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Thirty-Four

Hello friends!

Today I’m 34.

Officially “mid-30s.” (Face palm)

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

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

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

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

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

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

πŸ’— Gran

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

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

2. Will is genuinely surprised by my OU fanaticism.

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

That’s blasphemy, y’all.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Confession: I even sometimes annoy myself.

All this time he had no idea. Haha

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

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

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

OU-ISU!

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

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

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

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

It’s ridiculous, really.

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

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

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

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

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

Real life.

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

Not all primers are equal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh.My.Stars.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mary Kay Repair Eye Cream & Night Treatment

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. I’ll never enjoy hot weather

Ever.

I hate hot weather.

I wither like a wilty flower.

I melt like a sno-cone in Phoenix.

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

It’s awful y’all.

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

No. No it’s not.

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

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

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

The problem is...summer is approaching.

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

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

So I might have to see about going earlier.

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

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

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

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

Drinks are my jam.

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

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

All the caffeine-y drinks.

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

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

9. Keep it Short & Sweaty

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

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

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

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

It’s awful in the best way possible.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It revolutionized my Bible study. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Almost) 34

To My Grandma (6/2/1931- 3/10/2017)

Grandma ❀ June 2,1931- March 10, 2017

You taught me about gardening.

You taught me about cooking.

Brittny-6 yrs old with Grandma Stroh learning how to make sausage

You taught me how to be tough (though I’ll never be), but also tender.

I’ll miss your rye bread, strawberry-rhubarb jelly, cabbage pockets, and cookies. Your fresh fruits and veggies, your beautiful flowers.

Brittny,Carissa & Grandpa & Grandma Stroh-2003

I’ll miss being your “little helper"- even well into my 30s.

I’ll miss seeing you fall asleep in your chair with a crossword puzzle across your chest, or hearing about all the books you’re reading.

I’ll miss talking about so many memories, and just having you in the same room.

I will miss so many things about you, but above all, I’ll just miss you.
Brittny Flint-2 years old & Grandma Stroh in Germany

“Lucky “ #13

Today Will and I celebrate our 13th anniversary.

Will & Brittny in the reception line

We were babyfaced kids the day we married. I was a month shy of 21, and he was 23.

We’d both never been on our own.

We hadn’t a clue how to do anything!

All-in-all, it was wonderful.

We were shiny-faced kids navigating this huge, serious thing called life with enthusiasm. Untainted by the world and invincible.

Will & Brittny-Feb 2003

Many say the first year is the hardest, but it was so fun for us!

Brittny&#x27;s 20th birthday with Will-2003

On our own for the very first time, and figuring it out together.

Then at some point reality sets in.

You grow up.

You aren’t kids anymore.

Life happens.

You have grown up problems and responsibilities.

You stay the same.

You change.

You endure a lifetime of ups and downs.

Some days you feel like that shiny faced kid.

Other days you feel ancient.

Some days you laugh until cry,

Other days the weight of reality feels too heavy to bear.

Let’s face it, “adult-ing” is hard. 

Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, you quickly realize you don’t!

OU OSU

I’m incredibly blessed I have Will to walk alongside me through the ups and downs.

WB ready for a sooner victory! OU takes Tennessee

I can’t believe I get to be married to him and journey this crazy life together.

Future Sooner anchors

It honestly feels too good to be true.

I remember being a young teen, writing letters to my future husband, praying for him and hoping the Lord would answer my prayers.

Through I’m incredibly underserving, the Lord heard my prayers and blessed me far beyond my dreams. I definitely got the better end of the deal.

OU-TCU, too close for comfort. Get will quick Baker. We need you!

We are so deeply intertwined and not only spouses, but best friends.

I was over the moon for him 13 years ago, and I still am today.

Only now it’s deeper, more powerful, and wrapped in a lifetime of real life, not happily-ever-after fairytales.

It hasn’t been perfect. Not even close. I thank God every day for His grace.

