Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving.





This Thanksgiving, like so many before I find myself being thankful for so many things, but today is not a day to be blogging, but to be with my family so from my house to yours, may you enjoy some good food, good family and good times.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Casual Vacancy. My review.

I will start by saying this. I have never read a single Harry Potter book. I have never had any interest in reading them. So when I picked up J.K. Rowling's The Casual Vacancy  at a local used book store I thought I had an advantage of those that had. Because unlike them, I did not have the ability to judge this book based upon the beloved series.

I will also say I wanted to like this book. I had heard so many mixed reviews but did not allow myself to judge until I read it myself. 

I found it hard to follow in a lot of ways. I did not like the way there was no breaks in between scenes. Rather just an endless amount of ramble from one to the next. Perhaps this is my biggest qualm about the book itself. I also found there were far to many characters for my liking. I should have kept notes to figure out who was who and often got lost in determining who belonged to whom.

Maybe in this case, it was more like a scene from Love Actually. In fact perhaps I could see it being more of one. It may even be better in that sense. Along with a supporting cast.

As for the story itself, I thought it dragged on a little to much, and at times dull. Yes I said it. I thought about giving up on it, but am not that kind of person and I really really hoped it was going to get better the further I went into the 500+ page book. Sadly it did not and I found myself seemingly just going through the motions to finish. I will go as far as admitting there were several pages I probably flaked out on towards the end of the book. I just wanted it done.

Was it the worst book I have ever read? No. There were some good pages, as few as I saw there was. But I doubt I will consider this one to add to my must read again books.

In fact, it will probably be going right back to the used book store where it will sit with the five other copies that was available. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

My Disney Parks Moms Panel, the journey comes to an end: for now.

In the end you can blog about it, you can tell yourself no matter what it will be okay.  You can prepare for it with pep talks. You can even encourage others, telling them no matter what you should be proud of yourself for getting this far. But when it comes down to it, when you get that final round 3 email informing you, you are not selected as a member of the 2014 Disney Parks Moms Panel what you aren't prepared for is the wave of emotions that overcomes you.

Or I couldn't.

This past Friday as I watched the minutes on my computer click I sat telling myself all these things. I was proud of myself for getting this far, for making it to the top 40. I said no matter what I will be back should it not be my year, though I kept telling myself not to think about this. Not yet. This could very well be my year. I waited with friends all of whom awaited their own fate. Knowing that there was a good chance some of us would make it, knowing most of us wouldn't. 

Would this, could this be my year?

My answer would come at 4:30 while I was sitting on a crowded bus. We were heading home. My phone buzzed. I didn't want to look at it, I had a funny feeling. But I flipped it over and....

my heart sank. No, this year would not be my year.

It is a hard pill to swallow. You get so close. You tell yourself not to get to far ahead of yourself. Yet you do. Because it's only natural. Because you believe.  I did not expect the emotions that came on so quickly as I sat on that bus. And even if it was dark already I slide my glasses down over my eyes and wiped away the tears that came.  I couldn't explain the complete take over that came so sudden. But it was there. And it was strong. It was a bit of sadness, and disappointment. It was heartbreaking and even a sigh of relief that despite the loss, it was over for another year. All of them mixed into one person all at one time. I immediately started analyzing everything I said and did, wondering and thinking what could I have done better. What can I do better next time? It was these sort of thoughts that ran through my head the entire night. I was so close. Yet at that moment, I felt I was so far away.

And yet?

I read through my Twitter feed as new panelist came on to announce one by one it was their year and despite my sadness, I was thrilled for them. I was excited for them. I danced for them. Because I know they deserved it. Because I know they should be excited and happy and should enjoy the time of their lives. I was in no way mad at them, or disappointed in the judging committee, this includes the wonderful Gary. I believe they made a wonderful decision in choosing their selection for the class of 2014, even if I am bummed that I wasn't in the class.

I was asked shortly after receiving the news if I would do it all over again. There was no hesitation, no reason of a doubt my answer was, and still is yes. Because while it-for the three months-is an emotional roller coaster, it's a thrill ride I want to be a part of.  Because it's Disney, and I still despite everything believe in the magic that a vacation brings. I want to share it. Because as much as it was disapponting to not make the panel this year, next year is a whole new round, a new shot. Maybe next year as I apply for what will be the sixth time.

Well, maybe next year. It will be my year.

