Enduring All Things: February 2018

Friday, February 23, 2018

Promises for my Brother

I am co-hosting the Love Blog Challenge today. The prompt is "Promises." Head over to Brita's Introduction Post to see the prompts for every week day for the rest of this month. We'd love to have you join us!

Y'all. My little brother, Tyler, turns 25 on Sunday. It will be his Golden Birthday. 25 on the 25th. But do you know what makes it even better? Just 6 days later he will marry the love of his life!
Promises for my Brother about marriage. Brother and sister at sister's wedding.
Tyler and me at my wedding
Since I've written about him on his birthday twice in the past (here and here. Oh and on another Thankful Thursday here), and today's Love Blog prompt is "promises." I thought this was the perfect opportunity to write some promises to him and his soon-to-be wife!
Promises for my Brother about marriage. Engagement picture. Future bride and groom.
Tyler and Mary- Engagement Picture by McPherson Works
So Tyler and Mary, I promise...
  • I promise... Life will be hard sometimes, but it's better together.
  • I promise... Marriage itself really isn't that hard, but it takes work, intentionality, and prioritizing.
  • I promise... Sometimes you will want to wring each others' necks. It will pass.
  • I promise... Sometimes you will feel like you could never be more in love than you are at that moment. You can. And you will.
  • I promise... You can't change each other. You are different people with differing opinions. That will become more and more obvious. Instead of resenting it and trying to change each other, embrace it and learn from your differences.
  • I promise... You won't both be happy all the time. Lean on each other.
  • I promise... Other things in life will seem more important than your marriage at times. Pretty often, actually. They're not. Nothing is more important. Remember that.
  • I promise... There is no shame in seeking help for your marriage when you need it.
  • I promise... Marriage and doing life with your best friend is the best thing in the world.
  • I promise... he world thinks marriage is temporary. Prove them wrong. Work on your marriage from the beginning so it will endure everything that comes your way!
Promises for my Brother about marriage. Engagement picture. Future bride and groom. Walking in the woods.
Tyler and Mary- Engagement Picture by McPherson Works
Do you have any more promises to add for my little brother and soon to be sister-in-law?
Thanks for reading!


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Posts on this blog may contain affiliate links. 
If you click on a link and make a purchase, I might get a little money. 
All opinions are my own.
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Meet your hosts:

Brita - Blog // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // Facebook // Bloglovin
Brita Long is the pink and sparkly personality behind the Christian feminist lifestyle blog, Belle Brita. While her first love will always be Paris, she lives happily with her husband Daniel Fleck in the Atlanta area.
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Charlene - Blog // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // Facebook // Bloglovin
Charlene is a 20 something wife and fur-mama living in Portland, Oregon. She's a follower of Christ, watcher of SciFi, reader of fantasy, singer of show tunes, and lover of her husband! She uses her blog, Enduring All Things to help couples build a marriage that will endure whatever comes their way.
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Alessia - Blog // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // Bloglovin
Alessia is a lifestyle blogger, entrepreneur and post-graduate student in History from the best borough in London, up and coming Croydon. She's a bit like Emma Woodhouse (Pemberley Digital version) and just about no longer the most eligible Catholic bachelorette, as she has found her Mr Knightley in sunny Derbyshire.
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Love Blog Challenge Sponsor and Giveaway:

GIVEAWAY! One lucky winner will receive a large cosmetic organizer in their color of choice (black, white, or gray) from Ellis James Designs. The giveaway starts February 22nd and ends on February 28th. US residents only. Learn more on Rafflecopter.

Brita Long of Belle Brita will verify the winning entry before emailing the winner during the first week of March. If the winner doesn’t respond, she will start the process over again. Good luck!
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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

What I've Read so far This Year

So, it's been a minute since I last posted about what I've been reading. Tayler, Autumn and I decided to stop doing the Reading Roundup linkup because we were having trouble posting every month and not many people were linking up. I want to keep blogging about books as much as I can though. There are some other book linkups out there and I think I'll start posting in the middle of the month to line up better with those linkups.

Anyway, I haven't finished many books since my lost post in December. You'd think with all the traveling we did, I'd read a lot in the car. But I've discovered that I don't like doing that so much. I don't like being in my own world in the car and leaving Pearson to drive. I would rather spend that time with him either talking, or playing a game, or... listening to an audio book.

