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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

13 March 2014

Today is my tenth anniversary.

Will & Brittny saying their vows

Will & Brittny in the reception line

Will & Brittny showing Billy her ring

Mr. & Mrs. Loveless to the reception

Will & Brittny running for their car

The brevity of that statement hasn’t quite hit me.

When I look over the last decade of our life together, so many words come to mind.

Love, fun, blessings, regret, laughter, thanksgiving, tears, worry, peace… so many words. Yet, when I try to epitomize ten years of marriage, I have a hard time putting it all into words.

Brittny's 20th birthday with Will-2003

Will & Brittny-Feb 2003

Will & Brittny on her 22nd birthday

aw vday

me and will in front of the treasury

Britt's Pics 016

champions!

Chilly Willy OU-OSU
The mr. & mrs. Getting ready to go

B&W at notre dame

Walking in the rain after the colts game

Who are these dressed up kids!?

It’s amazing how many emotions and experiences can fill up ten years.

Reflecting on a decade together is sort of hard to do.

There are so many days, weeks, and months that make up ten years with someone.

So many moments I’ve tucked away in my heart to cherish forever.

I still can’t believe that I get to be married to Will.

That he picked me out of everyone else.

Is this real life?

Yes, it is.

Will & Brittny laughing at the alter

<3

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.

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-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.

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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.

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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!

Am I Becoming a Flexitarian?

Remember last year when I posted about how someone unknowingly gave Will a used copy of the All-Pro Diet that freakishly happened to be signed by Tony Gonzalez and addressed to Will? (crazy, right?!)

Bought this used book on amazon and not only was it autographed, but it was inscribed to WILL!! Too crazy.

Even though it was for Will, I ended up giving it a read.

Just for some history, Tony Gonzalez is an All-Pro and future hall-of-famer Tight End for the Atlanta Falcons, and very serious about living a balanced and healthy life.

In recent years, he made a huge transformation to his diet and saw ridiculous results in his overall health and recovery time while playing football.

He started out entirely vegan, but saw a major impact in his overall strength, so after talking to his nutritionist decided it might be a good idea to incorporate a little animal protein into his diet.

He primarily follows a pescetarian diet, also occasionally incorporating grass finished beef and organic chicken.

The book was an easy read, and I could relate to a lot of what he said. He relies heavily and often defers to his nutritionist, Mitzi Dulan, who contributed to the book and offered a lot of great insights and recipes.

I wanted to give the book a read because I knew he ate a primarily pescetarian/vegetarian diet and wanted to see how it affected him as an athlete in an extremely elite league.

I also wanted to give the book a read, because, (confession time!) I had been thinking about incorporating some fish into my diet, too.

So here’s the story.

A few months ago I started feeling sort of crappy.

Tired, sluggish, blah.

I also started having crazy and frequent heart palpitations which sort of totally freaked me out.

Turns out it was tied to low iron and B-12.

I wasn’t too surprised, as it can be hard to adequately supplement these items on a plant based diet when I’m not being intentional about it (and I haven’t been like I need to).

Anyway, I got on some potent vitamins and went on down the road, but the whole event sort of got me thinking about my diet.

And I thought, and thought, and thought. I didn’t do anything different, but continued to mull it over in my head.

I found Tony’s book (yes, “Tony.” Because we’re totally on a first name basis now haha) refreshing, and that it sort of helped me loosen the rope on my rigidity.

I also related heaps to this fitness professional and blogger who had a similar circumstance last year, too.

I was already heading down that path after the heart palpitations, but it was good to know others had been there, too.

I still don’t have any answers, other than the fact that I still believe a primarily plant based diet is the best.

However, I’m also not sold on bright yellow vitamin urine either! Haha

Truth be known, I have a carton of organic, cage-free eggs in my fridge right now and have been eating one or two eggs each week.

Eggs!

I also bought some tilapia a few weeks ago and have had it with dinner a few times since Christmas.

If you’re wondering whether I’m going to swing to the opposite side of the pendulum, the answer is no.

Panera forgot to remove the chicken from my salad the other day, and after removing what I thought was all of it, I caught a bite and nearly lost it. After not eating chicken for about two years (and doing lots of reading, which darn near ruined me), I definitely have no intention of ordering a huge steak or grilling a good old hotdog on game day.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve continued to follow a primarily vegetarian diet, however adding the fish and eggs in a few times was a nice treat. Sort of 80% vegan, 20% eggs and fish. Maybe less?

