Saturday, September 29, 2018

Some of the BEST MAMA ADVICE I have EVER RECEIVED!


Now that I’m 46 (yes, 46 and I don’t care who knows)…something a friend said to me when my kids were little finally makes sense. 

I was probably complaining that so-and-so didn’t include my daughter in so-and-so activity and it hurt her feelings…

I wanted my friend to commiserate with me, validate my feelings, share her mom “war story” with me and tell me how to “fix it”. 

And maybe she did for a hot second.

But it’s what she said next that has stuck with me. And something I feel compelled to share with other moms (with young kids) who might need to hear this today:

“Small kids, small problems…BIG KIDS, BIG PROBLEMS”…

I’ll never forget it.

At the time, it was the LAST thing I wanted to hear. 

Didn't help me AT ALL.

I didn’t have BIG KIDS, I had small kids...and that’s all my exhausted mama mind could care about at the time.

BUT DAMN…fast forward 8-10 years (although it seems like the blink of an eye) and what she said is no doubt some of THE BEST MAMA ADVICE I’ve ever received.

Her point...it's all about PERSPECTIVE!

When you are in the thick of it…I’m talking about the stage of life when your kids are still pretty much 100% dependent on you and you haven’t slept a full night in years, showered in days (maybe a week), peed in privacy or eaten anything besides leftover, half-eaten chicken nuggets since the last time you can remember…it’s hard to comprehend that things could get MUCH WORSE…

OH, BUT THEY WILL… AND THEY DO…

I’m only at the middle school stage right now…God help me! (I'm serious people, pray for me!)

And I hear my friend in my head, every day repeating this: small kids, small problems...BIG KIDS, BIG PROBLEMS...

She was RIGHT!!! Every day the problems do get bigger and BIGGER!

I know, I know, it’s all part of growing up. But this is my first time on the “PARENT” side of the growing up process.

THIS SHIT IS HARD!

And now, I GET IT!

Oh man, what I would do to have little people problems again. (**btw: my kids are perfect angels)
then and now
What is the BEST MAMA ADVICE you've ever received?

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New here? Check out some of my other fun stuff:

---->>> Why I think THIS VIDEO went VIRAL!
and
---->>> My TOP 5 WAYS TO GET KIDS UP FOR SCHOOL!
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Friday, September 21, 2018

Who else has that "FRIDAY FEELING"?


_____________________________________


via GIPHY
Oh, to be 3 and carefree again! Those were the days! 

Those moves thoughπŸ˜‚! (she's gonna kill me!)

Watch out JT (insert your favorite here: John Travolta or Justin Timberlake...I'm going with Justin :)

↑↑↑ THIS  ↑↑↑

This right here folks, perfectly sums up what it means to have that "FRIDAY FEELING!"

T.G.I.F.  Thank God (or goodness, whatever you prefer) IT'S FRIDAY!!!

In honor of my FAVORITE DAY OF THE WEEK...(in fact, not surprisingly, America's favorite day of the week) I have complied my...

"FAV FRIDAY FUN FACTS & STUFF!!!"

via GIPHY

1.  OK, the first one is a fun fact that involves math, which no one likes to do on Friday, but bear with me. Have you ever wondered how many FRIDAYS there are in an average lifetime? Well, I did. And here's the answer: There are 52 FRIDAYS in a year, the average person lives 79-ish years, so that works out to 4,108 FRIDAYS! (I know you just pulled out your calculator, how many do you have left?)

2.  Not as interesting, but still note-worthy: Did you know Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were born on Friday the 13th 1986! That makes them 32 years old! How old do you feel now?πŸ‘΅
FRIDAY THE 13TH TWINSIES

3.  So what are the odds of being born on Friday the 13th? Glad you asked...
There is roughly a 1 in 30 chance that a person is born on the 13th day of any given month. There is a 1 in 7 chance that a person's 13th birthday falls on a Friday. Multiplying these two probabilities, 7 times 30 = roughly 1 in 210 chance that a person's 13th birthday occurs on Friday the 13th.

Ok, enough math, this post is about Friday afterall...

