Because I'm Terrible at Scrapbooks
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Thursday Things, 21 May 2015

The death of me.
I opened a Pinterest account last week.

I’d been fighting it for years, but at the (persistent) nudging of my sister, I opened an account.

I’m still fighting it (I only have a couple pins- sent by my sister), but I’m sure I’ll be a pinning pro before long.

(HELP!)

If you are a pinning pro, feel free to add me. I’m found at TheBloveLife.

Saturday’s Treat Meal

Will and I got Freddy’s to go Saturday night before the bad weather hit.

I ate their veggie burger sans “Freddy’s sauce” and thought it was delicious!

I got fries too.

I pretty sure I was stress eating (bad weather= burger & fries), nonetheless it was pretty darn good.

The “Dad Bod”

Let’s discuss the latest discussion to sweep the Internet-:

The Dad Bod

I know there are tons of opinions out there, and I have to know- what do you think?

This sermon on loving the Church

It kind of ties into what I was saying Friday. It’s number three- Unity

The Fog

I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll say it again. I’m a huge perfume hoarder.

It’s a problem, really.

I don’t always like to use my “nice” (read: expensive) stuff for everyday at work. I’d rather save it for dates with Will.

We both needed new “everyday” type perfume/cologne, so I did some quick looking and turns out Walgreens is currently having a half price sale on their knockoff brands!

The idea of two for the price of one was too good to pass up, so we spent about 15 minutes in their fragrance aisle spraying and testing a variety of fragrances. Some good, some not so good.

We both completely fogged the joint and had headaches from all the various smell combining. Haha

We each bought two, and spent less than $25. Real life. I find mine smells just as good, but the staying power is weaker. Other than that, I consider the outing a success!

The itsy bitsy huge, numerous spiders

We’ve gotten about two feet of rain over the last 10 days.

Real life.

Apparently large quantities of rain flush spiders from their dwellings and often indoors for shelter.

That means they’re freaking EVERYWHERE.

Guys. I’m not kidding. In the span of five minutes last Sunday we found three in various locations.

The bad news is, we have about a million chances for rain this week.

The good news is, I’m having Will barricade us in with lots of bug spray.

The super long one
Today I started a five day vacation! Woo hoo! Memorial Day weekend fell on my usual Friday off, so I added Thursday to the mix and created a lovely recipe for relaxation!

The days quickly filled with various events and outings, but I’m thankful for the time off and hope to enjoy myself, and even clean out our closet.

Party Time, Excellent!

Guys. I had the weirdest dream ever a couple nights ago.

I was in a vehicle with a lady I barely know from work (seriously- hardly know this woman), and we were chatting it up like we had been longtime pals.

Will strolled up and stood outside the window and talked about how happy he was we were talking (I can’t remember what it was about).

Then.

Then

He started talking all crazy. Saying stuff like “Party time! Ex-cell-ent!” In a total Cali voice.

Not kidding.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, we kept talking and at some point in the conversation he says something weird and then says some odd word I’d never heard him say before and made a weird gesture.

What the heck!?

I remember being totally confused in the dream.

Thankfully, my alarm clock woke me so I didn’t have to endure the uncharacteristic oddities of my husband.

As I tried to dissect what just occurred, it hit me.

I was dreaming my husband was part of Wayne’s World and mimicking their words and actions.

(WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME AND WHAT DOES THIS MEAN!?)

Weirdest part about it?

Im pretty sure I only saw the movie once… Over twenty years ago.

Psychedelic dreams.

Should I get a pregnancy test?

In an instant
On Memorial Day 2008, Will and I flew into Oklahoma City to make our lives here after three years of life in Kuwait.

It feels just like yesterday, and sometimes it makes my heart a little sad.

That’s it for today, friends. Check in tomorrow. For now, I’m going to enjoy my day off! 

WIOW: Why I Love Workong Out Part Two

Wiow

Hey there!

How was your workout today? I did a HIIT session complete with dumbbells and all. I’m raring to go this morning!

Last week I shared a few reasons why I love working out, and today we are going to pick up where we left off with part two!

Let’s get to it.

7. I’m in constant competition
So here’s the cold, hard, truth.

I don’t have a single competitive bone in my body.

Not one.

Seriously.

This is interesting, especially since Will is one of the most competitive people I know.

Yet, when I step into the gym, a switch goes off.

I’m not competing with others in the gym as they bang out their own sets.

Oh no.

I’m competing with someone far more formidable.

Myself.

I love beating my previous best, or pushing myself to go harder to do better than Yesterday Brittny.

The gym brought out a competitive side of me I never knew existed.

8. I’m capable of more than I realize

There have been times in the gym when I felt certain I couldn’t do another rep or set, and yet somehow and someway I managed to dig inside of me and get it done.

I remember the first I ever really lifted weights was in a military gym at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. 
Two people I worked with took time to show me the ropes. I felt so helpless!

Nonetheless, I was surprised by my limits and what I was able to do, and I’ve been surprising myself ever since.

I love those moments. They’re so encouraging!

9. Mental Strength
I honestly feel my mind has become just as strong as my muscles from my lifting sessions.

That may sound silly, but studies have actually shown increased fitness improves mood and helps people cope with difficulties in life, and even help with depression. 

I feel so much more confident in my ability to overcome and conquer things life throws at me.

Obviously, my faith in Jesus had made that a reality, but lifting sessions sure have helped my outlook too.

10. Empowerment (and endorphins 😊)
Little feels more empowering than conquering your workout. Knowing you left it all at the gym as you walk away.

Giving your all is a wonderful feeling, and helps with a variety of other areas in life, too.

Plus all the mood boosting endorphins don’t hurt either!

11. Friendships

Finally, the people I’ve met from sharing this beloved hobby has been another high point.

We’re all different shapes, sizes, and have different goals, yet become united for our love of healthy living.

