Posts Tagged ‘life’

  1. I Failed Today

    March 29, 2017 by Melanie Faris

    I got out of bed at 8 am today, but first I woke up at midnight, then 2 am, 3 am, 5 am, and 7 am. It was a long night with a newborn, and my energy was lacking for the day before it even began. I could hear my sick little girl coughing down the hall, and soon after, little pitter pats on the floor making it’s way to my room. The day was about to begin, and I’ve missed my opportunity to shower.

    With greasy hair and a milk stained shirt, I roll out of bed and make my way to the bathroom to brush my teeth and throw my hair in a ponytail. If I don’t get dressed now, chances are I will stay in my pajamas until noon. So I put on some clean clothes and a quick swipe of mascara. I probably won’t leave the house today, but someone might show up here and I should look like I’ve got my act together. Even if my only visitor is the FedEx guy bringing me something I just can’t leave the house to buy.

    I see the overflowing laundry bin out of the corner of my eye while I hurriedly brush my teeth – the laundry that I’ve been ignoring for days. I haul it out of my room and put it near the top of the stairs so that I can’t ignore it anymore. At some point today I will bring it down to wash. Or that’s the intention at least.

    I go back to my room to grab the baby, and on the way, I pick up the dirty diapers I tossed carelessly on the floor throughout the night. I’m scanning the room for any diapers I missed when suddenly I see my toddler wiping her boogers all over my bed sheets. I guess I need to wash those at some point now too.

    She’s reaching for the baby. Not the baby!!!

    “Hi baby Ben!” she says, as she pats his little head with her booger fingers. How sweet. I panic that the newborn will catch her nasty sickness, so I drop everything and run to grab him.

    With a baby in one arm, and a toddler hanging onto my leg crying for a banana, we finally make our way to the stairs. I try to carry them both, but the toddler insists she wants to walk down by herself while carrying two of her favourite blankies and her stuffed dog. So we slowly make our way down the stairs, one toddler step at a time.

    My husband is running around trying to make breakfast, coffee, and clean up yesterday’s dishes. He’s late for work. I’m tempted to ask him to hold the crying baby or wipe some boogers, but then I remember… he was up at 12 am, 3 am and 5 am reassuring a sick little girl that she is going to be alright. He ended up sleeping in bed with her. We all survived another night, but the day was just beginning…

    I wasn’t sure how the day would pan out, but I knew it would involve The Wiggles on replay, every crayon we own being tossed on the floor, picking up the shredded the toilet paper that’s bound to be all over (toddlers do this best), intermittent vacuuming, all the while nursing a baby and wiping toddler boogers…oh and possibly a nap. Dear God, please let there be a nap.

    After a long day, I can’t wait to lie down and sleep. Between a sick toddler and a hungry baby, I don’t know how much sleep is in store for this Momma. I remind myself how short this phase of life is. There’s many years of sleep ahead of me, just not this year. The days are hectic, but I’m treasuring these busy, not always easy moments with my two precious children.

    I wonder how people survive with twins, or how they get anything done with more than two kids…I admire Mothers. Especially those who have time to shower AND blow dry their hair. I’m not there yet, but one day I will be. In the meantime, I’m accepting the fact that I’m not perfect at this whole Mommy thing. It’s not easy. It’s really not easy. If I need to put the TV on to entertain my toddler so I can nurse a crying baby, then I will.

    This isn’t forever, but it’s today. 

    If failing means I don’t get the chance to put on my makeup, or keep a clean house, or make a homemade meal, then I choose to fail. Failing is so worth it. And even though I feel as if I failed today, there are two innocent, sweet children who look at me like I’m their whole world. Because I am. And that’s the greatest reward there is.


  2. a letter to my daughter

    April 29, 2015 by Melanie Faris

    photo

    Dear Norah Joy,

    I remember the day we found out we were having you. We cried with tears of joy, and now you are here. I remember the look on your Dad’s face when he saw those two lines. I remember the gasp in his breath and our screams of joy in the air. You were loved, even when you were just forming and beginning as a new life. Even in those first few weeks. We loved you. Even then.

    I remember the first couple of months as my body made a home for you. I stayed in bed all day and could hardly eat a thing. But I did, because I knew you were there and needed me. I didn’t know it then, but I needed you too. Even before I could see you or feel you inside of me. Even then.

    I remember wondering what you would look like, or if you were a boy or a girl. When your little toes and fingers were webbed together and your eyelids tightly sealed, you were still my beautiful girl. The same beautiful girl you are today. Even though I didn’t know what you were or the person you would become, you were you. The same you, just as real and beautiful as today. Even then. 

    I remember feeling my belly begin to pitter-pat. You were only 17 weeks, and already starting to kick your feet and tickle me with your fingers. I hold you in my arms today and remember the days when your movements were so small inside of me. Those small feet and fingers were practicing for the days ahead when they would do mighty things. Even as small as you were then, you were mighty in strength. Even then.

    I remember waddling around with my big belly. Even though you were so small, I felt so big. Your little body was growing and preparing for the day when we both would meet face to face. And your little heart that was beating within me, it was beating for a reason. It was beating a sound of life. It seems more real now that I can watch your chest rise and fall with each breath you take. But even before I could see you inside of my big belly, your heart was still beating life and your chest would still rise and fall. Even then.

    I remember the day when you began your journey out of my womb. You were ready to breathe on your own. You were excited to meet us, but didn’t want to come too soon. We were excited too. The pain lasted for days, but I  knew that every pain was one step closer to holding you in my arms. We didn’t know what to expect, but we knew your life would change our lives forever. But even before you were born, you had changed our lives already. Even then.

    When you entered the world and we saw your precious face, Mommy and Daddy cried. We cried just like on the day we found out you were inside of me. We didn’t cry because you were here, for you had been here all along. We cried because you were more beautiful than we ever could have imagined. We cried because we finally got to open the package of our precious gift. We cried because we could finally see your eyes, oh those precious eyes. We cried because we loved you, and will love you for the rest of our lives.

     Psalm 139: 13-16 (NIV)

    13 For you created my inmost being;
        you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
    14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
        your works are wonderful,
        I know that full well.
    15 My frame was not hidden from you
        when I was made in the secret place,
        when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
    16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
        all the days ordained for me were written in your book
        before one of them came to be.

     

     

     


  3. 10 Days Raw

    April 2, 2014 by Melanie Faris

    It has been 10 days, and I have to admit, this lifestyle is growing on me. I never imaged enjoying this as much as I am. I find that I’m not thinking about food as much anymore (besides when I am cooking for clients). If I am thinking about food, it’s fun and delicious raw food that I can experiment with! Mind you, I have had some moments where I am ready to pack it in and dive into Thomas’ dinner (that moment may have been tonight).

    The Rawlicious restaurant has really helped me for the past week, especially with adding variety to my diet lately. I have eaten salads and the same avocado wraps for days (and still enjoying them), but a change is always nice, especially without having to prepare it myself. I had their Caesar wrap today, and boy was it delicious! I think the new scent lingering with me wherever I go is garlic. Poor Thomas has to put up with my breath, but I have been sneaking garlic in his meals too so I’m not the only one with the bad breath – hehe.

