Saturday, April 30, 2011

Great Strides walk for CF & Doggy Adventures

This morning, though I'm still not feeling 100% (back/neck wise) I went out to the local CF Great Strides walk. For those of you that don't know, CF stands for Cystic Fibrosis. What is CF exactly?

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide). A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that:
  • clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections; and
  • obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food.
In the 1950s, few children with cystic fibrosis lived to attend elementary school. Today, advances in research and medical treatments have further enhanced and extended life for children and adults with CF. Many people with the disease can now expect to live into their 30s, 40s and beyond.

This cause is near and dear to me as three out of four of my Youth Pastor's precious children have this disease. 

The event was a huge success this morning, breaking all kinds of records for our local walk. We had the most teams, the most amount of people in attendance, and the most amount raised. Over $17,000 was raised, and that number may very well climb to $20,000 with all the donations that came in AT the actual event. The team from my church had the most participants, over 50. Go us! :) We had these adorable shirts made.

You all know I adore butterflies, and they had a release this morning so that was awesome. I snapped this picture of one after it landed. I am not sure how I feel about releases because a lot of times they are at crowded events and these fragile creatures get crushed by walkers, etc. :(

I also got to love on quite a few adorable doggies that people had brought with them. One of my favorites was of course, this Italian Greyhound named Allie. What a sweet baby. I am partial because my Chico is an IG mix.
Yup, that's a bag of chips from Jimmy John's
When I came home I decided to give Chico one of his new toys (I buy new toys in BULK at IKEA) that I had stashed away. I buy his toys in the kid section at IKEA, they are perfect for dogs as well because they don't have anything the dog could choke on, like eyeballs, noses, etc. Everything is just sewn on. And the best part is they are usually about $.49 CENTS. Hello! 



Hey, Hey
Hey, Hey

Then he brought it inside to play some more.
I expect the stuffing to be tore out of the ball any minute tonight. Surprised he didn't do it already.


PS - is it sad that half the time when I end my blog, and do the XOXO, in my head I sign off "Gossip Girl" LOL

Friday, April 29, 2011

Welcome to the family, Bullseye & Wedding Photography

Happy Friday fellow bloggers. I hope you are all having a fantabuluous day. I may have just made that up, but, it's okay. I like the sound of it.

Here in good ol' Florida, things are, well, SUNNY. My husband, father, and some of our friends made the trek out to the Cape Canaveral area today to witness the last launch of Space Shuttle Endeavor. I wanted to go with, but it has been a rough week for me, physically. I have been in a lot of pain with my back and neck. A trip to the chiropractor early in the week, and a massage yesterday did not provide relief so I felt it was important to make another trip to the chiropractor today to try to get some relief as my honeymoon is right around the corner, and I DO NOT want to be stiff and not enjoy my vacation/honeymoon! SO, I stayed home instead of being crammed in the truck for hours at a time driving each way. Guess it's a good thing I did, it turned out to be a wasted trip anyways as I got the call from my husband around 1pm to let me know that the launch had to be postponed. I think the rescheduled date is Monday. Man, that was a waste of gas. I can only imagine my husbands face as he goes to fill up that Titan we talked about yesterday. But anyways, my title of today's blog is about Bullseye, so let's get to it:

If you've read precious blog posts, you may know that I found a puppy back in March. If you'd like to read the back ground, then you can back track and read Introducing Bullseye.

It's now been over 4 weeks since I found Bullseye. I've scoured lost and found ads, placed my own ads, called around, followed up (multiple times) at the plaza that he was found at, to no avail. No one came forward. I had a few people contact me through online ads that were not the original owners, but willing to take him in if I did not find a home. I turned all these people down. None of them seemed just right for him. For example one lady said she wanted to get a puppy for her kids, I asked how old her kids were, and they were 1 and 3. That is NOT the age to get a puppy. Puppies are a HUGE responsibility (hence why I debated keeping him myself) and they require a lot of time, attention, training, and, well, money. Shots, sterilization, food, flea prevention, sick visits, they all add up.

