Home Sweet Home

We survived. More than that–we had a great trip. I was so proud of my planning self–we came in $75 under budget! It was a completely cash-only trip. Trent and I agreed the only time we would use our debit cards was to get Redbox videos along the way, and 2 Priceline hotels for the drive–$50 both times! Yeah! Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty tired of picnic lunches, but we were in Disneyland for five days and ate only ONE MEAL at the park. But the biggest reason we were able to do this trip so frugally is due to the graciousness and generosity of friends and family. Thank you, everyone!
The trip recap will definitely be a multi-post. So many moments I don’t have pictures of, like how I had to squat in front of Sydney, helping her not to fall into grown-up toilets (which she’s not used to sitting on) in bathrooms clean and filthy from here to Southern Cal. I feel like I spent half the trip nose-to-nose with my baby, holding her by the armpits, pleading with her to please go potty. Then, inevitably, as I was bending down to pull up her undies and pants, she would give into the temptation and flush the toilet with my face squarely in the splash path. Awesome.
Speaking of Syd, I need to start with this photo, for my mom, who requested one of Sydney looking like she’s having fun. Turns out this is pretty much the only one out of 486 photos. Each kid will get their own blog post later this week, but let me just say that the Birdie DID have a good time, she just is not one to be overly expressive or to smile on cue.The following photos are just some of my faves from the week, in absolutely no particular order. Here’s one of my besties, Ms. KT, sporting a Krochet Kids hat, which you should totally check out. Fortunately, Kristi’s kids don’t read my blog, because she snuck out to Dland on Monday to hang out with us while they were in school! I’m not sure they ever found out, but we were so glad to see her!
At first I was so sad that Sydney was asleep when we saw Woody and Jessie, because they are the 2 people she kept talking about seeing. But then we realized that she was not one to pose happily with the huge Disney characters.
Case in point.
(But I do love this photo!)

Oh, and by the way? I. LOVE. ROLLER COASTERS! I loved this one so much I went on it 4 times, even once walking over to ride it all by myself. Also by the way? Trent totally knew where the cameras were and he POSED for this pic. He looked exactly like this in every roller coaster pic.

Case in point re: Sydney vs. Characters #2. Chip (or Dale?) pushed my sunglasses down right before this pic.


My parents-in-law joined us at Disneyland and it was so great to have them there! And not just because they helped watch and hold the kids! We got Linda to go on California Screamin’ (see above) one time…and one time only. But you’ll have to ask her about that. 😉
Here’s our Sleeping Beauty in her Rapunzel dress.

This is another bestie, who totally hooked us up all week! She just decided to make it her vacation week as well, and their family joined us as often as possible. I’m convinced her Love Language is “gifts” because she is always buying little treats or matching clothes for the kids. This particular day we decided to be matching too.

The mouse, the myth, the legend…ladies and gentlemen…
MICKEY MOUSE! (Once again, Sydney is non-plussed.)

Here’s a chaotic photo-op with several of our friends with Jessie and the Army Man.

Thursday turned out to be a special day, when so many of our friends came to the park. We didn’t plan it, we just sent out emails to everyone telling them to come by whenever they could that week. It turned out this was a good day for lots of friends, so we partied! I thought it would be hard to have so many people there with us, but it actually worked out beautifully. We even managed to get a pic of all the adults in a Monster’s Inc car.

Then bring in the kids!

This is one of the only pictures we got of Disneyland at night. Partly because we were only there after dark twice. On Thursday night we stayed and got special tickets to see World of Color, which is a water and lights show. Describing it that way is pretty much the biggest undersell in history. It was so awesome we didn’t even attempt to take photos. The music alone left me speechless–and that is a rarity, let me tell you. It’s just something you have to see! So there’s your first session of the post-millennial version of coming over to my living room and sitting down while I force you to watch slides of my vacation. Come on over a couple more times this week for the rest of the story.


  1. I’m so glad you had a great time. What a memory! Our famiy did a huge but frugal trip to DWorld a few years ago (mom let us have their time share, stepsis works for Disney and got us in free every day)

    Now that we’re on super budget, big family trips aren’t in the budget for the next few years and I am so glad that we got do that family trip a few years ago. It was a great and wonderful time for us!

    Oh and I hear ya about roller coasters. I love them too!!

  2. Welcome home Jen! Thanks for sharing and I CAN’T WAIT to see you other pics and hear your other stories. It warms my heart how great of a time you all had. What an awesome memory all four of you will have together!

  3. Yay! I am sooo impressed with your budgeting. I need to learn something from you!:) I hope you guys made so many great memories. can’t wait to read the posts about the kids later this week. Welcome home!

  4. Oh my goodness! I’m excited to see more! How fun to get to see so many of your college friends. I love the pics of all of you and then KABOOM, with all your kids. 🙂 HOW. FUN.

  5. Looks like such a great trip!!!! I am so proud of you coming in under budget!!!! I hope some of the ideas I gave helped. I think your pictures are awesome and I am sure you have some memories to last a lifetime!!!! I am sorry about the potty incidents and traumatic photo ops for Sydney, but it looked like she had TONS of fun!!! I love the pictures of the car of friends and then the one with the kids. How FUN!! So glad you were able to see some many friends and have your family there too!!!! Hooray!!!

  6. I am so glad that you are home safe. I still haven’t unpacked! We had the best time with you guys. Let’s give ourselves a week or so then start planning the next time we get to see each other!

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