Because I'm Terrible at Scrapbooks
Confessions

Thursday Confessions: The House Edition

1. Now that you have refrigerator rights, I feel I can be totally real and lead off with a huge home confession:

I have a complete internal meltdown when people wear shoes inside my house.

Complete.internal.meltdown.

You can probably see the color start to drain from my face, and the smile fade from my mouth.

I hold it together on the outside, but guys?

I’m dying inside.

2.Sooo chances are if you were ever to pop in unannounced, you would find we use Walmart sacks as trash bags.

Very Classy.

This has been a “thing” at our house, oh for about five years now.

Yep. True story.

I used to throw a total fit about it, but after while got tired of arguing with Will about the trashiness of it all (no pun intended haha). The truth is, we have a freakishly large amount of Walmart sacks and I guess we are putting them to good use?

I disgust myself.

3. Favorite chore: Dust busting with my new Dyson handheld. smile

My new toy

Least favorite chore: Dusting & cleaning the shower

4. Speaking of dusting, how often do you guys dust your blinds and baseboards? 

I’m not really sure what constitutes “normal dusting.” I usually do basic surfaces every week, but do in depth dusting, to include baseboards and blinds, twice a month.

Too much?

Not enough?

Help!

5. Will and I have a heightened sensitivity to the way our house smells.

Like for real.

Do you guys do that too?

We kind of sort of have a mini breakdown in the Sam’s aisle during the spring-summer months when we religiously check to see the scents they have only to realize they never ever carry what we need EVER during the warmer months.

Did the Sams people ever consider that vanilla and apple cinnamon are always in style!?

ALWAYS!?!

Sheesh.

So yeah, we pretty much hoard those two scents on the fall and winter when we can get them in bulk at Sams. Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do.

That’s enough for me. Any household confessions to get off your chest?

Work it Out Wednesday: Tracy Anderson Dance Cardio

Okay, confession.

I own a Tracy Anderson workout video.

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It’s true.

Here’s when all the hardcore lifters that may read my blog totally roll their eyes and click off today’s post, and maybe even ban me altogether!

But wait!

Here me out!

There’s a method to my madness, I promise.

So, first things first. Let’s talk about Tracy Anderson’s controversial Method training.

It’s a bit of an understatement to say she’s a polarizing figure in the fitness industry.

After all, she has no formal schooling and claims if you use more than three pound weights when working out, you’ll bulk.

Thats right, if you more than three pounds, you’ll bulk

You know, because who wants to rock a bod like Jamie Eason, when we could pump up on a whole three pounds, right?

Jamie Eason

Anyway, I don’t really want to talk about all that today because I’m sure you can guess my opinion on the matter.

This review isn’t about her method program and is instead about her Dance Cardio series.

Aaaand, here’s where you judge me all the more.

Yep. I totally bounce around in my living room using dance as a workout tool sometimes.

Sue me.

The truth is, though if you do the whole workout (one hour), it’s a ridiculous cardio session.

It’s a lot of fun too.

So judge all you want, but I’ll still be dancing it up in my living room sometimes.

So I wanted to highlight some pros and cons about the DVD incase you too want to have a dance party in your living room.

Ready?! Let’s go!

Pros

1. It’s just plain fun.

It really is.

We’ll… Once I learned the moves, that is.

Before that it wasn’t fun at all. I felt like a complete idiot bouncing around trying to figure out how to do a freaking grapevine.

What?!

Once you get the moves even somewhat down (and I still don’t) it’s fun.

2. The time passes fast.

Once you learn the moves, you can skip straight to the actual workout and dance your heart away. It’s an hour long and goes super fast.

One hour dancing is a lot different than an hour on the elliptical, at least it is for me. I get bored easily and could never stay on an elliptical that long, but could definitely dance for an hour.

3. You can torch some serious calories.

On average, you can burn about 400 calories doing dance cardio for an hour. I was surprised just how sweaty I got, and that I was even sometimes out of breath.

4. It’s convenient.

You can do it in the comfort of your own home.

