Friday, May 31, 2013

my body cries out to relax, but my mind doesn't know how

i am on the road again
this time for some serious r&r
however yesterday during our very first day of vacationing,
i rediscovered that i am pretty much lost when it comes to the relaxation thing
i stood around then paced around saying in my head, 'what should i be doing right now'  'i should be doing something right now'
i felt anxious and unproductive
my sister in law Jani finally said, 'Briana, you can sit down'
what a novel idea, i could sit down
i looked around to find everyone else sitting
boy, i'm not very good at this

last night around 8 o'clock i began experiencing vertigo
my body was sensing that i was allowing it to slow down
its world was being turned upside down
the suppressed tiredness i had forbidden to surface was finally seeing some light
it saw that my pace was being reduced to a less than frantic pace
so it kicked in full force letting me know i need to just relax
i was so dizzy i couldn't stand
sleep deprivation finally won
i went to sleep at 8 pm
crawled into bed makeup on, earrings in, teeth neglected
seriously it happened

this morning i awoke to the repeated buzzing of my phone
texts and phone calls
i had slept for 12 hours
i probably could have slept for longer
my body is winning
but i guess sometimes it knows best
a little r&r is needed
not only for body
but the soul

don't i look rested already
my hair certainly does

what do you do to help transition from the hurriedness of life to vacation time?  or am i alone in this?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Extra! Extra! Read All About It! A Twitter Twutorial

twitter tutorial for the sports lover

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

Instantly connect to what's most important to you. Follow your friends, experts, favorite celebrities, and breaking news.

Not only can you gather info, see what’s up with and talk to friends, and get the latest news - but you can also begin using new words with absolutely no meaning outside of twitter and/or social media! Words such as tweeps (and really just putting a tw in front of any real word.  No, seriously, try it.  Twettiquette.  Yep, that’s used.  Twewbie.  Yep, also used!).  I would define these for you but that would ruin all of your fun finding out on your own.  
Have you always wanted to learn a new language! 
Get lost in an all new list of Twerminology...

Here is the Twitter official bio:
Twitter is an online social networking service and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based messages of up to 140 characters, known as "tweets".
Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey and by July, the social networking site was launched. The service rapidly gained worldwide popularity, with over 500 million registered users as of 2012, generating over 340 million tweets daily and handling over 1.6 billion search queries per day.[10][11][12] Since its launch, Twitter has become one of the ten most visited websites on the Internet, and has been described as "the SMS of the Internet."[13][14] Unregistered users can read tweets, while registered users can post tweets through the website interface, SMS, or a range of apps for mobile devices.

Twitter is a great place.  My favorite of all the social media spaces.  Facebook is just ok....nice for what it does.  Instragram is nice but I don’t really take a lot of pictures...I haven’t caught that bug.  Pinterest is - well - its girly.  I don’t get it.  

But, Twitter! Twitter is awesome.  I can get all of my news and info (and by news I mean sports stuff) in an instant and in short bites often with pertinent videos, pics, and links to articles included.

Not only can you get all of that incredible, relevant news (and by news I mean sports news) instantly in short bits, you can also follow all of your favorite celebrities (and by celebrities I mean sports figures) and get their take on their just completed (sporting) events.

For example:

You can work to ID a song for a Los Angeles Kings hockey player and win two tickets to their next home playoff game. 
What? Seriously? Sweet.


You can find out when a famous soccer player and his wife’s child is born, what they named the child, and how much it weighed.  
See what I mean? This is important stuff.

