Thursday, March 5, 2015

Unfailing Love

Hello friends! I wrote this post a few weeks back and have been hesitant to post it for reasons I am  unsure of. But late last night I felt a tug at my heart to revisit it and so I took a second twentieth look at it and decided it was time to share ! Something I have been struggling with recently is my identity and knowing what I am supposed to do in life. A year ago I really took the leap and dove head first into a deeper relationship with God and although it has been the most amazing thing in the world to experience God's love firsthand, it has also been the hardest year of my life.

A priest came to speak at my church last February about knowing God's will and it really hit home with me. I wanted to follow God's will but I didn't know what that meant. As time went on and I tried to figure out what God's will was for myself I actually began to drift further away from God rather than grow closer to Him like one would expect.

Suddenly it became all about the rules and standards to me. It felt like everyone around me was so intense in their religion and how they decided to live their lives and truthfully that started to overwhelm me. I have heard so many people talking about hearing God and knowing what He wants but I wasn't getting that. I have felt like I wanted to pull back on going to church and participating in groups that were all about God because it was making me feel  like I was not enough.

Since I have deepened my walk with God this has been a constant struggle for me. Comparison. Doubt. Guilt. I started feeling all of these things in my everyday life and they have suffocated me. I no longer had a real desire to have a personal relationship with God because it just felt like no matter what I did I was failing Him. And I was disobeying Him. And I was not following His will (whatever that meant).

Over the past several weeks I have really been struggling with what that means. I have prayed constantly about it. I have talked with several family members and friends about it. I do feel that I have "the answer" but at the same time I don't. Because I don't even know what that means. I certainly don't hear God's voice saying do this or do that so how could I possibly follow His will for me.

The problem became that I thought God's will meant it had to be different then my will. I have this crippling fear that His will for my life involves nothing that I really wanted because how could it, that would just be selfish of me! Then I began to realize that God's love will always remain the same for us. Meaning, tomorrow I could literally go out and steal and still His love for me would be the same. I'm just starting to understand again that all God truly wants is for us to want to know Him and have a relationship with Him. And I do want that. Even better, I can and want to accomplish the dreams and goals I have in life and still have a relationship with The Lord. I think that is what God's will is. He wants us to want Him and when I do that I am living God's will.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

February Favorites

Hello sweet friends! I have been crazy busy with school lately (it just never ends) and feel like I have been neglecting my blog ,but I've spent the last several days working on some things to try and change that. Today I'm sharing some of my monthly must-haves and I think they're pretty great!

February Favorites

 one// There is something about the cold weather that just makes me want to cook. I have an obsession of many things (that I like to pass off as collections) aprons being one of them. I don't know what it is about a cute apron but it makes me feel like my life is on track.

two//  Zellas have become a necessity in my life in the past couple of years. Ever since I discovered them at the Nordstrom half-yearly sale several years ago they have become a staple to my wardrobe. They are the most comfortable leggings/work out pants in the world, they are thick enough to wear out of the house, and they have really been upping their game in the last several months and have come out with some fun patterns!

three// This thing is my best friend. Seriously. I never knew how little activity I did on a day to day basis before this. It tracks your steps, distance, and calories (although I don't rely on this to be accurate). The great thing about the FitBit is that it is so small and you can literally wear it with everything, like I wore it to my dad's surprise party aka in a dress and heels. 

four// Lately casual cute has been my go-to look. I've started to leave my "college grunge" phase and have been slowly making my way back into real world attire. I have been fixated with the wool baseball cap trend since it made it's debut and my obsession has continued to grow. In the past several weeks some of my favorite outfits have involved this cap. It's the perfect accessory to that comfy weekend outfit. 

five// I have to admit, I'm not a big make up person. Of course I wear make up, but I wear what I wear and don't know about any of the new inventions or accessories for it. I started using a beauty blender three or four months ago and can honestly say they rock. It makes it so much easier to put my foundation/BB cream on and to blend everything in. In fact, I have convinced my mom, sister, and cousin to purchase a beauty blender because they're cheap and really work. 

six// Where to even start with these wellies. Joules so graciously gave me these wellies back in August and I have been patiently waiting for it to rain or do something crazy so that I would have the chance to wear these for once. It was finally yucky enough to wear them last week, and I am in love. I got so many compliments on them and so many people asking what brand they were. 

I am so excited to be guest blogging over at Hot Tea and the Empty Seat today! Hop on over there and read about my testimony and how God has worked through my life over the past years. And while you're there be sure to look around and read some other post by my sweet friend Katie!  

Friday, February 6, 2015

Heart to Heart

Hello sweet friends!

