Thursday, May 30

Our First Anniversary

     *Sigh* Life is good. Jon and I are settling in quite nicely in our new home and this past weekend we also
celebrated our first anniversary! We went away for a few days and stayed at a beautiful lodge in Breckenridge. Went shopping, ate dinner twice one night, relaxed in the hot tub, tried sherry for the first time, talked and laughed about our favorite moments from this past year, took the scenic route home to drive up Mt. Evans (gorgeous view!), and stopped to eat at one of our absolute favorite mountain restaurants and shopped some more.

     This past year has been the best year of my life! I could never have imagined marrying a better man. He's sweet and caring all the time, listens, makes me laugh, and prays with me. He's a hard worker, protector, lover, and genuinely likes me for me. I love that we are still best friends, haven't yelled once, and want to sit next to each other. I honestly thought that this first year was going to be a lot harder, I mean, there are plenty of adjustments that are made that first year. I remember the first day after our wedding I got up to get ready for my day and the bathroom floor was wet. My first thought was "Oh my, we've got a leak!". Well, we didn't have a leak of any sort, I just learned that someone *cough, who shall remain nameless, cough* doesn't dry off before they step out of the shower so, therefore, lakes form at the base of the sink while they fix their hair lol. And who's got two thumbs and gets pruney toes while puttin' on her makeup? ...This girl!

     One of the things Jon learned about me last year, is that I am a throw-it-away-Nazi. If you're not going to wear it, use it, eat it, or read it, it's gone! Growing up I was the same way but my sisters had the opportunity to grow into this stage with me, but poor Jon was just thrust into this with marriage. He has this one pink chair and it was going to be my first order of business to get rid of it. I mean number one it was pink, number two Jon couldn't remember which corner he and his buddy picked it up at, and number three I had never seen him sit in that chair once but he just knew that it was the best chair he had ever had and we had to keep it.

     I fought long and hard for the right to throw away the chair, but he came back at me with a handsome face and a pretty convincing argument. "Babe, but we have to keep it, it's my favorite! It's super comfy too, here let me show you! (he sits in the chair) See, first it rocks, back and forth super smooth, no catches or anything, but, BUT hold on don't lose me here, it swivels! (now he's rocking and swiveling) But watch!, not only is it comfy and rocks and swivels, it turns 360 degrees around and around and never stops! You could spin forever in this thing! See, I'm rocking and swiveling and turning forever and forever!! (he's rocking and swiveling and turning now) Now, can you tell me of one other chair that does those things? Especially turns around and never gets caught... Here, you try! (he sits me in the chair and now I'm rocking...and swiveling...and turning!) Lol, oh man I was caught, the whole scene was just too much to bear and well... we still have that chair. :)

     This first year we learned you gotta listen well, keep learning about each other, sometimes you have to lose to win, to like and to love are totally different but equally important. I'm looking forward to what this next year brings us! Happy anniversary, Babe. :)

Live. Laugh. Love.

Sunday, May 19

The Checklist

     I've got great news! Jon and I are moving into an apartment by June 1st! It has been a long hard search with lots of patience and prayer, but we are going to have our own place again! It's got a great view, is close to Jon's work (I'm going to start working from home), we can walk to a lot of cool restaurants and stores, and it's the perfect "first apartment". We have been looking to move for a while now, but things haven't fallen into place like it did for this one, and it's finally the perfect place and timing for us to move. I've been on a Pinterest spurt looking up different ways to organize and decorate and oh my goodness I can't even tell you how excited I am!
     My littlest sister is ecstatic as well because I told her when I got married that first we'd have to find a place to live, then get a dog, then we can have a baby. So, according to her, she is now eons closer to becoming an aunt and spoiling the socks of her first niece.
     Anyway, for the past few months I've enjoyed living with Jon's grandma but I've almost felt kind of stuck because as long as I can remember there's been a certain progression of life events going on in my head and well, things weren't going as planned (although I keep learning over and over that nothing really ever goes as planned lol). So, I thought it'd be fun to write down the list I have in my head and see what happens/doesn't happen according to schedule. (This is going to be great to look back and laugh at here in a few years, haha!)

  1. Get married. Check...!
  2. Get a "first five years of marriage apartment". Check...!
  3. Get a dog (or two maybe).
  4. Have a baby.
  5. Move into a respectable 3-4 bedroom house with a backyard in a nice neighborhood that our family can grow into and is nice to raise kids in.
  6. Have a baby.
  7. Fix the roof or maybe update the landscaping, whichever is better at the time.
  8. Have a baby.
  9. Have a baby.
  10. See each of our kids off to school and/or get married and have their own families.
  11. Move into our dream home.
     Now, obviously there are many life events that will happen in between these major ones and I don't want to undermine or miss out on a single one, but in my head this is how life will go. Even with all the planning and dreaming I can't remind myself enough to be happy with where I am right now, to not rush into things or pine for the future but to enjoy every moment in the moment. I'm going to smile as I remember the sweet months we've spent with grandma, the memories we made our first year together, the steak and wine talks on the patio, our friendship that has flourished with each passing day, getting into new favorite shows, long walks, and suffering through 20 year old arthritis. I'm so glad I've taken the time to commit each of those events into memory, but I am soooo looking forward to this new stage! Happy day, y'all!

Live. Laugh. Love.

