Fear has no place in Our Hearts

Three Years...
Three years ago, our world was turned upside down.

I remember my parents calling my sister and I
Asking us to come over to their house, which normally wouldn't be a big deal
But it was after they were supposed to get the results
They asked both of us to leave work
I knew, what I had prayed for- didn't happen

We walked through the door
Mom and Dad sitting on the edge of the couch,
They stood up to hug us
Which normally wouldn't be a big deal
But there was something different
Everything felt much more delicate

There are just a few words that actually make it through my sobs.
We will fight this.
Tears. Tears. Tears. and more Tears.
Breast Cancer.
Tears. Tears. Tears. and more Tears.
Fear has no place in our Hearts.
The Lord is working through us
Tears. Tears. Tears. and more Tears.

That moment, everything surged into perspective.
I remember calling my girlfriend Karalyn
I didn't have to say more than
I need to get my tattoo now
She knew exactly what I meant.
*I never did get the tattoo, granting Momma's wishes*

At that moment, I knew everything was about to change
My Momma and I would just sit on the couch and cry together
We researched. She researched. I cried.
When there is a threat to take away your best friend
There is no much more I could do but cry, and pray.

This experience, I would never wish upon any family
But the saddness is, it affects almost every family in some way
Our family chose to be better because of it
My mom sent out encouraging emails
Tracking her progress, with a sense of ease, strength and confidence
She was still our rock.

Fear has no place in our Hearts.

I became an emergency contact on my Momma's medical records
My dad was there, every.step.of.the.way.
He took her shopping for wigs.
Shaved her cute little cue ball head
Held her. Held all of us.
We went to every chemo treatment
He went to every doctors appointment.

This diagnosis brought our family closer together
And we were close before it happened
There was a reason that our family was going through this
And we were not going to let it be another bad statistic
I decided to walk in the Susan G. Komen 3 Day
You walk "60" miles in 3 days
Side note: technically the trail is about 20 miles a day, but you literally walk from 5 am Friday morning to 5 pm Sunday- so it adds up to being more than 60 miles.
I asked my friend Karalyn if she wanted to join
The next day she showed up with her tennis shoes on
and my very own pink camelbak
I knew we were doing this

Soon, my brother joined in
and then my dad
and then, my mom...
She didn't want to feel left out

So two weeks after finishing her last chemo
After having a double mastectomy, months prior
Our family walked over 60 miles in honor of the fight our Momma was fighting
It was definitely one of those experiences in life you don't forget

Sleeping in pink tents
Walking. Walking. and more Walking.
Hearing every word for "boob"- and its not weird or inappropriate
People cheering you on.
Tears. Happy Tears. Sad Tears.
Feeling accomplished to walk every step, next to Our Survivor.

Friends there to cheer us along

"I'm a Boob Man"- thats what his sign said

We Made It! The whole way!

We did the walk in San Diego. Figured if we are walking 60 miles, we might as well get a vacation from it!

Our Sign on our Tent to Thank all the people who donated!

The last years have come and gone
Most of the time, I don't think back on that time
I know it happened, but its gone
Fear has no place in our Hearts.

Thank you Momma for your fight
Thank you Jesus for letting us keep her here with us.
She needs to be here. for a very long time. please!
LYB, Bif. <3


49. Sweet Memories

First picture I took with my new camera!
 Make lots of memories.
Sounds easy enough
But so many times, we just go through our days
normal, ordinary, not thinking about making memores
just hoping to remember them at another time

This last year I have tried to make a point of capturing and making memories
A few things I have done to achieve this are:
-Bought a new camera, a fresh start with something fun
-I write down my days (most days) on my calendar
-Blogging, its helped a lot

Trying something new

Let me explain...
Obviously, you know that a camera captures memories
But I try to not only capture memories of nights out on the town, birthdays, or holidays
I bring my camera out, for just a simple dinner with a best friend
Laying around with my niece
The normal ins and outs of the day, because those memories are the ones that we quickly lose.
I don't want to lose any of the time I spend

On my wall calendar, I just write simple notes to myself
Monday: Kickboxing, Power Sculpt, cooked dinner
Tuesday: BodyPump (ouch!), cooked dinner, skyped with so and so
Wednesday: Dinner with mom and Dad
Etc... (mostly boring stuff)
But I can look back at my calendar from last year
and remember things I wouldn't be able if I hadn't wrote that memory down.

The Original Bug and Lily Bug

Blogging, obviously, is another source to look back on
It seems like with memory, you have to have some kind of record to retain it
Whether it be pictures, notes, or a specific event, situation that sticks out in your mind.
Writing down memories, even small ones helps keep them fresh in your mind.

