Because I'm Terrible at Scrapbooks
The Fam

Happy Thanksgiving

From my family to yours, happy happy Thanksgiving!

I’ve got a roasted autumn vegetable medley in tow, which seems like the perfect accompaniment to all the unhealthy things I plan to eat today.

Primarily pecan pie and lots of starchy carbs.

All the starchy carbs, in fact.

Today we’re headed to celebrate with Will’s family. It’s a tradition I look forward to every year and cherish.  I know the preciousness of grandparents and how blessed we are to have them at our age. I hope to get to see mine soon, too.

Will prefers to drive because he thinks I’m a bad driver he loves it so much. The drive home gives me plenty of time to rest and digest and prepare for round two. 😂

(Will’s grandma always sends us home with leftovers 😊)

I have much to be thankful for this year (and every year), and I feel especially grateful for God’s provision and goodness. Not just on the good days, but the bad ones, too.

I’m looking forward to an alternating weekend of relaxation and fun spent with people I love.

I hope you are, too.

Thanks for dropping by, and happy Thanksgiving!

Now let’s go raid the deserts…

The Fall Update

Cherry Kool-Aid For Life

Hello friends!

It seems as though my updates are seasonal these days, offering super long recaps of life as one part of the year closes and another begins.

Lots has happened since I last wrote.

In fact, this should be a two volume post, but it won’t be.

Just pretend it is and take a break from reading and come back later to finish it. 😊

But don’t forget to come back!

I began writing this on the way to Dallas for OU-Texas weekend, a longtime tradition in the B-Love house and one of our favorite yearly football trips.

Texas bound!

We always have a very strict tradition for how this trip unfolds, especially on Friday:

-Drop dogs off at the kennel
-Leave for Dallas as early as possible
-Stop in Marietta for a free Bevo Burger at the Bevo Bash (Bevo is the Longhorn mascot, incase you’re wondering)
-Arrive in Dallas as early as possible
-Nap (well mostly Will since he does the driving, I usually end up working a little)
-Enjoy a nice dinner at Ruth’s Chris

Only, this year we’ve completely turned everything on it’s head. I’m a creature of habit and always enjoy looking forward to the repetitiveness of this trip, but it was nice to change it up. smile

We got in early and, as usual, Will napped. We had giant burgers for dinner at Gas Money Bar & Grill, and were shocked to watch Clemson lose to Syracuse that night.

Gas Monkey!

Saturday was among the hottest OU-Texas weekends on record. It was misery.

So miserable I didn’t even stand in line for a fried snickers.

I KNOW!

Ya’ll, you know that means I was hot puddle of sweat.

Here I am forcing a smile while sweating profusely. haha

OU-Texas 2017

Since we’re on the subject of football, let’s just get it all out of the way.

I totally drank the Kool-aid and bought into the OU hype this year, for which I’m guilty.

Will knew better, as usual.

So when we watched them lose to Iowa State, in what they’ve deemed the worst loss in Sooner history, I kissed my high hopes goodbye.

Those guys…

Although, there have been some updates lately so maybe, just maybe we’ve still got a chance.

Pass the Kool-Aid…

Life things
Probably the biggest “life thing” since I last wrote is that Will started a new job this summer, and it’s been a huge blessing. It’s long days and hours, but thankfully weekends off.

I thought we were oldies before, but now we REALLY are! Many week nights we’re already in bed by 8:30!

It’s hard to reflect on everything right now, because it’s still fairly fresh, but I am thankful for the Lord’s faithfulness during this time.

When everything first unfolded with selling the business, I felt God was going to do something big and miraculous through it all. The truth is, nothing big really happened (though the circumstances surrounding how Will got hired and how it all worked out were definitely the hand of God).

I definitely know firsthand the Lord shows up in mighty ways, however sometimes His faithfulness seems less evident to our untrained eyes. The truth is, He sustained us and strengthened my faith in ways that never would have happened had I not gone through this trial. Perhaps that’s what’s “big.”

Anyway- there’s that. But wait! There’s more!

P gave birth to Gemma Grace (GG for short- how adorable, right!?) on October 12th.

What’s crazy is here’s a picture of me holding P, and now P has a daughter old enough to hold her baby sister nkw just like I did! WHERE IS THE TIME GOING!?

Introducing Gemma Grace

More fun stuff

Because we’re crazy football fans, we’ve had the September 2019 marked on our calendar forever. It’s when the Sooners play UCLA in the Rose Bowl, which naturally means we have to attend!

With so much time between our last major trip and then, we decided to take a small vacation in between. He threw out an old favorite, which I sort of dismissed quickly.

Will’s vacation policy isn’t as generous as we’d hoped, so we had a couple options- either take a trip at the end of the year, or wait until the summer. Will left the decision up to me, figuring I’d pick something next summer.

Which is what I started doing!

The truth is, though, I kind of felt lost planning a trip in July or August.

For one, I hate summer.

Two, it just didn’t feel right.

For our 13 years of marriage, we’ve always planned trips around fun football games, and for 13 years I’ve always ribbed Will about it.

Only, when it came down to it, I kind of couldn’t see us doing anything else!

(Did this guy wear me down or what!?!)

Stay tuned for more on that. I suppose it will be in my winter update! 😊

In no particular order...

- Guys- they are ending NBC’s The Middle after this season!! It’s hard to find family friendly comedies, and I have come to love the Heck family. WHAT THE HECK AM I SUPPOSED TO WATCH NOW!?! (Pun intended)

- Mason Jar Mania continues! If it can be made ahead and go in a jar, I’m basically going to make it for lunch these days. 😂
Mason jar mania continues!

- Speaking of food, my mom, sister, and I had a Freezer Meal Crockpot Day a couple of weeks ago and it was so fun! We each picked a few recipes and brought enough to share, made them into easy to dump portioned recipes for the crockpot, and then each took home what we made. So smart! Convenient for P with the baby keeping her busy, too.

