Our precious friends came for a fun-filled visit last year and our families began plotting a joint getaway to The Great Wolf Lodge.  We have been before and were planning to go and they liked the idea of getting away from snow and swimming in the cold of winter so we plotted and planned! Confession, my friend made the mistake of saying “here are the dates we would like to go and I don’t care about planning details” so I made lists and plans for all of us.

Before our multi-family vacation began we headed to my in-laws and we all had a great time! The highlight for me personally was driving a distance to see my great-aunt who is 86 and just precious! I don’t have blood family and my cousins all live in TN so I am unable to see them as often as I would like so I LOVED seeing someone who is my family! I cried the whole way to meeting her and the whole way from seeing her. It did my heart some MAJOR good.

Then we headed off to meet up with our friends.

Our little family used this opportunity of being in Dallas to make good on our promise to Willow. Last year she began asking for An American Girl Doll and we told her we would agree to buy her a DOLL if she read every single AG book. The dolls are not cheap and the last thing we wanted to hear after reading a new book was that she wanted that doll. So she read and read and decided on Julie….until the new catalog came out and she saw the “doll of the year” McKenna. And just like that we agreed to let her have a doll she had never even read before. Nice.

Bill took the rest of the children somewhere while she and I went to the store. It was one of those moments that I wish I could freeze in time. It was precious. Together with the help of Mr. Issac we got her doll and then picked out the accessories with the money she got from Christmas and her birthday and then we headed upstairs to the Bistro, where we ate until we popped!

Such a fun mother/daughter date!

As our day finished our sweet friends met up with us and the joint family multi-day fun began! Enjoy a few pictures. I realized as I tried to upload some that I did not take any good “stealth” pictures of Willow or baby bug. Oh, well.


As we headed home we agreed on two things: 1)it is such a blessing to homeschool because we pretty much had the waterpark to ourselves. We will always try to schedule vacations when others are in school! 2) We both felt the most relaxed after this trip than we had with any other. Maybe it was because our phones stayed behind in our rooms and we swam from 9-9 and enjoyed precious moments with our children. Maybe it was because life has been so hectic and crazy since we started our adoption and fostering journeys that it was nice to freeze time if only for a bit. Regardless we left feeling amazingly blessed and ready to face the year.