Saturday, August 11, 2012

Walt Disney World 2012-The Drive Down and our Arrival

We left for Disney on Sunday, the day after Lindsey and Ben got married.  Yea, I don't know what we were thinking, either.  But, that was our travel day, so after Matthew and I got home from Lindsey and Ben's gift opening/brunch, Lucas, Natalie, and Derrick were waiting with the CRV ready to go!
Natalie and her first palm tree :).
We started our journey off well.  Actually, the whole drive down on Sunday was great.  The kids watched movies, snacked, colored, played video games.  Life was good.  We made a few stops, but not too many.  We arrived at our Hampton Inn in Rock Hill, SC, late Sunday evening.

It was around 9:00. We had a room with two queen beds and a sleeper couch.  Well, drama ensued over the boys and who was going to sleep on the fold out couch, because heaven forbid they sleep together.  I ended up with Lucas, Derrick was back and forth between trying to sleep with Natalie on the sleeper sofa or with Matthew in the other bed.....and Derrick and I both ended up with crummy sleep!  Oh well...on with the journey, right?
Natalie and Matthew enjoying a treat before heading to Downtown Disney.
We arrived in Florida mid afternoon on Monday.  We had reservations at a Hampton Inn near Universal Studios.  Well, when we got there, something just didn't feel right about it.  But, we figured it was just because it was an older one and a lot of people were in and out because of it being so close to Universal.  We took a short swim and decided to go out to dinner.
Matthew and Lucas posing with the tree frog at the Rainforest Cafe.  Poor Lucas was so hungry, he was near tears.  That smile is for sure forced!
  We tossed different ideas back and forth, and finally decided to surprise the kids with dinner at the Rainforest Cafe at Downtown Disney.  I was soooo excited about this!  So, I called them to see what kind of wait they were experiencing, and the receptionist told me only about 5-10 minutes, but that could change at any time.  When we got there, it was a 20 minute wait.
Lucas entertaining himself with a tree frog umbrella.
 But, we didn't care.  Typically, this is a restaurant that you can't get into at Disney unless you have a reservation.
Natalie taking the snow leopard for a walk in the stroller.
To get a walk up table was fabulous!  So, while we waited, we walked around the gift shop area, and the boys and Derrick were in and out of Goofy's Candy Company, which is right across from Rainforest Cafe.
The decor in there was so fun!  You totally feel like your'e in a rainforest.  In fact, every 20 minutes there is a rainstorm.  So cool!  The kids loved looking at all the rainforest animals.
Matthew, Natalie and Lucas at Once Upon a Toy
After a good dinner, we did some walking around some of our favorite shops at DTD.  We hit the World of Disney, Once Upon a Toy {to scope out making your own light saber} and a few others.
Lucas, Me, Natalie, Matthew, and Derrick after dinner.  We're all looking much happier!

Derrick helping Natalie choose her first souvenir of the trip.  She ended up with a small stuffed Daisy Duck.

Matthew and Lucas scoping out how to Build Your Own Light Saber.  

Derrick helping Matthew and Lucas get their new pin lanyards set up.  These held pins they didn't want to trade, and they took their lanyards from last year into the parks with pins they didn't mind trading.
We headed back to the be greeted by a little Florida guest.  There was a lizard on the wall of our room. EEWWW!!!  So, after some analyzing....aka who's gonna call the front desk....we packed up and were out of there.  But, the problem was we didn't know where we were going.  So, we ended up driving around and calling some other hotels in the area.  NOT as easy as we thought it would be to find a room for the night.  Yea....we ended up at this super awesome resort called the Caribe Royal.  Would totally stay there again!  We had a one bedroom suite.  Lucas got the couch in the "living room", they brought in a pack and play for Natalie, Matthew got a queen bed, and Derrick and I got a queen.  It was beautiful, spacious, and we all slept waaaayyy better than the night in SC.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Lindsey and Ben Get Married

