March 28, 2013

I Did It

I can't believe that today is here. The day I've been waiting on for three long, emotional, and painful months. Today's the day I FINISH spinal therapy.

Remember when I wrote about how I don't understand WHY God would allow me to have this condition? Remember when I came right out and said I am not fine? Remember all those Instagram posts asking for prayers because I literally could not make it through the day without them? The girl behind this blog remembers each and every one of those long days/nights all too well.

I remember leaving each therapy appointment, turning on worship music in my car, and literally crying out to God asking Him to help me to just get through the day I had to face. I remember crying myself to sleep so many nights because of the helpless pain I was in...and I remember crawling out of bed each morning afterwards and being in that same pain. Just praying that God would give me the strength to make it to the shower so I could lay in the hot water and alleviate any of the swelling in my joints. I remember being on the verge of a mental breakdown for DAYS and finally having one in the bathroom at school followed by a heart to heart with the teacher I least expected to "get" me.

I could go on and on about the pain I remember from this journey, and while I don't necessarily want to remember it - I don't want to forget it either. I don't want to forget what God turned that pain into.

Today, I get to wake up, roll out of bed, go to my FINAL therapy appointment, and spend the rest of the day (and freakin' week if I want to) being PROUD of the progress I have made in treatment and my life as a whole...the past three months have changed me tremendously.

This past Sunday, I kicked some serious assets at the gym. I ran TWO miles. Not walking. Not a half mile. Not one. I RAN TWO MILES. Last night, I did the same.

I wasn't able to say that three months ago. If you'd mentioned running to me then, I would have started crying and told you, "I can't." Because I wasn't physically capable. The pain that I was in and the little mobility I had didn't allow me to.

It took WEEKS...I'd even say the entire first half of therapy - to see any improvement or change. But today, I can see with my own eyes and FEEL that I am stronger than I have ever been since starting this health journey four years ago. Today, I can finally say I DID IT! I can say that I'm beating the odds because I am. I am winning this fight and I am getting stronger each and everyday.

Therapy is now officially *over* which isn't really important to me... (because I still plan to work hard to maintain my strength and mobility...) But it's a HUGE milestone in my journey...I've finally gotten to a point where I can look back and say, "hey, look how far I've come!" I finally feel like there is something to be proud about...progress to be shared.

I've received so much love and support from the people around me...what continues to surprise me is that people who live hundreds/thousands of miles away have showed me that SAME love. It blows my mind to know that prayers are coming my way from people I haven't even truly met. 

I received an e-mail from an amazing woman the first week I started therapy. The e-mail made me sob because it was exactly what I needed to hear. Only God could have arranged the perfect timing that it was. She told me that she often shows my Instagram picture to her little boy, tells Him I'm not feeling well, and that he, her precious little 4-year-old, prays for me often.

One thing I know for sure is this: His grace is more than sufficient for my struggles and the pain I endure is only worth it if my attitude and the way I choose to live my life can bring glory to His name and people to His Kingdom. This fight is NOT about me. I want that to be known above all.

Last night as I was driving home, I was looking back on my journey. Reflecting and being thankful. Then, the song Help Me Find It by Sidewalk Prophets came on the radio. These words hit me hard...

"I’m giving You fear and You give faith
I giving you doubt
You give me grace
For every step I’ve never been alone

Even when it hurts, You’ll have Your way
Even in the valley I will say
With every breath
You’ve never let me go..."

That's the premise of this post, really God will continue to work within me and through me even when 1) I don't want to try and 2) I'm scared and hurting. That promise kinda rocks my world. Period.

I ended one of my posts three months ago (before I started this journey) with a quote that's carried me through night after night and I think it's only appropriate that I end a much more triumphant post in the same way... :)

“I could not comprehend God's plan, but my understanding was not essential; only my obedience was.” -Alice Gray

March 26, 2013

Let's Talk About Anchors...

It always blows my mind when it's magically Tuesday again. I mean, really. The days are long but the weeks that turn into years are so, so short. I feel like time is FLYING.

