Because I'm Terrible at Scrapbooks
Sooner Nation

Thursday Things, 6 Oct 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A win for everyone.

Until he found the Garth Brooks channel.

That was not a win for everyone.

What also wasn’t a win, was the game.

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

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

Sigh.

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

So yeah! Fun times in Houston! Haha

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

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

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

Nothing fancy, but still fun.

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

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

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

Except…

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

Real life.

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

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

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

Annnnd we had another snake in our house

Real life guys.

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

(Kidding...kind of)

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

It was promptly removed.

We’ll leave it at that.

Since we mentioned for sale signs...

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

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

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

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

Mrs. Benko would be proud

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

Real life.

Yes, they had pianos back then.

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

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

One thing led to another, and I stopped.

Flash forward many years later.

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

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

It’s fried jello time ya’ll

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

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

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

Can we also discuss how iOS 10 is killing me?

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

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

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

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

Happy (almost) football season, friends!

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

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

And we're nearly there!

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

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

Starting with the Olympics.

And how it basically consumed our lives for two weeks.

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

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

I think we're getting old.

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

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

We're getting old and odd.

HELP.


While we're getting old and nostalgic...

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

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

We're already on season 8!

It's one of Will's favorites.

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

Told you we were old.

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

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

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

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

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

Boz and Lucy Turned 70

Or 10.

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

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

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

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

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

One year post MOHs

Lesson from this scare? WEAR SUNSCREEN.

Hot Pockets

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

It was such a fun day!

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

Because I feel the need to take pictures of food.

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

Then we headed to the Bok Center for the show.

Waiting to see Jim Gaffigan

Jim Gaffigan was so funny!

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

Other out and about highlights

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

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

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

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

Whew.

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

Which reminds me-

FOOTBALL!!!

Oh.My.Stars.

It's here, finally here!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I'm not sure it's working?

We shall see. 😊

Workout Challenge!

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

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

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

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

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

Other things

Random things I feel I should share-

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

It's expensive, but well worth it.

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

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

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

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

Music to add to your workout playlist:

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

Healthy indulgence

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

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

Real life.

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

All mine.

Unhealthy indulgence

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

Whyyyyyy!?!?!

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

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

I've always been a sucker for those.

Such a grownup.

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

Because he hates me.

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

First day of school! 😩

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

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

(Doesn't it often seem like that?)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My (Second) First Day

It started and ended at a Cool Greens in downtown Oklahoma City.

A fitting ending to my last day

Well, sort of.

In December 2013, I met a friend at Cool Greens for lunch. She’d recently taken a job downtown, and we took some time to catch up.

Unknown to anyone at the time, I had an interview scheduled right down the street.

At my dream company.

I wanted to scream it from the rooftops when we met for lunch that day, but I kept it to myself.

I interviewed the first week of January, and was offered the job in February.

In terms of a job, it was all I ever wanted. Among a handful of companies in Oklahoma envied by all, and highly competitive.

Every other Friday off, a doctor’s office onsite, a state of the art gym, beautiful amenities, completely innovative, and the best people around.

Farewell 💗

However, leaving my then-current employer wasn’t completely easy either.

It was close to home, I liked the people, I had good benefits, and most importantly- I worked for the best.boss.ever.

Unfortunately, I had successfully burned myself out. I had seven weeks of vacation banked and never felt like I could take a day. I was ready for a change, but only at the right place.

And it happened.

In March 2014 I said goodbye to my friends of nearly six years and took the job at my dream company.

But not before my old company sent me off with a Vitamix.

I left there on a Friday and started on a Monday.

What was I thinking!? smile

Turns out, the company was everything I thought it would be, and more. Pinch me.

Seriously.

The Lord began preparing my heart for the move during the fall of 2013, and it was worth the wait.

I couldn’t believe I got to work there everyday. Everything was perfect.

Then, the bottom dropped in the oil market.

We nervously watched it go lower, and lower, and lower, hitting below $27 a barrel at the beginning of the year.

How did we get here so quickly?

It was grim, and we all knew it.

Previously, my company never had a layoff due to commodity pricing, but we knew it was probably inevitable.

In January, they announced what we all feared-a large scale layoff due to commodity pricing.

Have you ever been through something like that?

It takes an emotional toll on a person. As the newbie, I was convinced I would be let go.

