Because I'm Terrible at Scrapbooks
This Isn't CTU

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 πŸ’—
<
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!

πŸ’— 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 LancΓ΄me 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. πŸ˜‚ 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

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 πŸ’—πŸ°

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. πŸ™ˆ

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! πŸ’₯πŸŽ†

***
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 πŸ’—

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! πŸ’—

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.πŸ˜‚

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. πŸ˜‚

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!

Thursday Things, 7 May 2015

Last weekend Will found a snake in our driveway.

It’s not the first time this has happened. However, it was the first time something other than a garter snake was in our yard!

Yikes!🐍
That was no garter snake. It bowed up to Will and wouldn’t back down.

Real life.

Because we always go in pairs.
I walked in on someone using the restroom last week.

I’m not sure who was more embarrassed/annoyed- me or her.

In my defense, the door was marked “green” for empty and was not “red” for occupied, so it was open season.

Still… It’s a little awkward having to see that person in the finance review meeting after our tango in the bathroom. 😐

In too deep

Remember the garage sale I mentioned a few weeks ago?

I was right. Totally right. We’re a complete mess.

I have a feeling weeks later we’re going to realize there’s tons of stuff we should have sold but didn’t because we were too busy scrambling to get everything else together in preparation for the event.

Do you know how much work garage sales are?

Of course you do.

Whatever happened to putting everything in the lawn? Now you have to rent tables and get permits and all sorts of other red tape.

Say a prayer we score some serious cold hard cash.

Or at least get rid of Will’s DVD collection.

Street Outlaws
Soooo, I pretty much have a “celebrity” citing (?) every week.

I say “celebrity” citing with a question mark, because I’m not entirely sure people on a network reality show count?

It does, right? It totally does. They’re on national TV and have had multiple seasons.

Why would I even question it. Who do I think I am!?

Anyway, the Street Outlaws and I workout at the same gym, and apparently have for years.

On my Fridays off, they’re always there. My mom and dad are big fans of the show and always text me when they have a citing.

I’d never really watched it until recently, so I had no idea who was who.

So yeah. Fun fact.

If you’re a fan of the show I could probably score you an autograph between their bench press sets.

Things I need to learn

How to sew.

I needed very minor repairs on three pairs of work pants. However, since I can pretty much only sew a button (real life), I figured I better leave stitching a small hole to the professionals.

Turns out I would have been better on my own.

It was supposed to just take a week.

I went two weeks ago and she needed more time because of the prom rush.

I went the week after, and she had forgotten about me… And couldn’t find my clothes!

Insert the part where I completely internally freaked out in my mind while faking calm and order.

She said they were probably at her house, and she would call to confirm.

She never called.

She was closed over the weekend and thankfully called earlier this week and said she had my clothes.

Turns out they were done three weeks ago but every time she looked for the three items she never found them...because there were two black items and they looked like only one.

Sheesh.

Anyway, crisis averted. Sanity (mostly) intact.

Kindred hearts
I don’t have time in today’s post to tell you my story about kindred spirits and the Anne Shirleys in my life (perhaps I’ll explain one day).

However, I am compelled to share how incredibly blessed I am to have a friend with such a beautiful heart of God, obedient and tender to the Holy Spirit. So much so, that she has this unique ability to text me throughout the week when I need it most. I’m so blessed by those rare friendships, and even more blessed by Jesus and the fact that He loves me enough to show it in such beautiful people who share and love His word. Not to mention the beautiful quiet moments I get alone with Him, too!

This week’s TBT comes courtesy of Mother’s Day.

Brittny Flint-2 years old & Mom

I’m not a mom, and am not sure if I ever will be, but there are lots of moms I love, including this one...mine!

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

Have a wonderful day!

An Open, Fragrant Letter

If I had to sum up my life in a few sentences, sometimes I feel I would simply say the following:

Get up,

Workout,

get ready,

sit behind a desk and push papers all day,

come home,

keep up with housework,

make dinner,

watch TV,

go to sleep,

repeat.

Granted, that’s not all I do. I do other things, too, but hopefully you get what I’m saying.

Sometimes, it feels I’m on this big hamster wheel on autopilot. Doing the same thing over and over while life goes by.

I feel like what I do isn’t big.

Honestly, sometimes I feel like what I do is kind of a waste in the grand scheme of eternity.

