Because I'm Terrible at Scrapbooks
The Fam

Merry Christmas 2014

Merry Christmas friends!

Hopefully you’re elbow deep in Christmas pancakes while simultaneously putting batteries in all your kid’s toys.

That’s the life.

I worked out today.

I then had a healthy green monster for breakfast… followed by two of my mom’s Christmas cookies.

The breakfast of champions.

Her cookies are killing me.

Every single one of them are delicious.

Delicious!

Every.single.one.

I love that she still makes us a big variety and plates it up all thoughtfully.

Moms are pretty much the best.

And so are their cookies.

Oh, and while we’re on family, Christmas week texts with mine are a hoot

I'm no wrapper

I’m an awful wrapper. Always have been.

We did Christmas with them yesterday.

I also plan on relishing yesterday’s Christmas Eve leftovers when we get home tonight.

Pretty much everything was healthy, so that’s a win...except the dessert part.

Today we’re off to celebrate Christmas with Will’s family.

Every year we do a Christmas brunch and exchange gifts.

There’s an outing later this afternoon, but Will and I have to work tomorrow and decided to pass this year.

Oh yeah, did you see that sentence above?

I’ll be holding down the fort tomorrow. 

Wee!

Anyone else?

I realize working the day after Christmas is a serious drag, but I’m wearing my big girl pants tomorrow and am going to relish each and every painful minute.

I’m probably lying.

Also, my husband is a big stinker.

Very early this month we both agreed we were NOT buying gifts for ourselves this year.

Period.

Later this month it was all like, “We’re not doing gifts this year, right? Because I’m not doing anything, so you better not be either.”

“Agreed. No gifts.”

Only, the conversation was more annoying because I double and quadruple checked with Will.

“Seriously, no gifts right?”

“Really- we’re not getting presents, right?”

And so on and so forth.

Anyway, that guy up and bought me a little something and it touched my heart.

We’re really big time trying to save money right now because of all these recent changes (which will be revealed very soon), so it was a big deal that we absolutely not buy anything for ourselves.

Yet Will spent his fantasy football earnings to buy me the fanciest herb garden EVER, complete with LED lights and all.

It's about to get herby

It’s funny, I’ve tried to have one on my own many, many times but they’ve always died.

And it really bummed me out. I really want to channel my inner Nigella with fresh herbs from my house.

He knew that. smile

It’s never a gift I would have ever have thought to ask for, but sometimes Will, who pays better attention than I realize sometimes, knows me better than I know myself some days.

It was a kind surprise, and a sweet sacrifice.

No pressure on keeping everything alive now.

You know, since I’ve had such good luck…

Let’s think positively, though. It’s Christmas!

Today, this beautiful Christmas Day in which I’m not working, I’m going to soak up the rich love of Christ and celebrate Him.

He is my savior. The innocent baby who came to earth and made a way for me to know him. 

Happy birthday, Jesus. Today I rejoice in you. ❤️

More to come soon. Until then, Merry Christmas friends!

What all are you up to today?

The Nutcracker, the Sickies, & Look Ahead

I wish I had an exciting weekend full of fun events to share today, but I don’t.

Sickness derailed our weekend and all associated plans.

Bah humbug!

Before we get to that, I do have to share a pic of us at the Nutcracker this weekend.

The nutcracker! I was moved to tears and will was bored to tears. <img src=">

Yay for a good Christmassy picture of the two of us!

Will and I were both feeling crummy toward the end of the week, but we already had tickets and plans to go with my parents so we pushed though.

Not only that, but neither of us felt sick. We just felt super congested.

While we didn’t know it or feel like it at the time, turns out we were both sick.

Awesome.

I felt bad for the rows before and behind us.

My mom and dad were also getting over a bout of yuck, so we were a row of sickies.

Coughs, sniffles, throat clearing…

We were sharing cough drops and tissues like treasured candy…

I disgust myself.

Interestingly enough, we were in “good” company. I heard a plethora of sniffles and coughs throughout the place.

Yuck!

Seriously, it’s weird. Virtually everyone Will and I both know are battling or have battled this crud.