I LOVE these next two (both inspired by my kids):

4.  One of my FAVORITE FRIDAY traditions is a middle school rite of passage around these parts: FRIDAY SLURPEES at 7-Eleven afterschool, followed by a GOLF CART ride in the 'hood!

5. Another awesome Friday tradition started by our very good family friends is "PANCAKE FRIDAYS!" All the kids look forward to these special mornings when they are invited to a before-school pancake breakfast where they  eat   scarf down flapjacks, swig some OJ and have some time to hang out and do what tweens and teenagers do. These fall on the final Friday of every month. THEY ARE AWESOME!
PANCAKE FRIDAY!


*BONUS*: Had to throw this one in the mix:
THE MOST IMPORTANT FRIDAY FUN FACT (this week anyways):

For those of us who live in the Tampa Bay area, this particular Friday means we are ONE DAY CLOSER to MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL when Ryan Fitzpatrick casts his spell on the PITTSBURGH STEELERS & the Bucs win #3 to continue their UNDEFEATED season :)
I may be slightly obsessed #FITZMAGIC #GOBUCS!



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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

My "TOP 5 FITZPATRICK FUN FACTS" that will make you love him even MORE!

IF THAT'S POSSIBLE!?
Whoops! Notice the misspelling?
(the producer in me JUST WON'T QUIT!) 
OMG! How much do we love this GUY? The sunglasses, the chains...the CHEST HAIR???

I. JUST. CAN'T!😝

Ryan Fitzpatrick is THE TALK OF TAMPA BAY...the whole country for that matter, after leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 2-0 start, their best since 2010!

Ok, not only is he killing it at QUARTERBACK, his SWAG is ON POINT! Well, tbh (to be honest) it's not exactly his swag, he borrowed this BLING from teammate Desean Jackson...true story...it's on twitterπŸ‘‡

Check out Desean Jackson to the left - shirtless & chainless :)

I'm loving this guy (simmer down KB, not that kinda love πŸ˜‚)...

Loving him in a way like I got ALL THE FEELS for him because he seems like SUCH A GOOD GUY & man, oh man, can this country use a GOOD GUY STORY for a change? 

Can I get an AMEN?!

So without further ado...

MY TOP 5 FITZPATRICK FUN FACTS
(that will make you love him even more than you already do):

#1. HE'S A FAMILY MAN: he's got 6 freaking kids...and a 7th baby is on the way, due in January! Check out this family photo from 2015 from the New York Post. His oldest, Brady, was 8 in this picture. Zoey is the baby held by his beautiful wife Liza...Maizy is on his shoulders, Lucy is front and center, her brother Tate is behind her and that's Brady sporting the Nike hoodie. Ruby, the newest Fitzpatrick, wasn't born yet!
Fitzpatrick Family (2015, minus Ruby, credit: NYP)

#2. HE'S SUPER SMART! Yeah, we all know by now that he GRADUATED FROM HARVARD (fyi, so did his wife!) But did you know that he scored the highest WONDERLIC test score EVER achieved among NFL quarterbacks. It's not super clear whether he scored a 48, 49 or a perfect 50, but he did finish the test in 9 minutes flat!

#3.  THAT BEARD! Honestly, I could leave it right there, but can we please talk about this facial hair? Don't even get me started on his chest hair πŸ˜†If he doesn't score some sort of endorsement deal for BRAWNY or L.L. Bean flannel shirts, something is WRONG WITH THIS WORLD!

#4. HE'S FUNNY AF! I mean, did you see that POST-GAME PRESS CONFERENCE?
If not, do yourself a favor and check it out (if you are new to the blog or the internet in general, you just click on the highlighted link above that says: POST-GAME PRESS CONFERENCE). Watch the whole thing if you have time, if not, scroll into around 5:30ish where a reporter asks about WOMEN SPORTING BEARDS because of him!


#5.  Last, but not least...the #5 REASON you're gonna love you some FITZ even more than you thought you already did...get ready to SWOON ladies...this one is a doosey...like a big-tug-on-your-heart-strings-reason to man crush on this guy:

HE NEVER TAKES OFF HIS WEDDING BAND...

LIKE I MEAN HE WEARS IT DURING EVERY GAME

ALL. THE. TIME!

