February 15, 2017

Valentine’s Day has come and gone….  So, apparently has January!

right now, we are looking very forward to our Winter Break.  we will visit Aunt Stacey, Uncle Dave, Sophia & Sadie.  we will also venture around the beautiful state of Arizona with a jaunt in Nevada for the Hoover Dam!    it will be a lot of driving.  a lot of scenery.  a lot of reading.  a lot of kindle-ing.  a lot of eating.  a lot of hiking.  a lot of photo-ing. a lot of ooo-ing and aaah-ing.  (probably just from me; it seems jovie’s a lot like The Mr.)

[tho i will hope she exclaims over the Grand Canyon like i did- especially because she was FLOORED with the sand dunes.  this is essentially opposite that]

that’s the future.  the past has included spending a lot of time playing with our new-ish next door neighbor Salma.  she’s a sweet 1st grader that has only lived in this country for about a year.  i am getting to know the mom, and it’s great getting to hear about Egypt!

jovie’s modern dance class got canceled; there was only one other girl there.  so now it’s just ballet.  she has done art club with school a couple times a month.  she also enjoyed re-reading Charlotte’s Web & going to book club with our (awesome) public library.  during the school day once a month she does origami club.

we had a really fun day honoring the National Champs of football!  we had a whirlwind weekend where we left immediately after school on a friday; stayed in a hotel about 15mins away.  jaunted into town super early and watched Clemson’s parade before going into Death Valley for a very nice ceremony.  we all enjoyed it; though jovie was 1. scared of heights and 2. a little bored with all of the talking in the stadium.  but she managed thanks to Daddy’s phone.  we loved being there.  then we came home and the next day we honored jovie’s christmas gift & got to see Little Mermaid at the Fox again.

and this past weekend, she went to her first slumber party.  she had a great time, and The Mr. & i realized just how old and fuddyduddy we are.  we did have a nice dinner out.  i was able to have a Radler; which i haven’t gotten to have since Munich.  we were asleep by 9:45. i did not even hear the dad text me to tell me jovie was having fun.  i did, however, hear the phone ring at 12:15 when jovie needed to talk to me.  she did not come home; but i guess she needed some mommy-love.

it’s been a nice 2017 so far.  some snow would be nice.  if nothing else, some winter cold.  we’ve had very few of those days.  i look forward to posting about our trip!

really liked how many fans turned up for the incredible fun!  & jovie was excited for her first real trip to clemson.  “i’ve always wanted to go into the stadium!” she said when i told her what we were doing that weekend. we enjoyed showing her some of the places that are meaningful to us.





the start of the 2nd half

August 8, 2016

the 2nd half of elementary school has begun!!


the big hall.  WOW.  third grade.  WOWWOW.

her dress matches her bookbag matches her lunchbox.  she’s still freakin’ adorable!

depends on what the definition of “magic” is

February 20, 2016

A week ago, we were walkin’ walkin’ walkin’ all over (literally) Kingdom come.  From Magic Kingdom on Saturday to Animal Kingdom on Sunday.

Jovie really enjoyed herself; but it was a very long day.  Because we didn’t have a free day in between, I had hoped to go back to the hotel and rest a bit before the fireworks show.  That didn’t happen because of the dern Fast Pass situation.  (Don’t even get me started!)

So our morning started bright and early getting on the shuttle at 7am.  We finally climbed into bed at 11:30pm.  Jovie has seen 11:00 on the clock exactly once in her (aware-non-newborn) life.  That was this summer when we were at the mountain house with her cousin.

Despite the challenges, she had a great time.  And handled it well! (Better than The Mr.)

We had breakfast with Winnie the Pooh & Friends (don’t even get me started!).  We had lunch at The Beast’s Castle (this is a rant blog post of it’s own!!  grrr; i won’t bore you) and a very late dinner just on our own with no reservations.  The Mr. said she was lying down while waiting for me to come back with the food.   We rode rides, enjoyed the ambiance & food, played on playthings [kudos to both the Winnie the Pooh Ride & Dumbo!] & walked and walked and walked.  We enjoyed sitting down to watch the Electric Parade and the psychedelic weirdness that it was.  The light show & fireworks were watched on Piggy Back.

The next day we painted a face, saw lots of animals, had a photo session with The Mice themselves, had another lunch -this time with Mickey & Friends, rode rides, enjoyed the ambiance & food, played on playthings [the Boneyard was awesome!] & walked and walked and walked.  Oh, and canceled dinner reservations because we were all spent!

For 2 days, we spent entirely too much money doing things The Mr. & i would rather not have been a part of.  We spoiled our already experience-spoiled child.  Thank goodness she was appreciative & happy.  Therefore, we can be (a bit) glad we did it.

Jovie- when you read this yourself- know that is likely your one & only time until you are old enough (and interested) to possibly maybe go to Epcot.  A girls’ trip.  MAYBE.  And know that the possibility even exists because of how well you conducted yourself.  You handled the lines (even several for the bathroom!!) The walking.  The long  days.  You enjoyed the activities.  The characters.  The food (it was all good!!!).  You were appropriately delighted at things, and didn’t come to expect.  And you thanked us and showed your appreciation.

Still, don’t count on another trip to the Magic Place….unless you are also in a fantastic band.

…OH and if anyone is wondering- Jovie’s favoritest favorite thing to do for the 3 days in Orlando— the Swiss Family Robinson TreeHouse.  I don’t even have a picture.  You literally walk up the steps of a “treehouse” and see it all decorated.  It was the first thing we did after breakfast on Saturday.  It was more a tour than an activity/ride.  She always surprises me.

