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  • 39 List – Take Sam to Disneyland to Meet Mickey Mouse & Friends

    Before we left for Disneyland, I sat down and watched my two favorite Disney movies while working on my Project Life post. I know… I am a huge nerd. That’s ok. Anyway, I watched Swiss Family Robinson and Pollyanna. My favorite quote from Pollyanna is from the inscription written inside her locket, which states…

    “When you look for the bad expecting to find it, you surely will.”

    Tremendous power in such a tiny statement.

    I was determined to look for the positive in people while on vacation. Just as the statement says above, I could have chosen to look for the bad in people and I am sure I could have seen people angry while waiting in lines, parents yelling at their children, or perhaps children throwing temper tantrums. But I didn’t notice those things.

    As I wrote in my post yesterday, this past week has been one of the best of my life. It’s hard not to be happy when you have 4 kids enjoying life at the Happiest Place on Earth. But this trip was different. This trip I consciously worked at my goal of looking for the best in people.

    Adults were smiling and living with child like joy. It was contagious. Perhaps one would say it was because it wasn’t super busy or because the weather was wonderful. But I sincerely believe that is was because I intentionally chose to look for the good.
    Interesting…the more I looked for the good, the more I found. The joy was palpable in the air at times.

    I’m sure we will visit Disneyland many more times, but I will always treasure the memories from this trip and my attitude to intentionally look for the good in people. I will also remember…


    The joy of meeting new friends



    The sweet treats of Disney



    My gratitude for this miracle after cancer



    And our family just enjoying one another, dancing, and living life to the fullest…



    If you are having difficulty viewing this on Youtube, then go here to see the video on Vimeo.


    My favorite life list item remains my dancing video in Washington D.C. It’s hard to video and dance as much, when chasing after a toddler. We still had a great time.


    If you are new to this site, welcome! If you like what you see, I would love for you follow along on this crazy adventure of mine by subscribing to my blog above and joining me on facebooktwitter, and pinterest. I’m working hard to complete my life list of 1300+ items after surviving a battle with cancer. Specifically, this was one of the 39 items I want to complete before I turn 39 in November 2012.





    looks like SO much fun! I LOVE the video. The dancing was the very best! Your blog is great! I found you through a Project Life link several weeks ago – and I just keep coming back ;) Keep it up!!

    3 February 2012 at 5:00 am Reply

      Thanks Michelle- so glad you found your way to my blog. It was so much fun to dance with the kids this time, although they weren’t sure what to think of all of it at first.

      3 February 2012 at 7:12 am Reply

        Oh I forgot to mention… I noticed on your 39 list Dance at a Greek Festival. My husband is Greek and our church has a festival every year… I could totally hook you up! :) Actually there is probably a Greek Festival near you – I hope you find one this summer and jump in. It is tons of fun and the Greek community is very welcoming!

        3 February 2012 at 7:19 am Reply

          Sounds terrific. When I was in 4th or 5th grade, my parents took us to a Greek festival in Tucson. One of my favorite memories was dancing with my dad all night. I loved it.
          My parents met in Athens when there was an Air Force Base there. I dream of going back there with my folks and grandparents and reliving some of their memories.

          3 February 2012 at 7:28 am Reply

    Oh that was not fair. Seriously, that was just not fair. I didn’t know I’d be bawling my eyes out at 7:00 a.m.! That song just sends me over the edge. (Of course, I am big baby … I’ll even cry at car commercials if they are sentimental enough). If you’ll forgive me, it truly looks like you had a Magical Time at Disney and I am so happy for you and your family! I promise they were tears of joy. The best part? Dancing with the Storm Trooper. AWESOME!

    3 February 2012 at 5:08 am Reply

      Oh Melissa – I feel you. I always cry at the commercials where they show the people growing older from early marriage to grandparents (there’s a Visa commercial). Jeff laughs at me all the time. I love this song and heard of it when someone made a video for Rebecca’s volleyball team. I knew I would use it one day. And those pesky Storm Troopers! :)

      3 February 2012 at 7:16 am Reply
    sarabeth burke

    wow. i can’t even begin to tell you how amazing i think you are and i think we should hang out :)
    you have an awesome family and that video said it all! what a beautiful montage-definitely shed some tears.
    i’m definitely going to hurry up and finish up my life list of things to do before i’m 32.
    i don’t tell you this enough but thanks for the inspiration, that little bit of oomph you put in my day with your daily posts.


    ps-i can’t believe the storm trooper didn’t dance with you and i love that little green dress!!! keep dancin’!!

    3 February 2012 at 6:32 am Reply

      You can come over and hang out anytime! Do finish your 32 list and share when you get it finished! And I so appreciate your continued encouragement – I’m just loving this ride.

