Monday, September 30, 2013

Our Story: Sometimes a Little Prayer Changes a Man

SO, I've been promising a picture of what Manly looked like when we first met. I finally found one that I think is a perfect example not only of his looks, but his personality. AND, the car in the background is his. It's the one we took on our first date.
Yeah, now you see why my man needed a little prayer!
More to come. Thanks for sharing in Our Story!

Our Story: Two Months is All You Need

You guys have been asking for pictures, so I decided to start uploading some for each post. I was going to wait and do them all at the end, but that's going to be a LOT of pictures! I'm starting with the proposal. I'll go back and post several others between the time we met and the when we got engaged.
 
Manly writing our fate in stone. Ha!
 
The happy couple up on the mountain. Check out those sideburns!!
 
A happy happy day!!

We came down off that mountain in lightning speed cause we had a wedding to plan, ya'll! We went back to my parents house and shared the news with my mom. My parents actually already knew, because Manly had met with my daddy and asked him a week earlier. You got that right! He went to see him after he bought the ring. He pulled it out to show my dad. He asked for my hand in marriage, and their blessing over it. Obviously, my dad said yes. I mean, he probably would have said yes to just about anyone just to get rid of my loud mouth in his house, but they both loved Manly dearly, and thought he was a perfect pick.
Once we got passed the talk over the ring we went and got our school schedules out so we would be able to pick a date and start planning. It was August 8th, and we had two choices: Fall break(mid-October), and Christmas break(mid-December). I looked at the options, thought about what I wanted, then asked, "SO...what about the 17th of October???" I totally didn't want to wait until Christmas break. My poor mother thought we were NUTS! Looking back on it now, we totally WERE, but we were young, in love, and ready to move forward.
We also already had most everything planned out. We knew all the basic things we wanted, had lists of music we loved, and the people we wanted to be involved. I went up to my room and got a 3-ring binder out and filled it with paper and we went to work.
The next day my mom and I went dress shopping. I found the dress I wanted, SO.... WE BOUGHT IT!! I know! The DAY after we got engaged I bought my dress! I just knew what I wanted, found it, and bought it!
Manly and I set daily goals, and most of the time met them. We had the wedding planned in just a few weeks. Four wedding showers, one bachelorette shower, a few tears and bumps in the road, and 200 candles later and we were ready for our big day!
Our engagement pictures were taken by our friends from school.

Love this one. It's always been one of my favorite pictures of the two of us.

So sweet!

At one of the church showers we had. This was at Manly's childhood church.

At one of our other showers thrown by Manly's mom. 

Five Minute Update

I've been busy today and didn't have time to blog between trying to help Olivia prepare for a test and feeding the giganto baby that lives in my house, so I thought I'd take FIVE minutes to post a random update on the Smittle Family.
  • Eli is HUGE and growing daily. He eats AT LEAST four baby food jars a day plus two helping of cereal AND several 8oz bottles. He is seriously going to eat me out of house and home in a few months when he starts eating solids.
  • May not be long until baby is eating solids because he got two teeth in the last 5 days.
  • Olivia had her first sleepover. More to come about that on it's own post, but it made me feel OLD to have a child having a sleepover.
  • KK lost her first tooth at Olivia's sleepover. She was HYSTERICAL. She was so shocked and acted so strange afterwards. THEN she refused to eat the rest of her dinner.
  • Isaiah is doing AMAZINGLY well in his therapy. The doctor is so excited about his quick results.
  • Olivia is content with being a "b" student. This sort of drives me crazy. Mostly because I was her at one time, and she has a really sharp mind and is totally capable of more.
  • I'm going to see Wicked next weekend! Totally stoked!
  • I have 30 seconds left and so much more to say.
  • I think I'll leave you with two of my favorite songs.
 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Our Story: Put a RING On It!