Maybe you’ve been there, too.

Praise God, I have good news for us today:

IT IS NOT A WASTE.

In one of Paul’s letters to the Corinthians, he reminds them of something we all need to hear-

What you’re doing, if done for God, is an act of worship to Him. Not only that, but there’s a good chance we’re being more of a light than we realize.

Verses

We are a letter from Christ for all the world to read.

Some people in our sphere, be it work, the gym, or our kid’s school, may never thumb through a Bible.

What kind of letter from Christ are we sharing with them?

My desk job may not seem so important in the grand scheme of eternity, but when a coworker asks for prayer, it blesses me. It reminds me that people watch what we as Christians do and say.

Verses

I pray we are a letter that reads Christ to others, and a light to the world. Even when we don’t feel like we are, we might be illuminating more spaces than we realize.

Just the other day I told Will I didn’t want to look back and regret my whole life and feel like I didn’t do enough kingdom work.

(And yes, I was being a bit dramatic with the whole “regret my whole life” bit)

He quickly reminded me of many stories I’ve shared throughout the years that suggest otherwise.

That demonstrate my desk job probably touches more that just papers.

I also thought about others who were a letter from Christ to me in unsuspecting places and times.

Guys, just because we are not foreign missionaries does not mean we aren’t a letter to the world.

Maybe you don’t struggle with this issue, but I sure do. I need continual reminders. 

The lives we lead are a sweet perfume that diffuses right up to God himself and throughout the lives of others around us.

Verses

I pray this fragrance is pleasant, and not dreadful.

One of love and grace.

May we live out a life of purpose- loving the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Verses

Whether it’s rocking a baby, pushing paper, or grocery shopping, may we be a sweet, fragrant letter of God’s love to those around us.

❀️

Work it Out Wednesday: Workouts Lately

Let’s talk workouts.

At the beginning of football season I decided to set a few goals to keep me on track amidst the pizza, brownies, and chip bowls the size of a football field.

While I’m doing much of the same as before, I’ve stepped my cardio, from like 2 sessions a week (yeah yeah I know) to over double.

I thought it might be helpful to take a look at my current program as a checkin for my goals.

On days I work a full week, my workouts are not as desirable as those on my short week.

On full work weeks, I used to aim for three workout sessions during the week, with two on the weekends.

I would do cardio two out of the five workouts. The other three were strictly lifting sessions, occasionally with a cardio circuit component.

On my short weeks I would do the same thing, but would be able to devote some extra time and TLC to my Friday lifting session compared to the norm.

Now, however, I’ve made some changes to both my exercise and diet program (we will get to diet next week).

The start of football season gave me a good opportunity to take a good look at whether what I was doing was really working.

I started at my new company this past March, and while the every other Fridays off are wonderful and something I look forward to, the schedule for the rest of the week has definitely been an adjustment.

It’s hard enough to get up early for a workout, but having to go in even earlier makes it more challenging.

For that reason I decided to give myself a break. Instead of working out three mornings during my long week, I’m only doing two sessions.

I was getting worn out and tired. I needed more rest but was fighting it all to get in an extra workout.  After a recent recovery week, I finally gave in and opted for more rest.

Now it’s two sessions during the work week only.

These two sessions are high intensity workouts that combine cardio and weights.

I feel better and more rested. I’d love to sneak in another workout, but this is what I needed and the rest sure feels good.

On the weekends I have a full work week, I do upper and lower body days as well as longer cardio workouts.

So, four days total on those weeks. I also keep moving in the evenings, whether it’s a walk or couch potato exercises, so I like to think that is bonus work. smile

On the weeks when I’m off Friday, I workout five days a week.

My first two workouts are the same as the previous week (HIIT with weights). However, on the Fridays I’m off, I work my back, shoulders, and biceps. I’ve also added a cardio session at the end.

On Saturdays it’s all legs. I also add a slightly longer, slow-steady state cardio session.

Sundays I work chest, triceps, and shoulders. This workout doesn’t take very long, so I’ll do another longer cardio session that day, too.

My diet has been on point, which also helps regulate the reduced workouts on my long work week.

I feel like I’ve struck a good balance lately. As hard as it was to cut one workout on my long weeks, it was needed and I feel so much better.

Perhaps in the coming months I will make some changes and add it back in, but for now I’m pleased with my current routine.