That's him KISSING his WEDDING RING!
When asked why? He kissed his ring and simply said, "BECAUSE I LOVE MY WIFE!"😍

Is this guy for real?

I'M DEAD!


Can I get a TAMPA...BAY...TAMPA...BAY...

I don't know about you, but I hope the BUCS keep this #FITZMAGIC alive, because I know a lot of Tampa Bay Fans are LOVIN' being under this spell!

So there you go, my "TOP 5 FITZPATRICK FUN FACTS"! 

I'm just keeping it real :) 

______________________________________________________________________

But wait...there's MORE:

FREEBIE: Here you go! Now you can be an OFFICIAL "FITZ FAN". I have created a fun way to show off your FITZ FAN-DOM!
A FREE PRINTABLE "FITZ FAN". Just click on the pic below!



You can print it at home or Walgreens or whatever, laminate it and tape on two popsicle sticks, POOF, you have your very own FITZ FAN! And the best part...it can also be used as an ACTUAL FAN to keep you cool in the Florida heat!

EXTRA EXTRA: One more thing...This twitter account spoofing Fitzpatrick gives me life. Not sure whose behind it, but it is EVERYTHING! Check it out here: Unofficial Ryan Fitzpatrick Twitter account

ONE LAST THING: READ ALL ABOUT IT: MORE BAD NEWS FOR JAMEIS WINSTON.

REMEMBER SHARING IS CARING, SO IF YOU LIKE THIS POST, SHOW YOU CARE BY SHARING IT WITH A FRIEND!

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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The question EVERYONE is asking me lately...


Meet Bowser
(Charley and Lindsay Belcher's dog, destined to be a dog model, so I thought why not start here?!) 
WHAT IS A BLOG?
This is a great question and don't feel stupid if you didn't know. A lot of people have heard of a blog, but don't really know "exactly" what a blog is and frankly, feel silly asking. That's why I thought it would be good to give y'all a 4-1-1 on blogging.

First, the official definition:

Here's how I explain it: I look at a blog like an online journal or diary. I love to write, but I have never been very good about keeping all my thoughts in one place, like a physical diary next to my bed.  So instead, I write down story ideas everywhere, in a spiral notebook, in my iPhone notes...on post-its! Then, when I'm ready, I gather everything and start typing away on my computer...and voila, there you go, my blog.

I actually started my blog in 2011,  when my kids were just 4 and 6...
Two of my fav blog subjects
as a place to share my life, my experiences, my thoughts, stuff I find funny, stuff I find stupid...pretty much anything I feel like sharing with the rest of the world.

My hope is that the person on the other end (YOU) will "get it". Hopefully relate with what I'm writing about and feel a little less alone in this motherhood thing or life in general.

People "blog" about all sorts of things: motherhood, travel, fitness, health, money, celebrities, pets, food, music, sports...the possibilities are endless! Everyone has a story to tell or something important to share!

I gotta be honest, I've been pretty blown away by the reaction to my blog. Just this past weekend I was amazed at how many people asked me about it. Old friends and new friends, who I had no idea even knew I had a blog, said they were reading it! Pretty cool!

So that's pretty much it in a nutshell. If you'd like to find a more detailed description of a blog check out Wikipedia...it might be TLTR (that's short for "too long to read") for some...I'm more into the reader digest version of life, in most cases :).

So thanks again for reading, hope you stick with me. I have a REALLY FUN one coming up later this week, so stay tuned and keep LIKING AND SHARING...sharing is CARING!

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Saturday, September 15, 2018

We need to bring back THESE KINDA SATURDAY MORNINGS!

I woke up this morning and all I could think about was how much I ABSOLUTELY LOVED Saturday mornings as a kid.
Some of my FAVs!
In my house, my mom would still be sleeping after a long week at work (single mom). I would get up super early, fix my own breakfast (I was probably 5 or 6), usually a bowl of cereal with more sugar than any other ingredient and a big ol' glass of OJ or maybe chocolate milk I mixed myself with that cocoa powder  - yum!

Then I would plop myself down in front of the TV...well, hold up, rewind, first I would physically turn the knob on the TV set to make sure the right channel was on...we only had 3! And then I would adjust the rabbit ears to make sure the picture was as clear as possible AND THEN I would cozy up in my Strawberry Shortcake sleeping bag and watch all my favorite cartoons for hours. 

