Memorial Weekend Shenany's

I have to go to school today. PUKE. Only 4 days left though, and then I get to taste summer again... Praise the good Lord above!

My weekend technically started on Friday, but not really. I spent the entire day at a children's hospital in Minneapolis discussing what's next for the treatment of Arthur. (I've given my arthritis a name... Yes indeedy.) I did like what I was wearing though, so it was okay. Post on that appointment is coming all on its own. Soooo much going on.

My momma made sure to stop at a Caribou Coffee on our way home to cheer me up... She knows me well. 

I got back just in time to pick up my sweet N from his last day of school! This means I'm no longer REALLY his nanny. ;( I had the best year with him, though. Thankful for it and know that he will never leave my heart!


I went out for dinner with one of my besties Friday night, then we crashed another one of our friend's dates. It was glorious. The bestie and I then had a sleepover... So fun. We slept til nearly NOON on Saturday which was completely rockin'.

I went home, showered, and got ready since my older sis wanted to go into town for some shopping. Operation find a swimsuit, by the way? FAIL. I'm bitter about it. I cannot find ANYTHING that fits me right. Talk about annoying. At least I was having a good hair day...

Did a whole lot of nothing rewatching Grey's Anatomy seasons Saturday night...  Twas productive as always, of course. HA. Sunday morning, I went to church and helped teach our last Sunday school class. Terribly bittersweet. I'm going to miss seeing my church babies every Sunday!

And, as true Minnesotan's would, the little sis and I joined our family for camping on Sunday evening. In 45 degree weather. Surprisingly, we had a blast even though we definitely weren't getting our tan on or running around in anything less than sweatshirts and jeans!

Obviously, we all know what SuperNannyKenz's favorite part about  camping is... BABIES. And lots of em. All for me to love on all summer long!

And waking up on a Monday morning when I don't have school to these snuggles? Probably doesn't get better than that.

I can't believe the weekend is over, but at the same time I'd just like to get this week on with and over with! I solemnly swear that I will be up to NO good this weekend. And by that I mean, I can sleep when I'm dead. I just wanna spend time with my friends, sit around a campfire, and get a good tan. So.Ready.For.Summer.

Linking up with //


Fitness Lately

Today I'm headed to Minneapolis for an appointment with my rheumatologist. It might actually shape up to be a pretty crazy day because we're discussing "what to do with me" when I turn 18 in a few short months. I currently go to a Gillette Children's Hospital, and since I'm almost NOT a child anymore, (WOAH) It's time to find a doctor to better suit my needs.

Anywho, I've been failing COMPLETELY when it comes to keeping up with my fitness. I like to blame it on being a full time student with two part-time jobs, but I know there's not an excuse and my physical therapist would be ticked...

It's been hard dealing with the fact that I simply cannot be the runner that I used to be. It's truly something that is beyond my control. I thought I'd officially learned how to be proud of the new me last summer, but there's still a lot of hurt and feelings of "inadequacy" here. Therefore, I've decided to take a break from running. If I feel well enough to run, I've promised myself not to exceed 1 1/2 miles at once. I was averaging about 2 1/2 miles per run last  month, but the pain I've been in the past few weeks is just not worth it to me at this point. I hate that, but it's the truth and I'm staying positive. I'm slowly realizing that I can still make progress and overcome... It just might be in other areas for the time being! I'd choose moving forward and being joyful rather than moping around doing NOTHING any day. :)

Since I don't have a nannying job this summer yet, (sad face) It looks like I'm going to have a lot more free time! I'm not sure how I really feel about that yet, but things will be okay! Someone I babysit for was just telling me about some awesome yoga classes she's been taking and I realize how much I want to get myself involved in that. She does special "healing" classes - so I'm thrilled to meet/get to know the instructor while learning more about my body, its limitations, and what I can do to naturally help it heal.

Another fitness goal I plan to accomplish this summer is going for and completing The 300 Challenge. My core is one of the few areas of my body that my arthritis has not taken control of which is amazing! It gives me a place to make progress while I let my joints off the hook. Again, it's just what's best for me right now and I'm okay with that!

In other news this weekend, I'm going camping with my family! Minnesota finally decided to give us SPRING and it's been feeling more like summer now that the rain has stopped. :) And, since our campground has some amazing trails, I'm going to attempt to squeeze in a 1 mile run and lots of biking. I'll take it one day at a time. :)

The first thing I'm going to do when we get to our camper tonight is make myself a kiddie cocktail. Cheers to the freakin' weekend! Ah, to be a teen blogger... ;)

Linking up with my gorgeous friend // 
Jen  @ A Daily Dose of Davis


Prommity Prom Prom '13

This post was supposed to be written and published last week, but because between final projects and getting caught up on sleep, I totally didn't make time for it! Happy to say that things have calmed down around here, though, and I can finally get back to sharing my heart here. :) Lots of good things scheduled this week!

