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.


Wednesday, September 25


     I want to let you all know about someone very near and dear to my heart. It's my sister, Camille. Anyone who has ever met her can only say the best things about her character, her morals, her friendship, her hopes and dreams.
     She is the second born in our family and my first best friend. We've had our ups and downs. I used to years. We would always read the same books and go on and on about all the characters that we felt we personally knew and could rejoice with and cry over. Camille, Josie, and I shared a room for as long as I can remember and we had the best pillow talks filled with impersonations, stories, songs, fake snores, secrets, laughs, and more than a few fights.
steal her pennies and there was this one baby doll that we could never remember from where it came or to which one of us it originally belonged so we fought over that doll for
     Camille always was (and still is) there to keep the peace, give you her honest opinion, point out the best in a person or situation. She's a good laugh when you're desperate and a comforting shoulder to cry on. And you know without a doubt that she genuinely cares for you.
     Recently she's been working with a non-profit organization called In the Gap, Inc. They have a great video on their homepage that gives a great perspective on the work their intern/leadership teams are doing everyday. (Note: Camille is the first person you see teaching and using a stack of boxes for an illustration) Camille and I have both worked for this organization, but she stayed on even after I left and has just now begun her fourth year working for ITG. She completed all four levels of internship training and is now a full time staff member, living at ITG headquarters.
     She sent out a ministry letter that I would like to share with you all. So, without further ado, here's Camille...

Hello All,
     I apologize for taking so long to write a ministry report. The summer has flown by. In June I was able to help with a VBS at my church in Texas where my family is living. It was so exciting to be able to work with 25 5th-6th graders and make an impact on them. One little boy that God placed on my team was Joshua, who has autism. God showed me how important it is to treat each person special, no matter if they have a "defect" or not. Some of the teachers had a hard time connecting with Joshua, but Jesus gave me such a love and a compassion for him. Although it was hard for him to interact, and he liked to get into things he wasn't supposed to, I was able to spend some time with him and help him learn some of the songs and Bible verses. I'm so glad that God brought Joshua to my team and allowed me to have a small part in his life, and for Joshua to teach me how unconditional God's love is for us.
     Now I am back in Oklahoma and God has been doing some amazing things!! I'm sure he is going to be doing some mighty works this upcoming semester! For our fall session God has brought thirty interns to come and serve with us here in Oklahoma. I am so excited about getting back into the schools and impacting the lives of the next generation!
     An update on my monthly support. I want to thank each one of you for giving; whether it was one-time or monthly, God has used it to bless me. Thank you all for your prayers as well, I appreciate them. My current monthly support is $162. I am trying to reach $1200 per month. If you would like to become part of my support team please fill out the form included in the letter. Thank you so much for your generosity and willingness to serve the Lord!
     On a different note, one amazing opportunity that God has given me is to go on a missions trip to Haiti in October! We will be in Haiti from October 8th-15th. We will be conducting teacher training for over 150 teachers. There are three Christian schools that teach over 1,600 children. These schools are rated 2nd in the north side of the island. The long term potential is great because many of the children will hold key positions and leadership jobs in the future. But Biblical character teaching is so critical since there is a great disconnect over how Christianity relates to every day life. If God can catch a hold od these children's hearts and lives, it could impact their country and their world! I am very excited about this opportunity and would like for you to join me in prayer about it. For my Haiti mission trip I will be needing about $800-$1,000 for airfare. If you feel led to give a donation I would be greatly blessed by it. I know that the Lord will provide the money I need to go on this trip, and I pray that He will bless all of the provisions that come in.
     A few prayer requests:
           -Money for the Haiti missions trip
          -God would unify our mission trip team, and give us wisdom
          -Health for me on the trip
          -Safety as the interns arrive in OKC next week

     May God richly bless you!
Serving Him,

      So there she is folks! My sweet sister, Camille. :) If any of you do feel led to give and help her out financially, save the photo below to your computer and print out a copy to send with a check. Or you can give securely online at, click on the Donate Today button on the right hand side of the homepage, then scroll down and choose "Camille" in the designation box.