Today is national wear red day for heart disease (something that is very important to me) so I figured it was the perfect time to begin to tell my story. Heart disease is the number one leading cause of death for women in America and worldwide. 1 in 3 women die of heart disease. The numbers are astronomical yet the funding for heart disease doesn't even come close to that of breast cancer and other illnesses. Heart disease is a serious disease that primarily is seen as affecting men or the elderly. As you can probably guess, my story has a little something (okay a lot) to do with heart disease. Even though this has always been a part of my life and I have no problem talking about this to anyone in person, I have been a bit apprehensive to share this online. I hope that my story can serve as a testimony to people of how important heart health is and how a n y o n e can be affected, not just your grandparents. 

*The first portion of this (meaning today's post) is going to be pretty fact heavy. Everything talked about today happened within the first 7 months of my life but it is obviously prevalent to know the background before I can talk about how it has affected me my whole life as well as everybody in it.*

 This is the "part one" of many parts to come. 

I was born August 9, weighing 9 pounds even (or as the first nurse said "8 pounds 16 ounces!"). The delivery doctors and nurses thought everything looked great, but once I got to the nursery and they continued my assessment, the nurse listened to my heart and heard a distinct murmur. Other nurses and doctors listened and they decided to do an X-ray; they ended up seeing some cloudiness around my heart. They told my parents that night that it was either pneumonia, a heart defect, or a virus attacking my heart that would take my life within 24 hours. But there wouldn't be any answers until the next day, when the cardiologist would come in. At that point it was a waiting game.

 The next morning my condition worsened, so the cardiologist came  in early and did an echo. Through that he was able to determine that I had sub aortic stenosis, a VSD, and a double outlet right ventricle. This basically meant I had a hole in my heart which was pushing blood out in one direction and back in the other (making my heart inefficient) and a blockage in front of my ventricular valve.Without corrective surgery I would not survive. I was transferred to a different hospital to have surgery, on the 11th, two days after I was born I had open heart surgery to repair my heart. I was on a bypass machine for 4 hours and under hypothermic circulatory arrest for about 42 minutes (this is where they literally cool your body so much that your blood stops flowing). With that surgery they were able to repair the VSD, the double outlet right ventricle, and some of the stenosis. After that surgery I stayed in the hospital for two weeks until they thought I was stable enough to go home. 

I did well at home for 6 months, but in February an echo showed that the stenosis had come back. They immediately took me to have a cath done so they could determine what was happening. During the cath I coded and went into tachycardia twice where they had to shock me back into rhythm. I stayed that night in the hospital and the next day (Friday) the doctors told my parents they needed to bring me back Monday for a second open heart surgery. This time around the doctor explained to my parents that he would need to be more aggressive with the surgery and would have to cut through the bundle of hiss (which is the connector tissue that tells your heart to beat). In doing so this would cause me to have complete heart block and be pacemaker dependent.

I was hooked to an external pacer for a couple of weeks so the swelling could go down and the doctors could watch how my heart was responding. When they turned the external pacer off and my ventricular side wouldn't work it was confirmed that I would need a pacemaker. The surgery gave me complete heart block which means that my atrium side respond's to my body's messages but can't transmit them to the ventricular side, which is why I'm completely dependent on a pacemaker. It reads the atrium side and shocks the ventricle side to beat. 

All of this meant two things: I have congenital heart disease (meaning I have had it from birth) and I would have a pacemaker for the rest of my life. 

This is a Polaroid taken the day I was born by one of the nurses in the NICU.

This was taken the day after my first open-heart surgery. 

This was the first time my mom got to hold me since the day I was born.

This was the first day my sister met me. One of the nurses put bows on my visible wires because she wanted me to look pretty and didn't want to scare my sister who was 2 at the time. 

My mom and I with my surgeon, Dr. Calhoun. I was coming home for the first time.

I am about a month old in this picture. This is after the first round of the major surgeries. 

My sister and I playing at home. I am about a month old here as well. 

This was the weekend I was home before my second big surgery.

My first day home after my second open heart surgery.

Thank you so much for reading this and letting me tell my story. All of the surgeries and hardships that I don't even remember completely changed my life and shaped me into who I am today. Having heart disease and a pacemaker don't define me, but it is a huge part of who I am. I'm sure in the midst of everything that was happening my parents and many people were probably thinking "why her? why us?". I have asked myself this question many times, but for the first time in my life I know why, to share my story and to encourage people that life is really, really messy but it's also really, really worth it. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Winter Bucket List

Hi friends!

