Friday, December 30, 2011

The Book

He did it.  Michael Ririe got all the funds necessary to get his book published!  The Now I Can photographic documentary book will be published!!!  I can't tell you how excited I am for this. 

#1 -- I love when people reach their goals.
#2 -- I love when people I like/love/admire/etc reach their goals.
#3 -- Samantha's in it.  And, well, that's just cool.
#4 -- And something I wrote is in there that's kind of fun for me too.

The goal was $12,000.  He needs $16,000 to cover all expenses.  You all have put in $12,970...and the nunmbers keep increasing.  I can't believe it.  Awesome! 

So, thank you all who pitched in, or who passed along an email, or posted it on facebook.  I'm so excited to see the finished project and will most likely be seeing it in March when Sammy commences her 2nd session of therapy there.

Happy New Year, indeed.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Night Before Christmas

Happy Christmas to all...and to all a good night.

With love,

The Green Family

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

To the Sun

I love the moments when you are filled with so much love for your kids that you are almost knocked over.  You know that feeling?  Today, I was in the car with Callie, and we were just talking.  And it hit me.  I'm so in love with this girl.  I love her so much.  I felt like I was going to burst.  And, so I said...
Mommy:  Callie, I just love you so much.  Really.  Do you know how much I love you?
Callie: To the moon.
Mommy:  Oh Callie, I love you even more than that.
Callie:  To the sun?
Mommy:  (big smile)  Exactly.  All the way to sun...and even more.  I love you kid. 

I look back and she's looking out the window, smiling. 

Now that's a moment.

Callie while we were picking out our Christmas tree.

Candace Party!

I have to admit, I love Phineas and Ferb.  It's funny.  And occassionally, songs get stuck in my head.  I saw this episode months ago, and this song has been stuck in my head ever since...and today, I saw it again.  I guess I'll be singing this one to myself for another 3 months or so.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Pass it Along

Almost four years ago, Callie came to our family.  Her adoption story is one of the best experiences of my life, and holding her for the first time is among the happiest days of my life.  While we were "waiting" for her, we created a pass along card of sorts.  We placed those in Christmas cards, and it was through that card that a friend thought of us for a birthmother and her baby.  Living states apart, we were connected through one. little. pass along card. 

As many of you know, we are going through the adoption process again. We have been encouraged by LDS Family Services (our adoption agency) to seek out our child.  In an attempt to do so, we created our family pass along cards with our picture and information about our family on the back of our cards.

If you would like to be a part of this process with us, we encourage you to take a pass along card (or more) and keep it in your wallet or purse. If ever you feel prompted by the Spirit, pass our card along.  It may not be a birthmother who you talk to, but maybe it's a friend of a friend and you feel that little prompting to pass our information along.  I don't know.  All I do know is that Heavenly Father, as intimately involved as He is, requires that we do our part as well.  This is a small way for us to do our part -- or, have you all help in our part. 

I equate it to when I was a missionary.   I knew there were people ready to hear the gospel.  I knew that the Lord was aware of those people and we would find them.  I also knew that at times, there seemed to be n o t h i n g  for us to do.  So, we'd knock on doors in between appointments.  We'd talk to the people on the street.  We'd do whatever we could try to get the word out that we were here to show the Lord that it was important to us and we were willing to work...and we'd work until we found that 1 person who was ready for us.

Here we are.  Willing to work.  We are trying to get the word out that we are here to love and raise a little boy or girl in our family ~ the little girl or boy that He has for us.  And, we are passing along cards.  Truly Heavenly Father was involved in Callie coming to our home, and we know He is involved currently as we seek out the child He has designated for our family. It’s an incredible thing to be a part of ~ creating eternal families.  Can you think of any better missionary work than creating eternal families?

If you'd like some cards to keep in your wallet, let me knowWe'll happily send some to you.  Share them with your friends, family, ward members, etc.  Whoever you feel would be receptive to hearing about a family ready for their baby.

Enjoy the week leading up to Christmas.  May you be surrounded by love and joy as you spend time with your own family and friends. 

Marcus, Jenny, Samantha, and Callie


Samantha's pow-wow at school (back in November)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson

I finally read this book! It's been on my list for quite some time, and I'm glad I finally had a chance to sit down and read it. It's a good way to end my reading list from 2011, since this will, most likely, be the last book I read this year.

There's not much I want to say other than I was inspired by Dr. Greg's passion and drive to make a bad situation better. I'm not sure I'd have the same courage he has. I'm much more comfortable staying at home working from here. But he got out there, risking his life for the children in Pakistan and Afghanistan. I was touched.

