Favorite Five Friday (154th Edition)

23 Sep

There is nothing like an awesome and much-needed vacation! We are recovering from a really wonderful week in Orlando. Here are the highlights…

FAVORITE FIVE FRIDAY

1.  We started off our trip at Universal Studios Orlando, and it was so exciting to be there for the first time! I loved seeing a sort of parallel universe Universal, and there was so much to see. It was definitely a good time of year to go because the park wasn’t too crowded. We basically got to hop on all the rides we wanted. I liked seeing some of Universal Studios Hollywood rides with a bit of a different spin – Jurassic Park, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, and, my favorite, Revenge of the Mummy. There were lots of others I had never experienced before like ET, The Hulk, Rip Ride Rocket, Dragon Challenge, and Reign of Kong. It was really neat to explore something so familiar but also brand new at the same time. Universal will always have a soft spot in my heart.


2. The absolute best part of Universal Studios Orlando was Diagon Alley. I can’t even count how many times I teared up while we explored the realization of J.K. Rowling’s creation. It was just so stunning. Every bit of it. From having to find the entrance and hearing the bricks opening up to the dragon that literally breathes fire. We ran around like children exploring every nook and cranny, reading every single sign, finding every spell on the map (and not on the map), and inspecting every item in each shop. We especially loved the shows they put on. Watching WADA (the Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts) perform the tales of Beedle the Bard was completely amazing and so well done. I totally want their job. Escape From Gringotts was an excellent ride – we went on it three times. Honestly, we spent the majority of our time in Diagon Alley, and I wouldn’t change that for anything. It might sound crazy, but it was such an emotional experience for me. I love these stories and these characters. Being immersed in this Wizarding World is like finally getting my Hogwarts letter. And it was every bit as magical as I’d dreamed. 

3. Relaxation is certainly a key component in any worthwhile vacation. People thought we were crazy for spending our trip at two theme parks because you know… We work at one. Believe me, I wondered the same thing. But we gave ourselves time to relax. We didn’t bother rushing from place to place because we knew we had time. We stopped to look in stores, we saw shows, we went to the pool, we had long, delicious meals. For us, it was a perfect mix of adventure and unwind.

4. Dan had a birthday while we were away! It was strange not to be with other friends and family, but also exciting to be at Walt Disney World! I tried to make it special by bringing candles (that I couldn’t light) for our meals – I ended up making him blow out candles through an app on my phone! Haha. We spent the day at Epcot enjoying their Food & Wine festival. The day was so hot, but we trekked through all the different countries eating and drinking as we went. I think Dan enjoyed South Korea and Poland the most, but Belgium was my favorite. It was a lot of fun trying so many different things. 35 will always be the year we traveled the world to celebrate Dan’s birthday. Oh, and we finished off with reservations at Coral Reef for dinner. Dining in the aquarium was really cool. And for the grand finale – The Mainstreet Electrical Parade! There was a lot of nostalgia there for both of us. A perfect way to end the day celebrating my favorite person. ❤️

5. If you are ever at Walt Disney World, do yourself a favor and take one their guided tours! They have several fantastic options that explore the history of Walt, Mickey, and their kingdom. We took the Marceline tour (named for an influential and inspirational place Walt lived in his childhood), and learned so much about Walt Disney – his life, his dreams, his failures, his successes. He was clearly a man ahead of his time and truly a world changer. On the tour we got to explore my favorite ride – the Haunted Mansion! Our guide, Michael, gave us tons of great info while we are on the ride (man, their headsets are awesome), and then we got to go into the attraction to see how it works. I was literally underneath the doom buggies as they rolled through the ballroom scene. It was so cool! That alone was worth the price of the tour. I loved every minute, and couldn’t recommend it more.

Those were my favorites, but I didn’t even get to touch on other amazing things like delicious food, how much we loved staying at Cabana Bay, drinks by the pool, bowling and mini golf, super cool magic bands, fast passes, picking out gifts, breakfast with our favorite characters from the Hundred Acre Woods, and so much more. I certainly have many memories to treasure for years to come. 

We are already having vacation withdrawals. Mostly we need another vacation where we can just sleep. 😉 Orlando, thanks for being awesome! Can’t wait to pick our next adventure!

Happy Friday!

Speaks To Me Sunday #65

11 Sep

Fifteen years.

I can’t believe it’s been so long, and yet, I still remember the way I experienced that day pretty vividly. 

When I remember September 11th, 2001… I feel sad, confused, scared, heartbroken. But when I think of the helpers, the way our country stood together… I feel proud, reassured, thankful, hopeful. 

Today I am choosing to think of those helpers and feel hope. I am sending love and prayers to all those that lost someone and those still fighting to keep us safe.

God Bless America!

#SpeaksToMeSunday

Speaks To Me Sunday #64

4 Sep

Getting so pumped for our trip to Orlando! 

