lauren spitler

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Get Connected!

Since starting my blog, it has been very fun to see that people are viewing and reading what I’ve posted. I know that I am not talking to a mass of hundreds here, but I just think it is very cool that anyone is reading this to begin with!

I wanted to point out a few ways for you to stay connected with me, and this blog. (If you are a family member who is coming here for updates while I’m on my program with Disney, this info will help you know when I’ve posted!)

First off, I have linked my social media sites to this blog with the icons on the right! I had to learn some basic coding to know how to do that, and I felt incredibly accomplished after completing it… it’s the little things, folks! I know that in addition to blogging and hopefully vlogging once I actually get down to Florida, I will be tweeting, Facebooking, and Instagraming my time as well!

Secondly, my blog is on If you are unfamiliar with that site, it is a place where you can add blogs that you wish to follow, and you have the convenience of all of them in one place! Super handy! On your home feed appears new posts from any blogs you choose to follow! If you want to get in on that action, click on the + icon on the right. You will need to create an account yourself, just a heads up! It is not hard to do though, so carry on! (Bonus- there is a Bloglovin app that you can download if you want to have my blog and others right within your reach!)

You can also keep up with my blog by following via email! You just have to enter your email in the box on the right side of the page, and then confirm you actually want to subscribe when a confirmation email comes to your inbox! Then whenever I post, it goes straight to your inbox!

Finally, you can follow on Blogger somehow. I know that that piece of information was not helpful in the slightest bit, but I am not actually sure how to do it! I should know more about it considering this is the platform I chose to create my blog on in the first place, but that is something for me to learn! I know it is possible because I see that some kind souls are already following me this way! If any of you can explain to me how following on Blogger works, please enlighten me! I am assuming that you will probably need to create an account yourself first before you can follow my blog, and if that is an inconvenience to you, this may not be the option for you, so please see above possibilities!

Eventually I might learn all of this Google+ stuff as well, but that is another whole ballgame that I am not quite ready to master!

I am really very curious to see who has read my blog, so if you are reading this, send me a quick message via any of my social media sites, email, text message (if you know my phone number :D), or just leave a comment below! Also, if you are reading this because you have followed a link from the DCP Facebook page, and you too have a blog you are using to document your journey, send me a link! I would love to check it out, and follow your adventures while you follow mine!

Whatever way you may come to read my blog and hopefully choose to keep up with it, I am extremely grateful for your time and investment on this little page! I cannot wait to start posting about exciting things that happen and all of the little things I learn along the way!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Why Disney?

This will be a longer post, but it’s about a great topic (ahem Disney) and I think the length is well deserved, plus you’ve been warned! 

Writing about why I love Disney and what it means to me is a large task, let alone trying to do it in a blog post! I thought I’d include some pictures to help break it up! Yay, pictures! This only scratches the surface as I can't possibly put into words everything Disney has meant to me.

Let me just say, I wish I was listening to classic Disney music or a Disney film in the background while writing this! That would be quite the mood-setter!

Okay, all set! Let the reminiscing begin!

As long as I remember, Disney has been apart of my life. I know that many people have strong views either for or against Disney or somewhere in-between, but I am extremely grateful that my parents made Disney part of my life from a very young age. 

Disney and me through the years :)

I didn’t dress up for Halloween a lot, frankly I’ve never been a fan of the so-called holiday, but I was always willing to be a Disney character when need be. I received Disney-related gifts, like a stuffed Mickey Mouse in one of my first Easter baskets when I was very young, and our bookshelves were filled with all sorts of Disney VHS tapes. (Oh yeah, I remember rewinding those babies like it was yesterday!) I’m sure countless hours were spent watching the Sing-Along-Songs videos. I can still hear the music from all of those movies. If you never experienced that series or you don’t know what I’m talking about, go discover it now and feel enlightened. It’s amazing. I can still hear… ♫I’m Walkin’ Right Down The Middle Of Main Street, U.S.A.♫ Good stuff. We took regular trips to the Disney store, and family vacations to the theme parks! Disney was infused into our lives.

One of my favorites from the series. These videos are a true treasure, a national treasure, I tell you!

I couldn’t be happier about that infusion. Disney has always been nothing but positive for me. I felt no shame watching the Disney Channel as a teenager because I was watching wholesome, positive television, when others were watching programs that I know would have been a negative-influence on me, personally.

