As you may know, I am taking a hiatus from answering questions on the Walt Disney World Moms Panel site for 2012. If you’ve followed the Panel, you may have noticed that people “roll on and off” every year. In 2012, you’ll find Panelists answering questions who originally joined in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012. I love that. We aren’t broken into separate groups and “classes”…we’re all in this together. We’re one big, diverse, slightly quirky, very beautiful, Pixie Dusted Family. Every year you’ll notice different ones taking a well deserved break, others coming back to sprinkle more Pixie Dust and new Members ready to join the fun. It’s my turn to rest my weary fingers and recharge my batteries. However, I’ll still be enjoying getting to know our newest Members and making countless more magical memories at the Reunion and various other times throughout the year.
Just over 2 years ago, I was living a blessed life. A happily married mom of 5, I happened to possess an uncommon love for Disney World. So many of my family’s most beloved memories were made there and I had a burning desire to help others share similar experiences. I possessed a lot of knowledge about a magical place and more passion than I could contain. I had applied to the Moms Panel several times and I knew in my heart that it was meant for me. I’ll never forget the day that I received that phone call welcoming me to the Panel. Looking back now, I have to giggle. I was so oblivious at the time…simply excited to share my tips and tidbits. I had absolutely no idea what a priceless treasure had just been given to me.
On November 10, 2009, my life forever changed. Yes, I’ve answered over 2,400 questions to date and have played an important role in helping guests plan magical vacations. I could go on and on about what that piece of it has meant to me. Suffice to say, it has been simply amazing and an absolute honor. I look forward to helping many more guests throughout the years.
Today though, I’m going to focus on another side of the Moms Panel…a side that guests don’t see and few people truly understand. Simply put, I was completely and totally unprepared for the incredible friendships that the Moms Panel has brought to my life. I have heard it said, “Nothing but Heaven itself is better than a friend who is really a friend.” Imagine having the blessing of gaining more than 70 friends like that? I’ve spent a lot of time lately reflecting on the past 2 magical years. Knowing pictures speak a thousand words, I want to share a “highlight reel” that features just a small sampling of some of my favorite memories so far on the Moms Panel…
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As I look at these photos, I find myself completely overwhelmed with tears streaming down my cheeks. Truthfully, how does one even begin to find the words to adequately define something so indescribable? Nobody joins the Moms Panel Family fully prepared for the bond and connection that we instantly share. People often ask me if the Panelists are really as close as we appear. The truth is, we’re even closer. Sure, as in any family, there are disagreements and differences in opinion. What a boring world it would be otherwise. However, when you have joined hands across thousands of miles and raised over $20,000 dollars together for children facing life-threatening illnesses, held each other up through heartbreaking divorces, celebrated the births of babies, faced surgeries and battled cancer together, cheered about sports victories, watched each other’s children begin kindergarten or graduate high school, wiped each others tears, laughed so hard your sides hurt and so much more…there’s an unbreakable tie that binds. With each memory we make together, every trial and triumph we share…the bond gets stronger.
I’m so very proud to say that I’m a Member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel Family. When you can take 70+ people from all walks of life and can embrace the diversity…your joy mulitplies in ways you never ever imagined. We knew from the beginning that we would all have Disney in common…and what a magical foundation that is. It’s building on that foundation…conversation by conversation, memory by memory that the intricate details emerge. We’re all in this together…and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
I am truly blessed.
Every week I share a different Member of the Moms Panel Family, and I plan to continue doing that throughout 2012 and beyond. Soon, I will begin to introduce the newest Pixie Dusters that have joined our team.
I invite you to take some time to read about the Panelists that I have shared so far on Disney Moms Panel Monday.
Here’s to another magical year together…Happy New Year!