Some of my favs: 
Jetsons (So futuristic!)
Smurfs (dreamed about being Smurfette!)
Popeye (eat spinach = get big muscles)
Fat Albert (hey, hey, hey...can you imagine if we had a cartoon about a fat guy nowadays?)
ALL Looney Tunes cartoons...especially the Road Runner & Wile E. Coyote (it was all about a coyote trying to figure out a way to kill his buddy...check out these ground rules of each episode I just found on the internet here)

Other notables: 
Scooby Doo (so fun to try to figure out who was the bad guy!)
Tom and Jerry (they were just crazy!)

Man, oh man, I really loved Saturday mornings!

What were some of your favorite Saturday morning cartoons?
  

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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Where were you?

I WILL NEVER FORGET. 

September 11, 2001 I was at work, at FOX13 in Tampa, Florida, in our morning meeting. That’s where we discussed the news of the day & pitched story ideas for our shows. 

Little did we know, that morning meeting would act as a portal between the old world we loved...and a new world we knew nothing about and quite frankly wished we didn't. 

17 years ago, we would walk out of that meeting, many of us in tears, into a world that would NEVER BE THE SAME.

So eerie to think of that now...I have chills just writing this. 

Moments after the first plane hit, someone came to tell us what happened, and you could sense the worry in the room. But still, we had no idea what was really going on. We immediately turned on the big TV in the conference room and sat speechless, glued to the screen. 

Next, we started blurting out possible scenarios and questioning how in the world a plane could ACCIDENTALLY fly into such a big building?! Obviously, it didn't add up. Keep in mind, 17 years ago cell phones were still in their infancy, so we weren't being bombarded with information from the scene, quite the opposite. Everyone was in shock and clueless as to what was unfolding. All we could do was sit and stare at that TV. 

That’s when it happened. As we were trying to comprehend what was going on, out of nowhere, ANOTHER plane came racing through the sky and flew right into the second tower. We all gasped in horror! 

A huge fireball followed. 

We couldn’t believe what we were witnessing. We were under attack. ATTACK! 


SURREAL is an understatement. 


Someone said terrorists. I had no idea what they meant. 

From there we all went into auto-pilot, doing what one does in a newsroom during a breaking news story...THE BREAKING NEWS STORY OF A LIFETIME. 

Being a news producer we are exposed to every bit of video and audio available. This can be a good thing, and as it turns out, a very bad thing. 

I spent hours that day and the days and weeks that followed watching and listening to words and video that I couldn't really process. At times, I would completely break down, sobbing while listening to the final phone messages victims left for their loved ones. 

It was BEYOND HEARTBREAKING.

I watched people jumping from the buildings (someone's husband, wife, sister, brother, son, daughter) and then videos of some of them hitting the ground...the sights and sounds still haunt me.

Those of us who lived through it will always remember where we were when the world changed. 

This is my story...

What's yours? 

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Monday, September 10, 2018

I CAN'T MAKE THIS UP! Look what we saw at the football game!

I've been to a lot of football games in my life!
And I've seen a lot of strange sights...
From men covered head to toe in glitter:
FSU Glitter Twins
to students smothered in their school colors:
Florida Gator SUPER FANS!
to tattoos I wish I could unsee (at a kid's football game nonetheless):
Imagine the worst thing you can think of tattooed on the back of a mom's leg!
and who could forget this life-changing moment:
Miss Jackson if you're nasty!
I'm sure there are a lot of crazy moments I don't remember (hence the name of this blog: "MY KIDS STOLE MY BRAIN", but you get the point, I/we have ALL seen a lot of CRAZY things at a football game...
But NEVER...
have I EVER...
in ALL OF MY LIFE seen this:



No, your eyes are not deceiving you...(watch it again, it's quick!)
THAT'S A FOX...AT A FOOTBALL GAME! 

When I said it out loud it reminded of this classic moment in cinema: 
Reese Witherspoon, Sweet Home Alabama: 
"You have a baby...in a bar?"