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{Too Cute!} Tuesday is a simple link up that will give us all something to saw "aww" about at the beginning of the week. :-) Share pictures of your adorable kids, show us the new pair of shoes you got, or maybe a new Pinterest project you tried! The possibilities are endless and the rules are easy peasy...


1. Keep it family friendly!

2. Include a link back to this post in your blog post- along with the blog button- to help spread the word with your readers!

3. Not mandatory, but we'd love for you to show your support by subscribing to Megan and I!

4. Have fun and meet some new blog friends!

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It was my half birthday on the 19th. That means there are less than 6 months until I'm 18, people. That's c-aaaaa-razy if you ask me.

At work a few nights ago, my coworkers and I were discussing tattoos. I've had the one I want DESPERATELY pick out since before I was 16, but I never knew the verse that was behind it until recently... Which makes me love it even more.

This is it. Placement and everything. I'm pretty sure it was made for me:

Only, I would like to add "Hebrews 6:19" somewhere in there...

And of course, naturally, after bringing it up, I had to scroll through Pinterest for others that I love. :-)

They're all SO cute and I love what they each represent in their own unique way.

I get obsessed with things from time to time and this is the most recent "LOVE," I guess you could say. Clearly. ;-) I've been seriously obsessed ever since I wrote this post back in January.

It's so cliche, but when I turn 18, this is the first thing I'm running out and doing... HA!

So, who's gonna come hold my hand? :-)

March 22, 2013

March Sponsor Giveaway

While this giveaway IS going live a week later than I wanted it to... We're here!

My sponsors constantly have a way of far exceeding what I hope for in this blog. These girls are truly one of a kind and I hope you'll visit them + show them lots of love because they are complete GEMS!

This month for our group giveaway, there's a $50 credit to ThePolkaDotPosie up for grabs and I'm POSITIVE that you want to enter for your chance to win!

Adorable coffee cozies!
My favorite Rosie Posie Necklaces!
Polka Dots. Need I say more?
Get your entries by following the Rafflecopter below + show these ladies all the love you possibly can! :-)

March 20, 2013

Grade A Instagram #OOTD Addict

I missed posting my outfits last week because of the mayhem that is my life, but, because I'm your grade A Instagram #OOTD addict, here's an update on what I've been wearing lately. ;)

Necklace // Maurice's :: Cardigan // Target :: Sweater // Kohl's :: Jeans // Local Boutique

Scarf // Molly Suzanne :: Watch // Wet Seal :: Dress // My gorgeous bloggy friend Nat :: Leggings // Wet Seal

Scarf // Vanity :: Dress // Forever 21 :: Leggings // Wet Seal :: Flats // Target

Cardigan // American Eagle :: Top // Forever 21 :: Necklace // Forever 21 

March 19, 2013

My Confirmation

Yesterday was my confirmation and all of the sweet pictures/memories that were captured need to be documented. It was such a powerful and special day for me...I'm so glad that I got to share it with the people who matter most!

The highlight of the whole day was seeing one of my coworkers there with one of the clients I work with. It meant so much to me to see the smile on his face when he saw me. I know I'm being a total baby here, but it actually makes me tear up just thinking about how much I love my job!

Afterwards, my mom and dad took me and my little sister and brother out for dinner. It was a lot of fun, as always, with our crazy fam. When we got home, my sister and I put on PJ's and watched Pitch Perfect. :)

Another one of the most special parts of my day was getting to spend time with my sponsor, Sara. I've babysat for her and her family since she had her 4 year old and I've really grown close in a FRIENDSHIP with her above it all. Talk about an awesome relationship with someone I admire and look up to as a mentor. God sure has blessed me!

I can't believe my confirmation day has come and gone already! It's taken a long time to prepare for this step and I'm so grateful to see what God will continue to do through me!

Philippians 3:8~ "Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Jesus. For His sake, I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ."

March 18, 2013

That Time I Got Asked To Prom

I swore to myself I wouldn't be the girl who posted this... But, that was before it happened. And now that it has, I just really feel the need to document it.