Freezer meal fun day!!

- Have you ever heard of a foot detox?

I’m always super skeptical about “detoxes” but Will heard all these interesting things about them and really wanted to give it a try.

So, he challenged me to a foot detox contest to see whose water was the best.
Foot detox day! We had a contest to see whose was the worst. 😂Absolutely CRAZY!

While technically you could say I won, I would argue there were definitely no winners here.

Foot detox day! We had a contest to see whose was the worst. 😂Absolutely CRAZY!

As you can see, the results were HORRIFYING! What’s fascinating is that there’s a color chart that helps you understand what the toxins mean, and they are shockingly accurate. Will’s water was dark brown and bubbly, attributable to poor diet 😂 and mine was mostly orangey which is tied to joint health and likely from intense workouts and lactic acid buildup. Check and check. I also had fatty triglyceride buildup. So crazy!!! 😳

All things Jude

I finished my James study at the end of September and plan to devote the rest of the year to Jude.

The book is essentially a single chapter of 25 verses, and while it’s short, I have no doubt it will take me the rest of the year to complete.

I suppose before I get into Jude, though, I ought to backup and share a little on James for posterity sake.

I never thought it would take me 9 months to get through the five chapter book of James.

I knew it would be full of rich content that would challenge me, but I completely underestimated how much it would flip my heart upside down as I examined what was within.

Every single passage full of a variety of elements that pricked my heart. Constantly convicting and humbling me.

While I didn’t realize it, I approached James with a degree of pride. I didn’t mean to have it, but I certainly did. It didn’t take long for the chair to be knocked out from under me! Chapter one started with a loving gut punch and things spiraled from there. Haha

I act as though I came out of James bloodied and miserable, but that’s not the case.

James was a study I so desperately needed in 2017. It challenged me in ways I expected, and in others I did not.

The Lord used it to strip away more of myself, though there’s still a lot of work to do!

I am so thankful the Lord led me to study James this year. I can look back and see how much I needed it!

At the start of the year I was eager to study Jude, too.

You ought to do a quick read of it today. It’s mind blowing how pertinent this book is today.

Just as urgently needed today as it was when Jude first wrote it.

I am excited to do a deeper dive into this book because I already feel a sense of urgency over so much of what he shares.  I know it will strengthen me all the more to study it in-depth.

Wherein a put in a plug for my new “blog
And by blog I don’t mean blog.

I mean Instagram.

It’s pretty much the only place I consistently post these days.

I share various content, but mostly what’s going on in my life as well as spiritual devotional type things.

Each picture essentially comes with a mini blog post, if you will. 😊

While I’m not posting as regularly here, I am there, and would love to become Instagram friends. Haha

Is that a thing?

Anyway, you can find me here

So yeah! That’s the update!!

More to come, but for now, tell me what you’ve been doing! 

Summer June (and July) Update

Hello Dearies!

Let’s catch up!

How have you been?

Are your kids on summer break?

Are you taking any vacations?

Fill me in on everything.

As for things here, it’s been busy in the B-Love household!

Here’s a quick look at random and (not so) noteworthy things:

Home Improvement
Since we’re not in the throes of football season, we have a little time on our hands during the spring and summer weekends.

We decided to undertake some of the many projects we’d been putting off, pacing ourselves over the spring and summer months to get lots accomplished without burning ourselves out on the first project and never accomplishing anything.

Because we’re totally prone to procrastinate.

Well, mostly Will. Never me. (Haha)

We’ve redone our closet, done major yard work, and restarted our Aerogardens. We’ve got some more projects lined up this summer so here’s to keeping the momentum!

Hello there baby kale!

Oh and the Aerogarden? I’m growing kale and it’s the best decision I’ve made with this thing! I use greens everyday for my morning smoothie and it’s thrilling (yes, thrilling) to get to pluck my own leaves from my own garden.

Oh and since we’re still talking home stuff we had another snake sighting.

My house is officially for sale

Pretty sure we’re officially selling the house now. 😂

Softball is in Full Swing!
Well, actually, it’s kind of winding down.

Spring ball was lots of fun for Will. I didn’t go to several games because many started at 9:30.

As a complete granny, 9:30 is past my week night curfew.

I’m sure you don’t understand.

Summer ball is around the corner, and I know Will is playing. He’s cute because he’s pretending to be somewhat on the fence about playing- but we both know he totally is.

Funny story.

Will plays coed softball and they’re always short girls. You have to have a certain amount of girls present in order to play.

One week they were short, as usual. They were desperate and it was a few minutes before the game.

I felt them staring me down, contemplating how they could legally physically drag me through the dirt and lay me in the outfield as their token final required girl.

I felt my body begin to tense as they approached.

Oh- and as a side note, incase you’re wondering why I dreaded the thought of playing?

It’s because I don’t play.

I’m a wilty flower.

No concept of sports.

Do I need to remind you I HATE BEING HOT?

Also, I have complete hands like pans.

You’d find me ducking to avoid the ball rather than diving to catch one.

I’m that girl.

Picking flowers in the outfield.

Afraid to get dirty.

No concept of batting or catching.

Please, for the love of God, don’t make me play!

Anyway, they approached me and another girl beside me I knew with the dreaded request.

A daughter of one of the players was sitting with us. A big tomboy and softball fanatic herself. She looked at them and said, “ She’s not going to play! She’s too pretty to play!”

I’m pretty positive that was not a complement, but she was right- I was NOT going to play.

I do, however, go and show my support. That counts for something, right?

Curly-Q
34 years into life I decided to master the curling iron.

I used one occasionally “back in the day,” but for the last 13 years or so only used a straightener to curl my hair.

Yes, I realize it sounds counter intuitive.

Anyway I did tons of research and ended up with a regular old gold Hot Tools one inch barrel curling iron.

It’s fantastic, and super affordable. Plus my stylist said it was a good choice. So yeah! Mid-30s and curling my hair with an actual device made to do just that. Go figure!