      3 February 2012 at 7:18 am Reply

    You are my hero!!

    3 February 2012 at 6:36 am Reply

      Thank you Melissa. It was an amazing, magical adventure.

      3 February 2012 at 7:19 am Reply
    Ellie A.

    OHHHH SO love it!!! :) Watched the video w/my little girl of course she loved seeing your son dance w/Cinderella ME thoe Storm Troopers made me So crack UP! OH I love it :) Thank you so much for sharing some fun on this Friday! Happy Weekend darling

    3 February 2012 at 6:36 am Reply

      Thanks Ellie. Our kids just saw it this morning and I’m having a hard time replying because Sam keeps screaming, “More Pluto, More Minnie!”

      3 February 2012 at 7:20 am Reply
    Jenny A

    It’s 5:39 am and I need to get ready for work but instead I’m sitting here crying joys of tears because your video really touched me :) Thank you over and over again for the inspiration to LIVE LIFE. Yesterday was a very stressful day at work (I’m a school nurse/work overload/can’t be at 2 places at the same time/budget cuts with a possible pink slip in March). But I look at this video and it is a reminder that it doesn’t matter. I need to look at the positive things in my life. Thank you for spreading your joy. Have a blessed weekend!

    3 February 2012 at 6:43 am Reply

      Oh Jenny – I’m sorry you had a lousy day yesterday. Definitely been there (actually yesterday was pretty eventful as well), but life IS worth living. Glad I could be an encouragement. And there will always be another job. Jobs come and go, but YOU will be ok, either way. Hold onto that and have a much better day.

      3 February 2012 at 7:23 am Reply
    Jen Kinkade

    so great!
    choosing joy always reaps goodness!
    and if per chance we ever meet, i promise to dance!! :)

    3 February 2012 at 6:43 am Reply

      Of course – you and Nicole have no choice. Dancing is a prerequisite! :)

      3 February 2012 at 7:24 am Reply

    Loved it! The girls loved it & of course now want to go to Disneyland…like today! The Storm Trooper cracked me up…total BOO on him for not participating. Hailey said “what’s wrong with him? Why won’t he dance?” When Tigger came on she said “Yay! Tigger was a good sport.”

    Thanks for sharing! I’m sure we will watch it about 500 more times today, which then will lead to us watching the D.C. video about 1,000 more times.

    3 February 2012 at 6:51 am Reply

      When Jeff finished editing last night, one of my first thoughts was, “The girls are going to love this”. Sam is obsessed this morning with Pluto.
      And the next trip, we do need to go all together.

      3 February 2012 at 7:26 am Reply
    Lisa Muniz

    My favorite part, your son dancing with Cinderella! What a handsome gentleman he is! Also loved your family dancing with Tigger and Jeff’s moon walk. Your whole family seems to have your carefree attitude and zeal for living life. It looks like you all had an amazing time! Can’t wait to see the family photos from your shoot!

    3 February 2012 at 7:36 am Reply

      Me too! The girls were belly laughing at Ben dancing with Cinderella which had Jeff and I in stitches. And Cinderella was such a sport and an encourager to Ben.
      Tigger was so carefree (unlike the storm troopers) and it was actually Jeff’s idea to make this video and do the moonwalk. He’s really jumped on board with my blog and life list. I’m so appreciative.

      3 February 2012 at 7:39 am Reply

    Jenny – great post. I am soo glad that you had so much fun at one of the happiest places on earth! We are going to Disney World in June and I can’t wait! One of my goals this year is to take more videos. Can I ask what editing software you use? I don’t have a MAC which I know is what a lot of people use. Any help getting started would be appreciated!

    3 February 2012 at 8:06 am Reply

      We use Imovie. Jeff thinks it is very easy to use and he’s been teaching me. It’s very user friendly. I’ll ask around and on my facebook page to see what people use for PCs.
      Have a fantastic time at Disney World. My favorite parks there are the water parks. I’m a huge fan!

      3 February 2012 at 8:14 am Reply
    Janet Carr

    OHHHH JENNY!!!!! Let me wipe away the tears through my laughter!!!!!! What a WONDERFUL video!!!! Thanks so MUCH for sharing and for starting my day with a SMILE!!!!! LOVE LOVE!!!!! AND you look FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!

    3 February 2012 at 8:25 am Reply

      Oh thank you so much Janet. It was just a wonderful celebration of life.

      3 February 2012 at 8:53 am Reply

    Love the quote and I love your video! I am glad you had such a good time. I think that it can be such a good thing to be mindful of changing your focus – and if it made your trip that much more special then it was definitely the right thing! Thanks for the inspiration Jenny.

    3 February 2012 at 8:32 am Reply

      Absolutely Cynthia! I’m thinking about having someone make a print for me with that quote. I want to put it next to my front door to remind me to see the good in others. I think it has to be a daily process for me.

