Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Well. yeah. A blogging confession

Image is not my own
So I have been horrible as of late with my blog updating. I am assuming you surely must be wondering what has happened to me right? No I did not fall of the face of the Earth. Yes I am still here. Well relatively speaking. I do not have the perfect excuse other than.

Life happens.

One minute it is the beginning of December and the holidays seem like they ions away and you have all this time to get things done. And the next thing you know, well exams start, holiday party invitations happen. Work remains steady. Somewhere a long the lines there are hockey games, and Christmas shopping. And get togethers between family and friends.

 And you promise yourself, well I know I need to blog. You think you have some fantastic themed posts. And you swear maybe tonight will get things done. But then there is the classroom party at your sons school. And cookies to be made. And the Christmas special which you admit is all together rather corny but you know you have to watch it because, well what is Christmas without it.

Before you know it you are now through the middle of the month. You still have plenty of time. But wait you get word that there are more get togethers, and more cookies to be made. And you promised your son you guys would  go see Big Hero 6 because it had been a long time since you guys had seen any movie in the theater. And the flu hits.

Suddenly, your staring at the last weekend before the holidays. And by now? Well now really whats the point in rushing to get all those pieces out right? Because you are going to have all this time off so you will have plenty of time to write about things then right?

Perhaps I shouldn't hold my breath.

Better luck next year.

Friday, December 12, 2014

These are a few of my favorite things: Holiday Movies.

It is that time of year again, when we are surrounded by family, friends and...

Movies.

Yes that is right, it is the time when we find ourselves rushing to the theaters to check out those holiday films and decide if they are worthy enough to be added to our favorite holiday movie list of the kind we find ourselves going back to year after year.

We all have our favorites. Whether it be of the classics or the contemporary kind. Some are actual holiday themed and filled and others are not so much. But we all have them. And yes I too have my favorites, and since tis the season what better time than to share what is on my favorite holiday movie list.

1. Love Actually.

Let me begin by saying, this is one of my favorite movies of all time. I find Hugh Grant brilliant as the Prime Minister, I love Liam Nesson as a widow with a stepson, I love Laura Linney as a single woman. And the Prime Ministers girlfriend is absolutely adorable. Ye I love the cast, I love the theme and the accents. It is just one of those movies that you can't help but fall in love with. I know they tried to do the same sort of thing in Valentine's Day and New Years Eve, neither of which seemed to have the same sort of appeal to me as this one does Perhaps because nothing makes me want to cry more than knowing that love actually is all around. And is out there for anyone.

2. Rent

OK so perhaps this is not technically a holiday movie. But it is based around Christmas, which means I classify it as such. I love musicals. Not surprising in the household I grew up in where we played Annie in our basement on a regular basis. And this movie, while I admit probably doesn't do the real show justice (I never saw the actual stage production) is still one of those movies that reminds me of the meaning of friends, family and love. Perfect for the holidays. And those voices, how can you not love them?


3. Les Miserables

Again, technically not a holiday movie but there is something about it that makes me want to watch it during the holidays.  Maybe some of the casting could have been a bit better, but that does not take away from the fabulous of the movie, the lyrics and the scenery. Do not tell me you did not feel anything when Anne Hathaway was belting out "I Dreamed a Dream" Or when Samantha Barks was singing "On My Own" (which is my favorite song). Because I know I did. Confession, I could be a bit biased as this is my favorite musical of all time. But never the less....

4. Home Alone

The original. Because, well how can you not think of the holidays without thinking of Kevin McCallister and parents who left without him. It is a classic without a doubt.It is one of those movies you can pop in during July and still enjoy. And unlike some of the other movies listed, it is one that the entire family can enjoy together.

5. Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer

Probably my favorite "classic" movie.  Or rather TV special. I love the stuffy voices, the style of claymation. The message behind it. Really it is one of those movies that you find as a kid and sticks with you as you grow in to an adult. It is a fabulous little show that I am thrilled to say my son is finally old enough to enjoy and fall in love with. And will for years to come.

And there you have it some of my must watch movies during the season.

Happy holiday movie watching!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Checking the list.

