Tag Archives: memories

The Great American Eclipse

21 Aug

Every since I was a little girl I have been fascinated by all things space – the moon, stars, sun, I wanted to know about everything! I can remember many summer nights spent with my Papa in the field learning about the constellations and how to use a telescope. In elementary school, I even had this crazy idea that one day I’d become an astronaut (it was even my Halloween costume – my mom is crazy creative and talented!)

Sadly, math and science just weren’t my strong areas, and I let go of orbiting the Earth one day. However, my love for outer space has never waned, I have just found new ways to enjoy it – mostly through books and YouTube videos. 

As the country prepared for The Great American Eclipse of 2017, I too was excited. However, knowing I would be at work, and likely unable to be outside for the duration of the spectical, I decided not to waste money on glasses I wouldn’t get to use. But something amazing happened – I worked an event on Friday evening which meant I’ve have to use 4 hours of comp time this week. And what better day than TODAY to use that free time!

After a little investigative work online, I discovered our local library had Solar Eclipse glasses. After standing in a long line for almost an hour, I was lucky enough to get a pair for myself and to surprise Scott at work with his own pair. He’d been using a welders helmet one of his coworkers brought in. 

I Had the PERFECT viewing spot of the eclipse from our balcony. It was nice being under a bit of shade to protect my sensitive skin from burning. I also managed to capture one good shot of the eclipse by taping my glasses over my iPhone’s camera. 


What an amazing experience this was to see! I may not have been in the path of totality, but I did notice the birds stop singing and the temperature drop slightly. Our sun is so amazing! Experiences like this make me really appreciate the beauty and wonder all around us! 

Who’s ready for the next one on April 8, 2024?! I am – because when it’s time for that one, I WILL BE IN THE PATH OF TOTALITY! How cool is that?!

Happy Happenings – February 2017

28 Feb

I just can’t believe how quickly February flew by! Perhaps it was because I spent all of my spare time doing homework for my PR history and the modern world class. Or maybe, just maybe, because it didn’t feel like February. Whatever the reason for its seemingly speedy departure, looking back, it was a month filled with many joyous moments!

