Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I am just posting this photo of Kate because I adore her lil scrunched up nose. Isn't she CUTE?
I just logged in and moderated comments and there were some showing up from MARCH?! How weird.

Sorry I have not posted in a week. That is unusual for me but I have been busy...

~listing and selling some stuff on Craig's list (thank you for all of the great advice).

~getting Will packed and ready to leave for 2 weeks at Camp Utopia (not its real name but it is an incredibly wonderful posh Christian sleep-away camp that is far, far away). Oh how I will miss him! He has never been gone for 2 weeks!

~getting Harry all set to travel to Atlanta this weekend for the National Judo Championship.


Wish him luck!!!!

~then getting Harry ready to join Will at Camp Utopia for a week (we will pick them both up in a few weeks).

~trying to plan a Fall trip for our family to Disney! Please leave me your best Disney advice in the comments. We have not been there in about 4 years (pre-Kate). We will go late Sept-early Oct to avoid the crowds. And yes, I pull my kids out of school to go to is short, I don't want to wait in line. They are great students who do not fall behind if they miss a few days. The most important advice I need is for cute but really comfortable sandals. I must look cute but I do have picky feet. If you know of a great, stylish but comfy walking sandal, PLEASE let me know.

~I have been working really hard on other things too but they are likely way too boring for you to read about. Be back soon:) Hope y'all are enjoying summer!


  1. I am a teacher and our school "discourages" taking students out. However I am going to tell you that your kids will gain more that week than they will sitting in school, SO GO FOR IT!

  2. good luck harry!!!!!!!!!

    i love your catch up posts girlie

  3. I am a long time reader but a bad bad bad commenter! LOL I'm sorry!
    BUUUTTTT You mentioned Disney! I am an Orlandoian and a Social Media Orlando Guru :)
    I would love to give you any advice or answer any questions you have! LOTS of changes have happened since you visited!!! Amazing stuff!!!!!

  4. I love Kenneth Cole shoes. You can find some really cute sandals but they are also very comfortable. They last forever. I have one pair that I have worn to China (earlier this year for adoption) to Tokyo and Hawaii. I live in Florida so I wear sandals all year long so quality is important to me and these things are great.


    Do you know this site - great info - also sandles - really... - go with walking shoes(tennis shoes)- you will walk miles on hot pavement - We live in FL and have gone to Disn*ey LOTS - so take my advice - take care of your feet.

    Good Luck - I was just planning a trip for us to go to LaNouba (cirque de sol)...
    Carol in FL
    *if you have questions - just post to here and it will send it to me...have a great vacation.

  6. We're going to Disney too! Last time I went was in 1979, when I splurged and took my mom!!

    Apparently, there is a huge, and I mean huge, subculture of DISNEY!! Holy cow. Who knew?? ;)

    There is free disney dining then!!!!

    Brill keeps saying "We're going to Disney!!!!" Over and over and over again. She has no idea what that means, of course, but she just knows it's going to be fun fun fun!

    My oldest is at a sleepover camp now, for 4 days. Comes home tomorrow, but then goes off again for 10 days in August. Oh how she loves sleepover camps! I guess your boys do too!!!! :)

    Snick :)

  7. She is adorable!! Love her little scrunched up nose and that smile, too!

    Gin =)

  8. Good for you on the Craig's List - you will love getting rid of stuff and getting the $$$ ;)

    Wow - you HAVE been busy! can't believe the boys are heading out - they are going to have an amazing time! As are YOU this fall at Disney - Wow. I am already jealous!!

  9. Lovely photos!

    You do sound busy. Best of luck to Harry. Keep us posted on how he does at the exciting!
    Great that they boys can be together for a week at camp..should be a fun experience.

    Have fun planning a Disney vacation. We are hoping to plan one a bit later in the school year, too. You'll have to share the best advice you get.

    Have a great week! My baby girl is coming home tomorrow and none of us here can wait to meet her!

