What’s in a shoe?

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Cinderella, my favorite Disney princess, had her life change by her shoes. It changed her residence, her relationship status, her work, and more. Her way of life was altered, all because of one little glass slipper. Then there is Dorothy. How would she ever found her way back home without those ruby reds? I know what you are thinking, these are all just stories, made up by dreamers. There is no such thing as magical shoes. That is what I thought until recently!

A few days back, while laying our strong, outgoing child to bed I noticed that she was unusually quiet and her face held a somber disposition. I asked her what was wrong, and she told me nothing. I could tell she was holding back, so I hugged her and told her she could tell me anything. Within seconds, I was holding my baby girl as she cried for the first time about having to move away. She had teared up before and cried a little, but this was different. She missed our house, her friends, our neighbors and her school, and I was hearing all about it through tears. Was this her first real emotional melt down? My heart broke. It was one of those moments as a mom that I could not fix. I sang to her and played Disney clips in spanish, on Youtube, to help her feel better. When she was finally sleeping I went to my room and cried. How could I even make this better? How can I teach her to hang in there? I knew how she felt. I knew EXACTLY how she felt. Later, when the house was quiet, I went and climbed in bed with her and cried some more while she slept. I laid my hand on her back and told God he was going to have to take this one, because it was out of my hands.

The next morning I had a plan. Cayden had been needing brown shoes and Tim’s mom had sent money for Starbucks. It seemed like a perfect combination. I woke Cayden up and told her that after school we were going to the mall to get a Starbucks and look for shoes. She beamed with joy! I informed Tim of my plan and he jumped on board (what a good dad huh?).

When the kids were let out of school, we headed down to the Florida Mall. It is huge! We got our Starbucks in the two story cafe, sat on the sofas and talked about school, friends and life. Then we walked to her newly favorite store Justice. I don’t know how Cayden started loving this store, we have never shopped there, and she can barely fit into their stuff, but this is where she wanted to go. I knew finding affordable shoes in there was pretty much next to impossible, but it never hurts to look. I immediately headed back to the clearance and looked at the shoes. Nothing…wait…I reached in the back and pulled out some shoes. Did they meet the requirements? Brown? Yes! Size? 13, PERFECT! Affordable? No. The shoes were not marked down and still held the price of 28 dollars and some odd cents. UGH! I took them up to the register just to ask if maybe they were on sale, my budget was 12.99. (low I realize, but it is what we have to do). The shoes rang up to 6.99! I was excited and Cayden was over the top!

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Immediately after the purchase she sat down and put them on. They didn’t match but she didn’t care. It was magical. She stood up exited the store raised her arms wide, stopped and started singing. Then she did a spin and skipped down the mall. Every once in a while she would stand still,  singing loudly songs by Demi Lovato but adding her own words about amazing shoes. Then she would spin a circle and continue on her merry way! A few times she  clasped her hands together, bend a little and squeal with excitement. Then she’d prance ever so gently to our side and say “Oh thank you so much daddy and mommy for my new shoes from Justice…” trailing off in yet another song. As we exited the mall through Sax Fifth Avenue, she walked through the store while shaking her hips with her hands pointed out in a prissy fashion, never once caring about the eyes that stopped to stare at this child who confidently strolled by. The ladies working smiled at me, as if they knew that Cayden was celebrating life through a new pair of shoes. A universal feeling girls of all ages could understand. I took a deep breath, a sigh of relief maybe. For now, not forever, but for now, Cayden had no worries. She felt great and so did I.

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Walking to the car she held my hand and said

“Mommy, when a girl has a bad day all you gotta do is buy her shoes from Justice and it will make everything better.”

While Tim was a little concerned with the comment, I loved it. Then a few minutes later, I heard her tell her brother,

“You know Cobe, getting shoes is better than getting toys, you get to wear them wherever you go”

Of course he argued with her and informed her that you could PLAY with toys. She replied

“Yes , but shoes make you feel good”

Today I found magical shoes. Shoes that for the moment changed my little girls life, and all was well in the Grandstaff household…for now!

