Monday, November 30, 2009

It's Real...

After a miserable ride to Norwood for Shawn's doctors appointment today, I came home to a wonderful email :) It was my official travel itinerary from Disney. :) YES, I am REALLY going to the Moms Panel training in FOUR days!!! Woo Hoo!!! I am so incredibly excited I can hardly stand it!!!! :)

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Happy Thanksgiving, 2009 :)

I have a LOT to be thankful for every day, all year long. Here are 5 things on my mind today, that I am especially thanking God for:

1) First and foremost is my amazing family. I am married to my best friend, and am so blessed to be spending my life with Steve :) I'm incredibly blessed to have been given the opportunity to be Mom to five wonderful kids. They are the lights of my life, the stars in my sky, the reason for my smiles. I also have my super special brothers...who I couldn't imagine life without. My parents are pretty awesome too...and their unconditional love has always kept me going. Yeah, I'd say my family is pretty amazing. :)

2) We live in Cape Cod. There isn't anything quite like a Cape Cod summer, and we are blessed to be able to enjoy that every year. What a special place to be raising our family :)

3) Health. We're blessed with healthy children, and for the most part...our extended family is healthy too. That is priceless.

4) Friends. I have SO many incredible friends. They are supportive, loving and caring. They hold me up when I am weak, and celebrate my joys with me on my brightest days. My life is richer because of them.

5) I've been blessed with the opportunity to realize one of my biggest dreams. :) I'm a Mickey Mom...I'll be leaving for training for the Walt Disney World Moms Panel ONE WEEK from tomorrow!!!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, everyone!!! I count you all amongst my blessings :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Last Friday I drove Sierra and Jared to the airport. They went to spend Thanksgiving break with Darin. I've heard from Sierra several times. She sent me these photos:

The Seven Sacred Pools of Hana
Jared in Maui with birds on him :)

While she says the scenery is beautiful, she is struggling a bit with Pat being home for Thanksgiving break while she is across the world. She's also not getting along very well with Darin. Makes me sad to hear her sad. :(
They are on Oahu now and will head home Saturday night (arriving in Boston Sunday night). :) Can't wait for them to come home.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Looking Back...

Take a close look at these photos. When you are done wiping the coffee off your screen that you sprayed while laughing so may continue reading below:

Yes, this beauty was me. :) At 12.5 years old, I was quite fashionable. Gotta love the "Florida Beach Bunny" 1/2 shirt, pudgy belly and tube socks :) Oh, lets not forget the egg-beater hair. You know, the kind that looks like it was styled with an egg-beater?! Yeah, that was me.
Oh, I was in HEAVEN though. :) It was my first trip to Disney World. :) I wanted my photo taken in front of Journey Into favorite ride back then. I had developed a love for Figment, and was absolutely fascinated with the interactive area. They've since changed the ride, but the memories are still fresh in my mind. In fact, I still have my stuffed Figment, from 25+ years ago. :)
As I look back on that trip, the "why" comes to my mind the most. My Mom took Scott and I on our first trip to Florida. We had struggled through another bitter New England winter...I remember we used to only turn the heat on when I could see my breath. We then had finally gotten the money from our horrific car accident nearly 5 years earlier. Mom was recovering nicely and wanted to treat us to a wonderful trip. We went to Disney World (Magic Kingdom and Epcot at the time), Wet and Wild, Busch Gardens and Kennedy Space Center. We had SO much fun, and we were celebrating life. I had almost lost my Mom back then, and I was too young to really understand how close I really came. She survived not only a car accident, but also a painful divorce. Where did she go? She went to Disney World!! Even back then, Disney was a place for healing. A place to celebrate, a place to begin again.
Since then, I've made countless magical Disney memories. :) Every once in a while, I like to look back at these photos and laugh. Then I think of the circumstances surrounding that trip, and I am moved nearly to tears. That trip was a bright spot in an otherwise painful time in our lives. Disney's magic made a tremendous impression on me then, and it continues to today :)

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Photos from

This is Disney's Contemporary Resort. :) The monorail runs right through it!

THIS is where I'll be training for my most wonderful adventure on Disneys Moms Panel!!