My husband and I debated it for some time. We knew that sooner or later we would want a new dog. He would get pick, as I already have my precious baby, Chico. My husband knew when we went to get a new dog, he wanted something with Jack Russel in it. He's always liked the breed. I really don't have a preference as long as I make a bond with the dog, and that he got a long with Chico. We weren't planning to get another dog until we move into a house of our own, as we currently live with my father, and my fathers two dogs. So currently Chico has two playmates, but when we move out, he'd be on his own, and that's why we wanted to make sure we had at least two dogs, so they could keep each other company.

So, in comes Bullseye. It's like a friend of mine said "sometimes we don't choose our pets, they choose us" and another friend told me that "that little dog sure lucked out when he found you, I don't think he realizes JUST how lucky he is, he found Mrs. SPCA. Always involved in helping pets somehow."

Since coming home with me, he has really made himself at home. He gets a long great with Chico, doesn't really play with the other two (well, they don't really like anyone but each other anyways, hence Chico was the odd one out) so it worked out perfectly. Now Tanner and Paris sleep next to each other, and keep each other company, and now Chico and Bullseye can do the same, though their time together consists much more of wrestlin', just like true brothers.

I took Bullseye in for his first set of puppy shots last week, and next month he will be getting a certain part of his male anatomy chopped off! He has definitely found his furever home. Chico might be a little jealous, and doesn't want to hear this, but we won't tell him: Welcome to the family, Bullseye.

Besides Chico's jealousy because he is spoiled, I think he really likes having his new friend around. He likes playing and having fun, he's just still learning how to share his "mommy".

Here's a video of the rompin' around on my bed. They do this 75% of the time. Bullseye definitely brings the puppy back out in Chico.

And a few pics:

Layin' around

Cuddled up to me

My husband and two fur-kids :)

Oh, and one last thing, before I sign off, if you are interested in seeing some more photography from the wedding, check out my photographers blog. I still plan to blog more about the wedding, but am waiting until I round up all my favorite photo's. Here's her blog from yesterday: Ryan & Heather's Wedding (Part One). If I don't blog again this weekend, have a beautifully blessed one everyone. Spring is here!


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Couponing 101 & Gas Prices

Raise your hand if you want to learn how to not only save hundreds of  dollars off your household budget for groceries and other necessities, but to sometimes get PAID to shop. Come on now, I bet you had your hand up. And there is no shame in that. My hand was up too.

I had the pleasure of attending a couponing class today at a local church. It was hosted by Missy Eby, who was recently featured on an episode of Extreme Couponing. Now I don't particularly like that show, because to me, many of these people go WAY overboard with their stockpiles. There is no need to have FIVE YEARS worth of pasta noodles, DONATE THAT STUFF!  BUT, I enjoyed the episode with Missy because she has actually made a ministry out of it. Not only does she usually end up leaving a store on a POSITIVE side, without paying a dime, but she doesn't just buy in bulk to stockpile, she stocks multiple food banks and an orphanage in our area. She pays it forward. You can visit her website and learn more at Feeding God's People.

Missy truly is a coupon queen. She leaves the store many times getting PAID due to coupon overages, and she has not paid ONE PENNY for groceries, toiletries, cleaning supplies, pet supplies, etc this year. And she has only been couponing since January 2010. Go Missy Go! :)

I will post just a few basics of what I learned tonight, and at another class I attended at my church back in March.

First of all, if you are going to start couponing, you will need to know some key terms, and symbols. Couponers have their own lingo:
$$/$$ = money off if you spend, so $3/$15 means you get $3 off a $15 purchase
$/# = dollar amount off number of products, so $5/5 means $5 off  5 specific products
B1/G1 & BOGO = Buy one get one free. You can also see things such as B3/G2 which is buy 3, get 2.
FAR = Free after rebate
FILLER = Item purchased to reach a minimum total in order to get a deal
GC = Gift Card
IP = Internet Printable
MC or MQ = Manufacturers coupon
MIR = Mail in Rebate
MM = Money Maker (there are good! you MAKE money off them!)
NED = No Expiration Date
OOP = Out of pocket
STACKING = Using both a store coupon and a manufacturers coupon on one item
TMF = Try me free offer
UPC = Universal Product code
YMMV = Your market may vary
GM = General Mills
PG = Procter & Gamble
RP = Red Plum
SS = Smart Source