Saturday, September 14

It's All In The Shoes

     Since I've started working from home, there have been a number of days when I wake up, go sit at my desk, and work out of my pajamas all day long. Honestly, it is a little hard for me to "get ready for the day" when I know I won't be going anywhere or seeing anyone. Oh, it is lovely, I must admit; not feeling pressured to fix my hair and makeup or change out of my comfies. Because on the days I do actually get up and get "ready" I end up feeling like I lived out that funny e-card pin I see floating around on Pinterest. The one that says, "Well I didn't do anything, go anywhere, or see anyone today. What a complete waste of makeup!".
     While it is nice and relaxing, I have found that on those pajama days I definitely can't seem to get as much done. I stay in my lazy, snuggly mood all day. I do get a few work things done...eventually, but to save my life I really couldn't tell you what else I do! I become super busy doing nothing.
     A pajama day every once in a while is fantastic! But it wears on you if you do it all the time. I know I've spent one to many days in my pajamas when I start to feel bad about myself, criticize everything, leave dirty dishes all over the counters, and become lethargic and want to eat only sour gummy worms and salt & vinegar chips. It shocks me how not getting dressed will change me in only a matter of a few days!
     The picture above really spoke to me because I've witnessed first hand how true that statement is. When I put on my "good jeans", a cute blouse, and my favorite white high heels I can conquer the world! I can talk to anyone, do anything, accomplish five task lists (Not items, but lists!). I feel confident and powerful, successful and beautiful. I feel good about being me!
     Man or woman, child or adult, we each have a monstrous desire to be respected, to have someone believe in us and our own ideas, and to not be ashamed of our unique dreams and goals. We have a right to walk around confident, uninhibited, feeling lovely and free. If my white high heels help me get to that place, then so be it because one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves is feeling good in our own skin.
     What do your conquer-the-world shoes look like?

Thursday, September 12

The Aftermath of Camping

     I have officially decided that camping was a lot more fun as a kid. Now don't get me wrong the actual
camping part is still a blast, but the after effects are not my thing.
     For instance, when you're younger you fill your backpack with your favorite gear, put fresh batteries in your flashlight, find your emergency whistle, test out your waterproof matches, smuggle in a few firecrackers to scare people with, get in the car, and off you go into the wild blue yonder. Then you get there and mom and dad sent up camp while you look for arrowheads. After a long night of S'mores and campfire songs you sleep soundly and wake up in the morning to a warm fire and a hot breakfast. When the camping trip is done you empty your backpack and life is back to normal. But whew, now, as an adult, it is not that easy!
     Jon and I were excited about going camping. We giddily packed all our gear into the car and set off towards the Rocky Mountains to off-road and find the "perfect spot". There was a slight drizzle all weekend, but since we were camping out of the back of the 4Runner it was no big deal. Jon also set up a few tarps to keep our fire and wood dry.
     We roasted steak over the fire for dinner that night and, oh my word!, it was SO good! There was that perfect hint of smoky flavor and the juices were continuously dripping down our arms as we ate the steak off the coat-hanger skewers. A while later we hid the cooler from bears and settled into sleeping bags in the bed of the 4Runner. All night we kept hearing phantom bears and we discovered that the car wasn't quite long enough for Jon to stretch out his legs (haha poor guy!) but overall it was a good night.
     Monday morning we packed up and headed out just as the rain started to pour. Isn't it amazing how stuff just explodes during a trip and it never gets packed up the same way?! When we got home and started unloading the car it was just amazing how much stuff we had! Plus, every single item smelled like camp fire smoke! Geez, I don't remember that happening as a kid! But wow the smoky smell just about knocked us over every time we took a deep breath in! Every single thing had to be washed. Mom and Dad, how did y'all ever manage camping with seven kids?! It was all a little overwhelming, but dear Jon was right there with me doing laundry, wiping out the cooler (candy had dissolved into the ice water, coating everything in skittle slime), and cleaning mud out of the carpets.
     An hour later I learned there's only so much cleaning a man can do without him involving some good-natured teasing. I was telling Jon that before we could relax there were a few dishes that needed to be washed and some laundry to switch out. To which he replied, "You know Babe, I was thinking about how important a clean house is to you and well I'm just not as good at household chores as you are. So maybe I shouldn't clean, you know, so everything can be up to your standards. I just don't want to mess anything up. I mean your folding is so much neater than mine. And I like the way you do the dishes, the silverware is just so much cleaner when you do it! I like the way YOU clean. *sweetest smile*"
     "Haha, what?!" I said in response. "I see what'cha did there! But oh no I'm not falling for it, not for one minute!"
     "I'm not trying to get out of anything! I'm just saying that I like the way you clean so much better than the way I clean! Honey, your folding is so much prettier than mine and the way you load the dishwasher is, wow! Outstanding! Incredible really... I honestly wish I could clean like you but there is just no comparison."
     "Oh no, haha! I like YOU'RE cleaning much better, Babe! "
     "No... I'm pretty sure you don't. I mean, I don't even scrub the dishes before I put them in the dishwasher! Ha, crazy me, I just expect the dishwasher to get all the grime off. But not you, Babe! Oh no, you clean them and then put them in the dishwasher. I mean that takes dedication and I'm afraid that's just not me."
      Lol, I didn't fall for his trickery (ahem flattery), but he made me laugh which is really all that matters. :)