  10. The best Disney advice my mother always gives (I was raised in Florida) is for the Magic Kingdom. Arrive first thing when the park opens in the morning. Enter the park and immediately get on the train and go to the back of the park. Then work your way forward. 99% of guests enter the park and then go down Main Street. Hit all the stuff in the back before they get there and then you'll be at the front when they are all toward the back.

    Also, about 1 or 2 p.m. head back to the hotel, get a snack, take a nap and go swimming. Then after dinner, go back to the park for more exploring and the fireworks. No tired, upset kiddos and you really get to enjoy the cooler air and the fun night stuff!

  11. I've followed your blog for a long time but this is my first time commenting =] I actually live in Orlando (and work part time for a Disney partner company =D) and I would love to be able to help y'all with the trip =] If there's anything at all I can do, let me know!

    (ps I can explain a little further in an email. =P)

  12. Kim,
    My best Disney advice is to 1) stay at a resort on the monorail line. You get early admission if you stay at a Disney resort. Also, it's great for nap time. Go first thing in the AM, come back to hotel for lunch, swimming and rest. Go back around 5PM, lines are shorter and rested kids will have much more patience. At Disney Orlando, the resorts are really spread out - you could spend a 1/2 hour on a bus back to your resort. The Polynesian is newly renovated and they have an excellent pool - speakers under water!

    2) Get a stroller. Josie doesn't use one but if we go for a full day, I get it anyway. At the very least, it's great for holding packages, drinks, snacks, etc. Little legs get tired with all that walking and standing!

    3) Sometimes doing one park in the AM and a different one in the PM makes you feel like you'll see and do more. Then, you can all figure out what you liked the best and revisit.

    4) Divide and conquer. As much as they love her, the boys won't be thrilled to wait an hour or more to see the Princesses. And they are worth the wait! Set aside a morning for just 'girl stuff' and Dave & the boys can do the wicked coasters and scary rides!

    As you can tell, we're getting a lot of use out of our Disneyland annual passes!


  13. Hi Kim,

    I just got back from a trip to Disneyland this spring and "The Unofficial Guide To Disneyland" was an outstanding resource. They have a Disney World edition as well that I have also used. I can't recommend it enough. It has all sorts of little tips and tricks to minimize your wait in line, setting up dinner reservations--anything and everything...all the little things that only a seasoned Disney traveler would know. It really is so worth the read. I even bring it with me on the trip.

    Oh--and about the sandals. I bought a pair of Ecco sandals from The Walking Store that were fantastic. Not completely cute but not horrible either. I wore them a lot at night and rotated them in between my cute and stylish sandals to give my feet a break. I was really glad that I did.

    I hope that helps--Good Luck and have a wonderful time! It's such a magical and memorable trip with kids.


    PS I totally agree with taking the kids out of school. It's the only way to go. It makes such such a difference with the lines.

  14. Super cute shot of Kate! And good luck Harry!

    We just got home from Disney so feel free to fire any questions my way! :)

  15. Long time reader - never comment, but I LOVE Disney. We go every Sept and I take my kids out of school, too. It is the best time of year to go. If you go the last week of Sept, you will be there for the EPCOT food and wine festival. The free meal plan is being offered now. Do you know about That is a great website.

  16. No matter how uncute, I always have to wear tennis shoes with low cut socks. Otherwise my feet get exhausted and swell. It may be hotter, but they feel so much better at night when I take them off.

    We love getting their early when it opens and running to Dumbo first. That line is THE longest and SLOWEST ride of the whole park but daughter insists on riding it. She knows we only go once b/c of the long wait. It's a Small World has been pretty quick lately so we can go on it a few times.

    Like someone else said, split up if the boys like more adventerous rides.

    Use fast passes. You have to have ALL the passes to get tickets for all the people. Hubby usually holds onto all of them and runs to get fast passes while I wait in line with the kids.

