Dec 28, 2011

Best friends 

Dec 26, 2011

133 days!

Because I love my countdowns...



Soon my friends, we will see you soon!

Is it already over?

I don't know if it's because there was no snow (which there rarely ever is in Georgia) or because it wasn't bitter cold, but this Christmas just didn't feel like Christmas. The rush to buy gifts came and went and now every thing is done....at least on our end. We had a wonderful Christmas, I hate to say that knowing there are many families who didn't have the same joyful holiday. It makes me even more thankful for the life and family that I have.

I'm watching re-runs of Boy Meets World on TV....do you remember that show? I miss the old Disney Channel. Shows like The Torkelsons, Fast Forward, Bug Juice, Even Stevens and yes...even Lizzie McGuire. Back when TV was still somewhat innocent and cute.

For Christmas Hardy got me a few things, but among them all was a beautiful Mickey Mouse watch, I'll have to say it's probably my favorite gift this Christmas. I've been looking for a Disney watch for a while now to no avail. They had a million on the cruise ship (or so it seemed), but nothing really caught my eye. The band was too big or the face was too flashy...sometimes the face was too big. I know I can be difficult describing what I want, especially when it comes to something with so many options, but he did an amazing job :) He also got me a biography on Walt Disney and I'm excited to get that started!

 

How was YOUR Christmas?

Dec 24, 2011

Rest in peace Hallie

Baby Hallie passed away this morning surrounded by her loving family.

Please keep the Green's in your thoughts and prayers this Christmas.

Thelittlegreenfamily.blogspot.com

Dec 21, 2011

It's almost Christmas!

It seems like this week is going by SOOOO slow.  Even though we still have just a few gifts to get before Christmas, I wish it was here.  I love watching people open gifts!  We are leaving tomorrow to go visit my mom, Phillip and Trevor and then we'll head back home Saturday to celebrate the holidays with Hardy's family.  Thank God gas prices have dropped to a decent amount, it's pretty sad that we think $2.99 is a good price for a gallon of gas, isn't it?  I pulled out my Senior bragbook the other day and saw that at the time I made the book (February 2003) gas was only $1.89/gallon.  
 
May all of you have a safe and very Merry Christmas :)
 
 
 
 
 
 
There was a message hidden in this post, did any of you guess it?  If you cracked the secret message, I'm sure you're thinking "oh how silly" but I thought it was cute.

Dec 19, 2011

Hope for Hallie

Congratulations Chris & Katie Green!  Hallie Lynn Green has arrived, 4lbs 5oz and 18 3/4" long.  Good heart beat and breathing - she's beating the odds already :)
 
Please LIKE the facebook page, Hope for Hallie for the most up-to-date news on the Green family.
 
To recap once again...
 
Chris & Katie found out at 20 weeks that their daughter, Hallie has Trisomy 13 (here's a link to Katie's blog describing her condition: http://thelittlegreenfamily.blogspot.com/2011/06/our-baby-is-1-in-10000.html ).  She had a c-section this morning to deliver baby Hallie and so far so good.  Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers!
 
 
A meal train has also been set up for them, you can sign up via this link http://www.mealtrain.com/view/?id=6JFzURGMZDw%3d
 
 

Dec 18, 2011

American Horror Story

Yay!  Jessica Lange has been nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance for a Supporting Actress in a Television series. She was also nominated for a Screen Actors Guild award for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a drama series.  The show American Horror Story was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Television Series. I hope they win!  The show is twisted and disturbing, but Jessica Lange is the reason why I keep watching :)

A husband/fathers love

I've been following The Little (growing) Green Family blog for a little over 1yr now. I love scrolling thru the adorable and amazing photos Katie takes of her daughters Bella and Farrah. This year they discovered they were pregnant with baby Green #3, but at 20 weeks discovered she has trisomy 13. It's been heart wrenching and heart warming to read Katie's journey thru this pregnancy, but this weekend her husband, Chris made a post from his perspective. It's amazing how you can have so much respect for those you've never met.... Definitely worth a read... http://thelittlegreenfamily.blogspot.com

Work Christmas party

We enjoyed some delicious food and fellowship on Friday at the King GREEN Christmas party.  This year they featured a photo booth with props and it was a HIT!  I got in there for 5-6 photos myself and laughed til it brought tears to my eyes....I loved it! Kudos to my BFFLADYFI Tabitha and Jennifer for putting everything together!