I’m terrible at math, remember?

I feel fine, but have noticed a small change in my digestive system, but that was really the only difference after making the switch.

So what does the future hold?

I don’t know.

Like I said, I definitely feel like a plant based diet is the best one to be on in the long run, and so I will always err on that side. However, I plan to use these next 3-6 months to incorporate a few servings of fish and eggs into my diet each week to see how I respond.

I will definitely keep you guys posted along the way to see how I feel.

So there you have it.

It’s out there!

More to come. <3

2013 Year in Review

I did this last year, and thought it would be good to do it again this year.

If anything, because I’m 30 now and old and can barely remember which fibrous cereal I had for breakfast let alone 12 months ago. smile

Without further ado, my 2013 year in review!

January
Saw the cowboy ride away (George Strait’s last concert tour)

The Cowboy Rides Away Tour

Feb
Went to Boston for work

Surprised Will with a small V-Day basket

My valentine

Celebrated P’s 23rd at Bolero

Ps bday

Fed my phone to Rocky

Broken phone

March
Celebrated 9 years of marriage

>Ear protection! <img src=">

Took P and Layla to Zam Zams to enjoy some of our favorite Middle Eastern cuisine

Zam zams!

April
Got a promotion at work!

Traveled to Boston for work
Beautiful blooms!

Turned 30 (and didn’t cry or die like I thought I would smile)!!

One of my fun cards

Untitled
Had sushi with P
29.99

Had so much fun touring the OU football facilities

The Bell Dozer

From the press box

Play like a champion today

Went to the Arts Festival

The girls

Went to the Red & White game over my birthday weekend.
Red and white 2013

Started Ipsy subscriptions!

Got a spray tanner for my birthday, and (sort of...) mastered it.

tan!

May
Went to Boston for work…again

Boston

Was rocked by the Moore tornado. Thankfully safe , but knew so many affected. It still hurts when I think about it.

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We bought a motorcycle.

The bike!

June
Spent a weekend in a beautiful remote cabin with my family (part of May too… over Memorial Day!)

Beautiful

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Playing with pups

Learned how to roast garlic.

July
Celebrated Layla’s 1st birthday!
Layla turns one!

Went to the Toby Keith Moore Tornado Relief Concert (and sweat like pigs!)

Toby Keith Moore relief concert

Visited Will’s family & shot some paint balls.

Shooting paintballs

Celebrated Will’s 33rd
Will's Birthday!

Started looking for a life group

August
Babysat Layla

Layla Bug<img src=">

Got my first ever speeding ticket

Bought a dining room table

My new dining set

Kicked off another OU football season

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September
Lots and lots of OU football

Stripe the stadium  OU-West VA

Went to dinner with my LG girls
Life group girls!

Went to breakfast with P

Coffee slingers

October
Traveled to south bend for the OU-ND game!

BnW OU-Notre Dame

Touchdown Jesus!  And a Will <img src=">

And made a pit stop in Indy!

Watching the colts game

Got all dressed up and went to a wedding.

Who are these dressed up kids!?

Went to OU-Texas

OU-Texas 2013

Took Layla to a pumpkin patch

The pumpkin patch!  In front of the creepy scarecrow dude

Went to DC for work, got to see Theresa!

A great evening at home with Terry.

November

Went home to cheer on Will’s high school football team
High school football

Shot paint balls
Paintball

Went to our last OU game for the season

OU-IA state  Windy Saturday

Celebrated Thanksgiving in Colorado

The girls

Face timing with my Will

December
Paid off our credit card!!!

Put up the tree!

Beautiful

Battled bad weather

Helped P move into her house

Professionals at work

Had our LG Christmas party, danced the night away!

Celebrated Christmas Eve with my parents

& Christmas Day with Will’s family

Christmas 2013!

It was a wonderful year, full of so many blessings.

I never really set resolutions, but I had a few things I wanted to focus on during 2013.

I wanted to know God more. That’s an ongoing desire, but this year I made such strides in drawing near to God. His grace is so real, and I am so excited about knowing him more in 2014.

I also wanted to be a better wife, family member, and friend. Same thing for 2014. As silly as it sounds, when I turned 30 it was like a switch went off (um, did this switch go off for any of you guys?). I want to focus on loving my husband, family, and friends even more, and blessing them like they bless me.