Okay so I know you all may be side-eyeing me looking at this thinking, what a kook Christmas is over, what is she doing creating a winter list. Don't forget that I make my bucket list for the actual dates, so I'm not too far behind (JK now I am... like way behind)! I have to admit my Autumn BL was a bit of a fail for me. Although I did do some fun fall things, I did not document it nor did I do much of anything on my actual BL.

Winter Bucket List

- Go Ice Skating

- Successfully pull off my dad's surprise party
- Road trip to Austin
- Road trip to San Marcos
- Road trip to College Station
- Decorate for Christmas
- Decorate for Valentine's Day
- Read 3 books
- Meet 2 new friends
- Get a wool baseball cap
- Keep up with my classes
- See a ballet
- Celebrate Galentine's day (Parks and Rec anyone?)
- Keep writing my book 
- Do something really spontaneous (we'll see how this one pans out)
- Keep up with my New Year goals
- 5 random acts of kindness
- Photograph more
- Blog more in "real time" (aka don't procrastinate like I did on this post)
- Cut three TV shows I watch out of my life 
- Make my Gram's Christmas Cookies

Maybe if I keep it shorter this time I will actually be able to accomplish some of these this time around... wishful thinking. 

Is there anything you all have planned for this winter? Share it with me on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #WinterBL

Friday, January 16, 2015


I'm going to throw it back all the way to November and talk about my Thanksgiving because it's really just too good to miss (you'll see why in a second). This was the first Thanksgiving that we have hosted in many, many years. It was actually really fun being the host instead of the guest, you definitely take on a different role, but we had fun decorating the house!

For the past several years, each time we have hosted a holiday at our house we have done some sort of event. Over the past years we have done the harlem shake, set up photo booths, and many more. But I think this year tops them all. We made a lip dub to "All About that Bass" by Megan Trainor, featuring our entire family. Our camera editing skills may be close to novice but our dancing skills are on par. Without further auedi, I present to you 2014 Radenbaugh Thanksgiving!


Kendall Rose

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy Birthday Blog!

My oh my, what a year it has been! It is blowing my mind that Simply Kendall Rose has been up and running for one whole year! After much internal debate and doubt I started my blog January 5, 2014 and haven't looked back since (well that's almost true). Taking the leap of faith to start a blog, let alone leaving it open for the public to read it, has to be one of the most terrifying steps I have ever taken. I honestly had no idea what joy a blog could bring me. Through out this past year blogging and writing have without a doubt become my biggest passions in life.

This blog has opened many doors for me, has given my life direction, and has provided me with amazing opportunities, including attending a blog conference put on by some of my most favorite bloggers, being able to collaborate and work with some great brands, and so much more. But the best part of it all has been the community that I have gained through out this whole experience. Blogging has given me the opportunity to connect with some of the most wonderful ladies all over the world. Women who inspire, encourage, and keep me laughing on a daily basis. I have realized that (although I am not always the best at keeping connections alive) the community is what makes it all worthwhile.  What started out as a fun hobby has turned into something so meaningful and near to my heart.

I never could have imagined all the love and support I have received from every single one of you! My words can't even begin to describe how appreciative I am to you all. I truly thank you from the bottom of my heart and more.  I am beyond grateful and enthused to have you on this journey with me and I am so incredibly thrilled to see where 2015 takes me!

Below are some of my favorite blog posts from this past year!

 The Hundred Part One/ Part Two/ Part Three

Happy Birthday dear blog! Here's to many, many more! 


Kendall Rose

Friday, January 2, 2015

Be Brave

Hello, hello!

Yesterday I wrote about the year that is to come. This brand new, blank slate that we have in front of us is an opportunity to write a fresh story. 

My word for this year is brave. Be brave. There are so many things that I want in my life that I am too afraid to do. Fear is what stops me from doing something 99% of the time. Many times I feel confident in a decision I am making, but then a little voice inside of me will start to come out and tell me that I will fail or that I'm not making the right choices. The little voice wants to hold me back and make me second guess myself and my talents. I'm deciding that 2015 is the year that I shut the door on my fear and focus on what can come out of being brave.

// 2015 Goals //

Get up by 9:00// I have such a struggle with this one. I have never been good at waking up early, even in high school, but I have made it work in college for my 8 ams (they're horrible, I know). But on the days I know I don't have class or any commitments, I have such a hard time getting up, even when I set alarms. The days when I do sleep in and wake up at 10:30 or even 12:30 (that happened earlier this week....) I feel like my day is gone and I really hate that feeling. My goal for January is to get up everyday by 9:00, whether I have class or not, in order to be productive and live my days to the fullest. 

Work out 3xs a week// I know, how cliché. Instead of simply saying "I want to lose weight" or "I want to get in shape" I have decided to be specific on this and commit to working out 3xs a week. This gives me the flexibility to work out when and where I want. Right now I workout very sporadically, there's no real method to my madness, so this way I have a plan that can help me keep track of what I'm doing and not set me up for failure. 