You can customize your feed however you like.  Lots of info or just the bare minimum.  If you find yourself lost down the rabbit-hole of ever-increasing mind numbing tweets, you may want to make a commitment of twabstinence.  That’s right! Abstain from twitter for a period of time to get your priorities back in line!
Follow only who you want or need.
I don’t know how this compares to, say, ending worldwide hunger or funding research to beat cancer or Arsenal finally having enough cash to buy a world-class striker (ok, that last one is more personal to me), but Twitter is a nice place to get info quick, communicate with friends and followers, and build community.  
Plus, it’s limited to 140 characters per post which really caters to those who just want the bottom line rather than some long-winded nonsense! 
Yes, the day of short-winded nonsense has arrived!
Ok.  Honestly.  Here’s the truth.  I have no idea what I’m talking about.  If you really want a tutorial on twitter talk to a teenager or someone in their early twenties (I’m almost positive the word “twenty” was in use before “twitter” can about). 
I mean I’m 315 days away from being 40 years old.  I remember reading the newspaper (and by newspaper, I mean Sports section) cover to cover to soak up every last bit of information.  I remember the days before the worldwide interweb.  
So really, I just think it’s cool to be able to get my news (you know...) as quickly as it happens.  No more waiting for a newspaper that has printed day old news.  No more waiting for my older brothers to finish reading it cover to cover while eating their cereal.
Now, I’m much more sophisticated.  I read my news from my twitter feed on my iPhone while eating my cereal! Ha! Take that!

Follow us on twitter for really important posts and updates like these! We can be tweeps! Or twuddies! Or twiends!


one word wednesday: today


these are the todays that make all the labors of life worthwhile
the miracle of life breaths a sweet and convincing reminder of its grandeur all bundled in the form of a beautiful newborn babe
little Sawyer arrived to bring joy and heavenly peace to my sister Vanessa and her husband Josh
i felt privileged to enter into this realm of love and wonder

it was eleven years today that i became a mom
a feeling of being made complete in a way i never expected or felt possible
a feeling of tranquility and joy overwhelming my whole being
i held my darling baby boy and for the first time felt a glimpse of how much i am loved by my Heavenly Father
these past eleven years have been a time of tremendous growth for both mother and son 
especially over the past year
i am so grateful for the young man Owen is becoming
our past events of difficulty is molding him into a compassionate and caring man
love you my little daydreamer
my inventor
my engineer
my sensitive soul

joining me today in one word wednesday 
is the lovely jenna from jenna lou designs
she is experiencing tremendous growth in her business 
one she is grown from the ground up
and has blossomed from her consistent nourishment and dedication

i loved seeing the variety of photos this week
each a testament to the growth they see in their own world
thank you so much for everyone who participated

One Word Wednesday is a simple photo challenge intended to tie friends together and inspire anyone and everyone to document the everyday beauty in the world around them. Please join us every Wednesday, sharing a photo that celebrates a scene from your life on your blog and/or instagram. Each word will be announced one week in advance to give you time to think on and capture an image that celebrates that particular word. Be sure to leave a link or add hashtag #onewordwednesday and @briana6 to your photos, so that we can all share in the joy! Next week's word: REFLECTION!

what have you experienced today that has you stopping to take notice?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

winner of the le petit society giveaway for the boy

i am so happy to have partnered with le petit society to bring you this giveaway for the boy
your 164 entries
have me wading in the waters of gratitude for your continued support
and to all of you who decided you liked what you saw here 
at Sweet Dreams are Made of These and decided to follow me here on Bloglovin or on Instagram
i hope to hear lots from my new readers
please come back and visit soon and often

without further ado
drumroll please....

 jenny i have emailed you, so look for the message of congratulations coming your way
your little mister will be strutting his le petit society duds soon

for the rest of you fabulous readers
thank you so much for coming back again and again
your turn will come i just know it

a big thank you to Robyn of le petit society for her support and new friendship
having friends across the globe is an incredible benefit of a worldwide online community

a chance for your photos of your darling children to shine for the world to see
as well as have another opportunity to win more le petit society clothing
check out the contest here
the finalists are currently being selected
cast your vote for this year's face of the Children of the World

what kind of items would you like to see giveaways for here?   i would love to hear.  