I remember Gary and Sue, an older couple that worked out at my gym.

They were always there. Sue with a smile, and Gary with helpful tips to correct my (at times) pitiful form.

A couple years ago he passed away, and I was surprised just how hard it hit me. I mean, it’s not like we all had a relationship outside of my limited encounters at the gym. Yet, he was part of my “gym family,” and impacted that area of my life.

The friendships you forge at the gym are definitely meaningful and lasting.

There’s probably a dozen more I could share, but I think you get the gist: I enjoy working out for lots of reasons! smile

That’s it for today. Girls, you gotta check in tomorrow. I’ve got a surprise for you. It’s a little zany, but hopefully you’ll find the information valuable.

More to come!

How to Fall Away From God (Streams of Consciousness)

When we cleaned the garage last weekend I found lots of interesting things.

Some I wondered why I even kept, some made me laugh (like my Super Nintendo), and still others made me incredibly reminiscent.

The reminiscent stuff is what I want to talk about today.

Do you have some time and some coffee?

Go get some and come back.

***

We found lots of “treasures,” but a few stand out:

A giant picture frame someone gave us, full of pictures of us with youth at the church where we served,

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A couple pictures that used to hang in my bedroom before I got married,

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And a journal I wrote in my first few months in Kuwait.

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All are distinctive, yet united under the same feelings evoked when I saw them.

Depending on how long you’ve read my blog, you may not know that Will was a youth minister when I met him.

Will & Brittny-counselors at Super Summer 2003

Here we are serving as camp counselors together way back in 2003!

It was perfect. I surrendered my life to ministry as a youth, and our marriage and ability to help serve alongside Will at our church was a dream come true.

Only, no one ever really told us just how difficult our time there would be.

It didn’t come easy like the places where we were before.

The youth were so very different than we were used to. No more squeaky clean preppy kids with parents who were involved.

Every week Will would drive the church bus to pick up almost every single one of those kids in some of the worst neighborhoods in town.

Only a few had parents that went to church, and only a couple helped out.

The biggest struggle was that the church was wrought in pain from the past. There was much division, and the church had never really recovered.

A few months into Will’s service, the pastor was asked to leave, and we faced so many new challenges.

Talk about a heavy load for two kids in their early 20s.

It was hard, and Will hated it. It wasn’t exactly the dream I envisioned.

Then the chance to go to Kuwait surfaced.

What initially seemed like something so outlandish, became an attractive opportunity.

We prayed about it and it seemed like everything lined up to go, and so we went. (Perhaps this will be a future post?)

If you read the archives from waaaay back in 2005, you’ll see lots of adjustments to the new life.

I didn’t work for my first four months there, which felt like torture at the time but in hindsight was such a huge blessing.

It gave me time alone with God. To seek Him and draw close to Him.

When I look back on my journal, I could still see a lot of immaturity and want to tell myself, “Oh Brittny, if you could only see how God was doing a work!” However, I also saw growth and my desire to really pursue a relationship with Jesus.  I had loved Him all my life.

When I looked at people seemingly very close to God who had fallen away, I could never understand it.

How could you be so close to God, and so deeply pursuing Him, and then all of a sudden completely fall face first and turn away from His goodness?

Well, sadly I can tell you how it happens.

Listen up, and be mindful my friends. It pains me to be able to share these lessons, but I sincerely hope it somehow serves as a lesson to some of you who may be going through something similar.

The truth is, when I would see people who were formerly strong in their faith who had fallen, I was only seeing the end result of much more.

A process.

Do not be deceived friends, the enemy is all around and wants us to stumble. The Bible says he looks for someone to devour.

Verses

It’s very true. The enemy was very patient with me, as I suspect he is with many believers.

It was years of slow erosion. Slowly chipping away in such tiny increments that I barely noticed. He’s crafty that way.

Oh friends, I allowed myself to step out from God’s umbrella of protection and became so vulnerable to deception.

How did it happen?

Let’s dissect.

1.Lack of Community

Moving to a Muslim country made it difficult to openly pursue a relationship with the Church.

Thankfully, someone we knew hosted a Bible study which allowed us the opportunity to meet with other Christians and fellowship and study the Bible.

Unfortunately, soon after our arrival, conflicting schedules prevented the leader from hosting and things dissolved.

Will and I were on our own.

The Bible stresses the importance of relationships with believers.

Verses

I needed that community of like minded people in my life to encourage, to get encouragement, and to have a support group as we collectively pursued God together as a unit.

It was hard doing life on our own, but we managed to adjust.

Of course we did.

If you’re a Christian not attending church, you’re missing out and vulnerable. I would encourage you to find a church that preaches God’s word and get plugged in.

Verses

2.Compromise & Complacency
In addition to lack of community, small compromises here and there primed my heart for falling away.

Seriously- like minuscule things that didn’t seem like a big deal.

However, that small wearing away allowed my heart to become vulnerable to attack. The more “small” sins I determined to be acceptable, the more I was on a slippery slope.

The more satan can get you to dip your toe in sin, the easier it can be to get dragged into the depths of the sea.

Sin is sin in God’s eyes, friends, no matter how we weight it here on earth.

Verses

The Bible says God has “honest scales.”

Sin separates us from God.

If we allow what we believe to be “small” sins in our lives, we are sinning plain and simple.

We are opening our hearts up for more and more compromise. I know because I did it myself!

Before long, compromise was followed with complacency.
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Being totally fine with those “small” sins. In reality though, they were totally hardening my heart more and more.

Want to fall away from God?

Start making compromises and allowing sin in your life under the justification that “it’s not that bad.”

3.Apathy

Inevitably, compromise and complacency give way to apathy.

You just slowly stop caring about the things of God.
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You might say you do, but the heart doesn’t lie.