Those are just a few of the many terms couponers use. You also need to know WHERE to find coupons:
Newspapers - The rule of thumb is that you need one newspaper for every person you are shopping for, but you want an even number, SO, if you have 3 in your house hold, buy 4 papers. This helps you get more BOGO deals.
Online - Make sure if you print online you use a reputable site. And never print in bulk. You can print two per computer, and your IP address is on each one you print, so don't try to trick the system. You can be persecuted.
Manufacturers - companies will mail out coupons. If you have a particular brand of something that you must buy, write to the company telling them how awesome you think their product is. You'd be surprised at the freebies and coupons you may get back (BUT, not always)
Stores - many stores have coupons JUST for their stores. You can print them, find them in newspapers, or pick up IN the store.
Blinkies - these are in stores, attached to the shelves, and you guessed it, have a blinking light.
Peelies - these are coupons that are stuck on items that you have to peel off, and be careful because sometimes they say NOT VALID UNLESS PEELED BY CASHIER.

You have to plan your shopping trips, and stick to what you came in the store for, no more impulse buying.

You also need to know when to shop, don't go at peak times if you are doing a bulk couponing trip.

Watch the sales papers and plan your trips around them.

Match up coupons with BOGO's.

You HAVE to know your stores. Publix and Target allow coupon stacking which as we read above, in the terminology, means to stack a manufacturer coupon with a store coupon. Also, many stores offer COMPETITOR coupons. Each store is different, and you need to check with your local store first, but our local Publix accepts Sweetbay, Target, Save-a-lot, Albertsons, and Winn-Dixie coupons. If you see a coupon for $5 off $30 at Winn-Dixie, you can use that at Publix. This also goes for other stores such as Walgreens/CVS since they are competitors and Joanns and Michaels since they are competitors.

A few examples of some of the sales this week:
BIC Disposable Razors, 3-4 ct normally $5.49
- $3 off BIC Disposable Razors (men's), SS 4/10
- $3 off BIC Soleil (ladies) *facebook printable*
That takes a total of $6 off $5.49 which PAYS you .51 in overage

 Propel Zero Water, 710ML, 2 for $1
- $1/2 off propel zero - SS 2/13
That takes $1 off of 2, and if it's 2 for $1, it's free

Ex-Lax, 8ct, $2.29
- $5/2 Ex-Lax, benefiber, maalox, gas-x, or prevacid products (Publix Coupon) Green Adv Flyer
- $1 off Gas-X product, SS 4/17
That makes it $2.29X2 = $4.58 for the product, then take away -$5, -$1, so it ends up being +1.42. So you have an OVERAGE and get paid FOR the product.

So yeah, you might not need some of the products, BUT you benefit by buying them in bulk because of the overage you get, and then donate what you don't need to those that DO need it.

If you are interested in starting couponing, some good sites are:

Feeding God's People - linked it above, and will link it again, because I love that she has turned this into a ministry and a way to fellowship.
Southern Savers
Couponing to Disney - this blogger takes all of her savings and throws it back into her vacation Disney fund.
Hot Coupon World - It's a coupon DATABASE. Wanna find a coupon for a certain product? Come here to see if it exists.
Totally Target - Mostly Target Deals. Hence the name.:)
I Heart Publix - Again, look at the name. It's about Publix!

So there you have it, a few tricks and tips to get you started in the world of couponing, as well as a few sites that will become good friends of yours.

In other news, my husband was NOT happy when we filled my car up today.
It should NOT take $45 to fill up a 4cyl car!
I'd like to see his face when he fills up his Titan.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Project 31 Grand Finale :) Day 30 & 31

Okay, it definitely took me over 31 days, BUT, I have finally reached the end of my Project 31. Thanks again to Mandy (check her out, she has an ADORABLE new baby girl) over at She Breathes Deeply for creating this inspiring project. I started my Project 31 journey on Tuesday, January 25th and am ironically ending it on a Tuesday some three months later. So, here we go. I am combining the last two posts into one:

Day 30 - Who is your role model as a woman? I've already blogged about two of my role models as a woman. You can read all about them here. SH & AF are two very special women in my life and I admire both of them dearly. They are awesome role models for any woman to aspire to be like them.