Well somehow I think we managed to get little man taken care of. Or rather for the most part that is. Unbelievable considering we have yet to hit the midway mark of the month. Sure they are sitting under the steps, and waiting to be wrapped and there is still one or two things we need to get. But by the end of the weekend (and thanks to some amazing parents who are willing to help out so we can finish up) well I think we will be good to go.

I always say I am going to be done sooner than I was last year. But never fully expect it to happen. And I am sure there will be years when I will get to do the mad rush at midnight on Christmas Eve because I waited till last minute. I specifically remember my mom doing this as a teen. But getting through a good chunk of the items now, well that feels pretty darn good.

Yes it does.

I must admit I love doing this, playing Santa. I know there will be a day when it will stop, but at the moment I do not contemplate this at all. I am enjoying the magic of the season for as long as I can. I don't know who will be more excited to see the things he gets. Myself (because I am pretty sure I will forget what exactly I got him) or my son. Either way I know it is going to be exciting.

Yes it will.

So then what is left for me to do? Well nephews. Four little boys who I hear have been very good boys this year. Which means I will need to make sure to get them something extra good. Work up a little magic of my own perhaps. Boys, they are somewhat easy to shop for. Especially when they are reaching that wonderful time of age when you give them a video game of some sorts and they seem ecstatic. 

Now if only my husband was as easy to figure out. Never the less, he will get done as well. Though come to think of it, I just may be going to those stores at midnight after all.....

Santa has some shopping to do my friends.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Mommy guilt and holiday parties.



Yesterday among the endless amounts of holiday sale emails, and deals I received one from little mans parent classroom assistant. It was an invite to volunteer and participate in the kindergarten holiday party.  I scanned through it and instantly felt the guilty pains that I have become all so familiar with.

I never fully understood the whole mommy guilt thing until this year, when little man entered kindergarten. Probably because while he has been in Pre-K before this, my mom was able to be there in my absence which at least made me feel a little bit more in the loop of things. Either that or there wasn't quite as many in your face activities that we were asked to do.

 But I get it now. Because as much as I want to be able to attend every party, volunteer opportunity, luncheon and concert they hold within school hours the sad truth of it is. I have a full time job in DC, where it would take just as long to get to his school as it would to come in to work. And the forced leave at the end of the year does not allow me much flex time at the moment to just up and leave to volunteer. As much as I would like to.

But each and every time I get these emails I once feel the tug of war, and the guilt that comes with it. I know the reality of things. Time flies. Little boys grow up way too fast and these precious moments will fade in to the clouds. It is moments like these when I find myself struggling with the commute, the pile of work at my desk and listening to coworkers talk about what they missed out on.  Am I doing the right thing? I know why I am working and I know I need to work. Life is not like it was. But still I find myself debating if there is a better option. If I am perhaps missing out on something.

I am sure I am not alone in my sentiments. I know it is a struggle many of us deal with. The balance between home and work pulls us to our very core. I know the desire to be there is great, but the reality is far different.  Just as much as I know I am in for many, many years of feeling guilty about things. I can't spend as much time with him as I want.  It will be a struggle I should get used to I am assuming.

And yes, it is a real thing.

I scanned the email a second time until I got to the bottom where I hit the decline button (feeling a tad bit better that I could at least bring something in to the party). Still my mommy guilt was definitely working in over drive.

One year I promise myself I will be able to, until then I just hope he understands.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Welcome December!!

And we have reached December my friends. I am pretty sure I write this just about this time every year, but how did this happen? I was just taking down the lights from last Christmas (cue 1980s epic tune). I swear we were.

This year however I am more than happy to see the final month of the year. It has been a long year, and one that has had several ups and downs. I suppose not every year can be wonderful right? And to think we still have 29 days to go of it.

And yet despite it all, I love December. Sure it is cold, and snow is right around the corner. But it truly is one of the most magical times of year. The lights, the cookies. Puck, our  Elf on the Shelf returns (he is currently nestled in between our railing slates). And little man beaming from ear to ear. Yes it truly is a sight to see. The month brings out the best in all of us for awhile. At least we can hope right. It is the shopping, and the excitement it brings.

