Loving Our New Artwork

Trey's sister is an awesome artist and has made us quite a few paintings over the years. We have one of Vegas that looks just like her and then she painted one of Snoopy and Shadow for my parents.

On Monday night UPS rang our door bell and we were surprised with a big package... it was our picture of Tyson! Mandy had  been painting it for us as a Christmas gift and had to ship it from Michigan. It is awesome! It's pretty big so we decided to put it in the living room. The Vegas picture had been in our bedroom, we have temporarily moved it to the living room on the other side to see how it looks but I'm not sure where it will end up. Here is our new living room artwork:

The dogs had to check it out too:

We love it!!

Chocolate Chip Cookie & Oreo Brownies

This recipe is originally from pinterest and it is a big hit!

What You Need:
1 package chocolate chip cookies
1 package double stuffed oreos
1 family size box of brownie mix
*Optional 1/4 cup hot fudge

What You Do:
Preheat oven to 350 degree.  Spread the cookie dough in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish that’s been lined with wax paper and sprayed with cooking spray. 
Top with a layer of oreos.
Mix brownie mix according to the package and spread over top of the oreos. (The optional hot fudge can be added to the brownie mix to make it extra fudgy... I just bought the fudge brownies and decided not to waste the extra money on additional hot fudge since we don't have it on hand at home). 

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes. 


Winter Weather

I'm over winter! This year the weather has been crazy... 70s one day... 30s the next. We have had a few episodes of winter weather, none of which has been all that exciting. On the Thursday before MLK weekend we had a nice little bit of snow that forced schools to be on a 2-hour delay the next day! It was pretty too:

The dogs enjoyed the snowball that their daddy made later that afternoon:

That was the best of anything that we have had. A week later we got out of school 4 HOURS EARLY because a storm was moving in that was bringing sleet and snow, that would cause the roads to get nasty. And yes, we are the pathetic south that cannot function when the roads have ice/snow on them. A few years back (luckily before I was teaching) Wake County learned their lesson when they didn't leave school early and had busses not making it on the roads, teachers and students were there until 10:00 at night, if they even made it home that night... so now they are extra cautious!

And then again Sunday night from freezing rain came down and continued to do so until Monday morning so we had a 3 hour delay Monday morning! It has been a crazy couple of weeks without any play-worthy snow! Is it spring yet?! We're getting cabin fever over here!

1 month to go!

Just under a month until the Princess Half Marathon!! I'm getting pretty excited. I completed a 10 mile run on Saturday in a little under a 10:00/mile pace. I am most comfortable running about a 9:30 pace but can't sustain that for 10 miles yet! 

After running 10 miles Saturday I definitely feel confident that I can be successful in the half marathon and am pretty pumped. I still have a few more long runs to practice before then but it is sneaking up quickly! 

As I was finishing the 10 miles I was thinking to myself yeah I am tired right now but 13.1 is definitely attainable... although at mile 10 in Disney we will be running up an exit-ramp ... a nice, large hill... so that won't be too fun! But that's the last big hill of the race. I'm so excited and so glad I've had a wonderful running partner all this time to push me and run the half with me. We won't be dressing up like princesses... I don't really go all out like that... but we will wear something bright so my family can pick us out of the crowd... any ideas?!

I also just bought my ticket for my 2 days of park hopping in Disney! Can't wait to have a little fun leading up to the big race. We will definitely take it easy, but it's not like I've never been to Disney or anything ;)

Here's the official race map:

DIY: Saving Christmas Cards

Every year we get lots of awesome Christmas cards from friends and family. In the past I have stored them in our Christmas storage bins when I take everything down. This year I was talking with a friend who said that she has a photo album that she puts them all in, but it holds 4x6 photos so she has to cut some off of the oddly shaped ones. I was trying to decide how I could save mine without having to cut them since we have gotten a lot of uniquely shaped cards. As I was putting away things I discovered old scrapbook pages and thought that would be a great idea.
I had old scrapbook paper and pages to add to a scrapbook. I just had to go out to Michael's and found a scrapbook on sale for $7.50!
I printed a little design for the front picture window on regular paper and stuck it in there. I am starting each new year with the year and our family Christmas card for that year, followed by all the picture cards that we get sent. Can't wait to look back on this many years down the road and watch everyone grow and change. I need to go back and add the names below cards that don't say who they are so that when I get old I remember everyone :)

