Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Now It's Time To Say Goodbye

You may be wondering why the title states the words time and goodbye together ... and I'm sure most of you already know ... but for those who don't don't panic ... I will explain all in a tiny tiny bit!  Just keep reading!


But to start, mom and Kristin were suppose to come out this past weekend but due to the lame bipolarness of flying they were not able to make it out.  Strangely enough I was able to make it home ... so on Friday morning I packed up and took a flight out to wonderful Dallas!  Kristin and mom picked me up from the airport and we ran around doing stuff for a bit.  Then Kristin and I went to Walmart to get stuff for our boys.  Once again Noah didn't know I was in town, so I bought 3 roses and some Disney princess valentines.  Then Kristin wrote on each note some clues.  I drove out to Dallas just to find out that Noah had to work until 9 (I got there about 6), but thankfully Bethany was free that night so we went out to Freebirds because I had been craving it practically since I moved.  At about 8:30 Beth took Noah his first rose at his work ... and then we waited.  I left the other one at the place we got together and then that clue led to a waterfall on campus.  When he drove up to the waterfall and began to walk up the hill to it I came from the other side and stood on the next hill with his last rose.  It was a lot of fun seeing him and getting to see his shocked smile again!

The rest of the weekend was full of simply hanging out, church and relaxing!!!  It was a lot of fun, but then yesterday morning I got up super early and took an early flight back out to Orlando.  Around 7 Lauren and I decided to go to Magic Kingdom cause it was open till 11 so we hopped in the car!  We drove to the tunnels cause we didn't want to deal with the monorail crowd at close, but when we got to the bus stop at the parking lot the security guard told us it was a "violation of disney code" to be in the tunnels when you aren't working ... which ps is a bunch of crap because I've done it before and my managers told me I could.  Anywho, so we drove around to the front of the park and finally got in.  We ended up riding the tea cups twice (there was a little 6 year old girl who's family couldn't ride it so we rode it twice with her cause she liked it so much), Peter Pan (where we got to fly!), Big Thunder 3 times and Splash.  Then we got to catch the end of the Spectro Magic parade which was awesome!  We got home around 11:30 and crashed from exhaustion.  

Today I had to be at work at 1.  Work was good but SOOOOO crowded.  I was suppose to get off at 9 but I guess it was more crowded then they expected so they kept the park open an extra hour.  So when my bump-out time came I called a manager asking what was going on and he was like oh yeah you were extended till 10 ... you should have already been told.  Uhhhh yeah I wasn't ... so I just got home not long ago and now I am cooking pizza cause I am STARVING!!!  
But for the title of the blog ... it is true ... Lauren and I are moving back home.  We have both put a lot of though and prayer into it and have both decided it is best for us right now.  Lauren has her personal reasons which you can read on her blog.  As for me it was a mixture of things.  I was honestly EXTREMELY confused about the situation and what I was going to do.  Lauren had told me she was going to be going back home and I was just overwhelmed with confusion.  So I began to pray a lot and my family was praying also, as well as I began to do a bible study on Ecclesiastes.  Basically what it came down to was being here is no longer beneficial.  I know that I was suppose to come down here because seriously God has taught me an insane amount in the past 6 weeks.  But one of the biggest lessons I have learned is how blessed I have been.  I had gotten stuck in a routine that I wasn't satisfied with.  God has provided me with so many blessings in my family and Noah and a wonderful school and the ability to get an education, but because of a bad semester and the boredom of life I failed to see His blessings.  Instead I searched for the next best thing, or as Matt Chandler puts it, I created a new 10 year plan.  I do not at all regret coming to Orlando.  It was been an incredible and amazingly fun experience, plus I would have never realized His true blessings without it.  But half the fun of being here has been getting to know Lauren better and getting to go to the parks with her.  Without her it simply won't be the same here.  Plus if I go home I can get a job where I actually bring home something and I can get caught up in my education so I can graduate on time, aka it is more beneficial.  

