Tag Archives: Community

Memorial Day 2014

26 May

Today was bittersweet as we watched my youngest sister, Macayla, march in her last Memorial Day parades. Way to end on a high note, kiddo!! 🙂

 

 

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The Liebster Award

3 May

I began this blog a few years ago. I figured it would be a great way to record my everyday life and to practice and improve my writing talent. I had no idea it would become a close network of friends I’ve never met before. I look forward to reading everyone’s posts and get excited when someone new visits, likes or comments on one of my posts.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this week I was nominated for The Liebster Award by Greg over at Why I runDisney – thank you so, so much! I feel like I have officially been welcomed into an extended blogging community!
liebster-award

Now, I don’t know much about The Liebster Award, except what I learned on Greg’s post, but basically it’s a nod to new bloggers and a way to help other’s discover their blogs as well. This award is only on the internet and given to bloggers by other bloggers. The rules are simple:

  • You must link back to the person who nominated you
  • You must answer the 10 Liebster questions given to you by the nominee
  • You must pick 10 bloggers to be nominated for the award
  • You must create 10 questions for your nominees
  • You must go to their blogs and notify the nominees

1. What is your favorite Disney theme park in the world? Why?

My favorite Disney theme park in the whole world by default is Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Not only is it the ONLY Disney theme park I’ve been to (the first time when I was 12 years old), it’s where I worked, played and lived for a year during my Disney College Program. It’s where I met some of my very best friends, now extend members of my family. It’s where I met my boyfriend, Scott. It’s where I truly found me.

2. Are there any Disney theme parks that you would like to visit that you haven’t visited yet? If so, which one(s)?

Someday I would love to visit Disneyland and California Adventure. I would also like to visit one of the international parks, I’m not picky about which one because honestly, if I had an unlimited bank account, I’d love to visit them all!!

3. Since all of you have run in races before, which race was your favorite?

My favorite race was the 2013 runDisney Tower of Terror 10 miler. This was my third runDisney race that I’ve run with my DCP roommate, Monique. It was also the longest distance I have ever pushed myself. I’ve never been so proud of myself before this moment. Crossing that finish line for me was so emotional, so overwhelming, so powerful. Once we crossed the finish line Monique was already talking Wine and Dine Half 2014, which we will be running in November, so my favorite race may change!

runDisney Tower of Terror 10 Miler

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4. If you could choose a theme for a runDisney race, what theme would you choose and why?

Wow, that’s a hard one!! What about a Disney-Pixar themed race?! 🙂

5. What advice would you offer someone who is a beginning runner?

It does not matter if you run the whole time or only for a minute, as long as you run at some point, YOU are a runner. I know it’s hard not to compare yourself to others (trust me on this, I struggle with it daily it seems like), but the only person you should be comparing yourself to is the you from YESTERDAY. When I began my running journey, a seasoned runner told me that I would go through an emotional journey, I would have good days and bad days, days when my lungs and legs would burn, but if I kept pushing, not only physically, but mentally as well, I would reach every running goal I set for myself. I know I’ll never be the fastest, but as long as I finish, that is a win and a major success and accomplishment in my book.

6. What races are on your bucket list?

runDisney Wine and Dine Half 2014

runDisney Princess Half

runDisney Avenger’s Half

7. If you run with music, what are your favorite songs to run with? If you don’t run with music, what is your favorite mantra?

Some of my favorite songs include:

  • Cannonball by Lea Michele
  • Just Like We Dreamed it – Disneyland Resort Paris
  • Waiting for Tomorrow by Mandisa
  • Overcomer by Mandisa
  • Live Like a Warrior by Nick Pitera
  • She’s So Gone by Lemonade Mouth
  • When Can I See You Again (from Wreck it Ralph) by Owl City
  • Not Your Cinderella by Payton Rae
  • Closer, Faster by Against The Current
  • It’s Not Just Make Believe by Kari Kimmel

8. What are your favorite Disney theme park indulgences? This could be favorite food items, favorite shows, favorite attractions, favorite places to go while on a Disney theme park vacation, etc. In other words, what are your favorite things to do at any of the Disney theme parks?

Wow, I’m not sure I can narrow that down, especially since I just returned from the Happiest Place on Earth. Can I say everything?! Okay here goes – at Animal Kingdom: Finding Nemo: The Musical, Dinosaur, Expedition Everest, and when they still had it, the Shrimp Po Boy sandwich at Restaurantosaurus.

