Friendship Friday: Meet my Mom!

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s edition of Friendship Friday, the weekly series where I share with all of you information about a special person in my life.  My first Friendship Friday was about my Sister-in-Christ Brenda, the next one was about my best friend, my wife Cindy, and last week’s post was about my wonderful daughter Sophie.  Today I’ve got another woman in my life that I want to write about — my Mom.

My Mom Ellen is a great woman.  She is the oldest child of three that my Grandma and Grandpa had, and she has had to be strong many times over the course of her life.  She is a miracle — she survived a really scary childhood illness that forced her to have to learn how to talk and walk again; she survived a very scary condition after my Grandma passed away a few years back — in fact, she wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the heroic efforts of my Dad, but that’s a story for another day.  She has battled so many things over the course of her life (including me sometimes) — but the one thing that she has never done is backed down from what she believed was right.

My Mom has had to do a lot of things over the years, including care for her parents.  Grandma and Grandpa are both gone now, enjoying their time in Heaven with Jesus, but before they left, they had Mom there, looking after them as best she could, first in Florida, and then, when Grandma passed away, in Virginia with my Grandpa moving into Mom and Dad’s home.

When I look at my Mom, I see the best of both of my Grandparents in her.  I see the stubbornness that my Grandma had at times, along with a little dose of “If you want something, go get it yourself!”  The funny thing was that, when my Grandma was younger, if she came to our house to visit, then she took over the kitchen.  When they got older, and we would go to her house to visit, she would tell us we knew where it was, to help ourselves.  We picture her getting to Heaven and telling Jesus if he wanted anything He knew where it was, go help Himself!  My Mom, thankfully, has developed a little bit of that herself.

In addition to the qualities of my Grandma that I see in Mom, I also see some of my Grandpa in her.  Those qualities are more about her carefree attitude with things.  Mom can get upset about things, that much is certain, but her laughter, which is often evident, reminds me of Grandpa.

Now that my Grandparents have moved on to Heaven, I’ve seen a welcome change come over my Mom.  She is more carefree — she and Dad are taking more small trips then they used to, they are enjoying their lives as husband and wife together perhaps a bit more.  It’s not like they didn’t enjoy themselves before, and that they wished that Grandpa didn’t live there — that’s not it at all.  It’s just that they are able to do things that they just weren’t able to do before.  It’s hard to explain, and I’m doing a lousy job I’m sure, but I’m glad that they have been able to do these things, and I look forward to hearing about their journeys on this stage of their lives for many years to come.

Not a day goes by that I don’t thank God for Mom.  I may not tell you every day, Mom, but I love you, and each day Sophie grows, I learn more about the kind of parents you and Dad were to Robin and I.  I love you, Mom, and I hope you have enjoyed being the center of attention today.

Special thanks goes out to my friend Heidi from Heidi’s Head — it was from Heidi that I first learned about this special series that she does every week.  If you want to read who she is writing about this week, just click on the image below!  Thanks for stopping by, and for learning more about my Mom.

Magical Blogorail Red: My Favorite Walt Disney Quote!

Welcome to those of you joining me from A World View and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the Final stop on our Magical Blogorail.

Hello, and welcome to this month’s Magical Blogorail Red line hop!  We have a special topic this month, it is “My Favorite Walt Disney Quote and how it has inspired me.”  That is certainly a lot to think about — when it comes to Walt Disney, some would argue that perhaps more then anything else, he is known for his famous quotes.  There are so many out there, where to start?

After a considerable amount of thought, I kept being drawn back to one quote — a somewhat lengthy quote at that, but one that really focuses in the end on three simple words.  First, the complete quote:

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long.  We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

– Walt Disney

Of course, the thing that stands out with everyone is the “Keep Moving Forward” piece of the quote, because it was the saying that the Robinson family adopted as their montra throughout the whole Meet the Robinsons movie released in 2007.  When I think about this quote, it really does get me to thinking about the progression of my own blog, of how I’ve kept moving forward.  I thought I would focus on that a little bit.

September 8, 2010 was the day I started my blog, which at the time was known as Dreams of Disney.  When I first started the blog, it was an idea I had because earlier that year we had taken my niece Stephanie with us to Walt Disney World, and I wanted to create an online memory bank of all of our trips we had made.  So I started My Dreams of Disney, as I quickly came to know it, and the first several posts were just trip reports from the past trips I had made with my family, both when I was a kid and when we started going.

As I wrote, though, several things started happening.  First of all, I found myself enjoying looking at all of our photos and remembering details about our trips.  Certainly, for some of the old trips in the 70s and 80s, my memories were more about one or two specific things then a lot of details from each Disney trip, but with every trip I wrote about, the magic of my writing was such that I was able to picture the trip in my mind’s eye those trips, and that made them that much more special.

After a month or two, I started noticing several other sites; one that stood out to me was the site Chip & Company.  Truly, I can’t remember how I came across the site, but Chip was advertising for writers, so I sent him an email, we talked, and on November 26, 2010, my first article on Chip & Company was posted.  In all, I’ve published something like 154 posts for Chip, and it has been a privilege to be able to write for such a huge Disney fan site!

The next big thing that happened in my Disney progression happened on February 18, 2011 — the day that the Magical Blogorail Red line had it’s first hop!  The theme for that initial loop was why we started our blogs, and my post talks a bit about the various things that you will find on the site.  I think it was a good start to my Blogorail “career” so head on over and read it if you like!  It’s amazing to believe that in February we will be celebrating our 2nd anniversary!

While I was busy following the tenants of the quote “Keep Moving Forward” that I learned about in Meet the Robinsons, to my surprise, the number of people that took time to include me in their daily Disney reading list increased as well.  It continually amazes me that you take time out of your day to stop by and see what we have to share with you.

Sorcerer Mickey Hat, My Dreams of Disney, Disney's Hollywood Studios

To sum it all up, the biggest thing that I get out of the “Keep Moving Forward” part of the Walt Disney quote is that no matter what happens in our lives, whether it be economic hardship that has struck so many people who didn’t deserve it, or an illness that struck a family member, or any other hardship that falls upon us, the real key to life is that we need to keep moving forward.  In addition, as my photo indicates, Disney is really great at reminding all of us to “Celebrate Everyday!” — and I bet that Walt Disney would want us to do just that.

Thank you for joining Magical Blogorail Red this month. We will be back Friday, December 21st with an all new theme. Keep checking in with our blogs in between loops to keep up to date with our Disney info, photos and stories. If you are looking for more Disney magic, you can make your way over to The Magical Blogorail website to see all our members and their blogs, as well as all our previous loops.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ Disney Donna Kay
2nd Stop ~ Colorado Mountain Mom
3rd Stop ~ A World View
Final Stop ~ My Dreams Of Disney