This is a typical Family picture. Will, God love him, hates taking pictures, so I had to share what I usually get when someone tries to snap a pic of us. 😊 Merry Christmas! πŸ’—πŸŽ„

So here’s to lucky number 13, on March 13th no less!  Certainly no luck involved here. Rather God’s provision, mercy, and blessing.

Celebrating Jesus❀ Merry Christmas!

Cheers 13.

Will & Brittny laughing at the alter

2016 Year in Review

Time to do another year in review! As cliche as it sounds, time sure does fly!

All-in-all, it’s been a good year full of changes, blessings, and lessons.

No need to unpack it all here, let’s take a look!

January
Started off with a New Year’s Day lunch at The Cheesecake Factory and a Sooners loss in the playoffs.

Had a few play dates with Layla

Flossin&#x27;

🐟

Found out my company would be having a mass layoff due to the drop in oil.

February
Watched the Super Bowl

Made an impromptu trip to Ponca City to eat at Perkins. Breakfast, pie, and muffins to go.

Restarted our herb garden!
Round three (and two)

March
Walked the dogs a bunch

Trying to teach an old dog new tricks

Visited an RV show with Will’s parents

RV Show!

Celebrated 12 years of marriage

Survived the company layoffs. Completely thankful but wrecked by the whole process.

Took a trip to Colorado with my parents and Layla, and visited my grandparents. ❀️

Chilly walks! Road tripping to Colorado, Spring Break 2016

Did terribly on my bracket (as usual)

Bracketology 2016. Pink is bad. Thus far I have more pink...

Visited Will’s grandparents and admired their creeping flock

Grandma Norine&#x27;s flowers

April
Took lots of walks

Out and about at the park!

Interviewed for a new job, and it ended up with a conversation with my previous boss about possibly returning to my old company.

Turned 33, ate lots of cake

Birthday cake round 2 πŸ“πŸ‹

33

Birthday cake things

Went to the Red and White game

Spring game 2016

Attended a baby shower for one of my dearest friends

My sweet dear friend. πŸ’—Laura Leigh&#x27;s shower

May
Took Layla to the park

Park days and the library too!

Saw Nick Vijiucic speak at church

Life without limbs speaker Nick Vujicic speaking on hope and faith

Left my “dream” company after much prayer

Farewell πŸ’—

and went back to my previous job and picked up right where I left off (how sweet were they!?) and now work close to home and for the best boss ever.

A welcome back surprise! Feels good to be so warmly welcomed!

Made another trip to Perkins. More breakfast, pie, and muffins to go.

Walked the dogs a bunch

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

June
Went to a wedding in Tulsa and saw Will’s cousin get hitched

Reception things

Drove across state the next day to celebrate Will’s grandpa’s 90th birthday
WA turns 90 πŸ’—πŸ°

Took a ton of family photos at the birthday party. The theme for pics was red, white, and blue but apparently based on the below it was only blue. Haha

πŸ’— grandpa&#x27;s birthday

Had dinner with Marisa and family!

Went to Fairfax for work

July
Watched fireworks with my family (and the Bigs)
fireworks! πŸ’₯πŸŽ†

Celebrated Layla’s 4th birthday

Layla turns 4!!

Top Golf work/family outing

Top golf

Attended the Hillsong concert

Celebrated a joint birthday for Will and his dad
Birthday! 🍰

Went to Tulsa to see Jim Gaffigan

August
Bought and enjoyed a bushel of delicious peaches

Porter peaches. Also known as the only thing I&#x27;ll be eating this week.

Got to meet my sweet friend’s precious baby boy
I got to cuddle the cutest baby boy in al of Oklahoma. He loved me equally. 15 minutes after this picture was taken he spit up all over me. πŸ˜‚

September
Kicked off football season in Houston!!! (And lost)

OU-Houston; Before the loss, before I got beer spilled on my twice by foul-mouth Houston fans, before Will nearly lost his religion on said fans...before all that? Smiles of anticipation for a win πŸ˜‚

Had dinner with friends

Lots of football (and enjoyed the new stadium renovation!)
OU-ULM home opener, 10 Sep 16

Pre game activities, OU-Ohio state

October
Coffee with a former coworker and friend

OU-Texas weekend!

