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Old 11-03-2011, 08:02 AM   #31
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I only have one TINY moment to say....WOW! WOW! WOW!!!!!! I am so excited for you all and so happy for this incredible gift Brooke was able to give back to Make a Wish!!! THANK YOU FOR SHARING!!!!
Love you sweet friend!!! Your TR is wonderful!!! and I am loving the pics!
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:24 AM   #32
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"And, what happened next was kind of a stunned blur. The bidding began. I expected a couple of hundred dollars—when the bid hit $2,000, I was shocked. I was gobsmacked when it hit $5,000 but when the bid went to $10,000, I was so blown away, the tears were just welling in my eyes as I frantically wiped them away! "

This paragraph along with the photo of Brooke with her painting is just amazing. Had me in tears as well. Great job Brooke!

Love the Ariel photo as well! Ariel is my daughters favorite.

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Old 11-03-2011, 08:46 AM   #33
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Thank you, both!

Yes, well, I've never been so thankful for waterproof mascara! There were a ton of photographers snapping our photo at that moment and I just couldn't stop grinning and crying!

Welcome home Judy! We received your sweet card the other day! Thank Lisa and the family for us.
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:31 AM   #34
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what a wonderful way for you all to give back and pay it forward! Brooke's painting is beautiful!
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Old 11-03-2011, 01:15 PM   #35
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I was so excited to open my email and see that there was an update to your Trip Report. . . even more excited when I realized we'd get to see some of the Gala action. . .

But opening that first picture of Brooke & Ariel, the waterworks started up and my throat ached. . .

And as I read on the happiness I felt was overwhelming. My older son asked what was wrong and I explained nothing was wrong, they were happy tears.

Stories like this, of little ones doing things to help others, they truly touch the heart.

Can't wait to read & see more! Although I think I need a box of tissues next to the computer
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Old 11-03-2011, 02:59 PM   #36
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Brooke is a fantastic artist. That's amazing how much she raised.
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Old 11-03-2011, 03:33 PM   #37
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WOW what a wonderful night and great job to Brooke on her wonderful drawings.

PS I LOVE that photo of her with Ariel
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Old 11-03-2011, 07:09 PM   #38
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Aw that's amazing how much Brooke's painting made. Well done Brooke
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Old 11-04-2011, 06:08 AM   #39
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I loved reading such a wonderful and very happy story. It is so great that Brooke was able to help raise so much money. Her artwork was great and I love the pictures of her in her fancy dress and of her with Ariel!
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Old 11-05-2011, 04:22 AM   #40
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Oh my goodness. I just finished catching up on your PTR and now I read your TR and you had me in tears at least twice if not three times! Thank you so much for sharing so many wonderful moments so far. Your girls are just so beautiful and I feel like I know them now. I can't wait to read even more about your sweet families trip!
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Old 11-08-2011, 09:46 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy2mrb View Post
what a wonderful way for you all to give back and pay it forward! Brooke's painting is beautiful!
Thank you. It was a wonderful painting--and it means so much to us to have been able to do this for someone (maybe several someones!) else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mphalens View Post
I was so excited to open my email and see that there was an update to your Trip Report. . . even more excited when I realized we'd get to see some of the Gala action. . .

But opening that first picture of Brooke & Ariel, the waterworks started up and my throat ached. . .

And as I read on the happiness I felt was overwhelming. My older son asked what was wrong and I explained nothing was wrong, they were happy tears.

Stories like this, of little ones doing things to help others, they truly touch the heart.

Can't wait to read & see more! Although I think I need a box of tissues next to the computer
Me, too! That pic of Ariel and Brooke is all over our house--on FaceBook, on our computers, at Grandmaman's, on posters at MAW, at their exhibits, in the newspaper! It really is beautiful! Quite the moment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reelmom View Post
Brooke is a fantastic artist. That's amazing how much she raised.
Thank you. She fancies herself a Rapunzel, now! LOL!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by miprender View Post
WOW what a wonderful night and great job to Brooke on her wonderful drawings.

