Saturday, November 10, 2018

A quick story about Troy...

I went to brunch with some of my girlfriends this morning. As we sat around a table crammed with yummy breakfast food, the conversation turned into each of us telling the story of how we met our husbands. After I took my turn telling everyone how I met Troy, my friend asked me, "what was it about Troy that really hooked you?" I let that question sink in for a moment. I had never been asked that question before and I didn't have an answer ready. Finally I said, "I felt safe with him." I went on to explain how I could tell from our first date that he was the kind of guy that I could trust my heart to. I also learned that he was smart in so many ways. His good heart and smart mind made me feel safe in a confusing world. I knew that he could take care of me, come what may. Still, I was only 19 years old when we met. It felt like a risky decision to choose an eternal companion at that young age! I know it's not the most romantic thing to say but I seriously struggled with the decision to marry Troy. Haha! However, in the end the spirit confirmed to me that he was a safe bet ;) I knew that we were a good thing.

After I got home from brunch my thoughts drifted to my girls and their future husbands. What will be the thing that "hooks" them? I know that what makes one person happy doesn't necessarily work for the next one... but I still hope with all of my heart that they find righteous young men who will keep them safe in every aspect of the word.

As I was mulling this over in my head, I'm not sure why, but I felt prompted to write down this story about Troy...

When Troy and I were dating we would often hang out with a group of my high school girlfriends and their boyfriends. All of us were members of the church and we all (except for Troy) grew up in Orem, Utah. It was October and as young college kids, we were taking advantage of everything fun about Halloween; haunted houses, costume parties, and scary movies! One particular night we decided to watch a rated R horror movie. When Troy found out the movie was rated R he took me aside and told me he didn't watch rated R movies. I was a little shocked because, hello! We were adults now and we were totally mature enough to watch rated R movies. I didn't say this to him though because our relationship was brand new. Instead, I think I said something like, "Oh we didn't know that. Sorry, Troy. The movie is from the 80's anyways so it's not like it's a really bad rated R movie." Troy didn't say anything at first. I remember hoping he would decide to stay so we could cuddle, but then he awkwardly said something about homework and going home. I said that was totally fine and that I would just catch a ride with someone else.

After the movie was over (btw it was such a stupid movie and totally not worth ending a date with a cute guy over) my friend's boyfriend (another returned missionary) asked me, "So why did that guy go home again?" I told him the reason and he laughed. He actually made fun of Troy a little bit. Then he asked me, "But obviously you are okay with watching a rated R movie." and of course, I was. Then he asked, "So do you think you are a good match then? I could never be with someone so uptight." I think I said something like, "Who knows?" or "We will see." but I wish I could go back to that moment and tell that guy, "You're wrong. I am freaking lucky to be dating someone so steadfast and immovable in his standards." Actually, truth be told, I wish I could go back in time, take Troy's hand and say, "Oh, you don't watch rated R movies? Good for you! Let's go get some ice cream and you can tell me more about your handsome self."

It's so funny (and a little embarrassing) to type out this story. I thought I was being the mature one by staying to watch the movie, but boy did I have a lot of growing up to do! I'm so grateful for Troy's patience, not only during that incident but many others throughout our life together. He has been patient and respectful to my own spiritual journey for our entire friendship. Don't you think it would make the world such a better place if we all did that for each other?! I do. But the one thing that Troy has NEVER EVER done is let his own standards drop just because mine or someone else's are not where they should be. And that, my daughters (or friends), is the important part of this story.

I don't mean to put Troy on a pedestal. He is faaaaaar from perfect. Ha! And he has quite a few things that he needs to work on. But when it comes to standing steadfast and immovable in his covenants and his personal standards - he has it figured out.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Disneyland 2018

I really wanted to make a slideshow like I have done with our other trips but unfortunately my slideshow program is no longer supported by my dinosaur of a computer. I tried with another program but when it deleted two hours of work with no warning I GAVE UP! At least this way I can document more of the details :)

Disneyland was absolutely magical!! I don't know what they have changed in the last 7 years since I've been there, but whatever they did, it's working! It seemed like around every corner we found something magical.


