Seriously, still reeling from this entire experience. Really. Just...wow.
I guess I should start at the beginning...
As I mentioned, we were contacted by a producer for The Steve Harvey Show back in the summer. Gotta be honest, I kind of figured it wouldn't actually turn in to anything because I was contacted by a handful of people after I did the Hapari thing and it never went anywhere.
We were asked if we might be interested in being a part of an awesome segment that Mr Harvey does called Family Bucket List, where he sends families out on these super fun activities to allow them the opportunity to spend time together since that is often a challenge for many families.
But we told them we were interested, filled out their questionnaire about our family and some of our "bucket list" items, and kept in contact. After verifying our availability for some dates in August, we did a Skype interview with them and they told us they would be in touch. We sat all the kids down and made sure they weren't getting their hopes up and planning on it going through, just in case, but Aaron and I did chat about how fun it would be if it did work out.
After a couple of weeks we heard back, and they told us they were going a different direction for the dates they had checked with us. It happens. But we were surprised when they asked if we would be willing to be a part of something they wanted to orchestrate for our family a little later in the year. Sure!
We had no idea just what they were orchestrating...
After some back and forth over the next couple of months, they asked if we would be willing to be left in the dark about things, if we (Aaron and I) would be willing to have it be a surprise not only for our kids but for us as well. Sure! Surprises are fun!
Wow, one heck of a surprised was established!
We did a little arranging to be available for some dates on our end, they did one heck of a lot of arranging for the Ultimate Family Bucket List experience on their end.
All we knew was that we would be traveling (they had us make sure we had ID for travel for everyone), and that at 8:00am on October 26th we would get further information. That was it. I was totally enjoying the surprise factor, especially as the date grew nearer and the anticipation heightened. Aaron was a little more on the going crazy side. He loves surprises, when he doesn't know they are coming. Sitting and wondering on things when someone says "I have a surprise for you!" drives him nuts! Not going to lie, I kind of enjoyed watching that play out. Any good wife would, right?
I did ask for info on packing, since with 12 people-especially little ones-it's kind of a huge undertaking, and I was doing nearly all of the prep on my own since Aaron works out of town. We were told that since it is Fall and weather can change, be prepared for warmer weather, or cooler weather. And that we would have the opportunity to do laundry, so pack as lightly as we could and not worry about trying to cover 12 full days with our packing.
So there we sat, bags packed, blinds closed, all ready to go on the morning of October 26th, at 7:55am. Just waiting, waiting for....something.
As I sat on the couch I saw something moving across our front yard through the closed blinds.
That's when the doorbell rang...