  1. 10 out of 10 on last week’s homework! My professor complimented my great use of storytelling for the second week in a row!
  2. Random coworkers will now pop their heads into my office to see what the “smell of the day is” for my diffuser. This morning was On Guard and Eucalyptus and in the afternoon they asked for Motivate!
  3. Hummus veggie pizza for dinner!
  4. For some strange reason my work account, and those of a number of other people on campus, was deactivated. Since I was unable to access internet, my shared drives or my email, I got paid to catch up on my class readings this morning.
  5. When lunchtime rolled around, the problem still wasn’t fixed so I was able to take a 1/2 vacation day to come home! It was so much fun to surprise Scott before he headed off to work this evening.
  6. Had a box of Samoa Girl Scout cookies stashed away, busted them out tonight as I wrote my forum post about FDR and the importance of photography in PR history. (***Just for fun, out of 35,000 photos of FDR, how many depict him in his wheelchair?! The answer might surprise you – I know I was surprised when I was doing my reading for class!)
  7. Helped my coworkers get our 50th anniversary display case all set up!
  8. Watching Twilight while making dinner. Tried a new recipe – cauliflower alfredo pasta.
  9. Watching live TV on the Disney Channel app! Currently enjoying Despicable Me!
  10. Pancakes and raspberry hot chocolate for breakfast.
  11. Thanks Abbey for sending photos of Bailey’s (Jacob) 1st birthday party! Wish we could have been there to celebrate with everyone, looks like it was a fun afternoon!
  12. Tried another new recipe – One Pot Mexican Quinoa and it was delicious! Tasted just like tacos WITHOUT the meat!
  13. Chatting with Kira! Thanks for being one of my very bestest friends in the whole wide world!
  14. Great time chatting with my mom. I’ve missed our mother-daughter bonding time.
  15. Visiting with my grandparents for a little while this afternoon. They are the cutest!
  16. All emotional watching former President Bush and First Lady participate in the Super Bowl coin toss. Such a special moment for them!
  17. One of my coworkers surprised our office with cream sticks from DeLuxe Pastry Shop!
  18. Helped teach our Dean how to tweet! She’s so excited to join the online conversation!
  19. The feeling of just washed, just braided hair! I have a cute hairstyle planned for tomorrow, fingers crossed it turns out the way I picture it in my head!
  20. Stepped outside of my comfort zone and layered my LuLaRoe pieces to create a new outfit! Love how it came together! 16473690_10154479016006693_3310079714335901254_n
  21. Loved the way my time lapse video for the College turned out! I shared it to my page earlier, take a look!
  22. Great night at The Well! Lesson from Luke 8, learned all about the condition of our soul soil – is your soil compacted, filled with rocks, taken over by thorns, or good top soil?
  23. Made it home safely in the rain and fog.
  24. Pinterest planning how to grow a bountiful vegetable garden on our 2 floor balcony.
  25. Walks, talks, and lots of laughter with my work friends.
  26. Had an awesome meeting with the creative minds of KSU this afternoon. They taught us some cool new ways to use our new branding elements. I’m so excited to try out what I learned! My designs are about to go to a whole new level! Can’t wait for next month’s meeting!!
  27. Crossing items off my project to-do list at work.
  28. My windshield wipers weren’t frozen to my car at the end of the day and it only took a few moments to defrost the ice.
  29. Homemade crispy sweet potato fries for dinner tonight, with some extras for lunch tomorrow! 16602671_10154485264911693_3885807182169895729_n
  30. Scott and I are slowly getting caught up on all of the Designated Survivor episodes!
  31. Surprising Angie with her first oil purchase!
  32. Buying my textbook for my next class from Amazon for $0.25! Plus the $3 something in shipping, but that’s still such a steal!
  33. Loving my Lasko space heater on this chilly evening. It’s keeping my living room cozy without having to turn the overall heat on!
  34. Taxes are done! Hallelujah!!
  35. Great time at the movies with Macayla and Natalie! 16602569_1363341823687554_7983116607515526958_n
  36. Brand new pillow and microfiber sheet set! Here’s to having some wonderful sweet dreams! G’night!
  37. Quote from today’s sermon: “Faith without action is like horsepower without traction. Makes a lot of noise and your wheels spin fast, but you aren’t going to go anywhere.”
  38. Had a fun conversation, spurred by a debate between Macayla and Mason at lunch today about the correct way to “make a phone with your hand.” Which then led into signing the alphabet and other basic signs.
  39. Thanks mom for sending me home with a clean dress (after the adorable little baby at church got sick on me!) and a can of Chicken Noodle Soup for Scott!
  40. Being the first one in the parking lot means I got my pick of the spots today!
  41. Finished my first draft of a new blog post for the college featuring one of our alumna.
  42. Sent out an exclusive first look of the features to our 50th anniversary website and before I left work, we had someone submit their story to the site!! I can’t wait to open it up to everyone!!
  43. Angie and I brought a friend to the #MindfulMile walk today and got two punches in our reward card instead of just one! We were also somehow front and center in the group photo!
  44. Rocked my Valentine’s Day LuLaRoe at work today! Everyone loved my leggings!
  45. Had a great planning meeting for our 5K! Mark your calendars, it’s Saturday, May 6!
  46. Date night with Scott at Mike’s Place. It was so nice bumping into Hannah and Shirley and Bill!
  47. 10+ hours of sleep and a nice hot cup of Winter Spice tea – here’s to feeling less icky tomorrow!
  48. Phone conversation with mom!
  49. Surprise text from Abbey! Love our silly conversations!
  50. Listened to a great webinar at work today about coping with stress. So glad my employer provides these learning opportunities for us. This one came at the perfect time.
  51. Published a new blog featuring one of our prominent alumna for Black History Month.
  52. Grade back for my last journal entry of this class – 10/10!!
  53. Mid-morning Auntie Anne’s pretzel run!
