Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Perfect End

I have had so many sweet well wishers, and a few crazy blog posts from Nikki and Sunny, and some really nice gifts during this crazy busy day of mine... Thanks soo much to all of you. I am touched.

Tonight as I was quickly trying to get the girls off to sleep before jumping in to the final day of hell week for Ethan (5 projects and catch up work) Jaleigh said her prayers...

"Heavenly Father, I am thankful it is my mom's birthday today and I am going to sing her a song when I am done with my prayer..." After a big hug from both of my girls, this...


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Trip Part 1

I LOVE a road trip. Heck- I love ANY trip. But this trip was different. I was excited for this long awaited trip for so many reasons. Spending 100% of our time together, getting away from the mundane day to day stuff, getting a break from the 100+ inches of snow we have had this season, seeing the sun AND feeling it, going to Disney World for the first time, and really the list goes on. I had a plan and we were going to see if it worked...

The night before we left, I washed every particle of clothing and bedding, I scrubbed this house from floor to ceiling, and I got everything we needed packed in the van ready to go.

Oh yeah. The van. I officially changed the name of our van while on these journeys to "the mini" kind of like "the winny" because when we are driving down the road- it sure feels like we are in some kind of Winnebago...

So the plan was that we would get up at 4am, just jump in the car and go. Nathan went to bed early and set the alarm, and I finished up around the house.

I woke up to a faint alarm going off and kids jumping around, giggling, and screaming with delight. I looked at the clock to see 4:15am. Then Ethan came in as awake as if it were noon.

"I thought we were leaving at 4:00!" We dragged ourselves out of bed and did the best we could to get ready fast. We were in the mini at 5am.

I told the kids they needed to go back to sleep- so there would be no movie watching until the sun came up. By the time the sun came up- none of them had gone back to sleep, and they were watching movies...

I think we stopped for breakfast that morning somewhere in Indiana, but we ate lunch on the go.
On our way through Tennessee, I noticed kids outside jumping on trampolines with shorts on. I thought- "Wow. They are brave!" and didn't think much more of it. Then we got to a rest area. Saroya got out of the car and a huge smile crept across her face. "I think I want to take my sweatshirt off and just have short sleeves!!" As I watched her spin around with her arms out and face towards the sky, I was so happy. We have missed the sun and the warmth sooo much! We all played catch for a little bit with a ball that Ethan had (surprise, surprise...). None of us really wanted to get back in the car- we would have been happy to stay there in that 65 degree weather longer, but we knew we needed to keep going, and that it was just going to get warmer.

One of my longstanding rules about road tripping is that you HAVE to travel ugly... And we did. :) I love that Ethan kind of has a Kool Aide smile and I don't have a stitch of make-up on... Oh! We saw the most amazing thing driving down the mountain in Chattanooga! I took a picture with my little ol' point and shoot- you can see how well it did... but I couldn't delete it because we had never seen a semi-truck actually NEED to use the "runaway ramp" that they always have going down the mountains. You can kind of see there was still smoke coming up around the semi, and there were others there to assist him. It was really breath-taking to see. That man must have just had the ride of his LIFE!!

We finally stopped in Georgia for dinner (my kids were so funny listening to the people around us using "y'all" and "momma" and "granny"with the southern drawls)and then for the night around 11:30p. We were DEAD tired. The kids held on too, until about 10:30p. It was a LONG day- but we were glad we got so far. I love how zombie-ish the girls look in this picture. I really don't think they opened their eyes on the way in to the room!

We got up, ate (I mean eavesdropped on some more southern folk talk) and were on the road again by 9:30am.

At 2:35 ON THE DOT

Disney World!!!

Ethan kept snapping pictures, Saroya kept saying, "This MUST be a dream" and Jaleigh replied, "I'M NOT DREAMING!!!" Oh it was a great moment.

As we were making our way in, I took a picture of this guy driving a truck with Michigan plates because he looks EXACTLY like someone I know. Nathan thinks I am crazy for taking pictures of random people.

When we were pulling into our resort, the man at the gate said, "Are you checking in?" We said, "Yes" then he smiled and said, "Welcome Home." I was so giddy I was yelling, "HE SAID WELCOME HOME!! HE SAID WELCOME HOME!" Just a little thing, but it meant so much to us who had traveled so far. Ok... maybe just me. But I think it was nice.

We spent the next little while getting acquainted with the surroundings (while I frantically and obnoxiously sanitized everything I could think of. Beth and her family had just spent a week at Disney World where they and lots of others caught a wicked stomach bug). We decided to take the boat down to Downtown Disney and have a look around.

Before going I got some Disney pins from e-bay for the kids. All the employees that have pins on will trade pins with the kids for whatever they want. It was something I thought Ethan would really get in to. All three of the kids we pro- traders after that first night. Saroya would stop an employee in the middle of a parade and ask to trade pins and they would! We spent all of our time that night in the pin trading store.

After we got back from there, we realized it was after 8pm, and we hadn't had dinner or done the grocery shopping we needed to do. The Walmart near Disney World was as busy as it is the day after Thanksgiving- and that is no exaggeration. I had to walk around the parking lot for 15+ minutes looking for a cart. Oh yeah, and we got lost on the way back to the resort... It was a rough night.

But we were finally there- ready to begin our next adventure- and we were ready!