    Bring a stroller with a basket or rent one. We always bring our own. We don't have a basket underneath our new umbrella one but we bring a bookbag. We fill it with icy water bottles, juice boxes for the kids and snacks. I also put in a small towel or something to wipe the sweat off me! Even if Kate doesn't use a stroller much (but I bet the princess will) the stroller is good for a catch all to hang stuff. You will have to park it for each ride, but you can leave it and ride a couple of surrounding rides then go back to get it.

    Check to see which park is open late for those staying on property. If you go there, it will be good to go back to the hotel to rest, cool off and nap, then go back for late night hours of riding. If you don't go back to the hotel, go to the President's hall in the afternoon about 1 or 2 and it will be a good time to cool off and rest. I fall asleep in here everytime and the kids do too. Sorry and no disprespect to the presidents. Then it will be time for the 3 pm parade and you can find a sitting spot.

    Don't forget the nightime fireworks!

  17. Oh you're going to have so much fun!! I don't have any advice because we probably do everything wrong, but we have a good time and that's what counts. Oh, and I'm such a baby that I wear tennis shoes (I know -- so not cute) and even then my feet are dying by the end of the day.

  18. have you thought of cole haan for the sandals? I have super picky feet and they work great for me.

  19. Gorgeous pictures. I haven't taken our little ones to Disney, but I've heard it's fabulous!

  20. Kim, I am trying to convince my husband to go to WDW this fall, too. I have one big piece of advice: buy your park tickets now - prices typically go up the first week of August.

    Enjoy the rest of summer and planning your trip. Good luck to Harry.

  21. Sounds like you are having a great summer!! The kids will love camp-that was always my favorite part of summer. Then I loved to come home and tell my parents all about it. I have never been to Disney, but I have heard staying at a hotel along the monorail line is a must! That and those croc sandals--the flip flip type--not the horrible ones that kids wear! LOL

    Good Luck to Harry and that picture of Kate is adorable!


  22. Love that picture of Kate...what a cutie:)

    Good luck to Harry this weekend....I am sure he will do great and I hope Will enjoys camp...sounds like fun!

    How exciting to be planning a Disney trip. I am sure the entire family is looking forward to it. That is a wonderful time to go. I have never gone during the busy season.

    Good luck with all the planning:)

    Enjoy your weekend Kim~



  23. Good luck to Harry!

    Your boys going away to camp reminds me of mine back a few years. My oldest went away for 2 weeks every summer out of state to camp - loved it.

    As for cute, comfortable sandals ... you can't beat Havainna's! The are just flip flops, but are sooo comfortable and you can always buy them with a bit of 'bling'. I have a few pairs with darling little pearl/crystal broaches ...

  24. We took the kids out of school this past April, and it was fine! One of the things that really sticks out in my mind is the The Makahiki Luau at the Sea Fire Inn; which is located in SeaWorld - it was fantastic!!!! The food was great (my nephew has celiac disease and they were great!) and the show was GREAT!! Don't miss it :)

  25. We are taking our Annika to Disney Oct. 2 - Oct. 8. I am so excited I'd love to see when you decide to go and at least say Hi. I have followed your blog from when you got Kate.

  26. Have fun Will, good luck Harry and Kate enjoy your one on one time with mom & dad! I love the Birnbaum Disney book. You can get it from the library- he gives tons of great advice. If Kate wants to go to the princess breakfast in the castle CALL NOW. If you can get one of the earliest reservations you can be in the park when it opens- past mainstreet like the one commentor suggested. Great idea.
    We love dinner at the California Cafe (top of Contemporary). Ask for reservations near the window during the fireworks. Magical.
    Toy Story Mania at Hollywood Studios our favorite ride! gives good tips (I think) sends you email tips and ideas
    I'm not sure where you were planning on staying- but at the Beach Club you can walk to the back of Epcot, take a boat to Hollywood Studios and walk to the Boarwalk area which is cute for breakfast or dinner.
    I'll try to think of more tips. As you can see we LOVE Disney. My M is going to be performing there in February with her Musical Theater group. We can't wait!
    one more- getting the boys' hair cut and Kate's styled at the barber shop on Main Street is a must

