Surprise, Surprise!

HE WENT TO JARED!  (again)

My husband is the absolute best!  If you follow me on twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, you already know that my husband picked me up and took me out to lunch yesterday!  So sweet!  He hasn't had a reliable vehicle for so long, and now that he does, it's amazing!  He was off yesterday, so he picked me up at work and we headed on over to Which Wich.  Their sandwiches are seriously amazing.  But anyway...on to the point of this post. 

Later that afternoon, after an amazingly sweet lunch date, he texted me and told me not to look at the bank account.  We recently received our tax return refund and were paying off major credit cards, so he was having to deal with the fraud team of our bank.  But any time he tells me not to look at something, I obviously get concerned...or nosy....or anxious....or, let's be honest, all of these at once!  I want to know immediately what's going on.  Well, of course he wouldn't tell me....he just begged me not to look!  Upon inquiring when he'd let me in on whatever it was that was going on, he said he would talk to me about it when I got home.  Now, that doesn't seem unreasonable.  However, it was only 2pm and I had to go to job #2 yesterday, which meant an entire 8 hours before I'd be home.  Ugh.  I'm ridiculously impatient and he was definitely testing me!  So, I waited.  And waited.  And waited some more.  And in between all of that waiting, I was texting him, teasing him that I was going to look at the account.  But, I managed to wait and opened the door to the apartment...

He told me to close my eyes as he left the room.  When he returned, he told me to open my eyes.  And to my surprise was a bag from Jared's!  I almost started crying.  Seriously, my husband is always thinking of me and doing little things for me.  Sometimes I find myself taking this for granted, but I'm definitely working on that and am sure to tell him just how much I appreciate him and his efforts.  A year and a half/two years ago, he surprised the HECK out of me with a Pandora bracelet from Jared's.  And ever since, I've been obsessed with trying to fill that sucker!  By the way, I've succeeded!  It's officially full of charms!  But, my husband has been super helpful with this task.  He's always looking for very meaningful charms to add to my collection.  And yesterday was no different.  He surprised me by taking my bracelet to, first of all, get cleaned.  Then he began his search for a new charm - and boy did he score big time (with getting the perfect charm...dirty minds...)!  Just look at this beauty:

It's the 'guardian angel' charm!  He said it's in remembrance of my granny that tragically died a little over a year ago.  This man is so dang thoughtful!  I seriously started crying when I saw the charm and he explained its significance.  I now have several guardian angels watching over me, and I will cherish this charm forever.  Every time I look at it, I think of both of my grandma's, my aunt, friends, the grandpa I never met, and so many others that have passed away.  He's good...I'll give him that!  I already have a cancer ribbon charm in remembrance of my other grandma that passed away almost 9 years ago to cancer.  I also have a dog charm, lots of hearts charms and 'i love you' charms, as well as a very expensive birth stone charm, bible charm, and a stack of books charm for when I graduated college!  I also have a horseshoe charm for my 'country roots' and for luck! He spoils me...

So, I'm proudly wearing my Pandora bracelet today, and am going to work on color coordinating the bigger stone charms!  It's definitely a favorite addition to my jewelry collection, and I wear it proudly.  And, thank you babe, as you surprised me yet again with your big heart and giving ways.  I truly appreciate everything you do for me and will always cherish the love we have together.

Surprise, husband is amazing!  No real surprise there, as I already knew this ;).  

The Bachelor: {Thailand}

Last night was yet another fabulous episode of The Bachelor.  There were three girls left: Lindsay, AshLee, and Catherine.  This week....OVERNIGHTS in Thailand! 

Sean recapped the three very different women prior to the dates this week:

Catherine - Nerdy, goofy, unique.  He says they're serious when they need to be, but they can always have fun!  *insert flashbacks from the ice castle and the giant snow bus date*  And according to Sean, "We also have a romantic element that's off the charts."  Aww... 

AshLee - inspirational, strong.  Sean commends AshLee for having one of the biggest hearts.  He continued with saying that he never has to guess how she's feeling.  Sean and AshLee want the same things out of life: same type of family, same type of marriage, same type of future.  And yes, Sean said 'same type of' all three times.  I actually rewound to listen again, as I thought my brain was just hallucinating things.  But was real.  Sean comments that a future with AshLee is like the American dream, with a house and kids running around ...

Lindsay - loving, caring, generous, supportive, hilarious.  Lindsay and Sean's relationship is a spark that's grown into a massive flame.  Sean admits that it was during dinner on their first date in Montana that he began to be able to picture himself with Lindsay for the rest of his life.  They are a match physically, emotionally, and spiritually. 

Ok, enough of that!  Let's get to the dates shall we?! 

Lindsay was up first, and Sean took her to a Thai market.  But upon seeing her, they shared a passionate kiss, at which time Sean's hand goes straight for her butt!  *tsk tsk*  No shame, Sean!  But they really are adorable.  So, while they're at the Thai market, they are rummaging around and come upon the most adorable colored chicks (little chickens, not humans...)!  Seriously, these things were BRIGHT and BOLD colors: pink, blue, green, yellow.  Wowzers!  But I secretly wanted one.  Still do actually.... But anyway.  Sean and Lindsay were able to do normal things on this date, and they could really see themselves together in real life, when the cameras are turned off.  But, I wouldn't call eating bugs 'normal'.  Lindsay had mentioned to Sean that she would try anything once, but not bugs.  So, being a typical guy, what does he go for first?  The bugs, of course!  So, they each get a bug-on-a-stick and chow down.  Lindsay's face was priceless!  It was totally disgusting.  But, it wasn't over just yet!  Nope!  They had to go for a SECOND bug.  Totally and utterly g.r.o.s.s.  This one was a huge, crispy grasshopper.  Yummo.  Talk about nutritious!  Yuck.  Lindsay couldn't find her drink fast enough. 

