Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Animal Kingdom and ALL it's Awesomeness

Sunday was our last day in Orlando.  We had a late flight and I am not going all the way to Orlando without going to Walt Disney World!!  We decided on Animal Kingdom so we could check out Pandora: World of Avatar.  Let me tell you, it did not disappoint!
We woke up at 6:00 am to get ready and be at the park at 7:00!  Yeah, we did not get much sleep the entire weekend!!  We were able to park in handicap parking right at the front of the park.  That was awesome!  And all we did was ask...no placard or doctors note.  We were planning on taking an Uber from the park to the airport because my dad's flight was a few hours earlier, so I stuffed everything I needed in a locker.  Yeah, I was super impressed with my condensed packing as well. ;)  And the booster seat I brought?  Set it on top of the lockers, hoping it would be there at the end of the day.  Once that was all taken care of, we ran with everyone else to Pandora.  By this time it was only like 7:30 and we were a sweaty mess.  Florida is on another level of humidity!!  


We waited for a while and finally were let into the land.  It was amazing, gorgeous, unbelievable...everything!! I was in awe!!  We head straight for the Avatar Flight of Passage attraction.  Since we were there so early, the line just kept moving.  We were never stopped.  The line is very long and windy, but at the same time, very cool and detailed.  We walked and walked and arrived at the ride.  Mind you, the whole time Charlotte is freaking out and crying.  Yes, I am a bad mom and made her go on it, thinking she would love it.  Boy was I wrong!!!  But the ride was totally worth going...even if you have one day like we did, GO ON THIS RIDE!! And it's even worth waiting a couple hours!!






After the ride, we got some french toast at the Satu'li Canteen and met up with my dad's twin brother and his family.  We hung out with them for a bit, went on Everest and then we needed to get some Fast Passes and take Charlotte on some kid-friendly rides.  She actually needed a new shirt too because hers was itching her.  I was not about to listen to that all day, so to the gift shop we went!  When we purchased the t-shirt, she said, "My new Ariel shirt matched my Little Mermaid panties!"  She was so proud! Haha.  We headed over to Dino Land and she was happy on TriceraTop Spin!




Animal Kingdom has this great little Wilderness Explorer program.  Charlotte really enjoyed collecting badges and looking for specific animals and checking things off her list. It is perfect for keeping kids engaged and active, rather than them just focusing on all the walking they are doing.  She loved it.



We also headed up to Rafiki's Planet Watch.  If you want to get away from crowds, take a load off and relax, this is the spot to go.  You take a train to get there and the kids can learn all about different animals.  Doc McStuffins was there too!  I am always thrilled when she voluntarily takes a picture with the characters.




On our way out of the park, we grabbed a Mickey-shaped ice cream and, as you can see, Charlotte really enjoyed hers!


Other things we did were Kilimanjaro Safaris, It's Tough to be a Bug!, Festival of the Lion King, Na'vi River Journey (the other new ride in Pandora) and ate a late lunch at Pizzafari (I got he Mediterranean flatbread- highly recommend).  We ended up leaving with my dad, to avoid the Uber fee.  We had done everything we wanted and felt satisfied and EXHAUSTED!

We cannot wait to go back to Disney World, next time with Josh!! 

Orlando, I HEART You

A few months ago, I was scrolling through my emails and found a subject line that read, "Join Us in Orlando!" Of course, I clicked on it! It was from the Adult Congenital Heart Association, which I had just subscribed to receive their emails fairly recently before. I looked at the date and, unfortunately, it was at such a bad time for our family. Josh was taking the CFA the same day and I knew I would continue to be busy with life. After reviewing the subject matter, I knew I needed to attend. I talked to Josh and he thought it would be important for me to attend. I wanted someone to go with me for moral support and an extra ear to hear everything. I asked my dad and he didn't hesitate. We started planning the trip.
On Thursday night, Charlotte and I flew to Orlando. I didn't have anywhere for her to go, but since I have a Southwest companion pass, she flew for free. My dad picked us up super late. We arrived at the hotel around 1:00 am. The next morning start early!!  



We had to be at the first class at 7:30.  I walked over to the hotel (we stayed next door), had a heart healthy breakfast and headed to class. Charlotte did not like any part of the conference, but you cannot blame her.  A lot of it was information I already knew but there were more clear explanations of other subjects and just overall, much needed information.



This is the condition I have, Transposition of the Great Arteries.  

When I had my second open-heart surgery, my tricuspid valve was replaced with this!  

After the conference ended on night one, we headed over to Disney Springs!  If you haven't guessed by now, I lOVE DISNEY!!  We walked around and ate at T-Rex.  There was quite a wait to be seated, but there was nobody in the bar.  So we ate there!!  It was awesome.  We loved the food and entertainment.  All the dinosaurs come to life, the lights go crazy...it was a great experience.  Think, Rain Forest Cafe meets Jurassic Park!  I would highly recommend it to those of you who have kids!  


We left the restaurant, walked around for a few minutes and made it to the World of Disney store just in time to get stuck before the storm hit.  The rain in the south never ceases to amaze me.  It did not let up AT ALL!!  We finally ran back to T-Rex to get the less expensive ponchos.  haha.  We were able to make it back to the car dry!




Day 2 of the conference started super early as well.  This was the day I was most looking forward to with a couple classes on building your family.  This was the main reason I wanted to attend the conference.  I want to hear other patients stories and get more opinions.  It was very encouraging, but I did learn every one has a different experience!  No two heart problems result in the same thing.  It was so crazy to me!!  It just goes to show what a huge decision it really is to make.  What happens with one person, doesn't necessarily happen to another!!  



One class discussed other options, aside from actually getting pregnant.  I honestly felt like I could have taught the class with all the research I have done over the past 3 years!!  But it was great hearing from other women who have gone through the different processes themselves.  So much to think about, pray about and discuss.  