And those same panelist, friends that I cheered and danced for this year.

Well maybe they will not only be cheering for me. But maybe, just maybe they will be congratulating me.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Anticipation.

So here it is. The eve of what could be a big deal for me. This time tomorrow I will either be one of the newest members of the Disney Parks Mom Panel or I become another 2015 hopeful and wait another ten months to even consider the idea.

I write this after what has been an emotional roller coaster of a week. One minute I fight my nerves, as I second guess every answer I gave, every word written. I know I have done the best I could do. I have been myself, that's all I can do. But is my best good enough. The next minute is filled with anxious excitement as I wait to hear.  I think of the possibilities, the years I have tried and failed to make it through and how all of the Nos, makes this years yes that much more special.

And yet I find it has been an exhausting past couple of weeks. Perhaps the emotions have gotten to me. It is something I never thought about it from that point, just how exhausting the search, the desire the waiting can be.

I look forward to knowing, either way I am proud of myself. And if it is not my year, then you better believe I shall be back.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Journey to Round 3.

Five years.  2 months and some odd days.

That is how long I have waited to get that magical email welcoming me into the next round of the Disney Parks Moms Panel.

It finally came Thursday afternoon. At 3:02 in the afternoon. I can not explain how it felt, as for the most part the moment I received the email it all became a huge blur. I sat in shock, in disbelief as I read, and reread the CONGRATULATIONS email.

I am pretty sure I asked someone to pinch me. Even now, two days later I still find myself living in a dream. One I do not want to wake from. I can not begin to express anything, my gratitude my joy.

Seriously. I went over and over everything. I had several moments when I looked at those that got the no's and felt incredibly bad. I know what they were going through. I have been there. The rejection letter is definitely not something anyone wants to face. I had received it so many times that I began to question everything. And no matter how happy I am for myself a part of me wants to reach out and tell them to not give up.

I know there is still the interview. I know its not over by any means. But right now, on this Saturday night. I still believe in magic.

And in dreams.

This may very well be my year.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

To the Hopefuls.

So it comes down to this. In 24 hours I will know my fate. Will it be a round 3 for me, or shall I walk away knowing that I will have ten more months until I can think of applying again.

24 hours.

I have given it a lot of thought these past couple days. I have also obsessed, pondered way too much and hit refresh on my email way to many times. And here is the conclusion that I have come to.

Whether I make it into the next round or not I am happy, thrilled even. I took a leap and I did something not because I was told to do it, or because I had to, but because I wanted to. It was something I did on my own.  The entire experience over the past couple of months has been amazing. “Chatting” with people that are a lot like me, who get me in every sense. They are the people who I don't feel the need to explain why I am going to Disney for the umpteenth time, because they get it. They get me. I cannot begin to explain the way just having the new-found people; even in the social media aspect of my life has made me happy to have even been a part of the journey.

It has been great hasn't it? This journey. It’s become this super support system almost. I know fellow hopefuls can agree, but the long process and waiting period? I don't think I could have done it without them.  Just as much as I wish to move on, there are so many others that I feel could easily move on and make it and I would be thrilled for them. Because, in the end, I know it has been a great class of applicants. I cannot even begin to imagine the task that the committee had on their hands.

24 hours.

It seems like we have been waiting forever for those magical emails to come out. And we still have 24 hours to go. But before we all either have 'the best day ever' or get heartbroken. I wanted to say this. Thank you to all the hopefuls who have shared the journey with me. You have truly made the journey magical. You have laughed, danced and inspired me to be the best that I can be. It has been so much fun waiting with you. I do not think the journey would have been the same without any of you. The encouragement, the support, the bond between us all. I do not know if it was part of Gary's plan all along-pretty sure he knew exactly what he was doing- but the little goof at the beginning and the extra waiting period between rounds has definitely brought us all together a little more closely wouldn't you say?  I would also like to say that no matter either way to hold your head up smile and know that you are amazing either way. And should we get that not so magical email.

Well there is always a great big beautiful tomorrow.

Embrace it. Cherish it.
Don't be afraid of it.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Perks.

Perks. They come with every job. Some seem greater than others. And although my own job at the moment leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to the whole perks department, my husbands on the other hand?

Well that's a whole other story.

In the past eight years that he has worked for the Washington Capitals along with the long hours he has worked have come two tickets to every home game. As of late these tickets are more half season, as he gets an allotment of basketball tickets as well. Neither of us are basketball fans.