Staying organized// If you've ever met me in real life you know I am far from being organized. My room is typically a mess, I am always running late to everything, and I forget assignments/events so much it's unreal. This year (hopefully with the help of my parents, teachers, and friends) I am committing to staying organized. I want to write out my entire semester in my planner in the first week of class, I want to set aside time each day to devote to my school work, and to be truthful with myself each month on how good (or bad) I've kept up with everything. 

Eat at home// I almost always have the intention of eating my meals at home, but there are so many days that by the time I am done with classes or work, I am too tired to cook and end up picking something up on the way home. Not only is this unhealthy, it is so expensive. And let's be real, I'm college student poor. In order to make this goal attainable I am going to start by letting myself eat out twice a week; this way I am giving myself room to hang out with friends or whatever without feeling restricted. 

Improve on my photography skills// I got my camera last year as a Christmas present and have spent the past year slowly learning the basics of it all. I have to say my pictures have improved tremendously...I was looking at one of the first recipe shoots I did and all I can say is yikes! This Christmas, I got a new lens and downloaded a couple of beginners workshops to learn all the ins and outs of a DSLR camera. I want to commit to spending one weekend a month to listening to the tutorials as well as practicing on people, scenery, etc.

Share my story// Now this might not make sense to most of my readers because, well I haven't shared my story yet. I have had different heart problems and conditions throughout my life that have changed me and shaped me into who I am today. I have been wanting to write about this for awhile now but something (hint, hint, fear) has been holding me back. This year I am committing to face my fears and to be brave and share my story with you all. 

Get involved with AHA// This goes hand in hand with what I said above. Like I mentioned, I have had heart problems/defects all of my life but I am just now getting to the age to where I can truly understand the severity of it all and how it does and will affect my day to day life for the rest of my life. I have decided to take that extra step and get involved with the American Heart Association (and possibly a few other heart disease organizations) to help bring awareness to the number one leading cause of death in the United States, heart disease. 

Continue to write// I love writing and I always have, but it is so easy to get discouraged when writing. There are many times when I get writer's block or simply feel like my work sucks and isn't worth spending my time doing. Writing is truly one of my biggest passions, it gives me so much joy and pride when I read something I've written and think "wow that's pretty dang good". This coming year I am committing to writing. No matter what I write or how terribly it sucks, I want to be brave and confident in my writing. 

Show kindness// In general, I think I am pretty kind-natured. I really do care about others and want everyone to feel loved and included, but I don't go out of my way to make sure that happens. Sure, I might smile at the new girl in my class but I have never been the person to go sit down and talk to her. I want to push myself out of my comfort zone and reach out to people I would have never done before. I am committing to paying for the person's drink behind me, volunteering because I want to and not because I have to, and giving back to the less fortunate with my time and my money. 

Strengthen my personal relationship with God// As I have written throughout my blog, 2014 was a major turning point for my faith. My faith started to strengthen October of my freshman year in college (super random and specific, I know) but it was really kicked into high gear this past January. I will be the first to admit that I really struggle with God and religion, meaning the closer I became to the Lord, the more I felt pressured to be perfect and instead of focusing on my personal relationship, I began focusing on the do's and don'ts of everything. Going into 2015, I am committing to focusing on my personal relationship with God first and everything else second. I would rather know my Creator and have a one-on-one relationship with Him as opposed to just being a rule follower. 

Read// Personally, I think reading rocks. I love, love, love to read! But I will admit, lately I have been somewhat of a book serial killer, meaning, I have started a book, read a few chapters and never picked it up again. I want to end the mass murdering of books (too far?) and give them a little love by actually finishing them. So, if you have any good titles you'd recommend help a girl out and leave them below!

I am so incredibly excited for this new year and all the adventures that I know will come out of it by kicking fear goodbye and being brave! Share with me some of your goals you have for 2015!


Kendall Rose

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

Good morning and Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a great night ringing in the new year and are looking forward to 2015 as much as I am! For some reason this year feels different than all the others, like something big is going to happen, and that excites me.

Last year I focused on me. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and stop letting life happen to me, and for the most part I did just that. I started this blog, joined a christian sorority, went to a blogging conference, and so much more. I still have leaps and bounds to go but I can proudly look back over the year and know that I accomplished something. 

I have started compiling my goals for this coming year and will be sharing them with you tomorrow. In the meantime, I challenge you all to come up with a reasonable, obtainable goals that you want to accomplish throughout 2015! 

I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!


Kendall Rose