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Aren’t Birthday’s…

So my birthday was this past Tuesday. As always my husband does and amazing job making me feel special and loved. Every year I  wake up and lay in bed on my birthday with wonderment and anticipation. I know that somewhere in the house my family is doing something to make my day one of a kind. So I lay there impatiently and pretend  to sleep until the kids come and “wake me up”. This birthday was no different. Soon enough the kids came bursting into my room telling me to get up; leading me blindly down the flight of stairs (I’d be lying if I said I didn’t peek). There in the kitchen were streamers draped in an awkward way around the kitchen and dining area. Just for me! The smell of bacon was wonderful and the pancakes were made thin just the way I like them. They had cut up strawberries and a fresh pot of coffee. I was in heaven. When I sat down I noticed my birthday cards. One from each person. Earlier, Tim had taken the kids to Walmart and placed them in front of the Mom/Birthday section and told them to pick any card out. He went and worked on finding his card while they searched for their perfect card for me.Tim bought them and the kids hid away secretly and decorated them just for me. They LOVE sealing the card by themself. It was ready and set on the table for my enjoyment. I ripped the envelope to  Cayden’s card first.

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It made me smile. It was just like her to pick a card with an cute animal on the front. THEN I opened it and laughed very hard. I was a little shocked. When I questioned Tim on his allowing her to get this card, he seemed confused, and then he read what was written on the inside, surrounded by Cayden’s innocent artwork.

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Oh yes! Tim let them pick the card, but never looked inside. He wanted it to be their own thing and never thought twice when he stuck them in the Mom/birthday section. Honestly it was the most memorable card I have ever received. Cayden has NO idea why I laughed even though she knows how to read. She just was so in love with the front that the inside doesn’t matter. One day when I show this to her I know she too will think it is just as funny!

Cobe, however, went with something he knew I would love.

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With a precious note inside.

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Gosh I love my kids!

I live here? I thought I was just on Vacation.

Tim and I spent the first week of our married life on a Disney Cruise, at Disney and shopping in the Florida Mall.  The following year we made our way to Orlando for a mini vacation. The year after that we came to Orlando again, with a one year old and a tiny pregnant belly.  Year after year staying with the Harper’s and every so often getting lucky enough to make it to Disney for a day. Vacation in Orlando was wonderful.

One month ago today, my family made the trip down to Florida,

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…and we are still here. We moved in with the Harper’s

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…. an amazing couple who have so graciously allowed us to live with them until our house sells. When we moved in the first two weeks I thought “What a nice vacation”. The last two weeks in my head I know we are here for good, but my heart is waiting to pack the suitcases up and head home. Only, this is now home. Our days here are filled with pool time and trips to Walmart. We also have been fortunate enough to save up for one year passes to Disney. This has been wonderful for the kids and I. Tim is a good sport. How can you not love the greatest place on earth?

I love it here. Of course I miss my friends, but I know this is where we belong.

Here is a photographic update on the last month!

Shortly after getting here we ran into my nephews on their trip to Disney with their dad. We later planned an ice cream date at The Boardwalk at Disney.

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For Father’s day we took Tim to Putt Putt per request. Tim chose to go to the Christmas putt putt because he loves me. It was so much fun. We listened to Christmas music while competing against the boys. They won but only after  a putt-off at the end.

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On June 27th Cayden turned 6. Some amazing friends came to celebrate the big day. Cayden chose to go to the happiest place of all, Disney World!

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On July 4th we were back at Disney to watch the spectacular fireworks.

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Then this past week we were at Fellowship Orlando’s Adventure Week. The kids had an amazing time and actually learned so much more than we have ever seen. Cayden has made a wonderful friend who is awesome, and Cobe overcame some big hurtles this past week. We are so proud of them.

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They both got to help lead worship on stage. This was a big help in getting them involved and of course Cayden loved when the Chic-fil-a cow came to visit. She actually had a hard time not looking at him!SSO_1068

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Oh and ever since we watched My Girl together, Cayden thinks it is cool to tuck her shirt in. It kind of works for her…maybe :).

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I know our little journey is just so new. I look forward to seeing what new adventures await…big and little.