Jake and the Never Land Pirates Themed Party

Cody’s seventh annual 27th birthday is in just under a month.

Addie’s 100 month birthday is just over one month away. (Sidenote: Rather than having a big 8th birthday bash, we’re going with a 100 month birthday bash. I thought it up myself. I’m awfully excited about it.)

Vivi’s second birthday is in two months and mine is sandwiched between Addie and Vivi. (THIRTY ONE! THAT’S SO GROWN UP!)

My party planning brain is in overdrive so when I received this video about planning a Jake and the Never Land Pirates themed birthday party I began wondering how I could work red Solo Cup pirate hooks into one of our upcoming celebrations. To be honest, I’m a little bummed Vivi isn’t into Jake yet and Addie’s a little too old for a preschool pirate themed party. Do you have a kid that’s into Jake and the Never Land Pirates? If so, this video takes care of all the party planning for you:

You can celebrate Jake’s Birthday with Disney Junior this Friday March 1st during a special episode, Jake’s Birthday Bash at 8:30a/9:30c on Disney Channel

(Happy Birthday Jake!)

Disclosure: I have been compensated for sharing this video. Opinions are my own, party planning help welcome.

cold, cold, cold and some words.

It’s the end of the month which means round up time on all the things Cody and I did when we weren’t here, in Utah or Mexico. (February went kind of fast, no? I mean, it still sucks with all this cruddy weather and while part of me is optimistic that it’s almost March and all this grey wet sky crap is almost out of the way the other part of my brain is all MARCH IS THE WORST MONTH EVER IN INDIANA. Who knows. I’m having a hard time, more on that later.)

Brittany and Abe's Wedding
By Cody:

Cody cuddle dumped me. Like that Friends episode but worse.

Ten things Cody has learned from Vivi.

I got the storm door I wanted for Christmas, but it seems like Cody got even more out of his gift to me.

Cody (and I) wholeheartedly supports Mexico in the winter, here’s why.

And the super emotional one, 10 reasons why Cody didn’t get a divorce 4 years ago.

By me:

The evolution of Vivi’s feet, from tiny little toes to pumped up kicks (and all the stacked piggies and scrunchy toes in between.)

I’m now brushing Vivi’s teeth with sugar twice a day. Part one of this little journey can be found here. Then part two here.

The last video from our Disney Cruise.

January was about decluttering, February was about makeup, now it’s on to March and my next new month’s resolution (because New Year’s Resolutions are too much work.)

And last, my date to the wedding this past weekend, she wouldn’t dance with me but she had no problem eating all the cake with me, fair trade off if you ask me.

Best wedding date ever.
When she had the opportunity to wear the bride’s veil I thought she was going to flop over and die from happiness.

when your other friends get married.

20 months ago a boy named Abe played his guitar at Brooke and Parker’s wedding.

At the end of the night he asked out Brooke’s little sister, Brittany.

Yesterday Brittany and Abe were married as enormous flakes of snow fell silently to the ground behind them.

Brittany and Abe's Wedding

Brittany and Abe's Wedding

Brittany and Abe's Wedding

Brittany and Abe's Wedding

These weddings aren’t fair to all the other weddings, they are simply too magical.

Brittany and Abe's Wedding

Brittany and Abe's Wedding

Brittany and Abe's Wedding

Brittany and Abe's Wedding

Brittany and Abe's Wedding

Brittany and Abe's Wedding

Brittany and Abe's Wedding

Brittany and Abe's Wedding

Brittany and Abe's Wedding

Brittany and Abe's Wedding

Brittany and Abe's Wedding

Everyone leaves more in love and more thankful for the opportunity to spend a day and a night surrounded by music, love, flowers, laughter, amazing food, family, and friends.

Brittany and Abe's Wedding

Brittany and Abe's Wedding

Brittany and Abe's Wedding

Brittany and Abe's Wedding

Brittany and Abe's Wedding

Brittany and Abe's Wedding

Brittany and Abe's Wedding


Brittany and Abe's Wedding

Congratulations you two, thank you for letting all of us take a little hit of your happiness last night.





weak, strong, three to two.

I was supposed to be on a direct flight from Indianapolis to Salt Lake City Friday morning with Addie and Vivi for a wedding on Saturday, Addie was going to fly home alone on Monday and I was going to stay behind with Vivi until Saturday.

Because of weather the flight was cancelled Thursday evening and Addie and I were re-booked on separate flights.

By the time I managed to get all of us on the same flight we were rerouted through Atlanta turning what would have been a three hour flight into an all day seven-hours-on-a-plane ordeal.

Fight or flight kicked in and flight won. If you remember my last solo flight with Vivi, it didn’t go so well.

I sobbed to Cody, feeling terribly ashamed that there are times when I cannot conquer what my brain does to me and he is left dealing with the aftermath. Plans changed quickly and rather than flying out with both girls and staying until Saturday as planned, I flew out with just Addie and will be returning with her Monday night.

My fears seemed a little less silly as we sat on our first plane for nearly two hours before it pulled away from the gate. When we got to Atlanta we didn’t have two hours between flights, we had 15 minutes.

