I was back to school this week which is good cause I really missed my friends!
The central plot theme this week really was around landing face first in the regular, weekly routine – whether we were ready to or not! There was a meme that was bandied about my Facebook wall for the last week that folks mused about being in that place between Christmas and New Years—not knowing what day it is or what they’re doing with their life. I would like to advance that place is actually the month of January… in its entirety.
With it being a new year and January, focus has really turned to two things in our household. The first of which is Emelia’s 9th birthday. She crosses that threshold in a couple of weeks and Danielle has diligently worked away with Emelia at the plans, organizing and inviting of friends to her birthday party. This year Emelia chose a facility that does rock(wall) climbing themed birthday parties. It combines Emelia’s love of heights with our desire to have her do something that runs her boundless energy to the brink and potentially deliver us to an early and non resisted bedtime… for once in her life. (I know, I know. Highly and categorically unlikely). But, I am excited about this birthday for her.
The second big focus is a surprise that we have and will continue to keep from her to the very last second we can. We’re taking her back on another Disney Cruise! It is a combined Christmas and Birthday gift to her and while it doesn’t necessarily seem like it, we did cut back on gifts for both this year in light of this bigger life event gift. But, I’d be lying if I said this gift isn’t something that Danielle and I aren’t partially giving to each other too. Sure we’ve been a lot of places with Wolfie and haven’t spared any chance to get away, but this one is all about us not having to do all the other things that come with camping that while fun, are a bit of work.
The best part about this trip is that Emelia doesn’t know a single thing about it, and she won’t until we literally board the plane. The second best thing about it, is our cousin Bill and his two daughters who are close to Emelia in age, are also coming along on this trip as well! So Emelia is going to have kids she knows to play with and explore much more courageously with—she missed out on a lot of the programs as she was too shy to go some of them on her own. On those two facts alone, I am at a point right now as we sit 3 months and 27 days from the trip getting super excited about it all! I can’t wait to see her reaction as we reveal it all to her!
The cruise is scheduled early in May like last time and will have us at sea on Mother’s Day. We have cabins right next door to Bill and the girls so it should be all sorts of fun. After our last trip with Emelia that included both the cruise and Disney World, when we asked Emelia which she enjoyed more, her immediate and unflappable answer since has been the cruise as she found Disney to be too crowded and overwhelming. You didn’t have to convince me any more that the cruise was the better option now that I have been spoiled by them too.
So, because we’re sitting at just under 4 months out, and because Danielle is good this way, we’ve started to research and finalize the details like flights, airports, and the finer details that need to be shored up reasonably soon. The biggest is trying to convert our pool of Dream (Air) Miles into workable flight options for us getting down and back. Once that gets all sorted out along with the hotel booking the night before we depart out of Port Canaveral, then the rest is really about counting down days and thinking about what to pack. And hoping the Canadian dollar rebounds from the place where it’s giving us a bit of a kick to the loinular region on…
The family trips we took to Disney as kids are a large part of the family memories that I most fondly associate with childhood. The one that Mom and Dad sent my brothers and our families on three years ago, and now this one I am hoping will be the same thing for Emelia. As much as she remembers a lot from the last trip, and I am sure will for the rest of her life, this trip, with her at 9, I think is going to be the one she remembers deeply. And I can’t wait until that moment literally seconds before we board the plane, that she will find out! That will be my memory of a lifetime.
This week was about getting back in to routine, not only for our family of three but the daycare as well. After having a glorious 11 days off we were quickly back to the grind with the kids. Everyone was excited to be back and we folded back into the daily routine very quickly.
Emelia was happy to be back in school, although she saw some of her friends over the break she didn’t see all her friends and she missed them a lot. We were also back this week to her next session of swimming, this term we opted for a week night time as we have the option with the second car. It is working so much better and there is far less battle getting Emelia there unlike it had been for the last few years for her Saturday sessions. It is good for us as well to have a school night activity that lets her burn off some energy mid-week and also give me the chance to be at the gym in the week to assure that I have one more night there to get a workout in. Basically this week for all of us was to shake off the laziness of the holidays and get back into our routine and day to day life.
With life back to normal I took on to other things around here, and one simple email I received this week shifted my focus completely. On Thursday I got an email from Nicole the travel agent who is co-ordinating the family cruise to Disney. It was to lay out the final payment for the trip next month as well as starting planning the transportation to and from the airport and the ship as well as hotel accommodations the night before. Needless to say this put a bit of a fire under my butt to get things going, the trip is less than 4 months away which is leaving little time to get funds in order to pay for everything. We have saved for the cruise itself but the rest of the costs have to be taken care of and they are not small expenses. We had to figure out how to control costs, the weakening Canadian dollar right now has really added to the costs of the trip.
We have been collecting air miles for a few years and it has slowly built so we can use our travel miles for our flights down there and we are budgeting the costs of the flights back. We are really searching for a seat sale to give flights home and hopefully stay in budget. This weekend I have been doing a lot of searching and really hoping that soon we will have our flights in order and at a good price. The trip has been a year in the planning and with the blowing snow outside we can use this planning time to dream of warm beaches and sunbathing on the deck of the boat by the pool. It is so close we can almost taste it!
The other big thing on the agenda this week was Emelia’s birthday. We have the final details planned out and it is just a matter of waiting for the RSVPs to finish coming in, make the cake, pick up that thank you favours and party! I have done home parties for the last couple years with the hopes of controlling costs, but they are never as inexpensive as you would hope. Our house isn’t that big and Emelia and 6 or so of her closest friends in the winter makes our home feel even smaller. This year after seeing the photos from my friends daughter’s party I was sold on the idea of Junction Climbing, it suited our athletic girl to a tee. And when I showed her the pictures from my friends party she was sold as well, and the prices are pretty reasonable for all they offer. In three short weeks our girly turns 9 and we are so excited to celebrate all the wonderful things that make her the incredible girl she is!
That was basically the week that was, lots of time together as a family, getting back into routine, planning our trip and Emelia’s birthday. A pretty full week I would say.