We went to Disney…. I’m so tired

Oh my goodness, y’all. We went to the Magic Kingdom this weekend, and I am exhausted! We started the weekend with a Friday night visit to Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween.

Paisley’s first glimpse at Mickey & Minnie2016-10-21-20-39-00Here they come in the Boo to You Halloween Parade!

I wasn’t really sure what to expect with Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween. We’ve never gone before, and although I have friends that have gone, I never thought to ask what it was like.

The event starts at 7pm, although we were told that you could enter the park at 4pm with MNSSHP tickets. The pre-parade entertainment started at 8:15 with the parade starting at 8:30. The parade was pretty neat, there was quite an array of characters. Paisley doesn’t really know who the majority of the characters are, but she had fun waving and screaming HI to everyone!


After the parade, we were funneled towards the back of the park, and on our way to find candy and Ariel. What I didn’t know until the night of the event was that the candy stations are spread out through every “land” of Magic Kingdom. Needless to say, we did not get much candy (which I’m okay with, BTW). Honestly, I wasn’t super impressed with this aspect of the event.

I did like that most of the characters were still at the greeting areas, and plenty of rides were still open. Paisley got to meet Minnie, Daisy, Donald & Ariel on Friday night.


Paisley was a little shy with Ariel during her first encounter – a real live person in a mermaid costume is probably pretty intimidating to a kid! But her 2nd encounter on Saturday, while we were at the Magic Kingdom, was much better. (Waiting on pictures from that encounter, there is a super sweet one that my Mom took.)

The fireworks show was pretty awesome – Paisley hates fireworks, so this part was not awesome. She sat cuddled up on Daddy with her hands over her ears for the duration of the show. I can’t recall what time this was, I think it was around 10:15. I do remember that we were in line to meet Minnie, Daisy & Donald… yeah, still at the park.

We started our trek back to the front of the park, but got a little lost, and ended up getting stuck behind the final parade at 11:15. I don’t know what time we ended up leaving the park, but we didn’t get back to our room at Port Orleans – Riverside until after 1am.


30 weeks pregnant, and ready to do The Magic Kingdom with my Princess’ & Prince


My mother in law, Mary, scored us all an awesome breakfast reservation at Chef Mickey first thing Saturday morning. This was an AMAZING experience, but OMG, getting up at 5:30 after going to bed after 1 am was HARD!!

But the breakfast, that was super worth it! Chef Mickey is at the Contemporary Resort, which is amazing all on its own. We had 7:45 reservations and were seated pretty quickly. I don’t know if all of Chef Mickey is character dining, or if it’s all buffet style, but that’s how our breakfast was.

Paisley got to meet Minnie, Mickey, Goofy, Pluto & Donald! She loved every second of it!
The food was excellent. I’m not typically a fan of buffets but in Disney style, the food was excellent.

Shout out to Mary for this AMAZING outfit! She found this gem on Etsy! It is seriously adorable, and Paisley loved it!

I am planning on doing a Minnie themed birthday party, so we will be able to use the skirt again! I am all about dual purpose specialty clothing!

Next up was our first monorail ride to Magic Kingdom! As soon as we entered the park we headed to Ariel’s Grotto because Paisley wanted to meet Ariel (again).

The wait was 40 minutes, and we explained to her that we would have to stand in line and wait for a long time, but she insisted on meeting Ariel.

and then she fell asleep on Daddy while we waited. 2016-10-22-10-49-34

We stopped for lunch at Pinocchio’s Village Haus . Decent food for a decent prize. As with all things Disney, food is extremely overpriced, but I didn’t find this place to be horribly ridiculous. Except for water still be $3. That is crazy. I drink a lot of water. Chris said I spent his monthly beer allowance on water this weekend. #sorrynotsorry


The carousel was our final ride at The Magic Kingdom – of course there is so much more to do, but we were all so tired. Paisley was barely staying awake, and her attitude was starting to show just how tired she was. Actually, we did do the train ride that goes around MK, but she AND Chris fell asleep. So we headed back to our hotel for a little down time before we had to venture over to Disney Springs for our dinner reservation at The Boathouse.