Monday, May 27, 2013

my mother the patriot

i am grateful for a mother who's idea of family fun was to break out the game 'constitution quest' or 'the united states game'
who took her camera to document the first time i could vote
who made sure that at every patriotic holiday, we knew what we were celebrating and whom we were honoring
who had us kids make calls and walk precincts for candidates and laws she deemed worthy of our time
who marched around singing the song of the Marines she learned from her daddy
who taught my children the President's Song and sang it with them at a talent show
whose love for our country and its founding fathers are unquestionable
who gives gratitude to our Heavenly Father for the land we live in and the freedoms we possess
who teaches us that there are so many good people in this world and those people need to stand up for what is right
her passion carries us along and drives us to recognize that we have a responsibility for what we are blessed with
although i may have rolled my eyes many times at her enthusiastic question, 'who's ready to play the united states game'
i am honored to be the daughter of a patriot
a full-fledged, whole hearted lover of our nation
one whose actions match her beliefs

this morning we attended a moving patriotic service at my daddy's cemetery
i had no idea what it would be like
but immediately felt deep gratitude to be there with my children this morning as we praised God for this great nation and honored those living and those who have sacrificed their lives in the service of our country
respect and honor is what i desired for my boys to feel today as they sang our national anthem, say those flags wave, and heard men 40 to 93 tell of their service to our country
i looked over to at my mother holding my little Felicity and surrounded by my boys and continued to feel such gratitude for her example of patriotism in my life and the lives of my children

we had brought flowers to bring to daddy's gravesite
after the ceremony many people stayed to greet one another
we made our way through the noisy crowd towards the site to find his plot encircled by a string of red, white, and blue pendant flags as well as lots of people
i have to say that was a very difficult experience for me
every time i have come to daddy's gravesite it has been a peaceful, communing experience for me
seeing so many people standing next to his gravesite, carrying on with their conversations, knowing nothing of the man whose memory we were honoring as we knelt down at his site
stirred up past feelings of agitation at seeing others carry on with their lives while we were experiencing such great loss
of course these feelings are baseless as they have done nothing wrong by carrying about their conversations and lives, it just hurts
the rush of tears was so unexpected
and i needed to remind myself that i do not know these individual's stories
i know nothing of the loss and heartache they have experienced
but as sure as i know of my own, i know that others have suffered loss
it was just too difficult for me to stay there in that setting
i tried to kneel and create peace but i knew i needed to come back another time to receive that peace that i sought for there
i watched my mother tend to the flowers at my father's grave, making sure they were just so
then with a noble smile and kiss she said her goodbyes and we left
i continue to learn from her each and every day and marvel at the grace with which she lives her life
so grateful to be her daughter
so grateful that she is my children's grandmother

Thursday, May 23, 2013

le petit society giveaway for boys

le petit society giveway

happy thursday to you
i am so excited to be working once again with the darling children's shop

 Le Petit Society

we received such incredible reader response from you when we gave away two beautiful le petit society girl's outfits here
that we knew we needed to do a giveaway to introduce you to their amazing boys line as well

if you missed my intro of them from our past giveaway, well here it is
i found this gem of a children’s shop... where else, but Instagram
i was drawn to the bright colors and playful, comfortable feel of their girls and boys clothes
i love their darling brand icon that is made up of ‘x’ and ‘o’ s signifying hugs and kisses, gestures of love
check out this darling video of le petit society in action

le petit society is a budding business, with its beginning only last April and their first collection launching this past January
it was founded by the ambitious pair, the lovely Robyn & her fiance Dylan, both from Singapore but now living in Hong Kong
yes, Hong Kong, they are in Hong Kong
another reason i was drawn to them
my hubby lived in Hong Kong for two years while serving a mission for our church
to him it is the greatest city in the world and feels like home
we have a chant, a song really, in our family that goes a little something like
you can watch my silly boys sing and dance to it here

today you have a chance to win
the light taupe party shirt and the aqua blue skinny pants
both worn below by my Tate
i was so impressed by the quality of fabrics used in the construction of these pieces
as well as how soft and comfortable they were on my active boy
you may have seen Tate wearing these removable suspenders in my photo shoot for my guest post on MINe Style Blog 'Ten Tips for Styling the Whole Boy'

boys clothes giveaway
boy clothes giveaway
outdoor photography by the lake
children photography at sunset
cutest six year old boy

here are two of my other favorite boy items from their shop:

cloud baby boy clothes

le petit society giveaway

one lucky Sweet Dreams are Made of These reader will win

this giveaway will close at midnight on Monday May 27th PST
this giveaway will be open to blog readers worldwide
the winner will be chosen using Rafflecopter 
both will have 48 hours to respond to the winner notification email. after 48 hours another winner will be chosen
sizes 2 - 7 available for the light taupe party shirt
sizes 3 - 7 available for the aqua blue skinny pants