Universal and Disney World here we come. 😄

Anyone else taking an awesome vacation? Or just getting back from one? 🙋🏻

#SpeaksToMeSunday 

Favorite Five Friday (153rd Edition)

2 Sep

Friday! The week is coming to an end and so is summer. That definitely brings a mix of emotions for me. That nostalgia for back to school days and the relief that a busy peak season is winding down at work. We are certainly trying to enjoy the last weeks of summer…

FAVORITE FIVE FRIDAY

1. Dan and I have become such homebodies over the last year. I blame our cats. They are just so cuddle-able.🙂 But we’ve decided we need to get out more. So, we have been running around LA and exploring the city. In the last couple weeks we’ve gone to Echo Park for picnicking and pedal boating, we adventured downtown for some delicious coffee at Philz and to check out Skyspace LA (a great exhibit in LA’s tallest building including an outdoor glass sided slide!), and we’ve eaten at many delicious restaurants – my favorite was The Griddle Cafe and their delicious pancakes! It’s safe to say we are having a great time, and we’ve got plenty more stops on our list.

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2.  Because of all our outings, we have been going on so many more dates, and it’s been awesome. I think that sometimes when you are married you do things together for habit, convenience, etc. It’s been great to set specific time aside to go on real dates, to intentionally spend time together. It really makes a difference. So happy he’s my forever date.


3.  The Giving Keys is a fantastic company with an inspiring story. I’ve long been a fan of the gorgeous jewelry they make and the reasons behind it. I’ve been wearing their “Brave” necklace for more than a year, but I just added another to my collection. I’ve been experiencing some worries and anxiety about the future lately. Something my mom well knows! She had The Giving Keys make a special necklace for me – “Peace.” It’s exactly what I needed. Aren’t moms the best?

4.  It’s almost vacation time! (And not a moment too soon. We have been seeing pictures of our Europe trip last year pop up, and it’s making us anxious for adventure.) This year we are headed to Orlando for Universal and Disney! Because as you know, we not only work at a theme park, we also love visiting them. We might be crazy. Haha. But we are so excited to go explore, ride all the rides, eat delicious food, and enjoy some much needed time away and time with each other. The countdown is on!

5. Lemon and Jack are still here. And still the cutest. It’s absurd how much I love them.


Happy Friday, y’all!

Speaks To Me Sunday #63

28 Aug

I am a worrier by nature, but sometimes it consumes me. I fall down the rabbit hole of “what-ifs” and end up in a panic about things that may never happen. 

Truthfully, I am well practiced in giving my fears up to God. Letting His peace overwhelm me instead. There is nothing quite like it. But lately, I have been spending a lot of time giving my burdens to God… Only to go back and snatch them back up again. I am hoarding my fears like they are something of value. Anyone else guilty of this? Sometimes it’s just hard to let go, to be so convinced I am correct in being afraid that I refuse the balm of peace that is offered. 

I am sharing this post because I don’t want to be right. I want His peace. So, God, forgive me for picking up what I have already laid down. Help me trust that you are in control and you have plans to give me hope and a future. I offer up my worries, fears, and burdens because I know they are light for you to carry. Thank you for your peace that transcends all understanding. I will be still and rest in you. 

#SpeaksToMeSunday 

Speaks To Me Sunday #62

21 Aug


Deep inhale.

Slow exhale.

How easy is it to slowly drown in all the busyness of every day life?

I get so caught up. Rushing from one thing to another, hurrying through each day to get to what? To get where? To go back to bed? To get to the vacation that’s months away? It’s enough to make a person crazy. Or at least incredibly boring. 

There is so much more to life, right?!

Intelligent conversations to be had, people to love, places to explore, shoot-for-the-moon dreams to live, beautiful moments to treasure… 

I want that life. Inhale. Exhale. 

That life makes my heart soar. That life would make me feel like me. 

We all have to go to work and make a living… But we don’t have to let that become the only life we are living. (And to those making a living doing what they love, I hope to join you!) I can’t imagine just working and paying bills. It’s not enough. I don’t want to be stuck treading water for the rest of my life. I’m going to inhale, exhale, and float. 

#SpeaksToMeSunday 

Favorite Five Friday (153rd Edition)

19 Aug

Friday again🙂 How was your week? I’ve had an interesting couple of weeks here in sunny southern California…

1.  Anyone who knows me understands that I am not a sports person (go Sportsball and all that jazz.). But when my friends want me to go to the Dodgers game, I will go. And, surprisingly, I will have fun! Live sporting events can be a great time, and we had a blast. My favorite part of going to games is always the food and socializing. We had delicious pizza and had  great timing hanging out together. Thanks for making me a sports fan, Petersens!


2.  Y’all, I had a rough couple weeks. I got sick, I had no voice, I was stuck at home, and I sliced my hand open trying to pit an avocado (so embarrassing). The only redeeming part of that time was my champ of a husband. He took such good care of me, rushed home to drive me to urgent care for my hand (shout out to our management and co-workers for making that possible!), and made sure that I had what I needed at all times. Man, I felt terrible last week, but I also felt super lucky.


3. Time with friends is always important to us. Over the last few weeks we’ve gotten to spend time with some friends from Nashville, and it was just a breath of fresh air. So thankful for the people who continue to show up in our lives… Acquaintances who be come friends, old friendships that get renewed, the people who become our chosen family.


4. I have officially decided to grow my hair back out! It’s been fun to be a short haired girl for a little while, but I miss my long locks. Truth be told, it was easier to manage (is that weird?) and it feels more like me. It’s nice to have the choice! And starting from where it is (just about to my shoulders) will give me length options to choose from. I’m excited.


5.  I am also super excited to share that a short film Dan and I are in is an official selection for for the Downtown Los Angeles Film Festival! Can’t wait to share Before I Met you.

Happy Friday!