    This whole experience has been amazing so far. I always thought my energy only came from carbs, but now I am beginning to see that I have MORE energy without carbs. I’m not saying, “go cut your carbs!” I’m simply realizing that I don’t need starchy or processed carbohydrates to give me energy. In fact, carbs and coffee cannot compete with the energy fresh green vegetables have given me. My focus and attention to detail has grown, and my overall feeling of well-being is amazing. I am continuing with fresh green juice every morning and still eating only greens all day. I want to make it to the 2 week mark before introducing any form of sugar (including fruits and certain vegetables) into my diet. I may continue longer than 2 weeks with greens to fully detox and give my body a break from sugar entirely. I will keep you posted!

    In my free time, I have been watching tons of documentaries and reading books on raw and/or vegan diets. It is fascinating. I love to learn and lately my brain has been getting crammed with new information non-stop. I am amazed that society has practically shunned this lifestyle, when in reality, this is possibly the most healthful way to live (in my opinion it is). There are many many opinions on this subject, and I’m not trying to start a debate. I don’t judge anyone’s way of living and I’m not against eating meat. I have just opened my eyes to see another way of living and have found great enjoyment from it so far. I don’t plan on staying raw after the 30 days, but I may venture on and try life as a vegan, or at least 80% since I love eggs for breakfast some mornings and sushi on occasion…I’m a cheater, but that’s okay.

    Life is about learning, growing and discovering the best you that you can be. For the past 2 years (at least), my focus has been eating animal protein 5 times a day. I was trying to gain muscle and look my best. I did look my best physically, but internally my body was screaming. I thought I was perfectly healthy then, but now I see that I was not as healthy as I thought. My snacks consisted of yogurt or cottage cheese instead of vegetables, and my meals always had to have a big piece of meat. I love meat, I really do. You may still catch me at The Keg on occasion digging into a juicy steak – I’ll be real with you on that. But, take it from the carnivore, I feel way better without the meat at every meal. I don’t feel hungry all the time and I certainly am not as “addicted” to eating as I was before. I feel better. Period. Your quality and quantity of life increases when you cut out processed and cooked foods. If you don’t believe me, try it for 21 days (to break your habit of eating cooked foods), and feel the difference for yourself.

    Well, that’s all I have to say on my progress so far. As for tonight, I’m off to grab an avocado and sit on the couch with my husband. Besides all the food and health talk, he really is my favourite one to focus my attention on. Chow for now and chat with you soon!

     

    Melanie.


  4. The most difficult time in my life

    February 24, 2014 by Melanie Faris

    Not many people know about the most difficult time in my life. In fact, I hid myself from the world as much as possible so that no one would know what I was going through. It was in the year 2012 that it began. I spent many sleepless nights wondering what to do, crying on my Momma’s shoulder and desperately searching for an answer to my problem. Why me?! I often asked. I’m sure many of you can relate to what I went through. Most people deal with this at some point in their life, but for me, I never imaged it happening, especially at my age. It came later than most, and full force to top it off. I avoided mirrors, hated pictures, and as horrible as this sounds, I couldn’t stand myself. I felt like a monster roaming this earth without a clue about why I was going through this. It was as if my world came crashing down on me all at once. I had severe acne at the age of 20 and it was the most difficult time in my life.

    What’s written below is background on my life and some personal information and pictures. I ask that you read this with a kind heart and non-judgmental thoughts.

    From the delicate age of 8 years old, I decided to pursue a dream. I wanted to be on the big screen, and God willing, I ended up there. I was a performer from birth (or at least that’s what I like to think), and nothing was holding me back from making my dream a reality. I found an agent and began my acting career at 8 years old. No, I was never forced to do this – in fact, it was quite the opposite. My parents gave me their support and allowed me to experience some of the greatest years of my life. Boy, if only I knew what excitement and joy this new career was going to bring to my life.

    Here are some of my first headshots:

    Melanie Tonello

    This post is not going to go into great detail about my acting career, but I’d like to share with you some of my experiences as a young actress.

    I can still remember the day I got the phone call from my agent when I booked a life changing role, and the best experience in my acting career. I was in Toronto, sitting in the lobby of a voice recording studio, waiting patiently for my name to be called. I don’t recall the role I was recording for that day, (I was in Toronto 3 or 4 times a week sometimes for auditions or bookings), but I do remember when the phone rang. It was for me. I answered it and heard my agents voice on the other end. My heart started thumping. I knew she had good news.

    “Melanie, do you want to be Becky Murtaugh?” She asked. Tears began to run down my cheeks.

    “Because you got the role!”

    The excitement and disbelief of this moment filled my entire being. I was going to play Becky in the movie Cheaper By The Dozen 2. Although this wasn’t my first role on the big screen, it was definitely one of the most exciting. Who wouldn’t want to hang out with Hillary Duff, Steve Martin, Bonnie Hunt, Eugene Levy, Carmen Electra, and all the amazing cast and crew from Cheaper By The Dozen?! The names were not few of some of Hollywood’s biggest stars in this film. I was about to make memories that would last a lifetime and experience a reality that was only once a dream.

    Life Point: Do you have a dream that seems unreachable? I certainly never imaged to be able to watch myself on tv one day, but anything is possible. You are the person another person is looking for. You are the best one for the job. You are the only one who can fulfill your purpose. Don’t live someone else’s dream, go out and live your own.

    Some pictures on set of Cheaper By The Dozen 2:

    the murtaughs 107_0736 chairs Picture 033

    Ever since that movie, most people saw (and/or see) me in the spotlight. They envision me having it all and wonder how much money I make… I never liked that question, “how much money do you make?”. It was one I would avoid answering, and the only question that really bothered me. Money was never something we talked a lot about growing up. I was always under the impression that it didn’t matter how much money you make, as long as you are happy and doing what you love, that’s all that matters. For the most part, I know that people would only ask out of curiosity, and this is totally understandable. It was the ones who poked and prodded for an answer that really bothered me. Momma always taught me it’s rude to ask others how much money they make or have, and I wasn’t going to hang out with people who cared more about my bank account than me as a person. I would politely tell them, “I don’t share that with others” and then find my real friends, who were few.

    True friendship was hard for me to come by. I always admired the “groups of friends” in high school, and secretly wished to be part of them. I always felt a bit like a ping-pong ball, bouncing back and forth from person to person. It was hard for me to find friends, and to this day I still have very few. I never really understood why, but I have an inclination it has to do with the fact that I really am not a dramatic person. I avoid drama at all cost, and in high school, drama seems to be the focus of everyone’s conversations. Besides having few close friends, I was and still am very content with my friendships. I have discovered in time that it is better to have a few true friends than many friends who are only there when they want something from you. What a great gift it is to have even only one friend you can share your heart with, who listens and cares for the person you are inside. Momma always taught me that true friendship is hard to come by. Boy was Momma ever right.

    By the time I was in high school, my acting career was slowing down, and I began to enjoy my life as a normal teenager. My skin was never an issue for me at this time in my life. In my younger years, I started to develop a bit of acne, and this wasn’t good for the “screen.” To be blatantly honest, I saw a dermatologist at a young age and he had me on antibiotics and then birth control to keep me from having acne. I wasn’t into “health” then, and didn’t realize the effects of these kind of pills. All I wanted was to have clear skin, and clear skin is what I had! I didn’t realize how bad it could have been, until I decided my health is more important than my appearance and I no longer wanted to be on the pill.