Strangest thing ever.

Sooo yeah. We pushed through and went to the show.

If you sat in front of us and were heavily annoyed, please forgive me.

Seriously.

As an aside, the show was wonderful! I joked that I was moved to tears while Will was bored to tears. Haha

He was a great sport but bored out of his mind.

With each passing hour, Will and I both felt worse and worse.

When we left that night there was no doubt in our mind we weren’t just congested.

We were straight up sick!

So yeah. This weekend was entirely spent parked on the couch. 

I managed to go to the gym Saturday, trying to convince myself I wasn’t that bad.

Laughable.

After I was humbled by a poor workout, I acknowledged my need to rest and take it easy.

So that’s what we did. I started Christmas cards, I did some online Christmas shopping, watched church online, and rested.

We set up a nice little sickie “build your own tea station” and surrendered to the sickness.

Sickie station: build your own tea

We surfaced to feed dogs, make tea, and go to the bathroon.

Glamourous, ya’ll.

I had plans of getting some serious stuff done this weekend, and am sad most didn’t get done. However, I’d much rather recover some this weekend than start today feeling awful.

It’s a jam packed week, and I can’t afford to be out for the count.

No exciting weekend to share (do I ever?), but one full of rest and hopefully some recovery.

Here’s a look at what’s coming up this week:

-A simple soup
-My Christmas game plan
-Thursday things
-Reminders for the rough days

Thanks for checking in today. I’m off to make another cup of tea. Check in tomorrow!

When You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’

God is love.

Such a simple sentence.

Such a seemingly elementary concept to grasp.

God is love,

He loves me,

I love God,

He loves others,

He commands we love others,

Therefore I love others.

So easy, right?

Good pep talk.

In football huddle fashion, let’s get out there and show some love this Christmas!

Break!

Not so fast.

The honest truth is that sometimes I have a love problem.

Sometimes, because of that love problem, I’m not very lovable.

And yet- God is love.

The other day we had the opportunity to host visitors on very short notice. 
People important to me. 

People that really needed to stay at our house.

Instead of loving these people and warmly inviting them in, I felt put out.

Annoyed that I had to rush around to light candles and lay out towels, selfishly wishing Will and I had the evening to ourselves instead.

Selfish.

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Sometimes I’ve got hospitality problems, ya’ll!

As I lay in bed that night, my face grew hot with embarrassment for how I acted.

No one ever knew the frustration I felt preparing for our last minute visitors (um, though I’m pretty sure Will suspected it as I frantically threw dishes in the dishwasher and laundry back in the dryer haha), but I knew.

God knew.

I felt ashamed.

The Bible is clear on hospitality, both in the old and new testaments.

Verses

It’s also extremely clear on love.

I feel as though the two go hand in hand.

I love 1 John 4. It talks about how when we live in Christ, our love grows more perfect.

Verses

How do we think of others above us and show warm, loving hospitality?

By living in Christ.

Living in.

Abiding.

I love these words, and oh how I need the reminder.

I hate when I act selfishly. Since we’re rattling off verses, the Bible also tells us to do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but to think of others above ourselves.

Well huh. When you say it like that I feel pretty yucky for having a cow over opening our house to someone who really needed it.

The funny thing is, though, I totally had vain conceit.

There’s no pretty way to put a spin or bow on the reality.

I didn’t want anyone to see the dusty coffee table or dishes in the sink.

You know, because that’s never the reality of anyone else’s life.

Ha.

Why can’t we be vulnerable and show and share love?

It’s the most basic and biggest commandment- to love God with all we are, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. 

It’s children’s Sunday school 101.

Yet, 31 years later I’m still getting schooled on love and warm hospitality.

About just how selfish I am sometimes.

I’m so thankful God reveals these things to me.

I’m so thankful He shows me this yucky “self stuff,” as Beth Moore calls it, so that I can see just how desperately I need Him if I’m really going to love like I’m called to. 

People are looking for love.

True, authentic, pure love.

I mean, turn on the TV or radio and all you hear is how “we’ve” been burned by love and are searching for the real thing.