Dec 17, 2011

Oh Wal-Mart

Friday our office closed at 1pm to give the employees some time to rest and re-dress for the Christmas party. So after work I headed to Wal-Mart in Oakwood to try and grab a few gifts and find me some simple dress shoes...

Well $129 later.....yea I'm still trying to figure out what all I bought. I get home, wrap the gifts and take a nap. When Hardy got home and we were getting ready for the party I go to put on my new shoes and discover I have two RIGHT shoes. (Now I am pretty clumsy, but I always wear the shoes on the correct feet.) You can imagine my bp went through the roof...I was so angry. Angry at Wal-Mart because its Walmart, angry with myself because I should have double checked and angry because we were leaving any minute to go to the party and I was without shoes!

I decided to stop at the Wal-Mart in Buford on our way to the party to exchange them, but of course their customer service line was ridiculously long. After 10mins I decided to just buy a second pair and worry about returning the first pair later. To make the evening worse, those were the most uncomfortable shoes ever!! 5mins after wearing them I took them off! All that work for a horribly uncomfortable pair of shoes....sheesh. I plan on returning them both this weekend.

On a side note, if you or anyone you know is a Harry Potter fan, the Wal-Mart in Oakwood has the first 7 movies on DVD for only $3.96/piece....thats an amazing deal!

Dec 14, 2011

Pirate Night!

On Wednesday night of our cruise, the entire ship celebrated Pirate Night. 

While we were on Castaway Cay earlier in the day, I caught Jack Sparrow walking along the beach and tried to get a picture with him, but he kindly declined stating he was in a hurry and I could catch him on the ship later in the day.  He was right, we happened to walk past the D-Lounge and spotted him taking photos, so we hopped in line :)   Kudos to whoever this guy was, he may not have been a spitting image of Johnny Depp, but he had the talk/walk/personality down to a T!

(I hate how we look in this picture, but I'm sharing it anyway)



All of the staff were dressed as pirates, if not in a full costume, at least some stripes and a bandana...etc. All of the sit down restaurants shared the same menu for this night only, in honor of Pirate Night (I had Captain Jack Sparrow's Beef Spare Ribs), I can't remember what Hardy had - shame on me.

After dinner, we headed to the pool so we would have a good spot for the Pirate Night festivities.  They had covered all of the family pools so the entire pool deck was wood flooring.  At 10:30, they shot off fireworks in the middle of the ocean - it was great (tip, they shoot them from the starboard side)!  Disney is the only cruise line "allowed" to launch fireworks from their ship!!  After the fireworks, they started Club Pirate "the best dance party in the seven seas" as they kept calling it. We didn't dance, lol but it appeared every one was having a wonderful time!

This picture was taken before the mass of people showed up

Christmas Traditions

When I was younger, on Christmas Eve, we would eat a yummy dinner then exchange family gifts from one another.  When it was time for bed, we would make a pallet on the floor in my moms bedroom so she could make sure we wouldn't peek at Santa.  I loved that, even now it seems like such a small detail of Christmas, but it's a memory that will always stay with me.  We usually had a radio on low playing Christmas music...you know to mask the noise of Santa.  It used to take Michael and I forever to fall asleep, but eventually we did and then we magically  woke up at 6am or so to investigate what Santa brought us. 
 
I'll never forget one year, I think I was in 3rd grade...we made "reindeer food" in class (YOU KNOW BACK WHEN THEY ACTUALLY HAD CHRISTMAS PARTIES IN SCHOOL).  It was basically fruit loops with a cute little poem.  In proper childhood fashion, I sprinkled those fruit loops all along the sidewalk leading to our front door.  When I was older, mom admitted what a pain it was to crunch those fruit loops and try to pick some of them up to make it look as if the reindeer actually stopped by the house...ha ha ha!
 