Captain Lottie and Co-Captain Troy!
When the pilot asked if one of us wanted to sit in the co-captain chair, Troy pushed me out of the way and said, "Yeah!" Hahaha! If you know Troy you know that is not like him at all, he just loves planes.

Lottie is reading chapter books now. When did that happen?

 Troy laughed at me for taking this picture... beautiful, smoggy L.A.!

Our hotel was nothing special but the breakfast... that was something to write home about! Troy and I are ALL about a good quality hotel breakfast. Yum!

"Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy."

Our Maxpass included a Photopass. I loved it of course ;)

I did a TON of research before our trip. I memorized which rides to go on when, what rides were better in the dark vs. the middle of the day, the worst and best queues, the best bang for your buck restaurants, etc. I had it all planned out and it worked out beautifully. We hardly EVER waited in line for anything.

The only problem with not waiting in line is some of the lines are pretty cool! We weren't really able to watch the whole Star Tours video or enjoy the Indiana Jones queue, etc.

I'm pretty sure this was Lottie's first time on a real roller coaster. Pretty fun that it was Space Mountain! And pretty fun to have a picture of it!

One of the first things that Lottie got to do was dance with Mary Poppins, Bert, and a very cheery marching band. She was pretty excited about that!

Tarzan's Treehouse

The Matterhorn. Sorry to disappoint... but we all thought it was awful. So rickety!! I know, I know, it's a classic, but once was good enough for us!

Dreaming... :)

Sigh... so romantic!
(because Disney has music playing everywhere you go, we took lots AND LOTS of dance breaks)

We found Gaston wandering around the castle. When I asked if we could take a picture he said,
"Of course! Oh... you want the little girl in it too? I suppose that's fine."
A few hours later, Lottie whispered to me in line, "Mommy Gaston is a liar." I asked why she thought that and she said, "He told me Belle chooses him in the end but that's not true! She loves the beast!" I had to explain to her that most villains are probably liars. Hahaha!

Lottie loved all the Mountains. Splash was her favorite, then Thunder, then Space. We rode all of the mountains more times than I can remember! She certainly surprised us. Six going on sixteen, I tell ya!

First time on Splash Mountain

To save money, lunch was always out of the backpack. PB&J's, jerky, almond cookies, and fruit leather.

I especially loved the rides where the three of us could cuddle up together.

Lottie appreciated every little detail of Disneyland. I think Walt would have been pleased :)

I loved this show! It was so cute! I was surprised that the theater wasn't more full. Too many other fun things to do I suppose.

King Louis is one of my faves so I had to take a picture!

I happily checked eating at the Blue Bayou off my bucket list! It did not disappoint! And it was fun to get a little taste of Pirates since the ride was closed while we were there.

Troy's filet mignon sauce was sooooooo good.

You can tell that I'm pretty pleased with myself. hahaha!

Lottie absolutely fell in love with Toon Town. I hate to admit it, but it was my worst nightmare!! I hate gags and the place was filled with them. It was way too much for me.
Minnie's house was Lottie's fav by far. Later she got to actually meet Minnie (even though I had to do a little begging). Tell you about it later ;)

The entire time we were at Disney, Lottie skipped and danced everywhere she went. It was pretty darn cute! Oh how I love that little girl!

I'[m telling you, everything in Toon Town is weird.

Lottie wanted to keep riding Splash Mountain over and over so I volunteered to go save a spot for the fireworks. We were about three rows from the front which was cool... but I'm not sure if it was worth the hour and a half that I waited. LOL

At least they got to have fun. JK! I wasn't crazy about getting wet so late in the day.

Together Forever firework show! I love that everything was Pixar themed while we were there. Pixar is the best!!!

The Up house flew across the sky which was pretty magical!