Saturday, May 11

A Tribute To My Mom

     Selfless, kind, encouraging, loving, supportive, sweet, gentle, patient, helpful, giving, compassionate, fun, understanding. It's amazing how when you're a kid mom is just, We forget she has feelings and bad/good days, gets tired, and wants extra hugs. We forget she is even a human being instead of a real life super robot! But as I've gotten older and especially since I've gotten married I keep remembering the little things she did that never got noticed.
     Imagine going to the grocery store with seven extremely hungry children that just got done sitting through hour long piano lessons. Things are miraculously flying off the shelves and into the buggy because we are sooo hungry and have to have one of everything! We finally get home and unload all the groceries into the pantry and fridge, but someone still has to make dinner. "Mom! Why isn't it done yet? I'm starving...! Yeah, me too! Me three! Me four! Me five! Me six! Me seven!" (Yes, we really used to say it like that.) I'm sure mom was hungry too, but she never complained about having to make dinner, it was just always there, hot and ready. And the laundry was done, the boo-boo's were kissed, the books read aloud, quality time was had, school was taught, songs were sung, hugs were given, and her shoulder's were leaned on.
     Even the act of having a child is a hard one that no mother really complains about. I've never been scared of having kids, but the other night Jon and I were watching a movie that happened to have a very pregnant woman as one of the main characters and well let me tell you, if we had baby fever before we sure as heck don't have it now! In the movie, this woman's water broke spontaneously and she told her husband they needed to get to the hospital now, well the poor guy started freaking out about "...needing to pack, do we own diapers, did we even buy a crib, I can't even find your favorite sweatpants, honey!" while Jon and I were saying, "Oh my gosh, we are gonna be parents! Aaah, what do we do? What if we have to deliver the baby in the car?! You're gonna be in the labor room with me aren't you? What about a name!? Wait. Wait...! It's only a movie, remember?" And then we re-decided it was ok with us if we didn't want to rush things. :)
     Anyway...being a mother is a full time job and I never once heard my mom complain. She is an inspiration to me and, Mom, I've been thinking a lot about what an incredible example you have always been. I hope one day I can be as wonderful as you are and give my family the kind of love you always gave us. I love you. Happy Mother's Day!

Sunday, May 5

A Time For Every Stage

     As some of you know I grew up the eldest of seven children. I love my family. We had a blast growing up and I have so many fond memories of making blanket forts and playing Cowboys and Indians. We had lemonade and popsicle stands and even went rowing in our pond using plastic buckets. Such adventures! But, as our family grew, I also became quite skilled in labeling my candy, Coke's, and other goodies. Because if my name wasn't on it, someone else would nab it and it was mine.
     With kids everyone has to have the same amount of cookies. You have to take turns picking out the movies or someone never gets to watch their favorite show. I remember I never wanted to buy gum as a kid cause as soon as I pulled out a piece for me it was, "Ooh can I have a piece? Me too! Yeah I want one!" And then it was GONE. (Oh man those were fun times!) Well, I haven't lived at home for a while now and apparently I've forgotten how to live with kids.
     I work out of my boss's home office and am practically a part of their family as I see them everyday and play around with the kids and eat lunch with the Kindergartner. I've been invited to eat and drink anything out of the fridge and pantry but I forgot... children count. They count the goldfish and the pudding cups, the cokes are portioned out, and the fruit is pretty much labeled. One day, I happened to be extra thirsty and I saw that there was a Coke in the fridge. I thought nothing of it as I sipped that refreshing can of awesomeness. But later on I heard someone complaining, "Where's my Coke?! We had three left, one for each of us, and I don't have one! Somebody drank miiiinnnneee! (and then there was a little bit of crying involved)" Oh man this was bad, this was very bad. I had the evidence sitting right on my desk! I should throw it away! No, confession is better...! Confession was not better. I received the "I just got kicked in the gut and left in the rain" look. (Oh, how that torments the soul)
     I also forgot that you can't try to pass anything off on kids either, they are just too darn good! It was my lunch break and I had finished my meal a little early and thought that I'd make a move on Words with Friends and then get back to work. "Whatcha doin', Bri?" "Oh, I'm just getting back to work." "No you're not, you're playing games on your phone!" (laughter emanated from the other room, yeah it was the boss) "Ah... you got me."

     I've been realizing lately how very different stages in life can be. It's kinda sad when it hits you that you're not waiting around for your 18th birthday anymore so you can finally be an "adult". Or that you pay bills instead of beg for ice cream cones. And sometimes life hits a new normal and I freak out a little bit because I was content with the way things used to be. But I've come to realize that "new normal" is ok too, if you let it. New isn't bad, it's just...different.
     It was fun being a kid and sometimes I wish I could go back in time, it was fun being single (not really, but I got used to it ;) and it was fun being engaged. Work is now tiring and life has just been one thing after another recently but it's fun making a new life with the man I love. I'm learning to enjoy this new stage in life because every situation becomes what you make of it. And I want to make this one the greatest yet. :)
     I'm anything but the expert on life and marriage and love but I do know it helps to take a step back and just realize what you have. When you're single, take advantage of that time and do whatever it is you've always wanted to accomplish. If you're transitioning from new couple to couple enjoy the satisfaction of really starting to know someone. If you're the marriage veteran look at you're best friend and bask in how much a part of them has become you, revel at how much life and love you have shared.
     There's a time for every stage in life so while it's here, let's make the most of it because once it's gone, it's gone and nothing but memories remain. What kind of memories do you want to look back on forever?

     Live. Laugh. Love.