Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pssssh. It Happens –Sugarland

*Sigh. Life sure has it's ups and downs, eh? Some days I feel like life couldn't possibly get any better and then you have days like these...

Tuesday, November 16th:

This morning started out like every other morning. Wake up. Check. Eat breakfast. Check. Work out with Megs. Check. After a little Cross-fit action, I brought Keshlyn home and went upstairs to take a shower. I will just preface this story with the fact that I do this everyday after working out... I closed my bedroom door and brought a few toys in the bathroom for Kesh to play with while I showered. Our shower is glass so I can see her through it.No big deal, right? Well, I hopped in the shower just as on a normal day and Keshlyn began to play with her toys. After several minutes, she wandered into the closet where my "junk jewelry" is. She loves to play with this! The only problem is, this is in my "blind spot!" I cannot see into the closet from the shower. But, I thought she was playing her usual dress up as every other day so I continued to wash my hair. After a couple more minutes I realize I can't hear the jewelry clinking.


Oh no! Silence = bad. Very, very bad!!!! I throw open the shower door and leave a soapy water trail behind me as I leap into the walk-in closet. My eyes are frozen. My body is cold. My nose is disturbed by the awful, strong smell of... NAIL POLISH!!! OHHHHH Why? Why? Why can't I be the lover of lilac, nudes, and CLEAR nail polish!? But, oh no!!! I have to own every shade of hot pink there is!!! (ok, totally an exaggeration. But, I'm in the moment here. Work with me...) I witness that she had pulled my basket of nail polish off of the shelf and 5 bottles of polish were open and laying on their sides. 2 of them were emptying on my W-H-I-T-E carpet!!!! 1st my thought was, "I bet I could sell my child on ebay for some extra Christmas money. They sell everything on ebay." 2- "Wow. She is freakishly strong to be able to open those. I have a hard time opening them myself". & 3- "Apparently she is getting some serious height from her unusually tall parents... (bad joke. But, for real- the kid has always been around 90 percentile for height.)

I crouch down in the floor while chanting over and over, "No, no, no. Pink carpet. What am I going to do?" Finally it's all kicking in now in my brain and I register that Keshlyn was very naughty! I set her and her nail polish-stained clothes over to the side- a little behind me- and I'm pointing to the polish on the carpet and looking at her saying "Bad. You cannot pour things on the floor! No no!" I continue ranting while I'm picking up the polish and putting it back in the basket. I look  back to her again to tell her how naughty she'd been and she must have said "abracadabra" because she was gone! Really!!?!?!?!?!? I jump up and run into my bedroom and see her sitting in the corner with my FOOT cream she had snatched from the basket in the closet and had dug it out of the jar and it was ALL OVER HER! Holy Shamoley. Can this day GET any worse? WHOA, whoa, whoa...that thought was a dangerous one. Because yes, yes it can! And it did...

Flabbergasted that either A. my daughter is as quick as a cat or B. her mother is not all there upstairs, I picked her up and ran into the guest bathroom and shut the door behind me. I leaned up against the door and took a deep breath and closed my eyes. I thought to myself, "Did that JUST happen?"  I felt a lump gathering in my throat and tears began to puddle in my eyes because these days ONLY happen when Shannon is at "work" (although, if you ask me, what he was doing would be right up there with Disneyland compared to the crap I was dealing with). Right as I open my eyes, I began having a conversation with myself in my mind. I think, "I'm hungry."

"Why are you hungry? You just ate a snack. Piggy."
"What if you're pregnant?"
"I'm not pregnant!"
"You never know..."

I convinced myself to find out for sure. Keshlyn is just sitting in the floor this whole time. I walk out of the bathroom and shut the door trapping her inside. (I couldn't risk another DISASTER in the short time I was gone!) I ran into my bedroom and grabbed a pregnancy test I happened to have. I went back to the bathroom Kesh was in and produced some mellow yellow in a cup. .. I put a few drops on the test stick and sat it down on the counter. This is the test that yields 2 lines if positive and one line if negative. Within a few seconds, one line showed very dark. "Phew." I was off the hook and apparently just had the munchies. As I am processing this thought I look up and over to Keshlyn who is now standing up with her hands reaching over the bathroom counter. I scream, "NO!" just as she picks up and places the red cup directly over her head and turns. it. up. side. down... She looks straight into the urine as it falls onto her face, down her clothes, in her shirt, splashes ALL OVER THE WALLS, and yes, even into her mouth...

I drop to the floor, curl up to my knees and sob. I couldn't breathe. 

I look up through my tears, and see Keshlyn still holding onto the cup and staring at me like she was confused. Before  I realize what was happening, I noticed I was laughing so hard. I couldn't help it.What a ridiculous 30 minutes it had been! I really thought someone was filming me for the "Worst Mom Ever" award! I pulled myself together, striped Keshlyn down, and stood up to turn on the water in the sink to start washing her off. As I look down to reach for the knob, I notice out of the corner of my eye the dumb pregnancy test didn't look quite the same it did before. Now it had TWO DEFINITE LINES. "NO!" Silent screams! Laughter becomes sobbing again and I decided that my world was coming to an end in 9 months with the addition of another little bundle of joy (*cough). Lucky me.

Any other day this news would have been fabulous, but on this day I was questioning my intelligence and wondering why I ever thought "the wild thing" was amazing enough to be worth this consequence of a destroyed house, getting fat, and tearing my "hoo hah" all to pieces- AGAIN!
 This is how I told Shannon...

You know the saying, "it's better to be pissed off than to be pissed on" ... I don't know that Keshlyn would agree.

***After reading some comments this morning, I need to clarify that we are VERY EXCITED about the baby! LOL And I just think this story is HILARIOUS now! Of course at the time I thought I was having a nightmare, but Shannon laughed his head off and  I did too just telling him about it! It is a happy time, for sure! 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Commit to be Fit!

Ok, so over time I have had several people ask me about my "work out" routine and about my diet.  I figured I would do a small ridiculously long-winded post on this to those of you who are interested in this topic. How do you feel about health? Do these quotes go along with your philosophy on the matter?...

Exercise is a dirty word. Every time I hear it, I wash my mouth out with chocolate. ~Author Unknown

I consider exercise vulgar. It makes people smell. ~Alec Yuill Thornton

My idea of exercise is a good brisk sit. ~Phyllis Diller

I thought those quotes were cute! Especially the first one. 

So before I had Keshlyn I was scared to death of losing the baby weight and being able to look and feel good after the brutal beautiful "giving birth" process. Especially since Keshlyn stretched my stomach OUT! I mean, come on...remember this? 

