Because I'm Terrible at Scrapbooks
Destination Beautiful

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! 

Thirty-Four

Hello friends!

Today I’m 34.

Officially “mid-30s.” (Face palm)

Side note- can you believe I started this blog when I was 21!? Who chronicles anything that long these days? I feel like my posts should be encyclopedia-ed in a library or something.

Anyway, in years past, thought I’d share some deep thoughts (ha) as I head into this new year.

1.I’ve been very blessed to have my grandparents in my life as long as I have/did

I lost one of my grandparents last month and realize how truly blessed I’ve been to have three of the four alive up to that point.

I was able to see my grandma just a couple weeks before she passed, for which I’m thankful.

“>Grandma 💗
<
Will and I also made a road trip to Iowa last fall to see my Gran. I'm so thankful for that time and those memories!

💗 Gran

I’m also very close to Will’s grandparents, and treasure them as my own.

To be 34 and have 4 special grandparents in my life (my grandpa, gran, and Will’s grandma & grandpa) sure is special, and I’m very thankful.

2. Will is genuinely surprised by my OU fanaticism.

A few years ago, when OU was struggling, Will opted to sell our last two home game tickets.

That’s blasphemy, y’all.

You don’t just sell your tickets because your team stinks!

Will was completely shocked by how strongly I felt about going.

See, Will is what I consider a “real and educated” fan. He loved them in the 90s just as much as he does now, guys.

If you know OU football in the 90s, you know that means a lot.  He knows seemingly everything about OU football, and I love it.

Anyway, he also listens to a radio during the game so he can hear the play-by-play.

Since he listens to the radio, he never realized how colorful my commentary is for the poor souls that sit behind and in front of us.

Nothing inappropriate, of course, but I’m rather talkative and lively.

Confession: I even sometimes annoy myself.

All this time he had no idea. Haha

The people around us, however? Yeah, they knew.

So yeah, while I’ve always been an OU fan (I say that loosely), I mostly married into the crazy.

However, my love for OU football has honestly become all my own over the last several years. It makes it that much more fun!

OU-ISU!

3. I’m harder on myself than I realize.

I never give myself enough credit. I’m always convinced of the worst. Quite a pessimist at times, which is strange because I generally try to think positively!

I honestly need to cut myself some slack sometimes. Take a deep breath. Not be so darn tightly wound.

For some silly reason I feel like I work for the Counter Terror Unit (that’s for all my old Jack Bauer 24 fans out there 😊) where I can’t take a single day off without the nation going into a tailspin.

It’s ridiculous, really.

One of the things about coming back to this job was that I knew I was going to have to be better about not driving myself crazy. Not putting too much on myself or worrying about everything.

I’ve done better, but I’m still not there. I’d like 34 to be the year when I do better and let go of some of those things. To pray more and just let go of so much of what I can’t control.

In fact, things are crazy at work right now. The old me wouldn’t have taken today off. The 34 year old me took it off anyway even though I’ll be checking email all day. I’d say I’m off to a good decent start!

4. Two Words: Mascara Primer
I’m not kidding. I discovered the fantasticness of daily mascara primer at 33 and I will never.go.back.

What’s a mascara primer? It’s basically a bra for your lashes.

Real life.

I honestly thought it was an unnecessary splurge, but guys- it’s kind of a must, especially if you’re like me and never leave enough time in your morning to apply eyeshadow.

Not all primers are equal.

I’m a Mary Kay girl through and through, but honestly you can’t beat the Lancôme CILS mascara primer.

Line your eyes, curl your lashes, prime them, & add mascara. Trust me here. Game changer.

5.I actually think I’m pretty good at what I do
Coming back to my old job kind of fit like a glove.

I know what I’m doing, and I’m comfortable doing it. In fact, I was blessed to even get a promotion after being there less than a year.

Remember #3? I’m often too hard on myself and I need to remember I’m doing a good job and it’s ok to take a breath every now and then. I need to pray more, worry less. Trusting God with my job.

As crazy as it may seem, I distinctly remember praying for my future job when I was a teenager. I had no idea what I was going to do (Um, and I still don’t) but I remember praying for the job I’d have one day.

Guys, He is so faithful.  I honestly had no idea how 15 years later He would so richly answer my teenager prayers.

I could tell you it’s all because of my awesome smarts (um- it’s not) or communication skills (again no) or my “can do” attitude (nope, nope, and nope), but it unequivocally is none of those things.

It’s completely God’s faithfulness and provision, equipping me and helping me each and every step of the way.

6. In follow-up to #4
Since I already talked about my must have primer, I might as well share some more of my favorites for with my favorite 30 something gals.

Smashbox Primer Oil
I got this as a sample in my Ipsy several months ago and kind of forgot about it until this year.

