Something Magical Happened, But I Can’t Show You

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Last week can only be described as amazing, soul-refreshing and down right exciting. You already saw my solo adventures at not one, but all four of Disney World’s theme parks. But here’s the part I didn’t show you.

I actually can’t show you. See…my phone died right after I ate what looked like a delicious Mickey Mouse shaped pretzel, but really was old tire rubber that had been sitting in the sun since 7am.

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Pretzel notwithstanding, there was magic in the air as I returned to Hollywood Studios, where I’d started my grand adventure.

There has been one other time in recent Disney history that I’ve stayed for the fireworks at the park. And it’s because 2 equally minded, childlike spirits knew as I do just how much magic a fireworks show can hold. I may be overselling this. But the majority of the time when I go to a theme park, at the end of the night, my party is worn out, tired and just wants to beat the traffic. The best way to do that is to skip the fireworks and high tail it out at about 7:30pm. That’s the formula for skipping as much Disney traffic as you can.

But this time it was just me. And traffic, when I have nowhere to go, doesn’t bother me in the least. Especially if I have open windows and a good radio station. Bring on the tail lights!

So I stayed for the fireworks. Specifically the new Star Wars Spectacular at Hollywood Studios cause…well, duh! It’s me! It was always going to be the Star Wars Fireworks show!! I wish I could show it to you, but I’m sorta glad my phone died. I love to share my photos and bring people into my adventures as much as I can. But this was just for me (and the thousands of other people that stayed late too.) You can probably Google the show, find clips on the internet and pictures on Instagram, but I beg you…don’t! Make a plan, if you can, to get to the park and see them live. Let your phone die and live in the magical moment that it absolutely is. I was nearly in tears…it felt that magical. The way the lights and music perfectly complimented my favorite story in the whole wide galaxy…there is really no other word to describe how it felt…it was magic. And I haven’t felt magic like that in a while.

Without a doubt this has been a challenging year. And I have felt, at times lost, at times angry and at times like it wasn’t worth it at all. It’s not true…it’s worth it. It has been worth it the whole time. And not just because of magical fireworks on a balmy Thursday night. I seem to be most attuned to God and myself when I am acting like a kid. I tap into a part of myself that I seem to abandon more often than not these days. She and I used to be much more in sync, but the older I get the farther away she feels.

That magic isn’t lost! In fact I found that magic the very next day when I decided, on a whim, to go paddle boarding off Merritt Island. Another instance of a magic moment that I will just have to keep in my brain because I didn’t bring my phone with me. So this is the only picture I took of the whole adventure:

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It was 11am on a Friday morning. The breeze off the water was perfect and the sun was shining down just enough to give me a nice sun tan/burn glow. I was paddling along by myself, trying to remember how to do it, since it had been a while, when I saw a fin. My heart froze…and I thought “OH SHIT!” Then, I saw another and another. I took a deep breath and the time to notice the shape of the fin and was delighted to see a pod of dolphins headed straight for me. Four adult dolphins and a baby just happily swimming towards the channel and passing me by on their route. I stood in wonder at the sight of them just five or six feet off my starboard bough. It was nothing less than magical!

I followed the pod and watched as they interacted with one another. Squeaking and jumping in the air. I wish I could show you, but again, I’m kinda glad I can’t! It was a moment made just for me. There was no one else on the water right then and by the time other people came into view, the dolphins were gone.

These are extraordinary moments. And they don’t happen everyday. After all “if life were made of moments, even now and then a bad one! But if life were only moments then you’d never know you had one.”

I guess what I’m saying is that when magic comes along don’t spend all your time trying to take a picture of it. Let your phone die or leave it back on shore and keep that magic for yourself. There will be plenty of other things to share with people. Magic is something special. And since it’s rare, take care who you share it with.

Truth is, even this blog can’t effectively convey the rejuvenating magic that happened to me somewhere between Disney and the water. But I feel like myself again. I feel the ideas and the excitement of my life again. Ideas and excitement that never left me. God doesn’t take away your creativity. It’s you who walks away. And if you’re lucky you come back and remember who you are. Take the magic when it comes! Seek it out if you have to.

“Just remembering you’ve had an ‘and’ when you’re back to ‘or’ makes the ‘or’ mean more than it did before.”

I hope you find magic today. And I hope I never get to see pictures of it!

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My New Favorite Words…

I’d been begging D and H for weeks, to let me read Harry Potter to them. They hemmed. They hawed. They’d heard of Harry Potter, of course. Who hasn’t! But they just weren’t exactly eager to sit still for a chapter a night. However I persisted saying, “You’re gonna love it…I promise!”
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One night they finally relented and allowed me to read one chapter. Just one chapter. Which they fell asleep to. The next night they let me read another chapter and again…they fell asleep.
I was starting to despair. What if they didn’t like it? What if Chapter 2 was as far as we’d ever get? What if they’d never know the magic and wonders waiting for them at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry???
(First world problem…I know!)

But see, one of the great joys of nerdom is sharing favorite fandoms with the next generation. It’s the closest we can get to reading a favorite book or watching a favorite movie all over again, with fresh eyes. The kids had adored Back to the Future, were properly obsessed with all things Star Wars. But at 9 years old, they were the perfect age for Harry’s adventures! I didn’t want to miss this chance to introduce them to J.K.Rowling’s masterpiece.