Prom was last Saturday (May 11th) and I had the best time! On the Thursday night before, I decided to go for a 2 1/2 mile run because I was feeling pretty well (except for...ya know...the flare up I was in). I wanted to get one last workout in before prom and I'd been so busy that I hadn't run in almost a week. So, I went for it. And when I got home, my knees, ankles, and shins swelled up. HUGE. My arthritis was in all of its glory. I cried a lot that night because I thought it meant I'd be miserable for prom, but God worked an amazing, amazing miracle in my body because I woke up Saturday morning feeling better than ever! God knows how much I love to dance and I KNOW that He knew I just needed to be "Kenzie" for a night... Not "Kenzie with arthritis."

(DISCLAIMER: Prepare for a complete photo dump!)

I got my hair done by my incredible hair stylist Saturday morning. It was amazing to say the least...I LOVED how blonde it looked and how full it was. :)

My youth mentor Amelia did my makeup afterwards (picture below, could NOT live without her...) and I basically got the rest of me ready in 10 minutes! Crazy how fast the day flew!

My date was a good guy friend. You can read about how he asked me here. He's super thoughtful and we had so much fun together! Plus, he cleans up pretty gooooooood. ;)

Obviously, we took loads of pictures before going anywhere...

Then we met up with friends for more pictures! Of course!

We did all the prom stuff, too...went out for dinner, hung out, took more pictures... etc. etc.! :)

My school does something called grand march where you and your date get introduced and all of the parents/families come watch! Pictures of the big debut below! ;)

After grand march, more pictures...

And then the dance started! You tell me who was having the most fun... ;) HA!

Afterwards, we went to a friends for a bonfire. It was great to just hang out and enjoy the gorgeous weather. :) I can't believe it's all over! So crazy how fast everything flew.

I'm so thankful that God gave me a day to be KENZIE in all of her glory. I danced my assets off, laughed way too much, and only took 2 pain pills along with my daily steroid. I went to bed that night with the biggest smile on my face. :)


This Is God's Story Through Me

From day one, God set the desire in my heart to share. Whether it be my time, my heart, or my story, I want to be sure I'm doing just that... Every second of every day. And, I want to do it solely because God has asked me to.

My selfish, human desires would LOVE to title this post, "My Story." But, because I never had to face a single moment of this journey alone, I cannot.

This is God's story through me.

God truly deserves all the glory for bringing me this far... He has given me the strength to not only battle my arthritis, but also to pass six kidney stones, overcome various sight/hearing limitations and ultimately... He gave me the strength to get out of bed this morning and SMILE! :) I am beyond blessed and pray every single night that Jesus would be praised because of my journey. God has promised me healing, it's on its way, and while I'm waiting, I will continue to praise Him for all that He's done and will continue to do through me. :)

James 1:2-3 says... "Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has the chance to grow."


I'll Try Again Tomorrow

Today, I traded in classes, tests, and presentations for heating pads, pain pills, and deep breathing techniques. I hurt, I'm red, I'm swollen.

I cried the whole drive home from school because today, it feels a lot like I'm just giving up. The hardest thing about this disease continues to be admitting that some days I'm just not okay. I cannot put into words how much I hate that.

I'm going to spend the rest of today working on a few projects, resting, and praying that God gives me wisdom and clarity through this rough patch! It may not be the Friday I was hoping for and I may not have "won" today...but you can bet your bottom dollar I'll try again tomorrow.


Count It All As Pure Joy

This weekend, my church held a mini-women's conference. A few weeks ago, my youth pastor's wife had asked me to record my testimony on video for them to show there. The theme this year?

La Vita Bella - The Beautiful Life.

I laughed when I heard that. 

More like a beautiful mess.

I prayed about it, recorded it, and then found out I had to work this Saturday. At first I thought it was better that way... Because then I wouldn't have to sit through watching my own video {I was crazy nervous} - but then, one of my lovely coworkers picked up the rest of my shift and let me off early...

Crap. Ha!

I went to the conference that day and could not be more moved by the message it represented. Life IS truly beautiful no matter what season God has us in. He is always good and He will always provide.

My testimony video was incredibly hard for me to watch. I think the reason I cried so hard watching it was because I still feel that same pain on a daily basis. It's not gone and it may never be here on earth... But my hopelessness is. Jesus broke those chains and gave me purpose in this pain.

Anyway, my video ended and I was bawling. Sitting next to me was my best friend Amelia... A woman of God like no other, a prayer warrior, someone I can TRUST...

She turned to me, hugged me, and whispered in my ear, "I'm so proud of you." Then, she handed me her phone. She had pulled up James 1:2-3 which says...

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance."

I cried more, hugged her tightly, and silently thanked God a BILLION times in my head. How on earth did I get so blessed?

While I'm anxiously awaiting a copy of my testimony to share with you all... For now, I just want to hold onto those incredible words in James... And I want to rejoice in God's name and how absolutely, incredibly powerful He is.

It needs to be known that I fight that battle daily. The battle with pain, the battle with swelling... My earthly body fights it. But my spiritual body? The Holy Spirit living inside of me? THAT spirit who goes by the name of JESUS already won that battle long ago... On the cross.

And because of that amazing victory, I can count it ALL as pure joy... That fight may mean nothing when I do it alone, but when I do it allowing Jesus to shine through me, there's a purpose. There's a Savior who's stronger than what I'm facing.

That's a promise worth living for... Worth SMILING about. Yes, yes indeed.