Disney World Trip

Okay, time for some blog catching up. I have so many posts I want to do, and just need to start somewhere, so here goes with our Disney World trip!!

I got a very part-time job with Angie's List doing computer stuff from home, and have been working my tail off to save for a vacation for the four of us. We really needed it! We wanted to do something fun with the kids and something with just us, our last hoorah before our family expands again. We really needed some good time together with the kids.... I know, I know, you're probably thinking, "Then why on earth pick Disney World?! The magical world of screaming and over-tired children?!?!" But thankfully, we really didn't have much of that and had a great time.

Here are a few highlights from our trip!

I'm a "personalizer" by nature. By that I mean, I like to add small details to things, personalize things, make them extra fun. Go a little bit of the extra mile in creating fun memories for my kids growing up.

Even though we didn't fly, our travel agent sent us Mickey luggage tags and the kids thought it was so cool they were on their bags. 
 We drove to Florida instead of flying and stayed with my aunt and uncle for two days before heading to Disney. I put together special "Disney bags" full of activities and things for the 16 hour car ride. 
 Cruisin' to Disney in their new shades. 
We did allow the kids to get some souvenirs at the park, but to avoid many of the over-priced items, I bought some here in Indy before going and secretly stashed them. :) Every night when we got back to our room Mickey Mouse left them a present on their pillows. They thought this was totally real and loved it. Here they are with one of their gifts. Goofy and Daisy! 
Day 1- Resort Day
The first day at the resort, we spent the day swimming and enjoying the pools. They kids had a blast! 
 We had the kids nap everyday because of all the activity and it was the funniest thing because they were out like a light in about 3 minutes, both of them snoring, and making all those funny sleep noises. They were WIPED OUT. 
 The kids LOVED the huge Cars at the Art of Animation resort. Mekonen was in heaven. Got his picture taken with pretty much every Cars character and got to climb all over them. 
 Our first night in Disney we went to Downtown Disney and took the kids to the T.Rex Cafe, an interactive dinosaur restaurant. Here's Evie, keeping an eye on a moving dinosaur above her. We were in the much more tame section of plant-eating dinosaurs so we thought they would be fine. But then the meteor shower hit and there was a lot of noise, moving & growling dinosaurs, as well as flashing lights, and both kids were toast. We had to leave. Good thing we hadn't ordered our food yet! 
Day 2- Hollywood Studios
The kids thought it was so fun to ride the bus over to the parks. Evie always found a stranger to chat with. 
 They were all excited to see the characters. (Or "charafters" as Evie called them). But when we got through the gate Evie had a changed mind. Donald and Daisy were the first ones we saw. Evie was all excited in line until it was their turn. She threw the autograph book at Daisy and then ran. Hahaha. The only way to get her back in the picture was to include Mommy and Daddy. 
 Mekonen with his favorites. Buzz and Woody. The kids cared more about seeing all the characters than riding the rides. They thought they were real. So cute. 
 We finally convinced Evie to walk up to Tow Mater and Lightning McQueen with Mekonen. After all, they weren't even "live." But as soon as she got up there, their engines revved and she took off! Hilarious. 
Later that night, my Auntie Ruth and Uncle Bill, my closest aunt and uncle, joined us for dinner and seeing all the Christmas lights. So thankful for them and glad they could be with us. My uncle of course spoiled the kids with some fancy flashing necklaces for the lights display. 

Day 3 & 4- Magic Kingdom
Here's Evie, all ready to meet Cinderella that day. So excited. 
 We got to the park right before it opened and got to see all the characters ride in on the train and sing a goodmorning song. So fun. 
And of course, Cinderella's castle. 
So glad we did a breakfast with Winnie the Pooh. Definitely worth it once we found out how obsessed the kids were with the characters. 
 Can't handle her cuteness. So big and proud waiting to meet Cinderella.
 Walking with Daddy to meet Cinderella. 
 This is probably my favorite picture of Evie from our trip. He facial expression is priceless. She was in awe. 
 If you know Evie, this shy girl look and act is soooooo not her. She must've really been enthralled! 
Each of them got to pick a special souvenir at the parks. Evie chose a Cinderella doll in the princess shop outside the fairytale hall.
 Mekonen chose this crazy Zurg addition to his Toy Story toys. Too funny. 
We went to an interactive story with Belle in the Beast's castle. Evie didn't get picked to play a part and as soon as Belle came out singing (we were in the front row), Evie was mesmerized. Belle looked right at her and waved and from that point on Evie kept whispering to us, "Mommy, I need to go see her. Please!!!!" Hard explaining to a 2 year old only some of the kids get to meet her and be next to her. Thankfully, at the end, she asked Evie if she would like to come up. So sweet.
Evie eventually got over her fear of the characters and had a great time getting them to sign their autograph book. At one point she told me, "It's okay. They're all friendly." We got every single character they knew to sign our book and they were thrilled. Even "Ru-dog" (Pluto) as Evie called him. 
After the 1st day at Magic Kingdom there was the big Disney parade at night. This was so much fun! The kids had such a good time. This is another one of my all-time favorite pics from the trip.Tons of people told us it was a waste to bring our kids to Disney World because "they won't remember it." But bringing them at 4 and 2 when they wholeheartedly believe all the characters and princesses are real was SO MUCH FUN and definitely worth it. 
Evie kept yelling, "HI!!!!!" "HI!!!!!!!" at all the characters going by. She whole-heartedly believed they would say hi back.
On our last day, we gave both our kids small cans of soda to push through naptime in order to maximize our last park day. Crazy, you say? Nope, parenting genius! (And they thought we were awesome). 

I had to include this picture of the "It's a Small World" ride because our last ride of it on the last day was epic. It consisted of Evie peeing all over the ride, which flowed down the seat and soaked Jon's tush and her beloved blanket. Of course it was the one time I didn't bring extra clothes. Later that evening she also peed all over the ferry boat. Funny thing is that this kid has had about 5 accidents total since being potty trained 7 months ago at 2 years old! 
We had to high tail it through a torrential downpour to ride Buzz one last time for Mekonen.
After Disney, we spent a day at the beach before the long trek home to Indy. I so wish we had more days for this, because they were LOVING IT!!!!! When Jon took off his shirt Mekonen took one look at him and said, "Dad, why is your skin so white?!?!" HA!!!

Evie's first time at the beach!
 Such happiness. 
 So thankful we had GORGEOUS weather!!!
 And within about 3 minutes of leaving the beach, they looked like this. I guess that was a good day!
 We were so super excited to stop and visit some of our best friends, the Webers, halfway home. We got to meet Annabelle for the first time! 
Mekonen kept snuggling up to her and talking to her. So sweet. 
 And this one? Yep..she was obsessed with Annabelle. Girls in the bows....the best! 
 We frequently laugh because we're such good friends and before this picture we have ONE, just ONE picture of us. No one was around to take the picture except for our 4 year old. It's too funny not to keep. :) 
So we had a great trip! Tons of pictures and fun things to share. These were just the highlights! If we 
are friends on Facebook, check out the Disney album there.