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cirque du soleil crystal

Cirque du Soleil Crystal

cirque du soleil crystal
CRYSTAL invites you to suspend reality and glide into a world that springs to a colorful life with astounding visual projections and an original score that seamlessly blends popular music with the signature sound of Cirque du Soleil The Providence, RI show runs through Sunday, July 10, 2022 at the Dunkin Donuts Center. You can get your tickets here.
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A breakthrough ice experience CRYSTAL is Cirque du Soleil’s 42nd creation and explores the artistic possibilities of ice for the first time. This unique production pushes boundaries of performance by combining stunning skating and acrobatic feats that defy the imagination. Watch as world-class ice skaters and acrobats take their new frozen playground with speed and fluidity as they challenge the laws of gravity with never-before-seen acrobatics.
Cirque du Soleil CRYSTAL features an international cast composed of figure, extreme and freestyle ice skaters, acrobats, musicians and a comic character. Eighteen different nationalities are represented in the cast.
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Our family had the opportunity to experience Cirque du Soleil CRYSTAL on opening night, and it was fantastic. I’ll be honest, I am not a figure skating fan. It’s just not my thing. But I do love Cirque du Soleil and the magic they create in every show, so I knew I’d totally dig this performance. Avery was all in, and excited.  Dave wasn’t so sure, but he went along for the ride. And what a ride it was!
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We all agreed that the hockey/pinball scene was our favorite. Irish-style music, plus hockey, plus death-defying stunts?  Yup, that part of the show seemed made for us.  We also loved the costumes, especially our budding costume designer, Avery. The Cirque style is totally her aesthetic. Perhaps she’ll find a job creating for Cirque in the future. We also really loved that much of the music was performed by live musicians who became part of the show. The fiddle player was our favorite, of course.
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With this new creation Cirque du Soleil explored the essence of skating, bringing its signature style of acrobatics into unchartered territory– a sheet of ice – and blurring the boundaries between gliding sports and circus arts. In CRYSTAL, acrobats and skaters perform acrobatics on the ice and in the air, seamlessly combining multiple disciplines together. Synchronized skating, freestyle figures, and extreme skating are featured alongside circus disciplines such as swinging trapeze, aerial straps, and hand to hand. Figure skaters learned how to be pushers on Chinese poles, while circus artists learned how to skate, and extreme skaters learned figure skating moves.
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Tips for the show:
  • Dress warm. Even though it’s a million degrees outside, remember this is an ice show and it gets chilly in the arena. Avery was mad that I made her wear jeans, but was happy when we arrived and she realized how cold it was inside.
  • Don’t miss the pre-show performance – and if you’re lucky enough to have seats in the first row, you may get to enjoy some audience participation.
  • We recommend seats with a straight-on view of the ice. There are no bad seats for this show, but there are some elements of the projection that may be missed if you sit along the sides.
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Be sure to pick up tickets for your family to see this unique experience while it’s in town for a limited run.

(Friends in Albany, you can see the show Aug 4-7, 2022 at the MVP Arena)

Follow #CRYSTAL and #cirquedusoleil on social mediaFacebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | Snapchat |TikTok
SPONSORED: Our family received tickets to the show in exchange for this review. All opinions are our own.
Moving Companies In Rhode Island

4 Tips for a Stress-Free Move with Kids

This is a guest post from Alex at The Berger Bungalow. With the current state of the market, it seemed like the perfect time to share about moving companies in Rhode Island. 

Moving Companies In Rhode Island

Mamas – I know a lot of you are moving right now. The housing market is booming, everyone is upgrading or downsizing, and if you have kids, it can be a scarier and potentially stressful process, if you are not sure what to expect. Preparing ahead of time (both yourself and the kids) and giving them opportunities to help make decisions are two great ways to tackle your move, without the added stress and anxiety. Here are a few additional tips to help you stay stress-free during this process:

 

Help them focus on the positive

It’s easy to look at all the aspects of life that moving takes away. Kids will miss their neighborhood friends, extended family members, and school. These are all familiar to them, and the unknown is frightening. However, you can make moving with children a beneficial growing experience when you focus on the positives. Instead of dwelling on what they’ll miss out on, tell them about all the good that will come from it! For example, tell them if their new house will be bigger, they get their own bedroom, or they’ll be closer to other family members. It may also help to find books about moving for kids and tell them your own experiences. It’ll make the process clearer and less foreign to them, which means they likely won’t be as scared.

 

Don’t pack up all their cherished items

Packing for a move is a long process, and the house is going to look messy and disorganized. It’s easiest to pack up one room at a time, but it isn’t that easy when you’re moving with children. The little ones will have their favorite toys, blankets, clothes, and much more that they feel they can’t live without. Instead of fighting with them on it, let them choose which items to pack and which ones to leave out. Kids need familiarity, and those few items will make it seem less like their world is falling apart.

 

Pack an “essentials” bag

Moving day is always full of last-minute packing, so make sure you have a separate bag of the essentials for you and the kids. This includes clothing, medications, toiletries, diapers and wipes, blankets, food, and other items you’re sure you’ll need through the first night. Doing this will make it so you don’t have to dig through boxes as soon as you arrive to find everything you need. You’ll be able to care for yours and the kids’ needs without feeling scrambled and stressed. And the kids will appreciate your calmness!

