My Favorite Family Tradition

Our favorite family tradtion: The family team!

My Favorite Tradition: The Family Team

Growing up, my family didn’t have a “team”. We didn’t go to sporting events together or even watch them together on TV. BUT, we do now! I know not everyone is a sports fan, but I’m a huge advocate for families having “their team”. As a matter of fact, my favorite family tradition is our “family team”.

There is a special bond that forms within a family when you are all rooting for the same team. I can’t even explain the feeling, but it’s special. Living in North Carolina, we are in the thick of the UNC- Duke- NC State rivalry. There are a lot of sports rivalries with very strong allegiances to “their team” around here!

My Favorite Family Tradition: The Family Team

EVERYBODY has a team!

And I’m so very grateful for it!! We all have clothing to support our team, we tail-gate as much as possible, we visit college towns and campuses, and try to attend as many events as our budget will allow. We’ve traveled all over the country to see our team play. We’ve traveled to tournaments, to Bowl Games, and yes even to the opposing team’s campuses to cheer our team on.

But most importantly, we do this as a family. In today’s busy go-go-go lifestyle, it can be hard to spend time as a family…and this is one way to accomplish that goal.

I hope one day when my children have their own families, they adopt a team of their own. Going to games or watching them on TV together, just cheer them on. My advice to my kids is if you end up with having a house-full of girls who hate football, then take them to a gymnastics meet or a soccer game. If you have a house-full of boys who hate baseball but love lacrosse…then go watch the lacrosse team. If you don’t end up having children, then make a tradition with your partner. So what if your alma mater doesn’t have any big sports teams! Then choose a local pro team. You could even follow an international team online…the beauty of technology!

Our favorite family tradtion: The family team!

Create traditions!

Live sporting events allow for traditions to be made like always buying popcorn at the game, visiting the student store after a game, or getting ice cream at your favorite ice cream shop down the street. Celebrating the events at home on TV, you can create traditions like making fun game-time foods, inviting the rival neighbors over, or all climbing into mom and dad’s bed for late-night games.

Best of all, it is a tradition that can be celebrated year round. AND it gives you another excuse to travel! What more can you ask for…getting to see another part of this incredible world while carrying out your favorite family tradition. (If you do plan to travel, make sure to check out another favorite family tradition…The Travel Pledge.)

There are so many ways to be a fan nowadays, so pick a team, any team…and cheer them on!

My Favorite Family Tradition: The Family Team

Do you have a family team? Share an example of your favorite family tradition? And as always, let me know what y’all think!

Go Tar Heels!

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Our Favorite Family Tradition: The Family Team

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Your First Trip to Disney: 21 Practical Tips

First trip to Disney 21 Practical Tips

Your First Trip to Disney With Kids

I am not a Disney expert.

But, I am a Mom who has been to Disney World several times. And because I don’t want you to go through the same stress and anxiety as I have, I am offering up my best and most practical tips for your first trip to Disney.

Walt Disney World is certainly “the most magical place on Earth” and “where dreams come true”! It is also the home of stress, tears, tantrums, and A LOT of really gross germs!! Uggghhh!!

So…there are definitely a bunch of things you will want to know before you go!

21 tips for your first trip to Disney

My Disney tips can be broken down into 4 main categories:

  • Preparation and Planning.
  • Your Bag & What to Carry with You.
  • Know your Kid!
  • Relax & Enjoy!

You see…I made a ton of mistakes on my first trip to Disney. In fact, I’ve made mistakes on EVERY trip we’ve made to Disney. But what makes Disney different than every other family vacation is the pressure.

The Disney pressure!!

You will…and trust me you WILL put so much pressure on yourself to make this the best vacation ever for your kids. You will build it up in your mind and you will spend so much money and time planning that you won’t be able to help yourself.

First trip to Disney 21 Practical Tips

See…I even did crazy pre-Disney things at home before we went to Disney for the first time! (Truthfully I loved doing these fun things but a lot of people will find this a little cray cray.)

That is why…my number one piece of advice for every first timer to Disney is this: Prepare as much as possible and then just simply enjoy. You CANNOT do it all…so enjoy what you can do and let the rest go.

