Because I'm Terrible at Scrapbooks
OU Obsession

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

Thursday Things, 6 Oct 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A win for everyone.

Until he found the Garth Brooks channel.

That was not a win for everyone.

What also wasn’t a win, was the game.

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

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

Sigh.

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

So yeah! Fun times in Houston! Haha

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

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

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

Nothing fancy, but still fun.

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

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

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

Except…

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

Real life.

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

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

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

Annnnd we had another snake in our house

Real life guys.

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

(Kidding...kind of)

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

It was promptly removed.

We’ll leave it at that.

Since we mentioned for sale signs...

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

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

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

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

Mrs. Benko would be proud

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

Real life.

Yes, they had pianos back then.

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

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

One thing led to another, and I stopped.

Flash forward many years later.

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

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

It’s fried jello time ya’ll

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

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

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

Can we also discuss how iOS 10 is killing me?

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

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

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

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

Happy (almost) football season, friends!

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

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

And we're nearly there!

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

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

Starting with the Olympics.

And how it basically consumed our lives for two weeks.

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

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

I think we're getting old.

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

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

We're getting old and odd.

HELP.


While we're getting old and nostalgic...

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

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

We're already on season 8!

It's one of Will's favorites.

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

Told you we were old.

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

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

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

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

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

Boz and Lucy Turned 70

Or 10.

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

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

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

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

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

One year post MOHs

Lesson from this scare? WEAR SUNSCREEN.

Hot Pockets

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

It was such a fun day!

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

Because I feel the need to take pictures of food.

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

Then we headed to the Bok Center for the show.

Waiting to see Jim Gaffigan

Jim Gaffigan was so funny!

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

Other out and about highlights

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

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

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

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

Whew.

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

Which reminds me-

FOOTBALL!!!

Oh.My.Stars.

It's here, finally here!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I'm not sure it's working?

We shall see. 😊

Workout Challenge!

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

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

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

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

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

Other things

Random things I feel I should share-

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

It's expensive, but well worth it.

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

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

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

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

Music to add to your workout playlist:

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

Healthy indulgence

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

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

Real life.

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

All mine.

Unhealthy indulgence

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

Whyyyyyy!?!?!

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

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

I've always been a sucker for those.

Such a grownup.

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

Because he hates me.

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

First day of school! 😩

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

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

(Doesn't it often seem like that?)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Will and Brittny Take Tennessee

Happy autumn friends!

Fall finally arrived in all its glory here, and I’m basking in cooler temperatures and all things pumpkin spice.

There’s so very much I want to share with you, so I’ve decided to do a two part post.

1. The first to recap our recent Tennessee vacation
2. The second (and my favorite!) to give you a big fat life update and share some of the things God is putting on my heart.

So let’s get moving back with that Tennessee recap!

This past Labor Day Will and I hopped on a plane and flew to the beautiful land of rolling hills and the friendliest people you’ll ever meet- Tennessee.

In the interest of actually getting this post done and on the blog, here’s a rundown of just the highlights each day.

Monday, 7 Sept
For a travel day, we did well. Usually we’re running around like madmen scrambling to get out the door. This year we had to drop the dogs off on Saturday instead of Monday, so it helped reduce the craziness.

Monday was a total travel day. Long and uneventful. Thankfully everything was on time and we got to Nashville late that afternoon.

We were tired and kept things low key. We stayed at the Music City Sheraton, so we checked in, hit a Kroger for a few items, and had dinner at chickfila.

Fancy schmancy.

I also got to sleep tons, y’all! It was great! In fact, I went to sleep close to 8 that night didn’t wake up until 7:30!

Vacations are the best.

Tuesday, 8 Sept
Our first full day of vacation was wonderful. We had a leisurely morning followed by a scenic drive outside Nashville.

We drove a little outside of the city to have brunch at the famous Loveless Cafe.

It was so darn fun!

It used to be a hotel back in the 60s and was a hidden gem for travelers. Known for their delicious homemade biscuits, they grew in popularity throughout the region.