I can do stressful parenting situations, give me poop, give me vomit, give me just about anything but being alone on a plane with a toddler. I did my time, I’ve taken well over 50 flights with Addie and just shy of a dozen with Vivi. I was okay with a direct flight, less variables, less opportunity to get stuck. Get on, get off, be done. Add in connections, weather, strange cities in the opposite direction of where I’m headed, coupled with two long flights and the possibility of worse weather? Nope.

There was a toddler on our second flight, probably the exact same age as Vivi. She was a dream. Barely a peep. The mom had all of her wits about her, she talked in third person for both her and her daughter, she used phrases like “Good teamwork! Lilly needs to use her indoor voice on the plane! What a fine choice Lilly made to respect mommy’s personal space with her banana! Say hello to all of our special plane friends Lilly!” At one point the mom offered her shirt as a tissue for the toddler “That’s why mommy wears ratty clothes on a plane Lilly!”

I am not that mom. I admire that kind of mom, but I am not that mom.

I spent four hours telling myself it’s okay that I am not that mom, Vivi is not that toddler and would have been shrieking like a banshee from Georgia to Utah leaving me a crumpled heap of my former self by the time we made it to Salt Lake.

I know there are a handful of things I do not and can not handle well, lately toddlers on planes is one of them.

When the article ‘Xanax ‘helps me be a better mom” began making the rounds I thought “Well, duh.” I read the article waiting for some huge breakthrough or confession, thinking maybe I was reading a follow up article to another salacious confession of a parent who sometimes needs to put their own oxygen mask on before helping someone else.


There was a time I could spend four weeks at a time away from Cody. I would go days without talking to him. People thought it was so strange that we could spend so much time apart and not talk. I was convinced it was because we were so confident in our relationship that we didn’t have to rely on each other. We may have been married but we were still totally independent people. GO US.

Yeah, that way of thinking is what nearly led to our downfall.

Now the thought of being without Cody for longer than a day or two makes me weepy. I want to be with him more now than I did 12 years ago when we were two little kids wildly infatuated with one another. As I sat through speeches dedicated to the couple getting married I wanted to grab the couple by their arms and say “YOU GUYS MARRIAGE IS SO AMAZING AND WORTH IT BUT YOU ARE GOING TO HATE EACH OTHER SO MUCH SOMETIMES YOU ARE GOING TO WANT TO THROAT PUNCH EACH OTHER.”

One guy said the best marriage advice he ever got was if you ever start fighting just start stripping your clothes off.

I couldn’t do the flight with Vivi. Where I am weak Cody is strong. He stepped in and picked up the pieces I was too fragile to manage on my own. I’m not sure how my mental instabilities will play out over Addie and Vivi’s lifetime, but I’d like to think that with Cody around they’ll never be so big we can’t manage them. He’s a good guy. We have some pretty swell kids. We’re managing just fine.

*photo by Justin Hackworth.

vivis yelling like goats

I should like to scold Indiana and put it in a time out for the most recent weather we’ve been having. Who needs 30mph 25 degree winds with snow flurries? No one. That’s who. Never have I wanted my groceries to march themselves inside than I did this afternoon. The older I get the more and more pleased I am with my suburban home, attached garage and crossover SUV. However I’m not very pleased that I gave into Addie’s request for a flute from Mexico. Suddenly 15 pesos seems like an awfully steep price for my sanity.

It was one of those mornings when I could feel the urge to stay under the warm covers and hibernate the day away before I even opened my eyes. Unfortunately a small human down the hall had other plans and began screaming “POOOOOOP!” shortly after 7:30 am. It’s funny how this blog can go from the Addie show to the Vivi show depending on the week. I am regularly accused of favoring one over the other depending on when the accuser happens upon my blog. Last week I was told on three separate occasions I looked too young to have children, let alone an 8 year old. I took it as a sign I clearly need to spend more time in Mexico.

My hair loves Mexico. Mexico loves me.
I call this one 'Spot the drowning Cody.'
I decided to face several enormous fears of mine (open ocean, deep water, waves, drowning, dying) and join Cody in the asinine activity portrayed above. It was fun! Until it wasn’t.

In an unfortunate turn of events I ended up using the ocean as a terribly vicious neti pot. When I took my swimsuit off a perfectly bum crack shaped chunk of sand fell to the bathroom floor.

I didn’t go back in the ocean.

You know what I like? This:

If you’ve ever wondered what living with Vivi is like, she’s a lot like the brown goat with horns at 1:22 . I figure there has to be at least one of you who hasn’t seen this video yet, please enjoy. It’s one of the best things the Internet has ever given us.


Last night I had to tell Cody to quit looking at a baby.

At Hooters.

Wait, you didn’t go to Hooters on Valentine’s Day? Pobrecito, because we did. (Cody wanted wings, I wasn’t going to argue.)

Technically the wings were dessert since we ate this before dinner:

Cancun on Valentine's Day

Tiny little scoops of ice cream you dip in melted chocolate, I wholeheartedly support the dipping of tiny little scoops of ice cream in chocolate.

