Monday, November 28, 2011

The Haircut

I don't know what I was thinking. I've tried things like this before and it never worked out, but I thought to myself:
"How hard can it be? I've seen it done a hundred times."


"I don't want to spend all that money just for a trim."


"If I invest the time to learn now, I wont have to pay for simple trims in the future."


"She's so little, she'll never notice if it's not perfect."

I was sooooo wrong. I should never be allowed near hair trimming scissors. Not only did she end up looking like she got attacked by a flowbee, but she whined and squirmed the whole time, making it so much worse than it needed to be. She looks hysterically awful.

Good thing she's a dog.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I feel a little hypocritical having made a fuss about stores putting up their Christmas decorations early, but this morning I woke up feeling sssiiiiiicccckkkk. There are very few things that can make me instantly happy and since going to Disneyland was not an option, and we don't live near a Starbucks (they have amazing hot chocolate) I decided to break out the Christmas decorations and start acting festive, hoping it would lighten my mood. It did help, but I thought I should honor Thanksgiving for a few more days.

I am thankful I could go away for the weekend with Eric, that Joan and Cheryl were willing to drive out and babysit, that I could recharge, and that Eric and I could spend some quality time together for our anniversary. I would put pictures but I am not thankful I left my camera at home and all our pictures are on Eric's phone. Hopefully I can be thankful later that he was willing to email them to me, hint hint.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pain Is Not My Friend

I am so grateful to live in a time and place where we have such advanced medicine. I cannot comprehend watching a loved one die from a simple infection, or the flu. I am grateful I can run to Walmart and get medicine so I don't even have to deal with stuffy sinus' (although some days I'd rather have the flu than clogged sinus'). I am grateful for modern medicine and that I could be awake when I had my C-sections and be part of my children's births. I am grateful my brother has a medicine that keeps him not only alive, but generally symptom free. I am grateful for diabetes medicine, heart medicine, antidepressants, antibiotics, and especially pain medicine (except Morphine, which tries to kill me when I take it).

Monday, November 14, 2011

I Am Sure I Embarrass Them On A Daily Basis... Or My Grandparents

I am very thankful that I was able to get to know, and still have a relationship with my grandparents. Not all kids are as lucky as I am, my kids even know all 4 of their "Greats" on my side. I have truly blessed by each and every one of them, and I only wish I could spend a week and write down everything I love about them here. These are only a few things that have been on my mind lately, just the cream on top, because they are just too awesome, your heads would explode if I wrote it all down!
Grandma Donna Beesley is the grandmother every child should have. Her house is always awash in the smell of something yummy cooking (most anticipated being her bread). She is a thoughtful, caring person who is a great artist and master gardener. I remember sitting with her on countless occasions, doing stencils or some other project, and she was always so positive and warm, even though my efforts were less than perfect. She is a real example to me of frugal living and talented homemaking, kindness, and a fabulous matriarch of a close knit family, somethings I hope I can be someday (except the frugal living, we all know there isn't much hope there).
Grandpa Ken Beesley is probably the poster child (man) for hard work. I have been raised on stories, and seen through my own eyes, how hard he has worked over the years. One thing he taught my father, and I am eternally grateful to have had passed on to me, is "An honest days work for an honest days pay," and "Spend less than you earn." I have also been privy to more conversations than I can count going something like "Your Ken Beesley's granddaughter? I just love that man. He was the best (insert boss, coworker, employee, teacher, missionary etc here) I have ever had. It was a true honor to know him." Those conversations come up at the weirdest times (like doctor's appointments or Bishop interviews) but I am always happy to claim him as my grandfather.
Grandma Jessie Palmer is one of the funniest, most well read, knowledgeable, and truly entertaining people I know. She is always there first person any of us would call for a life line on a game show! I love to have conversations with her because she not only knows what she is talking about better than you do, but she can interject a sense of humor into the most mundane of topics. I know the self deprecating humor passed right from her, to Mom, to me, and I am so grateful for that. Life is to hard if you can't laugh at yourself (and your situations) once in a while. Grandma is also an amazing example of hard work. She was an RN, on the night shift, for years, working outside the home in Utah in a time where not many women did. I can only imagine the fortitude that would take. I am way too lazy, but I have her example and hopefully someday I can be like her!