Ben and Lindsey Patrick

Matthew and Lucas-the sign bearers.  They carried a sign that said "Here Comes the Bride"
For Lindsey and Ben's rehearsal dinner, Ben's mom had food catered in from Young's Dairy. We had lasgana, salad, and bread at Lindsey and Ben's after the rehearsal.  The rehearsal was short and sweet because it was rainy and cold outside-so unexpected for June!  But, we made the best of it and headed back to their place for dinner.  Lindsey was so sweet to get all of us bridesmaids Vera Bradley bags and a monogram bracelet.  Even Natalie got her first Vera Bradlely bag :).
Me, Lindsey, and Kristin at the rehearsal dinner.

What started off as a rainy, windy Saturday morning in June turned out to be a super fun wedding and reception!  My parents sure know how to throw a party, that's for sure.
We took a picture similar to this at Kristin and Joey's wedding, but Lindsey was pouting because she didn't have a wedding ring.  Now she's smiling!
Our day started with the kids and I heading to Lindsey's to get my hair done.  While us girls took turns with the stylist, the boys played video games and Natalie just kinda sat around and watched, wondering what exactly was going on!  Afterwards, we headed to the Simon Kenton Inn in Springfield.  It's an old home, that's been turned into a bed and breakfast.  We all got ready up in what would end up being Lindsey and Ben's room for the night.  

Natalie, so sweet, was so worn out that after I got her dressed in her flower girl dress, she passed out on the bed and took a pretty good nap.  All while there were four girls flittering around getting ready and beautiful for the day.  Meanwhile, the boys, who were uber handsome, hung out with my dad and the other guys.  From what I understand, they spent much of their time playing video games in the corner of the reception tent.  Hey, whatever works, right?
Mom helping Lindsey with her necklace.
After the typical pre wedding photos, we hung out up in the room and watched the guests arrive.  It was kinda fun to see who all had made the trip, what they were wearing, etc.  Finally, the time came for us to start making our way to the aisle.  It was all set up outside, in a grassy area.  It was windy, and even started to rain a bit, but that didn't stop anything.  Natalie just pranced right down the aisle, her eyes on Derrick the whole time.  
After she and the boys made it down, they had a seat with my parents in the front row.  Derrick did a great job marrying Lindsey and Ben.  They had a sweet sand ceremony, instead of a unity candle ceremony. They each put some sand in a glass vase, then had Wesley and Riley add some, and then Lindsey and Ben added some more, signifying the families coming together.
Me and my handsome boys-Lucas and Matthew
The reception was in a huge party tent.  Dinner was so awesome-even Kristin and I went up more than once to get food!  Lindsey and Ben looked so happy, but we were all so tired and ready for rest at the end.  Matthew and I headed back to the hotel, while Derrick, Natalie, and Lucas headed home for bed. Matthew and I stayed so we could make an appearance at brunch/gift opening the next morning, and Lucas went with Derrick to help him pack for Disney.  
Matthew, Derrick, and Lucas
Lindsey and Dad dancing.
It was a beautiful, wonderful, memorable day!  We're so glad to have Ben, Wesley, and Riley as part of our family now!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Lindsey's Wedding Shower

Lindsey and the flower girl
For Lindsey's wedding shower, Kristin and I decided to host it at Matt the Miller's Tavern in Dublin.  They gave us the party room toward the back of the restaurant and it was so very nice!  

Lindsey gave us a list of some of our family and a few of her friends.  Most everyone we invited was able to make it.  I think Lindsey really enjoyed being in the spotlight and getting some nice wedding goodies.  

We had assorted flatbreads, a fruit and cheese plate, a veggie plate, and their bottomless chips and yummy dipping sauce.  We also gave a copy of their invitation to the Ribbon Box, and they came up with a beautiful cake!

Kristin, Natalie, Mom, Lindsey, Riley, and Me

Natalie finishing off the cheese and fruit tray. She was loving the smoked gouda!