The Damage 
As a matter of fact, I had a strip of skin directly under my belly button that became so white (and, yes, I know I am a pasty WHITE cracker but this was literally white! lol) and progressively became more and more transparent because of the stretching in that one area! My doctor said she had never seen anything like it. Luckily, that was the only little spot that gave me a stretch mark... and no matter what I do there is still loose skin there. It's fine when I'm standing up but when I bend forward, no matter how tightly I'm squeezing my core, gravity wins every time! haha. But at any rate, It is quite amazing how much your skin/body does go back to normal considering the major stretching that goes on for those 9 months! Obviously after you give birth you have a lot of loose skin and most of it tightens back up with time. And you know, me being the size I am, I thought I would have a cute tiny little 6 lb baby but apparently being rH negative is correlated with large babies! 8 lbs for my first (and girl, at that) was not fun, to say the least. And the saying goes that boys are bigger and each baby gets bigger! The doc says I will definitely never be able to carry til full term because I   correction---  my treasure box won't be able to handle it!

The Weight

After having Keshlyn, the last 10 pounds (from pre-weight) would not come off naturally.  I worked out before I was pregnant, I worked out the entire time I was pregnant, and I intended on continuing working out post-pregnancy but something drastic was going to have to happen right away or I was going to be very upset! So, I did some research. I read everything I could about being healthy. Several books, articles, lots of internet searching. I was determined to drop those 10 pounds. Especially since the stupid nurse at the hospital (in a birthing class) told me to my face I could kiss all of my normal jeans good-bye because I would never be the size I was again and my hips would never fit into them. That ticked me off so bad I was heated the rest of the day. That nurse was very brave to be so dumb bold and very lucky that I kept my mouth shut. You do NOT cross a pregnant lady! They tend to be very moody at times! lol


1. Eat this, Not that- You HAVE to buy this! There is a whole SERIES of these books. There is one on the top worst foods in America. There is one book devoted to fast food/restaurants letting you know what's safe to order and what you must stay away from. (This is great if you travel and are on the go a lot) It gives you all of the nutritional info and compares the foods. It is EYE OPENING! The Supermarket version is my favorite one and I could write a testimonial on how it has changed my life! This book has the slogan of "a no-diet weight loss solution" and it is true. Shannon and I both lost weight from just making a few switches in products. Even if you still bought the same products in the grocery store and just bought the "healthier" version/different brand, you will notice in the book and on your waistline how many calories and fat you will be eliminating from your diet. It's insane! There's even a "cook this, not that" version and it shows you restaurant favorites and gives you the healthier recipe to make at home! Good stuff here. CHECK IT OUT! It will kill you to learn what is really in some of those things we eat on a day to day basis. And DON"T worry if you don't like to read! This is mainly a picture book! lol. It shows you pictures of bread and cereal and frozen food brands etc. and gives you the stats compared to other choices. 

2. Body for Life-  This book has a lot of great principles in it. It is a great guide to getting on track with eating and exercising. I love and firmly believe in a "free day" with food. Once a week you are allowed to eat whatever you want. People fall off the wagon way too often when they tell themselves no more sweets forever! That  would just be insane! (and I'm  not going to lie...I slip and have more than one free day a week sometimes!...but if you want to see results FAST, you must be strict in the beginning and form self discipline! ) For more on Body for Life, click here

3. Hungry Girl

Ok, so Hungry Girl recipes are SO GOOD! They're not always necessarily the healthiest (for example all of her cool whip recipes) but they are low in fat and calories and sugar and that equals less likely to gain weight! hehe I LOVE 200 Recipes under 200 Calories. She has a couple of other recipe books as well. She has a new one that came out this year that I haven't tried yet! These have great breakfast, snacks, and dessert recipes that will NOT make you feel guilty and allow you to eat a lot of what you want for a lot less damage to the gut! Seriously, check this one out from the library and make as many recipes as you can to test drive the book. I have only found a couple that I won't make again. Shannon, who does not like anything that "tastes" healthy, loves everything I make from this book. Maybe I will share a couple of my favorite recipes as a sample in a near future post! Check out her website here. P.S. The extra bonus to this book is in the front of it there is a shopping list of items you will need to make pretty much everything in the book!
4. Ellie Krieger-  

She is the host of the Food Network show "Healthy Appetite," and she provides healthful recipes . She takes care to make sure that her recipes have flavor! She is a big advocate of eating all foods we like in moderation and with a little more healthy of a  twist. Probably my FAVORITE "healthy" recipe of all time is from Ellie. It is right here: Aromatic Noodles with Lime Peanut Sauce. Don't worry if the ingredients may look a  little strange to you. Shannon asked me what my back up plan was the first time I made it because he was pretty sure it was going to be terrible...It is a dish we have every few weeks now! Yummmmm
The Grub

So here's the deal that no one likes to hear:  "Abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym!" It does not matter how much we work out and work out and work out! If we do not change the way we eat and take care of what we're putting into our bodies, we will see little to no results. That is unless you're a freak of nature like my friend, Amanda. She pretty much thrives off of Starburst and Snicker's bars daily and looks amazing! She is definitely one of the few though! smooches! 

I highly recommend "eating clean" every once in a while and especially when trying to see some serious transformation in your bod. This means only eating lean protein, vegetables, fruits, only the recommended amount of dairy (limiting cheese!), and minimal carbs. No processed foods! A lot of grilled chicken and vegetables! You will absolutely feel SO different after doing this for a week. 

Also, take a multi-vitamin everyday to make sure you are getting your nutrients!

The Work Out

Ok, so here is where I am really passionate about telling you what I do.  I've been a long time gym member and love group classes. BUT, once I had Keshlyn, time to go to the gym was a struggle for me. Schedules didn't always work out between me and Shannon to get me to the gym every day at a convenient time for my new little bundle of joy. And if there is anything that I will say about working out, it is that CONSISTENCY is KEY for success!!!!! We are creatures of habit! For me, I have to work out in the morning. So if I don't work out in the morning, I won't work out. That's just how I work. If you can make yourself work out each morning (for example) for a week (minus your rest day(s)) you will find it much easier to start back up on Monday. If you only work out once every couple weeks, you'll find that it is very hard to motivate yourself to even get started! Now I'm so used to working out in the morning that it's just apart of life and not even an option to me anymore. I wake up, eat breakfast, and get down to it! Then I shower and get ready for the day. It's Habit! And that habit has changed everything for me. 

I had learned through research that the best kind of work out that is going to yield results the quickest is by doing intense calisthenics for short periods of time and brief recovery time in between exercises (30-60 seconds) High Intensity Interval Training is the technical term. HIIT is considered to be an excellent way to maximize a workout that is limited on time. Google High Intensity Interval Training and learn about it like I did. It is very motivating to get started. So what did I find that went along with this philosophy as a workout to fit into my schedule and become a solution to my inability to get to the gym consistently?... 