Wednesday, May 22, 2013

one word wednesday: growth

as soon as i saw the word for this week's challenge
i knew exactly what i wanted the photo to look like
exactly like this

mike and i standing side by side holding hands

sometimes it hurts
sometimes it enlivens
whatever the process and outcome may be this is how i know it will be experienced
side by side
the companionship mike and i have is something i cherish 
and day after day i thank my Heavenly Father 
for this man who embraces everything about me and deems it beautiful
who reaches out to lift me
who takes my hand and tells me that everything will be ok
that i can do this
and that i am doing it brilliantly
i know i am the luckiest woman on earth to have this kind of man as mine

looking down at our hands and feet i feel the strength of our connection and
our eternal bond
and i know that even if one day Mike will not be able to physically stand beside me
that bond will never break
not even from all that the world will throw at us
for we are traveling this journey together

learning, hurting, stretching, laughing, crying, but embracing life

in what have you seen growth in your own life lately?  what or who has helped you?

amanda of oh my little dears   /    jenna of jenna lou designs

we have had some exciting things going on the lives of our other blogger friends who weren't able to squeeze one word wednesday in this week.
jessica's announcement of baby #2 on its way

@natalie4hudson  /   @shansummer    /  @taurie16   /   @simplycathi   /   @blissfulmae    /   @lexixd  

love seeing all these 'ushering in' summer projects
garden growing, prom corsage making, baby shower planning
thank you to the growing group of one word wednesdayers

One Word Wednesday is a simple photo challenge intended to tie friends together and inspire anyone and everyone to document the everyday beauty in the world around them. Please join us every Wednesday, sharing a photo that celebrates a scene from your life on your blog and/or instagram. Each word will be announced one week in advance to give you time to think on and capture an image that celebrates that particular word. Be sure to leave a link or add hashtag #onewordwednesday and @briana6 to your photos, so that we can all share in the joy! Next week's word: TODAY!

Monday, May 20, 2013

what's behind the quiet

things have been a little quiet here on the blog 
but i’m sure most you know me well enough to mistake equating quiet on the blog with quiet at home
things have picked up in craziness busyness
if that is even possible
yes it is
as this true statement by Mark Twain basically sums it up
both good and bad
“apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today”

i know you have had those days
both good and bad

at the time of the year when things start winding down schoolwise
but picking up activitywise
our house is swirling
with adjustment

the truth of the matter is that prayers are being answered over here at a rate that i am feeling a little out of breath with
all of these answers have been regarding things i have been praying about for a long time
issues very different from each other
one regarding parenting a particular child
another regarding desires to improve weaknesses
and another in regards with opportunities to help ease the burdens of my husband by helping to provide for the family

with enormous grace one of them has been answered with a solution that actually eases my workload
but that does not undermine the amount of work it took to finally receive an answer that brought peace
a tremendous peace that only came after i submitted my will to Heavenly Father
time and time again i have had a similar prayer
i presented him with what i thought would be best and really wanted
but said that if that was not what he wanted me to do and not what was best, that i would do what he wanted me to do instead
well in an incredible experience the Lord granted me my heart’s desire only after i had truly humbled myself to be willing to do whatever he wanted me to
even if it wasn’t what i wanted
that’s all he needed to know
that i would have done it if he would have asked
an extremely powerful experience

the ease of workload brought about by one answer to prayer has been balanced out by an increase of work brought about by an answer to a different prayer 
that being the one regarding helping Mike provide for our family
why do we fear it
why do we resist it
work brings about satisfaction, fulfillment of dreams, service to others, beauty, growth
yet it takes continual mental strength to keep going some days
and now that the Lord has placed this in my path
it is my responsibility to work, to labor, to stretch myself
to create out of this offering of help, a real opportunity for my family

