Daughter Turned 5! Birthdays Are So Bittersweet

Its always bittersweet when my daughter has a birthday.  I am so happy to see her being excited and anticipating the day and party, but at the same time I can’t help but want to hold time still and possibly even have powers to rewind back.

I know all parents say this, but 5 years has gone by way too fast.  I still think back to the day she was born, crawling, first steps, pacifier and cloth days, diapers, and first words.  Then I think of all her birthdays and how it has been unfair that it has been gone to fast.

This years theme was after the movie Brave from Disney.  We gave away tons and tons of candy of course to all her cousins and friends.  For food we cooked BBQ chicken breast, mac & cheese, BBQ beans, hot dogs, BBQ chicken legs & wings, and lots of bread rolls.

Kids all had fun since we sugared them all up and gave away tons of bows and arrows we picked up on Amazon.  They were novelty items, and were not meant for long term play.  For a pack of 10 bows & (3) arrows per bow was $8.99.  Relatively cheap to keep 30 kids occupied.

We also laid out a crafts rug where we had tons of markers, cut outs, felt, soft letter shapes, and more for kids to create and make art.  Next to that was a Lego table that had hundreds of pieces from my own personal childhood and we left them for kids to build but not take home.  Sorry.

Overall the party was amazing.  My daughter had a great time and the presents were all so thoughtful.  I have already noticed a change in her since she has turned 5 and to me it makes me proud and sad.  I guess I’ll have to hold on to what I can before she really grows up.

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So I Saw Brave Over The Weekend

 

So after much anticipation by all parties in my family including myself, we finally went out and saw Brave.  We missed it on the opening weekend due to my daughter being sick, but I am kind of glad we did.  Even with some heavy hitting films coming out this past weekend, Brave was still packed.  We found some good seats, bought some popcorn, pulled out the candy and enjoyed a family friendly film.

Overall I liked the film.  I don’t think it was Disney/Pixar’s strongest film, but it has heart.  There was a decent story to be told and the film played it out well.  I expected the story to be more deep and complex but I had to remind myself that this was not intended for me, but for my 4 year old daughter.

One thing that I do have to commend is the intensity of beautiful colors that are in the film.  The hair, the backdrops, and scenes are filled with immensely bright colors that fill the big screen.  This is definitely a film that must be seen in the movie theaters with the loud speakers and dim environment.

My daughter, wife and I enjoyed the film.  There was a lot of humor in it for both adults and kids to laugh at.  Merida ( the princess and main character ) is like every girl growing up and wanting to be independent and make her own choices.  Her dad King Fergus is a jolly man with a heart of gold, while her mom the queen only wants what she thinks is best for her.

Great family fun and I definitely recommend taking the kids and calling it a movie day or night!

If I Could Have Any House

At the moment I do not own a house.  I rent a nice 2 story apartment in Southern California and enjoy it.  The only thing is that its not what I want for my life.  I don’t want to die before having the kind of place I dream and strive for.

At times my friends and I will talk about where the ideal place to live would be, or what your ideal house would look like.  Almost all of them want the conventional house, track home, townhouse or property by the beach.  I have no problem with any of them, but those styles just don’t interest me.

I have grown up in apartments all my life and have grown used to them.  When I was younger, blasting music, and having parties, I hated having neighbors right next to me, but now I don’t mind.

The ideal perfect situation would be that I live in a loft.  For over 10 years I’ve thought about lofts. I want EMPTY SPACE.  I don’t need dividers for kitchen, dining room, or living room. I just want open space.  I want to walk in and not feel cluttered.  My immediate family consists of my wife, my daughter, and me.  That’s all.  I don’t need all that privacy and walls that dictate what room is what.

Like I mentioned earlier, I grew up in apartment communities all my life.  The idea of a house and driveway is always a pleasant thought but to me it seems to conventional.  My wife also grew up in apartments, and to not have a garden to take care of or driveways to rinse down is totally fine with the both of us.

I know that it might seem a bit selfish since my daughter won’t be able to run and play in a yard, but she’ll be able to run around the house.  It will be open with very very minimal furniture.  All I would want is a couch, small dinner table, work station, and storage units to hold all our junk.

Ideally it would have 2 bedrooms.  One for my wife and I, and then my daughter.  I usually work in the living room anyways and love the thought of being able to always see my family from all angles of the house.

So if I ever make the money or win the lotto, this would be one of my first purchases.

 

Cars Land Photos

I wanted to upload and show some more photos that I took of the amazing new addition to Disneyland California Adventure.  The beginning of Cars Land is so reminiscent of the movie’s introduction to Radiator Springs.  The street is Route 66 and really shines at night with the neon lights that surround the buildings and landscape.

Included in this area are eateries, shops, and amusement park rides.

The three new rides are

– Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree which is a more modern and slower take on the Mad Tea Cups in the main park.

– Luigi’s Flying Tires is another update to an older Disneyland ride called Flying Saucers which is like a large air hockey table and tires that you sit in.  The cool thing about this ride is that there is a play area next to it where kids can play on the jungle gym and or relax while parents wait in line.

– Radiator Springs Racers is the largest ride and addition to California Adventure. With a reported cost of $200 million dollars this ride is definitely one to not miss.  With a  wait time as of June 17th of 180 minutes (3 hours), this ride will have park goers filling up Radiator Springs for quite some time.  Radiator Springs Racer is a slot car type ride with an introduction through the beginning and with a out of control race after.

Overall I was pleasantly surprised of the overhaul that has been taking up most of my annual pass.  The imagination of the creators of the park is mind blowing.  The city really comes alive at night with the neon lights along with the hustle and bustle of guests taking photos and admiring the city.  With a couple of days left before my pass expires, my current goal is to get on Radiator Springs Racers.

Incase DSLR Pro Pack Review

While this backpack was created and designed for professional photographers, there are many uses that a regular consumer can utilize.  Not only has it come in handy in my personal life with the family, I have used it many times professionally also with enough room for much of my work.  The bag overall has a very clean finish to it.  It is dark grey with black zippers and tags.  It has enough room for a 15″ laptop, DSLR camera, and a slot inside for an iPad.  You can also use the sectionals in the back area as shown below for photography equipment such as lens and flashes.  For me, I only utilize a few of the secionals and use them to divide snacks, wet wipes, and camera.  The front is usually used to carry around my laptop and the iPad for my daughter.

One of the best features of the bag is the front loading slot for your DSLR camera.  It fits right on the top compartment and is super easy to pull out for taking shots.  The back is one large compartment when you lay the bag face down.  It has a large zipper that allows you full access to all the compartments of the bag.

If you are looking for something that is roomy and still functional outside of family use, try the Incase DSLR Pro Pack.  You won’t regret it.