Wednesday, August 26, 2009

MOVING SO CLOSE, BUT YET SO FAR FROM WALT DISNEY WORLD

As most of you know Cory and I have just moved 3 hours away from what we call home. Just to give you some background info on this, where we are from and home are two different places. Home is bout 30 minutes away from where we are originally from. McDonald's, Wal-Mart, a University, you get the picture. Where we are from, the most we have going on for us the still fairly new Dollar General Store. No franchised restaurants or fast food for that matter. Mostly farmland and everyone knows everyone - including your business. Comfortable and safe to say the least however the "Belle" in me is wanting more than this provincial life.

I've always wanted to move to the big city. The flashing lights, more to do, more to explore, or as my Mother refers to it, a higher crime rate. Seems like in life no matter what we have we are never satisfied. We always yearn for more, the bigger, or the better. We are no different; however, we are very grateful for the blessings we have had. I have had this move in my mind for a long time. Even before Cory and I got married this past March. I put the idea out at my job on expanding our Tennessee territory. Then before I knew it I was committed to move. Seemed like more of something we just talked about then it started getting closer. As the time came for us to find an actual place to live we travelled up here. I am overly organized so here I have a notebook with 3 pages worth of apartments and houses to look at. Then, while looking at what could potentially be my new office we find out that she has a house. This house was the very first house we looked at and it must have been meant to be. No one has lived in this house for a very long time. Why? Because its an old house; however, its been completely remodeled. In the heart and historic district of town, I fell in love. Great neighborhood, friendly people, people walking their dogs up and down the street, children playing, and most of all a fantastic landlord. 2 weeks later we found ourselves packing and then the day came in which my Mom dreaded - moving day. Grandparents got us a U-Haul we loaded it up, grabbed our doggies, and headed out for a better life. 3 hours later we arrive in Springfield, TN. We unloaded the U-Haul and gave the grand tour to my family. After a short break, we went out to eat then came the dreaded goodbyes...

My family left and then this was it. We were alone...

Fast forward and the new soundtrack to our life begins to play on the radio as we explore... We are less than 30 minutes away from Nashville, Opry Mills Mall, the I-MAX theater, tons of restaurants some of which I never heard of til my friends on twitter were talking about them, another mall which is 15 minutes away, hotels, gyms, lights, the opry, and the Nashville International Airport. The golden gate bridge between us and Orlando. Everything is at our fingertips -something we are not use to.

Homesick? No. However I will admit I miss the closeness that we use to have between family. Its just the comfort ability of knowing if I needed something they are right down the road and its not like that anymore. I was the first one in my family to attend college and now move away (at least this far from home). I am the first grandchild to get married however first to have a child was taken by my cousin. LOL. I feel like Giselle in the movie "Enchanted" clueless but genuine. When we went to WDW for our honeymoon back in May we had the pins that said "Just Married" on them. When we met Peter Pan and Wendy, she made the comment, "Oh look Peter, they've already grown up. They are married..." Have we grown up? I sure hope not!!! I look to embrace the future and whatever adventures life throws our way. Life is not all about the everyday hustle and bustle and 9 to 5 work schedule. It's about dancing in the rain, feeling the breeze blow through your hair, soaking up the sun, and believing in the impossible.

I still may be 13 hours away from WDW but I'm closer to the airport! It's only a 30 minute flight from there!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

EVERY GIRL CAN BE A PRINCESS


Every girl can be a Princess
Any dream can be

Close your eyes and see
A magic wand and soon you've gone
from just you to royalty

You don't need a grand old castle
Rising in the air
Maids to brush your hair
Your heart is pure your thoughtful... surely
Princess, your almost there...

Why,
Just putting on a tiara,
And you aren't, the same old you.
My life changed so completely
By just putting on a shoe...
Who knew?

Every girl can be a Princess
Fashion can be learned
Heads can still be turned
By your sweet face... the style and grace

You know you already earned...

Hold your head high, and keep smiling
'Cause thats just what a Princess does
You're as beloved, and beguiling
As ever a princess was...

Every girl can be a Princess
All thats left to do
Is, find a prince for you (we will find one)
A prince who's bold (but not too old)
Who'll hold you, your whole life through

The most perfect Princess... is you!