Wherein I rave about grocery store food
I went to Boston last month for work. Aside from one night, all my dinners came from the Wegmans deli.

Yep, the local grocery store.

If you have a Wegmans, you get it. If you don’t, you probably just think I’m weird.

All About That BOD
Are any of you guys Beachbody On Demand subscribers?

I signed up for the free 14 day trial to participate in Shaun-T with my blogger friend/Beachbody Coach, Erin.

It was so much stinkin’ fun! Well...fun if you enjoy being miserable and sweating your butt off during workouts, that is. Haha

I still have my gym membership but workout still home so much these days and could easily see myself buying a year subscription to it.

It’s got something for everyone and content is always updated which is good too. Definitely a win!

Other randomness
*We took an impromptu trip to Tulsa this month just to eat lunch at this delicious Mexican restaurant we enjoy.

We’re old fogies, so to up and decide at 10:00 on a Saturday that we’d go up there was spontaneous and fun. Haha

*We finished Fraiser for the second time and are back to The Andy Griffith Show.

Yes, real life. Black and white and all. We mostly only watch one a night as a “filler” with all our shows on break.

What I love most about watching Andy is that Will grew up watching them and knows so many of them. It’s so cute and reminds me what an oak tree he is.

*Amazon Prime music had pretty much been the best thing that’s happened to me.

In terms of music, that is.

I have the unpaid Spotify version which is nice, but I love Amazon because you can skip as many songs as you want- and no adds. The only downer is their selection is more limited than Spotify.  But.No.Adds.And.Unlimited.Skips

*Mason jar salads have changed my life. I realize I’m about four years late to the party but…
Wherein I become obsessed with food in mason jars
Known to occasionally use Pinterest

Good old Jimmy continues to kick my tail, & other related things

Guys, it’s JUNE and I just now reached chapter 5 in my study of James.

This book…

When I first felt the tug to choose it as my 2017 study, I honestly didn’t think there’d be much new to glean.

You know, since I’m so perfect. Ha!

I’ve allowed myself days upon days to sit in some of these passages, digging deep and really meditating on just how much I needed to read the words before me.

I’ve been so convicted over how I approach my life, how I speak, how I see others, and more.

If you want to be humbled in virtually every major aspect of your personal and social life, study James. I say it jokingly, but also seriously.

Wherein I started this in June and now it’s July. Ha!

Other randomness to catch you up:

So I started typing this last month and am already behind. 😊 Layla turns (or turned depending on when I get this up!) 5 on the 5th, so I’m pretty much dead she’s already a kindergartner.

Fireworks with my favorite gal

Layla turns 5

And- P is prego again! 😍😍😍 Real life.  Another girl too. Watch our world!

I took off a few days for the 4th and while I worked, it was still nice just to be home. We also made another quick trip to Tulsa to eat dinner at a place we enjoy. Crazy kids!

I signed up to be on our neighborhood welcome committee which I think will be a good thing, right?

So yeah- a huge, giant, slightly random and boring update.

It was necessary.

More to come- I promise.

Until then, I’m off to figure out how I can legitimately make s’mores fit into macros the rest of summer…
Binge smore-ing

To My Grandma (6/2/1931- 3/10/2017)

Grandma ❤ June 2,1931- March 10, 2017

You taught me about gardening.

You taught me about cooking.

Brittny-6 yrs old with Grandma Stroh learning how to make sausage

You taught me how to be tough (though I’ll never be), but also tender.

I’ll miss your rye bread, strawberry-rhubarb jelly, cabbage pockets, and cookies. Your fresh fruits and veggies, your beautiful flowers.

Brittny,Carissa & Grandpa & Grandma Stroh-2003

I’ll miss being your “little helper"- even well into my 30s.

I’ll miss seeing you fall asleep in your chair with a crossword puzzle across your chest, or hearing about all the books you’re reading.

I’ll miss talking about so many memories, and just having you in the same room.

I will miss so many things about you, but above all, I’ll just miss you.
Brittny Flint-2 years old & Grandma Stroh in Germany

2016 Year in Review

Time to do another year in review! As cliche as it sounds, time sure does fly!

All-in-all, it’s been a good year full of changes, blessings, and lessons.

No need to unpack it all here, let’s take a look!

January
Started off with a New Year’s Day lunch at The Cheesecake Factory and a Sooners loss in the playoffs.

Had a few play dates with Layla

Flossin'

🐟

Found out my company would be having a mass layoff due to the drop in oil.

February
Watched the Super Bowl

Made an impromptu trip to Ponca City to eat at Perkins. Breakfast, pie, and muffins to go.

Restarted our herb garden!
Round three (and two)

March
Walked the dogs a bunch

Trying to teach an old dog new tricks

Visited an RV show with Will’s parents

RV Show!

Celebrated 12 years of marriage

Survived the company layoffs. Completely thankful but wrecked by the whole process.

Took a trip to Colorado with my parents and Layla, and visited my grandparents. ❤️

Chilly walks! Road tripping to Colorado, Spring Break 2016

Did terribly on my bracket (as usual)

Bracketology 2016. Pink is bad. Thus far I have more pink...

Visited Will’s grandparents and admired their creeping flock

Grandma Norine's flowers

April
Took lots of walks

Out and about at the park!

Interviewed for a new job, and it ended up with a conversation with my previous boss about possibly returning to my old company.

Turned 33, ate lots of cake

Birthday cake round 2 🍓🍋

33

Birthday cake things

Went to the Red and White game

Spring game 2016

Attended a baby shower for one of my dearest friends

My sweet dear friend. 💗Laura Leigh's shower

May
Took Layla to the park

Park days and the library too!

Saw Nick Vijiucic speak at church

Life without limbs speaker Nick Vujicic speaking on hope and faith

Left my “dream” company after much prayer

Farewell 💗

and went back to my previous job and picked up right where I left off (how sweet were they!?) and now work close to home and for the best boss ever.

