Well, it’s official… we are going to be those parents! I officially apologize to Linc’s future significant other because we are setting you up! We celebrated Linc’s birthday all week long without really any intention to do so! In fact, we had originally planned for this birthday to be a low key birthday. We thought we would have a quiet birthday at home and then take him for a special surprise at the Magic Kingdom on Sunday. I know even in itself that sounds a little ridiculous and trust me when I step foot into that magical place as often as I do, it’s not lost on me for one heart beat!
We all actually had a truly magical birthday weekend… every one in our family! Tuck has been able to spend a little more time at home this past week and even that has been something we have all cherished! There has never been this much laughter, and running and “fighting” (the good kind made of light sabers and race car crashes) in our house than there has this past week! We have been cooking more together and spending time outside around our grill (and new fence) getting dirty and muddy! Our quiet birthday dinner even turned into a night of grilling with friends and Linc and his favorite friend/sister from another playing dress up and super heroes until long past dark!
Tuck and I were even able to keep up with our tradition of ordering Thai food the eve of Linc’s birthday; which is something that is more meaningful and special to me than I could ever express in words! The fact that we could keep that up here in our new house and our new town… well just makes it feel even more like home!
There is something pretty big about turning 4!~ I’ve been thinking about it for a while now and even the kids all realize it as well! I think it’s a status change from “toddler” to “big boy”, at least that’s how one of the kids put it to me during a Friday night pool party! I’ve been noticing these past few days how much that is so true. Four marks a big transition year! At four years old you begin to leave behind the years of being a “baby” for lack of a better word. I can see Linc growing more independent and coming into his own. He is realizing his own likes and dislikes. He is starting to recognize things for what they are and something I never thought would make me quite as sad as it does right now… that some times there are certain things he should have a level of fear about. My fearless, strong willed child is learning to have a healthy level of fear right now! Linc has always had a strong personality and sense of what he likes and doesn’t like; but now his opinions are really starting to shine! He loves to make plans for the day and wants to weigh in on what his choices might be on activities that we do as a family! Four marks the year that he starts his pre-school and then finally graduates on to the elementary school next year! The friends he has all recognize this and know that at three things are different but at four, you start to know who you are and where you stand! It’s kind of amazing how it works and how children just see things and know!
What’s even more amazing is that just like everyone had told me, something just clicked the day he turned four!
We decided to keep his actual birthday pretty simple, that’s if you remember where we live now! We made his favorite breakfast and then let him open his gifts which included his most favorite Kylo Ren costume (the full real deal friends). Linc is loving star wars! We then packed up and headed off to Hollywood Studios, with costume in tow, so we could visit with the real Kylo Ren! If you follow me on instagram, you already saw the image below with my post on how we ended up getting the image! It’s a super long story that involved bribery and all the things we tell ourselves we won’t do as parents but we end up doing anyway and we aren’t proud of! Oh the shame! BUT we made it happen and Linc was super proud of himself at the end of the day and that image is probably one of my favorites of all time!!!
It kind of happens at Disney! We just don’t speak about it out loud! It is absolutely the happiest place on earth… but other things happen too (like bribes and tantrums and please oh please if you sit and take this photo that mommy dreams of having, I’ll buy you an ice cream that I promised myself I wouldn’t!) 🙂
Sunday, Linc’s birthday continued and Tuck and I woke him up extra early (615 am) for Early Morning Magic Hours! If you haven’t heard of this and you are a Disney Fanatic, please please click on that link and check it out for more information! We loved it and Linc really isn’t super into rides just yet!
We initially wanted to surprise him with a character breakfast but friends, you absolutely have to plan and book those reservations as soon as you know you are visiting Disney! You can make those reservations 180 days in advance and I suggest you do! We couldn’t find any tables available, none that our little would be interested in! We were incredibly lucky that there was one (I mean ONE) reservation for our family of three left for the early morning magic hours! That’s how I happen to stumble upon this amazing experience! They are only available on Tuesdays and Sunday mornings so keep that in mind as well!
Early Morning Magic is a whole experience that includes: waking up and being able to experience the Magic Kingdom early in the morning before the park opens to guests! Its a special ticket on top of a regular park admission ticket! We were able to experience:
- FantasyLand rides (Peter Pan’s Flight, Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train)
- Breakfast Buffet at Pinochio’s Village Haus
This was truly an amazing experience for all three of us! I have to admit that I was a little worried that this was truly going to be more for me than for Linc! I have had this dream in my mind of getting a photo of my Linc in front of the castle by himself in costume with an empty main street and I knew that a character breakfast before the park opened was my chance to do it! This was the perfect opportunity and I worried that I was being selfish and not really thinking of him and his birthday. Honestly, Linc had more fun exploring the park and riding the rides that we were never able to explore before because they are some of the most popular. I didn’t even take one single picture of the castle! The park amazing! There were just enough people to make it fun and Linc was adventurous enough to ride the rides that he usually would be nervous to try! We rode them again and again and he was even able to ride the beloved carousel as many times as he chose! We found the sword in the stone which we learned was one of the most favored spots for annual pictures of families over the years! We were able to chat with cast members and learn history about the park and rides that made the Magic Kingdom more magical than ever before!
The image above was from inside Cinderella’s castle!! They had the most beautiful mosaics depicting Cinderella’s story! My boys were walking so fast and I wanted to keep up with them so I only captured these two which is sad because the one on the left is a bit blurry! If you ever get the chance to go inside the castle, it’s simply beautiful!
I will forever cherish these images of Linc and Tuck! This was so simple and so random! We never get to experience Fantasyland because it’s always so packed! It’s also summertime right now and we are usually there for a purpose, fast pass his favorite rides and get out before noon! This trip allowed us to actually spend quality time in Fantastyland and learn more about some of the parks most cherished rides. I didn’t even know they had the sword in the stone and before we spoke to Donald (an amazing cast member) that it was such an iconic legacy photo spot! Linc decided to run up and grab the sword on his own! There’s a funny joke with Tuck and I about the sword in the stone; it goes back to Merlin and a name Tuck wanted to give to Linc before he was born! We were laughing last night as we looked at these images! I just smile every time I see this series with the two of them!
We stayed once the park opened to ride some of Linc’s favorite rides and see his favorite characters, like Tinkerbell of course! Linc decided he did want to wear his pirate Jake costume to visit with Tink and they had the cutest conversation about sneaky snook Captain Hook and calling the Tick Tock crock to scare him away!
There’s absolutely nothing like watching your child believe: believe in magic, believe in love, and believe that absolutely anything is possible! I think that is why I love living here so much! The belief that absolutely anything is possible is all around us here as well as a sense of light heartedness and child like wonder!
If we could all just open ourselves up a little more and learn to listen with our hearts and believe sometimes even when we can’t see…. I know at the very least we would all have a lot more fun and be a tiny bit happier!