A little recap of Ryan’s 9th birthday at Disneyland with my family!Read More
It is no surprise that we as a family are head over heels for Disney’s Mickey Mouse. Pretty much anything Disney related gets us excited. I frequented Disneyland Resort as a little girl and knew once I became a mom myself that we’d adventure through Disneyland together. It all started with Mickey Mouse, literally everything and we’re so happy to have partnered with Hanna Andersson to celebrate his 90th Anniversary!
My son and I used to go to Disneyland Resort once a week. Most days we’d drive over in the afternoon, ride our favorites, snack on a churro and head home. There were a few days during the month that we’d stay till the evening to watch the nighttime parade. Romping around the Disneyland theme parks soon became our thing. I knew Disneyland through out even before my son was born. BUT getting the chance to take him and re-see the parks through his eyes, was magical. There really is nothing more incredible than watching your children experience things, happy and exciting things. You know when their face lights up and they let our a deep giggle. Or when they stop in their tracks in complete aw. I also loved the feeling of his little hands wrapped around my leg when waiting in line for our favorite rides. Disneyland was our place.
My son, his name was Ryan, on his last day here on Earth we went to Disneyland. We woke up early and entered Disney California Adventure park being the first to enter that day! We ran straight for his favorite ride in Cars Land and rode it with giant smiles on our faces. You know, I had no idea I’d be forced to say to good bye to my Ryan that night. Though I have to believe that us being able to enjoy Disneyland together just one more time was meant to be. If you are familiar with our story then you know, that night we lost Ryan quick and out of the blue. It tore my inside out and our whole world crashed down. I share it all on my blog, but I’ll be the first one to tell you that how we lost him doesn’t matter. What matters is that we continue to live in his honor. What matters is that we still do the things Ryan loved to do. What matters is that we share how we kept living despite the hurt and pain thrown our way.
My first time back to Disneyland after my son passed was something I was dreading. I felt scared because I didn’t want a place that was so grand to suddenly became a dark place for me. I knew I had to go to just see, to just experience it now with Ryan up in Heaven. I had to go for him. So I went. That day was immensely sad with hints of happiness around every corner. Visiting Disneyland that day was when I really began to understand that I could feel sad and happy at the same time. Come to find out, I feel happy and sad nearly everyday now that is OK. It is OK to feel two feelings at the same time. I realized that Disneyland was still our place. It still held our memories and laughs. I decided to keep going just as we did before and even today it feels like Ryan meets us there.
My daughter Mila was born after we lost our son Ryan. In our family we speak of him daily and remember him out loud. Mila knows who her big brother is and she tells me that he lives in the sky. There sibling bond is like no other and I am so honored to call Ryan and Mila my children. Soon after Mila came into our lives we took her Disneyland. Mila now is two and adores anything Disney just like her mom and big brother. We frequent Disneyland Resort once a week and work in a few nights a month where we stay late for the nighttime parade. Mila enjoys different things within the park than her brother did, which I love to see. I love to see how they differ. What I find the most magical is that I can now walk around a place with both my kids at the same time, and that really doesn’t happen for me anywhere else. Disneyland is still our place.
You know, this motherhood of mine isn’t pretty and tied up with a bow. What happened to me is every parents nightmare. Though it happened to me and I am proud to think that God thought me strong enough to endure it. I believe in so many things but one thought I live by is, life isn’t about what happens to you, it is about how you react to what happens to you. Today my family of four visit Disneyland Resort any chance we get. For us it means we can all be together. When you see us together you will only see three, but our son beams from our smiles and the fun we have together as a family.
Disney’s Mickey Mouse will forever mean the most to us. We are so grateful for what Disney’s Mickey Mouse and Disneyland in general. When Hanna Andersson asked us to share why Disney’s Mickey Mouse was important to us, I couldn’t pass. I know he means different things to different families across the world. I’m just honored I could share about ours. We love the new Disney’s Mickey Mouse pajamas in celebration of his 90th Anniversary! I love that they are red, which was Ryan’s favorite color. The gold shines bright along all the memories our family has within Disneyland.
