Hurricane Irma Affects Disney Cruise Line

While we are praying fervently for those in the projected path(s) of Hurricane Irma (while still praying for our recovering friends in Texas), Disney Cruise Line is being VERY PROACTIVE in planning for the upcoming storm.

Today, Disney Cruise Line announced that it is canceling THREE CRUISES due to Hurricane Irma. In addition, both the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream are coming into port early on Thursday, September 7, 2017.

Here are the exact words from the Disney Cruise

Tropical Weather Update

September 5, 2017 – 7:30 p.m.

Based on the projected path of Hurricane Irma, including its expected impact on the Caribbean and Bahamas, Disney Cruise Line is making the following adjustments to itineraries:

Disney Fantasy
The September 2 cruise of the Disney Fantasy is currently sailing a modified Western Caribbean itinerary and is expected to return to Port Canaveral two days earlier than planned on Thursday, September 7. Guests on this sailing will be refunded two nights of their voyage fare and provided a 25 percent discount on a future cruise, which may be booked by calling 1-855-347-2784 or 407-566-7054 from September 18, 2017, through October 18, 2017.

The September 9 sailing of the Disney Fantasy is cancelled. Refunds will automatically be processed back to the original form of payment used for the cruise booking. Guests are invited to book a future cruise at a 25 percent discount by calling us at 1-855-347-2784 or 407-566-7054 from September 18, 2017, through October 18, 2017.

While we always strive to deliver magical cruise vacations, nothing is more important to us than providing a safe experience for our guests and crew. We will continue to closely monitor Hurricane Irma and provide updates as necessary.

Disney Dream 
The September 4 cruise of the Disney Dream is sailing a modified Bahamian cruise itinerary and will return to Port Canaveral one day earlier than planned on Thursday, September 7. Guests on this sailing will be refunded one night of their voyage fare and provided a 25 percent discount on a future cruise, which may be booked by calling 1-855-347-2784 or 407-566-7054 from September 18, 2017, through October 18, 2017.

The September 8 and September 11 sailings of the Disney Dream are cancelled. Refunds will automatically be processed back to the original form of payment used for the cruise booking.  Guests are invited to book a future cruise at a 25 percent discount by calling us at 1-855-347-2784 or 407-566-7054 from September 18, 2017, through October 18, 2017.

While we always strive to deliver magical cruise vacations, nothing is more important to us than providing a safe experience for our guests and crew. We will continue to closely monitor Hurricane Irma and provide updates as necessary.

I will be continuing to follow the updates from Disney Cruise Line and updating my Travelmation Facebook Page.
If you need help determining how Hurricane Irma affects your vacation, please contact me at Kathy@Travelmation.net and I’ll be happy to help you.

 

Drama Mama Update: Seuss!

If you follow me on social media at all, you know I’m a Drama Mama. Well, I guess if you follow the HOH, you know I’m a Drama Mama.

We’ve started the new competition troupe show. It’s Seussical Jr. I LOVE this show. It’s so fun and fast and full of energy. They had their first rehearsal on the 6th, and I snapped this picture.

Drama Mama: Seuss

My Mags is the one in the middle looking excited/scared/surprised… awesome. She’s JoJo. You know, the mayor’s “son.” (Yes, if you’re keeping track, she has yet to have a role in competition troupe that was actually designed for a girl.)

These kids are SO TALENTED. They’re going to do a great show. If you’re in North Metro Atlanta you’re going to want to put the last weekend of January/first weekend of February on your calendar as “day to see Seuss.”

Can’t wait to see what the next six months brings!

 

 

Why did David pack his desk?

My awesome hubby posted this picture today.

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No sooner was it out there than I was getting texts, tweets and actual people popping into my office all with the same question, “Why did David pack his desk?”

It was really kinda funny. The thing is, we pretty much live our lives on social media, and the fact that we hadn’t made a formal announcement was disconcerting to many. So, here’s our announcement.

David packed his desk down in the “valley” and is now on the “hill.” (For those of you that don’t attend our church, the majority of the offices are not in the actual church building. They’re up the hill in an office building.)

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Same church. Same department. Different role.

He’s starting up a new website (that isn’t up yet, but has a Facebook page) that will “take the care and service we give guests in Connections (the North Point resource center) on a Sunday morning and replicate it in an online environment.”

Translation. He’s gonna spend lots of time on the Internets. The new Twitter is @goconnections and he’s already on there a bunch. In fact, he’s helped several people in just the last two days.

We’re super excited here at the HOH to see what God is going to do with this. Pretty sure it’s going to be awesome.

Oh, and just in case you didn’t know, my husband rocks, and I’m super proud of him.

 

 

Mags on the Disney Stage

Have you ever dreamed of singing and dancing on a Disney stage? Ask that question to any Drama Kid, and you’ll get a resounding, “YES!”

My girl’s dream came true last month when her theater troupe won the National Performing Arts Festival’s coveted “Showcase Award.” That award allowed them to perform their entire twenty-minute competition piece on this stage.

