Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ode to the #DisneyMP hopefuls. It won't be too long now.

Well my friends, it is the last day of September which means one thing. The news that many have been holding their breath and waiting on, is just around the corner. Yes, that is right it won't be too long now before those round 2 notifications go out.  Breathe my fellow hopefuls breathe.

I know we all have our own ways of staying busy, avoiding (the best we can anyway) not to think about the odds, the process. We try not to overanalyze, over-think.  We do this by going on with our lives as though nothing big is going on, as though this is no big deal. But who are we kidding, this is most definitely a big deal, and not thinking about it? Well it seems like an impossible thing to do. Especially as we get closer to those magical pixie dusted notifications.

So yes we stay busy. For some we find our creative outlets. We scrapbook, we sew. We make those adorable Halloween costumes that our neighbors are envious of for years to come. We volunteer. And we spend endless amounts of time (and money) at the Disney Store. Any way to feel that much more connected. I am the same. But my craft does not pour out in pictures, or costumes. But rather words.

And because of that, and because I felt the urge to do so. I crafted a little poem for all of us hopefuls.

Ode to the #DisneyMP hopefuls

Here's to you 
The entire pixie dusted planners
Those Neverland believers.
The first timers or the 7th year triers.
Here’s to practically perfect days.
And magical filled nights.

Here’s to you
Disney Moms and Dads
The never giving up ones.
Or this is the last time promisers.
Here’s to waiting rooms once more.
And nervous hopes.

Here’s to you
The grammar checker
The picture takers.
The owner of an extra set of ears.
Here’s  to checking things twice
And the second guessers.

Here’s to you
The tweeters and posters
The up all night over thinkers.
The just one more dayers
Here’s to cryptic messages
And those figure outers.

Here’s to you
Now Moms Panel hopefuls.
Forever the Disney Dreamers.
New lifelong friends
Here’s to a three month journey.
For a lifetime destination.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Poet in Me? Could it Be?

I do not consider myself much of a poet. Sure I like to write, create and imagine. But poetry? Well it has never been my forte.

Or so I thought.

Because this evening I sat down in the workshop I decided to sign up for thinking what the hell was I doing? The past couple weeks I have sat and listened as others shared, as we commented and took notes. And each week I  counted down til this very night.

The night it would be my turn to hand out my work, to listen as people-who resembled big kids really- criticized my stuff. And believe me I was pretty sure they were going to rip it apart. It hasn't taken long to figure out if you didn't know them ahead of the class, well they weren't going to like what you had to write.

And so I entered the room, took my seat and fidgeted in it until my name was called. I read. I waited. Nervously as they digested the words written across the single sheet of paper.  I waited for the words that never came. In fact, what I heard was the quite opposite. They couldn't believe the quiet one in the corner produced the work they read. I am pretty sure I just about fainted when they praised it. Amazingly so. Loved it, craved more of it. For twenty-five minutes they went on, I was not so used to anyone calling me brilliant, and poetic.  Even more so when they informed me my work was one of the best of the evening. This coming from the pair of young ladies who would have slammed everyone's who piece isn't one of their own.The groups discussions regarding my piece lasted well beyond my time allowed. Flowing over even as I was walking out the door.

I do not boast much about things, but I have to admit, the compliments, the feedback? Well it felt pretty amazing.

As I was packing up, the professor turned to me and gave me one of the best compliments one could hear.

'Well Aleisha, for someone who doesn't consider themselves a poet? I hate to break it to you, you my dear a poet you are. And according to the others, a pretty good one at that.'

Perhaps I stand corrected.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A new chapter in raising a disabled mom.

Little man and me.
A couple years ago I wrote about what it meant to be a disabled mom raising a child. The surprising advantages that it has–and yes there are advantages–and the fears. Yes there are those as well. I got a lot of reaction from the piece, and was one of my first heavily viewed posts.

It remains one of my favorite pieces I have ever written.

I came across it the other day, and as I reread it, I realized just how blessed I truly am. How that little boy still remains the same sweet empathetic little 3-year-old he was back when I wrote the piece.

You see just this past weekend I found him sitting around our living room, a hockey stick in hand. He had the contemplated look on his face and for a moment my thoughts weaved from should I be worried about him to he is up to something, and if he was do I even want to know? Still I watched as he pointed the hockey stick and started making blaster sounds around the room, which sound suspiciously like the Stormtrooper guns. He would stop every now and then to ponder something. What that was, I wish I knew. He would adjust his hands, shake his head and then move on waving the idea away. His mouth getting a work out as it flipped from side to side. Now would be a good time to figure out what is in his head.

I assumed of course it was just a game of imagination, of Jedi meets Darth Vader, clearly never figuring out what side he was on, as he was playing on his own. This is why he asks for a sibling. But as I watched him, I noticed he was using only one hand, the other balled up.

“Honey, is everything OK?”

“Well I was just thinking…” oh dear, this could be dangerous. “You know that laser tag place; well I know you can’t play or use the guns because of your hand. (The laser tag guns required two working hands) But I was thinking of ways you could shoot with one hand, Mommy.”