Our time at Mickey’s Halloween Party and how we put together our Sleeping Beauty costumes! If you have any questions about Mickey’s Halloween Party, leave them in the comment section of this post and I’ll answer them!Read More
Recently we visited Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort and opened up my social media for any questions you had. I received over 80 questions about visiting Disneyland during Halloween Time as well as visiting the parks in general. I’ve answered the your frequently asked questions here! Plus, I’m sharing my favorite moments from our visit!Read More
Well, as I sit here trying to think of words to re-cap last weekend my brain gets a bit lost. Last weekend, if you missed my posts on Instagram, I ran a 1/2 marathon and I lived to tell the tale! To be transparent I’ve been training for this beast for just a few short months and I never really felt nervous about the run until I hit mile 7. I was in good spirits and felt positive. Plus, I ran the Run Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon! It was my first trip to Walt Disney World! I was just beside myself the entire time, crying at every turn when I saw something new. I could feel my body tense up with excitement walking down the Magic Kingdoms Main Street and seeing the Animal Kingdoms Tree of Life. It all was so overwhelmingly awesome. I’d have to say the only thing that was awful was not having my children with me to experience it. However, we are already planning a trip back with Mila in tow. I can not wait!!
Running never used to be my thing, as much as I wanted it to be. I had always tried to get to that point of “needing” to go for a run. I thrive more so on group exercise classes like spin or dance and I love weight training with my husband (who is a personal trainer). I’ve run 5k’s before but never any more miles than that. Though when the option of running a 1/2 marathon presented itself I jumped at the chance, mostly to see if I could really do it. Turns out I can, not to entirely well, but I finished the race! Ever since arriving back home I’ve been hell bent on running another and decreasing my race time. So, the addiction has started so to speak and though I can’t wrap my head around it much … I guess you could say I am a runner. But if you told that to me just even 6 months ago I would have laughed and said “No Way!”
The truth is running is mostly mental, as in all in your head. Yes conditioning, endurance etc. all matter. But it really comes down to how strong you are in your head. Those positive thoughts really do work. It is hard for me to think of anything more inspiring than my own children when I run. I like to think of them right beside me, I imagine the wind blowing through Ryan’s red curls and Mila’s crinkle nose smile. I know it might sound weird, but that is what does it for me. I know people must think of the most random of things while running. My friend Jenna told me during the race when I was starting to fade, “Dedicate each mile to someone or something.” That was especially inspiring because then I started to run for things like my marriage, my own personal motherhood, my family as a whole, those thoughts kept me moving forward. Running for things that mean the world to me and drawing strength from them helped immensely. It also made me cry through out the race. Which, I think I might have been the only one bawling during the race? Who knows.
The one thing that was the most difficult was trying hard to think/push past the pain. Come mile 7 (mile 7 was hell) my knees started to ache and the pain only got worse as the race went on. I had to stop and walk a few times which embarrassed me at first, but I came to piece with it. I think at some point you really have to listen to your body, though running is mental there is pain that can’t be ignored. My knees were pretty much shot after the race. I had to ice for three days after race day and they still feel a bit sore. I learned about IT Bands and how running too many miles can cause them pain haha! My husband says I need to do more squats and other exercises to strengthen my knees. So, I’ll be working on that and training more efficiently moving forward. I also know so many of you mentioned to get fitted for running shoes, which I’m kicking myself for never doing. You live and you learn. Or you run 13.1 miles and learn.
I will say the best part of the whole trip was crossing that finish line and holy crap did I cry! I wasn’t even looking at Dan, I had my eyes fixed on the lady who was putting the medals onto people. I immediately had a flood of emotions and the second she put that medal around my neck I gave her a giant hug and cried on her shoulder. Then I found Dan and kept crying. People were asking me if I needed water, a banana, Dan was trying to take my photo. I was a hot mess, numb with excitement and pride.
To recap - The weekend at Walt Disney World was insanely awesome. The 1/2 marathon was incredibly hard, but also the most rewarding thing. I’ll definitely be doing it again and I’m excited to continue to train for a better race time. I couldn’t have gotten through it with out my children and husband. For they are ones who have built me into the person I am and give me the strength daily to achieve my goals. Thank you SO much for following along on Instagram and for all your well wishes before and after the race! You guys are the best and I look forward to sharing with you my next race!