Yes, it truly is the most  magical of months.

Enjoy it my friends. The holidays will be here and gone before we know it.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving.



Today we give out thanks, to family friends and neighbors. And that includes you guys. 

Happy Thanksgiving my friends.

May you have a very safe and happy Thanksgiving with lots of blessings to come!

Day 26: I am thankful for friends.

It seems as we get older, the more appreciative of the friends we have. Maybe because as we get older, we hold tighter to the friends we do have.  I have never been one to have thousands of thousands of friends, but the ones I have, are incredible. Believe me they are amazing people.

I think we all will admit lives become crazy. Family, work, day to day things mean we do not get to spend as much time with the ones we love.

I know I am just as bad at catching up, staying in touch and reaching out to those that I hold close. We always assume the other is just to busy, or we put things off until tomorrow. And then the next day.I keep promising myself I will improve on this. 

We have been through a lot. All of us have, together we push each other to make the be the best people we can be. Its not always easy, but we hang in there. We are who we are because of people like friends. I fully believe that.

So I wanted to say thank you to all my friends, I have been so blessed to have each and every one of you in my life. Whether you live around the corner, an hour or way or across the country. I am so incredibly thankful for the friendships we have made. I know I do not say it enough, I know I do not see you enough but know that you are and always will be a part of my life. I have learned a lot about myself from you guys.

So if you are reading this, thank you. Thank you for picking me up when I needed it, kicking me in the butt when I needed it and just being there to laugh, cry and support me through everything. Even if I do sound totally crazy in my ideas and believe I am all alone in my line of thinking.

I love you all. And am so very thankful to have you guys as my extended family.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Day 24: I am thankful for Gary, the committee and the process.

"Some diamonds need a little more time to shine. But that does not mean they don't sparkle."
-Aleisha M. 

Today, my thank you may be a bit strange. Because less than 48 hours ago I received the 'this is not your year.' email from the very same people I am about to thank.

Last year I received the same sort of no letter while I was in the middle of a bus. This year I got it while my husband and I were on our way out the door to meet a friend for her birthday dinner. I think I did a lot better holding the tears back this year. Though fully admit, there were tears shed. Thankfully, it was dark enough that I did not have to hide my tears behind my sunglasses and I was not in the middle of a crowded bus. The same rules apply this year as they did last year in the sense that you can try and prepare yourself for the rejection (which is not so much of a rejection as a not your year. And believe me it is the best not your year letter you will ever receive, trust me on this one). But no matter how prepared you are, the truth of the matter is this, one can truly never be.

And just as much as I am sad, I still find myself happy for those that were selected. They will do amazing things in the year to come, and I am thrilled to have gotten to know a lot of them. They are going to rock the panel. I still consider many of them friends, and look forward to cheering them on as they start their journey.

But of course this is a thank you post. So I wanted to say this. I am thankful for Gary and his incredible team. I have learned so much about myself in the process of the past two years. I have grown so much as a person in the past two years than I have in awhile. And I continue to. They may not realize it, but they have helped a lot in so many ways.  So because of that, thank you Gary and the judging committee.

If you do not know anything about the Disney Parks Moms Panel, know this. The community is amazing. The support and friendships made are like nothing else. Where else can you come back year after year and still walk away thinking positive and hopeful for the future. 

Once again I was asked if I would do it again, and once again I will say yes. I will. You can bet I will be back. I will continue to grow, to improve to work on things and will be stronger next year. I look forward to perfecting my answers, learning from my mistakes, and correcting them. I do not look at this as a failure, but rather more time to perfect and grow from it. I will not give up, nor will I stop spreading the joy of assisting others. Because maybe this year was not my time. Not my year.

But maybe next year, well maybe next year? It just may be. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Day 21: I am thankful for my health.

For the past two days my son has been down with the flu. Apparently it is going around. And while my mom has been amazing enough to stay home with him, it has reminded me how thankful I am for my health.

A couple years ago I was not aware of how thankful I should be for my health. Three emergency surgeries and a lot of weeks spent in a hospital bed later I discovered how precious and fragile life can be.

