It’s the truth…it’s actual

…everything is satisfactual…

It’s good to be back. We had a blast. I need a vacay from my vacay.

First things first: major special thanks to the super talented ladies who filled in for me while I was away. They had such wonderful spaces, ideas, and projects, I was completely enthralled, myself. It was awesome to take a much needed break!

Today, it just felt appropriate to share a few of our oh so silly family photos with you. This trip kind of felt like our first official real live expensive grown-up trip to take with our children. That actually means all by ourselves. I mean, we’ve been parents for six whole years now, so it just felt like it was time to have a little fun. It was a bit intimidating to think of handling three small children with an eight hour car ride, grossly huge crowds, and crazy parks. To be honest, there were moments when I wanted to scream and pull all my hair out…and sometimes, scream and shove the person who just cut me off. But most of the time, there were moments like the ones below. With bright eyes, excited faces, and brilliantly wonderful picture perfect moments. These photos are only scratching the surface, so without further ado…

Jamin on the bridge in the exact location where we previously had our photo taken…11 years later from when I worked there circa 2000. Who knew, right?

The kids were donning their outfits every morning. Aiden actually never put up a fight. Emerson, however, was another story. I had to convince her that certain things would “glow” on the rides. {One experience with a white shirt + a black light and she was like a drug addict looking for her next fix.}

Don’t throw stones, but I decided that they’re only young once, so I invested a little in Bibbity Bobbity Boutique. Emerson begs me constantly to play in my makeup. And since I only let her dabble in lipgloss around the house, {Don’t worry. We are all up in the inner beauty over in this hizzy} I thought this was an especially wonderful treat. In the end, she refused to put her Ariel dress on {yep…the one I made for her} and the whole final look was a bit toddlers and tiaras for my taste. But she had a blast.

Emerson was able to dance with Cinderella. She loved every moment. And Aiden and I were able to ride Splash Mountain about a kazillion times in a row one slow night in the park, without ever stopping. If you ever wanted to send me to the insane asylum, lock me up and play that music on a constant loop.  Just sayin.’


Most days, we looked like this.

But the moments like this…were absolutely priceless.

I still want to share with you the video we captured of emerson the moment she saw Ariel. And I promptly made a fool of myself and teared up in the middle of the restaurant. There’s just something so precious about their excitement.

I would also show you the awesome video I had planned where they were supposed to freak out and start crying on the floor in the fetal position while they wet themselves and start doing the backwards crab walk a-la scary movie exorcist, when we told them where we were going…but I may as well have recorded the sound of crickets as that was the equivalent of said reaction. Probably the biggest let down of 2011…but it’s only because they didn’t fully understand what they were about to experience. We’ll do it again when they’re older and get on the dorky disney commercials. It may or may not be one of my life goals. “I’m too excited to sleeeeeeeeeeep!!!” {anyone?}


I think we all know Aiden’s favorite part of the entire experience. If only they were made of legos…oh wait…we did that too.

My miniature offspring are just funny. Especially when the ride broke down, and Malone started screaming, “Bad Zurg! Bad!”

Malone constantly said: “Bye Bye, Twain. I love you!” To the monorail every time it passed through the Contemporary {where we stayed.} He would have been content to ride it the entire time. He was a real treat.

Blast from the past: It’s a little blurry…and I wish I was still that skinny…but nice socks, Jamin. I am rockin those Berks. Nerd Alert: check out the technology jump in the image clarity…

A lot of you mentioned that you were interested in a post covering different features in the park, recommendations, etc…and I planned on doing a post on that-perhaps in a series, for any of you who are interested. I have a panel of experts lined up to help me…{and by panel of experts I mean well traveled moms-they are the best after all.} If you have any specific questions you want us to cover, please let us know.

Have you been to Walt Disney World, or do you plan to go in the future? What’s your favorite part about it all? Thanks for letting us share a few of our memories!


