My Very FiRST {Liebster}!

So, I know I'm new to the more in-depth blogging world, and I'm doing my best to get out there and engage with other bloggers as much as possible.  I have to admit though, that's tough when you're sick!  These past few days have been terrible, and I've slept through most of them (and I'm still tired). 

However, I feel truly honored to have been nominated for my very first LIEBSTER award!  I was nominated by the lovely Martina @ Amazingly Blessed!  For all of you out there (I was there once, too) that don't know what a Liebster Award is .... It's awarded to people who have less than 200 followers, which I definitely fall under!  But I'm so touched by this nomination - thanks so much Martina!  :) I'm feelin' the love here, people!

The Rules:

1.  Share 11 facts about myself
2. Answer questions from my nominator
3. Nominate bloggers (with less than 200 followers) for the award
4. Create questions for nominees to answer
5. And when the nominee is finished, you must link it back to me (as I did above) in your blog post

11 Facts about {ME}

1. I'm completely content with spending time at home and not going 'out' to have a good time.
2. I love reading.  Seriously, I think I'm addicted. 
3. I'm very family-oriented. They are my rock.
4. I work with victims of violent crime.  Which also means that I'm emotionally drained every day.
5. I am working very hard to deepen my faith
6. I hate working out.  I know it's necessary, but I don't have to like it. 
7. I dream of having a big, loving family of my own.  (yes, that means BABIES...many years away)
8. I fear failure
9. I love grape fanta soda.  Don't judge me.
10. I'm a country girl.
11. My husband is my world and my rock.  He is always there for me & never questions me (hardly ever, anyway haha).

Martina's Questions for Me

1. How long have you been blogging?  Several years now, but I only began the more 'in-depth' blogging fairly recently - as in, a few months.

2. Are you afraid of the dark?  Nope!  Definitely when I was younger, though!

3. Coke or Pepsi?  Pepsi!  But I'm a Dr. Pepper lover at heart! :)

4. What is your cleaning schedule?  You mean people actually have a SCHEDULE for that stuff?!  Sheesh. (kidding..I know most do).  However, I do not.  We have a chart, and we strive to complete things off weekly...our schedules are all over the place, so it's never the same day or time or anything, really. 

5. What/who made an impact on your life and why?  My parents, for sure.  They've had their share of ups and downs (I learn more and more every day), but I've never seen them as happy or as in love as they are today.  They inspire me and give me hope and strength. 

6. Why do you blog?  I love words.  I love reading, and as a younger version of me, hated to write - I mean, essays, poems, research papers - I always knew I did NOT have a knack at writing.  However, I've learned that I truly do have 'a way with words' (sometimes) and it shows when I truly care about what the subject of my writing is.  It also helps family and friends to keep up with 'me', and to just shout at the world that I am who I am, I like what I like, and MY LIFE WOULD SUCK WITHOUT ME! :)

7. What is your favorite meal?  Chicken Parmesan.  Hands down. 

8. Early bird or night owl?  I'd say a little of both?  Now that I have a grown-up job, I have to be up by 5:30 (soooo early!), but I still find myself staying up late, especially on weekends! 

9. What is the best advice you can give someone?  To live life to its fullest!  We are not guaranteed tomorrow, and to worry about petty things does not bring happiness! 

10. Do you like Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter?  Winter!!  Those that know me well know that I absolutely love cold weather!  The Texas heat, I could live without...

11. Have you ever been camping?  Yes!  We used to go all the time when we were kids!  My parents gave us a choice: a new house or to buy a boat.  We were small children at the time, so of course we chose the boat!  So, we now own a boat many many years later, and we still enjoy an outing every now and then (it's way overdue!).

My Nominees!

1. Jana @ Life Could Be a Dream
2. Jess @ jmn way
3. Andrea @ Andrea's Adventures
4. Kalyn @ Love. Laughter. Happily Ever After.
5. Katie @ Once a Southern Belle, Always a Southern Belle
6. Cheltee @ Something About You and Me
7. Chelsee @ Southern Beauty Guide

Questions for those Nominees

1. What song/movie inspires you?
2. Do you have a favorite saying or slogan you always turn to?
3. What is your dream car?
4. What is one of your worst fears that you've been able to overcome?
5. What is your dream job? 
6. When you have a few spare hours in your day, however occasional it may be, what do you find yourself doing?
7. What's your favorite childhood memory?
8. What is one random thing that you cannot live without?
9. Dogs or cats?
10. Why do you blog?

Once again, I'm very blessed to be nominated - that means my blog world is growing!  Thanks for all of my readers out there, however few of you there may be :).  And thanks for sharing in my messy, crazy, sometimes mundane life! < 3

The {first} Newlywed Game

Linking up with Karla over at Forever Newly Wedded, as a new follower, for some Friday fun :). 