Sean finally laughed it off and they walked away.  Aww, no more bugs :(.  They then move to Monkey Beach, which was stunning.  And yes, of course there were monkeys!  Sean and Lindsay were able to feed them!  I seriously want a monkey.  Seriously. 

Cutest darn things EVERRR!  But, back to Sean and Lindsay I guess.  Sean tells Lindsay that she's the best friend he's been looking for.  Awww.  How sweet.  Then, it was dinnertime.  (personally, my favorite time of the day, but whatever, this isn't about me anyway.)  Lindsay confirms to Sean that she's completely willing to move to Dallas to live with him and be a couple together instead of pursuing a long-distance relationship.  And then it was pretty funny.  I found myself thinking that there really aren't any *awkward* moments between Sean and Lindsay.  But then it happened.  Just like that....silence.  Awkward!  There were weird stares and funny laughs to try to get past it, but it was the biggest elephant in the room!  Lindsay wanted nothing more than to tell Sean of her undying love for him.  Okay, maybe it wasn't that extreme, but she did want to tell him that she loved him.  She just couldn't get those three little words out.  Let me help, Lindsay.... I.   LOVE.    YOU.   There, that wasn't so bad, now was it?   Then, she gave her speech.  She explained to Sean that she was taking the process very seriously and it wasn't just a game to her.  She said that it felt right and real, and that she wouldn't take what they had for granted.  I thought, this is it!  I was sure that she was going to say 'I love you' to Sean.  But nope.  They were interrupted by a Thai performance with dancers and lights!  It was pretty awesome to see, and I could only imagine what it was like to be there to experience.  Lots and lots of culture, people!  Then, Sean brought out the fantasy suite card.  Lindsay didn't hesitate, and she said that she would love to spend the time with him.  Then, while in the fantasy suite, she finally says it!  "I love you, Sean".  Awww!  So sweet.  Sean replied, "I love hearing you say that."  Poor guy.  

AshLee's date was next.  They were on a small Thai boat, and then Sean explained they were going to swim through Emerald Cave.  She was FREAKING OUT!  

She continued to repeat that she had a fear of rejection and abandonment.  Sean justified this date by saying that he wanted her to trust him.  During the cave dive, they kind of get lost, and even Sean admitted to being scared.  It was pitch black in there and they had no clue where they were going.  To be honest, it was a pretty lame date!  They finally emerged, though, and found themselves on a beautiful secluded beach that can only be accessed by going through Emerald Cave.  It was gorgeous!  AshLee stated several times that it was a 'different' AshLee than the girl that started on the Bachelor journey.  She had changed and was letting go of having to be in control at all times.  She also admitted (not to Sean, of course) that she would say yes to a proposal that day.  She continued, "Every part of me wants to be engaged to Sean next week."  Jennifer Weiner, a popular author, tweeted, "And one very special part wants to be engaged to Sean tonight."  Aww...bahahahaha!  So true.  Then, it was on to dinner that night.  AshLee admitted that she was scared to spend time with Sean off camera and that she wasn't morally willing to put herself out there if he was doing the same thing with two other women.  Boo hoo.  Like she doesn't know what the Bachelor is?!  Come onnnn!  I do have to admit that they had some pretty sweet small talk through dinner, though.  But then, the infamous date card arrived, explaining they could take advantage of the fantasy suite.  AshLee then gave Sean a lllooooonnnnnggggg speech, but ultimately she said yes!  She trusts him, apparently.  While in the fantasy suite, AshLee tells Sean the EXACT ring that she wants - followed by her ring size!  Dreaming much, are we pretty girl?  Ugh, I'm so over AshLee.  Her sob story is getting old quick!  She followed all of that by telling Sean that he's healed her broken heart.  Stab me in the eye, please!  Sean replied that it's good that she knows exactly what she wants.... I'm not buying it.  

Catherine's date was last this week, and Sean took her on a Thai boat (a big boat) to see the sights.  He says that he left her hometown date with two questions: 1-Do they have the same life goals?  2-Do they want to live life the same way?  But, they do have fun together, and Sean says that's important.  Doesn't he have fun with the other two women as well?  That's what he's been saying, so I don't know!  Hmm...  But Sean says several times that he had been missing Catherine and that he had been looking forward to their date all week!  Dun dun dunnnn!  Sean tells viewers that he wondered if Catherine could settle down in Dallas.  So, he asks her (good move).  She says that she's expired in terms of living in Seattle.  Way to beat around the bush there!  She tells Sean that she was pissed at her sisters.  Sean proceeded to ask her why she was ready for marriage now.  Then, Catherine erupts into a long story about being in a long-term relationship and she freaked out, which taught her, ultimately, what it took to be married.  She is more open with her friends than her sisters, as her and her sisters are in different points in their lives and there's drama and jealousy, etc.  She says one of her friends is married, so she can pretty much tell her anything.  After the pretty serious conversation, they back-flip off the boat and into the water, but not before giving each other some lovin'...of course!  
It's pretty obvious that Sean is more open with Catherine and talks of his affection towards her constantly.  Then a storm rolls through, and they scramble for cover back on the boat, but they end up kissing in the rain.  It was pretty hott!  Catherine says, "I'm ready to be with him."  Sean says, "She gets me more than anyone else."  Apparently Sean is way more goofy and nerdy than we thought!!  So, then it's off to dinner.  He openly asks Catherine where she sees them in five years.  Her answer - married, with a kid, and happy.  Super specific there haha.  She then admits that she's pretty traditional when it comes to relationships, admitting that the overnight date scared her.  She told Sean that she wants him to continue to see her as a lady (does she think he'll see her man-parts?!).  Sean was admittedly turned on by her nervousness over the fantasy suite.  Aww...that's true love people!  She says yes, and they head on over.  They get serious, again (so not typical Catherine/Sean viewing), and she tells him that she was made fun of when she was younger - that she was chubby or ate too much.  She then admits to him that she's never been in a bathing suit more times in her life than she has been with Sean.  His reply, "You're smoking hott, ok?  I'm the lucky one."  Awww.  They're soooo comfortable together.  Then, cameras shut off.  