Day 31 - Write about your dreams and goals as a beautiful woman. I have SO many dreams and goals. :) I accomplished one of them last weekend, to become a wife. A lot of my dreams and goals have to do with finding a way to be able to work in a field I am passionate about. I have always been pulled towards animal non profits. I, of course, take lots of slack for it, and it's to be expected, BUT, I always say "to each their own" some people have an incredible passion for missions over seas, while others may be with children or homeless, mine happens to be animals. I'd love to find a way to be able to make a living doing what I love and I am working desperately to do so. In the mean time, I have been looking around for jobs either as an office manager or receptionist at a veterinarian clinic, or in other non profit fields such as my local chapter for the American Cancer Society. Non profit is what makes my heart smile the biggest and fundraising and making a difference is what I love. Ultimately as I said before, I'd love to be able to make a living helping animals, preferably from home. I'd love to one day (far far away from now) be able to be a SAHM (stay at home Mom). I believe being parents is the single most important job one will ever be blessed with. People give SAHM's a lot of grief, but I think what they do for their families is incredible and I'd love to one day be able to do that, if we could manage it financially. I'd never want to put all of the financial responsibility on my husband, which is why I am so determined to find a way to make what I am passionate about, profitable. Where there's a will, there's a way. 

While becoming a mother, ideally a SAHM, is one of my dreams and goals for the distant future, it is also one of my biggest fears as a woman. I fear it because I do not know if my body will be able to hold up during pregnancy. Now, I have been told that I'd be surprised at what the human body is capable of as it goes through a pregnancy, but quite frankly, it scares me to the point of tears when I wonder whether or not I will be able to give my husband a biological child. I have SOOOO many problems going on with the Spondylolisthesis and severe scoliosis of my spine, that I just wonder if my back will be strong enough to support me plus baby one day. Tonight is a prime example. My lower back has been giving me severe issues lately. I went to the chiropractor earlier today, yet am still in pain. I came home from work, turned on the heating pad, took an advil PM, and crawled into bed which is where I am typing this blog from. It freaks me out thinking that one day if I am able to get pregnant, that it may be a high risk pregnancy with a lot of bed rest. I try not to think about it much, especially since I know my husband and I don't want kids for a few years, but it still pops into my head sporadically, especially on days like today when I have been dealing with nonstop stiffness and pain. I guess all I can do is continue to take care of myself, work out, eat right, strengthen the muscles of my back and neck, and just know that everything happens for a reason, and the important thing is that despite everything, I can see that I am totally blessed. And that helps me to remember that everything will be just fine :)

PS - if you'd like to start your own Project 31  (you can jump in at any time, there is no deadlines, look at ME, it took me over three MONTHS to complete mine!), just be sure to check out Mandy's blog (link above) and link back to her! The description of the project is below:

"What is "Project 31"?  It is a collection of thoughts, ideas, and women who potray beauty in a inspired way.  "Project 31" is you celebrating your God given beauty, and celebrating the beautiful women around you. The meaning behind the project is taken from this:

Proverbs 31

    10 Who can find a virtuous wife? 
      For her worth is far above rubies. 
       11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her; 
      So he will have no lack of gain. 
       12 She does him good and not evil 
      All the days of her life. 
       13 She seeks wool and flax, 
      And willingly works with her hands. 
       14 She is like the merchant ships, 
      She brings her food from afar. 
       15 She also rises while it is yet night, 
      And provides food for her household, 
      And a portion for her maidservants. 
       16 She considers a field and buys it; 
      From her profits she plants a vineyard. 
       17 She girds herself with strength, 
      And strengthens her arms. 
       18 She perceives that her merchandise is good, 
      And her lamp does not go out by night. 
       19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff, 
      And her hand holds the spindle. 
       20 She extends her hand to the poor, 
      Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy. 
       21 She is not afraid of snow for her household, 
      For all her household is clothed with scarlet. 
       22 She makes tapestry for herself; 
      Her clothing is fine linen and purple. 
       23 Her husband is known in the gates, 
      When he sits among the elders of the land. 
       24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
      And supplies sashes for the merchants. 
       25 Strength and honor are her clothing; 
      She shall rejoice in time to come. 
       26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, 
      And on her tongue is the law of kindness. 
       27 She watches over the ways of her household, 
      And does not eat the bread of idleness. 
       28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; 
      Her husband also, and he praises her: 
       29 “ Many daughters have done well, 
      But you excel them all.” 
       30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, 
      But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. 
       31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, 
      And let her own works praise her in the gates.