If we’re caught up in dirty dishes or feeling put out, chances are we are missing the point and a huge, a huge opportunity to show the love of Jesus.

What a shame.

I wish I could tell you’ve I’ve been miraculously healed of my frantic obsession for having a tidy house.

I haven’t.

However, I have been fervently praying to love Jesus more than anything else in this entire world, and that in loving Him first, I truly love others as he commands.

Selflessly and completely.

There’s absolutely nothing in me that can do those things.

This Christmas I pray and encourage us all to have eyes to see those who need love.

We don’t have to spend money to show love this season.

It can be a kind handwritten note to someone who needs it, baking cookies for an elderly person who lost their spouse, or letting someone going through a hard time know we’re praying for them and just how much God loves them.

I find Christmas opens doors and makes people more receptive to the gospel than other times of the year.

Let’s use this season to exemplify God’s love.

Lets abide in Him and spend time daily in his word and prayer today, asking Him to help us love as he’s called us.

More to come…
❤️

All Things Christmas 2014

Let’s talk Christmas stuff today.

About how I love Christmas and all the trappings. From the commercials, to the stores, to the cookies at my parent’s house, the candlelight services, advent studies, and everything in between.

We all have family traditions and favorites and I would LOVE to hear yours!

Feel free to share below in the “share the love” section.

We’ve had lots of traditions over the years.

Some have stuck, some have changed, and some have only recently been adopted.

I would love to do a Christmas post devoted to aaallll the Christmas things, but today’s post is devoted only to all things Christmas for 2014.

Which will be enough.

We have a few things coming up this month that I’m very much looking forward to, and feel the need to share on the blog.

Sorry. smile

Because of all these changes I keep talking about (and not sharing!), Will and I opted to minimize Christmas stress wherever possible.

That meant we opted not to go to our company Christmas parties. While super fun (I enjoy them way more than Will), our time is valuable and important so I opted to give that one up in favor of more time with family (and taking care of all these changes that I keep talking about but not talking about).

We also opted to do a joint Christmas present early next year.

We’ve always done joint Christmas presents with each other, and I love that we do this instead of buying each other presents.

Will is impossible to buy for.

Even with no Christmas parties, there’s still lots of fun in store.

We are attending The Nutcracker with my parents this year!

Funny side story.

I think I realized just how much Will liked me back in 2002 when he skipped an OU game to take me to The Nutcracker and acted like it was no big deal.

We both know it was a big deal.

That guy bleeds Crimson and cream!

Anyway, we’re going again, 12 years later, and I’m looking forward to it.

We will also enjoy some of the gorgeous lights and decorations downtown OKC.

We also love going to the movies this time of year.

I’m the annoying person that whips out my not-so-quiet carrot sticks and proceeds to eat them at the worst ever time.

During quiet scenes when you need to pay attention.

All of a sudden you hear, “Snap! Crunch. Crunch.Crunch.”

I’m sorry.

I don’t mean to eat at the worst times, but it often happens.

Anyway, Will isn’t a carrot stick smuggler.

He’s all about the movie theater popcorn.

Understandably.

It’s delicious.

Every Christmas, our theatre has deals on refillable drink cups and popcorn buckets you can buy and use for the following year.

It’s a must-do in the B-Love house, so we’ll be making a stop to the theatre at some point so Will can buy his tub.

Speaking of movies, here’s a fun fact.

My sweet Will had never seen It’s a Wonderful Life in its entirety until just a few years ago.

Real life.

Now it’s among his top favorite movies.

Naturally.

That’s on the to do list, too.

Oh, and while we’re at it, if you haven’t seen it, you should! 

Now.

As for Christmas music this year, I typically alternate between Pandora’s Christmas Radio and their Christmas Choral Classic stations.

Something about Christmas makes me adore the choral classics. I can rock around the Christmas tree with the best of them (um, and I totally do), but I can’t beat a beautiful rendition of my favorite Christmas hymns.

My family also had a yearly tradition of going out to eat together sometime the week of Christmas, followed by a huge tour of Christmas lights!

There are some fantastic public displays in OKC, as well as in neighborhoods. We hit them all.

