Anyone who knows Lucy knows that she simply doesn’t go out without her purse or Dora backpack (see above).

You see, she must have something to carry all her paraphernalia…building blocks, puzzles, a few random markers and what used to be referred to as her “guys.” Since she has matured SO much lately ;), she now mostly just carries around her “fwinsessesses” (translation: princesses).

There was a time I wondered if Lucy would ever go through the “princess stage.” She was late at all her other milestones, and I thought maybe this one would never come around.

I was dead wrong.

She adores those lovely ladies more than I can say.

To her they are the cat’s meow.

So we told her once she was potty-trained she could get her own set of mini figurines and maybe, just maybe we would take her to Disneyland.

And even though quite honestly I don’t think she completely understood our bribe, it was out there, and really, what kind of parents would we be if we didn’t follow through with it??

So, when a company trip was proposed with a destination to Disneyworld we were there, hook line and sinker.

Especially since the “company” consists of Dave, his brother and brother-in-law and their families who we adore:
C’mon, just look at those great people. We love them.

With 21 of us traipsing around together we were a force to be reckoned with. I loved walking behind everyone in the airports…all these sixteen kids and their parents rolling these bags around with humongous smiles stretched across their little faces anticipating what was ahead.
We had a long lay-over in SLC and got to visit with my mom and dad for a while. Man we love those guys.

We were all so excited to finally get there…especially when we saw this:

We spent one day each at three different parks. No offense to Dave and my big kids but I have to say my very favorite day in Florida was the day the moms and younger kids split from the dads and older kids. The dads and older kids wanted scary roller coasters and the younger kids wanted the Magic Kingdom:
(so did their moms):

I must admit, I was on cloud nine this whole day because I was so excited to share it with my kids. Why are moms like that? Seriously. I think the parade was my favorite part. We sat there in the perfect slant of the sun and watched our kids soak in the whole spectacle.
It was SO fun to watch all these kids. I loved watching how Lucy is SO taken care of by not only her siblings but those great cousins too.

I loved watching Lucy whose little hands just clapped and clapped to the music and whose delighted eyes were GLUED on everything that came by. It was a little hard not to get teared up a couple times thinking about how some day maybe she won’t be able to see all this stuff. It made me so incredibly grateful to be there right then, while she can soak everything in so well.

At the end of the parade all the floats stopped and the characters got off and danced with a bunch of the kids. Claire and her cousin got to dance with Donald Duck and they thought they just may have died and gone to heaven.

Enter princesses:

Should I be embarrassed to admit that I was almost more excited for Lu to meet them than Lucy was? I had grand visions of how enamored she would be and she did not disappoint me. Oh man, it was so fun to see the delight on her face, but also ALMOST better was the delight on her older sisters’ faces when they saw Lu with the princesses.

My personal favorite princess?


You know why? Because she sure made our wait in line worth our while. First of all, she was delighted as could be when Lu showed her herself (her Ariel figurine) from the depths of her purse:

And then (much to my horror) she asked what else was in Lucy’s bag. Now, I say “horror” because little did that sweet Ariel know that she was opening a can of worms. She didn’t know that it takes Lu about a half hour to unload that thing, line up those princesses just so, have them “talk” to each other for a little bit, and then equally as long to load them back up again. But the stars must have been aligned for those other kids in line because Lu was miraculously able to stop after showing off just a few of her prize possessions.

You’d think that SOMEONE would have done her hair all princess-y or something if meeting princesses was on the agenda.
The other princesses were great too.

We watched the firework show:
We got drenched on Splash Mountain (I’m talking to the point of having to wring out shirts):
It was a day we sure won’t forget.

On one of the other days we went to Universal Studios.

The big kids liked the “Hulk” roller coaster best.
The younger kids were pleased as punch with “Seuss Landing.”
We packed like sardines into this “Harry Potter Land”:I must admit it was pretty cool…

This is Dave’s sister and family (all except the one who is gone to college right now):
And here’s Dave’s brother and family:
And here we are:
“Where’s Lucy??” you may ask.

Here she sat:

(No, she wasn’t sleeping…just being obstinate.)

And this is what happened when I tried to make her be with us:
Dave was just about as thrilled as she was. Good job, other kids for staying focused on those smiles.

I’m afraid family pictures are NOT Lucy or Dave’s forte.

The third day we went to Animal Kingdom:Boy howdy do they ever know how to live it up with animals. I personally liked the bats and the little safari ride, and I couldn’t believe all the details they put into the design of that place.

