Friday, October 4, 2013


You may be able to tell this from reading past posts, or just from knowing me, but family is really important to me.  I wouldn't be who I am or where I am if it weren't for my family.  I will always hold them closest to my heart, and would drop everything to be anywhere for them in an instant.  Growing up you don't realize how lucky you are to see these amazing people every single day. And growing up I wished I didn't have to sometimes.  Looking back I hate to admit that, but I'm not going to pretend every day was carrot cake and pool fun.  Everyone has growing pains.  But I see so clearly how fortunate I am now that I wake up everyday without any option of seeing them.  Photos help.  Facetime helps. Phone calls help.  But it's never the same.  We will never be 5 people living under the same roof again.  And although I'm very okay with that, I do fully see the unique opportunity growing up gave us.

People often talk about their "work family" or their "friends as family" or common with CRPs and CPs, their "Florida Family."  We grow and move and change and create these bonds with people who are incredible and wonderful and we form very close friendships.  I am lucky enough to have created friendships and met people dear enough to include me in these 'families,' especially being so far from my own.

I work with some absolutely beautiful people, with huge hearts and goals, ambitions and smiles.  We have a wonderful time together, and it's good, because we also spend a ridiculous amount of time together.  We spend so much time working that we almost have two lives, our work life and our home life.  I spend more time with my colleagues than I do with my boyfriend, or my friends, combined.   I know that's the way of the world, but isn't it interesting? You spend all this time with these people, day after day, week after week - all so that you can have a little extra time and money to spend with the ones you love.  The ones you choose to spend your time with.  I'm lucky that those I'm designated to spend time with are great.  I know everyone isn't that lucky.

Florida is full of transplanted people.  Not many people I know are originally from Florida; therefore lucky enough to have their families down here as well.  Due to this, many friends circles turn into a Florida family - the people who are there for you down here.  I have some friendships that I depend on a lot, and I am so thankful for.  I can't believe the luck in finding these other people who understand me and love me just the quirky way I am.

Francel is one of the few to be a Floridian, and although his whole family isn't here now, they do get the chance to be together more often.  The love in his family radiates off all of them.  Nothing makes Francel happier than getting to hang out with his family.  And I completely understand why.  They have the strongest bond, the greatest time together and are all in love with each other, all so proud of each other, and always there for each other.  I've been blessed to be welcomed by this incredible family and I know how lucky it is to love your boyfriend's parents.  There is no way you couldn't love Francel's Mom - her joy for life is contagious.  There are no words for how amazing it feels to be a part of this family. 

Then there is our family.  Our family of two.  The beginning, the nucleus of a new family.  One surrounded in the love of all these other families, growing closer and stronger, laying down roots for our future. 

I miss my family.  I'm sure that's abundantly clear.  Everyday I know that I'm missing Clo and James growing bigger, or Carrie's latest vegan recipe.  I'm missing ice cream with Grandma and wine with Grandpa.  I'm missing life lessons with Gar and Kim and playing with the dogs with Dad. I miss everything about my Mum. 

What it comes down to is working everyday to make missing all those things, worth it.  Its pursuing my dreams.  Getting up after every misstep.  It's knowing that my family, all of my families, support me in making everything I've ever hoped for come true.  It's in making the right decision, not the easy decisions. And working hard. every. single. day.

I know not everyone has the best relationships with their families, I haven't always.  But I do know how lucky, how blessed, how special it is, to have the love and support of such incredible people.

I am so grateful for all of my families, for all of the people who take a piece of their hearts to care about me.  Thank you.  I love you.  

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Happy Anniversary

True love. I believe in it. Why? Because I see the way my grandparents look at each other even after all these years. There love for one another has been an inspiration for me for years, so much so that when I lived at home I had their pictures and wedding announcement framed on my bedside table. 
I've believed in fairy tales my whole life and always had an overacting imagination. However watching what my Grandma and Grandpa have been thorough together and done for one another, and still say all the time how they love each other more each day? You don't need fairy tales when you have the real deal unfolding in front of your eyes. 
They share so much love between the two of them, that it radiates off them and ripples through their actions towards family and friends. 
My grandparents will do anything to help their family, and I for one would not be able to follow my dreams without them. Thy inspire me in so many ways and I'm just unbelievably grateful for their support and their example of not just how to foster a lasting relationship but in how to be an outstanding person. 
Although I'm far away, you two are always in my thoughts and guiding me through my days. Happy Anniversary (and HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDMA!!) and here's to many more incredible years together. From coast to coast you are loved and appreciated. 

