The weather was cold, dreary, and damp, but the love of family coming together to mark this special occasion in Ben’s childhood was perfect. Owen was an Altar Server for the mass, PeePaw Thomas did the reading, and the rest of the family was there to support Ben for all the hard work and preparation he did leading up to this day. Ben thought it was neat he was able to wear the same exact suit, shirt, tie, and shoes that Owen also wore for his First Communion.

When Owen had his First Communion, I let him pick he colors of the decorations for his party – Blue and Green. I thought Ben would so something similar. Nope… he gave me a challenge – Red and Orange. But I pulled it off, he picked out his cake all by himself too. It was a really really nice day for our boy. So happy and proud for him.

We had so much fun on our little photo shoot. We laughed a lot and Ben was such a good trooper. He loved wearing a suit and tie for the first time. He’s such a handsome boy. My favorite part about taking these pics with him is it was one on one time with just him and I. A special memory I won’t forget.

Owen is 11

February 7, 2017

This is 11. This is the face of my first born who holds a very special place in my heart. This is the boy who keeps moving forward, even when life isn’t kind. This is a kid who loves his family more than anything (yes, even more than sports & video games). This is a soul that isn’t afraid to follow his own path. This is my big guy who has amazing things ahead of him. Happy birthday, Owen! Love you!

Ben is 9

February 1, 2017

My littlest man is 9 today. Love his spunk. Adore his serious sense of humor. Appreciate his loving heart. Thrilled for his passion of science, reading, computers, and the environment. Proud of his continued effort to strive to be better. Happy Birthday Benjamin Park. Love you buddy.

Our furry girl is a teenager

January 18, 2017

Our first “kid” is a teenager today. We never thought we could love a dog as much as we love our Maxie…. to the moon and back! Happy 13th Birthday to our Bully Baby Girl!

Disney World Day 6

November 23, 2016

Day 6 was our last full day at Disney and the day one of the events Jillian was most looking forward to… Breakfast at Cinderella’s Castle. It did not disappoint. This is the best character meal by far because the food is excellent and it’s not a buffet. Jillian LOVED meeting the princesses and was over the moon ecstatic to meet her favorite princess in pink, Aurora (Sleep Beauty). We also got to meet Merida before leaving Magic Kingdom. Mommy and Jilly were both big fans. Merida and Jilly talked about how their brothers pestered them. Ha!

We finished our last day back at Hollywood Studios. Owen got to make a light saber and the kids got fun light up drinks at the 50’s Prime Time. Great restaurant.

Oh – and as you can see in the one picture, Jilly is crying. She was sad it was her last full day at Disney. She said she wanted to stay for 100 days. Bless her heart!

Disney World Day 5

November 22, 2016

Day 5 was a hot one in Florida. We spent the day at Magic Kingdom, took a break and went swimming in the pool at our resort, then went back at night. This was quite an experience because we were able to see Magic Kingdom turn from Halloween to CHRISTMAS!  I’m not a huge Christmas person, but there is just something about being there at that time of the year that totally gets you in the spirit.  And this is going to sound silly, but when we went back at night, we were able to see them light up Cinderella’s castle for Christmas and it was breathtaking. Like, it gave me goosebumps and and my jaw dropped. Nothing much “wows” me in my adult like, but that certainly did.

Oh – and we had a small brush with a famous football star.  I was having Mike take a picture of Jilly and I in about the same place as our last visit when she was a baby. We noticed there was some production event going on behind me and it was Charles Woodson with Mickey and Goofy filming a segment of some sort.  Pretty neat!

 

Disney World Day 4

November 21, 2016

Day for at Disney was a full day at Epcot. We must have had too much fun riding rides, meeting characters, exploring the World Showcase, and eating yummy food at the Wine and Food Fest because I hardly took any pictures. Wine and Food Fest is amazing. I want to go back and do it again some day!

Disney World Day 3

November 20, 2016

Day 3 at Disney was a full day at Hollywood Studios followed by a nightcap at Epcot. Our first Fast Pass that morning was Star Tours. Jilly was very apprehensive, but her brothers, Dad, and I assured her she would love it. Once the ride started her face lite up like the sun. She was hooked. I think we rode it 7 more times that day. We got to see all kinds of Star Wars stuff and meet Chewy and Kilo Ren. Jillian was very excited to meet all the Disney Jr characters and all the kids (and PeePaw) thought Pluto was pretty cool.

It’s no secret that one of Jilly’s top favorite Disney movies is Frozen. The Frozen Sing along was great and very very funny. Elsa even sprinkled us with snow, in Florida! Jilly and I also got to meet Olaf. What a pal.

Owen participated in a side show with the green army men. They liked his red hair and called him “Copper Top”. He was a very good cadate and showed he does indeed know how to follow directions so he has no more excuse not to listen at home! Ha!

The kids enjoyed our Halloween themed dinner at Hollywood and Vine and really soaked up getting to meet Minnie and her pals in their Halloween costumes. The dinner even came with special seating for Fantasmic!

The best part of the evening was riding the newer version of Soarin’. IT.WAS.WONDERFUL! I was totally amazed. It’s beautiful, fun, and relaxing. And the aromatics during the ride are the best. I kept saying they should turn them into candles. I wish I could ride it weekly!

Disney World Day 2

November 19, 2016

Day two, which was Halloween, started out at Animal Kingdom and ended past midnight at Magic Kingdom at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. I mean, what better way to spend Halloween night than at the happiest place on earth at the funnest Halloween party ever dressed as a family of super heroes! The party was so great. Very very crowded at first, and a little dicey, but after the fireworks it started to clear out and it felt like we had the park to ourselves. We walked right on rides, got TONS of candy, and had a special character meet with Belle at Gaston’s Tavern. It was the very end of the night and we saw the line was short to get pictures so we hopped in line. We were told we were the last for the night. Whoo… well Jilly was afraid to go up to Belle b/c Gaston was there too and he’s a villain. Jilly doesn’t like villains. Well, Belle walked over to her, knelt down to her sitting in the stroller, and coaxed Jilly over. She took her hand and it was so sweet. Belle took her time and they had a nice, special moment. Definitely a memory I won’t forget.