A welcome back surprise! Feels good to be so warmly welcomed!

Made another trip to Perkins. More breakfast, pie, and muffins to go.

Walked the dogs a bunch

(Unsuccessfully) trying to get a selfie with all of us in it!

June
Went to a wedding in Tulsa and saw Will’s cousin get hitched

Reception things

Drove across state the next day to celebrate Will’s grandpa’s 90th birthday
WA turns 90 💗🍰

Took a ton of family photos at the birthday party. The theme for pics was red, white, and blue but apparently based on the below it was only blue. Haha

💗 grandpa's birthday

Had dinner with Marisa and family!

Went to Fairfax for work

July
Watched fireworks with my family (and the Bigs)
fireworks! 💥🎆

Celebrated Layla’s 4th birthday

Layla turns 4!!

Top Golf work/family outing

Top golf

Attended the Hillsong concert

Celebrated a joint birthday for Will and his dad
Birthday! 🍰

Went to Tulsa to see Jim Gaffigan

August
Bought and enjoyed a bushel of delicious peaches

Porter peaches. Also known as the only thing I'll be eating this week.

Got to meet my sweet friend’s precious baby boy
I got to cuddle the cutest baby boy in al of Oklahoma. He loved me equally. 15 minutes after this picture was taken he spit up all over me. 😂

September
Kicked off football season in Houston!!! (And lost)

OU-Houston; Before the loss, before I got beer spilled on my twice by foul-mouth Houston fans, before Will nearly lost his religion on said fans...before all that? Smiles of anticipation for a win 😂

Had dinner with friends

Lots of football (and enjoyed the new stadium renovation!)
OU-ULM home opener, 10 Sep 16

Pre game activities, OU-Ohio state

October
Coffee with a former coworker and friend

OU-Texas weekend!

OU Texas 2016!

OU Texas 2016!

A workout with a dear old friend
Worked our jaws more than our legs but it was well worth it 💗

More pup walking

Pups out and about!

Welcomed new neighbors (said goodbye to my parents who moved 😩)

November
A trip to Iowa for the OU-ISU game

Iowa State!
OU-ISU!

A weekend with my dear Gran and time with family

🍁❤️ finally fall colors, Iowa 2016

Dinner with the family 💗

💗 Gran

Voted- and yes, there’s a toilet in the background. As dirty as the election got, it felt appropriate.

After the way this election went, it felt appropriate to take my "I voted" selfie with a toilet in the background

More football

Thanksgiving with Will’s family

Thanksgiving 2016

Enjoyed a Perkins muffin when Will had to make a quick trip to Ponca City
The way to my heart

December
My work Christmas party!

Christmas party 2016

A rainy and super fun win at Bedlam

Bedlam 2016!!

Made Christmas crafts

Christmas crafting

Celebrated Christmas with family
Celebrating Jesus❤ Merry Christmas!
Christmas Round 2

It’s been a year of ups and downs and God’s blessing and provision. I’m so thankful for all He’s doing. I’m praying 2017 brings more of Him in our lives and wisdom in all we do.

Thanks for sticking around here. May you and yours enjoy this last day of the year and soak up lots of good memories.

Check in soon for more! Until then, Happy New Year!

Thursday Things, 6 Oct 2016

It’s pedal to the metal today with no real direction, so you’ve been warned!

Did I tell you guys we went to Houston last month?

I probably didn’t because not only was it a whirlwind trip, but the Sooners lost and we didn’t do anything exciting.

In fact, we drove the 8 hour trip Friday and did it again Sunday. Whew! It was tiring!

Mostly for Will, as he drove the entire time because I’m a terrible driver he prefers to drive.

Anyway, I anticipated being a terrible copilot, as I have a hard time staying occupied in contained spaces.

I did surprisingly well! I think it’s because I’ve taken a few longer car trips in the last two years.  I saved up tons of magazines and blogs to read along the way, and listened to a ton of podcasts I’d been saving.

Plus we had a free trial of XM radio, so Will could listen to sports while I self-occupied.

A win for everyone.

Until he found the Garth Brooks channel.

That was not a win for everyone.

What also wasn’t a win, was the game.

No need to talk about it other than the fact that we sat in front of Houston fans and I had beer spilled on me not once, but twice.

I thought Will was going to become completely unhinged the first time it happened, but I was wrong. He came unhinged the second time.

Sigh.

Sadly we had big plans to eat a nice dinner at Shula’s and enjoy the town but we were both exhausted from the long day of driving and then the loss took the wind out of our sails. We ended up eating at the hotel restaurant watching more college football.

So yeah! Fun times in Houston! Haha

Since we’re still (sort of) talking football...

Will and I decided to make a football season bucket list this year with all sorts of random ways to maximize our most favorite time of year.

This season goes too fast, and we felt it was a good way to enjoy it all the more.

Nothing fancy, but still fun.

We started with an impromptu date night to our local Applebee’s last Friday.

If you’ve seen the commercials, you know they do half-priced appetizers after 9:00.

We thought it would be fun to do a VERY late dinner (on a very long side note- I love the idea of late dinners. They seem so sophisticated and glamorous compared to our usual AARP early bird dinnertime. With that said, though, I am always famished early in the evening and could never make it to a 9:00 dinner without some major preplanning. I’m such a granny) and watch some of the OSU-TCU game.

Except…

We were both super hungry and ready to eat when we got there only to find out half price appetizers begin at 9:00 Monday through Thursday but 10:00 Friday through Sunday.

Real life.

The good news is that dinner worked out better for me! I ate far healthier ordering off the regular menu than the appetizer menu.

Turned out to be a great night! Albeit a super casual dinner in our comfy clothes, it still seemed “glamorous” since I made it to 9:00. 😊

So yeah...one checked off the list, more to go!

Annnnd we had another snake in our house

Real life guys.

We have a for sale sign in the house now, incase you’re wondering.

