EPCOT: The American Adventure

Happy Fourth of July, my friends! I hope you are enjoying a day full of all things Americana–I know I’ll be relishing our sweet freedom all day, munching on chocolate chip cookies and savoring vanilla ice cream with red, white, and blue sprinkles. Throw in some patriotic songs and you have yourself a gloriously patriotic day.

I just love this country.

I’m here today to advocate for my favorite pavilion in all of Epcot. The American pavilion, home to a completely underrated show and the most beautiful entertainment in all of Walt Disney World, is a real gem and a tribute to the American people and the adventurous, innovative, and diligent spirit of this great country. I never leave the American pavilion without feeling inspired to do my part in propelling America forward into the future–the message of this entire pavilion is one of hope and pride, and I honestly can’t get enough.

There are three main activities to do at the American pavilion. First: The American Adventure is a wonderful thirty-minute show detailing events in America’s history that makes America uniquely…American. I love this show so, so much. It’s narrated by Mark Twain and Benjamin Franklin, and it’s delightfully Disney-fied. Expect charming animatronics, moving video clips and montages, and an inspiring soundtrack.

Goodness. I get chills just thinking about it. The shows run all day, and it’s a wonderful way to take a break from the stifling Florida heat. We skipped this show on our first trip (ignorance and first-time energy and excitement can do that to you), but now it’s an Epcot must-do. So. good.

The second (and my favorite) activity to do at this pavilion? Listening to the marvelous musical workings of the Voices of Liberty.

THE VOICES OF LIBERTY MIGHT BE MY VERY FAVORITE THING IN ALL OF EPCOT. YES, ALL CAPS IS COMPLETELY NECESSARY IN THIS DECLARATION OF MY LOVE.

The Voices of Liberty perform before almost every show of  The American Adventure, but check your times guide or with a cast member to receive an exact show schedule. There is also usually a board with times listed outside of the attraction.

THIS IS A MUST-DO. I REPEAT. THIS IS A MUST-DO. Make time to do this. Please. I love it so much.

They perform under the “dome” of The American Adventure’s beautiful building (see picture of building below…it’s hard to miss), and guests are invited to sit on the floor under the dome to experience their voices to the fullest. They are an acapella group that sings Americana, folk, and other songs, and I just love them with all of my heart. They are also known to sing a few classic Disney tunes, but literally every show is different. The last time I watched the show, they sang a “flag” medley, the state song of Tennessee, an old cowboy love song, and “America The Beautiful.” I’ve seen many shows, and no show is exactly the same.

Please see this. Camp out and see it. Take a break from the heat, and be prepared to be moved to tears. I often am, and it’s embarrassing but totally viable. The group is so incredibly talented, and the combination of incredible singing and patriotism can do something to you. Again, ask a cast member or pick up a times guide so you don’t miss this incredible Disney gem.

The last thing to see at this pavilion? The building itself has so many things to look at–art, quotes from famous American leaders (including the guy that drew that mouse that one time), and an entire special exhibit. The current exhibit discusses the struggles and the triumphs of African Americans, and it’s so cool. My usual routine involves experiencing the exhibit, watching the Voices of Liberty, and finishing with a showing of The American Adventure. It’s about an hour’s worth of sweet, sweet air conditioning.

I hope you take the time to experience this pavilion the next time you are exploring Epcot. It’s seriously my favorite–I didn’t even mention the food, and it’s delicious, too–and it deserves your attention and appreciation.

I might be biased. I do love America a whole lot.

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Disney Trip 2017: Animal Kingdom Lodge

Jambo, everyone! I hope you are having a magical day.

If you’re not familiar with Swahili, “jambo” means “hello.” I was fortunate enough to say a hearty hello to Walt Disney World for six days last week for vacation.

I was super fortunate to say jambo to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge for the first night of my vacation. This DAK-loving girl’s heart was so, so happy. Remember: DAK equals Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Huge shout out to the DCP BFF (and real-life BFF, let’s be honest) for scoping out the best deal in the universe. She’s on her second college program, and she met up with me for a week of epic “staycation-ing.”