I was honestly worried because I was told before I came that if you leave early you will be considered "un-hirable" in the future at Disney, but today my manager pulled me aside and basically told me that I have done a good job and that I should feel free to return anytime.  So that was a huge relief and very refreshing.  So, I will begin the long drive home on Monday and plan to be back home in Dallas a week from today!  I already know I'm going to miss it here, but I'm also very excited to be back home.  I'm for once looking forward to getting a job and taking classes.  And this will now give me the opportunity to work the D-now at Hillside as well as get to go to Pink Impact, a woman's conference I've never gotten to attend because of school.  Just keep me and Lauren in your prayers as we journey home as well as that I can find a wonderful job!!!

Have a magical week!

Stephanie

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Relying On God's Will

So I know I haven't updated in awhile ... but pretty much things have been rather interesting and SUPER stressful.  Sunday night was my shift that was scheduled until 2 in the morning.  Thankfully we got done a little early and I ended up clocking out around 1:15 so I was in bed by 2.  Still I'm use to going to bed and being asleep by like 11 and getting close to 10 hours of sleep a night and Lauren has been waking up by 6 every morning so on Monday morning we both woke up with sore throats.  We weren't feeling all that great but we never get days off together so we decided since it was a rare moment we needed to go to a park.  Originally we were going to go to Blizzard Beach but we figured it wouldn't be a good idea to go to a water park when we were getting sick.  Instead we headed over to the Magic Kingdom ... which was awesome!  The park wasn't all that busy so we ended up getting to ride this little transport thing around Tomorrowland, the rockets in Tomorrowland, the Laugh Floor, Snow White's Scary Adventure, the Haunted Mansion, Philhar Magic and we got to explore the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse.  Lauren also bought us brownie sundaes at Mrs. Pott's Ice Cream Shop which was SOOO good but they were HUGE!  

Peter Pan and Wendy at Dream Along With Mickey!  I was SO excited when Peter Pan came on I literally starting squealing and jumping around like a little kid.  Many of you may be wondering why ... but as I explained to Noah, Peter Pan is wayyyy cooler then any princess.  Not only is he magical and can fly, but he never grows up!!!  The princesses on the other hand are not magical and like Snow White wasn't even smart enough to stay away from the poison apple.  I may be a nerd for thinking so much into it, but I'm ok with that.  Plus Peter Pan waved at me in the tunnels one day ... and the princesses never have!
My amazingly awesome and verrrrry sweet brownie sundae!
So Lauren and I were trying to find the rockets that go around like the Dumbo ride, but accidentally took the ride entrance next to it and ended up on this little tram around Tomorrowland.  This picture and the one below are our "uh-oh" faces.

In front of the castle!

Tuesday I was suppose to work a 10 1/2 hour shift, but I was feeling worse so I decided it would be better to call in and rest.  So pretty much I didn't do ANYTHING except Lauren and I went to the store.  Tuesday was also Noah and my 1 year ... just fyi ... I can't believe it's been that long!  We couldn't be together obviously, but I sent him a video with tons of pictures we've taken over the last year.  It was funny cause the pictures went from all serious and posey to our true selves ... aka we don't care what we look like anymore!  Well, Lauren and I woke up this morning and were both feeling even worse, so once again I had to call in.  I had thought I just had a cold but I went to the doctor anyway.  Turns out I have yet another sinus infection ... I am the queen of them after all.  So I got an antibiotic which I am hoping kicks in like asap.  The doctor and the pharmacist both said it's a really strong antibiotic ... so let's hope!!!  I REALLY need to work tomorrow not only because I need the hours but since I called in 2 days in a row I currently have 2 points on my record card and if I get another point in the next 30 days I'll get a reprimand.  
Which brings me to my next thing ... if you could all just be in serious prayer for Lauren and I.  More immediate we both need to get healthy as soon as possible because we both really need to work.  Also, we're both just getting worn out with the whole situation.  We feel like we're working our butts off and barely bringing in any money.  It's literally a struggle for us every week because we work close to 40 hours and only bring home about $100, which is barely enough to pay for groceries and gas here.  And since I've been out so much this week I'm literally going to not get a paycheck and may even owe money for rent.  Thankfully my parents are AMAZING and they're helping me make it, but it's still quite stressful.  So if you could please be praying for us that would be amazing ... we are both also praying to see where God wants us next and what step to take next.  
Tonight we both pulled out our bibles and got online to listen to sermons.  Matt Chandler does series on different books in the bible and I started listening to a 13 part series on Ecclesiastes.  Tonight I went over the first chapter and basically it talked about how Solomon could ask for anything and he asked for wisdom and how on top of that God provided both wealth and power.  He also explained how we will never ever no matter how hard we try be as wise, wealthy and powerful as Solomon was.  Solomon wanted to understand more of life so he went and lived among the wealthiest men in the world and indulged in their luxuries and how he realized that those men were appealing to their 5 senses but they were longing for the simplicity of a poor man's life.  So then he went and lived among the poor and lived the life of a poor man appealing to their 5 senses and realized these men were longing for the lifestyles and luxuries of the rich.  Because of this he came to the conclusion that all life is meaningless and how we strive for these lifestyles but once we achieve them they're still not enough.  And then he explained how when we desire to appeal the five senses and live for that we will never find meaning in life because in the end the sun still sets and rises just as it did before and we will still move on in life without all the materialistic things we worked so hard for.  Then Matt Chandler explained how there's a 6th sense: faith.  He explained how when we strive for faith and look toward God then we move past the meaningless of the world and we rise above the sun to find true meaning.  It was super interesting!  Lauren listened to a different sermon, but by the time we were done we both felt a renewed sense of peace instead of panic.  It helped me re-direct my focus on not worry so much about the financial side of today but rather God's will for forever.  
Anywho, I took some night time medicine so I'm about ready to pass out.  As I said before just keep us in your prayers and thank you so much for all the one's you already said!