 

Hire movers

One tip that I recommend for everyone – with or without kids – is to hire movers. Honestly, if you really want a stress-free move, this is the way to go. Without movers, you will have to spend so much more time, effort, and energy on moving. It is a really physical process and when you have kids on your hip, it can be really challenging to get it done in a timely manner (meaning you will either spend more money on a longer rental truck, or you won’t move out in time…which is not good!). Rushing the process is not great either, because you risk breaking furniture or yourself (yikes!). Instead of worrying about this, leave the moving to the processionals, such as Fresh Start – The Moving Crew – Warwick. They are Warwick RI commercial movers and residential movers with labor-only options, packaging services, and more. They service the entire New England area and have company branches in Warwick, Springfield, & Worcester. Fresh Start – The Moving Crew has nearly a decade of experience with moving and they provide clean trucks with proper equipment so that they can better transport your belongings. They say, “Our team of professional uniformed workers vows to be respectful of your property and possessions, handling them with the utmost care. No matter how far you may be going, we can help. We’ll be there every step of the way, from initial consultation to the final invoice. Our team is happy to work with you to develop an efficient relocation plan that fits your needs. We will answer any questions you may have about the process.” With a team such as Fresh Start – The Moving Crew helping you along the way, it will definitely help ease the pains of moving significantly, especially if you have children.

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You may have anxiety about moving with children because you aren’t sure how they’ll respond. However, it doesn’t have to be a traumatic experience. If you prepare the kids ahead of time and give them opportunities to make decisions, you’ll find that they take it much better than anticipated! Then, you can get busy having fun, learning about the community, and making new friends!

Escape your reality at THE New England Renaissance Faire

*Disclosure* Our family received tickets to the Faire to facilitate our blog post. All opinions are our own!*

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! FALL! I know, I know, it’s not TECHNICALLY fall yet, but… Pumpkin Spice is back at my favorite coffee shop, Avery is back in school, I need to wear a sweater in the morning, and King Richard’s Faire is open!

Our family has been visiting the Faire every year for the last 4 years. It’s fun for our whole family. I love people watching and seeing all the amazing costumes. Avery loves the performers, and of course the unicorns (Yes, they do have unicorns in Carvershire!) and Dave loves the food!

Avery at King Richards Faire

Each weekend has something different to offer. Our favorite time to visit is during Harry Potter Fan Fest Weekend, which is coming up September 21 & 22. This event features Sorting of Houses (Ravenclaw here!) trivia contest, and a costume parade for all ages. It’s a lot of fun.

Not a Potterhead? That’s ok, members of all fandoms are welcome at the Faire! Game of Thrones fans will want to visit the shire on 9/28 or 29. Do you like men in kilts? Are you a man who wears a kilt? Then visit on October 5 for the Highland Hunks competition! Are vikings or pirates your thing? Maybe you’d like to visit during Invaders Weekend, October 12 & 14.  Love it ALL? The last weekend of the faire, 10/19 & 10/20 is the Fantasy Finale, and features the best costume contest you’ve ever seen. It is sure to be amazing!

No matter when you visit King Richard’s Faire, you’re going to have a great time. With eight stages of live entertainment, a joust, a few hundred actors, singers, dancers, stage combat pros, acrobats, puppeteers, and general (planned) mayhem of “Carvershire” (all free and included with admission!) how could you not??

We look forward to sharing all our photos when we visit in a couple weeks!

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Escape YOUR reality at King Richard’s Faire, New England’s largest and longest-running Renaissance festival!

Visit the Faire weekends and Monday holidays from August 31-October 20, 2019, where entertainment, exciting rides and skilled games abound on the Faire’s enchanting 80-acre wooded site (235 Main Street, Carver, Mass. 02330). You’ll be dazzled by acrobats, aerialists, and jugglers! Be captivated by minstrels, dancers and puppeteers and enthralled by fire-eaters, magicians and exotic tigers. Hundreds of talented performers perform non-stop for you throughout the day on any one of our eight vibrant stages. The King’s handsome knights battle on horseback as bawdy beggars compete in mud. Wacky wenches will leave you in stitches while happy villagers engage you in the lanes. Frolicking faeries can be seen dancing through the forest, where you can try your skill in his majesty’s Gaming Glen.

See the website for new acts and special events for the 2019 season!

Afterward, epicurean pleasures suited for royalty, will tantalize even the pickiest of taste buds. Satiate thy palate with giant spit-roasted turkey legs, ringlets of fryes, and boules of chowder or stew, and quench thy thirst with champagne, specialty cocktails, wine and brew.

Many of the King’s talented artisans journey from around the globe and have much to offer all who enter the gates of Carvershire. Discover beautiful handspun pottery, fabulous jewelry, and incredible face painting. Delight in period clothing, leather, armor, and moccasins. Be amazed by our blacksmith and forged weaponry and other works of art. Revel in scented oils, perfumes, handmade crafts and psychic readings as you make memories to last a lifetime.

New in 2019: a new King Richard XI to lord over Carvershire with his lovely bride, Queen Anne and visiting princesses in the village to sample talented artisan wares, food and drynk, and entertaining new performers. New to the entertainment lineup in Carvershire this year: The Accidental Acrobats, a duo of contortionists; Sir Guy, the comedian; Kasam the Masked Master; GoGaucho, a dynamic blend of dance, music, comedy and other tricks; and mesmerizing music from Moon Chariot and piping by the Portland & District Pipers.

Visit kingrichardsfaire.net for a site map, event schedules, and ticket sales.
235 Main Street, Carver MA 02330
adult: $34
child 4-11: $17
children 3 years of age and younger are free
Website link: http://kingrichardsfaire.net
Ticket link:
https://kingrichardsfaire.net/ticket-admissions-faqs/

Dinner Is Saved with Peapod!

Disclosure: #ad  I was given a gift code to facilitate this review. All opinions of the Peapod Service are my own.

Hey friends!  It’s been awhile… Things have been pretty crazy over here the past 6 or so months.  Our family has experienced so many changes, and challenges and unfortunately this blog took a backseat to everything else.  But, things are settling down (sort of!) and I am so happy to be back!

One major change is that I very recently accepted a NEW JOB! I’ll talk about it more in the future, but it’s awesome, and I am so happy! It’s a “normal” job in that I actually have to change out of my pajamas and go to an office Monday – Friday, 9 – 5.  It’s a huge change after working from home or the past 7 years, but I am soooo ready for it.

