Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Why Marriage is Work

I am simply amazed at the divorce rate in this country. I am not sure what is happening, but I think it is the simple fact that no one tells you that marriage is work. I have been married for nearly 12 years, and while we have had some wonderful times, neither my husband nor I are perfect and it has taken a good bit of work on both our parts to make this marriage work.

I feel like in this day of instant satisfaction we expect that in every aspect of our lives including from our spouse. When the "new" wears off we just get rid of it. Right? With your cell phone company you only have to keep that phone for 2 years and then you can trade it in on a brand new fancy one. When you want information, you go out to the internet and get it NOW. And so it goes instant gratification.

Well I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but when the "new" of being married wears off the work begins. (I have to jump on my soap box now.) When you and your spouse looked at each other you said "For better or for worse". It is the "for worse" part I think that gets lost. Life is ever changing and while at this moment in time it may seem like the worse is only getting worse and things just won't get better, in reality they will. I have found that it is the worse times that make the better times even sweeter. On your wedding day you made a promise to your spouse that no matter what you'd be there for them and they would be there for you. A promise! What does that mean these days? I guess not much since about 50% of the population is divorced. I'd like to see us go back to a time when a promise meant something and people genuinely work on making their marriages last. You promise to make your mortgage payments, to stay with your cell phone carrier for so many years, and all other types of promises that you keep because they are tied to your credit score or will cost extra if you break that promise. What about breaking someone? What does that cost? I believe that cost is more than can be fathomed and is something to truly consider if you are thinking about breaking your promise.

I know that some couples just can't make it. Maybe they have tried and it is just not going to work for them. To these people I'd like to say, there was something that brought you together in the first place. Try to go back to that and figure out why you even wanted to be together. If this was only a physical attraction, then you may not be able to save your relationship, as I believe that a relationship only based on physical attraction is on shaky ground to begin with. However, there was probably something you had in common or you always make each other laugh or one of you can see the sunshine in all things which balances the gloom and doom of the other person. Try hard to think of why and then look at where you are today. Try to rekindle what brought you together in the first place.

Keep in mind that most problems are only temporary and while they may seem like a mountain today, they are probably a mole hill in the grand scheme of life.

I empathize with those of you whom just could not make it work. I realize sometimes you get married and either you change or you never discussed the important life goals before getting married and the paths you and your partner are on or want to be on are just too far apart to ever make it work.

For those of you in the grey area, remember it is WORK. Love will only get you so far and then you must put your shoulder to the grind stone and work. I believe love holds you together, but work keeps you together. (I'm now off my soap box.)

I wish all of you the best in all of your relationships! God bless and good luck!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I'd Like to Dig a Hole

Today is a day I'd just like to dig a hole and lie in it. I got up extra early today so we could go to school to look for my daughter's book bag. For your information my daughter has a nightly "book bag" that she brings home with her books to read for that evening. It also includes a sign off sheet which we sign and send back the next day to prove she did her nightly reading. When Makayla came home yesterday her books were not in her usual bag. When I asked why, she said it was because she didn't have it. SO we searched the house high and low and uncovered nothing. As I began to think about it I realized it was NOT in her backpack on Friday. So I assumed it must be at school (the reason for getting up early).

Even though I got out of bed 40 minutes before I usually do and got Makayla up 40 minutes before her usual time, we were still late out the door. I went in the school with her and we looked all over to no avail. Then I had to talk to her teacher, who informed me it was no big deal! Which it really isn't, but he had told Makayla her card in class would be changed to yellow if she did not bring it back. (In her class they have green/yellow/red cards to indicate how they are following the rules and behaving. Every day the kids start on green. I'm sure you see where it goes from there.)

So because I had to take the time with the book bag I was about 5 minutes late to work and of course there was a 8:00 am teleconference I had to be on and of course my boss was sitting right there giving me the evil eye and looking at the clock as I walked into the meeting and sat down. AH!!!

He never sees the good stuff I do. Only when I'm late or screw something up. It just gets OLD! I am sure you all have had the same experiences in your life and today I'm just frustrated with all things work related!