So that's what we did for a lot of our trip. We listened to Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton. I'm not counting that nor am I going to do a full review because that was mostly for Pearson and I slept through some of it. But it was really good. It was interesting and engaging and historical!

We also listened to the first three Harry Potter books! I'm not counting or reviewing those either because... Well, because I've read them several times already and hopefully you don't need a review of them.

So that brings us to the one book that I did read finished over the last month and a half. I say "finished" because I actually started reading it back in November... But that is changing starting this month. I'm getting back into reading. I know I say that a lot, but I promise it's true this time.

So anyway without further adieu...
What I've Read so far This Year. Book review of The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith.

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

So as I mentioned, I started this book back in November and finished it last week. So that should tell you that it certainly wasn't the best book I ever read and I had trouble getting into it. However, I will say that I started trying to read it at an unfortunate time. What with the holidays, graduation, packing up our apartment and moving, I had no time for anything. I barely even blogged. Also, I had just gotten back involved with a book club some ladies from church do because I wanted to spend my last few months in Ohio with them. So I put this book aside and read some others for that.

Anyway, all this to say that even though it took me three months to read, it was actually pretty good! I will say it did actually take a little bit to get going. It wasn't just because I was busy when I read it. But eventually it was hard to put down.

If you don't know, Cormoran Strike is a Private Investigator and in the first book, The Cuckoo's Calling, he's hired to investigate the supposed murder of a famous model. So it's somewhat of a murder mystery, which if you've been reading my book review posts recently, you know that's my jam! The ending was a complete shock as they always are. You'd think I'd start actually predicting them by now but they still always surprise me.

Anyway, I do recommend this book. Just know it's sort of on the long side (I mean we're talking about JK Rowling here) and, for me at least, it took a little while to get going,

What have you read this month? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading!

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Monday, February 19, 2018

Have your Personal Beliefs Evolved over your Lifetime?

I am co-hosting the Love Blog Challenge today. The prompt is "Beliefs." Head over to Brita's Introduction Post to see the prompts for every week day for the rest of this month. We'd love to have you join us!
My beliefs have changed a lot as I've gotten older and matured. And I think that's a good thing. I think that's the way it should be. Here's why your beliefs should always be evolving. And here are some examples of mine.
My beliefs have changed a lot over the course of my life. I don't mean drastic shifts between different religions or core belief systems. But I mean they're constantly molding and being adjusted as I gain new experiences and mature through life.

And I think that's a good thing. I think this should be the case for everyone!

We shouldn't be so firm in our beliefs that we can't be swayed by sound Truths given in love. And when I say this, I'm not talking about a core belief in Jesus Christ or how he saved the world or how we're saved by following Him. I mean minor things in your faith. I mean your political beliefs. I mean your beliefs in mankind. Your social beliefs. Your beliefs in where your priorities should lie.

A lot of the things I believed growing up have shifted, like I said.

For example:
  • I no longer believe that the South-Eastern United States is the best place to live.
  • I no longer believe that having biological children is the best way to start a family (nor do I want to).
  • I no longer believe the republican candidate is the best choice for office simply based on the fact that he/she is republican.
  • I no longer believe a "small government" is necessarily the best. At least not the "small government" that republicans promise.
  • I no longer believe the American Civil War was only about "States' Rights."
  • I no longer believe I have no white privilege because I "worked to get to where I am too" and "they have so many opportunities in our country now and should stop complaining." - Actually I never really believed that deep down, but I didn't exactly oppose it.
  • I no longer believe boys will be boys and they can't help themselves. You know, the whole "Every man's battle" argument. Thanks Sheila for helping to debunk this one in my head.
  • I no longer believe Disney is only for kids. In fact, I don't even believe Disney is mostly for kids.
There are several other beliefs of mine that have changed over the years but I'm not so sure I want to share them publicly. I do still believe in a small sense of privacy even though that may be hard for you to believe.

So have your beliefs changed over the course of your life? How so? Link up below!
Thanks for reading!

