This post is mostly for myself. As I have been forced to jump back into "life", I want to NEVER forget some favorite moments and quotes from our Disney vacation. So here goes my quick recap. We had one of the most blessed times. It literally was as if our Heavenly Father was smiling on us in delight as we awaited the next gift He knew was coming. I am TRULY thankful for all of these blessings... TRULY all good gifts come from above.
1. After we surprised our "big three" with the trip, we started walking to the car to leave for the airport, Josh turned back and gave me a big hug. "Thank you so much Mommy. This is the best day. I've always wanted to fly in an airplane and go to Disney World again. Mommy, will we go to church on Sunday in Disney World? Because I want to thank God, too."
2. We board the plane and Josh says, "This is the best Friday through Tuesday of my entire life!"
3. We taxi up to our spot in Orlando and Josh looks out the window, "What? Oh man, we are right back where we started!"
4. As we walk off the plane into the Orlando airport, Emma Faye says (so loudly making those around us laugh) "Well, Disney World, sure was fun." (thinking our adventure WAS the plane right...)
5. On the ride over to our hotel the moon was a large orange. Breathtaking. Gift from the Lord.
6. There was a mix up with our hotel room, therefore Chris said the manager said, "Dr. Pruitt, I think we've solved our little puzzle with your room. We have up-graded you to our club-level. I think you will find your stay here to be very magical." (blessing. this included our own private lobby stocked full of snacks, catering, and our private concierge)
7. Amazing weather. Low crowds at Magic Kingdom. No waits. (blessing)
8. Stopping as we entered Magic Kingdom to look at a squirrel Emma Faye spotted. I love how she is fascinated by the simple things in life. And if I hadn't stopped her, I really believe that squirrel would have let her touch him. The thing wouldn't move.. which made Emma Faye say,"Mommy, it's like how Belle talks to animals, the animals aren't scared of people." :)
9. Riding Carousel with Emma Faye and her saying, "Mommy, I'm pretending this is a horsey race."
10. Riding Space Mountain with my boys and hearing them scream in utter delight.
11. Kissing my husband every morning and saying "thank you for working so hard for us so we could take this vacation." (the one day I forgot, was the one day things got a little difficult) ;)
12. Slow to anger hearts and quick to forgive hearts from everyone. Blessing. (no, everyday wasn't perfect.. but every day was redeemed.)
13. Watching fireworks over castle from awesome spot.
14. Chris buying Emma Faye her treasured Tinkerbell balloon. (sweet moment)
15. Dinning at Cinderella's castle.
16. Laughing so hard with my husband at some extremely absurd moments... laughing at ourselves.
17. Front row seating at parades. Electrical parade was amazing.
18. Spending time with Emma Faye while the guys road all the rides and really NOT minding. Enjoyed hearing her heart and listening to her imagination.
19. Will getting to ride Mission Space at Epcot after hearing him talk about how he really wanted to do that!
20. Aerosmith roller coaster at Hollywood Studios. Awesomeness.
21. Josh wanting to ride Tower of Terror.. me scared out of my mind.. and listening to him belly laugh during it's duration.
22. Friends' prayers for our trip. We felt them!
23. Josh saying to me, "Mommy, is Pluto real, or a person dressed up? Because when I went to hug him, I felt a zipper." :)
24. Watching my boys fight Darth Vader. Video coming soon.. hillarious!
25. Emma Faye riding Dumbo... and then getting to ride it again. Her laugh is contagious.
26. Mama and Papa staying in Birmingham and keeping Thomas for us. Next time little man.... your day is coming. :)
And my ALL time favorite thing:
27. Watching Chris lead us...He had a plan everyday. It wasn't hectic or drill sargent-ish. He was flexible. He made decisions...revised plans. He came up with GENIOUS solutions. Like when we had trouble sleeping because of hotel noises.. he looked up "sounds" on his computer and found a "white" noise sound and we just ran that at night. (isn't that genius?) He figured out the matrix of fastpass times and when to see what. He organized from Touring Plans each night our path for the next day. He orchestrated strollers and who was to ride in them. He maintained order with the kids. He didn't allow the fact that we were on vacation meant the kids would walk all over us. He disciplined with grace... and the children responded. He was patient with me and ALL of my weaknesses. He truly set the pace of our days. Even when one day he urged for me and Emma Faye to leave a park to take a nap. I didn't want to, but surrendered.. and SO thankful I did. Had a GREAT evening with the family. (He knew his girls were exhausted). He walked us through airport security and lead us to the gate. He even had forethought to grab a fastpass for me when I returned to park, since I had not be able to ride anything. Got to ride a roller coaster by myself. I was hesitant how we were going to do a buffet for one of our dinners, but he stated we were all going through it together and he made himself a plate and two other plates.. while I did mine and another. (genius) He was a hero. I know not by a lot of people's standards, but it was so relaxing to have someone plan for us. I simply followed and helped the children follow. They knew Daddy was always in front and Mommy was in the back. It was a great system. I watched my boys begin to model the leadership they witnessed from their father.. grabbing bags, reaching for Emma Faye's hand...helping me on a ride... opening doors... and holding open exit gates. Beautiful.
I am sure I will remember more as the days pass and as I begin looking over our pictures. It really was Magical. Not necessarily because it was Disney (although, I am always amazed when I am there)... but just how the Lord showered simple blessings on us every day. We had an amazing time. We made amazing memories. And no, we were not perfect. Our family had our moments. We had our disputes. But EVERY DAY was redeemed. There was no wasted time. Even as Emma Faye melted down on the floor in The Land at Epcot screaming that she just wanted to go to Heardmont Park (which is a small park right down the road from us), I found the humor in that. I decided a long time ago that this trip was going to be about the kids. I was going to use the phrase, "hurry up" as least as possible. This proved to be wise. They were able to enjoy their vacation at their OWN pace. I discovered that children don't need to be impressed and wowed. They long for the simpler things. It was enough to walk around and look at the beautiful flowers at the hotel as long as we were walking together and talking about them. Perhaps this is why Jesus asks us to come as little children. We, as adults, think we need to be impressed. We want to see God move in amazing ways, when really, it's amazing enough that the leaves can change from green to bright red as Will always mentions in amazement almost every other morning as we drive to school. "I just love red trees, Mommy. How does God do that?"
Disney World is great and vacations are great, but our kids don't need that. They just want our time. It's sad that adults forget this. We feel we have to leave to provide that uninterrupted attention. This is what I have taken from our trip. As we head into this Thanksgiving week, we aren't going anywhere. I am thankful. My heart is overflowing with gratitude. I am going to enjoy time with my family of six..... and it, too, can be magical.