(Kidding...kind of)

This time, Will didn’t dilly-dally taking care of the snake.

It was promptly removed.

We’ll leave it at that.

Since we mentioned for sale signs...

You may remember, my parents live two doors down from me.

Only, at the end of September they sold their house and are moving up to the nesrby town where my sister lives.

I’ve taken it hard don’t want to get into it. Just mentioning it for posterity sake.  I’m also going to miss seeing Layla so much! It’s always been so nice having her so close so often.

So yeah- there’s that! Here’s to hoping the new neighbors don’t mind me using their better wifi… #awkward.

Mrs. Benko would be proud

Waaay back in the 19 hundred and 90s (haha), I took piano lessons.

Real life.

Yes, they had pianos back then.

Anyway, I loved it at first. My young brain soaked up the scales, show tunes, and silly songs. However when I got into junior high, I started to hate it.

It seemed like a drag. It was work. I never practiced.

One thing led to another, and I stopped.

Flash forward many years later.

When my parents moved, they offered to give my my old Clavinova, which I obliged.

Why do I feel this isn’t going to be like riding a bike?

It’s fried jello time ya’ll

Well friends, it’s fair time. The Oklahoma state fair just wrapped up, with the Texas State Fair around the corner. 

As usual, the menu is full of delicious fried concoctions that make my heart race just thinking about it.

Aaaaand they’re debuting veggie corn dogs this year, which I find intriguing.

Can we also discuss how iOS 10 is killing me?

I apologize to anyone I’ve texted in the the last two weeks. It’s been death by GIF. It’s like the junior high video game loving boy inside me has found an outlet in the form of annoying moving pictures to convey EVERYTHING!

Other things
The Lord has continued to impress some things on my heart to the point where I just have to say something, darn it. I plan on tackling those things in another post.

I didn’t even touch workouts or new music either, but I figure this is more than enough for a Thursday things. I suppose I can always do another one next week, yes? 😉

End of Summer (& Beginning of Football Season!) Check-in

Happy (almost) football season, friends!

For us, summer is simply a miserably hot stretch of nothingness.

The season we must endure to get to the most wonderful time of the year (so much for carpe diem eh? Haha)

And we're nearly there!

Though I must say, this summer was particularly busy and full of good things.

As summer winds down, I thought it'd be a good opportunity to share all the overwhelmingly exciting regular summer stuff we've been up to.

Starting with the Olympics.

And how it basically consumed our lives for two weeks.

Which is kind of weird considering we've been married through several Olympic Games.

While we've always watched them to some degree in the past, this time we DVR-ed everything and watched hours of footage each night.

I think we're getting old.

We watched water polo and synchronized swimming, y'all.

And liked it. (Okay, mostly me, not Will)

We're getting old and odd.

HELP.


While we're getting old and nostalgic...

During the height of summer, when all the fall shows are on hiatus, TV is slow going at the B-Love house.

We decided to pull out our old Frasier box sets and have diligently watched them all summer.

We're already on season 8!

It's one of Will's favorites.

We've also picked up watching The Andy Griffith Show, which we often do during the summer.

Told you we were old.

Will belongs in Mayberry. Sometimes I think he was born in the wrong era. Then I realize what a gem it is to have such a rare "Oak tree" kind of guy, and am thankful the spirit of Mayberry is still thriving in people like Will.

We also pulled out our old copy of Duplex. Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore started in it and it is absolutely hilarious.

I don't know if it kills me so much because we had a condo and shared walls with neighbors on both sides and can relate to some of the things that happen in the movie?

It could be that, but I honestly think it's just plain funny.

Do yourself a favor and watch it. I'm not kidding, tears streamed down my face even after watching it a dozen times before.

Boz and Lucy Turned 70

Or 10.

For some reason saying 70 makes me realize our doggies are getting old!

They still get around great for doggie senior citizens, which is very encouraging.
The pups get out and about!

Although, Boz did bump into a wall the other day, and Lucy has to be let down multiple times each night to go potty...

Nonetheless I still consider them my baby pups, running into walls and all!

MOHs
So it's been just over a year since my MOHs surgery. I'm thankful to have it behind me. The scar has healed nicely and is a lot less noticeable.

One year post MOHs

Lesson from this scare? WEAR SUNSCREEN.

Hot Pockets

To celebrate Will's 36th birthday last month, we went to Tulsa to see Jim Gaffigan.

It was such a fun day!

There's a restaurant there named Los Cabos that we love, so that's where we started our afternoon for a delicious early dinner.

Because I feel the need to take pictures of food.

Afterward, we drove around and went by Will's late grandma Stella's house. It was a nice memory. It was comforting to see that the house was still fairly well maintained.

Then we headed to the Bok Center for the show.

Waiting to see Jim Gaffigan

Jim Gaffigan was so funny!

He ended the show with his famous "Hot Pockets" bit, which had everyone roaring. It was such a good night, and we had a wonderful time.

Other out and about highlights

Summer is generally dull for me and Will, but this summer was a rather colorful anomaly.

Between holidays, multiple birthday celebrations (Layla 💗, Will's grandpa's 90th, and Will) a wedding, other family functions, plus other random events, we were busier than usual throughout the entire summer.

I had multiple coffee outings with friends, dinner with blogger Marisa and her beautiful family, got to meet my precious dear friend's brand new baby, went to the Hilsong United concert, and even reconnected with some old work friends.

I got to cuddle the cutest baby boy in al of Oklahoma. He loved me equally. 15 minutes after this picture was taken he spit up all over me. 😂

Whew.

It's been a busy summer, and we are cruising into an even busier football season.

Which reminds me-

FOOTBALL!!!

Oh.My.Stars.

It's here, finally here!

Will and I transform into different people this time of year. Real life.

Plus, I think things are better in general- cooler temperatures, beautiful changing leaves, pumpkin everything, and the best holidays right around the corner.

We kick off the college season with a challenging opener against Houston... in Houston.

