Who is Whitney?
I’m Whitney, a mom blogger, the mother of a fabulous 9-year-old, adventurous 7-year-old, animated 6-year-old, spicy 4-year-old, and wife to my husband of 16 years. Our family packed up our house in North Carolina in the Spring of 2016 and moved across the country to Denver, Colorado.
The Summer of 2018 was full of adventure as we traveled from Denver to Moab, Utah to visit nearby National Parks, then on to the Grand Canyon. From there we traveled west to San Diego, California taking in the sights and sounds before heading up the coast of California, stopping off in Anaheim to visit Disneyland, and then on to San Francisco. Our last stop on our epic road trip was majestic Yellowstone National Park where the kids became Junior Rangers.
After spending a couple of weeks visiting family in Kentucky, in August we headed south to Orlando, Florida where we are calling home for a bit.
We love to travel as a family. It's messy, but always an adventure.
My favorite vacation spot is Walt Disney World because Disney makes figuring out meals with food allergies so easy!
I'm all for some pumpkin spice lattes and gluten-free pumpkin bread. I can't drink black coffee preferring it with cream and sugar instead. And, if I'm completely honest, you'll usually find me in jeans, a t-shirt, and TOMS. Thankfully, Stitch Fix is helping me get out of that “mommy rut.”
Believe it or not, even though we have four kids, we struggled with infertility for seven years. It was hard. The emotional rollercoaster every single month was tiring. It can take its toll on both you and your marriage. But we knew that God was sovereign and that even if His plan didn't look like ours, it would be good. That's a hard lesson to learn sometimes. I have shared some of our infertility journey on Beauty in the Mess, and you can read more in (affiliate link) my book, so I won't bore you with the details. I've also written a general post about infertility and the reality of secondary infertility because that's a real thing and there are many people who are hurting silently because no one seems to understand or want to listen. You probably know someone who is struggling or struggled with infertility, you just might not have known it. Infertility is lonely. That's why we need to talk about it more.
As of 2016, I can call myself a half-marathoner. I set a goal to run a half-marathon, and I reached that goal. As a mom of four littles, training was not an easy task, but I made it work. In 2017, I added several more medals to that one. I ran in the runDisney Princess Half Marathon in February 2017, and ran in the Tinker Bell Half Marathon in May 2017, which earned me the coveted PINK Coast to Coast Medal!! It's a good thing too because there are no races in Disneyland in 2018.
I didn't spend today with my family. I wasn't treated to breakfast in bed, flowers, or cards. Instead, I woke up at 3 am alone and prepared to run 13.1 miles to complete a dream goal. A dream goal I thought was unattainable. A dream goal that would require sacrifice from not only me but my family as well. Today, my dream goal became a reality. It was hard fought. At mile five my foot landed funny on a manhole and turned with sounds of pops and cracks. But I pressed on (it's not swollen, by the way. It's fine.). Then later, my feet and calves cramped up. Of course the one time I forget to bring a mustard packet. The runner community is an amazing one though. A call was put out for salt, and someone came to my aid with a salt packet, while we continued moving forward. Powerade became my drink with a little water to replace what my body had lost. What started out with ease became a battle, but a battle that would be won. Not only did I run this race to achieve my dream goal, I ran it to support Make-a-Wish Foundation through the WDW Radio Running Team. I also ran the Princess Half in February and the Tinkerbell Half today to show my kids that dreams are possible. They may be hard fought and require sacrifice, but those unattainable dreams are attainable. Dream Big. Dreams are possible.
The Beauty in the Mess Family
Life is never dull with four kids and a dog. Our family is loud, loving, and spicy. We love adventure, spending time together, and add a bit of laughter and mess everywhere we go.
As with every family, each person is an individual with their own personality that shines through.
The boys are polar opposites. While the oldest (7) has never met a stranger and speaks his mind, the youngest (6) is reserved and thoughtful, taking it all in. Once he warms up though, he's a comedian. Both love to travel and a good adventure. They are big Disney Junior fans and could play with LEGOS for hours. But neither one ever wants to eat anything green, unless the oldest is at Olive Garden. Only then will he eat a salad. They share a room and are fine with that unless a bunk bed is involved. Neither likes the top bunk because Mommy refuses to climb the ladder to lay with them at night.
The girls are our bookends. While only five years separate them, sometimes that feels like an eternity. The oldest is trying to pave her own way, while always wanting to play with her siblings. She loves to travel and talks about wanting to visit Paris, France when she's older. She is currently reading the Harry Potter series. The littlest is sweet and spicy. She can hold her own in squabbles with her older siblings. She is the best storyteller with stories of her “other” family, Gaston who is a troublemaker, and life in the clouds before she came to us. The Littlest has quite the imagination.
Last but not least, is our pup, Ellie. She is our first “baby”. She's a 10-year-old black lab/golden retriever mix pup. She is super sweet with the kids and loves to play fetch and keep away. She would eat all day long if we let her. One of her favorite pastimes is napping.
Holidays and birthdays are always an adventure. We think our kids need stuff but is that really what will make them happy? Let's come up with creative solutions to celebrate our children without more toys to clutter our living spaces.
Small space living also means that my office is in the living room which is also kind of the dining room. There is also room sharing as our oldest and youngest share space, as do our boys.
Family travel is important to us. If we can travel as a family of six, then anyone can. If you would like to sponsor a road trip, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our unique situation leaves us flexible and allows us to think outside the box.
Email me at email@example.com
Follow me on Twitter at @wdcornelison.
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