And of course people now know this. We are happy to share our tickets with people. We do not mind, though it does come with restrictions and understanding. You see while these are perks, Anderson does get taxed and has to pay for them from time to time. His salary is reduced because of it as well. Yes in a lot of ways he does pay for the tickets.

I bring this up because the other day we had someone ask for a couple sets of tickets. And these are not to just any old game but to games that are usually packed and sold out (Andy will dif have it come out) in exchanged we asked for something as well. To which we were informed they did not want to do, but wanted the tickets and something else....

It left us a sour taste in our mouth, the tickets are a good $50 per seat on a standard basis, you do the math if you want four tickets. We did not feel like what we asked for was out of the ordinary.

I do not expect things for free, but don't come asking us for things in return....

Nor do I expect anyone will really read this in understand this post. I just needed to get it out

But you can rest assure we will think twice from now on.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Here's to a good week.





I have a good feeling about this week. It is just one of those, something big is about to happen though what it is I do not really know. True word of the Disney Parks Mom Panel should be coming out, and while I hope I get that magical email I know that realistically it is going to be hard to make it to the next round. It was an enormous honor just to have gotten to this point and the competition has been amazing this year. Truth is I know I could very well be disappointed once again.  And if it is not my year, well maybe that is OK as well. I will move on.

But I still have a good feeling that something is going to hit this week, something big. Maybe not for me, maybe this means for Anderson. I do not really know. But as I sit here this Monday morning I am thinking and feeling positive on things. I am smiling and dreaming and believing that good things happen to those that wait. That dreams and wishes do come true.

This is a short and yet sweet post.

So good luck to us. We all could use it.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Disney in the blood

Logan 2013
As a parent we tend to love when kids follow in our footsteps. We get excited when they decide to like the same sports, the same team, the same subjects. It is not always a guarantee of course because kids? Well they tend to be kids.They like what they want,  and sometimes it is not exactly what we like but when it happens, well we secretly rejoice and store it in the win column.

When Anderson and I first started annual trips down the Disney World we weren't thinking of kids or what they would think of it. Back then we didn't have a kid to think about period. To us, it was just a place we loved. It was our happy place.

And then our son came. Maybe for a brief moment we worried he wouldn't like our happy place. Sure what kid doesn't like Disney, but we go every year. Sometimes twice. Maybe it would be a little too much.

Until last night. When he turned and said in only an exaggerated way any four year old would say, that he simply missed Disney, that he couldn't wait to go back because it had been so long. His biggest fear is never ever going back.  After all it had been so long since we had been there that he has forgotten what it looks like.  What Mickey and Minnie look like.

It has been three months.

We do our best to remind how lucky he is to go as often as he does. That there are several kids that will never even go. He cries and shakes his head, saying he knows, but mommy, you don't understand. I love Disney World..it makes me happy.

I smile and say I know.  My son, is just like his mommy.

Win.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Blogember: Nov 7th: A day in the life of me.

So you want to know a little about what your average day in the life of yours truly is do you?

For the most part is isn't all that exciting. The alarm goes off at 4:30ish, I admit I know I should get up, but I don't. My husband immediately gets on his phone while I try to avoid getting out of bed at all cost for as long as I can. Usually this means by the time I do I am rushing around and swearing that tomorrow, well tomorrow I will actually get up when the alarm goes off. I wouldn't hold your breath that this will actually happen.

After lunches, getting my son up and ready we are lucky if we make it out of the door by 6, and are heading to my parents house to drop him off. Its an easy ride, going against traffic but we quickly turn around and head with the rest of the crowd in to DC. I joke about my commute, OK joke isn't exactly what I call it, because the traffic these days? Well it seems to be getting worse. On a good day it takes us about an hour. On a bad day, 3 hours. Mind you, we live about 20 'miles away from the city. Today was a good day, we made it in pretty sweetly. The long drive in, which I do with the hubs allows us to talk about grown up stuff without a 4 year old in the backseat. We usually plan Disney trips-shocker I know.-and dream of finding a way out of the city. Believe me if talking made it come to life, we would be out and long gone.

He drops me off anywhere from 7:30-9 according to traffic, this  morning we made it in just before 8! I was excited about this. I grind my way through 8 hours of work. I am a little bit of everything administratively at a government contracting company right next to-and yes I mean literally I look into it-the Navy Yard in DC. Yes that Navy Yard. One minute I am a working on spreadsheets and assisting with hiring people, the next I am filling in for receptionist. And somehow the day moves on. By 4 I am packing it in, and making my way over to Anderson, and wait out the rest of the day for him at a lobby of a building.