As ready as I am, there is the little worry in my mind about how the heck I am going to do EVERYTHING?!

Take a look at our weekly schedule:

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Sarah Baseball Work til 5pm Work til 3pm Work til 5pm Work til 5pm Work til 5pm Baseball
Dave Baseball Work til 2:30 Baseball practice 7pm Work til 2:30 Work til 2:31 Work til 2:32 Work til 2:33 Baseball
Avery Baseball Coding til 5:30 Dance 4:30 – 6pm Dance til 5:00 Baseball practice: 6 – 7pm Nothing? Maybe? That can’t be right. Baseball
Girl Scouts 5:45 – 7:15pm Baseball Game 5:30 – 7pm

OK, soooo…. WHEN DO I MAKE AND EAT DINNER?!?!

I guess we can just eat on Friday, and weekends when Dave doesn’t have night games.

I mean, Dave will be home, and he is more than capable of cooking (full disclosure: he is the one who cooks most of the time!)  But it feels like we won’t have any time now that I won’t be home until later. And when the heck will we do our shopping?

That’s where Peapod comes in!  I’ve blogged about Peapod before, and how easy it made party planning. I am going to start taking my own advice, and let someone else do the heavy lifting for me. (Literally)

Peapod is SUPER convenient and easy! I can order everything we need for the week while on my lunch break, and schedule a delivery time that works for me.54433318_570651363446645_6234251274750001152_n

Since Dave was home this week, I chose a delivery time right in the middle of the day, so he could be the one to put all the groceries away! Ha! 55546961_1214622135366021_7038730191530622976_n

I love that Peapod sends you alerts so you know exactly when to expect your delivery. It’s nice that you don’t have to wait around all day, looking out the window, dreaming about groceries…

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OK, so we all know about the convenient delivery and pick-up options. But wait, there’s MORE! Did you know that you can order delicious pre-made meals?  The chicken parm is really good, and is a definite favorite in our family! The pre-made meals are perfect for nights when I just do not have time to prepare even the simplest of meals. I can grab one of these from the fridge and just heat it up! peapod-2

Peapod also offers a variety of affordable meal kits (many are less than $5 per serving) that contain pre-measured, pre-cut and pre-washed ingredients for meals made in 30 minutes or less!!  I was really excited to try these out as we’ve always wanted to use meal kits, but never wanted to be locked into a monthly plan, or get stuck with meals we really weren’t interested in.
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I ordered the Beef and Broccoli kit, and the Upscale Beef Stroganoff!  It is so simple, as the kit includes all the ingredients you need, portioned and clearly labeled. The recipe is easy to follow, and doesn’t require any advanced cooing skills. peapod-4

The Beef Stroganoff was SO GOOD! And it made 6 servings so we had more than enough for dinner and lunches the following day! I love the ease of having these meals ready to go in the fridge. Dave and I can easily grab them and whip it up quickly for a hearty meal before practice!peapod-5 Peapod makes shopping so easy, not just with delivery or pick-up but with other special features like:

  • Express Shop: Quickly locate and select all ingredients for a specific recipe, meal plan, etc. Just type your list into the notepad; click Start Shopping and the products matching your first item will be displayed.
  • Order Genius: Auto-fill your cart with the items you buy most frequently and even recall shopping history from Stop & Shop and Giant loyalty reward cards.
  • Sort Feature: Find products with the best price, to meet your dietary needs, even see which product is most popular. Select your sort preference from the drop-down box at the top of every page. Click the Save Sort link and your products will always be sorted that way.
  • Filter Feature: Filter to only see the products that meet your needs, whether you’re looking for dairy-free cereal or peanut-free snacks.

Peapod has no required membership fee, but they do offer an optional subscription service called PodPass which gives subscribers unlimited free delivery and pick-up for one low price with 3 month, 6 month and 12 month options! Standard delivery fees range from $6.95-$9.95

So here I am, having a lazy Sunday, not rushing around the market trying to figure out what the heck we will eat this week, along with half the state. Because I know that Peapod has me covered!

BOSTON/MA FRIENDS!!! From now until the end of March, I am offering a code: FRESH50 to my followers for $25 off your first two orders and 1-year free delivery with a PodPass subscription!  That’s an amazing deal!! Don’t miss out and head to Peapod right now to grab your groceries for the week!

Follow Peapod for more recipes, dinner ideas and solutions!

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Making Memories at The Marshfield Fair

*Disclosure–Thank you to the Marshfield Fair  for the MEGAPASSES for our family to facilitate this review. All opinions are our own, as always! Making Memories at the Marshfield Fair

Growing up, I spent many summer days at our Upstate New York county fairs. Many hours were spent watching pig races and tractor pulls, eating fried dough and cotton candy, exploring the craft barns, conning my nana and poppa into buying me balloons and toys, visiting my uncle’s cows and all the other livestock my parents wouldn’t let me have as pets, riding the rides, and singing along with the bands at the performance stage. The fair is a big part of my childhood memories and I love sharing that experience with Avery.

This year we visited a new-to-us fair. The Marshfield Fair in Marshfield MA.  We’d hard great things about this fair from friends, but had never had the chance to visit it ourselves. This year we were determined to make the time!

The Marshfield Fair has so much to offer! From the awesome entertainment and the thrill rides and games in the midway, to the food and creative craft vendors, to the horticulture and agriculture, and the butterfly and chick hatcheries, and, and, and, and…. we didn’t want to leave!

We really had a WONDERFUL day at the Marshfield Fair and we know you’ll love it too! Here are some of our favorite things about the fair!

