Monday, March 30, 2015

The Magic of Disney

Disney has always been magical to me.  I get misty eyes at the beginning of a movie when the Walt Disney Pictures logo dances across the screen.  I get teary eyed when I see Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom.  I usually cry at the end of a trip when we leave Walt Disney World.  And I know I'm not alone.  If you're reading my blog, I'm sure you've experienced some Disney magic of your own.

A week ago, I experienced pure Disney magic at it's finest.

As you know, we’ve been really busy the past few months.  In fact, we've been so busy that I had to buy the 15 day extension on our PhotoPass photos from January.  A few days into the extension, my Papa died.  I ended up calling Disney the last day of the extension and asking for another one because he was in the photos and it was too soon for me to look at them.  I spoke to a very kind cast member who gave me another 15 day extension without even questioning it.

I finally put the borders on our PhotoPass photos a week ago.  It was the last day they were going to be available and I really had no choice.  It was difficult.  I found myself crying a few times as I looked at Papa smiling back at me in the photos.  I caught myself chuckling at the photos from Chef Mickey's where he's got his hand in Mickey's fruit bowl.  They're priceless.

After adding a ton of borders to the photos, I went to checkout and purchase the photos though Memory Maker.  At the time I was on the phone with the PhotoPass cast member, he had asked me if we had pre-purchased Memory Maker.  I said no but that we were planning to.  I added that we definitely were getting them since those were the last memories I have of my grandfather.

At the time, the gentleman had told me to check out the exact way he had it set up.  He explained that since I needed the second extension, I would need to use a different code to check out with Memory Maker so I would get all of my photos.  He was kind enough to add the special code to my cart for me.  I couldn’t understand why he set the cart up if it was simply a different listing, but I figured it out when I checked out.  My confusion only grew when I saw we had a credit in my account for $199.  I went through the check out process while on the phone with my mother who had her credit card in hand, ready to pay.  Even then, I held my breath until I was 100% sure of it.

The kind-hearted PhotoPass cast member gave us Memory Maker for free since I had said those moments at Walt Disney World were the last memories I have of my Papa. I don't even remember his name, but I wish I could thank him.  I don't think he'll ever know how much it meant to me.  When I attempted to tell my mother, I was sobbing like an idiot and she could barely understand me.  Eventually, I got together enough to spit it out and she told Nana.  They both broke into tears as well.

We are all completely touched by his generosity.  Thank you kind PhotoPass cast member, whoever you are.  You brought us pixie dust at a time when we really needed it and for that I will always be incredibly grateful.  I really love the magic of Disney.  °o°

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Keeping Up With the Cady's

Hi friends!  Wow, it's been a bit since I last visited.  Things have been busier than ever around here.  (Not that I'm complaining; it's been good for the most part!)  I'm trying to get back into the swing of blogging regularly.  In the meantime, here's a quick update:

It's been a month to the day since we lost my Papa.  I've had good days and I've had some days where I don't want to do much of anything.  I'm basically rolling with the punches and allowing myself to feel my emotions as they come.  I'm doing ok and fairly at peace with everything.  He wouldn't want us to be sad.  Instead, I'm trying to live in the moment and make the best of every situation I find myself in.  YOLO right?

Photo Source: "Animated Anatomy" on Threadless
I've spent the past few weeks preparing for the State of Maine Chiropractic Assistant licensure exam.  I've been keeping myself busy with classes one weekend a month since January.  As you can imagine, I've also kept busy with plenty of studying.  I had to learn general anatomy (bones, muscles and ligaments), detailed spinal anatomy, and about therapies used in chiropractic.  It was completely new for me; however, I really enjoyed learning about everything.  Last weekend was the exam and it went well! We won't get the results for a few weeks but I'm feeling pretty confident that I nailed it!

Eliot and I have been busy with our businesses.  I've been working on a few new designs.  My "Ella" Cinderella headband design is one of my new favorites!  Thankfully, my creative brain is more active than ever.  Creating and designing soothes me.  I've spent many quiet moments searching for tutorials on Pinterest or designing new Happily Ever Hatter designs.  Eliot and I are also working together on a new line that will be released soon!  It's going to be like nothing you've seen before!  I'm so excited!!!

Even though we've been busy, we've tried to take a few moments to relax and enjoy ourselves.  We went to see Cinderella in IMAX the weekend it was released.  (It was incredible!)  I loved it and we're planning to go see it again.  We also enjoyed Frozen Fever and I still have the new song stuck in my head.  We took a swim in the pool at the hotel the night before my exam.  It was nice to unwind- especially since it was snowing outside!  Hopefully that's the last we'll see of the snow.  I'm really glad spring is around the corner; it's time for the season of rebirth, growth and renewal after this long and difficult winter in the Northeast.

