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SheaBear 02-23-2013 10:44 AM

Katrina’s 5th Birthday & More to CELEBRATE! June 2013 PTR. Update: Countdown 2/28
This trip has been at least 3 years in the making. :goodvibes

We’ve discussed and debated over and over again when we should go. Obviously by the title you can tell we are going to celebrate Katrina’s 5th Birthday, but it will also be her first visit, along with 4 other people going on this trip. In talking about taking this trip the usual arguments of when to take a kid for their first time came up, and many suggested we wait till 5, which was actually the age I was during my first visit and we stuck to that idea for the last 3 years.

For someone who has been to WDW more than 25 times, I must say this trip is probably the one I have been the most excited for. I can’t wait to share with you our experiences over the next few months as we prepare to make this incredible trip that I am sure will bring laughs and tears and maybe just maybe fill our lives with a little more magic.

So the title gave some hints to our group having tons to celebrate.
Follow along and I will share with you all that there is to be happy about!


SheaBear 02-23-2013 10:46 AM

Table of Contents

SheaBear 02-23-2013 10:48 AM

The Trip.
I will share with you first when and where we are headed, before I fill you in on all that are traveling with me. There is a method to my madness.

Well you see I am taking an extended vacation with 3 different parts, and not all are joining for everything.

Part ONE.
May 30 – June 2
Miami – South Beach

Part TWO.
June 2 – June 6
4 Night Bahamas Cruise aboard the Disney Dream

June 6 – June 12
6 Night Stay at ASMo

I will take time to break down each part of the trip later on. For now…


SheaBear 02-23-2013 11:44 AM

Meet the Characters.
WARNING: Expect everything and expect nothing. Expect to see nothing but pure craziness from this group and expect nothing of the norm.

Read on to learn about the many people taking part in this adventure and what we are CELEBRATING!


I guess no other way to start than the person leading this adventure. I am a 27 year old who loves Disney and is a complete nerd about all things related to Disney and anything dealing with the sciences. I stated before that I have been to WDW 25+ times and it never gets old. I am, however, incredibly excited to open the doors of a new world to so many new people. Clearly, I am the planner of this group, and I am trying to balance the obsessive Disney fan part of me to take in some opinions and ideas from the others. Its a constant battle. Throughout this PTR I'm sure you will being plenty of my crafty side. I have so many ideas of things to put together for the kids and some ideas even for the adults.


Ginny, is none other than my Mom. She is the one who first introduced me to this magical world back in 1991. Seems like a lifetime ago. She is the original planner and I have quite often turned to her for her help and ideas on how to handle everything and everyone. She loves Disney and will sacrifice anything to get her fix. We have only ever visited WDW once without each other. I believe if you asked her favorite part of a trip, its watching everyones reactions to different things throughout the world, whether they are traveling with us or complete strangers. My mom will be with me throughout the entire trip! Good thing we get along.



Katelyn is my go to partner in crime when it comes to all things Disney. Our first trip together was to DL in Spring 2004 while we were still in high school. We then made a trip to WDW in Jan. 2009 with 6 other girls and our last trip together was June 2012, when we did B2B DCL Cruises out of NY. One was the Inaugural Cruise to Canada followed by a Cruise to Nowhere. I cant wait for a trip in warm weather. All of the trips we have taken so far have included jeans and sweatshirts.


Perfect display of our friendship.

Kim and I have been friends for 18 years since fourth grade. Weve been friends for so long that our familys have pretty much become one and we simple introduce ourselves as sisters. This will be our third trip to WDW together (Girls Trip 2009 and my familys trip in 2010). Weve also gone on a Disney Cruise and traveled to DL together. Kim is actually in Grenada at Vet school, so I doubt she will make many appearances in the PTR in way of pictures but she is a big part in planning this trip. Her Disney trip is actually the start of a big summer for her. After Disney she will be travelling to South Africa and then onto India for externships for pretty much the rest of the summer. After that she is headed back to school in Grenada and I will, excitedly, be traveling with her.


Marie is Kims oldest sister. She hasnt been to Disney in 20 years or so, so pretty much it is as if she is experiencing it with new eyes all over again. To be completely honest with you, this is who I will butt heads with constantly throughout this process. We have always been like that since we were kids. While Marie likes Disney, I plan on introducing her to a whole new level.