The 1st 10 Questions

1. What is the worst thing that happened on your wedding day, if anything?

Bri: Several things 'happened' that I would have liked not to have (read about them ALL here), but the worst was probably that one of our groomsmen's vests wasn't the right color, which left him the odd man out.  Nothing super drastic, but it was very difficult to not have my grandma there, who passed away tragically just 5 days prior. 

Colten: Nothing. 

2. Who is the better driver?

Bri: Definitely me!  He loves the gas pedal, then the brake, then the gas pedal ... you get the picture.

Colten: Me, duh!

3. If someone had to play your spouse in a movie, who would it be?

Bri: Luke Bryan please :)

Colten: Her mom because they're so much alike.

4. What your spouse's favorite comfort food?

Bri: Totino's pizzas haha

Colten: Chocolate, duh!

5. Which one of you hogs all the covers in bed?

Bri: It varies... a few times it'll be me, then it'll be him.  I guess we share the blame on this one!

Colten: She does.

6. The saying “opposites attract" must be true because

my spouse and I couldn’t be any more different when it comes to _________?

Bri: TV shows we watch.  I like ones such as Grey's Anatomy, Parenthood, Pretty Little Liars, etc.  He goes for Moonshiners, Amish Mafia, and The Walking Dead.  We are also very different with movies - typical guy, he likes action, horror, and the really-stupid-so-it's-kind-of-funny movies, whereas, typical girl, I go for the romantic comedies mostly :).

Colten: What we like to do for fun. I play video games and she reads.

7. If your spouse won $5000, what would they spend it on?

Bri: He'd use it to pay off some of our debt, or for a car downpayment.

Colten: Student loans.

8. If your spouse could be married to any famous person, which would it be and why?

Bri: I honestly have no idea!  I guess I'm going to have to find out! He's not really one to follow all of that stuff, but I'm going to learn something new on this one ;).

Colten: Probably Luke Bryan because she thinks he's hot! 

9. Who controls the remote??

Bri: Most often, it's me. 

Colten: We both do, really.

10. If your spouse was a superhero, what would their "super power" be?

Bri: To fly! (totally guessing here)

Colten: The ability to read every book at one time. 

My husband is a man of few words, obviously.  But this was so fun! 

'It's OK' Thursday #1

Linking up, for the first time, with A Complete Waste of Makeup and Brunch With Amber for 'It's OK' Thursday! 

Its Ok Thursdays

It's OK...
  ...that it's not Friday yet.  Almost there! 

...that my hair is kind of a hot mess today. know big changes are on the near horizon and not have all the answers

...that I don't have many followers yet, I'm new and learning!  But thanks to all of you who are currently following! It means the world! be different.  Conformity is overrated. not be content working two jobs.  It's tough! be yourself.  No one can do it better than you, anyway! bring my NookColor to work every day, thinking I may get a few minutes to read, when 99% of the time I don't pick it up. break down some days.  It happens.

...that I'm still sad about Private Practice never coming back be obsessed with country music! buy an obscene amount of those cute tumbler cups. I use one EVERY.DAY. crave pizza at 9am want my relationships with family and friends to be better, knowing it may never happen

...that my dog is still not completely potty trained.  We think he has issues... be a list maker. I have them everywhere. 

...for those lists to sometimes never be completed.  It's the 'plan' that helps anyway! ;)

...that I just had to have a nestle dolce coffee maker and now I never use it. share your love or passion with the world.  Express yourselves! be emotionally affected by the work that I do, even though it's almost been a year be happy. You should definitely try it! 

...that my nail polish is in dire need of a touch-up or removal make mistakes

...that I try to please everyone around me, even if it means hurting myself. start letting go of being a people-pleaser.  I deserve to be happy too, and if you don't want to be happy, then there's not much I can do anyway.

What's OK with you this week?  Link up!


I've recently discovered She Reads Truth, a blog devoted to sharing the truth of God's word with women.  From what I've experienced so far, they have ongoing 'plans', and they use the YouVersion bible app to help do so.  I caught the end of the Fresh Start plan, which was 19 days long and had begun on January 1st.  Since that time is up, a new plan is in place.  This plan, I believe, has already been done before, but they had so much success and positive feedback the first time, they decided to do it again!  It's called the Soul Detox plan.  Today is day three, and so far, I'm loving it!  I can definitely tell why this plan has come back around! 

She Reads Truth can also be found on Instagram and Twitter!  It's very motivating to see all of the dedication and commitment that this community puts forth every day!  It's also great for me, because I can take it with me on the go.  The daily readings aren't super long, although some days are longer than others, and the devotional content (the in-depth analysis) is amazing!  I feel energized and inspired every day!  What could be better than that? 