Have a good night!

Stephanie

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ready For A Break!

So work is def getting outta control!  I feel like I've been working non-stop ... but I guess that is what I came here for.  The first two paychecks you get here get all screwed up because of rent and stuff ... so today I got my first "real" paycheck.  It was nice because I needed money ... but Florida taxes are INSANE!!!  I made close to $300 last week but between my $93 a week rent and taxes I only got $113 of it.  I guess that's not bad considering it was only for 1 week of work at $7.21 an hour ... but the $300 would have been WAY nicer!  


This week I once again had Monday and Tuesday off.  Monday I mainly relaxed and caught up on some much needed rest.  It was Lauren and Daniel's 2 year so I went to the store and got some stuff to decorate with.  I ended up with some candles, rose petals, a rose, heart candies and sparkling cider.  When she got home the stuff was set up all over her bed and then Daniel sent her an invitation he made to go on an online chatting date.  It was really cute and a lot of fun!  Then Tuesday my roommate Allie and I went to Epcot.  It's starting to get more and more crowded as it gets closer to March and Spring Break, so we avoided the main rides.  Instead we went on Journey Into The Imagination and then over to Honey I Shrunk The Audience.  Epcot has this new Kim Possible adventure so we got recruited to be secret agents!  We went over to Italy and were issued special cell phones that told us to go to Japan to stop the killer Bebe robots.  It was cool because the phone tells you to go to certain places in your land and look at certain objects to help fix the problem.  Like at one point we looked at a rock and then the phone would synch up to it and a Japanese symbol lit up ... it was crazy!  After we helped stop the Bebe's we shopped in Japan where I bought a pack of 50 incense with a stand.  Then we went over to Mouse Gear where I got a charm bracelet and a castle charm that says Walt Disney World.  I decided I was going to collect charms during my time here ... which I'm pretty excited about!  Also I bought another present ... but it's top secret!  

Allie and I excited about our Kim Possible phone and our top secret mission!
Lauren's bed on her and Daniel's 2 year!
Yesterday I worked from 1:00 to 9:30 ... but that wasn't the end of my night.  As I believe I have previously posted, Lauren and my smoke alarm was chirping every hour the other night.  I called the front desk and they claimed they fixed it ... but I guess they hadn't very well cause last night it started chirping again.  So we got Allie to stand on a table (cause she's the tallest) and take out the battery ... except the stupid thing didn't turn off.  She unhooked it and turns out the stupid thing was connected to 3 wires in the ceiling ... and since we had taken the battery out the darn thing starting chirping EVERY 5 SECONDS!!!  Lauren and I were so mad so we were planning on going to the fire department around the corner to get their help, but instead we decided to ask security.  They wrote down our information and said they would try and get help in a couple hours ... which by then it was 10 something.  We quickly figured out they weren't at all gonna try and get help ... so I called my dad and he helped me figure out how to unhook all the wires.  So now our fire alarm is sitting on our coffee table while there is a huge hole with a bunch of wires hanging out in our ceiling ... and maintenance has still not come.