Prior to the rose ceremony, Sean says that it's hard and he never pictured himself saying goodbye to this person (at this point, we don't know who he sends home).  It was the week that Emily sent him home on his season as a contestant, and he was blindsided.  He knows who he's sending home, but it was going to be the toughest thing ever.  It kills him inside.  This person is full of love and it kills him to think about it.  Ok, overkill much, Sean?  But wait, there's more!  he says that he hates being the person that breaks hearts or hurts feelings, but he knows that it needs to be done.  Then why are you the Bachelor?!?!  Oy.  He does admit that he's in love, though!  Aww.  Then, Chris Harrison tells Sean that the women left private, personal video messages prior to the rose ceremony.  He had the BIGGEST smile watching Catherine's video, and the most somber look watching AshLee's.  AshLee breaks down crying during the message - TWICE!  Get over yourself, girl!  You're totally dramatic.  I'm tired of hearing her 'broken' story.  It's all she talks about!  But she knows she'll 'always love him'.  Gag me!  Sean then admits that the video messages made his decision hard.  Well duh, you just watched three women tell you that they love you!  Jerk.  

Before the LAST rose ceremony, Sean says he knows he's not meant to be with the person he's sending home.  Cue Chris Harrison: "If you're ready, here's Sean."  Drum roll please.... 

First rose: Lindsay!  Wooooo hoooooo!  She's my fave! :)  They're adorable together!!  I was totally pumped at this point, and made the decision that it would be worth watching the show to the end now.  Ha!  

Second and final rose: he picks up the rose.  Looks at the women.  Bites his tongue.  Women sigh.  Rose close-up.  Clenched teeth.  Sighs of exasperation.  Clears throat.  And..... CATHERINE!  Yay yay yay!  AshLee is sent packin'!  The finale will definitely be worth watching now! :)  I'm rude...whatever.  

AshLee was PISSED!  She tells Sean to 'just stay' as she takes the walk of shame.  See ya!  But Sean replies, "Can I just explain myself please?"  To which she stops.  

*i think the world of you
*this is the hardest decision I've ever had to make
*I don't want to hurt you
*I hope you know where I'm coming from

But no real reason why it wasn't her.  Poor, poor AshLee.  Buh-bye!  

AshLee: "This wasn't a silly game to me." *evil eyes*  Sean sits with his head between his knees on a bench as the remaining two women look on at him.  Lame.  AshLee (in the car heading HOME) says that it was the 'ultimate reject'.  Umm...I'm pretty sure it was probably the ultimate rejectION.  Maybe that?  Yeah, probably.  She hides behind her hair and sobs.  Boo hoo.  

On to next week!  The reunion show: The Women Tell All! :) 

I also read from Sean's point of view of his experience this week.  Pretty cool!  Apparently, him and AshLee don't laugh much together.  Finally, a REASON.  And I can totally see that.  

Until next week! ♥

Weekend {Shenanigans}

Linking up with Sami for Weekend Sheeenanigans!   


Friday was a day full of workkk.  I went home, grabbed some clothes, and then hopped in the car, as we were heading to the 'burg (for those of you who may not know, that's my hometown!) to pick up my husband's new T-R-U-C-K.  Well, not a new truck, but a new-to-him truck. Got it?  Good.  Soooo, it was around 7pm when we got there.  I made Colten stop in the middle of the road so that I could capture this beauty.  Yes, I'm addicted to photography.  So sue me!  

 Colten had to open at work the next morning, so he went ahead on home back to Austin for the night, and I decided to stay where I was.  1: I was tired.  2: My eyes were hurtin. Yes, hurtin.  3: I was with my parents in the good ol' countryside!  So, I spent the night.  Yays! 


Saturday ... Saturday ... Saturday seems like so long ago!  I'm seriously trying to remember what happened on Saturday!  Hmm ... Saturday I slept until about 10, which was glorious!  I then proceeded to be useful around the house.  Now, this is a rarity whether I'm visiting my parents or at my own apartment.  Me?  Useful?  That's right...I was TOTALLY useful on Saturday!  I helped Dad hook up the renovator to the tractor (farm girl, right here!).  I also unloaded & reloaded the dishwasher, washed the remaining(ish) dishes by hand, all while cooking lunch, which really only consisted of making macaroni and heating up leftover pork chops.  Then I helped Mom with some laundry and picking up around the house.  I also heard from my husband a LOT on Saturday, as he was running errands in his new wheels!  It's been so tough sharing a vehicle between both of us which such crazy schedules!  No more of that, thank goodness!  At one point, he called me to ask me why we were in the red by five hundred dollars.  I began to seriously freak out (who wouldn't?!).  That's when I logged into our online banking account and saw that we had received our tax return moneyyyy!  I'm one verrryy happy girl! :)  We rounded out the day by watching some DVR'd shows from earlier that week - let's see...I believe we caught up on CSI:NY and CSI: Las Vegas.  Both were great last week!  So, if you haven't watched them, what are you waiting for??  


