventures…

The kids had decided after encouraging me to go to the Keys that they in fact did not want me to go.  So to ease the sting of the fact I was actually going I asked for a list of souvenir wishes… and they decided I was to take a toy with me, photographing our adventures along the way. They chose Squirt from Finding Nemo and unfortunately for us all we referred to him as Crush the entire time. But alas. He adventured! And the kids loved seeing the photos!

a relaxing morning followed by more sightseeing

Up for the sunrise we were once more thwarted by a cloud…. But at least we finally got to see our hotel in the daylight? Quite pretty really. We grabbed coffee from McDonald’s because apparently no cafe opens up before ten down there and enjoyed it watching the water and boats…. We spent a few hours hanging by the pool and relaxing before packing up our car with all the things and heading to another beach, this one named Anne, which was fitting for one of our party, named Anne. We hung out there for awhile wading into the water and catching some sun before starting back towards Fort Lauderdale... stopping quite a few times along the way. A brewery, some artist studios, shopping once more, the Key Lime Factory…all the things! We ended up with a final dinner on the water before we hit the mainland.

Once to our next hotel we took quick showers and then went to see the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino because it is in the shape of a guitar. So we had to. The girls gambled a little and we people watched before heading back to crash after a long day. For the next day was departure day! Schade. Nothing like leaving 80 degrees and palm trees for gray and rain/snow back home. 

Now. Is it time to open our pool? 

the drive back including a beach stop and the sunset singers

We left Key West stuffed and happy, ready for a beach stop at a state park as we headed back to our hotel. The plan was to break up the trip quite a few times and make sure we see all the things we can see! There were warnings about bacteria levels in the water (we were told wearing a mask would help har har Floridians) and man-o-wars so we weren’t entirely in the swimming mood but we sat and listened to the waves and relaxed after a morning of walking. As one does. 

Leaving there we found Sunset Park... Which is aptly named as it is a park set up entirely to watch the sunset. Tables and chairs and palms all ready for optimal sunset viewing.  After the sun went down we were handed music and told to join in on the nightly sing-a-long that has been happening every single night for over ten years. And naturally, we had to stay.  A song written by a local all about living life on the Keys and the palm trees swaying and being in Marathon, etc. It was something to see! What a life!

key west!

This is a bucket list item for me…. Being to Key West. It did not disappoint and lived up to everything I had heard about it. We found prime parking by one of the few beaches around and made our way from there to the Southernmost point in the continental United States. Which was just a moment! Waves crashing over the walls…. Nothing south of us but Cuba…. That water! 

We spent the rest of the morning sight seeing and shopping for our loved ones… a few drinks and of course and lunch at a great Cuban spot Toniel found. We also had to find the end of Route 1 and then crossing the street, the beginning. We saw a lot of the famouse Key West chickens (Hai Hai!) and man is the people watching good! I know we didn’t get to a lot more but that just means we will have to come back again someday!

one of the most scenic drives in the United States…

US Route 1. The Florida Keys. 

We had to. 

The plan was to get up early and see the sunrise but not only could we not park at planned spot but there was a very rude and very large cloud blocking the rising sun. So we moved on. Got some groceries and buckled up for the two hour and twenty something minute drive to Key West. I’ll dedicate just one post to this route because it was gorgeous. And we were all gasping and declaring how much we loved it and just how pretty it all was! That water!!! I want to bottle it up and take it home with me so it can admire it daily…. We even saw a rainbow! And the Seven Mile Bridge which is apparently one of the longest in the world and not nearly as scary as that other one we do not speak of. These photos do not do it justice as they were all taken while moving and through a car window... how I wished to be up high in a truck or something to get better views of the water... and the ride back was even more gorgeous if one can imagine!

the florida keys!