There were a few classes about exercise and diet.  I have been trying to exercise more consistently and now that I am not working, I will be cooking dinner.  I am not thrilled to do so, but I know it will be better for my overall health!!  If you have any heart healthy meals, please put them in the comments!  

There was one more class I would have liked to attend, about mental illness and the relation with heart defects, but Charlotte could not have sat through another hour!!  So we left and went over to eat at Fuddruckers, walked around Outdoor World, until the parking was free at Universal Studios.


Around 6:00 pm, we went over to the Universal City Walk and saw, "Captain Underpants."  Of course it was pouring buckets of rain, so it was a great indoor activity.  And if you have young children (elementary age), they would love the movie.  Charlotte was hysterically laughing!  




Around 6:00 pm, we went over to the Universal City Walk and saw, "Captain Underpants."  Of course it was pouring buckets of rain, so it was a great indoor activity.  And if you have young children (elementary age), they would love the movie.  Charlotte was hysterically laughing!  

Overall it was a great conference and I am really glad I was able to attend.  I have come a long way in the last 32 years.  Beating the odds and surpassing doctors expectations.  I cannot wait to see what my future holds.  

So Long, LuLaRoe

If you have been following me on social media, you have heard that I have quit selling LuLaRoe. This was a personal decision, nothing or no person forced me into doing this. There were several reasons that I decided to close up shop, the biggest reason being I wanted to spend more time with my family. LuLaRoe is such a fun job, but it does require a lot of time to stay up with. If I go on vacation or take a day off, there is a lot of catching up to do and it's a job that never leaves. It's 24/7. Last summer, I continued to hire babysitter after babysitter, never spending real quality time with Charlotte. Since she is my only child, and my child PERIOD, I have one shot to do this right...at least as well as I can. I want to spend as much time as possible with her. 

We are fortunate to have Josh's career and LuLaRoe was a great second income. It allowed us to do a lot of things that would have been difficult or impossible to do one just one income.  But my family is more important than making extra money. I appreciate all the support I received during my two year journey and am grateful for the opportunity to have done LulaRoe. I met amazing people, had a lot of fun experiences and trips, and learned a lot about running my own business. 

This week I will be working on sending my inventory back to LuLaRoe. I was sad at first, like I felt I was losing a limb or something. It has been a HUGE part of my life...it has BEEN my life!! But now I am feeling an even bigger relief. I am excited to concentrate on my health, have less stress, and feel more freedom. 

If people were to ask me about LulaRoe and wanting to join, I would highly recommend it, if you have the time, need to make good money and your significant other supports you! I am sad I will not be apart of the wonderful community it's and culture LulaRoe has provided me, but for right now in my life, I needed to make this change. 

If you want to shop, please contact me and I'll pass you along to some great consultants I have had the privilege of working with!! 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Part 3: California Here We Come, Right Back Where We Started From

Thursday morning, we got off to a "late" start and drove all the way back to Orange County (yes, right where we were in the beginning of our west coast tour).  My brother, Michael, was getting married in the Newport Beach temple.  Josh and I drove one car with Annie, Charlotte, Gracee and the twins, while my parents, Tahnee, Eleanor and Gregory were in the other car.  Our car was perfect. The kids were angles.  For lunch, we stopped in St. George for In-N-Out (we tried to go as much as possible).  We arrived earlier than the other car, so we fed all the kids and went to the park to play and get all the wiggles out.  After we dropped all the littles off, we made a Golden Spoon run.  

Passed the LuLaRoe headquarters at the corner of the 15 and the 91 freeways
 
The next day, we headed out to the Irvine Spectrum and ate at Pieology.  When we lived in Rancho Santa Margarita the first year after Charlotte was born, we went to the spectrum at least once a week. Josh worked across the street, so he would walk over and meet us for lunch, we would right the carousel, play in the splash pad.  It was a fun place to hang out.  This time was no different.  And the weather...HEAVEN!!!  
Friday night was the Open House for Michael and Courtney.  We held it at the Murray center in Mission Viejo and had In-N-Out cater (duh!).  Sadly enough we didn't get any pictures of the couple. They were busy chatting with everyone.  It was fun to see so many family and friends we have known for so long.  Thank you to all who came!!


 

Saturday was the day of the wedding.  I went to grab donuts for everyone in the morning.  Lines out the door.  Don't mess with Californians and their donuts.  Tyler flew in.  My parents came over for a bit so Tahnee could do the little girls hair.  We just relaxed and took advantage of a 2:00 ceremony.  
Once we arrived at the temple, we got the kids situated and then had the sealing performed.  It was a beautiful ceremony and lots of loved ones for Courtney and Michael.  Once they came out, a tunnel was formed and they ran through everyone's arms.  I cannot wait to get all the pictures back...I mean, have them get the pictures and show us....  But while we waited for them to come out of the temple, we had our own photo shoot.






 


In between the temple and the family dinner that night, my family went to Islands and got a bunch of appetizers to hold us over and did a Sprinkles run.  Even though we live by a Sprinkles, other people with us wanted to go.  We had two of Michael's friends from Hawaii hang with us all day.  Dave and Tanner were so fun to be with and we were so glad to have met them.  Dave, I hope your wife loved the cupcakes!!  




Later that night, Courtney's family put on a family dinner for all of us.  It was fun to hang out with my grandparents and aunt Robyn some more.  It was at a beautiful park in Irvine and pretty dark, so I wasn't able to take any pictures.  

We left early the next morning out of John Wayne and arrived home around 5:00 pm.  The flight was smooth and Charlotte was seriously a dream.   Really the last three days of the trip she was such a champ, with all the photos and running around.  I was so impressed.  We are so glad to be home though and look forward to not traveling again until Christmas!!