Childhood · Nostalgia · Parenting · Stories

In the Circus of Life, Let Us Remember Love

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The lights dim, and the first preview lights up the screen. Next to us, the speakers shake with war sounds, and in front of us, large, scary men clad in all black seem to be lunging our way.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see my daughter’s face. Zoey’s eyes are clouded with concern as she burrows her chin down into her coat. For a little girl who really doesn’t like movies, I wonder if bringing her to this show will leave her scarred for life.

* * *

After stumbling across The Greatest Showman soundtrack and listening to its catchy, joyful, life-affirming tunes, I knew I needed to see the movie. And when I put it on in the car one morning as I drove Zoey to school—and she knew most of the lyrics to This is Me by the time we arrived—I knew we needed to go see it.

Yet I was hesitant about the idea. Although she’s almost seven, Zoey and I have never been to a movie together. Even talk of going to one makes her panic a little, her response always the same, “But movies scare me. Do we really have to? Can’t I just watch something on my Kindle?” Her reaction to seeing movies has always surprised me, as I use to love going to them as a child.

But this time was different. When I asked if she’d like to go, she offered up a resounding ‘yes’.

* * *

Thankfully, after the previews end and the movie starts, Zoey perks up. She watches the whole thing, barely blinking, enthralled by the story. I’m sure it helps that there are exotic animals and choreographed dances and—of course—scenes filled with the music she has grown to know and love over the past few days, but even so, I’m still amazed at her entrancement.

As we leave the theater, Zoey twirls and leaps beside me, pretending she is the trapeze artist who gracefully and bravely flew through the air into her partner’s waiting arms.

She’s working on story comprehension in school, so I toss out the question that seems to be commonplace these days:

“So what was that about, Zoey?”

“Love,” she quickly responds.

Before I can agree, she continues her answer.

“I mean, the guy and that girl do get together, and Barnum goes back to his family at the end, but it’s not a love story,” she clarifies. “It’s more of a love lesson.”

I stop walking and turn toward Zoey, the early afternoon sun causing me to blink as I look her way.

“How so?” I ask, my curiosity getting the better of me. 

“Well,” Zoey replies. “I think it’s trying to remind us that if you surround yourself with everything you love, happiness will find you.”

It seems the movie has left no scars, just a perfect pearl of beautiful Zoey wisdom. I smile, breathing a sigh of relief, as I bend down and pull her in for a hug.

“Yes, Zoey,” I say. “You’re right. Just like love and happiness have found me, right here, wrapped up with you.”

* * *

Later that night, as I lay next to Zoey as she slips into sleep, I think about her take away from the movie and the lyrics to one of its main songs, a song that is in both the opening and closing scenes:

It’s everything you ever want
It’s everything you ever need
And it’s here right in front of you
This is where you wanna be

And there in the dark, listening to Zoey’s soft breath, feeling her damp hair splayed out on my chest, I can’t help but think of the heart-wrenching happiness I feel right here, right now. It’s always in moments like these—and like the one we experienced in the parking lot earlier—where everything else seems so much less important. All the money in the world? Who cares. A big house, a fancy car, or expensive toys? Totally not necessary. All the things considered luxuries? Don’t really need them.

It’s simple, really—a lesson so obvious that even a six-year-old could find it hidden within the bright lights and vibrant colors and hear it tucked away in the words of a few amazingly produced songs:

Be with the people you love.
Live a life you love.
Love who you are.
Do everything with love.

In this crazy circus of life,
if we just remember to simply choose love,
we will have everything important.

We will have everything we ever really need.

* * *

IMG_2580Just like P.T. Barnum did in The Greatest Showman, this sweet little girl of mine has a million dreams about living a life surrounded by all the things she loves. I’m equal parts proud and honored to introduce you to something Zoey is simply in love with, her own little corner of the internet, The Zoey Chronicles. She’s beyond excited about this little project of hers, which we created to help her learn how to type, become a writer, and most importantly, follow her little heart and live a life that is authentically hers. Check it out here, and while you’re at it, maybe leave a comment or like. She’ll probably love you forever for it, and perhaps along the way, she’ll teach you a lesson or two. I can practically guarantee it, as she’s done it here time and time again.


coreyCorey is a writer, graphic designer, and mom to her amazing daughter, Zoey. Here at The Nostalgia Diaries, her goal is to simplify, enhance, and engage people’s lives by helping them focus on the most important things: remembering, appreciating, believing, and becoming. It’s all about celebrating the past to create better days today.