Just like last year, I want to be healthy. I also want to evaluate whether or not I might need to make some changes to help with my iron and B-12 levels.

I also wanted to give myself more credit in my job. I’m not that mousy 22 year old girl anymore. My second promotion at this company was a great re-validation. I want to continue to evaluate my career this year. There’s tons of changes looming all around me, and I want to really do a gut check and pray about what 2014 holds.

So what about you? Give me your 2013 year in review. Do you make resolutions? If so, share!

The Hustle-y Bustle-y One & Look Ahead

Hi!

I’m actually pretty pumped to get this week underway, and I hope you are too. Christmas is next week, and I’m taking a few days vacation. YAY!

Plus we have a Christmas party to look forward to, outings with friends and family, and hopefully some good news on another front.

YAY for Monday!

Yes, I just said it, but don’t worry I won’t make it a habit.

This weekend was busy and went fast. Full of lots of Christmas prep.

Where should we even start?

Let’s start with the fact that P is now a homeowner!

Homeowner!

So exciting! She signed the papers this week and is getting settled into her new house. I am so excited for her!

In fact, a portion of Saturday was spent with her move, but we will get to that soon enough.

Now that the big news is out of the way, let’s get started with a nice, orderly, chronological recap of the weekend. smile

My Friday afternoon started nicely. I met up with a former coworker for lunch!

She works downtown now, so that’s where we had lunch. I don’t spend much time in the heart of downtown OKC on week days, and it was fun to get down there!

There is a whole underground world beneath the buildings that link to each other with shops and restaurants. I met her at her company, and we went downstairs and underground several blocks and came up only to get to our restaurant. Crazy!

It is too cool. It’s a like a whole fun secret…that everyone knows about. Haha

All the Christmas decorations were up, so that was fun to look at too.

Downtown!

After work Friday, I picked up the babies from the groomer!

just groomed babies

They were so fluffy and soft before, but it was time to de-hair.  They have sweaters on now, but I took this picture before we put them on.

Afterward, Will and I had a hot date at Sam’s Club.

It’s true.

Regardless of what’s on our list, we always end up with like five more things.

We watched a couple shows, and called it an early night!

Saturday morning started before 5am, so Will could get some work done before moving day!

I hit the gym, got around for the day, and then went grocery shopping for the week ahead.

After that, Will came home and we headed over to my parent’s house to help load up P’s stuff.

We filled two trucks with furniture and headed to the house.

Will and my dad did most of the heavy lifting, thankfully.

Professionals at work

You definitely don’t want me mounting your television.

Trust me.

And I love this Christmas tree!

Cindy Lou who tree. Love

I totally want to get one for myself next year. At least that way we’d know at least one tree would go up! Haha

After that, Will and I came home and took a short nap, which was lovely.

Oh- and while I’m telling you all about my exciting Saturday afternoon nap, can we please take a quick break to tell you that I got such a beautiful and thoughtful surprise from my real life blog friend Theresa!?

Look at these beauties.

Thoughtful gift from Theresa

A gorgeous dried fruit box.

Gorgeous and delicious.

I’d like to tell you I’ve been pacing myself on these 17 servings of assorted dried deliciousness.

But I would be lying.

See that top half?

It’s gone.

As is part of the middle.

And Will hasn’t had any.

I disgust myself.

I was touched by the thoughtfulness and just let it happen.

Alright, let’s get back to that nap.

After we got up, we had to do some Christmas gift shopping of our own!

Alongside everyone in OKC.

Merry merry!

We are now officially (almost) done with Christmas shopping with the exception of a few gift cards.

Thankfully. It was a complete zoo everywhere we went, so there’s no way I want to brave anymore stores this week!

By the time we got home, it was well after 7. I was famished! I made dinner and then got started on a super fun homemade craft!

Crafts

Excuse the mess, I was in the zone.

I made homemade body and foot scrubs for a couple of the gifts I’m giving.

And I’m so excited about them!

In fact, I’m going to make a jar for myself with the leftovers.

Body scrub!

I made a peppermint foot scrub and a vanilla face/body scrub.

I had some extra vanilla scrub in my bowl when I was done, so I used it on my face and oh my stars!

So great.

And tastes pretty good too. smile

I can’t wait to give these away!

