Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reflecting on the year

This year has been full of excitement with ups and downs, lefts and rights and a little magic along the way. 

Starting off 2011 was interesting to say the least.... I mean being buried after a apocalypse of snow isn't exactly a warm welcoming home after the Disney College program. 

From post Disney depression, getting a job as a server, attending Triton College for a semester and starting a blog, to pursuing photography, skydiving on my 20th birthday, Niagara falls, a couple photo-shoots over the summer, road trips, floating down a river, moving to Florida, conquering a kitchen sink, my uncle moving on to a better place in heaven, visiting Patty in Madrid, Spain and taking her to Paris, France for our anniversary, international thanksgiving and lastly spending the Christmas with Patty; I've experienced a lot over this year and grown as a person. 

had it not been for all the adventures I had this year with the amazing people I've met along the way both new and old, the year wouldn't have been nearly as amazing as it has been. 

2012 has some pretty big shoes to fill in, but I'm sure with a little hard work, dedication, determination, love, pictures and copas, it will be just as amazing, if not better :D 

Tonight will be a night to remember with Patty and the people who matter most in my life :)

Happy New Years Eve Everyone!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Day + 3

Christmas day isn't Christmas without some Hispanic food in our lives so we hit the road on a mission to find food. We came across a little place by the name of "Fancy Fruit"..... despite its beat up parking lot, faded colors outside and questionable location being next to a construction site, it didn't seem very "fancy", but we weren't judging we just wanted food to make for our special day together :)

Following our food pick up we were on our way home when every couple seconds we heard a "bump, bump, bump"....freaking out I pulled over and sure enough came across a screw lodged in my tire....

Pissed and upset questioning life "why does this have to happen to me, let alone on christmas?" I still made the attempt to get home. Thankfully we made it back with no issues and made the promise to not let it ruin my day with Patty, so we continued to get dinner ready! 

Finishing the night with some delicious food and a ridiculously warm scarf from Madrid Spain as my christmas gift, we snuggled and watched movies for the night <3

The next few days were filled with food, copas, dancing, packing and enjoying each others company before our long and cold journey back home to the windy city! 

Sometimes we're clouded by the downfalls in life, whether it's large event such as a family loss throughout the year, or something small like a flat tire.

Instead of looking at all the downfalls, setbacks, and sad moments in life, I find it better to appreciate the ups, happy moments and joys of what we have going for us because it gives for a better outlook on life and the future we have with the people we care about most. 

so here's to looking at the glass half full!

Happy last Tuesday of the year!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Celebrating Christmas Disney Style

This past thursday wasn't anything less than magical celebrating Patty's first Christmas at Disney World :) Seeing the holiday cheer running through her eyes (whenever she wasn't hungry) was a beautiful sight.

From ice cream sandwiches, Christmas around the world, and the candle light precessional to meeting Sorcerer Mickey, cream cheese pretzels and the Osborne light show we had an amazing time and I'm beyond happy to have celebrated an early Christmas with Patito!

Now we're off to make multiple rounds of cookies and other yum yums/nom noms after watching the magic in the Polar Express and Glee. 

The holidays are about spending time with the people who matter most in your life and appreciating what you have going for you in your own personal life. I'm beyond grateful to be with this amazing girl hours before Christmas, so baking all night is the least I can do for the bearded man who got me the day off from work to be with her;) 

here's a few from thursday!

Merry Christmas Eve!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

an early christmas

Having to work on the holidays is one of those things I really dislike about life. I had to work on christmas last year at Disney World and this year as well at Fridays sadly....

When I had spoken to Patty about it she was upset, REALLY upset considering she flew in from Spain after her program had ended to be with me for Christmas and New Years. So in an effort to make things a little better I had left to Walmart on Tuesday night to pick up a little surprise for her. After setting everything up in the kitchen for her and when i was ready I told her to follow me. 

Me- "follow me hun"
Patty- "ummm are you gonna kill me?"
Me- "no silly....well maybe"
Me- "just close your eyes!"

When she opened her eyes she saw a little Christmas tree all lit up with two little gifts under the tree:
Bag of Betty Crocker Walnut chocolate chip cookies (NOM NOM NOM) and the polar Express :) 

"Since I'm working Christmas hun I decided to celebrate Christmas a little early with you.... Merry Christmas Patty, I love you!"

and at that note "aww hunny I love you too! but your gonna make me fat :("
and at that note we passed out

When we woke up in the morning it really hit Patty that we weren't gonna be able to have Christmas together and we both got.... I wont say emotional.... lets just say highly temperamental

and that's when I had to spill the beans... 