Of course, Baylie wanted to go get a selfie with it, but I told her that wasn't a good idea, duh! 
So instead she did her best to capture it from afar on SNAPCHAT, so this is the best pic we could get:
Dunedin High School Football Stadium/Saturday night
I can't lie, gotta keep it real here, both of us were super curious about WHY...
Why would someone have a FOX?
Why would they bring it to a football game?
Why would someone have a FOX? (I know I already said that, but I thought it was worth repeating, because I was completely baffled as to how this all came to be in the first place...a pet fox...at a football game???)

Anyways, lucky for us the fox and his friend (FOX & FRIEND...love that alliteration, that should be a show...oh yes, it is...ok, I'm getting off track)
The fox and his friend (actually his "dad") were only steps behind us when we were leaving the stadium, so of course, Baylie and I had to walk super slow, so we could get close and learn more.
Here's what we learned:
The fox's name is Hayden, he's only 4 months old and he's adorable. His "dad" was super nice, answered all of our questions and said Hayden has an instagram page if we wanted to find out more...which you can check out here:

Isn't he ADORABLE? Not sure I would want a pet fox, actually I'm 100% positive I wouldn't, but hey, we're all different, that's what makes the world go 'round!

So, can you top this?  Ever seen anything more fascinating that a FOX at a football game? 
I honestly can't imagine...but would love to see it if you can!
Please share if you have a fun story...but let's keep this PGπŸ˜†

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Friday, September 7, 2018

MY BIG ANNOUNCEMENT...drum roll please...

Soooo....I'm super excited to announce that my good friend and fellow writer has asked me if I would like to guest host her BLOG!
Because, at this age, everything looks better through a filter πŸ˜‹
And folks, this is not just any blog...

YOU have read her blog... 

YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY have read her blog...

THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD have read her BLOG!
Melissa Fenton (one of the funniest/most relatable moms I know!)

**Here's where you can check out her blog if you've had your head in the sand for the past few years...no judgment 😏


These are 2 of her ADORABLE BOYS!

Remember, the 

THAT'S HER...This is BIG TIME! 

She's been published in all the COOLEST PLACES!

And she asked me to GUEST HOST!!!
I'm so excited and super nervous at the same time. This is a big honor and responsibility. But I can do this. I just need to find my big girl panties because apparently her readers can be SUPER SUPPORTIVE and SUPER OPPOSITE OF SUPPORTIVE depending on the topic. No pressure!

So I hope you will mark your calendars and come along for the ride and please tell a friend! But most of all please like and share and keep keeping it REAL!

OH YEAH, one more thing...if you haven't already please follow my INSTAGRAM page where I will be posting reminders and countdowns to the BIG DAY!
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Wednesday, September 5, 2018

5 reasons why I wish I was my MOTHER-IN-LAW!


Here she is...one of the sweetest women you'll ever meet, my mother-in-law Janet Bechtel. She would literally do anything for ANYONE and expect nothing in return. And that's just one of the reasons I admire her.
Jake & Grandma being silly!
So why do I wish I could be her?

Glad you asked :)

Here are my top 5 reasons:

1. She can give my kids anything and EVERYTHING they want without feeling guilty! I know, she's earned that right and trust me, I don't think my kids deserve anything and everything they want, but it would be nice to say YES to everything for one day...guilt-free! (and no, I'm not talking about material things).

2. My kids ADORE HER! They think the sun rises and sets with her...that she can do no wrong and I think that's awesome! That's the way grandkids should feel about their grandparents. Don't get me wrong, I know my kids love me, A LOT, but there's something so special about the way they light up when she's around.

3. She's got the patience of a SAINT. Let's face it, she's been around a while and she did raise my husband and his brother, so she's seen just about everything! But it truly amazes me how she NEVER CRACKS!
She's a SAINT and here's proof!

4. She's a really good ROLE MODEL. Back to my hubby, her son...he is an amazing father/parent and at least 50%* of that is because of her.  She somehow managed to keep him alive, despite his best efforts, I am certain. And through all the craziness of being a parent herself, she instilled in him some excellent parenting tools that I'm super fond of.

5. Last, but certainly not least, she welcomes everyone (and I mean everyone) with open arms. The judgment-free zone is now open! It doesn't matter who you are, what you've done, your status in life, your current circumstances...she gives love unconditionally. Something we could all learn from...because in the end, love is all that matters.

