Sunday, July 4, 2010

Florida/ San Diego

Sorry for doing it this way, its the only way I will ever catch up. I have chosen just a few of my favorite pictures from each of the days, it was very hard to choose!

DAY 4- We went to Animal Kingdom on this day and man was it fun! After such a crazy LONG day the day before we decided to give the kids a break at a slightly more relaxing park. Landon was a cuddle bug all day long, constantly attacking poor Christian with his bear hugs. My favorite part of the day was the Lion King show. At the end of the show the animals come and invite a few kids to participate in a parade around the stage. The zebra chose Evan and his two friends to come up with her. It was such an amazing joy we felt as we watched our angel have that independent experience! He was in awe of the wonder around him and was so happy as he followed the zebra around the room while shaking his shaker. He was so excited and talked about it for weeks. Justin and I watched him with tears in our eyes as he got to experience that special event. It is so emotional for me to even think about because he just hasn't been able to have very many independent experience up to this point. That will change a bit when he starts school, but for now they are still few and far between. I will always remember the glow he had as he came rolling back to us!!!

I just love this picture because I took it while riding Everest with my sweetheart :-)
After spending all day at Animal Kingdom we drove to Cocoa Beach to have some more fun!!! We stayed in the Wakula Suites. This is important to note because this hotel is AMAZING!!! We have stayed there before with some friends and I was so excited to go back!!! The rooms surround the gardens of 100's of exotic fruits and flowers and the whole place smells so sweet! The rooms we got were in the perfect area for Evan to move and play with all of the other kids. If that alone wasn't enough ... it is across the street from the beach!!!

DAY 5- Beach day #1!! Sitting on the beach is definitely where I am the happiest! I am most myself when I feel the sun on my skin and the sand between my toes while listening to the sound of the waves! I have missed it so much and I couldn't have been happier going back to it!

For whatever reason there were a gazillion love bugs hanging around and it was pretty funny to see some of the kids reactions to those. Millie couldn't stand them and went back to the hotel, while Evan was gathering them and keeping them as pets. (he didn't realize that when they weren't moving that meant they were dead, he was just very proud that they were his)

I don't know what it is about Florida (probably the heat) but Landon slept so well there!! He even took a 4 hour nap on the sand with everyone playing and walking around him. I kept checking to see if he was alright because I couldn't believe that it was actually my child sleeping that long/soundly!

I went for a run that night and totally had a guy full of muscle and covered in tattoos run a 1/4 of a mile with me. He was chatting me up. Once I checked to make sure there were enough people around that I was safe, and my continual use of the word WE (letting him know that I wasn't available) I wished that I hadn't inherited my mothers exercise face. When I am working out and starting to get hot my face goes bright red and sweaty!! I was a definite "butterface" that day, but hey ... I had been running for 3 miles!!

We got ice cream that night, put the kids to sleep and played games, games, and more games!!!!

The following picture is one of my favorites!! Evan was playing with all of the kids and then all of a sudden I couldn't see him anymore. I checked around and found this! He had high centered his chair while following them through the bushes. I asked him what happened and in the saddest voice ever he tells me ...
"I was chasing the kids and then I got stuck on the plant. See look (he shows me his wheels spinning) can you please help me Mama?"
It was so sad, but sooo sweet!

DAY 6- Our second day at Cocoa. Justin dug a huge hole and stuck Evan inside. Landon experienced waves for the first time. My boys played with each other, the sand and friends. My big boy (Justin) played with his friends and I got to sit with the girls in the sun and water. Does it get better?

After the beach we packed up and drove to a really yummy sea food restaurant. I LOVE the picture in the restaurant because it shows just how unique our group in Florida is. This includes everyone but one family and we are all sooo close! I love these people and I am honored to call them all friends. I feel so loved that they would take a break from their lives to come and spend the time with us on our vacation.
(while we were at the restaurant Walmir taught Evan to smell people's armpits and say "eewww BO, you need to wash yourself. Evan thinks it is the funniest thing ever!)

From the restaurant we drove into Orlando to pick up Guarana and headed back to Gainesville.