Mags On Disney Stage

For those of you not familiar with your Disney locations, that’s the waterfront stage in Downtown Disney. Did you hear what I said. STAGE AT DOWNTOWN DISNEY.

This Drama Mama was in tears! I was so proud of her and the entire troupe. They worked so hard… and they won!!!

When they took the stage, it was a beautiful thing to see. 

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My girl’s hard to see in this big group shot. She’s Agwe, god of water, so is in all blue with a blue headpiece. But then, the gods came forward.

DSC_0213I must mention here, that the gods were recognized at the awards ceremony. Each one got an individual award. Talk about some very proud Drama Mamas.

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Then, my girl had her SOLO!

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Look at her go!

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And, um, if you’d like to hear it… I can help you there too… (forgive the quality – Drama Mama on the iPhone here)

Awesome, right?

What impressed all of us (and especially the judges) was how the ENTIRE TROUPE was involved the entire twenty minutes. Even when they weren’t center stage or in the middle of a big musical number, each and every one of them was supporting the other both with their movements and their harmonies.

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It was truly a beautiful thing to experience. Seriously, it’s been a month, and I’m crying as I put together this post.

The troupe came home with the trophies.

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But, more importantly, they each came home with a memory—one so precious and unique. Never again will they get to be on that stage, with that group, performing their hearts out. It truly is the memory of a lifetime.

 

 

Rewards : Why?

I went to the dentist today to get fillings.

I didn’t cry.

I didn’t bite the dentist.

I deserved a reward.

So, I got myself a LARGE shake from McDonalds.

WHY?

Why did I think that my behavior deserved a reward? I’m a grown up. I’m almost 40 for goodness sakes. Do I really need a reward because I did what I was supposed to and went to the dentist to get my cavities filled. Let’s not mention the irony that I was eating chocolate after getting the cavities filled, which is probably what put them there in the first place.

What’s even more intriguing is that several of my Twitter friends said I deserved a reward or treat for going to the dentist. I obviously agreed with them. This just fascinates me. Is it an American thing? Are we the only culture that feels we must treat ourselves after a necessary (albeit unpleasant) task?

Then there is the fact that I rewarded myself with food. Not just food, sweet food. Would I have felt rewarded if I’d grabbed some almonds, which would have been a healthy treat. Um, nope! A reward is sweet. And, usually heavily caloric. That’s what makes it a reward.

Am I the only one intrigued by the phenomenon? I’m curious what you think.

Do you reward yourself with sweet treats? Why?

Losing It! Update: 04.02.10

Another week down. Whew! How time is flying!! I had such a GREAT week last week that I was a little nervous heading into this one. Sometimes when I have a good week on eating, I slide the next week. At least on past diets I have, but this is a lifestyle change, not a diet!

I can honestly say that this new way of eating is becoming more real to me. I had some hard days this week. Hormone ridden days when I wanted to stuff my face. Like seriously stuff my face. Tuesday was my one day a month where I want to binge all day. In fact, a couple months ago, I did a Top Ten Tuesday post all about what I wanted to eat that day. It’s usually a terrible, horrible, very bad day.

This week though, I walked on the treadmill on Tuesday and stayed below my daily calorie limit. To say I was proud of myself would have been an understatement. It was a HUGE accomplishment. Knowing that I would get to brag on it here held me accountable. I seriously appreciate everyone’s support. I couldn’t let you down!

I now have even more motivation to continue Losing It! We are going on a Disney Cruise in September. We are SO SO SO excited for this family trip, and we’ve already decided no computers allowed. We are going to totally unplug. TOTALLY! I can’t remember the last time we did that. I’ll be sure to take notes so I can share all my fun stories with you when we get back. However, the fact that I’m going to be on a cruise ship for four days is VERY motivating to make sure my shorts fit! And maybe, just maybe, I’ll get to go shopping for a couple new outfits! In a MUCH SMALLER size than I am now. Whoop!

Let’s see how I did on my goals:

We’ve pretty much established that one through three really aren’t a problem anymore. I still have to think about them a little, but they aren’t the big deal.

#4 – Exercise – I walked on the treadmill several times this week. Almost every other day. And, I actually (*gasp*) almost enjoyed walking on it on Tuesday. It really did relieve some of my tension. I’m not dreading it as much, but I’m still struggling to make it part of my daily routine. Working on that though.

This week’s weight loss: 1.5 lbs – not as good as last week, but this is my weekly goal, so WHOOP!!!

Total percentage lost: 5.4% – that’s pretty exciting stuff, that! WHOOP!

I’m heading over to Giving Up on Perfect to see how everybody else did. Many thanks to her for hosting us each week. There are some amazing stories to read.