The Animals:

Our first stop at any fair is always a visit to see the animals in the 4-H barns. We visited with the cows first.  Avery and I adore cows and I think we could spend a full day just hanging out with them!! We also saw goats, many varieties of chickens, bunnies (even wee little baby bunnies!), and horses. marshfield fair cowmarshfield-3

The Food:

As soon as we walked through the entry gate, Avery was asking when we were going to eat. After our time with the animals, we strolled around the fairgrounds, checking out the food options. There were so many! It was hard to choose, but eventually Avery decided on a foot-long hot dog (well, TWO actually!) while Dave and I grabbed super delicious burgers from Northern Soul. We highly recommend them! Not just because the food was so good, but because the family that owns it is so wonderful! The dad gave Avery a freeze pop, and their young daughter delivered our food so we didn’t have to wait and could sit and listen to the band. If you’re craving a burger (or pulled pork egg rolls, or waffle fries, or linguica hot dogs)  give them your business!  Later in the evening we had ice cream, snow cones, and of course, friend dough! marshfield fair midway foodmarshfield northern soul burgers fried dough marshfield snow cone

The Entertainment:

When I say there is so much to see…I mean there is SO MUCH to see! We honestly couldn’t get to everything we wanted, but we enjoyed a few fun shows! There was a magic show, a lumberjack show, live bands on the family stage, and musical performers in other areas as well.  Definitely check the daily schedule so you don’t miss out on any great shows!

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The Rides:

We had the MEGAPASS includes a ride wristband for unlimited mechanical rides.  I knew they’d have a TON of rides, but I wasn’t sure if there would be anything that Avery could ride (or that I’d let her ride lol) We were all pleasantly surprised to find a whole area of the midway with rides that were perfect for the younger and smaller thrill seekers! Avery rode the scrambler, carousel, Dragon Wagon coaster, Hot Shot, and ran through the funhouses over and over and over again! And she did it all by herself! Here are a whole bunch of pictures to prove it!!

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The Scavenger Hunt:

The Great Family Scavenger Hunt was our favorite thing about the fair. It really made it even more special, and ensured that we didn’t miss an opportunity to learn something new! We met beekeepers, ham radio operators, wood carvers, a blacksmith, birds of prey, a bunch of farmers, and more! At each station Avery received a stamp and once she had them all, she received a prize! It really was a fun experience for our family, and I highly recommend your family not miss out on it when you visit the fair. It’s easy to spend all your time in the midway, but don’t forget there is so much more to the Marshfield Fair, and so many interesting people to meet!

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That right there is the face of a kid who had so much fun, learned so much, and was SUPER proud of her successful scavenger hunt!! After a long day, we made walk back to our car. Tired legs, bellies full of yummy food, happy hearts, and heads full of the memories we made at The Marshfield Fair!

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The Marshfield Agricultural and Horticultural Society presents…

The 151st Marshfield Fair
August 17– 26, 2018

$10.00 (Children 6 & under FREE)
Parking on-grounds $5.00

Gates Open:
Noon – 10 pm
Everyday

140 Main Street
Marshfield, MA 02050

Follow Marshfield Fair on FACEBOOK    TWITTER  &  INSTAGRAM

Not Everyone Loves Disney…

Not everyone loves disney

Not everyone loves Disney.

And that’s ok!

Really.

Last night, while scrolling my Facebook feed, I came upon a post on a local moms blog. The title and image grabbed my attention, then I read the excerpt. It was clearly another anti-Disney post, like the dozens I’ve read (and hundreds I know are out there) but this one was more than just a post saying why the author doesn’t enjoy Disney, this post was far more vicious, calling out those who do love Disney as ignorant and “what is wrong with the world” As a Disney fan, it irked me. As a mother it made me shake.  The judgement in the post was STRONG, the tone harsh and mean spirited.

You all know how much our family, immediate and extended, love Disney. The movies, the books, the parks, the cruises, the adventures, the MEMORIES. It is a part of our life that brings us a lot of joy.

I also know that it is not for everyone.  

I have friends, and even family (you know who you are!) who openly dislike Disney. They have their reasons, some all of them valid. Some think it’s just too expensive. Some hate the crowds, and are only able to travel at peak times because of work or school. Some prefer to use their vacation funds to visit the beach, or road trip to National Parks, others take an annual trip to NYC to see a Broadway show, one visits family in Europe, and there are even a couple who have taken a stand against what they deem to be a problematic corporation. Some just hate magic and fun (again, you know who you are!!) And ya know what?  I am totally cool with that! Do I joke with them, and tell them they are missing out? You know it! Do they throw it back at me and tell me I’m crazy for loving it so much? They certainly do! But, none of us judge the others for their choice of vacation spot. Because it’s just that: THEIR CHOICE.156185_10151172267226452_1015708101_n

The post implied that those of us who go to Disney aren’t teaching our kids about REAL culture, we’re showing them the fake Paris in Epcot, when we should be taking them to the REAL Paris.  That is truly a privileged view. The fact is, not everyone has the opportunity to choose the real Paris over Epcot. There are many reasons, maybe they have young children who they don’t think are ready for a trip to Europe, maybe they have a fear of flying but can road trip to Florida, maybe they cannot afford it but Disney is something they are able to make happen. I have not taken my daughter to Paris. It’s not something we have a lot of interest in at this time. I’d love to take her to Europe when she’s older, though! However, just because she hasn’t traveled the world doesn’t mean she doesn’t know about other cultures.  Through our family, friends, and her school, we’ve made sure that she is exposed to other cultures. And *shockingly* Disney has been a part of that exposure. She’s learned traditional German dances, she’s sat with woodcarvers from Africa and listened as they shared how they learned the art form. She’s been taught Berber and Arabic words. She’s learned about Alebrijes and taught to play djembe. And she’s met, spoken to and befriended cast members (and other guests) from all over the globe. Disney has only increased her knowledge of world cultures.