I've said it before, but I'll say it again..."Pinch me, I think I'm dreaming!!"

Friday, November 13, 2009

Flying High...

I received a call from Disney today. They wanted to confirm that I want to be flying out of Logan in 3 weeks. :) I am just SO incredibly excited about ALL of this!! I can hardly believe this is really happening!! :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Let's Party!

As a way to CELEBRATE my success on finally joining the Disney Moms Panel, I decided to surprise the kids tonight. :) Chef Mickey's is a fun buffet at Disney World with an awesome "Make Your Own Sundae" bar...who doesn't love that?!?! I bought 3 different kinds of ice cream, chopped up snickers bars, had a bag of M&M's, chocolate Jimmies, chocolate syrup and whipped cream! As they say at Chef Mickey's, "PARTY"!!! I was too busy putting everything out to capture the kids excitement when I put everything on the table and told them we were bringing Chef Mickey's into our dining room. However, here's a few snapshots of the fun:

Making their creations:

Jared's ended up with a "Hidden Mickey" made of whipped cream (hard to see in here, but it was super funny watching him try to make it).

Kasi's is almost done...

Giggling Malia pointing at her huge pile of whipped cream :)

Shawn, only SLIGHTLY excited about his sundae, LOL...

A VERY happy Kasi showing off her masterpiece:)

I'm STILL peeling myself out of the clouds...I can't believe my dream FINALLY came true :)
*Unfortunately Sierra had a Psychology Outreach meeting, so missed out on the fun. However, we saved her toppings and she dug right in when she got home!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tears of Joy!


Ok, I am sitting here sobbing. I just can hardly believe that my dream came true today. I just came home from Malia's gymnastics to this message:

"Dear Kaylene,We hope you are just as excited as we are today! We just wanted to take a quick moment to say congratulations again on being selected to become a Walt Disney World Moms Panelist! We can't wait to meet you at our fun-filled training in December and neither can some other folks! Here's a message from some very special friends. Click here to see it. Congratulations and see you real soon, Leanne and Laura Walt Disney World Moms Panel

Honestly, I am just SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO incredibly happy and blessed and I can't stop tearing up. Someone pinch I dreaming????

Pinch Me...


I am deliriously excited and blessed to be sharing my news!! I received the call at 12:12 today that I was blessed with one of the 12 coveted Full Time spots on the 2010 Disney Moms Panel!! I started crying as soon as they told me, and have been bouncing off walls and shaking ever since. I had been thinking we'd hear around 3pm, and I had a hard time focusing all morning. Kasi had her gymnastics, so that helped pass some time. Mom, Scott, Beanie and I had been texting back and forth all during the class. Mostly, we were talking about how MUCH I wanted this and how I was going to lose my mind waiting all day, lol. When we got home around 11:45, I started browsing the DIS boards, and catching up on Facebook. A few minutes past 12, I decided I simply could NOT sit here any longer, and I went to the laundry room to pick up a basket of clothes. Just then, the phone rang! I figued it must be a telemarketer, but I walked over to check the caller ID anyway. I dropped the basket when I read, "Celebration, FL" on the screen! The rest is a bit of a blur, but I do know Tina and Laura were on the line and they told me they were hoping "to make my day spectacular by offering me a spot on the panel". I started crying, and shaking. Could it be?! Was my dream really coming true??! They concluded by telling me that I'd be getting a phone call about my itinerary in the next few days, along with some paperwork. I was told that I could share my news with my friends and family, but to wait until 2:30 or 3 to share online. I ran up the stairs and told Kasi through my happy tears, "Disney called me!" She said, "You won!? You're going to see Mickey?! Yay!!"...and she gave me a big hug. I picked up the phone and called Steve, he was so happy for me. :) <3 Then, I called my Mom. :) She was thrilled too, and happened to be in the car with Mike and she was able to pass it on to them as well. I hung up and called Scott...who nearly cried with me :) Then, I called my Trinie and left her a message. By the way, she called me later and told me she screamed wicked loud when she got my voicemail, lol. I passed the time by chatting with a few very special friends online. My friend Michelle from the July playgroup was on facebook and I sent her an IM. She called me right away and was so happy for me. She will actually be in Disney during my training, so I am going to somehow find a way to finally give her a hug for her friendship over the past 10 years :) While online, I chatted with two other new friends. One in particular, Kathie, is also on the new panel. She and I were both "rejects" from previous years, and both so desperately wanted this. Her phone call didn't come until 1:40 or so...and she started to doubt that she made it. I truly couldn't celebrate until I knew she had too. We kept IM'ing each other on facebook and I told her I was still going to believe FOR her. I literally jumped out of my seat and started crying when she told me she was in! Then, we called each other on the phone and laughed, screamed and rambled to each other for a few minutes. :) I can't wait to meet her in person! The other new friend is Diane L., who was a 2009 Panelist. She was a "reject" from '08 and was a finalist with me in '09. She made it then, I didn't. It was her it's mine. :) She has been SO wonderful and supportive throughout the entire process this year, and I hope to be able to meet her as well. :)