Epcot – Spaceship Earth, Test Track, Soarin’, walking around World Showcase, especially during the International Food and Wine Festival in the fall, and watching Illuninations, the best place in my opinion is from the Mexico Pavilion.

Hollywood Studios – Rock N Roller Coaster, The Great Movie Ride, Indiana Jones Stunt Show, a new favorite is the character drawing class in the Animation Building, and Fantasmic.

Magic Kingdom – Meeting Mickey, Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, People Mover, Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor, Festival of Fantasy parade, Wishes, and eating at be Our Guest. Also, if you are lucky enough to got to a Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, DO IT, you won’t be disappointed, I promise!

I also enjoy riding the monorail and watching Wishes from the roof of the Contemporary Resort and from the beach at the Polynesian Resort. If you are ever at Downtown Disney, eat at Earl of Sandwich, get a chocolate milkshake from Ghirardelli and if your looking for something completely different, spend a few hours at Disney Quest.

9. When training for a race (a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Full Marathon, or Ultra), where is your favorite place to run?

There is a state park not far from where I live that has a nice path out over the dam – down and back is just under 3 miles, it’s also a slight incline. I also enjoy running around the roads where I live – hilly country back roads, around the “block” is 3.5 miles.

10. If you could personalize the post race food given to you after a race like a half marathon or full marathon, what would your order?

As I haven’t run a half marathon yet, I’m not sure what they give you. But when I get back from my training runs I always want chocolate milk after my bottle of water.

And now to pass the baton along, I’m tagging:

1. TheDisneyDiva

2. Jessica at  PubRunAholic

3. Katie, Letty and Michelle at The Tipsy Geekette

4. Casey at Life with Roozle

5. Victoria and Kyle at The WDW Blog

6. Ti and Kellz at The 2econd Star

7. Jennifer at Dreams Really Do Come True

8. Sarah at PR and Pixie Dust

9. Adam at Things Goofy

10. Rachel at Rachel Does Disney…Again

Now for the fun part, my questions for the nominees should they choose to accept it!

1. What is your favorite quote/poem/motivational saying?

2. If you could visit any country in the world and stay for as long as you wanted, where would you go and why?

3. What was your favorite Disney movie as a kid? Is it still your favorite?

4. Tell me about a “hidden gem” in your town, something a tourist would never know to look for!

5. What are the 5 most played songs on your iPod/MP3 player/computer?

6. What are you most looking forward to this summer?

7. How many times have you been to the Disney Parks?  7.1 Share a Disney memory!

8. What is your favorite thing about blogging?

9. If you could have any role in a movie, what would it be?

10. What is the farthest you’ve ever traveled from home?

All About Me from A – Z

30 Jun

I saw this post on Shiawase Life’s blog and thought it’d make a great last-day of June 2013 post! So enjoy getting to know a little bit more about me!

 

A. Attached or Single? Long-distance dating – so yes, attached

B. Best Friend? I have a few, they keep me grounded and remind me to count my blessings daily! I don’t have pictures of everyone, but here are some of the wonderful ladies I list as my best friends!

SUPER OLD PICTURE!!! (L - R: Sophia, Kira, Me, Mandy)

SUPER OLD PICTURE!!! (L – R: Sophia, Kira, Me, Mandy)

Disney Sisters

My Disney sister, Monique and I (May 2013)

Disney Sisters

Some more of my lovely Disney sisters (L-R: Lisa, Catherine and Me)

 

C. Cake or pie? This is a hard one…. but right at this moment pie!

D. Day of choice? Friday

E. Essential Item? Inhaler which keeps me breathing – kind of important 😉

F. Favorite color? I love green and blue and everything in between! I REALLY like turquoise and sea foam green though!

G. Gummy bears or worms? worms!

H. Home town? Farmersville U.S.A., or No-Man’s Land, America – both could apply

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I. Favorite Indulgence? Sweets.

J. January or July? Well if you know me at all, this is a no brain-er! JULY because it means NO SNOW!!

K. Kids? Can’t wait to have my own someday! Currently loving up my nephew, Paul!

L. Life isn’t complete without? Hopes, Dreams, Wishes and Prayers

M. Marriage date? I’d love to get married in October someday

N. Number of brothers/sisters? Two younger sisters

sisters

(L:R) Megan, Me, Macayla

P. Phobia? Being a failure

Q. Quote? “You never know how strong you are until strong is all you have left.”

R. Reasons to smile? Cute text messages, silly conversations with my family, vacation planning, watching for shooting stars

S. Season of choice? Fall… the colors are BEAUTIFUL enough said!

fall

T. Tag 5 People. I don’t want to put anyone on the spot. Tag yourself!

U. Unknown fact about me? I feel like I’m an open book, there’s nothing I can really think of to share at the moment.

V. Vegetable? I love them all – I can’t pick a favorite!

W. Worst habit? Biting my nails when I’m nervous, anxious, scared, bored…

X. X-ray or Ultrasound? Well, I’ve had more X-rays in my lifetime than I know what to do with!

X-ray

Yup, this is actually my right ankle from when I injured it living in Florida a few years ago. Thankfully nothing was broken!