Even if I had no interest in playing, the moment was beautiful. Given the choice, I would absolutely play laser tag with him. We sat in the living room for a moment both of us enjoying the silence. “One day it will get better.” He finally states. It’s a moment I knew would come, just as I know I will have to eventually tell him what happened. But I love that he is so matter of fact, as if by saying it would make it so. Still I know I need to admit the truth, even if he is five.

“No sweetie, I will be like this forever.”

“You mean like always? It’s never going to?” Those grey eyes grow bigger with the realization of it all.

“Always.” And there it is, the silence once more. I do not fear rejection as I did years before when I told men. But rather I let it sink in.

“Mommy, if I had one wish do you know what I wish for?” I do not know where he is going with this, but we had just watched Aladdin, so wishes and Genies rank big right now. I’m thinking it’s to be a real life Stormtrooper perhaps or another trip to Disney World?

But what did my son wish for? “I would wish for your hand to be better, so you could be just like everyone else.”

“Oh Logan.” It is not every day a five year old would wish for his mom to be like everyone else. For a moment I do not know what to say. But then again, what do I expect this is the same kid that actually holds my right/bad hand while crossing the street. This is the kid that actually helps me in opening things if I have a hard time doing so.

“But you know what? Even if your hand never gets better, it doesn’t matter. Because I love you, just the way you are. And being a little different, well that is alright, too.”

Did I lose it then? Absolutely.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Exciting times, new seasons.

The last full week of September means two things.

The first being this. We are getting closer to round 2 of the search for the next Disney Parks Mom Panelists. Considering I bypassed round 1 (thanks to a Fastpass+ from last year) I have to admit, I am pretty pumped at the knowledge that round 2 will be starting within the next couple of weeks. Just as much as I am pumped and excited to see who will be joining me in to the next round. I mean this when I say I share the nervousness for all those anxiously waiting for word on their own fate. Even if we do not know when the next round is officially going to start, or when those magical congratulation emails are going to be sent out, well the thought that it is getting closer is beyond exciting indeed.

Yes. This gal is a happy camper as I am looking forward to the thrill ride once again.

The second but no less important, at least in my household, is the fact that hockey is back again. Well preseason anyway. But hey, I will gladly take it at this point as watching football just isn't the same. I can’t sit there in front of my TV and yell out as many big girl words as am allowed. Believe me, I have tried. But it doesn't quite have the same effect as it does when yelling them out around the house in the middle of a hockey fight on the ice does. No it does not.

Trust me on this one.

Even if it does take a lot of time away from family and all, I am happy to see my husband back into his happy zone. To him, this is what it is all about:  The start of the madness, the endless possibilities that a new season brings. All of his hard work and preparation really begins to start showing.

I must admit I happen to love, love this time of year. So much to look forward to and so much hope revolves around it. A new beginning to a season, new pixie-dusted hopes and wishes. Both of which I am fully willing to ride and enjoy as long as I can.

With fingers crossed, it will be a great end of the year for this hockey and Disney World loving blogger.

Happy fall my friends, happy fall.

Monday, September 22, 2014


Sixteen tiny dots
splattered across a bridge
of endless skin
so fair is seems unnatural.
An inconsistent formation
going nowhere fast
yet everywhere all at once.
In years to come
they will fade like sunsets
on a summers night.
Memories and tales
of bumps and bruises
joy and heartaches
will be that remains.
Leavings a path of 
childhood in its wake.

-Aleisha M

Friday, September 19, 2014

My #DisneyMP Playlist.

Well we have made it my fellow Disney Moms Panel hopefuls. Next week we see the last full week of September. Which means round 2 is right around the corner. Yes that is right, we have reached the home stretch of waiting for round 1 to be done. I know it for many it has been the longest month of waiting.

As many may know I happen to love music, it is what drives me. I started a #DisneyMP theme song of the day last year as we waited. A tradition I continued in to this year. And since we have time, and you need a good distraction I thought I would share and provide you all with a couple of suggestions to pass the time.

My #DisneyMP waiting room playlist: 

If you believe-Mariah Carey/Whitney Houston

Hey Mickey-Toni Basil

Dream Big-South65

When You Wish upon a Star-any version but my favorite version is by Bryan White.

Fireflies-Faith Hill.

Don’t Stop Believin’-Journey

I Hope I Get It-A Chorus Line

Wishin and Hoping.-Dust Springfield 

Hanging On By a Moment-Lifehouse

You’ve got a Friend in Me.-Toy Story.

One Day More-Les Miz

Hold On-Wilson Philips

Have a little Faith in Me.

I can go the Distance-Hercules.

I Won’t Give Up-Jason Mraz.

Defying Gravity-Wicked

So Much Better-Legally Blonde

Seize the Day-Newsies

American Authors-Believer

Try Again-Aaliyah

Of course there are several other songs that come to mind, the possibilities are endless, and the list grows daily.  What matters is to find songs that speak to you, to give you faith and hope to carry you through while you wait.