How about the fact that in using their 'Weekly Truths', they always have an iPhone lockscreen created with the bible verse of that week.  It seems that they don't keep up with it every week though, and I found myself wanting more.  I downloaded and used their lockscreen from Day 6 of the Fresh Start devotional: The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still - Exodus 14:14.  From memory, folks!  It's helped me memorize this verse, as it's a powerful one!  But there are so many others that I want to begin to memorize and really live through.  So, this is where I came to a standstill.  Still, I wanted more.  I browsed around through old Weekly Truths with lockscreens, and saved several for the future.  But I was hungry.  I wanted yet MORE!  Let's face it, how many times do you look at the lockscreen of your phone?  Many, MANY times a day!  Such a great way to memorize Scripture. 

Thus began my hunt for a way to find more scripture-based pictures that I could save and use as my lockscreen.  But I quickly learned that many of the ones that already exist were not quite what I was going for.  I needed something to be simple, yet draw me in at the same time, so that I would really read the words I was looking at.  Again, I saved the few that I actually liked.  I even went as far as to purchase the 'Bible Lock' app (luckily, it was only $.99).  However, I still wasn't fully satisfied.  Which led me to come to the sad realization that I was going to have to figure out how to make my own!  What better way to really get what you want anyway?

So last night, the research began.  I spent HOURS perusing forums, blog posts, and random websites.  As with all research, you have those finds that are real treasures, but you also have the epic failure finds as well.  I sorted through what I had, and decided to give it a go.  Why not? 

Well, maybe because it was going to be much more of a challenge than I had anticipated.  For those of you that don't know me very well, I'm not very creative.  I know what I like and what I don't like, but as far as getting to that point, well, I suck.  This led to a huge portion of time in just playing with the way everything looked, making sure the fonts were the same, the colors matched, the pixel size was just right, and so on and so forth.  Sheesh!  Talk about a major project!  And now, if you don't know me, you're probably thinking that I'm pretty technology-illiterate and have no place attempting what I was.  The latter may be true, but I'm actually pretty good with computers and programs and settings, etc.  I also love photography, but it's the creative aspect that I lack (weird combination, I know).  However, I muddled through figuring it all out, and I was left with a gorgeous depiction of my all-time favorite Scripture!  So far, it had worked.  But then the test was to get it onto my phone and in place as the lockscreen.  One hurdle at a time I suppose. 

I got it to my phone and was very hopeful that all would turn out as I had planned.  Well, two touches of the screen to put it as my lockscreen and .... VOILA!  I had a beautiful reminder of this verse to look at every time I went to my phone.  This may seem to be something small that most of you could do in a matter of minutes, but I felt so accomplished!  I was soooo excited - just ask my husband.  I'm pretty sure he was very 'over' me telling him to look at it and to see what I had done!  I was pretty much on cloud 9, especially after realizing what lies ahead - so many verses and lessons to learn!  The possibilites are endless, and I'm so excited to really get into it!  And not only with learning Scripture .... this is going to help my blog tremendously as well!  Headers, buttons, fonts, tools ... my husband is in for many nights of, "Ooohh, look at this", "Look what I just did", "Another one!", "Babe, come HEREEE".  Oh well, he loves me and always supports me, and this new venture is no different.  He was proud that I accomplished this on my own (well, with the help of the Internet of course...).

And now, the unveiling of my masterpiece! 

This verse is near and dear to my heart.  It was also the center of our wedding day, as we had it printed on the back of our wedding koozies, of which I still have a ton to use not only as a holder for my drink, but also as a reminder of our special day and that God is a major part of not only my life but of our lives together.  I'm pretty stoked about this creation and look forward to making many, many more!  I'm super proud of myself and can't wait to learn more!  This is definitely going to come in handy as I go through the Soul Detox and other plans.  Favorite verses are going to stick out to me, and I'm going to know exactly what to do with them. 

So, thank you She Reads Truth.  Thank you for this new love and passion that has developed in me.  :-)

The Bachelor: {Week 3}

Last night was the third week for Sean Lowe to experience life as 'The Bachelor'.  Actually, it was the third week for viewers to see what life was like for Sean Lowe as The Bachelor (to be politically correct).  And it was another great episode! 

