Tuesday, July 1

Coffee With The Girls

     Today for lunch I took two sweet, beautiful, amazing young women out for some coffee and girl time. I had such a blast and they kept me laughing and laughing the entire time! And the fact that they kept saying, "Bri, you made my week!" actually made my week. :)
     They've been friends since the first grade and will be starting their freshman year of high school together here in a few months. I usually just see them on Wednesday nights at the youth group Jon and I help out at, but I thought it would be fun to have some one on one time and also get to know them on a more relaxed, personal basis. So it was fun to see them "in their element" today and I was really encouraged by their friendship, I guess, because of their easy laughs and how many memories they've made together. They have a lot of "dirt" on each other and love to tease, but you know they can always count on the other one to be there when they need it most.
     Anyway, I've had a desire laid on my heart to reach out and befriend these two lovelies. I just remember what it was like for me going into high school and how life can change so drastically within a few short years. I knew I had my mom and sisters to watch my back for me, but I can't really remember anyone else that I looked up to and thought was cool enough for me to hang out with them or want to become like them. I look back and, obviously I made it through high school ok, but I think I would have enjoyed having someone that I looked up to take an interest in me. And I hope that I can be someone like that for these young women. Someone approachable, honest, fun, godly, dependable, trustworthy, etc. I want to be a stable reminder that it's ok to be a woman...

"Being tender and open is beautiful. As a woman, I feel continually shhh'ed. Too sensitive, too mushy, too wishy-washy, blahblah. Don't let someone steal your tenderness. Don't allow the coldness and fear of others to tarnish your perfectly vulnerable beating heart. Nothing is more powerful than allowing yourself to truly be affected by things. Whether it's a song, a stranger, a mountain, a rain drop, a tea kettle, an article, a sentence, a footstep, feel it all -- look around you. All of this is for you. Take it and have gratitude. Give it and feel love." ~Zooey Deschanel

That they should always stand firm in their faith and what they believe in...

And that life is hard sometimes. It's ok to try and fail, but never to give up on dreaming...

"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars; to change the world." ~Harriet Tubman 

     Live. Laugh. Love.

Saturday, June 28

Catching Up With My Personality

     I like to think of myself as a classy, mature, sincere "adult", but every December I turn back into a little kid that believes in magic and breathes nothing but Christmas. I become "hoppy" and consistently jump up and down and clap my hands when a birthday is afoot. And I can't help but become ecstatic when I see Easter candy or Thanksgiving cornucopias. To me, each of these things represents excitement and laughter, family and friends, and sometimes even change and a fresh start.
     Well this past week I've had something to celebrate and that is the life I was given 22 years ago. I am so grateful to be alive and well. And I am in awe of how far I've come as a person, and how God has placed me in certain places at specific times to be where I am today; living in a great apartment with an amazing husband. But along with all of these things, I am thankful for age. Finally!, I feel like I'm catching up with my personality!
     As a child, I sucked my thumb and carried around my blankie until I turned 5. Leading up to that birthday mom told me that big girls don't suck their thumbs and if I wanted to be a big girl I'd have to stop doing what babies do. So, I quit cold-turkey and that was the end of my "baby" days. Then for years leading up to my 10th birthday, all I wanted in life was a pet bunny. I worked hard to prove I was old enough to be responsible for a pet and then mom and dad surprised me with a white, baby bunny! (It was exactly what I wanted, and that is still one of the best birthdays I've ever had!) In my early teen years I worked hard to save every penny I earned cause I knew I was going to need money to buy a house one day. And although I didn't buy a house with that money, it did help Jon and I pay for our wedding. All in all, I enjoyed childhood but I've always been about five years older in my head than I was in real life. I think mentally I'm about 25 now, so I'm catching up! All that to say, I've always wanted to be a "big girl" and I love growing older. :)    
     Jon and I have been celebrating all week and I've gotten my hair cut, we went clothes shopping, then went to see Maleficent, I had dinner with one of my best friends on Monday, Jon made me breakfast in bed on Tuesday, then took me out for a really nice dinner, and we eventually ended up going for a swim that night at our rooftop pool. Aaahh, it was so romantic. I've got the best husband in the world!
     Also, I don't know if any of you have heard of Miranda Sings on YouTube but my sister Josie sent me her own rendition of a "Miranda video" for my birthday and it is hilarious! So I had to share...

     Live. Laugh. Love.

