gift of time

i blinked and it is new years eve! now if i could just blink and christmas decorations would be packed up and put away, we'd be golden! christmas day until my kids go back to school we purposely run at a slow pace. and it feels glorious! 

i thought a lot this season about gift giving. it stresses me out. plus i feel like my kids already have too much stuff! it's all relative, i know. compared to some of their friends, they have very little. but compared to most of the world, it's gluttony. so when i asked them what they wanted for christmas, they had to think... for awhile. which confirmed "they have plenty!" 

 if i could ask for anything it would be time. so how do you give quality time as a christmas present? it's been a running theme this year on the today show; give experiences instead of things.   i fell in love with the idea.

my wheels started turning. what could we do as a family, that everyone would enjoy, right after christmas?  it didn't take me long to decide. bennett's college would be playing in the russell athletic bowl in orlando florida, a few days after christmas. score! we all love road trips, football and of course - florida! 

so christmas morning, along with one other gift, santa left this...

a few days later and we were off. 
florida bound!
(jeff is participating in his own, no shave on vacation december.)
the weekend we left, i had two weddings. one on saturday and one  sunday afternoon. the were absolutely beautiful and i am always sthrilled to be a part of a wedding. it did push our departure time to late sunday afternoon. who knew the traffic disaster that lay ahead! holy cow! it seemed as if everyone was traveling south! nothing like traveling on the interstate at 35mph for eight hours! lots of prayers i tell ya! 
the traffic continued to be horrific for most of our trip. thankfully traveling with bennett is like having your own stand-up comic in the back seat. that is one funny kid who can make time fly!

anna katherine's boyfriend and his dad were going too. (his family has been our friends for years) we followed each other most of the way.
our first stop (along with a quarter of the united state's population) was downtown disney! we had to experience "the world's greatest hot sandwich." which indeed it is! we had been there before and i am convinced it's the best meal in disney. 
we walked around. 
soaked in some magic before heading to the stadium.

it was a beautiful-beautiful florida day. 

the game was fabulous! clemson won 40-7. the opposing team didn't score until the last quarter. many of their fans had traveled over 900 miles from oklahoma.  one can't help but to feel sorry for a team that gets beaten that badly!

it was a great experience! 
our kids thanked us over and over!

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