wordpress readers.

Dear Wonderful WordPress Readers,

I know it’s a bit confusing, so I am writing on here in hopes of fixing the problem. Many of you are still following me on this blog, which is awesome – unfortunately, you won’t receive any updates, because this blog no longer functions with the feed/followers. If you want to read my new posts, come find me at Unabridged Girl (dot) com. You can follow me by re-subscribing there.

Don’t be shy about re-subscribing! Next week we are having a fun GIVE-AWAY competition, and you must be subscribed to Unabridged Girl (dot) com in order to play. Come on over!


(with a little k)




while Husband and I went to St. George for the weekend, Thoby (a.k.a. King of Everything) stayed with my parents. he loves my parent’s house, because that is the place he “grew up” – the place he knows as home. “do you want to go see Art and Carrie?” i ask, and he starts to yip and yap and dance about, until we are riding in the car.

i guess he actually missed me this weekend, though. mom says he did nothing but mope. he lounged around with his head placed sulkily on his paws. if someone called his name, he replied with a side-glance and half-hearted tail wag. well, until he went to the pet store, where he was given a good bath and shave. it is hot out, (read: eggs can fry on the road) and he had a lot of fur. when he was shaved down to (what i like to call) lamb legs, he pranced about like a dandy-dog.

thoby, the dandy-dog.

thoby, the dandy-dog.

i enjoy my dog. sure, he can be a pain in the behind (a majority of the time), but he sure melts my heart.

and he is a great comforter! right now? i have an infection in my right, back tooth. it is a bad infection: swollen, 102 fever (until this evening), swollen glands, etc…miserable is not a good definition of how i feel. Thoby can sense my bout of blah, and all day, he curled up in a ball next to me. every so often, he gave me a low, questioning growl.

i am not the only one he does this for. when other family members are sick, he snuggles right up to them. when Daddy was released from the hospital last year, after a very bad illness, Thoby NEVER left his side.

thoby, the little comforter.

thoby, the little comforter.

a lot of people i know don’t like animals. i am not big on animals that shed, which is one of the big reasons Thoby is great – no balls of hair left on the sofa or on my clothes. But Husband jokes that Thoby is more cat than dog. he always paws at things (the way cat might), he scratches around in blankets to make a “comfy” spot (the way a cat might), and he can be as temperamental as a feline.

but Thoby doesn’t like cats. at all.

thoby, the cat dog.

thoby, the cat dog.

he is a big sissy, too. i swear, this dog is afraid of EVERYTHING.

naturally, he acts all big and tough – like he is the size of a Great Dane or something. he will growl and bark at bigger dogs, but the moment they give him attention, he hides behind my legs like a wanny. he hates loud noises (especially Husband’s whistling), and runs away from the most soda cans (yeah, i have no idea why, either).

thoby, the sissy dog.

thoby, the sissy dog.

oh, and he LOVES to chew on toilet paper. if i can’t find him, he usually has weaseled his way into one of the bathrooms and has figured out how to nab some toilet paper. this? DRIVES. ME. NUTS.

“no! no, no, no, no!” i will scold.

he usually just stares at me. blankly.

thoby, the toilet paper eater.

thoby, the toilet paper eater.

better or for worse, though, he’s my pup.

and i think he’s adorable.


daybreak park.

not far from where we live is a beautiful park surrounding a lake. there are endless rolls and dips of willows and wildflowers, while geese and ducks freely waddle and swim. when we roam the many waterside paths or saunter across a bridge, i can’t help but think of our wedding day (almost 6 months ago!), when Husband wanted photos in this area.

our wedding day! this was before the snow went from light to icky, (and you can tell i was freezing, even though i was so happy).

our wedding day! this was before the snow went from light to icky, (and you can tell i was freezing, even though i was so happy). – Photo by Jacki Miller Photo + Design

it was snowing. not the sort of light fluff that looks romantic, but bitter, sleety snow that froze my toes and flattened my red curls. we decided to forgo the park for another day, which i now regret. my dress – beige, flush with small beads and lace – would have stood out against the cold weather, and i was so very happy that day – the sort of happy that pushes past flaky makeup and limp hair. c’est la vie, i suppose.

we have been there many times since. i like to take photos there, especially when the sun breaks through a bundle of clouds, or a breeze shakes the willows. there is something special about this place. i feel calm and creative here.

this afternoon at daybreak park.

this afternoon at daybreak park.

Husband took along his fishing pole today, while i braved a leash and allowed Thoby to wiggle-waggle along. boy, was the dog excited! his favorite part was the geese and ducks, which he tried to charge several times and was severely disappointed by the pull of his leash when he pawed along the water’s edge. “nice try, king of everything,” i laughed.

king of everything trying to bird hunt.

king of everything trying to bird hunt.


meanwhile, Husband caught a fish!