    I was really getting into health during my high school years and began to learn about (and feel) the negative effects of birth control. Besides the fact I was a hormonal mess, depressed and gaining weight from the pill, I hated pumping my body with synthetic hormones and just wanted to be me. I wanted to be the real me – not some crazy person who always felt like she was riding a roller coaster with her emotions. No one could have prepared me for the pain that was soon to come after the pill. It wasn’t long before I discovered the pill was only working as a band-aide, covering up a problem that eventually would find its way out.

     

    My clear skin

     

    4220

    This is probably going to be one of the most difficult things for me to share. My hope is that you will see that life is not always perfect, even for people who have been in the spotlight. But I do have to say this – as difficult as this was for me, it taught me some wonderful lessons, not to mention it brought me closer to my now-husband who loved me more the uglier I got (or at least felt about myself). He never saw my skin issues, and comforted me when I was at my lowest point. I really would not change a thing about what I went through, because it really made me realize that life is not about how you look, or how other people see you on the outside. You begin to realize the people who love you the most through these difficult times in life. It is so important to see the beauty in even the most difficult times in your life, because there is reason we go through them. Part of the reason I feel that I experienced this is to share my story with you. I hope you find it helps you in some way…

     

    When it all began…

     

    It was my first year of college –  a time when girls wants to feel beautiful, mature and a woman (not a little girl going through “puberty”). I was not feeling any of these things that I so desperately wanted. I felt horrible. I can’t even say how many hours I spent on the computer trying to figure out what to do. I tried no dairy, no sugar, cleanses, homeopathic doctors, herbs, vitamins, allergy testing, changing my pillow cases nightly, not wearing any makeup (even when I wanted to cover up so bad). I seriously was at my wits end trying to heal my body. I finally realized that God has allowed this to happen for a reason, and I need to stop stressing because everything will be okay. Although I knew it would not last forever, it certainly felt that way at the time. I can remember sitting in the walk-in clinic for hours one night because I decided I was going back on birth control. I couldn’t take it anymore and I wasn’t waiting one more week to see my doctor. After seeing the walk-in clinic doctor, who really didn’t even know what to do or what pill to give me, I eventually threw the pills in the garbage and decided I was going to tough it out, no matter how bad my skin got or how ugly I felt.

    Most people don’t know I suffered through this because I would avoid seeing people from my past. The only ones who really knew were my college friends who only knew me this way (without wearing a speck of makeup every day). I was so scared of what the people who knew me from before would think; Poor Melanie, she can’t be an actress with that skin. Or, what happened to her?! Silly, I know. But that’s how I felt and I am not going to lie about it.

    I eventually decided to try some products I found online. It was my last hope. The products I tried started to work (although I don’t believe they “cured” me). There was so much more going on inside of me that I believe was causing my body to react on the outside. It wasn’t the food I was eating or the way I was sleeping. I believe it was coming from within (spiritual if you may), and a way for God to show me “something isn’t right in my life.” Once I turned to Him to show me the way, He really healed me – from the inside out. Once I really starting seeking Him and let go of all the other things, I found clarity and peace…

    1 Corinthians 14:33 (KJV)

    For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace…

    My acne was still there for a while, but I didn’t care anymore. That is when it started to go away. I stopped caring about what I looked like and what people thought, and started to see myself the way God sees me; I am beautiful, loved and adored by the creator of the universe. What is better than that?

    With all of that being said, I know that there is a reason I went through this. I know I have a story to tell and a way to relate to so many more people than I ever could have before going through this. So now I ask you, please, when you look at someone going through an apparent issue, try to see them the way God sees them, and look beyond appearance. Love them for who they really are, not who they appear to be. Oh, and most importantly, love yourself the same way.

    Below is a link to the pictures from the most difficult time in my life. Thanks to God I no longer suffer with this, although I still have the scars to remind me and the occasional breakout. I am so grateful He brought me out of it, and with more beauty than I could have had before it all. By my wedding day in June 2013, my skin was so clear it was a miracle. I wasn’t doing anything different than before when I had severe acne, or using any products anymore for my skin. I felt better than I have in my entire life, and it’s all because of the grace of God. I continue to place my faith in Jesus Christ, no matter what life may throw at me. Remember this:

     1 Corinthians 10:13 (The Message)

    13 No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.

    God Bless,

    Melanie Faris.

    Click Here to see the pictures from my acne journey and the regimen I used.

     

     

     

     


  5. Finding My Purpose and What I’m Up To!

    February 17, 2014 by Melanie Faris

    It seems like life is constantly throwing arrows at us. Some of them we dodge and others hit us square in the face. That’s life! I have to say, most of my life I was under the impression that my purpose was like an arrow, and sooner or later this one arrow would hit me out of nowhere and I’d have it all figured out. Nope. Not quite. In fact, I’ve had many arrows come my way, and I still don’t have it all figured out!

    Most of us think we know what our purpose is, or at least we are trying to chase it down. Not sure what you think your purpose is? Try answering a few of these questions and see what comes to mind.

    What do you spend most of your time doing?

    What are your goals for your future?

    If you could do one thing in life, what do you think would bring you the most satisfaction?

    All my life I had my eye on a specific purpose. I thought I knew my purpose in life. I didn’t see my future without it. In fact, I felt like I had no purpose without it. My “so called” purpose that I thought would be the only thing to bring me happiness and satisfaction is no longer a thought in my mind. I can’t even believe I am saying this. My younger self would be shouting, “Melanie, what the heck are you talking about?! This is what are you meant to do with your life!” Well maybe one day, like an arrow shot in the dark, it will land in my lap again. I finally realized that my purpose is different than what I had planned. My life didn’t turn out how I thought it would, and I have to say – I am happier than ever.  Find out in the video below what I have been up to lately and why I decided to stop trying to find my purpose and live with purpose instead.

    Click here to watch the video


  6. Marriage Advice From a 21 Year Old. Say What?

    January 27, 2014 by Melanie Faris

    I get a lot of funny looks when I say that I am married. I am well aware of my age, and I am proud to have accomplished something so wonderful in my younger years of life. I find a lot of people I meet are surprised when I mention that I am married, which is understandable as this is rare in this day and age. Sometimes I am hesitant to even mention that I am married to some people because I can already guess their reaction. I still find it mind boggling that so many people don’t see marriage at my age, or any age for that matter, as a wonderful thing. It truly is wonderful, and it deeply saddens me to see so many hurting people who have had negative experiences.

    People will say to me, “It’s all down hill from here.” Yikes, what does that mean? Well it can mean 2 things:

    1. The ride is easier now.
    2. You are headed down a steep dark hill.

     

    I choose to take the first option, although by the tone of their voice, it’s clear that this is not what they meant.

    A lot of people look at me with pity in their eyes when I mention how happily married I am. They smirk and say something along the lines of, “wait a few more years and we will see how happy you are then.” It is at this point I think, shoot, maybe I should go home, pack my bags, and go live with my parents again. Just kidding! But in all seriousness, can you imagine if I really took the advice of those Negative-Nansies to heart? (No offense Nansie.) If I really thought hard about these negative comments, I would probably go home to Thomas and say, “Sorry Hunnie, I have decided to take the advice of others and end this now before it gets bad. Apparently it’s coming, and I’d like to prepare for it. I am expecting at some point for this relationship to cause misery, so better to do this now before it happens.” Sounds silly, doesn’t it?

    We all know about human relationships; there are wonderful times and difficult times. This is no surprise to anyone, especially a young newlywed who has vowed to stick with their partner “for better or for worse.” The negative comments about marriage, possibly from someones own personal experience, only puts an expectation on those getting married, or those thinking about marriage, that it is going to be bad. Once someone expects something to happen, they often give up early because they feel it is bound to happen anyway.

