About Lyn Maszk (That’s Me!)
Hi, I’m Lyn, the creator of Dearly Loved!
I have always been an avid Disney fan. I’ve grown up going to Disneyland more times than I can count, raised my kids on ‘spoonfuls of sugar’, and love just about everything about The Happiest Place on Earth.
I live in Phoenix, Arizona with my amazing husband of over 25 years, three quirky kids, and my wonderful parents. My life is busy, loud, crazy, blessed, and very often resembles We Bought a Zoo!
I’m going to split this next tale into two versions. For those who prefer Cliffs Notes, you’ll want to read the shorter, or abridged, narrative. For those who prefer the porterhouse-fully loaded baked potato-creamed spinach-loaf of bread with extra butter version of life, there’s a story for you as well.
Several years ago I started planning a BIG family trip to Walt Disney World, where 19 of us would be visiting to celebrate my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary. It was at that time that I contracted full blown OCDD (Obsessive Compulsive Disney Disorder). I ate, breathed, and slept Disney in preparation for our vacation.
This website is the result of so many hours of passionate work put into the trip of a life time.
I hope you enjoy!
Saga of Mass Proportion (cue Star Wars theme music)!
During the summer of 2005, on a trip to Disneyland with my brother, his wife, and my sister, we came up with a plan to save for my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary. We dreamed of being able to send them on a Disney cruise, and while our funds were limited, we had time on our side.
Fast forward to September 15, 2012, my parents’ 39th anniversary. We knew we needed to let them in on the secret we’d successfully kept for more than 7 years. They’d need to have time to plan. We had also decided that after sending them on their cruise, our families would meet them in Florida and continue to vacation together at Walt Disney World.
We needed a way of getting us all together without my parents suspecting any funny business. It also had to be a good enough reason to interrupt anniversary plans they might make on their own. My brother pointed out that our last family picture included only 3 of the 9 grandkids…perfect-o! After our photo session, we all met for dinner back at my brother’s house.
I’ll let the pictures of my folks “opening their cruise” interrupt the story for a moment. While they’re not the best quality, they speak volumes…
If you have 9 years, a couple of siblings, and $20 a month to spare, I highly recommend doing this for someone you love. This was the best surprise EVER!
Because my sister is a school teacher, we knew the trip would need to be planned around her spring break in March 2014. So at this point (September 2012), we had about a year and a half to get ready for our BIG family trip.
This is when I developed full blown OCDD (Obsessive Compulsive Disney Disorder). As the oldest child I freely admit I tend to be Type A and had no trouble taking the lead in our vacation planning. There would be NINETEEN of us going to Disney World, and 9 of the 19 would be kids! No small task.
I ate, breathed and slept Disney. I meticulously planned every detail of our vacation. I woke up at 3 a.m. Arizona time, exactly 180 days in advance of our trip, to be online at 6 a.m. Florida time to make our dining reservations. I scoured the internet for tips, hints, ideas, craft projects…you name it! Spreadsheets were created with wild abandon. My planning binder was a tome unlike any my family had ever seen. Our rental house was going to be decorated on a scale akin to Christmas, with gifts in each of the guest rooms as if Santa, himself, had arrived. Itinerary sheets would be perfectly printed and handed out daily. (Are you getting the picture?)
While this wasn’t my first trip to Disney World, it was for many of the members of our family. At the very least, managing 19 bodies through theme parks would be a monumental task.
For all of these months of planning, and down right lunacy, I was decorating matchboxes for goodness sake, some people became concerned for my mental health upon my return from The Happiest Place on Earth. In order not to succumb to PDD (Post Disney Depression), Dearly Loved was born!
I have to say I fully enjoyed almost every moment planning our family’s once-in-a-life-time trip to Disney World. It was my genuine pleasure, and grabbed hold of me so profoundly I couldn’t imagine laying it down.
It was from inception to completion…from a simple idea of a Disney-loving brother, to the diligence of me and my siblings for all those years…to a passion that took me over completely that I say hello, Dearly Loved, it’s so very nice to meet you!