Husband's fishy.

Husband’s fishy.

determined to catch something bigger, we walked along the lake for an hour.

no luck.

sorry, hon!

trying several fishing spots.

trying several fishing spots.

DSC_0175 DSC_0184 DSC_0188 DSC_0193 DSC_0208

all in all, it was a nice evening. thoby had fun, Husband got a bit of relaxation, while i got in some photography practice!

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p.s. Unabridged Girl will do a pretty fun GIVE AWAY competition soon! don’t be shy to follow and leave comments, because the more feedback i get, the more ideas i have for fun games, which i love! 🙂 i hate shameless giveaways, and i want to know all my blog-buddies. thanks!

look-see, folks!


oh, my goodness, i’ve gone and switched on you, again!

just kidding. sort of. Unabridged Girl is officially a (dot) com site.

1. come and follow me! you’ll receive lots of fun posts and you know when i’m getting ready to do a give-away. “that’s neat, mckenzie, but how do we follow you?” you ask. well, it’s simple! on the left-hand column, you can subscribe through the RSS feed or via e-mail or both. it’s very easy!

2. speaking of, pretty soon, i’m going to do a fun give-away competition. i would hate for you to miss out!

3. i sincerely appreciate all of the love and support i’ve received over the years. i am grateful for all the confidence you’ve given me to make the leap to make this thing official. i know i couldn’t do any of this without the support of my followers and the people who love me.

(with a little k!)


a visit to the dentist.

oh, the dentist...

oh, the dentist…

i don’t tolerate pain well. (insert various feigned-shock noises here.) i freely admit, i am a bit of a lot of a baby, which is silly, considering everything i’ve been through over the years. i often comfort myself with the idea that if other people experienced what i have/do, they might not tolerate it half-as-well as i. (a girl can dream, right?)

i read somewhere that redheads have less pain tolerance overall. i don’t know if this is true or not. i do know it takes more than usual to numb my mouth at the dentist – like 2 shots to the 1. when i had a root-canal last year, it took 4 shots to deaden my mouth. “well, you’re a redhead, that’s for sure!” the dentist said.


me on the sofa...being a baby.

me on the sofa…being a baby.

last week, i had some minor dental work done. nothing can ever go smoothly for me, so i’ve been experiencing irritation since the work was complete. a couple of nights ago, the irritation turned into pain. whenever i bit down on a piece of food, the right, back side of my mouth would absolutely throb.

early this morning, i called the dentist, and they were quick to get me in and have a look-see.

“oh, my…” the nurse clucked, peering in my mouth with a bright light and sharp tool.

“what’s wrong?”

“i’ll be right back, dear,” she smiled, and hurried out of the room.

the nurse returned with the dentist a few steps behind. i opened my mouth again, and suffered several minutes of poking and prodding. at one point, the dentist used something pointy against the tooth, and i nearly bit his finger off. oops.

“well, kid,” he sighed, “i have bad news. you have a really bad infection back there.”

a bad enough infection, it turns out, that he had to LASER my gums.

i now sit here on the sofa, slightly dizzy with pain-killer, wondering when my body will give me a break. i am so close to feeling 100%. i want to lose weight. i want to do things i did before all this mess – before the lupus.

i know i am almost there.

it takes a deep breath and steady patience.

i can do it.

i will.

cafe bella rue.

Cafe Bella Rue

Cafe Bella Rue

Amid the industrial facades of downtown Daybreak, is a cozy place called, Café Bella Rue. The moment you walk through the door, a friendly staff is ready to take your order, even make suggestions on what you might find tasty! For me? It was the Napoleon, with a switch-up of turkey instead of chicken, while my friend ordered the Pepperoni Calzone. We both settled on sharing a side of Sweet Potato Fries, and Dirty Diet Cokes to wash it all down.

Yummy Sweet Potato Fries!

Yummy Sweet Potato Fries!

After sprinkling a little salt over the Sweet Potato Fries, we were set to go. The food is absolutely delicious! Not only are the colors bright and appealing, the tastes on your tongue have you wanting more – even if you’re belly is full!

Yummy foods and drinks!

Yummy foods and drinks!


We were lucky enough to taste all of the signature sandwiches, too. I love these sandwiches! While most cafes use spreads or greasy sauce, Café Bella Rue uses jelly. Yes. Jelly. Our favorite was the Tuscan Turkey, flavored with cran-peno jelly. Get it. Eat it. Love it.

When you’re finished eating lunch, be sure not to miss out on the fantastic desserts! Obviously, I’m a gelato girl, and Café Bella Rue has a slew of delicious flavors, from a simple Vanilla Mexico to mouth watering Caramel Sea Salt.