  54. Thanks mom for sending me this yummy zucchini chip recipe. Didn’t have Parmesan, so I used shredded mozzarella instead! 16807509_10154515003356693_8203490452848789049_n
  55. Late to the party, but started watching “This is Us” and I LOVE IT!!!
  56. Waking up to Scott’s alarm and being able to go back to sleep!
  57. 65° F in February means open windows for some much needed sunshine and air circulation.
  58. Had a blast at the women’s basketball game with my coworkers! Even got a selfie with President Warren!
  59. Love driving and feeling the warm sun streaming in through the windshield!
  60. Played Phase Ten with Scott before he had to head off to work tonight.
  61. You may think I’m crazy and that’s okay…but “planted” two avocado seeds today! Fingers crossed we’ll see roots within the next 3-6 weeks! According to all of the YouTube videos I’ve watched, people have had the most success with this method! Fingers crossed!! 16641099_10154520382746693_3041490619680927773_n
  62. When I got home from work, I discovered one of our Tulips was starting to open! 16830753_10154523155751693_954702074053095616_n
  63. In a race to get to the grocery store before it closed, every light we came up to turned green. It was one of those moments like in an action movie where the techie guy changes all the lights at the exact moment the hero approaches the intersection.
  64. Bought some Parsley tonight, and since I know we won’t use the entire bundle, decided to see if I could get a few to root! If they do, we won’t have to buy it again! 16864194_10154523155861693_9110339167456637944_n
  65. Seeing the joy on college students’ faces when I passed out free t-shirts!
  66. Used my lunch hour productively to get caught up on some homework reading.
  67. Hammered out 1/3 of my final paper tonight! Only 2,500 words to go!!
  68. Human Resources surprised our College this morning by dropping off some snacks as part of a random acts of kindness/unity campaign.
  69. Another alumna submitted a story in celebration of our 50th anniversary – and she was a member of the very first graduating class! So excited to roll out this campaign publicly!
  70. “Graffitied” the front office windows in preparation for “Month of Gratitude” which begins March 1! We are hoping more of the faculty and staff will participate as well!
  71. Laughing and joking with our Dean during a team meeting today. She apologized for being late and I responded with “The Dean is never late, everyone else is simply early” and she loved it! Thank you Princess Diaries for the awesome quote at the perfect moment!
  72. So glad I fell in love with a man who enjoys cooking. Scott was slaving away in the kitchen making “meatloaf” when I arrived home from work. This was our first time trying this recipe and we enjoyed it – very filling. 16730675_10154535372351693_3022324288754319106_n
  73. Found a way to reference LuLaRoe in my homework post this week! Consultant friends, I hope you’re proud!
  74. This morning Angie and I attended a Gratitude Journaling seminar. It was neat for me because everything the presenter told us to do, I’ve been doing for nearly two whole months now! She shared a great quote by Melanie Beatty that said “gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion to clarity. I can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
  75. Received the BEST surprise interruption during our budget meeting today – Megan came to visit me at work and brought me a chocolate milkshake as well! It was fun introducing her to my coworkers! 16806721_10154538973061693_988365819408642982_n
  76. In honor of today’s beautiful 75° day, and because it felt like summertime, I made Sunshine Rice. So many memories from my childhood center on that dish. It’s a beautiful presentation and a symphony of flavor!16998187_10154538973931693_1783533658159110836_n
  77. Always love when Manda and Michael pop over just to chat! Loved hearing all about how they celebrated their anniversary last night and chatting nonsense with Paul – Ryan was down for the count taking a nap.
  78. Saturday’s mean PJ day!
  79. Found the missing link for my research paper. I will be so glad to turn it in this week!
  80. On my way home tonight I got stopped at the railroad tracks. Normally this would be irritating, but since I was in no hurry, I put the car in park and turned up the radio. I was blessed with a message from my Heavenly Father in the form of the song “Mended” by Matthew West. Had I not caught the train, I would have missed this beautiful reminded that while I am focusing on the pain of life, He already knows all the ways in which He will help me use that to future His Kingdom.
  81. I never laugh as much as when I am with my family. Sunday lunch and afternoons are my favorite times during the week.
  82. Great sermon delivered in church today about having more patience. This hit pretty close to home as I know this is an area in which I have traditionally had difficulties, but as I was sitting there listening, I began noticing all the little ways the Lord has been working on my heart this past year to help me become more patient with myself, others and situations.
  83. Received an angry email at work from someone who claimed he had asked to be taken off the email list years ago. I emailed him back apologizing that he had not been removed and let him know I would personally remove him from the list. He emailed me back this afternoon to let me know that he was glad I had reached out to him. Apology accepted and bridge mended!
  84. First time at a new doctor’s office today and it was a fantastic experience – in and out in less than an hour. No waiting. No delays. She took the time to answer all of my questions and concerns and never made me feel like she had somewhere else she needed to be.
  85. Thank goodness our internet behaved tonight. 90% done with my paper. Just a few more sources to refind and plop in! I am so tried of reading and re-reading the history of tampons!
  86. The IT guy surprised our department with these adorable mini donuts! Happy Fat Tuesday! 16996488_10154550213346693_300246490286572445_n
  87. Thank you dad for editing my 19 page research paper! You’re the best!!! And it’s been submitted an entire day early!
  88. In order to allow me to finish the last little bit of my paper, Scott made dinner! Then we started watching Inferno, but as we are both falling asleep, we’ll have to finish it tomorrow.

