Tag Archives: Remember

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!

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.

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?!

Nap time tactics

30 Dec

My mom is an evil genius when it comes to putting little kids down for a nap…I should know, of course, I was the first genernation she got to torture.

You see, here’s the thing, it’s actually a really smart, and super simple idea, and very little set-up and planning are required to make this scheme effective. One simply needs a Yanni CD and a repeat button on the CD player and it works every time!!!

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When my sisters and I were younger, we didn’t like to take naps. To “compromise,” my mom would tell us we didn’t have to go to sleep, we just had to lay there and listen to the pretty music, and when it stopped, we could get up. But here in lies the evil genius part of her plan…WE DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THE REPEAT BUTTON!

I swear, that was the world’s longest CD ever to a little kid. My mom tells me that we usually were out within 2 – 3 songs, but that may have well been 2 – 3 hours of listening! Once she knew we were out, she’d let the CD play through 1 – 2 times and then turned it off so there would be no music playing when we woke up. Did I mention my mom was an evil genius?! 😉

Today, we are watching my cousin’s little boys for a few hours, and once lunch was over it was the most hated moment of the day for kiddos – nap time! The youngest didn’t have much fight left in him once he was all snuggled up in his blankie.

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His brother on the other hand, was having none of it, he only cared about watching Paw Patrol. So when my mom took him for a strategically timed potty break, I turned off the TV and busted out Yanni. Does this make me an accomplice to the evil nap time plot?!

He was given the same instructions I once received, lay on the pillow and listen to the pretty music. The little man cried and tried as best he could to fight the sweet, sleepy sounds of Yanni, but he, too was lost in dreamland before the end of song number two.

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The CD is still playing in the background as I type. It really is soothing, calming music. My mom and I were laughing about how at bedtime my sisters and I would sometimes ask her to play the Yanni CD. To this day I still fall asleep listening to soft music, my favorites being Jim Brickman and Celtic music. I guess some habits from childhood never fade. And someday when I have children of my own, mom has already told me she’s giving me a Yanni CD of my very own so I can torture the next generation of nap-haters! I must say I am looking forward to pulling the same trick on them that my mom pulled on me!

The little signs of Christmas 

25 Dec

This was the first Christmas Eve I’ve had off in three years, and I loved it! I spent the morning baking cookies and watching classic movies with my mom. Usually by the time I get home from work, the cookies have all been made. 

    

    
 
Next one the list was Christmas Eve service. My family goes to two different services, one where we worship every Sunday and then one at my great grandparents church that we have attended for as long as I can remember.  

I love seeing the advent candles and then when it’s time for the congregation to light our candles and sing Silent Night. I get chills every time, it’s such a beautiful sight! 

    
    
 
 

From Christmas Eve service number two, it’s home to get ready to go to my grandparents house for dinner. But before we can go, an annual photo with the Christmas tree must be taken!   

  
And then it’s off to grandmother’s house we go where we meet up with aunts and uncles and cousins.  

    
    
 
And this year an extra special guest made a surprise visit!! Did you know I was Santa’s granddaughter?! 😉

    
 
Then all too soon it was times for goodbyes, hugs and kisses. Back at home, all the gifts that had been hiding in various nooks, crannies and corners found their way to the Christmas tree. Meanwhile the stocks that were seated on the couch were stuffed with all sorts of goodies!  

    
   

And once everyone goes to bed besides my mom and I, it’s time to recreate one of my all-time favorite childhood Christmas morning memories…Santa’s magic snow footprints. Since we’ve never lived in a house with a chimney, Santa has always left a one way trail of footprints on the carpet coming from the direction of the front door! I love that this is a tradition I now get to make and one I’m excited to pass on to my future children! 

  

And now it is 1:15 a.m. Christmas morning and I’m keeping my mom company as she bakes nut, poppyseed and raspberry rolls for Christmas morning brunch.  

 
And now with kitchen clean and eyes that I can hardly keep open any longer, I wish you a good night. May your dreams be filled with nutcrackers, sugar plum fairies, and the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of a little baby named Jesus, who was born to save the world. 

Five years later

19 Sep

I can’t believe it was five years ago today I went on my first date with this handsome, funny, sweet, charming, Disney loving man. I was only one month into my adventure on The Disney College Program, and he was there on the program as well – only difference being he’d been in Florida since May. 

