Quick Recap: 3 trips to DISNEYLAND!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Within the same year (2014),  I went to Disneyland a total of THREE times! And each was so, so fun. Currently we live just an hour from Anaheim -which is like no drive at all, compared to what it could be, if you know anything about socal traffic -so why wouldn't we? Here are some pictures and snippets from each...

First trip: New Years 2014
On this trip, Marshall & I just drove up to Anaheim and stayed at Disneyland for the day. We didn't want to stay the night yet, because we had 3-day park hopper passes and wanted to divide up our trips. It was a full day, my camera wasn't working, but we definitely did a lot in such a short time!(At this point we were living in California for just under a year... and we finally made it!) Before this, the only other time I've been to Disneyland was in high school band- we marched the Rose Bowl Parade in 2007, and all those involved went to the park for a day!
Second trip: Anniversary/Birthdays 2014 (August)
This trip was definitely more planned! I took advantage of the ITT services on base and booked us a one-night stay at the Grand Californian hotel, connected to the Disney California Adventure park! Other than our honeymoon it was surely the nicest hotel stay we've had, despite it being so short. Such a beautiful hotel which takes so much inspiration from the Redwoods and various national parks in the state, seen in their décor. It was so nice to have short lines to get in the park through the hotel and to be able to go back midday for naps! We sure had fun.
Third trip: Girls'/Family Trip/Cousin's Bday (November '14)
I was so excited for the planning stages of this trip as soon as we found out we had family coming! My little cousin was having a birthday and she was just the perfect age to explore Disneyland and get a lot out of it - not too young, not too old. It was a surprise, too. (Trip consisted of my mom, aunt, cousin, and myself) This time we used the 3-day military hopper pass deals as well and explored Disneyland more than the other park- that's where all the princesses were, of course. We also were able to get pictures with all 13 of them! Love this photo with the statue of Walt & Mickey, and the castle behind us.
This doesn't include the handful of times I went just to Downtown Disney.....
First time: Seeing Maleficent at the AMC when it came out! (May '14)
Marshall was away for a month and Maleficent released in that time, so I did what anyone who lived within an hours' drive of Disneyland would do.... I drove out to spend the day in Downtown Disney! Then I saw one of the first showings of the movie at the AMC there. It was a nice, relaxing, people-watching day. And it wasn't too crazy yet for summer!
Second time: Seeing Cinderella at the AMC when it came out! (March '15)
{Yes, this was at the theatre there... Just believe me it was!}
This time I just decided to head to Anaheim early in the morning to see Cinderella the day after it released- the theatre was packed, as was Downtown Disney in general----this was the timing of spring break, for many. In this trip I also was able to explore those fun Pandora charms and found a brand-new one for my friend Holly. Asking about it gave me a new button: "Honorary citizen of Disneyland." I don't have a picture of that, but it will surely show up on google. How neat! {Anyone else collect buttons from the parks?!}
Some photos from the trips...
"Adventure is out there!" At the California Adventure park, there was an entire camp based off Russell's boy-scout-ness in the movie Up! Love that movie- this reminds me that I need to watch it again.

Their eyes were screens and the animatronics on the cars were so detailed.. It was just like watching the movie Cars! (Also California Adventure)

So cool lit up at night- In my opinion, the only time to go explore Cars Land (in the California Adventure park) Fun that the café was set up as a gas station- you know, because they are cars.

A talking and moving and blinking Olaf on top of the snow on the buildings in Fantasyland.. This was the spot where the Frozen meet & greet was, though I've heard it's moved since then. The last day, as soon as we arrived, we ran to this section in order to get Fastspasses to meet Elsa & Anna. You could see all the dads of little Elsa's were running to get in line as well- those tickets ran out just in the first couple hours (and some little girls were very upset at that!). Hopefully now there are multiple and more efficient locations. It was a little crazy!

A different view of the Sleeping Beauty castle...

Teapots!! So fun! The Mad Hatter store was next to this, which housed some of the most unique Mickey ears and hats! Some of which you can only find there. These teapots are where I met Pluto & he sat in our teacup when I was at this park in high school. Such a fun photo- if I can find it somewhere that is!

Entrance to Tomorrowland & Matterhorn bobsleds- neat shot!

Storybook canal- this slow water ride was a nice little break from all the walking. Kind of really enjoyed it!

Love the balloons! Had to get a creative-like shot (I try)

Neat water & lights show... Frozen was center stage!

I had to at least attempt to do the smolder with Rapunzel & Eugene...

We had to get Fastpasses to meet Elsa & Anna.. they have their own private room and everything (they are so popular- as previously mentioned).. Not sure if they've changed how they do meet & greets now. Elsa said that she still hasn't exactly approved of Kristoff & Anna's wedding yet.. I asked!