Office chatter was tense. Each person had resigned themselves to the fact that they were on “the list” for reasons x,y, and z.

I trusted the Lord and spent much time on my knees in my closet, crying out to Him. Telling Him I would trust Him “when” it happened.

And then it happened.

Only, I was blessed enough to get to keep my job.

It’s funny how we can convince ourselves we know what God is doing, and then He up and surprises us.

Staying was a huge blessing, but in a way far differently than I anticipated.

After the layoffs, things were vey different. I quickly decided a few things I had ignored for a long time weren’t going to be as easy to ignore.

Skipping ahead a little, I began to pray about whether I was supposed to stay where I was.

I didn’t want to leave, but I continued to see evident signs that the Lord had another plan.

Through a series of His orchestrated hands, I reached out to a former coworker about a possible opportunity with a new company.

A conversation with him led to a conversation with my former boss, and when all was said and done, a position was created for me at my former company and I had the opportunity to return.

There was a lot of prayer and long conversations with Will in between, but for the sake of this post I think I’ve covered the gist.

I turned in my notice two weeks ago, and finished up work this week.

It was hard to leave because I truly loved where I was. However, I know the Lord was at work in these events.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned these last two years, it’s that trust and obedience in the Lord are beautiful things (but they’re not always easy!).

I know in my heart I am going where I’m supposed to be, but that doesn’t mean I won’t miss my new friends.

I bid farewell to my friends and coworkers Thursday. One of my friends took me out to Cool Greens for lunch that day.

I thought it was fitting, bringing everything to full circle.

A good way to close out one chapter and begin another.

I was so sad to leave my previous job in 2014, but as I drove off Thursday I was actually ok. I’m sad to leave friends, but no tears were shed and I honestly don’t feel that sad. I know I’m going where I’m supposed to.

That’s a good feeling.

I start my “second first day” Monday.

I was off Friday, and Will and I took the opportunity to make a quick trip to Perkins for pie and muffins.

Perkins

Because how else would you celebrate a new job when you’re an 87 year old living in a 30-something’s body?!

Exactly.

So yeah, big life changes. Again.

I wanted to capture everything here while it was fresh on my mind. I like having this space for things like this.

I also think I might check in a little more often than I have been, how about that!?

That’s it for now. Here’s to a good (second) first day! 💗

2016: Here’s to the Journey

New Year’s Eve was full of reflection in the B-Love house.

As you may remember, 2015 did not go as we anticipated or hoped.

We spent the last night of 2015 talking about our expectations for the year and how differently they played out. Who would have thought the bottom would have fallen out of the oil and gas industry, and that selling our half of the business might have been one of the best things that could have happened to us at the time?

Yet, before all that came to pass, our initial expectations for 2015 were quite different based on our limited knowledge.

As a preacher I know once said- We only have a few pieces of the puzzle, but God has the whole box top and sees how it all goes together.

We spent lot of time that night evaluating dreams, the past, the future, the “whys?” and the “what’s next?”

I told Will I was frustrated.

I could clearly see God’s hand and protection over us with how things happened with the business.

What a huge, huge blessing we can now look back on and see. How he made provision to protect us even when, at the time, we thought everything was crumbling around us.

Yet, ever since then, I haven’t really been able to detrrmine God’s guidance regarding what’s next.

I kept waiting for Him to show up in some mighty way this year. Divinely showing Will that he was supposed to go back into the ministry.

Yet, that opportunity came and went this year too (though I didn’t post about it on the blog).

Lots of waiting.

Lots of wondering.

Lots of wandering.

I told Will I was frustrated because I’m here. I’ve got my arms stretched out wide asking God, begging God, to use me.

To take my life and do as He pleases. To show me where to go. To open doors and give me opportunities to bring Him glory.

Yet, nothing.

More waiting.

More wondering.

More wandering.

More questions than answers.

It’s like we’re in the car ready to drive but have no directions to our destination.

“It would be a lot easier if He’d just tell us what to do next!” I told Will.

Will is used to my impatience.

He looked at me and said what I already knew.

“It’s the journey Brittny.  It’s the journey.”

“Do you think Abraham would have truly trusted God if he already knew a sacrificial lamb was waiting for him when we went to the mountain with Isaac?”

The journey is about being refined.

It’s a process.