Sunday I raided my mom's closet for a shirt to wear to church, as I had obviously not planned to be home the entire weekend - I barely had anything with me!  I found one that I really loved - and tried to steal - that went well with my jeans and an over-shirt I had with me.  I also only had dark flip flops with me, but God forgave me for wearing them to church :).  After church, we headed to town to deliver some bad news to my grandpa.  My aunt's mother-in-law passed away earlier that morning.  Losing a loved one is never easy, but she lived to see 100 years, and she was very active up until the end!  Prayers and love go out to the Henneke family this week and in the months to come, as it's a painful time.  After visiting with my grandpa until about noon, which was lunchtime for him, we decided to pick up some food in town.  That's when we noticed this sign: 
*Buy a sausage on a stick and get a free stick* 

Small town advertising at its finest of course!  We all cracked up laughing.  Good times!  After eating lunch (no, we did not get the sausage on a stick ...), we headed home.  Dad went out to get some more renovating done outside, and mom and I relaxed for about an hour.  I found a really cute movie on the Hallmark Channel - yes, cute movie and Hallmark Channel in the same sentence....who'd have thunk it?! It's called Uncorked.  And we had to leave before watching the end, so I'll have to see if I can find it again!  My aunt hosted a thirty-one party in LG Sunday afternoon, so that's where we headed.  We ended up spending way more than we wanted to (surprise, surprise...not!), but it was a lot of fun!  I already bought a few Christmas gifts, and it's only February!  I'd say it was a huge success :).  My husband, not so much...  

This was page 2 of our three-page order form...oops!

On our way back through town, we stopped to see Pops one more time and take him his clothes.  My cousin, Brett, was there, so we visited for a few minutes.  Then we headed back to my parents' house, where I proceeded to pack up my 'junk' and get my butt heading back to Austin!  After all, I did have to come into work today....  

So, that's my weekend recap!  I know, nothing super exciting and dramatic, but I loved it nonetheless!  Simply and carefree are better sometimes :).  

*prayers to my mommy for a speedy recovery post-surgery
*love and prayers to the Henneke family as they grieve their loss 
*lots of love to all of you followers/readers for taking the time out of your super important day to read what I did this weekend
*shoutout to my super-amazing husband who was totally okay with my staying at my parents' house much longer than anticipated, and for holding down the fort until I got back... I love you! ♥
*check out this gigantic cookie from lunch today....

Seriously, it was so amazing.  It's a chocolate brownie cookie.  Yumm! You can also find its fantastic picture by following me on Instagram: @brileigh12

The Newlywed Game {Take 4}

Linking up with Karla and Veronica again this week for the Newlywed Game! 

1.  Who does the laundry in your home, you or your spouse? Any good stories?
 Colten does most of the laundry, as he's home more often than I am.  I do a load or two every now and then, though. 

I do the laundry because she works two jobs, along with the rest of the house chores.  (and it means the world to me!!!)
2.  If your spouse had to eat at one restaurant for the rest of their lives, what would he or she pick?
 Olive Garden.  That man can eat SO.MUCH.SALAD it's ridiculous.  And he loves their pizza for some odd reason!  He seriously will never order anything but pizza there.  
I would prolly say pok-e-jo's or subway eat fresh - she loves those places.  
3.  Are you or your spouse better at cooking? Any good stories?
 I am better at cooking!  He does it more often, but give him a difficult or lengthy meal to make, and it's pretty funny.  Hmm, good stories... He tried to set fire to our oven at our last apartment.  It gave our poor dog PTSD for months!  He hears the sound of something sizzling on the stove and immediately freaks out.  Poor little guy!  

I'm good at cooking.  I do most of it because she works two jobs.  I'm off or at home more, so it makes more sense.  Have you ever made BBQ sauce with your feet?  I have hahaha.  (oh my gosh...the BBQ sauce!  he seriously made it with his feet...crazy, crazy night!)
4.  Which one of you is more concerned about their "fashion"?
 Definitely, 100%, hands down ME.  That man never gives any thought to what he's wearing! 

Umm, she is, duh.  She is a WOMAN - they're all like that.  Me, just give me a pair of jeans, a sleeveless shirt, a pair of boots, and my favorite rebel hat and we're good to go.
5.  Ideally, if you don't have them already, when does you spouse want to have children?
 He wants to have them already, but knows that we need to be way more financially stable first.  Ideally, within the next few years I'd say.  

We would love to have them now but financially can't afford them.   (he's so smart haha. and yes, I know that you never really can afford kids...)
6.  Who planned dates when you were dating? And what was one of your favorites?
 We didn't get to go on a lot of actual dates when we were dating.  It was a long distance relationship, and I'd usually just go to Yorktown to visit him and we'd just hang out.  Those moments were priceless though!  One of my favorites was the first time we really met.  I drove down to see him and we went to a tractor pull in the nearby town.  That night, we stood out by the car for FOUR HOURS just talking about everything.  Time flew by...
It's hard to say because I didn't have a vehicle.  If I'm thinking right, she did.  Mine was all of them, but my favorite one was when me and her were with my best friend or 'my brother from another mother'.  We were in his truck and Bri and I were making out in the back seat and all of a sudden he yelled, "Look, it's a UNICORN!!!"  We just busted out laughing!  Good ole times, good ole times.  (that was so hilarious!)
7.  What's been the toughest part of being a newlywed?
 The toughest part has been the finances.  We didn't really have a budget or a plan prior to getting married, and then we combined accounts, which pretty much forced us to start budgeting.  However, the system our parents use and we now use is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. and is a lifesaver!  But we get through anything and everything, so it's all good :). 