Oh my goodness, guys. We had a blast.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, to put it simply, is the most gorgeous place on this planet. This statement might come across as a teeny hyperbole, but I don’t even care. If I ever become a Disney Vacation Club member (#goals), this resort will be my home.

I began my stay at the lodge by attempting to capture everything with my hand-me-down DSLR camera, a camera that’s been in the family since about 2006. It’s still goin’ strong, and I think it did a fantastic job documenting my stay at the lodge. You’ll find some select photos in this post, and don’t hesitate to call National Geographic and suggest me and my skill set for an all-expenses-paid African photo safari.

Ha. I kid. (But not really.)

If you’ve never been to DAK Lodge, you might not know that it doubles as a top-notch zoo. Select rooms look out onto a savannah littered with giraffes, ankole cattle, types of gazelle, ostriches, zebras, the common Disney duck, and so much more. The back of both lobbies (Kidani Village and Jambo House…we stayed in the latter), lead out onto observation areas where helpful animal guides talk about the animals and are open to discuss their own culture. Every single guide is on an cultural exchange program at Disney; they are originally from Africa and are there to work for a year or so. My mom and I once had the most incredible conversation with a guide from Botswana.

I spent a good hour or two in the observation area, taking photos of the animals and taking in the unique vibe  Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge embodies. I fell in love with giraffes on this trip because they ventured so close to us lucky guests. Below are a few photos I’m quite proud of. (Humor me.)

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Aren’t they gorgeous?

Because of this unique experience, I was  swayed to purchase a wooden giraffe mask from the gift shop, perfect for the Animal Kingdom-inspired gallery wall going above my bed in my new apartment. I just couldn’t resist.

After Allyssa (DCP BFF) got off work, we checked in and headed to our room.

Our room! Oh my goodness! The savannah view room was so pretty, and the details were impeccable: woven baskets hung on the creamy walls, wallpaper that resembled vintage maps, pamphlets useful for identifying animals, and so much more. Of course, I wasn’t smart enough to take pictures of the whole thing, but I did take a picture of my favorite element, the curtains. See below:

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Do see a Disney friend embroidered in the dreamy fabric? Friends from The Lion King were scattered throughout the curtains, and I internally screamed.

We ended our evening roasting marshmallows in the observation area (free for all guests; ask a cast member for times), dining at the Mara, the quick service restaurant, and watching the sunset from our savannah view room. The experience was something out of a Walt Disney World ad–the sky was a brilliant red-orange, giraffes and zebras moseyed tangibly close to our vantage point, and Allyssa and I were reunited, anticipating a busy week of park hopping. I was so happy, and I’ll cherish that moment forever.

We checked out the next morning after a wonderful breakfast from the Mara.

I never really checked out of the lodge, mentally. I’m always daydreaming about my stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Kwaherini (“Go well”) for now, friends. I’ll leave you with some more shots of the lodge–maybe they’ll fuel your sense of adventure and spark an appreciation for this beautiful planet we call home.

Maybe you’ll just call your travel agent. Either option totally works.

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Adventures In Puppy-ing

Ellie Kevin Lancaster, meet everyone. Everyone, meet Ellie Kevin Lancaster.


This is my sweet little Shih Tzu. She weighs only two pounds and has rank puppy breath, but she is mine and mine alone. She  happens to be a little terror and have quite the rambunctious spirit, but that’s why I’m so smitten.

Ellie has been a hoot since bringing her home. She arrived on the scene with a bout of fleas and worms–common puppy problems, but inconvenient and worrisome for this new puppy mom. Don’t worry, we took care of it, but for our first couple days of furry friendship, Ellie was calm. Stoic. Tired.

Of course she was. She felt sick, poor baby.

After getting her treated and cured of her puppy problems, my sweet Ellie blossomed into the minuscule maniac she was destined to be.  She sprints across the living room to the kitchen in a furry frenzy, in frantic pursuit of “Big Dog’s” food and treats. Big Dog is Kasper, our former “little” dog.

He’s now the big one.

She plays with her dog bed as if it were an oversized toy, dragging it across the floor and gleefully ripping her claws into the soft fabric. I’ll have to invest in a new one soon.