Y. Your favorite food? Broccoli rice and cheese casserole

Broccoli Rice and Cheese Casserole

Broccoli Rice and Cheese Casserole – Yup I made this and I HATE cooking!

Z. Zodiac sign? Virgo

You know you were a band geek when…

23 Jun

Okay, I admit it, I was am a band geek. Actual, if I’m being honest, I’m a music geek! Always have been and I always will be, there’s just a way music touches my soul that nothing else can!

MusicFriday afternoon my little sister got home from babysitting and told us there were band member practicing on the football field… actually I think she may have said something more along the lines of “there’s a bunch of shirtless band guys at the high school.” So of course we (my sisters, mom and I) piled into the car to check it out!

When we got to the school… this is what we saw:

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Boston Crusaders practicing

This is only the brass ensemble, the drum corps, pit and the guard were each off practicing somewhere else.

Let me be the first to introduce you to The Boston Crusaders.

They are a junior drum and bugle corps. These musicians are between the ages of 15 and 21. They had to addition to be in this group. We talked to one of the volunteers and she told us that most of the students are from the Orlando, Florida area because once they make the group, the students have to attend a music camp (camps only in select locations) one weekend every month from November – May. At these camps they work on memorizing music and marching technique. Then in May, they all move into dormitories for a few months before taking their show on the road. They travel with 4 or 5 greyhound buses, a mobile kitchen which prepares four meals a day for the 200 members, supply trucks that store the instruments and cots for the corps members (they slept in our high school gym), a merchandise truck and a truck with bunk beds so the kitchen staff can sleep on the road while they travel (they have to be up at 4AM to begin preparing meals). And in case you were wondering, it costs 2 million dollars to move them all down the road each season! They also have a nurse and physical trainer that travel with them.

Which brings us back to why they were at my old stomping grounds…their first show of the season (which started Saturday and runs through the second weekend of August) was at one of the local colleges and my high school was sponsoring them. They got here around 3:00AM Friday morning, and this was their schedule for the day:

Boston Crusaders schedule

When we got to the school it was around 4:00PM, the HOTTEST time of the day, therefore they are all out practicing in swimsuits and everyone is required to wear a hat. They also all have silver instruments and are wearing gloves, to protect the instruments or to keep their hands from burning, i don’t know.  On the sidelines were tons of HUGE water bottles and it appeared that each member was wearing a fanny pack, we guessed they might have salt tablets in them, as well as sunscreen.

Boston Crusaders practicing

The drum corps and pit (percussion instruments that can’t be marched with and remain stationary during a performance, i.e. bells, tympani drums)  were using the practice field behind the school. We watched the different groups practice the same 30 seconds – 1 minute worth of music 5 or 10 times while we were there. The directors were amazing. They could pick out obscure individual notes and rhythms of specific sections and parts. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were able to narrow it down all the way to an individual player.

We decided to go back up later in the evening for the full dress rehearsal and show run-through. It would be the first time the whole ensemble practiced together that day according to the volunteer we talked to (her son was a Boston Crusader in 2006 and ever since she volunteers a couple of weeks a summer to travel with the corps). We went back up to the school around 9:00 PM and the stadium lights were bright and glowing, and to my surprise, there were a lot of people there to watch (small community, word travels fast I guess, and it was FREE to the public!).

It was really cool watching the whole corps practice. Again, they were still spot-checking 30 seconds – 1 minute worth of music and marching drill. There were three directors sitting up in the stands with a PA system picking apart the music and the drill. Then there were 4 or 5 “coaches” out on the field marching along with the corps picking apart posture, marching steps and horn angle (was the musician holding the bell of their instrument high enough…as a trumpet player I can tell you this can tire out your back muscles QUICKLY and these poor kids had been at this all day long in the hot sun). I felt bad for the members of the corps, the directors kept telling them they needed to commit more, focus more. Honestly, I have NEVER seen a group of young musicians MORE focused in my entire life. To me, they looked pretty dang perfect. The music sounded amazing, their marching lines were clean and crisp. They all hit certain marks are the EXACT same time, EVERY time. They didn’t trip. The guard didn’t hit the musicians with the flags, guns or swords they were throwing dangerously high in the sky… and let me just tell you, there wasn’t a lot of room between the guard and the musicians, I would have been scared for my life.