Lesley M. (as the Bachelor world knows her) had the first one-on-one date.  She seems to be a very outgoing girl and looking for a husband.  And her connection and chemistry with Sean is undeniable!  Those two are so comfortable with each other, as Sean tells her, "It feels like I've known you all of my life."  And it definitely shows!  However, I did feel a little sad for Lesley when he took her to the middle of Hollywood - to the Guiness Hall of World Records!  Hmm...great 'date'.  But that was only before it was revealed that she would be kissing Sean to attempt to break the world record of longest on-screen kiss!  The record was held at 3 minutes and 15 seconds - umm, that's a LLLOOOONNNNGGG kiss!  So, Chris Harrison was there (of course), the Guiness guy - to be sure it was legitimate and their lips did not break apart for even a second, a roaring crowd, and the clock to count just how long they'd be tongue-twisting.  They were definitely great sports about it!  And Lesley got to make-out with Sean for over three minutes!  The beginning was terribly awkward, as they were both uneasy about kissing for a long period of time in front of such a large crowd.  At about 2 minutes, they started giggling and really tried to keep their lips together (at this point, it was pretty funny and very entertaining).  But about thirty seconds into that second minute, things heated up!  The kiss became very passionate, and both Lesley and Sean forgot about the rest of the world and were very into each other, as well they should have been!  Even as everyone cheered once they broke the record, they didn't release each other from the death-gripped lip-lock.  They made it last a little bit longer, and then it was official: they held the world record for longest on-screen kiss!  How adorable!  Then, they were atop the Roosevelt Hotel, where they made out a little bit more.  Again, the chemistry between those two is definitely undeniable!  So, there you have it...Lesley was on cloud 9 after receiving a rose from Sean and spending countless minutes (hours?) making out with her hunk of a man candy. 

Then, it was on to the group date, which included:  Kacie B., Robyn, Leslie H., Kristy, Catherine, Desiree, Taryn, Amanda, Lindsay, Daniella, Jackie and TierraAaannddd...they headed to the beach to compete for one-on-one time with Sean.  So, they divided into two teams, and they played beach volleyball.  Both teams were equally terrible - and it was pretty hard to watch!  And, surprise surprise, the winning time (blue team!) won by only 2 points. 

I was rooting for this team the entire time, as it consisted of Kacie B, Jackie, Desiree, Amanda, Lindsay, and Robyn.  I mostly couldn't stand to watch Tierra for another second, and I wanted her to go back to the mansion.  So, the winning group of girls got to spend an evening with Sean back at his house.  "How romantic!" squeals one of the girls.  Umm, newsflash, you're on a date with the man whom you're ooogling over with 12 other women doing the same thing.  Yeah, romantic is what I'd go with too...not!  Anyway, Sean and Lindsay seemed to connect more, as she continues to try to show him her serious and romantic side, instead of just the funny, psycho side that made her show up on day one, out of the limo, wearing a wedding dress!  He seemed to like this new side of Lindsay, as she won a makeout session AND the rose for the group date!  Awww....  But all the while, Kacie B. took action and tattled on Amanda and Desiree - they apparently aren't getting along and the tension is building.  When Sean asked Kacie why she was bringing it to his attention, she really didn't have an answer.  She's an attention-seeker and wanted him to know the 'truth'.  Well, the truth is that Sean wasn't too impressed!  And my truth, yes, there is a tension between Amanda and Des, but it's not out of control or serious enough to really have to bring it to Sean's attention.  Hello?! How old are we??  Yeah, let's move on. Kay? 

AshLee was the lucky lady to receive the second one-on-one this week, and boy was she excited!  However, in reading the date card for this date, Tierra reads..."AshLee." *pause* "And Selma." *astonished faces around the room* "Just kidding...hahahahaha."  Umm...rude?!  Two-on-one dates means someone is going home, which isn't a funny joke to these girls.  Secondly, Tierra got Selma's hopes up that she was getting a date, when in fact, she wasn't to get one at all.  Have I mentioned that I really dislike Tierra?  Anyway, AshLee was all ready for her date (in a mighty awful dress I might add), when there was a loud *thudd* in the house.  Apparently, Tierra fell.  Down the stairs.  Really?!  She took a fall, and Sean was worried she might have had a concussion and had EMS come to take her to be checked.  However, once she was suited up in a neckbrace and laid out on the stretcher to go, she became bratty once again, refused EMS advice, and demanded to be 'left alone'.  I think this takes me back to my teenage years!  Ha.  So, Tierra goes off by the pool to be 'alone' and Sean follows her to check on her.  And he flirts with her all the while, while AshLee is in the mansion waiting for him to take her on their date!  Once again, Tierra steals the spotlight.  Attention-seeker!  