I hope all of your days are going better! If you are somewhere warm, get out and enjoy some sunshine! :)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Casa Loma Flowers

For mindless Monday I thought I would share some pictures I took of some flowers at Casa Loma in Toronto, ON Canada. This is a beautiful place and a must visit. Maybe I should highlight this location for Travelin' Thursday? Enjoy and have a great week!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Disney Hollywood Studios (Walt Disney World)

Our final park is Disney Hollywood Studios. When we visited this park we were focused on riding the two key rides, Tower of Terror and Rock 'n' Roller coaster. Consequently we missed out on some of the other attractions at this park. I will write about what we and visited and I will also highlight some of the things we missed.

To start we talked this park counter clockwise, because of the location of the Tower of Terror and Rock 'n' Roller coaster. Both of these rides had fairly short lines upon arrival, so we got in line and once we were done with the ride we went and got Fast Passes for later in the day.

I'll start with the Rock 'n' Roller coaster. This is the BEST roller coaster in the Disney Park. You are catapulted through a loop and several spirals in the dark as you listen to Aerosmith. During the development of this ride the engineers worked tirelessly putting the music to the ride. They did a FABULOUS job and this ride definitely ROCKS!!

Next we went on the Tower of Terror, which my husband and I remembered from our visit to the Disney Park on our honeymoon. This ride is lots of fun and provides a nice story line as you get on the ride. The theme here is an elevator hit by lightning that crashes to the bottom of its shaft. You then get into your own elevator and are dropped down, then raised back up and then dropped again. This is a great thrill ride.

Note: Both Rock 'n' Roller coaster and Tower of Terror have height requirements.

After we finished these rides we went over to the Animation Courtyard. Here we participated in the Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream. This was great, because it includes a session where you work with a cartoonist to draw your own Disney character. The day we went the character was Jimmie Cricket. We spent a really long time at this attraction because we were fascinated with Walt Disney and the way the pictures are made. The attraction ends in a store (as most attractions do), but this one is particularly unique as there is an artist drawing in the store and they will draw a picture and personalize for you (for a fee of course). We thought this was a great souvenir and had one make for our daughter and one to commemorate our anniversary.

After we finished at the Animation Courtyard, we headed over to the Lights, Motors, Action! Stunt Show, because it was the last show of the day and this was a must see on our list. The show was very entertaining and showed some "movie magic" especially when cars are involved. I would highly recommend that you make sure not to miss this attraction.

Star Tours - The Ultimate Star Wars Thrill Ride was a fun ride. You are your own little compartment in which a crazy droid is in the cock pit. You have a number of near misses and make a wrong turn into a combat zone. This is fun for all, especially those Star Wars fans and kids!

To be honest that is about all we did a Disney Hollywood Studios. We went back and rode the Tower of Terror and Rock 'n' Roller coaster another time, and then the park was closing. We missed the following attractions and that was OK because we got to see what we wanted, and we just ran out of time. My suggestion would be to plan 2 days at this park and as always prioritize so that you can get in what you want to see.

The Backlot Tour is something that my husband and I took on our honeymoon trip in 1998. This was a lot of fun as it showed some of the houses that were used in a variety of sitcoms and also showed some "movie magic". This is a fun attraction and definitely worth the time.

Jim Henson's Muppet Vision 3-D is a 3-D movie show. I have not seen this show, but I'm sure that it is quite entertaining. I'm sure it is a must for all Muppet fans.

Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular is another stunt show with limited number of showings. If you want to see this make sure you plan! You will need to be in line early in order to get a good seat. As is indicated by the title it is based on the Indiana Jones movies with explosions and many stunts.

Sounds Dangerous with Drew Carey is a show that is done in the dark, which was our main reason for not going as we thought our daughter might be scared. It is my understanding that you are in the dark and you hear a number of different "scary" sounds.

Fantasmic! is the nightly show at Disney Hollywood Studios. We heard that it could be scary for small children and since we had two small children, we opted out. However, this looks like a WONDERFUL show! The lasers, lights, music and animation look spectacular. So if you are traveling with older children on just adults I would not miss this. It is my understanding that the line begins to form quite early for this show, so you may want to delegate someone to stand in line and get seats. The theater opens 90 minutes before the show, and they recommend you get there 1 hour before to get good seats.

Beauty and the Beast — Live on Stage and Disney - Live on Stage! are both shows that have dedicated showing times. If you want to see them make sure to look at your map early and figure out which show times you want to attend.