*Lyrics courtesy of Disney Princess Collection Volume 2

Monday, August 3, 2009

KEEP YOUR FAITH


Finally, the moment I've waited for since I was a little girl was about to come true. Everything was perfect from my Walt Disney World proposal right down to the Disney music I walked down the aisle to. It was truly a fairytale. There is only one thing that would have made this day absolutely perfect, and that was to be able to have my Dad walk me down the aisle and give me away. In February 2009, my Dad was becoming seriously ill and no one knew why. He is a diabetic, but that is not what was causing the problem. On March 3, 2009, my Dad was admitted into the hospital. They thought he had a bad case of pneumonia. Within 7 days Dad should have gotten better and been able to come home. However he wasn't getting better at all. His fever stayed at around 102 the whole week. The hospital did an x-ray of his lungs showing what they believed to be pneumonia spreading all over his lungs. He was getting worse. About the second week in, and after running very extensive tests they discovered my Dad did not have pneumonia at all. He had a very rare lung disease called Blastomychosis. Anyone can get this disease it just depends on your immune system. At the time, my Dad was helping my Uncle cut down a tree and he was not wearing a mask. There was some fungi growing on the tree and my Dad inhaled those particles from the tree, which in turn, led to the fungi growing on his lungs. The treatment for this disease is horrible. He receives an antibiotic from a an IV style bag and tube. However, it is very important that a patient be completely sedated. If they aren't, taking this medicine can cause seizures and death. When they asked my Dad if he wanted to receive this treatment they told him he had 2 choices. Either take this risk or die. He decided to take the treatment, but he also had the mentality that regardless of what happened if it was his time to go, it was his time to go. The first night of treatment Dad ended up in critical care. On March 18th, my Dad was not properly sedated before they gave him the treatment. He was having seizures and his fever shot up to 106 and he died... This was the Wednesday before my wedding day. I remember feeling so helpless and so upset. Why is this happening to me and why is this happening right now? The nurses and doctors pushed us out of the room and slammed the door in our faces. Scared and uncertain we finally had some news. My heart was in my throat. They revived him. My Dad was alive. He was sent to critical care for tests to be done on his brain as they were saying for some one's fever to reach 106, it could have done some serious damage not to mention the lack of oxygen to his brain when he died. However, his brain was fine. He remained in critical care for several days after this incident. They were giving him his treatment with properly sedating him like they were suppose to at first. His body was accepting the treatment and we were hoping to get him well. Saturday the 21st came, my wedding day and my Dad would not be walking me down the aisle. He had asked his brother, my Uncle to give me away. It was the hardest but most special day of my life. I was a complete nervous wreck as most bride to be's, but considering the circumstances it was times 10. The music started, "A Whole New World" (Aladdin) began to play followed by the seating of Mothers and Grandmothers to "You'll Be in My Heart" (Tarzan). The guys came out to the theme from Superman, the bridesmaids to "Remember When" (Disneyland's song). The ring bearer and flower girl walked out to "Define Dancing" (Walle) and then... I couldn't breathe. My Uncle looked at me and told me how beautiful I was and then the Main Title from The Little Mermaid began to play, the doors opened and we began to walk. The Little Mermaid was the very first Disney movie I ever owned and my Dad got it for me when I was 5 years old. Every time I watched that movie, he watched it with me. The song was suppose to be a surprise for my Dad, but he never got to hear it. The ceremony came and went as did the reception with friends and family. It was about 10pm when we finally left on what was suppose to be our mini honeymoon however the honeymoon hadn't started yet. We drove an hour away to the hospital to see my Dad. I wanted him to get to see me in my dress. When we arrived it was almost midnight and the hospital staff prolonged his treatment long enough. They knew we were coming and how important this was. See, when they would sedate my Dad before giving him his treatment it was like wiping the slate clean. It caused him to lose a lot of memory. My Dad was so happy to see me in my dress and we took some pictures together when he was in critical care, but I was afraid he wouldn't remember seeing me so that's why we took the pictures so he could not be reminded that he missed my wedding day but that he still got to see me. After leaving the hospital, we left for our mini honeymoon since our Walt Disney World honeymoon was in May. Not only was Dad dealing with diabetes, this lung illness, but he was in desperate need of having his gal bladder taken out. His gal bladder surgeon did not want to do this surgery because of his past history of performing surgery on someone with this illness. Every patient who had what my Dad has and had surgery has died on the table. My Dad was willing to take this risk. He went into surgery on March 23, 2009 at lunch time. His gal bladder had set up a very bad case of gangrene. After a lot of prayers, my Dad made it through. On April 16, 2009, my Dad was finally released from the hospital. He was well enough to take his treatment in pill form at home. He is to be on this treatment for at least 1 year. Dad is still doing well, however he has memory lapses. He doesn't remember anything about being in the hospital or what happened to him, but the one thing he does remember is seeing me in my dress. I never have to remind him that he did get to see me on my wedding day despite everything that happened. Which is a special memory for him and for me. He may have missed my wedding day but he promises to be around for the birth of his first grandchild -whenever that happens :) and I think he will be able to. In writing this blog, and for those reading it I just wanted to let you know that their is power in prayer because my Dad is proof. Never give up on your faith. And sometimes even when things seem to be at their worst, somehow they seem to turn out beautifully.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