Just another reminder of how important education is, how it changes not only individuals, but communities and nations. It's worth reading.

Friday, December 16, 2011


With poses like this, Callie will most definitely be America's next top model...I'm sure of it...or at least the top model of our home.  Modeling her new jacket -- fierce.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


We'll a little over halfway there, but we only have 17 days left.  Pass this along, us get this book made.


Somebody likes Nutella

Yep...that's a smile alright.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Two for Tonight

I have a ton of reasons why I love Callie, and I try to tell her regularly...but for tonight, here's just two.

One: Today it rained.  While driving in the car, Callie asked, "Why does it rain?"  I replied as I have in the past.  I gave her the scientific reason (for a 3 year old comprehension) ~ the clouds hold water and when they can't hold anymore, they let the water go.  She then says, "It's cloud pee."  "Um, yeah, kind of like that I guess."   I couldn't help but laugh.  I mean, really?  I couldn't help but laugh.  The thing is, she knew she was being funny when she said it.  She knows why it rains.  If you had asked her, she'd be able to tell you.  But I thought it was kind of clever (albeit, probably inappropriate)...and come people.  That's funny stuff right there.  The clouds can't hold it in anymore so they pee rain?  Funny.

Two:  After reading some books, I let her watch I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown.  I knew she'd be up too late, so I made sure she was ready for bed so right when it was done she could go to bed.  I was watching it with her but got up to finish something up in the other room.  At 8:30pm, she comes to me and smiles.  "Are you ready for bed Callie?"  She shakes her head in the affirmative...and off to bed we go.  I scratch her back and she's out.  Callie has always been such a great sleeper and understands her need for sleep relatively well. 

Just two reasons for tonight...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Kindergarten Picture

I didn't get pictures taken of Sammy last year...but now that she's in Kindergarten, I felt it wasn't just a good idea, but essential.  I was worried.  I mean, she's adorable, but she also tends to not smile, tilt her head back, and give very unflattering faces when we WANT her to smile and be her adorable self.  If you have kids -- or cousins, nephews, etc -- you know how that goes.  But, today, she came home with this picture, and I'm pretty pleased.  She looks pale...her head is tilted back...but all things considered, my heart just melts when I see this first school picture! 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

My Message to the Masses

I met Alex while I was serving my mission in Hungary. She was among the first people I met...and we became instant friends. She has a sincere heart. She is motivated to do good. And because of that, she's one of the most compassionate people I know.

Alex recently asked me to write a blog post. She is answering a series of questions, and what she asked me to answer was the following: If I had the opportunity to send a message out to the masses, what would it be? Well, I gave my answer, and it's posted on her blog.

Now that it's posted, I sheepishly think, "Ooooh. I should have written about the birth of our Savior....or that Christ still lives. That the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. That there's a living prophet." But, that's not what I wrote. hmmm I kind of wish those were the first things that came to my mind instead of this...but oh well. It's still a message that I think is important, has been important for me to learn, and hopefully can help others as well.

Are you a Backer?

Have you backed THIS project yet?  Do you know any businesses, companies, foundations -- or wealthier friends and family members perhaps -- that may want to be mentioned for their charitable donation in the front of a book? 

So far, we've raised $4,121 and we need to get to $12,000 in a short 24 days.  If we don't raise the money, your not charged...and the book doesn't happen.  We need to raise $330 a day to make this happen.  We can do it...maybe even $5 at a time.  But we can do it. 

Friday, December 2, 2011


"Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities." The Family: A Proclamation to the World

Got that Sammy? And I don't want to hear another word, young lady. mmm hmmm

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Charity

The red metal buckets and the ringing bells are out...and I'm excited.  I'm selective when it comes to donating my money to "charity."  But even when money is (perpetually) tight, there are always a few causes that I find worthy of scraping the bottom of the purse for.  Here are a few on my list, and a few that I think are worthwhile for bias here...


Salvation Army

I don't know why, but putting my loose change in these red kettles makes me do the people ringing the bell.  I encourage you to drop your loose pennies in the red kettle next time you pass one by.



Whenever I donate money to the church, I know where 100% of it goes.  100%.  The church has an incredible welfare program  and I feel honored knowing that I'm a part of helping my brothers and sisters in my own backyard, and also throughout the world.  Whether you are a member of this church or not, it has an amazing reputation for it's worldwide welfare assistance and I'm sure anyone is free to donate.


