Tuesday, September 21, 2010

the BIG suprise!!!

John, Caleb, Davis, and I were planning to go to Disneyland on Friday with my Mom. My Mom is a big kid at Disneyland! She use to take us the day before school started each year and it turned her into a bigger kid than her own kids! It has special meaning for me with her and I wanted to go one more time with her and my kids so that they could have those memories too. It hit me on Wednesday how cool it would be to have everyone surprise her there! I started working the phones and spent a lot of time sneaking around but we got it all arranged. Both my brothers and their families, my cousin Kelly and her family, and my cousin Matt were all planning on being there.

When we walked on Main Street with her they were all lined up on a porch and they shouted "Grandma!" My Mom looked over smiling thinking it was sweet that someone was calling for their Grandma. Then she saw that one of them was my niece and she started recognizing everyone and went running to them. It was touching and special. I know it meant the world to my Mom and I'm so glad that everyone sacrificed to make it happen.

One of the most fun things about looking through the pictures is to see all of the cousins hugging. I was so focused on my Mom that I didn't notice but these cousins sure love each other.
Grandma with all her grand kids - minus Beckham who we discovered that previous Monday does not like Disneyland + her grandniece Savannah.

John was sweet enough to indulge me and sneak over to Disneyland in the morning to get her Minnie Mouse ears with:on the back. She wore them all day!

You might notice Davis rocking his own ears look...
Oh man these made all the difference for him. He does not like loud noises -especially fireworks and Disneyland can really overwhelm him. These are gardener earphones from Home Depot and he loved them. Not only that but he loved Buzz Lightyear, the fireworks, the parade, Fantasmic! All of the things that normally would send him hiding with his fingers in his ears he actually enjoyed!

My cousin Kelly worked her phones and connections
and HOOKED us up!

Not only did we get a VIP pass to the front of the lines (thank goodness because it was cRoWdEd!) we got a private meet and greet with Mickey!
It was so fun! I couldn't help but get my picture taken with him either but my flash didn't go off :(

We also got VIP parade seating which was sa-weet.
Caleb was AWESOME during the parade!
He let loose and was dancing like crazy. He got pulled out into the parade twice and he loved it- he sure can move! I wish these pictures did justice to his dancing. He was crazy and didn't stop the entire time!

My Mom loved to take us over to Tom Sawyers Island when we were younger so while we were waiting for the ferry my brothers and I reminisced on camera with my Mom.

The kids thought Uncle Matt was the COOLEST ever!
Matt lived with us off and on while I was growing up. He is one of the nicest people I know with one of the most sincere hearts. He gave the kids all sorts of attention and they ate it up. Davis keeps asking for "that new Uncle" because he didn't remember Matt from the last time he saw him.
One of the best parts of the night for me was when John, Davis, and I went over and squeezed in to save seats for Fantasmic right after the first show ended. Everyone else stayed on Main Street to watch the fireworks but we ended up with the best seats for those too! I love the firework show they have running right now. It was a medley of all of the rides and their themes songs and recognizable recordings with fireworks to match. I must be a Disney geek because I could quote them all and teared up at most.
No really, I did.

They lit fireworks off of Pirate Island right in front of us to go with those off Main street and even used fog machines on the Rivers of America when doing the Haunted Mansion medley. It was so cool! Then we had front row seats for Fantasmic which is by far one of my favorite things at Disneyland - we saw the new World of Color show and Fantasmic is way better!

It was 11:00 when Fantasmic ended and my Dad, expecting my Mom to be ready to go home, causally asked her what she wanted to do. She enthusiastically replied, "Pirates!" My Dad was probably ready to go but he pressed on to keep up with her! Davis does not like Pirates so John and I took him over to Dumbo, the carousel, and then to the teacups.

We were on Main Street when the park closed doing some shopping. I buy an ornament each time we go to Disneyland (since its usually at Christmas) but my Mom wanted to buy my 2010 ornament. I didn't want to leave. I just kept lingering not wanting the day to end. Walking out of the gates felt like I was saying goodbye to Disneyland with my Mom and I wasn't ready to do that. I stalled by taking pictures, buying Davis his piggy bank (another Disney tradition of ours), Caleb wanted cards, I bought all 3 boys the cutest Halloween trick or treat bags.

I just wanted to stay and bask in the happy Disney atmosphere and the glory of the day. I felt that if I walked through the gates to leave I was surrendering the magic of Disneyland with my Mom, knowing it would never be the same again after leaving that day. Each step towards the gates felt like saying goodbye to something special that I'm not ready want to give up.

I bought a mouse pad with the words:
"The Happiest Memories on Earth"

For me that is true. Disneyland is one of my most favorite places ever. I feel at home at Disneyland. I love the smells, sounds, gardens, food, lights...everything feels so familiar to me. It feels like happiness, hope, and home!

It was a very special day and I know I wont ever forget it. I'm glad my Mom always created special memories like those I have of her at Disneyland. She is why I love Disneyland so much and want my boys to love it there too. Its so fun to be a Mom at Disneyland and watch my kids eyes light up and do nothing but have fun! We laugh, giggle, play, and I love that while I'm in those gates I get to focus solely on my kids. I'm sure that's why my Mom loved it too because I remember how fun and silly she was there too.

If you haven't seen enough pictures of our day you can go here to see an almost play by play of the whole day. This day's pictures start on page 4 of that gallery. And can someone tell me why I didn't think to take a picture with my Mom during the day!?!?!?!
Grrrrrr! Sometimes it stinks to be the photographer!


Abbie said...

Looks like you have had SO MUCH FUN!!! I'm glad you were able to enjoy it with your mom and family.

Grandma Caroline said...

Girly, I felt the same way that day, I didn't want it to end! I tell you what, every time you return to Disneyland, after I'm gone to Heaven, Look for me and I promise I will be there with you, I will find a way to let you know it too!

Sara said...

Love Love Love!!!! What an awesome thing you put together for your mom and family.

The Gallagher Family said...

Wow! U R Amazing!