I have been toe tipping into leaving my kids for like a year and a half now…. A night here, a night there, always leaving the kids in Matt’s incredibly capable hands (he’s a working parent. A father. He’s Mr. Napkin Head!)…. We left them together once with friends and that was incredibly hard to do! I say all this to explain how totally out of my element I was leaving them for three nights. Via airplane no less! I returned from Disney quite forlorn and my friend Toniel said quite last minute hey! Wanna come to the keys with me?! And I discussed at great lengths with Matt over the course of many days and decided ok! Let’s do it! The kids had minimal activities… they would be in school most of the time anyways…. So I booked the ticket! And I went! Not without trepidation….

All the dramatics aside it was fine. Everyone was fine. Tears from the boys if I FaceTimed at night so I stopped doing that. And I am here to tell the tale! And I had a really nice time relaxing and sight seeing and soaking up some sun! 

But first we had to get there. Our flight left Baltimore in the middle of the afternoon so by the time we got to Fort Lauderdale, picked up our rental car and drove the hour and a half to Key Largo it was dark and late. We grabbed a bite to eat at the hotel bar next door and then sat listening to the water and looking at the stars afterward. Enjoying the heat and all the palm trees. Oh so many palm trees! 

the aquarium welcomed us once more just five days later…

The kids had off on a random weekday so even though we were just there we decided the aquarium had to be done. Again. This time with my friend Toniel and her girls. We left bright and early and had breakfast (must carb up) before walking across the street the see the fishes. And low and behold the mask rules have changed and we could actually see the joy on their faces! Which brought me joy! 

After seeing what we could see (a few things were now under construction since the prior Sunday) we walked around Inner Harbor, ending at the kids new favorite park. A solid day off of school to be sure!

the return of daily life…

These past two weeks have just been two weeks of all the little things and everyday things… Matt and my brothers have been spending a lot of time working on our new rental property in York… there has probably been far too much eating out going on…cuddles of the Dom and kitty variety…the start of hitting clinic for David and dinner with friends… basement sleepovers, good sky and niece and nephew cuddles…the end of field hockey…breakfast and the book fair and more basketball still for Dom… all the things! Living the dream!

here fishy…

I was just saying to my mom the other day that we really need to get ourselves back down to the aquarium in Baltimore…. And oddly enough that very night Matt made plans to go the very next day with friends of ours! Last minute plan and it all went perfectly! The sun was shining as we wandered around the harbor… we got a good lunch and the kids had a blast seeing all the different fish... Winner winner! Now hopefully it won’t be four months till we get to come back here again…

lititz fire and ice festival

This festival really brings all the people to Lititz’s yard let me tell you what! With the kids all off for President’s Day last week and the weather being as absolutely gorgeous as it was a few of my friends and I knew we had to be in the great outdoors! And why not see some ice sculptures while we are at it? We had lunch first because one needs sustenance for seven kids… Then we headed into town in to quite a mess of people…so we saw a few of the sculptures and then left. Quite a shame! And all the things were melting! But that didn’t end our fun… everyone came back to our house to play out front and eat ice cream with all the fixings! And I sat my butt in a beach chair facing the sun… perfection!

valentines and super bowl party

Celebrated at my parents' house of course.... Both things. All the things! My mom had found a cool "stained glass" cookie recipe so she thought the kids could do that prior to the game... exchanging their Valentine's with their cousins and of course all the chaos lots of cards and candy can do... and then of naturally there was the game itself... so what if we left before halftime? I mean we watched it of course because hello great line up and nostalgia and I'm not really that old right? But I digress. We watched the half time show at home in our pajamas and then the kids went straight to bed. Stuffed. Full of far too much food and wings and chips and cookies and candy! A sure sign of a great party!  Oh my!

a friends’ valentines

This festive day of Fetter fun is on something like its third year in the making? We always end up doing something messy and this year we did sugar cookies and of course all the decorating! Not to mention plenty of heart shaped eateries! But I think the highlight of the day for everyone of the dog loving variety was the visit with Wilson, Toniel's new puppy. I do have to admit he is quite cute! But he also doesn't live with me. And yes to all who noticed I did let him inside because he was shivering out in the cold and I am not a monster!

