Thursday, May 9, 2013

Disney: Day Six.

Day six was my favorite day.  
I'm not sure if it was the anticipation of getting home soon or if I tapped into my reserves and pulled out a whole lot of calm to get through a really peaceful day.  It was supposed to rain, but it was beautiful when we started out and stayed that way, despite a few little sprinkles later.  Oh and Nora threw up a whole pound of bacon in the parking lot before we started, but that was just an added bonus.

Day six was made for my boy.  
Island of Adventure, it was.

Island of Adventure is amazing!  It's connected to Universal Studios, which we didn't end up going to because more than anything I wanted Braden to walk the streets where the superheros lived.  Right away we were greeted by x-men, spiderman, Mr. Freeze, The hulk and so many more!

We rode a couple of rides in this part of the park and the kids were just totally in awe of all the buildings and things to see.  I loved Island of Adventure because it wasn't crowded at all.  It was an easy park to get through and there was so much to see in each part.
After walking through the superhero village we immediately entered Jurassic Park!  Just a couple weeks before our trip, Steve and Abrian took the kids to a movie and the boys saw the newest 3-d version.  Braden was literally in Heaven as we entered a whole new world.

What I loved about this day is that I felt so much less stress than the days prior and I feel like the kids did as well.  They were so animated and I enjoyed watching them be silly and play throughout the day.

Even Mabel was much more content.  It was just as hot, and we were moving just as much but we all hit a spot in the trip that was sweet and it allowed us to enjoy this day to the fullest.

Inside Jurassic Park we got to feel dinosaur eggs and even see a baby dino hatch!  It was a really cool experience.

I can't lie.
During the week, Nora was our biggest challenge.  She isn't wanting to listen and was pretty defiant.  I know alot of it is just her age but it was difficult for both Jeni and I.  We felt guilty at the end of each day knowing we had even said her name so much.  But she sure is beautiful and I pray that some day she knows how much all of this is meant for her.  

I think my very favorite part of the entire trip to Disney was being in Dr. Seuss' village.  It was so cute, bright and happy.  Having this be the last place we visited in the parks left me with a feeling that I would carry home with me and tuck away forever in my heart.

We continued to eat, drink and be merry until we just couldn't do so anymore.  The food and snacks were some of our favorite parts to the trip as well.

We got to sit front row at the storytime show with the Dr. Seuss characters.  It was amazing.  There were probably only 6 other families around, the wind was blowing and Mabel was more than content.  I loved it.

And staying true to who we are, we joined the characters in a rockin dance party in the middle of a hot afternoon.  It was absolutely perfect in every way!

In these moments I remember thinking, "I am happy.  I am so full.  I am beyond blessed.  This life is rich."
And the turning point of this trip for my future continued.  I knew in these moments that God has a greater plan than even I could dream up.  Being ok with that provides such a great peace.

We let the kids splurge on just about anything unless it was yet another stuffed animal.  By the end of the trip we had more stuffed animals than we could bare to pack (but somehow we did).  So when it was time for a $15 face painting that would wash off moments later, we said yes.  Of course!  

And the truth is, I think we rode one ride before Braden entered the splash park, ending with his paint running down his face.

The last treat of our day was a lemon shake up.  And it was good!
Mabel was hot and I let Jeni give her a little try...

And that just made my entire day!  She responded like the rest of us.  I laughed and my heart smiled.  

My heart hasn't stopped smiling since then.  

The final day was spent checking out of our villa but taking advantage of the pool as long as we could.  And then the craziness of driving to the airport, dropping off our rental car, carrying all of luggage, children, Mabel and her carseat into the airport, dealing with some ticket issues and waiting hours before boarding the plane all just to have Mabel cry for most of the flight and then getting caught in Chicago traffic-getting us home by 3 am-at which time Mabel was still awake, tapping and smiling because she didn't have her night meds and she is neurotic.  In the best of ways.

There are hectic, stressful memories tucked inside the good ones but they are forgotten just as quickly as they came.  I keep telling everyone how exhausting the trip was but to be honest, it was absolutely perfect.  More than I ever expected or dreamed for any of us.  It reminded me that our family is whole and not broken.  We are complete and perfect and taken care of.  We are loved by a God who is the giver of life and sunshine and sometimes just knowing that can heal the soul and create in you something even greater than before.  This trip was redemptive for me and for my life.  I will forever be changed by Disney and the hope that it gave me for happiness and a beautiful future.  

And me aside, this trip gave my children the gift of their lives.  They spent these carefree days with their sister  and they will look back some day and be so thankful for those little moments of laughter and cuddles that they shared with her while in the Florida sun.  

I can never thank the Make-A-Wish foundation in a way that would seem adequate.  What they gave us was the chance to remember life and breath.  They gave us the opportunity to soak one another in and focus on moments that are delicate and beautiful.  They gave me the chance to appreciate beating hearts and childhood giggles.  This was absolutely the greatest, most humbling experience that I will ever have and I am beyond grateful.  

Tomorrow:  Photos from the Phone Florida Style.


Cammie said...

I have been following your blog for about 6 months now. I am absolutely amazed at the beauty and heartbreak of your story. How lucky your children are to have a mom as truly special and courageous as you are. I am praying for your family, and am so encouraged to hear your faith shine through the good and the bad. Blessings! Cammie

AJF said...

I am so happy that although the trip was exhausting in some ways, you and the kids had such a great time together... Love the photos of you all together!

Elastagirl said...

I am so so very happy to hear this and see your pictures and hear how meaningful it was!