I'm planning to be around more often over the new few weeks.  Someone is super duper behind on her 2015 blog goals and wants to get caught up!   °o°

Friday, March 13, 2015

Fun Find: Coolest Summer Ever

As most of you have probably heard, Disney has made a ton of announcements over the past few days.  (Frozen 2 is coming!  Yippee!!!)  I'm pretty excited about all Disney has in store for us.  But there was one announcement that really stuck out to me! Wednesday, Disney announced the "Coolest Summer Ever" at Walt Disney World!
Photo Source: Disney Parks Blog
The kickoff to summer starts with a 24 Hour Event over Memorial Day weekend. Guests can enjoy 24 straight hours of nonstop Disney fun at the Magic Kingdom from 6 am May 22nd to 6 am May 23rd.  Of course, guests are encouraged to show their Disney Side by dressing up as their favorite Disney characters!  This sounds like so much fun.  Going to one of these 24 hour events is definitely on my Disney Bucket List!

Of course, it wouldn't be the "coolest" summer ever without a little snow and ice from our favorite frosty film!  "Frozen Summer Fun" returns to Hollywood Studios from June 17th to September 7th.  Park guests will be able to see Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf! This doesn't surprise me considering the continuing popularity of Frozen.  I hope they extend it to the end of September so Eliot and I might get a chance to see it!  And make Olaf a meetable character!!!  Pretty please!!!

Photo Source: Walt Disney World
The "coolest" (he he... I'm punny) part of the announcement for me, was that it took place in Boston!  Good Morning America brought a little bit of hope for summer to Boston of all places!  It's been a rough winter in New England, so it's nice to bring us some Disney magic!  To make the announcement, they created a 20 foot wide summer scene complete with sand, sun, a beach chair, beach balls and an umbrella!  There's even a Cinderella (sand) Castle!!!  Of course, summer isn't complete without our favorite summer loving snowman!  Olaf helped make the announcement as the official host of the "Coolest Summer Ever".

Faneuil Hall was one of my favorites when I lived in Boston.  It's still one of my favorite places to go when we visit.  The historic atmosphere is awesome and the food at Quincy Market is amazing.  I just wish I'd been able to go see the sandcastle!

It's looking like Walt Disney World is going to be a fun place this summer!  Click here for more information about the Coolest Summer Ever.  Planning to attend one of these events?  You can always contact your friendly Key to the World travel agent, me!  °o°

Monday, March 9, 2015

Scrapbook Swap: Disney Valentine's Day Layout

It's time for another swap for my Disney Scrapbook Facebook group.  You may recall, I also participated in the Christmas in July Card Swap and the Christmas Layout Swap. These swaps are so much fun!  I had to do another one.  This swap was for a two page Disney Valentine's Day layout.  (The process was the same as the Christmas swap.)

Some of the choices included: Mickey, Minnie, Daisy, Donald, Pluto, Winnie the Pooh, balloons, frames, border, tags and title.  I selected borders since I had an idea that would work with my Mickey paper punch.  I found sheets of paper that were the colors of candy conversation hearts.  After punching a ton of Mickey's out, I constructed them into corner borders.  I also included a message in my Ziplock baggie so everyone would know what to do with them.

The message read: "I hope you enjoy your Valentines Day scrapbook borders!!!  I left the Mickey candy hearts blank so you can decorate them however you want! You can leave them blank, write traditional phrases on them or create some fun Disney themed candies like the “I heart Mickey” sample I’ve included here."

The package came in the mail the other day and I'm so happy with everything!!!  These are a few of my favorites from the swap!  I absolutely love the Mickey balloons.  I might use them with a Main Street USA layout with our Mickey tie dye shirts.  The Mickey heart hands is my favorite!  I'm planning to save it for our wedding scrapbook.  I also love the little Mickey and Minnie hearts.  I can't wait to make my Mickey Mouse conversation hearts with tons of cute Disney inspired phrases!

This was so much fun!  I can't wait to join more layout and die cut swaps!!!  (In fact, maybe I already have... he he.)  I also would love to host a swap.  I've got some fun ideas!  My Disney scrapbooks are going to rock!  °o°

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Dear Papa

Hi friends.  It's been a week since we lost my Papa.  A week since my world changed forever.  A week since my heart broke into a million pieces.  But, I'm still hanging on.

In those moments, as my family gathered around his hospital bed, I wasn't able to say goodbye.  I didn't want to; and I'm still not able to.  We know he could hear us even though he couldn't talk back.  He was responsive enough to let us know that he was there listening to every world.  But how do say goodbye to one of the most important people in your life?  It seems so final.  I simply couldn't.  Instead, I choked out "I love you so much" in between sobs and that was it.  I wish I could have said more.

Now, I've had a week to pull myself together, to think and to reflect and I know what I wish I was able to say then but couldn't.  So here goes... 