But I repeat… they weren’t having any of it. Until one morning…right around chapter 5… I came downstairs, as usual. I grabbed my big cup of tea, asked the kids how they slept and what they wanted for breakfast, when D said these musical, magical, new favorite words….
“Lizzie, can we start reading more Harry Potter everyday?”
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I almost dropped my teacup out of pure shock and joy.

“Really?” I said hopefully.
“Yeah!” he said. “Could we even start now? And read this morning before school?”

I’m pretty sure my body did an involuntary, celebratory jig. Best…words…ever spoken by a 9 year old boy to me!!

They’re both hooked (D more than H, but I’ll take what I can get! The girl will get it soon!) They’re waiting with baited breath as we read chapter to chapter. They already love Hagrid, are intrigued by Harry and can’t wait to hear more about Hogwarts. D even said to me,

” Lizzie, you do really good voices. But if you need a goblin voice, I can do it. Cause I’m really good at minion impressions.”

Life is good. The torch is passed and I’m a happy little nerd!!

30 Days of Nerdy Hair – Day 24

Day 24: Young Elsa from Disney’s Frozen

Disney characters always have great hair!! And not only the older ones, but the kiddos as well. So today I picked young Elsa. Just starting to learn about her magic and when she freely used it with no thought of the dangers. Little Elsa lives life with very little fear.

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This one is super easy to accomplish. You need a black headband and a nice braid in the back. And it’s an easy everyday style that doesn’t scream Disney princess. (Although personally, I love when my hair screams Disney princess. It’s so much fun!!)

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“The cold never bothered me anyway.”

5 Fandom Friday

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5 Characters I’d Invite to My Thanksgiving Feast

Today’s blog topic from The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick is about characters I’d invite to Thanksgiving. Before I begin, you should know a little about my family. We are a very tight knit group of people. We uphold many unique holiday traditions and we are also what you might call… a little quirky. With that being said, adding any more personalities into the mix could be tricky. But we’ve always been a family that welcomes new comers and vagabonds alike with open arms and plates of turkey. So here is my list of characters I’d like to invite to Thanksgiving. From TV to Books to Muppets to Movies, my choices come from all over the place.

#1 – Swedish Chef from The Muppets

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“Gersh gurndy morn-dee burn-dee!”

My family is talented at a great many things. One of them is cooking. So it’s not like we need any help in the kitchen. But I’ve always loved the Swedish Chef from The Muppets. His Mock Swedish dialect and his can-do attitude would make for an upbeat positive guest at our Thanksgiving Feast. Plus we love to add multi-cultural elements to our holiday traditions. So why not add one of his famous dishes to the menu? Like his Flapjacks, Fishie Chowder, Japanese Cake, Frog Legs or his Squirrel Stew. It’s not so much the end result as it is his process that would be the most entertaining.

#2 – Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice

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“She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me, and I am in no humor at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men.”

Sure, he’s haughty and proud. And sure… those are qualities a modern woman would rare to never tolerate in a man. But he’s Mr. Darcy!! And aside from providing some delicious eye candy (Colin Firth is the Darcy I’d choose), he can also provide sparkling conversation when prodded and pushed. Maybe it’s an odd choice, but I’d love a traditional Regency Era Thanksgiving Feast complete with reel and musical concert. Perhaps a little impromptu singing might be in order. And if Mr. Darcy was in attendance you could almost guarantee that something exciting would happen.

#3 – Lady Grantham from Downton Abbey

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“I knew this family was approaching disillusion, I wasn’t aware that illusion was already upon us.”

My Grandmother, Flora, is the matriarch of my family. We have Thanksgiving at her house every year. She is strong willed and stubborn and I think I get a lot of my gumption straight from her. She reminds me a lot of the Dowager Countess of Grantham, Lady Violet Crawley. You might wonder, with one Lady of the house already in attendance, why invite another. I imagine that if Lady Violet and Lady Grandmother Flora were ever to meet, they would either become best friends and while away the hours playing bridge, or they would become sworn enemies and take turns delivering crushing set downs. Either way, I think it would make for a most entertaining Thanksgiving Feast!

#4 – Genie from Aladdin

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“You ain’t never had a friend like me!”

A genie is always handy to have around. You never know when disaster could strike and if you had a magical genie of the lamp then crisis would immediately be averted. A genie is useful, but Genie is a delight. Genie has long been my very favorite Disney character. Voiced to perfection by the late Robin Williams, he is caring and funny and the life of the party. He will always be welcome at my Thanksgiving table!

#5 – Lucy Ricardo from I Love Lucy

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“I may not be able to understand what you say when you say it, but before you say it, I can understand what you’re going to say perfectly!”

This one is for my sister-in-law. She is an avid Lucy fan. Who isn’t! (But she really is!) I think Lucy would round out this quintuplet of Thanksgiving guests. Accident prone and ridiculously goofy, Lucy is always trying to do right, yet always managing to mess things up. I’m not saying she’d drop the turkey, burn the mashed potatoes and end up with pumpkin pie on her face… but it would be worth the invite to see just what might happen!

Happy (less than a week till) Thanksgiving to you all. Who would you invite?

30 Days of Nerdy Hair

Day 17: Wendy Darling from Disney’s Peter Pan

This morning I chose Wendy Darling from Disney’s Peter Pan. Second star to the right and straight on till morning…

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Sadly today’s hair was a casualty of the rain and wind outside today, but a picture lasts forever!

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13 days to go. Make sure to check back tomorrow for another nerdy hairstyle!!!