Sammy Sam

The girl's cute, what can I say?  It's not easy, but whenever we get any "extra" cash, we try to put it in her account toward her therapy.  And 100% of her account goes to her and her therapy.  She has a long road ahead of her, but if I'm still invited, I want to keep going along with her.  It's amazing to witness her overcome, figure it out, and  b e c o m e.  She's a doll and every penny is worth it to me.  We're starting to plan Sweatin' for Sammy 2012, and just please know all you who have donated in the past have made a HUGE difference in her, and our, life.  Thank you.  If you are around for our 5K in the spring, please come.  It'll be awesome.


Now I Can 
Photographic Documentary Book

I would just say that Now I Can is the cause worthy of my cash...but right now, it's this book FOR Now I Can that I'm passionate about.  Maybe 'cause the little girl pictured above is in it a few times and I actually wrote in the book...I mean, that is kind of cool.  But more importantly, this book will make a difference.

I first met Michael Ririe back in Utah during Sammy's therapy at Now I Can.  I was so impressed with him ~ with his heart.  He's done work before to draw attention to Now I Can, but he's decided to take it a step further.  In creating a book of professional photographs that showcase these children...their well as what is written about them, we are hoping to bring more awareness and raise funds for the center -- allowing more financial assistance to families like us.  We were recipients of a grant that helped cover some of the expense.  That extra money made a big difference to us and insured Samantha's return to Now I Can this coming March.  What if every family in need could send their child to Now I Can with some kind of financial assistance?  What is the potential of this small book?  It will raise awareness.  It will tell the real story to future possible donors.  And ALL proceeds generated will go back to Now I Can therapy grant fund.  100%.  That money will go towards Sammy.  It will help a lot of people.

$1.  $5.  $12.75.  $25.  More?  My weekly blog "hit" is roughly 500, give or take.  If every hit was $5, that's $2500.  Pretty cool.  Anyway.  Check out the link to Kickstarter -- Now I Can -- A Photographic Documentary Book and watch the video.  And decide.  If enough people don't support it and the book doesn't happen, your donation won't be charged.  You won't "lose" a thing.  We have until December 31.  But if there are enough of us, and this book does happen, you could be one of the many who believe in this program and help Samantha and other kids just like her.  The video, alone, is worth a look.


These are the causes in my radar currently -- they are the things that matter most when I think about giving/charity/cash "gifts."  Some of these I can give to all year long, others I can't.  But either way, what I love is feeling of giving to something I feel is worthwhile.  I know I'm not alone in that.  Who wants to throw money away?  But when you can give with confidence, what a happy feeling.  It's nice knowing that the little I can give makes a big difference.  It makes me happy.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Busy

I feel like I've been super busy lately.  But, instead of being frazzled busy, I'm happy busy.  Or at least I am tonight.  I feel much more peace and true contentment than I have felt in a long time.  I'm happy busy.  I'm doing a lot lately.  

preparing for Christmas (and yes, I'm all done shopping!  awesome.), visiting teaching, teaching at church a lot, attending meetings, looking at real estate, tutoring, celebrating birthdays and holidays, preparing for this summer's Girls' Camp, working on our adoption, working on some smaller scale projects, doing therapy with Sammy, working on a book, starting to plan for Sweatin' for Sammy 2012...

There's a million things, big and small, going on lately, aside from the everyday stuff.  But I feel good.  A few months ago, I think I would have been stressed.  So, I'm not sure what has changed ~ maybe between Thanksgiving and Christmas soon approaching, something has changed.  I'm more centered?  Am I getting all zen-like?  Maybe.  I guess, perhaps the thing that is supposed to happen to us during this time of year is really happening to me.  Ahhh, who knows?  All I know is I'm enjoying it.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Someone here sure loves them

...even on the bottom of her dirty feet. 
Stickers.  Always makes life better.


Wow.  Thank you for all your comments, emails, facebook messages, and love. 

Though it seems like this should be very terrible (and it was a few weeks ago when we received her initial email stating that she was going to go with placing her baby with her own mother ~ I think that's when most of the emotions got worked through for me), I feel peace.  And I feel love.  I hope good things for them and that little baby. 

I am, actually, feeling fine.  I'm afraid that I sent off a different message on my facebook status -- I was sad, but it wasn't the deep sadness that I felt weeks prior.  That sadness I carried privately (and with a select few).  That was a difficult time.  That was hard. 

But now, I'm not sad as much as I'm just tired.  Physically.  Emotionally.  I feel drained.  And it's easy to confuse feeling sluggish with feeling sadness.  But, it's not sadness I'm feeling anymore.  I truly believe that the Lord is in control.  It's all in His hands.  And for whatever reason, Heavenly Father allowed this all to happen, knowing that it would be for our good.