Vegas during Christmas

There are other things you can do
Make themed nights to go out with friends, for no particular reason
Do something you've never done before
Create a new tradition
Staycations are always a good idea

I want to remember as much of my life as I can
I hope that I can create memories that I can always look back on
Sweet, sweet memories...

Now lets go out and make some memories

Suns Game with Jenna


50. I can write my feelings, does that count?

I grew up in the AIM generation
AOL Instant Messenger- in case you didn't know!
Remember that noise when you'd receive a message...
It was addicting to say the least

I loved staying up late, really really late
Talking to friends- people I went to school with, met at church camp, went to church with etc...
We would get on right after school and stay on late into the evening
Maybe this is where it all began...

I wrote a post not too long ago about communication
It has always been easier for me to write out my feelings
Rather than talk about them

I default to text. My reason- I am a little needy when it comes to communication (Thanks Momma!) I want to know whats going on with friends and family. And texting, keeps me connected to people all day long. Its easier and more convenient.
I love to send&receive cards. My reason- it is so much fun to open the mail and have a card there for you, someone took their time to write out how they feel about you, something they want you to know. and you can go back and look at it when you need a reminder or some encouragement. It fills my cup up..
I prefer email. My reason- you can be as short and sweet, or long and detailed as you need. It is convenient for the sender and receiver. You have something to reference, and look back on.
My journal&blog are an escape. My reason- everyone needs a little me time. When I am stressed, bored, anxious, happy, sad- I spend my time working out, shopping or writing. But I always feel the most relief when I write. I am able to be completely honest. Again, I can refer back to a certain time and see how I was feeling.

Writing out my feelings has been a really wonderful way to cope with all the different seasons in my life.
It has allowed me to be honest, to be real, and raw with myself, which is the hardest thing to do
I think writing is a tool that is going to help me continue the process of being the best version of myself
But I am going to work on my verbal communication as well, because I know that is really important too!

When I was younger I loved to write poetry, and songs
I always thought I could be a singer/song writer
Until I realized I am a horrible singer, like shouldn't be allowed into karaoke bars to even watch because I might get the urge (after a few adult beverages) and it would just be bad
So I stuck with dancing, which involved music anyways

I am not one of those, Music is my life, kind of people
But music allows me to be creative
It drives me to focus, and sometimes it says everything I can't

Music seems to have all the answers
Is tonight going to be a good night? Black Eyed Peas say Yes!
Should I go to the gym? Soulja Boy says Work it Out!
Who do you think you are? Sara B says, You ain't the King of Anything!
(You get the point...)
Music is like a magic 8 ball, always has some answer for you

Through the different seasons of life
I have learned that writing and music allow me to express myself, fully
Now wouldn't it be nice to have a soundtrack and memoir to your life...


One and Only

Adele, you've done it again...
Thank you!

51. Time to cry...

Have you ever had a moment, when you realize... you are turning into your mom?
The other day I was pulling out bread options for lunch
Pita bread, sandwich thins, wraps, regular bread
Then there had to be options for what you put on your sandwich
And I just thought, "Lord, I am my mother."

In my case, its a wonderful thing.
There is no one I would rather be, than my mother
She is the strongest person I have ever met
She is beautiful, witty, compassionate, generous, intelligent, nuturing, God-fearing, loving beyond belief
She is caring, funny, open hearted and minded, protective, joyful
My list could go on and on

There are a lot of little characteristics I notice (daily) that come from my momma
One of those things, is my crying place
Growing up, when I didn't feel good, mom let me shower
It has always made me feel better
Even now when I don't feel well, I am stressed, I am overwhelmed, or I need a good cry- just to name a few
You can find me in the shower.

I didn't find out until much later,
That my momma did this too.
I never really saw my mom cry when I was younger
She was always the strong one,
Not until she was diagnosed, did she let us be the strong ones for her
Which was still hard for her

But it is the number one place to cry
Because when you get out,
You don't know if you are wiping away tears or just water from the shower
No one has to know that's what you were doing
It gives you alone time with your thoughts

This is why I think the shower is the number one place to cry
Thanks for sharing it with me, Momma<3


Confessions of a Single Girl

Confessions of a Single Girl: If you know a great photographer, who is willing to go out and get some practice, take them up on it! Girls just want to have fun! Get dressed up! Curl your hair! Put on fun makeup! Go out and be creative! It is good for the spirit, I promise! 

When you have a very talented sister, who is a photographer,
sometimes you just want to have fun together!

My sister entertained my idea for another little photo shoot,
Last year we took photos for my graduation
This year we took them for fun-
Maybe just for some proof of progression of the last year...