Yes that was a year I do not want to remember.

But tonight, well tonight as my son fights the flu and as many around the world fight illness's and sicknesses I am so thankful that I am for the most part healthy (I could probably cut back on caffeine) and my issues are all in the past. Maybe I am still on the skinny side. And maybe I have yet to figure out how to eat an entire meal once more. But these are minor things really.

Yes I get sick on occasions. The flu hits, colds come and go. But for the most part I am healthy and happy.

And that is worth a thousand thanks!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Day 18: I am thankful for my sisters!

I have two sisters. And I am lucky enough to say I am sandwiched right in the middle.  Yes, yes I am a middle child. And believe me at times I definitely agree with the whole middle child thing.

But on this evening, I find I am thankful. Not only for both of my sisters, but for being a middle child.

Why?

Well other than the fact I have two incredibly talented sisters, two beautiful and amazing sisters. I am also honored and lucky enough in the sense that I am both a big sister and a little sister. Which is something neither can say. If you ask me, that is like getting the best of both worlds.

So yes I am thankful for my big sis, who I always wanted to be like. I mean who else could get me to reenact the entire movie of Annie! with her, and make it totally work. Who else would be crazy enough to listen to me ramble on and on about how I thought Newsies would make the best musical out there (yep we were way ahead of Disney on this one) we had the whole thing worked out, the writers the set the costumes. I just wish we were old enough to actually understand it could have happened. And who else could I get my musical love from.

And I am thankful for my totally crazy, freespirited little sister. Who, I always found the be beautiful and talented. Who I always thought, if I could be a little more free like her. Maybe she doesn't know this, but it is true. We have had our own crazy adventures. Thankfully we did not grow up in the era of social media as I am sure our epic mothers day show in the basement, a parody of Ghostbusters to Fartbusters (how mom let us both live to double digits after that is beyond me) would have gone viral by now. And yet, she has always been there. Stuck up for me and taken no crap. I love that about her.

Maybe I will never be the star like the older sister was. Or the baby/ wild one like my little sisters.

Maybe I will forever be the middle sister.

But you know to me?
There is no better place I would rather be.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Day 15: Thankful for a good book.

I am a book nerd. I live for them. I devour them and then realize I could go back and do it all over again.

Yes I love to read.

And today I am thankful for a good book. This may sound strange as how many people do you know actually find themselves thankful for a good book.

But here is the thing, to me there is nothing like a good book, a warm drink in my hand and my imagination to take me away. 

I love when they can suck me in. I love when they can make me want so much more and leaves me with the desire for the story to continue. Yes I am one of those that finds that good book and wish for it to not end. I crave more often.


Yes. I am thankful for the ability to read.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Day Thirteen: I am thankful for my dad.

I am one lucky gal. You see I am one of those girls who has been blessed with a great dad. And as I get older I find I am more like him than not.

And you know that is perfectly alright with me.

Sure we both may have little quirks that only we understand, and he may apologize for this. But what he doesn't realize is, I am extremely proud to be my fathers daughter.

What other gal can say they had a father come sit on the bleachers of a HS softball game not to watch his daughter play, but to watch his daughter cheer the team because she was only a manager of the team. And yet he was there cheering alongside all the other.

It is one of my favorite moments of high school.

Even now as a grown adult, I realize just how thankful I am to have such a great dad. I know people who would only wish to be so lucky. And as I get older, I am more thankful that I am like him. Because he is a great guy, and I would be so lucky to be just like him.

So on this Thursday night, I am thankful for my dad.

And always will be.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Day 12: Thankful for the Disney Parks Moms Panel Process!





If you were a 2015 Disney Parks Moms Panel you probably spent the better half of the afternoon glued to your email waiting for a magical (or in some cases, not so) email. Were you going to be a yes or a no? Could this be your year.


Yes I confess I was one of the many who sat nervously behind my computer. Did I want to check? Maybe I didn't. But I had come to the decision that either way, what I was thankful for that day is the friendships and the connections that I had made through the process. We have become a family. Strangers miles away linked together through the love of Disney. That in itself is all sorts of awesome.
 