When we first moved back, we halfheartedly visited churches and kept on the outskirts or things.

Having spent three years without attending made us sort of accustomed to not going.

The first few years home weren’t our best. As I’ve shared so many times, my heart was so different than the one I knew so well as a youth and young adult.

As crazy as it sounds, I didn’t feel like me.

I felt like some other person, so unlike the Brittny I knew my whole life.

Living a sinful life far from God.

I stopped praying and reading the Bible.

Apathy will do that to you.

Apathy is such a dangerous place to be for professing Christians.

In fact, I’d venture to say it is nearly impossible to come back from a place of not caring unless the merciful Lord intervenes.

Thank God He is slow to anger and bountiful in love.
Verses

4.Fear and Doubt

I started to feel Jesus’ gentle pull back to himself a couple years ago, but I believed I had gone too far. That He couldn’t take me back.

After all, I was the “perfect one” all my life. The youth leader, and the one who went on mission trips and truly loved God with every fiber in my being.

How could I go from that, to what I had become?

And how could God forgive me after I had already known his love so well and yet still fell away?

Apathy turns to fear and doubt.

And fear and doubt can often keep people from repentance.

It’s one of satan’s worst lies of all.

I was paralyzed in this fear, and yet slowly and continually, piece by piece, God reassured me of His love.

He reassured me that He could scatter what I had become as far as the east was from the west if I truly came with a broken and repentant spirit.

That he could restore me and bring me to an entirely new level of knowing Him.

Verses

***

Oh friends, this is but a glimpse into the story.  However, I felt compelled to share it with you because we must be on our guard against the devil’s schemes.

They’re much more insidious than we think.

Verses

That’s what makes them so dangerous and painful. 

If you want to fall away from God, you do the foolish things I did above.

Saturday night, as I tried to go to bed, I thought about the things I discovered in the garage and hot tears began to stream down my face.

The streams turned to quiet sobs, and I did my best not to wake Will.

Sooo, I crept into the bathroom and sat on the toilet seat.

Classy gal.

God and I had been in this place many times before (well, maybe not plonked down on the toilet seat per say, but in this very same situation).

I needed a lot of reassurance from Him along the way.

I found myself at His feet once more apologizing for wasting such a huge portion of my adult life living selfishly. Thanking Him for His mercy, and pouring my heart out to Him.

Telling Him how I want to get to the same level of intimacy we were before, yet in some strange way feeling as though I was more raw and intimate with Him recently than in my entire life.

I ended up reading exactly what I needed at that moment. This post about how God can make beauty from ashes.

In fact, the Bible days that things meant to harm us can even be used for good.

We serve a big God.

Bigger than our failures.

A God big enough to help us pick up the pieces and create a masterpiece that could only be used for His glory.

Perhaps you’re caught in one of these situations?

Maybe you’re on a similar path to falling away that I shared?

Oh friend, turn to Jesus.

I know the trappings of this world and “doing as thou wilt” sure seems great sometimes, but it pales in comparison to the freedom of living a life centered in Jesus.

I can say it because, unfortunately, I’ve lived on both sides.

Commit to Him and His plan, friends.

To wrap things up, I decided to hang a couple of those pictures.

And who knows, maybe I’ll even hang the collage I once deemed “hideous” as a simple reminder of the impact a life devoted to Christ can make.

Thanks for listening, and know I’m here to listen too!

❤️

The One with the Garage Overhaul & Look Ahead

Oh.my.stars.

I’m not going to say I’m glad it’s Monday, however I will say I’m glad this past weekend is behind us.

Hopefully you did something exciting or restful so I can vicariously live through you.

In fact, please tell me what you did so I can vicariously live through you.

Our weekend?

Was spent overhauling our garage.

Plus it was humid and a 137 degrees outside.

Terrific.

Admittedly, the garage needed some serious work.

It was pretty junky.

However, with competing demands to fix up Will’s man cave and overhaul the office (which is still on the horizon), the garage was most certainly an afterthought.

Plus, we honestly had no need to.

Now, however, we have to squeeze three vehicles and a motorcycle into our cluttered space, and that was not going to work!

Sooo Saturday was spent completely taking our garage apart and refashioning it to fit the new situation.

Oh man. Talk about exhausting.

Here’s where we started.

Before

Total junk city.

Please don’t judge.

When we moved back from Kuwait, everything we owned was shipped in footlockers...which were then (mostly) unpacked (or repacked) and placed in our garage.

That meant the footlockers were the first place we started.

We pulled everything out, went through them, washed them, and placed them in our storage shed.

That took forever.

And sheesh those things were heavy. Most were (and still are) filled with lots and lots of hardback books.

The rest were filled with all sorts of random treasures. Haha

We had lots of people that slowly drove by our house. I can’t be sure, but I think they thought we were having a garage sale.

I have no idea why they’d think such a thing…

During

After everything was out, we started garage reassembly.

Did I mention it was a thousand degrees and humid? Check out Will’s shirt in this pic. That was pretty much how we both looked.

During

Glamorous.

My parents were very thoughtful and brought us big Sonic teas and checked in on our progress.

It was good to see them, and it was good to force myself to stop and drink!

Speaking of hydration, oh man. I was a drippy, sweaty mess Saturday and super dehydrated.

I’m a wilty flower not cut out for buggy, dirty, garage work.

We started at 12:45, finished a little after 9:00, sweat buckets, peed once (seriously- only once 😟), and skipped dinner.

But we finished.

Thank God.

And it looks pretty darn good!

After

The whole time I was aching and sweating everywhere all I could think about was pizza.

I told myself it would be my reward for all the hard work.

Pizza, breadsticks, and a brownie. A complete cheat meal trifecta.

However, after we both showered it was after 9:30 and Will was all, “My body is so achy and the heat had zapped my appetite. I couldn’t eat a thing.”

