Friday, July 18, 2014

Kim & Kanye Say I Do

I've realized that I haven't posted anything new in about a month. I think this is the longest stretch I've ever gone without blogging. Oh, how much I've missed it. I can't promise that I'll post weekly, but for now, let me start catching you up on my life and events that have happened since mid-June.

My cousin Brookie got married on Saturday, June 14th at a golf resort here in the valley of Phoenix. Brookie falls as the fourth oldest grand-daughter on our side of the family.

My friends & I got to the wedding about 30 minutes early, so it was nice to mingle with family, especially those who came from out of state. Of course, I snapped some shots with my siblings, stepmom and my cousin Nick and got my great uncle Artie flexing his muscles haha. Artie is my grandpa Henry's baby brother. 

My grandpa Henry passed away in March, so it's even more special for me to be able to see my grandpa's siblings for a special event as this wedding. I love that these types of celebrations bring people together, like I haven't really gotten to visit with my cousin Nick in a long time.
Brooke and her bridesmaids all looked gorgeous! My cousin had her hair curled, and down, with a lovely headband adorned on her head. Her groom, Randy, who I must say is such a down-to-earth, compassionate guy, wore olive green khakis slightly rolled up with suspenders as did his groomsmen. ( I loved that! and those guys all got dancin moves!) All the men, including my Uncle Albert (father of the bride), and Brookie's three brothers, all had crisp white button down shirts with a pretty mint little flower pinned to their shirt.

My aunt June (mother of the bride), walked down the aisle in beautiful gray/silver sparkly form fitting dress with a turqoise/mint beaded statement necklace. Besides everyone looking wonderful, the wedding ceremony itself was short & sweet. It took place outside, in the shade (thank God, cuz here in AZ it's hot as can be!), and actually wasn't that bad. I don't think I even sweated lol. The groom & bride poured two different colors of sand to symbolize their union and afterward, the pastor lead us all in prayer. It was beautiful. I have to tell you too that when the procession started, I started to tear up! :) Oh, and the simple, two or three piece band that played live music before the ceremony started was AMAZING! (I didn't get a pic of them though).

After the ceremony, the reception/dinner began. We had mexican food and the ballroom was decorated with hints of mint & silver/gray. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to stay too long, but I heard that the party went on til 1 in the morning (officially in the ballroom) but family & friends were up celebrating til early morning!

Now, THAT smile says it all.
 (her smile says it all too.)

I am so happy I got to witness their wedding and celebrate in the sweet love that her & her hubby have for each other.

Now, I say that Kanye and Kim got married which is totally funny, because I've referred to brookie as Kim Kardashian when describing her/talking about her with my friends and over a year later, right after the wedding, I discovered that my cousin Bridget (sister of bride) referred to Brookie as Kim and well, Randy is Kanye! hahaha. Seriously, my cousins (all sisters), Brookie, Bridget & Brie ARE LIKE Kim, Kourtney & Khloe Kardashian!

first dance!

MANY MANY cheerful wishes of love, health & happiness to YOU Brookie & Randy!! I am SO excited for you & your future together!
(uncle roy's shirt photo bombed!)

Friday, June 20, 2014

shopping for a cause for the paws!

Hey friends!

I am so excited because I am participating in the SoCal Bulldog Rescue Summer Blast Auction this weekend! The auction started this morning BUT runs through 8PM PST on Sunday, June 22nd. If you are in the mood for shopping, please check out the SCBR Summer Blast Auction album on facebook. There you will find a variety items up for bid and some are even perfect gifts for the animal lover in your life or for YOUR dog!

On tuesday and wednesday of this week I worked on cards that I donated. You can see the cards I made in the album. Mine are lot number 149 and 150. It feels good to be able to donate to a special cause that is very dear to my heart and that is pet rescue! The SCBR has over 100 bulldogs that they are caring for as those babies wait for their forever home. Some of the dogs have special needs, are in need of surgery or simply require frequent vet visits which can become very costly! All the proceeds of the auction will go directly to the care of these beautiful bulldogs. Everyone who works with the rescue group are volunteers!

Here is a small sampling of items up for auction!

I really want this hoodie, but I can't bid any higher (sad face)!
How about a super cute coffee mug?

Or a new purse with a little bling!? Can be made into a crossbody!

and let's get practical! A cute poop holder with bags and a nylabone!

and here are the cards I made:

If any of these items peeked your interest, hurry on over this weekend and place your bid and browse the other great items up for grabs! Please feel free to share my post, and spread the word about the auction! We can make a difference! Even if you can't afford to bid on anything, just spreading the word by tweeting, sharing on google+, or re-posting on your facebook can help! If you "LIKE" the SCBR supporters page, you can definitely share it with all of your family & friends on facebook!