Lauren yelling at the smoke alarm!
I was very angry at the smoke alarm ... if you can't tell!  (P.S. I'm well aware I look pregnant in this picture ... but I'm not!  Rather I have like 50 layers on cause Florida is FREEZING!)
The only remains in our ceiling!

Today I worked from 8:00 - 2:00.  It was a short shift but probably one of the worst because it was FREEZING!  When I listened to the radio this morning they said it was 30 but felt 22 and was a record breaker for Florida!  Well I don't know what the deal is but all the stores in Fantasyland are open and for some reason they don't even attempt to heat them ... so for 6 hours I got to stand in weather that felt 22 degrees!  It was awful!!!  I was so excited when I got off and instantly put on sweats.  Then I went to get my new Netflix movies and Lauren and I got in our beds and started Pineapple Express.  We both ended up falling asleep for a couple hours and when we finally woke up Lauren made us chicken tacos and queso!  It was amazing but we're both so full we don't want to move ... so now we're back in bed watching the rest of the movie!  Tomorrow I work 1:30 to 9:30 and then I have another morning shift the next day.  

If you could all just be in prayer ... my sister and mom are suppose to be coming next weekend but the flights are getting sketchy.  In fact Noah and Daniel are coming the following weekend and they already had to buy tickets or else they weren't gonna get to come.  My sister and mom can't buy tickets so if you could please please please be in prayer that they have the opportunity to come.  Lauren and I are still enjoying ourselves but we're starting to get extremely homesick.  Knowing they are coming has been motivating me and it would suck if they couldn't make it ... especially since I'll have the whole weekend off when no one else does.  

I'm off for now ... I hope everyone is doing well!!!

Stephanie

"Be glad for all God is planning for you.  Be patient in trouble, and always be prayerful."  ~Romans 12:12

I was having a really hard day the other day because I got exhausted and just wanted to go home ... so Noah sent me this verse as encouragement!  It's one we all need to look upon!

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Lauren got a burst of energy tonight ... and this was the result lol!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Magical Moments

Work is getting more and more slow as I'm getting more and more use to it.  Besides the fact that it's a slow season ... yes let's just say time has been going extremely slow!  But I've learned to not look at the clock until I'm on a break that way I never know how much time has passed.  Yesterday I worked 9:00 - 5:00 which as stated before passed extremely slow.  But when I got off Lauren and I decided to head over to Hollywood Studios despite our exhaustion and deep urge to simply lay in bed for hours on end.  We first walked over to Tower of Terror but the wait was extremely long, like miserably long.  Both of us had heard how amazing the Toy Story ride is but the wait seems to always close to 80 minutes.  The sign stated that the wait was 70 minutes but we figured what the heck.  Incredibly enough the line is super entertaining ... there's a bunch of oversized 90's toys like Candyland and Linkin Logs.  There's also a huge Mr. Potato Head that talks and sings which was pretty much the coolest thing ever.  Lucky for us the line only took about 30 minutes and the ride was AMAZING!!!  It was exactly as everyone had said and so worth the wait!!!  After the ride ended we decided to check out Tower of Terror again.  The sign said a 40 minute wait but I guess it hadn't been updated in awhile because we literally walked on.  Behind us in line there was a couple with 2 four year olds convincing them that it was actually the hotel they were gonna stay in.  They were saying things like "Isn't it nice?" and "Aren't you excited to get up to the room and relax!"  We started talking to them and they told us the poor things were gonna be traumatized!  Lauren and I felt so bad for the precious things ... but I will admit those were pretty clever parents.



In line at Toy Story.  This was one of the picture slides where you would click the little lever and the disk would revolve to new pictures!  This was a Tomorrowland one and there was also a Peter Pan one!
In front of the talking Mr. Potato Head!  There's also a video at the bottom of the post ... although it's loud!
Our 3-D glasses on about to get on the Toy Story Mania ride!

