When my spam folder got sprinkled with pixie dust

Last Tuesday was like any other typical week day. Paul and I picked up Cody from school together, came home, waited for Cody to change into his lounging clothes, then we all sat together and watched The Price is Right on the DVR. We record it every day for Cody and he asks every single morning if we are going to record it. It’s set as a series recording, which means it records automatically, but he’s unable to grasp that concept so we answer his question every day. Every single day. Something else he does every single day is tell me that he wants to go to Walt Disney World. Lately, though, it’s been nearly breaking my heart because his tone has changed. It’s a voice that is still hopeful for the answer to be yes, we are going, but what comes across is almost a desperation and a resignation that it’s not really going to happen, almost like he’s ready to give up, like he’s losing faith a little more every day. We’ve been before and it was amazing so it makes sense he would want to go again and again, but the asking every day and that sound in his voice is gut-wrenching for me as I give him the same answer every time – I want to go too, but we have to save a lot of money first. He always says okay, or sometimes, why, in that voice. The one that practically tears my heart out. The thing about Cody is that he hardly ever asks for anything at all. He’s a teenager, but he doesn’t have a desire to get a driver’s license so he’s not asking for help with buying a car or gas money, he loves to be at home, so we don’t get asked for money to go to a dance or to the movies. Nope. Aside from the times when his favorite video games release updated versions, his one and only wish is to go back to the happiest place on Earth. I’m pretty sure he would live there if he could and I know he dreams of a day when he could work at that magical place. It’s probably our fault as his parents. We were Disney fans long before he came along and he kind of had no choice once he was born. Poor kid.

So that typical week day, that regular Tuesday? Suddenly took a major turn down awesome lane. I was busy in the kitchen cleaning up after dinner some time near six o’clock and my phone chimed telling me that I had a DM (direct message) on Twitter. It was one of my good friends telling me she was suddenly seeing a lot of excited tweets from people she follows. They were excited because they had received an email inviting them to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. Why the excitement? Well duh, because it’s Disney, but also because the list of invitees is a very short one. I dare say thousands of bloggers would love that invite, but a tiny fraction actually received it. Since my email comes directly to my phone I sent a DM back thanking her and sharing that I didn’t have an invite, but that I wasn’t surprised. After everything that happened last year and how horribly wrong things went with the registration process, I sincerely didn’t expect I’d be invited this year. I was outspoken last year. I expressed how displeased I was with what happened, some publicly, some privately. One thing I knew for sure, they had to do something differently this year, if they had the energy to give it another try. In the back of my mind I was paying attentin to the date as by this time last year registrations were complete and many of the attendees probably had plane tickets booked and their suitcases half packed.

I put my phone down, whispered the message to my husband and started to feel a little down as the reality sunk in. I went into my office and plopped down at my computer figuring I’d do something to keep myself busy and try not to think about it, with staying off of Twitter my number one goal. I glanced at my email and noticed a handful of spam messages and because I hate when that number gets too high, I clicked it so I could give a quick look and delete them. What I saw shocked me. It was an email from Disney. It was my invitation. In my spam folder. (Come to find out this is where many others found their invites as well.) I jumped out of my chair, ran around the corner to the living room and made eye contact with my husband and mouthed the words I got an invitation. I’m not sure he even believed me at first because he was playing a video game and didn’t even drop the controller and race to my computer screen, like I expected him to. Ahem. I went back to my laptop read the email again to let it really sink in this time. The number one thing racing through my mind was that my response to Cody was going to be different the next time he asked. I wondered if he would even believe me after the hundreds of other responses I’ve repeatedly given him over the course of many months. Years, really. My hands literally trembled the entire time I filled out the registration information, my body felt such joy, and tears began to fill my eyes. That my being blogger was going to bring this amazing experience to my kids, that I was going to be surrounded by other amazing bloggers, and hear incredible speakers, for a moment I just didn’t feel worthy. Very grateful, but not necessarily worthy. My family is, though, they are so worthy and as soon as I got the confirmation email a few minutes later from Disney, I went back to the living room, told Cody to pause the YouTube video he was watching, and asked him to read the first sentence from that email on my phone. He had a confused look on his face as it took a moment, and a little explaining from me, for him to grasp what this email meant. He is going to Walt Disney World, we are all going to Walt Disney World. And now every day instead of longing and pleading to go there, Cody instead tells everyone who will listen that we are going to Walt Disney World. In April. In 87 86 days……….and counting.


  1. Cathy, I’m so, so, soooo happy for you. 🙂

  2. super jealous but so glad that you got an invitation- you deserve it! but you have to have double the fun for me, too!
    Naomi recently posted..Classroom Valentines from MintedMy Profile

  3. I’m SO excited for you guys! I know you will have a blast at the conference and your family can live it up at the park — and then you can join them! I totally expect a postcard 😉

    • Thank you my friend! I can’t wait to spend many amazing days of learning and having fun with my family. I might be able to handle a postcard, just for you.

  4. Kirsten Racioppi says

    AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so happy for you and your family. Good work mamma:)

  5. How did I miss this post??? Cathy, I am so beyond happy for you and your family. So deserved. Lots of pictures a must. Yay for Cody!!! It couldn’t have happened in a better way. Wow what a story to tell.
    Lori Popkewitz Alper recently posted..Susan G. Komen for the Cure Decision Hurts Us AllMy Profile

  6. I’m honestly sitting at my desk at work trying not to cry right now. I’m so excited for you!
    Amber recently posted..Guest Post: Eco-Friendly flowersMy Profile


  1. A little Disney surprise « cathy herard says:

    […] all that excitement bottled up inside not able to tell the ones who it will bring the most joy. I mentioned recently that we will be going to the World again, in April. I was invited to attend the Disney Social Media […]

  2. […] happening just a few weeks into January when I received an invitation for us all to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. Surely this was a positive sign of what was yet to come. We hadn’t been to Walt Disney World […]

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