When it was finally time for the full dress rehearsal run-through I was excited! After watching the different parts and pieces I was excited to see it all come together before my eyes. Let’s talk costumes for a moment…for the most part, the drum and bugle corps reminded me of a soldier’s uniform from wars long ago – maroon undershirt, medium gray coat with double-breasted buttons, white plume (feather in the hat) and black suspender pants, shoes and gloves. The guard (made up of males and females) all had different costumes which surprised me and was a bit distracting in my opinion. The various costumes included shorts, pants, dresses, skirts, fitted coats, coats with tails, coats without tails, long coats, short coats, off-the-shoulder shirts, and other combinations.

The show was FANTASTIC. I wish I could show you, but cameras and video recordings were strictly forbidden as no one has seen their show this season yet – yeah for previews! But I CAN give you my review…

The 12 minute show began with one of the guard members standing alone in the center of the football field. As the pit members began to play, the rest of the corps ran onto the field. I had thought someone had tripped, but it turns out they were all suppose to fall! A single member of the brass ensemble took a knee and began to play facing away from the audience — it was a haunting sound. The single guard member dances around the fallen corps. And then, just as gracefully as they had fallen, they stood and began to amaze the audience with their drill. I felt bad for one of the corps members, when he stood up, his plume came out of his hat (I wonder if he noticed?) and was there on the football field, just waiting for someone to trip on! But lo and behold, a member of the guard was paying attention and smoothly scooped it up all while staying in character. She danced around with it in her hands for a moment or two, and then when the opportunity presented itself, she shoved the plume down into the casing around one of the quad drums. GENIUS! The show continued, and it was fun being able to pick out parts of the music I had heard them practicing earlier that day or watching for the crab step the drum corps had perfected. One of my favorite parts happened about halfway through the show, the corps was nearing the end of a song and they all appeared to be about to slam their instruments into the ground when they changed their minds at the last second and paused forming a zig-zag line of brass! The strength and control in that move alone was impressive! This was followed by everyone running and falling to the ground (they spend a good amount of time on the ground, I sure hope they don’t perform anywhere muddy this season!). The guard member that started the show once again took center stage as she walked down a make-shift stairwell created by the other members of the guard out the their guns! She then danced and tumbled through the fallen corps members and when she passed, they stoop up. It was almost as if she were the resurrecting angel or something. The other guard members came running, crawling, falling and stumbling to the front carrying bright orange flags. It was a beautiful thing to see and the whole performance gave me chills.

But at the end, I was left wondering about the story line.  Had I witnessed a war and the aftermath or a zombie apocalypse? I’m not really sure, the way they were moving and the sound of the music really leaves it open to personal interpretation. I hope that when they perform for real they tell the audience the names of the songs, I bet that would give some much-needed clues to help follow the direction and vision of the performance.

I will leave you with this, I would personally love to see them again! If you get the chance to see them perform JUMP ON IT! I can promise you wont be disappointed!  For a complete list of all their events this summer, check out The Boston Crusader’s Summer Tour Calendar!

Color Vibe 5K Run!!

27 Apr

I have been training for today for months now…. I have gotten countless blisters, come close to multiple asthma attacks running in the cold, and thought I was going to die as I pushed myself harder and farther than I would have dreamed possible a few years ago. But once I set my mind to something, I give it my all.

Today was the Color Vibe 5K — my sisters, my best friend and I made up Team COLOR WARRIORS! And colorful we ended up being….but I’m getting ahead of myself!

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The race was supposed to start at 9:00 AM, and we left the house in plenty of time! However, traffic was a NIGHTMARE! This was the first Color Vibe event held in this area and the event staff only hired 3 police offices to handle parking according to tonight’s evening news. They claim they didn’t know it would be so popular (9,000 participants, not including all the people coming to support and cheer on the runners). We ended up sitting in a long line of traffic for 20 minutes, not moving very far or fast, we never even made it back to where they were parking for the race. We parked somewhere else (along with other races who were clearly sick of wasting gas in the crazy ridiculous line) and walked back to the entrance.