*All of these photo's are copyrighted by Heather Rae Photography!* 

Need your pictures taken? You should contact my sister

52. 'The Right Decision"

Sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday

And other times its a distant memory
Someone else making the "Right" decision, you never had the strength to make

That crushing feeling, you know the one, when you hear those words
You lose all feeling in your legs, your heart starts to race
You try to think back, had you done something wrong?
What did they want to talk about?

You thought everything was going fine.
Yea, there were those little things you both never seemed to get over
And the things you never seemed to make him happy with
But those things wouldn't be worth giving up on everything you had...

Then all the wind is knocked out of you
You can't tell your days apart
You hadn't moved from "crying" position in who knows how long
Everywhere you turn, every place you go there they are
The memories that once brightened your days
Now hang over you like a rain cloud you will never escape

But there are thoughts, every so often, that pull you back to the surface
You have been drowning in your own tears, fears, frustrations, devastations, sadness, confusion
You have been sinking to the bottom with a "How do I go on?" weight,
Pulling you further and further down
Then there is a tiny life saver

A friend calling to check on you
That spot in your bed beckoning you to stay a little longer
Your mom holding you like when you were little
Your dad telling you he would do anything to fix this feeling
The empty journal, you've been neglecting all this time
The thoughts: as much as this hurts
As much as I hate this
There is something that strangely feels right

These feelings are natural, after so much of you had been defined by something else
These emotions, feelings hold on tight
They make you think the wrong decision is right
Because if this is the right decision, why does it hurt so badly?

This year I have learned you will feel this way with heartache
Even when it is Right, it does not mean Easy.
Sometimes it is even harder to stand up for what you want
Than to make the wrong decision to stay comfortable

It all gets better.
There are days where the breaking stops
You can breathe normally, and tears don't fall as often.
Then there are days when you smile, really smile again.
It doesn't always stay that way
It might take time for the Right decision to feel right

There will be sunshine again
Warm memories that you create as you find yourself
It all takes time
And you deserve that time

Don't let the experiences of the past close your opportunities of the future
Don't make someone else pay for the scars of your past
There will be a Right decision that is Easy for you
But deep down inside, your heart knows
Follow your heart, it knows the way...

Just a thought...

So I wrote my post about the 52 lessons I have learned in the last 52 weeks
It got me thinking...
Maybe I will write a post for every lesson I wrote about
You may learn something new about me
Or the situation I have been through
Even help yourself out with something

I am going to try to be as honest as possible
but know that I am moving forward
and this year has good things in store for me

I will continue to learn new lessons in life
I don't ever want to stop learning, loving or living
But I know that my past does not define me, but it got me where I am at.

I don't know my future,
But I sure know my past
I will use it to be better
and live a better story while it lasts...


Fifty Two...

52 Lessons I have learned in the last 52 weeks...

52. The "Right" decision is not always an easy decision
51. The shower is the number one place to cry
50. Writing is just one way to cope with feelings, music is another
49. Make lots of memories
48. Heartbreak is not contagious- and contrary to popular belief, its not a terminal illness either
47. Travel, doesn't have to be extravagent, just get away
46. Its ok to be mad at God, let Him know when you are- He already knows...
45. Those cheesy motivational, encouraging quotes- really do help
44. You don't have to be happy, but always be thankful
43. God places people in your life when you need them most
42. Friendships change... and that is ok!
41. You only get one chance to live this life, its too long to be stuck or do things you don't want too...
40. The bigger picture is a lot better than you can imagine.
39. Redheads have more fun!
38. Its true when they say "Sometimes you don't know what you have until its gone"
37. The first meal you should cook a man is popcorn :)
36. Too much tequila is always a bad idea...
35. There is always a reason to shop: you're sad, happy, stressed, bored, excited, broke... you get the picture
34. Splurge on yourself, you deserve it!
33. If a guy tells you his name means "storyteller"- that should be your first sign to walk away
32. Being an Aunt is the BEST thing in the world!
31. "Friends are angels who lift us up to our feet when our own wings have trouble remembering how to fly."
30.  Let your guard down and LOVE... the worse that can happen is you miss an opportunity to grow
29. Always schedule Girls Nights in pen on your calendar, you deserve that time!
28. You will smile again, even when you thought you wouldn't
27. What once was the worst thing to happen in your life, might be the best thing- God is working upstream in your life, you don't always see the reason for the pain until much later
26. "I am just a tree in a story about a forest"- Donald Miller, A million miles in a thousand years
25. Shellac manicures are addicting
24. A man should ALWAYS open your doors, and you should always say Thank You
23. When you are heartbroken, common sense is not always common
22. God has a plan, just need to have faith that His works better than mine
21. His plan will ALWAYS work better than mine
20. It truly is better to have loved and lost, than never love
19. Blogging is a great way to look back and see where you've been and write where you are going
18. Dream. Big. 
17. Start living your better story when you decide you need too
16. Graduating college is scarier than you think it would be
15. Hope is Faith on Fire
14. When you walk into a room, see everyone as friends you haven't met yet
13. Mom is always right, Dad can make anything alright
12. Be active. Stay Happy.
11. High Heels do wonders for your self esteem
10. "Every flower that blooms has to go through a whole lot of dirt."
9. Be Patient. There is no time line. and don't freak out when you don't know where you are going, you are heading somewhere even when you think you are standing still
8. Be a friend, when you need a friend. "We all need someone who gives us the courage to be who we're meant to be."
7. "It costs nothing to dream, and everything not too."
6. Tell those you love, you love them as often as possible
5. Try something new as often as you can.
4. Being single isn't half that bad.
3. Don't let fear in, let Love in.
2. "Friendship isn't about whom you've known the longest, its about who came and never left your side." <3
1. That Love you have been looking for, its God...