It will be a serious test, and I am excited to see how our boys handle it.

The first home game will also be great because it's the big reveal of the first phase of stadium renovations.

Will and I also have a pro fantasy dynasty were doing together again this year, which will be fun.

I think he uses it as a tool to keep me interested in all of pro football, not just the Colts and Packers.

I'm not sure it's working?

We shall see. 😊

Workout Challenge!

In addition to returning to work because of my former (but now current 😊)boss, one of the people I missed the most at my old job was my "work dad."

We started a workout challenge that will run though the rest of the year.

I have a binder to log my workouts and everything. Ha!

It's been motivating and has helped keep me on track.

I'm hitting the gym to lift heavier weights twice a week (one upper, one lower), and the rest of my workouts are done at home with bodyweight or lighter dumbbells.

Other things

Random things I feel I should share-

Mary Kay's Volu-Firm Night Treatment has basically changed my skincare life.

It's expensive, but well worth it.

I don't use the full Volu-Firm line and stick to the basic Timewise set, but when they discontinued one of their Timewise night creams, I bought the Volu-Firm night treatment instead and will never go back.

I'm running a special for that and their eyelash primer, and I'd love to send you some!

I wasn't completely in love with their eyelash primer until I used it for a few weeks. My lashes are noticeably longer, stronger, and healthier- which makes them even better with mascara.

If you're interested in either (or any MK products) let me know!

Music to add to your workout playlist:

~Lecrae, Sidelines
~Andy Mineo- You Will
~Ready, Set, Go- Derek Minor
~Walk With Me- Canon

Healthy indulgence

I bought half a bushel of peaches last month, and ate all of them in two weeks.

Porter peaches. Also known as the only thing I'll be eating this week.

Real life.

A portion went to a peach cobbler, but the rest?

All mine.

Unhealthy indulgence

For some awful reason Will took it upon himself to buy two boxes of PopTarts.

Whyyyyyy!?!?!

It's been several years since I've eaten one, and usually I'd say they're overrated.

Only... That wasn't the case at all. I ended up having not one, but two packages (Read:half the box) of the frosted cherry ones.

I've always been a sucker for those.

Such a grownup.

I thought we were behind this nonsense....but I came home today and he had purchased a 10 pack.

Because he hates me.

I think P and I might actually plan a trip to Chicago with Layla! (who started pre-k last week😩) !

First day of school! 😩

Some of our best sister memories were spent there, and it would be so fun to see the city in a whole new light alongside Layla.

Church Clothes
As far as updates on my spiritual walk, it's been a winding road.

(Doesn't it often seem like that?)

This season of life, which I consider the last year and a half, has been full of lots of faith stretching.

Yet through all of it, I've seen the Lord's hand in countless ways.

Sometimes in blatant answers to prayer, where He has blessed in abundance.

Other times in blatant answers to prayer whereby He does the opposite of what I was expecting so clearly that even in the sadness of a situation going another way, His peace sustains me.

It's been one answer after another. Blessing after blessing, grace upon grace.

Things haven't gone how I anticipated, yet I continue to trust.

I still can't see how this chapter is going to end, but I know He does and continue to walk in Him step by step, day after day. Praying His word and seeking His will.

I finished Priscilla Schirer's Armor of God study and would definitely recommend it. I don't usually do studies and prefer to dig into the Word and use commentaries, but I did this one with a friend and it was a big blessing. The only disappointment was the last week. For some reason they took a deep dive into all the pieces except for the Sword of the Spirit, which is pretty important if you ask me! Anyway, other than that piece missing, it was a great summer study.

Will and I are also praying about finding true and meaningful biblical community around us. This journey has been disheartening to say the least. I wish I could round up some of you who I know are deep in the Lord and invite you over! Jesus placed such emphasis on sincere love for the body of believers and how we are family, and I am praying for that, so hopefully in the coming months there will be more developments in this area!

That's a wrap...for now
What an update! I'd say you're thoroughly caught up with me- but now it's your turn. What's new with you??

Q1 Life Things

Q1.

I crack myself up trying to be all business-y.

Anyway, I promised a big, fat life update, so away we go!

Work Things
I figured I’d lead with work stuff because it’s been the most all-consuming aspect of my life these days.

If you live in Oklahoma, you know how hard we’ve been hit with the oil and gas industry downturn.

It’s been awful.

Our state has a $1B deficit, small industry-related companies are buckling, and larger ones are laying off hundreds.

It’s rough all around, y’all.

I’ve experienced a small degree of company reductions before, but nothing like since entering into this field when the market dropped. It’s been heartbreaking.

My company had a huge round of layoffs recently, but thankfully I’m still there. It’s been intense and a huge stretch of faith!

I have no idea what the future holds for the market and what comes next, but I’m trusting God with where He wants me.

So yeah, that’s the big update there!

Will has had some bites and interviews but nothing has come through. When you’ve got tons of laid off people and “x” amount of jobs in OKC, the matter quickly becomes more challenging. We would definitely welcome prayers!

Family Things
My dad had a health scare a couple of weeks ago that had us all on edge.

Between that and bracing for layoffs, last month was a little nuts!

Thankfully his results returned negative so he is in the clear and will have another checkup later this year.

My mom has been baking delicious foods and it’s killing me. I hate eating my feelings, but let’s face it, who’s going to turn down their mom’s cooking!?

P is busy as a working woman, mother, and newlywed. She turned 26 on February 24th.

Which only reminds me how much older I’m getting.

Layla kills me. Every time I see her. I can barely stand it.

That sassy pants won’t ever stop talking!

Seriously. I can’t even take the cuteness. Sensory overload.

Minnie!

Will and I watched her awhile ago and it was quite a hoot. She wore us out! We have our plan of attack for next time-

Chuck E. Cheese.

Tucker her out there and then take her home.😂

Other related family things
Did I blog about my trip to Iowa with my parents last summer?

If I didn’t, you missed out on a gem of a post.