The post also blamed Disney and princess culture for causing body image issues for women. While I don’t disagree that film and media often portray a very skewed ideal of beauty, I don’t think we can put the blame solely on Disney princesses. (Especially when you’re basing that assessment on films from the 1930s and 40s, which were based on fairytales from centuries ago. I think Merida, Mulan, and Moana have done a great job showing my girl that Disney princesses don’t need a prince to prove their worth.)  Certainly our girls (and boys) are influenced by what they see around them, but my daughter isn’t only surrounded by Cinderella and Tinkerbell. She has female doctors, lawyers, writers, artists, scientists, teachers, musicians, athletes, nurses, social workers, all shapes and sizes, all different religions and races and ethnicity, different sexual and gender identities, different levels of education and socioeconomic status, some with physical disabilities, some with cognitive disabilities and challenges. She is surrounded by all different women.  Strong women. Brave women. Amazing women. 

She has never told me that she wants to be a princess when she grows up. But, she knows that she can be ANYTHING she wants (except President. I don’t want my kid to be president, it’s a terribly stressful job) She can be a stay at home mom, or a high-powered corporate executive. She can be a doctor or a nurse or a dentist or a vet (but I’m trying to explain to her that unless Dr. Henry Wu finds some funding and a new lab space, “Dinosaur Vet” is not going to be a lucrative career path) She can join the military, she can be an actress, she can be the first female pro baseball player, she can be a painter, she can be an astrophysicist. She can be a Disney Princess and bring smiles to the faces of thousands of little girls in Disney World.  She can be anything. There is no asterisk. Anything means anything.14721643_10154048452956452_1970799903050460267_n

She also knows she doesn’t need a prince (though she has a few suitors already) She has told me “I am never getting married!” just as many times she’s said “Mommy, I’m going to marry ____.” She’s told me she is going to adopt  baby, because she doesn’t think she wants to have a baby in her belly, and she doesn’t want a husband but she wants to be a mommy. Snow White isn’t my daughter’s most important teacher, I AM. And I think I’m doing a pretty alright job.

Our family loves Disney. And it’s ok if you don’t. You have your reasons, but perhaps, before you judge, take a moment to understand why so many of us do love it.29579_10151172241651452_976562929_n 13138931_10153617629706452_540310698663810381_n

I’ve been visiting Disney World since I was 3. Vacations there, with my  grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins are some of my fondest memories. My grandparents are no longer with us, and my daughter never got to meet them, but we can visit Biergarten in Germany and I can tell Avery stories about watching my nana and poppa dancing together to the German band. I can see Avery watching the parade from her daddy’s shoulders and have those butterfly feelings, reminding me of when I used to watch the parade from my daddy’s shoulders. I get to take her on her first roller coaster just like my dad took me back in 1985.

When Dave and I first met, he had never been to Disney World. It wasn’t something he ever really cared to do since he doesn’t like “theme parks” When he walked down Main Street and saw the castle for the first time, he immediately understood. It was magical. He was a kid again. And he told me, “I can’t wait to bring our kids here someday!”199503_10150110170521452_5418864_n

Now we get to experience the magic through the eyes of our child. And let me tell you, that is absolutely amazing. Because to her, it’s all real. And it is incredible and beautiful to witness the power of magic in that way.10622963_10152480098426452_702883171057106534_n

So why do we love it so much?  Why did I visit so often, even before I had a child? For me it is truly magical, it is a happy and safe place. A place where the stress and worries of things at home disappear and I can be a kid again. The turning point for me, was a trip when I was a teenager. It came at a time when my family was really struggling. We arrived at the Magic Kingdom, and it all melted away. There were no arguments, no stress, no fear. There was just love, and joy, and fun.

Sometimes, an escape from reality is what we all need. Friends have visited the parks after the sudden loss of a loved one–they said it helped them heal, and laugh again. Other friends have gone after a cancer diagnosis. Others after a major surgery. Others before a long and scary deployment.  Others as a final family trip after learning a family member didn’t have much time left. Disney gave them time to be together, having fun, laughing, finding joy when they needed it most.

When Avery was 8 months old, and I was DEEP in the grip of postpartum anxiety, ocd and ptsd, we went to Disney World. For the previous 8 months I was drowning. I didn’t think I’d ever come up for air. I was hopeless. Day after day I was hit with crippling anxiety and ocd that left me compulsively listening to police scanners and texting Dave, certain that he had died at work if he didn’t respond immediately.  When he’d get home, my rage would explode on him, blaming him for causing me so much stress. When we got to Disney World, I was ok. I felt safe. I felt joy that I hadn’t been able to feel for months. Disney saved me, Disney helped me to be the mom I was meant to be, Disney gave me a glimmer of hope that I was able to cling to like a life-raft, and I held on.

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These are just a couple stories…there are many more that I won’t share here because they are just for us. But, I could fill a book with the stories of magic we’ve experienced in Disney World, and on Disney Cruises. And there are millions of others who have stories like these.

For us Disney isn’t just about princesses and castles. It isn’t just rides and shows and food. It isn’t about money, or elitism. It’s about family, and joy, and love. It’s a place we can visit with our families, young and old, and feel happy and safe.

It’s about the amazing service. It’s about the incredible cast members who make you feel like the most important person in the world. The ones who appear, seemingly out of thin air, with another Mickey Bar after they saw you child drop theirs. Its the ones who will sit and talk about cheetahs until they lose their voice, because that 4 year old little girl has so much to say! The ones who call every gift shop on property to find that baby Pluto doll that your child can’t live without, and then it magically appears in her bed when you return to your room at the end of the day. It’s the Snow White who truly remembers your child year after year. It’s the photopass cm who sees you holding your daughter in front of the castle, and takes the pictures that make you cry tears of pure happiness when you discover them in your account. It the ones who put their arm around you, while you cry at the end of a tough day and tell you “You’re doing a great job, mom!” The cast members make it magical. 