Now that we’re responsible old, P and I opted to simply do a $20 stocking challenge for each other’s gifts this year.

Oddly enough, I had a blast with it! I think this will be a new tradition. You might be surprised at the good stuff you can get with only $20.

My mom kills me with baked goods.

This is a yearly tradition, however this year I hope to take some time while I’m off to help bake.

You know, seeing as how all I usually contribute is my appetite for delicious Christmas cookies.

Layla has been my mom’s helper this week, and I can only hope to live up to her superior stirring (and testing!) skills.

Speaking of Layla, can I please just tell you how much fun she’s been, especially this time of year!?

That is all.

While Will and I are ever-mindful of advent, we’ve never really done anything on our own for it aside from church stuff.

This year I bought candles to light for each week and have been doing an advent study. I have been so very blessed by it.

It’s a story I’ve read a million times, but when I quiet myself and really think on God’s love for humanity and how I need to love others, it reminds me why I even put up my dang decorations in the first place.

To celebrate Him.

If you haven’t done an advent study, I would definitely encourage you to do so. It’s easy to get caught up in the commercialism of Christmas (because, let’s face it, it’s kind of wonderful).

However, I cannot express the value of quieting yourself amidst the hustle and bustle to really contemplate the meaning of Christmas and the beauty of its simplicity.

I don’t know about you, but that simplicity can get drowned out by the tissue paper, cookies, movies, and Pandora music.

Oh friends, it probably clear to see I truly do find Christmas to be the most wonderful time of the year!

Thanks for letting me share some of the things I’m looking forward to this year.

I would absolutely love to hear some of the things you’re excited about this year. Share away! ❤️

Tuesday Things, 8 Dec 14

Take 20 seconds today and meet Arthur.

This dog.

He epitomizes my love for the canine.

He walked over 400 miles and had no prize to achieve like the racers competing.

He got a meatball 400 miles before, but was a friend for life.

There’s a good chance I’m walking into the office with striking white dry shampoo head multiple times a week.

Real life.

It’s awful, guys.

I try to remember to rub it out, and I do.

Sometimes.

How to turn me into a huge puddle.

Oh girls.

My sister has an email account for Layla that’s she’s going to share with one her day when she’s much older.

There are hundreds of things I’ve wanted to say whenever I try to rid myself of distractions and write her a letter.

Then I start contemplating my thoughts, tear up, turn into a big mess, and never write anything.

Oh man y’all, I completely fall to pieces!

So my goal is to push through and write something I’ve been meaning to for months now.

If I turn into a big crocodile teary mess, so be it. We push though!

Or just write a lighthearted and funny email instead? (Duh!)

Two Words

Hot Hands.

Oh.my.stars.

I greatly appreciate these things. They’ve saved me many a frigid football game.

We were outside a few hours last weekend and those puppies were like a big fat hug amidst my chills and runny nose.

Bethel Music’s You Make Me Brave

This song.

There are actually a few on their new album that are darn near killing me, but this one was the first I heard.

Love.

How to Annoy Me
To all of you organized and on top of everything eager beavers who sent out your Christmas cards Thanksgiving weekend- Stop It.

You’re making the rest of us look bad.  smile

That’s it for today. Any randomness you care to share?

The One with the Christmas Show & Look Ahead

Here we go again!

This weekend was nice.

I find most weekends this time of the year are nice!

It started with getting to see Layla’s first ever Christmas program.

Christmas show!

Oh man.

Can we be completely honest with each other?

Aside from the fact that we all swoon with glee to see our kid/niece/grandson/etc. on stage for their portion, these things have the potential to be major snoozefests.

Admit it.

This is a safe zone.

I mean, they had teachers hold the teeny babies on stage while they played a Christmas song and gently moved their wrists around, which had little bell bracelets on them.

Adorable, but long.

Anyway, I loved getting to see Layla up there. It’s an interesting thing watching kids in front of a crowd for the first time.

Pretty entertaining.

Friday was full of work and fun. I worked out, but opted to skip my cardio session in favor of some girl time with my mom and Layla!