  27. She is such a little cutie -- scrunched nose and all! Good luck Harry and hope both boys have fun at camp!

    Love Disney -- Maddy is already planning a next trip! We love to stay on the resort, so get early and late admission. Check out The Boardwalk -- gorgeous place and lovely locale! I wore tennies there as my feet would kill otherwise. And Maddy still fit in a stroller at 8 years old and it was a lifesaver for that tired girl! Great catch-up post! Have a fun weekend.


  28. Ditto to the comment about staying in one of the monorail resorts. It would be most beneficial with the ages of your children.

  29. Love the pic and Kate's adorable little nose!! I know you have your hands full!

    We went to Disney in October a number of years ago. It was a great time to go! Don't have any tips though, we're amateurs.

    Have fun Will!!
    Good luck Harry!!

  30. Good luck Harry! Hope the boys have fun at camp (can you email me the camp - looking for good sleep away camps for my kiddos for next year).

    As for Disney. We just did it. SOOOOO glad we stayed in a condo near the park. It was awesome to come home to a "home" after a LONG day. We all were able to stretch out and relax before the next day. Would do it all over again. We stayed in an beautiful condo complex.

    As for sandals. I actually wore my sneakers. First time in my life that they were worn outside of the gym. Ha!

  31. I look forward to hearing your Disney plans. We have been once, and are planning our second trip for February.

    My friend swears by fit-flops for walking...she has a few really cute styles...that do NOT look like "fitness sandals".

    like these

  32. Sounds great, the hubby, sister, parents, and I are all going next year. I wish we could go in the fall but hubby and sister are in grad school and college so we get the heat. You should blog about YOUR advise after you go.

    These are cute and I am sure they are comfy.,default,pd.html?cid=040&cgid=women-footwear-you

  33. So much going on!!
    Good luck, Harry... but I bet you don't need it, you're gonna do GREAT!!
    And have a wonderful time at camp, Will! Sounds like a great place to learn more about Jesus :)
    Adorable picture of Kate, that nose is too cute!!

  34. Oh, how fun for Will... and Harry! I am wondering (from your description) if it is the same one Sumter has attended the past few years. I may email you :)

    Oh, and this teacher says: Take those kids out of school! Just let their teachers know ahead of time... lol

  35. Chaco flip flops....the best. I get mine at REI. I've worn them through Greece, through Italy, I even garden in them.

  36. Sounds like a busy summer. As far as Disney advice, I would say ditto to the staying on the monorail. My family of 5 loves the Polynesian-- convenient, great pool and sleeps five pretty easily. Also agree about calling now for meals with the Princesses.

    I like my sneakers for disney (not cute, I know)-- but I am a hairstylist and have been living in FitFlops this summer and they are great!!

  37. I just bought myself a pair of Chacos from I love them! They adujust all over so you can get them to fit just right. I got the ones that loop over your big toe without a back strap but you can get Chacos that slip on like flip-flops or with straps across the back.

  38. I love her scrunchy nose too... & you know I love my little judo man!!! Good luck Harry... you don't need it, but good luck!! xoxo


  39. We live in Florida and every year around the end of September, we go "Trick-or-Treating" at the Magic Kingdom. It is a separate ticket; I think about $45.00 each; the entire park is dressed for halloween. You are given trick-or-treat bags for each person and a map of stations around the park of where you can get candy. The parades and stage shows are unique to this event and all of the Disney characters are present throughout the park, including ones that are rarely seen, such as Alice in Wonderland, Mary Poppins, all the villians from the Disney movies, and many more. I know it sounds expensive. It starts at 7:00 P.M. and it goes to midnight, however, it is possible to ride most of the rides as many times as you want to during this time. We rode Peter Pan six times in less than an hour(my kids love Peter Pan), Pirates of the Caribbean three times, Dumbo four times and all of the other rides, went trick or treating, saw the stage shows, watched the parade, watched the fireworks(specifically for Halloween) and still had plenty of time to wander around. We all get dressed up in costumes and since it is the evening, it is also cooler. We do it every year and we have a great time. We stay at the campground in their cabins and have a separate boat that brings us back when it is time to leave. They don't have it every night. We usually go on a Wednesday or Thursday, since the weekends are busier. You can get these tickets in advance also. They empty the park around 7:00 and then people start to come in for the "Halloween Party." It's a lot of fun and something that I would reccomend.