Is it expensive? Yes, it is. But, for those of us who love it, our visits there are a priority. Some save for years, some are fortunate enough to be able to afford frequent visits. Some make cuts in other areas of their lives–maybe they don’t go out to eat, or the cut out cable, or they live in a smaller house with a smaller mortgage (ahem) I don’t judge anyone who chooses to go elsewhere for vacation.

We all make choices, and for many of us, Disney is that choice.

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Below are some quotes from friends sharing why they love Disney. Please take a moment to read, and understand why, while it may not be for you, it is for others. Have a magical day!  

“It’s a place where all members of the family can feel young at heart. In addition to this, my autistic child feels free to be who he is. Cast members don’t judge and help all in need.” B.L.

“Cause it’s always happy” C.H. -age 538159479_10217441129686800_7305640934140542976_n

“After a terrible and embarrassing meltdown from my preschooler which then caused a fight with my spouse, and left me standing there in tears, with a broken stroller. An older gentleman CM put his arm around me and let me know it was ok. He said “She’s tired, he’s tired, and you are tired. You’ll all be ok when you get some rest. I see this many times a day, all this magic can be overwhelming for everyone, but you’re doing a good job, mom, and you’ll all be fine.” S.L.11160_10151737091641452_1606745508_n

“I have no idea why, but whenever we arrive, we’re all just happy. We never argue when we’re there.” S.T.

“We went to Disney with “The Make A Wish” foundation! We could have gone literally anywhere in the world including Rome or Paris or wherever! My daughter, my beautiful, very sick (at the time), barely able to walk, bald daughter wanted Disney! I wanted to give her make believe and that is what Disney is. It’s a fantasy world filled with princesses and romance and cartoon characters with high pitched voices, bright colors and punchy music! It’s exactly what she needed!  It’s exactly what every kid needs! Because unless you live in a glass tower, this world can be terrifying and ugly and filled with hate. Disney is everything reality is not. It’s why people go there!” M.T-S.

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“Disney is a place where me and my family connect with one another. No video games, or TV .. no iPads or laptops .. just good old family time.” M.M.

“I had a tough upbringing, no money, dysfunctional home life. So a trip to Disney–or anywhere really!–wasn’t on my radar, not something I thought I’d ever get to do. When I got married and had my sons, this was something I really wanted to be able to do for them. We saved and planned and brought them on what we thought would be a once-in-a-lifetime trip when they were 5 and 7. They’re 16 and 18 now and we’re going back next month for our ninth visit! And they’re still just as excited. There’s so much pressure on kids now–have to have perfect grades, extracurricular activities, testing, college applications, fitting in, etc., etc.,–this is one place they can “run away” to and just be a kid. Yes, it’s expensive. Yes, it’s commercialized. But it’s all about your family and what you bring to it. For us, it’s a place with lots of amazingly happy memories and a chance to forget all the everyday pressures and schedules and chores and responsibilities and…and…and… Mom can wear her Mickey ears. Dad can talk like a pirate. We can scream on a roller coaster. Give a big hug to a favorite character. We can just have fun as a family, something that’s all too often overlooked! “ C.M.

“I love it for so many reasons and I’m not sure I’ll be able to articulate it in a way that captures why I enjoy it so much.

It might sound cliche, but I adore how magical it is. I can become a little girl again (even at my age) and absorb & experience the wonder of it all. I enjoy bringing my children, but I’d have just as much fun without them either by myself or just with other adults. Disney is truly a place for everyone no matter your age.” M.B.

“Disney is a magical place for the young and young at heart. It provides an escape from reality into a fantasy world in which Disney has mastered. Disney was meant for the young and old. It brings smiles and joy to anyone and everyone.” S.K.

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The BEST memories we have made as a family are at Walt Disney World. They are the best for me because when I was a little girl I dreamed of the day I would go to Walt Disney World with my own family.  I actually have a full wall in my house just full of pictures from our Disney vacations. It was Walt Disney himself that said, “A dream is a wish your heart makes.” When I am in Disney with my family I turn into the ultimate kid. What’s so great is that I get to experience the ultimate childhood only in my 30’s. Hey, it’s better late than never. I can not begin to describe the joy that I feel watching my kids at Disney.  I get to take those moments of their happiness with me. “ N.E.

“Our first trip as a family was when N was 5 and T was 2. One night after dinner, my husband took the little one back to the hotel and I surprised N and took him back to the Magic Kingdom at night. Watching the fireworks together that night was so amazing. I remembered watching them with my parents when I was a kid and doing that with my own son was surreal. Going to Disney as a kid is so fun and memorable. But being a parent and watching your kids experience it for the first time is truly magical!” J.D.

“It’s as if the whole (outside) world disappears as soon as you enter the gates.” J.B.Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing

“I love Disney because I have many happy memories there! While everyone else would ride Space Mountain, and I was too afraid to, Nana would take me on the People Mover. We’d ride it over and over again (there was never a line), and I loved every minute of that time spent. It’s not just a ride anymore. It’s a very happy memory.” A.R.

“My son has special needs making every day tasks most people take for granted very challenging. He can become frustrated and struggle with his self esteem. He has loved Disney World since he was 14 months old. It has been his happy place, his safe zone. He can be himself and truly feel accepted there. His smile is carefree and genuine; as a mother I’d do anything to give him these experiences as often as I can. Personally, I have worked as a manager in the foster care system for 12 years. My every day is filled with horrors most people dont want to know about. Most of the children I know have been abused or neglected, often severely. My emotional and physical health is significantly impacted from the stress of this. I need Disney. I need over the top, sparkly, happy, magic. I need to be consumed in a fantasy land where people spoil the shit out of their kids to make the world right again. I love it. I will always love it. I will sacrifice to be able to go. And no one can change my mind.” J.Y.38404947_10157766712158569_8759697671205158912_n

“ I’ve always said they just do things right.” C.D.