1. Barry's Bootcamp. I've had so many people say they could never do this because they wouldn't be motivated enough to do this at home. But, I say to that, "how is your constant reminder of looking in the mirror not enough motivation?" To me, when I saw what I didn't like, I automatically knew what I had to do each day. Keshlyn went down for a nap and I would head to the living room. Barry's Bootcamp is awesome because it comes with 3 DVD's, 2 resistance bands, and an exercise ball shaped like an oval so you can use it as a bench. It comes with everything you need and you can often find good deals for the set on Amazon! I've never been the one to fall for infomercials but this one sold me! And I'm so glad it did. On these dvds are 2 different cardio segments (one for upper body and one for lower) as well as 3 "mission specialists" for upper body, lower body, and abs. You start out only doing 21 minutes a day! How sweet is that?! I don't know about you but every time I went to the gym I was there for an hour and a half and that doesn't calculate the time it takes to drive to the gym and back home. I can go downstairs and work out for 21 minutes and see results! Seriously! (Granted that your eating healthy as well.) I worked out 6 days a week for months and months. And I was amazed at the results. It actually comes with a booklet and calendar giving you your meal schedule sample to try for a week and it tells you what videos to do on which days for 30 days. Do it for 30 days and you will see the results you are wanting. Honest. Check it out on amazon here

2. Crossfit- Just for a variety and after being introduced to this from a friend, I got into Crossfit. It is another very high intensity/high demanding work out that pays off BIG TIME! I work out Mon-Friday for about 20-30 minutes each morning and I'm DONE! "CrossFit workouts are extremely demanding and will tax the capacities of even the world's best athletes." "CrossFit is the principal strength and conditioning program for many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide." There are some licensed gyms popping up across the map, but largely these exercises are done at home in a "garage gym" with a few pieces of equipment.

 The Result
I'm mad at myself because I think I accidentally erased my "before shot" (2 months post-Keshlyn lol) so it's not as cool to see the transformation but I at least have my stats that I wrote down. 
 Stats: (July 2009)
Upper Arms: 9"
Waist- 28.5"
Hips- 35
Weight: ~115 (between 115 and 118)
After: I mean, aside from looking gross from a sweaty workout, I have definition in my stomach and my arms! Neither of which I've ever had before in my life! I feel great and I even weigh nearly 20 pounds lighter than I did in high school...which is weird because I never thought I was chubby or anything. It's funny what eating better and exercising will do for you. I now have lines on both sides of my stomach and the "v" indentations on my lower stomach which obviously you can't see because I would really need to pull my pants down for that shot and since this isn't that kind of site you'll just have to take my word for it. *wink! lol.

Stats: (originally done in 12/09 but stats are still same except arms a little bigger now from more muscle!)
Upper Arms: 9.5"
Waist- 25"
Hips- 32.5"
Weight: ~103lbs (I fluctuate between 100-105lbs. Most people have a few pound variation)

Any Recommendations for staying healthy? Favorite Healthy Recipe? How do you stay on track? Check out this website for some info:

Thursday, September 16, 2010

All About Keshia Part 2

So, apparently people are turned off by book reviews...or at least those of a religious nature? I've always thought blogging would be super fun if more people commented or participated. Maybe people don't read? Maybe no one is inspired by other stories/books/articles? No other stories make people think about being a better person? More motivated to do more with themselves? No? It's just me? Hmmm....?

Well- at any rate- here it is.  More about me. Maybe this will be worth reading!? haha

1. I chew my fingernails like there is no tomorrow.

2. Shannon forbids me to wear white because I WILL SPILL! I'm so messy!

3. I'm very clumsy and run into walls ALL the time!

4. Weird pet peeve- I HATE repeating myself. If Shannon doesn't hear me the first time, he won't hear it because I won't repeat.

5. Don't really care for pie- but my favorite one is Pecan.

6. I poop dial...that's right. You MAY be a victim! It's one of the few times I can use the phone!

7. I sing in the shower.

8. I check the locks on my doors about 3 times before I go to bed (only when Shannon's not home).

9. I seriously have a phobia of snakes! I have nightmares sometimes that one is slithering into my bed! AHHHHHHH

10. I'm pretty serious about selling my life story to the Women's Channel or Lifetime. From childhood til now- there is always drama, a twist or turn, a romance, a laugh... I got it all! Who knows, maybe I'll be the next Stephenie Meyer, write a book about it from my journal excerpts, and be makin' 40 mil+ a year by 2012?!

11. I can't stand crumbs or dirtiness in the silverware tray. That's just gross!

12. Caution: TMI- I clog the toilet usually once a day. Shannon and I laugh about this often. (QUICK STORY. ok, ok...I know I'm getting real personal right here, so if "doodie" talk is just a little too much for you to stomach- skip this part: I was on a high school trip and I really had to GO! So I did my business in our hotel bathroom while my roomies were in someone else's room hanging out. Unfortunately, I clogged the toilet and didn't know what to do. I sat there contemplating, "Do I call the front desk and be completely humiliated or do I try and solve my problem myself and keep it a little secret?" hmm....I went with option number 2 (number 2...haha. No pun intended...I'm funny sometimes and don't even realize it! jk.) So I looked around me for tools...what can I use? Nothing in the bathroom, so I opened the door and peeked out to make sure that everyone's still gone. Coast is clear. Phew. I glance over to the sink and mirror right outside the bathroom door and see plastic cups neatly stacked near the ice bucket. Score! I hurried to grab a cup and shut the door. I was so grateful for that little cup to be able to shorten up a certain "something" so that "it" could easily go down this time! Don't worry, my hands touched nothing! I was gagging but it was worth it to me at the time. My little "toilet operation" worked and "it" went smooth sailing. My embarrassment would go unnoticed...except I was laughing so hard afterwards that I was crying and I couldn't keep it in and ended up telling my roomies. They, of course, told EVERYONE on the trip. Good thing I'm not embarrassed easily! At the end of the year on "awards night" at school, I was given such an honorable award...a plunger. I was so flattered! BHAHAHAHAH!

13. I am distracted SUPER easily.

14. I hate all the "parties" people have! I swear I'm invited to one every month! Pampered chef (which I actually like their stuff), Mary Kay, etc...I don't like going to them and feeling the "pressure" of having to buy something to support the seller!

15.I have absolutely NO concept of time or distance. If I tell you I'll be there in 15- you might as well imagine I said 30-45 minutes because that's what it will be! Yes, I annoy myself with this! And I feel sorry for my husband with this one because he HATES being late ANYWHERE! THen I just gently remind him of the song, "Waitin' on a Woman" by Brad Paisley, and what a privilege it is! doesn't buy it.

16. I had popcorn every night last week. Popcorn and pizza. Seriously. Are there any better food choices?

17. I am a people watcher. I am quite good at picking up on everyone's mood and feelings towards others in a group setting...even when others don't see it at all.

18. I have a weird love for colored gel pens. I used to buy a new pack each month- now I'm not so bad. But they're so pretty!!!!

