Are you there, health? It's me, Julia.

I am sick. And I am soooooo sick of being sick. You see, it's not the down-and-out sickness where you're laid up in bed and can get nothing done, but it's not the hardly-there sickness where you take a couple of Dayquil and go about your day with no sniffies. I'm right in-between. I kind of feel okay, but I'm coughing like crazy and I'm all stuffed up with random moments of nausea and dizziness, or 'brain swish' as I like to call it.

It's getting better. Slowly. I can't really take a sick day because I have way too much going on. 'Little Shop' opened and is doing wicked awesome. Kate is in town and I haven't seen her much. I cleaned and decorated my house in order to host the YW Halloween Party here last night. I have errands to run and a Firehouse to decorate for the PGFD Halloween Party I'm in charge of tomorrow night. See? Too much. I've been dealing with this cough off and on for a MONTH and it's time it left the building. So if you see my health prancing around in the wheat field, tell it it's past curfew and to make a b-line for home. I'll update in more splendor later...when I can breathe.


What I'm Loving Wednesday

What am I loving? Other than the general Fall splendor?

The paint job on our house!!

Here's what it looked like before...

So green and sad.

Doesn't it look amazing!??! I'm so in love with it. That red door...stoppit now. We painted the brick and the trim. I was SO scared about painting the brick, too - isn't it some unspoken rule that you just don't paint brick? I consulted many about my idea and would hear, "Yes, do it!" and "No, don't!". After buying the paint I realized I had to paint something, and I'm so glad I did it. It was a job, but it's worth it every time I pull in my driveway.


The Haunted Theater at Roger's Gardens

The day we left Disneyland was, of course, sunny and clear. Typical! We promised the boys we would take them to the lego store and they were stoked.

That store is awesome! And lego's are awesome. We all know they've come a long way since we were little (they have orange lego's now, peeps), but I still get so excited when I see those blocks.

My sister found this great nursery a few years ago on one of her trips to Newport and she always raved about their mind-blowing Halloween display. I know - a nursery with Halloween. I HAD to check it out.

And as promised, it blew my mind.
'Haunted Theater' was the theme - they had these rad old costumes hanging from the ceiling...

I loved this glammy, ruffled table runner.

Ew! Rats in the couch! Brilliant.

This chandy was so very 'Phantom'...
Check out those feather boas!
Gah, this organ - they had this creepy organ music playing in the background.
It was just as fabulous as she said! Maybe even better!! It was just what I needed. You see, with my family being Halloween obsessed, not many awesome Halloween things get past us. We don't do gory..
(ew, gory. Sorry.)

and we don't do cute.
(ew, cute. Sorry.)

What we DO do, is traditional and crafty (but not the crazy crafty). Lately, we've been a bit discouraged because we haven't seen many 'new' fun Halloween decorations and some of our favorite Holiday shops. We started to wonder if we'd seen it all.

But after seeing this?? I'm all kids of recharged and in love with Halloween again. Not that I ever waivered, of course.

I haven't put out a single decoration yet (ohdude, I know), but you know why? Because I've been so crazy busy with my show and house projects and the like. It's like I hesitated decorating because I would think, "Well wait, maybe I'll see if we can finish this project first" and "I don't want to decorate in there because what if I need to take it down to (insert random Jolley project here)?". NO more! I must face facts that I probably won't accomplish any of the big projects I would like before Halloween. So? I shall decorate anyway. I didn't do anything last year because we were living under construction. This year is LOADS better, and I will bedeck the house in spooky festooning. Boo.


Halloween at Disneyland

We had SUCH a marvelous trip. Marvy, I tell you! Despite our boys not really knowing what Disneyland and it's magical wonder is all about (Cole actually said "Thank you" after we told them we were going), it was a fantastic trip.

We left Sunday evening and arrived at my sister's house in Vegas LATE. Oy. We woke up to the sounds of the cousins playing. I'm so glad they had some time before they headed off to school. We spent the morning chatting with Scott and Andrea, Cody helped Scott with his scout which gave Andrea and I ample time to catch up and talk all things Halloween, I love the Leavers. Before we left town we grabbed lunch at 5 Guys and hit the road. We arrived at our hotel and the boys ran straight to the window to see our impressive view.
The hotel was so comfy, mmm those beds. I slept like a dream! I woke up to hear Cole climb out of bed and check the window, to make sure Disneyland was still there.
After breakfast it was time to hit the park! It was sprinkling a little, luckily the Leavers lended us their ponchos which totally saved us and kept us dry. Walking down main street brought back SO many memories, it was amazing! How I love Disneyland. We started on 'Storybook Land', then hit 'Buzz Lightyear' and 'Star Tours'. Being with child I wasn't allowed to ride many of the fun coasters, but I didn't mind waiting and sitting. The kids were over the moon which is truly the best part. I got to meet up with my darling Bethany and her family and she gave me some great tips (NO pics of us, Bethany!! What?!?). We agreed to meet up later at the Haunted Mansion which I couldn't wait to see.