as i have previously revealed, one way in which i will be helping to ease the financial burdens placed on Mike is through an incredible company called Nerium
the product is fantastic and the business opportunity full of hope
never would i have thought my answer to my prayer would have come in the form of an anti-aging treatment
never would i have thought i would have a great desire to share such a thing with everyone
this is not in my comfort zone
but i have found it to have been easier than i would have thought
just like sharing a favorite recipe or lip gloss color or preschool you love

i have already received a variety of responses from others in my sharing of this product
from dodging and avoidance of me as i come closer
from hurtful comments by dream crushers
to new found cheerleaders and spokespeople of the product
to those who see the hope in the opportunity as i have

i understand that it may not be for everyone
and others may see me as crazy or annoying
but my greatest desire is despite whatever opinion you may have about Nerium and whether its for you or not, and however you view the way I am sharing it to everyone,
you will see this
a woman who passionately loves her family, who views this opportunity as a gift from God, and is working hard to do what she can to provide financial relief for her hard-working husband of failing health and her four young children
a woman who is grasping onto that hope and stretching herself because she remembers why she is doing it and what the end result will be
that is what i hope others will see

in reaching out to others about this product
the greatest blessing so far has been learning how so many of you who read my blog and remain silent without a digital footprint
have not remained silent in your prayers to Heavenly Father on our behalf
i have been so overcome with gratitude to learn of so many of you who are praying for us on a regular basis, even fasting for us by name.
this has brought me tremendous strength and humbled me to tears
that you would deem us worthy of your time and prayers is completely humbling and spirit lifting
thank you to so many of you

what have you done in your life that may have been scary or hard for you to do, but you did it because you had to or because you loved someone so much, it was worth the work and time?
please share
you know i love hearing from you.

***print by jumpoffthepage

Friday, May 17, 2013

creating a community through commenting and following

i am absolutely delighted by the response my hubby received yesterday on his post
the mental challenge
that is the sort of community interaction i would love on a daily basis here on the blog
people sharing their lives with each other
to help lift up one another
a real community where people come to inspire others and be inspired
just by simply sharing their own life
isn’t it incredible to realize that each of you just living your own life and then sharing it can be a means of helping someone else with theirs
everyone is granted trials in life
if we choose to look at them as such, they can be tools for our own growth as well as little beacons of hope we can light for others
that is the power of our little blogging community that i have felt with you
thank you sweet friends
thank you

when have you benefited from sharing your life’s events with others? how have you grown from reading about someone else’s struggles and triumphs?

my challenge to you: comment more
allow others to hear from you no matter how brief it may be
i feel of your strength by simply knowing you have come by 
and the easiest way to let me know is to comment
i am so humbled when i hear people tell me when i see them that they love what they read here,
but i would have never known they were part of my readership
this space is just as much for you as it is for me
by commenting you put yourself in the arena of support
that may seem like a daunting thing to step out of anonymity
but allow yourself to reap the full benefits of being apart of a community like this
support, both the giving and receiving kind

my challenge to you: follow my blog
following my blog allows the best way for you to feel apart of this community that Mike and I are trying to encourage and perpetuate
it keeps you updated on the happenings on the blog
like your favorite tv show, each new episode builds on the last
it also enables me to take closer steps towards fulfilling my dream that i shared with you
of having a blog that will be a sustainable income for our family
‘following’ comes in various formats: email, subscribing to my feed, and/ or using a reader in particular Bloglovin, Twitter, Instagram 
sponsors, public relation firms. and other online companies use the numbers from all of these medias in order to determine if i am worthy of their time and investment
numbers are the basic requirement before they will look at the quality of our content
i know you want to help support us 
and an easy way you can do that is to choose at least one way to ‘follow’ my blog
since google reader... that little box in the right that says ‘follow’ ... will be closed down by Google here soon i am in the process of rebuilding my following on other platforms
the best place to follow me would be through Bloglovin’ or subscribing by email through Feedburner
here are links to follow my blog:

follow this blog by subscribing to its feed
subscribe by email by entering your address into Feedburner or in the box towards the top right-->^
follow me on bloglovin
follow me on instagram
follow me on twitter
follow me on pinterest

i want to write a few posts to introduce you to feeds, readers, and other social media such as instagram and twitter
so help me know what you want to learn about
what questions do you have about any of that?
Jani, my sister in law, reminded me that social media is jibberish to so many people...
a feed...what are you feeding?
bloglovin’? why would i even need that?