After hanging up with Kathie, Sierra walked in the door. She asked if I had heard, and when I told her, she gave me a huge hug. Made me teary all over again. I then went for a jog around the block with my Kasi, as I had SO much pent up energy to release. Kasi rode her bike and I HAD to jog to keep up...that girl can pedal!! Jared came home soon after we got back, and he was very happy for me too. When Shawn and Malia got off the bus, Shawn ran over to me..."Have you heard?!??!" I said, "Give me 5" and put my hand up. He literally JUMPED on me, yelling and screaming. Malia joined in too! Shawn was dancing..."Oh yeah, oh yeah, my Mom's a Disney Mom." Then he said, "I KNEW you were going to get this all along Mom, you HAD are THE Disney Mom". <3 Yeah, I got teary all over again, lol.

As you know, I was a semi-finalist in '08 and a finalist in '09. I never gave up on my dream...and have SO incredibly thrilled to report that the 3rd time is the charm and that dreams really DO come true!!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Best Part...

We find out in 2 days who the 2010 Disney Moms Panel Finalists are. :)

On Friday (two days ago) on the DIS Boards, someone asked us Finalists: "Up to this point, what has been the best part of this experience for you?"

Here is what I posted:

"For me, having been this far once before, the best part for me has been the honor of it all. I know SO many people, who are as obsessed about "all things Mouse" as I am. I have always worn my heart on my sleeve and am an outgoing, passionate person. I truly love helping other people...and the dream of being able to do that on a's indescribable.

Having made it to the finals twice ('09 & '10) and semi-finals once ('08), I have poured my heart into 15 questions/short essays. Just being able to share that with Disney, and know that they were touched in some way by ME and my Disney love...that is an incredible honor to me.

This year in particular, it's been taken even a notch higher for me. When I hung up from my interview last year, I just remember thinking "can I have a do-over please??" There was so much I had forgotten to say or wished I could have changed...and I was a nervous wreck and didn't get to really enjoy it. I told myself that *if* I was blessed enough to make it this far again, I was going to thoroughly enjoy it. I was going to just be Kaylene, and not a deer caught in the headlights.

In the end, no matter what happens, I feel very proud, very blessed and very honored. I've made some amazing friendships through this process...and it makes me so happy to know that I have all of you. I know that on Tuesday if I don't get the call I'm dreaming of, you will all support me and envelope me in your love and friendships. I also know if I do get that call, you'll be right beside me, cheering me on.

SO, long story short...the best part of it all has been intangible things that I can't quite put my finger on, but that have made it unforgettable for me .

Today, I was honored to read a response to my post. It was written by someone who is a well known Disney Blogger. She is incredibly talented, and made it to the semi-finals this year. Here is what she wrote:

"These are the types of posts that assure me that Disney has picked an incredible group of people to take to the finals. The very positive attitude and grace exemplified here, Kaylene, is awesome. If you go all the way this year, I don't think anyone would doubt that you have earned that position. I'm really proud to know you. "

Wow, I'm speechless. What an incredibly sweet response. I can only hope that I am given this amazing blessing and the chance of a lifetime.