Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Great Wolf Lodge, Williamsburg, VA

So one day this spring I was perusing Groupon like I do every few days and I saw one for Great Wolf Lodge.  Ive always wanted to go there but wanted to be sure we would get our monies worth so I wanted Carter to be old enough.  I decided in that moment that he was, called up my best friend and told her we were taking four kids to Great Wold Lodge for 2 days and 1 night.  Luckily she always goes along with my crazy ideas.  Here are our thoughts on this super fun little trip.

This location is about 3 hours from my house so we loaded up my van and gave ourselves about 4.5 hours to get there so we could stop for lunch and factor in potty stops as the two littles are potty training.

We got there right around 1pm and our room was ready.  You can begin using the water park at 1pm on the day you arrive but your room isn't guaranteed until 4pm. We got lucky.  We unloaded the car, they have those lovely carts to hold all your stuff, and went straight to our room.  Each person gets a bracelet and the adult ones are also your room key.  Once we got settled we made the kids rest for about 30 minutes while we unpacked.  Then it was off to the waterpark. 

The kids all got measured at the door so they knew what they could and couldn't go on.  They have color bracelets if you want as well.  We passed because two bracelets would have been annoying for the littles. The kids played for almost three hours, spending most of the time in the little slide pool or the lazy river. 

We kept life jackets or puddle jumpers on them at all times.  They have a bunch you can use but we brought our own so that there was no chance of not having one.  It helped keep us sane during the busy times.  Let me tell you this.....the lifeguards are amazing, absolutely amazing but they cant possibly see everything.  Keeping our kids safe was our number one goal and this helped a ton. 

After about 3 hours in the park they were done.  We headed to our room to change and head to dinner.  I highly recommend skipping the buffet.  I was over priced and not very good.  Next time we will have one person run out and get food or bring something extra with us.   We traveled with a ton of snacks so the only food we bought at the lodge was dinner and breakfast. But I still felt this was way over priced for what was there.

We spent the time before bed roaming around the halls.  There is tons of stuff to look at including a magic quest game you can purchase.  Our kids are young so we skipped that but they enjoyed seeing others play it.  There are also a lot of free events like story time, dance party, yoga and more all for kiddos.  So much to do in fact that we will have to go back to even scratch the surface.

My friend has all girls, and they all had matching shirts that said #girlsquad so my friend made C this sweet shirt that says #ImWithThem, so cute!!! 

We finally got back to the room around 8pm.  Everyone got in their jammies and we let them do a few crafts before bed.  It took forever to get them to sleep, including me having to take my own child for a walk because he was too wound up, but eventually they all got to sleep.  

The next morning we let them have a donut from the Dunkin Donuts in the lobby for breakfast along with mail,  yogurt and fruit that we brought with us.  They all got a nice treat with out us having to spend a ton of money.

After breakfast we packed up the car.  We each brought a change of clothes to the water park so that we could depart from there.  The day you leave you can use the water park all day, but check out is at 11am.  We hit the park for another solid three hours.  Before we left we hit the gift shop (see the light saber below) and took a few photographs. 

We hit Sonic on the way out of town and about 10 minutes later this happened. 

Overall it was a fantastic trip that we kept well within our budget.  There's a ton of stuff we didn't do because we just did have the time. There's a kids salon, bowling, an arcade and more.  I highly suggest this trip to anyone that's been even slightly interested.  It was so worth the money and the drive.  If you've been post your experiences below and let us know which location.  Ive now been to Williamsburg and years ago I went with my nephew to the one in Niagara. 

Hope your hump day is spectacular!!!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Adoption Update!!!

On Friday we had our FINAL home study appointment for our adoption home study.  I'd be lying if I didn't say I was a bit disappointed.  I thought it would be complete but it looks like there's still a few weeks of waiting, tis life.  Anyway while I am waiting I have some trips to make.  Maryland requires all notaries by authenticated in the county in which they were notarized.  I had all of the documents from our county done last week.  Today, I am headed to a neighboring county to get 1, yes just one, document authenticated.  A 90 minute one way trip for one document.  My mom is going to watch Carter because I cant leave until naptime due to his dentist appointment and taking him to a courthouse at nap time would be less than fun.  Then on Friday I am off to Annapolis to have all of our documents apostilled.  That is where the Secretary of State in your state says they are all correct and meet Hague standards. Then we wait.......the next step will be to have the same process done with our home study but since that will be notarized in Virginia I will have to send it there.  Luckily Va is easy and I can just mail it with a check and they will get it done and mail it back.  I had to do a similar thing for my husbands out of state birth certificate and it was super easy. While I am waiting I am filling out a few documents that cant be filed yet.  It helps me stay busy and feel like I am accomplishing something.  Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Summer Snack Time!