Grandpa Harrison (Bud) Palmer was basically a second father to me for the first 8 years of my life while my own dad worked hard in Med School and residency. He is one of the warmest, sweetest people I know. I will always have fond memories of being doted on by him, from hidden candy in the kitchen, to "gimmies" (my little pony toys) for no reason other than he knew I would like them. Grandpa is also a quirky, funny man, who is probably the direct reason we have James' sunny personality to cheer us up (I picture them being best friends if they were contemporaries, and Oh the hilarity would ensue). Grandpa introduced me to real ponies, took me horse back riding for the first time in Waterton when I was 8, and always found the time to go with me when we went to East Canyon. He truly likes to make people happy, loves to put a smile on people's faces, and I know that my life has been better having him in it.

I love you all.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Falling Flat...and Livi's 3

I am thankful that I own flats as well as heels. Some days I just can't bring myself to slip on my heels, no matter how cute they are. I am also thankful for our family tradition of watching America's Funniest Videos on Sunday evening. I may have had a bad day (week), but at least I can laugh at other people tonight! (tomorrow I'll go back to more profound topics, thankful for Grandparents)

Livi's Birthday
Livi turned 3 just 2 days after we got back from Florida. It was also the day of the ward trunk-or-treat, and the kids had no school so we had a fun filled day of celebrating.

To start the morning off we opened presents at breakfast. We had lunch at McDonald's with the Bagleys (and cupcakes). After dinner, but before the trunk-or-treat we squeezed in some cake with candles. Between the cupcakes, cake, and candy I think she had a "sweet" day (ha ha, there is a Dad joke).

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Little Yellow Balls Sunshine

I kind of forgot to take my pills for a couple of days, so I woke up feeling profoundly sad. It's the type of sadness that makes no sense and nothing helps. Eric even asked if I wanted to go buy shoes, that's how bad it was.
Seeing as I am in a slump I am going to tackle a big "thankful" post today to remind me of how wonderful and blessed my life has been. Maybe that will cheer me up.

You have so little control on who the people are surround you at family gatherings. Sure, you get to pick your spouse, but everyone else you were either born into, or married into. I am sure that most people have extended families they dread, but not me. I LOVE to be around family and all those people I married into are a huge part of it. I wish I could write a big post for each of them, but I AM feeling sad and there are a lot of you. Just know I love you all and that these are just some highlights that are in my brain right now.
Ryan- You are full of passion for life. You set a great "healthy" example. You are a witty, fun person to be around and you are an amazingly great uncle. My kids still think your middle name is "Ninja" no matter how many times I tell them otherwise.
Jared- You have always been so welcoming of me. It can be hard at times to be the only in-law for 10 years in a very tight family, but you have always made me feel like I am part of the group. You are always ready with a hug, and you are amazingly astute when it comes to how other people are feeling.
Cheryl - I am so glad that there was another girl in the family. We've been able to roll our eyes at your brothers, prepare some delicious marshmallow fruit salad and enjoy "girly" things like coach purses (I'm still looking for mine in the mail :) ). You are the life of the party, and things are always more fun when you are around.
Kyle - I've known you for a big portion of your life and I've been able to see you grow up into an amazing man. When I first met you, you were this sweet little boy who wanted to see "Mouse Hunt." You are now a very funny, smart, musical guy who's quick comments or jokes are the fun "asides" of any conversation.
Emily - I don't know you that well, and the only real time we've spent together I was high on pain meds (great impression, I know), but I still remember through the haze how wonderful you were with my kids at the reunion. They still talk about you, and I know we are all excited to see you again! Plus, you were so nice about Tonks, and didn't tell me how stupid I was to get a puppy.
Joy - You are a shinning example of pure goodness. If you were a princess it would have to be Snow White and Cinderella's combined child (in a freak DNA lab mix up). I don't think you have a mean bone in your body. You have a soothing presence and kind way about you. Oh, and I love that you have those D&D figures for each of us (Jes' was particularly representative) and you help keep us all on task when we play (as we are known to ramble a bit)! You are the perfect wife for Andrew and I am so grateful for how happy you have made him.
Jes - It is kind of freaky to find another tall girl with dark hair who loves history, shoes, purses, movies, and books as much as me, and realize that I have a girl crush on my brothers wife. You are so much fun to be around and I know you will commiserate with me when I feel like the crazies in my life are just too much (and offer to beat them up for me). I love that we can share books and blogs and I am grateful for the friendship we've been able to share as well.
McKay (or Brent, or David, or whatever you are calling yourself) - I have had so much fun getting to know you! You are a very fun, quirky addition to the family, and I am so grateful you didn't give up on Julia. You have a very fun way of looking at the world, and I love to listen to your comments when we play games, as you can match Eric in the "roll your eyes" humor. You are wonderful husband and I know you are going to be an awesome Dad.