Traveling with them at their age now compared to when I was a kid is hilarious.

A complete 180.

I’m not even kidding, I remember making the 10 hour trip to Colorado in nine hours with just one potty break.

One.

I realize that may not be a big deal, but to a kid that has zero capacity to fully understand the need to “make good time” or to “hold it,” let’s just say it was rough.

Anyway, the Iowa trip was completely opposite.

Leisurely, laid back, even enjoyable. Stops every other hour.

Real life.

Who the heck are these guys!?

I’m taking another road trip with them next month. I’m loaded down with books and magazines to keep me occupied, as well as my 64 oz travel mug.

Hey- I no longer fear large quantities of water on these road trips. Bring it.

Meaningless things I think you should know

Will and I took a quick road trip to Ponca City a few weeks ago to eat at Perkins.

We always enjoy their pie and muffins. It reminds us of our trips home from Kuwait when we’d stop in Minneapolis to do some shopping before heading to Oklahoma.

Perkins pie. Dead.

Perkins muffins. Also dead.

***
I handled the work stress fairly well and really tried to rest in Jesus throughout the process.

However I was probably a little more knitted up about it all than I realized because last month a baby patch of three gray hairs appeared.

I call them my oil and gas grays.

I got my hair done last week and my stylist noticed my two gray hairs.

I told her I had three earlier that day but plucked one before going to work. 😂

So yeah. Old people problems. More crap to keep up with.

Fantastic.

***
The weather has been beautiful lately, so Will and I have been taking lots of walks. It’s been a good treat. Extra exercise and long talks.

We attempt to solve all the world’s problems in 30 minutes.

We’ve got it all figured out, ya’ll.

Will for president.

Just sayin.

***
We did another round with the Aerogardens! This is my third one and Will’s second.

Round three (and two)

I did a variety of fun stuff (that I can’t recall now of course), but lavender, cilantro, and Thai basil are among the new ones.

Will did another round of pepper plants. I can’t even tell you all the super spicy peppers his one plant yielded. Crazy!

We replanted his pepper plant and hope it’ll make it. We replanted my basil and lime basil plants, too.

They’re starting to look a little sad, but I’m hoping they’ll pull through!

***
I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before, but on average my body temp consistently hovers between 95.8 and 97 degrees.

Weird, yes?

I got a tetanus shot a few weeks ago and it was 96.4. The nurse said she doesn’t see it often, but it happens.

Unfortunately, it hasn’t made Will more amenable to upping the heat on the house. Ha!

12
Will and I will celebrate our twelfth anniversary on the 13th.

Will taking Brittny's garter off

How does that even happen!?

I can’t believe we’re already at number 12. We are very blessed.

We’re “celebrating” by going to an RV show with Will’s parents this weekend. Haha

They’re visiting and hoping to narrow down their search while they’re here. It should be fun.

destination beautiful

So in terms of spiritual stuff, there’s lots to share there too.

For years I felt a tug on my heart that perhaps we should not be at the church where we attended.

The struggle, though, was the comfortability factor. Knowing what to expect, being connected with others, getting involved.

Yet I continued to feel this same press on my heart.

Will never felt the same way, so I decided to pray about it.

Long story short, through a series of events we decided the Lord was leading us somewhere else.

It was sad to leave, and I miss seeing dear friends every week, but I have no doubt we were being obedient.

We’ve been attending elsewhere since this past fall, and I really believe we’ve found our home church. We haven’t joined yet, but I continue to feel a peace that this is where we will join and plant roots.

So yeah, there’s that!

I gave up social media for Lent, and it’s been a wonderful decision.

Don’t get me wrong, I miss staying connected with people I don’t see regularly. However, the time away has been a wonderful break to quiet myself and be less caught-up in a scrolling news feed.

It’s really brought stillness to my life during a time when I need it. It’s helped me be more present and intentional. In fact, I would encourage everyone to take a day or two of each week and disconnect from the virtual stressors of life, even if they’re “good” stresses.

Putting a Bow on Everything

So yeah. That’s about it these days.

I paid for my blog host/domain again, though it desperately needs modernization.

I continue to think about it, but have no solid plans for “what’s next” here. If anything, I might up and just start from scratch. When I had this site designed 1,000 years ago, it was super technical and in the weeds of coding and back-end confusion, and I have no idea how to make heads or tails of it all.

So yeah, there’s that!

Anyway, I intend to continue semi regularly keep posting so definitely make sure your blog feeds are updated.

Thank you for checking in! More to come!

2016: Here’s to the Journey

New Year’s Eve was full of reflection in the B-Love house.

As you may remember, 2015 did not go as we anticipated or hoped.

We spent the last night of 2015 talking about our expectations for the year and how differently they played out. Who would have thought the bottom would have fallen out of the oil and gas industry, and that selling our half of the business might have been one of the best things that could have happened to us at the time?

Yet, before all that came to pass, our initial expectations for 2015 were quite different based on our limited knowledge.

As a preacher I know once said- We only have a few pieces of the puzzle, but God has the whole box top and sees how it all goes together.

We spent lot of time that night evaluating dreams, the past, the future, the “whys?” and the “what’s next?”

I told Will I was frustrated.

I could clearly see God’s hand and protection over us with how things happened with the business.

What a huge, huge blessing we can now look back on and see. How he made provision to protect us even when, at the time, we thought everything was crumbling around us.

Yet, ever since then, I haven’t really been able to detrrmine God’s guidance regarding what’s next.

I kept waiting for Him to show up in some mighty way this year. Divinely showing Will that he was supposed to go back into the ministry.

Yet, that opportunity came and went this year too (though I didn’t post about it on the blog).

Lots of waiting.

Lots of wondering.

Lots of wandering.

I told Will I was frustrated because I’m here. I’ve got my arms stretched out wide asking God, begging God, to use me.

To take my life and do as He pleases. To show me where to go. To open doors and give me opportunities to bring Him glory.