Thank you so much and hope you have a great weekend! :)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

U By Kotex Saves the Undies

*Special thanks to U by Kotex® Pads for sponsoring today's discussion, however, all opinions are my own.

I must apologize to the men who may read my blog, but we're talking lady talk, so just beware! Hey, it's ok if you wanna keep reading. This might help your best girl friend, girlfriend, future wife or wife! ;)

Let me take you back to January 18th of this year. This was a very special day. It was the day I got baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I opted to wear a vanilla shade dress for my special day. Because of the color, I bought a special pair of nude colored undies. As soon as I put them on, I knew these would be my favorite boyshorts. They are so comfortable and are easily disguised underneath clothing. The material is soft and stays at all the right places! Well, that all changed when I got home that day to find that I had started my period! Talk about an unexpected visitor! My dress and undies were a mess! I wish I would have known about U by Kotex cleanwear ultra thin pads, especially the ones featuring the 3D Caption Core.  This new design by U by Kotex features a one-of-a-kind center that locks away wetness to help stop leaks. Now available in Cleanwear® pads, AllNighter® pads and Security* pads. Now, that's something I could have really used!

I know better now that these pads and liners can help me save the undies! I actually recently tried U by Kotex Cleanwear Ultra thin regular pads. They were comfortable to wear. I liked that the pad was wide enough to make me feel protected and safe from leaks occurring, and  they are thin enough without the bulge of a thicker pad. I don't really want to feel like I am wearing a mini diaper!

I had no idea that U by Kotex® offers a full line of feminine care products for periods including pads, liners and tampons. Outstanding protection that keeps you one step ahead. This is a huge relief to me because I can have confidence in knowing that my next favorite pair of underwear wont be ruined, hopefully! Plus, I just gotta add how cute the packaging design is of each individual pad.

Have you tried these pads before or any of U by Kotex products? If you haven't, you're in luck because you can try these pads for yourself! You can go to the U by Kotex landing page and request a free sample of the U by Kotex hygiene products that will work best for you and help you save the undies! Just click on the blue "free sample" button, enter your mailing info and then you'll be set to go!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

little brother graduates!

On May 21st, my youngest brother graduated from high school! and with honors in Spanish! I sometimes call him Slim Jim because he's tall and skinny. He's also a golfer. He was on the varsity team since he was a freshman AND he was the number play those four years of high school! Yeh, I just gotta brag! Proud big sister here! He is off to the community college for his basics and then he'll probably transfer to a university for golf management.

So then on Saturday May 31st, I traveled out the east valley (about an hour from my house) to go to Slim Jim's graduation party. Before I went to my dad's, me and my friend Bradley stopped by my mom's house. It was good to visit with her and my aunt and our dogs. Oh those babies are so cute!

When I first got into my mom's doorway, I felt one of them licking my toes. It was emme saying hello and giving a little love! She is our last Boston Terrier. We rescued her. The couple that had her moved out of state, and so we took her. We had four, but the older three have passed on, emme is the last of the original four. She is so gentle and calm. She's the "mama" to our two other dogs, both boys. They absolutely adore her and their bodies have to touch hers, like if they are all laying down on the floor or couch, so funny.

Around 6pm, we arrived at my dad's for the party. It was so nice to see some family and old friends of our family's as well as a couple of my good neighbors that I've known for about 16-19 years! One of them, Chris, is so sweet. My leg started flaring up and I still had over an hour before I could take my next round of meds. She went over to her house across the street and brought me her ice pack that I could put on my leg to help me! The ice did seem to help much more than when I use my heating pad. Her ice pack was cool because it was soft and flexible, unlike those blocks you put in your lunch bag! haha.

Also at the party, I got to see my step aunt Sharon who is hilarious! Her and her hubby D live in the Houston, Texas area and so I don't always get to see them very much, maybe a couple times a year.

My stepmom and sister made lots of yummy sub sandwiches, almost 100! plus pasta salad (my fave!), chips & dip, and fresh fruit cut up.

I got to meet a couple of Slim Jim's good friends. Since I don't see my younger siblings that much, it's neat to meet their friends who they spend alot of time with ya know, especially when they were in the high school setting.

Of course, there was time for selfies! We love selfies!

Overall, it was a great time and happy I got to see my family!

I initially was going to post this on Saturday (a few days ago) but blogger was acting up and my post was lost! Frankly, I was quite mad and was not in the mood to draft it again and I had no more time, so I am hoping blogger cooperates and posts today!

Friday, May 30, 2014

a not so graceful day

It's obvious that I haven't posted anything in two weeks. Frankly, this season in my life has been a difficult one. My emotions have been running high, my body in physical pain, my brain becoming exhausted and spiritually I am fighting against negative forces. I've been feeling like Satan has been attacking me, trying to sway me off the faithful path the past couple months, especially that past six weeks. He's trying to get me while I am most vulnerable and weak, but he will not succeed! I've received three priesthood blessings that have helped me to endure and give me comfort in my trying times.