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At The Nostalgia Diaries, our goal is to help you simplify, enhance, and engage your lives by focusing on the most important things: remembering, appreciating, believing, and becoming. It’s all about celebrating the past to create better days today.

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Media · Nostalgia · Throwback Thursday

Wonder Woman: A Nostalgic Hero Returns to the Big Screen

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In your satin tights,
Fighting for your rights
And the old Red, White and Blue.*

Today we have a wonder-filled Throwback Thursday for you. Next month, nostalgic audiences will welcome the return of Diana Prince, better known as Wonder Woman.

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Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman (2017)

First appearing in the 1941 comic, All Star Comics #8, Wonder Woman has since seen plenty of action through the decades, fighting an assortment of bad guys from Nazis to supervillans. She always prevailed, not only because of her exceptional fighting ability, but also because she had some handy super hero hardware to go along with her super hero patriotic tights (her sexy — or as some would say, sexist — version of the typical super suit worn by male super heroes). Bulletproof bracelets and shield, a telepathic tiara, and the Lasso of Truth have been mainstays to her crime-fighting arsenal.  Add to that her invisible plane, and you have a super hero that has instilled wonder, in every sense of the word, in generations of DC Comics fans and critics alike. (She has sparked continuing debate in some interesting articles such as this one and this one and this one). Continue reading “Wonder Woman: A Nostalgic Hero Returns to the Big Screen”

culture · Nostalgia · Throwback Thursday

When Someone Says “10 Years Ago,” We Picture the 1990’s…

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Did you know that this year is the iPhone’s 10th birthday?

Just let that sink in for a minute.

Ten. Years. Old.

To be perfectly honest, we picture 10 years ago to be sometime in the 90’s, which then begs the question, how on earth is it already 2017?!!

Steve Jobs announced the iPhone at the Macworld Convention in January of 2007, and by June of the same year, Apple released the iPhone to the public. Undoubtedly, the invention of the iPhone has changed our culture in more ways than one. Without it, we may never would have met Siri, been able to Facetime on the go, or have almost every emoji known to man available at our fingertips (Except for a duck. There are dragons and a unicorn and both bactrian AND dromedary camels, but still no duck. If someone knows why this is the case, please tell us. We’re dying to know.)

So for today’s Throwback Thursday, we decided to pick up our 11th Generation iPhones and Google our way back to 2007 to see what else was going on in the world of pop culture back then. It’s safe to say that 2007 was a year of music, money, and mayhem. Ahhh the nostalgia!
Continue reading “When Someone Says “10 Years Ago,” We Picture the 1990’s…”

Holiday · Media · Nostalgia

12 Nostalgic Days of Christmas: 9 Christmas Movies and a New Way to Think About Them {Ninth Day}

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Everyone and their dog has made a list like this.  And they have done so, year after year, after year. Just Google “top holiday movies” or “top Christmas movies.”

Go ahead.  I’ll wait.

See? Dozens and dozens of lists just like this one.  Some have 10 movies.  Some 25 or 50. Some have 100.

I dunno . . . seems like a “Top 100 Christmas Movies” list would cover just about every Christmas movie you could possibly want to watch. One wonders what kind of horribleness your Christmas movie has to be to not make a top 100 list . . .

In any event, you may be asking yourself: why should I read another Christmas movie list? What could The Nostalgia Diaries possibly add to the conversation?

Continue reading “12 Nostalgic Days of Christmas: 9 Christmas Movies and a New Way to Think About Them {Ninth Day}”

Holiday · Nostalgia

12 Days of Christmas: 8 Holiday GIFs {Eighth Day}

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I’ll be the first to admit my love of GIFs, the soundless animated images that seem to have taken the social media world by storm. From Twitter to Facebook to Tumblr, they’re everywhere.

Heck, even the newest OS on the iPhone gives you the ability to text an animated GIF for those times when words and emoticons and emojis just can’t communicate your feelings quite right. It was just a few weeks ago that I discovered this feature on my phone, and when I did, I spent the better part of my evening texting back and forth with a friend, one GIF after another, laughing to myself. (I’ll also admit I don’t have much of a social life.)

But honestly, I’m really not that lame, because let’s face it: some of them are downright hysterical. Continue reading “12 Days of Christmas: 8 Holiday GIFs {Eighth Day}”