This Vacation could not have come at a better time for me and my family.
The anticipation had been building for months, much like the thrilling buildup you feel in the climactic scenes of a movie. The past few years had been a whirlwind of determination and sacrifice. The journey of April and I pursuing our doctorates has been both exhilarating and demanding, and now on the brink of achieving our goal, we decided it was time to pause, unwind, and embrace an unforgettable adventure with our kids, who have been so patient with us.
If you have not kept up with April and my journey, I’ll give you a quick recap: For my new affiliates, welcome, and April is my wife. Our shared dream of earning doctorates wasn't just about personal achievement; it was a commitment to each other and to our family. We were well aware that life would present us with its share of challenges. We knew the journey to success would come with sleepless nights, countless assignments, and the juggling act of parenting our two-spirited kids, Adriana and Davon, along with our fur baby, Laney.
With everything that is going on with our academic pursuits and daily responsibilities, we reached milestones that affirmed our dedication and grit. We conquered our coursework and passed our prelims with flying colors, officially becoming Doctoral Candidates. The finish line is in sight, yet the journey is far from over.
Sacrifices became our norm. We put a hold on the things we had once taken for granted – the spontaneous weekend getaways, nights of relaxation, and even the casual date nights and dining-out experiences. Our beloved podcast, "Success In Black and White," took a backseat as we poured every ounce of our energy into reading, writing, and studies. Our choices weren't always understood by everyone. At times friends and family couldn't quite grasp the extent of our dedication. But we pressed on, united in our shared vision, pushing each other forward.
Between the months of April and August, we celebrated a slew of birthdays, including our youngest turning five. It was a promise we had made and a promise we intended to keep: when he turned five, we would all go to Disneyworld.
The planning began with enthusiasm and determination. April became a maestro, orchestrating every detail with preciseness. Blogs, friends' recommendations, and informative podcasts became her trusted guides. With each detail meticulously attended to, the trip began to take shape, aligning perfectly with our family's desires and needs.
The Lovetts Do Disney
The Lovetts embarked on a journey that would forever be etched in our hearts – the Lovetts Do Disney. From the moment we set foot on the property, it was clear that this was more than just a vacation. It was an experience, a dynamic montage of shared moments that would intertwine their way into the very fabric of our lives.
Our home for this magical vacation was the Animal Kingdom Lodge, a sanctuary that exceeded our wildest expectations. Each morning greeted us with the surreal sight of giraffes, zebras, and other magnificent animals roaming the Savannah view just beyond our balcony.
Armed with matching family shirts, the park hopper, Genie+, and the Memory Maker package, we embraced every experience set before us. The laughter of the kids filled my heart with joy, the twinkle in their eyes a testament to the magic that surrounded us.
As we navigated the bustling parks, the challenges of our doctoral journey felt like a distant memory. The sun beat down relentlessly, but our spirits remained unyielding. At the end of each day, as we clambered on a Disney bus, a sense of accomplishment washed over us. It was a different kind of triumph, a celebration of family, resilience, and the sheer joy of creating memories together.
Why is it so crucial to take these breaks, to create these memories that become the tapestry of our lives? The answer is simple yet profound. Life is a series of fleeting moments, and the memories we create are the colors that paint our existence. Waiting for the "right time" or an external catalyst means allowing life to slip through our fingers, one moment at a time. The key is to seize those opportunities, to create memories that create connection, joy, and love.
My Final Thoughts
Our Disney adventure was a chapter in the story of our journey – a reminder that amidst the rigors of life, we must pause to create moments that define us. Our commitment to our doctorates was unwavering, but so too was our commitment to each other, to our children, and to the sheer beauty of being alive. To those who find themselves amidst the demands of a working-class life trying to figure it out, remember this: your dreams are vital, but so are the moments that happen in between. Plan those getaways, embrace those experiences, and watch as the colors of your life come alive in ways you could have never imagined. After all, it's these moments that truly make us rich beyond measure.
I thought you might be interested in checking out some videos from our trip. They could really help you get a better sense of what it was like.
Days 1 & 2
Days 3 & 4