We caught up on a few shows, and called it a night.

Sunday should be classified as The Day I Ate Like Utter Crap.

Seriously.

Like only 15% of my diet was protein, the rest was divided amongst fat (and not the healthy kind) and carbs.

I blame these suckers.

Jars

They may be empty now, but I filled them with brownies and caramel sauce.

Yum

And then this happened with an extra one we aren’t giving away.

HELP ME

Ugh.

Plus I ate a ton more dried fruit…and more brownies…

My stomach felt like junk most of the day.

Is this real life? Am I a five year old in a thirty year old’s body?

Anyway- it happened.

And it was delicious.

Until I felt sick, of course.

Then? Not so much.

Church was a blessing too. It was the grand opening of the Moore, Oklahoma Life Church campus, which is pretty darn exciting, especially considering all that community has been through this year.

I worked my upper body today and did a stint of cardio too, but since I had already eaten like crap, my workout was similar. Bad food fuels bad workouts!

Before I knew it, it was nearly 3 in the afternoon. How does that happen!? I went over to see my sister, who is still staying with my parents a couple more days while she continues to transfer stuff over to the new place, and we tanned!

Oh yes we did.

We haven’t done it in months. Mainly because we are lazy it was getting cooler outside.

It’s crazy how much better we both feel with a good fake spray tan. Why we stopped for months on end, I have no idea.

The rest of the afternoon was spent in the kitchen, prepping, cooking, and cleaning- and I still didn’t finish!

Go figure.

This week is gearing up to be as busy as the last, but I suppose that’s common this time of year.

Here’s a look at the menu this week:

-Burgers on the Foreman (veggie for me, beef for Will) with broccoli
-Chicken Fried Rice
-Dinner Out

Here’s a look at my workouts:

-Monday off
-Tuesday Insanity Plyo
-Wednesday- Back, Biceps, Shoulders,Abs
-Thursday Off
-Friday- Cardio
-Saturday Legs & Abs
-Sunday, Chest, Triceps, Shoulders, Abs

Aaannnd- as for posts this week?

-Homemade Potato Soup (and you can’t tell it’s vegan)
-Quickie Christmas Workout
-December Ipsy Review!
-Waiting on the baby

Check in tomorrow for more fun!

Okay your turn- what did you do this weekend?

Happy Monday!

Thanksgiving Recap & Look Ahead

It’s December.

How did this even happen!?

I can’t prove it, but I’m pretty sure time is moving faster.

So, can you indulge me and take a look way far back into last month… also known as last weekend?

Thanks.

Oh, but before we start- Happy Thanksgiving again! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. 

So you got the gist of my Thanksgiving Day extravaganza. Strapped in tightly with my family all the way on the 9 hour drive to Colorado.

It sounds like I’m complaining (um, I sort of am?), but it wasn’t that bad. It was sort of fun.

Cutie Thanksgiving 2013

Keeping busy  Thanksgiving 2013

Windmill!  Thanksgiving 2013

Just like old times, except now I’m ancient and my legs get all creaky and tired from all that sitting, and my sister as a kid.

And I hate gas station food.

Just like old times… except not. smile

We got in early Thanksgiving afternoon and surprised my grandma.

My mom called earlier that day and told tall tales about our Thanksgiving plans and our meal, and my grandma ate it all up.

She sure was surprised when we got there. It was adorable. I got her on video opening the door and it was a moment I will cherish!

Layla and grandma

Because of the amount of family that would be staying at my grandparent’s, my parents decided to get me, P, and Layla a hotel room. It turned out to be a good thing because Layla can be hard to put to sleep. Plus we had our own space (and bathroom!) so that was nice.

It was Layla’s first time in a hotel, which was sort of funny.

Everything was so new! Couple that with her sporadic sleep schedule because of the travel day, and we ended up going to be around 7 that night and getting up at like midnight for a “party.”

What a night.

Sleepover Party!

Friday’s predictions were a little off.

It should have been moved to Saturday, but hey? It was a prediction, I am wrong sometimes. Haha

Friday started early. I got up to squeeze in a quick workout before the day got started. Toward the end I was greeted by visitors knocking on the gym door.

P and Layla woke up and came to greet me!

We got cleaned up and had a quick breakfast at the hotel .

My grandma was going through a round of chemo this week, so my mom and I drove my grandma to her chemo treatment and sat with her.