    Picture this, you enroll in school to study for your dream job. It is your first day and you are about to go into your first class. This is an exciting day! You are prepared to work hard, stay focused and enjoy every moment. But can you imagine hearing from a previous student that the professor only gives out F’s, no matter how hard they study? It is impossible to get an A, so you are going to fail. With this new information you now think, what is the point in showing up and putting any work in? I mine as well pack it all in now because there really is no point in trying if I can’t pass. It may be true that some students do get an F in that program. This may be especially true regarding the person who made the negative comment. But, usually an F is given when a student doesn’t put the work in for good grades, decides not to show up or doesn’t ask for help from someone who understands the material.

    The way people talk about marriage these days sounds a lot like the scenario above. The biggest difference is, we all seem to see school in a much brighter light than marriage, especially when talking in terms of how successful someone is. If you make it through law school, chances are you are seen as a very successful person. That’s awesome and I definitely admire those who go to school and end up with amazing careers. But if someone only gets married and doesn’t go to school? Well that certainly is NOT a successful person, right? Okay, maybe not everyone sees it this way, but I can’t help but notice how society views success. I’m not discounting those who are successful in the workplace, I am just trying to shine some light on a area that I feel is greatly pushed into the shadows. Marriage.

    It seems like the logical thing to do now is just avoid marriage altogether. No wonder divorce rates are so high and people are waiting longer to get married. They are expecting the worse because that is all we hear now-a-days! This may be a bit controversial, but I’m going to say it anyway.

    I don’t believe marriage is ever a bad thing.

    There certainly are bad situations within a marriage, but marriage itself is not negative. If there is something wrong within a marriage, the problem is not marriage. The problem is people. Let me repeat that so it really sticks. People are the problem, not marriage. Phew, glad I got that out of the way! See what I’m sayin?

    For those who suffer from abuse or deep hurt from a marriage, this gets a bit more complicated. I don’t have all of the answers and I don’t want to pretend like I do. But what I do know is there is always hope. Just because you failed an exam doesn’t make you a failure in school. Like a student going to college, the course doesn’t always turn out as expected or the teacher isn’t great. Sometimes life throws a curve ball, and it is unfortunate that bad things happen to good people. But the people who are the most successful in life are the ones who get back up when they are knocked down. I want to encourage you that your life is not over, and there are sunny skies ahead. The most successful people in life are the ones who are knocked down the lowest, but then rise up higher than they ever imagined. God wants to take you higher. He wants your life to be filled with joy, love and happiness. Turn to Him in the hard times and I believe He will guide your steps and show you what to do. He is the one with the best advice, not me.

    Let’s go back to school again. We all have different experiences with school; some love it and some can’t wait to get out. A lot of it depends on your perspective. Even though school can get tough, if you keep your eye on a happy, successful future with your dream job, you will do everything in your power to do the best job you can with the work you have been given. YOU determine the success of your future by the work, time and effort you are willing to put in. So why not apply the same thing to marriage? It doesn’t have to be hard boring work, but rather, exciting, fun and the most rewarding work you can do! At the end of our life, we no longer will have our jobs, all of our fancy titles or “things”. Hopefully we will have a special person next to us, the one we loved our very best and gave our best efforts for. In my view, this is a true success!

    So how can that happen?

    #1. Change your perspective on marriage. It is wonderful! See it as your dream job. See it as your treasure.

    #2. Do your homework and make it a priority. AKA, go on a date! Or simply sit down and talk. Enjoy each other’s company and learn about one another. Talk about more than what’s on TV or Facebook. Talk deep. Give them your full attention.

    #3. If there is a problem, remember it isn’t the marriage, it is the person(s). Maybe the problem is coming from you! Uhoh. Did I say that? Yes, often the problem can be you and something to work on. But that is OK. That is what life is all about! Growing, learning and becoming better people. Try to wrestle it down and fix it. Work on it together or get help from someone. It is SO worth it!

    Other fun ways to have a successful marriage?

    • Go on a date night once a week.
    • See things always from the others perspective. This can be hard, but really try.
    • The little things can often mean the most. I love when Thomas brings me home a coffee after work. I know that he thought of me driving home and it puts the biggest smile on my face. Try doing something small like this as a gesture of your love.
    • Think each morning, what can I do today to show the other person I love them?

     

    I still can’t believe how great the married life is, regardless of the negativity I hear so often about marriage. Maybe marriage advice sounds a bit crazy coming from a 21 year old to you, but that’s okay. I certainly don’t claim to be an expert, but I hope you can take some of my advice to heart. Marrying Thomas is honestly the best thing that could have happened to me. I love it. I feel like the most successful person on the planet with him! Expect great things from your marriage. Look forward to it if you aren’t married already. And enjoy it if you are! It isn’t “downhill from here”, but it is uphill! I once climbed the White Mountains in New Hampshire and it was the most incredible experience. The hardest part is when you feel like giving up because the climb gets tough, but I couldn’t believe my eyes when I reached the top. I’m so glad I didn’t give up. THAT VIEW was worth every single step I took. Some spots were easy to climb, and others a bit challenging. As challenging as it was sometimes, I would do it over and over again just to see the world in a whole new way from the highest place I have ever been.

    5850_247040250104_5899819_n the white mountains

     

     


  7. The Transformation YOU Can Make in 2014.

    December 29, 2013 by Melanie Faris

    Nearly everyone wants to transform his or her body, especially with the New Year right around the corner. The gym will be a zoo within a week, and the race will be on for the cardio machines. It seems that every year we all focus on transforming our body. We want to wear a size smaller, eat less junk and watch ourself shrink. But most people neglect the most important part of real transformation. Real transformation is found from within; the transformation of the mind. It’s that voice inside of your head you battle with constantly. Your worst critic most of the time, yet still the voice you listen to the most. The voice that tells you what to do, what not to do, your reasoning, thought process and everything in-between.

    I’m not talking about the voice of God when I talk about the voice you hear inside. If we were all listening to His voice, we would not be so obsessed with perfecting ourselves. We would probably be more loving towards ourselves too. But I know I am guilty of pressing mute on His button and turning up the volume on my thought process. I find myself listening to that negative voice that I don’t even like! I don’t even know how the heck it got in there and why it decided to unpack its bags and stay a while. Maybe it’s time to finally ask this negative voice to leave. I don’t think I have ever really done that before…have you?

    Just like that show “Hoarders”, we need to open up the door to our mind and see what’s hanging around that is adding clutter. Then we need to figure out how to get rid of the clutter for good! For fun, let’s all imagine our mind as a house. Each one of us has our own house, uniquely built over time. No one ever has a perfect house, and every house needs some cleaning up. It is impossible for a house to stay clean on its own, right? The only way to keep it clean is by dusting, sweeping and picking things up to put them back in their right place (or in the garbage). We all know it takes less effort to keep a house clean by doing a little at a time instead of leaving it until it becomes a complete disaster. I am afraid that many of us have done this to our mind. We have pushed the “junk” to the back of our mind and let it continue to pile up, (and it sure ain’t going to clean itself!)