Now that I'm all grown up (bummer, right?!), Hardy and I have started our own Christmas tradition.  Even if it is just the two of us, I wanted to make sure we had time alone.  So above and beyond what anyone else's plans are, we spend the morning of Christmas Day, at home exchanging gifts from each other - as well as the gifts/toys we got for the cats.  It never made sense to me to take our small gifts to/from one another over to someone else's house to open.  We started this tradition the first year in our house, I thought it was appropriate and I plan on keeping it that way :)  I can't wait to one day spend the time with our own child/children and continue making our own traditions.
 
 
What are some of your family traditions?

Dec 9, 2011

Vacation Day 3 - Castaway Cay

We woke up pretty early so we could get onto the island quickly and enjoy as much of the day as we could. 



I can't brag on this ship enough...


My mistake was not wearing shorts under my bathing suit bottoms so after about 3mi, I was wishing I had some cornstarch!  Luckily they did have a tram that took you to certain drop offs throughout the island and I was sure we caught the one to take us out to Serenity Bay (the adult beach). 


Heaven....I know





We had already been to Coco Cay (Royal Caribbeans private island) and aside from the many Disney decorations and set-up, the islands are similar. Nice clean white sand and the clearest water you will ever see. It's also VERY shallow, you can walk out almost .5mi and still only be knee deep.  Regardless of decorations or no decorations, it's paradise for sure!



And in true Disney fashion, they even had a Christmas tree on the island

We hung out on Castaway for about 4hrs and then got back on board the ship.  The water was a little too chilly to actually enjoy the ocean anyway, but we had also been told by our waiter that Castaway Cay day was the best day to ride the Aqua Duck because most every one was OFF the ship and on the island - he was so right!  Every other day since we'd gotten on board the line for the Aqua Duck was relatively long, but we walked right up and got on immediately.

 



Next up....Pirate Night

Vacation Day 2 - Nassau

We woke up early, enjoyed a yummie breakfast in Royal Palace and then got off the ship to explore Nassau. 

Just to show you how big the Dream was, it towered over most of the buildings in Nassau.

We had been here twice already and I'll be honest, there's nothing there that really appeals to me (unless you do an excursion or head over to Atlantis).  The residents there could care less that you're there, which might be a good thing I guess.  Hardy and I aren't "shoppers" outside of movies and music I guess, so all of the shops along Bay St don't catch our attention.

Hardy wanted to check out Fort Charlotte, he had read reviews online that it was just a 20min walk from the straw market and worth it.  Well we didn't have a map on hand when we first got off the ship, so we ended up walking about 20mins out of the way, then all the way back to where we started and another 30mins in another direction.  We stopped at Junkanoo beach for a few minutes.  It was a small beach, but a nice escape from the crowd and it was FREE access....I wished we had brought our suits with us.


We got back onboard the ship, ate lunch and walked around for a while.
Isn't the ship amazing?

Hardy trying to help Donald out of a tight situation, I thought it was cute

There were three other ships docked at Nassau at the same time,
this is a picture of one of Cunard's ships, Queen Victoria (this is for the REALLY rich)


A view of Atlantis from on deck

Our future house, ha ha ha


  We stopped and watched a few minutes of Monsters, Inc on the jumbo screen near the family pool.



Then decided to go for a swim,  apparently Nassau doesn't appeal to many people (especially if they've visited before) because there were still a ton of cruisers onboard the ship.  We went back and forth between the hot tub and the pool for a little while then decided to try our luck at the 9-hole putt-putt.  Hardy beat me by 1 point...dangit.

Here is the grand Christmas tree they had set up in the atrium of the ship.


We hung out on top deck along at the front of the ship on this huge sofa and just enjoyed the peace and quiet.


