Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ready or Not, Here We Come! (plus Lobster Day #10 and Katie #9)

3 sleeps and we leave!  That's how we count things down in our house.....

We went shopping today and we bought:
Yes, I am a disney geek! The 3 girls are ready for the 4th of July in Walt Disney World (Don wouldn't buy one, and yes they had them in Men's sizes also).  :(

The girls are excited to meet Phineas and Ferb....

Don is ready for the new Star Tours ride (based on Star Wars)

...And Katie can't wait to meet her favorite characters (again)!

I've been trying to pack and get ready. Here's my thought process for packing for this trip:

 The staging room is slowly turning into 3 packed suitcases (Don does his own).

This pile is for Emerald Isle - stays in the car while at WDW

This pile is for Emerald Isle, but can't stay in the will come into our WDW hotel, but sit in a corner for the first week

This pile goes to Mom and Dad's house on Saturday before we leave for them to take to the beach for us

And the rest still in the organizing stages:
  • This pile is for WDW and should be packed towards the back of the car
  • This bag will go inside the hotel when we stop in Georgia for the first night.
  • This pile needs to be in the middle of the car, to be accessible during the road trip
  • All bills paid before we leave
  • House ready for Chrissy (Don's sister) to move in for 2 weeks
  • All Microsoft IEF contacts and issues resolved before we leave
  • Road trip directions printed out...just in case the GPS decides to be uncooperative
  • Addresses programmed into the GPS
  • Matching beach t-shirts ready for the 5 girls
  • Tie Dye t-shirts ready for the last night at the beach photo shoot
    So...yes, can't wait! Are we ready yet? NO, but will be by 4:00 a.m. on Sunday morning.

    but first.....

    Lobster Day #10

     The group this year...and the doggies

     Water Balloons and Sister Ball (basketball between the 2 sets of Rahn Sisters)

     The Annual "token Lobster" and Katie's Birthday cake this year - a plate full of clams

     She got a water gun from the McClellands and then the 4 girls who will be "cruising to Alaska" together in August (my college roommate's 2 girls)

     Marti - my college roommate - determined to stack the empty snail shells...after Don emptied them

    Yep...another Lobster Day down - and "Seldom A Dull Moment!"

    and Katie's Birthday #9

    Chocolate Chip Cookie "Cake"
     her new and improved big girl bedroom
     surprise this morning - a big, pink bowl chair

    So that's what the Rahns are currently doing 
    - next stop Savannah, Georgia.... 
    (with free wi-fi  at the Hampton Inn)

    Stay Tuned.....

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011 we are!

    We made it! The Rahns are offficially on summer vacation. I now get to spend the next 8-9 weeks indulging in another of my passions - traveling and planning vacations!

    We officially have a middle-schooler in our house:

    And in a few days a new 9-year old:

    I feel a little schizophrenic as I look ahead to our summer - either that or I am becoming Attention Deficit...I can't seem to stay focused on one thing for very long, before I jump to another item on the mental to-do list.  But, as Don says, "As long as I stay happy about it, and pleasant to be around" it doesn't bother him.

    First: I am in the final stages of finishing our Microsoft project and display.

    We have to upload our final project template with about 20 pages of attachments and a video to the Microsoft IEF Website by July 6 for the judges to look at, prior to meeting us at the end of July. My project teammate and I have been spending a few extra days at school trying to put it all together before we go our separate ways for a few weeks.

    Here are a few pics of our display and a link to the video about our project.  I honestly have to admit, that I am very proud of how well it all turned out.  But, boy was it a lot more work than I had signed on for back in April when we were selected for the IEF.  We have another conference call on July 12 with all the Microsoft executives, and I really hope that they don't give us more "assignments" to do before we arrive.

    The picture below is arranged on a table and will eventually be on black felt with white ribbon as the dividers and hung on a 4' x 4' bulletin board in our display space at Microsoft.

    Next: I have started "staging" the area upstairs for our first trip.....

    Driving to Florida, 5 nights in Disney and then 7 nights in Emerald Isle, NC

    Packing for 11 nights in Florida and NC is not that hard...shorts, tank tops, bathing suits.....we will be able to do laundry once we arrive in NC, so it will work out pretty well.  Though I do still need to find all of our beach stuff -chairs, boogie boards, sand toys.....

    We leave in 11 days and I am way behind schedule....maybe it is ADD....

    I cannot wait to turn off my life and spend 5 days in the magical happy place of Walt Disney World.  We've been so many times, that it is like going home for a few days.  And because we've been, we don't need to rush to ride ALL of the rides or see all of the shows.  We can take it easy and just do our favorites.  I am so glad that Don is willing to return and indulge my "inner Disney freak" yet another time.  I know there are many other places that he would rather be. :) He enjoys Disney and has fun, but not nearly as much as I do. It will be horribly hot, but I am not going to let anything bother me as I escape for a short time and pretend not to have a care in the world.  I REALLY need this trip!!!!!

    The top of our list this summer at WDW is pictures with Phineas and Ferb and riding the newly, renovated Star Tours (based on Star Wars) ride. Yes, we are geeks! :)

    The rest of the trips this summer will be fun, but I will have to be "on."  Walt Disney World is the one place that I've found where I don't have to entertain anyone or worry about anything. It's just FUN!!

    But before we leave for Disney, we have.........

    Our 10th Annual Lobster Day on June 25th!

    We have about 15-20 people coming over to celebrate our pretend summer holiday. I can honestly say that I have hardly thought about it.  Hopefully Don has started thinking.....

    Also, right after Lobster Day is Katie's real birthday and I have promised her a room makeover.

    She still has "baby furniture" in her bedroom.  So, I am in the process of figuring out where the baby furniture will go and also to get the new things that we will redo her bedroom with.  We are doing that on June 26 and 27.....

    I did go dress shopping with my sister and I have my formal dress for my final night in Seattle at the Gala Event. - so I think I am set for what I am wearing to schmooze with the Microsoft people July 27-July 30.

    I am also just about done shopping for our Alaska cruise which we will leave for on August 6th.

    I have a couple "dates" set up to hook up with my college roommate and her two girls who will be with us on the cruise.  I am very excited for my girls to have two other playmates to hang out with on the ship. My roommate's girls are the exact same age as my two. you can see....schizophrenic!
    I must stay happy...I must stay happy....I must stay happy!

    I created this summer of craziness and so far, I am loving EVERY minute of it!!!!!

    Wish me luck!