Sunday, July 23, 2017

For the LOVE of Harry Potter

Well, as usual, it has been QUITE some time since I posted.  Many reasons, but will just back up to all I need to share (over a few different posts).

I FINALLY got to go to Universal Studios in Florida to visit the Harry Potter parks/ride/exhibits there.  And all I can say is....IT WAS AWESOME!!!!!!!

It was every thing that I had hoped that it would be.  I really felt like I was at Hogwarts/Diagon Ally, etc.

Here are some highlights, in no particular order...

This was the brick opening that Hagrid opens up for Harry to enter Diagon Ally in the first movie.  It was so cool.

This was the view as you walked through the brick opening of Diagon Ally.

Hope got an interactive wand that you could cast spells in specified locations throughout the two parks.  This one made it rain (over the umbrella).

The second time we came back to cast the spell, Hope actually caught an innocent bystander in the middle of the raining umbrella (the lady in the blue shirt).  She just stood there until it stopped raining.  LOL!

One of my favorite characters is Luna Lovegood.  This was one of my favorite (obscure) signs to see in the park.

This was one of the medallions at each of the interactive wand locations.  It showed the instructions of the spell that was to be cast at each window.

Walking through Hogsmeade up to the Hogwarts castle was AMAZING!!!  It was so cool!



And Weasley's Wizard Weezes store was everything you would expect it to be. 


One of the first Harry Potter sites we saw was the Night Bus.  I had my picture taken with Stan Shunpike.  :)  And you can see 12 Grunwold place in the background, which was a signifiant location in book 5.


Of course, one of my favorite movie trilogy was Back to the Future.  While they no longer have a ride associated with the movie, they still have the car and I ran into Doc Brown while walking around.


Of course, one of my other favorite parts of the park was the Hogwarts Express train.  The train itself was cool and everything about Kings Cross station, 9 3/4 platform, etc.



And of course...MY favorite photo...Hope and I going through 9 3/4 platform.
The feeling you were actually in Hogsmeade/Hogwarts/London, was just spot ON!

And this was Hope and I in the entry way of the "Escape from Gringotts" ride.  This was our favorite ride and we rode it several times.

So if you have a Harry Potter fan, I totally recommend going to Universal Studios in Florida.  

We were actually pretty lucky the crowds were down, but the unfortunate part was that we did have to deal with rain periodically.  During one of those heavy downpours, we left the park and went to the Chocolate Emporium.
The food and desserts were fabulous!!!


We considered the rain a blessing because we did not have the typical crowds and lines to deal with that you normally would in June.

 Another favorite was the new Jimmy Fallow ride.

And any Harry Potter fan HAS to try the butter beer.  It was so yummy!!!


Obviously, we have been busy doing other summer fun as well, but this was our BIG event since I last posted.  So, here are a few things to share (craft related) just because...











So until next time...whenever that will be.  LOL!

Darla



Thursday, May 25, 2017

Ode to a (good) FRIEND!!!!!

Oh, how do you tell a friend that is moving away goodbye!  I technically have several more days before she leaves the state, but honestly, I just am having troubles finding the word to (adequately) say thank you for EVERYTHING you have done for me.

You were there when I needed you, in ways you didn't even know.

You asked me to join you on a vacation that you KNEW I needed before you really even knew I needed it.




This was the second great "getaway" we had together in Florida together with Tara.  

You have been there for me through so many rough times, you listened, you watched Hope for us when we needed you (or when I was not in a place to ask family to help out).  

You listened to everything I ever needed to talk about (even when I had to tell you to "stop with the squirrels")  LOL!

And...I know that I told you I would not share these photos, well, you are the one moving away, so all is fair in...well I don't know, but they are funny and I must share them!  :)



All I can say is that I LOVE you more than...well, WINE!

Thank you for being such a great friend!  I know I will see you over the next few days, and I am sure that the last time I am seeing you I will finally break down and cry, but for now...just Thanks!











This was a duo layout...the left side is here in Waukee and the right side is what I was doing in Florida on the 4th of July holiday (with Evon).


I cannot thank you enough for being my friend.  I have only held it together the past few days because I already know that I am coming out to visit you in UT sometime this fall.  If not for that, I probably would have been a more of a mess than I already am (tonight anyway).

(come on sing along)

Thank you for being a friend....
traveled down that road and back again...
Your heart is true you're a pal and a confidant...

AND if you threw a party...
invited everyone you knew...
You would see, the biggest gift would be from me...
And the (handmade) card attached would say...

THANK YOU FOR BEING MY Friend!


I can't wait to come and visit you in Utah and create new memories out there.  Thanks for everything you have ever done for me.  

And remember...I LOVE you more than WINE!!  LOL!  And that is saying a LOT!  HAHAHAHAHA!

Darla







Sunday, May 14, 2017

To all the Different Kinds of Mothers...

I hope you all had a nice Mother's Day.

I want to wish my mom a special Mother's Day!  Love you mom!  Thanks for everything you do!


I know I have written about this before, but every year I struggle with my emotions on Mother's Day. The feeling of empty arms for so many years was difficult and even now that I am a mother, this day still holds a lot of sadness for me, for different reasons.  Being a mom is the hardest job I have ever done.  Some days are great and well, let's be honest, some days are crappy.  

I didn't have the energy to attend church this morning, but we did watch the service on-line.  I am so glad I did.  One of the verses Pastor Mike spoke of was this...


While in our church all women are acknowledged as mother's and are celebrated on this day, they still acknowledge that this day is not always a day of happiness for everyone.  For those mourning...whether it be for the arms that are still empty due to infertility, or the loss of a mother, or the mother who has lost a child, or for the strained mother/child relationship, etc., well...he asked the entire church to pray for those hurting today.

So today, I rejoice for those that had the opportunity to rejoice and celebrate today and for those that were mourning (either in silence while trying to rejoice your own mother) or opening mourning...I pray for you.

And so, I did have a little time to rejoice today...Joe and Hope spent yesterday morning building me some raised garden beds.  YEAH!!!


I was so excited to start planting, I didn't even wait for it to be done.  LOL!




In March I started plants by seed and have a LOT of plants to get in the ground this week.


And of course, I did take a little time to sneak away to my scrapbook room too this afternoon, while Joe was finishing up my outdoor gift.

So here are some cards to share...










So to all those hurting mamas out there...I am praying for you and for those of you reading this, please pray for all of us hurting mamas too.

Darla