If you’re not big into visiting a class to learn dance moves you have no idea how to do, this is a great option. You can pause and rewind the instructions (over and over if you’re me haha) and take your time learning.

5. You can even use your own music.

I’m not skilled enough to do this just yet, but once you get the eight counts down and get comfortable, you could even mute the TV and turn on your own tunes.

6. Tracy takes you through stretching, too

It’s definitely important to incorporate stretching, and Tracy does just that.

7. Option to watch the cardio with Tracy facing you or facing away.

This was a helpful tool. You can watch her instruction facing you, and you can also watch her facing away, to see it from your own perspective. This especially comes in handy when she’s talking about left and right motions.

Hopefully that gives you some insight into some of aspects I liked most. Now let’s discuss the cons!

Cons
1. The DVD is not user friendly.

This is my biggest complaint, and it’s a major one.

The DVD set up is very frustrating. You have only two real options, learn the moves or do the cardio. 

The moves are broken into several different unique training sessions. So basically, you’re learning multiple mini dances that all come together to create the entire 60 minute workout.

The problem, though, is that there was no way I was going to be able to learn that all! Instead, I wanted to master a section at a time to make sure I had it down.

The DVD distinguishes these as unique dances, however you cannot simply just skip to them, it’s all or nothing. You have to watch the whole thing.

Sure, I can fast forward to the sessions I want to learn, and rewind to make sure I have a specific dance down. However, it would have been far easier to create the DVD to break up these dances so you could click on the specific one you wanted to learn. Sort of annoying.

2. It’s long.

Especially when you’re learning the moves.

If you’re a dancer or fast learner, it may not take long to catch on. However, I’m not blessed with coordination, so it took me a long time!

So, I didn’t really get the full benefit of a workout until I first learned the moves. Learning the moves, followed by a 60 minute dance cardio session was unrealistic, so I broke the learning part up into multiple sessions.

3. It’s recommended you do the program 4-6 times a week.

I suppose that’s fine if all you want to do is cardio and nothing else, but that’s unrealistic for me. I like to incorporate multiple types of exercise into my program, especially resistance training.

If you buy the DVD, you may want to just use it as a fun supplement to your current program, which is what I did.

So there you have it! We can learn from anyone. Even ladies who only lift three pound weights. wink

Ipsy review tomorrow!

posted in Confessions,Health & Fitness bullet permalink bullet 3.26.2014

Why Sometimes I Eat Thin Mints

Sooo, I wanted today’s post to be all about my first day.

However, when I stopped to think about how overwhelming Monday probably would be, plus the fact it would be my first day battling life as a commuter (which means getting home late), I thought I better play it safe and write this post on Sunday.

So that’s what happened.

I figure I will share some highlights about my first week on Friday!

With that in mind, I didn’t really have anything else planned for this post.

Which means we are both in trouble.

We could talk about how Will is sabotaging me.

Help!

Yes, there’s two in that pic.

Regular people eat one, and save the other one for later.

I’m not regular.

I eat both pretty much back to back.

I disgust myself.

Or we could talk about my own self-sabotage.

For Will… Minus the row if thin mints I ate

Will loves Girl Scout cookies (who doesn’t!?), so I surprised him with four whole boxes last week.

He was very appreciative.

Only… Will is regular (see Reece’s story above). He can open a row of thin mints, eat a few, and stick them back in the freezer.

(Because everyone knows that’s where they belong)

Surprisingly, even though I love all things sweet, the Girl Scout cookies don’t get to me that much.

In fact, we even have a Sam’s size box of Grandma’s Cookies that don’t tempt me much these days either.

Except…

Last Friday Will was out late at a friend’s for poker night. Which meant I was left to my own devices.

Around 10:30, you know, the perfect time to eat 600 calories in one sitting, I decided I would sneak a few of his thin mints.

He had half a row left in the freezer.

Who does that!?

Regular people.

I ate three, and called it good. After all, I had cake for my going away party and also splurged at my mom’s birthday dinner.