Tuesday, June 17

The Things I'm Striving For

     Jon started summer school last week to finish earning a degree in marketing and I am incredibly jealous that he's going to classes and has homework to complete. Growing up I absolutely did not love or covet school the way I do now, but I feel I've always had a certain passion for "learning". It's driving me insane to know that he's learning new things and I'm sitting at my desk fiddling with numbers and invoicing customers. Gah!, this just makes me want to go out and learn three new languages and the names of all the constellations or become an expert in European culture or human behavior or something!
     Needless to say, I've been contemplating what I want to do with my life; who I want to be. I believe in my deepest soul I was meant to be a wife, Jon's wife. And as long as I live I will continue to pursue being the best friend, wife, supporter, and confidant that I can be. Also, I love making our house a home, but I'm finding that I can't be a homemaker right now. There's another part of me that we are just discovering and she wants to grow to be somebody and to do something that's a different kind of worth-while.  I just want to go and do, to be out and about, and to experience the world along side Jon instead of hearing about it second-hand. I want to be a professional. I want to have a career. I want to be dependently independent, if that makes any sense...
     Anyway, as for my hopes and dreams and aspirations, here's what I've come up with so far.

What I Want To Do
  1. I want to interact with people and learn their stories.
  2. Know about different histories and cultures.
  3. Travel.
  4. Work my career, not a job.
  5. Bring people closer together.
Who I Want To Be
  1. I want to be an expert in my field, but be someone worth knowing rather than well known.
  2. Confident in myself and my God-given abilities and talents.
  3. A great listener.
  4. An encouragement and inspiration.
  5. Someone that makes everyone feel like a someone.
Live. Laugh. Love.

Saturday, May 24

It's About Time

     Hello there :) It's so nice of you to be reading this and checking in on us! Sorry I haven't been here in a while, but I've been living life as opposed to just writing about it and it has been fantastic. Busy, of course, but lovely just the same.
     Anyway, I believe it's time for me to get back in to blogging. Jon has been working really hard and I'm working from home all alone again so I've gotten a little bored, and well honestly I've missed writing out my thoughts and sharing stories from our everyday life. So, I'm back!

     Memorial Day/weekend is one of my all-time favorite times of the year for two reasons. 1) There's typically a three day weekend involved and 2) our anniversary happens to fall on this specific three day weekend. Whoohoo! (That was great insight on my mom's part, she had the good sense to think of that when we were narrowing down wedding day options) So, for the better part of the next seventy-two hours we will be celebrating our marriage of two years!
     We'll spend tonight enjoying the 'Day of Rock' street concert going on downtown complete with street vendors, food trucks, and protests for "No More GMO's". Lol, oh the hippies never cease to amuse me. ;) Then tomorrow we are leaving for a mini getaway that Jon planned for us. And I have to say I can't believe how on top of things he is when it comes to celebrations and special days, it makes me feel very loved.
     Sometimes I am frustrated by the inevitable need to express myself with a vocabulary that is incapable of encompassing the depths of my emotion when it comes to Jon, but I guess that's what I've always wanted; an indescribable love for someone. :) The best way I can think to put it is like this...
     These past two years have only opened my heart to a greater understanding of the true love shared not only by a woman and her man, but of a woman and her God. Because Jon is still, to this day, the best thing that has ever happened to me and our relationship is such a gift! It's not perfect by any means, but I cherish what we have in spite of our hiccups because even in the midst of a fight I am sure that he will never leave. On my frumpy days I am convinced I am still beautiful. When I struggle I have a best friend who is encouraging and points me in the right direction. And at the end of the day when I'm spent, moody, and don't deserve love I am overwhelmed by the image of God I see in this man I call my husband.

     I look forward to all of our days ahead and can't wait to see where life takes us next!
Happy anniversary, Babe. I love you!

Live. Laugh. Love.

Monday, November 18

Cara Box

Cara Box

     I recently started following Kaitlyn who blogs over at Wifessionals and had the opportunity to participate in something called the 'Cara Box' exchange. {Cara: (car-rah) noun: beloved friend; I recommend visiting her blog for a more detailed explanation of the Cara Box}
     It was my first time and I had no idea what to expect, but I had the loveliest time getting to know Karis of Daily Romantics! We hit it off immediately and I really enjoyed swapping life stories and sharing project/recipe ideas and learning about her holiday traditions. Karis is the sweetest and she and her husband make the cutest couple! I definitely recommend following her blog on Tumblr. Anyway, Karis was signed up to send me a Cara Box and she did fantastic getting to know me and I loved everything she sent!

     Teal is my absolute favorite color so I have been dying to wear my new scarf out to a coffee date sometime and all I want to do is snuggle up on the couch with a good book and some strong coffee in my new mug! The other items are perfect for relaxing and down-time, which is exactly what I need in this hectic life right now lol. (Karis, again, thank you so much for sharing a part of your life with me and getting to know me so well over just a few short weeks! I was greatly blessed by your friendship and also the box you put together for me. :)

     I had the pleasure of getting to know and send a box to Pamela over at Pamela's Place. I had a great time emailing back and forth with her and have to add I am so jealous that she and her husband have a little dog (because I want one so bad!) Pamela writes a great, fun blog and is such a sweet individual, so I absolutely recommend checking out her blog as well. :)

     All in all, I am so glad I got to know both of these beautiful ladies and am incredibly thankful to Kaitlyn for hosting this while in the midst of adjusting to a lovely new addition to her family. ;)

Live. Laugh. Love.

