I found most of these blog questions out there on Google...thought that they would make a less-boring blog today. I have been slacking, and are a little behind on the blogging bit.
How did you meet Mike; when/how did you know he was the one?
~ Mike and I met while we were both working for Walt Disney World. We actually kinda met before we worked together. We were both working for the Mouse in 1999, when the 25th Anniversary Celebration had ended (I LOVED the pink Castle Cake, I really did...seriously) and the Millennium Celebration was beginning. I worked at Downtown Disney at the World of Disney, and Mike worked in the Right Block Shops at Disney-MGM Studios.
I had made friends with several other Disney Store "transplants" at WOD. It seemed that a lot of us transferred to Walt Disney World that year, maybe sensing that The Disney Stores were, at that time, something of a sinking ship. All of the Disney Store transfers were placed at the WOD for one reason or another. I had the pleasure of starting out in the "Map Room", which is where the engraving and Information counters were. This comes into play later.
Anyway, I had made friends with a lot of people at the WOD. For most of us, Christmas 1999 was our first holiday away from home and our families. We became each other's families. It was one night, that my friend Pam and I went to the Studios for a late night showing of "Fantasmic!". On our way in, we decided to stop at the Pin Trading Station. This was before they had the Sorcerer Hat at the Studios, so the Pin Trading Station was just a few fixtures at the corner of Hollywood and Vine. I was on the hunt for two specific Monorail Pins for Daniel, my 11 year old brother back home. A very nice Cast Member named Mike from Ft. Lauderdale FL helped me out. We got to talking about pins, and working for Disney and the holidays, but Pam and I had to run off before we missed "Fantasmic!".
I did not think much about it until I was called to work some overtime at "Head to Toe", the embroidery/engraving shop at Disney-MGM Studios. You see, working in the Map Room at WOD, I was trained in engraving. The Right Block shops was short an engraver for awhile, and I was offered the overtime after several CMs above me in seniority declined it. I worked with some wonderful women there, and they all went on and on and on about a CM that I should meet. He was a family man and so nice, and kind and polite. Yes, these women were old enough to be my mother...and yes, these women were talking about Mike from Ft. Lauderdale FL. I could not believe it.
I wish it were a litte more exciting, like it seemed like I knew he was the one from the moment we met at that Pin Trading Station...but heck, I was too excited to be seeing "Fantasmic!" for like the millionth time. I knew after having a lunch with him at the CM cafeteria one afternoon that Mike would be in my life for a very long time.
How did Mike propose to you?
~ Mike proposed to me very unexpectedly. He asked me one afternoon at the Studios, in front of Sorcerer Mickey and about 100 strangers!!! I really, REALLY was not expecting this one. I had not washed my hair, I was wearing a sleeveless shirt and was sweating up a storm. I have the pictures. Pure shock. I have to dig them up and scan them in...
What age did you get married? How long have you been married?
~ I was 30 when I got married. I am glad that I waited when I did...I had a series of bad boyfriends before I met Mike. We have been married six and a half years. We plan on renewing our vows at Walt Disney World when we hit ten!!!
When was Little Man born?
~ Michael was born August 17, 2004. We had a newborn before our first anniversary. He came as a surprise. A very pleasant surprise.
How did you choose Michael’s name?
~ not very inventive on this one. Michael is named after Mike, Michael Anthony Pagnotti II. I am old fashioned, and did not want to know the sex of the baby until it was born. Mike got to pick the boy name, and I got to pick the girls name (Katelyn Elisabeth...Katie Beth for short). If we have number two, I get to choose both names!!! Katie Beth for a girl still...but I am stuck on a boy's name...I like Daniel after my brother. I joke that we will name our next son Jack Daniel Pagnotti...Jack after Jack Bauer on "24"!!!
How would you describe your parenting style? What have you learned about being a momma that surprised you from parenting Little Man?
~ I am pretty laid back parent. Mike is more of the heavy hand. Of course, Michael knows this. When I was pregnant, I was afraid that I would be a bad parent because I was too "selfish". Of course, this all flew out the window the second I met Michael. It is amazing to realize that this Little Man has so much power and influence over me...my every action, my every move.
Do you plan to have another baby?
~ I would love to have another baby...but wonder what God has in the cards for us. We are quite happy as a three-person-family. We function quite well. We are trying, but if it is not meant to be then I will be happy with what I have.
I want to know about your life growing up…like what you wanted to be and stuff like that.