Nothing really because we get through everything together. (good answer babe!)
8.  Who is the best with the finances?
 We both have gotten way better with the finances.  It's pretty mutual - neither of us is the only one that budgets or pays bills.  

Umm we both are. 
9.  Who is the strict one?
 Neither of us are very strict.  We're pretty laid back and don't really keep the other from doing something or pursuing something...  We try to be strict with money though, which is hard! haha

Neither one of us.  I think, anyway. 
10.  What will you plan to do for your first anniversary? Or if you've already celebrated your first anniversary, what did you do?
 We both had to work that day, so we just stuck with simple and went out to eat.  It's the quality time that matters anyway!  Then, we came home and ate the top of our wedding cake that had been sitting in the freezer for a year.  That thing was soooo disgusting!!!  I would never recommend it to anyone.... gross! 

We went to our favorite restaurant and ate at Olive Garden.  (yep!)

Another Day to be {Thankful}

This week has been FABULOUS

Here's why:

1. It was a three-day weekend last weekend, which meant only 4 workdays this week!

2. I only had to work job #2 ONCE this week (tonight)!

3. My husband and I went to a high school basketball game earlier this week to support a family friend, and it was a nail-biter!  So much fun to see them again and to be back in that atmosphere.

4. I was able to spend much needed and way overdue quality time with my husband yesterday afternoon.  For those of you that don't know, we don't get much time together, so we definitely took advantage of the time we were blessed with together yesterday!  It was one of those super relaxing days, knowing we didn't have to get anything done.  We were just silly with each other, laying in bed talking and watching tv for a few hours.  Just one of those little moments that wasn't dramatic and was exactly what we needed. 

5. My mom underwent surgery this morning to repair her rotator cuff, and it was successful! Praying her pain regarding this injury is on its way out the door. 

6. I had ribs from Pok-e-Jo's.  Enough said!

7. I'm feeling GREAT today!  My hair is amazing and cooperated well this morning; my outfit is amazeballs and has been complimented about a zillion times today; Grey's is all-new tonight; and I know the weekend is right around the corner!  Here's a pic from today:

8. I get to pick out free jewelry.  And I'm a girl.  They go hand-in-hand of course!

9. I'm leading a book club next month, and the winner was determined yesterday.  I'm so excited! 

10. My grandpa was recently diagnosed with cancer (a post to come on that soon, as its been hard).  He received glorious news yesterday that it hasn't spread, which means he can 'possibly' start radiation next week!

I've been witnessing firsthand the power of prayer and God's glory!  He has been busy at work in my life and in the lives of my family members.  It's been a truly astounding week for me, and I'm cherishing every second. 

It goes without saying that there have been some low moments this week as well, but it's so important to focus on the great things going on around us!  What are you thankful for today? 

{Weekend} Recap

I definitely took advantage of my three-day weekend!  It was filled with love, laughter, fun, sadness, joy, tears ... the works!  There was also lots of photography.  It's becoming an addiction of mine, and I love it!  Seriously, check out this photo I snapped while on my way home on Friday:

My grandparents' house.

I visited my parents this weekend, and drove down to begin my stay on Friday afternoon.  I thought that traffic wouldn't be too terrible seeing as it was only 3:30 in the afternoon, but I found myself to be way more stressed than I had imagined. 

This ^ was the first time that I had a free, empty roadway, and it was glorious!  I love the feeling I get every single time that I go home to visit my parents.  It reminds me just how much I love the country and miss it by living in the city.  But it's great to go back to - it's simpler and way more peaceful.  How could you not love it?!  I enjoyed Friday evening with my mom and dad, just hanging out, which was perfect. 

Saturday morning rolled around, and I ended up sleeping through most of it!  Yes, I woke up at 11:30am and missed half the day!  It was about this time that I was very grateful for a long weekend.  The rest of the day was pretty calm, and we hung out around the house mostly.  That afternoon, my mom and I went into town to visit with my grandpa, whom I hadn't seen in about a month.  Seriously, I must make a point to go down to see him more often.  *mental note*.  We sat with him until it was time for him to eat supper, and I enjoyed getting to sit and talk with him.  I cherish every.single.minute that I get with him!!  After our visit, mom and I ran a few errands in town before heading back home. 

That night, I was the chef in the kitchen! ---> which really isn't saying much haha!  I fried some mushrooms and chicken tenders for supper.  It had definitely been a while since I've indulged in such a meal, and it was fabulous!  Not the healthiest, I know, but it was overdue.  So, Saturday night was pretty relaxed, just eating and enjoying some episodes of Restaurant Impossible.  Robert Irvine is highly entertaining...

Then, before I knew it, it was Sunday already!  Man, time really does fly these days.  It's almost unnerving, but I digress.  We headed off to church to glorify God and seek forgivness for our sins.  The sermon was pretty touching - and memorable!  I believe a toddler carrying around his 'filth' was symbolic of us carrying around our sins and finding contentment with that. 

Before church

After church

After church, we bundled up (well, not me!) and then were off to attempt to pen up a few calves to take to the auction barn.  My dad had to lure the herd with some hay before they'd come over to where we needed them to be...