Growing up, I learned quickly about loss, and pain, and the idea that life isn’t easy. As corny as this sounds, throughout all of that suffering, Disney was always there. Something I’ve always appreciated about Disney is that it doesn’t shy away from hard topics and darker concepts that people encounter all the time. Seriously, pick any Disney movie and I bet you will find that there is more to it than appears on the surface. What I mean is, they aren’t all fairytales with perfect endings; they have real struggles intertwined that make a character’s triumph mean so much more. For me, this was and still is an incredibly comforting thing.

Any time I spend in a Disney park or even just on Disney property is unlike anything else. It’s crazy how the stress and frustration in my life melts away as soon as I find myself at Disney. If you’ve been a guest at Disney, I hope that you can say you experienced the same!

Every day I spend at Disney is a happy day. Every moment spent experiencing something Disney related is a happy moment, and all of those become happy memories. This is something I value so much because I can’t say the same about other things.

I watch countless videos on YouTube of parents surprising their kids with trips to one of the Disney parks, or someone proposing to their soon-to-be fiancé in front of Cinderella’s castle or after a well thought out and planned scavenger hunt (because, what else would you watch on YouTube?). The genuine joy and excitement these people experience and then share with the world is beautiful. I’d be lying if I said I’ve never teared up watching one of those videos! I’ll have to share a few of my favorites on this blog sometime!

That sort of genuine joy is something that I get to experience when I am a guest at the parks. While at Disney, I feel happy and I feel like I get to have the childhood I dreamt of and oftentimes felt robbed of. The inspiring message that dreams really do come true, and anything is possible is the anthem throughout your entire day spent at Disney. I’ve seen people’s days made, heck my day is made every single time I go!

I was at Magic Kingdom in July, and while watching the Dream Along with Mickey castle show, which I have known the lyrics to backwards and forwards for a few years now, I was still swept up in the magic of it all. It was the strangest and yet coolest thing for me. I am telling you, I know that show, I really know it. I knew what lyrics were going to be sung, and yet while I was singing away in a crowd of hundreds, when we reached a certain line, completely unprepared for it, I cried. There, I said it! You think that’s embarrassing? I think it’s awesome! (Side note: I let my little sister read through this post before publishing, and she said she is judging me because first of all I cried, but second I wrote about it! I'm just going to let her keep on judging! This was just one example of a time when I was once again swept up by the magic of Disney. I think it's safe to say that no matter what your age and how many times you have been to the parks, there is still something more to be discovered, and still something waiting to touch your life in a beautiful and memorable way!)

Walt had such a strong vision for what would become his legacy, and all of the cast members today are doing Walt proud. There really is nothing else like it. If you haven’t been able to visit Walt Disney World or Disneyland, or any of the other parks around the world, I really and truly hope you will be able to.

One of my favorite aspects of visiting Disney is the concept of celebration. People all around you are celebrating something. Disney celebrates everything! There is a reason to celebrate every day! It doesn't have to be something big, just the mere celebration of life is a worthy reason!

I cannot wait to be around the magic of Disney everyday. Just the thought that I might be a part of making someone’s day a memorable experience to be cherished for a lifetime makes me so extremely happy because I know how much it has affected me. I am so extremely thankful for the man who started it all, and in his own words: “I only hope that we don't lose sight of one thing - that it was all started by a mouse." - Walt Disney.

From my Instagram
Not the best quality, I'm aware, but the sentiment is there nonetheless!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Bring on the SPF!

It hit me the other day that I would actually be living in Florida for a few months! I have been to Florida many times so I didn’t think much about moving down there for a bit, but what’s the longest I’ve ever stayed there consecutively? 2 weeks? Maybe? I am now going to be there for months!

This will be such a change considering I’m living in Chicago’s somewhat bipolar weather currently. It has been cold and rainy. The other day, I walked outside in my flannel shirt and a light jacket expecting typical autumn weather, but instead found myself freezing in 30-degree weather! I mean it snowed in October for Pete’s sake!

From January to May, I’ll be living in the Sunshine State! Talk about a change! I’m off to the land of heat and humidity with a predictable daily 30-minute rain shower! That might be generalizing a bit, but from my trips to Florida, I’m going to go ahead and claim this to be true.

They (people who know about skin, general health enthusiasts, doctors, I’m not really sure who, but I know these people exist) say that we are supposed to wear sunscreen daily. In Chicago’s fall and winter however, that can seem pointless. As a very fair-skinned person myself, I’ll be investing in a big bucket of sunscreen, and aloe vera for when my sunscreen application was not enough!

If you’re looking for a gift to give me for Christmas or my birthday, you can’t go wrong with, you guessed it, some good ole SPF! In all truthful speaking, other gifts will also be gladly accepted! :)

Now off to enjoy/experience the interesting weather I have while I’ve still got it!
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