Tag Archives: Disney

Bridal Shower, Wedding Prep and the Chicago Skyline

12 Mar

Last weekend, Scott and I had the chance to spend two and a half days with his family in Chicago celebrating the upcoming wedding of his younger sister, Abbey.

After a six and a half hour drive through two states that started at 6:45 a.m. Friday morning, and a (terrifying, for me) journey on the Chicago Skyway, we’d arrived. Thankfully Scott was driving when we hit the city because 1. They are crazy drivers coming at you from every which way and 2. It was necessary that I take as many photos as the bumpy road would allow since the only other time I had been to Chicago, I’d flown, and it was an overcast day, which blocked the beauty of the skyline.

But before seeing family, being the hungry-driven travelers we were, we made a quick stop for food at Portillo’s. This was only my second time eating there, and it was just as delicious as I remembered. You MUST try the beef and cheddar croissant… as Scott once told me, it’s something you cannot visit chicago without trying.

Portillos food in Chicaog

Once our bellies were full, there was no rest for the weary! After quick hugs and hellos, we were put to work, the reason for this trip after all!

I had the honor of being asked to do Abbey’s hair for the wedding, along with the bridesmaids, so we started practicing all the different styles she’s sent me over the last few weeks. We tried two different updos and a half updo with curls. All three were beautiful on her, but as we were putting in the last style, I just kept telling her how it was going to be my favorite, and as it turned out, her favorite, too! But I’m not telling what it is until her wedding day, even though her fiancée, Dan, saw her Friday night with the style in. (He approved, too!)

After hair and a yummy dinner, it was on to cutting purple tulle and decorative ribbon to decorate balloons at Saturday’s bridal shower, followed by folding invitations while Abbey and her mom addressed the envelopes. With three of us folding (Dan, Scott and myself) it took no time at all! And not long after that it was thankfully time to hit the hay, I mean pillow!

Saturday morning started with Scott and his mom arranging a sweet photo collage of Abbey and Dan that included baby photos and pictures of the happy couple through the years! I loved seeing all the old photos! Then it was off to Party City to pick up some special balloons and then off we went to the church to decorate!

The room turned out lovely decked out in purple and silver, the wedding colors, and Abbey’s mom did an amazing job arranging cupcakes to look like a wedding dress!

The shower was a blast – she received many lovely gifts and we all had a wonderful time laughing and talking. I felt so at ease and at home and comfortable with these people, which was so special for me as it was only the second time I’ve been around Scott’s family, and he wasn’t even with me at the shower, because, ahh-hem, no men allowed, minus the groom of course.

Scott’s family is a lot like mine, on more than one occasion there were those no-so-subtle comments about when he and I would tie the knot such as “maybe we’ll be celebrating you and Scott next” or “have you thought about what colors you’d like for your wedding?”

Before we go any farther, yes, we have talked about it, yes, it will happen someday, no, I don’t know when that will be, no, we aren’t already secretly engaged, and yes, I have thought about what that special day will look like, what girl hasn’t?!

Now that we have that out in the open, I love knowing that his relatives are excited about me joining their family one day! And to answer one of their questions, I have thought about it, a lot actually, over the years, and it’s entertaining to me to see how my mental picture of that day has changed since I was a little girl.

As we’ve kept it no secret, Scott and I met while working at Walt Disney World in 2010, so naturally, people expect us to have an EPIC Disney wedding. Take a quick look at my Pinterest album, and you’ll see all the parts and pieces of a fairy tale wedding are there waiting to come to life!

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Bet you can’t tell what my favorite Disney movie and Princess is….anyways, the Disney ideas are endless! There’s the overall Disney wedding, the themed attraction wedding, or limiting it to the specific locations we’ve worked, or limiting it still to Disney’s Animal Kingdom since that’s were we met! The cake could even be “dino themed” since we were working at Dinoland all those years ago! Or maybe, we recreate our first date and do an EPCOT themed wedding with all the countries represented! How fun would that be!  Of course there would be hidden Mickey’s everywhere and how about Dole Whips for everyone, one of our favorite Disney treats!

And thank goodness there are sites like Paperless Post that provide dozens of invitation ideas – browsing quickly I found these two which screamed Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast! And of course, they also offer the option to create a style using your own photos, what’s not to love about that?!

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As you can see, so many fun ideas out there should we decide to go the Disney route when it’s our turn to plan a wedding. The only thing I know for sure that I want Scott to be the one standing at the end of the aisle waiting for me to get to his side. Nothing else matters, not the month, colors, theme or the cake. Just the two of us madly in love ready to start living our own happily ever after.

 

Thank you to Paperless Post for suggesting I dream about my future wedding for this post. I was not compensated in any way. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

 

Guys I want a castle

5 Feb

Flynn Rider was on to something when he said “I could get used to a view like this. Yep, I’m used to it. Guys I want a castle” (Tangled, 2010). He of course, was referring to Rapunzel’s parents’ castle. The castle I’m referring to is Cinderella’s Castle at the Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida.