I asked Mickey to strike a pose after we got a group shot with him in his house in Toontown!
I may have another post later on with more details about where and when we were able to find all 13 princesses and get photos and signatures... But that's for another day. (In the meantime the site Disneyland Prep School has everything you need to know & more! There is also one for WDW)
There was so much more to these Disney trips than just a couple photos! In total, during the past 2 years I've gone to Disneyland for six different days and spent some time in Downtown Disney during all of those days plus a couple more. It's been fun and I can say now that I am perhaps Disneyland-park-ed-out.. And ready to move on to bigger and better things...  Disney World in Florida! I wonder when we will be able to make it out there.... So much more to see!

this sweet season

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

I just knew it from the start. When we started talking about having a child a few years ago, I just knew our first was going to be a boy. Maybe it was a mother's intuition or a nagging feeling or maybe I just convinced myself so much because I thought it would be best (just right) for us, knowing us - a firstborn son. But I just knew it a long time ago. And in fact, we knew his name before we were even married - if you knew us then, while we were dating, you may have a guess or two on why or how - but we aren't sharing that yet. It was kind of an unspoken agreement- we only had to bring it up briefly once, and it just made sense. We know his name, and we know we will have a boy - so why wouldn't our firstborn truly be a boy? There is just something about all of this... how wonderful it is! When we were driving back from the doctor's appointment a few weeks ago, where we sat through an extremely long anatomy ultrasound - everything was measured and checked to see how our little man is growing (he is perfect!) - there was no question about it. We immediately started calling him by name. And there were a few times when we thought to sit on it and see if it's right... but it didn't take long to realize that it is.
It's funny in some ways, because I started calling him by name as soon as we found out we were expecting. Because we've known the name for so long, and because I've just known, without a doubt - anyone else ever feel that way? - that we were having a boy, I've been calling him "little man" and by his name for months and months.
Interested in a painting like this one for your nursery?
Send me an email or PM on Etsy (Link in menu)
We are now at 21 weeks - today! - with our little man, which is just over 5 months along. It is incredible to think that we are already halfway to seeing his sweet face for the first time! (Other than on an ultrasound!) When we were at the doctor's appointment a few weeks ago and saw him, I was really surprised that we were able to see him in 4D as well - we were able to get some good pictures of his sweet face. He is definitely a Newsom baby - the cheekbones and forehead tell it all! He already takes after his daddy, wiggling his fingers in the womb - "spirit fingers" - just like he says he did when he was little. It is really exciting to think of what his personality will be like - which family members he will take after - even what color hair he will have. It could be red, brown, or blonde... We carry the traits of all. And will his eyes be brown, green, or blue?? I wonder!! How sweet it will be, the day we meet him!
Already, baby showers are being planned and registries are scanned and a few clothes are sitting on a shelf. Already we have a convertible crib, glider, and changing table. We even have his first little Aggie jersey (ebay) and Aggie hat (thanks mom!) - as well as a onesie with the state of Texas (Etsy!) on it, because it's all kind of a given., knowing us... All of our parents are just over the moon and excited for this new season, and my mom even has some baby gear ready for him, whenever we visit- which will be nice not to have to carry around some things in travel! (like a jumper, playpen, swim gear, etc) At this point, knowing how much time we still have to meet him, we feel set now on prepping for baby.. Once we are home somewhat soon and get into the third trimester around that time, baby prep will be in full swing again. It will be so fun to be able to put together his nursery with the help of family around, and to be back and able to see everyone in driving distance - and a couple more baby showers, too.
This is such a sweet season we are entering into now! It is hard to explain how it feels knowing that you carry a little life inside of you - a little perfect heartbeat, which sounds so different from mine with my history - and knowing that he is the first of the next generation of our family... The first grandbaby! We feel so blessed to finally be given this gift of a little life, and everyday give thanks to the One who made it possible (Psalm 139). Our season of waiting is over, and this new season of expectancy is here! Knowing and hearing time and again the wonder from my docs that I was a miracle baby makes me even more grateful for this little baby I'm blessed to be able to carry and bear. Yes, having anywhere from 2-5 doctor's appointments a month is truly exhausting and a bit daunting, but it's worth it.  (There's another one tomorrow actually!) Baby and I are being well taken care of, and the constant check-ins (and long drives that go along with them) might be tiresome but definitely put me at ease knowing that we are both doing well. And a bonus, we get an ultrasound each month because of this! Getting to see him more often than not is definitely a blessing, and we are so excited for the day this fall when we will meet him for the first time and look into his sweet face!
You are so very loved, little one.

Hello June!