Top Ten Tuesday: Blog Post Ideas

You know how you have ideas just roaming around in your head? That happens to me a lot. Lately, it’s been ideas about what to blog. I haven’t had time to sketch them out yet. Between a full time job, being a mommy, being a wife, and serving my community, I just haven’t found the time. But, here’s what I’m thinking about writing…sometime…

1. How and why I freezer/batch cook

2. Going to church w/ my best friend from high school – happened this Sunday

3. Princess on the soccer field

4. Give me a quarter, you’re whining

5. How to eat a cupcake – the right way

6. The great purge of 2009

7. Parenting – being consistent

8. My Sweetie’s favorite pork loin recipe

9. Book Review – Harry Potter – Guest post by the Princess

10. Book Reviews – what I’ve already read this year

Those are ideas I have? Is there anything else you’ve heard me mention that you’d like to hear more about? I’m trying to work out a writing schedule so that I can actually find the time to do what I am finding I love to do – write on this here blog.

For more Top Ten Tuesdays, head on over to OhAmanda.com.

MMMMmmm Cupcakes

So, there are five delicious looking cupcakes sitting in our hotel room just waiting for me to try them. FIVE! And, I’m too full to eat any of them. Seriously – when does that happen? The thought of eating them hurts my belly. I’m dying here. I LOVE cake in any form, and cupcakes are the perfect balance of cake and frosting.

**Sigh**

Let me allow you to agonize with me. I’ll tell you all about them. Then, we can both be sad we’re not eating them.

Three are from Ivy Cake. My sweetie had researched Franklin, TN (where we are on a couples getaway – I know and I’m blogging – but we’re both watching football on TV together – really it’ okay) and found this little cupcake place in the historic downtown area. They had about nine flavors available for us to choose from today. We LOVED the names. They are so fun. We chose:

“The Breakup” – Red Velvet w/cream cheese icing (This was David’s choice.)

“Charmed” – Pumpkin w/cream cheese icing (I love love love pumpkin – this is seasonal)

“Unknown Name” (It’s not on the website and I can’t remember) – Gingerbread w/eggnog icing (Again, seasonal)

Are you drooling yet? Hmmmm? Here’s a picture to make you really want one.

Oh, I really want a cupcake. Tummy please get hungry!

Well, then we were walking back to the car and passed another cupcake shop. One that my sweetie hadn’t found in his research (shocking to all I know). I looked at him questioningly, and he said “Go ahead.” Have I mentioned that he’s  a sweetie. He put the first three cupcakes in the car while I went into ANOTHER cupcake shop.

So, we went into Naticakes. This shop had more of a cafe feel and in looking at their Twitter feed even has entertainment sometimes. They also have a charity that they support associated with them, which we thought was really cool. We held back and only got two in this shop. They had around nine for us to choose from as well (we’re guessing here – didn’t take a pic).  We chose:

Opera Cake – white cupcake w/ganache center and coffee icing (David’s choice)

Devil’s Food –  chocolate all around (Obviously my choice)

Now I know you’re hungry. Here’s the picture.

So here they sit – all those cupcakes. And, I’m not hungry. Well, maybe I’m feeling a tingle of hungry. I hope I can eat one before we ring in the New Year!

As I was typing the above, one cupcake was seeing it’s last day. My sweetie ate one. The traitor. Him eating a cupcake while I can’t. He did give me a bite. The first to go was the Opera Cake from Naticakes. Why this one? Anyone who knows my sweetie want to guess. Yep, COFFEE icing. The man is addicted to coffee. I digress.

You want to know how the cupcake tasted. Here’s a hint – he at the whole thing. The WHOLE thing. He doesn’t eat sweets – like ever. He at the WHOLE thing – well, except for the bite I got. The cake was SO light and fluffy. and nothing was too sweet. Perfect balance! Here’s the inside.

The bite I had – it was divine. Hoping I can have more bites of others soon.

Oh – and why am I so full you ask. Let me tell you. We had a late lunch at Puckett’s Grocery. I had the Tennessee Philly sandwich. It was SO SO SO good. I enjoyed every second of it. And, I’m still full!!!

So, when I do get to eat a cupcake, which one do you think I should eat first?

Disclosure: Nobody GAVE me the cupcakes. Nobody asked me to review them. I’m just sharing the fun with you.

Christmas Morning Surprises

My favorite part of Christmas morning is the surprises. I love that look on their faces when they get something they totally didn’t expect, but is so them – you know that thing – that perfect thing. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, but it has to be something they didn’t expect, but will really love.

Well, this year’s perfect things did happen to be pretty big things (well in the value sense of the word), but the looks on the faces were priceless.

First, I surprised my sweet hubby (and daughter – but she wasn’t as excited) with tickets to the Mary Poppins musical that’s coming to Atlanta in May -seriously, we have to wait FOREVER! Mary Poppins in his ALL TIME favorite movie and music, and I knew he would LOVE to see the show. He was surprised. I was happy.

Mary Poppins Tickets!!

The last present we let Maggie open was the big one. The big one that she wasn’t expecting. She had asked Santa for a DS, so that was already there and was expected. This one was not even on her radar screen. She got a laptop – like Mommy and Daddy have (well not exactly like ours – we have Macs – she got a mini-Dell). The best part about this is 1. It’s hers – so all her game icons can go right there on the desktop. 2. She doesn’t have to use mine.

A Mini-Dell!

We had some surprised faces here at the House of Hills this morning. That made this mommy very happy. In fact, I’m filled with Christmas cheer.

Merry Christmas!