Oh.My.Stars.

For my dry skinned girls, this is the bees knees.

My skin is super dry and makes me look way older than 34. My eye lines and forehead lines get so dry, and translucent powder atop my foundation just magnified the problem.

This primer is aces to help give extra moisture for these areas and hydrate all day with a beautiful but subtle glow.

I’m not going to lie, it’s expensive, and was a birthday gift to myself this year (plus a tube of mascara primer 😊). I bought it for my “free” Sephora birthday gift.

For me, it’s a luxe item, but I think it will last forever.

Knock-off Beauty Blenders
I usually tend to these things are sort of unnecessary, however a lot of the cheap ones work really well and give a beautiful, air brush flawless coverage. I got a Mint Pear blender in my Ipsy and really like it because it has a more contoured side for eyes and nose, but a larger side for the rest of the fact.

Mary Kay Repair Eye Cream & Night Treatment

I’m Mary Kay through and through when it comes to skincare. As a consultant,my loyalty lies with all their products, especially their skincare.

Their new line for “mature” skin is out of this world.

I don’t use all the products in that line just yet, but I have incorporated a couple of them into my daily routine and THEY WORK.

Their night cream is ridiculous. It has retinol and a host of moisturizing goodness to improve texture, lines, age spots, and damage.

It is pure fantasticness AND cheaper than the currently popular Rodan & Fields.

Their eye cream is equally potent. Sadly, due to the fact I treated my skin like crap in my teens (hello tanning beds!) plus genetics, there’s not a lot of hope for me here to some degree, but I’m thankful for the options I have that help!

7. I’ll never enjoy hot weather

Ever.

I hate hot weather.

I wither like a wilty flower.

I melt like a sno-cone in Phoenix.

I turn into a puddle of humid-y sweat and become quite the grouch!

It’s awful y’all.

It’s already been near 90 this year and everyone’s all,” It’s gorgeous outside!”

No. No it’s not.

A couple of us have been taking a quick break to walk a mile during the work day. It’s been so wonderful!

We sit hours on end each day, and many doctors claim desk jobs can be just as dangerous as smoking!

It’s been good to stretch our legs, get moving, and reduce stress, even if it’s just a few minutes.

The problem is...summer is approaching.

I’m not into sweating in work clothes (um or ever aside from the gym)…

But, I’ve come to crave my daily walk and can honestly attest to the benefits!

So I might have to see about going earlier.

This heat thing isn’t something I learned over the year, but it’s definitely been reaffirmed.

If it hasn’t changed now, it never will.

So if you invite me for a summer BBQ, let’s pretty please eat inside. Or at midnight.

(And as an aside, turns out I shared this exact same thing on my 32nd birthday. 😂 See? Some things never change)

Drinks are my jam.

Over the last year, I’ve become quite the drinker.

Hot flavored teas, cold flavored teas, coffee with a smidge of creamer…

All the caffeine-y drinks.

Don’t worry, I realize these can become a calorie trap. It’s all about moderation, and I find a sweet drink treat can help fend cravings in the afternoon.

My current favorite? Celestial Seasonings peach tea with a shot of Coffeemate Italian Sweet Cream. At 30 calories it keeps me from donuts that abound in the break room!

9. Keep it Short & Sweaty

My workouts completely changed in my 30s, especially last year. While I enjoy longer workouts on the weekend, I’ve really begun to emphasize short and sweaty workouts.

I choose not to make time for long sessions during the work week but have not at all seen my weight go up.  In fact, I’ve read lots of reputable articles that attest to the value of short, quality workouts.

I limit them to 30-35 minutes and move pretty much the entire time.

My favorite right now? Les Mills GRIT Strength. Look it up on YouTube and take a “class” at home.

It’s awful in the best way possible.

10. By and large, I’m done with today’s Christian literature

Since entering my 30s, my heart has shifted regarding Bible study.

There was a time in which I relied heavily on today’s Christian authors to help me understand the Bible. However, a lot of books being published by “Christian” authors today are misguided at best, and heresy at worst. Quite frankly, it’s alarming.

The Lord has certainly raised up pillars of the faith who speak Truth. Their words, books, etc. can certainly be edifying to the church, but they are no comparison to the Bible itself.

It’s in knowing the Word of God for myself I am able to test the spirits, to know the Truth for myself. Not because some famous Christian author told me their interpretation of the Truth, but rather because I read it and study it myself.

I am burdened for the increasing biblical illiteracy within the church, and especially in my generation. We must get back to Truth. Testing “Christian” books against Scripture. Knowing the Bible ourselves. Not solely relying on others to spoon feed us. I desire meat, not milk, as scripture says.

33 brought an entire year devoted to the Gospel John & his epistles.

It revolutionized my Bible study. 