Wondering what this list is all about? Check out my introduction to my daily Happy Happenings!

There’s always something to be thankful for

25 Nov

Today much of the country participated in Thanksgiving, a day dedicated to sharing and acknowledging the many ways we have been blessed. Many families woke up this morning and started their festivities with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, followed by a dinner of turkey and all the fixings. The number of people sharing in the festivities isn’t important, but rather it is who is there that is important. 

Thanksgiving has been my favorite holiday for as long as I can remember, probably because I am blessed to be part of a family that is extremely close, not just in distance from each other, but in our relationships. It is not uncommon for my family to get-together as a large group multiple times a year. We just love being together – there’s laughter, joy, stories and fun. WIth open arms we accept and adopt friends, neighbors and anyone who needs to be loved, which if you think a about it – that’s everyone. And that extends to our Thanksgiving table as well. Over the years there have been any number of new faces who have joined our celebration and we embraced them as only my family can!

This year, I will admit I struggled with Thanksgiving. It’s the first major holiday we’ve celebrated since Scott and I moved into our apartment (for the purpose of this blog, Forth of July and Halloween aren’t major holidays). Last night, there was no smell of pumpkin pies, pumpkin logs or mincemeat pie baking in the oven. I woke up this morning and there was no parade to be watched (we only have Netflix) and there was no arguing with my sisters over who would get to use the bathroom first to get ready. It felt like any other day of the week to me. Scott and I got ready and drove out to meet my family. I hoped that once we were all together, I would find whatever was missing this year. 

Once at the church (there are just too many at our Thanksgiving dinner to fit in a house, we counted 42 this year!), even the setup was different. For my entire life, we have all sat at one table and passed the dished around. This year, it was buffet style. Honestly, my first reaction was that the tradition was ruined. But in the end, it ended up allowing everyone to sample a little bit of everything (in years’ past, there were dishes that never quite made it all the way to the other end of the table) and everyone was eating much sooner. 

    

One tradition that remained is the olive finger photo – my sisters, cousin and now her son, and my aunt, always put black olives on our fingers and take silly photos during dinner. This has happened ever since I was a small child.


The other tradition that remained firmly in place was that of going around the table and one-by-one sharing the things we are most thankful for. Listening to everyone always fills my heart with joy as I hear their touching words – some spoke about challenges with health, car accidents, the loss of loved ones, but what they all ended with was the strength of this family that has continued to pull them through. 