I think the most difficult part about this park is that it has so many attractions with dedicated show times and limited show times. This makes it particularly difficult to get it all in one day. If I had to do it again, I would set aside one day to see all the shows and one day to ride the rides and see the other attractions without dedicated times.

Disney Hollywood Studios is a LOT of fun. The Animation Courtyard was particularly interesting as it showed how the films are made and gives you the opportunity to try your hand a cartooning!

Here are some links for Disney Hollywood Studios:

This concludes my Travelin' Thursday series on Walt Disney World. I hope you all found it informative. If you are going to WDW I would love to answer any questions you may have! Have a great weekend. I am traveling and going to the mountains this weekend, so I probably won't update my blog until next Monday. Go Broncos!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Why do I “cycle” through hair lengths?

I often wonder why I feel the need to change my hair, which inevitably results in a style only my stylist can fix. I will just get my hair grown out and then I will decide that is looks “awful” and just needs to be cut. A pony tail is not a style! So then I get an appointment as soon as possible, because I “just can’t stand it anymore” and hurray to the store to get a new hairstyle magazine. I then spend hours going over and over the pictures in the book picking out several that I like. Then I take those to the stylist and ask her which one will work and we proceed to “whack off” what I’ve been working on for the better part of 2 or 3 years! At the end she whirls me around and whal-la all is fixed right? No more “awful” hair. And for that brief moment that is correct. I feel so much better and my hair looks great.

Then comes the morning after. I wake up the next day and it begins in the shower, as I shampoo my hair I realize just how much hair I got rid of yesterday. Did I go too far? Is it too short? Well, what’s done is done. The next dose of reality comes as I begin to try and style my “new do”. I remember what my stylist did the day before, but my hands cannot perform the task at hand. Finally, by the time it is dry it just looks like a mess on top of my head. It looks nothing like it did when I walked out of the salon yesterday and now I am beginning to regret my decision to cut my hair and at the moment vow to begin to grow it out again. And so the cycle begins again.

For a long time I thought I was the only one who participated in this madness, but after talking with other women I found out I am not the only one! I am thankful this seems to be a common occurrence. Whether it is the length or style or color it seems like the feminine sex just can’t leave our hair alone. What is it about changing our hair that is so satisfying? I am really not sure. All I know is that changing my hair is usually quite satisfying and results in a bit of a “new me”.

I am looking forward to the final edition of my WDW series tomorrow! We’ll visit a GREAT park Disney Hollywood Studios. See you tomorrow!

Monday, September 21, 2009

My Wonderful Husband for Mindless Mondays

I thought I would put in one of my favorite pictures of my husband taken at Animal Kingdom during our visit there last December. My husband is simply wonderful. He is a working/stay at home dad. He takes care of everything while I'm away on business trips. He makes me laugh when I'm all "wound up". He picks up Makayla at after school. He does it all!! I can't ever thank him enough. So I post this pictures instead. It shows he fun loving personality.

Friday, September 18, 2009


I just realized I had not thanked Thais for this BEAUTIFUL blog. It is just wonderful and I can't thank her enough! If you need a blog redesign be sure to contact her ( She takes all of your visions and makes them a reality.

I am struggling to get followers and I am not sure how to make this group grow. Any suggestions?

I think that is it for today. My grandpa is having surgery on an aneurism, so extra prayers would be greatly appreciated.

Happy Friday! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Animal Kingdom (Walt Disney World)

This week I am featuring Animal Kingdom. This is a fabulous park. Keep in mind that this is largest (in total area) of all the parks and it has the shortest park hours.
This park is divided into 7 areas:
  • Oasis
  • Discovery Island® area
  • Camp Minnie-Mickey
  • Africa
  • Rafiki's Planet Watch® area
  • Asia
  • Dinoland, U.S.A.® area
We decided to tackle this park based on the rides we wanted to do and the wait times associated with those rides. For that reason we went directly to Asia, because it has both the Kali River Rapids and Expedition Everest. We decided to go on Kali River Rapids first for two reasons:
  1. The wait times can get REALLY long, even though they do offer a Fast Pass.
  2. The ride gets you WET and wanted time to dry off.
As a side note, this ride gets you REALLY WET. It turns out my daughter does not like to be wet. So, if you have a child that doesn’t like to get wet I would advise against this ride. My daughter complained for hours about being wet. We eventually had to purchase her a new shirt.