We talked about the “Hall of Faith” in Hebrews and how long, how incredibly long, most of the people had to wait for God’s full plan to come to pass.

Just like us, they waited. They probably wondered, and perhaps they even wandered and floundered sometimes too.

But they trusted and are counted as the faithful saints who placed themselves in God’s hands when they couldn’t see the whole picture. They rested in knowing He “had the box top.”

Step by step, day by day.

Being refined in His likeness.

God’s still here.

He’s always here.

He often doesn’t do what we expect, but that doesn’t mean He’s not at work.

We agreed we likely won’t see the fullness of our 2015 story for quite some time, because it’s a journey.

We will simply step out in faith this year and “do the next thing,” trusting that God will redirect if that’s not the right next thing.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t anxious about 2016. Nervous about the oil and gas market and how it’s affected and is affecting our great state. Nervous about my job in this industry, just as my fellow colleagues are too.

I truly believe I will have to trust in and rely on the Lord more this year than ever before.

Remember my post about that? It still rings true. Everyday.

I pray this year brings us closer to Him, and that we see His hand in every move we make.

I pray this year we will draw closer to Him and let Him do as He pleases, even when we don’t understand.

I pray others will be strengthened around us and that God will glorify Himself in all we do.

To the journey of 2016.

To the glory of the Lord our God.

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't believe I get to have breakfast with this man everyday. Beyond blessed. 💗

I also went a little wild at the store.

And with pictures.

Loveless cafe and hotel. That's how we roll
😍Loveless Cafe

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

The next big thing 😂 Will and Brittny take the Opry

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

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

The lineup

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

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

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

WB at the Ryman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wild and crazy.

Thursday, 10 Sept

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

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

I’d been there ages ago, but Will had never been. He was completely enthralled. It was adorable. We got there early and were able to watch the marine biologist feed the fish. It was so very neat!
Will enthralled by the fish
Because we'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'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's bathroom and separate closet are a sight to see. Very impressive! Lots of space, lots of mirrors, lots of lights!
On Gretchen Wilson's four wheeler from the Redneck Woman video. #classy

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

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

Have you ever had one!?

Dead.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He knew a lot.

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

First order of business? Find some Tennessee barbecue.

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

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

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

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

Saturday, 12 Sept

Game day!

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

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

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

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

Because I'm on vacation. That's why.

Hey, it’s vacation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Two overtimes, in fact.

Talk about a nail biting victory!

What a game!

We won! 😱

WB ready for a sooner victory! OU takes Tennessee

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

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

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

Chaos.

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

Then we had to drive to our hotel.

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

Sunday, 13 Sept
Vacation officially ended this day.

What a bummer.

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

And that was it!

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

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

Thanks for indulging me.

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

The One with Family Fun & a Look Ahead

This.

Weekend things

Weekend things

Weekend things
Weekend things

Chicks! 🐤
Chicks! 🐤
Boo
Lots of green

Enjoying the nice weather

Loving lulu

Pepper flowers!

We had a lovely weekend. Lunch with ladies I love, a belated Mother’s Day dinner with Will’s parents (and a visit to see baby chicks!), house stuff, lunch with my parents, hanging with my family, praying for no storms, workouts, church, and rest.

I’m pumped for this week because it’s a short work week and an extra long weekend. Woo hoo!

Check in this week for

May Ipsy!
The 400 workout
Thursday Things
And more!

I hope you had a great weekend! 

trust(in the midst of a storm)

The OKC metro experienced a tornado outbreak earlier this week.

Yep. Just like a bad rash or contagious disease, there are such things as tornado “outbreaks.”

I don’t work close to home anymore. So anytime these storms start to develop, I literally have mere minutes to decide whether I’m going to stay where I am, or if I have enough time to make it home.

It completely stresses me.

I decided to go home Wednesday, along with half the metro.

The roads were getting congested, and rain started to fall.

I turned on the radio and there was already a tornado south of OKC, with more rotating areas on the way.

I gripped the steering wheel in fear and tried to steady my breath.

You see, no matter how long I’ve lived here, I don’t handle storms well. at all.

I knew I didn’t want to stay at work. I knew I just wanted to be home. However, I had to get from A to B and trust God to get me there safely.

My mind flashed back to Sunday’s message on prayer.