Two weeks ago, one of my guy friends randomly started asking me to hang out. I kept saying no and playing the stubborn, I-really-want-to-but-I'm-not-gonna card, but I didn't get away with it... I must hand it to him, his resilience was pretty impressive. ;-)

When I finally agreed to hang out with him that Friday, we decided on going snowmobiling.

Get your laughter out now, friends. Just imagine it.

Me. Snowmobiling. (FYI: I AM LICENSED TO DO SO!)

Anyway, he showed up at my house, chit-chatted with my parentals, and then we were off! It was the perfect night for it and I was looking pretty professional in my snowmobiling attire if I do say so myself! ;)

We were riding over by a friend's house on the lake. He even let me drive a little bit! 

Yeah, you can laugh again.

I could kind of tell he was stalling, looking back on it... But at the time, I really had no idea what was going on!

The funniest part of the story is how he kept pulling out his phone and texting... But he wouldn't do it in front of me. He'd stand up and hide it in his coat. Honestly, I was getting TICKED. I was ready to ask him to just take me home since he clearly didn't want to be with me. And was about ready to kick his assets. I later found out he was texting our friend telling him to get ready, though.

Low and behold, after a little while, we drove over to our friend's back yard and he shut off the snowmobile to "fix his helmet." I knew something was up at that point, but I just played it "cool." ;)

A few short minutes later, Christmas lights lit up by the shore that read... PROM? :-) It was insanely adorable, of course I said yes, and then we hung out there for a little bit talking!

After that, we rode around a while more and then he brought me home and hugged me goodnight!

I honestly didn't think anyone would ask me to prom, so it was super surprising and exciting to be asked by a good guy friend. :) Obviously memorable, too!

I've been smiling about it all week and can't wait to get a dress now! May 11th is too far away!

March 08, 2013

Scentsy Review & Giveaway!

Eeep! It's Friday again! I'm looking forward to working this weekend {I'm cr-aaaaaa-zy, I know... But I do love my job!} :-)

Scentsy has kinda sorta taken over my life lately. I can't believe I've waited this long to see what all the hype was about! I got sent a warmer and a scent bar {that smells like peaches} and ever since... I've been HOOKED. I don't want to leave my bedroom because it smells SO good.

Plus, the warmer I chose is absolutely ADORABLE and perfect for spring! I am so in love!

Ashley, the WONDERFUL consultant I got the opportunity to work with, and I have worked to get a giveaway together for you, my loveys, and I can't wait to see who wins!

Please enter fairly, show Ashley lots of love for hosting, and Scentsy on! ;-)

Have a wonderful weekend!

March 06, 2013

Stop & Smell the Roses Vlog - March

I totally feel like I only posted my Stop and Smell the Roses vlog for February yesterday! How on earth can it possibly be March already?!

Nonetheless, it's that Wednesday of the month where I'm linking up with Mandy @ House of Rose for her monthly vlog link up where we talk about something we are thankful for or smiling about! 

I got a lot of comments/e-mails/tweets last time I vlogged and I just want to take a quick second to encourage you all to TRY IT! Check out Mandy's VLOGGING PAGE to learn more about it and how to get into it. It really isn't as scary as it seems and I want to hear your voices! :-)

I jumped up onto my soap box without even knowing it today. Sorry, y'all. Kudos to you if you make it through to the end. ;-)

We want to know what you're smiling about this month, so make sure to come link up with us! :-) 

Wishing you the happiest of Wednesday's!

March 04, 2013


A few weeks back, I received some ridiculous comments/email's on a blog post I wrote on being bought with a price (which have since been deleted). This week, I received some criticism from a few of my peers about the perfect grade I scored on a writing assignment.

This recent criticism has gotten me a little fired up, and honestly, I think it's just plain sad how people feel as if they know me and my words well enough to judge what I've written...or even further...what I've EARNED. It got me thinking a lot about insecurity. Something that all of us struggle with whether we'll humbly accept/admit it or not.