Lately, I have been missing all things Disney. The attractions. The food. The cast members. The smells. The characters. The fireworks. The castle. Mainly, the castle. Do you have one thing that when you experience it at Disney, even for the hundredth time, it still causes tears to pool in your eyes and a lump to lodge in your throat?

The castle does for me, always has. I guess you could say that the little girl who wanted to be a princess and live in a castle still lives within me to a certain degree. But, I think I just associate hopes, dreams, magic and love with that castle.

The first time I saw it I was 12 years old during my family’s first ever trip to Walt Disney World. Sadly, I don’t remember much, but when I entered Magic Kingdom for the first time during my Disney College Program, I DID remember the castle – perfectly. Every spier, the colors, the grandness, the beauty. Time had not faded that memory, only etched it permanently on my heart. For an entire year, I saw that castle almost every single day, and my love for it grew and grew because I was now a part of its magic – I was a cast member. I worked at The Happiest Place on Earth. I felt like I had stepped into this magical story where characters are real and dreams come true. The world seemed brighter, happier, kinder. The castle remained my source inspiration on the days when work was challenging.

Now, the castle has a different meaning. This August will mark five whole years since my last shift as a cast member, and while I have returned to the parks many times over the years, it’s not the same. There are new people working the attractions, there are places I can’t go now, costumes I can’t wear. The castle, for the most part, has remained unchanged and it is a magnet that draws me in – when I see it there at the end of Main Street, U.S.A., I know I’m “home.”

As many former cast members tend to do, I’m always looking for ways to bring a little Disney magic into my everyday life. So when Shutterfly sent me a code for a free mousepad, I knew EXACTLY what I was going to use for the photo! This view of the castle is one of my favorites because it’s not the typical straight on shot everyone takes, and I think it really shows off the grandness and beauty of the structure.

This little gem has brought me so much pixie dust at work already. Everytime I see it my heart smiles and my mood lightens! And for a breif moment, I’m at Magic Kingdom feeling the breeze and hot Florida sun, eating a dole whip and taking in the wonder that is Cinderella’s Castle for the millionth time!

So tell me Disney friends, what ways have you found to bring Disney magic into your everyday world?!

Magical morning

7 Jan

There is something so magical about seeing the moon as the sun is rising! Nature, especially the sun, moon and stars, have always spoken to me on a profound level. 

I feel so connected with the universe and feel at peace watching God paint the sky a million shades of red, orange, yellow, blue, pink and purple. 

And it’s hard to see in the pictures, but there are two stars next to the moon, which obviously made me think of Disney!

“Second star to the right and straight on to morning,” the directions to Neverland in Peter Pan!

Let’s all make today as magical as the sunrise!      

   

Never Enough Time…

24 Nov

It’s been 21 whole days without his embrace, holding his hand, and being wrapped in the tightest, most perfect hug I’ve ever received. 21 whole days waking up without him here. 21 whole days of breaking out into tears at least once and not fully understanding what triggered them, but knowing in my heart they are the tears of missing him that I can no longer hold inside. The whole first month afer saying “see you soon” is always the hardest on me.

Long distance relationships (LDRs) are not for the easily distracted or the weak-hearted. These types of relationships are for those willing to put in the hard-work and dedication to someone they’ll only see and be with in person half a dozen days out of the year. LDRs can be complicated with opposite schedules and technology that doesn’t always work.

Days can be a long time or a short time depending on your point of view. These two photos were taken 7 whole days apart….an example of not enough time.

There’s never enough time when you’re finally reunited with the one you love. Time simultaneously speeds up and freezes. And now, sitting here reminiscing, I can replay each moment as if it has just happened. My fluttering heart when he greeted me by surprise at the resort checkin counter. Hurrying through the rain at Disney Springs (I really hate that they changed the name from Downtown Disney) just so I could get the Holiday Sandwich at Earl of Sandwich and a chocolate milkshake at Ghirardelli. And wondering around Disney Quest, the first time I’d been back inside since my last shift as a Cast Member there in May 2011. I beat Scott and two other guys at the Mighty Ducks Pinball Slam game, it was awesome! And then returning to the resort that first night and falling asleep while watching a movie and listening to his heartbeat.

This vacation was filled with the little, everyday moments I spend most days longing for. Rides in the car, meals together, holding hands while waking around somewhere, sideways glances and bright smiles, opportunities to make each other laugh and capturing our favorite moments with photos.

We had many adventures in our short visit – Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in our matching Haunted Mansion Hat Box Ghost glow-in-the-dark shirts his mom got us, Food and Wine at Epcot, riding around on the monorail waiting for the fireworks to start, and riding his attraction three times just so I could find him at work! (Don’t ask where that is, I’ll never tell!)

