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  • Writer's pictureMelissa Malani

Celebrating the everyday moments

Sponsored by Enterprise

I’m guilty of almost always trying to live in the future. I find myself getting so caught up in the “when” of life that when I stop for a moment, I realize I’ve missed the “now” of life. With three busy kids, a busy husband, and a busy life of my own, it’s easy to look up and find yourself 10 years from where you just were. I’ve always said that as our kids got older, time went faster. When Drew, our oldest, entered high school, they told us at orientation, “Don’t blink.” Well, we did.

So here we are, about to enter Drew’s senior year of high school. How is this possible? How did we go from picking out cribs to picking out college dorms in a blink of an eye? The days can be long, but the years are so, so short, my friends. I know, I know, it sounds cliché, but it’s true.

This summer, as it is likely our last with all five of us under one roof, I wanted to make a point to take time to celebrate the everyday moments. I call this the “magic in the mundane.” And what do I think of when I think of magic? You guessed it: Walt Disney World. Since we are blessed to live not too far from this magical land, we decided to take some family trips to the parks over the summer. It doesn’t have to be a special occasion to spend time with family—THEY ARE the special occasion on any given day! Now, it’s not often that our five grown people are together in one vehicle, so we booked a spacious minivan from Enterprise, the Official Rental Car of Walt Disney World. We took our trips with the luxury of space! You parents of teens know it’s a gift to have your teens spaced out from one another in the car. (Matthew even asked if I could buy the minivan because he loved how the captain’s chair reclined without his brother complaining of less leg room—see, it’s the little things to celebrate!)

On this trip, we opted to go to EPCOT (I mean, you can’t go wrong with any of the parks, but when you have hungry teens and it’s summer in Florida, EPCOT is pretty much perfect!). Our trip was also during the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival, so there were so many cool sculptures, tasty treats, and seasonal entertainment to explore. EPCOT with older kids is especially fun because we took our time looking at the exhibits. When they were little, the focus was on the rides and I don’t think they even noticed the flowers, ha! We did ride some rides (Fast Track and Soarin’ are two of our past personal favorites but the new Guardians of the Galaxy was AWESOME and everyone loved it!), but it was nice to leisurely walk around the park and take it all in together. We stopped for a lot of pictures (and a lot of snacks!) and then had dinner at Café de France (side note, they all loved the old-fashioned phones in the hall by the bathrooms). Another perk of going with older kids is that we can enjoy dinner reservations and not just the quick food service options. Connection is the best word I can use to summarize the day. Personally, I couldn’t have asked for a better day with the family. We ended the evening with Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary celebration lights and water show, which included a massive fireworks display—just gorgeous! It really was a great way to celebrate a day with the family.

A trip to EPCOT with the comfort of an Enterprise rental car while celebrating time with each other AND celebrating the everyday moments with my favorite people isn’t something to put off or push to a special event or occasion—or for “when” we have time. These are memories I know I will cherish forever—and I hope my family does, too. I hope they look back on days like these with a smile and remember the feeling of love, the feeling of family, and the feeling of togetherness. If I can have my children remember days like this, then I feel like I’ve done a good job as their mom. Time together is the gift that we can never get back—the gift that can never be repeated or replicated in that exact way ever again. The older my kids get, the more acutely I’m aware of this, and I’m forever grateful for the time I get to spend with them. On our way home, from the back of the minivan, Drew said, “Thanks for today, guys, it was a really fun day.” Be still my mama heart.

To say that a day at EPCOT without all the distractions of work, phones, video games, and all the other “stuff”’ that interrupts our time as a family was a blessing is putting it mildly. If I could give a new parent one piece of advice, it would be to take more time celebrating the everyday moments with your family. Get out of the house, put the work and the chores and the errands on pause, and take time to just be with your loved ones. Time with them is worth celebrating every time.

*Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of Enterprise.

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