I would like to first say that I am not perfect...oh, I am SO aware of that. I know that I can be rather outspoken at times. Ultimately, though, at the end of the day, this is my blog. I literally own it. To be quite blunt, if you don't want to read what I write and/or kindly leave feedback, please, by all means, feel free to leave. There is nothing stopping you.

My friend Chrissy said it PERFECTLY this past week in a post of hers...
"If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. If you don't agree with a post that you just read... Write your own post about the topic. Think about it in your own head. Don't berate the person that took the time and energy to put those words into a post and send it out for their readers to see. There is a big difference between constructive criticism {which I also feel should be used sparingly} and being just plain mean."
I have never told anyone that they would agree with my perspective on things all the time. I've never promised a person that they would LOVE everything I post about. I have not once claimed my opinion as the only one that matters...all I'm saying is this:

This blog is me. These words are mineI will never apologize for that.

If you have something kind to say, feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an e-mail. I would love to hear from you! If you have an opinion that contradicts what I've said, feel free to post about it yourself. On your blog. You don't need to address me and my opinion to do so! I don't play a role in forming your opinion, and most likely, you don't play a role in forming mine. Instead of bashing what you hate, promote what you love.

And with that, I leave you with some amazing wisdom...a profound quote I nearly know by heart and absolutely adore...

"Not everyone is going to like you and not everyone is supposed to. If everybody likes you, everybody understands you, and everybody includes are not standing boldly enough for Christ. When Christ is in you it sets you apart. Loneliness is not an indication of abandonment, it's an invitation to intimacy with the One who knows you better than anybody else. It may be costly to do God's will, but you must remain confident in His reward..."

March 03, 2013

Operation Smile & Campus Book Rentals

A few weeks back, I was happily approached by an individual from CampusBookRentals and was asked to spread the word about an amazing program called Operation Smile

My heart has no bigger passion than children and those with life-changing disabilities. In other words, I was more than happy to do so for such an inspiring organization.

Here's a run down of how they are changing the world...

 "Operation Smile is an international children's medical charity that heals children's smiles, forever changing their lives.

As an international charity for children, we measure ourselves by the joy we see on all of the faces we help. At Operation Smile, we're more than a charity. More than an NGO. We're a mobilized force of medical professionals and caring hearts who provide safe, effective reconstructive surgery and related medical care for children born with facial deformities such as cleft lip and cleft palate.

Every three minutes a child is born with a cleft. One in 10 of those children will die before their first birthday. The children who survive are often unable to eat, speak, socialize or smile. In some places, they are shunned and rejected. And in too many cases, their parents can't afford to give them the surgeries they need to live a productive life.
Every child deserves access to safe, quality surgical care. Every child deserves a future filled with hope.

That's where we come in as the largest volunteer-based medical charity providing free cleft surgeries. Since 1982, Operation Smile — through the help of dedicated medical volunteers — has provided more than 3.5 million comprehensive patient evaluations and over 200,000 free surgeries for children and young adults born with facial deformities. Our work creates a lasting global impact. We train local doctors in developing countries and strengthen healthcare systems so more children in some of the poorest areas in the world can be treated.

As one of the most prominent charities for children in the world, we work in over 60 countries to heal children’s smiles and bring hope for a better future. Together, we are saving children’s lives."

I have personally been moved by what this organization is doing and I am amazed at the ways WE can help... Even though financially is not always ideal in our situations, we can give spiritually through prayer.

That's what I'm asking you to do today, friends.

GIVE if you can.

Operation Smile has partnered with CampusBookRentals to raise money for these children and the surgeries that change their lives forever.

Renting textbooks through CampusBookRentals makes an impact on these little lives AND saves you money. How awesome are those two things... Together?!
On this beautiful Sunday, let's give if we can, what we can, when we can. And if we cannot; let us remember to:

Pray for the sweet babies who deal with such life changing disabilities as these. Pray that medical attention would be reached. Pray that they would be healed.

Every child deserves to smile.
{* I was compensated in return for this post, but, as always; all thoughts, opinions, and requests are my own.}