We then rode Expedition Everest. This is a GREAT roller coaster! It takes you through a track forward and backward. This attraction also has a fast pass. We got in line for the ride, as the wait was fairly short since we went their first and then we got Fast Passes for later in the day.

Note: Expedition Everest broke down later in the day. You may want to get there early to make sure you get to ride it!

To finish off Asia we went through the Maharajah Jungle Trek. This was a lot of fun! There are many types of animals and Disney staff around to answer questions. My daughter found the bat exhibit particularly interesting as there was some fruit hanging for them to eat. This is a great area for pictures!

Our next mission was to go on the Kilimanjaro Safari, so we went from Asia to Africa. The wait was not long for the Safari, so we hopped right inline. Be aware the last Safari ride goes out long before the park closes, so move this to the early part of your day so that you don’t miss out.

Note: I know I’ve said a couple of times “the wait wasn’t long” and you are probably wondering how I knew. So here is a little secret. The wait times for the ride are displayed that the beginning of the line. In addition, the times for which the Fast Passes are being distributed are also shown above the Fast Pass machines. We would always look at the wait time first to see if it was 30 minutes or less. We felt that 30 minutes was a reasonable wait time as even with Fast Passes the wait can be as much as 20 minutes. Plus if the wait time was short and the Fast Passes were in later in the day, we would have one of us got get Fast Passes while the others stood inline.

The Kilimanjaro Safari ride is lots of fun. The animals are just moving around freely and provide for some great photographic moments. In addition to the animals, Disney puts their own spin on it by making it feel like you are on a safari adventure, even with the inclusion of chasing some poachers. My daughter loved this ride and was really into “getting the bad guys”. This is a must ride during your visit to Animal Kingdom.

The additional attraction in Africa is Pangani Forest Exploration Trail. This is similar to the Maharajah Jungle Trek, as you are walking through an exhibit with a variety of animals. This particular attraction includes gorillas and hippos. Fun for all!!

After we finished in Africa we traveled to Rafiki's Planet Watch® area. You must travel there by train. So look for Wildlife Express Train from Africa. As you travel along the train you get to see some of the animals night time sleeping quarters and other behind the scenes goodies. Once you get to Rafiki’s Planet you must go to the Affection Section. This is a petting zoo and is great fun for kids of all ages. Have your camera ready and watch out for the goats. My mother set down her backpack and they began to rifle through it (see picture below).

There are some additional attractions in this area including Habitat Habit, which shows you all about cotton-top tamarins. This is an exciting and interesting exhibit. The final attraction is Conservation Station. Unfortunately, we missed out on this exhibit during our visit.

To continue our journey we headed back on the Wildlife Express Train to Africa, where we then proceeded to Dinoland U.S.A. Here we first acquired Fast Passes for the ride DINOSAUR. We then went on the Primeval Whirl ride. This is a lot of fun, but beware if you get motion sickness. I have this problem, and I had taken medicine before going to the park and I still was feeling a bit woozy once I got off the ride. We went back with our Fast Passes and rode DINOSAUR. This is a GREAT ride. Lots of fun with a little bit of thrill. Not too scary and just enough excitement to keep everyone laughing and screaming. This is a MUST RIDE in Animal Kingdom.

Dinoland also includes:

  • Cretaceous Trail
  • Finding Nemo - The Musical
  • Dino-Sue
  • Fossil Fun Game
  • The Boneyard
  • TriceraTop Spin

We did not ride these rides or view the attractions due to time restrictions. At the time, we had Fast Pass tickets for a second ride on Expedition Everest and had to head back to Asia. Unfortunately, when we got there the ride was broken, so we didn’t get to go again.

We finished off our day with in my opinion the best attraction in the park, It’s Tough to be a Bug. We visited this attraction at night, and the line was not long. In fact, we were basically able to ride it back to back, which my daughter loved because she loved this attraction. It is a 4-D “movie” with great “extra” effects. This is a must visit.

We ran out of time so that concluded our visit to Animal Kingdom. Unfortunately, we missed out on Camp Minnie-Mickey which included two shows (Festival of the Lion King and Pocahontas and Her Forest Friends) and a character greeting trail.

Because this park has shorter hours due to the animals, I would STRONGLY suggest if you have one extra day to spend it here in order to be able to enjoy the entire park.