PS I LOVE that photo of her with Ariel
Me, too! I'm just soooo glad the photographer captured that. I had too many tears to see straight and caught the moment before and moment after, but missed the embrace! So pivotal. THIS was the wish!

Quote:
Originally Posted by petals View Post
Aw that's amazing how much Brooke's painting made. Well done Brooke
Thank you so much!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dianemom2 View Post
I loved reading such a wonderful and very happy story. It is so great that Brooke was able to help raise so much money. Her artwork was great and I love the pictures of her in her fancy dress and of her with Ariel!
Thank you. It was just such an honour for our family to be involved. I hope this moment inspires a spirit of giving and volunteerism in her when she is older. We are really big proponents of it and it would be nice for our children to follow in our footsteps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kimmg View Post
Oh my goodness. I just finished catching up on your PTR and now I read your TR and you had me in tears at least twice if not three times! Thank you so much for sharing so many wonderful moments so far. Your girls are just so beautiful and I feel like I know them now. I can't wait to read even more about your sweet families trip!
I don't mean to make people cry, but I'll assume they are happy tears! It was an amazing trip--truly--and yours will be here in just a few weeks time! Ack!! You must be so excited!
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Old 11-08-2011, 09:50 AM   #42
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Chapter 3 – The magic begins at Magic Kingdom

Our first real day in Orlando began as any other—with the exception that all of us were eager to get to Magic Kingdom! Because of Brooke’s 9:00 a.m. Bibbity Bobbity Boutique (BBB) makeover, we needed to be there before the park opened and as we didn’t really know our way around the highways, so we wanted to give ourselves plenty of time to find the park. (It really wasn’t a problem. The signs are everywhere making it extremely easy to navigate and the traffic was nil. We arrived probably about 20 minutes after leaving GKTW.) So we woke up much too early, got the girls ready in their special outfits (arrival outfits were the first ones we received—Brooke’s purple seashell top and mermaid twirl skirt, while Avie’s was her red and white polka dot Minnie outfit) and bags packed with the snacks Pas had picked up at the WalMart the night before and headed over to the Ice Cream Palace for breakfast.

The girls ate—surprise!—ice cream and cinnamon buns, while Pascal and I actually enjoyed some delicious pancakes and sausages—and some ice cream, too. Can’t let the girls have all the fun! Then, with no time to spare, we raced back to the villa to load up the car and head out.



As I mentioned before, we had no problem getting there. I kept snapping photos out of the window, just waiting for that first moment. Brooke and Avie spotted the Mickey-image signs and the Disney signs and their excitement just grew. We parked, walked over, found the appointments line and went right in.



I couldn’t believe it. Finally—we were here. I was like a little girl, looking everywhere at once and focusing on nothing. The girls were doing the same along with me. Because it was mid-September, there were already pumpkins and Halloween decorations everywhere, which just totally made Brooke’s day. She kept pointing out things and jumping up and down with excitement. Avie was just clapping her hands and laughing--probably more to do with feeding off our excitement than her own, but whatever! We were all so happy!



First thing we did when we entered the park was hit the Guest Services booth to get our buttons and our stroller pass. The man at the counter asked us what we were celebrating to decide which buttons to give us and when he heard Brooke’s story, he gave her and Avery all the buttons! They had birthday buttons, first-time trip buttons, happily ever after buttons and celebrating buttons.

After that, we headed straight for the castle. We still had a bit of time, so we weren’t racing anymore. We took our time turning that corner because I really wanted to savour the kids’ reaction. It was delightful! The squeals, the wide eyes—it was too much joy, so naturally, I teared up. Just one of many times that day!





We got some photos of the castle without anyone around and then our first PhotoPass photographer approached us and took some family photos. He also took this adorable Tink pic of Brooke. Isn’t it wonderful? (Photo coming! Need to upload Photopass images!)





