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.

Friendship Friday: My daughter Sophie

Hello everyone, and welcome back to this week’s Friendship Friday post!  Each week I’m spending a little time sharing some thoughts on those people in my life that are special to me.  Last week we talked about my wonderful wife Cindy, and this week, well this week we’re going to talk about our lovely daughter Sophie!

Sophie was a wee little lass when she was born, weighing in at just 4 pounds, 2 ounces, and at only 17 1/2″ long.  She was born 7 weeks early, not because she wanted to be born early, but because Cindy got very, very sick with a rare form of Pre-Eclampsia called Help Syndrome.

In the picture above, you see Sophie grasping my finger at the tender age of 2 (days, not years) as I was visiting her in the NICU.  Sophie ended up spending just two weeks in there, which to us was quite remarkable because we saw some young ones that had already been in for three and four weeks when Sophie was born.

Sophie is now 11, and has grown up to be a typical 6th grader, and just like her dad, is a big fan of Walt Disney World!  In fact, she might even be a bigger fan of Disney then I am!  My first trip to Walt Disney World was when I was 11 — Sophie just made her 9th trip to Disney World!

She isn’t perfect, but she isn’t supposed to be, either.  She has her own set of problems, starting with the fact that she has organization issues, doesn’t do the work that she is supposed to do when it’s supposed to be done, and can be maddeningly stubborn, just like me.  But she does have wonderful gifts, and it’s those gifts that I choose to look at more then her shortcomings.  She is incredibly sympathetic to those in need; she is funny, witty, and loves Jesus; and she loves her Mommy and Daddy, even though it seems like there are times when she goes out of her way to get in trouble.

In the end, I guess what you should know about Sophie  is that she has a loving, gentle heart, and a kind soul.  She is a person that, should you be fortunate to meet her and be her friend, you would not regret that decision.  Most of all, though, Sophie is our little girl, our baby, our pride and joy, and the love of our lives.

Sophie, Magic Kingdom, Dapper Dans, Fantasyland

Sophie surrounded by members of The Dapper Dans!

I can’t take credit for this idea — it belongs squarely with my good friend Heidi from Heidi’s Head!  She started this, and I ran with it also, so go check out her Friendship Friday posts also by clicking on the button below!  Thanks for stopping by!


Friendship Friday: My best friend, my wife Cindy

Magic Kingdom, Mickey's Toontown Fair, Pluto

Cindy and Pluto at Mickey’s Toontown Fair

Hello everyone, and welcome to week two of our new series, Friendship Friday!  Today I want to talk about the woman in my life that is my best friend, my soul mate, the one person that I love with all my heart — my wife Cindy.

Cindy and I have been married for twelve years now, and we have had many exciting adventures together!  Of course, our daughter Sophie is the most exciting adventure, and if you look at the picture above, Sophie is in that picture also!  This photo was taken when Cindy and I took our trip in January, 2001, before Sophie was born, when we ate our way through Disney!

Cindy hates to have her picture taken — so she will kill me when she sees this post.  But before she does, I want you all to know what I see in this picture when I look at it.

For starters, I see a girl that is having the time of her life!  There is such a big grin on that face, you know that she is enjoying her time there with Pluto!

I see a woman who is not afraid to have fun — her enthusiasm is plain to see!  In addition, I see a loving soul.  What person who didn’t have a lot to give — and who hates to have her picture made — would allow a picture to be taken of them?!  Of course, Cindy didn’t know that nine years later I would start my own Disney blog!  Neither did I, for that matter!

I see a vibrant, exciting woman.  One that, although she was going through so many changes with the pregnancy, was still up for taking a long weekend and enjoying some time at Walt Disney World!  Now that’s a keeper!

There are so many things that you can’t see about Cindy when you look at a picture.  The love for Sophie she has.  The concern she always has for Sophie and me.  How she always says “Be careful” before I leave for work every morning.  Her concern for her fellow person.  Her love of Jesus.

All of these things and more add up to my wife Cindy, and it is because of her that I am the most Blessed man.  I love you Sweetie, now and forever.


Walt Disney World, Magic Kingdom, Mickey's Toontown Fair, Donald Duck

Mike with Donald Duck

Don’t forget that Friendship Friday was the idea of my friend Heidi from Heidi’s Head!  Click on the button below to head over and see what she has to share with us for her Friendship Friday selection!  Thanks for stopping by!