She leaves tiny little puppy puddles on the kitchen tile. At least she doesn’t like peeing on the carpet too, too much. She gets so busy explorin’ her new world, she forgets she has a teeny tiny little bladder.

She’s my little explorer.

Why the name “Ellie Kevin?” She’s named after two beloved characters from Disney’s Up, of course.

She embodies Ellie’s (the character) adventurous spirit so well. Seriously–each morning she sprints from her kennel and begins to explore her brand new world; she’s full of joy and puppy curiosity, and she’s so sweet and good natured. She wiggles and squirms when you pick her up. She’d rather be discovering new nooks and crannies; she loves to cuddle when she’s tired, but she loves stretching her legs.

She’s my adventurer. She’s my Ellie girl.

And Kevin? You know: Kevin, the bird from Up. Her middle name’s Kevin, ’cause Kevin’s a girl. (Duh.)

I love you so much, Ellie. I can’t wait to begin a new adventure with you soon. Graduate school is fast approaching, which translates to a move to a new town and a fresh, shiny beginning. I can’t wait to take it all on with you.

Adventure is certainly out there.

 

 

Writer

I recently changed a few bullet points under the “about me” category.

First: “recent college graduate” transformed to “graduate student in creative writing.” Yes, you read that right! I’ll be heading back to school in the fall, and I am thrilled to continue my education. Who knows? Perhaps a doctorate is in my [distant] future?

I like school, okay? Let me stay forever.

Second: I changed “aspiring writer” to simply read “writer.”

Because I realized something.

I don’t have to wait until I’m a “grown-up” to fully realize my “grown-up” dream. And heck, I am a grown-up! Painfully so. I’ll be 24 in less than a month, and that’s scary. And kind of cool. But mostly terrifying.

You see, reader, I’m a writer because I write. I am not published in the sense that I have novels under my belt, but I write. A lot. At least I try to.

I do have a few articles published in a local magazine, and that’s cool. I’m so grateful for  the opportunity to contribute to a wonderful publication. But I still have a hard time considering myself a full-fledged writer.

But I am. And now that I’m realizing it, I’m so excited about my future and all the possibilities yet to be.

I write stories before bed! Fiction! And I love doing it! I’m using exclamation points because I think I found what I love to do! Making up stories to fill our dark little world with hero[ines] and characters that came to be because I used my brain muscles and created them out of nothing!

Now, yes, eventually I’d like to be semi-successful in this writing endeavor. But I can’t become successful or good at anything without a little elbow grease and a whole lot of doing.

And the doing–the writing, the doing the writing–makes me a writer. It’s the same concept as running. I’m currently training for a half marathon, and the act of running makes me a runner.

I’m slow as dirt, and it’s hard to wake up early before work to “pound the pavement.” (That’s runner’s speak.) But I run, so I am a runner.

I’m a writer, I’m a runner, I’m a dreamer. And I love and cherish all of those titles.

Have a magical day, my friends.

 

 

 

Ode to Magic

Below is a little poem I wrote about my favorite place, my magic place. Thank you for reading, and have a magical day. 

Magic is Floridian humidity

that melts the features of my face.

It’s the sun that burns my shoulders

and it’s the post rope-drop race.

It’s a metal mouse and a metal man

standing firmly side by side

captured forever in family photos,

those moments will never die.

Magic’s down at the laughin’ place

where briar patches become home.

Where nine ninety-nine happy haunts ask

 one more soul to cease to roam.

Waffles become magic when they’re

blessed with eyes, a nose, and ears.

A moment becomes magic when a tiny tot

overcomes her incredible fears.

She hugs her hero, her idol, her friend,

A fleeting second, captured by tech.

She bounces, she giggles, and squeals

she bids farewell with a delicate peck.

Mickey Mouse holds his heart and swoons

she’s met her hero, he’s met his.

These moments, this place, this world

are “my friends, where the magic lives!”

This place is my magic place,

I’m just like those teeny tots.

Here I never grow up, I dare to wear

mouse ears and red polka dots.

I laugh without fear of notice,

I don’t hide behind a stoic mask.

Fastpasses, photo ops, and the purple wall

are today’s only required tasks.

Here I twirl on lush “hub grass”

and strike a classic princess pose.