Seriously man!?

For some reason Will not wanting to eat a giant carb infested meal with me took the fun out of the whole experience. Instead I ate two brownies and called it good (but was bummed about the pizza, not gonna lie).

I was a little worried Will was going to be stiff as a board Sunday morning. He kind of overdid it and was hurting pretty bad.

We both hobbled to bed, all old and battered, and were down for the count.

We didn’t set alarms yesterday, and ended up sleeping until 9:30. We opted not to go to church and watched it online instead.

The rest of the day was spent prepping for the week ahead- laundry, cooking, and the like.

Bor-ing.

I did manage to take 15 minutes to see my parents and tan, so that was nice.

Definitely not a glamorous weekend, but one that needed to happen. It feels good to have it done, and I’m thankful it’s over!

Can I totally switch gears for a second and tell you how much my heart is hurting for our brothers and sisters and their children in Iraq right now?

Between all that’s been going on in my life here, I’ve been watching the news frequently for updates. Having lived in a country that neighbored them, I somehow continue to feel connected to that part of the world.

Let’s definitely remember to keep them in our prayers today and the rest of the week.

So now we embark on another week. I have some fun things lined up, and I hope you’ll check in!

Here’s a quick look at what’s ahead:

-Blog talk (and a laundry soap recipe!)
-Working out in the midst of transition
-Thursday Things
-Streams of Consciousness (um, and I haven’t written this one yet but I have a feeling it will be long, so break it into sessions or do what you have to do, but don’t miss out!)

That’s it! My long weekend of garage cleaning. Very exciting. smile

Check in tomorrow and have a good day! 

Thursday Things : 17 July 2014

Okay, nerd alert.

During the dog days of summer, when all our usual shows are off until fall, Will and I fill our evenings with a variety of things.

Sometimes it’s house related stuff, other times we’ll go for a walk, and a lot of the time we will catch up on some of the box sets we own but haven’t watched.

If you don’t remember, box sets were pretty much our major mode of television while we were in Kuwait, so we have lots.

Will is a big fan of the Andy Griffith Show and bought the series soon before leaving Kuwait. 

Can we please just camp out for a second and laugh that Will loves that show?

I think it’s adorable, and I never quite understood why.

Because I’m a millennial, maybe?

Anyway, between the move home, the overwhelming options of cable TV, and life, we never watched it.

Sooo, guess what we’ve been ending our nights with lately?

Yep. An episode of The Andy Griffith Show.

You know what? I find it incredibly endearing and totally get why Will loves it.

I also think Andy is so darn charming, and I can’t get over how young Ron Howard was in the first season.

Will’s parents and grandparents are staying with us tomorrow and part of Saturday.

I think it’s safe to say you know what I’ll be doing on my day off tomorrow.

Creating the fake house.

Oddly enough, I’m way more relaxed about it this year than in times past.

Maybe because I’m over 30?

Because we’ve been married over 10 years now?

I have no idea.

Last time they both came I went total commando on the house.

Washing outside windows, cleaning stuff with toothbrushes, making Will clean crown molding.

What!?

This year I’m like, “Eh. The outside windows are fine.”

I’m still cleaning away tomorrow, but I think I’m making progress with my obsessive cleaning?

I’m making tiny goodie bags with bottled water, a few snacks, candy, Chapstick (yes, my homemade batch), and a thanks for staying note, too.

A little over the top?

Don’t answer that.

I find I’ve become a little crazier more hospitable at my old age. I used to stress so much about making everything perfect that I forgot to actually enjoy myself.

Now I’ve lightened up a smidge (but don’t ask Will or he will probably tell you it’s less than a smidge), I want to enjoy my time with company.

Who the heck am I!?

Alright, that’s all for now.

Any randomness you care to share?

Planting Roots

I have some big news to share.

I got a new job!

Yes, it’s really true.

I wasn’t really sure at what point in the process I should post it on the blog- when I put in my resignation at my former company, or actually started at the new one. I decided to split the difference and post on my last day of my current job. smile

It’s weird. Last time I put in my resignation it was a total whirlwind, but nonetheless it was still a happy time. I hated work in Kuwait and was excited about the prospect of coming home.

It felt like such vindication to put in my two weeks’ notice because I just couldn’t take working there another day.

This time was different.

For one, I am older and wiser.

I let some really stupid stuff get to me before. Stuff I should have totally brushed off.

I think that comes with being young and still navigating your way through the professional world. Unless you had a mentor (I didn’t), there was a lot of figuring things out on your own.

I was definitely immature at times. Looking back (and cringing!) at old blog posts is a reminder of just how far I’ve come.

I say all that, but let’s not forget there were some serious issues with where I worked.  I hated the six days a week of work and no time off ever.

This time, I actually like my job, boss, pay, and coworkers. No complaints.

So why would I leave?

With several series of company-wide layoffs, and a dwindling office, I began to wonder about the future for work and growth here in our small OKC location.

I decided it was time to look for something where I could plant roots and grow. A place where I could stay in OKC and still have the opportunity to move ahead.

For that reason, when my dream company, who is headquartered in OKC, posted a job for the exact same thing I do, I knew I had to go after it.

Part of my whole “being still” life anthem also had to do with my job situation. I was waiting on God to give me direction for what to do, and being still as I waited for the right opportunity to come.  I believe God’s hands were all over this, and I still can’t believe it’s real. 

Pinch me!

I leave behind the best boss I’ll ever have, great coworkers, and am taking with me a host of knowledge from my experiences there as I embark on an entirely different opportunity. 

I feel simultaneously sick with nervous and gleeful excitement when I think about starting work at a whole new place Monday. I contemplated taking a few extra days before starting, but things didn’t align that way.

So today I finish work for one of the biggest government contractors in the US, and Monday I start work in a whole new industry.

