Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Best Dentist In the World

We recently changed dental insurance,
which allowed me to select my favorite dentist,
which means Gracie now has the dentist I went to when I was a little girl.

I have always thought he is the best dentist in the world.
We would seriously fist pump when Mom told us it was time to go back to the dentist.

 Nothing has changed.
I mean, how many little girls could smile that big while sitting next to their dentist?
{It doesn't matter that I'm 28 now. Without fail, his chair breaks every time ("Oh no! Oh no!") and he saves me just before it drops me on my head.}

Monday, November 12, 2012

Share Your Style Swap Party

Share Your Style

If this is your first time here, welcome!!!

And if this post looks terribly familiar to you (because I posted a longer version on October 27, know this one has a post-election update. :)

Laurel and I met through a blog party being hosted by Vintage Wanna Bee and Agape Love Designs. We were randomly assigned a partner, encouraged to get to know one another through our blogs and emails, and then at the end of three weeks or so send each other a hair accessory to remember our new friend across the country by. The following snippets are excerpts from our conversations.

Brittney writes:
Hi Laurel! I just wanted to say hi. I've only spent two minutes on your blog and already am excited to know you because 1. I love skinny jeans too, and 2. I went on a trip to the South for the first time about six weeks ago and loved it. So nice to meet you.

Laurel writes:
Hey, Brittney!!!  I haven't checked out your blog yet but I'm excited to get to know you better. I love living in the South but people down here say I'm not a true Southerner because I don't sound like one. But I am a Georgia peach born and bred! :) It's absolutely so nice to meet you, too. I can't wait to get started on making something for the swap. :) 

Laurel, after only an hour or so writes again:
Hey, Brittney! I checked out some of your posts and even though our politics definitely aren't in alignment...

For the record, Laurel didn't put those last six words in giant glaring text, but that's how I read them. And when I read them, I did something like this:


because I knew she had visited my blog, where it would be impossible to miss the current ROMNEY, ROMNEY, HE'S OUR MAN theme. And if our politics definitely weren't in alignment, what must she have to say to me??? It wasn't that I wouldn't be willing to stand behind everything I have said the last several weeks. It was just that in this instance, I hoped to be making a friend. I braced myself for being told I was ignorant, naive, and uninformed...and prayed it wouldn't be worse than that. Through partly squinted eyes, I continued reading.

Laurel, after having been interrupted by Brittney's thoughts, continues:
...and even though our politics definitely aren't in alignment, I can absolutely respect someone having well-formed, well-thought-out opinions on who to vote for. Kudos to you for having a reason instead of blindly following the masses. Faith in humanity - restored. 

Needless to say, we are friends.

Here are some excerpts from my favorite parts of our conversations.

Brittney writes:
Laurel! There are few things I like more than meeting someone who differs from me politically and totally hitting it off with them. :) Thank YOU for restoring MY faith in humanity. There is too much unkindness and incivility in the world and I appreciate your openness and friendliness towards me.  

Laurel writes:

It's always so, so, so, SOOOOOOOOOOOOO nice to meet someone who is opinionated (see what I did there?) but not hateful about it. Lots of people aren't like that, like everyone and their brother on their Facebook wall posts. 

Laurel writes:
I'm not voting for Romney because he's Mormon. But I'm not not voting for Romney because he's Mormon either. His choice of religious belief/worship/denomination does not even enter into my spectrum of reasons to vote a certain way, though it is clearly of interest and it might matter if he was a Satanist or something more sinister.  

Brittney writes:  
It made me laugh, when I made that very definitive statement, that a vote should not be based on religion, I did make a little mental disclaimer like the one you did...I thought, shoot, if some religious fanatic ever comes up for the vote, I would have to take that back.

and all politics aside...

Brittney writes:
I've attached a picture of what I pictured when I read your preferences on hair accessories... please let me know how close or how very far away I am to something you'd enjoy receiving :).


Laurel writes:
I love that bow clip!!! My motto is basically, "When in doubt, add glitter."

Finally, one of my favorite things my new friend Laurel has had to say:
Laurel writes:
I can absolutely respect someone having well-formed, well-thought-out opinions on who to vote for. It's your vote, not mine!