Friday, November 15

It's Already November!

     Wow, I can't believe it's been about a month and a half since I last posted! I thought the summer was busy, but wow these past weeks have been non-stop.
     There have been a few changes around our house recently, mainly we decided Jon needed a new job.
Jon and I at my cousin's wedding.
He's been working for a parking company since we moved to Colorado and it was a great transition job and he learned a TON about working in a corporation and what that looks like in the business/professional world. I've seen him expand his management skills and ultimately become an incredible, encouraging, and productive boss. He put in 110% when they needed him to and never complained about the extra work or even the dreadful night/weekend hours he had to work. I'm proud of Jon and what he has accomplished and learned and I'm excited to see him finish strong on his last few days before the transition into this new company!
     We had been talking about him getting a new job for a few months now and a couple weeks ago we saw an ad for a social media marketing management position. Jon has an deep passion for marketing and so this seemed like the next logical step for him to take. He applied for the job the same night we saw the ad and one week, three interviews, and one hundred other applicants later he was hired!! (Yeah, he beat out one hundred other people for this job!!) So his first day of work is Tuesday and we could not be more excited! :) This is exactly the type of thing Jon wants to do and he won't have to work nights or weekends anymore, and we'll get to celebrate holidays together! (Last year he had to work every holiday except Christmas. So, it wasn't exactly the way I imagined we'd spend our "first year" holidays together, but we'll make up for it this next year) Anyway, I think Jon is going to do amazing at this new firm and I think it's going to give him some great tools we can use for the marketing firm Jon and I just started.
     Yep, that's right, on top of our "regular jobs" we started our own marketing business! We have two clients as of right now and it's our hope to make it a full time gig for Jon (and then possibly me) so he can work from home and we can go to school and hopefully it will be big enough to support us when we start having kids and I won't have to work anymore. Obviously we are still a long way off and we don't have any unrealistic expectations, but it is a dream we have and it is something we want to continually work towards.

Us just being us :)
     In other news, we have found an incredible church that we just recently became members of and God has greatly blessed and encouraged us as we have begun to set aside time to worship and rekindle our relationship with Him. Jon and I both grew up in Christian homes and have individually chosen to place our faith in Jesus Christ. But while we were dating and even during our first year of marriage we couldn't seem to ever make church or God a priority. I didn't have a church at the time and Jon was leaving the church he was attending so we really didn't have a "home" and even after we moved we couldn't seem to find a church that was "real"; we wanted to find some place that was not just a "Sunday Morning Production".
     Anyway, in July, we had the opportunity to help out at a sports camp/VBS and decided we really liked working with the individuals from this church and wanted to try out a Sunday morning service. Well, we went and by the first week we were hooked! We adore the pastor (who, coincidentally, just happens to be best friends with the pastor of the church I attended growing up) and love what he teaches each week. You can tell he is passionate about God and has a deep, overflowing love for Jesus and that love just flows through his actions and words.
On our way to a Roarin' 20's party!
     Jon and I have joined a young couples class and it was been so much fun getting to know other young The Art of Marriage and I have thoroughly enjoyed it as it has been giving Jon and I a chance to have some good conversations outside of just the normal, everyday topics. Haha it's also been a little bit of a challenge because it seems like whatever we talk about in our class on Sunday night we get a chance to live out during the week. For example, early on in our marriage Jon was established as the head of our household. I definitely have an opinion, and Jon is very good at listening to my opinion rants and discussing things with me before we make a joint decision, but we both know that when it comes down to it Jon is going to have the last word. So far, throughout the time we've been together, Jon has never had a reason to oppose my opinions and make a decision that I haven't agreed with UNTIL we talked about roles in our couples class a few weeks ago. There was this one last decision we had to make about the job he is quitting and I was dead set with one opinion and he was dead set on the other and after discussing and talking and discussing some more, Jon smiled, then winked at me and said, "Well, it's a good thing we talked about this exact thing on Sunday because I'm afraid I really believe we should go with my decision and I'm pulling rank." Then he quickly added, "Just kidding! ...But seriously." Lol oh the joys of marriage, I'm telling you what. ;)

married people and laughing about life and just getting to know people in the same stage of life as us. We've been going through this book called

     I have quite a bit more to catch y'all up on, but I'll save it for another day. All in all, we are doing fabulous and I hope you and yours are doing lovely as well!
     Live. Laugh. Love.