So even though I don't say it everyday, I do love you Jan and I respect you 1000% for being an awesome mom, mother-in-law and the BEST GRANDMA EVER!

Just keeping it real!

What's something you really love about your MIL?

Please share this post with her and show some love! It just might make her day! 😍

*Back in the day a lot of dads weren't around a whole lot and when they were, parenting wasn't their main focus...having said that, Hans is the best grandpa ever and a great dad for sure!

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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

A recipe SO EASY, even YOU can make it and there's a BONUS.....


...kids will love it too!

RICED CAULIFLOWER PIZZA CRUST
INGREDIENTS:
1. RICED CAULIFLOWER 
2. MOZZARELLA CHEESE
3. AN EGG
((YOUR FAVORITE PIZZA TOPPINGS))

Honestly, this recipe is a breeze and you will LOVE IT! 

My biggest tip is to make sure you SQUEEZE/DRAIN the cauliflower until it's practically dry, the drier the better!

First step: Preheat your oven to 450°F & line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Next, gather your ingredients:
1 cup riced cauliflower (fresh or frozen...frozen is just as good and easier to prepare, just follow cooking instructions on the bag) 
1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheeze 
1 egg (the whole thing) 

Now, mix all of it together and add a dash of salt, onion powder & garlic powder. FYI and this is IMPORTANT, once mixed your batter will NOT look like a traditional "all mixed together" batter, it will still be very much separated, but I promise it will all come together in the oven!

Next, break the "batter" up into 3 equal parts and spread each one out with the palms of your hands like pizza dough on your parchment paper. They should each be about the size of a personal pan pizza. Make sure they are evenly spread (you could pat them dry with a paper towel now, kind of like blotting your face - lol!) 

Place your pan in the oven. I cooked mine between 12 and 15 minutes and just kept an eye on them until they got very crispy on the edges and kind of golden brown in the center. Once they look done, remove the pan from the oven.

Now switch your oven setting from Bake 450 to medium Broil.

My pizza!
Hope you like my super artsy photography skills!
Looks like an eclipse :)
Finally, be creative and add your favorite toppings. I added super light pizza sauce (don’t wanna drown the veggie crust), fresh mozzarella cheese which I just tore apart by hand and sprinkled around the pizza, thinly sliced red onion and fresh basil from my garden (and by garden I mean the potted basil plant I just bought from Publix that's sitting on my kitchen counter, I'm praying this one makes it!)

Now, pop your pie/s back in the oven for a few minutes and voilΓ  all done - super easy and delicious....oh, and I forgot to mention it's LOW-CARB!  

BONUS - FAMILY FUN: I really enjoyed this because the kids were able to make their own "personal" pizzas with their own favorite toppings. This way we all got to eat our pizza just the way we liked it and we did it together!

FOR YOU OVER-ACHIEVERS/PLAN AHEADERS: You can also double/triple the recipe and freeze the batter to cook later. I have not tried that yet, but I plan to!

ENJOY & always remember who cares what anyone else thinks...YOU DO YOU!

***If you'd like me to send you the recipe, drop your email in the comments!

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Monday, September 3, 2018

Would you let your 3 year old ride his scooter all the way to DISNEY WORLD?

Probably not a great idea, but hey, he wanted to give it a shot and I never want to crush his dreams. Jake was 3 in this video and rode his little scooter everywhere. So when we packed up the car to head to Disney it didn't come as a huge surprise that our determined little dude would want to follow us there on his scooter. Keep in mind, Disney is about 60+ miles or about an hour and a half from our house (depending on traffic)...but remember, he was 3 and had NO CONCEPT of distance when it came to traveling. He just figured, this was a good way to bring his scooter along for the trip and he didn't mind getting a little exercise along the way. 
CHECK IT OUT!



Hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed capturing it. It's one of those videos that I can't wait to show at his wedding...the sweetness and innocence is EVERYTHING AND THE HAT!

Do you have an all-time favorite video of your kiddos you can't get enough of? Please share a link in the comments below!

Thanks for keeping it real and enjoy your day!

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