It was definitely a glorious day!  The sun was shining, the cows were grazing, and we were being productive!  Once the cows were all in the main fenced area, we had to lure only the calves we wanted into the pen to be put on the trailer.  This was actually done quite effortlessly, but in the process, I came face to face with this BIG guy:

I can honestly say that I had never come quite that close to the bull.  He was obviously staring me down - Pretty sure I won that contest! Haha.  It was so fun!  But, then my emotions overwhelmed me and it was time for my breakdown.  Using the pen to get the calves ready to be loaded in the trailer - it didn't quite go as I had planned.  It wasn't that it was hard or impossible to do, or even that I couldn't do it.  It was that internally, I made the connection of what we were doing with how my grandmother tragically was killed: by a cow while attempting to get said cow in the pen.  It hit me so hard and was out of nowhere.  I completely lost it and broke down crying.  I was pretty much a hot mess.  But I couldn't stop.  After my grandma's accident, it was hard for me to even drive up to the house and see where she had died.  But over time, that pain had healed, and it wasn't as hard to see it anymore.  However, dealing with the cattle in that pen was a completely different story, apparently.  The memories of that Monday afternoon/night and all that week came flooding back, and I couldn't stop them.  I could almost picture it how it was explained, and my heart broke.  I know it was her time to go, but to go that way - it's just been really hard for me to handle.  But only after a moment, mom and dad came to my rescue and embraced me in a giant hug.  At that moment, I was reminded that it's not only hard for me to see and experience, but that we were all hurting and it wasn't easy for anyone.  Some people are good at hiding their emotions, but there was no hiding the fact that I was reliving those days in my mind and that it hurt.  However, my parents were right there to help me through it, and they even got me up on the tractor to help put out the round bales.  Yes, this girl was farming at its finest and was operating heavy machinery! 

Once the cows were fed, the calves were taken to the auction barn, and we had showered and warmed up, we spent the evening watching The Amazing Race and Survivor.  It really was a great way to wind down from the long, cool day. 

And then, it was Monday!  Dad and I waved goodbye to Mom as she headed off to work, and not too long after that, we were already contemplating surprising her for lunch.  Of course, that meant that neither of our original plans to be productive (and head home for me) would be followed through, and also that we would be on the road for three hours for a lunch date, but it was so worth it!  We drove to Katy and surprised Mom for lunch.  And boy was she surprised!  It felt great to do that for her - and for ourselves.  It was a great 'daddy/daughter' day!  On the way back home, we stopped at the Tractor Supply Company, only to find this stuff at the register.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is for your lips! 

It's called 'chicken poop' and then if you'll look closely, it says 'lip junk' under that.  It's chapstick!  Soooo funny!  Definitely too funny not to share of course :).  On the way home, we stopped by the auction barn to pick up the check from selling the calves - and they did great!  Dad was shocked at receiving $1.77 per pound.  Let me just say ... got some money in the BANK!  Lol.  Well, I don't - the farm does.  Anywho, we took the check to Pops and visited with him until it was time for supper.  While there, Colten and I were texting back and forth.  He's so amazing and definitely a blessing to my life.  He's so considerate and understanding of my need to be home and visiting with my family. 

Upon wheeling Pops into the dining room for supper, we headed home (finally!).  After being gone for eight hours, I was exhausted!  Dad left for a meeting and I packed up my stuff to head back to Austin.  I was dreading the drive, as I had already spent 3 hours on the road that day, but I was so ready to just get home to my husband and puppy.  They were both very happy to see me :).  I'm so blessed. 

So, that was my weekend!  I'll leave you with a few more random pictures from my trip. 


A Day {Off} ...

What a day it's been! I've been to/through these following cities TWICE: Weimar, Columbus, Brookshire, & Katy! And I've been through/to these once: Flatonia, Luling, Lockhart, Buda, and Austin! Of course Schulenburg was several times today.

Sheesh! That's a lot of driving! But it's been an amazing day! My dad and I surprised my mom for lunch in Katy, ate at Cheddar's, then headed back home. We picked up a check from the auction barn for some calves that were sold, and visited with my grandfather for a bit before heading home to my two amazing guys: Colten and Ace!

So, it's been a full day of love and laughter, and I'm ready for bed. More to come later!

{ASTRiD} the octopus

Have you ever found yourself completely immersed in a giant to-do list that has been marked out, re-ordered, numbered at least 3 times and re-added multiple times, only to be utterly and totally confused about what it is you're supposed to accomplish?  Well, this girl has!

Are you an avid list-maker and find that you have multiple lists for multiple occasions or for multiple people?  Well, this girl is!

Have you downloaded about 50 different apps on your phone to possibly help make your list-making a little easier to do and follow, only to discover that you try so hard to have the app fit into your life when in fact it doesn't and you only use it for a few days until it gets forgotten about again?  Well, this girl has!  (ignore the fact that this question may, in fact, be a run-on sentence..just go with it)

I've FINALLY found a solution

That's right!  I'm completely OVER not knowing what needs to be done when and going through list after list to determine if it's even a valid list anymore or if it's something I've already completed.  I'll say it again, I'm so done with that mess!  Welcome, Astrid!  

A few weeks ago, the whole family was at my sister's apartment for some family bonding, which was glorious!  And if you haven't played Splosion Man for the Xbox yet, I'd highly recommend it, especially for those non-video gamers that get confused which button is A, B, X, Y, triggers and back buttons...yeah, you get my point.  This game is super easy and super fun!  But, back to the reason for this post.  The parentals left to head back home, so it was just the four of us playing games (my sister, husband, brother, and myself).  I fell asleep at some point, while my sister was out and while my husband and brother fought it out playing Mortal Kombat.  I wake up to peace and quiet and only my sister at home.  It's roughly 2AM at this point.  Although I'm extremely exhausted and want nothing more than to go back to sleep, I don't.  My sister and I get to talking, and at some point, actually agree to go to sleep, but we continue talking, as always, and before we know it, it's 4AM.  Cue cell phones.  My sister has an Android phone, and apparently has had the Astrid app for a while now.  She was playing around with the options and her to-do lists, as we were planning on running errands the next day - we needed to know what needed to be done!  So, while this is taking place, she discovers (or remembers...) that you can share a list with someone, as several things on the list were meant for us both anyway.  She sent me an invite that went to my email, and voila!  I created a username and password, downloaded the app, and was on my way to greatness!  

