Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

From my house to yours. From my Luigi to your Elsa, 

Happy Halloween!!

May you be safe, may the candy be good
but most importantly may you have a lot of fun!!

I know come the morning, all traces of the holiday will be long gone, replaced with Christmas decorations, music and ads all over the place. So for one last day we shall enjoy the fall for as long as we can.

Because the holidays truly are upon us.
That being said....

As a new month starts tomorrow,  lets not forget the other major holiday (which happens to be one of my favorites) November is a month of thanks.

And because of that.

 I figured I would attempt at doing a what I am thankful for every day, I do believe I say I am going to do this each and every year. 
This year lets hope I can actually fulfill the desire to do so. 

But for the moment, for the day.
Once again I will say.

 Happy Halloween to all, and to all a safe night.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

#DisneyMP: Regarding the waiting room. Breathe, just breathe.

Image is not my own.
So it’s been just about 72 hours since the close of Round 2. Are your nerves getting you yet? I am sure by this point you have gone over every single one of your answers, found numerous amounts of mistakes and already taken yourself out of the competition.  You have over analyzed your video. Did you do enough? Did you say enough? Was it too much? Or maybe it was too little? Just let me get through to Round 3 and I will do better right?

Sound familiar?

Well let me tell you. We are all right there with you. Relax, take a deep breath and let it out. Go ahead, I can wait.

Now that I have you back, let me be the first to say this: Give yourself a break. It will all be okay. While I too find I am anxious and nervous about Round 3. After years of going through the process I have found that while I am waiting for news, I have picked up some tips here and there.

Last year my husband bought  an Alex and Ani bracelet for me while I was waiting for word on whether I would make it to Round 3 or not. Across the trinket, the words “What’s meant for you will not pass you.”  It seemed like an odd sort of statement when I first read it, but I have come to realize just how true it actually is. Maybe I didn’t make it on to the panel last year and whether or not I will make it through to Round 3 is still to be determined. But I try not to focus on that. I try and enjoy the process day by day. I try and focus on how good it feels just making it through to Round 2 when I know several would love to get to that step. And I am beginning to believe that things have a way of working out for you when the time is right.

Perhaps I am an eternal optimist, but it helps to think this way.

Another method, which helps me, is to stay away from social media.  Don’t get me wrong I love Facebook and Twitter. And I love the people and the friends I have made along the way, including you! Please do not take offense to any of this, but sometimes during the process I need to step back and walk away from the groups and the feeds. I need to decompress from analyzing people who shared their answers and videos. Perhaps they didn't share every detail but analyzing whether 'Ohana or Coral Reef would have been a better answer can drive anyone insane.

Remember this! Everyone has a different voice, a different answer, a different way of writing than the others. It’s not to say any given individual is better than the other or that the judging committee is looking for certain styles over the other.  Nor does this mean you are automatically out because of it.  It took me a couple of years to realize this.  Stepping away also helps to really remember why I want to be a part of the magic that is the Disney Parks Moms Panel, assisting others create the same magical experiences that we so often enjoy ourselves.

I know this is not for everyone. But just stepping away, avoiding reading other people’s answers (even if tempting) has helped me not over think things and stress about whether my answers were good enough or not.

Along the same lines I will say this: Be proud of your answers; be proud of your voice. After all, that is ultimately what they want to hear. So maybe you didn’t answer the same way everyone else did. If it was how you would answer it, and if it was important enough for you to mention than you did beautifully. Don’t second-guess them. Be proud of them. Embrace them and let yourself enjoy the moments of the next few weeks.

Monday, October 27, 2014

A fall family weekend.

This image is not her own.
This past weekend I did not focus on research,  blog posting, nor did I focus on the DisneyMP application I had submitted on Friday night for round 2 (OK, maybe I thought about it a little) but rather I focused on my son, my husband, and spending the weekend as a family.

Believe it or not, we forget how important this is.

Usually we enjoy a family festive weekend around the holidays, a weekend where it is just the three of us. We make cookies, go out and see Santa, that sort of thing. But this year we figured why not make a weekend enjoying the autumn? And so we did. Both my husband and I put down our phones, (with the exception of picture taking) grabbed our son and made our way out to a local barn for pumpkin picking and cider tasting. Little man did a fabulous job at picking the awesome pumpkins, but not so much the cider as he had determined it was not something for him. Never the less, we enjoyed a beautiful Saturday in late October exploring the grounds of the barn and the treasures it had with it.

But this was not just a one day event, nor the main event. That was saved for Sunday when we decided it would be a whole lot of fun to spend a huge amount of time in the kitchen baking cookies, carving pumpkins and enjoying the giggles of a 5-year-old as he gets ready to celebrate one of his favorite holidays.

And yes we spent the day in pajamas because, hey why not? Every now and then I find this to be totally acceptable, especially when you look at the clock and its already past five and you figure by this point, well what's the use in changing? Perhaps days like these are even needed. The joy out of his face all day clearly made me feel like the decision not to pull him away from cookie decorating was well worth it.

So perhaps we had to clean the kitchen five thousand times and the blog post was only roughly started. Sometimes these things are insignificant in the long run.

And sometimes, there are more important things than making sure a kid's bedroom is spotless.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

DisneyMP, R2...submit.

Well after days of working, pondering and making sure everything was practically perfect I hit the submit button for round 2 of the 2015 Disneys Moms Panel Search last night.

I admit I wasn't sure how I felt. Maybe a little gassy, or elated. Or somewhere in that zone (thank you Frozen for so eloquently putting this) While I felt good about my answers I also  I knew it was  out of my hands. Now all that is left is to sit back and wait the three (give or take) weeks for the decision to come out.

It is going to be the longest three weeks I am sure. 

I will have to find myself something to do in my attempt to keep my mind off of it. No this is not going to be an easy thing.  You would think I would be an expert at this. I have after all been attempting to spread my own pixie dusted knowledge on the panel for the past six years now. But the waiting game is never easy. It is hard, and it nerve-wrecking. You could drive yourself insane thinking about it. Yes you can.

But is is done, it is in the hands of the committee. And I have  faith in them. There may not be an instant answer, or even an overnight answer like we all want. But  this is to be expected. And until we find out. I shall wait. And dream. And believe.

And attempt not to think about it.

Wish me luck.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Poets Corner: A letter to my 15-year old self.

                                            A letter to my fifteen-year-old self

15 years from now
It won’t matter
That no one knew your name,
That you were that kid.
The one that was overweight
With braces and thin skin.

16 years from now
The very cheerleader
The one that everyone thought
Ran the school?
Now hides her addiction
Between back to school nights and PTA meetings.

17 years from now
No one will remember
That you were the wallflower
The one no one asked to the dance.
But will claim they did
The moment you see them again.

18 years from now
The guy you swore to always love
The one who made fun of you
Because you weren’t like the rest.
Is now the very same guy
That stops and stares as you pass by.

                                                  In the end, none of this will matter.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Heading back.

There is a problem when you do not have to go to class for two and a half weeks. It makes the return when you do, that much harder. Yes that is right. I have not gone to campus since September actually. It was nice, really nice. My absence from campus was not my fault, they have been cancelled, working sessions or fall break.

And it made me realize how much I look forward to not going up on a weekly basis. I know in all actuality I do not have that much longer to go before freedom calls my name. And believe m I am more than looking forward to not having to head up, park walk the campus and sit through classes for three hours. Even if it poetry and I happen to really enjoy it. There is something to be said about not having to do that sort of thing that thrills me.

Actually it had been so long since I had taken the poetry session, that I admittedly had forgotten I had to write a poem, which is not that hard until you run out of creative juices and then well. Yeah good luck with that one. No worries, I was able to bang it out and will have ready for tonight's workshop though thankfully I am not sharing it with my fellow poetry lovers.

That would have been not so pretty.

One week closer. One week down.

I got this.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

On the eve of notifications. A #DisneyMP letter.

Image is not her own.
It is feeling a lot like Christmas Eve around the Disney Parks Mom Panel community this morning.  After weeks of waiting and decoding encrypted messages from Gary, it has come down to this. The final 24 hours (more or less) before those pixie-dusted magical emails arrive.

Or not so.

Having been on both sides of those emails, I can assure you I know what everyone is going through at this moment.  I know the emotional roller coaster it plays on you. Right now you are feeling excited, nervous. Perhaps a little scared even. That is perfectly okay. Believe me, I get it. The process is amazing. There are so many great people and so many of us have made some great connections through it. Yes, you want to go through, but you want them to go through to Round 2 just as much.

Are your nerves getting to you yet? Hang in there.

One would think given the fact I have a Moms Panel Fastpass+ I would be a lot calmer. After all I know what is coming; I know I made it on to Round 2. But here is the thing. I am just as excited and anxious to see who will be joining those of us who have the MPFP+ as you are.  I will not lie when I say; it has been a long month and a half wait.

But the wait will all be over tomorrow. For some, the news will be thrilling. For others the news won’t be.  For those joining me through to Round 2, enjoy it. Take it one step at a time. It is a thrilling ride that only gets more exciting with each step. Cherish and relish the fact you have made it this far. Celebrate it.  When I found out last year I was moving on, I sat there in the car shaking for minutes. I had to reread the email to make sure it was correct. I asked my husband to pinch me. It’s a thrilling moment to know you are one step closer. I cannot describe it really any other way except pure excitement.

For those who do not make it, the only thing I can say is to hold on. I know it sounds ridiculously hard to do, but don’t give up. Use this year as a tool for next year’s application. Yes, it may be a whole year away (or really 11 months at this point) but believe me the year will fly. Don’t be disappointed in yourself. I will tell you what I told myself last year (and even blogged about it) you did an amazing thing. You did this for YOU! You began to chase your dream and are working towards going after them. Maybe that didn’t happen right away, or when you thought. But it doesn’t mean they aren’t working. Dreams are funny things, they don’t happen overnight. Be proud of this. Repeat.

So tonight, put on your Disney jammies (because I know you own at least one pair). While you are at, throw them inside out just for extra pixie dust. Grab some hot chocolate in that Cinderella mug. Fill it with extra sprinkles. Dance to “When You Wish Upon a Star.” Dream and wish. Tomorrow will come.

But for tonight, we are all still hopefuls.

Faith, trust and pixie dust to one and all!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Nothing like opening night.

No matter the sport, there is nothing like opening night.  Sure you may have hit up a preseason game, worn your sweater a thousand times over the summer and watched the replays of the past seasons on the networks in the middle of July. But nothing compares to, or even comes close to opening night.

That is right, as I placed my butt into the seats last night, I looked around and thought. I am back. We are back. Among family. Among the others whose faces, if not names were so familiar. The kids behind us who yelled Jooooel Waaaard, and threw popcorn with each goal. The guy in front of us who consumes no less than three rounds of nachos and cheese each game. And the ladies beside us, who barely watch the game but rather choose to stare at their phone all evening and see it as some sort of social hour rather than a professional sports game.

Yes, it felt good to be among them once more.

There is nothing like that first game jitters, the hope that this season will be THE SEASON. Yet knowing despite the outcome someone will slam them and find something wrong in the morning. And catching the opener for the first time is always joy. The smell of beer and hot dogs not as much but it comes with the game and would be odd without. It is seeing the hometown crowd for the first time, I fully admit half of the time I just sat back and watched them, knowing I was apart of it all. It is the first anthem(s)  of the year, the realization that you know all the words to both. And who thought that would ever happen?

It is Caleb Green and Bob McDonald singing them for the first time. it is beautiful.

And while others may disagree, I truly believe the 400s level is a blast. I may have spent years in the lower bowl but up in the 400s, you can see it all. The anticipation, the fears. The nervous glances at the score board knowing time was winding down.

Yes,  Its the crowd, the sweaters and trying to memorize all the new players, their numbers once more.  While I may have been crowd watching for half the game, the other half was watching the guys on the ice, and trying to work out the pronunciations and to figure out who was actually worth it all.

No there is nothing quite like opening night. Even if we lost.

I was home.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Hang in there Nats fans.

Well Nats fan, I feel your pain. As an avid and loyal Caps fan, you better believe I feel every emotion you are going through this morning.

We have been there many many times before.

The loss the morning after, stings. Unbelievably so. Even I admit to it. I watched last night hoping for a miracle. Of the kind I knew would be hard (but not impossible) to come by. The hope was renewed when Harper tied it up. But as we know, much like the game of hockey the game can not be won (nor lost) by one solo person. Still the hope was renewed, it was there. And maybe just maybe they could pull it off, force the teams to come back to D.C.

It is a thought I have often found myself believing and hoping for during playoff hockey games. Yet, the results have often been quite the same as the results we saw last night. A little too late.

I do not have much to offer any of you. Other than this. The guys had an incredible year. I know it is little consolation right now, believe me I know. But they did. If nothing more they made a name for themselves. And maybe it wasn't noticed around you, but from where I sat and watched around the DC area, there seemed to be a whole lot more support and a broader fan base than there has been in years. Yes, this may be due to the season, but does it matter? Making a name for themselves can be an incredible thing really.

So enjoy that.

That game on Saturday? The one that went thru to the bottom of the 18th inning? Well that is not something you see every day and if you ask me it was an amazing game. I could be wrong of course but it took 18 innings for them to Win that be proud of that. Nor was any of the games blow outs. And how many times have we seen those sort of games? The kind that end up 7-1 or 6-0. For me I would much rather see a close hard fought win than a blow out lose any day.

I realize my thoughts may be of little help to you. As much as I know it will do nothing to save the season. Because at the end of the day, they lost. The media and the sports world will slam,over analyze and criticize the team. Chatter will begin as who is to blame, who they should keep and who should be let go. It is their job to do so. But this will pass, it always does.

So perhaps today you are swearing you are done. You are moving and pledging your alliance to another team (hey the O's are still in it) but bare this in mind. Tomorrow is another day. A fact us DC sport fans should be pretty used to saying.

And hey, there is always next season right?

This too sounds vaguely familiar.

Monday, October 6, 2014

It's hockey season once more.

And so it begins. Or it will be by the end of the week that is. If you don't know what I speak of, let me be the first to fill you in. This week marks the beginning of the NHL regular season.

This gal could not be more excited. Yes I have been watching the baseball playoffs, and the occasional football game (when I absolutely have to that is) but neither are the same, and come as poor substitutes to the game my household (and I) love so much. No I am not ashamed to admit this. We all have our sports.

I have been approached by numerous people around the office inquiring what I think about the season. How do you think we will fair? What about the coach? Do I even like this Orpik guy? These are questions I get about the same time every year, so really I am not surprised by any of them. And like usual I try and leave my own thoughts and comments to myself. Especially during the beginning of the season.

And this is why.

Because it is the beginning of the season. And because it is, I try and not pass judgement on the team until I actually see them. How are we going to do? I can not say. The best I can do is, I hope we will well, I think as a fan of any team this is your hope.

As a wife of someone in the organization, if not for me than for my husband. I do not wish for the next nine months of the emotional roller coaster that has often been seen within the last couple of years. And if you do not know what I am talking about, well lets just say I have seen my fair share of brooding and minor meltdowns around the house one day, and pure exhilaration the next. I will admit to having a few of my own no doubt.  I guess it should be expected when your life revolves around the season, your livelihood revolves around the season.

Its a vicious vicious cycle. 

Well then what about certain players? Well doesn't this remain to be seen? Hasn't the past proven itself enough? Especially if your a DC fan of any sport. A number one pick can be incredible, and then he gets hurt. And all of a sudden, well you know the rest. Or that trade nobody wanted? Turns out to be the best thing to happen to them. Tale as old as time (see what I did there)

So I am not going to bash any player, blame any player just yet. I will see how things go.

I will say, as a  fan either way, I am excited for the season ahead. I think some big changes will be put in to place and I am hoping many of them will be for the better. I am excited to get back to that rink, to be among the crowd as we cheer, as we let Goat take us into LETS GO CAPS....right on through April and with any luck, beyond.

I am just ready. Welcome back hockey, welcome back.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Sharing my Inspiration and a little Poetry: Damaged.

I have been asked where does my inspiration for my writings come from? In this case my poetry. The answer is everywhere. At times it comes from real life and at times it comes from observing and listening to others. Sometimes a simple line in a book will get me started. I will sit for hours figuring  and mapping out the lines to follow. At times it comes easy and at times it does not. The writers' workshop class I am taking has allowed me to open my eyes to the fact  that there are endless possibilities just waiting out there in our every day lives.

That being said, I have come to the realization that often pieces are never quite done. Some take you in a total different direction than you thought when you first began the piece and there are always going to be ones you favor over others. Which is true for most things in life.

I say this because I am sharing my work with you, in the realization that some of the pieces will be the first cuts. I will get feedback and go perfect them later. I did not expect to get the kind of positive feedback that I did on the piece below. But this doesn't mean it is finished. And when it is, I will gladly share the edited version. Until then...


He sits beside me at a cramped little table.
Waiting for an answer. Of the kind I wish not to say.

To tell the truth, real as it is
The dog that bit my mother 
The blood clot that robbed my brain
Which would change everything forever.
Would bring confusion. Disappointment.

There are things
Not understood.

To tell a lie like I did back at 22.
The shark attack I walked away from
Which lead to the three surgeries
That changed everything in an instant
Would bring bravery. Shock.

These are things
Better accepted.

The hand of which the question regards
Lays beneath the very table.
Still. Stiff. Numb.

Do I dare say? Or just avoid. I must decide.
“I can’t use it.”

“But you’re beautiful.”
A silent nod, a sympathetic look.
“It’s just a shame.” Then he rises.
“That you’re...”

A sneer slides across his face.
It’s brief but does not go unnoticed.


He leaves me then.
Clutching the very hand.
Still. Stiff. Numb.


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Hello Ocotober!

And then somehow, it became October. That is right, remember back in January (which doesn't seem all that long ago really) you thought, oh October is so far away. You looked at the stack of projects to get done and thought, well by the end of the year they will get done. And suddenly here we are staring at the final bend of the year, those piles of projects? Half of them still sit there right?

Or perhaps not.

But somehow here we are the final leg of the year. I have to admit I am looking forward to what the end of the year holds in store for me. Just as  much as I admit to actually getting through some or most of those projects that I had planned.  And what is more? I am becoming an awesome time management person. I will say, the fact that Logan is now in school has helped a lot. You see there is a benefit to him now being in it. One we had not planned on. But by getting him on the school bus, and still commuting in to work has actually not added to our commute as we once feared. But has actually decreased it. Yes that is right, this gal is now getting in to work a lot faster than she had even a month and a half ago. 

I can see why people come in later these days. It does have its advantages.

I have a good feeling the second half of the year is  going to be good. My horoscope back in the beginning of the year told me so. That is if you believe in that sort of thing. I am not so sure I do. But this is just me. That being said, if I do have a fantastic end of the year and the horoscope proves to be right. I just may become a believer. 

Then again this is all coming from the girl that accurately predicted the Super Bowl back in August of 2013, so perhaps I should.