WHEN YOU WISH UPON A STAR

My 1st visit to Disney World... The Story! The theme was Disney's 2008 Year of Million Dreams. I couldn't have been there at a better time.

I've always wanted to go to Disney World. I had always heard it's the happiest place on earth or that it's the place where dreams come true. It was sort of a childhood dream I had. I can remember being 5 years old watching The Little Mermaid and that's where it all started. From that time on I was hooked on Disney. It was my nitch so to say. The older I got, the more I started to understand what Disney actually stood for. It's so hard to describe to people. It's like you can't understand the magic of Disney until you have experienced it for yourself.
Months prior to our trip, one night Cory and I were talking about how we've never really been on vacation together since we started dating. Cory then decided that since I had always wanted to go to Disney World then that's where we should go. We planned for July and he was going to pay for our entire trip and call it my birthday present since mine is July 28th. Our trip was booked July 23-27, 2008. From then on, I started counting down the days. It seemed like it took forever to get here, and when it finally did, it was all over way too soon.



I had never flown before and Cory booked plane tickets so that was an experience in itself. I went through 4 phases of flying being as I had flown four times total for our trip. We left Nashville and flew to Atlanta, GA, switched planes, and flew to Orlando. Upon leaving, we left Orlando, flew to Atlanta, GA, then back to Nashville. 1st phase of flying consisted of us finally boarding the plane, my hands tightly gripping the arm rests and taking long deep breaths. I kept hearing a loud noise and I started to become uneasy. Cory was like "Tiffini, relax, they are just loading the luggage." We got ready for take off and my stomach was in my throat. I hated the take off part. After finally making it into the air I refused to look out the window. Cory was all like wow or whoa we're in the clouds... I was saying how much I want to be on the ground now... We reached our peak at 88,000 feet at 510 miles per hour. (Gulp) We reached the Atlanta airport and we had 45 minutes to spare... I don't know if you've ever been to the Atlanta airport or not but that is the most confusing place ever! It took us the whole 45 minutes just to find our gate in which doing so came within 2 minutes of us missing our flight! However, we made it. This plane was huge! You could watch cable tv on the seat in front of you. NNIICCEE! I was still nervous and a little uncomfortable with flying and then a girl sitting next to me gave me the latest issue of Cosmo to read which kept me occupied and I didn't notice much. Before I knew it we were landing in Orlando. Yay! I was so excited! Disney's Magical Express was there to pick us up and take us to our hotel. We stayed in Disney's resort, the All-Star Movies resort. It was great!

We stayed in the Mighty Ducks portion of the hotel.Our first night there and what to do??? Visit the Magic Kingdom. We rode the monorail which took us to a resort called The Contemporary that is 15 stories tall. On the top there is a restuarant called California Grill which has the most delicious food you have ever had in your life!

After we left, we rode the monorail again to the Magic Kingdom. I had my sights set on one thing, Cinderella's castle. I'd been waiting my whole life just to be able to see it in person. One thing about Florida is that it rains... Alot. For like 30 minutes at a time. So I got an $8.00 Disney poncho first then made my way to the castle. FINALLY! After 23 years, I made it! I was excited and happy. I couldn't believe I was actually there. It felt like I was in a dream and I never wanted to wake up. The inside of the castle was a breeze way with mosiac pictures from Cinderella on the walls. There is also a restuarant in there called Cinderella's Royal Table. I was excited and told Cory to ask how we go about getting to eat there. Cory asked and the guy told us you have to make reservations 6 months in advance to eat here. I was bummed, but got over it quickly. After doing some exploring of the castle we walked around the park to check Disney World out! We went to the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor. It was so much fun. It's a comedy club with the characters from Monsters Inc. They told jokes and had a screen and picked on people out in the crowd. It was great. Then, a character from the film was up there telling the short version story of the original film. When they started picking people out of the crowd, they would suddenly appear on the huge screen as fillers for the characters they were talking about. They said Mike had a friend... He was a big, hairy guy named Sully... And then... There he was... Cory was plastered on the screen with the name Sully under him. We died laughing it was so funny. They said make a scary face; he tried... LOL It was so much fun!