Five minutes later I decided, “Oh what the heck, let’s call this a cheat ‘day’,” and ate the rest.

Not regular.

Irregular.

Whatever.

Anyway, as I reflected on the day, I was surprisingly okay with it.

What’s crazy is that a couple of years ago, I would have felt like a total failure.

Like I had to punish myself the following day by eating less and exercising more.

I finally have such a healthy relationship with food and my body, that I’m okay having a “bad” eating day like that every now and then. Mainly because I eat so healthily all the time.

It’s living my life and enjoying the going away parties, birthdays, and even occasional late night snacks that keep me from eating an entire loaf of bread over a weekend (Real life).

Setting my mind on things above instead of earthly things or my past food fixation has helped me immeasurably.

No, I don’t recommend eating two giant Reece’s a day or eating a row of thin mints before bed every night. I’m just saying finding your own balance can go a long way to enjoying your life and still reaching personal goals.

I received two super thoughtful compliments while at the gym this weekend, and it’s not because I spend hours doing cardio or not eating carbs. It’s because I’ve found my healthy balance and no longer obsess over food and exercise. Definitely felt good to realize that this weekend.

Here’s to a healthy recovery week for me, and a healthy week for you! <3

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

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

Tenth!

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

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

Beware, this post is going to be completely scattered.

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

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

Such romantics. haha

Will kissing Brittny on the cheek with Carissa watching

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

-I totally regret my poor bridesmaid’s dresses.

They were hideous.

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

Brittny,Carissa & Kaci Michael-13 March 2004

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

Dishes

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

Will & Brittny getting ready to cut the cake

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

Um- AMAZING

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

Not much has changed with my directional issues. smile

Oh- and they lost our luggage.

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

We went to the Poconos. It was a blast.

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

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

Look at these crazy kids! Such babies.

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

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

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

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

Very gourmet. 

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

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

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

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

For the record, we did not eat the cookbook.

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

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

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

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

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

Will & Brittny at last game of the season-2004

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

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

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

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

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

Very fancy, I tell you.

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

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

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

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

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Camels in Kuwait

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

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

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brr!

Britt's Pics 098

air conditioned taxi

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

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

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

Red and White Game 09

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

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

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

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

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

More flower pics. Geez

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

School is over!

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

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

Christmas 2013!

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

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

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

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

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

So much more.

Cheesecake Factory!

In the Way He Walks (Happy Valentine’s Day)

Happy Valentine’s Day, Lovelies!

Are you up to your ears in flowers and chocolate?

Or perhaps today is a little more low key, as is such in the B-Love house.

We’ve never been huge Valentine’s Day celebrators. Not to say I don’t enjoy the trinkets the holiday brings, but at the same time, you won’t find us out at dinner tonight with the masses either.

Nonetheless, today is a good reminder of our loved ones. No time like the present to tell them how much they mean to you!

With that in mind, today I want to share a total twist on Valentine’s Day. But hang with me, because I promise (or at least I hope!) we will come back full circle.

Today I want to talk about the green eyed monster, and how it got hold of me recently.

Yes, it’s true.

I even debated sharing today’s post since it’s so raw. And at the mere thought of questioning whether I should share such a soul-baring post, it propelled me all the more to hit “submit.” It’s no use for me to have this blog if I can’t be transparent, yes?

Anyhow, let’s get back that green eyed monster stuff.

The other day I had the opportunity to be around someone (and I apologize in advance for the cliché)on fire for God.

Just being around her was so exciting.

Talk about major girl crush.

Her positivity was electric, her love for others and God even moreso. 

And? And she was humble. 

Her heart is simply beautiful. And let’s not even talk about how super perfect her outfit, hair, and makeup was. No amount of foundation could make a face as flawless as hers.

Does she ever have a bad day?

Insert green eyed monster.

Not that you can really ever justify jealousy (though I’m about to. Ha), but I wasn’t “maliciously jealous” toward her (you know, because now I’m also compartmentalizing types of jealousy).

Rather, I just was more in awe. I totally wanted her heart, her amazing fashion sense, her love for others, her passion, her inner beauty.