When I started, I wondered how I could ever study such a seemingly small piece of the Bible for a whole entire year. However, as December approached I began to wonder if I’d even be able to finish!

While I certainly relied on several resources during that year to compliment my study, the Bible was the main star. I realize that’s how it should be, after all, it’s Bible study, but that hasn’t always been the case.

Anyway, 33 was a huge year for me spiritually. I’m trusting 34 to be the same.

So yeah! “Deep thoughts” from a 34 year old blonde. Ha!

Switching gears, I also want to take a moment to acknowledge today. Good Friday.

It feels odd celebrating today when I generally find myself more somber and contemplative on this day.

When I consider Jesus was my age (well, my age yesterday) when He died, it adds an entirely new layer for me.

I consider His life as I consider my new year, but today I also consider His death. His sacrifice. His cross. The atonement and only acceptable payment for my wretchedness.

As I consider the magnitude of today, the depth of Good Friday, I am reminded that all I have to offer is my life. To dedicate each and every day of 34 to the glory of Him who gave me new life. And on that note? Here’s to 34.

(Almost) 34

Welcome to February (wherein I mostly tell you I’m old)

Hello friends!

We survived the doldrums of January!

You may think I’m crazy, but aside from the longer days, which I love, I prefer winter to summer.

I mean, either way I’m working.

When I was young, summer meant no school, going on vacation, and fun!

Now it’s just hot, steamy, sweaty, and miserable. And the grass has to be mowed a million times.

Which is more annoying for Will than me, but still…

Anyway- summer is basically the long, hot stretch that gets us to football season.

Hopefully I’m making you more optimistic for February. 😊

How did I get off on this tangent? Let’s get back on track.

It’s February!

Are you stocking up on chalky candy hearts and Barbie valentines?

Gosh those days were fun/awful.

Spending time with my girlfriends and reading way too much into the valentines we got from boys.

You know, because a super hero valentine that said nothing but “Have a Super Valentine” signed by said boy totally meant we were going to get married.

Sigh.

I sure am glad those days are over! I’m not even sure Will and I got cards for each other the last few years. It’s just not our thing.

Awful chalky conversation hearts? Totally my thing.

Kind of.

Except not really.

I guess I like the conversation part more than the taste, you know?

They’re so darn cute!

We did, however, decide to buy delicious giant boxes of Godiva “for each other.” We braved the mall last weekend and bought ourselves a generous gift.

Will thinks we can just eat one each day and savor it most of the month.

I think he’s crazy.

Anyway, let’s talk life stuff.

Like how my poor husband almost fell apart last month.

He hurt his back in high school, and from time to time will have issues, but nothing major.

Last month, I kid you not, he sneezed an epic sneeze.

The sneeze of all sneezes.

A violent one that nearly shook the house.

And it literally brought him to his knees. The darnedest thing!

Then he couldn’t get up.

Yep, the guy threw out his back.

With a sneeze.

Real life.

He took recovery super seriously, lots of nights lying on the floor and on a heating pad.

Guys, we’re getting old.

Like actually old.

My wrinkles are for real, and Will hobbled around for a good three weeks.

Old.

And I’m pretty sure this year I enter “mid-30s” and Will enters “late-30s.”

HOW IS THIS HAPPENING ALREADY?!?

If we ever did have kids, we’d have to hire teenagers to play and chase them around. We’d be too fragile.

So yeah. Happy 2017!

Speaking of oldness, one thing that hasn’t gotten stagnant are my workouts.

I took a recovery week in January, which was long overdue and wonderful.

I’m always recharged and refocused coming off a recovery week.

This year I’m working on increasing my workouts. I workout four days a week, and I’d like to increase to five days or find ways to sneak in extra workouts during the week.

Did I tell you a few of us at work are walking a mile every day? It’s wonderful! I can’t even tell you how good it’s been for me mentally and physically.

Most of us who have a desk job know we’re supposed to get up and walk around once an hour of so. The reality is, however, that it never happens.

Having accountability just to take a few minutes each day to get up and walk has been great!

Until summer for the aforementioned reasons.

Maybe we can go earlier?

Walk inside? Hmm…

Anyway, it’s been such a great bonus exercise.

Not only that, but up until Will hurt his back, he and I were walking every night before dinner. It was so so SO nice.

I’d leave work on time and just take my computer home if I had more to do that night, and I’d quickly change and we’d go before it got dark.

We’d talk about our days and everything in between. It’s a lovely time.

With the days staying a little lighter, it will be easier to do now. It was a bummer having Will hurt. I missed our walks, but things are on the up and we’ll be back to it this week (I think!).

As for actual “real” workouts (I consider the walking bonus ones), I’ve stayed fairly consistent.

One major downer is that I haven’t made it to the gym near as often as I wanted to over the holidays and football season.