     Live. Laugh. Love.

Wednesday, September 4

Labor Day Weekend 2013 {Quick Post)

     So, we went off-roading...

And then to eat at Tommy Knocker's Brewery, which is one of our favorite restaurants EVER! ;)

     How was your holiday weekend?!
     Live. Laugh. Love.

Saturday, August 31

Ezekiel ~ He's a "One Percenter"

     I don't know about you, but I've read the biblical book of Ezekiel a few times so far in my short twenty-something life. (Ok fine, maybe not a few times... Maybe once... With an attempt at twice... Maybe.) Either way I've read it, but apparently I haven't read it because as I was talking with my mom the other day she was telling me things about Ezekiel that I had no idea about!
Mom and Josie :)
     My parents still have five of their seven children living at home and two of those five are teenagers who are continually romping and stomping about the place. (You know. Being teenagers. ;) And my mom was telling me about a very passionate pep-talk she had given my sister Josie the other day. She said, "So, I was telling Jocelyn that I want her to strive to be like a top 10% character filled person. You know a top '10 percenter' would be like David, Moses, Paul or Ezekiel. Actually no, not Ezekiel, because he is in the top 1%."
     "Ok, why is he top 1%...?"
     "Well because God had asked him to lay on his left side for 390 days, without getting up or anything! Think about how much trust he had to have in God to go through with a command like that and wow Ezekiel's obedience was just incredible!"
     I knew I was missing mom's point when all I could think to ask was, "What about peeing and pooping?!"
     "Oh I don't know I'm sure he well... Anyway! He couldn't move and he even had to use dung to bake his bread! Think about that amazing will power!
     I was stunned. This was horrible; disgusting to say the least. So, in a state of awed stupor I could think of nothing to do except resort to unabated sarcasm. "Whoohoo I am telling you what, Mom! Yes!! That is just incredible! If I were Josie I would be totally and completely inspired by that as well! I can't wait 'til I can be a top 'one percenter' because that is just...WHEW! Oh man, I am just overcome. Overcome I tell you! Ezekiel's story got to me. Right here!" I added as I thumped my chest and composed myself after a fake sniffle or two.
     "And, AND, God also told Ezekiel that He was going to take his wife away and so God killed his wife and Ezekiel still chose to obey God! Brianna! This is mind-blowing stuff!"
     "Wow! This 'one percenter' stuff just keeps getting better and better, doesn't it!? This is seriously inspiring, like I don't even know how I can go on living my average life any more. Father in heaven, REIGN DOWN on ME Ezekiel's 'one percentedness' right now! Hallelujah! Can I get an Amen?!"
     "And just think what the media would say and do if someone in our time was willing to trust and obey God to this extent!"
     "Mom, nobody does that type of stuff anymore."
     "Exactly! Nobody at all even thinks like this, let alone acts like this anymore. But if someone did they would be on like World Magazine and like National Geographic and whatever other magazines are out there!"
     "Mom, I don't ever want to see you on the cover of World Magazine.... LOL, ever."

     After I made fun of mom, I really started to think about Ezekiel's story. Maybe we aren't asked to lay on our sides for over 300 days, but we have each been tasked with an assignment from God. Your task could be to remain single for a while, to become a stay at home parent, give up an addiction, start an orphanage in India, give up your time to serve in church or a nursing home, etc. I don't know what you've been tasked with, but I know that it is something of the greatest importance. I wonder how far we'd be willing to go in our trust and obedience to God? What would it look like if we truly embraced our mission?
     Anywho, those are my thoughts for the day. :)

     Live. Laugh. Love.

