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It’s 3:30 am the house is quiet…my husband is sprawled out beside me… snoring. I am asleep but somehow aware. My teeth feel clenched and I notice that I’m feeling hot. I roll over and can feel wetness on my chest. I begin to awaken. I place my hand on my chest only to find…

16 comments
  • AndrEaJanuary 23, 2015 - 2:28 pm

    Great post! Love you so much! So glad you are sharing your journey! God is going to do amazing things through this!ReplyCancel

    • CandyJanuary 23, 2015 - 2:39 pm

      Thank you my sweet friend! Miss you tons and love you lots!!ReplyCancel

  • HeatherJanuary 23, 2015 - 4:50 pm

    Hi Friend, my sister and Niece Taylor have trouble with this! You are right I believe anxiety and panic attacks are real challenges many people have to deal with on a daily basis. Love you childhood friend!❤️ReplyCancel

    • CandyJanuary 23, 2015 - 7:44 pm

      Thanks for your sweet words! Love you too!! So wish we could get together for a reunion sometime!! I would love to meet your family 🙂ReplyCancel

  • JeriJanuary 23, 2015 - 5:04 pm

    Beautifully written. I had no idea. I have seen this many times. Love you!ReplyCancel

    • CandyJanuary 23, 2015 - 7:45 pm

      Thanks Jeri! I tried to brush it under the rug and hide it away until a few years ago. I finally learned that doesn’t help me or anyone else! Love you too!ReplyCancel

  • Dave EarpJanuary 23, 2015 - 5:36 pm

    So appreciative of you for sharing this ,… In case you don’t recognize me … I was one of your Youth Group Leaders from yesteryear.

    I have dealt with some anxiety issues. One was made worse by some medication until I adapted to it. Though I think my experience is different from yours I can relate to some of what you are saying. I personally refer to it as my brain betraying me … not sure if that helps or not. In the moment when we are anxious its hard to convince ourselves that this is just our brain doing that thing it does at times.

    I do hope you have sought some professional help … It took me quite a long time to get to that place. You don’t have to answer that … I just put it out there as something you might consider. I have found it helpful.

    Again, I very much appreciate your sharing your story. I believe that through you sharing your story … others will discover that they are not alone and will dare to speak and reach out for help when needed. I agree with the earlier poster…. God will do great things through this.

    God bless,

    DaveReplyCancel

    • CandyJanuary 23, 2015 - 7:49 pm

      Hi Dave,
      Of course I remember you!! So thankful for you guys! I have been a youth leader for several years and think of all of my wonderful leaders all the time. 🙂
      So sorry that you dealt with this also! Glad to hear your doing better now!
      I did go to a counselor and it did help me a lot! It was just what I needed to help me get a handle on what was going on and help be talk through some things and find coping techniques to deal with it better! I still carry her number with me and know that if I feel like I’m letting the anxiety take control again she’s only a phone call away!
      Thanks so much for your encouraging words…means the world to me!ReplyCancel

  • PaigeJanuary 23, 2015 - 6:25 pm

    Candy
    Thank you so much for sharing your journey. I also journeyed through about 7 years of anxiety attacks.I still get one maybe once a year, but I’m with you it feels like the very first time even though I’ve had them so many times.I also agree with you that talking about it takes away its power, everyone I’ve shared with has also either suffered with them or know someone has. Reading Scripture and filling my mind with beautiful Christian music also helped take away the fear. Your article was written so beautifully and so honest and heartfelt. These words will help a lot of people. God will use every hurt every pain and every anxiety attack to bring glory to Him. He makes beauty out of the ashes.
    Love
    Paige aka Heather’s sister
    Ps I later learned that I was going through early menopause, so it was hormone related. I went on natural hormone cream and that has helped tremendously.ReplyCancel