Here are some links for Animal Kingdom:

Next week I will conclude this series with the final major park at WDW, Disney Hollywood Studios. Have a great remainder of the week!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Why Pay Your Bills on Time?

As we all know paying your bills on time is key, especially for your credit score’s sake. However, I wanted to share a little experience that I had. Our family is a paycheck to paycheck family. Often times I am a little short or waiting for money to come in when a bill is due. At first I sacrificed everything for the bill to be there on the due date, but in the end I usually would pay many overdraft fees on my other transactions just to get the bill paid. Please do not think I am advocating not to pay your bills on time, but if you find yourself between a rock and a hard place these things in mind:

  1. Most of the time the late fee on a particular bill is less than the sum of overdraft fees you would be charged from the bank for additional transactions coming in. For example, most late fees are a small percentage (2-5%) of the bill, while overdraft fees are usually $25-$35 per transaction.
  2. Late payments are usually only reported to the credit bureau if they are 30 days overdue. So you are probably OK if you are only looking at only a few days late.
  3. Put your family first. If you are like us and have no credit cards, I have made the choice that my family and the food and necessities we need come first. I always try to pay all my bills on time, but if I have to choose paying a bill on the due date and getting some food for the table; I put food on the table. In our case most of the time the money we need to pay the bill is usually 1-3 days out, because my husband is a contractor and gets paid sporadically.

I want to reiterate that I am NOT advocating for not paying your bills on time. I just wanted to share that being 1-5 days late on your bill is not the end of the world, as I once thought it was, and making sure that your family has what it needs is really key.

Do any of you experience this financial juggling? How do you handle it?

As a side note, I am SO excited about continuing my posts on Walt Disney World. Tomorrow I will feature Animal Kingdom! Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Work/Kids Out of Balance

The title says it ALL the balance between work and my family is out of whack, and last night topped it off for me. We had our business partner in town for a meeting. They had brought people from all over the globe in for this meeting. As is common for the business world, at the end of the day we all went out for dinner. Since I get to set the schedule, we set dinner start time for 5:30 pm in hopes we would be done early. Well I was WRONG! We didn't leave the restaurant until after 8:00 pm!!! By the time I got home my daughter was in bed asleep.

That is when it really hit me. I did not get to talk about her day. I wasn't there to help with homework. I wasn't there to read with her. I just WASN'T THERE PERIOD!!! This really upset me, but I can't see a way to change. I have to work and since I'm in sales and marketing, these dinners and the travel are part of my job description.

I guess I am just feeling like I'm missing out on a big part of my kids lives because I have to make money and I wish that I could have both and not have to choose.

And now that I have posted this in the back of my mind there is a voice saying, “OK enough whoa is me. My kids are healthy and really you can't ask for more than that. And life isn't fair, no one said it was. So I just need to dust myself off and be thankful for what I have!” So I’ve just that and I continue to battle the world of mom versus working woman.

I hope everyone is having a good week. Stay tuned for tomorrow's Why Wednesday featuring "Why Pay Those Bills on Time?"

Friday, September 11, 2009

EPCOT (Walt Disney World)

I must admit that EPCOT is my FAVORITE park. I love learning about all the cultures, eating the food and seeing the performers. That being said here are my suggestions in regards to the EPCOT.

When we went last December, we had my daughter who was 5 at the time. If you have a little girl, then the lunch with the princesses is a MUST. You have to make reservations for this and even though we called 5 months in advance, there was only one time remaining on the day we were going to EPCOT. Before you are seated you get to meet a princess, get their autograph, and have a picture taken. For our visit this princess was Belle. We had purchased a princess autograph book for our daughter and a princess pen. She LOVED it and got all the princesses autographs throughout the lunch and during on entire visit at Walt Disney World. While you are eating four different princesses visit your table and pose for pictures. Our princesses were Jasmine, Sleeping Beauty, Alice, and Cinderella. Here is a link about the dining with the princesses.

EPCOT is divided into two sections: The World Showcase and Future World. Because the World Showcase is open later and there are really not any lines to get in, we focused the start of our day on Future World.