God love him, I have a good man. Thrifty, but GOOD. When it was time for us to get engaged he wanted to buy my ring with cash. That's a decision I respected, but this little momma was READY to get married. Ha! He was saving and saving, but time was still ticking away. FINALLY, the family I nannied for needed the interior of their house painted. They paid Manly to do the job.
I KNEW he had gotten the ring, but he WOULD NOT tell me anything. Days went by and NOTHING. I had half decided we would NEVER get engaged. Then he asked me to go hiking with him.
Now I don't know if you know this about me, but I HATE the "great outdoors." Ehh, go hiking? Sure, I'd love to go hiking with you in AUGUST in Arkansas!! I knew this wasn't going to be the "big day," so I got myself dressed in umbros(remember those!?) and a tank top, and he came by and picked me up.
As we were hiking up I thought I was going to die! When we finally got to the top I was completely out of breath. The plan was to hike up the mountain, eat a picnic lunch, then hike down. When we found a place to sit down Manly handed me the lunch box he had packed and I started passing out the food. When I pulled out the last thing I saw it. It was a little hand written card. I pulled it out, and on it was written, "Will you marry me?"  
I looked up at him in total SHOCK. He had gotten down on one knee and was holding my ring out. His mouth was full of lunch, but I still SHRIEKED out, "YES! YES YES YES!!!" He had a sharpie marker, and we wrote on the rock we were sitting on something like, "She said YES! Scotty Smittle and Leslie York-August 8, 2003" I'm pretty sure I floated down that mountain. Now we had a wedding to plan!

Our Story:Finally Fall

It's been over a month since I've continued with the story of Manly and me. I decided to pick it back up since our anniversary is just a few weeks away. There really isn't a whole lot of juicy story left between when we came back from summer, but I'd still like to share it. If you missed any of the story so far you can go back and read it here.
After summer came and went it was finally fall again which meant Manly and I were finally back in the same town. We both were over committed with scholarship agreements at school, part-time jobs to pay for gas, and I was singing on the praise team at church and Manly was still singing with the band. We were going ALL the time, but we had a blast! We traveled around singing at churches, schools, and other small town gatherings. We got into a groove, and were enjoying each other so much! Manly created a motto that we stuck to "Have a relationship that makes God smile." We had so much fun, but stayed pure in our relationship too.
Through the school year it became evident that Manly hated his degree program. He had started school being a music major, but never really had a goal other than being into music. As the year progressed, and he saw what I was doing in school(counseling) he really started thinking that may be something he would be interested in. It was funny, because he was always more into my homework than I was. He started to really feel a burden to change his major. When he first brought it up to me I was a little hesitant because I didn't want others to think he was just following me into counseling, but I also knew that it was something that he would be brilliant at.
After much prayer he decided to go ahead with the change, and it was quickly obvious it was the best decision(aside from pursuing me of course!) he had ever made. He came alive doing counseling work, and I think that it's what he was made to do. God blessed his decision with affirming teachers, and self confidence.
Once we were both in the counseling department there wasn't really a reason to have to be so tied down to the music department. I should mention that in most cases(especially in a small school) when you are on music scholarship you basically sign your life away. We wanted to be a little more freed up to finish school, so we decided to audition for a different group that did acting in churches and schools. We were both selected to be part of the team, so we were once again blessed to have college paid for.
When summer came again Manly decided to get a local job doing landscaping/lawn care. We found him a little tiny house to live in that was in town that summer. I was still doing nanny work, and also working a little at an educational supply store, so we were really busy. About half way through the summer Manly needed a new job because his boss basically stopped paying him or paid in hot checks, so I got him on at the supply store. We worked together for the rest of the summer. When he wasn't working he would come be with me and the sweet girls that I nannied for. We had a great summer, but I was getting a little anxious to...move ON with our lives. It was time to "put a ring on it!"

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

And THEN, Isaiah Threw Up!