They eventually converted the hotel into little adorable shops and just keep the restaurant open- and it’s always busy!

The biscuits and jam pretty much killed me.

Can&#x27;t believe I get to have breakfast with this man everyday. Beyond blessed. 💗

I also went a little wild at the store.

And with pictures.

Loveless cafe and hotel. That&#x27;s how we roll
😍Loveless Cafe

After brunch Will and I headed into Nashville to tour the Opry!
I found the backstage tour very interesting. I didn’t know much about the Opry before, so I learned heaps about the history.
We got our picture on the stage and our tour group even got to sing a song front and center. smile

The next big thing 😂 Will and Brittny take the Opry

We went to the mall across the street between the tour and the evening show. We had a quick bite at Moe’s and headed to see the show!

We were lucky enough to have a great show the night we went. I also had no idea it was a live radio show! Interesting.

The lineup

Wednesday, 9 Sept
Although I slept late again, I managed to get in a workout Wednesday morning.

We got a late start and after getting ready headed downtown to the Ryman. Much like the Opry, I didn’t know a whole lot about the history of the Ryman. I found its origins very interesting and enjoyed hearing how they’ve grown over the years and are still going strong.

Like the Opry, we were able to go backstage, onstage, take lots of pictures.

WB at the Ryman

If you’re traveling to Nashville and are torn between only wanting to do only one tour I’d definitely say to the Opry. I liked the Ryman, but the Opry was better.

Afterward, we drove around downtown and went to see The War Room.

Yep. We saw a movie we could have seen at home while we were on vacation.

Ah friends it was so good and totally drives home the importance for prayer. Life is a battle and we truly so have to fight the good fight equipped with the word of God as our sword.

Go see the movie and most importantly- find your personal prayer space and start talking to God!

We treated ourselves to the Marble Slab after our movie and walked around the Opry grounds.

Considering it was vacation and we had yet to have a really good meal (um not counting those dang delicious loveless biscuits!), we intended to have a decent dinner. However we ended up getting full on ice cream, like complete children, and spoiled our dinner. Haha

We went back to the hotel, watched TV, and called it a night.

Wild and crazy.

Thursday, 10 Sept

I got another good nights sleep and woke later than I intended. I managed to workout and quickly get ready. Today started my favorite stretch of the trip!

Before leaving Nashville we went back to the Opry Mills Mall and ate an early lunch at The Aquarium.

I’d been there ages ago, but Will had never been. He was completely enthralled. It was adorable. We got there early and were able to watch the marine biologist feed the fish. It was so very neat!
Will enthralled by the fish
Because we&#x27;re on vacation

After our giant lunch, we drove a little outside of Nashville to Whites Creek, Tennessee.

The very hospitable and beautiful Inn at Fontanel.

The Inn at Fontanel. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous ❤️

Will arranged a little surprise for us to stay at the beautiful Inn at Fontanel. It’s this tiny and beautiful bed and breakfast hotel on Barbara Mandrel’s former property. Not only that, but you can tour her house, and it’s still the largest log cabin house in the nation at over 30,000 square feet!

I can’t even tell you how much I enjoyed every minute at this little bed and breakfast and all their little fun shops!

The staff was so nice and inviting and the whole atmosphere just screamed relaxation.

Our little bunker had a welcoming little mini porch, and our room was just as cozy.

After checking in we toured the grounds. We checked out the shop, the bistro, and the winery while waiting for our mansion tour to begin.

The mansion was flat out spectacular.
The Fontanel Mansion (formerly Barbara Mandrel&#x27;s house)

The best part?

You’re really able to make yourself at home. If you want to pick up a guitar in the wall, lay on the furniture, get funny selfies- they’re game. It was so neat and totally different than most tours like that. Usually everything’s behind a velvet rope with a “do not touch” sign. So fun and so cool. I would have taken way more pictures than I did but my poor Will was picture-d out haha
Barbara Mandrel&#x27;s bathroom and separate closet are a sight to see. Very impressive! Lots of space, lots of mirrors, lots of lights!
On Gretchen Wilson&#x27;s four wheeler from the Redneck Woman video. #classy

Afterward, we hung around the hotel grounds, got a snack at the bistro and ate outside, and then went back to our room to watch the NFL season opener while I did a little work.

