Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Mason has been carrying around a small, tattered map for about 3 months. It's nothing special...Just a computer print-out that I gave him awhile back. But to him, it's everything. He shows it to anyone who comes by the house, he brings it in the car with us, and sometimes he'll fall asleep looking at it. It's a map of Dollywood in Pigeon Forge. We went there about 2 years ago, and Mason had the best time....so he was thrilled when we started planning a return trip for this year. He's been marking days off the calendar, and holding on tight to his map...and last week he finally made it back to the mountains.

Like any vacation, it came with a few glitches...Like seeing way too many gas stations between MS and TN, due to Mason's sudden bout of car-sickness that held us up 4 times in the first 2 hours...Or managing to leave articles of clothing and shoes in both Tupelo and Pigeon Forge...Or the random toilet that we overflowed in Memphis...Things didn't always go smoothly, but we had a great time through it all.

We were so fortunate to stay in an amazing cabin. It was beautiful, and fully accessible. It had 6 bedrooms and 6 baths, a gameroom with everything, a theater room, gorgeous views, and even an elevator for Miss Maddie. We were thrilled! We made the trip with lots of family, so we had a full house...and my kids were spoiled rotten all week!

Our cabin...Soaring Ridge

I miss this view...

We had lots of fun in the cabin and around Gatlinburg. We found a great little hole in the wall called Best Italian Pizza Cafe...Yummmm. I will be dreaming about those garlic rolls until we go again.

The highlight of the trip was definitely our time in Dollywood....

Mason upgraded his map. :)

He was the most intense tour guide I have ever seen. he had a plan, and we had to stick to it. :) But when he wasn't on a mission to conquer everything in a day, he was just a happy little guy.

Maddie enjoyed it too...

Her favorite ride was the "Duckies"

Mason loved the racecars and of course, the train!

We had so many great moments, and I hope I never forget the fun and excitement my little bugs showed us each new day. Life is so much more fun when I see it through their eyes...


And in other news....

If you follow me on facebook you may have already heard, Madison has started taking independant steps!!!!! This is so beyond what I ever hoped for this year. I am thrilled and SO excited at her progress! We will be going to Folsom this weekeend to have her evaluated to begin horse therapy at New Heights. This type of therapy involves horseback riding for little ones, and has been very effective in improving balance, coordination, core strength, and stability. It is very expensive, and it will come entirely out of pocket for us...as our insurance is refusing to pay anything towards therapy costs for Maddie. I am so hopeful that this will be just what she needs to gain more balance and more control for independent walking. My hope and prayer is that she will be walking unassisted when we return to Philadelphia, sometime after New Year's. It's a huge leap from where we started, but I am learning that anything is possible. Please keep in us in your prayers that God will provide a way for us to do this therapy, and that our hopes for Maddie will become a reality.


  1. I really enjoyed reading about your trip, Selina. Chris and I have vacationed in Townsend, TN (close to Gatlinburg) and did a lot of outdoorsy things, and we have wanted to take the kids. But Pigeon Forge sounds like a much more kid-friendly area. Fun! Also, I hope you'll be able to do the horse therapy. We have a place in Shreveport, but they told us to wait until they're 3 years old. Maddie seems so strong, and I bet she can do it! Praying for ya'll.

  2. What a FUN looking vacation! Those views... WOW!

    And WOW WOW WOW on your precious little girl taking independant steps!!!! Those are the moments, hu?

    We do a realy simple, inexpensive, fun thing to work on core strength I thought I would pass along if you are interested. I have built various balance boards for Nathaniel over the years, and whenever he is standing and playing I put him on them. They are simpe to use (simple to make too!) and really help. He STILL usues them EVERYDAY :) It is part of his routine and he is still imporving! If you need ideas for building one please feel free to email me :) (simplysoares@att.net)

    Congrats on all the fun you are having there!

  3. Sounds like fun!
    I would love to find out more info on that great cabin. We love Pigeon Forge and Dollywood!

  4. Very exciting! Can't wait to see her progress.

    What an AMAZING cabin! Glad you guys had a great time.


  5. Anything really IS possible, and little Maddie is truly amazing. I'm glad you guys had a really fun trip! Both of your kids are adorable.

  6. Rebecca,
    The cabin was great! Here is the link for it:


    And here is the virtual tour link:


    Hope this helps!


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