Follow me on social media:
Posts on this blog may contain affiliate links. 
If you click on a link and make a purchase, I might get a little money. 
All opinions are my own.
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Meet your hosts:

Brita - Blog // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // Facebook // Bloglovin
Brita Long is the pink and sparkly personality behind the Christian feminist lifestyle blog, Belle Brita. While her first love will always be Paris, she lives happily with her husband Daniel Fleck in the Atlanta area.
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Charlene - Blog // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // Facebook // Bloglovin
Charlene is a 20 something wife and fur-mama living in Portland, Oregon. She's a follower of Christ, watcher of SciFi, reader of fantasy, singer of show tunes, and lover of her husband! She uses her blog, Enduring All Things to help couples build a marriage that will endure whatever comes their way.
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Alessia - Blog // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // Bloglovin
Alessia is a lifestyle blogger, entrepreneur and post-graduate student in History from the best borough in London, up and coming Croydon. She's a bit like Emma Woodhouse (Pemberley Digital version) and just about no longer the most eligible Catholic bachelorette, as she has found her Mr Knightley in sunny Derbyshire.
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Love Blog Challenge Sponsor and Giveaway:

GIVEAWAY! One lucky winner will receive a custom illustration from Coffee and Maps, plus the item of their choice from the Coffee and Maps online store. The giveaway starts February 15th and ends on February 21st. US residents only. Learn more on Rafflecopter.

Brita Long of Belle Brita will verify the winning entry before emailing the winner during the fourth week of February. If the winner doesn’t respond, she will start the process over again. Good luck!
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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Traditions for Pearson's Birthday

I am co-hosting the Love Blog Challenge today. The prompt is "Tradition." Head over to Brita's Introduction Post to see the prompts for every week day for the rest of this month. We'd love to have you join us!

Guess what! Pearson's birthday is on Saturday! You know what I love about Birthdays? Celebrating and traditions. I'm a sucker for a good, uncommon tradition! Not that our traditions are really that uncommon, but they're fun and they're ours.
Usually we go to Red Lobster on Pearson's birthday because it's his favorite restaurant. And while they have Red Lobsters here, we might choose another, more authentic and local seafood restaurant this year.

Oh and by the way, we always go to the Cheesecake Factory on my birthday. I think that one's gonna stick around forever.

Another fun tradition we have is always seeing the new Marvel Studio movies on opening weekend. Actually, we usually see them on Thursday or Friday at the latest but we're trying to be more responsible lately and see the Saturday matinee.

Funny story, we bought tickets ahead of time for the Saturday matinee when Avengers: Age of Ultron came out and then on Thursday when we saw friends going to the movie on social media, we couldn't resist anymore. So we bought the last two tickets for a Thursday night show and went on Saturday too! More about that story here.

So back to Pearson's birthday. We're going to go see the matinee of Black Panther and then go tour the Tillamook Cheese Factory. Then we'll have dinner at a fun seafood place.

I can't wait!

Read about our Christmas traditions here!

Do you have any unique traditions with your spouse? Link up below!

Follow me on social media:
Posts on this blog may contain affiliate links. 
If you click on a link and make a purchase, I might get a little money. 
All opinions are my own.
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Meet your hosts:

Brita - Blog // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // Facebook // Bloglovin
Brita Long is the pink and sparkly personality behind the Christian feminist lifestyle blog, Belle Brita. While her first love will always be Paris, she lives happily with her husband Daniel Fleck in the Atlanta area.
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Charlene - Blog // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // Facebook // Bloglovin
Charlene is a 20 something wife and fur-mama living in Portland, Oregon. She's a follower of Christ, watcher of SciFi, reader of fantasy, singer of show tunes, and lover of her husband! She uses her blog, Enduring All Things to help couples build a marriage that will endure whatever comes their way.
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Alessia - Blog // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // Bloglovin
Alessia is a lifestyle blogger, entrepreneur and post-graduate student in History from the best borough in London, up and coming Croydon. She's a bit like Emma Woodhouse (Pemberley Digital version) and just about no longer the most eligible Catholic bachelorette, as she has found her Mr Knightley in sunny Derbyshire.
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Love Blog Challenge Sponsor and Giveaway:

Do you love supporting independent artists while wearing snuggly clothes? Then Coffee and Maps is your new favorite online store. Shop by design (The Reader pictured above) or by product (women's hoodie pictured above). You can find fine art prints, phone cases, t-shirts, beach towels, and so much more! Sheena Phillips Boso of Coffee and Maps is a sponsor of the 2018 Love Blog Challenge.