OU Texas 2016!

OU Texas 2016!

A workout with a dear old friend
Worked our jaws more than our legs but it was well worth it πŸ’—

More pup walking

Pups out and about!

Welcomed new neighbors (said goodbye to my parents who moved 😩)

November
A trip to Iowa for the OU-ISU game

Iowa State!
OU-ISU!

A weekend with my dear Gran and time with family

🍁❀️ finally fall colors, Iowa 2016

Dinner with the family πŸ’—

πŸ’— Gran

Voted- and yes, there’s a toilet in the background. As dirty as the election got, it felt appropriate.

After the way this election went, it felt appropriate to take my "I voted" selfie with a toilet in the background

More football

Thanksgiving with Will’s family

Thanksgiving 2016

Enjoyed a Perkins muffin when Will had to make a quick trip to Ponca City
The way to my heart

December
My work Christmas party!

Christmas party 2016

A rainy and super fun win at Bedlam

Bedlam 2016!!

Made Christmas crafts

Christmas crafting

Celebrated Christmas with family
Celebrating Jesus❀ Merry Christmas!
Christmas Round 2

It’s been a year of ups and downs and God’s blessing and provision. I’m so thankful for all He’s doing. I’m praying 2017 brings more of Him in our lives and wisdom in all we do.

Thanks for sticking around here. May you and yours enjoy this last day of the year and soak up lots of good memories.

Check in soon for more! Until then, Happy New Year!

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

Happy (almost) football season, friends!

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

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

And we're nearly there!

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

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

Starting with the Olympics.

And how it basically consumed our lives for two weeks.

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

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

I think we're getting old.

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

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

We're getting old and odd.

HELP.


While we're getting old and nostalgic...

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

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

We're already on season 8!

It's one of Will's favorites.

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

Told you we were old.

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

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

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

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

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

Boz and Lucy Turned 70

Or 10.

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

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

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

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

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

One year post MOHs

Lesson from this scare? WEAR SUNSCREEN.

Hot Pockets

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

It was such a fun day!

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

Because I feel the need to take pictures of food.

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

Then we headed to the Bok Center for the show.

Waiting to see Jim Gaffigan

Jim Gaffigan was so funny!

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

Other out and about highlights

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

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

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

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

Whew.

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

Which reminds me-

FOOTBALL!!!

Oh.My.Stars.

It's here, finally here!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I'm not sure it's working?

We shall see. 😊

Workout Challenge!

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

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

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

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

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

Other things

Random things I feel I should share-

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

It's expensive, but well worth it.

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

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

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

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

Music to add to your workout playlist:

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

Healthy indulgence

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

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

Real life.

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

All mine.

Unhealthy indulgence

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

Whyyyyyy!?!?!

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

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

I've always been a sucker for those.

Such a grownup.

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

Because he hates me.

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

First day of school! 😩

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

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

(Doesn't it often seem like that?)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Life Lately

Hello!

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

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

The new (old) job

The new (old) job has been going well.

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

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

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

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

So yeah, that’s the work update!

Speaking of traveling

We kicked off June in crazy fashion!

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

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

June began with a wedding in Tulsa Saturday night.

Reception things

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Along with half of Oklahoma.

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

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

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

WA turns 90 πŸ’—πŸ°

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

Basically two family reunions in a single weekend!

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

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

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

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

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

Which is surprising, considering Will is her absolute favorite.

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

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

Since we’re talking dog stuff...

We’ve been taking the pups for walks outside.

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

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

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

They’re very pampered pups and still have puppy soft paws. πŸ™ˆ

Yep. Those dog people.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Workouts

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

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

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

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

Other things I feel you have to know

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

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

I’ve watched them all way too many times.

