Friday, May 2, 2014

Vacation Sweet Vacation

       We just returned from a little family vacation, and it was amazinnngg.  I'm not a huge vacation person so the truly-wanting-to-cry-as-we-left feeling surprised me.  I had been feeling somewhat guilty for booking a trip in the midst of this adoption, and had an inner debate going as I played both sides.  We had wanted to take the boys to a ranch last spring but life was busy, then the accident happened and our move.  The year was over before we knew it so we had decided to go this spring.  It's just something we knew they would love and we have no idea how long it will be before we are able to get away again once the girls come home. Regardless, any hesitation I had went out the window this past week.  The completely focused time and attention on one another, without distraction, coupled with so many firsts for the boys made some of the best memories.  So much joy in everything they experienced, so many experiences that they may not remember, but will shape them and offered valuable family time.  I am so thankful.


Checking out the wildlife exhibit.....the camel soon became a favorite as the zebra was "a bully."

                                 
     Pony rides!  He is always this serious about them....and we always have helmet issues with this tiny boy.





We loved all of the firsts we got to experience together....this was their first time mini golfing and it was quite perfect since there was only one other family golfing ahead of us.  We took all the time in the world.  Levi very quickly decided that going in sequential order was lame so we were all over the place.  And golf clubs are useful for so much more than mini golf.  







Both boys love, and notice, the blooming flowers and plants everywhere we go.  Levi loves to fully enjoy them....I think he smelled each one...in each planter....we had time : )



"This is amazing!" - Caleb


Levi copied Caleb, all on his own.  I just love him.



There's always great confusion as to where the photographer is.



We may have eaten for a family of 10 this week.  I think we got our money's worth in this room alone.


Okay, maybe Caleb's food intake didn't count....the rest of us made up for it.


He's not so sure about all of this....but he caught on eventually




Even waiting for things was pure fun. 



Tractor drawn wagon ride to a bonfire.....



     This was a highlight for me....singing around the campfire, Caleb danced away and Levi snuggled (it was a loooong day for him).....sweet sweet memories.

         
           The weather turned colder and eventually we returned to winter, but there was so much to do.....and who gets to experience all four seasons on a four day vacation?  I'm thinking that's pretty rare!  (It was literally in the 60's, 50's, 40's and then 70's)


       






         
              Caleb's first time playing badminton (never wrote that word before and had no idea there was an "n", what?!).  He later pleaded with us to play "Batman" again.....it took us a little while to figure it out.....


Levi passed out rackets to everyone......every.one.  They were very gracious.




          This little indoor water area was perfect for them.  They LOVED it.  But....the first day, Levi was shaking when I brought him in.  He had just woken from a nap, Caleb and Luke had been in for a while.  He kept pointing and wanted to go in, but he was shaking so badly.  At first I thought maybe he was cold (it was really warm in there but nothing will ever compare to the sauna that he lived in for over a year).  He wasn't cold....he was nervous....but so very determined.  We talked about it later and I just felt in awe over this precious boy and how much he has overcome and continues to.  And I thought how amazing it was that despite his fears, so physically obvious, he trusted us....he wanted to participate....he wouldn't allow them to dictate what he did and did not do.  It is such a privilege to witness his growth, resilience and determination.  It is such a privilege to be his mom, and in moments like these it really hits me.



           
        The miraculously both found the photographer...at the same time!  As for smiles....one step at a time.



They had cute shows each night (but not until 9pm unfortunately so one of us stayed back with Levi so he could sleep).  Caleb laughed and danced himself to exhaustion.  

 





First time playing in an arcade.....they were too funny.  Levi tends to not stay in one place long enough to remain in the photos.  

       
                                                              Unless we are holding him.




Levi's favorite part of the trip.  The LARGE variety of unending food.


 What?  I like to eat!  Oh....are you guys all finished?  You have been for 15 minutes?  Let me just finished up.....
           
              He was literally drunk off food.  He was acting like the biggest goof.  We have video footage.



It was only 3 to a paddle boat so Levi and I took one, Caleb and Luke took another.  Levi sat comatose both times I took him....like it was just the most relaxing place to be....which really it was.....especially when you weren't the one pedaling. 


So proud of him for trying new things....he's very...let's say, cautious....so this was a big deal. 


             Pure exhaustion....in a good way.  It's such a joy to watch your kids experience new things....to create lasting memories together, and be reminded of how blessed we are.

                                              "I want to live at vacation forever." - Caleb


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