GIVEAWAY! One lucky winner will receive a custom illustration from Coffee and Maps, plus the item of their choice from the Coffee and Maps online store. The giveaway starts today, February 15th, and ends on February 21st. US residents only.

Brita Long of Belle Brita will verify the winning entry before emailing the winner during the fourth week of February. If the winner doesn’t respond, she will start the process over again. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Celebrating my Birthday at the Magic Kingdom

Alright guys, I'm finally getting out the first installment of a recap of our Disney trip. I'm planning to recap each day and to also write some other posts with tips and tricks etc. I hope you don't get tired of Disney posts. I know I never could.

Anyway, this day was actually our fourth day in Orlando and at the parks (including Universal), but I wanted to start with it since it was my birthday.

We had a dining reservation that morning to have Breakfast at "Be Our Guest" in the Beast's castle.

First of all, you should know that Beauty and the Beast is both mine and Pearson's favorite Disney Princess movies. We both loved it long before we even knew each other and still do today. So we knew when we went to Disney we were going to do all the Beauty and the Beast things. Especially on my birthday.
Celebrating my Birthday at the Magic Kingdom - The Beast's Castle at Magic Kingdom
The Beast's Castle
So back to the story. We had a reservation at 9:05 am and we thought we left the hotel in plenty of time. We did not account for the fact that the Magic Kingdom parking lot is actually a Monorail ride away from the park. And we didn't think about the fact that on Monday, there would still be a bit of a crowd left over from the Run Disney events that had happened over the weekend.

Expert Tip: Leave with EXTRA time to spare before reservations. And know the transportation situations.

Anyway, we practically ran through the park and made it to Be Our Guest at about 9:40 but they still let us use our reservation! Woohoo!
Celebrating my Birthday at the Magic Kingdom - The Enchanted Rose in the West Wing of Beast's Castle
The Enchanted Rose in the West Wing of Beast's Castle
So the inside of the Beast's castle was really cool. There are three rooms, the ballroom, the rose gallery, and the west wing. It's all gorgeous and very on theme. And I hear The Beast comes out and greets his guests at dinner. Too bad we couldn't get dinner reservations.
Celebrating my Birthday at the Magic Kingdom
After breakfast, we went next door for an "encounter" with Belle. I thought this was just a fancy way of saying you an meet Belle. We waited about 30 minutes (walking through Belle and Maurice's cottage) and then went in with a group of about 15 people.

The cast members had us all crowd into a room facing an enchanted, time-traveling mirror and say the words "Take us to the day Belle and Beast fell in love!" Then some magic happened and we walked through the mirror to another room where the wardrobe sang a song and (with the help of a cast member) chose children from our group to play different parts of the story of how Belle and Beast fell in love.

Next we all went through to another room where most of us sat on benches while the children in costume waited to reenact the story as a surprise for Belle. Then Belle came in, stunning as ever in her golden ballgown and was wowed by the performance from the children. Then she left. Then we left.
Celebrating my Birthday at the Magic Kingdom - Belle Encounter at Magic Kingdom
So the kids who were in the "show" got to meet the lady of the hour and got some great pictures with her. Everyone else, not so much. Expert Tip: If you don't have kids, don't waste your time. If you want to meet Belle, meet her at Epcot. I'll get to that. ;)

After the Belle Encounter, we used our Fastpass for Space Mountain. Pearson had never ridden it before and I think he enjoyed it! Pro Tip: Bring a SMALL backpack. On rides like Space Mountain, you have to put them at your feet and mine almost didn't fit.

While in Tomorrowland, we also did the Carousel of Progress, because you have to! Then we went to the Monster's Ink Laugh Floor which was pretty funny.

Then we walked around a little and had our picture taken by a few Photo Pass Cast Members.
Celebrating my Birthday at the Magic Kingdom - Couple next to Cinderella's Castle
The lady who took our picture on the bridge to Tomorrowland (above) asked what Pearson's PhD was in. When we told her BioPhysics, she said "So kinda like rocket science? Because there is a rocket right over there!" Then she had us turn to the other side to take a picture of us in front of a rocket!
Celebrating my Birthday at the Magic Kingdom - Couple by Tomorroland
We meandered back to Main Street and got the coveted picture right in front of the castle! Which reminds me...