Thank you to all of you. I love to get together and just laugh, and you are all so amazingly funny that every holiday is awesome!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Super Deep Thoughts

I am thankful for popcorn. Popcorn is fun to eat, satisfying for salty snacking, and makes movies better. It has lots of fiber, has kept my brother Andrew alive, and is something almost everyone in group likes to eat. Thank you popcorn, just keep being you.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

At Least I Didn't Have A Ton Of Laundry and The Best Pt 5

I am thankful that Ethan is old enough to aim when he throws up, that I keep a throw up bag in the car, and that I have a good friend (Melissa) who brings me Starbucks hot chocolate mix to cheer me up when she finds out about it all!On to:
The Best Part 5 (or the end)
Animal Kingdom

On our last full day in Florida we went to Animal Kingdom (without Mom, unfortunately). It is part zoo, part theme park, park educational experience and a whole lot of fun. We went on a safari, saw lots of animals (that's a gorilla curled up if you can't tell, we couldn't and we were there)went to all of the kids learning spots, saw the amazing Bug's Life show, met a "princess" and rode Expedition Everest (which was totally awesome, but made me completely sick). While I was sitting with my head in my knees Eric took Ethan and Ella on the river raft ride. While everyone gets wet on the ride, only 3 people get completely soaked on that ride, my 3 people. Ella was less than pleased. My only wish was that the park was open later (it closed at 5 that day) because we didn't even come close to seeing everything we wanted!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I Know, I Am The Stupid Child.

I am thankful for my siblings. They are hard to have as my siblings, as they are so amazing. It's hard to be the eldest and have to look up to (figuratively) my younger siblings, but it is true, they rock.
One of my favorite pictures. Andrew is such a great Dad!

Andrew is by far one of the smartest people I know. He had a hard time in school because he was on a totally different plane intellectually than the other kids, but he made it through, still grew up, went to college, married a totally awesome girl, and is in Med school (take that bullies), and seems to function just fine in society despite his "gigantic melon" (ha ha).
I think I had the hardest time with Andrew as a child because he was the closest in age and so my faults and deficits in character were magnified by his depth and strength thereof. I'm not proud of it, but he seems to still love me even though I was (and still can be) a total beast.
Andrew also is totally fun to be around. He has a witty sense of humor. He is always introducing us to the best video games, that we all get addicted to, and neglect our families for, but we love him anyways!
James "helping" Ebby in the water, right before Ebby totally fell in and was traumatized for life!

James is amazingly charismatic. People everywhere love James and feel close to him. He has the ability to make you feel like the coolest person on earth, and he has a grin that has been able to get him out of more scrapes than I have ever been in. He and I both share of love of the non-mainstream in a totally non-hipster type of way (try figuring that gibberish out!) and have had too many funny conversations and experiences (dancing at Disneyland while we walk) to count.
James is very musical, and for such a scrawny guy has an amazingly deep bass voice that really rounds out the family "choir." He has great taste in music and is constantly introducing us all to new bands.
James is amazing with all kids, and especially his nieces and nephews. Kids love him because he sees them for the people they are and talks to, and interacts with them while showing them he values them and their interests. James is the comedian of the family, he is quick to smile, and quick to make others smile too. He loves to play a game, whether video game or bored game, as long as other people are involved, as he likes to be around people (And we kind of like to be around him too, ha ha).
I know: "Quit being so cute Julia!" We were all thinking it!

Julia, the baby of our family, is one of those complicated people who is always surprising you. She is a very talented writer who's rye and witty thoughts are completely addicting. I check her blog every day. Her mildly...satirical... take on the world is very different from the soft spoken little "Snow White" that use to spend time walking around our pool singing songs to herself (okay she was pretty young when she did that). Furthering her likeness to Snow White is her love of animals and her talent singing, with the sweetest, highest soprano that makes me sound like a fog horn in comparison.
She is also a very hard worker, not afraid of new experiences like switching colleges every semester and working at random yogurt places (things that would have terrified me as I hate new "things").
Julia is also a hoot to watch movies with, as she sees things you gloss over and finds way to make them hilarious.
She is also a very caring, sensitive person, who is going to make a VERY wonderful mother in a few months.