Yet, nothing.

More waiting.

More wondering.

More wandering.

More questions than answers.

It’s like we’re in the car ready to drive but have no directions to our destination.

“It would be a lot easier if He’d just tell us what to do next!” I told Will.

Will is used to my impatience.

He looked at me and said what I already knew.

“It’s the journey Brittny.  It’s the journey.”

“Do you think Abraham would have truly trusted God if he already knew a sacrificial lamb was waiting for him when we went to the mountain with Isaac?”

The journey is about being refined.

It’s a process.

We talked about the “Hall of Faith” in Hebrews and how long, how incredibly long, most of the people had to wait for God’s full plan to come to pass.

Just like us, they waited. They probably wondered, and perhaps they even wandered and floundered sometimes too.

But they trusted and are counted as the faithful saints who placed themselves in God’s hands when they couldn’t see the whole picture. They rested in knowing He “had the box top.”

Step by step, day by day.

Being refined in His likeness.

God’s still here.

He’s always here.

He often doesn’t do what we expect, but that doesn’t mean He’s not at work.

We agreed we likely won’t see the fullness of our 2015 story for quite some time, because it’s a journey.

We will simply step out in faith this year and “do the next thing,” trusting that God will redirect if that’s not the right next thing.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t anxious about 2016. Nervous about the oil and gas market and how it’s affected and is affecting our great state. Nervous about my job in this industry, just as my fellow colleagues are too.

I truly believe I will have to trust in and rely on the Lord more this year than ever before.

Remember my post about that? It still rings true. Everyday.

I pray this year brings us closer to Him, and that we see His hand in every move we make.

I pray this year we will draw closer to Him and let Him do as He pleases, even when we don’t understand.

I pray others will be strengthened around us and that God will glorify Himself in all we do.

To the journey of 2016.

To the glory of the Lord our God.

Thursday Things, 30 July 2015

Tomorrow I’m going on a short road trip with my parents!

I was trying to think of the last time I went on a long car trip with just my parents.

I can’t even remember.

Before my sister maybe?

If that’s the case, I’m thinking it’s been 25 years.

Surely not!

Regardless, I’ve got my “fun bag” of magazines, books, podcasts, and music to sing aloud to (no barbies or coloring books like in the old days), so I should keep myself occupied in the backseat.

I will also try my best not to repeatedly ask, “Are we there yet?” Or continually tell them I’m hungry.

Considering I still do all those annoying things on road trips with Will, they’re in for quite a treat.

Dogs get hangry too.

And it’s a little scary.

So Teddy, our beloved, happy-go-lucky lab, has grown into quite a chunk.

Labs are often predisposed to weight gain, but our Teddy takes the cake.

Sooo, Teddy is on a doggy weight loss plan and diet food.

Sounds awful, right?

What’s hilarious, though, are the parallels between her diet and anytime I’ve dieted in my life.

Just as I bark and squak around mealtime when I haven’t eaten as much as I normally do, Teddy’s right on target at 5:30 AM and PM.

Just like I ravenously attack my dinner and feel “so totally thrilled” with salad AGAIN, Teddy also dives into her diet friendly food and immediately returns to the door to make sure I didn’t forget her real food.

As if her dinner was just a snack.

I get it, totally. A woman after my own heart.

She’s a dear, but she’s not nearly as active anymore. Just as I (occasionally) loathe intense exercise, Teddy Tutu isn’t so much into increased activity these days ether.

Our Teddy. God help us all.

Two Words: Lime Basil

Did you know that’s a thing?

Like a real life type of basil?

I had no idea.

I bought a lime basil pod for my latest aerogarden and was so surprised to find just how lime-y it is!

Lime-y in the best way possible.

My green monsters taste like fragrant citrus frozen treats.

Brace Face
Thankfully, I was blessed to have perfectly straight teeth.

My parents were very thankful, considering they had to put two sets on poor P.

Every dentist appointment they make note of my nice, straight teeth… Which I’m sure they do to flatter you, right?

Anyway, I had a checkup earlier this week and as the doctor finished his exam he said, “Have you ever thought about braces?”

I honestly looked at him like he had four heads and said, “Are you being serious?!”

Anyway, apparently I have a gap between my upper and lower teeth that could be fixed by braces “if I wanted.”

Considering I’m not entirely keen on wearing braces for a year, oh and the thousands of dollars I just so happen to have lying around for that sort of thing I kindly declined.

But remained a little self-conscious the rest of the day. 

Boomer Sooner Season
Guys, football kicks off in a month.

A month!

How is this even possible!?

I’m debating whether I’ll go to the first game. I always like to, but it is usually so dang hot and I want to die, and Will wants to die because of what a pleasure I am to be around when I want to die.

So yeah. Heat. Football. Bah.

Regardless, I’m excited it’s here!

Lets discuss mini cupcakes

Layla and my mom brought Will over a cupcake for his birthday earlier this week. So sweet! Layla also kindly picked out a teeny vanilla cupcake for her aunt Brittny to accompany Will’s treat.

It was divine.

But it got me thinking.

What are your thoughts on mini cupcakes?

I decided my opinion really depends.

It was a fantastic surprise earlier this week.

It was a tiny bite to enjoy without any guilt. I felt like I got the best of both worlds!

However, today I’m feeling a tad overwhelmed and hangry. I did a hard workout and would probably welcome a big fat cupcake if it nicely wedged itself into today’s macro count.

A mini cupcake would probably just annoy me.

So yeah. I think it probably just depends on the person...and their mood. smile

That’s all for today! Check in tomorrow! 💗

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About

brittny I'm B-Love. Lover of God, my husband Will, my doggies, OU football, weight training, plyometrics healthy eating (mostly!), peanut butter, and all things health related. Buckle up and get ready for my constant embarrassing moments, health and fitness tips,and my effort to rely on Christ while living life in the real world. Follow me on Feedly! Sign up for monthly emails at blove@theblovelife.com!


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