This change is going to be a transition for me professionally, but also personally too. I’m used to a 12 minute drive to work, and now I will have a commute with traffic and everything. Yikes! Worth it though.

So that’s my news. The Lord is so good to me. I have been praying for wisdom and direction regarding this matter for a long time. I still cannot believe the blessing the Lord poured out on me, He is so good.

So Monday is all about planting roots.

Will and I have decided to make OKC our permanent home, and Monday is a step in furthering our personal plans and goals as well as my own professional ambition.

Similarly, today’s verse is about planting roots too. Being rooted in the Lord and knowing his heart, and growing all the more in thankfulness in all he has done.

It’s time to plant roots, my friends. I hope you join me on this journey.

More to come next week about how my first day goes! <3

Colossians 2:7 NLT

Ups, Downs, All Arounds: Reflecting on 10 Years of Marriage

This week will mark mine and Will’s tenth anniversary.

Tenth!

I seems so long, yet simultaneously I can’t believe it’s already here.

Today I wanted to take a few minutes, just for my own selfish benefit, to shotgun out thoughts, memories, and things I wanted to remember about our life.

Beware, this post is going to be completely scattered.

-Will and I got married the spring of my junior year in college. We were such a babies!

We naturally picked March 13th because it was during spring break, which meant we could get hitched and go on our honeymoon all in time to get back home for the rest of my semester. It was either that or wait until summer, which wasn’t going to happen.

Such romantics. haha

Will kissing Brittny on the cheek with Carissa watching

-The morning of our wedding I distinctly remember starting the day with two packets of instant blueberry oatmeal. Flash forward from 2004 processed instant oatmeal to 2014, and I’m still eating oatmeal. Only steel cut these days. Pass the Benefiber and old lady jeans, please.

-I totally regret my poor bridesmaid’s dresses.

They were hideous.

And I wasn’t even picking out hideous ones to be a total Bridezilla. I’m pretty sure at the time I actually liked them.  Dear Lord, thank goodness my tastes changed. And if you’re reading this and had to wear one of those dresses (Cough:: P), I sincerely apologize. What was I thinking!?

Brittny,Carissa & Kaci Michael-13 March 2004

-Although my tastes in bridesmaid’s dresses might have been appalling, thankfully my house wear selections were not. I went with a very (very, very) simple and classic dish set which I still use to this day and plan on using for a looong time to come.

Dishes

-My wedding cake was layered with both strawberry and lemon tiers.

Will & Brittny getting ready to cut the cake

I still love both flavors and have strawberry cake for my birthday every year.

Um- AMAZING

-Will and I woke up late the day after we got married and barely made it to the airport in time. In fact, we even got into our first married argument at the airport trying to figure out where to go and where to park.

Not much has changed with my directional issues. smile

Oh- and they lost our luggage.

Will & Britt at the airport on their honeymoon with lost luggage

We went to the Poconos. It was a blast.

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-I absolutely loved our first year of married life. Whoever said the first year was the hardest was crazy. For me, it got harder later.

The first year was full of so much fun and wonder. Neither of us had ever been out on our own, so we had a total blast. We were like kids left home alone to play house. Only it was for real. haha

Look at these crazy kids! Such babies.

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Will & Brittny-Falls Creek 2003
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-We had a condo, and our bedroom was on the second floor.

There was a skylight in the living room that you could see from our bedroom, and turns out, when you went to bed each night, the street light from across the street shone right on your face. Awesome.

Will & Britt in front of their 1st home in Lawton,Ok-May 2005

-The very first meal I cooked for Will as his wife was shake and bake chicken (fancy haha), green beans, and instant mashed potatoes and gravy.

Very gourmet. 

Hey, I was 20. Will didn’t marry me for my amazing cooking.

-In fact, one time? I cooked a cookbook.

No guys- I’m serious. I actually freaking cooked the darn thing, in my complete right mind.

In my defense, we got a George Foreman Grill and I heated it up only to realize, “Hey, for some stupid reason they put the cooking guides and stuff, inside the grill part.” WHAT!? Yeah- I think that’s more their fault than mine.

For the record, we did not eat the cookbook.

-It’s no surprise things were tight financially. I was a full-time college student working a student worker job that pulled in a whole $500 a month (cha ching!) while Will was a fulltime youth minister. It was tight, but it was still wonderful.

When we wanted to indulge in a treat, we knew all the super great deals. For example, Back then (haha, waaaay back then), Little Caesar’s pizzas weren’t always $5. It was only on Mondays. So we totally did that pretty much every single Monday. Whataburger had a buy one, get one on Wednesdays, so we would hit that up from time to time. Oh, and let’s not forget Sonic’s brown bag special which we occasionally did too. I remember sometimes even “splurging” on Taco Bueno and walking around our college campus reminiscing.

Cheap meals, good times. Ten years later and the thought of eating greasy fast food almost always makes me feel sick. How times have changed!

Even through being tight and out on our own for the first time, Will still managed to buy me a beautiful Christmas tree that December and surprised me with a weekend getaway that following summer.

img837

img209

-Getting OU season tickets was definitely one of our first year highlights.

Will & Brittny at last game of the season-2004

Although things were tight, we found a way to swing tickets. I’m pretty sure Will’s entire birthday present from both sides of the family was money for season tickets.

He was so proud to see our tiny names in the football programs that first year. We had so much fun getting up Saturday mornings and driving to Norman for the game. It was a pretty huge deal.

-In February of 2005, I started a blog on The Nest. I had no idea that a community of newlyweds would get me through some serious growing pains while living overseas in Kuwait. I was even one of their featured bloggers for a year. I am so thankful for that place and the fact I have years of memories and posts to read..