We are pretty similar in our interests, and senses of humor which means there is almost nothing I enjoy more than getting all four of us together, with Mom and Dad, and having a rip roaring laugh fest (while the poor in-laws look like they think they married crazy people). Thanks guys, for being so awesome!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Because Otherwise You Would Be Dead

I am so grateful for my sense of humor. It allows me to still maintain relationships with people after they give me backhanded compliments. I'm a little tired of "I wish I could be like you, you are so brave to (insert backhanded compliment about my decorating, hair, clothes, or shoes)." I feel like the Penguins of Madagascar sometimes, "Smile and wave, boys, smile and wave." At least I can smile about it all!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Tales From The Not So Dark Side.

Over the years I have heard tons of horror stories about other people's in-laws. I've felt sympathy for friends who have truly atrocious stories of rude and mean in-laws, but I've never truly been able to empathize with them, having had no similar experiences (I hope I used those correctly, because if not they will have another horror story of me to tell!).
Joan is one of those people who is absolutely genuine. She has no malice, she doesn't have ulterior motives, and she is genuinely kind. She is a shinning example of the mother you wish you could be, but can't, so you feel super inadequate, except that she never makes you feel badly about it, and therefore you feel worse (rambling, I know). Joan has never second guessed me as a mother, or made me feel badly about my parenting. Joan is not just a great mother, she is a great example of a rock-solid testimony. I could write 10 posts just about it! Whenever we visit she goes out of her way to make sure we feel welcome, and too often she cooks her amazingly yummy food and makes me gain 5 pounds every visit (especially with her cinnamon and sugar rolls, and the marshmallow fruit salad)! Eric has such love for his mother, and I can absolutely understand why, since I love her too.
Alan is a fun father-in-law for me to have. He is always willing to have "discussions" with me where I can be the devil's advocate (or he can) and we never walk away upset. He has been super supportive of us both emotionally and financially through all the years of our marriage. Alan is amazing at making lists and thinking things through ahead of time, with a VERY logical mind, which is why he is the first person we call when we want a non-emotional (in a good way), thought out answer to life decisions. He is amazingly patient with us as we blunder through life, and I am so grateful he is my father-in-law.

I know I am not the easiest daughter-in-law. I am overly emotional and I get ticked too easily. I am overbearing, and tend to like things "my" way. They have had only me to set the example of what "blending" (or not, in my case) into the family looks like, until recently with Emily (Hooray!), but they have only been kind, loving and accepting of me. I truly lucked out.

Thank you for being the best in-laws I've ever had!!! :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

My Biggest Vice

Whether it is in hot liquid form, small ball shaped, long sticks, or even shaped like a frog, I am thankful for CHOCOLATE. Enough said.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

What I Am NOT Thankful For

I am not thankful for the spider that hid in my shower cap (yes, I use a shower cap, because I am that cool) and when I put it on my head the spider fell down my face on to my bare shoulder. Thinking I was being attacked a la Arachnophobia movie style, I promptly started screaming and swatted it towards the sink. After making small mewing noises and running hot water down the drain for 5 minutes I realized no one in my family even came to check on why I was in such distress. Not thankful, Mr. Spee-ider, not thankful.

Driving Me Up A Wall

I am thankful that I have 3 beautiful, healthy, smart kids to drive me up the wall. I had uneventful pregnancies, uneventful births (except the whole unexpected C-section thingy), and we've had fairly uneventful (in a good way) lives. No major injuries, illnesses, or problems.

More than that, I am grateful for the 3 little people that I got to have in my life.
I am grateful to Ethan for helping me understand shyness a little better. He is quiet in public, but so fun here at home. He is so smart and constantly making me laugh with his play-on-words and his fun imagination. He loves Star Wars almost as much as I do and it is fun to have someone to talk about it with.
I am grateful to Ella for being such a kind person. She is truly the peacemaker in the family...most of the time. She is very sensitive to other people and is quick to feel other's pain. She is always ready with a hug and a kiss, and will always jump at the chance to cuddle. She has a sharp mind and is always willing to help others at school that need help.
I am grateful to Livi for being my little pixie. She looks like and angel but can be a little... mischievous at times. She makes my life interesting here at home. She is very quick to laugh and loves to explore and go on adventures. She has more wanderlust than I do and loves to go on errand with me just to go some where.

I'm a lucky mom.

Friday, November 4, 2011

I Am Thankful For Demanding Parents

There is a lot I could say about my parents and why I am grateful for them. They have been a huge help through our educations, and beyond, both financially and mentally. They have provided me throughout my life with wonderful cultural experiences. They have done so much that I hope I have said thank you for, and that I am so appreciative of, but today I just want to high light a few random things that you can't find a Hallmark card for (because I am sticking it to the commercialism Man).