19. I only develop pictures like twice a year...honestly. In January of this year I developed over 1000 prints.

20. I have this stupid little blond hair that grows to be ridiculously long on my neck! It's so hysterical because every few months when we're riding in the car and the sun hits my face just right, Shannon will say, "be still- I'll get it!" ...and I automatically know he's talking about "blondie." Isn't that so weird?! But don't EVEN get me started on hairiness... Shannon has that category COVERED!

21. I HATE jean shopping because they NEVER fit me! I can't find any that fit me. I'm in the stinkin' "in-between" stages of jeans. Petites look like they're pushing "high waters" and regulars are way too long...they have to be rolled up. And forget about the rear- jeans don't fit me there for sure. Cause baby, I ain't got back. Suggestions without breaking the bank?

22. I want to go para-sailing even though I'm petrified of heights!

23. Me *loves* funnel cakes, fried doughnuts, fried PB&J, fried, snickers, and fried pickles. But I only eat fried things a couple times a year. :(

24. 1- I'm embarrassed to admit that I secretly love this song and 2- I proudly just adopted this song as one of my new faves. (WATCH THIS ONE! P.S. Thanks, Ambs, for the addiction.)

25. I love that almost everything in my everyday life reminds me of a "FRIENDS" episode...I quote it way too much! At least Shannon gets all of "my" jokes throughout the day. I've been in bed sick for a few days and this is the only thing that has made me smile and laugh my head off... Enjoy one of my favorite scenes... click here

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Disclaimer regarding this post:

My blog is a personal form of expression. It is for my pleasure to journal things (be it quotes, pictures, funny moments, beliefs…) and hopefully it is for your pleasure as well. If you find things that I say offensive, please, I invite you to not return. None of my posts are open for debate or for criticism. Out of all of the positive wonderful quotes that I listed and know that many would agree on, I had one comment from “Anonymous” telling me that I’m not Christian because I don’t believe in the trinity. This is all I will say on this and nothing more: out of all of the things that “Anonymous” could have commented on and found inspiring or interesting, they had to be negative and point out the thing we do not have in common. What ever happened to respect of others beliefs and tolerance? The whole point of the post was to spotlight the book, Mere Christianity, and to let anyone who might be interested in it to know it’s worth reading so they could check it out. I do not need for someone to come on to my personal blog and tell me what I am or am not. I know clearly who I am. I am also quite aware that much of the Christian world does believe in the trinity. However, I do not. Just as people will use scriptures to prove the trinity to be correct, I have several scriptures that would also show otherwise. It’s all in the interpretation. The Bible is full of symbolism and metaphors. I believe that They are “one” in unity and purpose; and They are the “type” for how we are all to be in our families, marriage, and His church - "one".  (For more on this subject, you may freely choose to read here) But, this is not what I will be discussing (nor debating) on my blog at any time. So please, don’t bother. This belief does not make me any less Christian. I believe and accept Jesus Christ as my Savior and Redeemer. And I know it is only through him and by him that I may be saved by grace. I am a follower of Christ and his teachings, and to me that is the true meaning of a Christian. If it is not your meaning, then so be it. It does not change who I am or what I believe and it is in no way pertinent to my post. I think it trivial for outward acceptance or approval of my title as Christian and fortunately outward acceptance is not a requirement for my Savior’s kingdom. So, “Anonymous,” your comment was unnecessary and does not in any way diminish my recommendation of C.S. Lewis’ book (which was, in its entirety, the point of my post).

May we all try to be more accepting of others beliefs that differ from our own and know when to say something negative or critical of someone else. Often times those comments are of no point and render no good consequence. Let us all find common ground with those whom we differ and be uplifting and positive towards one another.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mere Christianity

So I warned you my blog was going to be a little bit of everything.

This post is focused on the book, Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis.

I usually alternate back and forth with my book choices from Spiritual or educational (parenting, makeup, health...) to pleasure (The Last Song-Nicholas Sparks, Twilight Saga, Mortal Instrument Series- Cassandra Clare...). My latest choice was Mere Christianity. I had read parts of it before but never all the way through for some reason. Have you ever had a book like that? One where you start it a million times or just read in a few spots but never finished the whole thing? Well that was this book for me until recently.

It is an AMAZING book. It is a great introductory book explaining Christianity. Just as he once was an atheist, he starts from the very basic principles and builds on that making it easy to understand for the non-believer. He is presenting his side of the "case for Christianity" so to speak. His analogies and written pictures are brilliant! He makes it easy for non-believers and believers alike to understand why we need a Savior and how it all works.

I loved to read his simple explanations because sometimes it's hard for me to explain to others exactly how or why the Atonement works and why agency is important (etc). This book is refreshing. I highly recommend it to all.

There is only one section I disagree with. There is a short section discussing the trinity. I believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in his Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy being 3 separate and distinct beings that work together with such unity that they are one; just as Shannon and I are one in marriage.

Here are some great quotes from the book that I found inspiring. I hope you enjoy.

  • ...the great religious struggle is not fought on a spectacular battleground, but within the ordinary human heart, when every morning we awake and feel the pressures of the day crowding in on us, and we must decide what sort of immortals we wish to be.
  • If a good God made the world why has it gone wrong?... But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of straight line... Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were  no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should  never know it was dark. "Dark" would be a word without meaning.

  • It may be quite sensible for a mother to say to the children, "I'm not going to go and make you tidy the school-room every night. You've got to learn to keep it tidy on your own." Then she goes up one night and finds the Teddy bear and the ink and the French Grammar all lying in the grate. That is against her will. She would prefer the children to be tidy. But on the other hand, it is her will which has left the children free to be untidy.... That is not what you willed, but your will has made it possible.

  • If a thing is to be free to be good it is also free to be bad. And free will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having... He is the source from which all your reasoning power comes...when you are arguing against Him you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all: it is like cutting off the branch you are sitting on. 

  • A car is made to run on petrol...He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.

  • People say, "I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be the Savior." That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic- on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg- or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman...

  • Does it not make a great difference whether I am so to speak, the landlord of my own mind and body or only a tenant, responsible to the real landlord? If somebody else made me, for his own purposes, then I shall have a  lot of duties which I should  not have if I simply belonged to myself.

  • If you are thinking of becoming a Christian, I warn you, you are embarking on something which is going to take the whole of you, brains and all. But, fortunately, it works the other way round. Anyone who is honestly trying to be a Christian will soon find his intelligence being sharpened: one of the reasons why it needs no special education to be a Christian is that Christianity is an education itself.

  • People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed. The real job of every moral teacher is to keep on bringing us back, time after time, to the old simple principles which we are all so anxious not to see... (This is why it is important to attend church be reminded of the basic principles of the gospel!)

  • The New Testament gives us a pretty clear hint of what a fully Christian society would be like. Perhaps it gives us more than we can take. It tells us that there are to be no passengers or parasites: if man does not work, he ought not to eat. Every one is to work with his own hands, and what is more, every one's work is to produce something good... (We are not supposed to be a lazy people! We are supposed to work for everything! For ourselves..but also to help others! This is why people out of work right now riding unemployment without actively seeking another job drives me CRAZY!!!!!)