So a few weeks ago I asked for your help with some new summer time snacks.  Thank you for your ideas and your organizational hints too.  Carter is just 3 so this is the first summer where he's had a bit more free range on snacks and such.  He is a major grazer so in order for that to be ok I needed to up my snack game so that hes not eating his weight in fruit snacks (please don't tell his dentist).

To start I put a basket at his level in both the fridge and in the pantry.  All other snacks are up high so he can only choose from what is in his basket.  I'm hoping he will begin to understand that once he eats a certain snack there are no more like it in there for the rest of the day......I'm sure that will take a while but we discuss it often.

Here are the things that are in the pantry:
(I bought large boxes and used snack bags but I think I will get some small reusable containers)

Veggie Straws
Apple Straws
Yogurt bites
Fruit Snacks
Raisins/Yogurt Covered Raisins
Granola Bars/Fruit Bars
Dried Fruit
Nuts (the pieces not whole ones b/c I am petrified of choking)
Mini Muffins

And here is what goes in the fridge:
Cheese sticks (a few different types)
Boiled Eggs

You could also have various drink options available.  We have a drink/cup system already and only do milk and water but you could have drinks available and when they are gone its water for the rest of the day.

Now my biggest concern was how to keep the fridge foods fresh.  What I've found is I only put a few things in at a time and I use that basket to pull extra items for meals or to grab when we are headed out.  I pack his lunch 90% of the time if we are going to be out and about because he's a pretty picky eater and its a waste of money to buy him a kids meal at most places.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Coffee, Love and Adoption!!!!

So we've been MIA since our sweet little bug went home in April.  We have been so blessed to see him since and to hear updates from his momma on how he's doing.  We even got invited to his birthday party! But we've also been out of touch because life has been busy.  We have been feeling the calling for a long time to adopt, as in since before we even knew each other.  God definitely put in to our hearts that we are meant to add to our family through adoption. In the last year or so we have been praying over that a lot and have felt drawn overseas and more specifically to a daughter in a specific country.  So we have taken the great leap into international adoption.  The process will be long and I am sure difficult but we know that at this moment in time that is where we are being led.  For now our home is only open for short term respite care, which has been very hard to come to terms with but we hope to open fully again a year or so after the adoption is finalized.  I would love if you continue to follow our journey to adoption. It wont be glamorous but I know many people would like to know the specifics so if you have that interest I will give you all I can.  Our home study #1 is next week, so send some good vibes our way please.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Friday Favorites!!

Yes, I said I would blog more, nope it didn't happen.  One thing life has taught me lately is be ready for the crazy.  Nothing bad just all the unexpected.  So to hopefully get back in the swing of things let's starts with some of my favorites.

I recently finished a small group for church and these ladies were my favorite.  I didn't get one single picture because we were too busy laughing, chatting and reminding ourselves that there are no perfect moms.  I highly suggest this book for those of you that are struggling with the perfection infection.

Summer!!! Ok, I would be lying if I said I like summer weather, I hate it! But preschool is over and I am so ready for some one on one time with my little.  Last summer we were fostering an infant that also was a premie so we didnt get to do all the things.  This summer we are doing all the things!! I cant wait to share our little adventures with you over on instagram!

I have been reading this book an so far I love it!! I never really do book reviews but if you need help with getting rid of clutter I highly suggest this one. 

Ok, so I am not a make up girl, it just isnt my thing but I have been trying to get better!  Have y'all tried this Lipsence stuff? Holy moly.  That is my mug shot ;) and my starbucks cup with no lipstick on it!!! This stuff stays all day as long as you use a little gloss here and there.  It is amazeballs.  If you are interested in learning more head over to my friend's little shop and give it a look.

And finally, I had some overripe bananas the other day and found this recipe for banana bread! It was delicious.  I added some pecans (b/c I was out of walnuts) and mini chocolate chips.  It was very close to starbucks if I do say so myself. 

That's all for today.  Hope to get back into the swing of things after a much needed break from social media.  Lots of exciting things going on here and I hope to share them with you next week!!

xoxo- Carrie

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Show and Tell Tuesday: Kids Parties

Show and Tell Tuesday: Kids Parties

Ive only had the pleasure of planning two kid birthday parties and a baptism party but yall.......I love it.  Here are some peeks at the parties Ive planned.

Carter's baptism was when he was around 8 months old.  Lots of family came out to help celebrate this sweet day.  We went with a simple blue and white and it was perfect.

The little guy with his godparents (in the middle) and my husband and I. 

Coordinated down to his outfit made by his godmother. 

I went with cookies instead of a cake.  I really prefer single serve style desserts. 

God Bless our sweet miracle. 

Very simple lunch type food spread since this was at 11am.