At the end of the service, our campus pastor handed out cards and asked us to write down one word that epitomized something we needed prayer for.

I wrote down the word “trust.”

This year had a rocky start. God is helping me work on my trust every single day. Perhaps I’ll share that story another day.

We then exchanged the card with someone around us, and committed to praying for each other this week.

We then prayed collectively about the word we chose and asked that the Lord reveal Himself this week in a very clear way.

Right on cue, the following morning the Lord used my Bible app’s “verse of the day” to remind me of His love and plan for my life- and need to trust Him. It’s a verse I think about often, and I know it was no coincidence to see it Monday morning. 

Verses

He knew I needed to see that verse, and it truly blessed me.

The powerful storms Wednesday were by far the biggest lessons I faced on trust this week.

Believe me, trust was definitely going through my mind as I creeped along busy highways trying to get home.

It reminded me of a well known story in Mark I’d read earlier this week.

Mark told the story of Jesus walking on water in chapter 6. Jesus sent the disciples on a boat over to Bethsaida while he stayed behind.

That night, the waves began to crash against the boat and hindered their progress. The disciples found themselves straining to move the boat.

Jesus watched their efforts and began to walk toward them on the water.

What happened next makes me laugh a little. In fact, I’m positive Jesus had a sense of humor.

Verses

Jesus began to walk past the boat, almost as if to pass on by. It makes me smile a little. It’s like he siked them out.

Instead of recognizing him, the disciples were completely terrified and thought he was a ghost!

Yep, the guys that spent more time with him the last years of his life than anyone else thought Jesus was a ghost.

Real life.

Jesus watched his friends completely spin their wheels (and maybe even lose their minds for a second with the whole ghost thing), and He told them not to be afraid, to take courage, because He was there.

And he climbed in the boat and the waves calmed.

And as I thought about that story driving home, I began to calm a little, too.

So often I spin my wheels and row in my own power trying to get to “Bethsaida,” only to have the waves of life come around me.

Like the disciples, I strive, worry, and wonder if Jesus just passed me by and left me to fend for myself.

(News alert- He didn’t. He will never leave us nor forsake us.)

I laugh when I think I’m in control of my life. Sure, the Lord has granted us free will to make our own decisions, but ultimately, He is in control.

Ultimately, as we go from point A to point B, whether it’s feverishly going home to avoid a storm, or feverishly wrought with worry and fear because of a diagnosis, or a betrayal, or disappointment, He is still sovereign God and is in control.

He doesn’t walk on by when the waves of life crash about. He tells us to take courage, because He is there.

Verses

No matter if the waves keep crashing or subside, He is there. In the boat. Providing peace for his beloveds.

Do we believe it? Do we trust it?

I struggle to trust it.

I truly believe the Lord illuminated all of these things to me this week, during the visceral thunderstorms of life, to remind me He’s ever present during the private storms life brings, too.

As if to further confirm what I already knew to be true (but have a hard time grasping sometimes), yesterday morning, after a night of wild storms, the Lord provided yet another very clear reminder to trust Him.

Verses

Everything He does is worthy of trust. It’s not about what I want or how I think things should go. It’s about trusting a God who desires our holiness and works for our good in all things. Even the things we don’t understand yet.

I can unequivocally say the Lord heard my prayers this week and showed up in a big way. I’m still a pupil in the school of trust (and will always be because I need him so), but I definitely learned a couple lessons.

Praying as you go from point A to B in whatever literal or figurative storm you’re facing today, you know He is with those who have surrendered their hearts to Him. Trust His word to be true, and trust everything He does is worthy of it. 

(Tuesday) Thursday Things

Technically today is “Tuesday Things,” but since I usually post these on Thursdays, I had to hold true.

Plus Thursday Things just sounds better, yes?

As mentioned, we rented a professional steam vacuum last weekend and did an overhaul on our carpets.

Oh.my.stars.

All the brown water.

Yikes!

I like to think I keep our house tidy, but steam cleaning the carpets did a number on me. Will said pretty much everyone’s carpets are like that (unless they steam clean a lot!), but it didn’t make me feel better.

Remember the Everybody Loves Raymond when Debra buys one for her house and there’s tons of dirty water, but when they do Marie’s carpet it’s completely clear water? 😂

Boz caught a cookie Layla dropped on the floor last weekend and was bouncing off the walls soon thereafter.