  • I may repeat, "do as you would be done by" till I am black in the face, but I cannot really carry it out till I love my neighbor as myself: and I cannot love my neighbor as myself till I learn to love God: and I cannot learn to love God except by learning to obey Him. And so, as I have warned you, we are driven on to something more inward...

  • ...the right direction leads not only to peace but to knowledge. When a man is getting better he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him. When a man is getting worse he understands his own badness less and less. You can understand the nature of drunkenness when you are sober, not when you are drunk. Good people know about both good and evil bad people do not know about either.

  • God knows our situation; He will not judge us as if we had no difficulties to overcome. What matters is the sincerity and perseverance of our will to overcome them. Before we can be cured we must want to be cured. 

  • A man has overcome cowardice, or lust, or ill-temper, by learning to think that they are beneath his dignity-that is, by Pride. The devil laughs. He is perfectly content to see you becoming chaste and brave and self-controlled provided, all the time, he is setting up in you the Dictatorship of Price... For Pride is spiritual cancer: it eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment, or even common sense.

  • some have said, "Faith is all that matters. Consequently, if you have faith, it doesn't matter what you do. Sin away, my lad, and have a good time and Christ will see that it makes no difference in the end." The answer to that nonsense is that, if what you call your faith in Christ does not involve taking the slightest notice of what He says, then it is not Faith at all- not faith or trust in Him, but only intellectual acceptance of some theory about Him. The Bible really seems to clinch the matter when it puts the two things together into one amazing sentence, "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (meaning you have to be obedient and follow God's commandments) and "For it is God who worketh in you" (meaning God does the work and we must have faith in him) we must have both faith and obedience to become one with God.

  • He came to this world and became a man in order to spread to other men the kind of life He has...Every Christian is to become a little Christ.The whole purpose of becoming Christian is simply nothing else... is it so strange really? Is not that how the higher thing always raises the lower? A mother teaches her baby to talk by talking to it as if it understood long before it really does.

  • When I was a child I often had a toothache... But I did not go to my mother-at least, not till the pain became very bad. and the reason I did not go was this. I did not doubt she would give me the aspirin; but I knew she would also do something else. I knew she would take me to the dentist next morning. I could not get what I wanted out of her without getting something more. (taking him to the Dentist which would permanently fix those teeth and possibly result in more teeth being fixed that had not started to ache) People go to Him (the Savior) to be cured of some one particular sin which they are ashamed of. He will cure it all right: but He will not stop there. That may be all you asked; but if once you call Him in, he will give you the full treatment. The question is not what we intended ourselves to be but what He intended us to be when He made us. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. 

  • The command "Be ye perfect" is not idealistic gas. Nor is it a command to do the impossible. He is going to make us into creatures that can obey that command. He said in the Bible that we were "gods" and He is going to make good His words. If we let Him...The process will be long and in parts very painful, but that is what we are in for. Nothing less. He meant what He said. The job will not be completed in this life; but He means to get us as far as possible before death.

What book has inspired you?

Monday, August 9, 2010

My Very Own Transformation

You want to know why I love cosmetics so much? Read on then...

WARNING: May not be suitable for children as there may be a couple disturbing, horrific images!

I wanted to show you just how good the Maybelline Dream Mousse foundation (from my previous post) is so I decided to be brave and show you my very own transformation of before and after... take a look if you dare!

1. See what Shannon has to wake up to? Don't you feel sorry for him? I do! This is a clean face that has been toned, exfoliated, moisturized, and protected with spf 30! And you can't forget the lips! Make sure they're smooth and moist to begin makeup application!

P.S. I could type all day about the things that I don't like about my face/skin... crooked/prominent nose, light eyes that need help to stand out, uneven skin tone...blah blah blah but I guess you can just see for yourself! haha

 2. WOW! Come on! Look at the difference...even skin tone! It looks totally natural like a new set of skin! See why I'm in love? This is The Dream Mousse Liquid Foundation that dries matte and when used with a stippling brush (see last post as well) it looks airbrushed and natural! I also have on the Maybelline Age Rewind Face Perfecter Concealer under my eyes and around my nose (I tend to have redness there). Also, can you tell which eye I already curled the lashes on and filled in the brow? It is my left eye (so the one on the right for're welcome for the help! lol) See how much more open and enticing that eye looks than the other one? Many people don't bother with either of those steps- curling lashes and filling in brows- but EVERYONE can benefit from these steps. Almost everyone's brows are a little sparse (just take a look at my other one) and curling lashes makes your eyes instantly look more open and awake. Asian eyes can greatly benefit from this!

3. In this picture I've filled in both brows, curled both lashes, added color to my cheeks, a little bronzer, primed my eyelids with the awesome Too-Faced Eye Shadow Insurance, and also applied flesh-toned lip liner. I  have also set my face with Sonia Kashuk's "Naked" translucent powder. It ensures a long lasting application and also gets rid of excess oils that may be on the face which mattifies and aids the "airbrushed" look. And yes, I even powdered over my lip liner! And repeated the process. This will create long lasting color!

4. In the last photo, I have added clear lip gloss and have applied eyeshadow, eyeliner, and mascara. 2 coats! Here's a better glance of before and after:

tip- click on the pic to make it larger.

Have I convinced you to try my new foundation? I hope so! I love it!

P.S. The lighting keeps making the top of my hair look yellow! But, I assure you it isn't! : )

Check out my updated portfolio on I added Whitney Swann Kness wedding day makeup app!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Makeup Review Log

So if you don't know, I'm a Free Lance Makeup Artist trying to establish myself. It comes slowly and the economy isn't helping right now but it's still way fun! I heart cosmetics!

Check out my SITE!


So from time to time I will keep you updated on my Makeup Log for anyone who's interested. I LOVE trying new cosmetics and being in the loop on what's new and hot! So, here is my recent log with ratings from 1-5 stars (5 being the best)...

UPDATE:  I forgot some of the products that I've recently tried! Yikes! Sorry about that. Here are the additions:

**** L'Oreal's H.I.P. Mascara - LOVE THIS STUFF. I would give this a 4 1/2 stars if I could! I didn't give it five stars because I wish it lengthened a bit more than it does. BUT- it does lengthen and it does definitely thicken! It's ultra black pigment gives you the look of dramatic lashes. Even borderline fake lashes if you already have long lashes to start with like I do! Love it! It should definitely be on your list of mascaras to try out!

*** L’oreal Extra-Volume Collagen Mascara - This mascara will definitely make your lashes darker and and thicker with a couple coats. The brush is bigger like the Cover Girl Lash Blast BUT it's tapered at the end so you can still get those tiny lashes on the inner corners. This mascara alone wasn't enough for me but when worn with a great lengthening mascara (like the Brushless Magic Wand from Bare Escentuals), it is great! I didn't give it 4 stars because you do have to pair it with another mascara in order to receive the best results. If you already have a lengthening mascara that you love, then give this one a try because it is a pretty good thickener!