21 Practical Tips & Advice for Your First Trip to Disney

Prepare — Your Bag — Know Your Kid — Relax & Enjoy

  1. Prepare for the crowds and the lines. Even if you go on a week that is deemed to be less crowded…there will still be a lot of people there! It’s the “happiest place on earth” -of course everyone wants to be there!
  2. Familiarize yourself with the Disney App and FastPass. This will save you so much time in the long run. FastPass is fabulous technology and you will love it!
  3. Reserve character meals as far in advance as possible. Be willing to eat at random times…you’re at Disney and time becomes irrelevant anyways. So what if you have lunch at 2:30 pm or dinner at 4 pm. Just make it work so you won’t be so disappointed to miss that precious princess dinner or special breakfast with Mickey. Be prepared for character meals to take a long time…they are good about coming by to see every table and take a photo, but the process still involves some wait time.
  4. Take into account travel time. The Disney parks are huge…and it takes time whether you are staying within the park or not to get to the gates.
  5. Wear good comfortable walking shoes. That being said, also consider your shoes may very well get wet (from rides or rain). Nothing is more uncomfortable to me than walking around in sopping wet shoes.
  6. Consider a stroller. Even if your child doesn’t need one at home anymore, they may need one at Disney. We’ve clocked anywhere from 10-15 miles per day and I’ve seen many older siblings begging for that spot in their younger sibling’s stroller. They’re also great for holding drinks and bags and other random purchases! Mark your stroller before you go…there are a zillion and one in the stroller parking zones and can be hard to differentiate. You can also easily rent them at the park if you decide you need one after you get there!
  7. Germs- they’re everywhere. This is the appropriate time to be a germophobe. Wash your hands a lot, use hand sanitizer, and Clorox wipes. Just do it.First trip to Disney 21 Practical Tips
  8. It will rain. You can buy ponchos at the dollar store and they’re easy and lightweight to pack in your bag. Or you can spend $100 buying these absolutely adorable mickey ponchos in the gift shop.
  9. Bring snacks, drinks, and candy. This will save you so much time and heartache. In my experience, bored children are hungry children. A lollipop makes the line go so much faster and snacks waiting for the parade or walking between rides helps a bunch!
  10. Bring sunscreen and water! Being sunburnt or dehydrated is a quick way to ruin your vacation.
  11. Bring an extra phone battery or charger. Using your Disney App and camera on your phone will kill your battery pretty dang quick and that’s just a bummer.
  12. Put your phone inside a waterproof case (or in my world a ziplock bag). Rain and rides equal water and I don’t know about you but I don’t want to have to purchase a new phone after paying for this Disney vacation!
  13. Talk to other parents before you go. Do your research. Figure out which parks will be best and suit your child’s interests.First trip to Disney 21 Practical Tips
  14. Many children are scared of the characters…I mean think about this giant mouse or Darth Vader trying to take his picture with you?!?!
  15. Know your Kid!! Some kids may not be ready for the rides…figure out what suits them best!
  16. Some kids may be terrified of the fireworks…so plan to leave the park before they begin or bring some headphones…prepare!21 tips for your first trip to Disney
  17. A lot of kids do not have a clue who some of these “classic” characters are…just because you can name every character does not mean your child can!! Know your child! (My daughter had no clue who Snow White was…she just loved princesses in general.)
  18. Plan to go to the hotel pool! Your child will want to go and you may not want to spend your precious park time at the pool. So I’m going to save you some tears…just make the pool part of the plan!
  19. Schedule some downtime. You and your family will be exhausted. You will have walked waaaayyyy more than you are used it. And it really isn’t that much fun when everyone is cranky and tired and all you do is rush from one place to the next.
  20. It’s OK not to do it all. In fact, it’s impossible. Prioritize what’s most important and don’t over-promise!!
  21. Let go of YOUR expectations. Your child has very low expectations, if any, especially if this is their first trip to Disney. Don’t let your over eagerness ruin your vacation. Plan as much as possible and then just enjoy what you can do.

Phew! Are you tired already? I am…just kidding!

BONUS tip…Consider going with another family. I realize this isn’t practical for everyone but when we have done this in the past, we actually found that having another family made our trip more enjoyable and actually easier!

A few months after we returned from one of our Disney trips, we took our kids to Busch Gardens. It was just a day trip, a two hour drive from home and back.

And we had the BEST time.

It was then and there that I realized WHY I enjoyed that particular day so much. Because there was no pressure. No pressure to make it the best day ever…no big deal if we didn’t make it on all the rides…no tears because we didn’t see or do something. It was just fun. And that is why I am writing this post…for all the other A type mamas out there who are making themselves crazy over their first trip to Disney.

So, relax, plan, prepare, and then go with the flow! Of course The Disney website is the place to go for specific Disney reservations and a lot of other details. The Travel Pledge is also our family favorite way to get kids into a travel state of mind.

Trust me…in the end it will still be the best vacation ever!

Have you been to Disney? What is your number one tip for first timers? Let me know what y’all think!

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21 Practical tips for your first trip to Disney!