I open up to people who “get it.”

They feel the magic. They just…know.

Here “anything is possible,”

and “wishes do come true.”

It’s where I learned that true magic lies

within me…and also in you.

We take our magic place with us,

to the real world, to reality.

  In memories of that magic kingdom

I find myself.

I find me.

I Love You, Snoop

My best bud passed away the other day. My best bud had four legs, shaggy black-and-silver fur, a beard, and a stubby tail. He had the sweetest eyes, loved swimming in the summer, lounging on a pool floaty, and eating pizza crust.

His name was Snoopy, and Snoopy was seriously the best dog in this whole wide world.

I miss his howl. I miss his stub wagging back and forth every time I talked to him. I miss the way he used to paw at my hands, wanting me to pet his ears and his head.

I don’t think I could ever understand a person who doesn’t comprehend a pet/human relationship. Snoopy wasn’t just a dog–he was truly part of the family.

My whole little heart loved (still loves) him. He would lick my face when I cried. He was a part of my family for so long; we got him when I was in the fifth grade. I’m twenty-three. Snoop has been with us for the hardest–and happiest–of times. He grew up with my sister and me. We raised him. We carried him on our hips as if he was a toddler.

Our younger dog, Kasper, doesn’t understand. He still looks for Snoop. He doesn’t know how to bark when we walk in the door; that was Snoop’s job, and Kap followed suit. He rapidly blinks as if he’s about to burst into doggy tears. I try to give Kap lots of cuddles. He just lost his very best friend–the only friend of the same species he’s ever had.

It’s ok. I know we’ll feel better, and tears will give way to laughter and smiles, as cheesy as that sounds. We are already beginning to laugh at little things Snoopy did. He loved the words “cookie,” “leash,” “go,” “outside,” and “floaty.” He had a habit of laying in the middle of the floor on his back with his legs splayed in the silliest of ways. He’d relax and just go right to sleep. He loved snuggling under a bed–any space that was dark, quiet, and compact was his favorite space.

He would lay in the hallway that connected my room to my sister’s. He protected us. He would bark and growl at every unidentified noise. He would howl at every doorbell, he would tell the big dogs through the fence who was boss. He was only 20 pounds, but he could handle anything.

He was the bravest. He was my best bud. He was Snoop Poop, because his name unfortunately rhymed with “poop.”

I loved him so much. I know he’s lounging on a floaty, eating pizza, drying off in the sun, and laying in the shade somewhere that has an endless summer.

He loved summer because all of his girls were home.

I hope he knows his girls loved him so, so much.

Scratch that. I know he knows. He’s our Snoop Poop, and Snoop knows everything.

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Can You Feel The Love [Today?]

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Let’s talk Disney couples, because what else do you talk about on Valentine’s Day?!

Here are my favorite Disney couples and the reasons I love ’em:

Flynn Rider and Rapunzel 

EUGENE FITZHERBERT. Who doesn’t love the most attractive animated character in the history of animated characters? I also love Rapunzel–she’s a dreamer, spunky, independent, and takes charge. Separately, the two are fantastic. Together, Rapunzel and Flynn rule the world.

I love that Flynn isn’t a hero; he’s the opposite. He’s initially materialistic and self-centered, longing to be surrounded by “enormous piles of money.” (Who can blame him?) He’s a thief and an outlaw (and they can’t get his nose right!), but from the get-go, audiences can’t help but love him. I love him. A lot. Below is proof of my love for this rascal, photos taken on the day I finally met Flynn Rider:

Recording the “Smolder” so it could live forever on my sister’s phone.

This. Is not. A DRILL!

Eugene…I just love ya. 


Rapunzel doesn’t necessarily change Flynn and Flynn doesn’t really change Rapunzel. He still has his sense of humor at the end of Tangled, and she is as spunky as ever. They just…go together. I hate saying the words “complete each other,” because a person is never not whole, you know? They just bring out the best in each other.

They help each other find “new dreams,” and when a person helps you find and achieve whatever your dream may be, I believe that person could be a keeper.

Moving on.

Tiana and Naveen 

They are so wonderful together. They have the same thing going for them as Flynn and Rapunzel–they don’t necessarily complete each other, they just go together like beignets and powdered sugar and honey.