Oh- and we also experienced our first Goo Goo Clusters. 

Have you ever had one!?

Dead.

Friday 11 Sept
I was excited to rise early and enjoy the beauty of God’s glorious sunrise at the Fontanel.

“Because I am righteous, I will see you. When I awake, I will see you face to face and be satisfied.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭17:15‬ ‭NLT‬‬ Perfect way to begin my morning. Beautiful Tennessee sunrise

I intended to workout outside, and certainly made an attempt, but the Inn’s aggressive duck, Boomer, kept chasing me and made my outdoor workout impossible.

Boomer the duck was given a chance at a new life at the Fontanel but only lasted mere days because he was aggressive with the guests. Boomer did not like me and enjoyed chasing & hissing at me during our stay. 😂

(And as an aside, poor Boomer was so aggressive with the guests he only lasted a week before getting sent back to his owner!)

I moved my workout into their gym area. Afterward I enjoyed my Bible study on our little patio. It was such a beautiful morning!

We got ready and had breakfast in the main hotel area. Their continental breakfast was nothing like you typically think of when you think free breakfast. It was a delicious full meal.

Afterward, we are we took an extra long walk around the Fontanel grounds and enjoyed the beautiful weather. 
Post breakfast nature walk at the Fontanel

I was sad to leave mid morning. I could have enjoyed another full day there. Such a relaxing bed and breakfast and definitely well worth the little detour on route to Knoxville.

Speaking of Knoxville- that was the next stop on our trip!

We had a couple hours to drive as we headed that way, so we played “classic country Shazam trivia.” Haha

After the Christian music station went out we found a classic country station and I tested Will to see how much he knew.

He knew a lot.

Before we knew it, we were in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and at our hotel!

First order of business? Find some Tennessee barbecue.

We headed into Knoxville to find Will burnt tips. He’s been talking about and wanting them forever. We’ve never been able to find them in Oklahoma, so when we made vacation plans, “burnt tips” was on the list.

We ended up at Dead End BBQ for a mid afternoon lunch. It was packed and full of Vols.

We enjoyed our lunch and the manager stopped by and talked football with us for awhile. Lots of fun.

After dinner we hit up a Kroger for cookies (priorities) and called it a day.

Saturday, 12 Sept

Game day!

I got up early, worked out, and got around.

Anytime we head out of town we look to see if there’s a Perkins in the area.

That place always brings back good memories.  Anytime we’d fly into Minneapolis from Kuwait to stay a couple days, we’d hit up a Perkins and devour their mammoth muffins and pie.

We continued tradition in Knoxville, treating ourselves to a big breakfast...and peanut butter pie.

Because I&#x27;m on vacation. That&#x27;s why.

Hey, it’s vacation.

We drove to the civic center to take their shuttle to the stadium. We were early, so we walked around and enjoyed the beautiful weather.

Once we got to the stadium we walked around and enjoyed the scenery, even with all the orange. smile

Their stadium is crazy steep, which always makes me a but nervous. It didn’t help when we watched an elderly man tumblr six rows from his seat!

Horrifying. Thank God he was ok, and I was more than fine not moving a single bit after we got settled.

The volunteer stadium is huge and seats over 100,000. The Vols were excited and came loud!

I still can’t get over how deafening it was. In fact, they broke a stadium sound record!

They played hard. For almost the entire game I thought we were a goner. Somehow, someway, sooner magic made its way on the field and the boys tied it up and sent it to overtime.

Two overtimes, in fact.

Talk about a nail biting victory!

What a game!

We won! 😱

WB ready for a sooner victory! OU takes Tennessee

We intended to quickly leave and get back to our car.

Only, no one tells you how long it takes to get out of the stadium, off the campus, and out of traffic.