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Responses to It’s the truth…it’s actual

  1. Catherine says:

    My lovely mom just booked a trip to WDW in November for my boys. I’ve sworn her to secrecy until at least November 1st because there is no way I’ll survive months & months of “how many days until Disney?”. I’ll be looking forward to any posts you do with tips. :)

    Love your pictures, too! I’m glad to see we aren’t the only family that does emotional themes for pics (sleepy, scary, etc. ). You’ll have a lovely photo album of memories, for sure.

  2. jessica says:

    Hi Ashley! Wonderful photo’s, looks like you guys had a great time! We have taken the 3 kids a couple times in the last 3 years to disney (yes we r a little crazy!) & your pics of the “bippidy bopidy boutique” brought back great memories! My twin stepdaughters LOVED it! I think it took me 3 whole days to recover from the trip :) Thanks for sharing!

  3. I went three times as a child. I was a very lucky girl! I cannot wait to bring my children!

  4. Miranda says:

    Thank you for sharing! I’ve been reading your blog for a while and never commented, but this is one of my favorite subjects. :) We went in May, and it was just wonderful. We plan on making it a tradition to take the girls as a big celebration before each one starts kindergarten (and hopefully visit regularly after that, as well). This was the first time I had ever been, too! We took our three girls, 5, 3, and six months. Pretty much everyone said we were crazy, and my husband and I were basically prepared for a fun for the kids and crazy for us kind of trip. It was perfect though! My favorite memory was the Princess Meet and Greet at Town Square. The princesses were just so sweet and spent so much time with each of the girls. It could not have been more precious! I can’t wait to go back in 2013 when the next one starts school. :)

  5. Angela says:

    So glad you guys had a blast. My husband and I have booked a trip the first week of December and are super excited to take our little girl. She will be almost 2 when we are there and she is obsessed with all things Mickey so we are really excited to see her reaction. Any tips you have on traveling with little ones would be great!

  6. What fun. I soooo want to do this with my nieces when they are just a tad bit older.

  7. Kirby says:

    Looks like you all had a fabulous time!! I’m hosting a giveaway for a free digital scrapbook software where you can make scrapbooks and photo books from your trip! You should check it out!!

  8. Britsnap says:

    The Socks. Brilliant.

  9. Laura says:

    I’m too excited to sleeeeeeppp!!! :)
    I know you had SO MUCH fun. I can’t wait to go to Disney World as a family! The hubs & I went for our honeymoon, and that was my first time to ever go, and I LOVE IT. We’ve been once since then & now we don’t have money to go, haha. :) I love the pictures, and I’m glad y’all had a great trip!

  10. Wendy Till says:

    Ashley…Love the pictures! Looks like you guys had such an awesome time. We are going in December and I would love to know (since your kiddos are around the same ages as mine) what rides & attractions they liked the best, what they were bored with, scared of, etc…Also, what places did they enjoy eating at the most? We are also driving, so any tips on keeping sane while making the drive down would be much appreciated! Thanks!

  11. Teresa says:

    That is too funny. I just blogged about Disneyland yesterday. Its our favorite place EVER. We should collaborate and do a coast to coast comparison. One of these days we will make it to Florida…

  12. Christina says:

    Love it. I’m such a dork but is The Carousel of Progress still there? And I can only imagine what it’s like now but I remember that being one of my faves. I went when I was 8 and then again when I was 16 for a band trip. I want to go back and see what it’s like as an adult- thanks for some of the insight. My niece would LOVE the bippity boppity boutique makeover!!! To us it’s Toddlers & Tiaras- to them it’s “fancy”. 😉

  13. Page says:

    AH! I LOVE Disney! My husband and I went just before he left for his first round of military training – kind of a last hoorah before our lives got turned upside down. It was so perfect. I think Epcot (read: the Epcot food) was probably my favorite. Can’t wait to take our kids there one day!

  14. Mikki says:

    Looks like you had a wonderful time. I remember the first time we took our girls.. what a special wonderful time.

    We only live an hour away from Disney World so we are very blessed to be season pass holders. We go A LOT and have a great experience every time.

    Now that my girls are older, I like watching the joy and excitment of the younger kids. Such a magical happy place.