Saturday, August 24

10 Ways to Flirt With Your Husband

     The other day I asked Jon if he thought we still flirted. He kind of laughed and he said, "Yea--No." I had expected this answer from him because honestly it was my answer too. I don't know how it's so incredibly easy to flirt when you're dating, but BAM as soon as you're married something changes in your head and, well, flirting isn't a priority anymore. It's not that you don't have fun or laugh or still love spending time together (because you do!) but you've now got a sweet, handsome, stud forever by your side and he's won the chase, with you as his prize, so there's no need to "play the game" or impress, if you will.
     So I've been sitting here wondering where all the eyelash batting, cutesie shrugging, hair tossing, shy smiling, catch me if you can flirting has all gone! As I've pondered this, I've discovered it's still here!, but the game has changed a little. We don't flirt to impress or win, we flirt to continually love and woo. Flirting is a necessary aspect in your marriage relationship because it gives you a chance to laugh, make memories, get down to business, and relate to your spouse in a way that is unique to you and him/her alone.Obviously, the continually love and woo flirting is different than date flirting, but it doesn't have to be any less fun or exciting or sexy.
     I compiled a list of ideas (some are mine and some I found on some blogger friend's websites) on some good ways to flirt with your spouse. I wrote these down mainly for myself so I could keep them fresh and in the front of my mind, but I thought, "What the heck, I can share!" So, here's 10 ways to help each of us continue flirting with our spouse. ;)
  1. Leave a note where he can find it. Whether it's on the bathroom mirror, in his car or briefcase, or on the cup of coffee you surprise him with write something encouraging or a sweet love note, just as a reminder of how much you care.
  2. Make him breakfast/breakfast in bed. Whip up his favorite pancakes or omelet and have it ready when he wakes up or serve it to him in bed. (Jon and I are not avid breakfast eaters but I do try to make him something every once in a while.)
  3. Have a secret code phrase. Want to tell him you think he’s hot? Try a secret code phrase, like “Are we due for an oil change?” No one else will know what you really mean but him, so you can say it in front of the kids, in front of your parents, in front of anybody!*
  4. Greet him at the front door.  After a long day at work sometimes all they need is a refreshing smile and a sweet kiss to come home to. Make sure he knows you're excited to see him home from work and if you're really feeling spunky have you ever considered flashing him? (It makes the blood rush ;)
  5. Start a "Love Journal". A book where you can write letters to each other, paste in notes you’ve both written, special memories, and such.**
  6. Post a YouTube video to Facebook. If you hear a song during the day that reminds you of him, post the song video to his wall to let him know you were thinking about him.
  7. Have tickle wars. Pretty self explanatory, but let me just add that I am an avid believer. Seriously, these will get rid of any gloomy clouds or just help you loosen up and laugh.
  8. Play the fortune cookie game. Whenever you get a fortune cookie, mentally add the words “in bed” to the end of it. You’ll giggle together at a Chinese restaurant as you pass them to your husband, but no one else will know why you’re laughing!*
  9. Cuddle during movies. And don't forget to lay your hand on his chest.
  10. Go for a night swim. Swimming during the day is fun, but at night *sigh*'s romantic. :)
     I just want to add that flirting doesn't always have to lead to something. It is simply a way for you both to express that you care. When you flirt you are saying, "I love you.", "I accept you.", "I am attracted to you.", etc. If it does lead to something great, but these are just some ways to keep each other close, interested, and feeling loved.
     I'm off to make some breakfast for Jon! (French toast is his favorite.)
     Live. Laugh. Love.

 Breakfast pics from last week. :)

*Borrowed from
**Borrowed from

Thursday, August 22

The Marriage Key

     What is a key? A key is something that affords a means of access. Whether you are trying to gain knowledge, discover power, uncover truth, open a door, or safe-house something precious a key is well...the key. And I don't know about you, but I am always looking for keys; keys to my house or the car and keys to life, love, cooking, marriage, friendship, cleaning, etc. Life sure gets hectic when we lose those bad boys! We start running late, get frustrated, become impatient, miss appointments, forget to be kind, and so on, and so forth.