We spent the day exploring Epcot. It was only my third time in Epcot as a cast member and my second time backstage. All day long he made me laugh, pointed out hidden Mickey’s and shared his vast Disney knowledge. 

I didn’t know it at the time, but I was falling head over heals for him. There was just something about him that made me instantly happier, comfortable and more at ease. It was a very natural feeling to go strolling around World Showcase hand-in-hand….I wondered how that could be when I’d only met him a week earlier! But like a moth to a flame, I was drawn in and never hesitated.

My favorite moment from that day, and I have often thought back to it, has nothing to do with rides, attractions or shows. We were merely standing in line at one of the outdoor food vendors in the England pavilion so Scott could order fish and chips. He pulled me in to give me a hug and whispered something funny in my ear (I don’t recall what it was now). As I was laughing, I saw this elderly hispanic couple walk past us heading towards the Canada pavilion. I saw her squeeze the man’s hand, tilt her head in our direction, and looking straight at me, she said “amor.” I didn’t retain many vocabulary words from my four years of high school Spanish, but that one I knew – love. 

“Could she be right?” “There’s no possible way, I just met this guy!” “She’s crazy – the Florida sun must be getting to her or something.” “Can I love someone without really knowing them?”

This whole exchange, which Scott missed because his back was to them, took place in a matter of seconds, and yet, it has stayed with me. Did they see something in us I couldn’t see? Or maybe she saw herself at my age and was reflecting on being young and in love. 

Whatever it was, what I wouldn’t give to find that woman today, just so I could give her a hug and tell her she was right! To this day, when he looks at me I radiate love. When he takes my hand, our fingers are like perfectly fitting puzzle pieces sliding home. And when he kisses me, oh the butterflies! (This song describes all of my feelings perfectly.) 

I am madly, deeply, truly in love with this man – and if the years have taught me anything, I will do whatever it takes to keep that love burning bright and strong. And I am so excited to see him in 38 days, being a long distance couple really stinks sometimes, but it’s all worth it once we are back together!! 😍😘❤️     

Timehop Musings

23 Aug

Ever innocently hop onto TimeHop and see a post such as this…

  

Six years ago on Friday…. I was apparently considering transferring to a new college in the west. Why is this worth musing about you ask, because had I gone the course of my entire life could have turned out completely different.

Imagine this….

Way back in 2009, at the ripe ole age of 20 (a month shy of 21), I packed everything up and moved across the country. Sure it sounds exciting, and who doesn’t love an adventure, but EVERYTHING would have changed from then on.  

I would have been living on campus, therefore I wouldn’t have been commuting everyday for class. I wouldn’t have been in the student center cramming for a test one morning during spring semester where I happened to see a flyer, half hidden behind another mind you, announcing a Disney College Program information meeting for later that night…

Had I not attended the meeting and applied for the program, I potentially could have missed out on an amazing opportunity of working for one of the best companies in the world. I wouldn’t have made lifelong friendships and fell in love. I wouldn’t have run my first 5K, thanks to the suggestion and urging of my amazing roommate, nor discovered running’s therapeutic qualities. It also would have meant not having my heart broke twice and mended once, nor meeting one of my very best friends in the whole world (we are so alike, we should have been sisters) who helped me through the mess and onto better days!

Transferring schools would have also meant my major could have been something other than advertising. If you didn’t know already, I was undecided for a while – taking intro classes in a few different majors until I found one that clicked. That click happened when I took an intro to advertising class with an inspiring professor and the only way to take more of her classes was to declare advertising as my field of study. Not attending the school in my home state would have meant no internship at the hospital, where I then filled in as a part time/casual employe for each of the full time girls’ maternity leaves and was then hired full time when they both returned. Chances are I wouldn’t have developed my graphic design skills for projects like billboards, brochures, social media or t-shirts.

But like every person who has held a coin or a book or a piece of paper knows, there are always two sides to everything. I’ve just shared with you all the stuff I would be missing, but what about the exciting things that could have happened….

Attending this school would have meant living on my own, would have forced me to make new friends and grow up much like the Disney College Program did.

I would have shared a dorm or apartment with a girl I grew up with and all the time together would have been amazing! She may have even got me into running as she was (and I believe still is, just like a good portion of her siblings) into running.

This school would have been closer to my family members in California, and I would have been able to visit with them for holidays and school breaks. And speaking of my California family, my aunt had told me of someone who also attended that school who she though would have been a great guy for me. Maybe, had he and I met, we may have hit it off and become inseparable.