Don’t be fooled, I was still working out and doing quality workouts, but I was doing far less heavier weight lifting. I missed it!

With football season over, and schedules more normalized, I’ll be hitting the actual gym twice a week to lift. My other workouts will be done at home and will be circuit training or HIIT with lighter weights.

I’d like to add in a third home workout, so hopefully I can phase that in this month!

Sooo let’s transition into fuel for workouts...

In complete transparency, I’ve loosened the reigns on my diet over the last several months.

And just been glorious.

I’m living life, y’all, and it’s a good thing.

Im not kidding, several years ago I was extreme about eating. I would venture to say it was unhealthy and made everyone around me miserable.

I never, absolutely ever, allowed myself treats no matter the circumstance.

For me personally, I determined that was a really unhealthy way to live. I just ended up binging on junk when I reached my willpower breaking point, and the cycle would start all over again. Great plan! Haha

I’ve found I do heaps better when I just live my life.

I eat healthy and and am mindful of my food and macros, but I also give myself room for indulgences and “flex” calories throughout the week.

I’m not training for a bodybuilding competition, so I shouldn’t be eating like it. Not only that, but I needed more calories, so that’s been good too.

Yay for food and yay for well-planned treats!

Where am I going with this? Basically, not much had changed with my diet in terms of healthy eating, but I’ve become less rigid (read: LESS CRAZY) on indulgences.

The best part of all? Nothing has changed with my overall appearance either. Yay for quality eating.

I’ll have to share one of my favorite old recipes I recently revamped soon.

Oh and if you’re curious about that whole philosophy, Metabolic Effect has some fantastic articles on hormones and keeping HEC (hunger, energy, and cravings) in check.

Welcome to the present

Back in 2013, after a wonderful night celebrating my sister’s 23rd birthday, I was sleepy and not paying attention when I fed the Bigs. My phone fell out of my pocket. Rocky chomped on it. It was ruined. Enter new phone.

Four years in technology feels like an eternity, so it was time to upgrade.

I feel like such a granny learning all the new stuff (read above paragraphs about my oldness). I got the new iPhone 7 and can’t wait to try the new camera! I’m waiting for my case to come in before I start using it.

After feeding my previous phone to Rocky, a case before use felt mandatory. Ha!

James Things

In my previous post, I mentioned my 2017 study on James.

Guys, it is killing me.

It took me the entire month to get through the first chapter.

The last couple of years have included their fair share of trials. Having lived it, and am still walking through it, I know in my heart these are trials the Lord has placed before us.

I have not lost heart, though I’ve certainly had my moments. I know what the Word says and that He is absolutely going to give us the wisdom to take the next step. We’re still fuzzy on it, but some things are finally starting to take shape. I pray these coming days and weeks continue to bring wisdom in upcoming decisions. We would welcome your prayers!

Other Random Things
I’ve entered the world of using retinol products.

(As if you hadn’t already gleaned from the above: I.AM.OLD)

Nothing strong, just a night creme that has some in it.

Why didn’t I make this transition earlier!?

Probably because I was afraid my face would peel off. Apparently that’s possible, but in stronger doses.

Reminder- look into stronger doses.

Our beloved Colts didn’t do so great this season, which was disappointing. I’m hoping with their GM change things are ok the up.

I was rooting for the Packers until they lost, now I don’t really have a dog in the fight.

So I’m Falcons all the way.

But mostly I’m rooting for the Super Bowl food.

Obviously.

Are you an Amazon Prime user? I recently entered the Prime world because I got a discount to join. Tell me all the reasons I should love it!

Ok, I think that’s enough for now. I hope you had a wonderful first month of 2017! Check in again soon. ❤

2017 Things

Happy January dear friends!

How’s the resolution-ing going?

I’m sure you’re crushing it.

I’m not one for making resolutions, but I do like to evaluate my current situation and consider ways to be more efficient, better, mindful, etc.

This year is no different.

As I evaluate the year ahead, I can map out a picture in my head and begin to put it into action only for things to take a completely different turn in the opposite direction.

I’m speaking from experience.

It reminds me of the epistle James when he talked about people who say they’ll do this or that, making their own plans in their own self-confidence, failing to recognize the Lord’s will.

I’ve been there, many times.

I’ve learned to trust the Lord and seek His will more in the last few years than ever before.

Sometimes that means the aforementioned plans take the aforementioned turns.

Speaking of making plans, Will and I are praying for something very specific this month, and I sure would welcome you coming alongside us in prayer!

I find even though we’re making a specific request, I’ve ultimately relinquished myself to God’s will and plan.

Jeremiah tells us the heart is deceitful, and I find in “following my heart,” I’ve made a lot of dumb mistakes.