We took the boat from Port Orleans – Riverside to Disney Spring Market Landing. When I inquired as to how long this would take, I was told plan for 45 minutes. It took about an hour. The ride itself didn’t take that long, but the boat is only so big and quite a few people had the same idea we did. So we had to wait a little bit longer for a boat.

It was also a little bit of a walk from the Market Landing to The Boathouse – we arrived just a few minutes after our reservation, but all was well. Thankfully we had a reservation because people were looking at 2 hour wait times!!! YIKES!

I had a super delicious pasta dish. It was called Vegetable Pappardelle, so good! I’m currently looking for a similar recipe on Pinterest. Chris had shrimp & grits, which he said was great. My Mom had coconut shrimp, I think she liked it. Paisley had a cheeseburger & fries, which she ate without having to be asked 700 times.

We sat outside on the deck; it was perfect. We had such amazing weather this weekend! We really lucked out with the weather. Florida is so temperamental in October!

We called it a night after dinner and headed back to our hotel via bus.


Sunday morning we “slept in.” Paisley woke up around 7:30 requesting to get in bed with Daddy. So we lounged in bed for a little bit before getting up to go get breakfast at the Riverside Grill on the Port Orleans property. It was a fairly simple process – self-service kind of thing. Again, the food was decent & not astronomically priced. I think the prices were pretty similar to what you would pay at a regular breakfast join. 2016-10-23-09-58-33

After we packed up the truck we parked in the main parking lot at Port Orleans and then got on a bus to head over to The Contemporary. I wanted to take Paisley on one last adventure, and I knew she would enjoy riding the bus & monorail one last time.

When we were at The Contemporary on Saturday morning for the Chef Mickey breakfast, I noticed that they had quite a few of those machines that smash pennies and put designs on them. You know the ones I’m talking about, right?

Paisley LOVES these! Sadly Disney has done away with the crank machines, but she still enjoyed putting in the coins & pushing the button. So we let her choose a few designs that she wanted to do, and then I did two different 2016 designs. We ended up with 7 smashed coins, and one coin book to keep them in.


It’s interesting how much a child’s perspective can change your own perspective. I have never been into Disney. It has always blown my mind that people travel from all around the World and spend tens of thousands of dollars to make these trips happen.

Now that I’ve experienced Disney through Paisley’s eyes, I can totally see how that happens. Self-control is hard in that place, and those crazy magic bands with your credit card information do not help that situation what-so-ever!

I’m already planning our next trip! HA! It’s not for a while, like December 2017. I think we will go for the girl’s birthdays (and mine)! Isn’t Chris lucky that all his ladies birthdays are in December? (that’s sarcasm).

Until next time, Jena

Waiting for something, but what?

From my prayer journal this morning,

“It seems that we have been waiting on “What’s next” since we moved to Lakeland. I don’t feel settled here. I don’t know why, I just feel like something is missing. I feel like we are here, but we are waiting on something else – waiting….. I don’t remember feeling this way when we lived in Hernando Beach. Am I waiting on our next adventure/trip? On a new job? On the next move? I’m feeling totally unfulfilled, like there is just something missing from our every day life – but I have no idea what it is.”


It is hard to wait when you don’t know what you are waiting for – What would I even do to make the waiting stop?

Am I anxious about what is to come in the next 7-9 weeks? Probably. But the feeling of something missing has been going on much longer than just the 8 months I’ve been pregnant. So here I am, waiting. Praying over the wait, reading while I wait, and learning more about our God while I wait.

I love these verses from Psalm 139

“Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous ways in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Psalm 139:23-24

On wanting to do more


Oh writing how I’ve missed you. I’ve been longing to write again, but I’ve been kind of hesitant, again.

What do I even write about? My life is not really all that exciting. I’m a work from home Mom who struggles to balance everything that comes with being a work at home Mom. That is not super exciting or even the least bit glamorous. I’m struggling with finding my place in life – one of my closest friends said this to me today (I wrote it down because it was so true & I didn’t want to forget it) She said, “you’ve struggled with finding your place in this grown-up life.” I think that’s 100% accurate. I absolutely have.