This is all for our good.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful 12: Family

Seeking Serendipity

Today a good friend sent me this article: Why Serendipity is Better Than Control.  It's really fantastic.  First of all, I love Linda and Richard Eyre.  I have loved everything they've written that I've read.  They are LDS and New York Times #1 Best-Sellers ~ so though they hold true to the values that I grew up on as a member of the church and want to instill in my own children, but these clearly are not values exclusive to Mormon households.  The teach true principles of parenting.  

I found this article to be wonderful for 2 reasons.  

1. They taught a true principle.
2. It resonated with me.

Isn't that great?  They talk about how we naturally want to be able to control our lives, but that what we should really seek is the true definition of serendipity -- not the "dumb luck" definition that seems to be replacing it.  I know this.  And, I'm grateful for my faith that has really helped me the past couple months.  Really, it has been the scriptures, prayer, and a lot of other things that has helped me feel peace, and even excitement, during a difficult time.  HOWEVER.  I needed this reminder.  And after reading this article, I feel re-energized.

Again.  I'm grateful for friends who pay attention and act on the promptings that they feel.  Thank you Lisa.

Here's my favorite part of the article:

This marvelous word has been oversimplified and even corrupted quite a bit lately in popular culture, becoming the name of ice cream stores, boutiques, clothing lines and even the title of a major movie. Serendipity is often defined as "dumb luck" or having something good happen to you by chance

Its true definition, though, is much more interesting and quite extraordinary. The word was coined by a 19th-century English author named Horace Walpole, who loved an ancient Persian fable called "The Three Princes of Serendip" (Serendip being the early name of the beautiful, teardrop-shape island off the southern tip of India that the British called Ceylon and that we, today, call Sri Lanka).

In the fable, the three princes each go out in search of their fortune. None of them finds a fortune, but all of them, through their acute awareness and perception, find things that are better than a fortune — love, truth and opportunities to serve. They are able to make these discoveries because they notice things that other people miss, and thus find unexpected joys and opportunities.

Walpole, reading the fable, said to himself, "We do not have an English word that expresses that happy ability to find things that are better than what we think we are looking for." So he made up the word serendipity and defined it as follows:

"A state of mind whereby a person, through awareness, sensitivity and sagacity, frequently finds something better than that which he is seeking."

The fact is that we control so very little, and that God controls all. His gifts are all around us, along with his opportunities and incredible beauties, and we just need the awareness and spiritual sensitivity to see them. We can cultivate this awareness, and we can ask him for it. As we do, we use our agency to take the spiritual initiative that allows God to bless us and inspire us and guide us. Guidance is infinitely more valuable and more worthy of our pursuit and quest than is control. And serendipity is the mind-set or paradigm that can get us to guidance.

Control can seem motivating because it appeals to our lust for power and dominion. But it is a dangerous kind of motivation because it is unbridled by humility and can lead to the worst kind of pride.

With a serendipity paradigm, we are motivated by our desire to discover and deliver God's will into our lives. We begin to see life as a great adventure where our challenge is not to control but to perceive and to understand. We become as interested in learning to "watch and pray" as we are in learning to "work and plan," and the two sets of skills complement and enhance each other.

I feel like throughout this process, I have tried to put it all in the Lord's hands.  I've tried to let go of that control.  And it has helped me throughout the 2 years of waiting for this next adoption to happen.  Evenstill, I feel sadness when things don't go how I'd like.  Already, this morning I woke up feeling better knowing that He is in control and that the right baby goes to the right home.  But again, this article gave me a different focus.  And I so much look forward to that something...and in our case, someone...better than that which we are seeking. 

I know it'll happen.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Adoption Woes

I've mentioned we've had our trials lately, and as of about 1/2 hour ago, I feel comfortable writing about it.  I have been wanting to write, but I just couldn't...until now.

We started the adoption process a couple years ago.  This time around has been far different than it was with Callie.  Everything was so fast, and smooth, with Callie.  This time, however, every step has been long and drawn out.  Getting our background checks took months and months before they came through.  We were finally approved for adoption this past February.  And I honestly thought that our baby was right around the corner.  I was so naive.

Time went on, and discouragement would peak its nose in every now and then.  But I have always felt that the Lord is intimately involved in our lives...and adoption placements are not exceptions.  I remember one afternoon talking with Peggy, my mother-in-law, in the kitchen.  She asked how I was feeling, and I replied, "I actually think it's going to be a long time and then...boom twins."  Life continued, and though it was very eventful, it carried on without a new baby.