so come on, hit me with your questions!
what do you want to know about social media and feeds and readers?  
don’t be shy...ask
remember a community of support
that’s what we have here
so ask

Thursday, May 16, 2013

the mental challenge: by mike

I worry about writing on this topic.  Simply because my intention is to solicit your thoughts, ideas, and experiences through the medium of this blog, rather than pontificate about myself and my particular situation.  Therefore, as I write this please consider your personal situation and circumstance and be ready to share or respond - or at the very least commiserate with a like-minded soul!

Multiple Sclerosis.  That is my personal El Guapo. 

Your personal El Guapo may be something entirely different, but there may be some commonalities running through our individual experiences and challenges.  

With everything that comes with this disease and its distinctively unique signature, there is one overriding challenge that I can’t seem to successfully navigate.  To employ a horrible pun, it may be the most crippling portion of my disease.  

I’ve always been a big believer in ‘mind over matter’ - or at least my own version of mind over matter.  I’ve always been pretty good at dealing with pain and discomfort.  Physical challenges were opportunities I relished.  Athletic competition and pushing one’s body to new heights was always something I enjoyed.  I have finished a soccer game after damaging the ligaments in my knee.  I injured my back making a diving catch in a intramural flag football game and finished the game (I couldn’t walk for a week after that night).  I have finished a soccer game after knocking heads with another player, cutting my head open, and being knocked out.  No pain, no gain!  I take pride in having mastered my mind over matter mantra.

So when I was diagnosed with MS, I thought to myself.  I can handle this.  I can handle the pain, the fatigue, the loss of equilibrium and balance.  I’ll even handle the loss of mobility.  I take it as a personal challenge to walk miles around Disneyland with my children and forcing my legs to take one more dragging step.  And then one more.  And then one more.  Well, as time has passed, my condition has progressed and I am now relegated to a motorized chair at Disneyland.  I can’t play soccer in the backyard with my boys without threat of serious peril! (I fall easily and cannot brace myself because I don’t know how I am falling!)

What I was unprepared for was the mental challenges that have come with this disease.  As a man, I take my responsibilities to provide for my family seriously.  I take my commitment to my wife to be equal partners in raising our children seriously.  I take my desire to serve others and lift the hands that hang down (Hebrews 12:12) seriously.  To fail at the most basic of commitments, the most important commitments, is unacceptable to me.  And I am fighting to find some sort of understanding.  Some sort of balance.  My expectations don’t match my physical ability (not to mention my mobility!).  

I am struggling to find a mentally comfortable balance between my responsibilities and my limitations.  How does one make a transition from things that were and always have been unacceptable to accepting that you are limited in critical functions/areas?  

How to accept the unacceptable?  
I have not found a ‘How-To’ guide for these mental challenges.

How do you accept limits without limiting your worth?

It makes me angry that I cannot clean the kitchen without completely wiping myself out.  I rely on my oldest son to take care of so many tasks and chores that I should be doing and that’s not fair to him. And I could go on. But that’s not the point.  The point is simply how is it possible to find peace?  

To feel comfortable with a contribution that is so significantly limited?

I have deep and abiding faith in God.  I know that this is temporary and confined to this life.  This area is not where my concern lies whatsoever.

However, as my own harshest critic, it is hard to sit on the sidelines of life and feel worthy.  It’s difficult to stand by and watch others carry disproportionate loads because you are unable.  Feelings and thoughts of worthlessness, shame, and embarrassment invade my mind.

This is a work in progress.  Mentally, I am trying to get my arms around this challenge.

What insight do you have?  What wisdom might you share?


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