You know: perfectly.

Naveen hasn’t worked a day in his life, and Tiana works too darn much. They balance each other’s personalities and together they live a happy, “swingin’ good time” life. That quote is from Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire, a show on Disney property that showcases just how wonderful Tiana and Naveen are.

Much love, Tiana and Naveen. Much love.

Carl and Ellie 

You know the two: the sweet couple from Disney-Pixar’s Up. This was always a given. (For a post exclusively about my love for Up‘s sweetest couple and the lessons we can learn from them, click here.)

Honorable Mention: Anna and Kristoff 

This one is for my sister: she claims she and her boyfriend are exactly like Anna and Kristoff. I could see it.

Regardless, Anna and Kristoff are certainly a cute couple. I especially love Kristoff’s nickname for Anna: “Fiesty Pants.”

We can all agree that Valentine’s Day isn’t just about romantic love, but it certainly is fun to talk about our favorite Disney couples. Who are your favorites? Comment below or join the conversation on Instagram. I hope you all had a lovely Valentine’s Day!

 

Little Things: 2.0

One of my very first posts (seriously, back in 2014!) on this blog talked about “the little things” in life. It’s unanimous that we humans love talking about the little things, no matter how cliche and trite our discussions of little things can get.

I’m here to write a “Little Things: 2.0” post, simply because I just can’t get enough of freakin’ little things.

I love the feeling of my sister’s dog as he lays on my derrière in the mornings. (Weird, I know.)  Kasper’s routine: wake up. Eat breakfast. Go sleep with Kaila on Kaila’s behind. He snores, and when my alarm goes off at 5:45, he groans.

Shuffling down my block at 6 a.m.–it’s only me and my adorable neighbors (I say that respectfully), and I savor the darkness and the quiet. My neighbors are so cool; the woman runs and runs and runs at the same exact pace; she sometimes walks with her husband and carries teeny pink weights as she pumps her dainty arms. I’d bet money that those arms, as slight and petite as they are, could still pack a punch. She just keeps going and going and going. I go, but I can’t go and go and go.

Not yet.

“BAHHH BAHHH BA BA BA BAAAAAAAAAAAH BA.”

That’s me trying to emulate the opening track of any Star Wars film. The soundtracks are often my running music of choice; might as well gain inspiration from the Jedi, the rebels, and the Empire. Sometimes I don’t want to listen to words at 6 a.m.; I have to stare at words all day. I just listen to epic music and, in turn, I feel pretty darn epic.

Coffee. Coffee was mentioned in my first “Little Things” post, and not much as changed since 2014.

Lunch. I have about a 10-15 minute lunch break between two [wonderful] jobs, and those moments spent in silence driving from point A to point B while nibbling on a turkey sandwich, a handful of chips, and string cheese are often just the right amount of fuel I need to conquer the rest of my day.

Finally falling asleep after a restless night. That’s what I’m about to attempt, so wish me luck. Thanks for sticking with me, friends. It means a whole lot to an aspiring writer for real actual humans to read words that I hastily type into WordPress’ handy word processor area thing. That was eloquent, I know.

Seriously. It means a lot.

Good night, and I hope you all take a little time out of your busy days to find and appreciate those stinkin’ little things.

 

 

 

 

Princess in Training

Happy New Year, everyone!

Ok, I know it’s not January first by any means. It’s a almost a couple of weeks after the big day of renewal and resolutions. The hype has died down just a tiny bit–“new year, new me” posts are slowly disappearing from social media, the gym next to one of my workplaces is becoming deplete of fresh cars in the parking lot, and we’re all sneaking a chocolate bar into our grocery baskets. We also might be hiding those said chocolate bars under the bunch of bananas. Hide the evidence! 

Ok, not everyone. But I might be guilty as charged when it comes to the chocolate. I love chocolate, gosh darn it.

I’ve intentionally decided to write this post a couple of weeks into the new year, when the hype has died down and we settle into our “normal,” whether that normal be new or familiar. It’s a motivation for me and–maybe, just maybe–for you.