We never made it to City Hall on the first day to grab Charlotte's "First Visit" button so she proudly wore it the second day. She watched all these youtube videos with me before we went and she was dead set on getting that button!

Dumbo! This was our magic morning (which means we got into the park an hour earlier) so I made them ride the fantasyland rides with me since the lines were shorter.

Alice in Wonderland.Charlotte thought it was the coolest to ride all by herself. She got away with it on quite a few rides!


Finding Nemo.

When the park opened we headed off to Royal Hall to meet the princesses. I really wanted to send pictures and videos to London. And Charlotte secretly liked it.

Cinderella was the best! She let me record a special message just for London! She told Princess London that she hoped all of her dreams would come true. It was darling. I LOVED all the cast members (except for one guy) at Disneyland. That's pretty amazing if you ask me.

Charlotte chose the pose. I'm pretty sure we are flying into space. Ha!

One of my favorites! I love the original Haunted Mansion. I think the haunted ballroom scene is beautiful. I also love the ghost bride. There is a closeted emo girl buried deep down inside me.

Forcing Charlotte to ride Winnie the Pooh. She could see Splash Mountain in the distance and it was salt in the wound.

Hahaha! Cheer up, kid! You're at Disneyland!

Splash Mountain 4-EVA!

Here is the famous picture that has both sides of our family cracking up.
Pure. Terror. Can't you tell it's her favorite ride? Hahaha!

She was thrilled about getting wet. Crazy girl!

 Would you believe this is my first macaroon? And it was too cute to eat but I managed.

Back to Toon Town. My smile is fake. JK!!! Haha

Mickey's house.


She thinks she's hot stuff.

The Disneyland carousel is just... iconic. I loved taking pictures of it.

The photographer for the sword in the stone posed us. Disneyland is such a happy place. People are not afraid to be cheesy and geek out. I LOVE IT!!

One of my favorite places in the park... Snow White's wishing well.

Can I just tell you how impressed I was with the parades? Wow! They were so fun!

Charlotte went nuts over Kevin!

I read online that the storybook land canal boats were a lot better at night so we waited to do that one last. It was so beautiful! Prince Eric's castle was my favorite of course ;)

Goodbye Disneyland! You were amazing!

I got a kick out of my California hair. LOL!


California Adventure here we come!

Okay so DCA was pretty awesome. The rides are bigger, scarier, cooler, annnnnnd a lot more popular. Even with fastpasses we did a lot of line waiting. Sometimes the fastpass line was a 30 minute wait! Granted it was better than the two hour wait in the standby line... but still. It ended up being fine because we were still able to do everything but after two days of walking onto our favorite rides multiple times a day, it did feel a little lame.

Guardians quickly became Charlotte's new favorite ride.

It was my favorite ride too. It's hard to admit, but it was way better than the Tower of Terror. It's such a party!!! I loved the song choice of "Free Ride"

Cars Land! This place was so rad. Mater and Lightning Mcqueen just cruise around the streets, and the Cars ride blew my mind. How do they do it??!

The animation studio! Lottie loves to draw so this was perfect. I thought Troy did a great job even though he thought his drawing was terrible and threw it in the trash can right after.

Baby Dory!

The sorcerer's workshop was a lot of fun too! And a nice break from the crowds.

One of the questions was...
Would you rather have lunch with nice people
Eat nice people for lunch.
Can you guess what Troy chose?

Lottie was horrified.

Belle's library.

We saw FROZEN LIVE! at the Hyperion Theater. It was a great show!

Goofy's Kitchen was fabulous! Lottie loved all the silly food and we were pleasantly surprised by the adult station.

Charlotte still thinks these guys are real. She waited all night for Goofy to come around so she could tell him, "Goofy, I love your yummy food." So sweet, you guys!!

Everyone is instant friends at Disneyland. At the end of the trip Lottie told me, "I have soooo many friends, Mom! I don't even KNOW how many!"