Day 1 @ Hotel (thanks to The Mr. for all of his points.  saved us about the cost of lunch.)



because always


because we literally walked into the hotel to a Frozen song & it was the hotel’s bday- so cupcakes. of course


Oh! and we also enjoyed a nice dinner on the water in Disney Springs (downtown disney). We ate at Rainforest Cafe & snagged a table outside as a first-come-first served thing.  It was perfect.


Day 2 @ Magic Kingdom


Day 3 @ Animal Kingdom:

here are some animals from the Safari Ride we took last thing.  We were at the very back which was perfect…..

And this-  this about sums it all up….

we’re goin’ to Disney World…

February 4, 2016

…and we don’t even have to win the SuperBowl first!

It has been in the works for close to a year that we would go to Disney this year.

The Mr. & I have always said we wouldn’t be the parent who brings our toddler/baby/small kid to such an exhausting, expensive & fun place.

Being from GA, it is fair to say that as far as I know, Jovie is the last of her friends to discover “the most magical place on earth”.  And we are OK with that.

Our criteria was that our kid would have to:

  1. be interested
  2. be old enough to handle it
  3. be old enough to appreciate it.
  4. be old enough to remember it.

We assumed that would be around this age.  Sometime near the end of Kindergarten, Jovie casually mentioned something about Disney in the sense of “i hear people talk about this; what is it” kind of way.  That was my first clue that maybe she was starting to be interested.  We look at her age and our ability to schedule it in, and we have finally found a good time to go.

Unfortunately, we are already breaking one of our other rules- and that is that we will take her out of school for one day to be able to drive down.  To make up for that, we are not doing a week-long park-hopper madhouse excursion.

Unfortunately, Disney is no longer the place where we went way back in the 80s or 90s.  There are apps, schedules, 100000 blogs & books all dedicated to the subject.  Reservations to be made.  Not at the hotels (we are staying with The Mr.’s points off-site in Downtown Disney) but at the restaurants.

You guys, I made food reservations back in October!!  I could order lunch right now, if I so choose.  (I don’t!) And I already have fast-passes and know a general idea of where we will be at given hours of the day.  Weeks away!

I have only experienced Disney Parks a handful of times in my life; the first being an excursion with the band.  The Mr. has been one less time than me.   Back then, it was much easier.  People didn’t have to use up a FastPass to meet a princess (or not, in our case).  Characters just roamed the park and did a quick hello & pose.  Now there are lines upon lines to see anyone.  Or character breakfasts where prices are outrageous.

The Mr. & I have never been to Magic Kingdom together- and have each only been 1 time before.  None of us have been to Animal Kingdom.

It will be fun.  A 2 day, 2 park excursion that will test all of our limits.  But, she is interested.  She can handle it [we hope!!!]. And we assume she will remember it.  We think she’ll appreciate it because a few weeks ago,when we finally told her that we were taking her on a surprise trip, it didn’t even dawn on her as an option.  She was hoping for the beach.  She was delighted to hear about this other place instead!

Yesterday & this morning, she began talking about it.  She’s getting excited.  Sadly, there are no ferris wheels to be had.  (her all-time favorite ride) …. but you’ll never guess what she’s most excited for….

STORYTIME with Belle.

Her favorite princess…. who likes BOOKS… who acts out a story.

This really will be a lot of fun.  I can’t wait to share our pics upon our return…….



do you have a second?

August 6, 2015




wish us luck! we’re all new at this one.

and then there was this:

August 7, 2014
1st grade ready!

1st grade ready!



birthday plans

July 14, 2014

well, i’m pretty sure jovie’s 6th birthday will be a memorable one.  we had hoped so…. but for different reasons.

way back when, we got info that The Little Mermaid would be playing at the Fox theater.  Add to that, there was a show on Jovie’s actual birthday.  I immediately called and found out that there wasn’t a matinée so we got tickets for Sat the 12th.  then it dawned on me that that would be the party day so we decided to bite the bullet and let jovie have a super super late night on her birthday and be super special. [changed our tickets]

way way back when, i decided Little Mermaid was my favorite Disney movie. kinda back when, The Mr. & Jovie got me the movie for my birthday. since then, jovie has been asking to watch it, but i didn’t think her sensitivities were quite ready yet.  fast forward- we bought the tickets for her birthday.  & we watched the movie a week ago for the first time.  she wasn’t too sure if she liked it or not.  in her words, “i liked it and i didn’t like it”

then- as they are wont to do- plans changed.

the short of it- jovie had what turned out to be poison ivy ALL. OVER. HERSELF.  we spent her birthday (&the day before) at the doctor and on the couch.  so every birthday tradition we have went out the window.  Luckily, the Fox is awesome and the guy changed my tickets AGAIN. and we were going to go on Sunday (last night). [which turned out to be much much better]

we all LOVED it.

The Mr. & i had season tickets last year; and this was THE BEST performance we saw.  hands down- worth it.

so the birthday, as i said was spent super low key.  which means we had our traditional mexican lunch for dinner the day after.  we didn’t go to the pool.  she spent the day watching TV.  because we had the performance to go to, dinner wasn’t planned.  it all ended up we had apps in front of the World Cup game.  &  if you ask if she had a good birthday she says “YES!!”

which is obviously all that matters.

saturday she was hoping to be able to swim for her party.  which she did.  she was looking so. much. better.

she delighted in having gramma & grampa come, as well as some of her friends.  we had a great time swimming and playing “pin the antennae on the butterfly” to go with her theme this year.  after dinner, the kids all ran around like crazy in the backyard.  she had a blast.  it was a great weekend.

and, like every year, she is delighted at being [six].

pictures will be up tomorrow…..  i wanted to get this up at least.

for anyone reading this that was a part of our weekend- thanks again!!!