Linking up with VeraVise and Moment Mom for #MouseFanMondays

and my friends over at Two Traveling Texans for #TheWeeklyPostcard!

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Anticipation & Gratitude

Anticipation and Gratitude

“Looking forward to things is half the pleasure of them.”

-Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery

Waiting for a new baby to arrive.

The planning of a wedding.

An entire school year of dance classes leading up to a recital.

Hours of practice on the field before the big game.

Surprising your spouse with a birthday party.

The transitions from elementary to middle to high school.

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Motherhood & Gratitude

motherhood gratitude

Motherhood & Gratitude

With last weekend being Mothers Day, motherhood has been on my mind. I love a day to celebrate Moms!!

Moms are the Bomb!

Plain and simple. I don’t know what I’d do without mine. My mother has a lot of guilt over working so much during my childhood, but one think I’ve never questioned is her unconditional love for me and her good intentions. I am lucky to know quite a few truly amazing moms and the one thing they all have in common is that they are all trying their best. Trying to make ends meet, trying to give their children the best opportunities, and some days simply trying to make it through the day.

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Busyness & Gratitude

busyness gratitude

Busyness & Gratitude

I ran into a friend at the grocery store today and she asked me how I was doing. “Busy” I said, because it is my standard reply.

And it’s true, I am very busy.

But…busy in a good way. I like staying busy. But that hasn’t always been the case.

I started thinking about the concept of busyness this week after reading a post from one of my favorite bloggers on Facebook- Tales of an Educated Debutante. Adrian talked about how we all complain about being busy, busy, busy and how it can often weigh you down. She thought that maybe if we try to be more intentional about the things we do then we might find a little more joy in life!

So, let me be clear: I am very busy. But those things I am so very busy with bring me joy. I like running my kids to their activities after school…because those activities bring them joy. Attending class programs, parties, and events because my kids enjoy me being present brings me joy. I like making cupcakes for a friend’s birthday because I enjoy baking- it brings me joy. Those things that I do each day that cause my “busyness” all bring me joy.

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Stress & Gratitude

Stress and Gratitude

STRESS!!

It’s been a stressful week. My daughter broke her arm (again), my to-do list is still a mile long, we have family coming to visit, and my kids won’t stop bickering. I mean why do they insist on arguing over EVERYTHING?? The arguing is the one thing that gets to me more than anything. And it can often bring me down.

But, I have so much to be grateful for…

  • My daughter only has to wear a brace…no hard cast or splint! Woot!
  • My family is coming to visit! Yay!
  • My husband and I have been able to go on a walk every night this week. The weather this time of year is so wonderful!!
  • I made the bomb chicken enchiladas…it makes my day when everybody actually truthfully loves a meal I have made! Check out the recipe HERE.
  • I was able to spend an entire day with my sweet mother in law shopping and genuinely enjoyed our girls day.

Usually I try to combat stress by focusing on the positive and taking a few minutes to myself. I tell me kids all the time that they have “to choose to be happy”. They aren’t going to have a good day if they don’t have a good attitude. And this week I found that I needed to take my own advice!

Some ways I typically try to de-stress:

  • Go outside- Even if just for a few minutes…take a deep breath and try to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.
  • Call or text a friend- helps me to get my mind off of me!
  • Read a book- escape for a little while.
  • Meditate- this is a new one for me- but I kinda enjoy it. I just got a free app on my phone and when I’m feeling the stress, I take a few minutes to complete an exercise.
  • Take a bath- I don’t have a luxurious bath tub yet this still one of my favorite ways to “come down” off the anxiety roller coaster.
  • Focus on the positive! Find the silver lining. There’s always something to be grateful for.

What are you thankful for this week? What are your best ways to de-stress? Happy Friday friends…let me know what y’all think!

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The Meaning Behind the Name & Gratitude

The Meaning Behind the Name

The Meaning Behind the Name: More than Main Street

I’m still rather new to blogging although I’ve been thinking about it for quite awhile now. A few years ago I even signed up, but was scared off by the technical side of blogging, so I scrapped it. When I decided to give it a go again, I put a lot of thought into it and a name true to myself. And More than Main Street seemed to be the best fit. Almost every town has a Main Street. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the most common street names in America. It represents the norm or the status quo in my eyes.

And I want more than the norm out of life. I want to teach my kids to aspire to want more too. And I completely understand that “the more” is different for everyone. For me, “the more” is fulfilled through travelling, experimenting in the kitchen, going on adventures with my family, spreading kindness, and recognizing how fortunate we are. The more is a feeling of success in a way, from a proud mommy moment to a meal everyone actually ate to facing a fear.

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