Not the ones I look back on and say, “Well, that was a good learning lesson” either.

My point is, sometimes my bright ideas are just that- mine.

The closer I’ve get to the Lord, the more my plans change.

The more I change.

So as we petition the Lord this month with a specific request, I ultimately desire His will.

So there’s that!

And speaking of the epistle of James, I’ve decided to devote 2017 to studying James and Jude.

They’re short books, so I’ll probably add in a third, but I’m very excited about this year of study!

I started a year-long study on the book of John and his epistles in 2016 after reading this post.

While I don’t necessarily agree with every aspect of the post (such as contemplative prayer), I found the content incredibly rich. As silly as it sounds, I had never considered only studying one book for an entire year. Quantity seemed more important. How many books could I read? Did I read the whole Bible this year?

Now- I definitely read other books during the year. On the weekends or evenings I’d read through the New Testament or Psalms, but nothing like with my study of John.

I honestly can’t tell you how incredible this journey was for me without my head darn near exploding!

I was able to slow my pace, dig in, research, understand.

So often I just read but don’t soak up the content. I’m like the person who glances in the mirror and then completely forgets what I look like (hey another James reference! 😉)

Devoting a year to focus my attention- one desperately weakened by social media, where information is condensed to nothing but tweet sized details- has been invaluable.

I highly recommend this method and am confident it will be a blessing. 

What else?

I suppose I could unpack fitness, health, professional, and personal thoughts for 2017, but this post is way too long as it is.

Are you even still reading?

I just wanted to do an initial 2017 check in to say hello and let you know what’s going on in the B-Love house this month. There will be plenty of time for those other things...Lord willing of course. (See? We’re learning! 🙏🏻😉)

I hope your month is off to a great start! Check in soon for more updates! ❤

He Rolls Away the Stone

Untitled

I love this verse.

Just like me, these women were already looking ahead, worried about something ahead of time. They were concerned how they’d get to Jesus since there was a stone in front of the grave, far too heavy for them to remove.

I’m not concerned about literal stones these days, but metaphoric ones.

Maybe you are, too?

If only these women remembered the provision of Jesus.

Not only did He roll away that stone they were concerned about, but He raised them eternal life by conquering death!

He always makes provisions for the glory of His name.

We must remember this Truth.

If it is in accordance with His word, it will be done.

We need not worry He won’t move if our requests align with His word. He always, always, always rolls away the stone.

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??

Life Lately

Hello!

I decided it was a good time to check in and share all the newsworthy life things that have been going on lately.

Let’s just jump in, with no rhyme or reason.

The new (old) job

The new (old) job has been going well.

Working close to home has been unbelievably nice. I can come home for lunch, I have no traffic, no commute, and get to sleep longer since the drive is so short!

I’m not gonna lie, I miss the every other Fridays off. However, I love having a shorter work day. The days would drag on at my old job, which made everything but that one Friday off feel like an eternity. Something can definitely be said about having a regular work schedule and getting home at a decent time. That’s important too.

As mentioned before, I also have the best boss ever who genuinely cares, which makes a huge difference.

We travelled to the DC area for work last week so I could meet the team I’m working with and get a rundown on everything I’m taking on.

So yeah, that’s the work update!

Speaking of traveling

We kicked off June in crazy fashion!

Aside from football season, our lives are pretty uneventful from week to week.

So to have two major events jam packed into a single weekend was darn near overload for the B-Love house. Haha

June began with a wedding in Tulsa Saturday night.

Reception things

We got up early that day and headed up for lunch at Los Cabos. It’s a delicious casual Mexican restaurant in the Tulsa area.

Afterward, it was off to a furniture store to look at a piece we’ve wanted to buy but wasn’t in stock in OKC.

We bought the piece and headed to the hotel where all Will’s family was staying.

It was so very nice to see that side of the family! We don’t see his dad’s side nearly as often as we see his mom’s side. It was so good to catch up and see everyone. We really ought to do it more often!

We got ready and watched Will’s cousin get hitched. It was beautiful.

We stayed at the reception about an hour but left before they even cut the cake (trust me, it wasn’t my choice).

We changed clothes and got on the road as soon as possible. We opted for a late (and healthy) dinner of McDonald’s drive through food.

Along with half of Oklahoma.

30 minutes later, and we were back on the highway.

We got home about midnight, unloaded the car, and went to sleep!

We were back at it just a wink later. This time we were headed to the complete opposite end of the state to celebrate a 90th birthday party for Will’s grandpa!

WA turns 90 💗🍰

Before the party, a large group of us ate lunch together at his grandparent’s house. Will’s parents had an equally late night in Tulsa, so we were all a little tired. Nonetheless, it was nice to see that side of the family too.

Basically two family reunions in a single weekend!