He was so funny, and so happy! He sat on Will’s lap with this giant happy smile on his face, with arms swaying. Watch this. Hilarious!

Knockout!
One of the greatest boxing fights in recent history is this weekend.

Will and I don ‘t follow boxing, but who doesn’t know the success of Mayweather and Pacquiao?

We planned on getting the fight… And then found out it’s $100! For real.

If you’re a big boxing fan I could see it, but since we’re amateurs… Eh…

The Earth is shaking
Things sure are moving and shaking around here!

Did you know Oklahoma is on a fault line? True story.

We been having an increase in earthquakes over the last couple of years, and last weekend we had six earthquakes in the metro!

I am also praying for those in Nepal. What an awful catastrophe. My heart goes out to them.

More and more sings of the times on the eschatological clock.

At your service
Will and I started serving at church, and my heart hasn’t felt this full in a long time.

I feel serving is such a huge component in drawing near to God, and it was one missing in my life. It is such a blessing to serve Jesus!

What makes it even better is that my parents are serving alongside us, so it’s an extra special treat. Wee!

Things we wish were not forever etched in pictures

I found a host of horrifying pictures from my childhood recently.

Weekend things

Guys, I went through a four year phase of complete ugly. It was awful. My sister and I did manage to have a laugh at our expense. Good times.

I almost shared one for today’s TBT… But they’re just that embarrsssing.

Instead...
the girls in vallderosa
Here’s one of me and P in Vallderosa.

I want to go back!

Still dying over Chickfila coffee.
We had new tires put on the old Honda last weekend and I made Will take me there while we waited.

Seriously. Their coffee is ridiculous in the best possible way.

That’s all for today. Anything you care to share?

Thursday Things, 23 April 2015

It’s Arts Festival week here in OKC.

Which means I ate like complete junk the day I visited.

The art is fantastic, trust me.

However, I only spend money on the food.

I know.

Go ahead and judge.

Mr. Clean
Will and I are spring cleaning this weekend! Wee!

Will volunteered to steam vac our carpets.

Twice.

And then I’ll be doing my usual once over on the house.

We’re also garage sale prepping.

I have a feeling I’ll end up preoccupied helping him move furniture and an assortment of other fun chores unrelated to my actual once over.

I love missing work to do more work. Ha!

The Land Before Time

Im having blog troubles, ya’ll.

If my blog were a person it would be Betty White...except totally uncool.

It’s old. Real old.

I’m struggling with what to do about the ancientness of this space for many reasons.

For the foreseeable future things are going to stay the same, but trust me, I know you probably feel like you’re in a time warp anytime you stop by.

Let’s make it a thing for now.

A cool, hip, seasoned, retro-chic, Betty White-esque thing.

Fuller House
Am I the only one sort of on the fence about Full House coming back?

Don’t get me wrong, I loved, totally loved, the show growing up.

In fact, I could probably sing the theme song scene now!

But, I’m kinda worried it will be a let down. You know the saying, “you can never go home”?

Like that. But for TV.

Regardless, I’m going to watch. I mean, it’s Full House!

How I Know I Live in Oklahoma
Because I make casseroles on a somewhat consistent basis.

I think quintessential casseroles evolved out of southern and Midwestern kitchens decades ago, and they’re still serving them up to their children’s children’s children to this very day.

Without any modifications whatsoever.

If you ever go to a potluck here, you can guarantee 75% of the dishes are going to be casseroles.

The other 25% are desserts.

Anyway, I made a winner last night and am going to force it upon you. Whether you live in Connecticut, California, or any other non-casserole state. Haha

This picture was taken ten years ago

Qatar 2005

TEN!

We went to Qatar to renew my visitors visa.

Sometimes it feels just like yesterday.

Rake Up the Makeup
Here’s my plug to remind you to send any products my way if you’re thinking about doing so! The more the merrier. ❤️ Please just shoot me a note- blove at the blovelife dot com!

That’s all the randomness for today. Check in tomorrow sweets!

I’m off to load the steam vac and get things going!

The Red & White One & a Look Ahead

Vet day

Froyo.
Froyo.

Chilly after froyo
Baby Peppers!

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

2015 Red and White game!

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

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

It was a great weekend.

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

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

-32
-WIOW
-Thursday Things
And more!

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

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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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