Sisters, friends, blessed.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Fall Weekend

We spent the beautiful fall weekend with Grandma! We got cousin time, played outside, climbed trees, celebrated Kyle's big birthday, played Halloween, and went through a lot of Dad's things. It was a weekend of laughter and tears, and it felt so good to be together.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Heading Back Home

On October 25, 2015 ~

We awoke to happy cousins this morning!  While our adventure was wrapping up, Mike's family was just beginning theirs and the excitement was palpable.

It was a bittersweet goodbye that morning.  While it was difficult saying goodbye to Grandma & Grandpa after such an amazing week together, it was SO special watching them drive off with Mike & family knowing what adventures were in store for all of them.
Its hard to know how to wrap this all up.  It was hard last year at this time to even blog about our week together in Disney, hence a very belated post.  And now, well, its overwhelmingly beautiful, and sad, and priceless, and nothing short of a gift. A gift straight from God himself.  And I'm not sure I'll ever be able to thank Him enough, for the precious week we had vacationing together.  For all of the laughs, and thrills, and moments we had just the seven of us.  Blessed. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Our Final Day in Disney

On October 24, 2015 ~

We began our final Disney day in the Magic Kingdom.  The speediest members of our group (Kyle, Hadley, & Piper) sprinted up Main Street to get us all in line for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train again, but even they were not fast enough. 
Fortunately, it lead us into the back corner of Fantasyland, where we found Bryndel's favorite ride...
We also found Goofy's Barnstormer, which seemed to be the perfect size roller coaster for both Hadley & Piper.  With the line so short, they went on more than once with Grandma & Kyle. 

Bryndel & Grandpa were content to just sit together and watch :)
We HAD to take in Splash Mountain one last time.  We went so fast this time, that Grandpa's favorite hat whooshed right off into the deep lost!

I think Bryndel would have been happy to just walk the park with Grammie by her side and bubble gun in hand the rest of the day :)
We took in the Haunted Mansion (not a favorite of the girls!), Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and flew with Peter Pan before having a picnic lunch in Liberty Square again.

We took the monorail on out while waving farewell to the Magic Kingdom.  We went back home for a little rest and a quick dinner, while anxiously waiting for Mike & family to arrive!!
We parted ways with Grandma & Grandpa for the first time all week.  They stayed back to help Mikey and family get settled in, while we headed back to Epcot for one final evening of magic.  
We saw the Circle of Life movie, took in Hadley's favorite Living with the Land again, rode Ellen's Universe of Energy, and had Mickey ice cream on a stick.  Much to our surprise and delight, Grandma & Grandpa came back just in time to float through Soarin' with us again, and view the incredible Illuminations Fireworks show together!
While we all melted into our beds that night from sheer exhaustion, we fell asleep thanking God for the most wonderfully JOYFUL week we'd ever had together.  What a blessing.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Clearwater Beach

On October 23, 2015 ~

We drove out to the ocean today.  It was the first time the girls had ever seen it, or heard it, or tasted it.  And it was better than they could have imagined!

They loved running & jumping in the waves, and even riding them in on their tummies.
They, along with Kyle & Grandpa, built an impressive sand castle.

Hadley scooped up a minnow, and Grandpa a jellyfish!!!  Not to worry, no one was injured, just impressed.

The shaded pier was the perfect place for our daily picnic, as well as a nap :)

It was such a relaxing day for all of us. Nothing like dipping your toes in the sand and salty water, together.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Hollywood Studios

On October 22, 2015 ~

Today was the hottest day we spent in Disney.
We did not waste much time grabbing photos before racing up Hollywood Boulevard to get in line for Toy Story Mania.
The girls nabbed a quick photo with an army guy from the movie while waiting. Bryndel was not quite sure what to think of his weird green face.
Kyle shot the most points in our group, but Grandpa (and Uncle Mike) bettered that score later in the trip.  Bryndel was not keen on the glasses or the shooting, but certainly enjoyed trying to steer and spin Grandma & me.

The girls were thrilled to catch Donald Duck for a photo op.

We all enjoyed the Frozen Sing-a-long where it actually 'snowed' on us.
And right before our lunch reservations at the Brown Derby we got hugs from these rascally guys.

After lunch we saw the Beauty and the Beast show, but then called it a day due to the excessive heat.  Grandpa grabbed some much needed ice cream for everyone, and we headed home to take a dip in the pool.  

Despite being sun kissed and likely exhausted, even Dad stayed up late that night to play cards out on the patio.  It was quiet, and warm, and felt like love.