While I started the day feeling as if today were nothing special, I end the night reminded of what is most important – faith, family, friends and memories. It was not easy letting go of tradition, but today is truly about creating a new tradition and memory every year. 

This was the first Thanksgiving Scott has gotten to spend with me and my family. He has been such a blessing to me as we made the transition to living together away from our families, and continues to be my rock as I have gone back to school to get my master’s degree. He has embraced my family and they him. I could not be surrounded by a better group of people – just check out the photos!

This Thanksgiving was also special because we got to spend part of it with my cousin, Erin, who will be enlisting in the Air Force in just a few days! We are so very proud of her and will miss having her around, but know she will be where she needs to be, following in the footsteps of others in our family who were absent from the table this year, but who are always with us in heart and mind.  

Long, long ago….finish the story

10 Apr

I love how TimeHop provides daily blasts from the past from my various social media accounts for my enjoyment and amusement. Sometimes, like today it finds gems I had completely forgotten about.

Back in 2011 when I was still on the Disney College program I posted a status starting a story and asked my Facebook friends to continue the tale. My best guess is that I was working an evening shift at Disney Quest and wanted something entertaining to read during my breaks. My friends did not disappoint – their creativity knew no limits as they sent a beautiful princess on a dangerous quest.

Each line is by a different author. And now, for the first time in five years I am excited to present our Facebook Fairy Tale…

Long, long ago in a far off kingdom there lived a beautiful princess preparing for a dangerous quest…

…The very first thing before she set off on her quest was to be very sure that there were no toads lurking nearby…

…Even though it was a dangerous quest, she knew that she would be okay because she knew who she was and she had her family’s support and love.

…So she picked up and put one foot in front of the other and headed out the door…

…Along her quest, she met a talking squirrel named Charlie. After spending a few moments talking, Charlie and the princess discovered that they were both heading in the same direction and decided to continue on their path together. They walked for hours and talked about…

…everything  under the sun, from how to survive without your momma and papa, to what exciting adventures awaited them ahead in the magical land that they were traveling to. Now, what the princess did not know was that Charlie was a magical squirrel and he was able to…

…cast a love spell to make even your enemies love you!!…

…Also, he makes the best ice cream sundaes on the planet, but you have to…

…provide your own chocolate syrup! Anyway, the princess knew what dangers lay ahead even just outside of her castle…

…The wicked witch lived, who never wanted her to find love, so she…

…had a plan to get the princess far, far away from everyone she loved including her family and friends. However, the princess was unaware of this evil plan, because she thought she was going on an awesome adventure until…

…the wicked witch, along with her sidekick Prince Humperdink, unleashed their army of toads…

…The only weapon the princess had was her kiss, but there were sooo many toads so she closed her eyes and…

…began to whistle. The whistling brought a variety of birds to the area. And you know that birds naturally prey upon toads, so…

…all of the toads disappeared. And the birds began to chase the princess around the castle so Humperdink then…

…fell into the river of doom where…

…the evil spell that had been cast on him was broke because he was really a…

**note to you all – Humperdink is a bad guy, he is the head toad!

…Master manipulator, and although he tried to trick the princess into liking him, her common sense told her there was someone better for her so she and Charlie ran to the nearest river to get…

…refreshed. The princess and Charlie were exhausted, too much stress, ya know. Once they took a moment to themselves, they decided to continue on their adventure. After walking several hours, they finally ended up…

…back at Charlie’s  house where the beautiful princess kissed him and he turned back into the handsome prince!…

…NO SIR!!! She baked him an apple pie and they spent time together and she found out what his middle name was and what his favorite color was and that he is truly princely BEFORE SHE EVER KISSED HIM!!!…

…Which she already had because at night after their questing they had hung out eating nachos and talking for hours on end, so when they did kiss…

…they wore just engaged buttons…

…and then they went out again on their path that lead to the place where the quest all started and before you knew it all the toads were on the path and looking at the beautiful princess wishing they had become the prince who won the prize of the princess.

The End.