Until next year! The festive day... not the pup. By next year he will be huge and shedding and boxer fur be prickly!

the in between….

Since returning from Disney and all the depression that that entails we have been keeping busy…. Loosing more teeth…we bought and investment property with two of my siblings and their spouses… basketball for both boys… visiting with friends… having a spa day with friends…. Each kid got dinner out for their good grades, (well, Dom just lucked out that evening) David requested a dinner with my parents and Letty with Matt. I had my first job at the middle school and lived to tell the tale! Annnnnd more basketball! With friends! And of course there was Valentines Day!

audrey’s fourth birthday party

Last weekend (well, two weekends ago technically) we got to celebrate my niece Audrey as she turned four! Family from near and far arrived and there was delicious Chinese food, a rainbow cake and of course presents! All about those themes and my brother and sister-in-law nail it every time!

Oh Audrey…. Aud! You have changed so much in this past year and I am loving getting to spend more time with you and chatting! I appreciate the new allowance of hugs and I just love your sweet voice! You are a spitfire girl and I know you won’t let anyone forget it! You are funny and bright and silly and I love you! I’m excited for every passing day seeing you grow! I hope you felt the love girl! I mean I know you are loving all the Letty attention….

our final day…

And what a sad one! It was sunny, yes, but it was so cold! After packing up and leaving our bags with bell services we took the Skyliner over to the Riveria resort for breakfast at Toppolino’s. Again with the dining! So good! So much food! And characters! If we have to go home what a nice way to round out the trip! After breakfast we walked around Disney Springs a bit and honestly I could have done without that. It was super crowded and it has changed so much from back in the day. We ate an early dinner on the Boardwalk while letting the kids run around and we soaked up what sun we could before heading to the airport. We got home at like 2 am and we’re rudely greeted with frigid temps. Now.  When do we go back?!

hollywood, epcot and space 220

So sad! Our last day in the parks! We were at Hollywood again in the morning…. Did the thrill rides first this time before one final ride on the Railway…. Saw a cavalcade on the way to the Disney Junior show for the littles…. The sun came out and Matt and I were just basking in it! This was the weather we came for! Sun and palm trees! We then saw the Indiana Jones show which I haven’t been to in forever and it hasn’t changed a bit! We had lunch then at the ABC Commisary before hopping over to Epcot where we had Lightning Lanes for Remi. The line for this ride was long all week long so we decided to bite the bullet and buy a ride on…. I have to say u was slightly underwhelmed with it. I was expecting Railway caliber and it was definitely not. Still cute though! After the ride we got some things off of our list, finding the rainbow arches, painting the paint by numbers mural wall, Spaceship Earth and family photos with the ball and Nemo. Our dining tonight was the most spread out of the trip but I’m just thankful we even got in! Thanks to Beth! Space 220! So half the group went to eat and the other half did some World Showcase walking. Including the Three Caballeros. Then it was time for our dining experience!!!  I mean wow you guys this restaurant is just phenomenal. The riding the elevator up into space was so cool! Dining in space! Who would have think it! The food was sooo good too! I wasn’t ready to call it a night after dinner so we walked over to Soarin one final time…. Ending the trip the way it began!

hollywood to animal kingdom to epcot….

I think we are transitioning from most of the kids saying Magic Kingdom is their favorite park to Hollywood Studios is their favorite park. As far as I go you should all know, it is Epcot. So we were back here again this day. Doing what we do. Railway first of course because every last one of us can go on it, then Tower of Terror for the thrill seekers, we watch the Beauty and the Beast stage show before a lunch at Pizzerizzo’s. Then we watched the Muppet 3D show, met a few characters, annnnnnd then got a bus to Animal Kingdom. We did the safari right away of course before Flight of Passage. Another really cool ride! Matt did it this year as he is sort of a Nancy about thrill rides but it definitely isn’t like that! Again, worth every Lightning Lane penny. Dinner was at Yak & Yeti, a favorite of ours from last time. We saw the show on the tree after dinner and then had to walk through Pandora at night which we had never done before…. Then us Olsen’s decided we needed more Epcot in our life so we took the bus there. We rode Spaceship Earth and did a walk around the World Showcase before heading back to the resort. 

mickey! with a side of rain.