“MAGICAL! PERIOD.” M.M.38198958_10214872632403562_1934265571457630208_n

Disney is the ONLY vacation where I can truly relax. We have a whirlwind of things going with our family. Special needs kid who has sensory issues and me with food allergies, it’s usually a special brand of hell picking a destination. Disney provides a safe space where we can all have fun, have the quiet spots pointed out and be safe at every meal. My favorite story goes like this: I had a girls dinner with some friends at Sanaa. We alerted them to my nut allergy and at dessert, Chef Chris came out with a concerned look…the pudding we thought was safe, HAZELNUTS. And we had no idea. So, he whips me up this DREAM dessert which had the rest of the table jealous! So, in another place, I may have ended up in the hospital because of this. Disney, nope! They also accept my “flappy happy” kid and make him feel normal.” L.F.

As much as I adore my little family, I didn’t have the best anticipations about Disney. But I will say that it turned out really well.  And we DID have a lot of fun.  It was crazy busy, crazy hot and crazy tiring – and we were all cranky and complainy at certain points – but oddly enough, I kinda did feel the magic.  I drank the Disney Kool-Aid. There really is something for everyone. We’re not running back any time soon – but I will admit that I’m sold. It’s a right of passage for a family and I’m overjoyed that we did it.” M.J.

38264049_10215095180987440_8517711869354442752_nI grew up with a season pass to Disneyland, we went weekly, sometimes more. We went to Disney World at least every other year, if not more. i grew up on Disney movies, I love the princesses, as a kid I didn’t think about the adult concepts that we put on them. Now as an adult, I still love the original princess movies that depict stories much much older than Disney. They bring to life the fairy tales my parents read to me. They encourage imagination and hours of imaginary play. I am one of those adults that very much loves going to Disney as an adult and without kids because it lets me relive all those happy childhood memories. What I love about Disney as a parent is seeing the magic come alive in my children’s eyes. When they get to meet their favorite character, or go on a ride that brings their favorite story to life, it’s a feeling that I will never forget. Disney doesn’t force girls to be princesses, as evidenced by oldest wearing a prince costume. She can love to be daring like Mulan and explore the galaxy like Buzz or fight like a Jedi. My youngest loves fashion, it is in her bones and getting to wear amazing princess costumes is who she is, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to be a police officer when she grows up. We need to stop putting our own expectations on it and realize that to a child it is only about the Magic. That is what Disney creates and I for one love watching that magic come alive, because childhood is only as long as they believe in that magic and ultimately, that time is so short. “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” ― Albert Einstein” K.B.38136131_10215095175507303_973663176128200704_n

“We love Disney and have had many magical moments but the one that sticks out the most to me is when we went for a weekend but on Friday night we drove to Tampa to go to our daughters Architecture Open House. We were staying at Fort Wilderness in our RV while my Mom was staying at All Star Movies. When we got back late Friday night I drove my Mom over to her hotel as her night vision isn’t the best. I was then going to take a bus to MK and catch the ferry back to FW as our campsite was just outside the settlement (200 loop). The MK bus was at ASM when I was walking up so I said I quick goodnight to my Mom as to not miss the bus. The bus driver saw us both and asked if my Mom was coming too and I explained what we were doing. Well I ended up being the only passenger on the bus so he radioed in and got permission to drive me straight to FW and drop me off at the settlement so I didn’t need to get any other bus or transportation. I don’t remember the gentleman’s name any more but I did write a nice letter thanking him for that little bit of magic as my Mom was worried about me getting back safely.” L.H.

“When we were there M  who is on the spectrum, has an anxiety disorder and speech disorder was completely comfortable and spoke to cast members and characters without prompting and without speech difficulties. And S decided then that she not only wanted to be an engineer, but an Imagineer so she could build Disney. And S’s all time favorite character is Figment (next to Daisy Duck) because she feels your imagination is the most important thing to have.” H.K. “

“A CM working the trashcans saw we were hot and gave us a wet washcloth so we could cool down.” K.B

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“One year we went to Disney and stayed in a few different hotel rooms. My oldest son, who has autism, had brought his “travel buddy” a stuffed animal that he brings on every trip. As we’re packing to go to the airport, my son realizes he can’t find it. At that point, we’re afraid that the trip will be ruined and he’ll forever think of Disney World as “that place I lost my travel buddy.” We went to the hotel desk and spoke with them. They told us that they NEVER throw away stuffed animals that are left behind and they’ll not only look for it, but will mail it to us free of charge. By the time we were waiting for airport security, Disney called us to let us know they found his buddy. A week or so later, a small box arrived that held the lost buddy. This might seem like a little thing, but it kept the trip from being ruined for my son.

Second story: One year we were at Disney World so my wife could attend a conference. While she was there, the boys and I went to Epcot to meet characters. My oldest son REALLY wanted to meet Beast, but when we got to France, only Belle was there. The boys meet Belle and my oldest mentioned that he wanted to meet Beast. They got a photo with Belle and got her autograph and we left. An hour later, we saw a line for Belle and noticed Belle AND Beast coming out. We waited on line and, when it was our turn, Belle introduced my boys to Beast BY NAME and told Beast that my oldest really wanted to meet him. How many kids does Belle meet in an hour’s time? The fact that she remembered my sons’ names and my oldest’s desire to meet Beast made them feel like the most important kids in the park.” J.L.

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Thank you so much to all my friends and family who shared their thoughts, stories, and beautiful photos! Love you all and hope to see you in the parks! <3

 

And if you do decide to go to Disney World, you’ll definitely want to check out

Toy Story Land  (Awesome review and photos from Our Potluck Family)

Red Sox Round-Up – August Events

I am a proud member of the Red Sox Parents. We are provided with tickets to Sox games and events in exchange for sharing this great info with all of you! All opinions are our own, for love of the game! RED SOX events august

We’re heading into August, which (sadly) means we’re more than halfway through regular season . BUT don’t worry, there is still time to catch a game at Fenway! The Red Sox have a whole bunch of great events in store this month… Check ’em out!