Pretty good stuff, huh?  Wanna join in?  Here is the challenge...  For 31 days, blog each day about things that celebrate your God given beauty, and the beauty of the women around you.  I attatched a list below you can follow, or you can make up your own (please link back here, though).  


Day 1.  What does beauty mean to you?
Day 2.  What makes you uniquely you?
Day 3.  Who is someone you know who inspires beauty?
Day 4.  Style 31.  Post a pic of you in your favorite outfit.
Day 5.  Write a blog thanking someone who has made your heart come alive.
Day 6.  Jaded beauty.  Has the world's definition of beauty ever jaded you?
Day 7.  Write a blog to encourage another beautiful woman.
Day 8.  Have a beauty secret (e.g. hair tip, make up tip)?  Share, please!
Day 9.  What virtues do you value in yourself?
Day 10.  What is Jesus teaching you as a wife, mom, or friend? (Or just woman in general?)
Day 11.  Post a recipe.  Or if you don't cook, try a new recipe and write about how it turned out (pictures please!).
Day 12.  Write about what wears you out as a woman.
Day 13.  Write about something you would like to change about yourself for the better.
Day 14.  Style 31.  Post an outfit pic!
Day 15.  Write to encourage a friend.  Inspire her beauty.
Day 16.  Write a letter to your daughter, or a young girl in your life.  Tell her what beauty means.
Day 17.  Write about 3 things that make you happy.
Day 18.  Describe your personality.
Day 19.  Write about your favorite comfort food (we are women- we ALL have comfort food!)
Day 20.  Write about your job and why you love it or hate it.  
Day 21.  Write a letter to your husband to encourage him (or if you are single- your future husband.)
Day 22.  What are some needs that need to be met in your community?  Blog about how to extend your hand to those who need you.
Day 23.  What are your strengths?  What are your weaknesses?
Day 24.  What is Jesus teaching you presently?
Day 25.  Style 31.  Post a pic of your favorite comfy clothes.
Day 26.  What do you hope your grandchildren will say about you someday when you are gone?
Day 27.  Write a blog to encourage someone and build their confidence!
Day 28.  Write about your insecurities as a woman.
Day 29.  Write about "a day in the life of me."  (Pics are great!)
Day 30.  Who is your role model as a woman?
Day 31.  Write about your dreams and goals as a beautiful woman!

Ready?  Grab the button and link up below!  Let's encourage each other in this project by visiting each other blogs and leaving encouraging comments.  Any questions or comments e-mail me at"

Monday, April 25, 2011

The irony of a first birthday.

Easter weekend has come and gone. While I felt incredibly blessed, I know quite a few others that are struggling with understanding why things happen the way they do. Only God knows why. He has a plan for each and every one of us, from the moment we are conceived. Plans that we may never fully understand.

My room mate gave me a prayer request about three weeks ago to pray for a family she knew through work as their one year old son was having complications after open heart surgery. I had been praying, without knowing who the family was, just lifting them up from what I knew (that the baby's name was Brayden). Well, baby Brayden passed away on Friday morning. I still had no clue who this family was, but continued to lift them up, and help my room mate find ways that we could help them financially.

Part of my Saturday plans included attending the first birthday of a friend of mine since high schools baby boy. I knew this would be hard for me, as my heart was breaking for another family, just down the street, that I knew was mourning the loss of their own one year old. As my room mate, friend and I drove to pick up the pizza for the birthday party, my room mate mentioned that my friend and I may know the family that lost the baby as the mother went to high school with us. She told us the name and immediately my friend and I were both like "omgosh, we KNOW her!" Now, I don't know her on a level where we were super close at any point, but I had been to her house before, and I knew her through high school and mutual friends. It was just so ironic for me to be attending a birthday party celebrating the life of one bouncing baby boy, and then heading over to the house of another family that was mourning the loss of their baby boy. Talk about a roller coaster of emotions.

I enjoyed my time with my friend during her son's party, and am happy I went, and then when I left, I went to the other families house to show my support during their time of need. Even though me and the mother haven't had contact in YEARS I was glad that I could show up, offer my support and set up an event online for a car wash they are having to raise money for the services and hospital bills that have added up.