Cancun on Valentine's Day
Cody and I had a couples massage today. He fell asleep and started snoring halfway through, I took it as a good sign that at least he was relaxed.

Cancun on Valentine's Day
We’ve eaten enough chips and salsa to keep a small vessel afloat, add in all the guacamole? I’m basically cilantro and onion scented until St. Patrick’s day.

We were serenaded on a bus and Cody was slammed face first into the sand when he underestimated a wave and it pancaked him from behind. (Sadly I missed the live version but his reinaction was divine.)

Cancun on Valentine's Day
I also purchased the most surprised nativity set ever made. Cody says Mary doesn’t look as surprised because she knew what was going on, the wise men however? SHOCKED. (Bonus points if you can spot the smug lamb.)

I now own the most surprised nativity set IN THE WORLD.
There’s an extra lady in the set, we’re not sure where she fits into the story, but she’s holding a basket so we figured she’s the Relief Society president and she brought bread.

This was probably the best Valentine’s ever, surprisingly it wasn’t the turquoise water, chocolate fondue, massages, or white sandy beaches that made it the best ever.

Cancun on Valentine's Day
Cody offered to nudge all the iguanas out of the way for me, it was probably the most romantic thing he’s ever said to me.

Cancun on Valentine's Day
Being in love is an awful lot of work, but it sure is worth it.

my forty days.

My religion does not observe Lent, but I’ve always liked the idea. Gathering together in solidarity and going without for a greater purpose.

Alli asked me if I would participate in the Forty Days of Water campaign through Blood:Water Mission this year to help build wells in Uganda and bring awareness to Blood:Water’s mission.

The idea is that when it comes to beverages, to only drink water for forty days. No coffee, tea, soda, juice, milk or tequila. (Thankfully the coffee, tea and tequila aren’t vices for me to overcome.) The money saved from purchasing these extra beverages will be donated to build wells in Uganda. Give clean water, by drinking only water. Cool idea right?

Of course I’ll participate!” I’m well aware of how blessed I am to have clean water pour fourth from multiple faucets in my home, it isn’t until you have to go without that you realize just how good you have it.

Forty days isn’t that long! I could do some real good here!

Then I started thinking about it. Huh, I’ll be in Mexico for the first five days. It’s cool, I can go without Mexican Coke and virgin Pina Coladas, surely the beach is just as wonderful without fruity little umbrella drinks. The next week I’ll be in Utah for a fancy wedding. I’m sure they’ll have good water, and I’ll bet that burritos taste just as good with water as they do with Vanilla Coke and crunchy ice. No, really. I’m sure of it. Root beer and pizza isn’t that big of deal. Cookies and milk? Oh, well. It’s only 40 days. I mean, really all that’s left before March 30th is Blissdom, who needs bubbly beverages at a conference? Not this girl! Then there’s my monthly Red Bull indulgence, and my love of orange juice with breakfast. Water is good for me, it’s only 40 days.

I guess I’m just being honest that even though I want to do good, there’s still that little selfish person inside of me that loves a frosty cold bubbly beverage with dinner on occasion. I don’t even consider my bonus beverage habit to be all that extravagant either. If you’re loyal to Starbucks, can’t make it through the day without Diet Coke or reliant on a little glass of something after the kids are in bed? I totally get how this whole 40 day thing may not be your thing. It’s barely mine and I don’t drink coffee or Diet Coke.

But consider what you’d be doing with the money saved.

You’d be helping build wells in Uganda, for families much like yours to have safe reliable water to drink, wash, and cook with for the rest of their lives.

My heavens Uganda looks beautiful. My grandma has always said “I’ll travel to any continent but Africa. I have no desire to go there.”

I hope to make it there someday. Until then, I’ll raise my sippy cup in solidarity and help build wells.

Maybe one day I’ll be able to see one in person as well as the joy it brings to the people it serves.

Alli’s sidenote at the end of her email inviting me to participate read:

Blood:Water understands that their job is not to go ‘help’ Africans, but to partner with them. We, as Americans, may have more financial riches, but the riches of spirit and community in Africa makes Americans look like the poor ones.

Think you may want to give it a shot (pun!) and get involved? You can get more information on how to participate here.

Want to follow my journey and see what I give up and how much I donate? Find my profile here or follow the #40Days hashtag on Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.

While I am being compensated for participating in this program, I will be donating everything I make back to Blood:Water Mission, I figure that makes up for my lack-of-a-Starbucks-habit-donation.

Codeo and Caseyet <3 (a giveaway sponsored by windows phone)

We can all agree that Facebook keeps track of some pretty strange facts.

Did you know that Cody and I didn’t get married on Facebook until after he got a real job? He was afraid if a prospective firm looked him up, saw me, then found my blog it would be game over. It was a big day to change from ‘in a relationship’ to ‘married’ to Cody.

Oh Cody. I love him so much. He’s funny, he’s smart, he’s a damn fine dad and have you ever seen his biceps? They’re amazing, which is probably why I could never get behind the whole skinny vampire thing, I like my man arms strong, round and meaty.

You want to see his bicep now don’t you? Okay!

[Read more…]