As I left my encounter with her, you’d think I’d be feeling all excited and inspired, but the truth was that it left me feeling sort of lousy.

Why can’t my life be perfect like that? Why can’t my relationship with God be that amazing?

Why, why why!?

Sheesh. Talk about attack of the green monster and pity party fairy.

(what’s up with all these silly names to describe negative emotions?… eh, I’m just going to go with it.)

I just felt sort of blah.

I felt like a mess.

All the more I began to stare at the ever deepening lines under my eyes, and the bags to go along with them. My frizzy hair, and ridiculously pale skin.  Ugh, then my messy house. Don’t get me started on that! Then I began to contemplate my heart condition and how I wished to be so bubbly and enthusiastic much like her.

Sigh.

Days passed, when I began to think about the whole thing again.

As I contemplated, I realized instead of looking outward, I really needed to be looking upward.

So much of what I admired about this woman wasn’t necessarily all just her, it was God totally working in her.

You know what’s amazing about that?

He can use all of us.

The people we admire often have characteristics we’re entirely capable of possessing ourselves.

Not only that, but the traits I admired in her were simply extensions of the very traits God himself possess and gives freely to those who seek him.

When I watch others able to give so freely, I realize- I can be a giver too. When I see others show mercy, I realize God can give me a merciful heart too.

These are all things God can mold and make us into for his own glory.

With that said, it’s also important to remember our own uniqueness!

I know we’ve heard it our entire lives, but seriously- we’re unique.

And we’ve been placed on this earth for this very moment in time to fulfill opportunities the Lord placed in advance for us to do.  Okay, I know some of you are probably like, “Hmm… is she drinking the Kool-Aid?” If I’m wrong, I’m wrong (but I’m not smile ), but I’m a firm believer of this truth based on scriptures.

What I’m trying to say is, we’re not all going to be the Donna Reeds or Mrs. Billy Grahams.

I’m me.

I have my own unique story and past and present that can be used as inspiration to point others upward just like this girl did for me.

To put a bow on today’s topic, and come full circle to today’s special day, it’s in remembering our first love that we’re able to show love to others.

To be that light and inspiration others are drawn to. It’s simply a matter of walking in the way HE walks, and not looking at others.

Looking upward, my friends.

Happy Valentine’s Day to the man who held my heart before I even knew his name. <3

He walks

Am I Becoming a Flexitarian?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So here’s the story.

A few months ago I started feeling sort of crappy.

Tired, sluggish, blah.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eggs!

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

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

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

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

I’m terrible at math, remember?

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

So what does the future hold?

I don’t know.

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

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

So there you have it.

It’s out there!

More to come. <3

25 things I should be doing after work tonight but most definitely will NOT be doing

1. Organizing our closets.
2. Organizing our utility room.
3. Organizing or office.
4. I sound like a mess broken record… for good measure let’s get off the organizing stuff. Oh, I know! Making a Christmas card list.
5. Picking out Christmas cards.
6. Decorating for Christmas
7. Wait. Decorating for Thanksgiving.
8. Buying Thanksgiving-y decorations so I can decorate for Thanksgiving.
9. Figuring out what we’re doing for Thanksgiving.
10. Figuring out what I’m making for Thanksgiving.
11. Perusing sites for Layla’s Christmas.
12. Figuring out what to give P as a housewarming gift.
13. Sit-ups.
14. More sit-ups.
15. My nails (they’re terrible)
16. Putting laundry away.
17. Offloading pictures to my computer.
18. Contemplating next week’s blog posts.
19. Catching up on Parenthood (seriously! I am four weeks behind, and I love that show!)
20. Researching shoe wracks.
21. Researching decorations for the office.
22. Did I say sit-ups? Yeah, we should do some more.
23. Brush the dog’s hair.
24. Brush the dog’s teeth (seriously, their breath is horrid).
25. Go to bed before 8:30.

Wow…this list has me feeling lazy. I think I’m going to pick a few off and actually do some.