Finally, Sean and AshLee head out for their date and arrive at Six Flags!  Being that this is the Bachelor, the entire park is closed down just for the two of them.  How sweet.  However, Sean has a twist for AshLee!  He brings along two girls that have chronic illnesses, and whom have been best friends online for over a year but have never met!  He surprises everyone on this date: AshLee was unaware of their guests, and Emily and Brianna (the two girls that join their date) were unaware that the other would be there, so they got to meet in person for the first time!  They seemed to really have a great time, and AshLee wasn't upset in the least about having to share her date!  At least, she didn't show it anyway :).  They had a fun time and ended the evening with a private concert by Sean's favorite band, the Eli Young band!  It's good to see a down-home Texas boy enjoying some nice country music.  I was enjoying it anyway.  After the girls left, Sean and AshLee were able to have some serious one-on-one time to get to know each other better.  AshLee had a very heartfelt story to tell Sean - her adoption story!  I admit, it was very sweet and sincere.  She seems to be a very optimistic person, and she doesn't let any negativity bring her down - at least she doesn't show that it does on national television.  She had Sean in tears!  He was so moved by the story of her meeting her adoptive father for the first time that he got all choked up!  So sweet.  They shared a romantic makeout session and finished the night in each other's arms swaying back and forth to EYB.  Ok...I must also note here that while AshLee is sharing such a sentimental story that's close to her heart, they are sitting on a couch right in front of the stage that the EYB is standing on.  Can we just say *awkard*?!  Geez.  Privacy please!  But, AshLee gets the rose and will stay around for a while longer.  Which is fine with me - I'm starting to like her a little more now, but she's not my fave! 

Then, it's cocktail party time!  And these girls broke out their claws!  I have never seen so much Bachelor-stealing in my life!  Okay, I don't watch EVERY season of this show, but still, it was intense!  Sean didn't sit down with one girl for 2 minutes when another girl walked up and swooped him away, only to have Karma strike and have the same done to her!  And poor Des, she stole Sean away from Tierra, and literally had 5 seconds with him on the couch (enough for a smooch!) when Tierra refused to be 'finished with him' and stole him back!  Des told Sean she'd wait for him on the couch for him to come back, to which he agreed and specifically told her he'd return - and he didn't!  He didn't get a chance, as the girls weren't okay with Tierra getting to talk to Sean alone for a second time - someone stole him away, and the plague of man-stealers continued.  It was pretty catty.  But, on to the rose ceremony.  Sean picks up the first rose and says, "Hold on.  Kacie, can I please talk with you?" - to which she obliges.  He takes her outside and says that he has been unable to move her from the friend-zone to a relationship-zone, much to her dismay.  He says he respects her too much to have her go through the rose ceremony only to be left rose-less, and he sends her packing right then and there!  Poor girl didn't even get a limo...haha.  I didn't care much for Kacie B and I'm glad she's gone.  I don't believe she should've been there in the first place, but whatever.  I'm obviously not in charge! :) 

So, the rose ceremony begins (for real this time) and it's no shocker whose name is called first: 'Tierra'.  Ugh.  This is the moment when all of the viewers realize they have to spend another 2 hours watching crazy Tierra-filled drama since Sean's decided to keep her.  Oh well.  It's like watching a car-wreck - you just can't look away.  As those of us in the south would say, 'Bless her heart'.  Sean moves on with the rose ceremony.  The next 9 roses go to: Leslie H., Catherine, Daniella, Robyn, Selma, Sarah, Jackie, Amanda and Desiree.  Poor Des looked genuinely worried, and I admit that I was too!  I thought, "Surely he wouldn't let her go with such a connection that they have."  And he didn't...he just made her wait.  It was a pretty long pause!!  So, Taryn and Kristy were eliminated and said their goodbyes.  Sayonara ladies! 

My favorites after week 3:
1 - Lesley M. 
2 - Desiree

My most-hated after week 3:
1 - Tierra
2 - Tierra

3 - Amanda
*yes, Tierra gets two spots this week! :)*

Now to wait another week to see what happens next! I can't wait...much more drama on the way!

The {Little Things}

I absolutely cherish every opportunity that I get to travel back home and spend some quality time with my family. However, I always make a point to take a few moments for myself - to truly be alone and take in the peace and calmness that is the country. Picture this:
Rolling hills of open land. Windmill. Windchimes. Cows roaming. Birds chirping. Wind blowing through the trees. Hammock swaying in the breeze. Crisp air. Clear, blue skies. Sun shining. Woods off to the side, trees everywhere.

This is my morning. I'm sitting on the back porch of my parents' house and this is their view. How glorious!