Wordless Wednesday – Disney Letter F!

Focused on the Magic
Today’s Wordless Wednesday Blog Post theme is the Disney Letter F, which is a wonderful theme if you ask me!  My good friend Deb from Focused on the Magic normally spearheads this blog hop, but she and the rest of the northeast are working on the things that really matter in the wake of former Hurricane Sandy, so I’m writing my blog post more in tribute for Deb and the rest of the people there then for any other reason.  Here are the things that matter to me about the Letter F:

  • Focus — as in Focus on staying safe!  You all have been in my prayers, and while I know the destruction has been intense, and there have been some tragic loss of life, please know that I’m still praying for all of you!
  • Focused on the Magic — Deb, special prayers go out to you and your family in New Jersey, along with the other incredible people that I’ve had the incredible pleasure of meeting over the past two years!  Stay Safe everyone!
  • Faith — Times like this brings out the best in people.  Unfortunately, it can also bring out the worst in people.  I have faith that, by and large, people will show compassion for their neighbor during this time.

Keep it real, everyone!  Say a prayer for those families that have lost loved ones because of the storm, and say continued prayers for those that are still in harms way, that Jesus will lift them up and carry them all to safety.  God Bless You all!  Now, a few pictures to hopefully distract you from the turmoil, even if it’s only for a few minutes!  Enjoy!

Magic Kingdom, Cinderella Castle, Bay Lake Tower

A Shot of Cinderella Castle from the 11th Floor of Bay Lake Tower

Magic Kingdom, Fantasyland, Mad Hatter's Teacups

The exhilaration and pure joy on Sophie’s face makes this for me!

Magic Kingdom, The Crystal Palace, Eeyore

The love Sophie has for her friend Eeyore!

Magic Kingdom, Mickey's Toontown Fair, Donald Duck

Sophie meeting Donald Duck in 2007!

Magic Kingdom, Mickey's Toontown Fair, Donald Duck

She was so excited to meet him, she was all jumpy!

Magic Kingdom, Mickey's Toontown Fair, Donald Duck

Donald Duck got into the act — they were better then Dancing with the Stars!

Magic Kingdom, Mickey's Toontown Fair, Donald Duck

Sophie shared one of her world-famous hugs with him at the end!


Friendship Friday: Meet my Sister-in-Christ Brenda!

Epcot World Showcase, Norway, Troll

My Sister-in-Christ Brenda and I when we met for the 1st time during the 40th Anniversary Celebration!

Those of you that are regular readers of My Dreams of Disney will have met my dear friend Brenda before; some of you may even know her yourselves!  Brenda is one of the incredible travel agents that Pixie Vacations employs, but more then that, Brenda is my true Sister-in-Christ, and I consider myself a Blessed man because I was able to meet her, both online and in person.

Brenda is one of those people that, when you meet, you instantly have a connection with them, you feel like you have known her all your life.  Brenda and I met because we are both writers for the blog Chip & Company, and also because we both are huge Disney fans (duh!) — but it goes deeper then that.  In essence, Brenda is one of those people outside of your immediate family that you can tell anything to, and you know that not only will she have a wealth of advice for you, but she will also just listen, not judge you regardless of the circumstance, and gently correct you if you are wrong — just like Jesus would have us do.

One particular thing that stands out most about Brenda is how much love and care she has for her fellow human beings.  I’ll never forget the day that Brenda called me; she told me that she was really worried about our good buddy Ken, who had been sick.  Brenda had sent him a card to cheer him up, and she hadn’t heard from him.  It turns out that Brenda was right to be worried, and we learned that we had lost our brother a little while before, but just didn’t know it.

It is that love and compassion that Brenda has for all of us that are fortunate to cross her path that make her my inaugural choice for Friendship Friday!  I would like to send a very nice thank you to my good friend Heidi for coming up with this idea!  If you would like to see who she has written about today, why not check out her post by clicking on the button below!  Thank you for stopping by, and Brenda, thank you for everything that you have given to me in the short time that we’ve known one another!  I love you Sister!

If you are planning a Disney trip and would like some expert help, why not give Brenda a call or shoot her an email?  Here is her contact information:

Pixie Brenda
Pixie Vacations Authorized Disney Travel Specialist