I am truly grateful that my parents raised me the way they did. They had high expectations. They always told me "when you go to college" never "if." I remember my mom and I have a "conversation" about my grade point average, which was a 3.56 at the time, and her "explaining" that, that wasn't going to be good enough if I wanted to get into BYU and get a good education. From a young age I understood that you needed a good education if you wanted a good job, and that every woman should have a good education (job) because you never knew what could happen. I may not have had to work in my career field, but a B.S. in education comes in handy every day you have kids!

I am grateful that my parents have been so supportive of me in my life. They were never one to give false hope (one of my mom's pet peeves is when people tell kids "You can be anything you want to be...") but they would talk out plans and strategies and help me come to an educated decision. Even when I acted more on emotion than logic they tried to help me see both sides, good and bad, of situations (even creepy boyfriends that they had to put up with for 2 years).

I am grateful that my dad took one of us kids out every Monday on a date night. Once a month we had my dad's undivided attention. He would let us pick wherever the heck we wanted to go, and we got to spend $10 on the evening. Some of my favorite memories from junior high were playing the Area 51 video game with my dad at the mini golf place. We spent all $10 on it and made it pretty far. He also sat through the horrible movie "Sister Act" with me, because I asked him to. He didn't have to spend that time with me, but he did, and I think we have a great relationship because he was willing to spend the time. He passed on a love of learning new things (i.e. a million hobbies), the importance of a strong work ethic, and and always did a great job of helping me understand the gospel (I still call him to help me with my talks).
My mom was a great example of feminism and liberal thinking, all while being a good Mormon (shocker, I know)! She taught me compassion for those that were less fortunate (even the sad socially awkward), and she taught me that I was just as good and worth as much as my brothers. She did a great job NOT playing favorites and really tried to help us all feel like we were worthwhile.

I remember one night I didn't have a book to read and she pulled out a very well worn book on Greek mythology. I remember her telling me how she had loved reading about all of the myths when she was younger and hoped that I would enjoy them too. I stayed up so late that night, I just couldn't read enough. She is always introducing me to new things whether I want to be or not (She got me a subscription to Time magazine this year just so I could hold more intelligent conversations with her!). She taught me to love reading, baking, and history, and I only hope I can be half as great a mom as she is!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I Never Learned To Read...and The Best pt 4

Okay, so that isn't exactly true. I did learn to read. In fact I grew up in a house where reading was not only encouraged it was darn well expected that you would read all the time, especially in the bathtub (and sometimes, if it was a really good book, in the shower. Go ahead and judge me). My parents not only aided in our addiction to books, they were down right happy to do it. They still do. I think it is truly not a Beesley outing to Tucanos unless we head over to Borders and stock up on the latest books we have been dying to read!

This is only one of the hundred things I am thankful to my parents for. I will focus on them later. Today was just about reading.

The Best Part 4
EpcotThe kids climbing on, and I am sure insulting all the native Norwegian workers while doing so, the giant troll that watches over the shop there.

You have never lived until you have eaten true French bread. I guess, by my own reckoning, that I have never lived, but at Epcot you sure come close. I have had honest to goodness dreams about eating the French bread from there ever since we went when I was 17. It was the one thing I demanded of the day: Stopping to eat at the French Patisserie. And we did...twice.

Epcot has come a long ways from just the world fair feel. There are lots more rides, like the insane Test Track where you get to feel like a car test dummy (or in my case severely car sick), to the Nemo ride that is like a trip under the sea. We got to see our "futures" on Spaceship earth, and learn more about how imagination shapes our world.

They even have a program to make the countries more interesting for kids where you join Kim Possible (one of my Disney favorites) on a secret spy mission. When you complete all the educational tasks you use your special spy phone to send a signal and something cool happens, like a chimney in Norway blows smoke, or a crazy singing robot pops up from a shopping display in Japan. It was fun, but asking a 6 year old and 8 year old to share the top secret phone was a little dicey.

About half way through our trip around the world the kids got bored and Eric headed back to the Imaginarium with them, which is set up with tons of cute learning centers like a piggy bank interactive game that teaches kids about saving money, a fire station with giant laser tag like house to teach about fire safety, and even an area where you can put yourself into video game.

While this was going on my mom and I enjoyed eating our way around the rest of the world...I mean seeing all the things the countries had to eat (because, as my mom said "what happens in Epcot stays in Epcot."....unless your daughter keeps a blog I guess).