So, now that you have that image in mind, I'm lounging on their super comfortable outdoor furniture and reading The Resolution for Women. More about that journey to come at a later date. Anywho, as I'm deep in learning about God's want for us to be purposefully feminine, I hear a noise coming from the side of the house. I look over, as it could very easily be my mom or dad, and I see a rabbit scurrying by. It runs right in front of me and off to the opposite side of the house by the garage. Pretty neat. Nature at its finest! But then, I hear an even louder rustling noise from where the first one originated. This time when I look over, I see a wolf, yes, a WOLF, standing less than 20 yards away! It's definitely looking for that rabbit. I sit completely still, in awe of the simple acts that are happening literally right in front of me. The wolf trots across the grass right in front of the back porch (at this point, it's about 5 yards away), sniffing out its prey! It makes its way further to the back of the property, and I watch as it disappears into the woods. This very simple act was so amazing to watch. It was such a little thing and was over in literally less than 2 minutes. And it really opened my eyes to my life.

It's the little things that we need to be aware of and thankful for. It's the little things, such as a good morning hug or a random text message during the day, that puts a smile on my face and makes my heart soar! It's the little things, like visiting with my family, seeing a smile on my Grandpa's face, watching a movie while wrapped up in my husband's arms, or enjoying the simplicity of nature, that reminds me of what is truly important. I don't need to take extravagant trips across the world. I don't have to be filthy rich. I don't need to be the center of attention. I don't need any of these things to be completely happy and feel complete. God intended me to be exactly where I am in my life. Today's experience reminded me to take time out of my busy life to reflect on what is important. It also reminded me to cherish the little things, no matter how small. The little things matter the most to me, and that's what is important. I'm happy. And it's because of the little things that happen every single day!  And God saw that it was good.

What are the little things that matter most to you?

Friday Letters

Linking up from Ashley's infamous Friday Letters!  It's my first, so let's DO THIS! 

Dear Friday, thank you for being so kind to me!  I've gotten to visit with my family, whom I haven't seen in weeks, help put out hay with my dad, and cruise around the property on the Kabota, which was so much fun! 

Dear Grandpa, please hang in there!  I know the recent knews was not what you wanted to hear, but we all believe in you and support you, and we know you're going to stay strong!  We love you so much.

Dear Mom, thank you for listening to my cry-fest yesterday!  I know that I need to suck it up and get through it, but you always seem to catch the brunt of these sessions. 

Dear sweet bloggers, I've thoroughly enjoyed diving into this blogging thing (with followers, link-ups, buttons, etc.).  I'm still learning the ropes, so please bear with me!  I also would love to hear from any and all of you...check out my {contact} page! :)

Dear will power, please hang in there!  I know that brownie looks and smells super delicous, but you've got to stand strong!  We can do it together!

Dear ladybugs infesting my office, please GO AWAY!  You have overstayed your welcome, and I'm totally and completely OVER.IT. 

Dear Nicole @ Pharr Away, you are amazing and I truly am grateful for everything you've done to help me so far!  I'm definitely a work in progress, but you're sticking with me and I really appreciate it!  I'm super excited to see where all of this takes me! 

Dear familia, I love each and every one of you, and I know we are battling the storms right now, but we can and will come out of it stronger than ever! 

Dear relationships, let's work on getting better, kay?  To friendships & family, a relationship is a two-way street.  You've gotta put in the effort to reap the reward.  If you don't or aren't willing to do so, please don't complain that I'm not putting in the effort on my end. 

Happy friday everyone!  And I hope everyone has a FABULOUS weekend!



Surprisingly Satisfied

Judging by our current position in line as women today, in this culture, the 'secret' to being content has been manipulated and misunderstood.  What we hear described as the secret of our satisfaction sounds a lot different than it did when it was first spoken and handed down many centuries ago.  Today, we hear a philosophy of happiness that's actually been training us for a long time not to be happy.  It says there's always something else, something more, some additional requirement we need before we can really enjoy life the way it was meant to be enjoyed.  So, the advertisements bombard us with suggestions, dripping with recommendations intended to whet our appetites and tantalize our taste buds, encouraging us to get rid of the old and acquire the new. 

If you're single, you should have the security of marriage.
If you're married, you should have the freedom of singleness.
If you live in an apartment, you should own a home by now.
If you own a home, it should be bigger than the one you've got.

Getting the message?

Your clothes should be from this vendor.
Your appearance should look like that trend.
Your kids should be more like those kids.
Your standard of success should be measured by these standards.

The fallout from this is inevitable.  Fed by such a steady diet of unclaimed desires, we can hardly help but develop a level of disdain for our current circumstances.  Caught in this vicious cycle, we consequently feel incomplete and substandard.  Unhappy.  Uncontrolled.  Unfulfilled.  Dissatisfied. 