Becoming a Butterfly

31 Mar

Spring is a time of change. The snow melts. The days start to get longer. The trees bloom and the flowers awaken. And in no time at all, there will be butterflies.

I’ve always been fascinated with butterflies, not because of their colors or their grace, but because of the amount of change they endure in such a short lifetime. Within the span of a-couple-months, a Monarch butterfly will hatch from an egg, spend its days consuming leaves as a larvae (caterpillar), attach itself to the stem of a plant or branch as the pupa (while it undergoes 10 days of change in the chrysalis), until it finally emerges as an adult butterfly with mere weeks left to lay an egg to ensure the survival of the species before passing away.

Change does not come easy to me – it never has, and it doesn’t matter how big or small a change may be, it causes me to over think, over analyze and over worry. I would be a terrible butterfly. I’ve hatched from an egg all alone in the world. Is this plant I’m on safe to eat? What if my chrysalis detaches during a storm? Will I be strong enough to break out of this thing when it’s time? How will my wings know how to fly without being taught? What if I fall? Now I have to produce the next generation – that’s a lot of pressure!

It’s a really good thing I’m not a butterfly – I may have never made it out of the egg!

Just like the butterfly, I find myself in a season of change. I am taking steps to return to school to further my education, a goal I set for myself when I watched my mom graduate with her Master’s degree, the first in her family and the best role model I could have ever asked for.

Scott and I are also apartment hunting. Together we’ve looked at two apartment layouts at one complex, he looked at a different complex today before work, and I’ll look it over on Saturday. I’m ready to have our own place, but I find myself on a rollercoaster of emotions from excitement  to totally terrified.

More often than not these days, I wake with knots in my stomach and a pounding headache after nights of stressful dreams. I know I’m worried about finances and finding an apartment that is clean and in a safe neighborhood. But I’m also worried about me. Living in Florida for a year while on the Disney College Program was one thing, I knew when it ended I would be returning home, to my room, to my safe haven. Now, that’s not an option.

I don’t know who I am outside of these blue bedroom walls – they have been my sanctuary since I was 10 years old (but I should mention that when we built this house I was all about the pink frilly life, so the walls were baby doll pink). This room has seen me change from pre-teen to an adult woman. I have slammed the door after arguments with my parents, shared my deepest, darkest secrets with friends, and cried my heart out in here when a boy carelessly broke my heart. This room has seen many late nights finishing homework or finishing a book that I just couldn’t put down. I do my best thinking and writing from this spot on my bed, staring out the window at the post office and the great void beyond.

My room has changed with me, always adapting to my needs. From pink to blue, from Barbie dolls to mountains of mystery and romance books, and my embarrassing love of Billy Gilman to my new love of running races.

But as I look around, I notice how the room doesn’t feel as big as it once did. Maybe that’s because I share it now. Most of Scott’s belongings aren’t even in here, they are sitting in our front room downstairs waiting for a place to call home. Or maybe it’s because, like the butterfly who knows when 10 days have past and it’s time to emerge, I know the time has come to move on.

I doubt the butterfly ever thinks about what happens to the chrysalis it left behind. I, on the other hand, think about a time when this room will no longer be “my room.” One of my sisters will move in here. They have always shared a room and have been chomping at the bit for me to pick up and leave already. I can’t blame them, it is nice having a space all your own in the house. Whomever moves in will change the walls, redecorate and add her own personal touch to the space. I will be erased. Just a memory of yesterday. My safe haven claimed by someone new.

It may be silly to feel so attached to a room, but we are each unique and have our own quirks. Maybe you are attached to a specific coffee mug, car or jacket. Called it an adult version of a security blanket, it’s that one thing you can count on being there to pick you up and warm your heart. And soon, I will be walking away from mine. I think I will feel lost for a while, unsure of my footing in my new room. But I hope with time I will feel comfortable there.

Change is never easy, but in order to progress through life it is a necessary evil. And so it is at these late hours of the night I find myself praying that my wings will know how to fly because whether I want to or not, I’m changing into a butterfly.