The birthday party was so much fun! I love Will’s family so much and am so thankful I married into such a good one.

And yes, I made a point to have cake at this celebration since I didn’t the night before. smile

So yeah, two major events across opposite ends of the state in a single weekend. It was a busy one.

As for other travels, I mentioned my DC trip earlier.

When I was out of town, poor Lucy missed me so much!

Which is surprising, considering Will is her absolute favorite.

Anyway, we’re one or those families that let our dog sleep with us.

However, the whole time I was gone, Lucy wouldn’t sleep in the bed! Will would try, but she’d act funny and just end up on he floor all night. Sad!

Since we’re talking dog stuff...

We’ve been taking the pups for walks outside.

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

I know this probably isn’t mind blowing to you, but trust me, it is. 

Aside from running around in the back yard every now and then, our Littles haven’t spent much time outside.

They’re very pampered pups and still have puppy soft paws. 🙈

Yep. Those dog people.

Anyway, these old dogs are like total puppies when we go! It’s adorable and so funny. They do such a good job on their leashes and are quite popular with the neighborhood.

Flickr Things
So you might have noticed my Flickr feed is gone.

I received a creepy message from someone about my pictures and thought it was probably time to make everything on my account private!

The problem, though, is that it means nothing comes up in my Flickr feed.

And all my 3 friends who read this won’t be able to see all the exciting pictures of my dogs, things I eat, and OU football games.

I figure I’ll do photo dumps from time to time here, but I figured I should address the lack of pictures on the right hand side of the old blog!

Workouts

One of the perks of my new job is that I no longer have to get up at 4:00 to get in a weekday workout.

It was so hard to do it before, and I drastically changed my workout schedule because of it, dropping down to only two weekday workouts. Of course, I’d save my long workouts for the weekend, but I definitely hated only working out twice during the week. Sleep is just as important, though, so I made it work and adjusted my diet.

With the new job, I eventually plan on increasing my weekday workouts to three. I’ve been doing a variety of at-home workouts during the week. Every time is different.

Right now I’m loving YouTube’s Millionaire Hoy workouts. He’s got a series called “BOOM” right now and it’s so much darn fun- and quick. Perfect for weekdays.

Other things I feel you have to know

Will and I have been watching Full House on Nick at Night like they’re going out of style.

Not gonna lie, while I loved it growing up, it’s kind of lost its luster for me.

I’ve watched them all way too many times.

Kinda like Saved By the Bell.

Anyway, Will cracks me up because he’s way more into it than I am. It’s kind of cute.

***
So, at my previous job I worked downtown where you had access to everything you needed.

We had a Friday tradition of walking somewhere to get breakfast first thing in the morning. It was such a fun treat! I’ve decided to keep the tradition alive by getting coffee every Friday on my way to work.

Not exactly as fun as breakfast with friends, but still a treat nonetheless.

I told Will I want to become a Friday regular where I go.  “Like- I want them to know my name and what I get.”

Goals, ya’ll.

***
We had quite possibly the most disastrous/hilarious Mother’s Day ever, but unfortunately I don’t think Will is going to let me share it with you guys.

Still too fresh.

Maybe next year?

***

Speaking of holidays, we watched a fireworks show with my parents and Layla last weekend and it was so nice! We brought the Bigs, and they were very well behaved. Poor guys, they get scared by the noise, but they did well having us nearby.

Mustang fireworks! 💥🎆

***
I’m doing Priscilla Shirer’s Armor of
God study this summer with a group online and is is so so good.

When I was younger, I used to pray on the armor every single day.

Then one day I stopped. I let my guard down and became so very vulnerable to satan’s schemes. I was easy fodder.

As the Lord drew me back to Him, I’ve diligently prayed on the armor every single day for the past few years. I need to be clothed in it and ready for spiritual warfare every single day.

This study is such a good wake up call and reminder that we face a very real adversary who wants to destroy our Christian walk. We can’t make it easy for him!

I would highly recommend you buy the book and go through the study.

***

My stars, I’ve talked your ear off! I think that’s a pretty good comprehensive list of everything (I’d certainly hope so!).

I hope you’re doing well. What do I need to know about you!?

My (Second) First Day

It started and ended at a Cool Greens in downtown Oklahoma City.

A fitting ending to my last day

Well, sort of.

In December 2013, I met a friend at Cool Greens for lunch. She’d recently taken a job downtown, and we took some time to catch up.

Unknown to anyone at the time, I had an interview scheduled right down the street.

At my dream company.

I wanted to scream it from the rooftops when we met for lunch that day, but I kept it to myself.

I interviewed the first week of January, and was offered the job in February.

In terms of a job, it was all I ever wanted. Among a handful of companies in Oklahoma envied by all, and highly competitive.

