Merry Christmas One and All!

It’s hard to believe how fast the time has flown!  Once again, I find myself full of thankfulness along with Christmas Spirit.  You, yes YOU, are the reason for my happiness.  It doesn’t matter if you’re friend or family and I don’t care if we know each other only through social media or we see each other everyday.  I have been blessed by the love and support you’ve shown and find myself humbled and somewhat overwhelmed with gratitude.

Merry Christmas One and All!

I’m thankful for your acceptance, for the stories you share, the glimpses I get into your life.  I love seeing pictures and hearing about your Disney vacations, your children, your hobbies, your pets – all of it!  I appreciate the advice you give, the debates we have, and the times, more than you know, when you’ve lifted me up and reminded me that the best things in life are never things.

In a hundred ways, big and small, you’ve touched my life and not a day goes by that I don’t feel like the luckiest person in the world – I very truly have the best, most loving family and friends anyone could hope for.  I’ve celebrated accomplishments that could never have been achieved without your support and I will never take that for granted.  I’m excited to see what the future holds.

May the peace and happiness of this holiday season be yours and may 2018 be a joyful, healthy and prosperous year for you and your family.  From our house to yours, Merry Christmas One and All!

What it’s Like to be Married to the Same Person for 28 Years

Today’s our 28th wedding anniversary!  We’ve left the kids, the dog (and the rest of the menagerie) and have chosen to celebrate this special occasion by ourselves.  Alone.  Just the two of us.  While we won’t be taking that cruise we’d been so looking forward to, we decided a weekend getaway was definitely in order.     

Back in 2014, we celebrated our 25th anniversary at Disney World and wore our celebration buttons for a couple of days.  The reaction from other park guests and some cast members was both hilarious and sometimes a bit alarming.  Quite a few people were amazed that we’d managed to stay married to each other for so long.  One guy commented, “I’ve been married three times and added together I haven’t been married 25 years!”.  Several folks asked us for the secret to staying happily married.  I would share the secret with you now if I had one.  Jokingly, I usually claim our relationship success is based on two rules:  Don’t share money and don’t share a bathroom.  In reality, there is no secret.

I’ve often worried that Raymond and I have given Megan and Joseph unrealistic expectations about marriage.  We know that not all marriages are as harmonious as ours.  We honestly enjoy each other’s company and being together at the end of the day makes our home our happiest place on earth.  It also makes “home” wherever we are.  We rarely disagree, although we do get on each others’ nerves from time to time.  We’re in sync with each other in a way I cannot describe and after all these years, it’s taught me one important lesson that we’ve tried to pass on to our children.  I have this theory…

What it’s Like to be Married to the Same Person for 28 Years

There’s only one reason to get married and love is (mostly) not it.  Alone, love is not enough.  The best and most important reason to get married and stay married is that together you are better than you could ever be individually.  You bring out the best in each other.  You are each other’s biggest fan.  Together you are a super-power that minimizes individual weaknesses and vulnerabilities while maximizing strengths.  You not only compliment each other, you make each other want to be the best versions of yourselves in order to achieve dreams, reach goals (individually and together), and be happy. 

We’ve stressed to Megan and Joseph that while Raymond and I are very happy together, it is never up to any other person in the world to make you happy.  YOU are responsible for your own happiness.  I absolutely do not mean in a selfish way, but I believe you must love yourself in order to be lovable.  There’s no place in a healthy relationship for pettiness, insecurity, or jealousy.  In the long-term, it’s not up to another human being to fix you or prop you up or compensate for your personal issues (no matter how much they love you and want to help).  That’s too big a burden to place on anyone and is completely unfair to that person.

When the person you love makes you want to constantly grow, learn, strive, and reach for the very best YOU – and is there to cheer you on along the way – that, I think is the best way for me to describe what it’s like to be married to the same person for 28 years.

I love you, Raymond.  Thank you for being with me for each and every one of the past 10,227 days.  Happy Anniversary.