    • CandyJanuary 23, 2015 - 7:53 pm

      Hi Paige,
      of course I know who you are! lol Ugh so sorry to hear that you have dealt with this also! I agree I could not have come this far without my faith! Thank you for your sweet words! I’m so glad to hear that you are doing better! I have said for several years that I suspected I am in perimenopause. I actually have a bottle of natural progesterone in my cabinet that I was going to start several months ago but I actually went a few months with barely any anxiety and no panic attacks so I waited and didn’t start it. I am now a few weeks into pretty heavy anxiety again so I was going to start it and see what happens!
      Thanks again for you sweet words and your encouragement! ♥ReplyCancel

  • TamaraJanuary 24, 2015 - 7:59 am

    Candy,
    Thank you for your bravery in sharing your story! For about a year after my dad died 11 years ago, I had such extreme anxiety/panic disorder that I almost became agoraphobic. I felt crazy and like I was a burden to others. It truly controlled my life. I was fortunate to find a program and a therapist to help me through it. I feel that I have been “healed” for many years now. However, occasionally, I will feel those old feelings and begin to think, “Please no, not again”. Luckily, most times, they pass before becoming something more now. There have been a few instances here and there that still send me into mild anxiety, like when we moved to a 3rd world country.

    Iwant you to know that you are brave, for not only sharing your story, but also for fighting the daily fight of anxiety and panic. It is a hard, scary battle. I will add you to my daily prayers that you can overcome this dreadful disease. Love you, friend!
    TamaraReplyCancel

    • CandyJanuary 24, 2015 - 10:42 am

      Tamara,
      Thank you so much for you kind words! I’m so sorry you went through this also! I am so glad that you were able to overcome it. I think it will always be a fear that lingers in the back of our minds. I to had gotten to the point of not wanting to leave my house and coming up with excuses of why I couldn’t go somewhere or be somewhere because of the fear of a panic attack. It is truly amazing to me how powerful our minds can be! I would love to know what program and therapist you used. I spent some time at Integrity House with a wonderful counselor that definetely helped me through the worst of it!

      And I can’t even imagine the anxiety that would come with moving to a 3rd world country!! lol…I am so proud of you though for pushing through and following Gods call on your life!

      Thanks for the prayers!
      Love you!
      CandyReplyCancel

  • DebFebruary 12, 2015 - 2:40 pm

    Hey girl! Bless you for sharing this! My mom suffered for years…became agoraphobic. It was awful for her and for us to watch her go thru it. She couldn’t drive anywhere my whole childhood. So thankful for people who drove us everywhere LOL! She was healed of this years ago by the grace of God and meds. However, I have experienced similar symptoms that look like a panic attack, a few times but Dr. says for me it was directly related to caffeine / stress of moving / Vit D deficiency (that can cause palpitations too! who knew!) My Dr. said exercise is our best friend with anxiety (but you and I know Prayer is our best friend). I will commit to praying for you my dear friend. You are NOT alone and we are all in this together…. thank you thank you for sharing your heart. This verse came to mind as I was reading your blog. 2 Cor 8″My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” To God be the glory as He covers you and takes care of your every need. Love you girl. DebReplyCancel

    • CandyFebruary 12, 2015 - 3:06 pm

      Thanks sweet friend! I’m so sorry your mom spent so many years dealing with that! Praise God that she is better now!! I have my days where I could easily become agoraphobic. LOL! It can be exhausting pushing through simple tasks. That’s funny that verse came to your mind. That was actually the verse I read the morning I decided to post this! 🙂 That is my prayer that God will show himself through my weakness! Thanks for your sweet words and prayers!
      Love ya!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer FancherFebruary 14, 2015 - 2:18 am

    I’m new to the Society and have started keeping a journal to help me through. I’ve been trying to escape and run away or ignore the attack, only to make it worse. So instead of hiding behind the curtain, I’m joining the attack on stage and dealing with it head on.