If you haven’t been to Café Bella Rue, I suggest you grab your car keys and start driving!

Some other fun facts about Café Bella Rue

Kids eat free on Wednesdays.

There is a band every Friday & Saturday 6 – 8 P.M.

There is a splash pad just outside.

A beautiful park awaits you across the street.

Click Here to Go to the Cafe Bella Rue Site

Cafe Bella Rue on Urbanspoon


today was a great day! i felt energized and happy, and i was excited to do a photo session with one of my most favorite people. her name is tiffa; she is one of the nicest and smartest people i know. she is talented in so many ways, and she is very beautiful to boot! (i love the shade of lipstick she wore for the photos.)

T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 copy T6 T7 copy T8 T9


last night, Husband and i sat on the sofa. he was reading through my blog, so i asked, “do you like the revamp?”

“yeah, but…” he smirked, “what’s with the new writing style?”

“what do you mean?”

“you have some words that aren’t capitalized and some that are,” he explained, and then, (just in case i didn’t get it the first time around), he proceeded to read my blog out loud, and every time he came to a capitalized word, he’d shout it – loudly. by the time he finished the post, i was laughing so hard that my tummy hurt. so yes, i will rein in those capitals. (but i’m still keeping the non-capitals…’cause i can.)

on other notes, i started writing a new story last night. it came to me in part of a dream, and i had to write it quickly before i lost the imagery. (sorry, folks, i didn’t dream about sparkling vampires of 50 shades of geh…) i shared an excerpt with a writer friend, who got me even more excited to dive into research and development.

also? today i am eating at a very yummy cafe today, one of which i am reviewing. can’t wait!

be good to yourself.

(Originally posted on my ‘family’ blog, 07.22.13)

A "fluffier" me, taken by Husband. (07.26.13)

A “fluffier” me, taken by Husband.  July 19, 2013

I am a little fluffy these days.

Okay. So, I stepped on the scale, and cringed at the numbers. Fluffy? Is a bit of an understatement.

Lupus is and will always be difficult. Even now, more energized and up to par, the side effect of one of my medications is obvious: weight gain.

Last July? I was a feather, with all of the right curves, and just enough confidence.

This July? I am a boulder, with curves going out instead of in, and I want to take hostages every time I don’t fit into a pair of pants, (which is a lot).

Despite the good intentions of family and friends saying, “You look beautiful!” or “You don’t look heavy!” I know the truth. I am a fatty. I am the chubby girl. I am a bubble-butt, with arms so floppy, I might take flight.

But I am healthy.

Nearly a year has gone by since my stint in the hospital. I have been on enough meds to make me feel like a human pharmaceutical; for several weeks, I walked with a cane; days were spent on the sofa, watching dishes and laundry pile up, (enough so that I wondered if we should fill out an applications for Hoarders); I quit my job, and I cried. A lot.

It was obvious that my lupus flare was not only a physical battle, but an emotional one, too.

“I’m just so tired. I don’t think I can keep doing this!” I often whined to Husband, who always responded with the same ease and gentleness, “We’re almost there, baby-girl, just hold on a little longer. I promise we’re almost there.”

So, I held on a little longer.

We have finally reached the door to There.

When I see my chub in photos, when I notice the roundness of my face in the mirror, when I put on clothes that are too tight (and once were loose!), I admit it is not easy to remember how far I have come. It is not easy to feel pretty or wanted, because this is not the body I am used to.

A few weeks ago, while visiting my family, Husband and I decided to stay overnight. The next morning, everyone wanted to see a movie. “I didn’t bring a change of clothes,” I said.

“Just borrow some of Holly’s,” my brother suggested, (referring to my sister-in-law).

“Yes, because they will fit so well!” I replied, wondering why my brother would propose I borrow clothes from a woman who would drown in my pant leg. A few minutes later, I hid in the laundry room and (like a big sissy) cried.

Husband found me, and wrapping me up in his arms, asked, “Baby-girl, what’s wrong? Talk to me.”

“I’m sorry I’m so shallow…” I managed, before blubbering about blub.

“Oh, silly girl!” he wiped at my tears, even tugged my hair, “I think you’re beautiful! Do you know that? You are beautiful to me.

“I don’t feel beautiful.”

“You are.”

He held me out at arm’s length, and continued, “Look how far we’ve come, Mckenzie. We’ve come a long, long way! Be good to yourself.”

I realize this lesson applies to more people than just me.

Be good to yourself.

It is incredibly easy to forget how far one has come – what inner-demons we’ve all faced and conquered, because even when those troubles are put behind, there will always be more waiting. So, when I feel the critic begin to whisper in my ear, I do my best to remember Husband’s advice, which happens to be the same advice I give to you: Hold on, just a little longer, because you’re almost there. And when you do get there? Be good to yourself.