spring break

As I sit here nestled in a warm blanket drinking hot tea, I can’t help but think about what a lie spring break really is. I mean, I feel like it should be called winter break if you live in Michigan because although calendars shift and spring has apparently arrived, I’m not buying it.

But whatever seasonal break it really was, I had one. And I’m so grateful. Because of the things, CJ and I get spring break together every two years. As a quick aside, I was already talking with him about how the next time we’ll be on spring break together, he’ll be 14! I stopped myself in that thought before it went to the inevitable next one, i.e. girls chasing my handsome boy. It was bad enough when he blushed sharing a girl had smiled at him near the pool. Knock it off, already!

Our party of five took off last week Thursday night for an almost week-long adventure down to Florida. Mike and I are hardy folk idiots and decided we can drive straight through. It’s honestly the nicest way to do it for the kiddos so they can sleep and for the adults so we can only hear, ‘but when are we gonna be there?’ eleventy billion times.

We only hit traffic once we arrived in Florida but I didn’t care because the windows were down and I was warm again. I had forgotten what warm air actually felt like save for that one day in January when it was 57. We also got to jump off the highway briefly and we saw the most beautiful horse ranches. I almost Pioneer Woman’d myself right out of that vehicle and rode off into the distance. But we had plans!

Our first overnight was at the Lowman homestead in Clermont. It was a little reunion-like because we hadn’t seen them since February and it was super cool to see where they’ve planted themselves in the south. And also? To meet all the people my mom tells me about that I have no idea how to keep track of. Good to meet you, Burt and Betty!

The McLaughlin crew arrived at the compound Saturday and I quickly snatched Lindsey and Gracie so we could go get our nails did. Having zero time to plan for vacation means zero time to take care of the necessary things no one has had to witness for months, i.e. feet.

Later that afternoon, we checked in at our home for the week in Kissimmee. We’ve stayed in a similar resort in Orlando and you’d think that Orlando would be crowded in comparison. You would be wrong. It’s my one baby complaint of the entire vacation. This place was packed. Apparently, everyone was on spring break? #yesimaware And everyone brought small children. But thankfully, only one of them had a ‘moment’ in the pool during our whole stay.

Other than throngs of people, we really just took time to enjoy the week. We did a little Easter on Sunday (sorry, Jesus. the Sea World sunrise service would have been too much for the littles), hit the beach on Monday and saw a shuttle launch (!), lazed by the pool, got wet at the attached waterpark, celebrated Lindsey’s 17th birthday, saw downtown Orlando at night from the 400′ high ferris wheel, sent the boys off on a gator hunt and rounded off the trip with Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney. which apparently i’m the last to know, per Connor). Oh, and how could I forget?! I played the best April fool’s prank in all history, too. Many of my Facebook friends are still not speaking to me.

As usual, I’ll bombard you with some of my favorite moments from the week. I wasn’t as good as I normally like to be about having my camera at the ready but that’s only because I was trying to be present. Vacation is over as quickly as it begins when you’re short on time and applying sunscreen every ten minutes and managing meals for 11. But really, why have it any other way? (Unless you can plan a little getaway for two. You should do that, instead too.) Having a full week with those I love most is all I could hope for. The photos just help me remember when I don’t have the full five how full my heart can be.

Truly, though, all gratitude goes to my parents who are willing to put up with us for a week in their home away from home. They spoil us rotten and love us all without condition. God knows how messy I am so He knew to stick them with me and I’m the luckiest daughter for it.




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