It takes us another 2 plus hours-or 3-to get home. Yes, this means I can spend anywhere from 2-6 hours on my commute a day. Its brutal. I contemplate moving. I plan once again to head to my 'home' away from 'home.' By now we could be halfway there. It is sort of a depressing thought when you think of it that way.

We finally reach my parents house, its 7ish now. I am thankful my mom still has us over for dinner on most occasions. After dinner we head home, and spend the rest of the evening doing odds and ends. While it sounds hectic, we are able to manage plenty of time in the evenings to do things. Anderson usually hits up his phone, while I am watching something or another. Before we know it however we are calling it a night and doing it all over again.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The waiting game.

While I wait for any kind of news on the mom panel front, I am trying to busy myself by not thinking about it. As we are approaching two weeks since I hit the submit button rest assured I am pretty much losing this battle. Every time my phone goes off at a new email, I jump. I know nothing has been given away as to when we should 'maybe' expect it but still the temptation is far to great to not believe it could be.

I have done a whole lot of filling in my spare time trying to avoid it so much that here is a list of five things I have being doing a lot of while I wait.

1. Reading

This should not surprise you as I never go anywhere without a book. That is right, never. I have done my fair reading even more these past couple weeks hoping that by entering in to another world that I can forget this one, and the anxiety of the waiting process..so far, it has worked for a few minutes anyhow.

2. Played a lot of solitaire.

I am not a gamer, but I have turned myself into an awesome solitaire player lately. As long as I don't have to think, well then I should be all good. Not sure how it is fitting in with the rest of things but hey I will take the extra little distraction.

3. Watched hockey and playoff baseball

Though now that baseball is over, I suppose this should be changed to only hockey. And considering my life, the fact we are hockey lovers this is not hard at all. But I will add that fight against the Caps/Flyers the other night? Was awesome in allowing me not to think about the awaited news.

4. Made some great parodies

Mainly to the I hope I get it from the Chorus Line soundtrack. Because that's all I have been able to sing so why not change a few words to insert things like moms panel and twitter and what not. It was fun. Though thankfully it was not recorded, because that wouldn't be so much fun. I am sure I could get myself in some sort of trouble by the music biz. Still fun to do non the less.

5. Enjoy time with little man

Who helps to remind me that whether or not I make it through, I will always be the best mommy in the world, and can help plan our vacations down to our favorite place any time I want! As long as he gets to go to that is.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Happy 60th birthday mom!

November means its the beginning of the birthday bash in my family, my sisters was Saturday. Today, my mom turned 60. She may cringe at the thought but I see her as the same mom that she was growing up. In fact I doubt she has aged. OK, well her hair has gotten a rich gorgeous shade of silver. But other than that, she hasn't.

I am known for my lengthy blog post regarding my family, around my family. But I will try to keep it short and sweet tonight and just say, my mom is the single greatest woman I have ever had the privileged of knowing. She has raised three daughters so different in personality and yet managed to make sure we were OK with this, and reminded us on a daily basis that just because we are different doesn't mean that's a bad thing. She has taught me to be comfortable with who I am.

She is the first person to offer help when you need it. Just last week, she stopped by my house on Halloween after my son realized we hadn't decorated, nor gotten a pumpkin for the holiday. We came home to a fully decorated house and a pumpkin to carve. She just asked we enjoy. But that is the kind of person she is. She brings meals to neighbor when sick, gave out soda to Seniors on her bus when she drove and still watches my son on a daily basis because she loves her grandson's so much. Believe me, I couldn't do a lot of things, I couldn't be the person I am without her.

So on this evening, on er 60th birthday, I want to wish her a very happy birthday. I hope she knows how much I love, admire, respect and dream of being half the mother she is.


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Blog Post Challenge: Favorite Inspiring Quote


 

“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. And because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”
Helen Keller
 

Make all the joke about the woman to my left all you want. But from my standpoint, her words served as an endless amount of inspiration growing up as an American with a Disability. I didn't hear this quote until I was in high school, when my speech/debate teacher had me use it for a topic as a prose  and impromptu piece. I immediately feel in love with it.