We meandered up the castle pathways and found the BBB. It was like Brooke and I had entered princess heaven! I am always amazed at Disney theming—they really do take every detail into consideration—right down to the door and the reservation books. Amazing.

The place was packed, however, so while Pas took Avie around, Brooke and I went in, but we didn’t even have to wait. A fairy-godmother-in-training (FGIT) showed us the dress wall and then handed Brooke her little hair package brochure.



What I loved was that the FGIT didn’t talk to me—she talked directly to ‘Princess Brooke.’ (And they all called her that! She loved it. ) The FGIT got down on one knee and explained that Brooke could choose whichever hairstyle she wanted and whatever dress she wanted. Only then did the FGIT look up at me to confirm that the whole outfit was to be purchased. Uh—yeah—go big or go home. Wrap up the shoes and wand, ‘cause this princess ain’t going home without ‘em!

So, Brooke looked at all of the costumes—and not surprising—chose the green Ariel dress. I was hoping that would be the case, as this special green dress can only be bought at Disney. All other Ariel costumes are the tail outfit or the pink dress. The green gown is extra special! But, I didn’t say a thing—this was Brooke’s wish and she was to make the decision herself.

She then took a seat on an elegant chaise in the waiting area and Brooke, trying to be very regal, sat there and perused her brochure for a few moments. Before I had even gotten a few photos, another FGIT swooped in to ask Princess Brooke to the back.

We walked through the styling area to the back dressing room. The FGIT held closed a curtain and asked Brooke to say the magic words: “Bibbity Bobbity Boo!” She swept back the curtain to reveal the entire green Ariel collection, displayed on the dressing stool. It was a moment of pure magic. The little shimmery jewel shoes sat there with the light-up seashell wand and pearlized tiara, while the beautiful (and very well-made!) little dress hung on the back wall.



Brooke tried everything on and it was a perfect fit. (Honestly, I don’t know how they picked the perfect shoe size! Brooke’s feet are always a little small for her size!) She stood there, grinning at herself in the mirror.



The FGIT arrived to bring us back to the styling area, where Brooke proceeded to get ‘princess-ified.’ Her new FGIT managed to sweep up Brooke’s short hair into a tiny little bun on the top of her hair and then asked Brooke what hairstyle she wanted.



I would have loved it if Brooke had chosen the ‘Princess’ look with the tiny tiara, but no—she wanted the ‘Diva’ look with the long hair extensions. And, what’s worse—she wanted PINK hair extensions. Not red like Ariel or blonde like herself, but pink like a princess. Okay—her wish, so that’s fine. (But I totally anticipated the hair driving her crazy. No surprise—she wanted it off her head about an hour or two later!)



Brooke was just so pleased to be sitting there making all of her own decisions. The hair stylist was also putting together a little giftbag (which is part of the full package—it includes two full-size nail polish bottles, a little eyeshadow/lipgloss makeup palette, two jewelled hairclips and a comb) and asking Brooke what colour she wanted for these items. They also added Ariel’s seashell purse and long white gloves (part of the full package, again).

And just then, I heard a gasp from the front of the store. I whipped around my head to see the sea of FGITs part to reveal Princesses Tiana and Jasmine holding hands, with Aladdin behind them. Tiana’s skirt was a foot away from me, so I flipped on the video camera switch to capture the moment and Brooke’s gobsmacked look from her chair at her first glimpse of Disney princesses.



The princesses couldn’t come very far into the styling room because of Tiana’s ballroom and the zero space, but they came right up to where I was seated in front of Brooke. They waved from the entrance and Tiana explained that they just wanted to welcome everyone to Magic Kingdom and wanted to come by and say hello and that they hoped to see all of the girls later.

Brooke was just starstruck—and I thought I had it on video! But it turns out, I forgot to hit another button and didn’t end up recording any of it! I did get a few snapshots, though. Brooke was just so happy to have been there to see them—even if it was for just a second.