But this time, we also found our adventures taking us outside the happiest place on Earth to downtown Orlando for a dentist appointment one day and a wedding on another, Halloween night to be exact. Scott was a groomsman in the wedding and I was his guest! Our first wedding as a couple! We even got to see the Orlando Eye all lit up on our drive back to the resort after the reception.

And then, when we were lost in the wonder of being together and not paying attention to the time passing, it was time for me to return home. This time was going to be particularly difficult for me as I know I won’t be returning to Walt Disney World for a few years (time to do the grown-up, money saving, budget planning, returning to school for my master’s degree to improve my future type of thing), which meant not knowing when we’d see each other next. But, because Scott is the most perfect guy for me, he had several surprises waiting for me to make getting on the pain less sad.

And to top it off, we are now planning his FIRST trip to my home state for him to FINALLY meet my family! Needless to say, I’m just a little, okay A LOT EXCITED! IS IT JANUARY YET?! Yes, long distance relationships are hard, stressful and sometimes lonely (especially as we prepare to go into yet another holiday season), but like so many things in this world, that is all forgotten the instant you are reunited with the one you love and discover like always how easily you pick up right where you left off from last time as if no time has even passed at all.

And just for fun, a couple of my favorite pictures from this trip! There’s so many though, so I don’t know how I’ll choose! Enjoy and stay strong my long distance friends! We’re one day closer to being with the other halves of our hearts!

Transformation Tuesday – work attire style

19 May

I don’t always notice how much time is passing until it’s gone. The days all seem to blur together and before I know it four years has gone by seemingly in the blink of an eye. 

I had such a feeling this morning when I checked my Timehop before work as is my usual routine. Today’s gems from years past included pictures from a Disney vacation from two years ago where my Disney sister, Monique, and I were participating in the runDisney Expedition Everest 5K Challenge. 

Also from two years ago was this quote from C.S. Lewis that I tweeted, “You are never too old set another goal or to dream a new dream.” 

And then I kept scrolling and came across a photo that I wanted to share on my Facebook as a then and now comparission.  

 

Four very long years ago I began day one training as the newest maid at Walt Disney World’s Haunted Mansion in Magic Kingdom. Sadly, today’s work attire isn’t as fun. But can I just point out how crazy it was that I chose to wear stripes?! It’s the little things in life that amuse me, what can I say?! 

What’s fun about the Haunted Mansion costume is the Bat Hat the girls get to wear! There’s a tradition at the mansion for each of the maids to have a specific name for their bat, and I would like you all to meet Mr. Chuckles. I miss that silly bat hat more than you’ll ever know – I really thought bubbly me was relocated to the wrong place when I moved from Disney Quest attractions to the Haunted Mansion, but when I put on the costume and secured that hat to my head I embodied this new persona and became the maid. 

Some days I really long to return to Disney, others it feels like a dream and others still I find myself greatful for the people I met and the memories I made while it was my job to be a magic-maker for thousands of people everyday. And I can’t be too sad because “Once a maid, always a maid.” 

Disney will forever be in my heart, even if I’m not wearing a bat on my head to work! 

Wordless Wednesday- 3/18/15

18 Mar

Long-distance dating at its finest! Thank goodness for FaceTime!! ❤



RIP Complete Stranger

19 Jan

Peggy SueIt doesn’t take much to make a huge impact on another person’s life – it could be as easy as holding up a sign during a runDisney race. Today, the runDisney family is morning the loss of one of our iconic spectators and bubbly cheerleaders, Peggy Sue.

The first time I saw her and her sign I was an emotional mess. I was exhausted. I was sore. I was ready to just give up. That’s when I saw her. “Hello complete stranger I’m proud of you too!” her sign read. She was proud of me? I had no doubt about it.

As my races have mostly been in Florida, no family members were there to cheer me on – but Peggy Sue was. I always knew just about where I’d find her on the course – providing encouragement and some much needed pixie dust to this still newbie runner.

For the longest time I didn’t know her name, her story or why she chose to come to just about every runDisney race, but I did know that she would be there, sign in hand cheering me on! And when I got home and friends and family asked how the race went – I always started with Peggy Sue and her sign. It was special. And it felt like it was just for me somehow – but that’s how she made us all feel!

It is truly amazing and inspiring what one person, with one sign can do for for millions of runners! She has touched the lives of many across the nation and possibly around the world. She will be greatly missed, what an amazing legacy she has come to be.

I didn’t get the chance to know you personally in this life, but I will one day find you in heaven to thank you for being proud of me for pushing my limits and testing my strength and for pushing on when I was ready to give up.

This is pure speculation of course, but if God and Jesus have signs in heaven, I’m sure they read “Welcome Home Peggy Sue! We’re proud of you!” You will be greatly missed out there on the course, but your love, spirit and contagious smile will be with each of us who had the pleasure to run with you cheering us on.

RIP Complete Stranger. Your race is over and you’ve won our hearts!