Let’s chase that thought all the way to crazy town…

He was probably a couple years older than me, and when he graduated he would have proposed and I would have instantly said yes! 3 months later there would have been a beautiful wedding and 6 months later we would have been announcing the upcoming arrival of our first little bundle of joy.

School would have been put on the back burner for a while. I’m not even sure what I would be studying; political science, sociology, creative writing, homemaking…

Neither path was right or wrong, both would have offered unique opportunities. But looking back with hindsight, I’m very glad I didn’t transfer, there are things I may not like about my life today, but I wouldn’t trade the journey for anything as it’s turned me into the person I am today, who is so lucky to have the love and support of such wonderful people.

Anyone else out there ever find themselves wondering “what if I’d made this choice instead”…. or am I the only one?

Adventures with Dad

21 Jun

Anyone can be a Father, but it takes someone special to be a DAD!

For as long as I can remember, I have always looked up to my dad…. and no, that’s not just because he’s managed to remain just barely taller than I am. 

As I was thinking earlier about what I would write, I recalled a conversation at lunch about how my parents would never understand the struggle of being the oldest child, as they are both the youngest in their families. But that also got me thinking about how special the role of the oldest child is – we are the ones who break in our parents, and in this specific post, our dads, for the siblings who follow.

I consider myself very lucky as a daughter because my dad has been a key player in my life from the very beginning. I have never once doubted his love for me. Just look at these early photos – it’s clear as day!

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From an early age I showed him I was going to be trouble. When I was one year old, he was watching me while my mom was at school, and it must have been one heck of a time because she came home to find this sticker on me. It cracks me up that this sticker survived 20 something years and two moves; I found it a couple of years ago and scanned it for safe keeping…and if you’ve been lucky enough to know me through my teen years like my dad, you will understand how foreshadowing it was. Lucky for him and everyone else, I mostly grew out of that stage!

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Over the years we’ve had some great times – when I was in kindergarten he would pick me up and when we’d get home we’d laid down with a story book until I fell asleep…or so he thought that’s what I’d do. According to the story I’ve grown up hearing, I waited until DAD fell asleep, then I got up and went into another room and played. What can I say, I was a very stubborn and independent little kid!

And then when I got a little older, pretending to be a hairstylist was all the rage! And guess who my number one client was, good ol dad! Countless hours he spend sitting on the floor up against the couch while I combed and brushed and styled his hair. And, like every good hairstylist, he was subjected to my endless chatter or singing or storytelling – whichever I was in the mood for that day. He was a really good sport, I’m sure I pulled out more hair than he’d care to admit (maybe I’m the reason it’s a little thinner on top?? Hummm???).

Older still and there’s this great photo of my sister, Megan and I tackling him right after he got home from work. I’m not sure why we did, but it’s clear we missed him while he was away.

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One of my all time favorite memories with my dad from my childhood would have to be our “Daddy-Daughter Date Days.” These could be anything from going to the park, bowling, eating at Pizza Hut – as a little kid it felt like the sky was the limit. This was my special time, and having two little sisters running around, it was nice to have his full attention if only for a little bit. It was in these little moments, when I would ramble on about who knows what, he would listen. And that was the start of a special connection, I knew no matter what was going on, if I needed him, he would be there to listen to me and to help me figure out life. He may not always have the answers, but he’d always do his best at helping me solve whatever problem I was facing.

Another favorite memory would be when he was my soccer coach. During this time in my life, I learned a very important lesson – even though I was the coach’s kid, he wasn’t going to treat me any differently, I would have my time sitting on the bench and playing my least favorite position – goalie. There was one game in particular I remember clear as day, I DID NOT want to play goalie because the other team was really good and they were already up by a lot of points, and guess who was up to be goalie at the start of the second half – me. I tried every trick in the book to make him switch me with someone else, I even through a temper tantrum right there on the field and got a stern talking to in front of my teammates. I CRIED THE WHOLE WAY TO THE  GOALIE BOX AND DURING THE WHOLE THIRD QUARTER. I don’t remember how many points that team scored against me, but I know now looking back it doesn’t matter. What my dad taught me is that life isn’t always fair and that I’m not entitled to anything just because I have a connection. I have to pay my dues (or play goalie) just like everyone else, and I’m a better person for learning that.

Over the years my dad has taught me many things, some he knew about, others he may not even realize I learned from him.