Chemo with my grandma. Waiting to go in

Oh friends, it was sad. The reality of her sickness was before me the whole time we were there.

She took the treatment like a champ, and I suppose after months of months of being there she has become a pro. However, I know it never gets easier. It probably only gets harder. At least it does for me.

She does a lot of reading while she’s there, so I bought her a Billy Graham devotional. I hope she reads it and it blesses her.

There was a young guy there getting what he hoped to be his last treatment that day. It was exciting for him, and he was chatty which made the time pass quickly.

It was hard to go, but I’m glad I did. I am glad she had company, and I’m glad I got to spend some extra time with her.

After her appointment, my mom, sister, and I made a trip to the local grocery store to get food for our Thanksgiving meal!

Small town grocery shopping!

As silly as it sounds, I love grocery shopping, especially in cutesy small town stores. I got a veggie tray and green beans, quick and easy. smile We got to my grandma’s and my mom and I spent about an hour in the kitchen prepping food for Saturday. It was fun and we were speedy!

As predicted, it was meltdown city in the house. Poor Layla was stripped down to her diaper and P and I kept going out on the patio.

Can we all please make a pact that we will keep our houses only reasonably heated when we get old, please?

Thanks.

We watched football, had pizza for dinner (um, veggie with totally non vegan cheese haha), and called it a night.

Saturday, like Friday, started with an early morning workout. This one was only 25 minutes so it was speedy but I’m at least glad I got it in.

We got around slowly and headed over a little before lunch.

It was good to see family and all spend time together. I know it made my grandparents happy.

I got a dessert plate.

We should leave it at that.

We chatted, watched football, and had a nice afternoon.

After everyone left, we watched some more football and had Thanksgiving Round 2.

Um and please tell me you watched the Alabama game!? Crazy!

Will and I had fun talking about it afterward.

Face timing with my Will

(Check out Will’s no shave November beard! Crazy!)

I sure did miss that guy. As predicted, he didn’t want to live our lives on Facetime, but he did indulge me a little.

Before long, it was time to call it a night. We said our goodbyes and I was sure to hug my grandparents tightly.

Yesterday was all about rushing to get home… along with everyone else in America. The roads were packed!

It sure felt good to be home. I missed Will and the dogs so much! The dogs have been too cute, by my side all night.

Will and I chatted and watched football together, while I multitasked doing laundry, unpacking a little, and getting this post ready!

And now?

Back to reality.

What about you? What did you do? I love to hear stories and traditions. Share, share! smile

I’m not even going to waste space telling you my meal plan, because it’s weak. I didn’t have time to go to the grocery store, so it will be a lot of cabinet clean out concoctions.

Luckily, the same cannot be said for this week’s posts. I actually planned these bad boys out. So rest assured, you will not be served cabinet clean out pie for posts this week. Haha

Here’s a look at what I have coming up:
-An easy swap for healthy hair
-Should you ask for a pre-workout this Christmas?
-To put up the tree, or not put up the tree: that is the question
-and more!

Check in tomorrow!

The Uneventful One & Look Ahead

Hi hello!

Are you off for Veteran’s Day? If so, I hope you are having a wonderful day!

If you’ve served or are serving in the military, thank you so much for your service!

As an army brat, I have such an appreciation for all that you do.

And here’s where I give a shout out to my mom and dad for their amazingness! My dad for hs sacrifice, and my mom for keeping things together during difficult times, like Desert Storm and having two girls under the age of eight all while living in a foreign country away from family!

In fact, here’s a pic way back in the 90s (when you had to use a camera with film haha) the day my dad got back from the war while we lived in Germany.

The day my dad came home from desert storm ❤️

I had cool fluffy bangs, right? haha

So Monday.

For those of you, like me, who had to go to work this morning… blah.

Hopefully you had a good weekend at least?

Mine was incredibly uneventful, and you know what? That’s okay. Sometimes those weekends feel like the last a little longer because I’m not constantly doing something or on the go.

I did my usual “stuff” and that was about it. Will’s work schedule is still the pits, so he worked until noon Saturday while I got lots done. The “good” thing about his Saturday work days is that I get cleaning done, but at the same time it’s a real drag.

The good news is that next week’s game is an early one, so no working!