We were back at Magic Kingdom the very next day and of course had to stop in an see the big guy himself, Mickey! We rode the Flying Carpets, checked out the Enchanted Tiki Room (a first for us), then we had lunch at Cinderella’s Royal Table! Another first for us! Let me tell you we dined at all the good places this trip courtesy of my sister’s planning and my father’s financials and I am here for it! Such great experiences at each and every one! Ponchos were donned once more and we caught a quick cavalcade on our way out as we headed for Hollywood Studios. From one parade to the next but after least at Hollywood no more ponchos were needed! We got our kids photo with their Nonna and Pop in their fun matching shirts too! We saw a Lightning McQueen show before Rock n’ Rollercoaster…. And then, Rise! Of the Resistance. My sister had gotten up early and got those who wanted Lightning Lanes for it. Such an experience I’m so glad we got to go on it again!! Worth every penny. Then we did Toy Story Mania…. And then we took the Skyliner over to Epcot. The kids loved this too! Might be my favorite type of Disney transportation.  We then hopped on a bus to go to Magic Kingdom for their fireworks show. In the rain. But it held off for the actual show and minus the man who blocked our view by putting his daughter on his shoulders it was a great show! This was a night where certain resorts had extra hours so we hung out and did a few more rides, Haunted Mansion, Pirates, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and the Speedway. We left as the park closed and boy were those kiddos exhausted! It was our last time at Magic Kingdom for the trip so you know I had to say my internal goodbyes to the castle…. She’s just so pretty!

a rainy day at disney…

Is better than a sunny day at home…. That is how the saying goes and I think I said it like a dozen times. The ponchos definitely did some solid work this day! Thank goodness we have them! We didn’t rush to get to Magic Kingdom at rope drop…. We were hoping between the rain and the fact the park was closing early for an event would keep people away… and I think it did for the most part. We knocked a bunch of rides off the list, Buzz, Space Mountain, Dumbo, Barnstormer, Under the Sea… we had an early light lunch and then did the Philharmagic which added a song from Coco! Loved that addition. Then we did Pirates, Winnie the Pooh, Small World and the Teacups before Space Mountain. Again. We had early dining reservations at Artist Point so we took the boat over to the Wilderness Lodge. I had never been to this resort before so it was fun to check it out. This dining experience was just so cute and fun! We got to see Snow White, Dopey and Grumpy and of course the Evil Queen. The food was so tasty! The entire thing from the apps and drinks to the desserts was themed! Then we took a bus to Epcot and just walked to our resort… calling it an early night because of the rain. 

hollywood, ohana and epcot fireworks

We moseyed on over to Hollywood Studios first thing and once more went on Minnie and Mickey’s Runaway Railroad. Railway? Details. Then we headed back to Galaxy’s Edge for Smuggler’s Run again. I let someone else pilot this time and David even went on it again and willingly! We saw more parades… and then did Tower of Terror, Mikayla and Harrison’s first time!! Then we did the Frozen show which is, as always, silly and corny but when the snow starts it just gets me every time! My sister had gotten us reservations at Oga’s Cantina so Matt and I took the older two with my brother and Ashley and Colton. The drinks were tasty and the environment was everything I thought it would be! Slinky Dog had been down for a bit but opened in time for us to use our free Lightning Lane pass. We got it for free because of a screw up when we tried to get Rise…. Then we did Rock n’ Rollercoaster which was a definite favorite of the triplets…. Dinner was at Ohana and mylanta the food there! If you know, you know. After dinner we decided to walk off all those noodles at Epcot. The light show on the ball is so fun and Rainbow Connection!?! I love it. We rode Spaceship Earth again before rushing on to Test Track before the fireworks. I missed fireworks! This whole new show was just so good even without having the best viewing location! Certain resorts had an extra two hours at Epcot that night so we figured Frozen would be a walk on and boy were we mistaken. I think we waited almost an hour for that ride… And then, bed! A day of days! 

park hopper is back!

