Family rocks. Especially the ones you really like. But if I were to be 100% brutally honest, I would have to say that I never expected to like my brother’s wife (In a general sense, not Leah particularly) (: I never really knew any of the girls he dated because he switched high schools when I came down to Florida for college, so for the first time I was out of his social loop. I love my brother. He’s goofy and annoying and a complete dork; perfect little brother attributes. But trusting him to pick out an amazing sister in law for me? Not a chance. I met Leah once before the wedding and I liked her. She was sweet, and Southern, and it was obvious she loved my brother. brownie points! It wasn’t until a year later, though, that we really bonded — sitting in my bathroom in the middle of the night talking smack about the rest of the family, like only girls can. True story. I must say, my brother picked a good one. *Fist pump*
They now have a little bambino and oh! how he’s stolen my heart! Words just can’t do the past 10 days justice. I absolutely love spending time with Leah & Jackson. Leah and I got to take Jackson and Daniela to Disney this past week — J’s first visit!!
Disney really is a magical place. We are somewhat spoiled with our home’s proximity to The Happiest Place on Earth and I’ve always had a little pang in my heart that Daniela will grow up without that surreal Disney experience because hell, we’ve had annual passes since she was two. But there’s something about a baby’s first visit that brings it all back. I saw my little girl experience Disney like she never has before.
It was like she was showing off her own little magical place to her baby cousin whom she loves like crazy. It was surreal. And it was special. And it was HOT. And it was crowded. And it was full of funny moments. The first of two memories that stick out to me the most was leaving Magic Kingdom. We opted for the ferry so we didn’t have to break down the stroller…again. I’m not exactly sure what happened, but we waited for 45 minutes in a massive line and moved maybe 3 precious feet forward. Nobody knew what was going on, or what they were talking about — but on the recommendation of a worker, we abandoned our spot and headed for the monorail. Which was also a hot mess. We were exhausted. The kids were exhausted. The fun was over and we just wanted OUT! Leah and I stood in the middle of the darkened pavilion with oversized Walt and Mickey holding hands in bronze behind us and we just looked at each other. I’m the Florida resident. I’m the Man with the Plan. I’m the decision maker. And I threw my hands up and said sadly, “I just don’t know what to do”. We did finally make it out; they mercifully opened up the resort monorail to get the hot, stinky, cranky crowds back to their cars. We got back to our room and ordered room service (:
The following afternoon we headed out to Animal Kingdom — love that place!! Well, at this point we were pro’s at the old brake-down-the-stroller-for-the-tram routine so we decided to spice it up a bit. Perhaps we were just being lazy, but I figured we could pick up the stroller (with J still buckled in) and lift the whole thing over the door of the tram and into the aisle. No breaking down and no balancing a thousand bags and children. Easy Peasy! Well, we failed. desperately. As I carefully climbed the steps up to the tram while carrying the front of the stroller, the incline became too steep and our stuff started falling out of the stroller and onto the ground of the parking lot. Oh yeah. Once we finally maneuvered the stroller over the door, the damn front wheels were 2″ too wide. We looked like a bunch of tourists, ugh. By the time we got the stroller inside the door, poor J was nearly upside down because the back wheels were on the floor but the front wheels were on the seats. Yup. Oh! and all that stuff that fell out? Leah and Daniela scrambled to get it all picked up before the nice tram operator had a heart attack, but not before Daniela picked up a card that fell out of my purse and exclaimed “Mommy! This has a really bad word on it!” Oh the joys of children who can read. Needless to say, we stopped complaining about breaking down the stroller (:
The rest of the trip is best summed up in pictures, some of which are fabulously edited by SIL in late night, clandestine meetings with Peruvian chocolates whilst I brought random camera accessories I don’t need. Like I said, family rocks.
Photography by my super awesome sister in law Leah, of Shutter & Snap Photography in Northern Michigan.
Oh, and that card that fell out of my purse? It read “Stepmom ? Bitch”. Classy, I know.