While we were in Utah for Samantha's therapy, we were contacted by 2 sets of birthparents.  Two sets.  What?  I remembered that small discussion I had that day in the kitchen.  Was this supposed to happen like this?  Practically twins?!  It seemed absolutely crazy, but I was excited about the thought.  Sure, the next 5 years, at least, would be a challenge, but if this is how it was supposed to happen, it'd work out.  Both birthparent's situations were complicated.  Birthparent A had some medical things we were a tad concerned about.  We also were only working with a volunteer caseworker because she didn't want any contact at all.  Birthparents B wanted a very open adoption, the baby is already born, and they are living overseas.  We were feeling really good about adopting both babies, but we were growing a good relationship with couple B.

We prayed.  We fasted.  And we decided, and felt good about talking to both sets about adopting both...but that if there were any problems with that, we felt good going with couple B.  When couple B said they felt uncomfortable with us adopting both babies, decided that we would "choose" them.  How strange is that?  We discussed our adoption plans.  They told us they were committed to us and they realized that we were turning down another baby for their daughter.  It's strange, but as happy as I was to be moving forward with them, I felt a huge loss.  I felt like I had lost a baby, but I felt peace about the decision.  It was a weird experience to feel such great sadness and peace at the same time.

Things progressed.  There was a lot we discussed, and we were preparing for a 2 month old baby to enter our family.  A little girl.  A little girl with a white father, black mother -- curly hair and green eyes.  When we'd talk, sometimes we'd hear her squeaks in the background.  It was so cute.  And with each day, and especially each Skype session, I was growing more love for this birthmom and dad.  The truth is, we click.  Really well.  She expressed how peaceful she felt about us, and we were excited.  Happy.

The day before we were leaving for Disneyland, we got an email from her.  She stated that she had talked to her mom and that she was going to have her mom adopt the baby.

I was crushed. At first, I was shocked.  I didn't cry until my dad called to see how I was.  Then the tears came.  And I couldn't hold it together.  The crying-so-hard-you-can't-make-any-sound cry.  The "Jen, are you ok?  Are you still there?" from Dad cry.  That doesn't happen often.  I was devastated.  I cried.  On and off all day, I would just break down.  Then came the massive migraine.  My arms actually went numb.  And I became physically sick.  I vomited throughout the night, but felt better in the morning...and off to Disneyland we went where I felt so so blessed.  I felt such gratitude for my little family.  Yes, I want a baby so badly, to hold a new little one in my arms, to wake up in the evenings to feed him, to do it all again...but for that day, all of that didn't cross my mind.  I was so in love with Callie's bright smile and Sammy's soft giggles.  I felt ok.

When we returned home, there was an email in our inbox from our birthmom.  She apologized and felt like she had acted too quickly.  If we were willing, she and the birthfather still wanted us to adopt their little girl.  We began skyping and trying to get things straightened out.  We wanted to make sure she really felt good about everything.

I can't imagine what it's like to be a mother who then decides that adoption is the best for her baby. Can you imagine?  But she truly felt she wasn't in a position to raise her baby and felt that this would be best.  But, who should take care of her baby?  This is now what she had to decide because things became complicated when she told her parents that she had a baby.

We've talked a lot, each time fantastic, but we've just never known exactly what she was going to decide.

Tonight, we got our answer.  It was a relatively short chat.  She told us that she had decided that she was going to have her parents take care of the baby.  They won't be adopting the baby, but rather taking care of her.  When she is ready, she can go back and start taking care of her baby herself -- in a five years or so.

I guess deep down we knew this was going to happen, or that it was very likely.  And most of my emotional reaction I think I got out when we received that first email.  But when she told us, I got a pit in my stomach and I'm just sad.  I'm really sad.

I still feel like there's a baby out there for us.  Somewhere.  Sometime.

Tonight when I logged on, I was surprised to see so many emails from friends and I haven't talked to in awhile.  Not a ton, but enough to make me think that the Lord was behind it.  Enough of you asking me how things were going and how we've been on your mind.  He is intimately involved in our lives.  And as soon as I get over the initial sadness, I think what I wrote the other day -- those feelings of peace will replace this.  Probably sooner than later.  At least that's what I hope for.