Every other Friday off, a doctor’s office onsite, a state of the art gym, beautiful amenities, completely innovative, and the best people around.

Farewell 💗

However, leaving my then-current employer wasn’t completely easy either.

It was close to home, I liked the people, I had good benefits, and most importantly- I worked for the best.boss.ever.

Unfortunately, I had successfully burned myself out. I had seven weeks of vacation banked and never felt like I could take a day. I was ready for a change, but only at the right place.

And it happened.

In March 2014 I said goodbye to my friends of nearly six years and took the job at my dream company.

But not before my old company sent me off with a Vitamix.

I left there on a Friday and started on a Monday.

What was I thinking!? smile

Turns out, the company was everything I thought it would be, and more. Pinch me.

Seriously.

The Lord began preparing my heart for the move during the fall of 2013, and it was worth the wait.

I couldn’t believe I got to work there everyday. Everything was perfect.

Then, the bottom dropped in the oil market.

We nervously watched it go lower, and lower, and lower, hitting below $27 a barrel at the beginning of the year.

How did we get here so quickly?

It was grim, and we all knew it.

Previously, my company never had a layoff due to commodity pricing, but we knew it was probably inevitable.

In January, they announced what we all feared-a large scale layoff due to commodity pricing.

Have you ever been through something like that?

It takes an emotional toll on a person. As the newbie, I was convinced I would be let go.

Office chatter was tense. Each person had resigned themselves to the fact that they were on “the list” for reasons x,y, and z.

I trusted the Lord and spent much time on my knees in my closet, crying out to Him. Telling Him I would trust Him “when” it happened.

And then it happened.

Only, I was blessed enough to get to keep my job.

It’s funny how we can convince ourselves we know what God is doing, and then He up and surprises us.

Staying was a huge blessing, but in a way far differently than I anticipated.

After the layoffs, things were vey different. I quickly decided a few things I had ignored for a long time weren’t going to be as easy to ignore.

Skipping ahead a little, I began to pray about whether I was supposed to stay where I was.

I didn’t want to leave, but I continued to see evident signs that the Lord had another plan.

Through a series of His orchestrated hands, I reached out to a former coworker about a possible opportunity with a new company.

A conversation with him led to a conversation with my former boss, and when all was said and done, a position was created for me at my former company and I had the opportunity to return.

There was a lot of prayer and long conversations with Will in between, but for the sake of this post I think I’ve covered the gist.

I turned in my notice two weeks ago, and finished up work this week.

It was hard to leave because I truly loved where I was. However, I know the Lord was at work in these events.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned these last two years, it’s that trust and obedience in the Lord are beautiful things (but they’re not always easy!).

I know in my heart I am going where I’m supposed to be, but that doesn’t mean I won’t miss my new friends.

I bid farewell to my friends and coworkers Thursday. One of my friends took me out to Cool Greens for lunch that day.

I thought it was fitting, bringing everything to full circle.

A good way to close out one chapter and begin another.

I was so sad to leave my previous job in 2014, but as I drove off Thursday I was actually ok. I’m sad to leave friends, but no tears were shed and I honestly don’t feel that sad. I know I’m going where I’m supposed to.

That’s a good feeling.

I start my “second first day” Monday.

I was off Friday, and Will and I took the opportunity to make a quick trip to Perkins for pie and muffins.

Perkins

Because how else would you celebrate a new job when you’re an 87 year old living in a 30-something’s body?!

Exactly.

So yeah, big life changes. Again.

I wanted to capture everything here while it was fresh on my mind. I like having this space for things like this.

I also think I might check in a little more often than I have been, how about that!?

That’s it for now. Here’s to a good (second) first day! 💗

33: Introverts Unite! (Quietly. In our own houses.)

I’m 33 today.

So am I technically still early 30s or have I officially moved into the dreaded “mid-30s?”

Don’t answer that.

As in years past, I wanted to take a moment today to share deep and meaningful (😉) life lessons I learned on the road from 32 to 33.

In all honesty, and as silly as it sounds, I really think I “grew up” and got to know myself better this past year.

It’s been a year of reflecting and trusting the Lord. Tossing away much of the useless nonsense that consumed my life for far too long.

It wasn’t an easy year, but it’s certainly been worth it. 💗

1. I think that maybe (??) I’ve become more of an introvert in my old age.

True story.

Growing up as an army brat that moved tons, I never had a problem making friends and being heavily involved in heaps of activities. I loved people, and I loved doing “stuff.”

Still, I’ve was always been fairly quiet and timid (unless I’m among my trusted “tribe"). I’ve noticed over the last couple of years that my preference is for more intimate, less chaotic engagements.

I still love people, and I still (occasionally) love doing “big” stuff...but in smaller doses, and with my favorite people rather than the whole farm. 😊

So yeah, kind of a big revelation I discovered this past year. Ha!