And on our first full day in the parks we utilized it! I definitely missed Park Hopper last visit! This was also the moment I realized the kids could have really used their winter coats so I took to Amazon to buy three coats asap! We started our day rope dropping at Magic Kingdom. All resort guests get into the parks a half hour early so we really were there early. Ponchos ready. We decided to go to Seven Dwarves first. Got that right off the list.  Then we headed for rides with indoor queues and such next because: cold. So it was Small World, Haunted Mansion, the Peoplemover (we saw Tron!), lunch, Carousel of Progress, Pirates, then the sun came out briefly and we watched a few cavalcades…. We did Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and more cavalcades before heading to our dinner reservations at Be Our Guest. We saw the Beast, ate delicious food and the kids got to paint little chocolate Chips! Always a favorite, that place!

My parents and brother and his family headed back to the hotel and my sister and I went to Hollywood Studios. The wait times just looked too good to pass up, tired or not! We did Smuggler’s Run which was a first for us and oh my word so much fun! I had the best time being a pilot! We did the Swirling Saucers which is fun for all and then the first of many Minnie and Mickey’s Runaway Railroad visits! And just like that we were able to walk back to the resort! Disney Beth is a whole other version of Beth and I am here for it!!

we went to disney!

I am sure this is no shock to you, dear reader, as I pretty much discussed this trip with every single person I came into contact with in the weeks and months leading up to it. If the walls had ears I would talk to them about it as well. I was so worried that one of us would have covid or a covid exposure that would stop us from traveling south and miracle of all miracles we were good! Olsen’s have been dodging covid bullets left and right at this point and I am not sure how we have come out of the past two years so far unscathed (knock on wood). 

So. Disney. This time the entire family (minus my elder brother of course) was able to go. Sixteen deep. We stayed at our favorite resort, The Yacht Club. And we flew. Again. It is quite nice, flight delays not withstanding. We left my parents house via enormous van at 2:30 am on a Saturday morning and made our way to Philly. By 11:30 we had our rented double strollers in hand and were on our way to Epcot. The weather this trip did not want to cooperate however and this first day was just the toe dip into said inclement weather. We stayed as dry and bundled as we possibly could as we made our way around The World Showcase… We hit all the true blue family favorites as well, The Three Caballeros, Nemo, Spaceship Earth and Soarin. Goodness I love that ride. We also did The Land because we didn’t want to go back outside…. The afternoon rounded out with a dinner at Tutto Italia which had the largest piece of chicken parm I have ever witnessed. Annnnd much to my sadness we just went back to the hotel and relaxed afterwards... Unpacked. Etc. I suppose a 15 hour day could take a lot out of a person. And now, photos. 

the in between, christmas break style.

Oh Christmas break! What a whirlwind! And I loved it! Even though Dom was horrible and the kids fought daily and we were all exhausted I would take break any day! We had lots of adventures with friends... Lots of eating out. Good sky and coffee and our first baby snow. These photos are all out of order and mixed up but that is fitting for break! And the week leading up to it. All the school parties and the spirit days! Oh Christmas! How I hate to see you go!

zoo america

I like to fill up each and every day of break and I mainly succeeded this past week other than one day of forced at home time…. One such day I took the kids to the zoo…. With our friends the Wagners…. Just like last year. The place was fairly empty which was nice and it wasn’t too cold (also nice). We got to see the wolves! And then had lunch. Final visit of the year, check! Final burger of the year, check!

to the new year!

Unsure what to do as a family we fell back on an old classic, an appetizer night. We may have slightly over-committed with the amount of food we would require but at least no one left hungry! The kids got all dressed up and watched a movie in the basement while the adults discussed our upcoming trip to Disney. We played a countdown for the kids before all the family went home too.. It was a low key night but a good one! The only ones to make it to midnight were Letty, Matt and I. And just barely!