Galentine's Day 2018

"What's Galentine's Day? Oh it's only the best day of the year!"
Leslie Knope is absolutely right. I may possibly love Galentine's Day more than Christmas -I'm not positive, but I just might. Galentine's Day is a day set aside for ladies to celebrate their favorite ladies.

A group of my friends and I celebrated this most glorious of holidays over the weekend. I hosted the festivities this year. Everyone else brought food. It was so great. It's our fourth Galentine's Day celebrating this group of ladies! And our group grows in number each year! I hope we never stop.

Yes, the above two paragraphs are copy/pasted from my Galentine's Day post from last year. And Galentine's Day happened in February. At least I finally got this post up! Let's just take a minute and celebrate that, ok? Thank you. Now, on to the goods...

The theme for this year's festivities was "love you like a love song" and we tied music into the party wherever possible. Everyone brought a song for us to listen to from their current favorite lady singer(s). These ladies did not disappoint. So much good music. Here is a little sampling of what was shared:
Jill Andrews -Total Eclipse of This Heart (now obsessed with this cover)
Jenny Lewis -everything she had ever performed
Haim -I Want You Back
Ellie Gouding -The Writer
Dolly Parton
Girl Pool -Cut Your Bangs
Bearded Lady from The Greatest Showman -This Is Me (Performed live by Mary wearing a beard!)
Pink -apparently she's all our guilty pleasure
Sylvia -Nobody
Jewel -You Were Meant For Me (just try not to sing along)
Shania Twain -You know what song we busted out

After we chowed down on all the delicious food everyone brought, we learned a hip hop dance from Alyssa. It was so much fun, and sooooooooo hilarious.
Pop dat bootay, boo

Staying true to my brand, within two seconds of sitting down, I spilled my water all over the table and myself. Smooooooooth.

I love all my lady friends so much and am so grateful for all of you. Can we just have Galentine's Day like everyday??


Disneyland // The Best Worst Trip Ever

Sorry, this is long. But A LOT happened on this tiny trip.

Last fall, I felt a strong urge to take the kids to Disneyland (it was probably around the time that everyone and their mom was going). The kids had never been and I love Disneyland and would go everyday if I could. Who wouldn't? Oh, you? Get out of here. Jk. Kinda. I guess we can still be friends.

Anyway, I texted Camaron right away to ask if he would be down to do a family trip to Disneyland. Even though we're divorced, it had always kind of been decided that both of us would be there for the kids' first time at Disneyland. Camaron was all for it. We've stayed good friends through everything, so I knew we'd be fine all going together. We decided to go after the holidays, but before spring, so we could hit up the park at a time when it wouldn't be crazy-crowded. We picked the first weekend of February (aka this past weekend). And Camaron found out he could probably get free press passes (tickets) through his work for us!

Skip ahead to his past Thursday. When Camaron and I got off work, we loaded up his car, buckled in the kids, then headed West on the I-10. The car was a little cramped. It's an older Prius -but hello, awesome gas mileage! The kids were awesome and we had zero pit-stops for the first three hours! We were making awesome time! No traffic! The kids were asleep! We had a great podcast!

...And then everything that could go wrong went wrong
It was my turn at the wheel, when a warning light came on. Camaron's car was a little overdue for an oil change, so we figured that was what caused the warning light. So I just kept driving. Then, suddenly the car just stopped accelerating. The speed began to drop.

Luckily, There were hardly any cars on the road (because we were in the middle of nowhere), so it was easy to pull over to the side of the highway. We're both pretty clueless when it comes to cars, so we just turned the car off, then turned it on again to see if that would help. The car turned on fine, so I started to pull back onto the road, then it quit accelerating again, so I had to pull over again. We tried this a few times, then gave up and decided to call for help. We called my parents first, then did some googling for possible answers or alternative ways to get to Anaheim -we really didn't want to change our plans.

Eventually, we just gave in and called a tow truck to come get us. It was super expensive because it was coming from about an hour away (again, we were in the middle of nowhere). The kids were still asleep and stayed that way even when the tow truck finally arrived and loaded our car onto his truck. The kids and I stayed in our car, because there wasn't room in his truck for the carseats. That was kinda fun.

He drove us to an auto shop in Indio (the closest city to us), and dropped us off. It was past midnight, so nothing was open -except the 24-hour laundromat next door, which we used for when we had to go to the bathroom. Oh, did I forget to mention we had to sleep in our car that night? parked out front of the auto shop that didn't open until 8am? Cause we did. Camaron slept in the front seat with Sloane curled up on him like a cat. Fox and I squeezed together across the backseats. We wrapped ourselves in our sweatshirts and an old blanket we found in the trunk. The kids slept great. It may have been the longest night of mine and Cam's lives. Every time we checked the clock to see how close we were to 8am, it seemed like only 15 minutes had passed.

Oh yeah, and we found out Camaron was denied the free ticket press passes. So, I just went ahead and bought our tickets. Then, he got another email that said they changed their minds and they approved his request! But now we had two extra tickets we had paid for that we wouldn't need. And the internet told us tickets weren't refundable.