My left leg has been hurting me bad the past seven weeks and it only seems to be getting worse. I get spasms, throbbing or sharp shooting pain. Now my back has been giving me grief for a week now. Some days are more trying while others are not so bad, but my pain tolerance is low, very low. I've been taking pain medication and my primary doctor prescribed me a low dose of baclofen, a muscle relaxer, but that doesn't seem to be helping much and I need the dosage increased to 20mg because that's the usual norm prescribed. This doctor doesn't really know much about my muscle disease, so I can't blame. I just can't wait to get to see my neurologist on Monday June 9th. He oversees my SMA (spinal muscle atrophy) and I know he will know how to better manage my pain and help me better.

On tuesday of this week, I had a not-so-graceful-day. The first part of my day was going great. I babysat little P. for a couple hours or so. I took with her with me to the pharmacy with my friend James. She behaves so well and is so helpful. While we were out at the store, she helped me pick out items that I couldn't reach. This is her nature: so sweet, so willing to help and so full of love. She randomly tells me all the time that I am her best friend. The sweetest! She begged me the day before to play games on my laptop, but we ran out of time. I told her she could the next day (tuesday). Later in the afternoon, I set up her games on for her to play Paw Patrol and happily she was content for a while. I went in the living room and watched netflix with my roommate sherri. Little P. kept calling me for asking for help because the screen would freeze on my laptop or somehow she clicked out of the game, etc. I started to get irritated and around the same time, my leg started flaring up. I know it's no excuse, my pain, but I raised my voice at little P. and I found myself getting mad at her for "bothering" me with needing help with her game. Poor thing, she just needed help. She wasn't doing anything wrong. Later, I snapped at James and he was only trying to help me (though I didn't want or need his help). I apologized to James for being snappy. He said he didn't even notice! lol. What a great friend he is to me.

I was getting frustrated because mostly because I was in pain, and even though sometimes I am physically tired from the muscle relaxer, I am and was more tired of hurting and dealing with this every. single. day. It's all taxing. This was the start of an emotional breakdown later that evening as I lay in bed staring at my popcorn paint ceiling. So many negative thoughts flooded my mind, but i combatted them with positive ones, telling myself:

"Brittany, this pain will not last forever.
"this too shall pass."
"God is with you. You're not alone. You have such a great support system. You have your family and amazing friends who love and support you."
"I am weak right now, needing help, but in Christ you are made strong."

I prayed and pleaded with God to help me. to give me strength. I said, "God, I need you. I cannot do this alone. There is no way. I need your help. Please be with me."

I tried to fight the tears, but they came anyway. I am glad. I need to get over this, "crying is shameful."

It's ok to be down. It's ok to feel sad and overwhelmed and frustrated.

I realized that I am gifted with grace through my Savior.
From 2 Corinthians 12:9, And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." How much this verse speaks to me!

He perfects me little by little. I am not perfect by any means. I mean, see how I reacted on tuesday.

I started reading this article called, "Those who are all different" by Elder Marlin K. Jensen from the August 2010 Ensign. I read the first page, and BAM! The tears started rollin, my heart was partially broken and yet, uplifted. It made me think about my life and how my muscle disease is getting worse as I type this. It made me think about how much tougher my life has been the past two months, but also the challenges that lie ahead. I thought about God's plan for my life and how my little life is part of his divine, great plan. In comparison, no doubt, I would gladly take these burdens rather than a child or young adult. I KNOW I would. Things may be hard, but I know I can endure them with the help of my heavenly father and through these struggles, I can see how my compassion and empathy will increase and that is a gift. Maybe I will discover my strength? Maybe I'll become more brave and more strong in my faith. I always love growing closer to my God and I think he loves that too. I know He loves me. His love and mercy is greater than any burden I may carry.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Graduation Giveaway with Alyssa of Impractical Composition!

I couldn't say no, when Alyssa of Impractical Composition asked me if I wanted to help celebrate her college graduation with a giveaway! She's worked so hard and hey, a graduation of any kind is a BIG DEAL, so let's help her celebrate! Congrats Girl!!!

A few words from the graduating girl!....

The days is finally here, it's the day I've waited for, for the past 6 years. I'm graduating today!! *raise the roof emoji*  I cannot begin to tell you how exciting and relieving it's going to be to walk across that stage. I really just hope I don't trip-but I think that's what goes through everyone's mind!

So, today I'm teaming up with 10 wonderful bloggers to bring you this graduation giveaway in hopes that you will enjoy today as much as me! 

Good Luck to you all!

a Rafflecopter giveaway