I had not planned, when I wrote this, to share it publicly.  However, more and more the humanity of being real, genuine, authentic….whatever you want to call it, is increasingly important to me.  I want to share with you the beauty of the time Ryan and I were able to spend with Rayna on our trip to Disneyland.  (In doing so, this serves as a big THANK YOU to our parents for watching the twins, allowing us to make this trip.)  Apart from what I share below, two highlights were attending a drawing class which Rayna took so seriously as she has aspirations to be an art teacher and being able to snuggle with Rayna in her bed in the hotel in the morning as Daddy was working on waking up.

To Rayna:

Rayna, thank you so much for inspiring us to plan a Disney mini getaway.  Because you probably won’t remember many details in years to come, I want to remind you of what a lovely, awe-filled time you had. Indeed, it was magical for all three of us.  We didn’t have to try hard at all to have a fantastic time. On our second day, walking to Disneyland you said, “this is the nicest place in the world.”   It blessed my heart to see your love for meeting the princesses. You wanted to meet them all.  I loved going with you to meet them and watching you light up as they waved at you during the parades.
Rayna you are such a special, delightful girl and I am so thrilled that this treat for you was such a special time for me too.  I enjoyed myself so very much.  I loved the Anna and Elsa performance, the “paint the night” nighttime light-spectacular parade, the Mickey Ferris wheel, the Christmas parade, and all the beautiful Christmas lights and spirit.  You, Rayna, are such a blessing for encouraging our family to have delightful times.  You love airplane rides and are always ready for an adventure- even if you appear very serious as you take in all the sights and sounds of the adventure.  What touched my heart preparing to leave for this trip, was when it fully sunk in that we were leaving Garrett and Allison at home.  You were sad to leave your brother and sister behind.  You are so sweet and caring. It is way more than I would expect from a 4 year old and yet it exemplifies your genuinely loving, caring, generous and compassionate characteristics.  Never lose touch with these traits Rayna.  I believe they are defining for you and will allow you to richly bless others.  You really are special in this way and it is beautiful.  Today we saw so many beautiful princesses and yet the beauty within your heart far surpasses the beauty of those princesses. Never forget you are beautiful. I tell you daily you are beautiful and I mean it and desire for you to always remember it.  You are so special that you most often reply, “you’re beautiful too mom.” (This is in addition to the random compliments you give me telling me I am “the best mom ever” at least daily.)  And I know you mean it. Thank you.  It inspires me to be the best mom possible for you and Garrett and Allison.  That is what I want so deeply, to be able to keep being your mom with all that includes. To teach you, encourage you, have fun with you and to learn from you. You have already given me these dear gifts and I petition God to give me many more opportunities for more teaching, encouragement, fun and learning.
This Disney trip has come at a pivotal time in my life; but the joy of it truly is a reflection of the joy you bring to mine and your fathers lives on a daily basis.  It really was so good to greet princesses and take in in all the spectacular performances and displays.  Thank you Rayna for keeping my days bright. It certainly is not your responsibility; but, inevitably it happens.  You are so loved my dear precious daughter.  I want to hold you and kiss you and somehow make sure you remember these lovely times we are sharing together – both in daily life and in the extra special times such as Disney.
Love you always,