Me- "Patty, what's that over there by the tree?"
Patty- "I don't know... I can't see without my contacts" 
Me- "get up and find out"

*grabbing a toy story bag with a little gift wrapped in HO HO HO gift wrapping paper*

Patty- "Baby, It's not christmas..."
Me- "since we can't celebrate Christmas together I decided for us to celebrate Christmas early!"

After opening her gift she found a Minnie Mouse Christmas hat to match my Mickey one that I surprised her with when I went to the airport sunday! Excited already she came across the last gift at the bottom of the bag and it was a princess autograph book, but not just any book. This book was the one she had originally gotten when she visited me in Florida before leaving to Spain!  I had secretly asked her Momma if she could mail it to me to surprise patty with BECAUSE.....

Patty- "how did you get this!?"
Me- "I had your Mom send it to me because you're gonna need it"
Patty- ".............?"
Me- "We're going to Disney World for an early Christmas!"

After seeing the Childhood expression/emotion coming out of her I saw something under our Christmas tree.... And After Patty got a hold of it she read it to me:

Dear Patricia, 

I wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas and let you know that no one should be alone for the holidays so I worked a little Magic and got Ethan Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off just for you :) 

With Love and Holiday Cheer, 

Santa Claus 


Patty- "Baby!!!! I'm so happy! how did you manage to get the day off!"
Me- "It wasn't me hun!  It was Santa!!"
Patty- ".... why does Santa have a similar hand writing to you then? ;)"

and at that note, we celebrated the rest of our day together ;)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Welcome Home!

After picking up Patty from the airport and sleeping a good 13 hours (not surprised) I asked her what she would like to eat for breakfast after waking up to a little surprise in the morning (Roses, if you MUST know)

"scrambled eggs" without hesitation.

wasn't sure if I should be excited about it or concerned for her desire for good ol "amurcan" food, but regardless it had been a great past couple days having her back for the holidays :)

Happy Wednesday!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

57 West

Last night I showed some love for one of my co workers, Matt and his band by attending his show at 57 West in downtown Orlando. we agreed a few days ago that I'd show up and do him the honor of taking a few pictures for him and his band so that they get an idea of what I can do for them in a photo shoot and in turn I get to listen to them perform!

here's a few from the last night!

Opening your eyes to knew things is something I love to do, but in this case opening my ears to their music was a amazing! they rocked it out and I'm glad I was able to help out by capturing their night! 

Great job guys!!

Happy Saturday!  (and less than 24 hours till Patty's back!)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

moving back home

I've been putting it off for a couple weeks now because I just didn't know where to start... it took me a while to come to this conclusion and to this day I'm still trying to put it all together so it makes sense to me... so here we go

At the beginning of this year I was set on moving to Florida. I wanted to move to Florida because I missed the lifestyle, the social life, the weather, the people and working for Disney. I felt as though it was something that I needed to do so I made the leap of faith.

After getting down here I was working as a server at Friday's still and waiting to get my big chance with Disney in entertainment. After countless attempts at auditions I never seemed to have made the cut, but I didn't let that hold me back. I decided to still apply for a job within Disney to start building something up for myself and after applying for attractions I was put on a waiting list.

while on the long nerve wrecking waiting list I worked, went to school, and thought a lot about the situation I was in right now. after a couple months of being away from my family I got a little homesick and with events such as my Uncle Andy passing away really hit me hard when being over 1,000 miles away from your loved ones and the most you can do is speak to them on the phone and see them once in a while.

then it hit me. A couple months ago I spoke to my sister on the phone about her sending me a little something in the mail. While on the phone with her, I'm hearing the usual commotion of my nieces and nephews running around, screaming and playing,  but what was different about this phone call is that I heard two little voices next to my sister..."Etan, Ehan!" of course I'm wondering who that was and sister said oh it's just Ian and Bree, they see your picture on the phone and recognize you still.