I think it became more prevalent when Paisley as born. I really can’t remember what life was like before she was born – what did I even struggle with? Nothing that I can remember. Life was pretty simple. Chris worked a lot, traveled a lot. I spent a lot of time with my friends, who were also kid less. I went to the beach a lot, ran a lot, worked out a lot, and went to work in a regular office 35-40 hours a week. A seemingly normal life.

I do remember wanting to do more for people. I remember encountering my first breast cancer patient & her story just broke my heart in a way that it had never been broken before. I began to see healthcare in a way that I had never seen it before. Despite being in health care for 6 years at this point – I was just seeing the side where the uninsured truly struggled to get adequate healthcare. You’re probably rolling your eyes and wondering how I managed to go 20 something years on this earth without realizing this – but to be honest, I’ve had health insurance for as long as I can remember; and it’s not something I’ve ever worried about or had really encountered up until this point.

I remember wanting to do something more for this patient – wanting to help her find resources that could help her get treatments she needed, and other services that you need when you’re a breast cancer survivor. She was not the only cancer patient I watched struggle with treatments & doctors because of the lack of insurance. It was these encounters that made me realize that I wanted to do something more with my life – that I really was compassionate about helping others – but I’ve never known HOW I could do that. What is my platform? How can I reach a large amount of people, and then when I reach them, what am I going to say?

It’s hard to distinguish if I’m being called by God to write, or if it’s just something that I want to do. So, I’m going to write as I can, and about what I want until I’m told, or feel otherwise.87fc4ac3a6620019dde7418d1d2ca415

Something to say

I haven’t written lately because I haven’t felt like I had anything of any real value to say; so instead of just rambling on here & sharing my life, I’ve said nothing. But if I say nothing, what is the point of this blog?

A friend messaged me on fb earlier this week and her message made me realize that just because I don’t feel like I have nothing of value to share doesn’t mean that someone else wouldn’t find value in what I have to say.

I love that you share so much of yourself on FB bc sometimes I read something & just think “yes!”

Her message was so important to me – It’s important because I use my facebook has an outlet & a way to reach other Women & other Mom’s. Being a Mom is one of the hardest things I have ever done, and sometimes it can be so isolating.

It’s like this is this unwritten rule that Moms can’t have bad days, and if we do, we surely shouldn’t talk about it because by God we are so blessed to have these little monsters that wreak havoc on our lives 24 hours a day.

Don’t get me wrong, I am so blessed to have Paisley, and I wouldn’t trade her. I wouldn’t go back and change anything about the last 2.5 years, but being a Mom is hard. No matter if you work in a regular job, if you’re a work from home mom, or if you’re a stay at home Mom. At the end of the day, we are all responsible for raising these tiny terrors that have taken over our lives.


so maybe I don’t have something profound to say, but I do always have something to say.


Until next time,


Changing my focus


“The mind feasts on what it focuses on. What consumes my thinking will be the making or the breaking of my identity.”

This quote from Lysa TerKeurst makes me think back to conversations I’ve had over the past few months with a few friends. I talk to these friends every day, and the conversation is basically always the same. I’m mostly complaining about this, that or the other.

I look back, and I’m exhausted & embarrassed by the amount of complaining I’ve done over the last few months. How do these friends even tolerate talking to me? Honestly, how? I’m annoying myself by how much I complain. Good grief.

When I realized this, I started to make a conscious effort to stop complaining. I would like to say that I’m complaint free, but I’m not. I’m human, but I am making an honest attempt at watching what comes out of my mouth.

The truth is, I really don’t have much to complain about. Chris has a steady job. Sure, he works 7 days a week, and that really stinks, but he has a job. I have a great job. I get to work from home & keep Paisley home with me. It’s stressful at times, and I often don’t have enough hours in the day, but I am home raising my daughter, and that’s the important thing to me.

mind feasts

To change what I’m talking about, I have to change what I’m focusing on. I’ve been diving into reading personal development books; books that are relevant to where I’m at in my life, and what I want to accomplish. I’m not just reading random books that someone else says I should read because it will help my business.

I’m reading faith based book because that’s where I’m feeling called to go. I need peace in my life, and I can’t create my own peace. I create more chaos, not peace. Jesus is the peacemaker, and I need to reconnect with him. I’m stepping back from things/people that aren’t giving me joy and moving towards things/people that will.

