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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Mayonnaise Jar and Two Cups of Coffee

Life has been a little overwhelming upon returning home from Disney! It has been an adjustment to get back into the swing of things, and being that this week is insanely busy hasn't helped matters any. I felt like I was at wits end last night as I was finishing all of our laundry after getting home from work while also working on the details for the wedding I am coordinating this weekend and the details for Reagan's birthday party this weekend. WHEW!

As I was driving to work this morning, I heard a very interesting story on the radio. My normal morning radio station is "The Beat 94.5" in that they play the right kind of music to wake me up and get me moving each morning. Rarely do they get very philosophical about much of anything! But this morning was a different story. I was able to find a copy of the script that the announcer was reading, and I have posted it here below...

When things in your lives seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things--your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions--and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

The sand is everything else--the small stuff. .

"If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

"Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first--the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked.

It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

Listening to that story put it all into perspective for me this morning. I am going to try to remember the mayonnaise jar and two cups of coffee when it seems like I can't get it all done. I mean... is it really all that important that our clothes are perfectly ironed and non-wrinkled this week????

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Bye Bye Disneyland

As I type this, we are on our flight home from Disneyland. Hopefully I will remember to transfer this file to the blog and hit the publish button once we get home tonight!

We started off our final day at Disney with one last character breakfast. On the way there, Reagan made a last wish into her wishing fountain.


Breakfast was fantastic once again… all of the food all week long at Disney was delicious. This pregnant lady loved being able to eat all the pancakes that I could hold each morning! Reagan got to visit with both Chip and Dale once again this morning, plus she met two new characters Tirk and Meeko. I know that Tirk is from the Tarzan movie… I will have to do some investigating about Meeko the Raccoon!


Once our bellies were full, it was time to head back into the theme park. We had told Reagan that she could ride any and all of her favorite rides one more time, and she did just that. First stop was the Go Gadget Coaster. She and Ryan rode together first, and then I jumped in on the fun for the second trip since there were hardly any lines this morning.


Reagan insisted that we ride It's A Small World again for Momsey since she knew it was her favorite ride, and then we also rode the tea cups again. Reagan had us spinning so fast that I never thought I would be able to walk straight again once we got off!


We took another walk through Sleeping Beauty’s castle, which Reagan has renamed to be “Princess Reagan’s Castle.”


We were surprised to find a full-band parade happening on the other side of the castle, but we quickly joined right in. Mickey was leading the band while Pluto, Goofy, Donald, Pinocchio, Alice and the Mad Hatter all danced around. At the end of the performance, Mickey looked and pointed right at Reagan and then blew her a kiss!


We adventured onto two new rides today as well. We decided that since Reagan was such a daredevil on the Go Gadget Coaster that we should let her try the Mattahorn roller coaster. SHE LOVED IT! The Mattahorn is the big coaster that runs through and around a giant mountain. It is a full sized coaster, and Reagan had some full sized fun!


We also took a tour around both parks and through the downtown district via the Disney Monorail. It was a 2.5 mile trek, and we were lucky enough to be sitting in the front pod with a great view of everything!


We still had several snack and food vouchers remaining out of our dining certificates, so we decided to load up on some goodies from the street vendors after our lunch. We now have enough suckers to last us until Christmas, plus we got a souvenir tub of popcorn, a souvenir jug of lemonade, a glow in the dark flashing necklace, and a bubble blowing machine!

We ended the day with a lovely carriage ride back up to the Main Street Station, just before the park exit. Our horse was named Holly, and Reagan was sure to give her a few thank you rubs once we were finished.


When we got back to the hotel, Ryan and Reagan went for a final swim in the pool while I packed up all of our stuff.


We had shuttle reservations to take us back to the LAX airport at 2:50, and it was an hour AFTER that when the shuttle arrived. The Southern Redneck in me very quickly came out as I unleashed my anger on the driver when he finally pulled up! We were rushed to say the least once we arrived at the airport, but we made our flight just the same. We barely had a second to spare, but we made the flight!

So now, as we are soaring somewhere between Los Angeles and Seattle, I am able to look back on the entire trip with the biggest smile on my face that you can imagine. This was the vacation of a lifetime. Being able to experience the magic of Disney with Reagan was amazing. It was memorable enough for Ryan and I to be going ourselves, but to see Reagan having the time of her life made it all the more special.