-Our first anniversary was totally un-glamorous. I had surgery on both my feet (crazy!), and laid up for two weeks straight.

img873

My mom and sister had gone to Kuwait to visit my dad, so they let us house sit for them, which was really nice. I managed a short bath that day and changed into nicer sweats (haha).

Very fancy, I tell you.

We had Applebees to go and ate it in my parent’s living room. Me sprawled on the couch, with Will on the floor next to me. Definitely not the first anniversary I had imagined. haha

-When I look back on our ten years, the first one is most definitely among my favorite.

Then, we packed up everything, put it in storage, and spent three years in Kuwait!

Will & Britt at Al Kout mall in Kuwait-May 2005

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Camels in Kuwait

Now that I’m nearly six years removed from my time in Kuwait (seriously- has it really been that long!?!), I now look back fondly, with rose colored glasses and realize just how great so much of that adventure was. There were definitely bad parts- like my job, which was a huge part of my life there, but there were also a lot of good parts.

Will and I got to travel and see so much and experience so many different things. Going to Qatar, Dubai, and Jordan was so special and I will treasure those trips forever.  During the first year or so, when we both didn’t have to work weekends, I really loved that time too. It was fun to spend time in Kuwait together, even if it was doing totally American things like seeing a movie, going to the mall, or eating at Hard Rock. It still felt so different. We were a tight unit because we really had to hold on to each other.

img077

brr!

Britt's Pics 098

air conditioned taxi

-Coming back to the States was a hard thing for us.

It was a blessing in a lot of ways, I mean we were home! But it was such a whirlwind. From moving our entire lives back to America and into Will’s parent’s house, to driving two hours a day to work while we searched for a house and waited to close. It was a bit stressful to say the least.

-Eventually things started to settle down, but things just didn’t seem to go as we had hoped and planned. Will struggled to find something he wanted to do which made things difficult for both of us. It wasn’t easy like it had been before. It got hard. We pulled away, I stopped blogging. I became a total grump and didn’t feel like myself anymore. Love, fun , and happiness abounded always, so this hard marriage stuff was something new for me.

Red and White Game 09

Things weren’t “bad,” they were just distant. Which, I suppose is “bad.” We were always at each other. My heart was in a terrible condition and far from God. Of course, there were many good times too, but anyone who has been married for a long time probably can relate to some degree that marriage is not always easy.

-I did the stupidest thing ever during that time and decided to get a master’s degree. Genius!

It occupied a lot of my time, and most nights were spent on the couch together watching TV while I slaved away at what felt like meaningless research, all for a piece of paper. In the middle of my program, things began to turn around for us, thanks be to God. Will found something he really enjoyed and that seemed to change his whole disposition. It also helped change my disposition, too. It’s amazing how much a job can leave you downtrodden and affect your whole being.

-For that reason, I interrupt today’s post to say- stop being miserable! If you hate your job, you’re not only making yourself miserable, you’re probably contributing to other people’s misery too. I realize our own personal feelings shouldn’t be predicated upon another, but let’s face it, when you live with someone, it happens.

It was like the bitter winter had passed and spring arrived, with fresh renewal, and I was so thankful for it. 

More flower pics. Geez

-I finished my degree in the summer of 2010 and never want to go back to school again. Haha

School is over!

Finishing school took a huge weight off both our shoulders, and for the first time in a long time, we were ready to be carefree and have fun again. To enjoy life and move forward with new goals and dreams.

-The last two years, have probably been the best of our entire 10 years of marriage.

Christmas 2013!

Sure the first year was bliss, but this is blissful in a different way.

It’s blissful because the “beer googles” are off this time.

The first year I was 20 and completely blinded by love.

This time I am nearly 31, and have had lots of life experiences.

Lots of ups and downs and goods and bads, and through them all love my Will all the more.

So much more.

Cheesecake Factory!

Christmastime Memories (in very random order)

Hi friends!

Christmas Eve, one of my favorite days.

I took off, and am so glad I did. There’s lots to do! We’re having Christmas with my family today, and I’m looking forward to it.

Since I know today is usually a pretty busy day for everyone, I thought it might be fun just to highlight some of the favorite Christmas memories over the years.

I have been blessed to have a lot of good Christmas memories, so here are just some random ones that came to mind, in absolutely no order.

I remember Christmas when I was like 6 or 7 my mom had someone in her hometown make me my very own Barbie dream house.

It was HUGE and amazing. It had real carpet (like real as in the kind you have in your house) on the floors, super cool stairs, wallpaper and everything. It was impressive. It’s like the guy took his own house and just small scaled it.

Um, I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to dig a picture out so you guys can see this place.

I want to live inside it.

I also remember one special Christmas when my parents took me and P to Disney World as our present that year.

It was such a fun trip and I have such wonderful memories from being there…aside from the fact that I was totally sick most of the time and instead of looking for rides on the Magic Kingdom guide maps we sought out bathrooms.

I remember a lot of late night fun times over the Christmas break in general just watching some of my favorite 80s movies like Uncle Buck, Adventures in Babysitting, Blues Brothers (and tons more)… lots of good times over the years. In fact, I think I need to revive this tradition.

I remember being pretty young and my dad being in the field one year around Christmastime (he was in the army) and my mom and I singing Christmas carols around beautiful candlelight. Funny what you remember when you’re young! But that was a good memory, too.

Then there were the multiple trips to Colorado and Iowa to spend Christmases with family over the years. Lots of funny memories with my cousins. It’s been decades since we’ve had the entire family together for Christmases like that, since everyone has their own families now, but as a kid those trips were so fun.

Christmases before cellphones. Did they even exist? wink I remember getting the coolest phone ever to go in my room so I could chat with my friends in peace. It lit up with these super cool neon lights.

Those were the days. Remember when we discovered three way and we could call another friend so we could all talk at the same time?

Genius.

While we were in Kuwait, we came home two out of the three Christmases.