This is precisely why a satisfied woman is such a surprising woman.  She is shockingly noticeable to a world that lives on a watered-down version of the secret - a secret that she obviously got the truth about.  Contentment wasn't some unique gift the apostle Paul had been given.  It was a skill he had chosen and adopted, then had mastered and applied to his tumultuous life experience.  As a result, he could say with biblical assurance:

"I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am"

Philippians 4:11

Paul's secret was this: he had resolved to be content

Just imagine - being completely content in everything you have and do.  Do you have your dream job?  Do you own and wear the finest clothes?  Are you perfectly happy with the people in your life?  Your friends?  Your family?  Your significant other?  Are you content with the path you are headed down that leads to your future?  Are you? 

For most of us, the answer is 'no' to at least the majority of those questions.  Or if not, it was at some point in your life.  This definitely hits home for me.  I find myself dissatisfied in my life in several aspects.  Just last week, I was a frustrated blogger, not knowing what to do or really what exactly it was I wanted.  I just knew I wanted more.  However, I am reminded by Paul's determination and acceptance to be content with what I have.  The more you believe that God's grace to you is overflowing, the more you'll be convinced that you will always have everything you need.  I need to put my complete trust in God that he will grant me the supply I need to excel at His purposes.  If I do'nt have it - whatever it is - I don't need it.  I may WANT it, but it's not necessary in order to accomplish what He knows is most important for my life today.  I'm resolving to be more understanding and to be more content in my life and the blessings that have been bestowed upon me.  Every decision I need to make, every task I need to accomplish, every relationship I need to navigate, every element of daily life I need to traverse, God has already perfectl ymatched up with an equivalent-to-overflowing supply of His grace. 

Now, I'm not saying that this isn't difficult - because it's definitely not an easy thing to accomplish ... this being content.  It's hard work.  Some days, we break, and no amount of consoling is going to alleviate the situation.  But in the midst of those discouraging days, it's a great reminder to know that God supplies us with the grace and mercy to face our demons head-on.  And I must admit, that when I step back from my current discouraging circumstances (it's always something, let's admit it), I am surprisingly satisfied.  I am learning to not judge my life based on the luxuries that others may have.  We don't know everyone's story.  They may have something that you want, but you don't know what they've had to sacrifice or lose to get it. 

What might God be trying to grow in your character or cement in your relationship with Him by keeping you separated from some of the things you want but don't yet have?

Frustrated Blogger? R.I.G.H.T. H.E.R.E.

So, I've come to really love blogging...I mean REALLY love it!  I really don't know who all reads it, if anyone at all, but I really LOVE it!  I love having a place to go to get my feelings and thoughts out there - and I don't have to kill my hands by writing it physically in a journal, and my family and friends have a place to check out what's going on in my life - I really do have sympathy for any future children we may have, as their every cute and silly face and action will be broadcast to the blogging world.  I also have come to learn that I have a way with words - sometimes.  Sometimes, I'm very boring and have nothing interesting or awesome to say or put out there.  But sometimes, I can be pretty clever!  Or interesting at least!  Or, well, I don't know.  I'm just 'me' and that's all I know how to be! 

But with that said, I'm kind of frustrated today.  I follow a few bloggers who have just BLOSSOMED!  I mean, they've met so many cool blogger people and they follow each other and text and have really become friends - and I've seen the whole 'cara box' thing, and I'm totally jealous!  And I just have one word: HOW?!  How do you connect with that many people that you've never known before?  How do you use your BLOG to do that?  Maybe that is just out of my league and I'm just stuck in the dinosaur ages of blogging.  I don't know!  But I'd like to break out of my shell and really connect with other women that are serious about their faith and love to be crazy and random, just like I do!  But I really don't know how to go about that ... how to even start!  Maybe it should be when I have a few hours on my hands to search about it and see what blogger has to offer - more than I use it for now.  I know there are people out there, just your typical woman with internet friends and crafty ideas and husbands and cute children and life problems and wants and needs just like me, right?  I hope so!  I'm determined to *attempt* to figure it out and see where it takes me! 

So, here are my questions to begin this journey, in case any super awesome blossomed bloggers stumble upon this post and read it (and if you're one of those people, please, please, PLEASE help me!):
  • Is there a certain feature that I'm just unaware of? 

  • Does it have anything to do with 'Google+'?  Because if so, I really need help with that too!  I haven't really had a reason to look into it, so I haven't, obviously. 

  • Was it hard for you to do?  I mean, I know it can't just happen overnight, but it seems like there just has to be more people out there like myself who love doing this and want to connect, just like I do!  But how?! 

  • Where do you even START?! 

  • And once you start, how do you keep it going?!  Well, at first anyway.  I can only imagine that over time, you really do create friendships that you keep up with, but isn't there a certain *awkward* stage to get through? 

  • At what point can you really tell if the blogger you're following and trying to get to know is a burn-out blogger that really doesn't want or care for the attention/friendship like you do?