I barely left the house this weekend, only going to the store, the gym, and the car wash to take care of my poor, dirty 1998 Honda. smile

Will and I spent Saturday evening on the couch, and Boz seemed to be happy with the decision.

Happy boz

Will went paintballing on Sunday for the first time in ages, so I spent a few hours with my sister and Layla, so that was nice too.

AND- P bought a house!

I’m not sure I can adequately express just how I feel like that! I mean- she is my kid sister. It is seriously blowing my mind that she is such a grown up, with a kid- and a house!

I sure am going to miss her when she moves in a few weeks, so I am going to soak up as much time as I can with her living so close.

Thankfully she’s not moving too far, and I have a feeling she and Layla will be over for lots of dinners.

I did cooking and prepping for the week. I made myself one of my fall favorites that I plan to share tomorrow!

I also made Will some delicious (and unhealthy) cocoa banana muffins. He loves them and I like to make them for him this time of year.

Messy kitchen, yummy results

As for meals, this week is going to be a bit busy, so we’re going pretty simple with dinners this week:

Mon: Salads
Tues: Homemade Chicken & Dumplings (Chick’n for me)
Wed: Life Group (we eat on the go)
Thurs: Leftover Chicken & Dumplings
Friday: Salads

It’s going to be cold on Tuesday, so chicken and dumplings seemed appropriate. smile

And then there’s blog posts. What about those?

Here’s a peek at what’s coming up:

-Fall Favorites! Another recipe coming soon.
-Another cold weather workout
-Why God is more than a religion
-And more!
Check in tomorrow! Until then? Let’s tackle Monday…

Weekend Wrap-up & Look Ahead

Hello friends!

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend.

This weekend is the very last before the madness of football season commences. Not only is Will totally enthralled with his NFL fantasy football drafts right now, but also gearing up for a whole new look to the OU football team with Trevor Knight at the helm.

I wish I could have said this weekend was really low key and boring, and I didn’t do anything.

Except that was not the case!

Friday P & I met at the park again for lunch, only it was way too hot so we ended up sitting in my car:

Friday lunch date

Not ideal. Not sure if we will meet up again for awhile. At least until it gets cooler.

Friday night Will and I we went to a cookout with one of the Life Groups we visited a couple weeks ago. We had a nice time, and it was nice to see everyone in that sort of setting so we could get to know them a little better.

It was a potluck so, as a vegan, I never know just how much I should eat before I go. Chances are there were going to be few options for me, so I planned ahead and had a snack. I also brought a fruit salad so I knew I would have at least one option! Turns out, I had a few options so that was a nice treat.

We talked, ate, and talked some more.

We called it a night early because Will had to work Saturday morning. This was one of the last Saturdays he will be able to work with football coming up, so we decided to take advantage of it.

Saturday came very early. I saw Will off and headed to the gym to work legs.

Truth be told, I had a lousy workout.

I hate lousy workouts.

But sometimes? They happen.

My left hamstring has been tight lately, even with stretching and rolling, so I decided to take it easy to be safe. That meant light and slow.

Blech.

Halfway through I could feel the entire workout was a total bust, so I ended up going into a separate empty room in the back and doing the following workout- which I recommend:

500 jumping jacks
400 crunches (I did various different kinds- stability ball crunches, in and outs, bicycles, oblique crunches…)
300 hit the floors (it’s from Insanity, I will try to find a link if you’re interested)
200 pushups (Again, different kinds- regular, tricep dips, and V-pushups)
100 burpees (Because apparently I felt REALLY bad about the leg workout earlier and wanted to punish myself)

It took me longer than usual when I’ve done this workout, but I left feeling better about my time spent at the gym.

Afterward I did a thorough house cleaning, considering this was my “last chance” cleaning before football started and I started slacking.

And then Will came home and the table we ordered got delivered!

Seven weeks early!

We expected it in October.

See this table?
The old table!

Sorry for the weird shot, we had to move it in a spare bedroom to make room for the new set. We are passing it along to P when she gets her own place! It makes me happy it will get a new life.

So yeah- that’s been the “dining room” table sitting in our breakfast nook .

Will’s aunt and uncle graciously gave it to us, and we were very thankful.

I always knew we wouldn’t have it long.

Fast forward ten years, and we still did.

Sheesh.

We don’t have a formal dining room in our house, so it was a good fit for the space, but let’s be real- this is more something that should be in a bachelor pad or first house. It’s pretty plain Jane.