Pascal and Avie returned while Brooke was getting her makeup done and the FGIT was sprinkling pixie dust on her. Pas explained that Avie (who is obsessed with shoes) had started to cry when she realized that the shoes in the costume display were attached to the rack and she wasn’t able to try them on. A FGIT overheard as she was passing by and said,

“We make the sparkly shoes in her size, too, Mom.” I looked at Pas and we both shrugged and grinned.

Fair’s fair.

“Bring us a size 3 then!” I smiled. Sure, enough, they brought out a tiny little pair of shoes, an exact match to Brooke’s shimmery shoes, and Avie just started cooing over them. She immediately put them on and started twirling in the styling area so proud of her new princess shoes. The PhotoPass photographer stopped snapping at Brooke for a few minutes to capture Avie’s princess twirls.





The FGIT thought Avie needed some pixie dust, too. So, she added some sparkles to Avie and a little face jewel like the one she had put on Brooke. She then put on Brooke’s special ‘Birthday Princess’ sash and both girls were proclaimed princesses. Brooke looked gorgeous—just like a little princess—but the best part was by far, her genuine smile. She decided she needed to show off her beautiful dress to her father, so she did a little twirl. I was in tears, again!



We went outside and were instructed where Castle Couture was, so that Brooke could get her princess photo session taken, but before we did, we saw that Fairy Godmother was outside in Cinderella’s courtyard. We went right up and used the magic pass—for the first time!—and sure enough, Brooke was meeting Cinderella’s godmother in no time flat. She was amazed! Fairy Godmother was the first character she had interacted with at Disney and she kinda stood there in awe of her. We got a few photos and had her sign our books, while she kept insisting that Brooke be back by midnight if she wanted to keep those new shoes!



Afterwards, we went right over to Castle Couture and Brooke had a few professional photos taken. She just couldn’t stop beaming! While we were waiting for the photos to be completed, Avie and Pas were wandering around Cinderella’s courtyard and rushed back in to tell us that Cinderella’s stepfamily had just arrived.





So, back outside to meet Cinderella’s step-sisters and mother. They were wonderful! They just stayed in perfect character, complimenting Brooke on her outfit and talking about Avie’s shoes. Then, fighting over the Sharpie pens and making ugly faces for the camera. Lady Tremaine even signed her name on Cinderella’s page, saying “She doesn’t deserve her own page.”



Pas and I had been to Disney once before (when we were newly married and had no children), but when we went, our focus was on attractions. Although we had seen characters from afar, we had never bothered to wait in line to take photos with them or get autographs. It wasn’t really something that interested us then—but this trip—it was totally about meeting the characters!

On this trip, we made it our mission to see every princess in the Disney pantheon, along with their heroes, princesses and fairy godmothers. And, already, in the span of an hour we had seen four of Cinderella’s family and friends, two princesses and a prince! We were just sooo stoked!

And, they were totally worth it. Seeing the detail in their costumes up close, watching how they interact with the children and totally stay in character—just amazing. They do a wonderful job at entertaining the whole family!

Now that the girls had been given their princess transformations and we had already got a few autographs for the books, what next?

Pas looked at me and we both said in unison: “Find Ariel!” So, that's exactly what we decided to do--so off, we went!

P.S. I've got some Photopass pics I want to add to this page, but as I don't have them with me right now, please check back for the rest of the photos! More coming!

Last edited by mom2pixies; 11-10-2011 at 07:18 AM.
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:48 AM   #43
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Brooke is a beautiful princess and love that Avie got a little pixie dusting too!
fun photos with the "steps", fairy godmother and the princesses!
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Old 11-08-2011, 01:44 PM   #44
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Aw I love Princess Brookes transformation and when you said about their reaction to the castle I teared up as well!
Alos way cool that they got all the buttons!
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Old 11-08-2011, 06:58 PM   #45
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Definitely lots of smiles and a few happy tears here as we read through the post on the auction! WOW!!!!!

And then what an amazing start to the trip! Could you possibly have had a more perfect first park day?

Judy
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