  • If I ever figure it out and get it started, I plan to just be honest and kind of stalk people (but not in the super-intense creeper sort of way of course) and learn about them.  But how far is 'too far' in your opinion? 

  • Are there any tips or tricks that I'm not asking here that may be good to know? 

  • Do I have to pay to get the whole 'look' of today's modern blog to accomplish what I'm seeking?  Or can I stick with my old-fashioned free templates? 

  • Are you laughing your butt off at me right now because I seem super desperate and you think I need to just give up right now and move on with my life?  It may be true *okay,'s true*.  But I really want to at least see where this takes me...if anywhere. 

Please bear with me and HELP!  Any, and I mean any, help is greatly appreciated! I'm really serious about getting into this and seeing where it takes me.  Have I mentioned that already?  Oops!  Oh well.  It's true, anyway.  I'm serious.  Seriously.  (I think I watch way too much Grey's Anatomy...seriously.) 

So, there you have it!  I'm a frustrated blogger that doesn't know how to break out of my shell.  Maybe that applies to more than just my blogging life.  Hmm... I think this post just got a lot deeper than I anticipated.  Look out!  Moment of self-awareness and lack of spreading my wings coming on here... .... .... ... aaaaannnddd, it's gone.  I'm just a ...


2013 Resolutions

Wow... Another new year!  I'm so blessed to have been given the opportunity to see this miraculous year and experience all that it has in store for me.  Although, it's hard to write '2013' at work, haha!  Anyway, since it's the new year, I've come up with a few resolutions to really stick to this year; here we go! 

  1. Let go.  Let go of old friendships, what wasn't meant to be, and of regrets and past wants. 

  2. Move on. Move on from high school glory days, from people that aren't good for me, and from the past 'me'.  It's time for a change for the better!

  3. Be happy for others. Don't judge my life based on what other people have.  Be happy for them and then go back to #2, and move on

  4. Deepen my relationship with God. And further my biblical education.  For He knows what is right for my life. 

  5. Clean up. Clean up my act!  From work, to home, to social media.  Clean it up, get it organized, and be persistent. 

  6. Follow my dreams. They may not be big, but follow them anyway.  Be more financially stable & responsible.  Lose weight and feel more confidant.  And really strive for the first step in that new car!  For with God, all things are possible. 

  7. Don't stress.  Don't sweat the small stuff, and know that everything happens for a reason and will work out the way God intends.


I know that's a LOT to take on in one year, but I feel like they are all intertwined.  Letting go and moving in obviously go hand in hand.  If I'm going to do one, I have to do the other!  Don't let it go momentarily - strive to let it go forever, and move on from it.  No matter what 'it' is. 

In doing so, I'll be happy for others.  Sometimes in today's materialistic society, we can get caught up in the wants of what others have.  My resolution this year is to not let that get to me.  Instead of being jealous and wanting what they have, I resolve to instead be happy for them and move on from it.  Being thankful for what I have also is mixed in with this.  Do not want what I do not have; instead, feel the blessings that have been placed upon my life and be eternally grateful.  Don't be greedy! 

Then, there's deepening my relationship with God.  This is a resolution every year, because no matter where I am in my biblical education, it can always improve!  So, again this year, I resolve to be closer with God and in my understandings in following His word. 

Cleaning up and following my dreams include a lot.  This includes cleaning up my act, in how I act and my daily routine.  How about getting one for starters, huh?!  Then, stick to it.  It also entails being more organized, at home and at the office.  It's so easy to just leave things as they are and 'get to them later'.  But I'm resolving to not do that this year.  It only takes a second to put things where they belong and clean up after yourself!  I also have the worst habit of once I do clean up and get things they way I like them, I don't keep up with it.  I'm resolving to be persistent and keep working at it all year long!  This resolution also includes following my dreams.  Although they may not be giant dreams such as seeing the world or making millions of dollars, they're big to me.  And that's all that's important.  My current dreams are: being financially stable & responsible, losing weight, feeling more confidant, and making the steps towards obtaining a new vehicle to replace Colten's truck.  It's scary to think of it all at one time, but I know that the year is long, and I have 362 more days to work on it! 

Don't stress.  I know what we're all thinking here, "Yeah, right!"  But, I resolve to 'work on it' as much as possible this year.  I know that, in the end, stressing doesn't make anything any better or easier on anyone.  Everything happens for a reason, and I am a firm believer in that.  It's just hard to remember that in moments of hard situations. 

Again, these are a lot to keep up with this year, but they are all very important and are areas that I need to work on in life.  I resolve to work on being the best 'me' that I can be!
Pin It button on image hover