Gary is Chriss dad (youll meet Chris in a little bit). Gary is probably one of the funniest men I have ever met. He always says and does the most random, while sometimes completely inappropriate, things you will ever encounter. He is bound to make plenty of funny moments during this trip. This will be his first trip to Disney World.

[KELLYS 8th GRADE DANCE 2010] [NYE 2012]

Paige is Garys DW. I know I said Gary was funny, but she is probably just as much sarcastic as he is funny. I mean she has to be with a husband like him. She too has never gone to Disney and is incredibly excited to be going.

CELEBRATION #1: We will be celebrating Gary and Paiges 20th Wedding Anniversary on this trip, which is technically also their Honeymoon. Between both of them they have 10 kids, so when they got married there were 8 kids to take care of and a honeymoon was just not an option.


Kelly is 16 and the youngest of Gary and Paiges kids. She is probably the most excited about this trip, and I am truly excited for her to be joining us. She thinks she is princess, which Im not denying, but it will make for some interesting times in the parks. She is the third of the group who is a First Timer.


Katherine is the middle sister between Kim and Marie. Katherine too has not gone to Disney in at least 20 years. She remembers random things but not much and most of it is jumbled. She is tremendously excited and calls me almost every day with a new question. I am certainly happy to be travelling with her.

CELEBRATION #2: In Aug 2011, Kat was diagnosed with cervical cancer. As of this moment she has officially been in remission for 1 year and 2 months. So we are hoping to be celebrating 1.5 years at the time of our trip!

[NYE 2012] [THANKSGIVING 2012] [POCONOS 2012]

Chris is Kats DH. He is the party animal of the group and is always down to do anything. Thats what I love about him most, he makes us always take that one step past comfortable and we always have a blast. This is his first trip to WDW and has been saving up to drink around the world at EPCOT.

CELEBRATION #3: We will be celebrating Kat and Chriss 2 year wedding anniversary.


Katrina is the reason we are taking this trip. She is the DD of Kat and Chris and is obsessed with all things Disney. While this is her first visit, she can tell you anything about any ride at the parks (this is probably my fault). We will be celebrating her 5th birthday in Disney on June 7.

CELEBRATION #4: Katrinas 5th Birthday!


CELEBRATION #5: (HOPEFULLY) We are hoping and praying that we get this good news to celebrate. We are hoping Katrina will be celebrating her own remission as well. I feel this deserves a separate post so I will go into detail more later.


Cole and Chelsea.

Chelsea is my cousin and Cole is her boyfriend of almost 8 years I believe. They moved to Miami in 2011 and myself, my mom and Katelyn will be staying with them when we visit.


Katie is also from here at home by now lives in Ft. Lauderdale while she attends school for PT. She is sure to make an appearance in either Miami or possibly even WDW. We just travelled to Disney together in Nov. 2012 for Thanksgiving. She chose to come hang out with me and Mickey rather than fly back to NJ. She also was a part of the Girls Trip in Jan 2009.

There are 2 others that we are trying to add to our trip.

Aiden and Cameron.

Aiden and Cami are siblings and cousins of Katrinas (Gary and Paiges grandkids therefore one of Chriss sisters kids). They are currently living with Katrina and her parents. We are all currently trying really hard to pull some finances together to bring them along for the adventure. Aiden is currently 3 but turns 4 in 33 days and Cami just turned 2 a week ago today. They are both great kids and we all know this will probably be there only chance of going to WDW.



lsenquiz 02-23-2013 05:57 PM

following along although it may take me a while to get the cast straight:rotfl2:

happybelle 02-23-2013 11:32 PM

Not weird, just a variety. It will keep it interesting.

SheaBear 02-24-2013 10:08 PM


Originally Posted by lsenquiz (Post 47604402)
following along although it may take me a while to get the cast straight:rotfl2:

Glad to see someone else joining in for what will be tons of planning ahead of me and I'm sure tons of fun. Don't worry too much about keeping everyone straight. We are a large group, but I am an obsessive picture taker, so most posts that I am actually talking about someone will be accompanied by plenty of pictures.

Spotted your PTR. Looks like our trips overlap. Would love to catch up on yours.


Originally Posted by happybelle (Post 47607168)
Not weird, just a variety. It will keep it interesting.


:rotfl2: I'll have to tell everyone that we were told we weren't weird.
It will be tons of fun. I honestly don't think I have been more excited for any of trip that I can remember.