Monday, September 16, 2013


I love my job.

That's something I haven't been able to really say before.  I have loved the money from certain jobs, the people from other jobs, but this time, most of the time, I really love it.  I usually have that nagging feeling when I have jobs that I need to look for what's next and find something better.  However as a concierge I am really enjoying myself.  There are days where it's tough, and a lot of the time in the beginning I found myself never leaving work happy because I felt like I had to ask for help too often. The thing is, we are asked so many random questions about EVERYTHING all the time.  Every single day, every single guest is totally different.  I've been asked anything from the best restaurants on and off property, to secret soft opening information, to where to buy cigarettes at 2am, to where can you buy constipation medication.  My friend got asked for a 1 cent refund.  I've heard incredible stories of love and compassion, of families using this trip to bond back together after tragic events, to celebrating the adoption of their children, to reuniting after deployment.  I've seen proposals, set up numerous magical moments, and turned angry guests into want-to-be friends.  There is so much empowerment as a concierge to own situations and take the opportunity to ensure lifelong guest loyalty.  I know it's a business, and honestly I love that side of it as well.  I think the masterminds behind the marketing, the synergy between products and the understanding of low cost, high impact recovery is incredible.  Yes a lot of my job is checking guests in and booking reservations.  But I'm helping to create memories.  I'm helping to create happiness, excitement and fun.  I may be checking you in, or booking your Chef Mickey reservation, but I'm also the gateway to hopefully one of the best vacations of your life.

I work a lot.  I also am going to university full time.  I thought 'oh full time school, full time work - I got this.' But in all honesty if I wasn't so passionate about both it wouldn't be working.  It's hard.  I have to manage school with work with housework and then throw in some sort of relaxation, fitness, and lets not forget friends.  I know that it will all be worth it when I finally get my degree, and I also know that this degree won't be the last schooling I take.  I definitely see a Masters in my future; especially if my company at the time will help pay for it.

But that, in a nutshell, is the last couple months of my life.  I was a part of the pilot team in the roll out of MagicBands and MyMagic+ as a whole at DisneyWorld.  I've gotten to drive a Cadillac and purchase or create amazing gifts for numerous people.  I made a family cry from happiness with an upgraded room.  I assisted people who had an incredibly tough year, feel like kids again.  I've also seen the magic my co-cast work everyday, and the hard work and ridiculous hours they put in to create the experience.  I work with amazing cast, and throughout meeting with almost all of them by now, amazing managers.  They have been nothing but supportive and hoping to help me get ahead.  I appreciate their advice and assistance so much.

We're going to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party tomorrow and I'm SUPER EXCITED.  The Halloween parade is the best one at Disney World in my opinion and I cannot wait to see those grave diggers!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Kindness & Excitement

Since my last post about media sensationalism was a little heavy, this post is a lot more happy! Especially because I JUST finished my LAST EXAM!!! How exciting is that?!  I just finished my first full year at university in the states.  It was a long road to get here and without sounding full of myself, I'm pretty proud of the fact that I set a huge goal and with the help of lots of amazing people, am well on my way to accomplishing it!

I had a heavy heart last week.  Since last weekend, I have been overwhelmed with generosity and love; both for myself and for others. It started with a beautiful article I read about a Disney Cast member(s) who went above and beyond to create an amazing experience for some sweet girls who had to experience a horrible tragedy.  You can read it here:

Boston Marathon, Sandy Hook & the 3:00 o'clock Parade

It makes you believe in the good.  The good that fills this world and will always continue to be there.  There is a lot of sad and a lot of bad, but there is so much good that we cannot let ourselves lose sight of.  There is also this Youtube video that I absolutely love:

Restore your Faith in Humanity

This weekend I got to see the Director of the Mahima Care Home talk about what they do, what it's like, and the difference it is making.  The Mahima Care Home is a Kolkata-based girl rescue and rehabilitation home that addresses the grave injustice of sexual slavery, by providing a safe home for girls who have been rescued from the sex trade. This lady actually goes into the establishments with a team and the police and take young girls out of the sex trade and provide a place for them to live, be loved, be educated and feel safe.  It was really inspiring to hear and it makes you believe there are people being the change in the world.  

