This was kind of a fun, little introspective that I did on Instagram over the last week – admittedly I broke the rules a bit because I guess the original text says something about “no people, no descriptions,” but whatever.

I personally used it as an exercise to consider what seven unique things serve to define my life today, and so the following is what I ended up coming up with… 🙂

(in no particular order)

7 days, 7 black and white photos describing your life… (7/7) #blackandwhitechallenge #family

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Anniversary #9 … More Memories

October 10, 2016 1:29am
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I honestly didn’t realize until going to type this up that literally I did the exact same concept last year for my 8th wedding anniversarybut for the most part we came up with a list of memories that was a little different than last year’s … and not for nothing but life has kind of been more than a little crazy lately! … so let’s just enjoy this little stroll down memory lane for what it is and leave it at that… 😉

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October 2008 (St. Pete Beach) – This was one of the last photos we took out on the beach with the sunset to our backs before heading aside to join our wedding guests in song and dance and good eats, save for the Swedish meatballs that I’m still bitter about almost a decade later because I never actually got one at my own wedding and they were delicious at the tasting! Still, it was a pretty magical night … even if we had technically already been married for a year because we’d snuck off and eloped on the exact same day a year prior for the insurance benefits… 😉

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September 2016 (Tampa) – Barely three weeks ago, just before we welcomed our twin sons into the world! This was after Sara had spent nearly a month in the hospital, so tensions were at an all-time high to say the least, but a few hours later once the boys were all nestled snug in their incubators in the NICU and we all had a chance to catch our collective breath, it still ended up being a pretty swell day!

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May 2015 (Walt Disney World) – This is arguably one of my favorite family pictures that we have right now, taken the weekend we went over for 24 hours at the Magic Kingdom during a period when we, err, weren’t at the Magic Kingdom. We were actually just killing some time outside of Fantasia Gardens Mini-Golf waiting for our tee time here, and at one point we decided it would be fun to take a little family selfie … and here is the result!

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December 2014 (Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort) – Christopher’s very first Christmas!!! We celebrated with a trip over to Disney with Lori, James, and Madelyn for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, and of course we had to spend at least a couple of hours the next day taking in all of the fun decorations elsewhere around WDW, including a visit to the biggest gingerbread house you’ve ever seen! Little baby Christopher (~9 months?) seemed to have a pretty good time, and this was even before I slipped him a tiny bite of gingerbread… 😛

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October 2011 (Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge) – A quick, overnight celebration for anniversary #4 took us over to one of our favorite Disney resorts, which though it pretty much rained the entire time did end up featuring what was pretty much the best dinner we’ve ever had. And honestly I think that’s probably still true – Jiko: The Cooking Place at AKL is amazing – we got a nice, secluded table in the corner of the wine room that was nice and intimate, we got to splurge on a fancy bottle of wine from South Africa, and the food … so good!!!

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May 2011 (Home) – Can you imagine our crazy dog laying peacefully on a float in the pool these days?! Neither can I, but back when she was a sweet, although admittedly destructive puppy she was pretty easy to toss around like this and so one afternoon while I was at work Sara sent me this pic of the two of them lounging out in the pool just like any good dog and wife duo should be accustomed…

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May 2007 (Discovery Cove) – One of Sara’s dreams has always been to swim with the dolphins, so the day after I proposed to her, we went and did that, too! As if she couldn’t have gotten any giddier after I somehow managed to surprise her with the same ring that she had all but picked out herself something like a month or two earlier, waiting around to pet and pose and even swim alongside of one of these 800-lb beasts was pretty amazing and needless to say, she seemed to be in a pretty good mood for the rest of the vacation. 😉

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October 2006 (Epcot) – And here we are celebrating our six-month DATING anniversary, together at Epcot – which was coincidentally also the site of our second date! Believe it or not, by this point we had actually already moved in together and met each other’s parents, so you could say that things were moving pretty fast … but just look at those two happy kids!!! Skinny and surrounded by tropical drinks, with their entire lives ahead of them…

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June 2006 (Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort) – And finally for this particular trip down memory lane, here we see our first overnight trip to Disney World together, and in fact this was actually when I first met Sara’s younger sister … who five years later would end up living with us for a few years when she finally moved to Florida! In this picture we’d probably been dating for about a month and a half, not counting the weeks that we’d chatted online before working our way up to meeting in person. AND THEY DIDN’T SPEND ANOTHER VACATION NOT AT DISNEY WORLD SINCE… 😀

So that’s all for anniversary #9 – it’s kind of crazy to think that next year will be the big NUMBER 10 … hopefully we’ll be able to do something extra special for that, though with a three year-old and two one year-olds on the docket … I sincerely have no idea what to expect! But maybe one could argue that surprise can be part of the fun, too, because I certainly could’ve never expected how things played out thus far over the last nine years and that seemed to turn out quite well. 😉

Onward and upward, to bigger and even better anniversaries in the years and decades to come!