I knew when I chose to throw my mind and heart into this campaign that a lot of it wasn't going to be pretty. In fact, I knew that choosing to stay informed and aware of the issues meant that I was going to be subjecting myself to a lot of the ugliness politics has to offer. It's been said, however, that most things in life worth having don't come easily, and for me this is one of those times.   

Discussing our views and getting them out so that they can be heard is our blessed right as Americans. However, I hope Laurel and I have been able to demonstrate that you can disagree with someone, even passionately disagree with someone without allowing ill-will or hate to enter the situation. Laurel hasn't changed my mind, and I seriously doubt I have changed hers, but we are both better for having bumped into each other.
Go pay her a visit. She's a really great girl.

Unless you live under a rock, you know how the election went down last Tuesday (I bet you've found out even if you do live under a rock). I am happy that regardless of the results, I have found a new friend. This is how Laurel ended her last email to me last Thursday.

Laurel writes:

I'm so happy that even with the harsh political climate surrounding elections that we were/are able to find common ground in that we are both politically passionate women who form their thoughts independent of social pressures. How awesome it is to live in a country where we CAN do this... and even better that we can move past that difference to be friends. :) 
Lovelovelove, Laurel

I got a panicked email from Laurel letting me know that the hair accessory is on its way. I assured her I already had plenty to blog about. Pictures are sure to follow soon. ;) Thanks Nichelle and Maria-Isabel for hosting the swap.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Campaign Closure

Finding out that a hope is not going to materialize can be really painful.

Wednesday was difficult. I woke up with the kinds of feelings I've only had on mornings after a painful break-up. It was one of those mornings when just making the bed is going to be a monumental task.

I really thought he had it.

I had rolled over and gone to bed the moment it was declared that our current president had been re-elected. Images from Mitt Romney's campaign videos had played through my head the whole night long. 

My stomach clenched every time my mind replayed my favorite sound bites, "I don't think I've seen a time in our nation's history where the man and the moment have met so perfectly." More than a sound bite. I believed it.

I tried to shut my mind off so I wouldn't review the many reasons why I trusted Mitt Romney to put the groundwork in place that would put America on track to a better economy and brighter American future for my children.

Yeah, it hurt really bad.

I count on God to send me tender mercies on days like Wednesday. A "tender mercy" is a term used in our faith that could also be described as grace. It's an experience packaged and presented in a way that only you and God would recognize that gives you the strength to keep moving, lets you know He's mindful of you, and assures you that it's going to be okay.

While that's not exactly how I recognized it at first, I was so thankful to see that my church had made a statement about the election. You see, I believe that our prophet is God's mouthpiece on the Earth, and so I considered what they had to say as being what He wanted me to know. 

We congratulate President Obama on winning a second term as President of the United States.

After a long campaign, this is now a time for Americans to come together. It is a long tradition among Latter-day Saints to pray for our national leaders in our personal prayers and in our congregations. We invite Americans everywhere, whatever their political persuasion, to pray for the President, for his administration and the new Congress as they lead us through difficult and turbulent times. May our national leaders reflect the best in wisdom and judgment as they fulfill the great trust afforded to them by the American people.

We also commend Governor Romney for engaging at the highest level of our democratic process, which, by its nature, demands so much of those who offer themselves for public service. We wish him and his family every success in their future endeavors.

 Pray for the President, huh? That was a hard pill for me to swallow. The honest truth is that I am fearful of the effects the current and now continuing administration's policies will have on the future. I also felt like the less-deserving campaign had won in terms of message and agenda. We had lost, and at what cost? 

The statement didn't say, embrace the President's policies. It invited me to pray for him. So I did. And I have been. Just once a day. :) But I must tell you about the effect it has had on me. It's hard to direct feelings of bitterness at someone when you are praying for them. I think God knew I needed that. Instead I have been able to pull myself up by the bootstraps and start prayerfully considering the kind of role I want to play in furthering the American cause in my home and in my community. Nothing that happened this week changes the fact that I care deeply for America.