If you ever read my blog back then, you know I lived for that time. My heart ached for that vacation, and it was always so special! Will and I did a lot of fun things over those Christmas vacations.

From going to a Vikings game to see Adrian Peterson, shopping at the Mall of America a couple times, eating ridiculous amounts of Perkins muffins, going to Arizona for the Fiesta bowl, to lots of good relaxing days at home with his family. We always had a wonderful time. 

happy sooner couple- pre-loss

I remember our first married Christmas, totally poor. smile

I was still in school that year, and I had a part time job at the university transcripts office (baller).

I remember coming home one Friday, opening the door, and seeing the most majestic tree in our living room! It was such a wonderful surprise, and such a good memory. It was so thoughtful of Will to surprise me with a Christmas tree that year, which is yet another reason why I’m glad we dragged the dang thing out.

2004 first married Christmas

Our first Christmas as a couple was just as special. We were only dating for about a month, but it was already serious by then if you can believe it. Did I ever tell you guys what he did for Christmas that year?

It breaks my heart every time I think about it.

For Christmas that year he told his family that he wanted nothing but money so he could buy me a necklace he wanted me to have.

!!

What a sacrificial gift, and one of the reasons I Iove him so very much.  I definitely got far better than I deserved.

And incase you’re wondering, I still wear the necklace all the time.

OU-ND pre game

Here’s a pic of our first Christmas together and the first time I met Will’s extended family. We are such babies!

Aw, those cute kids look so young and in love and dumb. ha ha

The Christmas before Will and I got married, my parents wanted to take one last “family” trip before I got hitched, so we went on a cruise to Cozumel.

It was such a good time, and I can’t believe it was 11 years ago. It makes me feel so old!

Check out my super cool hair that I got done while in Mexico.

2003 Cozumel cruise and questionable hair decisions in Mexico

Please NEVER let me do that again.

Just a few years ago Will and I spent Christmas day in the Frozen Tundra to cheer on the Packers.

We went to a game back in 2005 and froze our fannies!

at the game

We definitely came prepared on the next trip.

Go Pack Go

In addition to Christmas Day in Green Bay, we also spent some time in Minneapolis Christmas shopping at the Mall of America.

I remember the one Christmas we celebrated in Kuwait.

It was a little depressing since we were in a country that didn’t celebrate the holiday, but we still made the most of it. In fact, the Sultan Center (comparable to Walmart) had lots of Christmas decorations.

We also had Christmas eve at the Terrace Grill, which was one of our favorite places to eat. It was decorated so beautifully, and it helped to really make that Christmas special even though we were so far from our usual traditions. Plus, my parents did not go back to the states that year either, which made it even better.

Bozworth

Then there’s so many of the usual traditions, like looking over your new loot and assembling your toys that morning, eating tons of Christmas goodies, candelight services, and baking Jesus a birthday cake.

You get the drift.

This Christmas will be like so many others.

We will spend Christmas eve day with my family, opening gifts and having a late lunch. Christmas day will be spent travelling to Will’s grandparent’s house for brunch with the whole family.

Unfortunately, we have to work the following day but let’s not think about that.

I’m looking forward to these days.

Now that I’ve inundated you with some of my good Christmas memories, what are some of yours? Ready? Go!

OU Obsession: 2003-2013

Today was supposed to be Q&A with P.

Yeah, about that…

Obviously not happening.

Instead, it’s 100% me today.

Which, I realize isn’t as exciting because its always 100% me on this blog each day but hey, humor me.

Plus it’s Friday.

And a three day weekend.

Surely we all feel optimistic and a little more forgiving, right?

Exactly.

So read on anyway.

Well my friends, tomorrow the madness begins- let OU football season commence.

I cannot explain to you the night and day difference of our household from now through December compared to the rest of the year.

There’s a different vibe, a heightened level of excitement and awareness.

Watching carefully for the next big catch or upset,

ready for our boys to pounce and tackle their way to a (hopefully) respectable bowl game.

We can sniff out a bad call, fun tail gate, and all the best stadium bathrooms.

We’re like wolves apparently.

But seriously, it is definitely a different feeling around here, and will be through the rest of the year.

It’s like welcoming back that super cool older middle school friend you adored and looked up to when you were in grade school.

You know- the one whose mom would let her watch Friends and The Simpsons, when yours wouldn’t?

The one who wore her big sisters way cool Z. Cavaricci jeans and Clinique lip gloss.

And always smelled like Calvin Klein perfume.

Yeah- she was the best, right?

You just felt cooler and more confident with her around.

Fall and football season are sort of her equivalent.

Only sportier and sweatier.

Fancy.

This OU season will be an interesting one. Will, the forever Sooner optimist, is hoping for a BCS bowl game and thinks it is within reach because of Trevor knights raw talent (which will become more refined this season).

I, on the other hand, am always more trepidatious about such predictions, mainly because we have been let down so many times before (but let’s not forget, all they have accomplished is still nothing to sneeze at!).

Regardless, I’m looking forward to game day and the revival of our annual traditions.

In honor of tomorrow’s season opener, I thought it might be fun to take a quick look at some of our pictures throughout the years.

We used to buy tickets to a game or two when we were engaged.

Here we are in 2003, in the rain!

2003 OU north Texas in the rain!

In 2004 we got season tickets and I think Will may have actually cried tears of joy. smile
2004 Football!

No games in 2005 because of our move to Kuwait. :(

We made up for it in 2006 by going home on vacation during football season and seeing most of the games! Here we are before OU-Texas

hook em horns...not

Will went home for a game in 2007 while I stayed back and spent a fun extended weekend with P. We did, however make it to the Fiesta Bowl that season (it was played in Jan of 08).

happy sooner couple- pre-loss

We moved back in May of 2008 and have been going ever strong! In January 2009 we went to Miami for the 2008 National Champtionship.
when we still thought we had a chance

Here we are at OU-Texas 09. We also went to Nebraska that year, which was really cool, but I didn’t get any pictures!