Over the weekend I’ve spent some time rethinking productivity and trying to reassess the different things that I want to be writing because truth be told, I’m really not writing as much as I would like to be right now.

And while it’s too soon to say for certain, the hunch that I’m riding on at the moment is that realistically I could be getting a lot more done by curbing the procrastination and a good chunk of the time that I waste griping about things on social media because if you were to really take me to task over how I’d like to be able to look back at my time, which do you honestly think that I’d rather be able to boast – a portfolio of great writing over all of these subjects that I’m passionate about, or having posted some really great zingers arguing with my Republican friends (and even complete strangers) on social media?!

I really want to try to refocus on creating and leave the petty bitching for those other people online who don’t create.

So going back over my repertoire, I’ve already tried to post a thing or two this weekend on Just Laugh, and eventually my rarely weekly humor column should stumble back into that fold, too.

I’ve also got this really swell Thing-a-Day project that I haven’t blogged about here or linked to just yet, but I’ve really been enjoying that because it sort of forces me to write at least something every single day!

So the question from here is … what else???

Though I’ve had fun with the editorials that I’ve been occasionally writing, I really want to keep them a limited engagement for topics that I find myself motivated to write more serious and in depth about, as opposed to it becoming a regular feature where I have to actively hunt for stuff to comment on every single week.

The one that I keep circling back to is Disney World, although at this point I admittedly have conflicting thoughts about it…

  • Pros:
    • love Walt Disney World.
    • I always find myself overwhelmed with things I could write about whenever I’m there.
  • Cons:
    • It’s a great place to unwind for me and I’d hate to interfere with that by adding deadlines, scheduling, etc…
    • I’ve tried a few different ideas in the past and none have really caught on … humor, reviews, general commentary.
    • There’s always the possibility of hurting my other projects by further segmenting my time instead of really focusing on one or two things.

But then again, it could just be that I haven’t found my beat with regards to writing about Disney World yet and I really do feel like there’s a project in there somewhere that could be a whole lot of fun, so maybe I just need to put a little more time into it and really think about some of the things I’d like to read about that I can address in a unique way, and also don’t require twice-weekly, rigorous trips to the World and/or reposting the same park updates and press releases that a lot of other WDW bloggers already do today!

Who knows – maybe it even involves dumping MyTimeWithTheMouse.com and trying an entirely different approach using a nice, simple (and already done!) WordPress theme that I don’t have to spend a year custom coding to get exactly the way I want, only to later become horrendously outdated until I just want to scrap the whole thing and try something else a few years later!

This is clearly going to require some thought, so in the meantime – here are a few fun pics from recent trips this year that will hopefully serve to motivate me, and I guess you can feel free to enjoy ’em if you’d like, too… 😉

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A few photos from our visit to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party the other night!

The evening was fun, but it seemed like there was more going on than at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party which made it kind of hard to enjoy just because it felt like we were rushing and splitting up a lot to hit the things that we wanted to hit. I think if you just did characters and trick or treating it might’ve been better, but we also fit not really that many attractions into our evening (maybe 3???) and the sacrifice was decent viewing areas for both the fireworks and the parade.

I think that was hands down the biggest challenge to me – you have to go deeper into the park for everything else, yet you really want to be on Main Street for the parade and fireworks, and when you’ve only got 5 hours to work with, it’s simply too much running back and forth if you’ve also got a couple of strollers in tow.

Although I’d probably be willing to give it another try, I’m not sure what I’d change at this point … 5 hours is really rough with how big the Magic Kingdom is. But at least we all had fun! 😉

Anniversary #8 … Memories

October 10, 2015 11:04am
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Yesterday was my eighth wedding anniversary.

At one point during the day, Facebook prompted me with the question of “What is my favorite marriage memory?” to go along with sharing a gallery of photos of Sara and I together, and I didn’t end up posting anything because at the time I honestly just couldn’t narrow it down to simply one.

That said, we talked about it a bit when we went out to dinner together later on that night and both of us shared some of our favorites because after eight years of marriage, who can seriously pick just one lone memory to elect as their all-time favorite?!

So here are some of mine, and although no doubt there have been plenty of other noteworthy occasions along the way, here’s what I came up with at this particular juncture in our grand adventure through time and space together… 😉

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October 2006 – We celebrated our six-month dating anniversary together with a long weekend over at Disney where we stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge for the very first time. We almost didn’t have any reason to leave the room because seeing the animals right outside our window was so cool.

In this picture you can see us enjoying a nice breakfast out on our balcony, which was amusing in its own right because Sara didn’t realize that room service automatically added a sizable gratuity when she added one herself, quite possibly making it one of the most well-tipped room service meals of all time!