Monday nights production was called Villains Tonight, it was a cute show about Hades (from Hercules) getting his "evil" back. I really cannot express how awesome the shows were, the singers were great, the costumes and sets were unbelievable. It was sometimes easy to forget you were even on a ship. Unfortunately I didn't take any photos of the shows because flash wasn't allowed and well, I couldn't figure out the low-light setting on my camera without having light to begin with.

We ate dinner at Animator's Palate and I was blown away with how awesome it was.  The entire restaurant was themed around....well an animators palate.  They had scrap papers on the wall, images of dozens, even hundreds of Disney character sketches. 



Our table number was a bucket of paint brushes and pencils.  Even the small spreader they supplied to butter your bread with was shaped like a paintbrush...VERY creative.  You have to give credit where it's due and Disney Imagineers know what they're doing.  About 20mins into our  meal, many of what we thought were just pictures on the wall changed and we were suddenly under the sea with many characters from Finding Nemo (Crush, Nemo, Marlin, Bruce....etc).  Occasionally Crush would stop at a table and talk to the guests. 



Their attention to detail when creating experiences like this is beyond anything you could ever imagine.  This was probably my favorite restaurant of the entire trip, because I loved the magic of it all.


Next stop...Castaway Cay

Dec 8, 2011

Vacation Day 1

Let me preface this by saying we're officially spoiled.  If we go on anymore cruises in the future it will only always be Disney....they blew Royal Caribbean out of the water, which I'm sure can only mean they knocked Carnival out of the sea!

The last two cruises we went on with Royal Caribbean, we left from Port Canaveral, FL.  Both of those times, we also stayed at the Radisson because they offered free parking during your cruise as long as you stayed one night with them either before or after your cruise.  It was decent, but nothing to write home about.

This time we stayed at the Residence Inn by Marriott and were very very impressed.  It was a little bit more $$ wise, but you get what you pay for.  Our room was like a small apartment, very cozy.  They also offered to let you park your car there while on your cruise, but they charged $5/day....still cheaper than parking at the port.

We rode the shuttle over to the port around 11:15am, went through security..etc and boarded at 12:00pm.  For every family/group that boarded the ship, they had Disney castmembers there to announce your arrival to everyone in the atrium...I thought that was pretty cool.


The Dream is "Donald's" ship, so he had a statue right in the atrium

After picking our jaws up off the ground from how awesome the ship was, we headed to Enchanted Garden for lunch.  Upon our walk to the restaurant, we encountered a few "enchanted" paintings throughout the ship.  Of course the kids were all amazed by it, but I was pretty fond of them too!  I only videoed one of them...but here it is.
video

After lunch we decided to explore some more, I think we went to every floor of the ship at least twice.  The outside deck of the ship was very pretty, they based it off the design of older cruise ships, much like the Titanic.  Wooden decks, with wooden lounge chairs and cushions.  It was so neat to see it the way they used to be.

While walking around the deck we got to see a Manatee, unfortunately the water was too dark and my camera wasn't able to catch it.  By this time our rooms were ready, so we headed to ours to check it out. 

Huge right? 

The couch pulled out into a sofabed

Interactive porthole is standard in all inside rooms.
It played a live feed of what was outside the back of the ship and occasionally
cartoon characters would come across the screen.

I loved the lamps

Yes, this is a shower/tub and it was very spacious!

Each stateroom has two portable phones to use onboard the ship.
It was FREE to use and you could call/text at any time.
It's a great way for families to keep in touch.

The last night of the cruise I actually used
the shampoo/conditioner and I loved it!

After the emergency drill we went to the forward top deck so we could watch the ship leave port.  At 6:15 we went to the Walt Disney Theatre to see the first production, it was called The Golden Mickey's and was AWESOME.  The acting/singing/costumes/set...it was almost better than the shows you actually see at Disney World.  I'm not sure how those performers can do it when the ship moves, very impressive.

The first night our dinner was in Royal Palace and was delicious.  I think one of the best parts of cruising is all the food.  Granted we just ate at normal meal times, we didn't go looking for snacks, but still there is so much to eat for Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner it's unbelievable.