Think about a city of 100k all making a mass exodus from a small space.

Chaos.

We left our stadium seats around 10:00 and didn’t even get back to our car from taking the shuttle until after midnight!

Then we had to drive to our hotel.

It was a long night and I’m sure glad we won!

Sunday, 13 Sept
Vacation officially ended this day.

What a bummer.

We flew out of Knoxville, so thankfully no two hour road trip back to Nashville. Off and away we went. We left early and were back home before noon.

And that was it!

Oh man we had such a wonderful vacation. It had been awhile since we’d taken a good trip like that, so we thoroughly enjoyed our getaway.

So there you have it! I needed to get this all down for posterity’s sake. We always look back years later and reminisce about little details on these trips, so I try my best to capture it all while it’s still somewhat fresh.

Thanks for indulging me.

A big, fat life update on the way soon. 💗💗

The Red & White One & a Look Ahead

Vet day

Froyo.
Froyo.

Chilly after froyo
Baby Peppers!

2015 Red and White game!
2015 Red and White game!

2015 Red and White game!

Nhinja
Sushi, movie, and on the couch with Will.

A trip to the vet for the Bigs’ shots (and Rocky marked the exam room chair. Wee!), watching Frozen for the first time with Layla, a frozen yogurt date with Layla and my parents (we got chilly afterward!), the OU Red and White game with Will and my dad, sushi and movies with Will (he got a burger instead ha!), workouts, house stuff, and the usual.

It was a great weekend.

This is my first full week to work in three weeks!

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

-32
-WIOW
-Thursday Things
And more!

Now off to tackle a big Monday ahead. Here’s to hoping we make it a good one! 

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!

The One When Will Decided to Sell Our Tickets& Look Ahead

I don’t know about you, but I saw Christmas decorations everywhere this weekend.

Less Thanksgiving, fall-type stuff. Lots more red, green, and all things Christmassy.

I decided to be okay with it and use it as an excuse to completely nest and bake this weekend.

Plus, while I certainly don’t advocate emotional eating, I have to admit the chocolate chip cookies I made Saturday night did fill a bit of a hole after the Sooner loss.

We will get to that soon enough.

I was off Friday and devoted the entire day to cleaning my house.

Oh man, it sure needed it!

I hadn’t given it a thorough and proper cleaning since the weekend before the TCU game, so yeah, long overdue!

I decided to workout before cleaning. If I didn’t I knew I wouldn’t! After the gym and the grocery store (guys, I scored pomegranates for 59 cents each!), it was all about tackling the house.

Hours later, I was done and started folding laundry when (thankfully!) Will rescued me.

Over the last several months, we’ve been keeping all out silver change (no pennies!) in a little container. We just mindlessly add to it as we accumulate extra change we haven’t yet used.

Anyway, we took the filled container to a Coinstar machine and I was shocked to find there was $75 in our container!

Remember that “guess the jelly beans in the container” game?

Yeah, I’m terrible at those things. I told Will I thought there would be less than $40.

See what I’m saying!? Point proven.

Anyway, we exchanged it for a gift card and treated ourselves to dinner that night, and have plenty of money leftover. Nice!

It’s been awhile since Will and I have gone out on a Friday because of his work schedule, so it was a nice treat.

Saturday. Ugh Saturday.

Can we skip over Saturday?

I was close to starting today’s post with my OU rant, but decided Christmas was a better lead, yes?

The good news was that I aced my leg workout that morning. I was sure it was going to be a terrific day. smile

Oh girls, I think you have a good idea just how much we love and support our Sooners. We are at every game, many away games, donate generously to the Sooner club, and cheer them on always.

All smiles before we got completely embarrassed.  OU-Baylor 7 Nov 14

But guys…

In all our years of attending games, I’ve never ever heard OU fans boo our own coaches/play calling. That’s just not the fans I know. However, as the frustration increased so did the muttering and mumbling, and before I knew it the section opposite us was booing the defense play calls.

It was ugly. Just like the game.

