Thursday, January 24, 2013

California Birthday Trip Day 2

This was not just an ordinary vacation. My baby girl turned 3 years old. This only happens once in a life. Important stuff here.
Accordingly, Kalynn woke up in our hotel to a room full of balloons, a princess Disney cake and a handful of gifts to unwrap. She was a very happy kid. 

Her party was in the monstrosity of a lobby at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel. We opened gifts with Kalynn's God parents, her Grandma Diana (DiNana), and another great old friend of mine. She had cookies and cake and even got the Happy Birthday song played for her on the grand piano by the hotel's professional piano player. 


 I'm absolutely not admitting to taking my mom's pass so that I could sneak into the park for just a few minutes before we had to leave for the airport the next day. All I'm saying, is that should you ever think you can get into Disneyland on someone else's annual pass, you most likely will get caught, thrown into the Disneyland doghouse, get the annual pass you were trying to use taken away and end up paying an additional $100 for a valid pass in order to get your mom's back from security. Not that I tried. I'm just saying. Don't do it. I'm assuming.

Since we were in the park unexpectedly for a brief hour before our flight took off, we used the opportunity to get some final signatures on our picture frame mat.

I figured, the majority of the kids I saw running around had autograph books to be signed, but what are they really going to do with them once they got home? Put them in a box somewhere in the basement? This way, we can at least display everyone we ran into somewhere in Kalynn's bedroom so she never forgets her birthday trip. Total, we were lucky enough to get autographs from Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Chip and Dale, Goofy, Snow White, Princess Aurora, Pluto, Alice, The Mad Hatter, The Queen of Hearts and The White Rabbit.  

It was an awesome trip and it went by way too fast.

I want to say a GIANT thank you to my Mom who went way out of her way to make sure the weekend was absolutely perfect. Which it totally was. Thank you, mom!!

And thanks to you guys who came out to celebrate with us. Fancy-pant hotels and gifts are great and everything, but in the end, celebrating is just not the same without the love of great friends and family in your life! Nothing is for that matter.

Happy 3rd Birthday Kalynn!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

California Birthday Trip: Day 1

Alright, lets get the ball rolling already.

Overly excited toddler in stow, we flew to LA on United Airlines last Thursday afternoon after getting a ride from my oh-so-generous brother-in-law to Denver International Airport. Kalynn did awesome on the plane and mostly drew Paint Sparkles on the iPad while munching on Goldfish Crackers. Having skipped her nap that day, I was super relieved there were no melt downs. Not one. High five.

We went straight to my Mom's house, ate dinner, and directly climbed into bed. Traveling, as I'm sure everyone knows, is totally exhausting. We had a big day ahead of us so we needed some good rest.

Friday morning we spent a few precious hours with my grandparents taking pictures and hanging out before heading off to Disneyland. The Paradise Pier Hotel let us check in early, which was awesome because Kalynn was already ready for a nap by the time noon rolled around. Our room was totally adorable, decked out with characters in a beachy theme.

We had an amazing view of the water slide and the pool although we never got to use either of them because it was record breaking low temperatures the whole time we were there. Parts of LA County even got snow. Can you believe that? Leave it to us to choose the one weekend of the millennium that the temperatures decide to chill out in the 30's.

She woke up happy and ready to go! Thank God!

Off to Sleeping Beauty's Castle!

It felt so good to be back! We immediately headed to Fantasyland to meet up with our friends Melissa and Brandon and their son Elin (the same ones who gave us the hotel suite a couple December's ago in San Diego).
I can't even explain how nice it is to be around my friends again. People whom I've known for eons. People I can just pal around with and feel like we never skipped a beat.
Our kids played, we rode rides, we caught up on everything there was to talk about and we got to just have an awesome day.

Kalynn and I took a detour to say hello to Snow White while my mom saved us the perfect spot to watch the parade. Although Kalynn was initially super excited to meet her idol, she was a little nervous when Ms. White wanted a hug. 

Walking back from Snow White's Wishing Well to my mom, who was saving our parade watching spot, we got a bit of a surprise. There she was, sitting in the middle of a circle in mid conversation with Alice in Wonderland, The White Rabbit, The Queen of Hearts and the Mad Hatter. The 4 characters must have sat and talked with her for 10 minutes about absolutely nothing important while lines of patient Disney fans waited for pictures and autographs.

Kalynn wasn't as enthused. She's pretty terrified of the Queen of Hearts. Rightly so. Anyone who goes around yelling "Off with their heads!!" should expect a frightened toddler to deny a photo opportunity.

After the parade we met up my my friend Chris and his daughter Lilly for more rides. We kept the kids awake until 8:45 (9:45pm our time) to watch the fireworks, but they were canceled at the last minute due to high wind advisory. Just as well. Someone was a little tuckered out anyway.

My mom and I popped open a bottle of red wine (by popped open, I mean accidentally pushed the cork through the wrong way forcing a volcano of Cabernet to explode all over my face, the walls, the floor and the couch) and blew up a million balloons to cover the hotel room floor for Kalynn o have the next morning on her 3rd birthday.

Day 1 had overly exceeded my expectations of our first visit since our move to Colorado. It couldn't have gone any more perfect.

Day 2 (just as awesome) coming soon!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Snow White Birthday Shoot

We're back from Kalynn's 3rd birthday celebration at Disneyland. I have 5 million photos to sort through and 3 million videos to watch.

Our airplane landed in Denver Sunday evening and I've been at work ever since, so I haven't had a whole lot of time online to play catch up.

But because it's been a while since my last post, I feel like I'm neglecting some of my family members who are itching to see some pictures!

For those of you who haven't seen Kalynn's Snow White photo shoot for her invitations, here's the final turn out:

I threw her invitations together on Photoshop sticking with the Snow White theme.

We've also started a new questionnaire tradition. I wanted to do this last year but she was just too little to understand any of the questions. I wanted to have something to look back on so I can remember where her sweet little head was in the world.  My very favorite answer was her explination of a future career in "pinching people's hair" which is what she says when I use the curling iron.  

Here's a closer look at her signature. I've never actually asked her to write anything before so I was pretty impressed.

I promise over the next few days I'll get my camera sorted out and have some awesome pictures to post! Until then, I hope all is well with all of you! And Kalynn thanks you all for the Birthday wishes!