 

 
So, we were finally on the homestretch. We had everyone sleeping for what would be our last night away from home. We were snoozing away in our plush sleep number bed when all the sudden we heard it. That sound you hear when someone is THROWING UP!! I jumped up and blindly slapped at Manly who was also already up and moving to figure out who it was. We both made it over to the bed at the same time and found the culprit.
Isaiah was laying there asleep, but covered in puke. He had shared the love with Addison who was also still sleeping away. We decided to get him up and put him in the shower. The poor boy was so limp and sleepy that he couldn't stand, so I got in the shower with my pjs on and helped get him cleaned up. Bless his little heart he hardly even woke up. Once we got him out we dried him off and put him on a makeshift bed made out of the couch cushions we had removed for the pull-out bed for Olivia and Mia. Because he was still so sleepy he hardly noticed where he was sleeping and quickly went back to sleep.
In the meantime we also had to get Addi up, strip her, wash her hair out, and find her a place to sleep. Because we had no extra bed linens, and because we now had a bed mostly covered in puke we had to put her in bed with us. Lucky KK got the best deal. She ended up on the non-puke-covered end of the bed all by herself because she had her own blankets and was on the other side of Addi when the "event" took place. She and the other kids never woke up at all.
We finally laid back down after just throwing ALL the puke stuff in the shower for the night(well, that this point it was 3:45am). We soon found out that Addison is part ninja!! That girl has some fierce kicking feet. She's also a blanket hog! Ha! She should have been an only child, bless her heart!

My sweet girl making herself at home in MY bed!
 
Poor sick baby boy who never got sick again, which was a blessing!
 
Sleep did finally come though. We slept in until Eli woke us up raring to go at 7:45am.
We cleaned all of our things up, packed the car up, and headed home. 5 stops and 16 hours later we were HOME!
Now, as I look back at the trip I'm able to enjoy the great moments we had. I never stopped being thankful that we were even able to go, but honestly, it was a TOUGH trip! The longer we go, the more we can pick out the good moments instead of the bad ones, so that's good. Looking back, the things that stand out to me the most are being thankful for our safety plan the moment they brought my baby boy back to me, having a blast with Addi at the Bippity Boppity Boutique, and eating with the fish at the Coral Reef.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go start planning my next trip in March. This one is going to be a LOT more relaxing. See, it includes me, Manly, and a big big beach. Sorry kids, but mommy needs a vacation from vacation!

 

The Time I Became Supersticious

SO, to end our vacation we headed over to Hollywood Studios for the evening. We had planned to see a few characters we still hadn't had a chance to see, get a quick dinner, then hang out for the Friday the 13th VILLAIN party!! The kids were really excited, because the villains aren't out to meet and greet much, so it was a rare treat to have them all together.
We didn't think anything about it when we got there and there was a really long line to get in the gate. Manly stood in line with Eli and the backpack while I went on ahead with all the other kids to stand in line to see Wreck-It-Ralph. It's a really cool waiting area, so although we were in line for about 30 minutes it didn't seem that long. The kids have only seen this movie once, but they LOVED it. The characters are HUGE!!
 
See how big Ralph's hand is?! Wowzah!
Once we left there we went straight to stand in line for Buzz and Woody. This place is ALWAYS crowded because it's right in front of what is probably Disney's most busy ride, Toy Story Mania. We waited for close to an hour. It was while we were waiting that we started noticing the crowd was getting much thicker, and they were all in the 15-25 range. Most of them were dressed VERY risquĂ©. We were starting to wonder if the Villain Dance Party might be a little different than what we imagined. Still, we waited in line with plans to grab a quick bite afterwards.
The great thing about waiting in line here is that there are GREAT places to take pictures.

HaHa!! Olivia is such a character these days!

Loved this one of my Mia. Ha!

Hysterical! Love these pictures so so much.

Olivia strapped to a rocket.

HAHA! Addi strapped to a rocket. Her face is PRICELESS!

CLASSIC! KK strapped to a rocket. HA!

Isaiah strapped to a rocket. Pretty nice "strapped to a rocket" face for a 3 year old.

Mia, trying to be strapped to a rocket.

Stinky Pete must have been stinky. Isaiah is trying to cover Mia's nose.

Daddy tries to join in on the party.

