Sunday, March 17, 2013

Wyatt's "special day"!

I'm not even sure really where to begin........

Our family has been so fortunate to be involved with such a "beautiful" group of people. 

As most of you know, Wyatt was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in Jan 2009.  Since then, things have not exactly gone the way we planned.  We moved out of our dream house, Tom lost his job (but found a new one) and the medical bills have been astronomical.   

But that's not what I'm writing about today.  I'm writing about something much bigger, much more amazing.  Wyatt was so, so very lucky to be granted a "Wish" from the Make a Wish Foundation.  Just typing that, makes me realize just how sick my sweet baby really is.  Thankfully he is doing amazing right now and we continue to fight to keep him as strong and as active as possible.

Back to Make a Wish..........

What an outstanding organization!  We were given a very special vacation to Sea World and Disneyland, where Wyatt's dreams really did come true.  

For 5 short days we didn't have to think about anything except having fun.  And fun we did have.  
                          March 9th, 2013

Around 9 am we left for our adventure.  We drove our van and parked at the airport.  We were greeted by our Make a Wish Volunteers Sherry and Jeff Nelson.  We met them a few months ago, they planned the entire trip, every single detail, we just needed to show up.  We also met a TSA agent, who got us through security quickly.  She walked us all the way to the gate, and even played with Wyatt and Carter while we waited.

We met the pilot, co-pilot and all the flight attendants....the kids even got to sit in the cockpit.  The pilot and flight attendants gave Wyatt gifts and announced his name over the plane intercom.

                                         Wyatt waiting for our plane.  I love this picture.

When we arrived in San Diego two Make a Wish volunteers Kelly and Gracie met us.  They got our luggage for us and we followed them to the hotel.  They got us all check in, then we were on our own.

The hotel we stayed at was the Hyatt in Mission Bay.  It was really a lot of fun.  The kids tried to go swimming, but quickly realized it can even get a little chilly in California, it is after all March.


That night the kids were really restless, Sea World was in the morning and Wyatt couldn't wait for his DOLPHIN DAY!

                                                       March 10th, 2013
We woke up the next morning and went to IHOP for breakfast. (for weeks before our trip Wyatt kept saying how he wanted to go to IHOP).  So we did.  He had pancakes, bacon and hash browns.  Everyone had a great breakfast, before our day of fun.

We explored Sea World for a few hours.  The kids went on all kind of rides, there was something for everyone.

The DOLPHIN Adventure, was unbelievable.  The kids got to touch, feed and learn lots of great facts about dolphins.  I was a really fun experience for everyone.  All the kids were able to participate.  This was a once in a lifetime event, I will never forget it.

To end our day at Sea World we went to the Killer Whale show.  They have a brand new baby Killer Whale who was born on Valentines day.  The baby whale stayed close to Mama, Kasatka, so we couldn't see it very well.  But look close you might be able to see it's outline in the water.

                                                                 THIS IS THE BABY!

After a great day at Sea World we went to this pizza place in the middle of no where called "Lefty's Chicago Pizza!"  It was really good.  The kids loved it!  Travis took lots of pictures inside the restaurant.  I didn't go inside, but I guess it was pretty cool.  It was decorated with all Chicago stuff: sports teams memorabilia, etc. 

                          March 11th, 2013

The next morning we got up early for our 1 1/2 hour drive to Anaheim.  Make a Wish rented us a van, similar to ours for the trip.  We were very comfortable and the trip went relatively fast.

We went to Disneyland/California Adventure right away, we didn't even check into the hotel.  Anthony, who isn't a Disney fan what-so-ever was a great sport.  At first, he wanted to just sit in the van all day, but he knew how much this meant to Wyatt, so he made the best of it.  Anthony even went on some rides, he didn't want to, but he did it anyway.  (okay so only 3 rides a day and he covered his ears during the parade, but he didn't complain, not even once)

The first thing Wyatt wanted to do was go to CARS LAND at California Adventure.  People aren't kidding when they say it looks like you're walking into the movie.  They have every detail exactly right.  It was so cool. 

We spent the second half of the day exploring Disneyland, going on rides, and eating lots of junk food.  The kids had a blast, yes, even Anthony, though he will never admit it.  We went on several rides, shopped and watched the fireworks.  There is a Make a Wish room with snacks, drinks and a place to rest.  We visited there and Wyatt got some apple juice.

I think Wyatt's favorite part of today was going to the Disneyland fire station.   

                              March 12th, 2013


The day started off a little rocky.  Wyatt was scheduled to have breakfast at Goofy's Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel.  The shuttle from our hotel was absolutely packed and there was a miscommunication, and we didn't have the passes that we needed.  I thought we were going to miss breakfast.  We made it just fine.  (We ended up driving and were allowed to park for 5 hours free.)

We spent day 2 a lot like we spent day 1.  Just going on more rides and watching the parade.  I got pretty emotional at the parade realizing just how much this trip meant to our family.  We will never be able to go on a trip like this again, not all 8 of us anyway.  In the next few years the older boys will be in college, Leigha will hopefully be done with school and have started to figure out what she wants to be and where she wants her life to take her.  I was sad!  Wyatt loved the parade (Brady and Carter thought it was pretty great too).  I guess, not knowing where the future will take us, just caught up with me at that moment when Mickey and Minnie came dancing down the street.  

                                                   TOON TOWN 


                                               FRONTIER LAND

                           March 13th, 2013

The last thing we did before heading home was going to the Bubba Gump Restaurant.  The kids pretty much had the run of the place.  It was really empty, so we could walk around and take pictures. 

After Bubba Gump we headed to the airport.  The trip home was a little more challenging then the trip to California.  The van we rented was too big to fit in the rental car return area.  So Tom had to go track down an Avis employee.  We were cutting it close on time and I was beginning to get a little stressed.  But I have to say, Avis is amazing.  They could tell we were running out of time, so an Avis employee drove us to check-in.  Saved us so much time.  I'm only going to rent from Avis from now on, they were so great.  

Taking my family home, back to Washington, here we come.

We were blessed to take this Magical Journey (hahaha, I know magical, Disneyland, not trying to sound cheesy).  I will never be able to thank Make  A Wish enough.  We never would have been able to do this without them.  For a week,  I didn't have to think about anything but spending time with my babies.  What a beautiful gift Make a Wish has given me.  I just need to find a way to pay it forward.  Thank you Make a Wish!