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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Disney Part I (or why your family NEEDS a vacation)

Mimi making sure she's tall enough for Indiana Jones. I LOVE how everyone is looking on! 
As I've gotten older, (and hopefully wiser?) as my family has grown taller and bigger, as we've experienced both big and small  challenges along the way, I've come to appreciate something... how important fun is!
I should stop being surprised how the littles and the bigs always seem to get along so well. Just like it was always meant to be! 
Maybe that's a duh statement, but I think as a young mom, I often was so caught up in doing it all right, doing it all, just being the best mom that I could, that a lot of the time I forgot how therapeutic just laughing and having fun together can be for a family.
Without getting in to all the details, we've had our fair share of challenges over the last few years. I was talking with my dear friend Katie Kate today, and we were both nodding our heads in agreement with each other, that if we just had the time and the courage to bare it all, we'd learn that the hard stuff is more common than not. And I don't mean hard like having the flu, being tired and never feeling like you can get the laundry caught up... but the hard stuff. The stuff that's so unbearable that you don't even dare even say it out loud cause you're not sure you can bare it. You know... that hard stuff. We were saying that families everywhere have their fair share really heavy and hard burdens, but it often feels like we're all alone in those dark times, especially in comparison to the Christmas card families and Baby Gap commercials we see all around us. But really we aren't alone in those tough times. We just don't know it because it's just too hard to share.
Back to the fun.

Laughing is good. Smiling makes you feel good way down deep inside, and it makes the people who see your smile feel good too. And doing it all together with your family, those humans that mean the most to you, is even better. Yeah, more duh statements, I know. Enter the family vacation! Full of laughs and giggles and happiness, and it is that important to do.
Another important part of the trip was spoiling this special dude. He deserves some spoiling and I'm honored to get to be the one to do it! 

The family vacation is important like...

like date night with your hubby...
like your best friendships that you have to regularly cultivate...
like getting away, overnight, with your husband every so often...
like me time...
like prayer...
I believe in my heart of hearts that getting away as a family and just having fun, and doing it on a regular basis, is really really important. And that's not something that I've always believed in so passionately. Maybe that's where the older and wiser stuff mentioned above comes into play.
Amazing stuff happening for this amazing young woman! She makes me remember that all this hard parenting stuff pays off! 
I think we actually had a little disagreement to see who got to be with Ru in Autotopia! Livy won. I wonder if he could actually see over the steering wheel!
Now, don't get me wrong. I don't think that the annual family vacation needs to involve plane tickets or trip to Disney or even be all that long. I think a 2-day local staycation and a visit to the local museum, or a backyard camping trip can be just as fun and valuable. I just happen to have a hubby that begs to go to Disneyland every couple of years and is willing to save enough Marriott points to make some of it happen.
So we went to Disneyland and SoCal for 5 days. Lucky for us Disney is only a 6+ hour drive from home, and that cuts down on the cost of the trip. And I am all about keeping the costs down as much as possible! Sometimes they call me Mrs. FrugalMcFrugalson! Sunny was able to join us, and as always we loved having her around! The Man Child wasn't able to join us, (and truth be told I'm pretty sure he loved the peace and quiet while we were away) so he fed the critters and watered the plants in our absence. And yes, we wore pink a lot of the time if only to avoid losing track of some of our crazies. And 'cause it was Valentine's Day and al so pink seemed like an appropriate color to wear!
We visited the mouse, and we laughed and spun the tea cups. We rode the roller coasters and held hands and sang songs together. We got Goofy's autograph, and we forgot about some of the current challenges when we could. We remembered why we really like each other's company. We talked and had great conversations about nothing as we waited in lines. We looked forward to tomorrow. We joked, teased and helped each other out. And we collapsed in bed each night ready to do it all again the following day.
And it was so so so good.
All this to say 2 things.
7 of our 8 sweeties came with us on this trip. Maybe the days of us ALL traveling together are gone. Maybe not. But 7 out of 8 ain't bad! 
1, please make time annually to have a family trip. It doesn't have to be expensive, but it does require some planning. But really all that necessary planning is part of the fun for everyone, 'cause in the hustle and bustle of every day, we all need something to look forward to, even when you're only 7 years old!

Maybe I'm wrong.
Maybe I'm full of it.
But I really wish another mama had emphasized things like this to me a couple decades ago.
Helping Mimi and Ru pick out their ears. The bigs take their responsibilities very seriously! 
Ru showing Papa his new ears. 
And 2, prepare for an onslaught of pictures of our family vacation. Just like Uncle Sal, I'm gonna post a ridiculous amount of photos.
I just cannot not post them!


  1. Please post all the pics you want......I love seeing them. You get the best candids!

  2. So I come from a large family and we are all now (supposedly) adults spread across the country. Today my brother and I were working through the logistics of a surprise family vacation we are planning for our whole family to take. Why? because we did family vacations as kids and loved them, we know it's one of the things that made us all close, even now, and also, we just miss getting to all hang out together. We also are beginning to realise how impossible it must have been for our parents! All that to say, I think you hit the nail on the head with why factions matter. But also, they are not just to look forward to, or even to look back on but because those times can still matter in all the small ways years later.....

    1. "as kids and loved them, we know it's one of the things that made us all close, even now," YES! THAT! I wish I didn't get so stressed out by them a decade ago. I didn't value them like I do now. But even when things are hard, maybe especially when things are hard, it's important to take a break from that and just enjoy one another.

  3. I totally agree! Even though our family is just my DD and I, getting away to Disney is the best vacation for us to connect and have fun without distractions. Glad you had such a great time! Bring on the pics!

  4. So happy you were able to get away with your family. It really is so important, and did I see that you are crossing the pond in my direction to Holland. I am going there in April to see the Tulips. I hope you have a fantastic time! Holland is amazing. Pancakes, cheese, wooden shoes, windmills, and tulips who can't love all that.


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