2. Triscuits are the jam.

Yes.

Go buy a box of the cracked black pepper & olive oil, or the dill ones.

Once you buy them you’ve pretty much surrendered to the fact that they have to be in your kitchen cabinet ALWAYS.

3. Social media is overrated.

I know this isn’t the consensus, especially for people my age and younger, but seriously- for me, it’s true.

I enjoy taking huge breaks from the rat race that is social media (see #1 above).

I often use Lent as an opportunity to disconnect, and find my usage continues to say very minimal afterward.

It makes me more present and aware of the moment.

Of actual life in the flesh.

Of all the little moments before my eyes I often miss when I’m buried in my phone.

No lie- I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked up from my phone and can’t remember the last 10 minutes of real life around me.

Yes, I completely agree there’s a time and place. There are so many people dear to me that I can connect with through social media when I normally wouldn’t see them except major holidays.

I also see the value in social media (um, after all this is a blog post), but I also see so much more value in investing in the life right in front of me.

All about balance.

4. Silence is golden.

(See #1 and #3)

I find I often busy myself with noise.

The radio is always on.

The TV is always on.

I’m on my phone.

I’m constantly distracted.

I can’t focus and hear the voice of God.

When I finally intentionally quiet myself and step away from the craziness of life, it feels wrong sometimes.

Because I feel as though something should be done. That I need to be acting or moving or doing.

It feels unnatural because we’re constantly faced with stimulation.

Yet, when I force myself to declutter my mind and sit in the stillness of God’s word and actually listen, I find Him. I hear His Truth and desires.

It takes focus, but He promises He rewards those who earnestly and diligently seek Him. And it’s worth it.

5. Marie Callender’s Cherry Crunch Pie will make you hate yourself.

Seriously.

Don’t do it.

It’s so dang good, and you’re going to loathe loving it so much.

6. I enjoy at-home workouts as much as gym ones.

I suppose I always have, however given the choice, I’d always given the edge to the gym.

I love the versatility of at-home workouts in the privacy of my own living room.

Who cares if I’m sweating like a pig and don’t smell like roses!?

Boz and Lucy sure don’t mind. Haha

7. Things don’t go as planned.

Obvs.

But seriously, I’ve been extremely blessed my entire life and had been shielded from a lot of heartache.

The Lord has been doing lots of pruning on my heart in this season of trials, and it hasn’t always been easy or enjoyable.

Nonetheless, I can look back on this last year and consider all my plans and see how the Lord has steered our life in such a different direction (see Proverbs 16:9).

Not as I planned, yet I can still see His hand in it all and have peace.

8. Clean your shower every week.

Seriously. I know you probably hate it as much as I do, but DO IT already.

As we both know, the longer we wait, the worse it gets.

Need motivation?

Mix one cup of vinegar and one tablespoon of blue Dawn dish soap in a spray bottle and soak your shower with it.

Let it sit a few hours and then wipe.

Game changer.

You’re welcome.

9. Truth matters.

Unpopular, but true.

We want to live in this huge gray area so as not to offend anyone, but the fact of the matter is- you’re always going to offend someone. I firmly believe there’s a way to hold the line without being a jerk, which is what the media seems to portray anytime one “side” disagrees with another.

Truth counts, so own it and stand firm in your convictions and dialogue in love, don’t yell and flail in hate.

10. I’ve become a full-blown carnivore again.

Real life.

Well… Sort of.

I still aim for more of a veggie friendly diet, but I’ve also been adding chicken and fish to my diet 1-2 times a week.

Plus I pretty much can’t turn down grilled Chick-Fil-A nuggets.

They pretty much sent me to the edge, and it didn’t take much more to jump thereafter. Ha!

Brittny Flint-3 years old with weird chicken

11. Deep condition your hair.

And if it’s super dry like mine, do it every time you wash it. I used to think deep treatments were once a month type things until I started doing them twice a week.

Game changer. I’ll never go back now!

12. I have friends who genuinely care.

Y’all, I am so thankful for my inner circle of friends. I have been uplifted so many times this year by their love and encouragement.

13. This life isn’t mine to live.

This is the biggest lesson.

It’s something I’ve known as a Christian in theory, but have finally begun to behold.

I’m so done with trying to live my “best life now” with no consideration for standing before Jesus one day.

I want to be selfless and give more. Care more. See people more. Act more. Love more. Stand more.

Not for me or some meaningless cause, but for Jesus and Truth. Even when it’s unpopular.

I’m so done wasting my life and want 33 (and beyond) to be one of surrender and awe.

To see what God can do if I’d simply get out of the way.

So yeah.

Streams of consciousness from my heart to yours.

Here’s to 33. 💗

33

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&#x27;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!

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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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