SheaBear 02-24-2013 11:20 PM

Katrina's Story.
[Her outfit of choice for the day] [Checking her height for rides]

This is the day everything changed.

It was a Wednesday this past October. October 17th to be exact. Wednesdays are always Trina and Aunt Nea days! I look forward to them every week. We spend hours dancing and singing, mixed in with a little dress up and tea parties. And of course she always asks me to talk about Disney and show her pictures from my trips.

This Weds was going to be a little different. Over the weekend Kat had noticed a lump in Katrinas belly and had called the doctor first thing Monday morning. The doctor had thought it was most likely a hernia, which is apparently common in kids. Doc decided at CTScan was the best option to see what was going on& well you know what that means, CONTRAST FLUID. Disgusting. It was my job on Weds to get Katrina to drink a whole bottle. I youtubed numerous videos of little kids drinking it and how their families cheered them on. We looked at pictures and videos of CT Scanners so she knew what one would look like. We even practiced laying on the floor really still, pretending they were taking the images they needed.

Mommy and Daddy (Kat and Chris) picked Trina up and headed to get her test done. She did a great job in the CT Scanner. But within an hour of her scan Doc called Kat and Chris and asked them to come to the office. We instantly knew it was not good news. He told them that Trina had tumors and their best option was to get to CHOP. So thats what they did. Got in the car and drove straight to Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia.

There they found out she had whats called Wilms Tumors. And she had numerous on both kidneys. 8 in total. They began discussing the options with the team of doctors the night they got there. Chemotherpy was the best solution. She spent a total of 5 days in the hospital and received her first treatment while there.

I of course made a trip every day with Gary, her Poppy as she calls him. Its really only a 50 min drive but with Philly traffic it pretty much always becomes a hour and 15 min drive.
[Spending time in bed] [The caterpillar she made for me] [Letting her brush out my fro]

The plan was 12 weeks of chemo with a break in the middle to check how the tumors were reacting to treatments

In that time, Kat and Chris had professional photos done knowing she would most likely lose her hair and then decided to get her hair cut after week 2 because they noticed a bald spot.
[Professional photo] [Hair cut] [Christmas at Aunt Neas house]

Well after all the treatments, she had surgery on Jan 24 to remove parts of each kidney. Surgery went well and she was released after 5 days. This time, because the flu has been so bad this year, no one was allowed to visit. But shes a trooper for sure!
[Cuddled up the day before] [Day after surgery]

Now we are looking at 9 more weeks of chemo and then a slight break before she gets tested to see if anything remains& This brings us to April 19. We are all hoping the news is good.
[Most recent picture taken 3 days ago]

If she hadnt lost her hair and some of the weight, I dont feel like you would even know that she is fighting cancer. She acts like everything is perfectly normal. She is not shocked at all by her appearance. With very few long strands left, she is mostly shocked that her eyelashes fell out.

She amazes me every day with her strength!
[4 days old - first time I saw her] [NYE 2012]

Aunt Nea will always and forever love her Trina Beana!


SheaBear 02-28-2013 09:18 PM

Craft Update: Countdown.
Since yesterday marked our 99 days till our trip I thought I’d share with you the vacation countdown I made for the kids. Which if you noticed, I said KIDS… plural! The Aiden and Cami are officially going and I added them to the reservation today.:cheer2:

I’ve been searching on Google for pictures of different countdowns people have made and even looked at a few ideas on Pinterest for the past probably 2 months. A couple grabbed my attention but none really jumped out at me though there are plenty of cute ones. What the main issue was is that I wanted to start it around Day 100 away, and none really catered to counting down that far out. But Katrina has asked almost every day how long so I knew I could do it with 100 days to go.

Well, one day I was roaming through ACMoore and found this…

It’s meant to be a regular calendar, but it instantly gave me some ideas so I bought one and in the end I bought another just to get some extra pieces. I wanted a way that the kids could kind of make the experience their own so this is what I came up with.

If you noticed there is a small storage section on the back, so this is what mine looked like.

And what’s in there?
[the numbers – able to start with 99]
[tiles they could change depending on the day]

And the final product… the front.
[Katrina got to pick the first day]

Overall, I am really happy with the way it turned out. And the kids liked it a lot. I’m sure there will be days they get caught up and forget to change it but then when I go over to their house I’ll have them fix it and they will realize how much closer it is.


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