Kinda like Saved By the Bell.

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

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

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

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

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

Goals, ya’ll.

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

Still too fresh.

Maybe next year?

***

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

Mustang fireworks! πŸ’₯πŸŽ†

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

Will and Brittny Take Tennessee

Happy autumn friends!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fancy schmancy.

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

Vacations are the best.

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

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

It was so darn fun!

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

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

The biscuits and jam pretty much killed me.

Can&#x27;t believe I get to have breakfast with this man everyday. Beyond blessed. πŸ’—

I also went a little wild at the store.

And with pictures.

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

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

The next big thing πŸ˜‚ Will and Brittny take the Opry

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

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

The lineup

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

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

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

WB at the Ryman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wild and crazy.

Thursday, 10 Sept

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

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

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

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

The very hospitable and beautiful Inn at Fontanel.

The Inn at Fontanel. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous ❀️

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

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

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

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

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

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

The best part?

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

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

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

Have you ever had one!?

Dead.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He knew a lot.

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

First order of business? Find some Tennessee barbecue.

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

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

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

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

Saturday, 12 Sept

Game day!

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

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

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

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

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

Hey, it’s vacation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Two overtimes, in fact.

Talk about a nail biting victory!

What a game!

We won! 😱

WB ready for a sooner victory! OU takes Tennessee

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

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

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

Chaos.

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

Then we had to drive to our hotel.

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

Sunday, 13 Sept
Vacation officially ended this day.

What a bummer.

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

And that was it!

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

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

Thanks for indulging me.

A big, fat life update on the way soon. πŸ’—πŸ’—

Heart (and Mohs) Surgery- and a real life update

Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

Which is simultaneously comforting and terrifying.

After all, we are reminded in Jeremiah that the heart is deceitful above all things, and the Lord searches and examines its depths.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what God sees when He looks at my heart.

Do I spend as much time on the inside of the cup as I do the outside?

Verse

I had Mohs surgery on my face to remove some potentially cancerous cells this past Wednesday.

MOHs surgery day one. Glamorous.

I was a wreck the week after my pre-op and as I googled the surgery.

A word to the wise- don’t google worrisome things you’re facing in life.

Seriously.

You will lose sleep.

It’s pretty much a guarantee the most extreme cases or situations will be the first to come up in the search and will ruin you.

I was a wreck because I’m a woman in my 30s. While my best years are yet to be, let’s face it, I’m not shiny faced and 20 anymore. Makeup is a necessity these days and wrinkles continue to appear out of nowhere.

And now I have to worry about basal cells so early!?

The night after my pre-op (which was over two months before the surgery!) I googled and cried and googled and cried some more.

This went on for about a week each evening.

Will, dear Will, was no help.

He’s a guy.

To him there was a problem (possible basal cells) and a solution (the removal of said cells).

Yes, he’s right, but any woman knows there’s more that meets the eye. The worry of all the new spots they’ll probably find in the coming years (a result of my stupid decision to tan during my teens). A giant scar on my face.

One of my dear friends and prayer warriors completely got it. We cried together a lot that week and prayed even more. Her prayers were completely beautiful, true, and anointed. She reminded me of my value in Christ and that He bottles my tears and works for good no matter what.

Verse

Her godly prayers strengthened me so very much and the holy spirit used them to bring such peace during the painfully long time between my pre-op and surgery.

Surgery encouragement πŸ’—πŸ™

I had a of of time to think about my heart condition during the two months leading up to surgery.

There’s so much gunk and yuckiness deep in the depths.

Pride, jealousy, worry, entitlement.

Ugh.

Untitled

Not only was I going to battle surgery and a scar on the outside, but I also needed some heart surgery on the inside too.

I’d like to tell you the inside surgery has been easier than the outside surgery, but I’d be lying.

It hurts to surrender to Christ.

Not because of Him- His burden is light.

