We decided to throw a little party to announce the gender of our baby! I was hesitant to do so because I thought gender reveal parties were a slightly self-absorbed excuse to have another celebration and receive presents if you're already going to have a baby shower. But I thought a little longer and realized it's actually such a fun way to get everyone involved and excited with us, and Matt deserves to have a celebration for his new baby with his friends too, because men don't usually go to baby showers. :) And I could say "no gifts please" on the invitation! Plus, I mainly wanted to do it because the photos from the party would be the best announcement. So Matt and I put on a super low-key get-together at a park and we had so much fun! I wish more of our family could have been there to join us!
So! Here it is! We are having a....
Sweet baby girl!
(THANK YOU Melissa for having DIVINE gourmet chocolate cupcakes filled with pink frosting delivered to our door!)
Unlike most other years, Rexburg decided to skip fall this year and go straight from sunny 80 degrees to rainy 50 degrees overnight. The leaves didn't change color in September or October, they just fell off. Everything kind of went brown...
This past couple of weeks have been so delightful! 60 degrees and sunny! I haven't worn a jacket all week! And... the leaves are changing now! It really surprised me that brown mushy cold bare branches can all of a sudden become so colorful! It is heaven shining down on our hopeless hearts!
So I went on a long Saturday walk and took pictures of every autumn thing that made me smile. :)
Did you know Disneyland is the happiest place on earth? Some people don't think so (*cough* my husband *cough*), but it IS!!! I love it more than anything! And I know why...
Starting in 8th grade and lasting all 4 years of high school, the credit union that my dad was on the Board of Directors for would host meetings at Disneyland each year in October. My dad took our family and a friend of my choice (always my cousin Brooke, of course!) along with him.
The other board members would bring their families too -- AKA a bunch of my girlfriends! It was probably the trip I looked the most forward to every year! It's actually how I met Tara (Matt's cousin), eventually leading me to marrying Matt. :) We would stay at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel for 3 days, playing around the lodge with our friends, crushing on lodge employees with Brooke (as geeky 15 year olds), eating at the hotel restaurant, getting early wake-up calls from Mickey Mouse himself to get on the California Adventure rides before anyone else, having time to spare to goof-off because we weren't stressed about getting in all of the good rides in one day... It was heaven!
// my friend Jenny and I dressed up like each other's moms for Halloween.
my favorite and most legit costume to date; we even borrowed our moms' clothes.//
Not to mention the Disneyland trips my high school choir took on top of this annual family/friend trip. For me, choir wasn't just an extra-curricular nerdy activity (although it was). It was spending time 2 hours each day with 30 of my very closest, best friends who shaped who I am today... and we got to party at Disneyland several times! Including..... DISNEYWORLD!
So that is why I adore Disneyland. I have had innumerable happy, memorable experiences there. And I hadn't been there since 2008!
...until this week!
My brother turned 33 on Monday, and he had the brilliant birthday wish of having his siblings all attend Disneyland together. Now that half of us live in southern California, all I had to do was buy a plane ticket and WHA-LA! The four of us are having the time of our adult lives! At the ripe ages of 40, 39, 33, and 25, we felt like kids again -- blissfully happy enjoying all of the churros, rides, sunny weather, jazz music, evening lights, caramel apples, and pumpkins October Disneyland has to offer. We never waited longer than 35 minutes for a ride. And even though I'm 18-weeks pregnant, I didn't feel like I missed out on anything! I felt a slight twinge of sadness when they rode Space Mountain and California Screamin' (my favorite roller-coaster ever!) (both of which they rode TWICE ;)) but I realized... it's not like I will never go to Disneyland again. So I treated myself to an extra churro and Captain EO (how had I never seen that before? and why did I see it now?). It was so fun because we have never really hung out just us 4. I think we should do it more often. :) I thought it was pretty neat that Matt and I did that a few weeks ago with his siblings too... something we have never done before either! Siblings are a beautiful blessing. I would love to bless our child with siblings one day.
Here are some pictures we captured from the day. All of the most depressing days of my life are probably day-after-Disneyland days. ;)
// at Disneyland for a total of 30 minutes and already soaking. worth it. //
// i love that they "censored" Jimmy! haha. //
// *sigh* if only i followed my dream to be a Disney princess.
this is an adult dream. not a 6-year-old dream. //
// ready... set... not ready for picture! //
// my pretty best friend and her "special" sister //
// i love my brother!!! //
// handsome birthday boy //
//i loved the lights! and the music ambiance. a great end to a perfect day. //
And then we went to In'n'Out for the birthday boy's dinner and we were order #33! The age Jeff turned that day! What a glorious time we had. :) I love my siblings!