    So what do we do about all the junk in our mind? First things first, we need to open up the front door of our mind, step inside and examine our house to see what we are dealing with. Some houses have only a few things lying around, and others have junk piled to the front door. Then there are the perfect houses, the ones you don’t even need to go inside to think, “these people sure have it all together.” But it isn’t until you open up the drawers or climb into the attic that you discover the junk is still there, they just did a good job of hiding it. Everyone has junk in their house somewhere.

    Some junk we have from our childhood – the things we just never thought to get rid of. While other junk we have acquired recently, or over time. No house is the same, and it is up to the owner to decide if the items inside of the house are worth keeping. *Hint hint – you are the owner of your own house, and you are the only one with the key!

    Okay, so hopefully you are following me here. I could go on and on about different houses, the shapes, sizes and all the stuff inside, but I think you get the point. Sometimes it’s hard to look inside and see what is really there. Who really wants to deal with a mess?! But it is something that has to be done if you really want freedom from some of the junk you have hung on to. Following me still? I know it’s hard to look at some of the things inside you don’t like. But, you seem to look at yourself in the mirror an awful lot and point out the things you don’t like physically, so why not examine the parts you can’t see? The parts inside that have dragged you down. I’m not talking about changing who you are. I’m talking about changing the negative thoughts you think, the reason you do the things you hate and say words you regret saying.

    The first step is recognizing what is in your house (aka, your mind).

    This requires opening your front door and walking inside. Maybe even opening the closet or the hidden drawers. I’d recommend making a list of all the things you find, good and bad. Lay it all out in front of you so you can see what is in there (just like what you do with the cluttered items you sort through in a house.) For example, when I open up my mind and look inside, I see negative thoughts about my body, selfishness and pride. But, I also see love, faith, determination, and passion.

    Once you have looked inside your house, it is time to do some sorting. Try to discover where the negative “mindsets” came from, and if it is adding value to your life; Either you see it has value, or you throw it away.

    The second step: stop hanging on to the things that are not adding value to your life. 

    Here’s a good example of something that is not adding value to my life: The negative view on parts of my body I am not happy with. I feel like I am never completely happy with my body. I have to say, this is a voice that has bugged me for a long time. It’s an ugly voice, and one that I’m not entirely sure where it came from. Every time I see a mirror, I find myself looking at it to see if my “trouble” areas are noticeable. This is a problem, because instead of seeing all the things I love about myself, I only focus on what I can’t stand. This started off as a small thought, but I just kept pushing these little negative thoughts aside didn’t pay any attention to them. Frankly, I didn’t realize it was a problem until now. I don’t think it is wrong to see areas in need of improvement, but a negative thought that has gone too far and is making you feel down instead of motivated is not adding value to your life. These thoughts that I have started small, but eventually grew into a big “mess” inside. Just like leaving junk to pile up in a house, my negative thoughts on my body are cluttering my mind and causing me to see only the negative. There isn’t much room left inside for positive thoughts as well. It is time to get rid of the junk and make room for a new positive mindset on my body.

    So how do you release these negative thoughts for good? Well that brings us to the last and final step.

    Step number three is throwing the junk out, or pushing it to the side to deal with later. (I’d advise throwing it out now.)

    Hiding something never gets rid of it. Either you deal with it now, or you live with it for the rest of your life. It is not going to disappear on its own. If you have recognized some of the problem areas in your mind, decided it’s garbage, now it is time to take action. Some things are heavy to lift and get out of the house on your own. They can be so heavy you may even need a professional to come and remove it. (God has some pretty big arms to help you!) Yes, you may actually need to ask for help. But some things will be small and easy to remove from your house on your own. It can be as simple as recognizing there is a problem, and not allowing it to enter your mind again!

    Finding out where your junk voice came from will help you to get rid of it. We often keep souvenirs from people or places that we really don’t need. Things we thought were nice or “right” to have at the time, but now you realize is causing clutter and unhappiness. Take for example the thought: me first, and then others. This is something I find in myself sometimes; I hate it, but I have never completely got rid of it. Just the other day, I was doing the dishes thinking to myself, why should I have to do the dishes? I cooked dinner, I shouldn’t have to do this! This is selfishness inside of me that I never got rid of. I didn’t feel good doing the dishes because that negative thought was covering the positive thoughts inside of me. Really, I could have recognized what a wonderful opportunity I had to bless the people in my life. By simply doing the dishes, they could sit and enjoy their time together. But at the time, you don’t always see the positive in a situation, because the clutter and junk is hiding it. Step #1 – I see selfishness. Step #2 – realize it is junk. Step #3, throw it out so I can see the positive thoughts instead. YAY! Now, I can finally be free from this junk!

    You see how easy it can be to apply this principle? It isn’t always easy, and some things will come back. Once you recognize it has come back, you can throw it away quicker because you realize it is junk and not something valuable. God wants to help you transform your mind. You can do this a lot faster with Him too. He wants you to be the best YOU that you can be. Everyone struggles with a mess. No house can stay clean without cleaning it yourself, or with help. So my advice to you would be to do a clean up on a regular basis, instead of letting it all pile up over time. Start today and make 2014 a year of transformation. This can be your year of clarity, peace and true happiness. The power to do this is in your hands, no one else. You hold the key to your house. Now go and throw away the negative thoughts so the positive thoughts have room to prosper, grow and change your life.

    Melanie Faris.


  8. Meeting Thomas. Part Three.

    November 24, 2013 by Melanie Faris

    Thomas and I spent almost everyday together after our first date. We simply could not get enough of each other. I’ll never forget the time, not long after our first date, when I went over to the Faris residence. It was around my third time visiting, and I was still getting to know everyone. Thomas’ Mom, Connie, asked us to come into the kitchen to talk to us about something. Both Connie and John (Thomas’ Dad) were in the kitchen together. I was feeling a bit nervous, thinking maybe they don’t like me.

    Connie looked at us both and said, “What are you waiting for? Why don’t you just get married already?!” I was a bit caught off guard, and we all laughed, but Connie was dead serious. To my relief, I guess this meant she does like me! What she saw was how God brought us together, and the love we had for each other. It was not unusual for her to wonder when the wedding bells would be ringing, especially since quick marriages were common in the Faris family. Might I add – long lasting, beautiful marriages too!

    Thomas and I started talking about marriage within the first month of being together. We both wanted to get married and start our lives together. When you know you know, so they say. We both thought we were on the right path, and to be honest, life could not get any better! We were happy and in love. At this point, I was so caught up in Thomas that I put God on the back burner. Who really needs God’s help when things are great? He’s only there when we are stuck, right? Well, I sure am glad that He is always there, regardless of when we think we need Him or not. As perfect as everything was, we were about to hit a valley; a time when we were grateful that God was there, just waiting for our call.

    Unfortunately, Morgan Freeman did not return our phone call,  so we left a message and will wait to hear back. (hehe, just kidding).

    gods_telephone_quentin_nicholas

    All jokes aside, I want to pause and mention that I am not going to go into detail about our valley. This is personal and something we both keep close to our heart. I can say that if it weren’t for the valley, we would not be as strong together as we are now. If it weren’t for the valley, I would not have the same faith I have now. I believe the valley we went through was meant to destroy us, but it actually made us stronger. During this time, Thomas and I both turned to God for answers. Once we asked for His help, he blessed us beyond our imagination. We both realized that even through the good times, God was only someone we were “talking about”, not “talking with.” It was during the valley that we prayed and asked for HIS plan for our life, not our own; whether that meant being together or not. To this day, I still am in awe of how clearly He answered our prayers. 