So there you have it! That’s what I’ve been up to these days. What’s your current routine look like?

Thursday Things 23 Oct 14

1. I’m pretty sure I’m incredibly annoying at football games.

Last year I determined it was highly probable I was annoying.

This year I determined it is most definitely true.

I’m most definitely annoying at football games.

Although rarely overly boisterous, I often interject commentary and thoughts on the plays, flags, players, and well, anything else.

It’s annoying. I want to tell myself to shut up.

In fact, 99% of the time, I’m talking out loud to myself, as my dear die-hard football fan husband not only watches the game alongside me, but also listens to it on the radio (yeah I know- it makes no sense to me either).

I’m much more conscious of my commentary, and am trying to dial it down a bit. However, I make no promises.

So to those in the rows behind and ahead of me: please ignore and forgive me. What can I say, I love college football.

2. I want to live inside pumpkin spice lattes.

I know.

So typical.

The minute the clock hits October we’re all about lattes and scarves and everything harvest-y.

But seriously.

There’s a reason.

It’s because all those things are lovely.

So please let me guzzle my pumpkin flavored everything in peace. Click here for a delicious cleaned up version of our beloved latte.

You’re welcome.

3. Can we please freak out over the fact that next week is November!?

I feel like much of my recent adult life has been a whirlwind, especially after Layla was born.

But seriously.

Where the heck did October go!?

I relish these fall months and I can’t believe how quickly they are slipping through my fingers.

4. Peanuts in your coke
Soooo apparently this is a thing.

An actual thing.

Like a whole craze I missed.

Please please tell me you have no idea what this means.

Because seriously- it’s NOT a thing. At least in my book.

Long story short, my sweet country boy Will informed me putting peanuts in your coke (regular old coke NOT diet) was a thing “back in the day.”

So I called my parents and sure enough, it was a thing.

So tonight I am going to be schooled on the art of “countrified” soft drinks.

Truth.

5. I do NOT hate puppies and babies
Oy.

So about a month and a half ago, I scheduled a meeting with our friends from the north.

The meeting was set for Tuesday, the 14th. They accepted, made no comment about it, and we were good to go.

Except....

Do you know what last Monday was in Canada?

Thanksgiving.

Thanks-flipping-giving.

I had these guys travel to Oklahoma on their Thanksgiving holiday.

What a selfish American jerk!

I obviously had no idea (because Duh! Everyone knows Thanksgiving is in November) and completely forgot theirs was in October.

Aaaand Canadians are so nice that of course they didn’t even say something.

So yeah. I hate sunshine and flowers. Except not. I’m sure those guys may say otherwise though!

Can you believe I did that!?

I feel like I should send them a cornucopia as like a peace offering or something. Thoughts?

Work it Out Wednesday: Powering thru Transitions

Wiow

Transitions.

Whether it’s a move, a baby, or a new job, chances are we’ve all experienced our fair share of change.

Change comes with a host of new responsibilities, experiences, and adjustments.

How does working out fit into these transitions?

My new job is a good example, which is what compelled me to share today’s post.

My new job came with a new schedule, as well as a commute.

Both foreign to me.

It took about a month to get used to all the changes of being new at work, let alone trying to adjust to the new schedule and home life.

Work/home balance anyone?

Anyway, keeping a regular workout schedule was a must, and took some trial and error.

Today I want to share a few things that helped me during this transition in hopes it helps you too!

1. Schedule a Recovery Week
I purposely scheduled my recovery week for my first week at the new job.

While some may say consistency is key, I felt strongly about taking a break and simply getting accustomed to my new schedule before adding another ball to keep in the air.

I personally believe taking a week off to let my body rest was absolutely pivotal on my overall ability to quickly adjust to all the overwhelming changes of a new job, schedule, commute, and shortened evening at home.

You’re not selling yourself short by scheduling a recovery week during a transition.

The time to rest allows your body some extra relief from all the new stressors and gives you time to focus on all the new changes and challenges.

Give your body a break and take a week off during your first big week. You’ll thank yourself.

2. Pre-Decide

After your week off, it’s time to get back on the horse.

Already make the decision you’re going to workout.

Predetermine when and where you’re going to do it, and stick to your schedule

Bosses

Your transition may take some trial and error to determine the right when and where, but commit to finding what works and do it!

3. Change up Your Routine

In terms of working out, the biggest changes with my new job were the duration and location of my sessions.