Totally worth the wait! The kids LOVED meeting Buzz.
When we got finished and walked out we knew we were in trouble and we needed to leave. It was obvious this wasn't the sort of dance party we wanted to be part of. There was a DJ mixing music on the main stage, a BAJILLION people gathered around, and suddenly the park was standing room only. Like we're talking we could hardly move our strollers around. We tried to stop and get something to eat, but EVERYTHING(even the pretzel stands) were PACKED and had mile long lines.
Although we really wanted to get to see the villains(who were still about 2 hours away at this point) we decided we needed to leave ASAP. We headed to the bus stops, and quickly decided to head over to Epcot to eat our last meal. We decided we'd be able to eat somewhere yummy, then watch the fireworks(which we hadn't seen this trip yet.). When we got to the bus stop there were only a handful of people there, and everyone was talking about how CRAZY the crowd was.
After about 30 minutes or so we realized we hadn't seen many buses. Still, we decided to wait in this line thinking that a bus would come soon. After an hour with no bus we decided we needed to find a different option. The kids were hungry, we were all tired, and it was getting late. We started hearing through the grapevine that there was a terrible wreck, and the buses were not running.
After about an hour and a half a random bus came by and stopped at a stop where there weren't any people. At this point there were about 50-75 people waiting at our stop. I decided to run up and ask the driver what was going on, and he said they were really backed up, and there really wasn't a good way out. I started to panic a little, and decided we needed another plan. I found some other transportation workers and they suggested the boat(that I knew NOTHING about for some reason!!). We headed over to the boat dock and were quickly aboard the boat. We had to make several stops, but we made it to Epcot just in time for the start of the firework show(that means it was over three hours since we had started trying to leave).
We didn't even get to watch the show because the kids were so hungry. We ended up just going to the first available place to eat(which was somewhere in "France"). They were ready to close, but were so kind to feed us first. We were the last ones in and the last ones out. I hated keeping them from closing, but we were so thankful they let us eat!
We finally left the restaurant and headed for the monorail exit, which was on the other side of the park. By this time we were among the last people in the park. That was kind of neat, but we were mostly EXHAUSTED and knew we still needed to make a trip to get back to our car and to our hotel for the evening.
I learned a LOT from this night. The short list? ALWAYS know EXACTLY what you are getting yourself into. I had read about the Villain Party on the Disney site, but didn't research it on any travel sites. If I had I would have likely decided we didn't need to go and saved us a LOT of issues. Also, KNOW your travel options from EVERYWHERE to EVERYWHERE!! I never thought I'd need to know the fastest way to get from Hollywood Studios to Epcot, so that wasn't something I had looked up. If I HAD we wouldn't have been waiting for hours for a bus while the boat was making 20 minute rounds!! KNOW YOUR OPTIONS!! Chances are your plans will have to change. Lastly, be willing to come up with another plan(or plan for it and have a back-up plan ready) when things go downhill.  
Luckily, we had no problems getting onto the monorails, and we were back to our car after about an hour or so. We loaded everyone up and headed back to the hotel we had been at the weekend before. We checked in, put the kids in bed, and fell FAST asleep. At least for a while... 

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

I can't believe we've come to the final day of our vacation! Friday started off GREAT! We got all packed up the evening before, so we were out the door of our hotel, and the first in line for breakfast at 1900 Park Fare for their Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious breakfast. We were DELIGHTED that the girls were asked to open the restaurant. It's a special honor, and the girls did great. They turn the kids who open the restaurant around so they can't see the door, have them say "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," then the doors are open and they have the kids turn around only to find Mary Poppins standing there to escort them to their table. Such a sweet moment from our trip for my big girls.
Yay for making it to the last day. Ha!

Saying the magic word. You can see the difference in their personalities in this pic. Ha!

The girls were SO surprised! Mary Poppins looked so lovely.

Mary Poppins walking the girls to their seat.