 

 

Hurricanes, Disney Vacations, and Perspective

I’ve been obsessively watching Hurricane Irma for over a week.  On Saturday, I spent my time doing laundry and watching the Weather Channel, checking NOAA online, and watching for news on my Facebook feed from folks closer to the situation than I was.  On Sunday, I stopped packing for vacation.  On Wednesday evening at 7:30, Disney Cruise Line cancelled our trip.  While we honestly appreciate their caution and concern for guest safety, the disappointment was…well, you can imagine.

From Disney Cruise Line’s website:

“The September 9 sailing of the Disney Fantasy is cancelled. Refunds will automatically be processed back to the original form of payment used for the cruise booking. Guests are invited to book a future cruise at a 25 percent discount by calling us at 1-855-347-2784 or 407-566-7054 from September 18, 2017, through October 18, 2017. 

While we always strive to deliver magical cruise vacations, nothing is more important to us than providing a safe experience for our guests and crew. We will continue to closely monitor Hurricane Irma and provide updates as necessary.”

Hurricanes, Disney Vacations, and Perspective

As I was wallowing in self-pity over the Disney cruise we won’t be taking on Saturday, I realized that mixed in with the sadness and disappointment was also relief.  We will be safe and sound as Irma barrels along on her course of mayhem and destruction.  While riding out Hurricane Matthew at Disney World last year was an adventure, it’s not one I’d care to repeat.Hurricane Matthew at Walt Disney World

To all my Florida friends – I’m sorry you’ll be dealing with the potential havoc brought by a powerful and unpredictable force of nature.  I’ve been praying steadily for your safety and Irma’s demise.  Having lived in Louisiana for almost 30 years, I well know the worry and helplessness that comes with not being able to control or anticipate what might happen when your home is in the path of a hurricane.  I’m sorry you’re dealing with that now.

As you are hoping for the best and preparing for the worst, please know that you’ll continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.  Through the Living a Disney Life blog and on social media, I’ve gotten to know so many of you and your friendship means a great deal to me!

Be safe and take care, Disney friends.  Please let me know how you’re doing…Lisa

Merry Christmas Disney Friends!

I hope this post finds you well and full of all the season’s happiness and magic.  You, the friends I’ve made within the Disney fan community, are dear to me in a way I could not have imagined when I started this blog over three years ago.  Some of you are fellow bloggers and podcasters, but all of you are Disney fans like me.  Through social media, I’ve been able to see and hear about the adventures you’ve had on your Disney vacations, I get your take on movies, restaurants, resorts, and Disney news.  We may not always agree on everything, but our friendly discussions are part of the fun.

I started this blog as a way to cope with the major life-changing event of becoming an empty-nester.  I’d spent 23 years raising two amazing people in a home full of near constant activity.  Raymond and I encouraged our kids to pursue their interests and we did our best not to miss a single ballgame, dance recital, taekwondo tournament, or school event.  Suddenly – all of that stopped on a dime.  I wasn’t sure how life would be.  I’d heard horror stories and, while I was pretty certain I wouldn’t be thrown into a midlife crisis over it, I did realize I’d have an awful lot of free time on my hands.

That’s where you guys came in.  Suddenly, I had a community.  It started with Tips from the Disney Diva and Devos where I was fortunate enough to be chosen as a writer and was welcomed by the other writers with open arms.  Then I started Living a Disney Life and poured my love for both Disney and my family into every article.  In 2015, two of the best friends I’d made in the Disney fan community, Nick Maglio and Dave Hodges, were kind enough to team up with me for The Disney Exchange Podcast and they’ve kept me laughing every week for the past two years.  I’ve been blessed in a million ways, great and small, all along the way.

Merry Christmas, Disney Friends!  You’ve given me your friendship, your advice, and your care and concern through the ups and downs of life.  You’ve shared your stories, your vacations, your families, and your hearts with me – all gifts beyond measure.  May the peace and joy of the holiday season be yours and may 2017 be a healthy and prosperous year for you and your family.

All my best…Lisa