Do you live for change or does every cell in your body fight for things to remain as they always have like me? Tell me your best tips and advice for surviving a season of change! I don’t know how many more rough nights and anxiety starting mornings I can take.

“Love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life…”

19 Feb

When I was growing up, I had big dreams about the kind of career I wanted – I was going to be an astronaut doctor who ran down the halls fixing computers.

My creativity knew no limits even as a child. Don’t ask me how this particular occupation was born because I honestly don’t know. I have a feeling I took all the things that interested me at the time and mixed them together and came up with something awesome!  

Sadly, I did not grow up to do any of those things – I don’t love science or math enough to have survived all the education required to become an astronaut, the human body makes me squirm so doctoring was out (fun fact though, I did work at a hospital for three years in a communications role!) and finally, I’ll leave all the computer fixing to my dad, my favorite go-to IT guy!

So where did my career path lead me in life – I have a degree in advertising and have spent 4 years in various public relations and media specialist roles. My typical job responsibilities have included writing press releases, graphic design for ads/billboards/marketing materials, helping with event planning and serving as the contact person where the media is concerned. No two days are ever the same which is nice, but I am beginning to feel burned out. For four years I have worked in one kind of medical setting or another and it’s just not something that interests me or that I am passionate about. I don’t wake up excited to go to work and it’s recently got me thinking about what I really want to do – what my dream job today would be….

There’s a popular quote that goes by ancient Chinese sage Confucius that goes “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Sounds simple enough.

I love to read and write. I enjoy editing and thinking about word placement and arrangements. My idea of a good time is getting lost in a book, really lost to the point I don’t know what’s happening in the world around me.

According to Wikipedia, there’s such a thing as a beta reader, “a non-professional reader who reads a written work, generally fiction, with the intent of looking over the material to find and improve elements such as grammar and spelling, as well as suggestions to improve the story, its characters, or its setting. Beta reading is typically done before the story is released for public consumption.” After some research though, it turns out most beta readers don’t get paid, they just read for the love of reading. I’d be okay with that, I’m always on the hunt for new books to sink my teeth into.

So back to my dream job, maybe its an editor. I love reading as I’ve already pointed out, and I enjoy writing, hence my blog, and I’ve been editing my sisters’ papers since they were  high school freshmen. It would be pretty cool to be paid to rearrange sentences and replace words with stronger ones. Not to mention, it would be nice holding the always feared red pen for once – so much power in that little tool. But there would also be that satisfaction that I helped improve someone’s writing, and that has always brought me joy. I love being able to help people better express their thoughts and ideas in writing. Over the years many people have told me I have a way with words, may it’s time to embrace this unique talent! The only problem I can foresee is there aren’t many editors in my little neck of the woods in mid-west USA, and I’m not sure I want to move far, far away from my family to be an editor. I’ll have to look into this some more, wouldn’t it be great if there was an online company or a little publication I don’t know about close-by?! That would be amazing – where can I apply, I have my resume ready to go!

On the flip side, there’s another career path I wouldn’t mind having, that of a Cosmetologist. WIthin the last few years, I have become so interested in learning new hairstyles and mostly trying them out on myself! It’s amazing how many ways there are to braid, pin, curl, twist and part hair! The creativity is literally endless and I love that! I began posting my creations on Facebook and my friends and family were amazed with what I could do after watching a tutorial. My little sisters have even let me style their hair on occasion – which I absolutely love doing!

As you can see, I love trying different things with my hair, from heatless curls to braids and updos! (Wish I had more of a variety to show you, but these were the best ones I could find on my phone!) How much fun would it be to do other’s hair all the time?! Of course I know I’d need to learn to cut, style, color and shave, but hey, that sounds exciting! Learning to do manicures and pedicures sounds fun, too! Every time I go to have my hair refreshed, those ladies just seem to be having so much fun catching up on news from the community and building relationships with their regulars. What’s not to love?!

What career path do you wish you’d taken?! Or are you already living your dream job?

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?!