We’re believers in saving for something nice so hopefully you only have to buy it once, and since I have ridiculously traditional tastes, that rule works well for me since whatever I get is not all that faddish. 

We had a dining room table on our “priority list” (our list of major purchases we want to make in the coming years) for quite some time, and although our tiny set served its purpose, we finally decided to cross something off the priority list.

And that meant getting a table and chair set!

We bought, what I believe, is one of the most beautiful and intricate tables that will fit our breakfast nook. It is stunning, and I can’t help but stare at it each time I pass by.

Here’s one of the chairs:

New chairs!

Here’s the intricate Moroccan inspired tabletop:
Intricate Moroccan inspired top

And here it is all together!
My new dining set

I am extremely pleased.

Saturday night I a massive cheat meal: pizza.

When I say massive, it was massive. Albeit mostly vegan (I’m pretty sure the crust had butter on it?) the crust was like eating a freaking loaf of bread, so um yeah, definitely a cheat meal.

Delicious and simulatneously terrible. smile

Sunday has been church (seriously check out the Elisha series. So inspiring! I linked you to week three, but you can also click on the first two weeks.) and my usual “stuff.”

I just made Will a huge dish of homemade macaroni and cheese for some of his lunches this week, and am about to prep my own meals for the week!

For lunch this week, Will is having my homemade mac and cheese, and a smaller batch of these cheesesteak sandwiches.

He’s been eating extremely light at night (just veggies or salad), so I have sort of modified my own eating to match his. The nice this is that I don’t have to prep dinner most nights!

I am having stirfry all week, complete with marinated tofu on 3 days and my favorite Gardein beefless tips the other 2.

So that’s about it! I am just looking forward to having today off- and the three day weekend ahead!

Here’s a look at this week’s posts:

-The last Mary Kay Monday
-A delicious breakfast treat
-An at home workout
-Revealing P’s real name (Ah! I know!)
-B&P Q&A

So check in this week! Happy Sunday!

Baby Fever(less)

Do any of you read Time magazine?

Admittedly, I usually don’t. However last week they published an issue with quite an interesting/controversial cover:”

image

Which, I’m sure successfully stirred up a slew of feelings and opinions on the matter (which probably in turn resulted in sales).

Turns out, the number of childless adults has vastly grown over the years.

In March, Will and I will celebrate our 10th anniversary.

TENTH.

However, today isn’t entirely about our tenth anniversary so much , other than to highlight the fact that we’ve been married seemingly “forever” and are still a family of two.

Okay, okay… 6 assuming you count furry friends.

Our first couple years of married life were surrounded with, “when are you newlyweds going to start trying?”

Or jokes about when we would start having little OU football players.

Then, after the first couple years, it got quiet again.

We settled into life.

We were living in Kuwait.

We were busy.

We were working tons, travelling, having a big adventure.

And then we moved home.

I’m sure everyone (um, and by everyone, I mainly just mean our families) figured, “Okay, now they will start their family.”

And then Will had a hard time finding a job, and then I started my master’s program,

And then Will found a good job and we were chugging along and then he turned 30.

And I’m sure at that point, everyone thought, “They both have good jobs, and Will just turned 30. I bet now they will start their family.”

And then last year I finished my masters, and all of a sudden, my life was just so much better and easier.

School was done, and everyone probably began to think, “They are in America, they have a home, Will is 30, and Brittny just finished her master’s degree. (Say it with me everyone!) Now they will start their family.”

And soon after, P had Layla. Which was entirely unexpected, but ended up being one of the hugest blessings in my life. I got to be there along the entire process, from finding the gender, to cutting the umbilical cord, and it was flat out awesome in the truest sense.
image
image
And then I turned 30.

And now Layla is a year old.

And now the quiet wonderings among those in my family?

Aren’t so quiet anymore.

And it’s not just my family anymore. It’s freaking EVERYONE.

Friends, coworkers, acquaintances, the cashier at Walmart last week.

Um- I’m being serious.

She was talking about getting her kids ready for school and asked about mine, to which (for the umpteenth time) I replied we did not have children.

I kid you not- she looked at me with such sadness and pity in her eyes, as if she felt so sorry for me, and told me, “Well when you do, back to school is a busy time!”

“Well when you do… “

Like it was implied that it just hadn’t happened yet.