So either way I was to be happy. That was my decision. So today, on day 12 of what I am thankful for I thank the Disney Parks Moms Panel process for allowing me to meet some of the incredible guests that have gone through the journey with me. Whether I have connected with you personally or not, it has been an amazing thing to go through year after year.

I did receive the magical email. I danced. I admit I ran around the office looking for someone to tell when who I really wanted to tell was the other hopefuls because they knew exactly what this meant. I realize a lot of my fellow hopefuls, some of which I have become quite good friends with didn't receive the same news and my heart went out to them. I know how much dedication and love they put in to it. I know the desire to continue on is strong. But I also know, just because it is not their year this year, doesn't mean it will forever be a no. Believe me, I know. Yet these same men and women who received a no, turned around and congratulated me for moving on. I just wish I could have returned the favor to them, and hopefully one day I will be able to. Because as a Disney family, this is what we do.

And because of that, today I am thankful for them.

On to Round 3.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Day Eleven: Thank You vets.






On this veterans day, I am thankful for all those who have fought for my freedom. We owe you more than you owe us.

THANK YOU.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Day Ten: I am thankful for witnessing all four seasons.


I love this time of year. When the leaves are changing, sweaters are pulled out and I can throw on my knee high boots and totally get away with it. Yes I may be a summer girl but there is something about the autumn that makes me fall in love with the season. I love the color scheme of the season, the burnt reds and deep yellows. 

And today I am thankful that I have grown up and been raised in an area which allows for all four seasons. Yes the winters may get snow, and the temps drop well below what I would like. And yes I will moan and complain about it until spring arrives. Because despite it being beautiful, it does get old after awhile.

That being said at least  we get to experience it. I get to watch the leaves fall and drink hot chocolate in the fall and then lay out with a book in the spring as the buds bloom.  I have run in to a couple of people who have never seen the change over, somehow I get the sense they felt as though they missed out. Come to think of it I suppose they have in a way.

So yes, today I am thankful for the area I grew up in. For allowing me to have it all. I get to experience it all. I get the best of all worlds. Autumn, Spring, Summer and yes even winter. 

And that when I think of it. Well that is not to bad if you ask me.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Day Nine: Thankful for weekends

I never appreciated the weekends until I became a working adult. I assume it is because as a teenager my weekends were spent babysitting the neighborhood kids, or on the softball field. So weekends, really weren't all that special.

Now as I am staring at the clock on a lazy Sunday I realize how much I love weekends. How much I am thankful for them. Especially since I know a couple of friends who work during the weekends and do not know the meaning of them.

Yes I am thankful for the two days I get to spend with my family. I love that on a Sunday afternoon little man and I can dance around the living room in our pajamas because we have no where to be. Or just hanging out with friends like old times.

Yes weekends, who would have ever thought we would live for them as much as we do. And on an eve of a Monday, when I am feeling the Sunday night blues, I am thankful that I only five days until they return.


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Day Eight I am thankful for my freedom.


This past week during poetry workshop a woman read a poem that was beautiful, and emotional. Fully admit she had a hard time getting through it without tears. The class of course thought it was about drugs and getting high. And we debated endlessly about it as the poet could not say anything until she was told she could respond.

When she did, through a tear filled explanation it was discovered the poem had nothing to do with drugs but war. For her home country is at war with one another and it was her account of what she witnessed as a child on the streets before her parents escaped to America.

"You guys do not realize the freedom and the privilege you have of not growing up like that. War is awful."

We know it isn't pretty. We have seen the pictures, I have had friends that have fought and have come back changed people. But hearing it from an actual person who grew up there, spent her childhood not knowing if anyone in her family, including herself would see another day.  It made me really thank the Lord a little more.

I have thought about that poem a lot this week, as my month of thanks continues, and I have found myself thanking the lord I grew up in a country that allows me to be free. I do not care what your belief is in the system that we have currently, whether you like the President or not. To me that does not matter. I am thankful enough that we have the ability to decide who we want, and get the right to vote every four years.  I am thankful that my country allows me as a woman the right to an education, and to vote and to wear what I want. Yes, this classmate made me think a lot about the sort of thing. Why?