Okay so here is the deal with Minnie... she is Charlotte's favorite. We kept seeing her in the park but told her it wasn't worth it to wait in line because we would see her at Goofy's Kitchen. Well she came to our table right at the beginning but guess where Lottie was... getting food. Troy tried to flag us down but we never saw him. When I asked the server if Minnie could come back, she told us that Minnie was "baking muffins" but she would probably be back soon. By the time we were wrapping up dinner I was getting worried. Minnie had come back to the restaurant but even though I kept asking the servers, she wasn't coming to our table. Troy was ready to give up but I knew how much Lottie wanted to meet her. I finally went up to the lady who was walking around with Minnie and explained the situation. She told me that she couldn't do anything and that "Minnie was in charge." "PLEASE!" I begged, "She's my daughter's favorite." The woman told me she would try. Minnie came to our table a few minutes later and Charlotte was in heaven! Minnie pointed to Charlotte's ears and gave her hugs and kisses and signed her little book. It was awesome!

 As we left the restaurant we passed by the lady who had helped me and she said, "I'm so glad you got to see Minnie!" I grabbed her in a big bear hug and thanked her.

Goodness, so much stress over someone dressed in a mouse suit. I never saw myself becoming this. Hahaha

Another amazing parade! And a new friend!


I've waited YEARS to go on this ride! I was grinning from ear to ear the whole time.

This was the only day we had to worry about sunscreen.

It was hot!

 We pretty much rode Guardians every chance we got. Which wasn't a lot because the standby line was too long for us and the fastpasses disappeared by noon. I think we only rode it four or five times total over two days.

But it was a party every time!

The dance show was pretty awesome too. I was digging the music and dance moves!

Charlotte got pulled up on stage to dance with Star-lord and Gamora. She was thrilled!

She hasn't even seen the movie. She just loves the ride SO MUCH!

Aunt Carissa told her about the Mickey Mouse ice cream treats so that's what she chose as her special treat.

She was not disappointed.

This was a fun new adventure - The Redwood Creek Challenge Trail! It's based off of the Wilderness Explorer scouts from Up.

Lottie could have stayed and played here all day.

Notice the guys Wilderness Explorer badge. Too cute!

Of course Dad's favorite ride was Soarin' Over the World.

I waited in line for an HOUR to meet Anna and Elsa. I was missing London something fierce and I wanted her favorite princesses to send her a message. Lottie was like, "I don't even like Anna and Elsa." and it made me mad so I sent Troy and her away to do Turtle Talk with Crush. They made it back just in time though ;) By the time I got in the castle I was in tears. "Umm, can you please say hi to my daughter London? She loves you but," *sobs* "She's not here." *more sobs* "You're her favorites!"
I'm sure they thought I was freaking crazy! And I kind of was.

 Another dance party in Cars Land!

My Remy!! Love him.

After going on Grizzly a few times without getting wet, Troy and Charlotte convinced me to go with them.

Of course Lottie would find a cat roaming around Disneyland. She is the cat lady for sure!

Our last stop... shopping for souvenirs! Yes, she chose a cat. Are you even surprised?


Lottie's first time at the beach. She fell in LOVE with California.

"C'mon mom, it's not THAT cold!" Yeah, I didn't get in past my knees.

Get me outta here! hahaha I discovered that I'm not a California beach girl. The water was FREEZING!!! Good try Cali, but I'll save my ocean swimming for the Cayman Islands, or Cancun, or Hawaii, or anywhere else with warmer ocean and cleaner bathrooms, thanks.

But that didn't stop these two from having a BLAST! They played all day!

I gave Troy a hard time about his "mermaid tail" Bahaha! It looks like an anchor!

They switched to building a sandcastle shortly after ;)

Snack break!

Back at it! :)

 Trying to choose which ones to keep.

Walking on the pier.

Dinner time! The seafood was fresh and delicious.

Annnnd that was our trip! It was a great time you guys. I can't wait to go again when London reaches 46 inches tall! Disney is THE BEST. Magical. It totally exceeded my expectations. Those imagineers sure are something else!