Monday, June 1, 2015

There's been quite a bit going on lately... And I haven't been around this little blog as much as I was planning on. So a few things we are up to...
Right now I'm in the midst of a spring cleaning overhaul of sorts- books, craft things, old clothes, and things we (I) have just collected over the years. I've always seemed to have a hard time parting with things- I keep pictures, old wrapping paper, construction paper, knick knacks, around for who knows how long because I might need it one day for a craft! So this past week I have taken four boxes of "craft supplies" and narrowed it down to one quilting/sewing box, one other crafts box, and one small box of paints (and canvases). There was much more than just a couple Rubbermaid tubs or organization bins worth of it- say three LARGE packing boxes worth- so I felt pretty accomplished at how much bigger the laundry room/storage room felt after I finished that! Though there is still a lot to just sort through...Since I finished the closets and bookcases, it's really only the laundry/storage room left. I don't know how many times I've gone down the road to the park n ride lot to drop off boxes of knick knacks and clothes and books to donate! (There is a donation drop off container there! So convenient)
We have our property in Texas and are looking into buying a house in town- we have basically found what we wanted, we just need to wait to get it checked out and all.. And then if we are sure, move forward sometime this summer. We will see how all pans out in God's timing but it is really exciting to think about buying a home soon! Since we are able to move home once Marshall gets out of the military sometime in the very near future, we are starting to look a little more seriously about where we are living! (I know, still vague, that's just how it goes waiting on the military)
Katherine Newsom's photo.Our little Newsom is today at 18 and a half weeks along, and we are just so excited to meet him this October! Our blessing is growing and growing, and that baby bump is getting to be much more noticeable than before. I am now past that chubby/bloat stage... Honestly, I feel like I did start showing early on but that was more based on how much I ate that day, even though some of it was maybe still a bump! Especially being more petite than not, little one is easier to notice. He is the first grandbaby in our immediate family so there is much anticipation! It will also be good to be in our home state for the end of the pregnancy (God willing), and to be around family to help and visit with more often than not! God's timing is never what we think we want, but is always what we need! We are very thankful for His Hand in all of this, as we can already see.
{And we do have a name but that's a special secret for a variety of reasons, to most-- we've known his name for a long time, since we were dating, to be honest. I think we can keep it quiet for a little longer! And yes I already made him a monogram painting!}
Other than all that, I am still painting (finishing up pop art I started last year..), taking certification courses online (so yes, I'm still in school), and in the midst of a lot of waiting for doctor's appointments, still. Last month was much slower with only one appointment, but this month (June) I have FOUR! Again! By this point I am used to going into the naval hospital so often, especially because I need to be watched closely in pregnancy by my different doctors, but it does get to be a lot and often overwhelming. Good news about this- we get two different ultrasounds of our little boy this month! Spoiled!
I would also like to ask for prayers- I've been looking at jobs/outlook for that time when we are moving home and have been nervous about finding something so late into the pregnancy (by that point) being high-risk --- or with a newborn! So this has led to a slightly different search and I have found a public school online in Texas, which I applied to, and interviewed last week! I am currently waiting for an email about a second interview...and it's SO suspenseful! Having this job would be an incredible blessing and would fit just right into our changing family dynamic, because I would be able to teach grades 3-5 in a distance-online-classroom using blackboard and the like (basically, it's set up how my school was with Liberty Univ.). Meaning I would stay home with our little one while working, and once a month or so travel the state (road trip!) to meet with students and do testing and the like. It's good news all around, other than the waiting part-- to hear back. We seem to always be in a season of waiting! So we would really appreciate prayers for this- each of our job outlooks and how everything will fit into the changes going on in our little family! We know that in His time God will bring us the home and jobs and orders we need, so we are trying not to get ahead of ourselves! I still struggle with this. The unknown is really stressful at times!
The other week, we took a road trip up to Sonoma/San Francisco/etc areas... California is really a beautiful place! The entire area was overcast, rainy, and cloudy most of the time, so we weren't able to get as "pretty" pictures as we have seen previously, but we saw it! That's another thing checked off the bucket list. We didn't spend any time in the city- just drove through it- so there were a few things there that we didn't see. Such as the Ghiradehlli restaurant, Stinky Rose (garlic) restaurant, the fisherman's wharf, Alcatraz, and the Walt Disney Family Museum. But that was my list- and since we didn't really care for the city- we drove right past it all. Who knows if one day we might vacation to northern California again.... eventually! We did drive on the Golden Gate Bridge which was cool! Yet maybe one day we can walk on it too, there is a lot to see with different plaques and memorials along the way about those who built the bridge.
 Later I'll post more of all the little road trips we've taken and activities and such.... Mostly pictures. I've been very sporadic with this blog because of everything going on with us right now and trying to figure out how this little blog will fit into it all, while also trying to keep a focus. I don't want to be all over the board with the writing so I'm thinking this will be more for family, faith, and travel updates-which makes much more sense than what I've done in the past, sponsoring and recipes and posts "just because" - without a set purpose.
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