Terrible.

OU Texas

Here we are in front of Big Tex for OU-Texas 2010
Behind big Tex

2011 was a trip to Florida State!
Before the game

And here we are freezing our butts off at the OU-OSU game in 2012
Chilly Willy OU-OSU

I look forward to lots more memories and pictures to share as the 2013 season commences. Let the games begin.

BOOMER!

Weekend Wrap-Up & Look Ahead

Hello everyone!

I hope you’ve had a nice weekend thus far. Hopefully you’ve found some relief from the summer heat, and managed to do something you enjoy.

Mine has been nice, and pretty uneventful.

Friday was great because I opted to go grocery shopping that evening instead of Saturday. It felt so nice to shift around my schedule and have more time on Saturday instead of having to squeeze in a trip to the store.

Between doing that after work, and the usual “I just got home from work” stuff, it was a little late so I ended up grabbing Subway for dinner, and Will and I ate subs while catching Fever Pitch on TV.

I like that movie, and I’m pretty sure we bought it on DVD and watched it multiple times while we were in Kuwait.

Then we were lucky enough to catch a few Frasier and King of Queens reruns. It was like someone took our whole Kuwait programming favorites and put them on TV last night.

They must know we don’t get out much. smile

Yesterday I crushed a leg workout (and am sore today!) and did some house cleaning, and then I got a package in from Target!

I had a gift card from my birthday I hadn’t used and caught a buy one get one 50% sale I couldn’t pass up!

I ended up getting this rug for our entry way, and I really like it.

New entry rug

I also got this super cute reversible sports bra,

Untitled

This beautiful purple blazer,

Purple people eater

A pair of black workout pants,

And this super duper cute red skirt!

Untitled

All for under $150, which is a great deal in my book. Especially considering I got a rug too.

The skirt didn’t fit, which was disappointing! I knew better to order a small, but sometimes their sizes seem hoaky. A medium is definitely in order… unless I want to look like a red hot link. Ha!

After looking over my new stuff, Will and I spent a good hour talking about our priority list of purchases as well as where we want to go on vacation next year.

Did I tell you about that?

So we agreed when we both turned 30, we would take a trip for our birthdays… only for Will it ended up being for his 31st, and the same holds true for me!

We went to Tallahassee, Florida in 2011 for the OU-FSU game.

I’m sure you’re shocked that of all the places Will could have chosen, he devoted his entire trip to the Sooners.

Surprise surprise.

But hey, it was his trip.

Anyway, we talked about what I might want to do.

Because I can’t make a decision to save my life about these sort of things

I’m open to suggestions. Anyone?

Anyone?

Anyway, after our chat I got around and we ended up spending most of the afternoon at my parents’ house.

I always love that!

My mom is visiting my grandma because she is not feeling her best right now, so my dad and P have been left to their own devices the last few days. We cooked out steaks, chicken, and veggie burgers and had a nice time. My sister also sliced up some summer squash and Will put them on the grill and they were delicious!

I meant to take a picture, but um… yeah…

We also had fun playing dress up with Layla.

Check out our cute bows!

Fancy bows and necklaces

You can’t see, but we are sporting fancy jewelry too.

Oh wait… you can probably see it better here:

Honey boo boo

So yeah… I’m 30.

Classy.

As you can see, P is a big fan of Honey-Boo Boo, so she made me watch the premier (Um… I literally keep my mouth open in shock the entire time).

Fun afternoon.

We went to church- but we will get to that later.

We went home that evening and I did some laundry and cooking to prep for Sunday.

And more TV. Are you seeing a theme?

Never mind.

Today I got up ridiculously early and it was all about chest, triceps, and shoulders! I tossed in some jumping jacks, pop squats, and burpees between sets to add some cardio to the mix.

While every body is different, I am finding mine responds best to these types of workouts.

I went home, got ready super fast, and Will and I headed to an early breakfast at Jimmy’s Egg.

I’m always conflicted between the sweet potato pancakes and oatmeal. I opted for the oatmeal.

Okay, I’m lying.

I got the “heart healthy” sweet potato pancakes. It’s true. Hey- it says it on the menu. That means they’re totally legitimate.

And I’m sure vegan friendly.

...

Moving on.

Afterward, we went and saw Grown-Ups 2!

We (obviously) loved Kevin James in King of Queens, and saw the first Grown-ups movie, so we wanted to see the sequel too.

Oh, and I found out he will be in OKC this September! The downer is that it’s during an OU home game.

Bummer.

After the movie, we went and exchanged my skirt and now are home enjoying the rest of the day.

Hopefully you are doing the same!

Let’s take a look at what we’ll be talking about this week:

-The Nice Girl Campaign Continues!

-The Queen of Greens

-How to get sexy calves- and I’m not talking cows

-Things I’m loving

-Will turns 33

And more!

And now please let me take a moment to encourage you guys to check out At the Movies this week. Click here and be blessed. All times are CST.

Sunday
2:30 PM
4:00 PM
5:30 PM
8:00 PM
10:00 PM

Monday
7:00 AM
8:30 AM
10:00 AM
12:00 PM
2:00 PM
4:30 PM
6:30 PM
8:00 PM
9:30 PM

Tuesday
7:00 AM
8:30 AM
2:30 PM
4:00 PM
5:30 PM
7:00 PM
8:30 PM
10:00 PM

Wednesday
7:00 AM
8:30 AM
10:00 AM
12:00 PM
2:00 PM
6:30 PM
8:00 PM
9:30 PM

Thursday
11:00 AM
2:00 PM
6:30 PM
8:00 PM
9:30 PM
11:00 PM

Check in this week for fun. Have a good rest of the weekend!

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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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