Thursday, November 29, 2012

DIS and DAT Thursday - Coming Into a Disney Family - Happy Anniversary

I often wonder if when our first daughter-in-law Renee joined our family, she knew what she was getting into?  We did not have quite as much Disney “stuff” as we do now, ten years later.  Although at one point during the wedding process we did offer a Disney wedding to them, which she politely turned down. Though recently she said, "maybe we should have taken you up on that offer."  

Every mom wants their daughter’s wedding to go off without a hitch, well believe it or not so do the mom's of the groom's.  Renee tried to include me in as much as she could, but sometimes things don’t go the way the bride wants them to either.  I am sure moving in with her in-laws was not on her list of things to do as a new bride, but she did it with a smile (they did have their own apartment in our house) and we all got along quite well, even their dog Flash who would come upstairs to “visit” us on her own. I would get a call from Renee asking, "is our dog up there??" To this day we still miss hearing Flash pawing the back door to come in.

They did not last long with us, a little under two years, before the Coast Guard moved them to Kodiak, Alaska. You should have seen the moving van guy's face when I told him that everything in his childhood bedroom was going with them too! That saved us from moving it into storage like the youngest's things.  As they drove away, with Flash, two rats (Pinky and the Brain as my husband called them and yes I said RATS, not my favorite pets, remind me to tell you about the time they asked me to pet sit for them), and two guinea pigs, we looked at the SUV they had like, "are they going to make it??" Yes they did and since then have lived in Seattle and now in Elizabeth City, NC.

Renee’s first trip to Walt Disney World with us was when they were living in Alaska, and I think it was more then over whelming, to someone who has never traveled with us.  You see we have always been a “moving” kind of family, when we traveled.  Whenever we went on vacation we stopped at those brown Historical Marker signs to see what was there, per instructions from our oldest. This is now a family joke, as whenever we see one we say, should we stop or too bad Paul’s not with. 

We say it isn’t a family vacation unless it is snowing, raining or there is some other weather issue.  We try to visit the museums in the town we are going to; along with battlefields, old hotels and yes even cemeteries.  So when we hit Disney with all our feet moving I am sure she thought REALLY!  When do we sit by the pool (hardly ever), when do we sleep in (next to never), and where are we going now??  But she was a trooper following along getting somewhat into our “thing”.  Around the third day she needed a “day off”; as she stayed back at the resort relishing in the quite, which is okay, we are not an easy group to adjust to; but she did catch-up with us for dinner.

When they moved to Seattle we got them to agree to another Disney trip, but this time we told her, "it will be easier as we will go to Disneyland which is much smaller than Walt Disney World  and will be much easier to handle." To make it better we booked the Grand California, concierge level.  This time we had the added delight of our youngest son Brian coming along with us, the only issue was we would all be sharing one room and we made it work!  Now I think she was enjoying herself, we spaced things out, this time I booked spa times for us in-between park visits and let her know she could do what she wanted, when she wanted.  She had time to enjoy and time to relax.

We planned some nighttime things like Electrical Light Parade Dessert Package and the Fantasmic Dessert Show, this gave us a nice break to enjoy some Disney Desserts (and we all know how good they are) one great show and a old favorite parade with special viewing and no one stepping on our toes or pushing us to see over or around us.  We did a tour, okay yes it was maybe a tour for a much younger crowd (we had to find the hidden treasure which had us running around the entire park, we were all exhausted), but we made the best of it and had fun with it!

Our next WDW trip was booked with the whole family, including our youngest son Brian and his friend Mandy and her young son Hunter.  This time we had two connecting rooms and one across the hall at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and all had Savannah views (this is still her favorite hotel  she LOVES animals). I think now she was settling in, she knew her limitations and would just tell us when she could no longer go on or did not want to go that day, and we are okay with that.

We have been back to Walt Disney World a couple of times since and I think we now have traveling to Disney together down to a science.  I somewhat think Renee doesn’t even mind going with us; although this last time she wasn’t able to come with us, we missed her being there.

It’s not an easy thing to “come into” a new family, no matter how it happens, though foster care or adoption (of which my family knows about both) or marrying into it.  It is a learning process for everyone and everyone has to try and make it work.   I am sure the last ten years have had their ups and downs (along with the moving that doesn't help), but it also takes a lot of work for a marriage to work. Throw in Paul's work in the Coast Guard and how much traveling he does now and I know it's not easy.

Renee we want you to know what an important part of our family you are (and we know the Disney thing is growing on you) and our family would not be complete without you. Dad and I have ordered a special piece of artwork for you and Paul; which has been delayed in getting to us for printing, we will let you know when we get it.  Happy 10th Wedding Anniversary to both of you, May there be 100’s to come! 


  1. Happy anniversary Renee & Paul! What wonderful memories you guys are making.

  2. Thank you so much Mom! What a lovely and touching post! :) I/we miss you all so much. I am so blessed to have two families-my family that I was born into and Paul's (now also my) family that I joined through my relationship with Paul. You and Dad have been so incredibly, amazingly supportive of me over the years. I don't know what I'd have done without you both. I love you both so much. You have become an additional mom and dad to me. I couldn't ask for a better set of additional parents. And I do have fun at Disney. I try to keep up as best I can. Having a scootie puff jr. really helps... :)

  3. Such a beautiful article, from the heart, written by an amazing and wonderful person! Pass the kleenex please!