Anything you’re putting off?

making you feel better, one confession at a time

I cannot stay away from the banana bites.

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I find them far too convenient to make.

And eat.

Don’t do it.

Actually, do it.

Just put a lock on the fridge.

And give me the combo. I’ll keep them safe.

Lately I have been over office chit chat.

I realize it can be an important tool and helpful in the workplace- yes, I get that, so please don’t tell me.

However, lately… I’ve just been over it.

In fact, I am ashamed to admit this but I was so busy last week that I used my desk phone to call my cell phone and faked a conversation with “someone” about work stuff so I could keep working on my computer and not deal with someone that wanted to shoot the breeze.

True story.

But, in my defense (a little at least), I saw a study last week that said most water cooler conversations can last as many as 26 minutes per exchange.

Who has time for that!?

Oh, and incase you’re wondering?

Me and my cell phone pal were a hoot. I love that girl, and she is so helpful! wink

The Pumpkin Mask

So remember our last Ipsy review? 

I got a Michael Todd pumpkin rich face mask.

Mask

Well, I just got around to using it last weekend, and yeah.

It’s like smearing mashed Thanksgiving all over your freaking face.

It was amazing.

And weird all at the same time.

I couldn’t decide if I should mosey on into the kitchen and whip up some mashed sweet potatoes and pumpkin muffins,

or just eat the mask.

I disgust myself.

I may or may not have used my husbands face scrub.

image

Twice this week.

But probably not.

Because what girl goes that!?

Exactly.

Totally unladylike. And totally un-30.

I mean the stuff even says PRE SHAVE.

Forget that it is cheaper than your girly scrubs,

Or that it smells totally perfect,

Or that the scrubbieness is like an awakening massage each morning, kissing your little cheekies with each stroke.

It’s for boys.

So I totally didn’t use it… Today.

********

Okay, that’s enough sharing for today. I think I’ve done an adequate job of making you all feel a little better about yourselves.

So carry on.

But before you do? Share your own confession in the Share The Love box below!

Baby Fever(less)

Do any of you read Time magazine?

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

image

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

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

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

TENTH.

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

Okay, okay… 6 assuming you count furry friends.

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

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

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

We settled into life.

We were living in Kuwait.

We were busy.

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

And then we moved home.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And now Layla is a year old.

And now the quiet wonderings among those in my family?

Aren’t so quiet anymore.

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

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

Um- I’m being serious.

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

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

“Well when you do… “

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

I get that a lot.

And truthfully?

Sometimes it hurts my feelings.

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

When did this topic become a collective decision?

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

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

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

Yes, that’s right. I said it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I know. This decision is totally ridiculous.

It’s “wrong.”

It’s confusing.

“What?

Why wouldn’t you want to have kids?

You guys would be such good parents!”

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

And I understand where you’re coming from.

Kids are amazing.

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

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

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

And it’s okay.

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

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

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

Plus? It’s sort of a selfish reason.

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

Am I right?

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

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

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

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

But I definitely think there is credence to that sentence.

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

The idea.

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

And yes, I know it’s “in a good way.”

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

I hope I am among friends and supporters.

So there.

I got it out there. 

If anything changes?

I will obviously let you know, but until then?

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

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

More to come…





Thursday Amaze(balls)ment

It’s been a crazy week, and I feel as though I’ve been going full speed ahead without a moment to catch my breath.

Which is funny, especially when you read tomorrow’s post.

(Spoiler alert: It is about me getting a speeding ticket!)

Um, I’ve been trying to slow down yet it seems like this week has been against me and is all about going full bore, full steam ahead!

Here are a few random bits of fun I want to share with you today!

Mainly because Thursdays are usually my “free posting” day, where I don’t really structure it and just do whatever I want.

And usually don’t write until the day of, either.

Brilliant!

smile

Hey, perhaps I do my best work under pressure?

Probably not.

Anyway-

1. The last few weeks Will and I have been trying to connect with a Life Group

A Life Group is basically like a Sunday school but much more relaxed. They meet at various times and usually at people’s houses.