~ I grew up the oldest of five children, in a middle class surburban family. I was 15 years old when my brother, the youngest was born. We are a weirdly close family...and I will take it. I have fond memories of staying out playing with my friends...the rule was that we had to come in when the streetlight came on. We had wonderful Christmasses, fun birthday parties and great Halloween costumes. My mom was able to stay at home with us...and I totally appreciate that. Now, my parents watch my son...and I think that is awesome. When I was little I wanted to be a Mommy and a teacher. I then discovered a love for all things Disney and decided that Iwas going to be a Walt Disney World Ambassador. Well, I did not quite make it to Ambassador, but a WDW CM was pretty cool all the same.
You have multiple responsibilities and always seem to be on the go…how do you find balance in your life?
~ Right now, I am trying to find balance in it all...I am not having much luck at it. I am not sure what I would do if I ever found the perfect balance of everything. I would probably freak out!!! I am finally realizing that when I am asked what my hobby is, my answer should not be "Michael". I need to have my own interests...and yes, my son is the most important thing in my life, but he can't take it over. I am working on getting things in the house orgainzed. One. Rubbermaid. Tote. At. A. Time. It is working, and Mike is helping me out. Tonight, we actually cleaned out the entry hall closet. Yes, it is a Saturday night and I am excited that we organized a closet!!! I will find balance, but there is a lot that I need to get straightened out first.
What do you do for a living?
~ Right now, I am a Financial Service Consultant (aka, teller) at a Credit Union. I am hoping to leave my job in the next six months (yes, in this economy and yes, I am not crazy) and stay at home. Since I don't have my degree right now, I want to be able to take care of kids on our home. I might look into taking classes a little bit at a time so I can get that degree.
What song has the power to get you up and dancing any time it’s played?
~ This one is too easy. It is the oldie but goodie from the eighties, "You Spin Me 'Round (Like A Record)" by Dead Or Alive.
What do you love most about where you live? Meaning the town/city and your home, etc. What would you miss most if you had to move?
~ I love the fact that Missouri is right in the middle of everything. Mike is fascinated that you can drive six hours and be in another state. Growing up in South Florida, if he drove six hours you weren't even out of the state. Saint Louis is a big enough city where I don't feel like I am in the boonies...and the suburb that I live in is as close to utopia as I can get!!! Now, I don't like the change of weather that we get here in MO. I miss living in Florida sometimes, but I would miss my family too much to go back.
Any major goal that you would like to accomplish in the next 10 years?
~ I would love to have my degree completed, move back to Florida and have a second child. I will shoot for one out of the three. First the baby, second the degree, third the move.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
~ It is weird to think of where we will be in ten years, mostly because Little Man will be 15 at that time...and I can't even fathom that!!! See above, I hope to be a Mommy to two, have my degree and be loving back in the Sunshine State!!!
Where did you go to college and what was your degree in? If you could do it over again, what would you do?
~ I never completed my degree. I started at Community College out of high school. Bad decisions, bad choices and bad boyfriends helped me not finish. I decided that partying was so much more important than classes and coursework, so my parents pulled my funding. If I wasn't giving it 100%, then they weren't paying for it. I didn't need it...I had a job as a manager at the mall...I was going to be fine. I regret that decision every single day of my life. I would have liked to have attended Mizzou when I could have. Right now, my goal is just to get back to that Community College and get my degree in Early Childhood Special Education.
What is the most interesting place you've ever visited/vacationed?
~ The only place I have ever really been is Walt Disney World. I would like to someday visit all of the Disney Parks (the Disneyland Resort, Tokyo Disneyland/Disney Sea, Disneyland Paris, HongKong Disney and take a Disney Cruise). I would like to visit Italy and Hawaii...and that is about it.
What is your morning routine like?
~ My morning routine now is much different than it used to be. I used to be the Queen of the Snooze. Now, the alarm goes off at about quarter to five and I am out of bed by five to get to the gym by 5:30!!! I work out until 6:15 and head home to shower, get ready for work and am out the door again by 7:30. My morning routine is all about me, because Mike and Michael don't have to get up until later, so Mike is in charge of the house in the morning after I leave.
What's your biggest regret in life (if you have one)?
~ I hate to sound repetitive, but the whole not going to school thing is my biggest regret. Everything else, I am convinced, happens/happened for a reason. There is no point in regretting anything that I have done or has happened.