We ended up calling it a night pretty early because I had a headache...look for day 2 tomorrow!

Dec 3, 2011

The beginning...

Still trying to brush off this dang cold ::said in my best southern accent::

I still have an off/on stuffy nose. Yesterday I picked up a migraine that decided to return today on our trip down...argh! Im hoping the salty air will relieve me of my snottiness and well....I hope tonight is the last of this lousy migraine. I cannot be miserable for Mickey!!

After an 8hr drive we made it to our hotel in Cape Canaveral. It's a very comfy cozy Residence Inn by Marriott.

We will be boarding the Disney Dream tomorrow at noon! So excited :). I will post as much as I can before we set sail to share the happiness.

I wonder if they call their cruise ships "The Happiest Place at Sea"??

Dec 1, 2011

MMMHops...yep a beer made by Hanson

I used to be a HUGE Hanson fan when I was in middle school and even onto the beginning of high school.  While I haven't seen them in concert since 2004, I still like to hear updates on them whenever they're available.  Thank God I didn't marry Taylor like I thought I was going to because he has a million kids (not literally).  But he did marry brown eyed, brunette from Georgia....so it could.have.been.
 
 
I just read this on www.people.com and had to share....
 
Hanson is expanding their empire once again, but this time it's not with a new baby – or even a new album.  The band of brothers, who've been recording music and touring the world since they first shot to fame with their infectious hit "MmmBop" in 1997, are branching out.  Their newest endeavor: a beer called, wait for it, MmmHops.
 
After the buzz-worthy news hit the Internet Wednesday, Zac Hanson released a statement confirming the project. "A branded HANSON IPA beer concept is in the works under the moniker 'MmmHops,' " says the drummer, adding that the idea, "has been brewing for some time."  No further details were available, but PEOPLE will be in touch with the band to try to get readers a first look (ahem, taste?) at the new beverage.  The brothers also have eight kids among them but have joked that their brood shouldn't define them.  "We have no intentions to battle the Osmonds in any way," Zac has joked about his brothers and their kids (Zac and Isaac have two kids each; Taylor has four). "They can have the crown."
 
By Rennie Dyball
 

A letter

Dear Grandmother,
 
    Thanksgiving has already passed, I can't believe it.  As the holidays approach, all I can think about is you.  I'm not going to lie, this has been a rough, rough year.  I'm searching and searching through my brain for memories of us together, I don't ever want to forget them.  I don't ever want to forget you.  In time I know my heart will heal and I believe one day we'll be together again, but for now...it aches. 
 
A few weekends ago I went to get my haircut and there was an older lady in the waiting area that looked like you.  Mom and I both looked at one another and said "She looks just like Grandmother".  Isn't it amazing how things like that happen?  Just when I'm missing you the most, I see someone who resembles you.  That reminded me of a time when we lived in Savannah.  Mom, Trevor and I were on our way to eat Applebee's and Trevor was talking about missing the trains at Ba's house and naming them after Thomas & Friends.  As he was talking, we approached a railroad crossing and to our stunned eyes, the crossing arms dropped and the bell began to ring that a train was on its way.  It was almost as if Ba heard us talking about the trains and sent one our way.  Before that trip to Applebee's and even after, I don't recall us ever encountering another train.
 
Things just aren't the same without you here and I can't seem to grasp that you're gone.  It just feels like you're on vacation or something.  I want to call you, I want to visit you and hug your neck, but I can't.  I don't want to be sad, but the selfish child in me misses you so badly and I want you back.  There's a beautiful photo of you and I hugging from my wedding, I have a copy of it at my desk at work and in the foyer at home.  I love you and miss you. 

Nov 30, 2011

The final countdown...

3 days, 23 hours and 58 minutes until we're onboard the Disney Dream.....
 
 
We will be leaving Saturday morning to make our trek to Florida for our big trip.  We'll be back next Thursday, so you're sure to see several posts about our trip next weekend.  Here is just a taste of what's to come....
 