If you are interested in helping that family out financially you can call or go to ANY MidFlorida bank. The toll free number if you are calling from out of state is 1-866-913-3733. It's BRAYDEN SCHAFFER'S MEMORIAL ACCOUNT.

Rest in peace Brayden. <3

Also, over the weekend, yesterday to be exact, I saw through a friend of mines facebook page that her little sister was in a jet ski accident in which her little sister lost one of her legs from the knee down. What a tragic accident. I am just so thankful to know that the young girl (she's 14) that lost part of her leg, has an amazing support system of family and friends, who also have a strong FAITH. And I KNOW this will be what gets her through this tough time.

My prayers are with both of these families in their time of need. Just remember, Our God IS good, and he IS able. 

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. - Psalm 34:18

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, or mourning, or crying, or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. - Revelation 21:4


PS - I still have tons to say from my wedding this past weekend, and upcoming honeymoon! More to come soon, promise. This was just on my heart today and I could not possibly blog about myself when so many bigger things are going on right now. In the mean time, you can check out my friends blog about the wedding. Wedding Bells Part 2 :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wedding Bells Rang.

On April 17th, 2011, Wedding Bells rang in Lake Alfred, Florida.

I have SO much to blog about, yet not a lot of time to blog, which saddens me. I must give adequate warning that over the next month or so there will (very) likely be TONS of blogging going on about my wedding and upcoming honeymoon. I'm sorry, I am a sentimental photo freak. So, I will apologize in advance if that kinda stuff bores you. BUT, remember, I warned you.

Tonight I wanted to do a quick blog, as it's been a few days, and just let everyone know mission wedding has been completed. No more planning. It's done and over with, and, it flew by THAT fast. The whole day is a blur to me. I am so very blessed to have so many photos coming in from various friends, because just like everyone told me it would, it was over before I even knew it. I must say, my wedding day was perfect down to the smallest details. I truly felt blessings ALL AROUND ME. I had my best friends there. I had tons of family and other loved ones with me. I even had a touch of Heaven with me, as the VERY FIRST thing I saw upon getting out of my car and walking up to the venue was none other than a single Butterfly fluttering around the front door. That my friends, is God at work. At that moment, I knew my mother was right there with me, and that everything was going to be okay. And it was, it was more than okay, I can truly say that my wedding day was perfect. I will leave you with a few photo's that have came in so far from friends. Can't wait until I see all my photographers work. I just know it will be fabulous. Her work always is.
My father walking me down <3

Under the arch :)
WE DID IT! Big Smiles :)
Bridal Party. Best friends.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Wedding Week Countdown - The Night Before

Tomorrow is THE DAY.

I don't know where this week has gone. It has FLOWN by. I am so thankful my boss gave me the entire week off so I could prep. I definitely needed it. I was busy from sun up to sun down all week. It seems like I was just doing my Monday and Wednesday blog, and now here I am, Saturday night, getting ready to go to bed, and when I wake up, it will be THE DAY. I think the question we have both received the most is "Are you getting cold feet yet? Are you nervous?". Honestly, we have both told everyone "No, we are just ready for it to be over!" LOL. My fiance has even answered to some "No, I just want it to be over so I don't have to hear these questions anymore." Haha.
Now, I can't predict how I will feel tomorrow (pray for no anxiety spells) but I can say as of right now I feel great (besides my usual neck/back issues) and I am just ready to go cuddle up in my bed and say Goodnight World. :) <3

So many friends predicted that my fiance and I would end up together way before we even knew it. We were best friends and by each others side constantly for a year before we started dating, and during that time we were constantly asked why we were not dating, told that we were meant for each other. Even today I received a text that said "I can't wait to see you two get married. When I first met you, then him, I told AP that you two needed to be together. cause I got this feeling you were meant to be." Once someone asked him on a public forum online "Is she really the one? You are so young" to which he replied: "Is she really the one? She's the one person I can tell everything to. She's the one person I can be weak in front of. She's the one person I don't ever wanna be without. If that's what you mean, then yes, she's the one. And being young just means that's more time to spend with the only one i want to spend my time with." and another friend replied: "to the person who asked if she was the one, I wonder how much you've been around R&H. I knew they were meant for each other the first time I saw them around each other two years ago." My wedding coordinator even had a dream that I was getting proposed to a week before I was proposed too. We've even been blogged about on my very dear friend DaisyPetals

So many knew and felt we were meat to be, before we even knew. Well, he may have known, but I was the stubborn one. It took me a while to realize that I had fallen in love with my best friend. BUT, it was the best realization I'd ever made.