I know you probably don’t want my post game analysis, so I’ll keep it short. Let’s just say my dear Will, the one completely and utterly in love with the Sooners was as beleaguered as every other fan we encountered Saturday.

Aaaaand we are selling the tickets to our remaining two games, something we’ve also never done. Will lives for this time of year, so I was shocked. And kind of bummed. Sooner football is our thing, it’s what we do together. Maybe I can convince him otherwise?

Anyway, enough griping about things that ultimately don’t amount to much in this short life. Here’s to hoping they do better!

The rest of the day was nice. Will’s parents were at the game too, so we had a post game lunch at Ted’s.

After lunch, we headed home and caught part of several games while I made [and found myself at the bottom of a bowl of] chocolate chip cookies.

Sunday was the usual stuff, but I also spent a lot of time in the kitchen.

I made homemade Mac and cheese for Will’s lunch this week, protein packed veggie breakfast muffins for me, and vegan potato soup for dinner!

Busy bee.

I spent a large portion of the weekly evening parked on the couch with Will, watching football, blogging, and thanking God for my time with him.

A weekend full of small, everyday blessings. I’ll take it.

Another week begins, and it looks to be a bitter cold one for many of us in America. In fact, I put a ton of cold weather food on the menu this week to help warm us up with the weather chills to the bone. I hope you do too!

As for posts, here’s a look at what’s ahead this week:

-Tuesday Things
-Workouts Lately
-Life Lately
-Ezra Nine

Thanks for checking in, more fun to come! 

OU-Texas 2014 & Look Ahead

Hello hello!

I’m back from Texas and feel like today is a whirlwind and my head is still spinning like the Ferris wheel at the Texas state fair!

Whew. Where to start?

Friday.

We kissed out pups goodbye, thanked out dog sitters, and started down the road early.

This year we went down with friends!

We’ve gone to OU Texas nearly a dozen times, but only a handful have been spent traveling with others.

While I always enjoy a getaway with just Will, it was also fun to have a girl to chat with during the weekend.

In keeping with tradition we stopped by the Bevo Bash in Marietta, OK. I brought my own lunch while the others enjoyed the free Bevo burgers.

We made our way to the big D and checked into our hotel.

We couldn’t get to Texas without a snafu.

There’s always a snafu.

Somehow from the car to the hotel room door I managed to lose our hotel keys.

Who does that!?

I do.

This made me laugh, and P wad spot on. Will did NOT make the same face. Haha

She was right.

In keeping with tradition, we went to Ruth’s Chris for dinner that night.

Ruth's Chris OU-Texas weekend 2014

I got my usual vegetarian plate with spinach, asparagus, and broiled tomatoes...and also added another side of tomatoes.

Real life.

But seriously, they’re so good.

It was M’s birthday, so they have her a yummy desert on the house too!

We called in an early night, watched some TV and went to bed before 10:30.

We’re wild, ya’ll.

Saturday came bright and early. (I prayed we wouldn’t have another bus fiasco like last year, and thankfully we didn’t!)

I managed to get up and do a quick 30 minute workout before getting ready. Woo hoo!

We took the train for an hour into Fair Park and got the day started.

We had a little time before the fair and made good use. smile

Corny dogs

Vegan dole whip. And frizzy hair.
I even managed to find vegan Dole whip to go along with my iced tea (which I somewhat regretted afterward considering how cold it was).

The game was a little nerve wracking, but thankfully the Sooners pulled through.

Hook 'em. Except not.

Afterwards we met up with a couple from our old Life Group for more fair fare. Haha

We left the fair and went back to the hotel lobby restaurant to finish out the TCU-Baylor game. What a nail biter!

We get to play the Bears soon enough. Yikes!

The rest of the night was all about the evening games and thankfully getting to bed at a decent hour. It sounds boring, but it was actually a lot of fun! There were good games on last night which made it even better.

We headed out yesterday morning, and beat most of the rush. We even stopped in for a fried pie near Turner Falls.

Dead. So so good.

Thankfully we made decent time and I was even able to do a couple loads of laundry.