One of my friends accomplished something very important to her and super exciting, and we had a little get together to celebrate! You could tell how excited and happy she was, something I haven't seen in a while, and it was really great.  

Personally I've been showered with love as well.  I strolled into work last week, getting set up, looking for things in draws and turn around to all my co-workers with red and white balloons and a birthday cake!! They all sang and we had cake and I just couldn't believe it! I was so surprised!!

Two of my favourite ladies sent me packages in the mail, making me feel the love from 3000 miles away.  I haven't opened them yet though.  I also got a package from my parents! So fun!

I got to see my niece gallop like a horse around her new house, flutter like a butterfly, attempt to give me a house tour which was a lot of spinning and chin shots, and hear her say "Katie" over and over in the most amazing voice ever.  Hearing your name said by a little munchkin that you love? AMAZING.  There is little that can outdo the videos and pictures I've gotten of Clo lately.  She can carry on conversations! and runs around in her adorable little outfits.  Told me all about bumping her head.  She's so logical and has the most mischievous, glorious laugh that you can't help but smile about.  Even though the laugh came after a little hair pulling... She's incredible.  

Two of my dear friends in Florida have been planning a birthday celebration for me on Friday and Saturday, and last week they let it slip what we're doing.  We're going to be staying at the Grand Floridian CLUB LEVEL! I can't even believe it. I'm still in shock and still can't wrap my mind around it.  Then on Saturday we're going for Tea which I'm SO excited for! Saturday night my boyfriend takes over for dinner :) How incredible?  I'm in shock.

But it keeps going, because Sunday is when we leave for Miami, and Monday is our cruise! (Still can't believe that one either!!!!)  AND Disney announced both Disneyland and California Adventure are going to be open for 24 hours while we're there!!! SO I will have been able to spend 24 hours straight in both Magic Kingdom & Disneyland if I can convince Francel... Epic Disney Geek status. :D

How can your heart not be overflowing when you are ambushed with so much love from so many places?  I will mention that in there also Francel and I went to a movie.  After the movie I really wanted Menchie's.  It's frozen yougurt where you get to add your own toppings and they have lots of yummy flavours. I didn't want to recommend it though.  Francel opened my car door (how cute is that? Such a gentleman :) ) and then as he was walking to his side of the car I said to myself "ice cream ice cream ice cream."  When he got in his side he looked at me and said, 'do you want to get some ice cream?" I was in SHOCK! There is no way he heard me because i said it inside my head (and he was outside of the car ;) ).  I thought he was going to want cold stone, which is good, but super ICE CREAM whereas Menchie's is more froyo.  And what did he suggest? MENCHIES! So happy. lol.  I told him I'd been thinking about it and he said he just kind of got a craving while getting in the car.  EPIC.  Ask and you shall receive? 

Overall it's been an amazing week, I haven't even hit everything.  I attended a 40th birthday party where I only knew the birthday boy and his husband and one other person who left before me, and everyone was so nice and so inclusive! They asked all about school and work and were genuinely excited when I told them about my concierge job.  I LOVE friendly strangers! It was such a great afternoon. I also officially finished moving in to my new place, with the help of an amazing friend.  

So you can see how one week can make a huge difference.  The end of the semester relieves a lot of stress, and the overwhelming power of love has really left me nearly speechless this week.  Sometimes it's hard to not get caught up in all the hardship, in the ever changing visa information, the tragedies in the world, and the friends who weren't worth it.  However, if you just stop for a moment, you can see the love.  It's all around us. It's on the internet, it's in the last 5 minutes of the news, its on the faces of strangers and its in the incredible people who you surround yourself with.  Life is good. Especially today :)