...But then it got better
8am FINALLY arrived. The auto shop opened! There was a car rental place just down the street that also opened at 8am. We walked over there first. They hooked us up with a Nissan Frontier (why do car rentals always seem to be out of compact cars? Suspicious.) Then we talked to the auto shop and left them our keys, transferred all of our stuff into the Frontier, and headed, again, toward Disneyland.

We were about two and a half hours away. We could make it the park before 11am, most likely! That could still totally work! The drive went perfectly smooth, I fell in love with that Nissan Frontier, we got to the hotel right around 11am. We checked in, got changed out of our day-old clothes, brushed our teeth (finally), make grilled cheese sandwiches (I packed a mini George Foreman grill specifically for this purpose), then headed over to DISNEYLAND!

The Chewbacca backpack re-emerged this trip!

Two squinters!

Our hotel was literally across the street from the park entrance, so we got there in less than 5 minutes. We went to guest services to figure out Camaron's press passes. Turns out, they were able to refund my tickets and let us use the free ones, instead!!! Then we walked right into the park, took obligatory entrance photos by the Mickey flowers, then ran right into Princess Tiana!

The kid's favorite rides: The Teacups, The Winnie the Pooh Ride, Buzz Lightyear, the carousel, and the Haunted Mansion. Sloane slept through the Haunted Mansion (last ride of the night). Fox thought it was so cool and loved when the ghosts popped up everywhere. Also, Sloane loooved the mailbox in Toontown. She still can't stop talking about how silly it was!

The kid's least-favorite ride: Space Mountain. I was so excited they were tall enough to go on! Fox at the end: "That was really, really not that great. It was really hard to keep my hands up the whole time!" I forgot to tell him they didn't have to stay up the whole time (lol). Sloane got pretty freaked out. She made it all the way to the end, then started crying when the ride ended because it was just too much.

Foods consumed: Churros (kids are now fans), Dole Whip (again, fans), ice cream, cupcakes, Turkey leg (Camaron and I didn't share with the kids, because we were starrrrrving).

Characters visited: Princess Tiana, Princess Aurora, Tinkerbell, Alice in Wonderland, Mickey Mouse

Favorite experience: Meeting Mickey Mouse at his house. I love how this is set up that you get your own special time with Mickey and don't feel rushed. The kids were in awe when we entered the room. They quickly caught on to how Mickey was silent, so they stopped speaking and would silently mime things to him. Sloane motioned for Mickey to come see her tiny purse. She carefully opened it, pulled out her toy doll, then let Mickey hold it. Fox showed off the back of his Mickey shirt to Mickey. They were such fans and so so so cute!

All of us slept amazingly that night.

On this trip, we found out Fox can do the splits! And Sloane can do this!

We spent the next morning in Downtown Disney. The Lego store was a hit. Then we headed out to Indio to pick up Camaron's car and head home -because it turned out the auto shop couldn't do anything to help the car because they don't do hybrids (huuuge eye roll). So, we had to get the car home, somehow. Camaron figured out an amazing plan to make everything work. Once in Indio, we rented a tow dolly from a U-Haul, then towed Camaron's car behind the Nissan Frontier (which my feelings grew even fonder for). Once we got to Phoenix, we could drop off Camaron's car at a hybrid shop, drop off the tow dolly at a local U-Haul, the drop off the Frontier at a rental location in the Phoenix airport.

All went smoothly. Except, with the tow dolly, we couldn't drive faster than 55mph, so we all got home around 2am. But we made it!

Oh yeah, and when we were still in Indio, we couldn't get the car on the tow dolly trailer-thing in the first place because we weren't strong enough. But, some random guy and his daughter ran up and helped us push and did it! Then, like a mile into our drive, I check my rearview mirror and saw the car ROLL OFF the tow dolly! It was following us! I panicked and hit the breaks, then the car ran into the trailer! But, luckily that helped the car to stop rolling. We pulled over and tried getting the car back on the trailer thing. Again, we were too wimpy. Two dudes who were high as kites rode by on their bikes. They shouted they could help, jumped off their bikes mid-ride, then came over and got the car back up onto the tow dolly trailer thing! Yay! Then we did some research and found out what we did wrong the first time, got the car on correctly, tested it out on an empty street, then went on our way again ...Until I got the trailer stuck behind a pole-protecting pipe at a gas station when I did too-tight of a turn. Backing the trailer was THE WORST. I was mid-way through a 50-pt turn, when a dude drove by in his truck and yelled out that he'd help. He said he worked with trailers a lot and asked if he could get in the driver's seat and give it a try. I was all for it. He got it free in a couple of tries (hallelujah!!!).

Moral of story: We're moving to Indio, because the nicest people in the world live there. Jk, but seriously, everyone there was so awesome.

Also, I really miss that Nissan Frontier. This post is not sponsored by Nissan. But it should be.

Oh, PS this trip was a complete surprise for the kids. We told them where we were going right before getting in the car. They gave the lamest "yay" ever though. That's why I didn't post one of those cute "Disneyland surprise!" videos. I blame it on them not knowing what Disneyland really was. They were definitely excited once we got there:)

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