* Cover Girl Outlast Lip Stain- I've heard raves about this as the new drugstore lip stain you shouldn't live without. I wasn't impressed! It dried up within a couple days (perhaps due to leaving it in my purse in the hot car for a couple hours while I ran in somewhere?) and it went on very blotchy. Definitely not for dry lips. Need to exfoliate before use. I just didn't have a good experience with this one :( *tear

***** Urban Decay Lip Envy - This stuff is AWESOME! It lasts a long time (it's a lip stain), goes on smoothly, and comes in two great shades : Envious (pinky/red) and Greedy (plummy). It has the perfect "I've just eaten a popsicle" look! Great for summer time!

***** The Bronzed and The Beautiful Bronzing Powder Palett By Too Faced- This pallet comes with 3 different bronzing powders and my favorite is "Snow Bunny." It's "a winter shade that brightens, illuminates, and highlights skin with a subtle bronze."  Winter, Shminter. For all my fair-skin ladies such as myself this is great year-round! It has slight pink, white, and browns mixed together so it doesn't leave you looking orangey! It's hard for me to find a bronzer that doesn't and this one is GREAT! If you're not fair-skinned the other two colors are great too: Pink Leopard and Sun Bunny.

1. * Cover Girl Lash Blast Mascara (Waterproof): Ok so let me just begin this by saying that I accidentally picked up the waterproof tube and boy, was that a mistake!!!!! The regular formula is supposedly a hot new drugstore mascara out there right now (including the Fusion version). The brush is ginormous so it doesn't get to the little lashes on the inner corners; it didn't volumize at all; it is nearly impossible to remove EVEN WITH GOOD EYE MAKEUP REMOVER and it realllllly clumps! I just wasn't that impressed with this one...Will probably try the regular one but I'm pretty sure I'm not going to like it!

2. **** Loreal Voluminous Lash- Ok so this is *the* mascara I keep coming back to...I LOVE IT! It doesn't get 5 stars because it does have a flaw. First the pros- GREAT BRUSH! I love the curved one. It helps keep my lashes curled and the bristles get to every single lash. Blackest Black does just the trick to darken them AND it does a great job with lengthening and thickening! It's easy to remove and it doesn't clump...until a couple weeks later. The only think I hate about this mascara is that it dries out quickly and when it starts drying it begins to clump/flake a little bit. But, I'm willing to buy a tube of this amazing stuff more often than to deal with crappier mascaras that last longer in the tube... LOVE IT! If you want some VA-Voom lashes CHECK THIS ONE OUT!

3. ** The Big Tease (Bare Escentuals) - Well... it's so frustrating because there are SO MANY mascaras out there that are such a TEASE and so disappointing! It doesn't really do much of anything. It can build a little bit of length but no volume. It is easy to remove and doesn't clump but who cares if it doesn't perform any function of real use to you?

4. *** Magic Wand Brushless Mascara (Bare Escentuals) - No brush with this one- just little grooves on the wand that will grab the lashes. It definitely provides length but no I found it quite useful to combine it with another mascara that's great for thickening. I just decided to double up with this one so it didn't go to total waste but I don't think this is anything worth buying. I won't buy it again.

5. *** Maybelline's Define-A-Lash (green tube)- This mascara is fantastic if all you're looking for is lengthening! That- it does VERY well! Easy to remove, no clumps, but no volume either. You decide.

6. ** Lash Injection By Too Faced- Ok so this mascara has little fibers in it to create little tubes around your actual lashes to make them appear thicker/longer. The results: Longer- absolutely! Thicker- not so much. A pain to remove- OH YES! Seriously, it is soooo hard to remove and cused my eyelashes to become brittle and break. Won't buy this stuff again.

7. * Great Lash Mascara (by Maybelline)- ok so this is my go-to mascara for my makeup kit because it doesn't matter what mascara I use, I have to use a disposable wand anyway and the technology is mainly in the brush when it comes to all of these expensive mascaras so it is very useful to me for that reason. It does darken and separate the lashes. But lengthen or give fullness, it does neither.

8. ** Ulta Lash Icon (orange tube)- Lengthen, thicken- it does a little bit of both. Doesn't clump, easy to get off. But nothing to be excited about. Will not purchase again.

9. *** Volum' Express Turbo Boost Mascara (Maybelline) - Ok - so to be fair I probably should give this one 4 stars because thickening it does do a decent job, it just doesn't lengthen at all. It's so disappointing and far from being a dynamite mascara. It was just ok. I have been combining it with another mascara to receive better results.

10. ** Cover Girl's Volume Exact (Waterproof)- Again, I accidentally picked up the waterproof formula and in case you didn't know waterproof formulas are very different from the original. Usually never as highly rated in performance as its original counterpart either. did give soft definition and lashes never get clumped or look heavy. But, there is really no building to this mascara. It's not going to make your lashes extremely long or full. Just average.

11. *** Cover Girl's Professional All-in-one Mascara- This mascara is supposed to give you everything (thickness, length, no clumps, long wear, and be natural looking.) I am using the curved brush which I love. I always go for the curved brushes because they help keep my eyelashes curled better. It does thicken a decent amount but doesn't lengthen a great deal. I do like that it gives your lashes definition but looks natural. On the days I'm going for the super natural look, I throw this on and it does a decent job. I don't know that I will buy it again, but it's a decent mascara. If you're looking for a good mascara that leaves your lashes looking natural- maybe give this one a shot or try Maybelline's Full 'n Soft Mascara. It's great for adding thickness, length, and leaving lashes looking natural.

12. *** Ulta Automatic Eye Liner (Long Lasting-Waterproof in Raisin and Bronze)- A little too waxy so it seems to slip around a bit and fade away. Not purchasing again.

13. ***** Shadow Insurance by Too Faced- This is my new rave in cosmetics right now! I love this eye primer and holy cow does it work! Trust me...I've tried many eye primers that have done nothing. This one is silicone based and sheer. You use a tiny pin-head amount and it is enough for both eyes. It glides on and smooths out the surface and dries sheer. You can't even tell it's there except your eyeshadow glides on with ease and blends oh so's heaven! And my eyeshadow looks the same in the evening as it did when I put it on in the morning. YOU MUST HAVE THIS!!!!! I do have to say that I also recommend Urban Decay's Shadow Potion (I like their shimmery one that's great for evenings and also their new one called Eden. Eden has a flesh toned color to it which you could just wear alone as a base shadow. It is a beautiful color! But, I think I like this primer better than Urban Decay's original formula! Yes, it's that good!