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October 2007 – We eloped! Exactly one year prior to the date that we’d chosen for our actual wedding ceremony, Sara and I snuck over to St. Augustine in the middle of the week for a mini-vacation that started with us very unceremoniously getting hitched at the courthouse … mostly for insurance purposes before she was to start nursing school that fall. We spent the next two days exploring the area and even climbed to the top of the local lighthouse, which now has a very special message from us in their guestbook if they happen to still have the one containing 2007 around!

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October 2007 – Right around the same time, we moved into our first joint rental together – a three bedroom house where we would live for the next 3.5 years through nursing school, our real wedding, and the publishing of my first book.

Here you can see my beloved bride sizing up her new garden tub!

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June 2009 – This year we traveled up to Minnesota to attend Tim and Amy’s wedding, but of course, a trip to Minneapolis just wouldn’t be complete without also paying a visit to The Mall of America! We literally spent an entire day wandering around something like five floors of this place, and playing mini-golf, and nearly losing my lunch on the rollercoasters that Sara forced me to go on. It was fun … most of it!

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August 2010 – A year that will live down in vacation infamy, featuring Scott & Sara’s 2010 Awesome Summer Road Trip that put us traveling across the country for nearly a month, visiting all sorts of sights and enjoying a well-deserved rest before beginning to start trying for children in the upcoming future.

This particular photo is from our visit to Niagara Falls, which we actually ended up extending a day after not seeing nearly as much as we would’ve liked and admittedly having a pretty kick-ass hotel room to further enjoy the falls from to boot!

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October 2010 – The anniversary where my wife actually somehow managed to surprise me with a trip to Disneyland!!! Truth be told, I even found it in her browser history at one point and she was a good enough to bluff her way out of it – that’s how good my wife is. We were there for a full week and visited both theme parks multiple times, on top of getting to watch the brand new World of Color from this great view that was quite possibly the highlight of the entire trip…

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September 2012 – Our latest cruise was some three years ago, the same itinerary that we went on through the Western Caribbean for our honeymoon/2nd anniversary, though without all of the excursions and nothing but day after day of laying around the ship from port to port. I was so relaxed, in fact, that here on our very first day at sea Sara had actually persuaded me to get up and watch the sunrise with her … a feat that only five years of marriage, along with a pitifully small quantity of tequila, could dare to pull off!

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August 2013 – And lastly, although he’s certainly produced plenty of adorable shots in the 18 months since his birth, I think this particular photo showing Christopher at nearly his earliest of all will always be my all-time favorite. It was roughly 10 days later when the doctor’s office confirmed from her hormone levels that Sara was officially pregnant … we were over at Disney to celebrate my birthday, and boy, was it one of the strangest, both exciting and nerve-racking weekends I think I’ve ever spent. Certainly a memory for the books, to say the very least!

Having triumphantly returned from the vacation that included spending (almost) 24 hours at the Magic Kingdom, it seemed only fitting that I share 24 photos from those 24 hours of fun!

Going into this we wondered how the little guy would take to being up and about for such an extended period, but between taking his own impromptu naps whenever he desired as well as a quite reasonable amount of mild crankiness, overall we both thought that he did pretty well. Probably his most amusing moment was when we rode the carousel with him at around 3:30am – you can see below in the pic right before the one of him trying to pull the sword from the stone, he found himself overcome with this very bizarre sense of euphoria which we weren’t sure it was joy or being overwhelmed or what, but it sure was crazy to stand there and watch… 😉

Anyways, check out my post for more commentary on the 24-hour event itself … given a proper night of sleep myself, I do say that I’d probably try it again, but ooof, is it becoming painfully apparent that I’m certainly not 22 anymore!!!

I figured I’ve shared these just about everywhere else, so why not throw ’em up on the trusty, old blog, too?!

In a word, Christopher’s 1st birthday party came together spectacularly awesome. She’ll tell you that we did a lot of it together, but Sara was really the driving force behind a lot of the colorful fun seen here below, from the rainbow-assorted sugar cookies to Ernie’s Rubber Duckie Punch to all of the other sweet Sesame Street ideas that she collected on Pinterest and got a “Sure!” from me about in a typical man’s reply. 😉

It’s hard to believe that this little guy has already been around for an entire year – in that time he’s gone from an extremely expensive little science project to this almost Muppet-like, silly personality that giggles and laughs at just about everything and is due to start tearing into anything not bolted down around our house pretty much any day now!

Happy Birthday, little dude! I, for one, would be more than happy to tell you how to get to Sesame Street. 😀

Up close and personal with flowing lava…

March 15, 2015 12:17pm
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This is kind of amazing – talk about the type of video that I’d like to watch in 4k! One of these days I’d love to see a volcano up close like this, assuming it’s possible for me to do so without getting burned into oblivion… 😉

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