"Um excuse, but they're TALKING!? they weren't talking when I left!"

so of course I was flipping out and my sister casually says "yeah! they've been saying things here and there, and they're both getting faster running around the house too, but when they see your picture on the fridge they still recognize you and say your name now"

At that point my heart sank.... it dawned on me that I was missing out on my family growing up, something that I can only see once in a lifetime and it really made me think over the next few weeks...

the next few weeks were filled with more school work before my trip to Spain, working a lot and moving over to Christians house after Alex left, but in that time period I came across the Video entry scholarship at Valencia and decided to join it since the rest of my tuition would be paid for, so why not right?

while working a lot I began to really think about the money I've been using towards driving to work, paying rent and doing my own groceries etc. with all that money being spent I still managed to be living very comfortable, but I couldn't help but think about the money I would be saving as well, had I stayed home...So I decided to do a little research and see what I came up with. If I stay in Florida, I still need to work on my in state tuition (so still currently paying out of state) for school, pay rent, do my own groceries and drive to work which is roughly a 50 mile round trip, so a lot more gas and missing out on my family growing up


Going home to a school close by and commute, not pay rent, not have to buy groceries, drive roughly a 5 mile round trip to work, and spend time with my family, Patty, and all the people I care about...

when looking at everything laid out face to face, it was shocking how close everything was overall....but Florida barely nagged it, with the condition that I get the Video Scholarship to continue my education. After traveling to Europe with Patty to Madrid, Spain and Paris, France I was notified the results and that's when everything truly started to dawn on me

The reason I moved to Florida was unclear at first. It was something I felt I needed to do, because it was consistently on the back of my mind, but after months of being here it has all been made clear. I moved to Florida because I needed to have no regrets about my future. If I stayed home in Chicago and never came back I knew I would have had this deep curiosity in my head of "I wonder what it would have been like if I  moved back, if I worked for Disney? would I still love it and everything about it and be happy?"

After traveling Europe with Patty over the course of my stay here I've come to realize that there is so many things to experience and see around the world in this short life that we have and to focus all my attention on one thing would be a terrible decision. So I decided after much deliberation to no longer pursue a future of any sort with Disney World.

And with that being said I realized Florida outside of Disney is not for me. Now I'm not trying to bash the state, or talk bad about it at all, but I'm just saying that outside of the Disney College Program, Florida is not for me. I need to be near my family, and loved ones as they grow together and learn from one another in the years to come while I continue my education and continue to explore the world

I've been happy about my time here, but even happier everything is clear now. I'm moving back home to Chicago by the end of the month after spending the holidays with Patty in Florida when she gets back from her Study abroad in Spain this Sunday!

and WITH ALL THAT BEING SAID goodnight, and happy holidays everyone! :)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Paint Party!

With the semester coming to a close, we come to realize we need to celebrate and what better way to celebrate then to go out and have some fun!

last night a group of us went out to a party, but not just any party, a paint party :D

I've never been to one and with that being said it was amazing!!! it was like taking your childhood finger painting days and kicking it up a notch for adults!

Didn't know it was possible to have so much fun with paint, but definitely a time to remember! Dayglow 2012 here I come!!

Happy Friday Everyone!

Friday, December 2, 2011

New month before the new year and a trip to Arizona

With this being the last month of the year a lot is going to be happening over the next days and weeks which includes, finishing up school for the semester, working as much as I can, enjoying my break with all my close friends and of course getting better at photography!

that being said I have three papers and one last quiz that blocks me from freedom till the new year, but with a little victory under my belt I'll be at ease ;)

See a couple weeks ago on November 11th I found out one of my good friends Trevor, whose a photographer in Arizona, was having a photo contest named "The most amazing couple contest" the name kind of said it all. All we had to do was submit a picture of us with some information about us and which ever couple had the most votes by November 30th at midnight (MST) would win a free photo shoot worth 750$ with Trevor! So of course with me being so competitive I decided to enter it.... THEN I told Patty, whoopsie

Patty was fine with it so there was no worries there and we didn't really think anything of it. We thought it would be cool if we won the contest and go to Arizona but that was about it. A few days passed by and votes started to go up after me and her promoted it a little bit. Then after almost a week and a half we saw ourselves in the top 5 so we reconsidered our original thoughts and after talking about it we decided that we were gonna get serious about it and go for the win.

I mean we both thought the picture was super cute ;)

Vote after vote, day after day we promoted. when it came to the last week we found that another couple was trying to win this competition as well since they were right behind us. On the very last day we worked over time vote for vote competing for the ultimate prize and when it came 2am Florida time and 8am Spain time, the contest was over.....

AND WE WON! just a little over 300 we won the competition with 2nd place just 9 votes away. The taste of victory is always rewarding and finding out how competitive Patty and I really are wasn't to much of a shocker ;)

all in all it was a good way to start the last month of the year! Thanks again Trevor for an awesome contest! cant wait to meet you in a few months with Patty :D

oh oh oh and only 16 days till Patty's back from Spain! not that I'm counting or anything ;)