 The next party I had the pleasure of planning was Carter's first birthday party.  This was kinda of a big deal since he is the first grand child.  It was all family and a totally great time. The theme was "Our Little Man is One".
The Invitation

The guest of honor. 

Ready for his cake. 

A banner with a picture from each month.  I just cut out cute scrapbook paper and glued a picture on. 

I used our chalk wall to write out all sorts of fun stuff.  That green wall is no longer green :)

Doesnt everyone love leg warmers. 

Drinks and cupcakes....single serving desserts :)

The spread!

This was such a fun day full of lots of family.  Aunts, uncles, grandparents, great grandparents, and even some friends all the way from Texas.  I am so blessed to have so many awesome people that love this little guy.

Last year we decided to go with a theme that he would LOVE even if it killed me to do something so commercial.  But this is his party and he was in love with Elmo.  So you guessed it, all Elmo all day.

This was a super fun spread. Every dish had cute little name tags that I forgot to take pictured of. Sad face.

I love these drink pitchers, thank you target.  You'll see them in all my party pics. 

This huge Elmo went to work with my husband the following week and made quite the scene. 

Remember how I said single serving desserts? Yea, this was not.  I dont think I will make that mistake again.

Gift bags!
Such a fun day!!!

I also had an adorable thank you card that I must have deleted.  I try to make a thank you card that matches the invite for now since he isn't old enough to write. 

Now it is your turn to help me.  Party #3 is FARM!! But here's the thing, I cant have it at the farm because he has a spring birthday and the farms here only do fall parties.  So give me your ideas for an at home farm party.  Next year I am venturing away from my house!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

What's Up Wednesday!!!

Happy Hump Day!!!  That hump day commercial will never get old!!!

Lets get to the good stuff!

What we are eating:
Monday we ate all the fast food.  We were in the car for 12 hours so yeah, that happened.

Tuesday we had tacos, pasta salad, brownies, muffins, donuts, salad, and tea.  Sounds awesome right? It was our monthly foster parent support group meeting and its kind of a potluck.  It is so wonderful that we get to have a speaker, dinner, some time to chat and babysitting is provided.   Do you have a local foster support group? If so Id love to chat and if not you should talk about starting one.

Tonight and tomorrow we are having grilled sausages with salad and asparagus. We always have leftovers on Thursday night because my husband teaches a class and doesn't get home til 7.

Friday is pizza night at least twice a month.  I love thin crust frozen pizzas from giant.  Their store brand is perfect and $6.  I do love delivery pizza but I don't splurge on that price tag often.  Momma's on a budget.

Saturday we are going out for Mexican because I've been craving it.

What I'm reminiscing about:
Today I registered Carter for his 3 year old preschool program!!! Hes only 2.  So today Ive been thinking about how far this little guy has come.  At this time last year he was barely talking and I was getting worried. Now I cant get him to stop, ever.  I'm also wondering how last year we were covered in snow and today it is 60 degrees.  I miss the snow.
Two years ago and this year!

What I am Loving:
Amazon FRESH!!!! Grocery shopping for next week is done..... from my couch.  It will be delivered on Sunday morning.  This will be my second order and I am totally loving it.  Just a few things they don't seem to have and that I think are overpriced so Ill still end up at BJs at some point next week.

What I've been up to:
Spending time outside!! The weather has been amazing the past week and will continue to be that way for the near future.  So we've been riding bikes, playing on the swingset, and soaking up the sun with no jackets.
He's really getting the hang of it and I had to lift the seat, he's grown 3 inches in 9 months.

Love this so much! My boy and my godson are total bffs. 

What I am working on:
Paperwork, lots of paperwork.........more to come on that.

What I am excited about:
Tonight I am going to the movies, by myself!!!! I am going to see Newsies and I am totally excited.

What I am watching:
Um, This Is Us, like everyone else.  And I did NOT like the preview.  Someone better check on me next week.  I had to watch 2.5 episodes today to catch up just to bawl my eyes out and then get mad.  Boo.  I love it!!!

What I am wearing:
Flip flops!!! This weather!!! I need a pedicure but I got a tattoo a few weeks back and they said to wait 6 weeks!!! I got it in January so that shouldn't have been a problem.  #globalwarming

What I am doing this weekend:
We are going to try and hit the zoo, probably on Friday though.  No big plans for the weekend.

What I am looking forward to next month:
Next month is generally calm. So that I am looking forward to since April-June look like they might be crazy.

What else is new:
So two weeks ago I got invited to a party for lipstick.  I love the people going so I thought why not.  And now I am in love with LipSence.  Yall last night I left it on and it was still there in the morning!!  Here is a picture of my lips and my starbucks cup......with no color on it.  Whaaat??

Here's the link to my friends page if you are interested and want more info.