    Thank you for showing your soft underbelly and revealing a tender part of your heart. I have been blessed knowing that while we’re in different boats, we’re on the same river and I’m not alone.ReplyCancel

    • CandyFebruary 15, 2015 - 12:54 pm

      I am so proud of you for stepping in front of the curtain!! That’s one of the hardest parts I think…just acknowledging that we are there and that this is part of us currently. Thank you for sharing your journey with me as well!! It never ceases to amaze me how many people are on our river. Love ya!ReplyCancel

Long warm summer days spent riding bikes and chasing down the ice cream man, playing with the neighborhood kids. The sounds of laughter and screams of joy filled the streets. Those were the days of my childhood and many of yours. The days before everyone had a computer and access to electronic media. When Saturday…

Planning a 16th Birthday Party for a teenager can be challenging! My son really wanted to celebrate in a laid back style with as many friends as he could squeeze into our backyard with a bonfire. The plan was to make it look simple and laid back but still ultra-cool enough for teenagers to love…

31 comments
  • JamieMarch 19, 2015 - 8:28 pm

    Love these ideas!! We also live in TN (Manchester) and my son will be turning 13 on Oct. 31. A bonfire party is what I’ve been waiting for with him, but I think ours will not be as many people. But I love your ideas…thanks!!ReplyCancel

    • CandyMarch 20, 2015 - 11:41 am

      Hi Jamie,
      Thanks so much! That’s the great thing about a bonfire party…it doesn’t matter how many people you have they are always fun!! Let me know if I can help with anything for your party! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • ChristinaMarch 29, 2015 - 9:46 pm

    I was planning on hosting a bonfire party for my daughter’s Sweet Sixteen. When I came across this blog post, I was so excited because I had no idea where to start from. I can’t wait to start planning her birthday party!!ReplyCancel

    • CandyMarch 31, 2015 - 12:39 pm

      Awesome Christina!! So glad you found some helpful information! Please let me know if you need any help 🙂
      Enjoy!!
      CandyReplyCancel

  • SheilaMay 16, 2015 - 5:15 pm

    Love, Love, LOVE this! I’m hosting a bonfire high school grad party for my son. I have a tendency to over think and over complicate so this pin is a life saver! Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

    • CandyMay 20, 2015 - 2:11 pm

      So glad you found it helpful Sheila!! Congrats to your son and hope your party is amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Lucie gundlaChJune 4, 2015 - 11:52 pm

    I’m actually planning my 16th birthday party now for sometime in the next couple weeks. Your ideas were super helpful!ReplyCancel

    • CandyJune 11, 2015 - 11:08 pm

      Awesome Lucie!! I hope that you have a wonderful birthday!! Good luck with the party planning 🙂ReplyCancel

  • LeslieJune 10, 2015 - 3:41 pm

    OMG thank you so much…. I could really use some help on some details.. what is ur etsy store under? My daughter is turning 16 as well. Thanks!!!ReplyCancel

  • hannahJune 11, 2015 - 9:37 pm

    I’m so glad I found this…I was running out of ideas for my 14th birthday party…I was looking for something simple and this was just the thing…cant wait to get started! but I’m probably not having near as many people.ReplyCancel

    • CandyJune 11, 2015 - 11:06 pm

      So glad it was so helpful for you Hannah!! I hope your birthday is great! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • MattJuly 15, 2015 - 12:50 pm

    Fantastic ideas! Just was wondering if you could tell me what the s’more menu actually had on it. I can see the title of each one, but not what you recommend to put on them. It would be a big help! Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • CandyJuly 22, 2015 - 9:47 pm

      Hi!
      Thanks so much! Yes here is what I had on each Smore…so yummy!!! 🙂

      The GrassHopper
      graham cracker/andes mint/marshmallow
      The Mint Oreo
      graham cracker/andes min/cookies n cream/marshmallow
      Jishwhich
      graham cracker/peanut butter cup/marshmallow
      Tiger PAw
      Chocolate graham cracker/cookies n cream chocolate/marshmallowReplyCancel

  • MadEline keenJuly 28, 2015 - 12:51 pm

    Loving these ideas! I’m also from Tennesee! (Lynchburg) just shy of Manchester! I turn 16 in September! I have been at such a loss as what to plan for my party!! Thank you so much for these awesome ideas!!ReplyCancel

    • CandyAugust 6, 2015 - 1:22 pm

      Thank you!! I hope your birthday is awesome!! The bonfire party was such a fun way to celebrate and it was easy to include any number of guests! Good luck and HAPPY SWEET 16!! :))ReplyCancel