Future World is broken up into several Pavilions.
The Seas Pavilion
The Land Pavilion
The Imagination Pavilion
The Energy Pavilion
The Space Pavilion
Test Track Pavilion

We decided to tackle Future World counter clockwise, but we did send my husband and father-in-law off once again to get Fast Passes for Test Track, while we rode The Seas with Nemo and Friends in the Seas Pavilion. This was a nice starter ride as there was NO line. From here we went to Turtle Talk with Crush. This is a GREAT min-show. The kids sit down front and Crush takes questions. My daughter was mesmerized by the "movie magic". This is definitely a MUST!

We then walked over to the Land Pavilion in Future World where we got fast passes for Soarin'. If you want to ride Soarin' I would highly suggest a Fast Pass and you must get one early. I believe we were in the Lands at around 10am and we ended up with Fast Passes for 8pm that night! Wait time for the ride was also around 90 minutes. (As a side note: When we got back to the ride that night with our fast passes, the wait time for the ride was 190 minutes!) We didn't end up doing any other rides in this section as it was time for our Fast Passes at Test Track and we just ran out of time.

Test Track is a MUST for your visit. It is A LOT of fun! You get to experience what a "test dummy" goes through while testing a car. Again this is another ride I would STRONGLY recommend a Fast Pass.

After Test Track, we headed to the Imagination Pavilion, because we want to ride Journey into Imagination with Figment. This is a VERY fun ride for kids, and even adults. Once you complete the ride you go into a room with all kinds of hands-on activities brought to you by Kodak. You could easily spend 30 minutes to an hour in here taking in all the activities.

After this point we decided to head into the World Showcase. We did this for 2 reasons. First, we had lunch with the princesses at 2pm and we were getting close to that time and second, we had decided to forgo the other big ride in Future World, Mission Space as we had read that this is the ONLY ride in the entire Disney park that provided barf bags. I don't know about you, but I get motion sickness VERY easily and I was not interested in "yawning in Technicolor" while at the park. So we skipped it.

We also missed the Energy Pavilion which has a show called Ellen's Energy Adventure. This looked very interesting and is something we would have like to see had we had time. We also missed "Honey I Shrunk the Audience", which also looked very interesting

To keep the information grouped together I will tell you about the Spaceship Earth ride now, even though we waited until evening to ride this one. This is the ride in the "BIG ball" which is the signature piece of EPCOT. This is a seated ride that goes through the entire ball and talks you through a walk through time from the early dawning to the future. A great ride for all ages, with a special interactive bit at the end!

So now I'll move on to the World Showcase which contains:
Norway (location of the princess lunch)
United Kingdom

There is a TON to see and do in these lands. I'll highlight a few.

In Mexico there is a boat ride that talks about Mexico and features the Three Caballeros. It is a lot of fun for everyone and provides some interesting information. In the area where you wait in line there is a small open market with a variety of Mexican made goods. This is a fun place to look around.

In Norway there is another boat ride, this one is focused on the Vikings and includes a minor exciting "drop". Again, some very interesting information to be gathered here.
In China there are some nice shops and a good restaurant. We got our daughter a Chinese umbrella with her name written in Chinese on the outside.

When you go to Germany you MUST go to the glass shop. They have FANTASTIC glasses and beer steins. You can have your purchased engraved with a name. We found these to be VERY reasonable gifts that had a lot of meaning.

In USA is the American Adventure. We missed out on this attraction as it was closed during our visit. It is listed as a "thrill to an epic theatrical event with authentic historical characters, magnificent music and extraordinary effects on stage and screen." There is also an amphitheatre where live performances happen periodically throughout the day. If you want to see one of these performances, send a family member WAY before showtime (I believe they were recommending 1 hour) to stand in line for seating. The line fills up fast and as seats are fist come first serve, the closer you are to the front of the line the better seats you'll get.

A MUST MUST stop is the bakery in France. The pastries are WONDERFUL! Sit down and enjoy a little piece of France! You won't regret it!

The remaining lands have interesting sites and shops and food stations. If you have a particular ancestry, be sure to stop by that land for acts, special items, and delicious native food. It is important to note that Disney brings in people from that particular country to work in the shops and restaurants. Be sure to look at their name tags to see exactly where they are from!

Finally, you must stay until the park closes, as they put on a FANTASTIC laser and fireworks display at the end of the day. We watched the show from the United Kingdom and had a nice view. Although I think they recommend viewing it in USA. People begin congregating along the fence which surrounds a big lake, which is the centerpiece of World Showcase about 30 minutes before the show. Please note that the pretty much turn all the lights out in the park during the show, so it is best to find a spot and remain there until it is over.