Here are a few pictures of how it turned out:

Days 7 & 8 of Disney

Day 7: Friday 12/28
I woke up to this cutie Friday morning:
As we were getting off the boat to Magic Kingdom Mickey and company were saying good morning and doing the countdown to open the gates! (And this was actually at 6:58.. they were early!)

We of course went straight for Space Mountain and got a fastpass... such a fun ride! 

Then we went to the new Fantasyland again and actually rode the Barnstormer (little roller coaster).  It literally lasted 30 seconds. And to think that people wait for an hour to ride that. 
Then we enjoyed some of the "kiddie" rides that typically end up with a long wait mid-day. We rode Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan and It's a Small World all in like 20 minutes! 

Then we headed to Frontierland... it was desolate! 

We walked right on (after basically running through the long winding lanes) Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. This had also been redone, when we were there in April it was closed, but I think it was just refurbished, nothing really seemed too new. 
It's so nice to be there early as we flew right through lots of rides... Pirates of the Carribean, Space Mountain, People Mover, Jungle Cruise and Haunted Mansion! We also stopped in the middle of all of those for a snack... Trey and I went to Gaston's Tavern (in new Fantasyland) for an AMAZING, HUGE cinnamon bun. 

We headed out of Magic Kingdom around 11:00 to get back and settled so that Trey and Dad could make their tee time and the Palms golf course (WDW owned) at 12:42. 

While they were golfing Chad took an incredibly long nap (much appreciated by all, because that night he did hardly any snoring since he was so well rested!!). I had to do a long run for part of my training for the Princess Half that I will be running in February so I took Tyson running, I figured he would enjoy it. He was a great running partner, he ran right beside me and didn't mind/notice when people went by us on the sidewalk, he just kept on running! We ran 4 miles together then I dropped him back at the RV because I wasn't sure if he could come with me for the rest of the trail... I ran on the trail between Fort Wilderness and the Wilderness Lodge it was about a mile and a half, so I got to 7 miles. It was a beautiful day for it. 
The weather didn't stay that beautiful for the rest of the night though. I guess it had to be icky out for part of our trip.... but luckily we weren't planning on going in to a park then anyways. We went to the outlets to find the Disney outlet and a few other stores. I did some shopping in LOFT and the boys got new shoes!

Day 8: Saturday 12/29
For our last day, we started with breakfast at the Whispering Canyon Cafe (at Wilderness Lodge). It was pretty entertaining, they brought out "ponys" for the kids to ride around and they definitely acted the role of the locale. 

 After breakfast we explored around the resort a little bit. All of Disney's resorts are so pretty!

 We headed to downtown Disney to go to the HUGE Disney store and also stopped in the Lego store, only the second place we have ever seen Trey's name printed on something! 

We spent some time on Saturday packing and cleaning the inside and outside of the RV so that on Sunday we could wake up and pull out to head home. And relaxing with the doggies :)

We spent our last evening in Disney World in Magic Kingdom, a perfect way to complete the trip. It is such a magical place, especially lit up at night. We had dinner in Pinocchio Village Haus, rode the Carousel of Progress, rode the train and got ice cream in time to enjoy it while holding a spot to watch the Electric Light Parade.

View of the Contemporary from the train

 Main street lit up

The Electrical parade was great, it has been changed over the years but I remember this from when I was super young coming to Disney, it is like a Magic Kingdom staple :) A great way to top off our trip!!

And one cute shot of my boys on our drive home:

Can't wait to go back for my race in February!!