We’ve been going to Life Church for a long time now but haven’t really taken that next step, though we’ve needed to.

We tried our first one last week, and can I tell you something funny?

It sort of felt like a blind date.

I put on better perfume than normal, and Will wore cologne.

I wore my favorite makeup colors, and we both freshened up before we left…

Wasn’t I just talking about inner beauty last week?
Sheesh.

But seriously- it was like we were trying out a new couple friend to see if we would be compatible.

Perhaps you’ve done something similar?

Probably not.

Because that’s just crazy talk.

But it’s true. We totally put on the ritz.

Anyway, the group was so nice and welcoming.

We are trying another one tomorrow, and can I be honest? I’m not thrilled about going to a group that meets on Fridays. However, I’m going in with an open mind!

But seriously. The Fridays thing.

Does that mean they’re older and don’t care about a nice Friday night out anymore?

Closer to our age, which means perhaps we should not care about a nice Friday out anymore?

Or maybe they’re like way younger?

Kids are invited so maybe these are the young 20 something’s that have kids and find Friday nights work great so they can get out of the house for an hour without having to frantically search Care.com for a legitimate babysitter.

And not the 53 year old that smelled like kitty litter and wore that creepy cat sweater like the one they had last week.

Hmm, it’s a toss up. All I know is- I’m way too old to try to be young and cool again.

I’m an old soul.

Correction.

I’m just old.

Case in point: It’s 90 degrees out and I’m huddled up in my office wearing a sweater.

And 2. I just can’t get on this whole “amazeballs” wagon.

Is this a real thing now? Like the new awesome? Why can’t I grasp this expression in all its “cool” glory?

I just can’t…

Gosh I’m old.

2. Enough about that. Let’s talk about this week’s big accomplishment instead.

Dealing with Ritz crackers.

I typically can’t keep them in my house.

Um, I’ve known this since the beginning of time.

But lately, I’ve been totally mature around them- for Will’s sake (he’s the one that eats them). He went through an entire box without me mauling a single roll.

And then I bought another box two weeks ago.

And this time?

Not as lucky.

I can’t be sure, but I’m pretty sure I’ve eaten an entire roll throughout the last 2 weeks- which, by the way, should be praised and applauded.

Take a look- two full rows remain, and most of the third.

image

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Two weeks later!

Thank you very much!

Now that?

That is amazeballs, assuming I was into that word, or course.

Because everyone knows the second you open up a roll they’re inevitably going to be eaten in a single setting.

Oh- and speaking of- did you know Ritz sells mini boxes now!?

Genius!

They’re the same amount of crackers as in a normal size box, but they break up the rolls into 8 instead of 4.

Much better if you’re going to indulge a bit.

3. Boot camps have sort of stalled out this week because of rain.

I typically take 2 days off a week, so I took Monday and Tuesday since it was a downpour, and worked out at the house Wednesday and Thursday.

My dad hit the gym, and Will?

Sweet Will slept.

God love him.

I have a new workout for you guys that I hope to post soon! It was rough and definitely worth sharing!

4.I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to get super pumped for fall.

Can you believe we’re already halfway through August!?

Just typing that sends glee throughout my entire being. I am so excited for football season and all my favorite things. I am so so excited about this fall and winter.

Plus Layla will be so much more fun this year. She was still fairly young and boring last Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. This year should be so much more fun.

Hmm… I wonder if I can talk P into dressing her up as Dorothy and making Boz Toto?

Again- perfect example of something that would be considered “amazeballs...”

But I just can’t get there.

5. Speaking of fall, can I also tell you how excited I am to have Fall Primetime TV back in my life?

I like to think Will and I aren’t huge TV watchers, but we definitely do have several shows we like to DVR. However during the summer we sort of sputter out and fall into a TV watching rut.

I cannot even tell you how many reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond we’ve watched on TV land.

Oh my, we’re old.

That? Is not amaze… Well- you know.

Let’s not tell our new couple friends Life Group we’re this boring, yes?

More to come!

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About

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


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