I don’t know if this is how every Color Vibe works, but ours had heats leaving the corral every five minutes. We ended up in heat #4. When we picked up our race packets they came with color packets, but we all decided to save ours until the end of the race and go crazy with them. Well, one of the volunteers thought that wasn’t a good idea, so he came over to us and said “Too clean ladies” and sprayed us with yellow dust from what looked like a fire extinguisher, let me tell you, that kind of hurt!

I had two goals going into today’s race: 1. Don’t go into an asthma attack from all the color “dust” and 2. Get a PR (personal record) — time to beat 41:52 from when I participated in runDisney’s Princess 5K in 2011.

The race course was at a local fairgrounds. The terrain was a bit challenging at points, we started running on loose gravel, then pavement, then grass, then dirt and everything else in between. There were a couple of times I was worried I was going to twist my ankle because when I set my foot down the rocks under my shoe shifted throwing me somewhat off-balance. Then there were the hills and hairpin turns in the course — you really had no idea what you were going to come to next.

The color stations were AWESOME! The volunteers were amazing, yelling encouragement and cheering us on! But as great as they were, they had nothing on our own cheering section! Our parents, our Aunt Khris and our cousin Mandy (who is ready to have her first child ANY DAY NOW) all came to cheer us on! They were there to take pictures at the starting line and to celebrate with us when we finished! It was so great seeing them as we ran past, knowing they supported us and believed in us! It meant so much! I LOVE the support of my family! They are wonderful and without them I’d be lost!

I am proud to say, I accomplished both of my goals!

Finishing time — 30 minutes even!! I took 12 minutes off my time!

While on the course, I thought I was going to die and that I was going so slow. I had to walk a few times since I accidentally breathed in some of the dust and it KILLED my lungs and pace. I was very grateful one of my little sisters, Megan, stayed with me. She kept me focused and motivated and pushed me to keep going. I did feel bad because I knew I was slowing her down, but I was very glad she was there. My other little sister finished with a time of 28 minutes — you ROCK, Macayla! My best friend finished with a time of  36 minutes!

When we all finished, we went to town with the color packets. I don’t think there was any white left, which was the point! We are already planning crazy costumes for next year!

But….before that, I’ve got another 5K to run next Saturday at Walt Disney World, so stay tuned dear readers, more running excitement to come! In the meantime, enjoy some crazy photos from our colorful running adventures today!

To the angry jerk in the ugly red truck

17 Apr

Ever have one of those days where you just need a walk to let go of all the pent-up stress and frustration. That’s been my day. It didn’t help either that in my office I sit beside a large picture window with the sun shining in for 8 painfully long hours (honestly, how is the work day suppose to go fast when it’s that BEAUTIFUL outside?!) and that fact that I have a weather gadget on my computer desktop that was constantly reminding me it was a glorious 67 degrees and mostly sunny day wasn’t helpful either. So when I got home from work, my mom and I decided to take advantage of this rare nice day to go for a walk “around the block.” [Disclaimer, I live in the country, so when I say around the block, I mean making a square on country roads which is about 4 miles…. yup,  just one “block” and no sidewalks.] All was fine and dandy until we met this “pleasant” driver about 15 minutes into our walk who almost ran us off the road while we were crossing a bridge! This is the letter I proceeded to write him in my head during mile two. The best part about this…. we saw the truck again parked at a house at the corner of our road… turns out we have him as a neighbor, lovely.   

 

To the angry jerk in the ugly red truck,

Let me remind you that we live in AMERICA. We have every right as pedestrians to walk along the side of the road. We were walking TOWARDS you in broad daylight! For heaven’s sake I was even wearing bright PINK in the middle of the afternoon! We were following all the laws of the road! You saw every other driver in front of you go around us…there was no one even on the other side of the road, you had more than enough room to go around us, too. But for you to pull over and yell at us to “Get off the road” clearly demonstrates your lack of maturity, human compassion or general niceness. And here we though we were going to save the day by giving you directions to the highway because you and your nastiness must be from out-of-town. All the other drivers on the road moved over and waved! Next time I suggest you be nicer to the person walking, chances are they won’t be as nice as me…something to think about.

Sincerely,

I have just as much right to the road as you do

 

Desperate times, Desperate measures…

5 Sep

Desperate times call for Desperate measures…

I’ve heard of a War dance, a Mating dance, and a Rain dance.

Does anyone know if there is an

I AM DESPERATE FOR A JOB INTERVIEW” dance?!

LOL…. and can you please teach me the steps?!

Let the job hunt continue!

**For the record, I am searching for Advertising/Public Relations/Marketing/Communications jobs in Orlando, Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee. So if you know of ANYTHING (I’m not picky!) please let me know! I will FOREVER be grateful!