Friday, January 27, 2012

Secret trip

It's that time of year again... circus time!  We took the kids this year, decided the night before, bought the tickets, and kept it a secret until we got there.  They were so curious where we were going! (You can imagine the questions we heard!)

We met a clown!

In our seats ready for the show to start...

The clowns were very funny and kept everyone laughing (especially RJ)...

The motorcycle riders were a great part of the show

Payton loved this girl was wearing pink...

Of course, the elephants were unbelievable! They even had a baby elephant!

Closing of the show... 

The ride home....

Thursday, January 19, 2012


I must say I do like routines.  I do like knowing what is coming next. On the other hand, I also love surprises and trying new things (I guess as long as I'm comfortable with them.?) Make sense?  My oldest child is much like me in that he 'works' better with routines and guidelines in place.

So while we loved being away for the extended Marathon weekend with our family, we (meaning momma) also looked forward to getting back into the routines. 

So here's to another routine, structured, fun-filled week...

Saturday mornings full of basketball...
Tuesdays at Ballet... she is loving chocolate milk lately!

Loving my necklace from a friend...

Our afternoon rides home from school together... (a favorite - to hear about their day)

Play time at home... working with Lego's

Play time for this one - painting nails and putting fake nails on!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


No pain, no gain... my plan was to walk the soreness out of my legs I guess!! Next, we headed to Legoland for the day.  There are only two official Legoland theme parks in the US.  One in California and one just opened in October 2011 in Florida.  Lucky for us, my parents live right smack dab in the middle of everything... so we headed out for another fun filled day!

The kids honestly enjoyed Legoland more than Disney... tons of interactive things for the kids to do and the lines were not nearly as long. Plus, there was so much to see and just awe at the amazement of everything made out of legos!! RJ loved the roller coaster rides... it was so fun to see their excitement at the sight of each new adventure.

 RJ was so excited when the first thing he saw was this huge Brachiosaurus as we entered...

These lego 2 clowns were too cute with my own clowns

RJ loved the triceratops

A lion's head that roars when you put your head inside!

The kids greeting the Lego man after the ski show.

Lego Christmas Tree

Kids on the camel made out of legos

Lego Darth Vader

Nothing better than a good ole' sword fight!! RJ had a shield and
Payton had a crown... even match, right?

Magic Kingdom

Did I mention I just finished my first ever marathon?! So, Melanie, what are you going to do now?!


I knew the kids and my husband would be so disappointed if I dragged them all the way to Disney World but then didn't even get to go in the park, so off we went to spend the rest of Sunday at Magic Kingdom.  (Super cool to know that I had just ran through there a few hours before!) Even though my legs were screaming at me to sit down, I knew if I stopped I probably wouldn't get back up! :) So off we went! (After a quick BO check.... ha!! I teased Payton all day she would have to check my armpits for me!)

My most super awesome cousin ever, Susanne and her husband Joe, joined us at the park and used her Disney 'pull' to get us all passes into the park for the day.  HUGE THANKS!  The kids were super excited to spend the day with Mickey Mouse.

Susanne and RJ riding the rockets in Tomorrow Land

Roby and RJ on Dumbo the elephant

The Celebration show in front of Cinderella's Castle

Of course, the kids had to pick out their own mouse ears
 (I loved the shirts Roby got the kids to wear!)

Payton with Mickey and Minnie... a very unusual moment... photo with them together!

Disney Marathon 2012

(Race recap: FIRST MARATHON!!)
(I couldn't even see the start of the race until a good 15-20 mins after the first start)

What an experience! This past weekend I was able to enjoy a wonderful time with my family and complete an ultimate goal I've had for myself for as long as I can remember.  I finished my first marathon, the Disney Marathon on January 8, 2012. (Check out running page for race results!)


We visited the Fitness Expo on Saturday at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex to pick up my race packet and final race instructions.  What a scene! Tons of people milling around... you could definitely feel the anticpation in the air. 

Sunday morning, we woke to an alarm at 2:30 am... (so couldn't believe this myself, doubt already setting in).  The race officials asked for all runners to be on site by 4:00 am... in corrals by 5:00 am... oh my! Nervous, doesn't even begin to describe how I felt.  I think I was just numb by this point and just kind of going through the motions... after the 20+ minute walk to the starting lines and finding my corral it wasn't long before the first wave was starting!  The fireworks shot out at the start of each corral... definitely a wake-up... the atmosphere was crazy... ladies (and men) in tutu's, costumes, crazy hats and contraptions... you name it, it was there to be seen!  So fun! Before I knew it we were off...
The best part of the entire race was running through all the parks at Disney World.  A great distraction that helped the miles fly by! Probably the most fun moment for me was running through Cinderella's Castle at Magic Kingdom! Plus, Disney characters were en route all along the race which made it fun for everyone to see.

Mile 18 - 20 were T O U G H. 

The last 6 miles was all heart, guts, pride, adrenaline (what was left), not really sure, but I knew I had to finish... there was no turning back now.  Everything was hurting... but it didn't matter.  There was NO GIVE UP.  The last two miles I just kept thinking of seeing my husband and burying myself in his arms.  I just had to make it to him and everything would be ok.  I did just that... and it was an absolutley magical feeling! My kids and parents met us at the finish line... another amazing feeling to have my family there with me to support and encourage me!

Now to figure out what's next?! Yes, I will definitely run another marathon... I want to improve my time and plus, it was actually a fun experience. Makes all those miles and all those early, freezing Saturday morning long runs so worth it!

Welcome 2012!

Happy New Year! We celebrated the start to the new year with family and friends... a wonderful way to kick off the new year to come.


I love the glow of Christmas tree lights in a dark house... seems so warm, cozy, and loving.  I tried to get this picture of the kids in front of the tree for days... 2 of my favorite things!

Christmas... better late than never...

Merry Christmas! 

(even though my calendar says 2012, in mind I can't just skip over time... everything has to be in order... so we are playing a little catch-up!) 

 Kids reading our Elf note from Candy Cane since he had to go back to North Pole with Santa...
 We always have a round of family pictures before the grubbing starts... my brother, Mom and Dad stayed with us on Christmas Eve.
 RJ and Payton
 Mimi and Papa with RJ and Payton
 Nana with her grandkids
The other Brooks side: Wes, Summer, Sawyer and Skylar

 Christmas Eve - the kids open presents from Nana

Christmas morning - RJ trying out his new T-Rex bike
Payton was busy digging through her stocking

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