I was really glad the scorpions we find around here don’t look like this one Grace is mesmerized by:
My favorite ride (Mt. Everest) is behind these guys in that picture above, but exposed out of the picture, darn.

I want this statue in front of my front door:
I don’t know why, I just love it. Something about that father thing.

I sure love these cousins too:

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  1. We just went to Disney World in August….and seeing all of your pictures makes me want to go back. 🙂 It's true what they say about Disney World being the HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH….(well except for going to the Temple)

    I love all of your pictures, it looks like you all had a blast. 🙂

    Miss Lucy scored big time meeting all of the princesses. I really wish I had a little girl….my son only wanted to see Buzz and Woody 🙂 LOL.

    Hope you have a great day.

  2. Looks like a blast!!!!! I can't wait to take my kids (like in 10 years)!!! Was it worth waiting until they were all older to take them? I just can justify going if our oldest isn't at least 10. You have a beautiful family!

  3. Such great pictures! Thanks for sharing. We are planning a trip to Disneyland with 3 of my *Littles* (aka grandchildren), sometime in May 2011…You just made me more excited than ever!! Have a great week!

  4. I LOVE, love, love Disneyworld!! I can't wait to take my son there! I didn't even realize Harry Potter Land was there! I would have tons of fun there! Ha!

    Magic Kingdom is my favorite park, EVER! I love the princesses and the castles and the parades! Kudos to those princesses for being awesome with Lucy! She got a hug from every single one of them! Lucky girl!

    Your pics are awesome! I must say the airport pics reminded me of the Home Alone scene where they're going through the airport with just as many people!

  5. wow, what a fun adventure! can a stranger ask what it is your husbands' "company" does? i went to disney as a child, but have never taken my kids. i think it will be much more fun seeing it through their eyes. great timing, agewise, for your fam, too. i just don't like lines, but i hear that have that figured out a bit…i love how you took pics of the screen for the rides;) great idea!

  6. oh wow! my kids have just gone nuts over these photos and I think I have to show them again, and again

    looks like memories were made and can't wait to take my family there…it's one big trip for us and we always say we have to get them to the right age but I think they're ready to go now!!!!!

    gorgeous photos

  7. LOVE Disney World! What a fun memory for your family. Those princess/Lucy pictures are too fun. Your pics brought back fun memories… That Safari ride was my favorite, wasn't it amazing? And how cool are the animals carved in the Tree of Life? Oh, and that Dinosaur ride was terrifying! Being chased by a T-rex, are you kidding me? Thanks for sharing, glad you had such a good time. 🙂

  8. Awh, I LOVE disneyland.
    I know a lot of moms plod through it thinking it's all for the kids but I love that we ALL have a GREAT time while we're there.
    And then I Want to die and pull my feet off. 🙂

  9. Awesome pictures! We went in October and we want to go back!! Speaking of the princesses, my 5 year old daughter LOVED seeing them. We went to the princess breakfast and Belle kissed my 9 year old on the cheek. It made a GREAT picture! His face turned so red and he wouldn't eat afterwards. He was so scared that the other princesses would kiss him. It was a wonderful week that we'll all remember!

  10. I've loved visiting your blog and have learned so much from photography tips to parenting. You have a beautiful family. I've enjoyed your wisdom in parenting. Thanks for letting us peek at your life. Quick question, what lens did you carry around Disney? You got amazing shots! Just wondering what you used. Thanks, tara

  11. Tara, I used my 24-70 at Magic Kingdom and a little bit at the Animal Kingdom. I just brought my point and shoot to Universal Studios. I wish I could figure out how to put the video on here…

  12. Oh my gosh this is cool enough to make US want to go to Disney World! So many new things since the old days! Fabulous!

    Love Lucy's purse and Dora…and the kids' love for her, tantrum or not!

  13. Extended family time is the best! Isn't it awesome to know your kids are so close to their cousins? We have the same situation & it's such a blessing.

    And, am I such a cynic when I say that I have absolutely NO desire to do Disney with my girls? People don't get it when I say this, and I'm not sure why myself. Hmmm. I wonder if we'll regret it when they're all grown up, though.

  14. Wonderful, Shawni! Thanks for sharing! The nearest to us is the one in Paris, but I never knew what you can see in a Disneyland location. Maybe one day we will also visit it. You've opened my appetite 😉

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