Astrid is an octopus, which I found highly amusing obviously.  The icon on my home screen is literally, an octopus.  A pink, smiling octopus with a check mark and a blue border.  

At least it catches my attention, which might, quite possibly, be the point.  But anyway, Astrid has many great features!  My sister immediately created a new list and 'shared' it with me.  It's called 'Seesters' haha.  I love it!  I can add a task to our shared list and assign it to her, in which case her beautiful picture appears next to the task name.  It's fabulous!  You can also comment on tasks, or on the shared list in general.  It's amazing!  It's super easy, too.  Here are some of the awesome features of this app: 

My Astrid 'Home'

  1. Create a Task - You can choose who to assign the task to (without sharing a list with them) or choose yourself if it's just for you, choose the due date and time, whether the task repeats and if so, how often, decide if you want to add it to your main calendar with reminder, if you want a reminder, pick the priority (high, medium, low, none), choose which lists to put the task under (it can be one, or two, or three, or four, or none...), add a description, and then decide if you want to share it with friends or not, via email, facebook, or twitter - this says 'invite advice an support from friends' (hey, it keeps you accountable!)
  2. Voice Enabled - You can easily add a new task from any screen, and this function is voice enabled!  Can you say score!?
  3.   Hide Task - You can hide tasks until a specified time.  For example, if you want a task for paying rent on the first of the month that repeats monthly, you may not want to look at it for the entire month, every month.  You'd get used to ignoring it, which isn't good!  You can hide the task until about a week before its due date, at which time you can have paying rent on your mind!  How fabulous (in case you haven't noticed, I enjoy the word 'fabulous')!  
  4. Categories - It categorizes your tasks on your main task screen: late, today, this week, and future.  It clearly tells you what you haven't done and what is coming up.  Super clear stuff! 
  5. Activity - There is an 'Activity' tab, which lets you view everything kind of in a log, including comments from your shared people on tasks or lists.  This is pretty helpful!  It reminds me kind of like your news feed on Facebook.  
  6. Create a New List - You can create a new list!  All you need is the list name, decide if you want to share it with someone or multiple someones, pick a list icon, and the description.  Easy as PIE! 
  7. Icons - You can choose whatever icon you want to be displayed next to the list!  Choose an Astrid photo (these are all random pictures of Astrid the octopus with random things like packing boxes, a pencil, food, a rose, on the beach, etc), take a new photo, or choose an existing photo.  That's right, you can have a picture of ANYTHING on your lists.  For example, for our shared Seesters list, we chose a picture of the two of us (rocket science, I know!).  
  8.  Quick Lists - In the picture of my Astrid 'home' above this lengthy numbered list, you notice that there is a 'quick list' section.  This is used for those lists you want to quickly access easily.  Let's say you're a crazy list-maker, like myself, and you have about 10 or so lists, you only want to maybe see or access a few of those in a few seconds of opening the app.  For example, I have my 'all' list as well as my 'honey-do's' and 'seesters' lists.  Yes, I have a shared list with my husband and I named it 'Honey-Do's'.  I love it!  It's a much better way to remind him or myself to do something without each other having to text to remind us or what have you.  Other lists, such as a shopping list or home or work list, I do not feel I need to access as easily.  I can scroll down to find these lists when I need them.  
  9. People - This is where you can go to view other people that you've shared tasks with; it shows how many tasks they have active and how many completed.  But it does not show what the actual tasks are...for privacy reasons of course! 
  10. Checklists - Checklists are pretty rad!  Wow, rad?  Yep, I guess so! These rad checklists are pretty awesome!  They're always there, and it can be anything!  For example, I have a packing checklist, since I always need the same things every time I go home for a weekend!

I know this list got a bit lengthy in discussion, but it's too great not to share!  There are more features to this amazing app, and it's definitely not 'perfect', but I've found that it's been my BFF since it's found its way to my phone.  I now have a pretty, pink, smiley octopus on my home screen, and it's awesome!  I highly recommend it, and if you have any questions, I'm not an expert or anything, but I'll do my best to help out!  :) 

    The Newlywed Game {Take 3}

    Linking in for today's Newlywed Game! 

    **I want to apologize in advance for some of my husband's answers - he answered them at around midnight last night on very little least that's what I'm using to justify some of these answers haha!  Just keep that in mind and we'll leave it at that...  :).  I also 'un-rednecked' some of his answers for your reading benefit.**