      3 February 2012 at 8:54 am Reply
    Julie McD

    Love this! Your children will treasure this video! I so want to do this, but have no clue how to go about doing a video/photo montage thing. Any suggestions on how to get started? Have an incredible weekend and, as always, thanks for sharing and be so inspirational! You rock!

    3 February 2012 at 8:36 am Reply

      Julie – I have a dual camera and video camera (Canon 5D Mark II) and we are still learning about focus and editing. We edit our videos on iMovie and Jeff helps with most of the editing – he finds the program very user friendly.
      I will talk with Jeff and perhaps we will work on some sort of tutorial. He’s probably having a heart attack right now, but we will try to come up with something! :)

      3 February 2012 at 8:57 am Reply

    Love, love, love. The way you are living your life makes me a better person.

    3 February 2012 at 8:36 am Reply

      Thank you, Ali. That means the world to me. And I owe you and your OLW class for me choosing intentional this year as my word. Your class inspired me with this exercise of intentionally looking for the good in people.
      So, thank you as well.

      3 February 2012 at 8:59 am Reply

    love this.

    I’m a Pollyanna and I admit it. welcome to the club. :)

    3 February 2012 at 8:39 am Reply

      So glad we are part of the same club! I watch the movie every couple of months and just love her message and approach to life. Also love her Glad Game. Infectiously positive.

      3 February 2012 at 9:01 am Reply
    Stephanie Hackney

    Good morning, Miss Sunshine! Yup, that’s my name for you because you always bring a ray of sunshine to my days.

    I so love that you got to take the kids to Disneyland and dance! As a kid who grew up just down the street from the most magical place on earth, I can tell you they will never forget that time with you. I still go at least once a year (now that I live in Austin, it’s not quite as convenient, you know), had my bachelorette party there and am planning to run the half marathon there. And of course, I will have to end the race with a dance, just for you!

    Thanks for the reminder to focus on the positive. It really does work! And, I believe it attracts the positive to us and is contagious to others. Wow, what would it be like if every one of us was positive all day long for one whole day? Imagine the possibilities!

    Have a great day, Miss Sunshine!


    3 February 2012 at 8:43 am Reply

      Thank you Stephanie – I love sunshine, so that makes me smile! It would be such an amazing thing if people were all positive. I think we would be so much more productive as well.

      3 February 2012 at 9:02 am Reply

    yep, I cried too! Thank you for your inspiration to enjoy life!!!!!!
    You should seriously send that video to Disney if that doesn’t capture the essence of what they want to show in a Disney vacation what does …. WO

    3 February 2012 at 8:49 am Reply

      I hope you didn’t cry too much. Want to bring some happiness, not just tears! I think I will send it to Disney – I really loved the experience and vacation.

      3 February 2012 at 9:03 am Reply
    Stephanie Hackney

    Oh, I forgot. I’m volunteering to assist with two of your items:
    1. Run a half marathon (Disneyland in September?)
    2. Visit NYC and dance (I’d go any time!)

    Lastly, my hubby and I will be speaking at a travel conference in AZ in early May. If you’re interested in Int’l travel, it might be fun to do a road trip (the conference is up by Flagstaff) and attend. There are amazing folks in the “Overland Travel” community…and we could dance!



    3 February 2012 at 8:51 am Reply

      That’s funny Stephanie. Unknown to us, we showed up for the first day and it was the inaugural Tinkerbell half marathon. What a fun place to run!
      We are going to NYC the end of July and into August. I’m going to attend the BlogHer conference. I would love for you to join my sister and I!
      Let me know what weekend the conference is. We are trying to go to the Kentucky Derby so that is the only possible conflict.

      3 February 2012 at 9:06 am Reply

    I got directed here by Becky Higgins…and this totally brought a smile to my face (and some tears of joy). First, Pollyanna is my absolute favorite movie – it is always my go to movie when I am not feeling well..I just love the message in the movie. I am currently in the midst of creating a photo book (using project life) from our trip to Disney World so it brings back all memories..I love, love that you danced everywhere..I think I will have to try that next time. Thanks for sharing.

    3 February 2012 at 9:10 am Reply

      Oh – I agree Laura. I watch the movie at least once every couple of months and had both of my girl scout troops watch it and learn the Glad Game.
      And I would love to see your Disney PL album! Please share a link when you get it finished.
      And please dance – nothing would make me happier.

      3 February 2012 at 9:18 am Reply

    You are no doubt an inspiration to me. Your outlook on life is one we should all have, but more than that, everytime I read your posts or see one of your videos, I can’t help to think, “What a blessing this woman is to her children! How much they will learn from her about how to really live life!” Keep up the good work!