 

While I am not one to dwell on the fact I was born without the use of my right hand, often at times especially growing up I tend to get frustrated with the things I can't do. The monkey bars annoy me more than anything really. Even today I find myself from time to time having to fight the urge to throw up my hands and just say 'screw you.' this is so not fair. 

 

And then I think of this quote, and how I may not be able to do everything and I may just be one person. But I can do things. Like tie a shoe with two fingers. And just because I can't do everything doesn't mean I shouldn't do the things I can. This meant learning to play two instruments, horseback ride. It meant trying out for theater plays and manage the softball team in high school, because while I couldn't exactly play softball, I could at least get involve in things any other way I could....

 

Today, this means maybe I couldn't have two kids back to back. But I am thankful to have the one child I have at the moment, and love him the best I can. It means teaching him to be empathetic and caring. It may not mean that I can teach him how to tie the shoe with two hands, but I can teach him how to read backwards and swing. 

 

So yes, I may be one, but I am not alone. And I refuse to not do something just because I can't do everything.

 

Go ahead make all the jokes you want. But Helen Keller, was a genius. 

 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

This wasn't supposed to happen.

Remember growing up 30 seemed like ions away, and then suddenly you turn 30. And even if you swear it isn't and tell everyone that it isn't. You feel older. But then you think. Its OK. Because as long as you have a sibling that is still in their 20's then you can not be that old. 

Until the day when your little sister turns 31. Now you can't say she is 30. Or in her late 20s. But she has joined you in the thirty something club...

This wasn't supposed to happen..not at all. This was supposed to never happen. We were somehow supposed to defy the odds and one of us was supposed to figure a way to stay in our twenties...

Shit.

 If there is any consolation, I am no longer alone, neither is my older sis for that matter. And she can no longer have that amo to hold over my head. After all she is now part of the coveted thirty something club as well.

I am sure she is somewhere living up the moments and partying. I envy her partying ability as I have never been able, nor had the desire really to do this. But she, she can and she does. And maybe as long as she does, we can pretend that we are forever young...

Happy Birthday little sis. Happy Birthday.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Blogember challenge day 1: One of the best lessons life has shown you.

Life is short. Cherish the moments. If you were to ask me three years ago if I thought I would have been through 2 car accidents, and 3 emergency surgeries. I would have probably shrugged it off and said yeah right.

Little did I know what life had in store. I had bought a brand new car, so new that it had yet to be registered on Kelly Blue book. I had just made my first payment on it, on a hot Sunday in August we decided to go for a drive, Anderson and I trying to figure out whose car it would be. His old beat up Protege, or my new Sonata. For some reason, we chose mine.  I loaded my son then 1, and my husband into the car, we made plans with my parents to have dinner with them when a kid started texting and ran a red light. The brand new car saved our lives, as the car was completely totaled. Had it not been for taking that new car, we would have lost our lives as the entire front of the car became unattached.

 I was grateful then for our lives but didn't realize this was only the tip of an iceberg.

Six months later as I made my way home on a Friday night, my stomach began to hurt, I ignored it until I could no longer the pain was worse than childbirth! Before I knew it my husband and I found ourselves in the hospital, prepping me for emergency surgery by the end of the weekend. What would follow was a week and a half stay in the hospital, my colon had decided to  tie itself up in knots. While I  tried to be brave the entire time, I admit I was out of my mind scared, an hour later and who knows what would have happened.

It would happen two more times that year. And two more rounds of surgeries and stays in the hospital. I would lose 15-30 Ibs within that amount. While I hate to admit it, that first time leaving the hospital I had gotten down to 80 Ibs. I lost most of my colon, and work. It was not one of my finest years.

I am healed and doing well, though the weight still hasn't all come back on, my eating habits still haven't either. But that year taught me a lot. It taught me not to take anything for granted. It taught me that no matter what someone looks like on the outside, you can still be pretty sick. Believe me I was skinny, I got some crazy looks....it taught me that I could have lost even more and not been with us today....

Now I take the time to enjoy the moments that I have. A lazy day on the beach, a quiet moment after little man has gone to bed. Things like this. I realize life is too short. Things happen. Just this morning as I prepared to write this, word got out that I lost a dear friend of the family. She was 38.  I sat quietly in my cube, remembering her and wishing for more moments with her. 

We don't know what life has in store for us, so we need to make the most of the time. And all of this, because I had some major pains in my stomach. Imagine that.

Sociable