     When Jon and I first met, some dear friends and counselors gave us a piece of pre-marital advice. I believe it is one of the greatest keys to marriage and well, it's been on my mind a lot lately so I thought I'd share it so you could all add a key to your belt. (I'm going to stop saying 'key' now because it is getting a little redundant, but you get the point ;)
     The piece of advice was this; communication is important, but understanding what was communicated is even more important. They went on to explain the importance of active listening. "Active listening involves listening attentively without interruption and then restating what was heard. Acknowledge content AND the feelings of the speaker. The active listening process lets the sender know whether or not the message they sent was clearly understood..."* This is so genius, guys! Everyone wants to not only be heard, but understood.
     This advice was easy to remember when it was fresh on my "girlfriend mind" but as time has passed I've become guilty of not listening. I will sit and think about a quick comeback or what I'm going to say in response instead of pausing and reflecting, then repeating back what I thought I heard. This week I have really been trying to work on this because 1) this process helps to eliminate assumptions and also minimize misunderstandings and miscommunications and 2) I feel that Jon and I have been having a few more than normal of the afore mentioned misunderstandings and things lately. Nothing bad at all, but I still don't like it.
     For example, we had some miscommunications about who was going to be using the car because we both happened to need it at the same time one day (which rarely happens). Then Sunday afternoon plans went awry because one of us forgot to inform the other about what was going on. And now I can't even remember what else happened but anyway we had a communication gap that kept being recognized, but not resolved. Things were not being understood and feelings were getting hurt.
     The way of the world says that little misunderstandings and things don't matter, but to me they do. I don't want little things to add up to big things. I don't want anything to come in between us. Being proactive in our relationship is really what helps us the most; catching things before they become a big deal. So, I want to encourage anyone out there that is getting frustrated with misunderstandings to go ahead and sit down to work out whatever is getting in the way of your relationship and don't hesitate to add, 'So what I heard you say was...'. ;)
     Live. Laugh. Love.  

Monday, August 5

A Place For Everything and EveryONE in Their Place

     Things have certain places to which they belong; clothes in a dresser, aprons in the kitchen drawer, blankets on a bed, and pillows on the couch. Things also are made to serve specific purposes; clothes for modesty, aprons to protect us from food stains, blankets to keep us warm, and pillows to cushion our backs. The same goes for people too. Everyone has a certain place where they belong, a purpose for which they are made; this place is called home, this purpose a design.
     Yesterday, I was having a bit of an identity crisis, if you will. Jon and I had been chatting away on the plaza deck of our apartment, enjoying the weather and trying to formulate a better long term savings plan. I ran upstairs to get our laptop and starting fantasizing about making a beautiful, cutesy budget plan in Word, then printing it off with some pictures and quotes to post on our bathroom mirror for motivation. I rushed back to start the project with Jon when he jumped in and began excitedly working something out in Excel.
     Let me pause for a minute and just say that I am an "eldest child". And everyone knows that the oldest children in a family have the best ideas for everything growing up. We suggest the best games, have the best opinions on ice cream flavors, know of all the best places to hide buried treasure maps, have the best movie suggestions, know how best to decorate a shared bedroom and so on. Also, if you should happen to have the disadvantage of disagreeing, just give us five minutes of your time and you will have changed your mind. (You all agree with me, don't you? Well, of course you do!) ;) So, when Jon took charge and starting building his own version of the budget I was left to my own shock and dismay, stuttering, "Bu-b-b-but, I have the best ideas...".
     I was floored, people! Floored! How the heck had somebody come in and used their own ideas when I already had mine in place!? Now, as the horrible child I once was, I might have even gone so far as too "lose" Jon's version of the budget only to announce that all hope was not lost because we still had my version of the budget! But alas!, I am an adult now and such things cannot be tolerated so I sat and sulked and tried to talk myself into participating. Jon really wanted to share his Excel workbook with me and have me do some of the calculating so I obliged and began copying and pasting and adding numbers together too. We got everything worked out in the end and just as I was about to suggest printing the whole thing out to put up in the bathroom Jon voiced that very same idea first... Once more, I had been beaten again! Oh, Father Time if only you would come and reverse the universe for five minutes so I could catch my breath and suggest it first! I always have the best ideas and I have them first!
     By this time I was beside myself, what was I going to do if I wasn't the only one with good ideas anymore? I couldn't possibly relinquish my position of Founder and CEO of Best Ideas Ever, Inc., could I? No. But maybe I could share...? Support...? Then it hit me all over again like today was my wedding day. I am a wife! I am part of a team! I don't have to be numero uno or have all the best ideas. My place is my home and my design is to support. :) Jon and I are not each other's competition but aid and assistance. Yesterday, but even more so today, as I realized these things, my heart was made happy because when I am fulfilling my design I am in my place. I am home. :)