Us at a restaurant is kind of a big deal. Even if the kids are well behaved six kids is a lot of kids for one table. Ha!
We love this place because they have a great buffet. The kids LOVE the mickey waffles. That's not something I keep at home, so it's a very special treat for them. They also have a great fruity orange juicy breakfast drink that I love. We also love the variety of characters at their breakfast. Pooh and Tigger, Mary Poppins, and Alice and the Mad Hatter. The kids especially love the Mad Hatter. He was probably the best character as far as being able to stay in character and still be really funny. If you have an upcoming trip I'd say put this breakfast at the top of your list.
Pooh was our first visitor. Mia looks thrilled. Ha! She actually was, she just didn't want me taking pictures!

TIGGER! Obviously NO ONE liked him. Ha! Look!! ^ There's that yummy juice!

Mary Poppins. She also stayed in character telling the kids not to doddle while they were lining up for the photo.

Everyone.

LOVED.

ALICE!

Alice! Mia said, "You so Buu-ful!!"

The Mad Hatter!

The kids told him that Mia likes to call most days her birthday and have everyone tell her Happy Birthday, so he sang "A Very Merry Un-Birthday To You" to her. She smiled and said, "YEAH."

Happy children!
 
Addi with her breakfast birthday cupcake.
Once we left there we rode the monorail over to Magic Kingdom. Brubbs had still not had the chance to ride the train that got him lost, so we were sure to include that in our to-do list for the final day. It's another must do. Especially now that they have the Fantasyland depot open with the splash park. You can ride it from the front of the park to the back pretty quickly.
My baby boy loving his time on the train.

The little darlins on my row.

Sweet Girls. These two are such sweet friends.

On the go!

Daddy and Eli
Once we got off the train we made our way to Gaston's. It's a new quick service place where you can get HUGE cinnamon rolls and a special "LeFou's brew." It's a delightful blend of slushed apple juice with roasted marshmallow cream on top. It was SO good! I highly recommend using some of your snack credits for this really cool themed tavern.
Addi wanted her picture taken in front of the new Little Mermaid ride, Voyage of the Little Mermaid(which I didn't think was that great, but I guess no one asked me!)

Addi in front of Gaston's. She's wet from the splash park, not from getting in the fountain. Ha!

Oh boy!
After we finished our snack, had a bathroom break, changed diapers, and made a bottle, it was time to go to Space Mountain. We had gotten fast passes so that the big kids wouldn't have to wait in line. While the little kids and I waited for them to come out Stich came over! The kids have never seen the movie, so they had NO idea who he was, but Mia thought he was CUTE! Ha!!
My sweet babies with Stich.

Once Mia was finished with her "brew" the kids got about 10,000,000 germs while they threw away her cup. They looked so sweet working together though.

My sweet little pretty girl. Oh I love this tiny girl!
We left Magic Kingdom a little before noon, and headed over to Downtown Disney via bus. We shopped until we were hungry, then ate at a random place downtown that had lots of different things to chose from. By this point we were really starting to get tired, but the kids really wanted to go to a special even going on at Hollywood Studios that evening. Because it was Friday the 13th they were having a Villain Dance Party and Meet and Greet. If you know my KK, you know this was like a dream come true for her!!
My darling INDEPENDENT daughter.

She is SO full of personality. You just have to get on her good side. Ha!

Me and my birthday girl.

Tired KK.

This picture of the Smittle boys cracks me up! Ha!

Lulu is growing up! NOOOO!

Mia. Reverse planking. Ha!!

Sleepy Sleepy Bubby!

Momma and Mia after standing out in the sun at the bus stop.

Mia said, "Momma! Take my picture with HORSE!!"

The girls and I thought this was so cool. They were in all the windows of the toy store. It was dolls making up the dresses for the princesses. So cool!

Seriously?! My kids are so stinkin cool!! This dude is made from Lego's, by the way.

Also made of Lego's. Well, except for the Smittles.
 
After we ate we shopped a little more, then headed to Hollywood Studios to end our time at the resort. Little did we know the NIGHTMARE that would become this Friday the 13th. We just wanted to see the Villain dance party, for crying out loud!!