One of the weirdest things about life is that each and every one of us is doing life for the first time. Each of us entered 2019 differently and at different times. Each of us has at one point been a certain age, and some are reaching that age just now. No matter how you look at it, life is being experienced for the first time by each of us every day. Some of us have big dreams, and some of us live simply. We ought to take the advice of our elders to heart as they have learned the hard way (or easy way) life lessons that shaped their lives they are still living for the first time. We have good times and we have bad times. That is life. God gave you and me life today. It’s my first and only time being in this day. It’s your first and only time being in this day. What are we doing to live this day (and, Lord willing, days to come) to the fullest? May 2019 bring you blessings, trials, triumphs, and life lessons to pass to the next generation. Happy New Year!

Since celebrating the Marine Corps Birthday in November I have been swamped with work! If you don’t recall, I started working at Disney’s Pop Century Resort as a full-time Housekeeping Manager. Exciting stuff! Once I returned from Greenville I was immediately put to work. Everything started off with a few weeks of in-costume (wearing the uniform) training and leader shadows. So I did the work we expect our Cast to do and learned the day-to-day operations of what I am expected to do. I think I touched on what a blessing it is to have this job and how God really provided. With that, I am super thankful for the job I have! It is definitely not Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club (where I used to work). There is a lot of opportunity here and I look forward to making a difference and developing my career with Disney.

Because of working so much I was afraid I would miss a lot of the Christmas festivities around Walt Disney World. I made it my goal to partake in these experiences as I am in love with Christmas and everything that has to do with it. On November 15th I went to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom and could not have asked for better conditions. First of all, it felt like it was Christmas because a crazy cold front came through and it got cold! If you have not done the Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom then you are missing out.

Frozen Cinderella Castle

Mickey Mouse at the Christmas Parade
Santa’s Reindeer

Can you say free hot cocoa and and incredible fireworks display? Amazing. In early December I took what I called a “fake staycation” at one of the Disney Good Neighbor hotels for a couple of nights. I knew that if I did not immerse myself in the happenings at Walt Disney World then I would be too lazy to go out and partake. So partake is what I did. Let’s just say Disney Springs is even cooler than I thought.

My family got to come down and stay with me for Christmas! Granted, I only had three days off but we made it work. Our Christmas actually took place on the 23rd as that was the best time with my work schedule. Mom made cinnamon rolls so that was a perfect start to Christmas morning! I got to surprise my family with the gift of a one-night stay at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort (my favorite, by the way) where we also had tickets for seating at the 60th Anniversary Candlelight Processional (“Candlelight”) at Epcot! If you have not been to Candlelight at Walt Disney World or Disneyland then you are missing out! Traditional carols and songs are played and sung by a large-scale choir and orchestra and a celebrity narrator tells the story of Christmas. Jodi Benson (voice of Ariel in “The Little Mermaid”) was our narrator and she did an amazing job recalling the story of Jesus’ birth! Of course we also saw the fireworks display Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. It was a fun Christmas!

Christmas 2018
Walking to the Yacht Club

Room view
“Candlelight” with Jodi Benson
Charles Dickins carolers
Grand Floridian

My boring old man tendencies had me asleep on my couch around 9:30pm New Year’s Eve. I know, I’m a lightweight! Happy New Year nonetheless. So what’s next in 2019? I will be in Camp Lejeune to complete a Sergeant Course so I can hopefully be selected for promotion in the Marines this year. If that happens then I will have met my original Marine Corps goal of making it to Staff Sergeant. After Sergeant Course I will be back on the normal drill training schedule in Greenville. Also, I just realized that 17 days from today will make 7 years since my bootcamp graduation. Time flies!

That’s it for now. There were a lot of ups and downs in 2018, but that’s a year to share with the younglings. One of the most unique things I learned about myself in 2018 was that I have this unusual drive that is nearly unbeatable. When I set my mind to something I can do it. The road to get there can be horrible (and it was), but with God looking out for me and my willingness to push forward I am in a place I hoped to be. Now I look to the next step, the next goal, the next day that will lead to the next. Life is worth living even when it gets tough. Remember that. Until next time: Be strong. Love God. Love others.



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