Genesis 2:18-24 (KJV) ~ "18 And the Lord God said, 'It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him.' 19 And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. 20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found a help meet for him. 21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22 And with the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."

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Wednesday, July 31

Whining About Whining. Oh, Dear...

     I'll be the first to admit it. I'm human, I'm not perfect. Monday I woke up in a great I-love-everything-about-life kind of mood, but sometime halfway through my day I got whiny. Bleck! I hate whiners! (Like literally dislike them with a passion.) So, when I get whiny I end up not liking myself very much because I am being the exact thing that I so despise! And guess what? This makes me even whinier!
     Has anyone ever been so disgusted about their own whining that you whine about... whining? Because I do this!! Don't ask me why, cause it doesn't even make sense in my own mind, but it happens.
     Jon has a few habits that I don't really like and I brought them up the other day, but in a very unsaintly sort of way. Then, a few minutes later I felt bad and proceeded to make up. "Babe, I'm sorry I jumped all over you like that. I didn't mean to and I really should not have talked to you like that. I'm just a horrible person and I was being whiny and nit-picky and naggy and I'm sorry... I just don't know what comes over me sometimes. Oh, I'm so whiny! Why am I like this? I must be a terrible wife, I don't like being like this. Why me?!"
     "It's ok sweetheart, I still love you and it just comes with being a woman so I understand. Don't worry about it."
     "I know, but I feel bad and I don't want to whine and stuff but I just don't know what to do! I'm sorry I'm such a girl sometimes. I wish I could be a boy!"
     "Hey, it's ok. You can be whiny sometimes, you're fine, ok. I love you."
     "I love you too, Babe."
     Then later that day at the house Jon asked, "Why are you so quiet? (I shrugged) You're still thinking about earlier huh? (I nodded) Don't feel bad. I'm just going to be me and I'll prolly still slip up on my language now and then, but you can be you and worry about me and tell me I shouldn't say stuff like that, ok? Just be a woman, you're fine." Then a sweet smile and something else escaped his lips.
     "*Gasp!* Jon, how could you say that word! And after we just finished talking about this lol!"
     "I know, I'm sorry Lovely." *Big grin*
     "Haha, right! You're not even sorry at all! Are you?"
     Jon, of course, wasn't sorry and said, "Oh, you're right, I'm not sorry yet. Hold on let me be sorry... (He throws himself on the kitchen floor, thrashing around, shouting) "Woe is me! I'm a horrible person! Aagh, how could I ever forgive myself! (More thrashing and fake crying) I'm so sorry I'm like this, I just want to be a girl! Woe is me! I'll never forgive myself! What an awful man I am. Babe, I'm in agony because I'm so remorseful! Woe is me!"

     Lol, oh my dear Jon! He always knows how to make any situation a hilarious yet teachable moment. I guess the moral of the story is, whining about whining doesn't solve my whining. :) It's something I'm working on.
     Live. Laugh. Love.

Sunday, July 28

Life As It Is

     We are just loving our downtown life! Yesterday morning we got up and had breakfast at a French cafe, Crepes N' Crepes. Last week, Jon's sister was in town and we walked and shopped and devoured the best sorbet ever! The street vendors serve the best lunches and I love being able to share them with Jon everyday. We have also been super busy working as well though. Summer is incredibly busy for me and Jon works some late nights, but he never even complains.
     According to my mom, becoming health conscientious is a sign of aging (and perfect for producing healthy grand-babies). She was ecstatic to know we are trying to live healthier; taking vitamins and eating lots more fruit, veggies, and fresh foods. We are also making green drinks each day, but our blender broke so now Jon is drinking the slimy healthy stuff straight while I suffer through a Coke instead (only 'til we get a new blender though, Scout's honor!)
     I've discovered a love for baking recently, but it's amazing to me how hard it is to come up with a dinner menu sometimes. Hhhmpph. We've been church hunting (with no luck so far) and friend hunting (which hasn't exactly worked out perfectly either) but I'm actually really enjoying this time that Jon and I have together.
     I've finally got everything unpacked and situated around the house. I know I've been a bad blogger recently but I promise it will get better soon! I'm off to dinner with Jon, but just wanted you to know I was thinking about ya!
     More updates to come soon! Live. Laugh. Love.

