I love my family, and every little thing that makes up our family. We have our own set of traditions, routines, vacations, places, and memories that make us unique, and create a special bond between us. All of the things we value and love are so extremely important to us and keep us close and connected to each other. I’ve listed some of the things that our family absolutely loves, that bring us together and bring out our love for each other, and the stories behind why they are so near and dear to our hearts.
- Disney World— It’s no secret that our family loves Disney World. I mean, Blake and I got married there, so I think the cat’s out of the bag. 😉 Our love for “the most magical place on earth,” started with my husband. It was his request to go there when he was very young, after being in Riley Children’s Hospital for several months for a serious health condition that almost left him without his legs from the knees down. (That’s another story for another day!) His family kept the tradition of taking him every year, and when I came into the picture, I was invited to go along, as well. We started making our own special memories there, including our wedding, and we have continued going every year we have been together, which has been for almost 10 years. We have now gone as a family twice, including Charlotte, and we have already made so many incredible memories with her. We cannot wait to take Savannah, which is why our next trip is already scheduled for this November, for her first birthday! Call us crazy, but we LOVE Disney, and I don’t see our love for the place that has given us some of our most beloved moments, experiences, and memories, going away anytime soon. ..or, ever!
- Movies— So, you know how we love Disney?..That includes all things Disney. Disney movies, and the music from those movies, are some of the special things we get to share together everyday. Disney has this way of touching our hearts and pulling at our heartstrings. We enjoy spending time together as a family, gathered together by the fireplace, watching a movie, eating popcorn, and snuggling under a huge pile of blankets inside our homemade fort. We have loved introducing Charlotte to the Disney movies we grew up watching, as well as new Disney movies to create new memories with her. Of course, Savannah is just along for the ride, at this point, but she’s absolutely included and will grow up watching these movies with us and having the special memories, just like her sister.
- Dancing— The music from the Disney movies hold a special place, because it has become part of our nightly routine of dancing in our house. Dancing as a family warms my heart like no other. I have such a love for dance, and grew up dancing, and the fact that my daughter loves to dance means the world to me! As soon as a song comes on, she’s the first one on her feet, dancing around the room, and asking mommy and daddy to dance with her. She even asks Savannah to dance, so we hold her (of course), and we all hold hands while the music plays..and plays, and plays, and plays. Charlotte REALLY loves to dance! 😉 I know this will be something that I will always remember about her as a little girl and will miss when she gets older. But, for now, we embrace it, and dance together as a family, and soak it up for as long as we can.
- Tent Time— Also, part of our nightly ritual includes “tent time.” And, I’m not talking about anything fancy, or even an actual tent. I’m talking about playing on our bed, underneath a blanket, which represents a tent. “Daddy, I wanna go in the tent!” Charlotte’s famous line when Blake gets home from work. And, of course, it melts his heart every single time. We have different games we play, of hide and seek and tickle monster, while mommy and daddy try to sneak some air out from under the tent! <<That thing gets hot with all the trapped heat under there!>>
- Bed Time— Our nightly routine before bed is also a special time that I absolutely love. This consists of bath time, where I get in with Charlotte and we play together, and then time spent in her bed reading, singing, talking together, saying a prayer, and kissing her goodnight. At the moment, this time doesn’t necessarily include Savannah, although Charlotte does ask for her to join us on her bed certain nights, which is just the sweetest thing ever! I’ve always dreamed of bed time with my children, because this was such a special time for me, when I was little, and I couldn’t wait to make my own special moments and memories with my kids. I still look back on those times, as some of the most special moments with my parents, and I only hope my girls will feel the same way.
- Bonita— Bonita Beach, FL is where I grew up vacationing, and I always dreamed of being able to take my children to “my home away from home.” I know this area so well, it truly feels like home to me. I started bringing Blake here with my family when we began dating, and now, my whole family gets to experience my getaway with me. For me, it really is a dream come true. We’ve already begun creating special memories here, like all of us getting the flu together.. Ok, so that wasn’t the greatest, but we’ll never forget it! HA! Getting to travel and experience new places together is definitely a bonding time. We can’t wait to travel more, and expand their horizons, as they get older.
This list is just a short example of how our family bonds together, over things we love. This list will change and evolve, just as the girls will, but the most important piece will always be there; Love. Our love for each other, and our love for life and special moments will only grow stronger, as our bonds grow deeper. Finding special things to bond together as family is so important, and if that “thing” means dancing until were dizzy, listening to songs on repeat, or watching the same movies over and over, then we do it. And, we do it with a smile, because seeing their smiles makes it all worth it.
Have I mentioned how much I love my family?? Because, I do. Like.. A LOT.