EPCOT is simply fantastic. In order to really experience it I would recommend 2 days. One day devoted to Future World, and another day devoted to World Showcase.

Here are some links for EPCOT:

As usual, if you have questions I'd love to here them! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Today for Why Wednesday, I'd like to post a poem I wrote called "Why?". My family is going through some struggles right now. Although these struggles are not serious, i.e. health, they are putting a strain on my family and although I know it will all work itself out in the wash, it is not making things any easier right now. I hope you enjoy my poem and that maybe it can help you through tough times as it has me.

There are times in life we question why,
A loving God makes us cry.

In these times the road of life,
Is filled with turmoil and strife.

And even though the times are hard,
We must remember it is in the cards.

The good times and the bad,
The happy and the sad.

Always in our times of grief,
The Lord is providing relief.

So when the times are more than you can bear,
Look up to heaven and know He is there.

Waiting for a simple prayer,
To ask Him for His loving and precious care.

-S. Canfield
Copyright 2007

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Black Magic's Story

I promised on my first blog to tell you the story of how I got my horse Black Magic. I can't find a better day than today to do that. From the paper work I have on her she was sold at an auction as a 2-year old with a puffy knee. The couple who bought her put her in a pasture with another horse. Some series of unfortunate events occurred with the couple and the man was removed from the location with the horses. It was my understanding that he did most of the work with the horses. The woman was no very familiar with horses and it turns out the Magic did not like her at all. Magic would chase the woman around the field biting and kicking at her. In the end the woman could not take it anymore and put Magic in the paper. The ad said "Free to anyone who can catch her." Thankfully this ad was read by the founder and president of Denkai Animal Sanctuary Floss Blackburn. Floss and her team went to the property and spent an entire day trying to get Magic loaded. They finally did and took her to the sanctuary.

I am not sure how long she was at the sanctuary before I came along, but I don't think it was very long. So here is how I got involved. I wanted to get involved with horses and began looking for some place in Northern Colorado that had this capability. I stumbled across Denkai on the internet and saw that you could sponsor horses. Well of course I was all over that! I looked through the list of available horses to sponsor and found Magic. I loved her just from her picture and contacted Floss about being her sponsor.

To begin with I would go out on my lunch break and as often as possible to just be near her. She would not let me too close at first and so I'd just stand and talk to her. Then one evening I went out to see her and she had a cut over her eye. Floss was not there, but I had her cell phone number and called her. By the time Floss got back it was dark and we had to work by the "light of the moon". One of the people who help Floss at the sanctuary is Darrin. He is VERY experienced with all types of horses. (He is also a VERY patient and wonderful farrier. His contact info can be found at the bottom of this post if you need a new farrier or horse trainier.) He had a rope halter that we need to get on Magic so we could treat her cut. Well she didn't want any of that. I was the only one who could get close enough to her, so Darrin gave me the rope halter. I had NEVER haltered a horse before. I understood the concept, but didn't know exactly what I needed to do. Magic let me put the halter over her face and then Darrin instructed me on how to tie it so it wouldn't come off. We treated her cut and she was on the mend.

I continued my visits and then Floss was forced to move the sanctuary, which meant haltering Magic and loading her into a trailer. Well we got her into a round pin and it took me ALL day to get her haltered. She was one of the last animals to be moved that day. Once Magic was haltered she was fine in the trailer and rode along quietly.

At the new location, I tried to work on getting her to halter easier, but it was quite a distance from my house and I wasn't getting out as often as I wanted. So I talked to Floss about adopting her and she thought that would be great idea. So in October of 2006 I moved her to a boarding facility near my home.

I have continued to work with Magic, although her training is not as far along as I'd like. But I love her and just spending time with her makes me happy!

So that's it. That's the story of how I came to have my wonderful horse Black Magic!

Darrin’s Contact Info
Darrin Hill

Friday, September 4, 2009

Magic Kingdom (Walt Disney World)

First let me apologize for not getting this post up yesterday. Unfortunately I was sick (back to school germs makin' their way through our household). But I'm healed and ready to talk about travelin' to the Magic Kingdom!