Expert Tip: Buy Memory Maker! Spend the $150-$200 (depending on when and from where you buy). Memory maker gets you free downloads of all the Photo Pass pictures taken in the park! There are Photo Pass cast members everywhere. They are professional photographers with DLSR cameras. This also includes character and ride photos. Do it! It's so worth it!
Celebrating my Birthday at the Magic Kingdom - Couple in front of Cinderella's Castle
Celebrating my Birthday at the Magic Kingdom - Couple Kissing in front of Cinderella's Castle
 We walked over to the Haunted Mansion in time for our second Fastpass. I remember this ride from when I went to Disney World as a kid. My brother was really scared of it!

Then we saw the Hall of Presidents show which included our newest president, Donald Trump. This was also Pearson's first time to see this show. Then Pearson had to stick his head in the stocks for a photo!
Celebrating my Birthday at the Magic Kingdom - Pearson in Stocks at Magic Kingdom
Then we went back to main street to secure a location to watch the parade. We ate lunch (peanut butter and jelly sandwiched that we packed) and took a few more pictures of the castle.
Celebrating my Birthday at the Magic Kingdom - Couple selfie in front of Cinerella's Castle
We also celebrated our 5th Anniversary a few months late.
Then the parade started and we had a great spot! 
Celebrating my Birthday at the Magic Kingdom - Magic Kingdom Parade - Beauty and the Beast
Celebrating my Birthday at the Magic Kingdom - Magic Kingdom Parade - Selfie with Beauty and the Beast
We had to take a selfie with Belle and Beast
Celebrating my Birthday at the Magic Kingdom - Magic Kingdom Parade - Cinderella and Prince Charming
Celebrating my Birthday at the Magic Kingdom - Magic Kingdom Parade - Maleficent's Dragon
Celebrating my Birthday at the Magic Kingdom - Magic Kingdom Parade - Maleficent's Dragon
Celebrating my Birthday at the Magic Kingdom - Magic Kingdom Parade - Merida
Celebrating my Birthday at the Magic Kingdom - Magic Kingdom Parade - Ariel
Celebrating my Birthday at the Magic Kingdom - Magic Kingdom Parade - Pinocchio
Celebrating my Birthday at the Magic Kingdom - Magic Kingdom Parade - Donald and Daisy
Celebrating my Birthday at the Magic Kingdom - Magic Kingdom Parade - Pluto
Celebrating my Birthday at the Magic Kingdom - Magic Kingdom Parade - Mickey and Minnie

Then the day was coming to a close and I still hadn't met Belle. Which was one of my biggest goals for my birthday. So we decided to run over to Epcot because we knew she was in the Paris area there at certain times.

We got on the monorail to the Transportation & Ticket Center, then got on another train to Epcot, went through security again, and ran to the back of the park toward the Eiffel Tower in the distance!

Expert Tip: Download the Disney Transportation app which has maps and times etc. Do as I say, not as I do. It will save you lots of heartache.

When we got to Paris, we looked for Belle all over and the My Disney Experience app actually had her and Aurora's locations switched! By the time we found her, they had closed the line and that was supposed to be the last time she made an appearance for the day. But a little birdy cast member told us she might be coming back at about 6. So we waited. And she did!! And it was the best experience ever! And she loved my Belle leggings! And now I can die a happy Disney freak!
Celebrating my Birthday at the Magic Kingdom - Belle Admiring my Leggings at Epcot
Celebrating my Birthday at the Magic Kingdom - Couple meeting Belle at Epcot
After meeting Belle, we walked around Epcot a little longer though we had already been to Epcot the Friday before so we didn't stay long. Then we went back to our hotel to watch the College Football National Championship game, which we won't discuss.

It was a pretty great birthday except for the game!
Have you ever been to the Magic Kingdom? Do you love any Disney character enough to run across creation to meet them on your birthday?
Thanks for reading!
Linking up with The Love Blog Challenge.

Follow me on social media:
Posts on this blog may contain affiliate links. 
If you click on a link and make a purchase, I might get a little money. 
All opinions are my own.
Continue reading »
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