Cinderella has always been my favorite animated Disney movie.
My love for the movie goes beyond the glass slippers, the fairy godmother, the handsome prince, and the beautiful dress.
I love the movie because the theme speaks to me - never give up on your dreams.
For the last four years, every September, my dream has been to be chosen as a member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel.
Last year I was almost there.
My dream almost came true.
Last year I made it to the second round, only to have my dreams dashed when I didn't make it to round three.
But in the course of last year's application process I met so many amazing people - and these people are now my friends, my confidants and I couldn't imagine my life without them in it.
Fast foward to this September.
In the early morning hours of September 13, I sat at my computer answering three 100-word essay questions. I tried to explain why I love helping people plan trips to Disney and what my favorite 'planning tools' were. I tried to convey my love for Disney in 300 words or less.
And then I hoped and wished, and yes, even prayed that those questions had an extra sprinkle of pixie dust.
Yesterday, after four weeks of waiting and hoping and imagining 'what if', I found out that I would not be advancing to the second round.
My dream of the Moms Panel was over.
And unlike the movies there is no fairy godmother to change the outcome.
There are no talking mice who can steal a key to the Disney mainframe and add my name to the 'congratulations' e-mail list.
It is what it is.
And quiet honestly, I am devastated.
I cried last night.
I have cried today.
And I will likely cry tomorrow.
I am not bitter.
I am not angry.
Quite simply, I am just sad.
To me, the Moms Panel is more than just a "wow that would be so cool!" thing to do.
It's more than a 'bucket list' item to be crossed off.
And while this setback is not the end of the world, it does matter to me.
It matters more than most people know or understand.
My love for Disney does not define me, but it is something that I hold very near and dear to my heart.
And right now, that Disney heart is a little broken.
The Moms Panel is my dream and I want to see it come true.
The Moms Panel is MY glass slipper - and this year I was hoping it would fit.
However, the clock has struck midnight, the slipper didn't fit, and the ball is over for me.
For now, I can only hope that perhaps there will be another ball next year.
And maybe, just maybe, the slipper will fit.
Because after all, a dream is a wish your heart makes.