"Dear Papa,

It's been a week since we lost you.  A week since everything changed.  It's been really hard, but we're doing ok.  We miss you more than you can possibly imagine.

Today's your 82nd birthday.  Happy Birthday!  I hope you played poker with your friend Chet today.  Eliot and I bought cakes at the store and I had a big piece of chocolate cake just for you.  I know how much you love chocolate!

I've thought of a million memories over the past week.  We had a lot of great ones.  I remember going to your camp, barbecues, going to the International Festival in Calais, fishing, boating, and swimming with our sneakers on because the lake was so rocky. There was the time when Lucas locked Kaitlin in the outhouse.  One summer we raked our own blueberries in your field and then Nana helped us make a blueberry pie with them.  One year we even had Thanksgiving at the camp because we knew how much it meant to you and Nana.  The entire family crammed into the little camp but it was really special.  Kaitlin and I came to visit you there one weekend so we could have a granddaughters weekend at the camp.  We've had a lot of good times at camp.

I remember your house in Orono and sitting in your 3 season porch watching for deer in the backyard.  I made some great mud pies there when you and Nana watched Jeremy and me.  You and Nana always let us kids curl up on your bed and watch movies.  I remember watching "Fievel's American Tail" and "Land Before Time" quite a few times.  Kaitlin and I used to play with the Barbie house you and Nana had in your guest room for hours.  All of us grandkids used to do skits there.  I know you always got a kick out of them.  Your house was like a second home to me.  I always felt so warm, safe and loved there.

Nana always said you and I were two of a kind.  I remember one time when the electricity went out and you and I both huddled under blankets to stay warm.  All you could see was our eyes sticking out from under the covers.  Nana also raved that all you and I ever thought about was food.  At breakfast we were already wondering what was for dinner.  (Although, with Nana's awesome cooking, who could really blame us?)  She said we were both "always thinking about our stomachs."  Not to mention, we can't eat in a dark room.  I think I drive Eliot crazy by turning the light on in the living room every time I want to eat something.  I can't help but smile and think of you.  I promise I'll make sure our little quirks live on.

Looking ahead to the future is probably what's the hardest right now.  We had so many things that were already planned.  Eliot and I were planning to visit you and Nana at the camp this summer.  I was looking forward to having you come visit us and we were going to go get Pier Fries at Old Orchard Beach.  We talked about having another big family reunion.  I was excited about coming home for the 4th of July.  Fourth of July isn't going to be the same without you.  You always got up early to get that same parking spot every year.  The one right in front of Grammie and Grampie's store.  Mom and Nana are already talking about getting up early this year so they can get your spot. We know you'll be there in spirit.  You loved the 4th of July in Bar Harbor so much.

The other holidays won't be the same either.  Our Thanksgiving circle is going to be a little smaller this year.  It's going to be hard but I know we'll get through it together.  I remember one year when we had you wear that ridiculous turkey hat Mom bought.  I'll make sure it makes an appearance at Thanksgiving this year, along with the photo of you in it.  Christmas is going to be really difficult.  It won't be the same when you're not there to open your stocking and presents with the rest of us.  I'm really going to miss the goofy smirk you had when you would slowly open your presents with your index finger.  I thought it was hard when we lost Lucky and he wasn't there to open his stocking anymore.  This is definitely going to be different.

When we lost Lucky, I remember coming home to see him one last time.  I didn't want to say goodbye but I had to see him.  I remember Nana telling me that she said goodbye to him but you refused to.  I know it hurt you too much even though you never let on about it.  (After last week, I can completely sympathize with you on that one.) You loved Lucky so much.  I remember you used to sneak him food scraps.  Don't worry, I did too.  He was a really special dog.  After we lost him, you always wanted to get a puppy for you and Nana.  Someday, Eliot and I plan to get one.  I know I'll think of you when that day comes.  In the meantime, say hi to Lucky for me and please give him a kiss.  I know you'll both take care of each other.

Speaking of which, please say hi to Grammie and Grampie for me as well.  And Great Grammie and Grampie too.  Please tell them all that I miss them.  Maybe you've met Eliot's grandfather.  I'm sure you and him could have quite a lot to talk about with engineering and technology.  If you meet Walt Disney, please tell him how much I respect him and how much I appreciate everything he's created.

Which brings me to Disney.  Wow.  We've had quite a few memories there, huh? They're some of my favorite ones.  I remember going there with you during high school for the 100 Years of Magic celebration.  I'm so happy I have that picture of you, Nana, Jeremy and me in front of the train station.  We have so many PhotoPass photos from the past few years.  They're totally worth every single penny we've spent.  