    3 February 2012 at 9:24 am Reply

      Thanks Sarah – that is the best compliment I can have as a mom. I want my children to not be worried about what everyone else wants for them. It’s a hard trap to be freed from. Thank you for your encouragement – I so appreciate all of these comments.

      3 February 2012 at 9:28 am Reply
    Heather Kruger

    What an awesome video! We are going next month and we are all too excited. Emily and Chelsea have already spent hours looking at a map and planning our days! I’m so glad Em’s surgeon cleared her to go with only one exception, no roller coasters. We can live with that! I am so inspired by the way you record your family memories.Thanks for sharing!

    3 February 2012 at 10:21 am Reply

      Thanks Heather! I’m so excited that Emily gets to go to Disney. All of you deserve this trip. I’m anxious to see pictures and hear all about it.

      3 February 2012 at 10:23 am Reply

    Okay, I didn’t start crying until the scene with your son dancing with the princess (Cinderella? Sleeping Beauty?). Oh my, the sweetness.

    You are so incredibly inspiring, and right on target about how when you look for the good, you will find it. Wonderful perspective.

    Thanks for sharing with us, Jenny.

    3 February 2012 at 1:25 pm Reply

      That was one of my favorite parts. Cinderella was so gracious and my favorite part was when Jeff had stopped the video, and Ben bowed to Cinderella. I was in shock!
      Looking for the good needs to be my daily mantra.

      3 February 2012 at 1:50 pm Reply

    HI Jenny,

    Thanks for making me laugh and cheering me up after a really rough day at work. Your site is one of the first I check when I get home… you are always so positive! Love it! Please keep making the dance videos because they make me smile so much!
    And you are right if you look for the good in people you will find it. My parents raised me that way and although it’s hard and you sometimes get dissappointed it always beats looking at the worst in people!
    Thanks so much for making my day!

    3 February 2012 at 6:35 pm Reply

      Yvonne – sorry you had such a lousy day at work. Those are the pits. But I have a cure…dance like a crazy person. :) I know I’m going to dance in NYC this summer but I have a feeling I won’t be able to restrain myself until then.
      It sounds like you were raised right like me, sometimes we just need to be reminded. Hope you have a great, relaxing weekend.

      3 February 2012 at 8:29 pm Reply

    What a sweet post – and OMG, the video. When Becky said she was weepy, I knew I was going to have to wait until I was alone so I could watch (and cry) in peace. That song, those clips, ugh, darn you Jenny. ;)

    Visiting Disneyland is now on MY life list and I cannot wait to bust a move with you and Jen.

    3 February 2012 at 8:17 pm Reply

      The point wasn’t to make people cry. Jeff really made the video, so let’s just blame him!
      And you must go to Disney with your little ones- they will have a blast.
      And you, Jen, and I are going to dance like there is no tomorrow for certain. :)

      3 February 2012 at 8:32 pm Reply

    I can’t quite figure out why I am crying so hard – but this is truly inspirational. I have been going back and forth on planning a trip to Disneyland with my extended family. I’m not married, no kids – but I have a brother, sister, their spouses & my parents plus seven adorable nieces and nephews.

    There is nearly a six year age gap between the last two and the two before them. So, I wasn’t sure that it would be the right time to go with babies. But I believe after watching this, I’ll start thinking seriously about it. After all, is there ever a “right time”? If I wait, the oldest one is ten and she may not see the joys in Disneyland then.

    Thank you for the inspiration!

    4 February 2012 at 10:51 am Reply

      There is something for everyone of every age at Disney. The thing I love about the younger kids though is the total innocence and the look that everything is magical.
      There is a 6 year age gap between my youngest 2 and it was so much fun.
      Hope you go and have a fabulous trip!

      4 February 2012 at 1:31 pm Reply

    L.O.V.E. <3

    4 February 2012 at 1:25 pm Reply

      Thanks Julia. I have watched the video 3 times today. Really was a great capture of our great getaway.

      4 February 2012 at 1:31 pm Reply
    Karen (New Zealand)

    Hi Jenny
    Love you blog & enjoy hearing about you & your family’s adventures. Unfortunately am unable to view the video as “This video contains content from EMI, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds”. :-(
    Sounds awesome from the comments.

    8 February 2012 at 1:10 am Reply

      Thanks so much Karen for letting me know. Jeff is going to help me upload the video to a couple of other sites to see if you can view it on one of those and we will email you and update the blog.
      Thanks so much for following our story – we love it so much. Hopefully you will be able to enjoy the video soon.

      8 February 2012 at 8:02 pm Reply

      Karen – We got the video uploaded to Vimeo and the link is above in the post. Hopefully you will be able to view and enjoy the video. Blessings and have a terrific day! -Jenny

      19 February 2012 at 7:23 pm Reply
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