    1 Peter 1:6-7

    So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

     

    Thomas and I took time apart during our valley. I can tell you, this time apart felt like a lifetime, but it was necessary to bring us both closer to God. Sometimes taking a little break can do wonderful things. I came to a crossroad at this time, and had to make the hardest decision of my life; either I was to be with Thomas forever, or turn away and never look back. I got down on my knees and prayed for a sign from above. I wanted to be with Thomas, but I wanted it to be God’s plan. I wanted to be sure that Thomas was the only one. I didn’t want to play games, and I didn’t want to play with anyone’s heart. I wanted love. True love. The kind of love you see when you look at a couple who have been together for 50 years, and they’re still holding hands and have that light in their eyes.

    9G1F

    I wanted that kind of love. So I decided that I would only be with Thomas if God showed me he was the one that I would spend the rest of my life with. Period.

    You know when people do a cleanse to clean out all the junk in their body? Call it a cleanse or a fast, I decided to try it. I think cleansing brings a sense of closeness to one’s self. A feeling of control over one’s body and will. Fasting brings a closeness to God, or so they say. I knew that I needed a clear mind and an open heart to hear from God. I was willing to give up something I deeply enjoyed, for a clear answer to my prayers. Maybe it sounds a bit wacky or religious, but to be honest, I was desperate and willing to try anything. Haven’t you ever found yourself in a place where you feel so alone? A place where if God really does exist, He is the only one who can help you?  “What is the point of that?” you may be wondering…”You seriously believe that can bring you closer to God?” To be honest, I wasn’t sure if it would make a difference, heck, I didn’t really care. The way I saw it was – if it works, great! If it doesn’t, then I practiced self-control for a day (Some days, I need a little more practice with this…)

    sweet-tooth-fairy-bakery-5

     

    “Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Please!”

    Just Kidding…Double chocolate chip is way better.

    But I did feel this whole cleanse was something worth trying, even if it turned out to be nothing.

    It was only one day, and I think I stayed in bed for most of it. My head stayed buried deep in my pillow and my room pitch black. If you can believe it, I, yes me, the girl who loves food, did not feel hungry. That’s how you know when I’m in a tough place. I seriously just wanted to sleep and wake up with the answers to all of my problems. Little did I know, sleeping was just what I needed; I had a dream.  One of the most vivid dreams I have ever had. It did not involve cupcakes, I swear.

    When I woke up from this dream, I immediately grabbed the notebook sitting on my nightstand and I wrote down the dream, right down to every little detail. It was one of those absurd dreams, the kind you can’t seem to shake or forget about. Even to this day, I remember that dream so vividly, but more importantly, I remember what the dream began to reveal to me. Maybe you think this was subconscious trying to tell me something, or maybe just a wild dream. But to me, this dream was beginning to reveal the answer to my prayers.

    The Dream

    I was walking down the streets of Los Angeles, the place I have always wanted to live since I was a little girl. The streets were dirty, not like I envisioned them being, and walking beside me was a man. I felt safe with this man. As we were walking, suddenly a gang of bikers pulled out in front of us. I became fearful, knowing that something was wrong. The man in my dream saw the danger in this gang, and turned and said to me, “Turn around, we need to go the other way.” So we did.

    We were suddenly at the ocean, standing by the water’s edge. Swimming on top of the water was a beautiful baby duckling. It was cute and fluffy.

    cute-duck  <—–Isn’t He Cute?!

    It began to walk out of the water and onto the sandy shore. Suddenly this cute duckling grew into the size of a dinosaur.

    991_MonsterDuck_610 <——–Not cute!

    It was massive and stood over me. I fell down on my back and threw my hands over my face. I could hear voices around me saying, “Do not be afraid, he won’t hurt you. He brings treasure!”

    14029418-illustration-of-treasure-chest-full-of-gold <—–Ooooo…Ahhhh…

    The duck bent over me and pecked me with his beak. It did not hurt; in fact, I realized that he was not scary at all! Then people started shouting, “Look! The duck is digging treasure out of the sand!” I was so excited and happy that the duck was there. I felt the urge to find Thomas and tell him what happened! Off I ran to find him. I told him the great news about the duck and the treasures it dug up, and we both were filled with joy and excitement.

    I awoke from my dream and immediately knew that this dream meant something. Looking back on this now, I know it meant something. (*Do dreams really have a deeper meaning? I don’t know… I certainly don’t believe all of them do. Otherwise I’d probably be hanging out with Barney by now or travelling the world in a circus. But I do believe some of our dreams really do mean something. I wouldn’t use your dreams as a fortune-teller by all means, but I do believe God can use our dreams to say something to us.) Here is what I believe my dream meant:

    I was walking in the place that I always wanted to be, but something was not right. There was danger.  I needed to turn away from what I wanted for now, and let God guide my path. Sometimes life is great when we go at it on our own (cute and fuzzy like a baby duck), but sometimes it can become scary and not what you expect (not so cute). But remember, God uses ALL THINGS for good for those who love him (Romans 8:28). When you put your trust in Him, He will bring you great rewards! He can use even the scary terrible times in our life to bring even greater blessings. Instead of being afraid during the trials in life, see it as an opportunity to grow. With every deep valley you may end up in, there come greater blessings and even bigger mountains to climb.  

    I didn’t know the answers to all of my questions from this dream; in fact, I think I was even more confused. I’ll be honest, I was probably trying to figure out too much from a simple dream. I wasn’t sure at this point if I ever would know the right thing to do. What I did feel was encouragement and hope. I knew that good things were to come no matter what happens next.

    Every valley in life can be a blessing.

    I closed my eyes and said in my heart one last time, “God, please show me if Thomas is the one. I will not make a move unless you tell me to.” I kept my eyes closed tightly and envisioned a beautiful rose. I decided in my heart at that moment that a rose would be my sign from God. “Send me a rose in a way that is a clear symbol to me. Then I will know that he is the one.” If God can move mountains, He certainly can show me a rose, I thought. I took a leap of faith with this one.

    Sometimes when you want something to happen, you immediately begin looking for the “sign” everywhere you go. I swear when you go on a diet, chocolate cookies show up everywhere!!! Why is that?!

    cookies_everywhere0

     

    But for once in my life, I wasn’t looking for a sign. I didn’t have to go looking, because it showed up at my doorstep…the very next day.

    To Be Continued…


  9. Meeting Thomas. Part Two.

    November 18, 2013 by Melanie Faris

    MT - one2photography.com - 177

    The story of “Thomas and I” is not your average story. We did not settle for each other, and we did not discover on our own that we were meant to be. It is the kind of thing that only could have been planned by God. Our story has made me realize the power and reality of God. Weird…I know. But if you hang in there through my upcoming blog posts, hopefully you will see for yourself that this was not something we could have orchestrated on our own. There is no way it was coincidence. I know this personally because I asked God for proof. That’s right. I got down on my knees and prayed asking God for a sign. But that’s another blog post to come…You will begin to see through my blog posts, how God revealed to me why I should marry Thomas, and that Thomas is the only one made for me. That’s right, out of the billions of people walking this planet, Thomas Faris is the one person God made for me.