 
This is a photo of the Aquaduck, the very first (and currently the only) cruise ship waterslide that actually extends out over the ocean.
 
 
Their three restaurants are magical in their own right.  Animator's Palate changes from black/white to color during your dining experience.  Enchanted Garden has flowers that bloom while you dine.  You rotate to a new restaurant each night (since there's only 3, you'll eat in one of them twice), but your wait staff follow you, so you still get the same familiar faces during your meal. 
 
 
Animator's Palate Dining Room
 
 
Royal Palace Dining Room
 
 
Enchanted Garden Dining Room
 
 
 
We may have to have the cats shipped to us via UPS/Fed Ex, I'm pretty sure we won't want to leave.

Nov 29, 2011

Nooooo cold, go away

It was almost as if an alarm went off in my sinuses as soon as I pulled in the driveway last night.  I felt a funny tingle in my throat...I ate dinner and pretended it didn't bother me.  The only thing in the house was Benadryl so I took a couple doses and while it did make me sleepy, it didn't last long.  Benadryl has a very short lifespan and I woke up several times throughout the morning tossing/turning.  Trying to find a comfortable position to sleep in that would allow breathing took FOREVER
 
I started taking 500mg of Vitamin C last night to hopefully boost my immune system.  I won't lie though, I'm looking forward to my lunch break where I can go to the drugstore and attempt to self-medicate.  I generally only get sick like this once a year, but WHY NOW?!?
 
I cannot be sick on our cruise, I refuse!

Nov 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Break

On Wednesday after work, Hardy and I drove up to Gatlinburg, TN to stay with his family. We had a nice room at The Edgewater right behind the main strip into town. Aside from an apparent little leave football tournament going on our stay there was nice.

Thursday we got up and road around Pigeon Forge. We ate lunch at Corky's which was pretty good and then did this cool attraction called TOMB. It was only $12/per adult and lasted 45mins. You go in a "tomb" with a tour guide and have to solve all of these puzzles as a group before advancing to the next room. It was definitely the best $12 I've spent in a while.

We ate Thanksgiving dinner at Texas Roadhouse. They actually were offering a Thanksgiving dinner, but we all opted for steak. Our plan was to eat lunch at Dick's Last Resort back in Gatlinburg....huge mistake. We waited on a table (for 8) for 45mins, we finally sat down at 2:50pm. Our waiter greeted us immediately and took our drink orderFrom there it was all down hill.  We got our drinks and about 45mins later we still had no food...our waiter came around and asked us what we ordered, we all thought he was kidding and that it was part of him being a "dick", but it wasn't. He came back and said we scared him, he thought he didn't have our order.

Come to find out he never even put our order in even after he asked us what we ordered a second time. Finally after a 2hr wait from the moment we walked in the door, without any food (and plenty of other larger tables had all been fed) I went and complained to the hostess. The manager came over, apologized profusely and offered us free nachos and cheese sticks on the house while our food got preparedOnce our food finally did arrive, we were informed our original waiter had been fired. The manager comp'd our entire meal and I thanked him letting him know we knew it wasn't HIS fault.  We all had horrible headaches and were starving by the time we actually did eat, but the manager righted the situation and we appreciate that. 

Since this was our last night, some of us got funnel cakes and the others donuts and ice-cream.  Hope, Hardy's mom, Holden and I all did this weird 5D theatre where you sat on a mechanical horse and shot at targets on a big movie screen.  Holden won the first game and I won the second - - another cute attraction I would recommend.  Saturday morning we got up, checked out of the hotel and enjoyed a most delicious meal at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.  The meal was high, but the food was worth every penny.  We were sat in our own little hole that looked like the Gump house from the movie Forest Gump.  While we waited on our food, the waiter came by and asked us trivia questions about the movie, I was very proud of Hardy and myself as we got nearly every question (actually kind of sad to know we've seen the movie that many times ha ha).

After lunch, Hardy and I headed back home to our cats who missed us so much.

Nov 26, 2011

Always reminded...

Ever seen a rainbow-ball? Quite an interesting sight.