our holiday weekend at Disney Land & California Adventure

As if the holidays weren’t awesome enough, we headed down to Disney Land the weekend before Christmas. It’s not a quick drive, but we are closer to Disney now, then when we lived in Indiana. (Roughly six hours to Disney Land compared to 24 hours from Indiana to Disney World is much more doable.) We have always heard that Disney Land was amazing over Christmas and it really, truly was! We spent our first day at Disney Land and then the next day we were at California Adventure. Our kids took some warming up to California Adventure as they spent the first half of the day asking to go back to Disney Land (creatures of habit, the King kids…) But once we got them on Soarin over California, they were hooked on California Adventure. It was a whirlwind weekend of rides, pin trading, magical snow, princesses, parades, food and amazing shows. Then of course, we came home to Christmas and we are all slowly coming down off our high. Here’s a mixture of camera and iphone photos I took over our weekend.

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In the last ten years or so Disney has started pin trading. They sell all sorts of little metal pins and people of all ages wear them around the parks on lanyards and hats. Cast members and stores will trade pins with you (without needing to purchase additional ones) and it’s fun thing to do while waiting in line. Miles only had one Disney trading pin that he got from our Disney cruise last year, so he wasn’t set up to trade yet when we arrived at the park. (Had I been smart, I would have stocked him up with inexpensive Disney pins from Ebay.) However, waiting in line we came across a super nice guy who gave us one of his pins to get Miles started. We were only there a matter of minutes and it already felt magical. We ended up running into him throughout the day, waving and smiling. Nice people are just the best.00dl 06

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We were in awe of the parade, especially seeing Elsa!


000dl 3500star 068000dl 8000dl 078Every night, after they light the castle up, they make it snow. On top of making it snow, the fluffy, bubbly snow that falls actually tastes like gingerbread. Seriously. Disney blows my mind!

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I think what our kids loved most about Disney was the bubble blowers. We did talk them into riding the Haunted Mansion ride which was amazingly decorated for Christmas.

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Visiting Elsa and Anna in California Adventure was absolutely precious. This was the first day for Elsa and Anna to be at California Adventure and you get a fast pass to see them. When we went, I felt like we were the only ones seeing them for the day. The cast members who greet you were awesome and spoke in Frozen puns and when you saw Anna and Elsa, you were in a room all alone with them and a photographer. They were so adorable, telling Jocelyn they loved her pins and telling cute stories. As a mom, it’s just the sweetest thing to see your daughter meet a character that she loves and actually talk with her. I was a hot sweaty mess from a long day at the park, but these two treated me like I was dressed for my wedding day just as they appeared. I’ve never been much of a believer of character meet ups, but I get it now!

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I’ve always wondered what kind of crazy person bought the expensive Disney balloons. Now I know. Us!

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Our kids really didn’t care about Cars Land (which I think pretty much every other kid in the world would LOVE it) but they loved Soarin over California which was extra cool to ride now that we live here.

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It took our kids awhile to warm up to riding rides on the second day, but once they were into it, they were REALLY into it and we stayed crazy late. We ended up needing to take a pit stop at the Grand Californian hotel before carrying our sleepy Jocelyn back to our hotel.


Such a wonderful, tiring, adventurous and beautiful weekend.

  • December 28, 2014 - 4:24 pm

    Jill - Beautiful photos, Bets! It truly looks magical through your lens– I can’t believe we’ll get to see it for ourselves very soon! I just bought some pins on Ebay for our visit! Thanks for the tip!

  • December 30, 2014 - 3:41 pm

    JennyBZ - ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! this looks soooo amazing!!! your photos of the castle! swoon! i’ve never been to either disneyland or disney world but this makes me wanna go even tho i don’t have a kid! looks like you guys had an amazing time and your photos are spectacular!!

new season, same ornaments

Our first Christmas in California feels very different with no snow and warm, fall-like weather, but once we opened up our familiar Christmas ornaments we’ve collected over the years, it felt just like Christmas always has.

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It’s Christmas eve tomorrow and we are all set to create new memories with just the four of us here, but as usual, we are making John’s awesome cinnamon rolls. Here’s the recipe if you are looking for something yummy to make for Christmas morning.

  • December 28, 2014 - 7:54 am

    Christy D - Hi Betsy,

    I just wanted to take the time to tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog and following you on instagram. It was your photography style that initally caught my eye, but I quickly fell in love with your writing style and, of course, your favorite subjects. Its been a pleasure getting to know you and the family through your photos and your blog…always gives me the warm fuzzies! The love that translates so easily is inspiratonal. Wishing you all a happy new year from CT!!

    Thanks and keep bloggin! Christy D

a photo shoot with jocelyn

A pattern designer needed some photos of her latest designs so she sent some to me for Joss to model. We headed to the park around the corner from our home in Los Gatos and she cracked me up with her poses!


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  • October 19, 2014 - 12:09 pm

    Sherry Smith - such sweet clothes..wish I knew how to sew with that type of material..guess I better learn.

    Jossy is a natural.. of course Grandma would say that.. beautiful work …

  • October 20, 2014 - 12:18 am

    Heather - She is so stinking cute. I really want to have her TOMS collection too…

  • October 23, 2014 - 9:00 pm

    Angela - She’s a natural! I love the close up of those crystal blue eyes! Stunning :)

expressions of love

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Snuggling with Jocelyn the other morning, we had this conversation and I snapped these photos.

Me: know what’s awesome? We get to be in each other’s lives forever.

Joss: Not true mommy, someday you’ll die, like whisper did.

Me: But you know what? My love for you will never die. It will be with you always.

Joss: Your heart will go into my heart.

These are the moments where your child says something so profound and beyond their years that it takes your breath away. Yes darling Jocelyn, my heart will go into your heart. As a mother, we can only hope that all the love we feel for our children will be poured into their hearts and be with them always. Life is so simple now and our love is exchanged so freely and without hesitation. She yells, “I LOVE YOU!” from the top of the swings, from the back seat and in line at the grocery store. She says it like she wants the whole world to know it, though there’s this intimacy and understanding that it really is only between the two of us. I know that as she grows the way we express love will evolve and this fierceness of her expression will fade. Yes, its fun to hear her yell it from the mountain tops, but it’s not about me knowing her love. No matter what changes I pray that she always knows and feels the immense amount of love I have for her.


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  • September 18, 2014 - 5:34 am

    Gail - She is SO precious. And this is beyond sweet.

  • September 18, 2014 - 6:54 am

    Sherry Smith - smiled through the entire blog..She truly is amazing..

  • September 18, 2014 - 8:41 am

    Meghan premuda - Annnnd I’m ugly crying. Such a sweet girl/post.

  • September 19, 2014 - 4:39 am

    Renee - Holy smokes, this is BEAUTIFUL. This is why blogging can never die!

  • September 19, 2014 - 5:58 am

    Jaime - This is so beautiful. And so true! Thanks for sharing!