Life is short. It’s to short to be running around unhappy & empty.

My life goals are to be successful & happy. I don’t know what that success looks like, but I do know that being miserable to get there isn’t how I’m going to live. I’m changing what I’m focusing on so that my mind doesn’t feast on the wrong things.

A few of my favorites from this past week

I used to love to read blogs…. when I had more free time. After Paisley was born I found myself with less time to read & less time to write. When I did find time to read, I found myself annoyed by the blogs that I had once loved, so I stopped reading them altogether.

In my most recent attempt to figure out who I am & where I’m going, I’ve rediscovered my love for blogs. I’ve exchanged my love for health & fitness blogs for blogs of women who have written books, and who write about the hardships & joys of motherhood. Those are the women I relate to at this point in my life. Of course I still love health & fitness, I am a fitness coach, after all. I love working out, and eating healthy, but that isn’t an area I struggle with. I struggle with being the kind of Mom I want to be.

Today I wanted to share a few posts that I’ve enjoyed over the past week:

The Important thing about Yelling from the Hands Free Mama Blog
Free 10 day prayer journal from Lysa TerKeurst
This RV renovation is gorgeous! One of our 5 year goals is to sell our house & live in an RV.
This post on having a Misery Attitude or a  Mastery Attitude (I struggle with a misery attitude sometimes)

This verse, “Don’t think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing.” Philippians 2:4 says

This quote from Lysa TerKeurst book, Uninvited: Living Loved When you feel less than, Left out, and Lonely….
Rejection steals the best of who I am by reinforcing the worst of what’s been said to me.”

I like good books & I cannot lie

I thank You, Lord, that as I submit myself to You today and resist the enemy and his lies, the devil must flee from me in Jesus’ name – James 4:7

I wanted to start today off with this little prayer I read in a new devotional I began reading today. I came across this devotional, Devotions for a Healthier You, by Katie Farrell a few days ago while I was searching for something else.

Let’s give Amazon a round of applause for always having an amazing list of “if you bought this, you should also buy this” list.. Gets me EVERY time!

Since I’ve become somewhat of a personal development junkie, I bought that book and a few others, of course. One day last week I went into Family Christian Book store after a particularly rough morning with Paisley. I needed Jesus, y’all. I browsed around the home goods section for a while, and then found myself among allllll the books. So many good books, I just wanted to buy them all. But being the sensible person that I am, I only bought one. from the bookstore.

The rest I scanned with the handy dandy Amazon app and added to my cart. I can’t help it if Amazon was $4-5 cheaper on every single book! If you don’t know about the amazon scanner thing, good for you! Don’t learn about it! Just kidding, if you don’t know about it, let me fill you in!

2016-08-24 05.04.13
(my current TO-READ list…not all bought at the same time, thank you very much)
Living Well Spending Less, Ruth Soukoup
Uninvited, living loved when you feel less than, lonely & left out: Lysa TerKeurst
Triggers: Exchanging Parents Angry reactions for gentle biblical responses
Hope Unfolding, Becky Thompson
Living Well Spending Zero, Ruth Soukup
Devotions for a Healthier You, Katie Farrell

On your amazon app, PLEASE tell me you at least have the amazon app on your phone!! On your app there is a handy little bar code scanner. It scans the bar code, or any lettering on the package and then pulls up the matching product on amazon. It gives you the price, which is almost ALWAYS cheaper. You can add it to your cart from there or add it to a wishlist. My poor wishlists are overflowing with books and other miscellaneous crap that I think i’ll need some day.

Okay, so now you’ve been properly educated about the Amazon app – Also, many stores will price match Amazon – Target being the one I use most often. Best Buy also price matches, and I THINK Toys R Us will as well – Don’t quote me on that one, but I think it’s true. (price matching has to be on the exact same product, and it must be an amazon prime product, free shipping).

I think my job is done here for today – I’ve given you a sufficient list of books to check into, and I’ve taught you about the amazingness that is the Amazon app. Now it’s time for me to read & eat breakfast. Baby sister is kicking around saying she’s hungry.


Until next time,