  40. Disney do's - Bibbity Boppity Boutique for Miss Kate is a bunch of fun. Most fun is the location in Cinderella's castle. We also loved the meal plan. We saved lots and felt like there were a good variety of healthy choices. Not sure about the gluten situation though.

    My favorite comfy &stylish sandal of late is the ECCO Gladiator! A dear friend who has great taste visited from California in them and swears by them. She bought 2 pairs in case they decide to discontinue.

    Good luck with all you have going on. You have lots of packing and travel in the next few weeks. Last but not least, Good Luck Harry

  41. Long time reader--I love your blog ! Being the shoeaholic that I am, my pick for a great,comfy,stylish walking sandal is either the "Bali" (comes in Baroque Rose,a very cute pink) or the "Waimea H2",both shoes are from Keen. I have worn these shoes on many trips,i.e.the beach,the lake,river,fairs, festivals, zoo, etc. they are FANTASTIC. They can also be machined washed(on gentle) or as I do on vacation if no washer is available, the shower. They dry quickly. I also have the Newport, which is a more rugged sandal(not quite as stylish) My 3 boys(ages16,12 &11) and husband also have the Keen Newport and they also love them. They sometimes go on sale towards the end of summer. What a wonderful trip you will have! Best of luck to Harry at his tournament.

  42. Hello! I got these shoes for my trip to Paris last spring and I LOVED them. They offer so much support and come in tons of colors. I was worried because I usually like daintier styles but these are so great!

  43. good luck to Harry! I know he will do well. And Kim, enjoy your little break away with the boys at camp.


  44. we are planning our first trip to Disney too! We aren't going until March though. Can't wait to hear how your trip goes. (and feel free to pass along any pointers you pick up!)
    I think we are going to stay at the Beach Club, and many have definitely recommended the California Grill for dining. I have also heard the hoopdedoo review is fun....

  45. Yay for Will, what fun he will have. Go Harry, you are going to rock. What a cute pic of Kate, I'm sure she'll miss her brothers but enjoy the Mommy & Daddy alone time.

    I've done Disney a few times and can never find comfortable shoes. Can't wait to see what you find!

    Enjoy the weekend :)

  46. When we went to Disney last spring, I wore Keen sandals. They are not cute but man, are they comfortable. And they're waterproof, so if it rains, you're all good!

  47. How cute Miss Kate is!!!!

    We went to Disney the end of October & did Halloween in the Park. It was a real treat for everybody.

    I bought the cutest pair of Fit Flops in one of the Disney Parks, put them on that day and wore them all day long!! Many people commented on how cute they were. I am still wearing them. Take extra sandals so that you can switch out each day. Your feet will thank you for that.

    1. Buy raincoats for everybody the minute hou get there. It rains, just for a short period of time, everyday. Disney has cute, inexpensive raincoats that fold up well & can be kept in the stroller (The stroller is a must for all of you to use. You'll put all sorts of things in it (cameras, raincoats, purchased goodies, and a tired little girl who will otherwise have to be carried.) We bought the stroller at our resort & it was perfect.
    2. I had a Bagallini purse (designed by airline attendants). It was small but plenty big for my digital camera, wet wipes, lipstick, contact solution, credit cards, cash, & park pass. It's beautifully arranged.
    3. Absolutely go to LaNuba (Cirque du Soliel), located in Downtown Disney. Make your reservations books up well in advance. If you'll sit about 1/4 (or more) of the way up in the seating area you won't have a stiff neck from looking up. Our travel agent made all of our dinner reservations & the LaNuba reservations & knew just where we needed to sit.
    4. Buy a meal plan. We bought the one with 3 meals a day & 2 snacks. It was absolutely too much. Again, your travel agent will be able to make reservations in resturants that can cater to your dietary needs.
    5. Have fun. We hope to return late this year (for Christmas in the Park) or early next year.