We can’t believe how lucky we were with such fabulous weather the entire time that we were there. Only a few minutes of rain during our dinner time on day one, and the rest was sunshine. Not too hot, and not too cold… JUST RIGHT! We were also lucky in that we never had to stand in an extremely long line. The park attendants were telling us that during the summer months, the lines can be as long as up to three hours for the most popular attractions. Whew… thank goodness we didn’t have a wait like that. The longest line we had was at the Fantasy Faire where you meet and greet the princesses. Our very own Prince Charming Ryan stood in line for the half hour wait while Reagan and I rode a couple of the rides that were close by. All of our other wait times were less than 10 minutes! And we were super lucky in that we never had a single meltdown from our Princess. She was an angel throughout the entire trip!

It is going to be hard to enter back into the reality of the real world tomorrow… especially since we won’t be getting home tonight until super late. We will have Princess Reagan back home in her own bed just before the clock strikes midnight tonight we hope!

Reagan begged us to stay at Disneyland forever, but it just wasn’t a request that we could fulfill! We made a deal with her when we left today that we would bring her back to Disneyland for her new baby brother or sister’s fourth birthday. And if she can’t wait that long, then there is always DisneyWORLD for another new adventure!!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY REAGAN MARIE

I can't believe that four years have gone by this quickly. I know it sounds so cliche to say it, but I really can't believe that my baby is now a four year old.

And today, she is a four year old PRINCESS!

Reagan's favorite Disney Princess is Cinderella, so it was only fitting that today is the day she chose to wear her Cinderella ball gown. She even took extra time this morning to do her make up so that she would look extra special.
We have started off every morning of our vacation with a stop by the fountain at our hotel, and Reagan tosses a penny to make a wish. This morning she was allowed to toss four pennies since it is her fourth birthday, and each wish was the same as the single wish she makes every morning since we have been here... she doesn't want to ever leave. We have a feeling that we are going to have a major problem on our hands tomorrow when it comes time to go home!
We left our hotel and made the short walk over to Goofy's Kitchen for our birthday character breakfast. Pluto greeted us as the door, and Goofy himself was waiting for us at our table.

Reagan wasn't too keen on saying hello to Balo, but Ryan jumped at the opportunity!
Princesses Jasmine and Snow White were both there as well, and they both mistook Reagan for their good friend Cinderella!
Chip brought a special birthday cupcake over to our table for Reagan, and he even helped her to blow out the candle.
After breakfast, Reagan decided that she wanted to go swimming since it was starting to get really hot out, so we headed back over to our hotel for a quick dip before it was time to head back into the parks to play.
After our swim, we walked back over to Disneyland, and Reagan was immediately ready to ride her two favorite rides... the King Arthur's Carousel and the Go Gadget's Coaster. As she rode around on her prize winning horse that she named Rose, she would wave to the crowd of all of her royal subjects.


She and Ryan were lucky enough to grab the very front seat on her favorite roller coaster, and I could hear her laughing and screaming as the zoomed over my head down below!
We were excited to get to see the Celebrate Street Party Parade again today, and today's parade was even better than the first time we saw it. This time, it was much more of a street party, and Reagan was thrilled when they pulled her out of the crowd to join in on the fun!

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Immediately following the parade, it was time to head over to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for Reagan's appointment. At precisely 4PM on Reagan's 4th birthday, she was transformed by her fairy godmother into Cinderella herself!
Ryan and I were both very impressed with how the makeover turned out, and we were both VERY proud parents as we walked through the park the rest of the afternoon listening to everyone comment about our beautiful princess! Reagan flaunted her stuff like she was a true princess diva... at one point she even insisted that I carry the back of her dress like a wedding-gown train so that it would not get dirty!

Our dinner reservations were in the California Adventure Park, and Reagan wanted to take a few more letter pictures before we entered. She posed in the "C" for Cinderella and in the "A" for Auntie Anna!
Our dinner was at Ariel's Groto where our birthday girl was the guest of honor for the evening. Reagan was thrilled that she finally got to meet both Ariel and Belle, and she was super excited that she got to see Cinderella again while they were dressed like twins! Snow White and Sleeping Beauty both recognized and remembered Reagan and were happy to wish her a Happy Birthday today!
We left from dinner and came back to the hotel to put our birthday girl to bed. Today was another magical day, and I don't think we will EVER be able to top this birthday for Reagan. The entire trip has been amazing... but today was the icing on our fairy tale cake!

Happy Birthday my beautiful princess! May all your hopes and dreams and wishes come true!