{the view from our front door}

{the kitchen is to the left of the front door}

                                 {we put these barstools together ourselves!}                           {I finally found a good place to display our wedding album}

{this is my favorite reading Jon's infamous pink, eternal spinning chair}

{love this couch, but the blue pillows are my faves!!!}

Saturday, June 29

Let's Catch Up...

     I'm such a morning person! ...Or I am as long as I wake up at ten. ;) I got up in time to look out our thirty story window and see the sun wishing away the dreary clouds of yesterday. The soft beams of light made it through the window to wrap me in a hug. I turned on some quiet music and began baking. I don't know what it is about fresh streusel coffee cake sending wafts of heaven across a house, but it inevitably lifts my soul.
     I'm twenty one now and feel incredibly adult as I sit here and write, but I am also aware of all that I don't know. It's amazing how many new thoughts come even after years of life. You would think everything "new" would be exhausted by now, that everything that could have been thought of or invented or felt would be old news, but we serve a great and glorious God and His thoughts are never exhausted.
    Anyway, my birthday week was fantastic! We spent most of it up in the mountains in a cabin with my family. We went fishing and hiking, ate and ate and ate, played games, and caught up since we haven't seen them since Christmas. On my actual birthday sweet Jon kept disappearing into the closet and bring out birthday gifts throughout the day. (He knows how to make everything super special :) And later in the afternoon we went shopping and ate dinner twice. (That's Jon and I's specialty. We always eat somewhere then go to Wing Stop to eat again lol.) Then we hung out an old arcade with all the pinball, Pac-Man, skeeball, and old games you can think of, they also have life size Jenga!
     I am so blessed to have the family, friends, and husband that I do. They make life so much sweeter and I don't know what I'd do without them. I can't wait to see what this next year brings!

Happy Saturday Everyone! :)
Live. Laugh. Love.

Sunday, June 16

A Tribute To My Dad

     "Whoa there, slow down! You don't have to drive the speed limit on your first day! Brianna, Bri-whoa, watch that, slow down... Watch that mailbox! Ok, I think we're good, go ahead and pull over. Brianna, pull oooveer!"
     "What!? I wasn't even going any faster than the speed limit! I've driven the lawn mower for years! I totally know how to drive..." *wink, wink*

     Happy Father's Day to fathers all around the world today! As everyone celebrates these special men, I just want to say... what would we do without them? I know I would never have become the person I am today with my daddy. He is such an inspiration and example to me and I know I don't say thank you enough. Growing up, you sometimes don't see all the little sacrifices that are made, but looking back I can see clearly now what I missed before. God has given me the perfect dad, not that he is perfect, but God knew what father would be best for me and for that gift I am eternally grateful!
     From teaching me to ride a bike, drive, work hard, love people, problem solve, achieve goals, dream, pursue, be alert in my surroundings, laugh, respect myself, and live with integrity my dad has always been there for me since the beginning.
     Haha, I remember growing up he used to always sneak in an ice cold Coke from the garage after working in the yard all day on Saturdays. Occasionally one of us would walk by and hear a quiet but distinct, "Psshtt, plink!" of a Coke being opened and we'd burst through the garage door to catch him in the act. He would always give us his you-caught-me-I'm-guilty laugh and then give us a sip even though it wasn't "Coke day". He also used to invite me to watch movies with him until the wee hours of the morning and I loved being "flown" to bed as a little girl.
     Dad, you've always work hard for our family and loved each of us for who we are. You are such a great example to each and every one of your children. Thank you for your smile, laugh, determination, love, encouragement, and support. I know having a big family must be tiring at times, but you've never let that show. Thanks for being my super dad! Happy Father's Day! I love you. :)