We explored Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Adventureland, and then by this time it was getting dark. The Spectro Magic parade was going to start. People were lined up everywhere waiting. By this time, the Disney staff had started blocking off sections of the park so the people could not go back and forth. Cory and I had been talking about the castle and how enchanting it was and mostly how Cory was gonna figure out a way for a Disney staff member to give us a tour of the inside. They've got it set up like a hotel in there now... We lined up on Main Street USA and waited for the parade to start. Cory told me he would be right back and that he was going to get some information about the castle. I said ok and still waited. A little while later, he came and got me and said "They said we could go in." I was like WHAT?! REALLY? He led me over there to one of the Disney staff members and she let us past the gate. There was no one else around. Just us two. We walked up the little street that leads up into the castle although we did not go into the breeze way. Then, we stopped. I was standing there like ok is she coming up here or is someone else suppose to take us or what... He then dropped down to one knee. I was so excited... He was stubbling over all his words. It was so cute... And then... Cuteness took a turn. Cory said, "You know, this just isn't the right way to do this." He got back up and pulled out a ring box from his pocket and then he got back down on his knee. I was in shock and so surprised he had a ring for me. I couldn't say anything and I could hardly see from tearing up. He was holding it and told me I was the most beautiful person he had ever known, inside and out, and then he asked me to marry him. It was just then that the SpectroMagic music started to play. The only thing I could say was, "Can I put it on?" LOL. He laughed and asked, "Is that a yes?" I was like "Oh YES, YES, YES!!!" He then put it on my hand and I just hugged him! All the strangers in the park were watching us. It seemed like that moment lasted forever and I replay it in my head all the time. We then walked back down, through the gate, and into a crowd of people still waiting for the parade. We were then congratulated by people we didn't even know. How romantic!!! We watched the parade as it finally started. Disney characters everywhere all lit up, music playing, floats, it was amazing. And then, the moment I had always dreamt about was about to start and I had front row center for it. Fireworks at Cinderella's Castle. It was so beautiful. I felt just like a princess who found her prince and made all her dreams come true. I will never forget that moment and how I felt as long as I live. It was then that I discovered that Disney World really is the place where dreams come true.


Day 2... We headed off to Hollywood Studios. First ride we rode was the Twightlight Zone Hollywood Tower of Terror. I almost died on this ride. Well, not really, but it felt like it. I had seen this ride on tv so many times and I always wanted to ride. After I got on it, I wanted off of it. This was by far the scariest ride ever! The idea is that you are in the elevator that goes up 13 stories and then suddenly drops you and bounces you up and down like you are bouncing because of the elevator cables. It has windows that open up like elevator doors and you can see out in the park. I had my eyes closed like the whole time. Right when everything went pitch black I said to Cory, "I don't think I wanna do this anymore. I think I want off." He was like "It's too late now!" About that time, BOOM! There we went dropping 13 stories. It was so scary. I opened my eyes one time just so happened to be the one time the doors were open and you could see out into the park. It was so scary. Needless to say, after it was over I was glad I rode it, but one time was enough for me.


We explored Hollywood Studios, rode some more rides, seen some shows including the Lights, Motors, Action, a car stunt show which was really neat! We also saw the Indiana Jones stunt show in which Cory was picked to be a part of. Here is a video of when they first picked him. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8ACS0pEofY


He would later return as an extra as they were pretending to shoot different scenes for an Indiana Jones film. He was in some sort of red dress robe thing and a turbon. LOL It was great!


Day 3... We went to the Magic Kingdom early that day. We had schedule of character greetings and here it is day 3 of our vacation and I still hadn't met the mouse that started it all, Mickey. Our schedule said he was suppose to be on Main Street at 2pm. Well we waited, and waited. Mickey stood us up! LOL. We found a Disney staff member and asked where we could meet Mickey at because our schedule said this and we never saw him. Apparently there was a misprint on the schedule. The guy told us he to wait and he would find out when and where Mickey was going to be. I stopped him before he left and told him that this was my first trip to Disney World and that I have waited my whole life to Mickey Mouse and our vacation is half way over and I still haven't found him yet and it made me sad. He was in shock. He said "Stay right here. Do not go anywhere, I wanna do something for you." So we waited................. Oh here he is! He came back and said follow me. So we did. We followed him up in the castle breeze way where he knocked on a door and a woman answered and asked what our names were. She then gave us this pass called the No Strings Attached Pass. This pass would enable us to go and meet Mickey Mouse in ToonTown and not have to wait in the long line of people waiting for the same thing. So off we went... We found his house, walked in, found a staff member and passed everyone in line. We got our own private meeting with Mickey and Minnie, took pictures and had fun. Mickey kissed me. He actually made the *muah* sound. It was wonderful. I love him! I know it sounds cheesy, but I actually started to tear up a little. This was one of the moments I had wished for when I was a little kid and now at 23 years old it finally came true.

