Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Celebrate that birthday

A few weekends ago I had the privilege of traveling with my mom to Orlando to celebrate my aunt's birthday.

My aunt doesn't get to do a whole lot of celebrating for her birthday usually, so we made sure to give her a wild time.

As wild as we can get . . . which I know by most standards isn't very wild at all.

We did a lot of eating and shopping and eating some more.

When we got there on Friday we did a little shopping in a TJ Maxx.

Don't you always head there first when you are in a new city?


Well, you should.

Many treasures to be found.

After that exciting time we headed to the hotel to check in and get freshened up for dinner.

We had reservations at Opa - Greek Taverna.

It was a really fun place with napkin throwing and belly dancers.

This is my mom and one of her sisters (not the birthday girl).

My mom and I (obvi).

This was Stellios, our waiter.
He was divine.
Great service and lots of fun.

This is the birthday girl and her daughter, also known as my cousin (in case you didn't put that together).

On Saturday we got up and went shopping (shocker).

We hit the outlets pretty hard and then headed to Epcot for the Food and Wine festival.

It was my third time at the F&WF this year.

It was just as magnificent each time.

We ate and ate and ate.

And then got 2 rides in within 30 minutes of the park closing.

My mom even went on Test Track.

I told her it wasn't rough . . . which it really isn't . . . sort of.

Then we headed to Denny's for some more grub and stayed there until 3 in the morning.

I told you we were wild.

Sunday brought breakfast at Cracker Barrel and a ride home.

I did attend this birthday celebration sans kids.

And while I did have a dream of getting sleep while there (which didn't happen . . .hello, 3 in the morning at Denny's), it did not disappoint in the fun department.

Had a blast with these ladies and hope we can do it again soon!


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Halloween 2013

This year we decided to "do" Halloween with Tim's side of the family.
His sister has an open house type party every year, and we have never been before.
Tim had work on the east coast earlier in the week, so we decided to tack the Farrow Halloween party on the end.
We went to Daytona on Tuesday and stayed on the beach.

On Wednesday Tim had work, so I took the kids on a tour of the Daytona Speedway.

It was really cool.

I know my kids are a lot of work, but it is always funny to me when someone is surprised that I own all three.

While on the tour the guide asked me multiple times if I was taking all three on the tour by myself or if I had help.

I had to hold Ethan and Lexi on my lap at the same time because they weren't allowed to sit in the seats alone.

Otherwise it was a really fun time, and the kids did great which was a blessing.

Wednesday night we went to Vero for the big party.

It started with pumpkin carving.

My sister in law was kind enough to provide the pumpkins and the tools.

I usually try to get out of the whole carving process because I think it is disgusting.

But, of course, the boys love it, and parents do what kids love.

My boys adore these cousins.

It is so fun to have family as their best friends.

Thursday night was Halloween.

I convinced/manipulated my kids into being FSU football players and a cheerleader.

Thanks to Aunt Whitney and Uncle Peter for the cute costume.

Ethan wouldn't wear face paint.  Surprise of all surprises.

I'm not a huge fan of Halloween.

The scary stuff is always bothersome for me, but it is fun to see my kids dressed in their cute costumes.

I try to just have fun and make it fun for the kids.

I think we accomplished that goal this year.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013


We went to the Hunsader Farms Pumpkin Festival last weekend (the 27th).

It is something we try to do every year, and I think we have done it since George was born except for last year while we were in Fort Myers.

It is about an hour away from our current house in Largo.

It is usually pretty hot and dusty.

We usually have to park miles away from the entrance and walk those miles with our children.

It is a pretty large festival with lots of disgusting fair type food.

There are games for the kids that cost a dollar each, so you end up spending quite a bit of money for those exciting tickets that in the end buy more crap that you don't need or want in your house.

So why do we go?

Our kids love it, and we kinda love it too.

Is it a lot of work?  Absolutely.

Are we dead tired when we get home?  Certainly.

Does it build family memories that can never be replaced?  Most definitely.

The last few weeks I have really been trying to "simplify" a lot of things.

One of them that I have spent a lot of time thinking about are my parenting goals.

I feel like I can run myself ragged just thinking about the ways I fail as a parent.

I want my kids to behave and obey and basically be perfect, so I can have confirmation that I am doing "my job."

But the real goal should be love.

I want them to feel love unconditionally from me like Christ shows me everyday.

I should be lavishing my love on them.

And going to things like Pumpkin festivals builds our love as a family.

I asked George the other night after his bath if he knew I loved him . . . He said yes, so I asked him how he knew.

He said, "Cause you tell me all the time."

I was kind of offended because I wanted him to give me an action, not words.

But I was also glad that he took what I say seriously.

I love my children so, so, so much, and sometimes I am amazed at the things I am willing to do/sacrifice for them.

It is an amazing picture of God's love, and I hope I can always point my children to that.

And just for laughs . . . here are the four (and only four) family photos we got at the Pumpkin festival.

I can't pick a favorite.

They are all so good.

Ethan's face.

Lexi is trying to out-strength me to get off my lap.

Ethan wants to pick up a pumpkin and George is thinking about something in outer space.

Mommy and daddy are fake smiling to take some of the attention off our screaming baby.

And there you have it . . . reality in the Bettelli family.