We made multiple stops, and got some Christmas shopping done.

image

I’m also afraid I ruined Layla when it comes to riding in the cart.

Let’s just say we had fun, and I got to work on my sprinting and agility.

image

In the safest, most responsible manner, of course. wink

The rest of the day was spent cleaning the house.

I didn’t even miss ditching my morning cardio session. I made up for it with four hours of cleaning!

I also managed to get some Christmas decorations down too

And even get some small candles to light one for each advent week. ❤️

Friday night was quiet and relaxing. In fact, after all my work cart sprinting (kidding… Mostly) and cleaning I didn’t even balk when Will suggested pizza for dinner.

Refeed. Haha

Saturday. Oh Saturday.

No need to address the incredibly frustrating third home loss at bedlam, or the fact that we let OSU re-punt, resulting in a touchdown.

Instead we will talk about how I killed my leg workout.

We’ll also talk about how Will’s parents came to town and we had dinner with them and watched football together.

Brr

Gotta focus on the positive, right?

Yesterday was incredibly lazy and wonderful.

Church, gym, football, food prep, and a ton of nesting.

I made a chocolate pie, my breakfast for the week, a casserole, as well as How Sweets carne asada nachos for our evening football fare ( I make Will’s according to the recipe but ditch the meat and the chips and add veggies for my version).

A relaxing and cozy day at home with my beloveds.

And now, another long week begins!

Here’s a look at what’s coming up this week:

-Tuesday Things
-WIOW
-All things Christmas
-Preparing our hearts

I hope you’ll check in this week. Until then, here’s to a good Monday!

Lessons in Dumpster Diving

Last Monday wasn’t the best Monday.

I woke in anticipation of the short week ahead and all the Thanksgiving activities.

However, it ended in tears and sorrow in my heart.

Last Monday I accidentally threw something away I shouldn’t have.

It left Will and I digging through our yucky trash bin searching for it amidst wet, smelly, disgustingness.

It wasn’t my best moment.

It also wasn’t my only moment.

Girls, I have an innate knack for screwing things up.

I’ve mentioned it a million times on this blog. I’d probably forget my head if it wasn’t screwed on.

I plow through life, often forgetting important things. As Beth Moore often says- I’m blonder than I pay to be!

I certainly don’t mean to. I truly have good intentions.

Oddly enough, the good Lord blessed me with a husband that pays.attention.to.everything.

He should be an auditor.

With all the recent changes in the B-Love house, Will has a lot on his plate and really needs my help.

I let him down last week, and our dumpster diving was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Once we (thankfully) retrieved the lost items, Will laid into me about his frustration.

“You say you want more responsibility so you can help me out, but you can’t even be trusted with what you have now!”

Along with a few more similar sentiments.

I let him down.

His words stung and made me feel like an awful wife. They didn’t hurt because he was wrong, they hurt because he was right.

I should be better. This isn’t something new for me.  I need to work harder at paying attention.

What’s more, I couldn’t help but also hear the words of Hebrews 5 ring in my ears,

“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (‭Hebrews‬ ‭5‬:‭12-14‬ NKJV)”

Just as I ask Will for more, I do the same with God.

I can’t help but feel there is a major parallel.

I keep asking for more and more, feeling I’m ready.

Not so fast. 

God has entrusted me with this life and this family. The truth is, I need to focus on perfecting those things before He puts more on my plate.

I need to be better about taking pleasure in my daily tasks and going out of my way to serve Will and be a blessing instead of a burden.

I need to encourage Him in the Lord instead of grumbling under my breath.

I need to have eyes that see ways to help out instead of glazing through everything...and throwing away important stuff.

I keep praying for opportunities for God to use me.

Praying for opportunities to store up treasures in Heaven so I have something to lay at his feet one day.

Praying for a ministry so I can carry out the “good works He’s prepared in advance for me to do.”

The truth is, He’s given me each and every one of these things under my own roof.

At my office.

When I’m grocery shopping.

I knew that already, but I guess I was hoping for more.

What’s funny, is that I’m not sure I’m ready for more. I have a lot to work on right now.