14. ***** Age Rewind Double Face Perfector Concealer (Maybelline).  It's a liquid concealer and  highlighter in one package. So right away- the down side is that you get much less concealer and it runs out quicker. But, for a liquid concealer- this stuff rocks! It has the perfect yellow undertone (which every white person needs) to help conceal and brighten the area (perfect for under eye areas!). I'm normally not a fan of liquid because it tends to have a more sheer coverage and sometimes it doesn't last as long because of the medium of the product, but as long as you set your concealed areas with a translucent powder, this is a GREAT product! It has great coverage and dries to a matte finish! (Just be careful with "Medium" color option because it is slightly peach which can actually age you rather than create a more "awake" and youthful look.)

15. ***** Dream Liquid Mousse Airbrush Finish Foundation by Maybellline. As Usher would say, OH MY GOSH!!!!!! This is also my NEW RAVE right now. You looking for a foundation that has a luxurious, silky texture that fades into the skin so well that it makes you look like you have new skin? THIS IS IT!!!! For a drugstore product- this stuff rocks! It leaves the skin with a luminous/matte finish. It makes you look like you have a healthy glow not like you're shiny/oily. This is great for all skin types!!!! Drier skins- make sure to moisturize really well before and those with oilier skins- you just need to make sure you set it well with translucent powder to keep your shine away. Both of these steps should be done by everyone anyway! In combination with a stippling brush/dual fiber brush-it really and truly looks airbrushed. It looks like I have great glowing skin when I use it. And I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you get the brush. I have both 187 and 188 from MAC and love them both. Try and find a knock-off for cheaper if you dont' want to buy from MAC. It will be worth it! You'll use less product and it will look more natural. I will not be looking to try anything new for a while! I was using Bobbi Brown (and I love love love Bobbi Brown's foundations ) but this is a whole heck of a lot cheaper and it works! This foundation has light to medium coverage, so for major flaws concealer is needed.

16. ***** Sonia Kashuk Eye Marker or L'Oreal's Lineur Intense Felt Tip Liquid Liner- Do you have trouble with regular liquid liner? Smear it easily? Not that steady of a  hand? Try liquid liner in a felt marker form! It's AMAZING. Easier to control. Bold, long lasting definition!

Well that's it for now...These were the most recent things I've tried within the last month or so. Hopefully this will be helpful/interesting for someone. Do you have a can't-live-without product?! DO TELL!!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Picture This

Every now and then you just have to post a few fun pictures...

My favorite pictures are the ones where Keshlyn is reaching for the camera and then when I tell her no, she cries like a big ol' baby! WAHHHH! haha

Shannon and Keshlyn are identical!...Do you like her "I'm 1" shirt I made for her to wear on her birthday?! She's got custom-made, designer clothing already! Lucky girl! :)

And the little crochet dress is mine from when I was a baby! I'll post pictures of me in it later to compare.

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

It's A Love Story: Letters & Excerpts From My Diary

5 1/2 years ago, two people began to correspond and wrote their very own love story. Exactly 5 years ago today, that "love story" became "Happily Ever After" when they both said "I do."

The following are excerpts from letters and my diary that tells our story. I will be surprised if anyone reads the whole thing! It's a little lengthy but sometimes I just have to go back and re-read and realize how truly amazing our love story really is and how far we've come!
My commentary in red:

August 5th, 2004
Home for 1 month from his LDS mission (2 years) in KY where he got to know my family...


How goes it? Summer time treatin' you alright? Me, things are back to normal with everyday civilian life...

My guess now is, and I bet I'm  not too far off, that you're quite surprised and maybe perhaps a bit giddy to be receiving this letter in your pile of mail. (At this point, I was still clueless who this was from...I mean who was Shannon Phillipenas? I never knew his first name while he was serving in my area and we only really knew him as "Elder Phill" at church so for such a cocky young man, I had no clue who it was from really the first time I read it! hahahahahaha Oh yeah, and "pile of mail...are you kidding me? I was just graduated from high school! I didn't get mail!)

For some reason when I think of Greenville you pop into my mind. Maybe because you're exxtremely good looking. I don't know. But anywho, ("anywho?" really Shannon?) I thought I'd drop a line and see how you were doing. (Mr flirty flirt, eh?) 

How's life treatin' you over in Muhlenberg County? Are you ready to get out of there?...

Following lots of conversational questions and small talk about school, careers, and hobbies came this paragraph:

Hopefully you don't think I'm crazy. If I was 1500 miles closer I'd have to take you out. Maybe if I head back that way we might just have to do that. I'd love to hear back from ya. My email is__________. My number is _______. 

Shannon Phillipenas
AKA Elder Phill

(Thoughts going through my head: "OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH" Then I furiously go back to the beginning after reading "AKA Elder Phill" and re-read the whole letter with new meaning and am quite flattered and, I'm not gonna lie, a little "giddy" as he said. Darn that boy! So then I decide to write that boy a letter of my own)

August 9th 2004

Wow! Surprised or giddy doesn't begin to describe my thoughts about your letter! You were the last person I ever expected to get a letter from just because I didn't talk to you all that much while you were here... of course I would tell you that I think that you're hott except that you already know that! (I know, I know...I laid the flirting on quickly. But, you know. I honestly thought this was just an innocent little "pen pal" relationship! hahahahaha)

Then I answered his questions from his letter about school plans and what I'd been up to for the summer and then confided in him about some hard family issues that were going on.  He had somewhat of an idea since he was around my family while living here and so I felt comfortable talking or writing to him about it.
It's hard sometimes because I don't ever talk about my "family problems" with anyone because no one knows what my past (or present) holds... It's better that way. You know more about me than my very best friends do. You should feel privileged! *wink*

Goodness, this is a long letter! I guess I need to put a title on this novel! (bad joke!) Of course I think you're crazy. Thanks again for writing me... I would love to keep in touch and I will most certainly take you up on the offer if we happen to meet again someday.

I'm in between changing emails to my college address but my current one from 9th grade is (DON'T LAUGH) is

I know, I know...super lame-o email address! But Hey! I was totally into Destiny's Child's "Bootylicious" song when it came out and some friends and I joked that this was my name...Oh how silly I was am!

At the bottom of the letter I gave him my phone numbers and told him to call me. I've just always thought that a boy should call me first not the other way around! And I wasn't calling him so he was going to have to pick up the phone...and guess what? A day after he got the letter he did call me. After we were married, he admitted that it took him a day to build up the courage to call me! lol He said he was very nervous! cute! And to top off the whole letter...the postage stamp my grandmother gave me to use was a leftover VALENTINE's one with a conversational heart that said "I love you" on it! Geez Louise!