Don’t ask if they’ve been put away…

Now we begin another week, and mine is full of some serious work!

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

Blog roundup
My current workout playlist
Things I’m Loving Thursday
Ezra chapter five

Check in tomorrow. Now off to tackle a full day. Boomer Sooner!

The Sooner Loss & Look Ahead

Monday Monday, here we go again!

Well friends, my Sooners lost this weekend.

We lost to TCU in an ugly game played tied or from behind the entire time.

Will and I actually made our way down to Dallas Saturday to cheer on the Sooners!

Originally, we were going to take off Friday and make a little trip out of it. However, with Will’s work and vacation schedule we ended up going down early Saturday morning instead.

Road tripping to the TCU# game
This was our first road trip in the new car, so that was nice too!

We got into Dallas around lunchtime, grabbed a bite, and made our way to parking.

Neither of us had been to TCU, so we got there a little early and walked around the stadium.

TCU 4 October

TCU 4 October

Here we are, all smiles. Obviously before the game. smile

WB before the game

We watched the whole game and left bummed. They’re better than that and sure didn’t play to the magnitude they’re capable.

Getting out of campus was crazy! Thankfully, once we got out of that congestion and onto the highway it wasn’t too bad. 

We got on the road for a bit and didn’t eat dinner until after 9! I was a tad hangry. smile

We got in well after 11 and crashed!

We slept through our alarm yesterday, which meant church online.

The rest of yesterday was spent doing the usual- food prep for the week, laundry, football, and the like.

All in all, we had a good weekend and got to spend lots of time together, so that was nice.

Now we’re starting another week with lots on the docket.

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

-Thursday Things
-On running
-50 things I did on my day off
-Ezra chapter four

So that’s what’s been going on with our family the last couple days. Hopefully you had a nice weekend and are ready to tackle the week.

Check in tomorrow!

Tuesday Things, 30 Sept 14

I broke down and started taking allergy medication.

I know. You’re probably wondering why I waited.

Yeah, yeah, I know.

Historically it’s made me feel worse over the years. However, at this point I’m not sure I could get worse, so in a moment of weakness I got all crazy and slammed an allergy pill.

It’s getting wild around here ya’ll.

This Pure Protein Bar
This.

Before Quest Bars were all the rage, Pure Protein was my go to bar for snacks on long road trips.

I had a couple coupons to use the other day and picked up some of their new flavors. I got a salted caramel one I have yet to try, and then this dark chocolate coconut one. It is delicious!

Sometimes when I stay up past 10, I send wacky text messages to my sister

Deep thoughts with my adult "kid" sister

Actually happened.

But seriously- she can still do a cartwheel.

I feel like since I workout, I should still be able to do one too, but then I realize working out does not necessarily equate to being able to flip your entire body over your head.

So yeah. No cartwheeling.

12 graphs that show why people get fat

Interesting read.

Something weird is happening...again

It never fails. At some point in any given year, I suddenly remember I don’t hate doing static cardio.

Sometimes.

Just like every year before, it’s back again.

I find it crucial to take advantage of the opportunities when this bug bites, because it doesn’t last forever!

I’ve logged lots of steady state cardio over the last few weeks and have also listened to lots of good podcasts. Double win.

Our DVR is full of shows
As usual, we tape a million series and never get around to watching them all because of our schedule.

We keep up with our favorites, but a lot of times we don’t even watch some until the Christmas lull when they show reruns for weeks on end.

More importantly, can we please talk about how this is the last season of Parenthood? It’s pretty much my favorite show and I’m totally bummed. It’s like the last show about “life,” everything else is about cops, mysteries, unrealistic dramas. Can’t we just have a regular old show about life??

Sheesh.
Obviously I’m very close to this. smile

The Sooners are on the road to TCU this weekend

The horned toads are getting all crazy and doing a purple out Saturday.

I can only hope the sooner fans travel well and wear the most Crimson of reds.

I can’t think of many colors that clash worse. smile

That’s it for today.

Any randomness you care to share?

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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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