By on Nov 13, 2015 in Family | 2 comments

Disney vacations take TONS of planning. I found blogs and websites advising about everything Disney. Parking, hours, best days of the year to go, rated rides, rated restaurants, what to pack, what not to pack, what to buy there, how to save while you’re there (impossible), having a wedding there?

We planned lunches, dinners, mid morning breakfast with characters, checked show times and wait lines for rides before getting to Florida. We had it all worked out. Little did I know the Lord had a different vision for the Blake family vacation.

Spooning coffee grinds out of my coffee (I was not a friend of this coffee maker) I waited in anticipation for my healthy girls to awaken refreshed and renewed.

I felt in my heart Delaney would wake up feeling better than the day before. Just a passing cold, right? Eliza had the sniffles before we left. I KNOW this will pass through Delaney. All better today.

Lexi bent over the toilet too many times to count. Once bedtime arrived, she had not a thing left to regurgitate, thankfully sleeping soundly through the night. For SURE she’d be all better, ready to face another day.

It didn’t happen.

Delaney drudged down the stairs and moped into the kitchen. Whispering, it hurt too much to talk, nails scraping down her throat. Struggling to keep my composure I spotted Lexi not far behind. The stomach virus point of exit changed and was more vicious than the day before.

For sure the Blake Curse couldn’t follow us to Disney World! Of all places! Who could be sick when the day is structured with fast passes and dining reservations, parades and empty pages of autograph books, so many lines to stand in, uncomfortable seats to lounge in while waiting for the show to start. Sick?

I saw relief flash on Buddy’s face when he realized we needed to take another day off from “The Parks.” Delaney was diagnosed with Strep throat. Lexi could not be far from a PRIVATE bathroom. We were rental home bound.

The week dragged on. Eliza complained of a stomachache. I usually call her my little hypochondriac claiming whatever symptoms someone else displays. The virus was confirmed as she gracefully leaned out of the carriage leaving a trail of breakfast, lunch and dinner, through Fantasyland.

That evening Buddy shot out of bed tearing into the bathroom. His legs were moving so fast his body was actually thrown back struggling to keep up. I would have laughed had I not been so exhausted.

I am not sure if I contracted the actual stomach bug or my issues were a result of emotional duress. My experience was not nearly as disastrous as the rest of the clan.

These vacation sicknesses have plagued us before; I can go on and on. The Blake’s do NOT travel well. (The kids get this from Buddy’s side.)

We did have a couple of enjoyable days at the Disney Parks and thanks to Buddy’s trigger finger, an unbelievable amount of pictures.

Upon our return to Wilmington, there were sick dogs, 2 unfortunately thriving guinea pigs and mounds of REALLY dirty laundry. My confidence in planning anything enjoyable for my family shattered. What a mess. Days passed carrying me further away from the “vacation.” I was able to breathe some fresh air, a different kind of thoughts from the vacation surfaced.

Not one of my children complained, having to miss days at Disney World due to the others’ sickness. (I complained.) My girls were loving and patient.

Lexi was so excited to have her OWN bedroom in the six bedroom house we rented. Sun setting each evening, Lexi would quietly pack up her pillow, bible and blanket to whatever room Eliza was camped out in. “Can I sleep in here with you Eliza?”

Delaney chose a dark, cave like room at the far corner of the house. Complete with a king size bed and her own TV! The scorching afternoons we were able to go the Parks, we took an afternoon break. Three sisters would be snuggled tight together in Delaney’s lair. Eliza snoring sweetly.

Until Lexi hurled all over the floor.

Watching our girls taking care of each other, accepting the circumstances, sticking together, concern for one another was enlightening. Of course I missed this while holding hair, rubbing backs and grappling for clean towels but I see it clearly today. Three children who adore each other through the thick of “It’s mine. My Turn!” to the thin of “Come lay with me under the blanket.” The Blake’s take care of each other well. And we love. I have a husband who draped a plastic garbage bag over his legs while buckling in the driver seat declaring, “Mommy said… it is time to go home.”

Disney is a reminder of how sweetly blessed I am, all these days of my life thankfully intertwined with those of my husband and children. The blessing is nothing I can plan, schedule or call to reserve. Somehow, I have been planted in the middle of it all. Move over Mickey, you’re out.

Not quite up to looking at the pics yet, but I will get there. I’ll be sure to post them here.


  1. I love your writing style. What a great perspective on life and living! The most profound revelations come from the most unexpected interuptions in our “well-planned” lives…


    November 25, 2015

    • Thank you Suzanne. I completely agree.

      Erin Blake

      November 26, 2015

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