Getting home from Orlando after Spring Break turned out to be a pretty long drawn out affair. We took the Magical Express – which lets just admit, is WAY less ‘magical’ when you’re on your way home. Our flight was delayed until, oh forever, and it took a bajillion years to actually make it back to Huntsville. Don’t you just love it when people complain about their vacations? Yeah. me neither. Flight delays are no bueno when you have five kids and a grumpy spouse – I’ll let you decide whether it was me or Billy that was grumpy. P.S. Y’all don’t tell anyone but it was totally Billy.

Another fun and exciting thing that happened on the way home involved the actual aircraft in flight. When it was past time to land I realized we weren’t landing but were circling the airport. Now I’ve been flying forever so I’m no stranger to the ‘circling round ye olde airport’ rodeo. After about what felt like the fifteenth circle the pilot came on and said ‘well folks, I’m sure you’ve noticed we’ve been circling – just working out an issue we are having with a flap before we can land.‘ Cue the nervous laughter and looks. Uh, a problem with the flap? You mean the thing that keeps us in the air? The thing that lets us land without crashing?

The boys all had headphones in and were completely oblivious to any trouble on the plane. Once the flap issue got worked out and we finally landed the ENTIRE PLANE burst into applause. The boys began asking ‘why are people clapping?‘ Cue the ‘Sheesh Mom, why didn’t you tell us’ comments and the excessive Southwest jokes by the boys for the next few days.

Egads, what a blast we had in Disney World. Mainly because we brought sitters along. It was so so SO nice to be able to send Gracie home in the late afternoon and spend the rest of the evening without her. 


Our sitters. No, you can’t have their numbers. They’re mine I tell you – mine, mine, mine!

For real though, Gracie is way more trouble than this picture lets on.


One night we sent both Gracie AND Stella home and set the boys loose so we could have date night. We ate at Le Cellier which was just as amazing as everyone says it is and walked around Epcot. See all these empty seats? We watched the America movie at the very last showing.


Along with one other person we were the ONLY people in that gigantic theatre. It was even more fun that way. I LOVE date night in Disney World. We love the kids but man is it nice to be alone for a few hours.

Oh look, it’s those kids…


This is on Tom Sawyer Island. Yet another place Gracie wasn’t invited to. Oh don’t feel sorry for her. Look at that grin – she knows you are over there feeling sorry for her.


Welp, the good news is no one died on that plane with it’s flap issues.

Nine Flipping Keys

Nine Flipping Keys

You know when you decide to take nine flipping people to Walt Disney World you’re going to need to plan things way in advance. Gone are the days when a large family could take an impromptu trip and have any kind of fun at all. Want to sit down and eat? You have to have reservations and you have to get them months in advance. Want to get a fast pass for a good ride? Better make them as soon as Disney releases them. Want your pick of hotels? Months and months and months in advance! This isn’t necessarily bad it just means a lot of planning needs to go into all this business to make it seem more like a vacation and less like a MOTHER OF PEARL WHERE DID ALL THESE PEOPLE COME FROM nightmare.


Enter the Disney App. You can manage your fast passes, see where you have your reservations are, check wait times etc and all that. I made sure the sitters and the older kids had the app too – that way no one had an excuse for not knowing where we were supposed to be when.

We didn’t quite make the opening ceremonies for rope drop that first day. Certain (Billy) members (Billy) of (Billy) our (Billy) party (Billy) felt (Billy) the (Billy) need (Billy) to (Billy) bring (Billy) backpacks (Billy) so (Billy) we (Billy) had (Billy) to (Billy) wait (Billy) thru (Billy) the (Billy) long (Billy) bag (Billy) line. Of course, no need to sell out who that person was.


Yes – yes it was you.

For the first couple hours of the day crowds were very reasonable. After that, it turned into a total madhouse.

Speaking of madhouses…we take our Buzz Lightyear very very seriously.



Apparently, we also take our ice cream very seriously, because, good gravy, look at the size of that thing.


If it looks cold and overcast that’s because it was cold and overcast. We shivered through the Astro Orbiter.


We shivered through the tea cups.


And we finally got relief in the indoor rides. Oooh! Oooh! Stella got chosen to chat onscreen at the Monster’s Laugh Floor attraction.

If I was a fancy blogger I’d know how to upload the video to the website. They asked her several questions and told her a joke – which she actually got.


It was super cute. An unplanned surprise.

Huh…maybe fun can be had at Disney World without completely over planning everything…but, I wouldn’t recommend it.




Trail’s End

Trail’s End

Spring Break has come and gone. We went to Walt Disney World – along with fourteen billion other people – at least, that’s what it felt like. We found some cheap tickets via Nashville and made it in to Orlando just in time for dinner.


Gracie was a total champion on the airplane. I was so worried about how she was going to handle the flight – let’s face it, she can be quite, um, challenging. Girlfriend knocked it out of the park though! The boys begged to let her sit with them and I acquiesced.


And yes, that is a pacifier in her mouth. Yes, I know she is three. Look, all the adoption literature I’ve read says ‘pay for the braces – let them keep the pacifier.’ This may be complete malarkey but it keeps her so calm. One crisis at a time and it’s not the binky’s turn yet.

This was me for the first leg of the flight. Constantly checking to make sure that she hadn’t unbuckled and was careening down the aisles.


True story: ten minutes after take off I look back and she is sound asleep. Score!


We took the Magical Express to the resort. On a side note, isn’t the Magical Express just so much more magical on the way there than it is on the way back? It really is nice now. We checked our bags in Nashville and they were dropped off to our hotel room later. With that many kids it was nice to not worry about the bags.

The bus dropped us off at Fort Wilderness so we could have dinner at the restaurant called Trail’s End. I love Fort Wilderness. If only those little cabins were bigger! Our fourteen – okay five plus two sitters – children just won’t fit in them.

We took the boat to the Magic Kingdom then monorailed (Haha – silly autocorrect doesn’t think monorailed is a word) over to our resort.


Look at that little angel. I love that little critter.


“Really Mom? Angel? Angel of what?”

Pictured above: Stella’s biggest tormentors. It’s 51% their fault and 49% her fault. Here is an example of the fights they get in:

Stella: “This apple is big.”

Hank: “Your head is big!”

Damien: “Oh!!!! You wrecked her!”

Stella: “Wahhhh!!!! Mom, they said my head was big!”

It’s their fault for being obnoxious and choosing to engage her and it’s her fault for not just letting stupid stuff like ‘your head is big’ go. On the one hand, I’m glad they are bonding so well, on the other hand, I’d prefer them to not bond over torturing a seven year old.

It’s the end of the trail for that behavior! And that pacifier! Well, one day soon anyway…