More will come, but I need to focus on what I have right now.

Some of our greatest ministry can come under our own roofs.

As silly as it sounds, I guess I felt like that didn’t count.

However, the Bible is very clear that God searches the intent of our heart. He also commands us to do everything as unto Him.

Even being a wife or pushing paper at work all day.

When we have a heart attitude focused on pleasing Him, it doesn’t go unnoticed.

I’ve started praying more specific prayers about being a better helpmate and paying better attention.

I desire to worship God with what he’s given me today, and pray the added responsibilities will come in due time.

So yeah. Will and I went dumpster diving last week. Thanksgiving togetherness, ya’ll.

If you’re feeling like you’re ready for more but stuck in park, hang on. Be faithful with what He has given and trust Him to multiply.

Thanks for listening today. ❤️

Thanksgiving Weekend & Look Ahead

Mondays after holidays are such a major drag.

I wish I could be like some of you, eager to share your stories at the water cooler (haha do people even do that anymore?), but I’m not.

I would love to enjoy the Monday after at home with Will and the pups.

Let the wishful thinking commence.

My Thanksgiving weekend was different than most, but still very nice.

I find these holiday weekends go far too quickly, mainly because half the days are spent traveling and doing family activities, while the other half is reserved for normal weekend duties.

I tried to keep my normal weekend duties to a minimum, though.

Wednesday night was all about food prep. I made my favorite mashed sweet potatoes.
Let the mashed sweet potato eating commence

The carbicide also commenced a day early.
It's got spinach on it, so it's got to be healthy, right?

It had spinach on it. It was healthy pizza, right!?

As you already know, we spent Thursday with Will’s family.

Thursday was sort of a weird day.

Will’s great uncle was diagnosed with lung cancer just three short months ago. He never smoked a day in his life, but after a long spell of coughing and never getting better, doctors made the discovery.

In just three very short months, the cancer spread and he got worse and worse. It’s like we didn’t even get to properly prepare because we were still in shock just how quickly it began to take over.

When we got to Will’s grandparent’s house Thursday, we learned they moved him to hospice and things had taken a grim turn. Will’s grandparents and parents were headed to the hospital right after we ate lunch together.

Will’s family is all about “visiting.” They love to sit and visit hours on end.

Thursday was hectic. We all ate, and as many of us were catching up and “visiting,"Will’s mom and grandma were frantically clearing tables and putting things away. We kind of got kicked out of the house!

We figured they must have gotten news things were even worse.

So we caravaned back up to OKC.

It was a whirlwind day.

Two hours driving to his grandparent’s house, about an hour and a half actually spent there, and then quickly turning back around for the two hour trip to the hospital.

We got there, and the waiting room was full of family. I’m so thankful we were able to go and be with everyone.

We got to see Will’s uncle.

I pray you’ve never had to see the deterioration of cancer. Unfortunately, I have seen it a few times. It’s a wrenching thing to remember the vitality of a loved one and their demeanor the way they were, and then to see cancer take its toll.

He could barely speak, and his eyes remained closed. Will and I held his hand, and amidst tears prayed with him.

I’m thankful for that moment.

We said goodbye to everyone and headed home.

A Thanksgiving far different than our norm.

I did manage to snap a few pics before we got news of Will’s uncle and his worsened condition.

Oh Will.

He hates pictures, as you can see. smile

Will is smiling on the inside.

About two hours after getting home, we got a call to see if Will’s grandparents could stay the night with us.

I’d love to tell you I handled the request with grace and warm hospitality, but I’d be lying.

Will and I frantically went into guest prep mode for the 20 minutes we had before they arrived.

Let’s be honest, after the day they’d had, they probably wouldn’t have even noticed if I had a pile of laundry on the couch or a little dust.  Heck, I could have had spaghetti stuck to the walls and they probably would have been none the wiser.

I’m so thankful we were able to extend our house to them. I’m so happy they were able to stay and be in OKC when we received the news Friday.

Friday was packed with family, too.

We received the news about Will’s uncle passing around 6:00 that morning. Although very sad, there’s such a peace knowing how much he loved and praised Jesus, even until the end.