  15. Sarah says:

    I LOVED seeing this post! It made me want to go to a Disney park soooo badly! :) I’ve never been to DisneyWorld, but I’ve been to Disneyland a few times in my life. I got to go a couple times as a teen, and twice as a kid (only one time do I remember it though) and I can definitely say that hands down, I friggin LOVE Disney. I bet this will be a cherished childhood memories for your kids. 😀

  16. jami nato says:

    dude, you are still skinny.

    also, more importantly…your husbands shorts. WOW. the pleats are amazing and brightened my day for sure.

    and lastly, this trip looked hilarious and fun. good good memories.

  17. Beth Miller says:

    I love it!! Great pics and even better memories! We used to go to Disney every spring break with a huge group of families from school. We stayed in the Fleetwoods at Fort Wilderness. We went 6 years in a row from 6th-12th grades, and I knew those parks backwards and forwards. Now, I haven’t been in 14 years! I feel so old! There are so many new parks since I last went that I wouldn’t even know where to start! We hope to take our daughter in the next couple of years. She has a slight obsession with Mickey. Looking forward to your Disney series!

  18. Renee says:

    Thank you for sharing your family moments with us. I can NOT wait to have children and go to Disney, and I pray that I look like you after having 3.

    Way to go, braving the parks with the youngsters!

  19. Dorothy says:

    Super cute! It looks fun and sticky and hot and darling.

  20. Audra Lynn says:

    Oh, how fun! We took our kids for the first time (with the help of grandparents) when they were three and one. It was Thanksgiving weekend, and I must say, I would recommend Thanksgiving at Biergarten to anyone! So much fun. :)

  21. Katharine says:

    Thanks for sharing your memories. I am looking forward to seeing any videos you took. The first time I took Natalie, to Disneyland, was 2 days before she turned 3. She was free till that day. When she was 6 we got annual passes for a few years and it was great! At the end of the summer we’d stay up to four days and just go from the park to the pool to eat and then back to the park. Once we actually stayed with my mom and Aunt at the Disneyland Hotel. It was their 70 and 75th birthday that year. Other than dealing with the rain we had a blast. I made them special scrapbook books for their birthdays. I still haven’t done one for my daughter and that was in 2005. oops!

    I still want to go to Disney World. It opened when I was 9 and 40 years later I haven’t been yet. One more thing to look forward to in life.

  22. Jennifer says:

    How do you do? Doodle doodle doodle….
    I’m with you! Splash Mountain is my daughter’s favorite but you hear the music in your sleep! Good times…

    Thanks for sharing your great pictures. Darling family!

  23. We are going in Feb. I think. I am scared. That is all.

  24. Holly says:

    Great pics! We’re taking our girls (ages 3 and 5) to Disney World in 39 days. I hope your series is up and running before then : ) I could use some insider tips!

  25. Amy Blake says:

    Love the pics! We have taken our two kids (ages 8 & 10) several times. It’s our favorite family vacation destination! However, two years ago on Christmas morning, Santa brought our whole family (husbands side) a Disney vacation. My then-8-year-old daughter was ecstatic and said it was the best Christmas ever but my 6 year old son was less than impressed. He said he didn’t want to go to Disney again because he wanted to stay home and play with his new toys. Oh well, Santa tried! 😉 Can’t wait to see the video of your daughter seeing Ariel for the first time. My husband and I both got teary-eyed when we saw our daughter meet Belle for the first time. She was only 3 years old at the time and Belle was as real as real could be! Oh, how I miss those days!

  26. tina says:

    I just read your whole post before and after your trip to Disney World and I myself am a Disney freak. I live in California and we visit quite often to the magical place. I must admit I got teary eyed when your daughter was excited to Ariel. My second daughter LOVED Ariel. I also wish my girls were still small so I can pamper them and take tons of pictures like you at the Bibbity boutique. All of my 6 children are older and really only like the scary things now like haunted mansion and tower of terror, but that is o.k.. At least they still enjoy going and enjoy being with there parents! I loved reading about your experience and enjoy your time with them when they are young because they grow so fast!!