    The details of the story of Thomas and I are absurd, and quite frankly, incredible. It still seems surreal to me too. If you think this kind of love story may not be possible for “someone like you”, I promise you, it most definitely is. In fact, I believe there is someone out there made for someone just like you. Exactly like you. Right down to every little detail. God didn’t create you and send you off into this crazy world with a “good luck!” and a “hope you find what you want in life.” Nope. What loving Father would do that?! There have been many times in my life where I struggled to find what I wanted. I remember trying to find my purpose in life as I sat in school, thinking to myself: what am I doing here? Is this really where God wants me? It just doesn’t seem right… I realized quickly that if I am struggling, hurting and not at peace with where I am, I probably am doing things my way, not God’s.

    I am not telling you my story to make you feel discouraged about your life or to question the person you may be with. In fact, I am telling my story for the opposite reason. Feel encouraged about exactly where you are right now. Please know that you did not mess up God’s plan by the decisions of your past or where you ended up. Let me remind you, God can step into any situation and use it for good; it is never too late. It’s quite a simple thing for Him to do. I think that WE are the ones who make things more difficult. I would encourage you to do what I did, ask God for help and guidance if you simply don’t know what to do. He will answer you, just as clear as He answered me…

    Our First Date

    IMG_0530

    The night before our official first date, Thomas and I went to the gym and saw each other again. We said hi to each other, but it was one of those moments where you don’t know exactly what to say. We both did our own workout, but near the end, Thomas approached me. He leaned against the machine next to me and smiled. “So where do you want to go on our date tomorrow?” he asked. I shrugged, trying to hide my nerves and excitement. “Pack a t-shirt, shorts, running shoes and a bathing suit,” he said.  “You never know where we may end up!”

    Our date couldn’t come fast enough. I probably tried on every pair of shorts I owned that night to find the “right one.” I also gave a lot of thought into what we would talk about on our drive to wherever he was taking me to. I don’t know why, but that was probably the part I was most nervous about. No one likes to sit in that awkward silence, trying to think of a conversation sparker that doesn’t include the weather…

    the-weather-network-conversation-small-14169

    I received a text on Friday from Thomas saying that he was running late. I have to say, I was a little concerned about this. I am the type of person who panics at even the thought of being late, especially if I am meeting someone for the first time! Maybe he isn’t that interested in me, I began to think. So I waited by the front window to see when he would pull in. I let out a deep breath and said, “here I go” as he pulled in and I walked out the front door. I had no idea where we were going on our date; all I knew was that he was handsome, and I was flipping nervous!

    “So, where to?” he asked as he backed out of the driveway. He smiled at me and said, “How about north? Lets go up north.” So north we went. I noticed he didn’t turn on the radio as we started to drive. He was more interested in getting to know me, and get to know me he did. We talked about everything imaginable on our date. (Date hint: Talk about the most important things to you on your FIRST date. Don’t be with someone who is headed in the opposite direction than you.)

    It wasn’t long before Jesus came up in our conversation. A weird and awkward conversation to many people, but to me, this was a big part of my life. It meant more to me than how smart, handsome or kind he was. I quickly discovered that we had the most important thing in common; we shared the same core values. These values have shaped the people we are to this day, and will continue to do so. If we didn’t share the same core values and beliefs, it would be like trying to bake without baking soda. You= Ingredients. God= Baking Soda. When you mix two totally different people together, it can look good at first! Heck, it can seem absolutely perfect. Before you know it, the oven is ready and everything you mixed together starts to stand the test in the heat…will this really work? We all know everyone is different and there will be tests no matter whom you end up with, but finding a person who shares the same beliefs is like adding baking soda to a recipe – you will rise to new levels together. Did I mention baking soda helps in so many other areas of your life too?!

    baking soda

    As we approached the on-ramp of Highway 400 North, traffic was coming to a near stop. It then hit us that it was a long weekend! There was no way that we could drive up north, unless we wanted to sit in traffic for hours. Thomas looked at me and said, “this is okay, we can go west! Yes, we will go west.” I giggled a little bit, knowing that this date was going to be quite an adventure. So we began our journey west, unsure of where we would end up.

    Thomas reached behind the seat and pulled out an old map. He told me to pick any place on that map and we would go there. I didn’t think anyone carried maps in their car anymore! I liked that about Thomas; he was a bit old-fashioned and knew exactly how to treat a girl. To be honest, it scared the crap out of me. This all seemed too perfect. We drove to the spot that I picked on the map, and we just so happened to end up at a private beach in Collingwood. No one was around and it was the most beautiful place. It was as if God planned this day for us, everything from the traffic on the 400, which pointed us west, to the magnificent sunshine and lighthouse in the distance. Signs were posted “No Trespassing”, but we ignored them and put the car in park. We both got out of the car, and walked barefoot out in the shallow water. We followed along the rocks that stuck out through the water, and picked a spot to sit and talk. As we were talking, a man walked out from the house at the water’s edge to investigate us sitting on his cottage’s rocks. He walked towards the water, saw us sitting there together, and simply turned back to the house. Even his dog determined that we weren’t a threat after sniffing us out.

    IMG_0563 IMG_0560

    Time was flying by, and the sunburn on Thomas’ back was getting redder by the minute. “Let’s go get ice cream,” Thomas said. So we got in his car and drove into town. The ice cream stores were not scarce, but Thomas kept on driving. I asked him, “Where are we going?” He said, “I want to take you to the best ice cream place I know.” He drove 45 minutes to take me to his favourite ice cream shop in the small town of Thornton, where he always went as a kid. We sat out on the bench outside of the small shop and watched the cars drive by. It was the best ice cream I ever had, and also the best company.

    Once we finished our ice cream cones, we got back into his car and drove some more. He turned down a country road in Cookstown, near his family farm, and then drove into a field. The wheat, and growing plants pushed up against his SUV as he continued down the overgrown trail. He pulled up behind a tree and turned off the engine. Now I knew why he asked me to bring shoes instead of flip-flops.

    “Come on!” He said as he hopped out of the car. I jumped out and followed him. He grabbed my hand and we walked together through the field. It was summer, and the leaves on the trees were a beautiful deep green. I’ll never forget when he said, “I can’t wait to bring you here in the fall to see the leaves change.” He looked at me, and then began to blush as he realized what he said. “I mean, if you and I are still…” He didn’t need to say anything more. I already knew that we would see the seasons change together. I already knew that he was the one. I smiled and said, “I’d love to see the leaves change in the fall.”

    Our date ended after we sat in Thomas’ car and watched the sun set over the field in the distance. We sat there, completely comfortable in the “not so” awkward silence. The entire day was more perfect than any movie I have ever seen. “The Notebook” should have taken notes from our date! Hehe. I never believed that there was someone I could connect with on such a deep level. I also didn’t believe in love at first sight. I always imaged the perfect man out there for me, but it just seemed impossible and unrealistic to wait around for him. Waiting is a hard thing to do! I was worried that he would never come, and that I would end up alone. In the past, I always felt that I needed to be in relationships. I hated being alone. I was always trying to find someone, or something, that would fill this deep desire to be loved exactly for who I am. Isn’t that what everyone desires? I have felt love before, and I do not regret my past; every event and person from my past brought me to where I am now, and I am so thankful for that. But with every relationship, you give a piece of your heart away. I only wish I didn’t give part of my heart away so many times, but more importantly, I wish I didn’t take the hearts of others. I believe God has put the pieces back in my heart, but without God, I don’t think it would be possible.

    images mathsymbolslessthanbnw MT - one2photography.com - 221

    Everything happens in perfect timing when you let God take control. Often, we just get impatient and decide to be in a relationship with someone, even if you know it isn’t the right one. We look for the good in people, and ignore, or try to change the things we don’t like about them. The truth is, you can’t change someone, only God can do that. Let’s not forget, we are all people and aren’t perfect. We all have our flaws and imperfections. In the mean time, if you are waiting for that special someone, “become the person the person you are looking for is looking for,” As quoted by Andy Stanley. Start with the “Man in the mirror” and love the person staring back at you.