December 22, 2004

Dear Diary,

I'm still struggling with some things in my life right now but I have found something to keep my spirits up and give me something to look forward to....Shannon Phillipenas! Wow...what a last name. Haha. I absolutely adore him. I talk to him daily. When the phone rings and I see his name on the screen, I can't help but smile. I don't know what it is. Maybe it's the fact that we have so much in common and we just get along so well? We can joke around and then seconds later be able to have a very in-depth conversation which is one thing I've always wanted in a relationship.
I hate couples...not that we're a couple, because we're not anything close like that, but....I hate couples who just go over each others house to sit and watch TV and talk about nothingness. I just think that is so boring. We talk for hours and I don't get bored...and I don't even like to talk on the phone! I don't know if it is normal or not, but I've been scaring myself here lately because I have been thinking about marriage a lot. I've always thought of myself as being the "runaway bride." I might think I like a guy for like 2 weeks and then I start to find every little thing wrong with the person...
The funny thing is that there was one particular guy I dated in high school that was so shocked when he heard that I was getting married because he couldn't believe I could settle for one guy! He told my grandma that! haha

Shannon asked me the other day on the phone if it mattered to me if I lived on the east coast or the west coast when I get out of school. I told him that it honestly didn't as long as I had my family and a job... (Looking back now, I can see he was getting a feel for me being a possible companion...sneaky sneaky.)

I'm beginning to think about the possibilities between him and me. I think I might want to marry him someday. I am so surprised by myself for even saying that. I would never talk about something like that so seriously with someone that I haven't seen in 6 months and that I've only been talking on the phone with. But what if....

Love always,


December 25, 2004

Wow, Christmas is almost over. so much planning, so much spending, so much everything for just one day! ....I got a CTR (Choose the Right) ring for the first time in a long time. I had one when I was younger and I lost it. Santa got me a new one! *wink. I'm wearing it on my wedding ring finger so that it will remind me of who I am. It will remind me to stay pure and that I'm a child of God. I know it sounds silly, but it feels like something very spiritual and holy. It's meaning is powerful to me. I've thought about Shannon a lot today. He's so great. I like him so much. He sent me a text message this morning that said "Merry Christmas. I wanted to wrap myself up in a box and place myself under your tree for Christmas. But you will have to accept an I Owe You. I'm sorry that we can't spend this day together but there's only a few more days until you come to Nevada for 8 days. I can't wait. Talk to you soon my adorable southern gal." He always calls me his southern belle. (When he would call me on the phone and I'd pick up and say hello, he would always say, "can I talk to the most beautiful girl in Kentucky please!")



December 26, 2004 


Wow! I can't believe that a girl as beautiful as yourself is going to be traveling 1200 miles just to see me. I am in much anticipation to see this good lookin' gal in person. I really can't wait. I can't believe it's only a day away. Goodness, you are one hot young lady. Tell your mamaw Anita I need some more pics of you and to send them over. I will talk to ya later.

(Did you notice the "love, Shannon" That was the first time "love" was ever mentioned!)

 January 7th, 2005

Dear Diary,

Wow...My life has changed drastically over the Chrsitmas break. I just got back from Viva Las Vegas about 2 days ago. Hours of flying and sleeping in short increments built up the anticipation of seeing Elder Phill. I was so excited. I followed the arrows in the Las Vegas airport to lead me to my luggage. (I had never flown before or really been anywhere far away from my little hometown). As I came down the escalators, I was scanning the crowd for "Elder Phill" without the suit (The last time I saw him was as a missionary...) As I saw a recognizable grin, I quickly noticed the single red rose in the attractive man's hand. As our ees met, I suddently felt a warm tingling feeling come over me, like I was seeing someone I hadn't seen in a while but had known all my life. We immediately embraced for a moment or two and then looked each other over again. Well, at least I know I looked him over again. He had bleached his hair. He had on a red and blue shirt that said "Eastern" across the chest of it which showed off his muscles through the shirt. Hmm...the things a white collared button up shirt, tie, and name tag can hide! WOW. He was better looking than I even remembered and I was about to spend 8 days with him! How privileged was I? .....

After snatching up the last of my luggage, we found his car in the parking garage and headed out. He drove me down the strip of Las Vegas and I was in shock...I had never seen so many half naked women on bill boards before. But the lights and buildings were amazing!....

He took me to eat at Planet Hollywood. I took a picture of the bathrooms. They were so awesome. (I'm redneck, I know!)....

On the way out of Planet Hollywood he grabbed my hand and held my hand the rest of the day. I was surprised at this. I thought that holding hands would have come later in the week! haha.. (He later told me he only had 8 days to work with so he didn't have time to waste! haha).
We drove through all of these neighborhoods. I had no clue where he was taking me until we drove up a hill and slowly these tall white steeples become more uncovered as we drove. He looked at me and smiled. I smiled for ear to ear and a tear came to my eye. The Las Vegas LDS Temple is so beautiful. He knew that I adored it. We parked and got out and walked around the spacious building. It was so peaceful and I was in awe. He put his arm around me and we just stared at the temple. Time froze. I said, "It's beautiful." To that he replied, "so are you." He then took both of my hands and pulled me closer as he kissed me. My heart melted. My knees were definitely weak. I was surprised at this! I didn't think that he would have kissed me on the first day, but I'm glad that he did! I don't like procrastination! ...After this sweet walk around the temple, we then headed to Logandale, where he and his family lives. It was storming on the way home and he suddenly pulled over to the side of the road to pray. This showed me that he was a wonderful man who always had God in mind and in heart.

The next day...
After the movie, we went back to Logandale and he took me to the recreational building in town where he had blankets laid out behind it for us to lay under the stars. We snuggled on the wet ground where our clothes eventually got soaked. We laid in each other's arms and just talked about anything in the world. Eventually, he looked at me with his gorgeous smile and said, "Keshia, I think I've fallen in love with this beautiful gal from Kentucky." He said a few more things but I can't exactly remember those things because my heart was so overwhelmed and drowning in his first words.I was so happy to hear him say he was in love with me because, honestly as crazy as it sounds, I kind of had been having such thoughts before I came to visit him. When I came back to reality, he said, "Well, waht do we do about this? You will be going back to Kentucky before too long." I just said with sadness thinking of flying home without him, "I don't know." and then he said, I want to be with you forever."..... Silence..... (I was crying and trying to decide if this was really happening or not... and then he broke the silence, "So where should we get married?" (JUST FYI- he didn't have this planned before I got here. There was no ring until a couple months later, but he said that after being with me, he felt this strong confirmation that I was to be his bride. And I concurred.)

I love his personality. I love the way he smiles at me. I love the way everything he says is positive and uplifting. I love how God is the most important person in his life. I love how he took out two years of his life to serve the Lord. I love how he loves his mother and treats her. I love how he treats his family. I love how he laughs. I love how he looks at me. I love how he turns his head and leans in closer to indicate that he wants a kiss. I love how every time I state that something is beautiful and he replies, "yes you are." I love how he's understanding and compassionate. I love how he loves me. I love him. ...


Keshia Phillipenas (soon-to-be!)

(This entry was soooo much longer but I thought I would spare you from all the sap!)

July 9, 2010


Grow old along with me. The best is yet to be....

I'll love you forever and ever babe. Happy anniversary!

*As if this wasn't enough reading material for ya...for more of our love story, see these previous posts here and here.