    one: In your opinion, who has the better in-laws? You, or your spouse?
    I think he does.  Our parents (all of them) are always supportive, but my parents have been such a huge part of us being where we are today, including financially!  And they paid for our wedding!  Thanks mom and dad!  
     She has the better in-laws.  I think that's how it's being worded.  
    two: Who decided on the wedding song for your first dance? What was it?
     I kind of did (oops!).  He wanted something totally non-first-dance-worthy.  I've always wanted Shania Twain's 'From This Moment On' duet with Bryan White.  He agreed and that was that! 
    We both did but I do not remember the song.  Wait, I think it was 'Then They Do' - I may be wrong, I'm sorry babe (Yeah, that song was the mother-son dance... Reading his answer kinda made me sad... But I have to keep in mind that he was pretty intoxicated and let it go.  I love you babe!   *at least he apologized*)
    three:  Which song would you say is your spouse's theme song & why?
    Umm, I dunno!  Probably Colt Ford's 'Dirt Road Anthem'.  He gets pretty upset when people say they like Jason Aldean's song, 'Dirt Road Anthem'.  He sets them straight as to whose song it really is!  Haha. 
    'Thrift Shop' haha.  Just kidding.  I really couldn't tell you because I don't know any songs she listens to.  (He really doesn't - it pretty much changes weekly!)
    four: What is the first thing your spouse takes off when they come home from work?
     His boots.  Those things are monstrous!  
    Her shoes because we don't allow shoes on the carpet.  (yes, sir!)
    five:  Fill in the blank.  When it comes to ______ , I definitely wear the pants in this relationship, but when it comes to _______ , my spouse definitely wears the pants.
     I wear the pants when it comes to our finances.  I refuse to be living paycheck to paycheck forever.  We're getting so much better, it's awesome!  He wears the pants when it comes to all things technical.  He's pretty good at it, and I am definitely not.  I'm forever asking him to fix something or help me unplug and plug something in (gaming consoles and that sort of thing).  
    When it comes to everything, I definitely wear the pants in this relationship, but when it comes to money, my spouse definitely wears the pants.  (thanks babe...haha. someone has a high opinion of himself!)
    six:  What is one thing you could do that would make your spouse the happiest person in the world?
    Cook dinner, clean the house, do laundry, take the dog out all weekend...  He's had to do a lot of the housework over the past year since I'm working two jobs, and I know he hates it.  I'm sorry, love!  But you're amazing at it and I'm very grateful for your sacrifice!  
    Nothing, because I already make her the happiest person in the world.  (this is true...isn't he so romantic? lol)
    seven:  What is the most unusual thing you ever found in your spouse's pocket/purse?
    Hmmm.... I'm not sure.  He was walking around with a paper towel in his pocket the other day, which I remember thinking was strange.  
    There ain't no tellin.  Half the time, I think her and Mary Poppins are cousins because you will find the most random things.  I guess I would be surprised if I pulled a chair out of it.  (okay, this man thinks he's funny...haha)
    eight:  In your opinion, does your spouse communicate better with talking, touching, or eye contact?
     Eye contact.  He's getting MUCH better at talking though!  We're working on the touching (PG of course people), as it is my love language!  It would figure that he's not good at the thing I want most (hand-holding, etc.) 
    nine:  What would your spouse ideally want your current/future children to do for a living?
     Mechanics or something probably really weird.  He thinks he's funny when we talk about future children...little does he know that we will NOT be naming any child 'Bobby Sue' or 'Billy Joe'.  
    Be like their father - a redneck - and teach them how to live off the land.  (yeah, no.  sorry babe...good joke though! *rolls eyes*)
    ten:  Keeping this as PG as possible... if you were blindfolded, and need to pick your spouse out of a crowd, what would you search for?
     His laugh.  Most definitely his laugh!  Seriously, I need to record it and post it some day, because it's hysterical.  It's also a common 'fun thing' to do at both of our parents' houses.  We make a game out of it, and most often can get him going without even touching him!  Pretty priceless.  
    Well, I'm blindfolded, so I would have to go with sound because your other senses are heightened.   I would listen for her voice, but that would be hard because you're in a crowd and someone could sound the same as her.  Hell, I'm blindfolded and can't see anything, I would just start feeling around, maybe I might find her and I might not.  (wow.  welcome to the mind of my husband, people!)

    {It's OK} Thursday #2

    Linking up with Brunch with Amber and A Complete Waste of Makeup for 'It's Ok' Thursday.  I really needed it this week, as it's been a LONG one...and I've been frustrated as of late.  So, here it goes!  Time to rid of the negativity and un-okayness.  Yep, that's now officially a word!  Get used to it :). 

    Its Ok Thursdays

    IT'S OKAY...

    ...that my hair is a hot mess today.  It's my third 16-hour day in a row - I'm excused. 
    ...that I bought a 'blog journal' for my ideas and posts and all things blog-related. just close my door and have a day for myself without trying to solve everyone else's problems.

    ...that I have a giant red teddy bear from my hubby for Valentine's Day on my desk at work. 

    ...that my husband reverted to the traditional stuffed animal, flowers, and card gifts this year.  I love it! 

    ...that I can barely keep my eyes open today. be wearing pink on the national day of L.O.V.E. have my music cranked up and be jammin' out to get me through the day. 

    ...that I'm in love with the song 'Better Dig Two'.  It's sweet, in a creepy sort of way. 

    ...that my blog is still not completely revamped.  It's a work in progress! 

    ...that I still need to purchase my husband's last Valentine's Day gift.

    ...that I'm in a 'mood' today. 

    ...that others complain about you doing something, even after they've asked you to do it for them. 

    ...that I'm going to go over my budget for my husband's gift - he deserves it! want to just sit here, holding my bear, and thinking of my husband.  We definitely don't get as much time as we need together.  I miss him. miss my husband even though we live together and see each other every day - it's the quality time I miss...

    ...that I'm in love with these sparkly pens my boss gave me for Valentine's Day on Monday. 

    ...that this is a long list of things to be okay with... need a day every week just for myself, cuddled in bed, watching dvr'd tv shows.  

    What's okay with you today?  Link up!
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