    To Be Continued …
    I came to a crossroad and the hardest decision of my life; to be with Thomas forever, or turn away and never look back. I got down on my knees and prayed for a sign from above. I simply would not be with Thomas unless God showed me he was the one I would spend the rest of my life with. Find out how God answered my prayer, so clearly that I could not deny it even if I wanted to. 

     


  10. Meeting Thomas. Part One.

    November 14, 2013 by Melanie Faris

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    Thomas Faris is his name. He is tall, handsome, smart, loving, honourable, and boy is he attractive inside and out. He is the type of boy that you dream about marrying, but don’t believe he actually exists. When our paths met one year ago, I knew that it wasn’t just coincidence; he was the answer to my prayers. Since the very first date, I knew that he was the one for me. He was raised in a loving home in the country with the most amazing Christian family. One of nine kids, and each one of them gentle, kind, sincere and loving. Thomas knew what family meant, and he was the kind of man I could picture raising my children. I always wanted a boy who had a little country in him, but more importantly, someone who shared the same beliefs as me. He was everything I ever could have asked for in a man. Now I no longer have to say was, he IS that man to me, and so much more.

    I wouldn’t say that it was love at first sight with Thomas…If it were, I would have loved him since I was eight years old when my oldest brother played hockey with Thomas. They were on the same team, and I was always the little cheerleader up in the stands. I can still remember singing “turn on the radio listen to the news, we’re gonna win and you’re gonna lose!” I would recruit all of my girlfriends at the hockey games and we would shout and chant while the boys skated down below. Thomas was the fastest one on the rink my Mom always said. I didn’t know it then, but he would also be the fastest one to steal my heart.

    1

    I didn’t talk to Thomas or see him for many years after my brother Tyler stopped playing hockey with him. Tyler remained good friends with him throughout high school, which explains his unpleasant reaction when he found out Thomas and I were dating. “One of my good friends is dating my little sister. Now that’s just weird,” he said to my Mom. Not to mention Tyler caught us saying, “I love you” after only one week of being together. Isn’t that what kindergarteners do?! I can still hear Thomas’ phone call after he realized Tyler was standing in the open garage when we said those 3 words. “AGHH, AAGHHH, AGHHHHH!” he screamed. “I can’t believe Tyler heard that! AGHHH.” Thomas meant what he said to me, but no way in heck would my brother understand, especially after only one week of us being together. We were a bit embarrassed about it all, but we were in love, and it didn’t take Tyler long to see that.

    It was in June of 2012 when Thomas was just beginning his career as a real estate agent. He was working alongside two of his oldest brothers, Mark and Joel. Together, they were all part of “The Mark Faris Team.” It all began for us when Thomas sent a letter with his business card in the mail to my family. I remember seeing his card for the first time and commenting on the attractive picture on the front. Mom smiled and said, “Wow, Thomas sure has grown up! It has been years since we have seen him. He is such a nice boy.” I couldn’t help but smile. Maybe I would see him one day I thought, but I didn’t realize it would happen so soon.

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    On June 25th, 2012, I went to the gym in the morning.This was also the same day we received Thomas’ letter in the mail. Going to the gym in the morning was part of my daily routine, and my favourite time to exercise; I love the feeling of starting my day off on the right foot. Mom mentioned to me that she had signed up for a cycling challenge at the gym, and she asked if I wanted to go the gym with her later on again. I don’t like going to the gym in the evening, as it is always too busy and I just don’t enjoy exercising at night. I especially don’t like going twice…once is enough for this girl! But for some reason, I felt inclined to join her this night.  For the second time in one day I was going to the gym. This was not normal for me, and it was not just coincidence.

    Mom set up her bike in the main hallway of the gym to take part in the cycling challenge. As she was cycling, she said that she was suddenly overcome with a strange feeling. She turned around, and in through the doors walked Thomas Faris. Strange, she thought, we haven’t seen him in years, and here he is now after just receiving his letter in the mail. She began to think of me being upstairs, and wondered if maybe this feeling has something to do with Thomas and I. She continued on with her cycling, and Thomas walked up the stairs into the gym… where I was.

    It didn’t take me long to recognize the man who just walked up the stairs. I was sitting on a bench with weights in my hands as I saw Thomas. I watched him in the mirror and had to take a second look to be sure this was the person I thought it was. Yep, he’s the handsome one on the business card! I definitely had my eye on him, and I wondered if he noticed me too. I finished my workout and met Mom downstairs in the hall. The first thing she asked me was, “did you see Thomas?” I smiled and said, “Yes!” Mom gathered her things together as I sat down and pulled out my phone. I went on Facebook while still at the gym waiting for Mom, and tried to see if I could find that handsome man, Thomas Faris.

    I typed Thomas’ name in the search bar on Facebook, but nothing came up. I thought everyone had facebook in this day and age, but apparently I was wrong. Then something strange happened. At the top of my news feed right at that moment pops up a post from an old friend – Daniel Faris…Thomas’ brother. Coincidence? I think not. Especially since I haven’t seen anything from Daniel on Facebook for years. I clicked on Daniel’s name and looked on his Facebook page. On Daniel’s page, Thomas’ name popped up. I couldn’t believe it!

    I didn’t know if Thomas saw me upstairs or not, but I didn’t want that to be the last time I saw him again. I sat there for a while debating whether or not I should add him as a friend on Facebook. I didn’t want him to think I was weird, especially since I was Tyler’s little sister and five years younger than him. Before I could talk myself out of it, I clicked it. It was done. My heart began to beat a bit faster as I thought about what his reaction might be. All that I could do was wait and see.

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    I walked out of the gym and my phone beeped right away. It was Facebook letting me know that my friend request was accepted. I let out a little yelp of excitement as I walked out of the gym. Shortly after, Thomas sends me a message asking how was my workout was. I guess he had his eye on me too. Our conversation began with small talk, but it was obvious that we wanted to get to know each other. It was getting late and time for bed. I can still feel the excitement of that night, sitting up late and getting butterflies, wondering what his next message would be.

    I was sitting at the kitchen table a few days later with Mom, who was laughing at my giddiness as she watched me texting Thomas with a smile smeared across my face. She asked, “So when are you going out on a date?” I laughed, “I don’t know if he is interested in me yet!” Mom laughed harder, “Oh yes he is.” Then, right then and there came the message from Thomas, “So, do I have to get to know you over text and Facebook, or can I take you out on a date?” I let out a huge screech of excitement, and butterflies filled my entire body. So many feelings and emotions ran through my body in one moment. Oh my gosh, he is interested in me. In ME?! Thoughts started running through my head – what do I wear? What will we talk about? What if he doesn’t like me? What if he thinks I am too young? Completely unaware of anything else at the moment, Mom seized the opportunity and caught it all on camera, (which would one day be played at our wedding). Something was different about Thomas, I knew it without even meeting him yet. I sometimes wonder if I knew at this point I would marry him… One thing is for sure, I certainly knew after our first date.

    This is the end of Part 1.

    Part 2 on “the first date” coming soon…