    I know I have other suggestions. I'll think of more and let you know later.

    Thanks so much for your wonderful blog. You can't imagine how much I enjoy it.

    Pat B.

  48. I recommend using this agency:

    they'll plan it all for you, and get you the best deal according to your wishes. :)

    then join if you want to plan it all yourselves

    or join

    or read up on things at

  49. Good luck to Harry!

    I LOVE Disney! My advice is book your nicer restaurant meals 90 days in advance (the earliest they will let you do it) otherwise you might not get to eat where you want. M personal favs are: Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater, Le Celier, Teppan Edo (hibachi), and 9 Dragons. The character dining meals are awesome, definitely do one of those! We did the Cinderella's Castle one for our honeymoon, and it was really pricey and we won't do it again unless we have a daughter, but if Kate likes princesses a lot it might be worth it for her. The Food and Wine festival also happens at EPCOT around the time you're going, so if it's going on, definitely check it out! If you go to Animal Kingdom and want to do the safari, get there first thing in the morning because there is almost no wait and the animals are actually out because it's not too hot yet. It's not fun to go on the safari and see like 3 animals! Also, if you want to do Soarin at EPCOT or Toy Story Mania at Hollywood Studios, those fast passes go really quickly, so get to the parks early so you can get one that doesn't make you wait till 6pm to ride.

    I'm a teacher, so I've never been able to go to Disney in the fall, but I'd love to and I see nothing wrong with you taking your kids out of school! It's not like they're absent a lot, and they're good students, so go and have a blast! :)

  50. Teva Ventura Cork 2...I bought some from Sierra Trading Post in May and have worn them all over this summer. They've gotten lots of compliments!

  51. Your photos are so great. Love them!

    Shoes: MEPHISTO. A little pricey, but you'll never want to take them off.

  52. So well-timed! We are heading to Disney in less than two weeks... I'm stealing all of these comments. And the Disney trip? Is a total surprise to the Tongginator. We'll be telling her the morning we leave. Because we are obnoxious like that.

  53. GOOD Luck little sweet cute HARRY! Sure He will be the chanp
    KIM- you will do a lot of walking in DISNEY! My friend Nicole and their family went last summer!
    I love the croc snadlas or the kohl haun I think you might be pleased with either!
    Harry PIC is so adorable!'
    HUGS! Cindy

  54. I just took my 4 year old and one year old in June (with another single mom with a 4 year old and one year old...we were WAY outnumbered!) We had a great time. You have to get the ridemax software ( The cost was $15 and we literally waited in line a max of 10 minutes at any ride. There is a tips section as well that was really helpful. I used the various forums to plan for meals etc. We booked our trip through Costco...they threw in the princess lunch for "free" and we loved it. I would recommend doing that for sure.

  55. We are headed to Disney in November. I pull my kids out of school to. We have stayed at many different Disney hotels but my favorite and the one we are staying at again is The Beach Club...the girls love the pool and the location is awesome.
    We book all our character meals a head of time...we go to a character breakfast every morning. The girls (and when my boys were little) love the character meals.
    Lunch in the castle is awesome!!! The girls got a real kick out of it.
    Also Bibbity bobbity Boo( please know my SP if off here LOL) boutique is a wonderful place for a Princess make over.
    You will have a blast!!!
    I am picky about my shoes because I need comfort. I order off of Zappo's for all of us : )


Thank you for your kindness.