The three of us finally went to Florida ALL together! We headed out for a last hoorah with Michaela before she left on her 18 month mission to Peru (hence the bitter sweet). I love spending time with my family and especially other friends and extended family back in Lake Butler. It's a good recharge for the soul.
I must say that I'm pretty impressed with Jillian's traveling skills. She only fussed for about 20 minutes on the second flight, about 45 minutes before we landed. It was 11pm, so girlfriend had a right to be cranky. I feel like I should do a "tips for traveling with toddlers" post since we've done it a few times now. There are definitely some do's and dont's.
But our time there was very well spent. Jillian was thrilled to see her cousins, Milly and Eliza. She wasn't so thrilled when Eliza was equally as excited to see her and frequently expressed that excitement through death-gripping bear hugs. But it was so fun to watch them play together!
Since we were all together, naturally my mom arranged for some family pictures. Thanks to the wonderfully talented Amy Buchanan, we got some great shots! The behind-the-scenes of these pictures actually includes Ryan making funny faces to keep Jillian from screaming (it was bed time), bribing all the girls with M&Ms if they would sit still and smile, and me singing random songs from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse while dancing a stuffed Mickey on top of Amy's head to get them to look at the camera. I can't imagine what family pictures will be like when there are many more kids in the mix. Aye aye aye.
We said adios to Michaela at the airport on Tuesday morning. We ended up talking too long in the lobby, so she had to run through security and to her plane with shoes in hand. She went into the Provo MTC (Missionary Training Center) on Wednesday, where she will be until she gets her visa to go to Peru. It's already so weird that I can't just pick up the phone and call her, or text her something funny I saw on Pinterest or facebook. But I know she will be an amazing missionary that will bring many people to Christ!
Wednesday after everyone left and things had quieted down, we went with my Mom and Grandma to check out the butterfly museum. It was so cool! Jillian loved spotting the butterflies, but didn't like so much when they flew right up to her. (Really? Who is scared of butterflies?!)
We came back happy, stuffed, tired, and sunburned. And I wouldn't have it any other way!