Because these are freedoms that other cultures do not allow.

Maybe there are a lot of things that I do not understand about politics at the moment. Maybe I do not agree with certain things. But at the same time, I get to wake up and go to work. I get to decide what to do, what to be. And I am free.

And for that...I am thankful to be an American.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Day seven: I am Thankful for the small things.



This morning my son came crawling in to snuggle right before the alarm was to go off. As he wrapped his little hands around my neck and hugged me I wanted to stay in the moment forever. I wanted to capture it and put it away for the day he is 17 and no longer wants to have anything to do with me. 

This of course is not the first time he has done this. But each time he does, it turns out to be one of my favorite moments of the morning. It is also one of my most happiest moments of the morning. Probably because it happens to be the same time I realize how truly blessed I am.

I lay there in bed this morning, and listened to him chatter on and on. I admit half the stuff I probably didn't truly comprehend though I am pretty sure it was Star Wars related. And smiled. Yes, it is the small things in life like the extra five minutes of snuggle time that I am thankful for. It is just laying there cherishing the moment, not wanting to let it slip by me.

Sure fancy cars and huge rings are nice. But there is something so special and beautiful about the simple things. And none of these things seem to last and have the same sort of memories that the simple things can.

Often I think we take these simple moments and things in life for granted. How many times do we rush around to get ready, end up at the breakfast table and stare at our cell phones? I know we all do. But sometimes, well sometimes what we are missing is huge. 

Take a moment, look up. It’s catching your son snorting chocolate milk out of his nose so hard he is crying. Or watching him write a complete sentence and then reading it without any help. Yes, they are simple. But they are also amazing to catch.

It is those simple moments that memories are made from. And they are those moments that you will look back and think, why didn’t I do something about it back then?

I decided to stay in bed with him as long as we could. We giggled as he tried to wake his dad, and we danced around the room at the knowledge that it was in fact Friday.

As we left the house, I realized I did not make the bed.

And you know that was alright by me.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

I am thankful for: Day Six: Disney.

Last night, my first contribution of November to the Disney Drive Life site went live, the topic was why I was thankful for Disney. And because I do not feel like repeating myself, I am asking you to go to the link below as my thankfulness month continues.

So for day six of thankfulness: I am thankful for Disney....

Why I am Thankful for Disney!

Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Day Five: Thankful to be a creative writer. (and a little poetry)

Today as I stare down at a creative piece I am working on, I found myself smiling.

You see, writing makes me happy.

No matter what capacity it is, (though I prefer the creative kind) watching words flow across a blank piece of paper is like trying to create a masterpiece. It fills me.

It has become my passion. A passion I am not only embracing, but so thankful for.

Really, it should have come to no surprise. I loved my creative writing English class I took in High School. To this day I write in a journal. Though not as often as once used to. While my sisters may have enjoyed acting and walking down the runway, I was perfectly content to be behind the scenes. To me, creating a piece that was later acted out, sounded a lot better.

While my writing has yet to pay the bills, I have found at times it doesn't need to. Sometimes, just simply knowing I am writing is worthwhile enough for me. And should my writing expand, should I help one person, touch one person with my words, well then I consider it a good day.

Yes, my writing is my passion, it's my desire and joy. It has taken awhile to really come to terms that writing is something I really want to do. What has been so rewarding is finding something that truly makes me happy. Being happy with what you are doing? It makes life so much more enjoyable period.

I have shared my passion in words with you for awhile now and I will continue to do so. Including the latest piece from my creative poetry workshop:


CONCERNING WISHES

Spells

You think they come easy

As though I keep them buried

Between bosoms and straps

And fluffy blue outfits made from fireflies

Oh dear child

Your naivety will catch up to

Dreams

You think you’re the only one

To have them

Looking to me as if

You expect me to be a miracle worker

I am a busy woman

Do not waste my time making decisions on

Magic

Is not always a good thing

Power beauty money they all have a price

Temptation is not spoken of

Be careful you don’t fall trap

To a young girl’s fairytale of

Wishes

That often fall victim

To adulthood expectations

-Aleisha M.

Sociable