Thursday, September 18, 2014


Around the kitchen table
Papers lay
The ink left to dry.
The second hand
To its own rhythmic beat.
The silence between them
In to the puff of smoke.
As the long lazy drag is taken
It's a loud exhale to
An exhausting
It was never meant to be this way.
Or so they thought.
From afar one awaits the
The other fears the

-Aleisha M.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Marking one year.

A year has passed since that fateful day at the Navy Yard. Just feet away from my office. In fact if I look out my window right now, I can see in to it.

So close am I that any time I pass the long gates, I stop and think about the changes, the people and everything that comes with it. I now support people that were there. Just this morning I listened as they revisited the day. For my part, I remained silent as what I went through that day was nothing compared to the horrors within the walls.

But I remember. And yes I have my own stories. The moment that the announcement came that my bosses were over there, that we were to hold in place, be prepared. Step away from windows and doors. As we went into lock down for who knew how long that point.  I will never forget the police officer looking and point blank stating  

If we left, there was nothing they could do to save us. We were on our own. Good luck.

And yet they pulled me to help make coffee for people who sought shelter. While the gunman was still lose (and no one knew where at that point) I watched as on the streets and inside the Navy Yard, media, emergency crews and law enforcement flooded in.

And people, yes victims got out.

Still all I could do was make coffee. And wait. Because that was all we could do. I hid it well, the fear. The thought that bosses and coworkers who I had just seen the previous afternoon where unaccounted for. And the relief when one by one they showed up, called back in. Etc.

All was not happy news, we lost a couple of subcontractors that morning. And a couple of people we did work for. We knew them. This was not unnoticed. It still does not go unnoticed.

I waited  that day, in the still eerie office, attempting to get work done, but it was clear nothing would get done from anyone that day. Instead we just sat there, glued to the news that we didn't have to watch to know we were living it. It is a strange thing looking at your local new  station and yet glancing out the window to see the very same live shot. To know you are the news.

And the joy when a manager said they told him if he was ready to go within the next 15 minutes that they were allowing the gate to open for a brief moment as they needed the parking lot, asked if I needed a lift out of here.

That computer had never been shut down faster.

Leaving, we passed the end of the Navy Yard, four coworkers all in silence. Thankful for the ordeal to be done.

No, it is a day I would rather forget, but know I never will. And today, as we mark the one year anniversary of it, I know my heart sits heavy with the victims and the families that miss them. May they know they are not forgotten.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

13 years later.

I always get an eerie feeling passing through the DC area on this date. My heart skips as we sit through stop and go traffic by the Pentagon. And I hold a breath as a plane glides over the sky.

Even if I do this everyday, this normal routine of ours. On this date, it just seems surreal, strange and heartbreaking to do so.

Its been that way for the past several years.

We all know what happened 13 years ago. I do not feel the need to digest every memory, or moment of the day as I have already done so. But I will say it is definitely no less easier than back then. The memories will forever be around. I will have to explain to my son what today means in years to come. A son who was born well after the fact in a post 9/11 world.

Yes, time has healed in many regards. And yet till leaves us unsatisfied in so many others. Lives were torn apart, buildings were changed and things will never be the same no matter how much they tell us it will get back to normal.

It will never be normal again. Just a new kind of normal rather.

And because I felt the need to, I wanted to use today's post to remember the victims, the ones we lost and those that are victims for losing someone. In NYC, In PA and in VA (or DC to most)...because today.

Well today will forever be for them.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A New Adventure; Contributor.

Image is not my own.
I have an announcement.

An exciting one at that. I have been holding off on sharing until I got the official notice. 

As many have known, I have been blogging for years. As a writer I enjoy it, maybe it doesn't pay me anything but that is not the reason I do so. I do it because I enjoy sharing my stories, my experiences with anyone who is willing to listen. Whether it is Disney related, hockey related or simply family related. 

I have never expected it to get me further in to anything other than my own happiness. 

That being said, a couple of weeks ago after blogging about the Disney Parks Moms Panel, I was contacted and asked if I would be interested in contributing to The Disney Driven Life.  Believe me I am so honored to have been asked, and of course I said absolutely I would.

For the moment, it will be at a once a month, but I hope to expand and grow on that once back to school routines get in order. I will admit to being a tad bit nervous on the same level. It is the same sort of excited nervous one often gets when starting a new adventure really.

I am excited for this opportunity to spread my love and my passion for all things Disney with so many others. It is in fact one of my favorite thing to do in all honesty. Just as much as I am excited to show off even more of my #Disneyside. While I realize my own blog does it and I will continue to share my experiences on my own, I love the fact that I can reach out to a broader audience as well.

I will make sure to do my best in keeping up to date when a post on The Disney Driven Life is published and invite you all to join my new adventure. My first piece will go live tomorrow, at which point I will actually be a contributor to the blog and I welcome anyone to follow along. 

And no need to worry, I will still be sharing stories, experiences and rambles on my own blog as well. 

So here is to new experiences, new posts and a lot of memories to share on both ends of the blogosphere.