  • […] Budget Bonfire Party from Sweet by Candy 12. Glow in the Dark Party from B Lovely 13. Vintage Football Party from […]ReplyCancel

  • KathyAugust 9, 2015 - 7:45 am

    Great ideas- I’m throwing my daughter a surprise 16th! Could you tell me what ENO is? KathyReplyCancel

    • CandySeptember 30, 2015 - 11:27 am

      Hey Kathy,
      Im so sorry I’m just now seeing this message eek! lol… An ENO is like a hammock but can be put up anywhere…we attach ours to a tree and to a wooden post from our swing set. My son also has but hooks on his wall in his room and can attach it to them as well. They fold up into a little pocket and are super portable and easy to take anywhere. My kids all love them and they are pretty popular around here! Worth the money for sure. Just an FYI if you buy one. They do not come with the straps to attach you have to buy those seperate lol…found that out the hard way 🙂 I hope your daughters party was amazing!! Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Ange BurnettAugust 15, 2015 - 7:00 pm

    This is an awesome page. Just came across it by accident and we are planning our daughters 16th party about 6 weeks from now. What a find this is! I was sharing with my hubby and he said save to your favorites right now before you lose that page.. lol

    Thanks so much for sharing with us!ReplyCancel

    • CandySeptember 30, 2015 - 11:24 am

      Thank you Ange!! Glad it came in handy for you! Hope your party is awesome! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • LoraAugust 25, 2015 - 8:15 pm

    Thanks so much for all of your great ideas! I’m stealing a few! Having a Bonfire Birthday for my 14 year olds party!ReplyCancel

    • CandySeptember 30, 2015 - 11:22 am

      Awesome Lora! 🙂 Hope your party was or is a big success!! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • JenniferOctober 14, 2015 - 12:04 am

    Exactly what I was looking for to celebrate my son’s 16th! Thank you!! We are also in TN(Lascassas):)ReplyCancel

    • CandyOctober 21, 2015 - 3:23 pm

      Awesome Jennifer! We are neighbors! 🙂 Hope your son has a wonderful birthday!ReplyCancel

  • CarleneNovember 3, 2015 - 5:06 pm

    This has helped me shape our ‘Boniversary Party’ night this November. My wife and I are married a year and the same people are being invited back, this inspired to get out all of the things that go into storage from the ‘big day’. Our wedding book of messages is coming back out for the guests to leave messages in for ‘a year later’ for us and all of the same bunting and colours. So we are more set up and good to go than we thought. This log of your own night reminded me for some reason and inspired me to go with it again.
    Thank you x
    Carlene & KatReplyCancel

  • Dawn GoreeJanuary 12, 2016 - 8:10 pm

    These are really great ideas! We are also TN folks, Fairview 🙂 Planning my daughter’s 15th. Thanks for all the help.ReplyCancel

  • BeccaJanuary 13, 2016 - 9:56 am

    Great ideas! I also tend to overthink things when planning parties. What would you suggest for very small backyards? Moving locations?ReplyCancel

    • CandyMarch 21, 2016 - 4:21 pm

      Hi Becca,
      I’m so sorry I am just now seeing this…ugh! Yes I tend to do the same..lol! I would say just modify your plans to fit your yard. You could even utilize the front yard, side yards, driveway and garage if you have one. A garage door makes a great movie screen! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • DawnMarch 21, 2016 - 9:27 am

    Thank you for this article- I needed a party idea for kids that will span the needs of both high functioning autistic kids and their neuro-typical friends. I think this will provide the freedom to just be kids while also making it easier for the autistic kids to slip off to the background for a stress break- not unheard of to have kids staring into the fire!
    I plan to have games like horseshoes, cornhole and a few others available to help the kids who are more physically active and maybe large size yahtzee, jumbo size jenga and a chinese checker board for those who want more along that line.ReplyCancel

    • CandyMarch 21, 2016 - 4:17 pm

      Hi Dawn,
      I’m so glad you found this helpful!! Love your ideas they sound great! I agree it will def. be a great laid back party that should make everyone feel comfortable! Good luck and have a blast!ReplyCancel

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