I told our birthmom tonight that I believe things happen for a reason, even if we don't understand why...there's a reason.  I'm not sure why this happened.  But I do know that my perspective of adoption has changed.  Our experience with Callie was very...near perfect.  I always looked at adoption through rose-colored lenses.  Perhaps now, after going through this, I can better empathize with others who go through this as well?  Or maybe we'll be that much happier and filled with joy when our baby does finally come.  OR, maybe this is all for Samantha, or Callie, or or or...

All I know right now is...I love my family.  I love the way Samantha curls up to me.  I love how Callie will only read books with me if my arm is wrapped around her.  I love how both of their eyes light up when Marcus or I enter the room.  I am so so grateful for what I have.

But I'm also really grateful tonight for my friends who emailed me, maybe prompted to do so.  And I'm grateful for Modern Family.  I needed that laugh.   

Thankful 11: Disneyland

A few weeks ago we went to Disneyland.  It was awesome!  Here are only a few...yes...a few...of the pictures we took.  I want to preface this photo essay of Disneyland with the following: we needed this trip.  Only the day before we were feeling discouraged and Disneyland...the happiest place on earth...really helped us focus on our family.  We had so much fun together.  Pure fun.  I was reminded of how much I love these little girls and how much Marcus means to me.  I felt blessed.  The entire time we were there (even when my migraine hit), I felt immense love and gratitude.  It was awesome.

At the hotel, waking up and ready to go to Disneyland.  Or, at least Callie is.

Disneyland in October is pretty cool.  They go all out Halloween.

The Haunted Mansion

Quirky Callie

I believe this was the Snow White ride.  Callie's face looked like this almost the entire time we were there...except for the above picture.  That was a moment of weirdness...but then it went right back to the smiles!

By Snow White's wishing well

Patiently waiting in line.

Callie LOVED this ride.

Jungle Cruise.  Samantha was happy.

But Callie just couldn't get enough.  Evey animal she saw went something like this: "An ELEPHANT!!!  LOOK LOOK!  An ELEPHANT!"  "AND LOOK MOMMY, a GIRAFFE!  LOOK LOOK." 

Callie and I battled Splash Mountain together.  I really was no interested in getting wet, but surprisingly she wanted to do it.  Normally Callie doesn't like to be splashed, but she liked it.  She sat in the front seat while I sat behind her.  I didn't like that at first, but I was able to hug her seat and keep her really tight and secure, so it worked out well.  She was such a trooper.  This is her thumbs up.

We used Samantha's handicap pass which got us on the rides pretty quickly.  But for Dumbo, even in the handicap line, we waited about 35 minutes.  It was rough.  Sammy was frustrated, but Callie wanted to go on it so badly.  So, we waited.  And waited.  I felt really spoiled that we were struggling waiting for a ride only a bit over 1/2 hour.  Nonetheless...

Callie with Snow White.

While we were there, we met up with David and Andrea and Sue and John.

It's a Small World.
Samantha was really interested in all the lights and figures.

And though this is horrific, I thought it was so funny.  I mean, you can't plan a picture that looks this bad.  I had to include it.  It makes me laugh.

Yeah for cousins!

I've never been to Disneyland before.  Disney World, yes.  But not Disneyland.  One of the biggest differences Marcus said I'd notice is the castle.  He told me it was smaller.  But holy cow, it's WAY smaller.  But it's still beautiful and magical.

Ready to get on the ride: Space Mountain.  Yes.  We took our 3.5 year old on Space Mountain.  She fit the height requirements and really wanted to go on.  So, we let her.  Little did we know that they had changed it for Halloween, so it was really monster scary-like.  She got off and held on to me so tight.  "Mommy.  That was too scary."  She has since told me that she'd do it again sometime when there weren't monsters.  I felt like such an irresponsible parent when the ride was over and we walked off with her.  ahhhh  I felt so bad!

Samantha was only interested in chewing Marcus' hat for this picture.

John hanging out with Callie while my Excedrin kicked in.

Ohhhhh.  Here's the sign we wished we had seen before taking Callie on Space Mountain.

Leaving the park after the firework show ~ Sammy near comatose and Callie out like a light.

Good night Disneyland.

This night before heading to Disneyland, Bart came by our hotel with his girlfriend Christy.  It was so fun to see Bart ~ we haven't seen him since our wedding.  And we both really like his girlfriend.  I could have stayed up all night talking (how unlike me).  I was happy for the few short hours we did have to catch up.

It was a fantastic trip and worth every penny.  I'm already planning our next trip, maybe next December during Christmas.  How fun would that be?!  Disneyland, I'm sure thankful for you.  It would have been fun no matter what, but it came at a perfect time for us too.


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