Today I worked from 10:45 to 6:15.  The day started out TERRIBLE!!!  I was exhausted because the smoke alarm in Lauren and my bedroom was running out of batteries ... so we were both literally in and out of sleep all night due to a VERY loud beeping every hour or less.  Literally we would wake up with a jump and our hearts racing it was so loud.  Then one of my first transactions at work I totally messed up.  The lady had grabbed a pair of earrings but they didn't have a price tag so I went to grab some new ones.  After I had finished the transaction she came back up and told me I had rung up the wrong earrings ... they were similar but not the exact same.  Well it's a rule that you can't do a return or exchange on a transaction you originally had ... but I was alone on that side of the store with like 5 people waiting in line.  I didn't want to make the lady wait for a manager so I quickly went to the other side of the store and asked another cast member to help me out.  She finally came over to find out we were out of the earrings the lady wanted.  So she went to another store to check and they didn't have any either ... so she told the lady she was gonna have to call a manager anyway.  Well the lady got super mad and was like "can't I just take them and pay the price of the others?"  But we can't do that without permission because it screws up inventory.  Finally the manager came and let the lady leave without a problem.  Well then a few transactions later a lady had a small snowglobe which I succeeded to tip over and have shatter on the counter.  To top it off when I finally got on break I tripped over my own feet ... not a big deal but by that time I was just over it! 

After my first break my day finally started to pick up.  I ended up at Tinkerbell's all day and we have this thing where you can call Tinkerbell to the store from Pixie Hollow.  Whenever someone asks or it's slow in the store you give a kid a big bell and you tell them to ring it really loud and yell for Tink because she has to hear you all the way from Pixie Hollow.  Then there's a window that has a screen behind it and Tink appears in the window and winks at the guests.  I had one little girl ring the bell and when Tink appeared she got SO excited that she ran over to her sister to tell her.  A few seconds late she came back asking if her sister could do it.  Of course she could so when Tink came again the girl looked at me and said "Is that the real Tinkerbell?"  I told her it was and that she must be magic for having Tink hear her all the way at Pixie Hollow.  The girl literally screamed out "Mom I just saw the real Tinkerbell!" as she ran through the store.  It was SO precious!  Later in the day another girl came in.  She looked older, around 8 or 9 and normally girls that age play along but they don't get as excited because they know it's all make believe.  Well she was wearing all Tinkerbell so I asked her if she wanted some pixie dust in her hair.  She said yes so I sprinkled the dust in her hair and told her to make a wish.  Afterwards she asked if it was real pixie dust and where she could buy some.  I told her that it was and that it was a gift just for the store that Tinkerbell had given us ... by then catching on that she actually believed me.  So I asked her if she wanted to call Tinkerbell ... which she of course did.  When Tink appeared her face lit up and mouth fell open in shock.  Another girl had watched and asked if she could call her and after watching.  After the second call the girl looked at me and said "Is that a computer screen?"  I looked her right in the eye and said "Nope, that was really Tinkerbell all the way from Pixie Hollow!"  She looked in amazement and went to find her mom telling her who she had just seen as they left the store.  Finally after my second break I went to the other side of the store where there is a dress that the fairies from Sleeping Beauty fight over the color, so it changes from blue to pink.  A little girl came up to me and asked if it was the real dress from sleeping beauty and how we had gotten it.  I told her that it was and that Princess Aurora had given it to the store as a special present.  She was so excited and looked at her mom and said "It is real mom!  It was a present ... I told you so!"  

So, even though my job can be tiring moments like that make it so worth it!!!   All the girls today were so precious and I loved being able to watch their faces light up when they believed the magic!  

Anyway, I have the next two days off praise God!!!  Tomorrow I will be just relaxing and catching up on some sleep.  Then Tuesday I believe Allie and I will be going over to Epcot to try out the new Kim Possible adventure ... supposedly you become a secret agent and go through all these trap doors and stuff throughout the land while on a mission.  I'll have to let you know how it goes!  Then it's back to work which the rest of the week won't be too bad.  Next week is another story!!!  Sunday I work from 5:15 at night to 1:45 in the morning!!!  I'll have Monday off but then Tuesday I'm gonna have a 10 1/2 hour shift ... which is insane!!!  Thankfully my mom and sister are coming that weekend so I'll have Friday and Saturday off ... praise God!

For now I am watching Cold Mountain while Lauren puts up her laundry.  Have a great night and a blessed week!

Stephanie
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