Sabbatical Diaries: Week Three

I've hesitated to write these updates from our trip because I don't want to seem like a spoiled brat, bragging about every last thing we did and how amazing it was.  However, I know I want these memories chronicled for later and more importantly, I just love reflecting on the goodness of God in our family over these weeks we've been off.  He just blessed us with such sweet times with our kids, memories we'll cherish for a lifetime.  In many ways this Sabbatical has been about Travis getting a break from ministry, a chance to rest and refresh. But, God also impressed on both of us what an opportunity He had ordained for us to spend sweet time with our kiddos who so often have to share their Daddy when we go on trips or simply when we're at Church every week.  We realized with no school schedules to dictate our time and no rush to be back home, this was such a unique season and we really wanted to be intentional with how we spent it.

The beach was so wonderful, so relaxing and just what we needed to really unplug and refresh.  It was not easy to see that part of our trip end, but when we drove off that island we left behind the lazy days in the sun and began to mentally change gears for a much different week...

When we bought the movie Cinderella for Ava last Fall, she watched an "extra" on the DVD that highlighted the new Fantasyland that was due to open in November at Disney World.  That was her first introduction to the concept of Disney World and also the start of her love affair with all things princess.  At Christmas she scored the Princess Dream Castle and in February my Dad showed her an old photo album from when we went to Disney as kids.  The wheels were turning in her little princess-loving head and when she found out we were going to Florida, she was smart enough to ask me, "Flor-dah Mama?? Isn't dat where da princesses live?? In Disney World??"  I'm telling you, we aren't going to be able to get much past that girl!

In January, after she saw a commercial on Spring Break deals to Disney World, just like Pavlov's dog she asked us if we could go.  Chalk one up for the Disney marketing department!  Our answer was, "Someday we'd love to take you, but we need to save a lot of money for that special trip."  Which was totally true and at that point, something we hoped for maybe next year.  The Sabbatical wasn't happening yet, so we were trying to give her some hope but realizing we'd be answering that question for at least a year!  She wanted to go so badly and for weeks, every time she found a dime or a penny she'd run to us and give it to us saying, "Look!  Here's some money for Disney World!  We can go now!"  Sweet girl :)  Carter usually joined in too and suddenly they were both scrounging around for loose change to finance our vacations!  Ha ha!  But when Trav came home in February and told me he was taking 5 weeks off in March, our own wheels began to turn.  Suddenly the idea of Disney wasn't so far fetched anymore and we began to seriously consider it. We debated, explained it away several times, and just prayed about how we should spend those weeks and the money we set aside.  We never imagined taking the kids when they were so young, but Carter was still free and Ava is actually at a really fun age for Disney.  We had the time, God blessed us with the funds, we had a place to stay and we had kids who were dying to go...

So, we did it!  We marveled at all the ways God gave us favor in the details and we decided to load up our double stroller with our double blessings and head to the "Happiest Place on Earth!"  We got an incredible deal on tickets through Trav's sister and her husband, and we were able to stay at their house, about an hour from Disney.  We packed lunches and snacks every day and we strategized our game plan for each park every night.  It was crazy and totally fun!!  We were able to get park hopper passes for all 4 parks and we had 4 days to explore them.  We went to Magic Kingdom on Monday, Hollywood Studios on Tuesday, took a break on Wednesday (hallelujah!!), Epcot on Thursday and Animal Kingdom, then Magic Kingdom on Friday.  Whew! For all the rest and refreshment we got in Marco, we spent it all at Disney!  It was an exhausting week, but one that was SOOOOOO great!!! I cannot possibly sum that week up in one post, so I'm going to break it down by day.  Yes I have a million pictures so believe me, that is a gift to you :)  Now that it's all over and we have been schooled in the ways of Walt Disney World, was it worth it??  Would we do it again??

YES.  It was SO worth it and we would do it again in a heartbeat.  It was one of the highlights of our trip and something both kids can't stop talking about.  They've poured over all of our pictures, watched all the videos we took, and waste no time telling anyone who will listen all about it.  Travis and I also had a ball, really enjoying and taking everything in through their eyes.  We were so "parental" on this trip and for the first time we took in a theme park for all it was worth, while never really riding most of the thrill rides!  I'm so thankful we were able to go and will cherish some of the sweet moments with Ava and Carter forever.  I'm a Disney girl at heart too and I was lucky enough to walk hand in hand with my own prince, experiencing the "magic" of Disney all over again!

At the risk of being obnoxious or over the top with these recaps, I apologize.  I know how fortunate we are to have done this trip and what a gift it has been from our Church.  We are beyond thankful!  I hope you enjoy a glimpse of our Disney memories in the posts to come, we made a lot of them...

No comments: