Monday, May 30, 2011

Is It Worth Going After

Just sitting here contemplating what friendship means to me. I think it's something you either have with someone or you don't. I'm not talking about the casual friendships or the friendships you might have with someone just because you belong to a particular group of people. I don't think true friendships can be created intentionally, it just happens. 

If I think back through my life,  there is a period of time when I consciously said to myself, "That person seems like they would be a lot of fun. I think I will try to get to know them a little better."For me those times never worked out as I had expected. As a matter of fact, "What have I gotten myself into?" was a constant feeling.   Those times that did work out  I didn't do anything to "find a friend", we just found one another. Looking back on those relationships the key was that nothing was forced.  I want to be around that person and if I can't it's okay because I can remember the feeling I had the last time I was with this person. 

This type of friendship didn't have anything to do with what they could give to me, at least at first glance. Now I realize they gave me a lot. They allowed me to feel good about myself, comfortable in my own skin.  These friends are the ones you don't want to leave out of any part of your life whether that part is good or bad. These are the good ones you don't want to see go.  Good friends are the ones who share in all of our journey, not just when life is running smoothly.

 When you find a friend like that you are lucky. It has nothing to do with popularity or if they have money, but everything to do with how they make you feel. Do they support you or do you feel worse after you have been with them? If the later is true, it's okay to only leave yourself open for the kinds of friendships that do make you feel good.  Open yourself up for opportunity. Every situation presents something to you. The most unexpected outcomes can come to us if we allow. 

 The friendships you don't seek out are the ones that last a lifetime.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Hardest Thing

What do you do when your mother calls up and tells you she has cancer?  I tried to take in as much as I could without getting caught up in the word.  That's where my breath stopped.  I heard bits and pieces of things she said, like consultation and surgery,  but that's about it.  Thank goodness I was able to focus on trying to remember what she said instead of my own selfishness,my potential loss.  Now the tears come.  It's the hardest thing I've ever had to digest.  No one wants to hear that their mother has cancer.  No one.  Especially not my mother.  

She is our rock.  She's the one I could turn to knowing that I wouldn't be judged.  Her lessons for me are not spoken, for the most part.  I knew what the right thing to do was. I saw, and continue to see,  her do the right thing.  She leads by example.  

Now it is my turn to be strong for her.  God, give me the strength to be strong for her, for my dad, my brother and the rest of the family.  It is my turn to show her that she taught me well.  Take up the fight and do not give up.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Disney Part 7: Let Me Off This Disney Train

At what point do you say to yourself, "I've had enough!" At what point do you surrender to what is in hopes of anything other that the situation you are in now? 

I could be talking about love. Actually that would make an excellent topic. What do you do when you have had enough.  You cannot take it anymore!   I am not talking about relationships but I am talking about my feet. We have been walking around for days in search of people, places and things. 

Can we not find the off button? We cannot help ourselves. It is kind of like watching AFV, (America's Funniest Videos), the Travel channel and some other reality show all rolled into one. You are mesmerized by all of the stimuli.   Unbelievable :0) I want to get off this Disney train but I cannot.  I keep thinking just another hour and then we will go.  I feel trapped because everyone is so nice, the parks are so clean and we might miss something!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Disney Part 6: The Magic of Disney

I need to back up a bit to Magic Kingdom.  It seemed like at this point the kids were either taking it all in or they could really care less where they were as long as there was stuff to do.  Correction, fun stuff to do.  We tried to hit all of the major rides/attractions.  I'm checking my phone periodically to make certain we are headed in the right direction and to the shortest line.  Yes, there are apps for that.  Those Disney World apps make life a lot easier.  I know which days are good/bad days for which parks, wait times on rides and a map of each park.  Awesome!!

So, we are walking around to our next destination which is Pirates of the Caribbean.  I check my phone and what do you know, the ride is down.  Down!  Seriously?  I didn't think any ride would be down at Disney.  As we are walking I decide to find a park employee and ask what was going on.   Finally, someone to ask but he's helping someone else.  I wait ever so patiently only to find out he doesn't know the answer to my question.  I thank him and start to catch up with my family who was on a search for something else to do.

All of us in our mouse ears!
I turn to look behind me. I felt someone on my heels.  You always know when someone is closing in on you,  and there he was.  There was the park employee I was just talking with.  He was an older man.  He seemed nice enough.  He was asking questions as he tried to keep up.

      Park Employee:  "Where are you from?"  "Since you live so close I bet you've been here before?"          Me:  "No, we haven't been as a family.  This is the first time for our kids."
      Park Employee:   "Oh!"

  He was a very nice man but I started to think this guy was taking his job a little too seriously.  He followed us all the way to the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction and then said, "I have something special for you to do this afternoon if you are interested."

My husband's and son's expressions must have led him to believe they thought he was a timeshare salesman.  He came back with," No, I'm not selling timeshares or anything else.  I'm extending an invitation for your family to be in the Magic Kingdom parade.  Would you be interested?"  WHAT!  Jon and I look at one another and then the kids.  The most surprising answer came from my 14 year-old son.  He smiled and said, "Sure!"  My 10 year-old daughter's face lit up too. That alone was worth it.  The Disney employee said, "Okay, meet me at the front of the park at 2:40."   The magic of Disney!