But because of my own sinful nature and desire to rule myself and pursue my own desires.

Just as the doctor stripped away a layer of the bad cells on my nose Wednesday, the Lord has begun to strip away my own internal heart cancer layer by layer.

Pride, worry, spitefulness… The list goes on and on.

I can’t hide the scar on my face, it will always be there.

Two days post surgery

I also can’t hide my hurts before the Lord, He searches the depth of my heart and sears my soul with the promise He is ever present.

Just as my doctor took care to stitch me back together, the Great Physician, my Jehovah Rapha, heals my heart. He prunes away the things that dishonor Him, and fills me with more of His goodness.

My scar will take time to heal and will leave a daily reminder of what transpired. In the same way, my heart certainly also bears the scars of a heart broken by my own sinfulness and horrid decisions, only to be stitched together and healed by a God big enough to restore even the biggest of messes.

I’m not happy I had to go through this experience, but I am thankful for the reminder of where I’ve been, where I am, and where I’m heading as I pursue Christ.

To our continued healing, inside and out. πŸ’—

***
On a much lighter note, I’ve taken several days off to recover and have not done a single thing.

Not even kidding.

It’s been the most uneventful and lazy few days of my entire life. Will and I are surprisingly really good at being completely worthless.

I don’t think that’s a good thing…

I’ve only gone out to see my mom a couple times (my sister and Layla stopped by too!). I also went through a drive through twice, but that’s it.

I have church tomorrow and was a little apprehensive about going at first. You should have seen the awfulness of Will and I trying to appropriately bandage my face. πŸ˜‚

Attempt number one
Bandage attempt #1 πŸ˜‚ MOHs surgery day three

Attempt number two

Attempt #2 just as awful Mohs surgery day three

πŸ˜‚

At this point I was having a complete meltdown. Thankfully Will went to the drawing board and engineered attempt number three, which was much improved over the previous two.

Third times a charm

I get my stitches out Wednesday and am so ready! Thankfully attempt three made me feel slightly less garish.

I’m sure Will would agree- this staycation has been incredibly dull, but it’s still been nice to be together and heal up.

So there you have it, not only a devo but also a real life update.

Thanks for listening. More to come. πŸ’—

Will’s Relaxing Birthday Weekend & Look Ahead

Ant man.., and holding Will&#x27;s popcorn

All smiles
Atm

Aero garden

Our first baby pepper!

Boz
Ann Voskamp

πŸ˜‚
Church with Layla
Church with Layla

Ant Man date with Will, At the Movies door hanging with dad, UFC fights, two big fat birthday cheat meals, workouts, church with Layla, lunch with my parents, food prep, house stuff, and relaxing.

It was a much needed relaxing weekend spent entirely with Will. Between hosting his parents last weekend and preparing to go out of town without him this weekend, I was glad to have some time to spend just with him!

Today Will celebrates 35! I can’t believe how quickly the years have passed. How is he already 35!?! I am so blessed to have been able to watch him grow into such a wise and wonderful man. I can’t believe he picked me to be his wife.

Check in this week for Thursday Things and a Friday devo.

And now? Off to tackle Monday. 

The Early Birthday Celebration Weekend

Va clinic waiting game
Happy birthday!

Happy birthday!
🌱

Weekend things
Leg day
Layla&#x27;s first movie

Layla&#x27;s first movie
Dress up with Layla

Dress up with Layla
At the movies!

A long Friday at the VA clinic with Will’s dad, lots of chats with his parents while waiting, a healthy dinner at Jason’s Deli (have you seen their salad bar!?), followed by not so healthy but delicious ice cream cake, Layla’s first movie going experience, playtime with Layla (and my family πŸ˜„), house stuff, super sweaty workouts, food prep, church, and a very restful Sunday.

We had a wonderful weekend full of family and fun and I’m sad to have it behind me!

Check in this week for a pre-workout review and more!

I hope you had a great weekend. What did you do?

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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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