Saturday, July 9, 2011

I dreamed a dream.....

I love my dreams. I have some kooky ones, some fun ones, visits from family and sometimes scary ones. It amazes me how our minds work and we can have these experiences while we slumber.

Had an interesting dream last week...well to me. I am STILL thinking about it.

A LITTLE DREAM BACKGROUND: I grew up going to the same church my dad grew up in...he was a boy when they were building it. When my mom moved to ATL it was her family's church and that is how they met. Our family went there also, so many moments there practicing our Catholic Faith and sacraments. Celebrating the joys of life and saying goodbye and praying for those who passed. When Andy and I bought our house, I decided to just go to a church closer to us. A couple years ago, the pastor of the church I grew up in passed away suddenly in his sleep - he had been a family friend of ours since he first came to Atlanta as a priest from Ireland.

I am with my deceased family members getting ready to go to Sunday Mass - my father, my mother, my brother, my sister, my Uncle Jim, and Grandparents. Andy was also there as was my sister and her family. We decided to go to the church in Buckhead to see how the new pastor was doing and because we missed it.

We arrived to single file line outside the door. We were informed that we must follow the line in the church and sit where we ended up. The church was 3 sections - umm not as it REALLY is and we were told that to make the mass more intimate, they had 3 priests celebrating the mass at the same time - they didn't like the fact in the past that the church would be packed with people. I commented "This makes no sense. Why have 3 people do the job that one person could be doing". I was assured we would like this arrangement. I was happy to hear that Fr Lopez would be our celebratory priest for our section.

As mass started it was impossible to hear Fr Lopez. We were in the very back of the section and next to the new pastor who was celebrating mass to people facing us in the middle section. The new pastor was very loud and was singing. My parents were not the most charismatic catholics in life so they were looking at him like he was nuts. We were very frustrated to be a church and all we heard was noise, not the familiar mass.

When time for readings from the bible a comic got up and started to tell jokes. He then proceeded to do magic tricks. I yelled out loud in outrage "Where is this in the Old Testament?". My whole family looked at each other making crazy hand gestures. I was really getting mad.

Time for communion came and the stepford like ushers lined us up with mostly people we did not know. They led us all to tables as if at a sit down dinner and told us it was communion time. They laid out bread and a jug of wine and instructed us to discuss the importance of communion with those at our table and that we had 30 minutes, then they left. My Uncle Jim looked at me and said "This is the worst mass I have ever been to - despite the fact we have Fr Lopez". I told everyone at my table we didn't need to have a "rap session" that we just needed to do what is normally done at communion. I picked up the bread thought "This is my body, do this in remembrance of me". As I said "The body of Christ" and a self proclaimed "Amen, I started to weep. I was completely sad - the mass in my mind was not right. The way communion was handled to me was crazy and lacked respect.

I woke up.

First I laughed, what a nutty dream. Then I cried, I was at mass with my family again. I miss them all so much. I think this is the best thing about dreams as that those who are in your heart that have left this life come back to hang with you and how cool is it we all went to church together!

I realized in retrospect that one thing the dream emphasized was how much I love my Catholic faith. To be honest I have been in a bit of shall we say spiritual funk lately. Do I love God, yes. Do I believe His Son Jesus died on the cross for me, absolutely. Its the day to day and week to week stuff that I seem to be strugging with. But you know I realize its just not easy. "Narrow is the gate" as the good book says. If it were easy, that would be one huge wide gate to get into heaven. Our human nature and our culture certainly work against the principles of Christianity. I really value not just being a Christian, but being a Catholic.....a part of a family celebrating the mystery of the Church together. I really don't want to be someone who says "I am spiritual but not religious". I mean, Jesus preached to all and talked about love for each other. I am grateful to my parents for what they have given me. I truly believe in presence of Christ in or Eucharist and the reverence that goes with this.

I don't think the dream was a slam to the new pastor. Certainly things at my old church are as fantastic as they have always been.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon - Post Race PAR-TAY

After I got back to the lovely Swan Hotel, this place is awesome, I took a very cold bath to soak my legs and feet.  It felt great.  I then took a shower and discovered the chafing on my back under my bra...OUCH, its a painful way to find it!  But that and one blister on my foot were my only race injuries, not bad at all.

Amy came back from her massage and we chilled for a bit.  Jackie came in our room and we got ready to go to our celebration lunch with the princesses.  We hopped a boat to Epcot's International Gateway and met Mary Poppins shortly after we got in the park.  Of course we had our medals on so we were complemented by the best nanny in the world.

We got a celebratory beer and just chilled out watching the world go by as we sat on a bench enjoying our drinks.  We saw lots of princesses with their medals and their "I DID IT" Tshirt.

We went into Norway's Akerhus and got our picture made with Belle.

Then we were seated and taken care of by our cute as can be waiter Marcus.  He was a doll!  We ate - I had the house special meatloaf...I was SO hungry and it was SO good.  As we ate, we were greeted by Jasmine, Snow White, Aurora and Ariel - who told us she couldn't run because you know she was just getting used to her legs and all but that Prince Eric who watched the race told her all about it.  What better way to celebrate than with our fellow princesses!

Sadly after lunch we had to say goodbye to Jackie who had to catch a flight so she could get back to work the next day. Amy and I walked around Epcot a bit then hit the monorail over to Magic Kingdom.

Amy learned of my complete dorkiness as we walked in Move It Shake It Celebrate it was just starting down main street. I jumped right behind the roped at the end and was dancing down Main Street with the parade.  I know I looked stupid, I think people on the sidewalk thought I was part of the parade.  This lady next to also also joined our dance down main street to the hub - um yeah I danced ALL the way down.  I had one of those magical Disney moments.....when they were starting up the songs and party this "announcer" asks the crowd "What are you celebrating".  I held up my medal as I did a nerdy dance.  Goofy looked at me from the float he was on and gave me a thumbs up, mimicking my motion of holding up my medal and running.  I was so happy with the Goofy recognition LOL, then when the song was over and all the characters get off the floats for the street party he ran to me and gave me a hug...... I could have cried.... Goofy had no idea how hard I worked to get that medal.  Thanks Disney for your fabulous characters!

After partying with the Move It Shake It peeps we headed towards Hall of Presidents since we hadn't seen that before.  We were greeted by ye old colonial Mickey.

We then walked by our favorite bathroom of the trip - we were hydrating so much and all used that potty at the parks Amy took my photo...its in Tomorrowland.

We did Buzz Lightyear and I THINK its a Small World as there was no line for either.  We might have done some other things, but to be honest, that was a while back and I have been slack in posting this update! 

We were SO tired and realized it was getting late as it was dark so started to head out of the park...then we realized the Fireworks were about to start so since both of us had never seen the fireworks we decided to stay.  The Memories and You show on the Castle is just amazing!  There were even some photos of the race.  The fireworks were just amazing, it was a great way to finish off the day though I was so thankful it was just Amy and I getting out of the park afterwards - what a mad rush, glad to not have to worry about kids.  Can you believe it, after getting up SO early for the race and no naps, we closed the Kingdom!

We got back to our room, crashed and then the next morning the magic was over time to come home.  Couldn't wait to go back ..... in fact.....I just signed up today for the 2012 race.  Hopefully I will be able to do it uninjured and I can tell you for sure....I am NOT forgetting my camera battery this time. 

I have to say, a girls trip to Walt Disney World was the best thing ever.  We all had a blast and it was nice being able to focus on what WE wanted to do without worrying about kids and husbands.   

Can't wait for the race in 2012!  See you there.