This is a HUGE park with SO much to do. We were there from park opening to park closing and just barely got everything we wanted to do in. I would really recommend 2 or 3 days for this park! Here are a few tips for navigating Magic Kingdom:

1. Because the park is so large, do your best not to criss cross the park. Try to ride all the rides in one land before going to the next land.

2. The following rides typically gather LONG lines. Try to either get to them early in the day or get a Fast Pass to come back later:

  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Splash Mountain
  • Big Mountain Thunder Railroad
  • Space Mountain
  • Peter Pan' Flight
  • Small World
  • Ariel’s Grotto

Note: Small World, Ariel’s Grotto, and Pirates of the Caribbean don't have Fast Pass.

3. Don't be afraid to send someone for a Fast Pass. My husband and father-in-law were not interested in riding Peter Pan's Flight, so they headed to Tomorrowland to get Fast Passes for Space Mountain and Stitches' Great Escape. This worked out well. By the time they got back we were all able to move right over and ride Small World together.
Note: You can only get a Fast Pass every so many minutes (as I recall it was every 20- 30 minutes). So you may have to choose which ride you want a Fast Pass for first.

4. As I said before find out what everyone wants to see most and move those things to the top of your list. This way everyone will have a GREAT day at the park.

5. Use baby swap on those rides that have height restrictions. Baby swap enables one of you to hold the child while the other rides and then as soon as one of you gets back, the other one can get right on the ride!

6. There are several parades and shows throughout the day. If you want to see these, make sure to make time in your schedule and find you spot to sit early as good places to view the parade from fill up fast.

7. In Tomorrowland there is an attraction called Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor. Before the show you can text a joke and they may use it for the show (instructions are on monitors). I put in a joke using my daughter's name and she got a HUGE kick out of it when they said her name and the joke, making the trip it a really special experience.

8. If your family has no preference I would start in Tomorrowland, and then work counter clockwise through the park.

9. The Tiki Room is a great attraction with lots of music and fun for all! As a bonus it is INSIDE! So if you are there on a hot day, you can at least get out of the sun!

Below are a couple of direct links about the Magic Kingdom with some additional advice about navigating the park.

Have questions? I'd be happy to answer any! Have a great holiday weekend!
Next Thursday I'll cover EPCOT!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Why Wait to Have Children

I often hear newly married couples being either bugged to have children or they are anxious to start having kids. I am a firm believer in waiting to have children, because children totally change your life and your relationship with your spouse. It is a wonderful thing, but it can be quite stressful and if you have not taken the time as a couple to build a good foundation, you could find yourselves struggling to make it all work.

If you are newly married, my advice is it to take a couple of years to enjoy each other. Get out there and do all kinds of stuff. Develop new hobbies together. Take trips (even if they are just day trips). Laugh together, be spontaneous! Learn about each other and how each of you is wired. Not only are you building a foundation for your marriage, but then when you have kids you can talk about some of the stuff you used to do before kids, and have something to look forward to when they leave. ;)

I think a coworker of mine described it best. He and his wife used to go camping all the time. They would just decide spur of the moment and take off. They recently had their first child, and what really changed for them is the time it takes to prepare to go somewhere with a baby. It takes several hours and many bags and gadgets and toys to take a baby or child with you.

On a personal level, what changed most for my husband and I was the inability to participate in our passion, drag racing. BC (before children) my husband and I were either at the track racing or working on our cars EVERY weekend. We loved it and had a great time doing it. When I became pregnant with my daughter, I stopped. And then once she was born because of finances and time, my husband also quit driving. I can tell you there is not a day that goes by that we would not love to be drag racing again. It was a source of stress relief for us and just A LOT of FUN!

Please don’t get me wrong, I would not change having my kids for the world. They are lights of joy when the road seems so dark, but they also require all of my attention. I often it tough to give my husband the attention he needs, because (and maybe it is because I'm the mom) but I put my kids first. Right or wrong I know that at times my husband needs more from me that I am not able to give because of kids, job and (truthfully) my animals. I am thankful that I have a wonderful husband and we have a strong foundation, so he understands. I feel that if we had not had those years of “just the two of us” that we may either be wondering why we are in this relationship or even possibly thinking about leaving.

So this is the advice I give to all couples, be a couple first and then become a family.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic! Please put your comments below! Have a WONDERFUL Wednesday!