Fenway concert series AugustFenway Concert Series | August 9, 10, & 11 

Thursday, August 9  – Jimmy Buffet 

Live Nation and the Boston Red Sox are excited to announce that the wait is over! Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band has been added to the Plainridge Park Casino Fenway Concert Series – one night only on Thursday, August 9, 2018 – as part of Jimmy Buffett’s “Son of A Son of A Sailor” Tour 2018. TICKETS

Friday, August 10  – Billy Joel  

Live Nation and the Boston Red Sox are excited to announce the return of legendary musician Billy Joel, who will take the Fenway Park stage on Friday, August 10, 2018 for an unprecedented 5th consecutive year. TICKETS

Saturday, August 11  – Journey & Def Leppard

The Boston Red Sox and Live Nation are excited to announce that two of the world’s greatest rock bands – Journey and Def Leppard – will take the Fenway Park stage on Saturday, August 11 when they team up for a massive co-headlining North American tour. TICKETS

 

showcaseSunday, August 10, 11, 12, 15 | Red Sox Showcase

The Red Sox Showcase, powered by T-Mobile will bring Red Sox baseball and Fenway Park to towns across New England all summer long. The truck will carry a batting cage, pitching stations, a steal 2nd challenge, giant jenga, and a virtual reality experience.

8/10/2018 Worcester Neighborhood Health Fair Family Health Center of Worcester 26 Queen Street, Worcester, MA 01610 11am-3pm
8/11/2018 Faneuil Hall Faneuil Hall Marketplace 4 S Market Street, Boston, MA 02109 10am-2pm
8/15/2018 Tenacity Community Event Beren Tennis Center, Harvard University 65 N Harvard St, Boston, MA 02134 10am-2pm

red sox out of the parkOut of the Park | Sunday, August 12  | Boston Common

“Out of the Park” is a free event featuring a live viewing of the 1:05 p.m. August 12 Red Sox – Orioles in Boston Common with the Sox Showcase, caricaturists, balloon artists, face painters Red Sox Mascot Wally the Green Monster, his sister Tessie, and a live DJ throughout the day.

“Out of the Park” is free and open to the public.
For more information, please visit: highlandstreet.org/programs/community-events/out-park

cutMovie Night | Tuesday, August 15  | Jurassic Park

The Red Sox will celebrate the 25th anniversary of Jurassic Park by screening the blockbuster on the video board at Fenway Park. Fans are invited to walk the warning track from 6:45 – 7:45 p.m. ahead of the movie beginning at 8 p.m. Concessions will be available. Tickets are $10; $5 for under 12. redsox.com/movienight


cutSaturday, August 18
 ft. City Rivals  & Sunday, August 19 ft. Dalton & The Sheriffs | Fenway Rooftop Sessions

The Fenway Rooftop Sessions, presented by vineyard vines is a new and unique way to enjoy the game. With scheduled dates throughout the season, tickets include a pregame performance from a local Boston band, plus a ticket to the game. Fenway Rooftop Sessions

 

 

bobble head
Monday, August 20
 | Peanuts Night

Join us on Monday, August 20, as we celebrate as one of the most popular comic strip of all-time, “Peanuts”. This ticket package includes a ticket to the game against the Indians, as well as a limited edition bobblehead of Snoopy in a Red Sox uniform! Be sure to add this to your collection.  Buy Tickets HERE
special olympics night red soxMonday, August 20
 | Special Olympics Night

Join us as we celebrate Special Olympics Night at Fenway Park on August 20th. Bring your family, friends, and athletes for an evening of fun watching the Boston Red Sox take on the Cleveland Indians. Buy Tickets HERE

rehab night red soxMonday, August 20 | Rehabilitative Services Night

Join us as we celebrate Rehabilitative Service Night at Fenway Park on August 20th. Bring your family, friends, and co-workers for an evening of fun celebrating members of the Rehabilitative Services community. Don’t forget to arrive early to see a special pre-game ceremony honoring Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapist on the field.  Buy tickets HERE

For groups of 20 or more please contact Gennifer Davidson at gdavidson@redsox.com or 617-226-6285.

 


got redsoxTuesday, August 21
 | Game of Thrones Night

Baseball is coming to Fenway Park! Join us on Tuesday, August 21, as we celebrate the Emmy® and Golden Globe®-winning series, Game of Thrones®. Ticket packages purchased through this special offer will include a Game of Thrones / Red Sox ‘K’ Slayer Chris Sale

 

bobblehead. Be there to help us Defend The Wall against our enemies from the west, the Cleveland Indians.

Fans who purchase this special Game of Thrones ticket package will have the chance to sit on the Dragonstone Throne for a photo opportunity and see the Map Table of Westeros from 5 p.m. to 5:40 p.m. This opportunity is available on a first-come, first-served basis.* redsox/promotions

head phones

 

Tuesday, August 23 | #SoxPromos | Wally & Tessie Headphones

All children under 14 in attendance will receive a pair of Wally & Tessie headphones

puzzle cube

 

Tuesday, August 23 | #SoxPromos | Puzzle Cube

The first 10,000 fans in attendance will receive a Red Sox Puzzle Cube

kids run the bases red soxThursday, August 23 | #SoxPromos | Kids Run the Bases

After the game, kids will have the opportunity to run the bases at Fenway Park! redsox.com/promos

fenway latino festivalSunday, August 26 | Latino Family Festival

A family health and fitness festival starting at 11 a.m., with musical acts beginning at 3 p.m.

Tickets are all general admission for just $10!  Buy tickets HERE

So  there you have it fans!! Grab your tickets now, and fill up your calendar with fun events at Fenway and beyond!