This is about where Mom got sick and went back to the hotel (we brought our cold with us) and we went with Dad back to France to eat dinner. We also stopped in at the countries the kids missed before and got their "passports" stamped to show they went to almost all the countries (sorry Mexico and China). In Italy, by a very beautiful fountain that also seemed to draw the parks smokers right to it. We got to have the no-smoking talk again. Touche Epcot, turning a nasty few minutes into a learning experience.

All in all a very educational, cultural and yummy experience.

I wish I had more pictures but I was so busy doing and enjoying that I forgot to take a lot. Oh well, at least I am writing about it while I still remember it.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Getting My Feathers In A The Best pt 3.

I went into Walmart on Monday, Halloween, to pick up some emergency candy. To my utter amazement and chagrin they were taking down the Halloween posters that hang from the ceiling and were putting up Christmas posters. Christmas posters. I know the merchandise for Christmas came out in September, but this was actually decorating the store itself for Christmas.

I love Christmas, I really do, but it seems to me that they skipped a holiday....Thanksgiving... anyone, anyone??? Thanksgiving is turning into the forgotten holiday. I always felt bad for it that it only has 3 weeks of pre-celebration time anyways, but now they are just completely skipping it and moving on to the real money maker.

In the spirit of non-violent and non-critical rebellion that has gripped me lately I have decided to make the most of my 3 weeks leading up to Thanksgiving by posting every day (hopefully) about the people and things I am thankful for. Take that American consumerism!

To start out with I am going to write a little about my fabulous spouse, without whom I would be that crazy teacher that has 14 cats, wears a size 26 and socializes solely online through World of Warcraft.

Eric is not only hard working, long suffering and the most amazing dad to our kids, he is a wonderful husband who tries hard to help me have a happy life. He doesn't complain when I impulse buy. He listens to me rant about the latest slight I feel I have been dealt by the pizza guy. He nods encouragingly as I lash out at neighbor/news paper publisher who writes editorials about people being responsible neighbors and not leaving junk cars to rot on streets, while simultaneously leaving a junker right in front of OUR house! (not that this has been a recent and big thorn in my side or anything).

Eric was willing to suck it up and finish law school even though he hated it and wanted to quit after the first year. He worked so hard and did so well he was even able to graduate a semester early. He is great at being self motivated and is always on top of his responsibilities.

I love Eric and am so thankful he saved me from my cat lady existence, but that he loves that same slightly odd girl. All without ever making me feel badly about the fact that I am way nerdier than him, and he even smiles and nods as I tell him all about the fantasy books I am reading and their different mythologies.

Thank you Eric, you rock.

On to The Best Family Vacation Ever part 3:
Magic Kingdom
Eric with his beloved Belle, his favorite princess (yes, he has a favorite. You have to pick one when you have a daughter like Ella who really cares about things like this).

The Magic Kingdom is very much like our own beloved Disneyland in California, but with enough differences it is fun to compare them as you enjoy the park. Mainstreet is similar, but different. It is Cinderella's castle instead of Sleeping Beauty's. Oh, but the line for Dumbo is still amazingly long!
One thing we did do that was all new, and all amazing was have lunch at Cinderella's castle. You have to get reservations ahead of time, but it was soooooooooo worth it. You get to meet Cinderella and we even had enough time to talk with her a bit. Did you know Cinderella doesn't like crowns? They always fall off so she asked her fairy godmother to make her headbands to match all her outfits. Hmmm, I didn't even think about that till we talked with her!

During lunch the princess come around to each table. You get to talk to them, take pictures, and just enjoy the really good food and atmosphere. The girls were so excited.

Ethan...well he did like the cupcake he got to decorate for dessert.

(Another tidbit: Belle doesn't wear her ball gown around most of the time, it is too hard to move around in as it is so wide. Never really thought about it before, but now we know because we asked. And knowing is half the battle).

Ella, especially, was on cloud nine. We got to meet each of the princess, except Aurora went on break right before she got to her table and hadn't come back yet. One of the photographers had struck up a conversation with us because he noticed Eric's Husker shirt, and he too was from Nebraska. We asked our new friend what we should do about not meeting Aurora (Ella would have been devastated) so he promptly found her handler and had Aurora over to our table in no time. Aurora asked Ella if they should play a trick on Prince Phillip since "he wouldn't be able to tell them apart." They pick the best people to be the princesses!

All I can say is if I could design Heaven it would be a lot like the Magic Kingdom....but free...and less people with weird tattoos.