I get that a lot.

And truthfully?

Sometimes it hurts my feelings.

And the thought of discussing the matter with her seemed not only exhausting, but also inappropriate.

When did this topic become a collective decision?

It’s like everyone around us can see NOW is the time for us to start our family, except us.

I guess that’s because, in my eyes, we started our family in March of 2004, when we got married.

And, I suppose, we’ve never really come right out of the closet and announced our private decision not to have children, mainly because I didn’t want to disappoint anyone (as silly as it may sound).

Yes, that’s right. I said it.

I’ve posted to this blog for over eight years now, and a significant amount of my posts were originally spent on The Nest, where I made dozens of friends over the years. Who married, have had babies, and have had more babies, and have just taken off and thrived.

And I am so blessed to get to watch their lives blossom.

I am such a cheerleader for my friends who have taken on the fulltime job of being a mommy. I pray so many blessings upon each of you.

I touched on children a few times throughout this blog, however I’ve never really come right out and boldly shared what I just did.

And for good measure, I suppose I ought to say it again.

At this time, Will and I have decided not to have children.

I know. This decision is totally ridiculous.

It’s “wrong.”

It’s confusing.

“What?

Why wouldn’t you want to have kids?

You guys would be such good parents!”

Ugh, I know. I get this all the time.

And I understand where you’re coming from.

Kids are amazing.

They are beautiful, they are blessings, and I believe God gives parents such an amazing nurturing and ministering opportunity with and through them. And heck, sometimes I think I would make a pretty good mom!

Not only that, but after my sister had Layla, I had no idea I could love a person so much! My heart bursts with love for that little girl, and she’s not even my own daughter.

Yet, we have just never felt that pull on our heart to do that in our own lives.

And it’s okay.

The world is not going to turn upside down because Will and I have made that decision.

Maybe one day, our feelings will change, but as of today they have not.

Really, the only time the issue gets brought up is when we talk about getting old one day. And having kids just because you’re going to be holed up in some boring retirement home and want grandkids to visit you is not enough reason to have kids. smile

Plus? It’s sort of a selfish reason.

Although- what grandkid didn’t love the sterile bleachy smell of their grandparent’s retirement or nursing home growing up?

Am I right?

(ha, I think we know the answer to that)

Just to lighten things up some more, the Times article made me laugh-

“If being a parent is the hardest job in the world, why would I want it?”

Okay, so I’m joking, but hopefully that made you smile a little too.

But I definitely think there is credence to that sentence.

I love the idea of being a parent. I like the thought of our life with kids.

The idea.

But then I think about a lot of other practical aspects of our lives and realize that, kids totally change that dynamic.

And yes, I know it’s “in a good way.”

But at the same time, having kids is a huge deal. It is an important decision, and a lifelong commitment.

And most importantly, choosing whether or not to have children is a personal decision, which should not be taken lightly, and should not be judged by outsiders.

All too often I have been made to feel like a “bad” person for this decision, which is pretty unfortunate.

Given our ages, Will and I have come to totally accept all of our friends will have kids, and gatherings and date nights will center around kids, our church friends will center around their kids- and we are totally fine and encouraging, and accepting of that.

The strange thing is that those feelings do not always seem to be reciprocated.


Today’s post isn’t about sharing rationale behind our decision, but more just sharing our decision.

For so long I have dodged the question, made jokes, or given false hope all in an attempt to spare other’s judgement or feelings.

However, I feel as though I am at the point in my life when I can be honest with myself and you all as well.

I hope I am among friends and supporters.

So there.

I got it out there. 

If anything changes?

I will obviously let you know, but until then?

I simply pray an abundance of blessings on you, wherever you are in your life today. Whether you are single, or dating, or married, or expecting, or sitting amidst a house full of children. I pray blessings and guidance upon each of you. I think we all have been placed in our unique circumstances for a reason, and God can use us to bless others for His good regardless.

So thanks for listening, and I hope after this post we can still be friends?

More to come…





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About

brittny I'm B-Love. Lover of God, my husband Will, my doggies, OU football, weight training, plyometrics healthy eating (mostly!), peanut butter, and all things health related. Buckle up and get ready for my constant embarrassing moments, health and fitness tips,and my effort to rely on Christ while living life in the real world. Follow me on Feedly! Sign up for monthly emails at blove@theblovelife.com!


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