Every hour my son inquired about the time, how long it would take to get to the front of the park from where we were and reminded me that we should probably get there a little early.  It was only 10:30.  This was coming from a kid that is so laid back it is painful.  He's late everywhere he goes, which incidentally drives me insane but I've had to learn to live with it.  Live with it until now :0)  I almost wanted to hug him.  Some of me was rubbing off on him. I'm so proud!

We get to our meeting spot, where the parade starts, and look around for the man that we spoke to earlier.  2:30 turns to 2:35.  No park employee.  My husband and I are starting to sweat it.  Later my husband told me he was thinking, "What if this guy was just fooling around or he forgot?"  I was just thinking we might be in the wrong spot.  A little prayer was said that there would be follow-thru and that we WERE in the right spot.

2:40 on the nose and up walks our man.  In his hands are mouse ears that have been embroidered on the back with our first names.  We were told we need to wear these in the parade.  Along with that was a certificate showing that we were the Grand Marshals of the parade for that day!  Everyone put their ears on with pride.

Before the parade started
It seemed as if the parade went on for miles.  That evening our arms were tired from waving and our jaws were sore from smiling so much.  It was an experience of a lifetime!

Hey Woody!  Watcha doing?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Disney Part 5: Disney in a Week

As far as the rest of the week went, it was good!  We made it to Epcot only because we had a couple of extra tickets.  Of course we hit Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.  We planned those two.

As the song goes, "She's got the whole world..."
Epcot was fun but I'm glad we didn't spend an entire day there. I think the first attraction we went to was Mission Space.  Mission Space is still with my husband and I.  This is not a good thing.  If I could compare it to anything it would be a flight simulator.  I haven't been in one but my son knows enough to know so  I'm taking his word for it.  It was almost disastrous.  The kids were fine.  "It was okay but I'm not going on that again."  In light of what just happened, we decided to skip Mission Earth. We headed on over to Test Track.

Test Track was a lot of fun.  One thing that I did like about all of these rides was the wait.  I know, that sounds a bit nuts but really I did.  They had plenty of things to look at or to do in all of the lines.  Attention to detail made everything so real.  You felt like you were there.  That's all that we had time for.  On to Magic Kingdom.

 Magic Kingdom was everything I remembered and then some.  There were at least two rides we wanted the kids to experience,  Space Mountain and It's a Small World.  Surprisingly enough they liked both.  Space Mountain still gave me the rush it did so many years ago.  It's A Small World not so much.  At least we were off of our feet and in air-conditioning.  It was blistering hot outside.  Yeah for "off of our feet."  We rode Astro Orbiter, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean. I will let you know what happened on our way over to Pirates in another blog.  So Cool though!!
THE Castle

I kind of liked the Rock 'n' Coaster in Hollywood Studios but it did give me a bit of a headache.  The music was awesome though.  Who doesn't like Aerosmith?  Twlight Zone Tower of Terror was my favorite in Hollywood.  Finally there was something my husband and son were dying to see, Studio Backlot.  Studio Backlot attraction let us see how a lot of stunts were developed.  YAWN!  That's what my daughter and I had to say about that.

Splash Mountain.  One of our favorites!

Shelby with possibly the NEXT AMERICAN IDOL!!
Next was something the boys knew we wanted to do.  Can you ever get enough Idol?  My answer is I think not.  So we headed off to what had my daughter's attention, The American Idol Experience.  The place was packed! I must say I even got into it.  It was just like Idol.  No really, just like Idol as if you were actually there.  You could even electronically vote!  They had 3 contestants who performed for us.   The girl who won was amazing.  Who knows, maybe someday we will see her on American Idol.  Just in case, we snapped a picture.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Disney Part 4: Lions and Tigers and Bears

We woke Tuesday morning ready to go!  Our first park on the agenda was Animal Kingdom.  We laced up our tennis shoes and off we went. Several people tried to discourage me from going to this park in particular.  They told me that this park is just for little kids.   I'm so glad I decided to include it because we all loved this park.  It was breathtakingly beautiful.

We went on a "safari" and saw so many lovely creatures just roaming around.  I was in awe at the Tree of Life.  It was an extraordinary example of how we are all interconnected.  It was also a good reminder that if we don't start taking care of everything someday it will all be gone.

It's Hard to Be a Bug attraction was well worth the wait.  The kids loved the 3D bug breeze, bug juice and the ever popular Stink bug. We also saw Festival of the Lion King.  If you are Lion King fan, I highly recommend it. The costumes were gorgeous, the singing incredible and the dancing magical.

Tree of Life carvings

Tree of Life
It's almost 13 hours later and we are headed back to our smoke filled, soon to be air freshener filled, condo, but not before one last bite and one last picture.  Just a beautiful place with friendly people.  I wish everyone could put on a Disney face.  I think the world would be so much better for it!