and one for good luck- Always Love. 

I probably could have put more thought into these, but they were the first things to come to my mind. I have learned a lot, and changed a lot during this last year... A lot of the changes have been documented on this blog, and a lot of them have been internal but overall, I wanted to share with you some of the lessons I have learned this last year...


Practically Perfect

"You are practically perfect in everyway."
 - Mary Poppins

*I found this on: Yes and Yes -a blog I stumbled upon*

Don't let anyone, or anything make you feel differently!
We all have faults, but you were unqiuely made,
special design just for you!

Shine Bright!

210 Days of Summer

The heat has rolled in for the Summer,
though we celebrated the first day of Spring a few weeks ago.

Summer is my favorite season, not necessarily in Arizona
I love the sunshine that rises early in the morning and gives you longer days to play outside.

With summer on my mind, I thought I would share a few of my favorite things about summer...

Cold watermelon
Laying in the sun
Sun kissed skin
Fresh lemonade
Water parks
Summer Movies
Road trips
Iced coffee in the mornings
Sleeping on cold sheets
Pool days with friends, and margaritas
Trips to California to visit friends
Summer Dresses (or summer wardrobe in general)
Shaved Ice

I just love the summertime and all the fun things it brings! Just not the heat!

hmmm... maybe relocating will help with the heat...


A Dreamers Dream

"For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream."- Vincent Van Gogh

I wasn't blessed as one of those people who know exactly what they want to do with their lives.
I didn't grow up dreaming of being a Olympic Gold Medalist, never had the drive to be the youngest person to become a doctor, shoot, most the time I can't even remember the dreams I had the night before!

Part of me has always wondered if having such a clear cut goal in life makes it any easier...
Or does it mean I'm not a dreamer because I don't have this big dream or goal

My mom always tells this one story of me when we talk about growing up, and I think it stands pretty true
One day my mom asked me "Bug, what do you want to be when you grow up?"
After careful thought and consideration I replied with...
"You know mom, somedays I want to save the world, and other days I just want to be a supermodel."
But its true, I don't know what I want to do when I grow up.
I feel like I should have it all figured out
So I am figuring out life is a process
Even though, some people are blessed with knowing what they want to do and they do it.
I am still learning,
But that doesn't mean I am not a dreamer.

My dreams are just different



For some reason, I have been having an issue articulating my thoughts.
It seems as if, when the thoughts start their journey from my brain to my mouth
They get lost, jumbled, confused

Usually, when they journey from my brain to my hands
They come together much easier, articulate and precise.
Writing is my way of communicating

You can't use a delete button on your words,
You can't take back anything that came out of your mouth
Scribbling down my thoughts, feelings, dreams, frustrations, the words I want to say
comes so much easier to me.

I went to an event called the Yelo Experience
It was about finding what your strengths are
What I took away from it was- most of the time, the focus is on our weaknesses
What it is that we need to work on, which isn't a bad thing to work on
But what about the things you are good at?
Why not capitalize on the strengths you already have?
Continually using your strengths will only make you stronger in that area, and thats always a good thing.

My strengths were: (I promise to go over in a little more detail what these mean but its late, and I'm tired, I just needed to get this blog off my mind...)
WOO (Winning others over)

At the event, they asked us to pick one of our strengths to work on, to build on and utilize more...
I chose, Communication...

I know I love to talk, I can write my feelings like none other
But I know I am not always the best at communicating my feelings, thoughts, wants, plans, desires with words, directly from my mouth...

I want to work on this strength. I know it is there, I just need to break down some walls, fears that I have associated with communicating.

slowly but surely...
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