Every year you'd look forward to going to Florida.  I remember when I was younger how you and Nana would move to Florida for a few months each winter.  I was so excited when we would come to visit you.  You used to have a small trailer at a retirement park.  I remember going to visit you there.  Mom sent you a lobster one year for your birthday and she said the whole neighborhood came over to see how it was packaged up.  When you and Nana decided it was too much to live down there for months at a time, you both started to go to Florida with my family for a vacation.

Boy did we have fun.  I remember riding with you and Nana in the front of the Monorail. We saw as many of the shows and the parades as we could.  Those were your favorite.  I loved to see the way your face lit up while watching them.  I loved going on my favorite rides with you and sharing that experience.  You were always watching online for news of construction or expansion.  I'll miss you asking me about different additions or changes they're doing.  I remember one time when we all went into the Magic Kingdom and we got ice creams while we sat near the castle.  It was such a simple thing but it's a wonderful memory.  I also remember going to Sea World and Universal Studios with you.  You told us about the year you and Nana worked at Sea World and you watched the Shamu show almost daily.  We had so many adventures in Florida it's hard to even count them all.

One year, we had so much fun that the rest of the family realized they were missing out.  The next year, we had our 2009 Mylen family reunion at Walt Disney World.  That trip was so much fun.  I designed family reunion t-shirts and insisted we get a picture in front of the castle.  We got a great family photo and then we got quite a few of you and Nana with us 8 grandkids.  We all ran around the parks and at the end of the day, we all met back up to watch SpectroMagic and Wishes at the Magic Kingdom.  Afterwards, we went to dinner at Bob Evans.  All 20 something of us.  It was a blast.

My favorite Disney memory has to be Eliot's and my wedding.  When we finally selected our wedding date; I prayed every single day for over a year that you and Nana would both be able to go.  I was so happy you were able to.  It meant the world to me and Eliot to have you both there.  I know you were really impressed by Disney and by how much fun it was.  Mom told me that you talked about it often.  I'm so glad I danced with you at our reception.  That's a memory no one can ever take away from me.  And we'll always have those photos and the video.  I'm so thankful for that.

We have so many beautiful memories with you Papa.  And for that, I'm so grateful.  I'm sure more memories will come to me at the most random moments.  There will be tons of small things that remind me of you.  It will also be the small things that I miss the most.  You asking how our drive home was.  Asking me about the weather.  How work is going for me and for Eliot.  Asking about our businesses.  You writing on all of our Facebook walls.  All the small things meant so much to me.

I'll think of you often.  I will every single time I have a lobster.  When there's a big storm brewing and the waves are crashing against the shore in Acadia.  When anyone is playing poker, especially online.  When I'm bundled up and freezing my butt off.  When we go to camp.  When we have family get togethers.  I'll always think of you.

I know how much you loved your family.  You were fiercely proud of all of us.  You raised three great kids.  And all eight of us grandchildren adore you as you did us.  I promise we'll take good care of Nana for you.  (She's a tough one as I'm sure you know after 60 years of marriage.)  We're all going to miss you a lot.  But you're still here with us.  You always will be in our hearts.

Everyone reminds me when I was about three and Uncle Jeff got married, I yelled out at the church before the ceremony stating that "I need my Papa!"  It always makes me chuckle.  I did need my Papa; I still do.  I'm going to miss you every single second of everyday for the rest of my life.  I'm promise I'm going to make you proud, just like I always have.  I'll live my life to the fullest and savior all the little moments.

Most of all, thank you for being a wonderful grandfather.  You were the best.  Thank you for all of the great times and for the memories that I will always cherish.  This isn't goodbye.  I still refuse to say goodbye.  This is I'll see you soon, but hopefully not too soon.  I know you'll be patiently waiting for us.  And in the meantime, you'll be watching over us and here in our hearts and in spirit.  I love you and miss you so much Papa.  I always will.  Love, Melissa"  °o°

Sunday, March 1, 2015

March 2015 Calendar

I can't believe it's already March.  I hope that means spring will be here soon!  In the meantime, here's my March 2015 Mickey and Minnie Free Printable Calendar!

These calendars are always some of my most popular posts!  I'm incredibly honored to share another year of calendars with you and to bring joy to so many Disney fans!

Here's the link to download the March 2015 PDF version of the printable.

These calendars are perfect for trip countdowns or for teachers and their Disney themed classrooms.  They're also perfect for training calendars for runDisney events!

Feel free to link this post up to Pinterest or Facebook so your friends and family can have a fun Mickey and Minnie calendar too!  Let's spread the Disney Magic!!!  °o°

Note: I've already gone ahead and made calendars through 2015.  (Yay newer, quicker method of making the calendars!!!)  However, I don't post the PDF links on my blog until the beginning of each month.  If you're looking for a particular month and would like me to email it to you ahead of my post going live, you can send my blog an email at mydisneylifeblog[at]  Then, I'll send you the PDFs directly.  :-)