Will went to breakfast with his grandparents and mom, while I stayed behind to do a little prep for Thanksgiving with my family.

Oh girls, we outsourced Thanksgiving with my family this year, and it was the best decision ever!

I ordered the healthy menu, and it did not disappoint. The menu came with turkey breast with pomegranate au jus, mashed sweet potatoes, mashed white potatoes, made with Greek yogurt instead of cream, fresh green beans, quinoa salad (so good ), and a pumpkin dessert.

So delicious!

I also made rolls, and my mom made a relish tray and another casserole. Aaaaand the most delicious caramel vanilla cheesecake ever.

So much for healthy. smile

Despite the sad morning, it was really nice to be with my family. I’m sure I hugged my mom and dad a little tighter.

Love my mom

The afternoon was a nice break, especially after the rushed and emotional day before.

Layla is such a hoot! I know I tell you all the time, but seriously. She’s a hoot.

We finally had a quiet evening Friday night. In fact, we went to bed before 9!

Saturday was enjoyable. It was a nice break to simply spend time together and appreciate the long weekend. I got up and worked out (for the third time over since Thursday. Woo hoo!).

We caught a movie, and then proceeded to spend almost three hours putting seat covers on our old Honda.

Almost three hours.

Will is the most meticulous man on the planet about some things.

The seat covers

We tucked, and buckled, and pulled, and tucked some more.

The back seat was the worst.

Painful, guys.

The evening was much less annoying. We enjoyed leftovers (and cheesecake) and caught up on shows.

Sunday came way too fast.

We kicked off the Christmas season at church. I also worked out and prepped for the week ahead. It will be nice to eat normal meals again! smile

Now we’re back to Monday. A Monday that feels mountainous. Remember how I accidentally screwed up Thanksgiving for some of our friends to the north? Yeah… What goes around comes around. I have lots waiting for me today.

Here’s a look at what’s ahead this week:

Tuesday Things
The Diet Lately
Things I’m Loving Thursday
A Trashy Realization

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend and that today is t too overwhelming. Check in tomorrow! 

Perspective

Yesterday we expressed gratitude and thanks.

As we embark on today and the madness of Black Friday, I wonder if perhaps some have long forgotten the sentiments expressed only hours before.

The yelling, pushing, grabbing, and complaining. All coming just one day after many of us gathered together to appreciate what we have.

Today’s post isn’t about Black Friday shaming at all.

Rather, it’s simply a moment to encourage us all to live out a spirit of thankfulness each and every day.

Whether it’s forfeiting that last Elsa doll on the shelves for the young single mother to buy instead, or spending today at home curled up on a blanket my with the ones we love, may we not be hasty in forgetting the thanks we readily shared yesterday.

Yesterday was a strange Thanksgiving, with hours spent at the hospital loving on family members.

We didn’t expect or anticipate it.

Definitely not the holiday we planned.

Talk about an opportunity to realize how deeply thankful I am.

We received the news this morning Will’s uncle has gone to be with the Lord.

He was a godly man. He loved Jesus with all his heart all the way to the end

And for that we celebrate the fact he is no longer in pain.

It puts much in perspective this day after Thanksgiving.

May thankfulness continue to be on our hearts and expressed in our actions daily.

May kindness and appreciation exude from our core, and guide us in all we do.

May we hug our loved ones tightly, as we never know when we will see them next.

May we be less hung up on the many things we want and be more focused on the things we have to offer.

I’m not saying I up and let go of hopes and dreams, or the desire for more.

I’m simply saying I want to walk toward those things thankful for the moment I have today, gently nurturing others and exhibiting grace and gratitude along the way.

I desire to shine God’s love in dark places, and use my hands to give more than grab.

I want to share more than I stockpile, and really mean it from my heart when I do such things.

I also want to graciously receive, and be unafraid to ask for more.

More of God’s wisdom. More of his patience. More of his grace. More of the desires of His heart, and less of mine.

I want to want others to see a thankful heart without me even having to speak.