Am I sorry I threw my mind and heart into the Presidential campaign of 2012? No. I would do it all over again. Just because the cause didn't pan out the way I hoped doesn't mean it wasn't worthy. It mattered. I especially wanted to thank you for sharing my Seven Saturdays posts. I know you did because my posts went from 20-30 views a week to 200-300 views a week. My hope was to influence more than just my vote, and it was one which with your help materialized. 
Thank you so much. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Dear Mitt

I know I don't understand the magnitude of mail you receive, but if it is at all possible for Gov. Romney to see this letter, I would be so very thankful. Thank you.

Dear Mitt,
I am recovering from emotionally having the wind knocked out of me last night. Your campaign was one of the worthiest causes in which I have ever engaged. I have never been prouder to support a candidate. I will forever be a better American because of your example and that is one of the blessings I am counting this morning. I would like you to know of a contribution I made during the last seven weeks of your campaign... seven blog posts on why you have my support. Real life reasons from an American wife and mother why I stood behind you 100%. I will always count your campaign as one of the richest experiences of my life. Thank you for giving all you had to America. God bless you and your family and God bless America.

Brittney Collado

Saturday, November 3, 2012

7th Saturday of Seven

my sister, my dad, and me (5)
When I was five, I was at the park with my friend Cole and his mom. After playing happily for several minutes, I looked up and realized I couldn't find a familiar face. The park was huge. I started to panic and feared I would never find my friend or his mom and that I would never get back home. My parents had taught me that I could always pray to Heavenly Father and that He would hear and answer my prayers. I found a park bench, knelt down, and prayed for help.

I had hardly opened my eyes when the image of a yellow shirt burst into my mind. I gave it a moment's thought and realized, "That's RIGHT!" Cole's mom had been wearing a yellow shirt. I glanced over the whole park from where I stood and it didn't take me long to see a woman in a bright yellow shirt coming up over the hillside. I ran over, relieved, to join Cole's mom. I remember smiling thinking, she didn't even know I had been lost. But I had learned some very important things since I last saw her. I knew that God was real. I knew that He knew who I was, and that He had answered my prayer.

If I have learned one thing from reading the Old Testament, it is that things seem to work out for nations who choose to remember God, and those who don't are left to their own power.

I believe when we chose to remove God from our own lives or from our nation, it is to our own detriment. 

I have said that a vote should not be based on religion. If I have the choice of placing a God-fearing individual of any faith in the White House, and the rest of him checks out, too, I'm going to take it. And I'm going to sleep better at night knowing that the issues of this country are being brought before an all-knowing God.

I am voting for Mitt Romney because he is a God-fearing man. He has openly discussed his faith in God on the campaign trail, in debates and interviews. Here's what he said when Oprah asked him if God would be part of his decision-making process as president:

I believe deeply in the value of prayer, and I pray regularly and contemplate important issues. But I have to tell you a story about one of the leaders of our church, and that was Brigham Young. It is said that as he was leading the wagon train to the West, one of the wagons that was going through the North Platte River got caught by a current, and as it was beginning to be swept away, the person who was driving the wagon got on his knees to start to pray, and Brigham Young rode out into the river on his horse and grabbed the man by the back and said, "This is no time for prayer." So we're a very hands-on, get-the-job-done, take-personal-responsibility kind of people. But of course, in the meditation of prayer, I hope to seek the kind of guidance that comes from the Divine.

 I voted early on Thursday.

It's no secret that I am passionate about this campaign. As Paul Ryan has said, "I don't think I have seen a time in our nation's history where the man and the moment have met so perfectly. This man is a leader. Everything Mitt Romney has done in his life has prepared him to provide the kind of leadership we need."

If you haven't, please take a moment to look over the previous six Saturdays.
If you feel good about it, please help me increase my reach by sharing them through email, Facebook, and Pinterest.

1st Saturday of Seven

2nd Saturday of Seven

3rd Saturday of Seven

4th Saturday of Seven

5th Saturday of Seven

6th Saturday of Seven 

This link will take you to all seven posts at once:

Seven Saturdays

If you have 26 minutes, please watch Mitt Romney's closing argument to the American people. It will be worth your time.

And finally, it is in the ever so capable hands of He who "set all the borders of the earth," who "made the summer and the winter" (Psalms 74:17) that I leave this election, knowing He will remain constant no matter the outcome.