Cody took the boys on Splash Mountain...hilarious.
They rode 'Thunder Mountain' and we grabbed lunch and fed the ducks. Finally? Haunted Mansion time. Ooooh! How glorious does this place look!??

I was nerding out, have you been at Halloween? In the ballroom you can smell gingerbread, it's all decked out 'Nightmare Before Christmas' (one of the kid's favorite movies). I was trying so hard to get my kids all into the fantastic surroundings, but they were sort of scared at first...not really 'getting' why I love this ride so much. All in good time!

We hit some more rides, 'Jungle Cruise' and 'Indiana Jones' and for the evening's end, Cody took them on the 'Matterhorn'. And they LOVED it! The park closed a wee bit early, so we grabbed some snacks at Target for the next day and ate dinner. We watched fireworks from our hotel room and then to bed.

The next morning we woke up earlier to hit the park when it opened. We got all ready and the stroller loaded (strollers rule - no matter what age your children), headed outside only to find it was raining. Not pouring, but that annoying sprinkling/spitting rain. Ugh. We put on our ponchos in hopes it would lighten up...it didn't. Since California Adventure didn't open until 10:00, we went on some of the little rides at the front of Disneyland; 'Peter Pan', 'Snow White', 'Toad's Wild Ride', etc. The lines were super short and they were inside - yay dry! After riding the Carousel we made our way to California Adventure. It was still raining and miserable. Our first ride? 'Soarin' Over California'.
If you get the chance, go. on. this. ride. I fully got misty-eyed, words cannot describe how utterly amazing it is. My favorite was watching my kids faces...awesome. We went on the 'Toy Story' ride which was JUST as cool, the kids loved that one. Since it was raining and freezy, we found an italian restaurant and loaded up on warm pasta. We did our best to dry out before facing the storm once more.
Cody was brave and went on 'Tower of Terror'. Pass! While the kids and I found a dry place to wait, I had to give them snaps for being such troopers. They never complained about being wet or trudging through the rain. I know they would have preferred blue skies and sunshine, but they were great. I, on the other hand, was ready to call it a day.
We decided to hit 'Soarin' one more time before going back to Disneyland for a few more rides. While California Adventure is fun, I must say it does lack the magic that Disneyland has, right? Our first ride was the train that circles the entire park. It was nice to just sit and dry out a bit. I SO did not remember that ride! All those scenes in the mountains? Fantastic. And hey! We met Tigger!

We did Haunted Mansion again, then Cole wanted to ride 'Splash Moutain' even though we were already soaked. Cache opted to hit Haunted Mansion again with me (win!) and finally he seemed to really love it. "I can smell the gingerbread!" "That ghost is my favorite..." I love him.
And Cody and Cole rode 'Splash Mountain' two more times. Love them.

The BEST part of all? We came out and it had stopped raining. YAY!! We got some churros and rode 'It's a Small World'. Say what you will, that ride is awesome. The song? Yeah, it gets annoying, but the whole thing is just wonderful. We took the kids to 'Toon Town' and it blew their mind.
And they met Mickey!!
In all my years, I never saw Mickey there. Ever.
Mmmm, ginormous sucker time.
I was so happy that the weather had cleared up, the evening was so pretty with all the lights on.

Cody took them on the 'Matterhorn' one more time and then we watched the parade. Cache about flipped when we saw Mickey and Minnie in their Halloween garb for pictures.
Where was Cole? Falling apart.
Poor dude, we put him in the stroller and raced back to our hotel in hopes to catch 'World of Color' from our room. We were hauling! We opened our door, opened the drapes, turned the TV on to the right channel JUST as the announcer said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to 'World of Color!'" Cody said, "No way did we time that perfectly...". We sat quietly in the dark and watched the show.

Cole missed it.
We tucked the boys in bed and Cody and I ordered pizza. We watched a movie and just relaxed in our warm beds, it felt so good to be dry!

Such a great trip. I felt very 'parent-y', if that makes sense. So often Cody and I feel too young and inexperienced to have kids and show them this world. But here we are - going on this fantastic family vacation with our little boys. I LOVE our family. It was so much fun and our kids are always talking about it. I'm going to do whatever we can to go next year...