Under the arch we will be married at tomorrow

I'd like to blog some more about the rest of my week, after Wednesday, but I am exhausted. 

Good night world. And the next time I blog, I will be a married woman!


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wedding Week Countdown - Wednesday, a blessing in the mail

I received the most beautiful and wonderful gift in the mail today.

It was a letter from my half sisters mom. You see, my sister and I share the same mother, but my sister was put up for adoption (after someone turned my mother into DCF and said she was not fit to be a parent) before she was a year old. Thankfully this was a blessing to many, and she was adopted and raised by an amazing family. She was actually raised right here in Florida as well. Our parents kept and open line of communication, and pictures, and I always grew up knowing I had a sister out there that I would some day meet.

The letter I received today was memories my sisters adoptive mother shared of the day she met with our biological mother. She shared what my mother told her she thought was important to be a good mom, and what she wanted for her child. Reading it brought tears to my eyes. This letter is one of the most touching things I have ever read in my life. I can't express enough how grateful I am that these memories were shared with me, and right before my wedding day. I can now cherish them as I walk down the aisle.

When I called to thank her for writing me, I asked if I could have permission to blog about the letter and share her memories of what my mother told her, she said yes, so here we go:

"Ever since I was told you were getting married, I wanted to talk to you about your Mom. I know that you knew her well and cherish her memory. What I have to share is what she and I talked about before I adopted your sister - what she thought was important to be a good mom and what she wanted for her child. She had probably shared these things with you, but I thought it might create a special memory as you approach your wedding.

We were sitting in the sunroom of the Children's home with the Florida sun beaming through the window behind her. She held your sister - who was about nine months old at the time and talked about mothers and daughters. "I know what I want" she said simply "But I can't provide that now. Children, daughters especially, need to know how much they are treasured, what an amazing difference they can make in their Mom's life. They need warmth and security - but more than anything - they need love. There are some things I want for my daughter. I want her to know God - to have a faith to help her through hard times. I want her to love learning. It would be great if she goes to college, but it's more important that she always wants to improve herself - no matter how. I want her to respect others and to help people when they need it. I want her to have confidence so that she can stand up for herself when necessary. I want her to be the kind of person that others will look to for advice and help. I want her to know that love - hard as it is sometimes - gives your life meaning in a way you never imagined.

She was quiet for awhile - stroking your sisters hair. It was then that she asked me to adopt her baby. I have never in my life seen such selfless love. Your mother was such a special person and I know your missing her now. I hope I haven't upset you or been presumptuous about your relationship. I just know if I were in your place, I'd like to know what someone else thought of my mom and carry those memories in my heart on my wedding day. God Bless you, Sweetheart."

I teared up again typing it. Every time I read it, I tear up. Especially at the part about such a selfless love. I know how hard it was for my mom to give up my sister. I know how much she loved and missed her. I know because she told me. Many times. I tear up because as hard as it was for my mom, it was what was right for her at the time, and it was truly a blessing for my sister, to be adopted into such a loving family. I tear up because the words she spoke  are chilling as she installed all that into me. So, everything she believed a daughter should have, she WAS able to give me, a few years later. I tear up because though my mother didn't raise my sister, she picked the perfect family to do so as my sister was raised under all the wishes that my mother had. We both were very blessed. Everything about this letter is perfect and touches my heart in a way that it's not possible to understand. All I can say is just how thankful I am that these memories were shared with me.

 After I read the letter, I went out to the cemetery to drop off a laminated copy of the wedding invite and save the date. I incorporated yellow into the theme as it was her favorite color. 
I placed a rock on one half of the invite to keep it from blowing away
  I also snapped this picture which I thought was beautiful because of the wild flower/weed.

Man, what an emotional day. All I can say is Mommy I love you and miss you dearly, and be proud of the mother you were. All the wishes you had for your first daughter, she received, AND you were able to provide when you had me. <3