DAY 7- This was a nice relaxing day at the Kings home!! We got to visit with Evan's tummy mommy for the second time (SO FUN!) and we went to the pool (which was kind of a fiasco, but an experience nonetheless. My favorite part about this day was having the relaxing time with Natasha. We got a lot of girl time in this day and it was great!
DAY 8- What a GREAT day for me!!! I got to see 3 of my oboe students!! What a trippy experience! They are growing up!!! I started them on oboe when they were 12 years old and they are little adults now! I loved seeing them and catching up with everything about their lives ... I love you girls!!!! (I know I am using a lot of exclamation points, but I don't know how else to express how great it was to see them!!!!!!!!!!!!)
After breakfast with my "kids" we went to Fanning Springs. Now let me explain something. You don't live in Central Florida without acknowledging that there is quite a bit of white trash in certain areas. Normally you see it, you giggle a little bit, and then you move on. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Fanning Springs but there must have been a hick reunion happening! There was so much white trash around it was pretty impressive. We finally decided it was too much when a leathery woman with no teeth kept blowing smoke into our kids faces saying that we needed to leave because we sat in her spot on the dock! It was INSANE!! It made me sad to leave so early, but we had to get out of there. At least I got to take in a little bit of the beauty that I miss so much!

Girls night ... Do I have to say anymore???
(Natasha, you better send me the pictures of Lina's little swim outfit :-)

DAY 9- Our old stake (church area) had stake conference and we were able to see Evan's birth family. (Grandma & Uncles). It was wonderful and we got some beautiful pictures! We love you guys!

When we lived in Florida we were adopted by the family of Justin's best friend. We spent every Sunday afternoon with the Lowry's. Here is a classic picture of what happens with good food, good friends, and family! I miss them more than I can say!

We left the Lowry's to have a quick visit with my oboe professor/soul sister!!!! I LOVE THIS WOMAN. She changed my life for the better. That is all I have to say!!!!After Dr. O's we had a Lost party for the finale. It was only fitting that Lost end while we were in Florida. We started watching it from week one in Florida and had a Lost party at our house every week. We got to end the same way (just not at our house ... that would have probably freaked out the current residents)

DAY 10- Kira and the boys fly to San Diego, Justin is on the leg to Denver with us before he catches a plane back to Calgary.

DAY 1- playing catch, catching up on sleep, trying to last minute train for a half marathon, and spending time with my brother before he left on his mission. This is pretty much all I did while I was with my family.

Evan LOVED playing with the blow dart gun with Grandpa
I just really like this picture because it shows me truly being a mom!

I played at the funeral of my friends Dad. It was such a beautiful service and my heart still breaks for Lacy, but it was wonderful to hear over and over and over again just how much he loved his children. That is probably the most beautiful legacy anyone could leave behind! It is what I hope people will say about me when it is my time to go.

It was also lovely to see the Lowry's again!!

Girl Time
My brother gave his farewell talk and it was so well done. I surprised him with an arrangement of his favorite hymn :-) After church there was a party to celebrate his decision to go on a mission. I love my little cake thief!!! There were so many people and it was so much fun! What a spiritually uplifting day in so many ways!
DAY 7- Alex went through the temple for the first time. I am especially grateful that I was able to be there with him on this day!!! It was kind of cool to see the temple on this trip because it is under construction and looks like it is having surgery. The pictures are really cool if you aren't getting married this summer!!!

My sweet brother who is now serving a mission in Chile!!!

DAY 8- Drove Alex to the temple, said good bye for 2 years (THAT was HARD) and drove to the airport.
Lucky for me I came home to this!

There you have it!!! Tomorrow there will be more catch up!!! I am determined to get it all in before I am gone for another 2 weeks :-)


Peter and Mandy said...

I love the last picture of Landon airborne. Where are you going for two weeks?

Linz said...

Wow! What a whirlwind adventure! Great update!!

Fl home for sale said...

You uploaded good picture, Baby is looking very cute.

Becky said...

Evan and Landon are getting so big! Glad you had such a fun vacation!

Lisa said...

That was one crazy hectic trip but what fun!