Today is a somber day for our family, but I praise God for his presence and peace amidst the hurt. May we be mindful of just all that we do have this Black Friday.

More to come…

A Week of Thankfulness: Family

Like many of you, I have much to be thankful for.

Today’s post is all about my family.

Let’s start with Will’s family.

Oh man, guys. I married into a good family.

A godly family.

A family full of care, and warmth, and kindness, and goodness.

I’m often overwhelmed at the graciousness of Will’s family, especially his grandparents.

Celebrating 65 years. ❤️

I love them dearly, as my own.

They are most certainly some of the best people I’ve ever met in my whole life.

I love their spunk and godly character, and pray the Lord blesses us with their same love and energy toward others one day.

Will’s parents are also great. I am thankful for their hearts and how involved they both were and are in Will’s life. They raised a terrific kid, who has grown into a terrific man.

I’m also thankful for the relationship Will has with his dad, too. They are very close and I’m thankful we are close enough for them to see each other fairly often.

img767

(That picture is hilarious!)

I’m also thankful for Will’s brother and his wife, as well as the rest of Will’s extended family. I enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas and getting to see everyone.

Christmas 2013!

Now my family.

My parents and I live on the same street.

Cheesecake Factory!

It’s wonderful.

I am so thankful to have them so close, and know they’re always there.

I can’t imagine ever being too far from them.

I have an entire lifetime worth of memories I could share so you would know how special my family is.

Today, however, I will simply say I’m thankful for how hard they worked and how much they encouraged me.

I’m thankful for my dad, a veteran, that taught me the importance of patriotism and diligence.

I’m thankful for all the places we got to travel and see, far more than most.

Carissa-3 years; Brittny-10 years at the Eiffel Tower in Paris - Copy

I’m thankful for my mom. We were blessed enough to have a stay at home mom, but it’s deceiving to say that because she was always doing something for our family to take care of us.

I’m thankful they took us to church every time the doors were open. So thankful.

I’m thankful for the opportunities they gave me, and the many sacrifices they made that I probably didn’t even know about.

I have wonderful parents, and while Will and I do not have aspirations of having kids, I do hope one day we can show this same love to needy kids or in some other form of ministry. 

Then there’s P.

Brittny & Carissa-Christmas 1990

And Layla.

Beyond blessed by this smiley gal

My huge love for these girls is definitely no secret.

In fact, P got pregnant during my blogging hiatus. I never got to share the story of how she and I Facetimed the November Friday morning when she took the pregnancy test that announced Layla’s arrival.

If I told you the days and weeks after that FaceTime session were easy for P, I’d be lying.

But now, a few years removed, I can tell you how thankful I am for those moments and for P’s return home.

So thankful to have here nearby. So thankful to watch the birth of Layla, and to cut her umbilical cord.

So thankful to get to be part of their lives and to watch Layla grow up.

Such love.

I’m also so thankful for my extended family. I have such wonderful memories of visiting them growing up. I used to see them so much more often than I do as a grown-up, which means I need to make time to visit!

I was able to spend last Thanksgiving with my mom’s side of the family, and it was wonderful. I’m so glad I was able to go.

Layla and grandma

Now Will.

Last, but certainly I not least.

Oh man did I marry up or what?

Will & Brittny-Feb 2003

So often I hear people talk about how they plan to start a family in “x” years. Obviously, I fully comprehend what that means. However, I also find myself thinking about my own family.

Although perhaps people see Will and I as a couple that never decided to start a family, I say we started a family ten years ago when we got married.

Will is my family.

Future Sooner anchors

I am so thankful for his wisdom and leadership.

He is unlike anyone I’ve ever met.

Chilly Willy OU-OSU

I’m thankful for the blessings given to us, and praying the Lord will remind me of the many things I am thankful for as we head into a year of changes and challenges.

I only scratched the surface.I have such an abundance of thanks to go around.

I know there are those who may not feel so thankful for their families today, and I pray for healed hearts. I pray for peace. I pray for change. Most of all, I pray for a church family that can come alongside these and love them as their own.

Day one down. Check in tomorrow for a Work it Out Wednesday of thanks. ❤️

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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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