I’m trying for a new normal; I’m the first to admit I’m a little ambitious this year in terms of resolutions. If you could take a hint and are a Disney fanatic, you might have guessed something by the title of this post: I’m trying to become a Princess.

Well, a Princess who will have finished 13.1 miles at the 2018 Walt Disney World Princess Half Marathon.

If you’ve been following this blog for awhile, you might remember that I used to be a college athlete. I’ve always been active, fairly athletic, and fiercely competitive. Everything I’ve ever done, however, has involved quick bursts of energy–college and high school volleyball, high school basketball, and high school  track (jumping events and hurdles). I’ve never been much of a long-distance runner. The farthest distance I’ve ever run consecutively is three measly miles, at the peak of my athletic capability, my junior and senior year of college.

I’m so ready to change that. But, most importantly, I’m so excited to embrace an outlet that will keep me in shape and keep my beloved Disney in my life.

I have a little over a year to train, but I’ve decided to share my journey with my little blogosphere as a way of accountability and as a way to document the process and my progress. I love to write (obviously), so why not bring all who read these posts along for the [carriage] ride?

Here’s to becoming a Princess in 2017! “Let’s get down to business” to “chase the wind and touch the sky” and “run the hidden pine trails of the forest.” 

Is that princess-y enough for you? Yeah. I thought so.

“You’ve Been Gilmored!”

I quote Lorelei with the utmost seriousness. I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve been “Gilmored.” Hardcore. I’ve been “Gilmored” in the weirdest of ways: emotionally drained, physically drained, intellectually drained. Just…drained.

All from watching the revival of the a little TV show.

No, Kaila. It’s not just a television show–“it’s a lifestyle. It’s a religion.”

Note: To read why this show really does mean the world to me, check out my previous post. 

Oy! (“With the poodles already!”) I just can’t stop the Gilmore quotes.

Can you blame me? The revival was everything I imagined and then some. It also left me begging for more, leaving me unsatisfied and grumpy and thinky. Yes, that’s a made-up word. Do I care? No!

This revival even hindered my ability to write a review/discussion about Disney’s newest heroine, the Polynesian powerhouse Moana. That’s how serious my thinky-ness was, my friends. I freaking adored Moana, but the fate of the Gilmores consumes my headspace.

After I thought about the cliffhanger ending–really thought about it, multiple times, in the dead of night and at the helm of my steering wheel during my morning commute–I really was satisfied, enough that I began to function again, going about my daily tasks knowing good and well that Rory and Lorelei are still doing ok.

Who am I kidding? I want more, I want more! *Pounds fists onto the keyboard of my laptop and deletes the gibberish I left in my tantrum’s wake*

Alright. The time has come to discuss details of the revival, to explain my frustration and my satisfaction, and to acknowledge the scary quirks that prove Gilmore Girls has been and will always be a reflection of my life, my mom’s life, and my sister’s life. My grandma’s life, too.

I’m here to warn you that there are SPOILERS AHEAD. I repeat. SPOILERS. COMING. NOW.

First: Rory takes up tap dancing to relieve stress. I know this seems like an improbable first detail to discuss, but it’s so important.

Do you know what I did after moving back home from my six months of galavanting at Walt Disney World? I took up tap dancing.

Seriously.

I felt aimless and out-of-sorts, and I desperately needed a goal to work towards. I needed an activity to do for exercise. I needed something. 

I strapped on some cheap tap shoes my mom bought on Amazon and turned to YouTube and a how-to DVD and began a-tappin’ away. For a few weeks, at least.

I just thought it was so funny/scary/wonderful that Rory was doing something that paralleled so specifically to my life.

Also, Lorelei has “Sadness” stickers (the lovable blue character from Disney’s Inside Out) stuck to her computer. Paul, Rory’s less-than-memorable boyfriend throughout the revival, mentions this for just a split second in “Winter.”

My mom and I went nuts.

Sadness is one of my mom’s favorite Disney characters of all time. She loves Sadness. And I mean loves. After we saw the movie in theaters last summer, my mom just kept saying over and over and over: “I just love  Sadness. She’s so cute. I just love her.” Over and over. And over. Lorelei’s (assumed) love for Sadness was just so perfect.

