Friday, June 1, 2012

Bisney World!

i am so excited to tell you about our trip to Disney World (or Bisney World as Charis calls it).  it was such an amazing trip and there is so much to tell you.  plus i honestly don't want to tell the same stuff, although fun to talk about, over and over because that is very exhausting to me.   my hope is everyone will read this and be able to imagine the amazing trip we had.  of course i'm going to have to split this up into multiple posts.
kisses on the plane

first i want to tell you how we were able to go on this trip.  there is no way we could ever afford to take such a trip.  in comes Inheritance of Hope (IOH) and my friend and IOH Counselor, Meredith McDaniel who encouraged me to apply.  i encourage you to go to their site and read all about it.  it started 5 years ago by Kristen Milligan, who is living with Liver Cancer.  it was her vision to give families with a terminally ill parent the opportunity to take a family vacation.  but not just any vacation.  this vision includes sharing stories with other families, time with counselors, focus on sharing your news and all that is going on with your children, children having time with counselors, space to be sad, space to experience joy, space to soak up, a volunteer assigned to your family to serve and care for your family the whole time, eating meals together, tools to help walk this road as a family, a date night, an opportunity to leave a legacy video for your children, tools and encouragement on leaving a legacy for your kids and so much more.  so, yeah, not your ordinary family vacay.  it is the most amazing experience ever!!  this trip was an all expense paid vacation for us...the hotel, the parks, food, date night, everything.  there are gracious folks out there that make it possible for families like us to go on this trip and not worry about a thing.  in fact, part of that is the volunteers and staff.  they blew me away.  our volunteer, Jessica, was incredible.  she's been volunteering with IOH for 3 years.  she loved and served us in HUGE ways...loving on charis while we were in our meetings, carrying stuff for us at the park, hanging with charis while we went on Space Mountain and other rides, hanging with our stuff while we took charis on rides, taking tons of pictures, making a photo scrapbook of our time together and just loving us so well.  i mean, who wants to trudge through a Disney Park just to help a family?!  She does!  the whole experience was amazing.  i know we will tell you more about it.

we needed this trip.  the weeks prior have been shitty.  first the hospital then just a hard week.  we needed this time away.  and it included time to have immense fun, to be sad, to share, to watch charis, and to be together as a family.  God knew we needed this and it came at a perfect time.
"who's ready for bisney world?" "I AM!"

first pic outside park!
meeting Mickey at our hotel, what a treat!

checking things out with daddy
Loving Dumbo!
first of many Carousal rides
watching parade with daddy
our first day on Sunday was Magic Kingdom.  after a full morning we headed to the park.  i couldn't wait to see Charis' face.  i had told her as much as i could about it; the characters she'd see and the rides she'd ride.  it was sunny and crowded.  we got our special pass which literally let us go straight to the front of the line.  no waiting.  none.  only on a few rides whose wait time was less than 20 min.  now i'm spoiled b/c it's the only way to experience it. :)  we saw a small parade shortly after we arrived with most of the characters.  i then thought they'd be out and about to get autographs and pics.  they weren't so we headed to our first ride.  the race cars.  i got to drive but it was too loud for charis.  she said she didn't like it but i said she'd probably talk about it most.  and she did.  we did some other fun rides...Dumbo, Pooh's Hunny Pots, the Carousal, Peter Pan, Aladdin's Magic Carpet.  she loved them all.  watching her and adam on dumbo almost made me cry.  i had this incredible feeling of joy and sadness colliding as i watched them grinning together, realizing why we were on this trip.  it was a sweet moment that i'm so thankful for.   i was getting worried that we hadn't seen any characters and it was all i really told her about.  we were there for a long time and never saw a character in the park.  i was pissed.  then i got some "schedule" and it turns out they are mostly inside and you have to go wait in line to see them.  others "may" be out "intermentantly."  what?!  that sucks!  i had the idea they'd be out and charis could run up and hold their hand, get their autograph and a picture.  so, we found where Mickey & Minnie were and went to them.  i was afraid it was just Mickey so when i saw Minnie I squealed with joy.  this was my only disappointment about the experience...not seeing the characters out and about.  i mean, they were on the float parade like every hour.  anyway.  i'm over it now.  she doesn't know any different.  we didn't leave until around 9pm so it was a long no nap kind of day.  she crashed as soon as we gave her a bath and put her to bed.  and she slept til 8am, barely wanting to go the next day. 

We really had an amazing time.  I can't wait tell you about the rest of the trip.  but it has to come in stages.  Don't want to overwhelm. :)  Hope you enjoy the pics.  There are so many to choose from.

peeking at mickey & minnie
holding their hands and cuddling them

getting ready for a magic carpet ride!

on a magic carpet ride
one last pic before we headed out 



Bryce Hiener said...

I'm so glad you had such a great time! What an amazing experience! Much love, Bryce

taryn said...

that dumbo photo is SO perfect.
love you.