He is one of the most loving and caring people I know, but he shows it quietly through actions. There are many times I’ve seen him help someone in need, and countless other times I’m sure I don’t know about. He’s taught me compassion and service to others.

From my dad I have also learned good work ethic and to strive to keep learning and improving. I was impressed when he went back to finish his college degree when I was a senior in high school, and though it was tough, he never gave up. I’m sure there were things he would have much rather been doing, but he was determined to do this for him and his family. If he (and my mom when she went back for her Masters degree) could do it, there’s nothing in this world that can stop me from achieving my educational dreams either.

I have watched over the years as my dad’s faith has grown. I’ve seen him be our family rock and stand firm when things were hard, but I have also seen times when it was too hard to stand, so he’d kneel and ask for guidance or strength or peace or understanding. I know that he prays for each of my sisters and I, and we for him.

I have watched the way he treats my mom with love and respect. He adores her and she him, and I won’t settle for a love less than that. Together they are teammates, friends, the head of our family. He has set the bar high for the characteristics I want in my future husband and father of my children.

My dad is a goofball, there’s always a joke not far off. Most of the time I roll my eyes in exasperation, but secretly I love it. He’s always up for silly times with my sisters and I – anything to get us to laugh! And to think it all started way long ago when I thought he could pull a quarter out of my ear! He has a unique sense of humor, and though I don’t share that same trait, I have learned over the years not to take it for granted. My high school friends loved coming to my house, partly I think because of my dad – while there’s weren’t always invested in their lives or were more serious personalities, my goofy dad could always cheer them up and brighten their day. I lost track of the number of times they told me how cool my dad was!

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He has been there for every important event in my life, from my birth to sports games, choir and band concerts, graduation from high school and college, flying with me to Florida to help get me settled when I started working for Disney, and even helping me make connections that landed me my job. My dad is awesome, and I don’t tell him that nearly enough! Just tonight he even unclogged our tub (thank’s dad, you rock!).

So on your special day, I want you to know how blessed I feel to be your oldest daughter, to be the one who got to first call you daddy! No matter how old I get or where the winds may blow me, I will always and forevermore be your little girl.

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And now for a few highlights from Father’s Day 2015…..

And last but not least, the video of him opening up my awesome card!

In remembrance, We Honor

25 May

Today is May 25, 2015.

It is Monday.

Where I live, it has been mostly sunny.

I slept in this morning.

It is the unofficial first day of summer.

These are all true statements about today, and yet they are not the most important, for today is also Memorial Day.

Today is the day we are supposed to honor the men and women who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom. These brave men and women who laid down their lives so that I, you, we may live in peace and without fear.

But do we remember the names? The stories? The faces? The families left behind with empty seats at the dinner table and echoes of their loved one’s voice in their ears? Do we honestly remember that freedom has never and will never truly be free? Someone, somewhere paid a high price.

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As I stood listening at our local Memorial Day service, a story was recounted of a local boy who fought valiantly during World War II. He would not return home alive. The speaker stated he is “forever young” – and as I reflected on that statement and it’s truth, it really sunk in. Today we remember the lives that were ended far too soon, the young men and women who would never grow old, right along side the veterans of wars past who are not with us this year to share their stories and wisdom with the youth today.

The ringing of the bell and the reading of the deceased is one of the most sombering moments as it is heralded by the Twenty-One Gun salute and the playing of Taps.

When I was a high school student I had the opportunity to play Taps twice, once as a freshmen and again as a senior. It is hauntingly beautiful, and whenever I hear it I can’t help but get emotional thinking about the number of times it is played as a last farewell to our fallen men and women all across the country.

Yes, today is a day when many communities will have parades, kids will be out of school, businesses will be closed and people will gather for BBQs and picnics. But during all of that excitement, I ask that each of us take a moment to reflect, to pause, to really let the weight of this day and the meaning behind it sink in.

Freedom isn’t free. The debt is paid everyday by the loved ones who must carry on, but as a community let us embrace these families so the weight might be spread over more shoulders. While no one could ever replace that person or perfectly fill that void, the love, support and encouragement can do wonders for the family. I’ve seen it happen twice in my community, and today I proudly wore a USMC shirt in one of their honors.

My sister, Macayla and I

My sister, Macayla and I

And, because I have a couple of pictures from our parade, I’ll include those here at the end.

Happy Memorial Day, may we always remember those who are forever young, gone too soon while protecting the country they loved.