After nine years away from the little screen, Gilmore Girls was still scarily similar to our lives in such minor and important ways.

Ok. Now lets talk about some juicy details. Actually, let’s just skip to the final four words, because I’ve been obsessing for a week and a day:

Rory: Mom?

Lorelei: Yeah?

Rory: I’m pregnant. 

Credits.

AHDK;AHGDKA;HDKLA;HDKL;HKFLAHDS;LKGH;ADLKSHA;LKSAHKDL;ASHLKSHF;KLASD;LKFASHKLHOIHGOQIERWHFLKADSNF;LKDSH;LAKFDSHKFH;ASDKLJFDLS;HF;LKASDLK;FH??????!!!?!>@??????!!!!!!!!!!!adkshkl;sahgdko;ahied;afhlkdsnkk;hl;kl;khkhlLKKH;IO;HF!!

The above literary rendition of my thoughts and feelings is completely accurate and poetic and well-written.

Ha.

Ok. I get it. I understand why ASP (Amy Sherman-Palladino) would end the series this way–Lorelei, aged 16, was pregnant with Rory by Rory’s father Christopher, a guy who always loved Lorelei but could never get his act together and eventually caved when it came to joining the family business. Luke pined for Lorelei for years and years, and the two finally realized their happy ending. Rory, aged 32 (the same age as Lorelei when the show began), is pregnant with Logan’s (loves Rory, is screwed up, and is in the family business) baby and Jess (Luke’s nephew) is seen gazing lovingly and longingly at Rory though a window, foreshadowing Jess’ involvement and storyline when it pertains to his relationship with Rory.

Lorelei asks for more money from her mother to expand the Dragonfly, Kirk finally does something totally and completely right, and Emily finds her independence and happiness in Nantucket. Rory figures out her purpose (a book about Rory and Lorelei’s life entitled Gilmore Girls), and the audience hopes that the little baby is a girl and the book is a bestseller and that life goes back to being unicorns and rainbows for Rory.

Life comes full circle; life goes on.

I understood, but I was so mad.

I longed to see Rory stupidly successful, ruling the world. I was never concerned about her ending up with a boy, but I was so disappointed in her decision to be “the other woman” in Logan’s life. Side note: I knew Rory was not going to decidedly end up with anyone in this revival. It’s never been about the romantic relationships of Lorelei and Rory…it’s always been about their relationship with one another as mother and daughter. But if I had to pick…#TeamJess all the way.

Anyways.

My disappointment came from seeing Rory struggle with her career, her personal decisions, and with her young adult life in general. I still see myself in Rory. I have dreams of success and fulfillment. I just didn’t want to believe that Rory’s ending was not a happy one. I want my happy ending, and Rory’s tiny taste of success followed by heaps of rejection and failure is scary to think about.

That could happen to me.

After I (briefly) took a step back from the revival and began re-watching it, I realized that the foreshadowing of Rory’s fate was always there. Not just in these four episodes, but in the entire series.

Rory was always going to end up like her mom. Always.

I finally realized (after days of consideration and contemplation aforementioned) that this was never a bad thing. Rory’s fate could bring her direction and purpose, fulfillment in her personal life and, ultimately, in her career. Let’s face it: Rory’s book will be such a bestseller with the addition of the uncanny coincidences.

ASP does a wonderful job illustrating that life isn’t about happy endings and smooth sailings. It’s about creating happy endings from any messy situation. Life is full of “peaks and valleys,” and we like to believe that the Gilmore girls can handle it. We can handle it, too.

Rory Gilmore is pregnant by a stupid boy. (sorry #TeamLogan.) I truly believe she’ll make the best of it.

With the help of her mother, of course.

Despite my initial frustrations, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life was six hours of pure magic. I cried when I saw my girls strolling through a wintry Stars Hollow, accompanied by lilting and comforting “la la’s.” I bawled when Rory chose Richard’s office as her hallowed writing space. Lorelei’s attempt at “doing Wild” and her recollection of her favorite memory of Richard was perfect. Luke and Lorelei’s wedding made my heart smile.

Gilmore Girls will always be my favorite. If you need me, I’ll be in Stars Hollow. And no, you can’t convince me that I don’t live there.