Suddenly, instead of having a solid hour, I only had about 30 minutes to workout most work days.

This change really bummed me out.

Granted, I could have gotten up before 4:00 to have more time, but that defeats the purpose of maintaining my overall health (and sanity!).

Not only that, but to maximize my time, I had to nix my actual time in the gym and stick to workouts at home.

Another big transition.

I’ve done my fair share of at-home workouts prior to the new job (just checkout the health and fitness category on the blog) but cutting my time and types of workouts altogether was quite an adjustment.

I suddenly had to focus on more bang for my buck.

Hitting it hard and full throttle for that short 30 minute span in order to really maximize my time spent was key.

It’s also forced creativity on my part.

I couldn’t take it as easy on myself. It was all about challenging myself to really make the most of the time I had.

Sometimes that means a workout DVD (on days I’m unmotivated to come up with something on my own).

Many days it’s powering through something I created myself.

I miss the extra time occasionally, especially my isolation weight lifting sessions. However, I’m thankful I’ve created something functional I can stick to that targets my whole body.

Changing it up is not a bad thing, especially if it challenges you!

***
Those are some of the things that helped as I got used to the changes that came with a new job.

Don’t give up or quit when things are transitioning!

Use it as a time to reassess where you are currently, and what adjustments you need to make to continue to meet goals in the midst of your change.

That’s it for today. Check in tomorrow

Keeping the Main Thing, the Main Thing

I gave my first presentation at the new job last week.

I have undergrad and graduate degrees in communication. I’ve had to speak in front of others lots of times.

I don’t know why, but for some reason all the moments leading up to this one gave me some serious anxiety.

Probably because I’m still the new girl and wanted to do a fantastic job and know everything about a place where I’ve only been a few months.

For that reason, I added extra pressure on myself.

The day of the presentation, my mind was focused on that meeting and nothing else.

I spent some quiet time with God, praying and reading his word but was so distracted.

“Why bother,” I thought to myself.

I became increasingly frustrated trying to get something out of my Bible study while having other things swirling around in my mind.

In total transparency I cried out to God and told him how distracted I felt. I said, “Please just help me through this presentation so I can get my focus back on You.”

I immediately stopped.

That was my problem.

My focus was diverted. I took my eyes off what was truly important and affixed them on something else.

I realize a presentation is minor in today’s example, and unfortunately I can also say I’ve done this very thing with much bigger things in my life.

However big or small the issue, taking our eyes off Jesus, even for a moment, makes us vulnerable.

As I sat there in the reality of what I just said, I started thinking about how I desperately I need Jesus to be Lord of my life, even in the small things like presentations.

This isn’t a new lesson. I know it very well. However, it’s an important one.

One of daily surrender.

One to be continually mindful of.

1 Corinthians 10:31 tells us that in whatever we do, we should do it to honor God and bring Him glory.

Verse

Whatever we do.

Whether it’s sitting in church, sipping coffee with friends, or preparing for a presentation, it should glorify God.

Colossians tells us to work wholeheartedly as if to please God and not men.

Verse

Even things that seem small like presentations, putting a bandaid on our kid’s skinned knee, or going the extra mile to make someone new feel welcome can all be done as an act of worship to God if we have the right mindset.

The key is to keep our eyes on Him.

I know.

Easier said than done sometimes, right?

As I thought about what I had just prayed, the scriptures I shared with you came to mind.

I felt empowered, and refocused my mind on my first love.

I asked for his grace and mercy to help me keep my eyes on him.

I prayed my presentation, while totally void of anything related to God on the surface, would please Him because of my heart attitude and the fact that whatever I do, it should be an act that glorifies God.

He’s got me here for a reason, and I want to walk in Him. Even when they seem like small things (small things that I’ve made out to be big things!).

What about you?

Where’s your head at?

I ask in love, mainly because most of my life has been distracted by such temporary things.

Set your mind on things above, friend, not on earthly things.

I realize we have plenty of immediate things that require our attention, like families, jobs, and that pesky to do lost that seems to get longer instead of shorter.

However, remember to do all things in an attitude of glory to God.

If you don’t have a relationship with God (real life. You can actually have a relationship with Him), shoot me a note or click here. ❀️

Alright friends. Happy Friday. I have a busy weekend ahead. Hoping yours is full of fun!

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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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