Remember that restuarant I mentioned earlier? Cinderella's Royal Table? 6 months in advance reservations to eat there? Well, I had another surprise in store for me. Turns out, Cory did have reservations there! I was so excited! We finally got there and went inside the castle. We didn't know this, but if you eat there you get free portraits made with Cinderella and they bring them to you while you are eating. They called Holland party of 2 and we walked past a knight down a red carpet and there Cinderella was. Upon entering the park, you can stop at Guest Reservations and they will give you these little pins to wear. We both had one that said 1st time Visitors and one that had a picture of Cinderella and the Prince that said "Just Engaged." We wore them the entire time of our trip. Cinderella saw them and asked to see my ring then asked how he proposed. She was exclaiming how romantic it was. Then she decided a pose for us to do in honor of our engagement at Disney.


Ok so anyways. We made our way up the stairs and into the restuarant. We had a beautiful window seat. The food there was soooo good!!! The surprises were endless... Our waitress saw our pins and asked if we were there to celebrate our engagement. We told her no we got engaged last night. She was oh wow and was really excited. She asked how and we told her. She was really happy for us. A little bit late she came back to our table with a box. She said in honor of your engagement I would like to give you a present from us here at Cinderella's Royal Table. She handed me the box and I opened it. Inside were 2 glass champaign flutes that said Cinderella's Royal Table on them. She said maybe you can use them in your wedding. I was so excited. She then gave us a certificate. It had Princess Tiffini and Prince Cory written on it with some little saying on it like "No matter how many miles separate us you will always remember your special moment here at Disney World." She informed us that all the Disney Princesses would be coming out soon and to be sure to get them to sign our certificate. We did just that, and got our pictures made! While eating they brought us our picture with Cinderella. It came in a folder and once opened it has a picture on one side of the castle and on the other and 8 x 10 portrait of our picture and 4 4 x 7's to share with people! How cool right?! Disney sure knows how to make someone feel special!


It was Friday and we were staying at one of the Disney resorts. What does that mean you ask? It means we're special! LOL. Friday night the Magic Kingdom was open until 2 in the morning and we closed down that park! We didn't have to wait in line for rides or anything. Resort guests get a special wrist band that has "extra magic hours". That is why we got to stay until 2AM. It was so much fun! We rode the Pirates of The Caribbean, Peter Pan's Flight, Aladdin's Magic Carpets, The Haunted Mansion, went through the Swiss Robinson Family Tree House, Snow Whites Adventure, Big Thunder Mountain Roller Coaster, Space Mountian, and so many more... We had the time of our lives.


Days 4 and 5 are a little blurry... We were exhausted... We had been doing so much trying to fit everything there is to do in. We watched a show at Hollywood Studios called Fantasmic. If you ever go, I definitely recommend seeing it. It's like a laser light show and Fantasmic is Fantastic!
It was so neat! We really loved it!


Our trip had finally come to an end and fairytale land would soon turn back into reality. I never wanted to leave. Day 5... Packing and saying goodbye... "Now it's times to say goodbye, to all our company. M-I-C- See ya real soon K-E-Y - Why? Because we like you, M-O-U-S-E....


4 Phases of flying... Here we go again. We take Disney's Magical Express back to the Orlando airport. There was a storm and our flight got delayed by an hour which was not fun at all... We finally got to board the plane at about 8PM that night. Oh no... I hate take offs. I was a little more comfortable and the flying didn't really bother me much at all. 45 Minutes later we arrived in Atlanta, GA again, where again our flight was delayed an hour. We finally left at midnight to fly back to Nashville. Last phase of flying: I was asleep before we even took off. LOL. I woke up when we landed only because my head bounced off the window. We made it to Nashville. Disney World had already came and went and all I was left with was just a memory that will forever be embedded in heart for as long as I live. So I sign off with this in mind...........
~ DREAMS DO COME TRUE ~